Category Archives: Disasters

SKWAWKBOX 2017 in review: exclusives, narratives, impact and more . . .

To read the rest of the Post below, please click here: 

It’s been quite a year. At the beginning of 2017, the SKWAWKBOX was a relatively unknown publication that had made enough splashes since its reboot in late summer 2016 to be listed as ‘one to watch’ for the new year.

skwawkbox news at ten

By the end of 2017, it had one of the highest profiles among the ‘new left media’ (NLM), was one of the most often maligned – and copied – by the mainstream media (MSM) and had featured on the front pages of most MSM papers, as well as frequently on the BBC and other channels and was described, inaccurately, as ‘the unofficial organ of the Labour leader’s office.

2017 saw a seismic shift in the political landscape and Labour now stands on the cusp of an historic victory that will herald a new direction not seen since 1945. Skwawkbox has been there every step of the way.

Skwawkbox has been an essential compendium for anyone interested in the Labour Party’s policy direction. It has regularly broken news about Labour’s internal machinations as the party transitions from more than two decades of the discredited New Labour era to the progressive socialist future yearned for by hundreds of thousands of members and millions of supporters.

Skwawkbox champions the democratic rights of grassroots party members and will play an increasingly important role in 2018 as the public are increasingly inspired by the policy agenda articulated by Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour Shadow Cabinet minister Chris Williamson

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Filed under Changes, Choices, Democracy, Disasters, History, Ideology, Media, Politics, Thanks, United Kingdom

The Universal Credit Row, and our Basic Human Rights . . .

If I’ve read this article right, then the government are preparing to roll out a Universal Credit system that affects almost all of our basic Human Rights.
If this is so, why isn’t something being done about it at the highest levels, before even more thousands of people, including children, are driven to homelessness, huge debt, and penury?

Please follow the link below, and read the article, and see if you come to the same conclusions that I did?

The Universal Credit Row and our Basic Human Rights

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Changes, Choices, Disasters, DWP, ESA, Health Issues, Housing Benefits, Human Rights, Ideology, Ill Health, Impoverishment, Law, PIP, Politics, Social Security

An open letter to anyone who claims to be voting Tory for the sake of their grandchildren . . .

I’ve just read the latest post from Another Angry Voice – a blog written by Thomas G. Clark, and felt I had to post a link to his words here, too.

An open letter to anyone who claims to be voting Tory for the sake of their grandchildren

His words are eloquent, and true, for everything that’s happening to the ordinary man, or woman, or child, in the UK right now.

He shows, point-by-point, how the Tories have been using their idealogically-driven austerity measures – taking even their own voters for a ride – purely to line their own, and their millionnaire friend’s pockets, and how they are totally trashing everything that our Democracy has ever built that is worthwhile, while making sure that we, the people actually paying their wages, are paying over, and over, and over again.

With the majority of our media outlets in the UK being so totally biased against anyone who wants more than the Tories think we deserve, it’s hard to get across the message that the Tories are killing us: they are killing our freedon to live life as we should be able to (especially if we are ill, poor, elderly, low-waged, or disabled), and they are doing their best to take away our Human Rights, too.

Please click on the link, and read Thomas Clark’s post and, once you have, please think very seriously about how you will soon vote in the General Election?

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Filed under Austerity, Disability Issues, Disasters, Divide and Rule, Economy, Government Spending, Health Issues, House Prices, Human Rights, Ideology, Impoverishment, Low Wages, Murder, Politics, Welfare

Are we all asking ourselves the right questions? . . . . . .

I was catching up on my Blog reading this evening (I get emails from the Blogs I follow, whenever they post anything), and I read yesterday’s post by Kitty S. Jones, in her Politics and Insights Blog.

She was asking the questions to all of her readers, that I’ve been asking myself for the past few weeks and, what she says, is so very relevant to us all, if we don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture, politics-wise!

At the moment, the Media are going crazy over the Labour Leadership challenge, which would be okay, if they had also become angered, and then let the world know this, at the way the Right-wing Labour PLP had disenfranchised thousands of new Labour Party members (myself included), after promising them on joining, that they would be able to vote in the leadership challenge!

They then went on to charge £25 each for those who still wanted to vote – throught the registered supporters ticket – and then, after the money was paid, managed to get a court ruling that the new members, and the supporters who had paid for the privilege to vote, could not now vote either – a fraudulent, and totally undemocratic, use of members fees!

Despite the anger I, and so many others feel, though, it behoves us all to start thinking more about what’s being done on the quiet, where the Conservatives are concerned!

These are the ones we should be fighting, not each other and, if you don’t believe me, maybe you should follow the link below, and read what Kitty says, and what will happen if we continue to ignore the important stuff. I know that, after reading her post, I’m more concerned than ever over the way Labour’s split is leaving the Conservatives the freedom to take away both our civil liberties, and our Human Rights!

 

Dead Cat Conditioning, Attention Deficit, andThe Social Order

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Filed under Changes, Choices, Disability Issues, Disasters, Divide and Rule, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Politics, Reading, Rhetoric

A Few More of My Crocheted Pieces

It’s been a while since I posted about my crochet, probably because I’ve been so busy either trying to finish Crochet-a-longs, or CALs as they’re known as in the crochet world, and also because I’ve been desperately trying to learn what I could about British Politics – I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry, that I’ve become involved right at this time, but I’m going to persevere, which means doing an awful lot of reading!

Fortunately, there are some wonderful Bloggers around, that lay out what’s happening, and what it means for us all, so I’m now slowly begining to understand where the UK stands politically – and, boy, it’s frighteneing!

Anyhoo, I thought I’d get away from that for one evening, and continue showing you all the things I’ve been crocheting over the last year or so – I believe my last post about it was on May 3rd – here’s a link: A Few More of My Offerings

The last project I showed you was  two shrugs I’d made for the daughter of a friend but, after that, I went through another awful patch of ill health, and so couldn’t do any crocheting 😦


The next project I finished, was a Wrap, designed by a wonderful crochet designer called Annelies Baes. You can get the pattern free at this link: Flight of Fancy.

The CAL was called Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap, and it was done in weekly increments. I started the project on 10th June, and finished it on 1st September.

I was really taken with the wonderful yarn used here, by a company called Scheepjeswol . With this CAL, I was using one of their yarns, called Scheepjes Linen Soft , which comprised of 47% Cotton, 27% Linen, and 26% Acrylic, which made for a strong, and durable, yarn to use.

Here’s the Project page I created on Ravelry, which gives you the details: My Flights of Fancy Wrap The colours used were gorgeous, and reminded me of peacock feather, which I love 🙂

Here’s my finished project, which I gifted to a dear friend:

2015-09-01 - Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap CAL - Start-10th June


The next project I made, was finished on 19th September, and was something that I made for my daughter to give to a friend. Her friend loved kooky presents, especially if they had something to do with the body, so I crocheted her two seperately coloured, and sized, eyes – including the optic nerves, too 🙂

I had come across the pattern by chance, at this link: Crocheted Eyeball by crochetninja, and just loved the idea of it – and making it was fun, too 🙂

I used various yarns from my stash for this, mainly acrylics, if I remember true 🙂

2015-09-17 -The Eyes Have It

I’m told the recipient loved them 🙂


My next project took me a bit of time, as my health was becoming quite dicey again, and I was still working on another CAL, too.

A friend was making up a package to send over to her grandchildren, a young girl and boy, and I offered to make them something. I showed my friend some of my patterns, and she found the one she wanted among one of my favourite Amigurumi Designers – Moji Moji Design or Janine Holmes, using her real name 🙂

Janine had recently released a new design, called Katie the Caterpillar – so how could I resist? Lol

I started making the two caterpillars, and managed to finish them by October 12th, just in time for them to be shipped to their new owners in the USA 🙂

2015-10-12 - Suzanne's Caterpillars
I used acrylic yarn from my stash again, and I think a lot of it was Red Heart yarn, as I had so much of it in my stash. I used the same colours in both, but just used them in opposite ways, as you can see in the pic. That way, we hoped the children wouldn’t fight over which one owned which caterpillar 🙂

————————————————————————-

My next project, was the CAL I had started on August 2nd. I didn’t actually finish this until October 31st. This was another Scheepjswol CAL, designed by another amazing Designer that I love: Julie Yeager.

The design was called: Summer Mosaic Afghan, and you can buy the pattern from Ravelry, using the link provided 🙂

This time, the yarn used was Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, a wonderfully soft, but strong, mixture of 70% Cotton, 30% Acrylic.

Here’s the link to my Ravelry Project Page, and the colours and amounts used for it: My Summer Mosaic Afghan.

This was a pattern I loved, with a yarn I fell in love with, too. I made this CAL for Mr Night Owl, and it was fun and games trying to crochet it, where, and when, he wouldn’t see it all, as I wanted it to be a surprise for him, for our wedding anniversary that year. It was a couple of weeks late, but he forgave me when he saw it 🙂

2015-10-31 - Summer Mosaic Afghan


I have to admit to being totally exhausted by the time I finished the Afghan, and it wasn’t until almost mid-November before I took up my crochet hooks again, and that was because I had received my first box, from a company called Little Box of Crochet.

I’d come across them via my monthly crochet magazine, and the story behind their starting caught my attention, so I decided to subscribe for 6 months, to see whether I would enjoy it.

The first Box came with everything needed to make my first Little Box Project, and this was 3 different types of toadstools:

  • The first was Aminita Muscaria, or Fly Agaric. I finished this on November 10th.
  • The second was Stropharia Aeruginosa, or Verdigris Agaric. I finished this on December 12th.
  • The third was Hygrocybe Persistens, or Wax Cap. I finished this on January 15th, 2016.

 

2016-01-15 - LBC - Fly Agaric, Verdigris Agaric & Wax Cap

These were designed by Kate Bruning, of Greedy for Colour, and were made using Scheepjes Stonewashed, with a small amount of silver yarn to give them a christmassy feel – and enough to make them into tree decorations if I’d wanted to 🙂



My next project was one I made for fun. My husband, and a good friend of his, have a running joke about Wood Nymphs – and, no, I’m not getting into that, as it would take an entire new post of it’s own! Lol

Anyway, we had been invited over to his house for a meal and, as a joke, I decided to make him a Wood Nymph hat, and this was the result:

2015-11-18 - Wood Nymph Hat!

I had found some Red Heart Camouflage yarn in my stash, and so added some flowers and bells to it, then made it a caveat that he had to wear the hat whenever he went hunting! 🙂
I don’t know why, but he tells me he hasn’t been hunting ever since! Lol


On the 19th of November, my Dad died.

I was devastated, as I was too ill to travel the 360-odd miles needed, to get back to my family home, to attend his funeral.

I really didn’t know what to do with myself, and felt helpless that I couldn’t say my goodbyes to him, nor comfort my Mum the way I wanted to. I spoke a lot to Mum on the phone and, wonderful woman that she is, a few days after Dad’s death, she suggested that I crochet something that reminds me of him, and send it to her, so she could put it in the coffin with him, and so that I knew there was something of mine with Dad in his rest.

My first thoughts were of his being Irish, and that special humour he had, that every Irish person I’ve met seems to be born with, and so I decided to crochet symbols of his Irishness – one for me, one for Mr Night Owl, and one for our daughter.

I looked through all my thousands of patterns, and settled on a combination Shamrock/Four-leaved Clover for myself, a Leprechaun for hubby, as he’s as mischeivous as one himself, and a Pot-o-gold, with rainbow, for our daughter, as she has always been our symbol of wealth, happiness and joy.

A week had gone by this time, and I worried about getting them done in time for the funeral, but I managed to  finish them, one each day, by the 29th, where I then quickly packed them up, and a friend sent them, post-haste, to my Mum. Fortunately, they got there in time, and that’s where they lay now, keeping my Dad, that funny, chronic, joker company.



I have to admit to finding it hard to concentrate after that but, in early December my Little Box of Crochet, for that month, arrived. Purely for distraction, I decided to give it a try, and the design came from Heather Collins, whose Blog, Pink Milk, was one of the favourites of the Little Box team, and was something that caught my fancy, too, and so I thought I’d give it a go.

The pattern, this time, was for a wonderful pair of Wristers, made with Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I had to make these for my daughter 🙂

Fortunately, we have the same size hands, so I was able to make them to fit her easily. I also made her a second pair, but this time with yarn from my stash, in Black and White, as she loves monochrome, too, but more to my own design 🙂

I finished making them on the 5th and 6th of December 🙂

I’ll tell you about the rest in another blog 🙂

 

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Filed under Crochet, Daughters, Death, Disasters, Family, Friendship, Health Issues, Humour, Memories, Politics

The ESA50, and what it can do to us all . . .

I’ve been having a bad time of it, health-wise, recently – well worse than usual, I guess I should say.

I’ve just spent another night wracked with pain. I was even unable to crochet, which is something I can usually use to distract myself from the constant, unrelenting, pain. But my hands were too bad last night for me to do so.

Because of that, I decided I would check out my emails, something I haven’t done for a few days, due to the vertigo I suffer with every now and then, which gets worse if I stare at a computer screen for longer than 5-10 minutes. It seems to have eased up for me at the moment, so I’m taking the opportunity to do what I can online while it lasts.

Most of my emails were easily sorted into non-essential, but I did come across one that was notice of a post written by a Blogger that I follow: https://pawprintsofthesoul.wordpress.com

The post was called: ‘#ESA50 and all that’, and was posted on May 28, 2016 by pawprintsofthesoul

This post tells of the writer’s battle with the DWP, and all the hoops they keep putting her through, even though she has a desperately bad progressive heart problem, and her doctor and consultants are fully backing her claim that the stress these constant WCA’s she has to go through, are in danger of actually killing her.

The problem, you see, is that, like practically everyone who has to go through this awful tick-box assessment, none of the questions are actually relevant to her problems but, as the government have deliberately set it up this way, to stop as many people as they can from claiming any help, we all have to struggle through the process as best as we can.

She posted links to previous posts of her treatment by the Department of Work and Pensions, and how she has had to cope with going through the Work Capability Assessments, and my heart bleeds for this lady, for all she is being put through, and especially as hubby and I are going through the same process, once again, ourselves.

But what really caught my attention in one of her posts, was one of the links that I clicked on. There was a video within her post, made by Tyneside Mind, about the WCA, and it’s treatment of people with mental health problems. I’ve known how bad things have got if you have any sort of mental health problem, but this video really brought it home.

Please click on any of the links I’ve provided, to see this brave lady’s story – and watch this video, to see just how bad things have become:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTaezvvQfOs

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Filed under Disability Issues, Disasters, DWP, ESA50, Health Issues, Human Rights, Politics, WCA

Do you want to give away your Democratic Rights?

If you do, then just let the Tories keep on changing our laws, until nothing is left to protect us all from them.

Read Kitty Jones post: A Tory Bill of Rights? We should be asking what will possibly go right!

She has really made it clear how much of our freedoms have already been compromised, so I suggest you read everything she has said, and see if you could cope with the travesty of Democracy we have left right now, let alone if the Tories get their own way and take away everything that protects us now!

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Filed under Choices, Disasters, Human Rights, Uncategorized