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I just read this on a friend’s timeline and thought I’d share it because it is absolutely accurate.

Borrowed
Okay, time for a Public Information Announcement on behalf of Police Officers throughout the UK.

We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in our lifetimes. The agreed and sensible advice from Scientists and the Government is to STAY AT HOME to prevent the spread of this highly infectious disease; simply to stop our Healthcare System becoming overwhelmed, resulting in unnecessary deaths.

This advice has been replicated around the world:

• In India, Police use large sticks to beat people for venturing outdoors.
• In South Africa, Police have fired rubbers bullets at crowds outside a supermarket.
• In Peru, those who flout government restrictions can be jailed for up to three years.
• In Saudi Arabia, they can be jailed for five years.
• In China, people regularly “go missing” for defying the state.
• In Spain, the Army are on the streets.
• In New Zealand, if you ignore advice they deport you.

Yet, the most scathing headlines are saved for Police Officers in the United Kingdom.

In these troubled times, those absolute b*stards that make up our Police Force(s) are:

• Encouraging people to go home, or in many instances, driving them there.
• Shopping for the elderly/vulnerable when they have no-one else to turn to.
• Trying to maintain Law and Order.
• Moving out of their family homes to keep their families safe.
• Trying to keep communities together.
• Dealing with ALL THE USUAL CRIME that they normally do, i.e. Domestic Violence, Burglaries, Thefts, Drink Driving, Drug Dealing, etc etc…and still have to meet performance targets.
• Having to cope with SCUMBAGS who are deliberately coughing or spitting at them, whilst claiming to have Coronavirus (amongst your daily assaults on Police)

… and when all that fails, they can report people for summons or issue them with a Fixed Penalty Notice! 😲

However, this does fail to address a few key points…

Why is action even required? If people LISTENED to the advice and stayed at home, it simply wouldn’t be.

This ISN’T a Police State. Not even remotely close to one.

If you want examples of that, try some of the other countries mentioned above. You’d have a shock when you start bleating about your Human Rights only to find a Copper beating you with a hefty stick before hauling you off to jail.

Ironically, the fact that you can BE such a difficult selfish individual in this country is largely down to the fact that the Police are usually around to keep you safe – no matter what stupidity you’re bleating on about. It doesn’t matter if they agree or disagree with you – you will find them defending your right to protest – stuck in the middle and receiving hatred and bile from both sides, regardless.

So, back to the fickle Media.

One day, there’s a terrorist attack and you’re all heroes…

The next day, someone else is told that they can’t do something – and you’re all suddenly Facists.

Last week, it was widely accepted that the Police needed to do MORE to enforce “social distancing” measures.

So they did.

This week, people who aren’t used to being told “no” are up in arms that their civil liberties are being restricted.

If EVER there was a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario – this is precisely it.

The Public AND the Press need to decide exactly WHAT they want from their Police. Never has there been a better time to do so.

“Journalists” sit behind their desks, safe in the knowledge that any negative, inflammatory, Police-related, attention-grabbing headlines will garner hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of clicks – baiting people into crappy articles that spew an anti-Police rhetoric – and any resulting discussion just further increases the reach of the articles; all in all, an Editor’s ideal scenario!

So they continue to do so, not giving a damn about force morale and having little or no clue about what it takes for a person to put on a uniform and go to work – SIMPLY TO HELP OTHERS – and be hated for it regardless of what you do.

One thing is quite clear. Every piece has a hero and a villain. The Media have set their stall out early on with this one. The NHS will clearly (and rightly so) be put on a pedestal for weeks or months to come. Police on the other hand are the cheap shot; easy to depict as the bad guys, because that’s all they ever are.

Will this fall on deaf ears? Probably. But there’s always the slightest of chances that people will read it, take a step back, and just MAYBE consider what they would do if they were in your boots.

Ultimately, this whole situation sums up policing in this country.

People want you to do their dirty work. They want you to deal with things so that they don’t have to. And they reserve the right to criticise you, whatever decision you make.

You don’t have to be mad to be a Police Officer….

… but it sure bloody helps.

The message is simple – Stay at home; do not meet people outside your household.

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I got all emotional when I got this via a friend. I’ll be in the depths of Somerset and I’m sure they’d think I’m daft if I stand on the street, but I can share this with you and hopefully you’ll be able to join in, I’ll certainly be applauding from my room.

The NHS staff deserve our highest appreciation and gratitude for all that they do. We can self-isolate, or stay at home for a few weeks, but the NHS staff are on the frontline of this pandemic. Let’s show them how much they are appreciated

#clapforourcarers

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Gosh. Its extraordinary to think that our governments are not trusted enough to ensure that nature, a vital part of our lives, is not sacrosanct and protected from over development and destruction, as well as pollution. Its extraordinary that it needs organisations like the RSPB to have to fight for this. 
https://community.rspb.org.uk/getinvolved/naturesheroes/b/weblog/posts/a-big-thank-you-to-everyone-who-took-action-for-the-environment-bill

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Gosh, how time does fly. It’s been 4.5 months since I last wrote a blog (about toilet paper?? LOL) and so much has happened in the interim I hardly know where to start.

Blogging is one of those things that I need my computer for, and since said computer is, in today’s world, classified as ancient, it takes ages to boot up and by then I’ve lost time & interest. But I recently, with the help of my sister in Cape Town via whatsapp, had an online session and we managed to clear some space which has made it marginally quicker, and so I thought it’s about time I got back to blogging.

I’ve also in the interim logged out of both twitter and facebook….I’m so sick of the rubbish on twitter (I miss the days when you could have a decent ongoing conversation with someone without the bots interfering and sticking their noses in with their vile rhetoric). I logged off facebook recently after a very emotional situation because I needed to separate myself from the emotion and facebook is a thorn in my side anyway (for various reasons). I do miss comment/chatting to my friends though – do we ever talk in real life anymore?

So since I was off both twitter and facebook, both of which voraciously consume your time, I started reading through and clearing out my email inboxes, both of which had in excess of 3,000 unread and unfiled emails. It took a good few hours I can tell you, over a period of about a week, but oh the satisfaction once it was done. It’s amazing how we can even accumulate clutter online. While doing that I also unsubscribed from hundreds of charity emails, petitioning emails and sales advertising emails and now my inboxes are more manageable. I also file the emails I need to keep into their relevant folders immediately after reading them. Now I have about 10 emails pending attention and few starred emails that I need to keep open for various reasons.

So instead of wasting time scrolling through twitter and facebook, I started reading wordpress blogs again, followed a few bloggers whose posts I enjoyed and started proper reading again….and talking of reading, I’ve also started reading books again…..marvellous. The latest book I borrowed from the B&B hostess where I recently stayed… The Secret Dossier of a Knight Templar of the Sangreal. I’ve been interested in the history of the Knights Templar for ages and the book is absolutely fascinating; I’m learning so much.  There are quite a few famous places linked to the Knights Templar along the French Camino Route through northern Spain and I hope to visit those when I do the walk. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few places in the UK with links to the knights…..so interesting.

Of course the main event of the year, and the reason for my tardiness and lack of blogging, was the birth, in January, of my first grandchild One year ago; best news ever, a much desired and much wanted, precious little boy. Life as they say, changed forever. I read a blog today by debs-world that really struck a chord, and on that note I decided to get back to writing so that I can share more about this special little boy and his development. I have dozens of drafts written, but with one thing and another, I never got to actually post them ….. and he is a week away from 10 months old!! The absolute joy of my life. I never knew you could love another human so much.

Besides that I am once again homeless and that has been the cause of so much trauma I cannot tell you. Much as it was heart-rending to leave what has been my home since June this year and for a few years prior to that (just different houses in different towns), it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and although it nearly broke me in two, it was an absolute necessity for my own sanity.  But it’s tough not having a home. I’ve had to once again put all my belongings into storage and that in itself brings a multitude of complications. Every time I want to file documents or get a change of clothes or access my toiletries or whatever it might be that I need or don’t want to carry around, I have to traipse to the storage unit and keep their opening hours in mind. No easy access. It all requires careful planning….and frankly it’s just fucking boring. Cést la vie. However, you can really appreciate the difficulties that people who end up on the streets have. I’m still one of the lucky ones…I have a job (that provides me with a home for two weeks at a stretch) and can pay for storage and a B&B when needed inbetween jobs.

I haven’t done any walking this year either which has added 6 kgs to my weight (gahhhh). Unfortunately my love of food has not abated LOL. And anyway I opted to spend time with the bub rather than go walking. an easy choice really.

I wrote a blog a few months back about the X52 pledge I made and I’m pleased to say that I have stuck to it. Of course I have needed to buy new underwear and socks (I wear through mine a fast pace) and desperately needed a new pair of trainers, which are my daily wear anyway, but fortunately those items are considered necessities and not a luxury.

Besides travelling to various parts of the country for work, I haven’t done much travelling this year either. I was reluctant to stray too far from my delicious grandson, opting instead to spend as much time as possible with him. Sadly now that I no longer live with them, my time with him is going to be cut down to a visit maybe twice a month. It bloody sucks and I miss him so much it hurts. But there it is. I rail against this situation to no avail…..hopefully in time I will get my emotions under control and not feel like I want to scream and jump into the abyss. I am after all just his Granny and not his mother and he does have other grandparents. It is lovely though when I do visit…he gets so excited to see me and giggles uncontrollably. I fear that our bond will eventually wear thin though since he won’t see much of me …and yes I am feeling bereft and very very sad. It’s hard not to when I’ve been such an integral part of his life from before he was born. Having gone right through my daughter’s pregnancy and labour, witnessing him take his first breaths, and then being very closely tied in with his subsequent daily care, looking after him most nights for the first 6 months, leaving was such a wrench…..I confess I am still reeling from the loss. It’s been a horrible 12 days just thinking about it. Still I’m grateful that he’s not in another country and I will get to see him at least twice a month. And I have our Christmas Butlins break to look forward to when I’ll be spending 4 whole days with him….shared with the paternal grandparents of course.

I’m still very active on instagram and love looking through the many wonderful images that get shared, saving links to places I still want to visit and walks I want to do. Gosh there are so many I’ve lost count. Instagram has to be the best travel brochure ever. I’m saving up to buy a campervan so that when my gorgeous grandson is older, I can take him on a multitude of adventures. I hope to eventually buy a motor-home so that I have a permanent residence.

So that’s just a quick catch up and summary of the last few months….I shall now start finalising and posting the articles about the wonderful life of Jamie, my divine grandson…..

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As part of my ongoing pledge to do better by this world and help save the planet, leaving it in as much a decent condition as is possible for future generations, I’ve taken the XR52 (extinction rebellion) pledge to not buy any new clothes for the next 52 weeks. The programme actually started on 30th April 2019, but since I’ve been working over this last 2 weeks, I’ve not bought anything anyway.

Not that I’m either a follower of ‘fast fashion’ or a prolific clothes buyer, my last purchase was a light top for summer on 8th March 2019 LOL- so no fear of me being a follower of fashion…..I usually have to be dragged off to the store kicking and screaming. I simply can’t be bothered. For me clothes are merely a way of covering my body, avoiding arrest for indecent exposure and keeping warm. Buying clothes is tedious in the extreme and I can’t be bothered with looking through a rack of items that for one reason or another do not excite me much, usually don’t fit for one reason or another, whilst looking at myself naked in front of a full length mirror is not for the faint-hearted LOL

Prior to March, the last time I bought anything was in December 2018 when I took a pair of harem pants and slippers off my daughter…she had bought them but they didn’t fit comfortably, so rather than her ditching or giving them away, I bought them from her. Besides these few items, the last major purchase I made was in March 2018 when I bought an outfit for their May wedding. I’m still wearing shoes (very seldom I might add since they have heels) I bought about 15 years ago. They’re almost brand new as I only wear them about once every 3 years.

My only major purchases are trainers and hiking pants. I go through a pair of trainers every 1500miles or so and my hiking pants were bought in 2016 when I started training for the Camino in 2017.

So, am I a follower of ‘fast fashion’? I think the answer to that is obvious 😉 When I do buy any leisure clothes they are invariably from a charity shop and when I’m done with them, I return it to a charity shop.

Nothing goes in the bin except my underwear and socks, and usually only when I have worn them through. However, going forward, I’m going to see how I can recycle those items as well.

If you’re not familiar with extinction rebellion, they are a protest movement that recently brought London to a standstill and upset a few commuters and of course the government (no bad thing that). Ironically, the Government had just declared a ‘climate emergency’ but nonetheless, they were seriously pissed at the protesters. Many of the people who were ‘inconvenienced’ by the protests are likely people from 1 of 2 camps: 1. people who are trying to make changes by reducing their plastic waste and being active in reducing their carbon footprint, and supported the protests, despite being inconvenienced. 2. people who don’t give a shit so long as they can continue to buy their pretentious takeaway Starbucks latte and their Evian pure spring water, and really couldn’t care less one way or the other about the state of the planet. Now before you breathe flames, I have no doubt that a lot of people were inconvenienced going to work or business meetings or whatever it is that people get up to daily, but consider this…..

We are in a dire situation. The latest UN report is the stuff of nightmares…..100 million species are on the brink of extinction!!! This is besides the thousands, if not millions of species already extinct due to mankind’s exploitation of the planet and her resources. The Amazon forest is reduced by 50 football pitches every SECOND!!! Not year, month, week or day…but SECONDS. Read that again… Seconds!!! The Amazon, along with other forests in places like Indonesia are the planet’s lungs, and we are destroying it by the second!! Billions of trees are razed to the ground for agriculture, for feed for beef, for palm oil plantations (and don’t even get me started on that).

Extract from the report : “PARIS, 6 May – Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary, meeting last week (29 April – 4 May) in Paris.” you can read the full report here. The last mass extinction was 66 million years ago. fck sakes. It’s insane. This folks, is happening on OUR watch.

It’s terrifying and if anyone is not afraid, then they have not been paying attention.

So back to ‘fast fashion’ and my XR52 pledge. For me it’s an easy one. I have a grandson now whose future is of vital importance to me. This pledge is just another cog in my determination to make a difference and reduce my impact on the planet and her ecosystems. I signed a pledge to never use plastic straws again in 2016. I’ve persuaded our chippy to change to a more sustainable container for take-aways. I persuaded a local restaurant to ditch plastic straws. I litter pick as often as possible when I’m home. It’s tiring, it’s hard and I incur a fair amount of abuse. But, and it’s a HUGE but, I have to try and make a difference for my grandson’s future.

If you’d like to learn more about extinction rebellion, you can read more here

Join me, come on board the XR52 campaign and reduce your impact on the planet.

Oh and if you were wondering about the impact that fast fashion has on the planet, then I can recommend that you watch the Stacey Dooley documentary. It’s is quite frankly just shocking and terrifying. “A sea half the size of England has dried up because of the horrific impact of fast fashion.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here.

The garment industry is the 2nd largest polluter in the world, whilst the UK, Europe and the US are the largest consumers of ‘fast’ fashion. These days clothing chains bring out a new ‘range’ every week. I remember when I was young/er the fashion industry had ‘seasons’. You waited a full 3 months for the next season. The clothes were invariably well made, stood the test of time and didn’t choke landfill and end up in the ocean by way of plastic micro-fibres.  Lots of people think that donating the items made today; threadbare, badly made, last a few weeks (if you’re lucky) to charity is a good idea…well it’s not. The charities are beginning to have to dump tons of old clothes because they are not fit for purpose and because they have too much. Africa is fed up with our cast-offs and some countries are beginning to reject the charitable donations made by the west in favour of encouraging home-grown, local businesses to produce cultural and traditional garments. Bravo to them.

I could go on and on about the terrible impact the ‘fashion’ industry is having on the planet, the animals that live on it, our water systems, and people’s lives, but……

Instead I’m inviting you to join me and take the XR52 challenge and NOT buy any clothing till 30th April 2020. Follow extinction rebellion on instagram

Would you be prepared to take this challenge?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I opened an online delivery account with @asda a couple of days ago to have my food delivered as I can’t get to a store from where I am currently working. I was disappointed at the lack of plasticwrap free vegetables available, but ordered the few items that were #freefromplastic namely bananas, carrots, onions and butternut. Imagine my utter dismay when the groceries were delivered and the bananas, carrots, onions and butternut were bagged in….. a PLASTIC bag. Ffs. Seriously.

These supermarkets really MUST up their game. I pointed this out to the driver who said they are ‘phasing the bagging out’. Wtaf does ‘phasing’ it out mean? Over what period of time?

We need DRASTIC action NOW!! have they been living in an alternative universe? Have they missed the Planet Earth programmes? Have they not seen the destruction that plastic pollution is causing our land-based animals, the devastation of our oceans and the creatures that die regularly.? Why do you have to bag potatoes (unless it’s to FORCE us to buy more than we need), or courgettes or mushrooms or tomatoes?

My message to the supermarkets : STOP WRAPPING THE VEGETABLES IN PLASTIC!! DON’T SEND MY VEGETABLES IN PLASTIC BAGS!! PLEASE JUST DON’T. I stopped using Tesco for this very reason. Urgh. @asda @sainsburys @tescofood @coopuk @morrisons @iceland all of you. Please reduce the plastic on vegetables NOW.

There’s been enough media information for you to all get the message. Step Up and STOP 🛑 using unnecessary plastic. If you simply HAVE to wrap your vegetables in plastic, change to the alternatives that are now available. #bansingleuseplastic #plasticpollution #endplasticwaste #endplasticpollution #doitfordavid #saveouroceans🌊 #saveourwildlife🐯🐯🐘🐨🐺🐋🐬🌝⛅🌻 #saveourplanet🌍🌳🌳🌞

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Buying vegan foods and trying to avoid dairy products and palm oil as well as plastic packaging presents something of a challenge, and requires some inventiveness for preparing meals. I’m learning a whole new way of shopping and cooking.

These days shopping takes a bit longer than in the past….I spend a fair amount of time reading food labels. If it contains palm oil I have to look for an alternative…not always available. I recently had to bypass my favourite soups while shopping; Heinz cream of Tomato, cream of Mushroom and peas and lentils (contains dairy). Instead I bought mostly tins of plain ingredients and dried products and will make them myself, sans the ‘cream‘ of course. I made my first dhal for supper with basmati rice recently… Apparently it smelt delicious 😋 😋

Despite it being the first time I had made dhal, it was actually really yummy. I had a look at a few recipes online and in my usual style, tossed in this, that and the next thing… pretty much whatever I could find in the cupboard in terms of spices…I also roasted some sweet potato wedges in olive oil and herbs which made a really interesting contrast to the dhal. My 2nd attempt wasn’t quite as successful and I burned the lentils coz I didn’t have sufficient water in the pot LOL I ate it anyway….waste not, want not and all that!!!

It’s been an interesting exercise to see how much of what I wanted/needed I could buy without buying anything in plastic. I think I was about 70% successful. It’s incredible difficult. Even if you buy something in a cardboard box, when you open it, the contents are usually packaged in plastic. urgh. So annoying.

Buying fresh fruit and vegetables is the aspect that confounds me the most….why on earth do the supermarkets still have to pack bananas, apples, oranges, broccoli, cucumber, cabbages, potatoes, peppers etc etc in plastic bags, trays or wrap. It’s COMPLETELY unnecessary and just adds more and more to the plastic pollution blighting our landfills and oceans. Apparently a number of brands have signed up to a pact to reduce plastic…..by 2025!!!! Why so far in the future? With 8 Million Tonnes Of Plastic Dumped in the Sea every Year, that means an extra 56 million tons in the next 7 years!!!. There are so many alternatives available already that I’m pretty certain they could reduce their unnecessary plastic packaging immediately.

I was delighted to learn about The Clean Kilo, the UK’s largest zero-waste supermarket; A Gap in the Market.

I recently tried a different type of milk; Oatly and it’s delicious, even in my early morning tea. I’m trying to avoid soya products due to the destruction of the Brazilian rainforests, as well as palm oil due to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests and the orangutans that live there. These forests are being torn down for palm oil, pulp and paper plantations threatening endangered species such as orangutans with extinction. It’s horrendous. “Without proper safeguards, the soybean industry is causing widespread deforestation and displacement of small farmers and indigenous peoples around the globe”. The EU’s hunger for soy is causing destruction in Brazil.

I’m afraid I was largely ignorant of the ecological impact of my lifestyle. It was only after coming to the UK, and particularly more recently, that I’ve become aware. I do agree that the number of people, consumerism and materialism have played a massive role in the destruction of the planet. Sadly, I don’t see that ending any time soon. But, lobbying to make changes, signing petitions and raising awareness by talking about it, as well as taking daily action will make a difference. I’m always reminded of the starfish on the beach. I believe that, although our actions are tiny, they do make a difference and they set an example that other people will follow. There are a number of brilliant initiatives taking place around the world that will collectively have an impact. Even grassroots initiatives like the people in Kenya who are collecting discarded flip-flops and creating beautiful artworks.  I feel for the 3rd world countries who don’t have the same infrastructures we in the western world take for granted. I just fear that the large corporations are not making enough of an effort. I’m going to start writing to every large company in the UK and urge them to take stringent actions now, rather than phase it out by…. Whatever arbitrary date they come up with.

We really do have to take urgent action NOW. On a more personal note…..my first grandchild is on the way and I want to make sure I don’t leave a planet decimated because of my lifestyle. And a major plus is that I’m saving a lot of money, my shopping bill has reduced quite a lot coz I’m not buying as many products as I did before.

In case you missed my previous post on plastic pollution

 

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