We are pleased that we get visits, not only from Wye or even Kent, from across the world. This visit from the Russian Federation is slightly perplexing but, when we looked at the images of the place, it is a strange mixture of poverty and modernity. Look in the background at the Soviet-style building , the neat bungalows and then the shanty-town structures.
The government has come in for considerable criticism about its decision to abandon the Dub’s amendment on the number of children refugees/migrants. The consequence of this decision has been a large number of protests across the country and not only in centres with a high density of ethnic minorities. Although we have not seen street demonstrations in Wye conversations have revealed some passionate opinions on the matter. One of the arguments that has been raised is that each child/teenager will cost in the region of £5000 per year to provide for the living costs alone. There are, of course, other costs such as the time taken to protect, nurture, integrate and generally care for these children. Wye residents have pointed out the ways that migrants have contributed to our society by taking up the opportunities for education and training. Indeed, these same residents have long collected shoes and clothing for the refugee camp in Calais. Surely they could go that extra mile and open up their homes, pay for an extra mouth and expend that milk of human kindness?
Perhaps one sort of solution is that those who feel so strongly about homing the children might set up a fund among themselves to ensure that monies are available beyond the Treasury. Indeed, it appears that a number of charities are already prepared to find homes and foster parents for these children. Such an act of personal sacrifice and generosity would be in keeping with the long-standing attitude of individuals in this country. When the government has to continually make decisions on its expenditures – on behalf of the whole nation – surely the freedom to act in resonance with one’s own values is the greatest testimony to that freedom?
The local housing situation in Wye has been dire for a considerable time. In particular, it has meant that our children can no longer expect to live in the village; that would be too much to ask, wouldn’t it? Mobility is the essential characteristic of economic globalization – summed up by Norman Tebbit in his famous advice to job-hunters ‘get on yer bike’. When Jack Woodford was our Parish Councillor, he and his notebook were always seeking solutions for young and old with housing needs in the village. Of course, Imperial College and the subsequent developers will argue that this supports their case for building in places such as WYE 3 but, instead of saving the current housing stock which they have left to degrade, they propose new houses and flats that will be well beyond the pockets of our young people.
In Wye there are no restrictions placed on who may or may not purchase dwellings, that seems to be alright in the Channel Islands where incomers may only purchase a house after they have been resident for TEN YEARS living in rented accommodation. Similarly in St. Ives second-home ownership has become so contentious that any new homes that are built may only house local people. So far the second-home ownership is concerned, in Wye there are relatively few (though there have been more cases in the last decade) but we have an issue of vastly exaggerated house prices that puts even a modest home out of reach for children raised and wishing to live in the village.
So, in the ‘conversations’ about housing needs that are supposed to be generated by the recent Government White Paper we may ask will Wye be another victim of a minister who will over-rule a neighbourhood plan and a local parish council too timid to protect the interests of its own children?
Tony was leaving his office in the bank headquarters late one evening when he found himself facing the CEO standing with a piece of paper in his hand in front of the shredder.
Eager to make a good impression, Tony introduced himself and asked if he could be of any help.
“Why yes,” said the CEO, holding up the piece of paper. “This is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?”
“Certainly,” said Tony, happy for a chance to help his boss.
So Tony turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent. Excellent!” said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I’ll need two copies.”
Kerry was driving down the road the other day, with his wife, Marie and his mother-in-law together in the car. Every couple of hundred yards, the two women would take turns to tell him what he was doing wrong .
“Watch the other car!”
“Don’t drive so close to the middle!”
“Look out there’s a sharp bend up ahead!”
After a while Kerry was starting to get really annoyed with this. He slammed on the brakes and pulled the car onto the shoulder of the road. Turning to Marie, he said, “Look, just who is driving this car? You or your Mother?”
As this winter moves inexorably towards spring we are all on the lookout for the symbolic revival of our favourite plants and the return of migrating birds. Here, in our own churchyard, a lonely snowdrop makes a late winter afternoon bright again!
An elderly, local farmer had a wife who nagged him unmercifully. From morn ‘til night (sometimes longer) she would be complaining about something. The only time he got any relief is when he was out plowing with his old horse and he plowed a great deal.
One day when he was out plowing, his wife brought him lunch in the field. He drove the old horse into the shade, sat down on a stump and began to eat his lunch. Immediately his wife began to pester him. Complain, nag, nag; it just went on and on.
All of a sudden the old horse lashed out with both hind legs…caught her in the back of the head, killing her dead on the spot.
At the funeral, several days later, the minister noticed something rather odd.
When a woman mourner approached the old farmer, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a male mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement.
This happened so consistently that the minister decided to ask the old farmer about it. So, after the funeral, the minister approached the farmer, and asked why he always nodded his head in agreement with the women, but always shook his head and disagreed with all the men.
The old farmer said, “Well the women would come up and say something about how nice my wife looked or how pretty her dress was, so I’d nod my head in agreement.
“And what about the men?” the minister asked.
“They wanted to know if the horse was for sale.”
Wye is fortunate to have seen of late an increase in the number of young families and particularly families with several children. However, we know that it is not cheap to purchase/rent in Wye and that most families today need two incomes to provide for those children. This item underscores that the position of many women in such situations are not as well protected in law as they should be.
New and expectant mothers who feel they are being forced out of their jobs may be given greater legal protection.