“Britons should buy value brands to cope with living cost crisis, says minister”

Yet another attempt by Tories to shift blame from this dreadful government! Many people have been buying cheapest possible brands for many years, as the only possible way of eking out inadequate social security payments or pensions. It’s deeply insulting to all of us to imply that it’s our fault for not being thrifty enough to manage to survive, or that we lack the knowledge to do so.

I’m lucky, in that my massively broke period was some years ago, but I will never forget the despair induced by fortnightly purchases of ASDA “value” frozen sausages at £2 for 40, walking a mile to save 15p on half a gallon of milk, or sitting in the cold dark because the electricity meter had run out and money didn’t come in to my bank account until the following morning. So please, no more attempts to load responsibility for inhuman living conditions onto those that this government has so dismally failed to offer any meaningful support.

active day

Having had a respiratory infection last week, I reported it to the Synexus RSV vaccine trial I’m part of, and was asked to go in yesterday morning. I explained that I can’t do rush-hour, standing-room-only trains, so they offered a cab. I’m slightly uneasy about how sending a cab from Birmingham to Worcester to fetch me, and the same on a return journey, sits with my generally Green approach. However, pragmatically, I suppose it’s a question of “greater good” – RSV is a killer of infants and elderly.

I was up early. As Monday was a Bank Holiday, I hadn’t had any confirmation of the cab arrangements, so rang Synexus just after 8. They were happy to confirm that a cab had been booked for 0900h. The driver was rather too chatty for my taste at that hour of morning, but still better than rush-hour trains!

I’d been invited for tea at Clare and Ian’s. Not only Ian’s 60th, but also Leslie visiting from Australia: we worked out that the last time I saw Leslie was at Ian’s 40th exactly 20 years ago!