Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Wednesday

Yesterday, with no prior warning, our Post Office was shut for the day.   It is housed at the rear of the Co-op and there was just a notice to say that it wouldn't open due to 'unforseen circumstances'.   It was annoying but I could easily use my card and the cash machine, which I did.   But it did make me think how many folk would walk up to get their Old Age Pension only to find they couldn't have it.   It's alright for me - I drive into town, park in a disabled spot (almost always available), cross the road at the crossing, do my bit of shopping, get an assistant to push my trolley back over the road and unload it into my boot, nip into the cafe for a quick coffee and then drive home.
But everyone is not so lucky.

Then I got home (having taken Tess for a walk before I went into town) and sat down to read The Times.   Having read Carol Midgley in Times 2 my fury knew no bounds.   I came to my computer and dashed off a letter to the editor.   Alright, it most likely will not get printed - but at least it vented my fury.   Writing about the incident where the man shouted at - and indeed insulted - the lady
who was seated next to him on an aeroplane she actually said (and I quote)  'who amongst us doesn't sometimes feel like abusing elderly women with arthritis?'

On Hallowe'en I shall be 86.   I go out everywhere - I eat out regularly (as I am sure you know by now), I go out with friends, I walk my dog three times a day, I even do a bit of gardening.   But (and it is a big 'but') I walk slowly - and have a stick because my balance is not brilliant either. 
 I also do my own shopping  - sometimes in the local shops (we have a good array in our town) and sometimes on line.   I can honestly say that NEVER have I encountered any abuse here.   Nobody pushes to get past, nobody grumbles when I am walking slowly.   People hold open doors for me, offer to carry my bag, help me in any way they can.   Yes - up here in North Yorkshire we are polite and friendly.   If Carol Midgley is speaking about what it is like where she lives and works (presumably London), then all I can say is that I am jolly pleased I don't live there.   She will one day be in her eighties and then (yes, I am feeling nasty) see how she likes it.

Now that has got off my chest - it is a lovely day here - less wind than yesterday and unbroken sunshine.   Make the most of it I think as the forecast is for very cold weather in the hills by the week-end.

30 comments:

Sandi said...


"...elderly women with arthritis?'"

What a bizarre thing to say.

Rachel Phillips said...

Who knows what went on up there. Perhaps she had already called him a white bastard, We wouldn't be told that though. A large Moroccan lady took my seat on a plane back from Marrakech and pretended not to speak English when I asked her move from my seat and dug herself in and turned away. I noticed she was clutching a British Passport from boarding. She got in everyone's way throughout the flight having her knees in the aisle, fully robed and did not respond to polite "excuse mes" from people until the flight attendant eventually had to ask her to move her legs. No, there is no excuse for shouting at people and abuse. Carol Midgley may have upset you but we cannot be politically correct all of the time.

the veg artist said...

When I was young there were many elderly about, both family and neighbours, with several war widows (first World War!) among them. I was well aware that they had lived long lives, and that I too would (hopefully)age. I was always being made to run errands, to 'save their legs', fetching and carrying. Arthritis was a fact of life, - as were wrinkles, but I really believe that the 'young' of today think that it will not happen to them. Exercise on machines and thousands of pounds worth of anti-aging creams are going to protect them from ever become elderly. Good Luck with that then!

Derek Faulkner said...

I tend to agree with Rachel's last sentence. Carol Midgley only mentioned her thoughts, not her actions and lets face it, we all think things about people at times that we wouldn't actually say out loud. My arthritis gets worse with every year and when I get to the stage where somebody moans about me getting in their way, I'll console myself with the fact that some years previously I would of probably done the same thing.

Gardener said...

I agree with Rachel.

Heather said...

I have sometimes felt impatient when behind an elderly person taking their time, but I have never felt like abusing anyone. I might save that for the very insensitive and rather foolish Carol Midgley. No wonder you were furious.

Unknown said...

I agree 100% with you Weaver (I read but don't comment on your blog but this moved me). Nasty racial abuse is not part of being a civilised society. Nasty abuse in general isn't part of being a civilised society. Personally I think the man should have been immediately removed from the flight. I'm a great believer in behaviourism, if he had had unpleasant consequences for his actions, he would be far less likely to repeat them. MandyC

Lynn Marie said...

When ever even-tempered Weaver feels fury, I think it warrants the rest of us paying attention.

Gwil W said...

Perhaps parts of Britain are becoming overcrowded. There's an experiment you can do with rats. When more than a certain number are crammed together they become aggressive and attack each other. I recently read that the population of our overcrowded green and pleasant isle will be up to 70 million in a few years. Probably we can expect more bad tempers and examples of unseemly behaviour.

Mac n' Janet said...

I think that's horrible, she should be fired.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I am sure your letter wasn’t the only one she got. Words said publicly have consequences.

Derek Faulkner said...

Fired! - for simply saying what many of us actually think but don't actually do - that's typical PC over-reaction.

Ruth said...

Bless you for speaking out dear Pat! I think that lady is going to regret what she said, too late of course, because now everyone who read that knows how she really feels. What goes around comes around!

Ruth said...

What I meant to say and didn't - words are powerful - not all thoughts should be said out loud or get into print. It would be a nicer world if we'd think before we speak.

EM Griffith said...

When my sons were fairly young, they had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with their great-grandmother who lived to be 100. They're now both wonderful with the elderly. They've compassion (not pity), respect, understanding and patience for the older folks among us... knowing that carrying our collective history means one walks a bit slower and needs a cane. They appreciate age. Wisdom. I grew up with grandparents that spent winters with us, so I'm glad my sons had the chance to learn--as I did--the value of those who've lived much longer than we yet have.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I think you misread the article. I read the whole thing as irony, as a bitter and angry condemnation of unpleasant racist behaviour. I never thought for a moment that she meant it to be taken literally (and I'm elderly and a bit arthritic too).

Anonymous said...

And also as a condemnation of Ryanair's non-response!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you anonymous - you may be right - I certainly hope so. But what is done is done and also forgotten now.
Thanks everyone. I found your comments most interesting and enlightening. Perhaps I did over react.

Anonymous said...

Hello Weaver. I haven't commented before, but I too think you misread this article. If you think of that sentence being said in a sarcastic voice, it reads more as 'no decent person would treat an elderly, arthritic person in this manner'. To me, it was saying how can a company view such behaviour as acceptable and that the woman who was abused, would sadly be unlikely to receive an apology at the least. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how it read to me. All the best, Fran. P.S. sorry to comment as anon, but I don't want to show my email address and I don't know what URL is. I need to study more!

Anonymous said...

Shame you felt there was a need to take a pop at London and Londoners. I am a woman of a certain age with several less able friends. True there are more people milling around here but the majority are as polite as anywhere else. On a quick google it appears that she actually lives in Liverpool!

angryparsnip said...

A few comments have said you might have misread. Since I have been reading your blog forever and you seen to understand what you read . I really wonder if you didn't get the sarcastic tone... then it was not written that well.

cheers, parsnip and badger

John Going Gently said...

You tell em rocky

Bea said...

I'm not yet old, but I am moving slowly these days due to an injury. Most folk just go around me and don't grumble. One elderly gentleman even paused to let me hobble through a doorway. He was a sweetheart and I was grateful.

Cro Magnon said...

I hope that idiot on the plane is prosecuted; but what they'd throw at him I'm not sure. He should, at the very least, have been thrown off the plane!

Virginia said...

I haven't read that Pat, although I do read the Guardian online daily, but I understand your quite reasonable fury! All I can add is that I hope no-one treats the writer's mother, or father, similarly .... but if they do, perhaps it will cause her to rethink.

thelma said...

Tis a can of worms ;) Haven't read it so can't comment. Only know that the initial behaviour of that wretched British man on the plane was unforgivable.

Anonymous said...

Hello Weaver.
I haven't commented before, But I read your blog every day.
I agree with you whole heartedly. and your last paragraph says it all
" Now that has got off my chest - it is a lovely day here - less wind than yesterday ........

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone. Back to normal today.

liparifam said...

All I know is that that man is a pitiful excuse for a human being- and I'm not feeling too good about most of the other people on that flight, either! I would have insisted that the airline do something about him; I'd have made such a fuss, they'd have probably kicked ME off the flight, LOL!

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