Monday, 31 August 2015

Summer Drizzle

Stupidity some say is inbuilt.  I disagree.  Stupidity of a sort is inbuilt, with slow thinking, inability to consider all options, a lack of concentration or care but this is not enough!  Oh no I can assure you this is not enough!  I inherited the family trait of stupidity but this was not early enough to enable me to fail so spectacularly as I have down through the years, oh no, I had to work at it and work hard.  Anyone can make it through life by being stupid, only those who practice can manage to grasp the wrong end off an electric cable, spray an aerosol on a fire or look down the barrel of a gun to work out why it was jammed -then pull the trigger.  These things take practice.
Anyway I have not down these things, recently anyway, but I did run about the town looking for tools for the bike and fail to find them.  This morning, as the Bank Holiday rain teemed down, I got myself ready to travel on the free bus to Halfords to spend money.  As I did so it crossed my mind there was a yellow tub with bike things somewhere under everything else, so I took a look.  Inside I found the yellow box filled with bike bits.  There was no tool to turn the nut however, that remained missing.  However removing from the box I discovered a mass of small items that once had a purpose and many that had been used once and forgotten, among which was a double headed spanner for turning wheelnuts on bikes!  This had disappeared an eon ago and now I knew why.  That said I still journeyed down to Halfords on the bus in spite of the now drizzle like weather.  A cloud lay over us, hovering just above the tops of lamposts drizzling on those who dared to walk out.

A wander through Halfords, being ignored by the surly chap playing with a very expensive bike, this revealed the tools I might need in any off a hundred situations if I was cycling far, not that I will be these days.  I bought nothing as I could not remember the size of inner tubes I need or much else about the bike.  Technical things were designed only to expose my stupidity.  At least I now know where to find things, the local shops being useless.
I wandered through the shopping centre, famous for the 'outlet shops' those who sell the stuff proper shops failed to sell, and was struck by the prices on offer.  Barbour for instance sell jackets worth £250 for £179, shoes retail at prices well upwards of £80 and more, other shops know suckers when they see them and even that early in the morning, drizzle or not, the place was full of families seeking goodies!
Yet did I see a happy face?  No I did not!
There are people in the UK who depend on foodbanks, there are many striving to survive on disability allowance or some other meagre benefit, always considered 'scroungers' by the 'Daily mail' and other Tory media.  Yet there is vast wealth in the UK and that could be seen by the cars queuing up to get in the car parks, the fat men bulging through their T-shirts (English men in shorts & T-shirts in spite of the damp!), and the miserable people buying things they do not need. 
Wealth makes us happy. That is, if we have enough we can be satisfied but always and ever there is something else we MUST HAVE even if it really is just a shiny thing that passes in a moment.  The eye sees more than the stomach requires, but we go for it anyway.  Our houses are full of things, things which have not been used for years perhaps, items that cost loads yet we never use, now we complain we have no money!  
Having endured a long period of pauperism, missing out on Christmas, travel, holidays, and new things I now find myself with a bit more in my new state of mere poverty.  The temptation to buy things because I can was real today, as was the sickening feeling when too many things are bought.  What I need, and there are many requirements that must be met, are not the same as what I find I must have.  Things for the bike were required, books I bought were more or less required, the jacket was required but did I need to consider that thing I pondered on this morning (a thing that I cannot now remember what it was!)?  The money was there so the object became important.  Maybe we have too much money floating around, maybe we would be happier if we wanted less and spent less?  People smile more in India and Africa so I am told, what does that tell us if true?


 Summer continues as it has always done...


Lee said...

I'm not stupid and anyone who thinks I am is stupid.

I don't have a lot of money. I survive on a "benefit". I receive the Aged Pension. I don't own my own home; I rent a small cabin; I own my own car...a little Toyota Echo...I bought it second-hand.

I should do some de-cluttering, this I know; I should know because I keep telling me to do so!

I only buy things I need and can't do without these days...and what I need these days is very little. I don't scrimp on food...either for me or my two furry rascals.

Overall, I guess, in the whole scheme of things I'm a happy person...I smile at those I meet when I'm out shopping, and quite often I exchange a cheery word or three whether I know them or not. I guess it's easier to be this way here where I live because it's not a huge area. It's not a hustling, bustling metropolis. A smile and a cheery word cost nothing.

soubriquet said...

The bike toolkit, well do I remember those little tins I'd buy from Watson Cairns in Leeds, with the cheery red and yellow Dunlop logo, the patches, the little stick of chalk, the two little tyre levers, with the spoke tightening slot, and the tube of rubber solution.... oh, and a couple of spare valve caps and a little grater for the chalk. And the dogbone spanner! all kept in a little leather bag on the back of my saddle. My friend and I, about fifteen years old, had been out riding to Wetherby, from Leeds, and coming back by the little roads along the hilltops, we encountered a stretch where the hedges had just been cut. Blackthorn scraps littering the road. When we hit it, we were speeding down a downhill, yelling and thrilling, and all of a sudden there was a vibration, and my front tyre was collapsed and next thing I knew I was in the ditch with the bike on top of me and covered in cuts and bruises. I used up all the swear words I knew, and invented a few more, and it was a while before I could gather my wits to start the repair. My pal had continued out of sight, oblivious. B******!
First job was to take the front wheel off. Dogbone spanner broke in two.. And the job went downhill from there. Ten miles from home... Spanner broke. Ted came back and we got the wheel off, picket the thorns out, marked and abraded the punctures, and then... the tube of rubber solution was dry. Solid. I limp wearily to the farm to seek help. They have a big tin of rubber solution in the tractor shed, and the farmers wife, a smily red faced lady tells me to get in the Land Rover and we'll go get my bike. Ten minutes later, Ted and I are sitting on the wall in the sun, eating big sandwiches full of ham and pickle, while a big gruff bloke repairs my inner tube. We get home-made lemonade, and a couple more sandwiches, wrapped in newspaper, and a box strapped on my bike carrier with a dozen egges for our mums.
The past, of course, is another country, we can't go there again.

Lady Di Tn said...

It looks as if you have been up to your usual tricks. As for bikes, my back will no longer allow me pedal away. Awww the folks on your side of the pond must be afraid of grin lines. The heat is back here with nineties for the next two weeks predicted. I long for crisp fall mornings again. Had to shut the windows and return to the AC world. Peace

the fly in the web said...

There are times when I'm glad that I can go into a shop here and buy the one item I want without being forced to buy it as part of a package of other stuff I'll never use.

There are 'outlet' shops here too....but one look at the prices and I'm thinking 'never mind outlet, just let me out'...

Adullamite said...

Lee, It's good when you get to a place where life is decent.

Soub, We canny go back to the past but it is with us always. The situation is well known to cyclists!
However cycling is a fun thing, if I can even get the brute working.

Lady, Keep the heat as long as you can!

Fly, You are lucky with markets, that is the way to shop.