Right for once

I’m going to get slated for this post, but sod the lot of you. I’m a small-minded bigot with a sense of humour. I’ve learned to deal with it, you might as well.

I was walking back from the footie near Heworth Metro station yesterday. There’s a house I spotted with a disabled badge in the window – a big yellow plastic one, with a strip light attached. Next to it a large sign with “Disabled Parking Only. Permit Required” or somesuch. The parking for these houses is on the street.

Two thoughts occured to me – either “students nicking signs” or “disabled person lives there”. I looked over my shoulder at the car parked in front of the property. The back was filled with Sunderland scarves, badges, stickers…

Disabled. Mentally. I was right.

Sunday trading

Something I’ve not had a rant about on this page, I notice. So I may as well. Sunday trading restrictions in England and Wales. In a word “WHY?!”

Pop over the border to Scotland and, as well as all-day drinking which I won’t start on, 24-7 shopping means 24-7 shopping. Aside from, to be fair, xmas day and New Year’s day when any sensible Scot is nursing a clanging hangover.

In England, every supermarket shuts its door around 8pm on a Saturday. They then have a 6-hour window during which they can open on a Sunday (somewhere between 10 and 6, depending on the shop) then they’re closed until 8am on Monday.

What is the point? I go to Morrisons near me on a Sunday and there’s actually a queue to get in first thing on a Sunday. These days, families have so many commitments and so little time around work, that extra shopping time is a necessity not a luxury.

I can’t get my shopping done every Saturday as I go to the football. Other people will travel to see relatives. You don’t want to get your weekly groceries in on a Saturday monrning on the way there. It’s daft – your fresh fruit and veg will just be sat there for an extra day towards expiration until you return.

If I go away for the weekend, it’d suit me down to the ground to be able to swing by Asda or wherever on the way home on Sunday evening to pick up fresh milk, bread and the like. Only I can’t unless I’m getting home before 4pm.

So what’s stopping the change? As far as I’m aware, it’s politicians being scared of losing the religious vote courtesy of the ludicrously self-centred and rather ignorant “Keep Sunday Special” morons.

Why should I have my life made inconvenient because someone else wants to keep Sundays as a special day for themselves? I am not religions. By “keeping Sunday special” they are attempting to force me to live their lifestyle. Surely this is in breach of my human rights? Just as I’d not force them to drink pig blood, or have sex outside of their marriage, I’d not expect someone else to dictate when I can conveniently shop or drink alcohol.

Keeping Sunday special should surely be a choice made by an individual. While I appreciate the other problems incurred with Sunday opening by large chains (smaller neighbourhood shops closing and so forth), that’s just a change in the way society works. You can’t go around forcing people to do “nice” things on Sunday when many of them only have the one day to get stuff done. Our country has changed massively in the last 10-20 years, especially in the way people work and live.

Lives are more hectic, people work longer hours, staff are not “forced” to work Sundays but just kind of expect to, in certain jobs. I work (or at least travel) out of hours a lot with my job. It’s expected. I don’t get paid extra for it. People who work Sundays do get paid for the hours.

The “Keep Sunday Special” campaign “claims that there is no demand by consumers for even more shopping hours. Any campaign to extend Sunday hours is fired by the appetites of big stores to build even greater profits.”

If there’s no demand for extra hours, explain the 50+ people at the doors to my local Morrisons at 9:50 this morning. Don’t forget that a very sizeable portion of the UK’s population these days is not Christian. Jews and Muslims, as examples, both celebrate a different holy day. I, on the other hand, celebrate none. By restricting (or banning) Sunday trade, by making it different from any other day, you’re restricting their desire to live in a way that suits their beliefs. And surely that is a more serious offense than buying some frozen veg when I “should” be in church.

Lyon’s Den

I just watched the last episode of this superb series, havind taped it last night due to Channel 5’s recent decison to shove it on stupidly bloody late.

Wow.

I’m assuming from that ending that it was only a miniseries and not to expect a second run? But what the hell. A masterpiece.

Normally, I hit the end credits and switch off. I was so busy trying to gather my jaw off the ground that I sat right through them. Brilliant television.

Getting there… and kitty adoption

I’ve finished one of my three OU courses for the year. Yesterday I posted off all 80 pages on an investigation into determining the usefulness of Neural Networks and Knowledge Based Systems in recognising individuals by fingerprint and hand geometries. A right load off my mind.

I now only have three pieces of work left. One Internet Apps exam in about a month, my final Relational Databases project due in three weeks afterwards, and a critique on that project which has to be in at the start of December. I then have two months off until starting on Data Communications and some maths module or other. I reckon I will be exceedingly drunk within 2 hours of posting off the final assignment.

The other thing I’ve done is spend about a tenner on cheap cat stuff. Ape Boy still has his ex’s cat, but he hates cats. As a result, the poor thing lives permanently outdoors and in this weather that’s just not right. It’s barely a year old and has been living in wind and rain for a month now. I have seen it approaching people going by simply as it needs attention. They do feed it, but as it’s not always there when they put the food out, it often doesn’t get any of it before the neighbourhood furry hordes pinch it all.

Last night, Kim let it in before I got home from work. It (I think it’s a “she” but don’t quote me) hid under my bed in an old suitcase – a favourite haunt for visiting kitties. I didn’t have anything to feed it at all, but let it stay the night. It wasn’t happy about being picked up – I was allowed, but after a few seconds I was treated to a very throaty growl and a half-hearted attempt to maul my forearm. I’m wondering if I squeezed or pressed on a sore bit as it’s back end and tail does look a bit the worse for wear.

Kitty was well behaved, but did have an accident on my kitchen floor. I’m not going into details, but it’s obvious from what awaited me in the morning that this cat isn’t healthy.

So. I’m not talking to the guy, and he wouldn’t care anyway, but I’m partially adopting it. I’ve picked up some cat food, a litter tray and cat litter, and a food/water bowl. If Kitty comes in, then I’ll give it some TLC. If I can, I’ll keep it in overnight and let it eat. Hopefully it’ll bulk up as it does look underweight and raggy.

With any luck, I’ll restore its faith in good human nature. Feck knows that over the last few weeks it’s seen little enough of it.

Layer Cake

I’m just in from seeing a preview of this new British gangster film. It’s directed by the producer of Lock, Stock… but is a far cry from that particular classic in style, but not in quality. The funky special effects and voiceovers are pretty much done away with after the scene-setting, leaving the story itself and some clever camera work to entertain you for the 90 minutes or so that it runs for.

I won’t spoil the story, just recommend you go see it if you like a clever plot and some damn fine acting. Probably some of the best performances I’ve seen in a while. Not big, brash or over the top.

A great example of why we should be supporting British cinema. And a mile better than that crap about the kid who wanted to be a ballet dancer.