Archive for Aug, 2009

I can see clearly now……..

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 21, 2009 by David Palmer
Sadly, the day that I wrote my last blog Aunty Hilda passed away. She asked to see her two sisters and said her goodbyes, later that night she decided to end her pain and join her husband Ted. Charlotte, Sarah and I went with Nan to the funeral, it was nice to see Aunty Edna again. There is only she and Aunty Anne left of that Palmer generation. Sue had to stay at home as that was the day that our new windows were being put in and Jamie was on a course, learning how to drive a forklift truck (I hope it is useful). After the funeral there was a little buffet for everyone at a local pub. I met a friend who I hadn’t seen since my school days and he was very chatty and seemed to want to confess a secret that he had had for so many years. I asked if I did any voluntary work, now that I was retired and seemed disappointed when I said no. He announced that he had been unable to read and write until a few years ago when he decided to do something about it. He plucked up the courage and joined a course, run by volunteers, and has never looked back. He now runs a course on computer literacy and tried to encourage me to do likewise. I weakly said that I would consider it and hoped that my face wouldn’t give me away. I think after 35 years I have done my bit and prefer my mind to wrestle with other tasks. I would never have guessed that he was illiterate when we knew each other, but then it didn’t matter, we were just good friends. But I am glad that he now is benefitting from a confidence that only came to fruition because he was courageus enough to say I can’t do this, but I want to. I found our converssation together very awkward (at the time I did wonder if he partly blamed me for his early predicament), but now I understand why he chose to tell me and was so persistent. He was exorcising his last Demon and putting his soul to rest. Good on yer mate!
Before returning home we went out for an evening meal to a pub in Firbeck, We were hoping to have a meal on a hot brick (we had one last year and it was delicious, but disappointingly they didn’t do it any more (lack of bricks, due to credit crunch).
Three days before our windows were being put in, the loft insulation team arrived and ……………………………… did a good job! We were surprised at how careful and thorough they were. It was a very hot day and it must have been like Hell up there. It certainly has made a difference to the ambient temperature of the house.
The window people were from Birmingham (not a derogatory comment) and also were very good. Extremely neat and efficient. On the second day two teams turned up and managed to complete all 20 windows. I gave them each a bottle of lager (I have it on good authority that, that is what Brummies eat and drink). When we had an extension built at our last house, I gave the builder a bottle of champagne (but he was from Rutland and his current girl friend was the daughter of the Duke of Burleigh). The windows are brill’ and now we can see clearly ………….  the spiders building their silky webs and taking advantage of their new 95% efficient, eco-friedlyenvironment. I do believe one has started to weave a miniature windfarm by the lounge window, and by the number of flies caught, it appears there have been quite a few protesters!
Harborough is being dug up at the moment, they are replacing all the gas pipes. They chose to do ours when the windows were being put in. They dug a big hole in the drive, then filled it in (don’t know why). They dug a deep hole in the concrete path at the back of the house next to the meter. The following day a gas fitter arrived and asked us why they had dug a hole. He pointed out that they were replacing all the metal gas pipes with bright and shiny yellow plastic ones. In the bottom of our hole was a bright and shiny yellow plastic pipe. Later that day they filled in the hole and concreted it. It’s a mystery that I don’t feel I want to get involved in.
I haven’t had many emails from my Bulgarian Brother this last 2 weeks, but he has sent quite a few photos. I won’t publish them, this is my blog, not his, and he should start his own! I did email him to let him know about a meteorite storm that the Earth was currently passing through and producing spectacular diplays. He and Genya settled back on sunbeds in the garden late that night to watch. They did see quite a few, but it was the serenade of the local Jackal pack that appeared to be getting closer and closer that gained most of their attention. Particularly when they appeared in the field next the the house. Genya legged it back into the house, taking with her the only torch, leaving David to fend off any hungry animal without his flip-flops (they had fallen off). I haven’t recieved any emails since that night. So………….. either it was Genya who wrote the email and David has been gobbled up, or David wrote the email and Genya has been shoved down the well.
I can’t say that all the Newarks are well, because one is not. Charlotte has got ‘Swine Flu’ and is pretty poorly. They were coming down tonight to celebrate Sue’s birthday (Sunday). It is quite worrying as they are flying off to the Carribean in 2 weeks time. Hope she gets better quickly (she is a tough old bird, nearly 27 years old now!)
No news about Nan, she is watching the cricket and having her hair done. She is also organising a new shed. She has it in mind that the old shed is too small, so she is going to have a bigger one. She is not trying to keep up with the neighbours or even out do theirs, they don’t have sheds. Again, it’s one of life’s mysteries that I do not wish to get involved in anymore.
I was volunteered to be the new Membership Secretary at the Rugby Club, so I am busy adding to a database, making forms and pestering people for money. I do a lot of paperwork and sit in front of the computer. It is a mystery to me why I said yes!!!!!!!!
As you will see from the photos, Sarah and I had a great day canoeing, the blackberries were the biggest I have ever seen and tated delicious (you will have to take my word for that). The day was warm, the tide was out and the boats were narrow. I loved it. We both fell asleep when we got home!

Health and Safety!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 4, 2009 by David Palmer
Jamie: After the success of laying the flooring in my study, he went on to spend 3 days putiing flooring and doors into Rogers place. Next, he laid a floor in the lounge, this was quite a tricky one with a special section having to be made for a drain cover. He spent the week-end camping with his mates at Santapod watching the  the drag racing etc (see photo). However, in his rush to get off at 6.00am on Friday morning, he left his kit-bag with his change of clothing on his bedroom floor (he did remember his packed lunch). When he returned on Sunday evening he looked a bit tatty and some say, a lot smelly. He said he had a wicked time.
Sarah: Watched a lot of DVD’s. Next week she starts a part time job for the summer in a chip shop in Fleckney. Don’t know much else about this, other than it sounds a bit fishy.
Nan: I rang Nan on Sunday and was disturbed to find she had been trying to change the fuse in the main fuse-box as her cooker had ‘blown up’. I told her to leave it alone and I will be up in the morning. When I investigated the problem, the oven element had gone and we had to drive into Rotherham and buy another oven. I wired it in that afternoon. I also dug up half the potatoes, mowed the lawn and pruned the bushes (in between showers). We visited Aunty Hilda. Sadly, she has cancer of the pancreas and the Doctor has given up and passed her onto the Macmillan nurses. She really did look unwell and in some pain. I stayed 3 days and then drove home. She was looking forward to the ‘Ashes’ (cricket!) on Thursday and had get her sweets ready.
Susan: Looking better, moving around better, even sounds better (no chesty cough). She went to Kettering Hospital today for a pre-op talk, Sarah went with her. She did persuade me to go and see another film (will I never learn?). It was called ‘The Visitor’, it was dire. Again, the audience was predominately female and mostly in excess of 60 years of age. It was about an American teacher, who was disillusioned. Been there already and not interested now. I remember I yawned a lot. Sue said it was a lovely film, but then she has the knack of seeing things in a film that I don’t.
Newarks: Suraj found a Dell computer on ebay that would do as my Media Centre. I bought it and it does fine. I called in on the way up to Nan’s and dropped off a monitor for Suraj. They all looked healthy and were looking forward to a holiday in the Dominican Republic at the end of August (alright for some). They came down to see us  on Sunday as Suraj’s sister (who was going to stay that weekend with them) had decided not to travel up aas the weather was awful. Suraj brought down a PC and a laptop for a friend of mine who had requested them. We had a curry in the evening and they left later that night. Oooooops (nearly forgot). Charlotte was looking fine.
Dave: Still riding my bike and lately I have been making quite a lot of movies. Everyone in the family seems to be going places, so I make movies of them. I have even made 2 for Roger. The deal is: he gives me the photo album, I make the movie, he buys me lunch.
David: For years I have tended to ignore David as he kept himself to himself and despite being my step-brother he was never over communicative. However, having visited him in Bulgaria and got on really well (as brother do….. er?) We now do email very often and he has such a fascinating existence with his wife Genya, that I shall now include him in my blogs. At present it is very hot out there and the mosquitoes are in fine biting mood. He is building walls, installing cctv cameras and cleaning his pool. They have had a bore hole sunk to provide them with water. It was their 10th wedding anniversary this week and they were going out to celebrate it, but it had been a very hot night and they hadn’t much sleep. It is a very interesting life of weasels, burglars, gypsies, broken cars, snakes, no neighbours and at present: diarrhoea (I had to look that up).
Health and Safety: I hope this is a onetime only entry in my blogs.
H&S1: A week ago we were scheduled to have extra loft insulation put in. The day before we emptied the lofts (there was  alot to empty). On the day, the men arrived on time and left half an hour later. Apparently, despite being surveyed and photographed the week before, our loft had shrunk and one was only 1.4m high and the guys said that due to Health and safety regulations they weren’t asllowed to work under 1.6m and left. Strange that, I thought that there would only be a narrow strip of any loft that would be in excess of 1.6m,  all the rest should be by design gradually getting less than that until it reaches 0m! It is unfoprtunately a mathematical fact  concerning any  hypotenuse! After complaining to head office, they apologised, said they were having trouble from some of their teams and re-scheduled for the 17th Aug. Now we have our bedroom full of loft clutter and it is like tackling an assault course when going to bed.
H&S2: Last week we also arranged to have double glazing put in. Twenty windows in all, quite a few windows are already double glazed, so we decided to do the rest, especially as the quote was very attractive. The surveyor duly arrived to measure accurately the windows so that they could be made ready for installation on the 17th Aug. He started digging at one of the window sills with a knife and then pronouncedthat they couldn’t replace the sills as Health and Safety wouldn’t permit it, the sills were a concrete and asbestos composit. I checked with the previous owner (he built the house) and it is true. They are still going to fit the windows, less the sills which will stay. I can live with that (I think……….at the moment).
H&S3: Last week on the way up to Nan’s I drove over a safety bump and the rear suspension spring broke. In Harborough, we have a 5 star traffic calming system. You cannot drive down a road without bumping up and down or having to veer sharply right or left. Welland Park Road (the one we travel down the most) has six different calming measures on it over a 150m stratch. Prior to the system being put in place there had never been an occurrence where any one had been knocked down or killed on it. That is still the true today. However, there are regular accidents happening weekly, where cars will knock down the posts that were put in to slow you down. When you are trying to watch oncoming cars, keep a check on pedestrians at the side of athe road and it is raining, oops, which idiot put that post in the middle of the road, crunch And, there is often confusion as to who has priority on the 2 pinch points and we have regular head on collisions that require attendance by the police, fire engine and ambulance. Of course those of us who live locally and who know about this madness, can avaoid it. Except, the continual battering your car suspension takes in negotiating these Health and Safety measures eventually leads to damage. Roger had a spring go 2 weeks ago. My car has only done 170000 miles. I wonedr if anyone keeps any statistics about the number of insurance claims and garage bills concerning this wonderful H&S initiative? 
Reminiscence: I remember a world when there was no health and safety. People took risks (well, I never thought of it as a risk) and things got done, people had fun and there was less stress in life. It seems it won’t be worth getting up ijn a morning soon, too dangerous!!!!!!!!