Archive

Archive for the ‘Random Rants’ Category

on freedom of speech


I was musing here the other week on standing up for causes and here I am standing up for one of my own; freedom of speech. I am, at this moment, fuming at the news that Piers Morgan has left the building over expressing his opinion on a certain interview. This is wrong!

I do not agree with Mr Morgan on many things. His views on the handling of the Covid problem I find appalling, but he has the right to hold and express such opinions. Just because I don’t hold the same views is immaterial: He should be allowed to speak his mind.

Rant over. Enjoy your evening.

on masks


I had seen on film and TV clips people out East wearing masks in the streets before I first saw people from that part of the world wearing them here in the UK or over in the US. In both of the latter they stuck out like a sore thumb, but I did wonder whether or not they had a point regarding pollution in our cities. Having worked over in China and Thailand it was me who stuck out in the street for not wearing a mask (and being a lot taller and wider than most of the locals), but I did not at any time on those trips consider wearing a mask myself despite the very obvious air pollution, especially in China.

Now we have a different reason for wearing masks, or face coverings, here and I do admit that, at first, I did not bother. It was only as things moved forward that I felt that it would be a good idea and, shortly before it became a requirement, I started to wear a visor that I had originally bought for DIY jobs around the homestead. The visor I only wore at work; when shopping I wore a disposable mask and, despite trying as many of the possible remedies that I could find, I was not able to stop my glasses fogging up so I started to go without them. With mounting evidence that visors were not as effective as masks I stopped using the visor and went full time with masks. There are some disadvantages to a mask without my glasses, but I am OK most of the time and can work quite well in my myopic state.

At work there are only a small group of us there until around 0730 and as I have almost not contact with any of the others, not they with me, none of us wore a mask until about 0725 when we would mask up in preparation of everyone else turning up. But then it occurred to me that the Covid-19 bug does not know the time. It does not have a stretch and a yawn about 0725 and consider clocking on the get infecting people. So I started to put my mask on when I got in in the morning and then opted to mask up in the car before I walk over to the building in the morning. The rules have caught up with me now and we are required to wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking.

I do not enjoy wearing a mask. I am asthmatic for one thing, but I do not suffer from claustrophobia as some claim to. About two hours is a long as I can go without changing my mask as it gets wet with the condensation from breathing. In cold weather outdoors that steamy breath escaping from the top of my mask starts to develop icicles from my eyebrows too. I have a poorly formed ear one side so the elastic strap doesn’t fit too well and occasionally chafes behind that ear so generally mask wearing is a pain for me in a number of ways, but it is safer than not wearing one so I shut up and get on with it. Some things we should do for the common good and this is one of them.

the lockdown log 12


Life has really not changed too much for the Berkshire Belle and I. We have refined our choice of intent supplier here and there, but the only real change so far is that the double B has not been out.

By that I mean that she has stayed in the house apart from two occasions when she has walked down the front path to bring in out dustbin and recycling crates. This she will do if the weather is good and it is important for us to get these things in quickly after they are emptied because the team doing the emptying often replace them at the wrong house. Other than those two outings she has not been outside of the house.

I am still working on the front line five days out of seven, but other than that my trips have been confined to food shopping plus one trip to a garden centre and I felt guilty about that. Last week I drove over to Cirencester and back, about a forty mile trip, on a business matter regarding something that I am currently involved in restarting on June 15th. That felt really weird, but made more so by the number of tourists I saw up there; where have they come from? Well in the case of a group of around half a dozen from Italy. I did not stop to make further enquiries.

So far here in Swindon we are not doing too badly on the Covid-19 front compared to some other areas and, whilst we are part of the South West where numbers of infections are rising, here we don not seem to be getting too many. I wonder if the mass exoduses to the beach and other beauty spots over the bank holiday weekends have contributed to the rise in cases.

Today it is raining and looks to be wet all day so my plans for a few hours in the garden have been shelved. I have to go out at lunchtime to the doctor’s for a routine blood test. I would rather avoid the place, but have already pout this appointment off once and they are nagging. To me this is an example of today’s society at its worst because the appointment is largely a waste of their time and mine.

The problem started when the health practice that I am registered at decided that periodic reviews of regular medication would be carried out by a pharmacist to save the doctor’s time. My review came up and the pharmacist rang me for a chat. She called top my records and latched on to the fact that I have had, from time to time, high blood pressure. I explained that my doctor had elected to stop the periodic blood pressure tests on the basis that he was happy enough with me to have stopped the blood pressure medication, but this was not good enough: I would have to come in and had a BP test plus a blood test for a variety of routine function checks.

And so I am going today and am fairly certain that what the pharmacist gets back will mean that she will compare the results to whatever chart it is that they have and she will want me to come in and see a doctor. There will be no peace until I do and so I will make an appointment and go in for a chat at which we will agree that I am an overweight 67 year old white male who is vulnerable too certain risks. The same 67 year old etc etc who has walked an average of 5.8 miles a day over the last 12 months (according to my tracker), works 4 hours a day 5 days a week at a physical job, does not smoke and drinks little. Whatever else we achieve from that appointment I doubt that it will be a productive use of the doctor’s time, but they have to go through the motions because of a duty of care and all that bureaucracy that is in place these days. This is one of the areas of waste that I would love to see swept away.

Please do not think that I am knocking the NHS; I am not. The health care practitioners are wonderful and have saved my life eight years ago. They have also saved the life of my son who is 38 today. It is the ludicrous bureaucracy that costs too much that is drowning the NHS, but that is a feature of the world that we have created now whereby nothing is our fault and there must always be someone else to blame (and sue).

Anyway, rant over. It is a wet day, I will not have to water my plants and my water butts will be replenished. There is alway some good in everything, no matter how bad it might seem.

Stay safe and have fun.

on legislation


I wrote a while back about having a simple set of behaviours instead of complex legislation, or rules, to live and operate by and I have been taken to task a little about this on the basis that we could not go back to a simpler way, but why not? Read more…

a rant on panic buying


One of my current jobs is in the retail food sector where we are seeing, in the first two hours of trading every day, greater transaction numbers that we see in the same time on the heaviest day before Christmas. Read more…

Dad’s Army had it right


Two of the immortal catch phrases from Dad’s Army are Corporal Jones’ “Don’t panic!” and Private Fraser’s “Doomed; we’re all doomed” and when I hear or read the news these days I often think of those characters and the circumstances that they uttered their lines. Read more…

another lesson learned


I am in my sixty fourth year on the planet and so, whilst I’m not planning on departing any time yet, I don’t have as many hours left as I used to. Anything that will save me time is important to me and that is why I have been an ardent user of the internet where I can access information and services pretty much at any hour of the day or night to suit me. Read more…

Customer service at its worst


One of my businesses buys and sells collectable items and is well established now after almost thirty years of international trading. Part of that trading has been to use a well know internet book shop through which we sell, appropriately enough, collectable books. Read more…

instant communication does not imply good communication


Communication has been on my mind this week and I have been reflecting on the way that it has changed so much in the last twenty years or so. The vehicle for that change has been technology and it has affected verbal and written communication by giving us an opportunity to interact in different ways, the most striking of which, perhaps, is in the immediacy with which we can reach others. Read more…

musings on poor procurement and management on the soccer front


Although I am not a close follower of football these days, the nonsense of making a stadium all seater in the interests of safety and then allowing everyone to stand up is enough to put me off, and then there are those ridiculous shorts! But I do keep a passing interest, and a couple of things caught my attention last week. Read more…