Wednesday, April 28, 2004

How Can This Be True? 

You tell me.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Yellow Blobs In The Sky! 

What a glorious weekend, the sun was out, the sky was blue and there was no sign of rain anywhere. So on Saturday we got down to a bit of gardening, well I mowed the lawns, then got down to assembling a bit more of the cast iron tree bench. God it seemed to take an age to assemble another 6th of this contraption, but I couldn't complain could I? It was sunny. I really do need a decent socket spanner set though. It was whilst assembling the latest section of the bench, that I realised there weren't going to be enough Nuts and bolts to finish the job, so during a tea and biscuits break I re-assessed what I needed to complete the job, made a list and resolved to visit the local hardware shop on the way to get my Sunday papers.

Having finished the second seat for the bench I turned my attention to the pond, and scooped yet more blanket weed out of it before dropping in a water Lilly, that we bought the other week, which had been sitting in an acclimatising tub of water for the last week. Mrs C, potted up another Lilly bulb that she had picked up in a Supermarket and put that in the tub. When I went to inspect the weed I had removed from the pond, I found a newt trapped in the congealed mess. I gently unraveled it and released it back into the pond. How the hell it found it's way there I'll never know. The nearest extent of water that I know about in the area is in the brickworks over 1/2 a mile away, and the route from that would be treacherous. Isn't nature amazing.

We finished the day with a barbecue of pork and leek sausages, local butchers beefburgers and barbecued onions, with a side salad. It was delicious, washed down with Murphy's and a bottle of Merlot. Actually I'd finished the Murphy's whilst I was cooking.

On Sunday I bought some nuts and bolts as planned then we dove into the Cheshire countryside to visit the Quinta Arboretum at Swettenham near Congleton. We wandered around the 28 acre woodland for just over an hour or so, taking in the views over the river Dane, and even spotting Joderall bank from one view through the trees. The Dane valley is really picturesque at this point and sitting on a bench looking down on the river disturbed by no-one apart from the odd rambler was really peaceful and relaxing. At around 2pm we decided it was time for lunch and retired to the Swettenham Arms near the entrance to the arboretum. There we sat outside drinking a beer or two and eating the freshly prepared sandwiches. I can thoroughly recommend the food and ales at this 16th century inn, though it does get busy in the peak lunch periods.

I think we spent around 2 hours sitting in the sun sipping our drinks, it was a nice way to sit and waste time chatting about rubbish and indulging in people watching of the Cheshire Set. The Merc's and BMW's, not to mention the ubiquitous 4x4's that will never see off-road action in their lifetime, were abundant in the car park, There was even a Rolls parked up a couple of cars up from my little Punto, which might be little and cheap but it had a newer number plate on it than any of those up market beasts.

Yes, a really pleasant weekend was had by all, I hope yours was as good.

Friday, April 23, 2004

St Georges Day 

So it's St Georges Day Today, if you are English, what are you doing to celebrate our patron Saints day?

Me? I'm working just like every St Georges Day, but I'll probably have a Murphies or three and maybe a glass of wine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Back Again 

Right a lot has happened over the last three and a bit weeks, I won't go into great detail about some of the events because I'll just get bloody angry about them all over again and everything is now sorted out again, but there will now follow a brief synopsis of what's gone on.

Mrs C finally received details of her X-Ray appointment, with the details was a sachet of a drug that the Radiologist wanted her to take before attending for the session. It was a particularly nasty drug and we were sure the instructions to take it were not right as it was the same drug and instructions that she had had when she first found she had cancer. We couldn't work out what she needed this for this time around. With that in mind we phoned the hospital and questioned the instructions, the X-ray department were adamant that the instructions were correct, so we consulted the nurse who is on Mrs C's case and she said that under no circumstances should she take the drug and we should make sure the radiographer knew the full circumstances. On getting back to the X-ray department, they said take half the dose, No way said we and told them to check with the consultant in charge of the case, lots of Humming and Ahring came back but the radiographer finally agreed to check. When they came back they just said: "Don't take anything, just come in on the day". No apology or anything.

In between that and the X-Ray appointment we had a reasonable week's holiday, plenty of weeding in the garden a 2 night mini break in Lincoln, that turned out to be a nice city something like a small York in the old area around the castle and cathedral, both of which we visited. If you ever stop over in Lincoln, I can recommend the Gino's an Italian restaurant in the Bailgate area, it was very good. We returned home via Bakewell but didn't stop there too long as it was pouring down with rain. The weather had been fine up to that point. We enjoyed the week off at least and we'd had pretty good weather for the time of year.

On the Monday after our return (The week running up to Easter), Mrs C attended for her X-ray, only when she got there they claimed that there wasn't a radiologist available to do the job as they hadn't been aware of her full circumstances, this after she'd spent hours on the phone trying to highlight their cockup in the first instance. It all stemmed from the doctors note not detailing her condition in full, or so the X-ray department claimed. They told her to go home and they'd send out another appointment. That was not good enough as she was due to see the consultant on 19th April for a final operation date and it was all their fault anyway, so she asked to be given a date there and then and she wanted it that week. No way they said, we're fully booked. After a long argument and her refusing to move for an hour until she had a date in writing, they found a slot the next morning. She also collected details of how to make a formal complaint about the incident. The next day the X-ray was done without incident, and surprise surprise they couldn't do enough for her. So next up was her appointment with the consultant.

In between then we had Easter and more work on the garden when the weather permitted. I removed the pond pumps as the waterfall seemed to be flowing with rather less water than normal, only to find one of the pumps was clogged with blanket weed and also had a dead fish blocking the inlet valve. That cleared we visited a few garden centres and I ended up buying oxygenating plants for the pond and a couple of water lilies, hopefully these should help to reduce the blanket weed problem that seems to have escalated over winter.

Mrs C spotted a bargain cast iron (Victorian Style) tree bench in one of the garden centres, so that was purchased without a thought for the cost, it was really a bargain and we'd been looking for one anyway. I'm in the process of putting this thing together now which should be fun as there are no instructions with it and it's damned heavy I can tell you. I've put one section together (one sixth of the Hexagon) and it takes two of us to lift it.

Earlier this week Mrs C saw her consultant and finally got some good news, everything has healed as it should and they can now do the reverse operation. A date has been set for her to go back in hospital on 20th May and we now feel there is really a light at the end of the tunnel. She now cannot wait until we can book a proper holiday and take some real time out to relax and do everything we've been thinking of doing over this last year.

I hope to be posting on a bit more of a regular basis again soon, but work is still very busy, the customer still hasn't signed the contract but should do so in the next three weeks. They've nailed down all their final requirements and agreed with all the documents that we have produced, so it's now up to them to get their purchasing mob sorted out.

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