The Blog of Zakspade
June 2016 Archive


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Thursday 30 June, 2016

There I was, walking to work and unable to be sure that I will get there on time because I needed to pop into a shop on the way. My mobile phone died the other day, so I had no audible indicators telling me how I was doing, pace-wise. So my venture into town promised to be interesting this morning.

The passage of time is not something most people have to consider in their day-to-day lives, but I suffer from the condition of being unable to feel its passing. It’s a long story and I don’t have time enough to tell it, although I could be wrong.

For any given journey, I cannot judge how I am doing with respect to my progress. So, if I leave later than normal, or have something to do on the way, then I need to keep up a good pace - something I cannot do because I cannot feel the passage of time - remember?

Anyhow, I left with enough time this morning so that if I was to be abducted by aliens on my way into work, I’d still arrive in good time. Yes, indeed, of course.

A woman walking towards me as I got to the town centre caught my eye. She was around five foot six inches tall and about eight stone in weight. Her small build and skin tight jeans suggested that I might have been over generous in my original estimation of her weight.

Those legs! They seemed to be no thicker than pipe cleaners and I’m sure they made up nearly her whole height! The fact that they were encased in what are popularly known as hipsters meant that, with the orange crop-top she was wearing, she was showing quite a lot of midriff. There was a slogan across the top that she was wearing that I tried to read. I failed due to her bumpiness in that region and my desire not to be mistakenly accused of ogling her.

It was a pleasant walk into work.

Well it would have been were it not for the fact that the vision outlined above was probably well into her 50s while her skin was entrenched in its 70s. Were I to be unkind, I would suggest that she had forgotten to do a laundry run earlier in the week and had been reduced to wearing her daughter’s clothes. If I were to be realistic, I’d say the same except claim the clothes belonged to her granddaughter.

The hairs are standing up on the back of my neck as I write this Blog entry.

Am I being unfair? Is what I relate merely proof of one person’s prejudice regarding what are considered acceptable standards? Should I worry that I am guilty of sexism? Maybe I was abducted by aliens on my walk into work and all that probing turned me into a bigot.

Maybe the woman merely lacked an important component in her life; something most of us take for granted, hung on a wall or freestanding, but usually ignored until going out: a mirror.


Tuesday 28 June, 2016

I received an email from the Domain Registration Service SEO Company yesterday. It came correctly addressed to me with my full name - as per my domain name registration, and all my domain details.

Well, I say correctly quoted. First, it wasn’t the domain upon which this Blog resides, but I do have others. Second, the postal address displayed showed a slight error. Indeed, the error was the exact same error that I entered into the registration details - online only.

It appears that the company - Domain Registration Service SEO Company based in Los Angeles, US and Shenzhen, China (what a surprise!) are under the impression that if they obtain personal details via whois, they can send proposals that look like bills. In the case of one of my other domains, they required $69.00 otherwise, If you fail to complete your domain name registration search engine optimization service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this search engine optimization domain name notification proposal notice.

If you wade through that, and are savvy enough to spot and understand the difference between ‘domain registration’ and ‘domain registration search engine optimization’ then you won’t panic over having to pay $69.00 before the 30 June, 2016 expiry date (‘expiry’ is the word they use elsewhere).

Unfortunately, what they have done is merely sent out what looks to be a bill, but isn’t. The scam depends on a return from those who either don’t have time to read them careful, or those who worry that their small business website is going to be lost come the expiry date they quote. Double unfortunately, there isn’t anything I can do about it. My usual approach, when in receipt of a scam email, is to reply from another email address I have available purely for replying to such scams.

But don’t all the experts tell you not to reply to unsolicited and scam emails? Sure, and it is good solid advice. However, I like to waste the time of scammers. I figure that if I managed to tie up a scam artist with what they feel is likely to be a lucrative adventure, then that is less time they have to fleece others who might not be as knowledgeable.

If I get an unsolicited email from a nice lady wanting to find true love, I respond with details of my car dealership and its success over the south of England. Or sometimes I refer to how lonely I am without someone to have a family with in order to share my wealth and happiness. Oh the fun I have crafting my emails responses so as to have them bite and have to use an English language dictionary to formulate replies to the complicated manufactured tales I send them.

They all end thus: I want your body/children when we meet - please send me the airfare to visit.

I once managed to get a (duff) cheque out of one scammer - who really ought to have worn gloves before writing and posting it to me. He was obviously unaware that the police can lift fingerprints from paper.

Everyone ought to have a hobby.


Cats and Dogs
Sunday 26 June, 2016

Here we are, near the end of June, and there is no still no sign of summer. I suppose that really calls for me to list the signs and clarify their definitions. So here are a few, but I freely admit that the list is far from exhaustive, and I will have cherry-picked those that suit what I wish to write.

Swallows: I’ve seen one or two about nearby. However, ‘One swallow does not a summer make.’ I am aware that it is normally said as, ‘One swallow doesn’t make a summer,’ but I’m being clever because the full quote runs thus: ‘One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.’ Aristotle, I understand.

Whoever the bloke was, the fact remains that spotting the odd swallow wheeling over the roofs of nearby houses ought not convince anyone that summer has arrived.

The length of the days: I appear to be waking to daylight immediately after I put my head on the pillow at night. Sunrise seems to be taking place 35 seconds after sunset. My sleep pattern — and that of the total population of the UK — seems to have been wrecked by some random wobble of a big ball going around a fiery ball of party balloon gas in the middle of space.

My ability to sleep isn’t helped by the selfishness of birds singing their hearts out as soon as there is a hint of daylight. There is still no reliable indicator of the approach or existence of summer when I point to the nightingale, or the blackbird. They — rather annoyingly — seem to quite adept at singing quite loudly during the night.

Brilliant sunshine: I figure this ought to be something very strongly associated with summer. And this year it does indeed look to be making an appearance in the weather patterns afflicting our island nation. One cannot help noticing that hot, blindingly bright sunshine manages to creep in between the incredibly heavy downpours of rain we have had through much of June.

At the moment, I am inclined to believe that summer is here as it is entirely possible to be sunburnt if quick to take one’s umbrella down during the brief periods when rain is not falling from the sky.

Cats and dogs; the rain that falls so heavily in the showers that pepper the days can be a sign that summer has arrived. Or so one might think.

Apparently not everyone thinks that the combination of the words, cats and dogs refers to rainfall. A good portion of this June has passed in a manner to suggest summer is not anywhere In the vicinity. Additionally, my wife has been making ‘ooo’ sounds whenever she sees a kitten.

Finally a ginger kitten came up on the radar and the blip it made would not fade away — until my procrastination resulted in it being sold.

So it is not only the weather that is so confused in June: I obviously cannot tell the difference between cats and dogs because we went out and bought a puppy.


Independence Day
Friday 24 June, 2016

I woke up to sunshine and the news that the UK has voted to leave the EU. Although mentioned together, I feel sure that they are not linked. No matter what the leaders of the NO campaign claim - they do not have any influence over the weather.

That said, the forecast for later today is rain. There is no sign in the sky of approaching rainclouds as I write this, but as I read about the markets, I see that the nice people who dragged the world into recession in 2008 are again doing their best to line their own pockets while at the same time destroying the lives of the rest of us.

Some things never change. One would like to think that in the seven to eight years that have passed, the excesses of those who shuffle what is our money about the place would act responsibly or be curtailed in a manner so as to force them to no longer be as destructive and damaging as they can be, but no.

Maybe yesterday will be remembered in the UK as Independence Day by future generations. Let the US have their 4th of July while we drink tea in an unrestrained manner every 23rd of June.

Anyone with a propensity towards historical fact-quoting or utterance will have spotted my rather brumous reference to an activity connected to a product said to have been part of an act that was element of something that led to the United States preferring coffee to tea.

Mystified? Welcome.

Apparently, the music adopted by the EU as the European Anthem is known as Ode to Joy. Well, that isn’t strictly correct. In fact, Ode to Joy was a poem by Friedrich Schiller that was set to music by Beethoven in his Symphony No. 9 in D minor, (Op. 125). It is utilised in the final movement, but not in its entirety and the words are reordered to suit Beethoven’s composition. The adoption in 1972 by the Council of Europe (and later the EU) was not entirely faithful as the lyrics were omitted. Nothing sinister or meaningful there: merely the fact that an anthem for a multitude of countries with differing languages with lyrics will require translations - and that goes against the ethos behind the adoption of a single, unifying tract of music.

Why do I mention Ode to Joy? Well, there can be no doubt that there are many out there for who the word joy is apt. It is also worth noting that the word ode forms the first sound of the word odious definition: deserving or causing hatred; hateful; detestable.

With the joy comes those bankers and financiers who attract nothing but what they surely deserve,


Wednesday 22 June, 2016

Windows are a wonderful thing. In days long ago, people had nothing to do but stare at walls while cows romped across fields outside, and clouds frolicked in the sky. They missed all the interesting things in life.

Nowadays, with the invention of the window, we can all sit at home and look out on the world outside as it passes by. We can enjoy the sights offered by watching cats fall out of trees, cars speeding past our houses, and leaflet deliverers walking across our front gardens.

Yes, the window has brought so much joy to us all by allowing us to connect with the world outside our homes in a way that peasants really couldn’t.

Of course, it was a while before anyone thought to put something in the window frame so as to keep draughts out. The original windows in the average hovel allowed in rain, wind and odd smells from those romping cows. Early entrepreneurs set up businesses selling boards to insert inside early windows in order to cover what were effectively holes in walls, but they merely blocked out all light coming in and didn’t catch on.

As time passed, and manufacturing technology advanced, a miraculous substance known as glass was developed. It was created as part of the space race to allow astronauts to see where they are floating in their big puffy white suits, and to make them air-tight. The technology employed filtered down to the world occupied by the rest of us mere mortals.

Businesses were set up to market this wonderful new product and were known as double-glazing companies. Space technology has given us much more than just non-stick frying pans, ball-point pens, and feather dusters.

However, there are those who do not appreciate the benefits of the wall device known as a window. Instead they sit at a thing called a computer and they miss all the fluffy animals wandering about the place outside their homes. Their heads are turned away from the miracle of windows only to be occupied by Windows.


Monday 20 June, 2016

A little while back, someone said to me: ‘Yay, finally it is summer!’ They went on to claim that summer had officially started.

Their assertion that summer had officially commenced seemed at odds with the weather at the time, but I let that slide. However, it did make me wonder when summertime is supposed to start.

I checked with the Met Office as I reckoned they ought to know something as simple as the official start date of summer. Those same people who tell you the coming weekend will be dry, sunny, windless, while the reality is rain extinguishing the BBQ, thunder and lightning coming from the black clouds, and you vainly attempting to keep hold of the garden bench as the latest gust of Hurricane Wasisface tries to take it from the end of your garden to the roof of your neighbour’s car.

Regardless, I pressed on in the hope that they might actually have something to say that I could verify via other sources. And I was not disappointed.

They advised the following: There is the meteorological summer, which began on 1 June and will end 31 August, every year, and there is the astronomical summer which begins today on 20 June and will end 22 September this particular year.

The former is a division of seasons across the months of the Gregorian calendar so as to make it easier for meteorological observing and forecasting. It’s obviously a rubbish way to do things as they are unable to predict the weather even if they were standing in the middle of a rain-lashed field.

The latter determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth's rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. It gets a fair bit more complicated from that point onwards and I both lost the will to live and developed stabbing pains in my eyes as I stuck cocktail sticks in them in the hope that the words would vanish.

When I tried to confirm the Met Office view on when summertime officially begins, I discovered that Iceland reckons it to be the first Thursday after 18 April each year. Additionally, they only divide the year into two seasons: winter and summer. I decided to keep looking as I neither reside in Iceland, nor do I like the idea of missing out on spring.

It got worse, very much worse.

A little more digging revealed that there is a strong case for their being six seasons due to that 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth in relation to its direction of travel around the sun. That, and other wobbles and suchlike, cause the seasons to be rather variable in terms of their start and end times.

I started to develop a headache. However, it may not be down to the extremely complicated explanations I was wading through — it might just be the extremely heavy rain falling on the conservatory roof making a huge din above my head.


Saturday 18 June, 2016

Death is a very touchy subject for many. And understandably so, as it will usually mean the loss of someone or something dear to just about everyone who comes into contact with it.

It affected me as I wrote a piece for this Blog. There I was, happily writing away about eggs when the screen of my laptop went blank. The screen had not powered down. No, the whole laptop had turned off as if someone had removed the battery. It had died.

I worked a great many years in IT and whenever I hear of someone losing data because of a power outage, or similar, I smile wryly if it turns out that they had not bothered to keep a backup. Naturally, my experience ensures that I operate a very rigid backup scheme and I never lose data at any time no matter what might be the cause.

Well, hardly ever.

I remember one time when a solicitor at a firm whose IT infrastructure and user base were supported by the company I worked for, called the Helpdesk frantic for assistance.

They had spent ALL DAY writing a very detailed and complicated contract deal in Word and their office had been subject to a brief power cut. The result was that their computer had smartly turned itself off and the document was lost. Could we recover their work, they asked.

To attempt to do so, we needed a little additional information. First the name of the particular computer used to create the document was acquired. That was simple. Next, the name of the file being worked upon was requested.

The specific name was not known. In fact, it had not yet been decided upon. That confused not just me but the whole Helpdesk. It transpired that the solicitor in question had opened a new Word document and spent over SEVEN HOURS typing without once naming and then saving their work as they went along. Not once.

That produced a few plumber’s whistles in our office when it became known. However, what really was entertaining was the response of the solicitor when it was made known to them that there was no way to recover the document in any shape or form whatsoever. They threatened to put in a formal complaint regarding how the manner had been handled. Their intention was to chase down whoever it was that was clearly incompetent in this matter.

That would have been simple - it was the solicitor who was clearly incompetent.

I recalled the incident due to nearly finishing a piece approaching 380 words but losing the lot because I never actually saved it up to the point when my laptop died.

Death affects us all.


Thursday 16 June, 2016

There’s a lot of them about at present. The fact that none of them seem to tell me what I need to know is annoying.

They all claim to be experts in providing their forecast. If true then they’d all be saying the same thing. However, they are not. If I check three sources, I get three different indications.

Yes, I get it. A forecast is merely a prediction of the future. There is no crystal ball being peered into by a withered old crone wearing a scarf. Well...

The differing claims of what will take place creates divisions among friends and neighbours. Opinions on what to do are affected by the blathering of those who claim to know the future. Disruption seems to be their aim, although that is very possibly the cynic within me identifying that as their aim.

Why can’t they just be honest and say they have no idea and that we just need to wait and see?

Hang on, that is no way to approach such an important vote, my wife says as she peers over my shoulder and sees what I am writing.

Voting? For what? Sunshine? I didn’t know the weather was something that we had any say in regarding how it presents itself to us every day.

No, I’m thinking of yesterday when I stood under a shop awning as the rain hammered down and created a mini river along the far edge of the pathway. While I stood there with carrier bags full of yummy food, I decided to check the weather forecasts available to me on my ever so smart phone.

How marvellous! Unusually the three sources I checked to see what was likely to happen to the rain, going forward, all told me the same thing: the sun was shining and it was presently dry. It was just as well I was reading those forecasts as opposed to trying to listen to them. If I had been trying to hear them, they would have been drowned out by the pounding of the rain on the ground and the shelter above my head.

Even better - forecasters have recently taken to issuing their guesses wrapped in Met Office weather warnings that contradict their deeply flawed predictions - basically reducing weather forecasts to meaningless babble.

Huh, forecasters!


Silly Season
Tuesday 14 June, 2016

Without doubt, Silly Season has been declared open by some drivers about the place where I live.

The guy driving the black hatchback that decided to overtake me when I was making a right turn at a mini roundabout by cutting it, seemed to mark the start. I’m not talking about one of those painted mini roundabouts. No, this one was less than three metres across but kerbed. It forms part of the roadways in the area in which I live.

Taking the route he did, in order to get to his house 2.4 seconds sooner than he might otherwise had done, meant that he was unable to see a child playing in the road; take avoiding action to miss a cat strolling across the tarmac; or stop because of the car approaching that didn’t expect to see a person of remarkably low intelligence driving at them as they hurtled out of that roundabout the wrong way.

My eleven-year-old daughter sat in the car nearly increased her vocabulary as I muttered something about his stupidity, but I got no stronger than ‘blimey.’ I’ll leave it to her to discover more interesting words as she grows up.

The next day I noted the tyre marks left on the road by the dog doings that drove the car that wheelspun away from the sub-post office on a main road into town. The marks ran for about 50 metres and veered from side to side across both carriageways. Obviously another driver lacking enough intelligence to be behind the wheel of a car.

Later, I was sat in my own car about to pull away when I heard a very loud screeching of tyres. Seconds later I witnessed a car cutting the T junction ahead of me at high speed. He was followed by another car that seemed to be chasing him. They sped past me and into a housing development that is marked by the road being only wide enough for one car at a time due to cars being parked along both sides along its length.

I term this time as ‘Silly Season’, but when it results in death or serious injury, something tells me that the word ‘silly’ won’t be the first thing that comes to the mind of the mother or father whose child is the victim.


Sunday 12 June, 2016

Upgrades - the things we love. Especially when free.

Except when said upgrade breaks something.

I lost count of how many ‘upgrades’ caused users to come running to the support desk because some management fool thought he or she knew better than the experts. We’d tell them it would all end in tears, but they’d push on regardless, knowing better than we did.

Come Monday morning, the list of broken installations would litter the work list and make a nonsense of any planning from the week before.

I’m glad to be out of the IT game. Too many people claiming to run things who don’t actually have a clue what they are doing, but in possession of managerial hats that say they should be listened to instead of those who actually know what they are doing.

That’s not to say that the odd IT glitch doesn’t creep up on me and batter me about the head.

My latest one is the Microsoft migration of Hotmail/Live/Outlook online email accounts across to the Outlook service - meaning a whole raft of changes surrounding server names etc.

Who’d have thought that lowering one’s running costs so as to maximise the shareholders’ dividends would break POP access for some email accounts?

If you are one of the unlucky people to have an older email address hanging off a Microsoft server, then welcome to loss of service. One particular Hotmail account of mine - registered back just ahead of the time when Microsoft bought Hotmail - has done sterling service for me over the years. Whenever I don’t want to use my proper email address because I suspect that the clown requesting it intends to spam me - I supply the Hotmail address.

Then, as part of Microsoft’s ‘upgrade’ I find myself no longer able to access said account through the Outlook client unless I reconfigure it as anything but POP.

Nice one, Microsoft. It looks like you employed all the useless managers that couldn’t cut it at my last IT workplace. Roll on the system-breaking upgrade!


Friday 10 June, 2016

I was driving through town the other day. Ahead of me was a pedestrian crossing. Like any normal person; I came to a halt to allow the man walking his dog, with two young children in tow, to cross the road.

The older of the two young children waved to me as they crossed and it was then that I recognised her and her younger brother.

The following day, I spoke to the young girl and discovered the name of her dog, and the reason for its name. Later, I spoke to her younger brother and casually mentioned the name of the dog.

Naturally he questioned how I knew the dog’s name. So I told him that his dog told me as he crossed the road. My explanation was expanded thus: ‘When he [the boy] wasn’t looking, the dog turned to me and told me.’

He and his young friends grew doubtful when one of them pointed out that dogs can’t speak.

My reply was that they don’t speak human-language but dog-language. As the owner of a dog, I know how to converse with our four-legged friends.

When he and his classmates pressed home the point that they didn’t believe that dogs spoke at all, I said, ‘How else would I know his name and why he is called so?’

There was a pause.

Once it was established that dogs do indeed speak, and that I can understand them, he was happy. He never questioned the fact that his dog had seemingly managed to tell me his name, and the reasons for being named that way, in the time taken for him to be walked across that pedestrian crossing.

One happy little boy was left when I sauntered off to do something else.

It is very handy being capable child-speak wrapped up as dog-speak.


Wednesday 8 June, 2016

I like rain. I especially like it when I’m inside watching it fall - outside...

Yesterday, I walked to work in a T-shirt. No jacket, umbrella, or suspicion that the glorious sunshine and blue, cloudless sky had evil plans for later in the day.

The first indication that all was possibly going to go a little bad was the fact that it was spitting with rain for a short while by early afternoon, despite the cloud being so thin that sunglasses were a must.

An interesting mix.

Later in the afternoon, I watched the clouds turn black and we were treated to a some quite impressive peels of thunder. However, it was accompanied by no rain - at first.

I was acutely aware, that I had no clothing to ward off whatever might came pouring from the sky as I walked home. Worse, I had my laptop in a rucksack. It the dark, foreboding clouds decided to dump copious quantities of water as I made my way home, I feared that the computer would not respond too well to the ingress of water into its delicate electronics.

Some truly huge raindrops came down. At first they were what might be described as occasional. I felt the odd ‘plop’ on my arm or head and glancing at the ground and seeing the odd large dark wet spot told me that that what I had just felt was probably something similar to what had caused those marks on the ground.

It continued like this for some fifteen minutes. I was a couple of hours away from heading off home, so I banked upon the current situation passing. I am nothing, if not optimistic.

Then it happened. The air suddenly turned to water and 30 seconds was more than enough to drench who or whatever was foolish enough to think it would pass.

The next two hours were a mixture of torrential downpours interspersed with heavy rain. While I was resigned to arriving home wet, my mind tried to make all sorts of plans to keep my laptop from harm.

I resolved to leave without my laptop and jump in my car once I reached home and head back out to collect my laptop from work. A waste of, perhaps, 40 minutes, but better than a soggy and dead laptop.

As I approached the door of my place of work to leave, the rain stopped.


Growing Old
Monday 6 June, 2016

Today is Bin Day for much of the roads on my walk into work.

The result is that many of the already narrow paths alongside busy roads are made even more difficult and perilous to negotiate due to plastic bins littering the causeways normally just wide enough for baby buggies.

Imagine my dismay when I spotted four huge lads in local upper school uniforms heading towards me along the same pathway. The oiks were going to hog the path and push their way through come what may as they headed off to wherever they were destined.

Judging by what my late father used to call bum fluff covering the chins of two of the bipedal hulks, I supposed their ages at around 16. From the uniform, I reckoned they were not old enough to be in Sixth Form as they wouldn’t have been wearing school uniforms... d’oh!

As the distance between them and myself reduced, I looked at a gap between the cars parked alongside the path. It was a gloriously sunny day and I was in good time, so I decided to step off to one side and leave the young hoodlums as much space as they needed.

The argument: There is just me, but four of you hogging what there is left of the pavement ARE going to give way - really isn’t me. Life is too short to be even considering that sort of stuff, so a couple of steps off the path was no issue. This was especially true given that I had timed a gap in the parked vehicles to allow a minor detour off the kerb.

As they walked past, each and every one of the four broke off from what they were saying to each other and acknowledged and thanked me. I was a little taken aback as I had not expected even a grunt or a glance.

My words, ‘You’re welcome,’ were genuine.

I carried on my way to work in the sunshine. I was in a T-shirt; not too hot; there was no pain from my hands or feet due to cuts or splits in the skin - life felt really good.

I probably drove myself down into anticipating the worst. Very possibly just me getting old.


The Garden Gate
Saturday 4 June, 2016

Some time back, a developer managed to persuade the local council that a small triangular parcel of land near a roundabout was a great place to build a dwelling.

I recall asking the bricklayer, as I walked past early during its being built, what was being constructed. He told me then it was going to be a bungalow and I walked on to work thinking, ‘He didn’t have to answer my question, but why did he feel the need to lie to me?’

As time passed, indeed a bungalow took shape and I realised the man had not lied to me.

Everyone I spoke to regarding it was of a similar mind: Who on Earth would buy such a small place? Then it was sold and someone moved in. The fact that their Astra is too big for the parking area adjacent to the bungalow is something that brings a smile to my face...

Anyhow, those of us who laughed at the apparent folly pointed out that there was a longer and thinner piece of land just across the road. A strip of grass the other side of the footpath. It was big enough to house a phone box and provide a place for dog walkers to let their dogs defecate. How about building something there? we jested.

Guess what? I walked into town to buy a jar of piccalilli (known to me as yellow stuff with bits in it) and saw the area fenced off and trenches dug for foundations. At first it looked to be TWO buildings, but given that there is zero space between the footings and the garden fence at the back, the other ‘plot’ may actually be intended as a garden to be tacked on to the side.

A dog walker stopped to read the signage on the fencing and I said to him that it made me smile. It turned out that he knows the builder. When I mentioned my feelings for the poor sods in the house alongside the strip of land and my surprise that they hadn’t objected to the building right up to their garden in the first place - he informed me that they had done that but failed to stop planning permission being granted.

You would have to see the location and size to understand just how incredulous I am that anyone would steamroller over the objections of the householder whose garden is being built alongside.

Even more crazy, the garden access of the house already there was via that strip of land. There is now no rear access to the garden of the house holder whose objection was overruled.

It is now a rather useless garden gate.


Global Warming
Thursday 2 June, 2016

This global warming lark is getting me down. Not because I find it depressing. Nor do I fear my house being flooded by an ever encroaching sea. Living almost as far from any coastline as it is possible to be in this country seems to have allayed my fears on that score. No, it is the fact that I turned the central heating off a while back.

How come that getting me down?

Well, I guess that the recent cold snap will be used to illustrate just how global warming is affecting us here in our little market town.

Here we are, miles from London and civilisation (so it is said by Londoners), and at the start of June. The sun ought to be blazing and we should all be walking around in short-sleeved shirts, and suchlike.

Instead, I am sat here wondering whether to run the central heating for an hour or two.

Suddenly, I shiver, and I find myself almost welcoming a little coastal erosion so I can avoid having to decide upon the question.

It would probably mean that I might need to seriously consider swimming lessons so as to manage when my house falls into the sea, but it might be preferable to having to wear jumpers in June.