Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?

Archive for the category “1BEM”

Shoe Issues

Since doing the 10km walk for Marie Curie, my feet have been having some issues, which have been no fun.

In the preparation for the walk, my feet had gained some hard skin areas, which – like a twat – I’d picked apart. To stop them from hurting or getting worse on the walk, I put on a couple of blister plasters – whose glue melted off during the walk, and actually caused the blisters I ended up with. Oops.

The blisters cleared up and healed quickly, but left some weaker spots of skin, which have then been a bit of an issue.

Basically, the Cat boots I’ve had this year haven’t been anywhere near as good as usual, and the lining had dissolved in places – again, causing blisters in the bits that rubbed, and those weaker spots of skin.  Because I’d bought them from Schuh, I was able to take them back to the store, and they’ve exchanged them for a new pair without question – which is pretty stunning customer service, in my opinion.  However, because they’d died, I had worn an older pair for the day – and that exacerbated the problem tenfold.

Because I’m an idiot – so I’d walked a lot in those old, old boots, with their worse wear. I didn’t think anything of it ’til the end of the day, when I got home – at which point I had blood-filled blisters on blisters.  Pretty skanky, and very sore.  As a result, yesterday I spent the day doing amazingly little, and just giving my feet some recovery time. Which seems to have been a fairly good plan, all things considered. I didn’t even do half my normal walking for the day – which I feel bad about, but at least it was for a vaguely good reason.

All this has been within a couple of weeks – it’ll all heal, but it’s been a painful time because of my own stupidity (and some ropy build quality along the way).

So really this post is just a reminder to future me to not be such a fucking idiot, and to take more damn care of my own feet.

And that’s it.

Ker-Fut 2 – Getting to the Garage

F0llowing on from Friday’s car issues, it’s been a semi-eventful weekend.

When I got home on Friday, my first job was sorting out a hire car for the coming week (possibly two) as I’m all over the place. That got sorted relatively easily – one place was closed, and I’d have had to call their Glasgow office to try and find out what was available (a ridiculous state of affairs, and frankly, fuck that) and the second one, while closed, enabled me to book a car to be collected the following morning, in a dead easy process.

And then it was a small case of hunting for the necessary identity documents. Driving licence (and the new necessary code from DVLA for the online driving record – needed since the paper part of the licence is now outdated) was OK, as was passport – but finding documents to prove address were somewhat more difficult, as I now do all my bills online, so rarely get anything “official” through the post. (As an aside, I wonder how that will change things over the next couple of years, as more and more paper-based stuff is removed/reduced/made into a cost) I did find the necessary bits in the end, but it’s getting to be more hassle than it should be.

Collecting the car (a new Vauxhall Insignia, which is not at all bad, as Vauxhall’s go) was an absolute doddle. The place is quite new, but was really a case of walk in, do the paperwork, check the car, bugger off. All told it was less than 30 minutes – fairly impressive. Because I’d used the same company before (when the Mondeo died on me) I had a lot less ID-checking to do – which seemed odd, as that was two-and-a-half years ago, and lots could’ve changed since then – but it was a nicely painless experience all round.

I’ve plonked about with it a fair bit over the weekend, and yeah, not bad at all.

I’ve also been looking at replacement vehicles – I suspect the Saab has blown up significantly, and will be more to repair than it’s worth, so I’m sounding out alternatives – and there’s a couple I’m going to check out this week, once I know more about the state of the Saab.

And then we come to getting the Saab to the garage. I’d thought a lot about this, and decided that the best plan would be to drive it (slowly, and along backroads) to the garage on Sunday, avoiding all the heavy traffic and any potential issues.  If it died, well, I’ve got recovery as part of my car insurance. I left it ’til later in the Sunday, rather than trying to do it while people were still going shopping and so on.    I did have my doubts about the plan – but figured it was infinitely better than trying to do it on Monday evening, let alone Tuesday morning!

Anyway, set off lateish on Sunday afternoon (about 5.30) and it was all fairly successful.  I got most of the way fine, but then it did die out properly, so I had to do the recovery thing. In fairness, even that ended up going really smoothly – the recovery vehicle turned up within half an hour, and took me to drop the car off at the garage. (I was actually really lucky, because one thing I hadn’t taken into consideration was the fact it was the Grand Prix at Silverstone, so traffic and breakdowns were greatly increased later on!)

Then it was just a case of dropping off the keys, and getting a cab home – all told, I was home by 8pm, which wasn’t bad, when everything was taken into consideration.


Average Speed

[No, for once this isn’t about the fuckwits who can’t drive properly with average speed limits/cameras on the M1]

A couple of times in the last week, I’ve witnessed something a bit different when following other drivers on the more rural roads around me.  It’s people who seem to stick to a speed, regardless of what’s going on around them.

There’s a few winding roads near me on key routes – A-roads to get me to see the parents, for example. They’re decent roads, but with absolutely no way to safely overtake when you’re following a fuckwit, crane, HGV etc. – which can make those roads… somewhat wearing.

In this case, I was behind a silly bastard who was sticking to 45mph like shit to a blanket. The road is national-speed-limit, and perfectly doable and safe at 60mph, but no, 45 it was.   Then we get to a village on the road, the speed limit goes down to 30 (for good reason – it’s good a big-ass set of bends in the middle, as well as everything else) including the flashing warning signs if you exceed that. But no, silly bastard still sticks to 45.   So we’ve gone from too-slow to too-fast, without him moving a muscle.  That takes some skill, I suppose.

I’ve seen a couple of other drivers since with the same mind-set, and it’s no less frustrating or weird when you see more than one person doing it.

What I can’t work out is whether it’s pig-headedness (“I’ll get where I need to go at 45, it’s a fine speed”), ignorance (“I don’t care about anyone else, I’m going at my speed”) or just a complete lack of awareness of their surroundings, so they don’t even see the signs, or the line of cars in the mirror.

I just don’t know. They’re bloody scary to follow though…

Self-Inflicted Damage

[Note : As always, I don’t actually give a shit about sport/cricket – I’m more interested in the mindset beneath it in this case]

Over the last couple of days, the news has been full of bloody Kevin Pietersen throwing a strop about not being allowed – yet – back into playing cricket for England.

Apparently a while back it was…

suggest[ed he] could add to his 104 England caps if he joined a county and scored enough runs to merit a recall.

(Quote from the BBC story)

Pietersen did this, and fair play to him.  Earlier this week, he scored a personal best innings, something like 350 not out.  So he’s assumed that on that one showing, he should be allowed back into the England team.

He met Andrew Strauss – the new ‘director of cricket’, apparently – who said there was no chance this summer, and that some people didn’t trust Pietersen.  Which is also fair – Pietersen’s always been an asshat.

But now he’s thrown his toys out the pram about it, and has written about how he feels ‘deceived’ and so on in his column in the Telegraph.

Really, all it seems like is a whining brat. Yes, he’s done what was asked, and had one excellent innings. But that doesn’t make a team player, and doesn’t mean he has to be immediately accepted as part of the England team.

Indeed, if anything is now going to make sure he doesn’t get back in, I’d say it’s his own behaviour in this. (Of course, he won’t see it like that, because he’s perfect and no-one else is. Rah rah rah. Standard asshat behaviour)  I would’ve said he might have a chance if he continues to excel at county level – the same criteria as could be applied to any other up-and-coming player.

But really, how can you trust anyone who throws their toys out like this at any opportunity? When they decide to destroy their own chances and credibility, in a fit that looks more like the act of a stropping toddler kicking their feet and screaming in a supermarket than one of someone wanting to play for – and thus represent – a country’s cricket team?


I will be really glad to see the end of this week, with the General Election being completed and a result being in.

The biggest challenge this year has been in finding someone – anyone – that I actually want to vote for, and wouldn’t want to punch myself repeatedly in the face if they got in.

I suspect today’s election will end up being another coalition and a parliament built on compromise and cobblers, but I still hope that all the punditry and bullshit will be confounded by one party winning enough votes to have overall power.

But that’s it, and I’ll just really be glad when it’s over.  And from there, a new idea/phase/plan can kick in a bit, and see how things go. Another five-year project/plan, shall we say?

A Very Good Deal

Over the weekend, my toaster finally died. (You can tell this one’s going to be interesting, can’t you?) It’s done fairly well, daily service for three years, if not more. Over Easter it had started playing up, but then on Saturday it gave up completely.

So – off to the retail superstore of gloom. (It’s closest, I couldn’t be arsed with faffing about too much, and I had some vouchers to use up)

I had a look, and decided on this one, mainly because it’s purple – I’m shallow like that – and because it was £10 off the marked price, so £40 instead of £50. Fair enough.

But when I got to the tills, it scanned at … hang on … £19?  OK, I’ll check it with the customer services, but that’ll do.

As it was, I also had a number of vouchers (all in “You would’ve saved £x at a different store, so here’s the difference” price-match vouchers) that came to £25. So I effectively ended up with Tesco paying me £6 for my new toaster…

I don’t know quite how it all worked out like that, but I’m not going to complain.

[Additional] : When I went to customer services to check, in case a) the price was wrong or b) their system was wrong, I waited ages to be seen and then the person involved said “Oh, for electrical enquiries you’ve got to go back upstairs and ask them“. To which my thought response was “Fuck that, if you can’t be arsed to check it, I can’t be arsed to report it any further“.

So – a nice new toaster for  the princely sum of minus six pounds.  I can live with that.

Make Up Your Damn Mind

While shopping this morning, I looked at “Glaceau Vitamin Water“. Not for any intention of buying, just out of interest (I got a promo thingy for it, so thought I’d look).

The labelling is….. interesting.

Zero or not?

Zero or not?

So… “Zero Calories”, but 100ml contains 1.5 calories, and 500ml contains 8calories.

All told, that makes it a pretty interesting interpretation of “zero”…

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