Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Some key problems. And risk-takers!

For as long as I can remember we have only had one key to the back door of our house. We must at some time have had two but where the second key has disappeared to remains a mystery. For almost as long I have been intending to have another key cut. The truth is that we rarely take the back door key with us when we go out, usually only if we go for bike rides, an increasingly rare occurrence these days. (Memo to self: use the bike more!)

Anyway, yesterday I decided that I would take the key with me when I went to Uppermill. The hardware shop has a key-cutting service. I would be able to drop off the key, pop to some shops and go back to collect it. The key-cutting man, however, took a look at the key and told me he could not copy it. One of the prongs, or tines or whatever you call them on keys was bent, he told me. His machine would not cope with it. Neither would he risk trying to straighten it as he might break it.

Did I not have another? Well, no, that was the whole point of the exercise. Oddly enough the bent bit has never caused problems with locking and unlocking the door. But there remained the problem of our having only one key!

On my return home, I related my failure to Phil. He proceeded to do what the key-cutting man had been afraid to do: he took pliers and a hammer to the key and straightened it. I was sceptical, not to say nervous, when he began this task. I had visions of our being left without any key at all and having to locate a locksmith to change the lock on the door. But his patient fiddling and filing worked. The key now seems to be straight and, more importantly, it still works! So today I tried again, using a different key-cutting service, and was successful! Job done!

In the news yesterday was the story of a man who climbed up the outside of the Shard, one of the tallest buildings in Europe. No ropes! No suction cups! Just his hands and feet! Mad fool! He was spotted at around 5.15 in the morning. Emergency services were called. The climber went back into the building (how? was there an open window?) and was spoken to by the police but not arrested.

He is not the first person to try this. “Previous climbers who have set their sights on the 310-metre (1,017ft) building include the YouTuber CassOnline, who climbed from the public viewing platform to the apex in 2017. In 2013, a group of Greenpeace activists also scaled the building to protest against oil drilling in the Arctic. The previous year, the Shard secured a high court injunction against Alain Robert, the climber nicknamed the French Spiderman, to stop him attempting to scale the building.”

All crazy!

Almost as crazy as the people who run in front of the bulls in Pamplona or, for that matter, the cyclists who ride at speed down hills with hairpin bend in them!!

I have never understood people who feel the need to put themselves unnecessarily in danger! I know that we need risk-takers in the world to get certain things done but, really, quite what is achieved by climbing a tall building, or a mountain that has been climbed many times before for that matter, or running down a street full of rather frightened, panicky and very heavy and dangerous animals is quite beyond me!

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