Sunday, 27 November 2011

the wonders of technology

The T4 has been languishing a few days over at the Greasy Garage until the Mr T could get round to attacking it with spanners. The job turned out to be suitable obscure and fiddly but with a final flourish good old Mr T got there and - it wouldn't start.

Considerable head scratching followed until a little green light saying "service" was spotted on the dash. This was worthy of investigation so Mr T connected his computer machine to the T4 and it got very excited. the failed belt had caused the engine management to spot 4 faults and conclude also that someone was trying to steal the van so it had turned everything off and gone from "limp home" mode to "full blown sulk".

A positive though, with everything now set back to normal there is every chance that tooorrow morning the T4 will be making noises again and moving under it's own power.

Thats not all, I have a clio outside with a flat battery after even though I had the right keys and remote unlocker it insisted I was trying to steal it and it too went into "sulk".

In the yard is a very nice Xsara that is convinced it's air sensor does not work and has gone into limp home too.

This modern technology is absolutely fantastic when it works and a total pane in the glass when it does not.


Peace descends

Peace is slowly descending.Having taken cover in the living room leaving herself at her little desk upstairs I am pleased to report she has nearly finished.

This means everyone can breathe easier as she is not storming round the house biting heads off as she goes.

The news is all of the Welsh football manger who has apparently killed himself. The coverage on telly is virtually continuous. 

A small foot note at the bottom of the screen notes that a soldier from 3 the riles has been blown up in Helmand, a tiny little piece not worthy of mention.

I wonder if I am the only one who saw the irony in that. 


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Essay a day

The student is locked in combat with her essay. A school desk has emigrated upstairs and there she sits hammering away on her computer. I am trying to do all the running round type stuff but things are really conspiring against her.

Off I went to town and back I came, "that's not one of our cars" thought I seeing a car parked outside.  My step daughter Serenity had figure  not at all on here recently and she had turned up showing her really good timing. Naturally to make our joy complete she had brought the whole riot of kids and her soon to be husband. Wait a minute, husband? When did that all come about? This has been in the planning stage for a long time apparently, the venue has been decided and a modest guest list of 80 prepared. 80???

%%%%%%!!!! I thought, or more Accurately I saw £££££££££. A tidal wave of cash leaving our beleaguered bank account.

She didn't actually ask, then again she never did.

Her father didn't actually swoon away when we told him, then again he didn't offer to dig deep either, just muttered something about being up to his neck in debt, that's two of us then.... 

That's September planned  

This is my 1040th post - just thought you might like to know!!


Friday, 25 November 2011

I think I know the answer

We are stuck just now in a big problem.

We have massive youth unemployment

Today we had the government announcing a fantastic scheme to deal with this.

Of course the previous administration had actually been doing something like this until this mob pulled the plug, but enough of such trivia. It was a crap scheme sd we were told at the time - much of it in the voluntary / public sector with a mere 60 percent of those who took part ending up with a job.

So today the private sector, who had been criticised for using the unemployed as free shelf stacker's in supermarkets will get exclusive rights to run this system with far less than the previous one.

I think I  might have mentioned that the previous system was about working for nothing - well as far as my daughter went anyway.

I can second guess this country's problem, Not enough chimneys so not enough climbing up them to sweep them.  Such opportunities - this will be the next Condem scheme - create more jobs by building more chimneys for us to send the young up. Would need a bit of "adjustment"  of health and safety law so that killing people is OK.

They are nearly there now though.  A nation with the lowest standards of employee protection in Europe will have further safeguards taken away, or red tape removed. Again what you see is dependent on where you are sitting at the time. 


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Betting on futures

We live in turbulent times the last few weeks Europe has lurched from crisis to crisis.

Today even Germany is taking a bit of a hammering.

I have to say this smacks of the old European Exchange Mechanism, this was bet against by the markets costing governments millions most of which went into profit for bankers and gamblers.

I cannot help but think that this is someone betting against the euro. Someone trying to make a lot of money out of the governments break the Euro pocket the coin regardless of the consequence.

I can see a few countries that might be pleased to see off this new kid on the block. America got very jittery when Iraq threatened to deal it's oil in a then more stable Euro. So annoyed they went to war and euro sceptic Britain followed like the poodle.

The thing that is bewildering in this is that the real dodgy dealer is Uncle Sam. Their sub prime mortgages took the financial world apart in 2007, when the world wakes up to how much more America owes than it earns, There is going to be some serious questions asked - with no proper answers out there.

Greece is viable compared to the States.

The interesting thing about this is that it dates not from profligate Democrats but from George Bush and the republicans who decided to cut the taxes of the rich.

Big things happening in Europe with big decisions being made.

Britain is independant or was that isolated, you chose the term. It could have been tough on us inside the Euro, outside we are at the mercy of the markets.  

And since when have they ever been merciful?

Of course where they miss the plot is the bottom line.

At the end of the day we can all say:

Well actually we do real work - it's time for you to join us.

Get paid  like we do

and pay taxes.



Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Splice the mainbrace.

Something rather jolly today. Mrs Saxe Coburg otherwise known as the queen decided to make her old man the lord high admiral of the fleet now that he is 90.

This could be a bit dodgy as old Phil the Greek was in the navy a while and might fancy throwing his weight around.

If he was to wander down to Portsmouth he might wonder where all the ships were.

A trip down to Plymouth might be an excuse to admire the massive boom constructed so the whole fleet could berth there some time back.

He might have to shuffle about a bit to find some ships though.

The fleet is now smaller than it was when another Liz was on the throne, smaller than it has been forever  in fact.

There is one carrier but of course no planes as the Harrier fleet has been grounded .

So when we decided to get all heavy with Libya we "didn't need" carriers but actually delivered a lot less at greater cost than France who deployed oh yes an aircraft carrier.

So even inside their jingoistic militarism this shower make no sense.

Of course this country has carriers in the pipeline two of them, one of which will never see service and the other will sail without oh yes aircraft because we won't have any.

But an aircraft carrier is supposed to have, ohh never mind I am obviously not bright enough

And  the final irony, is that carriers need to be part of a carrier group of support and escort ships which of course we cannot put together as we have sold everything else to pay for the carriers.

Oh, and of course Trident, the most pointless weapon ever.

My God I hope they are not letting the high admiral anywhere near those rockets....



Essay again

Oh for goodness sakes.  It's that time of term again, the student is locked into doing essays, books all round the living room and the student under stress.

Stuff I have not looked at since I was an undergraduate is all over the living room with all sorts of newer stuff too.

Her essay is taking over our life again.

The T4 is still off the run which might complicate matter a bit as we a re off to Brittany soon.


Friday, 18 November 2011

A life of incident

So anywaytoday with no plumber having turned out last night we drained the system ourselves and with huge struggle got the stove out.

Buckets were emptied and towels wrung out. 

The builder turned up and loaded the bloody thing into the C5 for us, the T4 being in the garage being sorted for brake pads, as in it would be good to have some.

A thought break and we ran some scaffold planks from the C5 to the T4 and put the stove in there.

Off we went. Tallie and I and we got to Beacon stoves dropped the old stove off and loaded a brand new one into the vayeas

 Using a forklift is so much easier than breaking your back lifting the thing.

Time to go home then, and all was well with the world.


We were a very little distance up the road and the truck ground to a halt whir with a nasty clicky whir noise .

This was not good in a cost a lot of money sort of way  expensive things  like cambelts were the primary suspect.

Naturally we were all out of signal for the mobile and I had to walk a goodly distance before being able to call the RAC to come and begin recovery. 

Some considerable time sat in the rapidly cooling cab and up turned the RAC.

Some head under bonnet time and i knew a fair ammount more about the VW than i did yesterday morning and we worked out that the belt for the injector pump had decided to give   up on life which is a deal less catastrophic than the cam belt unless of course the pump itself has siezed.

Knowing our luck that could well be the case.

Of course we were still broken down by the side of the road and miles from home.

The RAC do a recovery service but quicker to tow me to the garage than sit round waiting for the man with the flatbed truck.

This was all very well but how scary is being towed 20 miles on a rigid bar in the pitch dark when every time the guy in front puts his brakles on it destroys your night vision - VERY.

I got home but my composure was most certainly decomposed.

All we need to to do today is go and remove 100 + kilos of log stove from the van and transfer it to the car. Thank goodness Bruce is at home, otherwise I would have to send out for a crane!!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

New Technology.....

There is nothing like a bit of technology to cause bafflement and profanity from the direction of she who has a diploma in computing.

Feeling a bit flash she went on the  Apple refurb site and ordered herself an ipad 2 which has duly arrived.

Now I don't know much about these things but it  seems you can only set it up by connecting to the web via another computer. Much tutting and haarumphing later she is  downloading itunes on to her ipad and under a screen of profanity is busily setting it up.

I am not of course suggesting anything but it seems to me that by the time she has set it up with all the relevant apps it might be time to buy a new one. No I am wrong, she seems to have cracked it, she is logging on to the net.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Good Service

This has happened agin, wrote something and the whole text vanished

All I wrote about was the  good the service we received from Beacon Stoves and Euroheat,

But someone or something blicked the post

Once was odd, twice interesting three times a bit worrying .

Can you really express your views on here


worried parent

Branwen is of course at university, We went to see her the once and she seems to be OK and quite popular with those she is sharing a house with.

Of course she is a bit competitive and there have been a few little incidents, her room mate had a flat tyre something she thought she should get the boys to sort. Branwen gave a look of disdain and marched out found the jack  back the wheel nuts off then lifted the car off the floor. To change the wheel.

People have also noted that she has an iron constitution. I believe there may have been a chili con carne eating competitionand there might have been  a few people who bottled.

So anyway last day one of her house mates had a pack of chillies allegedly the second hotest chili in the world. One of the boys had licked one and had to run his tongue under the tap. This was too much for Bruce she promptly ate one. The boys gazed on is disbelief, of course by midnight last night she had pretty much emptied the fridge 2 litres of milk and 4 yoghurt's I think she was contemplating sleeping in the fridge at one stage.

Things got soo bad mummy might have been needed. A call to NHS direct got a call centre nurse who fair play managed not to guffaw.  Clearly this was not the first time this kind of call had come in.

Putting her in touch with the NHs calmed matters but this morning she was still getting  looks from her housemates.      

Thursday, 10 November 2011

This was the scene outside the house a coupld of weeks ago as the rain fell and the wind howled - heroes every one of them

Posted by Picasa

Round and round we go

Today has been just one of those days the school are still mad keen for us to get a doctor to look at Gwions rapidly vannishing rash and tell them it's meazles. It comes down to another young person in his year who is due to come back to school following serious cheemo.

They want us to be responsible for the decision for this child to come back to school or not. 

All a bit of a joke, there's a really nasty cold flu thing goind round just now annd maybe thats more of an issue than meazles. Everyone seems dissapointed that public health have not come down the drive to paint a red cross on the door.

This is all exceedingly silly.

The student has gone out to her little mates out, taking Tallie as driver - this is not good.

She is in uni tomorrow - this leave me to cope - all will be well with the world, so long as they leave me alone....


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Plague house

You can never really predict when life is going to turn all interesting. Gwion has been a bit out of sorts for a few days and yesterday the student had a decent look at him and pronounced it was measles. This is a very contagious disease and as such is "notifiable" under public health law.

This morning bright and early the student phoned our GP surgery and told a bored receptionist that we thought we had a case of measles here. Noting her disinterest I then went on to phone the school and break the good news on the absence hot line which is of course an answerphone.

All went quiet and we got on with our day, then at about 4 this afternoon the deputy head came on the phone sounding grave and concerned. Was it right that we had a case of measles she asked, yes, we said. Who had diagnosed this she asked, we had we said. Ah but had someone who was qualified made the diagnosis, we were hardly going to take him into a doctors surgery full of people while he was contagious we said. Yes but a doctor had to make the diagnosis, so he had to be "seen". This was all a bit silly mused the student,

I phoned the surgery back and got a brighter receptionist. She was a bit alarmed that we had phoned in the morning and no one had done anything. But we had the "who says he has measles?" conversation and she said a doctor would call soon. Soon was the right word and soon the student was locked in social intercourse with one of our highly efficient GP's who comes originally from Germany. Things did not start well, why had he not been immunised she demanded. When he was young Gwion had his first immunisation and experienced such a reaction that we decided against any more. This did not please the good doctor who started tutting only to have the student cut across her to say immunisation is not compulsory and anyway the real issue here was a failure to respond to the call at 8.30 am. This back footed the doctor nicely she said she was going to find who had taken the call and failed to act, in the kind of tone of voice that suggested that particular conversation might end in a gunshot and the thud of a body hitting the floor.

Why did the student think he had measles, how could she possibly be qualified to tell. The student replied fairly calmly that she was in her 50's and that when she was young measles was common and everyone knew how to recognise it, she rattled off a list of signs and symptoms without actually suggesting she had probably seen more measles than a doctor in her 20's who had been raised in a time when immunisation was the norm. Someone "expert" needed to make a diagnosis said the good doctor. The student suggested it might not be a brilliant idea to bring him into the surgery while he was contagious, it became very clear that doctor was not disturbing her day by getting into her car either.

What could she do for us? She asked; nothing said the student, we knew how to treat measles. We were phoning her to help her do her job, we did not need her help at all.  This did not go down at all well.

Doctor got all stern and Germanic

There would need to be a report to public health said the good doctor, that's why she phoned at 08.30 replied the student. This produced more harrumphing at the other end, maybe it wouldn't be a single gunshot any more - a burst of machine gun fire perhaps.

The doctor said Public Health would be in touch, I am not sure what this means, maybe they will paint a red cross at the top of the drive, lock us in and come round once a day so we can "bring out our dead" - I will keep you posted


long time no write

I have tried to write a few times recentlybut something is blocking my postings - no fun at all!!

The world seems to be sliding towards financial mayhem and whats more winter is here.

The fire is lit and the management has bubonic plague or something like that. She really struggled to get into uni yesterday and I think I might have to come over all strict and keep her home tomorrow. Today she has managed to get up and go back to bed leaving me in charge.

Gwion seems to have meazles as well, just to make our joy complete.

Still at least the fire is in and she can have as many hot baths as she likes which is a huge plus for her.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Good lord Greeks

So the Greek prime minister has said that their bail out  will only go ahead if his country endorses it by a democratic vote.

What a place from the country that gave us democracy.

This deal that stuffs them and makes them poor will only go ahead if they agree it.

Otherwise capitalism collapses big style, the euro might go down and economies world wide fold.

We think in the UK we are outside this, but we sold insurance against this scenario.

There could be a few more Lloyds names sleeping on the streets.

Poor things