Just as they promised…

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Well they forewarned us that the re-tarmac work on the road outside would be done at night and at 9pm yesterday the road was closed and the heavy equipment was moved in. This monster started ripping up the tarmac literally on the section of road which has been resurfaced 3 times in the last few weeks. I’d driven back from Yorkshire yesterday evening after spending the week-end with our good friends L & S. I was pretty bushed and still not feeling 100% right after a recent spell of tonsillitis. So last night’s activity was the last thing I needed. I went to bed around  midnight but was still listening to the racket at 1pm.  It wasn’t quiet work – they had several lorries being loaded with the ripped up tarmac and pile driving gear to cut through the road stuff around the grids and other iron works (see picture below). I’m amazed they can get away with this through the night but more than anything I’m staggered that so much effort and cost has gone into repairing the road surface over recent weeks knowing that this major re-surfacing was imminent. At some point the cost gets passed back to us; local residents and consumers. It’s a bloody scandal but nobody seems to care other than me. Tonight they’ll finish off the work outside our home, I hope. Then I’ll give it 4 weeks before some other company comes along to rip the road up again. Sigh. Here’s that bloody pile driving JCB that drives me to distraction – I can’t wait till we meet again

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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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modern times….part 3

Well this is the third and final part of the trilogy into contemporary life, as seen through the eyes of someone whose favourite footwear is his slippers and who remembers when fast connectivity meant a Meccano starter kit.

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Well I’m more than a little brassed off. My wife C’s not here but in London working hard. The weather’s miserable; foggy, rainy and cold. The gas man rang at long last on Saturday promising to deliver some gas after we’ve endured almost 3 weeks shivering away. He didn’t turn up. The dining room roof has started to leak again and the hessian curtains that we humped all the way back to the UK for cleaning and pressing and then back here again are soaking and probably ruined. Enel the electricity company have written to say that for some reason they’ve underestimated our consumption (how they can do this when we have electronic digital meters which are logged at the power company I do not know). Because I’ve felt it necessary to question the enormous bill, we suddenly find that our electricity supply’s been reduced to emergency levels. We cannot use the washing machine nor oven nor toaster nor heaters and the trip switch goes off several times a day, usually at night of course. It spooks R out because there’s absolutely no ambient lighting round here. Tonight it went off when I  was in the bloody shower. Because the trip switch meter is on the outside of the house I had to traipse all the way  from the bathroom upstairs, then all the way round to the front of the house in the bloody rain and in the bloody dark with just a towel wrapped round me. I can still use the computer, just, but every time the power goes off I have to re-set the router and it’s a real pain in the butt but at least I got a load of e-mails out to my solicitor and others today . Yes I’m miserable tonight alright.  

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