10 May 2014 (Saturday) - This and That
Through the wonders of continuous positive airway pressure I slept till 9am this morning. That's unheeard of. Over brekkie I solved a geo-puzzzle (with just the teensiest bit of help) and then saw something on-line which made me cross.
A local branch of the Pilgrim's Hospice is to close. The public are up in arms and all sorts of campaigns to save the place have been launched on Facebook. But as Mr Fenn (my old English Teacher) used to say "fine words butter no parsnips". The hospice openly says on their website "More than 75% of our funding comes from our hugely generous local community". Obviouusly the local community isn't so generous any more.
Those who are full of indignation aboutt the closure of the hospice have become accustomed to free health care but they don't seem to realise that not all of it is government-funded. I have maintained (for over thirty years) that the best way to maintain public services such as this is *not* to subsidise them by voluntary donations. No government (of any political persuasion) is going to fund anything that someone else is already paying for. The Health Service is under incredible financial constraints; why would they use very limited resources on hospices and air ambulances and blood deliveries when someone else is willing to pay for these services?
I then spent the morning failing to solve more geo-puzzles, and then we went on something of a mission. To town for assorted shopping. We got the makings of five gallons of beer for £7.50, which was something of a bargain. We went to Dobbies for a crafty munzee, and then round to the Riverview Diner at Bybrook Barn for lunch. For those of my loyal readers who've never been there, the Riverview Diner is an authentic American diner which was shipped to Ashford from the US fourteen years ago. I'm reliably informed (from those wwho know) that the menu is "American as the Brits would imagine it to be". There's no denying the place is rather gimmicky, but I love it.
From there we popped round to the music studios. The music shop has relocated there and I needed new reeds for my sax. I got chatting with the chap on the till, and when he realised I was a student at the music studios I got a ten per cent reduction.
We then went on to visit "Daddies Little Angel TM", who is blooming. We took her to Folkestone's equivalent of the Cheapo-Bargains shop. Something of an eye-opener. We would have gone on to the Admiralty, but time was pressing.
Home, and Martin visted. He's been to the Folkestone Geek Fest which had taken place today. I'd considered going, but had decided against it. I was right to have done so. Having paid a fiver to get into the place there was nothing to do except to spend more money. Many years ago when a group of us used to frequent the fandom scene there was all sorts of stuff to see and do at sci-fi conventions. Nowadays they are just places where you buy overpriced merchanidise and buy expensive autographs from people who were famous many years ago. Apparently sci-fi stars of twenty years ago were littering Folkestone's Geek Fest today. Charging (on average) fifteen pounds per autograph they couldn't keep up with the demand.
And with "er indoors TM" off to film night and "Furry Face TM" chewing on his new bone I tried out my new saxophone reeds. There is still an occasional bum note, but far fewer than I have been experienceing. Mind you at £8.50 for three, as opposed to ten for a fiver from eBay, I would hope for a noticeable improvement.
I'm now going to watch more of "Game of Thrones"; if nothing else the blonde one gets her kit off and flops them out with entertaining regularity...