RSS Feed

It’s been a while

Posted on

The time since my last blog in January has flown by….I am ashamed to say much of it with me sat here ranting at the new #SCROTUS (So Called President of The United States), on Twitter, I am not alone.  Unbelievable that he is still in office getting more and more embarrassing each day. I do hope this enormous issue is resolved soon….it surely cannot go on for a whole term.

dumb fuck

I feel so sorry for Americans who have to live with this, day in day out.  Some ‘moron’ asked my some time back why I was so obsessed with his president when I am not American….and there we have one of many major issues.  So many of Trump supporters appear to have no concept of the global impact of their leader.

It’s been fascinating seeing all the resistance over there…and the rogue accounts on Twitter…some of them taking big risks initially before handing over the admin of the accounts to multiple colleagues to protect their jobs and livelihood. Resistance from within: Federal workers push back against Trump

One upside of the above has been the amazing cartoon opportunities.  I am not sure I have ever witnessed someone being so lampooned from all corners.  20 Cartoons Reacting To The Results Of The 2016 US Presidential Election

Oh and the Saturday Night Live sketches were amazing. (do check YouTube for more)

Seeing some good stuff in the wake of this….a massive sigh of relief when Macron won the French election and seems to have come out all pistons firing.  Loved seeing Angela Merkel step up as leader of the free world since #SCROTUS seems unable to lead a barn raising party.  Trump’s ‘Pittsburgh, Not Paris’ Rally A Massive Flop Compared To Nationwide ‘March For Truth’  Hoping this week to see this new world order settle on Jeremy Corbyn…
I am sure there will be some rocky times ahead, and I am hopeful that many of the manifesto hopes and promises will begin to drag the UK back from the prolonged stagnation and quasi austerity for some.   How they have got away for so long robbing the poor to pay the rich I shall never know.  If I was a mystical type person I’d be looking at how the planets are aligning and making a forecast…..(I Googled, there’s nothing obvious coming up)…oh my dog, we’ll have to wing it!

Of course my thoughts are with all those who have been subjected to terror attacks, in whatever country/city they live in.  I cannot imagine that anyone can be blind to how we are radicalising young people with out weapons of war.  I’ll say no more at this time.  I am not a rayer, but hold thoughts and hopes for a brighter and more peaceful world, just around the corner.

PS. Thanks to Winifred for your comment.  It is very kind  (and maybe a advertising ploy?) and has motivated me to have a little splurge here.




Benefit Scrounger

I started out earlier wondering how someone can manage from scratch with £12 for the next 7 days.

Imagine that just before Christmas you left your abusive partner and found temporary accommodation for you and your 2 kids under 5.  You left in a hurry with the clothes on your back and a very small amount of money to get through Christmas and into January.

You are now very very short of money (just like many people at this time of the year).  Your cupboards are empty and you have £12 to feed yourself and your 2 kids for the next 7 days.  You can’t ask for help of friends and family, you’re completely alone.

You have no back up provisions apart from 1 packet of spaghetti, 1 toilet roll and 1 tin of tomatoes. Here is your shopping list:

6 eggs
500 gm minced beef
6 sausages
12 fish fingers
1 kg potatoes
500 gms Onions
4 Carrots
1 cabbage
2 loaves of bread

Child cough medicine
4 toilet rolls
1 surface cleaner

You get to the check out and you are over by £3.50. What will you leave behind.

I asked my friends on Facebook…the majority leaving out the cleaner and the cough medicine.  So having established that, what will be your meal plans for the next 7 days? I’ve done one…it’s tough.

Monday Tuesday Weds Thurs Fri Sat
Breakfast Dry toast 2 slices each Dry toast 2 slices each Dry toast 2 slices each Dry toast 2 slices each Dry toast 2 slices each Last 2 eggs Eggy Bread 3 slices
No seasoning
Midday Spag Bol using 1/2 mince & half 2 Onion soup + 2 potatoes 3 sausages, mash, 1/4 cabbage 2 carrots for soup + 1  potato Cabbage soup with 1/2 cab Cabbage soup
1/2 tin toms and one onion for thickening No seasoning. No seasoning
no seasoning No seasoning No gravy, no seasoning
Early evening Omellete 2 eggs 3 slices of toast 2 sausages for 3 sandwiches 3 potatoes make chips 2 eggs for eggy bread 3 slices Fishfingers 2 each & chips Fishfinger sandwiches 6 slices
Omlette divided for 3. no spread No spread/seasoning No seasoning No seasoning No seasoning No seasoning/spread

I am still working on Sunday main meal. Cottage Pie with the last 250 grams of the mince, last of the pots, onion (probably no onion left now) and the carrot. Plus some cabbage.  No season, no gravy apart from that made with the tinned tom and water.

You may have noticed there is no milk…often a staple for young children, no cereal…let’s hope they get breakfast at school!
I have heard so many people saying they could manage easily on hardly any money…and I am pretty sure that they forget all the often essential items they actually have at the outset.  If you ever been on a truly self catering holiday you will know that those small basics can make such a big difference to what we’re serving up each day.
How would you cope? Do you have the skills to cope?  A friend mentioned foraging (common here in France, but in a large city in UK??)  Another friend would very sensibly ditch the sausage and  fish fingers replacing with lentils and chicken…and then we need to consider food education and how well our “Benefit Scrounger?” has been taught both at home and school.
I cannot imagine a day in day out struggle to provide food like this for my growing kids let alone how bland and boring it is.  No tea, no coffee, no wine, no milk, not a luxury in sight.
I used the Benefit Scrounger title to get attention.  So often we don’t see the real lives of the truly poor and desperate people living their lives behind closed doors.
I am grateful I have choices, money, a roof over my head and food in my house.

Katie Hopkins and the judiciary: another pointless lie

On the day that Katie Hopkins’ wilful disregard for the truth landed her, and the Daily Mail, in £150,000 worth of piping hot water, it is reassuring to see that she has not been deterred fro…

Source: Katie Hopkins and the judiciary: another pointless lie

10 tips for lifes caregivers.


Treat yourself as you would treat another who is tired, cold, ill, hungry, scared, fatigued.

  1. Pay attention to what your body is asking for….hunger – feed yourself, tired – take a nap, cold- add more clothes or let yourself have a fire, exhausted – take yourself to bed, scared – wrap yourself tightly in a blanket.
  2. Don’t listen to your internal negative dialogue about how you’re not good enough, not deserving, others are worse off than you etc.
  3. Decide you are as entitled as the next person to be cared for…you’re as human as they are.
  4. Do ask for help, ask someone to care for you for a few hours or a day.
  5. Don’t short change yourself or your needs.
  6. Do remember your aid work and care work is more potent when you are well and rested.
  7. You can be strong and be vulnerable…the two can go together.
  8. Remember those pre flight instructions….take your O2 before rescuing your child.
  9. Yes, I mean you!

Microsoft Corporation owe me $100

Back a month or so ago (I cannot remember exactly) my husband found himself being GIVEN Windows 10 with no obvious way out.  Despite repeatedly pressing a cancel/back button the “upgrade” continued and he had no choice but to work with it.

Sneaky “upgrade”

Around the same time life was full on and every month I found we needed to pay to boost our internet quota to get us to reset day.  We probably spend more time on the internet than others do and I am good at feeling guilty about this…so as I buy a volume booster or 2 I blame myself for spending too long on Facebook,  Twitter, playing Scrabble and one text based game I’ve been playing for 6 years.

We already pay a premium for our access to the internet being in rural France and too far (by 700 mtrs) from the cable run for Broadband.  So, we are limited and it is a good lump of quota we pay for, and up until recently was enough, enough even for internet radio.

This month we ran out of quota 3 days ago.  I bought volume boosters to get us over the hump. Yesterday at 16h00 we had already used 870 mg of a 1 Gig booster.  I was horrified and realised we cannot carry on paying out this amount of money for leisure.  I envy those of you who have no quota, have no idea what your data usage is and never have to worry you’ll run out before reset.

My husband had come to me a few hours before with a pop up box on his laptop and whilst I was trying to work out what the problem was I noticed Windows Edge and other stuff that I’d not really heard of.  So, I decided to have a look around and came to the sudden realisation that his laptop is using 75% of our quota each month despite me being the prolific user.   We swapped laptops.  After a short time Googling I made some changes to his laptop and am hoping when reset comes tomorrow to give it back to him severely restrained.

Today we had one last 1 gig booster, 3% used when I started out this morning.   He is using my laptop and by 16h00 today we’d used 32% as opposed to 87% yesterday!  I am so relieved and looking forward to receiving the ?$100 Microsoft Corp owe me in compensation for them stealing from my quota with no warning.

Here’s what I did,

How to stop Windows 10 using so much data

I have also added Data Saver extensions to both our laptops and my Chromebook.

Google Data Savers

Next month I am hoping we can relax and enjoy our time online without the anxiety I’ve experienced over last 2 months.


Saturday musings.

Dear Printer, we need to talk.
I’d like it if I could leave you with jobs and you could just get on with them without constantly needing me to come and untangle the mess you’ve made with the perfect paper that I had placed as perfectly as possible in your dispenser.

Dear PDF docs….I’d like it if you just let me print you without having to download yet another Adobe reader.

Dear Adobe Reader,
I’d like it if you didn’t automatically assume I’d like McAfee to fuck over my existing security measures.

Dear Prefecture,
Those docs you want so I can apply for citizenship are gradually coming together. I am exhausted and want to know why you need to know so much about my family of origin and my job history since my paper round in 1966!


Reading Captive State by George Monbiot and reminded that Tesco wanted to build at Gt Torrington as we were leaving. So impressed to see that Torrington has held out against Tesco and recently Waitrose…..







They don’t get it!

“This kind of behaviour is what we call ‘normalisation of violence against women’ and it is really, really scary and damaging,” she wrote. “… Every time you ‘playfully’ tell a woman to get back in the kitchen, every time you smack a girl on the bum because it’s funny, every time you make a joke about rape, YOU are contributing to a society where unfortunately women are not safe.”

“The cop I spoke to didn’t even have Facebook – explaining to her the post, the reposting, the screenshotting, the comments, was harder than it needed to be,” she told Guardian Australia in January. “It’s ridiculous. It’s 2016. Literally everyone uses the internet.”

The case progressed only after it received media attention, she said – echoing a common complaint about social media abuse, that only high-profile users get a response to their reports.”

“Brierley Newton told Guardian Australia the officer who called to tell her said Alchin was apologetic and had no prior convictions in what she took to be an attempt to convince her to abandon the charge.”




The Government Is In Chaos, Now Is The Time To Move Beyond Marching

We all know the fucking script.  This weekend tens, or possibly hundreds of thousands of people, will march through central London.  According to the People’s Assembly, who have organised the…

Source: The Government Is In Chaos, Now Is The Time To Move Beyond Marching