20 May 2013
It’s been a while since I’ve been here. I’m struggling to remember a time when I’ve been so busy. Not just work busy but everything else is hectic too.
At present I have 4 jobs. One of them is my own place and the work that brings in – the other 3 take up 3 days a week; this brings in the reliable income. But it’s not so straightforward as 1 day here, one day elsewhere. So for instance today I’ve had to go into my own place this morning then to Nottingham for this afternoon where I’m working at one of the universities. Tomorrow is a simple day where I’m in deepest Derbyshire in the morning before back in Derby for the afternoon. But these are mere appetisers for the main event of the week which is Wednesdays. Derbyshire in the morning then Nottingham in the afternoon before zooming off to Ashbourne in the evening. It’s a long one is Wednesday – leave at 7am and get home some time around 9pm.
And that’s just me. R has a full time job and she’s a trustee at a charity and so on and on. She had to interview for some recruitment at the charity the other weekend. On my birthday. Couldn’t do it in the week as all the interviewers are workers so they did it at the weekend. Didn’t see R between 8:30 and 4ish. Boo!
Of course when not working I’m house-husbanding. So I don’t even get any time off then. Mind you that’s the funnest bit of “work” even if it gets very boring cleaning mucky handprints off the telly for the 9th time! It’s hard to get everything done. This has meant that there’s an awfy lot of clothing that hasn’t been put away for a goodly while. Ah but you can do it in the evening I hear you cry. Well get lost. After a long day (for both of us) which doesn’t end until after dinner (and we rarely eat before 8pm) I think we’re allowed a bit of sitting down, chatting and watching some telly.
Home has been pretty bad this last week. J was ill enough that R took him to A&E on Wednesday last. He’s still not over it but finally getting better. Little L still ill as well. Oh and me, R and N also coughing, having sore throats and feeling dizzy too. Great fun.
In all the cafuffle we also missed birthdays a bit this May. It was L’s and mine a weekend or so ago. Nothing really got organised. My folks came round and entertained us, ta. But we missed one of R’s sisters’ birthdays and very nearly another’s. The following weekend we were treated to a visit from P, C and d too. Some interesting news came forth that I’m not allowed to divulge despite d apparently telling everyone anyway. And talking of d’s, it seems that D is moving up nearer to his work meaning nearer to us. Yay, free childcare occasionally! It will be nice to have D a bit nearer though as it’s just too long between visits. Hurrah for D.
For my birthday R bought me a workbench! I’ve been thinking that I want to do some hands-on stuff recently. There are shelves to do amongst other things. This is going to give me the spur to crack on and get something done. I made a start on the shelves yesterday and got 4 up in one alcove (another 2 or 3 to do in the same place yet). I would have finished but for the constant interruptions of having to do other stuff like take N out or put babies to bed or cook or go to the shops or…. Anyway there’ll be more shelvage in the place very soon.
01 May 2013
It was the BJC a couple of weeks ago and it was up in Pickering. The big “gala” show was in Scarborough on Saturday. We couldn’t afford the time or money to go for the week but we did decide (ok I may have been quite pushy) to go for the show on Saturday. It’s a reasonable way up there, in fact it took us 3 hours to drive up, but we felt a day at the seaside would be fun for all.
We set off a little late but still got there at 1. Doors opened for the show at 7.00 so it gave us around 6 hours to play and look around. We played on the beach for a bit. N and J made a little sandcastle with the brief help of a little boy who got shouted out by quite burly looking grown-ups and then scampered off.
We had a lovely meal of fish and chips (for tradition’s sake) at a place that really did do gluten-free food on its menu but then ruined it by saying that fried gluten-free food is done in a fryer that also fries gluteny food. So that’s of no use to anyone then. We’d brought food for J along with us anyway so it wasn’t a major issue just an indication of the general lack of understanding that food places have.
I managed to leave both J’s coat and my camera at the caff as well. By the time I spotted this we were a good way away heading towards “Luna Park”. Sounds great but in reality a tired dump of over-priced, under-performing “attractions”. R took the kids whilst I drove back to get our stuff.
Once re-united we all played a bit in the park before it closed rather early. This happened earlier with the donkeys – N wanted a ride, “after food” we said. And the donkeys walked home, away from the beach, past us as we ate. She was glum. Twice.
Walking back to the car we bumped into BJCers who’d clearly just been bussed into Scarborough for the show. I saw a few recognisable faces and a few tedious show-offs (really please don’t walk around with a ball on your head – it’s little wonder you’re walking around on your own). We saw some young unicyclists bouncing up and onto some street furniture. And then Biskup yelled at us from over the road, yay for Biskup – long time no see.
A couple of other folk also said hello, hi Abby and friends. Sadly we missed loads of you.
The show was in a lovely old venue that suffered somewhat for having columns in the way for most seats on the balcony (certainly those seats on the side balcony). We picked seats that weren’t great but the area was quiet so hopefully the kids wouldn’t annoy too many folk.
As soon as the show started more people shifted down to where we were as their view was poor or became obscured by other people moving or standing up to see. As I said, the balcony views weren’t great. So what about the show?
I have no idea. I spent the first half fielding 2 kids, N was good and enjoyed the show. J yet again spent his time playing with the foldy-uppy chairs and running up and down the rows. L just cried and wouldn’t go to sleep.
We finally got her to sleep during the intermission so only had to cope with J running about. He didn’t want to be cuddled or held so carried on running and playing with chairs.
As far as the acts went I saw a bit of Steve Ragatz (very good), Eugenius Nil someone (very good), a pair of German girls (pair clubs, not as slick as could be maybe), a trick cyclist (N loved this one) and that was about it. The headliner was some Russian whizzkid apparently – can’t say I can remember anything about the act tho. And there was a poi act that went down a storm. Completely missed it.
Sincere apologies to those put out by the babies. I think we’ll wait a few years before the babies get to go to another show.
12 Apr 2013
The call is “austerity”. We mustn’t spend more than we need.
Apparently this doesn’t hold when an elderly lady dies. Whatever your views on this particular old lady it does seem odd that someone who championed the view that public money shouldn’t be spent when private money could do the job is going to be buried at huge public cost. Where’s the bidding process for the lowest priced contractor? She’d be horrified.
Not only that but the blinking parliament was recalled. For what? That process in itself was costly as MPs get money back for cancelled plans and travel and housing costs. I read the Mail yesterday. They were complaining that around 150 Labour MPs didn’t show up to eulogise their sainted Baroness. In any other circumstance MPs refusing to show up for a pointless session thus saving quite a decent whack of money would be lauded by them as making a stand against wasteful government.
Why does parliament get recalled anyway? Previous recalls involved discussions about mobilising to war (Gulf war, Bosnia, Falklands) or discussions about how to deal with terrorist attacks (WTC and Ulster). The only one I can find where it was recalled for someone dying was the late Queen Mother. And I’d argue that this was pointless and wasteful too.
Nothing like a whopping great dose of hypocrisy from both the government and their spokesrag.
10 Apr 2013
There seem to be 2 news stories of note at present.
- Old lady dies of old age shock!
- North Korea – weak leader ramping up rhetoric to show strength.
The news I’ve read about Korea makes it obvious that the new guy is a puppet of the government/military and not the other way round. Apparently the NK soldiers love a good mobilisation to war as it means they get fed properly for a change. The military leaders get to check up on all their hardware and the leader gets to show his strength. A win-win-win for them. Sadly a weak leader isn’t what the area really needs. It’s a shame what’s happening in Burma isn’t also happening in NK. Maybe one day. But then again it could only happen after lots more deaths and violence. Sigh.
Edit: And back to point 1. I’ve noticed in both The Mail and The Telegraph that there seems to be an odd response to some of the people celebrating her death. namely that they include a large number of people who are too young to have lived much (or at all) under her premiership. Are these the same papers that constantly whinge about the youth of today not being interested in anything important such as politics? Which do they want? Too uninterested or too interested? Perhaps they’d prefer people to be “about the right amount interested”. I wonder if that amount is “have heard of politicians but not really sure who they are or what they stand for”. Very odd response to people knowing about, or at least having an interest in, recent history. I never lived under Churchill but I’ve got some idea of who he was and what happened under his leadership. But maybe the ToryMail thinks I shouldn’t have an opinion as I wasn’t around then.
08 Apr 2013
So the nice bits of our Saturday night were as follows:
We had a steak at a place called “The Black Rock Steakhouse”. What happened here is we were given a big and very hot rock to cook our own steak on. A bit odd asking people to cook their own dinner but at least we weren’t going to get something miles overdone. Some reviews mentioned that the writers left smelling like a stinky chef at the end of a shift. I didn’t notice that so much. The steak was rather good as were the chips.
After this we headed downstairs to the comedy night. One compere and 3 acts. The compere was rather good. He even did a couple of improvised raps which were remarkably entertaining in a “Oh my god a 23 year old white, public school educated, radio 4 listening, no chin wonder is rapping” sort of way. He did manage to the line “of the genus brassica” in to one of them so he deserves some kudos.
First comedian was a grumpy flat character. Was ok but not hilarious. Some decent deconstructing of the genre. But my problem with the grumpy character is that he’s already having to work harder to get the crowd up.
Second was some Canadian guy. Much more my thing. Can’t remember a load of what he did but he managed to get boob flashed by a drunk girl on the street.
Last was some Londoner with a voice like a young Danny Baker. Not as funny but he did put himself in a situation where one of the local families could have beaten him up. You know the kind of family – loud and annoying – sorting drinks orders out whilst the guy was on etc…
Until we got back to the car it was a rather decent evening out.
07 Apr 2013
We went out tonight. It was great. Just us two, babysitter in for the kids. We went to a steak place – odd but interesting. More on that later no doubt. After that we were at a comedy club. 3 stand-ups and a compere. This was very nice too.
On the way back to the car I spotted some poor sod’s car with a window put through in the same car park we were in. Poor bugger.
Then back at our car I spotted that our passenger window was put through. And no sat-nav (no it wasn’t in view). Balls.
So someone, some tedious little scrote after a few quid has now cost me probably well into 3 figures assuming I don’t make an insurance claim (unlikely as loss of no-claims will put the premium up far more than the replacement window and sat-nav will be). Remind me again why I buy fully comp?
Really not the thing I wanted. Last time me and R went out for a night I buggered my ankle up and now this. I’m staying in from now on – I can really get why some folk suffer from agoraphobia.
The saddest thing is that we’ll see more and more of this for two reasons.
Firstly the drug laws are so perversely wrong-headed that we still refuse to treat addicts as victims; and refuse to treat them properly, shoving them in prison rather than treatment.
Secondly as there’s going to be some desperate (and unnecessary) poverty around the place starting pretty damn soon then people will be more and more desperate for quick cash. Prediction from me = property crime and muggings going up somewhat rotten in the years between now and 2015. Hopefully it’ll all be centered on those who got a £100k per year tax break this last weekend. Somehow I seriously doubt it will be.
22 Mar 2013
There’s a road near us what’s been changed recently. Actually it’s still in the process of being changed. Anyway the point is this: imagine a road. It crosses another road. Hence there is a junction. In this case the road I’m on is the main road and the other has a set of give way signs and markings to either side of the road.
So my road’s the main road, yes? Cars from the other road have to give way whether they’re coming from the right or the left.
Now the council have closed off the end of my road now, just past the junction, so that there’s now my road leading to a dead end and this other road is going to become the new main road – in other words there’ll be one give way set of signs and road and it’ll be on my road. Cars on the other road will no longer have to stop to check.
But that’s in the future. At present the cars on the other road still have to stop. The give ways are still there.
Well this morning a certain bus driver didn’t stop thus making me emergency stop as I was turning right. He slammed his brakes on too and then gave me a very clear signal that he thought I’d made 1 mistake. Very specifically one mistake. I waved back at him and gestured firmly that I had 2 children on board. (I didn’t, I had 3).
He’ll be in the right in a week or so but he just ran straight through a give way!
18 Mar 2013
Bored bored bored bored BORED!
Of sickness and coughing and lurgies galore.
It all started over a week ago with me having some fluey symptoms. Was quite badly hit to be honest. And anyone wryly tittering about “Man flu” can sod off.
“Oh but men always whinge about being sick – they’re such baybeees!”
Sod off sod off sod off! That starts off as not true, all the research shows men complain far less about disease and illness than women do. Not only that but this tedious meme probably leads to men hiding their illnesses more. Oh who was it again who refuses to go to the doctor for anything? Oh yes men. Any chance that they’re somehow now being “overly macho”? Odd that for such babies who whinge all the time whenever they get a sniffle. Which is it eh? Overly macho or babies? You don’t get to accuse us of both ok?
So anyway I forced myself to work and coughed and hacked all the way through. Later in the week R came down with the same thing and was pretty much floored. (No doubt it’s just woman flu eh?) After a week of feeling rubbish she’s back to normal.
L had the runs last week (pah, bloody “baby flu is it? Eh?) and was bad for a couple of days. Then J got bad, very bad. Fever, floppy, crying. Ah boy-flu, the classic signs. We ended up at the dr’s on Thursday just gone as he started throwing up the medicine we tried to give him. She told us to go to A&E. So we sat there for 4 hours waiting for him to give us a wee sample. He did in the end and all was clear apart from whatever this bug was that kicked him down. After that his symptoms changed a little but now into the same ones he had prior to his coeliac diagnosis. Still just the illness or has he been glutened? Those symptoms remain – time to get more anal about cross-contamination then.
Then N got sick. Not as bad as J but pretty grotty. She ended up off school for a couple of days and is still not 100%.
In the middle of this was R’s birthday. Both of us were at work that day. I hope she doesn’t feel that it slipped through between all the other drama ongoing.
And then yesterday, oh yesterday.
R and N were out swimming. I was driving home with the others and nipped into a shop to see if anything leapt out for tea. Nothing did. Back in and then home. No door key. Ah. R gave me a key at the pool. Couldn’t see it in the car, not in any pockets or on the ground between car and house. Back to the shop then. No key there, no key on ground. Argh!
Back in the car to think. L and J both getting grumpy. No other key available. Then I spot a mere glimmer of key. Somehow it’s in a gap in the dashboard. I can get it with a thin thing – penknife, yes! Just I manage to get the key out it slips and falls further in and unreachable but I can hear it fall. But how can I possibly get it?
The AA came in the end. He took apart bits of front console but there was no sign of the thing. It wasn’t under the car either. It’s simply vanished.
Getting late and cold now too. Kids grumpy, hungry and tired. We called off the AA man’s hunt and called a locksmith. It took him about 30 seconds to get into the house. In one regard, yay! In another, boo! Is our place that unsafe to a skilled lock picker?
Hours wasted, money wasted. Horrible evening. This week must be better.
01 Mar 2013
In my previous post I mentioned a fall and ankle damage:
I took these pics yesterday
26 Feb 2013
We had a date! It’s been a while but we went out for a meal. Yes just us two.
We went to a place called Masa. It gets rave reviews and friends have recommended it. Fair enough.
The place is a lovely old Wesleyan chapel and just to set the mood it started gently snowing as we walked up to it. First impressions were favourable. Nice place, warm, bit posh.
We got our drinks and sat down. They brought canapes! Very nice they were too. The bar is downstairs but the restaurant is up on the chapel balconies. We were led upstairs up what looked like the original stairs to the balcony. Very nice indeed. Properly lovely venue.
We were then led to the highest point at the back of the building and offered a seat in a little cubicle with low walls (IE not closed off from the other diners). The table fitted very snugly into the cubicle which left little room for wiggling myself round to get to the best seat. Not very dignified but really not fussed as the venue is so interesting.
The food was next. After the lovely canapes we had the tiniest cup of soup. Was nice but R thought it a little bland. Starters next: I had a guinea fowl and sausage terrine with accoutrements, R had the prawns. Mine was smashing, really very nice; R thought hers was a little bland. Mains next: I had slow cooked pork; R had guinea fowl. Mine was good but not smashing; R thought hers was a little bland.
You may have spotted a theme here. I have to agree with R that her food was bland. It definitely did not live up to the swankiness of the venue (nor the cost of the food). Ah well. The head waiter guy did ask how we thought it was and R broke convention and actually told him.
After puddings, expensive and nothing special, we headed home.
Now I had to re-negotiate the awkward table/cubicle combination. I was also now carrying the bottle of wine that we’d ordered but were far from finishing off. Once out the cubicle; again a struggle not best dignified; I started to make my way down the stairs. Dark brown stairs that weren’t terribly well lit. I managed to slip down one step and flew forwards. My ankle made a lovely crunch noise and then the rest of me made a thud as I hit the floor. The wine bottle did NOT break! I saved it. Unfortunately my ankle was not so lucky and it hurt a lot. There was an immediate response from the staff who were very keen to see if I was ok. After hobbling downstairs again I thought a sit down would be beneficial. Then I started to feel sick and also desperately needed the loo. R told me that I’d gone very pale. Wasn’t fun.
I’d only had a half pint of lager and a smidgen of wine but it must have looked for all the world that a drunkard with a bottle of wine had fallen. R still laughs when telling people about it.
Yesterday my ankle was twice the size of the unaffected one. Hopefully nothing too bothersome in the long run but I expect to have some damage to one of the ankle ligaments at best. Having said that since starting this post I’ve managed to walk quite a way with less and less pain. Should be painless pretty soon. I’ll have to check the ligaments in a while tho.
Good job I’m not litigious.
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