Monday, 29 June 2009

A Degree in stating the bleedin obvious....

Just found this comment in a report on the BBC News website under the headline "Madoff gets 150 years."


"The sentence, which means Madoff will spend the rest of his life in jail, was greeted with cheers and applause in the packed courtroom."

End Quote.

The bold italics are mine but the rest is pure BBC.
(Erm.... there's nowt on t'telly again - or had you guessed that? ;-)

Just Another Manic Monday

On Saturday, the Duchess and I head off on a well earned and richly deserved two-week holiday. As ever - we're going to Horncastle in Lincolnshire to spend two idyllic weeks fishing and relaxing and generally wishing we didn't have to come back.

Elmhirst Lakes - Horncastle - our idea of heaven on earth!

Also as ever - I'm trying to get the decks cleared at work (because we have such a massive staff, one can simply p*ss off for two weeks and one may be assured that all of one's work will be covered in one's absence.)

Anyway, as Sod's Law dictates, today, I have been ordered to complete lots of sales price/cost analyses before I go away. What makes it even more galling is that every year for the last umpteen, the holiday has started on the last Saturday in June so, under normal circumstances, I would already have departed and so could not complete these pointless analyses which have now fallen into my lap.

Grrrrr! We couldn't get the weeks we wanted this year, even though we tried to book it as we left last year - the first of the weeks we wanted was already taken - 12 months in advance!

The main purpose of the holiday is, as already mentioned, fishing and the Duchess has decided that she and I, as we are "getting on a bit" (or a lot depending on your point of view) need more comfort when fishing so she has bought herself a new chair and has ordered a new chair for me.

Here's a picture of my new chair:

"State of The Art" with adjustable legs to ensure it's perfectly level no matter what the condition of the bank you're fishing from and best of all - you can buy lots of accessories (rod rest, keep net stick, umbrella attachment, bait tray) which fasten on to the chair to make it a complete fishing station (I'm a sucker for the blurb in the catalogue!)

We've spent a fair bit of time at various fishing tackle shops over the last few days, buying assorted bits and pieces for the holiday. I have a theory that the wide variety of fishing floats and baits on offer catch more fishermen than they ever do fish!

Over the weekend, I've also attacked the garden again, cutting and hacking the grass and privet hedges took about 9.1/2 hours over Saturday and Sunday but I quite enjoyed it - probably because there is a result to be seen whereas my normal working routine produces nothing of value - only a pile of paper and "What IS the point?" feeling at the end of the day!

Times are hard at work but no matter if we're short of orders or flush with them - the paper generated does not seem to increase or decrease in proportion to the workload on the plant. In fact - the reverse seems to be true.

Anyway - this is getting depressing and the Duchess has just made a cuppa so I'm off to play with my tackle (fishing tackle that is!!!!)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Duchess didn't get the job.....

The Duchess just got a call from the Chairman of the Junior League - she didn't get the Junior League Secretary's job.

They've given it to some guy from Doncaster who runs a website called "Football Help." Seems he's a "professional" football administrator who, judging by his "LinkedIn" entry, has plenty of trumpets to blow. He apparently specialises in helping people set up grassroots football clubs and leagues with advice on where to get grants etc.

The Duchess' only qualification is that she did the job (unpaid) from 1999 to 2005 so if you think about it - the Donny lad is an obvious choice.

The fact that threequarters of the Junior League Committee couldn't pick their noses without a substantial amount of guidance and several diagrams explains why they voted 7 - 4 in favour of the "Football Help" man.

The Duchess is gutted - she really wanted the job - but as I said to her - at least it means she can now attend Tuesday evening home games at Belper Town FC instead of turning up at Junior League monthly meetings (which are always held on a Tuesday!)

She will continue to work for the League as Registration Secretary for the Junior League Under-11 age group.

Chin up lass! It's their feckin loss!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Monday Evening..... Bored!

Evening All! (All? hahaha! Who am I kidding - should that be "evening you 2" - or maybe - "you 3?")

The Duchess is out at a Junior Football League Management Committee Meeting tonight so I'm on me tod. It's pouring down outside so I can't get out in the garden to cut the grass in the front garden and the hedge down the drive, (Phew!!)

Nowt on t'telly apart from a meaningless Under-21 match between England and Germany and so I'm sat sitting here listening to internet coverage of Nottinghamshire giving Yorkshire a stuffing at 20 - 20 cricket. (Bloody Mickey Mouse game - might as well watch rounders.)

No pics to show you, no news to tell you - Oh - hang on - there is one item of news this week......

Wednesday evening - Hilton Hotel Sheffield, 7:30 pm, the Duchess attends an interview for the position of Secretary of the Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League. Keep yer fingers crossed for her won't you all (or both, or all three of you. Whatever.)

Sunday, 21 June 2009

It's Sunday... again

Mixed feelings about Sundays - they're a bit too close to Monday mornings for my liking.

Anyway - another week in my hectic life (!!) has flown by. Not a lot to report really.

Monday - Duchess at Junior League AGM in the evening.
Tuesday - Nothing to report
Wednesday - Our American boss (Mike) arrived in Sheffield for a flying visit.
Thursday - Mike visited our particular part of the group for an hour or so. (He's an OK guy actually - even though he always gives me a hard time about the lack of orders - even when there's lots of order like there was for most of 2007 and 2008!)
Friday - took some pictures of my UK boss' (Phil) daughter's house - there is a dispute with a neighbour about a leaking gutter and it's all got a bit nasty so Phil asked if I'd take some pictures for submission to the lawyers - (Yes! the dispute has escalated to the point where lawyers are involved!)

The only other thing of note this week is the change in working hours agreed at our place. Everyone on the staff will now work 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays. For several years now, all planning and production staff have worked these hours with the rest of us doing 8:30 to 4:30 and 8:30 to 4 on Fridays.

Present market conditions mean it makes sense for us to close the place on Friday afternoons. Generally, it is very quiet then with an average of 2 phone calls per afternoon (and one of them is the Duchess calling me around 2:15 pm - to make sure I'm behaving myself!!)

All but one of the staff are in the office by 8 a.m. every day anyway and the one guy who isn't agrees the new hours make sense so we implement it week-commencing 29th June.

So - every Friday afternoon off!! Good innit!

Monday, 15 June 2009

All Set for the New Season. Bring it on!!

Saturday - Me and the Duchess drove down to Belper to buy a season ticket. I already have one (the result of a successful bid by the Duchess in the auction at the Supporters Evening) so I decided to return the compliment and get one for her as a birthday present! We went to the Meadows and found the chairman cutting the grass. He suggested we meet him at the Grapes about an hour later and he'd have a ticket for us. The pitch looked absolutely beautiful and it really whet the appetite! Can't wait for the pre-season games now!

On the way home we stopped at Bakewell, walked by the river and then watched a bit of cricket before heading off home via Calver bridge. Took lots of photos - here's just a few of them.

The Bridge at Bakewell
Idyllic Isn't it!Well Bowled Sir!One of my favourite houses in Derbyshire - at Calver Bridge (I think it sold for near on a million last time it was on the market.)
Sunday - Since it was a fine day, I attacked the garden again - cutting and pruning and generally tidying up. After about 4.1/2 hours I called it quits, enjoyed a lovely "salad tea" and relaxed for a while before calling our son in Rotterdam for a bit of a natter. He's fine and I'm glad to say the company he founded about 15 months ago with two colleagues seems to be doing OK. Long may it continue! (Click the "Everybody Can Design" link on the right to see what they are all about!)

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Attended another family funeral this week

This time it was one of my late mother's sisters.

Aunt Muriel was a couple of months short of her 81st brithday when she passed away on May 29th.

The funeral took place at City Road Crematorium in Sheffield on Wednesday (in the morning, before the late afternoon floods!) and although a solemn affair as you would expect, it was good to see my cousins Steven and Yvonne again and also to make the formal acquantaince of Aunt Muriel's other two children, Ian and Tim.

I haven't seen Yvonne for, I guess, about 45 years or so but I've bumped into Steve around Sheffield on the odd occasion. Steve was born at our house. Muriel and her family were staying with us at the time and so me, Yvonne and Steve sort of grew up together but drifted apart as we entered our early teens. They had moved into their own home by then and we developed separate interests and friends.

It was good to meet up - even under such sad circumstances - and Steve, Ian and me are now all Facebook friends so maybe we can keep in some sort of touch.

RIP Muriel.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

We Had A Drop Of Rain Yesterday....

Pictures submitted by readers of the local paper.

Between about 4 pm and 7 pm, around 60mm of rain fell, and we had another 30 to 40mm between midnight and 4 am this morning.

Roads were closed, the "Supertram" service was suspended and there's been a lot of damage to road surfaces (but living in "pothole city", Sheffielders probably won't notice!)

The Duchess had to attend a 6:30pm meeting at the FA offices in Sheffield. She left home at 5:15 pm (on a bus cos there is nowhere to park around the FA office and the bus/tram takes her right to their front door - for free cos she has a bus pass!)

By 6:30 she had got to the city centre - a journey which normally takes about 20 minutes to half an hour. She then found the tram service suspended and absolute chaos in the city so she called the FA and told them she couldn't make it. Not surprisingly, she was told the discipline commission members who she was due to meet hadn't made it either!

She hopped on another bus to get home and I met her at the local chippy at about 7:15 pm. The rain was still "bezzing" down (a new expression I learned from my son who apparently picked it up when he worked in Mansfield) so we settled down to watch the footy whilst scoffing fish & chips.

This morning? - still some puddles about but we have clear blue skies and bright sunshine. General "mopping up" is going on.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Hope This Isn't A First Step on A Dangerous Road...

"March of the extremists: BNP leader Nick Griffin becomes MEP as party celebrates first ever successes in Euro elections"

Headline and picture from today's Mail website.

We should all hope to God that this is some sort of misguided and very poorly thought out protest vote and that sanity will return to people's voting patterns in future elections.

"Let's be careful out there!"

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Another week flashes by...

This was never meant to be a "Weekly Diary" but it seems that's how it's turning out!

Anyway - my week since my last post.....

Monday - back to work after a week off. Even though we're short of orders and the plant is on short time working, the paper pile never seems to diminish. Actually - we got back to normal to find some encouraging signs of a possible pick-up in activity - here's hoping!

Monday evening - went for a meal to celebrate the Duchess' birthday on Tuesday (she had a football meeting on Tuesday so we "ate out" a day early.) As usual, we went to the Bowshaw pub - just down the road from Nortoner Towers - and enjoyed their fantastic carvery. Food (including dessert) drinks and tip totalled £17 - bargain and well worth it!

Tuesday - See Monday and add "2nd day back at work." Highlight was a call from my friend/customer in Canada. Would I be able to pick Kay up from Manchester airport on Thursday morning? - she found a bargain flight and is coming back to Sheffield to see her Mom for a few days. Not a problem - they really look after me when I visit them and it's nice to be able to return the favour in part.

Wednesday - same old same old.

Thursday - Out of bed at a quarter to four to get to Manny airport for 5 a.m. to collect Kay. Delivered her safely to her Mom's then nipped home for breakfast and 40 winks before heading into the office. I slept like a log Thursday night!

Friday - Another full day at work with nothing dramatic to report apart from my flying off the handle because of a selfish, mardy (Sheffield word - ask if you need explanation) and two-faced individual who, if one had a bag of sh*t, would complain and moan until he got one too! Calmed down Friday evening with Pie and Chips from t'chippy.

Saturday - Usual supermarket run in the morning, rest of day spent watching it rain mostly, although I got some photo-editing done on the PC. In the evening, went to Sheffield Arena with the Duchess to see Boyzone. The tickets were one of my "impulse purchases" as a Christmas gift for the Duchess.

I actually enjoyed the show. The arena was packed and Boyzone were on stage for 2 hours, preceded by some Irish kid who came close to winning X-Factor - unfortunately it seems to me that he'll always be a "support act!"

Finally for now..... here's a couple of the photos I edited yesterday - sunset over Norton on Tuesday evening - very pretty!