Monday, July 06, 2015

Charlie off to Bolivia today....lucky thing.
Posted by The Barn by Sarah Collins on Monday, 6 July 2015

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

April Fool ?

It's about 3 years since I stopped blogging here regularly. I have been busy, but I have missed it, and today I think I have found the right note on which to begin again. 

I am now 87, and a good deal slower and more wobbly than I was when I began this blog in 2005. Unfortunately, I have taken to falling over rather a lot in the last year or two, with a couple of tumbles which pretty much put me out of action, for a chunk of time I didn't want to miss. My GP has referred me to a local falls clinic, and today I went to be assessed for which of two exercise  classes would be suitable for me.

I arrived rather early and found the hall empty, but shortly a young man came in who had ‘INSTRUCTOR’ in large letters across his chest. I thought this looked promising, but was a bit confused by the fact that he was not only lean and muscled, but also long-haired, and covered from shoulders to fingertips in some pretty intricate and stylish tattoos.

I had expected, for assessment purposes, a nurse- or doctor-like figure, but this was more in the way of the ’personal trainer’ type, that causes such havoc in much of popular drama and fiction. Surely he wasn’t going to be looking after me, and the other rather wobbly looking lady who had joined me in the hall? But he was....

After I had filled in a form about how much I feared falling in various circumstances, he sat me down and began to ask me questions. He was gentle and easy to talk to, and I ceased to find him inappropriate to my situation. He then asked me to stand up, and proceeded to test my balance and flexibilty by putting me through various positions and moves. (No matter how I word it that sounds suspect - he never laid a hand on me). Suddenly I heard him say “Good Judith, nice hip movement” and I began to wonder if I was in an April Fool’s fantasy. It was all I could do not to burst into giggles.

I came home feeling rather jolly and lighthearted, instead of the awkward and anxious person who had set out.       

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What do you call a government who ...

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 03:13 AM PDT
If this article makes you think, please don't close it without using the buttons at the end to tweet it, share it and send it to your friends. This has been a scream inside my head for months now. 

What do you call a government who's first act is to make it virtually impossible to remove them from power, no matter how badly they perform? Who attempt to redraw the boundaries and cut the numbers of constituencies purely so that it benefits their own side, thus making it much easier for them to hold on to power?

What do you call a government who use the media and their own departmental outlets to run a partisan propaganda campaign against vulnerable groups? Who ensure that lies are printed, policies are not criticised, information requests are not granted and statistics are misrepresented?

What do you call a government who overturn laws retrospectively to make court rulings against them obsolete?

What do you call a government who erodes justice by ensuring the least able to defend themselves can no longer access it? Or who remove the right for ordinary people or organisations to take them to court? Or who limit the right to appeal decisions?

What do you call a government who introduce a gagging bill making it virtually impossible for third parties to oppose them through democratic channels? Who threaten charities and our independent national news service for covering important stories in the national interest?

What do you call a government that ignores the advice of it's second chamber entirely, effectively neutering it from providing the checks and balances true democracies demand?

What do you call a government who ignores court rulings not once but repeatedly that find their policies discriminate but ignore that ruling? Or who whitewash consultations and entirely falsify their results - or ignore them completely?

What do you call a government who tries to scrap the human rights act and buy your employment rights from you?

What do you call a government who send misleading and partial reports to our world partners on what effects their policies are having on its citizens?

What do you call a government who restrict education for disabled people and books for those in prisons? Who design our children's education based on personal whims and construct a syllabus that matches their own world view?

Reports today show that Trussell Trust, the charity responsible for the largest network of food banks in the UK modified their campaigning after threats that the government might get them shut down if they continued to make links between government policies such as welfare reform and the rise in food banks.

This following a week that saw Oxfam criticised by a Conservative MP for highlighting growing poverty not abroad, but here in the UK.

I have proof from FOI requests that Chris Grayling, that the then Work and Pensions Secretary asked civil servants repeatedly about closing down my own blog.

If you read this today, RT it, share it and ask everyone you send it to to ask themselves exactly what the actual definition is of a government who behaves like this? And I only scratched the surface. 

Reposted from the blog of  Sue Marsh : Diary of a Benefit Scrounger

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bedroom tax song


Published on 27 Mar 2013

A song about the Bedroom Tax, written for the demos all over the UK on Saturday 30th March, 2013, the Glasgow one in particular. Set to the tune of 1960's folk song "The Jeely Piece Song", by Scottish singer-songwriter Adam McNaugton.


I'm a welfare state wean, we live on the bottom flair
But we're no allowed to even live there any mair.
They say we've got too many rooms, in our social rented flat
We've an eight by ten foot boxroom where you cannae swing a cat

Oh ye canna have a spare room in a pokey cooncil flat
Ian Duncan Smith and Co have put an end tae that
They say "live in a smaller house", they say that is their plan
When the odds against you finding one are ninety-nine to one

Noo ma auntie's in a wheelchair, but these Tories dinna care
They say they have a deficit, she got to pay her share
£60 a month they'll take, then leave her tae her fate
Whilst gieing millionaires a tax cut, cause they say they're due a break

Noo that Buckingham Palace looks a pretty roomy gaff
And the ludger there gets benefits at rates that make me laugh
A civil list, plus perks, worth nearly ninety million pounds
With her other dozen mansions lying empty a' year round

Noo those MPs doon in Westminster must think that we're 'a dense
Wi their second home apartments, where the public pays their rent
They're even get a food allowance, two hundred quid a week
But they're claiming we're the scroungers, is their arse up in their cheeks?

So we've formed a Federation and we're gonna have our say
The Bedroom Tax it has to go, and we ain't gonna pay
We're gonna march on London tae demand our civil rights
Like nae mair Tories and their Liberal shite

Monday, January 21, 2013

Help us! We're begging you!


"No-one likes a nagging over their cornflakes. Actually, no-one likes to be told that they're lazy, unfeeling or cruel at all. But Britain, for God's sake, are you ever going to listen to these News stories about disability and care?"

So says Sue Marsh, a well respected writer and campaigner on behalf of people who are disabled. Please follow the link below to find out why we should all be listening and doing whatever we can.

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: Help us! We're Begging You: