Thursday, 17 October 2019

Antique buying. Stuff in the news. Contrasting behaviour styles.

Strolling through Chesham, getting some exercise, giving my son and daughter-in-law space to get on with working from home, I looked into charity shops and second-hand shops. As you do!

In the window of one I spotted an ancient Singer sewing machine.

Now, my crazy 22 year-old granddaughter, who has an eclectic range of weird and wonderful interests and hobbies, already has a similar vintage machine which she has cleaned and oiled and restored into a thing of beauty, so I sent her a photo. Instant excitement! How much did it cost? I enquired. The shop assistant had no idea. But she found out for me: £45!

I could see what was coming next. And no way was I going to volunteer to carry a heavy machine, even though it had a wooden carrying case with a handle, on the train to Manchester. Did she really need another sewing machine? Well, no, not really but she wanted it. Indeed, she coveted it. A little planning was called for.

Maybe my son, her uncle, could put it in his car when he travelled north for Christmas. I called him. Such a thing was feasible but he told me that my brother-in-law, his uncle is due to visit the southern branch of the family in November and could undoubtedly be imposed upon to carry the machine home in his car. Job done!

All we needed to do now was get the machine to my son’s house. Easy! My daughter-in-law was due to go to the hairdresser’s and on her way back would park, briefly, outside the antique shop and between us and the shop people we would manhandle the machine into the boot of the car. Sorted!

One happy, crazy granddaughter!

In the meantime I completed the purchase and went to sit down with a coffee and the newspaper and wait for transport for the machine.

From the newspaper:-

Equality issues - NASA has designed and commissioned a woman-friendly space suit. Hooray! Space suits, like car seat belts and many other things were designed originally by men for men. Not that I plan to go into space but it’s good to know that women space-travellers can now go to the moon in comfort.

John Crace on Stephen Barclay, Brexit Minister -

“Barclay’s job is mostly to open and close bis ring-binders”. A bit harsh but possibly true.

I don’t watch breakfast TV as a rule but it was on in my son’s living room this morning.

On the one hand I saw footage of an Extinction Rebellion protester being pulled from the roof of a tube train at Canning Road and being kicked and punched by angry commuters. A journalist commissioned by Extinction Rebellion to film their protest action was also knocked down, kicked and punched. Interviewed by the BBC he estimated that probably 50% of the people at the station, even though probably angry, were calm or indifferent, 30% were actually trying to prevent the kickers and punchers from inflicting too much damage, but an alarming 20% clearly felt that violence was the answer and were prepared to put the boot in.

On the other hand, I saw a trio of teenagers interviewed because they had gone to John Bercowe’s house to protest about the bad manners, bad language and general bad behaviour of parliamentarians. Their aggression, the young people said, was a shockingly bad example to their generation. If they spoke and acted in that way at school or sixth form college they would be sanctioned!

Just a little point of comparison!

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