Peace Is An Illusion

I think Edwin Starr put it most succinctly.

“War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”

Which in the purest sense is correct. But humans are stupid. They don’t live anything close to a purest sense of anything. They always see there is something to fight for. Power, money, the land grabs, wanting to plunder the resources lying beneath the surface.

It is big business, both from having access to mineral resources, but also the actual business of war. Megalomaniac companies cashing in on selling guns and equipment, bombs, and bullets. Culture Club very poppily said

“War, war is stupid, and people are stupid.”

Which they are because they lap up all this bullshit.

If money isn’t the root of all evil, then it is certainly its main food source. Thousands of years ago someone decided that the shiny metal they found in the ground was valuable, and ever since, every little thing that has been found in, on, or under the ground has been given an arbitrary value. And so, humans now fight over what has been valued by other humans.

Everyone will tell you that gold is more valuable than flour, or milk. But that’s just stupid greed. You can’t feed yourself with gold, it isn’t edible. It can be argued that the gold buys the flour and milk. But that is only because rich greedy knobheads tell you that is the case. And so, they fight for it.

Yet even with the ridiculous amount of war for power and money it is not the biggest cause of war. No, that dubious title goes to religion. Which is even more ridiculous than fighting for money and power. It equates to two bald men fighting over a comb. The rhetoric of “my imaginary cloud friend is better than yours, and to prove it, despite our imaginary cloud friend being all about peace and love, we’re going to kill and main you, and when it’s done, that will show we are right.” is just lunacy.

And what is even worse is most of the religious wars are because they have a different name for the same imaginary cloud friend, or they’ve interpreted the same piece of ancient fiction writing is a different way and are therefore literally fighting over semantics. As with the money and power there is cabal of those at the top of religions. And what is worse than with the money and power is the atrocious sexism involved in so many major religions.

Religions bang on about compassion, but actively discriminate against women (who, on the whole are a hell of a lot more compassionate than men). But if the women had been in charge, then there is a strong likelihood that most of the wars would never have taken place.

On the whole I think we would be better off if REM’s ‘Losing My Religion’ was a suggestion followed by billions all over the planet.

End Of The Tether

The trend is expanding, and it is annoying as hell.

And what trend is this I hear you ask? (Well, I don’t, no one gives a shit really.)

Drinks. Soft drinks to be precise. Manufacturers now tethering their plastic lids to their plastic bottles. It started, as most terrible, terrible things do, with Coca-Cola putting them on their brands. So, you can’t take the lid of the bottle and hold it away from the bottle to use it. it stays attached to the bottle making it stupidly awkward to drink directly from the bottle, or to pour from the bottle.

Now, I do understand why they think they need to do this. There are so many pieces of artwork around the country made from discarded plastic bottle tops. Dropped on the ground by thoughtless morons. But in doing this they are now punishing the millions, if not billions of people who aren’t complete fucking morons and are perfectly capable of putting the lid back on the bottle when finished with it and putting the whole thing in the recycling.

As ever it is all about making life harder for the customer as companies don’t give a fuck about the consumer or customer. All they are interested in are being box ticking cunts.

If they really gave a fuck about the environment, they so claim to care about then they would go back to the seventies and put everything in glass bottles with metal lids and have a deposit on them. It worked amazingly well back then.

Yes, there would still be a whole host of utter morons who would just discard the bottles as they do with plastic. But with the prospect of getting money back for them, there would be plenty of others who would quite happily go around picking them up to cash in on them.

So, just fucking stop it with your ridiculous box ticking annoying as hell shit tethers and let those of us who aren’t complete cockwombles carry on drinking and pouring unencumbered by your shit.

Not Fit (Note) For Purpose

I suppose I’ve been lucky over the years. I’ve managed to reach the age of fifty-three without ever having to need a med cert or more recently a fit note. But I’ve had proper Covid over the last couple of weeks, and so when it got to last Tuesday, I needed a fit note.

And that’s where the fun and games started.

On Monday afternoon I tried to get a Tuesday appointment. I was told I had to ring on the day to get an appointment for that day. When I dragged myself out of bed Tuesday morning it was after 10am and there were no appointments. Furthermore, they said they didn’t do fit notes for Covid. Which was strange seeing as Helen had gotten an appointment with her doctors on Monday, and gotten a fit note.

So, I set the alarm and got up earlier on Wednesday morning, rang as the lines opened at half past eight to be twenty-seventh in the queue. Thirty-five minutes later I got through to find there were no appointments. And they tried to fob me off against telling me to check the NHS website as they didn’t do fit notes for Covid. Yet again I got them to agree that they actually did, but I’d need to try again in the morning for an appointment.

Thursday came. I dragged myself up and queued up at the surgery half an hour before they opened. Second one there, and they still didn’t want to help. They told me I couldn’t have a face-to-face appointment as I hadn’t had a negative Covid test, and that I would have to ring 111 to get it sorted. It was only when I broke down in tears of frustration at being fobbed off again that the receptionist said they did have telephone appointments available. Which is what I’d asked for in the first place.

I was told it would be a morning call, but they couldn’t give an exact time. I’m glad to know that ten past midday counts as morning. About ninety seconds later a fit note was pinging as a text message to my phone as the doctor wished me well and hung up.

That ninety seconds was so easy, but it was the fourth day and fifth contact with them to get there. And as someone who was unwell and wiped out to begin with it was very tiring and stressful.

It does show I think, just how stretched the NHS is and how it makes it difficult for all. But despite still not being 100% this week, I’ve gone back to work as I can’t face the stress of trying to get another fit note.

Portslade Station Can Do One

Because I refuse to drive the hire car for both my own safety and blood pressure, and for the sake of all other road users out there, I got the train to work today (last Thursday now).

The train down isn’t too bad, change at Brighton, and with a reduced timetable due to strike action, there wasn’t the usual step foot off the train from Three Bridges to watch the one going through Portslade just pulling out from platform one. Though as usual the ticket wouldn’t work at one end, the Three Bridges end this time.

It let me out (this time) at Portslade station. I’m not a fan of Portslade station as a whole. It’s lay out is just fucked up. It would be great if there was a gate into work from the far end of the platform, but I know that one is a pipe dream. But they have barriers and a ticket office in the building you go through to the south bound platform. But there is no ticket machine in there.

To pick up pre-ordered tickets you have to find the ticket machine. It is outside, well away from the ticket office – which makes no sense to anyone – and is out in the elements, so you either get soaked, or you can’t see the screen as the sun is always on it. it’s a stupid layout.

But not as stupid as the platform on the other side is. On the south side you enter/exit through the building. On the north side you are drawn to the building, the path leads there, and there are steps up and a handrail, but it is only a bicycle store. If you get there and find that out you have missed the only entrance to the platform, a ramp up behind more bicycle stands. Once up the ramp, the barriers are in a position where if they were any further west, you would be on Boundary Road. And at a point where you are not in line with a train.

So, I wasted thirty seconds going to the wrong ‘entrance,’ and then the barriers forced me away from the train on the platform. I scuttle to the rear door and press the button, but the door doesn’t open, and I carry on scuttling to the next door, which doesn’t open either. I can see other doors further up the train that are still open, but they are too far for me to scuttle to to get on, and they close, and the train goes without me.

And then the next one isn’t for another forty minutes.


If you are going to have a cock eyed lay out of a station, put clearer signs up and don’t have the main path leading to a building if you can’t get through that building.


Use Some C4 On It

It’s been a while since I wrote anything that wasn’t on our Leicester trip in June, and there’s still lots for me to write up on that, but it’s time for a little blast on random items.

The cat has developed a new habit at night. He waits until the bedroom light has gone out, gives it ten minutes and then screeches at ear splitting volume. I’m not sure where he’s hiding the megaphone he’s using but it needs finding and destroying. So, I haul myself out of bed and go down and open the back door. He’s sat on the chair and looks up all surprised as if to say, ‘why are you here and opening the door?’ he’ll come in, and then runs straight to the front door and miaows to be let out. Little furry bag of shite.

For some reason the radio in the kitchen was on Virgin radio. The announcement I heard when I walked into the kitchen was enough to make your blood run cold. “It’s the Chris Evans show…” NO, not that ginger cockwomble. “..hosted by Tom Allen…” jeez, if ever there was someone who didn’t have a voice for radio, especially at seven in the morning, it’s him. Night-time panel shows are fine, but not first thing in the morning. “…with Cinch.” No, no, no, no, and no again. Is there anyway those jokers haven’t got. It shows just how overpriced their cars must be if there are still solvent with the exorbitant amounts they spend on advertising and sponsorship.

At the end of June, someone drove into the side of the car at Pease Pottage roundabout when Helen was driving. Five weeks later the garage finally picked the car up to repair the damage to the driver’s side doors. And whilst it is being repaired, we have a courtesy car, which we picked up from Enterprise. It’s a Citroen C4. Which accurately describes what it needs putting under it and setting off.

Now, it’s well known that I hate driving, I’m shit at it, and it’s the most stressful thing I do. For the last seven years we’ve had a Kia Venga (on our second one), and I’ve got to the stage where I’m just about competent driving it and I don’t have cold sweats thinking about driving it.

From picking the car up, I drove to Asda, and then home, four miles maximum. Four miles of pure hell. I’m not adaptable when it comes to driving, it’s far too complicated to drive without having everything changed on you. And in the hire car everything terrifies me. Everything is too small. The wing mirrors aren’t much bigger than postage stamps. The rear-view mirror wouldn’t be that bad, but the view is out the ridiculously small rear window. Between the three of them, there is hardly any view behind you. Which makes the bloody thing impossible to park. No matter how I adjust the wing mirrors I can’t see what’s behind me, and in order to sit in the driver’s seat, the seat is so low to get my legs under the steering wheel that I can’t see the front of the car.

Then there are the pedals. The brake and the accelerator don’t move very far for full action, a couple of inches at most, whereas the clutch moves about a foot from top to bottom. You need two different length legs to be able to drive it. my right leg is at full stretch, and my leg knee is up around my ear somewhere. And there isn’t enough gap between pedals. I kept failing to deploy the clutch because my foot kept hitting the footrest next to it before it wasn’t fully down. And then when braking I’d step on my left foot trying to deploy the clutch at the same time. That’s when the very harsh brake isn’t flinging you through the miniscule front windscreen.

The gearstick is a lot higher up, and the action required to pull the sleeve up on it to engage reverse must have been devised by a sadist and can only be done successfully if you are a contortionist. Although you are taking your life in your hands reversing as due to the useless mirrors it is all guesswork as to what it behind you. And the display is off putting, it’s a flush, flat digital screen that is too big, they need to swap the sizes with that and the wing mirrors.

Helen drove to work this morning. Needless to say, she was fine and really liked it. Apparently, it is really comfortable. I’m assuming she must have been in a different car to the uncomfortable painful seats that I had when driving yesterday and being a passenger this morning. Everything aches after half an hour in it.

And then I get into work, and someone had used my desk. Which is fine if they leave it as they found it, it is a specific DSE set up. It has a hub that links screen, keyboard, and mouse so you just need to use the one USB port on your laptop to link it all up. But whichever moron was sat at my desk unplugged everything from the hub, I’m assuming to plug them in separately to their laptop. And I could do without having to reset everything on the chair as well.

I really am a grumpy old bastard.

And The Winner Of Prat Of The Year Is…

I have just four words to say to whoever was responsible for arranging roadworks on both junctions of the A/M23 to get off at Crawley this evening.





It was a nice evening, we’d gone out after work for a meal in Hove with Lianne, Kara, and Fiona, and were having a nice relaxing trundle up the A23 towards home when after the Handcross turn off the first of the roadwork signs appeared, the inside lane was going to be shut in 800 yards, then 600, 400, 200. But what they didn’t indicate was the turn off at the start of the M23 at Pease Pottage was completely shut.

So, we had to drive by, 10a only lets people from the village on going north, so we would have to come off at junction 10. Only to see signs that the B2110 – the road into Crawley at junction 10 was closed. Which meant another detour, away from Crawley into Copthorne, and then back again to come in through Pound Hill and past Three Bridges station.

Ten extra miles. No indication that J11 would be shut at any point along the A23. And no, I didn’t fucking miss it. I’m that annoying bastard who is trundling along doing sixty on the inside lane all the way. Plus, there had been no advance warning. Instead leaving drivers to find out only after it was too late to turn off before the Motorway (and hence possibly forcing some vehicles to break the law as they’re not allowed on the motorway, but there was no way off for them).

A warning sign mile earlier and we could have come off at Handcross. But no, why the fuck would anyone want to do that. I appreciate that evenings and nights are the best time to do roadworks, but if you are going to shut the only two ways into Crawley coming from the A23 at the same time then you have to tell people you stupid motherfuckers.

Changing Of The Guard

There appears to have been a changing of the guard outside Maccy D’s in town. For as long as I can remember there has been a homeless man staying in the inset doorway between Maccy D’s and Gregg’s. he wasn’t much younger than me and always came across as being surly and aggressive at any time of day.

This morning he had been replaced. A much younger man sat there, one without the accumulation of stuff the previous incumbent had. A less confrontational person. Nervous, as if shocked to find themselves in the position they are in. not making eye contact, and almost curled up upon themselves. Perhaps in fear of an attack or being moved on.

While I sat having my breakfast, he darted into Maccy D’s. in and out as quickly as possible to get something to eat with money given to him. Not wanting to leave his few meagre possessions out on the street unguarded for longer than absolutely necessary. The fear that someone may take them, or worse, throw them away. He came back out, checked to ensure nothing had gone and huddled back up on himself to have his muffin.

I finished my breakfast and dug into my pockets to see what change or cash I had on me, surprised to see a lot of pound coins in these almost cashless times. I gave it all to the new homeless man sitting there, knowing it could never be enough, but it was all I could give there and then. And he was grateful, and looked as if he was even younger than I first thought he was.

He may have replaced the long-term resident, but I sincerely hope that he is not going to be a long-term resident there himself.

Elsewhere the cash only, dodgy dealing, watch, phone, and sunglasses hut was up and running. They had customers this morning and I suppose it shouldn’t have been of any surprise that the customers were pensioners. The kings and queens of cash, the last bastions of notes and coins. Handing it over to the shady looking couple running the stand for a knock off watch or imitation sunglasses. None of them had any cash for the poor homeless man sat just yards from the tat they were buying. In fact, they wouldn’t even look at him.

I stopped, as I often do, at the small newsagents by the bus station. To get a couple of drinks to see me through the writing group session I was off to, and to pick up the weekly local paper – The Crawley Observer. There was no one else in the shop when I went in, and the shopkeeper was hiding under the counter playing with his phone.

I paid and then went to put the items I had bought into my bag. Only to be pretty much shooed out of the shop. Both by the impatience of the single customer who had come in behind me; and by the muppet behind the counter who wanted everyone out of the shop as quickly as possibly so he could go back to playing with his phone.

Neither of them prepared to wait as I struggled to put the three items into my bag. Instead I had to go outside and use the top of the bin as a staging point to get my drinks and paper into the bag.

I know I shouldn’t be shocked by that kind of impatient behaviour anymore, no one it would seem has the slightest modicum of patience any more. But it annoys the fuck out of me. Even if I am in a rush myself (rare because I’m obsessive about leaving early to give myself plenty of time to get where I’m going to) I will patiently wait in any queue there is. It’s a part of life.

People were there before you. They need to finish what they came to do before it becomes your turn. They don’t need to be hassled into hurrying up and possibly making a mistake, or into leaving something behind, or having something not quite packed away correctly so they lose it or break it on their way home or to their next destination.

So, people, generally the message is this. Stop being so fucking impatient, and just wait for your turn instead of being inconsiderate pieces of shit.

Eurgh Driving

Driving has been entertaining over the last week and a half. It started pre storms last Wednesday morning with a multiple car shunt at the Pyecombe junction on the southbound A23. The traffic had come to a near standstill just before I got there, and there was a police car flashing its blue lights parked in the outside lane just under the footbridge. Just beyond it was the first involved vehicle; a mini pointing the wrong way in the outside lane.

Then on the layby a car had gone over the plastic bollards and in the side of a parked Co-op lorry. Two more cars and a van were lined up on the inside with varying degrees of damage. Then there was a gap to another car which had been side swiped and had what looked like frosted glass on the driver’s side. Then the final crashed car was in the outside lane stuck in the barrier.

I had been out extra early that morning and so wasn’t delayed by much, but as each member of my team came into the office the time taken to get through that junction had increased, and for one, their sat-nav had sent them over Ditchling Beacon instead.

The main surprise is that this doesn’t happen more often. That junction is like the Wacky Races. Too fast, too close, switching lanes as if Mike Read is screaming “Runaround” at them, and of course, not an indicator in use for miles around in every direction.

If I believed there were such things as imaginary cloud gods, then I would be tempted to say a prayer each time I approached the junction each morning.

Sunday. I was going to pick up Helen’s mum from Storrington and was heading around the outside of Horsham, just getting to the terrible Tesco at Broadbridge Heath when I became embroiled in another Wacky Races day. More than a dozen souped up German shitheaps came flying past on all sides, changing lanes without any hint of using mirrors or indicators; racing each other and being dicks to all other road users.

For some reason they had all pulled into the Shell garage at the far side of Horsham, and as I passed, I could hear them all revving up, so once past that roundabout I stopped in the first layby and rang the police (who didn’t seem to give a shit). Because I’m a twat like that.

The lights were out at the A24/A272 junction, which meant fun and games for all as without the lights working it seemed as if everyone had forgotten the rules of who has right of way at a major junction. By the time I was coming back from dropping Helen’s mum off at night the lights still weren’t working. In addition, the rain and wind were closing in.

What I don’t understand is why people find it necessary to try and drive in my boot. I’m only going 50, because it’s a sensible speed in the weather conditions, and the bouts of aquaplaning every half a mile or so due to all the surface water. It’s dual carriageway all the way. If you don’t like the speed I’m driving at, then please feel free to fuck off into the outside lane and overtake me. I’m not going to go faster because you want to be in my car with me.

Then for the last week the road I usually take once I come off the A27 to get to work has been closed three out of four mornings. They are resurfacing the road on the hill down towards Hangleton windmill. They are supposed to be finished at 7am, and annoyingly the road is open for those coming out of Hove, but I’ve had to get back on the A27 and come off at the next junction as I don’t know how to get across to the office if I go down the road their diversion signs are pointing along.

Thursday morning was the worst. It was chaos all round. No sooner had I got onto the A23 than the traffic came to a grinding halt. Turns out a truck had broken down in the inside lane between the turn off for Handcross and the services there. And as usual, no one could cope with the letting people in thing when it went from three lanes to two.

Getting off the A27 was fun. I came off at the usual junction, but the roundabout was gridlock as the road to Hove was closed. I made it around and back onto the A27, but the queue to come off at the next junction started where I came on. The queue carried on all the way off the A27 and down to Sainsbury’s. And once past there, the left turn towards the office was closed off as well, so I had to go right and then follow the road around the one-way system to come back towards the office. Only for the road that runs parallel to it to have resurfacing work as well, and the first five side roads I would usually turn up were all closed. What is usually half an hour took an hour and a quarter and was an extra five miles.

Friday night isn’t normally that bad, but all I’d seen all day when flicking in and out of social media were messages about long queues at petrol stations, and some running out of fuel. And yes, upon leaving work there were big queues at the two petrol stations I passed in Hove. So, I ended up stopping at the Texaco one on the A23 after Pyecombe as it was empty. I was nearly on fumes and couldn’t risk having to drive around Crawley trying to fill up over the weekend.

Even so, they were out of diesel, but they did have petrol and I was able to fill up and then I took my life in my hands trying to get back on the A23 there, as that stretch is one that everyone treats as if it is the downslope of Eau Rouge at Spa.

So, the panic buying has started. It never ceases to amaze me at the moronic behaviour. As, to be honest, having a fuel shortage is going to be the least of our worries if the Ukraine situation worsens. No one needs to drive when we’re all hiding in nuclear shelters.

You Know Where You Can Stick That Plug

When you have a new kitchen installed and pay for them so that the installation comes with a fifteen year guarantee you expect everything to be laid out and installed so that there is easy access to the items that they didn’t install. Items such as the washing machine.

However, it doesn’t always turn out like that. We were getting the waste pipes replaced outside in the yard as they had cracked and split (which just seemed to be a few days after the kitchen fitters had finished their work on the installation of the kitchen and the new dishwasher and sink). The plumber needed to get to behind the washing machine to get to the pipes behind. It is a tight fit with not more than a few mil gaps either side of the washing machine, and so it was a struggle to get it out. It appeared to be stuck on something on the floor and I gave an extra big heave, and it came out a bit more, only for the downstairs ring main to short out at the same time.

And so, we found out that they had put a new power point in for the washing machine below the work surface level (the old one wasn’t), but they hadn’t placed it directly behind the washing machine as any sane person would have done. Oh no, they had wired it through to a new socket under the sink.

Which may not sound too bad, until you factor in that to do so they had wired it in behind the new fitted dishwasher. Furthermore, they had placed the plug and wire from the washing machine first. Then they built the base unit around it, not leaving a hole big enough in the side to get the plug out of the base unit. And being a washing machine, it is a moulded plug, and so you can unscrew it to get the wire out. And they compounded it by feeding the wire behind the dishwasher which is pretty much flush to the wall, so even if we could get the plug out of the base unit it wouldn’t fit behind the dishwasher. The only way of getting the lead out would be to cut the plug off – which we’d like to try and avoid.

Now, we have an electrically unsafe washing machine, as the thin cables for the power are a bit stripped and are three inches outside the casing of the machine, and they touch which will keep tripping the fuse box. And we can’t get the lead out to do much with it without dismantling the base unit under the sink and removing the dishwasher. Either of which would invalidate the fifteen-year guarantee.

The electrician and kitchen fitters are both shrugging and saying it’s probably the other’s fault. And while they take their sweet time in disagreeing about who should rectify the issue, we are without a washing machine. There is the launderette, but the staff in there are rude surly twats.

Basically, Ikea and their contractors have set us up to fail. It feels like they have deliberately fucked us over with the washing machine lead to try and get us to invalidate the installation warranty.

Well, they can fuck off. They made the mess by not accommodating for the fact a washing machine may need to be moved. And they can sort it out by fixing it.

Makes you wonder what other time bombs they’ve left waiting for us in the installation.


We’re All Going On A Christmas Holiday

It’s a good day, our leave has started, we are now on holiday until the new year, eighteen non work days. A lottery win to extend that would be great.

Friday morning, we were off to Brighton for Helen’s full Nuffield Health health check that she had paid for a couple of years ago, via Hayward’s Heath. It was bright sunshine all the way, by the time her assessment was up the fog had started to roll in, and by the end of it we were unable to see the sea.

There was a midpoint as it got cloudy, I was left alone with my brain, with a view out to sea, and wrote this poem whilst I waited.

After which we were meeting Liam and Ellie for lunch at The Westbourne, near their house, which meant we had to find somewhere to park. The full rant on this can be found below

Lunch was good though.

Everywhere you (stop) look and listen there is something saying, or someone shouting, ‘get your booster.’ And to be fair the NHS texted me to say there was a walk-in clinic available at the Apple Tree centre on Friday until 1pm. Unfortunately, this text to tell me this was sent at 1.38pm on Friday. I’m currently trying to find a DeLorean that will go at 88mph to get me there in time.

The fog carried on hanging around after that. By the time we’d driven up to London on Saturday afternoon. It was what might have been called a pea souper in the past.

The Saturday night was the Madness and Squeeze gig, there was lots of other app related precursor, the full tale of which is below

We had taken the decision to miss Crawley Town’s home game on Saturday so we would be able to make it up to London for the gig without a mad rush. Only for the Crawley game to be postponed for Covid reasons, so we may be able to see the game (always assuming the muppets in charge in this country don’t lock down venues again due to Omicron).

You see things get stolen or “borrowed” from hotels all the time. But I’d have bet good money on the combination missing from our room never being guessed by anyone. The little holder for toilet rolls – the bit that clips on at either end and spins round – that was gone. The metal bracket it would clip on to was still there, screwed to the wall. And the little glass shelf above the towels. The one they usually put the plastic glasses on in the bathroom. Shelf gone. The two wall mounts with the slots in for the glass to slot into – still there.

It probably says more about the location of the Holiday Inn Express than anything else, but the security was the best of any IHG hotel we’d stayed at. The main door required room key card use to get in when we got back from the gig, and when I nipped across to the shop for drinks after breakfast. It was also needed to use the lift and the stairs. Yes, it’s obvious and simple, but they could do with it at more of their hotels.

On the drive up to Morecambe on the Sunday morning there was very little let up on the fog. M11 – fog. M25 – fog. M1 – fog. M6 – fog. Morecambe – fog. Some fairly light, other patches were thick, some so thick if you had asked me where I was, I could tell you I hadn’t got the foggiest. Yes, I did try catching the fog – I missed (mist). One of the worst places was at the M6 toll booth, coming out of there it is like Wacky Races at the best of time, but when there is fog where you can’t see the sides of the road there it’s like a spooky version of it, almost like Wacky Races meets Scooby Doo.

And the other thing is that it doesn’t seem to matter which lane we get in, it is guaranteed to be the official numpty lane. In the fog, there was a car in front of us trying to pay with their phone, despite it clearly saying card only and that it doesn’t accept Apple Pay or Google Wallet etc. They tried to pay half a dozen times with their phone before using their card. On the way back in the light it wasn’t much better. First there is the lane with the big red X above it that lots of cars were still queuing in until they were told to find another lane. And then there are the muppets who seem to think that lining their car up in the next postcode will make tapping their card easier. There were two in the queue in front of us who ended up hanging out of the car to their waists to reach across to the reader. Probably the same twats who can’t use indicators or who tootle along in the middle lane doing 60. (Someone in Lancashire is not a fan of this, as they have graffitied at least three bridges telling such drivers they were tools.)

Anyway, occasionally we did find ourselves above the fog on higher ground and it was bright sunshine up there. Which was causing the car’s map display to become dark (night mode). So, it went fog – day mode, sunshine – night mode. I’m not sure where the sensor for this is on the car, but it would appear to be fucked.

The first full day in Morecambe saw stops at Matalan, Dunhelm, Home Bargains, and Sainsbury’s. What do these four places have in common? They are all an almighty time suck turning morning into evening. Granted it didn’t seem like five hours. More like five weeks.

In the evening we went for a walk up to the front and along the promenade. No idea if the tide was in. All I could see were lights over the bay somewhere near Barrow-in-Furness.

Tuesday saw a trip to Kirkby Lonsdale, which is covered in the link below.

In the evening we headed out for dinner at the Morecambe Hotel, and for the second visit to Morecambe on the trot I nearly killed us all by pulling out in front of a vehicle I hadn’t seen. Nothing to do with the non-stop chatter in the passenger seat. It took a while for my nerves to calm down.

And then it was all over; and we spent most of Wednesday driving home. Although when we got to the M25 all the road signs had the message “Salt Spreading”. Having been up north for a few days, it did make me wonder if this was a new Covid variant affecting Cockneys only. It’s as likely as anything else these days