Is the Nanny state crying wolf?

Please excuse the mixed metaphors in the title of this post. I’ve found my self thinking about this regularly in recent weeks, prompted by two observations.

<rant>

    • I’m constantly required to slow down on motorways for apparently non-existent hazards. I don’t mind slowing down when it is obvious that traffic is building up or when there is likely to be congestion, but I’m increasingly finding that Matrix signs display a temporary speed limit for no apparent reason.

Signs in operation for the M62 motorway 4th lane between junctions 27 and 28

I slow down, everybody else slows down. We drive for a few miles and then all speed up again. As well as increasing wear and tear on cars, increasing pollution and frustrating drivers, this has implications for safety. The more often this happens, the less notice drivers tend to take of the warnings, increasing the chance that when something actually happens and the signs are needed, people will ignore the warnings.

  • The Met Office continually announces “yellow weather warnings” which fail to materialise. Over the last 2 weeks, the North of England must have had at least 3 or 4 warnings of hazardous conditions. These continually fail to materialise.
    This is the dire warning on my phone one days last week, next to the distinctly “frost free” view from my bedroom window.

    The weather reality consistently fails to be as bad as the forecast. Although this is more of a frustration, than a hazard, unlike my first observation. It still annoys me.

    </rant>

“Below Zero” badges

A few years ago, I spotted an image of an old “Below zero” badge on a Fylde Scout Group website. I really fancied getting these badges for our Scout blankets or for use as an “occasional” badge. Unfortunately the badges are no longer made, so I got in touch with a badge manufacturer to see if they could help out. I updated the design and had some made.

I’ve managed to get my local District Commissioner to approve these as “occasional” badges to be worn on uniform for Cubs and Scouts who have camped out on nights when the temperature has fallen “below zero”. Even without uniform approval, they make great badges for camp blankets / scarves.

The badges are 40mm x 50mm and they’ve been selling for £1.50 each on eBay.

When I can avoid eBay and PayPal fees, I can offer them for £1.20 each with postage charged at cost price.

Get in touch if you’re interested in buying these badges and enjoy your Winter scouting 🙂

Happy Christmas from “The Bishops”

Dear everyone,

It’s that time of year again and as is now becoming a tradition, we’ve decided to donate our card/postal money to charity again. This year we’ve decided to donate to the Stroke Association.

James and Katie are continuing to enjoy dinghy sailing and we bought a boat so that we can keep up with them and watch them when they’re out on the water. My ankle is much improved after my operation at the end of last year and I’m back on two feet again. We’re hoping to test my “new ankle” out on the ski slopes in 2017.

Here’s this years “elf yourself”, together with a few photos from the year.