Signs you might be a bad neighbour

When buying a house, I think that you should be entitled to a weeks’ stay at the property before you commit to signing the contracts. If you think about it, you go and lie on a bed when shopping for new beds and mattresses. You go and sit on sofas and chairs before splashing your cash. Yet, something as big as buying a house, you have a couple of views and that’s it. You don’t know how comfortable you’ll be once you’re there – not really.

I loved my house when I first viewed it. My dad liked it. My friends have all liked it. My grandparents like it. I like it. I just wish I knew about the neighbours before I signed any contracts.

I know that wherever you live, there might be some unsavoury characters. At the moment though, I have three. And they’re all doing my effing head in.

This post should not be construed as I regret buying my house, because I don’t.

I’ve personally given up on calling the Police every time one of my two neighbours are wailing like banshee’s in the street. There’s not much point in complaining to the Police about the illegal drugs as I highly doubt they’ll care that I have to keep rewashing my laundry… But, this morning (I wrote this blog post a few days ago, so it’s old news), I could have gotten angry.

I was messaging one of my nice neighbours because I saw the Police at the property where the commotion was last night. I don’t know who has called the Police, but I am grateful that they have. My nice neighbour informed me that the smashing I heard last night was actually a vase of flowers on the pavement! Right by my car!!

I immediately moved my car but before I did so, I had to remove bits of smashed vase from the road – I highly doubt that the wailing banshee would replace my tyres if I got a puncture from her smashed vase. And, then, all afternoon I was watching for the flowers and smashed up vase to be cleaned up. I don’t know who eventually cleared up the mess, but it wasn’t until late afternoon when the pavement was cleared of the smashed vase and flowers.

I wonder – do these morons have no shame? Do they have no self-respect? Most importantly (to me), do the landlords have no moral compass? Would they tolerate their tennant’s behaviour if it were occurring on their doorstep? Is it because these people (the offenders) move so frequently that they don’t think they need to bother to even pretend to be a half-decent citizen and instead annoy the foxtrot out of their respectful neighbours?

I’m getting a bit sick and tired of it. At night time, I want to sleep – I need to sleep. Instead, on a regular basis, I’m being woken by one of two neighbours who think that it’s acceptable to allow their personal lives to spill out into the street. They scream. They shout. There’s nothing feminine or dignified by their behaviour, yet I’m supposed to tolerate it because the landlords are no where to be seen, the council don’t care and it doesn’t matter how many times you call the Police, they can’t do anything!

If you do any of the following, I reckon that you might be a nightmare neighbour that I’m writing about:

  • You smoke your illegal cigarettes outside and make your neighbours laundry smell of your illegal drugs.
  • You scream blue murder all night long.
  • You throw your vase of flowers out of your living room window so that it smashes on the pavement right beside my car.
  • You scream in the street because a neighbour has called the Police.

If you are any of the above, you have zero respect from me.

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Recent successes

As I wrote in my blog motivation is sleepingI’ve been lacking motivation. So, I thought about it. Even the smallest triumphs are to be celebrated. Here’s what I’ve been doing lately:

  1. I have cooked two home made dinners – a tomato and lentil soup and a spaghetti bolognese.
  2. I finally bought jeans – these have been on my to-do list since last November. I have two pairs of comfy denims from M&S.
  3. I have done all my chores. I only have some laundry to do. The only reason I’m behind on that is because I haven’t had enough for a full load!
  4. I organised and posted my step-mum’s present and card ahead of time. I made the card (and proceeded to get a shaky hand!) and I posted it all ahead of her birthday. I was super organised (for a change) so that I didn’t have to ask my friends to run those kinds of errands for me over the weekend.
  5. I didn’t spend £70 on a birthday cake and I did my annual selfie picture update for my Facebook and Twitter…

The picture I have included in this blog is not the picture that I have used for my profile pictures…

My desk

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It seems to be a fashionable thing at the moment – blogging photographs of our work spaces. So, this is my work space.

  • An “old fashioned telephone”. I can’t lose it then. I plan to get cordless ones, but they’re not essential at the moment.
  • A loo roll – because I spilt my cup of tea on my desk the other day.
  • My blog post plan. It’s basically so I can see where I have scheduled blog posts.
  • My empty toast plate. Don’t judge, but it has been there since 3 days before I took this picture.

The decor on the wall isn’t of my choice. It came with the house when I bought it. I have every intention of redecorating it, and despite dragging Rayna to B&Q at the beginning of the year, it’s still work-in-progress…

It’s work-in-progress because I am constantly thinking about the awful 1990s style wall paper whenever I sit at my desk. I just can’t decide on a colour.

So, unless I have used my netbook, this is usually where I am writing my blog posts from. I would like to be able to use my tablet more (it’s a Kindle Fire) but it only saves drafts locally; therefore I cannot edit them at my computer. I am looking into it – perhaps it’s a setting that I need to adjust?

Media clogging up GP surgeries?

My friend told me about recent news headlines informing us that ibuprofen is linked to an increased link in heart attacks. With suspicion and cynicism, I raised an eyebrow and thought “whatever”. With everything, I turned to Google and typed in “ibuprofen causes heart attacks” and I found the NHS commentary on the subject. As you can see, this page is dated 10th May 2017. These headlines have been re-awoken three-four months after this article was first published (or last edited).

Well, I don’t believe much that the newspapers publish. I think that 99% of all things written in the newspapers are only good enough to be used as toilet paper. It’s not very often that you read well balanced, unbiased information. People who know me offline and know my opinion on media outlets such as Sky News and The Mirror might understand my shock at the NHS claiming that these sources were accurate and balanced (in the May 2017 version of events).

In this example (that ibuprofen causes heart attacks), there has been some scare mongering / fear instilling headlines – misleading the readers. I think the people on websites such as Reddit might refer to these headlines as “click bait”. According to the NHS page (linked above) “common painkillers may raise risk of heart attack by 100%” is actually referring to a painkiller that hasn’t even been available in the UK for the last 13 years!! The first question that should be asked about this article is how are they allowed to put articles like this out in public circulation when it is clearly false news…???

So, the discussion the other evening was: “have you seen the headline that ibuprofen causes heart attacks?” which led to me reading the NHS page… The following morning, my friend (the same one as the evening before) was giving me a lift and he asked “how many people do you think are clogging up GP surgeries this morning because of the newspapers yesterday?”

I think that was a rather thought provoking question to ask. All of those people regularly taking NSAIDs – how many of them are genuinely concerned for their health now that they have read these newspaper reports?

I tend not to listen to much that the news is reporting. I would far rather do my own research, especially when it comes to my health. If ibuprofen is so dangerous, it wouldn’t be available to buy for less than 50p in the supermarkets without a prescription and a doctor scrutinising whether it is safe for use in individual patients.

I have been doing some reading on the subject and I am struggling to find any concrete information which shows us any information about the people in the studies which have led to the conclusion that NSAIDs lead to the increased risk of heart attack. Did everyone in the study have a heart attack? How many of the people who had a heart attack had an underlying heart condition? How many people in the study had underlying conditions which could have led to having a heart attack?

I think people sometimes laugh at me when I laugh at the newspapers. I don’t read a newspaper. As far as I am concerned, their only use is as emergency toilet paper. But, with some of the stuff that I read in the papers, the only thing I can do is raise an eyebrow and laugh. When I do read a paper, I rarely finish an article because I wonder what kind of a reaction the author is trying to achieve. Are they deliberately trying to instil fear or even hatred?

When my friend asked the question about how many people were clogging up their GP surgeries because of the newspapers, I wondered whether he had a point or not – and I suspect that GPs might have seen an increase of patients wanting to discuss their NSAID medication because they fear that they are now at an increased risk of a heart attack. I suppose that the newspapers are only trying to convey the news, but when the Guardian is deliberately writing misleading headlines and referring to a drug that hasn’t been available for the last 13 years, I have to wonder if the media is trying to destroy the NHS? What a better way to put the NHS under pressure than to publish headlines (which people might not follow up and read the entire story) and have a load of vulnerable patients turn up at their surgeries to discuss a drug that they are probably safe to continue using! Surely, those on long-term painkillers are often the people who regularly see a doctor, who would also be keeping an eye on an up-to-date clinical picture and then would be able to advise on pain relief usage accordingly?

(Now they say that low-fat diets are killing us quicker…)

31 today

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I have had to schedule this post because I’m off having fun. I’m having a day out, like I treat myself to every year. However, this year, it’s not quite what I had planned. In a few weeks I’ll treat myself to a proper day out. I will write in two weeks (today) about what I’ve been up to lately to explain my ‘rough time’. But, today is my birthday, and I can celebrate it no matter where I am.

The last 365 days have been another 365 days of learning and discovering. I won’t list 365 things of what I’ve learnt or discovered – you’ll get bored and I can’t remember what they are/were! But I have discovered and/or learnt these 10 things about myself in the last year…

  1. Within reason, there is nothing that I can’t do. Seriously. I didn’t think that I could do what I’ve done in my garden alone – but I have (with a little ‘help’ from Flossie). I have had to ask for help (advice) and I will need someone with a chain saw (or something similar) to help me do some bits, but otherwise, I think I’ve done a pretty good job.
  2. I really am stronger than I think I am. I am so proud of how I have handled my life since April/May. I don’t think it – I know it – I’ve done a really good job.
  3. My youngest siblings look up at me, and look to me, more than I realise. I fix their world’s with Pinterest boards, hugs, messages, cards and stupid pictures.
  4. I’m never too old to learn new skills – whether that is to do with maintaining my car, or looking after my house, or managing myself (like a business), or skills to do with my interests.
  5. I have willpower – I have quit smoking and I have not killed Flossie. That is proof in itself…
  6. It’s ok to turn to microwave dinners and tinned food. It’s not a statement to say that I have failed in looking after myself. It’s not a statement that says I don’t care about my nutrition. It is a statement that says “I can feed myself”. And, they’re not all that bad. It’s only ever short-term. I’m not planning on turning to this cuisine as a permanent way of eating.
  7. It’s ok to say “no” and it’s ok to say “foxtrot oscar”. If you disagree with me telling people to do one, then you might as well do one. I won’t suffer morons in my life to keep other people happy. Nor do I want to facilitate judgmental people in my life.
  8. I’m not a doormat. People think I am because I’m always willing to help others. I’m kind (apparently). But I recently learnt that I’m not a doormat. I can’t and I won’t be walked over. See point 7.
  9. I learnt that my interests change. Drawing pretty patterns doesn’t appeal to me as much as it used to; I’ve swapped it for discovering new soups to try! I have ditched a lot of the rubbish that I used to watch in favour of tuning into Inspector Morse in the evening. And, I’m not as quick to pull the chips out of the freezer as I am to cook vegetables! I’d say they’re ok interests to change!
  10. I’ve learnt that zero-hour contracts, working minimum wage jobs with unsociable hours is nothing short of exploitation. I vow to make my dreams come true by the time I’m 32! I have another 365 days to make it happen – it will, you’ll see!

 

Cat’s Eyes

(written yesterday (Tuesday 5th September 2017) to be scheduled for today)…

I’ve just been listening to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 talk about “cats eyes”. The original story is apparently a couple of weeks old, but nonetheless, it was a thought provoking topic for me and fills a gap on my blog schedule 😉 I actually get quite annoyed at how much we have to cater to the easily offended. For as long as I can remember, those reflecting things in the road have been called “cats eyes”. They have never been called anything else.

Perhaps the sign could have been worded better – “no cats eyes in road” or “no cats eyes”. I agree that “cats eyes removed” could sound rather harsh but it’s nothing that a simple explanation to a concerned youngster (or tourist) could not rectify. Does this sign really justify the cost of having new signs produced just to prevent others from becoming alarmed because they don’t have a well-educated adult nearby to ease their fears?

We’ve had these “cats eyes” in the road for the last 70+ years. In all this time, we have happily been calling them “cats eyes” yet now, 70+ years later, they are causing people some alarm. So, why has it taken 70+ years for these confused tourists and concerned youngsters to step forwards?

Personally, I don’t think that we should have to rename something just because a select group of people are concerned, upset or confused by the phrase “cats eyes”. For the last 70 years they have been called “cats eyes” and I don’t think some confused tourists or a few upset children should have any influence on what they continue to be called officially, unofficially or how they’re referred to on a sign post. Maybe the tourists could be excused (we can just explain to them) but some children need to learn that things are misworded (or worded poorly) a lot of the time – show them newspaper headlines for proof on that!

When signs like these are worded poorly, I don’t think it means that councils should rush out to have new signs made. I think we just need an educated adult with some common sense to explain to the overly sensitive child what a “cats eye” is (in the motoring sense). If they still overly sensitive by it, then I wish these children all the very best as adults…