Something For Nothing

It was my great pleasure to meet two individuals, both from “backstreet” businesses, who were a massive help to me this weekend, providing realistic and free advice on a problem with my car. Although unable to help me practically, it was refreshing to see and perhaps a little humbling, and I have no doubt that their multi million pound competition would have charged for such a privilege.

mecTransversely, I had a similar experience with a sales assistant, but with a cruder effect. Do not misunderstand me, she was neither impolite or disrespectful, but her whole manner and sentence delivery came directly from the corporate training manual (verbatim). And quite apart from thinking that my money was well spent, I came away feeling as though I had inconvenienced the next victim of the “Headmistress” waiting behind me in the checkout queue, but really had no real cause to complain about my sturdy patroniser.

baqSo while my faith in humanity is momentarily restored by professional courtesy of tradesmen, I wonder that perhaps humility should have a box to be ticked on the B&Q training check list?



Negative Advertising

Although my door is adorned with signs asking not to be included in the myriad of junk mail that is frequently on offer, I often still get it, and if I am about at the time, I remind those responsible that I do not care for this particular type of letterbox invasion.

Generally, I am met with a lethargic response in a accent of foreign shores, and sometimes squeeze an apathetic apology from the unsuspecting canvasser. But today that all changed when I received a foul mouthed tirade from someone spreading the news of a pizza shop under new management.


This time when I objected, I was met with some objectionable behaviour and what appeared to be the only English language our European friend knew and could pronounce, which was clearly not taught at a citizen class at evening school. Quite astounded I withdrew and returned indoors to review my options in response to this assault on my ears, the council, although sympathetic, could do little, the police recorded an incident under the public order act, but I expect to hear no more, and it was at this point I realised the enormity of this guys actions.

It had suddenly occurred to me that because of this attitude his whole day was a waste of time, no amount of posting leaflets will give you a return on bad manners, and for every shiny mailshot distributed there will be ten families that will hear from word and mouth of the poor staff choices made by this apparent fledgling company.

A Public Affair

In the last couple of decades or so, reality television has captured the public’s imagination, with shows such as “Big brother”, “shipwrecked” and even “The only way is Essex, and as interest has grown so has the format for such projects. But why would anyone want to use such a platform to air their family grievances in front of millions?

Some years ago The Jeremy Kyle show appeared on our screens in the UK and immediately had a cult following, from mum’s returning from the school run to students slowly rising from their slumber, this 9.25am appointment has been kept by the thousands. It also has had no shortage of participants to fill the gap of our weekday lives in order to expose the world to a myriad of characters from a massive topic base, infidelity, parenting and paternal issues, and the occasional heart warming and rendering stories from those desperate for help.

Although any remuneration has been a closely guarded secret for years, we do know that they are often provided with hotel accommodation and treated like chat show guest celebrities, or indeed they are until they try to dominate our living rooms with some of the worst behaviour that civilised humans could display. The host supposedly acting as intermediate to some of societies less articulate, who parade and preform, watched by a sometimes baying crowd. When watching, my spirits are curiously lifted, as I look around me and see none of the traits being broadcast and no intent of a “5 minutes of fame” experience.


Such as the popularity of these programmes on both sides of the pond, that we have a new contender for life’s forgotten few to find recourse in the form of legal shows, “Judge Rinder” is out of the same barn that gives us the “Kyle” show and is dedicated to resolving court issues in the comfort of our sitting rooms, and no doubt educate a generation of “Barrack room layers” that every public house has stood at the bar.

Borough Score Again

After approving the building of a 37 three storey complex for the retirement housing firm McCarthy and Stone, Eastleigh borough council have surpassed stupidity. It has come to our attention that planning permission has been refused for an extension to the house next door to this imminent landmark on the basis that it would impose on their original neighbours, whose house incidentally has been demolished to make room for the luxury apartments.


So the caring council will allow the development of an area that was previously the size of a 5 bed house and car park to become a home for potentially 64 people to reside, yet a bigger kitchen and bathroom for a family of four is unacceptable.

It has also been reported that a verbal agreement with the building firm and the resident, who can look forward to months of disruption, has been broken by the company, agreed placements have been removed. This has led to a breakdown in trust and the home owner has vowed to continue his plans to use an area that will be overlooked for purposes to the detriment of the new flat owners. Committed to staying with-in the law, the owner of the property has hinted that he will become a less than perfect neighbour.

Once built the housing will actually have a minimal effect on the already well used road, although, while building commences it really will be a “No Go Zone”, and it is very much hoped that the local shopping area has it’s promenade pavement improved before the elderly “cash cows” take a tumble in the exact precinct that councillors are refusing to repair.