From then to now … onwards and upwards


The early 1980’s saw a few major changes in the kitchen where I was now working. The Kitchen Manager (or Kitchen Superintendent to give him his official title) retired. In the past, the job would have gone to the then Head Cook. There would have been the usual interviews, but he would have got the job. This time it was different. This time, he claimed that he had no interest, but the rumour had it, that he had been ‘advised’ that he was too old.

We had at the time, three Assistant Head Cooks; A**n, S***e and D**e, and to everyone’s surprise, A**n got the top job. This caused a lot of upset in the kitchen as although he was a capable cook, he was not a good manager. He had very few people skills and was basically not really liked. Within 6 months, the other two Assistant Heads (A**n was not replaced) were looking for other positions.

It was around this time that the local bus company, which was still in the public sector, announced a recruitment campaign. Partly as a response to the increase in passengers after the energy crises of the 1970’s, Leeds City Transport decided they needed new drivers. As a result, D**e applied to be a driver and was successful. S***e on the other hand found a job at sea, as a cook.

After a few months, A**n suddenly announced that he had another job and was leaving. Because he still had his four weeks annual leave, he left that same day, taking his leave as notice. Nobody knew why he suddenly left, although there were a few rumours that he had been fired, but none of them were ever proven. But it was time to panic.

The Catering Manager was now looking for two Assistant Heads and a Kitchen Super. It was expected that I would apply for the Assistant Head and of course I did and after a rather difficult interview (the original Catering Manager that hired me had now left and the new one had a different approach) I got the job. For a short while, it was just me and the Head Cook who still was refusing to apply for the Super’s job. After about three/four weeks, the Catering Manager informed the whole kitchen, that a new Assistant Head and a new Kitchen Super had been found and they both would be starting the following Monday. We were to make them welcome as they had never worked in a Hospital kitchen before!

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.

One Week On


It has been a long week! This was the week when R*** was going to have his first sleep at his new placement (let’s call it college). On Tuesday, the staff took him to visit the place where was going to sleep, just for a look round and to help him familiarise himself with the place. They said he seemed interested (whatever that means for R***.) Then on Wednesday, he stayed later, and had his tea there, again familiarisation. The staff it went really well, once he had accepted that he was having his tea there, and then going home. Thursday was the big one. First of all, he had an appointment at the doctors,and it was a bit of a surprise, that he, and K*** were given their flu jabs. Then he was told, that he was having ‘one sleep, then R***’s house’. I understand that it was not as bad as was expected. K*** got lots of phone reports from the college, to reassure us that he was fine. A little confused at the start of the evening, but apparently settled well. Friday morning, he was nattering to come home, and as an afterthought, maybe we should have told him ‘one sleep, college then R***’s house’. To cap it all, on the way home on Friday, an accident shut the Motorway, which meant he was nearly an hour late getting home. His taxi driver and escort said he had been fine, just a little loud. Touch wood, the weekend is going okay.

         The work in the kitchen is just about done. Just a few little bits to sort out, but that has been a trial too this week. The new fridge/freezer arrived on the previous Friday. K*** had paid to have it installed, which basically involved the delivery people, taking it off the van, putting it in the kitchen and plugging it in. This was never going to be simple !!!!! The first thing we were told, by the driver, was that ‘It’s not going to fit up the steps!’ K*** told them that the gap had been measured, and it would. Then we were told that ’We can’t turn it through the kitchen door!’ We ended up having to get them to put it in the garage. K*** called D*** (the handyman) and explained what had happened, and he said he would come round on Monday, and have a look what could be done.

          The day arrived, and D***, Me, S**** and K**** (the next door neighbour) stood around for about ten minutes, scratching our collective heads, before getting started. The wallThen it was a bit like that old Bernard Cribbens song ‘Right Said Fred’. Got half way up the steps, then D*** realised that half the gatepost had to come off. Bit further, then a fence panel The fridgehad to go. Eventually, after a great deal of manly huffing and grunting we managed to get it up to the door. The next thing was to lift it onto the side wall, turn it then swing the bottom in through the doorway (door had been removed before starting). The grunting and huffing had increased tenfold, by this time. Still, it went in a lot easier than we were led to expect. D*** replaced everything he had removed and went off, leaving K*** to admire her new kitchen. He came back on the Tuesday and did a bit more work, so that it actually fitted in the space left by the cupboard, but all is serene now. Just waiting for K***s next project with bated breath.

Top 10 Driving hates


I enjoy driving, and consider myself an average driver. I’m not the best driver in the world and certainly not the worst, so the word ‘average’ is probably the best description I can offer. Like most people I hate the way some other motorists drive, and I would like to share my Top Ten moans.

  1. Drivers who will not move out of lane one, on the motorway, when I am trying to join;
  2. Those who move into lane one when approaching  the joining lane of the motorway;
  3. Drivers who drive in lane two or three under the speed limit, when lane one and two are free;
  4. Heavy goods vehicle drivers, who wait until they get to an incline and then try to overtake, usually going at the same speed as the vehicle they are trying to overtake;
  5. Drivers who pass you, then pull in front of you and immediately slow down;
  6. Vehicles that have ‘Baby on Board’ signs in the back of their car, but don’t have a baby on board;
  7. Non Volvo drivers that have their headlights on all the time – just buy a Volvo !!!!!;
  8. Vehicles that have a faulty headlight and use full beam to compensate;
  9. Drivers that have their front fog lights on when it’s not foggy;
    and finally
  10. Drivers of grey vehicles, who drive on grey roads on grey days with no lights on.

Theses are in no particular order, because they should all be at number one, depending on the circumstances. I do have a lot more driving hates, but the list would go on forever.

What are yours?