Friday, 7 December 2012

Just Some Musings

I've been laid low this past week. Nothing serious. Just seasonal sniffles and shivers and a strange exhaustion which left me fit to do nothing. Believing rest to be the best cure, I took to my bed, missed the company Christmas party, missed work and missed not being able to blog as there were a couple of things on my mind.
Thanks to modern technology I was able to follow Wednesday's budget from the warmth of my sickbed. It was pretty much as anticipated, yet another austerity budget. But there were a couple of nasty surprises.  The cuts to the children's allowance, increases to student fees and car tax and the introduction of a property tax had all been well flagged.  But a €1 increase in a bottle of wine caused consternation among the Twitterati, especially as it's going to cause more pain on those buying a budget bottle as a weekend treat rather than the fat cats scoffing expensive vintages.
 I even had a little whine myself, because the previous day I had stood in the wine section of Tesco, contemplating what wines I could stock up on for Christmas from the special offers. But I wasn't feeling well, certainly not up to making an important decision like that, so I walked away.  My indecision has cost me all of €6 which is pretty insignificant in the overall scheme of how much worse off we, and the rest country, is going to be for the foreseeable future.
Half price bargains won't be so cheap
A much nastier Budget shock was cutting the allowance with carers get for respite care. As it is, carers get a pittance for looking after family members who are often profoundly disabled or ill, thus saving the State a fortune by caring for them at home.  While  it may well be a labour of love for these parents, siblings or children, it's also an exhausting task, leaving them with little time to devote to themselves or other family members. The respite allowance allowed them to get some spare time to recharge their batteries and do the things the rest of us take for granted. Cutting  it will have a series impact on their own health and those they look after. As this is the one issue (apart from the wine) which has caused the most outrage, let's hope people power will lead the government to have a re-think.

In other news, we've been trying to cut the cost of our heating bill by lighting the stove in the kitchen during the day.  It's much more economical to burn the logs which we bought from a local supplier than to be switching  on the central heating. And it's much cosier too.

Hot Dog Fudge Enjoys The Heat
I managed to write the first of my Christmas cards, or at least those which have to be sent abroad.  Now I just have to buy stamps and post them.  While emails, texts and Facebook greetings have made a lot of other correspondence a thing of the past, it's still nice to send and receive Christmas cards.
One Task Done


  1. I love your photos of you warm home and cosy stove. I agree the budget didn't do anything to lift the mood here either. It causes me great pain that our country is so divided and that there are still people who will not feel even the smallest sacrifice while so many more are devastated.... thoughtful post ......

  2. Hope you're on the mend...a cozy fire should help...the #*@*&% government does not! Too bad they can't see the devastation their budget may bring.
    As for the wine tax...well you have my deepest sympathies!!!

  3. So pleased to have found your blog (via Foxglove Lane). I will be back/ Hope you feel better soon.


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