We are rapidly becoming an island. I mean our bit of Delph, where we live. We are not suffering from flooding, thank heavens! But the extensive roadworks, intended to help prevent such an eventuality, are gradually cutting us off from the outside world. One point of access has been out of action for a week. Another was blocked this morning. Drivers, including lorry drivers, are still ignoring the road closed signs and having to turn round in frustration near our house. We have joked about UDI. We could declare ourselves an independent state, albeit tiny, and remain in the EU.
Someone knocked on our door the other day. Phil went to answer it, fully expecting it to be our daughter and family arriving. But, no, it turned out to be a chap doing a survey on radio listening habits. He asked Phil a series of questions, left him with a radio diary form to complete over the next week and proceeded to pay him £5 for taking part!!
I was astounded.
And then I saw this in a post on Facebook:-
“Calling all parents.
Is your child walking and aged between 2-12 years of age? We are looking for children to take part in a study to look at how shoes influence walking. It is a collaborative project between the University of Salford and Clarks,
You will receive a £10 Clarks voucher for participating.
Testing will last a maximum of 1.5 hours.
Please email .....@salford.... “
Clearly bribing people to take part in surveys and studies is a modern thing.
Of course it goes on all the time. The weekend Guardian has a regular blind date feature, where they pair up two people, send them for a meal in a restaurant and ask them a series of questions about the experience. Some people will do anything for a free meal, I suppose.
Sometimes, some very rare times, it leads to lasting romance but that must be exceptional. Mostly people are quite polite about each other, even if they really did not hit it off. This last weekend Ashleigh and Mike had a pretty bad time. Here are some of Ashleigh’s responses:
What do you think he made of you?
I was very surprised when he asked to swap numbers and see each other again. I’m not sure we were on the same date.
Did you go on somewhere?
To the underground.
And… did you kiss?
If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I’m not sure we were very well matched, so maybe we’d have had more fun separately.
Marks out of 10?
Mike must have sensed her negativity:
What do you think she made of you?
Not too much. I got rejected: she probably thought she could do better.
Did you go on somewhere?
After she didn’t give me her number, I didn’t see the point in trying to carry on.
Oh dear! I particularly like Ashleigh’s answer to “Did you go on somewhere?” - “To the underground.”
And finally Margaret Atwood and Bernadine Evaristo are sharing the Booker prize for literature this year. I was amused to hear Margaret Atwood express her surprise at being a winner. She said she did not think they would choose her because she is “too elderly”.