When did you last see one?


It seems so long since I last saw one. I remember the first time was at the summit of The Wrekin. There are 49 concrete trig points in Shropshire, built by the Ordnance Survey in high places where you can see two more points. They were used for triangulation in map making. Now we mostly use aerial photography and new technology, so they are not really needed but I am still intrigued by them.

Trig points have benchmarks which show an exact height and I saw one on a wall at my cousin’s house carved on a stone wall. There is a little arrow pointing up to a horizontal line which represents and exact height above sea level.

Here at home the bulbs’ green pointers are showing above ground already. Some people have snowdrops almost in flower. But we have no need to wait. I went into our supermarket yesterday and there are bunches of daffs for sale. Their buds are already opening on straight green stems tied together. I hesitated but decided, in the end, to wait another few weeks and see my own in the garden.

Paying for my shopping with my mobile phone I left the shop and was reminded of a friend who told me that in London she was stopped by a store detective who asked to see what was in her shopping bag.

“Do you mind?” He asked.

“No of course not,” she answered opening the carrier to show her purchases.

“Have you got a receipt, Madam”.

“No sorry, I paid with my phone and when the machine asked if I wanted a receipt, I pressed the ‘No’ option.” He stepped back and she left for home. What do you do if you haven’t got a receipt because you have paid by mobile? I suppose she could have shown the notification on her screen, but it is all getting a bit complicated now we have the new technology.

It all got a bit complicated when we went for a meal after a walk in the Shropshire hills at the weekend. We had enjoyed the silence of a cold winter’s day with the blue sleeping hills in the distance. There were sheep but no bleats and birds but no songs. We were pleased to reach the pub with a warm fire welcome. But then I saw my longed-for ice cream sundae wrongly delivered to the people at a table nearby.

I once went to a café where you carried an electronic tag to your table and the waiters used the computer too find you. But this time the sundae was handed over with a smile without the help of technology.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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