New-found freedom a revelation to me
Finding myself without transport recently, and not being on a bus route, taxis seemed to be the only mode of transport open.
Then a friend offered to lend me her mobility scooter for a while. I shrank back in horror from this idea at first.
Weren’t these scooters only for the elderly and disabled? Oh yes, of course, I am both, I thought, so why not give it a go?
I decided to give it a go and try out this orange monster, first in my driveway and then on the local pavements.
The whole experience was a revelation. After a few tentative practice runs, which were terrifying, I discovered I could now reach the local supermarket, doctor’s surgery, cafe, chemist and library.
I also discovered quite a few hazards.
Nearly everybody down my lane parks their cars over the pavement, which was constructed only for pedestrians and is not really wide enough for scooters at the best of times.
The camber on pavements is most disconcerting at first - I was quite sure I was going to fall off most of the time, and the condition of them is far from ideal. I hadn’t realised before that pavements had potholes!
Also I had never noticed before that many roads have ‘drop downs’ which make them much easier to cross, except when thoughtless motorists park across them, which is most annoying (and probably illegal).
It means I have to reverse to the nearest driveway and risk life and limb by driving a short distance on the road.
Dustbin days are a problem too as dustbins tend to be left on pavements.
When the weather is dry, it is usually possible to manoeuvre round these on the grass (if there is any grass).
Staying straight on a narrow pavement is tricky, but much better than inadvertently letting a wheel or two stray onto the road.
However, I am pleased to report that, so far, everyone I have encountered has been pleasant, friendly and helpful.
Cold and wet weather has now deterred me somewhat.
Downpours are not much fun on a scooter but I am now considering doing a deal with my friend and buying it from her in the spring, so I have it permanently to hand.
I do ask residents, please do not park their cars over the pavements or drop-downs.
More controls needed over sales
We were rudely awakened by the sound of fireworks exploding at 6am - on the morning after Bonfire Night!
We can only assume that this was caused by revellers from the previous night, waking up to find that they had forgotten to set some off the night before. There has been much discussion on the banning of fireworks before a certain date but even this would not prevent this sort of intrusion into our slumbers.
We all enjoy the spectacle of the brilliant displays which are now available. But do we really need these high-powered explosions as well?
Perhaps the real answer is to ban the sale of all fireworks unless a licence is held for public display.
Alternatively, just ban the explosive ones.
Leavers are unable to agree
As we head towards the third General Election in four years, we now see the leading proponents of Brexit showing us why Parliament hasn’t been able to “Get on with it!”
Mr Farage wants to leave the EU without any deal and Mr Johnson wants us to leave with his deal. Mr Johnson also voted against Mrs May’s version of Brexit. Mr Farage is suggesting Mr Johnson is not giving the electorate what they voted for. The Johnson camp say “no deal” is not what people were asked to vote for.
If the “masterminds” of Brexit can’t agree what Brexit means, is it any wonder that they cannot get agreement in Parliament without proper scrutiny and debate?
In view of the clear differences between the two sides of the Leave camp, how can they justify not having a second referendum with all options being put back to the public? I suspect the real reason is that they are not confident of winning the vote on the reality rather than the fiction.
Sacrifices of the Merchant Navy
As we approach Remembrance Sunday when we quite rightly honour the Fallen, I wonder if your readers could take time out to spare a thought for all the gallant men of the British Merchant Navy who lost their lives in both conflicts.
Some 47,000 British sailors lost their lives and their sacrifice is rarely acknowledged – why I do not know. It was not until recently that they were allowed to take part in the annual marches of remembrance and that is a great shame and unworthy of their memory.
It is often forgotten that unlike the Armed Forces, by today’s standards children – i.e. 16-year-old boys – were regularly employed as deck boys and cabin boys and these were amongst the losses.
It should also be mentioned that when their ships were sunk any survivors were immediately taken off pay until rescued and placed on another ship, until then they had to rely on charity.
So as you attend any of the marches or church services please give the fallen seafarers a thought and if possible ask the priest/vicar to mention their sacrifice. Unlike most the armed forces there were no graves for their loved ones to visit, just the cold embrace of the cold sea as they have been quietly forgotten.