Thursday, 29 October 2009

No Lights and Two BIG Holes

Whilst I was sunning myself in Majorca I received a text from the grumpy old man to say that there were workmen finally fixing our light at the top of Bridge Street - not all his texts were this riveting, I assure you.

There was light Wednesday night when I returned home, plus the minor inconvenience of a hole straight across from us - this was remedied at 7.30 the following morning by workmen clattering loudly and applying a miniscule amount of tarmac - why does everyone think I need to be up early?!?

This morning I received a text from my friend and neighbour, asking me when we were thinking of returning home as there was nowhere to park the car - this is because there’s a big hole in the pavement in front of her house and her neighbours. Not only that, they'd been without electricity at the top of the street for over nine hours yesterday. Oh heck, that means our lights on timers will be on during the night and not in the evenings so thanks for that!

To add insult to injury, they finally realised that they’d dug up the wrong side of the road - it took approximately 12 men to come to this earth shattering conclusion. Why would they think the cable was on our side when they’d already told the GOM last week [while he was supplying them with cups of tea] that the break was at the bottom of the bridge steps.

Today, there are holes both sides of the road and still they are digging. When asked, they said that it was an emergency job. This would all have been fine and greatly appreciated but until they dug up the road yesterday the light on the bridge had been WORKING for over a week. Why was it an emergency now anyway? It had been originally reported by my neighbour around 25th September as that was the third night without light.

When they’ve finished making the holes and doing whatever repairs are necessary, they’ll have to wait for another team of hole-fillers to do their bit then it’ll be the turn of the tarmacers. They were originally going to fill the wrong hole in at 2.00am last night but didn’t turn up. I'm so glad I'm missing all the fun.

I’ve read - with a fair amount of amazement - that AVBC is planning to spend £100,000 on poor neglected Langley Mill - I do hope it won’t all go on digging big holes and filling them back in on Bridge Street …

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Ryanair Greed and Other Airport Annoyances

I've had a few days away with four girlfriends - I don't have time to write about that yet, suffice it to say, we had a fun time - but our experiences at Palma airport, Majorca. I do have time for.

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time after a 90 minute bus ride, went to the loo - which is always a must on arriving anywhere - even if it’s only a 10 minute journey.

We went through airport security, you know how it goes - shove your hand luggage onto the conveyor then a tray with your coat, bag etc. I made several attempts at this but the three Germans in front of me had to keep getting more trays for their belts and shoes as things were bleeping.

I waited patiently until they were through, shoved my stuff and walked through - I never bleep, a short record I'm proud of - got to the other end to collect my stuff and refill my pockets with bleepables when this woman in uniform marched up to me:-

‘You take trays over there, not leave them here, is your job!’

Now I'm a nice person, very obliging. If she'd said ‘Excuse me please, will you take these trays to the pile over there when you go?’ I'd have stayed and collected the next half dozen for her.

I do NOT respond well to orders, especially when I'm not at fault so I picked my tray up [as I'd always intended to] and told her that I'd take my tray and only mine and she could stick the rest where she wanted!

We had a look around the duty free shop, made a few vital purchases. Had a cup of something - well - it was wet, we all remarked that we couldn't wait for a proper cup of tea when we got home and decided that it was now time to be on our way.

We sauntered along the moving walkways - not really advisable if you're like me because I tend to look around and not concentrate on the job in hand - which nearly resulted in me landing on my a**e, but far, far worse than that, breaking my precious and almost wildly expensive litre bottle of Southern Comfort [yum, yum, yum].

Luckily no-one spotted my near-accident as my feet skidded to a stop and I lurched to the next moving bit so my dignity and Southern Comfort were safe - for now.

My crumbly friend and I had paid for priority boarding - a complete waste of time when we left East Midlands Airport as there were only 30 passengers on board, meaning we all had a row of seats each and our cheap friends had a giggle at our expense - but it did prove to be very useful coming back as the flight was nearly full.

Uh-oh, the little Nazi-type woman was moving the hand-baggage measure doo-dah next to the desk, if she wants me to put my case in there which has expanded alarmingly while I've been away due to a couple of purchases then I'm stuffed:-

‘PRIORITY!’ she shouted.
All the smug looking priority ticket holders swarmed forward [that includes me in case you’re not keeping up] - My turn came.

‘You, take case there, put bag in, only one bag allowed’
‘But it's duty free.’
‘No, no, one bag only, is the rules’

By now I was getting fairly ticked of by bolshy little upstarts but I resolved not to be beaten. My friend was panicking, I told her to get on the plane, that I was OK. I opened my case, took out my fleece and put my precious Southern Comfort in. Zipped the case back up, took my coat off, put the fleece on and the coat back on top and presented myself to SeƱora Hitler.

‘OK, you go now.’
I was MELTING in the heat!! but felt that I'd won a small if sweaty victory, if she hadn't let me on at this point, I was prepared to wear every item of clothing in my case.

Meanwhile, I noticed that some of the others who had witnessed my ‘repacking’ were trying to get their duty free into their cases and one man just handed his bag over and told 'Adolfa' to keep it.

Oh dear, I knew our non-priority friends had made duty free purchases too, but I couldn't see them to warn them what was in store as there were so many people waiting to board the plane.

Needless to say, when their turn came they tried to share things out between the bags but it was hopeless. One of them had to pay 35 Euros to have her luggage put in the hold and she carried the duty free onboard.

I've read recently - of course too late - that the staff are paid a percentage as an incentive to get luggage declared as oversized. This may be a rumour but who knows?

I'm a bit annoyed with myself though, as I usually check and double check everything. I'd made sure of the size of re-sealable plastic bag we needed for our liquids [20x20cm - 100ml each item] etc to get through security. The maximum bag size and weight [55x40x20cm - 10Kg] that Ryanair allowed. I had repeated nightmares that I'd forget to check-in online - which we'd had to pay £5 for the privilege even though there's no choice.

I had also read that Ryanair were thinking of charging £1 for us to use the loo but decided against it - for now - this was a shrewd move on their part as I can't see anyone wanting to pay £3 for a cup of coffee then another £1 to recycle it and give it them back.

Will I fly with Ryanair again?

The simple answer is yes, they are still cheap and if you're a bit uneasy in a crowd or you simply want to get on first and pick your seat it is worth paying for priority boarding.

It's up to me to make sure I'm up to date with their latest money-making ideas, and to keep one step well ahead ...

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Have Heanor Haulage Already Expanded?

Well, as long suspected Heanor Haulage seems to have expanded onto the side of the railway with a couple of their flatbeds and a nice new fence. So really they don't appear to be going anywhere soon. We knew that the land was being sold a while ago as there were notices up at the time.

I'm expecting this arrangement to cause Asda a bit of a headache as they've stated that they want to improve Pottery Lane. This now means that they've also got to make it safe for pedestrians as Heanor Haulage will need to get to their new open storage somehow.

Unless, as was rumoured way back - along with the earliest ‘Asda coming to Langley Mill rumours’, Heanor Haulage wanted to access this land from the industrial estate up Cromford Road. I suppose we'll eventually find out what their plans are when they've done it - pretty normal.

At least the awful mess should get cleared up under the bridge that teenagers have made with their drinking [and other activities] den. Oops, I forgot who we’re talking about, there’s the disgusting mess at the top of Bridge Street that Heanor Haulage won’t clean up and we can’t get in to do it, so I may be making wild assumptions here.

Now, although I haven’t got anywhere near enough spies to keep me properly up to date, I have been informed that they can’t build on this ex-railway land, it’s only for the storage of flatbeds. I wonder where the rest of the crap will go?

Oh silly me, I was having a senile moment there, it’s not going anywhere …

What, No Lights?

I mentioned on 3rd October that we’d got no street lights working at the top end of Bridge Street, I wrongly assumed that because the council were looking at them that they’d been fixed.

A couple of chaps from e.on turned up quite early yesterday morning in a little red van, looked around, hummed and ahhed – still we have no lights.

It’s very, very dark, I can tell this by the extra noise from people at 4.28am trying to negotiate the steps at the bottom of the bridge. Also the Grumpy Old Man has taken to using the car’s rear fog light just for a bit of extra glow when reversing back up the road to park.

AHEM, council! I’m afraid if the lights aren’t fixed soon somebody may have a horrible accident going up or coming down the bridge steps, then they may be claiming compensation.

I wonder what I’d get for a broken toe? I’m always breaking them - Now where did I put that claim form …

Monday, 12 October 2009

A Googling Nightmare

Well the crumbliest among us has been updated [upgraded - I know!] with an XP laptop with wifi - Oh dear.

The first thing I did when summoned, was to sort her an hotmail address to use on Windows Live Messenger as she wanted to 'talk' to me while I was away. I gave her strict instructions to learn how to use this first, plus a little light searching - nothing more. I didn't want her trying to learn too much at once; being overwhelmed, failing to grasp it and giving up. This may sound patronising, I don't mean to be, but I know from helping others that the older you are, the harder it is to take in. I also told her to keep a notebook handy to jot down things she wasn't sure of so she could ask someone later.

'How do I ask for Google?'
'You've got Google there' I answered, pointing to it.
'Do I type Google in there?'
No, it - is - a - Google - search - bar.'
'So and so types Google in there and she gets Google.'
'Well you don't need to.'
'So what do I type in there then?'
'You just type in whatever you want to know.'
'Well, really ... I want Google.'

This would try the patience of a Saint and I'm no Saint.

The other day - via texts and messenger:-

'I tried to sign in to Google Facebook and Yahoo Facebook.'
'Neither worked.'
'I asked Google for Facebook, tried to sign in, it didn't work so I asked Google for Yahoo, then Yahoo for Facebook and tried to sign in there.'
'Well so and so does it if Google can't find what she wants.'
'Google will find Facebook, Yahoo will find Facebook, you don't need to ask one to ask the other where chuffing Facebook is!'
'You haven't got a facebook account.'
'Well I put all my details in, my name and school.'
'Did you use your email address?'
'Is my email?'
'No that's just the end of it.'
'And ******-******* is my name on the Internet.'
'No, that's the beginning of your email.'
'Do I need a password?'
'Look I'll sign you up to facebook and send you the details to log in.'

I did the deed.

'Why that password? Can't I have ********?'
'You can change it once you've logged in, I'm not a mind reader, I had to pick summat!!'

I was a bit short with her as we'd already had words about an email address she'd sent me by text - which she knew she'd done right because so and so said so. Yes the address was right including the underscore but she's a demon for full stops and no spaces so I - completely forgetting this foible, put a name and a dot more in the address than I should and ended up with an 'undelivered' notification.

Text received that evening:-

'My family think I'm doing great on the Internet, they also think I need showing only a bit at a time. And they never thought to see me on Facebook. I feel quite chuffed with myself.'

Oh dear, oh dear ...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Heanor Haulage Expanding?

To continue with Sunday’s moan …

Why does Heanor Haulage need more storage space at the back of Bridge Street if they’re - quote - “Moving much of it’s existing operation within the Heanor area but its main office and a new workshop will be rebuilt on the same site.”[the only bit that we've been told is staying].

It doesn’t make any sense, no-one moves their ‘existing operation’ by expanding their current storage space. Or is this just a sneaky way of them acquiring land to build more houses on?

I wonder why one councillor has objected to the disposal of this land. Why doesn’t it state in the newspaper that Heanor Haulage want the land, rather than the very small piece that just says the council want to dispose of it?

There have been so many EXPECTED objections to Asda’s ridiculous ‘access’ ideas to the proposed ‘residential development’, that they may eventually say “Hey, we don’t want to upset people, we want to be good neighbours – we’ll leave it just the way it is.”

If there are no changes made to the current use of the land then there’ll be nothing we can object to – and if this is the case, isn’t it time to stop pretending otherwise? – quote from Mr HH at on 24th March 2009 - “It is possible we would stay at Langley Mill and may simply move into our back yard.”

There is one thing that desperately needs doing if Heanor Haulage is going to stay on their back yard. It needs tarmacing because the dust is disgusting and wholly unnecessary - with proper drainage to prevent Dean Street from being flooded.

Also there needs to be much stricter rules for their working hours. Heanor Haulage work whenever they want including Sundays, caring nothing for the residents. More importantly their equipment needs updating, it’s old and filthy and pollutes our air as well as being a noise nuisance, and it’s time they stopped playing with cranes, they’ve been doing that for at least 2 years and it’s a damned nuisance!

Go on Heanor Haulage and Asda - build the houses and get rid of the eyesore that is Heanor Haulage's back yard. If you don't, the whole project will seem to be underhand and dodgy. Then again, maybe that's how the council and Heanor Haulage have always done things …

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Disposal of Land Just Over t'Back

My spies and I - there are some nosy people - have been pooling information about things that we find interesting - be thankful we don't find you interesting.

Now, in Aldercar and Langley Mill Parish Council meeting on 16th of June, there was a request from Langley Mill Boxing Club to extend their premises onto land adjacent to Queen Street Recreation Ground. But no-one seemed to be sure who owned the land. It also stated that: - there may be a possible inclusion within the proposed development of the residential units off Dean Street [Asda's and HH's proposal in case you're not following my drift].

It's a fair bet that they've found out now who owns the land; because in this weeks Ripley and Heanor News [1st October] there's a tidgy bit in the public notices where: - Notice is given that Amber Valley Borough Council intends to dispose of some land on Queen Street Recreation Ground - 291 square metres etc, etc.

Isn't it funny how the council wants to dispose of it now - when it's been stood perfectly happy, growing trees and minding it's own business for years.

How do you dispose of land? It's not something you can flush down the loo or sweep under the carpet. Do they mean sell? Did they not put sell in case someone put two and two together and came up with four and a half?

I wonder who will buy it - Heanor Haulage perhaps? Well. I would certainly think so; seeing as the council received a letter from them on the 18th May 2009. Asking for the land so that they could increase their open storage space. Decidedly odd - if not a little dodgy for a company claiming to be downsizing; and who also just happen to have a current planning application for a residential development on their adjacent land!

And of course, the council probably didn't mean sell as apparently the land has no value, so disposal it is then. Now the council have to advertise the fact that they want to dispose of the land in a local paper for two weeks before they consider any representations.

Does the council always dispose of it's [our] land if someone comes along and asks for it, or is this just a rule for the big boys with large wads of cash? Can we put in an application for it - seeing as it's going begging and it's valueless? I might like it for myself. I could nip over there, peg my washing out and sit under my trees!

This 'freedom of information' lark - it's a bit of a bugger isn't it ...

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Poor Dean Street

I'm glad I don't live on Dean Street. Heanor Haulage's muck and grime is blowing straight down there. It's a lot worse every time a Heanor Haulage lorry whizzes up and down the yard which is fairly frequent. We can't see across to the recreation ground for dust. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the wind doesn't change direction, the air tastes bad enough here as it is.

I'm sure this can't be classed as healthy living - breathing in Heanor Haulage's diesel fumes and the contaminated dust they whip up with their lorries. Oh haven't I mentioned that it's contaminated? Well it is.

At least Dean Street isn't kept awake half the night, first by PMB pallet Express - brrm, brrm clattering - in the very early hours. Then by the wind rattling the crappy squeaky shutters across the road. At least there will be light on the bridge tonight, Bridge Street has been reduced to three street lights all week but the council has been fixing this morning ...

Friday, 2 October 2009

No Longer Losing The Plot - It's Well And Truly Lost!

I was preparing for my evening wallow - I do like an hour in the bath with a good book [I'm reading 'Cranford' at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it], something I can't do at the manor unless I want to sit in the mini-bath/shower doo dah with my legs up in the air. Caravan baths; unless you're rich, are literally bum-sized.

Anyway, I went to turn the tap on - bearing in mind that even though I'm often away, we have had this posh bathroom suite for exactly two years and I've used it every day since we got back on Tuesday.

There I stood, turning first one way and then the other; the widget that shoves up the plug, muttering all the while about there being no bloody water when I want it.

The penny finally dropped, I finished telling myself that I was a moron over that, only to find that my next attempt was equally as dim. I was pulling up the taps/shower diverter and giving that a good waddle.

By the time I finally sussed it, I found that I was actually telling the bubble bath - ironically the same 'flavour' as the foamburst I had squirted my left armpit with yesterday - all about my problems with the new-fangled lever/swivelly type tap.

Is there no hope? Is it all downhill from here?

I think I'll have a day in bed tomorrow ...

Losing The Plot - And Not Even 50 Yet!

We were going out for tea yesterday; to celebrate some small, noisy persons Birthday. As I was getting ready I thought I'd give my pits a quick squirt. I'll try this new anti-perspirant ... Hmm, I wonder why I bought it when I've already got a new one waiting?

Shake, squirt - it's not coming out very well - s-q-u-i-r-t. Yes, it was lovely ... and ever so foamy. It wasn't anti-perspirant at all but Imperial Leather foamburst - and it lived up to its name!

I could have been forgiven for this misunderstanding if I'd bought it weeks ago and put it away, rather than having bought it only the day before and knowing full well what it was at the time.

I have a system when I unpack the bags after shopping. Everything is put on the worktop in the appropriate place in the kitchen, then I just reach up or down to put it away. The upstairs stuff goes in one carrier bag to be taken up by whoever goes up first, then it gradually reaches the rooms it's intended for.

Not this time - the G.O.M went up first and instead of dumping the bag on the bed for me to sort out as he normally does; he thought he'd do me a favour by putting things away - which reminds me, what's he done with my other - um - stuff?

There's foam everywhere! I rinsed it off my person and wiped it off my clothes - am I the only one who gets changed then thinks it's a good idea to freshen up the old armpits? There's sweet smelling foam all down the cupboard door where I reached in for a towel, down the side of the bath, there's a blob behind the sink taps, there were several blobs along the route I took [rubbed into the carpets now] from the bedroom to the bathroom, and down the stairs when I went to tell the G.O.M what I'd done, even though I'd supposedly got it all off by then.

I say 'there's foam everywhere', in the present tense because I've left it to see how long it takes to disappear [I'm like that] - it's getting on my nerves now though, so as soon as I've finished this post I intend to de-foam ...