I’ve never been a person who was interested in flitting about all over the place every day as some might like to do. I was however always interested in going places, that is going somewhere for a long stay or even a short stay for a purpose. I mean by this that I enjoyed travelling to a holiday destination or somewhere for a day out. I still like those things but seldom go anywhere these days. Travelling can be tedious and tiring but if I can relax at my destination it is worth putting up with. Now I am retired there are very few places to go each day. Those trips I do make are usually for shopping. Other outings I take are simply for the exercise, I enjoy going for walks. I have neighbours who can’t seem to be able to remain at home and I wonder why they have a house to live in because they spend more time out of it that in it! To be fair my neighbours do have small children so they will be driving them to their various activities, not least of all school. Aside from that they seem to be taking short trips constantly throughout the day which don’t include their children. I am not suggesting their children are abandoned, each parent in turn stays at home whilst the other flits about in their respective cars throughout the day. They have electrically controlled gates which only ever seem to be closed at night because during the day they would constantly be opening and closing. They lead a very different life from that of E and I. It is all about our modern western society and the needs we have self-imposed upon ourselves to conform to it. Life is hectic for us all as we grow through our adult lives but as the years pass things do begin to slow down and we find there is neither that same urgency nor necessity to be flitting about all over the place every day.
When we look back over the years we can so easily forget what we once did and sometimes wonder where the years went! Living for the moment we forget the passage of time. Did we really do those things? Did we spend all that time doing this and that? Would we have done it differently knowing then what we know now? Probably not I surmise. It is nice to not have to do the many things we once had to any longer. It is nice to have a slower pace of life and not have to worry about the things we perhaps used to worry about. No more comings and goings, well far fewer of them anyway.
Now that the dust is settling in the wake of our general election recently perhaps we can begin to roll up our sleeves and get on with things. It seems to be the way with many folk who can talk about a job for hours yet have difficulty in actually getting down to doing it. I once worked in a place employing many engineers but I use that term very loosely. Quite a number of them only wanted to put in the time but very little effort, to be frank they were simply lazy. Some had no academic qualifications either which didn’t help much. One or two however were keen to learn. The guy whom I was allocated to work with or rather team up with for a number of years was one of those who liked working and was keen to learn. He had academic qualifications in joinery but had practical experience in mechanical services. He had little knowledge of electrical things but with my help he soon picked things up. We were a good team and things got done. He was eventually promoted to a higher rank suitable to his academic and practical abilities. He was my second in command if you like and I could always rely upon him to do most things when I wasn’t there. In certain areas he was far better qualified than I was and I left him to do that work whilst I got on with something else. When I left the organisation to become self-employed he was left in charge and no doubt would have coped well. One morning I walked into a very wet plant room, it was extensively flooded to a depth of 300 mm caused by a burst cold water pipe which must have been leaking for many hours judging by the amount of water on the floor. The ‘engineers’ in charge and working the night shift hadn’t spotted the problem because they hadn’t done their duty in carrying out a regular walk-about as they were supposed to. There wasn’t an inquiry as far as I can remember and everything was forgotten about though at the time my colleague and I kicked up a lot of noise about it. We were often let down by the night-shift group not having done their work as they should have. Well the dust settled after a while and all was put into the past. Throughout our lives we may come across similar situations and we kick up a fuss about them yet in the end the dust settles and we forget about them. When we look back at such times we wonder why we got all uptight about it though at the time we probably had the right to be. Life goes on though once the dust has settled……….until someone stirs it up again. Remember, ashes to ashes, dust to dust……………
Many years ago when I was young and stupid, yes I was once young and very stupid at times, I would drink and then drive without giving a thought about the consequences. I never realised the havoc I could have caused had I been involved in an accident due to my drinking or given a thought about somebody losing their life through my stupidity. When one imbibes alcohol it most certainly impairs judgement and capability and can result in mayhem if we take to the wheel after indulging. It has been many years since I deliberately drove a vehicle after taking a drink but when I visit my local pub, on foot I might add, I come across many people who still maintain that they can handle their drink and that it doesn’t affect their driving capability whatsoever. Today, Wednesday, I spent the afternoon at my local pub drinking red wine with diet cola on the side. I walked there and back as it is only a matter of 900 yards or so each way. If I lived further away I would go by taxi and would never consider using my vehicle for transport. Now I know a few people who frequent that pub who have no qualms about driving to and fro from the pub and today I met up with one of them. The discussion between us turned to driving under the influence for some reason. It wasn’t engineered that way but it just came up in conversation. I mentioned that I didn’t hold with the idea of people drinking and driving but I couldn’t easily express that as I was talked down. Eventually though I was able to speak my mind by saying that it wasn’t so much a problem that people do drink and drive but those that do have no control over anyone who might run into them too thereby revealing their involvement as drink-drivers and subsequently being prosecuted. The person I was talking with was a middle-aged woman who, in my estimation should have known better but she drives to and from the pub at every visit, which is several times every week. One day she may be involved in an accident perhaps not through her own fault but it also might involve some innocent person losing their life because of that fact. To me it shows complete selfishness on her part and in the same way everybody who flaunts the law in this way. They are gambling with other people’s lives when they take to the wheel whist inebriated. When I left the pub to go home I had drunk a bottle of red wine and some diet cola but I walked, I didn’t drive. She had consumed two pints of lager and three glasses of white wine spritzers and was still drinking when I left. I know she will have driven the mile and a half to her house afterward but in that distance somebody could lose their life. I hope that doesn’t happen but the risk is too great for me.