Singletons

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

SINGLETONS

Date: 3rd May 2013

SINGLETONS

Apart from the lack of companionship, Singles are discriminated against in so many different ways.

If you are a single woman, you are not totally persona  grata at lunch and dinner parties or anywhere in a mixed gathering for that matter. But if you are a single man – short, bald, fat and with bad breath – you are welcomed with open arms. Mind you ‘twas ever thus. Historically a man will look for a much younger mate and that goes back to prehistoric man who needed to keep his genes alive to make a strong family. And so many women are scared of having their mate ‘stray’. It is so sad because if there is no Trust between a couple, what have they got. (I know I’ve been let down many times but it never crossed my mind not to trust my partner)  I have noticed it's the happiest couples who do invite a single woman to a meal.  

The above is said with slight tongue in cheek but on to more serious issues. In a recent survey the percentage of single households was 31% - many of these may have chosen singledom and many will have had it cast upon them by death and divorce.  And with regard to the latter, it is a common misconception that women come off better in divorce.  I can assure you that is not the case.  I know several women, myself included, who have been left worse off than when they started on a relationship.  We are invariably the women who have loved with our hearts and not our heads.

So where is the Singleton discrimination in everyday life? It is almost worst  in supermarkets where, in effect the single shopper is ‘subsidising’ the larger household. Let me give you an example. I live on my own and have a very small fridge and freezer so it is useless for me to take advantage of the 3 for 2 offers, or buy one pineapple and get one ‘free’!!!!! Frankly if the supermarket can offer a reduced price why is this not applied to the individual item. I eat very little bread and buy about one loaf a month which I keep in the freezer taking out the slices when I need them. The other day I needed my monthly loaf of Vogel Bread – yes there they were buy 2 for £2 but if you only wanted one you paid the full price of, I think, £1.35. I have nowhere to put a second loaf so reluctantly had to pay the higher price.  And this happens with monotonous regularity.

It is in hotels and other accommodation where one is charged a disproportionately large excess for a single room and invariably that is one of the worst in an establishment – usually in the well of the building overlooking the central heating or the boiler house!

As far as I know, there are no ‘single occupancy’ cabins on Cruise ships.

I recently decided that I was not going to be beaten by this ‘aloneness’ and having been invited down to my much loved Provence by friends of mine, I thought I’d make a real holiday of it, take a brave pill and drive down visiting many of the historical sites I would so love to see. I bought the latest Alasdair Sawday guide to B & B in France and started looking at a route. I always used  the guide when my ex and I went down to Provence regularly and have to say that it is an excellent book. Of course, I didn’t scan the whole book but of the 20 hostelries I looked at, only one offered a single room. This meant that, had I gone ahead with my plan, I would have had to pay for a double everywhere I stayed. I don’t blame the proprietors because providing single rooms is less economically viable for them. But it does make taking a break doubly expensive. And despite having hundreds of Air Miles (which I never seem to be able to use) I now loathe Airports.  So I'm taking the Eurostar and TGV down to Avignon - almost no luggage restrictions, good leg room, pleasant scenery and a wonderful opportunity to get stuck into a book with no interuptions.

Not that anything can be done about it but if you take your car abroad it is far less economical than having a car full. Heating one’s premises is costly as we all know but as a single you have to pay the same price as you would if your home were being lived in by 4, 6 or any number of people.  And why, as a single occupier, are you only allowed a third off the Council Tax?


So to sum up, there are many areas in which absolutely nothing can be done about singledom, but I cannot see why supermarkets don’t charge a lower price for their goods instead of making it look as though they are doing you a favour by offering you 'one for free'.  They've done their homework - they aren't giving anything away.  They are working on buying in bulk,  slightly smaller profit but a larger turnover, 

I can’t think of too many advantages of living on one’s own. Having said that, I am totally free to come and go as I wish, do not have to put three meals a day on the table, can read in bed at night to my heart's content,  and don’t have to iron shirts – a job I always loathed. In fact, I was once criticised for the way I’d ironed shirts, so I told him to iron them himself and I meant it!!!

Au revoir, Jan

 


 

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