Provincial Letters

Far from the mad crowds of the city, Blaise Pascal passed comment on the strange behaviour of this urban contemporaries in his Provincial Letters. The connection between them and this blog is somewhat tenuous.

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Location: Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

My star sign in Superstition. And I didn't believe in reincarnation last time, either. The only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance. I am a fanatical ant-fanaticist. I am bigotted only where bigots are concerned. I am a fundamentalist atheist. I'm proud to be a product of evolution; I know it in my genes.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Posted @ 14:04Observations II

A problem in the car manufacturing industry

Over the last few years I have noticed a symptom of the decrease of quality control standards in the car manufacturing industry which motorists may not be aware of. Although I have been aware of the problem for some time, it has become so noticeable recently (and, in particular, this morning) that I feel I must point it out as a public service.

An increasing number of vehicles are being manufactured without working indicators. As a pedestrian this causes many problems since it is impossible to determine which exit from a junction (particularly roundabouts) a vehicle is going to take. I know that in some cases the road markings often restrict traffic to a particular exit but since there seems to be a prevalence for vehicles to pass over the top of them and for trees and fences to intervene with one's direct view, they are often inconveniently hidden from view. Sometimes (for example, this morning) I have felt like stepping out in the road in front of a vehicle with broken indicators in order to alert the driver to this growing problem; however, I have a sneaking suspicion that it would not be good for my health.

I encourage all drivers to report this fault (should they experience it) to the manufacturers of their vehicles.


I recently had a bad experience with one of these disrespectful, ignorant yobs that keep cropping up in the headlines. I really think something ought to be done about the various fashion statements they make with their clothing and accessories, such people are responsible for a lot of the social ills this country is experiencing.

I was walking to work (being careful to compensate for the failings of the motor manufacturing industry - see above) the other morning and was on Grimsby Docks when I was stopped by this person and asked for directions. I'm not greatly familiar with the various small streets on the Docks, but in this case I could supply the information required. "Go straight over the first roundabout," I began. At this point his mobile phone rang. Without a word to me he answered it: "Yeah?"; and proceeded to settle arrangements for some social engagement. I stood open-mouthed and rooted to the spot at the rudeness. The call finished he turned back to me: "Yeah?" he said again. Stuttering, I completed my directions and off he went... ...turning right at the first roundabout and therefore destined to get lost. At least that was some small satisfaction for his lack of grace and manners.

Such yobs are easily identified: they are aged 30 to 45, dressed in shirt and tie, have expensive mobile phones, drive 2-litre saloon cars which have a copy of the Daily Mail on their back seats. From his phone conversation I gather he plays golf which, it itself, is not really a bad thing (but, then again it isn't a good thing) but it is bloody typical of the breed. I am writing to the management of Freshney Place to request that people so attired are banned from entering.

Cheese Addicts

From Grimsby Evening Telegraph, 16th May 2005:

"Grimsby cheese lover Alan Love has been jailed for eight months after throwing away repeated chances to avoid prison.
He persistently failed to respond to community penalties and kept stealing cheese, Grimsby magistrates decided. Love (44), of Longfield Road, admitted breaching a one-year community rehabilitation order imposed on January 31.
It was made after he admitted stealing cheese, valued at £16, from Tates in Cleethorpes on September 19 and stealing more cheese, worth £38.86, from Co-operative Stores in Grimsby on November 26.
He asked for two other thefts, involving coffee and cheese, to be considered that day.
He also admitted a new offence of stealing 21 packets of cheese, valued at £41.25, from Lincoln Co-op in St Nicholas Drive, Grimsby, on March 13."

I am prepared to admit that I am a cheese addict, as are Ian O and Mark W (I know they won't mind being "outed" in this manner). And that we like good coffee with it. There are few greater pleasures (or, at least, few pleasures which can be mentioned in a family-orientated blog) than eating cheese. We are never happier than when romping with Gruyere, Roqueforte, Danish Blue, Port Salut, Feta, Haloumi and their cousins and several cups of Jamaican Blue Mountain. But the activities of Alan Love cited above have brought stories out of the woodwork concerning that Grimsby may be the cheese addiction capital of the world. Carolyn G has confirmed that a workmate has smuggled cheese to Greece for her son and Mark W has confirmed that his mother is a regular "cheese mule" between France and the UK.

So far my cheese addiction has not prevented me from functioning normally in the world: I take a couple of slices of (extra mature) cheddar on toast in the morning and am able to work through the day without thinking about cheese for minutes on end. I worry - with the growth of the problem in the Grimsby area - that cheese will become more widely available and we will lose the ability to cope with the real world. After that will come the backlash with a "Just Say No to Solid Milk Products" campaign and you won't see Roule, Double Gloucester, Red Leicester, Emmenthal, Jaarlsburg and their many relations ever again. I - and Mark and Ian - are sensible cheese addicts who know when we've had enough (a couple of kilograms an hour is enough) but these cheese-smugglers and cheese-stealers could spell the end for our harmless pleasures.

Support the freedom to eat cheese! In vast quantities!


Blogger Seany said...

As a motorist I also find the "faulty" indicator issue most annoying. Strangely though, my car has started exhibiting faults in a feature that I was not aware it had - the cloaking device appears to be activating completely randomly. I endure a 1.5 hour commute every day and am amazed at the number of vehices that pull out, pedestrians that leap out from the pavements and motorists who brake suddenly for no apparent reason. I'm sure if they could see me, there would be much more aware of the potential danger involved...

Wed Jun 08, 02:14:00 pm BST 
Blogger Richard Papps said...

Can Nicki and I join the cheese club please? We enjoy lots of cheese. May we recommend 'St Agur' as the best blue cheese around. If you've not tried it, do so. Brie and of course Stilton (blue and white) are also favourites. However, as much as we like Jamaican Blue Mountain, we would rather have our cheese with a good red wine or a glass or three of port!

Thu Jun 09, 10:40:00 am BST 
Blogger woja said...

Love St Auger (but will argue about the "best blue cheese" title over a pint sometime).

Thoroughly agree: Jamaican Blue Mountain, red wine, port...

...and maybe a single malt to finish with.

Thu Jun 09, 11:04:00 am BST 
Blogger Seany said...

Perhaps if you argue over a pint of Jamaican Blue Mountain, red wine, port & single malt, Dave might give you another certificate...

Thu Jun 09, 11:59:00 pm BST 
Blogger woja said...

"Perhaps if you argue over a pint of Jamaican Blue Mountain, red wine, port & single malt..." might make me quite ill...

[As I remember, none of us were in perfect health after that escapade with the single malts]

Fri Jun 10, 10:13:00 am BST 
Blogger Ian O said...

Can I recommend Shropshire Blue? So called because it's Orange, with Green veins, and comes from somewhere or other.It's totally cheese-mongous.Unfortunately, I havent got any at the moment.Have you got any on you, mister? Just a couple of ounces to see me throught the weekend, you know I'm good for it, ok , how about a bit of extra-mature cheddar? I'm not and addict or anything, I could give up any time if I wanted, have done many times, come on mister, just a few dregs from a tube of primula, come on mister, please, I'll be your best friend, honest.....come back mister, please........!

Sat Jun 11, 07:22:00 pm BST 

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