How Was It For You?

Now that our doorways are safe from grinning politicians, our letterboxes from reams of “Printed on recycled paper” leaflets and headlines are slowly returning to hamster eating puns, we can raise our heads and take a look forward into the unknown.pol

For regardless of whether the “General Election 2015” resulted in how you would favour, this is how it is going to be for the next half decade. Again, rights and wrongs of the election process are brought into question, causing the cloud of politics to loom over us a little longer and speculation into the honesty of the incumbent government will no doubt rage on.

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But, rest assured you are not likely to see your “New” M.P until they require your vote once more, so, sit back and enjoy the journey and maybe, just maybe we can continue our daily lives without a stakeboard telling us what to do.

Wait Watchers Soup

How are you coping with the daily diet of politics at breakfast, dinner and for tea? If you have managed to avoid it then I applaud you, but alas most of us mortals are living in a snow cone of blinding false facts and untruths, these of course used to be called lies, as with everything, did not meet the criteria of our hopeful candidates.

polWatching these events constantly are the world media, producing a full menu of flowcharts, graphs and polls, and we are slowly becoming numb to any revelations in this mudslinging to and thro banquet of hypocrisy, when the reality is we have already made up our minds regardless of any new titbits that is revealed to us among the feeding frenzy for the top job.

Our only saving grace is that we have not long to go, and although they are bound for the final push, our thresholds will soon be safe from that smiling, baby kissing and reassuring member of parliament, who undoubtedly you will not see for another half decade.

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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Britain-Back To The Drawing Board

When you look back to the 1950’s and 60’s it would be impossible to imagine that our economy today could sustain such a lifestyle, with station masters on train platforms, a Matron on every hospital ward and Police houses dotted around our countryside, of course then we lived in a nationalised Britain, but is that why we suffer today?

brStreamlining and consolidation are words that we have come to define as cuts, and these are to be made on the only industries that remain in the public domain, health, education and policing, all else was sold to private companies in order streamline and consolidate our transport system, electricity, gas and water, leaving us with a pot full of money, but no revenue.

And the money has gone and we are left to pick up the cost of privatisation, whilst supporting those very companies with tax breaks and other subsidies. So now you would be hard pressed to find a porter on a platform, a Matron in ten wards and the police have to move in to fire stations or supermarket broom cupboards to save money, while boardrooms get more crowded.

Perhaps a simplistic view, but, maybe that is what is needed, to take a step back and look at our situation from a child’s perspective, we may discover a few answers or at least realise you have to work from the top first.

Pave The Way (The Final)

Google maps

Google maps

It is with great delight and gusto that I report that Eastleigh Borough Council have seen the light, engaged some common sense and have finally repaired a set of steps that could have caused injury, within only weeks of being notified. A triumph for the pedestrian users of the once unsafe and bedraggled path blighting their shopping area. But lets just save the victory dance for a while whilst we analyse what has been achieved.

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As you may or may not know, I decided to track the progress of a report of a crumbling stairway in the public domain, So I set about this journey using the official routes and directions, It soon became apparent that ownership of this piece of land was in some kind of legal limbo, and EBC were refusing to repair it regardless of their duty of care, which they also disputed.

Before

A battle of words ensued with various people of varying status within the halls of power, all of whom would impress upon me their unwillingness to provide their parishioners with adequate footings, other than a vain attempt to exclude the area with barriers. I did however manage to become somewhat of an irritant, perhaps only outdone by a well known laxative chocolate, and caused slight discomfort among our peers in a position of power that we gave them.

You must understand that I am fully aware that I was not the only person on this trail for clarity and safety, so I will not take all credit for a well produced result for local inhabitants, but I will reiterate that the powers to be had great reluctance in acting upon it, also my belief is that in the meantime an injury was sustained at this spot, which may have prompted action sooner than it would have.

So safe in the knowledge that the people of Hamble are once again safe from suffering, I will fall back into the shadows until stirred again and say my farewells to all my new friends like Mr Bright of the EBC.

pv2pv1pvFor the full in depth story, scroll down and start from the beginning.

 

Emergency Costs

Leaving the house to take the wife to the Doctors to have her painful wrist looked at, I was unaware of the events of the next 6 hours or the further education into human behaviour I was about to receive. It was 10.40am and I had barely risen from mid holiday slumber when I was throwing on clothes before leaving the house with a mouthful of coffee as my only sustenance. Typically the surgery was running behind, but of course you try to remain as calm as possible, although being the one not seeing the G.P. is slightly more frustrating, but we were seen 40 minutes later than planned.

Walking back into the waiting area my wife of 25 years informs me that we were required to go to the emergency unit of our local hospital, the obvious “but why” questions followed, but it was not in any doubt we would be going. A detour to a newsagent to pick up supplies for this appointment with the unknown, the long wait was prepared for.

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Thankfully the kindness of a friend close by meant that we did not have the parking costs of today’s modern cash poor NHS, which we are all aware of. Strolling in to a mid-week accident department with a note from our Doctor in hand, I noticed a distinct lack of of the bustle you might expect, but this was no Friday night out on the town. We take a seat and prepare for our ears to be pricked by the sound of our name being called, and it was surprisingly short, not in time for me to spend the equivalent of the national minimum wage on 2 cups of vending machine coffee.

I stay behind in the waiting area, so the medical team can prod and poke unhindered, and this is where my journey into the world of humanity began. Using a people watching skill that I have only recently discovered, the next hour was about to be entertaining to say the least. A steady stream of “spot the diagnosis” came through the door, the hopping on one foot, the tea towel being held to the head and the sporadic vomiting teen were all in attendance, all being watched by the glare of the patient that had been waiting the longest.

When all of a sudden, from the wards appears a hospital gown clad, gaunt and painful female figure heading for the exit, and being aware that smoking is obviously not allowed, assumed that is where this skeletal figure was heading. It was at this point that I realised that the only piece of material protecting what was left of her modesty, wasn’t, and she wore an awkwardly placed dressing bridging the buttocks, and she could not have cared any less who was seeing it, and it was the same moments later when she returned. This pattern continued for quite some time, however it quickly became evident it was against the wishes of the medical staff and shortly thereafter she was dressed and leaving for the last time, well, for today at least.

I returned home through rush hour and roadwork traffic at 6.30pm without my spouse, who it appears had to be given treatment overnight, although, when I returned to collect her the following day, I was better prepared for what I was about to or may have seen.

 

Borough Score Again

After approving the building of a 37 three storey complex for the retirement housing firm McCarthy and Stone, Eastleigh borough council have surpassed stupidity. It has come to our attention that planning permission has been refused for an extension to the house next door to this imminent landmark on the basis that it would impose on their original neighbours, whose house incidentally has been demolished to make room for the luxury apartments.

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So the caring council will allow the development of an area that was previously the size of a 5 bed house and car park to become a home for potentially 64 people to reside, yet a bigger kitchen and bathroom for a family of four is unacceptable.

It has also been reported that a verbal agreement with the building firm and the resident, who can look forward to months of disruption, has been broken by the company, agreed placements have been removed. This has led to a breakdown in trust and the home owner has vowed to continue his plans to use an area that will be overlooked for purposes to the detriment of the new flat owners. Committed to staying with-in the law, the owner of the property has hinted that he will become a less than perfect neighbour.

Once built the housing will actually have a minimal effect on the already well used road, although, while building commences it really will be a “No Go Zone”, and it is very much hoped that the local shopping area has it’s promenade pavement improved before the elderly “cash cows” take a tumble in the exact precinct that councillors are refusing to repair.