Posted in Modern society, Psychology, Relationships, Thoughts, Time

Christmas

Angel 2

The tug and pull of Christmas.
Like tinsel on a tree swaying with responsibility.
Over who is chosen and who should wait.
Until the next day, or do we cramp all our loved-ones in a box, tied with ribbon.
And open it all at once;
them springing up like a Jack-In-The-Box saying:
“Merry Christmas.”
How I wish I could get it right and have something left for us as well.

Christmas is a time of giving but what if you have been spent up all year.
Not just meaning money but in time and energy.
But being dutiful, your carve yourself up, like the turkey.
Seeing everybody but seeing nobody.
I don’t know what to make of Christmas.
Who benefits, or even if we are suppose to benefit from it at all?

I would like to get away from all this really.
Just for one year but duty calls and expectations beckon.
Roll on New Year!

Posted in Atheism, Christianinty, Debate, God, History, Learning, Philosophy, Religion, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

Upon The Millennium Bridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The symbol of a divine power and fear looms across the swaying steel.
Stone and metal,old and new.
Menacing perhaps,yet an awesome beautiful dome.
No-one who walks across the tide can escape the view,
A commanding scene where thoughts may stir of What might be,after this place of earth and dust.

The Little People scurry like ants both away and towards the imposing place,
Questions and yet also a vacant possession amongst the traveller’s minds upon the Millennium Bridge.
A mulling of crowds thinking about their day,
Where are they going? To heaven or to hell?
Or perhaps to simply no-where but across the tide of steel to another destination.
The moment moves on and so does the ticking clock of time nestled in the tower of monsters and angels.

Science builds the bridge and dogma builds the building.
Reason has it that no-one really knows why we are here, or who or what has placed us upon this World
But science tells us more about the building blocks, than faith that built the rocks of that solid place.
Some walkers are curious, some don’t care at all
Some cry forth that the answers of creation is called The God.

The sky looms in and growls like a angry lion, as big and as mighty as God himself?
Is there something in the clouds and that infinite space that holds the answers to all of the universe’s questions?
Be that a God or a gas.
For now the bridge sways in the wind and the clouds travel on ahead,
The pedestrians continue on their way and forge their own path, and hazzard their own quesses to the big questions upon the Millennium Bridge.

Onethoughtfulwoman Feb 2013

The Image of the Millennium Bridge is placed here with kind permission of James Rye @athinkingman whose images appears on flickr and is reproduced here specfically to highlight this work. He has sole copyright and is the owner of the photo. May I take this opportuinty to thank him for loaning this image here.

Posted in Change, Health, lonelyness, Modern society, Psychology, Relationships, Thoughts, Time

February’s Trip.

Fog

A blanket space of pain,
heavy,dark,it invades my brain.
How troubled is trouble?
How much reality is real?
So many circles of thought.
So unbending a wheel.

Up and down the flight path goes,
it takes a hold,
it does not bow.

Your brightness hurts my eyes in the darkness.
Your happiness only highlights my pain.
Your smile re-enforces the flowing tear.
Your energy compresses the void of despair.

That sleep is release from the knowing, the tomb.
I wake and fall ever further in gloom.
I watch my own death,
it feels rather strange,
and carve out the scene all be it with shame.

A sorriness lingers,
but a desire to renew.
A clutching of hope.
A crystal of dew.

One can dream still, or is it too late?
Oh God help me please, or is this my fate?

Another day to rise above the greyness.
Another day to feel the grip.
Another plane journey into the darkness,
when all one wants is to end this trip.

@onethoughtfulwoman 5th, March 2010.

Posted in Art, Atheism, Christianinty, Debate, God, History, Ideas, Men, Philosophy, Psychology, Relationships, Religion, sex, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized, Writing

The Angel’s Game: Part 2

I wasn’t sure how I would find The Angel’s Game after the excellent, if not involved and sometimes confusing plot, of  The Shadow of the Winds. However, after reading the first two pages I knew this book was going to surpass and excel beyond “Shadows” and it did not disappoint, I could barely put it down.

What I love most about this book is the rich, poetic, elegant flow of words that help to create this magnificent tale of a writer who sells his soul, perhaps for fame, for money or both by being given a commission to write a book. This work is like no other, from a mysterious publisher for a vast sum of money. From the start Carlos Ruiz Zafon makes it clear what he is trying to say. For a man’s ego, sometimes he is prepared to do anything, even with his own near destruction at stake.

The depth of how the author created the characters and how each one was woven and intertwined with the story is something that Zafon does superbly. You could feel the desperate obsessive love that David Martin, the central character, feels for Cristina and how this relationship unfolds. You are not sure at first how the added relationship of Isabella is going to go, this held me the most, and I wanted to cry when reading her last letter to him. This was truly moving and haunting words so tragic and so authentic feeling real to me.

David Martin was intellectually a sharp and essentially good man, yet numbed by years of being let down and abused, he was turned into a character of coldness and unfeeling at times, seen especially in his interactions with his doting young assistant Isabella.  Yet, his drive to survive and to find the truth concerning the darkness of where he lived, that was linked with his own work, gave this novel a sometimes creepy, supernatural air about it. Turing into a detective tale set in a Gothic theme, this enriched the whole fabric of the novel and gave the plot a nail-biting feel. Just when you thought there was nothing new to add, a twist emerged and you were once again thrown head long into the pages of a tale intense and demanding to its audience. You had to concentrate, otherwise you would lose the thread of the plot.

Then the end: how strange. I read it twice and could not take it in. Had I missed something? For me, it left unanswered questions and a feeling that suddenly where it had been convincing it became a non-reality. Why has Zafon done this other reviewers have asked? It was a clever turn and the author’s notes for discussion could say why. Who was the publisher? I have my thoughts which would make the end plausible. Never-the-less I am hooked. I can forgive him for the ending though as I want to read much more from this man. It is hinted in reviews that with the completion of the four novels Zafon prepares to write, the end of The Angel’s Game slots into place. Is this up Zafon’s sleeve? Knowing his writing a little then nothing would surprise me.

If you want a book where you can enjoy some history, feel the city of Barcelona on your finger tips, with skilled and crafted writing around a great plot then read Zafon. It’s poetry from a pen and characters that come alive.  It is the only novel on finishing that I felt I want to read again and along with it The Shadow of the Winds. I  was not aware that The Angel’s Game was joined to “Shadows” until the final twists at the end. It was an Ahh moment. They can be read alone or as a complete story, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books being the cement that link and binds them together. A great find for me in fiction, like no other for a long time. For a thinking mind it is a great read.

(The images are photographs taken at the Monastry of Pedralbes visited at the time of reading and one area featured in the author’s work. The angels are a perfect choice of picture for this blog I felt.)

Posted in achievement, Change, Commitment, Debate, Development, goals, Health, Ideas, Learning, Liberation, Modern society, Personal Growth, Psychology, Thoughts, Time, Women

So what’s new to the thinking?

Following on from my thoughts on the last post, I have had time to discuss and make some progress, at least in the ideas stake. This is what I have come up with so far.

1) Photography has  been a real plus and some images have been spotted by others for good works and greater promotion. This has not been sought after at all. It has just come my way. Call it luck or call it good exposure, probably both. www.flickr.com has done a lot of good for many image takers and the internet is a good way at getting your shots on a greater public viewing gallery. I should explore this further. There are many out there who would wish to make an income, many competitors but not to be overlooked. Photography is an art form that needs to be worked on as a skill. I could perhaps have this as one small income source. It could compliment other aspects of work.

2) I can’t sit around and expect the lucky break, someone to take notice or give me a leg up. I have to make my own luck and give myself a leg up. Have one big idea as to how I wish to do that. It is ambitious and sadly at this point requires a good bit of investment which I don’t have. Call it my long-term aim for the next five years. I have had it sitting on the back-burner of my brain for about 3-4 years and have turned away from it, afraid of the time and investment it would take. The risk of it coming to nothing. It pulls me back though as there is a need and I think a market for it. You shall just have to wait and see what it is, as I don’t want people stealing my ideas or plans:). It’s totally a health based issue where my knowledge on certain things could be utilised. This would be very meaningful to me.

3) Must not be side tracked. I have been up more than one wrong wall. Women’s health and education are at the centre of who I am. I can be nothing else now. It would be to deny myself. I can not do this.

4) Being organised and tidy in my life is very important, especially to my own mental well-being. Need to still get a grip on work-life balance. I need some order not chaos as sometimes this can happen. Less so but potential to be there. My evernote account is one good thing I have now to control and organise information. Still need to work on others.

5) My charity involvements should stop at the weekends unless it is very urgent. A friend would call it, a much-needed boundary. Weekends should be time out from it. The constant access to e-mails can be a disadvantage, especially if a partner engages in work which involves you. Tell them and him that weekend are now off the agenda for “good works.” It can wait until Monday.

6) Ideas are still coming in from the work front and an appraisal today was enormously helpful. At least someone has spotted that I could do so much more. That was uplifting. I am pursuing some avenues and another job application for a job that would start in September.

Finally one point from today. My daughter is studying psychology and wants to focus on depression for her specialist module next year. I asked her a frank question and got a frank response which I feel happy to share.

Question: Why do you think I may have been depressed in the past. The root cause of it?

Answer: Because you feel you haven’t got anywhere with your job, your money or your house? The frustration of it.

She’s not far off the mark. There are other reason of course. I think being in control and not having that taken away is important. Like you have no say in anything. You need a say in all things.

My daughter is one smart girl. She’ll do well. I am sure of it.

Next time, I may be ready to talk more about depression, though it is a little scary and exposes the vulnerable side.

We will see.

Posted in achievement, Change, Debate, families, goals, Health, Human Rights, Ideas, Learning, Personal Growth, Psychology, Skills, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized, Women

Appraisal Time

Needed to write in a spontaneous way. So here I am and here this is. Have been figuring a few things out. I try not to write about myself, it seems for me personally a bit self-indulgent, but feel the need to do so to work some things out. By having it written down it feels orderly and I might get some new answers and forge ahead with some new meanings.

So firstly, I am concluding to date who I am first.

I have lived on this planet for 48 yrs. Married, one teenage daughter whose well-being has always come first.

Have been a Registered Nurse for 26 yrs of them.  A good and caring nurse and have done my job well and thoroughly. I have never lit with the skies with promotion, either by lack of personal opportunity, not being in the right place at the right time, putting family first or just simply watching other people with more confidence pass me by. Do feel disappointed in a way that I never really made it BIG in the role. All my friends who trained with me are now in high-paid jobs and specialist roles while I have just sat on a scale 5. One boss noticed I was special once and I started to fly like the wind but she went away and I was left back in the shade and out of the sky.

The care of women, empowerment, education and justice are all very important to me. Health too of course is quite central to who I am.

I work daily on a voluntary basis, with my husband, for a Kenyan NGO called Tareto Maa. A grass-roots project fighting female genital mutilation, my BIG life CONCERN and PASSION. This charity houses young girls fleeing this torture and we send them to school, all 95 of them.  I am the UK media and advocacy worker. A role carved out for myself. My job is to write the thank you’s for the Global Giving donations, write to partners and NGO to find sponsors and helpers, liaise with potential individual sponsors and help set them up. I read through the texts, drafts  of new material for translation purposes, for our forthcoming website and reports, Skype and e-mail with our central German Co-ordinator. I help fund raise though this is now on a much lesser basis.  One day, I hope to visit the project knowing it will change the way I view a lot of things. Enough about that.

I like taking photographs. Success to date have been one picture published online by an Oxford travel guide, a few used for private work and one used by a school for their composting campaign. My FGM picture taken for Int FGM day,( not sure which year off the top of my head,) was published by an online magazine and shown at a women’s conference. One picture has been used for a Canadian TV show, a while ago now, on a child education programme. To date, I have not made any money, nor sought it. No-one has asked to buy anything off me.

Climate change and the environment are important to me. I married an eco warrior and have become one.

Running is also something I enjoy. A slow runner, I can run 10km in 1hr 8mins, no more that that  but I enjoy it. Accept that I am probably never going to be that fast but enjoyed the GEAR run in 2010. Running is a central part of my life. Introducing other forms of exercise too. Learnt to swim on my back about 3-4 yrs ago but have a phobia about swimming on my front.

I worked in floral craft for 10 yrs, teaching, judging and small private work. I have an NVQ2 in floristry.

Blogging is an on and off thing, mainly due to how I am feeling and time, what else is going on. I enjoy writing and would like to develop it further. My English is not brilliant and I have always had a weakness with this. Important work is checked and I get frustrated with it sometimes because I can never understand why it should be written a different way. I have had an offer of English help but nothing has really come of that, so I help myself when I can. I read books and what I have learnt has been mainly self-taught. I have also written some poems over the years. Not many but I have most of them. One or two are pretty good. Can remember having something written, when I was in primary school, that was up on the wall. It was about the moon. See, I liked the stars and sky even then, to those that know me.

Risky confession due to what I was reading today, but I have suffered from depression twice and the last time was in early 2010. I am well now but have been told recently that is highly likely it will return. I am lucky, as I am to date a good responder to medication. So I see myself in remission and hope that it can last a long time. It frightens me to hell that I could go backwards. I never want to feel that way again and know the warning signs and know what to do now. I run to help me with this: “Green Therapy” is what they call it ( May not need the capitals there:)).

I don’t have a degree, love learning but recognise that I can’t keep studying forever, nor do I need to do so to feel good. It has taken me years to get as far as I have with my education.  It really doesn’t matter that much now as I have gone on one step further. A funny old mix of Higher Education Diploma and  now an award in July of Post-Grad Cert in Women’s Health. My 60 Masters points are a treasure. I did it and I was more than good enough and that was all that mattered. I trained to be a midwife for 14 months out of an 18 month pathway. I loved it and was good at the theory but to be fair, due to lack of confidence and peer/ culture environment, I just wasn’t that good at delivering babies or make a safe midwife on British terms.  I left before I was pushed with an intact reputation.

I now work as a one to one support teaching assistant, having a break from nursing. One of my major strengths has been teaching. Realising now, I would have been a great primary school teacher but was just up the wrong wall at the time. This ends in July. Then I will be unemployed  if no work comes along. Have no real strength to re-train again, even if financially I could which I can’t.  My major training days for a complete career overhaul are finished by my choice. I am very happy to go on with this line of work but 1) I can’t afford to for the long-term 2) I still have the care of women which is my love and life’s challenge at the centre of me.

A spot of gardening, a love of cooking, though I can’t make cakes and walking my much-loved dog. This is pretty much me to date. Now, I just have to start sorting out what I am going to do next.  Who I am? My overall aim is to do something good. I want to say I have made it somewhere. A few close friends know that my life has felt like second best, never first best. Nearly there but not quite, I want to be first at something. Is that wrong to want that? I don’t think so.

Will continue this blog theme. Set up some aims, will mull over this but have said enough for now.

Leave you with a picture. Actually, it was meant to be at the start:). I can’t remember how to change it on here.

Posted in achievement, Change, Debate, History, Ideas, Learning, Liberation, Modern society, Politics, Role of women, Skills, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized, Women

Titanic disaster: class division and inequality. One hundred years on has anything really changed?

This is my 100th blog post on WordPress and the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage. To commemorate both of these anniversaries, I decided to write this blog around the theme of this maritime disaster. A topic that still ievokes passion today, as it did back then in the previous century. It is the subject of class: social class and the huge inequality between rich and poor. The divide of wealth against poverty, privilege against opportunity, social fortune against hardship.

In the cold, iceberg littered waters in the North Atlantic sea, approx 1,500 people perished on the night of the 14th/15th April, 1912. At 11.40 pm, an iceberg blew five of the 16 compartments, the design of which was to prevent the ship from sinking. Had there been one less damaged, the ship would have stayed afloat. The sinking was cruel and quick. At just before 02.20am, the ship cracked in two, against the opposing forces of water pressure, against the lean of the ship.  The odds of dying were very much marked by where, depending on which class of deck you travelled. The lack of lifeboats, their half filled capacity and lack of organisation in the evacuation meant that less than a third on board survived. No truly accurate figures are known of how many survived, given the ship’s passenger logging system at the time. And paradoxically, whether you were a woman or a child for once did have an advantage. Against the tide of the women in the suffragette movement who were risking their lives and freedom in another way to gain the vote and a voice. Men being a dominant force in an unequal society towards being female was centuries old. However, being a women not a man, for once, was a huge advantage that night.

I have been following the ITV1 series of Titanic, the focus of which has been the stark snobbery and deep class division and segregation of those who had, against those who had little or nothing.This rigid British society was based on the have and have-nots and men versus women. The rich and the poor, the titled and the unknown. The pecking order of who was who, the hypocrisy of the people of the time. Even the hierarchy of the servants in first class, to second, from second to third. The locking of the ship’s deck doors so the rich did not have to mingle with the poorer travellers. This factor alone was a disaster for those in 3rd class who may have survived. The ship’s church service, the only time that these second and third class passengers could venture upstairs and worship together-obviously God did not mind such integration on that occasion. And God’s people allowed that!

When it came to the lifeboats, it was women and children first, but class was a central factor. You needed to be a first-class traveller and female on that night. Only three percent of first-class women died compared to 54% of third-class women. 92% of second- class men perished and 84% of third. You can see here the account of the disaster, how and why and who survived from which class.  At the time, there was public outrage at what happened but also the fact that the poor died in the highest numbers. Sweeping changes were made in maritime law which still exist today.The question I asked myself before writing this blog was, has anything really changed with inequality and class division? Hence, I started to pursue this question and wish to share my thoughts.

The start of the 20th century saw a tide of rebellion against inequality, privilege, and class division. I have already mentioned the suffragette movement in the UK, and in Russia the autocratic monarchy in 1912 was about to lose its grip in a furious revolution in 1917. A country, inspired by Lenin’s leadership ousted the old guard of plenty, in supposed favour of the peasants in the field scrapping a living from the soil.

Karl Max had a vision and he writes :

”  A classless society is the ultimate condition of social organisation expected to occur when true communism is achieved.”

Everyone being equal and all the same? We will mention this briefly later.

When we talk of a classless society, another more recent political figure immediately popped to mind. This is what another person said:

“We will have to make changes so that across the whole country we have a genuinely classless society so that people, according to their ability or good fortune, can rise to what ever position.”

John Major, 24th Nov 1990: Prime Minister of the Conservative Party, 1990-1997.

He went on further to say he wanted to see a country at ease with itself.

In 2011, we hardly saw a country at ease with itself, as riots saw a nation’s confidence in pride, law and self-respect take a battering as strong as the iceberg that hit the Titanic. Nights of rioting left the police force, the politicians, the think-tanks and ordinary people wonder what had befallen this country. Many causes were blamed but one central fact was stated. It was the disadvantaged and disenfranchised members of society who felt they had nothing to lose, because they felt they had nothing and no future. So they took what they could get and hang the consequences for a few fleeting nights.

I passionately believe in education and a skills base as a means of self-advancement. As a child of one low-wage earner in a manual job, with an outside toilet and a tin bath as a means of washing, I strove to become something better through hard work at school and by going on to further education. I trained in a profession, the nursing profession and this had led me to break free from very low-wages become a home owner, something my parents have never done. I have attended University and embraced higher education. I am very thankful never to have known unemployment, well, only for four days just recently, at my own volition, and have never had to sign on and collect any state benefit. I am perhaps a true example of the John Major vision?

But in 2012 what is the reality? Another Tory government in coalition with the Lib,Dems but John Major’s words seem hollow somehow. Tuition fees which have recently trebled from £3,000 to £9,000, per year, has brought debate about how the poor can finance a University education. Headlines from The Telegraph, 30th Jan 2012″ Thousands give up on University because of tuition fees.” My own daughter is wary about taking on such debt but knows if she has any chance at all of a future that pays anything she sees little alternative. Youth unemployment is at its highest in the 16-19 age group. A recent BBC, Panorama programme looked at the Government’s apprenticeship programme and found poorly organised skill provision, courses that were virtually worthless and Government contracts which saw a few companies make a lot of money but left the young still largely unemployed and no better off.

Along side this subject, I wanted to dig deeper into the data about how much wealth people really had. I turned to the Institute of Fiscal Studies Paper, “Poverty and Inequality in the UK 2011.” This is a brief summary of some of the points found:

  • UK income distribution 2009-2010. 65% of households having an income below the national mean of £517 per week.( Based on a couple with no children).
  • 1.4 million individuals out of a private household have an income of above £1,500 per week.
  • Late 1990’s saw a boom in income in the top 1% of earners due to the financial boom at the time.
  • Poverty of working age adults without children is at its highest since the start of the institutes data from 1961.
  • There has been growth across much of the income distribution with the highest at the very top and relatively vigorous growth at the bottom of the income bracket. However, this income rise in the lower group was due to increases in benefits and tax-credits seen over this time period. ( Note, not because of decent wages).

In conclusion: The report states, beyond 2010, it is acknowledged that the proposed deep cuts to welfare and tax credits are likely to increase inequality year on year. This is where we are now. We know too well how much this is hurting many people and there are not enough words left for me to keep this blog relatively contained to dwell upon the misery and unfairness this is causing.

So what do I make of all of this to sum up the question I set myself. Can there be true class equality? I would like to think so but history tells me otherwise. Take Communism, as one example, I mentioned. The ethos of everyone being the same. In the present time, we have a call of the Republican movement to abolish the UK monarchy. Whether it was Lenin or now Putin, Obama or the Queen, they all reside in large presidential or palaces of residence. They all have advantage and privilege. There is so such thing as true Communism, based on all having the same. For us back in the UK, we could argue that we would pay less tax to not keep a Queen. However a new governing body would still be living in style whilst we live in our ex council houses or semi-detached properties. No, there will always be class division as unfair as it seems. But what I would like to see is where there is more wealth distribution and greater opportunities. Less of the I have it all and you have little: a more equal society. OK, we are not back in 1912 when you worked or starved, you paid a medical bill or you might die. There have been great advances in the lives of people, both socially, medically and financially. If we were in the Titanic tonight we would all have an equal chance of surviving, or would we? So indeed, you could call that social progress, fairness and humanity. However, we can acknowledge that class still exist and inequality flourishes. And I personally can see no legislation or sweeping reform, that occurred after the Titanic disaster in maritime law, to prevent that tide from turning.

This is my own conclusion but you might disagree. You also might think there is another way of creating a more equal society. I welcome your comments and thank you for reading. Personally, I have very much enjoyed researching and writing my 100th blog on this 100th anniversary of the Titanic disater. And it seemed fitting that I should mark it in this way with this important subject.

Posted in Christianinty, Debate, God, Law, Music, Religion, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

I Have a Serious Question or Two

This blog is not written as satire or for fun. It requires no photograph or pretty picture to accompany it. It is a serious, short discussion for Christians who may like to give an answer or two. As someone who had a faith for over 20 yrs, in various stages and intensity, and who now feels that her own faith is pretty much dead. I need to ask these questions to my blog audience.

  A polite and reasoned reply is expected. I am not attempting to be-little or to remove anyone’s personal faith, in what ever way that is felt or expressed. Just trying to make sense of the thoughts I now ponder over on a daily basis. I have Christian friends who I have the highest regard for. This is not to offend them.

At my wedding my favourite  hymn was sung, ” What a friend we have in Jesus.” You see Jesus, the Son of God was my friend. He was there to turn to, to pray to, to be comforted and protected. He had my best interests at heart. He was a supporter of women and did not cast out Mary Magdalene, the prostitute, or the divorced women at the well. He understood me and did not judge me for all the mistakes I had made. He was a supporter of women. And Jesus was not separate from God: because he was God.

My friends know I am a passionate supporter for the human rights of man, particularly women’s right and this is my first question?

Did God inspire, move men to write Deuteronomy 22:13-21 as is quoted here. If so, I don’t like what God has to say.

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying,” I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the girl’s father and mother…. shall display the cloth ( that the couple slept on) before the elders of the town…. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of the town shall stone her to death.

You see, I was horrifed when I read in a book recently the above biblical quote. Do God support the stoning of women because of their inability to prove their virginity on their wedding night?  This was not the God I knew, through his son Jesus Christ. I am not well versed in the Old Testament only the New. But I  believed, both Old and New were directly the inspired word of God. You couldn’t leave bits out and say, “well, Man said that and not God”

I thought how I can have a friend who supports the stoning of women for something so unreasonable and antiquated. Many women’s hymen is broken long before their first sexual intercourse encounter by all sorts of ways that would have been relevant centuries ago. Horse riding is one set example. This proof seems insane to me. And the sentence is in-humane and utterly cruel.  

People will immediately jump on the band-wagon and say,” Ah, but that was only relevant at the time of writing. It reflected the society that was then not now”. But then that is my next question:

 God doesn’t change his view about issues centuries down the line? The Bible is supposed to be timeless, relevant  and the word of God that apples to today, just like it did yesterday. Or doesn’t that apply now, in this case, to Deuteronomy 22:13-21? 

I am now very confused. This passage was new to me. And I don’t think much to God, if he says do this to women. He is certainly not my friend anymore!!!!

I want to continue these thoughts with another blog. But for now this is suffice. I want to see if someone can explain this away. For me, he/she will have to be a very clever, biblical scholar to argue successfully the reason that statement is in the Bible, which if not the direct word of God is inspired from a Deity I thought I knew but clearly don’t????

Posted in achievement, Art, Change, families, goals, Home, Personal Growth, Skills, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

Goals six months on.

Six months ago, I wrote a blog about what I hoped would be my goals for the next six months and whether I had achieved or stuck to them. I wanted to simply look back and recap on what they were and the results.

  • I grew some lettuce and planted some onions and carrots. The lettuce was an outstanding success and the carrots and onions are still in the ground but have grown poorly. I have not received any harvest from them. From this, I intend to lauch into tomatoes in pots next year.
  • The swimming was stopped for while and my aim is to return soon. I can still swim on my back but haven’t made any further progress. However, I have had little opportunity to go into the pool over the past few weeks.
  • Transition town activities kept going right on into the summer and we attended a big launch garden day and were fully active. However, since then we have stopped going for personal reasons but kept in touch with some people who still attend.
  • Working on family relationships has been ongoing and only last week, since my Father had a stroke and one of my best friends diagnosed with cancer has it really sunk home how important those ties are. This is a renewed goal and one which will have even more focus in the next coming few months.
  • The history of the arts pursuit had a lazy start but has probably been one of the most significant goals achieved. Having seen the series Desperate Romantics, concerning the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, I then went on to visit the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle in August where Isabella and the Pot of Basil by William Holman Hunt was exhibited and then to the Tate British to see more of the whole brotherhood’s work. I read the book accompanying the TV series by Franny Moyle, and then visited the Fitzwilliam museum to see a Darwin exhibition of art. This was excellent.
  • I have made some progress on the gardening and am trying desperately to still decorate the house. This is due to start any day but illness from the summer and other busy events has meant it just hasn’t happened.
  • My relationship with money is still fraught more times than not, but I have continued to save and are financially “better off” than I  was six months ago. I try not to worry about money so much but still feel that my finances are on a constant elastic band. Just stretched out to maximum all the time with no slack. Still, have negotiated a better mortgage and hoping to cut some work hours soon.
  •  I have continued to develop my English skills and had one English lesson from a friend. On the whole though, writing and blogging has had to be put to one side over the summer and I haven’t written as much as I hoped too. I want to work on that still
  • I nearly got to visit FORWARD and had the AGM on the calendar and booked. But sadly my Dad had a stroke and he was the priority. I still haven’t made it there yet and this was the third year running something had come along to stop me going. This is disappointing. I plod one with my efforts in my causes. But I am now running and hope to raise money next year for charity by taking part in the GEAR race in King’ Lynn.
  • The photography is coming along, all be it a bit slow. However, the arrival of Photoshop and a mate to help me out with it has been invaluable. The photos are starting to progress and I did have a wonderful photo shoot with my Sister-in-Law  in the summer.

So there you have it. I don’t think it’s too bad at all. Some success at least. And a very worthwhile exercise to do this was. There has been one more significant thing to tell, and that is I have enrolled to study with the Open University next year.

I will now think about my next set of goals for the next six months. Know what some of them are already, like changing my job. Let’s see how they shape up.

Posted in Debate, families, Home, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

My Diary of Week

For those of you who know me on Twitter, these are the results of my week long exercise of how I spend my time. I wanted to do this to see how I can fit 16 hrs of study in a week from next year with the OU.

It was a very interesting thing to do and overall, the work life balance, whilst very hectic at certain times, appears to have some leisure as well, variety and balance. 

The results are as follows for one week:

Work including travel 35.45 hrs. (30 hrs paid, 5.45 unpaid).

Computer time.( essentially e-mails, Internet and twitter, no flickr or blog). 12.16 hrs.

Housework. 6.04 hrs.

Leisure time( going out, chatting, resting and reading). 18.35 hrs.

TV.( wanted to do a separate log for this)  4.10 hrs. 

Phone calls. 3hrs.

Personal grooming 2.10hrs.

Shopping. 1.25 hrs.

Eating and drinking 4 hrs.

Dog walking 4.40 hrs.

Biking 25 mins.

Running 1.25 hrs.

Miscellaneous( car to service) 15 mins.

         ( meal planning for the week) 30 mins

Driving husband to work 1.15 hrs.

Usual time getting up approx 7am average.

Bedtime 23.30.

As a result of this, the following has been so far devised to help cut unpaid work, housework and meal preparation.

A new system of work to collect  stats each day. I do this now on each visit and not have to duplicate the information. I now am working with no headache of the form to do when I get home. Also being tighter on time and when I go home, not squeezing in one more thing, which can go over to the next day, eg, non-urgent phone calls, or faxes.

End of month mileage returns being collated weekly, not the headache of leaving it all until the end of the month which takes longer.

Daughter now taking up the reins of 2 hrs a week of housework which is now her earned pocket money.

Tidying up at home,as I go along. Eg, phone charger for phone not left, but put back in the draw each day before I leave for work.

Planning the week meals in advance, knowing who is cooking/ doing what and when. Having a shopping list. Shopping is quicker, less waste, so far have saved £40 on a 10 day’s worth of food on last shopping trip.

Planning left-overs meals so cooking time is less.

These are just a few pointers.

 I have sat down and taken a typical week and thought when am I going to study? Currently, I have planned one full day off a week and blocks of 2 hrs study at night when working, 3 one night when day off and 4hrs on one day off a week. It still looks pretty exhausting though. Ideally, I need to lose a day of work but I can’t see that happening yet.

Already, I have seen my organisational skills improving, both at work and at home.

That’s a good start.