Saturday, 8 May 2010

And another funny week...

It is not normally in my nature to use my blog to moan but I really am fed up of feeling poorly. It's not so much getting over the triple by-pass (which has been remarkably quick and with few complications) but my neurological problems. Chronic pain and chronic exhaustion are a nuisance. This week in particular I've had the added 'bonus' of having over-exerted myself and caused my heart to play up. As you can probably tell by the bloodlessness (oops - that was bloglessness until the spillchucker got hold of it) I've spent a lot of time in bed and when I've been up it's been like walking through treacle - without the fun of licking oneself! Today, Saturday, I feel quite reasonable. It's amazing how it comes and goes. Hopefully, it will have gone for a while.

Jo has fully recovered from her minor operation last week but is still rather tired, though how much that is from working too much and her Vitamin B shortage is open to question.

Jo is currently cooking a real English breakfast for Richard, Catherine, herself and me. Mine will have plenty of tomato and black pudding. Yum. Richard and Cath have never had black pudding before and Rich has no intention of changing that. Cath is going to experiment and give it a try. On television in the background is 'Saturday Kitchen' with it's omelette challenge. The guest chefs have to make an edible omelette in as short a time as possible. It's always hilarious - if messy. Then, in a couple of hours there is the qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. I haven't even watched the DTM, Motogp, GP2 or Touring Car races that I taped last weekend yet.

What I have managed this week is to read - a lot. After a couple of standard novels I decided that I needed something effortless but fun so I began the Terry Pratchett Discworld series again. This is the third time I've read most of the early ones but they are so funny that they bear re-reading.   Pratchett has a wonderful way of expressing things. This piece about the witch Granny Weatherwax, for example, reminded me so much of geographically-challenged Partner-who-loves-tea:-

“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn’t the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn’t know the position of anywhere else.”

On Thursday evening Jo drove Rich and I out to the polling station where our ballot boxes were not the old black metal boxes but a yucky grey plastic.  Is nothing sacred?

In the days when I worked in Knowsley elections were, to a large extent, a non-event. It proved so on Thursday as well. The sitting Labour MP – George Howarth (a man I much admire) – retained his seat without any problem and the local elections went according to plan:-

There were no queues at our polling station but chaos at a number of others in the North West. When I worked in local government we sent some of our election staff out to Africa to assist in organising elections and to supervise them. After all the problems this week I think some of them may be sent out to Africa for good!

Until this week I'd not heard of  polling stations running out of ballot papers (Liverpool-Wavertree, et al) ;  queues that couldn't be accommodated (Sheffield Hallam et al) ;  trouble verifying ballot papers; a discrepancy of 2,000 between the votes cast and those counted (Neston and Ellesmere Port); allowing a 14 year old to cast his vote (Wyre & Preston North); and sending out-of-date electoral registers to the polling stations (Chester).  What a mess.

And, after all that, we end up with hung MPs. I mean a hung parliament.

What a week!


  1. Hi John - Hope you continue to feel better. At least you get to catch up on reading - there's no better way to pass the time when you have downtime I think. Is black pudding the same as blood pudding? I remember that when I was little, my Dad used to eat that occasionally.

  2. Sorry to hear you had a bad week, John. I know a bit about the treacle feeling. And when you've been poorly for a while it's sooo easy when you begin to feel better to go ahead and overexert yourself and so find yourself right back in it.

    Myself I'm having "one of those days" today, trying to recover after attending a birthday party yesterday. Have a strong suspicion I'll probably be having another one of those days tomorrow as well...

    Terry Pratchett is good distraction though. I have them as audio books and some I've listened to at least twice. I like Granny Weatherwax... Great quote!

  3. I, too, commented on the elections and I've never heard of so many problems before especially Wavertree's problem - unforgivable. And it probably won't be forgiven either! We haven't heard the last of this election for many reasons.

    I very glad you are up and about again, by the way.

  4. Sorry you've had a punky week.
    Hope it picks up for you this next.

  5. One of the constituents of black pudding is blood so it is probably the smae thing Deedee!

  6. Hope things are MUCH much better for you both!!!


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