Website finally back up again

15 November, 2014


Hello! Is there anybody out there?

Old pals might remember that in 2010 I stupidly allowed my domain name to expire. It was snapped up by a US internet company keen to sell it back to me for some ridiculously inflated price. I registered a similar domain name instead, but didn’t ever get round to re-uploading the page.

Anyway, a few days ago I checked to see whether had finally become available again, and it had, so I’ve put my page back up. I’m sure lots of links will need fixing, but all my old backpacking write-ups should now be working again. I’ve started having fun re-reading them.

Much belated update

1 June, 2014


This is rather a belated update, but written with appreciative thanks to those who wrote to ask me about the 3 year nightmare saga involving my poisonous, bullying neighbour referred to in my last post.

In summary, I now live in an idyllic rural village spoilt only by the presence of a nutty bully whose house backs onto mine, who has been deliberately making the lives of his close neighbours a nightmare for something over 20 years, his ultimate aim being to force people to move house. He does this purely out of malignancy and malice. He’s succeeded in a scarily significant number of cases, though: my house and that of my normal neighbour next door have sold 11 times between them in the last 10 years. Um…

Anyway, two weeks ago we went to court. The nutter had sued me in the county court in an attempt to persuade the police to drop criminal proceedings they’d brought against him in relation to his behaviour towards me. He was attempting to argue that there was some sort of ongoing civil dispute between us, when in fact there was no such thing. On sight of the proceedings he’d issued the CPS immediately dropped the case. Other nutters who may stumble across this posting, though, beware. It’s easy to go to the county court and issue proceedings which consist of a pile of lies, but the day may come when you’ll be called expensively to account.

Anyway, we had a four day trial two weeks ago in front of a tough judge. It was very stressful, but the outcome was that the nutter’s case against me was dismissed in its entirety, whereas my applications against him for injunctions and damages for harassment were entirely successful. I now have 3 injunctions against the nutter, and he has been ordered to pay me a significant sum in damages for the anguish he’s put me through during the last three years. It’s very likely that in a couple of weeks he’ll also be ordered to pay an extremely considerable sum in costs. Fortunately that doesn’t affect me, as I was willing (of necessity) to spend six months at the outset jumping through 1,001 hoops in order to compel my insurance company to honour the legal expenses insurance clause in my policy.

My neighbour will always be a malignant man, but he’s very quickly altered his approach to the way he behaves towards me. Most of us in the village live in hope that he might have to move away.

So! Things are now looking very significantly up, chez Peewiglet :) I now have something approaching peace at home, a rewarding and fun job with congenial colleagues and an exciting allotment! More of the allotment to come soon :)

Little Piglet the terrier continues to thrive, although we had to say goodbye to Puss-Puss just before Christmas. She had a happy last few years terrorising the local wildlife, though, despite her lack of teeth (I think she sucked them to death), and she knew that she was loved.

Piss-Puss lurks in wait for Piglet

Piss-Puss lurks in wait for Piglet

puss-puss 03


Puss-Puss and Piglet

Puss-Puss and Piglet

That’s it for now, then. No doubt there are many pictures of tomatoes and cucumbers to follow soon. I hope :)


Oh! And I forgot to say that I now have super-fast broadband. 1GB per second, so it’s alleged! :)

Will/Can Anybody Help?

16 February, 2014

Hi all.

This is a very long shot, I realise, but I’m getting desperate.

2.5 years ago I moved to a small village on the Lancs/Yorks border. Cutting a very long story very short, my house backs onto a yard with those of two other people. One is a normal person but the other is a complete arse: a bloke in his (?) early 60s who has apparently made the lives of his direct neighbours a nightmare for 20 years or so: a bullying nutter. I heard about him before I moved but because I’m friendly and (from my previous job as a lawyer) used to dealing with arses I thought I’d be able to make a connection. I was wrong, though: this bloke is a nightmare, and impossible to deal with rationally. If I’d known then what I know now etc etc… but unfortunately I am where I am.

As I said, it’s a very long story. For the purposes of this post, though, here’s a summary of the relevant facts.

We’re in the process of getting super-fast broadband installed in the village. Villagers have done most of it themselves, and the process has continued for over 2 years. Many of us have helped in various ways (including me–spreading the word in the farms up on the moor and going round the village 18 months ago to drum up interest). About half of the village is now connected, and the rest hope to be so in the next few weeks.

We all have to dig a trench from the cable (as it’s gone round the village) to our houses, and lay a pipe thing in it so that the cable can come through. Volunteers will then drill through the wall and take the cable through our houses.  After that the cable will be “blown through”, and then we’ll be able to have a connection. Because of where I live I need more digging than most. It has to come through my (normal) neighbour’s garden and then through my yard (under the flags). I’ve attempted to pay local people to dig through, and they said they would, but they’ve apparently now been frightened off by Tommy the Bully.

I’m now in the ridiculous position of being willing to pay to have the cable dug in for me (I can’t do it myself because (i) I’m at work full time (ii) there’s only one of me (iii) I have no techno-savvy) but all the local people seem to have just given in to the bully and nobody is willing to do the job.

It’s now time critical because the ‘blowing in’ is happening, and those of us who miss the boat will be stranded. I have (as far as I can tell) about 2-3 weeks to get the job done.

Is anybody out there who I know from walking willing to help me with this? What I need is a couple of people who can do some digging and stand up to a bully. I’m more than willing to pay anybody who can help for their time.

If you can help then please drop me a line. My email these days is mynm61 AT gmail DOT com.

Shirl x

Ender’s Game the Movie — Review

25 January, 2014


Quite a lot of years ago now I listened to this as an audiobook as I walked Piglet on the beach. I was immediately drawn in: what a fantastic book, I felt! Probably my favourite amongst hundreds of books that I’ve listened to on MP3, even though Science Fiction is not my usual thing.

When I heard that it was coming out as a film I was hugely excited, and I’ve been waiting for it for many months. Now that I’ve seen the adaptation, though, I’m hugely disappointed. The actors playing the children were all too old (defeating the object of the book (if you’ve read/listened to it, you’ll know what I mean)), and it seemed as though somebody had been through the book with a pencil ticking off things that they felt should be incorporated into the film and filming them as a matter of conscience.

There was no heart in it, though, and I actually gave up and went to bed half way through the film. I tried again with the rest of it the next morning, but it was all so dull and boring and lacking in spirit that I simply turned it off: I’ve no idea how the film ended, and I really don’t care.

What a shame! I know that it was never going to be easy to turn Ender’s Game into a wonderful film, but now I’m sorry that they even tried. Thank goodness that I still have the book itself to return to.

Sorry to say, but if you’ve not seen it yet, and you loved the book, then I’d suggest that you don’t bother :(

Bloody Natwest…

2 December, 2013

Have just had my debit card declined twice in the local shop. Pretty embarrassing!

Came home and tried to access online banking, but it’s down.

Went to Natwest home page to see if there was a problem, but there was no suggestion that there’s anything up.

Then Googled and found hundreds of people complaining of exactly the same problem. In a way it was a relief–was wondering whether I’d accidentally overspent my small stash of pennies, or whether somebody had nicked them–but how very unimpressive that Natwest haven’t posted any kind of reassurance or explanation or even… apology.

I have to get petrol in the morning in order to get to work. I hope my card is working by then…

Muzicks (what else?!)

19 November, 2013

I think this is already here but I can’t find it, so I’m putting it in again, just in case. Lovely!

And here’s the Jethro Tull version. Brillzville (though I could live without the middle).

I keep wanting to add something profound to my blog, but there’s nothing better than musicz so here I am posting it again :)

Lakeland — Impressive Customer Service

13 October, 2013

lakeland 01

I love Lakeland. On Friday I nipped in with my sister (for two supremely happy hours), having spent a few days walking in the Lakes, and bought lots of lovely things for my kitchen :)

Today I attempted to fit my new ‘Magic Hob Liners’, but found they were too small for my range cooker. I rang Lakeland and offered to return them for a refund, but the woman I spoke to said that sounded like a long way for me to travel and simply refunded my card immediately. She didn’t even want the hob liners back, and suggested that I should give them to a friend or to a charity shop!

In these days when we’re all watching the pennies, this sort of stellar customer service is particularly welcome and appreciated. Well done, and thank you, Lakeland!

Also, and while I’m at it, if there’s anybody else out there who hasn’t cleaned their oven for two years but hates the nasty, pongy oven-cleaning products available in supermarkets, I’d highly recommend Lakeland’s ‘Oven Mate Cleaning Gel‘, which I bought about 6 months ago and finally got round to using a couple of weekends ago. Absolutely brilliant! I left it on overnight and wiped it off in the morning. Almost every bit of nasty brown gunk came away, and now I no longer get nasty burning smells when I’m cooking something hot in my oven. And, true to their promise, there was no smell. I even used it on the oven racks, and now they’re sparkling like new.

I’m not very good at the old household maintenance stuff, and so products that really do the business without unnecessary fuss or mess are very much appreciated Chez Peewiglet. Lakeland tends to be where I look first, and now I’ve been reminded of exactly why that is.


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