PAGE TWENTY OF MY DIARY

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Sunday, 21 March 2004 . It's Mothering Sunday, and I was thinking of my family, especially
Lesley and her relationship with Chloe. Elsewhere, I have highlighted when the children decided that Chloe should leave the family home, and that I should stay. Also, that when Lesley found out that she was ill, she came to me and not to Chloe. I have just realised another thing, never thought of it before. But, when Lesley got married, she came to me, not Chloe. Why am I saying this? Well, as you get older, you start to question some of the things that have happened in your life. I was looking at the remembrance photo of Lesley, (she is in her wedding dress) and that is when it came to mind. I have no regrets, and nothing to blame myself for. Oh, well .. that's me had my go again.

Had an ache in me belly to 'gae hame agin'! Don't know why. I had a chat with a couple of good friends in Scotland, and sent off for some brochures & forms. I know . Carl and Kevin are due to move to Basildon . But that is to get near to London. (Are we going to be 'ships that pass in the night' again? May all come to nothing. Even the thought of packing gives me the 'willies'! Interesting to fly to Scotland I have got to re-new my passport! You can't fly on a domestic flight without a passport now because of the terrorist fears. My 'concubines' are urging me to stay! Let's see how it all pans out.

The Basildon Housing Benefits manager has excelled herself. She sent me a four page letter saying, "Not me, gov!" So, I wrote to the CEO of the DPW, telling her that it was all her fault. It will all come out in the wash. I'll add it to the BDC folder when it is all resolved.
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Tuesday, 30 March 2004. Just heard that
Ria, (she is here with her four generations), my next door neighbour, has died. She had her 90th birthday party in the common room about a month ago. I did a video of it, and strangely, I played it last night. God Bless Her. She was a lovely woman.
Sent in application forms for moving to Ayr, and Arran. Also had removers in to get quotes. I reckon it will be about 1000/1200 to Ayr. It's going to put a strain on the budget but what the hell! Can always use the funeral bond money!
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Sunday, 18 April 2004. Well, that's the 5th anniversary of this site. Seems as though it's been going for ever! Things have slowed down as the years have past. Just as I have done! Been enjoyable. Especially being able to put my thoughts of life before the world.
BT Openworld has joined with Yahoo, and tried to hijack our computers by, (by default), installing their browser. Had a bit of trouble sorting it out. It's OK for people wanting a basic comprehensive home page. Snag is, as I see it, is that the browser may not be reliable, and let hackers in. For my part I am reverting to logging on with the IE icon.
Nothing moving on my move. Got a quote for moving to Arran .. 2,580! To Ayr it is going to cost 1200. Getting other quotes. Not heard anything from the forms that I sent in.
The woman neighbour upstairs has still been depositing bottles in my garden. Saw her on the stairs on Friday, and I was shocked. She looks as though she had been let out of the morgue for the day! I was so moved that I gave her a cuddle, and told her not to worry any more. It's sad to see a 77 year old drunkard woman. She smelt as though she had been pickled in alcohol. I don't think that she will be with us for long. Her family dumped her here, and then moved to Scotland.
All seem OK for Carl's move to Basildon. Should be the last weekend in April.
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Thursday, 22 April 2004. Made the
I Ching prog a bit better - have a look.

Been looking at the spam blocker used by BT-Yahoo. It trapped a few emails that were not spam. Put it right. It is supposed to learn from this. That is the prob with all spam traps - they tell you to look in the 'Spam' folder to see that genuine emails have not been treated as spam. That defeats the whole object of a spam filter. (If you still have to look at every email!). The system that I have developed is trapping half the spam, and I do not have to check it. Anyway, I delete the spam at the server. I hope that good emails have not been lost! Let me know if I haven't replied to yours!

Had another 'none available' reply to my moving house forms. Just two left. Had an attractive quote from a firm for moving to Arran.

The drunkard upstairs bunged another bottle into the garden last night. Don't know what she is doing, but I heard a lot of scratching noises. Sounded like someone was trying to get in (or rats!). I got up and looked around but no probs seen. A neighbour said that she was seen with vomit dried on the side of her face. How can the 'looking after people' be looking after her?

The Dept. of Work & Pensions/Basildon Housing Benefits saga goes on. Today, I got three sets of documents from the DWP, all dated 16th April, all with differing figures. Phoned them, and spoke to a very personable Taurean, Amber. We sorted thing out, and she contacted BDC to prevent me . once again .. having all my benefits stopped. Keeping everything crossed in the hope that the situation does not go into another downward spiral!

That was a lot of words. Getting verbose? Getting senile!
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Thursday, 29 April 2004. I went to see my sister-in-law, Amy, yesterday. She has not been too well since her husband, Chas, died about a year ago. She seemed to be coping, then took it quite bad. A 'domicillary visitor' , Tracy, is helping her to cope, and guiding her on getting back to normal. Glad to say that she is now back to her old self. She did me proud with a massive helping of stew & dumplings! While there, we looked at some photos. Some, I had not seen before. I have done a page of them
here. (Back Arrow to return) Brought back some fond memories. I went there and back by taxi, as I did not fancy the trek on buses. Cost over 50, but it was worth it to see Amy OK. (anyway Gordon Brown paid for it!)

The probs with the DWP, as above, have been resolved. As also has my rent and council tax rebate bother with the council. I got a substantial cheque from the DWP, plus a good increase in my weekly income, and a whacking reduction in the rent and council tax that I pay. 'We're in the Money . We're in the money'!!!! Carl said that Chloe is spitting feathers . Hooray! It will be a big help if I do get to move to Arran, or Ayr.

Amy said that Ivor (The Buckets) phoned her. Sounds as though they are getting a bit lonely. Might get some info on what's been happening. Also, might get some feedback on what happened with Dolly.

Carl and Kevin are coming to Basildon tomorrow to sign up for the house exchange. They are bringing their music equipment down to save damage en-route. They are moving on Monday week, as it is holiday Monday next.
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Saturday, 01 May 2004. Did an experiment in converting Camcorder tape>DVD>MPG>Real Video using Pinnacle and Helix Real Player converter. The MPG was about 10meg - the Real Player version is about 0.5meg. Quality was not too good. The clip is about a minute long.

I then had another go at the video clip, and did it in wma format, using Windows Film Maker, for a 0.5meg file. It was better than the Real Player at 0.5meg. Then did it at wma for a 1.0meg file size and it looks good. It may be best to Right Click and 'Save Target as .' if you do not have broadband. See the clip here. (See Thursday below) When you view with Windows Media Player, use the sizing buttons to get an optimum viewing quality. (You may have to drag the bottom right 'handle' .) From this experiment, I think that I'll try all my clips using Windows Film Maker.

The clip is of my neighbour, Ria, on her 90th birthday on February 24th. Sadly, she died about six weeks later.
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Sunday, 02 May 2004. Had yet another go at the video clip above, and added an intro. Getting used to Windows Film Maker. It has its limitations. No good for making good DVD type movies, just low resolution for the computer and web. Also Real Player is streaming video, WMP does seem to be so.
See the clip here. (See Thursday below)
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Thursday, 06 May 2004. Checked with Lil's computer - Windows 98, and Windows Media Player v7 - and the clip does not play. Gives a 'Illegal operation performed '. Not sure what is doing it. I am using v9.
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Wednesday, 12 May 2004. Finally got round to baking some bread last Friday. Love my bread, but maybe too much - eat it too quick! Just a basic dough, with mixed spice and dried fruit. Must be getting old - had an aching left arm, for a day, from kneading the dough! Still it was worth it.
Carl & Kevin moved into Carl's new residence on Monday. Let's hope they do not have any bad times here. Chloe came down with them to help them in. Anther way of maintaining control. Hoping that CJ comes down and settles with his dad. I'll be helping him if I can.
Got a letter from East Ayrshire Housing. They have put me on their list, but given me 'nil points'. Not very encouraging. Just have to get my point allocation from Arran Housing.
Had a couple of bad days, yesterday & today. Feel as though I got in the way of a truck. Another prob of getting old!
The drunkard upstairs had a very bad fall last Saturday. Heard her body hit the floor! She is in a terrible state, with a black eye. The 'good neighbour!' next to her is stirring the s**t with her. Sad how the atmosphere here has deteriorated since they came here.
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Tuesday, 25 May 2004. Not been anything happening - been a bit boring.
Set up the computer for Monica - (83 and learning the computer!) - though she does have a professional background. Also, at last, done some notes for Word, and log-on to BT Openworld, for Lil. They will also help Monica. Made me realise the amount of info you need to use even a simple package. You get a bit blaz
é when you've been in it for 30 years!
The poor ol' drunkard (see last entry) had another fall. This time outside the post office. All so sad.
One of my concubines, Olive, has taken charge of my flower pots. She, and Eileen, the warden, started them. I put 10 in the 'Bill & Ben' flower pot fund, plus another 3 for some plants. Olive loves looking after plants, so I have all the benefits, and none of the work - hehe!
See here. See how comfortable I am wiv me gardin' chairs? I even supply the birds wiv water (at 2/tonne)!
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Saturday, 29 May 2004. At last I have got around to doing an average performance of 'Danny Boy' and putting it on here. All together, say, "Yukks!"
Hear here
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Thursday, 10 June 2004. Phpheeww! I can hardly stand the pace!

Been to three keyboard clubs with Carl. We are getting on OK. He even seems to be calming down a bit, and gets on well with the people we meet. Interesting web sites are - http://website.lineone.net/~thebkc/ and - http://www.lingwoodmusic.4t.com/ . The first is the Basildon KB Club and the other the chap who played at their last do.

All this KB info has encouraged my motivation, and I have promised myself to practice two hours/day from next Monday. Hope I keep to it. I had a review of my Yamaha PSR620 facilities. I have not used it properly since I got it nine years ago!

Been thinking of having a '70 plus one' bufday party as I did not have a 70th (or 65th !). Just to get Carl (and Kevin?) to show off, and for me to bask in the reflected glory. As I have decided to draw a line under moving to Scotland by 28th July - my birthday, depending on whether I get an offer of a flat, it could be a going away or a staying party!

As I say, I have been busy. Also had a visit from David and Diane, friends from the British Legion, (the same people are still embezelling the cash!), and neighbours of the 'Buckets'. They brought me up-to-date with all the news and gossip. Nice to hear that enemies are not doing too good!

Many tenants here are not happy with the way the social club is run, and are thinking of getting it all re-organised. I may, (against my better judgement), get involved. Got some ideas from the sheltered housing complexes that held the KB clubs.

Bought myself a set of phones, with a base station. They are mobile, but not cell phones. They work at a range of 300 mtrs. Handy for carrying around the complex. They came with 'free' gifts of a digi 'Freeview' box and a 'keep cool' haversack. I use the digi box for my VCR. All for 98 from Viking Direct. Haven't found a DVD recorder with a built in digital tuner yet.

The drunkard upstairs, set off her fire alarm twice .. at 1am. Gets me worried. A drunkard who smokes is a high fire risk. Oh, well!
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Monday, 28 June 2004. It's been a terrible 12 days. I'll put the full story up ASAP. For now, I will only say this. If you have seen the film 'Cabaret' with Liza Minelli you will remember when the compere sings the song "If you could only see her through my eyes". He sings it to an ape dressed in women's clothes. He finishes the song by singing, " If you could only see her through my eyes . She wouldn't look Jewish at all!"
Here is a clip. I have been watching the behaviour of people here, and thought of "Gorillas in the Mist", David Attenborough's program with the same topic, and remember, "The Naked Ape" with Desmond Morris? Well, I have paraphrased the song to "If you could only see the world through my eyes, they wouldn't seem human at all!".
I'll leave it at that for now. Just for sympathy, I'll tell you that I am back on my heart medication. That's how much it has affected me. But, I won't let the barsteds get me down.

Oh, the drunkard upstairs deteriorated so much after I made the totem, that she has been moved into care accommodation. Seems to have worked? I'm now working on a totem for this event.
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Monday, 05 July 2004. It is the 21st anniversary of
Lesley's passing. The rose bush, once again, has not given me a bloom in memory. It seems to have 'given up the ghost', so I will take it up. But, I have put the one from two years ago here, in her memory.

In keeping, as is my wont, and considering the success of the totem above, I have made a totem to reflect the ill will aimed at me by the people here. (Mad ain't I!?) It represents the elements of those people, and what they have done. It is a black hangman's noose that holds a micro-cassette - containing evidence, thirty pieces of silver - the wages of Judas, and a key with my blood on it - representing the key-holder. See it here I find that these totems are a useful psychotherapeutic tool. I have hung it in my kitchen window.

I have been quite ill since the unsettling incident here three weeks ago. I have done a web page version of the details, and will put it on here as and when. Seems that it has made my heart condition worse, and it has had an effect on my carotid artery prob. Details here. Saw the doctor and I am to see the specialist, and maybe have an operation (Carotid Endarterectomy). Not sure if I'll bother. Just take it one stage at a time. When I saw a specialist three years ago, he said that there was a 50:50 chance that I would die on the operating table!
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Friday, 16 July 2004. As it is a month since my 'unsettling incident' I though that I should put the outline of the situation here. I have now had a letter from a senior manager saying that my notes to the CEO contain 'serious allegations'. At least this is encouraging, as I thought that it might be seen as a 'storm in a teacup'. Oh, to get my peace back again.
See here - use your back button to return.
My carotid artery prob seems to be under control. I am not getting the 'hammer blows' in my neck.
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Friday, 23 July 2004. Just found out that I did not upload the -
See here - above. Sorry!
Still not heard from BDC about the progress of the investigation. It's only six weeks, after all! I have been told that Eileen has been instructed not to talk to anybody about it, so she must have been interviewed.
The full set of notes that I sent to the CEO, with an addendum, is now on site, but I have not put a link to it. I will wait until Tuesday, my birthday, and then draw a line under it all by doing one of my famous Coup de Gras!
Still recovering from the trauma. Had a couple of throbs in the neck, but not too worrying.
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Friday, 30 July 2004. That's another birthday over! 71 come and gone!

I have been seeing my psychotherapy counsellor, Laura, for two sessions. One thing that came out of the first session was that I did not really have a 'problem' but that 'they' (BDC?) had a problem. To this end, I decided to end my correspondence regarding the 'unsettling incident' that occurred on 15th June 2004. As you will see above, I have suffered quite a bit for the past six weeks waiting for things to happen.

The manager seconded by the CEO to deal with the matter, like all others, has left me 'roasting', for three weeks. Not a 'dickey bird' out of her. So, I sent a letter saying that I wanted nothing more to do with the matter, and enclosed an addendum to the set of notes I sent to the chief executive. You can now see all the notes here.

I gave a lot of thought as to whether I should include the last two pages of the 'Addendum' that I sent to the CEO and managers. These deal with the mismanagement of the complex, and I highlight eight examples. My decision has been to withhold these for the moment. I will review my decision later. The notes may seem a bit daunting at first, but it is well worth the effort to get a feel of what has happened to me. You may even be tempted to read about the other 'campaigns' that I have had with BDC!

Yes! .. I know what you will all say, "Why the bloody hell did you get involved. You should have just told her to f*** off, and got on with your life!" But, that is how I am. I told Laura that if anything else happens, I will 'quietly exit stage left'.

On reflection, I think that the reason why I was so angry was that Eileen had treated me with disrespect in public. This I cannot accept.

To be a bit naughty I have bought the URL - www.BasildonCouncil.org - if you click on the link, it will take you there.
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Friday, 06 August 2004. I am a bugger for punishment! Despite deciding to end my intercourse with the BDC people, after they wrote to me I gave in and saw 'Mrs Manager Three'.

Am I also gullible, in that I have a feeling that a more mature person is involved? You have to laugh though . The CEO passed the job to a senior manager .. He was on holiday so it was passed to a middle manager That manager goes on honeymoon so it is passed down the line again and that manager is away today and all next week! I'm waiting for it to be delegated to the Senior Bog Cleaner in Basildon Centre! What to you all think?

Mrs Manager -Three brought Mrs Manager-One with her, who 'conducted' the first 'meeting'. She just took notes. I recorded the meeting with their permission. An interesting fact emerged. When I recorded Eileen, the warden, she said that she would not visit me in my flat. It transpires that it was Mrs Manager-One who advised her on that! We must now wonder why? Is it that Mrs Manager-One is very close to Eileen, and told her that if she went into my flat that I would record her? (That was a waste of her time - wasn't it!) We must also wonder if she also gave privileged information to Eileen regarding the attitude survey, and the identity of the manager who was 'out to get' Eileen. There certainly is a 'mole' in the housing office that is passing on information.

Full story here.

Diary items that are about BDC are being copied to the BDC section.
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Saturday, 14 August 2004. What with all the misery with the BDC, it's nice to be cheered up. The button battery in my alarm clock died, and Carl tried all over Basildon to get me one, no good. I went on Google and found http://www.smallbattery.company.org.uk/ Sadly, their site had a bug, and the pages kept refreshing. I sent an email telling them, and they replied with, "Let's have your address, and we'll send you one, compliments of the firm." Now how bad's that!?
There's always something that goes wrong for me tho'! I also asked Carl to get me some micro tapes for my memo taker while he was in Basildon. None to be had in the usual shops, so he tried Jessops. I spoke to a nice lady on Carl's mobile and explained what I wanted. She had just one .. Oh, goody! Bloody thing was that when he got it home, it was a digital micro cassette for a Sony camcorder - and it cost 15! I'm hoping that they will be as nice as The Small Battery Co. and refund, or give me a credit note. Ho, Hum . again!

Re the Basildon District Council saga above. I had Mrs Manager-Three come to see me, with Mrs Manager-One to take notes. Again .. sad she then went on holiday for a week! Still it gave me time to think about our meeting, and I have compiled an email with a few daunting points, and questions. That is two months since the original 'unsettling incident'. Makes you think don't it? I'm looking forward to getting back to my usual lazy life, and putting it all behind me.

Lil must be a bit miffed about it all. On the balcony, last Saturday, she did a loud theatrical aside, and shouted, "There are no men here. They're all wimps!" I doubt if she was referring to this computer a Windows, Icon, Mouse, Program! As soon as she said it, all the 'concubines' got up, made their excuses, and went off to bed! (To think that I gave her about 300 worth of computer, scanner and printer, and all that training. Ho, hum! Will I never learn?
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Friday, 20 August 2004. Saw my doctor today about the throbbing, and my blocked carotid arteries. I was supposed to go to the hospital in September for a check up, and maybe get the advice to have an operation. As I am not going to go under the knife, I told the doctor that there was no point in going. We had a chat and he said that it was unlikely that the throbbing was due to the carotid artery. Most likely, it was the muscle in my neck. At least it put my mind at rest on that point. He did explain that there was the likelihood of a stroke, but not to over worry.

I sent the email to BDC managers last Sunday with a receipt request. No receipt, and no reply! Looks as though I am going to have to get an outside body in to fight my corner for me. Also been keeping an eye on how often Eileen meets with Joan, and it has been very interesting!

Because I have all this money floating about, I am thinking of buying one of these, or even one of these!
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Sunday, 29 August 2004. Changed my mind and bought two organs. First, a Yamaha keyboard see here -
music.yamaha (Use your back button to come back here) Plus this little Technics organ - see here. I spent a total of 1000 - that's my Christmas present to me! Also bought Kevin a guitar 100 for his birthday. Letting Carl 'borrow' my Yamaha PSR620 that I have had for ten years. If he gets it nicked, broke or buggered, he has to give me 200.
Almost forget to give a plug for
Musicland, at Westcliff-on-Sea, and Tim Huskisson who managed to stay sane while Carl and I were giving him 'GBH to the lug'holes'! They may not be the cheapest, but I'm hoping that they will be the best. We got a not too bad deal, and an interesting couple of hours.

The BDC bods and bodesses are neglecting me again. 'A person' was supposed to be coming to see me with a summary of the 24 pages I sent them so that it can be used in the disciplinary hearing. I have got it down to two pages. Wonder if we agree? Let's see how things go when they get back refreshed from their bank holiday.
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Friday, 03 September 2004. Bloody fed up with the BDC bods again. They practice 'Mushroom Management' . Keep you in the dark and then pile s.h.one.t on you! WWII started 65 years ago today, I'm not going to start WWIII.

Got my Technics organ, and set it up with the other two keyboards. Working on getting the midi operating. The Yamaha is OK, but the Technics is not GM, so I will have to puzzle a few thing out. The new Yamaha is good as a piano as it has a 71 note keyboard. I am using the Technics amp for the other KBs. Quality quite good - 200 watts! When I've got the hang of it I'll do an mp3 demo. See me here.
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Monday, 20 September 2004. Done a bit about anthropomorphism and fox hunting on my Ramblings pages.
See here. NB I have updated to XP SP2, and just found that it gives a warning when clicking on the 'See here' link. Must be because I have an animated gif on the page. This does seem to be going too far! Also, when I updated Windows it allowed me to log on, but would not allow me to get any pages, or email! The default SP2 firewall setting must be tight and I could not find out what to do. So I thought, "Sod it!" and used my Zone Alarm firewall. I have checked out my security with http://scan.sygate.com and I am tight as a duck's arse!

Put the final 'complaint' statement to the BDC. Let's wait and see how they judge their own.

Still enjoying the keyboards.
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