I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot from people who, faced with a government taking away what little support there is in a world of frozen wage packets and rising prices and inflation, cling on ferociously to what they have and glare suspiciously at those they think are getting more for doing less. The people who have swallowed the “strivers vs skivers” misdirection whole. For these people, “charity begins at home” is an excuse not to exercise charity at all.
And by charity, I don’t just mean money. God knows, thanks to this crisis created by the richest in our society, there are plenty of people who simply can not find the money to heat their home, feed their kids and themselves and buy their kids a warm winter coat. I’m not suggesting they are being uncharitable if they use their meagre resources to feed themselves as well as their kids for a change.
To be charitable, is to give of ourselves – whether that is money, time or love. This cold-hearted interpretation of charity begins at home, this “me and mine first” attitude seems to cut out all charity. It is the mealy-mouthed cousin of “I’m alright Jack”.
But, there is another way to read those four words. With the emphasis on ‘begins’ not ‘home’. In other words, children learn what it is to be charitable from those around them. A child who sees a parent giving time to a neighbour (putting out the bins if they can’t, giving them a cup of sugar), or putting a pound in a collecting tin, or who simply experiences their love every single day, is a rich child indeed. And one who is more likely to spread that charity around.
Charity begins at HOME makes us all poorer. Charity BEGINS at home makes us all richer. I know which I prefer.
Now I know that there is a placebo effect from a brand name on painkillers (amongst other things – I was pleasantly placebo-duped by bog standard 500mg paracetamol after having two ‘tricky’ wisdom teeth removed under general anaesthetic. Assumed that the insistence on taking pills from hospital pharmacy meant I was getting more than 500mg and therefore experienced excellent pain relief.), but the ad for Nuromol has ticked me right off.
I take the same contents as Nuromol for nasty headaches and debilitating period pain – one 200mg ibuprofen plus one 500mg paracetamol (both supermarket own-brand) – and they do the trick every time.
If you want to improve the efficacy of any painkiller, just add a paracetamol (assuming you’re not allergic or about to overdose obviously). Or take heed of my best friend’s wise words (she is a nurse of many years and has worked in all sorts of acute areas of medicine) – paracetamol is suitable pain relief for pretty much everything up to severe pain (which she defined as cancer and the like). So don’t diss the humble paracetamol and don’t be duped by expensive products like Nuromol (£3.99 for 12 tablets (about 33p per dose) for Chrissake, when you can buy 16 each of ibuprofen and paracetamol for less than 70p (about 4p a dose)).
The company’s founder Dale Vince gave an interview to The Independent in the week and showed once again a) why he’s a dude (On the subject of City financiers trying to buy the company: “If I had £100m, I’d only go out and start a green electricity company so what would be the point?”) and b) why renewable energy is not some fringy-hippy thing. Ecotricity customers aren’t just using green energy, they’re investing in more sources of green energy.
If you haven’t already signed up for Ecotricity’s electricity or green gas, then do read the Independent interview and head over to Ecotricity to give them your details.
I know I’m not the only one missing the entirely edible Aidan Turner from my TV screen. No spoilers, but the last ten minutes of the last episode of Being Human had tears pouring down my cheeks. So for my own enjoyment, and that of anyone else with an AidanTurner-shaped hole in their life, here are some lovely images to gaze upon until either a) The Hobbit hits the big screen or b) the Being Human boxset arrives through the post.
It seems appropriate to team the fangtastic actor with The National Blood Service.
96% of us rely on the other 4% donating blood. That’s quite a shocking statistic. You don’t need me to tell you that lives are saved everyday by people giving a little time and a little blood. Can you help increase the number of blood donors? It would be an amazing thing if you can.
In England around 8,000 blood transfusions are carried out every day (according to NHS choices) – it’s no wonder the need for donations remains high.
Someone else’s life could be in your hands – especially if you’re
O+ O- or a rare blood type (if I’ve remembered my biology correctly – please let me know if I’ve got that the wrong way round).
Why not sign up, lie back and think of Aidan (or load a picture onto your phone and gaze at it while you do your good deed)? It’s no understatement to say you’d be doing something life-changing.
There are so many reasons to love the Key’s panto: Michael Cross’s skilled hand on the tiller, the lack of overpaid reality TV or soap stars, the subtle digs at Whittlesey, the sharper pokes of satire, the hot drummer (the joy of sitting in the front row!), the clever reworking of musical favourites and the brilliant dame Patric Kearns (not to mention his incredible costumes and sarky asides to the audience).
Several stalwarts have returned this year, including Adam Patman camping it up as the stupendously dim-witted Simple Simon and acting as a perfect foil to Patric’s less than genteel Trudy Trott.
I don’t want to be unfair to the rest of the hard-working and talented cast, but Patric is the beating heart of the show and is worth the ticket price all on his own.
If you enjoyed his Lady Gaga last year, you’ll love this year’s tribute act (I won’t spoil it for you, come back and ask at the end of the run if you really want to know). Although I do hope the wardrobe mistress takes in the waist of Patric’s trousers before too long. There are some things small children shouldn’t see…
I wish them all well with this year’s run and I’m already looking forward to next year’s offering. Perhaps this is what Wizzard meant when they wished ‘it could be Christmas every day’!
Check out times and prices and get booking…
I can still just about remember seeing Brian Cant in Flibberty and the Penguin (in Basildon apparently) as a tot. I’m hoping my daughter may one day look back on her brush with Mike James and Andy ‘CBeebies’ Day with equal fondness.
As someone who’s sat through numerous shouty, colourful kids’ productions, I can honestly say that Andy and Mike’s Big Box of Bananas is a cut above the rest. And that was before they stayed behind (having, no doubt, wiped their sweaty brows) to sign things and have their pictures taken with their young fans (and some very enthusiastic parents too!).
From Mike’s snarky mickey-taking of Andy’s day job (even the number raps – which personally I love, though not quite as much as this year’s excellent summer song) to their Ant and Dec impersonations there were plenty of jokes to keep the grown-ups genuinely smiling. The children were all ecstatic at the silly jokes, disco dancing, mad running around, water pistols and fart noises.
If you have a small child to entertain, I can highly recommend this show. Find out more on Andy and Mike’s website and get booking! They have plenty of dates throughout October – and promise more to come.
They’re also promising a new show – Andy and Mike’s Time Machine – I will definitely be getting tickets for that one too.