…that I first took up paid employement.
I worked Saturday afternoons in Littlewoods in the Manchester Arndale. The unit where I worked is now Aldi. The outside has also changed as the Arndale centre was redeveloped after the 1996 IRA bomb.
But that was after my time. The IRA’s activities did affect me though, in 1991 when I was a senior sales assistant they planted several incindiary devices in the Arndale. One went off- right in the department where I worked. I had to be interviewed by the police and felt somehow guilty that I hadn’t spotted anything.
It wasn’t a highlight of my life, but if anyone says that as a wishy washy liberal I can’t have experienced terrorism, I can flatly disprove it.
Am I unusual in being irritated by attention grabbing headlines and sensationalism in news stories? If when reading a story logically, I find the substance more mundane than the headline and tone suggests, am I wrong to feel annoyed?
Yesterday in many publications came the headline “showers could make you ill”. Turned out the real story was that a third of showers are dirty and really should be cleaned before they make you ill.
Today there’s a headline saying climate change could cause health problems, written in such a way as to suggest my reaction should be shock. But on reading the article I was thinking “yes, that makes sense.”
I’ve been decluttering.
Mostly this has meant putting Books, CDs and VHS tapes up for sale on Amazon. Given I’m not a completeist and rarely read any fiction twice, keeping the lot seemed an extravagance.
On top of this I cleared out boxes of old letters and paperwork. 10 year old credit card and bank statements from accounts I no longer have are now shredded and added to the compost bin. My uni notes are on their way to be next week’s newspapers. I figured these were papers I would only re-visit for nostalgia purposes, and nostalgia as they say ain’t what it used to be.
One side effect of this decluttering is a Doctor Who morning marathon. In the half hour before his breakfast, Matthew and I watch an old episode of Doctor Who. Mostly these are off-air copies from UK gold circa 1999, so they will be watched and thrown away. So far I’ve watched Spearhead From Space, Day of the Daleks, Carnival of Monsters, and the end of The Space Museum. And then the tape itself will sadly have to be binned.
Unless anyone still has use of blank video tapes?
There’s been so much in my head over the past few months I’ve wanted to blog about. Facebook and twitter have taken care of much of the personal stuff, that I’ve ground to a halt.
Do I blog philosophically about the gap between expectations of school leavers and cultural expectations of knowledge of science, maths and technology in adults? Do I talk about attitudes to environmental issues? Do I blog about the worrying trend for rational, evidence based argument to be treated with suspicion?
And then… Nigel Farage announces he’s stepping down as UKIP leader to symbolically stand against John Bercow. I do hope that more than a politically motivated minority are boggling at this idea.
Transparently Farage is trying to take advantage of the general feeling of rage against MPs to opportunistically go up against the speaker, labelling Bercow as representative of the mainstream that every one is fed up with. Even accepting that the expelled Tom Wise is not representative of the party group, the idea that UKIP are somehow more honourable than the three major parties and the two nationalist ones is a bit of a joke to my mind.
Farage has been a bit vague as to what precisely it is that Bercow is doing wrong as speaker. On the Today programme expenses weren’t mentioned even. This sleight of hand can’t surely take many people in, blind anti-MP rage or not.