R**s was home on Friday for the weekend. We spent most of the day waiting for storm Eunice to start, and when it did, it wasn’t as bad as we had been led to believe. Well not for us anyway. Then at around 17:45, we got a power cut. I had been expecting one all day and I thought we had got away with it. The problem was that everything went down. R**s did not understand this and he became more and more stressed. We were off-grid for only 30 or 40 minutes but it seemed a lot longer. As the power cut continued, we realised that we needed to calm R**s down and opted to give him his PRN medication. He has not had any for quite a long time, but it seemed to work.
Suddenly everything began to work again. Lights came on, the wi-fi router fired up, the burglar alarm sounded and everything was back to normal. Or so we thought. It became obvious that there was something amiss with R**s’s television. There was no signal. He has a secondary Sky receiver and the TV was showing a graphic that said “No Signal”. K**h thought it may be the satellite dish, but it was working downstairs. after a great deal of ‘Googling’, we came up with the idea that his box may need to be reset. This was not as easy as the Googlites were explaining. We seemed to have buttons and switches missing.
Then, for no reason whatsoever I selected the ‘Source’ button on the TV handset and instantly realised what had happened. The power cut had reset the input to its default Composite AV. To view from the Sky receiver it needed to be changed to HDMI. Once this was done, everything was back to ‘normal’. I should have remembered this from when we had the problem a couple of years ago. We now just had to reset all the clocks, timers in the house that do not have a battery back-up, of which there are many!
The next morning all seemed okay. His computer was working and so was the Sky receiver. I quickly nipped out to the bottle bank and came back to hear that his DVD player was not playing correctly. Or more correctly wasn’t displaying correctly. I immediately checked the ‘source’ which was correct, but quickly realised that it must be the SCART cable that had worked loose whilst I was trying to reset the Sky receiver. After a few minutes of juggling about and we had ‘lift off’. Everything back to what we call ‘normal’ again.
Some people are really quite lazy. I had to take some bottles to the recycling bank in the village. The banks are about 300 yards away from the house so for me I have to use the car and I usually combine the trip with a visit to some local shops. I set off and as I approached the main road, a car reversed out of a drive at the end of our road. I stopped to allow him to get out and he waved a thankyou. He turned onto the main road and sped off quickly reaching 30mph (in a 20mph zone) before turning into the bottle bank site. He was out of the car, lighting a cigarette when I pulled up. He opened his car boot, took out 2 small glass Coke bottles and dropped them into the recycle bin. He climbed back into his car and sped of back the way he came. As I passed the end of my road on the way to the Post Office, I saw his car parked back in his drive. Considering that the recycle area is only about 100 yards from the end of our road, I thought it was amazing that he drove there.
We had some hopeful news yesterday. Our youngest son, who is in lockdown at his residential care place my be able to come for a ‘home visit’ from 22nd of February. I say hopefully, as it all depends on there being no more Covid-19 outbreaks. All the residents and staff will have had there vaccinations by then so it is quite possible. However I’m not that optimistic. Things like this have a knack of “coming up behind you and smacking the back of your head“, which was a phrase my ex-manager used to say. But we shall wait and see and keep everything crossed.
Looking like we are heading for a good week of snow and cold winds again. It is also looking like it might be a lot worse than last time. We are told that is very cold wind coming in from Northern Europe which will prevent the fast thaw we had before. Although the weather forecast seems to depend on which television/radio/app that you use. It also depends on what time of day you check the forecast. I have doubts on the accuracy of the outlooks sometimes. I’m sure the forecast on my phone app has changed more than once in the past couple of days.
Well 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, 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.
A strange question you may ask, but bear with me. At the end of the village, there are two bottle banks. The City Council is responsible for emptying them and I would say they do a satisfactory job for most of the time. The problem arises when the banks get full. People want to ‘do their bit’ but are not prepared to come back another day, if the banks are full. They just leave them at the side of the banks, in the vain hope that when they get emptied, the contractor will put their bottles in for them. At best, they just get smashed by kids, as behind the bottle bank, is an area that some kids tend to use as a den. It is about three metre square and has a hedge, backing onto a field, which is how the kids get in. It is an ideal place for them to drink their cheap cider and smoke whatever they are smoking these days. Basically get involved in anti-social behaviour.
Now, how does the Council overcome this. Do they make sure the kids cannot get to the back of the bottle banks? Do they ask the Police to patrol more in that area? Do they write to the parents, telling them what some kids are getting up to. None of those, and this is where my post title comes in. The Council has put a sign up advising everyone that CCTV is in operation !! Well, you might say, that would be a deterrent. It would, if there was a CCTV camera in place. As it is, there is nowhere to put a camera. What would it show? All it would show, is people putting bottles into a bottle bank. As the kids get into their ‘den’ from the field behind, it would not pick them up. So, is a lie a deterrent ? Not in my book is isn’t.
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