Thursday, 23 August 2012

A warning!

Although my journey to Kendal was cheap and fairly swift, I would say this.
During my journey I had to share my double seat with another. Two were OK, but the third....I truly wish they had found a seat elsewhere!  I do not smoke and the stench of smoking turns my much so that when I got off the bus I vomited due to sitting next to a heavy smoker.
In the past us non-smokers have had to put up with this....can we change it now?    who knows?
As I was going to hospital for a medical procedure, that  asked me not to eat, surely not vomiting was alongside it?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Yesterday I went to the Westmorland General Hospital to have a subtalar joint injection.
I went up on the bus using an Explorer tickets. I'm not sure how far South you can go with one of these lovely tickets, but I think you can go up to Carlisle using one. The cost the princely sum of £10. Seeing as the journey from the stop near me into Lancaster would have cost £2.50-ish one way, although I normally buy a Day Rider if going into Lancaster, as it is cheaper than a return ticket. I think it would have cost more than £7.50 to Kendal.  I could have used this ticket to return home again, but Patient Transport brought me back home. 
As with most hospital visits it was mostly about waiting around until it was my turn.  The actual injection, including a local took around 15-20 minutes, and that is being conservative in time, I'm sure it took less.
I've to keep a diary of how my ankle feels and take it with me to my follow-up out-patient appointment in three months time. If it has worked, and I have much less discomfort than last time I had a steroid injection, and acts as a painkiller for me, it can be repeated. This is good for me as I am very limited in what painkillers I can take due to having Asthma and a bad reaction/allergy to opium based painkillers. (so even cocodamol is a no-no for me.)
I'm feeling OK today, the joint is a bit achy, but then having something injected into a joint is bound to be.

Also, Spark was 11 yesterday, in human years.  How many that makes him in dog years I'm not sure, I'm pretty sure it isn't a straight 7 for every one of our years.  I'll have a look online. He's 57!
The calculation is not as straight forward as I thought you can find it here.  That is not so bad, because if it was straight 7, he'd be 77 and he doesn't act that old.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Jobs I have done, part 1

Not all these posts will be in chronological order, but this one is.
The very first paid job I had was one which has been taken over by a machine.
As a family we moved to Catterall in the June of 1974.  My first paid job was in the half-term holiday and I think a couple of weekends around that time of year.
I went around to the local farm shop for some veg for Mum and was asked if I might be interested in helping get the potato crop up.  I would be paid for my work.  After asking what equipment I needed, none but my hands, and clothing, something that didn't matter if it got dirty, I said yes.
It wasn't easy work and at the end of a day spud picking I would be dirty and tired, but better off.  In those days the tractor would turn over the rows of potatoes, loosening them from the soil.  The spud picker's job was to work their way along the rows picking the potatoes from the soil.  I found that there were many lying under the surface as well, but some of the other people picking only picked the ones they could see on the surface.
My sister decided that she wanted to earn some money as well, and asked if she could come along as well. I don't remember her turning up every time.
It's not a job teenagers can do any more in this country, as there are now machines which turn the soil over, put it on a conveyor belt and the potatoes are sorted mechanically from the soil, although I suppose you can still potato pick in some less well off countries.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Jobs I have done, intro.

I have had a varied work life with some very funny moments, as most people have had.
I thought it might make a suitable post topic.  So I'm going to tell you a little about jobs I have had in the past, and maybe a bit about my present one as well.  I'll also write a bit about the most important job I consider myself to have, one which might possibly run and run, alongside other employment.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Why don't they listen?

Just had a phone call from AA insurance.
Now, I do have my house and contents insurance with them, so a call from them wasn't completely out of the blue.
However, my insurance is due in late June and I have renewed for this year.
When I get a call that doesn't respond after I have said "Hello", I always wait for the other person to speak, after all conversation is about turn taking, and telephone calls are purely conversation.
So, I waited for a response, when it wasn't immediate I realised that it might be a cold caller and continued to wait. Eventually, it was probably only a few seconds, but it seems like ages, the person asked to speak to a specific person, it was me they wanted to speak to, but I always ask, "in connection with what?"  I was then told that it was the AA and they wanted to speak about my house insurance, as I put above, have already renewed for this year, so I just said "And?"
The woman on the other end then said she had noticed that I haven't taken out their household emergency package, and was just about to start on her spiel when I stopped her.
I pointed out I was offered this when I renewed, and declined then, and again within a week of renewing when I was called again, and the other two times when they had called. I asked her which bit of "no, I'm not interested isn't clear?" She was then very apologetic and said she would take my name off the list, and I shouldn't get any more calls about it.
I sincerely hope I won't get a call again.  My phone rings rarely enough without it being people trying to sell me stuff that I truly don't want.
I don't know about you, but if I want a specific product, I will research possible suppliers, suss out the best and call them.  I am not going to impulse buy insurance.  For me impulse buying is getting a "treat" when I go grocery shopping...or as on Tuesday, an absolute bargain that I would be a fool to ignore.  Such as a pair of Doc Marten boots at half recommended retail price, which is what I did buy on Tuesday, and when they are the only thing I can walk in, not really so much of an impulse, just taking advantage of a great offer.
Incidental, these are the boots, only mine are leather, and they cost less than the price displayed

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Equipment for university

I think I might have got most of the stuff that Edwin needs to take with him to university in September now.
Today I have been buying him some more kitchen stuff.
two knives, a small  one and a larger one. Decided to buy Sabatier ones as they were only slightly dearer and they are guaranteed for 15 years.
Kitchen shears, for chopping stuff in the kitchen when a knife just won't do.
Two wooden spatulas and a wooden spoon.
Oven gloves
roasting tin

That was all on a trip to Asda.  I have bought other stuff such as a wok, frying pan, steamer, , and loads of other kitchen things.
Edwin is going in self catering halls.
Bedding, towels, etc will be sorted out from home, and I bought him a stash of sketchbooks so that he doesn't have to worry about trying to find some.  I bought him 6 Fat Eco Pigs size A4, and six A3 ones and a normal thickness A2 sketchbook as well. The sketchbooks are from a company called The Pink Pig in Huddersfield, school where I work get there's from the same company which is how I knew where to get them from.  (I have been Art technician at one point.) A lot of his art equipment lives in stacking boxes when not being used so it will just be a case of making sure that what he wants to take with him is in the boxes.

I know I'll miss Edwin, but I know that he will thoroughly enjoy his time at uni and might miss me a little bit, but he is starting out on his adult life.  A thing that all of us have to do at one time or another in their life.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Apt song to say goodbye?

Some of the team GB athletes have done a fun song as a goodbye to the Olympics London 2012
here it is
I think it's really funny.
So where are China and the USAs cheesy tribute songs?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Automated answering services...argh!

I'm sure I'm not alone in this particular gripe.
How many of you have dialled a number on the phone to be greeted by a multichoice menu?
Annoying isn't it?
The recording then gives you a range of options, which it kindly will repeat, "just press star", if you are not sure which you want. Some then go on to a sub menu, and I have rung one number which then went to a third menu.
Eventually, you get through, or think you have, only to be greeted by another recording telling you how much they value your call, and they will be with you as soon as a line is free...Cue piped music on a loop.  Sometimes the music isn't too bad, but if the music falls into that category, it is usually constantly interrupted by a voice saying how much your call is valued, ad nauseum.  You begin to give up the will to live.  You might be like I am sometimes, and start talking back to the voice, or singing along with the music.
It's now at least 5 minutes since you decided to make a quick call, and there is still no sign of getting to speak to a human.
By now your grasp on reality is becoming tenuous to say the least.  At this point I am usually telling the voice that if my call is so important to them, then why doesn't someone answer it....and it's at this point you get through to someone.
And sometimes they can't help you, and have to put you on "hold" whilst they check something out who knows more.,  Hold on...why can't the person with the knowledge answer the phone?
I have been known to interrupt them at this point and tell them how long I have already been on the line, and suggest that they hang up, find out what I need to know and they call me back.  It sometimes works, but not many are open to this suggestion, after all the person you are speaking to has one function in life, and that is to answer phones, not find things out and make phone calls.
This whole process drives me around the bend, and I'm sure that if a comic writer, such as Tom Holt or Jasper Fforde were to introduce something like this into a book, (were it not already in existence,) people would think they had gone a step too far, and recommend a stay in a nice room with soft walls, and maybe a coat with extra long sleeves to prevent them hurting themselves inadvertently.

And what is my point here?
A very simple one. What is wrong with the engaged tone these days? You remember, or maybe you aren't old enough.  There used to be a time when if you dialled a phone number, it rang, and you got gave an engaged tone, so you rang back later.  Oh, and large firms would have someone on a switchboard, answering calls.  These switchboard operators were generally very helpful and if the person was busy, they would know roughly how long for, as they were usually the receptionist as well.  And these lovely people would suggest when would be a good time to try ringing again.  These calls usually took around a minute if the person was not available.  You weren't subjected to rubbish music and inane recordings. 

Things we did in the school holidays, part 3

Before we moved to Lancashire in 1974 there was something we did at least once, even in the week long holidays, and many more times during the longer holidays.
When we were too young to stop home on our own we would go to our Grandma's for the week. Mum's Mum one week, Dad's Mum the next. 
To give Grandma a little bit of a break, at least once a week we would go swimming.  Mum worked in Glossop so would take us and drop us by Woods baths, which I believe are still there.  We would swim until our numbers were called, then get out.  After getting dressed again, and maybe having a hot chocolate if we had some change for one, we would set off back to Grandma's house. It never seemed to rain, or perhaps we didn't care.  We would walk home from the baths, a distance of at least 3 miles, further to our Grandma on Dad's side.  The walk wasn't a relatively flat one as many are in this part of Lancashire, but one of hills.  Like I said, we would do this at least once, sometimes twice a week.
These days parents worry abut their children meeting with untrustworthy characters, and therefore do not let them do things like this.  Perhaps that is a contributory factor as to why more children these days are overweight.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

everybody's talking about it, or are they?

I haven't quite finished it yet.  But it is nowhere near as racy as people think.  And let's be honest it's mostly men who are thinking that women are reading something sexy.  I have seen one of my friends on facebook comment, "What is wrong with me getting Razzle, if women are reading 50 Shades? "   I could have told him, but I won't.  But real as against fictional comes into it.
It's an easy read, but being frank, I have read much "racier" books, and so much better written as well.

Have you read it? Or daren't you admit reading it?  What did you think of the book?
E L James has topped J K Rowling as fastest selling author, but only as fastest selling, I'm sure J K Rowling's books have better crafted plots.


Slowly but surely I have been getting things for Edwin, for when he goes off to uni in September.
Sketchbooks ...bought
Kitchen equipment....nearly all got
Bedding and towels....well, I have plenty, he can take some from here, after all, I'm hardly likely to need all the towels I have when there's only me in the house.I think I'll be looking after Finny for him though, as he won't be able to take him to self-catering halls.  And Spark can't go with him, even though Spark is Edwin's dog. That's good really, it means I'll still have the dogs for company.

Friday, 10 August 2012


I'm feeling very restless.  Last night I had trouble getting to sleep, I woke early.  Now I'm feeling jumpy.
I've taken Spark to the vet's for a procedure.  They might be able to do it with him conscious, but I have had to give my permission for them to sedate him in case they have to. There's always a risk with sedation, and that is why I'm being nervous.
He didn't understand why he didn't have his usual bedtime biscuit or why he wasn't allowed any food this morning, and Shadow is sticking closer to me.  She probably wonders what I have done with Spark.
I did tell them what was happening, but it wouldn't have meant anything, after all, they are dogs.  They are both intelligent dogs, but if it's not food, exercise or company I am sure they wouldn't have known what I was saying. waiting for the phone to ring, although they did say it might be about 2-3 pm before I can collect Spark.

Spark is back now. A bit subdued and has only one visible scrape on him, and now Shadow is not following me around.  I feel a lot happier.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Sour grapes?

I wonder if this is just sour grapes, because of team GBs successes?
Why can't spectators be glad for the competitors who do well?  They have all worked hard.  And all deserve praise, fault finding when another team does well is just not British! But neither are the people complaining.

The Fawlty Towers of UK supermarkets

For those of you who are in the dark about Fawlty Towers, just watch this short YouTube video.
I'll give you a moment.
Watched it yet?
What you are watching others now?
Ok, I'll come back later.

Ah! you're back now.  Good, now you know what I mean by Fawlty Towers. 
Here in the UK we have several supermarket chains, and some are high end, for the people who have more money than sense, some are mainstream, and some are cheaper supermarkets.'s not one of the cheaper supermarkets that I am dubbing the supermarket equivalent of Fawlty Towers, but a mainstream one. Ah, you know the ones I mean?   Good.  I'll narrow it down a bit without naming it.  This one is based in Yorkshire, and does not have a milk distribution subsidiary.  Got it?  OK
You probably want to know why I think this chain is the supermarket equivalent of Fawlty Towers.
  1. You approach a till, and sometimes have unpacked half your shopping onto the conveyor belt when the checkout person tells you, usually quite rudely, that the checkout is closed.  Bear in mind, there is no sign saying that, and today I had two identical items, would it have killed her?
  2. You ask where to find something in the store and unless you are lucky enough to happen upon a supervisor, you tend to get the answer. "That's not my section"  Don't these people shop in their own supermarket.
  3. You can wait at the kiosk to pay for something whilst the staff, fully aware you are there, will carry on their own conversation, then serve you, when they have finished.
  4. When going around the shop you take your life in your hands, as shop assistants filling shelves push unitainers of goods down aisles without looking where they are going, and no apology if the almost run you over.
  5. When outside  the supermarket you are in a similar situation as detailed in 4 above, only this time from the trolley collectors who blithely run their trolleys back to the places where they are kept without taking notice of shoppers, children or cars.
  6. The store shuts at ...let's say 8pm for arguments sake.  You only need one item, you know exactly where it is in the shop.  Yet at 7.45pm you are turned away from the shop. "We close at 8" no argument will get you in to get the one item you want.
  7. When I was in my early 20s, my boyfriend's brother applied for, and got the post of assistant manager.  This boy had left school with no qualifications, hadn't worked since leaving school, and could not spell his own middle name.  It's spelt Graham incidentally, not Greyum.  This must be a standard for their staff as most seem a little slow, and many of them surly as well. 
Like I said, I won't name the supermarket.  Why do I continue you to go there?  I can walk there, and they have a really good range of magazines.  I do only ever go for a few items and have never done an entire "shop" there, nor ever intend to.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Olympic question

Many people have said over the past couple of days....What an excellent team we would have if as much money was spent on other sports as there is on football.
I personally don't agree.
Because, although individual teams are good, the country's team doesn't get enough time to practise as a national team.  And I think this is the first time GB as opposed to the individual countries have taken part in an international football tournament.
The other thing is...England as a national team has not done too well despite them having money lavished on them.
We're British! We thrive when faced with challenges.  If things look like a forgone conclusion, as a nation, we have the recent past....made an absolute hash of things.
And as a throw away thought....if our competitors didn't have the challenge...would they get the support?  England football supporters have had bad press in the that what the other sports want?  Can you imagine hooligans at Hickstead? rowers supported by rabble? ....(now make up your own)
As I have put before, this is my opinion, and might not be anyone else's.  I do tend to go off at tangents.
That aside, well done all the GB athletes, whether you have gained a medal or not. In the true spirit of our school sports education, it's not the winning, it's the taking part that matters.  Seriously, well done ALL of you.

People are all different

I've just met up with a friend.  She has a very forceful way of looking at things.  When she enters into a relationship she expects a relatively high level of commitment from the outset, and said it is OK when you a tell a person that you love them to follow it up with the question, "Do you love me?"
Although I have every respect for my friend, I don't agree with her in this.  Putting the other party on the spot can make them back off, sometimes completely.  Until I started my current job I had spent most of my school and working life in male dominated  environments, and although men do not mind being told they are loved, they will say that they love a person, voluntarily, in their own good time.  Pushing for an answer can have the opposite to the wanted answer.
Or...perhaps that is just me.  Perhaps being fairly reserved myself, have only mixed with reserved men.  In my experience, and it isn't wide, a man telling a woman that he loves her very early in the relationship usually means that he wants only one thing from her, and saying he loves her will help him get it.
I know it takes all sorts to make the world go around, but demanding commitment after a few dates is a bit pushy in my book.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Testing at the Olympics

Instead of embarrassing the competitors when they have won.  Especially when they have pulled off an unexpected win.  Why don't they just routinely test all participating athletes prior to their events?  I know it might work out slightly more expensive in the long run, but do they have to wait until someone is accused, tested, and found not to have drugs in their system, and decide to sue before they do it that way around?
Testing all athletes  would then not single out any particular one, and would ensure that nobody won whilst using banned substances.

On a lighter note...I heard this on the radio earlier.  On Magic radio, Dangerous pointed out to DLT that we, the GB, seemed to be quite good at the "sitting down sports", such as rowing, horse riding, and cycling.  Well, it made me laugh.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Crime doesn't pay...or does it?

I've heard on the radio news that the government are thinking of educating convicted criminals in basic English and Maths, up to GCSE standard, so that they will stand a better chance of employment on leaving prison. 
These are people who have been convicted of a crime, and have already gone through our education system, and presumably failed it for one reason or another.  Yet, the government thinks it would be a good idea to educate the taxpayers expense.  I'm sorry but I see this as a reward.
If you want to take courses that result in an exam after leaving school, you have to pay.  Unless you have low income then you might get the course free.  So what I want to know is...why do the people who don't break the law have to pay if they want to take these courses, whilst law breakers are going to be offered them for free?
I know that basic literacy and numeracy courses are free, but they do not result in a qualification at the end of the course.
I think it can be declared official.  The government of this country has gone barking mad.  Or perhaps crime does pay.  What do you think?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Has he tried using a mirror?

Apparently Karl Lagerfield  has been "firing broadsides" been "being nasty" "saying not nice things" about Adele, and now he has decided to comment about Pippa, yes, Pippa Middleton, for those who one word isn't enough.  And in that line, I'm sorry....but I have no idea what Adele's other name is.
Anyway, to me, and probably many others Pippa is a beautiful young woman.
Then I decided to do an image search for Karl Lagerfield, and this was the first image.
Does the man have a mirror?  Why hide behind sunglasses? Perhaps he's a vampire, as he appears dressed in the same fashion on most of the images that came up, even in an illustration of him.
To me he looks like an extra on a budget vampire film.  And , yes, I know I'm no oil painting, but I don't go around saying that very pretty young women should only be seen from behind, or perhaps he just has a thing about bottoms?  If that is the case he should make it crystal clear, and not let the media twist what he has to say.
But when all is said and done it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions