Saturday, 8 April 2017

Some things change - others stay the same.

As promised, the sun came out and shone for us today. It was still fresh and cool when I went out running frost thing: not all that first thing really as it was rapid,y heading towards 9.00. And this despite my good intentions to get up earlier! I ran into old Jack and his little dog Rosy. He told me there had been frost on his car when he got up: not really surprising considering what a clear night it was!

But the sunshine saw me hanging washing out in the garden for the first time this year! That's a standard reaction around here to really good weather. Later I went out walking. The other standard reaction to good wether around here is to go out and walk along the bridle paths and tow paths. There were loads of people out and about.

My progress along the Donkey Lone was impeded by a whole family of cyclists who seemed to be just learning to use their gears, judging by the number of times they had to stop and sort themselves out wrong change of gear had bounced the chain off. And they had their little dog Betty running along as well which caused problems when they had horses to contend with as well: all stop and grab Betty before she gets over-excited and spooks the horses. 

Changes have been noted here and there. Time clearly does not stand still in our absence.What looked as if it was going to be an extension on a house up the road has turned out to be a HUGE conservatory, with a floor area almost as big as an extra house. It has been very nicely done, I must say, and I hope they get years of pleasure from it.

The bobby on the beat was back in the village again this morning. Is this a move to prevent weekend excesses? Or is he really just a glorified traffic cop, checking that the double yellow lines outside the shops are respected? As a rule they are not!

The work on the canal banks appears to have been completed. The canals are full of water again and the barges are chugging up and down once more. As I set off on my walk today I was stopped by someone looking for the barges, the canals and the viaduct - one of our local landmarks. I gave him directions. When he discovered that he would have to walk his dog a couple of miles, which seemed to me quite reasonable, he baulked and asked if I could give directions to go by car. Which I duly did!

The park in Uppermill was full of people, most strolling around or watching their children on the playground. Some had clearly settled in for the duration. No simple picnic blankets for these. Folding chairs abounded. One family group had brought with them two of those folding picnic-table-with-benches-attached affairs. These were neatly set out with picnic plates and glasses and cutlery. A fine déjeuner sur l'herbe if ever you saw one. They were as organised as any Spanish family out for a day at the beach! Impressive!

I wonder what they were eating. Masses of people were busily tucking in to fish and chips from the three chip shops on the high street. Others had huge sandwiches or pies or pasties from the local bakers. No doubt they would be frowned on by the healthy eating brigade.

Later I was reading yet another report in the paper about obesity. This one said that the problem is that the British rely too much on pre-packed food and ready meals. Not enough people eat freshly cooked food, which is, of course, much better for you. We are too gullible, it seems. Last month, I read, a professor of neuroscience advocated that high calorie food should be sold in plain packaging to make it less attractive. It's the same argument as for putting cigarettes in plain packets with no more than a health warning.

"Colourful wrapping of high energy foods of course makes you buy more of the stuff, and once you have it in your fridge, it's in front of you every time you open the fridge and ultimately you're going to eat it and eat too much."

 So there you are: we are all too weak-willed. Upon which, I shall go and chop up some fresh vegetables ready for this evening's meal!

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