Posted in Uncategorized

Polly’s Pondering’s – Say yes, to less.

Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This weeks pondering? Should we say yes, less?

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Full disclosure : I am not at work today, so don’t technically have a lunch hour, but I can sneak a bit of writing in on my phone while taking a coffee break, between wrangling 3 year old twins – hence this one is a bit later today!

Many of my Pondering’s propound the benefits of being polite and nice to people, and I still fully endorse all I have previously written on the subject, but let’s just have a quick chat, you and I.

Does your being polite to people often get misconstrued as a form of weakness?

Are you seen as soft, or a pushover because you don’t scream and rant at the slightest annoyances?

Do you worry that saying no to someone might offend them, and you therefore go along with suggestions you may not necessarily agree with?

Same! I have got myself into alsorts of trouble by accepting things I didn’t want, in fact I put my overstuffed house down to not refusing items at the risk of not being offered again at another time.

Obviously, saying yes can be good, sometimes. It opens us up to challenges and new adventures, and no-one wants to hang with a Negative Nelly who just shoots down all of your ideas and proposals.

But a no – said politely but firmly – is freeing you up to spend time on what you feel is important and helps your growth.

As Shakespeare points out in Henry V (yes, I literally know it off by heart!)

“Self-love… is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.”

Be kind to yourself, this includes giving yourself permission to not do things you do not want to do.

Practice saying yes, to less, and recapture your space, time and freedom.

What will you being saying yes, less often to in 2019?

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Posted in Music, Regarding polly

5 of the Best : Christmassy tunes, that just aren’t.

I am a massive music fan; Spotify is my everything – My Play list is actually called ‘Life’! Not a day goes by without me having my tunes on. That’s why every Tuesday I like to share the musical love with you guys, in a post I call ‘Tuesday Tunes’

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As this will be the last ‘Tuesday Tunes’ before I give the blog over to ‘All Things Christmas’, I thought I would pick a few non-christmas tunes…that still made it to Christmas number one in the UK charts.

Fun Fact 1: The UK charts started in 1952. Fun Fact 2: Since then, only 12 of the Christmas number one songs, have actually been Christmas songs, so I have plenty to choose from.

Here are my top 5 number ones.

The Beatles- Hello, Goodbye:
There were a swathe of Beatles Christmas Number One’s during the 1960’s; every year from ’63 to ’65 and then this tune in 1967.

 

Pink Floyd – Another brick in the wall:

This 6 minute epic from Pink Floyd was 1979’s tune, the groups only UK number one.

 

Renee and Renato – Save your love:

Sorry – not sorry for my eighties choice!

I remember watching this on Top of the Pops back in 1982.

 

Michael Jackson – Earth Song:

This tune will always be one of my favourite Michael Jackson songs.

I was bought this single in 1995, for our first Christmas in our new flat.

 

Girls Aloud – Sound of The Underground:

2002 – before the X-Factor took over the Christmas charts, there was Popstars: the rivals. This debut tune from Girls Aloud started a craze I am glad seems to be slowly abating.

Have you got a favourite non-christmassy Christmas tunes? Any songs specific to your country that really need to be shared? Let me know in the comments.

Posted in Uncategorized

Polly’s Pondering’s – The danger of Sales

Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This weeks pondering? Is it a bargain if you don’t need it?

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Sales: They don’t make good business sense

When doing my 10 minute research for this piece, I wrote the phrase ‘why discount sales are bad’ into Google, to get some idea about pieces that had been previously written on the subject. I was surprised that the first page of articles was actually aimed at businesses, and was explaining to them why having discount sales was actually bad for their business in the long-term.
The main reason for this being that if you as a company discount your products on a seasonal basis, then your customers begin to expect it, and after a while will actively put off buying from you, as they are waiting for the items to be discounted.

Sales :Are not good personal practice

Scour Pinterest, or those little craft shops that sell wooden plaques to hang in the kitchen and you will be familiar with sayings that people quote to convince themselves that they deserve treats and should buy what they want:

“ I am not a shopaholic, I am helping the economy”

“ Life’s short, go shopping”

“ Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.”

However there is also the often stated mantra of those who disagree:

“It’s not a bargain if you don’t need it”

Think about it? Why are these things being so heavily discounted in the first place?
And are they actually discounted at all?

There are examples of items being more expensive in the sales than they were previously; people are lured in by the red ‘ SALE’ labels and the claims of money off. These fake discounts are particularly prevalent in the electrical and tech sales, where another trick is to only have a few ‘bargains’, that are heavily advertised to bring in crowds, but that are quickly sold. Once the customers have invested time by queuing to get into a retailer, they rarely want to leave empty handed, and often buy other items instead.

For those items that are being heavily discounted, you have to wonder why the business is so willing to make a loss on them. A glance through most sale rails will reveal the answers: unless you are a size 6 or a 22, you are unlikely to find anything that fits you. Or it will be unsold summer stock, or worse still, unsold stuff from last year!

I would like to leave you with this ( it’s a shorter ponder today as I am very busy in work and have a short lunch!)

Quote for pondering

Will you be visiting the sales? Love a bargain?

Let me know in the comments down below.

Posted in Music, Regarding polly, Seasonal

5 Tunes of Love, Gratitude and Thanksgiving

I am a massive music fan; Spotify is my everything –  My Play list is actually called ‘Life’! Not a day goes by without me having my tunes on.  I am one of those people, who on discovering they had forgotten their headphones, has to pop to the Pound shop and buy a cheap pair,just to have some kind of access to music, mainly because I  am not doing my 1 hour walk home from work with no music to listen to!

I am hoping will be a weekly thing once I get more organised, as there are literally hundreds of tunes I would love to share with you.

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Today, to honour (or should that be honor?) Thanksgiving we have 5 tunes that express love, gratitude and thanks:

I Thank You – Adeva

Let’s start with an eighties throwback.  Marvel at the terrible trousers while listening to this tune about being grateful for the love of your life.

 

You’re my Best Friend – Don Williams

My Dad and my Granddad were big Country music fans, so I was brought up on tunes like this, and while not my go to genre nowadays, I was reminded of this song after it was played at a funeral recently.

Don Williams has such a soothing voice and the sentiment of this song is  just beautiful

 

I’m Just Me – Charley Pride

While I am in the mood, here is my favourite country singer.  I went to see him in concert in 1987 and this song is about the importance of being grateful for what you have.

 

Lean on Me – Bill Withers

While my Dad’s side were all about the Country/Folk vibe, my Mum was a fan of soul, Tamla Motown, and reggae. They don’t come much more soulful than Bill withers

 

 

I Got Life – Nina Simone 

Nina Simone made some banging tunes, and this live show is one of the best versions of one of her best songs.  From the musical Hair, (though this is this arguably has better lyrics) this song is about being grateful for your life and the freedom to live it.

 

 

What songs express your gratitude? Let me know below.

Any favourites that should be featured in future Tuesday Tunes? Next week is the last week before we move on to the Christmas themed tunes, so I will see what I can find for you all.

Posted in Give Away, Japan, minimalism, Regarding polly

A Kawaii Box Unboxing and a Give away!

As promised in my previous 2 vlogs, here is my grand give away.  If you haven’t seen my vlogs then a) go watch them! b) here is what is happening.

Many moons ago My eldest daughter Harri convinced me to get a free Kawaii box, because she had a code or some such.  It arrived, the things in it were adorable, ( I have lots of them in my handbag right now) and then…I forgot to cancel the subscription!

A few of the things that will be in the box....

So now I have more cool Japanese/ Korean stuff than a minimalist should really have and I thought what better way to share the love, than to share it with one of you guys!

 

Kawaii Stuff!

So here is the plan:

If you would like recieve the items above, plus the things I couldn’t get photos of because the light in my living room is terrible, then all you have to do is visit this Rafflecopter giveaway on Twitter. You just need to follow me, through the link, and if you already follow me? Just click the link. Couldn’t be simpler.

Official rules bit:
My decision is final and will not be entered into.
The draw ends on November 30th 2018
UK entries only due to postage costs -once I am rich I will open my giveaways globally!

Now to tape up all those goodies in a box and prepare to post it out!

Posted in Lifestyle, Ponderings, Regarding polly

Polly’s Pondering’s – Does Politeness Get Results?

Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This weeks pondering? Can polite people make it in the modern world?

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Does politeness pay

In a world where it seems that the rude, pushy and abrasive people seem to be getting ahead, is it even worth being polite anymore? I am obviously going to say yes, it is literally my greatest skill, and here is why you should keep it up too.

You can’t escalate if you go in rude to start with.

I personally think everyone should, as a kind of National Service, work in retail for a time, just so you will always appreciate how horrible some people are to shop workers and why you should never be like that. If you have suffered at the hands of obnoxious customers you will possibly also be the kind of person who now uses this tactic when you want to complain. You go in polite.

“Hi, I am so sorry, but I need to bring this back. I’ve only had it five minutes and the hem has started coming away, is it alright if I swap it for another one?”

If you go in screaming about how rubbish the shop, their stock and their staff are straight away you have nowhere left to go. It is the same with children. You don’t threaten to deny them the internet for all time, because that is neither reasonable nor possible. You calmly explain what you would like to happen going forward (and confiscate their X- box for a day, because they have to learn)
If you are calm, reasonable and polite you will probably get the same response you would have received by being rude i.e. your money back or the item replaced, with the added bonus that now there are not people somewhere who think you are a bit of a shouty dick.

People just aren’t expecting it.

Two examples for you:

I was in a Primark queue, they are like the Post Office, they call you forward ‘Till number 3 please’ style. I had been on the phone, but as I approached the till I said ‘got to go, about to be served in the shop’, put my phone away and actually engaged with the guy behind the counter.
He seemed genuinely surprised. He thanked me for coming off my phone and said that most people just keep talking and throw the things they are buying at him. I got a cute smile and the knowledge that I had cheered the lad up for my efforts.

Sometimes you get more than a smile!

We were at a carvery the other week for Sunday dinner. The people in front of me were quite abrupt, ‘I’ll have the turkey, yeah with stuffing’ and they snatched the plate away and went on with filling their plates with veg.
I handed in my ticket.
‘Please may I have some of the turkey, and if I’m allowed may I have a bit of the beef’.
‘You want a Yorkshire Pudding?’
‘Thank you, yes please’
I have never seen a slab of beef like it! She handed the plate back, thanked ME and pointed out all of the veg to me. I am not saying being polite got me more food, but I think being A LOT politer than the previous people certainly had an impact on that server’s mood and attitude towards me.

Be the Change

Claiming the world has changed and that to get ahead you have to be as equally pushy and rude is a lazy-ass cop out! If everyone was out there being polite there would still be people who wouldn’t feel the need to follow suit and would keep on being abusive. So why should we, the polite minority, feel we need to change to fit into a system that is actually wrong. Everyone should acknowledge that their actions have implications, and try to leave any situation better than when they entered.
You will always have someone argue that you need a tough, no-nonsense, straight talker, to get stuff done, but they generally only have to step in when a previous shouty, tough, no-nonsense, straight talker, caused trouble in the first place.

My Pondering take away this week:

If you get to the root of every religion or belief system there is one basic theme that runs through it: Try to be your best version of you, and be nice to other people.

To summarise even further the meaning of life is ‘Don’t be a dick’. Words I think we should all live by.

 

With thanks to the University of Bolton for listing these on their website and making my research so much easier:

Basic Religious beliefs

Baha’i

Key beliefs include belief in one God; the unity of mankind; equality of opportunity for men and women; and elimination of prejudice.

Buddhism

The Five Precepts are the basic rules of living for lay Buddhists – refrain from harming living beings; taking what is not given; sexual misconduct; harmful speech; and drink or drugs which cloud the mind.

Christianity

Based on the teaching of Jesus Christ:
Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Humanism

Humanism is the belief that we can live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. Humanists make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values and aim to make the best of the life we have by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves. Humanists work with others for the common good.

Hinduism

Core ideals and values shared by most Hindus would include respect for elders; reverence for teachers; regard for guests and tolerance of all races and religions.

Islam

The essentials of Muslim practice are summarised in the five pillars of Islam – declaration of faith; ritual prayer; welfare; a month of fasting and pilgrimage.

Jainism

The main principle is ahimsa – the avoidance, where possible, of physical or mental harm to any living being. Jainism is a religion without a belief in a creator god.

Judaism

Jews believe they are challenged and blessed by God. Love of one’s neighbour is the great principle of social life and the founding inspiration of the Jewish community.

Sikhism

There is one God, people should serve by leading a life of prayer and obedience. Sikhs believe their soul then passes through various existences and will become one with God.

Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is a religion founded in ancient times by the prophet Zarathushtra, who taught that Ahura Mazda (Lord of Wisdom), the all powerful and perfect creator, grants humans Vohu Manah – a clear rational mind with which to dispel ignorance.

Posted in 40 x 40, Bucket List, Regarding polly, Uncategorized

Vlog Link – Sustainable Living.

Back in January 2016, I made a video; an introduction to my 40×40 Bucket List. since then I have made one every week. It has since evolved into a Kettle List vlog, what with me turning 40 and getting a new list and all, but the basic premise remains the same – I chat about Bucket List stuff, albeit sometimes tenuouSustainablesly.

As I now have a blog, it would be a bit remiss not to plug my Vlog and try and accomplish my dream of 50 subscribers, so from now on, once a week, this will be my Monday Thing: A rundown on the week that has passed, and what I have vlogged about. This week? Sustainable living – is it on the kettle list? No, but being alive is a prerequisite to completing my list, so it is tenuously linked by default…

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Fun fact: I studied Global Development and Sustainability at University. I was a total green-based hippy sort; into recycling, making my own things and reducing my footprint in terms of plastic, carbon and water use.

Second Fun Fact : I have accidentally been a vegetarian for a whole week. Ruined my streak by eating a chicken burger today, but I certainly intend eating less processed food and meat products going forward. So this week we are chatting about getting back to my sustainable roots…

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We first got a TV during that period when Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall were doing the rounds about free range chicken and eating better food ( I want to say it was around 2008, because Ethan would have been quite small and I remember him chasing the chickens we had up and down the garden) At no point during my experiment with ‘simple living ‘ did I think about going meat free. However my week of accidental vegetarianism has made me reconsider my goals with regard to how I want to progress both my health and my lifestyle.

I remember at that time that I got a copy of the classic John Seymour book on setting up self-sufficient farmstead on a small bit of land; the plan was to grow veg, make my own bread, generally live the ‘good life’.I am currently sat on my settee, on my lap-top, surrounding by tat wondering where it all went wrong. Although I don’t feel as passionate towards the whole eco living life as I once did, I certainly want to return to something less complicated and natural.

My home feels a lot greener now I have introduced so many plants, and this past week, where I have accidentally been a vegetarian has made me realise that I am in control – to a point- of what comes into our house, what I buy and what I eat.

It seems somewhat ironic as Christmas approaches – a time that is notorious for over consumption and temporary throw away tat – that I want to pick-up the green gauntlet, as it were, but I feel 2019 is going to be a year where I have to make a lot of decisions about what I am keeping, and what I am getting rid of, and how I intend living going forward. As part of this, I will be having a mass pre-Christmas clear out, and will be setting up that promised giveaway by the end of the week – Keep an eye on Twitter for info on how to enter.

What little steps are you taking this week that will make your life easier?