Posts Tagged ‘UK

Live below the line…

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I am an avocate of frugal living it’s true.  I am a bargain shopper.  I sniff out ‘deals’ like pigs seeking truffles.  I like to eat healthily and not buy what I term as ‘crap’ from supermarkets (crisps, cereal bars etc).

So far, so smug – I’m sure you’ll agree.

But while I pat myself on the back for being such a canny shopper, the fact is that if I wanted to have a blow out on an expensive resturant meal, or gorge on cakes and sweets I could. I am lucky that I have the means to spend more than I do on food and drink.

However millions of people around the world don’t have that luxury, and face days of hunger, malnourishment and extreme poverty.   Can you imagine what it would be like to face the daily struggle to feed yourself and your family?  To have to make the choice between eating or buying clothes? To try and get by on a little amount of money – say £1 – a day?

Well imagine no more, and take part in Live Below the Line – a new campaign which encourages people around the UK to live off just £1 a day for food and drink for a week, to get a better understanding of the challenges faced by people living in extreme poverty.

In the UK many of us are used to being able to buy what we like, when we like.  In fact we often buy so much, that 8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households every year.

The Live Below the Line challenge (which takes place from 2-6 May 2011) is a great way to highlight not only the daily challenges of  people trapped in extreme poverty, but maybe also just how much we buy but don’t actually need.   You can also use the challenge as an opportunity to raise funds for the fight against extreme poverty.

So sure, I consider myself a frugal shopper, but I don’t know what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has no choice.  I’m going to join the campaign on 2 – 6 May, and I hope many others will join me!


Written by Lores

April 15, 2011 at 11:52 am

Well Hung…

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No, this isn’t a post about ‘packed lunch boxes’ – this is the fact that after weeks of speculation and media hype, we wake to a hung parliament here the UK for the first time since 1974.   What an anti-climax.

As I understand it, a hung parliament basically means that none of the political parties can secure a majority in their own right, and so must form a coalition with another party to give them the majority.   For example, Labour will most likely  seek to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, as will the Tories who will also look to form a coalition with the Democratic Unionists to give them the majority.

Personally, I can’t see this coalition process being a straightforward one – there are far too many egos in British politics, I think it will be days before this is sorted. However, I do like the idea on the Newsbiscuit website of a three-way houseshare at Number10.

One sad reflection on the election process here is that hundreds of people were turned away from polling stations around the country and were unable to cast their vote, which has caused outrage among voters – and rightly so.  (However, there is part of me that thinks that, to be fair, the polling stations were open from 7am until 10pm, which begs the question ‘what were people doing all day’?)

On the plus side however, I was hearted to see that the Green Party have won their first ever seat, with Caroline Lucas becoming the first Green Party MP, and the British National Party (i.e. Nazis) didn’t win a single seat in parliament…thus proving that the British voters aren’t that ill-informed after all.

So what will happen next?  Will there be a Lib-Lab coalition?  Will Gordon Brown resign?  Will David Cameron win over Nick Clegg?  Who knows!

Give ’em enough rope that’s what I say…

Written by Lores

May 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

Woman refused entry to the UK…for having too much lingerie

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News this week featured a story about a Brazillian woman, refused entry to the UK when arriving at Newcastle airport with a suitcase containing only lingerie. (Source:  BBC)

Suspecting foul-play (i.e. that she may well work in the sex industry), the UK Border Agency sent her back to Brazil.  The BBC reports that:

Airport staff became suspicious when she could not say what she would be doing in the UK, other than “seeing Newcastle city centre”

Now this was bound to arouse suspicion…as everyone knows that there is very little to see in Newcastle city centre.  You certainly wouldn’t travel from Brazil to see it anyway

However, I do feel that it was a tad unsporting for the UK Border Agency to refuse this woman entry simply on the basis that she didn’t have enough clothes.

I imagine that she was simply trying to fit in with the locals.

Written by Lores

April 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm

My Two Pence Worth on the Launch of Google’s ‘Street View’…

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So Google Streetview went live today, and I wonder how many hundreds of pounds, dollars and euro’s have been lost as people take virtual walks down their street instead of doing any work?

Screenshot from Streetview (random street)

Screenshot from Streetview (random street)

Street View is a map service which allows people to take a look at real imagery of city streets taken by customised Google camera car, which means that you can zoom in look about you in 360 degree wonder and delight.

All very exciting. Indeed, Twitter has been humming with people bubbling with excitement that they could ‘see my house!’ as well as the bitter feeling of rejection articulated by those whose street isn’t featured yet.

Yes, the only limitation is that not everywhere is on Google streetview yet.  I imagine though that there are many Google camera cars en route to your ‘hood even as I type (in my mind’s eye I’m picturing  a swarm of black bugs over a map of the UK), so you should be able to join in the fun soon enough. 

Initially it was good fun virtually wandering down my street on streetview, but because I do this everyday anyway in real life, the novely quickly wore off.  It became rather like a broken pencil…Pointless. 

So all that’s really left to do after that is start getting a bit grubby by checking out the streets of friends, family and ex boyfriends.

Yes the launch of this service is a great resource for the compulsive, obsessive and voyeuristic individuals of society.  Although, even then, Google has blurred out any faces or car number plates caught on camera, so stalking ability is a bit limited really. 

Yep its a great novelty – if a bit spooky – but not sure I can get as enthusiastic as some at being able to see the stuff online that I can see for myself offline.

Check it out for yourself here>>>

Written by Lores

March 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm