5 January 2017 (Thursday) - Bad Day
I woke up shortly before the alarm was about to go off and looked out of the bedroom window. I was pleased to see the cars outside weren't iced up. I got up and tiddled the dogs. Because going straight from warm baskets to a cold garden is something of a shock I always go out with them. I didn't think it was that cold at 5.30am; certainly not as cold as it has been recently.
The dogs then shot upstairs to lay on my bed, and over some toast I watched a rather sad episode of "Dad's Army" in which Captain Mainwaring fell in love. I then got dressed, said goodbye to the three who were snoring on (and in) my bed and went out to find that during the previous hour my car had iced up quite impressively.
As I scraped the ice from my car I saw something quite remarkable. A cyclist. On the road (where he should be) and not on the pavement. And with hi-vis clothing and lights on his bike.
I set off to work and it wasn't long before I very nearly ran over some twit cycling dressed all in black with no lights. He came seemingly from nowhere; this near miss shook me up somewhat. I opened the window and shouted that he should be more visible. He shouted "F... off" and kept going - almost directly into another car; seemingly oblivious to the mayhem he was causing.
The pundits on the radio commented that today had been the coldest night of the winter so far. Admittedly it had got cold over brekkie but the coldest night?
I must admit to having had a wry smile over the next bit of news. The government's All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on social integration has recommended that all immigrants to the UK should be able to speak English before trying to come to the UK, or should learn the language as a matter of urgency once having arrived.
Really? Who would *ever* have thought that this might be a good idea?
What really boils my piss about this is that this *isn't* news. This has been an issue for years. Regular readers of this drivel may recall my previous rants on this subject. On 30 January 2013 I complained about the recent census which showed that at that time there were one hundred and thirty eight thousand people in the UK who couldn't speak English. And that wasn't "spoke English badly" - that was "couldn't speak English at all". The number that spoke English badly was over seven hundred thousand back then. And on 12 February 2007 I mentioned that forty thousand long term UK residents stood to lose their unemployment benefit due to proposed government legislation in which the government was planning to cut benefits for anyone who was unemployed because they could not speak English and refused to take (free) English lessons.
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for immigration. After all, the countries hospitals would close tomorrow if not for immigrant labour. But surely the ability to speak English is a pre-requisite for coming to the UK?
(And for those who *are* against immigration I have a question from my own personal experience... You advertise a vacancy for a vital job in a hospital several times in various nationwide job markets. You don't get a single application from any UK nationals. Not one. How would you proceed?)
I stopped off at Morrisons petrol station on the way to work. Again the petrol in Canterbury is five pence per litre cheaper there than in Ashford. And then I went to work for my last early shift. And I also did far more than my bit. Because it needed to be done..
As I worked I found myself looking out of the window. Yesterday I took a day off and it rained for much of the time. Today the sunshine was glorious.
An early start made for an early finish. In all honesty I would rather have stayed at work this evening. I got home and took my dog for a short walk. The puppy stayed in her cage as she makes the walk too much of a misery. Once the walk was over I let the puppy out. Both dogs got *very* jealous of each other as I tried to fuss both.
I came out of the shower to find the puppy chewing my watch. It took an age to load the washing machine as the puppy kept running off with the clothes. It was fun at the start; the novelty of having a puppy has worn off…
Yesterday I had a really good day. Today was rather crappy…