White Spirit

Journal Entry, Tue 4 Mar 2003: Rang Angela at Kelly Sci Resources: she said she only had my old details. ‘So how come you’ve got my Manchester phone number?’
She asked about my salary details. Wants to put me forward for a job in Widnes.
At work, had two batches of identical black paint for QC test, one for 300 litres, the other for ten litres.

Weds 5 Mar 2003: White primer for Perkins – slower drying required. Vil 259 being withdrawn so we can move to Synolac 78 perhaps.
The usual – I rejected a batch for being low gloss, and back it came, improved, but no additions recorded on the batch card.
[Note: we made the primer using lots of white spirit instead of the recommended xylene, because xylene is more expensive and reduces the viscosity more effectively. The resin is incompatible with WS, so the drying process gives an apparently matt film before all the solvent lost]

Fascinating evening at Poynton Bike Club: Tev and I were sitting on stage with club chairman, having given a short talk about MAG membership, when they went on to discuss other agenda items. At one point they were discussing their website having links to other clubs and someone (jokingly) mentioned GBMCC. ‘Well we could…’ said the chairman, ‘what do you lot think?’
There was a lot of murmured disapproval with some of the girls looking extremely hostile. [Note: it was interesting to be present in front of all these people and yet be invisible, as they had no idea I was gay, and they displayed an immediate negative response]

Tue 15 Apr 2003: At work, one of the main products contains about 0.3 percent of Thorcat, a phenyl mercury compound, but no mention is made of this being toxic on the works order form.

Fri 31 Mar 2017: Recent news events – following last year’s referendum, Theresa May has signed Article 50 and sent official notice to the President of the EU that Great Britain wishes to sever all financial and political connections with the EU. Mrs May is also very keen on Grammar Schools, and thinks that she can restore the UK to a state of grey uniform bliss, filled with typewriter ribbons, shiny bog roll and bowler hats, just like 1957.
A new design for the one-pound coin has been launched, featuring a host of subtle security devices to prevent forgery. Many years ago, one pound was a great deal of money. Today, it will buy about 930 cc of unleaded petrol, or one-third of a pint of beer. Or a daily newspaper. Or a large white loaf.
Celebrated buy-to-let champion landlord Fergus Wilson has hit the headlines after sending a list of instructions to the letting firm which manages his vast portfolio of houses in Kent. He instructs them that he is not prepared to accept certain classes of people as tenants, including battered wives, housing benefit claimants, smokers, single people, zero-hours contract workers and plumbers. He also made an unfortunate, deeply offensive remark about not accepting ‘coloureds’ as tenants since the smell of curry is very difficult to remove after they leave the property.
Does he imagine that ordinary white tenants aren’t keen on showing off their authentic Madhur Jaffrey kitchen skills?
Meanwhile, a grand civil engineering project called HS2 is in trouble. This high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham will reduce journey times by about three minutes and will create between twenty and eighty thousand new jobs, depending on which newspaper you happen to be reading. The contractors CH2M have withdrawn from stage 2b of the project, shortly after being awarded the contract worth 200 million pounds. Presumably newly-minted pounds, at that…
According to the Daily Fail, “American-based firm CH2M has been involved with HS2 Ltd since 2012 and has been awarded a £350 million deal to develop Phase 1 of the line from London to Birmingham. Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd’s new chief executive, is a former CH2M employee, as was his temporary predecessor Roy Hill.”

As they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

30 Nov 2011: Back to work today after travelling to Cornwall for Xmas. As usual, Ryan was gruff and determined to avoid eye contact. Chris also v subdues. Danny hasn’t yet given me a rundown of Monday’s meeting about our revised hours of work. Today was a massive strike by public sector workers – schools closed, airports shut, and operations cancelled – because the Gov’t has imposed new pension agreements on them.

1 Dec 2011: Danny still hasn’t mentioned anything about Monday’s meeting with JC and the rest of lab. I asked if I could leave early next Monday to attend the OCCA c’ttee meeting, and he said ‘Yes, I suppose so, but you’ll have to make up the time by working over.’
Me: ‘Since when has this been a requirement?’ To which he replied that it’s always been the case. He also remarked that ‘we need to consider whether you’re attending these meetings as an ambassador for Exova or if it’s for your own personal benefit.’

1 Mar 2012: Last week Lynda sent us all an e-mail message saying that John C was going to give a presentation about our new three-year strategy and everyone was expected to attend.
JC is famous for altering the date of his meetings – the last one was changed five times in total – and of course tomorrow’s show has been postponed until next Tuesday, and moved down the road to The Lighthouse.




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