More Sunday Musings From Beetley

It’s dark before 3:30pm now, and once the early morning sun goes in by mid-afternoon, we have had some very heavy rain every day. Regular readers will know what that means for me on the dog-walks. MUD! Yes, the mud is back, so wellington boots are the only footwear option when out with Ollie.

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Fuel prices are increasing dramatically in England. They seem to be going up by a few pence a litre every day, and the last time I filled up, I had to pay £8.01p for each gallon. At this rate, using the car will soon become a luxury.

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It’s that time of year when you can’t find anything in the supermarkets. They change the aisles around to feature seasonal Christmas products, and stop stocking a lot of regular food items to replace them with fancy seasonal delicacies. They seem to forget that I cannot really make a nourishing evening meal out of a varied cheese selection, some shortbread biscuits, and pigs in blankets.

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Large areas of Britain were devastated by Storm Arwen eight days ago. Over a million homes lost power in northern England and parts of eastern Scotland. Many also had no water, due to the supply needing to be pumped by the water companies. The government reaction has been appalling. Struggling local authorities have been trying to help by opening community centres, and sending families to hotels where possible. But the power companies have so far only managed to restore power to a quarter of those affected, and the government took over five days to send just one hundred troops to the area to help.

If this had happened in some rich commuter belt just outside London, you can bet Boris and his cronies would have had it sorted in twenty-four hours. As it stands, some people in north-east England and Scotland still have no idea when they will get power back. Shameful!

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Those of you who were concerned about the injured pigeon in our back garden might like to know that as of yesterday at least, it is still alive. It has ‘moved house’ from the big shrub, and relocated to living under the leylandii hedges at the end of the garden. I am still feeding it, and making sure it has water, but it shows no signs of being able to fly yet.

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As it is the fifth of December today, I really should get around to writing some Christmas cards. Maybe next week…

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66 thoughts on “More Sunday Musings From Beetley

  1. (1) Overheard in Beetley Meadow: “There go the mud dummies!”
    (2) Can’t you just put an electric vehicle on your charge card?
    (3) At least they haven’t changed the British Isles around. That would really be confusing!
    (4) I was tolkien to a weatherman yesterday. He said Arwen was a half-elven storm.
    (5) Does the pigeon coo or does it sing, “Leylandii, how do I love the sea?”
    (6) Christmas preparation begins in September. That’s when you should be writing your cards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so enjoy reading your Sunday musings, Pete. We are dark by 4:30, which is depressing. 3:30 is terrible. I hate when everything changes in the stores. Thank you for the update on your pigeon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is £2.78 in our money. I can’t even remember when fuel was that cheap in England, Wilma. It has been over £5 a gallon for at least 10 years, perhaps longer. 60% of the cost of a gallon is government tax, they literally ‘milk’ the motorists here.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. My sister was without power for 6 or 7 days and there are still people further up the road without. As you say its hard to believe of a developed country.
    As for fuel we are paying about £5 a gallon (27 zloty) but the minimum wage here is just 14 zlotys an hour. Two hours work for a gallon a fuel! Madness. I’m glad we are on LPG which is about half the price.
    Petes Pigeon, I’m amazed it has avoided the neighbourhood cats for so long, god for him\her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I asked in Tesco today, as the advertised diesel price this afternoon was 10p per litre cheaper than I paid. They told me it was an ‘exterior sign display error’, and that the price on the pump of £1.51 a litre last week was correct, and what I would have paid. (I didn’t check the pump, just filled up) I wasn’t 100% convinced, but if they are right, that means I paid £7.55 a fgallon, not £8.01. Even so, it is still far too much!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is a long time to be without electricity, and even worse, water. We have periods when ours are cut off here in South Africa, but this is a developing country and it is to be expected. We have backup power and water. You don’t expect to read this in the UK. Glad to hear about the pigeon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had no idea that storm was so bad. I have no TV so when I want news I go looking for it but even the BBC site I look at made little reference to it. Maybe because the government has failed so miserably? Hard to believe that things could be so bad in England. But I’m glad to hear the pigeon still lives!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. Yes, it was a very bad storm. Some trees that were uprooted were perhaps 400 years old, and many of the overhead power lines will not be repaired for another week at least. Those poor people in the north must think they are living in a third-world country, given the heel-dragging by this terrible government.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Most of the price here is government fuel tax, but just recently the companies have been adding their own regular increases. There have been claims by the RAC and AA that those companies are simply ‘profiteering’.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. 3:30? Still not dark here at 16:30 though we have had a brighter day than usual. Saying that we have to have the lights on in our house pretty much all day as the sun doesn’t get round to the back now. Diesel cost me £1.50 a litre last week. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I noticed that petrol was a little cheaper at Sainsburys! I’m dreading filling the oil tank up again. Might be time to consider one of those heat pumps! And I suppose I am a bit further south than you are so the sunset will be fractionally later.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I will have to buy oil soon, probably just after Christmas, and I have no idea of the current price. In early September, it came to just under £240 for 500 litres. The first year we bought oil, in 2012, that same 500 litres was more than £400.

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  7. Pete, I live in the state with the highest gasoline prices, currently over $5 per gallon….it never drops below $3.50-$4, incredibly high taxes helping to drive up the price. As for rain, wish we had some here, and I agree it is shameful how poorly the government responds to crisis situations….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That $5 a gallon is £3.76, less than half the price here. We have yet more rain as I type, John. After a relatively dry summer, (by Beetley standards) we are getting all the wet stuff at once.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good morning dear Peter, sounds close to what happens here. I wait for a crystal bead set for the tree, it says today. I did not think they delivered on Sundays. So we will see. I just climbed out! LOL later than normal. Feel content and ready for the day? Almost, one wye is open so much for a late night. I was listening to the two towers as well, after I went in. Not sure h ow much I heard but I can start over. May you have a great day! Pejj

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most companies here deliver on Sundays now, Pejj, especially Amazon, who deliver seven days a week until 10 pm. So you may get your beads.
      You are just out of bed, and here it is 3:30 in the afternoon and almost dark! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they try to break our routine in the hope that we will buy something not on the shopping list. It never works on me though, as I will find a member of staff and ask them to show me where the item I want has been moved to. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. It is terrible how very elderly and disabled people have been left with no help, and having to rely on the kindness of neighbours. If it was Boris’s mum and dad, they would have had an army generator in their driveway as soon as they realised the power was off.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks, Sue. It makes my blood boil! The army has field kitchens, mobile washrooms and showers, doctors, nurses, and thousands of generators. There should have been an immediate massive effort to help the huge number of people affected by that storm, especially as there was so much warning of how damaging it was going to be.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I have been saying this to the OH all week! Of course, bless him, he can’t do anything about it either, but I just need to vent sometimes. It’s infuriating! We lost power for 14 hours last Saturday and that was bad enough. And these poor folk have had some of the coldest weather this week too.

            Liked by 1 person

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