Not really my style . . .


A few months ago, after reading this blog, a friend made the suggestion that I might want to have a go at creating either a video blog post (Vlog) or an audio blog post (podcast). After I had finished laughing, I tried to explain my reasons for not wanting to go down this line:

“I don’t have any recording equipment!” was my first line of defence. “You have a smartphone!” was the response.

“I wouldn’t have sufficient space on my WordPress account for audio/video files!” was my riposte. “Just create a link to a shared area on your One Drive!” came the return.

At that point, I made an excuse and logged off the app I was chatting on.

The main issue is with both a Podcast and a Video blog, is that I know what my voice sounds like. In my head, I sound like a young Charles Dance. In reality, my accent is quite broad(ish) and I sound like a poor man’s Fred Truman, which makes me feel a little self-conscious. So I don’t think you will be hearing from me in that sense, any time soon. Although … I did get a phone tripod, just in case.

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The path to “Lock-down … episode IV” has begun. I was shopping for a few essentials (wine, beer, gin etc) in a local supermarket. Ninety per cent, of the shoppers were continuing to wear a face mask as requested. But I could not help noticing five or six customers that seemed to think that pulling the neck of their T-shirts over their mouth would work. The fact that as soon as they reach out to take something off the shelf, their mouth becomes exposed seemed to have little or no effect.

I fear that these next few weeks are going to be ‘make or break’ in this pandemic. Of course, the Prime Minister cannot lose here. As the Government appears to have abandoned responsibility and forced that responsibility onto us, he is in a ‘win-win’ situation. If everything goes well after the great ‘unlocking’ then he will be the Hero of the day. However, if the whole thing goes pear-shaped, then it will be our fault for dodging our own personal responsibilities.

Is it panic buying . . .


I think I may be in a little bit of bother when my wife gets in. You see I have this habit of buying things when I think I should buy them, rather then knowing we need them. Take today as an example. I was doing my usual weekly shopping trip to Aldi.

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I had traversed isles one and two and was making my way up isle three. After passing all the soft drinks we come to the ‘household’ shelves. This is where I came unstuck. I had reached the kitchen rolls, which I knew we didn’t need (just yet) and was progressing towards the toilet rolls area. That’s when what could only be described as a little bit of panic. Our usual toilet rolls come in a four pack, a nine pack and more recently a good value sixteen pack. Trying to remember if we needed any, I suddenly became aware, that there was only one sixteen pack and only two four packs on the shelf. What should I do?

Well of course, I picked up the sixteen pack. Only sensible thing to do. Better in my trolley than anyone else’s. Now the bit of bother I was referring to is this. I came to unpack the shopping and to put the toilet rolls in the cupboard. It was then that I realised that we still had twelve rolls left from a previous shop. A total of 28, and that didn’t include the ones in the bathroom cupboards.

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Mrs H is working on the garden at the side of the house. When we moved in, nearly twenty-eight years ago, there was a hedge that ran down the whole path. Over the years she (along with a bit of help!) has transformed in into a little flower bed, which looks really good.

However, not all the hedge was removed, and it has now come to the time, when the rest has to go. I made a start yesterday, but I think it will be a long job. I managed to get rid of about a fifth of the upper branches, but now the garden waste bin is full. The really hard part will be digging out the root system. What I think may be the best idea, is to dig down and severe the root system below the soil surface. I have this theory from somewhere, that without any light getting to the plant, the roots will simply die off. Well that’s what I’m hoping anyway.

Interesting …


This is an interesting development from the Daily Mail online:

Shopping Trips

Just over a week ago, I needed to go to our local Aldi. The car park was full as usual, but there is a Screw-Fix next door with  very limited parking and people going there tend to use Aldi for their parking. Now what amazed me was the number of families that were shopping together. Now I can quite understand a single person taking his/her kids shopping with them, if there is nobody at home to look after them. But there can be no excuse for one of the families that was out that day.

ShoppingThe ‘group’ consisted of a man and a woman, I would say in their mid-forties, a youth, possibly aged 14 or 15, two young girls were were probably no more than 7 years and another boy who would have been about 11 years old. These are only guesses at the ages. Now, the two girls were sitting in one trolley pushed by whom I think would be the male parent. The female ‘parent’ was pushing another trolley and loading food and supplies into that. The youth was just moping around, with his ‘ear-buds’ in as if he didn’t want to be there and the 7 year old was racing up and down the aisles on his scooter.

I may be wrong, but I could not see any justification for them all being there together.

 

It’s the noise …


… or to be more accurate, the lack of noise that’s the unnerving thing. We live about 1/4 of a Motorway Fencingmile from the A1 motorway. In fact, from one of the front bedroom windows, you can see the tops of the trucks as they journey north and south. What we tend to hear during the night, is either a continuous roar or a loud humming, depending on the wind direction. When they upgraded this section, they put up fencing that should have acted like a baffle-board to cut down on the noise. Unfortunately, this fencing is about 1 foot too low, and as such the sound apparently just flows over the top!

We noticed it during the 1st “lock-down” that the sounds coming from the motorway were a lot less during the day and after about 10pm until around 8am there appeared to be no sound at all. It is the same this time, although there seemed to be more traffic during the day than the previous time.

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I had a bit of shopping to do yesterday. You know, just the essentials – beer, wine whiskey etc. I am still amazed at the number of people that do not wear their face coverings properly. I’ve seen people with just their mouth covered and even one who seemed to think that the virus spreads through their chin. It is simple enough, cover your nose and mouth. It’s uncomfortable, but we should be doing it. Although, you can see why some people don’t when senior politicians don’t wear it correctly! The image of Jeremy Corbyn leaving a building, with his nose uncovered makes a mockery of what everyone is supposed to be doing. All in this together?

Interesting times …


I’ve had to do a couple of shopping trips in the past week. Just the essentials, wine, whiskey beer etc etc. I have been amazed at how my local Aldi has got their head around the ‘panic buying’ that we have seen reported. Shoppers queuing outside keeping two trolleys apart. They were operating a “10 out, 10 in” policy and it was working fine. People just seemed to be getting on with it. One funny moment though … an oldish guy turned up on his mobility scooter and started asking “Can I queue jump?” He asked a couple of times before the elderly lady behind me called out “No you can’t … join the queue like the rest.” She then explained that she knew him and it wasn’t his scooter. and that he wasn’t as disabled as he purported to be.

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Morrisons and Aldi today, and although they had got a queuing system in place, it was quiet and not really needed. Aldi still was operating the same system as before, but again it was very quiet. Only thing that I couldn’t get was plain flour and the obligatory loo rolls. I understand, that it is due to the fact that they can be used as paper handkerchiefs.

The thing that struck me most, was how nice people were being. No pushing or shoving. Everyone giving way to everyone. Most people keeping the 2 metre distance. However, the only people that seemed to not have a clue, seemed to be ‘old’ people. Old as in over 70 or so they seemed. One couple in Morrisons today did not seem to be aware of the 2 metre rule and gave me the oddest of looks when I asked them if they could move back a little.

Funniest thing of the day was when I was looking for plain flour. Morrisons had a few bags of own brand and a couple in front of me were looking at the shelf. Her husband said “There’s some!” His wife’s reply was “We don’t buy that type!” To which I relied “I do!” and plonked the offending object in my trolley.

The other funny thing I heard to day was a new word that has slipped into the British language. We had ‘Brexit’ now we have “Covidiots” Hate this ‘made-up-word’ stuff. I think it cheapens the British language somewhat.

360 degree turn around …


I find more than a little ironic that a couple of months ago, parents were being demonised. Their kids were using their smart phones to chat with their friends instead of having face-to-face conversations. Condemned for allowing them to sit in their rooms with their tablets and laptops. Now look at were we are at. Kids cannot meet-up with their friends to do homework, play or even just talk. No, now its all changed, and now parents are being lambasted for doing the opposite of what the experts have been telling them for the past few years.

This virus seems to have turned the world on it’s head. I remember reading that we are now a nation of on-line shoppers and that this was having a devastating effect on the high-street. Now we are finding that the high-street is shut and have to turn to on-line shopping. I’m not sure how many, if any independant grocers or vegetable shops are open, but if any are, I cannot see them staying open much longer if the staff start falling ill. So supermarkets are now the good guys.

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On another point, the postman has just delivered today’s post. This consisted of a bank statement, a birthday card, and a couple of letters. But what I find unacceptable, is that also included with what might be important information was two leaflets for house renovations and a ‘news-letter’ advertising local restaurants! Surely this kind of stuff is not necessary. I also notice that television advertising are still showing people getting together in pubs and restaurants. There was even an advert for a well known burger chain that closed it’s stores the day before the advert was shown!

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.

Is it a trust thing ?


It’s something (among many others) that really winds me up. CheckoutPeople who over-guard their shopping. I’ll explain. Some people, and the numbers seem to be increasing, will place their goods on the check-out conveyer and then stand with it. Stand right at the end, where they have placed the ‘next please’ separator. They stay there until the cashier starts to scan their goods before they rush to start packing. Don’t they trust anyone? Do they think we are going put things with theirs? They then start to pack their shopping, after refusing any offered help slowly, putting things in different bags according to what they have bought. Then when they come to pay. That’s when they start looking for their vouchers and credit/debit card. Can be very annoying.

Caught … after all I have said!


The number of times I have warned people about the dangers of Internet shopping, I go and get caught myself. I’m forever saying that ‘…if it looks to good to be true, then it is…’ I can’t remember how many times  I have told family and friends that the cheapest is not the best option as ‘…it’s usually cheap for a reason…’ That and advising people to look at the reviews and feedback, and then I go and ignore it all.

It was basically down to greed at the end of the day. I need a new, cordless hammer drill. The one I have is a cheapish one and I bought it about three years ago. The battery pack has started to lose it’s charge very quickly even if not in use. I can put it on charge one day and the charge will be lost without even using the thing. So when I had to use my corded drill to complete a simple job, I thought it was time to get an updated one. I did the usual trawl of the internet (or should I say eBay) to get the best price for what I wanted, and my results were coming up at between £35.00 and £50.00. So you can imagine my surprise when one showed up at £41.99 with ‘free’ accessory pack. What I wanted at the price I was willing to pay! Without any further research, I went through my cash-back site and purchased it, via PayPal.

It was a few hours later that I got an email from eBay advising me that “Your recent eBay transaction may be from a compromised account”. It also went on to explain, that “The item has been removed from the site, and the transaction was cancelled“. I checked my bank account, and of course the payment had gone through to PayPal. I then checked PayPal and found that the payment to the seller was pending. I quickly cancelled the payment and PayPal showed that my back account will be re-credited with the amount. There was a small caveat though, PayPal said it could take up to 30 days for the transaction to credit.

After wiping the egg off my face, I realised that this kind of thing can happen to anyone. I just took my eye off the ball and was caught. Massive lesson learned here.

Seems a lot longer …


Well, it’s been 18 months now since I took the plunge and ‘volunteered’ for early retirement, or as it turned out to be voluntary redundancy. It does seem a lot longer since I was driving into the City centre multi-storey car park. To be honest, it has not really gone according to the vague plan I had formulated, in my head during the few months leading up to my last day. I had sort of thought that I could:

  1. take it easy for the first two months
  2. get a part-time job, between 10 and 16 hours a week
  3. get a bit of decorating done
  4. ditto in the garden
  5. take over most of the washing and ironing (I weirdly like ironing)

None have really materialised with the exception of number 5. Okay, I did paint the staircase, and I have done a bit(?) in the garden. But that’s about it. I’m still looking for a part-time job, but K*** seems to think that I have made my options in that area, too narrow. I don’t want too many hours and I want it local.

I thought I would get bored very quickly, but that has not happened. I thought that we would not be able to live on the pension I was getting. Altering where we shop for most our groceries has eased that pressure. So basically, at the moment we seem to be okay.

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The latest Windows update became available for me yesterday. About 2pm I checked and it was available. So I began the update process. It finally finished at around 7:30pm. This is the reason I did not post this at Fthe time I wanted. I’ve had a quick look, and the only thing that seems to be a ‘new’ feature is that I now have a nearly full “F:\drive” that wasn’t there before. As I understand, and I may be wrong, but this new drive is the location for the recovery data. I think it used to be in a folder, but it seems that Microsoft now wants it in a separate partition. This is fine if there is sufficient space. I believe Aaaaghthat this partition will mysteriously be removed in 10 days, which is a little unnerving. With working in an IT support team before I retired, I tend to read up on the major updates to see what ‘exciting new features’ I am about to receive. I only half-heartedly did it this time, but I think that will change for next time. The problem is, that since Microsoft decided to move towards Windows being provided as a service, there is no choice but to update when they tell you.

I am now updating my other laptop. It’s been going 1 hour and seems to be proceeding faster than the previous time. Wish me luck.

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Update to Windows update:- The second laptop only took just under 4 hours to run, so a slight improvement there. The issue with the new “F:\drive” has been resolved. I trawled the internet with no luck, then had this brain-wave … ask the Windows community. Within minutes, literally less than 5 minutes it was solved and the drive is no longer visible. It was a Recovery drive, but it should not have been visible. If anyone has got the same issue, I am going to post the answer as a separate post. 

Daily Prompt: Busy busy busy …


Rush … not the Canadian band, as good as they are, just rush. Everybody seems to be in a rush. I’m travelling down the road at just a couple of miles under the speed limit, and there is some idiot in his/her SUV weaving from side to side waiting to pass me. Then they do and 60 seconds later I’m pulling up behind fool at the roundabout. Their ‘rushing’ got them no further than me. What was the point? Then, when these people get in the supermarket, their ‘rushing’ seems to evaporate. They stroll around the store with no spacial awareness whatsoever. Walking three abreast down the aisles. Looking at me as if I’m Satan’s advocate on Earth, just because I’m in a bit of a rush!  God, I hate shopping!

I would like to talk about the band called Rush, but they are  nothing but a name that came to me when I saw this prompt. To be honest, I thought they were a girl rock band … I think I should stop now.

(So they are not a girl rock band? I must have forgot. I’m getting old. Too old to be rushing about.)

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.

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.

Another week done … finally


I don’t know why, but it seems to have been a long week. By the time Wednesday had arrived, it felt that it should be Friday.

An issue I had at work, with one of pieces of software we use was resolved. It was a simple setting that, for some reason had become ‘unset’. Now it maybe that this setting only need to be ‘set’ when certain jobs are being run. I don’t know, but I think I need to check with the people that manage the software.

The major upgrade to another piece of software went as well as could be expected. There was a couple of issues, but with this project there always is a couple of issues. It’s just the nature of the beast.

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The eldest son and his girlfriend/partner got the news they had been waiting for. The completion date for the house they are buying came through and it’s around the time they were looking at. Both are really happy about it. I’m not too sure that they fully realise how hard it is going to be over the first couple of years. They have got lots of plans and both seem to be quite sensible with money, but neither is on a fantastic salary at the moment, so it’s a bit of a worry.

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Last week I bought a new shower head from Amazon. The old head was not working as it should, mainly down to it’s age and use. The new one wasn’t a cheap one, but equally, it Head 1wasn’t the most expensive one either. It arrived in good time, before the expected date and last Sunday, I attempted to install it. It was a simple ‘remove old – fit new ’ operation and there was no problem with it. That is until I came to test it. I could not believe it. Water was pouring out of the the ball and socket joint. I thought hHead 2ad done everything right and checked by refitting it. Still the same. I had no choice but to remove the new one and put the old one back. Not feeling very pleased about this, I contacted the seller for their advice. I got a reply within about 12 hours, which I thought was good, but their resolution did not work. A couple more emails back and forth ensued, and each time, the resolution failed. In the end, I emailed back advising them that the issue was still there and requested a refund. A response was duly received (again within less than 12 hours) explaining that I needed to contact Amazon for a refund together with a thank you for my custom. Amazons return procedure is very good, and the unit is now all packaged and labelled ready to return.

Now whilst I could not recommend the product, I could find no fault the the company selling. Communication was prompt and courteous and they were good to deal with. Shame about the product though.

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On a last note, I’m wondering if anyone has had the same problem as I found yesterday. K*** asked me to forward an email on for her, as I had the address on my computer and it as easier. I opened the email, selected forward and clicked on the ‘To’ button to insert the address. I was shocked to find that all my contacts had disappeared! The Outlook address book was empty. I scanned the computer trying to find the file, but it was not there. Google searches provided no help except the person who said that it was probably an update that did it.

No problem I thought, I would reinstall it from a back-up. Not as easy as it sounds. After a lot of messing about, I found that the back-up must have run, after the address book had gone. Only alternative was to try and reinstall the address book from the Outlook on my old computer. That was done with some success.

I’m confused as to how or why it happened. I am blaming updates as there had been a big one on the 9th which covered a lot of stuff. Annoying though.

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And so to finish.I got the end of writing this post and thought to myself ‘it’s over 700 words’ which I think is quite a lot and possibly a little boring? So my aim now is to go for the ‘little and often’ option, rather than a weekly digest. See where we go with that idea.

Weekend … what weekend ?


   Well nothing much happened over the weekend. I did the run around with the Christmas presents, for my family, on Saturday. That took all of 2 hours. Great fun, I don’t think !!!

   Sunday at home, then into Leeds to pick up the eldest, who is stopping here for Christmas. He is going back on the 2nd or 3rd of January he says. Well his washing should be done by then !!! He has now dyed his hair RED !!!! Saying that, it was his Mum that dyed it. The jury is still out I’m afraid. At the moment, it looks like he has not washed out the make-up from the panto. I suppose it will grow on me.

   The scheduled routine on the computer, at work, that was supposed to run over Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening did not work. I had my doubts when the IT guy suggested running it from a batch file. I did everything I should. My PC was left switched on. We will see what the IT man has to say in the morning. I have a strong suspicion, that one of the staff, may have been logged in, and that may have caused the problem.

   I had a lot of printing to do today. Some of it I could have left for next week, but I thought I might as well get it done. About 3,500 printed pages, and there is still another 300 to do. Over the next couple of days, I’m going to try and get everything that needs doing this week, done. I do not want to do much at all on Thursday.

   I think, I have just about finished Christmas shopping now. Although, I’m sorely tempted to get some Grand Marnier. I’ve got 14 presents in total, which is not bad to say, i had no idea what to get.

   May not post tomorrow night. I think me and the eldest are going to the pub-quiz in the village. I also have to get my hair cut. I should have gone on Friday, but what with the bad weather, I thought I would leave it until Saturday. But Saturday came and went, and I could not really be bothered. It needs doing though, so it is either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Saturdays come and go ….


   Youngest was on respite today, so Mrs H and me did a bit of shopping. Mrs H wanted a few things from Asda (wine !!), before going off to Tesco. We got the youngest a few DVD’s that he had not got, and  Leitz Combind100a CD for my Mum. I managed to bag a bargain. A comb binder for £7.50 !! I have had one before, but some of the hooks broke, which made it next to useless. The best price I can come up with, on the web, for the same model was £37.95 !!!!! A bargain or what !!! I also managed to get some laminate pouches too. I have plenty of A5 type, but no A5 or A6 until today. another bargain.

 Roundhay Fox  It was  then off to the Roundhay Fox for lunch. It was great watching all the different people. Mrs H said it was free entertainment. There were a lot of children though. A couple of large parties were in, but the food took only 20 minutes to arrive as expected. That was just about it. A quick look at a garden centre, and it was then time to pick up the youngest. Day done. Not heard anything from the eldest. He is supposed to be coming here for 2pm for a rehearsal tomorrow. We think his friend B** will be bringing him and stopping for tea. Not too sure if S**** will be sleeping here though.

Stuck for a title ……


   The IT testing went okay. It took a lot longer than anticipated. I ended up doing two sessions, 9:30 until 12:00 then 13:30 until 15:00. Once again, the problems were at this end. Things that should have been done that hadn’t been done. Files in the wrong place. Wrong data paths. Mind you, the upgrade was run differently this time. There was a lot more for me to do. Last upgrade, the client was installed on the server, and the software house dialled in and did all the work. This time it was done from a local PC. Lessons have been learned, I hope. What I think is needed, is a concerted effort on both sides to communicate more. Next time I will insist on a project plan, with a detailed list of tasks and responsibilities. Next time, I will take more of a lead.

   I’m more than a little pissed off with the DVLA. I want to pay my car tax online, but because my insurance runs out at a similar time, the DVLA will not let me. They say that some national insurance database, has not been updated with my new insurance detail. So that means a trip to the post office in the next village. I though technology was supposed to help and make things easier.

   Tesco ‘green’ points are a funny thing. You get loyalty points for every bag you reuse. So basically, you take your own bags. A couple of weeks ago, I was shopping for a number of things, and unfortunately, forgot to take my bags into the store. Because the car was parked near to the store exit, I declined the offer of disposable bags, and put all the shopping back into the trolley. When I checked my receipt, I noticed that there were no ‘green’ point, so I toddled off to ‘Customer Service’ to query this. The very nice lady at the counter told me that I could only have the points if I re-used bags, and that the cashier would need to count how many bags I re-used. Totally bizarre. You should have seen the look on the Customer Service lady’s face, when I asked for 6 plastic bags to put my shopping in !!!!

Saturday … the blog continues


Well it has been a reasonable if a little boring day. Eldest at work and Mrs H running the cafe at the school fayre. Apparently it went quite well. They don’t seem to get the numbers that they used to, but a lot of people cannot be bothered. That left me and the youngest ‘home alone’ . We had a bit of shopping to do, but he did not want to go at all. It was the quickest shopping trip ever I think. Forty-five minutes all in, and that includes driving there and back and parking too !!!! The rest of the time was spent doing jobs…yawn.

Did anyone see the new lottery show ???? Guestimation !! What a load of Nick Knowles rubbish. This tripe will be lucky to finish the series, let alone get a second one. Who is Nick Knowles anyway ? I thought he was a plumber or an electrician, not a serious presenter. Anyway, calling the programme rubbish was being kind. What made it worse was that I did not even get one number on either the Thunderball or Lotto !!!!

What else….did not do a walk today (again), I am getting out of the routine before I have even got into it. I am tempted to get my bike sorted, and go for a ride as an alternative to walking. It will probably be a better exercise, and may help to get the old stomach down a bit.

I am going to try and get the two lThe Red Lion - Bramhamads to go for a brief walk tomorrow, just to get out of the house. Even if it is only to the Red Lion. Could be an interesting hour or two. It probably will not happen, but fingers crossed. Saying that, I don’t know who will be the first to say, they are not going. It’s even money on both of them to say no! It will be nice it it happens. I will report back tomorrow.

We may have found the reason why the youngest ‘kicks off’ at around tea-time. I noticed that he was holding his ears, and getting upset whilst I was cooking. The extractor hood is quite noisy, and I thought it might be that. I turned it off, and he settled down very very quickly !!!! I will try this again tomorrow. I will have the fan on, and see if it has the same effect when I turn it off. Could be the answer. Quite often, we have the extractor on when he is eating.

Right, I think that is it for today. Quite a lot to say I have not done much.