The end of summer hours and the return to autumn terms signifies a change in the year.
After 14 years of school and three at university, autumn has always meant a new start for me. More so than the new year.
Change of weather and 17 years of indoctrination leave their mark. Plus working in journalism and the public sector, summer is usually a fallow period anyway. The house (of Commons) is empty, and summer heralds the well-known silly season when journalists struggle for serious news.
Here in Gibraltar, National Day is usually when the weather starts to change and we can expect rain. Not that we’ve had much yet. A little the other day.
But, being in charge of our block, means The Maintenance Man needs to keep an eye on drains. After the sewage floods in one patio, he noticed some more in another (we have three). Then, he noticed a broken pipe hanging off the wall.
On the patio floor were two broken plantpots that had clearly fallen off and en route, smashed the pipe.
So, at nearly sixty years old, he gets out the double extension ladder and skips up there to mend the pipe.
I mean, no hands! At all. Two floors up, ie ground, first, second.
I suppose it would be difficult to sand the pipes and apply the glue without using hands. Not only that, he’s looking above chatting to the neighbour telling him not to use the kitchen sink and dishwasher overnight while the glue sets.
I took the obligatory photos and dashed away from the window, freaking about his ladder antics. And yes, dear reader, I fell down over a bike or something …
By now I’m good at crawling, so I made the sofa. I told him I’d be OK in a couple of days. I am, sort of. Instead of hopping and leaning on him and a crutch, I can hobble around the flat with a bandage on my knee. Yes, the good news is, it was a knee not an ankle. This was a week ago though.
I can’t believe how easy it is to fall over. When walking, look where you are going instead of thinking about anything else.
So all that walking I’d been doing to try and exercise has bitten the dust and I’m sofa-bound again. I am also very busy, so blogging is now on Autumn Hours (a new one, I must © it). I’ll try and visit you all but it will be intermittent.
Some walking pix. Before the latest fall.
And, thank goodness Sukkot has finished. While Jewish people may wish to celebrate their festival of the huts/tabernacle or whatever in one of our patios (one without flooding drains), it would be nice if it wasn’t accompanied with screaming kids, hollering, shouting, endless banging of doors all until the small hours of the morning, and unwanted bits of bread and spilled juice in our hallway.
If you want respect for your religion (not that I think Jews care hugely) it would be nice if you showed respect for others.
In other news, I left the oven glove on top of the cooker and wondered why there was a burning smell.
A couple of days later I decided to make baked beans but after half an hour in the pressure cooker the beans still weren’t cooked. I gave them another half an hour. Another acrid smell. Beans still not cooked. All water disappeared though, hence unpleasant smell.
‘That pressure cooker is going out. It’s useless,’ he pronounced. And then pointed to the water on top of the electric cooker that had dripped out from the worse-than-useless seal.
So out it went. If anyone took it, good luck to them. They even got the still hard beans. And yes, it’s had new seals. He bought me a tin of haricot beans from Morrisons the next day.
Not my week for cooking.
And the dog had a bout of vomiting for a few days. He’s better though and back to his demanding lively self.
If anyone has been following gun debates on various blogs, I recommend the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report: Global Study on Homicide 2013. As well as reams of statistics for data addicts, there is some interesting analysis, particularly around the categories of homicide:
- Homicide related to criminal activities
- Interpersonal homicide
- Socio-political homicide
Relevant case studies and specific figures from various countries, eg Australia, Brazil, South Africa, UK, Europe (see figure 3.4 on gun ownership and firearm crimes) accompany the text.
What’s missing for me, is a socio-economic analysis, but this is a data evaluation report, so I suppose it’s outwith the remit. However, if higher rates of murder are within poorer areas/countries, then it should merit attention. Unless it’s been covered in a previous report.
And I’m sure it’s coincidence that Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi have the highest murder rates in the USA, and just happen to have high levels of poverty.