Category Archives: Grumpy Author

So my daughter will have to work ’til she’s 77?

Thanks George Osborne. I don’t see myself as a particularly political animal. I tend to vote for policies not parties. I’m fairly liberal-minded – well, I was until Nick Clegg made it a dirty word. All parties have their (few) successes and their complete and utter ‘what were they thinking’ disasters. The Bedroom Tax is a disastrous idea, as was Gordon Brown flogging off the national silver (gold actually).

Two days ago, we had gout ridden Torys whooping and a hollering during the 2013 Autumn Statement – thrilled beyond belief that they have faced down Austerity and made the world a better place. Ignoring the fact that anyone born after 1990 will have to work ’til they drop. If you have a manual job then you had better hope your health lasts for sixty years. It’s okay for Politicians – they only have to stand a bit before getting into their 1st class train carriages or chauffeur driven limos.


Though the poor dears do have to cope with all the hassle of flipping their properties so they can then rent out at £10,000 a month. (Nice if you can get it, eh George?) Most of us don’t have whopping great Trust Funds (or houses registered abroad, mentioning no names – Maggie). So we have to grind our way through life building up assets.

Get a pension, I was told – it’ll come in handy when you retire early at 58. The reality is that I got a pension so someone could cream off excessive charges and eat away the dwindling pot. And politicians could keep changing the rules so I get less anyway.

To see George Osborne declaim that he has been right all along made me almost as red in the face as Ed Balls – who bears not a little responsibility for the mess we are in as he advocated easing bank regulation, paving the way for the financial crash.

My daughter is going to suffer because some ‘elected by default’, trust funded, Bullingdon Club joining, tax avoiding, over privileged politicians have deemed it appropriate action. Yes. £500 Billion will be saved by this action in the next 50 years, but we should have been tougher on the Bankers & their Bonuses culture. They are still raking it in while little kids starve. 170% rise in people using Food Banks in the past 12 months.

Yet still they fuel the house market – letting rich people buy big houses with help from the rest of us. Stoking up a market that helped cause the last crash.

All this closing of libraries, shutting of hospitals, privatising assets we already own, etc, is so we can reduce the deficit. We are not going to reduce the National Debt though which will apparently hit 1.5 trillion by 2019. That is reckoned to be a low estimate and some say the real figure is multi trillions when the UK’s indebtedness to credit cards is taken into account. The finance sector has trillions of debt too but seems able to create money from nothing, with help from the Bank Of England…bonkers.

Makes me rather angry that little kids suffer through ill thought out policies. My child will have to pick up the pieces from all this. And yours…

Captcha? – Captcharrgghhhh!

It’s bad enough not remembering a password and having to drag it out of the back of my memory. Even worse when I can’t fathom if it needs a capital in there somewhere or a number, or both, or neither. Or…

It’s worse still when I riff on a certain word and have unlimited variants on a theme – Bond 007, 007Bond, 007boND, etc.

So it gets beyond frustrating when that irritating Captcha page pops up and I have to type in some unreadable scrawl … You know, the ones that look like this:



I appreciate this is all part of a website’s security, and possibly/maybe/perhaps is for my benefit so that my profile/page doesn’t get hacked by the NSA or FBI or B&Q.

But it is truly annoying. Usually the words I am meant to read and type in are written in pairs – one is readable and the other is from Mars or beyond – scrawled in some alien language with symbols my keyboard won’t recognise.

I then spend the next ten minutes clicking the Captcha reset button trying to come up with words that I can decipher and type in. Eventually the computer gets bored and tells me that I am not who I am and that I have to wait ten minutes/an hour/eternity to have another try. By then I am equally bored and have decided that updating WordPress or browsing Facebook is not a priority.

Sometimes I am desperate and resort to a list of passwords that I keep far away from my computer – somewhere mere mortals cannot access – like Waitrose. Sadly this list is on a crumpled piece of A4 covered with faded printed lettering and appalling handwriting.

Handwriting that is even worse than the scribble displayed by Captcha. I sit for hours trying to decipher my writing, unfathomably scrawled in pencil and now fading  out of existence. Why haven’t I allowed my iMac to remember my passwords? I mutter. Because I don’t trust computers, that’s why.

I am nearly half a century old and like paper too much – it feels far more permanent. I have had too many backup discs fail on me to allow electronic trickery to do my remembering for me.

So I am now saddled with incomprehensible scrawl on some creased A4 and equally bad scrawl on my computer screen. And still the Captcha thingy won’t relent. It mocks my very being, tugs at my patience and silently chastises me for being so forgetful.

Why can’t someone invent something better? A clear system with easily inputted security measures. I can’t wait for the day when all the computer has to do is scan my unique eyeballs/nostrils/buttocks to let me in.

No more will I rant at an inanimate screen or slam my mouse down so hard it squeaks. But that’s a dream not for today, but for…

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