Saturday, 15 November 2014

Xmas is coming, Santa Claus is coming...

My wife says you know when Xmas is coming because all men are miserable...

Ha, ha, ha, ha...what do you mean?

Well I am for one looking forward to it especially conjuring up the trick of trying to get rid of the household waste...

And yes this will be Xmas morning all round...

There will be an endless duty of making tea for everyone...
There will be an endless desire for sweets and will I fit that dinner in?
The housework wont be done...

There will be a few unwanted clothing gifts...
Oh yes, that's just a few gripes...of course I am looking forward to Xmas cos Santa Claus is coming!
God bless and amen.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Well what a Halloween that was...

Now that one day holiday event is yet gain over for another year and as some breathe a sigh of relief that the night caused them no pain, and as all the little children be they 5 year-olds or well into their teenage years trudge off home to devour the sweets and count their monies gained, it is always nice to dwell on the written word of humour to make lite of public life.

For instance, the season is about ghosts and the like so a good written one liner will always go down well at this time of year, especially so when the clocks have just turned back that hour bringing on the darkness much quicker than we all expect, as usual…

‘Jeez thought I saw a four legged ghost...then realized I dropped tea towel on the’

Ah yes, this one written line has power to amuse because it focuses on our own lives in real-time, as we can imagine that this could happen, does happen and probably has happened.

But do we really like this time of year, is it now so deep in tradition to have groups of fancy dress clad family and strangers knocking at our doors that we regard it as entertainment, to put on our door stops cut out images in pumpkins, to have ready a bowl full of sweets to hand so readily to callers when all we want is an evening of undisturbed peace and tranquility.

I know of some who invested well in those Haribo’s and Allsorts and did not get any callers at all and then there were those who were unselfishly pranked by the mischievous few who had desire to remove bikes and smash those pumpkins…sadly yes we have to live with the extreme.

Apart from the fancy dressing up bit and reflecting on the good and bad of the evening there is always the given comical side to this time of year…mostly in pictures of very artistically inventive pumpkin designs…but could any of you peeps imagine this…

  ‘Well what a Halloween that we heard the knock of the last callers, we had run out of sweets,    decided to make shadow of myself in front door window, prior to opening, and raised my arms up like a beast, and letting out a blood curdling growl as thought this would entertain the little ones outside my door.
   However, on opening the door I was greeted not with the customary "trick or treat" but by two rather wide-eyed expressionless faces whom said, “ Would one like to take our leaflet The Watchtower and may you visit Kingdom Hall one you think things happen for a reason?"
I certainly do my dear friends, I certainly do...LOL’

This story of course is fictional, yet comical and would never happen…er, could it? It enlightens our approach to Halloween whilst encompassing our disdain to the work of Jehovah’s and encaptures those foolish moments when we might act first and think later…we all love to chuckle at those embarrassing moments of human life.

Anyway best go as I have discovered new word of an old saying, “Making wholeness heals the maker…” – something said by Christopher Alexander…who? Um, exactly what I thought!

God bless and amen.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Allowable living expenses...who are they kidding?

Well, recently applied for health costs and the reply has not long come back...WHAT? I can afford WHAT?

Who are they kidding? I was gobsmacked...when you're down, you are down, you do not need another kick in the mouth...cant be in the teeth cos the dentist has taken most of them out at my expense. And when he lands you with another top band of treatment, no not lands, formally tells you off because you need a bloody crown...and the costs. "It will only cost £219.00!"

"Ah, can I pay in instalments, please?"

"Er, no!"

If you just so happen to have suffered from poor dental hygiene then dental treatment is a very high cost. Thank goodness my health cert says that we can afford the first £376 of such treatment. Get real NHS the top band is only £219 pounds...pounds...pounds!

So, scrutinizing the workings they say that as couple we only need £113 to live on per week, plus the cost of any mortgage and council tax which is a grand total guide of two hundred and forty so pounds...surely after lasts week shopping they left off a few zeros! Or perhaps put the decimal point in the wrong place!

Then they have a cheek to compare that against our income, which sadly works out that we have a surplus of just over hundred pounds a week spare..yep you guessed, they didn't come shopping with us at Lidl, or was it Aldi...As my wife says, "We have to live like Kings for the first week of the month and paupers for the rest!"

...allowable expenses...
This called for some research. Well, frankly on GOV.UK I have no idea how in typing into the search engine for allowable living expenses other than what the heck has taking a trip to the outer reaches of the third world got to do with allowable living expenses. Der???????????
Maybe, they do not want you to know what their ridiculous figures are whilst paying MP's another few grand on top of their salaries. Or to the fact that our top brass are trying to keep public pay rises to less than certainly feels like a them and us world! But I knew that anyway.
Even, under Income Support rules, have suppressed a family you no longer are given allowance for any children as this is deemed to be taken care of under tax the first rule of any guide is that as a couple you only need that £113 a week to a life of what?
I delve further through internet pages looking for material, even the Irish acknowledge that they do not expect those on the lower income scale to live a sub-standard life...they should have the right to clothe, drink and be merry just like any other person.
And, upstairs I find our last thwarted claim for council tax...but that is of sad reading as well, as a family of four you ought be able to live on £240 a week. Ha, ha more austerity!
Actual needs...
So, on having researched depressingly for a serious answer to my whoa, I end up in a wealth of debt advice this is more like it, the true cost of what one would need to live on and still scrape the barrel of life...or go bankrupt!
Why is it that insolvency rules are vastly different from what the government says you actually need to live on...well that's easy to answer they obviously do not like fat cat bankers, along with public workers and those on social benefits and UKIP of course!
Well, relieved to discover that we actually would need £1700 plus a month to live, which works out something like £412 to live like the Irish. Compare that to £240 under income support rules then that's a short fall of £180 a who are they kidding? Well, haven't a clue, perhaps this should read "...who are they killing?...". That would be more apt.
Now, going back to our claim for health costs, I take away all the costs quoted for children and as a couple we would still need £1500 at least each month, which is a weekly sum of £350 plus so on taking away our present income we are £10 short...and they claim we would be £106 in surplus.
Crickey, even creditors would recognise that a family of four would require to spend on food shopping alone £100 pound a week. Take this off the £240 and that £140 has to go towards all your other costs...well can tell you that wont go far given consideration to travel (petrol £20/week), school dinners (£2 per child per day), pocket money (my kids are robbing me), mobiles and internet (everyone in the house lives like an adult), clothes (shabby chic looking and shoes don't last), gas and electric (£30 a week)...pets, laundry, social activity. more blood in the stone...
And it goes on and on...need I not say. Yes, the answer is to earn more if one somewhere that there are more going into self-employment, which is what I am doing, and my good wife exceeds herself doing extra hours but one can only squeeze the stone so much.
But at sometime when one is branching out on a new path there will be tough times but one would steely expect some decency of aid when there is no more blood in the stone...but in measures of austerity the government is stating tough, big time, and it hurts.
Not that I am shocked, with a thread on Mumsnet, there are many scraping the barrel with whatever comes in an equal amount goes out. And it makes no surprising read that probably 50% of the nation are in the same situ as us...but in a modern day world it is sad, especially so when the government has been fighting pointless wars and the cost of petrol has remained a constant high.
It has nowt to do with austerity...more like lying about the true cost of living. Now to go and stick to budget plan; get a nice cuppa on; what no milk??? Oh shite, cant be bothered to walk to Tesco just to save 10p...the Coop is just ten doors away!
Farewell, God bless and amen.


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...