An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: N

Navigation Aids.

In the UK, they are known as Satnavs, short for ‘Satellite Navigation’. There are many types, including the removable ones like the one above. These have to be taken away with you when you stop, or someone will soon be smashing the car window to steal it.

Some more expensive cars offer ones built into the car dashboard, often part of the car’s ‘Entertainment System’. Some add-ons include warning of speed cameras, traffic delays due to roadworks, and international maps for driving in Europe. All very nice, when it works.

They require constant updating to stay accurate, and the removable ones have to be connected to a computer to allow this.

My experience with them has not been good. Using one I bought for Julie, it constantly told us to ‘Turn Right’ when we were on a long bridge crossing a river. I have also been instructed to ‘Take the next exit’ where there was no exit. One issue seems to be that they need to receive a strong signal at all times. In some country districts and remote areas, this is just not possible.

Then there is the safety aspect. Almost all involve taking your eyes off the road briefly, to check on your progress. Yes, they talk to you and tell you where to go, but the desire to look at them is overwhelming.

These days, Google Maps on any smartphone offers the option of a free Satvav. Once again, signal strength is crucial, so I wouldn’t want to rely on it. It also uses up your phone battery very quickly as it has to update every few seconds.

I use a map. A big book of maps of Great Britain, buying an up to date one every couple of years. I look at it before I leave, and picture the journey in my head. For example. ‘A47 to A11, then all the way to junction 23’. Put the map away, and just do that, with nobody telling me to deviate. If I encounter any problems, I pull off the road into a lay-by or service area, and check the map again.

I have been driving for fifty-one years, and maps have never let me down once.

An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: M

Mice.

Unlike wild field and harvest mice, or the mice kept in cages as pets, feral mice living inside your home is not a good thing at all.

‘While the common house mouse is not as dangerous to your health as a deer mouse, they can still spread disease, such as hantavirus, salmonellosis and listeria through their urine, droppings, saliva and nesting materials’.

As well as stealing your food and leaving disease and droppings around, they also chew electical wires, and damage conduits and plastic piping in their efforts to get around inside your house.

I have been lucky since moving to Norfolk, but when I lived in London, I had a big problem with mice in various places I lived over the years.

I tried going down the poisoning route, but that never seemed to be effective, and I certainly never found any dead mice that might have taken that blue granular bait. So I went ‘old school’, and bought a job lot of retro spring mouse-traps. The shop advised using chocolate to attract them, rather than the old fashioned lure of cheese. So I baited half a dozen traps with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, and put them in the places I had previously know them to frequent.

Less than ten minutes later, I heard the first ‘Snap!’ This was followed by a series of snaps in quick succession as three more traps were sprung. I waited a little longer, then investigated. Sure enough, four dead mice, one in each of the four traps. They had all been killed instantly by the thin metal bar that had dropped across their neck or body. I re-baited with chocolate, and put them back.

During the evening there were more snaps, and I found five more dead mice before bedtime. Within a week, I had no more mouse activity at all.

So if you get mice in the house, use the old-style traps. They really work.

An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: L

Leggings.

The first time I saw a young woman wearing leggings, I wrongly assumed she was about to take part in a sporting event. But I was wrong, she was simply walking around the shops. At first, all the leggings I saw were grey marl, much like these.

It wasn’t long before black became the most ubiquitous colour, and could be seen worn by many women instead of jeans or trousers.

I didn’t really get it. They were not tights, (pantyhose) and not track-suit trousers. Rarely worn with anything covering them, the fact they had no feet section seemed to change the idea of the girls and women wearing them about what was acceptable everyday wear.

Some women who would never have been seen dead in public without wearing a skirt over tights suddenly thought it was acceptable to commute to work dressed like this. (She is wearing some. Look just above her shoes and you can see the bottoms of them.)

It wasn’t long before it caught on with the older age groups, though they sometimes wore a longer top to accompany the leggings.
(And yes, that includes my own wife. Though this is not her in the photo.)

I am sure that many girls and women find this clothing item exceedingly comfortable. But for my taste it lacks the class of either trousers, or skirt or dress worn with nylons. As I have said before, I am old fashioned. I accept that women should be free to dress as they please, and that my opinion doesn’t matter in the slightest.

But that said, I really wouldn’t be happy if my wife or girlfriend was walking around dressed like this.

Sorry, female readers. I don’t like them.

An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: K

Kilometres.

Luckily, we still have road signs in miles here. If a place is twelve miles away, I can picture how long that will take. I have driven in Europe, and never settled easily on things like speed limits and distance signs in kilometres. They always seemed so much further away for one thing, and a speed limit shown at ’80’ could confuse me into thinking I could drive at 80 mph.

For many years, the speedometer gauges in cars have shown speed markings in both miles and kilometres, but constantly checking the smaller figures didn’t come naturally.

Then they started to estimate a car’s fuel consumption in kilometres per litre of fuel. How was I supposed to work that out? Tell me it did 45 to the gallon, and I had a fair idea that was reasonably economical. But Kms to a litre? The metric method was starting to creep in, and I suspected that one day we might lose our familiar signs in miles.

I used to try to imagine just how much work it would take to change every traffic sign in Great Britain. And what that would cost.

I still don’t know whether or not Brexit will put an end to the eventual total acceptance of metrics where miles are concerned.

But if it does, that okay with me.

An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: J

Jeans.

Before anyone even comments, I have a feeling this choice is going to be unpopular. Everyone likes Jeans, don’t they? Well not me. Walk along any street, and it won’t be long before you see someone wearing denim jeans. They are almost a uniform, seemingly only matched by the black leggings so popular with young (and older) women these days.
(Yes, they might well feature in ‘L’)

I didn’t even own a pair of denim jeans for most of my life. I eventually bought a pair of Wrangler jeans, to wear on a motorcycle under my waterproofs. Fellow motorcyclists had suggested they gave good protection in the event of an accident. But I never wore them socially, not even for popping to the shops, or meeting a mate for a drink.

I didn’t think they were comfortable. Too hot in the summer, and bunching up between my legs when I sat down. I tried to see if some Levi 501s might be better, but hated the high waist on those. And unlike some people, I don’t look good in jeans. At 5 feet 7 inches, I am not tall, and I don’t have much bum to fill out the back of them either. Besides, they take forever to dry when they are washed, and are a pig to iron. If you don’t iron them, they look as creased as if they were blue tinfoil.

So no jeans for me.

Some men think women look sexy in jeans. I don’t agree. For one thing, not every woman looks like this in them.

But even if they did, I would take a nice dress or skirt every time. I know, I’m old-fashioned. But I’m old, so what do you expect?

And now we have this trend, proving that fools and their money are soon parted.

They sell them for men too.

If I had torn my trousers like that, I would throw them away. Not prance about around town in them, thinking I was cool.

I doubt this will be a well-received post, so do your worst in the comments, jeans fans!

An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: I

Ignorance.

I don’t mean uninformed ignorance of course. If people are not taught something, or made aware of it, I cannot blame them for ignorance of a fact.

The sort of ignorance I cannot tolerate is ‘Informed Ignorance’.

One good example of this is Holcaust Denial. Presented with irrefutable facts; documentation, eyewitness testimony, and even contemporary film footage, it is impossible to deny what was done to the Jews (and others) by the Nazis in Germany. Yet many people, some of them well-educated academics, choose to ignorantly believe it never happened.

Then there are comments like “I don’t care what I can see, I know what I believe”. Or “I don’t care what is happening to the people in such and such country, as it doesn’t affect me”.

In these modern times, ‘Fake News’ and photo manipulation makes it harder to judge the truth of what we are seeing and hearing. I can accept that. But we all have the ability to apply commonsense when coming to conclusions, though so many seem content to abandon that at the first opportunity.

Racism is often driven by ignorance. “They want our jobs”. “They will take away our houses”. “They will make us all change our religion”. Yet centuries of immigration to countries like Britain and America have not shown any evidence that this is true. In Britain, it is a fact that many immigrants only come to do the jobs that British people will not do. Or qualified immigrants work as doctors, nurses, or heath experts, making up the shortfall in the NHS that existed previously.

But the ignorant continue to complain; though they had no intention of ever working at picking crops in a field all day for minimum wage, or training to become a nurse.

Now we have ignorant people denying the existence of Covid-19, despite the huge number of deaths it has caused. I lost one of my dearest friends to the virus in May. Yet many continue to claim it is ‘just the ‘flu’, or that it hasn’t really happened and is merely a way of governments being able to control people. They refuse to wear masks, or to stop associating in crowds. So in 2020, we have ‘informed ignorance’ on a scale never seen before in my lifetime.

We have always had ignorance in society of course, and in every country on Earth.

But it’s getting worse, and I don’t like it.

An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: H

Hunting.

I will start by saying that unless you are poverty-stricken, starving to death, or live so far from a shop you cannot buy food, there is no justification for hunting whatsoever, in my opinion. It is 2020, not 1820.

And hunting things that you are not going to eat, just because you want to kill them? That’s even worse.

I eat meat, and have to reconcile myself to the production process. Farms, slaughterhouses, butchery, and everything associated with that. But hunting anything just for the thrill of killing it, that is unacceptable. Furthermore, it is deeply worrying. People who want to kill things for the sake of it have no place in a civilised society, as far as I am concerned.

Sadly, many countries like to cash in on the desire of humans to kill things, and have a profitable and flourishing trade in providing ‘holidays’ where people can go and kill animals. Some of those countries have serious economic problems, so I can try to understand why they might welcome the influx of foreign currency.

But Scotland?

Yes, this country offers ‘Stalking’ holidays, where you can track and kill a wonderful defenceless stag, using your high powered rifle at a suitable distance. Of course, there is little or no skill involved, as an experienced employee of the company will lead you to where he already knows the stag is, and then tell you where to hide and how to shoot it. But you at least get to pose with the unfortunate animal, so you can show everyone back home the results of your ‘hunting trip’. I have read justifications of this, where they assert that the deer are numerous, and that shooting them is ‘quick’, even ‘merciful’.

Sorry, that’s just so much bollocks. If you kill it, you should at least eat it. Or buy some farmed venison at the local supermarket instead.

Look at this disgusting excuse for a human being.

She is an American woman who has paid a small fortune to travel to Africa to kill animals.

You are not seeing things. That is a dead giraffe she is proudly grinning in front of. Think about that.

A giraffe.

A docile, vegetarian animal that doesn’t harm a thing, and is a danger to nobody. It had likely stood there oblivious and harmless, as she killed it for no reason whatsoever.

Except that she could.

Looking at that photo makes me angrier than I can say. I cannot even write on here what terrible fate I would have in store for that woman, given the opportunity.

And if that doesn’t tell you enough about the sort of despicable people who do this kind of thing, have a look at this grinning idiot.

Do you know who he is? I will give you a clue.
His father is Donald J. Trump.

An Alphabet Of things I Don’t Like. G

Golf.

Golf, I just don’t get it. Walking around a manicured course hitting a ball to try to get it down a far-distant tiny hole. You might get it it the sand-pit, or it may fall into a water-trap. So what? If you want the exercise, go for a long walk along a nature trail instead.

Many golfers don’t even bother to get the exercise. They drive around in little carts, so they only have to walk a few feet to take their next hit. And most don’t carry the clubs any longer; using little trolleys, or paying someone else to carry them instead.

Then there are the clothes.

Okay, they might not wear this stuff anymore, but you have to be suitably attired even now.

And don’t get me started on watching this so-called ‘sport’ on TV. I would sooner watch paint dry on a wall.

I know that the top players can earn untold millions, but that still doesn’t attract me. I don’t like that ‘golf club’ atmosphere, or the fact that it seems to be almost compulsory in some careers to take up the game. ‘Deals done by the 18th hole’, and all that stuff.

Then there is the fact that some people who are obsessed with golf are just not my kind of people.

Sorry, golf fans. I don’t like it.

An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: F

Flies.

In this case, I am speaking of three specific flies. The Common Housefly, the Bluebottle, and the Horsefly.
Unbelievably, many people don’t like to kill them, and shoo them out instead. They come back, just so you know.
This is why should show them no mercy, and do your best to eradicate them from your home.

Houseflies poo a lot, in fact almost every time they land. So next time one lands on your food, remember Salmonella and E.coli.
Houseflies taste with all six of their feet.
Houseflies slurp up their food. First they vomit digestive juices onto solid foods and once the food liquidises, they suck it back up.

Still want to open a window and let them out?

Bluebottle flies are distinguished by their distinctive coloration and loud buzzing flight. These flies commonly infest carrion or excrement, and the larvae of some species infest and may even kill sheep.

That’s right. They ‘infest excrement’. Then they come and land on the salad you have just prepared, or the pie cooling on a rack.

Horse-flies or horseflies are true flies in the family Tabanidae in the insect order Diptera. They are often large and agile in flight, and the females bite animals, including humans, to obtain blood. They prefer to fly in sunlight, avoiding dark and shady areas, and are inactive at night.

Yes, these very large flies bite humans (including me) to suck our blood. Then the bites can swell up to the size of an egg, and are very painful. In some cases, allergic reaction to their bites have caused death in adults.

The world would be a healthier and happier place without these filthy things in it.