Road’s up….again

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Well this is going to be more of a miserable grumble than an insightful bit of writing. A few weeks ago I wrote that the road outside our apartment was being dug up to replace the gas main (expected work timescale, 7 weeks). This was just a few weeks after they’d dug up the near side to repair a burst water main. Well this past week I’ve been suffering from tonsillitis from hell and it’s been truly uncomfortable. Just to make sure I didn’t suffer silently, the utilities guys only came back to dig up half the huge gas main hole they dug the other week. What the problem was I don’t know but the secondary work’s taken a full week to complete. You can see a shot of the re-repaired section above with the earlier re-laid section to the left and the nearside repairs under the white lines. So we’ve had road works banging away for at least 8 of the last 12 weeks. Then today we spotted some new signs up along Sandy Lane confirming that road works to replace the damaged road surface would commence 1 March, with most work being done at night to limit disturbance. To whom? It’s not much of a consolation if your bedroom overlooks the bloody works. Sigh….is it just me or does this incessant series of road works seem deliberately scheduled for maximum annoyance, especially to me? Wasn’t there some Gov’t initiative to prevent this and fine errant utility companies for mis-scheduling the works? It sounds a bit New Labour. I’d better be careful what I wish for – was urban living really better with John Prescott in charge? Er no.

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Published…at last!

Time to move on eh. One of the few bright moments in a very dark couple of weeks was a little e-message I got from the editor of a great online magazine called High 50, confirming that I’d won an amusing story competition (using an old blog posting) and would have the entry published. Well you could have knocked me over with a quill. After nearly 700 postings and well over half a million words I’d finally managed to get a piece of writing recognised.  Continue reading

Goodbye Mum

Well it’s been a difficult week or so. My mum had left some directions about her funeral arrangements and I imagine there are always some family issues around the delivery of those very personal final wishes. The odd thing is how my mother’s death brought us together as a family after some initial difficulties over interpretation. We had a kind of shake-down and after that all went pretty smoothly in the planning. We even had the most positive and light-hearted interview with Michelle, possibly the best funeral director I’ll ever come across.

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Mum

After the last posting I was feeling rather pleased with myself. A little too pleased as it turned out. First off, after two months of dicking around, we got a notice from the letting agency who manage our apartment informing us that it seemed the owners of the property wanted to sell up. We could sign a temporary extension or find somewhere else in the remaining few weeks of our contract. We love this place which must have the best views in London, and to leave it would be a real wrench. But what do you do? Register with a load of local estate agents and start the dispiriting process of finding somewhere new to live. Continue reading