Census 2011Today is Census Day - the day where, once every ten years, the government takes an official count of its citizens. This year I've been getting annoyed with how people are whining over how many questions there are and how intrusive it is.

Ok, by now you are all probably aware of my feelings about Wokingham Borough Council's ludicrous and extremely short-sighted decision to close Ryeish Green Secondary School, my former school, just south of Reading. Ryeish closed its doors for the last time yesterday.

One hundred years ago, in April 1910, the Shinfield Three Mile Cross Council School opened in the hamlet of Ryeish Green just outside Reading. Over the years this school developed, changed roles, and eventually became Ryeish Green School, a comprehensive secondary school.

I consider myself lucky enough to have gone to Ryeish and enjoyed practically every day there and come rain or shine I'd be trudging my way up the Hyde End Lane hill to school.

I gained some good friends and have many great memories of my seven years there. It was through working in the school's library that I went on to study in the field of librarianship at Aberystwyth University. It was also because of those happy memories that I was excited about going to an open day there last Sunday to celebrate the school's centenary - the first time I'd been back in almost 10 years.

However it wasn't a complete day for celebrating as the local authority, Wokingham Borough Council, has made the decision to close the school.

Self-service till. Photo: The Grocer.

Earlier today I read an article in The Grocer that highlighted the findings of an online survey saying that 73% of supermarket customers are shunning self-service checkouts.

Really? That many people really don't like them? Why?!

Admittedly, a few years ago when the technology was relatively young, self-service checkouts were temperamental to say the least. Items not recognised by the scanners, scales not registering items in the bagging area, or interfaces that were just too difficult for customers to use.

"But Aberystwyth needs a development. What's the point of having all these new houses (in the town), along with a new assembly government building, if the town has no heart?"

This is what Meirion Jones, the developer behind Aberystwyth's highly controversial shopping centre plans, says about Aberystwyth.