A BAG OF MONEY

After depositing a present for a child in a Gift Bank, I was presented with a net bag full of milk chocolate money coins.

The first nursery kid I saw on the street got them. I did ask the [taken aback] surprised, parents first.

“Oh goody chocolate”, said the kid as soon as he saw the bag, which he rapidly reached  forward to snatch, iniating an embarrassed  parental chorus of, “ Say please and say thank you”.  Neither nicety materialised from delighted single-minded junior.

…….”It’s Christmas.” I said, and went on my way.

I couldn’t resist looking back.  The grown-ups had happy smiles on their faces.

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A FLYING SQUAD OF TRAFFIC WARDENS

The Scottish police authority dropped the role of the traffic warden from their services in 2014. People became aware  of the missing enforcers when some of the roads, the pavements and any road-like nook or cranny started to resemble a motorists’ wild west. There was double parking, some drivers were even triple parking.  I saw cars at rest close to traffic lights, there was plenty of parking on and close to junctions.  It was perilous to ease out of the shadows of the vehicles into the main road. Now, in some countries this kind of parking is an okay every day occurrence, but it definitely is not allowed here in the UK.

Tearaway Biker

Earlier this year, parking habits got so bad, the local police chief was prompted to issue a very polite request in the county newspaper asking motorists to be more considerate and be mindful of parking restrictions and traffic laws. There was a suggestion that if there was not a meaningful response to this polite request, some people in police uniform would issue forth from the police station and take action. Inevitably, many commercial vehicle companies were unlikely to have seen the newspaper article and the drivers  of those vehicles, (some vehicles are really huge)  while needing to complete their work, were amongst the worst offenders.

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Last month the Regional Council decided there was a money-making opportunity they were missing.  A squad of yellow line painters were despatched around the region to renew faded and broken traffic restriction road markings and, in our area, re-site a few. We are being exhorted to take note of the yellow lines on the road and read the parking restrictions signs.

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About now, a flying squad of ‘traffic wardens’ will be starting their initial peregrination to all the far flung towns and villages; we’re expecting a diplomatic offensive on the 19th October, if they can find their way. Unless there’s any glaring violations, the idea is,  on this first visit, the flying squad of traffic wardens will only issue advisory warning notes. Hereon in, subsequent unannounced visitations, are to be for serious cash generating business, which will no doubt, pay for the traffic warden’s wages and  expenses and add a much needed fillip to the cash-strapped council coffers.

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

Getty Images:  Peter Cook and Dudley Moore -clever comedians, now sadly. departed from this world- lampooning traffic wardens.

HUNKERING DOWN AND BATTENING THE HATCHES

Weather – what to say; it’s weather of a kind and variable to where we happen to live. I won’t bore you with details of the light coverings of snow; icy roads; heavy hail beating upon the windows leaving ice balls piling up on the sills; and then the increasingly fearsome noisy wind speeds.

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I have not fully opened the curtains today, just drawn them a single window’s width. I thought I had better let in some of the limited rations of daylight we have, irrespective of how dour it looked.  Here, it’s a day for checking outside,  from inside, very occasionally, and definitely not being out in the weather.

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We will have similar and various experiences of weather hurtled at us throughout the U.K according to the Meteorological Office,(Clodagh is the latest named storm). What a number of us will share, I think, is the way we react to the weather. I am wearing layers of clothes indoors and as night draws in again, it feels like I will need another layer or two.  At not too hard a push, a cosy blanket to hug round me while I curl up in a chair  would do very nicely thank you.  We have hunkered down and battened the hatches.

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Photo 3 by Slanket.

GETTING UP A HEAD OF STEAM

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When you really want something you know you have stored somewhere, that’s when you can never find it. So it was today, I hunted high and low for a canvas bag I wanted to use. Anyone within earshot of me would have heard me muttering all sorts of unrepeatable phrases. There probably was also a steady head of steam around me instead of my usual equable aura. I peered in places I knew the bag was unlikely to be, I pulled out stuff that had been shoved, er, fitted, into tight spaces. Could I fit them back; NO. They were forced back and the door was quickly shut.

Time for a break; just then hubby returned home. He made helpful suggestions of places I had already looked and one or two I had avoided. A few packages fell out on top of me as they do when you’re ploughing through a pile of ??? years’ collection.

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One more look in the cupboards, I decided, then I was going to give up. Yeah okay, you’re already there. I found the bag. It was lying neatly under a h a t. (I’m not even going to go there. The bag was found and there’s an end to it).

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One of the local charity shops is going to benefit from some of the howking out of long forgotten bits and pieces that I thought might come in useful one day. The haul includes a couple of carrier bags of wadding, created from reducing over-stuffed pillows, good for quilting and other craft work. Another stored bag contained weird shapes of fine wool fabric in two colours, together with flattened pieces of brown paper. Many memories flooded into my mind when I remembered what it was all ‘attached’ to. It made me a little wistful. Someone might get some use out of a dressmaker’s brown paper pattern and the left-over material of the garment that was made, which has long gone.

SENTENCES OF NEWS

Just trying this beta editor out, as the buzz is that it is working. Second time of trying, the blue beady circle finished, loaded and gave me access.

Got a half an hour to cuddle a new baby today. She is gorgeous. Got a couple of hugs from baby’s mum, too.

Heard that a friend is going to be temporarily stepping into the boss’s shoes. He’s got head-hunted and she’s got the talent to keep the team and the department up to scratch.

DO NOT IGNORE WARNING SIGNS

It does not do to ignore warning signs. Some months ago, my computer would not undertake a full malware scan with one of the programmes I have installed. It was happy with the quick scan. My other malware programme, which takes a long time to perform a full scan was okay. I had one that did and one that didn’t do the whole job, I was comfortable with that.

Next, after leaving my computer for, say half an hour, I would return to find it had closed down and re-booted. Very odd, I thought. If I set it to sleep mode (standby) I could return to my earlier work. Answer…use sleep mode. However, irritating things happened, like freezing of programmes just a little too frequently.

The last straw was my newly updated and paid for anti-virus programme could not complete a full scan,. though it was able to trot through a foreshortened scan. It was definitely time to speak to an expert.

The diagnosis is a corrupted hard disk, the damage appears intractable. I can’t complain though, it is the original drive and my computer in I.T. terms should be on life support. Fortunately, all my data is on another disk drive. The fix is to get a new hard disk and move my programmes onto the new one. It has been explained to me how it will be done.

The silver lining in all this is, I shall obtain a much larger capacity drive, I won’t need to ration my programme updates and downloads and my computer won’t need resuscitating again for a good long while.

It was fortuitous that a long time ago, I had installed a second disk drive, separating off my data from the main disk drive to avoid the problem of corrupted data. But…….and it is a big ‘but’, I should not have ignored the warning signs.

I’m off now, to do a back up of all my data on my external drive.

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THE ORDER OF THE APOSTROPHIC FLOURISH

I do wish I had seen the vicar, (church minister) running around with his paint buckets and brushes, in the town, in the United Kingdom, in which he ministers to his flock. 88|

The ubiquitous possessive apostrophe which is totally misused, or not used when it should be, irritated the man of the church so much, he took matters into his own hands to correct what he saw as an unholy omission that needed divine intervention, particularly in its reference to saints.

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In a Kentish suburb, there were streets and centres named St Johns’; St Johns but, there were no St John’s. This error of punctuation he adjudged for absolute correction. The intrepid vicar undertook the total task of awarding all the St John’s he could find, the correct possessive order of the meritorious apostrophic flourish.

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GOING IN CIRCLES

We are a bereaved family now in the rush towards the final rituals, and then, I suppose, the next stage will be in the limbo land of grief.

Around us, there are signs of new life, this year’s young birds. The frenzy to feed young with the provision of peanuts and seeds has reduced. The birds have become more independent of their mums and they have learned to feed on what nature provides. There is the grass that constantly renews itself in the warm and wet growing period. The young lambs are now three quarters grown. In their place there are many new calves learning to stand, awkward and gangly with their legs crossed; others are just taking their first tentative steps.

Taking time to observe, I see many new babies; their mums and dads looking so fresh and young. Their older siblings either taking a pride in their new family member, or showing complete disinterest. There are generations of children to grow; there are those who are now new young adults; there are the young adults who are now the generation of active parents aunts and uncles. Meantime, we move up the ladder to become, grandparents, maiden aunts/great aunts, bachelor uncles/great uncles, even our cousin-ship lines start to change, to distance. The extended family stretches out in many directions, some eventually lost in their time. The circle of time continues to move round.

WHAT A RARE BEAUTY

This is one of a number of walks I have enjoyed when the weather has been good. After a very unpromising day, with plumps of tropical rain whenever it felt like it, the scenes were so magical tonight, that people stopped what they were doing to sit, absorb and enjoy what was gifted.

The Bay.

The Bay

A natural wee patterned delta.

A delta

A floral gem by the road side.

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Low lying rock strata edging into the sea.

POWER CORRUPTS, AND HOW!

Contrition, demonstrating being humble and the excuse of a momentum of [female] group resignations; none of this sat quite right when I heard the interview with a certain politician who has very recently caused a government party upset in flamboyant, arrogant and insensitive manner. My cynicism kicked in.

She’s trying to save her local seat, save face with the local party management and activists” I said. And of course, in later news, I was proved correct on all counts.

Hazel Blears lost touch with just about everything to do with her role as a people’s representative, her support structure, and daily reality. Unfortunately, she was not the only politician from the various political camps, to do that. She committed a number of cardinal sins, including an abuse of trust, and taking people for granted. Who in their right mind, publicly waves around a cheque, demonstrating that, late in the day, they are making financial amends for unethical and dishonest behaviour. As if that makes it, and everything else okay. Such arrogance!

Blears’ judgement and general capacity, have been found sorely wanting in all directions. Sadly, she is not the only one, there are still politicians in another party who are being protected by their leader, and by a conspiracy of silence from the media. Not only is the media being judge and jury, it is also filtering out of the expenses polemic, those who it will tolerate. Future ‘friends’ perhaps, and old debts being repaid in kind?