Friday, 3 March 2017

Old assets, new uses

With a trip to St German's for Mass and Christian Aid Lent lunch at the end of the morning, I woke up thinking about the church hall wi-fi connectivity problem, then went hunting through my stored redundant technology bits and pieces to see what I could find. There were four Powerline adaptor plugs and ethernet cables, plus a box containing a complete wi-fi router, redundant after our broadband upgrade last year. That was about the time when I bought a wi-fi extending Powerline adaptor set, which was incompatible with the slower originals. I had to lay out more than I expected to complete the upgrade, and thus had a spare set working, in any case at a decent speed.

After Mass and lunch, I installed the kit and found that it worked as planned. The spare wi-fi extender that had been bought also connected, enabling the signal to travel to the furthest extent of the long steel and concrete building. This little success brought me no end of good cheer. I hate to see good working kit go to waste. There's still a lot more I wish I could find a use for, however.

On my afternoon walk, to the shops and the post office in two separate outings, I continued my Lenten 'wombling' effort, collecting this time thirty eight separate cans, paper cups, glass and plastic bottles, along my 3 km route. That's an average of a dozen pieces discarded per kilometre, much the same as I estimated yesterday. The number of slim energy drink cans among the detritus is remarkable, some of them tossed in the few days since I last passed by. As these beverages are marketed to sustain people who are being unusually physically active, I wondered if there's a correlation between this and total disregard for one's physical environment. 

As I was entering Tesco's, at Canton Cross, a mum and a granny emerged with a kindergarten age child in a strop, who dashed a small yoghourt drink from her lips, which hit my coat and splashed me with drops. They apologised but the child refused to, and refused defiantly to pick up the carton and take it to a bin two metres away. After I'd passed them I thought too late what I should have said to the child to bring home the fact that this behaviour was unacceptable - all the situation needed was to say "I'll tell your teacher you've been naughty!"

Within ten metres of the store entrance, curiously, there are no fewer than three litter bins, yet one can walk several hundred metres along Cowbridge Road and side streets leading off it, and rarely find a bin. It's no wonder people have got out of the habit of using them.

After supper I went over to St Catherine's Church Hall to collect some church keys I inadvertently left at St John's yesterday. The Parish youth club was in full session, with table football, ping-pong and an assortment of other table games being played, by over a dozen youngsters, and watched over by several parents, plus Fr Phelim. As the hall is a 19th century wooden building, an original temporary mission church in good repair, still finding use in the church grounds. I felt as if I was stepping back in time forty years to my days as a Curate. Even in these days of electronic devices and games, it's great that there's still a social space in which physical playful activities still continue to give pleasure and forge bonds between children that might even last a lifetime.

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