In a Class of our own….

Gone are the days of referring to people in terms of ‘Lower/Working Class,’ ‘Middle Class,’ ‘Upper Middle Class,’ and ‘Upper Class.’ Well almost. We revisit  these days when we watch Downtown Abbey 😉 Was it just a way to  segregate people? It certainly clearly highlighted who had money (and along with it, importance and respect and reputation a lot of the time). I’m not a sociologist and I’m not going to look into this deeply but for me it just divided the country into rich and poor – with some people working hard to get rich and some falling into the upper sections by a decent inheritance.  Yet, it also meant that people had to behave in certain ways i.e. not marrying out of their class. Surely in this way, the classes are stupid.

Which is why it makes sense to have it all shaken up for our modern society. You must have heard that there are now 7  social classes in Britain into which we all fit (with ‘working’ and ‘middle’ classes still mentioned). The BBC, with the help of sociologists, have analysed our society and come up with these 7 new classes:

  • Precariat (Precarious Proletariat)  – I find it amusing that the lowest class have the fanciest name and people with little education won’t understand what it means 😉
  • Emergent Service Workers
  • Traditional Working Class
  • New Affluent Workers
  • Technical Middle Class
  • Established Middle Class
  • Elite

Or to put into pictures with a little more info………

Hope you can just about read that……… do you think this represents our society?!

I’m not sure it is accurate. Apparently, they used 161,000 to do the research on but who were these people that they asked the questions to? I have to laugh because using their social class calculator (I’ll add a link to it at the bottom) I am Established Middle Class! I am a teaching assistant living in a dodgy part of my small, not particularly affluent, town. Yet, the calculator doesn’t ask this. Yes, I am University educated (which the calculator also doesn’t ask)and own a house. The test seems to mainly focus on your interests (so really a personality quiz – because can you not be poor in terms of money but still listen to Classical FM?)  and your associations. So yes, I may be a prostitute but because my friends are lawyers, accountants and teachers then I am Middle Class. Erm…..

We had a laugh today actually at a family dinner (no it wasn’t a banquet with candlesticks, I’m not quite Elite 😉 ). My boyfriend, sister, her boyfriend and my uncle all came out as Established Middle Class also. My Mum and Gran came out as Traditional Working Class ( my  Gran doesn’t have much of an income because she is retired – another thing the calculator doesn’t take into consideration!) My Mum works part-time (by choice) but has some savings, yet doesn’t like the theatre or social networking, which is why she wasn’t any higher. My Dad, hilariously, came out as New Affluent Worker, yet he has the same joint income as my Mum, has the same savings and knows the same people. But because he likes the theatre and watches sport, then he is a class above. Crazy?! Just a tad…. but it did entertain us today; joking that the working class members of the family should wash up etc 😉

So yep, 7 classes, I think it sums up one thing… that we are a more complicated society than decades ago and I think people mix more.So what good does it do to have these classes? Gives us a laugh and gives sociologists and the BBC something to do I guess…. 😉

I am now off  to listen to Classical FM and watch the ballet 😉

So…….Which class do you belong to? Let me know, I’d love to know how other people do!    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22000973

XSXS

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A Dry Month

Well, it has been a dry month for me. I know, you are thinking: ‘What?! It’s rained loads and now snow is on the way! It is nothing but dry!’ Yes, indeed the weather had been full of fluid, wet precipitation. My mouth has only seen liquid of the non-alcoholic kind though 😦 . I mentioned in a previous post that  I am doing a Dry-athlon. This means that I can’t touch alcohol for the whole of January. It also means that I am helping to drink all the extra water that we have upon our hands; as normally I would be drinking wine instead 😉

I’ve managed the first week OK. When I say ‘OK’, I mean that I have eaten more chocolate and cake than usual in order to have an alternative ‘treat’ and every time we have a nice dinner, I have cranberry juice in a wine glass  – just so I can pretend ;-). It also turns out that I can be ‘drunk’ without alcohol. I am silly due to my personality apparently!

But in all seriousness, I am managing and as much as it sounds like it, I am NOT an alcoholic! If I was, you would be the first to know 😉 It is quite nice actually to  not have hangovers. Being the designated driver, too, means that you know how and when you are getting home! Luckily though, I don’t have any big nights out this month because I don’t think I could do the whole dancing without a big drink. I just feel too aware of myself and like I’m all limbs! So, I’ll save the dancing for inside my living room, curtains firmly closed with a wine glass of  juice in my hand. 🙂

Now, here comes the predictive and annoying bit. The Dry-athlon is in aid of Cancer Research. I have not registered myself but I am doing the deed as part of a team with my sister and uncle’s wife so I would appreciate it if any of you could spare the odd £1 – like when you don’t have that shot before leaving the bar – of if you go for that single rather than the double – or you just like giving to a good cause! Then click the links below and Cancer Research will benefit from my dry, dry month! 😀

http://www.justgiving.com/dryathlete-emily-gray2013

http://www.justgiving.com/dryathlete-cheryl-tagg

Also take a look at the crazy people doing this challenge and more info about it:https://www.facebook.com/#!/Dryathlon

Are any of you out there doing it? Finding it hard?

Thanks to any of you that do give and Good Luck to anyone doing it! Only 22 days to go 😉

XSXS

Shop ’til you drop…or run out of money!

Afternoon guys,

I had to do a big food shop today, you know, stock that fridge up and also to make sure I had some food to take to work for lunches – because it’s back to school tomorrow 😦 I know, I know, I love my job but just imagine that Sunday night feeling times by 6! Maybe my purchases of houmous, yummy fruit and yoghurts for my healthy lunches will help ease the Monday morning pain.

Because don’t you think that is why we sometimes shop? To make us feel better about something or cheer us up. They call it retail therapy and I guess it really can be. We’ve all had that ecstatic feeling when we have bought a new pair of shoes, a new top or a car or a holiday! It’s that exchange of money for something sparkly and new to enrich our lives in some way. And it doesn’t have to be something expensive. It can be a £2 necklace or ring in the New Look sale. Which, is what i sometimes purchase if I need a pick-me-up and I can’t afford much… because let’s face it we can only buy things to cheer ourselves up and make ourselves happy for as long as our pay cheque lasts. Unless you are daft enough to exercise many credit cards and use loans etc…..

I don’t like to think of myself as ‘tight’ but I am careful especially with the day-to-day stuff. I like to save up money for our next domestic purchase or even better for our next holiday. This means cutting down on all little things throughout the year. We do eat out yes but not that often… even though I think there are a couple of months in the year where there seem to be birthdays every week and therefore a birthday meal. We do have treats but one think I do think a lot about is food shopping. I buy a lot but I get things on offer. I think I am a very good bargain hunter… my boyfriend would disagree and would think that I buy more than we need. And I do, but what’s the harm in buying ten tins of tuna if they work out way cheaper than buying just one? They aren’t going to go out of date any time soon. God bless tinned stuff! Yes, I do like a bargain. Sometimes I get quite disheartened when I go to buy butter for example and nothing is on offer. I don’t mind which brand with items like that… call me a brand whore. So I just get whichever is on offer that week… when there isn’t anything I feel very unsettled and even consider not buying any! Like today, we needed mouth wash. My fussy boyfriend will only have the purple Listerine. It’s nearly £4 for a standard bottle, crazy if you ask me! I normally get it on offer when it is £2 – £2.50. Today we had completely ran out and it wasn’t on offer, I winced and flinched as I put the full price purple liquid into my trolley!

Another thing I don’t believe in spending loads on is presents. I don’t expect to receive them and I certainly do not send them. Yeh, there are some exceptions if it is a special birthday or a joint present or whatever. What I mean is these couples who think they need spend over £100 on each other – absolutely ridiculous! If we did that, £200 down the drain, i’d be like, lets put it towards a holiday! I don’t need to receive expensive gifts to know I am loved. Last christmas, me and boyfriend bought some DVDs that were new out between us so we had something to do together. The best presents are when it is something thoughtful, like a book by my favourite author (I must admit this is a rick because I have that many books and I will probably already own it), favourite chocolates and most of all I love photo related gifts. A framed photo or an album. I have a photo canvas of me and my boyfriend on our first holiday. I must admit it was probably pricey too but the thing is – he could have spent a £100 more on some gadgety computer thing and I wouldn’t have like dit as much. Last Christmas, I made lots of photo calendars online for presents… great, personal gift. So yeh, we don;t have to spend a fortune to buy a really nice, thoughtful, personal gift.

I’m trying not to shop at the minute. I mean clothes shop mainly. After our hols and now my car payments are coming out, I need to cutback… before all the christmas shopping starts – sigh! Can’t believe how quickly this year has gone!

So save the pennies guys and they make up the pounds for the big things. But nobody can deny you a treat every now and then… even if it is expensive mouth wash!

See you tomorrow… after my first day back at work!

XSXS