Archive for November, 2007

This evening we went over to my brothers for some food, fire and fireworks. Three out of his four children were present of whom were extremely excited about the whole thing. It’s nice spending time with them when they are young, at the age where their personalities are still developing. We had hot dogs and beefburgers, though I stick with a hot dogs as they are my personal favourite. I am particularly fond old English mustard and onion with a hot dog; sometimes I just like them with tomato sauce — it is all good!

As we ate we kept an eye on the contestants on x factor and I was abit disappointed with Nicky’s performance on the night. Simon was right in his comments as Nicky’s performance was indeed a little bit awkward but she tried something different and stretched outside their normal comfort zone. No one can knock a girl for trying! I preferred Nicky when she sings ballads — this is just my personal opinion of course.

My brother was struggling to get the fire going and kept popping outside to relight it. Eventually we got some kindling on the scene took hold and we did our traditional standing around the fire and maintain it. Its the same thing every year, not sure why. I think it’s just a traditional thing. I enjoy good a good fire and I was happy to be able to keep warm, as he was a rather nippy evening. I had a fleece on, though with hindsight a coat would have been better to keep the cold at bay. There is something about fire, perhaps something ancient that is fascinating, dangerous and frightening at the same time. I’ve always liked fire!

Garden Firework

We also set off a few fireworks for the kids. Nothing too were loud as the smaller ones don’t like the noise but enjoy the colours. We also get a good free display thanks to our many neighbours! Thank you for spending so much money on your fireworks, so we don’t have do! I took a couple of night-time pictures with the night filter on. Disappointingly, I was only able to get off in total 4 pictures on a full set of batteries and I didn’t have any spares on me. The lens is good in itself, it’s just that to take pictures at night you need so much power for the flash that is it’s just not practical.

The evening passed quickly thanks largely to the very nice wine my brother served with the hot dogs!

Firework Close up


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Stress and RSI

Today I woke up in quite a lot of pain and it’s persisted throughout the day. The only way I can describe it is like the easy prickly heat running down my arms into the fingertips. It flows back and forth subtly like a tide from a river, which is very uncomfortable and completely impossible to type with. I know I have to reduce my typing because when that is combined with stress it makes anything many times worse. My stress is directly connected to the company I briefly worked for that hasn’t paid me almost 700 pounds for the time I spend their. I have e-mailed them directly several times and even made a phone call, still there’s no resolution to this problem. The managing director himself appears to be hoping that I will just go away and forget about it. This is not going to happen, though there is a limit to the number of friendly reminders I will be issuing. I have no patience for people or companies that do not honour their own contracts. They expect their employees to be flexible and bend over backwards for them, but they are unable or unwilling to even pay the salary has agreed? I am becoming extremely angry when this company, which is resulting in higher stress levels than ever. I just don’t understand why they are being like this? What is wrong with people nowadays?

This afternoon I sorted out the insurance I would need for the year as a freelancer. Some advice had received suggested that I didn’t need any insurance at all and others said this was absolutely ridiculous. I tend to agree with the latter when it comes to information technology, though I have gone for a lower policy than I was previously quoted for since the new client is a much smaller outfit and has less turnover (therefore less risks). I will be paying £25 a month for the privilege of being insured for business purposes, which easily equivalent of a good satellite TV subscription! My static costs and the moment are quite significant and because of previous employers non payment of my salary cash flow is becoming a problem.

On an interesting note, I have received some interesting CDs from a southern friend  which are supposed to help me to relax and destress. They are meditation audio tracks that you listen to whilst in any up right position with your eyes shut. I’m hoping that I will be able to at least reduce the amount of discomfort I am often on the receiving end of thanks to a combination of stress and repetitive strain syndrome.

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On Saturday we went for a walk into Misk Hills. We always parked up next to a church just the other side of Watnall and walked across the road heading towards the hills. It’s quite a steady climb, which is popular with dog walkers and so you do need to take care in where you tread. [Read More]

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On Saturday we went for a walk into Misk Hills. We always parked up next to a church just the other side of Watnall and walked across the road heading towards the hills. It’s quite a steady climb, which is popular with dog walkers and so you do need to take care in where you tread. The path itself is open to the public, though it gives the impression that it is not as well used as other public footpaths. As you follow the path around the fields you will eventually come to the top and a decent view back down to where you have come from.

Misk Hills

We continued to walk along the full path which borders both Watnall and Greasley. All around there are fields, trees, animals and farms. We came to one particular field which the farmer had deliberately stocked with Bulls in order to discourage walkers. The public path though goes directly through a herd of livestock and so you have little choice other than go forward or go back. I have been on this walk a number of times before and have never had a problem with cows. The problem does arise with young bulls who are rather more unpredictable than the adults. Bulls just watch you like a hawk when you enter their field, which can be quite intimidating but it’s not really a problem as long as you stick to the path. As we you were walking through the field, one of these young specimens decided to take a dislike to us and started to do a little charge. I started to do it if you run into the trees. We were not in any danger as much, well not life-threatening anyway. It’s the older cows you have to worry about really as if one of those large beasts decides to charge you, you can be in a lot of trouble indeed!

Cows in the distance

As we were walking up another hill, we saw in the valley below a military type helicopter that flew in and was hovering really low following the line of the trees just beyond the field. It looked like that they were searching for someone to come running out of the forest or maybe just picking up someone. It was quite strange really as the helicopters spent quite a lot of time in the area going back and forth along the line of the trees. Even as we’ve reached a top of this particular hill, below the helicopter was still going back and forth. The question arises of who they were looking for and what have you done!?


The night was drawing in earlier than usual, as only last week we had put the clocks back one hour. This time of year I actually enjoy for taking sunset type pictures. I love the idea of silhouettes, shadow and how the different colours of sunset interact with the environment. I like the fact that you can take a picture of just a tree that would look really boring in the daytime, though at night-time looks fantastic.


As we were rushing home quite close to the gliding club in Greasley I took this picture below. I look for things like this where it looks like the branch of the tree has its arm around the sun. I just thought it was a lovely picture and I had to capture it. It was kind of difficult to get in frame and I found that I had to get to the other side of the road and dodge the traffic in order to achieve the results I wanted.


We got back to the car fairly early, though the sun had already set. We have a look around the graveyard in the church, I like to read the names sometimes and dates. It reminds you of your own mortality and the fact family is important. Make the most have every minute you have with the people that mean the most to you as you never know if today will be the last day for them or you. Life is about having memories and giving them to people that matter to you. The graveyard for me it’s a place for reflection as well as sadness especially when you see the graves of young children which are still being tended by grieving relatives. It’s a shame we have to die isn’t in.

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Last month I did four days of work for a IT provider based in Nottingham. It was to be a full time position, but that became impossible due to the working environment and my injuries, so it was suggested by them I should do the same or similar job on a freelance basis. The main reason I accepted to leave employment was on the basis that they were going to give me some freelance work that I could do from home without any detrimental effect on me. I was in a lot of pain during these few days of full-time work, a part of the reason was that they had me on a standard terminal that had not been ergonomically altered for my particular needs and so this caused me a great deal of distress. They did supply a voice recognition computer that was placed in a separate room, but that room was a meeting area and there was no Internet connection until the day I actually left. In which case the damage was already done and I was unable to perform my job without significant discomfort.

I took out three weeks of my life to do the ground to work for setting up as a sole trader in this particular sector. I had everything lined up and ready to go, and yet this company seemed to be just playing me and messing about. I cannot decide whether they are genuine or not, or did they just offer me the carrot of some possible freelance work in order for me to voluntarily/mutually terminate my employment with them. All this leaves a bad taste in my mouth and doesn’t feel right.

They gave me a week’s notice when I left and so therefore I should have been paid for nine days, totaling roughly £400 net. Come the 31st of October, I looked into my bank account and saw that they had not paid me at all. I e-mailed the managing director and no reply was given. I also rang the line manager which was responsible for me for the few days I was there who have also suffered from the same condition as myself. He’s a nice chap and and I don’t blame him in any way. He doesn’t deal with that side of things and he was under the impression that they were still going to offer me these things.

The point is that I signed a contract of employment with a company and they have failed to pay me for the time I did there. The contacts states payment will be made on the last day of the month and it hasn’t. I’ve never had that problem as an ’employee’ before.

Also In the contract were a section about not showing the company up in a bad light for up to 1 year after terminating employment; this is why I haven’t named the company in question, because you get whiney pathetic whimps of employers that threaten the little guy with big lawyers when anyone dares to publish the truth about them.  This blog isn’t the right forum or place for such emotional outburts!

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Safewire, Derbyshire

I drove to an interview today at Codnor in Derbyshire. I tried something different of holding the steering wheel towards the bottom when I can and resting my arms more against my body. This worked as my arms didn’t hurt half as much when I got home. I’m not sure you are suppose to drive like that, but its apparently alright in the states and also my Dad suggested it to.

The company I went to see was called Safewire. Its a small company of 4 or 5 people currently and they were looking to add another two people. Its my understanding that there were 6 people that made it to the short list. I’m not sure if that included me, or there was 6 other people. But whatever, 6 or 7 competing for 2 jobs isn’t bad odds.

I met Peter, the owner and he was a really nice man. He had this very laid back attitude and wasn’t too boss like. So not a stuffed shirt like so many other bosses I’ve met over the years. The atmosphere in the office was okay, though I didn’t like that fact that at the end of the Office where I would be going there was very restrictive nature lighting as the windows were high up – a bit like a dungeon or something. The office is also open plan and there isn’t wasn’t really anywhere to use voice recognition. They did have other connected offices, but one of these was the server room which could be heard from the open plan office. With all the noise coming from both offices, I don’t think I would have a hope in hell of getting voice recognition to work.

The other concern is that if the job was all programming then its highly unlikely I would be able to use any tools to help me. Its all sitting and typing all day, which I think will be very bad for me indeed. Peter did make the suggestion of perhaps trying it part time and I could try it. Apart of the interview, I had to take a psychological test too (which I refer to as the axe murder test) and the results were pretty much as I expected. It showed that I was indeed a creative thinker with introvert characteristics. Peter said it showed that I make decision based on emotions and I am sensitive to the feelings of other people. Yes, that is all true. I wasn’t an axe murderer.

I left the interview in a good mood, as I feel I got along really well with him. He used to be a programmer like me and so perhaps I think we were reading from the same book. I’m not sure though if I will hear back from him or not. But, whatever.. Its not often you can say you have enjoyed an interview.

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