Archive for July, 2011

Fame Is The Spur – Howard Spring

Posted in Books on July 29, 2011 by thecognitivekey

An interesting novel published in 1940 which describes the life and travails of the fictional socialist Hamer Shawcross. His early life in the poor parts of Manchester through to his elevation to the Lords. It is something of a critique of the failing of the Labour Party as people are corrupted by the power they achieve. Hamer is always looking after himself rather than the poor he purports to champion. The tale spans the early part of the 20th century through to almost the start of the Second World War, by which time the main characters have experienced all of the key historical events…Hamer’s wife is a suffragette, their son is injured in the First War, his friend’s wife is blinded in an explosion in a munition factory…if it can happen it happens to this group of people. I’d be glad not to know them as it would increase life expectancy hugely. It is though an interesting read, it demonstrates that little has changed with the Labour Party, except that fewer of its leaders are from the working class these days. The contempt for the ‘workers’ is still there. Is it worth the read…I thought so, even though it got very twee towards the end. It’s good not to be a part of it


Dangerous driving…

Posted in General on July 22, 2011 by thecognitivekey

It’s a Friday morning and I am on the M27 driving to work. The traffic is light and I am able to comfortably do 70 in the inside lane. The middle lane is also doing 70 so we are maintaining our relative position…the main difference being that I had clear road in front of me.

I was westbound leaving at J5. The road rises here and the traffic in the middle lane slowed slightly allowing me to catch it. As I went down the exit filter so there was a dreadful noise of metal scraping on road. Panic…my car was sick, what had happened. Turning the radio down I realised it wasn’t coming from my car but the one in the middle lane. I looked across expecting to see the exhaust trailing… exhaust was intact, but it did have a completely flat rear nearside tyre. Very flat. The driver carried on oblivious…the next exit was at least a few miles away either on the M27 or the M3…I just hope they made it.

A Sick Car

Posted in General on July 17, 2011 by thecognitivekey

Don’t you just hate cars. Just when you are thinking things are going fairly smoothly so the car develops hiccoughs. Ok so I had to buy a couple of new tyres last month but this month I thought would be clear. Not so. A misfire on the way home last week turned into a failed ignition coil. I had a spare in the boot from the last time. My car likes the manufacturer’s original coils not OEMs. So the last time I had the one the RAC sold and fitted swapped for an original.

So when the RAC chap came this time he was able to fit the spare, however the engine warning light refuses to go out, which is a  typical reaction to a non-manufacturer coil. The RAC man recommends replacing all the coils and getting new plugs and an emissions test, just in case the second coil failure is a warning of something else. The last coil failed well over a year ago…but if that’s what they recommend who am I to argue. It’s booked into the garage for next weekend. Oh boy – no idea as to the cost yet – coils are between £30 and £60 each, plus plugs and labour…it’s going to be a big bill.

NatWest – lost debit card process II

Posted in Customer Service on July 10, 2011 by thecognitivekey

The NatWest have responded to my query in the branch – I asked to opt out of the Emergency Cash procedure they have introduced. The people in the branch weren’t sure…so it went to Head Office.

Head Office have said it is not possible to opt out of the scheme. So that is the end of the NatWest for me. I am now in the process of opening an account elsewhere and will transfer all of my business. The end of a 37 year association, but I’d rather have my cash safe.