The double glazing of our lives

With thanks to Fiona Kaskauskas

With thanks to Fiona Kaskauskas

I have become a hopeless disciple of double glazing. For days now I look at nothing but web-sites on that subject, even sinking as low as watching videos. One video has a lady extolling the benefits of double glazing. It is one of those you-tube things, home made and unedited. You can tell she had her hair specially done and mum must have done her make-up. Her voice isn’t synchronised with the movement of her lips either. I have watched this video several times in absolute fascination. She ends up saying her life has become so much more ‘comfortable’ and shows this by shutting a panel of double glazing. She smiles a beatific smile worthy of a mother Theresa. I am sure she will go to a heaven full of double glazed panels.

You might think watching a video on double glazing a sure sign Gerard has tipped over the edge. You are not far wrong. I have tried the rest, but it lets in so much noise. Watching the world in the single panel mode is now akin to living in a charnel house. Not a day goes by and another slaughter fronts us on the TV. The 29 or so private school students slaughtered in Uganda. How can this happen? The warring sides in Syria, children’s corpses tossed aside. “This footage might disturb some viewers”, the newsreaders keep saying.

Even the weather report is fraught with calamities of an heretofore unknown scale. People are perched on roof-tops in the UK, others are snowbound in their cars with mobiles and tablets the only thing that keeps them alive and in touch with their survivors. In Australia the drought is getting its grip back again. Dry water holes are the order of the day together with sheep and cow carcasses. I sometimes wonder if journalists have their car-boots packed with sheep carcasses, plastic flowers and teddy bears to add photographic poignancy to their stories?

The real disadvantage of viewing the world through single glazing locally is how Australia treats its refugees. The spectacle of who should apologize to whom over the lack of information coming from our government while a refugee got murdered whilst supposedly under our care. “We mustn’t let the ‘floodgates’ open.”

I would have thought the 700.000 refugees fleeing into Turkey and another 700.000 into Jordan are floodgates. You would think a politician got killed instead of a refugee on Manus Island. It is all so bloody awful. Who would have thought a retirement could be so brutally hampered by almost anything going on in public. Where are the good stories? Even our winter Olympics have been a limp affair. It’s no wonder people turn to double glazing.

We have meekly assuaged our conscience by a monthly donation to Médecins sans Frontières. It’s about the only thing we can do against the overwhelming plights of so many millions. I perhaps subconsciously hunker after a kind of double glazing of life excluding all that misery.
For those that can afford and want to do something, here is the donating web-site of Médecins sans Frontières
http://www.msf.org.au/donate/?utm_source=MSF&utm_medium=email&utm_content=donate&utm_campaign=enewsletter

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21 Responses to “The double glazing of our lives”

  1. Rosie Says:

    Yes Gerard – I agree – “it is all so bloody awful”.

    Like

  2. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I’ve got to confess, I have days when I feel real despair about what is happening in the world. I could reel off a list of things that upset me here but you’ve already mentioned many of them. I watched a programme the other evening on Youtube that I’ve been reading a lot about in the UK press. It is called ‘Benefits Street’ and is a serial type documentary. Unsure exactly what all the media fuss was about, I wanted to see for myself. As the name suggests, it’s about a street in Birmingham where 95% of the residents live on benefits and social security handouts. I had great sympathy for the residents, most of them were a likeable bunch but what depressed me was that absolutely nothing has changed since Dickensian times. There is still a hideous divide between rich and poor, still crime and lawlessness but now with the drugs factor thrown in. I don’t know if you are aware but David Cameron introduced a ‘bedroom tax’ last year – this has caused a lot of heartache for many people who are unable to pay this extra tax if they have an empty room (it’s also most unfair) anyway, I did have to laugh as I’ve heard that some folks are now using their spare rooms to grow cannabis in to pay for it – So Mr Cameron, what are you going to do about that?!

    As for double glazing, we could really do with it here, I dread to think how much heat we lose through our windows or rather how much cold whips in from outside. That said I couldn’t have it installed even if I wanted it, A) because we couldn’t afford it and B) because the windows in our Spanish home are very old and very lovely and having double glazing would ruin the aesthetics!
    Gosh, this is a very long comment, sorry Gerard!

    Like

    • Andrew Says:

      Lottie, are you serious? A tax on empty bedrooms? How on earth does anybody know? If I were to buy a 5 bedroom house and use 1 as a bedroom, 1 as a study and 3 as guest rooms, am I going to pay a **** load of extra tax? Whose effing business is it? The nanny state gone mad. What is the definition of a bedroom? If I don’t have a bed in it why is it a bedroom. This is stark staring bonkers.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Many houses have to have snore-o-meters installed that actually record sleepers. The number of snores per hour are then divided by bedroom numbers and a tax levied on that. I happen to have a friend in the UK who is installing those gadgets. Some put cotton wool in them to try and fiddle with the numbers.
        The rich rort this system by installing bookshelves or even swimming pools and heliports in their bedrooms.
        The idea of this tax was that even though many are on social security some were letting rooms to make an extra penny.
        Ah, the same thing here in Australia. Caviar for the rich and gruel with Golden syrup for the poor.

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      • Andrew Says:

        I’ve seen the gadgets advertised. Now I understand why. SPH / BN = TP. I don’t remember that from O’level physics. Does someone come round to read the meter? Or is it monitored remotely via broadband. Perhaps some virtual snoring could be used to game the system.

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      • Lottie Nevin Says:

        Andrew this tax is unbelievably disgusting as it hits the very people who can least afford it. It is not for privately owned houses, it is targeted at people on housing benefits. From what I gather, if for example you’ve had a 3/4 bed council owned home and one of the kids moves out or, your children grow up and leave home, then you are required to pay a tax on the empty bedrooms. There are many other examples. I’m not sure what the current state of play with it is but it’s caused so much grief, especially for elderly couples who’ve lived in their family homes for years and are being penalised for having spare bedrooms due to family growing up and moving out. It is stark raving bonkers.

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      • Andrew Says:

        I had never heard of this. It’s obscene. Totally, utterly, mad.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        They are monitored through a sim-card wearing ankle device. It directly is attached to their credit card. The tax gets siphoned off as they snore. Cameron is trying to improve this system but so far so good. There are giant billboards from Heathrow airport to the City ” The UK snoring their way back to Economic Growth”.

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  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, from some of the photos you posted the Spanish windows look beautiful. Double glazing is expensive but one can do it cheaply with Perspex cut to size and in winter it will help to keep cold out and heat in. In summer one just takes the panels out.
    I have one of those days whereby the news is less than cheerful. Thousands are losing their jobs right now. It seems Australia is catching a late bout of GFC and on top we now have a military clamp-down on news about refugees being either towed back or left to drown.
    It really pisses me off. We were boat people back in 1956 and so were the first arrivals.
    Anyway, next time I’ll try and be more cheerful. How’s KSnout and Irish? Is it getting a bit less cold now?

    Like

  4. Lottie Nevin Says:

    C.Snout and Irish are doing grand! Thanks, Gerard. Your tip about the perspex is excellent, I shall keep a look out for some. Yes, it’s definitely getting warmer. I went helping with the olive harvest yesterday – absolutely exhausting work but good fun. I’ll write about it soon.
    I’m not surprised you are feeling pissed off with the news and politics, I would be too. It sure is a case of double-standards.

    Like

  5. Angela Says:

    As much as i believe apathy is dangerous i am similarly perplexed by opposition for oppositions sake. But then again, life is pretty damned good behind my double glazing.

    Like

  6. Tolga Says:

    Here is something to cheer you up, Gerard.
    …………………………………………
    Didn’t like shopping there anyway…
    Yesterday I was at my local COLES store buying a large bag of Pedigree dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had, an elephant? So, since I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting The Pedigree Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in hospital last time, but I’d lost 2 stone before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IV’s in both arms. I told her that it was essentially perfect diet and that the way it works is to load your pockets with Pedigree nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.) Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off the kerb to sniff an Irish setter’s arse and a friggin car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. I’m now banned from Coles.
    ……………………………………………………
    (a friend sends these jokes)

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, A good start to the day. I remember channel 7 or 8 doing an interview of a couple on Centrelink allowances noshing up and eating out of a tin of Pal . Turned out is was all a set up and a dietician came on ABC tv to say that Pal wasn’t as cheap as some food that was fit for humans.
      It’s admirable how dogs always greet one and another going straight for the bum. Why can’t we have that sort of direct approach?
      It’s no wonder so many relationships end up on the rocks.

      Like

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      I nearly died laughing.

      Like

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    By the way ‘the Saturday Paper’ is brilliant. The tide has turned against the Morrisons of this Australia. I feel unusually optimistic this morning. Perhaps it is the rain.
    I might just view today through a single glazed pane.

    Like

  8. Patti Kuche Says:

    And now we can add the Ukraine to the pot!! And welcome back from the dusty pages of the history books – the Crimea!

    Like

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