Sunday, 22 January 2012

No cycling for Matt this weekend...

Today, as I ironed my shirts in preparation for a business trip to Glasgow, I moaned silently to myself as I drew back the curtains and revealed a tremendous-looking day, just perfect for a ride! I checked with Andy later, as I stood on the concourse of Euston railway station awaiting the 1225pm train to Glasgow Central, and he too missed out, preferring instead to have a lie-in.

But then Andy did go cycling yesterday, when I bottled it after realising that I had just too much on my plate. We were supposed to have people round to look at a car we were selling, but they never turned up and then there was a bit of work to do. Still, Saturday was a bit on the windy side, although it would have been good. I'm definitely going out next weekend.

Andy did go out on Sunday and he's sent me his route so I'll print it up later on. Right now, as I write this, I'm somewhere between Carlisle and Glasgow Central. As I gaze out of the window on my left there are forests and wind farms; on my right, a road and more forests. Fir trees, evergreens. The sky is a mix of pleasant blue and dark grey clouds, but it's all good. Powdery grey skies and fir trees silouetted against them.

On my right hand side, more wind turbines have appeared and they're not moving an inch, nor are the ones on the left, so I'm guessing they're not very effective. The forests are getting thicker and now it's opened out, there's a river and grey hills on the left and a similar picture on the right.

I arrive into Glasgow at 5pm and I can't really say much about what I'm doing as it's hush hush.

It's five hours from Euston to Glasgow on a Sunday and it's flown past. I've been working, then eating lunch and then writing a letter to an old friend from my childhood. Hopefully, one day soon we'll have a chat on the phone and might even meet up. Who knows?

Somebody has left a copy of the Sunday Mirror on the table opposite. In fact, I've moved to the very table as I can't get power for my laptop on my side. That's something that happens quite a lot these days. A few times now I've gone to plug in my phone charger or lap top only to discover that there's no power. Now that's just poor service, something that seems to be more common these days than in the past.

It is, however, good to know that those who provide a poor service ultimately pay the price. Take British Gas for example. There's a story in the Sunday Mirror entitled GAS TURN-OFF: 200,000 quit British Gas...and profits FALL by 23%.

Well, that's good news! Voting with your feet is the best way. British Gas will, apparently, announce a 23 per cent fall in profits as 200,000 customers walk away. Since last summer, 1,800 people per day have left in protest at 17.3 per cent price hikes - there we go again, poor service, but high prices. Just for the record, my ticket cost me £127! Why, then, has the power on my side of the train been switched off?

Customers are moving from the big power and energy suppliers to smaller operators, according to the Sunday Mirror. Why? Because large falls in the price of wholesale energy are not being passed on to the consumer. Instead, the fall in the the wholesale price is benefitting Sir Smetherington Gobshite, or somebody like that. Why? Well, it's greed, it can't be anything else. No doubt, there's somebody out there heading British Gas getting paid a huge and totally unjustified salary. Perhaps he's called Sir Smetherington Gobshite!

The Sunday Mirror article says that bills could be cut by £135 if wholesale savings were passed on. Having said that, British Gas is, sadly, still in profit, although profits have fallen from £742 million in 2010 to £566 million in 2011.

Wholesale gas prices have plunged by 31 per cent and electricity by 28 per cent - but British Gas only cut consumers' electricity bills by five per cent and didn't cut gas bills at all. This really is outrageous but, sadly, it's par for the course.

Unbelievably, a British Gas spokesman told the Sunday Mirror: "We work hard to give customers value for money." Sounds as if the spokesman is a Lib-Dem as they tend not to keep their promises.

Another story that I find astonishing but again par for the course in the UK is the ordeal of Sacha Williams-Rowe. She was stabbed by an abusive boyfriend and had already testified against him but the case collapsed when the judge fell ill. He then ordered a retrial and Williams-Rowe was expected to face another court ordeal.

Remember that Williams-Rowe had been seriously wounded by her abusive boyfriend and was in no fit state to attend court. She thought that the British legal system would be on her side, but oh no, don't forget, the legal system is ALWAYS on the side of the criminal and once again that has proved to be the case.

Williams-Rowe failed to appear in court to testify again and guess what? SHE was sent to jail! Meanwhile, the abusive boyfriend pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful wounding and was jailed for just 15 months – although he'll be out in six weeks!

Judge Lord Parmoor should be ashamed of himself. The abusive boyfriend, by the way, goes by the name of Mr Murda - he's a rap singer. I'll leave it there.

It's dark outside now and we're minutes away from Glasgow Central, better sign off.

No comments:

Post a Comment