I've signed up to theyworkforyou.com so I can see what our local MP is saying in Parliament.

I've met our MP, Paul Farrelly, on a couple of occasions (he even took our Scouts round Parliament once) and he seems to be quite a pleasant chap. He seems to be interested in promoting our area and getting the best for us.
However, I've had an e-mail from theyworkforyou.com telling me he made this comment to Tony Blair –

I report with great sadness to the Prime Minister that, following the local elections and a bit of bed-hopping by the Liberal Democrats, Newcastle-under-Lyme is being temporarily led by the Conservatives. In the past 20-plus years Newcastle has been well served by Labour leaders—Mike Brereton, Eddie Boden and David Leech—and I wonder whether, in this novel situation, the Prime Minister can help me out. By which yardsticks would he judge this new, Tory/Liberal Democrat alliance in my area, however temporary it may be?

The point of that was what exactly? What a total waste of time saying that to the PM. Political points scoring I suppose.
Thing is, Labour controlling the Borough Council were a total waste of time. All they seemed interested in was saying how great they were and making a complete pigs ear of the Borough. I just hope the Conservative /  Lib Dem people are better!

Last night’s AGM

Wow, what can I say? I was wrong (see here) ! We actually had some parents turn up!
Actually, it was a good evening and the Cubs and Beavers really enjoyed playing football and the fact they got a medal as well!
See the Scout Group link for more…….. 😉


Been meaning to mention this for a week or so.
I drove past Etruria station the other day and noticed that all the station furniture had been removed – the shelters, station names, lamp posts etc.
Now one of the reasons Etruria was closed was that it could be removed to re-align the tracks so trains could go faster through the site (saving about 10 seconds on a journey from London to Manchester!). The Government were so keen to close the station, that they completely ignored to findings of the independent inquiry, which was to keep it open and to actually stop some trains there. So why has it taken nearly 8 months (it was closed on 30/09/05) to remove everything? High priority to close it (Central Trains are not interested in my area), low priority to do anything else.

Ignorant G***s

Had the builders in the yard again this morning. At least they knocked on the door to say they were finishing off thier work. Mr. Next Door still didn't bother to ask. He even had the cheek to come into our yard to speak to the builders!

Really should have said NO………..! :-@

Essex is in the North!!!

We had a card posted through the door yesterday. The name on it wasn't us, but the first line of the address was the same as ours.
The rest of the address was for a place in Essex! Now apart from the fact that Essex is about 200 miles away, how did the people who sort the mail not notice this slight anomaly? The postman must be blind (doubt it), stupid or just plain lazy! It's no wonder the Royal Mail are losing money left right and centre.

Mind you they'll probably get sold off ASAP if their Chairman has anything to do with it. Allan Leighton was the Chief Executive of Asda who sold it to Wal * Mart and then did a runner with all his cash! Asda went downhill after that (well took a nosedive to be honest).


I've been playing with some extensions that can be added to Firefox. Makes you wonder why you ever used IE! Can't same I'm too sure about IE7 at the moment, so I think I'll stick to Firefox (Opera is good as well!).
The extensions do make life easier at work! 

Teachers and Education

Last week I finished off a lesson I'd started a couple of weeks before with a Y5/6 class from one of our local primary schools. This was to design a web page using MS FrontPage. Now everything went well (even though I do say so myself!) and the kids did some good work.
Now I'm no teacher and this was my first experience teaching a class of kids. However the teacher thought it was time for her to do other work, so I was left, on occasions, on my own with the class! Ho hum!

Trouble is that I'm doing this lesson as a favour to the school and getting paid a damn site less than a teacher. Unfortunatley, if your not a teacher in education, you're considered not as good, as worthy or not worth as much money as a teacher. Of course, without support and technical staff, schools would grind to a halt.
Also why is it non teaching staff cannot become management?

Excuse me?????

Carol came into the kitchen this morning to tell me that there were workmen in our back yard! So I went out and asked if I could help them. They were there to do work on an adjoining wall between us and next door. Seems they have some damp.

The bloke I spoke to asked if Mr. Next Door had told us the work needed doing. Nope, not heard a peep.
Mind you that's typical of them. When we bought our house we went round to introduce ourselves and say hello. They couldn't be less interested. Their kids are little gits as well. They don't seem to think there is a problem when their football hits our windows, will wander into our yard without even thinking to ask and they smoke by our back gate and leave all their debris by our gate.

Basically they only care about themselves. Yell

Now I appreciate that they have to have work done to sort out damp, and have no problems with them getting it sorted. BUT, they should ask first. I should have told the workmen to go away! 


Oh we had fun last week. We decided that our fridge was on too much, so it was time to buy a much more energy efficient one. So off we went, found one we liked, bought it and got it home. We waited for 4 hours for it to settle down, turned it on, on came the light and motor and then off they went went! We'd got a lemon. So it got sent back and after a lot of faffing around, we got another! It worked!

All that for a fridge……. 

Cooler weather and a happier techie!

Phew, it's much better at work today with the weather being a bit cooler, it's only 26°C in my office today! That's compared to 31°C on Monday! That's only 5° difference but that's a lot. 
Even with the window open and the fan on it was stifling on Monday. Must have been something to do with the hot weather, the 2 servers, the 24 port hub, printer and my PC being on! Trouble is the chances of getting air con in here are approximately nil. It took over a year to get air con in our other server room and that's with the servers falling over all through the summer! Such are the joys of working in education and not being a teacher! 
Oh well, I've just put up my Paraguay, Trinidad & Sweden flags to go with my German one! Let's see how long it takes people to see them!


Due to the nature and quality of driving in England, the DOT has devised a new scheme in order that good drivers may identify poor drivers.

For this reason, from the 01 June 2006, drivers who are found to be driving badly, inconsiderately or both, will be issued with flags (white with a red cross).

These flags must be clipped to the door of the car and be visible to all other drivers and pedestrians.

Those drivers who have shown particularly poor driving skills will have to display a flag on either side of the car to indicate their inadequacy and general lower intelligence mindset, for one and all to see.

Please circulate this information to as many other motorists as possible, so that everyone is aware of the meaning of these flags.CoolLaughing

Great Day Out, But………………….

Yesterday we had a rather nice day out at the West Midlands Safari Park and the Severn Valley Railway. The safari park was great as we got there early to avoid the crowds. You can really get close to the animals, including lions, tigers, elephants and giraffes. We even had a horned cow put it's head through the window to say hello!
After the safari park we went to the railway. We only went to Bewdley, but it was a nice trip. It was interesting to see that the safari park was packed when we went past on the train! We were hauled by the 8F and the Stanier Mogul. All in all a jolly day, and we completely missed getting drowned in the showers 😉
Trouble is that yesterday's Bank Holiday, was traditionally Newcastle's carnival day. However, the political geniuses who ran our Borough Council cancelled it as they said it cost too much. This is after they spent nearly £1000 last year on Posh 'n' Becks impersonators! 
It was replaced by a Jazz and Blues festival. OK, not too bad, but all the gigs were in local pubs and not in town or at the Brampton. They still had charity stalls in town, but forgot to tell most of the charities that they could still have a stall. Well done local politicians! 

Knives & Planes

Why have there been so many stabbings recently? I think there have been three school kids and a chap on a train at Oxenhome stabbed in the last couple of weeks. I suppose a lot of it is down to gang culture and that these fools think they need to carry knives as they are 'hard', 'kewl' or need them as they need 'protection' or that they need 'respect'. Well none of that is true, especially the respect bit. These fools think that carrying a knife or being hard makes them deserve respect from others. WRONG!!! Being a person who does work for the community without banging on about it, being a great leader or being a great engineer or scientist, as examples, are people who deserve respect, not some jumped up little thugs. Trouble is, they are far too stupid to realise this!
As I was in the garden this afternoon, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight came overhead. The Hurricane, Lancaster and Spitfire made an enormous sound as they flew quite low overhead. I can't imaging what a squadron of fighters or a bomber formation would have looked and sounded like. Quite impressive and scary really. It's good to see them still flying as my Grandpa (Ken Wood) worked on Hurricanes and Lancasters during the War (he was a mechanic). The chap who designed the Spitfire , Reginald Mitchell, was also born round here!