Monday. Melanie over at Sparks From A Combustible Mind has released a fresh batch of Share Your World questions. This week, she asks:
What’s something you really resent paying for?
Taxes. Well. I don’t resent paying them, I resent that each year I pay them, they go up, like 10%, and I get less in return. Not so very long ago, I had my garden waste carted away for no additional cost on top of my standard tax (I’m careful not to say “for free”). Now I have to pay extra for it. Recently, they “rationalised” our recycling collection so we are forced to put more types of waste into our recycling bin, with the consequence that the recycling bin isn’t really big enough to fit everything. They have just introduced a new entry scheme at our local dump. They say the idea is to practise social distancing, but actually a side-effect is that the scheme tracks your address. Preparation, I am sure, for when the bill lands on your doormat for how many times you visited the tip this last month. One of the things you will hear people complain about in the UK is how much illegal tipping (just leaving stuff by the side of the road) has increased in the last 10 years – I wonder why?
On the national scale, when the NHS was founded, our payments included prescriptions, too. But that cost burden was passed directly onto the taxpayer (without actually asking the taxpayer), to cover the cost, at the time, of the Korean War.
In my own childhood, the NHS also used to cover the cost of dentistry and eyewear – nothing special, but your basic pair of glasses (remember John Lennon?). My last pair cost me GBP550 (maybe USD700), it will be my last ever. My eyesight literally cannot afford to change.
What was the most unsettling film you’ve seen?
I’m not so hot on films any more, I’ll watch them on TV but normally, by then, I know the story. In any case, I’m unlikely to want to concentrate for the duration of the film nowadays – I have better things to do. I did go to the cinema to see Downton Abbey last summer, but that was hardly unsettling. I can’t even remember what it was about except that it had the very unlikely plot of an Irish Nationalist saving the UK king’s life. Please… We went to see one of the Terminators after the stroke, but that was just very dark and very loud. It must have been the one where Arnie plays an old fart.
I remember when they came out, I happened to be living in London so watched both Platoon and Hamburger Hill in plush west-end cinemas. Those films were unsettling because of both their realism and that I’d have been about the same age as the boys in them.
Schindler’s List is another one. Or years ago, The Killing Fields, or Cry Freedom. You know, something where at the end, you’re saying to yourself, fuck me, did that really happen? I can quite easily put fiction in a box marked “not real”, but when something depicts real events, is a different matter.
Do you judge people?
Of course. Don’t we all? I live life according to my rules, and I can’t help but notice when somebody lives according to different rules. But what works for me might not work for them, and vice-versa. Everybody chooses their route through life.
I don’t think I have the right to preach to them that my rules are better than theirs, or to vary how I behave toward them. If they have decided on a different path, so be it. My truth in no truer than theirs.
Finish this sentence: “Back in my day, we…”?
Talking of old farts, I’ll duck that one.
Please feel free to share an uplifting photo, thought or meme to show your own gratitude. We can all use some good vibes!
I’ve about shared my gratitude in previous posts, but how about being glad that in the week that I clipped my hair back to nothing, being grateful that we are promised midweek temperatures of 27°C ( that is just north of 80F).
In fact I have just come in from the garden, where I had a fat-free. sugar-free strawberry yoghurt for after my lunch (I like to talk about food but you should see the crap I normally get to eat) , and I felt very overdressed!
Or, how about being grateful that the relative I met a few years ago on Facebook actually lives 10,000 miles away, and we will never actually meet? Because… well, let’s just be diplomatic and say that if we did meet, we wouldn’t get on very well. I bet we all have some family like that!