26th July

Last year we found out that there was a VW festival in Kent but couldn’t go because SoL clashed with it. So when we found out that this year they were on separate weekends we decided we’d go. We even bought each other tickets as Christmas presents. However that was before all the plans about moving came about and even then we thought we’d be moved by now! As it turned out we exchanged contracts 2 days before we were supposed to be going away to the festival so given that we had so much to do we decided that instead of going for the weekend we’d just go for the day on the Saturday.
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It turned out there were two entrances to the site – one for camping and one for day tickets. As weren’t camping we headed for the day entrance and explained the situation. We were given wristbands and pointed to the parking. When we went to put the wristbands on we spotted that they were day wristbands and Sarah was worried because on the site it said we’d have to leave by 5pm. I went back and checked and they said they weren’t enforcing it so that was ok.

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Now we’d be looking forward to this for weeks and to be honest once we got on site we found it quite disappointing. When we’ve been to car rallies before (mini and Morris Minor) there’s always been load of cars to look at with their owners proud to show them off and things going on. All we could see that there was on site were a load of shops and the tent with the music in. We wandered round the campsite looking at the campers but it wasn’t the same and you felt a bit like you were intruding.

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The food and beer prices were quite expensive too. I felt very ripped off after paying £6 for a chinese meal to find that here were only two bits of beef and a lump of onion in there so effectively I’d payed £6 for a box of rice with sauce on it!! The bar was quite expensive too – over £1 a pint more expensive than SoL. The music that was on while we were there left a lot to be desired and the PA was rubbish.

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We took Ben to the kids playground and there were some wacky bikes so me and him had a go on a tandem but just as we stopped he got his shoe caught in the chain and it ripped a huge hole in his shoes, the one Lissi had bought him and he loved, which naturally upset him. He did cheer up when he had a go on the quad bike though. The man was trying to suggest that I go on with him but Ben was having none of it. he did really well considering he’d never driven anything like it before and went round and round the track without any problems.

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By this time we’d decided that we were glad we hadn’t come for the whole weekend because we’d done everything in about three and a half hours – as far as we could see it was ok if you’d come in a big group of friends or just wanted to drink all day but we neither applied to us so we decided to head off into Folkestone for the rest of the afternoon. We had a paddle on the beach and then went to have Fish & Chips in a restaurant before heading home again.

20th – 25th July

Oh blimey another stressful period where blogging has gone out of the window. Most of this time was spent trying to exchange contracts on the new house which finally did happen on the afternoon of the 23rd. So we’re moving on the 7th August – yikes!

The 23rd was also Sarah’s last day at work. She handed her notice in first thing and said that he hardly did a thing all day because she spent most of it explaining what we were doing to her friends. There was lots of tears and she came home with a bunch of roses. I was supposed to hand my notice in too but we’ve decided that I’m going to try and change my hours to work part time under this new law they brought in in June. I ran it past both directors and so far things seem to be positive – so fingers crossed.

Oh joy – I found out this week that I seem to have contracted worms! I’d had a really itchy bottom and just happened to mention to Sarah that it only seemed to affect me in the evenings and she told me that was a classic symptom! So I had to go to see the pharmacist and get a tablet which seems to have done the trick. My first thought was that I caught them from the cat – Jubbly seems to have recurring worm infections, in fact one day we could see them crawling along the tiles in the utility area – yuck. However it doesn’t seem likely as they tend not to jump species so the suspicion moved to the French student who used my towel when he left his upstairs!

I had Friday off as we were supposed to be going to the Kent VW festival but as we’ve got so much to do I ended up spending the day packing stuff and sorting stuff out including two trips to the dump and one to the charity shop!

19th July

Started sorting out stuff ready for the move now that our lodger has finally gone. Quite glad to see the back of him as he only did two lots of washing in four weeks and one of them was just before he left.

In the evening we headed off to the Barge to see one of Becky’s friends who was playing at a charity event there

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18th July

A late start this morning as I didn’t have to be up in town until 12:30 so I popped into Sarah’s school with her to pick up some boxes of stuff that she has had stashed in the cupboard in the IT suite since she stopped working in there. The room is being turned back into a classroom soon and she was worried she was going to lose her personal items.

My job in London was to edit the footage shot earlier that day at an unveiling of a statue by HRH The Duke of Cambridge. The statue was of a little known navigator called Matthew Flinders who was responsible for mapping much of the coast of Australia and is also credited with naming the continent as well. The statue will be placed at Euston station which is where he is believed to be buried.They also named a Virgin train after him at the same time.

still 1I was taken back tot he clients offices to do the editing and then left on my own for ages. After about an hour and a half I decided to work out if I could make myself a coffee which I managed to do! I was contemplating the bottles of wine that lay around the office but thought that might be too cheeky! Eventually the client came back and was pleased with what I’d done so far so we sat and went through the speeches and picked out bits to put in the video. Another person came back and cracked open a bottle of champagne and I got offered a glass (yes I do get paid for this!). Eventually the Agent General for South Australia and his Deputy turned up and watched the video – they were really pleased with it and I ended up with a bottle of wine for the second time this week! (This one was worth about £22 as far as I could google!).

still 2The journey home was awful –  apart from the intense heat there were delays at London Bridge station which meant I ended up waiting for ages for a train. When it did arrive it was so hot that by the time I got home I just had to change all my clothes.
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In the evening there was a massive thunderstorm with this really weird cloud that came right over the top of the house – we found out later it’s called a supercell and is very rare in the UK. The rain just fell out of the sky and a massive electrical storm raged overhead for about an hour. We were quite glad that we hadn’t got tickets for the UB40 concert down in the castle inRochester. We were even more glad when we found out there had been lots of confusion and anger going on!

Sounds like the whole thing was a major f*ck up anyway. The band only did a few songs before the gig had to be stopped because of the lightning and heavy rain. The stewards then told everyone that was it, the band wouldn’t be coming back as there was a 10;30 curfew and started clearing the castle grounds. Then after most people had gone the band came back on at 10:30! Still why does it surprise me that Medway council couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. To add to all the annoyance it would also seem that the bloke from the council slipped his own band onto the bill between the support act and the headliners despite the constant announcements from the stage about the weather – so all the disgruntled punters are now saying why couldn’t UB40 have come on earlier! There’s already a Facebook page calling for refunds – I can see this one is going to run and run!!

17th July

Packed up my Mac for a job tomorrow – here is my super slim Macbook Pro along with the box of stuff I need to make it work!

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Carnage on the M25 for the second day running.  Yesterday four lorries collided in the tunnel causing massive tailbacks and today it was a lorry crashing into the central barrier and shedding a load of wood

One of the guys at work warned me about it yesterday and I was able to avoid it by going down the M20. Today I also knew about it but when I checked online it said that Police expected it to be clear by 6 pm. It wasn’t!

So when I got to the motorway and saw it was solid I decided to head south and go an alternative route. By the time I turned off at the next junction I still hadn’t passed the end of the queue on the north bound side! It took me about two hours to get home going that way but at least I wasn’t sitting in traffic in the sweltering heat.

16th July

I’d asked my brother to contact the solicitor dealing with my Dad’s estate to find out when we could realistically expect the money to be distributed. I told him I wouldn’t except “I don’t know” as an answer as she had had plenty time to find out. I waited 3 days before I got this response…..

I reckon we should hear something / receive the first cheque in the next week.  This is obviously my best guess as large institutions are sometimes unwieldy.  Fingers crossed for a quicker result.

So i fed this into my Solicitor Bullshit translation system and it came out as “I don’t know” so I went ballistic! I told him that the answer was sloppy,lazy and unprofessional – there are, after all, only two banks to contact so how long would it have taken to contact them and find out what the timescales were?

I’ll tell you how long – about 20 minutes! I know this because I did just that. I phoned Barclays and told them the story and while he said he couldn’t tell me specifics he could tell me that it was usually between 5 to 10 working days unless the account was dormant in which case it could take 3-4 weeks. I asked what he meant by dormant and he said if it hadn’t been used in 3 years.

I then phone Virgin who could help me – they checked the system and could tell me that the request to close the account was received the previous day and the money had already been transferred into the solicitors account.

Why she couldn’t have found that information out in 3 days I don’t know…….oh yes I do she’s a lazy arse solicitor! Oh and why the extreme difference between the two banks – oh yes Barclays is a money grabbing tight arse bunch of wankers!

Anyway I digress.

I then phoned the solicitors dealing with the house sale/purchase and got another load of frustration from that call but in the end it swung round (mostly due to my pushing) and started to look quite promising.

I then rang the Building society to get an updated settlement figure for the mortgage and one of the security questions was “what is your monthly payment” – I knew the rough amount but she wanted to know the exact amount so I logged into my online banking system and when I did this is what I saw!!!

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We’re still short of the overall total we need to move but it’s well on the way! We’ve got enough to buy the house and pay the solicitors fees but still need a few thousand for the removal expenses! BUT we’re a damn sight closer than we were this morning!

I went to give blood this evening!

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15th July

Well I wasn’t expecting that!

I’d expected to spend the day with a very unhappy client but ended up coming home with a bottle of wine that she bought me! She told the boss I was brilliant as well!

In other news:

Some berk parked his flat bed truck outside our house last night and this morning started loading stuff into it at around 5am! Then he drove it off but not before reversing and waking me up again as the reversing warning beep went off – what a tosser!

And talking of Tossers!

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Gove has gone from education – most of the teachers in the country (well those who are still left) must be rejoicing tonight!

Here are a couple of my favourite reactions!

Michael Gove is out. Brilliant. That’ll teach him.

I hope Michael Gove remembered to put his chair on his desk for the cleaner before he left.

Michael Gove’s one remarkable achievement was to be the most unpopular minister in a cabinet that contained George Osborne and Jeremy Hunt.

That hissing sound you can hear is millions of teachers and parents breathing sigh of relief.

No. 10 confirms sacked Education Secretary Michael Gove will not be a full member of the Cabinet. So he’s basically just a Supply Minister.

and finally

Michael Gove. You either loathe him or you hate him.

 

14th July

I did my expenses today – currently the company owes me a staggering £470! I better get some of it back soon or I’ll have to stop going into work!

Had to change one of my indicator bulbs today – why is it always the most inaccessible bulb that goes? 

13th July

A quietish day compared to the last 5! Apart from having to deliver the green garden storage box that Sarah had sold and go to Aldi.

We were meant to be going to a friend’s birthday picnic like we had last year but in the end we just ran out of time. The kids went though so me and Sarah had the house to ourselves for a few hours!

12th July

Off to Silverstone for the formula student competition. Bex is part of the University of Sussex team. It was a long drive not helped by an accident right on the junction where we needed to turn off the M1 which held us up for 20 minutes or so. Almost as soon as we arrived at Silverstone we managed to find their car – even before we’d paid!

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Actually paying was harder than you’d think as no one seemed to be particularly interested in taking money off us and there didn’t seem to be anything to stop us just wandering around without paying. However being good people we finally tracked down where to get tickets and handed over the money in exchange for passes. We were all reunited in time to watch the Sussex car in the acceleration event.

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It was while we were watching the acceleration event that we saw the first of the electric cars. They were very fast turning in times of around 3.5 seconds compared with the times achieved by the petrol cars, Sussex included, of around 4.5! The weirdest thing though was how quiet they were – almost like a Scalectrix racing car!

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We had lunch under a tree before spending the afternoon watching the next event which was a sprint event. The cars ran individually around a marked out track against the clock with time penalties for clipping the cones or missing out sections. Sussex spent a long time testing their car so iy was quite some time before they took to the track and it all got too much for some!

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When they did appear their first run was very fast at one minute four seconds but it transpired that the driver had missed out the slarlem section and they weren’t sure if it would count. One of Becky’s teammates telephoned the pit crew and spoke to the driver to make sure he knew before the next run. When the car got back on yhe track he was doing really well until just before the turn when the car ground to a hslt – something had gone seriously wrong.

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They pushed the car back to the pits while the team tried to work out if the first run counted or not. It turned out that it did but had incurred a 20 second penalty.

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Back in the pits the problem was found – the bolts had sheared off the cog that turned the axle. Amazingly they managed to get it fixed in time to get the car back out on the track for another teo runs before the deadline – the second of which turned out to be the very last run of the day coming in at 1:24.

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