Monday 9 March 2015

A Monday Meander

Chronic Pain

 I wish I had thought of this reply when arguing with the Dept. of Work and Pensions before I retired. 

If the drier goes can the toaster be far behind? 
A couple of years ago I upset the Gods of Gadgets and everything went belly up within a short space of time.  One of those things was the boiler.  Fortunately a nice little man fixed it.  Now, however, it has packed up again – this time for good.  (He did warn us his fixing would only keep it going twelve months or so).  Yesterday the tumble drier groaned to a halt as well.  No heating and no tumble dryer and cold rainy weather.  Not a good recipe for getting clothes dry.  What concerns me even more is that this could be the start of another spate of gadget deaths.  I wonder how I offended the Gadget Gods this time – it certainly wasn’t consciously done.

I live in Pensby on The Wirral peninsula in Cheshire, England, the UK.  Pensby is non-place in that it has few facilities and little history (having in the 18th Century simply been a scattering of a few houses, farms and a Hall). Its two main facilities are the Library and the Post Office.   

This month the library opening hours have been reduced by 50% so that it is now closed on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday.    

The number of books available is also being gradually reduced.

When Partner-who-loves-tea and I went into the Post Office this morning there was a questionnaire on the counter asking for views on changes to Post Office opening hours.  To my amazement they are planning to increase the number of hours the Post Office is open.  Having checked that the Postmaster is happy with the proposed changes of hours I shall give them my support.   

However, one of the main things I get from the Post Office is special commemorative stamps.  If the changes go ahead as planned they will no longer be available from our Pensby Post Office.  The counters will also be open and no longer screened.   Whilst I like that idea in theory I worry that the large amounts of cash in a Post Office could invite the sort of armed robbery that has occurred in our local off-licence.  People are rarely physically hurt in these robberies but the mental and emotional anguish they cause the staff is considerable.  Ah well, perhaps I’m just being an old fogey and worrying too much.  I hope so.

A Parcel from Li
A student from China, Dai Li, has become a friend of mine over the past year or so and she is kind enough to remember to write me postcards even when on top of Mt Fujiyama on her holidays.  In December she sent me a parcel which arrived yesterday.   

It had a photo of her, taken on Christmas Eve, some lovely postcards (including a wooden Giant Panda), pretty envelopes (also featuring Giant Pandas) and two stuffed toy Giant Pandas.  Part of the delay in it arriving was caused by it having been opened by the Chinese customs.  Perhaps they took the ‘Contents – Giant Pandas’ literally!  

It makes you :-)

 I'm Watching You!


  1. I'm baffled about the commemorative stamps. Why wouldn't they sell them at the new post office? Libraries are closing and having their hours curtailed everywhere. It's sad. Many in our area are run by volunteers and this seems to work well so far.

  2. Working in health care I've seen many folks who look fine but truly are not. I had a cousin get beat up by an idiot who was mad because my cousin was parked in a handicapped parking space. The man said " You don't look sick"...and preceded to beat him up. My cousin had a heart condition and was lucky not to die after that beating. We should never judge others. I laughed about your appliance problem. I always think mine have a suicide pact with each other. My dryer went out and the repair man couldn't save it. Since he was there I had him check my microwave that is mounted above my stove. The light and fan wouldn't work, but the microwave itself did. He said it was a computer problem and would be cheaper to buy a new one than fix the old. Didn't work out that way because the stove went bad too and we ended up buying a new microwave and stove! I guess that's a world wide problem!

  3. As always on your blog, this was an interesting and entertaining post.
    Thumbs down on the reducing of your library's opening hours, but thumbs up on the wonderful picture of the little girl in the library! That would have been me :-)
    Hopefully, no more of your gadgets will play up now that the boiler and dryer have started. I often wonder how long I will still be getting away with using my grandma's washing machine. Without knowing its exact age, I think it must be in its early twenties.

  4. Sorry to hear about your boiler. We have a problem with our kitchen tap and our oven died mid-way through cooking Ian's birthday cake. These things do all seem to happen at the same time.

  5. Lots of interesting little titbits on today's post. I had a washer and dryer for 28 years. They did a huge amount of laundry while my children were growing up, but finally got replaced, but the newer machines aren't half as good as the old ones.
    Tragic news about the library. My favourite place is our local library. An essential place to keep me sane.

  6. A library that's only open on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday morning? It makes me count my blessings! Our citizens decided almost 30 years ago to properly fund our libraries through a special, dedicated property millage that is only a few dollars per house, but has made our library system very strong, with a surplus even after building a new main library building.

    The cats are watching over here, too!

  7. I hope the Gadget Gods take pity on you and not allow any thing else to break down.
    My events come in threes so I would be on the look out for the third gadget breaking down.
    What amazes me all the time is that they always go kaput at the most inopportune times.

  8. I'm on my third central heating boiler since I moved into Eagleton 22 years ago. Hopefully this one will last a bit longer. I'm not making any other gadget comments. That particular god is a particularly jealous god.

    Oddly when our banks took down their glass screens here on Lewis (and many other places I think) the main post office built its screens. Of course our local post offices don't have screens.

    The Library here seems to be doing well and is usually quite busy and in Napier in New Zealand the library is very popular indeed but I wonder sometimes if it's because of the very high price of books in that country. Certainly book shops in NZ have had a tough time over the last ten years.

    Interestingly the semicolon joke has reminded me that my use of it nowadays has become a bit sloppy. I shall try to do better.

  9. I bet if you just had Mac sit and stare at the broken appliances, they will work again immediately. I know I would!

  10. What sort of business ARE they going to conduct at the post office counters with prolonged opening hours if not selling stamps?!

    Your problems with the God of Gadgets makes me search for what's-her-name, Terry Pratchett's goddess of things that get struck in drawers, and what was the proper way of worshipping her... Ah yes. Found it.

    Quote from
    When someone rattles a drawer and cries "How can it close on the damned thing but not open with it? Who bought this? Do we ever use it?", even though the person might be genuinely irritated or even exasperated, it is as praise unto Anoia. Faithful Anoians (worshippers of Anoia) purposefully rattle their drawers and complain every day. Anoia also finds objects that roll under other objects and things stuck in sofa cushions, and is considering handling stuck zippers. She eats corkscrews.

    I suppose you have tried just kicking the boiler?

  11. This is wonderful. My friend (human) Lucie (to be distinguished from Lucie - beagle) has a theory that appliances talk to one another at night while we are asleep and decide who is going to break down this time? And then take it in turns -- unless they are really ticked, in which case they may all go on strike at once. Not sure if it's true, but it sure seems that way sometimes.


  12. The cartoons are funny. I LOVE the stamps! And your cat looks very wise.
    You ARE awesome, by the way!

  13. Here in my hometown of Lahti the main library is open seven days a week, Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00. Sunday opening is fairly new, it started maybe five years ago. Before that you were only able to go and read papers and magazines on Sundays. I go to the library at least once a week and would hate it if I had to think whether the library is open when I want to go there.

    Our Post Offices have wide selection of commemorative stamps always and staff are always happy to show the stamps available. I'm always very surprised when I travel abroad that it is so difficult to buy commemorative stamps. Staff in the Post Offices seem to guard them like they were crown jewels! Aren't they meant to be sold and used? There are only few real Post Offices left in Finland (two in Lahti) and posts usually are located in corner of a supermarket. They are open therefore from 8:00/9:00 to 21:00 (or 22:00 or 23:00) depending on the opening times of the shop.

  14. I love your rambles...
    I wish I had some friends like the one you have from China..


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