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Feb. 18th, 2013 09:29 pm Letters to the Editor

So now that you're all briefed on my local papers, I can go on to my point for the day.

This latest Chronicle has a couple of items in it that really irked me, so I decided I'd write in to the editor about at least one of them. I decided that a few days ago when I read them; I've just now drafted said letters to the editor. This may or may not have something to do with the quantity of alcohol I've just ingested. The fact that I'm not sending them now, but rather leaving them til morning before actually putting in the to: email address and hitting send, definitely has something to do with that, however.



Piece one from the paper (whole thing is [sic]):

Winter driving tips

by Deborah Ward at Almond Solicitors


Well were you ready for the inclement weather last month? I suppose in comparison to the rest of the country, East and South Manchester were not badly affected.

Nonetheless, it is no fun sitting shivering in a frozen car in the morning waiting for it to defrost.

Winter is the most important of all the seasons when we should be ensuring that our vehicles are safe to drive so as to avoid a breakdown and/or an accident.

For trouble free driving in the Winter you should:
  • Replace the car battery every 5 years.

  • Keep the use of electrical equipment to a minimum.

  • Make sure the radiator is topped up with anti-freeze and use the correct type for your particular vehicle.

  • Ensure your windscreen is clear before you set off and during driving.

  • Check windscreen wipers and replace if necessary.

  • Clean your headlights.

  • Check where your fog light switch is located. (Many of us get caught out when it's foggy.)

  • Top up the windscreen washer fluid.

  • Check your tyres; ensure they are road worthy.


Driving in snow
No high heels girls when driving, we should all be wearing sensible shoes and make sure that they are not covered in snow as your foot is more likely to slip off the pedal if they are.

Keep a good distance between yourself and the vehicle in front as braking distance will be longer.

Guys, start off slowly in second gear to avoid a wheel spin.

Guys if you get stuck an old rug or similar item under the tyre should give some grip. Girls holler for help!!

Driving in Heavy Rain
We are all aware that driving in heavy rain is dangerous, visibility is low and braking distance much reduced. Keep your distance and reduce your speed. If visibility is particularly bad use your front and rear headlights.

If you have to drive through standing water, proceed slowly and keep your steering wheel straight

Driving in Strong Winds
Keep both hands on the steering wheel just in case the car is buffeted by a strong gust of wind. At least you will have a good grip on the wheel and should be able to keep the car on course.

Do not drive too fast.
Be careful driving next to or too close to high sided vehicles which are more likely to be blown off course.

Avoid driving on open roads where your vehicle is more susceptible to being blown off course.

In summary, be prepared and exercise caution at all times.



Here's the reply I've just drafted tonight.



Dear Editor,

I wanted to tell you what a laugh I found your newest humour column. I am referring, of course, to the piece written by Deborah Ward on page 15 of the 14 Feb 2013 issue. What a hoot that "braking distance is much reduced" in heavy rain, and that you might want to "[i]f visibility is particularly bad use your front and rear headlights." The crowning glory, though, was suggesting - in this day and age - that a person's genitalia should have any affect whatsoever on their ability to cope with driving in snow - hah! I kept waiting for the author to suggest that the reader go fetch their manservant!

Looking forward to next week. Will she tell us how to manoeuvre our crinoline skirts through narrow doorways whilst preserving modesty?

Cheers,
[southernmyst]
Glossop



And here's the second piece from the paper - Watchman is sort of the paper's editorial column. Pretty sure it's written by the editor. Sometimes it highlights local issues that need sorting (like the town hall clock being broken again, or the lights on the steps near the CoOp being out, etc). More often than not, he just gripes about telemarketer phone calls. This time, it's about the horsemeat scandal.



Watchman

(Entire thing is [sic])


I must admit I would not know if I had eaten horse meat unless I dipped a spoon into my lasagne and came up with a saddle.

For like the vast majority of people I have never knowingly eaten it, so I have no idea what it tastes like.

But if I saw the ingredients 'may contain horse meat' on the label, I would not touch it.

Cows, pigs, lambs, poultry, yes, but not a horse, it would be a bit like munching on the neighbour's cat.

But I am convinced that I will have eaten horse meat, maybe a slivver of Shergar has slipped down my throat.

How do I know? Well I just love lasagne and up until last week, worked my way through a steaming dish of the stuff at least once a fortnight.

But it's a delicacy I will not be choosing any more.

Unlike the French, who also stuff themselves with frogs and snails, the prospect of eating horse sickens me.

What will I replace my lasagne with is anyone's guess.

Burgers? Well hardly, because traces of horse have been found in some brands.

And if horse has been discovered in lasagne, how look before it crops up in minced beef, curries of all descriptions, even broth.

It's enough to turn you vegetarian, although I have yet to see a non-meat eater looking happy (until maybe now that is).



And this is the reply I've drafted tonight:



Dear Editor,

I am writing in to enlighten Watchman that he can still enjoy his lasagne, burgers, curries, broth, and more. We have at least four butcher shops here in Glossop, at least one of which has won multiple awards because of the short, traceable supply chain. Mettrick's sells lasagne, burgers, and broth; they all sell minced beef. Amazingly, you can pair minced beef with any number of vegetables from the greengrocer's on high street, plus some bread, pasta, or other such from Praze - where I'm sure they can also tell you the provenance of their food - for quite a tasty meal. Wow!

Even if Watchman has moved to Tameside along with nearly all the contents of this newspaper, Mettrick's is in Stalybridge every Saturday with all its goodies, including minced beef. Tameside probably has vegetables, too.

[southernmyst]
Glossop

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Jan. 20th, 2013 04:15 pm Open Road, Ho!

At long last, I have finally sat down and mapped out the space and time we'll spend in the US on our upcoming road trip!

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Jan. 14th, 2013 09:41 pm Adventures in Dampland

That's what I've decided to call my column in the paper. Here are the first two, for posterity or something. I realized after turning it in that I'd like to have added some stuff to the first one, and will undoubtedly think the same about every single one, but I'm resisting the urge to change it. Anyways, so here you go.

Introductory column, Issue 6Collapse )

On funerals, Issue 7Collapse )

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Jan. 2nd, 2013 11:34 pm Sunday's photos (30 Dec) - Something that made you smile this year

Today I've posted our photos from March and the first half of April, so you're getting some of what made me smile then: flowers! I find it helpful on these dark and dreary days to look at other times of the year, and remind myself that there will be sunshine and color once again. Eventually.

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Dec. 27th, 2012 10:23 pm Christmas Photo - Lunch

I forgot to take a photo til we were done with the savory and it was being cleared away. Oops. So here, have a photo of Chris with a nearly cleared plate, and a silly hat at a jaunty angle (another tradition).



Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

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Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:50 am Today's photo (21 Dec) - tree

Well, trees. You're getting more than one, of course.

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That's all you're getting for now - it's past our bedtime!

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Dec. 21st, 2012 11:04 pm Thursday's photos (20 Dec) - weather

This sounds like a good excuse to share just a few photos from Scotland...

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Now I just need motivation to properly post some of our photos from Scotland. We took over 700, so it's going to be quite a job to prune those down to a reasonable number for other people to want to click through!

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Dec. 21st, 2012 09:48 pm Wednesday's photos (19 Dec) - Something beginning with S

S ... lots of things begin with S. How about ... sunset, scarecrows, swamp, snow, and shopping?

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Dec. 21st, 2012 09:16 pm Tuesday's photos (18 Dec) - Makes you feel merry

Gosh, lots of things make me feel merry. The first thought I had was stuff to do with Christmas (just because that's about the only time we use the word Merry anymore), but really, lots of things throughout the year make me happy, which is the same as merry. Let's see what pictures I can find to share with you ...

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Dec. 21st, 2012 08:51 pm Monday's photo (17 Dec) - on the floor

You knew this was going to be pictures of the cat, of course.
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Dec. 21st, 2012 06:05 pm Sunday's photos - Something you made (16 Dec)

I am soooo behind on these. Oops. What can I say, life gets crazy sometimes. Well, Monday or Tuesday night I was about to do these when our internet went out. Then life got a bit hectic. I'll put each of these entries under cuts so as not to flood your flist too much.

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Dec. 14th, 2012 11:09 pm Today's photos (14 Dec) - something green

I chose these photos earlier, while staring out at the miserable, rainy day. Have to remind myself of the benefits we reap from all the rain: the green green grass (and trees and everything).

Pictures from when we visited Peveril castle, Castleton, in 2008. The view from the castle is a good one; it's almost even worth the climb.

Four photos today, so they're under a cutCollapse )

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Dec. 14th, 2012 12:58 am Today's photo (13 Dec) - lights

Good lord, how did it get to 1am? I must get to bed, so no rambling (and then getting distracted) on this post. I shall simply share with you the local streetlights - this is why we can't see many stars from here. It's stupid.



This one, on high street (main street) that same night a few minutes later, is bright as day:



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Dec. 5th, 2012 12:17 am Today's photo (4 Dec)

Today's prompt is black and white. Took a shot of the lit-up window, hoping it would be interesting in black and white. It's okay. I did at least have a good (and educational) time playing around with the filters and effects in Gimp!

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Dec. 3rd, 2012 12:23 am Today's photos (2 Dec)

I liked the way the sun was coming through the window this morning. Aside from just liking it when there's sun, something about the angle grabbed me.
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Nov. 17th, 2012 10:15 pm O hi there

I've been putting off making an introduction post for so long, because it's so daunting. How to introduce myself to anyone who comes across this and wants to know, in just a few words? Hm. I've decided I won't bother trying, because I'm more complex than that - aren't we all? I shall instead simply get on with posting about life and whatever pops into my head to post about, with my usual mix of public, friends-locked, and private posts, and you'll figure out bits of me along the way. If you ever figure me out completely, please do let me know, would you? I've been trying for some decades now.

I will say that I expect to carry on using this as I have been using my LJ account, and hope to make good friends here, too. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to crosspost, at least for awhile, but with the way LJ's going, I do think I'll be exclusively using Dreamwidth, sooner or later.

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Nov. 1st, 2012 12:08 pm I CAN STAY!

Got the letter from the border agency this morning -
I CAN STAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My application for Indefinite Leave to Remain has been granted!
WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No more worrying, no more waiting! They're not going to make me leave this apartment, my home. No more fighting!

Such relief ... tears of joy ... words can't even begin to describe!

Current Mood: relievedrelieved

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Jun. 20th, 2012 01:14 pm Dinners 3 - 16 June

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Jun. 12th, 2012 05:11 pm THEY GRANDFATHERED MY BUNCH!

I can hardly believe it. I didn't expect it at all. It's almost as if one of the immigration nazis has a heart. That can't be right. There must be some other motive for this that I can't yet see. I don't much care, I'm walking on air right now, such a great weight has been lifted. Not on cloud nine - that one gets saved for actually getting permission to stay - but hopefully headed that way.

What am I on about? Today they announced the changes to the immigration rules that affect me (the family route). The summary is here, and the details are here, but the pertinent details are:
* a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring a spouse;
* publishing, in casework guidance, a list of factors associated with genuine and non-genuine relationships, to help UK Border Agency caseworkers to focus on these issues;
* extending the minimum probationary period for settlement for spouses from two years to five years, to test the genuineness of the relationship;

The first one is fine; Chris's salary is in excess of that, so it's a non-issue for us. Back when we saw they were considering a minimum income, we discussed it, and decided that we're actually in favor of it (given that it's a sane number, which it is: median income countrywide is £26,000), instead of something to be arbitrarily decided - differently - by each immigration officer. Having a clear amount is much preferable to trying to read the faceless beaureacrat's mind to see if you'll pass muster based on their mood that day.

The second one I'm in favor of; reading through the details it's still leaving a lot of fuzziness for the IO to make their own decision, but it's good to have a more level playing field for the applicants, and less mind-reading for us to have to do.

The third one's the biggy, the one I was afraid of. They were talking about bringing that in, so it's not a shock, but I didn't know what to expect for me - if they did this before my application, would I have to fill out some transitory application instead? What would I need to do to be allowed to stay for those remaining 3 years?

Hallelujah, they grandfathered us in. Anyone already in the pipeline before 9 July 2012 will carry on under the old rules. Even if I couldn't do my next application until after 9 July - even if I'd just now been granted permission to come over to arrange our wedding and get hitched - I'd be fine, I'd only have to do the 2 probation years, rather than the 5. So - hallelujah - I get to carry on with my application as I have been!

I don't have to switch now to a different application, I don't have to get everyone to rewrite their letters with some new phrase for what I'm applying for, I don't have to collect a whole different bunch of supporting documentation, and most of all, I don't have to have this probation hanging over my head for another three years! Hallelujah!

What a relief!

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Jun. 3rd, 2012 10:20 pm Dinners 27 May to 2 June

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