Escape from Chetwynd

schirmer

They can’t both be right; but they could both be wrong…

18 Sep 2010: ‘Ratzinger’ is not an item from the KFC menu, but rather the surname of our new Pope, Benedict XVI, who is visiting the UK to save us from our wretched heathen ways. According to an interview in the Times, he is quoted as saying that ‘Sex, drugs and alcohol don’t bring happiness.’
Perhaps he’s not doing them properly…

30 Dec 1992: Got up early-ish, went to laundryette-o-mat. Later helped Mr D transport light furniture to our new flat, Firs Farm Drive.
On our second visit to the flat, he suggested that we put the gas fire on to warm ourselves up. We lit the fire, which burned feebly, and went to collect some more furniture from the van. When we came back into the flat we noticed a very strong smell of gas, which we thought was smoke. It turned out that the main feed pipe in the kitchen had been severed but not blocked, and we might very well have been blown away in swirling clouds of orange light blazing in the skies above Castle Bromwich.

Tonight went to new pub – The Inn Place, or something like that. Saw Bob and Alan in the Fountain, got chatting to some Victorian looking clone who works at the Cinema. Have arranged to go to Steve H tomorrow, thence to Mark and Wendy’s for NY Eve.

29 Nov 2010: Today 20th anniversary of passing driving test in Oxford. Yesterday to pictures to see ‘London Boulevard’, an incredibly violent movie starring Colin Farrell and Ray Winstone.
In the news: Wikileaks has broadcast a load of incriminating documents – offensive remarks from the US about Sarkozy and everybody else. Prince Andrew slagging off the SFO and journalists for probing an arms deal.
Heavy snow in Scotland.

20 Dec 2010: Snow, ice, chaos. Heathrow and Gatwick shut down, major delays and cancellations.
On Friday night B- and I drove down to Chorlton for dinner with Luke and Shelley. While we were eating, the snow came down really heavy.  Drove back through 4-inch deep snow.
Then Saturday night went to the Manchester conference Centre for the Exova works do. We had a carvery meal, about 88 booked but only 60 turned up.

Then at 11.20 I left them all to it and went over the road to Sound Control to meet up with Steve R and Kim. He recognised me straight away – ‘Wow, that wasn’t an old picture on FB after all!’ Lots of throbbing, gurgling music from Meat Katie, Krafty Kuts and Dylan Rhymes.
Been at work for 8 months now, but still no mention of works medical or pension.

1 Jan 1993: Rang Abbey National to ask about my non-existent cheque card and it turns out that because I haven’t been using the account for six months continuously they don’t send me one.
Last night to Mark and Wendy’s for stuffed peppers, chocolate praline seashells, stilton and twiglets. Then we watched TV and while Clive James was giving the countdown to midnight I tried to open a bottle of fizz but managed to break the cork off. So there we were at 11.59, using a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne and watching the fireworks in a nearby garden.

9 Jan 1993: Well, we moved – at one point we wanted to move the van closer to the house and asked Graham (neighbour) to move his car. He started yelling ‘no!’ and accused Aidan of being a misery ever since he’s moved there – ‘You’re nothing but a bunch of poofters!’

[Note: Graham’s wife had grown up in the house they now occupied, and she was v angry when it turned out that Aidan had sold the neighbouring property to an Asian couple]
Anyway, we got in here on Sunday night and spent the week in a rubble of plastic bags and cardboard boxes.
Last night went to collect some furniture from Ivan and ran out of petrol. Ivan came out to rescue us, bringing a petrol can – actually an oil can with a short spout. Eventually bought a plastic can from the garage, left the van at Dunlop and walked back through Castle Bromwich.
And we went to collect Sid from Chetwynd Road and as we were pulling away a car burst into flames behind us.

12 Jan 2011: Yesterday was the first anniversary of me starting work at Kernow Coatings. I remember arriving at factory on a snowy morning to meet Phil B in the car park. He didn’t seem very pleased to see me.
This afternoon had staff meeting – the Big Boss (Tim Cornes) has plans for huge expansion of the Coatings Dept. Lots of opportunities for staff who want to make career progress.

3 Mar 2011: Yesterday would have been Dad’s birthday so I went off to the Swinging Bridge for a slap-up dinner – pâté and Cajun salmon. And this time I didn’t lose consciousness over the profiteroles like I did with Jean and Manda last year.

So far I’ve done tiny bits of work on block 5 – Human Resources.
Lots of bleating in the news about vocational courses and apprenticeships.  No mention of the idea that apprenticeships are reserved for the offspring of existing workers.

6 Mar 2011: This time last year I was living in Penryn, renting a tiny spare room from a landlady called Debbie who kept her small house spotless – soulless, even. No shoes allowed indoors.
One of the big black marble floor tiles in the kitchen had cracked.
Bathroom had colour-changing, low-voltage lights in the ceiling and white spotlights set in the floor.
Wonderful views of fields and woodland from the kitchen window.
This house about three minutes’ walk from my workplace, Kernow Coatings (‘Sensitisers’)

Tomorrow is the Manchester OCCA seminar at the Salford Innovation Forum – must take CDs, dongle and wall-signs.
Wednesday is our state visit from the new CEO, Ian El-Mokadem.

Back in July 2010 I sent Eileen an e-mail message, saying that I remember going to my EC Pigments interview in July 2005. If anyone had asked me ‘And where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’ I probably wouldn’t have said ‘Temping in Salford and planning a reunion drink with all my friends from this place.’

Journal Entry, 25 Feb 08: Yesterday went to town, bought a 1 GB dongle and a copy of ‘Ariel’ by Kate Bush, down from £14 to a fiver. Went to cinema to watch ‘Rambo’.

Then today we all went to visit the packaging firm Rexam in Wakefield. Strange occurrence: I was sitting in the back of Andrew’s car with Adrian, and we were waiting for Bruce. When B- turned up, he went to get in the back.
‘Oh, hang on’ said he, ‘I need to sit in the front ‘cos I get travel sick’, thus forcing young Adam to move. But it was only when he noticed that I was there that he remembered he was carsick.

And then we had an e-mail from Rose at Fall River to announce that John White had been terminated. Of course she ends her message ‘Have a nice day’.

24 Mar 09: Easter Monday: We went to pictures yesterday afternoon to see ‘10000 Years BC’. Dear oh dear – it was like a bunch of American High School students at a caveman fancy-dress party. Although it would have been better with some naked Neanderthals running around hitting each other with clubs. And as for the idea of dragging the Great Pyramid into this mess…

24 Apr 07: Yesterday went to Viaton for my Chemist interview with Howard Beedle. Got lost in Peak District and arrived late. Got absolutely soaked on way home. Detailed discussion of my PhD and why it had taken so long to finish, so I explained about having to de-register as a student in order to claim housing benefit.

26 Apr 07: Yesterday e-mailed OCCA to ask whether they had received payment for me going to Sheffield conference.
(I registered for this, but they sent the invoice to work where it was opened and passed on to Adrian who denied all knowledge when I asked. Then I asked again at the sales office and was told that no payments had been processed)

414 Jan 07: On Friday went down to Derby for Masons reunion. The usual gang appeared – but no Hannah, no Mike H, no Dave Redfern, no Andy Fearn.
Everybody looked faintly unaltered. Towards the end of the night, Ian asked me ‘Did you ever get round to finishing your PhD?’ so I said that I had already done so by the time I joined the firm in ‘96.

 

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