UNITED OR BRITAIN UNTIED?

A furore, an uproar, or, a diaphanous truth? Judy Murray, yes, that one, mum of Scottish tennis players Andy and Jamie Murray, was out shopping on the other side of the Scottish border. I don’t know exactly where, but it was certainly well south somewhere in the shire of England

Judy Murray tendered a Scottish £10 note in payment for her purchase. The note was refused with the explanation that only British notes were accepted! Nice one……So much for the political crie de coeur about this sceptered isle being united.

Scottish bank notes do have a national developmental history. In addition, their ‘differences’ are indicated by the name of the bank that has issued them and designs they depict. However, they are legal tender. The English notes are similarly individualised. At the risk of being seen as partial here, and I assure you, I am not, I have never had a English bank note refused anywhere in Scotland for payment of services or goods. Even the banks in Scotland will disburse English bank notes as well as Scottish ones. I have though, had Scottish bank notes refused in England.

There is a parliamentarian trying to smooth out the ‘ethnic’ spending differences that have now been well publicised, which, arise when the Scots grace the shire of England with their presence and their money.


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AND SO WITH A SMILEY….

I felt guilty about posting my bits of relative trivia when there are so many seriously, serious life events unfolding all around me. I don’t mean navel-gazing, though if you think about it, with the various muddles and crises going on in our own back yard here in the UK, it would be very easy to navel-gaze and shut out the rest of the world.  The ‘life must go on’ adage keeps popping into my head, paradoxically, adding to my hesitation to write. I do not really have any idea what writer’s block is. I assume that it would be different for every writer and maybe, this is mine.  Ho hum.

 

Am I okay to say I wrapped up the first Christmas parcel for 2019 a couple weeks ago; or, a visit to my dentist left me with neck-ache! I’m seeing him again tomorrow.  Also, I have been following Deacon Gilly’s Lenten determination to place negativity on the shelf in ‘my daily doings’. That’s proving to be a hard one, much more than I expected it to be. The corollary is working through it and to see and hear things that lift my spirits through the more positive spirits of others. What about, “I whistle a happy tune so no-one will suspect…’, except, people would run a mile hearing me try to whistle.  Better still, where I live, people make eye contact and smile at one another in greeting; you don’t have to know them. (There are the exceptions). However, just wandering around and sharing smiles I find can be uplifting.

So, with a smiley….TTFN    🙂

 

JUST ANOTHER WAIT

We are sorry, we are ever so busy with a high volume of calls. Your wait could be up to twenty-five minutes“.  Sub text: it is a late evening call- they do say they are contactable up till 10pm -and what the recorded message probably means, is, that there is a skeleton staff working. I half wish this was entirely true, but, I have to admit, I have waited on occasion equally as long and much longer during usual daytime business hours, whichever department I tapped through the menus to contact.

The digital  auto message voice is quite nice; the heavy metal noise has been replaced by something with two or three repetitive music phrases that it is possible to switch your ears off from while you think about things. Tonight, I promised myself I will not wait twenty-five minutes. I bet though, if I phone tomorrow morning, there will be a repeat performance. (Sigh).

Just For Me

Nearly fifteen minutes in, I have disconnected the phone. Just as well I am able to call with a freephone (toll free) number.

HOT SPOONING AND HAGGIS

It was so cold this morning, I knew we were going to have a bright day. In January, any year, brightness for the shorter daylight hours we have, is very welcome.

But…..

With a number of warm layers on, yet not really feeling cosy at my core, Madame M felt the desire for comfort food for breakfast. Not so good. I treated myself to a complete half pint pack of a hot spooning ‘drink’ in a glass called Salep.

Tonight we are digging into a haggis with clapshot. (More comfort food, if it grabs your fancy).  It will be accompanied  by some carrots from the garden.

Tomorrow is another day…one where M must gain the upper hand on foodie temptations and offset what will have been digested today!

Things Competed And Pushed Them Out

It was redesigned two years ago, and easier to tend.  A satisfying host of blooms  appeared on perky and bushy perennials during July through till October, weather permitting. It was not a perfect arrangement of nature’s beauty, but then, what is?  I saw where a bit of tweaking would work, but, left well alone, so the redesigned floral corner had a chance to settle.

img_0822

Crocosamia-left sight of Whitebeam trunk

You plant Lupins to see them do you not.  The first year I had a wonderful array of them in every conceivable colour. I was proud of the the Lupins because I had planted the seed pods  filched, [harvested] from a relative. Truth be told, other bushy things competed with them and pushed the Lupins out of the way.

P1000283-Tidied-Euphorbia-Wb

Picture is pre- new design

I was hoping this year to see the original UK bluebells bulbs planted last autumn.  It is very unlikely now. I wonder if my adorable Gentian Violet and my Primroses will revive. The only plants unaffected, I think and I hope, will be my brightly coloured Oriental Lilies.  I have drooled over their vivid  loveliness in full bloom and basked in compliments of people who stopped to admire them. (This one is a dead ringer for one of mine!)

macro shot of red and yellow flower

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the recent storms, a White-Beam tree keeled over,and as it heaved over,  its trunk and branches thumped everything in its path; the roots made a great job of lifting everything in their wake. ( In the pictures you can get a  peep of the lower tree trunk).  Yes, the storms were fierce, so fierce that local people could not remember anything quite like it in their collective living memories.

ShOrT And SwEeT

Short and sweet. Cut first finger is a nuisance, I have to type carefully and still get extra letters that finger wadding types and I do nogt….just like that.

Finger Dressing (This is a previous weird and wonderful medical dressing on one of my other digits from 2013).

I digress.

A comment arrived on a post I vaguely remembered.  I traced  the post back to 2014!  The  comment did not make any sense. I can and will ignore it, but, I am not sure if I can delete the comment, though I would like to.  I have no inclination or intention to find out who or what authored the words.

In another time and another space I might have been flattered about the  longevity of my random ideas and thoughts.  🙂

WEST TO EAST AND EAST TO WEST

I think, Yes, I am pretty sure, I have sorted all the festive mailings, both terrestrial and cyber. I do know I haven’t yet hovered over the Eastern Orthodox Christmas greetings for January. A few friends who do celebrate it, seem very happy to be greeted twice, from west to east and east to west.

My cards, packing and parcelling were started later than usual. I really do like to have a couple of weeks total breathing space from it before the actual festivities. I have kind of caught up but, it has been too intensive for me. The energy of youth is not in its first bloom from where I am sitting.

Storm Deidre barrelled through here and was extraordinarily bad from Saturday afternoon and also fearsome throughout the night. There will have been major disruption. 

The idea of relaxing in the calm after the storm, (literally) and what felt like Mrs Clause’ marathon without the assistance helpful wee elves, is not easy to adjust to. I must accept that I can give myself permission to sit and read my neglected books. Yay!!!

 

🙂

 

 

MAYBE THE RELATIVES IN AUSTRALIA CAN DO IT…

Understand, that I am truly grateful for the health service’ existence. I have never begrudged the National Health Contribution,( additional taxation) I believed I paid towards the service during my years of working life. It turns out though, it was a massive ponsy scheme that was allowed by successive governments and over decades. The National Insurance my generation paid was used for previous spends and not as future National Insurance.  Payment was deducted direct from earnings, before we received our wages, which payment, we were told, was for our generation.

I have been disturbed for a some years by the standards that vital services, including the health and safety of the nation, are being manipulated to descend to.  How do you succinctly describe what I have just been told, first hand. Sadly, similar stories are happening throughout the UK, this country that has some great professionals fighting a rear guard action working in an impossibly contracting National Health Service.

A lively 86 year old widow, living alone, was shipped by ambulance as an emergency to the main hospital, 120 miles along difficult roads. It’s a journey of about three hours minimum, if there are no travel problems en route. The widow had been unable to move and was in extreme pain. Paramedics called the doctor after one and a half hours of working with the lady at her home. Her domestic circumstances were passed on to hospital staff by the paramedical escort and the referring doctor.

A week later the widow was asking Occupational Therapy staff, (OTS) about going home. They had been waiting on news about the installation of support equipment outside and inside her home, they said, including an extra handrail up a steep staircase   The job had been completed two days before. No communication there then.

Next day she was told by OTS: You’re going at 11am…. Going where? She asked. ……Going home. …..How? All I’ve got is my nightie,slippers and dressing gown that I came in.  Can anyone bring clothes in for you? ……Ring Australia and see if the relatives, (her next of kin) there can help, she replied. It raised a laugh. Can you sit on a chair asked OTS? …I think so. …Right, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll get you a chair and, we’ll make sure there is someone to settle you in at home.  Luckily, another patient was being taken home by ambulance, so, the two shared the transport part of the way and the poor driver had  an unexpected very long return journey.

There was no-one to settle the widow into a very cold house. (No-one had been contacted ). Her hospital bag of requirements was dropped off in the middle of her sitting room and she was left to her own devices.

 

MIGHTY TOLERANCE

I came across a fascinating snippet of history in the letters page of a U3A magazine, (University Of The Third Age) which, led me to delving a bit deeper.

1685 is a significant date in English Parliamentary history. It was the beginning of manoeuvres to obtain monarchical change. Three years later, in 1688, change was consolidated with the Roman Catholic Stuart King, James II of England and Ireland, (James VII Scotland) being deposed by what is known as The Glorious Revolution. James was the last Roman Catholic monarch in England, Scotland and Ireland.

King James II of England and Ireland. James VII Scotland

James’ Protestant son-in law William Of Orange from the Netherlands and his wife Mary were invited by Parliament to replace him. History as taught, says that James was troublesome. History also states James’ replacement was welcomed, [by Parliament and other powerful interests]; but it was mainly welcomed because it ensured a protestant succession.

William Of Orange

In an area called Beaconsfield, in the county of Buckinghamshire, which is, today,  within easy reach of London UK, there is the original Quaker Meeting House, built in 1688, the year James II was deposed. Quakers had met in the locality since 1659 and risked having their meetings disrupted.

The year before he was deposed, 1687, James II managed to issue a Declaration Of Indulgence. He had been battling  over this with Parliament for much of his relatively short reign. The Declaration gave The Quakers the right to worship freely. Roman Catholics, Jews and Moslems were given the same rights. The Declaration extended tolerance to all to practice their faiths, not just to James’ particular religious preferences, and says the writer of the snippet, “It was the act of a tolerant king”.

It would be justified to say that a prime reason for the English Parliament’s removal of James Stuart, was because of their fears about Roman Catholic Monarchs linking once more to the determinations of the Papacy and its representatives. Therefore, deposing James ensured that the English Parliament, from then on, was established as the ruling power in England.