Believe it or not Lottie and I have spent the last two weeks drowning under a pile of paper, as we struggled to complete an official form. It is done now, but we reached growling point a long time ago, because the dratted thing was quite horribly difficult and was taking up all our time and keeping us away from novel 31 which is what we really wanted to write and was calling loudly to us.
I have never liked filling in forms at the best of times and this one was the worst I’ve ever tried to tackle. For a start it was twenty nine pages long, which is twenty eight pages too many for me and every single one of its horrendous pages required checking my medical history and the files full of my medical records and other boring things like that. After the first day I was wondering why on earth I’d decided to fill the damn thing in, in the first place.
So let me begin at the beginning, which I do try to do. It began with a kindly thought from my two daughters who had been considering the position I’m now in being ninety and had decided that it was about time I had some state funding for all the help I now need and pay for. It takes both my daughters and my granddaughter Lottie to look after me now, what with pills and dizzy turns, doctors appointments, hospital appointments and plenty else besides as – not to put too fine a point on it – I steadily disintegrate. I’ve tried quite hard not to let it impede on the things that Lottie and I are writing, like novels and these blogs, which are fun, but I have to admit that the day to day family running of an antique takes time and effort and money and my savings are now running low.
So we applied for the form and have slogged at it ever since it arrived in the house and now it’s done thank God and sent off to the Department of Work and Pensions so that they can wade through it and decide whether I’m a suitable candidate for assistance or not.
But it’s given me considerable food for thought. I can’t be the only, elderly wreck who has done battle with the formidable form and I’ve had three people helping me with it. There must be lots of other oldies out there who try to tackle it on their own, because they have no-one to help them. And I really don’t know how any of them could possibly do it and I suspect that most will simply give up after a few pages and therefore not get the funding to pay for the help they need. And that does make me wonder – cynical old boot that I am – whether the point of the exercise might not be to deter too many applicants. And that makes me wonder how the people in need can really be helped.
Or maybe we’ve just all got to sit at home and wait to be culled. As Jeremy Warner suggested in an article published in The Telegraph on March 3rd 2020, ‘COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.’
Ain’t it nice to feel valued!! Oh woe. But now at last Lottie and I can go back to the final chapters of our current book and finish it off, which is a lovely thought to end this on and we’ve just seen our favourite green woodpecker in the garden which has cheered us up no end.
There is no doubt now, that we live in hideously corrupt times. Our politicians lie as easily as they breathe and are never pulled up short for it. Our rich men, politicians and business men alike, organise society so that they don’t have to pay any tax of any kind. That was the reason we were lumbered with Brexit. And we put up with it, over and over again and accept it as the norm.
So let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time there was a rich woman called Leona Helmsley, whose net worth was $8 billion and who was put on trial in 1989 for ‘three counts of tax evasion, three counts of filing false personal tax returns, sixteen counts of assisting in the filing of false corporate and partnership tax returns, and ten counts of mail fraud.’
In the course of the trial, her housekeeper gave evidence that her mistress had boasted ‘We don’t pay taxes, only the little people pay taxes.’ But in those days, the law was clear and the law had to be obeyed. She was found guilty and sentenced to sixteen years in prison. In the event her lawyers contrived to have the sentence reduced to nineteen months in prison and two months under house arrest. But however long or short the sentence, the message was crystal clear.
ALL CITIZENS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THEIR TAXES, THE RICH AS WELL AS THE POOR.
Oh how times have changed. Now, the majority of us meekly accept that the rich are above the law. They don’t have to pay taxes and they can lie with impunity and there is nothing that any of us can do about it. The liars are now quite brazen, appearing on television with complete permission to lie as much as they like and never be corrected. Johnson, Cummings, Hancock, Gove, the list goes on and on. The big national newspapers with the possible exception of The Guardian and all the national television stations with the possible exception of Channel 4, are dumb to any faults.
It begs a lot of questions. Why are so many people cowed by the powerful? Why are so many people afraid to tell the truth? Why are so many people so utterly subservient to what is plainly evil.
Answers on a postcard maybe. If you have any ideas or any plans for improvement please don’t keep them to yourselves. Spread the word, ask the questions. Be noticed.
Over 22 million of us have watched Peter Stefanovic’s video, detailing Johnson’s endless lying. We have passed on the news about it and spread the word and yet the media are still playing schtum. Shelley though should’st be living at this hour.
Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you- Ye are many – they are few.
I think the Fates – if there are such things – are trying to have pity on us this month and giving us something well worth looking at, because they know how bleak and difficult our lives have recently become.
So here are a few photographs we’ve taken in the garden today and a lovely poem by W H Davies, who is a great favourite of mine and has put into words how pleasurable it is to find ourselves in the middle of Summer.
All in June
A week ago I had a fire To warm my feet, my hands and face; Cold winds, that never make a friend, Crept in and out of every place.
Today the fields are rich in grass, And buttercups in thousands grow; I’ll show the world where I have been— With gold-dust seen on either shoe.
Till to my garden back I come, Where bumble-bees for hours and hours Sit on their soft, fat, velvet bums, To wriggle out of hollow flowers.
I opened my WordPress this morning and found much to my surprise that somebody had already visited it earlier in the morning and that the two blogs they’d been interested in was a very old one called ‘Who remembers Violet Elizabeth Bott?’ which has been visited steadily by one person ever since I put it up, but the second one was different, this was called ‘Word of warning about Blake’s Cottage’, and it has been around for exactly four years. So I opened it up to see what it was about it was about this particular blog that was interesting my singular visitor at this late stage.
It made very sad reading because it was an account of a message that had been sent by the Blake Cottage Trust to the members of the Felpham Village Conservation Society (FVCS). It turned out to be an invitation to the members of that society to come to a meeting in the Memorial Hall, to listen to Stuart Cade the architect who was in charge of the restoration of the cottage, I kid you not.
It is upsetting to see that despite all the grand talk and the costly architectural designs, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING came of that meeting. In fact I don’t suppose any one in the FVCS can even remember it, although I did hear a rumour that a small group of members had been formed whose purpose it was to visit the cottage at regular intervals and report on its condition. I have no idea whether anybody ever did such a thing and I can’t tell you what sort of state the interior of the cottage is in now, although people passing it by can see from the outside that it is in very poor repair indeed. And STILL nothing is being done about it. It makes me despair.
Anyway, I have put a link to this four year old blog below. I suppose I have just a hope that someone will see both blogs and take up the cudgels on behalf of our poor old historical cottage, perhaps someone who belongs to the FVCS and believes their motto ‘Preserve, Protect, Promote’. I am too old to fight now, I’m sorry to say and I don’t have the strength or the energy.