The Anonymous Widower

It’s My Birthday!

So I’m celebrating by putting flat-pack furniture together for my kitchen, wearing just a pair of tight but comfortable briefs so I don’t hit something painful!

August 16, 2016 Posted by | World | , | 9 Comments

Sixty-Eight Today

At the date and time of my birth in 1947, thousands of people were being slaughtered in India and Pakistan. Only the area has moved slightly, but all across the world people are fighting over warped ideologies and religions. In a very long list, I’d include places like Belfast, Ferguson and Johannesburg.

It is so pointless. And one of the reasons, why I have no religious beliefs. The main reason, is probably that two branches of my family felt that coming to England was preferable to staying put and being annihilated, because they were the wrong and more successful religion. I can personally understand, wh we have a migrant problem.

I like to think I try to follow the best humanist principles common to most of the world’s great religions. Or at least those they tend to adhere to, when they are not mistreating those who disagree on the nature of God. She would not be amused!

I also believe in and follow the established rules of mathematics, medicine and science!

In the last few weeks, I  have been meaning to write something critical of the so-called Islamic State or as I prefer the Ultimate Men Behaving Badly Tendency.

Compared to others in the past they are certainly up there with the Nazis on the treatment of their opponents and minorities, but at least the Nazis preserved most art, even if they nicked it for themselves.

I doubt I’ll ever see a totally peaceful world, as in my view the only thing that will stop it, is when people see religion to be the way to exploit them, that I believe it is and science, engineering and medicine solves or mitigates the real problems we all face in this world, like war, poverty, hunger, disease and natural disasters, like floods, extreme weather and and earthquakes.

August 16, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

A Birthday Card For An Eighty-Year-Old Widow

I sent a card to an eighty-year-old widowed friend in Scotland yesterday.

A Birthday Card For An Eighty-Year-Old Widow

A Birthday Card For An Eighty-Year-Old Widow

Usually, I buy cards in Oxfam, but they didn’t have anything. In fact the choice was very limited. If you can’t read the badge, this is a close-up.

The Badge In Close-Up

The Badge In Close-Up

I hope the Royal Mail gets it there in time.

June 30, 2015 Posted by | World | | 1 Comment

Winter Fuel Payments

A former minister, Paul Burstow is suggesting that winter fuel payments be means-tested. It’s here on the BBC.

I’m over 65 and get a state pension, winter fuel payments, free travel in London through my Freedom Pass and discounts in lot of places including on National Rail through my Senior Railcard.

I would like to get a statement each year, as to how much I’ve received.  I could then give an equivalent amount to charities of my choice. Probably, I’d to that on my birthday to celebrate cheating the Devil for another year.

If the government didn’t pay me, they’d only blow in on some ridiculous project.

January 3, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Find Those Born On Your Exact Birthday

I was searching for those, who were born on or around my birthday and I’ve found a pretty sure way. Suppose, you’re looking for someone born reasonably famous born on the 30th September 1960.  You just type.

wiki “born 30 September 1960”

into Google.  Make certain you get the quotes right.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Computing, World | , | Leave a comment

Nick Ross’s House

There has been a lot of talk in the paper about the profit TV presenter, Nick Ross, has made on his house.  It’s all here in the Telegraph.

To turn an investment of a million into thirty five, shows a certain skill, but it more probably is down to a lot of luck.

But then like me, he’s one of that select club of Leo pigs, born in 1947! These seem to get their fair share of luck; good and bad. I could also include Roy Hodgson, Maddy Prior and Katherine Hamnett. Hewlett-Packard was also incorporated two days after I was born on the 18th.

It’s all very strange, but just coincidence.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Britain’s Secret Ingredient – The Twenty-Third Of March

Someone has just pointed out on Radio 5 Live, that Steve Redgrave, Chris Hoy and Mo Farah, all share the same birthday; the 23rd of March.  They were born in 1962, 1976 and 1982 respectively.

Believe it or not they share the date with Roger Bannister, who was born in 1921.

The theme is carried on by Chris Hoy’s colleague Jason Kenny, who won gold in Beijing and London.

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Claiming Winter Fuel Payment Without a Birth Certificate.

I’m 63 and have never claimed the Winter Fuel Payment.  In 2007, when I was first eligible, I had many other things to do with C’s illness an eventual death.  I should have claimed in 2008, but I was after the cut-off date.  Last year my son was dying with pancreatic cancer, so again it was the last thing in my mind.

So this year I decided that I’d better do it. I phoned the help line number, 08459-151515, who said they’d sent me a form in 2007.  As I was claiming Widow’s Benefit at the time, I suppose I ignored it.  They said they’d send another, but it never arrived.  Or at least I never saw it.

So yesterday, whilst the weather was so cold, I decided to have a go.  At least I was in front of the cut-off day in March, so I should get it this year.

I updated the form on the Internet and printed it off.  But it needed birth certificate for proof of age! My birth certificate was unique in that it had the wrong date on it, which had been officially changed a few weeks after I was born. But I have not seen it since we last moved in 1991. I paniced a bit and ordered a copy on-line, but that won’t be here until mid-January.

So again I phoned the help line ans told I could take two of my passport, driving licence and medical card to the nearest JobCentre Plus to get them verified. I searched the JobCentre Plus website and there is no office finder as you get on any chain of shops website. After perhaps twenty minutes of searching, I found that the nearest one was at the other end of the road on which I live. Within ten minutes my passport and medical card had been copied and certified.

Everything was in the post by lunchtime.

So it was fairly easy in the end, but why can’t it be like how you purchase a Senior Railcard.  That is totally on-line and must be a much cheaper system than the one they have for the Winter Fuel Payment.

I know not everybody has a passport or a driving licence, but these people could just take everything they have got straight to the JobCentrePlus? And why is there no list of JobCentrePlus offices on the Internet?

Perhaps, the whole system is designed to employ more bureaucrats and reduce the take-up of the benefit? Or am I being too cynical?

December 22, 2010 Posted by | Computing, World | , | 2 Comments

The Familiar Skirt

As I sat in Carluccio’s in Spitalfields tonight, I realised that the lady on the next table, was wearing a skirt, that was very similar to one that C had sometimes worn in the last couple of years of her life.

I didn’t get emotional, but quietly wished to myself, that the lady didn’t sufer a similar fate to C. Last Thursday would have been C’s sixty-second birthday and next Tuesday would have been our forty-second wedding anniversary.

I could put a cliche in here but I won’t!  Add one yourself!

September 1, 2010 Posted by | World | , , , | 4 Comments

August Births

Both C and myself would have considered ourselves successful; she as a barrister and racehorse breeder and myself as a computer programmer, who helped create a multi-million pound company. We were both born in August many years ago.

Our most successful son of three is at the peak of his profession in London, despite leaving school with no qualifications at all. And he too was born in August.

So why this stigma against August births?  Perhaps Leos and early-Virgos have a drive lacked by others, born in colder months.

I should say that some years ago I analysed all the birth weights for a year in an English county to see if we could find any patterns that might point to why some children were born with a low weight. One of the findings was that twins were more numerous eight or nine months after Christmas. Unfortunately, the data wasn’t good enough to know if the twins were identical or fraternal.

So I do wonder if some August children, having been conceived perhaps after a party, just want to get on with life and don’t succeed.

August 31, 2010 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment