Thursday, 26 November 2020

100 Days - 80th day, BUY NOTHING


The older I get the less I want stuff, and the easier I find it to resist capitalism's demands that I spend my hard earned income on useless crap. The TV is jumping up and down at the moment yelling at people to buy things on Black Friday, which has now become Black Friday Week (because one day is not enough for all the spending they want you to do). I saw a review for a BBC programme, The Truth About Amazon, supposedly investigating Amazon and examining their bad practices, but on closer examination it seems to be more about how to beat them at their own game. Amazon is busy fucking over the planet and killing off independent retailers. Visit here and see how Jeff Bezos's wealth really compares to normal people. It's mind boggling. Don't give him your money. Visit here and see how people are standing up to Bezos. The Guardian lifestyle pages offer advice on how to spend your money more ethically. People tell themselves it doesn't make any difference where they shop, but when you look around for presents for your family this year think about finding small and local businesses to patronise. Maybe try out and support your local independent bookshop. Guardian also offers a guide to avoiding Amazon shopping. Traidcraft is focussing on getting people to consider the source of the things they buy, and go to The Story Off Stuff to pledge to change the way you think when you buy stuff. But you know, mainly there is more to life than buying things. Buy nothing on Buy Nothing Day, and then try it again the day after. you'd be surprised how quickly it becomes a habit.

Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

100 Days - 79th that statue


So this statue was put up to honour Mary Wollstonecraft (who's book, Vindication of the Rights of Woman, is waiting somewhere on my shelves). First it was just reported on, then there was much heated debate (I do go places other than The Guardian for news, sometimes). I tended to agree with the argument about how men are not 'honoured' with statues of naked men, and then in swoops Mona Eltahawy (who came to the literature festival last year) and points out why the white middle class feminists are missing the point, as usual:

“As far as I know, she’s more or less the shape we’d all like to be,” Hambling said. 
And that was a “we” too far for me. Who the fuck is “we” and who the fuck is the “every” in that “everywoman” and why the fuck is she young and white?

Saturday, 21 November 2020

100 Days - Knock Knock (who's there) (eight and seventy)

I knock on people's doors for a living. Been doing it for nigh on eighteen years now. I received no training for this important skill, just learned my own techniques as I went along. After Mrs Kelly complained at me that her husband was in and did not hear me I upped my game. I have regularly been accused of knocking like the police. Once I was accused of knocking like the debt collectors, but I think that said more about the customer than about my knocking. A couple of times I have been complained at for startling people,  and then the other week a complaint for knocking too loud and disturbing a baby (my ESP was turned off at the time and I didn't notice there was a baby in the house). Yesterday I was complained at for (just potentially mind you) denting someone's new front door with my bionic knuckles. Most people just say thank you when you arrive on their doorstep on a cold and rainy November afternoon but whatever. 

Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

100 Days - Long term projects (day 77)

 I wrote about pistachios way back at Day 2 and I am pleased to say I found a use for the buckets of shells that we have accumulated over the year.
When we moved to Prestage Street I started making a pouffe out of random left over yarn. Like many projects it was abandoned in favour of more interesting things.
At some point I searched for suggestion for what to do with the pistachio shells and came across the idea to use them like beanbag filling.
They are covered in salt so I washed them in a big tub and then dried them in the yard (this is just one of four batches):
and then sewed some fabric bags to try and keep them in shape (time will tell how this works out):
Last night I finally put the whole thing together. The top and sides were one piece then a separate circle for the base. I bought a thick piece of foam to add on the top after Toby commented that it would be a bit lumpy (from Manchester Foam who will cut any thickness to any size for you). By the bins a month or two ago I found some abandoned kitchen units and removed one of the back pieces of hardboard and cut a circle to make a solid base. Then I crocheted on the circle base with double thickness yarn. It weights a ton but is pretty comfy. It's only taken me two years to finish.
And sometimes we do quick projects. Monkey picked up a set of the cutest cookie cutters when we went to Ikea recently. Using this BBC Mary Berry recipe we rustled up some moose cookies:
Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

100 Days - six and seventy Joan Armatrading


Last week I came across this lovely interview with Joan Armatrading in the Guardian. I do not recall how she became someone who's music I love, she had very few 'hits' and was not someone who attracted attention, but something about the quality of her voice gives me chills. It is good to see that she is well and happy and has new music coming out. Enjoy.
Stay safe, See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

100 Days - will my post come today part 2 (75th day)


I wrote back in April about the stress that the mail system has been under during the current pandemic. Things have not got any better. This is my payslip that arrived this morning. It was supposed to be delivered last Thursday. Mail and packets are piling up on some walks. A warden from some old people's flats came in yesterday claiming they had not had post for a fortnight. This was not the case but I could only apologise and be honest about the struggles, and tell her that they would probably only get deliveries a couple of times a week. So, people of Britain, please bear with us. I am sorry if your birthday cards don't arrive on time. Know that all the posties are doing their utmost to get the work done. We have both agency staff and a couple of Christmas temps in our office (never had Christmas temps before) but the increased workload of Christmas shopping is only going to make it worse. If you are sending gifts, cards or something important try and allow a couple of extra days to allow for the fact that walks are not going out every day. And don't give your postie a hard time about it. Thanks.
(This is not official Royal Mail advice, please see the RM coronavirus page for info.)

In better news I finished Michelle and Clive's sofa blanket and rode over to Salford on Saturday morning and had a doorstep cup of tea and lovely chat with her. 
Going to Dunk's for a cuppa now. 
Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Monday, 16 November 2020

100 Days - day seventy four


Don't book a covid test kit collection if you can't be bothered to actually do the test. Don't book a collection if you don't like getting up and answering the door early on a Sunday. Don't book at collection if you have plans to go out (don't fucking go out if you have covid symptoms and have requested a test). Tell your housmates or family members that you are doing a test, it's not a secret, after all they will have to isolate if you test positive. Read the fucking instructions. Stop wasting everyone's time and NHS resources.


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