Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring Breaks And That. 

Is it me or is their a whiff of Spring in the air? After weeks of awful freezing cold weather I feel as if the temperatures have risen slightly this week. Our Daffodils are starting to bloom and the crocuses are out. Flowers tend to be late bloomers up here. I hope I'm right, I'm off on a weeks holiday from tonight. So there will be stuff to do around the garden and walls to paint in the house, but it's not all DIY work, oh no that's not my idea of a break.

No, we're jetting off, on an Easyjet flight next week, to spend 3 night's in Nice. The only time I've spent any time in the South of France, was when our cruise ship stopped off in Villefrance, back in 1999 and we jumped on a train to Monte Carlo. We might even stop off at Villafrance, there's a nice little restaurant by the harbour where we passed some time eating a gorgeous pizza and a quaffing couple of bottles of local wine.

yes I think I'm looking forward to our little trip and I'm hoping the weather there is somewhat better that it is here. We'll probably take another train ride to Monte Carlo and take time out to see the Palace in Monaco, which we didn't have time to visit properly last time we were there. We may also take a trip to Cannes too, to visit the places you see on TV when the Film Festival is on.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bluetooth And Car Security! 

I was reading an article in my local weekly newspaper last night. Apparently there has been a spate of thefts from cars in the West Lancashire area that has been baffling the local plod for a while. Apparently every car targeted had a valuable item removed from it, the item had been stored out of sight either in the glove box or in the car boot.

They couldn't work out how the thieves knew that the cars targeted had items of value in them. Then one bright spark figured it out. The items stolen were laptops or mobile phones that were all Bluetooth enabled and had been left on in standby mode. The thieves had been using their own Bluetooth enabled hardware to detect cars that contained Bluetooth items.

It's something I hadn't particularly thought about, but I suppose it's obvious really. So be warned; if you must leave a laptop or mobile, or any other Bluetooth enabled item in your car, make sure it is completely switched off. If you don't then it might just be sitting there advertising itself to the local criminal community.

Monday, March 06, 2006

It Snowed.... 

It snowed up here at the end of last week, on Thursday morning my normal 20 minute drive along the M58 took two and a half hours. The snow wasn't actually that bad, but the Highways authority had neglected to grit the roads and a 6 car pile up on the M57 had a bad knock-on effect on all roads leading to the Switch Island roundabout on the outskirts of Liverpool. The accident actually resulted in the death of one person, but one has to wonder why in bad conditions are 6 cars involved in a pile up? Someone obviously was driving in a manner inappropriate to the conditions.

My biggest gripe about the traffic jam however, is not entirely due to the accident, we had problems getting through the traffic light controlled junction because the idiots entering from the A59 from Maghull junction, kept blocking the entry road from the M58 even when the lights changed against them. When the lights were on green for the M58 only 2 or three cars were getting through at a time. Inconsiderate morons the lot of them.

On Friday, I was supposed to travel over to Middlesbrough to meet up with some old school and college friends. The plan was to watch the Middlesbrough vs Birmingham game and then have drinks a fish & chip supper followed by more drinks. The snow got worse on Friday afternoon, and by the time I got home to pack the conditions were almost blizzard like. I made a decision not to travel at night, night driving is bad enough without snowed up roads adding to the problem. So I stayed at home, planning to travel early on Saturday morning expecting things to be easier in daylight.

Saturday arrived, I got up and found around 3 inches of snow had fallen overnight, it was hard to tell where our drive ended and the road started. Oh boy this is going to be fun, NOT, thought I. I had promised to drop my daughter off in Liverpool before I left, so an early start was definitely necessary. Anyhow after defrosting and loading the car I set off, I managed to slither my way up our close, which is on a hill, looked downhill at the road down to the main road, and decided against that route, as there would be no chance of stopping at the bottom of the hill, which joins the main A577.

I took another route through the estate and got back to the main road at a point that was less dangerous to join. No gritters or snow ploughs had been out, the roads were lethal, but I negotiated them carefully and made it to a petrol station to fill up before my journey. There were signs all over of cars who couldn't stop when entering roundabouts, ie tyre tracks heading through the middle of them. I thought the motorway might be better, I was right but only just. What I couldn't believe was the number of idiots bombing down uncleared lanes over taking the more careful drivers, you might think I'm harsh but there are times when I think that some people deserve to die.

Anyhow we made it to Liverpool in double the time it normally takes and I actually got to Middlesbrough in good time, the roads improved no end once I had got east of Warrington. The game was awful; I have never seen such a pile of unadulterated tripe in all my years watching football. The night out was a belter, well what I can remember of it was. The fish and chips at Barnacles were excellent, and the Old Hooky beer in Isaac Wilsons pub was damned good too. Better still I didn't have a hangover on Sunday morning either. By the time I'd got home on Sunday afternoon, the snow had all but cleared. I had one task left to do, change the spark plugs on my daughter’s car, which was a pig of a job, as you will know if you have ever tried to work on a Citroen AX.

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