Soap-suckers and Soup Shops

At Holly’s instigation I watched some reality TV last night.  You’ve probably seen it – it’s called ‘Famous, Rich and Hungry’; in which for Sport Relief some famous and rich people are staying with hungry families to learn something about their own lives and help the hard-pressed poor into the bargain.  There were four host families and four ‘famous’ people – only one of which I’d ever seen; a preposterous posh bloke from Chelsea whose existence in this day and age is hard to credit.  You know the one, he’s blond and – oh gosh, so nice! but he’s just a tad out of touch.  Jamie Laing, he’s called.  He stayed with a single dad who, in order to feed his two young children, skipped meals and was always hungry.  After a bit of a false start – Jamie decided to find his host a ‘soup shop’ and hit on one which was full of druggies and frankly scary – he found a place where his charge could actually volunteer as a cook and so eat for free.  Result!  (He also found out in the process that the correct term is ‘soup kitchen’, so it’s all good.)  Meanwhile Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders) meets a single woman on a very low income.  This is the person I felt most sorry for, because she does what I do; she keeps accounts every month and tracks down all her expenditure so that she can stay on top of her bills.  But then this month the date of her benefit was changed and so everything was thrown into disarray.  It can really make you desperate, and I felt so much for her as I’ve been there myself and I know what that’s like.  When you live on the edge the smallest thing can send you over.

The famous and rich did seem to help their charges a little, but they were only with them a week.  And then the media machine moves on and these people are forgotten.  One thing did stand out though and that was the levels of debt some people are living with; and the cynical and predatory way in which they are targeted by pay-day lenders.  Frankly, hanging’s too good for these people…

And so to Clarendon Park where I failed to find a soap-sucker for our toilet.  You know what I mean, the thing that looks like a flattened octopus and holds onto your soap whilst anchoring itself to your sink.

And back to the laptop-face…

Kirk out


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