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Archive for the ‘idiot category’ Category

So today we had my ‘virtual’ birthday tea and cake. My daughter and her hubby and son joined me on WhatsApp facetime with their tea and chocolate cake and I had all the essentials for a party during a pandemic lockdown

The cake was bigger 2 days ago πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Social distancing

Even though the network reception was dastardly as usual, it was a fun time…we’ll get to do the party for real when I visit in May. πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸ₯‚πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚

This has probably been the most amazing spring that I can recall in the UK for the last 18 years….Being in lockdown has curtailed my walking explorations to 1 mile from home,Β  but it hasn’t curtailed the prevalence of subjects for photos…☺️☺️☺️ 

In a way, because I’m not trying to cover as much ground as possible within my allotted 2 hour break, and taking my walks at a slower pace, its given me the opportunity to observe my environment at a more leisurely pace and notice the plethora of beautiful flowers on my routes. And that’s the long-winded way of saying I’ve seen a lot of beautiful flowers on my walks 😁😁😁😊 Here’s a short video

Spring 2020

Watched a programme on BBC2 this morning. The industrial revolution and the Victorians may be lauded as so ‘progressive’ but the reality is that the Victorians were terribly destructive, especially in the ‘colonies’ and industry has destroyed the planet….and the animals have suffered the most. There’s no such thing as man’kind’….of course there are many people doing wonderful things with love and caring and compassion and they don’t get the credit they deserve, but ‘mankind’ is a misnomer.  Humans are so terribly destructive. Yes, we’ve built amazing buildings and constructed incredible cities and technology has made our lives better (worse) and science has made some incredible progress, but it has all been at the expense of nature and the natural world. Our demand for cheaper, and more and better is destroying the planet. The Victorians killed thousands upon thousands of tigers in their quest for land, destroying the tropical forests in their wake…and we’re still doing the same thing today…in the name of progress.  We are a stain on this planet, the ultimate virus.

Oh and the ultimate ‘moron in chief’, that orange swamp thing across the pond…has suggested that you can get rid of the virus by drinking disinfectant 😱😱😱😱😱🀬🀬🀬

There you go donny, take a nice deep breath

I truly cannot understand the mindset that elected that ….I don’t even know what adjective would suit him best…but what I really cannot comprehend, is that seemingly intelligent people are prepared to stand by and say nothing while he spouts his own brand of insanity…they are complicit…..power hungry, soulless individuals….

I went for a lovely walk this evening to the top of the mound…hoping to see the most recent of the Starlink satellites; SpaceX…..but unfortunately there was too much cloud cover and the sky too light to be able to see them. As for the clouds…there’s a cold front moving in and it was a lot chillier than yesterday….still beautiful though.

And on that cheerful note I shall bid you goodnight. I can’t quite believe that I am actually still blogging, and that we are still in lockdown.

Oh yes, one last thing…..I saw this in The Times newspaper today…finally a use for the skeletal pencil πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€”πŸ€”

Not much use for anything else…

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I saw this shared on Facebook and it’s so true its painful….

Passing this on. It’s brilliant:

The UnOfficial Coronavirus Guidelines

  1. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.
  2. Masks are useless. But they will protect you. They can save you, no they can’t, they’re useless, but wear one anyway. Now they’re mandatory. But maybe. Or maybe not.
  3. Stores are closed, except for the ones that are open.
  4. You should not go to the hospital unless you have to go there. Stay out of the ER at all
    costs unless you’re having a medical emergency. Then it’s okay.
  5. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster. Stay calm.
  6. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.
  7. The virus has no effect on children except those it has affected or will affect.
  8. Animals can not get infected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested yet, and a tiger.. and one really deadly but also possibly fictional but very sick bat.
  9. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms.
  10. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but also never go out to the grocery store so eat shelf stable processed crap and stay inside your four walls but also stay healthy.
  11. It’s better to get some fresh air, but you may be arrested if you’re getting fresh air the wrong way and most importantly, don’t go to a park, the fresh air there is deadly.
  12. Under no circumstances should you go to retirement homes, but if you have to take care of the elderly and bring them food and medication then fine. Just wear gloves. The same ones. All day.
  13. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn’t wear masks or gloves. But you have to leave your groceries outside for 3 hours to be decontaminated by the fresh air that also may have virus particles floating around in it. Or you can wipe your groceries with Lysol. But not the food because that will make you sick. No, it’s totally unnecessary to wipe the groceries.

Even though the virus can stay on cardboard for 24 hours. Also, you can’t get the virus from eating food with contagions on it. But you can get it by putting it in your mouth. Wait. What?

  1. Taxi drivers are immune to the virus apparently since you can still take a taxi ride with a random taxi driver. Just don’t take the taxi to your mom’s house because you know. Stay away from your mom.
  2. You can walk around with a friend if you stay six feet apart but don’t visit with your family if they don’t live under the same roof as you. Even if you’ve all been locked inside for two months already. You may still have the virus and just not know it yet. You’ll find out. Wait another week. Wasn’t that a week? Might be the next one. Keep waiting.
  3. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance. Social distancing means you shouldn’t leave your house and don’t be social, except you may go to the liquor store but don’t socialize there while you’re being socially distant.
  4. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.
  5. The virus stays in the air – well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.
  6. If you have symptoms, call to book a diagnostic test. We will hear your symptoms on the phone and if you are eligible for a test, you don’t need the test. Assume you have it and quarantine for two weeks. If you don’t have symptoms, you are not eligible for the test. Quarantine for two weeks or better yet, until we lift restrictions, which may be in a week, a month or 6 months. Also, whoever wants a test can get a test.
  7. We count the number of deaths but we don’t know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were “almost dead” to find out if that’s what they will die of.
  8. The virus will only disappear if we achieve collective/herd immunity…but stay inside until the virus disappears because we have no immunity.

Author unknown.

No wonder people are confused.

Ultimately we need to NOT go ‘back’ to normal. Let’s give future generations a chance of a decent life. The best thing to come out of this terrible virus is that the planet is having a chance to breathe and recover, albeit not as much as we would like – consider the vast amount of plastic that is being generated to fight Covid-19….that’s going to impact the planet/environment in a very destructive way.

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That. Is. All. 🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣

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As you may have noticed (or not πŸ˜‰) I did indeed miss a couple of days last week. I started writing articles and then got reading the latest book and voila, before I knew it, the 11pm chimed on the clock tower and it was time for lights out. My day starts quite early, although I have managed to push it back by 30 minutes after gentle persuasion. Nonetheless, I will finish them off ….just not sure when.

So here we are…day 14 of UK lockdown almost gone and the statistics are terrifying. And our esteemed PM has only gone and got himself into hospital. Hmmm. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” I wonder, if while he’s being cared for by the nurses, he thinks back to 2017 when he and his Tory cronies DENIED these very people a wage increase. 🀬🀬🀬

UPDATE: I just saw on Facebook that Johnson is now in ICU.

Seriously, if this government doesn’t now, after this pandemic is over, give these people AND all the other many many services keeping this country running an increase in wages/salary, then may they be damned forever. Its been proven beyond doubt that it’s not the bankers, or the hedge-funders, the politicians or the lawyers etc etc who keep this country running. No it’s the apparently low-skilled and definitely underpaid KEY workers….nurses, carers, doctors, police, ambulance personnel, post office workers, truck drivers, bus drivers, garbage collectors and so on sho have been the champions, who have kept the engine going. They all deserve a wage increase.

Cheers to them all πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

I was shocked to my boots to discover that one of my dear friends is in hospital on a ventilator….christ I can tell you, my heart nearly stopped. Thankfully he is still communicating via Facebook, so not critical, but whewww. It really brings it home when someone you know is ill with this horror.

In other news I have been feeling ever so glum the whole day and didn’t even go out for my usual walk. The reason being that under normal circumstances I’d have finished off my current assignment today and would have been arriving back ‘home’ round about now…..this event would have preceded the joyful reunion with my beloved grandson tomorrow. But, instead due to the lockdown I am in fact still 243 miles away πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”

However I did get to chat to him this evening via WhatsApp facetime and it was wonderful. He’s such a joy and so very very cute….blowing me kisses without any prompting…it just made my day. I got to chat to Mummy and Daddy too and it’s so lovely to see them. 3 weeks and counting……❀❀❀

Grocery shopping has become a bit of a minefield what with all the plastic. Our shopper dropped off about 6 bags of items I requested, and it took me 30 minutes and multiple handwashes to unpack the bags, spray and clean everything down (even the bread packet and bagels were sprayed with flash and washed off πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ€”πŸ€”) then dried and packed away. Urgh. It used to be fun unpacking groceries, now it’s like each item has the potential to kill. I said I was going to be paranoid about this bloody virus…. If only there was something we could spray over everything that would highlight if there were any particles of the virus on the surfaces. You know like they do in CSI….

Potential death traps

Actually talking of plastic, I do truly hope that manufacturers are going to step up their efforts to reduce the amount of plastic packaging (pollution) still being produced. But I won’t hold my breath!!!

I came up with a genius idea for my client’s newspaper. Her family were worried about the virus being on the cover, so I’ve been removing them for the last 2 weeks. However I heard that Hester kills the virus, so I’ve been ‘baking’ the papers on the Rayburn before delivery in the morning… clever no!!

Baking the newspaper πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


I did the same to some books I acquired and my magazine

Although I haven’t been watching as much TV as normal, how lovely it was to see the Queen last night on TV. Our one constant in all the mayhem. Long may she reign πŸ‘ΈπŸ»β€

Btw have/do any of you wear masks when going out? I haven’t quite gone that far just yet, although I do wear gloves in case I have to open any gates on my perambulations. But it may just come to that what with the number of infection cases escalating. Talking of masks, the D/N visited today and she’s quite pleased with the state of my client’s wound. Yayyy me.

So anyhooooo…..here we are, end of day 14 of lockdown with 7 to go. Who knows what the future holds……

I hope the bull can read πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ hopefully our politicians adhere to this premise 😁😁

Take care folks and be safe. I hope you are all safe.

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How absolutely wonderful it is to wake up to the sound of birdsong in the morning. Although I wrote a separate post earlier today, it has really stuck with me the whole day. Its such a privilege.

Pretty much a quiet day. Got all emotional watching the footage from last nights 8pm #clapforourcarers initiative on the news this morning. So amazing. Our NHS staff seriously are heroes in all this…them and all the other support staff: police, ambulance, garbage disposal services, street cleaners, postmen/women, and all the other people who provide the services that keep a country running. The UNDERPAID people/workers who keep the country running.

And of course ‘Breaking News’ – Bozo…I mean BoJo the clown has got a ‘mild’ case of the virus. Seriously. And did you notice that coward, Dominic Cummings literally RUNNING away from #10? So much for his ‘herd immunity ‘ theory. Coward. The skittles are falling….sadly we are now forced to watch that despicable dishonest creepy Gove delivering updates. Seriously. I can’t watch him. I switched off the TV. Even if he was announcing the arrival of the undead and giving us advice on how to escape I’d still switch off the TV. I’d rather slit my wrists. BoJo get well soon…all is not forgiven but I seriously cannot watch that horror….

As for Richard Branson. Krist!! What a greedy capitalist he is!!! Last week he tells his staff to take 8 weeks unpaid leave and now he’s asking for a bailout package for Virgin Airlines. I swear to God, if our government bails him out with money from the public purse I will never pay another blue bloody penny in tax. They can put me in jail, but will refuse to pay. The government is providing funding to small businesses and employees who lost their jobs and self-employed, but the money is on loan, its not a gift…so if they bail that greedy bastard out it would be immoral. 🀬🀬🀬🀬 But then again…it us the government after all. Urgh- moving on before I burst a blood vessel πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The weather is really stunning at the moment although today it turned quite chilly with a stiff breeze.

I took a different route to the castle during my break; along Butcher’s Lane and then through the fields uphill and eventually into the castle grounds. I encountered 2 stiles enroute – my nemesis when walking The Pilgrim’s Way in 2018.

The countryside out here is really beautiful and again I have to remark on how peaceful it is without constant traffic.

It was very windy on top of the mound today, so I just walked the lower perimeter and collected some more tufts of wool for crafting with my grandson in years to come. Them nosy sheep came trotting over to see ‘who goes there?’ when I clanked the gate shut. Or maybe they want their wool back πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Talking of my grandson….a total highlight today was a WhatsApp group call with all the grandparents of the wee cherub and his parents. He’s ever so cute and blew kisses to all of us. I do miss him so much and can’t wait to see him again after this is all over. My daughter and her husband are struggling a bit. She’s self-employed but only recently having converted from a PLC to self-employed due to changes in her company and future direction. Previously a social media training company she’s started focusing more on her photography business which was starting to expand and she lost a lot of commissions with this sudden coronavirus development. So lots of stress there. And of course she doesn’t qualify for the government offer due to the timing. On top of that, Baby fell yesterday and scraped his finger and despite careful cleaning, by this morning it was red and inflamed and required a trip to the pharmacy…in these times, a stressful excursion

I’ve been reading a lot more, trying to not watch the news. I did some scrolling through the channels…seriously is anyone else pretty much sick of game shows and Flog It et al? There’s absolutely nothing to watch. Krist I sound like a grumpy old lady today πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ‘΅πŸ»πŸ˜ πŸ˜ 

Hope you’re all well and keeping safe. I’m glad I don’t live in South Africa….you’re not even allowed to walk your dog there. Not that I have a dog, but still. And no alcohol!!! That is not going to end well. My niece and her family live in Qatar and they’re not even able to get out for walks due to restrictions there. I think we in the UK are pretty lucky.

Folks keep well, keep strong and be safe …..and if you see folks like this lot, remind them they’re meant to be practicing social distancing πŸ˜‰πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄

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So my working day has been much the same as usual, so I won’t bore you with the details.

Its been an extraordinary day once again in terms of the response to this virus as the news rolls in from our esteemed πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ PM, and other countries. Shocking to learn that New York has 5,000 new cases in one day, and on the tail of that, the orange swamp thing maintaining the US will nail the virus by Easter. Krist what a numbskull…

Did you know that India has 1.3 billion citizens??? 😯😯😯 Puts our piddling 58million into the shade. I simply cannot imagine how the millions of people who live in the most awful conditions of severe poverty in India will be able to stay at home.

So I had 2 outings today….first to the store for basics…I’m trying to keep our supplies stocked up, just in case it all goes tits up later on in the process. It’s quite a responsibility caring for a bed ridden 90 year old, but if it gets dire her family will have to step up and deliver supplies.

Secondly I made the most of my allowable time again and went out for a 3.2 km walk around the village. It transpired today that I’m in fact going to be here for 5 weeks as opposed to the initial 2 weeks. The agency are short of carers so I offered to stay on..

I’m guessing I will know this place inside out by then.

I also wanted to ensure I make the most of the weather…I believe there is rain on the way. Urgh

I met very few people and on the whole we all observed social distancing and one or the other crossed the street or walked with a car between us. Talking of cars, its really weird to see so few vehicles on the road. But its gratifying to note that people generally are taking this more seriously.

The roads are bereft of vehicles

Even more inspiring has been the number of volunteers who have stepped forward to support the NHS. That’s one of the things I love about this country….when the going gets tough, people step up. I just wish the government would pay them at least something for their efforts. They’re absolute heroes.

On a sad note was the news of the young woman of 21 with no health issues who contracted the virus and has died. That’s heartbreaking. And scary.

The village is not big and I seem to have walked pretty much right around the perimeter…I saw a few animals along the way and stopped to chat to a pretty little cat.

Such a sweetie

There’s a lot of history in this village and I walked past Samuel Coleridge’s house. He was a friend of William Wordsworth who visited the area frequently. Virginia Woolfe honeymooned in the area.

Samuel Coleridge’s house..only for 3 years 🀨🀨

I passed a sign that read

πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

So I took a small bundle of daffodil bulbs for my daughter’s garden.

I loved this little sign I saw in the side of the road.

🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈❀❀

I had a facetime chat with my daughter and grandson on WhatsApp. Oh gosh I miss him so much. As glad as I am to have this work, I am missing him so much and this will be the longest I haven’t been with him since he was born…πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ He’s ever so cute.

Other than that, it was business as usual on the work front and watching the news, as well as our PM making promises he’s unlikely to follow through on. Just been reading an article in The Daily Telegraph by Tom Welsh…he totally nails it. The Government are intent on diverting attention away from their own failings and unpreparedness by blaming the public for the spread of the virus. The reality is that the Tories have been dismantling the NHS for bloody years and they have left it virtually on the brink of bankruptcy. I won’t go into my opinion of why this has been done, suffice to say that they have made a bloody great cockup by their neglect, and now their chickens are coming home to roost, but they’re trying to shift the blame. I hope BoJo doesn’t get much sleep at night. As for Hunt he should stfu. Pointing a finger at Hancock, he forgets that 3 are pointing back at him. Tosser.

In case you haven’t guessed…I’m not a fan of the Tories πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

Oh and I bought my daughter a new washing machine. Theirs packed up yesterday mid wash. If ever there was bad timing, this was it. Literally the day after the government announces a lockdown, the machine packs up. Wtaf. Seriously. Anyway, they’ll get it by Monday, but will have to install it themselves since Argos are not currently installing due to the current situation.

How was your day?? πŸ˜‰

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One of the most irksome aspects of getting ‘older’ is….you get forgetful ..like forgetting a word you know you know, but…it sits on your tongue and when you no longer need it, it pops into your head. πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ How often do you say “where are my keys, or phone? – usually it’s in your hand πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ or going into a room and forgetting why you’re there. Annoying, to put it mildly.

But one of the things that annoys me the most……I forget to flick the switch. My phone battery usually lasts much the whole day depending on my activity. But now and then I have to charge it up to last till bedtime. So I plug it in and carry on with my day. A few hours later I go to unplug it and continue my use. Except….

Except when I look at the battery it hasn’t charged. I curse the phone; bloody rubbish they make these days….and then I realise πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„ I forgot to flick the switch. Urgh

How often does that happen to you?

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About 6 months ago I decided to go ‘great’ free. I was having one of my ‘ffs I hate D. Trump’ days after one of his latest vicious bigoted narcissistic misogynistic rants on a video I saw on Facebook (why do I EVEN watch them???) One of his favourite words is ‘great’. So I decided there and then to never again use the word ‘great’ in any written articles, replies or responses to anything anywhere. Since I am a bit of a ‘linguaphile’ anyway, it suits me to try my darndest to find alternative words.

 

received-7

English is such a magical language, it’s expressive, descriptive and manipulative, and by using certain words you can change the whole meaning of something e.g. I will toast my bread. If you do that you are toast! I particularly love/enjoy/like words that have the same spelling but have different meanings – consider the word ‘bow’ – depending on how you use it, it’s spelt the same, but has a different meaning in context of the action, and even the pronunciation changes accordingly:

Can you make a ‘bow’ out of this ribbon?

When you meet the Queen you must ‘bow’.

The front of the boat is the ‘bow’.

An archer shoots an arrow from his ‘bow’.

A whole sentence: When we loosen the bow, the Queen will smash the bottle against the bow of the ship, but remember to bow when she arrives or her archer will shoot you with their bow. hahahaha. I just made that up. I love it. πŸ™‚

We have become incredible lazy when responding to a situation by using the word ‘great’ for just about anything…that’s a great hairdo. Your hair looks great. What a great party. I had a great walk. That was great fun. She’s such a great person. The sea looks great today….etc etc You get the picture. Urgh. Why do we use that simplistic word when we have so many interesting, splendiferous, expressive, descriptive words to use in the English language.

So here’s how we can change that:

That’s a great hairdo. = That’s a really stunning hair style, it suits you.

Your hair looks great. = Your hair is looking lovely today.

What a great party. = What a fantastic party. What an enjoyable party.

I had a great walk. = I had an enjoyable walk. I had an exhilarating walk.

That was great fun. = That was so much fun. That was terrific fun.

She’s such a great person. = She’s an admirable person. She’s so personable.

The sea looks great today = The sea looks beautiful/gorgeous/amazing today.

What a great day. = What a terrific/brilliant/superb day.

And so it goes. Since I made the decision to dispel that awful word from my vocabulary, when I’m replying to something on facebook or making a comment I try to find suitable words that are more descriptive, more expressive.Funny-Quotes-English-Language-1 - Mr Tumblr

When I write my blogs, I avoid the word great altogether. While writing this blog I did a google search ‘words to use rather than great’ and look at this ‘fun’ ‘funky’ ‘useful’ ‘brilliant’ ‘clever’ ‘interesting’ website I found πŸ˜‰

111 words to use instead of great’ https://www.grammarcheck.net/synonyms-great/

I have managed very successfully to avoid using the word except now and then when I accidentally vocalise the word without thinking. Down with great I say….

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15/03/2017 UPDATE!!!! The Government have done a big u-turn and WILL NOT BE HIKING THE N.I. ON THE 4.8MILLION SELF-EMPLOYED OF THE U.K. Bloody marvellous!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Subsequent to the current Chancellor’s ‘spring budget’ I, along with millions of other self-employed people was dismayed (to say the least) at the increase in NI for the self-employed, 1%…doesn’t sound like much. Except when, as a self-employed person, trying to build a business, generate an income, and having to save for any annual leave you may wish to take, any sick leave you may need, not claiming benefits, and you’re already struggling to make ends meet, that little 1% can/could make all the difference between actually making any money or not, and to quite simply….in many instances just surviving!

I’m more than happy to pay my taxes and I realise the NI is vital to fund our national services like the NHS and to provide a pension pot (not that I can depend on that to survive in my old age). So when I saw the increase I was like ” urgh bugger, another increase, but hey ho, it’s not really that much and I’ll probably have to work an extra 10 days p.a. to cover the increase”. Peeved, yes! Unable to do much about it, no! So well fine then.

Then I happened to watch the speech Theresa May gave about said increase…and was dismayed to realise that once again this was a move to protect big business and tax smaller businesses (and more importantly in this instance; the self-employed) who don’t have the same Government allowable tax-avoiding loopholes and hand-outs that big businesses have the benefit of. That’s my understanding.

“The Prime Minister also said the shift towards self-employment was “eroding the tax base” and making it harder to pay for public services “on which ordinary working families depend”. – try closing the bloody loopholes that allow companies like Facebook, and Amazon, Starbucks and Google et al to avoid paying their fair share of tax on the profits GENERATED IN THE U.K. Then we will have more of a tax base!!!  2.5 million self-employed people is a drop in the ocean. (Apparently its 4.8million)

Consider this for 2016:

There were 31.84 million people in work, 37,000 more than for July to September 2016 and 302,000 more than for a year earlier.

There were 23.29 million people working full-time, 218,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.55 million people working part-time, 84,000 more than for a year earlier.

The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.6%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

So how is it that a mere 2.5 million (4.8million) self-employed people are eroding the tax base?

Of course millions of people around the country were just as upset as I, as well as which her MPs were apparently pretty pissed too! (see their subsequent about-turn aka a Political u-turn). But what our PM and Chancellor are forgetting is that the reason the number of self-employed is rising is because those big businesses she wishes to protect have a bad habit of going out of business and leaving people jobless. So instead of signing on to the Benefits system, they’re taking the plunge and starting up their own businesses….in other words they’re being innovative instead of dependent. You’d think this would be encouraged! Innovation is what drives business and the economy after all.

And then!!!! I saw a post on Facebook that one of my ‘friends’ had left!! And my blood-pressure went through the roof!

Why are peeps moaning so much about this TINY national insurance rise for the self employed in the Budget yesterday? If you are self employed and can’t make an extra Β£300 a year then really you should go back to being an employee“. What.The.Merry.Fuck!??? Is he serious? Does he not realise just how difficult it can be to generate an extra Β£300…which by the way is not JUST Β£300 but substantially more when you consider that by generating an extra Β£300 in your business you also pay more tax, have to attend more networking events, incur extra costs for travel, clothes, advertising/promotional material etc etc. So I replied that ‘I disagree’.

And then I set out why I disagreed!

I’m self-employed. If I work for an agency as an employee I earn less. If I want to earn an extra Β£300 a year I have to sacrifice what employees take for granted: weekends…ergo I have to work 25 days a month rather than 21…which means I don’t have those 8 days a month called weekends.

Also small businesses (mostly self-employed) face stiff competition from big companies who can cut prices due to tax loopholes that self-employed small businesses don’t have. Besides that, it’s not like big businesses are standing at their doors shouting “we have loads of vacancies, come on in so we can employ you”. Many of the self-employed are people who provide essential services. Many self-employed are stay at home Mums who are trying to make ends meet in a tough environment. They start a small business; ergo self-employed because it’s too expensive for childcare…and why WOULDN’T they want to stay at home with their children?
So…in my opinion ….It’s arrogant to make a sweeping statement of the like you just have. My daughter is self-employed. She works in a very tough environment where people want what she does for FREE. She goes over and above for her clients, sometime making only Β£30 profit and has to constantly look for new clients due to the fact that other self-employed businesses are also struggling and push prices down, or use interns to manage what needs skilled knowledge…because it’s FREE.
I don’t get any tax breaks. If I work for an agency I earn less. If I work for a bigly company like BHS I’ll be employed and get screwed over by the owners to whom I’ve paid my pension for decades so he can buy Β£10million boats and live the champagne lifestyle and then when it suits him fuck off without looking back.
So no, it’s not as simple as JUST looking for a job.
Actually the government are fcking idiots. They should be ENCOURAGING people who are at home to be generating an income rather than claiming BENEFITS who the employed bitch about all the time. How do you think Britain got the nom-de-plume BENEFITS BRITAIN? I think it stinks, many self-employed people are innovators through necessity and we NEED innovators rather than just a bunch of sheep who depend on other people to be innovative, start a company and employ other people so that they can pay them shit wages, claim tax loopholes and live the champagne life-style.” End of rant…or so I thought!!! Actually I could have said a lot more….I bit my tongue

And then!!! Some fuckwot who thinks he knows more about my life than I do leaves this comment on the thread of my reply:

“So many victim mentalities… reality is yours to create folks”.

My reply: “MENtality. Hardly victims. Rather, very tightly squeezed“.

And then he comes back at me with: “It’s still a victim mentality if something external of your own being is limiting you.
Have people created a different result? Yes. Therefore you can… you can’t change the tax you can change what you do, so change what you do, don’t moan about something out of your control.
If you’ve taken offence, good, it means its true

Now, firstly I read that as a challenge ‘If you’ve taken offence……’ And suggesting that I’m in victim mode!!! Red flag to a bull!!! (after I am a Taurean!!) LOL

My reply:
T.S., get back up your own arse. Seriously. That’s such a lot of PD bullshit. My job is not limiting me. I provide a vital service. I happen to love my job. Caring for elderly people unable to care for themselves. My beef is with the government penalising self-employed people who have the audacity to be self-employed and not working for a company. That’s pretty much what Theresa May said….in so many words.
If you take offence…then it’s true, you’re too far up your own arse.”

 

Then some other twit (I’ll refer to her as BG) replied: “Sounds like it’s time to increase your prices, Cindy!

Uhmm, really? And you know what I do for a living then, do you? So I replied:  “I can’t increase my prices B.G.!!! I work as a Carer for the elderly. Caring for the old people that need my services due to the fact their families can’t/won’t/don’t want to care for them. My rate on an hourly basis is less than the minimum wage. My clients and their families bitch about how EXPENSIVE I am. My rate is set by the agency who farm me out to said elderly people whose families don’t look after. I pay my own tax. I save for my own pension. I don’t get tax breaks. If I want to earn more I have to work more days or take on clients with alzheimers or dementia or challenging behaviour. In my line of work I’ve been attacked with a walking stick, sworn at, peed and pooped on, had sarcastic family members berating me, clients treating me like a servant. If I want to continue in this line of work I have to smile sweetly and take the abuse. So no, I can’t JUST increase my prices”.

By this point my blood-pressure was sky high and my mouth was heading fast towards the potty!! I love that American expression ‘potty-mouth’. So in order to save my health, I removed myself from the conversation. It raged on with some people really upset by the insults the ’employed’ / ‘arrogant know alls’ levied at the self-employed who were labelled as ‘victims’ because they were upset by the increase.

As one lass put it, she already struggles in her line of work because by pursuing her passion (which the same PD fuckwits suggest we SHOULD be doing) the companies she gets her business from are, of course, only interested in their bottom line and keeping their shareholders happy with big dividends, and therefor knock her price down. So how many more days, weeks and months of the year should she work in order to just magically generate an extra Β£300 p.a. The same goes for my daughter. It’s unbelievable just how many people expect her to provide them with a service for practically free and complain like heck that her prices are too high! Trust me they’re not!  These same people are totally amazed when she says no, she can’t provide what is a valuable service for FREE. ffs.

Now for the sceptics who may be reading this…..yes, it’s only Β£0.82p per day!!! If you work 365 days a year! But since it’s virtually impossible to work 365 days a year and not crash due to ill health brought on by over extending yourself (unless you’re a mother) then that little sum increases.

So reduce that by 105 = the weekends that the ’employed’ get without losing income, and you’re down to 260 days which = Β£1.15 per day.

Then take off the Bank Holidays = 8 and now you’re down to 252 working days and up to Β£1.19 per day.

Now take off the 28 days mandatory annual leave days an employed person is entitled to and not expected to lose income for and you’re down to 224 days and up to Β£1.34 per day.

And now for the fun stuff….Add to that the extra costs involved to generate the extra Β£300 and it goes up even more, then add to that the extra regular tax you have to pay on the newly generated Β£300 and voila…surprise surprise, it’s no longer Β£1.34 per day but goes up and up and up depending on your overall costs for phone calls, networking, travel costs, stationery, phone calls, advertising, making/producing/providing the extra product/service you’re in business for. Suddenly you’re no longer looking at JUST an extra Β£300. Try telling your clients you’re increasing your prices because the Government has hit you with an extra Β£300 per year!!!

I think the thing that annoyed me the most was the simple arrogance of his statement: “If you are self employed and can’t make an extra Β£300 a year then really you should go back to being an employee.

What an incredibly thoughtless, arrogant and totally lacking in knowledgable comment to make. This is where my potty-mouth wants to go into overdrive and I’m tempted to take Helen Mirren’s advice on using the work fuck more often! LOL

Now before anyone who’s employed gets their knickers in a knot, I have nothing against being ’employed’, I was an ’employee’ for over 30 years! I was also at the mercy of said employers and the very last company I worked for (in South Africa) put themselves into liquidation over a petty argument the 2 principal owners had! This resulted in dozens of people becoming unemployed, one of whom was an elderly gentleman who had a heart-attack from the shock and died within a few weeks. It also meant that a number of companies to whom they owed money didn’t get paid. Much like the BHS scenario.  As an employee you are at the mercy of your employer, many of whom are quite abusive….see the many headlines when people blow the whistle. You are at the mercy of the largesse of your boss when it comes to the annual increase in your salary if you’re lucky enough to even get an increase (not that the self-employed even have a faint smidgen of this luxury). You’re at the mercy of a bully boss. Stuck with hanging out at the same place day after day after week after year, unable to JUST move on if you’re unhappy – that doesn’t reflect well on your CV.  And then the company downsizes, relocates, gets sold, merges with another blah blah blah. I’d much rather be self-employed than depend on a business or corporation for my income.  So when this increase in the NI came through, I accepted it with disappointment and felt it was unfair.

Anyway, why is it that being ’employed’ is still seen as the be all and end all…the achievement of respectability, the golden handshake goal to reach for? It’s amazing how many times people who are employed look down on the self-employed as if they’re failures! Not by any means are they failures. It takes a HUGE amount of courage to branch out and set up a business, to be self-employed. No longer the perceived security of a job where you earn a set income no matter how shit you are at your job (remember all those employment laws that protect you!?), no longer do you have weekends free – clients expect you to be at the end of your phone or computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t reply to an email ‘instantly’ at 10pm on a Sunday night they get shirty!! And this is not an imaginary scenario….it’s only too real. As a self-employed person you no longer have the benefit of annual leave and PAID Bank Holidays. Being self-employed has all sorts of ‘perceived’ benefits by the employed who think it’s a long extended holiday. It’s not. It’s tough. People don’t sleep at night for worrying about how to make ends meet. As a self-employed person you are responsible for everything that goes on in a business. Pricing your product to ensure you not only provide a fair price, but that you also make a profit (your salary), marketing said product/service, the accounting, sourcing suppliers, preparing quotes, visiting clients etc etc.

As an employed person you go in to work to do a specific job, in your niche, and the rest of the business magically happens around you. (n.b. I realise this is a variable, and all jobs are different).

  • The self-employed currently pay a lower rate than those in employment
  • The government says this was traditionally down to a lesser entitlement to benefits and pensions, but that these disparities have mostly been removed, so the difference in rates is unfair
  • But critics say it is justified because self-employed people are not entitled to things like paid holiday and sickness leave.

And anyway, as I pointed out to one of the protagonists, it’s not like there are 2.5 million jobs available. In fact many of the apparent job vacancy numbers the Government loves to bandy around are on the very controversial zero hours contracts, and the job market, even for graduates is not flush with vacancies.

An estimated total of 3,694 companies entered insolvency in Q1 2016
A total of 804 companies were subject to a compulsory winding-up order
in Q1 2016
An estimated 2,515 companies entered creditors’ voluntary liquidation in
Q1 2016
There were an estimated 301 administrations in Q1 2016
The estimated liquidation rate in the 12 months ending Q1 2016 was
0.42% of active companies (the report goes on to say) – the lowest level since comparable records began in Q4 1984.
I’m sure anyone who has been at the receiving end of said liquidation feels really comforted that it’s lower!!

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/519466/Q1_2016_statistics_release_-_web.pdf

So yes, I am, like 2.5 million (4.8million) other self-employed people a tad peeved at the increase in NI. It certainly feels like we’re being penalised for having the temerity to be innovative and trying to earn an income rather than claiming benefits. Which the ’employed’ have much to say about…till it happens to them.

Rant over! Or maybe not πŸ˜‰

πŸ™‚ and yes, as of 15/03/2017 the government have done a u-turn and WILL NOT be increasing the NI for the 4.8 million self-employed citizens of the UK. Excellent!!!

Now all we need is for the major corporations to pull on their big-girl panties, fess up and step up, find their integrity and PAY THEIR FAIR TAXES in the country where they generate the ACTUAL INCOME.

 

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I realise that we all need to buy clothes at some time or another, but I am not a clothes shopper. For me clothes are a means to cover my body. If perchance I look good at the same time, then that’s a bonus.

I’ve never enjoyed shopping for clothes. If I can walk into a store, pick up a top or pair of trousers, pay for them, take them home and wear them – that would be my ideal scenario. But it’s not always that easy. Generally you have to search through the shelves or rails, find something that you actually like, take them to a changing room, take off the current outfit, struggle with loops of ribbon hooked over the hangers to keep the item on the hanger, slip the potential outfit on…only to find that a) it’s too short b) it’s too narrow c) it’s too tight (seldom too loose LOL) or d) I suddenly don’t like the pattern -actually I loathe patterns…especially flowers or stripes. I’m a plain and simple kinda girl….one colour, no patterns, no fancy necklines, 3/4 sleeves, fit across the shoulders blah blah blah

If I go clothes shopping it’s out of desperation…..e.g. tonight I’m going to a friends wedding. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING in my current ‘wardrobe’ that’s suitable for a wedding. Ironically, a year agoΒ ago I ripped through my suitcases and sent a massive pile of clothes to charity. Yes, you guessed…within the pile were clothes suitable for a winter wedding!!! LOL The story of my life

Other than that, whenever I venture into a store to look at and possibly buy new clothes it’s because whatever I’m wearing either has holes in the seat, the zip has come apart, the hems have fallen out (I never sew up hems), or the seams are slowly coming apart thread by thread.

Mostly I buy my clothes from a charity shop (one of the things I love about the UK are the charity shops). This works so well for me. Walk in, aim for the trousers rack, check for my size, colour black, cost Β£3 or Β£5, pay for them, take them home, try them on…..if they fit I keep them, if they don’t I take them back and donate them to charity hahaha. Mostly they fit…occasionally I buy something that looks great, I love it but never get to wear it and a year or 5 later I donate it to charity.

So today, I decided to go shopping. I was in need of new bras anyway, so this seemed like a good time to get the dastardly deed over with. Besides which I had a Β£10 M&S voucher I wanted to use. Thankfully my daughter elected to come with me or I would have fallen at the first bar. Off we went….

Walk into the store, first rail = perfect top…loved it. Right colour, a few sparklies for the evening, and just perfect…..till I tried it on. Urgh. The shoulders were peaky!!!

Trousers next…grabbed the first pair that weren’t black (just for a change). Except I grabbed a ‘short’ leg. hahahaha OMG my face when I put them on. They fit perfectly round the leg and waist, but sat above my ankles. Β Like I said, thankfully my daughter was there. If not, I would have put my clothes back on and left.

But she volunteered to go look for more tops that I could try and long leg trousers. By the time she returned I was chomping at the bit. But I humoured her and tried them on…one by one they went on and came off even quicker…and the ‘no go’ pile grew and grew. But to my surprise there was one top she brought…one with flowers on that I took one look at and mentally said “no way!!!” But I tried it on and hmmmm okay not too bad. On the ‘to buy’ pile.

Then finally, with the little short tops I saw and really liked, in the style I love, 3 different colours, off we went to the tills….and did I have the voucher with me? No! hahaha I remember clearly removing all the receipts from the last few days from my purse and lo and behold the voucher that I have kept safe and sound for the last 4 months was amongst the receipts.

 

shopping for clothes

my final selection

Oh well….another excuse to go shopping #not!!!

Another day then……and don’t get me started about shoes. The only time I buy a new pair is when water starts to seep through the holes in my soles!!

So this is what I’m wearing to the wedding…with the addition of my scarf from Paris and a long black jacket I bought about 11 years ago

shopping for clothes

the final cut….

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