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Life

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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How to have great ideas? #ramble

How do you have train your mind to have great ideas? How do you make life interesting? Tony Highfield, our local historian was telling me about all the awards he has won and how he gets involved in the community. He compiles books, researches history and gets involved and he said that is why we are different. We take a risk and risk the ridicule if things go wrong. We don’t sit at home thinking about it and talking about it, we get out there and take a risk. This inspires our thinking and we even take risks in the way that we think. We imagine and then we try to make it happen. There are people who can’t do anything without lots of support and when it all goes wrong they blame someone else. You have to be brave enough to try new ideas but you also have to be brave enough to accept the blame if it all goes wrong.

having great ideas

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Life and money #finance #life

I have decided not to do any stock market dealing for a while and think more about making life better without spending lots of money. I still keep accounts though and a check on how much money is coming in and how much is going out! I’m pleased to say more comes in than goes out so I can consider other things in life. Life and money, which is more important? Of course, having a good life is more important.

life and money

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The next priority #life

I’m still taking a break from writing about finance and investments, it is no longer my top priority. I don’t see any great investment opportunities. I’m fairly sure there will be small interest rate rises on the other side of the Atlantic but for now, I can’t see much competition between nations for investment money so interest rates here will probably stagnate. That means we are unlikely to see a rise in the value of the pound against the dollar. Opportunities could lie in watching for takeovers of British companies especially FTSE 250 companies but I don’t see an obvious target yet. In dollar terms, most FTSE 100 companies seem over-valued. Anyway, it is time for a cute picture:

setting your top priority

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Allusions and illusions #ramble #life

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Allusions and illusions. Yesterday, it was that royal wedding. That was an illusion of grandeur but there were complex allusions in play too.

Wednesbury allusions

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Experiments in art #challenge #art

It is day 11 of the #TheJanuaryChallenge of #64million artists. Today’s challenge is quite a good one, it is try something new. I think about trying something new most days. Yesterday, I tried to create some new images using money, fivers and pound coins to be exact. I also did yesterday’s challenge using money. Yesterday’s challenge was to make something with an A4 piece of paper. Ended up with this:

art challenge

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Creative thinking about life #creative

Usually, on a Thursday, I write a post about being thrifty and saving money but it is quite easy these days to shop around and get the best price by using the internet. There is lots of advice on the net about saving money, too. When I started this blog I decided to make it more like a magazine than a blog about my life and the things I do. I have decided to make it more like a blog now and write more from experience. I employ a lot of creative thinking in my life so that will make a better subject for my blog.

creative thinking about money

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New year and so some new plans #ramble

So it’s 2017, I wasn’t expecting to live this long or I would have looked after myself better. Last night my phone said ‘emergency calls only’. I thought maybe the network was overloaded with people wishing each other happy new year. It seems the sim has developed a fault. I have ordered a new one online. My new year isn’t off to a very good start.

new year 2017

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