Scientists and Experts can be wrong!

So Diesel is no longer the flavour of the year for our Experts on Eco Watch. Many in my family changed their cars over the last twelve years thinking that they were being socially responsible and paving the way for future generations to have a cleaner world.

On a ferry in 1953!

How could Scientists be so adamant that they were right? I remember being concerned when behind any diesel vehicle because the fumes discharged would cause choking.  But hey I am just a lay person!

Late 50’s

Let’s go back to the mid seventies when Hubby and I were taking out serious life insurances for mortgage etc.  On the forms it asked for our weight! Well yes I was about two stone overweight at the time. The next question was do you smoke cigarettes? I didn’t but Hubby smoked five big Churchill cigars a day plus a few Villagers ( a Swiss cigar) in between. This we declared knowing that he would most probably have to pay a higher premium because the risk of smoking was becoming better understood. The underwriters came back with a quote. Hubby normal rate and I had to pay a 50% premium because I was too heavy! We did go back and make sure that they understood the amount he smoked. “No problem as long as he does not smoke cigarettes” was the reply. The Experts have the knowledge!  Well sadly his health did suffer and the rest is history.

Rare Beef for Sunday lunch.

My father would never allow us children to have any sauces or processed food. Tomato Ketchup he said would prove to be bad for us. Well, it has taken over sixty years for the nutritionists to acknowledge that! He ate fried egg and bacon for breakfast  most of his life. No butter substitute was allowed through the door! When aged ninety nine an expert in longevity came to see him and criticized his first meal of the day and his passion for a blue steak! Perhaps he should try fish and a vegetarian diet from now on? Honestly where is the sense in that at his age? Stubborn to the end he happily continued his diet of a lifetime. He died, after a short illness aged 102.

Sports Day 1959

Maybe his ban on us young girls wearing girdles and bras will come into play sometime. I do hope not! He was certain that if we allowed our bodies and muscles to hold everything up we would never droop. How embarrassing was that as a teenager!

Thankfully mother put bras into our trunks as we went off to school each term. Can you imagine no bras on the sports field! Enough said.


“An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.”

Nicholas Murray Butler


Guilt. Oh the pressure of Guilt!

Guilt – How often do you feel guilty for just being you?  

Guilt is something that has plagued me all my life. First of all I was born a girl when a boy was definitely required by my father who already had a beautiful little girl!

Aged two contemplating what lies ahead.

Then I was made to feel guilty by chattering so much – I have to admit that has never stopped me. But be assured the guilt remains with me after many a party even in my seventies!

Wake up!
Food Glorious food!

As children, we were made to feel guilty if we didn’t eat all our food up. “There are starving people out there.” Now the guilt is about all that extra weight! Getting up after 07.00 hrs in the morning was another sin! Wasting the day ahead.

Mother enjoying life to the full in her eighties!

The Media appears to delight in creating guilt. The greatest is for living so long! Why? Well the Media says:- I am helping to cause the housing shortage. The NHS just cannot afford me. Only yesterday they tried to put pressure on our younger generation to feel guilty by not looking after us. The last thing I want is for my children  to have to do what my dear Aunt did. Her whole life was about looking after her mother. No marriage, that was stopped in its tracks by my grandmother who put Aunt on a guilt trip when she fell in love. Honestly, please let me have a pill that I can use when I really am too infuriating. I will quietly go to sleep! 

Despite having only visited a Doctor about eight times in the last thirty years that pang of guilt appears when realizing I may need to go and see him for a bad chest. As instructed on the NHS adverts, I visited a  reluctant pharmacist who  wearily asked which medications I take. “None” was my answer. Raised eyebrows! A question as to why I was not on Statins. Oh! So I should feel guilty that I am not taking something? After further grumpy interrogation the advice was that unless I felt as though I was going to die there is no need to create a further queue at the surgery. 

During the recent cold weather we were instructed not to go out in case we fell and broke our bones! So guilt comes into play because no exercise is being taken! 

Bernese Oberland 1961

Literally, immediately after the above news/advice,  there was a programme on how we must exercise on a daily basis come rain or shine. Give me strength! Guilt uses up most of my energy!

Waste – stop waste! I agree. We are all guilty but how do we stop all the double/treble wrappings of so many products? Interestingly I introduced a product from Canada nearly thirty years ago to reduce food waste going to landfill. That was not acceptable to many local authorities. They gained credits for the amount of weight collected! Naively I had assumed everyone wanted to reduce all waste. How wrong can one be!

Do you feel guilty about closing down so many shops by using the Internet for your shopping? Using your car to save the town from shutting down creates the awful smogs we are experiencing for the first time since the fifties.   Which guilt do you prefer?

Larnaka 1953

When one of my Granddaughters was in her last year at school she inadvertently praised her headmaster who was in charge of pupils from many religions! She said “Do you know Mr…….has managed, each morning over the last five years, to make me question whether the day before I had been:-  Good, Honest, Kind and had done unto others that which I would have done to me.”  So that man guided her to have a Conscience no matter her beliefs.  Only when her conscience tells her does she have guilt.  She regularly phones to make sure I am OK as do all my family. But Media please do not put our families on a guilt trip. They have their lives to lead.  Throughout my working life I paid all my National Insurance Contributions and Taxes! I was delighted to do so in the knowledge that that would alleviate any pressure on my family. Again how naive!

“I am stupid, am I not? What more can I want? If you ask them who is brave–who is true–who is just–who is it they would trust with their lives?–they would say, Tuan Jim. And yet they can never know the real, real truth….”

Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim