Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Knickers Incident.

Friday afternoon I went for a hard won appointment at my GP's in Leeds. 

God forbid if Jeremy Hunt ever does get his way about rationing appointments with a doctor; the practice receptionist will become the most hated profession in the country. But after being prodded and poked I was sort of relieved he hear that my GP concurred with me. I was ill with quite a high temperature! They attempted to take a blood sample but due to very deep veins in my arms after several attempts defeat was admitted and I was asked to attend when a professional phlebotomist was present. I had entered the surgery feeling sweaty and distinctly crap, I left feeling the same but with a sore and punctured arm too,  the hand attached to it clutching a swathe of prescriptions for antibiotics and my druggy lifeline of inhalers for my chronic asthma.

After a quick trip to Boots to collect my prescriptions - which included walking past the Lancôme counter where the assistant smiled broadly at me (whilst most likely whilst muttering Ker Ching underneath her breath). Several days ago she had expertly relieved me of £109 for cosmetics. With hindsight I am ashamed i spent more on facecream and girly stuff in 10 mins than when my children were younger we had to spend on food and necessities in a week! But looking at  the positive - it wasn't gin.

At the moment I am not a gin fuelled activist but one "assisted by antibiotics"

Wandering sweaty and unwell through the streets of Leeds  a coffee was in order. As i am trying not to go in starbucks i decided to go to Marks and Spencer's café for a brew, besides they also had water and ice there so I could multitask and take my first lot of tablets and industrial strength paracetamol to get my temperature down.  Feeling a bit better 20 minutes later I wandered out of the café and headlong into the underwear department.

Now lets get this straight the only people who ever see my knickers are the neighbours when they are  hung out to dry, and i will be honest it isn't a pretty sight. At my age a decent pair of undies are those that fit snugly under the arm pits and don't flap too much round the knees! So I started prowling the knicker racks, which in a nutshell can be a very revealing experience in itself.

The  only big decision I had to make was 3 pairs for £10 or should I splash out and go for 5 pairs for £12. I went for the ten quid option and as a consequence by the time i had migrated down to the food department to buy nice orange juice and fizzy water i was clutching three pairs of knickers (all of which were on those little hangers)  in one hand. The store by now was full of shoppers who were dropping off to buy food for the weekend on their way home from work.

I am  good at queuing, i critically assess the food in peoples baskets to help pass the time. But after a couple of minutes of waiting it wasnt the food i was checking out but the young man staffing the till. Twenty if he was a day and obviously from the sweet soft looking face wasnt particularly au fait with the morning ritual of shaving! Two people in front of me, four behind. Sarah clutching three pairs of knickers suddenly realised that this dewy faced youth along with my orange juice, bread and cake was going to have to scan my underwear. I  considered reversing out of the queue feigning an excuse "Whoops forgot to get Grandma a get well card" but lets be fair if i can challenge a chief fire officer facing off  a youth on a till should be a doddle. 

To be fair the first pair was the worst.

 Did i want the hanger?      No! 

Did i need them in a seperate bag?     No!

As he started to carefully fold them my embarassment got the better of me and i snatched them off him and stuffed them in the carrier. He did attempt to repeat the ritual on scanning the second pair but the withering look i gave him cleary indicated disdain and  he handed them unfolded to me and i stuffed them in the bag. Pair three and he had cracked it........pinged them off the hanger a quick peep from the scanner  and handed them straight to me.I have never paid a bill as quickly in my life and left without putting my change in the little plastic fire engine collecting for the Fire Fighters Charity as i usually do.

As they help the emergency services and this was an emergency i am sure they will understand.(and perhaps internet shopping is the way to go, where knickers are involved anyway!"  And it wasn't half as bad as the Lidl Condom / mints fiasco - I suffered PTSD from that and haven't bought mints in tins since!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Revolution Anybody ? We have to start somewhere, tomorrow is as good a day as any!

As tomorrow is the 

Hand Off Our Homes  
Bedroom Tax Demo 
12 noon Outside the Art Gallery, Leeds   

I decided to post this. I was really taken with a poem a friend of  mine sent me today 

For the Bishop  Hatto  - replace with Osborne, Clegg, Cameron, Cable, Wakefield even!   Whatever rocks your boat. 

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The summer and autumn had been so wet,
That in winter the corn was growing yet:
'Twas a piteous sight to see, all around,
The grain lie rotting on the ground.

Every day the starving poor
Crowded around Bishop Hatto's door;
For he had a plentiful last-year's store,
And all the neighbourhood could tell
His granaries were furnished well.

At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day
To quiet the poor without delay:
He bade them to his great barn repair,
And they should have food for winter there.

Rejoiced such tidings good to hear,
The poor folk flocked from far and near;
The great barn was full as it could hold
Of women and children, and young and old.

Then, when he saw it could hold no more,
Bishop Hatto, he made fast the door;
And while for mercy on Christ they call,
He set fire to the barn and burned them all.

"I' faith, 'tis an excellent bonfire!" quoth he;
"And the country is greatly obliged to me
For ridding it in these times forlorn
Of Rats that only consume the corn."

So then to his palace returnèd he,
And he sat down to supper merrily,
And he slept that night like an innocent man;
But Bishop Hatto never slept again.

In the morning as he entered the hall,
Where his picture hung against the wall,
A sweat-like death all over him came;
For the Rats had eaten it out of the frame.

As he looked, there came a man from his farm;
He had a countenance white with alarm:
"My Lord, I opened your granaries this morn,
And the Rats had eaten all your corn."

Another came running presently,
And he was pale as pale could be:
"Fly, my Lord Bishop, fly!" quoth he,
"Ten thousand Rats are coming this way;
The Lord forgive you yesterday!"

"I'll go to my town on the Rhine," replied he;
"'Tis the safest place in Germany;
The walls are high, and the shores are steep,
And the stream is strong, and the water deep."

Bishop Hatto fearfully hastened away,
And he crossed the Rhine without delay,
And reached his tower, and barred with care
All windows, doors, and loop-holes there.

He laid him down, and closed his eyes;
But soon a scream made him arise:
He started and saw two eyes of flame
On his pillow, from whence the screaming came.

He listened and looked; it was only the cat:
But the Bishop he grew more fearful for that;
For she sat screaming, mad with fear
At the army of Rats that was drawing near.

For they have swum over the river so deep,
And they have climbed the shore so steep;
And up the tower their way is bent,
To do the work for which they were sent.

They are not to be told by the dozen or score;
By thousands they come, and by myriads and more;

Such numbers had never been heard of before,
Such a judgment had never been witnessed of yore.

Down on his knees the Bishop fell,
And faster and faster his beads did tell,
As, louder and louder drawing near,
The gnawing of their teeth he could hear.

And in at the windows and in at the door,
And through the walls, helter-skelter they pour,
And down from the ceiling and up through the floor,
From the right and the left, from behind and before,
And all at once to the Bishop they go.

They have whetted their teeth against the stones;
And now they pick the Bishop's bones:
They gnawed the flesh from every limb;
For they were sent to do judgment on him!


More information about Hands off Our Homes 
can be found HERE

Monday, 15 April 2013

51 and counting

Today is my birthday, i am 51. 

Trouble is i only feel about 20 in my head, but my body is slowly starting to rebel and act its age, which i strongly object to.  I am doing nothing this evening but after the Burmantofts & Richmond Hill Farce (aka community leadership team)  tomorrow I shall, with friends slope off to my favourite watering hole The Spring Close , get comfy by the fire and sink a few gins before sloping off home slightly merry. 

The past few  days have been strange, Monday  I had lunch with David Williams of the Fire Brigades Union to talk about  WYFRS stuff and instead it ended up as a celebration of the fact Maggie Thatcher had died. We were just tucking into our nosh when it flashed up on the screen in the pub and unfortunately all talk of fire stations and blogs  went hurtling out of the window.  I retreated to facebook to see what was being said and Dave’s phone exploded with a flurry of congratulatory texts. We did do one useful thing though, the FBU has very generously donated £100 to Friends of East End Park as a kind of thank you for FCCL and COVEN helping them out. It will be used to help fund Lark In the Park 2013 our annual  young peoples shin dig which is always held the first Saturday of the Summer Holidays.   The Fire service usually send a fire engine down to the event and small children get to have a go, try on uniforms etc  (giving head lice to a fire fighter every now and again I am led to believe). Such a shame most of those kids will never fulfil their dream as by the time they grow up there will be hardly any jobs in WYFRS – but no doubt the Chief Fire Officer will be getting a mighty fine salary!
Simon Pilling gets over £160k a year  which is just ridiculous

Is he worth it – no he isn’t! 

And i can say that with some confidence, having started to investigate and research how other Fire & Rescue Services engage with the public that WYFRS are way way  behind  in regard to the use of social media.
For WYFRS = THE KGB with its network of back stabbing and retaliation for holding the wrong opinion to the ones prescribed by the top table .Information  is to be shared not hidden ( i am with Eric Pickles on this)  

For example -  they seem very keen on using hearsay evidence to beat people with rather than facts. For several months i have been waiting to be called as a witness in an investigation - i am even named in the papers, but haven't heard a word from them and then hey ho the investigation is said to be unnecessary, my arse it is. I hope the person concerned takes it much further - to the ombudsman if necessary!

I am seriously considering writing a blog titled 


Fire & Rescue, About Undisclosed Documents !!!

Other brigades tweet, blog and boast - not WYFRS they seem very keen not to promote the work they do -  that is assuming they do it, i am not surprised their staff morale is rock bottom. 

Anyway - rattling through the week, on Wednesday  after taking the afternoon off, i attended an industrial tribunal hearing. Not as a witness but just out of curiosity. Not a lot happened but i have to say the room was an absolute greenhouse, if it was in EEP it would have made a brilliant cannabis farm!

Thursday was my sons birthday - Joshua was 26. As our birthdays are only 4 days apart i always remember him coming up and saying "i was your birthday present wasn't i Mummy" and me snarling back at him " Yes darling you were" whilst trying to rearrange my face into a motherly doting smile. Josh has been bought a juicer as his present and  i suspect he will shortly be more oompa lumpa  coloured when the excess of fresh carrot juice consumption kicks in. 

As i can see it,  the only advantage to adult children is that you can take them  to the pub for lunch and buy them a pint, instead of a coke, packet of crisps and a colouring book!

The weekend was quiet, probably too quiet for my darling bunny Sascha who was looking a bit grubby round his nether regions so was subjected to his first ever botty bath.  Let me make it clear, bathing a bun is a two person job, but there is only one of me. 

RECIPE  - first take one rabbit,,,,,,,,,,, and you will also need. 

1. A sink of nice warm water was run, with a small amount of pet shampoo squirted in 
2. Three towels, one for the floor, one for wrapping the bun in and one to wipe the soap off my face
3. Pet conditioner - because he is worth it
4. A brush so my darling boy could be tangle free 
5. Bedroom nice and warm so he wont catch a chill afterwards
6. Hair dryer (or should that be hare dryer plugged in and good to go
7. A reward for being a good bun (aka A BRIBE  to stand still) 


a) First catch your rabbit - easy peasy 
b) Transport rabbit to sink - not so easy as by now its rumbled somethings happening and it goes into Vet aversion mode
c) Dunk buns bum into sink, actually this bit went quite well, massage fur gently to ensure shampoo is well distributed 
d) Pull out plug whilst gripping  bun firmly by scruff of neck, use towel and other hand  to wipe soap from your  face, arms, body etc. 
e) Refill sink with warm water and swoosh buns bum around to ensure he is soap free, 
f) Repeat twice............. by now you will be soaked to the skin btw.
g) Pick up bun and wrap in towel  (ok that should read pick up bun, get kicked to bits, and nipped whilst attempting to wrap said lagomorph in a towel) 
h) Transport bun to heated bedroom and attempt to rub dry with a towel
i) whilst pinning bun down gently  brush fur to ensure its tangle free
J) Sit  very annoyed rabbit on knee and blow  dry with hair dryer (he sat quite still for this bit) 
k) reward bun with bribe, whilst bun is  eating bribe wipe poo and wee off your knee as rabbit has objected in the most physical way to being dried that he knows how,  which is why he was sat still in the first place
l)  finally spend  hours persuading rabbit to come out from under bed where he has gone into the furthest corner to SULK. 

Please note my bun and i know the measure of each other and i know how i can handle him without causing him distress   - for proper bunny advice read  this by my dear friend Karen Wren of Ross Rabbits. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

You need to click this

Some things in life are important 

This is --------------please click here

And its not exactly Christian Grey Standard but hey ho !

Thank You 


Friday, 14 September 2012

Monday - Wednesday (its been a busy week

Week commencing Monday 10th September (mon - weds )

As i need to rant about Thursday  (big style) you would have died of boredom before i got to it so have made an executive decision to split this weeks rant into 2 parts.


Still feeling diabolical so crawl out of bed and email work to say I am stopping at home. Because I live alone and hence am unable to get sympathy from those around me I stick a note on my face book page saying I am poorly – virtual sympathy in these days of the internet will in emergencies have to do.
I rally a little in the afternoon but still have a temperature and feel clammy. Check my home email  and have emails from both firemen past and present and also from Friends of the Earth and the Green Party about  the No2 Incinerator Campaign. By the time you read this a press release complete with a “secret” set of        appendices will have been sent to every journalist in Leeds. Flash bang wallop what a blooming contract ............... we have had it read by professionals and its a joke (or license to print money if your name is by any chance Veolia).
Crawl back into bed and stay there – listening to my complete boxed set of Old Harrys Game CDs – which is the best comedy programme EVER. Andy Hamilton is simply a genius.


Crawl out of bed and email work I am still dying – I am pretty sure as my insides are giving me hell I have been contaminated with wheat gluten. 
Crawl back into bed and play on face book as I need more virtual sympathy.  Update Diary of Gin Fuelled as it’s a quick copy and paste job from word . After a quick message from a friend I discover that tragically an elderly gentleman died in a house fire last night in Chapeltown. Appliances from both Moortown and Gipton attended but even with fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus he could not be saved.
 And it re enforces why I am rolling up my sleeves and fighting the fire cuts – because a smoke alarm may (hopefully) mean you watch  a fire from the outside of your house  instead of screaming for help from the inside,  and  only a qualified fire fighter can get you out of a burning building safely. NOT ONCE EVER HAS A SMOKE ALARM CARRIED A PERSON FROM A BURNING BUILDING......... Simon Pilling and all the councillors on the fire authority hold that thought and Vote NO to the IRMP 2012/13.

Later in the afternoon I take a call from from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. They are ringing regarding a blog post about the event listed above. Under normal circumstances I would of course tell you all about it but  I don’t think I can /should. They have breached every information governance and I suspect the data protection act rule in the book! And as I am not the press and therefore not covered by rules regarding embargoes in theory I could blog to high heaven about what they have told me, but I won’t. I couldn’t  - I can’t say any more I am absolutely appalled. I have however informed WYFRS and am considering making a formal complaint. The things WYFRS will do to change things round beggars belief.

This evening is the first of the Community Leadership Teams – a meeting to be held behind closed doors. I most certainly do not approve but will be going along so I can report the goings on in this blog. Only labour could in their wisdom choose to close the best attended forum in Inner east Leeds – I do not doubt for a minute because they don’t like what it says to them........ never mind my tune won’t change I shall still carry on.
Before I go to bed I sneak a peek at the hits we have had on the new site to oppose the fire cuts and I am pleased – so far so good.

Arrive at work to be confronted by the bag of tortilla chips. ........ we (the office) are down to about the half way mark.
Feel a million times better due in part to copious amounts of tummy calming drugs – three cheers for the NHS  (whilst we still have it)
Work is a disaster for an hour or two as our systems are playing up (again). But it gives me an opportunity to catch up on “stuff”. Take a peek at the new blog we have set up   FIRE CUTS COST LIVES (click to take a peek) and we have already got over a hundred hits which is amazing from a standing start.  And to say only yesterday 3 people knew of its existence. The  Fire Brigades Union have  indicated that they will only supply information for it if we ask for it (nicely of course)so decide to ask a very general question and see what floats back via email. I can make the requests more specific as we go along.  At lunchtime the hit rate had crept up and I am feeling a combination of smug and happy. (ok 75% smug 25% happy).
Sadly,  after much deliberation have had to formally complain about member of staff at WYFRS.  And then discover their compliments / complaints email address isn’t working. So in the end send it to Simon Pilling – chief fire officer and Cllr Khan of Kirklees – whose email sort of gives the impression he is rather too important for his own good............ 
Which gets me thinking perhaps I should have a new email address
 that.woman     or 
Anyway by the time I leave work my smug AND happiness ratings are sky high..........the new blog is going bananas.
In the early evening as my nails are looking distinctly tatty I take all the old polish off them, give them a bit of a file and spruce up then repaint them a dark red. But I do miss Scarlet doing my nails. Decide to make determined effort to find new manicurist, I may be a bad tempered old goat but even hooves need the occasional pamper session.

Thursday to Sunday to follow ................................... on monday !!!!

Enjoy your weekend

Sarah X X X

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Not Yet Nigel

Week commencing Monday 3rd September 2012
What a start to the week,  the No 62 Bus was 20minutes late. I was just getting to the “fidgety looking at my watch” stage when it trundled past on the way down to Cross Green. I glared at the bus whilst raising my wrist and stabbing repeatedly at my watch, and although he clearly saw me he did not even register 0.5 on the bus drivers scale of passenger disdain. So I did the only thing one can do in such circumstances – I swore at him, casting serious doubts on both his sexuality AND parentage; even though by this time he was 100metres down the road – (it’s the thought that counts and I said it with such feeling too).
 Eventually stomped into work at 9.15am and fortunately nobody seemed to care and / or notice. In that respect I am lucky that in my department we are not a set of clock watchers. As long as you do your hours and obviously don’t miss meetings the management are very relaxed.  After a morning of work I went to Bridgewater Buckies and met my friend Pippa Sharp of Pippas Pantry fame to collect some cupcake toppers I had commissioned for a friends birthday bash. Commissioned  - doesn’t that sound posh? In reality i was too lazy, busy, incompetent *delete which is inappropriate,  to make them myself and after promising  to assist in making a cupcake tower for a friend at the COVEN Cupcake Book Club for a secret birthday do and having a looming deadline, I asked Pippa if she could essentially bail me out, which she did admirably and at mates rates, ha ha!
In the evening I dropped them off at Susans so she could add them to the buns she was making (which after the icing and toppers are added will  be transformed from humble buns to magnificent cupcakes) and after a quick coffee and conversation around the underwear folding incident I had been party to the day before (nope I am not explaining “its complicated”)   I went home and indulged in the sheer luxury of getting home before 10pm (well for about ten minutes) and then I was bored senseless.

Busy day today  - so need to be super organised.  As a miracle occurs and the bus arrives on time I jump off at Leeds Kirkgate Market and do a spot of shopping prior to going to work. A pork chop, lambs steak, 3 bunches of coriander, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots and a butternut squash later ,I hop back on a bus and get to the train station stop.
I did very well and remembered to put the meat in the works kitchen fridge and stick the rest under my desk – the smell of coriander rises up and for the rest of the day my end of the office is distinctly herby and fragrant.      
As I have two meetings this evening Friends Of Kirkgate Market and The COVEN Cupcake Bookclub I am super organised and leave work at 5pm sharp and nip to Costco to get some nibbles for the book club.     The trouble with Costco is everything is so BIG. So I end up buying a kilo bag of tortilla chips, some dips to go with them, a huge punnet of blue berries and some amaretti biscuits.   The blue berries will be scoffed over a period of a few days as I am really into trying to eat foods of different colours at the moment – nice orange butternut squash, yellow sweetcorn, red beetroot and nice green broccoli all feature in my meals these days. Chuck in the blue berries, nice brown chocolate and clear gin and tonic and that’s what I call a balanced diet!    
Onward to Friends of Kirkgate Market and oh the shame I arrive late and most of the meeting  is over. I  get there just in time for  a nice glass or two of fruity cider with ice.  After an hour it is onward to the bookclub at the Spring Close Tavern where we are having both a discussion about the book Shades of Grey and a surprise birthday party for Warren who is the grand old age of 47- but he actually looks in his mid 30s the lucky git.
The conversation around the allegedly mucky book shades of grey is decidedly lack lustre now we have all read it – it was an easy read, very uncomplicated and disappointingly tame. I am not sure what I was expecting and I am most certainly not widely read but it seemed just like a book you would read on holiday whilst soaking up both sun and gin simultaneously. A bit of a page turner in places, and cheap so it doesn’t matter if it gets soggy in the pool.  I suspect it will be coming to a charity shop near you soon. (well thats where my copy is going anyway).
After bookclub and repeated attempts to force people to eat tortilla chips I come home clutching at least  800grammes of the dratted things.  Put perishables in fridge and am in bed in minutes and probably snoring like  pig in ten.

Woke up to find cherry tomatoes all over the floor – I may be having rabbit pie for tea!!!!!
After cheering wildly on discovering Andrew Landsley had been removed from his position as Health Secretary I sink into a deep depression when the new one  Jeremy Hunt is announced.
Hunt the Cunt in charge of the NHS – I am going to cry
Took the tortilla chips to work and left the packet casually open near my desk - ..........
Had a very interesting chat with a bloke called Walter Awah at 5pm  about his group Organisation for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation. Based in Cross Green Walter is a trained mediator who wants to work with young people and communities to aim to a) prevent crime and b) try and get  people to be reconciled with offenders so they can move on together to make a better community for them both. I love the idea but I am not sure it will work well in Cross Green where most people would I suspect prefer bits of offenders nailing on posts on the “village green” rather than have a group hug and  move forward.  But I suggest Walter uses the open forum at the inner east tomorrow to bring his concept to the attention of the local councillors.
I am still munching my way through  the tortilla chips.........................  700grammes to go.
Get email  from fireman present who is in London on union business – George Mudie MP wants a word. Suggest to fireman present next time he has coffee with George it might be easier to meet in Asda at Killingbeck instead of the houses of parliament. Email floats in saying  ....when in Rome!!!  No doubt I will get to meet him in Asda ........
Thursday was in work terms distinctly mundane, but as this evening is the inner east area committee I am whilst working  I am checking over my questions for Station Commander Kirk – aka Big Nige’.   Nigel has taken over from Tony Head at Gipton Fire Station and is presenting his annual report tonight to the committee. I’m ready for this – if there is one thing I have learnt since last October is that the fire service would know a decent, honest and truthful set of figures if they were set alight in front of them.  “Creative” doesn’t quite do them justice.  Nigel I do not doubt knows me by reputation and as we are sat virtually opposite each other he keeps giving me sideways glances.(rumours abound that Tony Head  being removed from Gipton was my fault, which is probably true).   He is not called Big Nige’ for nothing as he has to sit diagonally across the table to be comfy, he also has the biggest man bag with him I have ever seen, perhaps there are a couple fire extinguishers in there just in case of emergencies.
After he has presented his report it is blatantly clear none of the councillors have read it properly. 46% of houses still do not have smoke alarms and Nigel has  calculated his figures from June 11 – July 12 when the risk plans for Leeds run from April to March and the way they figures are presented have changed too. Nobody mentions the fact that house fires in Seacroft are on the rise ........... And he hasn’t  presented figures on Safety Critical Risk Information which is a key  factor in the plans to reduce Giptons risk from very high to high. And the thing that got me most angry ---- There is another fire station in the inner east area – STANKS – no figures, no report and nobody mentions it.  Anyway I am allowed to ask Nigel two measly questions and then the chair shuts me up, so I say that’s fine I will email the rest  to him, Nigel visibly winces. Cllr Brian Selby suggests I copy the councillors in and Nigel can then hit reply all. As I am not the community representative I am not sure why I should do this, I pay for those councillors to do a job and if they don’t do it why should I help them out. 
Nigel  dutifully hands me over his email address and adds his mobile number – handy as the next time Gipton take nearly ten mins to turn out to a binyard fire I shall be texting him, regardless of the time of day asking where the hell they are  (which will no doubt please fireman present as he got the stream of text abuse the last time it happened at 11.30 in the evening and it frees him from the immediate line of fire)
Just one more thing about the inner east – without discussion, without even a word they approve giving £525 towards a set of glorified fairy lights outside Crossgates Library at Christmas. Why ? Crossgates is outer east, they should pay for their own bleeding fairy lights!
After the inner east we  leave sharpish as being in a room with a load of labour councillors is akin to being a pork chop at a jewish wedding. What they don’t understand is I  am against them because over the past five years I have stuck to my word and them every last one of them has since coming into power changed their election  and committee promises.  I am glad to leave as to be honest I feel ill in their company, they are tainted and its not a nice smell to be around at all.

Friday is D day, or more rightly IRMP day.  The fire authority today announce their plans to further massacre fire cover in west Yorkshire. I send good luck email to fire present who I know will be there to listen, crossing my  fingers whilst pressing send as an extra precaution. Anyway once it is all announced we will swing into action and start informing people of the truth, increased call out times, less engines, significantly reduced cover. The statutory consultation period lasts three months so from now until November 30th  we are all going to be very very busy indeed.
At about four thirty an email floats in from fireman present, about some consultation stuff we are proposing to do. The email conversation gets round to him being interviewed by Look North this morning. I ask if it was Joe Inwood who did it  , as he was involved  in interviewing us both last year. Trying to explain who Joe was to a female would have been easy – to a bloke it’s impossible so in the end I go to Joes facebook page download his picture and then email it over. The snappy answer soon floats back    “yeah thats him....he's gorgeous isn't he....i couldn't concentrate when he was asking me questions” . Regardless of our backs being against the wall on several occasions my fireman present has never lost the ability to make me howl with laughter. I just hope in the next three months he manages to hang on to his sense of humour as I think we are going to need it.
Anyway its all agreed we are setting up a joint COVEN / Fire Brigades Union  blog to campaign against the cuts in fire cover and more importantly we agree that every person who opposes the cuts who we have a name and address for will be told after the fire authority what their local councillor voted – thats transparency for you, as well we both know from experience councillors have more faces than a town hall clock but only one vote. Before  logging off and going home for the evening explain to fireman present the poem about Simon Pilling has already got 50 hits on the COVEN blog and its only been on a couple of hours. Have a read its very funny...   Ode to Simon Pilling  
Home for 6pm but  had to pop in to Marks and Spencers on the way home to buy a litre of milk and some red wine..............its been a long day.


Woke early and full of beans so of course it was Saturday.  Was out at Leeds Kirkgate Market for 9am with Nancy in tow. Well if I am being accurate she’s Nancy the 5th my  trusty shopping trolley who trundles faithfully behind me at the market most Saturdays. Why my shopping trolley is called Nancy is another story but if I am ever  famous enough to warrant being interviewed on desert island discs she just might be might my luxury item, shopping trolleys are sooooo useful!
The only trouble with Nancy is she makes me buy things that are unnecessary, but I am sure the three cucumbers for 50p  that she convinced me were a bargain will come in useful for something  (don’t know about you but I am visualising a councillor bending over at this point). As the sun is belting down and it is obviously going to be a scorching day I decided to make a nice warming casserole !!! and buy 2lbs shin beef from BJ Callards my butcher,,,,,,,,,  I also buy a sea bass from my favourite fishmonger R. Bethells  and after the young lady waggled its shiny little carcass in my face and asked  “is this one big enough?”  - I hastily request  it to be filleted. After the accusing and indignant look that piscine cadaver gave me I am cooking and eating it minus its key fishy attributes of head, beady eyes and fins.
On heading for home as the bus stop is heaving with people I decide to sit down on the wall nearby instead with the intention of soaking up some Vitamin D whilst waiting for the bus. But as I turn to sit down I notice a large RAT cross  the slip road where the National Express buses exit the bus station.  So the wait for the bus turns into a rat counting session; in the ten minutes I sit on the wall I count 17 yes SEVENTEEN rats scoot from one side of the road to another. Ok so it could be just one rat getting a bit of exercise  doing laps but hellfire its 11am and the place is packed with  people. The only word I can think of is INFESTATION.................
As I drag Nancy home & whilst sat on the bus I remember all the things I have forgotten to buy. Fake bread and salt being the priority  Knowing if I go back into town I will come home with yet more animal, vegetable or mineral bargains from the market I walk up to York Road and play supermarket lotto with the buses .... a  56 is ASDA , 40 means Tesco’s, 19 Sainsburys and a 163  Lidls ---- after the condom / mints incident of a few months ago in LidIs  am much relieved when a 40 rolls up first.  Although Tescos at Sea croft is not my favourite place I know that they will sell Maldon salt. As I leave Tescos I am amazed that salt and gluten free bread came in total to twenty quid. But I suppose its the bottle of Gordon’s gin somebody slipped in my trolley that has bumped the price up a bit!
The evening is spent teaching a close friend the intricacies of blogging.................... which involves a great deal of laughter (and  a decent amount of the afternoon purchase of gin). Although online all evening I avoid facebook as any mathematician will tell you  Facebook +Alcohol = Disaster. One should always engage in social media sober or you will inevitably at some point  make a social media faux pas of catastrophic proportions. Basically in the 21st  century  the 11th Commandment  is “Thou shall not use a computer with internet access  whilst pissed”

 Its not often a Sunday in this  blog is going to be a red  hot page turner (or should than be scroll downer) and  this Sunday is probably  a 9/10 on the mundane scale, but as there has been a request from a “fan” for more rabbity stuff  so  I shall explain what happened on Wednesday morning in more detail.

My darling Sascha – a red eyed white  lop is by far the most chilled out bunny I know. Having been hand reared by me since he was three weeks old he is no longer a  pet,  but quite simply,  family. 
From a biological perspective rabbits have very delicate constitutions and need to be fed correctly. Mine are only allowed Supreme Science Selective pellets, loads of hay (dust free and organic from Derbyshire) and fresh fruit and veggies. As you have probably guessed he is much better fed than me.    But as he has the run of the house is he prone to helping himself – if you leave shopping out I can guarantee you will come back to nibbles out of packets or  it has been known for an entire packet of biscuits to disappear overnight.  As I come home late and tired  from the book club Tuesday night I just put my bags down, put the perishables in the fridge and crawl off to bed. In the morning when I get up each of the 2lb of cherry tomatoes I bought has  been removed from its  bag, nibbled and then left on the floor.  Sascha looks into the middle distance and I swear he says “Nuffin to do with me mum” – but as he licks his lips in anticipation of breakfast    I can see he is wearing lipstick which is a new designer colour – Tomato Red.   Ruth Archers  bland catch phrase of “Oh No” is subtly reworked and  I utter “I am going to kill you,  you  furry arsed lagomorphic  little bastard !!!!!!!!!”     At this he shrugs his ears, turns around, flicks his back paws at me (which is the bunny equivalent of a two fingered salute)  and hops upstairs and I swear his shoulders are moving slightly  as if he is trying to stifle a giggle.   
The only other thing to say about today is I have tummy ache and feel crap, by 5pm I am tucked up in bed and feeling sorry for myself.  But  I have decided on one thing – the Simple Simon Blog was so successful I am going to write one called “Not yet Nigel” which will be a spoof of the childrens poem Not Now Nigel ---- but mine will be about not getting around to putting a new battery in a smoke alarm.
Not yet Nigel, its only half past eight
I havent had my breakfast yet and i'm running rather late...................

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Decisions Decisions !!!!

Getting ready to post a new entry tomorrow.......... cant decide whether to call it.......

Is it Propaganda or Lying ?

or Not Yet Nigel....................