Monthly Archives: September 2014

Tuesday 30th September 2014.

It’s always strange when something that’s been around as long as you (might) have is given the boot. This time it’s the iconic bit of perforated circular paper that you exchanged for ever-increasing amounts of cash every six or twelve months. Yep the tax-disc is history! The longer you’ve been driving the more you’ll probably hate this bit of governmental paper. It’s not the cash that’s the problem – it’s the bloody nit-picking, tedious, time-wasting performance of stupid form-filling that you had to do to get a disc. Even online it was a farce. But now, it’ll be no more. You’ll still have to pay some kind of tax to have a car on the local pot-holes, but, hopefully, actually having a cheap bit of tat stuck onto your expensive front Sundym is no longer required.
This morning though, the main road being chocka and still, the ancient off-road trails and paths were by far the quicker from say, Radcliffe to Bury. Strangely too, there are hardly any pot-holes and no fuel fumes invading your lungs…is this what it was like before they invented The Tax Disc?
Of course.
No. We called it England.

Sunday, 28th September 2014.

Dry and quite warm this morning around the roads and, being Sunday, almost traffic-free.
An old evergreen ‘story’ is again pondered by some in the MSM as umpteen ‘high-street’ shops are still trader-less and empty. Once again the bad old Internet is ‘blamed’ by many so dis-enfranchised.
Last night we ordered, online, an evening meal and it was great. Weekly groceries are delivered via online ordering and, for anyone – let alone OAP’s – that’s brilliant. (Iceland do deliveries now too – another good service for topping the freezer up.) Bank accounts can easily be checked online and this week a few tricky to buy locally products, all ordered online, have been safely delivered. A holiday has also been sorted online for next year.
So the traders are still there – but working far more cost-effectively surely?
Totting-up the costs of a real live shop and comparing that to a good PC terminal and Internet service quickly show that there’s no comparison, ergo, shops stay empty.
So, all the shop-renters and shop rates folk need do is compete…
The very essence of general trading.

Thursday 25th September 2014.

Drizzly rain this morning and a bleak view across Elton Reservoir from the embankment. Quite a few Grebe about and catching them with the camera is tricky as they dive every two minutes.
Mind you, wildlife shots here are legendary.
Today saw the arrival of our ‘new’ estimated/guessed/out of thin air monetary figure for monthly gas and electricity payments. Despite using (supplier figures!) less gas and electricity than last year, the monthly steal was nearly double the current one. The calculation of gas and electricity price – always something that would render even Carol Vorderman at a complete loss – is more ridiculous than ever. Needless to say telephoning supplier was on a par with telephoning the Police to report what is, really, blatant theft, but the supplier immediately lowered monthly payment by over one hundred and fifty pounds!
N.P. Sorry! N.B., prefer not to name the supplier!

Friday 5th September 2014.

Fine and warm this morning but, again, the local traffic was horrendous. Some of it though, as pictured, was quite majestic up at Bury South.
Articles again in the MEM re: old-folk clogging-up the works for the ‘kids’. They might have a point, but, on the other side of the simplistic ‘too many old-folk’ argument, picture a world without them.
Most insurance companies would fold – ‘saving-up’ for ones ‘final expenses’ is a massive growth industry. Those long, boring TV ads don’t come cheap!
Supermarkets would lose, well, a large percentage of general trade. It’s a knife-edged business-area at the best of times (ask the, till now, rather complacent ‘market share leaders’!) with the overall ‘take’ well down.
Houses – there’d be a huge glut – would depreciate like there’s no tomorrow. That trendy semi you’re in hock to the eyeballs for would be worth bobbins while costing you a fortune – for life – with no hope at all of selling, at any price. Rents would be a joke. (Cars too would be glutted with scrap-yards unable to cope with the, resulting, value-less lumps of tin.)
The tax-man – of late the funder of all and sundry – may have a temporary windfall from end-of-life taxes, but then there’d be a massive fall-off for donkeys years.
The transport modes, as the one above, would probably cease to exist as ‘the young’ would look at the bits as an Archaeologist looks at a Dino’ bone and wonder what the hell it was. And who would portray old-folk in all those potty TV ‘dramas’. (Youngsters would take an age to make-up which would cost a fortune and thus cause a TV licence fee rise – and not a small one!)
As for Doctor Who…
One redeeming feature might be the house of lords…mmm, every cloud…
But, on the whole, trusting to nature is often best.
Talking of TV dramas; watched the ex-cast of Doctor Who have a go at a…well, some kind of detective yarn? It was called Chasing Shadows and was, really, the story of several dysfunctional folk trying to make various sections of the, resultingly expensive, public-sector work. It was pretty stock stuff (The American style Sherlock, Perception, etc.) for nearly all of its air-time, with about a minute of ‘action’, at the end, when someone had procured some kind of black, scary, onesy outfit, gotten dressed-up as an urban, frightening monster, walked to a derelict building in broad daylight, where he/she was attacking folk.
The really frightening aspect of this show, for a logical, non-dysfunctional, OAP tax-payer (oh yes, if need be) was the staggering value of the cars that these ‘public-servants’ drove. And, as part of the silly characterisations, they go to the same places in a car each!

Thursday, 4th September 2014.

A little warmer this morning and again the local roads were well-clogged with speedily depreciating painted tin.
On more ‘national’ subjects those govern-mental are, as ever, I read, on about ‘clamping down’ on high-brow, other-worldly ‘illegalities’ (? it’s not) such as tax-avoidance. For the vast majority of folk who are mugged for tax at payment source, tax avoidance is no more than wishful thinking!
Funnily, also in today’s ‘news’, is a call from some outfit called, ‘The Kings Fund’, to strip Pensioners of TV licence funding, winter fuel allowance and probably any other age-related vote-bribes that help us eke a basic living. At the same time OAP’s that work should, they say, pay national insurance. Generally The Kings Fund are in favour of raising taxes to help pay for the rising number of ‘geriatric, Dementia-ridden, nhs clogging’, old folk.(The previous, long-term funders of all things nhs for years!)
But, rather than scream maniac-like against all this bull-shit, a simple, sensible, Internet search revealed that The Kings Fund is a ‘charity’. And boy, what these .orgs can teach you about high ‘staff’ salaries and tax avoidance is legendary. Nuff said eh?
Well, nearly, but the charities minister has intoned that such .orgs should be non-political in their rhetoric.
And: imo any ‘benefit’ reductions or cuts (and o.a. pensions etc., are investment returns, not benefits! n. bloody b.) should be aligned to paye tax reductions, for those currently paying for those pension payments, at the same time.

Wednesday, 3rd September 2014.

Dull this morning; the distant hills shrouded in misty clouds.
Roads, locally, early-on, were again grid-locked for a while at rush ten-minutes, but then were their usual empty selves. It was faster, (and, in my case, much safer) around the Town Hall area, walking! Bear in mind that traffic, from all directions, has to accumulate at this spot for one reason: to cross over the Bury to Bolton Canal. This is done at Water Street (apt) in the centre of town. There’s no other, main-road, canal crossing. The other crossings are age-old, quaint, usually ex-factory, horse-drawn-cart sized hump-backed brick bridges, some of them first laid in the 1800’s! The newer stuff is mainly of the pedestrian foot-bridge type. Even the relatively new Pilkington Road (which leads you to Adsa’s) simply takes two-lane traffic from (say) Whitefield and dumps it, in reality, single-lane, almost on top of the Town Hall lights bottleneck. Adding to the fun, at the moment, is the Church Street temporary closure to vehicles.
There are several defunct but robust, ex-railway-line canal crossings – two at Coney Green and one, much bigger, at Bury. The Radcliffe two are listed as Bridge No’s. 16f and 17f (I think) and the f, I believe stands for ‘Fallen’ – the old bridges have no top spans – just the canal side pedestals. The one at Daisyfields, Bury, is huge and you can access it, as a pedestrian or cyclist, from the ‘gate’ pictured above.
How useful now, these old railway routes, with perhaps a light-rail Metrolink tram obviating many a car-journey from Bolton to Radcliffe or Whitefield and Manchester?

Tuesday, 2nd September 2014.

Bright and sunny this morning and the weather forecasters are promising warmer (sunnier?) weather until November???
Schools seemed to be open again today though as the roads were chocka with large vehicles, driven by women, such as 4WD’s. And the car-park (Playground?) at St.G’s at Bury was full of parked tin.
There were so many high-performance, high-speed, high-cost (?) ‘family-style’ vehicles along the main road that they were all rendered jammed-up and motionless, by the traffic-lights half a mile away.
Yet it’s Pensioners, they say, as suffer from Dementia (Brain Collapse!) But what, about not buying such a vehicle (usually) on interest-laden (?) tick, not paying for MOT, Tax, Insurance and fuel, is symptomatic of Dementia rather than Common-Sense?
So now, they say, we suffer from High Cholesterol!
Which sounds more like a religious Church service.
No? Well, lately, medical folk say, (possibly) due to riding in those expensive 4WD carriages, many such folk suffer from High Mass!