Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Not running in the rain! The working week!

No comments on the Brexit fiasco stuff!

This morning I contemplated running to Uppermill, as I usually do on a Wednesday - market day in Uppermill. Then I listened to the rain battering against the window and thought again. I haven’t really got anything against running in the rain, well not much anyway. I don’t go quite so far as to say, as some do, that it is quite refreshing. No, it isn’t refreshing; it’s just wet. Refreshing is having a shower afterwards. But I don’t really object too much to running in the rain. However, if I plan to stop off and buy stuff at the market then I am going to have to walk home with a bag of shopping or wait around for the bus to arrive. Running gear is fine for running, even in the rain, but is not good for keeping you warm as you walk, a bit more sedately, with your bag of shopping, or if you have to stand five minutes at the bus stop.

So I got up and dressed and put on my warmer waterproof gear and walked briskly through the wind and rain to Uppermill. When I got there, the market was substantially reduced: just the fishman and the fruit and veg man. Where was everyone else? Goodness knows and goodness is not telling!

Parking on the square is prohibited on market days but clearly a good number of drivers had decided to ignore the notices and park where the absentee stall holders should have been. When parking is allowed drivers usually enter at one end and leave at the other. We call it a square but it’s really a rectangle, and quite a narrow one at that. With the fishman and the fruit and veg man quite legitimately blocking the exit, drivers had to carry out a three-point (more often than not a multi-point) turn in order to leave.

I saw one old chap very nearly mown down as he headed for the fruit and veg stall. And one large vehicle came close to pranging the fish stall itself.

Much indignant huffing and puffing from both stall holders ensued!

So much for the British being a law-abiding nation! Not when it comes to finding somewhere to park in Uppermill, they’re not!

Mind you, our next door neighbour frequently parks his white van overnight on the double yellow lines outside our row of houses. He obviously relies on there being no parking inspectors around here but we are, cruelly? perhaps vindictively?, waiting for the day when he gets a ticket! You never know!

Anyway, I bought fish and fruit, including rhubarb - it must be the season! - and popped into the baker’s for the rather nice rye loaf they bake and then caught the bus home.

Quite efficiently done, even though I say it myself!

Less efficient is the energy company we switched put account to some time ago. They were supposed to organise everything concerned with the switchover, including sorting out all payment details. So why did I receive an email from our previous supplier telling me that they were still receiving payment from us? Standing order now cancelled! Not a huge thing, but that money paid to the energy company should have been earning a minimal amount of interest in my bank account!!

Years ago my A-Level French students and I read about, discussed and wrote essays (the students, not me) about the pros and cons of the 35 hour working week. Now I am reading about companies seeing the benefits of a four day working week, for the employees and for the companies.  This is without a reduction in pay, something that figured largely in the arguments about the 35 hour week in France. It seems that employers are seeing improved productivity from their happier workers.

What a surprise!

How does such a move affect the high-flying business and financial sector workers who reportedly work longer and longer hours because there is a culture which says more or less that you have to be seen to be at your desk from sunrise ‘til sunset if you want to succeed? And at the other end of the scale there are those who are already paid so poorly for their five-day week that they would simply have to use the extra “leisure” time to seek a second, or possible a third, job, just to earn enough to survive!!!

The world is an odd place and there are some benefits to being a pensioner and not having to worry about such things! I would, however, have appreciated a four day week back when I was a working mother.

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