©2018 Norman Cutting

Webmaster - Norman Cutting (normcall@uk2.net)

So, here we are in 2018 with the idea of leaving USE still a simple idea being hijacked by those who believe the poor old UK needs support from others. Don’t let them wear you down as there is still UKIP batting for the majority.

This week the Chinese decided that they cannot continue to keep taking the wests’ waste products as it produces enough of its own these days. I suppose it would be expecting them to take take the rubbish they send to use in the guise of wrapping and other products?

Never mind as I can now reveal there may be an alternative. Some recall I was elected to a Borough Council down south as an Independent. I can tell you that they send elected members on courses and fact finding missions. Naturally the ‘political’ members pick and choose and what they consider not politically worthy they simply don’t bother with. In the 1990s, waste was not really considered worthy, but Independent Councillors actually have the ability to think for themselves, thus who went down to Torquay to an international seminar and exhibition all about waste? Four councillors ‘volunteered’ and naturally I was the odd one. The others tended to enjoy themselves, but being a miserable ol’ git, I went my own way enjoying delights of ‘Angela Ripitoff’ talking about rubbish (she really is worth going to see if you get the chance!) and one of the other delights at the venue was a seminar about what to do with waste - afterall that is why I was there. Having an engineering background I gravitated to a prototype machine that seemed to be the answer to the problem.

As you all know, the big problem with plastic is it is a compound with an oil base and mixed with a variety of chemicals to produce the required properties. The prototype design/machine had the ability to take mixed types of plastic (saving a lot of sorting time) and as the ‘mix’ proceeded through, solvent chemicals were added to separate the various additives (which were drained off at each section for reuse) from the oil base. At the time, they were still working to make the process quicker and thus viable commercially.

Remember this was 20 years ago and I would suspect that funding for such an innovative idea while the problem was still years ahead would be difficult. I presented a paper to the Borough Environment Committee (they funded the trip), but I suspect no-one would have cared toss at that time. Which reminds me about the Derby MP, who happened to live near us down south, who kept going on about wind power generation and solar power and being an electrician, wanted to know the drawbacks if the government were to back it. As this was the 1970s, technology hadn’t progressed that far as his own system was always failing and I had to give up trying to make it meet the manufactures performance claims, indirectly you might consider it’s my fault these windmills and wind farms use all our money up. Just remember about plastic recycling then!!

Perhaps I should write a book about my adventures, thinking about it, who would be interested? I’ll tell you what, I’ll think about it and devote a hidden section of this site to the life and times of a failure as I missed out of a ‘gong’ yet again this year.

It’s now the end of the first week in January and as usual, things don’t quite go right here through no fault of mine. I had this silly idea of ordering something off the internet to help me get around but although it came in a nice strong cardboard container, the metal bits inside were neatly wrapped in bubble wrap and neatly ‘sellotaped’ safely contained and each part separated by a bit of cardboard, so what could go wrong? I’ll tell you what can go wrong, cardboard is no match for heavy components to be wobbled about inside a nice strong cardboard container, believe me!

Then a parcel that was supposed to be delivered next week came today. Well, the postman brought it and lightly tapped on our double glazed front door naturally rather than press a nice white door bell push mounted on a wooden frame. For some reason, two adults and 4 dogs never heard a thing. Never mind, viewing the CCTV footage showed why I’m always being blamed for not hearing the door bell ring - bit doesn’t actually get pushed. Now all I have to do is work out how the push can moved to connect with a knuckle trying to avoid it. Answers please on a post card (maybe e-mail might be better!!)

10th Jan 2018

Doesn’t time fly when you are enjoying yourself? Yesterday Mrs May finished upsetting some members of the government, so I took deliver of a tricycle - don’t laugh - as I need ‘resistance exercise’ to help with my walking etc. I soon discovered that you need to learn how to ride a tricycle (it was some 60 years since I was on one) all over again but they are ideal in pedestrianised areas in cities - if you find a way of getting there, of course! Not one to be beaten I will keep you posted on progress!

Meanwhile, I was making a cup of tea in the kitchen, which looks out over the front of our little bungalow and a car was parked on the drive. Which got me thinking about the bungalow we lived in for nearly 40 years before we couldn’t put up with the changes any more.

The back of our old bungalow faced south (like this one), backed onto green belt (this backs onto a field so close!), on a bus route (we had a bus stop here when we moved in, then it disappeared), the front faced north, housed our bedrooms and at least 15 feet from the road (the road here must be some 50 feet from the road). The people who bought our bungalow said they loved the location, their children when to the local school and the garden was fairly level (we lived in the Chiltern Hills) so, although he wanted to convert into a house to gain space for his family, as long as he wanted to live in it, we didn’t mind.

Then our neighbour e-mailed us to say he got planning permission to demolish ‘our’ bungalow and build two 5 bed roomed houses. Looking at the plans, the kitchen is at the back facing south and the garden, with the lounge facing north, another pair of houses just across the road (again was a bungalow - I should have known better!!) But naturally the 5 bedroomed houses do not have a garage and just 4 parking spaces 15 feet deep - just in front of the lounge window. The really good thing is he is asking £850,000 for each property so the buyer will be able to see both his cars directly outside his lounge window.

So, dear reader, can I interest you in bungalow with just fields to the front and back, shops 10 minutes down the road, within sight of Leicester, A6 and A46 as we lost out when we sold our last property and now feel very poor! Go on, make us an offer before the wife comes home!

11th Jan 2018

It seems the NHS is in trouble with our local hospitals in need of improvement. As you are aware, since leaving the cosy south and coming up to the wastelands of the norf, I’ve seen more of the NHS here than I did in the previous 30 years down there. Where I was, going to hospital was a real last resort with the Trust thinking it knew better than taking notice of the consultation results - excuse my laughter!!I think it was fair to say that we had more failed Trust executives than is normally considered possible and they seemed to get ‘promoted’ every year (failed CEs generally move sideways until the penny drops). The Trust down south has just been promoted from special measures to requiring improvement. The public think that’s being too kind!!

Up here, the Trust is ‘requires improvement’ but there is requires improvement and requires improvement as see it. At least here some things a good and some bad which considering the complexity of the NHS, believe me, is head and shoulders above what I left behind. Most people I talk to, moan a bit, but the general feeling is acceptance that they are doing their best. Down where I was, the feeling is that the Trust has made error after error without getting anywhere compounded by the close proximity of London making staff retention far more difficult than up here. Indeed this problem raises its head in most service industries down there.

So, I’m not complaining about our local hospitals as they have looked after me far better than I deserve!    

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