Sunday, 27 February 2011

Doggie Do's or Doggie Dont's

As I've mentioned before, I rarely walk around Langley Mill because it's, well, frankly - horrible. But last week we went over the bridge to visit friends on Thompson Street and I lost count of the piles [and trodden in splats] of poo.

I have to say that I'm not entirely convinced that dog-poo bags are the good idea they're meant to be. Some people that use them are complete t**ts and need educating on what to do with them - yes, really - because on a mere five minute walk we counted seventeen full dog-poo bags strewn around the dog-s**t hole that is Langley Mill.

Yes, it's highly unglamorous, walking along, swinging a bag full of poo until you reach the dog-poo bins or home, but it's hardly an arduous task now is it? And let's face it, carrying a bag of poo can have positive advantages - no more lippy teenagers! No, it's nothing to do with the dog, trust me, she's not scary - it's the poo.

Hmmmm, yes ... can anyone tell me why it is that on becoming a born again dog walker, I also appointed myself 'dog-crap police'?

This morning I heard myself - while out with the borrowed, mobile, hairy sideboard - bellowing across Queen Street rec at a man who was clearly NOT going to clear up after his dog. Telling him that he was not a very responsible dog owner. Not quite satisfied with that - and battling really hard to keep my mouth shut - I was then to be heard asking him if he was going to clean up his dog's mess.

By now I was practically begging myself to shut-up because I don't do confrontation. He shouted back that he didn't know his dog had crapped [a lie as he was actually watching the dog at the time], he then pretended to try to find something to clean it up with - which he didn't, he just left it on the grass for children to walk in - Ugh, disgusting man.

The hound and I decided we'd had enough fresh - cough, cough - air by now, so we stuck up our noses, wiggled our bums, and full of self-righteous indignation made our way back home ...

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Another Peaceful Week?

Well we thought it was too good to last.

We're never really sure what Heanor Haulage are up to ... yes the same Heanor Haulage that, ahem, left Langley Mill for pastures new. The only thing we do know is they're bloody NOISY!!

After stupidly mentioning to my grumpy old man that Heanor Haulage hadn't been here to annoy us so far this week [I need a zip for my mouth], they arrived to rearrange some crap. My GOM was told that this was so they could erect a new fence along the Pottery Lane side. Hmmm, so this is how you go on when you've left is it? Extending on one side and putting up new fencing on another.

RG Group has also been very much in evidence this week, some men in suits carrying folders and files, others were dressed for actual work. One gentleman took some photos of Asda's and HH's s**t heaps by the railway - a strange subject for photography, I thought I was the only one interested in the 3ft - 15ft high, hundreds of yards long [not in the mood to convert to metric] piles of rubble there.

A theodolite jobby appeared on top of the highest Asda/HH waste heap by the railway lines. Oh, do I keep repeating myself about the desolate wasteland created by ASDA and HEANOR HAULAGE? Well that's because it's still there and the trees plus any wildlife are still dead!

Men arrived on HH's back yard and spent the entire day tweaking with a digger/shover whatsit, presumably to aid in the fence erecting. Another, newer, sprightlier JCB model was delivered in the morning and has been observed zipping from HH's back yard to the front. Meanwhile some RG Group men took down and moved HH's first fence you get to from Asda, The reason for this is - as yet - a mystery.

You may be able to tell that I'm in a bad mood, this is caused by the constant bleep-bloody-bleep of the newest toy, the many, many start-ups of the scrap metal being repaired on the back, the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz bang, bang, bang of the fence being cut/dug out on front, with every likelihood that worse is yet to come.

Ohhh, chuffing heck! It's 3.30pm and after twiddling and revving from very, very early they've got that heap of scrap moving on the back yard. Evveeerrytthing iiis ssshhakkingggg aandd mmee pppotss arre ratttliing!

Saturday 8.10am:
Rattle, rattle, clank - Oh bo***oks, what now?! ... Heanor Haulage's gates were being unlocked.

Bleep bleep bleep - site man still incapable of driving forwards even though there's absolutely nothing in the way.

Bang, bang, bleep, bleep as a generator is forcibly removed from the shiny new toy, across the footpath at slurry corner.

Brrrm, brrrm,  whooooooooosh as the now much verbally abused [by at least my neighbour and I] man started cleaning slurry corner - that's it ... I'm UP!

Now it just so happens that I'm looking after my youngest sister's dog while they're on holiday, it's a dog I find easiest to describe as an extra piece of large furniture in every room as she always seems to be where I am. But having said that, having a dog is invaluable for nosiness.

There was much harnessing and saddling done and then I went for a walk with my hairy sideboard - armed with four mammoth sized poo-bags. Upon reaching the ramp I interrogated - in a nice way - the pillock who thought it was a good idea to annoy us.

Anyway, it turns out that the fence shifting was done to make sure a - presumably escaped and run amok - lamppost was on Asda land rather than HH's, I suggested that it was somewhat petty and trivial [I probably actually said 'that's a bit mardy' but it doesn't sound very professional], this was tacitly agreed with.

On my way back I told him it was a losing battle; cleaning slurry corner while ever HH were backward and forwards spreading their sludge. I also pointed out that before long someone would be killed on that stretch of footpath - there is a blind spot caused by the 9ft high fence - he agreed that it wasn't ideal and said that for safety the GATES SHOULD ALWAYS BE SHUT.

Shortly after this little chat, two skips arrived and much, much more noise was made as they were being filled with RG Group's left over crap from HH's land, during which I received an irate text from my neighbour who then went out to tell the aforementioned gentleman what she thought. He apologised and said he'd be as quick as possible and he very much wished that he was at home - we have that effect.

I must say he did a good job of clearing everywhere up, including the rubbish that had accumulated - courtesy of Asda's scummiest shoppers - under the bridge. But why oh why do they always make the LOUDEST noises at the weekends?

So, all that remains now; is for us to get through next week's Heanor Haulage fence erecting and we'll be back to peace and quiet - oh, hang on, was that a pig going past the bedroom window? Hmmm, no, I thought not ...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Heanor R.I.P.

Be warned, I've got my bolshy look-I-told-you-so-and-therefore-am-likely-to-repeat-myself head on, if you want to read something cheerful then find something with a nicer title and don't bother reading this short [well it was meant to be] post.

I will just squeeze a few rumours in before we start as that cheers me up:
  1. Heanor Tesco has been totally unaffected by Asda in Langley Mill.
  2. Eastwood Morrisons has lost a lot of customers.
  3. Asda is to lay off staff as they're not doing as well as expected.
  4. Asda is setting on more staff to meet the demand.
  5. Crumblies will have to pay half-fare on buses after April.
  6. I've won the lottery.
At least one of those was a downright lie.

And does anyone know what's happening to our NETTO??

I was talking on MSN Messenger this afternoon with two friends [separately] and one told me that Heanor's Somerfield/Co-Op is to close on 16th April, I told the other friend, who said she'd heard it from her brother yesterday.

You have to ask yourself 'Did the Co-Op always intend to close?' Once they took over Somerfield, the retail space halved and the shelves were frequently empty of fresh food quite early in the day, as if they didn't really try or care.

So what's left in Heanor itself? Bookies, takeaways and charity shops just about sums up Heanor now. It looks like it's to become a ghost town as we all predicted when Asda decided to regenerate Langley Mill for us - with the best of intentions of course - I'll find the link to that particular post where I mentioned just such an eventuality in a minute ... phew, it took me ages to find it, don't I write a lot of crap? I eventually gave in and used the search term 'bookies' as I knew I'd mentioned it in roughly the same sentence, strange the things I remember.

Anyway, It's a shame that this is happening to Heanor. I moved there when I was 20 and it was a bustling, thriving market town and I instantly fell in love with the place [I moved around a lot as a small person], so it saddens me now to pass through [nothing to stop for] and see what it has become.

I still firmly blame Tesco [well I don't like Tesco] for starting Heanor's sad decline by building where they did. Then the other shops like Argos, Peacocks, Aldi and Poundstretcher following suit in a purpose built retail park across from them. I suppose it made economic sense for someone somewhere [probably the council] to build new shops and let the old buildings become second and third rate shops.

I suppose I can't blame Tesco for building where they did, but the town planners must have known the detrimental effect that it would have. There should have been some provision to ensure the future of Heanor. One easy thing for Tesco to have done from the beginning was to lay on a free bus to run every 10 minutes to and from the market place [calling at the retail park], that would have benefited the town centre and Tesco themselves, who could have bragged about how good they were - excellent publicity.

Why weren't any of these businesses at the retail park encouraged to move to Heanor's Market Place or Market Street in the first place? Perhaps it wasn't cost effective, but for the sake of the town it should have been made so. There were many rumours over the years about different stores opening in Heanor but nothing became of them.

I don't suppose Woolworths closing helped really [no matter how hard I try, I can't blame the council for that one] and maybe Heanor was doomed from then, because lets face it, once we're parked at Tesco or Heanor retail park - for free - we're not going to get back in the car, negotiate that crappy Tesco roundabout to go and pay to park on the market place, and we're all far too lazy - without Woolworths being where it was - [I include myself here], to walk up the hill from Tesco/Argos etc, to a town that no longer sells anything.

Eventually, as Heanor declines further, I predict that the shops will be made into flats for the scummy element to live for free, thus ensuring that no-one will venture anywhere near the town centre [I've seen this happen to two of the nicest streets in Skegness]. Hopefully this won't happen and instead they'll have nice roomy pads for crumblies to live in, because by then I'll be ready for crumbly accommodation.

And any council who keeps falling for big business bribes want their collective a**e kicking ...  'Ooooo, look what we'll do for you if you let us build a humungous blot on the landscape just there, oh and while we're at it we'll landscape this 2ft strip of unsightly land that'll be left over' ... roughly translated as 'When we've ripped all the indigenous trees up and destroyed any wildlife, we'll throw some soil at a teeny little bit of land and plant a few weedy specimens'.

But do councils really have that much choice??? Big businesses and developers are so much more powerful and have so much more money than any council, that they almost always get their own way - by hook or by crook. Never mind that they're decimating the town and destroying the livelihoods of small businesses.

Yes, I know Heanor's demise was probably originally bought about by industry moving away from the area, but I like to blame those that really run the country ... high profile retailers and developers, who keep building out of town retail parks until the nearby town is so run down that they then move in with an offer of demolishing everything that had been worth hanging on to but is now too expensive to repair.

And they'll tell us - in jolly tones - how they'll regenerate the place by building yet another store with JOBS for local people!! Alongside yet more depressing little boxes for some poor buggers to live in - complete with their very own minuscule garden or more often than not, just a parking space. Thus covering everything with tarmac, brick and concrete, with no green bits left to suck up the water! Then they'll be scratching their heads and saying 'Well I wonder why it flooded there?'

Oh heck, I think I got a bit carried away there. Now, I've lost me thread again, I wish I'd write in straight lines, thank heaven for cut and paste, I write what I think, where I think it then have to rearrange my blog ... and then I have to tweak it because it doesn't flow or make much sense ... what do you mean it doesn't make sense anyway? These are the ramblings of a grumpy old woman, they're not meant to!

Right back to the subject in hand:

From the few places I've visited on day trips during our 'crumbly holidays', one thing is glaringly obvious, each and every town centre is virtually identical, the only shops left are the ones you see everywhere else. They're the only ones that can afford to be in a town, the little private home-grown business is all but dead, Unfortunately, apart from Woolworths, Heanor had none of these big name shops.

And, lets face it, just out of town retail parks are a canker that has been eating away at all but the most prosperous of towns, and Heanor, on it's hill that we're all too idle to climb didn't stand a chance ...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Langley Mill Post Office For Sale

Now it's fairly well established that I'm nosy. So nosy in fact that by doing a bit of online searching [as you do] - whilst away on holiday from my beloved computer and laptop but armed with the MWg zinc ii and an intermittent reception - I found out that our post office is for sale for £250,000 [more recently reduced to £239,000 ... and again £215,000 ... a year later £175,000].

This should please a lot of people - well, everyone in Langley Mill that I know to be honest - because the people currently in the post office aren't exactly Mr and Mrs Popular [unlike the couple who run it when they're on holiday]. Of course, all the people I don't know in Langley Mill may have an entirely different opinion [this is allowed].

I haven't ventured in there myself since 2003, because I personally found them to be rude and patronising. I used to sell stuff on ebay, but gave it up simply because I couldn't face the 'well put it on there then!!!' when reaching out to put one of my parcels on the scales. Then being made to put on a load of stamps [which I licked, yes I know there's a wet sponge thing], while the queue behind me collectively sighed. After a few episodes of this licking and sticking he implied that the stamp gum was made from horse bits, this ensured that I turned a delicate shade of green - being a vegetarian - I vowed never to go back ... I haven't ... And I know I'm not alone.

I know this may seem a bit wussy and mardy of me, but I used to be very sensitive until I toughened up on attaining grumpy old woman status around the age of 48. Yeah, I don't believe me either, I'm still a wuss.

The grumpy old man however is completely oblivious to rudeness, he's the sort of person who announces [in the PO when being told what services they offer] that he won't pay his bills in there - thank you very much - because his pensions go straight into his [soon to be next door] bank account and he pays everything by direct debit including the TV licence. He is simply in there to post something ...