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      March Supporter Giveaway   03/02/2019

      So March has crept up on us and I'm thrilled to finally show you the GREAT (he he...) March giveaway!     This time we have a gorgeous print of The Great Gatsby's most famous line from thestorygift.co.uk AND a Great Gatsby tea from the Literary Tea Company! This particular tea is Peach Blossom (which sounds delicious and I kind of wish I could keep it myself...) and the tin features another Gatsby quote.  If you'd like to see the other literary teas available (there are lots, I spent ages looking) you can find them both at the Literary Tea Company's etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiteraryTeaCompany) or at their own website, theliteraryteacompany.co.uk .   As always, supporters are automatically entered into the giveaway and if you're not a supporter but want to be included in this months giveaway you can become a supporter on patreon here... https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   A winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month. Good luck!  
Athena

What's Up in March? - 2019

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I can hardly believe it's March already!

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Talisman said:

I don't mind anyone jumping in - this isn't my personal thread. :)

 

I am feeling a lot better than I was, although Corans anxiety is still quite high. The doctor has given her some new anti depressants, but they take a while to get into the system before you feel the effects.

 

I hope the anti-depressants help Coran feel better in a while :).

 

3 hours ago, Talisman said:

We had a lovely few days in Portsmouth at the beginning of the week with the unseasonably warm weather. We stayed in a lovely hotel on the seafront opposite South Parade Pier and spent our time mostly just sitting on the beach talking and exploring the town. The highlight was probably going to see the Mary Rose at the historic dockyard - and of course the weather, which has since changed to more what is should be at this time of year.

 

I've been to Portsmouth, it's a lovely place. I'm glad you enjoyed your time there :).

 

3 hours ago, Talisman said:

Yesterday Coran had her appointment with the Community Psychiatric Team for an assessment, which went well. She has to go back next week to complete the assessment as it went on longer than expected, but they should be able to help. The main problem is not being able to drive, which with the lack of public transport here and the fact that I have to go to work each day makes it very difficult for her. This is probably then the most pressing issue - to get on top of the anger that stops her from being able to do that.   

 

I don't drive either, so I can understand it being difficult to get around, especially when public transport isn't so great where you live. I hope things go well with Coran's assessment next week.

 

It's almost weekend! (depending on where you live..)

 

I'm looking forward to seeing my grandparents this weekend and have a good time with my parents and grandparents and my partner. I also hope to do some reading this weekend.

 

I wish everyone a great weekend :)!

 

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Yes February flew by didn't it?  Short month too. Now the days are getting a bit longer and the mornings aren't quite so dark. 

 

Happy St David's Day to anyone with any Welsh connections or roots here.

 

It's turned quite cold and damp, I'm doing a walk tomorrow along the Blackwater Estuary so hope it's a bit nicer.

 

Have a good weekend everyone!

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We are having a quiet weekend before I go back to work on Monday. Corans anxiety thankfully seems better today. 

 

We have just booked another nice weekend away for Easter near Stonehenge, where we haven't bene for a while - it's only the Travelodge but all we need is a bed, a kettle and a shower so that's enough for us. As Top Cashback were offering 10 percent on hotel bookings for today only I have also just booked one for the night before my Bosnian trip in May. I have to be at Heathrow by 4am for a 6am flight, so staying that little bit nearer will make the travel a lot easier in case of overnight road closures or any other problems between now and then. Coran should be able to drive by then I hope! 

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I hope you enjoy your Easter trip and your Bosnian trip :). Enjoy the quiet weekend :).

 

I had a lovely meal with everyone yesterday and it was nice to spend some tmie with my family :). My grandparents decided not to stay the night. I feel pretty tired from it all today so I'm hoping I can rest a bit. I'm also planning to do my taxes, and I hope I can read some books for the read-a-thon.

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Good luck with the taxes - I don't know what the Dutch system is like, but if its anything like ours you will need it!

 

It's raining here at the moment, but there is a mind, body and spirit fair going on in Dorking today so I expect we will venture out to that a bit later on for a wander around.

 

Yesterday we went to a hustings for the local Lib Dems for the election of their next PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate). Coran and I had already done a postal vote, as of course we thought I would be flying back from the Canaries yesterday, but it was still good to go along and listen to what both the candidates had to say and catch up with a few other people. It was a difficult choice, but I think the right one was selected. As to whether there will be an election this year, who knows, I wouldn't be surprised though!  

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On 3/3/2019 at 9:50 AM, Talisman said:

Good luck with the taxes - I don't know what the Dutch system is like, but if its anything like ours you will need it!

 

Thanks! Gladly my dad helps me with it each year, I find it confusing so it's nice to have his help. I'm glad it's over again for now, I should receive a letter before July about it.

 

On 3/3/2019 at 9:50 AM, Talisman said:

It's raining here at the moment, but there is a mind, body and spirit fair going on in Dorking today so I expect we will venture out to that a bit later on for a

wander around.

 

I hope you got to go and that you liked it. It's rainy here today, and we have 'code yellow' because of the extreme windspeeds throughout the country.

 

On 3/3/2019 at 9:50 AM, Talisman said:

Yesterday we went to a hustings for the local Lib Dems for the election of their next PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate). Coran and I had already done a postal vote, as of course we thought I would be flying back from the Canaries yesterday, but it was still good to go along and listen to what both the candidates had to say and catch up with a few other people. It was a difficult choice, but I think the right one was selected. As to whether there will be an election this year, who knows, I wouldn't be surprised though! 

 

I'm glad you feel the right candidate was selected.

 

We're having elections for the 'province' / 'county' later in March. So it affects who is in the council for the provinces (for me that would be Noord-Brabant as that's the region I live in), and these elected people choose / vote on who gets to sit in 'the first chamber', so indirectly it helps for the national / whole country as well. The 'second chamber' is the main parliament and is the one that is chosen by national elections. However all laws and changes must be approved by the 'first chamber' and the provincally elected politicians choose/vote who gets to be in the 'first chamber'. In Dutch it's called 'Eerste Kamer' first chamber, 'Tweede Kamer' second chamber and 'Provinciale Staten' the provincal councils. At the same time as these elections later in March, we also get to choose the 'water council' ('waterschappen'), which controls things about water and agriculture. It's not quite the same areas as the provinces, these are smaller. I always vote in any election. There are quite a few people who don't bother to vote, national voting always gets the highest turnout but the local and provincial less so. I think it's important though, so I always make sure to vote. I don't follow political news very closely every day, as that's not my sort of thing, but I do think about what I think would be best and do some research before each election.

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Glad Coran is feeling better, enjoy your weekend at Stonehenge, I've driven past it several times but never seen it up close.

 

Our walk on Saturday went very well, luckily the weather was OK after a damp start, we walked along the sea wall for a while, then went slightly inland and walked through an industrial estate and a bit of the town before going through some incredibly muddy woods, but the sun came out and it was very warm, so after a lunch stop we carried on and eventually came out by a small river, which we walked along until we came back to our starting point, and had a very nice tea, and even managed to sit outside.  Thankfully the weather was better than it was yesterday! 

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Your walk sounds nice! I'm glad you had nice weather too :).

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Yes I'm glad the weather turned out OK too, wouldn't have wanted to do the walk yesterday!

 

Hope it improves where you are, and there's no damage.

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There has been a bit of damage in some areas of the country, but so far on the news no one was reported injured (I hope that's true as the latest news report of the storm was written this morning and it looks like it hasn't been updated yet). I haven't noticed anything here, but I haven't walked through the whole garden yet to check on all the trees. I think the worst has passed, it's still windy but the wind isn't as strong anymore.

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7 hours ago, Athena said:

 

I'm glad you feel the right candidate was selected.

 

We're having elections for the 'province' / 'county' later in March. So it affects who is in the council for the provinces (for me that would be Noord-Brabant as that's the region I live in), and these elected people choose / vote on who gets to sit in 'the first chamber', so indirectly it helps for the national / whole country as well. The 'second chamber' is the main parliament and is the one that is chosen by national elections. However all laws and changes must be approved by the 'first chamber' and the provincally elected politicians choose/vote who gets to be in the 'first chamber'. In Dutch it's called 'Eerste Kamer' first chamber, 'Tweede Kamer' second chamber and 'Provinciale Staten' the provincal councils. At the same time as these elections later in March, we also get to choose the 'water council' ('waterschappen'), which controls things about water and agriculture. It's not quite the same areas as the provinces, these are smaller. I always vote in any election. There are quite a few people who don't bother to vote, national voting always gets the highest turnout but the local and provincial less so. I think it's important though, so I always make sure to vote. I don't follow political news very closely every day, as that's not my sort of thing, but I do think about what I think would be best and do some research before each election.

 

That sounds really complicated. The system here is much easier. We have 2 Parliamentary Houses - the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the one where our MP's sit. We have 600 and something of these from all around the country - each representing what they call a constituency - the larger cities will have several different MP's representing different parts of that city, but most other areas will have just one - my constituency is called Mole Valley. MP's are usually but not always members of one of the political parties - my MP is from the Conservative Party (this area has pretty much always been Conservative - more's the pity), who are currently the largest party in the House of Commons. They didn't get enough votes in the 2017 election to form a majority Government and so had to get support from one of the Northern Irish parties (the DUP) in order to do so in what they call a confidence and supply arrangement. The Labour party are the second largest party here which form what we call the opposition, and then there are the smaller parties - The Liberal Democrats (of which I am a member) currently have 12 MP's and the Greens have one. We also have the new Independent Group, made up of 11 MP's who recently left their own parties in order to form this new group. This is not an official party as yet, but I expect it soon will be. There are also the regional parties - the Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru for Wales with Sinn Fein and the DUP in Northern Ireland. There are other smaller parties in addition to this (such as UKIP) who don't have any MP's. The House of Lords is an unelected second chamber mad up of a combination of what we call hereditary peers (who inherit the title basically) and what we call life peers (usually people who have helped one of the political parties in some way or another - sometimes by being a wealthy donor). Their job is to hold the House of Commons to account, which means that they have the power to veto bills and so on. This often makes them rather unpopular - but they are only doing their job, which is an important one, as otherwise Parliament would  be able to do whatever they liked and get away with it!  There is a strong case for reform of The Lords having said this, as they are not elected by the ordinary people or indeed by anyone, but like a lot of things when it comes to British politics, no one does anything about this.  

 

The person who was elected then yesterday will be the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Mole Valley in the next general election, whenever that might be …. 

Edited by Talisman

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I have most of March off work so I am heading to Madrid tomorrow for a few days. I also plan to spend a lot of time practicing my photography as I have started doing it again this year. I'm going to buy a new camera when I get back because my current dslr is 14 years old and technology has moved on so much since then.

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Have a nice time Brian!

 

That sounds a complicated system for such a small country, Athena! 

 

I thought UKIP won a seat in Rochester fairly recently? One of our local MPs is one of those who have left to set up the new "party", not our constituency but the neighbouring one (our borough is split into North and South), so I don't know what his constituents are doing now if they want to talk to their MP about a particular issue.  Ours is staying for the moment but I wouldn't be surprised if he defects as well.

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If UKIP do have any MP's it's news to me. Douglas Carswell was one I believe until a year or so ago when he left to become independent. Unless you are referring perhaps to Council elections? As for who constituent are talking to, the same person who is still their MP. Party affiliation in this sense doesn't change anything (certainly not their ability to help constituents, as they still have access to the same resources). As to whether there will be more defections - probably - but who knows who or when? The only thing I or anyone else can say with certainty is that no one knows! :rolleyes: and that it all resembles a certain part of the male anatomy! :)  

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You're right re Rochester, it's Conservative, so it must have been in the council elections, but I remember it was quite a big news story at the time.

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On 3/4/2019 at 6:09 PM, Talisman said:

That sounds really complicated. The system here is much easier. We have 2 Parliamentary Houses - the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the one where our MP's sit. We have 600 and something of these from all around the country - each representing what they call a constituency - the larger cities will have several different MP's representing different parts of that city, but most other areas will have just one - my constituency is called Mole Valley. MP's are usually but not always members of one of the political parties - my MP is from the Conservative Party (this area has pretty much always been Conservative - more's the pity), who are currently the largest party in the House of Commons. They didn't get enough votes in the 2017 election to form a majority Government and so had to get support from one of the Northern Irish parties (the DUP) in order to do so in what they call a confidence and supply arrangement. The Labour party are the second largest party here which form what we call the opposition, and then there are the smaller parties - The Liberal Democrats (of which I am a member) currently have 12 MP's and the Greens have one. We also have the new Independent Group, made up of 11 MP's who recently left their own parties in order to form this new group. This is not an official party as yet, but I expect it soon will be. There are also the regional parties - the Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru for Wales with Sinn Fein and the DUP in Northern Ireland. There are other smaller parties in addition to this (such as UKIP) who don't have any MP's. The House of Lords is an unelected second chamber mad up of a combination of what we call hereditary peers (who inherit the title basically) and what we call life peers (usually people who have helped one of the political parties in some way or another - sometimes by being a wealthy donor). Their job is to hold the House of Commons to account, which means that they have the power to veto bills and so on. This often makes them rather unpopular - but they are only doing their job, which is an important one, as otherwise Parliament would  be able to do whatever they liked and get away with it!  There is a strong case for reform of The Lords having said this, as they are not elected by the ordinary people or indeed by anyone, but like a lot of things when it comes to British politics, no one does anything about this. 

 

It kind of is complicated when I think about it! And I didn't touch on everything yet haha.

 

Thanks very much for explaining about the British system :).

 

On 3/5/2019 at 11:07 AM, Brian. said:

I have most of March off work so I am heading to Madrid tomorrow for a few days. I also plan to spend a lot of time practicing my photography as I have started doing it again this year. I'm going to buy a new camera when I get back because my current dslr is 14 years old and technology has moved on so much since then.

 

I hope you have a nice time :)! Have fun with your new camera :).

 

On 3/5/2019 at 12:17 PM, Madeleine said:

That sounds a complicated system for such a small country, Athena!

 

It is! I was taught about it in high school, so I suppose I'm used to it.

 

I have an appointment with my 'therapist / support worker person' tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, Athena said:

 

It kind of is complicated when I think about it! And I didn't touch on everything yet haha.

 

Thanks very much for explaining about the British system :).

 

 

I hope you have a nice time :)! Have fun with your new camera :).

 

 

It is! I was taught about it in high school, so I suppose I'm used to it.

 

I have an appointment with my 'therapist / support worker person' tomorrow.

 

No problem - and hope your appointment goes well. I see you are using the term support worker, which is a great way of describing what they do. It's not a job I could do, in fact sometimes I wonder if I can do the job I have! It is becoming more and more difficult of late with all the changes being brought in. I can but tell them how I feel about it all, and how negatively it will affect my team, but it remains to be seen whether it's taken on board ….

 

It's only a few weeks now until we Brexit but I am still hoping for a last minute reprieve. The next meaningful vote is supposed to be next week, but we all know Theresa May and her cronies will come back with nothing new, which  means it will once again be voted down. This will then mean voting on what to do next - an extension seems a certainty as the legislation is nowhere near ready for us to exit anyway, with or without a deal. If its a short one for a few months only all this does is kick the can further down the road, adding  yet more uncertainty with no doubt further job losses - most of them in leave areas (a classic case of cause and effect). In order to give us the time we need to sort this mess out it will then be necessary to go into the European Elections in May, but the hard line Brexiteers will not be happy - they will be even less happy if and when we leave and they see the carnage it will cause. I am getting ready then for the big march on 23rd, and ordered my T shirt last night. The organisers are predicting anything up to 2 million people to attend - that's a lot of people! 

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16 hours ago, Talisman said:

No problem - and hope your appointment goes well. I see you are using the term support worker, which is a great way of describing what they do. It's not a job I could do, in fact sometimes I wonder if I can do the job I have! It is becoming more and more difficult of late with all the changes being brought in. I can but tell them how I feel about it all, and how negatively it will affect my team, but it remains to be seen whether it's taken on board ….

 

Thank you! It went quite well :).

 

I hope your work takes your words into account.

 

16 hours ago, Talisman said:

It's only a few weeks now until we Brexit but I am still hoping for a last minute reprieve. The next meaningful vote is supposed to be next week, but we all know Theresa May and her cronies will come back with nothing new, which  means it will once again be voted down. This will then mean voting on what to do next - an extension seems a certainty as the legislation is nowhere near ready for us to exit anyway, with or without a deal. If its a short one for a few months only all this does is kick the can further down the road, adding  yet more uncertainty with no doubt further job losses - most of them in leave areas (a classic case of cause and effect). In order to give us the time we need to sort this mess out it will then be necessary to go into the European Elections in May, but the hard line Brexiteers will not be happy - they will be even less happy if and when we leave and they see the carnage it will cause. I am getting ready then for the big march on 23rd, and ordered my T shirt last night. The organisers are predicting anything up to 2 million people to attend - that's a lot of people! 

 

I hope the march on the 23rd will go well :). I too am hoping for the best r.e. Brexit.

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I think we all are - although I would prefer to stay in! There is no deal better than the one we already have (in my opinion). :)  

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There is only one week of March left! Crazy!! Hope everybody has had a nice month so far. I'll be having a holiday in Whitby the first week of April. Something I am very much looking forward to. 

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19 hours ago, Lau_Lou said:

There is only one week of March left! Crazy!! Hope everybody has had a nice month so far. I'll be having a holiday in Whitby the first week of April. Something I am very much looking forward to. 

 

I hope you have fun on your holiday :)!

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On ‎21‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 8:21 PM, Lau_Lou said:

There is only one week of March left! Crazy!! Hope everybody has had a nice month so far. I'll be having a holiday in Whitby the first week of April. Something I am very much looking forward to. 

 

Have a great holiday!

 

I am getting ready for what could quite possibly be the largest protest in the history of the British Isles - yes, tomorrow I am going to the Put it to the People March in London. The organisers are projecting anywhere between 1 and 2 million participants - that's a lot of people! I am meeting up with a large group of friends at 10am tomorrow and we will no doubt take over half the train - it will be crowded but great fun! You never know, you might see me on TV! 

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