I had been to a house on Monday to do a small electrical job and whilst there discovered one of the RCD (residual current device or ‘trip switch‘) was faulty. I was asked to change it which I did on Tuesday morning but on arrival I was also asked to replace a faulty power socket, which I did. Another lady had asked me on Monday evening if I would look into the possibility of installing a floodlight at the rear of her house so when I’d finished the first job I went along to chat with her. I have worked in her house many times in the past, the last time being on my birthday (21 Nov) last year. After much explaining she agreed to have me do the work on Friday next week. We sat and chatted for a while before I set off home. I spent some time doing various things then E and I drove off somewhere for lunch, actually fifteen miles to one of our regular haunts. Sometimes E and I will have three courses but not often. On this occasion we chose to have three courses and whilst we were waiting for the main course a family of six came and sat at a table close-by. We assumed mother, father and four children. The father was a very large guy but that was due to his obesity. His wife was of a more normal build as were the children. The eldest was a lad of around 15 years of age who seemed to us far from delighted at being there whilst his younger brothers and sister just sat down ready for something to eat. The waitress was collecting the various menus and presented each of their party with copies. We couldn’t hear the conversation between them and the waitress had we even been listening but soon after she had given them the menus they all rose from their chairs and left the building! Shortly afterwards the waitress was attending to our table and we asked out of curiosity why they had all left so abruptly. You have to remember that E and I like chatting to the staff and they to us so it was natural for us to ask. She told us that they had seen the large picture of food items on an advertising board outside the restaurant and they thought the restaurant was run in the same way as a fast-food establishment such as Mc Donald’s where one could point to a picture to order the food! She followed on to tell us that none of them could read the menu! I couldn’t believe my ears. She was telling us that they were all illiterate. I told E that I found it hard to believe that not one of them could read. Is it possible to live in a modern society if one cannot read?
When we arrived back home our next-door neighbour had a fire going and she was burning the cuttings that had been left on the ground from trimming her giant-sized Leylandii trees which had been cut by her gardener. Her whole house and our patio were engulfed in white smoke and she kept topping up the fire seemingly oblivious to it all. I have to mention here that lighting fires is a two, three or four times a week occupation of hers. E and I have the occasional fire going maybe once or twice a YEAR! We usually put our garden waste in the wheelie bins provided unless it is too large in which case we light a fire. Now the prevailing winds around these parts come from the west, that is from our neighbours direction so whenever we light a fire any smoke produced tends to blow in our direction rather than hers. That same wind though blows her smoke in our direction every time so it can be a nuisance when she is burning greenery. We have mentioned this to her a couple of times recently but it seems to be falling on deaf ears. We get on fine with our neighbour and it is not our desire to fall out with her. Anyway E and I were upstairs looking out of the opened windows facing our neighbours garden and I shouted down to her, ‘I thought you’d given up smoking’. (She was a heavy smoker but has been diagnosed as having emphysema so presumably she has quit). She was startled and looked up to us sheepishly then I added, ‘Why don’t you put the waste in the green bin‘? She told me it was full so I suggested she put it in one of the two bins we have as she has done many a time with our consent. We told her she can use the bin whenever she needs to. Sometimes both our two bins are full however so we tell her to leave hers in a bag until they have been emptied and then dispose of it. I don’t know what makes some people tick sometimes.