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Day 6 of my isolation #covid_19 #pandemic

It’s day 6 of my isolation and things are going quite well. I managed to get another slot for food delivery and I’m slowly adjusting to my new situation. I don’t miss people too much but I do miss my photography outings. I hope that the isolation will end in the summer and I can make up for lost time and get out and about and add to my portfolio of pictures.

day 6 of my isolation

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An extra box of tissues? #money

The FTSE 100 is on 6592 and falling.  There have been big falls on the stock market this year as the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 spreads. A worldwide recession seems likely now. What can we do to protect our savings and investments? In a word, nothing. We just have to accept that our health is a lot more important than money. There has been some panic buying of things like hand sanitizers. It isn’t a good idea to panic buy but maybe buying an extra box of tissues is a sensible precaution.

an extra box of tissues

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My own little gallery #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? As always on a Sunday, I want to go out and take some photos but it’s a bit windy. I certainly won’t be able to wear my hat! This week, I moved out of my bedroom and have been sleeping in the spare room while my bedroom is being decorated. Work on that will resume tomorrow or Tuesday. I hope to turn my room into a small oasis of artwork. Mostly my own photographs because my printer is working again and I can print my own. I want my own little gallery.

my own little gallery

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Looking for beauty in this ugly world #life

I think my interest in photography is about looking for beauty. Beauty can take many forms, even the old man sitting on the bench in  town square has a kind of beauty. The usual landscape photographs I take are appreciated for their beauty. Nature provides us with beauty but mankind makes it ugly. We simply don’t care enough about the world around us. We need to look for beauty in this ugly world because the ugliness is all around us and within us.

beauty in this ugly world

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Is climate change taking us to the edge of extinction?

I’m not a climate change denier nor am I about to take to the streets and protest. This week the West Midland Combined Authority announced it wanted to ban diesel and petrol cars by 2040. An ambitious and ill-thought out plan. Diesel cards do pollute more and we could stop selling new ones and we could ban all engines over 2 litres in all but specialist vehicles. That would be a step in the right direction and that is what we need, small steps in the right direction not wide ranging policies that will never be implemented or ever work.

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Tolerance or intolerance? #life

This morning, I said good morning to the followers of the History of Wednesbury page on Facebook and followed it will this paragraph:

“There are a lot of good reasons why this page exists and continues. It helps people understand how Wednesbury developed as a town. It also makes people aware of each other. It helps build a community. You see names pop up in the comments day after day. You start to understand who the positive people are and who the negative ones are. You find out who the sh*t stirrers are in our community. You find out about tolerance and intolerance. There are many divisions in the world, in our country and in our community. The division between the people who are intolerant and the more mature people who show tolerance and reason tend to be clear to see. Please try to be tolerant and reasonable.”

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Redefining your aspirations #life

I bought a lottery ticket yesterday not because I aspire to be upper class or even middle class for that matter. I thought that if I won that rollover jackpot I could make a difference, not just to my life but to the lives of others. Many people aspire to better themselves but they define better as richer and more in control of their lives. By redefining your aspirations in life you can aspire to being a better person regardless of money and possessions.

redefining your aspirations

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Years and Years #television #life

I watched the BBC’s dystopian drama Years and Years last night. It is set in 2028, not too far in the future. It was quite disturbing. Could the world be like that in just 9 years time? Will people become that nihilistic and start to believe that life is meaningless?

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Do we need to think about consumerism? #life

We are all consumers and as such, we generate a huge amount of waste that gets burnt, recycled or put into landfill. Is it time we took a more responsible approach to consumerism? We have money to spend and some people have too much money. Should we start thinking about sustainability? Perhaps if we bought better quality goods that lasted longer that would help?

consumerism

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Bad news sells newspapers #media

It seems bad news is everywhere on social media. If you circulate a headline asking if we are headed for another financial crash, fear will kick in and people will read the hysterical nonsense. The nationalist nonsense circulating about Brexit is driven by people with no real knowledge of how the European Union works and are in fact, small-minded racists.

bad news

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Get up and go? #Mondayblues

I am struggling to find the motivation to do anything this morning. Cognitive dissonance seems to be a problem that most of us have to cope with. I don’t feel well most of the time and so I want to stay where I feel most comfortable, at home. I think many people found it hard to get up this morning and wanted to stay in their warm bed. This ability to overcome our primitive desires separates us from other animals. We have to get up and go to wherever life demands.

get up and go

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perseverance leads to talent

Today’s post is going to be very short because instead of using a photograph to follow the first paragraph, I’m going to use a link to a video. It is a bit of an experiment. If it works well I can make some videos and embed the code for those in the future. This is Sean Song who is just 10 years old but has worked hard to perfect his talent:

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Looking for alternative investments

I’m looking for alternative investments while the Brexit chaos continues. The obvious alternative to the banks is peer-to-peer lending. I prefer Zopa which is giving me returns of over 5% but is slightly riskier than the banks. Other alternative investments could be to try to buy in bulk to save money rather than actually making money. I even buy in bulk to save on trips to the supermarket, saving me money on petrol.

alternative investments
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Futuristic ideas #life #culture #politics

This is my first post on futuristic ideas. What will the future be like in 20 or 30 years? Our roads are congested now and young people can’t afford to buy homes because too much money is chasing too few homes. We also have problems with obesity as people choose to drive around in cars rather than walk. Can we persuade young people to walk more and eat healthier? How would we even begin to do that?

futuristic

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A wealth of opportunity? #finance

When we talk about wealth, we think in terms of money but we have our own little world and the environment we live in can be one of a wealth of experiences. The alternative is culturally deprived environment where there is no art or music to stimulate the mind. It can be an environment devoid of books and all that reading material that allows us to be informed and make informed choices.

wealth of opportunity
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Plan B #Wednesburyonline

The Dickens story, Christmas Carol, teaches Scrooge a lesson based on the spirits of the past, present and future. We should live in the present and take each day as it comes but we should also learn from the past and plan for the future. I did quite well after the 2008 credit crunch because the central banks just turned on the electronic money machine and printed loads of cash which in turn inflated asset prices like shares and property. Now the bubble is showing signs of bursting and we have the stupidity of Brexit to worry about. Even considering leaving the EU when we were still recovering from an economic crash was stupidity of the first order. The government never has a plan B and so it is all going horribly wrong. I always have a plan B so even though this year has been bad for me financially I’ll survive with little impact on my standard of living.

MONEY

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2019 what lies ahead #Wednesburyonline

It isn’t yet Christmas and already I’m planning for 2019. What lies ahead in 2019? I can already see that some of my friends are heading for problems. I have a few red lines that I won’t cross because I’ve had enough trouble in my life. I avoid debt at all costs and will be thrifty and frugal in 2019 but not mean with money. Getting old with all the health problems that will bring can mean social isolation. I’ll work on that and try to get out more.

2019

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Going over to the dark side #life

We’re all going over to the dark side now as the winter solstice approaches. In ancient times they actually believed in the evil spirits of winter and looked for evergreens like mistletoe, holly and ivy to protect them from the dark side. The evergreens were thought to have magical properties that kept them green all through winter.

the dark side

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The power of positivity #life

It is one degree below freezing this morning and I’m struggling to find the power of positivity. I am trying to think positive, though. The odds are in my favour, it is more likely to get warmer than colder. The forecast says it will be warmer this afternoon. It is easy to get depressed in winter, they call it seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I bet someone took weeks thinking up that acronym. I’m going to post a sunny picture up to make up for my slight negativity.

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Getting ready for Christmas #life

Yes, I’m getting ready for Christmas. I have to stay in nearly every day this week waiting for deliveries. Today I’m waiting in for an air-fryer to be delivered. No, I haven’t bought it as a gift! I bought a new basket for my air-fryer not long ago and I had to alter it to make it fit and it cost £26. While I was ordering Christmas gifts I saw one on offer for £30 that would usually cost over £90. I shall put it away and when I need to replace the basket on my air-fryer, I’ll simply replace the whole thing! I see it as an investment. It will save me money in the long run. I’ve also been preparing for Christmas by sorting out some Christmas cards. I bought those well in advance too. The ones I was going to use are nice but too small. I want to insert a set of art cards inside my Christmas cards as a little extra for friends and relatives.

preparing for Christmas

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Taking responsibility #life #photography

A politician put forward the view that we should all take responsibility for our health this week. I think his motivation was saving money and so his view is mean-spirited and can be ignored. However, we do need to consider our health and our lifestyles and the health of our communities and of the nation. Are we taking responsibility? Even politicians seem to duck their responsibility. I think they have a duty to set an example to the people they serve, especially at a local level. They should be leading communities to a healthier way of life. Life seems so stressful for many people because of change that is beyond their control and that change is often driven by misguided political ideas. Universal Credit, what a good idea cries a politician with a master plan in mind. He, in effect, abandons his personal responsibility and all the principles associated with personal responsibility in favour of a ‘master plan’. People who accept personal responsibility know that ‘master plans’ rarely work out in the end. Look at the mess that Brexit has become, driven by a nationalist ‘master plan’.

taking responsibility

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The 21st century #life

Having lived through the second half of the 20th century, I can definitely say I like the 21st century with its computers, smartphones and smart televisions. I don’t watch much television but I am very much into social media management. Despite ill-health and disability, I do try to become involved in the community. That is usually just taking photographs and doing some publicity.

21st century

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Crazy ideas? #life

I have become quite creative in my old age and my ideas have changed. I am now more in favour of a universal income, a transaction tax to pay for it and other measures to change our economic system. I am also in favour of some nationalisation. I would nationalise the water companies and give everyone free water. I am also in favour of higher taxes on vehicle fuel and a higher rate of VAT despite being a driver. Are these crazy ideas?

crazy ideas?

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Is it plausible? #life

I often find myself asking the question, is it plausible? It can be difficult getting at the truth and we often have to consider which is the most likely possibility. We should look at all the available evidence before we make a judgement but often evidence is not available or covered up. Witnesses to the truth are reluctant to speak. To complicate matters I have recently experienced the concept of plausible deniability when someone who obviously knows the truth claims innocence and denies all knowledge of wrong-doing or incompetence. Making denial plausible seems to be a skill many politicians possess.

is it plausible

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