Just one pet hate …..


    Have you noticed, that one of the current trends in so called food journalism, is the ‘rustic look’. It’s that type of food presentation, where the food looks like it has just been dropped on a random plate, usually made out of galvanised tin. Quite often, there are bits of leaves or ground pepper something scattered around that plate. The plate is then presented on an old table and on some occasions is accompanied by a used spoon. It’s the ‘Jamie Oliver’ school of cooking. No finesse, no style, just slap it on a plate/piece of wood/slate and get down your neck. Do you like it? Do you think it is appealing? Does it give you a sense that ‘it’s the food that matters – not its looks’? I (as you may have gathered) don’t like it. When I trained as a chef, some forty years ago, I was told, that your first impression came from the smell of the food, then its look and finally, the taste. The smell and the look entice you and that both prepare you for the next stage, the taste. Well this ‘rustic’ style does nothing for me. So stop it with the battered plates and even more battered old furniture and stick to presenting food in a more attractive manner.

Here endeth my food rant.

    Anyone watch the last episode of Law & Order UK (28/07/2013). Is this where old Casualty actors go when they leave. First we had Ruth Winters playing Kate Barker then Paterson Joseph turns up as Wes Layton. Now this week were treated to Connie Beauchamp (ahhhh) and also Josh Griffin. All we need now is Nick Jordan to turn up as a prosecutor and it will be all sorted.

Expensive car week ….. final episode


    One of the things I stressed, when I called them last night, was that I would need to go out between 12:45 and 13:15. I needed to pick S**** up from work. So guess what time the engineer arrived …… 12:50! I had just got R*** into that back seat, when the van turned up. The engineer asked how long would I be, and I explained that it would 20 minutes at the most. He smiled and said that would be fine. I picked S**** up and was back home for just gone 13:05. The job was all done and finished for 13:35 and he apologised for the mix up with the appointments and call back. He said it was a new system that they were still getting used to at the office.

    So, now I’m in a quandary. The engineer that fixed the damn car was so understanding and professional, that it does not seem right to make a complaint. At the end of the day, nobody was put out (well apart from S**** having to walk to his rehearsal) and the windscreen is all good now, I think I can shelve the complaint.

Expensive car week ….. update


    Just a brief one at the moment. At 08:00 this morning, I got a phone call from guess who? Yep! AutoGlass! To arrange an appointment to repair/replace my damaged windscreen….16 hours late! Using my best ‘inner calm’ techniques I carefully explained that I had recalled later in the day as I had not heard anything after 5 hours. “Oh yes,” she said. “The call has been duplicated. I will cancel one of them. Thank you.” The call ended, just like that. No apologies, no explanation, nothing. Seems very strange that at 7:45 last night there was no call and then this morning, there is a duplicated call! I just hope that someone turns up now. Watch this space.

    Oh, and by the way, the first drive in the new car went as well as could be expected. It might not take as long to get used to this one as last time.

Expensive car week part two ……


    Well the lady at AutoGlass said that someone would be in touch, to make an appointment within two hours, but it may be a little longer, if they were busy. That was at about ten minutes to two. Every time the phone went, I rushed to answer it, but alas, no AutoGlass. It got to about half past six, and I thought “Nobody is going to ring now. I wonder what has happened.” I logged onto the website to find a contact number and was very surprised to see they had a ‘call-back’ facility. I requested a call back in thirty minutes, which would give me time to prepare what I was going to say, without getting annoyed. True to their word, thirty minutes later they called. I explained what had happened and what I had been told. I could hear the tap tap tap of a computer keyboard as the person I was talking to checked the records.

    “I have checked the system,” he said “and there is nothing logged.” He explained that the engineers go through the logs, in order, but that there was nothing there. He told me that he would log all the details and get me sorted. After about five minutes, the appointment was set for tomorrow and he was ready to take the £75.00 excess.

    As you can imagine, I am not very happy about this. Least of all, because I will have to take S**** to work in K***’s new car, which I have yet to drive. It will be fun! I am trying to convince myself, that ‘It will be fun!’

    It is my intention to make a complaint (as soon as the work has been done) to both AutoGlass and the insurance company. I think I’m justified.

Expensive car week …..


    All told, todays post title says a lot. Not that there’s been major work, it’s just been a bit expensive! But, the car is 13, nearly 14 years old, so I have to expect the odd extra bill to pay. I just thought it would be spread out a bit more. I blame speed humps!

    First thing I noticed yesterday, was that the offside front tyre was worn down on the inside. Last time it cost me over £80.00 to get Kwik Fit to replace it. They said it needed rebalancing, and I believed them. This time I shopped around and managed to get it for just over £40.00. Of course, I opted out of the rebalancing, as I don’t think it made a difference. So it’s going to ATS Euromaster on Wednesday for a replacement.

    Then today, S**** came back from work with the news that the windscreen was cracked. Not just a chip, a full blown crack on the passenger side. Now that’s a £70.00 excess on my insurance, but at least it does not affect the no claims bonus. At the moment (15:00 – 13/07/2013) I’m sat waiting for a phone call from AutoGlass to tell me when they can get round to do it.

As I said earlier …… I blame Speed Humps!!
 

Hot hot hot ….


     It seems that it may just be the hottest day of the year. The temperature on my mobile phone is show at 28.5 C, but I think it may be a little warmer than that. Of course, there is no air-conditioning in he building and where are the ice-cream sellers when they are needed?

     It get very dificult to get motivated when the weather is as hot as this, and I think everyone is just sat trying not to melt.

Just a little pi**ed off … Geek speak time


    It has been a bit of a stressful week, computer wise. I’ve been trying for the past six weeks to get our ICT department to install Windows Mobile Device Centre (MDC). I used to use Active Synch to reinstall the handheld computers that some of the staff use. However, when we moved to Windows 7, that all went to pot. It seems that Active Synch does not work with Win 7 and MDC is the replacement. But in accordance with the ‘lock down’ that our ICT department operate MDC was not available.

    Then, miracle happen and I was ‘granted’ access to MDC. This meant that I could also connect my personal PDA and synchronise my office diary with my personal diary. You would think this would be a simple thing to do. Noooooo!! It seems that the diary Outlook 2010 uses does not like the diary on Outlook 2013, and when I tried synching the PDA with my personal diary, the damn think wiped both diaries clean. Not a problem (or so I thought) I’ll just re-synch my PDA with my works diary. Guess what??? Same thing happened. So now I’m sat there with three blank diaries. Now some people would think that is great, but I had lost everything. I managed to recreate my personal diary from a backup (all those experts were right about backups) but our fantastic ICT told me they could restore my emails (which had not been lost) but not the diary. Certain words of a blue nature issued forth when I heard this. After a few hours of manual entry, I managed to input most of the details that had been lost.

    Now, we come to the problems with my email account at home. For a number of days, my main email account has been getting very slow to upload the emails from Gmail into Outlook. Apparently, it is a known issue and accordingly, nothing can be done. It had got to the stage tonight whereby the main account refused to upload any emails since before 05:30 this morning. Many hours searching on Google came up with various options, none of which worked. I even took the drastic step of re-install Microsoft Office, which is not something to do lightly with Office 2013. This of course proved fruitless. I then had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments. If I removed my main account then reinstalled it that might work. A few minutes of breathe holding, and I had done the job. All the missing emails uploaded instantly, and I was one ‘happy bunny’, so to speak. That state of euphoria lasted about ten seconds, where upon I found that removing my account resulted in the eradication of both my diary (again) and all of my contacts. More bad language ensued and another backup restore was required. Everything is now more or less back to normal, but the whole episode reminds me of that famous saying:

“It is isn’t broken, the don’t fu*k with it”