And when there was one set of footprints, that's when I was on my pogostick.

Racist Epilation

One aspect of working from home on a regular basis is that sometimes I get to see daytime TV – including, on occasion, adverts.

In this case, I saw one for the Homedics Duo epilator, and then noticed the small print at the bottom of the screen.

Not effective on red, grey, or light blonde hair. Not suitable for black skin

Now seriously, what the actual fuck is that all about?

An epilator that won’t work on any hair except brown, black (or, one assumes, ‘dark blonde’- whatever the fuck that is) and not on black skin.  Makes it pretty shit, surely?

Mind you, that’s probably why they’re advertising it on bloody daytime TV…

Christmas Parks

ScroogeI don’t know when/why it started, but it now seems that part of the media’s Christmas tradition is to have a report/story about a  “Christmas Park” that opens in November and closes down after one day because of its general shitness, and the resultant litany of customer complaints.

This year, the ‘honour’ has apparently gone to ‘The Magical Journey‘, which was designed/proposed by arch-tossrag Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

But really, what does anyone expect? These arseholic fucktrumpets are paying up to £20 a head to go and ‘see Santa’ – in November, in unseasonably warm/mild weather – and then get upset that it’s muddy, that they’ve got to queue for ages to see sodding Santa, and that really it’s all – gasp! – a bit shit.

Rather than talking to Trading Standards, I’d suggest probably getting mental health professionals involved, and getting every single one of those paying customers to take a good long hard look at themselves. For fuck’s sake.


Today, I was planning to take a trip up to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – there’s a couple of exhibitions up there that I want to see before mid-January – and it was likely to be as good a day as any.

However, I got up later than planned, and the weather was bloody grotty, so I changed my plans, and did a bundle of domestic stuff instead.

So today I managed to…

  • Cook up an excellent Venison Goulash – my first slow-cooker recipe of winter
  • Filled up the car
  • Did all the outstanding ironing
  • And the laundry
  • Wrote some new stuff, and jotted down more ideas
  • Made some notes and plans for 2015

It might not sound like much, but it feels good to be a bit more sorted. In particular, having no outstanding laundry or ironing is a great feeling – although I know there’ll be ironing to do again once the laundry is dried – but it’s been a decently productive day, and all things are good.


Following on from yesterday’s post about car maintenance, and giving the Saab a treat, there was one final thing that needed doing.

Over the last couple of months, the car’s been intermittently reporting “Key battery needs changing”. It did it for a week, then stopped doing so. Then every so often the message would return. (I know, that’s pretty much the definition of ‘intermittent’. Sod off)

Anyway, last week it got more consistent, and over the weekend it started not locking etc., which I figure is a pretty good indication that it’s time to sort it out. (Luckily I’ve got two keys, so it wasn’t a complete hassle) Having looked at the instruction book – yes, a man reading the instructions, what a rarity – and picked up the necessary battery on Sunday, expecting it to be a two-minute job.

Safe to say, it wasn’t a two-minute job. Following the simple instructions, the panel on the key simply wouldn’t open. I probably could’ve forced it, but what the hell would be the point of that?

So it ended up that yesterday I went to my Saab garage, and got them to do it instead. It cost me nothing (except the fuel to get there, of course) and yes, it took them less than two minutes all told.

On occasion it’s galling to be quite this inept – although they did say it’s something that a lot of people have issues with doing – but at the same time I’m fairly secure in my inpetitude, and in getting things done by those who know how to do so.

Basic Maintenance

This week, the Saab must think it’s been stolen – allbeit by someone who actually gives a damn about cars.

With the various odds-and-sods and issues of the last few months, basic car stuff had kind of gone by the wayside. I’ve been promising the car some attention, and so now normality has been somewhat resumed, it’s been time to do it. Plus, of course, the onset of winter conditions, which means it makes sense to ensure things are sorted.

Over the weekend, it got a proper clean inside and out (I don’t quite know how car windows get so disgusting on the inside, but they do) which made a world of difference. There were also new windscreen wipers – the last MOT said they were OKish and wouldn’t fail the car, but did need replacing. So with the colder/wetter weather (and with the next MOT due in a couple of months) it was worth sorting out.

Finally, it’s now sitting on new tyres – it’s a year since I did the last new set, and they’ve done nearly 30,000 miles in that time.

Of course, now it’s had another couple of hundred quid spent on it, it’ll now break down spectacularly in the next couple of weeks, knowing my luck.

Getting Prepared

Over the weekend, I was talking to a couple of people, one of whom had had a couple of serious illnesses/medical issues in a short period of time.

It made me think about my own situation, and I realised (OK, I kind-of knew, but hadn’t thought about it properly) how screwed I would be if I were to be hit by long-term illness, or anything serious that required me to not be working for a while.

So I’m adding a goal to the list for the coming 12 months – have a backup plan and finances.

Ideally, I’m going to aim at having the financial backup that would cover me for at least three months of not working. I was pretty much there earlier this year, but then events conspired, and it’s back to zero. But that’s the plan. I know how much I would need, and what I need to do.

Interestingly, once I’m past 2015 it should be easier. At the moment, and for the next year, a significant portion of salary goes to payments from the bankruptcy. They come to a close at the end of 2015, and my current plan is that I’ll continue to take that money from salary, but instead of going to the Receiver, it’ll go to an ISA or secondary bank-account. I know I can do without that money, so it shouldn’t be an issue to keep on not having it.

Anyway, that’s the goal. Three months of funds, just in case the shit hits the fan.


So, the checkup at the GPs was OK, as far as it went.  Although in my opinion, it didn’t go anywhere near far enough.

Bear in mind, I haven’t been there for two years. I have a family history of numerous medical issues, including circulatory stuff (angina, heart attacks, high blood pressure etc.) as well as various body chemistry stuff – thyroid, diabetes and the like.

So you’d think the GP would’ve at least done the stethoscope thing, wouldn’t you? But no. Walk in, get my weight and blood pressure taken, and have to push to even get a blood test (although it is getting done)

All told, the most cursory ‘check-up’ I’ve ever had. And to top it off, it was delayed by half an hour, too. Not even an apology.

It’s fair to say, there’s a complaint in with the practice manager…

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