Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Friday, May 30, 2008

39 Again!

Yep, It's that time of year again.

Happy Birthday to me!

Think I'll always remain aged 39. How are you meant to feel at any age? Who knows. We spend too much time concentrating on age in our society. Age is but a number. Of course with great age can come experience and wisdom. Hopefully, respect but all we are doing is marking time and when you see your life stretched out in front of you, it seems a long road to travel but once past a certain point, all too easily you realise the road is not as long as it once seemed and you find there is more of it behind you.

So I can honestly say that I feel no different(I probably am in a subtle way)how could I not be affected by events in my life. But I do still hold onto my sense of wonder bout the world, the universe and nature. Hopefully, I still have compassion and a sense of humour and not complain just for the sake of it. I hope that my ideals have not been compromised. And I have my sense of humour intact.

Anything special planned. Well, not really...just happy to still be around and that those closest to me to share it with whatever the future year has in store.

I have received some wonderful greetings from friends(You know who you are ;-)

I plan to take things real easy...and I have a couple of gifts that I'm happy with(it doesn't take much to keep me happy)

I have risked some drink to celebrate my Birthday later(not much)I don't need it to be happy and anyone who knows me for no particular reason I can go for months and years without. I have some blank DVD's(the offer was buy one, get one free)and for £5(quite a bargain)I have a remastered 3 cd set featuring the back catelogue of Elvis Presley(an artist I don't really have any of in my music collection)containing 90 tracks. That's all his UK no. 1 hits and the rest all having been in the top 10 of the charts.

I've looked outside and the weather is dull, it doesn't seem too warm and it's obviously been raining(some parts of the country have had it bad with homes and businesses flooded out in the past few hours)but at least it's not been blamed on global warming but flash floods and the inability for the system to cope with the sudden downpour.

So I guess that's it.

Unless something unexpected happens, it's a day for taking it easy. Then again if you've read my previous blog entries of late, could I do much else?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Shattered...

A day where I have done very little and probably seem very lazy...

I must consider investing in a larger pair of trousers or maybe this will give me the incentive to lose weight(by eating a little less)Exercise is out I'm afraid.

My hernia has been playing up again(well, a little more than recent times)it's popping out more so seems larger but then again, it's been a little easier to get back into the proper position. The only problem being how regular it moves unless I lay flat on my back on my bed and that seems the easy option which allows some comfort to some extent.

I received a letter from the Dr's surgery suggesting that I contact them because my recent blood test had thrown up some unusual results(But I have ignored that)because at the time the letter was written and being mailed out I had been seen by consultant who checks the results and who I have the tests done for and he's happy with how things are going as my own Dr(at the surgery is)and so their views override what is an automatic procedure the surgery has in position. It's good in one way that they are on the ball and ready to contact me but in another way had I not known already how my Consultant and Dr feel, receiving such a letter could alarm me un-necessarily and add to my stress and worry. I am to some extent, expecting these letters every time I have a test now and because I already know the results I just forget about them.

I accompanied Mum to see her Dr today and collect her prescription. Of late she's been unsteady on her feet and had a few falls around the home. There's a difference of 30+ years between us but what with her hanging on to me when attempting to walk and me walking with the use of a walking stick, I'm not sure either of us could've managed to walk much further than we did and coming out of the Dr's surgery we both having walked only a short distance sat down on a seat for a little rest. Almost having decided to order a taxi for a ridiculously small amount of distance and a crazy price to reach the chemist to collect the prescription, hence taking the walk slowly and trying to get some exercise.

Whilst Mum waited for her prescription at the chemists(I popped into the freezer shop)just facing onto the chemists. Having been market day there was no bread and very little milk on any of the shelves.

I struggled to pop some fruit flavoured still water, marmalade, milk and ice cream into a shopping bag alongside my TV listings mag. I could carry no more(That took some doing)but at least if I dropped the bag, it was items unlikely to be damaged or it would not matter if it did, knowing I would not be carrying it for long and using a taxi service and the drivers deliver what I purchase. And Mum was around to help share the load. I wanted some fruit and eggs but I hadn't the energy to attempt looking for them. I couldn't manage to go to the only baker's still open that might have any bread...might being the word. In my mind I thought if I make the effort and am disappointed I've wasted time and energy.

Luckily, Mum took the risk and managed to find what appeared to be the last small loaf of wholemeal and a white which she managed to have sliced. But again, fortunately, the baker's was near the chemists so only a few feet away from where we were which because of her being unsteady, I'm happy it was as close as it was.

We could manage no more. We then had to wait up to 15 minutes for a taxi. Summer it may be but it was cold, wet, windy and just plain horrible. More like the Fall or Winter. All we wanted to do was come home, have a rest and lay down.

We'll have our evening meal a little later, try to watch a little TV and I know I'll look forward to bedtime when I hope I'll get a decent night's sleep. Tomorrow, well, I can hope that just maybe it might be better than today.

And by Friday...it's my birthday and I reach a milestone.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Angel Of The North

Image Credited to the following site and link
I'm sorry...I have seen this from a car as I passed by on the motorway and seen it featured many times on local news programmes close up. I'm sure it's an engineering marvel but it's a personal thing. I hate this sculpture that has become associated with the North East of England as The Angel Of The North. All I can say is that I think it's a waste of money and I am happy that I do not have to look at it every time I look out of a window on my home as some have to that live in the location that was chosen to erect this sculpture.
I mention it now because it appears at a time where money is tight and councils up and down the UK are being wound down and being replaced by larger unitary bodies my own town is thinking of adding some kind of modern sculpture.
An article has appeared in the local free sheet suggesting that...
We are to have something that resembles a giant head and will be not much short of being 50 feet in height(whatever that is in metres)It will be placed near or on the Business Park and cost somewhere in the region of £165,000. Is this the best we can do with what I assume to be money that was set aside and those in charge feel it should be spent before they lose access to it and leave this "thing" as a kind of historic lasting memory of the previous local authority.
I have found what I believe to be another of this artists works and used by Hull University and shown on their website which if it's anything to go by, it does not instill or make me feel any happier of the new commission we appear we'll be landed with.
See the following link...
He does seem to like using images of heads a lot in his works.

I Guess It's Time...

To give a quick update of how things are. There is hope of further adjustment on the medication in coming weeks and my Consultant is happy with treatment stabilising matters. Me? I'm positive(but I always have been in the ten years since being diagnosed and treated over that time)if/when I might've been told the worst case scenario that might be different. My mental attitude was always "I'm still here" and I hope to say that for a few more years yet. I will if modern medicine and a clever and knowledgeable person like my Consultant continue to be there for me.

I still dislike my cholesterol reading be so very high but again keep being told "not to worry about that" In a roundabout way it could be related to the drugs I am on or the condition. I am trying a few ways to bring that down or control it regardless. I would still like to see it reduce. If I was a few points higher than acceptable(I wouldn't bother myself)but I'm really, really high.

So I have been told that I can still eat what I wish so as Garlic is allowed I have invested in some odorless Garlic tablets. If I see my reading in a month's time and it says that the cholesterol has reduced, I'll continue, if not I'll know it's been a waste of time because my diet is good.

I was told my weight has increased yesterday and...though it could be the steroids(and also they can make you want to eat more)though I don't see 4-5lbs increase as a problem as another time you can take it off, it was suggested that I try and eat less.

As I mainly stick to the traditional Breakfast and Evening meal(with a light Lunch)I don't think I'm bad at all. I also eat foods that generally is low in calories but healthy...lots of fruit and veg. And protein is mainly lean fish and chicken.

So all I can do is reduce portions slightly and...here's what might be adding the weight...I have been eating porridge on a morning and adding sugar. So perhaps I should reduce or cut the sugar. And some days switch what I have and try cereal and/or muesli instead.

I have no major plans to change what I have always done but will keep a watch on my weight. After I had been seen I was hungry and to save me having to start cooking something when I came home I went into the hospital's restaurant and had some baked beans, a pizza square and some chips followed by a lovely mug of tea. After all I can eat less from today.

It's probably the medication but the taste of some foods has been affected. Thankfully, most have retained their original taste but some items have lost their flavour or it's been altered so they taste strange. Chocolate has taken on a different meaning, maybe that's good as you are less likely to eat it. The other night I tried a pickled onion and that tasted weird. Generally meat, fish, fruit and veg has stayed the same and that includes those little treats like ice cream, custard, trifles and so on.

I remember someone else on steroids talking with me at the hospital a few weeks ago and she said how food sometimes tasted strange and how to try and get some normality she was adding spices and the like. On the whole I'm lucky my enjoyment of food has not be altered too much.

As happened before, the main symptoms that have resurfaced I've had before and I don't do much walking. I make certain that I rest a lot. And I welcome taking it easy. I do get cramps in my feet and toes and/or hands and fingers. When it happens it can be painful and difficult to get rid of. It goes but in it's own time. Also, it does cause fingers and/or toes to kind of feel as though they are locking. That could be the medication or the condition or both.

The steroids have increased my facial size so I have the full moon look but in time as medication is reduced that should return to some normality. But not overnight. We're talking months. The other symptom that I can hear and think others can but they probably don't is that my eyes can sometimes squeak and click when I move them in their sockets to look around. Its makes me feel a bit squeamish hearing that but I assume with the increase and change of face shape, the eye socket has changed so the eye has to change shape to fit. Again that will improve in time.

So for now...that's where we are. Overall things are positive. Honestly, they are even though the above may suggest otherwise.

If we've had any problems it's been again a continuation of trying to sort medication and the collection of from a local branch of a national pharmacist. The last time being that Mum has her medication dispensed weekly at present and the other night(after a mix up at the Dr's surgery)which resulted in a prescription having to be put up at short notice otherwise she was out of having any at all. The pharmacist had managed to only put six tablets in the box instead of seven)So though only one tablet may not seem important you are still going to be short. So I had to go in and get the missing tablet.

I'm hoping that things will return to normal for a few weeks/months now and that all the mix ups are behind us. At least I have enough spare medication myself to avoid ordering a new batch of drugs for approx three weeks so I have a break from the hassle.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Campaign Fails...

Here in the UK our Post Offices are under threat. Oh, the internet has played it's part with the increase in people using e-mail and instant messaging meaning that in many cases letters are no longer required and in many instances you can get a reply very quickly rather than waiting upto a week for a letter to drop through your letter box.

The same thing is true with phone calls, most people these days own a mobile so they text messages or just phone at the drop of a hat, often just to ask what to buy in the local supermarket. Hence it's been said that the traditional phone boxes(the iconic red ones)and some of the new are running at loss and there are plans a foot to close many down and take them off the street. What with running costs of repairing and cleaning them perhaps there is an excuse on business grounds.

Well, for all the campaign and backing from local council officials and our MP, a Post Office in our town will close. Leaving most business to be handled by one main branch in the town centre. It will be inconvenient to anyone that has mobility problems and little or no faamily or friends to ask for help to collect pensions or mail items on their behalf. It will cost money in bus fares and Taxi fares which if you are on a low income will bite into your savings and the money that you are collecting. As many of these Post Offices around the country being closed offered more than Post Office services...they were often shops as well. Selling the little things that can often keep people going especially if they suddenly run out of the basics like bread, milk or a can of beans...

Now on the other hand we are led to believe by information in the local freesheet that just maybe the town centre development that has been delayed/held up for some time could be starting to move. But it could take anywhere upto and beyond 5 years to complete.

Plans have been put on public display and it's said once the consultation with the public is over, the first action could start within weeks.

The basic design suggests knocking down some buildings and replacing them with new one's, many existing shops having the fronts taken off and replaced with new, some smaller units being knocked into larger units, some new retailers being tempted in.

They plan to open up the concourse and put in more seats, more trees(this assumes they can stop the vandalism that has happened elsewhere to trees that were planted)and that they will be maintained and cared for(others have been allowed to die off and I have never seen anyone water or feed them)they are often planted and then the roots covered with a kind of grate that doesn't really allow water to get into the surrounding soil. It also appears there will be the obligatory water feature.

It looks impressive but we'll see.

It was announced this week 37 Post Offices across the region will close
Town Plans

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Keep Taking The Tablets...

Having worked with the public and in retail for some years. I'm reluctant to criticise shops. I know having worked in the profession that most problems are from the Management up over and most of the workers on the shop floor are approachable and hard working.

As those on the shop floor are the one's that the public have contact with, any problems are taken out on the worker as they are the public face and contact between shopper and company.

Luckily, 99% of the time I have a good relationship with assistants and we manage to have a chat and pleasantries pass between us.

Unfortunately, when something goes wrong this makes it difficult to complain. Especially, if you dislike complaining in the first place. Also, if you complain and you have to continue using the shop and it's service, you have to face up to the fact that they'll know it's you who complained.

One of the(if not the largest)pharmacists in the UK is suffering in my town through a lack of trade. Think of a kind of footwear. Another pharmacist has opened in the new supermarket which must mean it's taking customers from this drug store. The older part of town has lost customers because of the new supermarket stocking more non food lines so "Everything" is under one roof and the supermarket is located the other side of town so people are staying away.

However, for all this as the drugstore is 5 minutes walking distance from a big Dr's surgery it makes sense(especially if you do not have access to a car or public transport)to continue to use this branch of this large retailer.

Except, in recent weeks they have let me down big time.

I know it's difficult to gauge what drugs to stock and re-order in case certain items are not needed(and just remain on the shelves)or some items may suddenly become so popular you run out of stock.

However, more than ever I am finding prescriptions that are pre-ordered and meant to be ready for collection having been sent over from the Dr's surgery are not ready. Or if 4 items are required, you'll find 3 items prepared but maybe only 7 tablets of the last item is in stock and the remaining 21 tablets will have to collected later. And as the prescription has been processed, it's not as if you can ask for it back and go to another pharmacist.

The latest hiccup resulted in an incomplete prescription last Thursday(I was owed 21 tablets)I waited until Tuesday to go in and get the rest of my order(new stock is supposed to come in twice each day)it wasn't there. I explained that I have to come in specially by taxi and it's costing approx £5 every time. And but for that prescription as I've done my shopping I have no reason to keep coming out.

For the first time ever they offered to deliver it to my home(I live only streets from the store)So they said they'd deliver it that afternoon. Nothing!

I happened to have to go out on Wednesday(another mix up at the Dr's surgery over an appointment and prescription for Mum which I decided to deal with)so I popped in again to see if it was ready for collection at the drug store. Guess what...not available again. But a promise that it will be delivered once again.

So Wednesday goes by and again...nothing!

Today, I had to go out and help Mum see her Dr and get her prescription(She's a bit unsteady on her feet and a few weeks ago fell whilst getting out of the taxi at the Dr's surgery)so I thought, let's try again(We're up to almost £20 in taxi fares now)and as I am supposed to get my prescriptions for free(this is like paying for them)

Hurrah! the remaining tablets were there at last, so at least I have them. But it's taken 8 days. Not the best service in the world. The assistants are not the problem but there is something seriously wrong with their stock control. The assistants I have to deal with in general are rushed off their feet.

And I've seen and heard many customers complaining that there are too few staff which means long delays waiting to be served and I have heard other customers being told that prescriptions are not ready for collection or not completed(all anecdotal but I have been in the store for up to an hour at a time)and witnessed examples over a period of months so it seems a regular problem. It was only last month the same thing happened over completion of my steroids and I was cutting things very fine.

The worse thing is when some of these drugs are running out and some you cannot just stop immediately but have to reduce gradually or are unable to until the Consultant or Dr says stop.

What should be the simplest of transactions...order drugs at the surgery and then collect at the drugstore is becoming so much more complicated.

Oh, and whilst I complain, have I mentioned the fiasco we now have if you wish to make an appointment to see a Dr?

Not so long ago you phoned the surgery on a morning. You probably had difficulty getting through at 8am but you knew that if the line was engaged you were not being charged and you could dial again and/or press redial. It was not costing a fortune.

Now, you get music and a variety of messages telling you that you are being connected to the surgery(so you are being patched through a computerised central switchboard)and then you'll be told if your call is not urgent as this a busy time why not phone back later as there will be a high volume of calls, that calls will probably be recorded and you are in a queue. But also, if you get through often you are told that the surgery is still closed even though you've phoned after 8am and been put through.

And yet you can phone back and find you'll hear the same messages or worse find that 20, 30, 40 people have managed in the time you redial to get ahead of you.

This morning even worse we were getting through and then being cut off with a dead tone so you couldn't even make contact. So it took approx 30 minutes to succeed in making an appointment and approx 25-30 attempts so I wonder what that will cost? Frustratingly, it doesn't help when your Dr is only on duty for approx 2 hours on the morning you want to see him and is then not available until next week. The worry being that all the appointments will be taken. Also, that there are only a few pre-bookable appointments that never ever seem to be available.

If you have to use a taxi to go to the surgery, you cannot be sure that you can get one practically straight away so you need a later time if possible so to be asked can you get in for 9am when you've taken 30 minutes trying to book an appointment until 8.30am(I don't think so)

Also not helped by the fact a new computer system has been installed so it had teething problems today as well.

What a day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

It's A Fix!

Over a year ago I blogged about a new idea that was being tried on mainstream television after a tryout on satellite and digital TV.

We had broadcasters offering cash to viewers who phoned in with answers to puzzles shown on screen. It could be seemingly as simple as a list of ten films starring a particular film star but over the months it started to become obvious that questions were being asked about how and who was being put through. You might the way the presenter talked believe that you were the only person being put through to the studio but there could be thousands on the line and being connected would not be a guarantee that you'd be chosen but you'd still be charged.

Then there could be subtle nuances within the game that would make it likely that the games could be dragged out for hours and hours.

The most famous incident was a question of what a woman carries around in her handbag and one item was(and it could happen but it would be rare)and that's a rawl plug. What's that? You know if you want to put a screw in the wall to hang a picture it makes the screw more solid to take the weight it's like a little plastic plug.

All kind of things started to unravel and most of the channels were investigated and eventually fined, closed down or the public lost faith and because they felt they had been taken for a ride, the profit margins meant the channels couldn't survive anymore.

Unfortunately, stories then started to come out about mainstream programmes on mainstream channels where you phone in to see a favourite contestant win a singing competition.

Or you phone in hoping to win a money prize or perhaps a selection of prizes. Or take part in a competition.

The TV industry has been shown to have been running quite a few scams(knowingly and unknowingly)

Examples would be...celebrities from soaps singing and being voted for by the public but producers ignoring who the viewer wanted to keep on the programme and still deciding who they thought should still be brought back.

People phoning in to play a game not realising that the person had already been chosen so anyone phoning in would be charged but have no chance of being picked.

A popular quiz that had run for years had insiders who worked on a programme phone in and even appear on the programme as contestants.

The list of problems is practically endless.

The BBC has had it's problems but the commercial TV sector is where most of this has happened.

So today after many reports our main commercial TV organisation with over 50 years service has been slapped with the largest fine ever given in the history of British broadcasting.

I have never taken part in any of these contests and always questioned money raised even when its for a charitable cause and even if the contest procedures have now been cleaned up and will no longer be suspect, I will not be adding to their profits. I suspect the British public for all this will still continue to phone in.

I thought having passed an opinion on the story ages ago I should bring you the conclusion and the easiest way is to give a link to the story on the net.

It's not one of television's finest days.

One Version Of The Story

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You Can Be Too Precious And...

I know it's not important but...

When I go out and shop to try and avoid having to make un-necessary trips and to make food etc...last as long as possible I look for the latest dates on milk and bread etc...and obviously use those with the latest dates last.

So it gets a little annoying to find my Mum often just goes into a cupboard or the fridge and takes any item out and doesn't check the dates.

Today as an example, There is a loaf of bread with a date of May 9th and another with the date of May 7th so guess which one gets opened?

And the bag is just torn open making it difficult to seal up what remains in the wrapper.

It's not worth getting worked up over but it now means that you are trying to use both the old and new alongside each other as once the newer loaf is open and air has got in its starting to go stale.

You can imagine the problem when the same thing happens with milk.

I can explain the situation and think it won't happen again but within a few days, I just know it happen again.

Do I sound mean?

Monday, May 05, 2008

We Have A Freedom Of Information Act...

Sort of...

It's said not to be as good as the one that has existed in the United States of America but at least we have one...

I understand that a selection of documents are released every 40 years without this act and looking back in hindsight some information looks quaint, strange and funny. But it casts a light on how our society was at the time, what the public's opinions and views were at the time or how and the Government or media of the time perhaps by what they said and what we accessed in our newspapers "Our" opinions and views were coloured by biased information we were being fed.

And that probably still goes on today. Perhaps with all the spin that exists, it's worse now than it's ever been.

And you do wonder what will come to light of "Our" times and events that we have lived through. But we'll never know as when the documents are released we'll not be around to see for ourselves.

We have a National Archive that puts up newly released documents each month to access but from what I can see you have to pay a fee to access the information and you cannot access the information for free.

So the following was printed in The Daily Mail earlier today and no doubt this report has been chosen for the quirky points it contains and they've looked for the strangest document released.
It's at a time when relationship with Russia at the time could pose a threat to the West and what may happen if there was a Nuclear assault.

The article goes onto say...

"Civil servants believed stockpiling tea could be the key to recovery. The tea position would be very serious," notes one civil servant in the report. "With a loss of 75 per cent of stocks and substantial delays in imports and with a system of rationing, it would be wrong to consider that even 1oz per head per week (enough for about 12 cups) could be ensured.

Their shopping list includes 40,000 tons of condensed milk, 200,000 tons of oils and fats, 700,000 tons of raw sugar, and 800,000 tons of wheat and flour.

Another crucial ingredient for the UK's survival would be corned beef."

Officials estimated that Five Million people could die but in the planned attack(not sure where they had received this information)and whether it was based on information gleaned from the intelligence community or was just them thinking "What If"

But it appears the overall worry was how the British could survive without their cup of tea.
Of course, I would ask even if you managed to stockpile all the above...would you have access to and how safe would your water supply be?

Good to see that we have our priorities in order...

National Archive Report

Air Pollution Makes You Bald

Who believes that?

Well I may accept that diet and some environmental factors play their part but knowing how many medical problems and variations are caused by genes, I am more likely to believe that is the reason.

Otherwise am I to blame air pollution for my lack of hair. I don't live near a main road with lots of traffic, I'm not living near an industrial park with large factories putting lots of pollution into the sky. I eat and drink reasonably healthily.

The only possible hiccup in my argument is that my Father did smoke and the latest study by the University Of London does suggest that as a possible cause.

But I'm sure that many of those I see with thinning or lack of hair are not that way because of what their parents did as such. Baldness is known to be hereditary and at least the study acknowledges this. Oh, I think I could say the environment plays it's part in most things...and a study isn't always required to come up such ideas. It's good old common sense.

Would I like my full head of hair back again...of course I would. Does it bother me? Not really as I don't have to sit there looking at myself and I've never been one for preening myself and looking at myself in the mirror for hours. And in the end what's important? The fact that I'm here and alive.

When you hear the suffering people have in their lives, losing your hair is nothing in the great scheme of things. But in saying that I'm not trying to belittle how some would find this a devastating problem but it's mainly a problem caused by others and their reaction to those who have lost their crowning glory but it's probably due to the great emphasis the media and advertising sector put on image. I would hope that in this day and age we are more enlightened.

Baldness Study

Symptoms Return...

The drugs and/or condition continues as I remember from years ago.

Certain cramps that result in pain and hands and fingers or toes kind of locking or wanting to close and small movements can be difficult to perform or doing so it can set off the above.

To attempt to reverse the above, it often means putting your hands in as hot water as you can stand in a sink and eventually things improve.

Bad day for the hernia, it seemingly wants to drop within minutes of standing or sitting and was pretty large and difficult to get back into place. Every day is different.

I don't know if my mood matched the day but it was dull, dull, dull outside. It rained all day and it was so dark and dismal, it was a day where lights were required during the daytime. It made me very tired and I just slept most of the morning away in a deep slumber. In fact it's been that way most of the day.

And to coincide with that I now find myself going through periods where I am very hot and sweaty and I have needed to run a massive electric fan to cool myself down. I suspect this is associated with the immune system being altered by the treatment.

For all the above I'm happy and my Dr and Consultant continues to be and hey, I'm still here.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Free Gift...

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So I was in the local supermarket last week, I had to go out(I did not want to)but I thought if I do all the shopping in one go I can avoid making the trip for maybe a week or more. In doing so there was an announcement over the store's intercom.

Make your way to a certain area and for free(no purchase necessary)every shopper in the store could have a free gift. If over a certain age(as it was something with a blade)
Turns out it was said to be worth £3.99.

Well, a group of us turned up and you know what was going to happen don't you?
We had to stand through a demonstration where a salesman tried to sell other products before handing out the free gift as promised. I don't anyone really wanted to attend the demonstration but we did.

What was he selling? A kitchen knife. How much was he selling it for? Approx £20!
But with that knife to try and tempt you further, he threw another identical knife in with that one. Two pairing knives, a fish filleting knife and a little plastic gadget you push into something like an orange and when you squeeze the fruit the juice pours out.

He gave individual prices on each item and by the time he was finished he was claiming that everything had a value of around £50. But you were getting everything for £20.

He explained that the knife had a lifetime guarantee and was surgical steel. That you can cut wood with it and he also had a hammer that he attacked with the knife.

I started to wonder why if the knife had a lifetime guarantee and could do all of this without it being damaged why you needed more than one of each knife in a set?

Also, I was tempted to purchase one pairing knife as he'd priced it at £3.99(or was it £4.99)and I thought that was a bargain. But after the demonstration I discovered that he no individual item for sale, they could only be purchased as part of the set.

He managed to get rid of approx 5 sets but that was all. It was a good knife but I bought something similar years ago so I did not need another(and mine was approx £15 cheaper)and to be honest though it works well on meat, vegetables and fruit, it's not very good at cutting bread.
But we all went away with the free gift you can see.

I was the last to get my gift and when everyone had disappeared and he no longer had to run through his promotional spiel, you could tell he couldn't clear everything away fast enough and couldn't really be bothered...until his next show which I heard being announced approx 30 minutes later.

Whether the free gift will get used or has much use I'm not sure...I can see it working with a carrot or cucumber but I'm not sure of anything else I can use it for but was free so...
I tried it earlier today and maybe it's me but I found it a waste of time. I'll see if I change my mind at some time(I could be doing something wrong)

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Votes Are In...

And the results have shown that once more the area has fallen to the traditional political party across the County and where my town had the National and local political machinery worried because so many Independents who succeeded the last time, the voters have returned to their core beliefs.

The Independents have not lost by many but it only takes a few votes either way to make the difference.

To some extent the change to a Unitary Council with fewer Councillors needed, I still feel that this is main reason for the decision to change to the newer model.

If less candidates had run(and the same people had been put forward)there probably would've been enough votes to see a similar result to the last election only a year ago but the extra choice diluted the votes available. And many candidates were unknown.

If you were suspicious, you could suggest that some of those who stood knowing that doing so would probably help certain candidates succeed. But this is only speculation and there is no proof to suggest it is fact. It has also resulted in some long established and hard working councillors losing their seats. Then again neighbouring wards where fewer candidates stood, they have given a spread of other political parties of different persuasions and another time it would not take much to tip things in another direction. The ruling party managed a majority of 8 seats. That is quite a close result.

I do believe that the overall make up of the council though it has a majority is as varied as it has been over the years which may show that traditional voters are disillusioned and old loyalties are no longer felt by younger or newer inhabitants that are moving into the area.

I may be talking of tradition and the colour of the party in power but I assure you I am looking at things with an unbiased eye as I honestly found it so difficult to make a decision where to put my "X" on the ballot paper and would choose what I think to be the right choice for the area I live. And my opinion could be totally different when voting nationally. But I do believe in using my vote.



The Story Locally

The Story As Reported Nationally