Train strain.

The return to Somerset was pretty uncomfortable on an overcrowded train (is there any other kind in the UK these days?). No space for luggage, no space for passengers (or their long suffering dogs), and no buffet (unless you were prepared to trample over the people forced to sit on the floor); the heating however, was working. “Aha,” I hear my regular reader exclaim “result, given the current plunging temperatures outside”. “Not so,” say I “when the heating continues to blast out despite optimum temperature having been reached about ten degrees ago”. I texted an SOS to K to bring large amounts of water with her to the station for my arrival, severe dehydration was kicking in after three and a half hours in cattle class.

At some point in the journey several of us debated why, given the constant overcrowding of trains, extra coaches are not added to services and came to the conclusion that it is because the cost of additional rolling stock might adversely affect the annual profits and bonuses the train moguls’ so desperately need. Magnanimous plebeians that we are, we accept their need for additional millions each year (those tropical hideaways, nuclear/biological bunkers and global warming stockpiles don’t come cheap, you know) … and we sent our sincere thanks to the aforementioned moguls for a journey unusually delayed by mere minutes not hours.


The journey did sort of dull the shine from what otherwise had been an extremely pleasant few days with BB aboard the Blue Buzzard. We visited the Denby factory near Derby, shopped in Sutton Coldfield and tasted a few wines and gin at a local (to Fazely) vineyard/distillery. Unfortunately we visited the Denby factory the day after I’d bought a couple of bottles of the rather lovely vineyard product, and there I bought some of Denby’s rather lovely dinnerware products for R0X1 (well I have to make it up to her that I considered selling her). So I was unable to fit everything in my suitcase and be able to lift it.

I’m sure, dear regular reader, that you will be shocked to find out that it was the vineyard product that was left behind … not sure what came over me, I might have to find a vineyard round here …

🙂 🙂 🙂


I’m no beginner … (a long rant)

… when it comes to moving house and after making 18 of them personally and having helped my kids on several more, I can with a lot of experience say that this one has been an absolute pig’s ear.

It was an inauspicious beginning, and continued downhill, with the van and two muppets turning up two and a half hours late. I’d already had to leave in R0X1 with the zoo (grandson, dog and cat) to meet estate agent on time leaving K to oversee the loading of furniture and boxes (already packed by us). A quick re-assessment of timing and I was expecting K in Huish Episcopi around 14.30 and van about an hour later. Nah …

Around 13.00 Kate phoned to say the van was already full with only 2/3 of our stuff loaded. Phone calls to firm’s HO ensued – K was accused of adding stuff that wasn’t on the inventory. K insisted she hadn’t and could prove it with her copy of the inventory. Conversations in a non-English language ensued between HO and the muppets culminating in an offer to get another van to move the remainder, magnanimously at no extra cost to us … !!! K arranged to overnight with a friend, and the first van-load arrived here at 18.00 without one complete bed aboard. The Smart One spent the night in R0X1 with the cat and I on a mattress on the floor on the house with LWD.

Despite all boxes being marked with their destination rooms marked on them a lot ended up in random rooms which had nothing to do with box contents. To and injury to insult boxes were all stacked 5 high, regardless of some being marked fragile contents; these guys were obviously not amongst those who consider me vertically or age challenged, and whilst I wholeheartedly disagree with discrimination this once I would have jettisoned my principles!

Having been told a van to move the remainder of our possessions would arrive at 14.00 the following day K spent a pleasant afternoon next door with our now ex- neighbours. The different van and 2 different muppets made a timely appearance at 18.30, loaded up and duly arrived here at 23.00. I refused to hand over any money before they unloaded as the previous day’s chaps hadn’t finished all they were supposed to, if they moved things where they should be, including K’s bed base from the conservatory upstairs to her bedroom I would pay them and then they could bring the rest in. This request necessitated several calls in a foreign language to HO, on speaking to the manager I was left with the impression that although human error had occurred on their part it wasn’t their fault as such and I should shut up, put up and pay up. The legs for K’s bed base were on the van, they would not unload them. I after the previous day’s experience of muppets clearing off without doing their full job would not give way I wanted beds made up before paying.

Stand off; eventually the bed legs only were removed from van; the van was locked closed whilst the bed was made; I paid; they emptied the van and sped away into the after midnight hours without bothering to give me a receipt.

We’re in … and still alive to tell the tale; just!


Parked with the enemy

Monday was moving day. Unfortunately I’d forgotten that it was a holiday weekend, so on arrival at the chosen destination there were only two pitches left. One wasn’t big enough for R0X1 so I took the other. It was too hot to find another campsite having already waited ages for the market to clear the street before I could get to the site, so I made do with the sloping pitch under the pine trees next to the road. After a not very comfortable night, the ramps needed to be twice as big to level out R0X1 and earplugs might’ve helped with the noise, I made up my mind that I wouldn’t bother with the promised pitch change in the morning; I’d change site. However the pitch offered the next day was level, not surrounded by the dreaded pine trees (I don’t know what it is about pine trees but I find being amongst them claustrophobic and depressing) and away from the sporadically noisy road.

I’m parked amongst the enemies tho’. This site is full of mountain bikers, the ones who arrogantly assume they own the road and have the helmet cameras to prove that it is not their fault that they were speeding down the centre of the road or slowly in a dense pack going up it. This is Mont Ventoux country and the little town of Bédoin has almost more bike shops, bike accessory shops and bike clothing shops than it has cafés, bars and restaurants. Bédoin’s probably the capital of Ventoux country being on the route up and around the mountain. Don’t get me wrong, there are some “ordinary” cyclists here that I very much admire also “doing” the route. However given LWD’s nervousness around bikes I shall probably make the stay here fairly short and after I’ve driven to the summit, because I’m sensible and conserve my energies for pressing shutters, changing lenses/filters etc., we’ll be moving on.

The blurb says this site is at the foot of Mt. Ventoux. Why do we say at the foot of a mountain? I’ve seen no sign of Ventoux’s footwear or bare toes, nails varnished or not! Lovely views tho’ and some nice walks along paths that the bikers aren’t interested in.

Today LWD and I are enjoying an apparently only brief respite from the very hot weather. It’s only 21℃ – I’ve had to put my cardi on …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Room 101 (second choice)

I forget how many submissions are allowed to go down the chute of doom into Room 101 but there has to be space, after shallow kitchen sinks ( Room 101),  for my second choice – Insurance Companies.

Thirty-one years ago after Keith’s untimely death from an undiagnosable (at that time) congenital heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, he was posthumously accused by his life insurance company of taking out the policy knowing he was suffering from this problem and I was complicit in this. When my solicitor pointed out that undiagnosable meant that the condition could not be diagnosed therefore no-one could have known he was at risk, and that after nine months of non-payment he was increasing the amount of interest he would be charging on monies owed to me, they soon paid up. The whole business left a really sour taste … but life goes on, and I forgot what b*s*a*d* these companies can be.

It is currently my misfortune to be dealing with two other such companies;

  1. I had a reversing incident in R0X1 which damaged the bottom rear near side corner, exactly the spot that I cannot see either with the wing mirror or the dual reversing camera, maybe  a man might be useful after all ( I need a man … ) to spot these places for me when I reverse. I’m attempting to claim for repairs on my insurance. It has taken them over a month to decide that they need photos of the damage extra to those already sent (on August 27th!!!) and I had to call them (AGAIN) this morning to discover this …
  2. Daisy recently had some tests done to see if she has an underlying reason for her ear problems. Because the vet observed her ears were a bit smelly (but with no inflammation) at her first exam the day after I got her the insurance company are claiming this was an undisclosed condition and has refused to pay despite the fact that she didn’t have any ear infections until months after I insured her …

Uninsurable? 😦

I was considering taking out funeral insurance – but the mind boggles at what objections might be forthcoming when I expire … not to worry Kids, just chuck me in the sea with all those insurance terms and conditions attached to my body to weight me down …

🙂 🙂 🙂