D4D

There's something I should tell you. I'm not left-handed either.

Archive for the category “Getting Organised”

Labelling

This week, I’ve found myself actually shocked by the news stories about Pret a Manger and their labelling – and more relevantly, the whole story about the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered an allergic reaction to unlabelled sesame in a Pret sandwich.

The inquest into Natasha’s death was this week – she died two years ago – which is why it’s been in the news this week.

It turns out that the UK’s Food Regulations 2014 have an exception that allows freshly handmade, non pre-packaged food to not be individually labelled – which is the loophole that allowed Pret to get away with not labelling each sandwich individually. To me, that’s disgraceful. The loophole was (understandably) intended for small sandwich bars etc. to not be constrained by huge amounts of red tape. It’s not intended for large commercial efforts. (Although of course they’ve taken advantage of it)

Even worse, Natasha isn’t even the first person to have died as a result of this mis-labelling or lack of information.

All told though, two things in the whole sorry story left me utterly gobsmacked and despairing of people and corporations.

The first was how badly the staff on the flight handled Natasha’s allergic reaction. The doctor who attended to her wasn’t made aware of all the equipment on the plane, and also that “because Natasha went into cardiac arrest as the plane was landing, it would have been unsafe to retrieve the defibrillator from the back of the plane, where it was stored, while Natasha was being tended to at the front” (that quote is from the Guardian story)  I mean really, for fuck’s sake, how robotic and uncaring do you have to be, to go “Nope, I’m not going to get that, we’ve got to be prepared for landing the plane”?

The second thing – and to me, the worst – is the timescales involved. Pret a Manger knew about this issue when Natasha died. Two years ago.  Yet it’s only now, once the coroner has finished the inquest, that they say “We’ll look at changing our labels“. That’s two years where they’ve known about the problem, and have done nothing. I wonder what the reaction would/will be if someone else turns out to have died for the same reason within that time.

I assume there’s been some corporate legal bullshit going on that says that if they changed the labels before the inquest, they’d be acknowledging they were liable, or some such.  Thing is, they were – and are – liable. If the labels had been in place, she wouldn’t have taken that sandwich, and wouldn’t have died. How on earth can that be anything other than being responsible for her death?

Slow Days

This month, I’ve come to the conclusion that taking days off (or even having days of doing Not Much) are actually bad for my health. (Note : This post is slightly tongue-in-cheek)

I know I’m renowned for keeping on going, for doing lots of idiot stuff all the time and staying busy. I do also regularly think that I’m doing too much, and need to slow down a bit.  However, when I do so, I get massively hit with illness and general ill health.

The weekend before last, I took a day off, doing very little (still maintaining my step count, but not much else) which was much needed.  However, that kind of day lets me relax, and my resistance becomes massively lowered – so this time I went down with a stinking rotten cold that hit me like a hammer. which lasted into this week.

This weekend, I did very very little on the Sunday (after a significantly hectic week) and came out of it with the start of a gout attack (happily now faded) and a whole set of aching bones, and an even worse night than usual.

The gout in particular was absolutely my own fault, due to the excesses of the weekend and the fact I hadn’t really planned of prepared for it at all in the ways I normally would. I’ve been able to recover from it quickly this time, because I do know what works and what I need to do.

But all told, I’m pretty sure that days off are just bad things for me.

[NOTE : I actually do know I should slow down more so that things aren’t quite as hyper and exhausting in general. It’s just that I’m incredibly bad at doing so, and this year’s showing no real signs of letting up on that score)

More (and Less) Walking

The weekend just past is the one where I was supposed to be doing that walked Night Marathon in London.  I failed to complete it last year (as I’ve written about elsewhere) and this year didn’t start it – primarily because I just hadn’t been able to get in the practice and preparation that would’ve made it easily doable, so I’d made the decision to not take it on at the last minute.

So it should’ve been this weekend that I did it, and as it turns out, I’m actually quite glad I made that decision.  First and foremost, the weather was vile, and doing it while being cold and wet really doesn’t appeal.

Additionally, I’ve picked up a vicious cold (I really should stop having quiet days – they totally kill me) and been feeling rougher than a badger’s backside. To top it off, this week also involved a couple of foodie events (although I’d have rethought at least one of those if I’d still been doing the walk)

All told, I’m still (mostly) happy with the choice to not do the walk this year. I’m annoyed with myself for having let the time slip past, and for not doing the training and preparation I could have done.  But there we go, I didn’t do them, and while I probably could have just rocked up and completed it, I wanted to be better prepared this time.

I’m signed up to do next year’s one though, so we’ll see how we go from here to there.  And if I don’t do that one either, then I’ll most likely sack off trying again.

Autumn Clearout

Every so often I get to a point where I just mentally say “Right, time to get rid of some stuff“. Last week I hit that point, so over the weekend I got rid of some stuff.

During the week I’d bagged up some clothes and other fabric bits (an old duvet cover, sheets I didn’t use any more etc.) to take to the recycling centre, and on Saturday I also chopped and bagged up all the stuff in the yard that hasn’t grown this year.

That’s been a bit ruthless – the weather this year has really not been conducive to new stuff growing, and there were a number of plants that just didn’t make it.  It’s been annoying (and kind of expensive) but there we go, sometimes that crap happens.

All told, it meant I had a car-load of stuff to take to the recycling centre (or “tip”, if you prefer) as well as hoying another load of stuff into the usual bins, clearing out old papers and magazines etc.

None of it was hugely challenging, but the house and yard – and brain – feel significantly clearer as a result of my work.

There’s probably still another load of stuff I could get rid of, but it’s not as clearly visible, and will survive until I get to another “Right!” moment. But for now I’m happy with the extra space and having a little bit less crap in my life and in my house.

Moving Office

As well as all the other stuff I was doing last week, I also moved office. As you do.  Because of course life wasn’t already busy enough, and all that.

As it was, it wasn’t that much of a slog – I’ve stayed in the same building, but moved three floors down, and to the other end. So why move?

Basically, the previous office (which I moved to about a year ago) suffered from the absolutely shitty combination of ridiculously thin stud walls, and being surrounded by excessively noisy and selfish people.  It was tolerable for a short(ish) while, but all told it conspired to end up pissing me off.

Of the three companies around my office, I had one lot who simply operated at maximum volume all the time, and who I could hear through the ‘wall’ all day every day.  I had one lot who weren’t too bad, but were a counselling organisation so you’d sometimes be able to hear people breaking down and crying etc. in the middle of a session.  And the final lot were just incapable of closing their door, so again I could hear everything that they did.  (And if I returned the compliment and left my door open with the radio on, would complain that I was disturbing them, while paying absolutely no heed to the fact they were doing the same consistently)

There were other bits too that ended up pissing me off – the way others would turn all the lights on, but be incapable of then turning them off again (I suspect they had partners at home who just followed them around turning stuff off, as they were so incapable of doing so) and leaving the communal toilets either stuffed full of bog roll, or completely unflushed – and doing so Every. Fucking. Day.

So all told it just got to be too much, and I wasn’t enjoying going to work.  I looked at offices in other places (particularly with the added issues of the commute for the next two-ish years)  However, none of the ones I looked at had the convenience of location and facilities around, and all seemed to be at least three times as expensive as where I currently am.

However, I ended up talking about that with one of the directors of the foundation that owns the current building, and it turned out that a different unit was just becoming available. Ideal. Quieter end of the building, better walls, and just generally an improvement.

Turbo-charged

It took its time happening, but the car’s now back, the broken turbo‘s been fixed and all seems well.

I actually got it back last Friday, but I’ve been travelling round like a dickhead since – I’ve covered a thousand miles already, and given the new stuff a good bedding-in along the way.

It’s not been cheap – far from it- although it’s still cheaper than getting a new car. But at least it’s now back on the road, and I’ll just have to wait and see how it does from here on.

Along the way, it’s also meant I’ve been considering what to do when it comes to getting a new car, doing some thinking and making some plans for that time. I’ll write about that some other time, though.

For now, I’m just happy to have the car back and working – now it’s just time to get it re-taxed and booked in for its MOT. Fun, fun, fun.

Missing Bits

I think that the worst bit of having one’s car in the garage (except for the bill at the end) is that you never ever remember to take all the useful stuff out of the current car to put in the replacement one.

Usually, it’s not even the stuff you think of as actually being useful, until the time comes that it’s needed, and then you think “Oh. Cock.” (or words to that effect)

In my case this time there’ve been three times this weekend where I’ve thought that.

The first was really simple – shopping bags. I have re-usable “bag for life” things in the boot of the car.  Did I think about needing them when I left the car at the garage? Did I bollocks.

Then the weather changed (it’s a Bank Holiday in the UK, so it’s usually piss-wet, but I didn’t think about  that during the week) and chucked down a load of rain. So where’s my waterproof jacket that I haven’t used all year? In the car. Along with the umbrella. Sod.

And finally, when I was eating a packaged salad thing outside the other office in Chesham, where’s the cutlery I keep in the car? Yep, it’s in the car. Just not the right one.  For fuck’s sake.

It’s nothing world-ending, obviously. It’s just irritating, because it’s also stuff I just hadn’t thought about. Which makes me feel like a bit of a tit. (Not that that’s anything new or unusual, obviously)

Post Navigation