- Oddly inspired by venta's post about weirdo alien white mulberries as snacks, I started to think about other odd things I could put in my mouth.
See those dangly berry things? There are a tonne of those growing all over my fuchsia plant. Loads. Seriously. After some googling, it turns out that fuchsia berries are edible. Who knew?
They are nothing to write home about. The darkest ones are the most flavourful and juicy, but the taste could best be described as watery, peppery grapes.
See that over there in your garden? That's me scouting around for more snacks.
- My Mummy and Sue came to stay over night. To recap entries passim, this mostly involves us cooking a sumptuous repast, drinking tea and wine, talking crap etc.
This time we served carrot and coriander soup, followed by chicken dressed with garlic and herbs with stuffing, corn on the cob, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, sugarsnap peas and broccoli. Oh yes! Followed by a choice of chocolate fudge cake, tiramisu, 2 kinds of ice cream... There was the option of more, but this is largely because I have a terrible tendency to shop as if expecting a siege. We also reserve the option to have obscene breakfasts.
It was great fun anyhow.
When we weren't gorging and masticating, there was pootling around the garden and pootling around Homebase, which I enjoy because I am An Old Crone. I just am and the sooner I accept and embrace this, the better. I am also becoming gradually more civilised and able to see the point in items like candles, plants etc.
Question: Everybody else's Mum (not so) mysteriously finds stuff to clean when they come to visit, right? I mean, I know full well that I'm a slattern, but...
- The Sandy-cat can't be doing with guests. She used to be more than okay with them, but I fear we exhausted that ductless gland with our last party. When my Mum and Sue come, well, when anybody comes to the house, she feels obliged to investigate, then stalk around looking most unimpressed before pointedly withdrawing to some sleeping spot where she can still keep an eye out. She is rather a snot.
This time, she thawed within 24 hours. Finally. Thawed out kitteh is a big ol'tart, pretty much the big ol' tart who was, with signally little difficulty (because. She. Is. A. Tart!), lured back to our abode last year.
If you ever use an illustrated dictionary, you may well find the following image used to define the word 'tart':
Yes, my Ooh! Scary! Kitteh Must Run Away Now! Mum, apparently serves tolerably well as an ear-scritching slave, to the extent that Sandy chased after her and pounced on her as soon as she dared to stop....
- I have a little scream to myself every time I see a story like this. Really, I shouldn't look at the Daily Mail at all, but I guess I'm a masochist.
There are always stories like this around. I can see why people are rightfully pissed off about it too. £30,000 in benefits? The median annual household income in the UK in 2009, for people working full time, was £25, 123 gross. A 5 bedroom house buckshee? Nice. Mrs. Whatshername expecting her 12th kid? Let me dig deep into my pocket for you, madam, see if I have enough to buy you some frigging condoms!
These stories are alarmist, exceptional and pointless.
If you have 12 kids, a 5 bedroom place is still going to be damn cramped. If you have 12 kids, £30,000 is not exactly colossal amounts of money to bring them all up on. No way. Not remotely. That it is extremely unlikely that the parents even could secure employment that would earn them remotely enough money, certainly not while being able to actually parent their huge brood, is possibly more of an issue. In reality these people are feckless and the products of the low aspirations prevalent in some sections of society.
So what to do?
I still believe that the rest of us should help them, bail them out. What's the other option? Turf them out onto the streets to beg and starve? Then the DM can run stories bewailing shanty towns and the crime and disease arising from them, perhaps.
From my experience, people on benefits are not living the life of Riley. Years back, as a nebbish 6th Former, ever so worthy, I used to volunteer for a disability association. This mostly involved sitting with housebound and mobility-impaired people and/or running messages/doing light housework (gawd help'em!). On occasion, I was shocked shiteless by what I saw, being ever so middle-class and white bread.
For me, the most notable example was a house where a disabled woman lived with her 5 kids. This place had 2 bedrooms. The cupboard was bare, perpetually. They had very little in the way of furniture and most of that... gah! They literally had nothing. Nada. Zilch. Naff all. They weren't the only people I saw in those straits by far. This leads me to believe, on the same level of anecdotal evidence as hurled around in the right wing rags, that most people on welfare are not swanning around in BMWs, living in mansions and watching Sky on their large-screen TVs.
I think that people get little enough help as it is, whether it be with regard to childcare to let them work, educational opportunities or even enough money to heat the damn house if they can find somewhere decent to live for little enough rent in the first place.
Yes, it's damn difficult for working people who don't try to stage their own population explosions. Now why is that? Could it be that there are problems inherent in society, the lack of support for families and employees in general that do not rebound from the poor beneficiaries of our already minimal safety net?
Somehow, I don't believe that people like the fecund Batemans are the only easy targets in this pantomime.
- The old MS is being a particular bitch-kitty right now. I do, however, have increased hopes of getting some of the help I need to, well, have a life again and to return to being a more productive member of society myself. At some point, I will get it through my thick skull that the boring, stultifying, tedious, stupid, dumb exercises I have to aid my balance and muscle tone will eventually help me out and that their gratingly, leg-chewingy-offingly, dull, dull DULL nature is more of a reflection on my idiotic central nervous system and its periodic hissy fits rather than on me as a person.
I whinge. Pity that doesn't count as exercise! ;-)
So, if my corpse is found on the floor spread-eagled in a superman-cocking-his-leg pose, please let it be known that I too would have suspected peculiar shenanigans, but really I was chasing rationality via stretching and toning of muscle groups. This stands, unless I am also discovered wearing fishnets, with a bag over my head and a satsuma clenched between my teeth. Or possibly, I just decided to liven the physio process up for myself.
- Apart from , that, bugger me, but the sun is shining! In Sheffield! In August! I may yet live!
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