The Old Grumpies: There’s lots of new year cheer - but will it last?

We feel some man-flu coming on...
We feel some man-flu coming on...

At our recent meeting we decided that at the start of a new year we should look back on the highlights of last year, abandon the grumbles briefly and shine a positive and grateful light on matters local and national.

We agreed that we would not mention the demolition dumps, the dialling drivers, the drug dealers, the difficulty dating doctors or downpour drainage damage. Nor the pavement pedallers, the pothole proliferation, the parking problem or politician promises. Nor the tiresome temporary traffic lights and tearaway taxis.

Our intention was to appreciate the best bits of 2013. It was with some relief that we could announce that all our members survived the year despite suffering from a multitude of near fatal conditions (if what they tell us is true).

However we were pleased to read the report from The Stanford University of Medicine that research into the subject of man-flu has shown that beyond all reasonable doubt men suffer more than ladies when struck down with a viral infection. Naturally this news was quickly relayed to our ladies but regrettably was received with a considerable amount of scepticism.

Another piece of research did give us some concern because Oxford University announced that laughing could be bad for you especially if you have a weak heart, suffer from a hernia or unreliable sphincters and often wear a feather hat. As one member said: “At least I can take my hat off”.

We now have a rule that only certain people are allowed to tell a joke because from past experience it would be unlikely that anyone would laugh. We nearly laughed when one member said that his wife had a t-shirt that said “sometimes in a morning I wake up grumpy but on other days I let him sleep in”.

Opinions are formed by who you listen to and who you believe, by what you read and your own experiences, so there is rarely universal agreement on anything.

When someone said we had a joyous Jubilee last year there was some enthusiasm and some indifference. Ditto the royal birth and christening. Winning the Ashes was a highlight but losing them a severe lowlight. Some couldn’t care less. There was Murray magic at Wimbledon but someone spoilt it by saying “yes, but he’s from Scotland and why did Alex Salmon have to wave the Saltire?”

Farewell Ferguson was greeted with “about time” and “the greatest of all”. There was a Triumphant Tour-de-France (again) and we can watch it live in a few months. We enjoyed the pantomime season - otherwise known as Prime Minister’s Question Time. There’s lots of “he’s right behind you “ and “oh, no he isn’t” and “oh, yes he is” and, of course, the numerous verbal custard pies.

Concerning local news, if you read our area’s papers (and we have to say you all should) then our district is indeed blessed with some wonderful establishments and bodies looking after our every need. We now have two over-achieving schools, if you believe what they say in the papers. The recent problems have been swiftly resolved and the future is bright for bright pupils and hopefully for the not so bright.

Crime has been reduced if you read the police column although there has been an increase in the number of people prosecuted for doing 34mph in a restricted area. If you read the papers then the Flood Alleviation Scheme has been a resounding success and we should be free from floods (at least in Todmorden) for the next 25 years although they can’t guarantee that for Mytholmroyd.

An item in a recent edition announced that the area can now have the services of a Life Coach who is qualified to guide us through our days and nights presumably to help us avoid all the pitfalls that we have enjoyed so far.

That, and our own “Ask Uncle Grumps” column should be enough to resolve any problems whatsoever that our local population would have to face alone.

Council spokespeople continue to give us the news that they are dealing with the variety of problems and specifically regarding the demolition sites in Todmorden. They are treating that matter very seriously and will be arranging meetings sometime in the future to discuss with a variety of owners and agents whether they have thought about any plans for the sites.

So things are moving along nicely and we hope that we might live long enough to see some action.

But one concern regarding last year is that it seems that more and more people are complaining and grumbling about an increasing number of issues.

We wish they would leave it to the experts.