Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Skeggy And Back

We've been to sunny Skegness to open our 'tin hut' by the sea. Of course the first thing we all do - after the boring, de-wigwamming of the seating and mattresses, collecting swimming salt dishes, cleaning and finally hanging three miles of colour coded [so I know which of the nine windows it belongs to] nets - is to check that all our near neighbours are still not dead ... it's what caravan owners do after winter because most are of a certain age and winter is when we tend to drop off our perches.

As luck would have it, we had no losses this year [unlike last] so all's well with our little world.

Our badgers have been visiting again, it only took a few nights of peanuts left out before we saw one. Then a week went by and although the nuts were gone every morning we never had another badger sighting. The fox did pay us a visit but he's like lightening and won't pose for a photo.

A couple of nights before returning home we decided to wait up until a badger came but had to give in about 2.00am. The following night the cat woke me up at 12.30 [we were too tired to wait up again], I went to threaten her with violence see what she wanted and she ran into the living room to look through the window.

There he was - a badger munching loudly on his nuts. They are very noisy eaters who wouldn't be invited to eat at my dinner table [my grumpy old man only scrapes through by dint of it being his table]. I woke grumpy up so he could have a look and apologised to my clever cat who purred her way back to bed.

It took approximately two hours for most of the birds to return once the food was out, including twelve greenfinches, two thrushes, chaffinches, goldfinches, great tits, blue tits, robins, blackbirds, ducks ... and house sparrows - which strangely enough we don't see in our bit of Langley Mill.

We do have dunnocks at home - who stupidly nested in a bush next to our kitchen window, lining the nest with my neighbours cat's fur. You'd have thought the material used would have told them that it wasn't a good idea. Anyway it was sadly abandoned with one turquoise egg dropped in a flower pot below by the time we got home.

Hmm, home, well that's another story ...

Monday, 11 April 2011

Langley Mill Railway Sidings ... Epilogue

My Grumpy Old Man was a bit worried about me publishing this post - asking me if it was a good idea to admit that  ... 'yes it was me'. He may have a point, but I can't imagine they'd think for a minute that I wasn't among the small group of people who reported them to the council. I don't think I'm breaking any rules by writing about it and if I am - sue me for telling the truth ... 

Oh yeah, I'll just get a few rumours in first:
  1. Potters on Cromford Road is being turned into flats and shops .. there is work being done in Potters at the moment, but myself and a fellow grumpy have searched for plans and can't find them anywhere at AVBC.
  2. Langley Mill's Netto staff will be absorbed into Asda leaving Netto empty for the next McDonalds application.
  3. I'm going to stop writing my blog and annoying people.
  4. I'm going to get even more irritating as I get older.
Hmm, ok the last one isn't really a rumour and the one before it is a downright lie, but hey, I'm short of rumours.

Right back to the real world:

Having had a chat recently with friends from over t'bridge, it gradually dawned on me that some people in Langley Mill may think the recent landscaping on the railway sidings is part of the improvements to Pottery Lane; which is generously being paid for by Asda.

Well let me disillusion them here and now. The work has been done because Amber Valley Borough Council had a little word with Asda and their buddies about dumping their demolition/construction waste there in the first place.

The moral of this story is ... If you're going to do something devious and underhand, then make sure you can't be seen by a crotchety, middle aged woman with a superzoom whizzo camera virtually glued to her sticky right mitt, and who - to misquote Stan from 'Dinner Ladies' - had got her dander up!

Yes, it was me who filled in the Enforcement Form at Amber Valley Borough Council. And I only hope it has cost enormous sums of money rectifying the unauthorised works.

Judging by the planning - lots of men discussing, pointing, and measuring etc, then how long it took to do it [a week] ... plus the equipment used ... a digger, two road-sweepers, a skip and at least ten - twelve lorries every day, all day ... and then all the replacement trees and bushes ... it did.


Therefore, if anyone out there sees anything happening that they're almost certain hasn't got planning permission, don't just sit back and think, 'Well it's too late now'. That's exactly what these developers are depending on, because they're not actually doing anything illegal [at this point].

Just get your typing finger out and fill in the Planning Enforcement Form on the council website [it's a lot easier than you think ... finding it is the hardest bit]. They will even do their best to make sure you remain anonymous.

... As I would have been if I wasn't so thoroughly annoyed by Asda, RG Group and Heanor Haulage destroying the only area of ecological value - by trying to get rid of their construction/demolition waste cheaply [I can't see any other logical reason for doing it] and incidentally, very dangerously because one lorry driver was positively certifiable - that I've written about it all ... oh at least half a dozen times [starting early last November], so anonymity has had to take a bit of back seat.

Admittedly things weren't plain sailing as the council was firstly fobbed off by Asda and their representatives with ... 'Oh yes, we've finished building Asda now, so we'll move that big heap of spoil [that is hiding the real damage] as soon as possible' [my interpretation from the email I received]. It was at this point that I nearly gave up, but then thought ... 'They can chuffing ar**hole if they think I am!' - This is where grumpydom is terrific, it gives you extra ooooomph!

So, while in high dudgeon I emailed the council again with photos - of which I have so very many - and further explanation of where the dodgy doings had been done.

By 17th December of last year I knew that Asda and their associates would be doing the remedial work which has now finally been completed [meant to be done in January but more realistically done in March]. There we are then, I've finally got that off my chest ... It's been simmering for weeks and weeks, old pot boiler that I am ...