Monday, April 7, 2008

Polly's Best


€ € € € € € € € € € € € € € € €'s



"The best things in life are free..." or so the song says; I can almost hear it
ringing out in my head as covered by The Flying Lizards in the early
eighties. Once upon a time, I used to be able to remember who the original
version was by; maybe The Beatles? I don't know, but I will find out before
the end of this post!

Polly's Best is a reference to my family. From time to time every child will utter those unforgetable words "Mum; you're the best!" Recently, I was taken aback when BB; aged 13 3/4 actually said them to me. In fact I was so surprised by the event that I can only focus on what was said, rather than the lead up to it...

....................................................................

The average peri-pubescent teenager is far more likely to mutter words of disdain under their breath, rather than lavish praise on poor old, wrinkly, embarassing Mum. This morning is no exception. On Friday BB had his pencil case, its contents and his scientific calculator stolen during break time.

It emerged; during the first sprint of the day, to the school bus in the village that the erstwhile owner of said items had made no effort to replace any of them. As a result of not doing so, at anytime during the 230,400 seconds since his glum announcement on Friday evening the clever chap was heading off to school without so much as a pencil in his bag.

What annoys me the most about this is the fact that in Ireland things are very expensive to replace; that is unless you want to buy junk that doesn't last more than five minutes. The pencil case can be replaced easily, as can the pens and highlighter's etc, but the scientific calculator will cost the thick end of €20.00 to replace, whereas it cost about £9.00 to buy! Even taking into account the conversion rate, that is some hike in price...

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Unfortunately, it is much the same in relation to nearly everything in this country. Eddie Hobbs is pretty savvy when it comes to money. In his monthly publication You and Your Money he gives great advice on how to make your hard earned cash go just that little bit further and how to implement debt free strategies for living.

When he coined the phrase "Rip-off Republic" this diminutive man made himself extremely unpopular with the establishment. It's not as though the concept was entirely new, since the Irish Punt was on parity with £Sterling the cost of living here has become progressively higher.

One only has to inspect the label for virtually any garment sold in any store in this country to find evidence of this. Most labels these days are printed up with multiple prices and marked in accordance to which market the garment is to be sold in, what is very noticeable is the discepancy between Irish Euro prices and Continental Euro prices. Take the £sterling and convert into IR€ and there will be a whopping difference.

So, just who is it that's making the money? It certainly isn't the shopkeeper, who is caught between a rock and a hard place in an increasingly competitive market. It's the government! Items which have been made in far away places like Macao have to be transported to all European destinations, regardless, so why is it that people like me have to pay double the price for a lousy electronic calculator. And all because we are an island nation...

But, yes there's always a but, isn't there? If this is the case; why don't the good people in the North of this lovely green isle have to pay a similar amount in levies? Surely there is a stretch of water which separates Northern Ireland from the rest of The United Kingdom? Arghhh!

It makes my blood boil; not only because of the big rip off either. I firmly believe in supporting local businesses; unfortunately, I do not have the income to allow me to do this as much as I would like. Because of the descrepancies in pricing structures people like me are forced to seek out cheaper alternatives or indeed to buy abroad, thereby cutting out the local trades people altogether; which in turn affects their livelihood and the economy in general.

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The second incident that took place over the weekend involved LB, whom I 'made go' to Dublin Zoo yesterday with the Cub Scouts. After an awful lot of walking there and back from the railway station and then around the zoological gardens themselves the poor child was shattered and in bad form when he got home. He'd left his brand new heavy brown hooded fleece on the train and the whole trip had been SH!@, suffice to say that he was not a happy bunny! Dinner, bath and bed were the order of the day, in an effort to relieve the pain of his tired feet and legs...

Thankfully, the garment itself was purchased for the grand sum of £1.00 in the Next Clearance Shop at Junction 1 Shopping Centre up in Antrim, in Northern Ireland. Hopefully some kind soul will have handed it in as lost property and we'll get it back again, fingers crossed. Down here in the South the same item would have cost in the region of forty euro's and even in the sale it would still have been considerably more expensive.


Money (That's What I Want)
The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I want money

(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)

You love gives me such a thrill
But your love won't pay my bills
I want money

(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)

Money don't get everything it's true
But what it don't get I can't use
I want money

(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)

I want money
I want lots of money
In fact I want so much money
Give me your money
Just give me money


I hate to sound so cynical about things, but it all adds up doesn't it? Thank God my mortgage is so small that the repayments are affordable; at least because of that I can allow myself to be content and relatively happy with my lot.

I've always counted the pennies; in order to provide for myself and my family, occasionally this practice has lead to the treats or holidays; usually under canvas within the country. I'm realistic enough to see that it's not a perfect world, but I'm happy enough to wait and do things slowly and yes it's unfortunate if the kids lose stuff or get it nicked; but thankfully "the best things in life are free..."


Polly Peirce
Purveyor of Fine Hand-made Irish Greeting Cards and Wedding Stationary

1 comment:

Polly Peirce said...

I am leaving this comment in the hope that in the course of the above post I have not caused offence to anybody; the people of Cork and Eddie Hobbs in particular.

Prior to my editing the above post I made a remark which has been described as cheap and unnecessary regarding Eddie Hobbs Cork accent.

I must state categorically that I have nothing against the people of County Cork or Eddie Hobbs in particular and apologize if I have caused offence. The remark itself was indeed cheap and unnecessary and both Eddie and I deserve better.

I have therefore edited the post to reflect my feelings on this matter and can only hope that this makes amends and that no lasting harm has been done.

Sincerely

Polly Peirce