Tag Archives: rain

A Day at the Coast

 

Sunday has traditionally been my day for domestic chores, as Julia spent seven years years rising at 5am to start work at 6.00. As I was her driver (there are no buses at that time) it made sense for me to start work rather than going back to bed (though this was a guideline rather than a strict rule). That is how Sunday came to be the day for laundry, shopping and cooking in advance.

Thanks to a council decision to stop paying overtime (because you really want to get up at 5am and work 10 hours for the same hourly rate as the people working 9-5 during the week, don’t you?) we decided it would be a good time to call it quits. It had served us well when we were running the group on the farm but we had other jobs now and although we miss the money, we like having Sunday free. The pay cut wasn’t due to come in until next year but there were a couple of other factors, including aggression from customers, which helped make the decision.

Until that time Julia had only had Wednesdays off and so I negotiated that for myself when I started work in the shop. I’ve worked a couple of Wednesdays recently, as holiday cover, and Julia was on jury duty last week. She’s on jury duty next Wednesday too, and I’m in hospital to the the arthritis specialist the Wednesday after that.

That’s why we decided to sideline the Sunday chores and head off for the coast today. It looked from the weather map as if the middle of the day would be dry and that proved to be the case,

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

It rained in Nottingham before we set off but was dry all day until we started back. We drove through some moderately heavy rain for about half an hour just outside Boston, but that was all. On our return to Nottingham we found standing water, which suggests they had more rain here than we had at the coast.

Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire

We didn’t set off early, and we were home in daylight, so it was a nice relaxing run in the countryside, with fish and chips and a visit to a craft fair where Julia bought a cushion. She likes cushions. It’s one of those strange woman things. I’m a man – I don’t actually understand what they are for. If you have a bad back roll up a towel. There are no other possible uses of cushions.

If you want something to throw, to cover a stain on a chair or to decorate a room – use a book.

 

The photographs were meant to be  from a Community Garden in Sutton-on-Sea. There aren’t many of them as I forgot there was no card in the camera. Every time I do that I swear I will never be so stupid again. I think this is the third time I’ve done it.

These are a few photos of the flowers in the garden – I did manage to get them out of the camera in the end.

I also dropped my glasses in the garden whilst taking the pictures an said to myself: “Leave them and take the photograph. Just remember to pick them up before you go.”

I didn’t remember.

Fortunately they only cost £2.

This is a memorial bench from the garden. The 1 WFR is 1st Battalion Worcester and Foresters Regiment, an amalgamation of the Sherwood Foresters and the Worcestershire Regiment. After further amalgamations they are now The Mercian Regiment.

I looked him up when I got home. Martin Robinson was 21 when he was shot by a sniper in Londonderry in 1972.

I’m almost tempted to make a political statement here, but I won’t. I will, however, make one comment. He was somebody’s child and his life was cut short because of decisions made by politicians. The same could be said about every one of the 3,532 people killed because of the troubles between 1969 and 2001.

Maybe we should take a moment and think about that.

Unfortunately, I can’t get the photos out of internal memory. Leave it with me, there may be some by tomorrow…

As you can see, I did get them out of internal memory. Not sure if it was worth it so I have left a few of the space-fillers in.

Oh, these senior moments get worse!

Cold, Wet and Miserable

Yesterday morning when we left the house the day was beautiful – just the right temperature with a bright blue sky and a goldfinch perched incongruously on a TV aerial singing its heart out.

I wasted the rest of the day labouring on a computer in a windowless back room thinking of freedom and foolproof ways to kill my co-workers. This isn’t time wasted as it will eventually become the plot for one of my planned series of crime novels. The motive still needs work – nobody is going to believe that someone is murdered because he keeps moving the scissors – but I am being pushed to the edge. The only thing that prevents a fatal stabbing at the moment is the fact I can never find the bloody scissors.

What a contrast with today.

I stuck my head out of the door into a gloomy world with a low grey sky and only the chatter of a magpie to serve as a soundtrack. Even that stopped before I reached the car. No doubt it had found something small and defenceless to eat.

Wednesday is my day off but today was not to be filled with fun because it is MOT day. Actually, yesterday was MOT day, but because I’m a poor organiser it didn’t get done. Yesterday it had a new windscreen to replace the one that was cracked in Stoke on Trent as that sort of damage means a fail in the test.

Have I really being procrastinating for six months? That’s world class procrastination.

Fortunately the law allows you to drive without a valid MOT certificate as long as you are driving directly to a test station to keep a previously booked appointment.

They rang me just before lunch to tell me it had failed despite the new screen. It seems that one of the tyres I didn’t replace after the holiday had failed because of damage to the inner side-wall. It’s now cost me £325 for 3 tyres, the excess for the windscreen insurance and the MOT. Car ownership is starting to look like an expensive hobby.

They rang just after lunch to tell me it was ready, but when I stuck my head out of the door it was pouring down. I’d been typing in the dining room and hadn’t noticed. It was heavy, blustery and constant.

Half an hour later it was still blustery and constant, but it was heavier. And my coat was in the car. I have another coat. Unfortunately that was also in the car. My habit is to wear a coat while I am outside, walk back to the car, put it in the car and then walk into the house without the coat. This means I always have a coat with me when we go out.

It also means that, having failed to take the hint offered by the morning’s grey sky, I had walked home without a coat. It’s only quarter of a mile. Who needs a coat for that distance?

Fortunately I do have a third coat. Unfortunately, I’ve had it a while and I can no longer fasten it. I’ve noticed this with clothes. As they get older they seem to get smaller.

So, to summarise. Heavy rain, gusting wind. Coat that won’t fasten. Nothing for it but to grit my teeth and walk. At least my back will stay dry, I thought.

That’s where my new haircut came into play. With a newly shaved head there is nothing to impede rain as it runs off your shiny scalp and down your neck.

Later that day we went shopping. I checked my lottery tickets and found I had won £2.70.

Some days you think fate is laughing at you.

Other days you are certain it is.

 

 

Thoughts about Water

It’s been wet for several days and there has been standing water on the roads. It’s been drier today and things are getting back to normal. This is a relief as my joints have been a bit creaky and I’m wondering if this is caused by the damp.

In many ways it is more like November than June. I remember a summer like this before. I must have been about twelve at the time and the mental picture of me staring out of a window at rain for an entire summer holiday is still with me. It has haunted me for years. The sense of loss, and being cheated out of six weeks of holiday, must have been really strong for me still to remember it so clearly.

Apart from that there is little I can think of to write about. Rain is not a terribly interesting subject, though if, due to the magic of WordPress, you are reading this in the middle of a drought, I can only apologise for my insensitivity.

I tend to stay off politics and other contentious subjects, as I don’t want to offend people, but I’ve only just thought of water in this context. It’s obvious really, when you think that the next series of World Wars, if we escape annihilation over religion, is likely to be over water. I have read that the Nile is likely to be a source of problems, and that the Portuguese are concerned with the way the Spanish are using all the water on the Iberian Peninsula.

When you have massive salad crops, as the Spanish do, you need water. Personally, I’d solve that one by banning lettuce, but you know how I feel about salad.

This is what happens when you mess with nature. Spain should stick to growing olives and grapes and we should stick to eating salads only in summer. In summer they are a necessary evil; in winter they are self-indulgent and wrecking the planet.

At last! I have found moral high ground concerning salad!

Normally I try to limit myself to one exclamation mark a day, but I think this discovery merits two.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse…

I unlocked, turned off the alarm and went through to the back room to switch on the lights and computers…

Nothing.

A lot of the sockets were dead and a look at the fuseboard showed one of the two power circuits had tripped. We couldn’t reset it but we did manage to arrange a couple of extension leads to run the phones, a computer and the credit card machine.

It’s likely that the heavy rain has been getting in again. The electrician is coming on Monday and we will find out then.

Apart from that, my watch broke. Just as I found the power was out one of the spring-loaded bars in my watch strap broke and the watch fell off.

It never rains but it pours…

That may not be an appropriate expression if it turns out to be an electrical fault caused by water. I have had experience of that before and ended up with a surprise and a sooty burn mark on my hand.

In the evening I went to collect my tablets, using the prescription I picked up yesterday. I noticed, when reading the prescription, that I have the normal slew of threatening messages about reviews and appointments and, this time, a demand that I book an appointment for epilepsy screening.

This is why I don’t normally bother reading notes and letters from the doctor – I’m now worried what they know that I don’t.

 

 

A Lazy Link

Sorry, I’m knackered after a day shut in the back room at the shop so I’m opting for a lazy link to a funny news story. We had two brief episodes of rain – one lasted about three minutes and the second for about a minute. The raindrops were big but it didn’t do much good – the temperature stayed up and the floor didn’t even get well. Tomorrow we are expecting thunderstorms and there is an yellow weather warning in place. In the old days they just told you to remember your umbrella.

So here’s the link.

If you want more stories there are links at the end of story.

If you want more zoo-based humour try this.

I went to the zoo yesterday but it wasn’t very good, the only animal on show was a dog.

It was a Shih-Tzu. 

Or this…

I went to the zoo yesterday and all they had on show was a baguette in a cage.

The keeper said it was bred in captivity.

I’m easily amused.

Hopefully I’ll be back with a proper post later.

 

Struggling for Words

Oh dear, what should I talk about?

Julia has put an end to talk of funerals for the moment. She thinks it’s morbid.

She’s also put an end to posts about how she bosses me around. That is tricky, because if I do what she tells me I sort of prove my point. And if I don’t do what she says I might have to develop early-rising habits and cook my own breakfast.

I also don’t want to talk about work too much, as I admit that many people will find it less than fascinating. Not everyone is blessed with my capacity for loving ancient rubbish.

Nor will everyone be fascinated to hear how we reset the credit card machine after it stopped working.

Nor will the news that we’ve increased the stock of our on-line shop by 10% this week be greeted with much more than the thought of raising an eyebrow.

We have been shown some interesting things this week – including a George Medal that required a new ribbon, a medieval lead token someone found whilst digging the garden and a box of World War Two medals which included King Haakon VII’s Freedom Medal. I would have liked to have known the story behind the last one, but they didn’t even know which member of the family they had belonged to. Needless to say, as soon as I showed interest they decided to keep them.

The big news is that the shillings are all done. On Monday they will be delivered and, hopefully, out of my life forever. The same goes for the 1,000 crowns we’re also sending. However, don’t worry, we’ve already bought more. It seems like everyone who comes in has cupro-nickel crowns.

Shillings of Elizabeth II - English and Scottish varieties

Shillings of Elizabeth II – English and Scottish varieties

I have some. I bought them in 1968 after reading about how they would be a good investment. My Mum got them from the bank for me – four at face value of five shillings each. (This was before we went decimal and they became worth 25 pence). They are still worth that. Allowing for inflation this is a bit of a disaster.

Things could be, as I often say, worse. There’s a website you can use for selling things and they offer 19 pence each. I won’t send you a link as I don’t want to encourage them.

There would be more photographs but for the last few days I’ve been having trouble with my media contents – scroll down a few weeks looking for a suitable library shot and the whole thing freezes, making me shut down to get going again.

Looks like I may have to email WordPress.

It rained this afternoon. I’m hoping this isn’t a sign that summer is over.

We also had to evict another wasp queen. That is two in the last three days. Opinion in the shop is divided between gently showing them the door and killing them. At the moment I’m with Eddie on gently showing them the door. However, I’m wondering if I might change my mind shortly as the suspicion of a wasp invasion builds up.

As lives go, this is not cutting edge…

 

Blood, worms and British Telecom

I regretfully parted with more of the red stuff yesterday morning. The phlebotomist stuck me in the painful place they’ve been using recently and drew three quarters of a tube before tutting, fiddling about and, finally, throwing the tube away. It was, it seems, not working properly.

For those of you not familiar with modern blood-letting, it is no longer necessary to put blood in a tube as it was when I first started. These days they have a tube that sucks the blood out. Or, in this case, sucks most of the blood out then stops.

If it doesn’t draw enough blood they can’t do the test, so they had to re-stab my arm and take another tube.

If I had a bad day, it was nothing compared to the bad day that a number of worms were having. After the night of constant rain there were dozens of large fat worms crawling around the footpaths. I’m not sure where they all came from, or why they decide that the footpath is suddenly the place to be.

What I do know is that when I arrived at hospital at 8.04, they were alive and mobile. When I left at 8.44 many of them were lying dead in the rain.

I blame the carelessly placed feet of the multitude of bustling NHS staff that always seem to be late for work as I make my way slowly along the path. It’s a rare day when I’m not overtaken by at least half a dozen of them as I hobble to Phlebotomy.

I have no evidence for this, as I wasn’t actually watching, but they are the only people likely to have the speed to trample worms underfoot. The rest of us move slower.

When you think about it the average worm is doing more for the planet than the average human, so we ought to take more care of them.

Meanwhile, talking of lowly creatures, and people who contribute nothing to the well-being of the planet, BT still hasn’t moved the shop phone number. They have, however, cut off the old number as of Monday, so we currently have a phone line and a number nobody knows.

Tuesday’s development was a letter informing us that they are going to provide us with an ex-directory number free of charge, because that’s what you want when you have a shop – a phone number that nobody can see.

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The shop front – with telephone number