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A Duck nibbled your WHAT?!

Many years ago – so long ago, in fact, that I think I still had a full-time job – I wrote about a holiday and detailed the huge list of other countries and towns where I had singularly failed to catch ANYTHING AT ALL when indulging in holiday fishing. If you wish to read it you can find it here: https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2009/07/07

Well…….

This week Faith and I have accompanied our six month old Grandson, his other grandparents and his mummy and daddy to the CenterParcs “resort” at Elveden Forest in Suffolk.

It has been a steaming hot few days so far and as I write the beginnings of this piece outside our villa at 9.30pm on the longest day of the year it is still comfortably warm and still daylight.

If I look up from my notebook and away from the villa I can see nothing but ferns, tall trees and a clear blue sky. Various birds, squirrels and Muntjac deer also make fleeting appearances and off in the distance I can hear a Peacock screeching.

It’s all rather idyllic and what I feel retirement is supposed to be about!

This isn’t our first visit here by any means – Faith and I first came here with our daughters in March 1995, the visit coinciding with our 15th Wedding Anniversary – and was memorable to me for it actually snowing hard while I floated with just my face above water in a gently steaming outdoor pool!

We have returned several times since then, including for my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2000 and daughter Hannah’s 18th Birthday in 2001.

After that the main shopping/eating concourse suffered a serious fire and Faith and I returned on our own not long after it reopened after an extensive rebuild. On that occasion we stayed in the hotel by the lake rather than a villa and spent most of our time trying to remember “isn’t that where ‘such and such’ restaurant used to be?” because it was completely unfamiliar in its new form.

I had thought that because I have been here with the current layout in existence there would be no problems finding my way around but that has not been the case. The villas with three bedrooms and an equal number of bathrooms (essential, believe me!) are situated in a bit of the park that did not even exist when last we visited so we are approaching and leaving the facilities at the centre in an unfamiliar way. Indeed, after 3 of our 4 days here I still have to stop and think at every turn despite doing the route from 4 to 6 times a day!

Thus far I have spent a couple of hours swimming (including the “Wild Water Rapids” where I briefly got stuck on a tight bend!) and played Tennis, Table Tennis and Badminton. Of these I have proved best at Table Tennis – I am tall, with long arms and a great deal of the surface area of the table is therefore available to me without the need for all that tedious, sweaty leaping around that the other games entail!

However, as you have probably guessed from the early paragraphs of this story, the most sedentary sport I have taken part in was……… Fishing!

On the grounds that 2 grandmothers plus his mummy and daddy could provide more than enough care and attention for little Xavier, his granddad Pete and I booked fishing permits for the big lake – specifically the fenced off corner free from wind-surfers, water-skiers and massive multi-family sized pedallos.

We arrived on Monday afternoon, picked up our permits early on Tuesday and spent that afternoon on adjacent platforms trying to tempt some of the numerous monster Carp that we could see cruising about just below the surface. They, however, showed no interest whatsoever in our bait offerings and we had to make do with 4 small Roach apiece before returning to the villa before 4pm so that I could go off and get horribly sweaty playing Badminton awfully badly! They should rename the sport “Awfulminton” in honour of my prowess or lack thereof!

On Wednesday we were able to start a bit earlier and fish for longer – again with adjacent (but different) platforms and I was annoyed to see those bloody Carp taking the piss by not only refusing even to look at our bait but also taking a route between the decking we were sitting on and our floats! Some of them were well within the reach of my telescopic-handled landing net and I was seriously tempted to scoop a couple of them out with that, photograph them and put them back!

There is a certain code of honour covering such things though – so I didn’t! Aren’t you proud of me?

I have since discovered that the “wildlife team” here feed those Carp at a regular time and in a place not in the fishing zone so Anglers really have no chance – that IS cheating!

On this second occasion, however, I did hit a patch of much larger Roach and stopped counting when I passed 8 so my total was well into double figures. I was very happy with that!

That was also “finishing on a high” as other booked sports and baby-sitter duties put Thursday out of the picture and the gear had to be re-packed into the car early on Friday.

So, if you bothered to read to the end of my previous piece you will know that it ended with the words “No fish were harmed during the making of this holiday!” Well, because of my careful unhooking and use of barbless hooks, I can still say that. I do, however, feel the need to add to the end of that sentence “…..but at least (and at last) some were actually caught!”

And the odd title of this piece?

Before they learned that I wasn’t going to feed them and went away I was bothered by a number of ducks – one of which thought it would be fun to take a peck at my waggler (it’s a type of float).

The following exchange occurred when I related the story to Faith:

“A duck nibbled your WHAT?!”

“My waggler”.

“Well I’m sure your mother warned you that might happen if you wave it about in public!”

Honestly! What a dirty mind that woman has!

Alfie

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The view from the tarmac!

Today Faith and I visited my old mum in Ipswich (the adjective “old” is just a factual description of her and is not meant to imply that I have another, newer, mother stashed away somewhere) and spotted a couple of things on the 100 mile trip there from Peterborough. I thought that I should share these with you along with my usual smart-arse comments!

In driving along the A14 one meets (often too closely for comfort) every possible variety of Heavy Goods Vehicle hauling all sizes of trailers or containers conveying the goods of just about every major retail company!

I noted with some concern that supermarket chain ASDA still has the “Saving you money every day!” slogan on the back of its trucks – you may recall that I gave you my reasons for objecting to this here: https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2014/09/

Obviously their legal department is not amongst my readership!

It was, however, another slogan on the back of a lorry that caught my eye to the extent that I had to whip out my ever-present notebook and write it down. I was doing this while Faith was moving out into the “Executive Lane” to go past it so I didn’t actually get to see what company it belonged to.

What’s that?  “What do I mean by the Executive Lane?”

I don’t understand – you didn’t seriously think that the overtaking lane of dual carriageway roads or motorways was for use by the likes of you or me, did you? Oh no! You just ask any driver of a company owned BMW, Audi, Lexus or other top of the range make and you’ll find that this lane is indeed for the use of Company Executives and top Managers.

This explains their reluctance to let you out into that lane and the aggressive way they will hammer up behind you if you aren’t going as fast as they think you should!

Given my oft-stated antipathy to people in authority who aren’t as bright as I am, it also explains why I don’t take any notice of this aggression and why, when I do have no reason to hold them up any further my move back to my “proper place” is done as slowly and in as insolent a fashion as I can possibly manage! I just hope that the poor benighted workers that these people are on their way to repress appreciate my efforts in keeping them out of the office for a few more seconds!

ANYWAY….. back at the truck on the A14 – the words that I wrote down (which had no punctuation that I could see and which were capitalised as shown here) were:

Eat Healthy British Chicken

From this I drew the conclusion that the vehicle belonged to some sort of Poultry farmer or supplier but that had nothing to do with the remark that I made to my long-suffering wife when I looked up from my notebook.

Displaying my usual talent for looking at things in entirely the wrong way I indignantly commented:

“Why do they need to specify ‘Healthy’? Surely no-one is out there foisting UNHEALTHY British Chicken on us! If they are, I want to know about it now!”

The second note that I made was somewhere around Bury St. Edmunds when we came upon an unannounced speed limit with no apparent purpose. We were suddenly reduced from the normal 70mph limit to one of 50mph and there was no sign of any work going on – not even the sometimes seen team of minor criminals doing Community Service litter picks! A little way in there was a small and easily missed explanatory notice at the side of the road – a sign simple in its message but asking more questions than it answered:

“SPEED LIMIT IN PLACE FOR SAFETY REASONS”!

Do you see what I mean? The list begins:

Whose safety?

What reasons?

Why 50mph – why not 40?

What is the normal purpose of speed limits then? There I was thinking that they were ALL there for “safety reasons” – if I’m wrong it must mean they’re only actually present because of some official’s personal whim and the revolutionary in me is starting to fire up!

I’ll let you debate that one amongst yourselves – for now I’ll just say that it is just as daft as the signs that were present along that same road a little nearer Ipswich a few years ago.

They had installed a whole series of those matrix message boards (I believe it was so that they could inform HGV drivers if bad weather at the East Coast ports necessitated parking up under an “Operation Stack” arrangement) but every single one of them had a yellow board at its base proclaiming “This notice board is not working”!

I always said that they could have saved an awful lot of yellow printed plastic if they’d have just lit up the boards and put the “…..not working” message on them!

Alfie

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Nostalgia! It’s not what it used to be!

I need to update you a bit on some things that happened back in February when, you may recall, I experienced a surprising “spike” in my viewing figures for this site – particularly with regard to items concerning my schooldays.

Shortly after I noticed this I was invited by one of my former classmates to join a closed Facebook group specifically set up for my particular year group at Copleston Secondary Modern School for Boys.

Incidentally I mention the school’s full, official name from that era just to annoy Mike Vincent in Thailand who thinks that its post-1972, co-educational name of “Copleston High” sounds much cooler! I think Copleston High sounds like something out of a bad U.S teen movie!

Anyway, I accepted the invitation and when I went back over the postings from the few weeks that had elapsed since the group had started I found that someone (not from my class) had mentioned that if you Googled “Copleston” and “Prospicimus” (the school motto) you were linked to articles by “Little Alfie – whoever he is”! Someone who had been in my class then recognised me from the school photo that I use on this site, told the group and I got invited.

All of which explains the sudden rise in my visitor figures – which have, sadly, now slumped back down to their old levels!

I did, however, just manage to join the group in time to learn of an organised reunion at a social club in Ipswich, only a few hundred yards away from the old school. Fortunately Faith and I were visiting our daughter in Witham (a mere 30 miles or so from Ipswich) on the date of this momentous event so I was spared the need for a 100 mile each way drive.

It was a great evening – there were about 15 of us present – three of us who went all the way through the school in the same class and another two who were with us until the GCE/ CSE examination “split” at the end of the third year (Year 9 in modern parlance). The rest I recognised the names of but hadn’t ever “worked with” during those five years (except, possibly, for inter-house events).

We were all as rude to each other as if no time at all had passed and there was an awful lot of laughter about remembered fellow students, teachers and significant events. Suffice it to say that we are going to do it again and soon!

The chat and the subjects raised at that gathering fuelled the discussions on the Facebook page (which continues to grow as people are traced and invited) for several months and has reminded me of many names and events that even my prodigious memory for “historical” matters had forgotten.

And just when I thought I had reached the limit of the school-based anecdotes that I could use to initiate discussions, the same person who had introduced me to that group also added me to a slightly more general Facebook Group. This has a much wider scope and basically extends what I have been doing to the whole of Ipswich and what I remember of my time there from 1953 to 1979.

The schools memories are still of use here but I can (and frequently do) also comment on other things that I haven’t thought of for quite a while as well as throwing in, where relevant, bits from my late father’s memoir that he wrote covering his experiences as a teenager during the war and his army service.

Again that is all quite fun and I feel I make a significant contribution to what may one day be seen as a historical database of 20th and 21st century life in the town. I also (but only when I absolutely HAVE to) get occasional “plugs” in for this site so I may see some more spikes on the viewing figures graph.

I do notice, however, that while those of us in the Copleston Boys Facebook group all received, however reluctantly, a decent education and obviously take some pride in how the stuff we record appears on screen, a great many of the (currently) 13,000 Ipswich residents who belong to the more general group do not have such a sense of pride!

Either that or they were behind the bike sheds having a crafty fag on the day their Remedial English class did “Always starting sentences with Big Letters”! Certainly a great many of them wouldn’t know an apostrophe if it bit them on the bum and are unfamiliar with concepts such as “their”, “there” and “they’re”! I feel embarassed on their behalf on many occasions and quite annoyed that they didn’t bother to look at what they had typed before pressing “send” on others.

I presume that many of these were taught written English anything up to 60 years ago but their lives until now have been such that they just haven’t had to use it! For that reason I have patiently restrained myself from becoming an online Grammar Nazi and have so far managed to proceed on the basis that the content is what really matters here.

All of this is exercising my long-term memory quite well and I’m still learning a great deal from both groups but one thing still bothers me.

I mentioned above the motto of my school as being “Prospicimus” which is Latin for “Look forward” (or possibly “we look forward” – I’m not sure about that because Copleston didn’t actually do Latin).

Why then am I, along with a large number of my schoolmates, putting so much effort into looking BACK at it?!

 

Alfie

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Ipswich, Schooldays

 

“Alfie-leaks” – stranger than truth!

The item that follows may, or may not, have come to my attention via an alleged Home Office official who may, or may not, have been telling the truth but as a good journalist I will tell you anyway! We never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

This is the report that I may, or may not, have received.

***

The Civil Service fully expects that the separation of the United Kingdom from the European Union (so-called “Brexit”) will not be accomplished without some concessions on our part over European citizens currently working here.

However, HM Home Office is making plans on the assumption that future migration from the EU will be rigorously controlled by a points-based quota system. Such points will be awarded on criteria such as:

  • Having a job offer already made by a UK employer.
  • Not having such a job offer but prepared to sign an agreement to do any low-paid, menial, dirty or physically demanding work that the UK Jobcentre organisation cannot find a UK resident willing to do.
  • Not having such a job offer but having a private income in excess of the average UK earnings (and being prepared to pay UK tax on it).
  • Being able to speak English as well or better than the average UK 15 year-old youth.
  • Having a personal friend in the Home Office.

An amendment has been proposed suggesting that bonus points could be awarded if, as further proof of the applicant’s pro-UK sentiments, he/she produces evidence in the form of itemised telephone bills in their native country showing that, from May 2017 onwards, they have called the requisite number (on more than one occasion) to vote for the UK entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.

It is not clear at present whether sufficient EU residents will, in fact, wish to come here strongly enough to make this amendment workable.

***

It has been suggested to me that the “proposed amendment” was put forward by the BBC in a blatant attempt to curtail the future expenses claims of Graham Norton and Ken Bruce but be that as it may, I firmly believe that it is very definitely in the public interest for this document to be shared (as it stands) across Europe as quickly as possible and certainly before the evening of Saturday 13th May 2017. We wouldn’t want any potentially useful newcomers to the UK workforce to miss out on those valuable extra quota points, now would we?

Please do your best and do not be afraid to contact me with any other “official” items of this sort that may, or may not, come your way.

Alfie (who may, or may not, be in hiding in some South American embassy at this time)

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

May the Froth be with you!

By the title of this you may, quite rightly, assume that I have found something else to foam, rabidly, at the mouth about!

As those of my readership who have known me for a long time (and there are, rather surprisingly, an increasing number of people to whom that description applies) will know or remember, playing with words was “the thing” of my school class.

The sub-group of that class that avidly followed the BBC Radio show “I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again!” (ISIRTA) was particularly addicted to puns (one of my former classmates recently referred to us as “Punslingers” and I approve of that) and played happily at twisting words and meanings to comic effect.

I have, often to the despair of colleagues, friends or family, continued to work on what I consider to be a highly intellectual form of humour even though this occasionally results in the joke being killed for me by having to explain it to my audience!

If you aren’t familiar with my particular kind of wordplay I have done a couple of “good ones” here: https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2010/05/04 and https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2010/06/08 . I have also written about ISIRTA in several other places – read and enjoy!

So, having established my credentials as something of a master of puns I found listening to the radio this morning somewhat painful!

This was because, however many others have to be explained to them, there is ONE pun that nearly everyone “gets”. It arises from the salutation often used in the “Star Wars” movie franchise “May the Force be with you” and sometime after its’ first utterance in 1977 somebody inevitably noticed the similarity between the first three words and the date “May the Fourth”.

“Yes”, I thought when I first heard it, “that’s a good one” but being a DATE it came around every year and each time a few more people noticed it and found it funny to the point we are at now where it is actually being called “Star Wars Day”. Today’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show was largely given over to children playing the movie theme live on air using a variety of instruments.

A joke, especially a pun, that is repeated too often (and once a year, every year will certainly do it for me!) rapidly ceases to be funny and when it then turns into a “DAY” that has no other connection with a movie than a mis-quote that happens to sound like a date, things have gone a bit too far.

I know that some of you are thinking I am being unnecessarily grumpy about this and setting out to spoil a bit of harmless fun and I would tend to agree with you but for one thing:

When I was a teenager there were not many things that impinged on my little world enough to annoy me: the threat of worldwide nuclear destruction was always there but during my school years I was mostly incensed by the unwanted Government interference in Offshore “Pirate” Radio.

After school but still in my teens, however, I became extremely worried at the United States’ Government’s attitude to protestors about the Vietnam War.

And I wonder, as another 4th May goes by, whether I am being paranoid or unduly cynical in suggesting that said US Government welcomes or encourages the invention of “Star Wars Day” as a way of making the world forget the unarmed protesting students shot at and killed by the National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio on that very date in 1970!

The message I got from that episode was that however enlightened a democracy you may live in, if you disagree with the government strongly enough they do have the power to kill you – and if you fight back YOU are apparently the one breaking the law!

Well, I have never been an American Citizen (I would probably have been killed or injured in Vietnam if I had been), never went to any university and if making us forget is the intention – it isn’t working on ME!

Just thought you should know.

Alfie

 

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Informative

 

The number one song in heaven!

As you will surely know if you’ve read anything I’ve written here in the last few years, I have been actively publishing what are, effectively, the “sleeve notes” for the CD of my life.

The thing about those songs is that to qualify for inclusion they have to be directly associated with strong memories of a very particular (but not necessarily important) event or situation in my life. As I said in the introduction to that series of articles, it is not a requirement that I LIKE the song in question – it just has to unlock the box in my head which transports me back to a time and place!

I was explaining this to my dear wife the other day and pointing out the, to me, fortunate fact that the tracks I have written about so far have (with one exception) been ones that I am reasonably fond of.

So there are loads of good songs out there that I love but which don’t have a specific association for me and which, consequently, will not ever be included in the “CD of…” series. I mentioned this as well.

It was, perhaps, not too surprising, therefore, that she then threw me the question that has kept me somewhat bemused with regard to musical matters ever since.

“What” she asked me, “is your favourite song EVER?”

Let’s pause for a moment while I explain something!

The first six paragraphs above were found by me recently as an unfinished document in a folder of stuff taken off a long-defunct laptop – it was shown as last modified on 30th May 2011, nearly six years ago!

I thought it was probably about time I took a stab at finishing it!

There are several problems with answering Faith’s question (which I shall, henceforth, refer to as “The Question”) though – notably that my answer changes over time.

If, for example, you had asked me The Question in early 1964 I would have said “She Loves You” by The Beatles because I used to sing it at school with my friend Paul as a sort of early Tribute Act and it got us chased across the playing field by hordes of screaming GIRLS – which was nice!

A couple of years later and well into the Pirate Radio era I would have plumped for “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys which, when I heard it through the (mono) earpiece of my little Benkson transistor radio for the first time, I thought was the most amazing thing EVER!

But then The Beatles came back with “All You Need is Love” the following year ….. you get the idea?

Another problem I have is that sometimes I don’t realise until many years have passed following its release that I find a particular song moves me enough to qualify as the all-time favourite. This can be because the track in question has been around for ages but I just don’t happen to have heard it (so much music – so little time)! Either that or I’ve heard it (or even own it) but just wasn’t listening enough at the time I acquired it to realise just how much I loved it.

An example of the latter type cropped up a couple of years ago when I was trying to ensure that I had “digital backups” for my (comparatively small) vinyl album collection. The album in question was a “greatest hits” compilation and has a personal significance in that Faith bought it for me for Christmas 1977 not long after we started going out together.

The album in question comprised the hits of the British band “Smokie” up to and including the summer of that year and I made a (fortunate with hindsight) mistake when downloading a digital copy of it!

What I downloaded was not in fact “Smokie’s Greatest Hits” but was rather “The Very Best of Smokie” released in 1980 and including at least one track from later in 1977 which was not on the earlier release. This meant that as an unanticipated bonus I got to hear the Top 5 but sadly underplayed song “It’s Your Life”. When it cropped up on the random play function of my MP3 player it touched something in me so profoundly that I had to go back and repeat it several times!

And if someone had asked me “The Question” at that moment there is no doubt that I would have given “It’s Your Life” as the answer.

Until………!

Last year I was making a digital backup of another “Greatest Hits” compilation; this one a double CD that I bought from a Library stock sale, by a little-known American band called “The Eagles”. The first CD contained all of their recognised hits from 1971 onwards while the second contained bonus album tracks and “B” sides that the compiler obviously thought would have been hits had they ever been released as singles. I hadn’t bothered playing the second CD until that point.

In this particular instance I do know why I wasn’t familiar with the track I am steadfastly refusing to name until I’m ready – it was on a 1976 album that I had never listened to all the way through and was released as the “B” side of one of the band’s 1977 single hits. To delay the reveal still further I can say that the album was “Hotel California” and the “A” side of the hit single was “Life in the Fast Lane”.

Any Eagles aficionados out there will probably know by now that the song in question is “The Last Resort” and quite how it got to be considered second best to “Life……..” I will never know! I have always had a fondness for anti-corporate, pro-ecology songs (e.g. the entire Beach Boys “Sunflower” and “Surf’s Up” albums) and this one has all of that plus some warnings about humankind always messing up whatever environment we find ourselves in; past, present or future. I absolutely love it and it is my all-time favourite EVER!

For now anyway! Because that song is 40 years old and I only found it a year ago – so what else is out there that I haven’t discovered yet?

I am going to conclude by attempting to make a list of various musical tracks (some released as singles; some definitely not) which I feel would leave my life the poorer if I had never heard them.

It does not include anything that either has or will yet form part of the “CD of My Life” series – neither am I going to provide links to any of these for you from YouTube, as I do with the established series – I don’t want to have ALL the fun! Have a listen to them for yourselves – I’d be interested to hear what YOUR list would have on it and what you think of my choices.

The list also does NOT include the Sparks song that I have chosen as the title for this piece – as the beer advertisement says “It’s good but it’s not quite Carling”!

So here goes (in no particular order and with no final number in mind so that I can add more as needed or as I remember them):

  • “The Last Resort”; The Eagles
  • “It’s Your Life”; Smokie
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”; Queen
  • “Some Fantastic Place”; Squeeze
  • “Like a Hurricane”; Neil Young
  • “California Saga”; The Beach Boys (all 3 parts – not just the last third, “California”, which is all that normally gets played)
  • “Master of the Universe”; Hawkwind
  • “Vanilla Queen”; Golden Earring
  • “The Battle of Evermore”; Led Zeppelin
  • “Add some Music to Your Day”; The Beach Boys
  • “Hard Times of Old England”; Steeleye Span
  • “My Back Pages”; The Byrds
  • “Grey’s the New Blonde”; Henry Priestman

Enjoy!

Alfie

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Music Related

 

The Nanny State etc.….. Part 2

This is a follow-up to my previous post! You remember – the one about some anonymous jerk who decided I couldn’t buy a specific packet of screws for sporting equipment, just because I happened to be in a public library!

I feel it necessary to tell you the rest of the story – I know very well that some people will say “Why bother, it won’t change anything” and I am perfectly aware of that! However, writing down the things that annoy me here gets them off my chest and stops me from going on about them at home all the time! Well, maybe it doesn’t stop all of the moaning but it certainly reduces it anyway!

To add further to my bad feelings about the SERCO Internet Access Policy I went back into the Library on Wednesday afternoon (that is, the day after the previously documented events) and worked in the back office on one of their own PCs (for which I have a Staff user account). In my break I tried accessing the Merlin Archery website from that computer and there was no problem at all! It seems that all leisure services staff in Peterborough including Library staff must have been surreptitiously vetted by SERCO and there are no Vigilante Archers, Psychopaths or Slaughterers of our Furry Friends amongst us. That’s good to know! It’s plainly only the general public that are a risk……….to the general public!

To take the story further, when I was able to order the screws (and a nice shiny bow-stand to rest my weapon on when not shooting) I had missed the deadline for Tuesday and the Royal Mail 48 hour parcel delivery did not start counting until the next morning. This meant it was due on Friday and while I waited in as long as I could, eventually I had to admit defeat and went off to push my mother-in-law around the supermarket in her wheelchair. Naturally about 5 minutes after we left the parcel arrived and I returned home to find the ubiquitous “we called – you were out card” waiting for me.

I had to wait for the next working day (Saturday) before the parcel could be picked up from the local sorting office and we were due to go away for the weekend on Saturday morning, coming back sometime on Monday – on the evening of which day the next practice was scheduled!

So, in order to have any chance of getting the sight mounting fixed properly, I had to get up at a ludicrously early hour on Saturday morning to get to the Sorting Office pickup point as soon as possible after its 7 a.m. opening time and then rush home again to utilise the parcel contents.

Fortunately some swift work with a screwdriver saw the appropriate small piece of metal attached FIRMLY to the handle of the bow and it performed admirably on Monday evening to the extent that I came remarkably close to “Doing a Robin Hood” – which is Archers’ slang for hitting one arrow up the end of the previous one! I’m actually rather glad I was a little bit off target there as the arrows I use cost about £8 a go!

Still, I do wonder if anyone at SERCO knows what inconvenience and rushing about resulted from their arbitrary decision to block me from a site where all I wanted to do was buy a packet of screws of a specific length, diameter and thread type for a specific LEGAL purpose!

On reflection, I feel that even if they did know, they wouldn’t actually change anything – the kind of people who feel they know much better than you what you want to look at on-line would probably be so convinced of their own rightness that the possibility of the existence of a valid but contrary argument would be an alien concept!

O.K. I feel better now – and I promise that‘s the last word on that particular annoyance.

Alfie

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Uncategorized