Category Archives: Philosophy

Do I really care?

A Scenery Like Me

A Scenery Like Me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In conversations with people I am asked why it is I do not go out of my way to fly off somewhere warm and sunny sometimes. Why is it that I actually like the climate where I live? Well it is alright flying off to exotic places and getting burned by the sun, bitten by the local insects or being uncomfortable with my clothes sticking to my body due to excessive perspiration but I have to return to a cooler climate later. It isn’t that I don’t like flying off somewhere or that I don’t wish to visit somewhere new, it is more that I just cannot be bothered with it all. I have done my share of flying to be sure but the novelty has worn off somewhat these last few years. Am I bothered, do I really care? The short answer is no. For some people their annual two weeks in the sunshine is a must and they spend thousands of pounds doing it. It is their prerogative, their money, their time but for me it matters not that I go or don’t go. I don’t feel I am missing out if I choose to stay at home. There are many folk who cannot afford the luxury of flying off to foreign parts but I am sure many would like to. Similarly many would not. Life isn’t about jetting off to sunny climes and in fact whenever I do go places these days, which is not often, I am usually going to meet people rather than to admire the scenery. In my mind one place is no different from another and the more important reason for travel is to meet people. I like scenery but it is soon forgotten. Some of it is pretty but inhospitable, nice to look at but not to live in. What is the point in admiring mountain ranges that are merely backdrops to civilization. No-one wants to live up a mountain and be uncomfortable doing so. Mountains and lakes, rivers and streams can only be seen when we take the time to do it. We live our lives among people and our daily lives and activities are centred around what we are doing, not the scenery surrounding us. How many times do we look at something before we hardly notice it is there and does it really matter what our surroundings to enjoy life? I prefer to surround myself with people rather than scenery which is but transitory.

Shirley Anne


Early to bed….

Women Employed

Women Employed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

……early to rise, makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise. Do you remember this snippet of wisdom taught to you when you were young? I used to think it applied to others and not myself but then I got wise. Staying up till the late hours and then sleeping in the following day has never been a way of life for me ever since I began my working life. Of course there were days when I did stay up late and did sleep in the following morning but they have been few. Being as I am self-employed and that since 1997, the saying has more of a meaning than it once did. When working for someone else or an organisation the tendency is often to do only that asked of you and no more. That principle doesn’t apply to everyone for there are those who give their all irrespective of whether they are self-employed or not and that is a good thing, Speaking as a Christian it is right and proper to put 100% effort and interest in your work, especially if it is for and on behalf of your employer. Now if that employer happens to be yourself you can see the reason for this approach for if you are lazy you will be the one to suffer. Even before I became a Christian I applied this principle to my approach to work. I took pride in my work and was rewarded for it by way of promotion and better prospects. Since becoming self-employed, which incidentally was only eight years after I became a Christian, it was natural for me to continue to give my all. It is a biblical teaching too. So from the first tentative days of being self-employed to the present day I can say that I have become (more) healthy, wealthy and certainly more wise! I have been telling everyone that I am now working part-time, have become semi-retired but in reality I am finding my income remains almost as it was a few years ago and I am better off than ever. I try not to work too hard but occasionally I find myself putting in more hours than I had intended though nothing like I used to, after all I am approaching seventy years of age! I meet other people of a similar age and find that those who seem to be more agile and hard-working into their old age fare much better than those who don’t. They too retire early and rise early ready to catch the proverbial worm. Laziness is the seed which produces poverty and poor health.

Shirley Anne

Just stuff


I’ve had a partially busy week during my return to work which as it happens is the way I would wish it to continue. I seem to have reached that point again whereby I am dwelling upon the uselessness of it all. I can’t be bothered most of the time yet I find that when I make the effort my outlook changes. Perhaps it’s my age, no doubt it is. Do you ever feel that life and its problems get the better of you sometimes? Well I haven’t reached that stage but sometimes feel I am headed that way. I survive. Speaking of problems, I’ve had a few of those come my way of late. A couple of weeks ago I made a simple error in signing in to one of my online bank accounts but because I didn’t see my error until it was too late I was locked out of my account. An inconvenience to say the least but was is worse was the procedure I had to follow in order to get reconnected. A change of identity and a new password were sent to me through the post two weeks later and then a further letter containing a security code was sent a few days later. Having painstakingly submitting those details on the web site I found I was locked into a repetitive loop explaining that the details I had entered were incorrect! Resorting to the telephone I was connected to a representative of the bank who guided me through the process. I remained locked into the same loop! Now they are sending me new details in order to go through the whole process again. As yet the result is pending as at the time of writing those details have not yet arrived. I have no such difficulties with my other banks. This sort of thing really annoys me and is probably mostly unnecessary. Angels 001 We had a repeat visit from our utility provider, or rather their agent, or rather another agent carrying out exactly the same survey of our waste water pipe systems as the previous agent had done a few months ago. That’s what I call efficiency, no actually a waste of  time and money! The results were exactly the same, everything is in order. What is wrong with this world? Don’t answer that question as it would take you all your life to answer it in detail. Save to say that we, as human beings have a habit of getting the simplest of things wrong at times. Common sense has flown out of our tool boxes it seems. These things are sent to try us they say, whoever ‘they’ are, probably those ‘experts’ we are so often presented with yet never actually see. Life has got to be better than these things and it is. I was reminded of all the good things in life which make all our little problems bearable. As I was writing this I glanced up and looked at the picture on the wall the one you see above. The good things in life far outweigh the trivia. The picture was taken about twenty-six years ago and shows my two young sons. I count my blessings and they are one of them.

Shirley Anne

A cheerful soul

Narcissus 'Cheerfulness'. Real Jardín Botánico...

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many a time I have been told that I am a cheerful soul despite some of the things that have turned my world upside down, especially in the last twenty years. I could attribute my cheerfulness to many things I suppose but the real reason is the in-dwelling of The Holy Spirit, the joy in the knowledge of my salvation in Jesus Christ. I am given to the disposition of cheerfulness because I know I cannot change things that cannot be changed but strive to change those which can be instead. On Thursday I made it my business to take the day off work despite the requests for my services. I was able to have extra time in bed, something foreign to my normal lifestyle. Being honest I have to confess that I was tired but even so five hours sleep is usually enough for me. I managed to stay asleep for six hours before the urgency to visit the toilet awakened me. However I returned to bed and put in another four hours before I finally stirred again. Whilst going about the business of getting ready for the day I received a call from an American guy asking if I would do some electrical work for him. He rejected the price I gave him for the proposed work as he said the job should be easy. Well of course the job should be easy but they seldom work out that way. No matter, he seemed to be the expert! I assumed he found someone to do it for next to nothing. A few minutes later I received another call from a local girl wanting my electrical services and that job I will be doing (as I write this) on Saturday morning and Monday afternoon (she is moving house). At least the calls came late in the morning so as not to disturb my sleep which is usually the case when I want a lie-in. I had a doctor‘s appointment at two-thirty to discuss the findings of an X-ray I’d had two weeks ago. I knew beforehand what the diagnosis would be and it was confirmed to me. Being as it was Thursday, E would be doing the weekly shop but this week she had to go alone as her mum has been in hospital for a couple of days because of a problem she was having with abdominal pain. It isn’t a life-threatening condition as far as we know and hopefully it isn’t but any medical problems at her age can be a cause for concern. So it is with us all and myself being as I am now sixty-nine I have to expect one problem or another occasionally. Anyway E drove me to the surgery before continuing on to do the shopping. When we are young we think we are invincible but as we grow older we realise that we are not. My newly acquired condition was, according to my doctor, probably brought about by my long life at work. I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis. It is the result of a wearing down of the cartilage between the joints in my fingers, more so in my right hand as I am right-handed. I know there is nothing that can be done to reverse the condition so I accept it. The doctor was surprised at my easy-going reaction. As I say, I can’t change things that cannot be changed so why worry about it? As long as I can play my guitar, and I am still able, I shall be content. I left the surgery soon afterwards and walked the short distance into the village to make a cash deposit at my bank. It is just as well I save when I can as my youngest son had asked me earlier in the day if I could lend him some money to help him with a cash-flow problem he was having. He is to repay me later. Where have I heard that one before? Leaving the bank I walked across the road to the chemists to collect the prescription my doctor had forwarded electronically to them. Paper prescriptions are becoming a thing of the past. I collected the gel the doctor had prescribed to reduce the swelling in my hand and started back home on foot. It was still wet, cold and windy on Thursday, bracing weather as they say. I was prevented from continuing my journey by the level-crossing barriers that had just closed off the road. I spoke with a lady who was visiting our town for the afternoon and she was telling me about the conditions near the Promenade which is exposed to the westerly winds. Well Southport is windy at the best of times as it sits right on the coast facing the Irish Sea. The train left the station, the barriers lifted and I continued home with the wind in my face. I was feeling very happy and contented, a cheerful soul indeed.

Shirley Anne

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another year gone and an extra number to my age date today. I am 39! No I am not, I am actually……….no I shan’t tell you but I’m old enough to probably know better as I am sometimes told! Funny, I don’t feel any different from how I did yesterday but age creeps upon us slowly doesn’t it? When I was very young age meant nothing at all to me. When I was in my teenage years I still didn’t think about growing old. Old age was something too far into the future to worry about. It was only after I had reached about thirty that I began to think about age and I would occasionally ponder on what my life would be like when I reached fifty and sixty years of age. These days I just wonder how long I have got left. These are the thoughts we really need to bear in mind throughout our lives and live our lives accordingly for we never know what our future holds for us. It is of no use to dwell on the past, what has been is done and it cannot be changed. It is of no use dwelling about the future either for we know not if we will see even the next day. We have to live for today and enjoy it. It is fine to make plans for the future, to have goals and purposes in life but that is all they are. We may achieve them or we may not, we just don’t know. I can look back at my life now and see all the mistakes I have made and there are certainly areas of my life I would have changed at the time had I known then what I know now. There are things I have regretted doing and things I know I should have done had I been more determined. So I say to those following behind, make the most of your life and don’t hold back for one day you may regret it if you don’t. Be the best you can with what abilities you have and try things that challenge you for you will never know your full potential unless you try. There is no such thing as failure except the failure to try. It is my birthday today or I should say the anniversary of my birthday and I will enjoy it as any other day in my life for it isn’t a special day for me, they are all special days!

Shirley Anne

Be yourself


Teenagers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to Liverpool again on Friday and whilst there I chanced to look in a shop window which had all kinds of novelty items displayed for sale. One thing was a board on which was written advice for teenagers living at home which went something like this: ‘Teenagers living at home with your parents, get out whilst you can. Stop sponging from them and stand on your own two feet. Be independent and get a well-paid job using all the knowledge you have after all you know everything. It should be easy.’ Well we all know that the average teenager actually doesn’t know it all don’t we? Neither are they ready to leave their favourite free-board hotel! There were several other items with similar messages on them related to all things domestic but one little board especially caught my eye and it read simply this: ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken’. At first I misunderstood the message but it then hit me. Many people strive to be like someone else, a favourite pop singer or someone else in the limelight, celebrities and such. The message is simple, just be yourself. Everyone on this planet is unique, a one-off. There is nobody in the whole world like you dear reader and without you in the world there is a loss that can never be replaced. Aspire to great things, achieve what you can, don’t compare yourself to others for you will always be disappointed, be happy that you are you and that you are a piece of the jigsaw which links us all together. You have just as much right to be here as the next person and just as important.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there maybe in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons
Speak your truth clearly and quietly and listen to others even the dull and ignorant, they too have their stories.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble it is real possession in changing fortunes of times.
Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery but let this not blind you to what virtue there is.
Many persons strive for their ideals and where life is full of heroism. be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of the youth
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here, and whether it is clear to you no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should
Therefore, be at peace with GOD, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labour and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
It is still a beautiful world.
Be careful.
Strive to be happy.

And remember…………………………Be You!

Shirley Anne

It happened before


All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    Look! This is something new’?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.

How many times have you heard it said that it’s happened before or it’s nothing new? Well here’s the truth of the matter, there’s nothing new under the sun. What’s been will be again, maybe in a different guise but nevertheless it will surely come again. Some even claim that modern technology is nothing new. They talk about ancient batteries and computers that have been discovered in archaeological digs. Whether these things are true is very much debatable but events, attitudes and behaviour certainly don’t change on the whole. People remain as they have always been, some loving, kind, courteous, humble and others hateful, brash, uncaring , selfish just the same. The eye never has enough of seeing. Isn’t that just so true? We never seem satisfied with our lot, always striving for more yet having received it are still not satisfied. Look at those who acquire great monetary wealth. Most will say that it hasn’t necessarily brought them happiness. Wealth isn’t about the money you have in the bank but the store you have in Heaven. With mankind nothing really changes.

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In times gone by as times today
We fought and died and lost our way
And in those days all was the same
Just as it is, we’ve nothing gained.
We grow in peace, we grow in war
But all remains as was before
A lesson learned is soon forgot
It seems as if we’ve lost the plot.
We cleverly invent new things
And revel in the joy they bring
But sadly at the end of day
We have to give them all away.
Our lives are centred in this world
Which doesn’t last, or so we’ve heard
We live our lives just for the day
But never take the time to pray.
When we depart from out this place
Do we expect a saving grace?
By then it all will be too late
If to our hearts we close the gate!

Copyright Shirley Anne 14 Nov 2010

…………..but the word of God never changes.

Shirley Anne

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A life to live


Cover of "God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons fo...

Written by Regina Brett, 52 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.”

Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short – enjoy it.
Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
Pay off your credit cards every month.
You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Over prepare, then go with the flow.
Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
Always choose life.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Believe in miracles.
God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
Your children get only one childhood.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need
The best is yet to come…
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

I thought this something really worth thinking about

Shirley Anne

How time changes things

English: It's a Dog's Life This elderly dog, w...

It’s a Dog’s Life

I’ve been through many phases in my lifetime, found interests then lost interest in them later when other things took up my time. It took me many years before I became interested in people, socialising, alcohol and pub life, not that going to the pub and drinking alcohol was ever high on my agenda until more recent times and even then I limited myself. Once I got married my social life, such as it was, took a back seat for both of us but after our divorce I found myself going to the pub more frequently but purely for company I told myself. Now that I am on better terms with my ex, with whom I live, I tend to go to the pub less. In fact I won’t visit the pub for weeks on end then I might go once or twice before leaving off again and now that I have stopped drinking alcohol altogether there is little point in going unless it is to meet people. My ex and I spend more time together and dine out often together more so than we have ever done before. At this moment in time I haven’t visited my local pub for about six weeks. There are many things missing from my life that used to be a part of it at one time. My values have changed and the things I once valued no longer are of interest. I find many things now of no real value to me. All I really need is peace and contentment and the simple things in life. I don’t feel the need to wander throughout the world or even in my own country but might do those things now on a whim. As I get older I find I cannot be bothered with things that I used to enjoy but there are still some things that I really like doing and those things I continue with. I have always been a creative person and that is why I enjoy my work and my personal projects and also why I like to write verse and songs. My life has changed in so many ways and there is little now I wish for except to remain content,  in good health and happy. No more chasing after the wind and useless dreaming of better times that probably won’t materialise or be of any value to me anyway.

Shirley Anne

I’m getting used to it.

The Life and age of woman, stages of woman's l...

The Life and age of woman, stages of woman’s life from the cradle to the grave. New York : James Baillie, c1848.

I remember very well the day I became a teenager and the day I became an adult as it was recognised then, becoming of age as they say, 21 years old. Personally I think that date should still mark the beginning of real adulthood and not aged 18 but that is my opinion. As I grew older and the milestones in life were passed I gradually became accustomed to each new phase of my life. Nothing suddenly changed of course, everything changed quite subtly. As life goes on we don’t really notice the slow alterations to our way of thinking, our circumstances, our changing abilities and everything that is happening to us and around us. At aged 13 I became an outsider to those who were a couple of years my junior and when I reached the age of 21 I was positively out of the game to all I knew who were still teenagers. Once I reached 30 I was definitely over-the-hill on a slippery slope to old age according to those much younger than I. Of course I didn’t feel these things personally but I did notice the gradual change in interests and in capability. As we get older we become wiser and more efficient in what we do. It is called experience and it doesn’t just apply to our careers, it applies to everything we come across and have dealings with in life. Trying to keep up with the pace of life becomes more difficult though as we age and we find we cannot do the things we once were able to as quickly. That is simply the ageing process but we don’t notice it until we take up again something we once were good at doing. I noticed this in my work as an electrician. Though I can still do the same things, they take longer nowadays. Some things I have had to give up doing, like house rewires and large jobs because it takes too much out of me now at 67! Nobody wants a house rewire taking a couple of weeks to complete and I don’t want to be putting in ten consecutive eight-hour days to do it when once it took me only three with the help of an apprentice! We simply have to let things go and do what we are able. I went for a bicycle ride on Saturday morning as it was such a bright and sunny day. I haven’t been on my bike for a few weeks and hardly at all since September or October last year so I am unable to go too far being out of practice. I am still engaged in running on my treadmill and am well practised on that. I was taking it easy riding along at a comfortable pace and was being overtaken by young men on their machines. I watched them go by and thought to myself, ‘I could go that fast once’. Well of course I could have peddled much faster than I was doing but even so I could never match their speed, especially as there must have been forty-five or more years between us! Whilst out riding I saw an elderly lady, probably ten to fifteen years my senior riding along on her machine at a very respectable pace. I had to stop for a moment to answer my phone and I watched as she rode off into the distance. When I was nearing home, about a mile or so away, I saw this old lady again coming in the opposite direction seemingly effortlessly. Cycling is certainly a good form of exercise and she was proving it. I am getting used to being overtaken in many aspects of my life, it is called growing old gracefully but at the same time I am improving as I go and I am getting used to it.

Shirley Anne

Out of sync.

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

I seem very much ‘out of sync.’, not synchronised, awkward in my days, messed up in my routines, sometimes feeling elated at the thought but often feeling down and rather bored much of the time. I find I have plenty of time on my hands but lack something to do which is a contradiction in terms as I really do have plenty to do, if I want to get on with it. I need motivation and especially support, both sadly lacking at the moment. I am finding that I would rather do something else half the time. I like company and when I am alone I sometimes brood a little. I do not know how some folk manage to live by themselves, no companion to talk with but only their own thoughts to get them through the days. I like my own company but only for a short while and to have only myself as company would drive me mad. Strange as it may seem I find I work better when left alone but I like the thought of having assistance close to hand should I need it. When at home doing a job of work I like E to be at home to give support and assistance if she can and if I need it but outside of the home I prefer to be left alone to do a job. In both situations I work better and I also work better when under pressure. If I’ve a full copy-book (not likely these days) I am at my best. It seems the more I have on my plate the better I like it. I suppose you could say that I am driven to work. I sometimes feel I should get out of the house and go somewhere but find I am at a loss as to where that somewhere might be! In a few weeks time  E and I will be taking a journey down south for a few days, not a holiday as such but a break of sorts and I am happy about that, however I will probably get bored after a day or so and will want to be doing something else. I am quite easily satisfied just sitting in the pub chatting to people and if I get the chance to do that I shall be happy enough. To be quite frank, I don’t know what I want, happy to go somewhere, happy to be somewhere yet wanting to be elsewhere and doing something different. I am all mixed-up. I have no real goals in life now, nothing that I feel I want to do. I know of people who have ‘bucket lists’ of activities, journeys and experiences they simply must enjoy before they depart from this world as though they will be fulfilled and satisfied only if they empty their bucket. The problem with that is there is always something else left to do. They will never be satisfied. Life is for living, it is true but to be endlessly seeking thrills and excitement to fill your life is pointless, the material world will never satisfy the soul. I am one of the ‘been there, done that and got the T shirt’ brigade, up to a point that is but now those desires do not fill my thoughts. Material things hold no real interest for me, they are simply a means to an end and I know I could live my life without many of the things in my possession. I am having a hard time filling in the blanks and feel I should be doing something worthwhile instead of just hanging around doing nothing. In some ways I feel trapped, actually I have felt this way for many years. I lead a pretty much routine life but even that is being disrupted now and I feel so out of sync. as a result. Sleep patterns are all over the place and unless I have work scheduled it doesn’t matter one iota. As I mentioned earlier I can feel elated over the fact that I am not tied to a clock. Perhaps it is a yearning within to quit working altogether but I know I am not ready to do that.

Shirley Anne

The simplest of tasks

Open Problems

Open Problems

In my job I get all sorts of problems now and then, it is only to be expected, nothing goes smoothly every time. The simplest of tasks routinely carried out over the years can sometimes be awkward to do and very annoying. I had one such occasion the other day when carrying out a task I’ve done so many times in the past. What would normally have taken about ten minutes for me to do actually took almost thirty! When these things happen, which isn’t very often thank goodness, I say ‘it was fighting me all the way’. It’s as though there is an invisible hand thwarting my every move. Unless you are an electrician, gas fitter, plumber or anyone else who works with their hands it may be difficult to understand what I am saying but it isn’t confined only to work, life is a little like this sometimes too. Have you ever needed to be somewhere urgently and found the car won’t work, the traffic is heavy, all the lights are against you? The train journey has been cancelled or put back that extra fifteen minutes when you can least afford it can drive you to despair. Many people would allow these things to get them down, they curse and swear but all the time they know nothing is going to change and they get themselves angry, sometimes taking out their frustration on innocent bystanders. The best solution when things just are not going our way is to learn to accept it, moaning and groaning about things over which we have no control really is a pointless exercise. When these things happen in my job I try to be patient, knowing that at some point the job will get done eventually. One of my favourite sayings is ‘What’s the worst that can happen’? When we step back from a problem and see it for what it is then we begin to see how to resolve it. For everything over which we have no control we can plan alternatives or simply go with the flow and accept it.

Shirley Anne

And now?

Poverty stands right in front of you

Poverty stands right in front of you (Photo credit: torephoto)

So all the rush is over, all the presents bought, all the parties and celebrations can begin unless they already have! The eve of the great day is upon us and tomorrow is the day we have been making all our plans for. There will be a good time for everyone will there not? Unfortunately not, for whilst we may be enjoying ourselves there are others who will be suffering sorrow and heartbreak, loss of loved ones, ill-health, loneliness, homelessness and poverty. At this time of ‘good will toward all’ do we really care? The great day has arrived  but it is nothing short of being a sham if all we think about is pleasing ourselves without considering the plight of others. The world is indeed a wicked place. It is a world of two halves, the haves and the have-nots. Behind the wall of respectability lies untold selfishness, fraud, debauchery, shame and a host of other evil things. So do enjoy your ‘holy day’, you’ve no doubt earned it. In between the mince pies, turkey roast and Christmas pudding spare a thought for those less fortunate than yourselves……….

Shirley Anne x


The History of Mr Polly

The History of Mr Polly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past I rather enjoyed travel going to different places around the world and at home. The usual reason was for holidays but sometimes for business. Life now though is vastly different, I don’t feel the urge or need to go gallivanting all over the place. It’s not so much the expense for I have money enough to make a few trips but it’s more that I don’t have the inclination. Why travel I ask myself, what is the point? What do I need so desperately to see to drag me away from home? I could spend a lot of time lying around on a tropical beach but I would still have to return home eventually. Not that I fancy lying about on a beach somewhere anyway. Some people travel for adventure or to seek out a better life, though why they can’t do that at home I am not sure. I was watching, for the second time, a television program called ‘The history of Mr. Polly‘ written by none other than H.G.Wells with the comedian Lee Evans in the title role. The story centred around a shopkeeper in the early 1900’s who became disillusioned and discontented with his lot. Seemingly frustrated by his nagging wife he set about setting fire to his haberdashery store but it got out of control and the fire threatened the adjacent ironmongery business run by a man he didn’t get along with much. The man’s mother was asleep upstairs so Mr Polly set about rescuing her., after which he became the local hero. The money he received from the insurance company was enough to start over but he decided to leave it to his wife whilst he made off with no particular place to go. He was off on an adventure and was never going to return, though he did so later in the story to see if his estranged wife was coping. Having found that she was he left never again to return. He had found himself a new home with a new partner and seemingly was happy again. Many people today do much the same thing but many do not find the happiness the sought and might have been better off not going in the first place but without trying, without taking that first step they would never know. There comes a time though when journeying to far-off places become a chore especially if we have to return. Going off in one direction is what younger people do. I guess I was never one for wild adventures, I was always and still am a homely person in many respects, I am not searching for anything to fill my life, nothing to fill the empty spaces, I am content to stay where I am. That’s not to say that I won’t travel again, go on a holiday and see new places but the novelty has worn off somewhat. I remember back in 2009 when I took my last trip abroad and was staying at a friends house in the wilds of Quebec. Situated alongside a lake I was asked if I was going for a swim there but I declined as I hadn’t taken a costume with me. My friend wondered why I didn’t wish to go for a swim saying, ‘You can then say that you’ve swum in a Canadian lake’. I replied, ‘One lake is pretty much the same as another’. The only things that distinguish one place from another is the scenery. Unless you wish to see all the scenery there is available, and you never will, it is pretty much pointless.

Shirley Anne

I don’t do poppies

In the lych gate, Corley. Remembrance Sunday.

In the lych gate, Corley. Remembrance Sunday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This coming Sunday marks the annual day of remembrance for all the members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in conflict. The recognised symbol worn by those who support the event is the poppy as we all know. During the preceding weeks leading up to this special day poppies, or rather man-made versions of the flower are made available for those who wish to recognise the sacrifice of those who fought on our behalf. A monetary contribution is expected in receipt and of course is given freely by those who wear them. This is the tradition and it is expected that everyone will honour it. Not so! I for one do not recognise remembrance Sunday and neither do I buy and wear a poppy. Why? Well for one I do not think it is a good idea to support something I do not think we should be involved in. We are asked to support those who have been maimed because of their involvement in war when in fact those who join the armed forces are well aware of the risks involved before they enrol. Those who lose their lives in conflict have only themselves to blame, they know the risks involved so have no complaints if things go wrong. I didn’t ask anyone to go and fight a war I think we should not be involved in so why should I then be asked to support those who by their own actions return maimed and unable to support themselves? As a Christian of course I would support anybody who was in dire need but those who go to fight on behalf of our government should be supported by the government and not by me. The problem with society, with governments, with people, is they do not learn from their mistakes. We are called to remember the dead, those who died in conflict yet we continue to support war. Some wars come about because there is a need to defend ourselves but many wars are fought for purely political reasons or for financial or other material interests. Take the ongoing Afghan war. Why on earth are we there? What benefit is there in having our young men subject to such danger by keeping them in Afghanistan? They get killed for what? The only ones suffering are their families. What a complete waste of life! Mankind just will not learn from mistakes and what do we do? We mark the occasion with futile remembrance services and sell poppies! Heads are bowed and thoughts are directed toward the sacrifices of others but it is all a complete farce, nothing is going to change, the same mistakes will continue to be made and we will be no better off. I don’t do poppies. I do not support war. I do not support the idea of fighting for something that is a waste of time and something in which we should have no involvement in the first place. What I will support is prayer, I pray that we will one day cease fighting with one another and that there will be no need to think that we have to go to war ever again.

Shirley Anne