Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Let sleeping cats lie...

There are certain expressions which must have come about for a reason.

Take 'let sleeping dogs lie' for example.  This was perhaps wise advice passed down the generations by the first person who surprised a snoozing canine and had their leg savaged.

I think this expression should be extended - 'let sleeping people lie' is also good advice.  Unless of course you think they might be dead, and then it's quite acceptable to get a small mirror and hold it under their nose to see if it mists up.  Be warned though, should they suddenly awaken they'll wonder why they can see up their own nostrils and may of course die of fright.  Please don't blame me if this occurs.

I'd like to add 'let sleeping cats lie' as something to pass on, or at least my husband would.

Let me explain - a little while ago my daughter found a pretty cat on our compost heap, sleeping in the sun.  My husband - aka Dr Doolittle - decided he would go over to talk to it and stroke it.

It purred gently, butted its head against his hand requiring more fuss, and then when husband removed his hand to walk away, the cat leapt up, sunk its teeth into said hand and badly scratched both of his arms.

I remained blissfully unaware until husband appeared in the kitchen with blood dripping from both arms like an extra from a horror film, closely followed by daughter who looked shocked as she'd witnessed the cat attack.

After a quick call to 111 - I'd read you should seek medical advice after an animal bite - we headed to Corby's Urgent Care Centre where he was given a week's course of antibiotics (thanks for the great care he received, it's a fantastic facility and long may it continue).

While we appreciate that not all cats will behave like this, please take our advice and let sleeping cats, dogs and people lie!

NB - the cat was unaffected by this incident and still visits us; on the last occasion it strutted past the kitchen window with a pigeon in its mouth.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The school run

Ah, the journey to and from school.  That haven of peace and quiet in an otherwise hectic life, when parent and child stroll hand in hand, happily discussing the day, chatting to other parents and children and listening to the birds singing.

In a parallel universe maybe - in this real world the school run is more like Armageddon on a daily basis, a battle for survival dodging the unswerving SUVs and MPVs as they hurtle down the road searching for the closest place to park outside the school gates.

Yes, I too read the list of the biggest bugbears of the school run, and unsurprisingly top was inconsiderate parking around schools.

Now I will confess it's been several years since I consulted my copy of the Highway Code - I'm thinking it was before my driving test, and as I passed that before the A14 was even fully opened, that will give you some idea of how long it's been.

But I can remember quite clearly what the yellow zig-zag lines outside schools are for - nobody should park there, because that's where children and their parents cross.  To park there would severely restrict visibility and could cause a serious accident.

Sadly, however, there are some selfish people which think it means 'If I'm running late or if it's raining it doesn't matter if I park here because those rules don't apply to me.'

A recent example I spotted - not only were there zig-zag lines clearly painted outside a primary school, the staff had come out and put Police 'no parking' yellow cones, to highlight the fact there should be no parking.

Imagine my surprise then to see a parent pull up - just after 9am - and park on the zig-zag lines, right next to a no parking traffic cone, to unload their children. 

Before anyone leaps to a stereotype and assumes it was a woman driving a 4x4, it wasn't - it was a man driving a high-performance sports car.  I'll make no further comment!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The end of Car Share

It's almost a relief that I can talk about it now - I'd watched the whole second series of Car Share on the iPlayer, but couldn't discuss it as I didn't want to spoil it for people who were watching weekly.

That's a good point actually - if you haven't seen it yet stop reading now as the following piece contains spoilers.

What an ending!  Talk about going out on a high.  Or low, depending on your viewpoint, because the ending really was very sad, the Marillion track especially poignant.

I think the daydream sequence where John climbs over the cars was a nod to the Everybody Hurts video by REM, but I haven't had this confirmed.

Car Share has been a delight from start to finish.  My favourite episode was the one at the safari park where John and Kayleigh accidentally stole a monkey - or rather the monkey hitch-hiked on the roof of the little red Fiat 500L - and they then returned it, having sat it in the back of the car wearing its seatbelt.

I think it's already earned its place as one of the best comedies of all time.  Yes, you read that right.  I'd rank it alongside Fawlty Towers, Father Ted and Only Fools And Horses, before Del and Rodney became wealthy.

While I was initially disappointed that the second series of Car Share was also going to be the last - disappointed is an understatement, I was utterly bereft - now I given it some thought, it's totally the right decision.

There's nothing worse than your favourite show 'jumping the shark' (see Fonzie in Happy Days).  Only Fools should have stopped once Del and Rodney became the millionaires they'd always promised themselves they would be; it was never the same after.

Peter Kay left us wanting more with Phoenix Nights after just two series, although he is teasing us that there is another season of that written and ready to go - I just hope he unleashes it on us soon!

Local elections - Thursday 4th May

'Oh no, not another one!' - I think Brenda from Bristol spoke for most of us with her reaction to the announcement of the snap General Election.

Yes, it's time for 'one more car, any more riders?' and jumping back on the rollercoaster that we've been riding pretty much on and off since 2015, what with the General Election, then the Referendum, and now another General Election.

My 'theme park face' is firmly in place - you may recall from a previous column me talking about the rictus grin I've been wearing for what seems like an eternity now, but you can still see the terror in my eyes.

Mr Trump's White House and the North Korea situation is doing nothing to ease my anxiety and relax my jaw either.

But by the time you read this, you'll hopefully all be heading to vote in the local county council elections, or will have already submitted a postal vote.

I say hopefully, because I appreciate that we're all a little bit fatigued with politics.

But, as my Grandmother used to say, if you don't vote you can't complain about what you get, so please do find the time to go and do it.

This is especially important for younger people - please do engage and put your 'X' in a box as these people make decisions which affect your future.

Also, a personal plea to women of all ages - suffragettes died for you to have the right to vote, please let their sacrifice mean something and remember that there are some places where women don't have this opportunity.  It's important we have our say in the democratic process.

Parents, please take your children with you and let them see what goes on in the Polling Station so going to vote becomes as natural a process for them as going to the shops, Doctor or Dentist etc.

It's important that we all have our say - Polling Stations are open until 10pm, so go and exercise your democratic rights.