Tag Archives: cycling

There’s a politician who seems to be very happy to use his platform as a member of parliament to share his very conservative points of views. One of his latest comments was about the compassionate and uplifting view British foodbanks gave. Mr Rees-Mogg’s opinion

I can see merit in what he says. Foodbanks are non-profit, donation based enterprises. The fact that the British people continue to pop some beans or a box of teabags into the food bin after a shop when their budget is stretched to it’s thinnest is incredibly heartwarming. Every penny counts and still we try to make sure those who don’t have a slice of bread or the bashed up can of beans that stays on the shelf for it’s entire 4 year shelf life, get given food to see them through the next few days.

That doesn’t mean that it’s okay that Mr Rees Mogg says what he does. He is part of a government which seems to be hell bent on pulling the rug out from under the feet of the nation, a government who year after year reduces the real term money in the budget of nearly every family within the UK. It will never be okay that he talks about how inspiring the great British public is whilst he sits in parliament and almost consistently votes for the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer. Voting history of Mr Rees-Mogg

I hold my hands up. The Mr works extremely hard but with my disability we are increasingly reliant upon the benefits system. This isn’t ideal. It was never meant to be this way and every time we make headway something happens to kick us back down. We have never been at the point of need so bad that we have visited a food bank, and it is largely thanks to family and wonderful friends that this is the case. Our budget is able to stretch further having to not buy a whole new wardrobe as a child grows, because of the generosity of pre-loved sofas and kitchen tables, because our friends are in similar positions themselves and we have all recognised that it is through the generosity of friends, family, and even strangers, that our world keeps turning.

With every passing bedtime I breathe a sigh of relief. We made it through another day and no one went to bed hungry, they might even have managed to have dessert too. I’ll ignore the hole in my shoes, the lack of a coat that fits, I’ll cut my hair myself again and continue to cut the rest of the families too. I don’t even mind that this is the state of our life. We feel blessed everyday to be able to love our beautiful children and our ever growing circle of nieces and nephews. We are healthy(ish) and (mostly) happy but of course there are ways we could be happier.

We could reduce our significant debts for example. We are trying to count every penny and be held accountable for our “luxury” purchases like new stacker shelves for the understairs pantry and a hot chocolate on the go. Having so many appointments at hospitals means I do spend whilst out and about and I should get better organised but I’m also tight so settle for hospital hot drinks or a Maccy Ds hot chocolate with the hope of saving enough stickers to get my free drink! No fancy Costa drinks with marshmallows for me any time soon.

The Mr is trying too. He’ll buy a pile of microwave dinners and a bunch of bananas for the week – cycling backpacks aren’t very useful for taking in a homemade lunch – and he is quite adept at spotting special offers on crisps which makes him a fairly happy chappy.

I know we aren’t alone in a budgeting stresses and I recognise that there are families out there who think we are extremely fortunate and, I guess, in lots of ways we are. Mr Rees Mogg might not have any clue about the majority of people and how we live. I’d happily show him how it works for our family but I doubt he’ll be slumming it in South London any time soon. The frustration will continue and the families struggling now will also be on this treadmill in a year, five years, ten years time. It is the fallout from austerity and the penny pinching from the poorest whilst shoving the pounds towards those at the top. We live in a democracy but so many don’t know how or just won’t vote and it is so frustrating. The people have decided that this government is fit to serve the people but it only has those that already have in their sights. The have-nots will continue to pinch every penny they see, just like us, and our Prime Minister and her cronies will fill each others’ bank accounts ready to see out their days never needing handouts or suffering from NHS funding cuts and the continuing fall in student nurses and teachers because you can earn more on the till of your local supermarket than ensuring the educational and health needs of the next generation. 

How did we end up in this mess? And is there any way we can get through the next decade without watching our children going to school filthy and hungry? I am fairly certain Mr Jacob Rees Mogg doesn’t have a plan for the foodbank users of the 21st Century.  

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Users of the road

I got my driving license almost 13 years ago and I think I’m a pretty good road user. I’ve had 3 claims on my insurance which have happened in situations which I couldn’t avoid.

The first happened whilst I was 6/7 months pregnant with No3. It was entirely the Mr’s fault. He went into the back of a hatchback because he anticipated the driver being more aggressive about moving on to the roundabout. With car damage and her whiplash claim, our insurance paid out over 10k. That held our insurance back for the next five years.

The second accident, last year, was my fault because I allowed myself to be bullied by another driver to take a gap I knew I couldn’t make. He drove off into the distance whilst I was left to exchange details with the parked car’s owner and a 1k claim to repair the wheel arch which I caught with my fibreglass trimmings on the minibus. 

The last happened just this month and I’m so bloomin’ cross! I parked the car and we went in to playgroup. When I came out I heard a car crunch over something right next to my brand new mobility car – I do not exaggerate, I had 22 days of ownership on my Black Beauty 😦 The bad driver must have reversed into her, felt the impact, drove off. Not a note, not a “does anyone know who this belongs to?” Nothing. Now I have a £100 excess and I’m waiting for the company to collect BB to do the repair.

We’ve been very lucky, no damage to humans just to vehicles and bank balances.

Then we look at the Mr. As well as being a fairly good driver be is also a cycling commuter. Yes. He is one of those nutters who speeds along the cycling super highway to work in offices all over London and he Loves it. Personally, I am not a cyclist. I know how to cycle but my overly rotund posterier just isn’t designed for those ittybitty seats :-/ 

Mr has been hit twice, if my memory still works, whilst *walking* in our local town centre. As a cyclist I think we are on 6 or 7 accidents. One wrecked the bike but saved the man, two meant hospital visits (technically there is a 3rd but you don’t count the cyclist being dippy and going over his own handle bars 😉 ). He has permanent damage and recurring pain and he *still* gets on that bloomin’ deathtrap and zooms off at least 5 days a week. 

Last week, with storm Doris raging around us, he again cycled off, cool as a cucmber and brought himself home without a scratch and proud of a new personal best thanks to Doris helping him on his way. 

When cycling is mentioned on social media, it is normally to scorn the cyclist. Just this weekend a friend posted about cyclists using the road instead of “the perfectly good cycle path”. My response was a little irritated but also, I hope, a polite nudge to remember that a cyclist is a road user too and he isn’t hurting anyone by being on the road instead of the path. I’m not sure she agreed but, for once, every other comment was also to point out the same reasoning. I am blessed with open minded friends. Even C understood why most don’t bother and, of course, she’s allowed to be irked by another road user regardless of the number of wheels and the size of the engine.

It’s a funny old world. Just this evening overtook me because sticking to the 30mph speed limit was too difficult. It’s a limit not a target! The number of people I see on mobile phones is shocking and I often wonder how many people drive without following the legal requirements. Driving is expensive when you add it all up, it’s easy to see why some blur the lines slightly but those who drive oblivious to the rules, I just don’t understand.

If you get 3 points for speeding it is 3 too many. If your insurance is too high try to change your vehicle, don’t just drive without it. Is that phone call really necessary? Could it wait or be put on loud speaker? If you want a drink or 3 leave the car at home. Call a cab and factor the cost into your night out. Seriously, do not drink and drive.
I am someone who tries to avoid being tardy and I get secretly irritated by other people who seem to always arrive late but in all honesty, I’d rather be late to my appointment than early to my grave.

Be safe, people.

#betterdriving #cycling #limitnottarget #callataxi #soberdriver