Stress and Tech – hand in hand


A bit of a stressful week this week. Our broadband contract was due to expire at the end of the month, and although it would continued (they usually do with Sky) the cost would have escalated quite a way, based on the initial quote they gave us. So they “invite” us to call them to see if we can get a better deal. My wife deals old routerwith this kind of thing, as I don’t have the patience and whilst on the call on Monday asked about a new Router. We have always been told, by new routerSky to ask about equipment whenever we renew, even if there’s not a problem, which there wasn’t. The person that she dealt with said that there would be no problem and that there would be a new one in the post that day. As good as her word, the new router arrived on Wednesday morning.

The first issue that we were hit with was that is was about 1 inch wider and longer allPig in Mud round. It also was an upright one as opposed to the flat one we were used to. This meant a whole rearrangement of my desk for the thing to fit. After a bit of “huffing” and “puffing” I managed to place it in the best position. Now came the mammoth task of setting up all the devices with the new router. However, I was in my element doing this. It brought many memories from my work life. Dashing from device to device with my check-list and passwords, I was like a pig in a muddy puddle.

Then I hit the first real problem!

The new router would not connect to the Sky Q box! I tried everything, but it just would not happen. This of course meant that many of the features that came with the contract were not available. For example, we could not open Netflix. It also meant that the youngest son’s TV and mini box didn’t Help-Deskwork either. Not although he probably won’t be back here until April, we needed to get it fixed straight away. My wife rang Sky and after a 45 minute wait in a queue managed to explain the problem. The phone was passed to me to go through some troubleshooting (which I had already done) before the help-desk operator decided that an engineer was required. He was booked in for Thursday between 12:00 an 17:00. 

Then came problem two!

The printer we use is a wi-fi connected printer that we all share. the new router would not connect to the printer. I followed all the included instructions (again!) but still nothing. By now, I was beginning to get a little Printerbit annoyed. I looked online at the HP printer site and followed all their ‘helpful’ ideas, but to no avail. In the end, Google came to my rescue. And it was a simple fix. All I needed to do was to uninstall the printer, then reinstall it. Next problem. The printer installation media was on a DVD and this laptop does not have one. I ended up downloading the installation software from the internet. After that, it all went really smoothly which just left the Sky Q box not connected and the help desk advised that the engineer would get everything working, one way or another.

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The engineer duly arrived at the appointed time and we conducted the call through the living room window. They are not allowed into the house because of the virus. We went through a number of questions. and heCable asked what the new router was. When he saw it he said there had been some problems with that type. We proceed to try and connect using an ethernet cable, which worked straight away. But as soon as the cable was removed, the connection was lost. He came up with two solutions: number one was to permanently connect with a cable, but that would mean lifting the carpet to hide the cable which was not a good idea. Option two was to revert back to the old router. That seemed the best idea, and he gave us the latest model of the old one. Once plugged in, all the problems went away, although I still had to reinstall the printer again.

Once again, I spent an hour doing my impression of a “pig in a puddle” whilst I connected all the devices, but touch wood, there are no more issues.

I suppose, at the end of the day, that the old maxim “If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it” applies here.

 

 

A bit of a pain …


It’s been one of those annoying days with my tech. It started, or at least I first noticed it today, when I was working my way through some news items on MSN News. I mostly use the Google Chrome browser these days, as it tends to be just the first one I select and I’m used to it. I’m not keen on he MS Edge browser and Firefox seems to getting far too bloated. Opera would be my second choice, but I’m digressing.

So, there was one item that was about someone trying to do wheelies on a motorbility scooter, that looked to be quite funny. But unusually, there was no ‘play’ button on the video. I thought it must be an error when it Resetwas uploaded and moved onto the next item. Once again, there was a video with no obvious way of playing it. This was a job for a Google search. There were a number of results, most of which told me to ‘update Flash Player’ which was wrong, because Flash is no longer supported or to update Google Chrome. This was also wrong as that was only updated on Thursday, so I suspect that the update may have corrupted some of the files. The only other suggestion that seemed to have any merit, was one to reset Chrome to it’s default.

The reset explained that it would clear all my cookies and temporary data, but would leave my passwords and bookmarks intact. It was as good as its word, uptown a point. One of the things I had forgotten was that sites where I request to ‘keep me logged in’ relies on cookies to remember. Now that the cookies had been cleared, I had to re-log in to all those sites.

I eventually managed to get everything back to ‘my normal’ but it took most of Saturday.

Well p155ed off now …


GovThis morning I tried to do two things online with the UK Government website. Firstly, I wanted to renew my driving license before the 11 month COVID-19 extension expires. I have got until May but I thought I would get it out of the way now. I can’t do it online for one reason, which will be revealed in a short while.

The second job, I wanted to do was to check my National Insurance credits as my State Pension quote came this morning and it wasn’t as much as I had been led to expect. Again, not able to do so for the same reason as above.

The reason I am unable to perform these simple tasks (and the website says it’s simple) is that I don’t have a valid UK Passport. I don’t even have an expired one. I have not needed to go abroad for over 25 years, so why would I have/need a passport?Driving

I am now in a position whereby I will need to either post an application form, with a new passport photograph and a cheque(!) for £17.00 or I can go to a Post Office with my expired card and a payment of £21.50, which is a little extortionate in my opinion. I’m also struggling to understand where ‘simple’ comes in.

Interesting …


This is an interesting development from the Daily Mail online:

Shopping Trips

Just over a week ago, I needed to go to our local Aldi. The car park was full as usual, but there is a Screw-Fix next door with  very limited parking and people going there tend to use Aldi for their parking. Now what amazed me was the number of families that were shopping together. Now I can quite understand a single person taking his/her kids shopping with them, if there is nobody at home to look after them. But there can be no excuse for one of the families that was out that day.

ShoppingThe ‘group’ consisted of a man and a woman, I would say in their mid-forties, a youth, possibly aged 14 or 15, two young girls were were probably no more than 7 years and another boy who would have been about 11 years old. These are only guesses at the ages. Now, the two girls were sitting in one trolley pushed by whom I think would be the male parent. The female ‘parent’ was pushing another trolley and loading food and supplies into that. The youth was just moping around, with his ‘ear-buds’ in as if he didn’t want to be there and the 7 year old was racing up and down the aisles on his scooter.

I may be wrong, but I could not see any justification for them all being there together.

 

More up and down …


downloadThis week has been a bit up and down again. The dishwasher was fixed. It seems there was a small piece of plastic stuck in the pump. It was only about the size of a small child’s fingernail, but was jamming the pump and stopping it from working. A local person came Tuesday lunchtime and fixed it within about 30 minutes, and that included having a look at our oven which hadn’t worked properly for a couple of years. That’ll be fixed over the weekend. We are going to keep this guy’s number.

Then came the downer! Our youngest son is Autistic and is in the ASDprocess of being phased in full-time residential care. He had been going on a Monday, sleeping 11 nights in his own flat and then coming here for a weekend visit. They test him on a weekly basis for C19 and unfortunately, he tested positive. They let us know yesterday morning. It’s a mystery how he got it though. His care team haven’t tested positive and being Autistic he doesn’t socialise with anyone else in his unit, so who knows. He seems to be okay and not showing any symptoms, but they are keeping a close eye on him. All very distressing. He was supposed to be coming home next week to have dental surgery, but that’s all put on the back burner for now. Looks like he’ll be on ‘lock-down’ until the end of March. The amazing thing is that for a person, because of his condition doesn’t accept changes easily he seems to somehow understand what is going on. We are very proud of him.

On the upside though, my father-in-law received his 1st vaccine jab on Tuesday. Which was a great relief for everyone.

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Then this morning we awoke to this scene:IMG_20210114_104851004_HDR It was expected, but not the amount that we have. At the time of writing (12:15) there looks to be about 4″ to 5″ at least. It seems to be getting a bit lighter and may even turn to rain later in the day. Not sure when it started.  I had to get up for a drink of water at around 5:00 and there was nothing then, so it must have come down quickly after then.

A warning … maybe


I just had a new follower this morning:  “http://utraker.com/ZWvom&#8221;. As usual, I quickly went to the site to check out their content. However, the hyperlink redirects you to another site named:  “http://utraker.com/ZWvom&#8221;. Very odd I thought, but where the danger is, that my laptop showed this message:-Warning

An Anti-virus and Malware check is now running!

Not had the best of starts …


Firstly there was the new ‘lock-down’, which was not unexpected if a little late. Secondly, the dishwasher has packed in. We think it may be the pump but are waiting for someone to have a look. Then I had the sad news that a former colleague had died. DWP2Thankfully not the virus. Then we were hit with the snow, again not unexpected. The final kick in the nether regions came with the post yesterday. I got my “State Pension Invitation!” Another thing that was expected, but something I didn’t really think about too much. I do think it is a bit of a strange way of putting it, an “… invitation to get your State Pension“. An “invitation” to get something I’ve been working towards since 1971. Are they really expecting me to pass on it? 

Many people thing I have retired already. However, leaving the Council back in 2016, was actually a form of  Voluntary Redundancy. They called it the “Early Leavers Initiative” or ELI. It was basically redundancy with the ability to take a slightly reduced workplace pension early. Everything just fell into place at the time and with the rumours of compulsory redundancy in the air, it was the right thing to do … jump before I was pushed.

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Step ShawlI finally finished the piece of knitting I had been working on for the past two months. It’s called a “Step Shawl”, but it’s more like a neck warmer than a shawl. I used Aran yarn on 3.5mm straight needles. It got a bit tricky towards the end as I nearly had too many stitches and should have changed to circulars needles. I’ll know next time. I had started this pattern before using some 4ply and had managed to knit six ‘steps’ before it accidently fell off my lap, dropping four stitches which ran to the beginning of the piece. After advice from fellow knitters, I added a ‘life-line’ every couple of steps, just in case. I’m quite pleased with it, but I’ve no idea what to do next.

It’s not embarrassing … really


Bottle Bank2Well maybe, a little. I went to the bottle bank today. We do get through quite a few bottles, but the recycling bank is just around the corner so it makes sense to me to go every so often with a good load. I have a prepared statement for anyone who queries the amount, and that is that “… I collect them for others in the street … older ones who can’t get about …”. It seems to work, although if it is someone from our street … well I tend just to smile and comment on the weather.

It was quite tricky this morning though. The wet roads had frozen during the night, and then this morning we had rain, and this froze also. So it was a bit hairy getting the bottles to the car or should I say getting the car to the bottles. I was told many years ago that walking on frozen roads needs a unique style of walking. You need to walk as if your ankles are tied together, so that you take very small steps. My friend likened it to ” … walking like one of the three little maids in The Mikado …” I may look like a fool doing it, but it seems to work.

It was cold last night though. Our heating boiler is programmed to come on at 06:45, which just seems to warm the house nicely for us getting up between 07:30 and 08:00. This morning I awoke for some reason at around 04:00. It happens some nights,Frost and I’m putting it down to age. I turned over, but then heard the boiler kick in. Cursing, I went downstairs thinking that we had moved the timer on in the evening and the heating had not gone off. But the controller was showing that the heating was off. that meant that the ‘frost-stat’ over the boiler had triggered due to the cold. It does that so that the water in the boiler does not freeze. Doesn’t happen often.

Beyond belief …


Sometimes, things happen that are quite honestly “Beyond Belief.” Our youngest son sometimes proves that. R… is 28 and Autistic. We are gradually phasing him in to full time residential. At present he goes on Monday morning and returns 11 days later for a weekend visit. He gives us the impression that he really enjoys  his life there.

ppeHe has a regular care-team, his own flat and his own motorbility car. During the ‘lock-down’ he went on the 23rd March and did not return until 10th July. Then again he went on the 19th October and was not allowed home, under the rules until 11th December.

All this, he seemed to take in his stride. In fact, we were more stressed and traumatised than he seemed to be. His care team kept us well informed  and rang everyday to let us know what he had been up to and with a weekly FaceTime we just about got through it.

White-one.jpgNow the interesting thing is that his daily life there is different to here. He does things there that we could never even dream he would do. When he is here, his daily routine is to sit in his room, with his laptop and TV. He will come downstairs for his lunch, then goes back to his room and that is it. Occasionally he will come back downstairs and use my laptop for a while.

Whilst in his flat, and this is the thing that amazes us, he takes on household jobs. We have photos of him mopping his kitchen floor, cooking his dinner (usually beans or sausage rolls) loading the washing machine and various other tasks around the place.

He was able to come here for Christmas, although there were times when it looked impossible, but his care-manager and all the teams put enough precautions in place for it to happen, so on Christmas Eve he came home. He would have had to come here anyway as he has a hospital appointment on Tuesday at which his legal guardian (horrible phrase) has to be present.

Now, on Christmas morning, we witnessed first hand something Lichfield Cathedralthat completely amazed us both. In fact, I still cannot get my head around it. My wife and me were downstairs getting things ready, as you do when I that he hadn’t had his morning drink of milk. I took his cup upstairs.

There was some typical Christmas church music playing and I assumed that my wife had not turned the radio off. How wrong I was. Normally, he would have one of the children’s channels on his TV , and he would also have a children’s YouTube video playing on his laptop.

CanterburyNot today. The TV was turned down and he had on his laptop a video of a Christmas church service. This played for an hour and a half before he started another similar video. I later found out that the first one was the Christmas Eve service from Lichfield Cathedral from 2000 and the second one was the previous nights service from Canterbury Cathedral.

By lunchtime he was back to watching old episodes of The Telly Tubbies as if nothing had happened. He did used to go to the local church to see the Christmas service when he was a school, but how he made the decision to watch that kind of video at that particular times, amazed us both

A strange night


I quite often wake up early in the morning, for no reason at all. I’m thinking that I may not need as much sleep as I did when I was younger, but who knows. I try and clear my mind and think of a single thing and that usually gets me into ‘dozing mode.’

Last night, or I should say early this morning, I awoke. But something was quite different. I couldn’t think of anything. In fact, I could not remember anything. I tried to think about work colleagues nothing. I could not remember their names. I could picture their faces, but I didn’t seem to know who they were.

I attempted to think of things I enjoy. Reading, writing my favourite music. Nothing!

I changed tack again and tried to think about family. Not close family, but my sister-in-law and her husband. I could not think of their names. I was beginning to think I was asleep and dreaming. But then again, do you know when you are asleep? Do you know you are having a dream?

I got up and went to the bathroom just to convince myself that I was awake and not dreaming. I was definitely awake. Gradually my thoughts started to become more normal and I began to create ‘family trees’ in my head. Some names didn’t fit, but as time went on, it got better, and things started to fall into place.

I then drifted back off to sleep. It felt strange when I woke up, trying to recall what had gone on, and I’m not sure if anything did take place and it merely was just a dream.

It’s getting closer …


The big ‘Non-event of 2020‘ is getting ever closer and with comes the things you have forgotten, either on purpose or genuinely forgotten.

Christmas cards! Love them or hate, they are always there. Every year I make up my mind not to bother with cards except for family. But every year, the same thing happens. Someone gives you a card with that expectant look in their eye that says “Where’s mine?”

I’m still on furlough as we are still in tier 3, which means that the café can only open for take-aways. So a message came through last evening to that effect, that I wasn’t needed back yet. But also the boss mentioned that if I was in town sometime, I should pop by as there are many Christmas cards for me.

I groaned, as we no cards left and my plan to finally forget giving cards had been thwarted. Mrs Me said I should pop into the charity shop and get some cards from there, as they would not be any more expensive and would support a good cause.

I got back to the car with my chosen selection of festiveness and looked for something firm to rest on whilst I added our names to each card. I knew that I had a crossword book in the pocket behind the passenger seat and as I pulled the book out, a pack of charity Christmas cards came with it. I must have bought those last year and forgotten them.

After a few choice and not so Christmassy words, I wrote my seasonal message in each card. I only needed six, possibly seven cards at the most. All done taking great care not to lick the gummed part of the envelope, I made my way to my place of work wondering if my seven cards would be enough. I should not have worried. There were only two!

Getting silly now …


It’s actually more annoying than silly. For the past few months, I have been getting spam emails that advise me that my anti-virus suite has expired. It usually comes, supposedly from a well known on-line retailer on behalf of one of the large anti-virus (AV) companies. It’s not an issue to simply to click on the ‘junk mail’ button and send to offending mail to the deleted folder. No, the issue is the number of emails that are turning up every day.

Up to the current time (13:00) today, I have had 7 of these scams. All purport to come from an online supermarket, but the underlying email address is usually a random address that simply doesn’t exist. The image on the left shows the number of emails that I received in a 3 hour period, in just one address.

The thing that angers me most, is that the supposed AV company does not seem to be interested. Most other companies that I have dealt with, regarding spoof and phishing emails have (or appear to have) a dedicated address to which the offending mail can be forwarded to for investigation. This particular AV company only accepts the email if it has been added as an attachment. Not good enough. There is a huge amount of embedded information in an email that is not available if the mail is sent as an attachment.

The interesting thing (if you can call it interesting) is that I have never had a anti-virus subscription and definitely would never pay for one.

A little bit of Classic


Screenshot 2020-12-14 160100I recently had a brief (very brief) discussion with an ex-colleague, about using the Classic Block. I know when I post using Word as my editor, the post can be saved as draft and that when edited before final publishing, the post opens up in a Classic Block. But a ex-work colleague suggested that it is a bit of a halfway house between the Classic Editor and the Block Editor, and that I shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.

I had a short flirt with the Classic Block when it first Word-Processor.pngraised its head, but it was nothing serious and I deleted the post without publishing it. The main aim was to understand the idea behind it. I now understand a lot more and thought I would have a play around and see what mess I could come up with.

I have to admit, it seems a little better that the full Block business, Screenshot 2020-12-14 161255but there are a few little niggles that would help it on its way.  A way of being able to move an image around the post would be great. I don’t think it would be too difficult to include a Full Justification button, which would help when keeping your work to certain style. It would certainly be useful if the WEBP image format could be used. I’ve recently found that for many images WEBP comes in at about half the file size of a JPEG (or JPG). Helpful if you use larger images.

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Lastly … does anyone actually call the Block Editor,  “Gutenberg” ? Whenever I hear the word, I usually think about the internet book resource Project Gutenberg. Just a wondering.

Now I remember …


In an update to my last post, I remember why I stopped using Open Live Writer. It’s to do with images. For some reason, when the post is published in draft or final, the images in the post are added to the Media Library and duplicated. If you then amend the post for example to change the image size, the images get added again. So, you could end up, depending on the number of amendments with numerous images taking up valuable space. Deleting just one of the duplicated images results in the image not showing in the post. The image snapped from the Windows Store at the beginning of that post is duplicated eight times as I had to adjust the size a couple of times. Back to Word for now

Another blog editor … don’t bother !


Still looking around for another blog editor and I came across this on the Windows Windows Store Blog EditorStore. Very disappointing to say the least. I shouldWindows Store Blog Editor screen have taken more notice of ‘5 star’ rating by only one reviewer. It installed without any issues and found my site at the first attempt You can see from the screen shot on the right, that there is a sizable advertising banner at the bottom of the screen, which is very distracting.

The interface seems old Windows Store Blog Editor settingsand dated with very few options available. A quick look at the settings page is basically an advertisement for the ‘pro’ version which at £19.99 for a one year licence or £34.99 for a lifetime licence seems a little expensive for what it does. There is also aWindows Store Blog Editor post monthly update licence at £4.99, which seems a little pointless.

The actual writing area has very few features and the biggest problem I noted was that there was no facility to word-wrap text around an image, which I think is basic at the very least. The editing controls are limited, although it does have a full justification option .

Windows Store Blog Editor post controls1

Windows Store Blog Editor post controls2

Windows Store Blog Editor post controls 3

So after this post “Net Writer 2” will be consigned to the ‘Recycle Bin’.

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olwJust to be  awkward, this post was written with my old friend, Open Live Writer. I had completely forgotten it was still installed, so I thought I would give it another go. It still works quite well, and I’ll have to look back and see why I stopped using it. It has not updated since 2012, but still looks a half decent editor.



They think they nearly got me …


For some years now I have been an avid follower of a person on Instagram. It’s a person from Belgium whom I find interesting. Today I commented on a post that this person made as I have often done in the past. About an hour later, I got a message sent via Instagram saying ‘Hello’. There’s no harm in saying ‘Hello’ back I thought, but then asked who they were. Their response was to send me 2 pictures of the person I am following. I explained that I needed more information on who they were. The reply came back that I had commented on their latest post. I was still not convinced, and then alarm bells started to ring.

I decided to ask for proof of who they were. I asked them to reply to my original message on their main site. The person answered that they never send private messages from that account. They then asked me to ‘add them’ on WhatsApp and even provided their number. I Googled the number and it advised me that the mobile number was Canadian. Told them that the number was not a European number and they asked me for mine. By now the alarm bells were getting much louder.

I told them I needed more proof and that they should post a certain on their main account. Leave it for 10 minutes then delete it. They refused and began to get a bit defensive. This went on for a couple of messages back and forth. Finally, I asked them to follow me back on their main site. Another refusal. I was now convinced that they were not genuine and that they were a scammer. Not entirely sure what they were after, but I’m a bit too long in the tooth to get caught out.

Word Blog Post Test


This is my 2nd attempt at testing Word as a blog post editor. Unfortunately, the Blog template does not support tags. However, if the post is uploaded as draft and then edited, tags can be added then. It should be noted though, that post will open as a ‘Classic Block’ unless the Classic editor is used. Formatting seems to work fine, but as I found out recently, the font displayed depends on the font supported by the chosen WordPress theme. Also fully justified text is not available unless the ‘Paragraph’ option is selected. The classic ‘Shift +Alf + J’ does not appear to work in the template.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent eu sollicitudin tortor, in tincidunt dui. Morbi pharetra urna purus, at auctor nisl auctor nec. Sed vitae enim a turpis euismod efficitur. Phasellus enim mi, rhoncus sed ex a, viverra pharetra est. Nunc porta ullamcorper eros, scelerisque rutrum nisl tincidunt eget. Integer congue massa ac urna euismod vestibulum. Curabitur et lorem laoreet, pretium justo ac, porta massa. Aliquam tortor neque, rutrum in justo sit amet, rutrum mattis erat.

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Giving it another go …


I have this feeling that the Classic Editor my soon be on it’s way out.

Given that thought, I’m determined to have another crack at mastering this Block Editor. The issue I have is the formatting of images. I prefer to have my images either left or right aligned with the text wrapping justified at the side of the image. The only way that I have found to do this, is to insert the image before I start to write the accompanying text. This not the way I am used to. Often as I’m writing, I get the inspiration to add an image. I suppose, if I wish to use the Block Editor, I will have to think about images first.

Now, when you look at this post with it’s aligned random images, you can see another issue. The top of the images do not appear to align with the top of the text, which looks rather odd as you can see in the first image. .

Another issue is that there does not seem to be a way to remove the caption area from below the image. For most of my posts, the image is there to add a touch of personality to the post. I rarely need to add an attribution or a description of the image.

However, I’m beginning (slightly) to get to like parts of this editor. The posts do look reasonable on a tablet and a phone. I’m now wondering if there is any way to change the default font. I can see that there are a variety of font sizes available but not sure about font type. Need to do further digging.

Is it that important ?


I was driving back from picking up a parcel from Argos. The road is a single carriageway and whilst not like a switch-back, there are some tightish bends. The majority of the time, the speed limit it 50mph, but for a stretch of about 2 – 2½ miles, the limit is 40mph. Many people ignore this limit as you would expect. So I was motoring along in 50mph zone when I noticed in my mirror that an Audi was tailgating me. Honestly, he was that close, I could almost smell his aftershave. He kept moving nearer the centre of the road to try and pass, but the traffic on the other side was to busy. Of course, when drivers do that to me, I tend to slow down. So now I’m travelling at 42/43mph and I can see he is getting irritated as he now has to slow down. Soon we get to a stretch of road that is a long bend. It is not tight, and he sees his chance to get past. I’m now up to the correct speed, so he has to go at least 65mph to pass me. Which of course he does.

When you get to the end of the bend, and the road begins to straighten, there is a layby and that is where the mobile speed camera usually sits. Not every day, but most days. Today was one those days. A mile further up the road and my Audi friend is waived into the next layby by the waiting police patrol car. I tried not to laugh.

So is his journey so important that he has to drive in that manner?

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Over the past year or so, I have had the tendency to ‘follow back’ most who followed my blog. But it had got the stage where I was following over 200 sites. Many of these were commercial sites trying to sell me something and many hadn’t posted anything for some time. So this morning, before I went out, I sat down and went through all those that follow me and ‘un-followed’ anyone who had not posted for more than a month. There was one follower that had not posted since 2016! I have an idea that most will not even notice and the majority of those that do notice, will not care. I’m now down to a more reasonable 103.

So if you are one of the above, it’s nothing personal.

Bl**dy postal system … part 4


Friday (27th) Mrs H mentioned the problem to our local Postman. He said he would mention it to the Office Manager and he would look into it.  We received a phone call from him saying that the delivery in question may have been delivered further up the street and he would speak to the delivery driver on Monday and call us back.

Monday (30th) By early afternoon, we had our expected call, so Mrs H rang again. She was told that the office was closed for the day and someone would ring on Tuesday.

Tuesday (1st). Another phone call by Mrs H, only to be told that the manager was not in that day. It was beginning to sound like we were being fobbed off.

Wednesday (2nd). Our regular postman told us that he had had a look around the house where they think the parcel was delivered and could not see anything. He also mentioned that. the house was now empty. The “Denial of Receipt” form has now gone to the seller and we wait for their response. It is not looking too good.

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Latest: We just got a reply from the seller. They are now going to investigate with the courier, but have asked if we are looking for a “refund or a replacement”. Looking a bit better, but we are not holding our breath!

 

 

Bl**dy postal system … part 2 (and part 3)


Mrs H had ordered online, some bedding for the youngest. We had an email to say that it was on its way and gave us a tracking number. We gave it a couple of days, and on the 19th November, I set about trying to track where it was. It as easy to track, but the result was astonishing. The item had been delivered from the Canterbury Delivery Office. That is quite a distance to travel to deliver a parcel to a house in Yorkshire. A quick message to the seller and within an hour or so, we had a reply with the promise of an investigation and replacement. The replacement arrived two days later. Job done!

Fast forward to 26th November and another missing parcel. This time the tracking showed that it was delivered on the 23rd and signed for. I know for a fact that there was no delivery that day, as I was in all day. So we are now going through the process of discovering where the parcel has gone to. The local delivery office has identified that the parcel was delivered to ‘someone’ on our street, but cannot see the actual location. They have promised to investigate further and ring us back on Monday. To be honest, I cannot see us getting anywhere with this and may end up putting a claim against the Royal Mail. Meanwhile, we also in contact with the seller, who is not being as helpful as the earlier seller. All very annoying.

Everyone is doing one …


Well, it seems like it! One of my neighbours is doing one, and an old colleague has just finished his first! So I’m considering doing my own. The only issue I have is what would it be about? I mean they all seem to have a theme. By the way, I’m talking about “Podcasts.”

How difficult can it be? All I need is a microphone and a computer, in fact, I’m creating this post on a laptop that has a built-in microphone. Then there is my smartphone which can capture audio. I have a YouTube account that I can upload the Podcast to, so what is to stop me from broadcasting to the world? Well as I mentioned before “… what would it be about?“. What possible expertise or knowledge, do I have that people may find interesting to hear about.

Then, there is another option to consider. What about a Vlog? Possibly (definitely) a step too far.

Something to think about … maybe.

Still in the cave …


When you look at all the improvements and achievements over the years, you would be forgiven for thinking that we have progressed as a civilisation. But have we? I was watching Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, well more to the point Mrs was watching, I was enduring. One of the presenters (the loud male one – if you’ve watched, you’ll know who I mean) was interviewing another presenter who is currently appearing on the TV show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. He was commenting on her dancing when he came out with the phrase “You’re hot baby!” I sat and cringed, I mean this just shows how close to the cave some people still are.

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So, it’s back! Only it’s not in the jungle this time, it has been transported to a castle in Wales. That’s going to a lot for the tourist industry in this pandemic. The only good thing about “I’m A Celebrity That Everybody Has Forgotten/Didn’t Know/Didn’t Care About, Get me Out Of Here” is that it gives me the opportunity to watch some old classic movies. On Tuesday night, Mrs Me was watching that rubbish, whilst I watched “Brief Encounter” on my laptop. Who was the winner ?? Tonight, I have on my menu either “The African Queen” or maybe “Rebecca” with a possibility of the “The 39 Steps“. Decisions, decisions!

It’s the noise …


… or to be more accurate, the lack of noise that’s the unnerving thing. We live about 1/4 of a Motorway Fencingmile from the A1 motorway. In fact, from one of the front bedroom windows, you can see the tops of the trucks as they journey north and south. What we tend to hear during the night, is either a continuous roar or a loud humming, depending on the wind direction. When they upgraded this section, they put up fencing that should have acted like a baffle-board to cut down on the noise. Unfortunately, this fencing is about 1 foot too low, and as such the sound apparently just flows over the top!

We noticed it during the 1st “lock-down” that the sounds coming from the motorway were a lot less during the day and after about 10pm until around 8am there appeared to be no sound at all. It is the same this time, although there seemed to be more traffic during the day than the previous time.

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I had a bit of shopping to do yesterday. You know, just the essentials – beer, wine whiskey etc. I am still amazed at the number of people that do not wear their face coverings properly. I’ve seen people with just their mouth covered and even one who seemed to think that the virus spreads through their chin. It is simple enough, cover your nose and mouth. It’s uncomfortable, but we should be doing it. Although, you can see why some people don’t when senior politicians don’t wear it correctly! The image of Jeremy Corbyn leaving a building, with his nose uncovered makes a mockery of what everyone is supposed to be doing. All in this together?