Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Weather, running, street food - and possible consequences thereof - Facebook and the interconnectedness of things!

When I set off to run to Uppermill market this morning I put on my lightweight waterproof and a wooly hat. It was windy and rain was a distinct possibility. Some ten minutes down the road the hat came off - don’t let anyone call me a hot head! Five minutes after that I stopped to take off my waterproof and tie it round my waist. The sun was fighting to come out. There was some blue sky. And it was positively warm - too warm to run in a waterproof.

The day has deteriorated since. By lunchtime the grey cloud had consolidated and it feels a lot cooler. My weather app tells me it is still 17 degrees but I have trouble believing that!

As I waited for the bus home after going to the market (a bus which failed to arrive by the way and so obliged me to catch a later one that goes along the scenic route through our if the way housing estates - I knew I should have set off walking instead of waiting the two minutes until the bus was due but by the time I realised it was not coming it was just too late!) I spotted a sign outside the pub on the other side of the road. “SADDLEWORTH STREET FOOD”, it announced.

Now, people travel to far flung places and come back with tales of how wonderful the street food is. We have sampled street food in Palermo and very good it was too. But “Saddleworth Street Food”? Just what does that consist of? Fish and chips? Pasties and pies from the bakers? Or does the pub produce more exotic snacks for people to nibble, presumably outside the pub. Otherwise it would not be street food!

Of course, there have long been stalls in town centres selling baked potatoes, hot dogs and the like. It’s just that we never used to call it street food. Walking home from the pub we didn’t buy street food; we bought a portion of chips from the chippie on the corner and ate them from the paper as we went on our way.

I first wrote “there have always been stalls, etc” but then I changed it because there have not always been hot dog stands in the middle of shopping streets. People used to do their shopping without having to buy sustenance to eat as they walked along the high street. (My mother would never have allowed us to buy anything anyway; she regarded eating in the street as “common”.) Nobody seems to have commented on this in articles about obesity but I can’t help wondering if the habit of constantly grazing does not contribute to the fatness epidemic.

And nowadays, of course, it’s not just women who are supposed to watch their weight, as this article demonstrates. I read articles of this kind and marvel at the amount of weight some people have to lose!

Facebook gets a lot of stick these days. All sorts of things are supposed to be wrong with it. Young people are said to be moving away from it in droves, using Instagram and other newer social media instead. But me, I am an older person and am quite happy with Facebook keeping me in touch with old friends and storing photos for me. (Yes, I do know I can storm them on the Cloud and stuff like that.)

I even quite like the fact that it regularly sends me photos I posted years ago, reminding me of good times or making me wonder why on earth I posted that particular photo. (This week it has been sending me photos of a trip to Sicily we did six or seven hears ago - time to go back there, I think.)

I don’t even mind that it sends me messages to my phone telling me that certain friends have commented on or “liked” some post of mine. But I draw the line when it starts to send me emails with the same messages. Which has just started happening over the last few days.

That is taking the interconnectedness of everything just a little bit too far!

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