Thursday, 21 June 2012

Blue Badge Blues

Well it is the last day of my holiday and true to form it is raining, brilliant! My only consolation is that the four days I'm in work are also predicted to be pretty dreadful. To be honest I don't mind going back to work as it will make the weekend go quicker and I find weekends always drag when you are waiting for news.

Of course I couldn't finish my holiday without a bit of drama.

With only five days to go before my blue badge expires I'd still heard nothing, I don't even know if I'm going to get one so, deciding not to wait until my badge actually expires, I rang Central Bedfordshire Council for an update and thank goodness I did. It transpires that my badge cannot be issued because there are no photos enclosed. Now I know that is not true because I paper clipped them to the form, which I handed in myself not wishing to trust the postal service. That aside, this little set back could be quickly over come as the machine issued five copies of the passport photo so I still have three spare. Well it would have been easy to overcome IF they had bothered to tell me. 'We're sending a letter out tonight' said the drippy woman on the phone who plainly couldn't care less. I asked to speak to her supervisor and after quite a long hold spoke to a man who was more sympathetic and did admit that it was unreasonable to be requesting replacement photos five days before my old badge ran out. Especially, he acknowledged, as they noticed the missing photos several weeks ago (I'd handed my application in mid May). So a compromise was reached, I drive all the way to Bedford to hand in another set of photo's and he'd rush my badge through for me. Deal done I hopped in the car with the wild hope that they might even prepare the badge while I was waiting. Not so, apparently 'rushing' a badge through takes at least five working days as they are no longer made on the premises but exported to different company licensed to issue the new secure badges. So this year I'm going to have at least a three day period when I won't have my badge. I know it doesn't sound like long to wait and it isn't but it's just one more irritation and inconvenience to deal with. All I can say is thank goodness I don't have any London hospital visits next week or I'd really be stuck. I've actually given up asking 'why me' now because it always is me.

I wish I known about this yesterday because I could have saved myself a trip. Bedford and the Great River Ouse was my first port of call on my photographic trip. I wanted to see if I could photograph some cygnets but when I got there I saw plenty of adult swans but no cygnets so came away disappointed. I did take some photos but I don't regard them as good or interesting enough to enter into an exhibition. I then went on to Great Barford as I've seen some lovely barges and boats there over the years and thought something colourful would be just the ticket. Again no such luck the river was completely devoid of any watercraft. I thought about going on to Leighton Buzzard and the canal but unfortunately by now I was getting tired and the weather was closing in so I called it a day. I plan another trip next week, providing the weather improves, I'm hopeful and haven't yet put the camera back in the cupboard.

The raspberry ice cream was a huge hit with Peter and Andrew but not so much with me. I hate limes, loath them, even the smell makes my stomach turn. One of the ingredients in the ice cream was lime juice. Now as there was so little lime and so many raspberries I didn't think there would be a problem and when I tasted the mixture, before it started to freeze, all I got was raspberries. However three hours later I could not believe how strong the lime actually was and although I ate some it wasn't that long before I developed a queasy tum. I will make it again but next time I'll use lemon juice.

So what to do with my last day of holiday? Well I have a punnet to strawberries and a pot of cream in the fridge with my name on them so I think I'll go and practice for Wimbledon.

Wait, wait, wait, sorry to add this after publishing but I really must comment on this.

Unfunny comedian jimmy Carr has apologised for his 'terrible error of judgement' concerning his tax affairs. It is quite obvious that the only thing he regrets is being found out.

The next blog will be in four days.