This basically a test …


Whilst I was editing my last contribution, I had a go using the new WordPress editor. When I started this blog, I used Microsofts blogging tool known as Windows Live Writer (WLW). After a while, Microsoft stopped supporting WLW and I was ‘forced’ to use Word as my blog editor. It was okay and I got used to it after a few posts. ThenI was told about an open-source editor called Open Live Writer (OLW). This free software was based, as you may have guessed on the old WLW programme. I’ve been using that for a couple of years now.

I am now beginning to come round to the idea of using the WordPress editor instead. In fact, this post was created using that editor. One of the selling points, in my opinion, is that this editor uses Grammarly as its spell and grammar checker. This is something that I have logged with OLW as a future update. I do find Grammarly very useful in spotting those silly errors that happen when we get a little carried away with our typing.

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Finally over …


This, of course, refers to our new bathroom. The fitters finished at around 1pm on Friday, but there was an issue with the lighting. They just couldn’t get it to work. The issue started on Thursday morning when they had fitted the ‘over the sink’ cupboard clip_image001which has two LED strip lights to light it up. No matter what the guys clip_image002did, there was no lighting. One of them called the electrician that they use, who couldn’t come straight away, but promised to come early that afternoon. He didn’t turn up. Next time we had was Friday morning which quickly changed to Friday afternoon. We needed him to be away before R*** came home at 5pm. The guy turned up at around 5:30, which was too late if he needed to turn off the main power supply. So it was arranged for him to come on the following Monday, just after 9am, which he did. Took about an hour, and when he finished he explained that one of the cupboard lights was not working. He had informed the company we were buying the bathroom off and they advised that they would be ordering a new one. That was fitted yesterday. K*** is very pleased with the outcome and we both think they have done a good job. It was not cheap by any means, but it is 1000 times better than it was before.

I do think the company is missing a trick though. I would have taken some photos before the job was started and more when it was finished. I would have then asked for permission to upload them to the company website, as a ‘Before & After’ type of self-advertisement. Could even have a few shots (not many though) of the fitters doing the job.

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I thought I had found the perfect part-time job for myself yesterday. I don’t want (or need at the moment) a job with many hours. This one would have only been 7 hours, on a Friday doing mainly admin work on the reception desk at a local school. Slightly fewer hours than I was looking for, but it would have been something.

Now, the issue here was that when I took early retirement, there were some conditions laid down. The main one was that I could not work for the Council, either paid or voluntary for 12 months from my final working date. This was because it wasn’t actually retirement in its usual capacity. How it worked was that I was taking voluntary redundancy (VR) and that the Council had arranged with the Local Government Pension scheme, that I could take my pension and lump sum early. As the closing date for this job is the 9th October, I would be in breach of the VR terms by applying before the 1st November.

A little disappointing, but it’s been the first time I have seen anything, that I know I could do with the hours that would suit. I just have to hope that they re-advertise the job again. It sometimes happens.

And on it goes …


So we are on day four of the new bathroom (weekends don’t count) and it seems (?) to be all going to plan. Well someone’s plan anyway. It does seem to be taking a long time. The guys are just on with the grouting of the tiles at the moment, and I understand that the cleaning of the tiles afterwards is a long job, due to the type of tile we have chosen. At the moment, there is the floor to lay, the toilet and sink to fit, the wall unit and under-sink cupboard to install, the lighting to install and fan to remove and finally before the cleanup, a new radiator to fit. They are supposed to finish by Friday … I’m not too sure about that. The main problem is that we can’t do anything. We have had to shut all three bedroom doors to keep the dust down which means that upstairs is out-of-bounds really. K*** has gone to have her nails done and to see her parents, but I have never been comfortable in leaving workmen alone in the house. Even those that we sort of trust. You hear so many stories of break-ins after work has been done. And they do like their tea/coffee breaks, which may account for the time factor.

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I did a silly thing a few weeks ago. It didn’t seem so silly at the time, but I am really regretting it now. You see when I left work, I had taken a copy of all the user guides, help documents and training manuals that I had written over the years.  I thought they would come in useful. Well about six or seven weeks ago, whilst (do you say ‘while’ or ‘whilst’?) doing a clear out of old stuff on my computer I took the random decision to dump them all. Now normally I would have copied them onto a CD just in case, but on this occasion I just deleted them. I now realise that it was a bad idea, as that kind of thing can come in useful when looking for a job.

I know that they were all in a single folder on the works computer network, and I have emailed a colleague a few times and asked if he could look for them, but he has not got back to me about them. He has been on leave, but I kind of get the feeling that he is not too happy with sending me them. I can’t be sure, but he either does not reply to the email or tactfully avoids the question. I think I may have to accept that for me, they have gone forever which is sad.

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More on the eldest lad’s predicament. After a lot of thought and input from others, he has decided that he cannot afford to keep the current house. His ‘ex’ has said that she would take it on under the same terms that she offered him. Basically, he would come off the mortgage and she would pay him a lump sum that equated to the half money that they had put into the property that could not be reasonably divided up. Thinks like carpets, lighting, appliances and the like. He is really up for this and me and K*** went to look at a new build not too much further away than he is now. It looked nice, but when he mentioned the location to his colleague, who knows the area, he was advised to not even consider it. It was a shame because it would have given him a three bedroom, semi-detached house at an affordable price. No amount of talking last night would change his mind. He is now looking at a new two bedroomed property, in an almost city centre location which, with a little help he could afford. This story could run for a long time.

Going to be a looong day …


So, today is the day we are getting our new bathroom. R*** went gone off on respite at 9 am, and the fitters arrived a few minutes later. A combination of good planning and timing I think. The estimate is 7 to 10 working days, but from what I can see of the bathroom, 7 days is probably the more nearer timescale.

It comes though, at a time when lots of things seem to be going wrong. Eldest son, is splitting up from his girlfriend, which is a big issue in itself, but that’s compounded by the fact that they are buying a house together. He is on quite a low salary, but feels as we do that he needs to keep the house. Selling it would not realise the finance needed to pay off the mortgage, and would leave him in a financial hole that would be difficult to climb out of. K*** and her sister are with him this morning, talking to a mortgage adviser about his options. It has been a very stressful few days. He was hoping that it could be resolved quite amicably, but that does not seem to be happening. Then to cap it all, whilst he was taking his neighbours to the airport on Saturday, he managed to get himself a speeding ticket. That old adage of “It never rains, but it pours” seems more truer by the day.

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One of the things that annoys me on forums and similar websites, is some peoples lack of gratefulness. I mean when you help someone, surely the proper thing to do is at least acknowledge the helper if not thank them. Recently on one such forum, a member was having a problem. Another member had looked at it and could not help much. I felt I knew what the problem was and thought I knew how to solve it. I posted my views, feeling rather pleased with myself. The member that tried to help gave a virtual ‘pat on the back’ and told me that it looked like I had solved it. The original poster …nothing. I’ve just answered another post for another member. See what happens this time

Where does it come from …


I don’t get many comments on my posts. This probably down to both the content and frequency of my writing, which I accept. It’s got to be good and often. But over the past couple of months, I noticed an increase in the amount of sp*m hitting my account. I was used to seeing 3 or 4 sp*m comments a month. Askimet seemed to be catching most of the offending content, and it all ended up in my Spam folder. It was a worry, that on one day in August, there was a total of 270 ‘comments’ in my Spam folder. The majority of these actually hit on one day. I deleted them and logged out. Just over a week later, when I decided to write the post about the August Bank Holiday, I again was drawn to the sp*m issue, when I saw that my Spam folder now contained over 300 items. Askimet at work again. How can I stop this?

I did the usual Google search and checked the many WordPress forums with varying amounts of success. One of the more helpful ideas was to enable a certain setting that the poster said worked for her. She advised that users should require all

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commenters to be registered users. This is found in the Discussion settings. I must admit, it seems to work as, since that day, there has been nothing pushed into my Spam folder. I’m not sure why I have not checked this setting before, but I suppose that the amount of junk I was getting before August was so low, that I did not worry about it.

My only worry now is that it might deter the casual reader. We shall have to see.