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BigMouth

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  1. Like
    BigMouth reacted to Muckle Oxters in Pensioners fuming over government ‘theft’   
    Ower the past few posts, aabody is right in dir own wye!
     
    I tink it's important for folk to understand dat how much pension dey get, and when dey'll start getting it, is based on da governments ability to pay rather than a direct link to how much folk hiv paid into da pot.
     
    I ken some folk dat think their pension is kinda lik a personal savings account and dunna really understand dat it's more lik a massive joint account!
     
    Workin folk pay into da joint account, and older folk tak oot o it. As da UKs population average is gettin older, dir's simplly less workin folk to pay for dem.
  2. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from Nigel Bridgman-Elliot in Pensioners fuming over government ‘theft’   
    State pensions are paid for by those in work.  We have some very wealthy pensioners getting state pension.  Perhaps the time has come to pay higher pensions to those that need it and none, or a reduced sum, to those that don't?
  3. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from Nigel Bridgman-Elliot in Pensioners fuming over government ‘theft’   
    Ah! Data from the BBC. Must be true then. No paedophiles at all, cough cough.
     
    Women have many advantages, some due to their sex, but many by the choices they make, stay at home and look after the kids or work in a nice warm office mostly. I am a great believer in equality and would like to see more women out there on building sites etc. I think women are on the whole great, but I hate the growing bunch of whingeing feminists who want equality, but only the nice bits, such as retiring 5 years before men.
  4. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from Nigel Bridgman-Elliot in Pensioners fuming over government ‘theft’   
    It's nearer to 2.7 years axtra for women according to the confidence intervals in the NRS data for Shetland.  Lets just round it up to a neat 3 years and ask women to retire 3 years later.  Those years could be reduced by doing some of the nastier work men do, like freezing their gonads off whilst working to build the new Hjaltland flats opposite Islesburgh.  Not a woman in sight.  Cesspit driver and sludge pumper, essy cart crew, roadie teams, street sweeper, pelagic boat crew, lifeboat crew?
  5. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from sludgegulper in Local Food Reviews - Dining Out & Take Aways   
    Magno - superb range of ice creams - including parma violet!
  6. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from Muckle Oxters in What happened to news print media?   
    As I approached the checkout at the local shop I felt guilty clasping only a box of six eggs in my hand.  The “support your local shop” mantra was going through my head so I picked up a Shetland Times, paid for my shopping and left for the walk home.  At least the faithful shopkeeper would eat tonight.

    On arriving home I couldn’t help but notice how thin the Shetland Times has become, 32 pages, barely a thick pamphlet.  I bought the last about ten years ago in a moment of abject boredom.  This edition, a round up of the year’s news, this time over two issues, that old scam of the TV, radio and print media at the years’ end.  So much easier than getting out there and doing something.  Recycling of old stories is de-rigeur.  Back in the last century, across the UK, recycling in the newspaper industry used to be done by passing the unsold newspapers to the local fish and chip shops for wrapping material.

    In the noughties I worked for Johnston Press, the then fourth largest producer of local newspapers, which was busily trying to buy up all the local titles.  They would then close down the local offices and report from places no longer considered local by the readership, items written by reporters with no local connection, to feed their presses 24 hours a day.  I remember staff being offered the option to buy shares in the company, “to buy into our futures”.  I was unimpressed by the offer.  I could see the newspaper trying to get it’s material online, but the boat was already sailing away.  The local mindset was “who would want to advertise their local cheese shop/furniture shop/cafe/whatever on the world wide web?”  In those days smart phones weren’t a thing, and your web browser had no idea where in the world you were.

    To be called a newspaper there had to be at least a certain ratio of news to advertising.  You couldn’t get away with a couple of sheets of editorial and fill the rest with adverts.  A newspaper makes its money from advertising.  The reporters and sub-editors will try to tell you that people buy a newspaper for news, but the management know that what keeps the money coming in are those column centimetres of advertising whether they be run of paper or classified ads.  The news is mostly incidental to the business model.

    Advertising in newspapers was never cheap, but newspapers executives were always looking for ways to screw a little more money out of the hapless customer, who had few places to go in those days.  They took to increasing the number of columns per page, thus reducing the width of the columns, to increase advertising revenue as ad space was sold by the column centimetre.

    Worthing is at the opposite end of the country to us in Shetland.  A seaside town, somewhat run-down as a great deal of the south coast is.  Estate agents there were paying the local newspapers so much to advertise their properties for sale each week that they decided a better solution would be to create their own free “newspaper”.  It was a great success, targeted at a specific market, in an area where property was relatively cheaper than surrounding towns, and the paper given away free.

    Johnston Press was recently in the news having gone into liquidation, then rescued by the shareholders.  Are they a company manned by people who are trying to hold back the tide of instant, mostly free news?  Bloggers can do the job better, publicising events to a wider world at the speed of light, capturing images, getting the news out there.  Many of them are doing this for free.  There has never been a worse time to be a paid journalist.

    The local newspaper is full of week old news.  There are less shoppers in Da Street because people shop online; technology has moved on, and with it the shopping and news-reading experience.  I get the distinct feeling that there are now less people reading the local newspaper as they are getting their news fix online, with an immediacy that print media can’t match.  The Shetland Times adds bulk to its newspaper by advertising it’s printing services, busy book shop, and in this edition an almost quarter page ad for a reporter and trainee journalist.  It wasn’t that many years ago that newspapers would proudly publish their independently audited circulation figures n every copy they printed.  There is certainly no sign of them in the local newspaper these days.

     Take it from me, local reporting is a soul-destroying task, “being prepared to ask the questions that our readers deserve the answers to”, mostly boils down to ringing the local police stations every morning to ask for information about their incident logs, attending the local courts, attending local council meetings and writing stories about drink driving, wife beating, drugs and petty vandalism, and hoping that one of the local government organisations puts a foot wrong.  There are only 23,000 of us here and that equates to not a lot of news.

    The Shetland Times has been around since the 1870s according to its masthead.  It tries to act like a big player with tough-nosed reporters sniffing out the latest hot scoop, but it’s glory days are behind it.  Most of its classified advertising can now be found on Shetlink and Facebook with a thriving sales scene.  Even the newspaper’s attempt at giving away free classified ads could not save its ad revenues.  There was never any real competition here in Shetland before Shetlink and Facebook, and the paper rested on its laurels.  These days it’s dwindling on life support.  Does it need to have DNR painted on the Gremista building? - Do Not Resuscitate.
     
  7. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from Davie P in What happened to news print media?   
    As I approached the checkout at the local shop I felt guilty clasping only a box of six eggs in my hand.  The “support your local shop” mantra was going through my head so I picked up a Shetland Times, paid for my shopping and left for the walk home.  At least the faithful shopkeeper would eat tonight.

    On arriving home I couldn’t help but notice how thin the Shetland Times has become, 32 pages, barely a thick pamphlet.  I bought the last about ten years ago in a moment of abject boredom.  This edition, a round up of the year’s news, this time over two issues, that old scam of the TV, radio and print media at the years’ end.  So much easier than getting out there and doing something.  Recycling of old stories is de-rigeur.  Back in the last century, across the UK, recycling in the newspaper industry used to be done by passing the unsold newspapers to the local fish and chip shops for wrapping material.

    In the noughties I worked for Johnston Press, the then fourth largest producer of local newspapers, which was busily trying to buy up all the local titles.  They would then close down the local offices and report from places no longer considered local by the readership, items written by reporters with no local connection, to feed their presses 24 hours a day.  I remember staff being offered the option to buy shares in the company, “to buy into our futures”.  I was unimpressed by the offer.  I could see the newspaper trying to get it’s material online, but the boat was already sailing away.  The local mindset was “who would want to advertise their local cheese shop/furniture shop/cafe/whatever on the world wide web?”  In those days smart phones weren’t a thing, and your web browser had no idea where in the world you were.

    To be called a newspaper there had to be at least a certain ratio of news to advertising.  You couldn’t get away with a couple of sheets of editorial and fill the rest with adverts.  A newspaper makes its money from advertising.  The reporters and sub-editors will try to tell you that people buy a newspaper for news, but the management know that what keeps the money coming in are those column centimetres of advertising whether they be run of paper or classified ads.  The news is mostly incidental to the business model.

    Advertising in newspapers was never cheap, but newspapers executives were always looking for ways to screw a little more money out of the hapless customer, who had few places to go in those days.  They took to increasing the number of columns per page, thus reducing the width of the columns, to increase advertising revenue as ad space was sold by the column centimetre.

    Worthing is at the opposite end of the country to us in Shetland.  A seaside town, somewhat run-down as a great deal of the south coast is.  Estate agents there were paying the local newspapers so much to advertise their properties for sale each week that they decided a better solution would be to create their own free “newspaper”.  It was a great success, targeted at a specific market, in an area where property was relatively cheaper than surrounding towns, and the paper given away free.

    Johnston Press was recently in the news having gone into liquidation, then rescued by the shareholders.  Are they a company manned by people who are trying to hold back the tide of instant, mostly free news?  Bloggers can do the job better, publicising events to a wider world at the speed of light, capturing images, getting the news out there.  Many of them are doing this for free.  There has never been a worse time to be a paid journalist.

    The local newspaper is full of week old news.  There are less shoppers in Da Street because people shop online; technology has moved on, and with it the shopping and news-reading experience.  I get the distinct feeling that there are now less people reading the local newspaper as they are getting their news fix online, with an immediacy that print media can’t match.  The Shetland Times adds bulk to its newspaper by advertising it’s printing services, busy book shop, and in this edition an almost quarter page ad for a reporter and trainee journalist.  It wasn’t that many years ago that newspapers would proudly publish their independently audited circulation figures n every copy they printed.  There is certainly no sign of them in the local newspaper these days.

     Take it from me, local reporting is a soul-destroying task, “being prepared to ask the questions that our readers deserve the answers to”, mostly boils down to ringing the local police stations every morning to ask for information about their incident logs, attending the local courts, attending local council meetings and writing stories about drink driving, wife beating, drugs and petty vandalism, and hoping that one of the local government organisations puts a foot wrong.  There are only 23,000 of us here and that equates to not a lot of news.

    The Shetland Times has been around since the 1870s according to its masthead.  It tries to act like a big player with tough-nosed reporters sniffing out the latest hot scoop, but it’s glory days are behind it.  Most of its classified advertising can now be found on Shetlink and Facebook with a thriving sales scene.  Even the newspaper’s attempt at giving away free classified ads could not save its ad revenues.  There was never any real competition here in Shetland before Shetlink and Facebook, and the paper rested on its laurels.  These days it’s dwindling on life support.  Does it need to have DNR painted on the Gremista building? - Do Not Resuscitate.
     
  8. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from Acid in Selfish Cyclist   
    Not more laws!  Cyclists are the ultimate losers in crashes.  They're not surrounded by a ton of metal, so they will ride more defensively.  You will always get bad cyclists, the same as you will get bad drivers.  The last thing that we need is to be discouraging healthy exercise for the sake of minor inconvenience to car drivers.  Car drivers can always get the bus, then it will be someone else's problem.  Alternatively they can campaign for better cycling infrastructure, which improves life for everyone.
  9. Like
    BigMouth reacted to shetlander in Selfish Cyclist   
    Christ almighty, we’re speaking about Shetland here, not some major road somewye sooth.
     
    We have excellent roads and they’re hardly overrun at any time of the day with either vehicles or cyclists. If the two can’t coexist on the roads here there’s little hope of them coexisting anywhere else.
     
    Surely all that’s needed is a bit of mutual respect on both sides?
  10. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from Muckle Oxters in Selfish Cyclist   
    Another cyclist here.  I would echo that the cyclist has the same rights as anyone else to be on the road, but having said that I will pull in where it's safe and convenient to let people pass when they need to.  Having been a truck and bus driver in the past I know how difficult it is to get past cyclists as you are bearing in mind their safety as well as that of oncoming traffic.  On the whole though I would say that the Shetland drivers are extremely respectful of cyclists, giving them an extremely wide pass.  A couple of knobbers, one in a Berlingo passed within reaching distance 3 times in 18 months, and another in a black Volvo X70 did the same, but only twice.  They are the exception though.
     
    Of the car and cycle though, one costs you money and makes you fat, whilst the other saves you money and keeps you fit.
     
    If I remember correctly, it has been illegal to cycle on the pavements since the 1830s.
  11. Like
    BigMouth reacted to Spinner72 in Is there a God - or isn't there?   
    I have found religion in general quite a bizarre phenomenon since I was a bairn. I have never seen any mystery in the questions others seem to turn to religion for (as Ghostrider mentioned) - we are here because of something our folks did, the purpose of life is to live and die, and when we die that's it. Dead. All completely obvious and indisputable.
     
     
    What I do find disturbing is the way that certain religious aspects are still allowed in todays society. The legal system is one, and the other, which I expect may raise some discussion, is the imposition of religious beliefs upon children. I really resent the fact I have been brainwashed into being able to recite the lords prayer, yet I am aware I got off lucky by many standards.
  12. Like
    BigMouth reacted to SK1 in Amazon Pantry   
    Streamline deliver amazon pantry boxes. Contact the office and you can arrange for driver to leave parcel in an agreed place.
  13. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from George. in Lerwick town centre   
    There are those on Da Street who were running what was little more than a cartel. Most of what I want is not available, “but we can get it for you sir”. That may have worked in the old days, but it doesn’t work now. Times have changed, I can get a it myself, more quickly and for less.
     
    In all my years, many years ago, of serving the retail trade, I never met a poor shopkeeper, neither did I meet one that wasn't grumpy. The only cheerful ones were the antiques dealers.
     
    We buy old junk and sell fine antiques. I don't know if that sign ever really existed, but it summed up the trade.
  14. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from mikeyboy in Lerwick town centre   
    http://www.cuttingyourcaruse.co.uk/carbust37a.htm
     
    This says much the same as all the others, but interesting nonetheless.
     
    The street is improving with the number of eateries in close proximity. If one is full one moves onto the next. Shops such as Conochies, selling a wide range will be there for many years yet, although I imagine they will have seen a dwindling of sales over the years in magazines and newspapers, the latter because you can get your news instantly online, the former because you can get a subscription delivered to your door usually somewhere around half the price. For the recyclers there is the charity and junk shop sector. We have pharmacies and home wares stores, crafts and sport are catered for, no shortage of hair cutting establishments, once we discount the banks then the majority of the rest appeals to the tourists.
  15. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from mikeyboy in Lerwick town centre   
    No, it will improve the environment for the shoppers. It can't happen soon enough.
  16. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from George. in Lerwick town centre   
    Yes. Ban vehicles and pedestrians will feel safer, will visit the street more, will be more relaxed in a better environment, and will spend more. Wherever retail streets are pedestrianised in the UK the outcome is always the same, more money in the tills. The shopkeepers always moan before though, and hold their hands out for compensation.
  17. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from George. in Lerwick town centre   
    No, it will improve the environment for the shoppers. It can't happen soon enough.
  18. Like
    BigMouth reacted to Frances144 in Lerwick town centre   
    For those from abroad, (and possibly me), I have no idea what a chocolatey tarmac swirl on the road actually means.
  19. Like
    BigMouth reacted to Lerwick antiques in Lerwick town centre   
    I think on the whole da street has improved a lot this year with a few new places opening up. The chocolate shop is moving into where the chemist was at the cross and there is supposed to be a barber opening up in the place where the chocolate shop was. Some shops have also had a revamp, so things seem to be looking up. Hopefully it will attract more folk to da street on a more regular basis. Us shop keepers are trying and will welcome you.
  20. Like
    BigMouth reacted to Capeesh in Lerwick town centre   
    ^^^Or it could be full of mechanics making a fortune re-aligning wheels and fixing knackered suspensions...kerching £££££.Sweeping generalisations are fun aren't they?
  21. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from George. in Lerwick town centre   
    Shetlink must be a haven for captains of industry running multiple industrial conglomerates judging by the number of people here who can't slow down for a few seconds to drive over a speed bump!  Time is money!
  22. Like
    BigMouth reacted to George. in Lerwick town centre   
    The only problem with traffic calming is the fact that it makes it a bit harder for the speedsters to run over the pedestrians. That's why traffic calming is used, of course.
  23. Like
    BigMouth reacted to shetlander in Lerwick town centre   
    It is an urban myth - there are plenty of parking spaces. The problem is that too many able-bodied drivers are unwilling to get off their backsides and walk the relatively short distance from them to the street.
     
    The new business owners who were interviewed for the same article generally seemed positive about its future – and for those that have started up just this year, the heinous speed bumps clearly didn’t deter them from deciding to invest. That suggests to me that if you have a business that offers folk what they want (be it on price, product, good customer service etc.) parking or traffic calming isn’t necessarily a deterrent.
     
    Another headline article in the same paper reported that levels of obesity are still too high locally. Which comes back to my first point….
  24. Like
    BigMouth reacted to Colin in Lerwick town centre   
    Buses on Commercial St ?   In 30+ years, I have never seen a bus on Da Street. 
     
    Blaming everything on visiting cruise liners is also a bit off, although I would agree that they bring little in the way of income to the street.  Why not try and sell something that tourists might want to buy ?  Anyway, what about all the times (the majority) when there are no liners in ? 
     
    I would agree, however, that it appears to be only local bus companies and the LPA who seem to get anything out of tourists.  Wonder why that is ?   Could it be because the boats are, mostly, tied up at Holmsgarth, and the walk, shuttle bus, into town is to much bother for most of them and they prefer to have a guided tour around the island ?  This is similar to the situation in Kirkwall where putting the liners out to Hatston has had quite a marked effect on their town centre shops.
     
    Lerwick needs a deep water berth at the Victoria Pier so that liners can tie up there, and more to the point, local shopkeepers need to become more aware of the kind of stuff a tourist might buy.  I have no more than a very basic idea what these 'tourist friendly' items might be, but it sure as hell ain't going to be second hand clothes from a charity shop, newspapers, shoes, spectacles etc. This is all stuff that WE buy.
     
    Should vehicles be banned from the street for a longer period of time than they are at present ?  YES.  I use the street daily and, believe me, most drivers are 'morons' when it comes to negotiating their way through pedestrians and try to 'bully' people out of their way (doesn't work with me...)   It might also make the crossing at the Church Road junction a little safer as well.
     
    As for parking around Lerwick.  There is plenty of parking space if you are willing to spend a few minutes using your legs.
  25. Like
    BigMouth got a reaction from George. in Lerwick town centre   
    Debenhams are closing branches on the mainland, formerly a staple of the high street so to speak. Shopping has changed as the opportunity to buy online has burgeoned. It's good to see Da Street moving with the trend of an increase in eateries, and increasingly with improved standards. It would be good to see the rest of the properties converted to accommodation and put into the hands of those that need accommodating rather than the property speculators, who make accommodation cost more for those that need to rent.
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