Rats, Pills & Tea Lights – Week 21 : 2017

May 24, 2017

Surprising what you learn at Costa Coffee. I was stood in the queue with a rat trap, when the Barista (or the bloke behind the counter who made coffee but had a fancy title dreamt up by a Marketing agency) commented on my purchase. Much to our distress we have had Roland running around the garden for sometime and he’s quite a size. The Barista wasn’t hostile to my death mission but did comment that he kept them as pets. Deciding that he was mad I limited our exchange but did enquire, on my exit, as to whether his neighbours knew about his hobby?

After an uncertain period then we appeared to have let our vacant house. As always we have now refurbished and cleaned it up such that it seems a shame to hand it across to tenants. The market has been slow due to various excuses from the Letting Agent. Explanations include – seasonal drop off, General Election and the considerable building of purpose built student accommodation in York, which has proverbially drained the swamp! Anyway they are not in yet but fingers crossed there are no hitches.

As I’ve reported then after a further DVT I’m on a pill a day to prevent a re-occurrence. It doesn’t seem to be a problem other than remembering to take it. However, when I replenish my stock then I am still a little amazed that I get them for free as I am over 60. I note that the Conservatives are clawing back some benefits from the wealthy if they get re-elected. As the ‘baby boomer’ generation that has pensions, high value property and, sometimes, savings it seems a nonsense that the younger less well off should subsidise them. Thank you for the free pills but really you shouldn’

By any standards then 70,000 miles is a long way to ride a bicycle. This week I clocked up this total. As I am male then I have recorded just about all my bike rides and so when this milestone came around even I was amazed. For those who look too closely at the details then yes I have got slower (!) over the years but also the mileage is accumulated on a variety of bicycles and the slowest times (mph not kph!) include hauling heavy loads on a rugged steel bike up the Pyrenees, Alps, Rockies or the Sierra Nevada.

Lastly the events of the week in terms of atrocity must have floored everyone. I don’t think you could have received the news without becoming tearful. Slaughtering innocent people has now reached 8 year olds. Beyond belief. Everyone was interested in the details and the news channels went into overdrive. A lot of people in Manchester were literally overcome by the severity and affront of it all. I am proud of my hometown and I can well understand their reaction. However the only thing people can do about it, it seems, is hold a vigil, provide support and comfort to those affected or helping and, lastly, call for unity. This last thing is vague but I imagine is about not allowing racism to take hold. They’re right.

Never once did I really hear a thoughtful analysis on disaffected youth who feel outsiders in their society through the colour of their skin or religion, the divisive arbitrary drawing of borders between countries in the Middle East by the colonial powers in the 20th century, the hopeless and nothing short of murderous regimes run in Middle Eastern countries by Saddam Hussein, Bashar la-Assad, Colonel Gaddafi and then, the icing on the cake, the intervention of Western countries militarily in the Middle East. On this last point then Britain with the French bombed Libya to a ruinous state and now it is a disaster with no ruling party or system to control. However it is rife for pouring out more grief toward Europe. Even Obama censured Cameron for this failed intervention.

The above being said then no one has a right to commit murder and if they do then they should expect justice in whatever form it takes. The security services are brilliant and unsung, I’m grateful for their professionalism and overall success. Even at the risk of curtailing civil liberties then we need to have more controls and monitoring of those who might kill us.

…at the moment, let’s hope the tea lights work.

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