Something else that doesn’t work …


Last week we had ‘Smart Meters’ installed. The energy company informed us that our Gas meter was coming to the end of it’s life (apparently only last 25 years) and needs to be replaced. The advertising blurb that accompanied the email, indicated that ‘… this would be the ideal time to switch to a “Smart Meter” for free!!’ It also suggested that we ‘could also change the Electric meter, at the same time!’ We thought about it and as there was no actual cost, we decided to go ahead. So last week both new meters were installed. It took the engineer about 40 minutes, which included teaching me how to use the ‘smart’ display and how to get the ‘best’ out of the unit.

I’ve been avoiding getting “Smart Meters” as I felt that it was misleading to hint that it would save us money. I noted that it was never actually stated we would save money just that we would be able to ‘… see what we are spending …’ and ‘… take appropriate action …’

Already we have an issue! The display does not show the amount of electricity being used. It did for the first couple of days, but now just shows the gas used. It is going to need a phone call to the energy company in the morning. Not a good start.

B.T.T.O.A.


The title of this post may be a little confusing. You will/may have heard of the acronym BOGOF which is used in retail as “Buy One Get One Free”, although I dispute the “Free” part, but that’s another discussion. This refers to “Buy Two Throw One Away”. And it’s partly to do with lettuce!

This morning Mrs Me was going through my shopping list and thought it would be a nice idea to buy a ‘nice’ lettuce for a change. We usually have these pre-washed salad leaves that come prepared in a bag ready to eat. She like rocket, spinach, watercress, those type of salad leaves and after while, they just get to taste the same. So she wanted to try something a bit different, but not the classic ‘Iceberg Lettuce’.

So, back to the point. Off I trot to our nearest supermarket to buy said lettuce. I had decided on either Little Gem or Romaine Heart so I headed off to the salad isle. They had both. However, both were prepacked in twin packs. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of salad these days so faced with packs of two left me a little disappointed even a little angry. I asked one of the assistants if they sold either lettuce separately and was told “… not really. It’s cheaper if you buy two …

Now that brings me back to my original paragraph. Imagine you are a single person, living alone. Maybe a pensioner maybe a business person, but the point being you are on your own. Buying a twin pack of anything fresh will probably mean that some of the food will be out of date before you can eat it. I know my neighbour would not be able to get through two Romaine Heart lettuce before the ‘Use By’ date, which means that some will get thrown away. To my thinking, it would make more sense if there was only one lettuce and the pack price was halved. Is that just me that thinks that way?

It just didn’t work …


After seeing a couple of my colleagues wearing them, I decided it might be good idea to get a smart watch. Nothing expensive as I don’t really like wearing watches as they tend to irritate my skin. But, I thought it may have it’s benefits. I trawled through eBay and there seemed to a lot of really cheap ones around the £3.00 mark with a larger number between £10.00 and £30.00. Then there were the popular branded ones going up to £150.00 +. I wasn’t that desperate, so I plumped for one at the lower edge of the mid-price range.

Everything went well, I bought and paid for the unit on Tuesday evening and it was delivered on the Friday, by first class post. All was good and it arrived within the stated time frame. I was surprised by the appearance, as it looked good quality and it felt quite comfortable to wear. The English instructions were well written and easy to follow. I plugged the charger in and left it overnight to fully charge.

It can only be a small battery and usually these kind of things need a good charge to start with, but after 12 hours it was still only 50% charged. I realised that when I placed the unit on my desk, the two pins that charged the unit were not in the right place. This time I got everything right and within 2 hours the watch was fully charged. I installed the software on my ‘phone and I was good to go. It correctly picked up the time and date from my phone, and I began to play around with the numerous displays. The only few things I wanted it for was:
a) a step counter
b) blood pressure monitor and
c) heartbeat monitor

It did all these and many more.

Skip forward to Sunday lunchtime and I became aware that the time on the watch was wrong. The clock said 11:40 yet the watch said 00:04 with a date of 01/01/01. I thought at first I had set it wrong. I re-synchronised the unit with the software on my phone and everything went back to how it should be, Except … all the data from the previous day was gone! This happened again later that day and it seemed that the unit was resetting itself back to its factory settings. I read some of the reviews and soon realised that the phone an watch connect via blue-tooth so both needed to be near to each other. That seemed to make sense, so where I went, the phone went with me.

All was now good, or so I thought! Monday morning and again, the watch was showing a random time. I wasn’t happy about this to say the least, so I contacted the seller with all the problems I was experiencing. About 2 hours later, I received an email telling me that I had been refunded in full and that there was no need to return the unit. I checked PayPal and indeed the refund had passed through and was now in my back account.

I was one happy chap, especially as I didn’t need pay for any postage to send it back. That bothered me a little. How much did the thing cost to make and sell, if he can simply refund me with getting the unit back?

And it goes on …


The 2nd day back at work was really busy. One of my colleagues, who lives just around the corner had gone sick. Not the virus, but I think it may have been stress related. So the effect of that meant that the boss was working. It can be quite difficult when she is in, as she will not say no to a customer. For example, the chef was due to finish at 15:00 (he’d been there since 07:00). Five minutes before he took off his apron, she asked if he could do an ‘afternoon tea’ for 2 people. She explained that they had been in since 12:30 and had bought many drinks. The lady of the party was Canadian and had never had a proper English afternoon tea. The chef looked a little annoyed, but he agreed. So it was 15:30 when he finished eventually. Now the deputy manager would have said no! She would have explained it takes a bit of time to prepare and that they had some customers waiting to come in. Which was true. We seem to be getting the same or more numbers in with only half the tables.

They have a young lad, still at school who does the washing up on Saturdays and he is covering my Monday shift. Because I can be furloughed, it seems that they can give him a couple of extra shifts, until he goes back to school in September. Seems a bit cheeky to me, but I’m not losing out and he gets a bit extra pocket money. How legal or even moral it is I don’t know, but it’s not an issue I feel I need to raise.

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Youngest was home on Friday. He now comes home every 2nd weekend as opposed to every weekend. He seemed very content. It has taken a long time to get to this stage and he coped really well with being in lock-down, and not coming home for 4 months. We wouldn’t have thought it possible a year ago. His medication helps. It seems to relax him. The only downside is that he put on a lot of weight. We were asked to monitor his weight back in October last year as there were concerns that his weight was dropping. But some of the medication he was on, is not appropriate for his age and this is being reduced and replaced with a better solution. This where the problem lay. The old medication had a side effect that suppressed hunger a little. With this gone he began to increase his weight going from 9 stone in October to nearly 12 stone today. It seems to have stabilised now, but it means that most of his clothes no longer fit.

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I’m going to have to go sick tomorrow. I’ve somehow got an infection on my left leg which I need some antibiotics for and I’m having a problem with my right knee. It started on Friday night, with my knee feeling just a little tender. By this morning, it’s got to the stage where I need a stick to get around. There is an art to correctly using a stick to help with walking, and I’m finding how difficult that art can be, but I think I’m getting there. Just texted the boss to explain that I will not be in tomorrow. Not sure how well that will go down, but I can’t be bending up and down with a walking stick. We shall see what happens.