Today in Leeds (so I am assured anyway) the ballot papers will be delivered by special post to thousands of voters across the city. Just how many get returned unspoiled remains to be seen, the government hopes more than would get returned through the old fashioned ballot box. Even so looking at the parties entered, people have more choice than ever. In Leeds there are 9 parties standing plus independents, though apart from the main two and the Conservatives not all parties are contesting every ward.
I hope that not too many are taken in by the dribbling paranoid loonies or the racist party, even as a protest. It disturbs me that anyone sees either of their two parties as talking any sort of sense, especially seeing the sort of psychotic ranting the candidates of the former get up to on election nights.
Apologies to anyone who has been briefly tempted by the rhetoric of the paranoid party, but having met some of their candidates in Leeds and knowledge of the conduct of their candidates in North Birmingham seeing people doing other than dismiss them for the nutcases they are is a little disquieting. But then Robert Kilroy Silk being both attracted to them and seen by them as an acceptable candidate should ring warning bells in anyone’s brain. With the other lot, no explanation for my disdain should be at all necessary.
Nicola as a council worker is making some money out of the postal ballot, having three days of work opening and sorting envelopes. Which is her only day of work next week as the rest of the time will be spent on Scout Camp with St Chad’s and Headingley Explorers.
I’ll be going too, to Scout camp but just for the two weekends.
After much trepidation I have got rid of my old scrap-heap and replaced it with a Mazda Premacy with most of the trimmings. It even gets on the drive without getting damaged.
I’m both pleased and underwhelmed by my new purchase; the best way of telling the difference between my old and new car is by the absence of problems, so I’m essentially trying to notice things that aren’t there. Which given none of the problems with my old vehicle happened constantly is difficult.
I’ll get used to it.
Today was the Otley Show and as last year Nicola had entered all the classes she could. Of course given that the entry was in weeks before the show this meant that some of her entries (particularly her embroidery and pin cushion) were little more than token efforts.
Nic’s parents came to join us as mine were away at the caravan, they arrived about lunch time and left from our house about 7pm.
Competition was greater than normal in all but a few categories. I entered cross-stitch, tapestry, soft craft(a soft toy bunny rabbit), men’s only victoria sponge, men’s only bran loaf, and marmalade. My Bran loaf came second out of about six. Nicola got first for her paté and lots of seconds and thirds including a second for her main floral arrangement, and a third for her gent’s buttonhole.
After we got home and unloaded the car, we had the misfortune to be shot at by an air rifle. The pelet damaged one of the guides’ pans which was sat in the dining/shed area of the kitchen just feet from where Tony and Pam were standing. A second shot hit the outside wall, and others were heard. The police were called but could do nothing except log a crime report for criminal damage (to the wall and bucket).
Then with everyone gone we settled down to test the nation. We did well, getting within 1 point of each other, but didn’t reach the high scores we can usually do in exam conditions (i.e. without Anne Robinson rabiting on during the test).
Tonight at Explorers we’re doing values. I’m going to do a round of dilemmas, ie where you ask a question like
A parent asks you if her child, a Scout, has been smoking. You saw them smoking at a party and tried to discourage them because you disapprove. Do you
- (a) Tell the truth
- (b) Lie – parental pressure doesn’t achieve anything
- (c) Feign amnesia “I don’t remember
- (d) ….
Anyone got any more dilemmas that might not be in the book?
This weekend has been taken up with me doing my first real Scout Training in over 5 years as a leader. I’m slightly disappointed. Of course Module 16 (Nights away) was fairly extensive, as well as being an intensive weekend.
The course, being the first of its kind, was not well attended, and at some points there were more trainers than attendees meaning the course was not as sociable for those attending than it could have been.
I attended expecting to be given confidence and reassurance, but left feeling disappointed and depressed. I now know that I know what to do in order to organise a “Nights Away” event, however I don’t feel I have any more courage to tackle one than before. Perhaps I was expecting too much, when I expressed my disappointment to the course leaders, they asked what they could have covered that I was expecting, and I didn’t have an answer. I wasn’t looking for content, I was looking to be empowered and encouraged, which I’m not sure was a realistic attitude. Perhaps I was expecting sort of magic teaching technique to banish all my worries through the use of magic.
Apart from not being emboldened to the required degree, what annoys me is that even after spending a weekend of my time revising stuff I already know I have not yet passed the module. To explain there are two parts to each Scout Training module: the course itself and the validation, and it is only compulsory to validate not Maybe there should be a lower burden of validation on those that attend courses than those that seek to validate.
I have three years to validate 17 modules of training, lets hope I can do it.
So it’s settled, within the next 10 days I will become the proud owner of a shiny 51 reg Mazda Premacy, with all the features. While a little excited I am a little trepidatious for the following reasons:
* I’m changing car because I have to, not because I really want to.
* It’s the most expensive car I’ve ever bought.
* It’s the biggest car I’ve ever owned.
* I’m spending more than half my life (OK last 5 years) savings rather than take out a loan.
We plumped for the Premacy as we needed a bigger car to contrast with the Fiat (so as we only need one vehicle when we have lots of stuff) and because we want to try to keep this one for five years or more. It rates highly on customer satisfation and reliability so hopefully I should have more luck mechanically with it. Only thing not taken care of is the potential for bumps and scrapes our everyday lives presents which resulted in the low valuation of my old Rover 200.
Tried to include blogger comments on my blog
Just had one of those coffee break conversations.
We work in an office that is far too hot for much of the year due to the vast amount of electrical equipment hanging around. We have worked out that energy would not be a problem if heat energy could be easily converted into other forms with no concern for entropy.
Thus instead of installing air conditioning we would install devices that suck all the excess heat out of the air and use it to power our equipment, or even push it out on the national grid to heat somewhere which isn’t as lucky with the weather.
This is what life is like as an engineer.
Car salesmen are not your friend.
I’m not particularly assertive and am at a disadvatage when it comes to
negotiations because of this and because I am ready to change my car.
Therefore any haggling is very difficult. I havn’t even mentioned car tax.
I have decided that the car I saw last Tuesday is the car I am going to buy,
but the salesman knows this and has tried to get me to leave a “deposit”
just in case someone else buys it in the meantime.