Like a Stork, I have a Big Bill

No parcels today, no coins, no postcards of dubious taste.

The car is in for its annual MOT test, plus a service and an examination of a coolant problem. Or a “no coolant” problem, to be precise: it’s using nearly as much water as diesel. Fortunately it seems to be ending up under the car so should be easy enough to fix.

On top of that, one of the tyres looked a bit flat on Sunday, and triggered the tyre pressure warning light. The sidelight warning light has been going on and off for months, though the sidelight is still working, and I suppose under the new rules this will cost me money too.

I can’t help thinking that my last VW did a quarter of a million miles without leaking and had no warning lights to go wrong.

To fill my carless day I am performing a study of daytime TV. I started with Quincy ME and have now moved on to Storage Hunters – UK. The have brought couple of the American regulars across because we don’t seem to have enough homegrown idiots.

I’m currently watching Combat Dealers. It’s an antiques programme, but with some unusual stock.

After that I may need a cup of tea, as TV watching can be quite onerous.

Later…

I had the tea. Then, just before lunch, the garage rang.

The water leak is likely to require a new water pump, which is not going to be cheap. The tyre has a screw through it and needs repair. The warning light, of course, needs attention. Warning lights, it seems to me, are always going wrong and needing expensive attention. It’s almost as if they have been there to cost motorists money.

Imagine a big sigh here.

Apart from the money, they will need to have the car for another day, though I’m hoping that will be next week.

At least it gives me a chance for a postcard and a pun about a big bill.

It’s 12.16 now and I feel like I’ve done enough. Blog, TV research, pun. This afternoon I may try a limerick and a nap before the quiz programmes start.

For now, lunch calls.

This is a picture of tomatoes in the Mencap garden, I feel in need of a peaceful picture.

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Randomness & Remembering

We had seventeen packages to send before lunch yesterday. One consisted of 200 coins, which needed sorting before packing. It was hard work, particularly when besieged by phonecalls from people with “rare” and “valuable” coins, and a couple of people with “urgent” telephone orders.

It was very tempting, but I behaved in a a cheery and professional manner and nobody was advised to go away and stop bothering me.

Then we went to Sheffield to clear Number Two son’s room. It was hot and traffic on the M1 was slow.

On the way back we stopped at a service station to empty my aging bladder. I treated Julia to a drink and a pastry while we were there, and handed over the equivalent of an hour and a half’s work for two coffees and two lemon tarts. Food for thought…

In the evening I pottered about on the internet. I was doing some research on medals when I found a picture of an avuncular old cove who, with the addition of a beard would very much resemble a whisky-drinking Santa Claus.

Brigadier Peter Young DSO MC

War hero, raconteur, historian, author and founder of the Sealed Knot, it’s Brigadier Peter Young DSO, MC & 2 bars.

The photograph appears several times on the internet so I’m hoping nobody is going to mind me using it.

They don’t make them like him any more.

That led on to the Sealed Knot Book of Remembrance, which, in turn, led to a maudlin half hour of reading and remembering.

I didn’t feel like writing much after that so I turned to writing doggerel for the daily post. I’m trying to become more regular in my habits.

And Another Clerihew

When I checked after posting yesterday I still need to use the word canicular in a poem. And yes, I use term loosely – it’s the clerihew again.  Here goes.

George Croydon Marks 

Designed railways for parks

And the famous Saltburn funicular,

which is fun on days canicular

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Clerihew, it’s OK to be bad, in fact it’s almost a feature of the form.

Having said that, this is definitely taking us into William McGonagall territory. Do I dare hope that one day I will be elevated to the status of The Great McGonagall and Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings?

 

I Invent a New Poetic Form

Well, it’s been a thought-provoking day.

It started when I wrenched myself from bed and took Julia to work. The mornings are already significantly darker than they were a month ago. By 6.15 I was taking photographs by the roadside and at 6.30 arrived at the services ready to collect Number Two Son. He was supposed to be off shift at 7.00 but nobody turned up. Eventually he was relieved at 8.15 after ringing round.

 

I tried to pass my time profitably, by writing haiku and watching people. The people-watching didn’t go well as there was nobody interesting to watch, apart from a hairy middle-aged man wearing only shorts and flip-flops. Even that wasn’t really interesting, just an anthropological footnote.

The haiku? They soon degenerated into my favoured format – the clerihew. I didn’t produce  any of note this morning but this one has been hanging round in the drafts for a while. It features a Japanese word so it’s a hybrid form I just invented, the haiklerihew.

Martin van Buren,

was au fait with shitsuren,

and, stressing ideology over personality,

opened an era of boring banality

It’s a niche market and I can’t help feeling I may have written more haiklerihews than the world needs.

Now I just need to use canicular.

 

Then I did laundry, shopped, snoozed and picked Julia up from work. We had salad for tea. We were going to have roast vegetables and belly pork but I fell asleep in front of the TV and it was a bit late to start cooking.

I can’t help feeling I’m not using Sunday to its full potential.

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Strange clouds over the Trent Valley

Hitler, Nazi, Boobs…

Yes, that got you attention didn’t it?

We’ve been talking about how to title eBay sales.

It all started when the Boss noticed someone was selling Churchill Crowns for what seems like a lot of money.  They add “WW2, Hitler, Nazi, Silver” in the title line and sell the crowns for around £12, We normally think we’ve done well if we get £1 and we don’t even bother to put them on eBay as serious coin dealers don’t consider them worth selling. Even the Westminster Collection, who are not known for their modest prices, only ask £3.50 for them.

It seems to me that words like WW2, Hitler and Nazi are attractive to people who want to spend too much on coins.

And “boobs”? Well, from what I’ve seen on sites selling seaside postcards the word “boobs” is used to stimulate sales. I have descended as far as “bosom” in my pursuit of sales (we actually sold three cards from the newly listed lot overnight). I’m not sure how much pride I’m prepared to swallow in the pursuit of wages.

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Bamforth comic card

It makes me proud the be an eBayer. Well, actually it makes me question the entire basis of my life, but I thought I’d try some irony.

It also gave me a catchy title for this post. The alternative was “Salad Emergency!” based on my experience of making a salad from random fridge contents after Julia used all the bread.

Quinoa, tomatoes, olives, red peppers, pumpkin seeds with Balsamic vinegar. My fridge is far too healthy.

Quinoa, tomatoes, olives, red peppers, pumpkin seeds with Balsamic vinegar. My fridge is far too healthy.

Or “Shirt Tragedy” because my fifteen-year-old shirt finally gave way under the stress of covering my amply proportioned frontage. The loss is less keenly felt than the loss of the cats, but cuts deeper than such things as cricket defeats and the passing of Little Chef and their All Day Breakfasts. I liked that shirt.

In a couple of months it will rise again, as part of our Christmas Wreath project.

It’s that or throwing it away. It’s too worn to make good rags and Julia says no self-respecting tramp would be seen dead in it.

 

So much to write

Julia saw a Peregrine Falcon last night. They make quite a distinctive noise, which was what made her look up. We’ve had Kestrels and Sparrowhawks before, but this is a new bird for the street. In previous years we’ve seen them over the rugby pitches by the river and a nearby retail park, but never at this end of town.

We are familiar with the sound they make as they nest in the middle of Nottingham and Julia used to work in an adjoining building. They didn’t do well this year.

In terms of experiences this is quite a high quality experience. The same goes for seeing a Muntjac deer in Lincolnshire on Wednesday.  It’s the second time we’ve seen one in the same area this year. It’s always good to see deer, though I do worry about them being on the roads.

Today’s eBay loading wasn’t quite such a high-quality experience. One of the lots was 24 Bamforth comic postcards. I use the term “comic” loosely because my sense of humour has changed a lot since I used to find them hilarious. However, three of them sold within an hour so they are still popular. The quality threshold might be low but they pay the wages.

Bamforths, it seems, were also the founders of the Yorkshire film industry, but that’s a story for another day.

First of all I had to sell decimal coins, now it’s saucy postcards…

Tomorrow it’s Captain Scarlet. I like Captain Scarlet.

Angel Interceptor

Angel Interceptor