Thursday, 1 February 2018

Out on the streets!

We appear to have acquired our very own Big Issue seller in Delph Village. Does this say something about the status of the village? Have we increased in size sufficiently to merit a Big Issue seller?

She was standing outside the Co-op at 9.30 this morning.

In fact, she looked rather like the Big Issue seller who stands outside the Co-op store in Uppermill, the largest of the Saddleworth villages and which was upgraded from village to town some time ago. Until a couple of years ago Uppermill had no Big Issue seller either. The one who stands outside the Co-op in Uppermill comes on the bus from nearby Lees. I have seen her do so. Presumably our Big Issue seller has also come on the bus. It is, of course, possible that she is the very same person and has decided that a change of scene is a good idea, that even if Delph does not provide rich pickings, at least there will be pickings of some kind.

As you can see, the advent of this Big Issue seller in our village has brought out the cynical side of me. I am not not hardhearted. I go around Manchester with a pocketful of loose change to give away and stop and talk to young people sleeping rough on the streets. But the Uppermill and now the Delph Big Issue sellers must be doing all right if they can afford the not inconsiderable bus fare to get to their selling positions.

And I do recognise that I might be doing them a serious injustice! 

Anyway, the seller outside the Co-op this morning was well wrapped up against the cold and had good strong boots on her feet. Unlike our Prime Minister in a photo I spotted yesterday. She too was well wrapped up, walking out of a building, possibly a church. She wore a padded coat with a hood, black trousers and silly little shoes leaving a vast expanse of what looked like BARE foot and ankle exposed to the weather!

I see a surprisingly large number of women in similar footwear. The shoes are those thin-soled ballet-slipper style things, usually worn with bare feet, goodness only knows why. No doubt they are perfect for tripping around the office in. In fact, I know women who keep a pair in the office for just that purpose. But they usually wear something warmer to reach the office. Pretty little ballet slippers offer no insulation or protection against cold pavements and icy wind.

I can only assume that the women I see tripping along Manchester’s Market Street in the wild and windy, wet winter weather in their unsuitable footwear have just popped out for a couple of minutes and have forgotten, or could not be bothered, to change their shoes. Or maybe sturdier footwear would not match their outfit!

Of course, it may well be that such women never travel on public transport and therefore never have to stand at a bus- or tram-stop with their feet turning to blocks of ice. They must go everywhere by car and never walk more than a few yards from car to office and back again. Such is probably the case for the Prime Minister as she goes about her Prime Ministerial business. Certainly, when you see photos of her striding out across the hills and moors with Mr Prime Minister (First Gentleman of the UK? Or is that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh?) she appears to be sensibly shod.

But perhaps the vagaries of fashion will remove all this silly footwear from our city centre streets. I hear that Ugg boots are coming back into fashion, despite experts in osteopathic medicine expressing concern at the lack of proper support such boots provide, leading potentially to ankle, hip and back problems. But at least they are warm.

Personally, I think that Ugg boots, like flowery-patterned leggings, should not be worn by anyone above the age of five but that is a different matter. Fashion is a fickle thing!

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