In The Long Run

The Grand National is a sporting date that has been followed by many for decades, whether you love it, hate it or believe it to be cruel, you can’t get away from the attention it is given every year. And this event often inspires people that hardly ever gamble to take a punt, and that adds to the excitement of this multi horse race.

rrWe are not talking thousands of pounds and few annul gamblers place the rent money on an outsider, but hopefully only what they can afford to lose, which unfortunately invariably you will. The bookmakers environment, although has changed over the years, does still daunt some when entering. A far reach from the smoke filled cramped rooms of yesteryear, the modern turf accountant premises gives you a bright welcoming area in which to “buy” their products, easy to read instructions and normally helpful staff who undoubtedly can spot the once yearly customer in a heartbeat.

Not everyone enjoys the atmosphere or thrill of the “sport of Kings” and over the years it has had it’s share of controversy over alleged cruelty and false starts, but rest assured the biggest winners of the day are bookies, because I’ve never seen one riding a bicycle.

Negative Advertising

Although my door is adorned with signs asking not to be included in the myriad of junk mail that is frequently on offer, I often still get it, and if I am about at the time, I remind those responsible that I do not care for this particular type of letterbox invasion.

Generally, I am met with a lethargic response in a accent of foreign shores, and sometimes squeeze an apathetic apology from the unsuspecting canvasser. But today that all changed when I received a foul mouthed tirade from someone spreading the news of a pizza shop under new management.

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This time when I objected, I was met with some objectionable behaviour and what appeared to be the only English language our European friend knew and could pronounce, which was clearly not taught at a citizen class at evening school. Quite astounded I withdrew and returned indoors to review my options in response to this assault on my ears, the council, although sympathetic, could do little, the police recorded an incident under the public order act, but I expect to hear no more, and it was at this point I realised the enormity of this guys actions.

It had suddenly occurred to me that because of this attitude his whole day was a waste of time, no amount of posting leaflets will give you a return on bad manners, and for every shiny mailshot distributed there will be ten families that will hear from word and mouth of the poor staff choices made by this apparent fledgling company.

Feeding National Pride

Food banks are becoming more and more common in the UK, helping struggling families to meet a basic standard of living, and I am embarrassed that we should need them. These charities are kept running by either a sterling donation or one of food directly, with support from the public, some supermarkets and local churches, and quite apart from fixing the problem, politicians are more than happy to pose for the camera supporting their great work.

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In order to qualify for this support, generally, you have to be referred by an agency or such like, social services, Doctors and in some cases the Church. On arrival you are given up to 5 days of food stuffs in relation to the size of family in question, in some cases clothes and footwear are offered, which have also been donated. We are reminded daily by media puppets and their parliament string pullers, of the benefits culture, but some of these families are just low wage earners, who are quite literally working themselves into poverty.

Historically governments have treated the poor and the reliant with an appalling attitude, entire families in workhouses, orphans shipped off to countries in need of labour, and asylums locking away the mentally fragile, and yes, all this in the 20th century. Hopefully the mistakes of the past will not be repeated in this century and to provide help where it is needed domestically before outpouring our resources to the rest of the planet.

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The War On Want

Although I’m totally aware of food banks, I’m embarrassed that we need them.
I am about to embark on a journey of discovery into the budgets and the food available within the governments standards of living.

This will include price comparisons and recipes, both now and in the ration nation that we may have to become again!

Travellers Rest

Two hours, yes 2 painful hours, that is what it has taken me to travel my usual six miles into work for my night-shift. An area that relies on the motorway to free up local traffic burst in to complete chaos when it was closed for the best part of the day and night.

carnMy emotions were thrown into survival mode, so while creeping along at a snails pace, planning to circumnavigate the countryside in order to be smarter than the guy behind me, I began taking stock of any supplies I may have in my temporary home, mints, chocolate or any liquid available since the last event? Hoping my full bladder holds out, whilst looking for any utensil that would make an emergency potty and realising it would be a very public affair had I have to use it. Not to mention my ageing car and the new smells and noises coming from it, praying all the time that I will be saved the humiliation of a steaming or smoky breakdown.

And in the ongoing furore that resembled a scene from the pages of history and the evacuation of a large City, you are reminded that a life has been lost in the carnage that preceded, and that I was able to return home or work, a little late, but alive.

Return To Sender

Tearing open the parcel that had arrived for me, I quickly realised it was the item I had ordered from the on-line auction site Ebay only days before, a very specialised piece of equipment that I will not bore you with details of. After checking everything was just so, I continued to read the invoice and what I thought were shipping/specifications/instructions, so, imagine my disbelief when I discovered the dreaded junk mail.

ebaywThe very thing that manages to instantly upset me and something I have dedicated my life to preventing, well maybe that’s a little extreme, but nether the less still annoying. The vendor of said object had taken their time to carefully pack the instrument for dispatch adding not one but three unrelated mail shots in the packaging, it is not as though they were advertising the goods they have on offer, but those of another company.

Armed with my new found knowledge of UPVC windows and an internet casino site, which I have need of neither, I decided that I would take action in the form of sending them back directly and to broadcast my opinions on the auction feed back forum. A slight strong you may think, but, if they are being paid to distribute these leaflets in the outgoing orders, then it may effect business if somebody were to highlight this.

Caveat venditor, seller beware.