A frustrating week for many reasons and a busy day to end it, so here’s a quick round-up:

I’ve signed a couple of petitions this week, they’re poles apart in many respects but both are issues that I’m personally interested in.

The first was prompted by my post earlier this week about how my career-carer juggling act had stumbled as I struggled to keep all the balls in the air.

I received a comment (and a helpful subsequent email) from Rosemary at Carer Watch, complete with a link to a petition calling on the Prime Minister to withdraw the proposal to transfer carers on carers allowance and income support to job seekers allowance.

There is also a request for the Government to recognise carers’ valuable social input by keeping carer benefits separate from the rest of the benefit system.

I’ve been disappointed with all our main political parties, who seem adept at saying the right things as regards the 6 million carers in the UK and failing to back the warm words with realistic policies.

The second petition comes via the blog run by Wiggle, the online shop for all things bike.

It is asking the Government to require the UK’s train operators to provide an integrated system for the carriage of bicycles and ensure there is adequate capacity available.

I get my own bike back today after several days away being serviced and getting a general overhaul. I’ve missed it.

(Pic from RachelCreative)

One of the reasons I think I’ve struggled this week is that I haven’t enjoyed my early morning bike ride, which helps get the blood pumping and focuses the mind on the day ahead.

Elsewhere, I’m looking forward to reading the United Nations’ criticism of the UK’s attitude towards children.

From imprisoning 10 year-olds to serving dysfunctional families up as prime-time entertainment through programmes such as Supernanny, the UN isn’t impressed.

Neither am I, we’ve been failing children for far too long.

The BBC has released a script from the 1970s for broadcast during the event of a nuclear attack and details of the discussions that took place on the need for “calm authority” in the face of such a crisis.

These days, of course, we have far greater access to news and information.

But does that mean we wouldn’t need the sort of calm, reassuring and authoritative broadcast that was planned 30 years ago?

And I’m indebted to Richard McComb, columnist at The Birmingham Post, Stevie Wonder aficionado and all-round decent chap, who entertained me throughout this week with tantalising glimpses of his Funky Chicken.


2 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, you often throw up so many questions it’s difficult to know which one to cotton on to.

    Caring – it’s a poignant point, one I don’t believe to be well understood, most certainly not by me. Whilst, of course, I have friends and acquaintances who have to look after disabled children, parents riddled with the outfall of old age, a partner stricken by ME, MS or depression, I realise that not having lived it I don’t know how to help, how to relate – other than in that vague way of general human empathy.

    One sentiment of yours which struck me is how to achieve the carer/career balance. Something that any mother who wishes to look after her child herself is most familiar with. Possibly different because we know a child to be dependent whilst maybe an adult to adult relationship yields expectations. Paul, I am on very thin ice here since I don’t have your experience. However, whilst my heart goes out to any ‘carer’ I imagine that knowing you are dependent on the goodwill of another, fully functioning, human being can’t be easy on the one who needs to be cared for either. In fact, I’d hate it.


  2. Paul Groves says:

    U: I agree completely. If there was a role reversal I’m not sure how I would react. Rachel is still coming to terms with her health and her limitations and the immense frustrations about what she can no longer do.
    I consider myself fortunate that I am still able to maintain my career. There are so many carers who have needed to give up work to fulfil their caring role and the lack of support, understanding and guidance they receive from official circles is disgraceful.
    The same is true for those being cared for, who find themselves having to jump through hoops (metaphorically, at least for now) to get an adequate level of state support.

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