Thursday, 31 January 2019

It's All in the Torque

Went to the BCA car auctions in Blackbushe yesterday to see how the auctions operated and was tempted.

My Mercedes R129 SL500 has a torque of 460 Nm, whereas the Mustang GT 5.0 has a torque of 529 Nm. There again, my SL 500 is 25 years old.

Also, My SL500 cost me £5,500 3 years ago and is worth double that now, whereas the Mustang is decreasing by more than that about every year.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019


Sad news about James Ingram dying at the very young age of 66. I can't find out what he died of, but suspect it might have been a bad case of Yah-Mo-Be-There.

Brilliant song with Michael McDonald.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Empty Shelves and Snow

Shops are warning that, in the event of a hard Brexit, there will be shortages of basic foodstuffs. This, however, is a self-fulfilling prophesy - warn the great British public that something will be in short supply and you can bet that certain sections of the population will panic-buy and stockpile. You could almost believe it was a deliberate ploy by the shops to ameliorate the effects of a poor Christmas season, if it were not for the fact two thirds of our food does indeed come from Europe.

I've mentioned this before; those with a conservative outlook have been shown by research to be more fearful and anxious (hence Republicans being against gun control laws), and therefore the irony is that it will likely be Brexiteers who would exacerbate any shortages by being first in the queues to panic-buy, while simultaneously claiming it to be part of Project Fear and there being nothing to worry about. That's why they're so easily manipulated by those financing the Leave campaign who label basic truths as falsehoods.

So, snow is forecast to cause travel disruption. Forecasts, eh? We've all had enough of forecasts by so-called experts - they're always wrong, they didn't forecast the Great Storm of 1987....

By the way, I've accidentally found the perfect ice scraper for my car windscreen - one of those plastic squares used to spread car body filler. They're bigger than credit cards and much cheaper than those massive and totally useless scraper things you buy at Halfords or in your local supermarket.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Schweinshaxe for Professionals

Anyone ever met a professional car de-icer?

I wonder what the apprenticeship comprises and how long it takes to obtain a qualification?

I was looking up a recipe yesterday for the schweinshaxe we bought last week in Beaumaris.

Have you noticed that whereas on UK sites you get a straight recipe with no preamble, American sites waffle on for ages about nothing of great importance to the recipe for page after page, with enticing photos by the score, before you get anywhere near what you're actually looking for? Even then they confuse you with Fahrenheit temperatures and volumetric measurements in cups.

Phoneless Brexit Specs

I have early stage cataracts, which make night driving somewhat hazardous as I easily get blinded by oncoming car headlights and find it difficult to differentiate between the road and the grass verge on unlit roads. When we go out in the evening, Hay does the driving now.

I decided to buy myself some night driving glasses, which are meant to help those who have difficulty. Here's the view without and with them on a dull day.

Those with no visual impairment may detect little difference, but they filter out the blue light, which for me has the effect of making everything look brighter and more defined, as well as accentuating the greens. They certainly help during the day and do tend to relieve eye strain. At night they do have an effect on cutting down the headlight glare and accentuating the grass verges on country roads. In town however, they make car headlights and streetlights look the same, which can be somewhat confusing. Opinion on their efficacy differs, but there again it may depend heavily on the affliction. 

The fact everything seems brighter, despite not actually being so, has made me call them my Brexit specs. 

We went out to Nailsworth yesterday and I left home without my phone. I managed to overcome the anxiety and panic when I found out and managed to survive an entire afternoon phoneless....

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Common Ground

Pundits have said Leavers and Remainers should focus on their common ground. What common ground would that be?

I can just see Man Utd. and Chelsea finding common ground. An utterly meaningless phrase in this battle for the nation's soul. The ground is what's actually being fought over.

Leaver: "One and one are three."

Remainer: "No they're not, they're two - experts in mathematics tell us that one and one are two."

Leaver: "We've all had enough of experts - what do they know? The will of the people is that one and one are three!"

Pundit: "There must be common ground here - let's agree that one and one are two and a half?"

Leaver and Remainer: "I'm sorry, but that's nonsense."

It's interesting to note that the experts that warned the government not to join the Euro, which was good advice, are the same ones that are warning about the consequences of leaving the EU. So were those experts wrong about the Euro?

On the one hand we have the hard Brexiteers who are desperate to escape from imminent EU anti tax dodging legislation by recruiting the powerful twin forces of ignorance and prejudice, leaving the rest of us to make up any tax shortfall and lose jobs, while simultaneously, and hypocritically, setting up arms of their businesses within the EU or countries already having FTAs with the EU. On the other  hand we have people whose view of 'we' extends beyond the boundaries of Little England and want to retain the hard-won social legislation and extra trade (not to mention jobs) afforded by the EU and zero tariffs.

I'm sure that eventually, if a hard Brexit is implemented, the UK will stabilise, but while millionaires have the resources to weather the storm (and that might be 10 years or more), Joe Public does not. Why should Joe Public take the heat for the tax dodgers and how can there possibly be any common ground in this matter?

I keep hearing the argument that rich people should be able to retain more of the money they give in tax, as they create the jobs that the rest of us depend on. What I don't hear is that it's the customers of the rich people that make them the money, and if their customers have less money because they are paying the tax that the rich are wanting to avoid, then the rich people won't be rich for much longer. I also don't hear the response that many speculators don't actually create jobs - they take money from the economy and move that capital across borders to where they get the best return.

I also keep hearing about a 2nd referendum being undemocratic when a referendum in a representative democracy can only be advisory and not a legally binding instruction from the demos. Sovereignty resides in Parliament, which means the whole of Parliament, not the people, no matter how many vote in a particular way in a referendum. Even so, a democracy has a right to change its mind, which is why we have general elections every few years, and more often if a government loses a motion of no confidence within Parliament.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Gadget Man

Gadget Man strikes again.

Bought a couple of motion activated LED strip lights, thinking they'd look cool on the spiral staircase treads as a trial before ordering more.

I hadn't factored in cats constantly traipsing up and down the stairs at night. Doubtless I'll find some other use for them, like in a cupboard that the cats don't use.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Targeted Facebook Adverts

I received a targeted advert on Facebook yesterday. Must have been funded by millionaire tax dodgers.

Everyone having Facebook membership in Luke Hall's constituency must have seen it but from the comments, those supporting the proposition seemed to be in a very small minority. I suspect the ad was national and adapted for each constituency, which must have cost a packet. Strangely enough, I received an email from Luke yesterday in response to an email I sent him a couple of months ago. It's a long one.

Dear Mr Van Bergen,

Thank you for your email regarding Brexit. I do understand how passionately you feel about this, and I apologise for the delay in responding as I have received a huge number of responses from people on all sides of the debate, and with the situation developing quickly, I have wanted to take the time to consider the issue appropriately.

I hope you can agree that our absolute priority must be avoiding a No-Deal Brexit. Legislation has already passed through the House of Commons, now written into law, that the UK will be leaving the European Union on March 29th at 23:00. This is legally binding, and will require a full new Act of Parliament in order to reverse this – it cannot simply be undone by an MP putting forward a Motion in support. Consequently, were MPs to reject the Prime Minister’s deal with the European Union, the result would be a No-Deal scenario by default.

As I am sure you will have seen however, there are many Leave voting MPs who are attempting to damage these efforts by demanding the Prime Minister prioritises No Deal. It is for this reason that I voted for the Withdrawal Agreement, which the Prime Minister brought to Parliament last week – in order to guarantee that a deal is in place which rules out the possibility of the UK crashing out of the European Union without a deal, once and for all.

The Deal was however voted down – by 432 votes to 202 – and so it is clear that this sentiment is not shared by a large number of MPs in Parliament. The Prime Minister therefore made a statement in the House of Commons yesterday, where she set out how she feels that the Government ought best to proceed from this point. If you would like to watch this in full, it can be found at the following link:

Over the past week, the Prime Minister has held meeting with the leaders and representatives of all of the UK opposition parties, and MPs from all sides of the debate across the House of Commons, in an attempt to find compromise and mutual agreement over Brexit. I completely agree with the Prime Minister that this is the best way to move forward from this point, and I fully support her strategy in attempting to unite Parliament. Unfortunately, the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has sought to thwart this process by refusing to meet with Theresa May, and is therefore increasing the likelihood that an agreement cannot be reached, which will result in Britain leaving the EU with No Deal.

I have full confidence however, that an agreement can be reached which will protect the best interests of the British people going forwards, and I fully support efforts to achieve this.

With regards to those more specific calls for a second referendum, prior to the vote 2016 I advocated, and campaigned in favour of, a Remain outcome and so I do completely understand your strength of feeling. But we must be clear that there will not be another vote, and the UK is leaving the EU this year. I believe that when a decision of constitutional significance is made, it is important that democratic processes are followed. That is why Parliament gave the British people the final say on the UK's membership of the EU and why the result must be respected, even if it was unexpected by some.

The ballot paper presented voters with an unambiguous choice to remain in the EU or to leave. The consequences of either decision were communicated by campaign groups through a variety of print, audio-visual and digital media. The Government also sent a document to every household in the UK on the benefits of staying in the EU.

As in every election, it was up to the electorate to judge the merits of the different arguments and over 17.4 million voters decided to leave the EU. Both main political parties also pledged in their manifestos at the General Election 2017 to respect the EU referendum result and these parties received over 80 per cent of the vote. MPs from across the political spectrum voted 494 to 122 in favour of invoking Article 50 in 2017.

I want to avoid a No Deal Brexit, but it is also important that respect the result of the referendum. I believe that a deal can be found which achieves both of these aims, and will be of great long-term benefit to the UK.

I completely understand that that this may not be a view which you share, however I do hope you can appreciate my reasoning behind holding the view that I do. I can give you my assurance that I have been following the progress of these negotiations closely, and when MPs are given a vote on the final terms of our exit deal, I plan vote in the way which I feel is in the best interests of both my constituents, and the UK as a whole.

Yours sincerely,

Luke Hall MP Member of Parliament for Thornbury, Yate and the surrounding villages

So he's maintaining the illusion that a soft Brexit is possible and that Mrs May's Plan B (which can only be Plan A with the B crossed out and replaced by an A) is possible. He doesn't, however, seem to understand that a referendum does not constitute a legally enforceable diktat - referendums in the UK are advisory and sovereignty resides with Parliament, no matter the outcome of a referendum. The same goes for party manifestos - politics is littered with broken promises. A sad state of affairs for an elected MP - you'd expect him to know this.

Aside from this, the legislation required, even any Brexit, is impossible to implement within the allotted timescale. Only 5 of 14 necessary bills been implemented since June 2016 and we have under 40 days remaining - fewer if you count only sitting days.

My instinct still tells me that Mrs May will ask for an extension, which the EU will refuse, arguing that the UK has had well in excess of 2 years to prepare and there's nothing new to be discussed. The outcome, if a No Deal Brexit is to be avoided, will be either Brexit being dumped as unworkable and too damaging to the economy, or indeed a 2nd referendum - and we all know which way that would now go.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Exercise Watch

Following on from yesterday's post on watches, I was going to make a comment on the Brexit watch - it's stuck at 50 years ago, lies about the time and blames the EU; however, someone has already made one.

I've been persevering with the press-up challenge and am now able to perform 50 press-ups in one go. Still far short of the target of 100, but I am doing 200 press-ups a day in total. I start with 50 first thing in the morning (which seems to be the best time to achieve a max) and then do the rest throughout the day in sets of 20 or 30 at a time, whenever time permits. Jumps in the initial set tend to occur in 5s and the frequency of the increases has improved since becoming stuck at 40 around Christmas and then deciding to increase the total daily number from the single rep to 200.

In support of Hay and her winter wild swimming, I've also adopted a cold shower regime over the last few days. Rather than standing aside and waiting for the shower to warm up before getting under it, I stand under it as I open the faucet, getting a cold water blast for two or three seconds. OK, the water is not exactly icy, but it is lower than ambient temperature, being the water within the spur from the hot water circulatory system, but it certainly feels that way - and sounds that way, judging by the shouts that greet Hay from the bathroom. It's certainly invigorating and sets me up for the day. Curiously, the shock response is decreasing with each cold shower, which it is exactly meant to do. It won't be long before I join Hay in her cold water winter swims.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Telling the Time

A Swiss firm has developed a very expensive watch which has no dial. Instead it tells you the time with a series of chimes. Retailing at $350,000, it's accurate only to one minute.

I'm convinced that if someone were to develop a watch that consisted of nothing but a slab of gold or platinum with an permanent dial etched on to it, making it accurate only twice a day, and price it at $500,000, some daft bugger would buy one. To make it even less accurate, the dial could be etched with a single, digital time in 24 hour notation, making it accurate only once a day - that would make it even more exclusive and worth having by those with more money than sense. In fact, why not make it totally blank?

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Ecumenical, Multicultural Mountainism

I shared a photo if some mountain in Snowdonia on Facebook yesterday and a friend asked whether it was so-and-so mountain. I replied that I didn't have a clue, as all mountains tend to look the same to me. It was only after making this statement that I thought it could have been somewhat mountainist...

We visited a walkers' cafe while traversing the Snowdonia National Park on the way home and I was surprised to see they had ecumenical toilets. I suppose walkers are quite a pragmatic lot and aren't too bothered as to who is in the cubicle next to them.

For those who say multiculturalism hasn't worked in the UK, they should take a look at Wales. A very distinct culture, if you ask me. When I was a kid at school in Llanfair PG, Anglesey was one of the last bastions of Welsh speakers. Since then, all schools teach Welsh and it's compulsory. We now have a situation where even people of 100% English descent that live in Wales are able to speak Welsh fluently.

I still can't abide Welsh road signs though - it's a nightmare trying to decipher them and pick out the intelligible parts from the car crash of double ls and double ds.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Barn to Barn

I spotted this new house in Heath End, not far from where we live, and took a snap of it on our way back from Anglesey yesterday.

I tried to find it on G-Maps a couple of days ago to show Hay, but this is all I found in that location.

Note the similarity. I don't think for one minute that the original barn structure was used in the new house, but I'm really impressed with the manner in which the design incorporated the old barn's style. It may have had something to do with it being a requirement of the planning phase. Must knock on the door one day and have a chat with the owner.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Chopping Swim on Social Media

Glass chopping boards - what's the point? They're obviously designed by people who have never cooked anything in their lives and bought by the same people. One draw of a knife across a glass chopping board and it's blunted quicker than using a hammer on the knife edge.

Hay had her January swim yesterday in a bay by the pilot station on Newborough beach and declared it the coldest so far...

No, that's not a wetsuit she's wearing - just a rash vest and leggings.

I missed the perfect opportunity to take a photo of my elder brother and his wife walking along Newborough beach, both staring intently into their smartphones while engaging in a bit of social media activity. I just wasn't quick enough. Pensioners, eh?

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Delayed Dip

I'm going to follow a new diet. It's a cross between the Atkins diet, the vegetarian diet and the 5:2 diet - we experts call it eating a balanced diet.

It was Hay's 54th birthday yesterday and we came to Anglesey to celebrate it. We came through snow along the North Wales Express Way to emerge from the Conwy Tunnel into clear skies and bright sunlight.

We're staying in a luxury caravan in Newborough with my brother and his wife. Hay did intend to take a dip in the sea yesterday, but it was a half hour walk from the caravan to the beach, so she's delayed it till today, when we can find somewhere with better access and the chance to warm up fast.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Cleaning Up

Spotted this van on the M6 yesterday.

Must remember to call them the next time I commit a murder. The Skripal poisoners could have done with these people.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Mine's Bigger than Yours

I'm always intrigued by the massive size of the North Korean military caps.

What do you think they keep under them; rations for a week, ammunition?

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Night of the Long Knives

I was watching a news report following the Brexit vote last night and a young, fresh-faced, Brexit-supporting, female MP was being interviewed. She said there could be no 2nd referendum as it would destroy democracy. On three previous occasions – Denmark on the Maastricht Treaty, Ireland on the Nice Treaty and Ireland again on the Lisbon Treaty – voters have been given a chance to reconsider their votes. That  opportunity to reconsider didn't destroy Danish or Irish democracy; quite the reverse - it strengthened it.

The same woman went on to say that Europe doesn't want the UK to leave on the basis of WTO, as the UK would be at a competitive advantage. I wonder what form of distorted logic she used to arrive at that conclusion? Pure Flat Earther stuff.  If that were the case, then surely the EU would be tripping over its feet to give us a superb deal, which it clearly isn't.

I think the offending MP was Penelope Mordaunt, but can't be certain.

I still believe Mrs May is playing the long game and, providing she doesn't lose the vote of confidence, she'll end up going for one of two options; declaring Brexit too difficult after an extension, or going for a 2nd referendum, again after an extension, despite having said there would not be one. I'd plump for the 2nd option.

Corbyn is the only fly in the ointment; however, should be become PM without declaring his hand during campaigning, which I believe to be Leave, and then proceeding on that basis, he would not last long as Labour leader.

Political scientists have noted that betting odds would appear to give more accurate predictions than polls and, using Paddy Power odds, a 2nd referendum's odds are 43.5% for and 63.6% against. In the instance of a 2nd referendum their odds are 33.3% for remain and 16.6% for leave. That said, while one's own decisions are a known known and can be aggregated in betting odds, someone else's decision is an unknown known.

Interestingly, Paddy Power gives the odds of Mr May winning the vote of no confidence as 97.1% and losing at 9.1%. Seems no-one wants Corbyn. Providing May survives and the extension is long enough, there would be sufficient time to ditch Corbyn and replace him with the moderate David Miliband - the best of all worlds.

On the issue of a motion of no confidence, it's ironic that this requires a 2nd vote, To quote from the Glossary of the UK Parliament; "A motion of no confidence, or censure motion, is a motion moved in the House of Commons with the wording: 'That this House has no confidence in HM Government'. If such a motion is agreed to, and a new government with the support of a majority of MPs cannot be formed within a period of 14 calendar days, Parliament is dissolved and an early General Election is triggered." Therefore there has to be another vote after 14 days in the event Mrs May can form a new government.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Bets Are On

Well, tonight is the parliamentary vote. I wonder how much is being staked on sterling by the speculators and how much will be won - or lost...

It will be interesting to see tomorrow's chart.

Monday, 14 January 2019

The Long Game

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned lawmakers on Sunday that failing to deliver Brexit would be catastrophic for democracy. Many believe Brexit will be catastrophic for the country, if not the Union.

What she didn't say was that under the British system of representative democracy, Parliament is sovereign - not the Prime Minister, not the people, but Parliament.

Poll after poll has demonstrated that support for Brexit is now in a minority, so she'd be well advised, after two and a half years from the last vote, whether the 'will of the people' (which actually means nothing) is still as it was in 2016.

I am still of the firm belief that she's playing the long game and that a 2nd referendum will eventually materialise at the right time.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Molly the Tesco Cat

Meet Molly.

Molly is quite famous in my local Tesco in Yate and she's even been on the BBC News. In fact, she has her own Facebook page with nearly a thousand followers. Shoppers are continually taking selfies with her, but stardom hasn't gone to her head.

I first came across Molly when I was rollerblading in Tesco's car park early in the mornings and spotted her stalking pigeons, which infest the car park roof. I took this snap of her at the entrance to Tesco yesterday.

Our Kitty is quite intelligent. Last night I woke around 4am and went downstairs for a drink. Kitty came in with some rodent between her jaws, proceeded to eviscerate it and then cleansed her palate with some crunchies before settling down on the kitchen floor. I passed close by her several times as I went on to the computer to do some reading and returned for another couple of slugs of water, but it didn't bother her. However, as soon as I switched off the light to go bed, she immediately moved away from my trajectory, knowing that humans are practically blind in the dark and blunder around.

A quick thought - does anyone actually use 118-118? I see the annoying adverts all the time, but still haven't a clear idea what 118-118 actually is.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Shoe Rubber Gods

I know people who are continually trashing their smartphone screens, something I have never done before in my life - until yesterday. I'm usually so careful and have a phone wallet, but I was fumbling around in the dark while getting dressed and nudged the phone from the tallboy in the bedroom. Had it fallen direct on the floor it probably would have been fine, but it had my vape stick on top of it and it was that which broke the screen. Vaping is dangerous! Thank heavens I'm due an upgrade in February.

I was changing a tyre on the car yesterday and decided to see what mileage one is meant to get from a tyre, with the popular consensus being 20,000 miles. I then looked up how many miles a pair of shoes lasted, which seems to be anywhere between 300 and 1,000 miles, depending on the type. It makes you wonder why tyre makers don't get into making long lasting shoes, or phone protectors.

The local Jehova's Witnesses called round yesterday. Unfortunately I wasn't around to harangue them and try to convert them to atheism. After a session with me they usually leave with an expression on their faces that says; "These atheists are bloody persistent." 

They left a copy of The Watchtower, which had a caption on the front asking; "Who is God?"

I was surprised Hay didn't show them...

The dog slipper against the cat flap? Don't ask - long story. In essence though, Colin, our builder, is constructing a porch for the back door, which is really the front door. Not my slipper, either.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Eggsiting a Phone Conversation

I keep hearing some commentators on the news talking about Breggsit instead of Brecksit. I suppose it's entirely natural when a significant minority pronounce exit as eggsit.

We were watching Manhunt, starring Martin Clunes, on catch-up last night and he did something you see a lot in films, but I don't believe actually happens in real life - ending a phone conversation without a parting greeting, such as goodbye.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Electric Charity Shop Workers

They say you're getting old when policemen start to look younger. I think it's when the people behind the counters in charity shops start to look younger...

Electric cars can take a long time to recharge, which is OK if you recharge them overnight at home, but on a long journey you don't necessarily want to hang around for up to an hour. Rather than sitting there waiting for your battery to charge up, would it not be much quicker to simply swap your entire battery pack? There is the argument that car makers would need to standardise batteries, which could stifle innovation, but standardisation also brings benefits.

I'm staring to wonder whether I should apply for a blue passport - they are looking increasingly likely to become collectors' items...

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Increasing the Lightning Span

My Triumph Daytona 955i is ready for painting; however, it transpires it's not Strontium Yellow, as I thought, but Lightning Yellow.

Above is Strontium Yellow and bellow is Lighting Yellow, having more of an orange tint.

The guy who is repairing the bike is doing it at mates' rates and was told by me that there's no hurry, as I wouldn't be riding it again till spring at the earliest. If Hay has anything to do with it, I won't ever be riding it again...

I had my final physio session at the hospital on Monday and was finally discharged, but it still looks as if I have a dead man's toe stuck on the side of my right hand. Normal activity isn't hampered in any way, but my span is limited and holding a bottle of wine is awkward at times. The physiotherapist said I have to do more span exercises, which I think translates into holding as many bottles of wine as possible...

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Tempting Parcel

Could you be tempted to send someone a parcel like this?

I know I could...

Monday, 7 January 2019

Seaborne Snowdrops

Hay and I went to do her monthly ecology monitoring thing near Slad yesterday. Snowdrops all over the place again. 

Called in at the Butcher's Arms in Sheepscombe for a coffee and I was impressed by their antler chandelier.

Referring back to yesterday's post on Seaborne Freight, it would now seem that the Port of Ramsgate has said it will never be ready in time to accept larger vessels, so incompetence seems uppermost now in the list of options about the proposed service. Both Seaborne and Chris Grayling should have known this.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Worse Things Happen at Sea

There's a lot of opprobrium being heaped on Seaborne Freight for not having the necessary vessels for the contract to run extra ferry services after Brexit.

Spending money on infrastructure and simply hoping business will materialise is very risky. It makes more sense to secure a contract and then charter the vessels - chartering a ship is a very costly exercise, but it is simple. Therefore Seaborne Freight appears to me to be taking the least risk approach, which is sound business practice. It's not as if there are no vessels to charter, and I'm sure they have already conducted negotiations with with shipowners having excess vessels on their hands.

That said, copying and pasting a restaurant's Terms and Conditions casts doubt on the professionalism of the operation.

The mere fact the government has to seek additional capacity demonstrates the folly of a no deal Brexit. That, to me, is the larger issue.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Memory Foam Cat


Chairman: "Does this new mattress have memory foam?"

Hay: "Yes."

Chairman: "I think it has some bad memories."

While changing the mattress on her own yesterday, Hay managed to get pinned under the old one with her phone out of reach. It's about a foot thick and very heavy. It took her about 20 minutes to escape from its clutches.

True to form, one of the cats was the first to use the new mattress.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Kwik Fit Mattress

Spotted this in our local Kwik Fit car park yesterday morning.

Now that was one determined driver. Must have had a puncture on the M4 and driven another 40 miles to get to Kwik Fit in Chipping Sodbury.

Hay took it into her head to replace our superking mattress as she thought our current one is too soft, although  I have no issues with it. Said mattress, which will probably be too hard for me, duly arrived yesterday. Later in the day I heard on the local traffic news that a road in Bristol had been blocked by someone dumping a mattress in the middle of it. I immediately suspected Hay...

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Artistic Shopping Memories

I keep hearing about artistic licence - just who issues these artistic licences?

Hay's dad is getting worried about his memory - he went to Waitrose a few days ago and left his shopping in the car park. He went on a return visit yesterday to see if anyone had handed it in, but to no avail. A bit of a forlorn hope, knowing Waitrose shoppers.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

First Cut of the Year

It has to be a record!

Parts of the lawn were simply so long that I'd have big problems leaving it till March or April. The Allen Scythe isn't operational yet, and it may be some time before it is, so better safe than sorry.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Cat Island Passports

New Year's Eve - perfect time to sand and re-oil the kitchen island worktop rough patches. 

Not taken into account; 3 cats who have a habit of jumping straight on to the island when they enter the house.

Going back to Sunday's outing to Chepstow; we transited both the Severn Bridges for the first time since they became toll-free earlier in December and Hay took this snap of the now deserted toll area on the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge.

I couldn't help wondering, however, whether they'll leave the unused toll infrastructure in place for when Wales votes for independence so as to stay in the EU and passport controls are required when making the crossing. It might be a bit premature to remove it all now.

Talking of removing things - all decorations are scheduled for coming down today. Most were removed yesterday; just the tree left for deconstruction.