Monthly Archives: March 2019

Dullness Personified

This morning we only had two parcels to do, which didn’t take long. In the afternoon we had four more sales. I suspect some people were bunking off and using the office computer for eBay instead of work.

The rest of the day was taken up with refilling drop down menus (which can be tricky if you let your mind drift), sorting coin covers (as in First Day Covers with coins on, not covers for coins) and drinking coffee.

It wasn’t the most interesting day I’ve ever had.

As you look at the pictures of First Day Covers, and your eyes glaze over, you may understand my view.

There was a letter from the Anticoagulant Service when I got home – I have passed yesterday’s blood test and as a reward I now have three weeks until the next test.

A busy evening followed, as I began work on my talk for the Numismatic Society.

I’m sure the enthusiasm will wear off soon…

Now I’m off to pick No2 Son up from work – he had a late shift today. It’s misleadingly named as the night shift is, of course, much later.

I’m not sure how long I can sustain this level of excitement.

I would say “be still, my beating heart”, but considering the dire warnings I keep getting from the Anticoagulant Service this might be tempting fate.

When Things Go Wrong…

Have you ever noticed that when something goes wrong, more problems follow? Say, for instance, that you fall asleep in front of the TV and wake up with just thirty posting minutes before midnight, the computer seems to slow down and photos refuse to load.

Well, that’s the sort of night I’m currently having.

I’m posting now, then I’m going back to write the rest of the post and add photos, so if you’ve read so far and there is nothing more to read you may want to come back in twenty minutes.

I started off with a blood test, arriving at 7.20 to find a longer queue than usual and a notive on the wall telling me that the average wait last month was 12 minutes. This is three minutes (or 25%) longer than the nine minutes claimed last time. Or 33% depending which number you start with – I’ve never quite understood which is the right way round. It didn’t matter, because the actual wait was over twenty minutes.

It seemed longer because I’d forgotten my glasses. I’ve broken two sets recently and the situation regarding spares is getting tricky. As in, I have no spares. The current position is that I have misplaced two sets and broken two, which just leaves me with one set – the ones that make me look like Clark Kent.

OK, I look like Clark Kent in an alternative universe where he looks like a well-worn version of Santa Claus, but the glasses are similar.

I’m now waiting for the results.

We had a reasonably active day, with twelve parcels after which I visited friends and went home early to do a few jobs. These included drinking tea, watching Pointless and doing a little light snoozing.

I also started listing my collection of Peace and Tribute medals from the Great War as I’m doing a talk on them for the Numismatic Society next year. Yes, 2020, a year after the centenary of the Peace Celebrations in 2019. I have a gift for timing.

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Huddersfield Peace Medal.

I’m gathering information at the moment, which is where I’ve been all night – head stuck in the internet looking for interesting anecdotes about Peace Medals. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait for next year as I don’t want to use all my material in advance of the big day.

Did I mention that I don’t like public speaking? My aversion to public speaking is greater than my combined aversion to working, spending money or eating salad. Yes, I’d rather work as a buyer in a salad factory than give a talk. The only thing that outweighs this is my vanity.

There are basically two types of medal that come under the Peace Medal banner – the cheap white metal ones given out to children as part of the Peace Day Celebration and the better quality ones given to returning servicemen to thank them for their service.

I mentioned in a previous post that things did not go well at all Peace Day Celebrations. The ones in Luton, for instance, went spectacularly wrong.

Here are two examples of the different sorts of medal.. They are all larger than life size.

Plymouth Peace Medal for School children.

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Washington & Barmston Tribute Medal

Washington & Barmston Tribute Medal in silver and enamel. Note that the town gave rise to a famous surname, and the coat of arms was used, according to informed conjecture, to have been used in the design of the Stars and Stripes.

Snapshot of a Boring Life

 

The “in” thing in weather forecasting seems to be “polar vortex”. We were given warning of one last night, issued with a yellow snow warning and threatened with the “Beast from the West”. Even if you ignore the sniggering around yellow snow it’s hard to see “Beast from the West” as a frightening headline. It’s the last gasp of a second-rate sensationalist who is struggling to come up with a headline to rival the eternal Brexit stories.

“Pest from the West” could be controversial, so that is out. “Best from the West” sounds like the tag line from a hotel advert and zest, jest and test all lack menace…

I may have settled with “Cold night – might be snow in Scotland”. You can see why I have never been headhunted by a newspaper.

I would also go with Yellow Warning for Snow, or even Amber, as amber is the traditional colour between red and green.

Down round Nottingham we are enjoying breezy but reasonably pleasant weather.

I’m going shopping soon.

I’m unlikely¬†to suffer from excitement today.

 

Storms and Stuff

It’s very windy this morning, though according to the weather forecast it isn’t a storm. As I lack formal training I can’t actually tell the difference.

Julia’s brother rang us last night to tell us. He’d been in the park next to the mosque shooting in New Zealand yesterday and heard the gunfire.

I wasn’t worried because I’d forgotten he was there. Julia wasn’t worried either, because she hadn’t realised how close to the shooting he was. Now she’s worried. I’m not. Over the years I’ve allowed her to do the worrying. She has more compassion than I do.

Time for work now, but I thought I’d share my brief connection to history.

There is, I feel an irony to the situation where an Australian gunman tries to draw attention to the perils of immigration¬† in New Zealand. I’m sure the Maori and Aborigines are already aware of the perils of uncontrolled immigration.

As for Trump’s wall, which is in the news again, well if I wasn’t going to work I’d feel compelled to mention that he really should give Texas back to Mexico…

 

 

Life Gets in the Way

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Robin

Just a quick post. Number Two son has been called in to work early so I want to squeeze a post in before going out.

I also have to make tea. This is potato wedges, veggie burgers and beans, rather than the comforting beverage. It’s just a modern twist on the old favourite – burger, beans and chips. We are, as you can probably guess, not familiar with the concept of fine dining. On the other hand, I’ve never been mistaken for a bag of bones.

I had a strange experience with the printer at work yesterday. It refused to connect to my computer. Everyone else could connect with no problem. Eddie printed out the compliments slips I needed and a while later Mark printed out two invoices.

After half an hour of messing about unsuccessfully, including restarting, reloading and reswearing, I gave up, got back to work and decided to restart the router at the end of the day. I thought the end of the day would be a good time, as it would, the way my luck was going, probably wreck our entire network.

A couple of hours later the printer chugged into life and disgorged two pages of printing. Fortunately I’d cancelled the other print jobs that had failed or I’d probably have ended up knee deep in paper.

I haven’t a clue why it suddenly started working.

When we were finishing, I passed Mark his invoices. He was surprised. He’d forgotten all about them because they were part of a job he’d tried to print 12 days previously. Yes, twelve days! Printers truly are a mystery…

The Scone Chronicles XIII

And yet again – no scones.

The venue was the bookshop at Brierlow Bar and though Julia looked carefully, she could see no scones.

She did, however, buy two slices of glistening home-made cake. It looked sumptuous. And delicious. And once again I had to relearn that tough life lesson that looks can be deceptive.

As you may have noticed, I’m not the cheeriest or most modern of people and I am suspicious of change. I’m still not fully convinced that the bookshop needed a cafe, or that a crowd of people and dogs is of benefit to a bookshop with narrow passageways. I’m almost certain that anyone who parks a pram in a gangway, so that fat men with walking sticks nearly fall over getting past, should be prosecuted by social services and their children put into a gloomy gothic orphanage.

In a way it’s a shame I didn’t fall as the combination of damp floor and blocked gangway is a dream for an ambulance chasing lawyer.

Much as I despise the current compensation culture it would be fun to sue and make a few cogent comments to the court about people running cafes in a space that should be filled with books.

I’m not sure whether I would then give the money to Julia for a new polytunnel or burn it on You Tube just to prove a point. (The point being that the money wasn’t important, not that I am stupid).

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Good in Parts

Anyway, back to the cake. It was apricot and some sort of nut. Julia was in “Bear of Very Little Brain” mode and forgot the details on the way from counter to table. You’d have thought she’d have been brighter after an hour and a quarter of top flight conversation with me in the car, but apparantly not.

It tasted a bit like walnut, but there was definitely a large identifiable piece of cashew in there too.

I said: “Cashew!”

Julia said: “Bless you.”

After you’ve been married 30 years this is what passes for humour.

It was confusing cake because some of it tasted of ginger too. The top, where the glaze had soaked in, was nice and moist, but the lower two thirds was dry and quickly reverted to crumbs. Fortunately we had cake forks to deal with this problem.

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Appearances can be deceptive

To sum up, and to put my personal bias to one side, the tea was good, as it always is (made with proper leaves and a strainer), the ambience is getting better as they sort things out, the cake could have been better, but even that wasn’t too bad, and the book stock seems to have improved.

I’m actually quite impressed with what they have done at Brierlow Bar, despite my resistance to the 21st Century.

 

Scone Chronicles XII

When I was looking for the cactus photographs I used in the first post of the day (this is the 3rd!) I found some photographs I’d forgotten about.

We went to Springfields while we were off for the week. While we were there we bought turmeric capsules, criticised the bookshop stock and looked in the craft shop (well, one of us did, the other sat and watched the ducks in the water feature).

While Julia was looking at other stuff, I sat in the cafe and waited. Patiently. It’s a skill I have developed over 30 years of marriage. It’s a lot like sleeping with your eyes open. Or sleeping with your eyes open and nodding your head in time with the conversation. All useful skills for a married man.

Anyway, when Julia returned she get us scones and tea from the counter.

They were surprisingly good. We tested the fruit scone and the cheese scone – both had good open texture and good flavour. They were well up with the top scones, though the shape of the fruit scone was ather alarming. That is, partly, what happens when you twist the cutter when you cut the scone out.

This is part of the same group that made me the worst fish and chips ever, so I was surprised.

Unfortunately, there was food trapped under the glass top of the table, so there is still oom for improvement.

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Trapped food – lovely!

Now I remember I was going to do the write-up about Brierlow Bar