Kicking the bucket back!

14054150_1071693506212151_6188641893629370659_nLet’s get real about the older generations and yes, I have put it in the plural for a very good reason. My mother is still driving at 85. My Aunt of 97 has recently popped over from Canada for a short visit. We have a 34 year age span. My friend of 86 is still working for a community farm in despite two or three brushes with cancer. I could give you several more examples from personal experience, so let’s get some of the myths about frail old pensioners dispelled shall we?

The media are fuelling what I suspect is a Tory backed campaign to turn myth to reality in people’s’ minds in that old people are going to be an increasing burden because of our increasing numbers. I am now one of the ‘younger oldies’, absolutely fed up with magazines aimed at my age group that are full of adverts for stair lifts and electric scooters. So I went looking for some actual facts about old people in the UK today…and figures are wonderful things to play with – but then most of you younger people don’t know that.

2011 Census: Those aged 65 and over accounted for 16 per cent (10.4 million) of the population of the UK. By mid-2039 the raw figures show a different pattern and yes the numbers over 65 grow – but not in the way we are being led to believe.

2018: There will be 12.3 million aged over 65 – source Office for National Statistics and the lower level age for receipt of pensions  increases from there on in.

Tax:

The over 65s’ share of UK’s income tax payments was 11 per cent for the tax year 2012/13, or £17.5billion of the £157billion total income tax paid, according to Prudential’s analysis

  • So… approximately 10.4% of the population all aged over 65 paid 11% of the tax bill for the whole country. 

 

Pensions:

British pensioners pay on average £3,258 a year in income tax (but the figure could rise as the new pension freedom rules start to have an impact), a new study suggests 

The new state pension from 2016 is £8,092pa. So after deducting the tax revenue generated by taxing pensions, a shortfall of £4834 per pensioner has to be found from the NI monies that have been paid in by an individual over 39 years.(4834/39 = £123pa to be paid back for every year worked).

Life expectancy over 65

Men who reach 65 can look forward to another 19 years, while women can expect another 21 (but there are regional variations) says Public Health England.

Given this life expectancy (39 years paid in/20 average years paid out) means only £61.50pa of monies paid in is actually paid back for every year worked.

  • So… the UK national NI fund is net contributing only about £61.50pa per pensioner towards the state pensions of the over 65’s.

In 2018, given the figures above, that will be £7.56bn pa (12.3m X 61.5), rather less than the (12.3m x 8092) £99.5billion that might be assumed from raw data.

The overall cost of replacing Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system would be £167bn  (that’s 22 years worth of pensions payments)

  • So the lesson is… figures can provide a lot of smokescreens – there are lots of anomalies buried in the figures that are not all easily found or explained and I have not even tackled the social care bills in this essay, but currently:

853,615 old age pensioners currently receive essential care that allows them to live independently (less than 10%)

The proportion of the population aged 65 and over who were living in communal establishments  declined to 337,000 in 2011 and … The resident care home population is ageing: people aged 85 and over represented 59.2% of the older care home population

2013: Residential care homes were more profitable, at 31.3% of total income, compared with 27.4% for nursing homes

At the end of 2015: research by wealth manager Killik & Co and think-tank the CEBR found that the average annual cost of a nursing home has risen by 3.8 per cent over the past year alone to £39,300, while the cost for a residential home has increased by 2.4 per cent to £29,300. 

  • So I propose that the reason older people are now being billed as ‘becoming a burden’, is that (2011) Barely 10% of total care provision remains in state hands and the private care sector needs ‘growth’ for its shareholder investors. Diverting pensioner wealth and government pension provision into residential social care funding is the only way that can be done – in the short-term at least.

and todays headlines? = https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/26/nhs-elderly-care-close-to-collapse  – a crisis deliberately created by those with vested interests in private ownership of the care system?

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Joint the quiet revolution: 10 first ethical steps for low income households to help defeat the establishment and protect the planet & yourself

images

  1. Switch your gas and electric away from the big six – go green

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Six_Energy_Suppliers_(UK)

  1. Read the news online – from more than one source – stop picking up the free papers

http://educateinspirechange.org/alternative-news/great-britain-owned-run-5-billionaires/

  1. Get a basic bank account that has no charges and does not let you overdraw

http://www.which.co.uk/money/banking/bank-accounts/guides/best-bank-accounts/best-basic-bank-accounts

  1. Recycle absolutely everything you can and harass your council to do more

http://www.sita.co.uk/waste-as-a-resource/recycling-in-the-uk

  1. Buy second-hand from local not national charity shops

http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/charity-reports

  1. Walk in preference to any other form of transport – even public transport is internationally owned

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FirstGroup

  1. Learn to cook fresh food – stop buying stuff in packets and jars – 10 companies control most of the products you buy

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/consumer-brands-owned-ten-companies-graphic_n_1458812.html

  1. Buy British – stop using the pound shops – for example Poundland now owned by South African Company Steinhoff

http://www.steinhoffinternational.com/02-our-group.php

  1. Shop local – use the markets and local traders

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/dec/06/shop-locally-small-business-saturday-seven-reasons

  1. Use the library to learn more and keep information free to all

http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/campaigns/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-library-closurescampaigns/

 

 

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The authenticity of spiritual practitioners

 

healing-photo

Before I write, I will lay my credentials on the table:

I started my training as a spiritual healer in 1999 under the watchful eye of an elder of the Christian Spiritualist Centre in British Columbia. I continued it here in the UK. First with the Corinthian Church from 2000, with the Lancashire and District healers and finally with the National Federation of Spiritual Healers. All in all, I probably did over 2/300 hours of hands on training plus studying the appropriate texts.  I did a healing apprenticeship if you like, over a five-year period during which time I worked as a volunteer in healing centres across Lancashire, alongside dozens of other healers of varying degrees of experience. I also undertook some Shamanic training in the Norse tradition and became a practising dowser. Ten years down the line, I trained to Reike Master level and discovered that I could read the cards as a means of counselling those in need of help. I became aware of angels as I studied comparative religion at degree level and found an affinity with the basics of buddhist philosophy, although I am not a practitioner of any religion.

Let me tell you up front. None of the above taught me how to heal or how to be psychic.

What they did teach me were the skills I needed to develop my gifts and to use them to help other people in a safe, respectful and professional manner: Self control, empathy, discretion, a grounded attitude to the energies flowing through me and the knowledge that I was only the channel for, not the originator of, whatever the person in front of me was experiencing. That what I was experiencing was only my interpretation of reality, not what others could or should be experiencing.

Given my interest in the Universe as a co-creative healing partner,  I now prefer to call myself a natural healer. Keeping it simple. The three core values that I aspire to are honesty, integrity and love. Values that today are needed more than ever as we deal with the confused society around us.

So with all this behind me, I am confident enough now, some 17 years down the line, to speak out about what seems to be the rapid growth in what I call ‘spiritual inauthenticity’ this last year or two. Something I fear will only increase as people look to find answers in the midst of the current chaos of Brexit and Trump.

Politics aside, what has got me worked up enough to write this blog is the recent emergence of self appointed ‘western masters’ of spiritual practice who offer ‘personal transformation’ at very high cost. Some of them are people who I knew when they were just ‘Joe Bloggs’ only a few years back on the spiritual path. They now offer ‘transformational’ activities that I would really like the trading standards people to start looking at more closely. In my world view, they are not ‘masters’, they are ‘experiencers’ on a spiritual path with the rest of us (but with less transparency). They remind me of the American religious channels, all shout but no substance. At a time when connectivity with all of our own kind and the planet is the key to our very survival, their way is not the only way, despite the slick marketing.

I would say truthfully that all that can be done for the person wanting to follow a spiritual path is to hold for them a space that can support them into their own learning. That holding takes more time and effort than a course or a workshop can offer. Spiritual transformation is personal development and no-one can give it to you in a couple of hours, or in a weekend or even on a retreat. You have to do the hard work yourself and it is a forever thing.  There is no fast track to success, no matter whatever beguiling theory or spiritual practice that anyone tries to sell you. It is the journey that matters, not the outcome.

I live in hope (literally in Hope Street) and hope is ‘that beautiful place between the way things were and the way things are  yet to be’ (source anonymous) and I believe the time has now arrived when all of us who are aware of our spiritual gifts are beholden to help others do the same.

Such interactions should probably no longer include money changing hands and if we are to be authentic practitioners, we must now expect other methods of being rewarded for giving of ourselves. Of course we will still need to have money coming in to pay the bills as long as we continue to live in a consumer based society, but my experience over the last few years is that non-monetary exchanges are already becoming the norm, in many alternative fields of endeavour.

Willingly putting myself in the flow of such abundance, by giving so much of it away, has more than been matched by a sufficiency of funds to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. In addition, I have gained an unexpected richness to my life that is increasingly important to me as I gently slide into my retirement years.

How wonderful would it be if  the ‘western masters’ remembered that it is act of the giving that fuels their own spiritual development and personal prosperity.?

 

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I am Human?

blackely-new-forest

Last week I went to watch the film ‘Human’ put out by Paradigm Screenings. The film was a montage of people’s stories sandwiched between glorious aerial cinematic photography of the planet. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The stories centred around the universal human themes such love, life & death, happiness, dreams for the future. They were told from the point of view of the poor, the dispossessed, the bereaved and brought to mind a recent Guardian article about the missing voice of the working class.

Following on from the film, there was an audience discussion led by a panel of academics and whilst it was clear that the stories had touched many people deeply, I realised that I had experienced a different film from everyone else. Most of the discussion was about the anthropological and political aspects of the film and the intent of the filmmaker (Yann Arthus- Bertrand). It was, to my ears, a dry, academic and analytical discourse…

and I wondered am I not human?

I had sat spellbound at the sight of ancient deserts and salt lakes, huge river basins and the sheer destructive power of wild water as it tumbled down rock faces and across the ocean floor. I had seen a portrayal of the insignificance of the human condition in the face of the breathtaking magnificence of planet Earth, seemingly filmed from the point of view of a soaring eagle.  All of this, for me at least, dwarfed into insignificance both the scenes of human activity despoiling all that it touched and the moving individual stories that were told by means of headshots direct to the camera.

It was the very insignificance of mankind on the planet that the film brought home. How our lives means so very little when framed by the bigger picture. I came away thinking about Anastasia and her philosophy that we are here to co-create. That we alone as a resident species have the power to make the Earth even more beautiful than it already is.

For me the film showed how badly wrong we are getting this. For me the message of the film was that the planet can survive without mankind, but that we are so wrapped up in the experiences of our brief lives, that we have forgotten how we depend on it for our very existence. That the ongoing relationship between us and our home planet will only work if we nurture its abundance and respect it awesome powers.

(The photograph above of a tree spirit apparently in great pain was taken in Blakely New Forest in Manchester by myself. I did give healing to the tree at the time)
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Past peak social media?

I think I have reached exhaustion point with social media. What with the Jeremy situation, my anti-fracking involvement and Rammylitfest, plus my mostly on-line employment, my brain hurts every time I look at a screen! This last week of fine weather is to blame!

14040000_10153910130842428_7132007774630722557_n It started with me in the park reading eco-poetry, dressed in my ‘nana against fracking‘ outfit, thoroughly enjoying the gentle ambiance of the ‘love earth’ day and the lovely people who took part.

I am a good weather gardener and so much of the following few days of fine weather, warm enough for me to find some energy, has been spent outside in our communal gardens, planning how I will develop them into a sanctuary that is wildlife friendly and as a result, as the rain drives me back indoors, I find I have lost interest in all except ‘the real world’.

It is strange how life overlaps though. An anti-fracking meeting this week found me in the Quaker house at Blackburn, a very special place where I both did and received a lot of healing some years ago. It was delightful to be in there again and I am afraid I was lost in reverie with spirit throughout most of the meeting, so did not take note of most of the proceedings.

As I watch the dark overgrown shrubbery and tree behind my flat finally getting reduced to more manageable levels, letting natural light back into my home, my mind is back where it belongs,with the earth and with spirit…WP_20160819_10_04_35_Proand it’s not just me … http://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/

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#IamTinaRothery

I’ve only ever been on one public demonstration in my life so far. I was in my fifties when I went to London and marched in objection to Tony Blair taking us into Iraq. I knew then in my heart he was lying about the reasons for declaring war. Time has already proved it to be so.
13528714_10153554771527274_2655799754528374154_nTomorrow, now a nana in my sixties, I will be boots on ground for a second time. I know we are being lied to again, but this time the fight is on my home turf. I believe the future wellbeing of all our children and grandchildren is at stake, so I am going to Blackpool tomorrow in support of Tina Rothery who has become the figurehead for the UK’s anti-fracking movement and who is now being pilloried by the legal system as a result.

 

The go-ahead to frack in Ryedale in Yorkshire sadly has been given already and this beautiful area is now under threat in so many ways, not just from the environmental pollution aspect.images

Fracking was initially rejected by Lancashire County Council in 2015. Despite this,  Cuadrilla will be starting work on Monday 27th June 2016 at 7am. With Council permission, the company plans cover the use of an existing well to carry out seismic and pressure monitoring.

You have to ask yourself why they would want to do this? Is it because the Communities and Local Government Department has intervened ? In the light of the initial Lancashire decision, the secretary of state, Greg Clark, said he would make the final decision on whether fracking can go ahead or not, overriding the wishes of the local electorate. Financially, environmentally and morally in my eyes, he has the low ground.

Tina may go to jail, but another woman will take her place to face up to bully boy tactics We are not going to go away Mr Clark. #iamTinaRothery

 

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Reptilians, shadow people and jinns.

Repcon 2016

I recently attended this UFO Alien Conference – supposedly dedicated to the exposure and understanding of the reptilian alien military agenda. A weird place for me to be you might think? To be honest, I only went for the crack, as this was Bury’s contribution to the Greater Manchester Science in the City week and I thought it was hilarious that it was being held in the Lancashire Fusiliers Museum when the annual ‘war weekend‘ was on and the place was full of people trying to relive WW2,  as romanticized by Hollywood of course!

However, I stand corrected, as I found myself totally entranced by some amazingly spiritual people, the very last thing I had expected at such a gathering. On my own spiritual journey I have had some wonderful, some strange and some often disturbing personal experiences. As the speakers told their own stories – the parallels with my own were totally unexpected. The language and some of the conclusions drawn might have been different, but I have no doubt they were talking about the same sorts of experiences.

Ellis Taylor says of himself that ‘I’m not well-known, and to be honest, I like it that way; but stayingWood Nymph Cathedral Grove 1999 1 in this comfort zone is not in the remit for my journey during this incarnation. I don’t have high-level secret government confidences to share, that I’m aware of; what I do have is evidence of interdimensional contact and accounts of their circumstances…which included numerous witnesses.’

So do I Ellis, so do I! What’s more I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

Then there was Frank Willis. I’ve met him before. In St Anne’s, when we were the only people waiting at the railway station one quiet Sunday evening. He frightened me immensely at the time telling me about his life and explaining how he protected himself. I thought I was being set up to be assaulted and/or robbed by this dark ex-soldier. Now several years on from that day, I found this remarkable man to be someone to be admired for how he has turned his life around.

With the benefit of hindsight, I was guided into my spiritual journey by a lady of the highest order of both the Pythian Sisters and the Eastern Eye. Not that I knew any of that at the time of course. Since first meeting her and even beyond her death, I have always felt I was being looked after by her and so when Simon Parkes talked about what he called ‘shadow people‘ and showed a picture – my  first thought was – ‘Oh I’ve got one of those in a photo too’.

3 Watcher on the BankI called it ‘The Watcher on the Bank’ because that was what I felt at the time, that I was being watched. I was glad it was on the other side of the river as I was quite on my own!  I was on my way to meet that same lady at her church that day – it was only when I got there that I discovered she was leader of a spiritualist church and also a highly gifted medium, who is still with me on occasion, some ten years after her death.

Simon talked about other beings too, using some words unfamiliar to me ‘ Mantid (Mantis) beings, Draconis, Reptilian, Jinns – my body hair was tingling at several points in his talk, as he described things that I have felt, seen or photographed over a number of years. I regard them as nature spirits or elementals and my own experiences have mostly been very positive, so it was disturbing to hear them being spoken of in a negative way, although later in his talk Simon was keen to point out that they too have a choice to work for the highest good, as do we.

It was James Bartley who brought back to me more unpleasant memories, with his research into how negative beings interact to women, especially women of a spiritual nature. Again I had had a different way of interpreting what happened to me, but it was interesting to hear his take on things. Some of the drawings he showed were very close to my own description of the beings I had encountered some years ago.

All in all, a most interesting day. I am way out on a limb with all this, but as usual… synchronicity struck several times and I now look forward myself to giving a conference talk about some of my own work next year, albeit in a more grounded environment – mysterious earth!

 

 

 

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Tales from the kitchen table 3

Well, it’s not strictly true this time, as my own cosy nest does not have a kitchen big enough for a table, so the taptap is on my knee.

It was the drive back across Anglesey that began this draft and at the time I was not quite sure where it was going…

IMG_2150.JPG

This view got me thinking about the bigger picture of life and how physically insignificant we humans really are in the universe, other than our detrimental impact on the planet.

I came back to lead a spiritual healing course at Vitality in Ramsbottom and in doing so, reconnected in a more intimate way with people of like mind once again. The connections triggered the same chain of thought. Why, if we are so insignificant, do we have this wonderful ability to think, reason and create at levels way beyond any that other living things appear to have. Why then are we as a species seeming to get things so terribly wrong? Big questions that by the end of the day, I was too tired to find answers to in my own mind.

I went to bed early to read ‘The Twelfth Insight’ by James Redfield, a mystical tale about the approach of Armageddon; what it means to the major religions and how their sacred books all point to something that could be a non violent leap in evolution instead of our extinction, if non-acceptance of differences were put to one side. It’s only a story, but it strengthened my resolve to be part of the spiritual awakening needed for James’ stories to become a positive reality.

Syncronicity then struck (just as the book describes) and not just once (time to pay attention – I know when that happens, it is important!)

I woke to watch a recent TED talk, by Yanis Varoufakis, who was pointing to our future potential world society as either being like ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Star Trek’ if we do not act soon.  (Thank you to my friend Ann for posting) He made a lot of sense. I do not have the time left to develop the skills necessary to operate effectively in his world, so… on the basis of the Twelfth Insight being very close to real life, I joined the Celestine Vision Community and encouraged my spiritual friends to do the same, in the hope that our energetic contribution will help turn the tide of self destruction.

I love Facebook ! The very next post that appeared on my timeline (thank you to my friend Robert) was the latest by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in which she talks about standing up and showing your soul. (It’s in the book too) where she says ‘ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach’.

I have a poem along those lines. Apologies if you have read it before:
IMG_2177.JPG

Pebbles

I am a pebble,

When I throw myself into the pond I cause ripples,

Ripples that spread

To the solid banks of certainty

And nibble at their edges.

The more pebbles like me

That do just this,

The faster certainty crumbles,

Creating soft fertile earth

Where seeds of a new understanding

Can flourish and grow.

So if you care my friend,

Follow my lead

Jump!

The third syncronicity??

Kurt Jewson, who stood up and bared his soul (and his body complete with catheter, stoma and scars) on Facebook in order to try and help other men not end up where he is – which is living  with prostrate cancer. Blessings on you Kurt. May you make a full recovery & to go to lead a long and prosperous life.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tales from the Kitchen Table 2

Landscape

The landscape on Anglesey fascinates me. It is not bold like the lakes or soft like the Chilterns, but here are hints of the open Lancashire moorland that I love so well, especially at the north end of the island. It has a magical feel, especially after it has rained and the sun brings a soft mist above and around the trees and fields. Driving down some of the narrow lanes between hedges and small glades of tree dappled with sunlight, even now in January, when branches are bare, it is easy to imagine that Herne or a Druid may step out into the road at any point and there are most decidedly still lots of nature spirits here. I sense their presence often. The side roads are so quiet here, that you can drive slowly, bimbling along, (a great word I have recently learned) looking at things in depth, without anyone bothering you to go any faster. I went 5 miles and back today and saw no-one but a walker.

Golden hillside

The golden light of the early evening sun lit up the old quarried hillside opposite the house  yesterday and revealed the most beautiful array of rich earth colours. Glowing gold amber and bronze, it is hard to believe it is only the first week of January. I travelled a way up the road to get a view of the mainland. The first snow of the Winter sat on the tops of the coastal mountains of North Wales.
IMG_2165

 

 

 

 

 

But at the North side of the island, it is easy to see why the Druids called this their ‘Holy Mountain. It sits proud of the land around it and looking at it from Church Bay where this photo was taken, the busy ferry port that disfigures the mountain can hardly be seen. I cannot wait to get to explore it more closely. It is a nature reserve and so much of it is untouched by development.

Holy island

Phillip Coppens, author and investigative journalist, has an interesting article about the Celtic heritage of Anglesey on his website.

http://philipcoppens.com/anglesey.html

 

 

 

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TALES FROM THE KITCHEN TABLE

Sheep

IMG_2119.JPG

Our local farmer has lost 10 sheep in the last two nights – he thinks to pneumonia, but the vet is checking samples, just to make sure. It has been so very wet and apparently none of the local farmers have enough shelter to bring all of their flocks inside.

It’s not just a sheep that is lost; it is also the lamb inside of it. That’s a financial loss of around £100 per animal, £1000 in just two nights. What kind of business can continue to sustain that kind of loss? No wonder the farmers are worried. There is no sign of an end to what the BBC calls this unusually wet and unseasonable weather.

We have not flooded here, the house is 75m above sea level, but the car has being getting a regular wash down from dips in the roads as we tootle about the island. I had never noticed water coming off the fields and through stone walls before, but it has been happening on a regular basis this last few weeks.

I had never paid much attention to sheep either until I came here. Sheep were just sheep to me, some of them white, some of them black. Now I notice sheep have long legs, short legs; long tails, short tails; long hair, short hair. There are white, cream, brown and black sheep and some that are a mixture of all of the above. I am promising myself a book on sheep so that I can learn more about them.

One of the joys of being out of the city is that the pace of life here gives you time to ruminate on such things. ‘Useless things’ some might say, but to me anything you learn about Nature is never useless. I am not a vegetarian; lamb is my favourite meat and to be honest, if learning about different types of sheep enables me to choose a better piece of lamb for Sunday lunch, then bring it on!

Yesterday brought our first visit from the ‘honey truck’IMG_2112 (otherwise known as Mr Roberts with his slurry machine) to empty  our septic tank. Not as unpleasant a situation as it sounds, but it is now apparent why different levels have been created at the bottom of the garden – our ‘soak away’ from the septic tank would run like a waterfall over the 12 foot drop down to the house behind if it were not diverted.IMG_2118.JPG

I wonder if the neighbours down the hill actually know what heads their way from us.  It is very noticeable that our resident mole does not appear to venture down to that end of the garden.

Apparently our more solid effluent will end up on the Robert’s farm to sit in slurry tanks along with that from his 100 strong milking herd for 2-3 years before being sprayed on the fields. I have not found out yet whether that will be crop fields or pasture. Perhaps it is better not to know.

 

 

 

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