This morning I saw a bus driven by Santa Claus. It was a very skinny Santa and may have been female but clearly someone had decided that if he/she had to work on Christmas Eve then he/she was going to spread a little cheer along the route. He or she was only going to be working until 6.00 this evening as the service was set to terminate then until Boxing Day.
I found this last bit of information in our local bus shelter, under the mysterious heading "Opening Times", just as if the bus service were a shop. Indeed, in keeping with that idea, alongside Christmas Day it said "Closed". Not "No service" but "Closed". I realise it's only a small thing and that there are much bigger problems in the world, but still it niggles, it annoys me. Similarly, when we travelled on a Virgin train recently the public address announcements referred to us as "customers". I'm sorry, but when I travel on a train or bus, I regard myself as a "passenger". I maintain that this is the correct term and I am sticking to it.
This whole terminology thing is another manifestation of the modern trend to run everything on business lines. And, yes, I am aware that public transport is a business and should be organised as such. However, it's not the same kind of business as a shop. Calling passengers customers is just silly. And when you get started on running schools and hospitals as businesses, well, I am left speechless. So, no further comment.
Yesterday, my daughter asked me to keep her company while her car went through its MOT check. We would have to wait about an hour, she assured me, no more than that as the car was bound to pass. Famous last words! (See below!)
So, as her garage was only a few hundred yards from that establishment, we went off for a stroll around IKEA. As a rule, when we do that we are accompanied by two smallish children who think that we are there purely for their entertainment and amusement. They go off and hide in the "rooms" that are set up to show off the furniture and fittings. We stop to look at something and turn round to find that they have disappeared. Then we find them sitting on a bed or testing the sofas. Such fun! So yesterday we had a civilised walkabout and picked up a few last minute bits and pieces ready for tomorrow's festivities.
Then we stopped off for a coffee, or something called coffee, and waited for a call from the garage. When it came, it was not the instant pass that she had expected. Shock absorbers! That's what was causing the problem! So we ended up on the train home and later drove back to the garage in her partner's car so that I could drive her car home. (The aforementioned partner had gone off to Manchester on public transport or he could have been more useful!)
Consequently, most of my day disappeared (again!) and some of the preparations for tomorrow's festivities had to be put off until today. But all of that has been put to rights now. The parcels are wrapped and all Santa needs to do is put them under the tree. Desserts have been organised and other dishes have been prepared so that tomorrow all that needs to be done is to pop the turkey and other stuff in the oven at the appropriate time. All good.
No doubt, a fair amount of wine will be drunk but that's okay because I have found this in an item in the newspaper: "A substance found in red wine may protect the body against age-related diseases by stimulating an ancient evolutionary defence mechanism that guards human cells against genetic damage, scientists said."
The French have been saying for years that a little wine every day is good for your health. Now the scientists seem to agree with them. As I have said already, all good!