Servant Wages

An invigorating day in Bath with Kate. I often wonder why we are so tired after a trip away but as I reflect and think of all that we’ve done I soon realise why. The pub we stayed in was that increasing rarity nowadays, especially in hip places like Bath, a pub that hasn’t been ‘rebranded’, or become a ‘gastro pub’ and not a hipster beard straining a foaming craft beer to be seen. It was the New Crown, the bedroom was basic but clean and comfortable. They had a very good pool table with plenty of space so we had the unexpected bonus of playing a few frames with a large telly showing the final throes of England winning the first test match of the Ashes. Staff and punters were friendly.

Now you’d normally expect a bottle of vintage champagne from fortnum and mason to be pretty good, we were certainly looking forward to it as we retired to our room after playing pool. It was kindly given to us at last week’s lily do. So imagine our disappointment as we experienced our first ever ‘corked’ champagne. I nipped out and purchased a bottle of cava and then proceeded to get very frustrated and sweaty as I tried to get the cork out. Eventually I handed it to Kate who uncorked it straight away!

We walked into town to the Thermae Spa, a place we really enjoy. It had been quite a while since we’d been as the prices were much more than our previous visit. Wallowing in water is so relaxing, especially natural thermal waters (the only ones in this country). The top pool is quite high, open air and overlooks the many cranes In Bath city centre. The next floor down are the four steam rooms filled with various sensual essential oils: there was a flowery lotus, a healthy eucalyptus, my favourite evocative sandalwood and what I could only describe as essence of chorizo.

Now the Minerva pool on the lowest floor has the best water jet that pummels your neck and back, but our most choicest which involves underwater jets of water strategically placed that cause you to float gently around the pool. It is so relaxing just lying back and floating wherever the currents take you. We leave the spa feeling relaxed, refreshed and super clean to go to the Bath Brew House for dinner, bit of a mistake. It’s very noisy with loud music and louder young folk. A shock to our relaxed selves, but we persist, have some of their so so ‘special ales’ and ‘craft ales’ and ok food which we can’t finish on account of the amount. I ask the young waitress if they have any more modern music as they are just playing stuff from the late 70’s.

We set up at the market the following day and we would have done well money wise if only there had been a larger ‘footfall’ as they say, whoever they are. Those very few of the few ‘footfallers’ who tried the unction were all impressed and 90% who tried it bought some, so just have to sort out greater exposure to the market. Applied to Frome market today.

But we learnt a lot so it wasn’t a total waste, and we visited Bath which we like. And I also like angry young man’s idea of us dressing as Punch and Judy, one hitting the other who is then treated with the unction to loud “oohs” and “aahs” “that’s so good helping my bruised and battered body”.

Newsflash: the forms were sent off to Teachers Pensions today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The UOCH (useless occupational health lot) didn’t attach my additional personal statement, so had to go home to get a copy then return to school to send off. Then when perusing copies later I realised they hadn’t included doctors reports which they claimed they’ddone, so had to call them to send me copies asap. Do ceos have these problems?

One of Will Self’s, and now one my, favourite headlines from the US magazine the Onion: “World death rate holds steady at 100%”.

So Jeremy is doing better than expected in Labour leadership bollocks and if he is elected then this little soul fervently wishes for a new ‘Labour narrative’ which really opposes the tt’s austerity bollocks narrative. I hate the way they’ve commandeered our language and any consequent discourse which has become so corrupted by them. Like Zoe Williams writes:

“To attack first entails retaking the language, so that we aren’t constantly battling on the territory of “common sense” that has already been demarcated and controlled by someone else. Professor Danny Dorling, at the British Library’s weekend conference on London, had this suggestion, in the wake of Osborne’s appropriation of the phrase “living wage”. Rather than rename the original concept “actual living wage” or “real living wage”, we should instead refer to Osborne’s national living wage as a “servant wage … as anyone who, in order to live where they work, can’t afford to have a family of their own, so exists to serve others”.”

Good eh? Lets start calling it the ‘servant wage’.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


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