Coffee Beer

September 30, 2006

Another working Saturday. Not sure if I’ll make the despatch tomorrow or not (and have to go out soon).

But was at the supermarket this morning (just topping up, I do the main shop on Sunday when I also do mother’s, but things run out or gone stale by the following Sat), and I discovered beer brewed with coffee!. So I purchased a couple of bottles. Will report what it’s like. 6% alcohol. Not Belgian, either, but probably inspired by them.

Tried to renew mother’s home insurance, which I had arranged last year. Could I? No. Even though it was my credit card they have details of, I arranged it, they’d never spoken to her ever before, I’ve got to get her to phone them first before I can do it. Honestly, it gets harder and harder to do the same thing (see last Saturday’s rant about the bank).

Friday night working

September 29, 2006

Ah, it happened again.

Working on Friday night, while listening to Any Questions. Well, until now, but the reason I stopped is my injured right hand has had enough physical work for tonight. I doubt if I could write (else I’d do the books), typing I can do without the use of the right thumb where the injury is. Yet the injury was caused by cramp in the thumb muscle over a month ago.

Another sign of growing old, no doubt, but the inability to grip and in particular twist is proving difficult, let alone hold a pen and sign a signature.

My poor old car is grateful that the “urgent” job was finally collected today. Maybe the back suspension will recover a bit. Though the collection driver was non-plussed by it being on a pallet. “That’s going to add to the cost” he said; I replied I did not care, I was not paying, and just following orders.

Getting dark

September 28, 2006

I had to go and fetch a pallet this evening (for that urgent customer, don’t get me started on that), and I suddenly realised it was 19:30 and it was dark. And the clocks have yet to go back.

Of course when I got home someone had nicked my nice place the car had for most of today, until I had to go and fetch the pallet.

Anyway, the “urgent” job now has a volume more than double of what it had in just it’s carton, now it’s strapped to a pallet; and that will up the price for air-freight.

But now we’re past the equinox, and into the winter season, the first target is how late before I turn on the central heating (but only for 2 hours in the morning to heat the water and warm the place up so as to get up). Looks as if it can get well into October this year.


September 27, 2006

You may remember last week’s fiasco about an urgent job. Well, we’ve done the job, it’s currently in my car, in the carton, unsealled (due to customs regulations), and instructions there are none. Despite our telling them exactly when things are ready.

I contribute to Wikipedia and Wikiquote etc. (too tired to put in links, do it yourself). Many entries to do tonight. But today included Eddie Mair and Fig Lover.

Not to mention real work.

Had interesting discussion with my 5-year-old niece yesterday. We were counting numbers, and she got to 100. But the next was 200. So I offered the idea of 101…Plus her spelling homework…”Did” proved an odd word she struggled with.

She, and her younger sister, are the children of my younger brother and his wife (who is older than him, younger than I). You can imagine the pressure I was under when I was Best Man at their wedding when everyone knew he, at 35, was already rather old, so let alone me, who would turn out to be the only one of my generation left without offspring….

15 minute musical

September 26, 2006

As I write, another rather lame “15 minute musical” (Radio 4, Tues, 23:00) plays. The writer/composer manages one excellent one per series, although the highlight was the first one of the last series, “Blunketto”. It still resonates around the internet, but no recording seems available…

Writing of which, music, rehearsal this evening, I missed more than half of due to bad traffic and the stops I had to make on the way. For there are not many journeys I make these days for one reason alone, but save them up and do a whole load in one go. Not that green, true, but better than what I used to do – go for a drive for the hell of it. But then, in London, who drives for pleasure?


September 25, 2006

Today was my 45th birthday. Even less than normal happened.
But a short blog today.

More apples

September 24, 2006

I’ve decided to leave the apples I did not pick on the tree last week for another week, for additional ripening. Problem is, I don’t really know the optimum time to pick this variety.

But I went through and tried to remove all the ash, sycamore and other seedlings before they become the thugs that need specialists to remove. (at about £60/tree, as we had earlier this year, removing the real thugs). I think I removed about 30 today, including, to my surprise, some holly. No doubt a load more to remove. Problem is the people who planted the ash and the sycamore in their gardens, no doubt for good effect, but to the problem of those downwind of the seeds.

I do not remember when father sowed the seeds of a cyclamen, (only the Neapolitan variety), but for the 30th+ year it’s a mass of blooms. A few years ago it was attacked by a slug, and I had to cut out a section of decaying matter – obviously successfully, as it survived and blooms with a mass of pale pink/purple flowers every autumn.

And the Saffron Crocus (Crocus Sativus) have just started to show their heads; I wonder if any of them will flower this year (and give a saffron crop) They are certainly healthy enough, when I dug them up the year before last to separate them (they were almost a solid mass)…I’ve read them the Riot Act so as to encourage them to pull their…roots…out, as it were.

2nd blog!!!

September 23, 2006


So doing what I’ve objected that Eddie Mair does…more than one blog. But it’s Saturday.

Colleague’s soldering iron blew up yesterday. So he needs a new one. I remembered a special offer, one that was advertised as “RoHS compliant Solder Kit”.

RoHS means no lead is used in the manufacture (or some other chemicals). But the special offer had expired as I tried to buy it, but learnt it may be on special offer again.

It turns out their current stock of the “RoHS compliant Solder Kit” is, itself, not RoHS compliant, even though it’s advertised to be used to make RoHS compliant kit.

However, for cynics like me, that’s all good reason to run down to the store and stock up before the hoarders get there.

(Cutting the technical reason why I’d do this; but if anyone asks, I’ll respond in the blog)


September 23, 2006

I usually go to the bank every saturday morning, to pay in/pay bills for both business and personal. Don’t get me on about Direct Deb[i]t. A couple of years ago, they suggested that instead of writing cheques to pay the bills, I could do it all in one transaction using by debit card. Great. Today I tried it, and was told that they were limiting that facility to about £500, unless I had photo ID. I don’t. Driving licence is too old. No passport. I’ve only used that bank nearly every week for the last 16 years. So it’s now back to cheques. And they call this progress?

Yes, I could do it by phone, and have the phone taps etc get all my bank details. But since I’m going to the bank to pay in cheques, and if not, nontheless want the ATM machine for cash, or even just passing the bank on the way to the supermarket, it seems obvious to just pop in and settle the rest in one go.

Car’s getting old

September 22, 2006

Colleague and myself were working this afternoon, but it was end-of-week i-tus, and there was general chat about the rubbish on Radio 4 this afternoon, the general state of the world, and the convening of the 1,752 or whatever general meeting of old fogies. Colleague is older than I am.

My car continues to fall apart. While reaching 208,000 miles (not bad, really) today, the sun-roof has sprung a leak, soaking the inner lining and dripping onto the seats. Having just given it a gear-box transplant, I’m somewhat loathed to give up on it, but exhaust, rear handbrake caliper, and now this, it’s beginning to get me down. I’ve owned it for the last ten years (coming up to), and put 83,000 miles on the clock. This being more than any of my parent’s cars ever managed in their lifetime.

I was not brave in taking on a 3 year old car with 125,000 miles, I knew the reputation of Saabs. And have been proved correct. But it’s got to pay-back time, the failures I have are of a car completely run into the ground.