Posts filed under ‘Recession’

Care in the Recession?

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 watched the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning and one of the guests was Gareth Malone. You will know him as the Choirmaster whose television shows with schoolchildren and of course the Military Wives have been extremely successful. He was reviewing the papers and the discussion on the programme turned to the preponderance of costume dramas in the television schedules. Mr. Malone made one extremely interesting point thus – at this time people want to see heart-warming programmes such as The Choir, Call the Midwife, Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey and that if we looked at schedules from a decade ago it was very different. The participants discussed reality television and how programmes like the Choir were popular as they covered real people striving and succeeding more than those that focused on aggression and humiliation.

It started me thinking aout the feelgood factor. We are in a recession, cutting back on expenses and looking inwards rather than outwards. Many people have curtailed their social life as one of the easiest ways to save money. They will invite friends round rather than going to restaurants and will watch television instead of visiting the cinema. An impact of this is that more time will be spent watching the television, reading books, listening to music. So, is it true that we want comfort from these activities? I know I would rather watch, read, listen to something that will make me smile. Perhaps I am not alone; do people want distraction from more bad news and their worries about job losses getting very close to home? Take for instance the costume drama. Even though programmes like Call the Midwife look at poverty, poor housing and deprivation the core message is of support, doing good and warmth for your fellow man. Personally I loved it, the storylines were of their time and the acting was excellent (especially Miranda Hart, a woman with so many talents one could almost be jealous?). Oh yes, I do follow her on twitter:)

When I think back to previous economic booms what strikes me? Simple, the advertisements for credit coming at us through every commerical break plus the comedy shows with characters such as the Yuppie and, unforgettably, Loadsamoney by Harry Enfield. I wonder how many UK readers look back on Loadsamoney with fondness. I always admired Harry Enfield’s accurate capture of the boom zeitgeist; he was the essence of the 1980s with his ‘wonga’, those wads of cash he used to wave at audiences who lapped it all up. Personally, it made me squirm, the same way I want to cringe at The Office now. I can see the brains in the concept and the product but still want to hide behind a cushion if I watch it.

I see nothing wrong in wanting a feelgood factor in our lives. There are so many things to worry about; why not have some gentle escapism. But this makes me worry. If we are only look inwards we may miss what is happening to others in the wider world. One BBC news story on Sunday also caught my attention; stating that the charity sector is facing substantial cuts in funding from local and national Government. The report is being disputed, the Cabinet Office states it is a misrepresetation of the facts. I am not that bothered about one story that might be spin but am concerned that our inward focus could mean massively decreased public donations. I have said before and say again, people should take care of their families first. However, if there is a small amount available can we see a way where we let someone in need have a little too?

I want to think I could have a little less of this:-

If a child out there could have a little more of 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

March 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

When I Don’t Want to Write……

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 love blogging, I have been at this malarky for almost two years and have loved every minute. Well, perhaps not every minute. There are times when I struggle. Sometimes I lack inspiration. I know successful writers say you should put words down even when you aren’t in ‘that place’ but when I do I am always disappointed and trash the result. The other time I struggle is when I find the topic upsetting.

I read yesterday’s news about the latest Save the Children report on the risk that 500 million children could suffer from the long-term effects of malnutrition. Yes, this is a headline-grabbing figure meant to hit you between the eyes. Do people look at a figure like that and think no, that can’t be? I wonder. Would it be better that the figure was four hundred and ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine? Facetious perhaps but whatever figure is out there the story remains sadly the same.

We have a global recession, fact. We are seeing the impacts of this recession. Food and fuel prices rising and for most salaries not keeping pace with these increases. We see stories every day of families struggling in the developed world. It may be easy to dismiss stories of the previously affluent now struggling due to redundancy but isn’t it a sense of scale and expectation? You start to struggle when bills go up and you don’t have the income you had before. You must adjust and that adjustment is painful.

However, the sense of scale takes on a whole new level when you struggled before the recession hit. Poverty has levels of desperation. There can be enough food and shelter but nothing spare to give life joy. Hard but at least you survive? Then there is not quite enough, where to have enough food means some other necessity will be sacrificed; perhaps heat or shade. And then?  Then you get to the level where no matter what you do there isn’t enough to eat and what you have will not provide the nutrition to maintain good health. Beyond that lies starvation, not something any of us want to dwell on.

I have written before of my love of words. There are words that make me smile. Thrive is one of those words. Children should thrive. Those two words put together give me that mental image of toddlers taking their first steps with chubby baby cheeks and half a dozen white teeth showing as they smile. I know that sounds like a Hallmark card but that is the image in my head, baby curls and all.

There are words that I don’t like. Malnutrition is one. When you look up the definition of mal you get this – a combining form meaning “bad,” “wrongful,” “ill,” occurring originally in loanwords from French. Combine mal with nutrition and you get bad or ill-nourished. The effects of malnutrition are well-documented. Stunted growth and development leading to long-term poor health. An inability to fight disease thus shortening life expectancy, sometimes dramatically. Even when malnourished children reach adulthood they are more likely to live in poverty and so their children will suffer this same fate.

Lastly, we should not forget the ‘here and now’ effect of malnutrition. That is hunger. Not enough food and not enough nourishment from the food you have means that you never feel well. You exist with an ache that never goes away, it is there when you wake and is the last thing you feel before sleep. I have always believed that children need joy to thrive, that joy must be hard to come by when you exist with that ache……..

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 17, 2012 at 12:28 am Leave a comment


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