Oh dear. Silverscreen, who Carol works for, finally closed on Sunday. They had been in administration since the end of March, but decided to call it a day at the weekend. So after Friday, she has no job Cry.
She went for an interview yesterday, only to be told that she would have got the job had the company not screwed up and given it to an existing manager! Not impressed.
 Oh well, she has another tomorrow, just hope it goes well. 

Old Friends

My old Scout Leader popped round tonight to catch up with me. Now this may not sound very noteworthy, but as he was headhunted by Caltech nearly 20 years ago (ouch- that long???) and now works for the University of Chicago, he doesn't pop by too often. Apparently it's something to do with the commuting :-D.
Anyway, it was good to see him again and have a good chat. It was a shame we didn't get longer as the last time I saw him was at my wedding and I was a bit busy that day! 

Charity & Footballers

I'm very proud of my Mum as she managed to raise over £1000 for the Children's Society yesterday by holding a coffee day. She's spent ages organising it, my Dad too for that matter!

Now compare this with the footballer who signed for Chelsea yesterday. It was reported in the news that he is to be paid £135000 a week! That's over £7 million a year for kicking a football around. Now no matter how skilled at football he may (and I guess he must be), he is not worth THAT much. His wages for just over an hour would cover the amount that my Mum, a retired person, took weeks to raise. I must admit, I'd quite happily accept 1% of his salary ;-).

Perhaps these overpaid, vacant footballers should look to someone like David Gilmour, the Pink Floyd guitarist, who having decided to sell his house in London, gave all the proceeds (approx £4 million) to a housing charity as he said he didn't need the money!

Green Photos!

After Claire and Tez's wedding, I wanted my photos back ASAP. Thinking Jessops in town would be open, we went down the day after to get them printed. They weren't open so we had to go to Morrisons. 

I had two films and a load of digital photos to be printed. Apparently, they couldn't cope with doing so many prints in one hour, so I had to wait for two.

Two hours later, we picked them up and went off to Carol's parents to show them. Trouble was the all had a really bad green colour cast Yell.

So I went back the next day. The sales assistant was not exaclty going out of her way to be helpful and took some persuading there was a green colour cast. She said that she could reprint the films but the digital pictures were right. That was until I showed her a print out from my PC on a laser printer which showed the correct colours! Two hours later, I came to pick them up. Before I had checked them, the assistant vanished round the back. When I checked all the prints, they still had a green colour cast!

I called the assistant back, told her the colour cast was still there and she took my print out and photos and stomped off to find her supervisor. When I'd explained everthing to the supervisor, she told me there was nothing wrong! After some discussion (!), where she told me there was nothing wrong with the prints, that I'd edited the pictures on the PC, as the background was grass on some of the pictures there was no colour cast etc. etc., she agreed that there was a problem! I finally got a full refund. This took over half an hour.

So I took them to Jessops and unsuprisingly they printed them correctly.

The moral? Only take films to be developed and printed to a company that knows what they are doing and not to places who try to make out that you are wrong and not them!

Wedding Weekend

On Saturday, Carol's sister Claire got married to Tez. They had a great day, the weather behaved and the reception went to plan. So huge congatulations to them both!

Carol was Matron of Honour and she looked georgeous.

The only downer was that I picked up an ear infection! Oh and there was a small problem with the piccys I took, more of that later………. 

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!

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!


 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.


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!


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!

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!

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.