Oi, Britain!!!

Honestly.

I’m in the middle of a blogging break while I recover from one condition, and now find myself compelled to write a blog post about another situation. Thankfully, as I’m writing the post the situation isn’t as bad as it could have been, but a second earlier or later and there could have been no blog post.

I’m addressing this post to the drivers of the UK, but in effect it could apply to drivers anywhere, especially if said drivers lose control of all common sense when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle.

I’m sorry to say, drivers of Britain, but you are the worst. You bring down the concept of being human. You lose the ability of logical mind, and allow stupidity to control both yourself and the vehicle you are meant to be driving.

Tonight I was hit by a vehicle as I crossed a road. Luckily for me, it was only a bump with a very loud thud, although I doubt that the ‘human’ behind the wheel heard it over their ridiculously loud thumping music they were playing.

As I crossed the road, I noticed the black 4X4 turn into the road I was three-quarters of the way across. I thought to myself ‘that’s a bit close’, as I noticed it turning into the wrong side of the road (the correct side of the road was now behind me and I was way passed this… oh, and before you ask, the vehicle wasn’t there when I started to cross), and then the vehicle hit me. I stepped back into the road to see if the ‘driver’ had realised they had actually hit another human being, once I regained control of my senses after saying to myself “Did that actually just happen?”, and I think they did stop momentarily before turning into another road and driving off. As it was a residential street, I thought the vehicle may have parked somewhere, but it was nowhere to be seen when I had a quick look. No surprise there.

It’s actually no surprise I was hit by the vehicle thinking about it. Another driver, the other week, drove straight through regardless as I was crossing on a zebra crossing at a Tesco supermarket carpark. One vehicle to my right had stopped to allow me to cross, but the buffoon to the left turned out of one of the lanes and seemed oblivious to the fact that there was a crossing even there, let alone somebody using it.

I’ve seen vehicles overtaking queues of traffic on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of central reservations… speeding drivers narrowly missing being involved in collisions as they race regardless around winding roads – again on the wrong side of the road… I had a truck overtake me as I was driving on my right, only to turn left in front of me into the road I was approaching… I had a woman try to drive her car through my old car (literally, she rammed her car into the front of mine) as she wanted to turn left at a roundabout when she was in the wrong (right-turn) lane, but didn’t indicate and just decided to go. She was extremely un-lady lake when I ferociously honked my horn at her… motorcyclists undertaking and overtaking at any given opportunity… cyclists at night dressed in black without lights on, some even sending text messages on their mobiles whilst peddling – I mean wobbling – into the path of traffic… I’ve seen drivers swing their doors wide open without checking if anything (cyclist or car) was approaching…  I’ve seen drivers reversing the wrong way along one way streets (so their car was facing the right way)…  I’ve had a ‘professional’ coach driver sound their horn at me as they sailed passed me at speed when I was stopping at a red traffic light… on the news recently, there were images of impatient drivers driving the wrong way on a motorway to avoid a traffic hold up… and this list doesn’t even touch the surface.

I’m a driver. I know how frustrating it can be. I know it’s easy to make a mistake. But taking the time to think about the driving, rather than just blindly making the vehicle go, could save a whole lot of hassle. Being a little more patient, and courteous, both with yourself and the other ‘humans’ on the road, could save a lot of stress. Taking time to look carefully, using the roads correctly, allowing others time to do their things, would actually make the driving experience a little more pleasurable.

And this could also prevent YOU from killing somebody on the road.

Fortunately, not all drivers are like this – it may just be my turn to see them on the roads – but if you drive any way like in the examples above, or equally as stupidly, just think. Take a step back. Give yourself time.

Hopefully, British roads will become much better in the near future… that’s what I’m looking out for now. It’s a shame that a ‘near-death experience’ has prompted this post, but if this post encourages just one person to make a concerned effort to become a better driver, then writing the post has been worth it.

HTTP

It must be the time of the month
For errors and associated gumpf
Where images I can’t upload

The forums say the problem is me
Although the error says HTTP
And nothing else is told

‘Connection reset’
Is also an error I get
When WordPress I try to see

Other sites work fine and well
So this glitch, from what I can tell,
Affects just WordPress and me

I can sit for a while
And lose the will to smile
As it takes an age for the error to show

And from experiences past
These errors do not last
Yet they cause my frustrations to grow

With intentions good
I know that I should
Persevere and continue to post

Yet if they persist
I may have to insist
On using a new blogging host

***

Sigh. Once again I’m being subjected to the glitch that crops up from time to time. I can’t upload images, which is one of the major symptoms, but not as major as being unable to comment or view WordPress blogs. I have a feeling these errors are caused by changes due to the latest updates to Windows, as everything seems to work well before then suddenly stops then suddenly start working again after another update. Whatever. It’s always the same error, and always affects WordPress. The help forums, when I can access them, always ask me to check that I’m using the latest browser, although the problem occurs on any browser – in fact, I used the Apple browser and just received a white screen; no error at all.

It’s mighty frustrating.

Even more so now I have a target to reach blogging wise.

I shall persevere with things. I’m posting this in the hope that those ‘Freshly Pressed’ robots call by and see that I’m having issues once again; I mean they must read the posts word-for-word so maybe they will pass the message on and get things fixed once and for all.

As you all know, I live in a dream world, so my hope will be in vain.

Sorry folks, but expect boring posts for the foreseeable future. Fingers, my Inner Typist, is trying to force me to write ‘so nothing new there, then’ – but I shall resist. Doh!

Oh no! Oh NO!

An iconic part of Cheshire has been destroyed today.

Back in 1988, club goers everywhere, well, everywhere in the UK, were treated to a late night music show called ‘The Hit Man and Her’. The Hit Man was Pete Waterman, a third of the song-writing trio Stock Aitken and Waterman, and Her was Michaela Strachan, who has since moved on to presenting wildlife shows. The Hit Man and Her was broadcast live, from slap-bang in the middle of a heaving nightclub, as they tended to be in those days.

The very first show was broadcast from a nightclub in Warrington, Cheshire, named Mr Smiths.

The building was built in 1937 by Union Cinemas, and was called the Ritz Cinema. Associated British Cinemas took over the Union Chain later in 1937, but they kept the name for the Ritz until 1958, when they renamed it the ABC. Folk today still refer to it as the Ritz.

In 1972, the building split into two, housing a bingo hall in the stalls and a cinema in the balcony; and in 1982 the cinema closed its doors for the final time, followed shortly afterwards by the bingo club.

The bingo hall became Mr Smith’s nightclub, and there have also been a few other names for the club in the years since then.

I remember vividly going to the Saturday Morning Club that they held there, back in the 1970s. And I also remember (rather strangely) my nights of frantic dancing and merriment during the 1980s and later. Frantic dancing is probably the best way to describe my moves. They weren’t smooth; and they certainly weren’t pleasant. I ached for a week after doing that, and my ears rang for about the same length of time afterwards also, as the music was so loud. Still, good memories.

This morning, there was a definite smell of burning in the air. I wasn’t aware of what was happening until I approached the site. The building had been alight since before 2am this morning, and fire crews from neighbouring towns had been called in to help fight the blaze.

Most of the roads around the area were closed, but I was able to continue with my journey as my way was clear. Smoke was still rising from what remained of the building as I watched from over the bridge, mouth open.

The building has been empty and unused for a few years, but the owners were in the final stages of talks for the building to become a youth club.

The ironic thing? Seven youths aged 15, 16 and 17 have been arrested in connection with the fire. Can I ask what is wrong with people?

The building is now in the process of being demolished. Fire crews are still damping down other parts of the building, well, they were at 7.30pm, but the bulldozers have already moved in and torn down the worst affected parts. How much will be demolished and therefore how much will remain tomorrow morning remains to be seen… but if the building is gone completely the Warrington skyline will have a completely different look tomorrow morning.

As I drove past the building this evening, and saw the demolished side of it, I felt physically sick. I know it’s ‘only’ a building, and one I haven’t stepped foot in for many a year, but it’s a building that invokes memories all the same… and now, it seems, only those memories are all that is left of it.

A sign that nothing lasts forever, perhaps.

The Union Cinema, 1937:

The ABC (EMI) Cinema in 1978:

Mr Smiths in the 1980s (or thereabouts):

And April 14th 2015: