I suppose the question here is how you define “idling”? And how do you define “outside schools”? If I stop my car for some reason just down the road from the school am I to become an outlaw? How long am I allowed to stop before having to switch off my engine?
Knowing our lot, they’d fuck it up anyway. It would probably be deemed illegal to have the engine running while a car is stationary, which would conjure up lovely images of fifty cars in the rush hour all frantically trying to restart their cars when traffic lights change to green.
I’m sure our illustrious Boys in Blue would love this law too. I suppose they would have to send a plod to each and every school in the country to enforce the law. His job would be to inspect the exhaust pipe of each vehicle to see if anything is coming out and to issue tickets accordingly.
If they did tie the law down to specifically mention “outside a school” would I be liable if my car was idling outside a shop, which just happened to be beside a school? Surely I could claim immunity as I am “outside a shop” which isn’t defined in the law?
It would be easier just to ban school runs. Make it illegal to drop off a child within a mile of a school.
Let the little sods walk or cycle, as I used to do.
This morning, like most mornings I switched on her radio.
I should point out that her radio is one of those Interwebby things – no aerial socket or any of that – it just requires a healthy dose of Wifi. As a result it can tune into an apparently infinite choice of radio stations.
She could listen to Calypso live streamed from the Caribbean. She can listen to Jazz from New Orleans. She can brush up on her French by tuning into any number of French stations. She could even possibly heat her room by tuning into a Sidney channel in Australia. The choice is vast and varied.
“What station?” says I.
“RTE of course” says she.
It’s always RTE.
Now I have nothing personally against RTE. After all, they pay my pension so I owe them a modicum of deference, but frankly their premier radio station is shite. I wouldn’t listen to it even if it were the only station broadcasting during a nuclear war [a topic they would no doubt love to cover]. I find it alternates between thoroughly depressing subjects or sport.
I can hear the radio in the background in the other room all day. It is all people talking. They are talking about politics, depression, suicide and a rake of other subjects guaranteed to brighten your day. It’s no wonder Herself ends the day in a not so cheerful state.
I have asked her why she listens to it. She tells me it is so she can keep up to date with current affairs. I tell her I am probably more up to date by browsing a few newspapers and am getting a broader perspective, and anyway what has depression got to do with current affairs? She says the stories are tragic and should be heard. I tell her I have enough ways of depressing myself. She calls me a heartless fucker. I call her a masochistic twat. Harmony is thus restored and I leave the room none the wiser and firmly closing off the drone from the radio.
The only time I ever listen to the radio is in the car on a long drive on my own. My very limited choice of channels there means I am usually stuck with Lyric FM which is a nominally classical music station. I say nominally because they frequently descend into what my mother used to call “low brow classical”.
There is one other time I listen though. Last thing in the evening when we are bored with television I’ll switch over to Classic FM.
Our mob are proposing a law forcing restaurant and pub menus to display calories.
It’s a long time since I had a meal out so this law won’t affect me personally but it still boils my piss.
It’s a law which is pandering to the neurotic obsessives who have been sucked into the hectoring by the Church of Health. How many people actually worry about calories to the point where they worry that a meal in a restaurant is going to upset their precious spreadsheets? I suppose quite a few do as it seems to be a modern trend.
For me, and I suppose to a lot of people, a meal out is a bit of a luxury. It’s a treat. It’s a chance to spoil one’s self. It is something to enjoy. It’s a chance to put cooking and washing up to one side and to let someone else do the work, and as a treat it should be a chance to put all that calorie counting to one side just for one evening.
Sadly however there is no place for enjoyment or happiness in the Church of Health. One must follow guidelines. One must count calories. One must constantly be aware of the Obesity Crisis.
Another aspect of this law is its practicality, or lack of. I do quite a bit of cooking, from scrambled eggs up to a full roast leg of lamb and a range of stews, curries and the like in between. Herself is very fond of my Spaghetti Bolognaise [and so she should be]. The one thing in common right across my vast repertoire is that I never use scales or measuring jugs. While the ingredients for each dish remain the same [but even that varies] the quantities vary according to appearance, taste and smell. I couldn’t write out a recipe for any of my dishes as I don’t know the precise quantities, and if I don’t know the quantity then how the fuck can I or anyone else calculate calories for each dish?
Society has reached a very bad place where happiness and enjoyment have to take second place to the hectoring of the Nanny State. They won’t be content until we have all given up smoking and alcohol and live on a diet of state approved tasteless goo.
I have been having a little problem for the last few weeks.
I am tired. All the time. I feel like I could sleep at the drop of a hat, or any other item of clothing you care to mention.
It’s not a lack of sleep. Far from it. Most nights I get off to sleep, no problem, and wake eight or nine hours later. The only problem is that within an hour I’m craving the bed again. It s really annoying.
Last night I went to bed and read for a while. Grand. I went to sleep. Grand. I had a solid night’s sleep and awoke this morning. I looked at my watch. Three in the afternoon? Fuck!
Anyhows I got dressed and went to check on Herself.
Now Herself had come to a conclusion which I suppose had an element of logic to it. She had assumed by my lengthy absence that I had decided to shuffle off my mortal coil and that I was quietly waiting for rigour mortis to set in while dancing with the angels [or whatever happens in the afterlife]. She had then decided to test my theory that she should never get out of bed without my being present. My theory is now proven conclusively. After a fair bit of exertion [to put it mildly] I got her off the floor and back into bed.
So things are back to normal now. Well, normal but weird as it’s getting dark and I’m only just starting my day. There’s no harm done [except maybe to my back] and the house is all quiet.
Some of you may be aware that I came into possession of a new[ish] car recently.
I am extremely happy with it even if it does have a couple of rather annoying quirks. One is that the speedometer is virtually invisible, being heavily shaded by the dashboard and with poor contrast between the numbers, the needle and the background. The other is the placement of the front electric window switches each side of a console almost at floor level. I always drop both front windows before leaving here as with two blind junctions, I can hear if traffic is approaching long before I can see it. The only way to raise those windows is to take my eyes off the road while I fumble for the two switches.
Anyhows, all that aside as I have come up against another problem.
I have discovered that should I decide to hold onto the car for another twenty five years, I shall be forced to dump it. And I mean dump it as it will not be resallable. In fact it will be impossible to resell it long before then.
Our gubmint, in its infinite wisdom is to outlaw all new non-electric vehicles in ten years time. You will not be able to buy a new vehicle after 2030 unless it is battery powered. Those of us who are happy with their existing lot will be graciously allowed to drive our trusty bangers until 2045 at which point they will automatically fail a road safety test purely on the grounds that they are petrol or diesel driven.
I can see a few problems here.
The main problem is that the main polluters on the road are the diesel powered buses and lorries, not to mention trains, tractors and construction machinery. Has anyone ever heard of a battery powered JCB or Massey Furguson? How about a solar powered combine harvester?
The other problem is that more and more petrol stations are going to go out of business as their trade diminishes. Those of us grimly hanging onto our old trusty reliable petrol cars are going to find it increasingly difficult to fuel up.
I can also envisage brownouts and blackouts every night when everyone plugs in cars for an overnight recharge.
And all for what?
All to satisfy some arbitrary theories put forward by the Church of Climate.