Category Archives: blogging

Skies and Disappointments

Last night I took No2 son to work. It was just after 10pm and the sky was a fantastic shade of saffron. As usual, I didn’t have the camera with me, though it wouldn’t have helped much – all the best views were from roadworks and dual carriageways where I couldn’t have stopped anyway.

This morning, at around 4am, on the way to the bathroom, I noticed the sunrise was similarly colourful. This time I did have access to the camera and I didn’t need a parking place. I did, however, manage to ignore these advantages and went back to sleep. That’s why I’m using the pictures fron last Wednesday.

I’m not cut out for the hurly-burly of high-level blogging. I’ll leave that to Derrick Knight and Tootlepedal – they are like blogging machines. Me, I’m more of a dormouse.

After a hard half day sorting parcels and pennies I went for a cream tea with Julia. We’re thinking of blogging about cream teas.

I’ll show you the pictures later.

Have to go now- Julia says it’s time for me to cook.

Derrick and TP don’t have this problem…

Things I Thought (But didn’t Write)

I always have more thoughts than I write about, and always seem to have more photographs than I can use too.

Here’s an opener – have you done Rachel McAlpine’s Older Blogger’s Survey? Obviously, many of my readers won’t be old enough to take it, and some of you are perpetually youthful, but one or two of you might find it useful. I found it interesting to get some of my thoughts in line.

Some of the other thoughts I’ve had are uncharitable ones about the idiot who taped my driving license to the court paperwork before sending it back. With finding a cloth and solvent it took me ten minutes to get it cleaned off.

Gloster Meteor stamp

Gloster Meteor stamp

I also wonder who thought it would be a good idea to design a car park where the exit doesn’t take coins, but insists on card payments in a badly lit machine that’s set at the wrong height. It might be OK for owls and midgets but it’s not good for me.

Then there’s the thoughts about British Telecom. We’ve been having a steadily worsening service, so Julia rang them on Saturday to sort things out. It took several hours and a number of false starts. They’ve been charging us too much and providing a shoddy service, neither of which they were prepared to correct. We still won’t be getting a refund but they are going to send us one of the latest routers (we have a Mark 2 and they are currently on Mark 6). They did offer to check the wiring in the house (and charge around £10) and charge us for a new router but Julia, growing ever shorter in temper as a result of her lack of sleep, managed to work a free router out of them. Of course, we haven’t got it yet, so we’ll see what happens.

A stream near Lound in Lincolnshire

A stream near Lound in Lincolnshire

Another thought that comes back to me from time to time is wondering if I’m in a hospital ward somewhere and all the WordPress comments on my blog are just voices in my head.

It could be, you never know. When I was younger I used to wonder if everyone saw the “blue” sky in the same way. What if they were seeing the colour I called “green”? Or even “orange”?

I’ve been dealing with several auctioneers recently – one of them won’t send items I buy with my debit card to any other address than the billing address. Three other auctioneers can do it, Paypal can do it, Amazon can do it, but this one particular auction house, it seems, can’t do it. To add insult to injury, the address I want to  use is one where they already send things.

Life can be very complicated in these days of electronic payments when everyone is scared of fraud. They will send it wherever I ask if I pay by bank transfer, but why should I give my bank details out?

That could easily develop into a rant, so I’ll change subjects now.

2013 £2 coin in presentation pack - commemoration

2013 £2 coin in presentation pack

The 2013 £2 is the first time a UK coin has ever commemorated another coin – in this case the Guinea of 1663. The Guinea is a very interesting coin. I won’t venture an opinion on the £2 as we just sold one of these packs on eBay.

 

I’ll finish up by dotting the post with some random unused photographs, which links us back to the first paragraph.

Thinking about it, there are a few first world problems here. I have just had a letter from Mary’s Meals and it might be a good idea to send them a few quid.

 

1,200 posts!

I noticed, after posting yesterday, that I have now done 1,200 posts. As I don’t have much to say, I thought I may as well mention it.

Today I rose early, toddled down to the bathroom and noticed, on my return, that it was 6.08am. Plenty of time for another hour in bed, I thought, and after a fitful sleep, including a fight with the duvet and a dream about shaving, I awoke refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Then I looked at my watch. It was 6.23!

Clearly, after 30 years of marriage, I can’t cope with sleeping alone.

I may have mentioned, ungallantly, in the past, that there is an amount of snoring and duvet theft going on in the marital bed during the average night. I never thought that I’d actually miss having to block my ears and fight for bedding.

Some nights I’ve actually had to resort to using elbows in a manner that would attract a red card if done on a rugby field.

It just goes to show…

At least it gave me time to finish a book.

Sepoys in the Trenches: The Indian Corps on the Western Front, 1914-1915 by [Corrigan, Gordon]

I started the year slowly from a reading point of view, and am still going slowly, as I’m reading a lot of reference material in an attempt to become a useful member of the shop.

I won’t review the book, as it’s of limited interest to most people, but I found it very interesting, particularly for the small details like the way the  Indian Army had to organise itself to feed a variety of different religions and castes.

If you do know anyone who might be interested, I can recommend it, but for a general reader it could be a bit dull.

The cover photo is courtesy of Amazon, as I have it on my Kindle (I do love a 99p book) and a picture of an electrical device in a tatty canvas case isn’t a good-looking picture for a book review.

This brings me on to something I was told recently. A visiting dealer told me that he’d had an email from an American company telling him that he had been spotted using some artwork on his website without permission and that unless he paid several thousand pounds they were going to take him to court. It is, it seems, a well known internet scam which is actually franchised in some places, because people are often scared by the mention of legal action and pay up.

In truth I can’t see how, they would manage to enforce any action, or that a court would award such huge damages for using an image that would be quite cheap to license. I’m not even sure that a court would take on an action from a third party that is just interfering for financial gain.

That’s why, in using two unlicensed images in my 1,201 posts, I have always named the source. I’m sure Amazon would forgive me, as I’m publicising one of their books.

We once had a very pompous Australian (not two words I’ve ever used together before) write to us on the farm about content on the farm website. One of our group had copied something from the internet and posted it straight on the site. I took it down immediately and let them know what I’d done, but I still got a further lecture from the Australian, who, as far as I know, had had no input into the original paper.

At that point I came very close to telling them to mind their own business.

There are too many scams and too many busybodies on the internet.

However, worse than that, there are too many people stealing content from the internet. Getting back to the start of the story, you wonder why someone would think it acceptable to steal artwork off the internet. They wouldn’t feel it was acceptable to take something from a building or a car but load something onto the internet and people seem to think theft is acceptable.

I thought I’d better make that clear, as, much as I abhor busybodies and scams, I don’t think much to copyright theft either.

In fact I’m just a crabby old man, who complains about everything.

 

Catching Up

I got home last night to find two letters. One was from South Yorkshire Constabulary telling me that I am to have penalty points and a fine for my speeding offence, so I don’t know why they even bothered to mention the safe driving course in their original letter.

I’m extremely annoyed with myself, as I’ve been up and down that stretch of road hundreds of times with no problem. I’ve travelled hundreds of thousands of miles for business and, except for a bit of bother in 1977, I’ve had a clean driving record. A moment’s lack of attention and it’s cost me £100, three points and, no doubt, hassle with the insurance company.

I may well have to write to the Chief Constable and express my disappointment at not being allowed to go on the course.

After opening that letter I opened one from my bank. They say they haven’t heard from me and will start to restrict my access to my money if I don’t contact them to renew my contact details.

So, I rang, and it’s possible I was a little brusque. The original person who took my call palmed me off on somebody else who clearly didn’t want to hear from me, didn’t know what was going on and was happy to confirm that after a telephone call I’d made last month had provided all the information currently being demanded. I may have to issue a sharp rebuke to head office.

Of course, I never actually get round to writing any of these letters…

Finally, we went to visit Julia’s niece in hospital. She has just had a baby and I am now a great-uncle. This is a description of our relationship, not the quality of my uncleship, as I’m a very mediocre uncle at best.

At least the day ended on a high. Babies are very uplifting, particularly when you can give them back and go home.

Today’s photograph is from our Wednesday visit to Carsington Water, which I still need to write about, so the title of his post might be a trifle optimistic.

Two Hours

I returned home after dropping Julia off at work and noted the time – 6.09. As I type this line it is 8.02 and I have just finished part of my catching up with WP. I have read and replied to all the people who posted comments over the last few days and made reciprocal visits to the first few on the list. I’m hoping to visit more by the end of the day but I thought I’d post now as “Two Hours” seemed a reasonable title, I’m also finding that if I leave it until the end of the day I find more work to do, or fall asleep in front of the TV, and end up not posting.

It’s 8.06 now. Am I really only writing a line a minute?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Budgerigar Society badge

The photograph is a Budgerigar Society badge. It dates from 1930 – 1950s. In 1930 they changed from the Budgerigar Club to Budgerigar Society. On the back it has a fitting to go through the buttonhole in the lapel of a man’s jacket. This sort of fitting died out in the 50s as clothing became more casual and pins became the norm. It’s currently on our eBay site with a bid of 99 pence.

When I was 16 I dreamed of working for Spinks. In my 20s I wanted to be rich and successful.

Today I’m happy to have a job that pays me to write about Budgerigar Society badges.

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! as Mr Shelley said.

It’s 8.20 now – where does the day go?

 

Changes…

Has anyone changed either the title or the page of their blog?

Things have obviously changed since I started blogging (has it really been three and a half years?), though, as at least one person pointed out in the beginning, I was a bit erratic at the best of times.

We are no longer running a Care Farm, I’m not cooking, we don’t get out as much…

You name it and it’s all changing.

It makes sense to change the blog to reflect these changes.

I’m thinking of changing the name of this one to reflect the fact it’s about the thoughts of a grumpy old man who spends his time sorting piles of junk.

With Julia I will then start a new blog based on her gardening.

Does anyone have any comments, or any experience of changing blog names or addresses?

All views and advice will be welcome.

Reading, Writing, Researching, Reviewing…

Easter Sunday, being one of the two days of the year when the shops close, is the perfect guilt-free day for catching up on things I want to do. There are no launderettes, no shops and no garden centres to reproach me for my lack of activity. I do experience a slight twinge of guilt at not going to church, and it does bother me that Julia has to work, but a sit down with a nice cup of tea usually helps me get over it.

Today was similar, as we both decided to block out the weather and watch poor quality TV. Or, to be more accurate, we decided to block out the weather and watch the only TV that was available.

It’s a bit like junk food, sometimes it’s just what you need.

I’ve been using it to do some reading, as I don’t seem to have done much reading recently. I’ve also looked some things up and taken photos of book jackets ready to do a bit of reviewing.

What I haven’t done over the last two days was much writing. I think the cause of this lies in potential – as I prepare, the whole world of blogging is out there, waiting for my masterpiece.

Once it’s written it’s just one more slightly disappointing post.