Tuesday, July 31, 2018

They promise better food prices - but when?

A moan today of behalf of householders who have in the popular phrase to watch their pennies. 
The seemingly never-ending rising of the food bill in the main supermarkets makes the discount supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl, popular.
As in the case in the case of my nearest Aldi, a good cycle ride distant, it has a lot to do also with pleasant attitude of staff.
However, if the meanest cashiers in the world had charge of the tills, we’d still frequent their stores were the prices favourable.

Prices set to drop?

We might as well accept that that’s the reason Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe announced in May that their prices are set to drop by 10%.
However, I visited their king-size store in Kingston today for a grapefruit.
The prices remained unchanged and just as they have been for a long time - 50p (pale skin) or 55p (darker skin). Top of my shopping list, as it might be for a lot of former wine drinkers, was Sainsbury’s very pleasant grape juice. For a long time it’s been 85p.
Today is it bounced up to a pound. I’m qualified and experienced as an ocean navigator, though my maths is not great. However, I don’t have to get out a calculator to see that that is not exactly a 10% drop.
Mr Coupe, quoted by Management Today, declared only two months ago that Sainsbury’s merger with Asda would mean lower prices.

Boosting the Aldi appeal

Of course, in Britain for many people a rise of 15p is not set to break the bank. However, it goes against his word, and does mean that for me, and people who have to make ends meet, as it were, the attraction of Aldi is boosted. A carton of very pleasant orange juice, for instance, is 55p almost half the new Sainsbury’s price.
Just to emphasise: That article in May insists that the prices of everyday groceries will be cut by around 10%. Probably I should be more realistic: what do the fat cats care about prices really? If you’re in business management, for instance, the average salary is £37,500, reports Total Jobs.
However, being selfish for a moment, I’m not in management nor employed. I had saved up for retirement and was well prepared for it but then total and dishonest injustice - held in camera - stole everything.
When I emerged after eight years of the injustice, it seemed I’d be on the street. … Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, at SailingToPurgatory.com

Sunday, July 29, 2018

What are we to make of Mr Boyle?

Back in professional yachting days, my way of keeping in touch with the best writing around was the New Yorker magazine. If you aren’t aware of the magazine, you might well think it odd to look to America, and that country’s regular slaughter of the English tongue, to see new trends in literature. 
However, the magazine had very high writing standards, and commissioned top writers for some really excellent short stories.
I confess that I didn’t invest in a subscription. Well, I seldom knew when I'd be on terra firma and, anyway, because South African libraries did.
Within a few hours of reaching a port in that distant land, usually magnificent Cape Town, I would pass many hours catching up on trends, and on the magazine's gifted contributors.

Short story brilliance

These days, the web version of New Yorker magazine has quite a campaign going in UK to attract customers.
You don’t need to subscribe to get a taste of what the magazine rates as short story brilliance.
 They do keep prompting you for a subscription, I should admit, but you won’t need a degree in computing to avoid it. However, if you have the funds and want to, it certainly seems a good investment. I don’t, thanks to extreme injustice which is why I am obliged to make do with the freebies.
And this weekend it introduced me to a new writer – new to me – who seems to have been around for some time, quite long enough to have had a library of novels and short stories published.
 I got to know T. Coraghessan Boyle’s short story I Walk Between the Raindrops this weekend. Apparently, he was known as the less challenging T C Boyle.
 As I sit here before the pc telling you about it a few hours later, I confess I really don’t know what to make of it.

A strange woman approaches

 The story is told is such a strange way... I mean, we are in the thoughts of the writer as he arrives in a bar, waiting for his wife.
A – well - nutter of a woman approaches him and gets short shrift. He moves to another part of the bar and she follows. Then he complains to management about her.
 This might be the stage when his insensitivity causes the reader to stop reading, perhaps preferring instead to lodge a complaint about his lack of humanity.
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, at SailingToPurgatory.com

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Hats off to pilot Mary, unsung hero

Farewell to a really brave soul who risked her young life almost every day for the good of the country - for all of us, in other words - and yet how many have heard of Mary Ellis before she appeared in the news today?
Mary Ellis, 101 years old, is believed to be the last of the lady pilots who flew Spitfires that my dad helped build in Salisbury.
She joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which delivered Spitfires and bombers to RAF airfields during the war.
Mary Ellis was a pioneer of the profession, too, for the Telegraph tells us that when the second world war began, women were not allowed to fly military aircraft.

Highly dangerous work

In 1940, the rule was dropped and the young Mary Wilkins, in her early twenties, joined up.
Training for her began in Tiger Moths and by the end of the war had flown for more than 1,100 hours flying 56 different types of aircraft.
Here's a Briton who performed highly dangerous, really important deeds for her country, back in an age when brave people did amazing highly dangerous work for their country, neither for fame nor profit.
Mary Ellis is the perfect example of those true great Britons we so seldom hear about.
Not for financial reward, she performed astonishingly and with enormous courage for the good of us all. Lamentably, for all of her amazing deeds, we only hear of her today through her death. Farewell to a very brave soul! Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, at SailingToPurgatory.com