Monthly Archives: July 2013


Many thanks to Victoria Ellis for inspiration.

What is a celebrity?

The dictionary tells us it is:

noun (plural celebrities)

  • a famous person, especially in entertainment or sport:he became a sporting celebrity[as modifier]:a celebrity chef
  •  [mass noun] the state of being well known:his prestige and celebrity grew

So, we must assume that programmes featuring ‘celebrities’ would feature people that we have all heard of or seen before. But no. Who are they? I’ll have to look them up online to find out.


And if I don’t know who they are, Mr. Whinge would be even more clueless. He actually asked me who Charlotte Church was tonight. The man lives in a vacuum.


More senseless news

What has the news brought us today then?

  • A school refusing to sell a parent’s cupcakes at a cake sale  because she didn’t have a Food Hygiene Certificate.
  • Parking on double yellow lines.
  • Charging people £1200 to go to a tribunal if they feel they’ve been unfairly dismissed.
  • One of my favourite stores banning its employees from joining a union (so I’ll not be shopping there again!)
  • A teacher jailed for having pornographic images of children and images of bestiality.
  • A ‘Superhead’ accused of deal fixing.
  • NHS pulling out of 111 because it is not financially viable.

It is official.

The world really has gone mad.

A world of greed and lies and ridiculous bureaucracy.

A world where compensation is King.

A world where rules can be bent or ignored completely.

A world where ordinary people just don’t matter any more.

Dare to Care

I hate to see items on the news about elderly people being abused at the hands of those charged with their care. I know there are so many facets to these stories but the end result is still horrifying. We will all be old one day and who knows how old age will change us? We might be physically fit but mentally unstable or be very much aware but with failing bodies. Whatever fate throws our way, most of us will have to rely on someone in our later years.

As I went through my forties I was determined that I would not care for elderly parents. The whole thought of it filled me with horror. But we change. I watched my father go through the system, paying his way (and in the process using up over £200 000 of his hard earned assets) and watching the gradual decline in the facilities and attention he was given day-by-day. I’ve blogged about this before so won’t repeat myself. Eventually, as he lost weight and became more frail, we took the huge decision to pool resources with him, buy a bigger house and move him in with us. It was an easier decision for me than my husband. I think it is harder to accept an in-law under your roof whereas there is a sort of  sense of ‘duty’ in looking after your own parent.

Naturally, my dad was delighted to live in a real home with family popping in and out all the time, a cat and a dog keeping him company throughout the day, help with personal care and food tailored to his personal taste. As his full-time carer my concerns about the role have been pretty much unfounded. There have been moments of course, but generally things have gone quite well. Probably the hardest part is the feeling of being tied down, checking the clock for mealtimes, not being able to accept invitations from friends and structuring the day around someone else’s needs. There is plenty of support out there if you ask for it and we are lucky that dad is financially secure should we need to buy in some care as his health deteriorates.

We need to think about a holiday but this throws up challenges and lots of ‘what ifs?’  I know it is only right that we have a break but I do worry about what sort of care he will receive while we are away. In my experience, most carers in homes are really good -especially considering the miserable wages they receive.  But it is also my feeling that as hard as they work, many homes do not have enough staff to see to people’s needs and that elderly people often wait a long time for their press of the bell to be answered.

Wherever we choose for dad while we’re away, it has an awful feeling of ‘putting granddad in the kennels’.


What a refreshing change to hear something worth celebrating on the news today. Those who regularly read my Whinges will know that I despise those companies who exploit people in dire need. I also feel that the Church of England has lost its way in these modern times. So how brilliant was it to hear the thoughts of Justin Welby this morning? His idea is to aim to put Wonga out of business through competition. So, the Church of England would use the power of credit unions to help those in financial difficulty so they don’t have to turn to companies that charge exorbitant interest rates. Well, that gets my vote!

The Church of England holds massive quantities of estate. Huge tracts of land in this country are owned by the Church, as well as some pretty stunning buildings. Financially, it must be pretty sound. If some of that money could be used to help those in need via financial help, personal advice and support and maybe even food banks, what an amazing thing that would be.  I’m pretty sure that the Church would soon find itself becoming more popular rather than being viewed as some out-of-date fuddy-duddy organisation.

I don’t agree with everything Justin Welby says but I think he is very much in touch with the world today and seems a lovely man. We need more people like him in the world.

Meantime, in my lovely little ideal world, I wonder what the knock-on effect of such ideas might be? Could we be seeing football shirt sponsorship like this in the future? Now how good would that be?


Unbelievable Stupidity

Today I popped out to Argos to pick up a new steam cleaner. On the way back, approaching some traffic lights, a new little scooter was ambling in front of me so I slowed down rather than overtake it in case the lights changed. The first thing that struck me was that this ‘more mature’ gentleman was not wearing a crash helmet. The lights had changed and this left me right behind him waiting for a green light. I spotted a face in his wing mirrors and could scarcely believe my eyes. Not only was he on a motor scooter with no protective gear on at all, but he had a tiny little girl sitting in front of him on the seat. He was out on a busy main road with no helmet, no arm or leg protection and a small child up front!

I wish now I had taken his number and reported him for endangering such a little life, but I was so shocked that I didn’t have time to do so.

Even at my mature stage of life, there are still things that shock me right on my own doorstep.


Not just any cars. Those cars that really ought to be owned by farmers or construction teams but are owned by posh people to show how important they are. The ones with 4 wheel drive that simply do the school run, cluttering up the parking spaces in nearby streets. The ones that go as far as the shopping centre and come back full of carrier bags from ‘Debenhams’ or ‘Jimmy Choo’. The ones that are designed for off-road or extreme conditions but sit on the smart drive next to the immaculately manicured garden for most of the day. The ones that have ridiculously low fuel economy but it really doesn’t matter because when you drive a £30 000+ car you can afford to put fuel in it.

The ones that pull out in front of you, whether they have the right of way or not, because the owners are clearly much more important than you.


This morning we wake up to the news that the Royal Baby is on the way. I have nothing against the Royal Family and the arrival of any new baby is an exciting event. My whinge is that of the media coverage of such an event and I know from my twitter feed this morning that I am not on my own.

I have been watching BBC Breakfast but I am sure that whatever your chosen morning news coverage medium is, you will have had the same sort of sycophantic rubbish bombarding your ears. There will be no further announcements until the baby is born and the Queen has been informed. So why are we having to endure the updates every few minutes from the front door of the Lindo Wing? There’s even a livestream of the front door if you look for it online. What sort of idiot is going to sit there for 10, 18, 24, 36 hours, watching for someone to appear holding an envelope and then driving off in a car?

It gets worse. Let’s now talk to an obstetrician about what will be happening to a new mother as she books in to the birthing unit. Noooooo! Most of us know first hand what happens. Actually, for those of us who aren’t royal, we’d be sent home with Paracetamol and told to come back when the contractions were two minutes apart or something.

Today might be a day to avoid all forms of media and go and do something else. Not out of any disrespect to the Royal couple and their impending birth, but to avoid the boredom and inanity of the news that there is no news.

Washing lines

I recently bought a retractable washing line. It is a useful thing to have I suppose as there are times when you want to dry or air items outside in the fresh air. I have used it a couple of times but have to confess I am a bit disappointed with the experience.

I know I shouldn’t constantly use the tumble drier as I should be caring for the environment more and being more frugal with my energy use. But it is so easy and the clothes come out smelling divine and feeling soft and fluffy.

I put a load of washing out last week. It was a hot day with a light breeze – perfect drying conditions, I thought. They swayed around for most of the day, making the garden look very untidy. I took them in late afternoon (unlike some of my neighbours who seem to leave them out for days) and stuck my nose in the washing basket, expecting to smell fresh air and sunshine. They actually didn’t smell very pleasant at all. Moreover, they still felt a touch damp. How could that be?

I duly ironed them and left them to air but have to confess I felt a bit let down by the whole experience. By choice, I would use the tumble drier every time.

I’m sure my grandchildren would enjoy a blanket thrown over the washing line as a play tent though.


I hate it when things get spoilt. We moved into our new house last year and it was perfect. All the walls were perfect. All the floors were perfect. The driveway was perfect. I loved it, living in my perfect house.

Visitors came. That was lovely too.

But did they have to park on and leave patches of oil on my perfect drive??

Anyone know a good way to get oil drips off a previously perfect drive?


We all have them. We may not even realise we have one but it could well be that yours annoys someone near and dear but they just wont tell you. In my time, I’ve met a few. You may well be able to add to the list!

The throat clearer

The hair flicker

The leg wobbler

The nose picker

The nail biter

The one who keeps saying ‘Erm…’

The one who uses your name in every sentence

The one who finishes your sentence for you

Habits are so hard to shake off. Especially if you don’t know what yours are!