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Archive for the category “Cynicism”

Married At First Sight

Following on from Valentine’s Day, Channel 4 has a documentary series going about people who have allowed themselves to be paired up by scientists and specialists, signing up to meet on their wedding day. (It turns out that this is actually the third series of it in the UK – and the results on the previous two series haven’t been all that promising!)

They’ve done it with some run-up in order to do all the stuff like declarations of intent to marry, telling family and friends, and make all the preparations. So they get told that they’ve been paired up (and are now ‘engaged’) and then six weeks later they’ll meet for the first time and get married.

Thursday’s episode was the first one, and basically all the set-up and preparations. From there I assume it’ll be about the aftermath, and how they work out once the wedding is done.

Marriage is something that, to be honest, leaves me cold – it really hasn’t ever appealed to me at all, and it’s never been on the list of Things To Do. And so far, there’s never been anyone I’ve been with who’s changed that opinion, or made me think differently about it at all.

But I do still find it an interesting concept, and the whole arranged-marriage type thing, of seeing how people handle that and so on.  Whether I continue watching the programme or not is a different matter, but for now it’s at least vaguely interesting. We’ll see.

Post-Valentine

As usual, I did absolutely sod-all for Valentine’s Day.  (A revelation that comes as no shock at all to anyone who knows me)

However, I am glad it’s over and done with. To me, it’s the end of the really useless marketing cobblers for a while, all the materialistic shite about presents, cards, gifts and the like.   Sure, there’ll still be useless marketing cobblers about other stuff – Easter, Holidays, Hallowe’en and whatever, but at least that’s all at a greatly reduced level than the shite that goes around the Festering Season and Valentines.

Onwards and upwards, and all that piss.

Friendship Gap

Something odd occurred to me the other day, and it’s been bouncing round my skull a bit since.

Basically, it’s pretty simple – I realised that I don’t have any real friends or connections still in my life from the time I was with Herself, or her successor. Nothing. It’s like there’s this eight year hiatus, from 2004 through to 2012.

Plenty from before 2004, plenty from after 2012.  Just a complete blind-spot over those years.  In some ways it’s like they simply never happened.

I find I feel like that with a lot of the stuff that went on – a lot happened, a lot changed, and by the end of it, there were very few positive memories at all.

Of course, hindsight has shown that period proved to have some massive mistakes in it – but at the same time, it looks now like I sort of knew that even while they were going on, even while they were good (or at least OK) I wasn’t leaving any anchors or connections to it all.

What annoys me most is that I don’t quite know why or how that happened.

1 Month Passed

Already, it’s a month since the Festering Season.

How time flies when you’re having fun…

Only eleven more ’til the next one.

Parking Penalties

Way back at the start of November, I went to a restaurant in Cambridge, and parked up in a marked parking area where you either displayed a ticket, or used an online payment app. There was a sign saying “Maximum stay 2 hours“, but nothing about “no return within [x] hours” or anything.  I paid using the RingGo app on my phone, and decided that if I exceeded that 2 hour limit, I’d simply buy another ticket via RingGo.

Anyway, the meal took a lot longer than the two hours – but when it came to the time, I started to get another ticket, only to be told “No return within an hour” by the app – the first time it had been mentioned anywhere. (The parking was too far from the restaurant for a “quick dash” to pay cash for a new ticket, as wellBollocks, thought I.

Once the hour was done, I got another ticket (yes, the meal went on that long) but I was pretty sure I’d have a ticket when I got back to the car.

And I did.  I also re-checked the signs, and took a photo of them, to prove there was nothing about the return clause on the signage.  Once I got home, I paid the ticket – I couldn’t argue that it had been issued correctly, after all! – and then appealed it, becaue of the lack of information and signage.  Despite information on the website saying I could (and indeed should) pay and then appeal, immediately it started throwing problems of “You’ve paid this, so can’t appeal it” and so on.

I ended up getting in touch with Cambridgeshire Parking by email, explaining the situation, that the signage and app made no mention at all of the ‘no return’ clause, including the photos and screenshots. And once it was sent, I waited. And waited.

Two weeks later they came back, saying “It says about no return on the ticket machine. Appeal denied”.  And that was pretty much it. Nothing else about how to appeal a decision to an independent review (which, according to the website, should be provided every time an appeal is denied) or anything else. So I wrote back, explaining the situation again, that I’d gone nowhere near a ticket machine – having paid online – so never saw the one place they say the clause is detailed.

Another two weeks, and another “Nope. It says it on the ticket machine. You should’ve checked. Appeal denied” response. (Admittedly I’m paraphrasing – but not by all that much!)  And still no information about how to take it to an independent adjudicator.

Eventually though, just before Christmas, I ended up speaking to a manager. My sense of humour had utterly failed, I’d escalated it to a full-on complaint, and got the call.

The entire situation is ridiculous. In order to get the information about the adjudicator, I’d have to get my initial paid fine refunded, let the council go through DVLA to find the vehicle owner, send me a formal notice, then I could appeal it, get denied, and get the information about the adjudicator. Which might take up to three more months. Utterly, utterly farcical.  But still, I was prepared to do it – not for the money, but simply for the fact that Cambridgeshire Council seem to think that it’s OK to not provide the information, and then fine drivers who haven’t actually walked to the ticket machine.

Anyway. Common-sense finally kicked in. The fine will be refunded, and they’ve accepted that signage (and app information) needs to be improved.  The manager still insisted that “no signage mentions the no return clause, that’s a national thing” and so on, but there’s going to be a review.

The real icing on the cake for that, though, was that after two months of dealing with this, I was back in Cambridge the following day, and parked at a different piece of on-street parking.  And lo and behold, on the information for that one, the signs say about the no return clause, and so does the app.  Which means it’s definitely about inconsistent information within the council, rather than my being utterly wrong.

And yes, I did re-email the manager to tell them that as well…

364

And there we go, it’s over for another year. Now we’ve got the perineum of the year, the days between Christmas and New Year, where no-one seems to know what the hell they’re doing.  (Me, I’ll most likely be working, but there we go)

And then this time next week we’ll all be back to work, and it’ll be 2018. Time flies, and all that piss.

I’m also taking the opportunity to plan things out a bit for at least the first half of 2018, so I know what the hell I’m doing. (Well, at least have a pretty good indication of what I’ll be doing)  I’m already solid for January, but from there I’m hoping to cool things off a bit. (I know, I’ve said the same thing for the last two years as well)

Anyway, for now I’m just happy that we’re about as far away from the Festering Season as it’s possible to be. And that’s definitely a good thing.

New Year

Normally, I don’t celebrate New Year – I couldn’t give a shit about midnight, Auld Lang Syne, fireworks and so on. Entirely not my thing.

However, over the last few years, I’ve been going out for meals on New Year’s Eve, and being back home (or, more usually, still driving home on beautifully clear and empty roads) by midnight.

This year though, it’s all a bit underwhelming – even the offering at Helene Darroze (where I went last year) is disappointing, as there’s very little change from what I had last year. There’s nowhere else that’s massively grabbing me as a “want to try” (or at least nowhere that’s currently released their menu)  so for now, I’m really not sure what I’m going to be doing.

Mind you, right now I’m actually quite OK with that, of actually doing sod-all for New Year.

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