Monday, August 03, 2009

3 August: Of bus passes and books

In the Good Old Days, back in 2007 or 2008, an OAP was able to stroll down to the local district council office, where the person at the reception desk used a digital camera to take a reasonably flattering photograph, and after a brief chat about the weather, handed over the completed and laminated bus pass, complete with photo, which had just emerged from a machine on the counter, and the OAP walked out to the nearest bus stop for their first free ride.

Then in April the district councils were abolished, and in the interests of efficiency and improved service (which of course means vastly increased expenses for the councillors - and increased council tax) we are left with just the County Council.

Now a bus pass seeker strolls down to the local council office, the person at the reception desk takes a digital photograph, and informs them that the bus pass will be issued from the County Council offices in "7 to 10 days", presumably by post, with the extra cost of an envelope and stamp.


Recent reading has included an excellent book by Geoffrey Moorhouse - The Last Office: 1539 and the Dissolution of a Monastery. Lots of fascinating detail about the Benedictine monastery in Durham (the cathedral was part of it), the Prince Bishops, and local and national history.

The medieval theme continues with the current book, Britain in the Middle Ages, an Archaeological History, by Francis Pryor. A different approach to the period, which gives a bit of an insight into everyday life, which is always far more interesting than battles and kings.

And there's been a book about knitting - Invisible Theads in Knitting by Annemor Sundbo; this one was obtained from the author at Woolfest. It has a couple of irritating places where a sentence is unfinished at the bottom of a page or section, and the end of that sentence just never appears. But it's got lots of really interesting stuff about Norwegian knitting; much of the information comes from garments that were sent to her wool recycling mill. There are lots of illustrations and a few patterns along the way, though I haven't tried any of them - yet.

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