Thursday 4 August 2011


Today, I will mostly be washing odd socks, frantically searching for swimming trunks and last year's buckets and spades and making sure my meds are all up to date and in plentiful supply.

We're going on holiday with the kids, largely thanks to the goodwill of dear friends and family.

We have no money, but friends have lent us their canal boat for a day or two, arranged a cottage for a few more days and lent us a tent to cover the rest of the week. We have a pass for Longleat that still has lots to do on it from last year, and I will be attempting to cook for four on a two burner gas stove without burning down half of Somerset.

I won't take my laptop or iphone and I intend to steer clear of the news at all costs.

I can't pretend I'm not concerned. Camping and bowel disease are not easy bedfellows, but more than that, I worry about taking a whole week away from emails and journalists and politics at a time when every day counts in the race to stop the welfare reform bill. I have articles cueing up to be written, documentaries to finalise and reports to read.

I also have two adorable little boys who can't wait to build sandcastles and climb trees and remember what Mummy's face looks like without a computer screen in front of it.

David Cameron meanwhile is in Tuscany. For two weeks. Apparently the villa costs £9,700 a week. The telegraph reports that he will have another holiday before the end of summer recess, taking his holiday tally to  four in just under 5 months. That's Tuscany, Ibiza, Spain and Yet to be Confirmed. In 5 months.

George Osborne is in LA, staying in a pricey hotel and taking his kids to Disneyland. He went skiing in Klosters at Christmas, on of the most expensive ski resorts available.

Now, don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less where wealthy people go for their holidays or how often they take them. I do worry however, that our country is in pretty dire shape and both our PM and chancellor seem less concerned with sorting it out than I am.

I also wonder exactly what families like mine, up and down the country make of our "All in This Together" austerity-freak politicians. As we empty pound jars to boost the ice cream funds and put off fixing the gutters to fund a few days out, we wonder if we'll still have a job to come home to.

Oh well, for 9 glorious days, I refuse to make it my problem!! Think of me if it rains and whatever your own plans, I hope they're joyful and relaxing. Take a break, read a book or two, and I'll see you all back here soon, refreshed, energised and ready to let battle recommence.

Happy holidays!


  1. Sue, you have a good relaxing break and do forget about us for a while.

  2. Have a wonderful holiday sue with your family and my warmest regards to you all

  3. Enjoy every minute!!!

  4. Have a great time luv x

  5. Have a good time on the Taxpayers purse! I work hard to get taxed just so you can swan off on holidays. Meanwhile I can't afford to go on holiday! THANKS!


  6. Hope the sun shines for you and you and your family have a wonderful time!

  7. Sue, thank you so much for all you have done so far, now try to forget us, the government, etc. (and especially the Anonymous #4s of this world who clearly do not read the posts properly before they comment) and have a wonderful time with your family. Thank you again.

  8. Come to think of it Sue, where's your online icecream jar? I'm sure plenty of us would be happy to contribute now and again to say thank you for all the hard work you do on our behalf.

  9. Enjoy! The rest off us will try to keep the pressure up.

    And to quote some wise words from one of my medics: 'Sometimes you have to just blow the pacing (or whatever), no matter the consequences, because that's what makes life worth living.'

  10. Have a relaxing and well deserved break.

  11. Hi Sue...
    have a wonderful sunny holiday!!
    Don't forget we must all have breaks to clear a space for the new...
    I will miss you...All this has been a terrible trigger for me... I can't even force myself to think of anything else (even asleep) which makes me too full to know where i am or how to defend myself...
    I am trying very hard to create some peace in me for new energy, realisations & healthy revelations to find their way through ...
    Do not be robbed of these summer days... stop concentrating, be with your family & all the different experiences coming your way! Nita :)

  12. Anonymous 4 - Did you miss the bit where I said friends had found us free accommodation? (so those taxpayers are in effect paying twice, bless em)

    The bit where I said we had a free Longleat pass and I was going to cook all our meals, just as I do at home, to save money?

    It's cos we're nice people see? Our firends like to help us out. Anyone er arranged you a free holiday just because they care about you?

  13. To everyone else, thanks for the lovely comments. I am SOOO ready for a rest. In a tent. With two kids..... hang on a minute... Lol, no it's gonna be great. xx

  14. Enjoy it the only holiday I had in a tend was with the army, we woke up one morning and the tent was a mile down the road, heavy wind, I warned them about eating beans.

  15. Enjoy your holiday Sue :)

    Here's something which should give you even more reason for cheer, Liberal Youth have published a policy briefing paper on the ESA motion and in it they mention some of the parliamentary support they've gained:

  16. Great stuff George!

    Can I offer a few observations?

    Where you say -

    "The old Assessment procedure, where claimants were assessed using a "tick box" questionnaire, did not take into account the claimant's medical history as provided by their GP and/or Consultant..."

    Just to clarify - the new assessment still uses the tick box questionnaire.

    Where it says -

    "That the disabled get the support they need."

    Can I ask you to consider changing it to 'SICK and Disabled'?

    There is a tendency to look at claimants from the standpoint of the Social model of Disability - and this model really doesn't provide adequately for those who are disabled by the impact of their illness. Disability comes in many forms and people are disabled by a vast number of illnesses! It is not just about people in wheelchairs.

    Where it says -

    "The Government to continue to implement Professor Harrington’s recommendations on reforming the WCA as a priority, in addition to an emphasis on:

    I would ask you to consider adding something like -

    'ensuring the WCA descriptors allow a more realistic assessment of how 'work ready' an ill person actually is'

    There is a difference between an otherwise fit person who has, say, broken their leg and will become fit for work within months, and someone who has a severe long-term illness which will not change. Yet both, laregely because of the inadequacy of the descriptors, are being found fit for work.

    where it says -

    'All ESA claimants going to appeal to be given access to adequate representation.'

    perhaps the words 'legal help' or similar could be added - this is because the coalition are proposing to stop Legal Aid for all Welfare Benefit matters.

  17. I'll definitely ask for those changes to be made to the motion before it goes to conference. Thanks for the suggestions as they're very helpful.

  18. Happy Holiday Sue. Somerset is a lovely county. May you get beautiful weather all week. You most definitely deserve a break.

  19. Have a wonderful time.

  20. have a wonderful time, plus let me know if th grumpy gorilla still is on his island at Longleat!

  21. Have a wonderful holiday and hope you get camping weather. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to recharge the batteries for the fight ahead.

    (Diabetes and camping don't really mix either but I (and my sugar levels) managed just fine.

  22. Why don't you get a job, work hard, earn some money and take your family to Ibiza, rather than bleat about your relative poverty and display your envy for the lifestyle of hard-working and successful people. You sound like a socialist.

  23. Sue,

    I have just read your profile.

    I wish to apologize for my recent post and to wothdraw it.

  24. John Green: there is often another side to a story and sometimes you need to see the whole picture.
    Also: remember that 'if you tolerate this, your children (parents, self) may be next'.

  25. Debbie -
    I can't blame George for treating his kids to Disneyland, but as for Cameron - what's the point of a Prime Minister who's never in the country??