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.

Trying to explain meditation.

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When I tried to learn to meditate, first I bhad to breathe in and then breathe out, to try and concentrate on my breathing. Count your in breathe for four seconds, pause, then breathe out for three, pause. If you start to feel dizzy just go back to normal shallow breathing. Counting helps take your mind off other thoughts. When you feel calm tighten and then relax your toes, then your calves, thighs, back, belly, hands, arms shoulders, neck and head. Each part of your body is hopefully then relaxed. If you fall asleep that’s OK. If you feel like it, you can imagine yourself walking down ten stairs, they are covered in nice carpet, you choose the colour of the walls, you are safe and can hold on to a stair rail. At the bottom there is a door with a crystal handle. You open the door and go into a warm room with an open fire and a beautiful sofa. There is a cupboard where you can put your worries in. The worries will have disappeared if you open the cupboard again. You can sit or lie on the sofa and relax. For a really deep meditation as you sit on the sofa you can go through relaxing your body in your minds eye again. This was the first meditation I ever did at a yoga class. I try and remember it when I am feeling stressed. If anyone here knows different methods please share?

Life changes.

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Thinking about how much life has changed since I cooked toast on our gas fire.

In the 1970’s we had electric central heating installed downstairs in our house. This was installed by our council. But my mom would not have it on because of the cost. We used to sleep with our outdoor coats on top of our sheets, blankets and eiderdowns to keep warm. In the winter there was always frost on the inside of the bedroom window. Sometimes really thick ice.

Now my home has double glazing (single at my mom’s house till the 1980’s). Central heating. The water is usually hot, where we were only allowed to put the heater on for an hour at night at my old home.

Also computers were just coming in and calculators were introduced when I was a teenager. Now they are everywhere. “go online” is the mantra.

Electric cars? Maybe imagined in the 1960’s to be everywhere by the turn of the century, and people really thought there woukd be flying cars.

Bad stuff now… Too much plastic… Too much pollution. But there were shop wrecks like the Torrie canyon and the Exxon Valdiz that poured millions of gallons of oil into the sea and destroyed sea bird colonies.

What else? Our phone, when we got it was a big green one, with a hand held ear and mouthpiece attached to the phone body by a curly wire. The phone itself had a dial with holes lined up with numbers on it. To dial a number you put your finger in a hole then pulled it round the dial until you got to a stop then the dial turned the other way and you dialled the next number… Now, well we have mobile phones, hand held computers like in star trek.

Other things, better medication, more cures for cancer, more treatments, more, older people.

The thing is, the more we have, the more we want…. Catch 22….

Is it 2020 yet?

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Time, memories, fears, wonders? The year has passed, slowly and quickly. I can’t believe it’s almost over. Things have happened that I couldn’t forsee. People I loved have gone, friends I have lost. But also, friends I have made, on line and in real life.

Can you tell by this reflective mood that I haven’t had a drink yet for New years eve? I migh treat myself to an Irish coffee. But I don’t feel like drinking a lot.

Things to avoid in 2020…

Politics!

Hot sun,

Getting too tired.

Going to bed to late.

What about you?

X

An ordinary Saturday

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No glitterball today,

no sparkling champagne.

Just leftovers and dregs,

an ordinary Saturday.

We’ve enjoyed the holiday,

and more is to follow

but now it is time,

for life to settle.

Time passes on,

the world keeps turning.

The decade almost done,

a new one beginning.

So let us all pause

and rest for a day,

Take stock of our past

call it good old Saturday.

 

Annular Eclipse

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There was an eclipse today in some parts of the world. Not here though. This was an annular eclipse, where the moon doesn’t fully cover the sun and leaves a ring of sun shining behind the moon.

So why does this happen. In normal eclipses the moon appears to be the same size as the sun so its completely covered. That is because the moon is something like 40 times smaller than the sun, but also 40 times closer to us. So they have the same apparent size in the sky. But with an annular eclipse the Sun can be slightly closer or the moon slightly father away. Why? Because the Earth rotates round the Sun in an ellipse, which is an oval with two focal points. The sun sits on one focus, but the Earth orbits around both. That means sometimes it is further away from the sun and sometimes closer Then it also means the moon is further away from the sun or slightly closer to it. The moon rotates round the earth in the same way in an elliptical orbit. So sometimes it is closer to, and sometimes further away. If you add the two positions up further to the sun and further away from the earth you get an annular eclipse.

I can’t explain it more clearly. It is most difficult to think your way through how it works but I hope this makes sense.

I’m OK, I’m wearing a jumper.

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It’s cold outside and we’ve been away so it’s got cold because I turned the heating down for a couple of days. But its OK I’m wearing a jumper.

It makes me wonder what will happen when homes have to use less power to heat them. They are talking about removing gas boilers and turning to electric heating. Also by improving insulation the cost of power should go down. The insulation would also help keep places cooler in summer. The question is whether or not this will be feasible. I think that political parties will have to get behind it. Our government is waiting till 2050, far later than most.

There is also the tenancy to have more open plan spaces. I know if I leave a door open the main living area gets colder. If I close off a room and don’t put the radiator on in there it saves on heating. In the meantime I’m willing to wear more jumpers more often if it saves money.