Sunday, 31 January 2010

Heanor Tyres Has Left The Building

Sorry about the poor quality photo, I was using the MWg zinc ii - not known for its photographic qualities.

I know a lot of my friends were interested to know where Heanor Tyres were going as they use their services.

Being a lovely grumpy person in a fairly good mood - PMB Pallet Express don't keep me awake at the weekend - I thought I’d tell anyone who's interested. As you can see they haven't gone far. Boundary Lane is just before you get to the petrol station.

I wish them good luck in their new place - yes I am being sincere, my problem has never been with them because I'm a NIMBY and a NIMFY and Heanor Tyres were neither in my back or front yard - unlike some real pains in the a**e ...

Thursday, 28 January 2010


I've not got much to say today as I'm just sooooo tired. The t*****s in Heanor Haulage's buildings even managed to wake the grumpy old man last night - without me poking him in the ribs and saying 'they're working again'.

It's not just the waking us to listen to them for half an hour at a time, it's the other two hours I'm still awake after they're done just hoping to get back to sleep before they start again. I'll be so glad when they've gone, then I promise I'll find something else to moan about, I'll have to because this diary is getting to be the same every day, it's even boring me ...
  1. PMB woke me at 12.38
  2. PMB woke me at 1.42
  3. PMB woke me at 3.36
  4. PMB woke me at 5.25
  5. PMB woke me at 8.20 - Yes I know I should be wide awake, alert and bouncing out of my bed ready to work but I'm so tired by now that I just want to sleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Now which cupboard did I put my petrol bombs in? ...

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Things Must Be Moving

We had an unbelievably quiet evening regards PMB Pallet Express, of course my grumpy old man issued one of his usual statements that perhaps they’ve ‘left the building’. We should be so lucky.
After our strangely quiet [and irritating - nothing to moan about] evening we went to bed and I read for a while as is my wont [Barry Trotter and the shameless parody]. PMB didn’t start being noisy at 12.30 nor again at 1.35 [I woke up then because I'm so used to being woken by them around this time].

3.36am - brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm [forklift going a long way], then again at 5.25. Oh bugger, they’re still here. My latest theory is that they’ve half-flitted so not having any more deliveries but are still distributing from here - well they’ve got to go sometime, somehow. This theory will undoubtedly be proved wrong tonight.
The latest rumour is that the buildings have got to be empty by the end of this month, not March as I said the other day. But - ahem, that rumour is from HH themselves [as well as the one about them going completely and not having a workshop and offices here] so it can't be true.

Just had it confirmed [4.30pm] that the above rumour about HH buildings being emptied by the end of this month is rubbish - as I thought. I'm reserving judgement on the rumour about HH leaving completely, I like that one too much to let go.
This morning a man wearing an ‘rg group’ jacket was taking photo’s of the Heanor Haulage buildings on Bridge Street before going up the bridge. I’ve checked who they are - yes I am nosy - and they specialise in retail construction - with Asda being one of their ‘blue chip’ clients. I didn’t even have to do my best Miss Marple impression to work out that they may in fact be going to build our new Asda - and this theory may be proved wrong at a later date …

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Just Plain Daft

A really weird thing happened this morning, a man arrived at the top of Bridge Street with a cherry picker to repair Heanor Haulages tin roof. Of course my neighbours had to move their cars for him to get to the building.
Mr HH still has these things done on Sundays when we [mistakenly] think we’re entitled to a bit of peace.

A while back, when his tenants in that particular building were Insight Windows - the owners of the very loud but tinny radio that was on all day every day, amplified to astonishing levels by the metal it was surrounded by. I ruined a perfectly good sweeping brush when I phoned and asked them to turn the radio down and they turned it up. I lost my temper and went up the bridge and hit the building with my brush, it broke in three pieces [eventually] and my neighbour hid hers out of my way.

Er where was I? Oh yes - they spent a whole weekend replacing the guttering and ripping sheets of corrugated crap off the roof and replacing them with sheets of corrugated acrylic, presumably to let the light in, they just left the scrap where it fell.

Right, back to today’s moan - up the man went with a new sheet of corrugated whatever metal it is. Just what you need on a Sunday morning after a pleasant late Saturday night at our friends, with a mild but by now, persistent hangover - oh, hang on a minute ... my mistake, the banging wasn’t in my head at all - it was this bloody man with his hammer!

He was suitably interrogated as to what he was doing and why - seeing as the building has to be emptied by the end of March ready for demolition, he just said that it was a storage area and was leaking - well of course it was leaking, how do they think we know how much stuff is still in that building?
  1. It’s the bit we look through out of nosiness.
  2. It’s where I keep threatening to shove my hosepipe when they annoy me at night.
Hmm, do you think maybe it was unwise of me making that last admission? Do you think I care? And anyway our hosepipe doesn’t quite reach - yet …

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Men Buying Cards

Are men being deliberately obtuse when it comes to buying birthday cards etc [to get out of being asked to buy them again], or are they just incapable of getting it right?

The grumpy old man went to buy his youngest daughter’s birthday card this morning, he asked if I’d like him to get one for my nephew while he was there. I hesitated for a second before saying ‘Yes please, but bear in mind he’s in his 20’s not 80’s.’

‘OK, I’ll get him a sporty one’ he replied and toddled off on his mission. Hmm …

He did indeed get him a sporty card, I looked at it with a horrible sinking feeling - normally at this point I’d have thanked him and smiled but getting older has the advantage/disadvantage [you decide] of making me speak my mind …

‘Well it wouldn’t be my choice, but it’ll do’.

‘OH NO! You-know-what-you-can-do!’ Off he went in a huff with the parting shot ‘I’ll put it away for someone else who will like it.’

Seconds later he reappeared, wafting his daughter's card under my nose - ‘I suppose you wouldn’t choose that either!’

‘Nope.’ I didn’t in this case voice my exact thoughts which were that it was perfectly ok for a teenager but not for someone nudging 40.

We all choose cards for different reasons - I fall into the liking the picture or joke - depending who it’s for - group. Most of my friends - they’re old - pick cards by the verses or sentiments [yuck]. And then there’s the tightwads who look at the price first.

The GOM wavers between sentiment and cheapness, both if he’s lucky, most of the cards he buys would fall into the ‘lining the cat litter tray’ category - you know the sort, the birthday equivalent of a Christmas card out of a box of 500 for 99p with a picture of a bauble or candle and flimsy enough to blow your nose on it - it’s ok, his feelings are safe, he won’t see this, unless he annoys me and then I’ll make him read it.

Two birthdays ago, he decided in his wisdom that he’d make me a card, this was fine with me, he’s a dab hand at decoupage. It got nearer the date and I asked him if he wanted my crafting stuff. No ... he’d changed his mind, he’d buy me one.

My birthday arrived, there was no card from him, I was upset, being a man he didn’t quite get it. Five minutes later he was at my side with the card he’d made for me the year before, he’d cobbled an envelope together out of one of his bookies statements and lots of sticky tape. I glared at him - he went and bought me a card.

He bought me a Christmas card last year [we don't usually bother], I wish he hadn’t, I’m not sure how I’d categorize it but I did tell him that if he ever bought me another card - at any time with ‘To My Partner’ on it I’d stuff it - glitter, ribbons and all up his a**e …

Thursday, 14 January 2010

My Uncommon Cold

Now I know it’s often referred to as the ‘common cold’, but when I have a cold, it’s anything but common - so rare is the event [and besides it’s me, so it’s bound to be much worse].

I suffered a summer cold when I was 25, it lasted about six weeks, everything was blocked and bunged and I was deaf apart from the odd crackling noises. After that I never had another cold for at least 15 years - not so much as a sniffle.

Even now I rarely catch colds, I may sneeze a few times and tell the grumpy old man that if I didn’t know better I’d say I’d got a cold - this is just me trying to feel some empathy with him when he’s succumbed, like everyone else to a stinker of a cold.

I actually put down my relative immunity to the common cold to my Gustatory Rhinitis - I’m usually so busy sneezing on a daily basis that the germs just don’t get in - but this depends entirely on me having a big cereal breakfast, if I have toast I don’t sneeze - and now I think about it, we had a new toaster for Christmas, ergo toast for breakfast = no daily sneezing, therefore the snot germs have got in! Don’t you just love it when you can find a perfect excuse to be greedy?

Now, women who have a family and/or a career don’t have the time to indulge in the ‘man-flu’ fantasy. Seeing as I work at home - when I feel like it - I do have the time and the required mardiness to refer to my uncommon cold as ‘man-flu’. Therefore my uncommon cold is really, really bad [obviously] and has developed into an equally uncommon cough - with ‘greenery’.

So, I have all the symptoms of ‘man-flu’ - sneezing, coughing, aching all over, shivers and sweats with the added bonus of being a woman with bloody hormones! And at a really hormonal time - boo hoo, sob.

I hate blowing my nose, my ears pop and crackle and for some reason - obviously some loose connections - when I’m sufficiently snotty and I blow, some of the air comes out of the innermost corner of my right eye, tickling my eyeball. [Ok, it’s my lacrimal punctum for tear draining]. I don't like coughing because it looks so unladylike [yes, well] and my ribs and back hurt, so in time honoured 'man-flu' fashion - it must be something serious.

The other night I couldn’t get to sleep for coughing, I wasn’t being helped any by the sympathetic but ineffectual pats on the back from the GOM. So I dragged on my best martyr's hair shirt [heavy duty caravan pyjamas] and went to sleep downstairs to give the GOM some peace.

Did he or the cat at any point come down to see if I was ok? No they did not, they just slept - selfishly - while I coughed and coughed and listened to PMB [can’t moan, they didn’t actually wake me] and the quarter hour chimes of a clock that isn’t supposed to bong in the night - I informed the GOM of this fact when he tiptoed downstairs at 7.30 in the morning to pat me a bit more. “I’d have come sooner” he said “but didn’t want to wake you.” ??!!!

I am feeling much better, I now have the strength to lift my fingers to type - I just love the patheticness of ‘man-flu’ I can really indulge in self-pity - I even managed to waft around with a duster this morning without having to lie down afterwards for a rest - this is such a big fib, I went back to bed to read my book. [I don't know why I bother telling lies, I always end up admitting it].

I am almost back to optimum grumpiness now. Proper, full strength moaning will be resumed as soon as possible …

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Oh Deary, Deary Me

Oh dear, someone in their wisdom decided to buy me two books for Christmas, - well it was me obviously - that they found in different charity shops. I have just read one of them … ‘Grumpy Old Women’. Now I was very aware that there is a TV program called that and I’ve recently tuned into it. Gosh, aren’t I normal? In fact I’m not really grumpy at all.

I watched ‘Grumpy Christmas’ on the same night that I’d written about Christmas cards in the afternoon, I kept turning to the grumpy old man and saying ‘I’ve just written that, I hope this isn’t a repeat or everyone will think I’ve pinched the idea from this.’ It probably was a repeat but I can swear on my cats life, I’d never seen it before.

Even worse - I honestly didn’t know when I named my blog that there was a book called ‘The Secret Diary of a Grumpy Old Woman’ [I do now, I’ve got it]. I was thinking more along the lines of the Adrian Mole diaries when I named it - not much better really, have I no ideas of my own?

Having made this discovery, I feel I must change my blog title. If I’d written a [very good] book, I’d feel a teensy bit aggrieved that someone had all but pinched the title for a grumpy blog with a reading circle of approximately four people. Although, rethinking about it, it’s hardly a threat to a proper author is it?

Now I don’t know what to call it, I will probably get my new middle name ‘Grumpess’ in it somewhere. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated …

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Foxes, Cats and Birds

My neighbour told me the Sunday before Christmas that she’d looked through her bedroom window a few nights before and seen a fox on the street. That same night I was gazing at the snowy expanse of Heanor Haulages back yard when I saw what I first assumed was a large cat, then realised it was a fox.

I know foxes are quite common in urban areas so it should come as no great surprise to see them. At my last address - which was described as ‘semi-rural’ we saw a fox virtually every evening at 9.00ish going back towards the fields.

Last night, I was again looking through the back bedroom window waiting for my computer to power down when I saw two foxes together, then one went towards Dean Street and the other turned to go toward the railway lines.

So not only do I have to worry about whether or not the birds are getting enough to eat - and it’s a constant battle on our back yards with the robin chasing away all comers including blackbirds, house sparrows, hedge sparrows, a wren, collared dove, 2 bullfinches and a chaffinch. All, that is except the great tits and blue tits who are too nippy for him, and the pigeons who just sit and ignore him as he keeps dive bombing them, I wonder, does he get enough to eat after all his exercise? - I now have to worry about the foxes starving, oh dear.

I harboured notions of secretly feeding them but that would put next doors guinea pig at risk and anyway the minute our back door opens, next doors cat is in like a flash. Every night just before we go to bed he knocks on the door for a snack and a drink of milk, he knows I'm a soft touch. I usually put my cat's barely touched food out for him or on the rare event that she is entirely happy with the food she’s been offered and hasn’t left most of it in disgust I'll give him cat biscuits.

Cat food that was her very favourite - yum, yum, more - only a couple of weeks ago, now merely gets sniffed at while I receive a glare that speaks volumes about bad cat servant, expecting her to eat such utter garbage’. Garbage which costs 68p a micro-tin for her pussy-ship to turn her nose up at!

She knows that after three days of this ‘why are you trying to poison me with this reject dog food?’ [her thoughts not mine, it smells and looks delicious], that I’ll give in and say the magic word ‘TUNA’ while waving the tin opener at her. I have to give in to her whims because she literally wastes away before my eyes - unless she deliberately breathes in whenever I glance in her direction - she is cunning.

Of course I’ll be glued to the window tonight in the hope of seeing both foxes again, I didn’t expect to see two together as I thought they were loners, just shows you what I know doesn’t it, but I live and learn …

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Moaning About Noise

I just want to clarify a few matters about my constant moaning about noise.

For whatever reason - holes in the Heanor Haulage buildings [plentiful], acoustics, whatever - it seems noisy in our house without affecting my neighbours over-much.

Slight amendment to the above statement, I was talking to my neighbour today [25.1.10] and she says that she can hear something late in the evening and during the night but didn't realise what it was, she thought it was a compressor and couldn't imagine what they were doing working so late. I told her that it was PMB Pallet Express using their 'ultra-quiet' effin diesel forklifts but with the reversing bleeps turned off - they are switched back on during the day.

I am grumpy, I do like peace and quiet, everyday neighbour noise doesn’t bother me, that’s just part and parcel of terraced housing.

People have asked ‘what about the trains, don’t I hear them?’ …

The simple answer is no ... Unless there are railway workers on the line and the trains have to toot and slow down. Other than that I only hear trains if I’m actively listening for them.

‘What about if I lived near a busy road with constant traffic noise, then I’d have something to moan about’ …

I have lived next to busy roads, the noise becomes a hum that you also don’t hear after a while.


I used to live at Heanor Conservative club, no double glazing, the end bedroom, right next to the road. After the first week I never heard a thing except the church bells every Sunday morning and Monday night [practice].

Oh, how we hated those bells, apart from them and my constant cough from living with cigarette smoke, the only other worry I had was looking through the bedroom window and seeing our cat sitting in the churchyard watching the traffic [oh dear], knowing she’d got to get back. She always did though, then she went on to live at Underwood Miners Welfare and survived without a scratch until she eventually succumbed to old age [having lived at eight addresses].

I went on to live in a flat at Red Lion Square, Heanor. Again no double glazing, constant traffic, never heard a thing.

So you see the point I’m getting at is ... regular noise - our brains filter out. The irregular noise of a diesel forklift truck - revving up time and again - going backwards and forwards at varying distances, sometimes clattering over a hump] is irregular. It was 00.15am when PMB woke me last night, so then I’m awake ages after they’ve finished their half-hour lorry filling/emptying stint because by then I’m too awake, so I started counting - no not sheep - all the addresses I'd lived at. Then they woke me again at 05.27am. I look and feel like a zombie because of this constant disturbance.

If they weren’t leaving for definite then I’d have filled in several ‘diaries’ for the Environmental health officer - with swearwords - yawn …

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

My Peace Shattered

It had been lovely and peaceful all last week, No crane playing by Heanor Haulage, very little movement of scrap on the back. I only heard the diesel forklifts in the corrugated tin-pot crappy HH buildings one morning and that could have been HH themselves, but it was in the day time and that's ok. I still didn’t notice any noise coming from PMB Pallet Express yesterday, although we were out a lot of the time. ‘Things are looking up!’ I thought. Later when we went to bed, I mentioned to the grumpy old man that I’d not heard them all evening either.

00.44am BRRRRRRRRM ... BRRRRRRRM ... clatter. ‘Oh I don’t believe this!’ I got out of bed to shut the window, not that it makes much difference. All the while muttering, first under my breath, then gradually increasing the volume ...

‘I’ll just have to suffocate, see if I care. Are you awake? Oi! The t*****rs have just started working’.

His reply - which has remained constant since Asda's planning permission for Langley Mill was passed on the 16th November - was ‘They're probably emptying the building.’

Whereupon my counter reply is always ‘Bo****ks!!’

I will miss them when they’re gone …

Monday, 4 January 2010

My Poor Toe

I broke my toe the other night. Yes, I was barefoot as usual - no I was not drunk!

Did I get any sympathy from the grumpy old man? No I did not! I staggered in theatrically to where he was sitting - in a ‘Ooooh, ow, ow, ow, yeeeouch!’ kind of way.

He didn't even look up from what he was reading, he just said,
‘What did you do it on this time? I bet you've woke the neighbours up.’


This question was asked I suppose as I'd stubbed my toe - it may even have been the same one, it was certainly the same foot - only a few nights before in roughly the same position but going in the other direction.

My poor toe is now many shades of purple, blue and green and as well as throbbing it's started itching! You'd think I'd be used to it by now as this is my fifth toe break. ooowwww, I forgot and just stretched my feet.

I think I may start to feel mardy if I don't get some sympathy soon ... Nope, none forthcoming, I've even exaggerated my limp but had to stop because it hurt more. Still no ... ‘Oh you poor thing, I'll bring you a cup of tea and don't bother standing there cooking dinner, let me kiss it better for you,’ [well maybe not the last bit]. No, all I got was ...

‘Well at least you can still work.’


As you can see, I'm on toe number 2 now, having previously broken toes 1, 6, 9 and 10. My advice is if you're going to break a toe, break any but your big ones as it hurts a lot and is much more difficult to walk. The first one I broke was toe number 6 [big right]. It was a nightmare, as then [in the olden days of yore] I walked half a mile to work. Not, I'll grant you to do much actual work when I got there, but I attended [Aristoc warehouse]. Then, after hobbling around making a lot of fuss about nothing - apparently, no sympathy there either - I limped half a mile back home ... uphill, in the frost and snow. Yes it was winter and [where's the tiny writing button?- oh there it is] Ahem, alcohol may have been ever so slightly involved in misjudging how far I'd got to swing my leg around a snoozing labrador, thereby managing to kick a door frame.

My elbows are also living in ‘the danger zone’, they have permanent bruises, and my most well used phrase [directed at door frames] is ‘who put that there?’ If I'm that bad at home, can you imagine my life in a caravan? It's not exactly a small one - 35'x12' - just big enough for a couple of grumpies and a psycho cat to rattle around in, but the door frames are something else! I have endless conversations with them about their apparent ability to change size just as I'm about to go through them. Please don't tell me I'm the only person who talks to door frames ... er and walls.

I suppose I'm fortunate that most of my bones are well padded with blubber because I've not broken any others. Ah ... yes, ribs. Oddly enough, for a chunky person my ribs are a bit sticky outy and last year I slipped getting out of the bath and fell on the side of it with my ribs, ouch!

Did I get any sympathy?? - No. I just received instructions on the correct way to get out of the bath - this from someone who has only a fleeting relationship with the aforementioned bath [preferring showers]. My ribs still hurt now when I touch them. But ‘don't worry about me, I'll be alright’ [my second most used phrase] I'll try to be brave and not go on about it ...

Friday, 1 January 2010


Give this one a miss if you've got something important to do in the next half hour - it does go on a bit ...

In an ideal world we wouldn’t need charities of any kind, but this world is anything but ideal.

We’ve got a nasty, cruel streak that makes us behave toward animals and defenceless people - old or young in unforgivable ways so there are - sadly, much needed charities for them.

Then there are the less fortunate among us with disabilities who need help from charities - but why do they, why does a deaf blind child need to rely on charity? What is wrong with society if they can't get proper government funding?

The most bizarre charities in my opinion are for Cancer Research and Alzheimer's etc, they should never need charity. Then there are our Lifeboats - come on, we live on a tidgy island surrounded by lots of wet stuff! Why are so many ESSENTIAL SERVICES reliant on charity?

There are natural disasters that obviously need money, is there an emergency disaster fund waiting in the wings, slowly amassing interest in the banks - or do they rely on us giving generously after the event? Hmm, yes, now we've got onto banks, why do top bankers get such huge bonuses when they are so obviously crap at their jobs if they need bailing out? Another charity boost there I think.

The underdeveloped countries need charity, they always have, but when will they catch up with the rest of us? Is it just a case of luck where we’re born? Is it down to the climate that dictates whether or not countries are underdeveloped or is it greedy dictators that won’t let their people develop themselves? Or is it that age old problem - arguments over who owns what land and you must believe in my God or else!? Even worse, are we in the developed world somehow exploiting them?

I certainly don’t know enough to be able to say but what I do know is that I want to give to charity - but here’s the rub - which charities?

Some people won't give to charities to help outside their own country, feeling that they may just as well throw the money away because at the end of the day the third world situation never seems to improve. I understand their reasons and it's their choice. I do give to these charities, I can't stand the thought of any child living in poverty and drinking dirty water - anywhere.

On the other hand, I will not hand over a single penny to any charity that relies on overpaid, egotistical ‘celebrities’ giving generously of their TIME - excuse me - they're giving their time - give me a break - they prance about, trying to out-stupid each other and we're meant to find it funny and hand over our money, what's wrong with their money? Bugger their time.

Another question - how much of our money actually reaches where we want it to go? How much is taken out for advertising, administration costs etc? I used to donate to the RSPCA monthly by text until I found out how much of it they actually received - £1.80 out of every £3 donated, you're not telling me that it costs the phone companies an administration fee of £1.20 to hand over the money to charity! Haven't they heard of charity??

Now, I’ve gone against the express wishes of my eyes [but I spared my ears] and watched adverts the last couple of weeks [in the name of ahem, research] for this post which has been simmering on the back-boiler for a while - just to work out how much it would cost me to give monthly to every charity I see advertised on the telly.

Well, if I were to give all that I wanted - mostly to animal charities, I’d be left at the end of each month with the price of a cup of tea for myself and so becoming Langley Mill's ‘bag lady’ before my time. Therefore, because I’m so overwhelmed - by these ‘begging commercials’ hmm, maybe not begging as they actually TELL you how much they’d like us to give daily/weekly/monthly/yearly - so I end up giving NOTHING at all this way.

I’m not mean, I’d gladly give at least £10 a month to charities but I’d like to be able to find a website that lists all the charities, lets you tick the ones you want to help and then set up a direct debit to the effect. I know £10 won’t go far with all the charities I’d tick, but imagine if thousands of us were to do the same thing, it’d soon add up and we’d have the feeling that we were doing something instead of the helplessness I know I feel when I see yet another charity advertised that I can’t afford to give to.

Ideally, I'd set up a website myself and advertise it and get pots of money to pass on to charities, but I wouldn't know where to start and I would probably be arrested after two months for embezzlement. Simply because my cat walked across the keyboard at the wrong moment - I've had one heck of a job typing this let me tell you! I keep having to shove the slidy out keyboard thingy in quick before she either deleted it, posted before I was ready or added her own unique thoughts.

I try to do my bit, I frequent charity shops, I buy most of my books from them in Skegness. When I'm at home I fill charity bags with my best clothes and shoes ... then I look down at my own ensemble - ‘compost heap’ are the words that spring to mind. Yes, they're my ‘working clothes’ but the rest of the stuff I wear isn't much better, the reason being that they're not good enough to send to charity shops!?! I really must get rid of this ‘bag lady’ mentality and wear my new clothes, instead of hanging them in the wardrobe to admire before putting them in a charity bag - with the labels still on - six months later. And I know I'm not alone in this - am I?

Last night I saw the saddest sight - again on TV, but not a charity advert showing animals suffering this time. No, it was hundreds of thousands of £’s going up in smoke - over £300,000 in London alone. I’m not a party pooper, everyone who’s read my blog knows my love of fireworks and all things that sparkle [yes, this does include frost] but was it really necessary for every big city in the world to try to put on a bigger and better firework display than each other?

When London's display started with Big Ben's bongs I was impressed [ooh, goody fireworks!], but after five minutes I got increasingly disappointed and then distinctly agitated as I could only think how much better that money could have been spent, then we listened to some daft woman saying how incredible it was - ‘They were only fireworks love!’ I can remember a time when we all listened to Big Ben at midnight New Years Eve/Day and were satisfied, the Millennium has got a lot to answer for!

I know there are many other ways that we waste money [Christmas for one big example] and I wouldn't for a moment suggest that we stop or we may as well throw in the towel and roll over now, but in this case, if each country agreed to cut their fireworks display by half and give whatever [mostly taxpayers money] they saved to worthwhile causes then maybe we could all feel we were going into a Great New Year …