Odd bits ‘n bobs of news…

I don’t usually do this type of post – perhaps it’s the heatwave making me cranky. For, yes, the southeast of the UK is suffering with a heatwave. Despite being a child of the tropics, I do not handle the heat well in the UK. But it appears that I’m not alone. My desktop is wilting, my phone is misbehaving, and my iPad is having a moment too many. I’ve re-booted them all more times than I care to think about it, tried to figure out what’s wrong only for the item to work after the nth time of trying. All my technology is on a go slow. Now all of these items are available in the international marketplace, so there’s absolutely no reason for them to have a wobble with the hot weather… and yet I swear they are. I cannot blame them for I am almost permanently attached to a fan, and go out in my car on the least provocation in order to enjoy the aircon. Unfortunately, British homes are built to retain the heat and take no cognisance of global warming, hence we all melt. If my technology is coming out in sympathy with me, I’m considering taking them out in the car for a cooling run, but that desktop is really too bulky…

We’re currently in the middle of some political shenanigans. Our Prime Minister – Boris Johnson – has resigned from his post as leader of his party, while refusing to vacate his position as Prime Minister to his deputy. It’s all jolly bad form and has highlighted yet again that we, in the UK, have a government which runs on some form of gentleman’s agreement. The problems we’re currently experiencing are largely due to the fact there isn’t a single gentleman among the members of our government. And as for the ladies in government – a newly appointed member of the Education Ministry just gave the finger to a crowd outside No 10 Downing Street who were booing the Prime Minister as he gave his almost-but-not-quite-resignation speech. No, there’s no doubt it was her ‘cos she was wearing a bright, banana-yellow dress at the time. And there’s still a couple of years before before another election…

Newspapers have always had a degree of political affiliation, even the one titled The Independent has moved a long way from embodying its title; no wonder the once-proud tradition of journalism has lost its pride. I try not to consume much as it’s a source of depression and despondency, but now I’m starting to rage. A mainstream TV news programme asked the leader of our opposition party to prove he was “interesting” by providing a little known fact. This is a serious politician, a barrister, a man of proven integrity – but despite Boris Johnson demonstrating what happens when you have someone interesting – a character – at the top, they’re wasting their time asking Mr Johnson’s opposition leader to prove he’s not boring. I’m sorry to repeat myself, but there’s still a couple more years before the next election…

Himself reported last week that he’d visited a small branch of Tesco (Walmart for readers across the pond) and went to the counter to pay for his bottle of water. To his surprise, the young man behind the counter was sporting a harness strapped to the front of his chest. On the harness was a Go-Pro camera. Cyclists have been wearing Go-Pro cameras strapped to their cycle helmets for sometime now, in order to prove it’s the driver (rather than themselves) who was in the wrong in case of an accident, or to capture the number plate of drivers who don’t stop, having cheerfully run them down. But, apparently even cashiers now need to record the actions of customers in order to make themselves feel safe…

Still – if decidedly tenuously – on the UK’s cost of living crisis, we read the #FirstWorldProblems report of someone at the UK’s Love Supreme Jazz Festival expressing their rage at being charged £16 for a packet of cigarettes. In fairness, a packet usually costs around £12, so that’s a £4 ($3ish) mark-up. Yet, despite drinks being notoriously heavily marked-up at festivals, we couldn’t find one single report of anyone complaining on that score – nor of cutting back on volume consumed because of the cost. It’s a funny old world…

What’s unusual, upsetting, eye-opening or just plain noteworthy in your world…?

19 thoughts on “Odd bits ‘n bobs of news…

Add yours

  1. We are in our hottest week of the summer but not nearly as hit as it is over there. My AC is out, so I’m getting a taste if what people in the no AC parts of the world deal with regularly

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  2. Yes it has been record-breakingly hot for two days and even though today is cooler, by some perverse logic my study is hotter today that it was yesterday!

    However in the summer of 1976 I was on exercise with the military on Aldershot Common and were were digging trenches for ‘the Company in defence’. Aldershot Common is incredibly stony and digging is very hard work. We also had to evacute quickly on one day when a heath fire came near our area. I learned then the techniques for living with heat and the keys are loose clothing and plenty of water. (And staying out of the direct sun). But if you look at the pictures of crowded beaches and skimpily clad people there is no wonder that so much of the news has been scare-mongering.

    Debs, there are some gentlemen (and ladies too) in Parliament, but they don’t make the headlines. Many MPs are conscientious and hard-working but the media don’t want to know about them. Rishi Sunak will be forever associated with ‘partygate’ but if you read the full account he was only there because he was (conscientiously) early for a meeting. I also have reservations about the ‘proven integrity’ of Sir Keir. Some of his decisions when DPP were distinctly biased.

    And yes, it is more than sad that shop assistants have to wear bodycams because of rude and abusive shoppers. Perhaps tempers will cool as the weather does!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm…they rehoused homeless families into the hotel across the street. It’s fun to see the most liberal flag waving/ progressive voting neighbors being the most upset about this, while the more conservative in the area are holding out the welcome mat…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your heatwave has made the news across the pond. All I can say is, I feel your pain! Especially this week, when our temps are about the same and we are without A/C.

    Can’t say there are many gentlemen (or gentlewomen) in our government these days, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Until the past few years, high temperatures were a rare thing. The problem is not only are they becoming less rare, but they’re also getting higher. Houses in the UK are not built for this, so thanks goodness for car aircon (for those who can afford to run it with petrol at over £7 a litre here).

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  6. Mark, that doesn’t sound like fun. I hope you get that A/C sorted soon.

    Sadly, that’s the way with lots of governments these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh that’s a divider for sure. I used to work in a small pretty village. There was a massive outcry as someone bought a big house to provide accommodation for families of severely injured serviceman who were being treated at the well-renowned rehabilitation centre nearby. The local residents blocked it, because it would cause “a traffic increase”. Oddly, the rehabilitation centre relocated shortly thereafter, after decades of being in the area and the residents couldn’t understand why. There’s no doubt putting something into your back yard will test whether your principles were a matter of theory or practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Aldershot Common in 1976 – that must’ve been fun (not). How right you are as to people not knowing how to behave in the heat.

    Alan, totally agree with you about the scenario whereby Rishi Sunak got fined. It think it shows him in a good light that he accepted it with good grace, as he did get caught up in the whole Johnson drama. As for Sir Keir, I agree, there’s a lot those journalists could’ve asked him about rather than to prove he wasn’t boring. It’s my biggest bugbear that journalists don’t appear to be asking weighty questions anymore – of anyone.

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  9. In the UK, it’s usually because it’s only ever that bad for a few days. I suspect if it becomes a regular thing, more people will purchase standalone aircon units. Perhaps, in the distant future, it will become normal to build homes with those combo heating and aircon systems in the UK too. But that won’t be in my lifetime.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Petrol at £7 a litre Debs – where on earth are you buying it! 🙂 £1.80 – 1.90 here in Fenland; so OK, £7.00 a gallon!
    (last night I paid £1,789 a litre at Sainsbury’s – 8p a litre cheaper than a petrol staionon ther main road)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. When the former guy here was first running in 2016, he promised that not only would we get bored by all the successes we’d be experiencing under him, but that he too promised to be boring in his demeanor. What he meant by the latter was that he’d finally start behaving in a polite manner, i.e. “presidential.” Of course, that never happened. Instead, huge swaths of both the electorate and what we used to consider the mainstream media, now treat pubic service to be entertainment. If someone doesn’t make outlandish statements then they’re considered to be boring and irrelevant.

    I am sorry for the incredibly high temperatures that you’re having to endure there. The nice thing about having central air conditioning is that one is comfortable; the awful thing about it is that it requires twice-yearly maintenance visits in order for it to run properly. And after about ten years — if you’re lucky — you have to replace it for a huge amount of money. Indeed, a first world problem of course. Please try to stay cool! – Marty

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  12. I don’t want to ignore everything else you’ve written, but £16 per pack of cigarettes? That’s almost $20 per pack! Why is anyone still smoking? Hell, I was kicking myself at the amount of money I was wasting (when last i smoked) at roughly $5 per pack. I don’t know how much they cost now but dang, I know they don’t cost that much. Wow!

    The heat is definitely making me cranky as well. I hope it breaks soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I know Zazzy – when I last smoked, I paid £20 for a carton! My other half still smoked when we got together but has given up now (for health reasons) and is constantly aghast at the cost.

    It has broken, but for some reasons I’m still feeling hot. I hate to be a misery, but I long for rain. I hope it cools down for you too – and soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ha ha, I love it when anyone refers to him at the “former guy”. If only because he’d hate, hate, hate it! Yup, I’ll go for boring and professional over entertaining and incompetent any day too.

    Aircon sounds expensive (if well worth it so long as you can afford it). We were fortunate in having it in the bedrooms of houses overseas (in the tropics) but my father’s company paid all the bills – in order to persuade sensible people to live in ghastly places 😀 I’m beginning to think a standalone aircon unit may have become necessary, although lack of storage space in our little apartment means I’ve put it off thus far. If this continues, I may have to bite the bullet. In full disclosure, the weather has now returned to more normal summer temps although – for some odd reason – I’m still feeling very hot.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah yes, that’s what I meant Alan. I was busy working out a conversion and clearly got my brain (and fingers) tangled.

    Like

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