Friday, July 30, 2010

Aren't you glad this will be in the hands of the very wealthy Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith who says he wants radical reform to tackle a "culture of worklessness" and help the least well-off in society. Perhaps then he should ask the poorest what is the fairest way to go about it. While we're on the subject what work are they supposed to get back into?

Proposals set to be included in a consultation paper include combining benefits and tax credits, and tailoring support to parents and the disabled. Labour has questioned whether the plans will lead to cuts elsewhere.

Mr Duncan Smith suggested last month that the government had a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity to tackle "entrenched" welfare dependency, unemployment and poverty in parts of the UK. He has said it is a scandal that there are five million people on out of work benefits and that nearly 1.5 million have been on benefits for nine out of the last 10 years. Ministers want to remove disincentives in the tax system to finding work, making sure that claimants do not find themselves worse off when starting a job than while on benefits, which they say is often the case under current arrangements.

In advance of the consultation document being published, Mr Duncan Smith told the BBC it was his aim to make people in work "better off, and their families better-off, than they would be out of work and on benefits"."The objective is to improve the quality of life for the worst off in society and get those at the bottom end back into work... and get more children out of child poverty," he said. "There is still a culture of worklessness, feeling trapped on benefits. That will change."
I stand bestride the years like a colossus; scattering memories to the aeons for future generations. But what else may we do? We children of a dying empire that now slows to a crawl, under the weight of our expectations. Never to be now fulfilled.

Is it sad to perceive our youth so? For perhaps they were they expectations that could only be gilt in disappointment? I do not know the answer ...but I do know we see things much clearly now and we see which way the world points and it hearkens backwards to times best forgotten.

All I know is that I am still here and all my memories shift and blow with each passing year and I tell you this only because I know you are in many of them and always shall be.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This much we know now

Pollution does pay - Tony Hayward of BP will be able to draw a pension of around £600,000 a year from the moment he leaves the company

Pollutions help tax costs - BP is set to announce a record loss, having set aside an estimated £16bn-£19bn ($25bn-$30bn) to cover the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Misleading people pays - Britons are not getting the broadband services they are being sold. Ofcom's analysis of broadband speeds in the UK shows that, for some services, 97% of consumers do not get the advertised speed

Whistle blowing isn’t always a good thing - The US military has said it could take weeks to determine the impact of the leak of more than 90,000 classified military records. The White House condemned the leak as a possible threat to national security.

Mis-education - MPs have approved legislation which paves the way for a radical overhaul of the school system in England.(again)

Voting irregularities - The Electoral Commission watchdog called for ministers to consider requiring voters to produce proof of identity at the polls due to fraud in UK elections

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tuesday 29th June

Well can’t believe we are now over the hill and making our way to the darker nights. I don’t mean that in a pessimistic way as there are still lots of warm days ahead – but it doesn’t half happen quickly.

We have been (note the ‘been’) having the most amazing long, dry, spell of weather in this part of the country for at least a decade. Lancashire has never been so dry…all my stored water has been used and the new pond I dug is barely wet. A fledgling bird fell in a drowned the other day so for him at least it wasn’t the best of summers.

I built another herb garden the other night and discovered a wasp’s nest in the bush by the gate. I wouldn’t normally bother but now the dog is a worry. So at the first sign of bother will relocate them into oblivion; sad but necessary I suppose. I’ve been quiet on here but haven’t been busy really…just lazing around after work I guess enjoying the sun and the garden and the absence of midges.

Wednesday 21st July 2010

Here we are nearly a month on and what a change to everything. Torrential rain and dark, dismal days filled with mist and thunderous, cool winds. So, back to a normal northern summer once again. I don’t know where all the days have gone over the last few months. I did wonder if the wasps nesting in the bush would be washed away but remarkably the nest is still ok. Funny though, to think; it is made of wood, chewed and stuck together with wasp spit. Probably they put us to shame in our daily meagre endeavours. I guess the equivalent would be making a 3 bedroomed home in a couple of weeks with our bare hands.

The garden and the herbs were doing well till the rainy cool weather – now the basil is practically shivering and if that wasn’t bad enough the roe deer have eaten my horseradish plants. I’ve moved them into the glasshouse for safety now. So looks like horseradish is off the menu and venison is on...just kidding!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This much I know....
1 There is no way to get a suntan here
2 The sun doesn’t shine often in the north of England
3 Summer is the shortest month despite being equal in duration
4 it’s raining
5 If it isn’t raining it soon will be
6 It’s raining now
7 I’m wet
8 The dog’s wet
9 Deer eat veggies
10 Four of the photos below were took a week apart

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and early 70’s!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos....
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.
Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Nandos.Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on a Sunday, somehow we didn't starve to death!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because...... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK.We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no CBBC channels on SKY, no video/DVD films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears! We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet because we didn’t need to keep up with the Jones’s!Not everyone made the rugby/football/cricket/netball team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on merit

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and throw the blackboard rubber at us if they thought we weren’t concentrating . We can string sentences together and spell and have proper conversations because of a good, solid three R’s education. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kia-ora' and 'Brooklyn' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla' We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all and you are one of them!


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good

Thursday, July 08, 2010

What dreams may come and though they may falter, may stumble into another life; still they come like spring waves to crash into a beach of fears. I can never stop the dreams from coming even when in the deepest throes of activity, still they come; like whispers on a breeze to tempt me into another scenario of joy.

Yet, what dreams may have come to go unnoticed in the heat of the day, or have faded away as they played out like Shakespearian tragedy, into the long depth of night. I have not the answer, but the dreams go on and only time will silence a mind that cannot ever stop wondering about the questions we are born to ask.

And what dreams are yet to come? Carved and drawn from my fertile mind watered by devotion and your faithful innocence. Dreams to shape, take form as the sun rises behind a distant hill and then race out toward the enchantment of this new day. Fluid and boundless they hold sway and the world has not the hours to hold them.

And what dreams shall be left when all thoughts are stilled. Shall a dream live forever and may I live with it as an echo fading into the dreams of others. For me to dream a life less ordinary and then slide into the peace of eternity; that is my dream. For I shall still and quiet one day ,but shall then reawaken in your dreams and we will have peace always together.

Monday, July 05, 2010

21st June 2010

Well it’s been a medical few weeks lately. My brother is in a Newcastle hospital at the moment so I have trekked up there with Nick a couple of times. Had myself a tooth pulled out and had to collect Mike from the hospital after a frozen shoulder episode. I’ve had quite enough for the moment. So long as Nick doesn’t chop off any fingers anytime soon I’ll be ok.

The cycle runs and in the clock of the seasons strikes 12 noon for the Solstice and in chimes the summer with a melody of dragonflies climbing into the azure sky riding on the soft winds that enter the dawn and kiss the Heel stone. Now silent Stonehenge is devoid of druids, golden sickles and sacrifices. It embraces its destiny as pointer to the stars revolving high above the earth. The industry of the Neolithic age stands as a fitting shadow to shade our advances and remind us that it is summer, we are finite and the earth shall live forever in a billion more cycles that culminate in the harmony of the birth of summer.

5th July 2010
Just to let you know I Haven’t done very much lately sorry.... I did start at the solstice but to be honest have been enjoying the fine weather too much. Now the rain is here again this week I should be able to write more this week. Hope you’re well.