The week that was and will be.

I’ve been very busy this week. It’s amazing how sometimes a week comes up that throws a lot at you, then others give you a little more breathing space to work with. As regular readers of this blog will know we have been struggling with problems caused by the former mortgage provider openly perpetrating disability discrimination. I made a complaint, which they have sent a response completely (and conveniently) ignoring all the points raised, and claiming that they “find no evidence”. It turns out that the reason that they found no evidence was because they didn’t bother looking as I discovered when I asked them about if they had reviewed the logs of the calls. Apparently looking for these things was something the complaint manager hadn’t thought of.

It’s all stress and hassle. I was told that marriage and house buying are the two most stressful things anyone will do in their lifetime. Actually, marriage wasn’t too bad (though the week before hand got a little touch and go – Ed Byrne shares my views on the planning of marriages). But house buying has proven to be a real Satan’s handbag of an affair. Still, we’re getting there and within a month or so I should be sitting in my cosy new living room hammering holes in my wall and laughing at this whole episode. I look forward to the time. The holes in the wall, incidentally, are because they will be MY walls as opposed to the walls here which belong to a chap from somewhere in Grimsby.

Tuesday and Wednesday I got an interesting interlude. In my occasional chronicles of the loneliness of the long distance trucker, I do a little rig jockeying from time to time. I haven’t done a night out in nearly seven years, but I thought it would make a change. I actually ended up delivering boiler tubes to the Tanfield railway and the Weardale railway for use in steam locomotive restoration. Now if only I had had a camera. Actually, I did but because it’s tucked away inside my telephone it took me until Wednesday to realise this.

Those who know me know my aversion to mobile phones. I hate them and have done ever since the wretched devices first turned up. I had top have one for my first job back in 2000, but it didn’t mean that I had to like them. That first one was ancient when I got to it and I am very proud of the fact that I have existed on hand-me-down phones and pay as you go sim cards for all this time. Actually, I believe I still have my original number acquired in 2000.

I hate people who insist on calling my mobile in preference to my landline. I give out my landline because I want to be called on it. My mobile phone is for emergency matters of national importance only. I do not appreciate frivolous calls on it because of several reasons. Firstly, I just don’t like mobile phones. Secondly, I use old phones that have questionable battery life so having some call centre drone on the line is sucking the life force from the phone that I may urgently need if there is a real problem that does not involve the purchase of double glazing, a conservatory or any device that the drone calls ‘premium’ but I call ‘the golden cock model’. Thirdly I do not have one of those devices for communing with the mothership so if I am driving its ringing irritates me because I cannot and will not answer it. I’m sure that there is a little spycamera in the damn thing because people just seem to know the most inconvenient time to call it like the moment I have JUST PULLED ONTO THE MOTORWAY. I hate you, mystery caller yesterday. If it was important you would have left a message, but you didn’t.

Gosh, that little rant went off on one, didn’t it? When I figure out how to gain access to my telephone’s digital innards I shall retrieve the lovely pictures I took outside a locomotive works in Wolsingham. Until then, don’t call my mobile. No really.

Today we were supposed to be in the Lake District on the south end of lake Windermere. Suffice to say that we are not because of a combination of squalling winds, rain and Zoë’s workload. We have decided that instead we will chose a day from next week to go based upon what the weather forecast predicts. It’s no fun sailing in the rain, and teaching a newbie to sailing in challenging winds will not exactly add to Zoë’s potential enthusiasm for a repeat trip on the RMS Jennïkins. Photographs will be taken of the momentous event of the first official voyage.

This weekend I am away as you all know at the book signing in Preston. I have arranged to stay over Saturday night at the house of some friends which eases the journey. I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting (and signing) but go easy on me because I’ll be doing this signing on my own for the first time on this tour.