Preparing for the Future

My daughter is now in her first year of college. I’m working part time, because as I’ve said in an earlier post, it makes more sense both financially and for my little family’s happiness. However things are going to change. From September 2018 my girl will have left college, and all of the benefits I receive will stop. Everything. Child Benefit. Tax Credits. Housing Benefit. And the Child Maintenance her dad is currently paying.

Continue reading

Hell on Earth?

I went for my first ever psychic reading last month. I generally have a healthy level of scepticism about things like this, but I have to admit that she did know some things about me, my family, and my friends.


While some details were generalisations that could have been applied to many people in many situations, other details were so specific. Almost to the point where she said something bad about a member of my family – surely a shyster would’ve stuck to nice things for fear of offending and losing money?!


She knew things about me too, for example that I suffer with depression, and have recently changed jobs.


I’ll be honest: not all of it was spot on, but the session made me feel good. I felt comforted. And understood. Maybe that’s why they are so popular – they give you comfort when you don’t even realise you need comforting.


One thing we talked about has played on my mind though: Hell. Apparently Earth is Hell. There is no lower than this. What we do here affects where we go next, whether to one of the many levels in Heaven, or back to Earth to try again.


I’ll freely admit I’m going through quite a low patch right now, and maybe that’s influencing what I’m about to write quite a lot, but in my head right now, it makes perfect sense.


THAT’S why it’s such a bloody struggle.

THAT’S why nothing ever goes smoothly

THAT’S why I don’t always have enough money to eat.

THAT’S why the state of the world practically reduces me to tears on a regular basis.


My world IS a living Hell.

I don’t know if this is a punishment for living badly the previous time, or if I’m brand new and just starting at the very bottom, but it does seem that I should just stop hoping for it to get better and face the fact that this is life for me until I clock out.

Remember the little things

It’s late, I’m tired, and I have to get up at stupid o’clock for work, but I need to get down what happened today before I start forgetting bits of it.

<!–more–>

I’ve recently met someone who has blown me away with their perspective on life. 

In my eyes, he’s had more than his share of bad luck. Among other things, he lost his daughter and wife (the one great love of his life) in a terrible car accident several years ago. Right now he’s going through daily radiotherapy. If anyone has a reason to be angry at the world, it’s him.

We were talking today about life, racism, rudeness, etc., and I remarked that people are just a bit shit. 
His reply blew me away:

“People are amazing! They do wonderful things every day. They hold doors open for you. They let you out at busy junctions. They jump out of their cars to help you push start yours. Everywhere you look, people are doing wonderfully kind things for each other. The world’s an amazing place if you remember the little things are important too.”

I’m not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes. I felt completely humbled: here was a man who has been dealt so many bad hands, but he had the ability to see past that. To see wonder everywhere.

Love is all around

In Love Actually, Hugh Grant paints a wonderful picture of the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport:

<!–more–>


“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”


I’ve had a similar experience at the Check In desk of Manchester Airport today. I was fortunate enough to be stood very close to the escalator to the departure gates for about three hours, and during this time I was witness to so many moving scenes.


Whole families were turning out to say goodbye to one traveller. With brave faces, and love in their eyes they wished them well on their travels.


Fathers saying goodbye to their children as they left for a business trip.


A father trying so hard not to cry, as his 24 year old son left to start a new life in Japan.


Lovers kissing and crying as one of them was off to travel the world.


An engaged couple embracing, excited to be getting married abroad.


A whole family so excited because they were travelling to Cape Town to meet relatives they’d never met.


Nobody was angry. Nobody was rude. Nobody was abusive. It was a perfect three hours of love, and with the state of the world today, I wish everyone could have witnessed it.

Invisible Illness?

This post was born after a brief conversation with a good friend on Instagram. He was talking about how he had finally come to accept that his depression/ocd/anxiety was a disability.
Continue reading

Are Prisons Too Soft?

The government is assessing whether prisoners should be given iPads to help them keep in touch with their families while on the inside. They could also be used to help with literacy, numeracy, and help convicts to gain skills ready for the outside world.

Wow. Continue reading