Thursday, 24 July 2014

It's good to see

the skateboarders practising  so hard  in the heat in The Health Centre Car Park.

I'm encouraging them for all I'm worth.

It's good to see such enthusiasm to learn such difficult tricks and it's bloody hot. They've been repeatedly trying for what must be over  two hundred times for the last hour.

We all need to encourage youngsters like this.This determination to succeed will help them be able to cope in their life ahead.

Hi Francesand Eleanor , former Queen of England

Frances and Eleanor have recently moved into The Gill . I met them yesterday: and what's more I've managed to remember their names!

To help me remember Eleanor pointed out she was named after a former queen of England so I've looked her up!

More on Eleanor, my what a woman:

Eleanor of Aquitaine (French: Aliénor/Éléonore; 1122 or 1124 – 1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages,

Eleanor's succession to the duchy of Aquitaine in 1137 made her the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after she became duchess, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon after, Eleanor sought an annulment of her marriage,[1] but her request was rejected by Pope Eugene III.[2] However, after the birth of her second daughter Alix, Louis agreed to an annulment in consideration of her failure to bear a son after fifteen years of marriage.[3] The marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152 on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate and custody was awarded to Louis, while Eleanor's lands were restored to her.
As soon as the annulment was granted, Eleanor became engaged to Henry, Duke of Normandy, who became King Henry II of England in 1154. Henry was her third cousin (cousin of the third degree), and nine years younger. The couple married on 18 May 1152 (Whit Sunday), eight weeks after the annulment of Eleanor's first marriage, in a cathedral in Poitiers, France. Over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry eight children: five sons, three of whom would become kings; and three daughters. However, Henry and Eleanor eventually became estranged. Henry imprisoned her in 1173 for supporting her son Henry's revolt against her husband, and she was not released until 1189 when Henry died (on 6 July), and their son ascended the English throne as Richard I.
Now queen dowager, Eleanor acted as regent while Richard went on the Third Crusade where he was captured and held prisoner. Eleanor lived well into the reign of her youngest son John. By the time of her death, she had outlived all her children except for King John and Queen Eleanor of Castile.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Hope, that vital ingredient in life

I've come across a really good article on this. 

And my, do I need this message at the moment.

When you are up against it, as I am, dealing with my stroke,

It's important to understand what gives us Hope.

Gordon Jones, a freind of mine who deals a lot with young people , tells me that many of those he deals with, have given up hope.

At the moment I could be the same.

I have good days and bad ones, they seem to go that way, alternate days, at the moment.

So what can I do to lift myself, and yes it's got to be me. No one else can do it for me.

At the moment it can be just going out for a walk up Gill banks. It's a struggle :just getting up the steep slopes, but once up there, one can walk on the level to benches where one cut sit and look up into the trees, with a cool breeze and the wind, very welcome in the hot weather, rustling in the high branches. On the way, there's the opportunity to meet friendly people, some I know. This gives me a lift.

The passage that range true (and the links that follow) for me was:

"How to renew hope
In much of the research examining hope, a major factor that contributes to our level of hope is the achievement of our goals. When we are able to reach our goals and have a sense of support and validation it instills hope.
In this sense, empowering yourself by setting effective goals is the key. Here are a few tips to set and achieve your goals and bring more hope into your life."

I learn here that I need to set achievable goals.

my problem can be that I set my goals too high and then become depressed because I appear to fail.

Aiming lower is the solution . Aiming at something that I can achieve is the secret. So now I will put this more into effect.

Today is starting well.:Let's get the washing up done!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The sad necessity of Barrow Food Bank

I  was privileged to be able to join in with a wonderful group of workers who run Barrow Food Bank, ably  led by  an incredibly hard working Ann Mills. They had gathered together in the the Abbey road Baptist Church  to celebrate their hard work, again organised by Ann.

People who read this Blog will remember that I discovered the existence of the Barrow Food  Bank, through my neighbour Gordon  Jones who works with young people in the Barrow as far back as February this year. Since then we have been collecting all the surplus unsold bread  from the French Bread stall on Ulverston Market every Saturday and taking it to Barrow Food Bank to be frozen, ready for redistribution to outlying Food Banks throughout the area(one of them being here in Ulverston at Bethany Hall). This bread would otherwise be thrown away and I can't stand the thought of this kind of waste at a time when so many families are desparate for food.

Ann Mills, project manager of Barrow foodbank, delivered a talk to the Millom volunteers back in January 2013 when she said:

 “People have a perception that the people using foodbank services are the dregs of society.

“But once the centre is set up in Millom you’ll see the sort of people whose benefits have been delayed, meaning they have no money for weeks. Or the biggest thing is people on low incomes.
“We have all kinds of people coming in for all kinds of reasons. Our main purpose is to restore hope and dignity to people.”

This is still very true of what is happening now , unknown to most of us , particularly in Barrow at the present time.

Today I heard reports of families living in incredible poverty in Barrow at this very moment.What is alarming is they the problem  is now spreading to families who are in work but only earning the minimum wage.

I talked to Sue who keeps track of all those that use the service. She was able to reassure me that there was very little abuse of the system with her monitoring she would be able to spot people who were abusing the free food.In fact she reported that school teachers who are working closely with Ann Mills,were becoming aware that some children were surviving on only one meal a day and this was the one they got at school. One boy had only had one pair of shoes in the past three years.

Yes , for whatever reason, real poverty does exist in the area

What is disturbing is that Cameron is completely out of touch with what is happening at this level in our society:

"Labour chief Ed Miliband paid tribute to volunteers working to feed the poor, vulnerable and homeless last Christmas."
And Mr Miliband demanded: “Is the Prime Minister as concerned as I am that there has been a six-fold increase in the last three years in the number of people relying on food banks?”
The Trussell Trust, which organises food handouts across the country, estimates it will feed 230,000 people this year, up from 26,000 in 2009-10.
There was uproar when Mr Cameron tried to make a virtue of the desperate situation.
The PM said: “First of all let me echo what he said about volunteers and people who work hard in communities, part of what I call the ‘Big Society’, to help those in need.”
To jeers from Labour, he blundered on: “It is a good time of year to thank out volunteers for what they do.
“But I do share his concern about people who are struggling to pay the bills, who are struggling to deal with their budgets.”

The Labour leader raised shocking research that shows teachers are being forced to feed starving pupils out of their own pocket.
“Why does he think it is happening and why does it appear to be getting worse on his watch?” he demanded.
Mr Miliband added that the PM’s answers “seem very out of touch with families up and down the country”.

Long hair - This is fun

Now take a closer look!

Who's hair is it?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

"You made my Day"

Was the comment from the train  conductor as we parted the train at Ulverston station.

I had just made the effort  to tell him how friendly and helpful he had been as he collected and sold tickets on the train from Lancaster to Ulverston.

We can make the world of difference to the morale of people of all kinds who work in the public domain by actually stating our appreciation. Particularly if they are doing a difficult job

People like : postmen, train drivers,workmen working on the roads, the  police, even the guys issuing parking tickets.

The media are selling papers and television news by tearing people to shreds. Don't you think that we  need to promote the alternative : an encouragimg culture, around us wherever possible.

Lets make a big effort to raise morale around us : we did in the war. It's becoming more of a war time atmosphere: let's do it now whenever we can.

Dealing with people you can trust

Isn't it great dealing with people we like and trust.
Sadly I went to a chain in Ulverston for my glasses and wasted several hundred pounds on glasses  I that were no good for me.

At that time I didn't know about Richard Haynes In Barrow. He immediately generated trust  because I was dealing with someone  I could recognise as someone who knew his trade inside out. I came away with having ordered two pairs of glasses at prices way below what I had paid at the chain shop in Ulverston.

With chains , you never know who you are really dealing with.

Again I am dealing with Shaun Anderson,recommended my friend who is helping me get my muscles back in working order.I look forward to seeing him each week as he clearly knows what he is doing and is so helpful.

Then I have a builder who has just put a new fibre glass flat roof on an extension and I have complete faith in him because the way 'he has tackled the work.

Dave  Clarke has done excellent odd jobs : a leaking water control valve and replaced a light switch.

My dentist who has looked after my teeth now for the last forty years does amazing work in keeping my failing teeth still functioning., again at very reasonable prices.

I have an excellent doctor who takes a real interest in my welfare and again i totally trust.

The list goes on  and on as I can turn in every direction to find people I can trust  based on good recommendations to do a variety of work at reasonable prices.

What a great area of the world we live in to have access to this network of people who can be totally relied upon.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Bemused by th attitude of the U3A committee

I would love to share these thoughts directly with the committee but sadly I don't know how.

I find it sad to be dealing with people who act unthinkingly like robots.

My bemusement comes from considering their present action of refusing to allow me to rejoin the local U3A, so that I can join in the discussions of the Philosophy group, many of whom are my friends going back ten years, because they believe :"I have brought the U3A into disrepute".

So who are the U3A?     see their web site

Have the present committee considered that in the eyes of people that know me well(one of whom has just written"PS you are an inspiration, thanks"- in response to finding out about my pottery on the railings project here in Ulverston) that by refusing me membership, it is they that a might be bringing the U3A into disrepute? I am in no position to judge.

People who know me well won't be surprised that I may have upset previous people who took charge of the U3A ,years back after I helped set it up in the first place. The larger the organisation the more there is a tendency for some people to take power :it makes them feel good or in their former life in civvy street they may have used to not being questioned about what they did in the way I did. Voluntary organisations  quickly lose a bottom up feeling where everyone is valued.People who get power can so easily overstep the line, Leading to a 'top down' organisation.

I would have thought the value of a committee would be to support the views of it's membership.

Logically it would then want to ask the group I propose to join what their views were rather than impose  from on high an edict that a person is likely to bring the U3A into disrepute.

How familiar are they as to what this person, Geoff Dellow is supposed to have done?

If they knew more it seems to me likely that they, far from condemning a certain behaviour, might want to praise it as that of someone who  tried to support fellow members of the U3A at the time.

So what reputation in the area does the U3A have?

Bearing in mind that has a membership of 456, how much does it contribute to the life of the area?

With all this potential for action, what does it achieve. Isn't the opinion in Ulverston that it is very inward looking and lacks vision

Just asking!

Personally I get far more appreciation  from my builder, optician and osteopath at the moment who treat me with respect and and care .

Thank God for real people rather than committees in grey suits whose actions are in stark contrast with it's members, one of whom chose without prompting to give me a caring manicure (something I can't do for myself after my stroke) when I attended the Monday morning dropin about two weeks ago when I 'joined' the U3A  only to have this rejected since then.

Ulverston War Memorial is looking good

It's great to have music in the town

Please take care of him.