Does ice-cream costing £1000 a portion taste 500 times better than one costing £2?

I recently watched the TV programme ‘how the other half live’, and how sad it was!

Even without considering the starving people on the planet, why on this earth would anyone want to pay £1000 (or it may have been $1000 or €1000 – it matters not) for a portion of icecream, and who wants/ needs to eat edible gold flake?

Several apparently pleasant, decent men, were interviewed – alone in massive houses with just possessions, the most expensive on the market, of course.

It is totally their choice in how they obtain and use their wealth, selfishly or to help others. Each adult is responsible for their actions, but I just wondered ‘how much are they missing on their life’s journey?’

What value have riches if serious illness e.g. cancer strikes, a time when being loved and supported is so vital when trying to survive any of the ordeals and pain involved. Illness can strike anyone, rich or poor. Yes, of course money can pay for operations and aftercare, but no one can be paid to love, or to give a sufficient reason for the courage or endurance which may be needed to survive.

After a protracted illness and a near death situation in 2006, I did not fight to survive for myself, but for my husband, children and grandchildren. Their love was the strongest power. When I reached and willingly would have walked through the ‘gate’ away from this life, and knowing what I would have to face if I returned, that power simply would not release me. So, I returned, and now, in 2016, cared for with great patience in the intervening years by my husband, I have eventually recovered.

Paintings and chandeliers cannot put a comforting arm around the shoulder when the tears flow, or sit holding a hand for hours when pain is overwhelming.

As my mother would have said ‘they can’t take it with them!’ The most important things in life cannot be bought.

The first poem I ever wrote was ‘Things that cannot be bought’, inspired by some of my patients. It is in ‘Choice for Teenagers’ poetry book.


Things that cannot be bought

I saw a man. He had a coat, like gold it shone so clear

I asked him where he bought it, and had it cost him dear?

‘You cannot buy a coat like this’, he replied to me

‘It is called Courage, but it did not come free

I went through a field of pain. I got to the other side

I had no one to help me and no horse with me to ride’


I saw a man with a hat. It was like a silver moon

I asked him where he bought it, and could I get one soon?

‘You cannot buy a hat like this’, he replied to me

‘It is called Kindness, and it did not come free

I helped one who was lost, and one who could not walk

One who had no food and drink, and one too ill to talk’


I saw a man with shiny boots, strong, light – as if a feather

I asked him where he bought them. He said he hadn’t – ever

‘You cannot buy boots like these’, he replied to me

‘They are called Endurance, and they do not come free

I had to work beyond my strength, and for so very long

No other there to lift the load, and no help came along’


I saw a man with a light that shone so far and bright

I asked him where he bought it, as it beamed into the night

‘You cannot buy a light like this’, he replied to me

‘It is called eternal Hope, it was given to me- free

I had lost direction. I had battled to the end

I had coped when all was lost, for myself I had to fend


Then a light I suddenly saw upon my darkest day

I did not ask, it was just there, and then I found my way’


You have to find your Courage,

Kindness comes from very deep

Endurance needs much effort, but

Hope is yours – to keep


This poem has been put to music by T Huelin

To listen click HERE   – suggest ‘watch in browser’

Song is copyright to THuelin

BOOK ‘Choice for teenagers’




Author: audreyasksquestions

I am a retired Consultant Psychiatrist, now I write stories and poetry, based on my knowledge and experience. For more info re my writing - go to - the time of starting this blog and writing this 'about me' it is 2016 - I am nearly 79 years of age and been married for 54 years, with children and grandchildren. I am going to ask questions in my blog - about life, beliefs, family life, and general behaviour and add a poem occasionally - if relevant!

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