Although I live in a city, frogs will soon be croaking also. They have mated for quite a few years in the garden ponds of where I live. However, with many of these ponds now filled in and no-more, they struggle to survive. Yet, each year they return and I know that some never leave. In winter, occasionally, as I move a plant, some earth or pick up paper a large frog will jump out and half scare me to death.
The pink blossom of flowering Cherry trees will arrive a little later. This beautiful flower lasts briefly. A sharp cold spell with strong winds and it will soon be blown off branches, to resemble snow as it falls to the ground. What a mess it will make but it is worth it.
There are so many attractions with spring
The promise of summer is a feeling of hope lifting your spirits and an end to that sad, heavy-hearted feeling which winter can bring.
My final favourite though is bright blue skies. Those heavy grey skies and dark days become less frequent and a bright blue replaces this dullness. Of course, if the sun is shining and emitting some warming rays also, then all will be right with world.
But it is still only January and spring could be months away; yet these days who knows that for sure.
This cockney language was particularly useful when it was invented in the 19th century for use in front of police officers or coppers, as they were often called. Instead of saying a word out loud a word that rhymed with was used instead. With time parts of the phrase were dropped which caused more confusion to non cockneys. However for cockneys it helped confidentiality. An example of this is Daisy Roots which means Boots. These days cockneys would tend to say Daisies for Boots.
Confused? Well hopefully not too much so. Here are some more phrases which you may find entertaining. Having tried to stay clear of expletives or words that some may find offensive, this cannot be guaranteed.
In order to cope with modern day life new cockney phrases are being created all the time. Even the old phrases are adapted at times. It is quite common for a couple of Cockney rhyming slang words or phrases to be strung together. Take for example:
Archer = £2000
Bag of Sand = £1000
Grand = £1000
Monkey = £500
Ton = £100
Carpet = £30
Pony = £25
Macaroni = £25
Apple Core = £20
Score = £20
Speckled Hen = £10
Uncle Ben = £10
Nigel Ben = £10
Paul McKenna = £10
Ayrton (Senna) = Tenner = £10
Lady (Godiva) = Fiver = £5
Taxi Driver = Fiver = £5
Nicker or Quid = £1
Ten Bob Bit = 50p piece
Oxford = 5 shillings
Lord of the Manor = Tanner (sixpence)
Tanner = sixpence
Some of the coins are no longer valid. Decimalisation changed the face of British currency forever. However most of the note denominations still exist.
These days the term cockney is often used about anyone living in London, which is strictly speaking not true. If you visit our capital city though try not to bandy about cockney rhyming slang unless you are confident of the company you are keeping.
This writer however is left wondering what actual politics any of these so-called politicians actually have?
Bashir was previously a Tory party member before losing faith in the Conservatives and switching to Ukip. Now he is disheartened with Ukip and off back to the Tories.
But you notice it is a two way street between the Conservatives and Ukip?
Two right wing parties that are in many ways one and the same. They may have some differences especially over the EU and Britain's membership of that Union but they have much in common.
Two political parties that would make an easy coalition if necessary.
David Cameron may have previously called Ukip the party of fruit cakes and loons but he will shamelessly cozy up to them if necessary.
Will Mr Bashir be the last Tory or Ukip politician to use the revolving door. Probably not.
Nigel Farage Ukip leader was a Tory until a disagreement over Europe. That it seems is the way of the Tories and Ukip.
UKIP MEP calls constituent a ting tong from somewhere
All of this though could have a detrimental effect on our next Government.
Re-reading that in January 2015 little has changed. Again I know who I will be voting for and TV debates will not sway me in anyway.
But for many voters it will be a testing few months.
Sorting style from substance and real politics from hype is never easy. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct.
But looking back at the earlier report written in May 2010 it seems much was guessed correctly.
Nick Clegg showed debating flair and was indeed king maker. He could have chosen a political coalition with Labour but instead decided to put the Liberal Democrats on the side of the Conservatives.
Clegg still dreams of being king maker or at least coalition partner after May 2015 but most political pundits would say he hasn't a hope in hell.
However looking back it is easy to see what could happen in May 2015 unless people refuse to fall for spin and easy promises. Take the TV debates for what they are, that is entertainment.
Basing your vote on this entertainment could be madness.
Perhaps the answer is they never had any true politics from day one but were only ever self-serving?
As this Labour supporter looks forward to a new Labour government post May 2015 she worries those greedy and self-serving individuals will undermine Ed Miliband's political hopes and aspirations.
Mandelson aired his view that the Mansion Tax would be short-termist and crude on BBC"'s Newsnight. "He did not like the idea of "clobbering people" and preferred a Lib Dem idea of adding new council tax bands" but people are being 'clobbered' financially all the time by the government. Are his motives selfish? The money will be used for a short term quick fix for the NHS.
In January 2010 the Mail Online reported "An emotional Peter Mandelson has hit back at criticism of him for buying a £2.4million Regency villa after his mother left him nearly £500,000 in her will." We wonder what that property is worth now?
Sack Blair campaign and the Killing of Tony Blair
GQ has a laugh naming Tony Blair philanthropist of the year
This is a classic 'where but the UK' story.
You work nights for supermarket giant Asda on the shop floor. You work there for more than 11 years and the pay is relatively good but stresses take their toll and 10 months before you are due to retire you walk out of your job following a silly session.
You decide you cannot take any more and for the sake of your health unceremoniously leave.
You are not sure if you are due any pay but also expect you may have taken more holiday days than you are entitled to when you leave in late December. Two weeks into January you receive the letter shown in this report telling you that you owe Asda £4348.00 and must pay up within the next 7 days!
Asda night-rate of pay may not be bad but it is not that good!
So you set about finding out what is happening and need to utilise any Sherlock Holmes' skills you or rather your wife has.
The telephone number on the letter proves pointless.
All you get is something like your call will be dealt with next and nerve stretching music in between these untrue messages. As you quickly realise your phone bill will go through the roof holding on to this out of town number you try a different approach.
Surely the store where you worked will be able to help?
Well yes, partly.
You are told that they have contacted the people who work out Asda payments and the figure is wrong but you must ring the other number until you get through to sort the issue out.
As you feel your nerves getting rattled the tone of your voice begins to show the strain. While you remain polite and upbeat your anger is plain for all to hear.
During these calls you are told that a solicitor, turns out it is a collection service, deals with Asda outstanding monies, however that does not reassure but rather causes worry.
But your Sherlock Holmes genes noted that the firm Ceridian were mentioned along the way.
As finding another Asda contact number online was hopeless Ceridian receive your by now irate call.
Bingo! You speak to a sensible person who listens, explains and promises a call back.
Was it the fact that contacting the mainstream media was mentioned or the fact that the couple involved are aged 60 plus?
Whatever the reason the person we reached explained that staff were at a meeting or training but that as soon as possible she would get someone to ring back. She took all the details and by the time a person called back the issue was resolved.
It seems the decimal point was placed wrongly and the amount owing was actually £43.48.
But we also learned that the man at the heart of this affair was owed some pay when he left. It was a small amount and the outstanding holiday pay was taken from this. The £43.48 was a leftover amount.
As he has received no final pay slip how would he have known any of this?
So the advice to huge company Asda is get your facts straight and work on your administration.
We can all make mistakes but such errors can cause ill health and more especially when the person involved is a senior citizen.
Free speech and Asda or the lack of it
Do you think calling your place of work a shite factory when you are cross is that bad? Is swearing about a boss, from the safe-haven of your home, without naming him or her, harassment; should it jeopardise your employment after 11 years?
Maybe if you are rapidly approaching retirement and no longer wanted?
Still this report is posted using my right-to-offend.
David Icke forum has a complaint dating back to 2009
As a journalist and author, Hasan is the co-author of a biography of Ed Miliband and the political editor of the UK version of The Huffington Post. His ethnic roots are British Indian and he is the presenter of Al Jazeera English shows The Café and Head to Head.
In 2015, Hasan will move to Washington DC to work full time for Al Jazeera; America's gain is the UK's loss.
BBC Question Time is on air on BBC1 Thursdays a little after 10.30 pm. You can apply to be in the audience of the show. It continues on radio in extra time and is repeated on another BBC channel at the weekend.
It is not on air during the Christmas period and similar times during the year.
"Under the new approach, families where one parent earns between £50,000 and £60,000 will have their benefit reduced on a sliding scale, and will only lose the benefit entirely when earning over £60,000" The change will cost families with three children and at least one parent earning more than £60,000 about £2,450 a year - the equivalent of a £4,000 pay cut." Administration costs will be higher.
Well sorry but this blogger's heart is not bleeding for those who will lose out. When people are having their often paltry incomes cut to the bone it does not trouble me that people who have an income of at least £50,000 may lose child benefit.
The current levels of CB are:
Child benefit currently stands at £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 for each child after that.
Already it has been pointed out that a married couple who both earn £48,000 a year will not see any reduction in CB. That is nonsense and a slap in the face for those who already live on a pittance and face more income cuts.
The best is yet to come though.
Now it seems that this proposed CB change may face legal challenges. In fact the Condems have been warned that this was a possibility for some time. This is why we wonder if all along that is not what was hoped. A cunning plan!
However as we have already said they are stupid and perhaps that would be a much too clever plan for them.
What may happen is that the changes could break "European Laws". That has never stopped a Tory government before, has it? Migrant workers in the UK could receive a more beneficial child benefit payment through their own country's Social security plans. This could mean that British workers are unfairly discriminated against.
The changes come into effect in January 2013. Some people are expected to up their pension contributions to avoid a loss of CB or income. The change will go back to the pre Thatcher days when Child Benefit was in effect means tested by taxes.
What really makes you want to throw up is the fact that failed former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith is introducing a universal credit. This will abolish many of the familiar but meager unemployment benefits. It will be introduced in October 2013. Smith has said that the Universal Credit "will help millions of people by making them better off in work than on benefits".
You want to bet? Watch out for the abolition of the long fought for minimum wage. This will have to follow in order for these diabolical plans to work. The Condems are systematically putting working people's rights and standard's of living back decades, if not centuries.
So does my heart bleed that those earning a good wage may lose Child benefit? Does it Hell.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB