A New Relationship? Yes but it’s Early Days !!

Andy Kneeling down in HInchingbrooke park taking photos

Saturday 1386  – 4.01.2014

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I am tying this post in ( very loosely) with the Weekly Photo Challenge – Beginning  – Why?

Just because I feel like it 🙂

So here we are in another New Year and it seems amazing to me that it is so long since 2000 !

This New Year is a little different for me because it has been some years since I had a man in my life but this year I do and there is potential for 2014 to be a great year for us both.  It has certainly begun well ( about 10 weeks now! ) and we have covered a lot of ground in a short space of time.

_1535We share many of the same interests ( the photos show a major one ! ) but what is particularly exciting about this is that we have started from a point of complete honesty, with each other, and this coupled with a willingness to communicate in a very real, accepting, compassionate way is what bodes well for the future. 

When you get to my time of life ( nearly 60..gulp! ) and have 2 major relationships behind you, neither of which was noted for its good communication, then you don’t want to enter into a 3rd that follows the same pattern. Andy and I have both made mistakes in previous relationships and we are keen not to repeat these in ours.

This requires reflection on why communication was not good, recognising the patterns that reinforced poor communication and working towards a better way of being with another person in a genuine, open and adult way. It’s not easy and does require work but boy is it worth it !

I am thankful that Andy and I are doing this work together. He is undoubtedly helping me to be the best person I can be and I hope I am doing the same for him.

This all sounds terribly serious doesn’t it? but shouldn’t building a great relationship with someone be a serious business if you want it to succeed?  I think it should because if issues that arise  (and they always do it’s what happens when 2 ego’s meet ) are not dealt with then they accumulate, fester or build resentment and it’s these things that ultimately cause the collapse of a relationship; as does taking someone for granted.

Don’t get me wrong Andy and I spend a lot of our time laughing and having fun while we get to know each other.. You can be an adult and have a childlike joy too; they are not mutually exclusive.

So I am looking forward to 2014 and continuing to get to know this lovely man in a mindful way, building a true friendship and partnership of equals.

Maybe it soon won’t be “early days” any more.  😉

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 As ever I welcome your thoughts.

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Saturday girl signing off.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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Air Cadets and Food Banks .. more connected than you think.

Food-banks-graph-2013

Saturday 1389  – 14.12.2013

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

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A pretty normal day today, or so it seemed.  After lunch I took myself off to one of the Big Four supermarkets or was it one of the Big Six?  Anyway whichever it was I was there to buy a couple of last-minute prezzies for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. 

At the main door  were some people from our local, and newly opened, Food bank. They were asking everyone to buy an extra non-perishable food item and donate to the food bank.
For those of you in other countries, who don’t know what I’m talking about, a food bank is something set up to provide a few days of basic food supplies to those in crisis who cannot afford to buy food.

You can’t just walk in and get food there is usually a voucher system and referrals are often made from other agencies; social workers, Gp’s, police, housing etc.  They are springing up all over the UK, run by a variety of  usually voluntary organisations, as the government changes benefit rules and plunges more and more people into poverty. 

(See the graph above to give you an idea of how the use of food banks has increased )

Did you know that over half of the people living in poverty in the UK are actually in work not living off  benefits as many believe ? !

That the use of food banks is even necessary in 2013, in what is said to be the 7th richest country in the world, is a scandal of monumental proportions.

To go back to my shopping – When I went to the checkout my heart sank as I saw lots of children, aged around 13-14 , dressed in grey uniforms. I recognised them as Royal Air Force Air Cadets who were helping people to pack their shopping. The idea being that they help with packing your shopping and you donate a little something to their organisation.

Now I am a pacifist so to see children dressed in such uniforms made me feel sick because I believe organisations like the Cadets are used to encourage children to do as they are told, to conform and be “model citizens” . In other words to obey and not question authority.  If you teach children this when they are young  I believe there is a good chance they will be compliant as adults and afraid to question or rebel against authority even when it is unjust. 

The cadets website sells it like this

“Are you up for fun, adventure, incredible experiences and making new friends? Are you looking for something to give you the edge in life?

You can even learn to fly. Oh yes and to shoot too ,as well as parade and drill.

(“you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at military skills and drills. That means rifle shooting and field craft.” (…) ” Activities such as small and full bore target shooting, flying and gliding are paid for from the budget of the Royal Air Force.”

In fact everything you need to prepare you for a life in the armed forces. Needless to say the Cadets website has links to RAF reserves and another link to RAF careers.

Lets go back to the shopping – The irony  of having Food bank collections alongside Airforce Cadets in the supermarket was not lost on me; collecting for the poor alongside collecting for an organisation where children are being effectively groomed for more war. 

Is this what we should be doing with our young people? I certainly don’t believe it is.

Ask yourself this question – Why do we now seem to  live in a society where the poor are getting poorer and yet we can still afford to spend so much money on waging or preparing to wage war ?  In 2012 it was estimated that the UK government spent 44.3 billion on the armed forces (taken from a range of government figures) with only 34.9 on education and 61.3 on welfare ( about 9% of this figure on unemployment and over 30% on children and families)

Something just isn’t right is it?

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 As ever I welcome your thoughts.

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Saturday girl signing off.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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