A flavour of what walking round the block means to me.
All the hedgerows are full of blackberries, which I will go and pick some after writing this. I like blackberry and apple jelly with the blackberry pips strained out. It makes a nice cordial as well, mixing them with elderberries is good too. If you make the elderberry cordial when the flowers are out, you have to leave enough flowers to turn into berries for later.
Then there's enough flowers for the bees, and you leave some berries for the birds.
You have to give her something to get the rabbit off her.
She can catch pheasants too.
So if we were in a tight spot, I would ask the farmer if I could put her radio wire round the field opposite us. She would keep the pheasants off his crop, and we would share the pheasants.
You aren't allowed to shoot the pheasants even though they are not a Jersey species. 2000 were imported for for a shoot. Then the animal rights lot got involved so they let them go. They strip the crops, and you can easily count 15-20 in a small field. The farmers are allowed to shoot them, but this costs money. A good dog gets by this ruling as far as I am concerned!
Good sport for the Dog, and keeps her fit and entertained. It's a bloodsport that is fascinating to see her work. There is a purpose behind it, as we don't have any rats round our place.
I wouldn't mind so much if the same system was operating as when I was a child, then my usual maths clock started. When I was a kid we used to get our pocket money by cycling round bottle spotting.
Anyway the old lemonaid bottles used to have either 3d, or 6d back on them. I worked out that an average man's wage then was £40 per week. A packet of crisps was 6d. My parent's wouldn't buy us crisps or ice cream. My Dad bought us one ice cream on holiday! My parents said we had to earn the money to buy those things. My Dad was on £40 a week then. Minimum wage would have been about £20 per week.
We have just been told the current average wage is £600 in Jersey. That means there are quite a lot of poor people earning minimum wage of about £280, and about 10% ridiculously high earners in the Banking industry!
However we will work with the £600 per week figure. Divide the £600 by 800 and you get .75p in 'new money'! Now when I was a kid we had a nice big bag of fresh crisps with a blue salt bag in them for 6d. We didn't have to put all the salt in if we didn't want to. I didn't. I only liked a bit of salt.
It's years since either my Husband or me bought a packet of crisps, but the last ones I bought there were only about a dozen scrappy crisps in the bag, and they tasted of something synthetic which is probably why I don't buy them. I suppose the equivalent of my childhood bag in quality would be a medium size cocktail bag of plain posh kettle crisps. I guess this would be about £1.50p, and half that is for the packaging and distribution.
Cheaper to make them! Make your own. More environmentally friendly, no preservatives or rubbish I have to go and clear up, and no food miles or preservatives. If you like the flavours on them, paprika is cheap. Aromat is quite nice. Apparantly grilled Hedgehog goes down a storm up in the north of England as well.
I would probably go for a crumbled up chicken stock cube mixed with the paprika, and spread a long way.
Firstly does anyone think they are better off now that their 'average wage' is £600 today, or £40 forty five years ago?
Based on the cost of a packet of crisps I would suggest it isn't, and they were better crisps.
The comparitive packet of crisps cost's twice as much now as it did then, so for £600 you can ony buy 400 packets of crisps, where forty five years ago you could buy 800 packets of crisps which were locally made for the same income bracket.
Besides the old crisp packets made a better 'bang'.
Which of course you waited to do the moment some old lady passed by. Ooops! That was considered bad and delinquent behaviour back then!
So for someone who is now earning £280 per week on minimum wage, and is paying tax and social security at say 10% of their total wage, their actual buying power in 'crisp' terms is £252 net.
Lets compare 1966 wages and the same tax equation to todays salaries (salty crisps!)
1966 approx = £ 20 less 10% tax and social security = £18
6d old money x 40 = £1 old money.
in 1966 40 packets of crisps x £18 = 720 packets of crisps!
in 2011 approx = £252 divided by .75 = 336 packets of crisps..... um! Ooops! I don't think I have my figures wrong here! Somebody better check this out!
In 1966 I could have bought 384 more packets of better crisps for what I am told I can get for 'the same wages' or 'better wages' than I can buy today.
I would start a Riot!
So a rich person would say, 'well don't buy crisps'.... I don't buy crisps anyway, so what else do you want to take away from me?
Bring back the local fizzy drink company is what I say... then we can return our bottles and get them washed and recycled. If a major manufacturer of fizzy drinks supplies it in cans, then let them work out the cost of collecting them all back and re-processing them, and sending them out again. The same with the plastic bottles.
If major drinks companies went back to local manufacturers making their product under licence, it would create local work and economy, and people would bother to take their bottle back if they got .75p for looking after it and making sure they got the money back when they went to the local shop to get more.
I love the old lemonaid bottles. I fill one with my own reverse osmosis tap water then I don't ever buy water in a plastic bottle that gets contaminated with carcinogenic plastic if it heats up in sunlight!
You never know where your plastic bottle has been stored before you get it. Besides, if you are prepared to pay £1 a day for bottled water, you must be mad.
Heres a few costs;
Thats £365 per year x family of 4 = £1460. Which is a modest holiday for a family of four.
Bought Coffee for mum and dad 1 each per 240 working days per year at £1.80p per time.
Thats 2x 240 = 480 x £1.80 = £864
A bought sandwich for lunch 240 working days per year at £2.50 per time for Mum and Dad.
Thats 480 x £2.50 = £1,200
Sky TV as opposed to Freeview. is £30 a month = £360.
Usual cost of a single mobile phone contract £12 per month = £144.
4 people in the household = £576. That's before you get to make calls I think. You can get all your phones and internet put on the same account here. The internet is a bit slow, but hey, when my husband and I did this we saved £20 a month, and thats just two of us. (so a saving for 4 people £480 per year.)
None of these are real hardship cutbacks, but adding this lot up comes to £4364.00 or net income £83.93p per week on average x 52 weeks. Don't forget none of this is tax deductable! You have paid tax on the money you earned to buy this stuff, and another lot for buying it!
In real terms from your pre-tax income this has cost you double what you paid for it, as you had to get kitted out to go to work, drive your car there, and back, in rush hour, because that's what everybody does!
So in real terms, to change to freeview, put your phones and internet under one account, stop buying bottled water, pack a lunch, give up bought coffee will represent £8728 of your earned income if you pay tax over your government's set threshold! (If you get paid under threshold, try sorting these things out and buy some food instead). That's your gross income of £167.85 per week, if you are paying tax, and both going out to work. Um that's £727.33 recurring per month for those of you paid monthly. Poor people get paid weekly.
In fact Switch off the TV and chop the plug off, they cost a fortune to run, a library membership is a lot cheaper than your TV licence! (Ours is free, and you can use the internet there too, and get a lot of other services). You do have to give the books back, but so long as no-one else is waiting for it you can extend the borrowing time. You might also find the people in your house can actually speak as well!
I watch the news on my laptop sometimes as I can never get on the TV, it's always full of Footbal and Cricket and adverts. I do like the Documentaries, and Period drama... Still I get those on freeview!
I might make some lollypops, Ice lollies, jelly,cordial,fizzy drink,wine,pie.... no not pie, I don't like the pips!
I make apple and blackberry pie with the blackberries in one half of the pie, and just decorate the half without with a few fork patterns and some pastry leaves. The juice comes over my side of the pie, but I don't have to eat the fruit. Himself loves it!
I like the taste, but the pips ... well they give me the pip!
So does that Rubbish!
Himself just read this and said He liked the way I spelt Lemonaid. I did mean to put a hyphen in it.
I will put one in now and make a direct call to every large manufacturer, who ships product through distribution networks to put small local operations in communities to provide work. It will save you a fortune in shipping, freight and logistics. Let local communities produce your products under licence, and sell to the local supermarkets.
Like I said about the Elder Shrubs, you make Elderflower cordial in the spring, leave some flowers so you have berries, make the red cordial in the late summer, and leave 10% on the trees for the Birds.
Call it the Lemon-Aid initiative to get everyone in work, and buying more crisps in packets that will disintegrate in water, out of corn starch or something!
Plastics are a by-product of the petrol and oil industry, if we don't need oil because we are making sustainable fuels out of our waste products, we don't need the plastic, or have to put up with everything covered in it!
It's only another by-product we all have to pay for, that the petrochemical industry gets another bang for it's buck with. Why does everyone think it's safe? You must never heat plastics. Not in microwaves, ovens, sunlight... the food will be OK if you take it out of the container to heat it. Never cook it in the container though even though they 'say' you can.
Not to mention the cost of incinerating it to the local municipality. Don't let youself think it's really being recycled, it costs too much! Then the carcinogins are going up the chimney and poisining you!
It is actually cheaper to have one good wage earner in a household, and a good home economist in the house! That doesn't mean just cleaning the house, it means balancing the expenditures and budgets, and making sure the lights are turned off, and everything else that wastes money.
Most people are living in a way that I would describe as 'Both taps on and Bathplug out'.
You just have to know how to get the bathplug to stay in. No one actually wants to sell you a bathplug though. Why do you think old baths had them chained on? Most people that travelled back then took their own bathplug if they stayed in Bed and breakfast, because someone would always pinch the bathplug.
They have always been a rare commodity!
It has cooked pears, figs, elderberries, peach, orange, rowan berries, reine claude, damsons, baie rose, mustard seeds, spice, and cinnamon sticks shallots in it. I can't remember what else.
The peaches, orange and spices were bought in France. All about 70% cheaper than they cost here. The rest out of my french orchard and off hedgerows.
I use the half litre jars for preserving autumn ceps in oil. Other mushrooms like the gorgeous parasols, I make into concentrated soup and freeze for sauces or lengthened for soup.
The Cider vinegar I bought in France for euro 89c a 75cl bottle. I can use these fruits whole with cold meats, or chop them up a bit like chutney or mince for relish or dip, then I can strain and use the spiced vinegar again, or use it for dressings.
Lavazza is my favorite coffee so I will let them have their name in my photo! It costs £5 a packet in Jersey and you buy 4 packets for about £4 in France.
The one on the left has pickled onions, only they look like there are some shallots in there too.
Our friend who is a well known pickled onion expert tried some of my 'Christmas Pickles'. He said he liked them, so I said I would swap one of my jars full, there and then, if he brought me back a similar jar with pickled onions in it. Not bringing me an empty jar back might not have cost him my friendship, but a very acid verbal quip by next year!
No food miles, no packaging waste, hours of fun, and an 'un-buyable' product. I got the pink string off one of my Birthday presents. I still have the wrapping paper as well in case I want to give one of these jars away. NOT the pickled onions!
My over producing cucumber plant is being made into pickles as well, even though my neighbour gets 2-3 cucumbers a week as well. They don't eat salad or tomatoes. I just decided to grow the 'posh stuff' and very few actual lettuice. It just goes to waste. My Butternut Squash are producing so many male flowers and a lot less female ones. I am going to try them stuffed with something, Minced Rabbit if I take the dog round the lane again tomorrow, battered and fried!
See what I mean about being tight! If you don't have it you can't spend it. I know I own a building that is supposed to give me a rental income, but the builder just went 20% over a renovation budget and expects me to cough up or I get my legs broken!
I wouldn't mind but, as you can see from a previous post I am not that happy with the work. I had the money saved up to do this. I am not taking out a loan to pay for any extras, paying interest to a bank for the builder running over budget isn't my idea of managing a money issue.
In the meantime all expenditure is axed. We only put the bathwater on to heat when we take a bath... don't ask.
Trips to france cancelled and I will be cancelling my credit card in a couple of days time. That will save me a minimum of £12 a month. That is extortion too because I pay my card off every month.
Which means from September I have actually axed another £42 a month bank charges. If I can cancel an insurance policy I think was mis-sold when I took out my mortgage, that will be another £30 a month less going out. At least I managed to re-negotiate it down from £100 a month. They told me I couldn't have a mortgage unless I took it out. However as a self employed sole trader, It didn't cover me! That's banks for you.
I might even get some money back...
No wonder they don't teach Home Economics at school like they did when I went there. At least with a proper home ec class you get to learn how mortgages, insurance, home costs, how to get your money to stay in your bank account, (that you don't pay charges for), and how to cook food and not waste anything works.
The other thing we got taught was current affairs twice a week. All the national newspapers for the week and a debate. What voting was for, how to change things in local politics, how to make a very loud noise when you weren't happy with how things were being done. No wonder they shut our school down when Harold wilson came into government. All those lessons got taken off the curriculum.
You know I am a dyslexic Ex-Hairdresser as well, and this post is in the vernacular!