Posts filed under ‘Charity’

One Tin a Month?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I have joined a Community Committee in my department at work. You may think it sounds a bit naff but it has good at its core. We did our bake sale for Comic Relief and, with a generous ‘uplift’ from out Management, raised £1,500. And everyone had a great time doing it although I haven’t eaten much sweet stuff since.

We are now looking wider afield and this is where I hope I have had a good idea which I would like to share. I find myself appalled that food-banks are becoming a necessity for many people but am glad that they are there. There have been documentaries covering what they do and how they can help families in need through redundancy, ill-health, poverty. This isn’t just happening in the UK – if you watched the BBC documentary, America’s Poor Kids, you will have seen that the First World has Third World Issues. It baffles me that this can happen but we know it does.

Many may think that people shouldn’t rely on ‘the system’, they should be out looking for work. I agree that those who can work should but life ain’t that simple. There is unemployment, there is poverty, there are parents who don’t eat so that their children can. Yes, there may be parents who spend more on themselves and not enough on their children but that is a small minority, don’t let this colour your thinking.

More cuts are coming, services and jobs will be cut; this problem won’t go away.

So, my idea? It is simple – one tin a month. If you can afford it, why don’t you take one packet or tin, just one non-perishable item to your local food-bank once a month. I have been talking to a local food-bank and am proposing to organise this through my office. I will ask people to bring one tin a month. If 25% of the workforce does this we will have about 400 items a month. That will make a difference. The food-bank I talked to has to spend additional money every week to make enough food parcels. They try to help 300 households every week. If they had an additional 400 packets or tins it would make their work easier.

What do you think? Can you do the same? Will you miss one tin per month from your larder? I will be sending this post out on Twitter and will start a little hashtag – #OneTinAMonth. I am hoping you join my little party and of course you can also donate to a charity and write to me about it:)

Food

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

March 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm 2 comments

It Gets Right on my Wick!

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Most of my posts are positive. I try to encourage people to think about and help others. I have a very optimistic view on people. Most don’t want to hurt others, they want people to be happy. However, that doesn’t mean that most people (ie, everyone!) irritate others. We all have buttons pressed by the smallest incidents, an inner list of Aggghhhhhhhhhhh! These are (some of) mine:-

  • The rug being askew in the living room – yes, I know, how dull. However, even though the living room can look like the bomb has landed, if the rug is straight then I can live with most of the other mess. This is a long-term irritant. I remember my daughter standing with her hands on her hips, saying in baby-speak to her play-fighting brothers, ‘look at the state of that rug’. She was two. I have no shame about the memory, just wish that her adult self was still saying it.
  • Politicians who say they ‘understand’ how people feel, especially with the ‘I am sympathetic’ head-tilt. I seriously doubt many of them understand ‘the common man’ 99% of the time and their faux-sincerity really gets on my nerves. Note I don’t include all of them, just most.
  • Car-thieves/joyriders – Many years ago my car was stolen and torched in Belfast. I knew nothing about it until the police phoned to let me know. I had a four month old baby and was planning to return to work within a couple of weeks. I had everything organised, someone coming to the house to mind three children, a routine to get me kick-started back into work and thought I was sorted. My job was not a one-bus journey away and having no car was going to add another two hours to the time when I wouldn’t be at home. When you are a working mother your day is divided into slices of time and you have tasks allocated to that time (yeah, I do sound anal don’t I?). The thieves took that time away from me. Also, my car, much as I loved it, was old and worth tuppence-hapenny so I had a lot of expense to get a replacement, at a time when I was playing financial catch-up from maternity leave. Every time I thought about it for the next six months I got very angry in my head. If only they hadn’t torched it then it would have been a ‘loaner’ to get them home after a night out.
  • People who swear at their children in public because you know they do it in private too. I understand everyone has sworn about their children and am sure most of us have sworn at them too, we are only human you know. What gets on my goat is this – ‘You get down here, you little b*****d’ or I will skin you alive’. Have heard this when out shopping. I am not a snob but that is so wrong. Children need rules and discipline, what they don’t need is to be belittled from day one. How can they learn manners and consideration when they see none around them.
  • Another domestic one. Don’t make toast and not wipe the workbench. Same for making tea and leaving those stains. I spend too much time with bleach sprays and bottles in my hand. Actually, not true, I don’t spend enough time but I never claimed to be a domestic goddess.
  • People who get too close. I hate my personal space being invaded. Enough said.
  • ‘I done, I seen’ – there is a new style of grammar out there that is completely alien to me. I was taught grammar at school and I, most of the time, know how to use it. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case any more. And my tip of the day – when you are talking about yourself and another person doing something, please use this little tip. If I am going to the shops with Bert and I don’t know whether to say ‘I’ or ‘me’, then remove Bert from the sentence in your head. It isn’t Bert and me are going to the shop, it is Bert and I are going to the shop. Me am going to the shop doesn’t make sense but I am going to the shop does. Honestly, folks, it is that simple.

A very short and random selection from my internal anger buttons. There are many more but I don’t want to foist them all on you at once. Even writing this made my blood start a gentle simmer. You know how to make me feel better, follow the instructions below:)

Cross face

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

February 23, 2013 at 11:43 am 2 comments

First World Problems?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Sometimes life seems overwhelming. Too many items on the ‘to-do’ list, too many people needing your attention, too much chaos surrounds you. I would love to say that my life is in order but that would be a bit of a porker..

People think I am organised, they think I am ‘sorted’. Hoot! My house needs decluttered, decorated and generally put into order. My paperwork sits in a box that I occasionally dig through for the MOT certificate, birth certificate, pension statement. The latter one is the most depressing, I think I may be able to retire at 95….

Are we all the same? Drowning in the everyday when we know we should really be trying to make a difference. I read that sentence and agree but at the same time want to slap myself hard. It sounds so much like the dinner party scenes from Bremner, Bird and Fortune. I feel like a middle-class cliché, beating my breast and crying for the poor of the world while I wonder what colour to paint the living room. Perhaps I am that wonderful twitter hashtag game, #FirstWorldProblems? Maybe I should be shouting from the rooftops because my home-made mayo has curdled?

I am making fun of myself somewhat but it does bring me to my real point. This blog isn’t about me but it comes from my thoughts and hopes. I hope people out there can still afford to help others, have time to think about others. With all the concerns about the economy, job security, horsemeat burgers, can people see beyond the concerns that are beating down their doors? Am I a first-world problem cliché or will you consider donating to a charity that supports children? I do hope the latter…..

In the meantime,  I will continue to distract myself from a house that needs painting and paperwork that needs filing. I will blog, I will tweet twaddle and I will knit. When words fail me, as they sometimes do, then knitting will relax me. The latest offering is six foot long, a scarf  requested by my daughter. Enjoyed doing it but soooo glad it is finished:)

Scarf

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

February 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

It is the Little Things….

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I haven’t been here for a while. I should perhaps apologise but can only say that I lost my words for a while. Hard to lose your words, you know you should be writing but the letters will only float about in your head, they won’t come together to make anything coherent. Feeling like that I thought it best to be quiet, I write enough nonsense to know when to leave well alone.

But now it is the New Year, all hail 2013. I am feeling better, more refreshed and ready for what is out there. Have you made your resolutions? I have done the usual healthy eating promise to myself. You know the one don’t you? Eat less, move more is the mantra:) I have my low-fat dinner prepared and am enjoying the new exercise regime. When you get to my age walking isn’t enough, you need to get a bit more vigour into your life and so it’s me and Davina. I don’t plug on here but promise that the new Davina workout is good and I am enjoying it even if my stomach muscles are off sobbing in the corner.

Beyond that, what do I want from 2013? World Peace? Unfortunately, I think chances of that are slim. While we have people who know they are right and everyone else is wrong then compromise will never be part of the picture. Watching the news about my own country proves that to be so. (I am considering a blog about what we are going through at the minute but it will take time and effort so will be one you have to wait for, at least for now).

So, should we have an end to hunger? Please Sir, let them have more? Another one on my big list. Alas, again I think we aren’t going to solve this one in 2013. And again, doesn’t it come down to mankind? Politics, power, greed drives so much pain in this world and my feeling is that curing this will cure hunger, disease and poverty. Pity the big pharmaceuticals can’t make a pill to cure that.

What then are we left with? We are left looking at ourselves in the mirror. Take a long hard look folks. Are you happy with what you see? I’ll wager we all struggle with that long hard look, I know I do. How do we make ourselves feel better? I think it is simple. Do something that isn’t for you. Do something to make someone else smile or their life just a little better. I have read reviews of the new book by Lucy Mangan and how she worked through 2012 by doing one good deed a day. Lovely idea and a great book so why don’t we all take a leaf from Lucy’s book. Stick a pound in a collection box, visit an elderly neighbour, volunteer. These can all be done with only a little of your time or money. Perhaps that is what we should all aim for this 2013. Do the little things and hopefully they will start to impact the big…..

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

January 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

For once, I agree with Cameron?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am not as political as many. I know that I don’t like extremes, be they left or right wing. I would define myself as a liberal, not the Liberals in the current Government who have been diluted, their policies corrupted by constant compromise for (what appears to me to be) very little return.

I am not a huge fan of David Cameron. The economic policies of cut, cut, cut will, I feel, snip away at the infrastructure of our society. Before everyone starts howling at me I know there need to be cuts but there is surely a balance? I don’t believe that depending on the rich to generate all the wealth will work. There must be investment to allow small business to keep going, to keep schools thriving to provide us with a future workforce that is educated and motivated.

I will go no further than this. I am not an economist, I am not a politician. I am sure the paragraph above will annoy enough people so I should to move on to the point of this blog….

David Cameron appeared on the This Morning programme yesterday. He was interviewed by Phillip Schofield, someone I normally admire for his integrity. However, it appears Mr Schofield had a rush of blood to the head. He lifted a list of names of politicians/public figures from the Internet; people who had supposedly been embroiled in the abuse of children in previous decades. He presented the list to David Cameron and wanted his comments on it. Cameron sensibly left the paper without looking and talked about what needs to happen. What was Mr Schofield thinking?

My thoughts?

The Internet is a wonderful thing. Full of useful information, opinion and fun. I love doing research, reading blogs and sprouting nonsense on Twitter and Facebook. However, it is also full of opinion being presented as fact; it promotes conspiracy  theory as ‘the real truth’. When you read anything you need to assume that fact-checking will be required, either using your own common sense or actual fact checking.

I assume Philip Schofield considers himself a smart man, a responsible broadcaster, I know I have always thought so. He comes across as caring and sensible. I consider lifting a list from the Internet to be a dumb thing to do. It is a cheap trick. If you want to be considered a serious broadcaster, even in a magazine programme, then don’t resort to tabloid tricks. He may as well have worn a redtop bandana when he tried this. I am quite angry with him for doing this and reckon he knows he messed up. People will believe him to be right because it was Phillip Schofield, I hope he takes the time to put them straight.

With all the furore over the Savile scandal and repercussions rippling through Government and media now is the time for serious investigation. There are so many people out there who are living with the legacy of abuse. Why would we endanger getting to the facts by stirring up public opinion which may impact any future prosecutions? I understand that we need answers, I want them myself. However, I am prepared to be patient to allow the facts to be uncovered and allow the Justice system to work.

What we need now is not cheap sensationalism. I know this may be hard for people to accept but now is the time to be calm and wait. I expect there to be proper and diligent examination of facts and statements. I expect there to be arrests and charges made where the facts support this. I then expect there to be full and frank disclosure. I don’t think this is too much to ask but I know that this may take time. We need to stop the emotional stunts, this will do no favours to those who have suffered abuse. Give this horrendous situation the seriousness it deserves.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

November 9, 2012 at 11:24 am 1 comment

Should I? Shouldn’t I?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am in a quandary. I have been mulling a long time about writing something more substantial. I could say time and energy are against me with a demanding but satisfying job and a busy life. However, there are words in my head and I want to try and get them on paper/keyboard.

I did start writing a children’s story a while back and showed a few chapters on the blog – Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. I know what I want to write and I know the Chapters I added into the blog need work. I have started on this but we are in the early stages.

The question is what to do? Approach a publisher? I know that most publishers are very risk-averse these days, book sales are dropping and new writers are finding it harder than ever to be signed up. This naturally brings me to the dreaded phrase in social media – self publishing 🙂

I don’t want to be the scourge of social media *weeps quietly* but I do have a inkling how this could be a good thing. If I go for self-publishing then I can make sure that at least 50% of any profits go to children’s charities. When I consider how much time I spend nagging folk to donate to charity then isn’t it time I put my money where my words are? Yes, I donate regularly, both monthly and by never passing a collection box, sponsoring etc. However, if I can raise money with my words then I am putting myself out there.

I will still blog, will still nag you all but there will be time spent on putting this book together and seeing where I go. Even if I only raise a few pounds then at least I have tried. I will use Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin and Google+ to publicise and we will see where we go.

Why post about this today? Simples. I work better when I give myself a deadline. If I say out here that I am going to write then the pressure is on and a little self-imposed stress can be good for one:) I will update periodically on progress but my initial deadline to me if to have it completed by next summer. Research is needed as well as re-writes and more chapters so this should be enough time to spend my weekends on this. Wish me luck folks, I most definitely need it.

Think of me looking like this!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am 2 comments

Hindsight.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am going to link two stories that are hitting the headlines in the UK today. They may not seem to have much in common but to me there is a thread that links them….

Every day for the last week has seen new revelations about Jimmy Savile. For those of you who don’t know the name, he was a famous UK disc jockey who died last year. He had been famous for decades, known for radio and television shows plus his tireless charitable efforts. He was lauded and admired. However, it appears there was a much seedier side to Savile; he was a sexual predator. Many women have come forward to talk about assaults from unwanted touching to rape. There are ongoing investigations, both by police and within the BBC where Savile worked for many decades.

Some have asked why this is happening now, the man is dead and what good does it do. Some women have said that they went to the police years ago but their claims weren’t taken forward. Many who worked within the BBC from the 60s to the 80s and even today have said that inappropriate behaviour was not uncommon. I read about these times being ‘different’, workplace/life cultures have moved on. As someone who has worked from the 70s until now, whether in part-time work while studying or as now, full-time, I know workplace and indeed life cultures have changed.

Before anyone thinks I am an apologist for this – sexual assaults are wrong. I cannot believe that anyone thinks that the decade provides any excuse for that kind of behaviour. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I watched Have I Got News For You this week and agreed to some extent with Ian Hislop – he said that if people were not aware they couldn’t put a stop to it – the media frenzy that the BBC, hospitals and charities should be hung out to dry over this was not right if those organisations were not aware. HOWEVER, from some reports I have seen there were witnesses to at least some of Savile’s assaults. My question to them – did you report it at the time? If you did then thank you. If you didn’t, why the hell not?  When we see something that is wrong we are supposed to do something about it aren’t we? I have little sympathy with the tears of witnesses many years on if they were silent at the time. Yes, Savile was famous and his reputation as a kind man, a tireless worker for charity would have made it exceedingly difficult to go up against. Difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

I then look at the Lance Armstrong story. To get the disclaimer in place early – Lance Armstrong denies all of the allegations contained in the US Anti-Doping Administration (USADA) report about a systematic and thoroughly organised programme of using performance enhancing drugs and other methods to increase performance. Added to the report we now see fellow riders and support staff coming out to talk about the rigorous processes Mr. Armstrong followed to ensure that he was better than the rest; this would appear to also involve not getting caught.

I accept Lance Armstrong has the right to deny the contents of the report and subsequent news coverage. I am though, personally tempted to stand up, point and say ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire’. It seems to me that enough people have come forward to at least partially substantiate the report. I will always be a believer in due process and that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Because of this I can only say I am tempted to do the liar, liar action.

However, again I say to all those people who are so eager to talk about the transgressions of Lance Armstrong now but said nothing before – wrong, wrong, wrong. I see no noble actions here, just a tawdry and sorry story about the limits people may go to to win and those who would be content to further this aim whilst it might fit their own ends.

My final point – what do we do when we see something wrong? Do we act or do we allow? I like to think I would act and I hope you all would to.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

October 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm 2 comments

Power and Reason?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I have been wandering round the news sites again this week. I like to read the news on that Interweb, it allows you to skim some stories and find deeper opinion articles when you are in that frame of mind. One article in particular caught my eye – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19842100, entitled ‘The psychology of the powerful’, interesting stuff.

There were two main threads to the article. First we had the theory that power can (literally?) go to a person’s head. This came from an extract from a speech from psychologist Guy Claxton at the Royal Society of Medicine conference this week. He talked about “a disorder of intelligence”. Mr. Claxton is Professor of learning sciences at the University of Winchester, has written many books and advised multiple organisations on how to help people learn.

He makes some excellent points, I know I don’t do him justice but my take from his words:-

  • When you gain a position of (Government) power you move into a different world. You are the person who decides.  This different world does not have its core in the day-to-day life that the rest of the world inhabits
  • There is a danger that this (cloistered) world gives a different reality wherein the decision-making and not the decision itself can become more important. You must be seen to act and the speed of your action, not the thought processes behind it will take priority
  • Doubt is a key quality in all of us. It makes us explore more angles before making a decision we can stand over. When we lose doubt we can lose clarity. One way to keep doubt fresh is to have friends who will challenge and even mock you.
  • If you don’t have humour or doubt you will lose the ability to see your own flaws. Acknowledge them and accept the new ones that others may point out. If you don’t do this? You will always be right and everyone else will be wrong. That way leads hubris, wonderful word, scary meaning.

Professor Claxton is well worth a Google or two. I particularly liked the two listed below:-

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/professor-guy-claxton/ebacc-life-of-tests-is-no-preparation_b_1890686.html

http://www.aeonmagazine.com/being-human/guy-glaxton-education-morality-character/

I did say there were two main points to the article. The second part covers empathy, another wonderful word and one I love. It is the risk from a lack of empathy that was discussed at the Royal Society of Medicine conference. When we like someone their pain becomes our pain, we empathise. Differing levels of status can impact this. Those in power become, by their position, high-status. This can impact the levels of empathy felt for those perceived to be of lower status; a real danger for all politicians. It brings me back to the cloistered world scenario above. A lack of understanding of how policies impact people is, to me, dangerous. The policy becomes all, the people not so much. I know unpleasant decisions have to be taken. Governments cannot hogtie themselves with hand-wringing and agony. However, they need to account for the impacts their decisions will have on normal people.’ The people’ is not an abstract concept, it is you and me. We have to live with the impacts of the decisions that others make, that is the way when you live in a governed society. I know this, I just hope the politicians do too.

Power and reason need to be bedfellows, arrogance and lack of empathy are normally fleeting in first world politics. Hubris is there but in small nuances. But other countries live with the impact of total hubris, where the people matter not at all. There are countries where it is all about the power and nothing about the reason.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

October 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

News or Silly Season?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

The term ‘silly season’ is normally applied to the summer months when Governments are in recess and fewer political stories make the headlines so other sources of news have to be found. However, I think it can also be used during the Conference season when political parties and other organisations announce their cunning plans for the next year. This week we have the Lib Dems, suffering from their slide down the polls and some latest approval ratings for Nick Clegg showing as little as 25%. I am interested to see how his big speech will be received during Conference but prior to Conference Mr. Clegg was doing the rounds with paper and television interviews.  So, I will talk a little about Mr. Clegg. I will not cover ‘that’ apology, please not the apology. So many have already spoken that I don’t need to add any words to this latest piece of ill-advised tomfoolery.

I want to cover Mr. Clegg’s assertion that part of the economic recovery has to come from movement on property, that is,  getting younger people on the property ladder. Saving for deposits is hard when all our bills seem to increase month on month and banks providing many hoops and hurdles to clear before lending thus the market is still slow. Mr. Clegg’s answer to this? Parents and grandparents can ‘draw’ on their pension pots to help provide the deposits for their children/grandchildren. Hmmm. Aren’t we being consistently told that it is our responsibility to save for our old age?  Fewer and fewer of us will have a final salary pension, stakeholder pensions are the reality for most of us. The State Pension age is increasing; I know that a State Pension at 60 is a dream long since passed for me. Most people my age do make calculations on when they can afford to retire and how little they will have to live on when they do. I do and will continue to save for my pension and am lucky in the approach my employer takes. I will never be rich, I reconciled myself to that many years ago but I hope to manage and think that is the best that the majority can hope for. So, raiding what I have saved even for my lovely children is not an option I will take. They can have all that remains when my clogs are popped but until then I will hold on to what I have.

I have often thought that the mark of a really clever politician is being able to present an unpalatable idea in a plausible manner, to sell an idea that doesn’t always make sense. You don’t have to admire their policy but you can give a nod to their skill. By this definition I do not consider Mr. Clegg to be a clever politician.

I  now move to a story that some may think firmly lies under the Silly Season umbrella but made me smile. It is the story of the Canadian dentist who has travelled back to Ireland to see if he can find the woman he briefly spoke to a year ago. They exchanged a couple of sentences at a small cafe in County Clare and she has been in his head and perhaps his heart ever since. I am a completely romantic sop, I admit that freely. A brief encounter story makes me smile. You may think him daft, I think he is taking a chance, that chance that you don’t want to live to regret. I applaud him and hope that even if he doesn’t meet that girl of his dreams that he will know that at least he tried.  The link to the story is here and I hope you take the time to read it and it makes you smile too – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19685982

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

September 24, 2012 at 11:34 am 4 comments

Temptation?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Temptation is one of those delicious words. These days it conjures up naughtiness, wicked but in a ‘Carry On’ way. We apply the word to that sneaky bar of chocolate or a slice of cake. We don’t often consider the darker definition of the word….

The definition of temptation?

1. The act of tempting; enticement or allurement.

2. Something that tempts, entices, or allures.

3. The fact or state of being tempted, especially to evil.

4. An instance of this. The temptation of Christ by Satan. Matt. 4.

Fascinating that the words to describe temptation are as ‘tempting’ as the word. Enticement, allurement, they make us think of something that will make us tingle, make us smile.

People talk about temptation as a quick fix. “I couldn’t resist those crisps, that dress, those shoes.”. We regard it as an enhancement, a reward perhaps for a bad week. I do it too; ‘reward’ myself with something nice, mentally kick myself later for the calories, the money splurged.

So, is the temptation worth it? Yes and no. It comes down to what you are trying to fix. When we need cheering up after a crappy day then a bar of choccy is just the thing to perk you up. Then the quick fix will make you smile, lift your spirits. I raise my hands and plead guilty:)

However, when your life is not what or where you want it to be then a quick fix is not the answer. We all know this and yet we fool ourselves that the new whatever will work, at least sometimes. Why do we think that distraction with little things will sort out the larger issues? We all do it when there is a mountain looming in front of us. Procrastination, prevarication, call it what you will. If we aren’t looking at the mountain then it isn’t there? It may distract for a while but when things are quieter your thoughts will always drift back there.

Looking outside yourself also leads to the ‘if onlys’. If only I had that new job, if only I had that new relationship, if only I could take that trip. Life is full of if onlys but they only happen when you make them. I made a major change recently when I changed my working hours. It has allowed me to do what I wanted, provide a little help to some. However, I have found the adjustment more difficult than I thought and it has taken time to get used to my ‘new’ routine. I thought I would have more time to write but that is an ‘if only’ for me. I will keep working on it.

I said about the darker side of temptation didn’t I? The state of being tempted, especially to evil. A chilling definition. I get the naughty side of temptation, the darker side not at all. Is it temptation, arrogance or complete indifference to others that makes a sane person act in an evil way? There are people who take without heed. There are people who suppress using words or fists. There are people who take positions of responsibility and use their power to abuse, crush as they live lavish lives. How do people start on that path? What is the first tempting thought that leads them down their chosen path? More importantly, when they have no distractions left what does the voice in their head say? I don’t know and am not sure I ever want to, I’ll concentrate on only listening to this one when he talks about shoes…..

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

September 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

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