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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

What is there to say about Tuesday

I am sad to report that the title, that felt was nice and original, has been used before.  Oh well, there is not much that is new in the world*.
Today we have the boiler engineer back for the fixing of the pump and various seals.  Hopefully the end game will be hot water when we want it, and a boiler that has passed muster with the engineers.  We have had to cut away a bit of the boxing in, which has upset us both, but definitely LO much more than me.  There is also the prospect that if some other types of repairs are needed, that require access to the "isolation valves", then we will need to cut away the boxing in sufficiently for them to get a screwdriver in the back.  I plan to remember this, and expect to have to do it if we are ever to need another repair.

The only other news is that I have been having intermittent broadband problems.  I am slightly worried that it was caused by the dodgy wiring in the house, and it may yet come to that, but at the moment I have regular drop-outs, and having just rung O2, they have confirmed that we have had multiple drop-outs and that they need to "do some tests".  This will likely take out the line from time to time, over a period of 24 hours, so we are planning to do it at the weekend.

Have a good week, and speak soon.

* as the sound engineer in the Camden Falcon told us, there had been "... nothing new in music since Bowie in 'seventy-six".

Monday, 27 February 2012

Just a quickie

I was up extra early today due to problems with staying asleep, partly caused by something going by the name of Maggot 2 doing his best impersonation of "many crumbs in bed", and thus driving me from my crib to a place where tea could be made, and a couple of episodes of Frasier could be watched.

It is now 7am and both Maggots are down, which means I lose control of the controller, and am banished to the kitchen for apple juice and toastandmarmite.  Unusually for a Monday, I am in the office today.  Late Friday there was a three line whip for a bunch of interested and not so interested parties to go in to the office to review a large project that those at the top believe is going off course.  In fairness, it is going off course, but the main reason is that the course set prior to customer signature was set by the commercial folks, let's call them the vampires, whose goals are about getting it signed up, not making it deliverable.  The usual adage in Starfleet is sign it up first, work out how we are going to deliver it second, the imperative being that only by having a severe problem with resourcing can we solve it, and thus it was so on this deal.  That is all well and good; we are a commercial organisation etc. etc., however the power is with the vampires and not with the technical folks, let's call them the lambs* so, by way of an example, when the customer is pushing to crunch the timeline on the project, the vampires have to control themselves to avoid dribbling on the contract, whereas the lambs are silently looking skywards for the missing month in the plan.

All that abstract rambling is to say that we have a project where the vampires promised a certain timeline, against the advice of the lambs, which is like the pebble advising against the tide coming in.  Now that the vampires are looking at ways to spend their bonus, the lambs are sitting in a room saying "what the . . . . ".  Once the customer gets wind of such things, they escalate to our senior management team, and our senior management team call a meeting to "get the project back on track".

This meeting will be attended by both lambs and vampires.  My attendance is almost incidental, but as the lead for the lambs who put the proposal together, it is probably right I be there for image, something I care not much about really, and also to support my team, something I care about a lot.  Quite how the "... the vampires made up the timeline to satisfy the customer ..." discussion will go, only time will tell.

Have a good day, speak again soon.

* As in the World War 1 "lambs to the slaughter"

Friday, 24 February 2012

And . . . relax

And now, the time is near, and we find ourselves at Friday.  Hurray for that.

As you know, I have been running a highly scientific experiment to see whether a shorter week makes the getting to Friday any the quicker, and this week's data has been added to the data from previous weeks, and some clever jiggery pokery has been done to the dataset, most of which I don't really understand.  I find that keeping quiet and stroking your chin a bit tends to give a chap a certain knowing air.  Less is more and all that, something I think Jordan could probably have heeded.
Anyhow, this was a five day week.  It had been planned as a four day week, however Maggot 2's illness put a halt to us both attending the school trip to a local attraction, so the week was five days long and the feeling on Friday was just the same as when it was three days long.  So that proves it then.

On the subject of Maggot 2, I think if truth be told, he was not so worried about missing the school trip.  It was to a local outdoor centre that has a number of old buildings, from early middle ages onwards, and as part of the theme, the kids were asked to dress up in Victorian costumes.  Truth be told, Maggot 2 is not so keen on dressing up, in public at least.  Either doing it of watching other people doing it tends to bring the same response "weirdos".  Now, if you were in a beautiful country village on a sunny summer's day and some strange fellows with stick and bells on their shoes were to start dancing, I think most of us would be with Maggot 2, however in general the tolerance for such things is much greater in the populous than it is for Maggot 2.

This Sunday we are hosting a family do, to say thank you to all the uncles who helped build our extension.  This will be an interesting affair, not least because the brothers are all so very different and, truth be told, do not often get together in one place, except maybe to go watch Pompey at Fratton Park.  So we can expect a few "family moments" but hopefully also some fun, some drinking, some eating and, if I can time it right, a little postprandial kip to boot.

Before I go, I saw this quote and smiled:

  • "Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil." J. Paul Getty
I guess winning the lottery could swap with striking oil, and on that note, I hope you have a successful weekend, and if you don't hear from me again, well I did warn you; I am probably on some deserted island somewhere warm, and beyond the reception area of my phone.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Bit of a Blur

I caught the end of the Brits, recorded on the PVR.

I saw the bit where Adele was foreclosed on her speech by James Cordan, which seems to have created a bit of a storm, presumably amongst those who are tiring of Jeremy Kyle repeats on Channel wotsit plus one (hey, this is the same I was watching an hour ago).  Poor dear, so much to say, so little time to say it.  The trouble with speeches, in my humble view, is that the only people who are interested in hearing the list of thanks are the people giving the thanks and those receiving it.  Although, based on observation, it is entirely possible that those receiving thanks were in fact so off their faces they could hear pretty much nothing but the little voice in their heads telling them it would be so cool to try and stick their tadger in the top of a beer bottle.  It is just a guess, but I am thinking many of them could actually do it to, if you know what I mean.

The finale was, I think*, Blur doing a quarter hour of their hits.  Now, anyone who went through the Brit Wars**, where Blur were pitted against Oasis, will agree that some people prefer Blur, and some Oasis.  My preference is Blur.  I preferred their image and music, which I found much more creative than the Gallagher brothers could muster.  As it was the single from Blur that got the number one spot,  maybe on that day and in that moment, I was in the majority, but I expect that in the round, I was not.  Regardless of that, they were part of my musical landscape at the time, and definitely framed some of the moments and memories I have of the era.

Therefore, I was quite happy to watch them ply their trade.  LO did comment that "there is always one that lets themselves go", referring as she was to the drummer, who was always meant to be the funniest guy in the band, if not the coolest.  Whether or not they deserved their award is a matter of personal taste, and I shall leave you to yours, music being art and art being subjective and all that.

Only other small news is that Maggot 2 is still home ill.  He has just had one of his "funnies", which is a combination of an awake nightmare and a hallucination, likely brought on from overheating as part of the fever.  We are getting more used to them now, and get the duvet off him and the cold flannel on his forehead soon as, but even despite some experience of the funnies, they are still just a little bit disturbing.  He can come out will all sorts of mad stuff that can really freak you out if you are not careful.  He is OK now, having had a bit more medicine and has asked for a glass of milk.  Only three and a half hours until LO is home.

* I say "think" because it overran, presumably because of the speeches, so the recording cut short.
** As reported on the BBC: "At the peak of the 'Britpop' years, Blur and Oasis' respective labels decided that as a big marketing stunt they would release their new singles on the same day. This created a huge head to head battle between the two bands. The resulting news coverage turned this event into a bitter class war between the Northern working class Oasis and the Southern middle class Blur. Damon Albarn ended up being interviewed on the Ten O'clock news. In the end Blur's "Country House" won over Oasis' "Roll with it", though neither were the strongest offerings from each of the albums.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Who moved my cheese grater?

The plan today was to get in to the office early, the third day in a row in the office, which is a new Personal Best.  Then LO dropped on me a late request to do the school run as she has to be in by seven.  That would be OK, bit late in, but not a show-stopper.

Unfortunately, in the night, Maggot 2 had one of his all to regular bouts of illness; this one being the usual slight croup, temperature, glands up, headache and sore throat.  We have had several hospital appointments to try and work out what, if anything, is wrong with the little darling, and so far the only thing is low iron.  There was a suggestion of maybe tonsils, however the truth is that until we have had four months of iron supplement, so that his iron levels are back to normal, I don't think we are going to get very far in looking for other new reasons.  So, every night, you will see LO or Scobi poised, syringe of brown goo in hand, trying to coax Maggot 2 to "take his medicine".  This little charade has turned in to a major nightly performance, and can take minutes of frustrated waiting until he finally takes it.  We have tried gentle coercion, force, threats and everything in between, but we have concluded that the only method that works is to wave it around, not too near, for a couple of minutes, getting slowly more and more angry, until he finally takes it, at which point he takes a massive drink of water before eating his pudding.  We say "there, not so bad" and he says "uuggghhh, disguuuuuuuusting" before we all take our lives off hold and get on with something more interesting.  Like washing up.

Oh, and the title?  I know you don't expect much in the Title-relating-to-the-blog department, but if you care enough, and have remembered, then you may be wondering what the title does have to do with the content.  The truth is, I was going to put in "Midweek Update" but found I had used that one before, so instead I simply picked a phrase.  I know "who moved my cheese" is a favourite of Golfy's, and I thought adding "grater" on to the end would make it very funny, and if I could only remember why, I would tell you.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Is it Monday already

I have now completed my scientific study, submitted it for peer review and published in Nonsense Monthly, so am now in a position to share with you my learning.  Did you know that even if you only have a three-day working week, the weekend does not feel any longer, nor does it, by some kind of weird crease in the space/time continuum, last any longer.

This means that I find myself at Monday again, as quickly as normal.  Unusually, I am in the office today.  A basic lack of planning meant that I awoke early assuming I needed to be at the customer's office by 9.30am, however when I actually checked, it was 12.30pm.  I therefore am now sitting at a Starfleet office with a plan to go up North to the customer office at 11.30am.  This was before I checked whether a key colleague was able to attend, he having been off for a week last week.  It seems that he only checked his mail this morning from his home office, and is therefore not willing or able, sometimes hard to tell which with folks, to travel on his first day back.  I have therefore also cancelled the meeting, so am now looking to finish the morning's calls, get a coffee, and return to my home office, via the garage to get my car fixed*.  This means that a quick trip to the caravan shop would also be prudent, to get some more of those moisture crystals you put in cheap dehumidifier devices, and also to get some silicon spray for our main extension door.

We had a good weekend.  Maggot 1 had a sleepover Friday night which meant he was as grumpy as we usually are the morning after a sleepover, and much glee was derived from the "now you know how we feel when you want to go roller-skating on a Sunday when all we want to do is lie on the sofa" comments.

We did manage a nice walk up the Downs on Sunday lunchtime, one which both Maggots had dismissed as "rubbish", but a walk they ultimately thought was fantastic.  It was a lovely, sunny clear day and the view down to the sea was fantastic, taking in our home town and several neighbours, including in the far distance the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.  Having blown the cobwebs off, we returned to lunch and a lot of sitting around.
Mid-afternoon the doorbell rang, and it was our neighbour.  The day before, the Maggots had gone and politely knocked on her door to ask if she could throw over the footballs that had landed in her garden, and she said she would be happy to do so the next time she was out there. Within an hour or so all 3 had been thrown back in to our garden.
Anyhow, on the Sunday afternoon, as I opened the door to her, she said that she needed "to have a chat about the footballs".  "Your boys came round yesterday to ask if I could throw them back", she said.  "Yes", I replied.  "Well, they have then gone in to my garden to get the balls themselves, which is not acceptable".  "I agree, although I would be quite surprised if they have", I responded.  A quick check with the Maggots confirmed that they had indeed not been round there to get them.  "That's funny", she pondered, "someone else has obviously gone in there to throw them back".  "Didn't your dad come round yesterday", I questioned.  "Oh yes, he did", she replied.  Many apologies from her, and a slight smug feeling from us, concluded the interaction.  LO was slightly livid with the whole affair.  "How dare she accuse us.  At least she got her come-uppance when you mentioned her dad".  That kind of thing.  I have to say, it was quite amusing.
Anyhow, this spurred us in to moving the trampoline to her side of the garden, and moving the football goal in to the centre of the garden, to try and minimise any future balls in gardens incidents.  The act of doing that required me to cut the grass where the trampoline had been, and while I was at it I did the who lawn.  This now means that where once she had footballs, she now has bouncing Maggots getting fleeting glimpses of her garden and all that goes on within it.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

* I have said "car fixed" to make it seem viable that I should need to visit the garage.  It is actually just the left dipped bulb that has gone, but such is both my skill level and interest in such things, it may as well be the big end that needs replacing, if indeed that is a part of a car, and not some sexual deviancy that I have yet to find on Google.

Friday, 17 February 2012

And . . . relax

Another Friday lands at our feet.  The climb to this particular summit obviously not being as arduous as usual because I had Monday and Tuesday off (in case I have not already mentioned that), and yet, time off equals a pile up of emails in which there is always a few little darlings determined to ruin your day, so actually while the climb duration was shorter, the incline was greater.

I think I just about got away with that climbing analogy, but let's leave it to lie now lest I go and ruin it with a crampon reference.

Rusty Rackets* was fun on Wednesday.  In the bar afterwards, after we had exhausted discussions of top spin, lobbing and other sexual exploits, I had one of those "you work for Starfleet, I know someone who works for Starfleet" moments.  These are usually tumble-weed moments, since in a company of many thousands, the chances you know their neighbour's brother is statistically around the same as winning anything on the lottery**, however in this particular case I did know the tennis-coaches father-in-law, and in fact I work with him regularly.  Which was nice.

Only other news is that I am playing with 2 people who are mildly famous; one on a scale that you might even know about (3 albums, now producing), the other just a level of local fame (an old boss at the sister company of the company that I met LO, something like 19 years ago now).  "So what are you doing now?", I asked the old boss.  "For the last 15 years, running sister company", he replied.  That put me in my place then.  Actually he is a very friendly chap and we had a few words before being reprimanded by the coach for talking when he was.  The coach's usual job is teaching children and I have a suspicion that he has found it effective to use the same techniques with the Rusty Rackets as he does with the ankle-biters.  Needless to say that the promise of a Jelly Bean soon shut us up.

This weekend is shaping up to be a quiet one, which is just what I need.  The others are not so sure, having had a week off for half-term, so there may be swimming and other pursuits in which to take part.  Maggot 1 is going for a sleepover tonight, so we are down to one Maggot and counting, and that usually means he gets to choose what we do, and bless him that is usually along the lines of "stay at home and play we me lots".  He doesn't want much.

I hope your weekend if as fun as ours is shaping up to be.  Speak next week.

* For those not paying attention, or who really don't care, Rusty Rackets is an hour and a half of tennis coaching and playing with similarly aged and similarly skilled players. As someone who could do more exercise, this certainly counts, and is something I am very much enjoying.
** and as a member of a Euro Lottery syndicate, I can confirm with empirical data that this means very low statistics

Thursday, 16 February 2012


From iPhone. Golly* will be so proud.

* ... but maybe not with the spelling. Ed. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

I'm Back

Just a quick not to say I am back.  We had a lovely weekend away in The Forest in the 'van.  For those who are not convinced, I suspect that knowing it is minus seven degrees on the first night, and probably minus three on the second, is not improving your view on the big white box.  All I can say is that a t-shirt and an extra blanket sorted that out, and the weather really did not impact us at all.  Oh, of course the water did freeze up, so we had no running water in the 'van, but even that did not dampen spirits.  Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and was about as perfect a winter's day as you could want or expect.  We spent the first half of the day wandering round Lymington, a town we all love, and the afternoon was spent having a little kip then going swimming down the road at the sister site.

Maggot 2 official declared Lytton Lawns, the site we visited, as his favourite site in the world ever, and to be honest I love the fact that he loves it, coz then everyone is getting a lot out of the break.

On other news, the two days off has enabled us to visit Ikea, and Maggot 1 has a new mirror and pin board, and Maggot 2 has a new mirror.  We also have a new mirror* for the downstairs shower room, which is now nearing completion.  All there is to do to complete the work is to seal the grouting, fit the shower door (yet to be purchased) and finish the sealing around the bottom of the tiles.  Oh, and to fit the shower of course.  Father-in-law was all for coming down today to do that - lots of work growing, window of opportunity etc etc - but without the grout sealed, and acting like a possessive and over-protective parent, I was not keen for nasty wet, and possibly dirty, water near my as yet un-sealed grout.  Some discussions were had and the fitting has been put off for another day.  Phew.

I am now back to work, and there are 75 emails in my inbox.  How does that happen?  I get about double that when I have two weeks off, which must mean with a big holiday, people stop emailing you.

* Are you sensing a "new mirror" theme going on here?

Friday, 10 February 2012

And . . . relax

A busy Friday with 4 hours of conference calls, the Death Eaters of the modern age, and a desire to finish early to head on down to Lymington, because folks, we are off 'vannin' this weekend.

Regular readers will be very familiar with my dabblings in this dark art, but for those less familiar, yes, it is true, I am not as cool as you thought I was*.  The weather is keeping us guessing, having had around an inch or two of snow in these parts (I know, snow, in the South, what is the world coming to) but it seems to be already melting, and the forecast for tomorrow is sunny and Sunday white cloud, so it is likely to be all systems go, with the usual last minute kerfuffle finding gloves, notepads, pocket money or some other essential item from the Maggots and a bit of overall adult stress sprinkled on for good measure.  All will be well when the big white box is on the back and we are heading out along the A27 to the Forest, and there is even the odds on chance that there will still be a bit of light when we arrive so we can get the 'van unpacked, the little porch awning erected, everything connected and the first beer being opened.  Once you hear the pfft of the ring pull you begin to believe that all is right with the world.  The fact that I also have Monday and Tuesday off next week will just add to that general sense of well-being, and to be honest I need a couple of days off the merry-go-round just to regain some peace and sanity.

I hope your weekend is as good as mine is sure to be, and speak again on Wednesday.

* and that was not so cool to start with, so in to minus cool now. Ed. 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Forgot to say . . .

. . . 'Arry for England manager.

And I do wonder whether he should have gone to jail for crimes against hairdressing.

Can't stop....

I am on my third day in a row at the office, and I have to say that any lingering vestiges of want I have to be out of the house have long since evaporated.  To be precise, since the heating at the office is not coping well with the cold snap, the want is being freeze-dried out of me, which every coffee magnate worth his salt knows is the best way.

On other news, there is no other news.  I was tickled by the winner of this year's joke of the year competition, won by Tim Vine, brother of Jeremy.  The joke was:

  • - now that's a site for sore eyes.

He apparently won last year as well, with:

  • Crime in multi-story car parks - that is wrong on so many levels.

Both made me smile, and on a weak sunny winter's drive in the office, a bit of smiling does you no harm at all.  In fact it tends to make people wonder what you are up to.

Oh, and I went to Rusty Rackets last night, a tennis session at the Goodwood Hotel (where we were married incidentally), a session that E told me about and was happy to seek my acceptance in to the group.  It was fantastic.  People of a similar-ish age to me and a similar-ish level to me.  I had a fantastic time, and hope to play every week.  The backhand is a bit rusty, actually it is a bit rubbish right now, but that gives me something on which I can work, and hopefully the fitness, which is about zero, will also improve.  If I can get an extra notch on my belt, then that is the icing on the cake - or the seed sprinkles on the cereal at least.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Now, we all like to see our names in the press, even if it is for bad news (no officer, my wife does have facial hair, and it was her driving the car), but I have to say I didn't realise anyone was noticing.  And to have a type of blogging-frequency named after you is obviously about as good as it gets.  You can tell that I do not get out much.

Anyhow, a fantastic weekend away with Brad and Angelina.  We arrived after lunch, a meal that we ate "on the hoof", or more accurately, "on the tyre", as we were driving to Newbury.  On arrival, I was greeted with a cup of tea and a slice of cherry Madeira cake, so all is well with the world.  We then went out for a walk round Greenham Common, now of course devoid of the women's camp, but full instead of trees and mud and stuff, and all the puddles and ponds frozen over.  We have a very pleasant couple of hours, the girls getting lost, the maggots making dens and working out the best way to kill and cook a cow during their planned night out in their shelter*.

Towards the end of the walk a few snow flakes started to fall, and by the next morning there was around an inch of snow on the ground.  The Maggots spent an hour or so making large snowballs, but the rapidly thawing snow was not the best for such building projects.

The drive home was surprisingly uneventful.  It was clear that the southern reaches of our fine land had not had even an inch of snow, and in fact were largely clear of any of the white stuff.

The rest of the day was spent, by me at least, finishing the grouting on the tiles.  If I say so myself - and as a rule it is best to do so because there is not much forthcoming from anyone else - it looks pretty damn good.  The next stage will be cleaning of smears, a job that even the most pessimistic person would likely underestimate, because after the second wipe, all you are doing is redistributing the smear.  It turns in to a game of smear reduction, with each phase of cleaning reducing the smear by a percentage so minuscule that even the Borrowers would have to take a second look.

Once I have finished distributing the smears I will be on to the final stage of sealing the bits that need sealing.  I have purchased a new set of tools for the job, little rubberised scrapers with various-sized profiles for a clean and professional edge.  Having see the glass guys using the same installing our glass splash-backs, I have come round to the idea that they are not a useless gimmick, but rather a very neat little tool that gives a tippity-top finish.  I shall in due course let you know how it goes, and I can tell that you already cannot wait.

Have a good week.

* The word "shelter" of course being used in the loosest sense, in the way that you might use a fishing net for an umbrella.

Friday, 3 February 2012

And . . . relax

Today sees me sitting at the breakfast bar, just finishing my tea, and thinking that I had better start rounding up the Maggots for the obligatory teeth-shoes-coat-bag routine.  The Today programme from Radio 4 is on the Roberts, there is the delicious* swoosh of the dishwasher doing the only thing it knows how, and all is right with the world.

However, a quick peek out the window shows a pretty keen frost visited last night, and the weather report tells me that there are places in the UK that have snow, but likely they are places that do not yet have electricity so won't need to be burdened with downed power lines or other such inconveniences.

Gotta dash, will be back to finish this off later.

Back from school and I have to say it was very cold; clear, crisp, dry, but very cold.  The Maggots were pretty happy to be going off to school, probably because it is Friday.  I stayed for Maggot 1's weekly parent assembly, a modest affair in their classroom where we get to see their week's efforts.  This week it was all about rhyming words, so I now know that "pig" rhymes with "dig".

Back at home, I have my wall of calls for a Friday, bearable only by the imbibing of caffeine and THE FACT THAT IT IS FRIDAY.

We are off to see Brad, Angelina and family this weekend, which is always fun, and we will be able to get an update on how their conversion to vegetarianism is going.  Apologies to Brad for repeating the joke, but it must be so they can get a body like mine.  Anyway, I am anticipating a cherry sponge cake and tea awaiting me on arrival, a cake so good that even the Dalai Lama has asked for the recipe.  Yum yum, good for the tum.  Actually, not so good, but a chap has to have his vices...

I hope you have a great weekend, speak next week.

* As you know, we have just replaced our dishwasher, and have gone for cheap, so this is a bit of Friday irony, in case you missed it

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Bin day

Thursday is bin day, where our responsibility is to put the correct bin at the edge of our property for the dear old bin men to come and empty in to their big truck.  By correct, I mean either rubbish or recycling.  Black for rubbish, crimson for recycling plus, because we pay £35 per year for the privilege, on bin day we also put out the green garden waste bin as well.  Today is a recycling day.

When it comes to bin men, we have a theory, one which we continue to service, even though we do not have any hard evidence to suggest it works, hence why it remains, for now, a theory.  Our theory is that we give them a card with a tenner in it every year on the last collection before Christmas, so they can "get themselves a little drink".  We believe that this ensures that any of the little transgressions are handled without grumble; late putting it out, over filled bins, bit extra to the side, all the things that someone is County Hall is currently working out how to ban.  The only evidence we have that this works is tenuous, based on LO's mother, who gives neither a card, and certainly not money, every year on the last collection before Christmas, and her bins are rather badly dumped back in to the middle of her drive each week, so every time she pulls in to her house, she needs to get out and move it before she can park.
Now, a chap needs his foibles, and maybe this is one of mine, and I also agree that it is akin to, say, a football player who wins a game with one of his socks down, and so plays for the rest of his career with one sock up, one sock down.  Now, I have not done the maths, but I doubt he has won every game that he has played in since, however, would you risk it?  Regardless of that, we will continue to give the card and the tenner, and continue to get the good service to which we have become accustomed.

My only other bin story is from my student days; to be precise, my just after I was a student days.  One of the peripheral characters in my local was a Scouser who in common parlance would probably be described as a rough diamond, but the salt of the earth.  That is to say, once you get past his brash exterior, he was actually a pretty regular chap, at least as regular as anyone coming from Liverpool can be.  Sure, he mentioned The Beatles and Bill Shankly once in a while, but then you can take the man out of Liverpool....

Anyway, this guy spent some of his misspent youth as a bin man, and his round included some of the wealthier properties in Liverpool.  When approaching a bin in one such property, he noticed the curtains twitching and a "posh bird" peeking out at him, a woman whose nose was already wrinkling slightly.  Just to punctuate the cultural differences, he secretly took his half eaten Mars Bar from his pocket, and as he lifted the bin lid he pretended to withdraw something from the bin, and subsequently took a bit from his Mars.  There was a split second of extra nose-wrinkling before the curtains firmly closed, and doubtless a call was being made to her therapist for some much needed trauma counselling.

I hope you and your bins have a good day.