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.
moaning talking about driving. Not Formula 1, Moto-Cross or one of the myriad of other motor sports, I just mean everyday driving. Commuting to work, taking the kids to school or the weekly shopping expedition. I would like one of those cars that do not have to obey the legitimate speed limit. I don’t mean the emergency vehicles, no the ones I’m ranting ‘talking’ about are those cars whose driver seem to think that because their car is bigger and more expensive than mine, they should be in front of me. They tailgate so close, just waiting for the opportunity to overtake. Half the time, I will end up catching them when they get to the next traffic lights or junction. Are these people so important that they have to always be the first in the line. I tend to liken it to bullying “Get out of my way, I’m better than you!”
Then there are the ones that have not adjusted their headlights to the correct angle. They always look like they are using full beam. It can be really dazzleng when they go over a speed hump. While I’m on the side-subject of speed humps, why do some people like to speed-up between humps? I may have
griped mentioned about this before, but there seem to be an increasing number of drivers that have an aversion to switching their lights on when it is raining. It can be so difficult to see a dark grey Volvo on a dark grey tarmacked when the light is poor and the rain in falling. Just because they can see others does not mean the opposite is true.
But a vehicle I would like to drive, is one of those vehicle that have the ‘Highway Maintenance’ sign on the back of their vehicle. I’ve seen the sign on the back of small vans, flatbeds, transit vans and even a few cars. I may be totally wrong about them, but most of them seem to be the worse for wear and look like they have not seen a MOT test in years. Most seem to have no regard for the rules of the road and drive like complete idiots (my opinion). They also appear to be able park anywhere they like, regardless of the danger to other road users.
Now the above does not apply to all the users mentioned, but it does in my opinion, apply to a great number of them.
So that’s motorists out of the way and I
spouted talked about cyclists some time ago, so my next road diatribe discussion may be pedestrians. Possibly the most dangerous aspect of the outdoors experience.
There have been a few things that have irritated me this past week or so I’m having a bit of a mild rant today.
First up is driving in the rain. It’s not the driving that’s the problem, it’s other drivers. Not all, but many are guilty of the thing I’m moaning about. Picture this …driving along a grey road, on a grey rainy day and being closely followed by a grey car. Not so bad you may think. But he/she has no headlights on! Not even side lights! On the particular day in question, I counted three cars, two vans and a mini-bus with no lights on and that was in a one mile stretch of road. Incredulous. Do these people not know what the two functions of lights are … see and be seen. My driving instructor said that I should only put on my lights when they are needed. That was to ensure that lights were not left on accidently. But really, these days cars lights go off automatically when you lock the door, so leaving them on is not a problem. Even my little i10 turns the lights off for me.
Next up is those form you get through the post that have all your personal details already completed. Now I’m not talking about your name and address on the cover letter, that’s unavoidable, no It’s all those little boxes on the various pages that have all your details filled in. Quite often they are from banks or insurance companies and will have your details in two or three places. I reluctantly agree, that they can save you a little time when you fill the form in, but it is very annoying when you are not interested and have to spend time shredding every page. I once received a credit card application form (not requested) that had a total of 12 pages. My name and address were on both sides of six of these pages and on one side of another two pages. Fourteen different occurrences of the same details. The shredder nearly gave in!
This may be a strange one to some. It’s magazines! Or more to the point, magazine classifications. This is online and in shops. I’m currently in communication (ha…still waiting for a reply) with a magazine subscription reseller with regards to how they classify their sales. I had better explain where I am coming from. I’m a knitter. I’ve been a knitter for over 50 years on and off and I’m quite used to the double take when I mention this. Now this reseller (not going to mention the name as my complaint is still on-going) has on their website a large number of magazines available for subscription. These magazines are listed in categories such as “Leisure Interests”, “Hobbies & Pastimes” and a few more. The thing that has caused this particular ‘chunter’ are the magazines that are listed in a classification called “Women’s Interests” and “Male Interests”. The Women’s list has magazines on sewing, crafting, the usual Woman’s Own type and all of the ‘chat’ types. The Men’s list has car magazines, motorbike magazines, so called ‘lad’s mags’ and heavy metal music magazines. Most of both lists are in other classifications, but it seems to me to be wrong in these times to have separate classifications for men and women. Just an opinion.
About six months ago, I was preparing our Sunday meal when I had an idea. We were having tray bake (we don’t do traditional Sunday lunch type food) which was basically roughly chopped peppers, courgettes, onions with new potatoes and chicken thighs all mixed with olive oil and crushed garlic. I’ve got a picture somewhere but not sure where. Anyway, to the point. I was just about to throw the bit of the pepper that you don’t use, in the bin when I wondered if the seeds would grow. I’ve never had much luck with growing stuff from seed, but I thought I had nothing to lose. Within a week, the seeds had started to grow, and within a month I had nine small plants. Now six months on I have nine larger plants, with flowers and the first showing of some peppers. This has totally amazed me as I never even thought he seeds would grow. We shall see what we will get.
Today is the first day of the 2018 “Leeds Festival” or as it is known locally “Leeds Fest”. It is one of the large music festivals that happen over the year and it runs at the same time as the “Reading Festival”. Both have the same acts over three days. Leeds is held at Bramham Park, which is extremely close to where we live. I have been back in 2011 and 2012 as local residents are allowed to purchase concessionary for the whole three days as part of a compensation pack. What happens is that the organisers donate a number of tickets to the parish council of Bramham, Clifford and Thorner (who are the most affected) and they sell them to the residents at a vastly discounted price. I think this year, the tickets were in the region of £40.00 for the three days in what is called the Guest Area, which is a much better camp-site then the general public get. So we get a few days of traffic disruption, a bit of disturbance during the night from the music and the local area gets some extra funding. As mentioned, I did got to the 2011 festival, and have great memories of dancing to Madness and seeing Ed Sheeran as an up and coming newcomer. There is a YouTube video of a band called “Bring Me The Horizon” or BMTH, finishing their set with a massive ‘circle pit’. The sound is pretty bad but, I can say that I was in the midst of it and it was as scary as it looks. From what I can remember, I was towards the bottom right when you look at the video. The guy next to me, at the time said I was in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ and advised me that the safest thing to do was to run !! K*** says that it would kill me if I did it now … it nearly killed me then!
I had a ticket for 2012, but the weather was very wet, and I was not that desperate to see many of the bands so I gave most of them a miss. Although I did get to see Foo Fighters, The Cure and Florence And The Machine, so not all that bad.
And now, in time honoured fashion for ‘Leeds Fest’ … it’s raining !
Well, the weather has not been as bad here as was forecasted. We had a bit of snow first thing yesterday morning, but it had gone within an hour or so. This morning there was more, but most of that has gone now. We keep getting the odd 10 minute shower, but we’ve had nothing like what seems to have been happening in other places. Looks like we might be in for another shower in the next hour (15:00 now). Some rather ominous grey clouds seem to be drifting in from the North East.
Now although, our weather has not been bad, in the five mile drive between here and Wetherby this morning, I did run into quite a heavy shower of snow, which needed the wipers on at double speed to clear the windscreen. Bearing that in mind, you would think that motorists would drive with a little more caution than usual. Not here they don’t. The road, a single carriageway, has the national speed limit along most of the route, only dropping to 40mph as you approach the roundabouts. This speed limit appears not to apply to some drivers. On the longest straight stretch, I was overtaken by two cars going at least 70mph and probably more. I have no idea why they need to go at that speed at all, especially as when I got to the roundabout, they were still waiting move on! I joke with K*** that it is ’… because their cars are bigger and more expensive than mine, that they in front of mine …’ but it could be true.
It’s 15:20 and those grey clouds have delivered. It’s gone from sunny to heavy snow. But now, only 5 minutes later and it’s stopped again! It was heavy enough to give a covering to the car though. Its strange, because the sun is coming out now and the sky is once again blue. It’s very confusing to an old ditherer like me. Still, the youngest lad will be in his element. He loves watching it snow. He’ll flit from room to room, looking out of the windows, just to make sure that it is snowing everywhere. It can be so funny to watch him at times like this. He should horse-riding today but I wonder if he has gone. It is one of his favourite activities, but he hates getting rain on his face so we are hoping that it will be different with the snow. You can never tell.
This is that time of the year, when the Leeds and Reading Festival takes place. These are two of the largest music festivals in the UK, and take place simultaneous over Friday to Sunday. There are usually the same acts appearing at both sites over the three days. I was going to link to festival, but know of old that these links often simply disappear, so I’m going to make do with a couple of images. We live quite close to the site, so we get all the traffic and noise issues. Happily, the organisers seem to have got the traffic problems under control this year, as there has not (yet) been a repeat of the 5 hour tail-backs on some of the approach roads. The noise? Well it all depend on the wind direction. If the wind is in a certain direction, we do get the continuous hum from the motorway so when that happens we do get some of the festival noise, but it’s not been loud enough to notice.
I have been before, back in 2011. The Parish Council of Bramham and Thorner are allocated a number of free ‘Guest’ tickets. These ‘sweetener tickets’ are then sold to genuine residents at an extremely discounted rate, with the funds going to local projects. Every year since 2011, I’ve thought about going again, but at the last minute, I back down. I don’t think K*** would enjoy it and I wouldn’t want to go on my own. But who knows how I will feel next year? I have to admit, even though the weather was bad that year with some rain on each of the 3 days, it is quite an experience. The weather has been sort of kind this year, except for the 23rd this month, when we experienced 3 weeks rain in one hour! Now that was a wet day!
I’ve come to a decision! Crochet is not my thing and I’m dumping my hooks (except a 3.5mm and 6mm). I can knit. I do knit. I will have a go at any knitting pattern or stitch that you care to through at me, but I totally fail at crochet. I just cannot get my head/hands around it. I’ve watched all the tutorials and even had a ‘one-to-one’ with a work colleague and I still cannot do it. It looks like the old ‘Granny knots’ we used to do when I was a kid. So I’m calling it a day. I’ll keep the two hooks I mention, as they can be very useful to pick up dropped stitches and the like, but the rest …gone!
So, after a good hearty full English breakfast, we set off for Robin Hoods Bay. This is a small cove about 5 miles from Whitby that was used in previous times by smugglers. All very romantic and exciting … apparently.
We had a good look around the few shops that had not closed down for the winter and a nice drink in the pub at the bottom of the main road.
During a break in the rain, we managed to have a look out over the bay at the the slightly turbulent sea. Now here is my moan. It was cold. It was wet. It was windy. But out there in the sea we’re four or five surfers! I can barely understand why people do this in places where the surf is high and the weather hot, but when the weather is as bad as it has been and the waves seldom get over 2 foot high, I just don’t get it. We watched them for a good 20 minutes, in which time they managed to paddle out about 100 yards. Then “the wave” came and they started to paddle back. Only one managed to get to his/her feet and they lasted no more than 3 (and I counted) seconds before they fell off! It is completely beyond me.
Got some great pictures in Robin Hoods Bay which I’ll post later. Need to get them off my camera before I can upload them.
It was our wedding anniversary on Friday. Thirty eight years! So here we are having a couple of days away in Scarborough. Not exactly in Scarborough, but just on the outskirts.
It’s bloody cold! We were expecting it would be, and were expecting that it would be raining all the time too. But the rain has held off for most of the time, although it was a bit horrendous driving.
Tonight we are staying at The Copper Horse in Seamer and then we move to The Plough at Scalby. Both are on the outskirts of Scarborough.
I have couple of photos, but I’ll post them when I do a full post later this week.
BTW … still not quite got my head around this retirement idea yet.
Well, it’s Christmas Eve, and I’m at work. Nothing much happening and I’m beginning to wish I had taken a leave day. I don’t think anybody would have minded as it is not as if anything could have been fixed if there had been a problem. Although saying that, someone needed to be onsite.
There are very few colleagues in today and of course, being Britain it’s raining. A quick check of the support email inbox shows that as yet, nobody has forgotten their password/login name/own name (there is still plenty of time) and nobody has asked for a new user to be created.
Disappointed that the snack van did not turn up this morning. Had a feeling that it wouldn’t, so feeling more than a little peckish.
What will the New Year bring? Well I’m tempted to try and take at least one day a month where I work from home. Then maybe build it up to two days a month. Others in the wider team seem to do it without any issue. Mind you, I may not be in the same team this time next month. I put in my application form in for the job in the team I’m working with at the moment, and today is the cut-off date. I should hear by the middle of next month if I have got an interview. The interview will be the big test. I have not had a proper interview for about 10 years. All the job changes over the past few years have been ‘slot-in’ interviews which are just meetings to see if you are interested in the job. However, I’m not going to worry about it. If I succeed I succeed and if I don’t, I haven’t really lost anything.
I suppose I should consider where this blog is going. Do I want it to be more specific? Should I have a theme? Should I have a set target for posting? Or should I just carry the way I am doing, with random posts on random themes? All things I need to consider over the festive period. I will also have to consider if I’m going take up one the many excellent WordPress blogging courses that will be on offer next year. Only time and commitment will answer that one.
Well it’s over for another year, and how do I feel about it this year. Mixed feelings really. I suppose the weather had a lot to do with it. The continuous rain on Friday, left me feeling very depressed. Then there was the mud, which really made the weekend, very hard work. I know festivals are supposed to be wet and muddy, but ….
We did not camp after the Thursday night. S****’s tent got a quite a bit of water inside. One of the door flaps did not get closed properly, so the floor of the tent was quite wet. Some rain got under the roof vent on my tent and leaked a bit. We only live a couple of miles away, so it was as easy to go home to sleep. With the added benefit of a cooked breakfast.
On Saturday, they had the bright idea of laying straw on top of the mud !! I’m sure I read, that they used to make houses out of straw and mud !! The walking was a bit easier, but the mud had started to dry out and was very thick. Sunday was much dryer, in fact it was very pleasant. We did get to see a number of bands, but never even went near the comedy tent. For me, the highlight of the whole weekend, was seeing Seasick Steve. A real experience, made even more so by the fact that before his second song, he brought on John Paul Jones, bass guitarist from Led Zeppelin !! Such a legend.
This was followed a bit later by Madness. I’m afraid, I did get a little carried away with Madness. I’ve always liked them, and when you’re in the middle of a large crowd, close to the front and wedged in, there is not a lot you can do. you just have to go with the flow. I paid for it later though. My legs were like lead weights for a couple of days !!!
All in all, I probably enjoyed it more than I think. Next year ?? Well I don’t think I/we will be camping this time!
The rain cleared as expected. Youngest did the charity shops, but did not get what he wanted. Weather has improved 250% so tomorrow looks good.
Well, first full day in Blackpool, and it’s raining! To be honest, the weather-man got it right. Might pick up later in the day.
Drive here went OK. No hold ups at all, and for once, we did not take the wrong turning this year. Cheers Google !
R*** is doing well. No incidents yet (touch wood). He wants to do the charity shops today. May be better this afternoon.
A ridiculous amount of rain this morning in Whitby. Made packing up the car a bit of a damp experience. The rain did not stop until we reached Pickering. Had a walk round, then onto a Garden Centre nearby. No purchases though.
Lunch at the White Horse at Deighton. Then back home to await the return of the youngest, and to wake up the eldest.
A longish walk from the appartemnt to Sandsend. All along the beach. Lunch in the Hart Inn. It was quite a small place, but very busy. Managed to get a small table in corner, so that was quite good. We had a prawn sandwhich and a bowl of chips between us. It quite ample, with a nice pint of Greene King IPA to wash it down. Weather was great walking there, but it cooled down on the way back, with just a few spots of rain.
Not sure where we are going to eat tonight. Will decide later.
Yes, another day off on Wednesday. well it is my wedding anniversary, so i think I’m entitled. A reasonable day at work today. S**** appeared to be in a better mood than yesterday (I’m still flavour of the month) although still managing to be a pain. The migration from Lotus Notes to Outlook continues, with very few hitches that I can see. A couple of people have had a few problems, but no one seems to have anything major. The photocopier/printer packed up today. It was unbelievable. The status message said ‘Faulty Printer Board – call service engineer’. Now you would think that would indicate that a serious problem existed. However, it took one of the staff nearly 20 minutes off trying to remove imaginary jammed paper, before they told me of the problem !!!!
Mrs H ordered the new car today. She’s not picked the colour yet, as there are new models coming out in December. Apparently, because of the popularity of the Volvo C30, she was advised to order now. It will seem very different for her, from the Scenic.
The car seemed fine after it’s service, although it was a nightmare driving to work. Dark, foggy, lots of rain with plenty of spray on the motorway, made for a scary experience. Most of the drivers seemed to take note of the conditions and drive appropriately, but there are always the odd lunatic, like the guy that left it too late at A1/M1 junction. The half-wit came flying across from the 3rd lane and joined the A1 by crossing the hatchings. Another few seconds, and he would have hit the banking.
The quote came through for my car insurance renewal today. I have not had a claim in 4 years, and LV have increased the premium by 10.5%. Outrageous !!!!