Saturday, 25 April 2009

What is life...

"What is life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare"

Just hearing the first 2 lines of this poem slows down my breathing and brings me a sense of peace. I can't describe it any other way but I often recite it to myself when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed - easily done in these inpatient times we live in. I'm back at my parents' house this weekend and my dad came down to the canal with me this morning on my run. I hadn't even noticed that he wasn't following me but I jogged back to find him chatting with a canal boat owner at one of the locks. He was like a child - completely enthralled by how the lock was controlling the water levels to allow the boat to pass. I was jogging on the spot, stretching, shuffling my feet and generally acting like a spoilt child when he asked if I had ever seen this before and understood how it worked. I only just stopped myself from answering yes, because on reflection, I don't think I have. I just think I have because I've obviously seen it on TV at some point - maybe in a geography class in school when I was much younger. Don't get me wrong, I am and will forever remain a huge TV addict and it lets me into worlds that I would never otherwise see. But it's also de-sensitized me to the real world - I could really do with some standing and staring...

In case I'm coming over all zen, I'm going to end with a mini-rant. Our great leader has pushed through an incredible 50% tax rate to begin next year on any income over £150k. This comes after having made every £1 in my pocket worth substantially less than it ever has been at a time when all food and commodities are priced much higher. Sure, copy the Italians with their Robin Hood tax and placate the masses but how many high earners does he think will remain UK domiciled if they have to pay 50% tax? Discourage the high earners and high spenders, and all he will be left with is a huge deficit created by his own over spending and his sell off of the UK manufacturing industry (currently one of the only countries without their own steel production which is arguably a national defense issue). I don't know, it all seems very complicated and vicious-circle-esque. I think I'm just bitter because despite my best efforts, I don't make it anywhere near the £150k line! My lack of career progression has been effective tax planning all along...


  1. Wow 50%!!! This is terrible!!

    I have heard that you have great child care?? Any health care??

    We pay all our child care and high rates for health insurance if you are lucky enough to work somewhere that offers health care. What to you get for 50%???

    We have a pretty good military in the US -at least we like to think we can kick some ass. Your country seems happy to join in our ass kicking with us? I am sure that we are always good for some steel for you.

    Is your country still liking Obama?

  2. Those two lines (at the beginning of you post)are great.I'll try to remember them when I start to move to fast. I tend to be a tv junkie (thanks to my DVR). I agree it lets you into different worlds, but can also de-sensitize one to the real world.

  3. Yes - the irony of it all. Or as an acquaintance of mine enjoys telling people - it really is a good thing when you have to pay the government an insane amount of money!

  4. I loved your first two lines... I keep trying to remind myself as well to "stop and smell the roses"!

    Hmmm... if it makes you feel any better, try and imagine what the "poor" sucker who makes 150.5k£ feels like right now! Wanna bet he wishes he made 5000 less just to get under the line? ;o) Actually, if you add up your net and his you might end up making more than him if he has to lose 50% of his salary! ;o)

    Taxes... we'd probably feel better paying them if we knew the money was actually being put to good use! sigh!