Driving

I'm getting fed up about the appalling standard of driving on our roads these days. I took my test in 1988 and again 3 years ago so I could drive the School's minibus. I passed both times first time! So I can say that my driving is at least reasonable.

In the tests there was some mention about speed limits, red lights, double yellow lines and the like. Thing is that it seems that most people choose to ignore such inconveniences. I've been overtaken on urban roads when travelling at 30 mph – the legal speed limit. You can see that these prats are annoyed to be kept to the speed limit.

Recently a local man was killed on his motorbike while he was trying to escape a policeman. Now, any loss of life in such circumstances is tragic, but he was trying to escape as he had no tax on his motorbike. If I remember correctly, he was a banned driver and had no insurance. But, and this is a big but, he was still prepared to ride his bike on the roads. This chap's family were blaming the police. He was prepared to break the law and endanger other people's lives, but it's the police's fault.

All this comes down to the idea the we live in a free country and that people can do what what they want. This is an excuse for basically being selfish. The idea is that 'I can do what I want' and sod everyone else and sod the consequences. It seems that no-one is bothered about anyone else now, just as long as they can do what they want and get their own way. What happened to social responsibility?

The Dreaded Lurgi!

Typical, isn't it? It's a Bank Holiday weekend and we've somehow managed to get Tuesday off as well, so I come down with the Lurgi. Something pretending to be a cold or mild flu, but enough to make me run hot and cold, get very snotty and can only sleep during the day. Bang goes the jobs I wanted to do! Suppose it could have been worse, I could have been at work, now the Council have decided that being off sick is a capital offence!
This afternoon, I got a salesman from Talk Talk come to the front door. He asked if I was ok and was a bit taken aback when I said 'no'! Obviously, he didn't understand the concept of 'no' as it took me 3 times of saying it to get rid of him!

Oh to be a Labour Minister…….

The Government seems to be in an even bigger mess at the moment than usual. What with Mr. Clarke, the Home Secretary, losing those ex prisoners that should have been deported, the Health Secretary, Miss Hewitt, is patronising everyone even more than usual by saying the NHS is actually in a really good way (try telling the 1000 people at my local hospital about to lose their jobs) and the Deputy PM, Mr. Prescott, caught with his trousers down!

Doesn't anyone resign these days when they've done something wrong?  I'm reminded about John Profumo, who died recently. He had an affair, lied about it, got caught, resigned and spent the rest of his life helping people less fortunate than himself! I just can't see this lot doing anythig of the sort!

The local elections should be interesting Laughing

Good Day @ Work

Well, after yesterday's boredom, today was a good, busy one! Yesterday, I had my science technician's head on. But as most of the work the kids are doing is revision, there wasn't anything to do, hence the bordom.

Where as today, I set up a couple of printers on print servers, did some forms and sorted out some key stage packs for the School's website. Hardly stopped all day Laughing

At Work…

Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored!

Yell

 Spot a theme?

Elections are Coming

You can always tell when it's local election time, the local political parties suddenly wake up!

We had a leaflet through the door the other day from the Lib Dems. I think that it was the first time we've heard from them for a year! Now this is despite the fact that one of our councillors is a Lib Dem. The leaflet told us why we should not vote Labour, but wasn't very convincing on why we should vote Lib Dem.

Same with Labour. Our Borough Council is Labour controlled and what do we hear? Not a peep! We don't actually have a Labour Borough Councillor at the moment, but we do have a County Council one. So when do we hear from them? When it's election time of course! The only way of finding out what our County Councillor is up to is to read the local paper.

Now the local Conservatives have got it right. Despite what people may or may not think about them, in our area they communicate with the electorate. We get a newsletter 3 or 4 times a year and something through the letterbox when there is a single issue problem (phone masts!!!). This does at least give the impression that they are doing something for the area and not just sticking their heads above the parapet when they want something!

Oh, yes, there was a leaflet from UKIP a few weeks ago.

So who will I be voting for? Well let's say it most certainly won't be Labour.

Why, well a few reasons –

At Borough level

They voted to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to refurbish the Council Chamber when it wasn't really needed.

They have cancelled Newcastle Carnival due to cost. These are the same prats who spent nearly £1000 last year hiring 'Posh & Becks' lookalikes.

The council tax increase is 4.9% when inflation is about 2.5%. My pay increase this year is 3%.

The proposed emptying of the bins once every two weeks. Now we could probably manage, but a family of four?

At County Level

The County has no coherent transport policy. They couldn't even work together with Stoke City Council properly to save Etruria Station from closing last year. They need to look towards Nottinghamshire. They've managed to reopen railway lines (the Robin Hood line) and get trams.

The state of the roads!

The fact that Staffordshire gives one of the lowest amounts of money per pupil to its special schools in the country.

At National Level

The proposed loss of 1000 jobs at our local hospital. Loosing nearly 350 nursing staff will not improve productivity. Hospitals should not be treated as a business, they are there to care for people.

Derek Twigg the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, responsible for Transport, closed Etruria Station in September last year. I'm sure that had he been a local MP it would not have closed. He is the MP for the Runcorn and Widnes. Try closing a station there Mr. Twigg. Etruria was closed so that the local train company (Central Trains) didn't have to bother with it anymore after years of neglect and so that Virgin Trains could knock an extra 30 seconds off the journey to London!

Local people opposed a phone mast going up in our area, the Council's planning committee rejected the application and it was over ruled by the Deputy Prime Minister's department. And to make it worse, the told no one! Not the people who originally objected nor our local Councillors!

I suppose the most important thing about the elections is to vote. But people must think when they vote. Not just vote for the party they always have voted for and complain when they make a mess of things – think people!
 

Compete change of direction.
Over the weekend I started to sort out the backlog of about 2 years worth of photos. I guess there are about 1200 to sort and put away! I must point out that this includes 4 weddings (including mine), 1 honeymoon (mine), 2 stag dos (1 was mine), a couple of holidays and Crewe Works open day last year!
It was great looking at our wedding pictures. I didn't realise so many had been taken. Just as well really, as neither Carol or myself can remember much about the day – it went by so fast.

Stuff!

It's been a quiet week really. Went back to work on Wednesday and managed to finish most of my jobs by yesterday. I've managed to get a phone in my office, which should make life easier. Had to do all the wiring myself though! I went to a community meeting on Wednesday night. It was about local transport. Quite interesting, but it will be interesting to see what, if anything happens because of it. I did bump into the parents of a old friend of mine. I hadn't seen them for years, so we had quite a nice chat until the meeting interrupted! Happy 80th your Majesty!

Flashbacks

Rhyl Miniature Railway

Today, after taking Mum & Dad to town to catch their coach to go on holiday, we went for a day out the Rhyl. On the way, a loo stop was needed, so we stopped off at Asda Queensferry. This was a store that I had helped to open in 1995 and regularly visited it (sometimes more than twice a week) over the next four years. I hardly recognised the place! I think it had been extended slightly and the layout was all changed. Most strange really. Didn't see anyone I recognised either. Shame really as I used to enjoy going there. On the very slim chance they might read this, hi to Yvonne and Joyce!!!!
We got to Rhyl, well Kimnel Bay actually, and had a walk along the sea front to Rhyl itself. The wind was blowing and the sea was a bit rough. Bracing! The sad thing about Rhyl is that it's a bit grotty in places. I guess that once it was quite elegant, but now it suffers from too many cheap holidays. On the way back to Kimnel Bay we did have a ride on the Rhyl Miniature Railway 😀
Also, being sad, we popped into Asda Rhyl as this was another of my old hangouts. The store manager is someone I knew and I also saw one of the managers I knew. Odd that really. We came back the slightly longer route through St. Asaph (where my sister used to live) and Wrexham (another Asda hangout) to avoid the traffic. All in all a jolly day!

Sunday Opening

Oh dear, according to my newspaper today, the government is bowing to pressure from the major retailers and is going to extend Sunday opening hours and let them open on Easter Sunday.

WHY???????
Is that extra day's opening going to make a huge difference to their profits? Is the fact that they can open for a few extra hours on a Sunday going to make that much difference? As it is now, most major shops are only closed on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday (although some are still closed on Boxing Day, but that's a diminishing trend).
Banks are now starting to open on Bank Hoilidays (the point of a bank holiday is that the banks are closed!) and HSBC in their wisdom decided to open their Telford branch on Easter Sunday. Give me strength. These companies say that they are bowing to customer demand and aiming to improve customer service. Cobblers! All they want, as usual, is to make more money. Once one company, for example, opens on Easter Sunday, the rest feel they have to follow suite as they can't 'miss out'. Trouble is, there is only a finite amount of money available. The other problem is that the more the shops open, the less time the staff get off. Whilst all the sad people are clamouring to go shopping on Boxing Day, most of the shop workers have managed to have a whole day off for Christmas. On the other hand the sad consumers with no lives who must shop till they drop, have got one to two weeks off work.
Get lives people!

How long will it be before the shops open on Christmas Day? I remember a few years ago when I worked at Asda Stafford, it was Christmas Eve and a woman came in at 17.45 when the store was closing at 18.00. She had a real go at one of the customer service managers, saying that she had just finished work and she had come in to do her Christmas shopping, there was no fresh food available and the store was closing in 15 minutes. She thought it was disgaceful. The customer service manager politley pointed out to her that she was still at work and she did her shopping some days ago. At the school where I work now, the term dates came out one day a couple of years ago. The Autumn Term finished quite late, a few days before Christmas, and some of the staff were whinging about how terrible it was that they only got a few days off before Christmas. I had to walk out of the room because I would have said something rude, as two years before I'd finished for my Christmas holidays at 18.00 on Christmas Eve and had a whole two days off!!

These people don't know how lucky they are (I must point out that I don't get full school holidays!). Just proves how selfish and stupid people are! So no to extra opening hours on Sundays and no to opening on Easter Sundays. Big companies, don't be so greedy and the general public, don't be so selfish and get lives!

p.s. Happy Easter!

Pleasant afternoon

Today, well this afternoon specifically, has been quite fun.
I’ve installed Xandros linux on my second PC so it now dual boots with Windows 2000 and Dad came round to try out some of his new engines on my layout. We haven’t done that for yonks. Add that to the fact that I’ve brought a few extra locos home and I’m listening to The Beatles Capitol Albums vol. 2, it’s been most pleasant.
Just got to do a bit of tidyng and dishes now 🙁

Carol’s off tomorrow and Monday, so we’ll be off out. Hopefully a trip off to North Wales is going to happen!

Honours

With all this talk in the press about cash for honours, it really annoys me that people can think that by giving oodles of money, directly or indirectly, to a political party, that they can get an honour. What, other than being rich, have they done to deserve it?

My Dad was awarded an MBE for services to the railway industry and for all of the work that he has done in the community. That’s over 25 years at work and a lot more than that for his church and Scout Group. We as a family were really proud when it was awarded to him. But to gain a higher award for giving some money, I don’t think so. When you’ve worked for 25 years for the benefit of your local community, and not blown your own trumpet, then you can be considered!

1st one!

Oh well, here we go on my first blog!
It’s 23.30, I’ve just had a bath, I’m listening to Mark Radcliffe on the radio (just like I used to do over 11 years ago!) and I’ve got my model trains out in front of me. May as well get any credibility out of the way straight away! And just to show off, I’m doing this on my PDA! Next time I do this on the PDA, I’ll use me keyboard!
Well time for a quick cuppa before bed.