Well here we go again.

Here we are just at the end of the first week of January with the year spread out in front of us. How they year will pan out is of course anybody’s guess.

Each year people seem to just want the new year to be better than the old one, but I wonder if they think back and actually recall if the old year was actually good or bad?

Personally, I will just take it as it comes, not much else we can do really when push comes to shove. At the moment I am down with a dose of the lurgi and feeling terrible, but there is nothing I can do about it except keep warm etc. So we are just getting on with things.

One of the things we are getting on with is having a sort of some of the bits and pieces I have accumulated over the last few years. I am amazed at what I have got and in many cases I have no recollection of how I got the item and why. A good example are external hard drives, I have turned up five 1TB external drives, two of which are unused and boxed. I have no idea as to why I got them, though I must have had plans for them at the time of purchase. Still as I often say… They will come in useful, though I am not sure when!

Until I stared the exercise of having a sort out I would not have put myself down as a hoarder, but after a morning sorting stuff I am not so sure,  I keep turning up bits I had forgotten I had. Perhaps I should just throw them all out and start again? Thats the problem with bits, you have them for years gathering dust, then throw them out because you have not used them only to find a couple of weeks later you need one and have to order one. The circle starts again.

Years ago some bright spark said that with the advent of computers offices and homes would be able to go paper free. Who were they trying to kid!!! I have sorted out lots of bits of paper to be shredded, many of which have been read only once since they were printed. Some people seem to have this need to print stuff out. I used to work with a woman who printed out all the emails she received, filed them in a big filing cabinet then deleted them off the computer. I never di ask her why shew did not just leave them on the computer?

Right back my sorting, who knows what I will find that I did not know I had.

When I were a lad.

Well here we are on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Looking at the maps on Google Earth of the city centre and local out of town shopping centres it looks as though plenty of people are out and about, either doing last minute gift shopping or wandering around like Zombies wondering what they will do tomorrow with the shops shut.

I would imagine that Christmas morning, like the Christmas mornings for a few years past will see the cul-de-sac I live in deserted, nobody about all the residents sitting about looking at their gifts.

Now when I was a lad I remember it so different. Children would get gifts that they could use outside, and a glance out the window would show children proudly riding up and down on their new bikes or zooming up and down the footpaths on their new roller skates. Wrapped up against the cold.

You don’t see this now, no doubt on Christmas morning children will be sitting in doors with their electronic gifts, texting their mates bragging about their new whizz bang tablet or their new phone with all the latest features. But they wont be communicating face to face, getting some fresh air and showing off their toys.

Now I may be getting old but I think the fact they will be indoors will be a shame and their loss, what do you think?

Retirement is hard work

This retirement lark is hard work.

I used to laugh when people who had retired told me they wondered how they had time to work, now I know what they mean.

Some things are not going as planned. For a start I planned to cut down on computers, well currently I have one more than I had at retirement.

My displeasure at gardening is legendary, guess what, we have spent a fortune on having the garden cleared and turfed. The result being that the wife has informed me that the garden will be my 2018 project!! I can’t wait. The whole thing must have put me in shock, I ordered a lawn mower today.

Other than that it’s going fine, I think.

Do any of you have tales of starting retirement and it not being as planned? If so I would love to hear.

It’s hard work this retirement stuff.

Here we are three days into retirement and I am shattered already.

It’s hard work keeping a couple of steps ahead of the wife clutching a list of jobs to be done!

It seems strange to not have to check email several times a day and especially at the start and end of the day.

But all in all I still think it’s the best decision I have made in years.

Almost there.

Well just a few days from taking early retirement, it all happens on Monday. Then I just have a couple of web pages to change the wording on and that’s basically it. Then I am done.

Oh the excitement of it all!!

Just one week to go.

Well there is just one week to go to me closing my company, ceasing self-employment and taking early retirement, and I can honestly say I can’t wait.

In preparation for the great day I have been clearing out the office and turning it back into a computer/radio room.

Part of the intention was to cut down on computer equipment and make more room. As part of this I got rid of the two desks that had cupboards each side of the seating position and replaced them with three tables, a great improvement. But not exactly cutting down on stuff.

But the big thing is that I have splashed out on some amateur radio equipment  for what must be the first time in around twenty years. So for those interested I am active again on 2MTR and 70CMS  FM using my callsign G4PYR. If you hear me on and are able to do so please give me a call.

One other thing I want to do is start scanning my late mothers picture collection. I looked at software to do this and decided in the end that the best software to use came with the scanner. Although this runs on a Mac it is far more flexible on a Windows Machine. So after suitable therapy I have splashed out on a bottom end Dell laptop. I don’t need high specs and the machine I have chose will do the job excellently. So much for having a Windows Free environment!

So onwards with the rest of the weeks excitement.


The accuracy of reviews.

I am in the process of returning two of the same item to Amazon for a refund.

The item in question is a multi way USB charger, one of them started smoking.

I don’t envisage any problems with a refund as Amazon if nothing else have excellent customer service.

However, I received the following from the seller last night.

Order ID xxx.xxxxxxx.xxxxxxx:
2 of USB Charger, Jelly Comb USB Charging Stations: 6-Port USB Wall Charger with Smart Identification for Android Apple iPhone 7 Plus iPad Pro/Air 2 LG G5 [ASIN: B01N6QMIJ6]

————- Begin message ————-


Many thanks for your reply. You don’t have to take the hassle to return them, since one of them is defective, and we are willing to make the full refund for both items directly for compensation. We will not ask you to recommend this product to anybody either. If you could kindly make the comments disappear from Amazon, we will be highly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!

Look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

————- End message ————-

This must call into question the accuracy of any other reviews on the sellers products and begs the question as to how many bad reviews they have managed to get removed

I have reported the matter to Amazon direct.

The countdown continues.

Well the countdown continues towards 27th November when I close my company and take early retirement.

I have been having a clear out of stuff and it’s amazing what I have accumulated over the years, and if I am honest used very little. But having said I am finding it quite hard to throw stuff away. But we will get there in the end.

Watch this space as they say.

I am puzzled.

Now I know that those of you who know me will say me being puzzled is not unusual but there we are.

Why is it that the week after the clocks go back here in the UK the weather gets colder? I mean what’s changed other than we have shifted everything an hour?

The ritual of shifting the clocks an hour twice a year has always had me puzzled, I can’t see why!

In simple terms if you want lighter days when on the way to work just get people to start work later, and if you want lighter evenings just get people to start work earlier and finish earlier. I mean it’s not rocket science.

At least now with it dark at 5.30pm the kids are not out making a noise in the evening, a bit of cold weather and maybe a bit of snow and hopefully the adults will get out of the habit as well.

In a couple of days time we will have an evening where begging from door to door by children becomes acceptable to many. People even spend money they may not have on sweets to give to the kids. Who then compare notes with other groups as to the best houses to visit.

Parents even stand on the pavements proudly watching their off springs begging for sweets. I am each year lost for words.

Time to lock the doors close the curtains and switch the lights off.

Is Blogging a dying art?

Over the years I have followed quite a few blogs, and they all had things in common. They were well written, humorous, interesting and the owners all posted on a regular basis.

This now seems to have all changed, 99% of the blogs I used to follow are rarely if ever updated. This is in my opinion a shame.

So what are people using as alternatives? The answer seems to be social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, to name but two.

Comments now seem to be in short but not always snappy sentences rather than in well thought out paragraphs.

I have two blogs, this one and the one I do for my time at a heritage railway. For those interested that can be found at www.arkwrightsoforton.co.uk together with a few short articles on my first five years at the railway. It is added to most weeks.

Now I will be the first to admit that this blog doesn’t get as many posts from me as it should, and that’s for a variety of reasons, lack of time being the main one. But I am determined that will change, as at the end of November I am taking early retirement. One of the things I plan to spend more time on is my writing, which I have dabbled at for a long time and which I enjoy doing.

So if you’re reading this and you have a blog that has laid neglected for some time, then how about making a post, if only to tell your followers that you’re alive and kicking.

I intend to post here on a more regular basis, so I look forward to reading your comments, once of have got rid of the gibberish spam of course.

So are you going to post on your neglected blog? I hope so, and if you do please drop me the link and I will be happy to have a read and maybe drop a comment.