Tag Archives: cold

Spam, Spam, Spam . . .

Sorry, I seem to have become an unreliable WordPresser recently – not much reading and some very erratic writing. I won’t promise to try harder because, believe it or not, I am trying harder. I’m just not very good at it.

It’s partly the fault of the Russians. They invaded Ukraine, gas supplies went up in price and we all decided to economise. That means I spend more time in the living room and less in the dining room. That is where I do my writing, on a junk covered table that has been used as a desk far longer than it was ever used as a dining table (and was actually a second-hand office table I was given about forty years ago). Conjure with that mental picture for a while, it’s hard to imagine why I’ve never been featured in a glossy magazine spread on elegant living, isn’t it?

We have, so far, only had the heating on for one day. It’s a mild autumn, which is lucky. The living room is a slightly warmer room than the dining room, which opens onto the kitchen and faces north. The living room has thicker carpets and is smaller and less draughty. We sit there with blankets on our knees talking about the good old days and saving money on gas so we can spend it on cake and my collection.

I could write in the living room, but I don’t write well when I balance a laptop on my knee, and it seems anti-social. I could use a pad and pen, but these days it’s harder to write when TV is on – I no longer have that youthful capacity to work and listen to TV. Sometimes I even find it hard to converse while TV is on.

So there you go – Russians, cold, WP and my mental decline, all in one post.

So, why the title? It’s because I was researching some South African medals on a family history website. Ancestry, my normal site, doesn’t cover South Africa, so I tried some others. One of them seems to have triggered an avalanche of spam. First of all I got adverts for anti-virus software and then threats about harmful viruses on my computer. I’ve had them before, but have ignored them and they have faded away.This time, though they came to nothing, they did leave me with an annoying number of pop-ups. I’ve downloaded a free pop-up blocker. So far this morning it has blocked 62 pop-ups – that’s about one every twenty seconds. It’s hard work using a computer when a third of the screen is constantly choked with spam. I am, to say the least, frustrated and annoyed, and wishing I’d not bothered with the South African family research.

The picture? Fund-raising flags for Serbia, from around 1914. We bought them in with some junk a few weeks ago. The problem with the Balkans are still with us, as are our problems with the Russian Bear and jingoism.

Day 32

Just a quick visit. The shop was very cold today, the heating is poor, and by mid afternoon, when I realised I was cold, it was too late to do anything about it. I was frozen to he core, shaking, and looking forward to getting home. When I did, I sat in front of the fire under a heap of clothing and, over the course of three hours, thawed out.

This is a brief trip to the dining room to clatter out a few words on the computer before going back to the warmth of the living room. The back of the house faces north and is a bit draughty, which isn’t what I want right now.

I was intending having a night off from writing anyway, so it has just fallen right.

Tomorrow, I will check on submission windows for February and will start again.

We had constant phone calls today. Every time I tried to use sellotape, or was halfway through licking stamps, someone rang. Rare £2 coins, rare 50p coins, a coin bought in a Charity Shop . . .

I also made three appointments for people to come and sell us stuff. It would be better if they wanted to buy, but there you go. That’s how it always is in a shop. It’s easy to buy junk, hard to buy quality and even harder to sell anything. Now that people are used to buying on bay and places like that they don’t come into shops. They still want us for information, but, with rare exceptions, nobody buys in coin shops these days.

Somebody offered us £1,400 for a gold coin. We have it on at £1,950. So we declined. He came back with an offer of £1,500. We ignored it. Time is money and we are getting fed up of wasting time on people who are basically

picking our pockets.

We frequently get offers of less than the bullion price. My favourite ones say “I’d be happy to pay £X for this.” or variations on that theme, when X is less than we paid for it. I really want to write back and say “So would I.” but the boss won’t let me.

If I were to write a song about today I would call it The Shopkeeper’s Lament.

An enamelled crown of 1887. An under-dressed St George slays a dragon. Frankly, I don’t think boots and a cloak are the right kit for the job. I’d want a decent pair of trousers too – even if you don’t get your bits and pieces singed by dragon fire, they need protecting from chafing. And a lance would be handy too.

Day 13

I know there’s no real bad luck in numbers, but there’s something about writing “Day 13” that sets the hairs rising on the back of my neck. I don’t have enough on my head to notice if it happens there.

Until now, I hadn’t realised it was the 13th, even though I’d written several times on the packing slips.

We had a letter returned yesterday. We knew it had gone astray because the tracking number showed it was in South Korea when it was actually addressed to the Czech Republic. It was returned with the information “Undeliverable due to incomplete address”. They manged to send it back using the return address, which proves what the Post Office says – that a street number and postcode is enough. But despite a full address for the Czech destination, they were unable to deliver it to its intended destination.

Useless!

It cost us over £9 in wasted postage so we have put in a claim with the Post Office and will see what happens.

That’s about it today. We had pasta bake using the sort of ratatouille I prepared last night. Tomorrow we will have the rest of the sort of ratatouille with something else. Possibly tuna steaks. We found tuna steaks in the freezer a we cleared out before Christmas.

We have so much food in the house that apart from picking up some bread and milk and carrots we didn’t need to shop this week. Fortunately, with some serious eating of soup and other bits and pieces, we are managing to get through things without wastage. It helps that we are using less meat and that the kitchen, due to prevailing wind and winter temperatures, is actually colder than our ancient fridge.

Ah, the charms of life in 2022.

I used the parcel photo again, as the highlight of the day hinged round a parcel.

 

 

Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon

The cold I had on Friday (as reported in my last post, turned out to be a bit worse than expected and I took Saturday off work, spending most of it in bed. I spent most of Sunday in bed too and passed an unpleasant night coughing and spluttering.

This morning, feeling tired and washed out, I went to have my dressing changed (the healing is still going well)  and discussed the cold with the nurse as I was worried about the way it had knocked me out.

She had a word with one of the doctors and I was instructed to get a Covid test. It seems that if you have symptoms they now send you for a test, even if the symptoms are of a cold rather than Covid. The three lateral flow test all count for nothing, which makes me wonder why we bother with them.

The booking procedure for a test is quite easy even if there are pages of badly designed forms to fill in.

I won’t go on. Partly because I’m too tired, and partly because I’m beginning to lose my inclination to fight the modern world.

The good news is that I can stay off work tomorrow until the result arrives. The bad news is that I might get another ten days off if it’s positive. I’m not sure I can take another ten days in isolation after being housebound for three weeks with my leg.

However, I may email my MP tomorrow and ask why we bother with lateral flow tests when doctors clearly have no faith in them.

Not Quite a Senior Moment…

I really don’t know what to write about. I did do part of a post earlier this evening but I decided I ned more time so I can do it properly. That’s the trouble. My past is littered with posts that need more time. Somehow I manage to forget about them time after time…

It’s cold here tonight, and wet and windy. I really want to put the fire on, but it’s the second half of May and it doesn’t seem right. Better to be cold than soft.

I’m starting to get perilously close to a couple of deadlines and I’m falling behind with a daily writing challenge I set myself. It’s been going for four weeks now and I’ve managed to get behind every week. Fortunately I manage to pull it round each time.

I woke up in front of the TV last night after Julia had gone to bed and thought I was having a heart attack. I had a terrible burning pain in the chest, radiating up through my neck and into my jaw. Even as I was searching for pen and paper for a final message to Julia, I remembered some of the final words of the pharmacist relating to my new anti-coagulation drugs.

“Take it with food,” he said, ” preferably a proper meal.”

Yes, I had indigestion caused by throwing down a pill several hours after I had eaten, completely forgetting all I had been told. I spoke top the Anti-coagulation Service this afternoon, they also reminded me I had to have the pills with a meal, though they did say it was for the purposes of absorbing it better. There’s always something extra to remember, and as I’m having to do it with a decreasing amount of brainpower it isn’t easy.

Not sure if it’s a senior moment or not. Probably just stupidity…

Talking of stupidity – a couple of years ago, Julia brought some dried teasel home and left it on the floor as she sifted through her bag searching for keys. It seems to have released some seeds and we had teasel growing last year, hence the header picture. This year, we seem to have around 50 self-seeded teasels, including some in very tricky places. They are all rooted between paving slabs, so we can’t get them out to transplant and will have to weed quite a lot out to allow us to get to the front door. I don’t think we will have flowers this year, as I seem to remember they are biennial, but we will have  lovely show in 2022.

This is my version of the old Greek proverb – “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.”

I just noticed that it has slid past midnight – another day missed…

Bee on Teasel

 

Ditto

It was a cold day and nothing much happened.

I don’t think that Pepys or Bridget Jones have much to fear. I am not going to be much competition as a diarist.

I seem to recall it was a cold day yesterday and nothing much happened…

I might title today’s post “Ditto”. In fact, I will.

Anything that was out of the ordinary today, as in problems with customers on EBay and enquiries on the phone, were just repeats of ones I’ve described before. I won’t bore you with the details, just read an old post where I complain about customers, but imagine I’m cold too.

I’m going to write a short post today, but will write more later to keep up my average.

The photo is Arkwright the Tortoise, you may remember him from last year. I haven’t seen him recently, he’s probably snoring in a box of straw in the garage. Tortoises have a very sensible attitude to winter.

 

Cold Day at Work

We don’t have heating at work. Well, we do, but we don’t have any in the room I use. The front has a so-called air-conditioning system, which blows warm air in summer and then in winter blows out warm air. I suspect that the air is the same temperature when it emerges, but feels either slightly cold or slightly warm according to the room temperature.

In the back room we have an oil-filled radiator, but that is set to stop the back room becoming damp rather than make life more bearable for the downtrodden staff.

Fortunately, I had enough sense to dress in four layers this morning, which became five layers when I added a fleece to the ensemble. I also had a coat with me, but didn’t need that. There is, as they say, no such thing as bad weather (even inside!), just inappropriate clothing.

You can tell we’ve been having a cold snap because there is ice in some of the nooks and crannies of the car that has been there since the beginning of the week. When I started the car this evening at 5.00 it was already below freezing, and I’m not sure if it had been much above that all day.

The day wasn’t too bad, but as usual on Friday, a couple of people decided to order just as I was going to the Post Office. The PO shuts at 4.30 and doesn’t open again until Monday, so I always try to get last-minute orders in the post. This does not stop me cursing the people who order late. I post them because I am professional and because I’m being paid to do it.  I swear while I’m rushing to pack the parcels because I’m a miserable old git and am not a nice person.

After wiping down my work station (as I call the cluttered piece of board where I work, somebody rang me about “rare coins”. So I had to clean the phone again. Typical of my day.

At least the heated seats offered some comfort on the way home.

Another Average Day

I had a great idea for a post this afternoon. Unfortunately I forgot to bring the camera home so I can’t do that one as it needs photos.

Not all is lost. I Googled something this morning after Julia told me about it. If you go to this link you will find a story with military and political interest. Johno used to keep poultry and do various other things on the farm when we were there. He was the one who was told that he couldn’t have a blue badge for disabled parking as young people often recovered and didn’t need one. If you have read the link you will be able to join me in a wry chuckle. If not, read this.

The only other thing of note was that the shop was cold and the rain hammered on the roof all day. That’s what happens when you work in a lean-to.

It’s better in the front of the shop because there’s a flat on top of it and it has windows so you see daylight. And it has a heater.

New Windows!

No, not the computer version, proper bits of glass. I’m struggling to find a subject for tonight’s post, so this is where I will start.

We now have windows in the shop, replacing the chipboard and angle-iron that we’ve had for the last month. There are a few odds and ends to clear up but at least people won’t keep coming in and asking: “Have you had a robbery?”

My suggestion to stop that happening was to play Vera Lynn records and claim to be re-enacting the Blitz. This suggestion was not taken up.

Nor was my suggestion of telling them to mind their own business. It seems that people have a right to ask questions. Even stupid questions that we’ve heard fifty times before.

The problem is that it isn’t really the weather for sitting in a shop with missing glass, and I still haven’t warmed up. It took three hours.

We now have armoured glass in the doors, which should resist an attack like the last one. However, someone with a little intelligence and a flexible blade could probably remove a panel in a couple of minutes. It’s all a question of how much effort people are prepared to put in, and how much time they want to spend doing it.

As we saw when viewing the recording of the last robbery, they like to be in and out in a couple of minutes. If you can hold them out a few minutes extra they will go somewhere else.

It’s tough luck on the people who are “somewhere else” but that’s life.

The peacock was in the farmyard at Gigrin Farm. I took it when we went to see the Red Kites. It’s the nearest thing to a window I have in a photo.

A Trip to Town

As if I haven’t suffered enough already it’s the Numismatic Society of Nottingham tonight and the subject is the Pre-Decimal Currencies of Scandinavia. As I know nothing about the subject there is a good chance I will leave the meeting after having been thoroughly educated. However, as I have absolutely no interest in the subject there’s a good chance someone will have to wake me up at the end.

I fell asleep in the auction last month but nobody noticed, which is good news, as I obviously didn’t snore. If I fall asleep tonight I may get away with it.

You’d think I didn’t really enjoy the meetings from my descriptions, but I assure you I do. There’s always something to learn and people to see.

This afternoon I broke a deeply ingrained habit and went into town. I am that desperate to find a birthday present. I did manage a small present, but the trip was mainly notable for a urinating tramp and a non-working car park ticket machine system which refused (a) to take payment and (b) to let me out even though I’d eventually sorted it out and paid..

And they wonder why people prefer Amazon.

Start with “You don’t have to pay £3.80 to park at Amazon as rude people push you out of the way, sales assistants sneer and tramps urinate in the bushes and swear at people who object.” After that, the decline of the High Street starts to look logical.

I’m now going to have a nice sit down in front of the fire before going out again as I’m feeling the cold. That’s something else you don’t have to worry about with Amazon. You can shop on Amazon whilst sitting by the fire.

Five Ounce Silver Coin

Five Ounce Silver Coin

The coin went in the post this morning – five ounces of silver. It’s really a medallion but has been struck as a £10 coin of the Channel Island of Guernsey. No, I don’t know why they make them. Maybe they just have lots of silver.