It could only be my generation, the ‘baby boomers’, the nearly state pensioners or slightly older, the people who are tech savvy with time on their hands and the wherewithall to complain and ‘get something done’. We’re the ‘Grumpies’, but have we got anything to complain about?
Despite the fact the population IS getting older, everything is still geared to the younger set who can read small print on phones, books, notices etc without glasses, and do it quickly. By the time you patted all your pockets (or dug the depths of your handbag) and found your glasses, there are noises off about the time you’re taking to do this supposedly simple task. The buttons on my mobile phone are infinitesimally small and need the dexterity of a brain surgeon and the fingers of a small child (and the eyesight of 12 year old) to operate it. Yes, yes you can get the BIG BUTTON version, but really could you look less cool? I know the modern world is built around the technology of the day, and we could hark on ad infinitum about the ‘good old days’, although there wasn’t that much good about them in some ways. Medicine, technology, diet, information are all much improved over the last 50 years, but manners, acknowledgment, respect and tolerance have in the main not improved but got worse.
Still, I like a grump as my regular readers will know, but that is not what I’m all about. One of the down sides of retiring and getting older is that you can feel your worth is not as high as it used to be. I try to counteract this by helping people in all manner of ways, including but not exclusive to: transporting furniture in my van, plumbing, electrical work, woodwork, gardening, log chopping, you get the picture. I’m fairly confident in all these things and as a former engineer/technician I have a good grounding in many aspects of technical and craft work. This is no accident; as a former apprentice I had a formative education in fitting, precision, and being useful with the hand/tool interface. Its never left me, but of course as my joints start to seize up and I can’t lift such heavy stuff any more, I get tired more quickly. Its very frustrating, and I don’t want to be like that, I want to be as strong as I was 30 years ago. But muscles weaken, stamina decreases and general fitness tails off. I hate it, but I should, and do, embrace my lack of ability in this department. I can compensate by doing little jobs for people without a) charging too much and b) doing the job properly. I don’t charge too much, mainly petrol money, because I really don’t need it and have never been a ‘money’ person, enough to live on is enough. Not like the elderly couple whose tap I repaired recently who had a sticking door and a ‘carpenter’ shave off a slither, taking no more than half an hour and charged them nearly £100 for the privilege! What part of his brain said ‘this is value for them’, when he knows full well its a good old fashioned rip off. Maybe he felt he could charge that much, because they were rich/old and could afford it? Neither on both counts, but they had to pay. Perhaps this malaise is what’s wrong with this country, I mean £60 billion for HS2? What? How can that be justified? And guess what when HS2 is finished, you will have to catch another train into central Birmingham! What is going on? Of course it may be the terminus for the line to go up to Leeds as promised, but the good thing is no decision will be made until after May 2015. Which political party will win the next election? I don’t know, but I sure as hell hope its cancelled.