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Boris the brainwasher? #ramble

It has been suggested to me that the reason many men are refusing to wear face masks is male pride. They seem to be claiming it is because they feel they are being controlled. By whom and to what purpose, we might ask. I assume they mean the government led by bumbling Boris. Not long ago these macho males were cheering him on as he tried to “get Brexit done”. That debacle still lingers and once again Boris breaks the law to try to get his own way. Is he capable of mind control? Well, brainwashing does rely on constant repetition of the same message. We have seen that in the phrases “Get Brexit done” and the government messages related to “protect the NHS”. That is the standard for getting a message to sink in but does Boris take it a step further? Is Boris, Boris the brainwasher?

Boris the brainwasher

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Strategic decisions #FinanceFriday

The pandemic has caused a recession but how deep is the recession and can we recover? It is difficult to know precisely how bad things are, some estimates suggest it has wiped 10% off GDP while other estimates suggest 30%. We have to make strategic decisions based upon what we know today and accept that the future is unpredictable. I don’t think it is a good time to be moving house or making major purchases unless you want to take advantage of the low-interest rates.

strategic decisions

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Personality and character #photography

Taking someone’s photograph can give you a glimpse of their personality and character. Buildings have character too and that is often reflected in its history. For the photographer, portraits of people usually require a wide aperture which will give a shallow depth of field and a pleasing bokeh. This seems to separate the subject from the background. Photographs of buildings tend to be shot with a narrow aperture just like landscapes and composition also can be similar to taking a landscape shot. We look for leading lines and I also look for texture. I often find that texture in the brickwork of a building.

personality and character

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That sense of entitlement #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as always, I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’ve heard that American expression ‘entitled’ a lot lately. I get the impression that many people feel entitled these days. They are entitled to good health and so they won’t catch Covid-19 and so they can make light of it and go about their lives as normal. They can join the crowds on the beach, they can go to parties and raves, they can have their overseas holiday, as usual. They are the entitled few and they don’t care about older people who they feel have lived their lives and are of no value. Their entitlement means that the epidemic in the UK will go on and on because they won’t accept responsibility. Time for a picture:

entitlement

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The economic damage of the pandemic. #FinanceFriday

The economic damage that has been done by the pandemic around the world is significant, far worse than the crash of 2008. In 2008 it was banks that took most of the damage but this time around there are few companies that are not affected. The ones suffering the most loss of trade are the airlines and travel industry. Pubs and brewers took a hit but the pubs are open again with restrictions, but for how long? The students will be back at university soon and that will include international students, so as has happened with schools, we can expect more outbreaks. The new rule that bans gatherings of more than 6 people will hopefully ensure no student parties and put a stop to raves and house parties. It will take policing, of course, so hopefully, the police will be more active in stopping large gatherings.

economic damage

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Aware of the markets #ThriftyThursday

I would normally use local markets to find bargains but my interest now are the stock markets rather than town markets. I’m trying to avoid the crowds because of Covid-19. I’m not spending too much money at the moment but I still have to pay the bills! I use apps on my phone to manage my money and I checked this morning to see if the payments for my AA breakdown and my car insurance have been taken from my bank account. I also have the AA app on my phone which is useful if I breakdown. Being aware of markets helps me save money. Markets mean competition and competition means we can change our supplier if we want a better price.

aware of the markets

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Cancel Christmas? #life

News this morning is that AstraZeneca has paused the phase three clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate that it was developing in conjunction with the University of Oxford, in response to a possible unexplained illness in one of the participants. The unexplained illness could be just coincidence but this is a step back in the fight against Covid-19. Locally, we are now seeing more outbreaks of the virus in schools but they appear to be under control. The worry, which many people are expressing on social media, is that the children will go home and infect parents and grandparents who are more vulnerable to the virus. People are also asking if the spread of the virus will cancel Christmas this year. We probably won’t be allowed to visit each other’s homes and crowding into pubs could result in new widespread outbreaks.

Cancel Christmas

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Creating content for social media #photography

I create a lot of content for social media and for my blog. Much of that content is created with my camera and it all gets posted using my laptop and occasionally my phone. Being able to shoot with fast shutter speeds for sharp photos is important and also being able to type reasonable quickly is important too. I was lucky to get a good keyboard when I changed my laptop!

creating content

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Covid-19 and stupidity. #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’ve just put a Covid-19 update on Facebook advising people of local outbreaks. Some people are just too thick and uneducated to understand that they must keep their distance from others and wear a mask. The official guidance has been confused and has not been translated into other languages. Even signs telling people not to feed the ducks bread are multilingual! The stupidity of the people ignoring advice is one thing but when some of the people giving the advice aren’t up to speed either I tend to despair! Time for a picture I think:

Covid-19

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Watching the markets #FinanceFriday

This week I have been watching the markets even more closely than usual. The US markets are seeing record highs while the UK market is more subdued. I think that the US market is the one that is more in danger of panic and a crash. On the UK market, I’m looking for bargains and some commentators are saying that some stocks are undervalued. We are seeing some takeover interest and it looks like the AA might be the first to be taken over. I don’t see that as good for the company. It had been a zombie company for a while though so it is overdue for a shake up.

watching the markets
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Bargain hunting #ThriftyThursday

I do like to save money. I’ve been wearing t-shirts with small holes in just lately as I try to get that last bit of wear out of them before I throw them away. I’m only messing around doing odd jobs and gardening. I save the decent ones for the weekend! I’m writing this on a laptop that I managed to get around £150 cheaper than normal and the app I’m using is on a free trial!

bargain hunting

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Bank Holiday weekend thoughts

It’s Sunday morning and so I’ll share my thoughts with you as usual. What’s on my mind this week? Well, my website settings still aren’t right. I’m getting the font size right on the website but it goes to extra-large in the emails! Technology! It can be complicated at times. I have also been pondering mental health provision. I haven’t spoken to many people but looking at social media and the few people I have spoken to gives me the impression that provision should be made to help people with mental health problems when this pandemic is over.

1 the four seasons

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Forecasting the future #finance

Forecasting the future is even more difficult in a pandemic, there are so many variables. We have to get some idea of how the world economy will develop to successfully invest. We can look back at previous recessions and we know that inflation is a possibility and we have already seen the central banks cutting interest rates and deploying quantitative easing. That stimulus has boosted the stock markets. There was a suggestion this week that the Federal Reserve’s inflation target might be raised from 2%. That would probably trigger a similar move by other central banks. Inflation of more than 2% might now be seen as a good thing, inflating away both personal debt, business debt and the national debt.

Forecasting the future

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The reality of a changing world #life

The world is definitely changing. Donald Trump is fighting a battle to keep his finances and other affairs secret. There is a trade war between the US and China. The Chinese government is trying to suppress dissenters in Hong Kong. All this happening at the same time as a global pandemic. Here in the UK, we have over 1,000 new cases of coronavirus a day and we see the global death rate rise and is predicted to pass one million. Surely the pandemic should be the priority of every leader and every government. Reading comments from ordinary people on social media about conspiracies I find that there is confusion, perhaps because official advice and guidance are so confused?

the reality

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A lifetime of memories #life

I’m at an age when I might be referred to as a ‘pensioner’ which is a term that I dislike. Hughie Green tried to replace that word with ‘senior citizen’ and the Americans use terms like seniors. They even have a specific criminal offence of abusing a senior. I’m in favour of that. I get harassed on the street just for taking photographs. I do remember a street party for the queen’s coronation. Yes, I’m that old! I have a lifetime of memories and the scars to prove it.

1 1 1 LAST DAY

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Creating online content #photography

For me, photography is about creating online content both for my blog and for social media. I have to think about what people will relate to and they tend to have their memories jogged by the images. Often they comment on Facebook that the image reminds them of a time in their lives or a particular event. Choosing the subjects is about knowing what will resonate with the potential viewers of the images.

creating online content

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Pandemic blues? #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Naturally, the pandemic and I am wondering, like many other people, when we might get back to normal. There are crazy people who think the pandemic is an international conspiracy organised by Bill Gates to control our lives and suppress us. The nagging I get to buy cloud space on Onedrive makes me wonder why they want all my data on a remote server somewhere. I have nothing to hide so I’m not too concerned but it makes me wonder.

pandemic blues

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Avoiding the truth #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as always, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Sometimes we have to face the truth. A loved one dies and we can’t bring them back and so we have to face the awful truth. The trauma does affect our mental health. We are now in a pandemic and it is traumatic for those directly affected by it and for the rest of us it is causing anxiety. We must face the awful truth because avoiding the truth puts us all at risk. We have to act collectively to try to eradicate this virus that affects us all. Yes, it affects people like me more because of my age and health problems but it also affects young people. Young people are less likely to die from Covid-19 but if they catch it, it is likely to be a traumatic event from which they might not fully recover. We all need to take the pandemic seriously, young and old.

avoiding the truth

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Some people are unbelievable! #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as ever, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Yes, some people are unbelievable. Ask them to wear masks in shops and you’re infringing their rights while some don’t even believe there is a virus while others believe it was made in a lab. These same people are against 5G, immunisation and just about anything else that might inconvenience them. As they look to the skies and complain about chem-trails and wonder about alien life, a pandemic is killing off our most vulnerable. These Sun readers are a danger to themselves and others.

some people are unbelievable

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The need to invest in the future. #ramble

The weeks seem to pass quickly and Sunday comes around so quickly once again. So, as always, I’ll share my thoughts with you. It was an interesting week on the stock market that saw the share price of Verona Pharma more than double. They are testing a respiratory drug but not one that will be useful in the fight against Covid-19 but it is an important drug. It’s good to see investors supporting the development of new drugs. We need to invest in the future, not just our money but our time and expertise. That is the only way the world will recover from this pandemic.

invest in the future

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Our lives matter #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so as always, I’ll share my thoughts with you.  Like most people, I have concerns about the pandemic. According to the Guardian, the government has a “classified document” that lists the worst coronavirus outbreaks in England. I assume it has lists for Wales and Scotland too. I suspected that we weren’t being told everything and I was right.

lives matter

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Art for arts sake? #ramble

It’s Sunday morning, and so as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Today’s title is “art for arts sake?” which was a song by 10 cc. It is also associated with Oscar Wilde who believed that art didn’t need to express anything. I take photographs and they evoke something in the viewer. I put a picture of a corner shop on Facebook yesterday and people commented about previous owners and one reader said it was her parent’s shop a long time ago.

art for arts sake

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The epidemic in Britain is not over! #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? The weather! I want to go out and take photographs but it’s quite showery this morning. It will at least keep people from going to the beach! Restrictions on many small businesses will be lifted next Saturday but people are already taking that as a signal that the danger from the virus has passed. The epidemic in Britain is not over! The virus lies in wait for us.

The epidemic in Britain is not over

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Life presents so many challenges #ramble

This week I was challenged to post an ‘artistic picture’ a day on Facebook by a fellow artist. I’ve been doing that and I’m now on day three. I like challenges and tomorrow I’ll do the weekly challenge from 64 Million Artists, as well. Of course, life presents many challenges and more so now, as we try to avoid becoming infected with Covid-19. Getting information so we can assess the risk is a challenge in itself. I have found out that there have been about 10 deaths in the council ward that I live in. I believe there are more than 50 people carrying the virus in the town I live in, who are symptomatic, asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. I am vulnerable to the virus, as are all people over the age of 45. I also have health problems that make me vulnerable. I’m taking this challenge seriously.

challenges

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