The Rich and The Poor

Many years ago when I was at college, a tutor said to us, “You have started to mature when you realise life isn’t fair; you have fully matured when you accept that life isn’t fair.

The unfairness of life was driven home to me yesterday evening when watching television. There was yet another programme about a luxury hotel, then later an item on the news about how many homeless people there are in the UK. The contrast between the group which occupies the luxury hotel and those who are homeless couldn’t be greater, yet this is supposed to be one of the richest countries in the world. Why are some people unable to manage financially even if working full time and others, in an even worse position, are homeless and penniless?

The most expensive suite in the hotel costs £20.000 a night – more than some people earn in a year. Every detail is important for the people staying in the hotel. Their every wish is a command to the hotel staff. A sharp contrast to the cardboard box or shop doorway where some people will be spending the night. The lucky ones may find a place in a hostel.

Why are there such vast differences in how people live? Some people are born into wealth, others earn large salaries, some may win money or inherit it.

But what about the people at the other end of the scale? They can’t all be feckless and unwilling to work. In some cases family relationships have broken down, jobs have been lost, mental illness, redundancy and a myriad of other reasons result in their homelessness. Some would love to work, some could find a job if they had a permanent address.

Is it just the luck of the draw that someone can afford luxury while other people cannot afford the basic essentials to live? I have no statistics, but I would guess that the majority of people in this country are somewhere in the middle, even if some of them are just managing. Most of us have no desire to be in either of the above groups and are happy we are not in the homeless group and may dream of wealth, but are generally content with what we have.

Being wealthy is not necessarily the roadway to happiness, but lack of money for life’s basic essentials almost inevitably leads to misery.

I am sure, that like the story of the talents in the Bible, if all the money in the country was divided equally, some people would rush out and spend it all, some would keep it and do nothing with it, some would invest it or start up a business and hope to make even more money. Society would be much the same as it is today. Some people would be rich and others poor.

I am aware that many of the people staying in the hotel were foreign as were many of the staff serving them.



This week I was having trouble with my computer. My security program was not working, so having paid for a lifetime service I rang the firm. They were extremely helpful and although Spanish, spoke English very clearly.

One of the things I had to do was ring my ISP for some help. The person I spoke to was English and she absolutely gabbled. I asked her very politely to speak more slowly and she was obviously offended. Don’t these people have training? Often they are the first contact one has with a firm and some of them give a very poor impression.

A friend became so annoyed with unclear messages being left on her phone, she played one back and the person ageed it was unintelligible. Let’s hope she improves! Another friend just lays the phone down if the person isn’t speaking clearly.

Often when a number is left on a message, asking you to ring back, the telephone number is rattled off so quickly that it has to be listened to repeatedly to get the full number.

Communication nowadays is so easy, why complicate it by poor delivery.



Recently I paid a visit to my home town of Dundee just before the new V and A opened there. I hardly recognised the town centre with the one way systems and no entry signs. One of the people who was with me could find his way around much better than I could.

We were staying in Broughty Ferry where I used to live before I came to England where I have now lived longer than I had lived in Dundee. Before i was married I lived in the north of the city. I would return to live in Scotland, but I would be further away from my family than I am now. Two of them living in the south and one, at the moment, living in Cairo.

My two closest friends are both now dead as are all my relatives. I still know one or two people I like to see when I go back.

One of the things I miss most is the food. I haven’t found a baker in England to compare with Goodfellow and Steven in Broughty Ferry. Unfortunately they do not do  mail order which is probably just as well or I would be spending a fortune sending for things. The fish shops also seem to sell fish more to my liking. I haven’t seen herring fillets in fish shops in England for years, but they seemed to be in all the fish shops I looked in in Scotland. The Queen Mother was reputed to like herring coated in oatmeal and grilled and so do I. I also miss mealy puddings (white puddings). I have tried white puddings in England and they seem more like sausages. The butcher in Dundee where I have bought very good puddings was sold out of them when I was there. I have sent for some from another butcher and am hoping they are good. Near Robert Burns’ birthday haggis is available here and quite edible, but I have yet to find any “proper” mealy puddings.

If i sound a bit nostalgic, then I am. No matter how many years England is my home, I am still a Scot at heart.

What’s Happened to Fish and Chips?

Yesterday a friend and I went for lunch to a pub which we hadn’t been to for a long time. We both ordered fish  and chips. What arrived can be described only as awful. Both fish and chips were very greasy; the batter on the fish was hard and the chips were soft and soggy. I thought they had been reheated.

When we complained the waitress offered to bring us a fresh bowl of chips. It arrived with chips as bad as those on our plate, so we declined and sent them back.

For months any time I have ordered chips in a pub or restaurant they have arrived in this condition. Are they some kind of bought in chips? They never used to be like that. The waitress tried to convince us they were freshly made. I expect chips to be crisp and not too greasy and likewise with the batter on the fish.

If a foreigner, trying what used to be our national dish, was presented with this, our reputation for British food being unpalatable would be confirmed.

Can anyone tell me what has happened to the good old fish and chips?


A few weeks ago I decided to put some short stories on Kindle which I had written over a period of time. Most of them had been typed on computers long gone, so what to do?

I tried scanning them, but, of course, I could change nothing in the copied versions, so when I found things I wanted to change I gave up that idea. I thought there was nothing to it but to type them out again. I set about this laborious task and had almost finished when suddenly everything disappeared from the screen. I tried everything I could think of to retrieve them, but to no avail. I decided there was nothing else for it but to start all over again. Once I set my mind to do something I do not like to give up. I typed each story separately, saved it and backed it up which I should have done in the first place.

Eventually last week I finished and stories are now on Kindle with the title “The Last Laugh and other short stories.”

Was it worth all the trouble? Only time will tell!

I have a feeling someone will tell me how I could have retrieved them.

Are You Being Served?

This morning I was in a well known department store waiting to be served. Nearby were four young assistants talking and laughing loudly. I caught the eye of one of them and she must have known I was waiting, but I had to ask to be served

I went to another department and there an assistant and two customers were also attracting attention with their loud talking and laughing.

Aren’t all these stores going through a hard time at the moment? I would have thought that those who work there would be doing all they could to make sure their jobs were secure by giving the customers who are there, their attention.

I like to see people enjoying themselves, but there is a time and place……

Assorted Verse

I do not call myself a poet
But sometimes I resort to verse
You may call it something worse!
On Kindle I’ve put some rhymes
Written by me at different times
Some of them provoke some thought
Some, I hope have even caught
Emotion that you’ve felt some time
Before I captured it in rhyme.

My assorted verses are now published on Kindle.
Please try reading some of them.