A bit of a rant …


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.

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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.

Road Bullies


This is going to be a bit of a rant, so if you’re not interested then look away now!

I have a small car. It’s a Hyundai i10 Classic. It has a small engine (1000cc) but it is ideal for short to medium journeys, which is all I do these days. Top speed is 85 miles an hour and that is with the wind behind me. I tend to mostly not exceed the speed limits when driving, but sometimes  I drift over slightly. So it really annoys me when big cars pass me by exceeding the limit. Today was no exception. The road was a single carriage way, with the National Speed Limit (60mph for those not familiar with UK speed limits) and I was motoring along at around 50 – 53 mph. The reason being was that it was a mainly twisty road with many sharp bends. Now I remember my driving instructor telling me that I “… must drive to the conditions of the road …” which basically means that on roads like the one I was on, the 60mph limit is an aspiration not a mandatory fact.

To get to the point, still driving at around 50mph, I had in my rear mirror a large passenger vehicle. A discovery I think, but he was that close to me, that if I had to brake hard he would have completely written my small machine off. He was that close, that I could tell where the sandwich he had on his dashboard, was purchased. He kept pulling towards the centre of the lane as if to pass, then dropping back as he realised there was not enough room. Eventually, he did pass and pull in front of me, only to maintain the same speed as before due to the vehicles in front do the same speed I was doing.

What he was basically trying to tell me and anyone else is that, as he had a bigger, more expensive car then he ought to be in front of the cheaper, smaller car(s). I call that a form of Bullying. It is the same as when you were in the dinner queue at school and the bigger, older kids pushed in front of you. Bullying!

Rant over.

Pet hates and things …


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 Stupid Shoesyoung 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

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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 Hands Freephone 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.

Bloody cats …


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 IMAG0660the 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.

Now this is annoying …


For over 20 years I worked in a Local Authority parking department, so I know a great deal about the issues surrounding IMAG0658parking 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?

What is the point?


I’ll get to the point in a moment. First a little background.

Last week my wife and me had a few days away in the Derbyshire Peak District.  We were staying a a cottage, on a farm and were there for four nights. The cottage was not up to our usual expectations and was a bit of a disappointment, but I’m not going to dwell on that. We are both members of the National Trust and it was our intention to spend the days enjoying the sights of a number of the Trust’s properties that were in the area.

Now, here comes the ‘point’ that I mention. All the properties we visited are of some historical importance, and at least one (Hardwick Hall) is very significant in relation to the royal families of Britain. So given that these places are so important historically, it makes good sense that children are introduced them. I don’t have an issue with that. What I do take issue with, is parents that allow their offspring to just run wild. A question … why, when visiting a historical site, do you thin k it is a good idea for your children to take one of the following with them a) a football, b) a scooter and c) even a bicycle ? There are thousands of public parks in this country that children can ‘play’, why take them to a historical site to ‘play’? Many of the sites have even built specific safe play areas for kids. Then there is the noise factor. Why is it necessary to run around a 17th century church burial ground shouting and screaming? It would never have happened when I was young, and neither of my sons would even think that kind of behaviour is appropriate.

But I do not put all the blame on the children. The fault lies with the parents. The people who have brought them up to behave in that way. They are the ones that are the cause of the problem.

But not all the children were like what I have described. A small number were very well behaved. However, that n umber was very small.

Kids go shopping and other things …


One of the more unusual things that the local Education system has come up with is staggered half-term holidays. The example I would give of this is, that in Leeds area, half-term was last week. York however has their half-term this week. Now the thing about half-term is that it seems to a great excuse for some parents to take their kids  on ‘shopping’ expeditions!

Yesterday, Mrs H and me decided to take a trip to the York Designer Outlet. I didn’t particularly want anything, but K*** had somethings she wanted t look at. The place was packed! For those who don’t know, it’s an out-of-town shopping area that has mainly ’designer’ shops and a few chain restaurants. Shops like L K Bennett, Gucci and many other big names. So it’s not the kind of place that first springs to mind when taking children, in the 5 to 9 age group out for the day. I can see it being attractive for kids in their middle teens, but not young children. But they were there … in their hoards!

The problem is, that most of them are so load and badly behaved. There was one family that annoyed me greatly. It was a mother with three kids that could not have been aged more than 10 or 11.  I was waiting for K*** to finish in a shop, and in this particular location there were two BMW cars on show. The mother (and I’m assuming she was the mother) was using her mobile phone, and it must of been a quite important call as she was totally oblivious of what her offspring were up to. These ‘childer-beasts’ seemed to thing that it was perfectly acceptable to take it in turns to climb in and out of the two expensive vehicles, banging doors and sounding the horn.

Another example of this behaviour was the two ‘things’ that thought it was fun to run up and down the travellators in the wrong direction, bumping into people. These kids just don’t seem to have any respect or manners. I hate to say the obvious but, “It was not like that when I was a child!”

==== Here endeth the rant ====