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Life

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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Make it happen #life #community

Sometimes when you have an idea, you just have to take a risk and try to make it happen. Starting this website was like that and it is still going because I think it is worthwhile. I also took up photography about 10 years ago and quickly progressed to a DSLR and doing community photography. My latest idea was to have some art cards printed and put them on sale. I decided on 2,000 to get a good price and although they are selling slowly, they are selling.

make it happen

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Chipping away at life #life #photography

Do you remember that film the Shawshank Redemption? The prisoner keeps chipping away at the wall in his cell with a rock hammer, covering the hole with a movie poster. I thought there was a lesson to be learnt in that story that you can chip away and get what you want or where you’re going, eventually. Just keep chipping away…

chipping away

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Out to destroy me #life

Money seems to dominate life these days but there are more important things. A local politician used the words, “out to destroy me” recently regarding a political opponent. It was, of course, their reputation that they fear will be destroyed. One’s reputation and good name is a thing of great value and more important than money and it can so easily be destroyed by gossip and rumours, especially these days, with the internet and social media providing mass communication.

out to destroy me

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Light at the end of the tunnel? #life

This year hasn’t gone well for me and this week has been pretty awful but there is always light at the end of the tunnel if we squint our eyes and look for it! At least my investments haven’t lost more value this week and there are signs of recovery. The new board at Solo Oil seem to be much more business-like and so I’m hopeful I might make money there. I now own another 20% so I need that company to work a small miracle.

light at the end of the tunnel?

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Can civil society save our communities?

I’ve always thought that civil society is a good thing. Those associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations raise money for charity, fight for workers rights and plug the gaps in the social care system. In recent years, we have seen charities become more like businesses and more community interest companies trying to tackle community problems but also trying to make a profit. I suspect some of these new organisations are more driven by a desire to create jobs or maintain jobs for the people who run them than provide a worthwhile service.

 civil society

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The postcard saga #life

Yes, the postcard saga has taken another step towards the ridiculous. My little competition to see which picture was the best one for a postcard was featured in the Sandwell Chronicle. It made page two, no less. I didn’t get the credit, though!

pick a postcard
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Life is meant to be challenging #life

It is amazing how easy something is until you actually get around to doing it! I do social media, blogging and photography and just lately the social media has been a pain. At least the readers of my blog don’t complain. There is a comments box but surprisingly, few people use it. The photography isn’t as easy as it looks either. I photographed a music event on Tuesday under fluorescent light and tried using high ISO settings and shooting a lot in monochrome. It worked reasonably well. It was better than bouncing the flash off people! Of course, doing anything worthwhile isn’t easy, life is meant to be challenging.

life is meant to be challenging

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Review and take stock #life #money

I frequently stop, review what I’m doing and take stock. We need to do this, every business needs to review its strategy and do a stock take on a regular basis. Individuals need to take stock of their lives too. There are many aspects to all our lives and money does determine how much freedom we have to live life as we would like. Our health or lack of it and disabilities can restrict our life chances too.

Review in editing

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Carnival time today! #photography

Yes, it is the Wednesbury carnival today, so I’m scheduling a post to publish before I go. I missed posting yesterday because I was keeping up with the news on my investments. Regular readers will know I’ve been having a terrible year but this week there are signs of improvement and I’m back making money. I’m also cheerful because it is carnival time!

carnival time

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Enlightenment: the pursuit of wisdom

I stopped writing about finance on Fridays because money is simply a means to an end. I enjoy photography and the experimentation that means I can create art using my camera. Anyone can create art, all you need is a pencil. Creating art that will tell a story and be popular is more difficult. Part of the difficulty is understanding what people relate to visually. Enlightenment isn’t just about learning and knowledge it is about understanding. Young people can learn and acquire knowledge. Older people combine knowledge with understanding and strive to fully appreciate the world we live in.

BRUNSWICK PARK - enlightenment is appreciating what you see.

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Legends of Darts

I’m going to the Legends of Darts evening at Mecca Bingo (Wednesbury) tomorrow night. I haven’t had a good week and so a night out could be just the thing I need. I used to be an addicted darts player, playing just about every night. Due to illness, I struggle to walk far now and can’t throw the arrows but I can at least be a spectator and as I can’t throw, I can at least shoot a few photos!

legends of darts

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Putting value on what you have. #life #art

I went to a hospital appointment yesterday and came home disappointed that I wasn’t offered a promising treatment for my health problems. It does mean I will have to change my plans but it isn’t the end of the world. I know people with much worse problems and disability. I’m keen to get more involved in art and next year’s art festival but maybe I’ll just have to accept I can’t do so much. I’ve already slowed down and adjusted somewhat.

art festival

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Value your eyesight. #ramble

It is Sunday morning and so once again I let you into the labyrinth of neurons and share my thoughts with you. My glasses are still in the opticians and so I am looking at a blurred computer screen and hoping for the best. I still have distance glasses so I’m able to find my way around and drive but not being able to read is really annoying. You really do need to value your eyesight.

Value your eyesight

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