Monday, 26 December 2011

Oh, for God's sake! People have to be told this?!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Communication skills......

Um.....about 5/10. Maybe a 4.5/10.

"See this fabulous £23 million bus station with the crappy floors and the multitude of bus stops? Well tough, your bus is never coming here. Sod off!"

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Don't ask....... I'm just having an almightily bad day

My home and contents insurance won't cover this and nor will my British Gas Homecare agreement either.
It's either the upper joint where the hot water comes in from the boiler that's gone awry OR the whole tank needs replacing.
So that's £50 or £500.
The leak is so slow that I didn't notice the damage it was doing until I looked up this morning.
Until I have the money, I'm wicking the water away to a bucket using a tea towel.

Friday, 21 October 2011

And a fabulous job they've not done......

They haven't even put the floor tiles back as it's only a temporary repair - give me strength.....

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

There's random.......

....and then there's finding this on the bottom of an Innocent smoothie

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Listen, money's tight these days......... if you're having trouble splashing out on Hallowe'en AND Christmas, why don't you go to Maplins and kill two birds with one stone.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Come off it.......

£23 million and you're digging up the floor already?!!

It's only been open since July, for God's sake.....

We've got a problem.........

Here in Wolverhampton city centre, we have one of the highest proportion of closed down shops in the UK.
Poor trading conditions and extortionate rents are being blamed.

It's getting worse not better now that parking charges in the city centre are rising

And, it's going to get worse - not only has TJ Hughes gone into administration
TK MAXX are making tracks to Bentley Bridge.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Enthusiastic Spotters' Guide to Buses

There are the 'bobbing' buses which have problem with the 'kneeling' suspension - these routinely bob up and down whilst waiting at the lights or at bus stops.
There are the 'bunny hoppers' where the ABS kicks in on every gear changes and jerks the bus forward resulting in travel sickness.
The 'smokers' which catch fire - that was a fun job interview.
The 'lates' - well, you never see those.
And the 'deads'
They're not as rare as they could be either..........

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The problem with TK MAXX....... that although you can buy some fabulous bargains.........

That great pair of trainers you found at less than half price may be slightly dodgy..............

Monday, 29 August 2011

Although things are relatively quiet

Some people are a teensy bit nervous.......

Sunday, 28 August 2011


People need lessons on how to live in someone else's house?

There is something going very badly wrong if stuff like this is needed........

Sunday, 14 August 2011

When I go 'home' to visit Dad.......

I don't go 'home home' I go to Hammersmith.

The place Dara O'Briain talks about here.

This place has been a feature for decades

and they have Polish films at the local Cineworld

It's funny what makes you feel at home.....

A walk through the park......

and a meander past the estate agents windows.........

.........and I know that all's right with the world.

Seriously. £1,750,000. That's why I don't live here.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Shopping with violence......

Taken on a 'busy' Saturday afternoon. Sad.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Just as well I had an early night then.......

Good grief.

I have no idea what's going change there then.....

Apart from a helicopter buzzing around and an increased police presence, I haven't got a clue about what's going in my own city.

The Express and Star news site is currently unavailable due to heavy demand. This page will automatically try again in 10 seconds

So much for the Information Age.............

Friday, 5 August 2011

It is nigh on impossible... talk, write or complain about wonky bus services without sounding like a socially inept nerd.

Poetry? Who in their right minds thinks rhyme will let them be taken more seriously??!

WTF?!two weeks we've had of this already.

It doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon either.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

If you were ever wondering about the service.............

As I was sitting in the Psychiatry Services waiting room, I came across a pile of these flyers on the coffee table with the out of date Closer and Heat magazines.

I suppose it's an option.

The meeting wasn't too successful. The young 'un who interviewed me is too young to remember the prescribing of lofepramine as a first line drug.

As if the fact that I was old enough to be his mother didn't make me feel old enough.

He would have to discuss my case with his Consultant before writing to my GP to let him know what had been decided.

What? I'm not in the loop?


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

It's taken slightly less than 48 hours.....

............but the first drunks have already moved into the new bus station.....I'm guessing that can won't see the inside of the recycling bin it's sitting on.........

I dunno. Badly organised and overpriced pearls before swine.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

One of the biggest bug bears of commuting by bus from Wolverhampton has been the lack of a bus station for over a year.


Since April last year, we have been trolling the streets looking for our bus stops as not only the bus station was shut down but also the main ring road was disrupted to accommodate the new building.

There have been delays, hitches and hiccups. Trade along the main street leading to the bus station has also taken a battering.

Despite the rumours and the complaints, the building work continued regardless and it opened today.

I popped down there to see where I'm catching my bus tomorrow and I have to say, on first impressions, I'm impressed.

The winding bus routes through the station are gone - replaced by what look like big turning corners any handbraking boy racer would love to skid his wheels on,

The airport style departure boards are centrally placed and relatively easy to read

and the multi-option touch screens look great.

Even the National Express coaches have been moved

It's just a pity that all the rumours are true.


There's always something to take the shine off the newness.

And that's before the litter, the gum spitters and the vandalism starts.


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Goodbye 1980s........

I've been having a clearout of stuff. The old newspapers have gone, all the clothes I didn't fancy wearing or haven't worn in over a year and my cassette collection.

These are the only ones I can give to the Friends charity that work at the hospital. The mix tapes and the cassette recordings of vinyl records have all been dismantled and thrown into the recycling and rubbish bins.

Dear Lord, did I really buy those?

Not too bad, although there's Bob again........

Oh now, that's just random.......

Um, nope. Just embarrassing.......

Not even trying to explain those.

The thing is, a lot of these haven't seen daylight for at least a decade. I'm playing a few just to see if they'll still play. I really have got to get over the embarrassment otherwise I won't give anything away.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Death to the Steampunk Octopus!

Do you like it? Do you? You want to buy it?


Actually, I agree. It's dire. I don't know what possessed me to buy the kit, but once opened I had to finish it or else it would sit in it's box taunting me whenever I entered the room.

I've since had it framed and will put it up one day.

One day when I have walls to speak of.

And once it is up, it will sit on the wall and taunt me.

Haunt me.

Remind me.

Like some 'Ghost of Handicrafts Past', it will plonk itself in my eyeline and tell me in no uncertain terms not to buy another rug kit again.

I know, I know I get worked up over next to nothing.

What's been troubling me of late is, well, mediocrity, incompetence and ego.

I wouldn't dream of putting that piece of nylon tat up for sale - I know it's rubbish and asking for money for it wouldn't just break copyright law (Alright there, Coats?), it would require the kind of shamelessness that would phase the Gallagher clan.


There is one website called

There was a plan originally for talented crafters, artisans and small businesses to advertise in one place - a bit like
Ebay for handmade stuff.


Etsy has been hijacked. By the kind of talentless, brassnecked, deluded and plain old mercenary shysters that the true craftsmen have been trying to distance themselves from.

Etsy has a listings policy which effectively means that 'resellers' are valuable Etsy clients and people who steal ideas from other artists or otherwise breach copyright go unsanctioned.

But the most nauseating part of the Etsy set-up is that anyone who publicly exposes such merchants (so called 'calling out') are actively sanctioned by the Etsy administrators.

So the really talented but struggling or those trying to sell items for a good cause have to keep quiet or else they'll be punished.
Rune Leather was one such luckless soul.


I honestly don't know why April Winchell got so wound up, but she has created a site called Regretsy.

In her own words

"Regretsy is the fail blog of hand crafts.

Almost everything posted here is collected from the web site, Etsy, though I sometimes feature crafting failures from other sites.

I also will sometimes post things that are just incredibly odd and wonderful.

So while not everything here is awful, it is always WTF."

The site is fairly self explanatory. It's "where DIY meets WTF" and some of the best bits are from her many followers.

April's Army of snark even have a forum following on Etsy. They have raised money for charity, shop for gew-gaws on Etsy and give public support to real artists.


There are a number of 'artistes' who, truly believing they are God's gift to art, have complained, loudly.

Not happy that their masterpieces have been dissed and snarked at, they complain. And bring about a torrent of smart alec, snarky, trouble upon their heads.

One such produced this. She has a whole shopful!

And then this happened.

And suddenly Twitter went nutty. 79,000 members of April's army vs. one not very talented 'artiste'.

If you're interested check out @Regretsy, @Robstenart and @Aprilsarmy or #postsomethingterrible.

If I had that woman's brass neck, I'd be Prime Minister.

She traces pictures and colours them in. She is on a par with most 8 year olds.

The "I only 'do' Twilight" aspect makes her look like an angsty, pouting teen who just won't be told she has no real talent and she really ought to be getting on with something more useful.

This woman is wasting time, money and resources on producing the kind of dross I'd be too embarrassed to throw in my large black wheelie bin (for non recyclable refuse) for fear someone would see it.

And she's marketing it with the kind of deathless prose one would reserve for a work by Van Gogh.

Kill it with fire, I say.

The trouble is, not only is she not alone, she and her fellow 'artistes' now have the likes of Etsy, where the like minded can meet, shore up each other's fragile egos and effectively create an alternate universe where they can compare themselves with the like of Da Vinci and see nothing wrong with overpriced flotsam and jetsam hotglued to pieces of ply.

I have great respect for artisans who, using traditional crafts and/or their own designs, create useful and beautiful pieces.

I can cross stitch. If I want to clutter my house with hamfisted attempts at 'art', I can pick up a pattern and produce my own half-arsed, attempts at decoration without resorting to t'Internet.

I love Regretsy. It has made me laugh out loud and cry at some of the reasons why they do the charitable things they do.

Regretsy is not just a response to the resellers, it's a calling out of the untalented, the pretentious, the idiotic, the deluded, the 'hot glue and crysanthemum' crowd who think they're producing 'art' when in fact they are keeping corporate 'craft' suppliers in the black.

Death to the Steampunk Octopus.

I know, I know. And flock wallpaper too.....

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Another good day to bury bad news

Osama bin Laden is dead.

And while we are all wound up flag waving, celebrating, conspiracy theorising, mourning or vowing vengeance, we aren't concentrating on the things around us that matter just as much, if not more.

Like law and order at home, for example.

The impending closure of the Forensic Science Service has got to be just about the most stupid, short sighted, penny pinching example of short termist thinking that I've ever heard of.

When I was organising my uncle's funeral, last year, the building I used to work in was in darkness. Already closed down in an attempt to cut costs.

I was in shock when I heard the news on the radio last December. That must have been some Christmas present.

At that point, it seemed an abstract idea. A cost cutting "blue sky thinking" sort of a notion which the Con-Dems could U-turn over later.

Like the laughable - "I know! Let's sell the trees!" idea.

Then I started to get letters from Capita Hartshead who deal with the FSS pension funds. Strange letters, admitting they were being told very little, knew very little but were going to keep me informed anyway.

Then this happened.

It was then that it really hit home. This wasn't some proposed idea but a proper working plan to shut down the FSS.

Expecting the government owned FSS to make a profit from the state funded police forces is like passing money from left hand to right hand and expecting to see more money in the right hand after you're done.

It's not going to happen, is it? You would have to be pretty stupid to expect otherwise

As the saying goes "Crime doesn't pay". The entire criminal justice system is one of those 'how-long-is-a-piece-of-string' money pits which won't turn a profit no matter how many consultants, reviews, reports, opinions and rulings that are thrown into the black hole.

But no. The FSS is going to shut down, private companies are more than capable of taking up the slack and there will be no interruption of service.

Yeah, right.

The Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners was wound up years ago with no specific body responsible for the accreditation of forensic scientists left.

UKAS doesn't specifically test each forensic practitioner to see if they are fit to practice but they do provide an accreditation service to show that each laboratory adheres to its own documented 'in-house' methods.

Very reassuring.


Meanwhile, my award winning local Beat Bobby is in the news as well. And it's not good news there either.

That takes some brass neck. To force someone to retire and then ask them to do the same job for free.

Yep. I've finally seen someone come up with ideas worse than that bloody medal.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Just seen this........

and laughed out loud at the way some of the bus drivers cope with the tourists.

Strangely absorbing.

The RSPCA doesn't want to know......

.....and frankly I don't know why.........

The next door neighbour keeps a dog. It has simply been thrown out of the back door, has no toys, no regular walks, isn't kept clean, isn't brought into the house regardless of the weather and has had no training whatsoever.

The smell is atrocious. Trust me.

The dog is showing stereotyped behaviour - running from kitchen door to back gate and back again repeatedly and barks at the slightest thing.

I call the RSPCA on occasion and as far as they're concerned, the dog is fed, watered and has some sort of shelter - an outside cupboard. There is no overt abuse, so as far as they're concerned, there is nothing wrong.

The dog scratches and scrapes the kitchen door and is often up on its hind legs with its front paws on the window sill.

Nothing has been cleaned for weeks and now the warm weather has kicked in, the stench and the flies it attracts is atrocious.

The dog goes nuts and flings itself at the fence the second it hears my keys in my kitchen door lock and carries on barking and jumping long after I've gone back into my house.

There is no fresh air, no real work going on in my garden (I'm scared of dogs that want to try and eat me) and although I've contacted the housing association, they're not that interested either.

So here's to another fly blown, stinking Summer.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Yesterday was a sad day.....

I was saddened to hear the news the death of Elizabeth Sladen.

As a child growing up in the 1970s, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker were the Doctor Whos that I remember watching (from between my fingers) and it was the ever faithful, if slightly attitudinous sidekick Sarah Jane Smith that was by their side.

Whovians all over the internet have been paying tribute to a fine actress who has recently been on our televisions in 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'.

Type "Doctor", "Who" and "episode" into YouTube and you will probably come across Sarah Jane.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Every now and again, I get annoyed

I get annoyed at the decisions made by my Government that is supposed to be for our benefit.

There have been some calamitous decisions made over the years by the governments of the day.

Privatising the energy industries, thereby putting them at the mercy of the stock markets and ensuring eventual foreign control of virtually all the energy used in Britain?

Anything for a quick buck there, eh, guys?

Shutting down entire, specialist hospitals and centralising their functions in fewer, harder to reach general and teaching hospitals with fewer beds and not enough specialist staff?

Wasn't the best idea, was it?

Invading Iraq after the followers of a Yemeni-based Saudi flew planes into American landmarks?

Um...........bad idea.

I got soooooo annoyed I resigned my Labour party membership.........yeah, like that helped.

Private finance initiatives which have left local councils and NHS trusts paying massive amounts of their income to construction companies for the forseeable future?

I'll think about voting Lib/Dem in future.

However, shutting down the entire Forensic Science Service because it's losing too much money, has to be one of the most short-sighted, bone-headed, penny pinching and short termist ideas that I've heard for a long time.

I really am absolutely speechless.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Don't dig it there, dig it elsewhere........

This started last year.

During last summer, there were problems all over the West Midlands with burst pipes.
My road was no exception.

It started off as a bulge in the street. The bulge started leaking and formed a stream of water which ran into the gutter.

I called Severn Trent who sent men out to dig an exploratory hole and they watched it fill up with water before filling the hole in again. Piling the fresh gravel and tar on top of the water.

This picture was taken shortly after they cleared off.

We've grown quite a collection of greenery..........

The problem is compounded by the council's poor maintenance of the drains. Instead of going into the drain, the water pours over the blocked drain cover and carries on down the road.

During the freezing winter, it became a problem as, every time I put the bin into the road for the bin men, if I wasn't careful, the bin would freeze to the gutter.

Crossing the road from my side to the other was tricky to say the least.

Recently, I complained to the council.

More men from Severn Trent arrived, they re-dug the same area, dug a hole deep enough to bury a traffic cone and watched the hole fill up deeply enough to drown said traffic cone..........

........before filling it in again.

Again, they've made no attempt to find the source of the water, or empty the hole before piling more gravel and tarmac in again.

Nice work on the potholes there, guys. Oh yeah, different department.

I wonder if we could make a feature of it.........