Amid the madness of unpacking boxes (there is a lot to be said for Buddhist and Christian philosophies of simplicity!) I managed to find time to do go and do two important things. The first was to find the local Credit Union offices, and register for joining.
It is of the utmost importance that we support a more just financial system. Put simply, our banking sector is corrupt and probably irredeemable in it its present form. Those of us who want to see a different way of life must find ways of putting our money where our mouths are. I bank with the co-op as the best and easiest 'ethical' option, but they are far from perfect. Much better to link up with Credit Unions, Shared Interest (providing credit for fairtrade and workers co-ops), Triodos bank and the Ecology Building Society.
The second important thing was to find a newsagent who was prepared to order the 'Morning Star' newspaper. The paper nearly closed last year due to financial pressures - most shops have to be pushed to get it, even though it is a normal 'sale or return' paper, and it doesn't cost them anything to stock it.
Just as in Bradford seven years ago, I traipsed round the newsagents and found that none stocked it, and some even wanted me to buy a months worth upfront before they would consider it! (that wouldn't happen for any other daily paper)
The Morning Star has stood for peace and socialism since the 1930's, and is now the only reliable way of finding out what is happening on the left in the UK and the world. It is small but perfectly formed - and I will endeavour to make sure it is on the shelves of shops in Sunderland!
Now, back to unpacking, oh the joys of moving...