Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thursday 14th November 2013.

Sunny but very windy and cold this morning around Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.
There’s bad news about too. In the past nine days five cyclists have been killed and several injured in and around London. There are, in the press, pictures of wrecked bikes – I assume bikes involved in the accidents. Most of these bikes are, as far as I can see, very lightweight, built for speed models that will ‘buckle’ or puncture easily on rough everyday roads. One bike is pictured near tram-rails set into a road surface. A nightmare for bikes and bikers with narrow wheels equipped with wafer-thin, not good on wet roads, tyres.
I ride a bike along a few far less busy northern streets and quite a few off-road cycle-routes and tracks. Bikes, built as those mentioned above, wouldn’t last five minutes if put to my, very modest, use. And if I ventured roads as busy as those mentioned above, and not just in London, I doubt if I’d ride for long without some kind of accident. So, I don’t do it. At busy times, even around here, I get off and walk. Safety First. It’s as simple as that. Nobody minds a cyclist walking along a pavement shoving a bike. Everybody hates an idiot riding a bike through crowds of pedestrians!
A motorist, anywhere, has enough to do while driving, especially in busy areas. So getting-off and walking helps them too.
It’s simple really: A bike built for the use you’re putting it to. Common-sense when the traffic is busy and/or at dangerous (?) road junctions etc., will help all road-users.
On the fun front ‘new’ eu rules mean that 70% more ex-pat pensioners living in sunny France or Spain perhaps, can claim UK pensions payments like the (h)Eating Allowance. Excellent! The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, currently holidaying in India, are, rumour transpires, ecstatic! The Duchess, recently, said that buying a (birthday) present for The Duke (who already has everything) is very difficult. Of course many mp’s of various ‘main-stream’ political parties won’t like this eu ruling. So perhaps they should join ukip?

Wednesday 13th November 2013.

Cold but sunny this morning for the ride around Radcliffe – calling at the doctors for me Statins – and then the off-road lanes.
I couldn’t help but notice that, really, that nice Mrs. Cleggs’s £570.00p per hour fee for graft isn’t that high compared to Mr. Blair’s £2,600.00p per minute! that he gets for yakking in Dubai. Mind you, the folk he’s yakking to probably wonder how he manages on so little!
Locally, there is talk of Church Street (West?) closing in the new year, and, there’ll be disruption at the Metro car-park. It’s already bedlam around the Town Hall area lights, at rush-hour, and any detour will make it worse. Gawd knows what it’s like in a car! It’s bad enough on the bike!

Tuesday 12th November 2013.

A sunny, Autumn morning and, for this daily blogger, the day of the year that adds yet another year to those already stock-piled. There are cards here – many thanks!
Not to mention a wedge (No!) of sheer taste that, upon unsealing its shrink-wrapped polythene safety-cover, was almost Dementor-like (See Harry Potter) in its destruction of the usually neutral smell of our kitchen. Extra-Matured, Blue Stilton has that effect. It is simply, awesome. Sadly here, I’m the only one that thinks so. The others are, I think, building an Air-Raid (?) shelter in the back-yard!
Yesterday was partially spent on an outing. Quite an event for an O.A.P. We went by bus-pass to Iceland (98) and came back Pack-Animal-like with weighty bags of stuff for the freezer. Wiltshire Farm Foods eat your heart out (do they stunt your growth?). Later a repeat prescription for Statins was ordered by telephone and I’ll pick them up tomorrow morning while out on the bike. After Sunday’s roast breast of lamb, chips and well matured, enematic (?) black-eye-peas, Statins are, possibly, a life-saver!
On the fun front today there is an artists impression (a picture for gawds sake) of a possible new £47,000,000,000.00p Britannia Airport that old Boris fancies for hiding the flood-plains of parts of the Thames. With the new year promise of potential travel for a few million eu citizens they might just need it!
And that nice Mr. Cameron tells ex-Spitting-Image star Mr. Major that: ‘It’s not where you come from but where you’re going.’ that’s important. He’s actually orf to China touting a bit of trade for the eu. Hasn’t he heard of the ‘net? You can get loads of stuff from China. And the postage is cheaper – but let’s not go there just yet!
Yesterday Mr. Cameron was the stand-up turn at the lord mayor’s banquet. His gags about austerity and belt-tightening really made ’em laugh!
And, on the subject of quantitative easing, Venezuela has run out of banknote ink. Really!
Luckily that nice Mr. Dimbleby has got his tat done before we do! How’s that for a sting in the tail?

Monday 11th November 2013.

Wet and drizzly this morning but no frost. A new pair of woolly gloves take a bit of getting used-to though. Especially when taking the pics!
Both locally and nationally, live and via the media, the promise ‘Not To Forget’ is again upheld. We must, always, remember and this year, it seems, even more-so, that we do.
Remembrance stories quite rightly feature heavily in the media but there are still some fun snippets. The recent ‘Help to Borro…erm, Buy’ scheme, a favourite of that nice Mr. Cameron, is selling about 75 mortgages (averaged at £155,000.00p each) daily. Is he, I must ask, on commission?
A predecessor of Mr. Cameron, Mr. Major, tells us that we’re ‘ruled’ by some ‘privately-educated elite…’ An elite then that possibly teaches us that borrowing is good? Judging by our deficits and debts it must be!
Locally, it transpires, that should a goodly number of local folk whinge about a new secondary school, one will indeed be built in Radcliffe. Although, at my age, not directly affected by such, the lack of such a school is dire indeed. There were, not long ago, several of secondary status locally.
So, whinge away! Loudly!
Apparently the defunct satellite has landed somewhere and, as far as I can determine, it isn’t in Elton Res.
The lack of umpteen skips and scrap-lorries, in the vicinity, are testament.
But, better luck next time!

Sunday 10th November 2013.

An older pic this morning as, outside, it’s white with frost and barely walk-able let alone cycle-able. But it is thawing-out under the sun so two-wheels may be okay a bit later.
Just to allow me to shove a nice batch of noughts in today’s post, bt announce that they’ve rented the rights to Champions and Europa League football matches for a while. The rent? £900,000,000.00p. bt are good in the renting game, as mentioned here before; their old wire ‘land-lines’ are pulling-in about £15.00 per month, per household or business lately.
While on the subject of Market-Stall Trading that nice Mrs. Clegg asks £500 plus per hour lately, for, amongst other things, using her bt land-line. So watch what you’re letting a packet of fag-papers or gas-lighters go for. And it must be legal…
…strangely, Mrs. Clegg’s husband has been (is he?) banging-on about lowering the cost of living for the past month! It must be tough getting-by on his comparatively modest ‘earnings’ though.
Apparently there’s a satellite set to fall back to Earth. Usually, I read, they fall into the large bodies of water that cover much of the planet. So I might nip around to Elton Res., with the camera. Just in case. So if you hear a large splash and see a Blue-Algae covered cyclist about – I’ve probably got a pic!

Saturday 9th November 2013.

Cold and misty again early-on and the old General Eng. site is now well clear and clean and ready for…? Action? Now I don’t want to slide ideas around as if they come cheap but, if the land isn’t used…car-boots next year? Or a Metro car-park?
I expect though, eventually, it’ll just be another council-tax raiser for those index-linked up at Bury.
On the fun front the nuclear energy generating idea is being blown off the grid because some folk concerned with insurance reckon the Fukushima disaster would have needed coverage amounting to E5,000,000,000,000.00c. That’s a bit much even for the man from the Pru!
Premiums for nuclear plant insurance range from £40,000,000.00p to say £80,000,000.00p depending on location of country.
Coal’s looking good eh?
Even peat! (Mentioned that years ago!)
Windfarms? Mmm…recently one windmill blew over! Many already rusting…expensive to repair…
Archimedes Screws? Mmm…you’d need a lot. Just to fire-up hs2!
Really, what’s needed is an Entrepreneur to look at the problem. Sadly it’s more viable, and beached deck-chair friendly to just ‘Twitter’, or something similar.(Don’t understand all that meself.) I mean, all that labour-intensive graft involved with digging coal, or hoisting a 300 foot windmill on some uninhabited, snow-laden mountain-top, somewhere. For what? Well, we’re only talking money here, not Bitcoin, so it’s all of limited £return appeal. (I’m clueless with Bitcoin too.)
The local unicyclist managed Radcliffe to Hollingworth Lake yesterday. That’s on one wheel. Mmm…treadmill…??
Oh, the pensioner holding-up traffic (a busfull of German tourists!) on his walking-pace mobility thingy was great. What d’you expect us to drive on Pensions? Bugatti Veyrons?
And the abdicated king of Belgium is having probbies running his yacht on £770,000.00p bung per year. Mmm…my booklet, ‘Transport on a Pension’ is just £500.00p. Expensive? Good grief, have you seen the price of bikes lately?

Friday 8th November 2013.

Cold, frosty mist early-on around Radcliffe but okay if you keep moving.
Locally, a ‘town-council’ meeting, last night at the Civic Hall, attracted a good turnout of Radcliffe folk and I understand that Christmas Lights were on the ‘agenda’. If memory serves these are ‘funded’ by local traders and I’m sure it’s the same in Bury. Market Stalls, in Radcliffe, are, in the main, decorated at Christmas by the stall-holders. So, really, in order to see Christmas Lights around Radcliffe Town-Centre, try to support the Radcliffe businesses.
Already though I detect a ‘party-political’ note creeping-in from existing councillors who, instead of speaking constructively about what can be done, merely bring-up old arguments about ‘the tories did this then labour did that.’ This is simply obfuscation designed to waste time and pass the buck. It won’t get a new school built anywhere.
But hey, not for me to influence folk…
The Private Sector (all the Traders, Stall-Holders and Business-folk, locally) have to get along despite all this governmental malarkey.
Or they just shrug.
And ride bikes around the canal!

Thursday 7th November 2013.

Very sunny around Radcliffe early-on and an attempt was made to photograph the distant eyeso…landscape of hills covered in windmills. To take the pic zoom was used. (After a training-session from Mrs. C.) I think the ‘mills can just be seen. Dunno if they were actually turning or not.
A good, light morning for a jaunt ‘off-road’ along the Radcliffe Canal with a camera.
Locally the newly-formed Radcliffe Independence Party is mentioned in the local press which will boost follower numbers. I think it started online with just a few folk posting messages. There is, I believe, a meeting of towns-folk and councillors etc. at Radcliffe Civic Hall tonight. Just a quick glance, to compare the centres of Bury and Radcliffe, does immediately highlight where the rates money (?) is actually blow…spent. And I think it must be twenty years or even more, since I attended a caravan-type ‘exhibition’, in Radcliffe town-centre, that purported to show maps and models of the ‘Radcliffe Renewal’ scheme.
Still waiting.
While Bury centre constantly re-builds and prospers.
There will be, if things pan-out, a bit of work done to Radcliffe centre shortly. The Indoor Market re-vamp and a few other changes. Whether these things will attract Traders to the area remains to be seen. And, in a market centre, only Traders attract customers long-term.
So, realistically, Radcliffe, renewed or not, needs to attract Traders. Sadly, for many of them, lately, trading in Radcliffe hasn’t been overly viable. Many blame big sales outlets like asda for blighting local trading businesses. But, let’s face it, asda is an easy to use, one-stop shop for basics like food and general household items. It employs folk too. Not good to lose it.
Attract viably trading businesses to the town and they’ll do the rest. Yes, they’ll probably provide Christmas lights into the bargain. (I think this topical item has been favourably sorted! Excellent.)
So, what’s needed is a strategy that would attract businesses and traders while not putting the big outlets, or the Internet traders, at a disadvantage. In fact a strategy that encouraged (say) asda, would encourage more, bigger traders. (To our area)
And, thus, create local jobs.
Impossible?
They said that years ago about The Town Hall.
Which, luckily, is still there.
Because Radcliffe might need it again shortly.
Hope so.
The Metrognome

Wednesday 6th November 2013.

Wet, this morning, but the rain held-off for a while when the pics were taken.
The pics are of the bit of land, next to the old Radcliffe Times offices building, that has, apparently, been tidied-up a bit by the council.
In the summer months this bit of almost riverside land is rife with Giant Hogweed plants and, in the main, the remnants of this year’s growths appear to be still there. But a little ‘coaxing’ by the newly formed Radcliffe Independence Party does seem to have spurred those at Bury into a bit of actual action.
A word to the wise though: Watch the rates bills next year. Councils do nothing for nothing. Meanwhile, well done R.I.P.
While in the Radcliffe Bridge area, along Church Street West (?), many of the shops are newly fronted and most are habited and trading I think. One is a computer/laptop sales/repair shop and that could be handy. Bear it in mind. (Can’t totally ‘advertise’ without permission. So that is purely useful information – what the ‘net is for!)
It was Bommie Night last night so natch it rained and the flashes and bangs were, thus, quite sparse. Better perhaps to attend one of the local Bommies/Firework Displays rather than burning the old three-piece suite in the back yard.
National and International laughs are about: Some of those governmental have said that the hs2 costing guesstimates are indeed, mainly, ‘made-up’. So what’s new? And eu auditors have, for the nineteenth year, refused to ‘sign-off’ on the eu books. Which means, they reckon, another £800,000,000.00p plus bill for the UK. In the same vein one source reckons being in the eu is worth £30,000,000,000.00p a year to the UK. Another mentions that it costs £100,000,000,000.00p to be in it. Which, generally, for those so inclined, is par for the course!

Tuesday 5th November 2013.

Heavy rain this morning and so the outdoor excursion, which normally happens rain or shine, was postponed for a few hours. The pic then was taken a few days ago when it was sunny. Well, when it was light enough – this is rain-soaked Greater Manchester after all!
Staying-in meant an early breakfast of cereals and a banana, dressed in a space-suit in case of any illegally immigrating Brazilian spiders in my banana pack! (Send ’em home!!!)
There’s loads of fun-stuff in the news today. Loads of it. Minimum-wage stuff. Living-Wage stuff. Taxation stuff. Immigration stuff. Expenses stuff. nhs stuff. Education stuff. mp’s wages stuff. hs2 stuff. eu stuff. bbc stuff. The list goes on. But all this of course is a smoke-screen to create the usual governmental obfuscation.
For today is the day in each year that folk commemorate and celebrate the late great Guy Fawkes.
He tried, sadly in vain, to rid us, mercifully, at a stroke, of all the things listed above. (Yes, the hs2 débâcle started then and they’re still arguing about it! The guesstimate then was G80 – eighty Groats – and minimum-wage was a spark off a Farriers anvil. Good grief, inflation eh?) In those days too they’d have eaten the spiders and, unsure, would have slung the bananas.
Then too there was no Old Age Pension. Simply because there was no Old Age. Most folk were blanketed and buried, with a few puzzling artefacts, ready for Time Team, before they were thirty-five. A huge saving there for the exchequer, and much work for potters and diggers. Income Tax hadn’t been invented because they couldn’t spell it, but Witchcraft had because they could. Hence, even to this day, politicians still spend as if the money-pot was filled by magic.
Which, if Railway ins and outs are correct, some, today, think it must be.
Apparently a tax office worker stole £160,000.00p from the Christmas Club fund of fellow tax office workers and frittered it away on ego-boosting trivia. Now they know how we feel. Cue Guy.