Saturday, 31 December 2011

Out With the Old, In With the New

Ok. So that's it for another year. The Christmas decorations are down and I'm ready to see in the new year. Let's see what 2012 brings us. Happy new year everyone. Hope you all have a good one.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Christmas Decorations

Merry Christmas
I spent an hour or two putting my Christmas decorations up yesterday. Seeing as I only have a small flat I thought it more sensible having a small Christmas tree - it's tiny, it only stands two feet tall. The hard part was finding small baubles to put on it, I couldn't find many places that sold miniature decorations but I eventually found some online. I thought that it would only be a ten minute job putting a small tree like that up, but I couldn't have been more wrong. It was such a fidgety job with all the tiny baubles that it took a little while longer than what I thought it would. I got the positioning of the tree wrong too. Initially I thought it would look nice in  front of the window, but after moving the furniture around I decided it didn't look right there so I had to move all the furniture back again.

Fairy Land
I dug out the fairies and the unicorns as well but as I don't have a large flat I've had to put them all on top of a small bookcase. I haven't bothered with the imitation snow this year so it doesn't look as good as what it has done in the past. But I don't suppose that really matters, there's only me that sees them. Still, it makes the place look a little bit more 'Christmassy' and reminds me what time of year it is. Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Yorkshire Rose

The Yorkshire Rose, Huddersfield
Yesterday we went for a bit of lunch at the Yorkshire Rose in Huddersfield. I haven't been down there in a few months and I can't believe how much it has changed since my last visit. They have built a four storey Travel Lodge hotel in the grounds, and right next door to the Yorkshire Rose a new Costa coffee shop has sprung up. I used to walk past that corner every day as a child but never once thought that it would look anything like it does today.

A future BMW showroom
The whole area around the Yorkshire Rose looks as though it's being rejuvenated. Opposite the restaurant there used to be two public houses, one was the Spinners Arms and the other was the Market Tavern. The Market Tavern has now gone and they are in the process of building what I'm told is going to be a BMW showroom. Even the office block that once stood beside the Market Tavern has now gone. It looks like it's going to be a huge showroom.

And all this in a matter of months. I was under the impression that there are problems with economies throughout the world and that there is no money available. I was obviously wrong.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Royal Mail

What is it with Royal Mail?

Out of all the companies which provide a service, Royal Mail has got to be at the top of the list for the worst service provided. Not only has their daily postal deliveries become later, but they seem to be becoming less frequent as well. I'm convinced that they miss days altogether. The post didn't arrive till 6.15pm last week - and that was mail which should have arrived at least two days earlier!

It's no better when mail is sent by 'recorded post' either. Sending mail that way means that you pay extra for a faster and safer service. I buy a lot of items and have them delivered and admittedly, a lot of them are delivered (eventually), but over the last couple of years there have been an increasing number of items that have "gone missing" and, without exception, every one of those missing items were sent by recorded post. It seems that by sending an item by recorded post, it just makes the package more attractive to any would-be hijackers.

To make matters worse, the response you get when you complain consists of a couldn't-care-less attitude and a form thrust in to your hands with the comments "put in a claim". But it doesn't end there.

Only recently I tried to put in a claim for an item that had gone missing but the Royal Mail refused to pay out. It was only for £17 but I thought that seeing as Royal Mail had lost it, then they should compensate me for it. All that was in the package were five DVD's which had been in my possession for over ten years but Royal mail refused to pay out any compensation because I didn't have the receipt for the discs. Let's face it, who keeps receipts for ten years? I usually keep receipts for larger items, but even then I only keep them until the warranty has expired.

I'm currently waiting for two more packages to arrive. I purchased five items last week - all on the same day, three of them were sent by standard mail and I received them within a few days, but two of the items were sent by recorded post and they are the ones that I am still waiting to arrive. I got an email on Thursday saying that a package had been dispatched that day and that it was sent by first class recorded mail. I assumed that the item would be with me on Friday or, at the very latest, by Saturday. Wrong! It's now Tuesday and there are still no signs of the packages that I am expecting.

It seems to be the 'norm' these days - that the service that you pay for deteriorates, but you have to pay out more for it. I don't think I'm alone in saying this but, if the postal staff ever decide to go on strike, then I certainly won't be supporting them. I think that the Royal Mail should be privatised - and the sooner the better.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Back to South Africa

I've lived in my new flat for almost two years now (if that's the case then I really should stop calling it "new"), and out of those two years there has only been one neighbour who has been friendly and talkative. She is the only one who will stop and chat when we pass in the street, everyone else just says, "good morning" and hurries on their way. But not this lady. She'll stop and talk when we pass and has often been in my flat and had a coffee with me.

She was round last night and we had our final cuppa together. She has no family in England as all her relatives live in South Africa, she never gets any visitors here and spends most of her time alone so I can see why she wants to return - I think I would have done the same a long time ago if I were in a similar position.

She leaves England tomorrow and heads back to South Africa, back to where her friends and family are. I'm going to miss her. Who am I going to chat with now?

And after all this time, I still don't know her name. (She did tell me once but I was unable to pronounce it. She even wrote it down but it just looked as though she had put the alphabet in a box, shook it up, and wrote down the letters as they fell out).

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Close Families

That was something I wasn't expecting.

I have a brother and four sisters, my brother lives in Canada and I haven't seen him for years and years. The same goes for one of my sisters who lives in Ireland. I have three sisters who all live in the same town as me but I don't get to see them very often - one of them I haven't seen for over ten years. It's been a while since I saw the other two sisters, although not quite as long as ten years. With one of them it's coming up to two years since I saw her, but I saw the other just a few months ago. So imagine how surprised I was when she turned up unannounced yesterday.

It's always nice to see family but I think that the longer it gets between visits, the less chance you've got of having anything resembling a 'close' family. My older sister is a perfect example. Ten years living in the same town but as it stands today, I don't know her address or her phone number, I don't know where she works (or IF she works), I don't know where her children live - although my nieces and nephews are not children any longer, but any kind of contact with them is out of the question.

It's not through lack of trying either, it's just the way things have turned out. There's been no arguments or falling out, but just drifting apart over the years. When one has tried to visit the other there always seemed to be something preventing it so the visit was put off till a later date, but that 'later date' never materialised.

So it was a pleasant surprise when my other sister turned up out of the blue yesterday morning. We spent the morning together talking about things in general and how she spends her days, but she also told me of how she's been out of contact with members of the family too. It's not nice to hear but in a weird sort of way, I was pleased to hear it. I was beginning to think that it was just me, that I was some sort of horrible person that they would rather not associate themselves with.

Perhaps we're not meant to be a 'close' family.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Wasted Days

Three days of doing nothing have just gone by. I've done absolutely nothing over the last three days apart from eat, drink and sleep. The television hasn't been on, the computer hasn't been on, I haven't picked up a book once, nor have I caught up with my letter writing. That's three 'lost' days that I'll never get back. What a waste!

Things picked up a little yesterday though. The other two old codgers called round and we spent the morning putting the world to rights. We had no trips planned for this week but seeing as it was a nice day we took a walk after lunch. We didn't go anywhere special, just a short walk down the road, but while we were out we called into a garage to look at the cars that they had for sale.

They had some nice cars on offer but unfortunately they were all out of my reach. One of the cars on the forecourt that I took a liking to was a used model but even that cost a pretty penny. I haven't had a car for sometime now and I think it would be nice to get back on the road but at £15,000 for a second-hand car, I don't think I'll be driving any time soon.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Customer Service

I know I have a habit of pulling supermarkets to pieces for ripping us off, particularly with their increasing prices for goods that have been reduced in size. I don't think that's going to change any time soon - anyone in their right mind would agree, but it's a totally different story in some other supermarket departments.

I've been trying to get myself some decent trousers for some time now, but I've been trying to get them at a reasonable price seeing as I'm going to have to spend at least another £5.00 on each pair to get them shortened to the right length (thanks to having short, fat, hairy legs). I'd previously bought some on the internet that I thought was a fair price, even allowing for postage. They were my size but when I tried them on they were too tight in the waist. I bought them on eBay and wasn't able to get a refund.

I did the same again a little later - this time it was two for the price of one. Same problem, too tight in the waist, and way too baggy in the legs. Again I was unable to get a refund so now I'm building up a collection of trousers that don't fit - handy for when, or if, I manage to lose a bit of weight, all I'd have to do then is get them turned up.

So I decided to try Tesco Clothing. Their prices are not too expensive and they offer a refund if needed, plus they have a free return service.

I bought myself two pairs of trousers but because of previous problems I though I'd order the next size up just to be safe. They arrived within two days and I tried them on straight away so that I could get into town and have them turned up to the right length. I was getting ahead of myself though. They were far too big and baggy!

I followed the instructions that accompanied the trousers and wrapped them back up for returning to Tesco. I took them down to the Post Office on Saturday morning and sent them back. When I went online on Monday morning there were two emails from Tesco waiting for me. One said that they had received the returned items and the other said that a full refund had been given.

How's that for service?

Maybe I didn't get my new trousers, but there's no way that any complaints could be given about the level of service given. The only problem now is that I'm back to square one. I suppose that I'm going to have to settle for trousers that are too tight at the top and too baggy in the legs (or try a bit harder to lose a bit of weight).

Is this what we have to put up with for getting out of shape, or am I getting too fussy in my old age?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Short Days

I don't like these short days. It's only three o'clock in the afternoon and someone has stole the light! I've just had to close the curtains and put the lights on. The days are far too short for my liking, it seems as though the day is over before it's begun.

This miserable weather doesn't help much either. Although I suppose I shouldn't complain about the weather (even though that's what us Brits are supposed to be good at), I'd rather have it like this than cold and windy. Or even worse - snowing! ...not for me thanks.

I think it's time to have a bit of tea and then settle down in front of the fire. At least, that's what I'd do if I actually had a fire, but seeing as I haven't got one I'll have to settle down in front of the TV instead.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Home Cooking

I really must stop looking at all these blogs about food. There are some excellent blogs out there with even more excellent ideas on food and how to prepare it. But, as a mere male who has never been any good at cooking, no matter how carefully I follow recipes I never seem to get it right. I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I was never meant to be a good cook.

It's so easy to read the instructions on the side of the packet, put some veg into the pressure cooker and knock up a reasonably decent meal, but it's not quite the same as the proper home-cooked meals that I remember. I like good meals, but some of the ingredients mentioned on other sites might just as well be in a foreign language, I've never heard of half of them.

Perhaps it's best if I stick to what I know. At least that way I'm not going to end up eating anything hot and spicy. Ok, where's the eggs... I think a cheese omelette sounds good for tonight.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Never Again

Never again! ....Isn't that something we're supposed to say after a night on the town? Well I didn't have a night on the town - I didn't even have half an hour in my local pub, but I woke up this morning with the worst hangover I've had for a long time. My head is throbbing like crazy, my mouth is as dry as anything, and the room won't stop spinning. I haven't felt like this for a long time - and I didn't even have a drink last night!

I can't even open the curtains. The light is so bright out there even though it's another miserable day. I don't think I'm going to be doing much today, apart from maybe looking for a quieter keyboard, this one that I'm using is so noisy today.

How is it possible to get a hangover like this without having all the fun the previous evening? By rights I should have been out enjoying myself to get what I've got today. It's so unfair! Time to write a strongly worded letter to the Ministry of Hangovers I think. But that can come later - I'm going back to bed for now.

Wake me up when summer comes.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Museum Of Science And Industry

Museum of Science and Industry
We started our day a little earlier than usual and after our pot of tea we set off at around 10.30. It was probably about half an hour's drive and when we arrived in Manchester we went straight to the Museum of Science and Industry.

It's a huge area with exhibitions spread out across five separate buildings. There is no admission fee to the museum and if you can get there without using a car you'll be able to save yourself the £5.00 parking charge.

The 'intelligent pig'
The first building that we went into was the 1830's Warehouse. One of the first exhibits we saw was the Gas Gallery which tells the story of gas supply and how coal was turned into gas. We also saw how gas cookers and heaters have changed over the years and there was a gas hair dryer that had once been in use in a hairdressing salon. Plus I got to meet my first 'intelligent pig' while I was there - a remote controlled device for checking pipelines that brings North Sea gas to land.

A stroll through the sewers
The next exhibit we went to was the story of water and sewerage, which was located in the cellars of the warehouse building. We walked through a Victorian sewer which was built using original bricks from a Manchester sewer of the late 1830's. Part of this exhibition included an array of toilets ranging from communal toilets to a Victorian privy and a 'tipper' toilet. There was also a recreation of a laundry at Moss Street public baths.

The RAF at Manchester
At lunch time we left the museum and went across the road for a plate of fish and chips (no Weatherspoon's this time) and when we got back we went into the Air and Space Hall. Here we were able to look back on the history of flying, from the early days of tri-planes to the more modern jets and helicopters. The are also various cars and motorbikes on display including a Rolls Royce car hand built in 1905, a 1912 Ford Model T Roadster, and a 1916 Royal Ruby motorbike.

After the Air and Space Hall, the next building we went to was the Power Hall but unfortunately I tripped on some uneven paving on the way there and came down hard on my right hip, I was in agony for the rest of the visit. We eventually got into the Power Hall though which tells the story of steam power and Manchester's industrial development, but with all the running steam machinery it was just a little bit too warm and stuffy for me so I went and sat outside while Gaz and Mick looked at the exhibits inside.

Liverpool Street station
A little later we went to explore the Liverpool and Manchester Railway exhibition. We took a walk along the platform of the Liverpool Street station and saw the Planet locomotive and other rolling stock. We also saw the original station bell and sundial and the first and second class booking halls. At the end of the platform there was a Community Exhibition Gallery.

Michael exploring the Chinese exhibition
The displays in this gallery are changed frequently and highlight different aspects of the community.

At the time of our visit there was an exhibition from the Chinese community showing the way of life in China. There was a mini art gallery and displays of traditional Chinese attire, plus displays of Chinese medicines, games, and money. There was also a large Chinese dragon hanging from the ceiling and an old rickshaw on display.

Gaz inspecting the Chinese displays
In the same area there was a 'Collected Cameras' display. There were many old cameras on display along with photos of people using the cameras back in the olden days. Not only did you have to be proficient in photography but it looks as though, with some of the cameras, you had to know a thing or two about weightlifting as well. The cameras were huge!

Charlie amongst the Chinese clothing
The Science Museum covers a lot of ground and even after spending a day there I don't think we got to see it all.

There were a couple of galleries that we briefly explored; the Science Gallery, the Underground Gallery and the Textiles Gallery (where there was a large coat made from dandelion seeds), but there were also other areas which we were unable to cover, like the Revolution Gallery, the Making of Manchester Gallery, and the Connecting Manchester Gallery with all the old phones, radios and televisions.

Maybe next time....

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Day Tripping

It looks like our trip to Manchester is back on again. A couple of weeks ago a visit to the Science and Industry Museum was mentioned, but after looking at the costs involved and the distance we had to travel I thought the idea had been shelved. Apparently not. The visit to the museum was mentioned again at the beginning of the week and it looks like the Manchester trip is on again.

Does old age make you more adventurous? Last year the three old codgers used to get together at one or other of our houses and spend the day putting the world to rights. We'd have a pot of tea in the morning, go out to the chippy or a local pub for a spot of lunch, then round of the afternoon back at home with another pot of tea. The meetings seem to have grown since then.

Last summer we signed up for a photography course and spent six week learning how to take better pictures. After that the weekly routine changed completely. We no longer went to a local pub for lunch, we went all over Huddersfield looking for pubs that served food. This summer things were different again. Instead of just sitting indoors and going out for lunch we started going to various local attractions like the National Mining Museum or Standedge Tunnel.

Over the last few weeks we have been going further and further away from home to find somewhere to visit. We've been to attractions in Gomersal, Halifax and Bradford, we've had a wander around Wakefield and gone to Leeds to visit the Royal Armouries Museum. Now we're going to Manchester.  I think I ought to start packing my suitcase if we're travelling that far.

Now, where did I put my passport....

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Supermarket Rip Off

The big supermarkets just love to rip you off. I've just done a bit of shopping at Asda and they are at it again with their 'shrinking' goods. Occasionally I buy some large cheese-topped teacakes, but I won't be doing so again. They used to be roughly the size of a CD, perhaps slightly larger, but now they are no bigger than a jam doughnut. I used to buy a pack of two cheese and onion pastry slices every now and then, but that's another thing that I won't be buying again. They're just half the size of what they used to be. They seem to be reducing everything - and putting the price up at the same time. Do they really think that we're not going to notice?

It's not as though I can change supermarkets or buy my food elsewhere. With not having a car I can't get to another supermarket and travelling by bus is out of the question. Apart from the high cost of public transport, I don't relish the thought of catching two buses while struggling with heavy shopping bags, or paying out a fortune for taxis. If it wasn't for the fact that we have to spend a minimum of £25 when shopping online I'd quite happily pay the delivery charges (they work out cheaper than a bus or a taxi), but when I'm only doing a bit of 'top-up' shopping I'm not always going to spend £25.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Dream On

Life isn’t about what you don’t have, it’s about making the most of what you do have. Happiness and contentment is something that we’d all like to achieve but it’s not all about material belongings. I bet there’s not a single person who has not wished for more in life; “If only I had the latest digital camera”, “I’d love a large screen TV”, or perhaps, “If I just had an iPhone then my life would be perfect”.

But do we really need them? Nine times out of ten we only want certain things simply because we don’t have them (or because someone else has them and we want one too), only once we have the latest Play Station or the latest Wii, it’s just going to be left lying in the drawer once the novelty has worn off. Besides, if we did get ‘this or that’ then there is always going to be something else that we long for and we just have to get.

I’ve just read those two paragraphs on someone else’s blog and the first thing I thought was, “What a load of bull!” Life would be pretty boring if no one wanted for anything, I want all of those things that they mentioned. I’ll probably never be able to get them, but there’s nothing wrong with me wishing that I had them – it’s good to dream.

And that's where I'm going right now. Seeing as I can’t afford a fancy digital camera, I think I’ll go surfing and drool over some of them online. Let’s see how much I could spend if I had the money.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Pure Snobbery

I've just read an article about the monthly £1 million Premium Bond prize. Someone stated that the prize should not go to anyone who only holds £5 worth of bonds. It sounds as though someone is more than just a little bit jealous. Everyone knows that the more bonds you hold, the more chances you have of winning one of their monthly prizes, but to make a statement like that is just pure snobbery. Why shouldn't the prize go to a £5 bond holder? They've paid their money and they are entitled to the prize just as much as the next person, the value of their holdings shouldn't come in it - what's the betting that the guy who made that comment holds the maximum £20,000 worth of bonds (and thinks the prize should be his).

It's so easy for people to become obsessed with money and for it to take over their life creating loads of problems. Personally I don't have any of those problems - I don't have any money, so I don't have any problems. Although I did come into a bit of money today. I couldn't believe it! The hard bit now is trying to decide what I'm going to spend it on. As I opened my door this morning, I hadn't gone more than a couple of steps outside and there it was. There was a shiny 5p piece on the floor just calling out to me, my luck is definitely changing for the better - things are looking up at last.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Lazy Saturday

Another Saturday and another quiet day in the old codger's caboosh. I've got absolutely nothing planned for today (now that is unusual) so I think I might spend the day catching up with a bit of reading. I've had a book on the side table that I started a few weeks ago but haven't picked up for a while. For some reason I always seem too busy to read lately, but I can't understand why though, it's not as if I'm actually doing anything constructive.

I had a phone call from my little girl last night as soon as she landed at Heathrow. She's back from Iceland and she told me that they've had a brilliant time (apart from the whale watching part - rough sea took away the enjoyment for that day). She had to end the holiday in the same way it started, with a nine-hour coach journey, so the plan was for her to go to her cousin's house and get a bit of sleep before going home. (she'll be asleep now so if anyone is reading this, make sure you read it quietly so as not to wake her up).

Friday, 4 November 2011

Fireworks

It's time fireworks were banned! Or at least restricted to Guy Fawkes night and official displays. People have been letting off their fireworks for going on for three weeks now and I think enough is enough. It's time for them to stop. They say that we should be stop being so miserable and let them have their fun - "it's only once a year". I say that they should stop being so selfish and let others enjoy their own lives without having to listen to the racket that they are making.

Last night was all quiet up till around 7.00pm when there was an almighty explosion just outside my window. Damn near gave me a heart attack, it frightened the life out of me. I was having a mouthful of tea at the time and I ended up wearing the whole cup full. Thanks very much - I hope you are all enjoying your fireworks.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Aurora Borealis

I am really pleased. My little girl travelled all the way to Iceland in the hope of seeing the northern lights and she actually got to see them on the first day she was there. I was a bit concerned that as it was a natural phenomenon it might not happen during the four days she’s there, or that it might have been too cloudy to see it. The trip to see the aurora borealis was planned for the second day of her trip but the weather report said that it was going to be a little overcast on that day so it was changed to the first day.

Tracy rang me from Iceland on the second day and told me that the sky was wonderfully clear the previous night, and that they were able to see what they had gone there for. She got to see the northern lights and I think she’ll remember her trip for a long time to come. I am so jealous, but at the same time I am really, really, pleased that she got to see them. The plan for the second afternoon was to go out to sea and do a spot of ‘whale watching’ – she’s certainly having a holiday with a difference, she’ll be having a whale of a time.

When Tracy told me about this trip at the beginning of the year I went through a whole range of emotions. She told me about it just a few weeks after nearly dying from a combination of pneumonia, a chest infection and swine flu. She had been in a coma for two weeks over the Christmas period. She was in the final month of pregnancy and her baby had to be removed from her while she was in a coma. I was a wreck for the whole time, it was the worst period of my life. She was released from hospital on new year’s day and I was just pulling myself together a few weeks later when she hit me with this Iceland trip; I was angry, I was upset, and I was hurt all at the same time, but most of all, I was frightened.

Now that she is actually in Iceland those feelings have subsided and I’m happy that she’s enjoying herself. I’ll feel a lot easier when she’s back at home though. But she has to remember that when she gets back to England she still has to wrap up warm, our winter is just beginning and we don’t want a repeat of last year’s events. I think she knows that I’ll be nagging her for the rest her life that she has to wrap up warm, I don’t care how fed up she gets of me saying it.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Old Friends

My daughter has to take a ninety minute train journey to get to work. Usually, on her journey home after work, we get the chance to send a few texts to each other, putting the world to rights and having a little chat about all things under the sun. I missed that last night. Tracy is away in Iceland for a few days to try and catch a glimpse of the northern lights and we were unable to do our regular texting. Isn't it strange how we take things like this for granted then miss them when they're not there. Remember the days before mobile phones?

And, talking of those days, I received a letter from an old friend in Malta yesterday, someone who I haven't heard from or seen for going on forty years. That was back in the days before emails and texts and we had to keep in touch by writing letters. We used to write loads of letters to each other back then but that all stopped in the 70's. Helen hasn't got a computer, and international phone calls can be expensive, so the only way to keep in touch now is by writing.

It's not going to be easy - it's been years and years since I last wrote to anyone but I'm going to give it a try though, it should be fun.

Now, where did I put that writing pad....

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Christmas Is Coming

My Christmas tree
Ok, so that's it. Halloween is over for another year, the 'trick-or-treaters' have been and gone. The fireworks are still going off though, but I should imagine that will all end in a few days time. So, if it's November, then that must mean that people up and down the country will be rushing to try and  be the first in their street to get their Christmas decorations up.

I'm afraid I've beaten you all to it this year. I'm the first! It's taken me all morning to put them up, but I thought I would put a picture of my decorated Christmas tree on here for you all to enjoy.

Kim and Tracy
My little girl can't wait for the snow and the cold weather to arrive though, she's so impatient for it that she's jetting off to colder climates to try and find it (let's just hope she doesn't bring any snow back with her). She sent me a text early this morning to say that her and her cousin Kimberley have arrived in London, after travelling for nine hours on a coach to get there. At the moment they are at Heathrow airport enjoying a cup of coffee while the are waiting to board a flight that will take them to Iceland.

Iceland of all places! They could have gone to town and gone to the local 'Iceland', it wouldn't have been so much of a struggle to get their shopping back home then. But then again, the local Iceland wouldn't have given them the chance to see the Aurora Borealis. NASA has already predicted that there will be record northern light activity for winter 2011/12 and that it will be the strongest in fifty years. So, after a nine hour coach journey, I really hope they get to see it.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Treasured Moments

Madison and Vicki Lou
I very nearly kidnapped two little girls yesterday. I was going to make them stay at my house and keep them all for myself (I doubt it would have taken all much kidnapping tough, they would have quite happily stayed with me). Of course, I would have had to kidnap their mum along with them as well, I don't think I could handle two tiny tearaways all by myself, but then I would have had my three most favourite girls with me all the time.

My daughter and her girls came to visit me again and we had an absolutely brilliant time. They arrived early in the morning and spent the full day here, it was wonderful.

Madison
Like the last time they were here, all we did was stay indoors and enjoyed our time together. The TV was switched on and tuned in to the cartoon channel but I don't think anyone was interested in watching it, we just talked and played with each other and had a great time.

There's no stopping little Madison now, at ten months old she has found her feet and wants to be on them all the time. Put her on the floor and within seconds she is using the furniture to pull herself up onto her feet - she managed to walk the length of my room by holding on to the coffee table and the sofa. Any day now she's going to be able to get around without holding on to things, she's going to be all over the place (her mum is just about to find out what 'hard work' really means).

Vicki Lou
Vicki Lou on the other hand is already running about - but in the nicest possible way. I don't think I've ever known a child that wants to be so helpful, she will do absolutely anything for you. Ask her to get a nappy for her sister and off she goes, ask her to put something in the bin and she happily trots off with the rubbish. If we try to put anything into the bin ourselves she will tell us off for not letting her lift the bin lid up for us (although she's not quite strong enough yet to use the foot pedal).

It's the simple things like that which are the most memorable. Vicki Lou was sitting on the side in the kitchen while granddad made a cup of tea and we had the most interesting conversation; she doesn't like burgers but she likes McDonalds, her sister likes burgers but Vicki prefers sausages, her mum takes sugar in her tea, and Vicki has her own special cup (and I was using the wrong one).

Sisterly love
And then there are the moments when Vicki Lou wants to show you something. I might have been having a conversation with her mum or trying to do something else, but if Vicki wants to show you something then she will do, she won't let up until she has your attention. Or the magical moment when she carried her 'new chair' to the front door to show it to her dad when he came to pick them up. All these moments are now safely locked away in my memory bank to be retrieved at a later date when I need to put a smile on my face.

It was only yesterday when they were here but it seems so long ago. I'm already looking forward to the next time....

Friday, 28 October 2011

Wakefield Wanderers

I was a bit disappointed with the 'hole-in-the-wall' at my local supermarket yesterday. I went to the ATM to draw out a bit of cash from my bank but as I didn't need a lot I decided that I should only withdraw £10.00, that would be more than enough to cover what I needed. They've changed the dispensing procedures at the ATM's though and I couldn't withdraw the £10.00 that I wanted. The machine now only gives out £20.00 notes so you have to make your withdrawals in multiples of £20.00; ie. £20.00, £40.00, £60.00 etc. What about the people who don't want to withdraw that much? Do they think we're all rolling in it, or is this just a sneaky government ploy to get people to spend more money? Needless to say, I went elsewhere to get my money.

Wakefield town centre
After I'd eventually got my cash, the three old codgers went on another one of their little 'jollies', but not to Manchester as I mentioned yesterday. It was decided that we would go to an art gallery in Wakefield instead, but we messed up with the timing and didn't get there. We didn't set off till around midday and by the time we'd got to Wakefield, found somewhere for lunch (another Weatherspoons), and then finished our meal, it was coming up to 3.00pm so we decided on leaving the art gallery for another day.

It was the first time that I had ever been to Wakefield town centre and in that one visit I came to the conclusion that Wakefield is much better than Huddersfield. We didn't get to cover the whole town but I think the bit that we saw was bigger than Huddersfield town centre. In Wakefield there were a variety of shops, unlike Huddersfield where every other shop seems to be a charity shop or one of these new style 'Mediterranean' cafes. The whole place seemed a lot cleaner and more pleasing to the eye, and although there were a few vacant shops, it didn't look half as bad as Huddersfield.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Spotless

What a difference a day makes. I can honestly say that my house is now spotless. After a deep cleaning session yesterday there's not a thing out of place. I can now sit and relax for the rest of the day and not have to worry about doing anything.

Well, maybe not ALL day, but perhaps for a couple of hours. With the texts that have been passed around at the beginning of the week, it looks as though it's time for the old codgers to go on another outing. I'm not entirely sure where we'll be going but the Science and Industry Museum at Manchester has been mentioned. Wherever we go though, it should be interesting.

We've had a few trips during the summer where we have been outdoors for most of the visits, even going so far as having an attempt at a picnic on one occasion, but I think those sort of trips are out of the question now. It looks as though we have seen the last of the good weather for this year so I should imagine that any type of indoor attraction would be preferable.

Unless we wait until there's a blanket of snow on the ground and then go for a picnic in the snow.... now there's a thought.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My House Is A Tip

I'm really disappointed in myself today. It's not like me one little bit, but I've let my house get into a right state. It's a total mess!

There's a cushion on the floor that I must have brushed into when I went to bed, and I've just seen how dusty the place is - I could do with a bit of help from 'Mr Sheen'. There's an unwashed spoon in the sink and, worst of all, I've just noticed that one of my ornaments is a millimetre out of place. I'm having serious problems today.

I know, I know. Some of you are probably saying that this guy has got far too much time on his hands, and do you know what? You're absolutely spot on! If my biggest worry is an unwashed spoon or an ornament not in its right spot, then the term 'serious problems' really does come into play, just not in the same context as above.

Seriously though, the dust in here is unbelievable. If something's not done about it soon I think I might have to invest in one of those face mask things so that I'm not breathing it all in. I might have to look into hiring someone to come in and do my cleaning for me.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Holding Zones

At some stage in the not too distant future, in an overpopulated futuristic earth, every town and city will have several out-of-town 'holding zones' where they can store all the unwanted elements of society. People will be rounded up and placed into these holding zones and kept out of the way. There won't be any bars on the windows, the people won't be locked in little cells, and they'll be free to come and go as they please. They will even be allowed to have visitors at any time of the day or night, but it will still be a 'holding zone' where they will be expected to remain.

These zones will have an important role to play. In years to come housing will be dilapidated and overcrowded, homeless people will fill the streets and food will be scarce; most of the people will survive on rations produced by local councils. The holding zones will prevent the majority of their occupants from roaming the streets with each individual placed into their own little unit within the complex. The majority of the zones will be filled to capacity but there will always be an abundance of people placed on to the 'waiting list' to fill any of the vacancies that arise.

When a unit does become empty there will be a rapid response team ready to come and prepare it for the next person. They will clear away the body and any meagre possessions that the individual may have accumulated, and over the next few days they will prepare the unit for its new occupant. Then the cycle starts all over again. Someone else will play the waiting game - waiting for their own time to come. The holding zones will always have a quick turn-over.

That 'not-too-distant future' is not as far away as you might think though, these places already exist. Only at the moment they are not called 'holding zones', they are called 'retirement homes'.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Home Shopping

I've just done a bit of online shopping and it got me thinking as to how we used to manage in days gone by. It's so easy nowadays to stay at home and do your shopping from the comfort of your armchair. You don't have to go out in all kinds of weather, you don't have to hang around waiting for a bus and then struggle to get on it with all those heavy bags, and you don't have to wear yourself out carrying those bags from the bus stop to your house. (Ok, so maybe it's different if you have a car, but not all of us are that fortunate).

Even if you do have a car it could still work out cheaper. It would probably depend on how far you are from the supermarket but taking into consideration the cost of fuel for the car and then comparing this against the supermarket's delivery charge of £3.00, over time it could save you quite a few pennies. It's certainly cheaper than paying bus fares of £1.70 each way. It's even cheaper if you are going to be in all day and you don't mind what time they deliver your shopping, in that case the delivery charge is only £2.00.

How did we ever manage in the days before computers? I know we had a lot more energy back then and probably thought nothing of catching two buses while carrying loads of shopping bags (and at a time when the bus fare was probably less than 5p each way), but for all the heavy stuff - the computer wins every time.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Unexpected Visitors

I had some unexpected visitors yesterday. My daughter and grand-daughters came from out of town and spent the afternoon with me. It was one of the nicest surprises I've had for a long time.

We didn't go anywhere, we just sat and talked and I was able to play with the girls but, unfortunately, I never once thought of getting the camera out and taking a few pictures. I should have done, especially as Madison is now finding her feet and is able to walk. She still needs to hold on to the furniture but she has learned how to stand up by herself and she can walk the whole length of the sofa. She's still not confident enough to walk unaided but she's getting there. I think she's doing really well to say that she is only ten months old.

Vicki Lou on the other hand, well, there's no stopping her. At three years old she is full of energy and always on the move. I don't think she sat down for more than a few minutes at a time before she was up and finding something else to do. What I'd give to have that sort of energy again. Her talking is coming along nicely too, she's managing to say what she wants and its a lot easier to understand her now. I don't think she fully understands what she is saying yet though because, after going to to bathroom and weighing herself on granddad's scales, she came back into the living room and proudly announced that she is two stone. I'm sure she has no idea what "two stone" is, but it was great to see her being so outspoken about it.

I don't think it's going to be long before her mum and dad are telling her to be quiet. It's funny how parents spend the early years teaching their children how to walk and talk, then for the rest of their childhood they're telling them to 'sit down and shut up'. I don't have to put up with the non-stop talking for every minute of every day, so I'm quite happy for the girls to come along and talk to me. Ever since Vicki Lou was born I've said to her mum that I can't wait to have a full-blown conversation with her, where we can sit and discuss the day's events, what she's been doing, what she thinks, and what she'd like. That day is not so far away now, it's not going to be long before we can sit and have our conversations.

It's great seeing the girls, it really is, but it makes me feel a bit guilty. Before they were born it was just me and my daughter. It was just us two that used to do things together, it was just the two of us that used to go places, and it was us that used to have those long conversations. We used to talk for hours.

It doesn't seem that long ago that Tracy used to come to stay at my house overnight and we'd put a DVD on to watch. We might have started the movie at around 7.00pm, but we never got to see any of it - we'd talk all the way through it. And we would often carry on talking till one or two o'clock in the morning before one of us realised that it was past our bed time. But even that changed during her later visits. She had to get up early for work so we had to stop with the long chats so that she could have an early night.

I can't remember what we used to talk about, but I know we talked for hours on end, and it wasn't just a one-off either, it was like that every time she visited. We had to tell each other to stop talking if we wanted to watch a DVD. And that's why I feel guilty when she comes with the girls. It seems that all my attention is on the girls and Tracy is somehow pushed into the background.

Obviously that's not how it is, but that's how it feels. We don't get to do anything together any more. It feels as though we're not as close as we used to be but that's life I suppose. We all have to move on, we can't live in the past forever. It's a few years away yet, but before you know it, it's going to be Tracy's turn to be having those late night conversations with Vicki Lou and Madison.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Rip-Off Companies

Don’t you just hate being ripped off? Especially by big companies who have no need to do so but are only out to increase their profits.

I recently went to my local supermarket for my usual shopping. As a little treat for myself I sometimes buy a couple of Belgian Buns, delicious iced pastries with a hint of lemon curd. For as long as I can remember these Belgian Buns have been roughly the size of a CD, but now they are not much bigger than a biscuit – and the price has almost doubled! It’s bad enough putting the price up by as much as they have, but to reduce them in size by around 50% and expect us to pay almost twice as much for them is absurd.

They’re at it with almost everything, even their breakfast bars have shrunk. The packaging is the same size and the individual wrappers are the same size, but once you’ve got that wrapper off you can see that the cereal bar is almost an inch shorter – but the price of them has still gone up!

It’s not just the supermarket’s own produce that is shrinking either. I used to buy Sunpat Peanut Butter (notice how I say I USED to) which came in a standard glass jar. They are now producing it in a plastic jar that is around a third less in size than what it used to be – and about a third more in price. Along with the cereal bars and the Belgian Buns, Peanut Butter is now something I can live without.

Even Oxo are getting in on the act! It’s been a while since I bought any so I don’t know if the price has increased or not but I’m guessing that it has. How can a little Oxo cube shrink, they’re already tiny? That’s what I thought but have you noticed that when you remove the individual wrapper from the cube how, on four sides of the cube, a little bit has been removed so that the Oxo cube now forms an ‘X’. Why? It can’t be for presentation purposes because it’s not noticeable until you’ve removed the wrapper. The only possible reason is because Oxo are trying to rip you off by selling a smaller product for more money.

They all seem to be at it – biscuits are getting both smaller and thinner, paper kitchen towels are getting smaller with less sheets, there’s not as many sheets in a box of tissues, there’s only three chicken breasts to a pack now – even pre-cooked meat only has three slices per pack now whereas it used to be five or sometimes six slices, and they expect us to pay more for them.

It’s time we all stood up to these companies and refused to buy their goods. Once they realise that people are no longer buying their produce they won’t to be so quick to rip us off.

Friday, 21 October 2011

It's A Hard Life

It's been another busy day today in the old codger's house. I opened two windows, moved a plate, AND fluffed a cushion up. Totally exhausted after all that, I had to lay down for a while. There's got to be an easier life than this. If any of you have any less strenuous jobs I could do, I'd be happy to come and work for you - I'm particularly good at making cups of tea.

To make matters even worse, I was in agony when I woke up this morning. My eyebrow was killing me! How can an eyebrow be painful? It's like saying, "my hair hurts". Luckily the pain eased off during the morning though. It's a good job it did too, I was coming to the end of my tether - I was about to call the emergency services.

I think that seeing as I've had such a hard and painful morning I should take it easy for the rest of the day - I'd hate to overdo things. Although I can't rest for too long, there's still loads of work to be done. I just know that I'm going to have to fill the kettle up later on, and at some stage I'm going to have to pick the mail up from the doormat. And I've got to change a battery in my clock, and..... oh no, where am I going to find the strength for all this?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Snack Time

I found a couple of web sites yesterday where I was able to create some more gadgets for this page. The first one I found was called PhotoSnack, a site which lets you make photo slideshows. I made a nice one of my little girl in just under two hours. The slideshow itself didn't take all that long to make, that was just a matter of minutes, what took up the time was deciding which photos to use and then resizing and cropping them. It was fun. I enjoyed doing it and it kept me off the streets for a while.

Then I found its sister site, BannerSnack, and I thought I'd be a little more adventurous. I made a banner showing all the ships I served on when I was in the navy. This one took up most of the day but that was only because my first attempt at it was a disaster. After making the slideshow I knew that I'd have to resize and crop the pictures I wanted for the banner so I got stuck in to finding the pictures and chopping them down to size.

It took quite a while to do that but when I came to make the banner I found that the size that I'd made the photos were too small for the banner I wanted (I thought I'd be able to resize the banner once it was created but that wasn't possible). So it was back to the drawing board and start all over again with the pictures.

This time I got them all to the right size and it was time for the fun to begin. If you want to make a banner in ten minutes then this sort of thing is not for you - it IS possible to make one in under ten minutes but if you didn't want to spend any time on it, it would just be a fairly basic banner. I decided to go ahead with trying out different transitions and different effects, and then I added some text and played about with the different text effects, it's was all this that made the whole process a little longer than ten minutes. I enjoyed every minute of it, including cropping and resizing the pictures. If I could find a job that required this sort of image manipulation I would be more than happy.

Maybe the finished banner isn't quite as professional looking as what it could be but I'm quite pleased with my first attempt at banner making. It took some time to make it, but that's the whole reason I'm here in the first place, I wanted something to occupy my time and this was perfect. I've put the banner in the right hand column of this page, have a look and see what you think - and then decide if you want to make something similar for your own page.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Royal Armouries, Leeds

The walk to the museum
One of the latest excursions we had was a trip to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

Out of all the places we have visited in the last few weeks, this one has to be at the bottom of the list and the least recommended.

The museum itself is at Clarence Docks, a nicely modernised area of Leeds, but to get there we had to travel through what I thought were fairly run-down areas. Clarence Docks itself is full of new high rise buildings and modern shops, stores and cafes. But every one of them is empty! It looks as though they were opened at one time but it seems the owners have since abandoned them leaving all the fixtures and fittings in place. It’s like something from a futuristic movie, as though we were transported through time to a place where people no longer exist.

Royal Armouries Museum
The first of the pictures shown here were taken on a weekday in the middle of the morning. Where are all the people? You would have expected to see someone around, perhaps not doing any window shopping, but surely there should have been at least a few people wandering around. The place was deserted. Apart from a little Tesco Direct shop we found on our way to the museum where we were able to get a sandwich for lunch, there was no other signs of life.

Big guns
We did see signs of civilisation once we got into the museum. There were a few groups of people scattered about, including a class of school children running around, but as there is no admission fee I would have thought that there might have been a few more people around than what there was. The thing that struck me the most was the abundance of security guards. They were everywhere. Each corner we turned there was a security guard watching our every move, it seemed as though they were just waiting for a reason to pounce. This feeling of being watched all the time was off-putting to say the least, certainly a reason for not wanting to pay a return visit any time soon.

Just some of the weapons on display
There are five galleries in the museum set out over several floors. The building is large and very roomy but once or twice we found ourselves having to search for the stairs or a lift to the next level. The displays in each of the galleries are impressive, but a lot of it is repeated over and over again. For example, in one of the galleries we saw cabinet after cabinet with various swords in them; in one cabinet were swords of a certain length, in the next they were an inch or so bigger. Then another cabinet showing swords with different handles, or made in a different year. All very impressive but I thought there was too much of the same thing over and over again.

The Hunting Gallery
In the ‘War Gallery’ we saw displays about the development of weapons and the art of warfare from early times to World War II and beyond. The displays took us through medieval warfare and suits of armour to the mass produced weapons of the 19th century. There was a ‘Self Defence Gallery’ and an ‘Oriental Gallery’ which concentrated on the great civilisations of Asia, and a ‘Hunting Gallery’ which showed the history and evolution of hunting from prehistoric times up to present day Olympic sports.

There are literally thousands and thousands of items on display there and I should imagine that if you wanted to see them all, you would need to spend a full day at the museum and not just a few hours in the afternoon.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

My Little Girl

It’s my little girl’s birthday tomorrow.

She may be grown up and married and have children of her own but she is always going to be "my little girl".

9,131 days ago she came into the world with a million wrinkles on her little face. She looked just like a pug dog with a screwed up face and from the second she was born (that’s 788,918,400 seconds ago to be precise) her nickname has been ‘Pug’. But I’m the only one that’s been allowed to called her that, no one else was ever allowed to. She used to beat her older brothers up if they called her Pug.

I was in the navy when she was born and had to spend a lot of time away from home. I used to hate having to go away and miss seeing her growing up, missing the first time she stood up on her own, those first steps, those first words, and her first day at school. Sometimes I didn’t get to see her for months on end, but there was never a minute that she was out of my mind (and that’s every one of the 13,148,640 minutes since she was born).

Unfortunately it’s almost the same now. Ok, so maybe I’m not away for months on end nowadays, but living in different towns makes it difficult for us to see each other on a regular basis, and as I can’t get to see her on her birthday I’m just as sad now as what I was back in the days when I had to go away.

The only consolation is knowing that she is with her own family and that she is going to enjoy her birthday in her own way. She’ll be celebrating that she is 1,304 weeks old, or 219,144 hours if you like (not that I’m counting).

She might be a quarter of a century old…. but she is still "my little girl" and I love her to pieces.

Monday, 17 October 2011

You've Got Mail

You've got mail.... or maybe you haven't. I can remember a time, not so very long ago, when we used to get mail deliveries twice a day. The postman would bring the morning post at around 8.30am to 9.30am and then he would call again in the afternoon between 1.00pm and 3.00pm with the second post. That was the ‘norm’ ever since I was a child living with my parents. Just a few years ago though, that all changed. They scrapped the second post completely and left us with just one delivery per day which was usually brought between 9.00am and 11.00am. Royal Mail did reintroduce the second post over the Christmas period for a number of years though.

After all the complaints had died down and people were getting used to just receiving their mail once a day the Royal Mail revised their delivery schedules once again. This meant that we were no longer going to get our post in the morning. With their new cost-cutting measures they changed their postman’s rounds which saw the mail arriving at any time during the day up till around 1.00pm or 2.00pm. At one time we used to be able to wait until the postman has been before we went out, particularly if we were waiting for a package that may have been too large to fit through the letterbox, but doing so nowadays is no longer possible as we never know what time the postman is going to turn up.

If they are unable to deliver a parcel because there is no one home to receive it, there is a 48 hour wait before you can go and collect it at the sorting office. Three times now I have made a special trip to the sorting office to collect a parcel that I missed when the postman called, only to get back home and find a card pushed through my letterbox saying that they had tried to deliver a parcel while I was out.

You’d think that it couldn’t get any worse after all their cut-backs and reductions in service. Wrong! There has been no official statement from Royal Mail but I am convinced that the postman doesn’t deliver every day now. I’m sure they skip days. There’s been many times when I’ve been waiting for certain items to arrive and I’ve been watching out for the postman. Not only does my mail not arrive but there are no deliveries to the neighbours either, there’s no sign of the postman all day.

To make matters even worse, they're not bothered what time they deliver the mail now either. On Friday my post arrived at 6.30pm! And on top of all this the postal workers are constantly threatening to go on strike in protest of all the restructuring and cut-backs.

To be honest, I’ll be glad when Royal Mail is privatised, hopefully we’ll get a better service.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Red House Museum, Gomersal

Red House Museum
The three ‘old codgers’ went on another day trip recently. The last couple of weeks that we had ventured out the weather had been glorious, so on our latest outing we decided to have a picnic. Our intention was to visit the Red House Museum in Gomersal, thinking that we would be able to find somewhere suitable for our picnic along the way. That’s not quite how it happened though.

We couldn’t find anywhere suitable where we could pull over and eat so we headed straight for the museum. By the time we got there the sun had gone in and it had started raining. It was just a slight drizzle, but nonetheless, not quite the sunshine we had hoped for. The only place we found where we could sit and eat our lunch was on a bench in the children’s play area. There was a mother and her children a short distance away who must have thought the same as us, that we’d have a picnic somewhere, but the sun let us all down. We didn’t even get to finish our lunch, thanks to an over-friendly wasp that wouldn’t leave us alone.

The Reading Room
We put our lunch bags back in the car and went to have a look around the museum, called the Red House museum simply because it is built with red bricks. It was built in 1660 and was home to the Taylor family who were cloth merchants and manufacturers. Mary Taylor, daughter of the house in the 19th century, was a close friend of Charlotte Bronte, who visited often, featuring the house as ‘Briarmains’ in ‘Shirley’.

Red House still looks very much the same as it would have done back in the 1830’s. Each of the period rooms, the parlour, the stone-flagged kitchen with its Yorkshire range, the dining room with its stained glass windows, the reading room, and the bedrooms, takes you back in time to see how they lived way back then.

The Master Bedroom
There are a couple of restored outbuildings in the grounds, one of them being a large barn where there is an exhibition called ‘The Secret’s Out’, where you can explore Charlotte Bronte’s Spen Valley connections and her friendships with Mary Taylor and Ellen Nussey. One part of the exhibition said that when the young ladies of the 1830’s were looking for spouses, they used to look for the older gentlemen with plenty of money (I suppose that counts me out then).

The second outbuilding is a restored cart shed where there is a ‘Spen Valley Stories’ exhibition. Here there are pictures and mementoes of schooldays, Teddys Boys, dance marathons, and street parties, all courtesy of the local residents. There was a very knowledgeable lady there who was able to tell us about the displays in more detail, making our visit even more enjoyable.

Red House museum is only a small museum, it’s basically a house recreated in 1830’s style, so it didn’t take us long to get around it. We still had plenty of time left so we found another stately home further down the road. I can’t remember the name of this one but as they wanted to charge a ridiculous entrance fee it doesn’t really matter as we never went inside. We did find a bench in the grounds though where we were able to sit and finish our picnic.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Getting Romantic? I Don't Think So!

There are a lot of fiction books in my book case, mostly horror or paranormal, and a lot of naval history and naval warfare books. I have never read, or even considered reading a romance novel. It wasn’t all that long ago that my video collection consisted of mainly action films or war films and horror movies. I still have all those movies, but why is it that nowadays my DVD collection has more girly films and rom-coms than anything else?

A few days ago I chose ‘Bride Wars’ rather than watch one of the ‘Die Hard’ movies. Last night I quite happily sat and watched ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ followed by ‘Maid in Manhattan’ and enjoyed them both. There are still plenty of action films on the shelves that I could have watched but, no, I picked these girly films.

I think it might be time to start getting worried. Maybe I should consider seeking out some sort of medical help, the next thing you know I’m going to be reading romantic novels…. no, don’t go down that path, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Going Nowhere Fast

When I walked through my hall I noticed that a small smudge on the mirror that should really be cleaned off. As I started toward the kitchen to get something to clean it with, I noticed the mail on the cabinet that I’d picked up from the doormat earlier (mostly bills). I decided to go through the mail before I cleaned the mirror.

I sorted through the mail I saw there was a lot of junk mail amongst it so I thought I’d put it into the bin, but then I noticed that the bin was full. So I decided to put the bills on the side and take out the rubbish first. Then I thought, if I’m going to take the rubbish out, the post box is just a little way down the road from where the large recycling bin is so I may as well pay the bills while I’m out.

I had to write a cheque for one of the bills so I took my cheque book off the table and saw that there was only one cheque left. My new cheque book was in a drawer in the room and when I went back in there I found the can of Coke that I had been drinking. I was going to look for my cheques, but first I needed to move the Coke aside so that I didn't accidentally knock it over.

I noticed that the Coke was getting warm so I though I'd put it in the fridge to keep it cold. As I headed toward the kitchen with the Coke a vase of flowers on the counter caught my eye - they needed to be watered. I placed the Coke down on the counter, and I discovered my reading glasses that I'd been searching for all morning.

I decided I better put them back on my desk, but first I thought I’d water the flowers. I put the glasses back down on the counter, filled a container with water and suddenly I spotted the TV remote. I realised that tonight when I went to watch TV, I would be looking for the remote, but I wouldn't remember where it was, so I decided to put it back in the room where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I poured some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spilled on to the floor. So, I put the remote back down on the fridge and got some towels to wipe up the spill. Then I headed back into the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the mirror isn't cleaned; the bills aren't paid; there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter; the flowers don't have enough water; there is still only one cheque in my cheque book; and I can't find the TV remote.

Then I try to figure out why nothing got done. I’m entirely baffled, because I know I was busy the entire day.