As we move closer to our big divorce with the EU, some of us are wondering how our everyday life will be affected with the inevitable increase in food and the cost of living.
The good news is there is a way around this fast moving consumer market – apart from shopping in discounted Superstores like Aldi and Lidl which come with its own challenges like accessibility and the cost of the fuel to drive there.
So if you are willing to make a change you can start in your own back yard by growing your own produce – you will have to put a bit of work in yourself, and prepare yourself for a challenge – but one that is healthy and fun, and will afford you all of the exercise and nutrition that you need.
If you have a family it is a great way to demonstrate to the kids how resourceful you are, and give them a clear understanding of how consumerism is taking over our lives, and that you are doing something about it. You can even get them involved in the process and make it a family activity at weekends.
If you have a garden, then you are home and dry, and all you have to do is prepare the soil and plan what you would like to grow. There are many garden centres near to you who will be happy to help you with the seeds and planting programmes that surround different types of vegetables at specific times of the year, and you can even invest in a smallish greenhouse for the more fragile fruits that you can grow without being affected by the weather.
If you live in an apartment without a garden, and are keen to experiment in ‘the good life’, then put your name down for an allotment or search around for a small piece of ground you can rent cheaply from a neighbour or friend to begin your food growing experiment.
At one time allotments were considered to be for the elderly or gardening fanatics and were definitely not ‘cool’, but it is now hugely fashionable with more and more Celebrities and Business Executives utilising this outdoor activity as a means of staying fit and healthy and as a pure distraction from their life in the fast lane.
So make Brexit work for you and start growing your own, which will save you heaps of money and is the ultimate diet to keep you trim and in shape.
You may want to start with the simpler vegetables, and then gradually add to your portfolio with more exotic yields, and in no time at all you will be self- sufficient and proud to show off your produce and be in charge of your own home grown food garden.
Read the Thompson-Morgan quick overview of their top 10 easy to grow vegetables. This website is informative and will give you a great start to growing your own : 10 Easy to Grow Vegetables
The company has been in business since 1855 and can supply all your gardening needs
Visit Thompson Morgan to see for yourself.
As I glance into the tell-tale car mirror on my way to work, I can clearly see the lines on my face that I fondly call ‘my map of life’ – as the sun streams through the window.
I am a huge fan of heavy rock, which is always a surprise to my friends, as I look like the typical middle-class mum of two teenage kids, but I have studied the exciting life of my favourite rock stars, with their drug and alcohol abuse, from the safety of the suburbs. I have watched their tempestuous lifestyle, followed by rehab and subsequent salvation, or worse, with secret envy.
Deep lines are etched on their faces telling the tale, and I am beginning to look a bit like them – without the back story of course, apart from a few wild nights in my youth. Well I am not going to incriminate myself at this stage.
I am certainly not averse to a nip and a tuck where necessary, or even a boob job or a bit of Botox (although I am yet to venture down that road), but believe it or not, I am embracing the inevitable aging process and beginning to relish the freedom that comes with it.
I was always amazed by the sheer outrageous behaviour of my late mother, as she told people off in the street, used the odd swear word (which was most unusual for her younger self) and generally upset people, especially her neighbours.
So, with the exception of throwing the television out of the bedroom window (à la Keith Moon), I am planning all sorts of revelries in a few years’ time, along with some equally daring and dangerous safari expeditions, which are bound to upset a few people!
Having said that, I am already divorced, so don’t have a partner to shock, although my ex already believes I am a loose cannon, and so nothing to disprove there.
My kids are smart and I feel I have done them proud as they are heading to university; and my sister already knows my capabilities, so no worries there.
I need to take the plunge and head off on my own Rock n Roll adventure, which will probably involve a few bottles of wine (nothing stronger as I want to remember it all) and some brave decisions, for a safe middle-class female; after all, the world is our oyster the older we become, and the less we need to justify our actions.
So rather than plan your innocuous retirement, look upon the inevitable as a chance to explore other options, and live your dream. You definitely won’t regret it, and you will get respect rather than criticism as you embark on your voyage of discovery.
After all, why always take the tried and tested route? If you haven’t done so before, throw caution to the wind for the first time in your life – which is so very rock n roll!!
We observe an over-achieving Mother and emotionally detached step-father from a well-heeled British middle class family, who put their children’s education and piano lessons above the needs of their socially challenged daughter Libby who has hearing difficulties.
As we follow the progress of this young girl from her isolation within a large family, to her progress with a ‘one to one’ specialist carer, whose love and commitment gradually brings her into the real world, we feel outraged as the narcissistic parents deprive her of all hope by cutting her off in her prime, through their own refusal to listen to their child or the expert caring for her, even stopping her sign language as they feel it is better for her to lip read.
It is heart wrenching as the carer secretly visits Libby at her new school, and they sign ‘I love you’ to each other – with no one to observe the tragic consequence.
It certainly strikes a chord as we are subtly informed of the lack of care and understanding in the Education system with the need of sign language and awareness in schools, in addition to the loneliness of someone who constantly feels excluded.
We also observe that a classroom can be the most isolating place for someone who cannot engage with other kids, through the school’s inability or refusal to educate their own staff into how to improve the situation with these simple communication skills.
We are brilliantly educated into the silent World of the child, and quickly learn that neglect comes in all forms, and is not necessarily restricted to grimy areas of poverty or bad education, but with the absence of love, and with love comes listening, which as we know, is the most important thing of all.
With Philip Hammond designating £500m to Artificial Intelligence is it surprising that we are all asking the question about how long it will be before Robots take over our jobs.
According to Stephen Hawking – Artificial Intelligence is imminent and says:
‘The outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.’
I think we all know this to be true, and I am not sure if it is comforting or worrying to know that Britain is way behind the US, France, Germany and Spain in the development of Artificial Intelligence.
But it is still predicted that four million jobs in the British private sector could be replaced by robots in the next decade.
Jobs in finance, accounting, transport, marketing and advertising are predicted to be run by machines within a few years, whereas jobs in the health and care sectors are more secure, still needing the human element.
The University of Oxford predicted 35% of jobs could be rendered obsolete by new technology, while the Bank of England predicted in 2015 that up to 15m jobs in Britain were at risk from robots “hollowing out” the workforce.
Asda for instance operates a fully automated distribution warehouse in West London; white-collar tasks are being automated by PwC, the accountancy firm, and Linklaters, the law firm, which have been developing software robots that use artificial intelligence to learn to do research tasks usually undertaken by junior accountants and lawyers. So there we have it.
But is there an up-side to this, and some people think there is, with the doomsters being overshadowed by the optimists who feel that the introduction of robots may increase the element of human contact in some cases.
Care homes for instance are testing the abilities of robots. One in Lincoln plans to use one to help residents remember daily necessities such as taking medication. The robot will also oversee the set tasks that a nurse would.
A care company in London, Three Sisters Home Care, will soon trial the use of robots for lifting people so only one care worker will be needed rather than two.
‘Three Sisters’ chief executive, Jobeda Ali, told the researchers: “If I don’t have to send a person to do a transfer job [lifting], I can send them to have a cup of tea and a chat. This is a much better use of their time than carrying patients or cooking meals.”
There is also an argument that the elimination of mundane jobs that can easily be performed by Robots, will inspire and give space to the creation of more human centric opportunities where individuals can utilise their more ‘touchy feely’ abilities, and enhance the human element in jobs. If only this were to be true, but we should perhaps hang onto that for fear of damaging our already gloomy outlook on job and wealth distribution.
There should certainly be some ethical guidelines in place as robotic job descriptions are created, to allow for the element of human intervention so that all is not lost for the human job force.
Got to hold my hands up – I am the first to admit that in spite of being University educated, feminist indoctrinated and a full supporter of women in careers, I am still a smidgeon judgemental where females in men’s roles are concerned.
The other day when I was picking the little ones up from school, a really petite lady was dressed in a duffle coat and woollen hat pressed firmly on her head. ‘Are you the new teacher? The words tripped out of me. She looked at me perplexed and said ‘no, I am the new head of security’. She then went on to say that her husband had been made redundant the year before and they had made a joint decision that she would find a job with flexi hours so that he could stay at home and look after the kids and that she could work the hours they needed to earn sufficient money and spend time with the family. Added to that she said she was really enjoying the role and was thinking of starting her own Security Company.
More and more women are taking on what were previously deemed male roles across varied fields of the job arena, from Engineering, Construction, Boxing, Building and a host of other areas of employment.
Equal pay and equality in the workplace is another issue we are constantly reading about in the press and addressing at Glotime, but as more and more women compete with men and succeed in acquiring jobs where the majority of candidates are male, it is a major step forward.
I recently attended a course in Women in the Workplace and spotted a rather trendy attractive lady with multi-coloured hair, who was part of the attendees. I chatted with her in the break, and discovered that one of their kids had become sick and they had to make a major decision as a family for her husband to stay at home and look after the kids, as she was the main breadwinner. The multi-coloured hair was an experiment her five year old daughter had tried out on her the evening before with a variety of coloured hair sprays, because this lady was great at multi-tasking. She was actually a senior Partner in a law firm and really had her soldiers in place where female equality was concerned.
I am also finding in men’s defence, that many males are incredible supporters of female equality in the workplace with a recent meeting with a CEO of a major oil company in the States, who said that their first Recruitment ad in the fifties stated that ‘it didn’t matter what colour, creed or gender as long as they could do the job’. In our squeaky clean Politically Correct World of today, this would now be frowned upon and deemed prejudice, but back in the day was actually really progressive, and he felt the reason the Company had succeeded and become one of the most successful in the World, turning over Billions of Dollars.
So if you or your offspring are thinking of changing jobs or going into a career carrying more of a male label, then follow your dream – after all it is you who has to do it, and if you love your job you are really home and dry.