Family

I find that the importance of family is no longer as strong as it used to be or in my opinion as strong as it should be. A family can offer such a strong support system, yet rather than encourage the family unit, the government actually discourages it.

If you are a single parent you have increased benefits from the government such as extra finances and more points to gain a council house. If you live with your extended family, you get nothing.

You watch TV and see programs where people sell their family heirlooms to go on a holiday or because they want the latest TV or for some other materialistic item! It makes me wonder how little people appreciate their family.

Personally, I believe that family is important. It offers me emotional security and a support system. I really could not manage without my family. It is bad when people do not have family but when people chose to shun their family… that is sad.

I have been passed down family heirlooms and they mean the world to me. And although I may never have personally known my great grand mother, having a keepsake of hers, like a silver locket or photograph, gives me that connection to her. As for my children, they have been named after family members. I feel it is a small sign of respect to the people who made me who I am and helped in my children’s upbringing. My father always said, “a child’s education begins 20 years before they are born”. It took me many years to understand it. But essentially it means that the child’s future will be a result of her previous ancestors!

Like them or not… family are part of you… and should be respected. You cannot hope to respect yourself if you cannot respect your family!

Love is…

“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.” Victor Frankl

Love is the most intense of emotions and sometimes it is true that you can only grasp someone’s true being through loving them. However, Love is Blind is also known to be true!

Japanese Proverb

“When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.” Japanese Proverb

Sometimes people can fool you into making you think they are different to what they really are. I find that if you are not sure what to make of someone, you can easily form an opinion based on their choice of friends. I find that family also says alot about a person. But you know the saying, you can choose your friends but not your family. So personally between both their friends and family, you can easily asses a persons true character!

Victimisation

Crime is terrible not just for the crimes committed but for the victimisation that goes hand in hand with it.

I was pregnant when my house was broken into and we were robbed. What was not taken was damaged. They even stole our car and burnt it 4 hours later. The thieves were disappointed that all the boxes I had were paper work ready for storage, so they opened each box and scattered the papers. There were their footprints all over the papers. They were not afraid of getting caught. They found our alcohol and drank some. They even left half drunk open bottles.

Luck was on my side, as we were due to arrive from holiday the night we were robbed, but got delayed by a day. We would have probably been attacked if we were in the house when it happened. I was 7 months pregnant. Not something I want to imagine.

We arrived home at just after lunch time. We called the police. They asked us to remain off the property till they arrived. We waited in our car. One hour, Two Hours. We called them, they said they were on the way. Three Hours, Four Hours. We called again, after all I was 7 month pregnant and waiting in the car! We were told to go in and wait for them but to avoid touching anything.

The police turned up in the middle of the night! Admittedly, I gave them permission to come in the middle of the night, otherwise they would not have come until the next day. Needless to say, I did not sleep a wink that night. To date, I still don’t feel safe when in that house. We were lucky, we were moving. I cannot imagine just how horrifying it would be to constantly live with the feeling of lack of safety.

I was told to wait until they came to take fingerprints and to avoid touching anything. It took 3 days for them to come. Can you imagine being in your home and trying to touch nothing.

They took loads of stuff. Most covered by our insurance. Our insurance took longer to pay us that the time it takes to create a baby. Although the items were financially covered, anything with sentimental value can never be covered. The damage they caused was heartbreaking. Living in the mess they caused for 3 days was devastating.

To make matters worse, the detective tried to insinuate that we were somehow involved. Seriously. If I were ever to plan something so heinous, would I seriously do it while pregnant? I was not even in the UK at the time!

They got away. Nothing was ever retrieved. No-one saw anything. I have not heard from the police since. My heart still pounds away whenever I stay in that house, as I occasionally do. I lock, double lock and barely rest. I still don’t feel safe.

So the question I put to you, is who caused the greater victimisation…. the theft or the manner in which I was treated by the system?

Microwaves!!!

I must say, I cannot live without my microwave. I know lots of people also feel the same way. But I think using the microwave to kill a baby is taking it a step too far. (Read more here)

I am not talking about a mother simply killing her child by say shaking it to death or smothering it to quiet down the child. I am talking about the sheer cruelty. I am talking about cooking your baby!

It made me sick to my gut, and I am not a squeamish person per se!

An eye for an eye….???

9 out of 10…

I sent a letter by recorded First Class delivery – DG 0130 9530 2GB on the 22nd August 2008. I was offered to send the letter by Special Delivery to guarentee next day arrival. However the next day was Saturday and if I wanted it delivered on Saturday, I had to pay yet again another surcharge. let’s talk prices.

Service

Delivery Aim

Price

Second Class

3 Days

£0.27

First Class

1 Day

£0.36

2nd Recorded

3 Days

£0.99

1st Recorded

1 Day

£1.08

Special Delivery

Next Working Day by 1pm

£4.60

Special Delivery Saturday

Next Day being Saturday

£6.60

I chose to go with the recorded First Class Delivery Service based on the following reasoning:-

  • It was not necessary to be there the next day but I did want it there by the following Friday.
  • As 2nd Class was 3 days, I chose to err on the side of caution, chosing the 1st Class service.
  • I did have important documentation, that I wanted to confirm it arrival hence recorded.
  • Although important, it was not vital that it was delivered next day, hence 1st Class Recorded.

So off the letter went. I kept my fingers crossed because I thought there might have been a chance that it would arrive the next day (Saturday) but alas… that was wishing too much! Ah well, I would have to wait until Monday. It was bound to arrive, after all 9 out of 10 arrive next day, and legally they need to try to deliver 93% of mail by the next day. But no…. my letter was amid the 1 out of 10. Never mind, Tuesday was still fine. Alas, still no letter. Wednesday – this boiled down to Second Class Service, never mind as long as it gets delivered. No such luck. When it still had not arrived by Thursday, I went to Royal Mail’s website to enquire. To my dismay it stated

“Recorded Signed For™ items are only tracked after the item has been delivered. Depending on whether the item was sent first or second class, this may be a few days after posting. Please try again later.

Information on your item is not yet available online.”

Perhaps I was being a bit impatient. Friday –  a week later still no sign of my letter. The documentation was needed by then. Getting replacement documentation started costing money. £24 for a replacement rail card, as the recipient was due to travel on the Friday. A copy of the documentation was not sufficient proof for national rail that the person really owned a rail card and that it was somewhere in Royal Mail’s hands. It also ended up meaning a missed train too. Technically the missed train was not Royal Mail’s fault but reality was that it was a result of it.

End of the month and still no letter. There was the car licence in the letter. Replacement costs £6.00 or no driving possible.

Also included in the letter was an annual family fun park pass, which meant that no fun was had, as it was not possible to visit without the said card!

2 weeks later, still no means of checking online as the same message kept returning, I called Royal Mail. I was treated rudely and told to wait until the 11th and then consider it lost!! LOST!! I was fuming. I was dismissed like my letter was not important and as though I was an irrate customer. Well I was irrate. I paid for a first class service. I paid extra for a recorded service and they lose MY letter!! And they don’t care!!

So now I figured out what they mean when they say 9 out of 10 letters get delivered next day. 1 out of 10 simply never get delivered. If they cannot look after a Recorded First Class letter, what chance do simple standard second class letters stand?

And the reality is that we do not really have a choice, as they really do have a monopoly over the whole system!

The worst of it, is that according to the government (especially the tax office), if they post something to you, it is deemed as served! Ha! 

And in case you are wondering, proof of post, is not proof of receipt to the government. Apparently what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander!!

Taking Plastic Advantage

I have had it with shops. I really think they are taking the Mickey! You go in to shops like M&S and TKMAXX and spend a small fortune and they have the cheek to ask you to pay for bags!!

I went into TKMAXX recently and spent a substantial amount of money and was informed that as from the 4th August they started charging for bags. This time they were giving a free bag but next time I had to pay. I said, well if I have to pay to carry my things out, then I would not be shopping there again. I was then told… “but it goes to the Woodland Trust”. She was also very dismissive about passing on my comment that then I shall refrain from purchasing there again. Like I should be pleased they are insisting on deciding where my hard earned cash goes!

First of all, for all they know, I may not approve of their chosen charity. Second of all bags cost a fraction of a penny as they purchase in such bulk, yet they are trying to make a profit on the bags they are selling us! Thirdly, they have already inbuilt the price of the bags into their costs. I have not seen the products go down by the cost of the bags!! Also, the least they can do is be courteous enough to give their customers a miserly bag to carry the stuff they just purchased home.

If they want to talk about environmental issues, then perhaps they ought to provide paper rather than plastic bags (eg PRIMARK).

I was actually shocked how many customers just took this ill treatment in their stride.

I mean fair enough they make a profit of the items I buy but making a profit on the plastic bags to carry my purchases home is insulting.

So from my behalf, I will be refusing to pay for any bags to carry my new purchases home. In fact, I shall still be going regularly to the shops, picking up items and when they speak of charging me for a bag, I will refuse to purchase. I think that should make the point. After all, it is tantamount to being charged for cutlery when you go out to eat!!