Friday, 6 November 2015

Winning. Hobbies. And animals on the bus!

A few weeks ago I decided to do some knitting and sought out a wool shop. This is no easy thing to do these days. Haberdashers, wool shops, fabric shops and the like are a dying breed. This includes ironmongers, aka hardware shops. With the latter, however, it is still possible to purchase the stuff you want for your DIY projects although you now have to go to a huge emporium to do so. As a rule you then have to buy in bulk. It has become increasingly difficult to find the old-fashioned kind of shop where you could go in with a nail or nut or bolt in hand and ask if they could sell you one or two of whatever it was you needed. Now you have to buy a packet of fifty, twenty-five a good day, and you can guarantee that the next time you need one of those items you will have completely forgotten where you put them! (My siblings and I would just go and ask our dad as he had a very well-organised shed with tins of all sorts of odds and ends: rubber bands, nuts and bolts, nails and pieces of string too short to be of any real use!) 

Anyway, I knew of a haberdashery/ wool shop in Stalybridge and so one day, on my way to collect our grandson from school, I called in and purchased the yarn that I needed. Because I spent more than ten pounds I was given a free raffle ticket for a knitted teddy bear, a Pudsey Bear, in other words one with a bandage over one eye. It was only later that I put two and two together and realised that the raffle itself was intended to raise money for Children in Need but by then I had left the shop with my free raffle ticket. 

I don't win stuff, so you can imagine my surprise when I received a phone call on Monday from the shop. Sandra was clearly delighted to tell me I had won the bear! But, she went on, would I mind awfully waiting until Friday (today) to collect it as they were moving to bigger and better premises down the road and it would be more convenient for them if I waited until they were properly installed. This morning I received another call from a very apologetic Sandra. Time had run away with her and the bear was not ready. She had not finished making it. I hadn't realised she was knitting it herself. Perhaps she is one of the women who meet and knit and chat and have a drink together in the Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar on a Tuesday evening! She had been very busy and had got her days all confused. She had been convinced yesterday that it was Wednesday and, lo and behold, it had turned out to be Thursday. The upshot was that the bear was still not ready. 

They had, however, managed to move to the new premises and had decided to rename themselves "Sewendipity". What a good name! So now I am waiting for another call to tell me when I can collect my bear and have my picture taken with said soft toy. They will then see if the local paper will give them a little publicity. 

Sandra and I belong to a dwindling group of people who know how to knit (and sew, for that matter). There has been a bit of an upsurge in popularity lately but it's mostly people who have just discovered that they can actually manage to knit a scarf. Everyone tells them how clever they are. The likes of Sandra and myself remain unimpressed. We were knitting dolls outfits when we were small girls and progressed to proper knitting, sweaters and such, by the time we hit our teens! It's a useful hobby to have. 

Everyone should have a hobby! According to something I read this morning, Noel Gallagher said giving his interviews was his hobby. This was in an interview during which he badmouthed almost every pop singer going. He said, "I could do this all day long … I get to be a gobshite, and I get to do that thing: to be the last of a dying breed.” Which suggests, commented the writer of the article, there is some truth to the joke: Did you see that Noel Gallagher’s releasing an album to promote his latest round of interviews. How odd!

Enough of that! On my bus today I saw this. 

He was very well behaved but I could not help feeling that he should not have been sitting on a seat. Would you want to sit down in your clean clothes on a seat where a dog's rear end has been? I say this as someone who politely reminds young people not to put their feet on the seats. 

And this huge creature, who is larger that two children put together, travels for 50 pence per journey. It costs considerably more to take children on the bus! 

Whatever next? This dog was as big as a young horse. Will we see people bringing their llamas and elephants into public transport?

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