Monday, 31 January 2011

ITS MONDAY !!!!!



For those of you that are of a similar age to myself, you will of course remember more than one song that includes "Monday" in the title ...
I could have chosen The Bangles with "Just Another Manic Monday" or perhaps the rather iconic Boomtown Rats with "Tell me why I don't like Mondays". The latter of course will be forever attached to the eighties by the connection with Sir Bob and the Live Aid Event.

In the end my choice was influenced by my "Mad for it!" loyalty to a Mancunian connection. Although I never went to the infamous Hacienda club, Mrs RJR did.

Everyone has different feelings about Mondays, Some hate them, others Love them, my Dad tells me once you retire its hard to keep track of which day is Monday at all !

Perhaps one of the following fits you this Monday morning ?
  • the feeling of having to do it all over again.
  • the thoughts of what didn't get finished on Friday.
  • not spending time with those you spent the weekend with.
  • or the prospect of a new day and a new opportunity.
Whatever your mindset, the process of looking at 80's videos this morning brought me to this classic by Paul Young,


....which in turn reminded me of a failed night out to see one of his "comeback" shows a few years ago. It was dire ! He was more under the influence than influential, an hour late on stage and if it wasn't for an excellent lead guitar player, it would be impossible to tell one track from another.

The Moral...
Leave yesterday where it was and look forward to tomorrow, living today the best you can ... 

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Bus Lanes

I don't want to appear as having no green credentials BUT ...

"Bus lanes, what are they all about ? "

To be fair I can see they have a purpose in some places, perhaps they are useful in and around Manchester or large cities, assuming they are planned and implemented sensibly. I just cant see the point of the one we pass each Sunday on the way to church !!! Mainly because unlike all the other bus lanes around Oldham, it has no operation times.

Now most bus lanes allow you to drive in them "off peak" which would include Sundays... not this one. Your just never allowed in it. What makes it worse is the roundabout that feeds the A627 has 2 lanes of traffic off it, that then immediately have to squeeze into one lane, so the bus lane can remain empty. This can be clearly seen at the bottom right of the map, as the traffic follows the pale green route off the roundabout and down the screen along the A627 Manchester Road


Some other reasons this is annoying,
  • The bus lane is only half a mile long, then due to the road narrowing to a single lane each way,  the bus's need to filter back into the traffic. What's the point of a half mile bus lane ??
  • Those that don't know the area or don't care, use the bus lane anyway, which means after fighting to get out of the lane, you have to fight to get back across it to make a left turn off the main road.
  • Hardly any buses run on a Sunday so the lane is always empty !
Finally, I still cant get my head round who came up with the idea of making bus lanes cycle lanes too, although we don't have Bendy buses in Oldham, they do in nearby Whitefield. Can you imagine being on cycle, in rush hour, sharing a lane with several of these 18m monsters ??


Of course I may be alone in my rant, feel free to comment !

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Using Blogger

As the light fades on the first day of my new blog, it crossed my mind, that to-days visitors have come here from varies links. Some of you will be frequent bloggers who are familiar with the format and what its all about. Others may have "popped in" for a look having responded to an email invite and of course some of you may have followed a link from else-where.

Blogger was launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs and taken over by Google in 2003. The general idea of a blog can be thought of as an online diary, it has become a popular format in recent years and is often used by individuals rather than having a traditional website. Its free service to both writer and reader, funded by the Google advertising empire

This section you are reading is the current "post". A post is like a diary entry and they are organised with the newest entry at the top, therefore as you scroll down the page the entries get older.
Down the right are various "Gadgets" ...
The top gadget at the moment, gives direct news feeds from the BBC website, so you can see what is happening in the world.
There is also a gadget called "Blog archive" which is a quick index to all the posts or entries that have been made.
"Followers" are other bloggers who have elected to be kept upto date with posts I am making.

At the bottom of each post is a comment option, clicking on this opens a list of other peoples comments and a box for you to make a comment yourself. You will be asked to select a profile to comment as, if you don't have a google profile, no problem, select anonymous, but it would be good if you could give me a clue who you are within the text you write! In the last step of commenting you will be asked to copy the letters in a jumbled up box of letters. The only reason for this is to make sure you are a human, not a computer trying to send me lots of junk mail !

Your Life in their hands

Being a parent is process of  taking on responsibilities and then later passing them to your offspring. Early in the life of a child, it is very easy to be pushed out of your comfort zone, by the many things you have to take on. It is only as said offspring become teenagers that you realise that accepting responsibility on their behalf is no where near as difficult as giving responsibility back to them  !!!

With three children aged 17, 14 and 12, I am very much in the territory of letting go of some of the reigns, but one particular hard challenge I currently face, is teaching the eldest to drive.
Now it has to be said the job is not mine alone, I started by taking her to empty private car parks a couple of times and letting her get a feel for starting, stopping and moving in low gears.She then took a series of 16 lessons with a professional driving instructor, out on the open road. Now however we have decided to insure her to drive my van, which means, under UK law she can take it out, as long as she has a competent licence holder in the passenger seat. With no discussion I became the nominated passenger. Mrs RJR as wonderful as she is, and despite being the "youth leader" out of the two of us, just doesn't have the right temperament to stay calm in the face of death !!!!!

Its one thing to moan about having to run your kids every where but another completely to let them take you !

Yesterday afternoon was our first session, I'm not sure who was the most nervous, Mrs RJR watching us go, Me being driven, or the 17 year old having her dad with her. The first challenge was the end of the street, when several things conspired against her

  • Being watched by a nervous parent
  • A different car than her driving instructor, his is a small diesel "hard to stall"  hatchback, mine is a small petrol van carrying a fair weight of tools in the back
  • A right turn onto a main road which heads uphill
  • Stopping with the front wheel in a pothole

These were the challenges, the result.. We swapped seats, I drove it out and parked on the main road and we swapped back

So I could get a feel for what she could do, we took the 'A' roads over Saddleworth Moor and practically to Huddersfield. Our worse moment was stalling 3 times at a set of traffic lights in Slaithwaite, made worse by missing 2 cylcles of the green light,. the event was further improved by the 40' truck behind us using his horn once to often, this is when parent mode kicks in... I was torn between shouting at her and getting out and shouting at him ....... I think I kept my calm and we eventually "struck camp" and moved on

To be fair the transition of power from me to her went well for the next hour and a half. We didn't fall out, I didn't' shout or scream and I'm not now taking medication. More to the point we are both in one piece and so is the van. Sometimes you just need to list the plus points !!

Today is round two and the plan is rather than me driving her to work at American Soda she will drive me

So in the coming weeks,if you find yourself behind one of these with L Plates .....


GIVE US A WIDE BERTH !

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