Sunday 19 February 2023

How the other half live

So I went down to this little back alley in central London to find out more about the role of Trustee of the pension fund. It was interesting and the tea was decent. Kim greeted me by name, and it was only afterwards I realised she knew who I was because I was the only woman there. Six other people also put themselves forward, so there will be a ballot. I had to tell myself that spending nearly £100 on the train was ok as 'reasonable expenses' rather than taking the overnight Megabus. We were taken into the meeting room to find this lovely arrangement on the table for each person:
and it made me realise how ordinary this kind of 'luxury' is for some people (that's Harrogate water and some very fancy tissues). I am not used to having my every possible need catered for, it was weird. So I took a photo, or course, in case I never see it again. As I pointed out to the girls, even if all the women members vote for me (I always opt to vote for any women in such a situation, but maybe others don't think like that) that's still probably only 10% of the vote so my chances of being picked are slim. It has been a step outside my comfort zone and we will wait and see what happens.

Stay safe. Be kind. Step outside your comfort zone.

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Brain work and brain relaxation

This time last year a letter arrived concerning a vacancy for a Member Nominated Trustee for the pension fund. When I reread the letter some time later I realised it was already too late to nominate myself. It almost felt like they gave such a brief window on purpose. This year another letter arrived, so I wrote off straight away for a nomination form. It arrived while I was in Devon. When I got back and read it I realised it had to be submitted by 30th January and I had two days to think about what to write about myself and to send it in. Whatever I wrote was utter rubbish but now I have to go to London to attend a 'familiarisation seminar'. I did manage to get through last year's Trustee Report without too much trouble. Despite what it said in the initial information I have been assured that I don't actually have to have read and understand all 345 pages of the Trust Deed and Rules. I am around 80 pages in.

To give my brain a break I have been doing a lovely Van Gogh puzzle that I bought at the Marble Factory where we went out for lunch.

Stay safe. Be kind. Exercise your brain.

Saturday 11 February 2023

New year, new secateurs

After a tough cardio session at the gym this morning I rode to town to buy my train ticket for scary grown up visit to London (blog post pending) and came back via the Hulme Community Garden Centre where I bought new secateurs and gardening gloves, but resisted seeds and a lovely tin mug with a bee design. The garden, as you might expect, is looking a bit sorry for itself, but there are a few lonely snowdrops braving the chill. (Mum sent me this the other day, which is beautiful but just reminds me how little space I have for 'displays' or any kind:
Despite the bad freezing cold snaps we have had over the last couple of months I found that both the corn salad:
and the rocket were both alive and well:
I pruned back the honeysuckle (just where it's heavy at the top), the miscanthus (right back as Monty says), the dogwood (just to keep it in check), the buddleia and my single rosebush. I am a bit worried about the jasmine, it is very bedraggled, but spring is coming so we will wait and see what else has survived. The plum tree will be joined by lots of colourful friends over the next month or two, they are just poking through:

Stay safe. Be kind. Anticipate the spring.

Saturday 4 February 2023



So 'Capitalist Makes Profit' is not much of a headline. It's what they're meant to do. Over the years and decades the profits have got bigger. They make millions in profits ... they make hundreds of millions in profits. For the rest of us the numbers become meaningless. We are all too busy wondering why the income we have this year buys us less stuff than what we earned last year. People are outraged that Shell has announced $40 billion in profits. The 'cost of living crisis' does not seem to touch people at that end of the capitalist system. I was perturbed by the way we have moved from millions to billions and it seems to have the effect of minimising the 'number' that represents the profits. 
40 is quite a small number.
So this post is remind you to remember that the reality of Shell's profits is
(Forty Thousand Million)

Stay safe. Be kind.