Friday, 6 September 2013

Return of the Blog

Yes, I’m back in the saddle, and plan to write a steady stream of new blog posts following my short break.

I decided to take some time out to recharge my batteries and reflect on a few things. This time of year is a bit of a tough one for me. In a few days it will be the third anniversary of the death of one of my sisters (the one closest in age to me, with whom I shared many happy childhood memories), followed by what should have been her birthday. Just over a week ago, it should have been my eldest sister’s birthday (just days after my own) but she too died just eighteen months ago, and August is also the anniversary of the death of my much-missed dad.

Apologies for all the gloom, but I find the reminder of all these events somehow makes me stop and take stock – evaluate what I’m doing in my own life, being aware as I am of how precious life is.

This year I became even more thoughtful following a bit of personal criticism that I couldn’t help taking to heart, causing me to look at things a bit deeper.

But I’ve paused for thought, dusted myself down and now I’m ready to write, and rant, again.

One of my current gripes is with Ofsted. Can’t go into too many details at this point, but I really question the validity and motivation of Ofsted. How can a school that has one of the best achievement ratings in the country, is filled with diligent, polite students who not only achieve academically but within sporting and community areas too, encourages students to take pride in their school and offers a good range of extra-curricular activities, get a truly damning report? It’s something I will be looking into and would really like to discuss the whole Ofsted thing with Michael Gove, who I’m hereby inviting to join me for tea and debate!

My other current issue is with Tesco who, to my mind, have failed in their promise to stock more British meat on their shelves. Recent shopping trips to the store have revealed that there is still a high proportion of meat from various other sources, both in fresh cuts of meat, and chilled meat and poultry products such as Chicken Kievs and pies. The worst offenders are products that contain chicken sourced from Thailand and Brazil!

I’d also like ask whether any of you have been invited to become ‘expert patients’, i.e. patients who have an ongoing condition and who are willing to share their experiences with others. This is something that has been suggested to me and as a concept this does have some good points; peer support can be very valuable, but it’s the terminology I don’t like. By becoming an ‘expert patient’ it conjures up an image of someone who’s very good at lying in bed and doing exactly what they’re told. I know this is not what is really being implied but can’t we think of a better term. Maybe something like ‘patient pals’ or ‘treatment buddies’?

So yes, I’m back with the rants, but will also be reviewing and recommending (or condemning) products, visitor attractions and services. It’s good to be back!

Follow me on Twitter @shoppersjoy

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