Scary times …


That has to be the scariest 30 seconds for years.

K**h has a Mini Cooper Countryman car. She has had it since 2016 and loves it. Last week, CarSaturday to be precise I noticed a chip and a crack in the windscreen. It was very low down on the driver side and it was only by accident that I saw it. She phoned the Insurance explained and they said the price taking into account the excess and arranged for the replacement to be done today. She is at my son and his partners house today and left me in charge for when A**ogl**s turn up.. He arrived just before 11:00 and the first thing he told me was that the car needed to be turned around.

Arghhh

The problem is … I have never driven this car … ever. I tried when she got it, but I was not comfortable and found it very i10 Classisdifficult to actually see where I was driving. As a result, I simply haven’t attempted to drive it. So when the engineer said I had to turn it around, I nearly died. My car is a small Hyundai i10 which I have no issue with at all, but these days driving anything else scares me. But … I did it … I managed to reverse it out of the drive, drive it into the small parking area and then reverse park it. All in all it was about 20 yards in total but it was the scariest 20 yards/30 seconds in years.

So am I more confident in driving the Mini? Possibly. Will I drive it again? Maybe. Did I enjoy driving it? No.

Some people …


I normally park my car in the small parking area across the road from the house. We have a drive and a garage, but like many garages it’s more of a storage area than a place to park a car. So K*** parks her car on the drive and I use the parking area. K*** is out today so the drive is empty. I had a bit of shopping to do and on days like this, I would tend to park on the drive, just unload the shopping.

As I approached our house, I noticed a car parked on the road, but directly across the drive. So I i10 Classisparked in my usual place and got out of the car. I was a bit bemused as to who this mystery caller was so I tapped on the driver side window. The lady wound the glass down and I asked “Can I help you?” To my surprise, her reply was “No, it’s okay, I’m just waiting for a phone call.” A little taken aback, I asked her “Could you please wait somewhere else?” Before I could explain that wanted to use the drive she came back with “I’m not going to be long, and there are no parking restrictions so I can park where I like!” Now I worked in the Parking industry for over twenty years, so I do know a fair bit about the rules and regulations. I politely explained that as there was a dropped kerb on both sides of the road, it was technically an unmarked crossing area and technically  she was breaking the law. She then muttered something about me being childish and proceeded to drive further down the road. Amazingly, her next parking spot was directly opposite a junction. Thankfully she must have received her important call because after a few minutes, she drove off. Strange person.

Road Bullies


This is going to be a bit of a rant, so if you’re not interested then look away now!

I have a small car. It’s a Hyundai i10 Classic. It has a small engine (1000cc) but it is ideal for short to medium journeys, which is all I do these days. Top speed is 85 miles an hour and that is with the wind behind me. I tend to mostly not exceed the speed limits when driving, but sometimes  I drift over slightly. So it really annoys me when big cars pass me by exceeding the limit. Today was no exception. The road was a single carriage way, with the National Speed Limit (60mph for those not familiar with UK speed limits) and I was motoring along at around 50 – 53 mph. The reason being was that it was a mainly twisty road with many sharp bends. Now I remember my driving instructor telling me that I “… must drive to the conditions of the road …” which basically means that on roads like the one I was on, the 60mph limit is an aspiration not a mandatory fact.

To get to the point, still driving at around 50mph, I had in my rear mirror a large passenger vehicle. A discovery I think, but he was that close to me, that if I had to brake hard he would have completely written my small machine off. He was that close, that I could tell where the sandwich he had on his dashboard, was purchased. He kept pulling towards the centre of the lane as if to pass, then dropping back as he realised there was not enough room. Eventually, he did pass and pull in front of me, only to maintain the same speed as before due to the vehicles in front do the same speed I was doing.

What he was basically trying to tell me and anyone else is that, as he had a bigger, more expensive car then he ought to be in front of the cheaper, smaller car(s). I call that a form of Bullying. It is the same as when you were in the dinner queue at school and the bigger, older kids pushed in front of you. Bullying!

Rant over.

Pet hates and things …


You may have seen the TV programme “Room 101” whereby so called celebrities talk about their pet hates. I got to thinking about my own pet hates and thought I might share some of them with you. So in no particular order:

People with little or no spacial awareness.You know the type I mean. People who are so wrapped up in their own space, that they forget that the rest of the world exists. There was a few examples yesterday like the man rummaging around in the charity shops with a large rucksack on his back. Bumped me twice and nearly knocked a china tea service of one of the display cabinets. Just didn’t seem to care! Then there was the two shoppers at the supermarket entrance. One had full trolley and the other had an empty one. They stood there chatting whilst at the same time blocking the entrance to the shop. Other shoppers were struggling to get in or out as this pair just would not shift. I had the same experience when a person stopped at the top of the escalator to answer their phone. The rest of us could just get past, but it could have been dangerous.

Parents who let their offspring take toys to the shops. Now this really does wind me up. I can understand a Stupid Shoesyoung girl taking her dolls pram round the shop. That might be a learning opportunity, but I don’t see there is a need for a child to take his scooter, or worse a bicycle around the local supermarket. Then there are the kids wearing those shoes/boots that have a wheel embedded in the sole. Roller shoes I believe they are called. Why wear them to shop in? In fact, what is the [point of them. I’ve even saw a wandering around with a football whilst the parent was Googling which wine to buy.

Inconsiderate parking. Especially those with large vehicles that park at the side of my small one. When I parked yesterday, there was nothing at either side of me. When I returned about an hour later there was a huge Range Rover to the left and what seemed a very long Volvo to the right. I just could not see to reverse out. Then there was the car that parked on the exit road from the bus-station in Wetherby. He was on a double yellow line, with his flashers on and the driver had just nipped into one of the local shops. What they didn’t seem to understand was that the parking restriction is there so that the busses can get out easily. Then there are the idiots who stop on blind bends just to answer their mobiles. Okay don’t answer whilst driving, but find a safe place to stop. Safe for you and for the rest of the road users.

To all of you, just think of what your actions are causing for other people

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I’m tempted by one of these. This particular one is only around £6 or £7 from eBay and I’m trying to convince myself that I need one. My car doesn’t have the facility but I think it may be a good idea. K***s initial reaction was to laugh and then laugh some more! You see, I don’t use my Hands Freephone that much to make calls, and not many people seem to want to call me. Everyone seems to want to use text, Facebook Messenger and now WhatsApp. I tend to only answer calls if I know the number. I’ve had some many calls in the past where the caller either hangs up without speaking or they try sell me something. My idea is that , if it is important, then they will either leave a message or call back and they never do. To prove my point, the last time I answered an unknown number, I was advised “… the chances of successfully win my damages claim was around 95% …” I had no damages claim. It was a scammer. I let them go on for a few moments and they described my recent motor accident (which I have not had). It was when explained that all I needed to do was log onto a certain website and the $1,000,000 (dollars not pounds) would soon be in my account, that I decided to hang up. I blacklisted the number along with all the previous ones, after looking up the number on one of those “Who Called Me ..” websites.

Now this is annoying …


For over 20 years I worked in a Local Authority parking department, so I know a great deal about the issues surrounding IMAG0658parking in this country. It’s scenes like this that I find very annoying. Anyone who drives knows that there is a finite limit to the number of available parking spaces. It can be very frustrating to drive around a car-park looking for that elusive space, when you come across something like this. Now I know there is another free bay behind the bike, but that had just been vacated by another vehicle and was occupied a few minutes later. On this particular occasion, it was a Saturday and not a problem, but this car-park has no limit on the length of stay, so that bike could be there all day. During the week, things are different and the car-park is always full (it is close to a doctors surgery and health centre.) I find myself asking the question ‘Why?’ Why does the bike have to take up a full parking bay? There are plenty of places in the car-park where a bike could fit without a problem. It may be me, but it just seems a little selfish for a vehicle of that width to take up a space, that may be needed by a larger vehicle. Is it just me?

Some good, some not so …


I took the car in for service and MOT on Friday. All passed without any problems. Tyres might need a check before Christmas but other than that, all was goo. Eldest lads car went in at same time. His, not so good! He needs new tyres again. That will be the second lot in three years. Driving style, road quality and luck are the most likely culprits,or so the service department said.

As I was off for the full day, K*** thought it would be a good time to go into York whilst we waited. So we did the ‘Park & Ride’ which was a first for us. The garage dropped us off and promised to pick us up and it cost £2.80 each for a return ticket. A bargain, I thought.

We had a nice lunch, and then did a tour of the shops. That is were the ‘not so good’ came in for me. I’m still looking for a couple of pairs of lounge/jogging pants (mainly lounge as opposed to jogging) and we started to look in the obvious sports type shops. Ridiculously expensive for both the brand names and the unknown and nothing in my size. I was now starting to get a bit fed up. We then went into one of the major well know high street stores. I won’t ‘name and shame’ because they are all the same really. Found a pair that were exactly my size, and I totted off into the changing rooms to try them on. As usual, the size on the label bore no resemblance to real life. I asked the assistant if there was a manger available and I explained to her the problem. You see I have an inside leg measurement of 29”. The pants I picked up said they were a 29” leg. I asked if she would measure the pants. She reluctantly agreed and to her amazement they actually measured 34”. Apologies followed and she went looking for more styles. Five more 29” pants were measured, with the sizes ranging for 31” to an amazing 36”. To make those fit, I would need armholes instead of a waist band. This size problem seems to be an issue in many stores, and I’m of the opinion that the leg size is just an estimate or possibly an opinion.

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Well today is Bank Holiday Monday or as it is now called the Bank Holiday Weekend. In fact Bank Holiday now start around 15:30 on the Thursday before and lasts to around 08:00 Tuesday morning!

This weekend saw the annual Leeds music festival, more commonly known as “Leeds Fest”. It’s held in Bramham Park, which is literally just over the road from where we live in Bramham village. Apart from the traffic disruption as thousands of people descend on the park, it has little effect in my opinion. There is the noise issue, but if the wind is in the right direction we hear very little. We hear more noise from the A1 (the road I mentioned earlier) which seems to have a continuous drone with the amount of traffic.

Because of the location, Bramham is allocated a number of weekend VIP tickets and residents can take up the tickets with a donation to the various causes in Bramham. These tickets are at a extremely discounted price and go very quickly.

I’ve been the festival twice, in previous years and seen fantastic acts such as Sea Sick Steve, Madness and the first year I went, Ed Sheeran was a new and upcoming musician.

The line-up this year was not to my particular taste, and there was no-one I was particularly interested in watching. Maybe next year.

Having a moan and other things …


I’ve not posted for over a week now. I suppose it’s a combination of laziness and wanting to write a more substantial post. I did try, some time ago, to post every day. I think it lasted just over a week, before I began to struggle to say anything at all. So that fell by the wayside and I returned back to simply writing when I felt up to it and had something I wanted to say.

Now that’s out of the way, it’s back to the moans and groans.

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We, that’s me and K*** had a great day out on Tuesday to Beningbrough Hall. We walked round the gardens, which were really beautiful. We then toured the hall which was extremely enjoyable. Where does the ‘moan’ come in you may ask? Well Beningbrough, as the above link shows is an estate owned and managed by the National Trust. A fine example of a house and gardens of it’s time and a great educational place to for all to visit. So why do some parents (and I counted at least five families) think it is a great idea for their ‘children’ to take a football with them? It’s a piece of important history not a sports field! If you want to kick a ball around, then there are plenty of of open parkland in this country to do just that!

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After our visit, we had a look around one of the large shopping parks in the area. Now I get a little upset with some of the shops and I have mentioned before the issue of clothing sizes, so I’m not going to visit that again. No, my ‘moan’ this time is the price of razors! We needed to get some for R*** to take on respite as we had been told he was getting low. K*** was buying some kind of cosmetic stuff and I was charged with picking the razors. It never fails to amaze me at the price of these things. But what amazes me more, is when they are sold on ‘special offer’. I saw one pack that had the razor handle and six individual ‘multi-blades’ priced at the special offer price of £30.99! What really annoyed me was that at the side of this offer price was the words ‘Worth £45.99’. Who says that these are worth what they say they’re worth? Is it some kind of expert retail gurus? Or is it simply the manufacturers that are just trying to con us? I feel that it could be the latter.

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I made a start on clearing out the garage on Saturday. When I say ‘made a start’ I mean just that. For the past few years, the garage has been a dumping ground for everything and anything that we/I/she felt might come in useful at some point. But it’s come to the point where even I have trouble getting in and out of the place. So something had to be done. I was going to the opticians and the local authority tip is én route, so thought I would kill two birds with one stone. Well I think I must have had a chip in my windscreen, and the numerous speed humps on the one of the roads must have exasperated this, because when I got home, I noticed I had a small crack in said windscreen. Not very happy that I have a £60.00 excess to pay to get it fixed, but even more unhappy, that it cannot be fixed until Wednesday at the earliest.

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On a more positive note, my early retirement figures came through on Friday. They are looking like I expected, and I am going to take up the offer. My intention is to finish at the end of October, but ‘they’ have sort of thrown spanner in the works, so to speak. The figures from the pension company provide me an annual pension and a lump sum. But ‘spanner’ is that they have also offered to increase the lump sum, if I take a lower annual pension! So what do I do? K*** doesn’t know what would be best and I think I know, but cannot be sure. I’m going to give the figures to K***s father to look at, to see if he could advise. It is a bit of a quandary, but at least I don’t need to make that decision first. That can be decided at a later date, but it’s still a puzzle.