Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…
This week I’ve been back at my place of work, masked up and doing bits and bobs while we prepare for the return of customers. There’s always something to do and it beats having to mooch about the house all day. Being in Durham is always a good alternative to Tynemouth, with each place having it’s benefits. Here I can interact with my neighbours. While on the coast, although they are friendly, as I’ve been living there “only” five years I’m still not a local and never will be. Last summer I was having a bit of a stretch before an evening run, on the lawned area that is in front of our houses. This is used by the residents for meetings such as a barbecue or tennis. One of the elderly folk from the top end of the terrace came over and started shouting at me. “Hey there, I say, I say, yes you, what are you doing there? That’s for residents only, I’ll call the police”. I went over and said I was a resident, introducing myself and holding out my hand. He looked me up and down. “Well I’ve never seen you”, he harrumphed, and wandered off. He still wont acknowledge me when I pass him and say hello.
Of course you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I was in the empty pool, scrubbing the walls, when somebody turned off my music I had playing over the PA system. It wasn’t on at any great volume. The new desk girl, a grumpy young woman who has the job only as she is seeing one of the gym bunnies, peered down and said it was bothering her boyfriend in the gym. I can’t see how as they have their own system, but hey, I was nearly finished. I started singing. Cue her appearing again and asking if I could be quiet. I can see us getting along…
It was nice to be able to have some sort of normality. At some point all of this commotion will go away and we will slowly forget it, or at least put it to the back of our minds. I’ve had the pool to myself all week after cleaning and maintenance, ploughing up and down..well you have to test it, don’t you? I can’t wait until it’s full of other people, the kids screaming, the elderly in their own lane complaining that their hair is getting wet, the cafe running out of cakes..
Hymn number 112, I will sing, I will sing
There have been quite a few folk in the emails telling me that I’m lucky to have money, wishing they didn’t have to work, why do I do it ..all of that stuff. “I’ve got to go to work tomorrow but you don’t have that problem”, being a thing I get quite often. One or two in online chat have said the same thing. I can only apologise. No, I don’t have to go to work. No, I don’t have money worries. I choose to go to work, does that make me a bad person? Would you rather I lounged about and became one of these people you see being famous and rich because they are famous and rich? I cant think of the name now, but some American woman that has never worked a day in her life, walks around with a dog under her arm.. Someone like her? If you know why my finances are the way they are then I take it you know the reason they are like that? Are you jealous? Please don’t be. I can’t do anything about your personal finances or situation. If I help one I’ve got to help all. Ellie refuses all help I offer her. This week she’s moved to Los Angeles for a six month job, before she comes home. Her apartment there looks horrible, but she wont let me pay for a better one. It was the same in Houston.
Here in the UK this week, the DWP, the government department that deals with benefits, prosecuted a mother and her daughter for fraud. They were claiming benefit and at the same time were accepting donations online, in response to a heartbreaking story about not being able to eat or pay the bills. A story is all it was. When asked why they did it, they responded that they wanted nice things and didn’t want to work. Sorry, but that’s not the way it is. Generous folk donate to these things all of the time, and a good chunk of the people receiving the cash are screwing the system for as much as they can get. Tommy Robinson and his far right chums do this grifting all of the time. “Help our cause”, they’ll say, when in reality you’re just funding their lavish lifestyle.
A fool and his money are easily parted has been a saying for at least 400 years, and it’s as true now as ever. The internet has made it so easy to be fooled into giving to a cause that is a scam.
Hymn number 555, Can We Calculate Our Giving?
Every Saturday morning, if I’m in Tynemouth, I take a walk along the beach and pick up litter. There may be the remnants of a party, bits of rope and lines from fishing vessels, cotton buds. They all go into a Sports Direct bag, rubbish into rubbish then! I can’t think of a better thing for an Ashley bag to be doing. There are always plastic bottles as well, the Evian type. Time and again we’ve had it proven that our tap water is perfectly fine to drink, in some cases better than bottled water, yet the easily fooled public still buy it. I suspect that one of the reasons is image. I’ve a metal water bottle that I carry around with me at all times, topped up from whatever source I’m near, be that my home, a tap in a park, etc. The trendies though, they have to be seen sipping from a branded bottle, “Look at me, I’m hip”. Not so hip that you take your plastic home then recycle though, numpty. Our councils don’t make it easy of course, each having their own stance on what can and cannot be recycled. I stopped using bottled shampoo and conditioner last year, switching to a bar for both. My hair is better for it, too.
Last week I half-filled the bag, mostly with plastic bottles. I take it home, sort out what can be given to the council in the recycling bin and what can’t. You’d be surprised at some of the bottle’s origins, we get a bit from Norway as well as the Netherlands and Denmark. I find the rare dead seabird too, wrapped in fishing line. We’re fucking up the planet, but you’ve GOT to have the bottled water.
You know what you get if you reverse Evian, don’t you?
Ite Missa est.
May your god go with you.
29th of February, 2021