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50 years of time management

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I first came across the concept of Time Management fifty years ago (how can it be that long!) when working for an Insurance company. An annoying man appeared one day, employed by management, to figure out improvements in working efficiency for our team. I remember the unfair derision, but not the positive results coming from the exercise.
 
Some thirty years later, when applying for a job in the Civil Service, I had to provide written examples of where I had managed my time to good effect. These examples could include activities I had undertaken at home. Over the years the concept had extended beyond the world of paid work, to the managing of social and domestic activities.
 
With the advent of increased female employment, sometime in the nineteen eighties, the idea of “quality time” came into being. It is said that periods of undivided attention make up to the child, for the absence of the mother, sometimes for long periods of time.   It is now usual for children to be placed in day care from an early age.
Since the start of the pandemic and the first lockdown in March last year, some families have been able to work online from home, while at the same time attempting to home school their children, with material provided by the schools. Families have been in isolation for weeks on end. Some have been able to find some quality time together, while others have found the whole experience stressful. Multi-tasking is a very difficult way to manage time. 
 
In order to manage time efficiently, it has become increasingly recognised that there is a need for stress management.  This can be done by the individual in establishing a work life balance. Where this fails, it can impact on the individual, the family and the economy.   In 2019 work related stress, anxiety and depression accounted for more than half of the sick absence from work in the UK.  Managing sick absence therefore becomes a task for the employer, who will look for ways to reduce work stress, in order to achieve a successful return to work for the employee.
The concept of Time Management has therefore given rise to the further concepts of quality time, multi-tasking, stress management and the work life balance. 
 
The Cats in the Cradle song written in 1974 by Harry and Sandy Chapman tells of the total failure of one parent to manage his time, with extremely sad results for himself and his son. The boy grew up with the model of a father, who never spent any time with him. He resolved to be just like his dad. Consequently, when he grew up, he never had time to spend with his father, who regretted his choices too late. The importance of Time Management can never be overestimated, either at work or in the home.

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

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Food

The best Fish & Chips shops in the UK

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Many tourists would like to try real fish & chips when they come to the UK. Unfortunately, in central London and other tourist spots, decent fish & chips are not easy to find According to the ‘Fry Magazine’ these are the 50 best fish & chips in the UK.

As you can see there is only one in London and it is in Harrow, not exactly in the centre of town. But on the list ( not by ranking) there are some shops in fairly touristy places like Alnwick, Norwich, Dorchester, Weymouth, Kendal and Penzance.

Finn’s Traditional Fish and Chips, Reading, Berkshire

Fintans Fish & Chip Co, Llanishen, Cardiff

Fish ‘n’ Fritz, Weymouth, Dorset

Fisherman’s Bay, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

Fochabers Fish Bar, Fochabers, Moray

Fraser’s Fish and Chips, Penzance, Cornwall

Frydays of Kendal, Kendal, Cumbria

George’s Fish And Chips, Hanham, Bristol

Harlees Fish & Chips, Westbury, Wiltshire

Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe, Essex

Hiks, Brynhyfryd, Swansea, Glamorgan

Hooked On The Heath, Knutsford, Cheshire

Jason’s Fish And Chips, Rackheath , Norwich, Norfolk

Land & Sea, Sowerby, York, North Yorkshire

Linfords Traditional Fish and Chip Shop, Market Deeping, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Market Hill Fisheries, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire

McLeod’s Fish and Chips, Inverness 

Auckley Friery, Auckley, South Yorkshire

Callaways Fish & Chips, Dorchester, Dorset

Carlo’s, Alnwick, Northumberland

Castiglio’s Fried Fish & Chips, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire

Chippy Chippy, Holyhead, Anglesey

Chips @ No. 8, Prestwich, Manchester Chish & Fips, Norwich, Norfolk

Cox’s At The Lighthouse, St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Croft Street Fisheries, Farsley, Leeds

Davenport’s Fish & Chips, Louth, Lincolnshire

David’s Fish And Chips, Brixham, Devon

Dhillons Fish Inn, Throckley, Newcastle

Dunkeld Fish Bar, Dunkeld,  Musselburgh, East Lothian

My Plaice Fish and Chips, Gorleston-on- Sea, Norfolk

Newington Fish Bar, Ramsgate, Kent

Priory Plaice Fish and Chips, Ulverston, Cumbria

Sea Salt Sole, Dyce, Aberdeen

Seasmiths Fish Chips, Porthtowan, Truro, Cornwall

Shap Chippy, Penrith, Cumbria

Shaw’s Fish And Chips, Dodworth, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Smith’s Chippy, South Shields, Tyne & Wear

Sykes, Pendlebury, Salford, Greater Manchester

The Cafe Royal, Annan, Dumfriesshire

The Cottage by Haddocks, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, Lancashire

The Crescent Fish & Chip Shop, Flint, Flintshire

The Esk Cafe, Carlisle, Cumbria 

The Fish At Goose Green, Wigan, Lancashire

The Fish Bar, Crewe, Cheshire The Fish Works, Largs, North Ayrshire

The Friary, Carrickfergus, County Antrim

The Golden Fry, Benllech, Isle of Anglesey

The Horseshoe Fish Bar, Pontnewynydd, Torfaen

The Little Chippy Tyldesley, Manchester The Plaice to Be, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

The Shire Fryer, Shrewsbury, Shropshire Tony’s, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire

Towngate Fisheries, Idle, Bradford , West Yorkshire

Valerio’s Fish And Chips, Lanark, South Lanarkshire

Yan’s Fish Bar, Cardiff Every Fish Bar, Harrow, London

Farnhams Fish And Chips, Boverton, Llantwit

Major Fiddlers Elbow Fish and Chips, Leintwardine, Herefordshire 

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Home & Garden

What is Patience?

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Can we agree that Patience is a good trait of character to possess, variously described by different faiths and philosophers as a virtue?
 The first known recording in English of this expression is in Piers Plowman a narrative poem believed to have been written by William Langland between 1360 and 1387. One line in the poem states that “patience is a fair virtue.” 
 
 It is similar to the Latin expression, “maxima enim, patientia virtus” written by Cato the Elder, stating that Patience is the Greatest Virtue.  A virtue is a standard of behaviour a society or individual believes to be right, determined by conscience. Conscience is a self-awareness that a moral standard has been breached. There are numerous synonyms to describe the state of being patient, unexcited, coolheaded, laid back, level-headed, cool as cucumber, unimpressed, unexcitable, to name but a few.
 
Whatever the etymology of the word or concept, without some degree of patience, life would be very difficult if not impossible. There is the immediate problem of coping with daily hassles and annoyances. Triggers will vary according to the individual. An occurrence that annoys one person may be met by another, with equanimity. Fortunately, with the practise of patience, annoyance can be defused. In daily life, this will lead to better mental health and may lower blood pressure, which rises when constantly on edge. 
Another example of patience that is helpful, is the calm manner of waiting to reach a long-term goal, such as studying for an examination. Also, when dealing with a period of financial hardship or a long-term health problem, waiting it out can reduce stress. 
Then there is the patience needed when interacting with other people. In 1 Corinthians 13.48 it is said that “Love is patient, Love is kind” Some people require a great deal of patience, but forbearance is usually beneficial to all parties. Indeed, there are probably times when we all need people to be patient with us! 
 
 
Of course, there is a negative side to patience, if taken to an extreme. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Patience and kindness should not mean becoming a doormat and allowing people to disrespect you. Sometimes you need to be proactive to make progress, either at home or at work. Chasing up a hospital appointment, which is on a long waiting list will reduce anxiety and ensure you are not overlooked by the system.  Each situation must be judged on its merits before deciding that “Enough is Enough”.

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Home & Garden

UK 2020 – A year of Waiting

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Since March 2020, we have entered a period of waiting, caused by the pandemic. Belatedly the UK entered the first of three lockdowns, which resulted in only essential shops and services staying open and everyone who could do so, was told to work from home.  We formed alliances called “Bubbles” Apart from this contact, we were told to literally stay away from each other, as being the only way to “Stay Safe”
 
The Queen broadcast a rallying call to the Nation, reminding us of the bravery of the generation who fought in WW11, and assured us that “we will meet again” Sadly not everyone will, as the death toll from covid 19 has now exceeded 150,000.
 
The summer passed, marked by low key celebrations of VE Day.  Neighbours practised social distancing by having afternoon tea in their front gardens, in lieu of street parties.  We showed appreciation to the NHS by applauding the staff from our doorsteps on one evening a week.  Apart from these displays of solidarity, the passing of the year was unmarked by the usual national events, such as the Glastonbury festival or the Wimbledon lawn tennis championship. 
We waited like this to try to ensure that the hospitals were not overwhelmed with sick and dying people. We waited to visit distant relatives and elderly residents of care homes, many of whom didn’t understand why family members, no longer visited. We waited in a sort of limbo, clutching hand sanitiser and wearing face masks to go food shopping, if we were able to go out and not “shielding”. On no account must we touch the mask for fear of contamination and breathing in of viral particles!
 
Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, when news reports started to come in, that vaccines were being developed. The vaccines will prevent the severity of the disease and lessen hospital admissions, freeing up the NHS to further treat non covid patients.  Such admissions are largely comprised of elderly people, BAME people and people with underlying conditions.  
 
One in three people may carry the virus asymptomatically, with no sign of illness, but can pass it on to others. Others, while not needing hospital admission may be ill at home and one in ten develop “long covid” with persistent symptoms. 
 
 
We waited for the vaccines and by now half the UK population has had the first jab of either the Astra Zeneca or Pfizer vaccine.  The older age groups are waiting for the second jab, to gain full protection. I may then feel confident to visit the Optician and have the boiler serviced, two of the necessary appointments and jobs waiting to be done.
 
We are waiting for everyone to be vaccinated in the hope that families will be able to meet up again properly, although social distancing and the wearing of masks is likely to continue in public places for some time. There is even talk of vaccine passports, documents to be shown before gaining entry to pubs and places of entertainment. 
 
We are waiting to see if there is a further outbreak near Christmas and a further lockdown.  We are waiting to see if further jabs will be needed then, to cope with new variants of covid 19. It is almost certain that in future annual jabs will be required to keep up immunity from the virus. 
 
In the meantime, there is a large Notice displayed on the side of our local theatre, which advises us to “act as if you’ve got it and stay at home”. This only appeared recently and replaced an even more scary public warning, in the shape of a video showing people wearing oxygen masks in hospital, which I referred to as the Screen of Doom!
 
Despite this, we are waiting for the new normal, which we are hoping in time will become more and more like the old normal.  Take comfort in sayings such as   “All things come to those who wait.”  and “This too shall pass.”   Waiting …. Waiting….

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