Kids . . .


So what is it with kids and Supermarkets? I had to go to the local Aldi on Sunday. The car park was full and upon entering the store, I was amazed by the sheer number of children with their parents. The typical scene was two parents and two children. But one family had the female (presume mother) pushing a twin push-chair, male (presume father) pushing the food trolley with a child in the seat and surrounded by three other children. Two of the children had scooters and the third brat was kicking a football. Why? Why do they all need to go to the supermarket? It is totally beyond my comprehension.

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I am a member of the social network called nextdoor. I don’t often look at the messages/notifications and have most turned off. I’m not really interested in saying ‘hello’ to all and sundry, so I only have the emergency and urgent notifications turned on.

On Monday, I had just got home, around half past five, when a notification came through on my phone. The message was basically this: A mother posted that her children were ‘paddling’ in the river, when she noticed some young men on the bank opposite watching the children. She also claimed that they looked of ‘Indian descent’

Firstly, I asked myself, “What does a person of Indian descent look like?” Were they carrying the national flag of India? Were they dancing to some Bhangra music? Or was it just that the shade of their skin was ‘Indian’ as opposed to the shade of any other Asian country. My second question was, why did this ‘caring’ parent allow her children to play in open water? There have been a number of deaths this last weekend directly related people trying to ‘cool off’ in rivers and lakes.

Again, on my way home, I saw many children playing in the river Wharfe at Wetherby, with their parents watching. So irresponsible in my mind.

Interesting …


This is an interesting development from the Daily Mail online:

Shopping Trips

Just over a week ago, I needed to go to our local Aldi. The car park was full as usual, but there is a Screw-Fix next door with  very limited parking and people going there tend to use Aldi for their parking. Now what amazed me was the number of families that were shopping together. Now I can quite understand a single person taking his/her kids shopping with them, if there is nobody at home to look after them. But there can be no excuse for one of the families that was out that day.

ShoppingThe ‘group’ consisted of a man and a woman, I would say in their mid-forties, a youth, possibly aged 14 or 15, two young girls were were probably no more than 7 years and another boy who would have been about 11 years old. These are only guesses at the ages. Now, the two girls were sitting in one trolley pushed by whom I think would be the male parent. The female ‘parent’ was pushing another trolley and loading food and supplies into that. The youth was just moping around, with his ‘ear-buds’ in as if he didn’t want to be there and the 7 year old was racing up and down the aisles on his scooter.

I may be wrong, but I could not see any justification for them all being there together.

 

Not sure if I enjoyed it …


Hyundai – York

It was that time of year again, when my car needed a service and it’s MOT. We have been using the same garage since we bought the cars. Minstergate at York was the dealership that we bought both my car and my sons car. They have treated us well over the years and it’s a place we have some trust in. What we tend to do, is to drop both cars off in the morning, then get the ‘Park & Ride’ bus into York for the day. It is something we have done now for 7 years.

Both cars were dropped off at 10:00 and we set off for the 15 minute walk to the ‘Park & Ride’. The company used to give us a lift to the ‘P&R’ but with the virus, that has stopped for the time being. But it was dry and there was a footpath so not an unpleasant short walk. The only hindrance was the occasional cyclist who didn’t seem to care when they passed pedestrians.

The journey into York was okay. People were wearing their face coverings and keeping apart, except for the obvious family groups. We got off the bus and began to wander around the city. The idea was that we would look in a few shops, the go for lunch (we had booked a table at Ask Italian) then look at a few more shops before heading back the the garage.

This is where I began to feel a little uncomfortable!

The shops were mostly fine. Limiting the number of customers when busy, with people keeping their distance. I say ‘mostly’, it was the children that were the problem. They just didn’t seem to care where they walked. Of course there was the odd customer or two that did not seem to grasp how to wear a face covering. But you get them everywhere. The restaurant was good. Table numbers were limited and well spaced. They were all sanitised when a customer left and they seemed to have got the place as pretty well as safe as they could.

Ask Italian – The Grand Assembly Rooms – York

No, the place I felt most uncomfortable was in the streets. The whole idea of ‘social distancing‘ seemed to alien to most people. People would pass you very closely or walk up behind. One person got so close that I could almost feel his breathe on the back of my neck. I could actually hear the person he was talking to on his mobile phone. It was not a nice experience. Although, the place I expected to be the worst, was realistically the safest part of the city centre. That was the outside market. Almost everyone was doing what they should do. Again it was children that seemed to be the issue.

So not the best visit to York I have had. Here’s hoping the next time will be better!

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.

I hate shopping …


“Hate” is probably a too harsher word to use. A more appropriate word would be “Detest” I suppose. Let me expand. It’s not that I don’t like spending (that’s another issue) I just don’t like being in shops. Take yesterday as a prime example. I had to pay a visit to national supermarket nearby. I know about ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Mega-Monday’, but ‘Stupid Saturday’ is a new one on me. To say it was busy is an understatement! It was absolutely heaving. And, it seemed that the majority had brought some kind of child with them.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a standard type of shopper:

  1. The Quickie – Has a list, is straight in and out. No messing (I fall into this category);
  2. The Drifter – Wanders around every aisle, pausing occasionally to drop an item in their basket/trolley;
  3. The Inspector – Studies the price tag of every item on their list and compares them down to the last penny;
  4. The Owner – Not the actual shop owner, but a shopper who has no spacial awareness. These people wander around as if they are the only people in the shop. They are the ones who leave their trolley in the middle of the aisle whilst they decide what to choose;
  5. The ParentNow I have some sympathy for some of these people. It must be difficult to go shopping with your six children on the busiest shopping day of the week;
  6. The Family – Similar to ‘The Parent’, but this time it’s the whole family that does the shop. Typically, the Father figure wanders around, two paces behind the Mother figure tutting and shaking his head at every purchase, until they hit the wines/beers/spirits aisle and then they (attempt to) take charge. If you lose the Father figure, they can always be found scanning the motoring magazines;

    And finally

  7. The Cruiser – Doesn’t actually need to buy anything, but has time on their hands and thought they would have a look round anyway. They often have picked the largest trolley ‘just in case’ and they like to pretend they are there for a purpose by looking intently at their phone as if it has a shopping list on it.

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Because my income is now down by about 30% due to my retirement, we have decided the we need to cut down on somethings. If I had been on holiday for the past three weeks, then we would have probably had eight or nine days out. Would have visited some local attractions and had lunch or evening meal, and on occasion both! But we have taken the decision (well I decided and K*** seemed to agree) that we could manage a day out once a week.

Now bearing in mind the earlier part of this post, the following may come as a surprise. Last week we went into Leeds to see the new John Lewis store and the refurbished shopping centres. K*** has wanted to go since it opened and I did not really have any excuse why we couldn’t. The fact that I don’t like the centre of Leeds did not hold any water so we went.  Working in the centre for my last three weeks really enforced my dislike for the place. Millions have been spent on cleaning up the place, but it still seems a mess. There are still the beggars on many street corners and then there are the ‘Chuggers’ who I hate with a passion. These are the so called charity collectors that work in groups and are paid to try and get you to give money to a specific charity.

So back to John Lewis, or more specifically (Rant Awareness Alarm), department stores in general. I may have mentioned this before, but in these kind of stores, I want to look at certain things. I want to look at mens clothing. I like to browse the technology area. What I don’t want to do is to look around the numerous perfume sellers (for want of a better description) and I’m not too enamoured with wandering around the lingerie section either. So my gripe here is …why in most stores do I have pass through either one of sometimes both of these sections, before I can get to the ones I want to see ? I suppose the stores want to appeal to the female shoppers in the first instance, but it can be annoying for us men. Some stores take it to the extreme. Take P*****K in Leeds as an example. The menswear is on the fourth floor after passing through the lingerie, womenswear and children’s wear.

The John Lewis store is a little better laid out, I only had to brave the nasal assault of around twelve ‘beauty sections’ before I could reach the menswear, but I still think more could be done around floor planning.

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When I made the final decision to take early retirement, one of the things I promised myself was that I would post more frequently. As you can see, that has yet to happen but I think it will. Just got to push myself more. When I was being quizzed by my colleagues on what I would do when I finished, my blog was mentioned. Almost everyone said the same thing …“What’s your blog about?”. To which I always reply “Nothing in particular…it’s just what I want to say, when I want to say it!” And that is basically what it is. Quite often get the reply “What’s the point then?” My response is usually “Have a read and see.” Maybe that is the answer I should use to the first question. Maybe, I need to get a subject or theme for this blog. I don’t know, but whatever I do, I need to do it more often.

The tattoo saga continues…..


You would think he would have taken something onboard. Nah…rings up tonight at around 5:30 to say that he would be home for 7pm, after he had had the tattoo done !!!!!! Err what tattoo ? Oh its just a five pointed star, we both having it done !! What is it called when a parent murders their children ???

I never got around to starting the new novel. To be honest, I forgot to put it in my bag for work. I’ll get it now. “The Road to Nab End” by William Woodruff. I will report back when I have got past chapter one. ‘Tis about Northern things and Northern folk .. E bah gum !!!!

I am now being followed by a real person on Twitter. Julie Moore, ‘Psychic to The Stars’ or so it says on her web-site. It was Jonathon Ross that said we should follow her, as she only needed 5 more to get to 500. Out of the blue tonight, I asked her to follow me … and she did. I was gob-smacked.

My Facebook status caused a bit of a laugh  – (_!_) – An Arse, (__!__) – A Fat Arse, (!) – A Tight Arse, (_?_) – A Dumb Arse, (_*_) – A Sore Arse, (_x_) – KISS MY ARSE!!! . I pinched it of course, but it does look funny.

It was a scary drive home tonight. I drove through a hail storm. The M1 was very wet, and there was a lot of spray. It was fine for the truckers, they are too high up for the spray to affect them. It is just people like me in small cars that get the grief. It’s stopped now, but it is quite cold. Yahoo says it is –2C in Wetherby, so it likely to be much the same here.