Baked beans

I went to buy a few groceries today and was shocked at the price of a branded can of beans. £1.45! The shops own brand was 36 pence a whole £1.09 less. So the most expensive can was four times more !

This is madness, the food you buy is costing more and more. But why should something cost that much more. I wonder how much more they will charge if they can. How much is because of limited stock, the cost of delivery, manufacture or because of making profit from people who can’t afford the increasing cost. This would be difficult to determine, except for the cheapness of the other can!

Keep warm

The cost of energy in the UK is going up 54% in April this year. That means that the average household bill will be around £2000 per year. There are already people having to choose between heating and eating. All this in an age when we have been told (and rightly so) that we need to cut our carbon footprints. There are ideas and suggestions, being considered, but whether those will work no one knows. I am lucky to live in a first world country, but the poorest in the economy will be hit hardest by this price hike. They spend a higher percentage of their money on energy.

Why as an artist, am I writing about this? Partly because it means that creative people are being squeezed. If people have higher bills they can’t afford to pay for luxuries like art, music, restaurants, just anything that they have to balance their bills. It means that children are going to suffer more poverty. Life continues to get difficult.

So we face hard times, but what about the rest of the world? Life is hard, conflict increases, people have lost their homes, people starve. I have no solutions to offer, but I wish things were better.

Relief

#bandofsketchers prompt on Thursday was relief. I wanted to draw a comic relief red nose (a charity that collects millions of pounds for people in need all round the world) but I can’t find one, (been buying them every couple of years) so I tried to draw one from memory. The telethon has been going for years and mainly relies on comedy to encourage people to donate.
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Cost….

My friend is offering a beautiful print for sale and as a limited edition (not the image here, it has similar colours). I would love it, and it’s at a fair price for an artist to charge. But all I could think was, car tax and other bills are due in January. I have to realise I cannot afford it. Now I feel guilty for just enquiring.

I realise I don’t charge enough for my art. I have this strange idea that I want my art to go to a good home, so I undersell, swap art, or offer ways people can pay in installments. But I’m also doing other artists a disservice. If I charge less, how can they charge more? I think it might be my upbringing. Having a belief in myself? I guess it’s just how I am.

Yes I hate football

Football ⚽

Used to like it, the beautiful game. The skills, the athleticism, the ability. But I got fed up with it. The prices players are bought and sold for. The money they earn. I hate the way some teams can receive millions of pounds in TV rights, while the bottom clubs languish and are often running out of money.

The other thing I dislike is the way the fans act. They can be so antagonistic, fighting and getting drunk. The rivalry can turn into violence. I don’t think there is any need for it. There is too much racism too.

I hope that things will go OK tonight. That’s when England play against Denmark. May the best team win.

Roofer?

Loud knock on the door. I opened the door to see a man in a mask under his chin proffering his elbow?! I stood back. Er can I help you? I’m your neighbours landlord. ( OK, so I know my neighbour owns his own house which is not in good condition). I didn’t believe him.

The man said I’m just doing work on your neighbours house and damp is getting in from your chimney. Is it? I asked. (We have problems with damp from next door). He said I’ve got a man on the roof now and I will go halves, I’ll charge £600 and you will pay £300. I said I can’t afford that, he wandered off and offered £200. I said I’m not sure, will have to talk to my husband. So then he said he was working on a house three doors up? So I said how does damp from my roof get three doors up (we are in a terraced house). He then said the water tracks under the roofing felt (this would be uphill and up brick walls)….. So I said which house do you own and he said the one up the hill with the purple bricks sign.

So then hubby arrived. He was not impressed. We walked across the road and yes we could see one missing tile. We could also see no one on the other roof, no ladder, no scaffolding. Do these people realise we use our eyes? Hubby told the man he wanted to see proof of who he was and proof he owned the house up the hill. By this time the man looked panicked. Hubby can be forceful when he wants and said no we would get our own builder in. The man was now upset, seeing £200 melt before his eyes and clearly worried by my hubbies attitude. I calmed things down. We bumped elbows and said goodbye. I don’t think he will be back!

Filled up with ⛽

I’m not convinced getting a motorbike was a good idea for my hubby. He doesn’t use it very often. He’s done 160 miles in…….. Two years! His tank was on red so he went down the garage. It cost £2.65 to fill the tank. When I think how much it costs to fill my car. No comparison. But I have only filled my tank up five or six times since March so its cost considerably less than before. Plus we are walking more.. Win win.

Ice lolly 6 pence?

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I can remember before decimalisation in the UK when money came in LSD, (pounds, shillings and pence) if you bought an icecream cone it might be 6d, which meant you paid a sixpenny piece or two thrupences 3d.

This picture is after decimalisation. Because the prices, like 6p have the new letter. I remember sixpence old money  was 2 1/2 pence in new money (we actually had coins marked as ‘new pence’).

Oh how times change! Dracula and Dalek ice lollies! I think they still sell funny faces though. As they say ‘I scream you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!’

Homelessness

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Just wrote to my MP because this happened today….

Dear………. MP

I just had a man knock on the door, he’d spoken to my husband last week, he had nothing, we gave him a bit of money and some bread and cheese. I asked him if he had spoken to the council homeless team. He said they just come out with a flask with a lukewarm drink and a few protein bars. He can’t easily eat them as he has no teeth. He used to run a business but had to sell it. He’s living in a tent by the river. (all this was discussed at a distance well over six foot).

Is there anything that can be done for him. All I know is his name is ……. and he is in his fifties by the look of it.

Yours Sincerely

……………..

What is going on. How have we come to this. I think he would have knocked on the door even without what is going on now. People should not be in this situation.

Stay safe and sheltered.

X

 

Sent from my Xperia by Sony smartphone

Money….

Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised.

George Orwell.

Well, I wanted to say something about money (or the lack of it), and then I saw this quote. I also found the map of deprivation in and around the area where I live.

I don’t mind admitting this area is poor. Lots of jobs have gone over the years as local industry has closed. Families that had three generations working in the same industry together have lost such a lot. Not through their own fault, but through lack of support and outsourcing of work. Factories have closed, and been demolished, when perhaps they could have been reused. With global warming they wouldn’t necessarily have been able to keep going, but something could have happened to make people’s lives better.

What is missing? Money, investment, something more substantial than the short term, selfish, unfair world that we seem to live in. When governments fail to help and support their people, and rely instead on charity we have come to a bad point in life. The poor become the despised for not ‘getting on’. People start to identify undeserving poor, and blame them for their miseries instead of seeing that the system is broken. When people who care are called snowflake or whatever other derogatory comment that can be hurled at them, we are in a bad place.