WELL done to supermarket giant Morrisons for its decision to sell wonky carrots over the festive season.
The company said it did so not just because reindeer are fond of carrots, but also to remind us all that unconventionally-shaped veg is just as nutritious as the standardised kind.
There needs to be more of this common sense.
By shunning wonky veg, we consumers are contributing to food waste, driving up pieces and making farmers sad.
We are also depriving ourselves of the simple pleasure of embarrassing whoever we’re shopping with by holding up a risque legume and saying something mucky.
If I had my way, there would be entire aisles devoted to this endlessly diverting pastime.
A new approach to Hydro revamp plan
THE Health Hydro in Milton Road, as you’ll know if you’ve been following our coverage, could end up being half-gutted to make way for about 30 flats.
GLL, the private sector outfit handed control of the place by the council, announced the proposal not long ago.
At first I was as shocked and revolted as most other people by the idea. If somebody had said it was nothing less than a betrayal of the entire community and everybody who has used and nurtured the place since it opened in 1892, they wouldn’t have got any argument from me.
Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have objected had somebody said: “Everybody who had a hand in bringing about this foul spectacle deserves to be pursued by the unquiet spirits of New Swindon’s founders. May they then be treated to an experience which makes The Amityville Horror look like an especially tame edition of Scooby Doo.”
That was before I read what GLL said to justify the project.
You see, they’re not wrecking the joint but saving it. The truth was right there in black and white in the official statement. Cramming flats into a place used by the public for well over a century is the best way of generating enough cash to save whatever happens to be left.
Once I read that, the scales fell from my eyes. For one thing, I realised I’d been guilty of the very cynicism I’d vowed to shun in my New Year’s resolutions.
For another, I was inspired to set up my own company to take responsibility for running public facilities off the hands of hard-pressed councils.
I’ve got all sorts of ideas for ways to preserve our nation’s built and natural heritage for generations to come. They’re guaranteed to save money and improve efficiency.
In the world of arts and museums, for example, I’ve thought up an excellent way to help any local authority whose collection is too big to be displayed in the existing facilities.
Once control is handed over to my company, we won’t do anything short-sighted and risky such as building a big enough gallery or museum. Instead, we’ll simply flog any parts of the collection that can’t be stuffed into the existing wall or floor space. We might even use some of the cash we generate to buy some new lightbulbs for the place – maybe even a couple of rugs or a fan heater for winter.
Another responsibility many local authorities seem to have difficulty with is looking after woodlands or green spaces. Turn your back on them for a week or two and they can become overgrown magnets for fly tippers.
When councils hand over their precious public open spaces for my new company to run, they can rest assured that we’ll nip any problems literally in the bud.
That’s because we’ll rope off about a quarter of each space, have the rest gone over by a tank with a big flame thrower on it and sell the scorched land to developers.
The money the developers give us will then be used to preserve the remaining green space for decades to come. Specifically, we’ll put railings around it, install turnstiles, charge people £29 a pop to come in and threaten them with prosecution if they try to smuggle in their own refreshments instead of buying them from the official on-site shop.
I aim eventually to expand my organisation’s services into the private sector, but first I have to work out a way around some trifling legal obstacles.
One of my ideas is a hyper-efficient car-valeting service, in which the cost of squeegees, soap and polish is offset by ripping out each vehicle’s braking system and selling it to a scrapyard.
Apparently this might lead to charges of manslaughter, which is yet another case of the law standing in the way of progress and enterprise, if you ask me.
I’ve yet to come up with a name for my company. I’m aiming for something descriptive but whose initial letters can easily be put together as something instantly memorable.
Something like Social Harmony Amid Managed Environments, say.
Parking fee insight?
THE Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made £1.7m from hospital parking charges in the 2015/16 financial year.
Patients and visitors who have found themselves paying over the odds because medical care was needed at a busy time and took longer than expected might be somewhat peeved at this news.
Staff who are obliged to cough up their own payments for parking at their place of work, as public transport is either unreliable or at certain times unavailable, might be even more peeved.
Fortunately for the trust and us all, it says the rafts of cash generated was used to help fund medical care and the upkeep of the parking facilities. I’m sure we can all look forward to a full list of precisely what the money was spent on, so as to discourage any resentment.