A Simple Soul....5th March, 2020

HS2: It appears that HS2 is going ahead even though it seems the cost is now well over £100bn! I will never travel on it, as it’s another project that won’t be finished in my lifetime. One thing that does concern me is that we keep on building all these new “infrastructure projects” as the Bods call it, yet we can’t maintain the ones we already have. No doubt this will mean many years of heavy plant diesel-engined vehicles working on the construction, while the rest of us are encouraged to go electric and cycle. Good old Boris has promised more money for buses and cycling — but no mention of improving existing roads by filling in potholes, which I am sure, there are more than ever. So we have HS2. But will it have delays, leaves, flooded lines and snow drifts bringing it all to a standstill?
Boris and his chums need to get our flood defences sorted before embarking on this railway. Banning petrol and diesel cars won’t make much difference to the weather in the next few years, and those areas that are flooding time and time again need action now. Stop building on flood plains too, although I see the latest plans are to have houses built in these areas to have ground floor garages, with accommodation on the first floor.
WAR DANCE: In her wisdom Mrs Simple Soul decided to buy me a couple of pairs of those “jogger” pants. She reckoned they would be more comfortable to wear as they had a tie chord waist and did not require a belt, a zip or buttons. Now I have to admit she was right (it’s very rare I tell her she was wrong — life’s too short) but I have found one downside to them. Those chaps of a certain age may recall that Billy Connelly once advised that if you “pass a toilet — use it.” The need to have a pee does come on rather quickly sometimes at a certain age. I recently had this feeling and headed for the loo as fast as I could, only to find the chord in my joggers was in a knot and I couldn’t pull them down. I proceeded to hop around the bathroom doing something resembling an Apache war dance, trying to undo the thing. For those interested — I just made it.
ANNOYING: Or ignorant? People who answer their phones while going through checkouts at supermarkets. Chatting away on their phones while trying to pack their goods one handed, trying to find the purse, wallet or debit card — while everyone waits in the queue. Could they not answer, or advise the caller they were busy and would call back shortly? Not very good manners to those waiting in the queue, or to the checkout staff. I’m sure these calls are rarely an emergency.
HEALTHY FOOD: With all the talk of more healthy eating, going vegan and saving the planet, I thought I would check all the info on a bottle I had on the dining table. It listed the ingredients and stated that the contents were suitable for vegans. (Why does that word always remind me of Star Trek?) Next it listed energy, fat, carbohydrate, sugars, fibre, protein and salt. The jar also contained approximately 37 servings. Now in the interests of my health and diet should I, or should I not use the bottle’s contents with my meal? I decided that a few slashes of vinegar on my fish and chips wouldn’t really make much difference. There seemed to be a lot of information for just a bottle of vinegar. How many of you have actually read the label on your vinegar bottle? No such information on my fish and chips though, so they must be really healthy to eat.
FOOTY: Big Nige was holding court down the pub the other night, resplendent in his Liverpool replica shirt, and informing all that would listen that “his” team were certs to win the Premier League. Funnily enough I seem to recall that towards the end of last season he was wearing the blue of Man City. Now Big Nige is a big fan of VAR when it goes in his team’s favour, but wants it scrapping when a decision goes against his team, which ever one that may be. VAR was brought in to rule out errors made by match officials and yet it seems VAR, operated by an official, still seem to make errors, despite constant slow motion replays. Crazy.
TREAT: After I’d watched Match of the Day last Saturday night, I slid into bed alongside Mrs Simple Soul, who was reading some romantic novel. Giving a nice smile, a wink and a nudge, I informed her I’d got a nice surprise for her. She informed me I was a bit late for that sort of thing and she was going to sleep. Shame really, as I had to eat the Walnut Whip I’d bought her.