Sunday, 26 December 2010

A Grand Christmas Day!!

Had a super day yesterday - just me and the Duchess and my son and daughter-in-law. Lots of pressies and a smashing Christmas dinner - all prepared by the Duchess' own fair hand.

Now - you may not know that two of my passions are books and crosswords - but my family know that - hence:

There's over 3,000 pages of reading here and a couple of hundred crosswords. Should keep me quiet for an hour or two I guess!

Mind you - dunno where I'm going to put them......

My bookcase in the bedroom!
(And I have another four packing cases full of books which there's no room in the house to display. One day - I'll have  a house with a library....)

I return to work on 4th January so I've a week or so left of Christmas hols. More posts might follow!!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas everyone......

..if anyone still reads this of course. If you do - an extra special "Merry Christmas" to you.

Again - not much to tell - Monday got the desk pretty much sorted at work.

Tuesday - meeting at our sister company in the morning - Christmas shopping in the afternoon

Wednesday - Christmas shopping in the morning before a call from the Duchess made me dash home - she said there was a pool of water under the boiler which is under the stairs. It's the new boiler which we had fitted around March time so a quick call to the bloke who installed it sorted that. It's a condensing boiler which generates steam which is expelled through a pipe on the outside of the house leading to the soil stack. This pipe had frozen so it's a case of keep pouring boiling water on it to defrost it and catch the few remaining drips under the boiler. Pain in the ass but it works and I guess these weather extremes (Minus 17 C in Worcestershire last night!!!) are bound to generate this sort of problem.

Thursday & Friday - Christmas shopping - but only for bits and pieces - stocking fillers  - what we call the "daft" presents.

Today - getting ready to open the pressies about 11 pm-ish which is why I have a minute to jot a note.

Hope to post more interesting comment - and maybe some photos - before the New Year but we'll see.

As I said - enjoy today - and "All the Best" for the New Year if I don't get a chance to say it before the event.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Weather - gotta get this off my chest.....

.....on BBC News this morning, the Shadow Transport Minister blamed the coalition government for yesterday's chaos on the roads.

If Labour had still been in power, she claimed, the problem would have been resolved more quickly and handled far better because Labour wouldn't have made the rapid cuts the present government has made and so more gritters would have been out and the railways would have run on time.

A couple of things - the railways pretty much did run on time and with the odd exception the timetable for today will be the usual Sunday schedule.

Secondly - if the Labour government would have coped better - why did we have similar chaos last winter? They were still in charge then weren't they?

Thirdly - it matters not if you have a million gritters - when 4 inches of snow fall in 25 minutes - you are never going to get on top of it quickly! (And it did fall at that rate - Brent Cross Shopping Centre closed because of the heavy snowfall and - see below - my son and his wife had first hand experience!)

Stupid woman! Still, she did look as if she'd just got out of bed - bags under eyes, hair all over the place. And as the interview went on - you could see she had little conviction about the stand she was making. Maybe she's been "wheeled out" to use the occasion to have a pop at the Government.

Anyway - the chaos affected our son's travel plans. They got to Dover OK on Friday and had a good nights rest. That's where the good news ends.

They left Dover at 08:50 on Saturday morning with "a dusting of snow and light traffic." They finally got here at 11:25 PM!!! That's a journey time of 14.1/2 hours! Lets hope the journey back to Folkestone on 27th December will be easier!

Not a lot else to tell you - the camera has barely been used since my last post and Belper Town beat New Mills 4-1 in the Derbyshire Senior Cup (away - on a Monday night - over the snow and ice-covered hills around from Sheffield - so we didn't go.)

The Duchess' recovery continues - we've had a couple of expeditions into Sheffield and the Christmas shopping is getting sorted. I finish work for the holidays on Monday 20th (tomorrow) and plan to spend some time sorting out the "bits and pieces" pressies. I am actually waiting for a parcel mailed by on 26th November which still hasn't arrived although to be fair - the mail has started to come through again. Had a tougn time this last 3 weeks or so the posties!

Work is still very busy - and the heavy load looks set to continue at least into April or May next year. Right sort of problem to have though - my old boss used to say "Better to be looking at the work than looking for the work.." Wise words.

Right - that'll do for now - more follows when I get a mo - hopefully with some pics for you to look at - I'll try to find something to photograph - but not snow - I'm sick of the snow... so for now - "Laters!"

Sunday, 12 December 2010

OK - So how've you been?

Been a while since I posted but that's largely due to the fact that we've been busy - pretty much buried under almost 2 feet of snow here at Nortoner Towers. I've been getting plenty of exercise - shovelling snow and walking to and from work!

Here's why my car stayed on the drive for nearly two weeks:

More pictures of the snow are here -

There's been no proper football to take pictures of since Belper's 4-2 defeat at Kidsgrove on 20th November (I don't regard Premier League as "proper" but I do include Barcelona 5 - 0 Real Madrid because that was a cracking game and a great result!)

Anyway - we got to the Duchess' hospital consultation by cab - and the effort was worth it. The consultant told her all seems fine and she should get rid of the crutches (to be fair - she's only been using one crutch for a while now) and he told her he'll see her in 12 months! To celebrate, we took a bus into Sheffield (that bus pass has taken some hammer this last couple of weeks!) and she enjoyed a wander around the shops - did a bit of Christmas shopping too.

The Duchess told me later that she felt as if she'd been "let loose." She'd been pretty much "confined to barracks" since the snow started and was getting a bit "stir crazy!"

Nothing else to report really - I will avoid comments on the student protests - I know what I think but am not really in the mood to comment because if you get me started........

The good news is that my son and daughter-in-law are planning to spend Christmas in Sheffield! If the snow stays away, they'll drive down from Rotterdam to Calais on Friday afternoon, December 17th and catch a ferry across to Dover. Lay up overnight and then drive up to Sheffield on Saturday. They're staying until the 27th. Good innit?

All we need to do now is get the Christmas shopping done - the Duchess ain't happy cos she likes to be organised by now - it's me who does it all last minute!

We made a start on the shopping yesterday in Sheffield and plan to nip down to Chesterfield this afternoon to do a bit more. Because of the weather over the last 2 weeks, the Meadowhall Centre has announced they will be staying open until midnight until Christmas. Not sure we'll risk it but as a last resort - it's an option.

OK - Archers Omnibus nearly done - sausage sandwich next and then off to Chessie to see whats happening there. Hopefully parking will be free as it is in Sheffield on Sundays.

More follows when I get the chance!