Journal – March 2013

Welcome to the next instalment from my journal. There wasn’t anything to report in February, as things were much quieter after all the travelling of previous months. But this month I’m able to give an update on my Nan’s house and inheritance, as well as telling you new DVDs and Blu-rays I’ve bought. Plus there have been big scandals in the news about Oscar Pistorius and horse meat, and I was sent some jokes about the latter. So I hope you enjoy looking through it all.

Sunday March 3, 2013

Time for an update I think, as it’s been just over a month since the last one. I’ve been using up a few of the holiday days I have left at work, by having 4 Fridays off in a row, my last one being this coming week. So that’s given me some nice four-day weeks. Work itself has been pretty busy of course, with work underway for financial year-end work along with some other big jobs.

As for home, preparations for the move are edging closer now. We had the forms through from the solicitor to sign, to put Nan’s house in my Mum and Aunt’s names. There are actually 2 ways of jointly owning a property. One is a joint tenancy, where both people own the house, and if one dies, the property goes to the survivor, regardless of what the wills say. The other is a tenancy in common, whereby each person owns a defined share of the property, and on one person’s death, their share goes to whoever is in their will, not the survivor. So the logical option, as recommended by the solicitor as well, is to do the latter. My Mum and Aunt will own 50% each, meaning that if anything happens to Mum, I get her share, and we can also buy out my Aunt’s 50% later on if we want to, which we probably will. So I helped Mum to sign the forms under the CCTV, and her hairdresser was kind enough to be a witness for one of the forms yesterday. Then I posted it off today, so it’ll get the first post on Monday.

We also got a cheque from my Aunt as well – or, more specifically, I did. It was half of Nan’s savings that my Aunt now had, and Mum said she didn’t need it, so I could have it. There’s still money to come from Nan’s shares she had with Abbey (now Santander – every customer was given Abbey shares once upon a time), and also the Premium Bonds (including any unclaimed winnings, and they even keep the numbers in the draw for another year after death, which I never knew before).

Anyway, the cheque was for a pretty decent amount, and I deposited it in my account on Saturday. I intend to use it to get a new 27″ iMac, which I was going to get anyway so I had a new computer, but now that money can pay towards it. I’ll keep the old computer as a backup, but it’s high time to upgrade I think. Apple’s products are very accessible and get very good feedback, and I’m used to using Macs at work. If I get it before we move, then all we have to do is get fast broadband installed at Nan’s place and we’ll be ready to go. There are also Missing Manuals books about the Macs that I’ll get as well, to really learn about it all – I remember using one that my section manager let me borrow for the Mac at work some time ago, so I know they’re good. 

I’ve also got some more DVDs & Blu-rays coming too, naturally, having finished everything I had before. Top of the list is Skyfall, the latest Bond film. I haven’t seen it yet, and have been lucky enough to avoid any spoilers about how Bond survives and what happens given what’s shown in the trailers. It’s had great reviews and won awards all over the place, so I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I’ve also ordered The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgment Day, having watched the latter on TV recently. I haven’t seen them for god knows how long, and they are pretty good, so I can watch them properly now.

For TV shows, I’ve gone for a box set of Old Grey Whistle Test compilations, as there are groups and songs I know and many I don’t, so it’ll give a good variety, and also a box set of the first five series of The Big Bang Theory. I was a bit undecided on the latter, but I do find myself continually watching random episodes on E4 if there’s nothing else to watch, and they are quite good. A very rare case where I actually feel compelled to watch a live action US sitcom, it has to be said. The audience are a bit annoying, as their laughter and applause can sometimes be a bit too over-the-top, but you learn to live with that as it’s normal over there, plus it’ll be nice to watch them all in order.

In amongst all of that, we’ve already received a leather blue badge holder for Mum’s card, which seems to be ideal and will protect it nicely, plus we’ve got a couple of Radar keys on the way, which will allow us to unlock any of thousands of disabled toilets when we go out. It’ll be easier if Mum can use those, because I can take her in there, get her orientated so she knows where she is, then leave her to it while I wait outside.

Talking of keys in a sense, my mate SM’s moved into a new flat in Guernsey now, which he seems pretty happy with. He and his partner went to see We Will Rock You in London when he stayed with her for Valentine’s Day, and they highly recommend it, so that’s probably the first musical I’ll want to book up and see when we’re in London. They’re intending to come down for AB’s wedding in May as well – she hasn’t sent the invites out yet, but we’ve seen a preview on Facebook. Chances are they, and I, will stay in a Premier Inn or B&B or something like that for a couple of days, assuming I’m not doing anything else of course. I doubt we’ll be moving then, but then again, you never know.

As for the news, there have been a few really big stories recently. One is the presence of horse meat – sometimes just DNA, sometimes actual meat – in various ready meals like burgers and lasagnes, in the UK and across the EU. So that’s understandably caused a lot of uproar and investigations. Horse isn’t actually bad for you, but it’s still fraud to let it enter the food chain when it’s not meant to be there. The only minor concern is with the presence of some drugs that horses are given by vets, but any presence of that is so minor as to be non-existent, thankfully, otherwise it could have had a serious impact on humans.

And also in the EU, the Pope has resigned, the first time one has done so for hundreds of years, but at least he realises when he’s too old to carry on working rather than doing the job until the very end.

On top of that, Olympic and Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murdering his girlfriend after she was found dead in his home. He admits shooting her, but his defence is that he mistook her for a burglar. They had both been in bed together, and he heard a noise outside and went to the window to look, but couldn’t see anything. At this point his girlfriend – Reeva Steenkamp, a well-known fashion model in South Africa – went to the bathroom and into the toilet cubicle, shutting the door and using the facilities. Oscar heard noise in the bathroom, but didn’t realise it was his girlfriend in there – so he put on his prosthetic legs, took his gun, went in the bathroom and fired through the closed toilet door, killing her. He’s been sobbing in court every day, and it’s left millions of people bewildered by it all. It’ll be interesting to see what the final outcome is.

And that’s it really. During March we’re busy at work, plus Mum’s got a dentist appointment to replace another old filling that came out. And then, in the last week of March, we’re off to London to spend just over a week there for Easter, so that’ll be good. Hopefully we’ll be able to talk a bit more about the move, especially if the solicitor’s been able to send the necessary paperwork off to the Land Registry and things like that. We’ll have to see, but we’re making good progress now that’s being dealt with.

Monday March 4, 2013

Forwarded from a friend, in the wake of the horse meat scandal mentioned above, which Tesco were involved with.

Horsey Jokes re Tesco burgers:

  • Hope these horse jokes don’t go on furlong??!!
  • A woman has been taken into hospital after eating horse meat burgers from Tesco. Her condition is said to be stable.
  • So they have found a horse burger in Tesco. What’s next, My Lidl pony?
  • Not entirely sure how Tesco are going to get over this hurdle.
  • Waitress in Tesco asked if I wanted anything on my burger. So I had a £5 each way!
  • Tesco Quarter Pounders: The affordable way to buy your daughter the pony that she’s always wanted!
  • Had some burgers from Tesco for my tea last night. I still have a bit between my teeth.
  • Unused HMV vouchers are now being accepted at Tesco. Just tell them HMV means ‘Horse Meat Voucher’.
  • Tesco are now testing all their vegetarian burgers for traces of uniquorn.
  • Anyone want a burger from Tesco? Yay or neigh?
  • Tesco now forced to deny presence of zebra in burgers, as shoppers confuse barcodes for serving suggestions.
  • A cow walks into a bar. Barman says “Why the long face?” The cow says “Illegal ingredients, coming over here stealing our jobs!”
  • I hear the smaller version of those Tesco burgers make great horse d’oeuvres.
  • These Tesco burger jokes are going on a bit.  Talk about flogging a dead… NO! NO NO NO!
  • Said to the missus these Tesco burger’s given me the trots!
  • To beef or not to beef, that is equestrian.
  • Is it a coincidence that HAMBURGERS is a anagram of SHERGAR’S BUM?
  • Tesco have released a new liquor to compliment their range of burgers. They’re calling it Red Rum.

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger, culture vulture & accessibility advocate, with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

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