Archive for April, 2013

How big a hammer?

reblogged from http://chelseaannsaxby.wordpress.com

feminism2

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Printed “Words”

Cards that say exactly what you mean! or nearly!

Hearts on canvas

Inks printed on canvas:

are you shouting?

Knit, crochet, pompom, weave, twist or tie?

Yarn bombing to the extreme!

yarn steps

If you would like to join in a yarn bombing in the Burngreave Area of Sheffield you can!

The initial discussion will be held at the Burngreave Library, 2pm, on Friday 10th May.

You are very welcome.

Spring into spring

It’s a sunny day here in dear old Sheffield (no sheep in the immediate area) and I’m longing to get into the greenhouse to sew some seeds. I have got trigeminal neuralgia at present and that stops me from doing just about anything until the pain recedes.

I do have a good friend who will share her hard work and seeds with me, just send her a list she says!  Now I know you are jealous!
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Based on an accounting error!

The government’s principle justification for pursuing austerity lay in tatters today, after it was revealed that the economic theory behind it is based on a mistake.

The Chancellor’s entire austerity policy is based on a paper by economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, which is itself based on a spreadsheet concluding that public debt of more than 90 per cent of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) slows down growth by 0.1 per cent – which is wrong.

It should have found that countries with such levels of debt see their economies grow by 2.2 per cent – but the false conclusion was used by the UK Treasury to justify the horrific austerity programme that has already caused terrible harm to many British citizens, and is expected to cause much worse harm in the future.

It means that the slaughter of innocents down at the DWP – the deaths of many thousands of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance, due to changes in the assessment regime that were based on a false theory dreamed up by an American insurance company when it needed an excuse not to pay out  – have been in vain.

It means that the huge cuts to social security benefits for those who are out of work and those in work but poorly paid are totally unjustified. Here in Mid Wales, they average out at £433 per year, for everyone of working age. That’s roughly one week’s wages here – and of course much more than that in terms of benefits because, let’s remember, this government wants to make sure that work pays more than worklessness.

And it means that the Income Tax cut for the very rich, and the cuts that have reduced Corporation Tax by a quarter, were also unjustified. Let’s not forget that the Coalition government has been giving our money back to its influential friends.

George Osborne’s ridiculous plan was known as “expansionary fiscal contraction”. Just looking at those words together, anyone with an ounce of common sense knows it’s ridiculous. It implied that the economy would grow if it was starved of investment. What rubbish. How on earth can anything grow if it is being starved?

Now that plan has been exposed as “total nonsense” – which is exactly the way Ed Balls described it after hearing of the mistake.

Osborne, of course, is sticking to it. An aide said it was “absurd” that only one paper supports the Chancellor’s case for austerity – but put forward no examples of other justifications.

The aide said “the majority of economists still back the government’s strategy”.

But the International Monetary Fund doesn’t. The IMF was the main supporter of Osborne, using the same Reinhart-Rogoff paper to justify austerity schemes three years ago.

Now, both IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard and its head, Christine LaGarde, have suggested that he should be “slowing the pace” of his cutbacks.

In fact, we all know why Osborne will continue to push austerity down our throats, and it has nothing to do with balancing the budget.

He knows it is extremely unlikely that the Conservative Party will win an election in 2015 – the damage he has already done to all our lives means that is a statistical probability on which he can rely.

But he has more ideologically-motivated changes to foist upon us, whether we want them or not. His buddy David Cameron once said he wanted to see all public services except justice and the security services privatised, and we can expect Osborne to push this agenda forward with vigour.

This government is all about taking public services and putting them into private hands, for profit and to spite the poor.

That is the real truth that was revealed by a statistical error in a spreadsheet this week.

reblogged from http://mikesivier.wordpress.com

A Leibster Award!

I am very happy to announce that Sal-pal1 has nominated me for a Liebster award! According to her post, it is designed to highlight blogs with fewer than 200 followers – I’m at 192 at the moment so a (hopefully) a timely award.

Here’s the thing – I have to give you 11 facts about me.

1.) I live in a multicultural part of Sheffield and I love it.
2.) I have an energy depleting illness (no more denial)
3.) I eat healthily (mostly) and have my shopping delivered from Riverford Organics – this makes my life easier.
4.) I miss my old life – walking, climbing, teaching and well most of it actually.
5.) I have discovered art as a replacement to my old life.
6.) I have replaced reading with audio cds – a good move with not much loss.
7.) I love baking my own bread – nowadays with the help of a bread-maker.
8.) I enjoy the company of my friends – they are the best.
9.) I own a very inquisitive mind – reading other peoples blogs is a lifesaver.
10.) I feel very supported by my partner.
11.) She is the love of my life.

Thanks Sal-Pal1, 11 facts have exhausted me, interesting that I’m finding it hard to think of them. I’m definitely not shy, but the writing down of them seems very clinical!

Thanks again.

Spoon Theory

spoons

Plagerised from Christine Miserandino

At a restaurant whilst in conversation with a friend about my illness, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus” (or any energy wasting illness). She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work when she looked disappointed and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had.

I asked her to list off the tasks of her day including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon.

  •  When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make yourself something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet.
  •  Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away.
  •  Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.
  • I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. You do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.
  •  We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.
  •  When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely.
  •  Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.
  •   She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this every day?” I explained that some days were worse than others; some days I have more spoons than others. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”
  • It’s hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. For me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.
  •   At least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”
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