The Grumpy Old Woman of Ulverston

Yes, that’s me, Ulverston’s grumpy old woman.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper complaining about the fancy paving put down on the walkways of our town centre. Three times in alleys I have tripped over small rounded cobbles set into edges where a whole slab does not fit. I have also tripped over the rough and expensive water-washed paving slabs. True I have not yet fallen flat on my face but tripping over at my age is not funny. I have also complained at lack of facilities for skateboarding. It is not a good thing for youngsters to play with them on walkways.

Yesterday, children were skateboarding on the slopes of the Health Centre. Lovely polite children too. I did not enjoy reminding them of the notice on the Health Centre wall. I warned them of the dangers but could not help but smile at their lovely (if worried) cherubic faces. I also said their parents should petition for a skateboard park in the area.

Today the children were back. When I left the centre I had another word — all quite jolly really. The boy spoke as I left him. I turned back to hear and then walked on, my eye catching another youngster (sitting on the grass) who smiled and spoke to me. I chatted back and walked straight into his skateboard left on the path!

Was I angry? Did I feel foolish? Was I hurt? None of these things. Trying not to laugh, I said to the lad, “You see what happens? Old ladies trip over.” I could have added that we don’t look where we’re going, but then, with my eyesight you either look in front of you, or at the ground — trip over or bump into — I’ve done both. Best to flicker one’s eyes from one to the other, but even then I managed to walk into scaffolding poles on the back of a lorry parked in a walkway. Distractions do happen. Funny thing is, I was only telling my granddaughter about these problems two hours before falling over that skateboard. We oldies never learn!

What a laugh! Such lovely polite children. But nowhere close to home where they can play.

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5 Responses to “The Grumpy Old Woman of Ulverston”

  1. Joyful Thiek Says:

    This post is so fun to read. I was laughing as I was going through it and a certain colleague sitting opposite me, seeing me laugh at a computer screen, laughed in turn. What a laugh indeed!

  2. louis Says:

    They can play at the health centre! It grieves me to see that huge expanse of tarmac unused by anyone outside of business hours and signs prohibiting everything except breathing. I cannot get my head around the fact that the NHS trust prohibits any form of exercise on its land. Crass unimaginative management methinks. (I live by the health centre – kids disturb my peaceful geriatric existence – but so they should – great for the soul!)

  3. Gladys Hobson Says:

    I can understand what you say but I think things are more difficult than they appear. If children were injured on NHS property would the NHS be liable? Most likely and damages can be high.
    If damage occurred (eg broken windows) who would pick up the bill? You can’t allow a car park (in full use) to be a playground. Children and adults (especially the elderly) could get injured. To allow it to be a playground after Centre hours? I refer to first paragraph.
    The children need a designated play area. Sick and elderly patients entering and leaving the NHS premises are too vulnerable. Also a children’s play area needs to be lit up and safe. Maybe part of the Gill?

  4. Calix Says:

    Gladys, I note your promotion to Lieutenant of the Nanny PC Army and your contributions to other local blogs.

    I ask you the following questions:

    If children do not play on NHS property, do they play on Stanley St?
    Which is the greater risk NHS property or Stanley St?
    What choice would you make injury to child or elderly?
    Which would you prefer broken NHS window or Road Traffic Accident involving child on stanley St?
    If you lived in the Gill, would you want a child play area there?

    Suggest you present to Dr D with these complaints!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Gladys Hobson Says:

    You do not know me. Me? – PC army? What a laugh! I look at things logically. I make comments that is all. Young children already have a play area practically on Stanley St. If you want a larger one in your own area then go for it. A skate park is needed your side of the main road. I would back it every step of the way.
    My eyesight is not good but some elderly people are far worse and have brittle bones as well. Meeting a skateboard on a footpath is bad for one’s health. A child could run down in front of a car on the car park, or by running down onto Stanley St. Car park or playground? Personally, I would prefer a playground and more trees. But just my thoughts and ideas. I have no involvement.
    I take it you have a great dislike of your Dr D — sorry but that is none of my business. But thanks for your comment. My blog is mainly about books and writing, certainly not political. So good to have a ‘visitor’ ready to comment.

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