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Monday, 20 March 2017

St. Paddy's Day

I'm lucky to have made several journeys to the Emerald Isle as in to Dublin the capital. Suddenly, I had an invite to fill in on an already booked trip. Naturally I agreed. That's how I came to fly to Dublin on the evening of the 14th March and return on the evening of the 18th. Not only did I spend time in Dublin, I also went to another Saw Doctors concert at the Olympia. The last time I saw then was at the same venue.

Usually the hotel of choice is the Beresford, formerly the Isaacs near Garda central and the Busaras. Travel from Dublin airport into the city has been altered by the new tunnel which means entering the city along the banks of the River Liffey.

This time with it being close to Paddy's Day hotel accommodation was at a premium. The Beresford being already fully booked we found ourselves residing in Wynn's Hotel circa 1921. fantastic hotel redolent with history.
"Wynn's Hotel is steeped in History - built in 1845, bombed during the 1916 rising and rebuilt in 1921 using mass concrete, the only building in Dublin to do so at this time."

Wow what a difference, with a concierge at the entrance and service par excellence. No idea of the cost as it had already been booked for someone else who was not able to go.

Favourite hostelries
Madigans - Abbey St. across from the hotel
Robert Reade
Flannigans

Not forgetting the Luas (tram) which knocks all others into the proverbial cocked hat. Bought a 7-day pass so we had freedom to use the Luas whenever necessary. Bonus being it stopped near the hotel. 









Friday, 10 March 2017

signs of the times

I seem to have become  a 'frequent flyer' at the GP surgery.

Things began to go haywire towards the end of 2014 when I found myself in hospital recovering from a major op. Since then 'himself' has spent time in hospital twice once in 2015 and again in 2016. Now he's had two replacement ops, one knee and one hip.

For some few years I've been rather creaky and put it all down to tempus fugit. Whilst I was doing Tai Chi regularly twice a week until my op the creaks were kept at bay. It took months of recovery after the op before I could begin Tai Chi again. Then disaster struck in June 2016 the Friday class ended. This left the group at a loss how to continue and we ended up joining in with another group. Theoretically Tai Chi but bore no resemblance to the real thing. For a while I got himself to take me to Lymm. But that's such an awkward place to park that I gave up.

Now I have a hankering to return to Lymm for proper Tai Chi to keep the aches and pains at bay. Himself asked if I could D.I.Y. the Tai Chi on my own but I really want to go back to having proper tuition. I'm certain it will help.

This year I've had an x-ray of my hips - Result - right hip is within normal parameters but the left shows signs of osteoarthritis. 

Now there's a tale to tell...

In Feb. the G.P. referred me to MCAS the musculoskeletal assessment service. What a hoot! I waited and waited and weeks went by.

28th Feb. the post brought a letter from MCAS.
Written Feb. 22nd
Posted Feb. 27th - Stamped by postal service 27th Feb.
Received Feb. 28th

Here comes the funny-business...

I phoned MCAS to make appt. as requested by the letter just received.

But...after holding the line for some 15-20 mins I was told (much to my surprise) that...
I had been crossed off for not replying with the fortnight.

Monday, 6 March 2017

With apols to Flanders and Swann

"Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do."

Back in September 2016 there was the indoor flood as the old lead pipe rising main gave way.

19th September aka 'give a little man a job'.

It would appear we have been labouring under the misapprehension that we have a water meter and that it was fitted last September.

According to the billing section of United Utilities the water rates charges have been based on rateable value as we have no meter. Of course the letter arrives with the Saturday post so nothing can be done before Monday. 

Big companies must waste far too much money sending out computer generated formulaic documents. 
Some property requires a water meter?
Send out letter informing of site inspection visit...
Send forth little man to conduct the inspection...
G.A.L.M.A.J. 'give a little man a job'.
Hopefully little man returns to an office with the information...
G.A.L.M.A.J. 'give a little man a job'.
Send team of little men to install meter?
G.A.L.M.A.J. 'give a little man a job'.
That's what was assumed to have taken place nearly six months ago....

Hence my reference to Flanders and Swann

Next there's yet another 'we will send out someone to perform the inspection'.

Phone-call again to UU and reassurance (eventually) that the visit is to fit a meter.

Wouldn't it be fun to find a meter already in place and staring at them when the lid is lifted!

and with apols to the late great Sir Terry Pratchett -
UU would stand for the
Unseen University
wouldn't it?





Saturday, 25 February 2017

To everything change...

There's a backwater in the furthest stretch of Cornwall that's made its way into news media. Over the years Pendeen remained the quietest of quiet backwaters undiscovered by many until Winston Graham's 'Poldark' series was made anew for the small screen. Its 1st on-screen incarnation was before the days of mass media. 'Poldark' was a quaint series starring Angarhed Rees (1944-2012) as 'Demelza' and Robin Ellis as 'Poldark'. In the 1970s that was one of my favourite TV series to watch.

Moving on to the 21st century and another airing this time a much more modern version, more of its time and less truthful to the original books, So what? on might ask. Isn't it good to update series? For what it is worth I have no problem with the various incarnations of the story.

The problem lies with a body that likes to portray itself as conservationist and all-round do-gooder.

They have noticed an influx of visitors travelling along the Cornish coast to view locations made famous by the recent TV series.

Rubbing their hands with glee; they have set up machines to collect money from sight-seers.

This has annoyed and upset local people of the Penzance - St. Just area. They are incensed at the insensitivity of the large organisation...and quite rightly so. 

Contrary to the stated 'coastal management' scheme mooted by that organisation...this wild coast does not require 'management' nor interference from them 'Up country'. 

According to media reports, the first toll machine at Levant was soon uprooted and destroyed. Vehement protests have been made by locals at the lack of respect for the area shown by the organisation demanding charges. 

It is a former mining area and family ties run deep. Everyone knows everyone else in the locality. Upset one and you upset all. Historical events are alive for the local folk. They still remember the Levant Mining Disaster as tho' it were yesterday.