Monthly Archives: December 2014

My Christmas rant

When I was growing up pubs had shorter hours, shops never opened on Sundays, some even closed for half day on a Wednesday. We finished for Christmas on Christmas Eve, then generally went back to work on the day following Boxing Day. It was a result if Christmas fell on a Thursday because then we had an extra two days off!

What is happening in a world where profit is so essential that companies encourage shoppers to spend online on Christmas Day because their “sales” start early? What is happening when large stores insist their staff not only work on Boxing Day but they be in attendance from 6am?

Ridiculous pre holiday “sales”. Twenty four hour opening! Gluttony and greed, two of the seven deadly sins….and I’m not religious!! I do, however, recognise when my fellow men (and women:) ) are being enticed to spend and get into debt by unscrupulous retailers, uncaring shareholders and company bosses eager for large bonuses……

I can’t believe I’m a capitalist, with this amount of disapproval but I am. I just care for the rest of humanity and the direction we seem to be taking, someone has to.

Nathan’s golliwog (are we allowed to say that word now??)


Playdo golly
Playdo golly

Nathan and Georgia bought a whole heap of Playdo for Archie for Christmas and as is the way with our family, everyone had to have a go making something. Only Nathan could pick a golliwog – and are we even allowed to say that word now in this country???

What happened to the Noddy books we read, which were littered with golliwogs as well as the Brer Rabbit stories with the tar baby????

Strangely enough, the Aussies seem to have the right attitude.  When we were out there, we saw a shop dedicated to golliwogs at Hillary’s Harbour in Perth.  No  political correctness there ……

My Christmas message

photo (9)

It’s the gifts money can’t buy that are the most difficult to get at Christmas. I’ve already had one from my son, Nathan, he gave me a hug last night before going away to Georgia’s ” I love you dad” he said.

We are going to see Hannah, Matt and Jack and feed them, Leah, Simon, Archie and bump and feed them. Time and hugs with loved ones, the most valuable gift.
……to see Julie sat next to me at this time in 5 years laughing.
Have a very Happy Christmas xxx

Start of Julie’s visits to The Rowans


The Rowans
The Rowans

Just before Christmas, Julie started going over to The Rowans Hospice at Purbrook, for a six week course every Friday.  She thoroughly enjoyed the experience, with its complimentary therapies, informative talks and excellent buffet lunches! She found it extremely helpful talking and interacting with others in the same situation as herself and has made some great friends who keep in touch with each other.

Obviously The Rowans is a hospice and Julie chose this as the place she wanted to be able to go when she felt the need to in the future.  Far from being what most people consider a place you go to when you die, the hospice is a relaxing drop-in centre for cancer patients with support staff and volunteers who do their best to make you feel a person again, not just someone suffering from a life shortening disease ……

I’m now the number one chef and potwasher ……

Head chef!
Head chef!

Since Julie has been ill, I’ve taken over the cooking and most of the running of the household, alongside running our business.  Now I’ve taken over the whole kitchen, much to Julie’s angst ………

For you blokes who think cooking is a black art, keep reading and watch out for my recipe blogs for “Kev’s Kitchen – for fellas who think they can’t cook!” You never know, you may just start impressing the loved ones in your life……nothing like brownie points!

.. and just to add to the rant ….

One more from the papers….”Pizza may be declared one of your 5 a day”. Really? I thought we were supposed to be fighting obesity !!

On the way back to the Royal Marsden today with Julie, which has given me time to read the papers and I’m surprised and dismayed to see Manpower Services recruiting bricklayers from Portugal. Their reasoning behind this is that there are not enough in this country..hmm, I read on and see that Manpower were only offering 500.00 per week while double that to the Portuguese.
While my experience of bricklayers is they are probably one of the most demanding of all trades and some times the way to get things dealt with, is to stand up to them and explain who is exactly paying their wages, most bricklayers, like other tradesmen in this country tend to be self employed. Being a self employed tradesman means you have all sorts of expenses to pay out before you actually make a penny. Insurances, travel, tools accountants to name but a few, you don’t get paid for any holiday you take, nor if you are sick.
My point? You can’t expect any self employed skilled tradesman to work for less than their European counterparts in their own country !!