I hope everyone in Wednesbury had a great Christmas but now we have to look to the future. What will 2017 bring? There will be some changes with a few companies opening up new premises in or around Wednesbury. Lidl will have a new warehouse and so too will DFS. There will be a new car showroom to replace Carcraft and there are interesting developments on the Gallagher retail park. We also hope to get better Christmas lights next year, too!
It’s Christmas Eve and people are bustling about buying enough food to last through winter! Our thoughts often go back to happier days when we were excited by the magic of Christmas. Christmas really is for children and we should make more of an effort to make it exciting for them. There are lessons to be learnt at Christmas too. Such as living within your means and not landing yourself with a huge credit card bill after Christmas.
We know a few people will be looking around for last minute presents before the big day. A little luxury can be a good idea, so buy them something they would like but wouldn’t normally buy. I bought luxury chocolates in Aldi yesterday. I won’t say who they were for! They make a good last minute present and you don’t have to buy a huge box. The same applies to a quality scotch whisky or an unusual but quality ale.
This year I have moved away from landscape photography to become a community photographer photographing local events. It is a quite different type of photography and requires the use of wider apertures and different techniques. I didn’t expect to be doing so many events now that winter is nearly here but I have done three events in the past three days. All three events involved group photos.
I had a busy day yesterday with more Christmas events. I always write my blog post of course and did my photography post before lunch and then off to the town hall to photograph the Christmas lunch for the older and wiser members of the Wednesbury community.
It is only 10 days to the Winter Solstice and the official beginning of winter. Anyway, it’s Sunday morning and so as usual, I let you into the darker corners of my mind and share my thoughts with you.
It’s that time of year again when we try to keep Christmas within some kind of budget so we can afford our bills after Christmas. We buy presents that only last 5 minutes like horrible Christmas jumpers. We also buy food that gets thrown away. I’ll be looking for good value in the run up to Christmas and because I have been thrifty and frugal all year I can afford a few luxuries at Christmas!
There are the usual Christmas parties starting this month. There will be some for older people like me at the Town Hall and the Centre of Oneness. Various groups will have a Christmas get-together too.
We have seen a lot of rising prices recently mainly on food items because of the devaluation of the pound. Now OPEC has agreed to limit oil production and we could see rising prices associated with that. This price rise will be delayed, higher oil prices mean higher production costs in the future. The higher heating oil, diesel prices and petrol prices will come sooner, maybe before the end of the winter.
It is Sunday morning and so as usual I’ll share my thoughts and allow you into the inner workings of my deeply troubled mind. Anyway, I forgot to mention last week that I’d won the lottery. Don’t worry it won’t change me and I deserved a bit of luck. They say things to do with luck come in threes don’t they? I’ve had good luck and bad luck this week.
We have the Christmas Lights switch-on on Friday with Dayton Grey and there will be fundraising for Sam’s Dream. Click the poster below to bring it up larger to see all the attractions.
If you’re careful with money and are thrifty and try to shop around as well as being frugal, you can save quite a lot of money. The rewards over the long-term come as an appreciating bank account but you also have to look at how to invest your money. Since 2011 I’ve been getting good returns from Zopa and I still get over 4% which beats any bank account. My rewards for being careful are more evident now as I can afford to spend more money of a few luxuries but I still ask if I really need a product before I buy it. I bought a smart TV and other things this year and my credit card got a lot more use, but I paid it off at the end of each month.
I’m going shopping today and so I’ll add to my box of food for our ‘Breaking Bread’ food bank. While I think it is ridiculous that we need food banks in a country as rich as Britain we have to help because we can’t change government policy. My small contribution will help and it is the little things that count.
I wanted some cornflakes last week and the Nestle ones weren’t on the usual shelf. I found them in the very short free-from section in Asda. They were of course much more expensive than the usual Asda ones. This made me annoyed enough to do some checks and found the Asda, Chosen by You, cornflakes listed in my food list as gluten- free. They are not gluten-free according to Asda who say they contain barley. Asda does their own gluten-free cornflakes that are a smaller box and work out even more expensive than the Nestle cornflakes. Confused? Me too. I went to Aldi for the soya milk to pour over them…
It’s the autumn equinox tomorrow when the day is split equally into light and dark and my landscape photography becomes a little more challenging. In fact, I’ll probably do more indoor photography.
Christmas isn’t over yet and I’m thinking about the new year. I will be doing more photography and trying to promote events and capture memories. I shall go back to taking landscapes too. This one was a misty autumn day, but it is a shot I intended to take for a while. I like to go back when the weather is different and take shots again. (more…)
At Christmas, we try to make things look nice and we like the sounds of Christmas too. Our senses are bombarded with stimuli that always makes Christmas a special time. From the aroma of freshly baked mince pies to the taste bud tingling of the Christmas fare, it all makes Christmas special. (more…)
It’s Christmas Eve and all my Christmas shopping is done! This is a good time to think about those New Year resolutions and if affording Christmas has been a struggle then you need to make some thrifty and frugal resolutions. (more…)
People haven’t been spending in the shops this week even though stores are cutting prices and having early sales. We do have official austerity and the poorest in society have been hard hit by government policies. (more…)
I must admit I find it hard to join in with the spirit of Christmas, but I am trying to make more of an effort. I’m not religious, but I still went to photograph the Christmas tree festival in the local church. (more…)
To become good at anything you need to gain experience and photography is no exception. I need more experience photographing events and I’ve done a few this year. This event was the opening of a Mindful Gifts shop in Darlaston. I wanted to show the shop and capture images of the event too. (more…)
Being thrifty isn’t about buying cheap stuff, it’s about getting value for money. Expensive designer clothing is made in the same low-wage countries as the budget clothing. Food might be marked as value, but it might a little less perfect than the more expensive line. You have to use your own judgement when shopping around. (more…)