Thursday, 29 March 2012

A Little Tale of a Sunny Day.

It was shining brightly with sunshine today - I was sat in the park wishing myself into an early grave. My winter misery had been augmented by the arrival of spring.

I spent the whole of the grey, drizzly Manchester wintertime feeling melancholic - with good reason.

Now that the sunshine is here, I have no reason, and it’s really galling. Men are waltzing around with no t-shirts on, women are hoiking up their strapless tops while running away from wasps and everyone is happily scampering around. It is awful.

To be honest, I was getting on for being suicidal.  I can nay say better than most, yet nay saying isn’t welcome in this kind of weather, people think you’re a kill joy. So I turned it in on myself. I decided to give up. ‘I’ve had enough’ I thought. Still I have no money, no prospects, no job, no garden, no yacht, no nothing*. How can happiness exist in such a world as this? Life is one disappointment after the next and I’m done with it.

Well, I lay there on a wall, warming my back against the sun soaked stone. I tilted my head away from the glare of the sun and I saw a funny thing. There was a man in the distance hopping up and down one of the steps that lead to a walled garden. He’d step up and then step down, but he wasn’t going anywhere. Each time he took a step he looked all unbalanced. It looked like he had never come across steps before.

Then I realised what was going on. He had a gammy leg. Maybe he’d been in a car accident. Maybe he’d gotten attacked by a shark or fallen off a roof or been bitten by an angry dog. I wanted to go up to him and ask him “what’s going on with that leg and why are you hopping up and down that step in such a fashion” but I realised that, as I am no longer a five year old girl, it is not socially acceptable for me to ask such personal questions to a stranger in England.

I trailed off into deep thought on the matter. I wondered what had happened to him. Either way, it was clear that he was working hard on his recovery.  With each step he struggled and wobbled, and he was clearly fighting through some kind of pain barrier. I can’t imagine he was doing it just for fun, he was doing it because it benefited him – maybe in six months time he will once again be able to get up the flight of stairs in his own home. I don’t know, he might live in a bungalow, but you see my point.

Well, this little serendipitous scene inspired me. I reflected upon my defeated, miserable attitude and I decided to go and see two friends and have a walk with them in the sunshine. And it was lovely.

* n.b This is a phrase used by the majority of people, however, it is grammatically incorrect. It ACTUALLY means the opposite of what people use it to mean. Having “no nothing” implies that one has some of something

Friday, 27 January 2012

Insomnia Ecomomica.

Let’s get a bit of sense on the go. Firstly, let me state that I am not a scholar in the field of fiscal affairs.

Everyone is going on about the economy. Apparently, it’s all gone a bit off piste and despite all the ideas and analyses being bounded around by people in the know, no one seems to have a clue what is happening.

Here is the basic understanding I have on the matter…

-       There were billionaires. They are now millionaires
-       Entire nations are sliding into disarray
-       Some people have been fiddling their taxes
-       Debt is worth lots of money, but it is risky
-       Piranhas are eating all the bank notes
-       The metal in a five pence coin is set to change in order for their manufacture to be cheaper
-       When a footsy goes up a stocking market comes down
-       Tights are more expensive than ever so everyone is getting cold feet and this means that the markets aren’t growing up

I might have gotten a few of my facts wrong but in general I’d say I'm bang on the mark.

Back in the day we used to swap, say, a cart of carrots for a pig's leg and everyone would be happy with that. If you didn’t want carrots, then you could ask someone else to give you something else for your pig’s leg.

Other people started to interfere. They decided that there needed to be a SCALE against which we could value things. They decided upon GOLD.

So then everything was measured against GOLD. But it turned out that gold was too valuable to be glibly passed around amongst common folk in return for pigs and carrots. And anyway, people were starting to get tricky… filing their golden coins, keeping the gold dust and pretending to swap more gold that they actually were. And then they all wanted flat screen tellies. People, it seemed, were not to be trusted…

So a substitute arrived. Coins made of less valuable metals. They looked like gold. Then of course, somehow it ended up that you needed more and more coins for less and less pig’s leg, and then we had to have notes.

And of course people then started to nick notes off each other. So we decided to keep the notes safe. Henceforth, banks started up. Putting your notes in a bank was safer than hoarding them under the mattress. 

But it then turned out that if you have lots of notes, they give birth to more notes… so the banks wanted to “look after” as many notes as possible. That way, they could keep all the note babies themselves.

But the banks got all confused by all their notes. They decided that could just let people know how many notes they had by representing the notes in the form of a number. They gave everyone a card, and these cards acted like keys with which to access this valuable information.

Now then, it is more complicated nowadays. If you owe the bank a big number, but then manage to give them back that big number… and you do this regularly… then they decide that you are good with numbers and if you want to borrow any numbers off them then they would probably like to lend you some numbers because this means that in the end all the numbers will be happy. But numbers are worth different amounts according to the way the wind is blowing.

As you can see, I have much light to shed upon this subject.

However, whilst all of this has been going on, there are a lot of people who have no pig’s leg OR carrots - and they are starving.

So why don’t we all agree that this thing has gotten ahead of us. Why can’t we just admit that it’s all become rather stupid. Let’s wipe the slate clean and get back to zero.

All human beings are equal. It’s simplistic but it is an unequivocal fact which we so often lose sight of.

Look, I don’t often get political. I like to let them get on with it and watch them making a mess of it from the sidelines. I feel sorry for them… there’s a lot of pressure in a job like that, and they get all the blame. In fact, I don’t blame them. This is why I stay out of it.

Regarding politicians, I would say one thing. I hope that at least one person with a genuine wish for the wellbeing of other people, the integrity to see it through and the strength of character to remain undefeated will decided to pursue a career in politics. This is my hope. 

(I've also got large hopes for the music industry but that's a whole blog in itself... that's my field, you see)

Our lives are finite. We might have 80 years is we are lucky. I feel it is wrong that someone should struggle for food, water and basic comfort because of the greed and stupidity that have, up until now, been the defining aspects of this age.

And while we’re at it, do we really need those nuclear missiles? It’s a f*cking embarrassment.

So, with grating insomnia buzzing in my brain, I sit here and I ask myself ‘what am I doing with my 80 or so years?’ I’m probably well more than a third of the way through it already.

Anyway, I should probably try and sleep before I do anything else.