Gambling in the UK

Is the Prevalence of Gambling a problem and what problems do we expect in the future as children are exposed at an early age?

With the country in a lockdown people have been spending far more time at home than ever before. After seeing a lot of new stories about how prevalent gambling in the UK has become I thought it about time to ask if it was a problem or not. However, when you dig deeper, there is far more to it than you might expect.

The state of Gambling in the UK

Let’s just look at how much the gambling industry makes in the UK. In the year April 2019 to March 2020 the gambling commission reported a £10.2bn (£10,200,000,000 to put that in perspective) gambling yield which is the profit they make after paying out winnings but before operation costs. (Industry Statistics – November 2020 – Gambling Commission). It should be noted that this just covers the profits that are shared with the gambling commission by the companies it regulates. This is also not including the lottery which is by far the biggest form of gambling in the UK with 30% of the UK population taking part in the lottery in 2019. That works out at, roughly, 20.4 million people. Gambling statistics 2020: Learn more about how Brits gamble | Finder.

This value above is actually less than in previous years partially due to a maximum bet restriction which came into place in 2019 which reduced the maximum allowable bet from £100 to £2 on fixed-odds betting terminals (referring to electronic betting machines ie electronic roulette or poker etc.

The gambling commission currently estimates that 0.7% of the population are problem gamblers which would mean approximately 476,000 people would have gambling addiction. Some others do report a figure much higher than this with YouGov reporting it at 2.7%. One of the more concerning problems is the discrimination of the issue among the demographic of the country. The black and other (including mixed) ethnic groups have the highest prevalence of gambling addiction as a percentage of the individual groups. The study also showed that the unemployed or economically inactive have the highest gambling addiction prevalence along with the North East and West Midlands areas of the country. Gambling behaviour in Great Britain 2016 (

Source shutterstock

Currently, the UK is the leader in online gambling; a title we likely should not be proud of. A report by the Edison Group showed that Europe is responsible for 54% of the worlds online gambling market of which a sizeable 15% is contributed by the UK alone. GamingSectorReport2019 ( One of the biggest issues is the lack of controls over the online space. As TV adverts have been focusses on to prevent gambling related marketing before the watershed, (a time in the UK where the TV rules change to prevent children from being exposed to bad language, gambling, graphic/violent shows etc. In the UK it is 9pm), there are virtually no restrictions in adverts online, in mobile apps or social media. This has made the UK the home for online gambling. The gambling act from 2005 is one of the main reasons for this. The act made many things legal such as certain adverts on TV but also made it very simple and easy for online betting companies to get a license under the gambling commission. This act is one of the most freely obtainable industry regulations in Europe. The intention was to regulate the gambling to prevent addiction by making it easy to get a license to operate however this then flooded the UK with many online sites. A search on the gambling commission website shows that there are currently 719 active remote (online) licenses that they are regulating and worryingly this is increasing year on year Find licensees (

What about the effect in young people who are exposed to the unregistered gambling in video games. Are we setting them up to fail?

One of the biggest things flying under the radar at the moment is the prevalence of gambling (although the companies would disagree as argued by EA who say they are “surprise mechanics”) in the video game industry. By far the biggest issue is not only the loot boxes affecting younger and younger generations by making them accustomed to gambling, but the video game companies specifically target and manipulate their games in order to make sure that these mechanics are the only options. A good example is the FIFA ultimate team mode which requires you to purchase loot boxes (in the form of card packs) in order to play the mode. The latest controversy comes from a leaked internal document where they clearly state they are pushing people from other modes (ie the free to play modes) and into the ultimate team mode. fifa_doc.pdf (

On top of this gaming companies are also increasingly hiring psychologists and neuroscientists who are focussed around cognitive development in children. Recently income from in game purchases makes up the majority of revenue of many gaming companies. Activision Blizzard reported that over half of their yearly revenue is now microtransactions Over half of Activision Blizzard’s $7.16 billion yearly revenue came from microtransactions | TechSpot. If the money is good and outperforming all past revenue it will only get worse from here.

There have been many studies such as Gaming_and_Gambling_Report_Final.pdf ( which have highlighted the links between loot boxes and microtransactions in games and gambling addiction. It is only reasonable to link the increase in “whales” in the video game industry to the targeting of gambling in games and manipulation of gameplay to encourage people to spend in addition to the original game price. Creating “pay walls” in order to prevent people from progressing (or making it increasingly difficult to progress) so they will purchase loot boxes, time savers or progress skips.

Whales - People who spend an extreme amount of money on video game in game purchases. They can often spend their whole salary on a single game. There are various other terms for low, medium and high spenders.

Many countries are researching this topic further and countries are putting additional laws in place to control and regulate these. Countries such as Japan, China, Netherlands and Belgium are already ahead in terms of regulation. The UK is currently debating on how to handle these concerns and the House of Lords has already discussed and proposed laws against companies using loot boxes.

If you feel the same about gambling targeting children I would recommend writing to your local MP or council and push them to do something. The best way to be impactful is to be consistent.

If you enjoyed reading this article please rate, share and check out some of our other posts!

Credit to Pixabay for title image

Credit to Epic games, EA and Activision Blizzard for the images

Rating: 5 out of 5.

That Little World with my Sisters

Being the first born in an Asian family means a lot of responsibilities. I am the eldest and I have two sisters. We were all born two years apart from each other. I remember, when we were kids, one of my main responsibilities is to teach my sisters. My mom expects that I will help them with their homework, teach them how to read, write and help them with their maths. Whenever my sisters do not know something about a topic in school, my mom would always say “paturo ka sa ate mo” (ask your eldest sister to teach you). I hated it because when you are a kid all you want is to play outside or watch TV but unlike other kids, I am there acting as my sisters private tutor.

Me and my sisters 16 years ago. I (middle) was 12, Lady(left) was 10 and Chevy(right) was 8.

One of the things, that my mom is so obsessed with, is for us to be together ALL THE TIME when we were kids. There are so many occasions when I wish I can go to school and go home with my friends like most students do. But I never did. Mom wants us to go to school together even it means getting to school late because one of us doesn’t wake up on time. After school, we always wait outside each others’ classroom and ride home together. If there are school activities, my mom always says that we should accompany each other and I should be looking out for my sisters while at school.

Funny story about this photo is that me and Lady is already late to school but Mom still wants to take more photos of us so she can use all the film before sending it to photo shops to be printed. We both came late to school. Our teachers aren’t happy. But I guess, that is a memory now where no one cares anymore but this photo still brings us smile.

My mom also hates it when we fight. She always scolds us and blames me most of the time when I fight with my sisters and tells me that I’m the eldest so I should be patient, understanding and giving to them. One thing she does for us not to fight over certain things is to buy us similar stuff, especially me and Lady since our ages are closer to each other. We both grew up having same clothes, same bags, same shoes, etc. If we are lucky we can have it in a different colour otherwise it is very much alike. That is why some people thinks we are twins. One day, we went to school but grabbed each others bag instead. We only found out when we opened the bag and saw each others names on the notebooks. When I found out about it, Lady is already outside my classroom, frowning and annoyed while carrying my bag. This story cracks us up every time we remember it.

I grew up sharing same bedroom with them. So we always sleep together and talk about things happen in school or about this show we watched on TV. We always laugh a lot before we sleep but sometimes we end up fighting. We were always asked to share each others stuff because we are sisters. I used to think that if I don’t have sisters then I do not need to share things with anybody and I can have my own. I wished I’m an only child.

As we grow up, things changed little by little. Our fights became lesser. They started to read and study by themselves that I don’t have to teach them every time. We eventually had different school times so that we have to go to school and go home alone or with friends. We started to have our own stuff. But one thing is left unchanged: we still sleep together in one bedroom, just with three different beds. We still talk about how our days have been or what mom and dad fought about that day or who has the period and used all the tampons. But because we were used to being together all the time, our closeness did not change. I started to enjoy hanging out with them and and wait at home until they finish school and eat dinner with them. We always laugh about crazy stuff, sing and dance like we are in a concert and nobody’s watching or can hear us. We still fight sometimes like who is much better, Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift or the K-pop music. Ha.

Taken 10. years ago during Christmas Eve

Our parents are poor and can only give us what they can. I remember whenever we want something that my parents cannot afford, they always tell us to study hard so we can get good jobs and get good salary and be able to buy and do anything we want. That is why we always dream of finishing school so someday we can buy all the things we want. The three of us started to dream together. We dreamt that someday we will be able to eat out in a fancy restaurant, that we will be able to go out on vacation together and ride a plane and stay in a fancy hotel.

I built my dreams with my sisters and they were there when I was starting my nursing school until I finished it. I remember times when I asked them to help me study and ask me questions about a certain chapter in the book. I asked them to pray for me when I was taking my nursing exams so I’ll be able to be a Registered Nurse so I can work abroad. I still think up to this day, all their prayers helped me passing those exams.

Our holiday photo taken last year in Palawan.
All of us are adults now and have our own jobs. We can finally go for travelling, eat in restaurants, stay in fancy hotels like we used to dream when we were kids.

Of all the people I know the ones who know me the most will be my sisters. Whenever I think about those old times when we fight and cry and hate each other, all it brings back now is laughter. I might have hated having sisters when I was little but now I am very thankful to have them. I felt like they were one of the best part of my childhood and life will be so tedious without them. I thank my parents, especially my mom for always bringing us closer together and now I understand why she did that.

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.

-Isadora James

Now that I am living abroad, far away from them and have my own room and stuff like I always wished, I often miss my sisters. I miss sleeping with them and having those late night talks. I miss going out with them and planning the weekends. I always think my life abroad will be so much better if they are here because I know they are the family I will always have no matter what life brings. The bond I have with my siblings is always an irreplaceable one.

The Real Estate Issue – A Profit or a Home?

I would firstly like to mention how housing has become more about making money than about being a home. Although I believe the term housing needs some differentiation between the house and the land it is built on. While I do agree it is financialised I also don’t believe this was an issue until the housing bubble of 2007 (and onwards). One of the biggest concerns over real estate I have is the ability of a house to be an asset or a liability. Which of these is the case is often decided by the household income which can be very fluid. One other issue is inheritance where properties can be passed down the family and, at least in the UK, this often is a benefit to those with greater wealth. As long as a house has no mortgage still remaining it can be inherited up to £325,000 with no tax and this can increase due to tax allowances for direct descendants. As of 2020/2021 in the UK a direct descendant couple can inherit a £1,000,000 home with no tax payments. Since the average UK home is around £230,000 this covers a huge percentage of property in the UK. You also pay no capital gains tax if you choose to move into the property as a main residence and sell it later, as well as stamp duty not being levied for the majority of inheritance. While the baby boom years are getting older this is taking more affect into the market. By doing this the inequality, as stated in the OHCHR, increases massively between the wealthy and the working classes. Source: [] This is highlighted even further as a problem as many capitalist countries after the second world war introduced many new policies to boost home ownership as a way to build communities and morale which raised ownership to around 70% in both the USA and UK by 2000. [Source:The great mortgaging: Housing finance, crises and business cycles by Òscar Jordà, Alan Taylor and Moritz Schularick]. The housing bubble was partly a result of this huge boost to home ownership creating a speculative market that thought a never ending demand was possible. Of course as inheritance is so easily done without taxes this creates a further issue as the demand for homes for those not old enough to benefit from the 1940-2000 home ownership boom is not as required. Therefore property prices drop as the demand for new homes drops. In 2017 Market Financial Solutions did a survey of 2000 adults in the UK stated that 36% were set to inherit a home. If the population keeps ageing as it currently is then property will be held onto for longer and longer forcing more people into rental accommodation due to high deposit requirements from lenders.

Looking back at the global level it was around 1950 when property really started to show an increase in the global average house price in real terms [Source: No price like home: Global house prices 1870-2012, American economic review, Katharina Knoll et al;]. In the early 2000’s the largest boom happened and even after the housing bubble popped the average prices show a very miniscule drop compared to the previous climb. Although some countries felt the impact most with a large drop in prices on a global level you really don’t see the mean reversion that you do in countries such as the USA and UK however, as the market has returned it has been estimated that the average house price is still overvalued.

As mentioned in previous lessons in this course the cost of building over the years has remained relatively stable in relation to house prices. One thing to consider is actually the value of land. Although the construction has remained rather stable the construction only contributes to the actual structures built. A great bit of research was done using the ONS site to gather this data []. Although this only considers the UK you can see that the structures themselves didn’t actually increase and follows a similar trace to the construction costs mentioned in this course. However the rest of that house price could be attributed to the land it contains. In the UK especially, around the 1950’s, new laws came into play which protected certain areas of land (green belts) where building permission was extremely difficult if not impossible to obtain. By doing this you effectively raise the price of the remaining land available. As mentioned in the previous paragraph it was around the 1950’s where house prices in real terms started to increase. In addition to this many countries were now heavily rebuilding and developing their cities after most were bombed during the wars. This lead to a large amount of housing / industrial construction around cities. Ever since then people have increasingly flocked to large cities in search of work as the rural areas are often stripped of jobs or heavily specialised in one industry which attracts a smaller percentage of workers. 

Data taken from the UK HM land registry website for 1990-2020 for the north east region

An excellent example of which is the UK. Looking at the HM land registry […] it can be shown the differences in regions for average house price and growth year on year. Taking the north east as an example although it suffered from the same growth during the 2000 – 2007 the drop from the 2007 bubble wasn’t as significant as other areas. I find it hard to believe that the price of land wasn’t a factor in this region as during the 1980’s the government started to rapidly deindustrialise regions in the UK with the coal mining of the north east being the biggest employer with employees coming from all across the UK. As such a lot of miners were out of a job and therefore left the region or required new work which now comes from the automotive industry. There are still few markets to work in outside of automotive in this region and a lot of “brown belts” which allow for construction but require some demolition of existing buildings to build on. Due to the massive deindustrialisation there was a lot of construction land now available to build on. This availability of land is one of the reasons why house prices are cheaper in these affected regions than in the south east as many flocked to the rapidly expanding cities like London and the surrounding areas where the government wanted to centralise the economy. Areas up north who were mostly affected and furthest from the new centralised economy city of London did not see the same increase in costs which is still increasing in London and the South East. 

London does also suffer from another problem. A tax haven for local and foreign investors. As an area which is in desperate need for cheap and good quality housing due to the huge population looking for work; it has an increasing problem with wealthy investors using the city to hide large sums of money. This report highlights the significance of the issue []. Real estate in large city centres with high property prices have become an excellent way to hide wealth and avoid taxes by the global elite. The report states across 14 developments in London 80% were owned by overseas investors with 40% from high corruption countries or secrecy companies. In the UK it is perfectly acceptable to create a company name for little cost (around £12 at this time) and use this to tie up money as assets to that company. Due to the enormous wealth trying to be hidden, property developers have proceeded to build luxury homes to cater to that market inflating the supply over the demand at a time when affordable housing in London is at it’s worst. The report from the London government site shows the amount of affordable homes actually being built since 2008. […]. It should be noted however that affordable for London is on average around £300,000 where the average salary is approximately £37,000 in 2020. Despite this property has become a profit target rather than a necessity for the huge amount of people who will simply never afford a home in this area and instead suffer from the increasing cost per square meter issue under rental markets.

As investment and economies continue to centralise around large developed cities the financialization of housing is likely to continue as the cost of land and the tax policies will proceed to allow developers to take advantage of profit margins of the extremely wealthy while the lower classes will continue to feel the effects of increasing rental costs and sub par living standards. 

I’ll leave you all with a question. Do you think this is likely to get better or worse and why? Let me know in the comments section.

The Call to “Protect Our NHS”

In light of recent events, I’ve been thinking a lot more about how we arrived at the current situation. I don’t believe anyone truly has the answers yet so here are a few questions to ask instead. There will be a few posts coming covering certain questions to inspire you to not only think about the world but also to go out, try to understand it and dig deeper than the first answer.

We have all now seen the effects that the current pandemic has had on the world. The topic for this is post is to highlight the reduction in funding for the NHS and why the people are being asked to save it.

Is it right to ask the retired and civilians to help the NHS?

Before raising points for this question it is probably right to start with some facts from (an independent fact check charity), (Institute for Fiscal Studies) and (Office for National Statistics). After the 2008 housing bubble the economy was in a bad state and government borrowing skyrocketed in order to bail out a lot of the banks that were on the verge of collapse. Due to this collapse government borrowing rose to 10% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). GDP in this case is measured as the total of; Household spending + Government spending + investment + net exports. Household spending making up around two thirds of this. Since then the austerity period has reduced this to less than 3% of GDP in 2016 but has continued to drop as the austerity period was extended. Austerity being the rate of day to day government spending for public services.

The above chart from shows some data on the spending on health over the years. The lines represent the government parties average growth. One thing to note is that this a growth chart and therefore spending is naturally higher every year than the previous. This is often a proud statement mentioned by MPs however, this is no surprise. Even a 0.1% increase per year would be the most ever spent (only 3 years have shown negative growth since 1979) so to really understand this you need to look at the demand and population increases.

Another thing to note is that public health spending from 2009-2016 is the lowest on record in the UK and averaging at a 1.3% per year increase. When including previous years; for 1955-2016 the average jumps up to 4.1% increase per year (Source: UK health spending BN201 by IFS). If you consider an ageing population, which is estimated to be 1 in 4 people over 65 by 2050, then this spending gets hit even harder as the spending increases massively for older people.

Source: Office for national statistics

Looking at the above graph for population up to 2018 you can see the large rise in population from early 2000’s. In 2000 the estimated population was 58,886,100 and in 2018 this rose to 66,435,600. Between 2009 and 2018 this was an increase of 4,175,100 people in the UK. When you consider the below table showing age distribution this becomes an increasing problem.

As stated before the older a population gets the more spending is required to account for the increase in costs to the NHS. Also note that although the increase in over 65s seems like a small percentage (2.1% increase from 2006-2016) the population increased as well. So this is a bigger percentage of an even bigger population and it is predicted to get much worse. The graph below (Source: UK health spending BN201 by IFS) shows this impact of cost cutting on the department of health’s budget. When you look at the cost per capita is it even and stable with population however, when you include age as a factor you can see the decline in funding.

Source: UK health spending BN201 by IFS

It unfortunately doesn’t get much better when you look at the staffing of the NHS. The graph below shows the amount of staff in NHS hospitals per month over an 8 year period. When you calculate the numbers, over this 8 year period, it roughly comes to around a 1% increase in staff in 8 years despite an additional 4,175,100 people in the UK and an estimated 2% increase in over 65s. A lot of this is due to almost the same amount of people joining the profession as there are leaving each year. Facts which have been reported by the NHS digital. Why so many people leave the NHS I will leave for a separate post.

Source: NHS workforce statistics – December 2018

To circle back to the initial question; Is it right to ask the retired and civilians to help the NHS? If you take into consideration the above nothing that has happened in recent events should be a surprise. The NHS has been driven down to the bare minimum it can run on day to day (see my previous post on efficiency!) and is now in a worse situation seen since before the financial crash of 2008 and austerity cut backs were put in place. The funding that is currently supplied to the NHS and the poor response of the government to the pandemic is being criticised by governments and countries across the globe.

Personally, I believe it seems unfair to ask the most of those who are victims of these problems. The nurses asked to work without the full equipment they need to fight these issues; the retired who are being asked to come back to work where they are at higher risk; the younger working and middle classes who are being asked to put their lives on hold and risking losing jobs as companies collapse due to the lockdowns (which could have easily been prevented or reduced if mass testing was introduced early enough) and tax payers donating money to the NHS from their own pockets.

I hope you have found some of this interesting and it has questions you haven’t thought of or maybe inspired you to think of your own questions. So I will leave you with one final one.

Do you think this will create a reform of the economy and spending policies or will it be ignored and carry on as before?

Stay tuned for the next post and sound off in the comments what you think!

Efficiency Across the Board

In light of recent events, I’ve been thinking a lot more about how we arrived at the current situation. I don’t believe anyone truly has the answers yet so here are a few questions to ask instead. There will be a few posts coming covering certain questions to inspire you to not only think about the world but also to go out, try to understand it and dig deeper than the first answer.

We have all now seen the effects that the current pandemic has had on the world. The topic for this is efficiency and how it has lead to a complacency in every country.

Are We Too Efficient?

The current state of the world is an unusual one and one that many have not have seen in their lifetimes. Supermarkets running out of stock and having bare shelves; ventilators being in short supply; personal protection equipment that can’t meet demand; NHS staff being brought out of retirement to fill gaps in hospitals and a national call for assistance asking us to “help protect the NHS” (which I will cover in a separate post). Why did supermarkets, medical equipment and PPE providers / manufacturers run out of stock. I believe the answer lies in efficiency.

The current global market almost entirely relies on “just in time” manufacturing / delivery and lean processes. This effectively means the minimum amount of stock is held at any one time and is only produced and delivered when the demand is required. Looking back at my previous post “The Cost of Panic Buying” this just in time marketing plays a large part. As I mentioned, the more likely factor of a lot of people shopping more regularly and picking up a few extra items each time is more likely the issue. This is where “just in time” process comes into play. A rapid change in demand across all items from a large population can really change supply lines. If unprepared for such an emergency it is easy to see why shelves are empty and governments, globally, are pushing for ventilators. When systems are running at 95% capacity it doesn’t leave much headroom for error. Tiny changes in shopping habits result in a huge impact as 95% capacity becomes 105% as an example.

However, you might be thinking if they can see or predict an increase in demand why can’t they just change their order to bring in more stock within a few weeks. Enter “lean process”. Lean process is, fundamentally, similar to efficiency and describes the minimum amount of people (a resource) in order to produce a result (in this case products and services). For perishable items such as food or PPE masks (which do have expiry dates) this makes sense to minimise waste and stock counts in order to save money. The limiting factor here is the people. Without the right quantity of people the amount of raw materials is meaningless. This type of business works great in the good times but falls apart rapidly in the bad. In some cases Brexit may have helped in as large medical suppliers began stockpiling goods in the UK, at a cost, in order to protect against worst case trade deals. Depending on the capacity margin this can cause the problems that we have seen over the last few months of different severity. As soon as demand spikes even if there are enough resources to produce the required products there is often a lack of people available in order to produce the final products in time.

As all the products are still available the issue of capacity never seems to be a problem. We all assume we will have enough and this leads to complacency that these safety nets can be scrapped without consequence.

I hope you have found some of this interesting and it has questions you haven’t thought of or maybe inspired you to think of your own questions. So I will leave you with one final one.

Should we reduce efficiency if it means the impact in difficult times can be reduced? Perhaps holding emergency stock that can be sold and replaced before the expiration date is something we can take away from this crisis.

Stay tuned for the next post and sound off in the comments what you think!

The Cost of Panic Buying

In light of recent events, I’ve been thinking a lot more about the effects of media on the public and how misinformation or control of information can lead to disastrous consequences. I don’t believe anyone truly has the answers yet so here are a few questions to ask instead. There will be a few posts coming covering certain questions to inspire you to not only think about the world but also to go out and try to understand it.

We all have experienced (or at least heard of) the panic buying in the country over the last few months just as we are all aware of the totally irrational behaviour of doing so. But what leads to this state?

Did the media have an effect?

Looking back on the stories, published near the beginning of the year, it seems clear that panic buying was not being performed by the majority. It wasn’t until media stories highlighting the panic buying in other countries and, highlighting the smaller minority doing this in the UK that we suddenly saw a huge spike in demand at supermarkets. Naturally, this changed the mentality of the population who went from their usual state of buying food as usual for the week to feeling as though everyone is rushing out to buy food and if they don’t do the same they will be left without. This is one of the dangers of media. The embellishment of a story in order to pull you in (Commonly called “Clickbait”) unfortunately leads to the emotional response that these stories are designed to induce. Therefore, the more likely you will spread it to followers, friends and family members and react in unusual ways. It seems fair to assume that the more stories people read about the lack of essential items in supermarkets the more people will be willing to buy excessive quantities for fear of there being none the next day.

Once this idea has taken hold it is very hard to revert back. The government, experts, supermarkets and online stores have repeatedly stated that there is no need to overbuy as they have enough food for everyone yet none of these statements had any positive effect. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case.

  1. Some felt that the rest of the population wouldn’t comply so they chose not to either.
  2. The strength of social groups which is where stories shared amongst close friends / family members are more believable than those coming from external groups regardless of the experience or evidence.
  3. The necessity of food overruled the facts. People wouldn’t take the risk that these bodies could be wrong.

There is always the issue that the media publicises what it wants you to see. Although the media showed many examples of the extreme excessive buying it is likely that this necessarily isn’t the case for the majority. It is far more likely that people are shopping more regularly (due to the lack of products varying one day to the next) and picking up a small amount of extra items each time. This is something I will touch on in my next post regarding the problems with efficiency.

As of writing this it does appear that supermarkets are releasing statements noting a decline in these excessive purchases. Although some of the essentials might still be a challenge to get as stock supply ramps up. Is this due to the efforts of the experts saying there is no reason to panic buy? Is it due to the media publicising and shaming those panic buy? Or is it simply that those likely to panic buy have now filled up on stock?

I hope you have found some of this interesting and it has mentioned questions you haven’t thought of or maybe inspired you to think of your own questions. So I will leave you with one final one.

Should we hold accountable the media for what it spreads as part of a social responsibility or allow them to continue using free speech to make money?

Stay tuned for the next post and sound off in the comments what you think!


Photo by David Veksler on Unsplash

To my ‘the One’

Thank you for coming into my life.

Thank you for not stopping on asking me out when we first met.

Thank you for asking me to be your partner in all the dance classes and cooking classes you want to go to.

Thank you for still sticking by with me even I refused to hold your hand before because I’m shy.

Thank you for always waiting for me.

Thank you for accepting the differences in our culture and embracing it like its your own.

Thank you for driving me out and seeing the positivity of living in simple things.

Thank you for letting me see that humanity is not too bad like how it is shown by the media.

Thank you for showing me the beauty of world.

Thank you for taking me to my dream destinations.

Thank you for all your silence and simple hug whenever I become emotional and cry.

Thank you for making me happy by bringing me to my favorite restaurants.

Thank you for driving me to places I never been to.

Thank you for making me see that the place we are living in is not as bad as I thought and I can make my dreams happen.

Thank you for talking to me even I sound senseless at times.

Thank you for keeping up with my ‘what ifs’ in life.

Thank you for being funny especially when Im not expecting you to be.

Thank you for trying to be part of my world, knowing my friends and getting along with them, even it feels different, even it might be hard.

Thank you for getting me back to my feet.

Thank you for asking me to be your girlfriend.

Thank you for being my bestfriend.

Thank you for always telling me Im beautiful even I dont feel like I do.

Thank you for every unexpected flowers that never fails to brighten up my day.

Thank you for the unending best days you are giving me.

Thank you for introducing me to your world.

Thank you for being proud of me.

Thank you for accepting and loving my weirdness.

Thank you for respecting my faith and supporting me on it even yours is different.

Thank you for the promise to walk and hold my hand along.

Thank you for being my answered prayer. Thank you for all the love.

Yours truly,

Lucky girl ❤️

Being away from home: How to deal with Homesickness

It has been almost three years since I moved to the UK to work and live and I could say that this is the most life changing decision I’ve ever done. Those three years were not as easy as I thought it would be to start living independently and pay for my own bills. But above of it all, I think homesickness is the hardest part of living away from my family. Looking back from how I was before and how I am doing right now, I can say that somehow I have learned to cope with it. So here are some of the useful tips that I think really worked for me and hopefully will work for others going through homesickness as well.

Be sad. Cry as much as you need.

Like what others says, “Crying is good for the soul” and this is true. You really need those moments where you have to be by yourself and cry while thinking of your family back home. Crying helps to relieve stress and lifts your mood to make you feel better. It somehow lessens the sadness you are feeling and resets your emotions.

Find the friends or community you belong.

I am lucky that I came over to UK with other filipinos who now became my closest friends. We helped and kept each other company when we were just starting our lives in this country. If you moved to a new country all by yourself, it can be more challenging. I would say the best and easiest way to find friends, if not in school or in a workplace, would be to go to places you usually love. Perhaps, if you like going to churches every Sunday, you can do this and you’ll find some groups there that you can join. If you love sports then you can search for clubs or a community that you’ll enjoy. Looking for people who has the same culture as you is a big help too. In my case, I eventually met other filipinos in the hospital I am working and that made me able to find my own friends/community. Looking for the people you can call your family or friends can take a while, but you’ll eventually find them. The best idea is to keep an open mind. This is a good opportunity to join events and activities you always put off in the past.

These are the group of filipinos I came over with to UK. We used to live near each other before and still celebrate special occasions together. They became my home away from home.
My flatmates that I consider my family here.

Look for a hobby.

You need to do whatever it is you enjoy doing back home. When I started living here, the only thing I would do was watch Netflix and filipino shows. I can’t play guitar or go for biking because I don’t have any of those. Later on I decided to buy both the guitar and the bike. So when I feel sad and lonely I have more ways to spend my day and have the chance to better myself and go outside to meet others. Eventually, I found playing Xbox, writing this blog and travelling as my new hobbies. Learning new things can be fun too, which I didn’t realize until my boyfriend booked those classes for us! I didn’t know how to cook before so we went for cooking classes. I love dancing, so he looked and booked for dance classes we can join. We even did ice-skating classes in winter. These things that I realise that I could have done before when I was feeling down. This is a very good way of letting yourself grow while at the same time socialising with other people too. Remember that you need to live the life and enjoy it. Crying helps but doing it everyday can be unhealthy.

Travel, travel, travel!

I know travelling can be very expensive. But to be honest, this is one of the best things that helped with my homesickness. I found it really fun being away from the place I am living, meeting other people of different cultures and going to places I haven’t seen. It gives me reason why I have to work aside from just helping my family back home and pay for my bills. It may sound cliché but it helps me to wake up every morning with something to look forward to. It is expensive but for me it is worth it. Travelling will make you realise that there’s more to life, to see and experience. Even if you only travel your new country, you will discover so much about the place you now live and the people in it.

Weekend trip taken in Amsterdam.

Find the workplace you think suits you the most.

I worked as an ER nurse in Philippines, however when I moved here in UK, I was assigned to a different area. I know to myself that it was not the place that I know my skills fit but I still tried to enjoy it. I worked there for a year but I always find myself sad and disappointed with the care I am giving to my patients. I always feel like I was not the kind of nurse I knew before. Eventually, I finally decided to transfer to the area where I think I’ll mostly enjoy. And that is where I am now. It has been more than a year as a neuro ICU nurse now. Not every day is a good day; it is still quite a tough, heavy and busy job at times but I am happier with the care I am giving to the patients. I don’t feel that kind of sadness I used to feel before. So for me, if the place you are working makes you unhappy most of the time, you really need to move and find somewhere where you think you’ll fit in. It will make a massive difference.

Friends at work that make me feel I’m just working like back home when I am with them

Be with your loved ones.

Eventually, you’ll need to be with your loved ones. If you have to go and visit your family back home, then do it. Save for it and do it. Talk to them as much as you need. If video calling or messaging them makes you happier and lessen your longingness with them, then do it. In my case, it sometimes makes me sadder when I do it often especially on special occasions. I remember there was a time when I was in a good mood but after the video call I just cried and wished I can be with them. So talking to them lesser works for me better. Some people I know bring their husband/wives or boyfriend/girlfriend to live with them and that makes them more settled in the new country they are living. Each of us needs to love and feel loved. In my case, I am lucky I found my special someone here who is always there for me and makes me happy whenever I feel sad. He is such an annoying person as well so I think that counts for me to feel less homesick.

Coping with homesickness may vary from person to person. Moving to a place where you don’t have family, have a different culture and language from yours can make you feel alone and estranged most of the time. It can lead to depression if you won’t be able to manage it well. Glad that I somehow overcome it. I still feel homesick sometimes, but I guess I am managing it better now. Have you also experienced being homesick? Let me know how you deal with it. I would love to hear it. Comment it below 🙂