VE Day 75th Anniversary

This morning we watched HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall lay a wreath and flowers on behalf of the Nation, in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary VE Day.

On a day when most of the UK expected to be out on the streets, it was kind of eerie looking at an empty street during the two minutes silence. Normally there would have been a crowd with one or two coughs and shuffling feet in the background, but today not even a bird.

There are a few houses around our way decked out in flags and bunting; We don’t have any bunting so this is our contribution:


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The Credit Card in Credit Conundrum

I’ve had Credit Cards for many years and in all that time I have owed money to the bank or, more recently held a £0 balance.

Having had to cancel our holiday, where I had used a Halifax Clarity Card* to pay for both the RV hire and Car hire for both ends of the road trip, I found myself in the very novel situation of having a credit balance.

Since, having already cleared the credit card, this was money that was not really needed immediately. I didn’t want to make the phone call and sit waiting in a queue when others might need their refunds more urgently. Yes I know it would be better in a savings account or ISA, but the interest rates aren’t that attractive at the moment so I held back.

Yesterday I went online to check my account and found that Halifax have added a message to the screen telling customers that refund credit balances can now be transferred without incurring any charge using the Money Transfer system. I know other banks have already done this so well done to all of them. I’m now back to a £0 balance until the next refund comes in.

*Halifax Clarity Card: this is a great card to have when you need to use a credit card pay in foreign currencies, such as vehicle hire. It is a MasterCard, which means you get their exchange rates which are way better than the Post Office or any currency exchange office, and Halifax don’t charge a transaction fee.

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Hindsight is always 20-20

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m sick and tired of hearing the media, and people who should know better, moaning about the governments response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It is the easiest thing in the world to say ‘you should have done this or that’ when you are sitting in a chair after the event with the results to play with, but in real life the decision makers don’t have that luxury.

When you are on the front line, and in this case I also mean at the strategic level as well, you make decisions using the best information you have at hand at the time. Some times you make mistakes; that’s life; hopefully you make as few as possible and correct as you go along.

It is OK to analyse and make constructive criticism after the event so people can learn by their mistakes.

It is NEVER OK to pontificate for political or self aggrandisement, or to sensationalise headlines to sell newspapers by scaremongering.

Stay safe folks

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End of the Road (Not)

We didn’t reach the end of the road for our RV trip yesterday when we didn’t hand over the keys at Orlando. From there it was not over to the Orlando International Airport, to pick up the rental from Hertz, and then down to the Villa at Kissimmee via lunch at the Longhorn Steakhouse.

In our mind we had a great trip and we have resolved to do it (again) as soon as we are able and can fit it in.

Not a good start to our golden wedding anniversary year but we are still together and that is the main thing.

In the mean time, in the real world one month on, we are still on lock down and we haven’t killed each other so all is well.


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Reminiscing about a lost holiday

I mentioned in my two last posts that we were supposed to be on a Road Trip Holiday in the USA. The idea was that we would, loosely, follow Route 66 from Kingman, Arizona through to Oklahoma and then down to Little Rock, Arkansas before turning North, crossing the Mississippi in to Memphis, Tennessee.

Having spent two nights in the Graceland RV site; because you have to if you are passing; today we would be staying at Loretta Lynn’s ranch for two nights before traveling up to Nashville, the Home of Country Music. I have always been a Country fan and Loretta is still one of my favourites. Loretta will be 88 next week (14th April) so happy birthday for then, and may you have many more of them.

Two places, among many, we were looking forward to:

The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

The Bix Texangrand-ole-opry

Take care out there folks – better still Stay Indoors if you can till virus situation eases.

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Working Again – Not

Having missed our holiday my Wife told me that I need to relax and I’m not allowed to do any work; as in my development work which I do from home;

OK said I; I’ll just relax and catch up on some reading – No chance – I’ve spent the last two weeks painting the main and spare bedrooms. She said it would relax me; nope I find it as boring as going fishing; which is why I haven’t done that since I was around 12 years old.

Next I have to dismantle my Office, which is quite cluttered, and paint that.

Oh Well… back to painting the last wall in the spare room.

I’ll just put this here to remind me what I’m missing


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Lock Down

The Boss (AKA The Wife) is in the ‘At Risk’ category so we are in Lock Down; technically She is in lock down and I’m allowed to go out for a walk or get some shopping, being just in the over 70 category. However, in my mind, that is just asking for trouble, so we will both adhere to the more stringent measures.

We were supposed to fly out to the USA for a two month holiday (a month RV trip then a month in Kissimmee) on Tuesday 17th March; the USA closed it’s borders at Midnight EST on Monday 16th. Very disappointing but, in hindsight, very lucky as we would have been stuck in Las Vegas with everything shut down.

We had emptied the larder, fridge and freezer for the holiday so it was a bit of a nightmare getting provisions because of the idiots panic buying; I blame the media, in part; you blast out a ‘Supermarket shelves empty as people panic buy’ along side a, in some cases, made up photo and people, who should know better, will start rushing to the shops to stock up, thereby exasperating the issue.

Still, we managed to get a delivery slot from ASDA and were able to get most of our normal shopping, except milk and bread. We are lucky enough to have kids, who worry about us the way we worried about them when they were young, who supplied us with the basics.

Wow; I’ve just written an article for this blog that doesn’t just read ‘”I’m still here”.

Hopefully I’ll do a few more and we will get out the far side of this.

Take care out there.

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My last post was April 2018 so I thought I better write something.

I’ve had this blog since December 2004; that’s 15 years of (very) sporadic posts.

I keep saying I will write more often but, somehow, I’ve never found the time. Hopefully retirement will allow me to write more often in the future.

In the meantime; I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Oops Sorry

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Yes I’m still alive

Just a quick post to say I’m still alive and busy as ever.

One of these days I.m going to start using this blog properly

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Merry Christmas One and All

ChristmasShop_2012-11-12_0014   ChristmasShop_2012-11-12_0012

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