Category Archives: Consuming

Have you seen this child?

Sorry it’s been a bit blog-quiet around here recently.  Don’t know why, just been busy doing other things, I suppose.

However, I did want to tell you about the near catastrophe that we faced a couple of weeks ago, in the big new Waterstones in Liverpool One.  It all began when Daisy suddenly started calling, “Darling!  Darling, where are you?!”

The implications of this may not immediately strike you.  Darling had gone missing in the shopping centre. How does one go about looking for an imaginary child? I don’t know what she looks like, if I did select a random corner of the shop in which to “find” her, Daisy is perfectly capable of denying it.  If we decided that Darling is imaginary, the search is ludicrous, and we were going home without her, Daisy could be devastated, and make life miserable for all of us for weeks.  So, what do you do?

Well, I was saved by the unexpected presence of a fish tank in the children’s section.  Daisy was so captivated by the idea of its being there, that she was instantly amenable to the idea that Darling had, perfectly naturally, wandered towards it, and could now be found looking at the fish. She hugged imaginary Darling, and told her never to run away from her again, in a very stern voice. Peace and normality were restored, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Thank goodness Daisy didn’t see as much potential for disruption from the situation as I did, because I think she could have taken the idea and run an awfully long way with it…

I am the Champion…

Kevin saved £20 a month by ringing Virgin Media (twice) and being stroppy with them.

I, inspired by this piece of frugality, rang British Gas Services, and cancelled their extortionate gas appliance insurance cover, thereby saving £23.37 a month!


That means in the last half an hour, we’ve saved £516 a year – after tax.  The equivalent of something like a £670 pay rise.

upgrading cable and downgrading the bill

Dear Virgin Media – It’s your own fault: first you upgraded my broadband, that broke the cable modem, thanks for the new one. It’s working now. The you advertised the fact that your cable bundles are on your website.

Yes I checked, and they are far cheaper than what we pay, for more. you see we’ve been with you for years, so we don’t have a bundle, we have everything separate, and we pay a premium for being loyal.

So I gave you a call, and you said, “that package isn’t  availible for you, you could pay £8 more”, so I hung up, and checked Sky, they would give me the same for less.

So I rang you back to tell you – then surprisingly there are packages I can have! and thank you for upgrading my phone package, and reducing my bill by £20 a month. that’s very kind of you  – it does means you’ve been ripping me off for months, but that’s partly my fault.

we’re all doomed

it's doomed
it's doomed

If you’ve been following the blog, you might have noticed, that I’ve started to pay attention as to how the world economy actually works, and it’s scared me a bit. It’s not because we personally are in trouble, or if we are we haven’t noticed; after all we’ve just gone a bought a car. it’s because once you see any of this information you can’t but fail to see how the global economy appears to be built on a fundamentally flawed ideal, that we will never run out of stuff.

Well today I’ve fulled my paranoia even more, I’ve been reading New Scientist, and their special report on how our economy is killing the earth. so of the articles are available on line, but it you’ve got access to it, I recommend you read the New Scientist this week. 

for those of you with no time/inclination/regard for the fate of the world, here is my summary. 

“we’re doomed”

and here’s my more detailed, thoughts;

We’re all doomed, because the way the entire planet works is based on the fact we are never expecting to run out of resources. Just to make that clear, when we run out of oil, or fish, or water, or coal – the free market will collapse, because it’s all driven by the fact that it needs to grow to feed itself. 

stop the economy - buy this!
stop the economy - buy this!

Saving the planet while the economy is like it is, is a waste of time, because we need to reduce our carbon emissions world wide by a factor of 5 by 2050.. if you neglect the effect of a growth based economy, if the economy meats it’s target growths over the next 25 years then we need to reduce carbon emissions to 0.2% of the current levels. in short we need to make the economy sustainable, or we can’t save the planet. 1

some of the ideas to solve these problems are a bit Utopian, but we do need to do something, persuading people to forgo material riches, and start placing values on society isn’t going to be an easy thing. I’m not even sure there are any real individual things you can do today (short of starting a revolution) to change this. everyone in any position of power has so much vested in the system they’re not going to change easily.

so I’m all depressed now. I’m considering my options

  1. move to a croft in Scotland, and stock up
  2. start a political party and overthrow the world
  3. moan about it for a bit, then bury my head in the sand, hope if goes away