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!

Face coverings (Not a mask)


It seems to be a contentious subject. I think we all knew the new restrictions were coming . I remember say to my wife when it became mandatory on public transport, that wearing a covering in shops and supermarkets would be next. I just wish that this so called Government of ours were all singing from the same hymn sheet. On one hand we had A Government Minister (Micheal Gove) saying that it would be mandatory to wear one and two days later, the Prime Minister saying that it will be.

There seemed to be a lot discussions about the type of covering that we, the mere mortals should buy. We must not buy the proper disposal surgical coverings, as they should be kept for the health service workers. Although I didn’t think health staff would be nipping off to Aldi to buy a pack of ten coverings! But knowing how this Government has handled the whole PPE issue, maybe they are buying their own.

At the beginning of June, I took the plunge and bought a pack of four from eBay. They are washable, but no instructions included so assume they’ll have to be hand-washed. Not much to look at, from all accounts they will do the job they are supposed to … whatever that is! It’s not comfortable to wear, but you can take it off when you get outside as long as you use the sanitisers that are supposed to be provided. If the truth were known, it does make Mrs H move around M & S a lot faster and maybe spend a little less?

At the beginning of this month I decided that if face coverings were to be mandatory, then I wanted to have a little bit of fun with them. So it was back onto eBay. A quick search and I came up with these two charming ones. Roughly the same price as the first lot, but may cause a little bit of amusement.

The first time I wore my skeleton covering, I got quite a few odd looks in the supermarket, but now, nobody seems to bat an eyelid. It has become the norm for many people, but there are still a considerable number of people that don’t wear one, or wear them incorrectly.

Today, for example as I was getting out of the car in the supermarket car-park, a car pulled into the bay beside me. The driver was wearing a face covering and also those blue gloves that some people seem to like. He picked his shopping trolley and wandered into the store. As soon as he was out of sight of the ‘security staff’ on the door, the mask was pulled down to his chin. The world is full of fools!!

Cut price knitting …


We visit charity shops quite often. Wetherby has ten charity shops that I know about and there may possibly be another one. Often when we go, I’m on the lookout for knitting yarn. I don’t need any as my wife will confirm, but if it’s a bargain, then I’m up Wetherby (2)for it. Trouble is, yarn does not seem to be very cheap in these type of shops. Most have some, but it is usually small amounts of left-overs and you never know what type it is (unless you’re a real expert). You can usually tell if its wool or acrylic, but without the band, I wouldn’t know if it was Aran or Double Knit. So although I look, I rarely buy any.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in one of the really popular shops and noticed that there was a bag of yarn that had five new balls and a couple of end scrap balls. It was very reasonably priced Yarnespecially for the amount at £3.50. I was tempted, really tempted and had almost decided when I felt a tap on the shoulder. I stood up and turned round, thinking it was my wife. Turned out to be a rather well dressed lady who was holding one of those long women’s cardigans that were fashionable some years ago. She smiled and asked if the yarn I was looking at was for me. I told her it was, but I wasn’t sure if to buy it. She handed me the cardigan and told me that this was a better buy. I was about to say that I didn’t want a cardigan, when she pre-emptied my thoughts. “You can get this cardigan for only £3.99. It has about 10 times the wool you have there, and there is a wash-care label still inside!” she said. She then explained how she never bought wool in charity shops and only every bought made-up woollen clothes which she would unpick (I think the term is frogging) and re-use.

It sounds a brilliant idea, but I’m not sure if I could ever “rip back” or “frog” such a large piece of clothing.

A little annoying …


I’ve mentioned this before on here. I’m a knitter! I am sometimes tempted to call myself a ‘male knitter, but I do try to avoid that categorisation. I’ve been knitting since around 1965, so since I was around 10 years old. My grandmother taught me how to do the plain Knit stitch and my mother followed it up with cast on, cast off and the Purl stitch. I’m not a big fan of large knitting projects as I get bored with them. I’m currently 9/10s of the way through a sleeveless pullover for me and I’m fed up with it. It’s taken me since just after Christmas and to be honest, I don’t really  like it.  I think I’m gong to pull it all out, but K*** (who is not a knitter, so doesn’t understand) will have a fit! She cannot comprehend how I could do that. I think I will stick to smaller items in future. Hats, scarves and mittens that kind of thing. Things that are finished in a couple of hours/days.

Now that’s not the point of this post. No what is ‘a little annoying ’ is actually more than a little annoying, in fact, it’s very annoying. It’s the periodical stands in some shops and supermarkets

I enjoy reading knitting, and to some extent general crafting, magazines and I actually subscribe to one of the most popular knitting ones. However, I’ve noticed that in many shops, the knitting, sewing, crocheting and crafting magazines, tend to be bundled together next to or in the same place as the more specific ‘Women’s’ magazines. Now I don’t mind the odd looks I get when I pick up a copy of “L*** K***” magazine, but am not keen on the comments I sometime get. Only last month, I was rummaging through the magazines when a shop assistant asked me if I needed some help. I told her the magazine I was looking for but neither of us could find it. I said I was not too sure of the title, and to my shock the girl suggested that I ring my wife and check the title!  Her face was a mixture of horror, disbelief and amusement when I explained that the magazine was for me!

When I returned home, I wrote to the head office (it was a large supermarket chain) to explain my disappointment at this attitude. I did not mention the assistants name as it was not her fault, more the supermarkets policy. I’m still awaiting a reply, but have noticed that the said magazines are now located in a section called “Hobbies and Pastimes”. So a success I think.

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That’s it for now, but just reading this back … I really should try and write some positive posts.