Weekly Photo Challenge – Local


Search for Bramham on the Internet and is will usually tell you that it is in North Yorkshire. Well it did the last time I ran a search. It is actually on the border of West and North Yorkshire. But it’s where we call home.

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And the view from our window (sometimes)

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Almost a major disaster …..


You may be forgiven for thinking that some terrible had almost happened. Well for us, it probably was something terrible. For other, not so terrible. It all started at around in the very early hours of this morning. For some bizarre reason, and I’ll come to the bizarre bit later, I awoke and realised that electric radio/alarm was not working. The usual reason for this a regional power cut. Mrs H said I should set the alarm on my phone, so off I trotted downstairs to set it. It was only when I got to the bottom of the stairs that I realised that I had switched the stair light on and it worked. After a few moments of intense head scratching, it dawned on me that something (probably the alarm/radio) had blown a fuse and the circuit breaker had tripped. This was just about 4:35am.

I went to the garage, and had a look at the ‘fuse’ box, saw which one had tripped and tried to reset it. Nightmare !!!! It would not reset. Time after time I tried, but nothing. In the end I gave up and went back to bed, told Mrs H we would have to get an electrician to have a look, as I did not have a clue. We got up around 8:30 and I tried again. Still no success. Googled the problem and most of the responses came back as ‘call an electrician’ or find out which is the problem appliance. However, the disaster was approaching ….. R*** was starting to stir. His computer had shut down when the battery got to 5% and his TV and video was not working. For any other 21 year old, this would not be a problem and they would understand. But for a 21 year old Autistic lad, whose life revolves around his computer and video, it is a huge and potentially violent issue.

Mrs H quickly scanned the parish magazine and found the number of the electrician that literally lives around the corner. I explained the problem and cleverly, he asked me to send him a photo of the fuse box so he could see for himself what our set up was. He very quickly came back with the instructions of what I was to do. This involved unplugging everything on the circuit and trying the reset again. I did this and the problem still existed. He told me that if it did not work, he would come round, but it would be late afternoon

By this time R*** had awoke and was asking for his computer …. things were starting to get a little tense. It was then I realised, that the small fridge freezer appeared to be off. So I unplugged this and tried the reset …… hurrah it worked. However, as soon as I plugged the fridge freezer in it tripped again. We have it plugged into a 4 way trailing socket, I do not know what made me think of it, but I removed the 4 way and tried again. This time there was no reset. I went back into the house and began gingerly plugging everything back in. We were now up and running, the disaster had been averted and the 4 way trailing socket was safely in the bin. I rang the electrician back and told the outcome. Thanked him profusely and asked how much I owed. He told me I owed him nothing, and added, that if we ever needed any electrical jobs doing, just to give a call.

When you look at it, something really positive came out of all this. We now know an electrician that we feel we can use, confident that he is not going to rip us off. That is worth a lot and I think this guy knows that. For the price of a ten minute phone call, he has gained a prospective customer and to me that is very good business sense.

Now to come to the bizarre bit that I mentioned earlier. We discovered that the heating and hot water system utilises the same circuit, as that had stopped also. As I busy switching things off I noticed that the times clock had stopped at about 04:30. This was around the same time that I had originally woken up. It was almost as if, the power tripping had disturbed my sleep. Most unusual ….. bizarre in fact. Anyone care to explain?

At the risk of sounding ……


I hate Christmas!

     Now I suppose, I should justify that statement. I hate to use that tired old cliché, but I hate what Christmas has become. When I was a child, Christmas was at the end of December, and it lasted, at the most three days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. That was it! Santa had his Grotto in the main department stores, but not before the 1st of December and most people did not put up their decorations until around the 20th December. Some of the local shops did their decorations a bit earlier, but I don’t really remember them doing much.

     Of course, there was not the mass media hype that we have now. Television did not have the power it now has, so Christmas advertising was mainly driven by what we would call small, posters. Now we have Christmas from around the beginning of October, with all the pressures that it brings. It is a similar thing with bonfire night. It used to be Mischief Night on the 4th of November, when we would go around knocking on peoples doors or pinching wood from other bonfires. Sometime, the older ones would let off ‘bangers’ and then run away. Then there was bonfire night itself. The only night when fireworks could be legally set off. Now it starts at the end of October and mixes with Halloween (I refuse to call is ‘Trick or Treat’), then goes of until the weekend after bonfire night. It’s turned into ‘bonfire weekend’.

     But I digress. This rant is a Christmas rant. this is also the time of year, when charities feel obliged to try and wring more money out of us, by mentioning ‘Christmas Spirit’. I don’t have a problem with giving to charity and regularly do so. My problem is that you get inundated with them, and you cannot give to them all. That does not include the professional charity collectors. Chuggers, they are called. They are the ones that stop you in the high street, carrying their obligatory clipboard, to sign you up to give only £2.00 a week. With their usual mantra of ‘….it can do so much….’ they attempt to make you feel as guilty as possible so as to convince you that £5.00 will do so much more!

     Now, we are in the midst of the worst austerity measures in  British history, with Local Authorities being forced to strip millions from their budgets. Yet they are still expected to spend many thousands of pounds on Christmas Illuminations and the ‘C’ lest celebrities to switch them on.

     To cap it all, when it’s all over, it will be only four months to Easter!