Thursday, 30 April 2009
I also find it a sad indictment on our culture that the couple from Scotland who contracted flu on their honeymoon are now being represented by the publicist Max Clifford. I can only wish that any money they make from their unfortunate experience is paid back into the health service that looked after them in their hour of need.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
The woman told me that her husband was a keen cyclist and when I spoke to him about it he said that in his youth he had turned down a place in the 1964 Olympics as in those days there was no money in it and no possibilities of a future career in sports and he had his own career to consider in dentistry. How times have changed!
The first two are the main doors, front and back. If you look closely you can see my reflection in the back door. We don't have a front door handle or a doorstep yet!
This is Ian and Mike demonstrating the art of erecting stud walls and the following two are views of the house; one from close up and one from the road.
The final picture is of Herman's place with the field of rape in the background.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
I was also fascinated by the beautiful butterfly; much larger than anything I have seen before. It was collecting nectar from the little pink flowers.
He is quite camouflaged in the picture but in reality the yellow stood out against the grass quite clearly!
Monday, 27 April 2009
As usual, our journeys were eventful. We had an early start on Saturday and realised that we were a little tight for time as we approached Dover with minutes to spare before the final check-in time for our crossing. Still, the traffic Gods were on our side and we arrived at the check in with 3 minutes in hand.
"What do you have in the van?" asked the check in girl.
"Tools, plasterboard, plywood.." volunteered Ian
"Do you have any oil based paint? Any aerosols or pressurised containers?"
Ian thought a moment. "I do have a couple of sealed cans of expanding foam filler"
"Well, you can't take them on the boat..let me have a look at them (Ian gets them out of the van)..oh yes, look, they're marked as hazardous and you can't take them on.. I can't take them from you either as they are hazardous..you'll have to go over to.... " (with that my eyes glazed over and I knew we had missed the ferry!)
In the customer services department the man looked perplexed. "Well. I can't really take them off you either"
"What, you mean my sealed, fire-rated tubes of foam filler are so dangerous you can't take them?" said Ian.
"What about a can of hairspray? Can I take that?" I asked "not that I have any anyway".
"Hmmm, hairspray is a bit of a grey area.."
After some smiles and a few more negotiations the four cans of filler were disappeared and we got on the later ferry. I suspect the involvement of health and safety man for this and suspect that we were a little too honest for our own good!
The rest of the journey down was uneventful although very long and we finally arrived at 2.30a.m and went straight to bed!
Coming back we split the journey in two, planning to stop overnight when we dropped off Ian's friend Mike at his house in the Somme. We planned to leave at a civilised time but unfortunately Mike came down with an upset stomach over night and Ian followed on a few hours later, so the trip back was a rather agonizing dash between toilet stops. Sitting between the two of meant that inevitably I came down with the same thing the following morning and thus the journey up to Eurotunnel was more of the same, this time with me being the one suffering!
We did notice two good things. On the way over on P&O ferries (The Pride of Kent) the staff had definitely undergone a make over in terms of enthusiasm and friendliness (and also looked a lot smarter and cleaner than I remember)! Our crossing with Eurotunnel was also pretty effortless with no one asking about our 3 cubic metres of contents.
Friday, 17 April 2009
Ian did send me a photo of the house with windows, which I attach to show the progress. Unfortunately he also discovered that the roof leaks!
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
The fisherman all get in their boats and go home over night, only to return the following morning and start the whole thing off again! Ian and I were wondering why the navy just don't go and sink them!
We are trying to think of a plan 'B'!
Sunday, 12 April 2009
My mother spent most of her life as a secretary to various men. She started in the civil service and then worked for an accountant, finishing off in a big charitable organisation. She was able to take shorthand, was a touch typist and was also involved in organising the day to day life of her boss. I suppose we would now call her a Personal Assistant. She worked before the days of Internet, emails and computers when the 'boss' never wrote or composed anything himself and at best would dictate a letter for her to edit and type and present for signing. She watched the story of the senior government official who had to quit because he sent some ill advised email with some amusement.
"I thought to myself.. in my day if you had a good secretary this wouldn't have happened. We all worked for these men who were always apt to do stupid things, because after all, they are men! Your job as a secretary was to watch out for them, and if they looked like they were about to do something stupid you tactfully asked them if they were really sure they wanted to send that letter or note and pointed out what might happen if they did"
Nowadays of course once you press the SEND button the damage has been done and can't be undone, you type your own letters, and if you have a secretary and if he or she is bright enough to work out that you are about to be a bit of an ar*e then they would immediately send a copy of the email to the local tabloid journalist and take the cash reward!
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
I walked back along the seafront. Brighton is much busier than Eastbourne, aptly named London-on-sea. I took this photo of the burnt out West Pier as it falls further and further into the sea and didn't notice the seagull at the time.
This view from the prom is how I felt at the end of my pampering!
In the meantime, Ian has gone over to France and I have a weekend to myself and a list of jobs and things to do that will take the best part of two weeks!
Sunday, 5 April 2009
While we were outside another of Ian's neighbours, Patricia, came out. She is around my age and usually quite active but on this occasion looked like she could hardly move. Ian helped her to take out her lawn mower and she mentioned that she was having problems with her hands and feet. I asked her a little more and it seems that she most likely has rheumatoid arthritis and has been having problems since Christmas. She had started some treatment but so far was still in pain. When I told her that I had gone through something similar a few years ago she seemed genuinely relieved. "Oh, but you are able to do so much, you cycle everywhere". I told her what it had been like for a while, how at the time I wasn't sure if I would even be able to work, let alone cycle, how the first year or so is hard because it takes that long for them to work out how to treat you, medications take months to work, how it takes you a while to adapt and that for most people with the right treatment the future is okay.
I remembered having an email discussion with a fireman with MCTD when I was first ill. He told me that he had eventually made it back to work and achieved full fitness and it filled me with great hope so I hope I was able to give Patricia something positive to aim for. She seemed pleased and that afternoon she mowed her entire lawn (although it was obviously very painful for her). She said to me later "I just have to weather the storm for a while don't I?" I said "Yes, I think you do".
Now I have to make a trip to Screwfix for a box of galvanised nails!