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!

Internet abuse …


You may be aware that I work part-time in a local café. One of the many features of this café, is their free Wi-Fi. The access Wi-Ficode is displayed for anyone to use if you know where to look. Most customers will use the Wi-Fi for what it is there for i.e. so they can check their emails or show someone pictures on their phone, that kind of thing. However, there is an increasing number of customers that seem to visit the café with the sole purpose of accessing the the free internet.

On Tuesday this week, I arrived at work around 10:20, which is my usual time and noticed a customer sat at a 4 seater table. He had his laptop open and was also using his phone. I also noticed he was wearing Mikea pair of headphones and one of those ‘cheek mikes’ that seem to be the norm these days. I hovered around his table for a few seconds before entering the kitchen and realised that he was conducting some kind of interview Customerswith somebody. Over the course of the next couple of hours, he still seemed to be talking to someone and on a couple of occasions, he got quite animated. He eventually left at around 12:45, or at least that’s when I noticed he had gone. From what I could see, he had drunk one cup of coffee and who knows how many glasses of free water. I mentioned to the chef that he had gone and he explained that he had been sat at the table since about 09:00. Just one cup of coffee!! The table staff have been told not to move people on, but to keep asking if they require anything else. They call  it ‘good customer service’. But what about the ‘good customer service’ for the customers who cannot get a seat?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting free Wi-Fi in places I visit, but come on … lets not abuse it.



The new desk and other things


    Well moving to the new desk went as well as could be expected. Most people seem to have accepted the fact that I need a base to work from. I think the main issue could be, that I am sharing a room with my manager. I could be perceived as being a spy in the camp. Also in the same room is the person to whom I was supposed to be partnering in this job. However, she is working on other things for the service head, and could also be seen as a spy. Devious people, these council office types.

     I’ve decided to push forward with the writing again. I joined an online group, and posted my initial short story,The Well, warts and all. I have had two favourable comments, with more advice on how to expand and develop the idea. So I’m looking at that again. I’m toying with the idea of setting the tale in an old windmill. That should open the scope a little more. However I need to find a way of incorporating the well back into the story (I nearly typed narrative there …… I have no idea why) and am thinking that there could be some kind of outhouse that may have been built over the old well. That is going to take some thinking about. I have also been toying around in my head, how to make it into a play, but that is a long way off yet, and I don’t know how popular a one person play would be.

     I have also started writing a short story about someone that works on a computer helpdesk. I’m not too sure what narrative mode to use. I have started in first person mode, but not too sure if it will be the right one for the story. Basically, you get to hear what is happening in the helpdesk call centre, but you only get to hear the customers, when the helpdesk people repeat things back. This may not work as I hope, and I may have to change the narrative mode to third person. Early days yet.