Friday, 10 May 2013

Lots to tell.

Be warned, parts of this post read like one of the Saga's in Old Norse, so convoluted is the story.
 Where do I begin?

You may remember that I appealed my recent parking ticket on the grounds that it had fallen off the windscreen. Well I got a letter back from the council, upholding my appeal (Good), but two things in it annoyed me slightly.

First, they said that the scanned ticket I had sent them matched the details supplied by the warden, in other words, THEY COULD READ MY TICKET FROM WHERE IT HAD FALLEN ONTO THE DASHBOARD. Therefore my “Crime” was to let it fall off the windscreen. So they knew that I had a ticket, but were still prepared to chance their luck at getting me to pay. I wonder how many people just shrug and pay up.

Second I was told not to do it again. Really, so must I now carry adhesive tape with me in case the glue on the ticket is not strong enough to hold it in place? It’s just like being back at school. Next time I might not be so lucky? Perhaps the glue is made deliberately weak, to increase revenue. (Now I’m getting paranoid---- or?)

Those in the know will have been aware that HMS Illustrious came up the Thames to Greenwich last Wednesday. Well my good friend and colleague Dave was assigned to pilot the vessel up river. As the steering position is on one side, a second pilot is required to advise of distances on the other side at crucial points, such as the Thames Barrier. Yes that was me, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, particularly as my father had served on its predecessor during WWII.

I got a couple of good pictures on transit.
Approaching the Barrier

Past and Clear

At the Dome

Manoeuvering at Greenwich

All Done!


When I got home from work on Thursday, Yvonne announced that she was craving Viennese finger biscuits, the chocolate dipped type. I made some Friday morning, unfortunately I didn’t have enough chocolate to dip so had to slap it on the top. (Neat finishing is not my speciality)

I also used up the veg we had (1 each pepper and carrot and 2 onions) to make a sausage casserole with veg stock and chopped tomatoes.


To accompany we had potato chunks, par boiled and tossed in Olive Oil and Mixed herbs.


All this goes in the oven for an hour or so.

With the onset of good weather, I ordered a new garden table and chairs from a well-known retailer, as it was half price and free delivery. They sent me a text message to arrange delivery, so we went out the day before. Imagine my reaction when they then cheerfully told me that they would be delivering a day early! Thank you next door.

When I unpacked the table, the mosaic top was cracked, so I called them for a replacement, and an exchange was arranged with minimal fuss. Although they did want to replace the chairs as well, but as they were perfect I declined, fearing that I could get a good table and broken chairs next time.

That’s when the fun started.

The boxed table weighs 46 kilo’s (99LB) and was about a metre square, so was a two man lift.

The first time, one man turned up without the replacement and refused to lift the broken one – Quite right.

The second time, two men appeared with the replacement and lugged it into my garden, “Just check it before we take the old one” said one of them, at which point I was unwrapped and found to be the wrong colour. So that one went back, leaving me with the broken one in the hall.

The third time, the same man as in the first time turned up, alone again, and we went through the same conversation. He departed empty handed, but without back problems.

During all this I was almost permanently on the phone to the lovely Karen, who I think was getting fed up with the incompetence on display. In the end a fourth visit was arranged, and all was guaranteed to be correct this time.

The day before, I got a call from the by now clearly embarrassed Karen, who told me the exchange would not take place.

“How bad is the damage?” was her question, I could see what was coming. To be honest, although the mosaic was cracked, the table bed was undamaged, and a bit of silicone sealer and a file to remove rough edges could have fixed it. But it was new and had cost me a lot of money.

“How about if we give you a full refund and you keep and repair it?” was her final offer, and I took it. I already had silicone sealer from when I decorated the bathroom, so for about a tenner in phone calls, and three wasted days I have a new table.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Richard

    I saw the programme and at the time I wondered whether you were in situ. So glad my instincts were right and am glad you have such a special memory of guiding HMS Illustrious up the Thames.

    I am also glad you won the battle of the parking ticket! Your wife is very lucky to have you doing the baking. I have to do my own!

    Take care