Unfortunately, my From Now to Then series has had to be put on hold for a while. The friend I ask to ‘proof read’ the posts is not going to be available for the next few weeks. He is in the process of changing jobs which has resulted in him emigrating to Canada. So for the next few weeks or so he only has internet access on his smart phone. Once he is settled, he has promised to continue helping. After all, I need to be as accurate as my memory serves me and it needs to be libellous free. Hopefully it will be not too long as I still have a few things to tell.
Recently, I was asked by a friend if I could do a bit of shopping for him. All he wanted was some blade for his razor. He has a famous brand of razor that uses multi blade cartridges. They are disposable and simply click into the handle. Very popular as they are supposed to give a very close shave. I have never really found them to my taste as I was put off by those horrible two blade disposable razors that were becoming fashionable in the mid 1970’s. I found them very uncomfortable to hold and use, and could never get more than two or three shaves before they were put in the bin.
But to the point of this moan. I went straight to a well known supermarket and sought out the ones my friend had asked for, only to find that the pack had eight cartridges and cost just over £22. I thought that they must be cheaper than that somewhere. I tried B**ts and they were more expensive there and the price in Sup***rug was the same. I was very shocked to see that the packs also had security tags to prevent theft. I bought some, but vowed never to buy them for myself.
This is my wet shaving setup. The soap-mug was a present, so I don’t know the cost. The soap was bought from the previously mentioned supermarket and was about £4.00. But the real bargain was the razor and the blades. The razor was bought on eBay and cost me £2.99 postage free. I came with a pack of 5 double edged blade, an comes with its own storage box. I also bought a pack of Astra blades. They came in a box of 10 packets, each packet had 5 blades. Price, including postage £2.00. But the real bargain was the soap brush. I had originally priced them up as around £6.00 for a ‘genuine badger’ bristle. The ones I got are natural bristle and there were 10 for £6.50, and they are just as good. I usually wet shave twice a week and have an electric razor for the other days, as it is often quicker.
At the beginning of last week I noticed a new bird in the garden. It was small, rounded, grey with a few white spots and a red ring around it’s eyes. I did a little probing around the internet and discovered that it could have been a Diamond Dove. This seemed a ridiculous notion as the bird is native of Australia. Now I know migratory birds can travel huge distances but this thing seemed far too small to travel very far. I took a picture and used, what I now know is Google Lens to try and properly identify the creature. Google Lens confirmed that the bird was in fact a Diamond Dove. I can only assume that it had been in somebodies local aviary and it escaped. It was with us up until around Thursday waddling around on the ground picking up seeds that the Starlings drop from the feeder. It now seems to have gone, which is a shame.
September sees races in the UCI World Cycling Championship being held in Yorkshire. The main racing takes place between the 22nd and 26th, but on the 21st one of the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International legs is starting locally in Wetherby. A local Knitting/Craft shop has been given permission to have knitted bunting both sides of a 1/2 stretch of the route. So a call had gone out for local knitters to create some bunting in the right colours. I managed to knit 20 triangles making 4 sets. I could have done another five, but was running short of a couple of the colours.
There have been a few things that have irritated me this past week or so I’m having a bit of a mild rant today.
First up is driving in the rain. It’s not the driving that’s the problem, it’s other drivers. Not all, but many are guilty of the thing I’m moaning about. Picture this …driving along a grey road, on a grey rainy day and being closely followed by a grey car. Not so bad you may think. But he/she has no headlights on! Not even side lights! On the particular day in question, I counted three cars, two vans and a mini-bus with no lights on and that was in a one mile stretch of road. Incredulous. Do these people not know what the two functions of lights are … see and be seen. My driving instructor said that I should only put on my lights when they are needed. That was to ensure that lights were not left on accidently. But really, these days cars lights go off automatically when you lock the door, so leaving them on is not a problem. Even my little i10 turns the lights off for me.
Next up is those form you get through the post that have all your personal details already completed. Now I’m not talking about your name and address on the cover letter, that’s unavoidable, no It’s all those little boxes on the various pages that have all your details filled in. Quite often they are from banks or insurance companies and will have your details in two or three places. I reluctantly agree, that they can save you a little time when you fill the form in, but it is very annoying when you are not interested and have to spend time shredding every page. I once received a credit card application form (not requested) that had a total of 12 pages. My name and address were on both sides of six of these pages and on one side of another two pages. Fourteen different occurrences of the same details. The shredder nearly gave in!
This may be a strange one to some. It’s magazines! Or more to the point, magazine classifications. This is online and in shops. I’m currently in communication (ha…still waiting for a reply) with a magazine subscription reseller with regards to how they classify their sales. I had better explain where I am coming from. I’m a knitter. I’ve been a knitter for over 50 years on and off and I’m quite used to the double take when I mention this. Now this reseller (not going to mention the name as my complaint is still on-going) has on their website a large number of magazines available for subscription. These magazines are listed in categories such as “Leisure Interests”, “Hobbies & Pastimes” and a few more. The thing that has caused this particular ‘chunter’ are the magazines that are listed in a classification called “Women’s Interests” and “Male Interests”. The Women’s list has magazines on sewing, crafting, the usual Woman’s Own type and all of the ‘chat’ types. The Men’s list has car magazines, motorbike magazines, so called ‘lad’s mags’ and heavy metal music magazines. Most of both lists are in other classifications, but it seems to me to be wrong in these times to have separate classifications for men and women. Just an opinion.
Well, a couple of rants really. Firstly, this UK Government seems to be obsessed with tax. It’s recently announced that it ‘may’ be looking at a tax on take-away coffee cups and other non-recyclable plastics. Now at first glance, this might seem a good thing. Force manufacturers to abandon non-recyclable plastics in favour of the recyclable types. But wait, this will cost them money to change. It always does. Any change costs. And who do you think will pay this cost? Well it will end up being you and me. The costs will be passed on to the consumer so that the shareholders and the company bosses don’t lose out. It is the same with ‘junk’ food. How do we deal with an increasingly obese nation? The Governments idea is to increase the tax on fast food. That will stop people eating the stuff. Will it? Do they think that by putting an extra 50p on a burger and fries meal will stop people from buying it? To me, a more sensible idea would be to subsidise real fresh food and make that best alternative. The same with non-recyclable plastics. Subsidise the fully recyclable stuff to make that the best option. Once the mindset is changed, then increase the taxes to help with costs.
I said a ‘couple of rants’ and here’s the second one. I’m currently a member of a forum. It is not important to say which forum but just to say, I’m a fairly active member. People post their questions and queries and members of the forum will attempt to answer them, if they can. I’ve done both on occasions and whilst I’m not after praise, a simple thanks would suffice. It winds me up a little when you go the trouble of attempting to answer someone, and they don’t have the decency to answer or even acknowledge the respondent. Make me think twice about answering sometimes.
You may have seen the TV programme “Room 101” whereby so called celebrities talk about their pet hates. I got to thinking about my own pet hates and thought I might share some of them with you. So in no particular order:
People with little or no spacial awareness.You know the type I mean. People who are so wrapped up in their own space, that they forget that the rest of the world exists. There was a few examples yesterday like the man rummaging around in the charity shops with a large rucksack on his back. Bumped me twice and nearly knocked a china tea service of one of the display cabinets. Just didn’t seem to care! Then there was the two shoppers at the supermarket entrance. One had full trolley and the other had an empty one. They stood there chatting whilst at the same time blocking the entrance to the shop. Other shoppers were struggling to get in or out as this pair just would not shift. I had the same experience when a person stopped at the top of the escalator to answer their phone. The rest of us could just get past, but it could have been dangerous.
Parents who let their offspring take toys to the shops. Now this really does wind me up. I can understand a young girl taking her dolls pram round the shop. That might be a learning opportunity, but I don’t see there is a need for a child to take his scooter, or worse a bicycle around the local supermarket. Then there are the kids wearing those shoes/boots that have a wheel embedded in the sole. Roller shoes I believe they are called. Why wear them to shop in? In fact, what is the [point of them. I’ve even saw a wandering around with a football whilst the parent was Googling which wine to buy.
Inconsiderate parking. Especially those with large vehicles that park at the side of my small one. When I parked yesterday, there was nothing at either side of me. When I returned about an hour later there was a huge Range Rover to the left and what seemed a very long Volvo to the right. I just could not see to reverse out. Then there was the car that parked on the exit road from the bus-station in Wetherby. He was on a double yellow line, with his flashers on and the driver had just nipped into one of the local shops. What they didn’t seem to understand was that the parking restriction is there so that the busses can get out easily. Then there are the idiots who stop on blind bends just to answer their mobiles. Okay don’t answer whilst driving, but find a safe place to stop. Safe for you and for the rest of the road users.
To all of you, just think of what your actions are causing for other people
I’m tempted by one of these. This particular one is only around £6 or £7 from eBay and I’m trying to convince myself that I need one. My car doesn’t have the facility but I think it may be a good idea. K***s initial reaction was to laugh and then laugh some more! You see, I don’t use my phone that much to make calls, and not many people seem to want to call me. Everyone seems to want to use text, Facebook Messenger and now WhatsApp. I tend to only answer calls if I know the number. I’ve had some many calls in the past where the caller either hangs up without speaking or they try sell me something. My idea is that , if it is important, then they will either leave a message or call back and they never do. To prove my point, the last time I answered an unknown number, I was advised “… the chances of successfully win my damages claim was around 95% …” I had no damages claim. It was a scammer. I let them go on for a few moments and they described my recent motor accident (which I have not had). It was when explained that all I needed to do was log onto a certain website and the $1,000,000 (dollars not pounds) would soon be in my account, that I decided to hang up. I blacklisted the number along with all the previous ones, after looking up the number on one of those “Who Called Me ..” websites.
Well at least one cat anyway.
I was just having a cup of coffee and nosing around a couple of websites, when I heard K*** say “Oh my god. What’s happened up there?” She was in the kitchen, and ‘up there’ referred to the decking at the top of the back garden. I wandered into the kitchen and then realised what she was talking about. The whole of the top deck was covered with feathers. K*** thought it must be a cushion of some kind, but as soon as I got to the window, I could see that there was a dead young pigeon and an older one trying its best to eat what was left.
I knew what had happened straight away. At the back, there is a railing, just in front of the fence, There is a neighbours cat that sits on this rail waiting for birds to land on the back fence. It then leaps up and tries to get the bird. It usually fails, as the birds seem to be faster than the cat, if not smarter. On this occasion, the cat won the day.
What annoys me is that cats are allowed to roam free! There are no restrictions on cat owners that are similar to the restrictions on dog owners. Whenever I have brought this up in conversation, I get ‘reminded’ that “… cats have a free spirit…” and that “… cats bury their poo, not like dogs …” What seems to happen is that as soon as the owner gets up in the morning, they let the cat out, and it does not come home until it gets dark. I think that is wrong! Cat owners should have the same responsibilities as dog owners have. Cats should be kept under control. Only last week, when driving home did a cat run out into the road and was nearly run over. If K*** had not been slowing down, then the cat would have been history.
For over 20 years I worked in a Local Authority parking department, so I know a great deal about the issues surrounding parking in this country. It’s scenes like this that I find very annoying. Anyone who drives knows that there is a finite limit to the number of available parking spaces. It can be very frustrating to drive around a car-park looking for that elusive space, when you come across something like this. Now I know there is another free bay behind the bike, but that had just been vacated by another vehicle and was occupied a few minutes later. On this particular occasion, it was a Saturday and not a problem, but this car-park has no limit on the length of stay, so that bike could be there all day. During the week, things are different and the car-park is always full (it is close to a doctors surgery and health centre.) I find myself asking the question ‘Why?’ Why does the bike have to take up a full parking bay? There are plenty of places in the car-park where a bike could fit without a problem. It may be me, but it just seems a little selfish for a vehicle of that width to take up a space, that may be needed by a larger vehicle. Is it just me?