Week 45

25th October, 2009

This time last year we were blanketed with snow in Huddersfield. It was extremely cold. We were preparing for an Ofsted Inspection and feeling frazzled. How things change. It hasn’t been great weather but at least it’s warm. We aren’t using our central heating yet. We are on an Energy Project. It has nothing to do with environmentalism – we don’t wear sandals – but an experiment in monitoring costs. It is just for fun. I’ve told you before that Pauline records on a spreadsheet-based financial package every item of expenditure. She has done it since 1978 when we got married. Recently, I’ve found out where she got this from.

Pauline’s Mum is still struggling with Shingles and we’ve made a trip or two to Oldham to see her. The other day a bill arrived in the post while we were there. Pauline’s Mum – Jane – got out her accounts book and began recording the payment while murmuring to herself: “Yes, that’s what I had expected.” This could have been Pauline but (a bit) more wrinkly. Pauline forward accounts, spreading annual costs on a monthly basis, setting out contingencies, predicting surpluses, etc.. Now we’ve started to invest money in institutions and not property she is in her element.

26th October, 2009

Over to Oldham from Huddersfield. There are two main ways: the M62 which is the highest and one of the most congested motorway stretches in Britain or the parallel road across the moors known as Nont Sarah’s. When you are a worker, you take the M62 because you kid yourself it is quicker. So often it isn’t. When you’re retired, you go across the moors and savour the view.

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The Nont Sarah’s road is particularly tranquil and picturesque at the moment.

27th October, 2009

Pauline & I are very sad people. We record and tabulate everything. We were made for each other. I know nothing about astrology but I was told that Aries (me) and Libra (Pauline) are a natural pair. Pair of what I don’t know but we do complement each other perfectly. Before I wrote this, I did some research. Aries and  Libra: the god of war and the goddess of beauty. How do they know us? Aries is solely concerned about the “I”; the “we” is left to Libra. Something spooky going on there!

More prosaically, I design spreadsheets, Pauline loves to record things on spreadsheets. For 31 years Pauline has maintained our accounts. For the past 5 I’ve been recording Blood Sugar Levels, Blood Pressure and Pulse rate twice a day. Now we are recording Electricity, Gas and Water meter readings every Saturday. I nearly got into the habit of recording petrol consumption in the car but suddenly saw Dad doing that in his little notebook he kept in the car. Does anyone remember that?

28th October, 2009

Northern Rock sent us our house deeds today and confirmed the completion of our mortgage_settlement.


It probably won’t seem it on re-reading but £270,000.00 felt a lot to get off our minds. Having been burdened with a big mortgage for more than thirty years, we had a bowl of porridge to celebrate. Do you like porridge? I’m hooked on it. I learnt 40 years ago that I have a compulsive nature. If I do anything five times in short succession, I get addicted to it. So smoking, red wine, Greece, etc all became habitual. Equally, if you give me porridge for breakfast, salad for lunch water for dinner, etc often enough, I become addicted to them. Pauline is trying to get me addicted to housework at the moment. I should have told her that was the one exception.

29th October, 2009

Pauline & I agree on most things. Particularly, we agree on Global Warming. We are confirmed deniers but the warmer it gets for us the better. Our Local Authority, Kirklees, however, are totally committed to saving the planet. They try to get everyone separating their rubbish into categories, for example. They try to pretend that they are generating power and other useful things from people like us who they charge for the privilege of being told to separate our rubbish into categories. Can you believe it? Rubbish by definition is something to be thrown away not played with. We pay for Kirklees to collect and throw our rubbish away. Why on earth would we choose to do that for them? However, Kirklees have gone up in our estimation recently. They have Project Warmzone.


Along with about a dozen other companies in the country, they have employed the Government funded agency, Warmzone Ltd, to supply insulation to houses in the Borough. The thrust of this project is to reduce fuel poverty and, in Oldham, the LA is means testing households and targeting the needy. In Kirklees, every single household is being offered additional loft insulation and cavity wall insulation free of charge. Kirklees have employed Miller Pattison to supply this service to us.


They are coming to survey our house next week to tell us what we need. They also provide free energy saving light bulbs and support with maximising central heating efficiency. Nice to see they are taking Global Warming seriously. We pensioners could freeze to death!

30th October, 2009

Yorkshire Water sent us £350.00 back today because we’ve opted for a meter. They wanted to say thank you. Such lovely people Yorkshire Water.

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