Fish & Chips, Sewing Machines & Short Screws – Week 4 : 2019

January 21, 2019

I saw a thread on a cycling forum about cycling in Croatia. The gist, from the contributors, was that you needed to be part of a UN Convoy to reduce the risk of reckless drivers killing you. I’d ridden a few hundred miles there last summer and some of the busy congestion wasn’t much fun, however, I’d be happy to cycle there again.

A lot of cyclists are very nervous in traffic: I’m not but without doubt the UK roads are getting busier. Out during the week I pulled up at some temporary traffic lights outside a small town (Easingwold). The lights changed and I clipped my feet into the pedals and set off to be nearly grazed by a car barrelling through. The car had been a long way short of the lights when they changed; he sped through. So you think we’re talking about a busy sales rep hoping to make a crucial appointment? No, it was an old couple in some Korean hybrid no doubt risking my safety to get home for afternoon TV, a chocolate digestive and to let Rufus out into the back garden for a tiddle. Back in the centre of York, on Lendl, a tourist simply strolled across the central island to walk in front of me. In fairness she had her mind on other things as she was busy chatting on her mobile phone. Before impact I bellowed at her and she stepped back shocked. I was hardly inconspicuous in a hi-viz orange coat. No doubt her relatives in Beijing asked what the noise was? Let me help her – it was a call to keep her out of one of York’s unheralded attractions – York District Hospital.

Strolling round IKEA there was a desk that was so high I guess you stood at it. On the desk there was a prop: a sewing machine. Now over 50 years ago my mother had one but in 32 years of marriage my present wife may have had one but it is long gone by decades. They are about as ’current’ as slide rules, dandelion & burdock and Haircut 100. So why was one in IKEA? Well our local and large Yorkshire Asian community make their own clothes and IKEA have analysed their footfall and worked out a use for this piece of furniture. Great marketing.

IKEA is one retail member of the ‘High Street’ that’s surviving and now it appears that HMV has suitors. I’m so pleased about that: we need visible vinyl in the city. One of the dashboard knobs dropped off the Morgan and I lost the short grub screw to fix it. Thanks to specialist shops like Fastpack then you can find any fastener you need in volumes of one or two on a side street near you #boybliss.

The Favourite Eldest Daughter (FED) visited last weekend and dining was a priority for the one night of her stay. I volunteered a local delicacy, fish and chips. The quality of the Yorkshire takeaway is unsurpassed yet FED had some anxieties. Where to get them from and would the chips be good enough? There was a little ‘on line’ debate and (you’ll see my constructive and conciliatory comments in green below) on the dish. You’ll be palpably relieved to learn an emporium was eventually found and the transaction completed. Picky Southerners?

So how about the mast then Tony? Err, well it is still there and despite the network operator ignoring my letters then we have recently been in communication. I wrote to the principal share holder of the holding company and their non-executive chairman. After ignoring my letter for two months the CEO of the PLC holding company came back with a reply pronto!

He ‘parroted’ the balls I have had from the network operator and so I’ve written back offering images of where he could move this offensive stick to. I’ve copied his superiors again and at the very least the MD of the local company is now starting to be seen as a loser as he’s dragged these luminaries into my life. I also started to Tweet on the network operator’s Twitter posts. They blocked me but I changed my address and made comments on their posts again. The local Council were freaked by the ongoing dispute (and their social media involvement by being copied in). They raised the problem with the network operator again. Quickline said no due to technical reasons. So in summary it rumbles on and I am making their lives less comfortable by their original mistake.

Thinking about creating a website for all this next. If other people have the risk of a mast appearing then maybe I should ensure they are aware of what befalls them?

Lastly let’s imagine you are a member of the Police force and you are assigned to looking after the Duke of Edinburgh. An easy gig? He doesn’t go far and probably sleeps a lot: lots of time for cups of tea, chocolate hob nobs and playing games on your mobile? However, imagine your terror when the DoE declares he wants to go for a drive and you’ve go to accompany him.

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