Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Holidays On Prescription

I can see it now, the same kind of people who feel their tax money should be hoarded in caves and protected by dragons, they'd flip at the idea I'm about to propose.

The title gave it away; holidays on prescription.

Perhaps it does sound like a huge drain on money but consider this: next week we're off to Millport for the week. It's been tough scraping enough for this cheap holiday but I know I'll reap the benefits health wise which will obviously filter down to my sons and my work productivity on returning home. Had I been going somewhere with guaranteed sun and all inclusive (ooh, I can hear the snorts of derision) the benefits would last much longer.

Okay, maybe not free holidays but some scheme that would allow you to pay the amount back over a longer period of time. Holiday companies are not charities. Not saying they should be. However, it would be nice for everyone, regardless of what they earn, to have the joy of travel and a week of relaxation, not just the privileged or those who have large credit card limits.

Think of it as a tax break for those not earning enough to squirrel their money away into tax avoidance/evasion schemes. Oh, I think I've just thought of a way to pay for it! Wouldn't society be much nicer when everyone had a break from the grind? When people couldn't asset strip companies, rob pensions, buying yachts and private jets while the regular employees face the bleak cliff face of the dole and a poor retirement? Wouldn't that make for a healthier, happier place?

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Art Therapy For A Tough Year

What do you call someone infatuated with Pinterest? That sounds like the set-up for a joke but there has to be a name for it other than Pinner, surely?

Carry on regardless. Another legend gone this year - Muhammad Ali, I'm not a fan of boxing but you can't really fault a man who can say this (about not wanting to fight in Vietnam):

He didn't run off to Canada, he didn't hide or find a way to avoid service through loopholes - as many (rich white) men did, a few subsequently becoming politicians. Well, once you wriggle your way out of a situation while condemning others, without the same means, for wanting to do likewise, there really is only one occupation for you.

Anyway, back to the Pinterest thing.

I Pin quite a lot of images and then only get the chance to see them every so often. So I thought, in my usual way, it would be opportune for me to share them here too. Some might have made their way onto one of my boards, some might just encapsulate how I'm feeling that day.

I also enjoy retweeting images that catch my eye and my mind, like today:

Woman Before the Rising Sun - Caspar David Friedrich, c.1818
Because some days you just have to pause and take it all in. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Originality vs Reality

The purse has just taken another car related hit and I realise the time has come to face one of those situations I dread - buying a new car. Old Car is beginning to show it's age - nearly 10 years old after all, so it's more expensive to keep than get rid and how I wish it wasn't the case. Not that I am particularly attached to Old Car.

There is some difference in what I would really love to own -

Oh, lovely, lovely minty car!

Compared to what will fit me, two gangly teens and Happy Dog, plus all the usual crap we seem to trawl with us every time we leave the house. (Parent myth; you carry a lot of stuff when you have a baby. Nah, it's nothing to life with teens!)


Then there is the nasty truth of what I can afford, playing in the background as my forever song at the moment. (I can *easily* afford my dream car, which is an irony in itself!)

No doubt I will be given lots of advice, lots of conflicting advice, on what is best, easiest to run, good for the environment! I wish it was easier, I wish I didn't have to face the inevitable car salesmen/women but here we are. That's a lot of wishes going on, let's see where we end up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Four-Legged Family

Special dedicated '30 Days' photograph today:

Eldest cat, aka the original and grumpiest Grumpy Cat, has gone missing.

For the past few weeks, he has suffered the return of the tumour on his face. Under the watchful eye of the vet, it has been a case of either wait until surgery is possible or the inevitable goodbye has to happen.

I fear I waited too long to try for the surgery option and he's just decided enough is enough. After last year's bit of luck where the tumour moved to a position that would mean Cat didn't need his jaw broken in order to remove the lump, I just hoped luck would be on our side again.

I fear that, because I've hesitated, he has decided to go find his final resting place as some cats do. After all, he was from feral stock, rescued as a kitten with his only remaining sibling, both survivors of a magpie attack on the nest. We adopted them both. His poor sister died from a heart condition not long after the boys were born. She was small, she was delicate and her heart beat just a little too fast.

We were left with the rough and tumble brother. The one who got his kitten head wedged into a cat food tin and valiantly tried to pretend it wasn't anything to do with him. The one who would strut up to any delivery van or car visiting 'his street' for a good nosy inside.

We've gone through so much together and he's always been a constant - even if it was a constant "I told you so" from him. When Ex left the cat never looked at him again, turning his back every time Ex picked up the boys.

He was a character who bemused many neighbours, owning the street wherever we lived.

Wherever you are - please come home, say goodbye. Have one last chase of the dog, one last swipe at the other cats and one last touch of a paw on my shoulder as you sleep on the back of the couch.

Flowerpot cat

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hello, Goodbye Spring!

For some reason, we've skipped the rest of Spring, all of Summer and Autumn and have gone straight back to Winter. It's nearly May and today we had snow, hailstones, freezing rain with a little chilly sunshine thrown into the mix.

As everyone jokes about a typical Scottish weather system while turning on the central heating again I wish for a chance of warm, toasty weather to comfort the bones. What will happen tomorrow; who knows!

Some Spring lambs, probably needing a thicker woolly coat.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Saying No

I've got to learn to do it, I'm so much better than once I was but I really have to own my right to say no to people. It's important for my health more than anything else and what little energy I have needs to go towards my little family, my ability to keep a roof over our heads and not fall into that 'single parent' stereotype.

I hate being so serious all the time.

It does feel that is my daily routine now and I'd like some fun. Can't afford it though so I'll return to being grumpy, increasingly old biddy.

Escape in a photo -

Need to channel the attitude of this..erm...eagle?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Break In Normal Service

In the past two days two legends of my teenage years have died. At nearly 45 I feel too young to be seeing so many familiar faces passing on this year but here we are.

First of all, that bitch cancer decided to deprive us of the wonderful comedienne and writer, Victoria Wood. In an 80s where most accents on TV were RP to the extreme here was a woman, being funny, appealing to all age groups and with an unapologetic Northern English cadence. Which, for me at least, added to the humour.

I wasn't the only one happy to sit with the parents, all of us laughing heartily at Victoria's shows. Really bitingly funny comedy, intelligently written but most of all it made everyone laugh out loud then shut up really quickly for fear of missing the next joke.

My best friend in school and I used to do a daft take on Marjorie and Joan to entertain our classmates.

And my mother and I shared a love for Acorn Antiques, especially Julie Walters as Mrs Overall.

One of my friends pointed me to this one as it is reminiscent of people we know (always in a disorganised flap!) Victoria wrote and starred in Dinnerladies -

Victoria was also a great actress so if you get the chance to watch Housewife, 49, it is well, well worth it for her performance alone.

There we are, getting over another iconic loss when only a little while ago I hear that Prince has died. Alas not one of the many Royals (now hearing Prince has died would give the media a heart flutter as they wondered if it was Charles, William, the other ones).

Again, when I was a teen Prince was very risky and daring. I remember watching and giggling along to Purple Rain with friends, for us it was racy, I've not watched it recently but I would bet it was anything but!  For a bunch of insular teens in a small Scottish town it was the closest some of us would get to porn (unless your friend's big brother accidentally left his naughty French video in the VCR!)  I digress.

Victoria Wood was 62, Prince 57, that seems ridiculously young. So unfair. Celebrity Death Year 2016 edition is bloody awful.

I bought and wore a raspberry coloured beret, which did not suit this 13-year-old, in order for people to think the song had been written about me. I fooled no one.

I tried to get the official video of Little Red Corvette but it looks like that's not so easy - I'll leave it to anyone reading this to seek out his music. Take of the lyrics what you will.