Tuesday 22 February 2011

life the universe and chocolate

I have recently been thinking about lent. Traditionally a time of doing without and reflection before Easter. I always thought it was a clever trick because there wasnt much food around at that time of year anyway. Pancake day at the beginning of lent was for eating up the leftovers (if I was on QI there would probably be a big buzzer going off now!)

Doing without can be a very spiritual time even if it is imposed by outside circumstances rather than self inflicted. Instead of a loss it can be a time to find other more meaningful uses of money and time. I went to the library to find that book by the woman who didnt buy anything for a year. It seems that the person who last borrowed it had decided not to buy a book and had not brought it back!

On a national level it seems we will have to do without too. Health and social services are set to change radically. Although saddening this may be a time to make things more local and transitional. I have always thought it a strange idea to ship people with the same disability off to a day centre in a bus the other side of the county when they may not need that if their community was more accepting and cohesive. If people were not driving off in their cars to go shopping but were hanging out with their neighbours and chatting in the post office then people would need less care from the state. I have recently been starting to spend more time in Peterborough with my dad as my mother has dementia. Again if our family was less spread out and the church they belong to saw it as their role to help him then the state would be less involved.

Amidst all these changes there is only one constant - Easter means chocolate.

What? we don't grow chocolate in Norfolk? what about the chocolate factory? Its gone and they imported the beans from abroad? things are worse than I thought. We can still make alcohol here cant we?


  1. Having just come back from Vietnam, and seeing the appalling poverty, with people literally living hand to mouth, it certainly helps the mind to focus. EVERYTHING has a use, nothing is wasted, recycling on a personal level is down to a fine art and outs us to shame.
    (Sorry about the global footprint thingy!) There was a special reason for going!

  2. Our Parish Council is inundated with 'Big Society' suggestions about getting volunteers to grit pavements, cut grass etc etc. I have suggested to NCC that there is a pool of 55-65 year olds who have very limited employment options but are fit enough to provide part time care to the infirm elderly in their local community. The challenge is to make it economically attractive for them to choose to do so.

    I suspect that the middle aged are better able to relate to the elderly than younger people - knowing that they may soon be needing care themselves focuses the mind! Seems to me that it would provide rewarding part time work for people and a much needed service for others - win, win!

  3. the Kinnerton factory has gone?

  4. I didnt know about the Kinnerton factory. I was thinking of the one that is now the Chapelfield Mall. But thats great that will still have one.

  5. Here's a great blog on the NHS and other cuts in Norfolk: