Saturday, 16 November 2019

Thoughts on privacy, climate change, flooding and busybodies!

I accidentally listened to a bit of Gardeners’ Question Time yesterday. I am not sure why but as a rule this programme annoys me. Anyway, there it was, playing in the background to a chess programme Phil was using. One woman’s question concerned her patio, which has a five foot fence around it. “In the interests of privacy”, could the panel recommend plants she could grow tall in pots, she wanted to know. How much privacy does a person need? A five foot high fence is quite tall. I would have to stand on a box to look over it. Does she have really bad neighbours? Is she an odd recluse? Nobody asked her these questions so we will never know. Instead they discussed stuff that will grow eight feet tall in a half barrel. Fortunately nobody recommended Leylandii.

Today as I went through Uppermill village centre (almost a town centre I am told by people who know at which population point a village turns into a town) I saw a group of protestors. So now Uppermill has its own Big Issue seller outside the co-op (mind you, we have one of those in Delph, which is quite a bit smaller than Uppermill) and demonstrators. There they were with their homemade placards and banners protesting about climate change and, presumably, the lack of effective action to reverse it. I wonder why they chose Uppermill!

There is a strange irony in the fact that the regional council of the Veneto region of Italy Rejected a plan to combat climate change only minutes before their council chamber offices on the Grand Canal in Venice were flooded. You don’t get much clearer evidence of problems than that. There is a nice picture of the flooded chambers in this article.

Well known places have been damaged by the flooding: Saint Mark’s Basilica, the opera house, Teatro La Fenice among other stuff. Nobody knows how much the repairs to all this will cost but because the whole of Venice is a work of art people all over the world will want to contribute. To that effect a bank account is being opened.

The Italian Prime Minister declared a state of emergency on Thursday and said that Residents whose homes have been flooded will receive €5,000 immediately while restaurant and shop owners will get up to €20,000. For comparison purposes our Mr Johnson promised relief funding of £500 for each affected home in our flooded areas and up to £2,500 for small ­businesses. Just a bit of a difference!

After Uppermill I went on to the Tesco in Greenfield. At the bus shelter I looked at the printed timetable to check the times of buses home. One of those know-it-all gents told me, in that special condescending tone that some “gentlemen” adopt when “helping” women, that it was useless to look at the timetable as it dated from April. I am pretty sure that when the bus times change they also change the printed timetables in the bus shelters but I let him have his say. He kindly looked up times on the app on his phone, which confirmed what the printed timetable had told me. I neglected to point this out to him and merely enquired how long he had been waiting, and whether he had seen a number 350 bus go by. Ten minutes and no were his answers. So I decided to hang on instead of starting to walk home. And, lo and behold, a minute or two after the know-it-all had got on his bus, going in the opposite direction to me, my bus turned up. Sometimes things work out fine!

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