Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Years Honour?

I had a look at the list this morning, fully expecting to see that I’d been honoured - but do you know, there are NO honours awarded for services to blogdom OR moaning. Apparently you have to do something worthwhile to deserve an honour - so that’s me remaining in total obscurity for a bit longer.

I suppose I could make letters up to use after my name - who'd know?? -

  1. RGM - really good moaner.
  2. OBG - old blogging grump.
  3. OGM - old grumpy moaner.
  4. SOW - stroppy old woman - hmm, maybe not
  5. MBE - moaning blogger extraordinaire - what do you mean - 'no, I can't, it's in use'?? Well if we're going to get all picky about it, I won't bother.
I'll just have a new middle name instead - Grumpess!

Happy New Year ...

Sunday, 27 December 2009

My Christmas 2009

Christmas day - after visiting the daughters and grandchildren and unwrapping our presents from them [just what we wanted - thanks] we went to my sister’s where she spent quite a bit of time organising people and telling some of them what time they’d be getting up today - Sunday, not Boxing Day! [they could have a lie-in]. She’s not exactly the sort of person who lives for the moment but she is the worlds best ignored organiser!

I was interrogated yet again about whether or not we were going to stay at Center Parcs for her birthday. She’d obviously been badgering my brother-in-law yesterday to find out, as I received a couple of texts from him [or her using his phone] to the effect. Tut tut, she’s so chuffing nosy.

The idea of not sending Christmas cards to each other in future was received wholeheartedly by everyone there, I have to admit at this point that my sister never used to send anyone a Christmas card until I shamed her into it several years ago [before I got grumpy].

Now to the presents - we each [obviously] received what we wanted as our main presents, seeing as we'd bought and wrapped them ourselves, even the ones among us who wanted cash to spend at the sales.

The stocking fillers - hmm, methinks my sister was getting her own back this year as she’s bought me industrial strength wrinkle creams - they could even be the same ones I gave her last year - we do this kind of thing.

In the few weeks before Christmas, my grumpy old man made a wonderful choice - aided by someone who knows me very well [me] - for my main, ahem, surprise present. He bought me a pair of padparadscha sapphire dangly earrings to match a pair of studs [and my ring] that I’d already got. Great, that’s me sorted, now what on earth shall I get for him?

I was cruising t’interweb looking for ideas on what to get him, somehow - and I don’t know how this happened - I ended up looking at jewellery. Ooooh, Mexican fire opals in a pendant - my third favourite gems. I bet he’d like something like that, then he could lend it to me to wear.

‘Verily’ said the bad angel looking over my left shoulder ‘if thou wants one, thou must bid on one at the celestial auction house and market place known as eBay.

‘Oh no, that’s not fair.’ said the good angel, balancing precariously on my right shoulder.
‘Oh would you look at that, it’s perfect, just what I, oops, he wants.’ said I ecstatically under my breath.

‘Go on, bid on it, bid on it’ said the bad angel jumping up and down on my left shoulder.
‘Oh, you mustn’t, it’s mean and greedy’ squeaked the good angel as I brushed the irritating little annoyance of my right shoulder whilst filling in my maximum bid - aided by the bad angel pushing my mouse.

Lo, the pendant was won later that very day with much joy and jubilation, then was paid for in an instant using the celestial bank known as Paypal. It was delivered at great speed through the ice and snow two days later by an early morning messenger - aka the postman.

It’s a lovely pendant, the GOM was very pleased but decided it didn’t really suit him so he gave it back to me - well, of course it never occurred to me that I should keep the pendant for myself, ahem, not until he suggested it - he said he’d keep the AIG certificate though so he can look at the photo of it whenever he wants.

Surprises from the GOM -
  1. Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
  2. Terry’s Chocolate Orange box [weighted] with a ‘me to you’ bear in it.
  3. Terry’s Chocolate Orange in a big box with a spare loose one in the bottom from the 2nd surprise.
  4. box of Liquorice Allsorts - revenge present for the pendant.
  5. ‘Oi!! where’s my Southern Comfort????’
He'd forgot to wrap it. I didn't realise it was missing until I was in bed last night cataloguing all my presents in my mind, I jumped up and told him it wasn't there, bless him, he said he'd go down and wrap it for me, this was at at 12.30am, isn't he sweet - or something?

Hang on a minute, the cheeky sod! I bought the Terry's Chocolate Oranges - buy 1 get 2 free from Morrisons. Hmm, I think he’s starting to catch on to my methods …

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Curiosity Getting the Better of Me

I have to wonder - because I’ve developed some grumpy old nosiness - why someone in Derby looks at my blog. Often more than five times a day. Sometimes very early in the morning, then at odd times throughout the day, occasionally again around midnight and last night at 2.05am, don’t they ever sleep?

I’ve even found myself thinking, ‘Oh poor Derby, they must be bored stiff if they’ve looked at my blog again’ - more often than I’ve checked my statcounter [ahem, this is a biggish fib - see above about my nosiness] - ‘and I haven’t written anything for them to read, what shall I write about?’

Today is [possibly] your lucky day as it’s about you!

If you are a bored insomniac in the Derby area, ISP Be Un Limited, please say hello or leave a comment - it can even be a horrible comment - because this new found curiosity of mine is getting the better of me - anyway, whoever you are, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year …

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Are Christmas Cards Just a Con?

Why do we send Christmas cards?

Well in days of yore [before I was born] Christmas cards were sent to people we didn’t see very often, to remind them that we were thinking of them at this special time.

I’m not particularly mean, but I’m beginning - yes, it’s an age thing - to see that we’ve been duped by the card makers and retailers into going through this boring and not inexpensive ritual every year. There’s always some greedy sods who jump on the bandwagon, making us believe that we must send a Christmas card to everyone and their dog/cat/budgie/etc.

We send ‘special’ cards to family and close friends - er, why? If they’re that close we probably see them on a weekly basis so we can tell them that we ‘Wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’. There’s a brilliant invention called a t-e-l-e-p-h-o-n-e that we can use to tell other people.

We also live in an age where we can send electronic greetings over t’interweb. There a plenty of free websites to send them from for the more Scrooge-y amongst us, but even if we were to pay to join a website to send high class, advert free greetings -

  1. it’s still cheaper than the post.
  2. we’re saving trees.
  3. you can look at them whenever you want without clutter.
  4. you always know where you put them - er, maybe not.
  5. you can send the same e-card to everyone you know – a boon to the terminally idle.
  6. it’s a good idea.

If the mood takes us we can also include in our Christmas message that the money we haven't wasted by not sending actual, physical cards we’ll donate to charity - or we can even tell the truth and say that we'll drink a toast to the recipients with the money we save.

“Well Christmas cards are nice and I like them” you may say - So save this years cards with the decorations and put them back up next year. “Well I like to receive them” - ok, it’s not compulsory to do what I say, it’s just an idea.

I’m not suggesting that we completely stop sending cards, I just mean the stupid ritual of muttering and moaning whilst writing them when we're going to give them to someone we see regularly - it’s a waste of money, time, ink and trees. AND this is coming from someone who until recently made brilliant cards and sent them through the post until the post office started charging more for fat cards!

Yes, by all means send a [flat] card to distant friends and relatives who are technically challenged, and again DEFINITELY send a card to someone who would otherwise feel forgotten because they’re on their own.

Of course, being completely honest now, I don't actually write any cards myself because my handwriting is atrocious, the grumpy old man does them - often looking like he's sucking on a lemon, so distasteful is the job, whilst I wrap and titivate all the presents. We send approximately 60 cards, very often to people we don't even like, so tell me - ‘What is the point?’

The GOM has just popped in and requested permission for leave of absence to toddle off tomorrow to collect yet more cards that have been left for us at so and so's. I granted the permission as I didn't require his presence, but only on the understanding that he actually wants to visit the person he's collecting them from as otherwise it's a complete waste of petrol. Plus it's not a good idea going out unnecessarily to risk life and limb in this weather and traffic on Christmas Eve.

I’m going to sit here now and renew my membership at the ‘Jacquie Lawson’ website and send e-cards next year, I can sit for hours watching Chudleigh playing in the snow. I’ll give my friends and family plenty of warning that we don’t want any Christmas cards because we’re not sending any and we’ll see what happens, hmm. Tune in this time next year - what's betting I'll have forgotten all about it and start stocking up on cards in the middle of August.

Oh look, it's snowing again - all over Heanor Haulage's cranes and crap in their back yard - in the glow of their security lights it looks almost lovely and quite 'Christmas Card-y'. I think I'll take a photo of it and use it for next years decoupage Christmas cards [yeh, right] - oh bugger! I'm a lost cause …

Langley Mill Morons

Three t**ts have just this minute 'egged' my neighbours house and windows again. It looks by the evidence they've thrown away that they'd been to Farmfoods. Of course the hosepipe and outside tap is frozen solid so my neighbour can't clean the eggs off as they're too high to reach.

Why don't people care what their precious little sh**s are doing? Oh yes of course - as long as they're out of their way, they don't care where they are or what they're doing!!

I suppose this means that we'll be lying awake at night again waiting for worse to happen as they always start off small. Well don't forget you stupid morons, the police said they'd go straight to your houses if we have any more trouble, and if it's not you doing it this time then you'd better tell your friends to stop it as you'll get the blame.

Hurry up and demolish the bridge extension Asda because as I've said before, the bridge steps is where the cowardly t**ts stand to throw their missiles - because we can't see who they are ...

Friday, 18 December 2009

£77,000 for Langley Mill

I've read - on a proper grown up free news website [BBC] - that Langley Mill is to receive £77,000 from the government - I have mentioned this money before [in one of my e.on and big holes posts], although I quoted a more generous amount.

The money will be given to - 'ease community tension' - what tension? was I out that day, did I miss something? I have to say that from how the report read, our village - yes we've got village status this week instead of town - seems to be getting this money because we're a miserable bunch who don't think we get on well with people from other backgrounds - what backgrounds? Are we talking religion, race or class?

And in the next sentence it said 'Only 64% feel they belong to their local area' - so what exactly are we in Langley Mill - racists, Christians, peasants or immigrants? It's not very clear.

But it does say that the money is from the government's 'Connecting Communities pot' which wants to find out why we need the policies of extremist and right wing parties - do we, who says so? It was pointed out that the borough had two BNP councillors [out of 47] - but they're not in Langley Mill, so why is this relevant? - Oh I see - we're racists. And there was me thinking that maybe they were referring to us being from a 'working class background' - and we didn't like toffs.

Just to clarify matters - I come from a coal mining/we're all t'same colour down t'pit and if owt goes wrong, we pray to any God that's listening. Partly Jewish/God was a spaceman - background. I can't help it, I didn't choose my parents/step-parent, I'm nothing like them - I'm nearly normal.

Ahem, I digress, where was I?

Two people will be paid until the end of March 2010 so they can tell us what's going on in the area and to involve us. Residents will be 'trained' to act as community leaders - oh, I thought that's what we had local councillors for, silly me for getting it wrong.

I suppose if we all know everything that's happening, I'll lose my job of recycling rumours for the amusement of my friends. But then I'll have time to make up some really outrageous ones instead - much more fun.

The project will hopefully make our streets and parks better [what parks? - oh recreation grounds] - this, I assume may be a result of the police requesting the council for 'alcohol designation orders' for the Aldercar and Queen Street recreation grounds [and Pottery Lane]. I hope this happens, because drinkers on the Queen Street recreation ground mean that the children on Bridge Street can't play there. This needs sorting out before our road is extended for the new Asda housing behind us. Because the extra 70+ cars going up and down will obviously mean the children will no longer be safe playing on their own street.

There's more [and better] information on the Amber Valley Borough council website, with a phone number and an email address for those of us who want to get involved. It's probably a very good idea, it's just a shame they think we need it. I can't really see that this £77,000 is going to make much of an impact on my life - unless they give it all to me so that I can afford to leave - seeing as I'm obviously living among 36% of racist immigrants who don't feel we belong to our local area.

Yes - I can say that, 'cos I'm a Langley Mill immigrant - who feels entirely at home - in Skegness ...

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Langley Mill’s Christmas Lights

We went out the other night, to gaze with wonder upon Langley Mill's Christmas lights, now I’m not talking fancy stuff, just coloured bulbs strung up between lampposts. It’s not much but it cheers the place up. We have them on Cromford Road - across from the bottom of Bridge Street. Then more at The Acorn Centre, and again outside The Jockey pub.

Er, where are they?

We're reduced to two individual efforts on lampposts, one at the Jockey and one at the Acorn Centre, where's all our bulbs gone? We’re used to the council workers coming in November to put the poles up, then they arrive a couple of weeks later with our lights. November came and went and there was no sign of the pole erectors, so we thought maybe they’d put them and the lights up at the same time this year.


There also used to be two trees at the edge of the Railway Tavern car park that were always decked with white lights every Christmas, that is until someone chopped both trees down one January [about three years ago – with the lights still on them].

It’s long been established that Heanor’s Christmas lights are naff, but because they're never switched on until the first Monday in December, they're not on - and working - long enough for us to moan about. But this year I think Langley Mill - who regularly seem to get Heanor’s cast offs, has reached an all-time low.

We’ve had a ride through other towns and villages in the past week and I can only say that I’m ashamed of our lights. The only ones we’ve got that are worth talking about are the Christmas trees near Lidl, and I think they’re only there to show Eastwood that we’ve got some - and have paid our electric bill. I’m thinking of asking Broxtowe council if we can tag on to Eastwood, as their lights - as usual - are quite nice, I wouldn't mind their cast-offs.

We used to put lights up on the front of our house - I like to get the grumpy old man up the ladder every so often, it reminds him that there are two sides to each window that needs cleaning.

I once stupidly put some quite expensive lights on the bushes in our front, ahem, garden. That is until some t**ts thought they’d amuse themselves over three consecutive nights pulling odd bulbs out and throwing them on the bridge. It was a bugger of a job trying to find out what was wrong with them; seeing first one colour go off then the next day another until we were down to only one colour. It wasn’t until I took the dog for a walk over t'bridge that we realised what the little b*****ds had done ...

Friday, 11 December 2009

Langley Mill Asda/HH Rumours

Some people may think I’m deluding myself when I write about rumours. What they’ve got to remember is that this is just a blog, the main function of which is to amuse myself and my friends.
It is true that some rumours cheer me up, while others can annoy me. But this doesn’t mean I believe every ‘Asda in Langley Mill’ rumour I’m told. If that were the case, then over the last year I would have written the following as facts -
  1. Bridge Street, Dean Street and Queen Street would all be demolished.
  2. Langley Mill's Asda would be HUGE!
  3. The car park for Asda would be accessed from Bridge Street.
  4. Bridge Street would collapse once demolition starts.
  5. The Mill pub was being demolished to make way for the new roundabout.
  6. The roundabout couldn't go there because of the pumping station across from the pub.
  7. The top third houses on Bridge Street would have compulsory purchase orders.
  8. All the shops between The Acorn Centre and the bottom of Bridge Street had been offered up to £1 million each.
  9. The car sales had been sold to Asda for £2 million.
  10. Heanor Haulage had been sold for £12 million.
  11. Heanor Haulage is closing.
  12. Heanor Haulage is moving to Ilkeston.
  13. Heanor Haulage is going back to Heanor.
  14. Heanor Haulage is staying put.
  15. Heanor Haulage is going to Belper.
  16. Heanor Haulage is moving to the old railway sidings.
  17. Heanor Haulage is moving to the other side of Ilkeston.
  18. Heanor Haulage is moving to China. [OK I made that one up]
It doesn’t matter who you talk to around here, we’ve all heard such and such from so and so. And so and so knows thingybob, who has her hair done at wheresits at the same time as doo dah. Who just happens to have been on holiday with whatyamacallher, and she heard it from their Gertie, whose sister in law is second cousin to Fred! So it must be true - who the bloody hell is Fred? - and we’re all as bad as one another.
I just sift through the rumours and write about the ones I like or dislike - depending on my current mood. I don’t actually believe anything until either Asda or the council write to us - and then I take some convincing, but that’s because of the council’s past performance of not telling anyone that HH was coming here in the first place.
So until I see something [official] in writing or the completed Asda and Heanor Haulage buildings - or lack of, then I won’t believe what I’ve written - it won’t stop me writing it though …

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Found My Christmas Spirit!!

I’ve just had an early Christmas present from the grumpy old man, who’s been out all morning and come back with a delicious titbit for me.

He’d been chatting with a gentleman who told him that we’ll soon see a lot of daylight here, as the Heanor Haulage workshop and offices aren’t going to be built across from us after all. Oh joy of joys! [I like this rumour - can't you tell?].

He said something about them having drilled down and the ground not being suitable so now they’re just flattening it to road level - somehow though, I can’t see it not being used for something equally as horrible. Apparently [another rumour coming up], they're moving somewhere more Ilkeston way.

There's an awful lot of crap on the back yard now, so I'm assuming they're clearing it off the front yard and bringing it to the back in preparation for demolition. There's a bunch of men on the back rearranging it all again as I type. Apparently this junk is staying longer as there's so much of it - well we'd already guessed that if they're extending here and there.

Now all I’ve got to do is make sure I wasn’t dreaming - or being conned - there’s some ‘not nice’ people out there who would think it funny if I were to get all excited, only to be let down.

Of course, if I was going to be at all cynical, I would suggest that if the Heanor Haulage bit didn't need doing first, then Asda could be up and running before Heanor Tesco's extension - assuming planning permission is granted - is even started.

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas …

Monday, 7 December 2009

Christmas Cheer

I spent yesterday wrapping Christmas presents and bemoaning the fact that I seem to have completely lost my Christmas spirit. This is NOT like me and I’m hoping that it’s just a blip in my customary cheerful ‘goodwill to all women’ disposition rather than it being age related - if it’s that, then I’m doomed.

I told the grumpy old man how I felt - this was a mistake, as he’s such a naturally happy person that he was bound at some point to try to cheer me up.

In the evening I grunted that I was going for my ‘daily wallow’ and sloped off to the bathroom - this is usually a pleasant ritual for me, lasting up to an hour. It’s ‘me time’ with a capital ‘ME’ - I do not like to be disturbed, I play with my bubbles, admire the sparkle of my rings that I place on the side of the bath. Read my book and keep topping up the hot water and ‘wallow’ - ahh, bliss.

Somehow, this doesn’t always register with the GOM and he'll pop in from time to time for a chat, whereby I put my book down and glare at him until he goes away. But last night he surpassed himself - he thought he’d help me get back my ‘Christmas spirit’.

As soon as I'd become engrossed with my latest read [Dan Brown’s - The Da Vinci Code - brilliant] and the water was hot hot hot, I heard the cat meowing at the door, I phoned the GOM.

‘Let the cat in please’
‘You've wasted 25p phoning me to let the cat in, I wouldn't have bothered.’
‘I can't relax and enjoy my book if she's meowing under the window.’

I settled back down, topping the water up a bit more. A few minutes later there was a horrible wailing noise coming from downstairs, then it got louder - it was auditory torture! Is he tormenting the cat I wonder?

It was so disturbing that I couldn’t concentrate on my book - which, I might add had just started to cheer me up. After reading the same paragraph five times I gave in and got out of the bath - without my usual ‘water wrinkles’ as I’d barely got damp! Muttering under my breath about not being able to get a minute’s peace. I stomped downstairs in a drippy, bubbly way and demanded to know - ‘WHAT EXACTLY IS THAT BLOODY ROW?’
‘It’s a record.’
‘I’d worked that out, what is it?’
‘The Partridge Family Christmas Album’. [It’s one of those old fashioned black plastic things that needs a turntable and a needle - or a dustbin]
‘Is it actually playing at the right speed 'cos it’s horrible?’
‘Don’t you like it?’
‘Er NO! It’s so bad my ears are trying to build up enough wax to block it out!’
‘Oh, I thought it was alright, but I’ll turn it off if you don’t like it.’

I’ll give him Frosty the bloody snowman. Bah Humbug …

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Pay-Per-View Local Newspaper

I've been to my local newspaper website - one of the six publications being trialled for pay-per-view by Johnston Press, but it doesn't quite work like that, they now let you read a snippet of ahem, news - then tell you in ‘jolly tones’ that if you want to read the rest of it, to go and buy the newspaper. How pointless is that? It's either an online news website [pay-per-view or free] or it's not.

Frankly, I wouldn't give it recycling bag room. I think the only people who buy it now are the over sixties [technologically challenged] or those who have always bought it so it's become a habit. Maybe pay-per-view online is the way to go, we'll see.

I don’t mind paying for things on the Internet, I have to pay for every other service and fully expect to - we don’t often get ‘owt for nowt’ in this life - we leave that to the bankers and their big bonuses [sorry I’m drifting off into an entirely different blog post here].

In the case of our local newspaper the ‘news’ content has got to improve - so someone get out there and do something worth reading about! - as I'm not thinking of paying £5 every three months for news that's boring. And as we're going to be PAYING for the service, I wouldn't expect to see advertising [I'm an eternal optimist].

Our local ‘news’paper is crammed with advertising, in the last copy I got my hands on, 26 of the 56 pages were full page adverts, with more ads dotted about on most other pages - fully expected in a free newspaper, but not one that costs 40p. Unless you want to buy a car or a house you can throw most of it away, oops sorry, recycle it.

There’s a bit of sport at the back, a few jobs advertised, classified ads, a ‘Find Romance’ page. Births, birthdays and anniversaries. District news, planning applications - the usual mixed bag that makes up a local paper. A crossword - hmm yes, the sort of thing I should be doing instead of being annoying.

Then there's the doom and gloom page, I suppose I'll soon be getting to an age - yes! even older than I am now - where this page would in normal circumstances be of interest to me and I'd say ‘Oh, I went to school with him’ or ‘Oooh, I remember her when we were little’ - being quite sad to read of their demise but also a little smug that I’m still here to read about them, while at the same time feeling the cold breath of mortality blowing on my neck … Ugh, sends shivers down your spine doesn’t it? But as I'm not from these parts, I have no old school chums to read about, so I'll carry on in my own little way and leave that to the grumpy old man ...