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Opinion: Robert McNeil: Let me be perfectly clear: I have no idea what’s going on

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Opinion: Robert McNeil: Let me be completely clear: I don’t know what’s happening

AT the time of writing – and no, madam, it’s not shortly after closing time – I’ve not but been to the supermarkets to do my weekly audit of the bathroom rolls.

Appalling photos within the public prints confirmed impossibly egocentric people pushing large trolleys piled excessive with lavatory roll, upfront of the a lot predicted Second Coming of Covid. Says all of it about this Second Coming: presaged not by a hippie on a donkey however by a lavatory roll on a buying trolley pushed by a donkey.

On the First Coming of Covid, I used to be caught out by the lavatory roll brigade. That’s me, at all times trailing on the rear of any mob. And “trailing on the rear” is the apposite expression. At the moment, trusting naively that human nature within the sticks can be extra civilised than within the mad cities, I needed to make do with sandpaper for a number of weeks.

I’m undecided if it’ll come to that this time. New measures have been put in place however I’m undecided in the event that they quantity to a panic-inducing lockdown, as such. Let me be completely clear: I haven’t a scoobie what’s happening.

I’m not blaming anybody in energy for this. Comic Matt Lucas did a humorous take-off of Bertie Johnson, the Prime Minister, telling us, inter alia, that the measures would differ in accordance with an individual’s top.

However which of us would make any much less of a baggage of issues? You wouldn’t know what to do. A few of you – significantly in Klutzland: the web – are like these fats people in footer tops who shout at athletes on the pitch that they’re lazy and sluggish.

My very own confusion has not been helped by London papers calling England “the UK” and “Britain”, which they do relentlessly. We’ve had devolution for God is aware of what number of years, and these utter dumbos are nonetheless at it. They’re virtually preternaturally dense they usually write for newspapers. Whoever heard of such a factor?

Shut it, you. The identical articles would go on to speak about “England following Scotland” on one thing or different. Truthfully, it drives me up the wall. Who’s the First Minister? Why doesn’t he tackle this vital matter of Scotland’s place within the UK?

So far as I could make out, a minimum of on the time of writing (it may effectively change once more), gyms haven’t been affected by the most recent measures, although there’s discuss of limiting numbers (undecided if that applies to England, Scotland, Britain or Timbuktu). Our teeny wee health club has solely been reopened for ten days, and I’ve been thrice in that interval.

Predictably sufficient, I had the place to myself every time. It saddens me that the sauna has not reopened.

It struck me the opposite day that the 2 principal causes I had for transferring to my present locale – the superb fish and chip store and the village health club’s sauna – now not obtained. The chip store modified arms, and is now garbage, and the sauna’s been closed ’cos of Covid.

Once I lived in Edinburgh, you couldn’t go for a sauna, as a result of few of them had been precise saunas and, even amongst these “public” ones that had been, you continue to weren’t secure. I typically puzzled what disturbing encounters Finns and Swedes visiting Edinburgh will need to have had simply attempting to have an harmless steam.

Thoughts you, they’ll’t even get a beer after 10pm now which is once they – being overseas – have a tendency to start out their nights out. Or is that in Iberia? Someplace within the Third World, at any fee.

Ach, my data of the world is lamentable. It’s virtually as unhealthy as my data of Britain, a spot that baffles me and leaves me in continual ache from a sandpapered backside.

Wheel nuts

HA, because it had been, ha. Cyclists are being knocked off their bikes by even larger poltroons on electrical scooters. There’s now a hierarchy of two-wheeled egotistical narcissists.

As with every little thing else in Scotain in the mean time, I’m undecided what the authorized place is with these contraptions. As I perceive it, they’re being trialled in Englandshire and, in a minimum of one city, have subsequently been banned on security grounds.

They’re not simply, as with cyclists, proving to be a hazard to pedestrians, motorists and canines. Their lesser two-wheeled compadres are additionally being knocked over, significantly on canal paths and different greenways, which pedestrians way back needed to vacate after being compelled off by bicyclists. A feminine bike owner practically drowned in a single incident.

The saving grace of the electrical brigade is that they don’t gown up in obscene Lycra or put on shades in order that they’ll look proper edgy and exhausting for a financial institution clerk. Nonetheless, they do are likely to put on hoodies, which is the signal of a hoodlum.

I’m tempted to explain all two-wheeled autos as Devil’s transport, however I’ve at all times had a tender spot for motor-bikes. If it hadn’t been for my being forbidden to take action by varied burdz over time, I’d probably have had one sooner or later. In contrast to bicycles, motor-bikes are for actual males who pay highway tax and, er, don’t let ladies boss them about.

Oldies up the tempo

SHOCKING, however wonderful, information erupted this week, with an announcement that previous individuals had been now strolling 1mph sooner than their counterparts did 30 years in the past.

A examine by the College of Jyväskylä, Finland, attributed the rise to higher vitamin, hygiene and healthcare.

The information has been welcomed by respectable pavement customers, who’ve typically discovered themselves caught behind a senior citizen not simply doddering however staggering back and forth, at all times simply blocking your manner as you’re about to overhaul in your electrical scooter.

Every time I’ve been unwillingly overseas, I’ve typically discovered the native strolling kinds slovenly. I’m not a busy man. I by no means have wherever to go. However I wish to get there swiftly, setting a brisk and environment friendly tempo, fooling onlookers into considering: ‘There goes an vital man of motion, presumably a newspaper columnist.’

Curiously, or certainly in any other case, the examine famous immediately’s previous Finns being taller than their counterparts earlier final century. Finns, just like the Dutch, by no means was tall. However they grew after they gained their independence, simply because the Dutch did on account of consuming cheese.

Scots, being dependent and consuming primarily pies, stay comparatively small.

Insure factor

LET you right into a wee secret: ma hoose isnae insured. Ooh! It’s simply momentary, I’m certain, and is on my to-do record, together with different fantasies reminiscent of “write novel with bike owner hero”, “purchase boat”, and “brush enamel”.

The scenario arose as my funds had been elevated by 25 per cent within the hope I wouldn’t discover or do something about it. The same old rigmarole includes phoning them and getting a greater supply, typically leaving you paying much less quite than extra. Bizarre.

However, this 12 months, you had been invited simply to inform them on-line to shove it, which I did and, as a substitute of attempting to influence me to remain, they stated: “Oh, effectively. Cheerio.”

I’ll most likely get a quote for “hearth and theft”, despite the fact that the latter is tutorial spherical right here. Beforehand, I used to be lined for buildings harm, which didn’t embrace the roof. In need of the partitions being charged by a rhinoceros, I don’t know what else they envisaged.

Within the meantime, I’m glad to report that insurance coverage companies can now not cost current purchasers greater than new ones. That was after a marketing campaign by one in all Britland’s wonderful London-based newspapers.

Our columns are a platform for writers to specific their opinions. They don’t essentially symbolize the views of The Herald.

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