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I was going to blog about my disgust at the behaviour of some Tory MPs yesterday when the House of Commons debated the use of food banks in the UK, but if you are interested you might as well read the transcript here. It’s not edifying: Ian Duncan Smith et al spent a lot of time heckling and laughing during the debate. Nice to know they take hunger and deprivation seriously. Duncan Smith’s deputy, Esther McVey spoke for the government, and the veteran MP Gerald Kaufman was sufficiently moved to say it was the ‘nastiest’ speech he had ever heard in forty-five years in the House. This spectacle in combination with the demeanor of the Prime Minister when attacking Ed Balls yesterday it makes me wonder if anyone else in the electorate would like to get rid of this Punch & Judy show in Parliament that passes for democracy in the UK today. I know I would.

The Tories seem to have attachment issues – problems with relating to humanity and an unhealthy obsession with money. Making it and saving it. And keeping it out of the clutches of the great unwashed. It must be private schools wot dun it to them. Pity them, that’s all you can do. Or dismiss them at the ballot box. I, for one, can’t wait. It worries me though, whether enough of the electorate will fall for them again after five years of their rhetoric carefully demonising minorities in our society.

In the meantime, we are trying to get into some Christmas spirit with homemade bunting. Here’s a stag’s head as an opening gambit. Stencil made by eldest, executed by youngest.

stag bunting

Reminder to self: donate some food this Christmas to the local food bank…

When you are in a deep pit of doom…

…the obvious thing to do to lift oneself out of it (when all the usual suspects fail to work) is to make bunting.

The fact that I have never attempted the feat before, possess only minimal seamstressing skill and little practical aptitude for crafts are only minor hindrances to overcome. The idea came about when I was in a dance shop buying the second pair of Irish Dancing Shoes in a week, in preparation for my twelve trips to and from school tomorrow afternoon (see last Wednesday’s post if you care for an explanation of that one). The dance shop has a material concession in the right hand corner manned by, well a man. One suspects he runs up all kinds of sequinned numbers for ballroom dancers but he was a slightly aggressive shopkeeper for the customer wanting a few offcuts and a bobbin of thread. There are a lot of passive aggressive people out there you know. Watch out for them, they often come disguised as mice.

Anyway, the proposed bunting sewing activity follows on directly from demolishing a wall at the weekend; stage 1 of converting the mudbath that is the garden to something that the neighbours don’t have to wince at over the fence. Well, the neighbours on the left hand side anyway; I don’t think the ones on the right care.

Stage 1 is not yet complete as there is the small matter of half a tonne of soil to move which was held back by the ugly and stubborn wall.

Here’s some aspirational bunting, to brighten up the blog. There’s no need to have triangles all the time is there?

Tomorrow I might dazzle the blog readers with where I am now keeping my clothes pegs. Life – you couldn’t write it.

Hang out the bunting


A bit of autumnal decoration

Some of you may remember me fulminating a bit about bunting in the summer. I was never sure about it before, but now so long as it is not on your tent, I don’t mind.

I thought the blog could do with a bit of cheering up and this bunting is the handiwork of my girls, so I thought I’d show it off a bit. Well, not all their own work. There’s loads that loads of other people made earlier – all over Southend this summer as part of an attempt to make the world’s longest bunting, co-ordinated by a groovy arts organisation (WE HAVE HERE IN SOUTHEND!!!) called Metal.

They have it strung up on the avenue leading to their base in Chalkwell Park and pretty impressive it is too.  I thought I’d take some photos yesterday and I did.  The dog thought whilst I was doing that he would steal a child’s ball and run round at a million miles an hour with it. So he did.  It used to be that replacing a ball would be a matter of a £1 or two.  Not now, not in parks festooned with record-breaking bunting.  Not when the ball with canine teeth marks in is a Chelsea Adidas branded all over ball from Waitrose.  No, those balls cost £12 to replace.   On second thoughts, maybe bunting’s not all that.


Don't know which ones are the girls though...