Thursday, 26 September 2019

Rain. Roadworks. Decision making. Some statistics.

As I listened to the rain beating down in the small hours I wondered if I would manage to run this morning or not. And then the morning turned out to be quite fine and even a little sunny. So I ran round the village, playing dodge-the-puddles on the bridle path and noticing that in a couple of places the path is about to disintegrate totally and just become part of the river’s overflow patch. Judging by how long it has taken for them to get around to fixing the drainage problem on the main road going past our house, I am not expecting repairs to the bridle path to take place anytime soon.

On the main road major works are beginning to happen. They plan to close sections of the road for about six months while they install a new drainage system. That should cause some fun and games as this is the A62 and serves as an alternative route of there are problems on the M62. So it goes! So far they have only created some impressive holes but already the work has prevented parking on a 200 yard stretch of road. I have no idea where the large number of cars which are usually parked there have gone but that is not my problem. The sides of the impressive holes are shored up with planks, making them look rather like trenches. I suspect they needed pumping out this morning as so much rain fell in the night.

The bright morning, by the way, deteriorated by lunchtime into a uniformly grey cloud cover. More rain is forecast for later. To much water everywhere!

I watched a report on the news last night about the plight of the city of Hull where they are desperately building a seawall to try to prevent flooding of vast areas of the city. The sea once provided the city with a living and is now doing its best to destroy it. And the problem will only get worse as ice caps melt and sea levels rise.

And still there are people prepared to mock young Greta Thornberg and her campaign!

But Brexit still dominates our news here. The discussions in parliament seem to go round and round and I am rapidly reaching a point where I can no longer stand to listen to them and remain calm. It strikes me as odd that politicians can change their minds and switch the way they vote. Some of them have voted different ways at different times on essentially the same issue. They have even in some cases switched political party. So why can’t it be recognised that the people can also change their minds about things?

I quoted figures recently about people over 100 years old in Italy. Now I have found some for the UK. Apparently there are 820 people alive today aged 105 and over compared with 330 in 2002, and more than five times as many women aged 105 and over than men: 690 females to 130 males. Going down the age range, there are more than 400,000 women over the age of 90 in the UK compared with 183,000 men.

So if there is something women can do better than men it’s live to a ripe old age.

Of course, these statistics say nothing about the quality of life of all these old biddies! More disturbing is the fact that in some parts of the country life expectancy is going down. “But we must not be complacent. Life expectancy remains lower in less well-off parts of the country and many people in their 50s and 60s now, particularly those who are less well-off, simply won’t reach these older ages,” said an expert. “They will experience poor health and disability much earlier and will die much earlier too.”

Now, I wonder if austerity and cuts have anything to do with that!

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