From then to now … Things can only get better !


Things did start to get better as the next few years progressed. Staff realised that I was not the ‘bossy’ type that the previous occupier of the post.

In 1991 the Government decided to ‘de-criminalise’ parking offences. The Road Traffic Act 1991 (RTA), allowing local authorities to issue parking tickets for contraventions such as: parking on yellow lines, footway parking, not displaying valid pay and display tickets or parking permits within a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). Leeds were now starting to look at the pros and cons of this new legislation. But before that could happen, Leeds needed a new processing system. I was asked, More moneybecause of my ‘technical knowledge’ to be part of the team that looked at the different systems that were available. Unusually for me, I asked what it was worth? The manager had been expecting this and offered me an upgrade in scale to S5. I remember sitting there pretending to think about and then, even more unusual for me, I countered with ‘”Could you make it S6?” I think he had been expecting this and he agreed, there and then.

There were many trips out to various Local Authorities to see their systems and to talk to users before we settled on ours. One of the the things that kept cropping up, was residential parking, or parking outside your own property. As more and more Residents Parking signpeople had cars, and the cost of parking those cars increased, many drivers took to parking in residential streets, much to the annoyance of the local residents. To try and overcome this problem Local Authorities set up Residents Parking Zones which allowed the residents within that ‘zone’ to obtain a parking permit(s) for themselves and visitors. Leeds were using card permits that were hand written with any required details and they did not look very professional.

The new legislation would give the Council control over the parking in these Residents zones, and parking-permitit was decided that any new system would have to be able to cope with the issue of more accurate and professional permits. This also meant that jobs and job titles would have to change. Parking Attendants became Civil Enforcement Officers, clerks became Customer Service Officers and a new team called Appeals Officers was created. The new system used mail-merge for the first time to create individual and personalised letters. This meant that we could now send parking permits that were no longer hand written and could not be easily forged. It became one of my jobs to both design and implement these new style permits when we were ready to take on the new service. That new service started in 2005 and things started to get better for everyone.

One more day ….


   This seems to have been a long week. It fact, it HAS been a long week. A few problems at work, and lots to do. Although I don’t think the last two late nights have helped much. Quiz-nite on Tuesday, and for one reason or another, it was gone half past eleven when I ‘staggered’ out of the pub. I did not sleep too well, and was up before six yesterday morning. Last night was just as bad/good. Got back in just after midnight, and the eldest wanted a whiskey (well I’ll blame him for it anyway) so it was nearly one o’clock when I went to bed. Thought I may get an early(ish) night tonight, but the youngest is still making one of his computer movies and it has not finished yet. It’s ten to eleven and there are still ten minutes to go !!!!

   The play seems to be going quite well, although I think they still have some way to go before they are ready. There are only a few more rehearsal dates, and from what I can gather, some people are going to need those dates more than others. Still, I have designed the poster and tickets, and have made a start on the the program. Printing the program is going to be the problem though. I can do the posters, as we only need about 15 A4 pages or so, and the tickets will take twenty pieces of A4 card. The program will take 2 double sided A4 pages for each program, and as we are expecting to sell in excess of 120 tickets, with a program for each, that is a lot of printing. My printer would not cope with it. We are going to have to find someone who will copy it for free or very very cheaply.

Boring really


   Today was one of those days that just happened. You know the type of day I mean, when nothing really happened !! Everything went without a hitch. I got all the jobs done that I had to do, with time to spare, and even had chance to write up by ‘to-do’ list for tomorrow. Boring and much the same tomorrow.

   I got the posters printed and laminated. S**** was supposed to be dropping the disc, with the tickets on, up at the directors house. Either he was going to drop them off, or Mrs H was going to do it. However, neither of them realised the disc was there (on top of his wallet), so it will have to be tomorrow now. Fingers crossed, that I get the programme details soon, but I can see them turning up at 11:00pm on Sunday evening. They will need them as soon as possible though, as the first performance is Wednesday, so I’ll not have much time. It should be okay, if I can find a template for a single fold, double sided A4 booklet !!

A reasonable start


   The day went quite well. No major disasters. A couple of annoying things, but nothing too dramatic. I’m down at the IT department in the morning. Really looking forward to that experience (not). I don’t know what it is about IT people. They are all nice guys, but I could not spend all day with them.

   I managed to design the panto tickets and poster. The graphic I found looks quite good. I just hope the like it, and that there are not too many changes. From what I understand, they need to go to print this week, so if i need to make any changes, I’ll have to be quick. They have not given me any ticket prices, so that may mean an amendment to the poster. I will have to wait and see. Eldest is coming up for a rehearsal tomorrow night, so he can get some feedback then. I suppose the main criticism will come on Wednesday, when the director sees it. Wonder if they will need something for a t-shirt.

Wednesday again … so soon


The hospital appointment went well. No waiting about much, which is one of the features of York District Hospital. That is probably why North Yorkshire NHS Trust is in such a bad way financially. 

My consultant does not seem worried about the progress of my condition. He did explain a bit more about the problem I have. It seems tYork District Hospitalhat the valve that is not working correctly, is in a part of the heart that is more difficult to repair. He explained that repairing this valve is not an operation that is usually done in Britain. so what we are looking at is a replacement valve. This also has its risks and downsides. A metal valve and life on Warfarin. But he did say that I am not at that stage yet, and that here is no point doing an operation when it is not yet needed.

My new works laptop is due any day now. I’ve not taken the old one out of the drawer since last Wednesday. There’s not much point really, as I think the battery has died. It did not seem to be charging when I last used it. I have taken the floppy drive out as there is no point throwing that away, when I may be able to use it somewhere else. It will fit the other laptop, if not my new one.

I emailed the tickets and poster off this evening. I just hope they are alright. It is difficult to know what someone wants, when you only hear the details second hand. I think they look quite good, but we will wait and see. I think I will offer to laminate some of the posters. They will look better, when they are attached to the street lamps.

I planted out my Dahlias on Monday. There is about 14 of them, and they look quite good. They have done a lot better than the Nasturtiums I planted. I have the strangest feeling that the compost was too good for them. I recall reading somewhere, that they grow better in poor soil. The leaf-beat has been a great success too. We have lots and lots of leaves, and managed to cook some on Sunday night, albeit not really enough to go round.

That old work colleague from my cooks days, that I contacted on Friends Reunited, sent me a ‘jokey’ email today. I get quite a few of them from various people (mainly Sue), but this was quite a useful one. I was just reading through the list of people that he had sent the mail to, when I spotted the email address of another old colleague who I would like to keep in touch with. We met up a few years ago, when his son was going to the same school that my son goes to. This may be just the step I need to find another old friend from those days, who I would dearly like to get in touch with. That would be really interesting. JT was the guy who got me interested in computers in the first place. I have trawled the internet, trying to find him, but to no avail. I will email RH tomorrow…fingers crossed.

Its the weekend !!


Where did the week go ? It’s been quite tedious at work. I’ve not had too much to do really, and because I’ve lost some jobs, I’m struggling some day to fill the hours. Never mind, next week should be better. I wonder who is coming from Northampton. I suppose it could be Martin or Paul. Either would be fine. Just so long as it is not Ian. I find him incredibly difficult to work with.

Eldest has been a bit off this weekend. He was a real ‘tw4t’ last night, and he wasn’t much better this morning. Could have been the drink. I think his girlfriend gave him a bit of a bollocking, because he came to apologise. I think he thinks we are trying too hard. He was much better this afternoon though.

We had some of my home grown salad leaves again tonight. They have really turn out to be quite good. The first four bowls I grew will last a good week and a half, and by that time the ones in the trough should be ready. That should give the bowls time to recover. Apparently, they should keep growing as you cut them. The leaf beet is growing steadily. From what I understand, I should get some small beets, when the leaves are done. That will be nice if it does. Fresh baby beetroot is supposed to be very good. Only just over half of my bedding dahlias have come through. There is still time for the rest to get going, but it is a little disappointing. They grew well the last time I grew them. It must be at least 16 years ago though.

I’ve to redesign the tickets for the play tomorrow. I’m struggling to work out how to get them bigger. I think I will have to 4 x 2, landscape so that I can keep the ratio correct. They want me to design a poster for the show, and he’s even mentioned designing the t-shirt. I’m not sure about the t-shirt, but the poster will be okay. I can see me ending up doing the programme too, although that has not been mentioned … yet !!! It will be quite a lot of printing, so I may need to stock up with ink. Paper is cheap enough, and I have some (hopefully enough) card. The quandary is, do I ask them to pay for some ink and paper ? I should get to hear about quantities tomorrow. That will help me decide on how I’m going to do this.

It will be a full week to work next week !!! But to compensate, the week after is only a 4 day week. It’s hard to believe that it is 1st May on Friday. Where’s it all gone.