The UK system for housing and childcare does not work for the aspiring middle classes

aspiring-middle-class

Here I’m referring to middle class in the British sense of between working class and upper class. Not in the American sense of working class.

A problem at the moment for parents who’ve managed to scrape together enough to buy a flat is that often they don’t have enough money to pay for private childcare, but they don’t qualify for free childcare (between the ages of 2 and 3).

Another problem an aspiring middle class family face is if they have more children, they are not able to move somewhere bigger unless they significantly increase their income, which is unlikely. Ironically, a working class family with lower wages and perhaps one parent unemployed, they are able to have free childcare from 2 years old and if they have more children, it’s likely they’ll be able to move to a larger property through the council.

Of course it’s silly to focus everything on the lower and middle waged classes and not look at the rich high earners – the big bosses and city financiers really have to make a large contribution to equalise our society. It’s just that living on the outskirts of London, I do find it strange that our family at the moment will struggle to have any sort of garden in the next ten years whereas if we actually had less and qualified for social housing, having a garden would be more likely. And all the plumbing costs and extra expenses that we pay when things go wrong, would be free.

SEMH

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Through my recent professional life working in various schools as a supply TA, I’ve come across different expressions to describe children’s psychological, mental, social or physical state.
I’m still getting my head around the classification S.E.M.H. – Social Emotional and Mental Health. I’ve seen pupils in both mainstream and Special Needs schools that can be classified in such a way. It obviously covers a broad set of conditions… and sometimes children who might have been expelled from a previous school for bad behaviour could be diagnosed as having SEMH but there is a more specific classification for behavioural issues, that’s SEBD – Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. When you throw ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) into the mix of possibilities, it’s a confusing pot of ingredients. In a sense, the metaphor works well because it’s like a reverse process, the person is a soup fully formed, consisting of many ingredients. To then guess correctly as to what those ingredients are is a very very difficult task.
By the way, with the overarching term for Special Needs being S.E.N.D (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – or simply SEN without the latter), here are some other acronyms that might crop up if you go into this line of work:

MLD – Mild Learning Difficulties
SLD – Severe Learning Difficulties
SLCN – Speech, Language and Communication Needs
MSI – Multi-Sensory Impairment
HI – Hearing Impairment
VI – Visual Impairment
OT – Occupational Therapy
GDD – Global Developmental Delay
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Jules Faife Blog
Jules Faife music website

Rotate vertical image so it uploads correctly in WordPress

Let me just check this works…
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Right, if your image is uploading horizontally instead of vertically, click the left tab Media, go to the offending picture, click edit, then under the image, click “Edit Image”. Above the image you’ll now see rotate symbols for clockwise or anti-clockwise. Click the relevant direction, click “Save” below the image and then on the far right of the screen, click “Update”.

Your new image should now have been rotated like this:
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Now it’s quite likely that the image you’d already put on your blog is still showing the wrong way even after you’ve refreshed it, so go to the HTML code and highlight the text starting “<a href=” and ending “</a>” like this:
beer - edit text
Then click Add Media and add again that same image – it will replace what’s highlighted in your code. Save and Preview the page – it should now work! Of course then Publish to get it online!

Jules Faife Blog
Jules Faife music website

A meeting for Language Geeks

20181110_152227Well that’s a bit harsh. Let’s say Language enthusiasts! Anyway being a geek these days isn’t such a bad thing. .. i guess computer geeks are on average paid a lot more than language geeks!
The Language Show is held at The Olympia centre Kensington every year. The Conference Centre holds everything from Fertility and Wedding conferences through to guitar and drums exhibitions and fashion events. Its a part of Kensington that pretty much never sleeps. .. and now theres a nice and convenient Overground train station right next to it!

Jules Faife Blog
Jules Faife music website

Terrible Photoshopping

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Terrible bruising here… truly a bad day for Peter Jones! This was spam advertising on my Yahoo Mail! And the one on the right – has he smeared orange on his face – or is it a sunbed malfunction?

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Even more shocking here, not only bruised but greying and with toupee!

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Here Peter is joined by an even more famous bruised celeb – this Photoshop artist is the master of realism! Poor poor Jamie… had he perhaps stepped on Gordon Ramsay’s toes?

Jules Faife Blog
Jules Faife music website

A typical bin full of plastic supermarket packaging

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It’s a typical loop of problems and behaviour. We want cheapish and convenient food so we go to supermarkets. They stock things in plastic because it’s more convenient for them and probably helps them pass certain hygiene regulations more easily too. We go home and try to put certain types of plastic bottles and containers into our recycling (which is probably not much of an energy efficient system anyway) but we can’t recycle most of the plastic packaging thst goes on the fruit and vegetables plus other plastic sachets for sauces, bags for pasta… pitta bread… the list goes on.
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It’s particularly bad though when items are individually wrapped in plastic within more plastic packaging… modern madness!
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Even with the regular recycling of cardboard, paper and glass, this is just a stop gap solution… it doesn’t address the real problem… packaging fullstop is damaging the environment because of the energy consumption itself of either making or recycling it. And that’s before we look at transportation of goods…

Jules Faife Blog
Jules Faife music website

Danger

20181030_120812What is our average idea of danger? What drives us to be scared of something? Is it always ultimately death that scares us or is it gradual pain? For example someone “living dangerously” mught not necessarily be courting death by driving carelessly or walking across a slippery mountaintop. .. they could be risking their relationship by flirting with others, etc… i.e. emotional danger.
But going back to a more traditional meaning of danger, why exactly do people start saying the world is becoming a dangerous place now? It’s true that Trump and other right wing and dictator-style leaders are encouraging a type of island and partisan mentality, so other people are scared to think what the future holds. But let’s not forget, in plenty of non western countries people have been in a living hell when family members have died of diseases, their villages slaughtered through civil war, their dignity degraded to nothing through poverty and lack of opportunity. Would those people say that only NOW is the world becoming a messed up, DANGEROUS place?