Today is one of the days that makes you realise how lucky you are to live at the coast. We are in the delightful period between the summer season and the quiet winter. The weather is still nice but it is too unpredictable for most tourists. The diehard weekenders remain, seen out on nice days and hidden in warm caravans on the others. A little secret of tourist towns is that this is the best time of year. Holidays are better when the evening involves a burning fire, away from the maddening crowds and the transient tourism. This is the period where battle-hardened proprietors look closely at their stock levels, it may be selling now but you don’t want to be left with it in October. I love this time of year, the few people on the beach look genuinely pleased to experience it. These are the low-cost escapees that book out of season and they are so grateful for a nice day to enjoy the beach with their children, it’s a pleasure to hear the happy shrieks. Before you can blink it will be winter and we will be battling the easterly winds to get to the shops. I love the way that my local environment changes with the season and that I get to watch it all play out.
My ‘pause’ continues so sadly I am not on the island watching the season closing yet, having said that they have an extended season so who knows there may yet be time. The progression through the hurdles of the accident is slow to say the least and frustration is a very real enemy to common sense. Luckily I have always been a ‘dig in and conquer’ type of chap and I am privileged to have some very good friends around me. I am tiring of hearing that the legal system does not normally deal with people who work but I guess as a challenge that is one of the better ones. Of the many days that I have spent on call these are by far the worse but the corollary of that is that trepidation is losing ground to the need to complete the process.
I have come to the conclusion that neither common sense or sanity travel well. I spend most of my time nowadays in fairly good hotels. But this has not always been and indeed is still not always the case. But even in good hotels sanity doesn’t often join me in the room.
There have been many examples of things that I have done in hotel rooms that I would never do at home. When I checked into a room where the single electrical socket by the kettle was broken did I complain? Hell no, I used the complementary emery board to lever the plug in. Irritating fire alarms have been subdued with wet towels on more than one occasion.
For the smokers amongst you, the shower caps provide an excellent shield on the smoke detectors. I have wedged things in noisy fans to cause the breaker to trip, well who hasn’t? The trigger for the post today is electrical malfunction. The bathroom light switch has been dodgy all week. It may not be brilliant but it has performed the task, well until tonight that is. The last night of my stay and it doesn’t want to switch off. The switch will turn the light off but the spring doesn’t work so when I let go the light comes back on.
As a competent electrical engineer what is my response to this dilemma. Do I request another room or ask for a maintenance visit? No I carefully fold notepaper and wedge it in the appropriate angles to hold the switch off. When you hold a switch against its will like this it complains in the form of arcing. Not to worry, careful alignment of my paper wedges silenced the arcing. This is not just DIY this is hotel DIY.
For legal reasons I won’t mention tonight’s hotel until I have removed the paper wedges in the morning.
Ms Nature seems to have time on her hands and perhaps some company. In my case I think she has teamed with Mr Murphy (of Murphy’s law). This nefarious combination has teamed up and resulted in a right foot injury. Whilst the injury is minor I currently cannot put weight on my right foot. The injury is a result of accommodating a left knee that is not pulling it’s weight.
The combination of a knee that is not enamoured with surprises and a foot that is equally unhappy with its share of work makes for slow progress. Of course this could be an indication of old age or even a reflection of the abuse that I have given my body. But I think I will stick with a campaign of mischief from my arch enemy Ms Nature and her new friend. I trust that Ms Nature has no more success with relationships than I do!
In other news I have discovered a weekend post that did not make it through the hurdle of the mobile app. I think this deserves it’s airtime so I have rewritten. I was travelling by train on a Saturday, not a crime in itself. My local ticket office was not open so I boarded the train and awaited the guard.
It would seem that Saturday is a popular day for mischievous children to avoid paying the fare. The railway company were acting to close down this jape by sending in a revenue protection squad. I say squad rather than team because these guys were like a swat team. I was two stations down the line when they reached me.
I looked up and asked for a ticket from my home station to my intended destination. It is worth noting that my home station is a terminus so in admitting that it is clear that I am not trying to trick anyone. I was asked why I had not purchased a ticket at my local station and explained that they were closed. The RPI told me he ‘should give me a penalty fare’ and at this point it started to go wrong.
I explained that this was not an option. I explained that I was purchasing a ticket at the first opportunity and that was it. The grumbling and muttering lead me to have to point out that ‘if you keep up we are going to have a falling out’. My ticket was issued and the gestapo went about their business.
I appreciate that these people are doubtless irritated by the children that they deal with weekly. But without this disregard for the fares system there would be no call for their employment. More importantly I wonder how many of the innocent children simply play up to the attitude that they are met with. I am a 40 year old employed man so if the way they tried to treat me is any indication it is no wonder the younger generation show them no respect.
This leads me to the wider story of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ which is certainly close to my heart. It seems that in the modern world this is a concept our police forces have abandoned. The preferred approach is snap judgments followed by overtime spent trying to prove what they believe. I am not sure that it has ever really been that different really. I am lucky that I have friends that still understand that is the case, that charges and accusations are nothing more than that. Would I have been so lucky as a younger man? I’m not sure. Would I have been treated differently if I wasn’t a biker? I’m certain I would have been.
But it is not about making life easy, it is about writing a good story.