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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1637

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 19 5:24 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

OOOoooo Universal Credit sounds like a version of the universal income concept (where everyone in a society is entitled to base income which they receive regardless of other future income sources. I like the idea because there is nothing more demotivating than having your payment reduced the harder you work in a second job (even if you do get a higher net income, it works out that you are working for fifty cents in the dollar which is not inspirational).

The dog saga continues with me still waiting for feedback from the owners of the chooks. I am concerned because the entire clan seems to have cut me out of communication which suggests there is a chance they have taken matters further and I can expect a visit from the Animal Control Officer. That would be disappointing as I had hoped we could sort it out between us, not to mention is might mean Seb getting subjected to a bunch of rules I am unable to meet (re fencing the yard etc). Meanwhile I have booked him in to obedience lessons so we can agree on coming when called, and not rushing off at the glimpse of something small and fluffy that might make a nice snack.

Last night I went to a friend's birthday party which as good fun and good company.

GZ the Tasman fire got a mention here (at least on my FB feed where I follow Jacinda religiously). But not the one near Christchurch. It certainly does look very dry for the South Island. Hope you get some rain soon. Seems it has all moved south and is missing us both

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10313

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 19 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No, Universal Credit is nothing like that Cassandra. The government in their wisdom have decided to incorporate a number of benefits into one that they call Universal Credit. To start with, anyone put on it has to wait about 5 weeks, sometimes a lot longer, to get it, even if they were on something like Jobseekers Allowance or whatever the latest iteration of Incapacity Benefit is called. It also includes things like Working Tax Credit, so if someone is working in a low paid job, it should mean they have their money made up. Not surprisingly, if someone was already on low pay or benefits, waiting 5 weeks with no money can mean the difference between eating and not eating, so where this has been rolled out, the food banks have seen a massive increase in use. I regret to say that it is all bad news.

Hope the people whose chooks Seb went for don't take it any further, especially as you offered to pay for the dead chickens. It sounds as if obedience training will be a good idea. He has always been a handful, but I thought he had calmed down a lot.

Gregotyn, we have been busy with log sacks. We delivered 50 last week, but both those outlets have said they will contact us again when they need them, rather than putting in another order straight away, so we may get a quiet week on that front next week. I still have a few to make, but hope to get on with birch cutting this week as the weather is supposed to be fine.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34740
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 19 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

iirc one aspect of the delay is you might have rent issues due to unpaid housing benifit, although universal credit will cover back rent eventually if a person has or borrows money and pays the rent during the built in delay they do not get refunded as there is no outstanding overdue rent.

many folk would not like to be in rent arrears for obvious and less obvious reasons.
landlords take a dim view of it as do credit scores, with some landlords it could mean homeless asap or sooner

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10313

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 19 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Had another session with the blackberry down the garden yesterday. My pet robin was in evidence, and was sitting in the remains of the tangle chatting to me. He got within a few feet of me, but of course expected me to turn some of the soil over for him to find food. Had some cabbage and kale from the garden, and the first purple sprounter.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34740
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 19 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it is the season to prune blackberries . i did mine yesterday as well, the birds will get used to it.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10313

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 19 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It is Dpack, but this is rather more than a prune; rather a major excavation job. The robin didn't seem to be complaining too much, and there is plenty more cover for birds in our garden.

Managed to get another couple of bundles of birch yesterday, but not too many large bits. They will do for the outsides of full sized besoms and smaller ones though.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1800
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 19 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a robin at work who comes into the warehouse in the morning and gets busy hunting food. I always throw a few crumbs to keep him sweet, but hope he keeps coming when the flies start being a nuisance.
My blackberries at home grow rampant and I just go and pick ad lib, and usually give them away to a friend who always feeds me when I go round on Saturday mornings after library. Her husband and I talk farming and she does the food in a large farm house kitchen. There are various recipients, but my friends the Watkin's are the majority benefactors.
How nice to get food from your own patch, MR. I am sorry to say I have not been gardening lately for veg, not sure why, because I used to enjoy it. I suppose it could be the job and being tired and getting older doesn't help!
It is strange that when you talked about Universal Credit I hadn't heard about it, but now I hear a lot, and how to get it, and then go and do a day's casual work as well! It is as I see it abuse of the tax I am still paying, by frauds. Especially as they call at the food bank before going home, I am told! What I don't know is who it is.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1637

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 19 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So a good idea poorly executed. Why am I not surprised. The Tories, having been forced to act do so in a way doomed to fail. I dread to think how some will survive. At least with rent, if you have a kind landlord, falling a month behind is not that disastrous, but pretty awful if you don't have one. My tenant was often a month behind but since they kept the place nice and I had landlord insurance to take up the slack I didn't worry about it. Her husband was on casual work, and always caught up the following month.

As for credit checks, as far as I could tell the only thing my landlords checked was whether the tenant had the income that would allow them to pay. The question as to whether they paid, or how they kept the place never seemed to arise as became apparent with some of the horrors that were inflicted on me.

Seb seems to have managed to ooze his way back into favour, and the double harness has won some brownie points as well, so while I don't delude myself into believing all is forgiven and forgotten, he is off the hook at present. The fact the offended parties have their own reasons for avoiding official involvement (being the local drag racers and drug dealers) probably helped. But he's still getting the training for all that.

waiting for dinner to finish cooking at the moment - curried sausages. I have also got some beef and potato curry and lamb tagine in the freezer, so won't be needing to cook dinner for a while.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10313

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 19 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Unfortunately you will always get some that abuse the system; think about some MPs ending up in prison for fiddling their already very generous expenses. There was a letter in our local paper yesterday about one of our MPs, and it appears she legitimately claimed over £140.000 in expenses last year.

Some of the people that come to the food bank have very sad stories. As we have a social worker now, we don't get to hear them very often, but some still just need someone to talk to. Jobcentre people just do what is necessary, and don't see them as people, so we can sometimes be the first they have encountered that care about them as individuals.

I am glad Seb is behaving better. Probably the training is a good idea. I remember when you first had him he was pretty bad, but he does seem to still have a rather limited range of orders he will obey. Mind you, a lot of dogs that people say 'oh my little...wouldn't do that' often do.

Another productive day yesterday as the weather was good. Husband and son did 2 log loads, and I bagged 25 sacks of logs, helped son get my birch in that I cut earlier in the week and got that bundled up, and got a couple of bags of sawdust for the farm shop to smoke their bacon. Lovely day again, so nice being outside.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34740
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 19 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sunny ,mild and rather like spring here.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1800
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 19 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

MP's get a generous salary, and then expenses-travel etc.-they basically live on tax paid by someone else-what never appears is what they actually do except sit and talk-but only if they feel like it. You can go to the chamber and do nothing and get paid my hard earned for doing nothing, but get up now and then to go into a lobby and vote. If you want a quiet life you don't have to attend-'specially in the Lords, some of them use the place as a sleeping module! Not all, some mp's are good-of all persuasions, whilst others do nothing ,but sit and vote the way they are told! "a good life", but not the Good Life. I wonder sometimes if some of the high and mighties" particularly on the right side, shouldn't be subject to going to live for a week on the dole or benefits handed out to some folks to live on in their home. Might change a few of the attitudes. It is those who won't work that annoy me; those who can't get jobs and those who can't work should be supported in any way that they can be helped. There is work about, I am employed at over 70, part time, but more than the dole. So glad am I for the work-money, that I do an extra hour every day to make up for being slower than I was. Job Centre people are generally nasty after a while with threats and the like. I didn't need their money and could have survived, but I had to sign on to get my stamp paid, or declare me as self employed I was told. I had words with one lady in the job centre, to explain that jobs for 60yos were few and far between!
Poor old Seb. My Labrador Sue, had 2 faces, as well as the sheep dog Meg, who would eat a sheep rather than put it in a pen. No dogs now, I can stroke, without commitment! Anyway you have him under wraps now.
I forgot to wish you girls happy Valentine's Day too late now!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10313

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 19 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

And a Happy Valentines Day to you too Gregotyn, even if it is a bit late.

As you say, work for some people is hard to come by. There was an article in our local paper about a woman with severe epilepsy who wanted to train as a nurse but couldn't because of her health. She was most of the way through her degree when she had to give up. She has been told she is fit to work even through she patently isn't. Luckily her family will support her, but she is waiting for treatment they hope may help her.

Weather seems to have turned a bit damper here, so glad I got my birch in. There is a little drizzle on the window, but don't think it is going to amount to anything much.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1800
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 19 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A beautiful morning, warm and sunny, blue sky and white billowing clouds could almost be July, but a gentle breeze. I guess it is the calm before I start to chop wood!

I am running out of regular dry pallets. The current batch are all damp, so I am having to go into rainy day stocks. A bonus did occur when an end blew out of a shed to give me access to some wood which is bone dry as they say, but regrettably some of it is riddled with worm, not what Mrs Smith or Mrs Jones want to see in their firewood, but when you can see the hole it usually means the worm has gone-as it was once explained to me-I wonder if it is true. I only sell without the holey bits and burn those with the holes in the incinerator outside.

I have just looked up and there are some grey clouds coming over now and the blue bits have disappeared, I should have said nothing! And so I won't say 'it doesn't look like rain'.

I'm going to see a friend before the wood cutting starts. We have a lot of agric. mags. at work and he likes to look through in case anything takes his eye. He is one of those farmers who is a Massey tractor addict and has 8 of them of various sizes, but 3 are over 140hp and the rest are smaller ones. I always say there is only you and the lad working so why so many- the answer is simple he said I can do all the winter feeding and bedding without having to take machines off and put another on twice a day in the winter-and he can afford it, worked hard all his life and still at it at 75, he started with horses at home then bought a Ford Major to become a lime spreader at 15yo when he left school, and gone on from there to inherit the farm from his mother, and paid his sister out of her half of 300k.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3456
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 19 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gregotyn wrote:
…………………………………………………………………………………………. but when you can see the hole it usually means the worm has gone-as it was once explained to me-I wonder if it is true. ………………………………………………………………………….



That might be true of one particular worm, but what about all his slower relatives, biding their time in the depths of the wood?

Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34740
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 19 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a quick kilning would do for any live worms. once it stops steaming it is done .

it might take a bit of the timber to heat a suitable drum with a lid but if it makes most of it saleable etc

things emerging from firewood can be off-putting, worrying or downright nasty in some places.

"woodworm " as most folk would think of them are unlikely to evoke much sympathy but might evoke concern for the furniture and floorboards but anything cute and harmless like woodlice are quite traumatic to watch trying to escape from under a bark slip.

slow drying will get rid of most wildlife it does need to get to quite a low moisture content fairly quickly to " clear " the fuel of inhabitants before they either eat it or spread to other timbers you are fond of .

quick drying of infested stuff in a wood basket next to the fire also "clears" the fuel of some things that will scuttle around the house.

i will sort of accept it with foraged wood although good forage and practice minimises the issue but i would be unhappy if my kindling or firewood purchase included more than a trace of wildlife

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