This morning, when I rocked up to my office, there was a guy apparently passed out across three of the parking spaces outside.  I couldn’t tell much about him – he was asleep/comatose rather than visibly wounded or bleeding – but it still wasn’t a great situation. In particular I was aware of the upcoming rush hour, and of the speed (and stupidity, and lack of observational powers) of various drivers peeling into apparently empty parking spaces.

I didn’t know whether he’d chosen to sleep there, or had fallen over the railings separating the parking spaces from the pavement and bus stops.

So I ended up calling 101 (the non-emergency number for police services) to report the issue, and let the professionals handle it.  As it turned out, I should’ve called 111 instead (the non-emergency number for NHS) but I’d forgotten that one, but remembered 101.

Anyway, the details were taken – but what surprised (and depressed) me was that my call was the first they’d heard of this particular man. It’s particularly depressing because where he was, he’d been completely visible to any number of people waiting at the bus-stop on the other side of the railings.  (The bus-stop and pavement are slightly raised from the car-park level, so he was definitely visible)

I do understand that a lot of people don’t want to get involved, or all assume that someone else will be doing something. But still, I know that if it were me laying there, I’d at least hope that someone would call the emergency services about me as well.

I don’t know, maybe I’m still feeling all optimistic and stuff, but it just pisses me off when people simply ignore those in need.  And yes, I probably could’ve done more as well – although my first-aid knowledge is rudimentary, and old – but I did what seemed right at the time.

(Oh, and to close this particular tale, he was OK, but intoxicated, and got taken to hospital as a precaution – I saw the ambulance people as they were about to leave, and asked how he was)


I think one of the most depressing jobs currently has to be that of a gameshow host on some of the afternoon and evening quiz shows. Quite how they manage to listen to people getting basic stuff wrong without slamming their heads into the desks, or making comments along the lines of “How the fuck do you not know that?!?”

For me, the real trigger points are where it’s a question about (usually) books – although several other subjects get the same kind of responses – and the competitor says “Oh, I’m not really a reading person”. Rage ensues.

Please note, I’m not saying that reading should appeal to everyone, I get that there’s umpteen reasons why people don’t read as much. That’s fine. But still – and maybe it’s me being unrealistic – I kind of expect/hope that people would at least know that Shakespeare wrote Macbeth and Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist. You don’t have to have read them to know at least the basics about authors of classics, surely? (After all, I haven’t read either of those, but still know who wrote what)

I think it’s perhaps that the ‘general knowledge’ of a lot of the competitors is really quite focused, that there’s huge gaps in what they know. (And again, yeah yeah, everyone’s different, etc. etc.)  In most rounds – hell, even some of the less-specialist sport ones – I can get a number of correct answers.  OK, I’m lucky enough to be a complete bobble-hat with a decent memory – but I don’t believe I’m that exceptional.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this (you may have guessed) but it’s just something that’s been rattling round my head and annoying me for a fair while.

Avoiding The Shops

ScroogeWhile I do have stuff to do this weekend, my primary goal is simple. Avoiding any need to visit shops and shopping centres. It’s obvious really – this is the final weekend pre-Festering-Season, and they’re going to be rammed. So for me they’re best avoided.

I’m pretty sure I’m all sorted – the worst I’m going to need to do is pop up the road to get the weekend paper, and collect a couple of things from the local Post Office.

  • Cards etc. have been sorted, written and posted – ✔
  • The presents for family etc. are all sorted – ✔
  • I’ve got the stuff for wrapping presents, and plan to do that this weekend – ✔
  • I’ve done the food shop for whatever stuff I needed in the next few days – ✔
  • I’m all sorted for reading material, stuff on TV and the like, so not even a library visit required – ✔
  • There’s nothing outstanding that I can think of – ✔

So yes, I think I’m all done, and won’t need to go anywhere near a store at all. This is definitely A Good Thing.


Yesterday, I went – for the first time in years – to an Ikea store. (This time, the one in Milton Keynes, which I’ve never been to before) Now bear in mind, I hate Ikea stores in general, although to be fair I’ve only ever seemed to end up in them when they’re ridiculously busy.

There’s a couple of things I’ve been thinking about getting, and basically I wanted to check those things out, and ask some questions. As a result, this one was more a research trip than a buying trip, which was fine with me.

This time – despite it being school holidays – it was pretty empty. Most people apparently had better things to do than look at furniture. Can’t say as I blame them, but it worked pretty well for me.

Mind you, even then there still seem to be a much larger proportion of brain-dead drifters in the store than in most shopping environments. I don’t know why, but even when virtually empty the idiots are still there, drifting across the walkways, stopping dead, and generally having no clue.

In short, I’ll buy the things I want there – but shopping there still makes my knuckles itch with the desire to punch some people in the back of the head.

All Change

Here Chez Lyle it’s been an interesting week, and one that should be a gateway into whatever’s next.

The basic thing is that this week, my employer made me redundant. There’s a lot I can’t say legally, but that’s the crux of it. There’s a lot more underlying it, but that’s the basic headline. Redundant, with effect from Friday.

There was no real warning, just a ‘chat’ on Tuesday that turned out to be The Big Event, and then getting things organised, handed over, and finished off. In that time I’ve also taken legal advice, which answered quite a few questions in my own head and showed that perhaps I’m not quite the paranoid lunatic I was beginning to feel like I might be.

I’ve done OK out of the process, and it means I’m also immediately available for new contracts. I think I might take a week out – particularly considering the glorious weather – before I really start applying myself, but things will kick up a gear from today anyway.

All told, I’ve been surprised by the speed with which it’s all happened – and to some degree that it’s happened at all – but I truly don’t feel anything other than positive about the entire thing. That may change if I haven’t got anything new to go to by the start of September or so, but I don’t currently feel like that’s likely to be the case. I’ve spoken to some agencies already, and things are generally pretty positive.

Shit happens, and having happened, moves on.  (Or something along those lines)

Driving Day

Today is the real ‘shake-down’ run for the new Saab, one of my classic “Devon and back in a day” jobs.

Only time will tell how well the run goes, but well, it’ll be interesting, regardless.

Parked Up

In many ways, my most recent neighbours on one side are a bit of a mystery to me. Not only socially (I don’t know their names, they don’t know mine) but also behaviourally.

I don’t mind (too much) that they go out on various evenings, leaving their yappy fuckpot pooch to howl, whine and scrape on the stairgate they use to keep it in the kitchen while out. It’s annoying when you’re having a quiet evening, but well, that’s life.

The one that does really annoy me though, and leaves me utterly bemused, is what happens when the bloke next door comes home. Every night, every damn night, he parks up outside, and then stays in his car, engine running, for at least quarter of an hour – and usually 20-30 minutes. I don’t know why, I’ve not yet – yet! – got pissed off enough to stomp outside and ask him what the shit he’s playing at.

It does leave me bemused though – I just don’t get what on earth would make someone sit in their car, engine running, outside their own home every damn night for half an hour. Weird.