Opinion: Robert McNeil: Let me be completely clear: I do not know what’s happening
AT the time of writing – and no, madam, it’s not shortly after closing time – I’ve not but been to the supermarkets to do my weekly audit of the bathroom rolls.
Appalling photos within the public prints confirmed impossibly egocentric people pushing large trolleys piled excessive with lavatory roll, upfront of the a lot predicted Second Coming of Covid. Says all of it about this Second Coming: presaged not by a hippie on a donkey however by a lavatory roll on a purchasing trolley pushed by a donkey.
On the First Coming of Covid, I used to be caught out by the lavatory roll brigade. That’s me, at all times trailing on the rear of any mob. And “trailing on the rear” is the apposite expression. At the moment, trusting naively that human nature within the sticks could be extra civilised than within the mad cities, I needed to make do with sandpaper for a number of weeks.
I’m undecided if it’ll come to that this time. New measures have been put in place however I’m undecided in the event that they quantity to a panic-inducing lockdown, as such. Let me be completely clear: I haven’t a scoobie what’s happening.
I’m not blaming anybody in energy for this. Comic Matt Lucas did a humorous take-off of Bertie Johnson, the Prime Minister, telling us, inter alia, that the measures would range in accordance with an individual’s top.
However which of us would make any much less of a baggage of issues? You wouldn’t know what to do. A few of you – significantly in Klutzland: the web – are like these fats people in footer tops who shout at athletes on the pitch that they’re lazy and sluggish.
My very own confusion has not been helped by London papers calling England “the UK” and “Britain”, which they do relentlessly. We’ve had devolution for God is aware of what number of years, and these utter dumbos are nonetheless at it. They’re virtually preternaturally dense and so they write for newspapers. Whoever heard of such a factor?
Shut it, you. The identical articles would go on to speak about “England following Scotland” on one thing or different. Actually, it drives me up the wall. Who’s the First Minister? Why doesn’t he tackle this necessary matter of Scotland’s place within the UK?
So far as I could make out, a minimum of on the time of writing (it might nicely change once more), gyms haven’t been affected by the newest measures, although there’s speak of limiting numbers (undecided if that applies to England, Scotland, Britain or Timbuktu). Our teeny wee gymnasium has solely been reopened for ten days, and I’ve been thrice in that interval.
Predictably sufficient, I had the place to myself every time. It saddens me that the sauna has not reopened.
It struck me the opposite day that the 2 important causes I had for shifting to my present locale – the superb fish and chip store and the village gymnasium’s sauna – now not obtained. The chip store modified palms, and is now garbage, and the sauna’s been closed ’cos of Covid.
Once I lived in Edinburgh, you couldn’t go for a sauna, as a result of few of them have been precise saunas and, even amongst these “public” ones that have been, you continue to weren’t protected. I typically puzzled what disturbing encounters Finns and Swedes visiting Edinburgh will need to have had simply making an attempt to have an harmless steam.
Thoughts you, they’ll’t even get a beer after 10pm now which is once they – being international – have a tendency to begin their nights out. Or is that in Iberia? Someplace within the Third World, at any price.
Ach, my data of the world is lamentable. It’s virtually as unhealthy as my data of Britain, a spot that baffles me and leaves me in continual ache from a sandpapered backside.
HA, because it have been, ha. Cyclists are being knocked off their bikes by even greater poltroons on electrical scooters. There’s now a hierarchy of two-wheeled egotistical narcissists.
As with all the things else in Scotain in the meanwhile, I’m undecided what the authorized place is with these contraptions. As I perceive it, they’re being trialled in Englandshire and, in a minimum of one city, have subsequently been banned on security grounds.
They’re not simply, as with cyclists, proving to be a hazard to pedestrians, motorists and canine. Their lesser two-wheeled compadres are additionally being knocked over, significantly on canal paths and different greenways, which pedestrians way back needed to vacate after being pressured off by bicyclists. A feminine bike owner practically drowned in a single incident.
The saving grace of the electrical brigade is that they don’t costume up in obscene Lycra or put on shades in order that they’ll look proper edgy and exhausting for a financial institution clerk. Nonetheless, they do are inclined to put on hoodies, which is the signal of a hoodlum.
I’m tempted to explain all two-wheeled automobiles as Devil’s transport, however I’ve at all times had a delicate spot for motor-bikes. If it hadn’t been for my being forbidden to take action by varied burdz over time, I’d probably have had one in some unspecified time in the future. In contrast to bicycles, motor-bikes are for actual males who pay street tax and, er, don’t let ladies boss them about.
Oldies up the tempo
SHOCKING, however glorious, information erupted this week, with an announcement that previous individuals have been now strolling 1mph sooner than their counterparts did 30 years in the past.
A research by the College of Jyväskylä, Finland, attributed the rise to raised vitamin, hygiene and healthcare.
The information has been welcomed by respectable pavement customers, who’ve typically discovered themselves caught behind a senior citizen not simply doddering however staggering backward and forward, at all times simply blocking your method as you’re about to overhaul in your electrical scooter.
Every time I’ve been unwillingly overseas, I’ve typically discovered the native strolling kinds slovenly. I’m not a busy man. I by no means have wherever to go. However I prefer to get there swiftly, setting a brisk and environment friendly tempo, fooling onlookers into considering: ‘There goes an necessary man of motion, presumably a newspaper columnist.’
Curiously, or certainly in any other case, the research famous at present’s previous Finns being taller than their counterparts earlier final century. Finns, just like the Dutch, by no means was tall. However they grew after they received their independence, simply because the Dutch did on account of consuming cheese.
Scots, being dependent and consuming primarily pies, stay comparatively small.
LET you right into a wee secret: ma hoose isnae insured. Ooh! It’s simply short-term, I’m positive, and is on my to-do listing, together with different fantasies corresponding to “write novel with bike owner hero”, “purchase boat”, and “brush tooth”.
The state of affairs arose as my funds have been elevated by 25 per cent within the hope I wouldn’t discover or do something about it. The standard rigmarole includes phoning them and getting a greater provide, typically leaving you paying much less moderately than extra. Bizarre.
However, this yr, you have been invited simply to inform them on-line to shove it, which I did and, as an alternative of making an attempt to influence me to remain, they mentioned: “Oh, nicely. Cheerio.”
I’ll most likely get a quote for “hearth and theft”, although the latter is tutorial spherical right here. Beforehand, I used to be lined for buildings harm, which didn’t embody the roof. Wanting the partitions being charged by a rhinoceros, I don’t know what else they envisaged.
Within the meantime, I’m blissful to report that insurance coverage companies can now not cost current purchasers greater than new ones. That was after a marketing campaign by one in all Britland’s glorious London-based newspapers.
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