Sunday, 30 May 2010
Tigers Won by the way) and any photos/videos he took will appear later in this post because as of the time of writing I’ve yet to speak to him about it. This may be because I didn’t go to bed until 6.00 and (after my first good sleep this week) have only just got up (14:15). There’s one good thing about this confused sleeping pattern, I haven’t eaten a full meal since Thursday (I’ve had just a plate of cheese and biscuits and two ham cobs if I recall correctly) so I seem to be losing a little weight… Hooray, it’s about time you gross fat wobble tummy barstool!
Han’s gone shopping at Fosse Park with Sian; is this the start her her independence, I wonder? After all she’s nine years old now and, in her mind at least, a young woman. She’s just called and asked Deb to pick them up, Sian has a very bad knee and would find it difficult to walk all the way home from there. I wonder what she’s bought. Chewing gum, Pepsi, a necklace and that’s about it….not because of her self restraint, oh no no no, the reason she didn't buy anything else was because of the £5 she'd taken with her she only had10 pence left!
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Saturday 29 May – Nat Goes to Twickenham, German (1992) Bobsleigh, Oh Let Joy Be Unconfined - Hanged Man (The) - Complete Series available on DVD after 35 Years!!!
We dropped Nat off at The Vipers Rugby Club this morning to join his team mates on a trip to Twickenham to watch the Guinness Premiership Final between Leicester Tigers and Saracens. I would have loved to have gone but at the time of booking it wasn’t clear whether or not I would be physically up to it. Even now I’m not sure I’d be able to sit on a coach seat / stadium seat for a whole day without cocking up my new hip. I’m not supposed to sit on low chairs for at least six weeks after the operation and to date it’s only been three and a bit! I’ve nagged Nat to take some photos and videos whilst he’s there but I’m willing to bet buttons to dollars that he doesn’t take any or if he does only a very few and certainly no videos. I’m hoping to be disappointed but very much doubt that I will be! Anyway, by the time he gets home he’s going to be shattered because their ETA back to the Vipers Club House is 11 PM!!! Called Nat about 2:15, they are still on the coach, although they have stopped at some services for a break, and are now on, he thinks, the M25 which sounds about right because Twickenham Stadium is about six miles away for London Heathrow Airport. We were cut off when my phone’s low battery warning started sounding; either I’ve got a duff battery, hopefully, cos it was fully charged this morning or I’ve got a duff phone which is a far more serious problem. Mind you when the N95 started draining batteries like there was no tomorrow I just left it somewhere warn and dry for a few months and the problem appeared to solve itself. Whatever the reason it’s now working fine and holding it’s battery charge for days.
Germany 1992; I’ve told the kids a number of times that when Deb and I visited Germany in 1992 we discovered a kind of bobsleigh run on the side of a mountain during our travels across the Rhineland. I’ve never tried to locate this site on the internet but that changed this morning. I’ve been watching that odd little daytime series Coach Trip Series Three (I’d never heard of it, let alone seen it, before); on yesterdays episode they visited the Innsbruck Winter Olympic Bobsleigh Run where, in the non-winter months, you can ride the run on a wheeled bobsleigh, known as “Summer Bobsleighing” reasonably enough. I showed this clip to Han this morning after we returned from dropping off Nat and it inspired me to see if i could find the site we visited in 1992. God Bless the Internet; it must have taken me all of five minutes to find the location followed by their website followed by YouTube footage of people riding the run. I’ve linked to a couple of these videos below:
I’d really really like to have another go on this and so would Nat and Han; for some reason Deb isn’t so enthusiastic!
Well talk about Serendipity, as Victor Meldrew might say “I Cannot Believe It”, quite by chance, I can’t even recall how now, I came across a site called TV Heaven that basically lists virtually every TV show/series that has ever been on TV. Now whenever I encounter such a site there is ALWAYS one search that I ALWAYS (are you getting the picture) ALWAYS make; so too the H’s and look for “The Hanged Man”. Well would you believe it, there it was The Hanged Man. Why do I always make this search? Because in 1975 (when I was 18) I stayed in every Saturday night for eight weeks (Note to Young People:- there were no videos recorders in those days) to watch this drama thriller. As far as I was concerned it was, at this point, the best thriller I’d ever seen on TV and if I’[m honest I’d say that few dramas since have bested it. I managed to pick up a copy of the book of the TV series in Cardiff shortly after the series concluded and this book must rank amongst my most reread books of all time. My original copy is now held together with sellotape and prayers (luckily I managed to acquired a new copy on Amazon a few years ago that retains it’s unread virgin status to this day). Now one other thing I ALWAYS do when I do this search is look to see if there are any episodes available anywhere to watch (For Example the first 10 minutes of the comedy spin-off “Turtles Progress” is on YouTube and can be seen here…
). Until now I’ve had no luck and all leads followed have ended the same way saying that the original tapes were either wiped or lost. Imagine my surprise and DELIGHT when I discovered this has changed and it changed THIS MONTH. The Complete series became available on DVD on 3 May 2010…YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
I will be sending for it forthwith…well actually it’s £18.00 and Deb has just told me I can have it for Father’s Day. Now I know it’s available I’ve searched to see if I could find it cheaper elsewhere but, alas, to no avail. But “Sod It”, I’ve wanted to re-see this programme for 35(!!!!!) years so what’s £20 (inc postage). I know the production valves of programmes for this era were so low that, sometimes, reviewing a fondly remembered series can be a great disappointment ( BBC’s Gangsters one off and 2 spin-off series in 1976 and 1977 being cases in point) but as I recall much of this series was shot on location rather than in the studio so hopefully this will play in it’s favour. Either way I’ll be seeing it… shit I’m so happy I can’t explain it!!!It would appear that I’m desperately in need of a further thirty words if I am to reach the thousand word mark on this particular blog post, can anyone suggest anything that I might do to achieve this target, What’s that, waffle on endlessly you say, surely that would be cheating and something that a gentleman would not countenance. No I understand fully the point you make and if, like you, I too were totally lacking in honour then perhaps I too might pursue it also; but alas I cannot! Oh looks “cannot” somehow mysteriously became the 1059th word so the problem appears to be moot! (1075) Of course this now means that I’ve got to find something to fill the remaining 25 words and this will, no doubt, be it! (1100)
Friday, 28 May 2010
Anyway, Donna, softy that she is, decided that he couldn’t leave without some sort of ceremony to mark the occasion so she arranged to hold a surprise party for him at her house. Below are the photos and videos we took; it was good fun and we bought him a copy of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything as a farewell present.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Weight Watchers - Lost 5 lbs
I hate Bruce Forsythe, not personally, but as an entertainer - he gets right up my nose. So imagine my surprise when I thought he was brilliant on Have I Got News For You. Self deprecating and very witty, oh Bruce if only you’d been like this before I could have saved myself all that dislike. Anyway you were brilliant even if you thought you were older than the queen… she’s 2 years older than you matey! Ian Hislop, however, was obviously embarrassed by your antics.
Watched Question Time tonight, wow Piers Morgan came over very well and really laid into Alastair Campbell over the whole Iraq affair. Like most people I’d accepted the description of Morgan as a complete tosser who supped from the crumbs of Simon Cowell’s table; however this evening he was one who pulled no punches; his feeling about the Iraq War are obviously strongly and sincerely held. At one point it seemed that the programme was going to become the Morgan v Campbell debate show.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Didn’t do very much today, I ended up staying up until about 6:00 AM sleeping fitfully in the chair downstairs as my stomach worked to process the food I’d consumed the previous evening so when, eventually, I did climb the stairs to Bedfordshire and dragged myself under the sheets I slept until 1:30 PM, by which time most of the day had passed me by, and when I did make it downstairs I just plonked myself down in a chair and watched the TV. I know dear readers, sometimes you must wonder how I cope with all the excitement; just let me tell you, it’s not easy but somehow I manage! When everyone was home we sat down to watch Stephen Fry’s program on Wagner (up till now everything I’ve ever seen him in, documentary wise, has been riveting, regardless of the subject matter, but unfortunately this was a documentary too far) we made it two thirds of the way but eventually threw in the towel. So there’s a first for you Mr Fry you’ve finally made a programme I couldn’t watch all the way through.
Deb took Han to ballet at 6:15 and Darren picked up Nat for Scouts at 6:45 and I was left alone for an hour during which time I did…nothing, so no change there.
Everyone was abed by 10:30 except for me, I started watching Luther on the BBC iPlayer, fell asleep, woke when switched over to Family Guy, watched two episodes of FG fell asleep and so the night passed. Eventually I woke around 5:00 AM and went to bed. Slept until 10:30 and the back up. As I noted earlier, the excitement just doesn’t stop!
We seem to have quite a few birds nests in the garden this year and they all appear to have chicks in them. When Monty gets excited and tries to investigate the nests he keeps being dive bombed by the parents; poor dog he really hasn’t got a clue what’s going on!
Now, I’ve got to finish reading the Governors papers for tonight and on the way to the meeting I must remember to call at an ATM to get some cash for tonight. The last time we went for a meal to the Left bank the food was gorgeous; lets hope that history repeats itself!
Called at ATM on the way to the meeting so I’ve got funds and I can go out tonight…will I remember how to interact with adults in a social situation, it’s been so long?
The was a good turnout for the meeting and many items were discussed; the biggest issue, obviously, was the effect of the closure of Homfield school (see previous Governors meeting post) on future pupil levels at Millfield. We will be running at virtually maximum capacity and it will mean combining year groups. The current Year Four (Han’s Current Year) groups will , next term, be split between one mixed yr 4 / yr 5 group and 3 parallel year 5 / year 6 groups. There was some detailed discussion regarding the possible negative effects of this strategy, particularly the possibility that the yr 5 component of the yr 4 / yr 5 group might miss out on some of the yr 5/ yr 6 curriculum in the following academic year. The Head (and governor teaching staff) advised that this strategy had been used in previous years successfully. The main problem is that there are seven available classrooms and to avoid this solution would require access to eight. It was generally agreed that it would not be advantageous to try and get an additional mobile classroom because of the school’s past bad experience of having mobiles and because long term it would run the risk of raising the schools potential maximum intake figure to over 400+. Bearing in mind that the school was originally built to house around 250 children this would be a step to far and the school infrastructure would be unable to cope. It was agreed to return to this topic at the next Governors meeting in September. The meeting finally ended at about 8:00 PM and those of us going on for a meal prepared to leave (I got a lift there and back with Carl, chairman of Governors). The couldn’t make it nor could Debbie or Sanjay so in total there were ten of us; Lesley, Via, Sandie, Yvonne, Arthur, Tracey, Carl and Myself. We went to the Left Bank (like last time) on Braunstone Gate where on a Tuesday it’s 2-4-1 night for main courses. This makes having a meal there not unreasonably expensive if everyone teams up and eats off the special menu, which we all did. I started with the pate and had the duck as my main course along with 2 pints of pear cider. There was lots of chat and a few laughs and a good time was had by all. We were done for about 10:15 and Carl dropped me off at home around 10:30. I was stuffed and plonked myself down in my chair to allow my stomach the time it needed to get on with the process of digestion; they don’t stint on the portions at the Left ban and I would certainly recommend it to anyone; especially on a Tuesday!
Monday, 24 May 2010
I did very little today. After a walk to ASDA, tiring, and a walk back carrying a rucksack with shopping in, very tiring, I sat outside and listened to podcasts. I managed to get up to date with the Dan Carlin Common Sense series. Deb home 3:15, Han walked home and Donna picked up Nat along with Sian.
Han had cubs and Nat had his special monthly meeting to earn his Queens Scout Award. Donna took Han and Deb took Nat and Jonathon, who is it would appear going to give this up. I don’t know why because, as Nat said, apart from Scouts Jonathon doesn’t appear do anything else outside of his home.
Nothing much else to report apart from an email advising me that Ash is now following me on Twitter; upon hearing this news I reciprocated and started following him.
Sunday, 23 May 2010
I stayed in bed this a.m. after finally arriving in the land of Nod; I didn’t get up until almost midday, meanwhile:
Deb picked up Nat from Jacobs about 10:00 and ended up staying there, with han, for about an hour sitting in the garden chatting to his parents; apparently Bruce, his Dad, had cycled to Bradgate Park at 6AM that morning…madman! After she brought him home she took Han to Ballet.
Han’s ballet class were performing at an event at Trinity Church (where her classes are held) that evening and she needed to be there by midday in order to rehearse. So Deb ran her there and dropped her off with her kit and a pasta lunch. As you can see it’s a huge building with a seemingly endless supply of rooms.
When she got home she and I sat out in the garden and had lunch whilst sleepy head Nat crashed on the sofa. Lots of Jersey-Mids with lunch…delicious!
When we got to the church we met Deidre (Han’s Ballet Teacher)there and she advised us to get a pew in the hall so that we could watch Han’s performance. We hadn’t quite realised what was going on at Trinity Church that day (Pentecost 2010 - a whole day of Pentecostal* workshops and meetings) and so we found ourselves in the middle of a full blown Penticostalist* act of worship. Well it was different and the Cantor (the person who leads the singing) had an utterly superb voice, my every attempt to record her voice met with failure; this turned out to be because the sound clips were recording to the phone memory instead of the card memory and as a result the memory kept being full and recordings didn’t start! Han’s ballet performance was fine but, only lasted for about five minutes, was hard to see from where we were sat and made no sense to me whatsoever. So for this we sat through 75 minutes of evangelising? I just don't get religion,
I stopped believing I can’t recall ever believing but I wasn’t nine years old when I asked a question at Sunday School got an asinine answer and decided God was bullshit and never attended again. How can Adults(?) believe these fairy stories, it’s beyond me!
Anyway here are a few different media files of our experience there:
There are some photos of the "programme of worship" and a couple of "Puppet" Videos?
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Saturday 22 May – Nat Plaster Change, The Zoo House, Sitting in the Sun, BarBQ Nat, The Mill on the Soar
Deb and Nat had to be up early this AM to go to the Royal Infirmary; Nat had an 8:30 appointment to have his temporary dressing replaced with a proper plaster (re broken arm) . Happily they were done and dusted by 9:30 and returned home with Nat proudly displaying his new red plaster.We stopped off at sainsbury’s on the way home to get a few beers and various other sundry items. On arrival back Han went straight to bed and was shortly followed there by Deb. I stayed up until the early hours and when i eventually went to bed I’ didn’t get up until midday.
22/05/2010 by mysickbones on Zooomr
Nat had arranged for some of his mates to call around lunchtime to sign his plaster and do a little(?) gaming. In the end only Jacob and Sam turned up but when you add Han and Monty into the equation the place still seemed like a zoo filled with very distressed animals. Oh God, the noise that they are capable of making defies belief!
Anyway, I happily let them get on with it; I plugged in my MP3 player (phone), picked up a book, poured myself a beer, plonked down some cushions on to a garden chair and sat outside under the parasol to enjoy the warmest day of the year to date. Deb had gone to do a little shopping and was planning on buying a throwaway BarBQ to cook out hot dogs on this evening. In the end she decided not too and so, tea still consisted of hot dogs only instead of burning them on a BarBQ we instead burnt them under a grill, what a hoot! Anyway, after she came home she got ready to take Han to ballet; about five minutes after they left the three lads came downstairs went out into the garden and started smashing the crap out of each other on the trampoline. I suspected that they had waited for Han to leave because when she’s there and Nat’s friends are present she’s an unremitting attention seeker. Eventually Sam departed but Jacob remained behind. Nat wanted him to stay for a sleep over but we said no because Donna had called earlier and invited us out for the evening to the Mill on the Soar. It turned out that Jacob’s family were having a BarBQ that evening and that it was OK for Nat to sleep over at his house. Nat and Jacob left about five after I’d discovered that Nat's mobile had been broken during his bike accident, it’s a miracle it worked long enough for him to phone Deb because we wouldn’t have known where he was if we’d had to go looking because he’d taken a route home we weren’t aware of. So I checked that my N95 was charged, put £10 credit on it and gave him it. We weren’t to see or hear form him again until the next day…why did I bother giving him that phone?
Deb, Han and I left home at round 6:30 and met Donna, Jonathan, Sian and Josh at 7:00 at the Mill. I bought our one and only round (1 pint cider 2 cokes = approx £7.00!!!!) of the evening which we nursed until we left about 9:15. The Mill was it’s usual pleasant self, we were sat outside near the kids play area and lake, and we passed an enjoyable couple of hours chatting in the sunshine whilst Josh and han ran round like blue arsed flies. Sian commandeered my mobile in order to remain up-to-date on Facebook; Donna did a very self conscious Audio Boo recording where she couldn’t think of anything to say…I know the feeling! Here are a few photos of the area surrounding the Mill.
The Mill on the Soar Photos
Friday, 21 May 2010
Well, I see we have yet another example of the wonderful tradition of “Honour Killing” and another family destroyed by it; no matter so long as we continue to honour cultural diversity and practice moral relativism it’s not a problem. Well actually it is, some things are wrong, you don’t wipe out a family because of a disagreement over a marriage! How long before something similar actually happens in the UK? I have no control over the cultural of Pakistanis’ living in in Pakistan but I can most certainly object to it’s transposition to the UK. We have enough home grown uneducated primitives (I’m referring to Thatcher’s destroyed generation – Burberry Glad Amoral Chavs) of our own without importing anymore. I’ve no objection to immigration (in fact in view of our aging population I welcome all the skilled immigrants who want to come here, after all someone has to pay my pension) but what I do object to is people refusing to integrate. If you intend to relocate permanently to another country then you should assimilate the culture of that country. This applies equally, as far as I’m concerned, to British Ex-Pats; if you move to Spain then at least try to learn Spanish. I’ve a great deal of respect for the French and USA models, if you want to live in France fine but that means you have to become French ditto USA. No doubt, we’ll have some sound bite Imam wheeled out to tell us that this has nothing to do with Islam which, of course, is a religion of peace and that it’s simply a coincidence that Islam seems always to be the dominant religion in the countries where Honour Killing is common.
As of today we are all supposed to walk the dog together everyday; finally we took Monty over the playing fields shortly after 7PM. Han ran aroud the outside of the field while the three of us crossed it; she only narrowly avoided beating us! When we got home we watched the new Guy Richie film Sherlock Holmes on DVD; I can’t decide if I liked it or not, I think another viewing is called for, there was lots of action, it was fairly funny and Downey and Law played off each other quite well but something didn’t quite hit the spot. later that evening after everyone else was in bed I watched three episodes of Smallville series three. I’d forgotten how similar every episode is to every other, I can’t decide why i like it. i think it’s that I’m fascinated to watch the fall of Lex Luther because I rather like the young Lex.
Anyway, I finally made it to bed by 6:30 AM and slept in quite late in the morning!
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Nat came downstairs, virtually in tears, this morning to say that his arm was still hurting in fact it was excruciatingly painful and he thought that it might be broken. Deb asked me to ensure that Han got up for school and was washed and dressed and fed before she bundled him into the car and headed for A&E for an X-Ray. I’ll called han, who said she was getting dressed, and then promptly fell asleep in my chair. I say my chair because at the moment it’s the only chair that’s high enough for me to use without risking dislocating my new hip. I’d slept, intermittently, downstairs again and had reached the point where I just couldn’t stay awake. When I woke I saw that it was 8:45 and Han should have left for school ten minutes ago; I called up to her again, only to discover that she had spent the time sitting on her bed and was neither dressed washed nor fed. Naturally I went a little ballistic at this news and “gently” encouraged her to get her f**king arse in gear and get down here ASAP. Eventually she came down, without socks, and was immediately sent to get them. I managed to get her dressed and out the door, without breakfast, by about 8:50 and watched her run up the road to school. I called the school to advise she would be late and Jenny, the school secretary, told me she would check she’d got there and give me a call to let me know, which she did…lovely lady that she is.
I rang Deb to see what was happening with Nat and she confirmed that he had indeed broken his arm and that they were now waiting for it to be put in plaster. I called Brockington College to let them know the situation and to say that Nat would be in later. They told me that Deb would have to come to reception with him so that the pastoral team could check that it would be safe for him to remain on the premises. Deb and Nat eventually arrived home and after Nat had changed into some looser clothing she drove him to school. He passed the assessment and was allowed on site. He’s quite chuffed, he now has a school laptop to do his work on, he gets to leave lessons five minutes early to avoid the crush and rush when classes end and his mates have to carry his stuff up and down stairs for him so that he has a hand free to hold on to the banister.
Both kids made it home without incident and Deb got ready to go to Weight Watchers with Donna. Donna has decided that she needs to lose weight and is joining Weight Watchers; because of her current medical condition she is entitled to have an appropriate friend go with her when she does anything like this and the said friends costs will be covered by Social Services (it’s cheaper than sending a social worker with her). She has nominated Deb as her “appropriate friend” so Deb goes too and effectively it’s half price for each of them. In the light of coming cuts it’s questionable how long this will continue. The bad news, for we three, is that Deb has decided that we all need to lose weight and so we will be joining her WW program. Less food more exercise and we all take the dog out together for a long walk every day. I can see Nat the “Waste Disposal Unit” being out out by this as the only diet he favours is the Sea Food Diet; when he sees food he eats it!.
After Han had gone to bed Nat and I watched Have I Got News For You; I have a new respect for Eamonn Holmes, who I’ve only ever before seen presenting daytime TV, who was the guest presenter. He was extremely funny and showed a different side to his talents. Given that he had not only to deal with the two regulars but also with Armando Iannucci he came out of the whole experience covered in glory; well perhaps that’s going a bit far but he did do very well indeed. Whatever, I laughed my socks off which isn’t easy when you’re wearing DVT (deep vein thrombosis) socks! After Nat went to bed Deb and I watched Question Time. Afterward she went to bed and I settled in to watch This Week ( yes sometimes I’m a bit of a politics junkie) and promptly fell asleep, woke rewound virgin plus box fell asleep, woke rewound virgin plus box fell asleep, woke gave up and went to bed.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Wednesday 19 May – Bicycle Boy Falls Off, Seeing Nat’s Teachers and School Finance Committee (Governors)
After this emergency had been dealt with Deb and I departed for Brockington to meet with his teachers for his termly assessment. This was going to be a tight call as I had a Governors finance committee meeting the same evening at Millfield which was due to start at 5:30. We saw all his main teachers and they said the following:
History - Mr Wilson Room 114 @ 4.40pm
Form Teacher - Miss Wilson Room 120 @ 4.45pm
Geography - Mr Minion Room 110 @ 4.50pm
Science - Mr Jackson Room 111 @ 5.05pm
Maths - Mr Opara Room 108 @ 5.10pm
English - Miss Grant Room 119 @ 5.20pm
First teacher we saw was Mr Wilson - History - he was pleased with Nat's work though he thought that his presentation was letting him down and that he needed to expand his answers with evidence.
Next down to the far end of the corridor to see Miss Lewis his form tutor - just a short wait - she was very happy with him saw him as the 'Peacemaker ' able to go from group to group and get on with everyone.
Then back down the corridor to see Mr Minion for Geography - wow he seemed very impressed with Nat and gave a glowing report.
A quick pop next door to see Mr Jackson - Science - considering this is Nat's favourite subject I wasn't impressed - he didn't seem to bothered: think he would have rather been somewhere else - when questioned about Nat's presentation he said - well he's a boy!!!
Down to room 108 to see Mr Opara - Maths - he was well behind and there was a massive Q so we went back up to Room 119 to see if Miss Grant - English - was free - result just had a few minutes wait - she was aware that Nat had a problem with presentation and is going to put his name forward for some extra English classes focusing on punctuation ( Which she has now done - 2 sessions a week). Thank god she's not too bothered about his spelling.
Back down to see Mr Opara - still a long Q - we waited for about 5-10 mins before Nat's name was called - some strange looks from other parents who had been waiting but hey our appointment was at 5.10 and it was now 5.35 - just cos we'd used our initiative and seen other teachers first - Mr Opara happy with Nat's work only advice was to get him to SLOW DOWN and wait for instructions.
The general consensus (in fact every teacher mentioned it) was that in all subjects Nat was either near or at the top of his class BUT that all his work suffered from his presentation difficulties and a tendency to jump in and answer the question before he had properly read it…the classic case of giving the perfect answer to the question they didn’t ask! We are working on the writing issue at home by making him keep a blog every day with a minimum of 100 words per entry but somehow he has managed to avoid writing a lot of these. He has been told in no uncertain terms that this is no longer acceptable and if he wants to keep the things we agreed to in our original deal then these must be written up regularly. If he can establish this habit by the time his GCSE’s come around writing won’t be an issue any longer. But, understandably, it’s hard now and few of us like doing hard things.
Things were running late and I had to phone Millfield and advise I would be there ASAP. Finally saw Nat’s maths teacher and made our get away. Deb dropped me off at Millfield at about 5:50 and I made it fro the rest of the meeting. Most of the meeting simply involved us approving the Heads spending plans for the coming year and review the school accounts with Raj the Bursar. The interesting stuff was under AOB when I asked Nick (a local councillor) what the cuts situation was looking like at the sharp end. After much discussion we were all agreed that it was very unlikely that Education would remain ring-fenced long term and that the school would be facing a tough time financially in the coming years, I also arranged with the Deputy Head Steve to meet to discuss the schools ICT plans soon. He will text me a suitable time and day.
I decide to walk home, via the Winstanely Pub, not for a drink but to see what they were doing there. Deb had mentioned that when she passed it the other days it appeared to have been closed and that there seemed to be a lot of building work taking place. Will we be losing the only pub in the area, if so it’s as much my fault as anyone's; I can’t recall the last time I was in there, twenty years ago it was my local and I called a few times every week. After all the rushing around Brockington the walk home may have been a step to far because I was knackered and in quite a lot of pain when I eventually made it home and collapsed in my chair for the rest of the evening. As I mentioned it turned out that Nat had gone to Scouts so it was just the three of us until just after 9:00. Little else that evening, Nat still seemed to be in quite a lot of pain when he went to bed but we put this down to shock and bruising after all he’s been to Scouts hadn’t he? Once again I fell asleep in my chair and never made it to bed. This has to stop as my leg needs to be rested in bed in a straight position as it is it remains swollen and I appear to have elephantiasis in my left leg. It’s really uncomfortable because my skin feels as if it’s stretched to breaking point. When it subsides will I be left with a wrinkly leg…God forbid? For anyone who doesn’t know what elephantiasis looks like here’s a picture to ruin your supper!!! By the way, this was the least distressing image I could find :-
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
It’s 09:52 and I’m waiting to go over to see the nurse to have my stitches/staples removed. If I remember correctly it’ll be a very odd feeling, not painful but weird. I’ve got the spare special dressings they gave me and asked me to return if unused and I mustn’t forget to take the snips. When you leave hospital they gave you a pair of snippets to give to the nurses to cut the staples with. Just managed to give myself an all over wash; I woke drenched in sweat so there was no way, pain or not, that I was going over there without at least an all over rubdown.
Just rung the school to let them know I’ll be late for the finance meeting tomorrow as it clashes with the meeting we have with Nat’s teachers tomorrow after school. Hopefully I’ll only be about 10 minutes or so late. Typical; my diary is empty for months on both sides two events and they are both on the same day!
10:48 They Are Out..Hooray, just been to see the nurse (Wendy)who removed all 28 of my staples in about five minutes. Everything seems fine so no new dressing been left exposed to heal. Wow, what a difference it makes not having the pulling of the staples and the dressing in place. most of the area around the wound is still pretty numb and I’ve got the twinges as the nerves reunite to look forward too. If it’s like last time it’ll take about 8-12 months before I get full feeling back in the surrounding skin. I remembered to return the expensive dressings so that’s my good deed for the day done. I think I’ll have a little rest to let my leg get used to being staple-less then perhaps good for a walk to start building muscle strength.
AS I’d nothing better to do I was just going through my many internet bookmarks deleting dead links; it’s astonishing how many you accumulate ”that’s interesting I must bookmark it for future reference” and before you know it when you look at your bookmarks there are literally thousands of them, and given the ephemeral nature of the internet many, if not most, are by now dead links. Anyway, one link I came across was about the death of Anna Nicole Smith the Playboy model who married a 90+ year old billionaire and who was involved in litigation, with his family, over his will for the last decade or so. Why do I mention it? Because if you’d asked me when she had died I’d probably have said last year maybe a little longer…she died in FEB 2007 – over 3 years ago!!! This is why I keep saying to Deb, much to her annoyance, that I can’t believe how quick time is passing. Everyone says that relative time speeds up as you get older but I’m convinced that being on this four on four off night shift has exacerbated this for me; I no longer have any intuitive sense of what day, or even what month, it is. Most people, including me at one time, know what day it is without even thinking about it: whilst writing that last sentence I realised I couldn’t remember how old I was! ANS’s death is a perfect example of this disconnection from time but equally it is true with the kids, I can’t recollect each of their school years as separate discrete periods of time each of which should have its own memorable incidences. The last six years seems to have blended into one amorphous whole. When I’m fully mobile I’m going to have to address this issue and get some structure back into my life!
Monday, 17 May 2010
Flicking through the TV on Demand channel this PM had a look at the “last chance to see2 category and came across Professor Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson’s 2006 series War of the World which I’d seen when it was first broadcast but, I was sure I’d missed some episodes so I started watching the sixth final episode. Then I thought to myself, I’ve got a Son who loves history and decided to wait until Nat got home so that we could watch together. Now, the fifth episode, the penultimate one, was about the Cold war and he’s always asking me about that so I thought we could watch the last two rather than just the last. Good call on my part, we watched the some of episode 5 before he went to kickboxing and then the rest on return followed by the final one. He loved them, as I’d guest and we were going to start the whole series from scratch but couldn’t because the Debster wanted to watch the Time team special on Nelson Navel Hospital; so that’s tomorrow’s after school TV sorted.
What really pisses one off is that Deb’s had Time Team frozen now for twenty minutes whilst she natters away on the phone!!!!!!!
At last, finally - There is no known biological mechanism by which mobiles could cause cancer, but there has been public concern. Now at last perhaps this rubbish can be laid to rest. This is why people get up in arms about masts as well. But even this doesn’t stop the daily mail’s campaign to convince you that EVERYTTHING gives you cancer. I’m writing this post at 22:10 and this was posted on the Mail On Line 2 hours ago
Talking on the mobile just 30mins a day linked with heightened risk of brain cancer
What is it with the DAILY MAIL AND CANCER, IT’S LIKE THE DAILY EXPRESS AND THE “MURDER” OF PRINCESS DI!!!
They have made up their minds now don’t confuse them with the FACTS. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were just individual Nutters but for Christ’s sake they are newspapers with a duty, where possible, to report facts not obsessive bullshit. Note the first paragraph -
Using a mobile phone for just half an hour a day could raise the odds of brain cancer by up to 40 per cent, a controversial study has concluded. This is based on one statistical freak result but this won’t change believers minds. It’s like the Vaccine Autism believers; it’s balls but they are convinced.
Have you always wondered why The Mail is held up as an object of ridicule by so many ?
Well now you know one of the many many many reasons!!!
Went out this PM for a walk by myself; while I’ve walked to the surgery and a short way up the Kingsway before now this was the first time since my Op that I’ve gone out to see haw far I could go. Very successful, I’m happy to say, I was out for about 30 minutes and in no great pain by the time I got home. I wasn’t until then that I realised quite how strenuous it had been. Sat down and 30 seconds later I was drenched in sweat, not like the temperature fluctuations I’ve been experiencing just a reaction to the walk itself. I have been left feeling light headed since so I’ll need to bear this in mind next time. But, all in all, a good start. It’s just after 3:00PM now and I’m wondering whether or not to walk up toward the school and meet Han on her way home. The problem is I don’t know if Deb’s picking her up or if she’s walking home. It’s the last Gadget Show of the series tonight and if I want to any the competition I need to put some credit on my phone; or should we send a post card?
I’ve just heard an advert on TV that tells me that yet again I spotted an opportunity that I should have followed up on. A couple of years ago I became aware that you could sent off an opticians prescription to India and get a set of spec’s back for a fraction of the price it would cost you in the UK. I thought at the time “that sounds like a good business opportunity” but I never followed up on the initial research. It seems that someone else had the same idea but they acted on it; I’ve just seen an advert for Glasses Direct who are obviously doing just this…I’m such a twat score one more for low self esteem, I should have believed in myself!
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Not a very nice day today, my left leg is swollen to the size of a tree trunk and my skin is so stretched that it’s an additional discomfort. the Surgeon warned me that my system would fluctuate wildly for the next few weeks and today was a bad day. One moment I’m drenched in sweat but the moment I take the wet clothes off to changed I’m frozen and literally shivering as if I was suffering from flu. A little later I’m once again on fire soaked and so the cycle goes.
I did manage to do one thing this morning before the cycle set in big time. I managed to set up Audio Boo on my phone. Audio Boo is like twitter except it records short spoken messages. An application is available for the phone and Android phones but it’s not supposed to work on other makes until they release applications for these models. I’ve discovered a work round. You can post to Audio Boo using pixel pipes. I’ve got pixel pipes on my phone, I use it to upload photos and videos so here's the trick:-
Set up Audio Boo A/c
Set up Pixel pipes A/c
Set up Pixel pipes on Phones
Set one Pixel pipes destination as Audio Boo
Set up Audio Boo to post to Twitter and Facebook
Use voice recorder function on phone, upload to pixel pipes that uploads this to Audio boo that uploads it too Twitter and Facebook. Once its set up all you do is record Boo and upload everything else works automatically. Bit fiddly but it now means that if I see something and I want to remember it i can press record on phone and make a verbal rather than written note. The Boo appears on Twitter as a short link and on Facebook something like this:-
So that’s about it for yesterday, went to bed about 4:00 PM got up 9:00PM; Nat spent the days at Jacob's house and had just got home, Han had spent the day with Shanntel and had just got home. We watched last week’s and this week’s Doctor Who episodes. Afterward Han went to bed; Deb Nat and I watched the best of Russell Howard’s Goodness and afterward Nat and I watched an episode of Family Guy ( Stewie and Brian special – Road to the Multiverse). Finally Nat went to bed I stayed up to watch the whole second series of “Coming of Age” but fell asleep in the chair instead and woke up at 6:00 AM…went to bed until 10:00.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Friday 14 May - Morning All, Surgery, Oh Nurse, Eastern European x 2, Today Programme, Question Time, Radio Leicester, Silver Arcade, Eastern European x 1, Bigot, Galaxy Sam and End of Season Vipers Presentation Evening Videos
Just as I had arrived two young ladies, both wearing very mini mini skirts and stilettos, entered ahead of me; I queued behind them to wait my turn to tell the receptionist that I was there. What followed was surreal, the two ladies in question were both Eastern European and I’m not exaggerating when I say that neither spoke fluent English. One of the girls (neither seemed much over twenty) had a toddler in tow and she, apparently, had received a letter telling her to bring the child to the surgery at 3:00 PM that day. The receptionist asked for her name and address and entered them into her PC to find out what her child was there for and who was supposed to be seeing him. This was when things started to get weird; there was nothing on the PC about this lady, her child or even her address. The receptionist then asked to see the letter so she could ascertain why they had no record of this appointment. The lady hadn’t (?) brought the letter with her so it wasn’t possible for the receptionist to find out anything else. All she could tell her was that she didn’t appear to have an appointment at this surgery. It was at this point that the young “lady” went Ape-Shit, shouting and swearing (somehow she knew all those English words) and blaming the receptionist for sending her the letter. Eventual she stormed out of the surgery shouting, saying, I think, that if she were sent another letter she would ignore it; the receptionist, who by this time had also started to lost it, responded by saying next time don’t be so stupid and bring the letter with you…what fun!
After my heroic trek to the surgery, it’s all the way across the other side of the road, I decided to be even more adventurous and walked up the Kingsway to meet Han on her way home from school. On her way home she was planning to go, by herself, to the shops on Watergate Lane so I wanted to meet her be sure she was OK (that’s us over protective Dads for you). I got as far as The Chase before Han and Deb drove passed me (Deb having had the same idea and having driven to Watergate on her way home). Screech of brakes, one handbrake turn and four smoking tyres (Deb you’ve gotta stop watching Ashes to Ashes – You’re not Gene Hunt and you haven’t got a Audi Quattro) later they stopped and waved me over. Bugger, getting into a car is difficult and very painful; It’s like being Paris Hilton trying to get out of a car when she’s not pissed and trying not to flash her pubes to all and sundry…as if!
Anyway, I went to bed around 4:00 AM again, fell asleep in the chair…again, and dropped off until Deb and Nat woke up around 6:00. Grabbed my phone and put the Today Programme on (this is becoming a habit; at this rate I'll know who’s who in the new UK Government if I’m not careful!) to find out what had happened in the world overnight…sod all apparently, alright, yes, a nuclear bomb had exploded in some godforsaken arsehole country somewhere on the other side of the World and yes hundreds of thousands of foreigners had been killed but as none of them were British it obviously wasn’t important…was it?
Talking of politics…and who isn’t? Last nights Question Time; what is it with the UK political system, the labour party in particular, and the idea of Betrayal? One of the panel on last nights programme was Mehdi Hasan Senior Editor (politics) of The New Statesman and all he harked on about was the Lib Dems betrayal (see his article here) of it’s electorate!!! Yes, many people did vote Lib Dem tactically to keep out the Tories but don’t forget many people also, probably, voted Lib Dem in their constituencies to keep out Labour. The bottom line is that we ended up with a hung Parliament and when this situation arises that are only a limited number of options open to those who find themselves elected:
1. Another Immediate Election;
2. The Governing Party tries to remain in power as a minority government;
3. The Largest Single Party (if different form 2. above) attempts to form a minority government, potentially followed by the next largest etc;
4. Two or more of the party's enter into an arrangement to form a coalition government;
5. there isn’t a five!
Surely, if the Lib Dems sincerely believed that the only viable strategy they could follow was to enter into a coalition with the Tories, in order to ensure the stable government our economy so desperately needs NOW, then this cannot constitute a betrayal of it’s electorate. Indeed, the very essence of Lib Dem support for proportional representation is this; that it will 1. be more representative of the views of the electorate as a whole and 2. as a result of this governments are most likely to be coalition governments made up of the parties that occupy the centre ground. This is especially true when you realise that there was no way, regardless of what Gordon Brown might have wished for, that the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) were going to ally themselves with the Lib Dems. They were well aware that although no one had won the election they had most certainly lost it; the best they could hope for was to withdraw to the sidelines, lick their wounds, reorganise and let others take the hard decisions. Their cynical (and it was utterly cynical) hope
Betrayal, the same sad old song of the two party first passed the post system; a word loaded with emotions, all negative, designed to shame those who desire change.
Anyway, after the Today programme finished I retuned to Radio Leicester, it was that or Desert Island Discs, to discover that there are plans under way to reopen The Silver Street arcade (about fucking time it should never have been closed you philistines!!!) after how long…10 years…more?
DIGRESSION :- I used to love that place, whenever I used to come into town on a Saturday (before we had the kids when I actually had some money to spend on myself) to do my semi-regular tour of the bookshops, Smiths, Lewis’s (who remembers that Lewis’s had a pretty good bookshop near the Charles Street ground floor entrance - Deb worked there one summer and put the first Gringos book – Guns Across the River [J. D. Sanderson I believe pen name of another of the Piccadilly Cowboys] away for me to make sure I got a copy), Midland Educational (now Waterstones), the second hand book stalls in the market and (is it still there?) Wharf Street South 2nd Bookshop (last time I was there about 15yrs ago I think it had more porn than paperbacks…2nd hand porn and I mean SECOND HAND…Yuck).
Anyway, it would seem that Silver Street arcade is finally getting the facelift it has so long required and should reopen in about 18 months. I just hope it doesn't get filled with nothing but expensive ladies shops, buy which i do mean shoe shops, clothes shops, jewellery shops and sundry
Well of course, this being local radio, the reporter on the scene had to ask members of the public what they thought. The first person they stopped in the street to ask about their recollections (remember it’s been shut for al least ten years) turned out to be a young man of Eastern European (judging by the accent) extraction who did not speak English…where do all these Eastern Europeans come from I asks you? Oh God, I’m turning into that bigoted woman. After that they stopped people who either didn’t have any memories of any kind or were children when it was last open. As for the people who rang in this morning, one old chap said it was a good thing, because it had been shut for WEEKS!!! We have the radio on during the night when I’m at work and it does seem that those people who do ring in, especially the ones that ring in regularly, are all slightly “special” in their own special way!
Below are some photos of Silver Street Arcade in better days, before it went completely to the dogs; as you will see it’s got fantastic potential, just so long as it doesn’t get monopolised by up market shops, selling over priced clothing to ladies who lunch!
Before I forget, I received an email from Dawn this morning, in reply to my email requesting her mobile number, which did not contain her mobile number.
However, at least I know now that her daughter Sam, who gave Han all those smashing clothes, loves galaxy chocolate. So Han now YOU know what YOU can get her to say thank you…don’t YOU!
That evening Nat had the annual Vipers presentation evening at the club. He didn’t win any awards this year (he won most improved player two years ago) but a good time was had by all. Below are some videos Deb took, I couldn’t go because of the stairs there and my crutches, unfortunately she didn’t take any still photos!
And finally; for all you political junkies out there here’s: A Clickable Guide to the New Cabinet
Friday 14 May - Morning All, Today, Radio Leicester, Silver Arcade (do you have to be a twat to tel radio station), Galaxy Sam
Thursday, 13 May 2010
It's 12:01 and I've spent most of the morning doing very little other than surfing the net and catching up on Google Reader feeds. just put on the news and listening to what the new government has done today. Apparently first item of business was a 5% pay cut on Ministerial salaries plus their created a coalition cabinet to try and keep a lid on and deal with inter party difficulties. I really want this to work, cos we're well fucked if it doesn't, and, unlike Deb, I'm willing to give the Slitheen a chance.
Just announced - No 3rd Runway Heathrow, No ID cards, No Inheritance tax cuts but Yes too, Increases in the state pension, new taxes on the banks and a cap on immigration. So it’s all getting started lets see how it turns out. If anyone wants to keep score here’s a list of The Coalitions policies.
The Scottish Parliament is being televised as I’m writing this and true to form they’re blaming the English for everything. I see that David Miliband has already thrown his hat into the ring for the Labour leadership contest. It’s amazing how, after thirteen years of being a major part of the Government and the Parliamentary Labour Party, the moment he, or any other contenders, suddenly come up with a huge list of reforms to modernise the party. Why didn’t they mention these when they were in power if they had perhaps they might still be in power.
British Airways seems to be bend on self destruction. I have the feeling that the BA chief executive Willie Walsh will find himself removed if he doesn’t end this deadlock. Gave the staff back their travel perks and get back in to the game. This isn’t the right time to take you company to the brink simply out of sheer stubbornness!
I think my Tramadol tablets just kicked in cos I just came over all fuzzy headed… hello aren’t you a very pretty elephant, I’d always thought the saying “there’s an elephant in the room” was a metaphor for ignoring the obvious but look there you are in all your Pink Technicolor Glory!
They’ve just interviewed Baroness Warsi (Who) the first Female Muslim cabinet minister…anyone remember Token Black from South Park? She’s just been appointed as both Chairman(?) of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio (formally held by Hazel Anne Blears … who is, allegedly, a Troll and who gives even Gingers a bad name!!!)
Spoke to Hasu the other evening; it seems that resources at work have dropped a huge gonad re: evening staffing levels and as a reult of this we find ourselves in the situation where there are upward of 40 calls in queue in the middle of May!!! What is the matter with some departments don’t they rely on historical data or do the just make it up as they go along; God I’m glad I’m on the sick!
|THE TORCH HAS BEEN PASSED TO A NEW GENERATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOL NANCY BOYS|
BRITAIN'S long, national nightmare was over last night as the nation was once again placed in the safe, reliable hands of some vaguely effeminate public school boys.
After three years of being governed by a rough, nasty boy from a state school who shouted at everyone and didn't like custard, Britain wakes up today knowing it could introduce both the prime minister and deputy prime minister to its parents without having to endure an uncomfortable silence as they realised they had nothing in common.
David Cameron met a visibly relieved Queen shortly after 8pm, accepting her invitation to form a government of gentlemen before laughing their heads off about how Gordon Brown used to say 'tea' instead of 'supper'.
Minutes later the new prime minister spoke to the nation outside Number 10, peeing gently into his trousers while his glowing wife Samantha stood behind him wearing the smile of someone at a summer drinks party who has just turned round to see a demented rhinoceros thundering across the lawn.
The coalition deal was finally sealed yesterday evening during a hastily arranged phone call between David Cameron and Nick Clegg where they compared notes on the daughters of minor aristocrats that they had felt up at charity balls in the 1980s.
The prime minister's spokesman said: "We knew we had a workable, four year deal when David and Nick both realised they had probably fingered the Hon. Charlotte Brampton during the same Henley Regatta."
The new administration started work immediately as Downing Street released the first round of cabinet appointments including Binky, Pinky, Ponky, Porky, Splodger, Dodger, Bodger, Badger, Fishy Frobisher, good old Charlie Two-Yachts and Vince Cable.
Last night a Treasury source insisted Mr Cable and the new chancellor Binky Osborne were already working well together, adding: "They're even finishing each other's sentences. Of course the sentence does completely change its meaning half way through and ends up making no sense whatsoever, but they are at least sharing the same sentence. And that's historic."
But across Britain there were mixed feelings as the Labour Party relinquished power, with some wondering whether they would ever hate anyone quite as much again, while others welcomed a new set of characters they could make anonymous online death threats against.
Tom Logan, from Finsbury Park, said: "I don't think I'll ever forget watching an unemployed Peter Mandelson being interviewed on the BBC, filled to the brim with bitterness and defeat. I was so happy I very nearly shat myself."
He added: "I'm now heading over to the Guardian website to watch those fuckers squirm.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Deb had made me a flask of coffee in the hope that this would make up for there being no beer in the fridge...as if! "I wonder what those strange flaky things are" I thought to myself as I opened the flask, "they look like bits of plastic"? Well whatever they were the coffee was undrinkable and it looks as if the flask is now totally buggered; talk timing, why today of all days, I've had the damned thing for five years? So, no coffee, no tea, no beer and only lager shandy in the fridge to drink and I still didn't kill myself. I'm not quite sure how I managed not to but somehow I did.
Things are beginning to happen and it looks like we may have a new Government by the end of the day. All eyes are still on the Tories and the Lib-Dems whose talks are continuing. Whether the talks between lab and the Lib-Dems are real or just a ploy by Gordon Brown to allow the LD's to wring more concessions out of the Tories is moot.
So the Tories and LD's have reached agreement, Cameron is to be Prime minister and Clegg will be Deputy. I'm sure more details will emerge tomorrow. I'll write more tomorrow about the whole election from Thursday night to date.
Monday, 10 May 2010
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Wednesday 5 - Sunday 9 May - Hip Op, Pain, Election, Snoring, Death to Snores, Crutches, Physiotherapy and Heroes
Sun 9 May – Took it easy most of the day, slept intermittently, watched election coverage (see separate entry re: election), ate dinner…you get the picture. Getting more mobile trying to see if I can use just one crutch on the way to the kitchen so that I’ll be able to carry things tomorrow when I’m home alone. The day passed uneventfully and once more to bed. Still getting temp fluctuations which means some morning the bedding is soaked when I wake because I’ve sweated so much overnight.