My daughter and granddaughter left the house at 6.40 am this morning to catch the bus because the trains in this corner of England are on strike today. Consulting her phone Lillie says, the traffic is already beginning to stack up along the road to Rochdale. This is because a sinkhole has appeared in the road. Living in narrow valleys served by only one road going through them, traffic jams happen.
The infrastructure in this country is bad, I was going to use the word appalling which is probably a better word, but it has sadly gone down under the present government - money not spent. Though here I must add, that locals get their knickers in a twist over every delay by traffic lights for the mending of the road. We are a small country - full stop.
Natural disaster is bad, but the word natural is exactly that, so flood warnings are in place where rivers run high. Water companies instead of spending money on cleaning water, they would rather pay out big dividends to shareholders, are dumping our sewage into rivers and the sea, rather than treating the sewage.
Yesterday on the news people in West London had to sit miserably in cold, dark trains that were not moving for several hours, all because of an electricity failure. Sometimes December is just a rotten month for some of us.
Pat's 'imagery' blog came to mind when I saw a baby crying its heart out in the dark carriage. Everyone's face was lit up by their phones as they stared down avidly into its contents. Suddenly I remembered a similar time when coming home from London to Essex, the train broke down in the snow. We had been to see a show and had had left my baby daughter in the hands of a competent babysitter. I paniced full time imagining the babysitter going home and leaving Karen alone in the house. Of course she didn't but the parallel between that time and this - no mobile phones in the olden days to reassure us.
My daughter works in the 'Northern Quarter' of Manchester, a sort of 'in' sophisticated place to be in, home to night clubs and restaurants. Well just down the street from her shop Chanel Metier d'Art put on a show, it was of course blocked off so that the public could not see what was going on but the celebrities were there in full force. Lots of security.
But the tale here was of Hugh Grant and his wife and of their generosity to a plumber in Manchester, who avails his service for free to people who cannot afford to get work done. Grant gave £20,000 to the plumber.
Now whether that was out of the goodness of his heart or a ploy to get noticed heaven knows! But this article from the BBC gives a good idea of the happenings. The organisers built a roof over the street, someone said it looked like a glass house. Who says Manchester is not a bright and upcoming city of the future?
Edit, here is the video of it. Very 1960s. Short skirts, long jackets.