Saturday, 11 October 2014

Food production or is it food reduction?

Now I knew my son was selling Mars Bars at school. Nowt wrong with that from what I see but if there is a market why not exploit and make a return.

He would spend his dinner money on a multipack of sweets, on sale for a £1, and sell to his friends for 50p per bar. 100% profit!

"Still trading in Mars?" I asked one day.

"No, Dad."

"Why not?"

"My profits are down by half."


Oh! I wondered as to why, so off I trundle down to our local supermarket and what do I see but new multipacks, not of 4 per pack but now in 3's...three, three...yes three for a pound. Now that's either a price hike or very well thought out marketing ploy...bit of both I say.

Now, I thought buying multipacks was a way of making savings to the consumer. Give this a bit more calculation; a single bar costs almost 80p in some quarters so if you still want four you would buy the 3 pack and a single bar at a total cost of £1 & effing 80p. Like holy crap are you...for an extra 20p you can get six when in the first place you only wanted four!

Over the course of a year what are you going to gain...nothing but a bigger waist band! Oh heck this is getting me confused because then I began to wonder that if the count in the packs is getting smaller or if what is offered is of smaller weight then how the hell is the government going to tell us that inflation is under control...especially so in this an election year. For changing from a pack of 4 to 3 is a 33% inflationary it not?

What else...
So off I trundle round the shop to get the rest of our shopping. Fancy a nice bit of Battenberg am I a fool, do I need new glasses or is that remarkably smaller than the last time I purchased it! Think best I take a magnifying glass with me.
Its a bit like going into some fancy restaurant and they serve you something of a miniature form of food art on a 16inch plate and you feel like saying to the waiter, "Where's the rest of it then!"
Take cigarettes, they are now sold in packs of longer 20 but 19...well at least that's cutting down I suppose. Bourbon biscuits...20 in packet, surely they were once 24...well that's two less for you son!  And thank goodness we don't buy nappies anymore because according to one report I researched they are definitely less by 2 in a pack...serious problem if your little one is big pooher.
Well, its nice in this world to relax with a cuppa tea but I find out they have taken 4 bags out of 80 in some shops:
multiple of 76

The Mail reports this shrinkinflation has been going on since 2001...sneaky sods and the manufacturers claim its down to rising costs...well let you get away that. But when they claim something has less fat, as one shopper points out, of course its has less everything

Another dear friend of mine so pointedly said on social media, "Fun size malteasers...but what fun can you have with a count of ten..." Yep, I recently bought some new branded pack of caramel sweeties thinking they look good for the price, but on getting them home to share out there were only 8 bloody sweets in total...12.5p per sweet...that's bloody robbery!

So angry...
Gosh, so angry now...really fancy a nice leg of New Zealand lamb. What the costs a fortune.  How much are the other three legs I wonder or they just trying it on...they could claim that the right one's are dearer to cut than the left sided legs. I just might ask that "Is the left one any cheaper?" next time I go shopping.
So, by the time I have finished my shop I most certainly feel I have left with less than this time a year ago and probably spent more for less as well...oh and I had to pay for the carrier as well, the cheek of it.
Anyway, I go to my mum's and she offers me some Shredded Wheat...nice to have any time of day and one can never eat three. But as my mum pulls a pack out of the box what do I notice...they have been packed in a different way...sort of rectangilly, oblongilly (new words made by me for the sake of this blog) way so there is two per individual they use to be three???? Yep, now only 16 biscuits down from 18 in a pack.
Well, its no wonder I have lost weight...I am eating seemingly less for my money! Well, that's my blog over and extreme rant of the year. So take care when shopping and examine those labels and price offers more studiously...whatever next I ask.
God bless and amen.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Peace...relative peace! What's that?

As I write and yet again British warplanes have again made mission to bomb lands in the Middle East, I have realised that my eldest daughter is as old as the time that the West has been fighting so called terror...24 years.

Indeed, all my children have been born into this era of war on terror, so I ask Peace...relative peace, what's that? I can recall a photograph, in a history book, of Spanish Army Officers, a picture taken of their capture during the Spanish Civil War...yet it is the caption that remains vividly in my mind; "...captured officers in the Spanish Civil War. Shortly after the taking of this photo all were shot dead!"

I was only young when I read is what war is about. It's them or us attitude. And man will always be at war...we make film about it, plays about it, games about it and write about it.

Life is a struggle...

As in war life is a struggle unless you have the correct equipment to deal with that daily struggle. Can one really find relative peace. No, either the struggle of  life or war or something will catch us out.

In essesence peace only lasts for a short time. We may have everything that life could give us to more than meet our needs...but there are many things to put us off our tracks. Things like injury, illness, rules, punishment, argument, debate, breakage, accident, death, mental well being...just imagine the person whom develops poor mental health. Oh and of course money!

A lot of money and care and research is ploughed into war injuries...and so it should because our soldiers do not and did not deserve that path. And so they then have a new struggle. For them there will never ever be relative peace.

However, we must not forget those that are disabled in civilian life either by birth or by accident or illness. Yet once I was confronted by a young lady whom was disabled and when she said hello to me I did not know how to react. In a way I felt sorrowful for her but due to the fact I was having counselling at the time this occurred my councillor said why did I perceive her life to be dire as she in her inner self may be perfectly happy.

So, I must sign off and trust that my words have given you some thought. Life is full of challenges and it is up to us to find ways to cope with them so we can keep our relative peace with the world around us.

Take care, God bless and amen. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Where is my Clubcard...

Well haven't blogged for almost two weeks now...What? Yep, what the hell! Why? Why?

Perhaps, I am not the person I set out to searching instant fame from a fantastically written blog about a load of know the brilliantly written piece, so mind bogglingly brilliant that it has instant effect to change our political quagmire or so stupidly captures the imagination of many readers and so snowball into some unstoppable called fame! Oh and of course bring me loads of cash...£££££££££££££££££££££££££££.

Then, maybe I have just not found anything to ponder about, or at least think about recently or maybe I am so depressingly bored with a world that seems to quell on bad news...wars, death, political righteousness, unkempt religion, accidents, America (gosh even in America there are some niceties...yes??)!

Well, I have written about Tea, wrote of my unpublished book; Plank, commentated on politics, talked of my fight with depression, blogged about this housework lark (still don't get grasping the art of housework), suggested pointless things to do, you know Stobart Spotting (cant do this down under obviously...but I could be wrong!). 

I have written about the joy of my local football club, the day they won at Wembley Stadium. I have written about Mybin...a very serious and sore point for many...gosh sometimes our bins are treated so badly. I have written about my son's learning. I have written about going out to get drunk and the fact I came home sober...der!!! Saddo...!

In fact, I feel quite proud of what I have written, a few enjoyable reads for my small following of readers...but perhaps I have not enlarged my soapbox to gain that stardom I so desire...surely I can do better than Plank. Or maybe I can do a piece about the art of making a cup of, no, no! Too many complex ways what with those coffee makers and perky thingy's and all those different blends and textures...I mean when I once went to Italy I expected my coffee to be in a mug not a vessel that almost represented a thimble...and where the heck was the sugar!

Mind you there is also a lot I could talk about...the world has many subjects. Like the game of cricket or I could write about when I was once so stoned that my godly punishment was to help a little old lady carry her shopping home back along the path I had just travelled down in a friends,  never had I laughed so much as to why or what the heck I was doing that day.

So with all that I must now sign off, go and put the news on to see what sad news in the world there is or to see if there is any if!!!!!!!!!! Mind at this unearthly hour of the morning I must be a fool, but I am on a mission to encapture the world with my brilliance in writing a load of tosh.

Oh and before I forget, I have registered Mr where is my Clubcard???????????????

Well, God bless and amen.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Why can't you see when I am ill...(part six)

Yes, I got out...decided to walk away from paid employment. Toughest decision I had ever had to make but got there from talking with my family, friends, doctor and professionals. Oh yes, got a big pay-out, deservedly so, should have taken them for more...bastards!

For almost a whole year my life felt like crap, never was I at such a low ebb. I had great support from my wife...claiming the right benefits it was when we had to go to assessment I knew this was going to be tough...took them weeks to get back with an answer...I had been told whatever I do I would probably have to appeal...that was always the way! But, the reply was taking ages...perhaps I had just been ignored.

And then it came...a big fat're alright...what the fuck? My wife said you're not appealing you wont be able to cope...I think she was probably right, the system was too slow so I had to sign on for Jobseeker...almost a year on from being ill we needed much more help.

Within six weeks I landed a job at a model train maker in Margate...was not sure how I would cope but the work was so relaxed I was overwhelmed with relief and disbelief. Why aren't all companies like this...however, the work was only temporary and I knew that after Christmas it would come to an end. But that was to be another hurdle.

After Christmas the pressure was on again. I could feel it all around me...had to sign on Jobseeker again and this time reality began to bang home. Due to mix up of letters, I was knocked for six and under pressure I almost cracked...and maybe I would have but for amazing friends and family.

Feel like a nobody...have been told will not qualify for JSA despite my recent work having just ended and now have no income. Cannot live on Christine's wage alone. I now wish I hadn't been ill...all I have done is let my kids and wife down...right now all my respect for life has just gone out of the window but I am too weak and a coward to end my life and I love my family to bits. I admire Christ...ine and all her hardworking, proud of Kelly and her achievements, wish Natalie the best at her snobby school and get great pleasure in watching Lewis play his rugby. I hate being depressed all I want is a job where there is no stress and I can just plod away. Fuck you Tilmanstone! I am sure the life you ruined was worth more than £10000. So what do I do now? I have applied for jobs, posted out my own desire to work on my own doing gardening, created a community page in Class of '79, annoyed you all with my puns on Facebook...but right now it seems pointless to ask for anymore because stupid legislation states I am not entitled to's not my fault is it?

Yes, I blurted it all out on Facebook...a big scream for help. Couldn't face talking it out with my loved ones...yet I didn't expect this kind of response...more so expected to get slagged off...I could see myself moving on, my family did not need me, that's how I felt and that's what I would have done had it not been for their replies...

Tony Mc: You have not let anyone down mate. The system needs changing to help respectable people like you

Mick J: Chin up mate - you're white, English and married - you're part of the biggest minority in the country, but the only ones who have to work for a living!

Dan B:This country is harsh to people who have worked hard all there life, its a disgrace, remember something good comes out of something bad. Stay positive mate.

Steve C: Be strong Micheal , at our age a massive kick in the goolies of life is to be expected , you are surrounded by friends who like you and family who luv you

Natalie: Love you daddy, you have not let us down, we love you regardless a job/qualifications or illness were you family, love you xx

Mick J: See Michael. Family is the most important thing. Life can be unfair and a struggle unless you've played the system all your life, but with a supportive family you can face it all together. We have to watch every penny, but we are surrounded by scroungers who don't work yet have 50 inch widescreen TV's and always seem to have 20 quid to spend on scratchcards. You're not on your own in this, and your family will love and support you through the difficult times

Tracey W: dont let them get you down,you have a lovely loving family you dont need any more. something will turn up. stay stronge xx

Russell E: This is a small chapter of your life Michael, you already have many achievements and you will get through this and come out the other side a much stronger person.

Angela A: Stay strong mate. U ave friends there for u and a family who love u no matter what. Chin up and smile xx

Claire E: I'm sure your family do not feel you have let them down! Keep your chin up. Xxx

Irene Mac: Hey Michael - you are very brave to have poured your soul and suffering on here, and it can be hard to see the positives when you face set backs in an unfair welfare system, but do take heed of what everyone has said on here . Keep on looking ahead - doors (and gardens) will open to you. For what it's worth am sending you a bloody Big hug. Xxx

Me:  I applied online for a job for B& was the worst experience of my life felt like I was doing an exam for physiology or something...

Kelly:  Don't worry daddy! It will all be ok :) love you loads!x X x

Jamie T:  Here-here to all earlier comments & you clearly have the most important things: a great wife & children to be proud of. Something WILL turn up but you have to keep chipping away keep those big shoulders up. I'm sure I speak for all of your local Facebook community when I say that I will be on the lookout for opportunities for you my friend.

Bart B: G'day Michael, spring is upon us and all the gardens need attention very soon. Get some flyers out now and the work will come flooding in very soon. The uk is very tough for jobs, hence the reason why we made the move. Your family loves you mate.....

Jamie T: Hey big man, make sure you load a bit of extra fuel money if you quote for Bart's garden.

Me: Yes I charge A tenner per hour plus a return flight to Oz...

Bart B; You will need a ride on mower and don't forget your Akubra . Could always get you to bag up horse poo to fill in your time. You will get those muscles back from those weight training days.

Jamie T: What the F...? Abracadabra?

Bart B C'mon Jamie, you should now that. I don't want Michael burning his head.

Jamie T: Oh, I see.

Bart B: Just put a few corks around it to stop the flies, a bottle of water and he will be well away

Bart B: Might need you to put a few go fast stripes on it Jamie too

Jamie T: Happy to help. Think I'll put the stripes on Michael instead!

Me: Hey you two stop chin wagging on my sympathy vote...

Jamie T; You do know that Bart never really went to Pz, don't you? He moved to the Isle Of Sheppy but was too embarrassed to admit it. Oz sounded a bit more exotic.
Tracey M: I agree with Bart loads of gardens will be needing attention & you just need to promote yourself with business cards flyers & Facebook & get your name out there.

Yes, my wife, my family and my friends rallied me to think straight...doctors to get more meds, out for walks with Tamba...all I had to do was stay positive. I started to post myself as a gardener, and did this repeatedly, everyday until at last, at long last I had a call...

to be continued...

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Be positive

When you are

and have no
then be
God bless and amen.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Motorway games...

Well, its the last day of the last bank holiday of the summer...and guess what its gonna rain on those busy roads. The kids will be bored and fed up on the long drive why not play this game:


Its a bit like train spotting but less boring. For one the cabs have names, female names. The drivers have nice uniforms and according to Adrian Mole they ought wave back at you should you wave to them.

And you can buy so much stuff related to Eddie Stobart from pens and key rings to scale models. You can buy a Stobart Spotters book, especially designed for this spotting game. And if you cannot get note of the female names, always on the front of the cab, you can write down the trailer number instead.

The best places to play this game is obviously, up and down the M1 or A1...but always look out for them in those motorway services and Tesco's. Failing that,  one can always play eye-spy or count the lamp posts or cheer out loud as you pass under every bridge.

So, enjoy the last of the summer wine or should that be

God bless and amen.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Google it...

Last week, I set upon a quest to find my town's oldest armed with a smart phone, a begrudging youngster; "What you taking photos of houses for?" and later at home with an iPad, not only did I complete my quest but fascinatingly have found a new past-time to amuse oneself on those rainy summer days.

But as always it is best to do some research on these things so finding out that the oldest building was just a short walk around the corner from my abode meant I would have to ruin my carbon footprint and go for a drive...yeah alright!

So here's a pic of our town's oldest building:

Well, this bit is research tells me that the church was built in Norman times. So going through a few history sites and the church site I find out that the church, over the years had many alterations and additions...Mmm!

My thought was come on son let's go round the back, but even myself is dubious of walking among those old graveyards so did not wish to drag my boy into there...only been down the road five minutes and he was already

So that is where Google Maps comes in so handy...amazingly that Street View car, that so little have witnessed, is armed with the best camera in the world and has captured images that one cannot see or admire from the footpath...peeping over walls, peering down alleys, close up, far away...Google it!

And this is a such a pic...the back of the church:

Ah, now that looks more like it. Built in the 12th town's oldest building. But my oh my weren't those Normans busy; Dover Castle, The Tower of London and all those many churches.

Yes, Google allowed me to peep over the wall and what a delightful pic it is, or not depending on your thoughts and religious stance. And that was it, I had found another waste of could go on a " street view" tour of anywhere in the world...well any mapped town or city that is and the residents have not asked for postings to be removed, which one whole street in our town  has obviously done...and good on them too! I wouldn't wish any nosey parker looking in my windows via Google.

The thing is with this street view thingy, it must be done on an iPad. Drop pin on a road map in any town or city of the world and then take a is just like being there but one has not left their sofa!
Move the screen view around with your fingers until you find a scene that you like and then take a pic with your smart phone. Make up an album and then convince your media peeps and friends that you have been on tour...the best holiday ever!

Make sure you cut, crop, resize, add effects so to personalize your photo's...this makes it more convincing. Don't' leave them like this shot of a building in Wellington NZ;

Leaving a shot of your iPad's casing cover, or leaving in the choice button in the bottom right-hand corner which allows you to go back to the maps...and do not post pics in your collection of those arrows, that would be a dead giveaway that you had not gone but had done so from

There is only one thing you cannot do and that is to try and  hide the watermarking's of Google's accreditations...but these are so faint that one would really have to scrutinize your albums and pictures.

If you do so wish to pretend; "Hey look where I have been??!..." make sure you do not show the reflection of the street view mapping car and camera.

Basically, want to go somewhere, or even plan to actually go somewhere then Google is yer man!...
as they say!

Have fun and God bless. Amen.