A Variety of Disadvantages, but One Voice is Needed

I am seeing an issue, not an intentional problem, however a real situation that may well be hindering a proper outcome.

A Disadvantaged Person is struggling with many varied problems. 13.9 Million People are eligible to claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP). That is a lot of people, and an even larger amount of money to be paid out as a benefit.

This benefit is seen as VITAL by claimants, it is often the difference between

  • Being mobile or not
  • Putting food on the table or not
  • paying for adaptions to help make just living a little bit easier

The list goes on and make no mistake the Care side of PIP does not cover the true costs of trying to survive, the Mobility payments help, but do not come close to the real expense of car conversions, extra wheelchairs and all the extra paraphernalia needed, THAT ARE needed, just to survive.

So here is the situation as I see things –

There are lots of different “charities” and support groups for every possible disadvantage. Often one illness or problem has multi organisations, all there to help sufferers, all fighting with its members to overcome the issues caused by the dreaded PIP assessments to move all the claimants from the DLA they get already.

But how good are these charities?

Since PIP was introduced, and the change started, a very clear reality has been seen. The claimants live in total fear and continual worry about what will really happen. A fear that is fed by the media hysteria continually highlighting the unfairness of the system.

In 2015 the Government stated that “Almost 600 “additional” suicides could be related to the Government’s Work Capability Assessments.”

The DWP naturally tried very hard to discredit the survey, the authors, led by Dr Benjamin Barr, from the University of Liverpool, feel otherwise, it should also be noted that this was for mental health sufferers only, it never touched on other disabilities.

The heart-breaking website Calums List shows the suicides caused by the changes and cuts the DWP are fighting to bring to bear. It states “The UK figure is nearer 4,000 but could be as high as 81,140 welfare reform deaths”

It is a fact that being in a disadvantaged position is not a good place to be, you are looked down upon, virtually unemployable into meaningful employment, and often ignored as the general population holds a fear of what they don’t understand, so they pretend we do not exist.

The DWP have some questions to answer, some “Freedom of Information” requests may suggest otherwise.

The Independent Newspaper discovered, the department’s response to a Freedom of Information request revealed staff conducting mandatory reconsideration reviews were held to a “key performance indicator” that said “80% of the original decisions are to be upheld”.

And as the assessors managed to hit 87% of the Mandatory Reconsiderations they are trying hard.

Now, here is a suggestion, all the charities are individually making objections to the DWP and Government, all the noise, but from lots of different sources, so when asked the Government says, “it has no real proof of a problem, a few thousand people don’t constitute a debate.”

How are they justifying this? Easily, they are not lying, they have a few thousand complaints, but these, although the same, are individual and do not count as one huge complaint that they must debate.

5 baby steps become 1 full step, and 5 full steps become a giant step. We have all made the baby steps, and these have become a full step. Surely, we have now made enough steps, to all join up, and make the GIANT STEP??

So I ask for help, here and now, before more reach a point of such desperation and anxiety that they call time, can all of the Charities, big and small, join forces, make the Giant Step, and force people to realise that it not a few disadvantaged people looking for extra benefits, but a real plea for help before the situation becomes to dire to recover from.


Are We really Invisible?

Are we really Invisible?

My son had his friends’ round, a group of 17-year olds all just having a good time together, they included my 14-year-old and friend in their group and the fun continued. All the youngsters were friendly, and we had a few laughs, especially when my 14-year-old was playing around in my wheelchair.

Yes, messing around in my Wheelchair, not running from my disability but enjoying the bonuses of this. Not one of the groups thought of me as anything over than a father, not one of the groups ran from my disability, and not one of the groups did not join in the fun watching a 14-year-old trying to wheel himself around the garden. So here at home, with young people, my mobility issues were never noticed.

Was I invisible to them? No. Was my disability invisible? Totally.

Why then in the open world are things so different? In the big wide world the opposite happens.

As a disabled person how often is this reality? Think carefully, how often does an able-bodied person fall over a wheelchair, get hit by a mobility scooter or fail to see a white stick?

To an able-bodied member of society disadvantaged people are invisible. British Society has an attitude to disabled people whereby they pretend we are not real, or maybe society is as afraid of what it feels is unusual or does not match the stereotype of what is considered normal.

But what is normal, why is having a disadvantage viewed as different, if the word itself is split, an advantage becomes clear.

The comfort factor, the familiarity of home, make the disadvantage invisible, whereas take away the environment that is safe and discrimination occurs. Or is it discrimination?

The feelings of “If I am invisible to you then I can’t be real, so I can’t need acceptance for what I am.” are how I thought I saw things.

However, do people who are able bodied or of sound mind, really have that attitude? Am I really seeing people’s uncertainty and maybe even their embarrassment?

A lot of disabled people have their own attitude problems, I have this issue. It is almost like having a “chip on my shoulder”, the “elephant in the room”.

With Kind Permission Brian Loging, OSBO @BrianLoging

I feel deprived, I am annoyed with myself for being in a scooter or wheelchair. Am I alienating me from others rather than them treating me as invisible? Would I approach a person who is already showing signs of anger before I start?  If I saw someone acting in a way that does not fit with the norm, or already showing signs of discomfort, would I be pretending they are invisible or merely avoiding what could be a scene?

Am I right to maintain that to the public the disabled are invisible, I see these feelings are possibly wrong, I see that I am showing my own discrimination against more able-bodied individuals. Is my view blurred by jealousy of what I have lost?

I to try to see things from a non-disabled view, it has opened my eyes to how disabled are seen, not in the employment market, but in a normal situation whilst out and about.

I am no longer convinced that most of the time, disabled are invisible. We are viewed as “different”, people are afraid of anything different, so avoid it at all costs. We are not invisible, but, we are a situation that people will avoid rather than facing. The average person, wondering around, say the shops, is afraid of their lack of knowledge and embarrassed by the simple fact that they are not disabled, so rather than face it they run from it.

If I am correct the disabled person is in a position of power. We are not invisible, we are not hidden. We are force to be heard, a real group and one that is visible to every other person in society.

A disadvantaged person, out and about, at a nature reserve, the shops, a restaurant, may be in a wheelchair, may be using a mobility scooter, they may just be hobbling along trying to “get there” under their own steam, however they are real.

A disabled person is not afraid of themselves, more they are proud of the achievement they are showing. We may have our own demons to face, our own fears about the future and the “What If” situation, but by the mere fact of being seen, out and about and trying, we are proving that, despite the disadvantage we are living and facing the “Elephant”, every single step of the way.


Independence, a noun, the state of being Independent. But what then is Independent, it could be the adjective, Free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority, or the noun again, An independent person or body. What is clear from the very basic meaning of the word is that is stands for the act of being able to be a person who can be autonomous. So a Personal INDEPENDENCE Payment, is surely to assist, a struggling sector of society to achieve this goal??

I do not want this to be seen as a rant against the DWP and their latest methods to penalize the least able to help themselves, in fairness the DWP are doing a great job of highlighting to the world how bad they are!! This is just because this whole system needs exposure…………..

The original payment to help disabled was called “The Disability Living Allowance”, it uses the word living to indicate it is there to help, does it help, sometimes, and if you can convince the powers you are disabled, and the higher levels of allowance are needed, they do help, a little. Also, if a person is on the higher levels a nominated person can receive £62 a week Carers Allowance. Just to be clear, this is £62 a week, for 24-hour, 7 day a week on-call care. It could be argued a partner does that anyway, however, do they really expect to help someone in the toilet at 3am??!! I am going to put an advert on Monster right now for a Carer at £62 a week…………..

Now, let’s be clear, from the start, there may well be people who are claiming allowance, and getting paid, who are as disabled as David Beckham, that does need stopping, however, there are a lot of people who are claiming because they are disabled, maybe not overly visible, and desperately need the help, need the INDEPENDENCE that PIP should give.

There are a large number of us who are getting very fed up with this ridiculous benefit. It has the most inappropriate name and the most ludicrous processes of selection. It is not correct to judge somebody’s mobility on whether they can walk 20 meters, in old money that is 65 feet. Put simply the length between the wickets on a Cricket Pitch. For those of us who struggle that 65 feet is a big deal, but we will struggle with everything we have to walk that far, at the end we may well be exhausted, shaking and near collapse, but we will have crossed that small hurdle, we might only be able to do it once in a month, but we achieved. According to PIP therefore we are not disabled!!! So we struggle to do it, because we all have the little piece of us that sees it as a challenge, buy the DWP can then say it proves we are well, what do you do???!!!

If we drop our pen on the floor, we all struggle to pick this up, it may take a huge effort, however, again, it is an inner struggle we want to win. If we achieve we are not disabled apparently, even if in doing this we fall on the floor, we bent to retrieve, so we are making up our disability!!

If the DWP doesn’t have to award us the higher levels, or any level, of PIP think how much they save. Not that I am suggesting this saving is how assessors and managers might be targeted, that is not proven, is it??

According to a report by The Independent (a cunning name!!) Newspaper, The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been accused of setting an “outrageous target” that staff should turn down four out of five benefit appeals. The department’s response to a Freedom of Information request revealed staff conducting mandatory reconsideration reviews were held to a “key performance indicator” that said “80 per cent of the original decisions are to be upheld.

It shows a corrupt introduction of a corrupt system.

However, and let us try to look at things objectively, in principle the name is great, and should represent what the benefit offers to those of society who are in need, in need of INDEPENDENCE. What is so hard about a government standing up and standing behind the true meaning of a benefit and delivering this properly, and actually being seen as a government that truly wants to help people and not just pay lip service to many and deliver nothing but stress, upset and more destitution.


You have 15 Minutes!!

I am a Dictator from the Planet Zog, you have 15 minutes to gather what you want, 3 things, then you are leaving, ready or not!!!

Zog is no more and Earth looks like a nice planet for my home now………..

Actually I feel generous, it is a nice day, you have 30 minutes and here are a few caveats as well –

  1. Your important documents like insurances and passports are already in your hand.
  2. Your birth certificates and any marriage and death certificates you also have.
  3. You do not need financial things, finances are no longer an issue.
  4. You have any immediate family members, you want, with you, such as chidren, partners or parents.
  5. Your bag of holding will take unlimited size, but, only 5 things maximum each. See I have added 2 things, I am so nice!!
  6. Forget things such as medicines or medical aids such as wheelchairs they are no longer needed, so not all bad!!
  7. Forget lots of outfits, unless a specific outfit is vital to you, basic clothes are no longer an issue.
  8. Your sepecific Wedding ring and personal, always worn, jewellery does not count. this does not mean you suddenly start wearing everything, I will know!!!

So think about things, what would you really take? Forget the Aston Martin you will not need this, or the Silver Teapot it is no longer worth anything. What is there actually in all the paraphenalia of modern life that you really could not live without?

I got asked this question earlier and it made me sit up and think.

What do I really need to remind me, does some tangible object really matter?

I wear my Fathers old wedding ring on my finger, it seems like part of me I have worn it a long time. I have a bracelet on I have worn since my wife gave it to me for our 10th anniversary, and of course my own wedding ring I have never removed for nearly 25 years, but that really does not count, why would I ever remove it.

So I looked around………….

I love watches, and cufflinks, pens and ties!! I have strange rituals about how things have to go togehter, such as you  would never wear a black belt with brown shoes, and ties and cufflinks are the same, silver cufflinks and a wrong colour tie is a no-no, novelty cufflinks and ties are also a no go area, as are socks!! and whilst we talk of socks you would not wear black socks with blue trousers, get a blue pair!!!! So as it shows I am a bit strange. I am as bad with Pens and watches…….. A pen should be a proper pen, not a BIC Biro type, there is nothing wrong with a cheap throw away, I just want a proper pen by Cross or Montblanc. A Parker or Waterman maybe, watches are the same, a cheap battery Casio is fine, I just prefer an Automatic Seiko or a Touchscreen Tissot, it is just a personal thing!!

But would I really take these 3 items if I could take just 5?? Of all the things I have all the special nik-naks that I say I really need to see, are these 3 of the really special items? will I need cufflinks, do I have to write or tell the time?

What about all the memories caught on photos, the shots of the children as babies or toddlers. The pictures of those past? Or do I actually have stronger memories in my head and the photos are not really needed, think about it, 30 minutes is all we have, if I took the photo I must have seen it to take it, so it must be in my memory somewhere.

So what have I actually got that I can’t live without? I am very fussy about the type of toilet paper I use, but I don’t think that counts, I like my fishing takle I use with my Son, but again why would I grab this when I could just buy more. The Pen, watch and cufflinks are starting to look a good idea now……..

What about clothes, do I have a specific shirt, coat or jumper I could not live without? Do my shirts, that mean so much to me right now, mean enough to take with me in a flight situation?

A book, does a certain book mean so much that I don’t have it on my Kindle, ooohhh now there is a thought, the Kindle is a thing that I might consider, that is a real possibility, I do like my Kindle, a lot!! or would I be better of with this laptop instead with the Kindle App? now it gets hard, the 30 minutes is ticking past!!

And I could go on and on, there might be a certain record, or song, but is that now here on the laptop, there could be a special plate or cup that means so much to me, I don’t think there actually is, but, the whole thought process has opened up a huge debate, what would we actually take????

Here is reality, I have a feeling that eBay might be having a few more things on it, my house may be a little emptier, from this citizen of Earth, having to run away with the bear minimum, I am finally seeing that I do not actually need physical things to satisfy this belief I have that I must have something to hold onto, in the same way that I realised I did not need to keep my old toothbrushes, a long story from a very long time ago, I think I am seeing the same about “stuff” that is actually little more than clutter causing me to never just move forward.

Or am I wrong…………..


Retail is not about shopping.

What is this madness, how can retail not be about shopping? Retail IS shops and shopping, or is it…………..

Let’s go back a good few years, of course reatil was about shopping, we went to the High Street shop, like a Woolworths or a C&A and bought what was needed, Woolworths was famous for their Pick n Mix and C&A for ladies jumpers. Is it a surprise then that these two brands have disappeared??

Why is Retail changing?

It is changing, not because of e-commerce, not because people buy from eBay, it is changing as Retail is now about an experience, online or at a shop, it matters not. Let me explain-

If a person wants a pair of jeans for instance, they can buy them in a multitude of stores. Be realistic, blue jeans are denim material, dyed to the colour blue, and cut into the required style. They are jeans, and that is the thing they might be a few pounds in a supermarket, or, hundreds of pounds with a designer label on them and from a designer shop.

And here is the thing……. you have the money ready and you need jeans, so what is the main influence on where you buy? Is it brand snobbery, is it driven by saving money, or is it proof that reail is not about shopping?

People buy, not for anything else, other than, THE EXPERIENCE.

It is pure human nature, and a growing need for service that makes things happen. The supermarket, with their £4.00 jeans will get the sale before a highly thought of designer brand and shop jeans at £100+, not to save money, but if the experience provided, the service is the best. If the service makes a cheap supermarket more of a happy experience then they will get the repeat business, and the business of their friends, and there is more to reveal.

If a person receives a great experience, and are very happy and impressed, they will tell 10 of their friends. 10 does not sound a lot, however, if each 10 tells another 10 the mound will grow. If the customer has received a bad service, or had a bad experience, they will tell 50 of their friends how bad the store is. The 50 tell 50 who then tell 50 of their friends, and rather than a mound, it soon becomes a rapidly growing snowball. To put this in perspective, just 5 times down the road that is 312500000 (three hundred and twelve million, five hundred thousand) people who never even show their faces at the store!! Now realistically some of the people will try the store just to see, that is great, until it is realised that another person trying starts another snowball as well, it is a never ending spiral.







Woolworths did not provide a welcoming experience, the staff were badly trained and just left to get on with things, if a store had 1000 customers with a bad experience, after they shared that with fifty people and those people told fifty, it is 2500000000 people, to huge a number to comprehend. This why Retail is not about shopping. Retail is about experience, not necessarily price, not the make, of say Jeans, it is about providing a customer with an experience that they want to shout from the rooftops. An experience that can be remembered and can be told to everyone. Woolworths in the UK no longer trade, now it can be seen why!!

Retail is no longer about just going to a shop, or online, it is about wanting to go to the shop or website, and to achieve this a retailer now must provide not a means to buy something but a service, an experience, that makes someone feel special and wanted. If a potential customer gains nothing from the shopping experience they will not return, and we can clearly see what happens next as they tell people.




What is Christmas………..

Everytime i turn on the televison all I now see is things for Christmas!!

It is the most wonderful time of the year………..

But is Christmas a time of the year to wait with baited breath for, or is it actually a real problem because of the expectations it brings forward? Is it a time to be rejoiced or feared?

Bah – Humbug!!

Let’s just view the basics, the plain and simple facts that make up Christmas –

  • There is little or no dispute that about 2000 years ago a child was born and named Jesus.
  • There is also little or no dispute that his mother was called Mary and his “father” was Joseph.
  • The baby was probably not born on December 25th, however, this day is as good as any!!
  • The religion of Christianity sprung up around this child, and has lasted ever since.
  • The whole passage of this event,and Jesus’s life was in the middle east and mainly in the country known as Israel.
  • The whole Christmas thing is to celebrate the birth of the child.

Now let’s look at Christmas in modern reality…………

Has the western world taken Christmas as an excuse for a retail bonanza? have they forgotten wht Christmas is actually about?

My view is very agnostic, I was brought up Jewish, my wife, and therefore my children, are Christian, but very not in any way practicing. I have worked alongside some very Christian people, and admire their faith. My children can choose for themselves, even if it is a roast chicken on a Totem Pole, the religion, if any they want to follow. So in many ways my families Christmas is not really a pure celebration of the birth of Jesus.

And this is Christmas, regardless of our beliefs, the 25th of December and the surrounding days, are national holidays. In the west we are in a christin society that is following Christian principles.

To counteract the situation, and keep everyone happy, some places, like Birmingham in the UK, have renamed the festival Winterval. I feel this is a pointless, and needless, name for the very obvious period. Does this not highlight to other faiths the period, does it not cause awkwardness??

Maybe I can state how Christmas should be seen……….

Not a shopping festival, where lists are proffered to us that resemble the Argos Catalogue, not a period where we are assaulted continually by adverts and shops thrusting things at us, and not a period to rush off shopping, as early as possible, on the 26th December.

Should the few days off not be used to allow people, friends and family to get together, safe in the knowledge that thet are “off the roundabout” and with no pressure. Don’t let this be spoiled by the expecation of others, and present lists with the subsequent dissapointment this can cause, if a person wants nothing, expects nothing but good company and maybe food. Nothing except a few days to let everything go and just enjoy the peace and also the company, or if anted, solitude, that the day affords.

And so, I am the first, no doubt, to say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to one and all, safe in the knowledge that, to me at least,the period is one, pissibly the only time, to relax a little.

To one and all.



Perception, What is it Really

What is it about people Perception that models the way they see things? Can Perception be used to influence how people think of something?

Here is an example………………..

There is a Disco company called “The Not Very Good Disco Company!!” their website is , at no point do they do anything to raise the Perception or expectation. They say we are Not Very Good, so anything above that is a bonus!!

And here is where Perception comes into play, the influencing of a persons feeleings and thoughts. They could have had a name such as “The Magic Disco” or “The Great Disco” theses are catchy names, the conjur up images of magic or a very good disco. Are they as easily remembered as “The Not Very Good Disco Company” or do they fall into the raft of Discos, with lovely names that are so easily forgotten? Is a name such as “The Magic Disco” not already, maybe unconcioiusly, raising the expectation as apparently it is Magic??

The Not Very Good Disco Company say they are not very good, even their website domain is is this not a more easily remembered name, does the mere name not arise interest?? How can a company actually advertise that they are not very good? You want to use them just to see if it is true!!

This is perception, and how it can be subtely altered with very small tweaks, “The Not Very Good Disco Company” are actually very good indeed, and they know this, why else would they openely state that they are bad? it is a reverse Physcology thing, and is that not how Perception works?

Let’s take perception a step further. Are the products at Fortnum and Mason any better than those at Tesco or even Aldi? Surely a pack of Expresso coffee, using Arabica beans is the same type of coffee in different bags. The Perception is however that if the coffee come from Fortnum it must be better than the cheap version at Aldi, are other peoples coffee just a poor imitation, surely Fortnum is the best? Why? it is because our Perception is that it must be? A childs Fisher Price toy is the same toy, exactly the same toy, whether it is from Harrods or Toys R Us, is not still the same toy, albeit at Harrods it will be more expensive? In society there are people whos Perception says “use Harrods, it must be better!” There are also people in society who can absolutely see they are identical products, their level of Perception is not as easily influenced.

Fortum and mason
The known Blue to influence Perception

So, are there times when an accurate perception is vital? In court a jury, or just a judge, surely cannot be influenced by perception? A defendant dressed badly surely does not make them guilty? Very wealthy people often dress badly and shabbily. John Steinbeck did and was told in Travels With Charley. A perception of a person is sometimes a very bad thing. However, it is still important at times. Perception of a politician is important to weed out what is really being said. Perception of a builder, maybe based on experience, is often bad, for a good reason, but, the Perception can also lead to selection of a good builder. As a parent I had to use pereption about the children’s schools. I could read all of the prospectuses I liked, however, actually visiting the school led to the cementing of the initial perception, and it not always good, my youngest child did not attend the most lo0cal junior school, because the Perception, upon visiting, did not instill confidence. Is this really Perception though, a 6th sense, or feeling often leads to a decison. Is this not actually where the brain is setting the Perception though?


Here is the final deduction from this………….

Perception shapes our thinking, it puts the initial thoughts had over something, or somewhere, to the very forefront. Often our Perception is not correct, but, based upon external influences or heresay. Our “gut feelng” is often more correct and then can influence the Perception going forward. I feel Perception is needed, it shapes our feelings,, our initial thoughts, but, the Perception gives an overall view of something from others experience. A “Gut Reaction” is very important, and often correct. The Perception can then be added to give a rounded view.


Christmas is coming!!!




Image result for film "elf" imagesImage result for film "elf" imagesImage result for film "elf" images

Because I am a 48 year old man who spends the year looking towards Christmas!! There, I have said it, the run up to Christmas is the best time there is. It is said Christmas is the most wonerful time of the year, I say the excitement surrounding the run up, from about October until the Big Day, is really the most wonderful time of the year, the anticipation and never ending surprises are magical, or am i wrong?

So, playing devils advocate, is it all the best time, or is it just a hyped-up spending extravaganza, that leaves many people in more debt, and more worried? Is it a time of year that highlights any, however small, cracks in a person and then takes advantage of the situation? Is it Christmas that is wonderful or the build up, and the wonderful bit ends Christmas Day?

Christmas starts earlier and earlier, indeed this year (2017), True Movies became True Christmas on only the 2nd October!! So between now and New Year we can watch 24 hours of Christmas films, continually, 24/7 never stopping!! Is this too much?

If we look at things is it not the expectation that causes both this great feeling on the one hand, and dire misery on the other? Think about it………..

Christmas opens up everyone to disappointment, even in a very basic form, children produce a list, that is more and more extravagent, and parents try to fulfil this. When they can’t disappointment is guaranteed. People like me hate the let down, and will do anything possible to deliver the list as wanted, regardless of the money we just do, because we cannot deal with the disappointment shown by others. Is not the only person really suffering here the delivey person, the “me” trying and trying to not let anyone down? It is no wonder suicide rates climb so much over Christmas!! Is the time from Christmas Day onwards not dire??

Now, I have a few tips here to avoid this situation –

  • DO NOT take children to visit Santa, either in a shop, or mall or even at the North Pole, with anything less than a week to go until the Big Day, why you ask?? When the Big Guy says “What would you like for Christmas??” you can guarentee that Little Suzie, or Johnnie, will then announce something you have never considered. Something that was inundating the shops, until now!! With 7 days to go you have a chance, trips to Santa on Christmas Eve – NO!!!
  • Avoid trying to out do “the Joneses”, if they have a light extravaganza on the house, just enjoy it, and remember it is their electric bill!! Climbing up to try and beat it will definitely end badly, probably in A&E, and at least with a huge electric bill. If it matters so much get the professionals in to do things!!
  • Keep a tight hold of your purse,or bag, at Christmas Light switch on, any fairground attraction is double the price of normal and the petty thief is also very active.
  • Keep a tight hold of children at Christmas Light swith ons, or else you will turn around and find they are on rides, holding bags of sweets for you to buy, or raffle tickets that cost a fortune!!
  • If you are asked for a particular thing, say a certain make of jeans, do not try to hand over an alternative, exactly the same but without the label that counts. Dissapointment is guaranteed!!
  • Never make a list yourself. If someone has thought of you, and decided that a 20p Bic Biro is what you need, that is great, it is as good as a £300 Monteblanc pen, they have thought about what you need and given it over. If you have paperwork everywhere it could be paper-clips, is this not a better gift than something you could buy yourself? The contributor has thought of you, end of!! If you have a list, and it is not fulfilled, who is let down?
  • Enjoy Christmas on pure face value, if you have no expectations they cannot be shattered like an ornament on the tree!!
  • And talking of trees,real or artificial, huge or tiny, look at it with joy, it is decorated as you, or the children wanted, end of, it does not matter what others think!!
  • NEVER, NEVER make New Year resolutions, they are setting you up to fail, for sure!!

I could go on and on here, however, here is the bottom line, the real deal………….

Christmas is coming, like it or not!! The children are going to start, list of Argos pages will appear. Christmas films start on the telly, and music on the radio. So try to enjoy things, it may well be hard, but remember, it is only ONE big day and a few Bank Holidays, there are still 358 days without Christmas to contend with. When Christmas films are on, or Christmas music, of which Fairytale of New York is the best, sit back, reflect on the year and forget things, they have happened and cannot be changed, so enjoy the now.

And finally, I urge you to remember, regardless of religion or belief, that Christmas is here to celebrate the birth of Christ, allegedly the son of the Lord Himself, whether he was or not, a child was born about 2000 years ago and named Jesus, we know that is fact, everything else may just be like Chinese Whispers, however, we get a few days off the roundabout because of this, and a few days of extravagance as a result. Whoever this child was, they have given us Christmas.

I think the expression is “Eat, Drink and be Merry!!!”


Image result for christmas images


As the seasons change and the season of Summer moves into Autumn is it still correct to view the times of change as set in stone?


A few weeks ago, on one of the morning television Chat Shows, an “old time” farmer was explaining that the seasons had come to fruition 21 (twenty one) days early. He was very specific, not about 21 days, or around 3 weeks, NO 21 days!! As a farmer he was able to justify things by expaining how buds on trees, crops growing and the weather totally showed a 21 day shift. He also stated that winter would be hard this year, but, that is yet to be seen……………

Is he correct? have the traditional months of change been moved, are things now 21 days early?

He could be correct, today is the 15th September, it is cold and has been wet. The Indian Summer has not happened, or was it 3 weeks ago at the end of August? If things have shifted back by 3 weeks we are now seeing the weather normally seen in October, is this quite accurate? The weather forcast suggested it may snow in Scotland the other night, admittedly Northern Scotland, but really, snow in September??!!

The farmer who made this statement was a proper old time farmer, he even spoke with an “oo ar” type of lilt, he has spent his life watching nature and how it performs. His livelihood depends on knowing what nature is going to deliver next, would he not know, more than the computer buff meteorologist, the real story?

As summer clings on with an ever decreasing finger hold, the first tendrils of autumn and winter are being felt. The heat has left the suns rays and the late nights of daylight are coming to an end as the nights quickly draw in. Before 8pm last night the curtains were closed and the lights were on, it was too dark to not react. When did this change begin, was it 21 days ago?? We know that the nights will get longer during September, however, does this rapidly increasing time of darkness not seem more pronounced and earlier?

The shops are carrying on as normal, the first signs of Christmas are appearing, Christmas flyers and catalogues are becoming more pronounced. A trip to a local supermarket, or even convenience store, will show shelves emptying and the tops of freezers being readied for extra treats. A trip of a week or so ago led to the first box of Mince Pies being bought, and even a local, village, chemist is now selling a few extras for Christmas. All of this means the excitement has arrived, but, are shopkeepers now taking advantage of the 21 day change and being able to start their Christmas run up earlier? I adore the run up to Christmas, as October and November advance I get like a child in a Sweet Shop on “Sweet Shop Friday”, but is mid-september not just a trifle early? I appreciate that I can always get happy over Christmas, however, there remains a part of me that is already Christmas Fatigued as the shops push that season earlier and earlier. Selfridges and Harrods opened their respective Christmas Worlds at the end of July and beginning of August, in London, but, is this not just a gimick to pull in the shoppers, the tourists who expect this. Are other shops doing the same? that is really taking advantage of the shift, already we seem to be enjoying Christmas in July as Australia has this, but, they have it because of the weather, we have it…..because we can!!!

So, let us go back to the 21 days. What does this really mean? 21 days it doesn’t sound a lot, 3 weeks, that is all. But what is three weeks, they are nearly a month, so children going back to school in very early September are seeing weather early, suddenly early September warm sun is not around and we are seeing weather from the end of the month. Putting this is in very understandable words, Christmas Day on the 25th December is seeing the weather normally associated with mid January, is this not now into prime cold and snowy conditions? Christmas Day was, often wet, but not to bad, will it now be cold and snowy?

I will end with questions are the seasons changing, is it by such a precise time of 21 days, is this change a result of man’s abuse of the planet and the changing temperatures because of this??? A worrying thought if this is the case.

If I Were a Rich Man

What would you do If You Were a Rich (Wo)Man? What “If I Were a Rich Man” is all that you desire?

Topol bases his thoughts around having money, being a wealthy Man, and the trappings this attracts. However is Rich an amount of money, is wealth a tangible thing to be measured by the zero’s after an amount in a bank account??

Here is the real question…………. is wealth, or Rich, measured by a physical amount of money?

In many circles,and often to ourselves, having lots of physical money, “A small fortune” according to Topol, is the answer to all issues, but is it?

if you won the lottery at the weekend, say £10 Million in the bank, would this be overall wealth or just a number in the bank?

Without a doubt worrying continually about the need for money, how the bills will be met, and if you can Heat or Eat, is a huge drain oin a person. The never ending robbing of Peter to pay Paul is a hugely worrying and time consuming problem. If that disappeared would just having the money be enough to make us wealthy?

Let us go back to the lottery win. £10 Million just there to be spent, saved or given; but, I say winning £10 Million is fabulous, however, will also lead to eventual depression and issues.

What would you do? Let’s see……..

Firstly you would buy the “House on the Hill” say for £1.5 Million.

A decent holiday and time away – £500K.

Nice Cars – £1 Million.

Flitter Money – £1 Million.

So, we have very easily spent £4 Million, but, there is still £6 Million sat in the bank. Properly invested it should make about 6%, compound, or simply £370K a year, without ever touching the millions. That is £7100 a week, could you spend that? £28K a month!! So here is why there is a problem.

There is £6 Million in the bank, you have bought the house, cars and holidays. There is flitter money to spend on anything. What ambition or aspirations are left? How long will it be before boredom sets in. All the talk of “It won’t change me” is total rubbish. How can that amount not change you. So all the old issues of before are gone, wiped out, now there are new ones. Everyone you know will expect you just to pay everything. People you have never heard of will propose all sorts of ways to “spend” the money, on them!! And how will you feel? it would be natural to think you need to pay everything, natural to want to give people money. very quickly the continual pressure of other peoples wants will drive you to become very introverted and eventually never leave your new palace in case others start with their never ending wants.

And this new pressure will cause depression, you will wish you had never won £10 Million and still struggled everyday. Why? Because then people did not want your wealth, they jus wanted to be a friend. The honesty of those days is gone.

So, is being Rich purely based on Money, do not misunderstand me, if someone wants to donate me a few million pounds, I will manage on their behalf, but will I be rich?

Is wealth not a mind set. If you have health and family, a few friends also, is that not wealth?

You have these things, so you are wealthy. Does the homelss person, living under the arches not measure their wealth on other things. Do they not feel wealthy when someone gives them a coffee or sandwich, physical money is not a measure for them. The expectation of their life is different. Doing something important to them will make them feel Rich, or, Wealthy.

When I wake up in the morning, and a new day is here, if my health is allowing me to feel alright. Do I not have wealth? Is the wealth not further enhanced by turning and seeing my Wife, and hearing the children. Is not having these people not making me Rich??

What about at work, if a project is going well, colleagues making you happy, and managers being pleased, is this not wealth as well? If the personal situation and work are added together is this not being Rich, or wealthy, beyond your wildest dreams?

And here is the bottom line, “If I Were a Rich Man”, maybe we all are Rich in our own worlds and ways. Everyone from the Tramp under the Arches to the Industrialist with millions in the bank. We are all just one step from being that tramp or leader of business. The tramp could find the infamous lottery ticket tomorrow, the business leader could see it all go to pot and fail. However, with our health and family we are surely the “Rich Man” that Topol wants to be.

Are we not there??