< link rel="DCTERMS.replaces" href="http://trappedcivilservant.blogspot.com" > Aginoth's Retirement Ramblings: October 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Harvest Assembly - Video

So as promised yesterday here's the video of the Assembly...

Part 1

Part 2

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Friday, October 19, 2007


Today was the last day of Term 1 for the kids at school, so that meant it was Harvest Assembly day. Up until about the 1950's children at this time of year would be excused school to go to help bring in the harvest from the fields.

Thanks have been given for successful harvests since pre-Roman times in Britain. The celebrations in modern times usually include singing hymns, praying and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival or Harvest Home or Harvest Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving.

In British churches, chapels, and schools people bring in food from the garden, the allotment or farm, although nowadays people tend to buy a few extra cans of fod or dried produce at the supermarket and supply that. The food is then distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity. In the case of Aginoth Junior's School the produce collectd is being donated to teh local Meals on Wheels service that provides food for the eldery and infirm in the community who are unable to cook for themselves.

In the USA and Canada, the festival is set on a certain day and has become a National Holiday known as Thanksgiving (now you know it's origins :o) ). In North America it has become a national secular holiday with religious origins, but in Britain it remains a Church festival giving thanks to God for the harvest.

The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as "We plough the fields and scatter", "Come ye thankful people, come" and "All things bright and beautiful" helped popularise his idea of harvest festival and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the Harvest Festival service.


Me or Mrs.A always make sure one of us goes to the shcool functions and special assemblies, even thogh we are not at all religious, we like to show suport for the school and to Agi Junior...as we should :o)

I recorded it and i'm trying to get it uploaded so you can see it :) .... I can sense your excitement :o)

That was this morning.

I spent the bulk of today buried in more paper, this time sorting out my claim on my Life insurance under the critical illness clause we thankfully activated when we took out the policy...it covers me for being declared permanently disabled and unable to work by my employers medical advisor...which they have and I have a certificate to prove it. Now I just have to persuade our insurers. It feels a little odd claiming on your own life insurance I must say...

A quick break for lunch then put up LMB's new Dora the Explorer Nightlight (a birthday pressie from Nanny A). Then I spent an hour fiddling with my laptop and playing on the various forms I frequent.

Collected the kids from school(s) at just after 3pm, armed with Lollipops I took them to their favourite playground to enjoy the afternoon surprisingly warm Autimn sunshine, they happily burnt off some energy for an hour. A quick trip into town to post my Insurance claim ended up in a new Milkshake bar across the road from the Post Office...Shake King...over 150 flavours of Milkshake on offer, the kids we're suddenly awestruck....Want to see some of the list? remember you can mix and match....

Aero Mint
After Eights
Apple Pie
Bakewell Tart
Black Jacks
Blackberry Pie
Blackcurrant Jam
Blueberry Muffin
Blueberry Nutrigrain
Bounty (Dark Chocolate)
Bounty (Milk Chocolate)
Bourbon Biscuits
Bournville Chocolate
Cadburys Caramel
Cadburys Creme Egg
Cadburys Fruit & Nut
Carrot Cake
Chocolate & Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Chocolate Mini Roll
Chocolate Muffin
Chocolate Pop Tart
Coco Pops
Coconut Ice
Cola Bottles
Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
Curly Wurly
Custard Creams
Dairy Milk
Devon Fudge
Digestives (Milk Chocolate)
Digestives (Plain Chocolate)
Dime Bar
Dolly Mixtures
Double Decker
Farleys Rusk
Ferrero Rocher
Fig Rolls
Fresh Cakes (Daily Specials)
Fruit Cocktail
Fruit Salad Chews
Frys Orange Cream
Frys Peppermint Cream
Frys Turkish Delight
Galaxy Caramel
Ginger Nuts
Green & Blacks
Hersheys Cookies n Creme
Hob Nobs (Milk Chocolate)
Hob Nobs (Plain Chocolate)
Jaffa Cakes
Jam Doughnut
Jam Tart
Jamaican Ginger Cake
Jammie Dodgers
Jammie Wagon Wheel
Jelly Babies
Jelly Beans
Jelly Tots
Kinder Bueno
Kit Kat Chunky
Lemon Curd
Lindt Chocolate
Lion Bar
Liquorice Allsorts
Love Hearts
Malt Loaf
Malted Milk Biscuits
Maple Syrup
Milky Bar
Milky Way
Oreo Cookies
Parma Violets
Peanut Butter
Peanut M&M`s
Penny Mix-up
Quality Street
Raspberry Jam
Reeces Peanut Butter Cups
Sherbet Fountain
Soft Toffee
Special K
Special K Bar
Strawberry Jam
Strawberry Laces
Strawberry Nutrigrain
Strawberry Pop Tart
Syrup Sponge
Terrys Milk Chocolate Orange
Terrys Plain Chocolate Orange
Tic Tacs (Lime & Orange)
Tic Tacs (Mint)
Toffee Crisp
Toffee Popcorn
Treacle Tart
Trebor Extra Strong Mints
Walnut Whip
White Crunch

We settled for a couple of Wispa milkshakes to share which were on offer (and not on the main list)...I now have 3 contented children who think Daddy is great...and probably a bit of a soft touch ... OK yes I know I am :o), but all this is helping me destress after a year of faffing around with work and suchlike.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Future plans

Today I have mostly been gathering up paperwork from various sources.

I am planning to go to University next year to study BA(hons) Archaeology and Medieval History, that's if Cardiff University will have me. This means I have rafts of paperwork to sort out for financing the course, tuition fees, maintenance Grants, Benefits, Disability assistance grants....oh and I have to apply to the University as well (thankfully this is done online) through UCAS the University course central application system. Application for the course has to be in by JAnuary 15th 2008, and the initial application for finance has to be in by April 2008. Those dates are not actually as far away as at first glance, so I'm trying to get ahead of the deadlines now.

So what is this course I want to do? straight from the university website... (Full Info CLICK HERE)

The Bachelor of Arts Archeology and Medieval History degree is a three year course which provides a level of training, skill and knowledge that is respected within professional archaeology and which serves students well when applying for postgraduate study, for employment in archaeology and the heritage sector, and for employment outside of the discipline.

Over three years, students take 360 credits of modules and are able to balance the core requirements in both subjects (e.g., excavation) with a tremendous range of period and regional options (e.g., Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain, Egypt, Medieval Archaeology).

In the first year of the BA Archaeology and Medieval History degree, students study three subjects: a general introduction to the human past (Archaeology Part I A); a general introduction to the study of History; and any other subject offered by the university (e.g., Ancient History, Sociology, Italian) which is timetable compatible. Thus, in their first year, BA Archaeology and Medieval History students take the following modules.

I think it sounds good, within that I can take modules to concentrate on my main period of interest, that being 1200 - 1500, and also specialising on the rise of the English Gentry of that period and relations between England and her closest European neighbours; this is balanced with focus on archaeological methods for exploring the medieval period.

I'll keep you up to date with my application i'm sure.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No diagnosis today

Look… A blog three days running.

This morning, me and Mrs. A have been to see the paediatrician who aginoth junior has been seeing with regard to social interaction problems. We had kind of hoped that there was an outside chance of some sort of diagnosis. Unfortunately there's still a long way to go, it turned out the appointment was just go through the report by Dr. S that was to inform the educational psychologist at his school, and will then lead to further tests, then to a case conference between the school Dr.S and the educational psychologist and then hopefully a diagnosis. phew!

I seem to be getting to grips with the speech recognition thingy, instructions did say that it would learn the sound of my voice and would eventually make less mistakes..which I suppose it has.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Home alone

All by myself at home today, I had planned to do stuff around the house but my wrists and fingers are quite painful today, and I have very little grip. I able to type atm thanks to a large dose of Diclofenac, Tylex and Tramadol. Unfortunately the Tramadol leaves me very dozy and sleepy, I took it 3 hours ago and have just awoken from a non-consentual nap. On the bright side I missed most of the offerings on Daytime TV :) just kidding usually I tune into Radio Bristol during the day, I like talk and discussion based radio and it fits the bill.

Glad to say my back sic pay has appeared in my bank account so we have been able to pay off a coupl eof looming bills, and LMD can go to nursery.

Flicking through the TV channels yesterday I discovered a new Channel....called "Dave", odd I thought, but taking a look at the lineup, it appears someone has actually produced a channel that is actually for me...lol...who am I kidding I'm not that insane...actually it used to be UK Gold 2, but they changed the name due to the strange logic thateveryone knows a bloke called Dave, well those of you who read this blog do for sure (there are still a few of you).

Update: having been told off by Mrs. Aginoth for typing when my hands were hurting I have turned on the speech recognition software on my laptop. This update paragraph has been produced by me speaking to the computer. It's only taken eight attempts for it to actually get it right. With any luck it will learn as we go along; quite frankly it couldn't be any more cumbersome than it already is... We live in hope.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

New Blog Title...New Start

It's been all go in the Aginoth Household this last week or so.

Firstly, and at long long last I have won my seemingly endless battle with my employer to be retired on medical grounds. I have in my possession now the Certificate signed by the Ministry of Defence Medical Advisor that I am permanently unable to work for the MoD due to Psoriatic Arthropy (Arthitis).

Offically my last day of employment will probably be 30th November 2007, but I am still torteceive confirmation. So I have today been filling in the forms to claim on my Life Insurance which with great presence of forthought on our part includes critical illness cover for permanent disability certified by an employers medical advisor. With my pension lump sum that means we should hopefully be able to pay of a very large chunk of our mortgage before too much longer, and clear all of our other debts. This will leave us clear to move house early next year to somewhere a bit easer for me to get around now my joints are getting worse (our current house is 3 stories high and I rarely go to the top floor now).

Second. Mrs.A won a car !!! OK so it's a quadricycle really, a
REVA G-wiz, and totally impractical for any real use where we live due to Somerset being Mainly Rural and populated by Cows and Sheep. So it's getting deliverd to my mother in law's house in London where it will allow the commuter we sell it to to travel for free into the congestion zone, and be able to park for free in Westminster (I hear Boris Johnson has one!)
Small isn't it?

More details on it
here if you are interested. She won it on a webite called My Offers! which is full of competitions every month.

Third. I should finally receive some pay this month, I have been off sick since March, but have not actually been paid any Sick Pay since the end of June, despite my employer agreeing to pay me as if I was receiving my pension already, as you might imagine after nearly 4 months finances are a little stretched to say the least. I am watching my Bank account avidly for the money.

Fourth. Life changing time, I have started my application to study BA Archaeology and Medieval History at Cardiff University from September 2008. I have to do something with all this spare time I have now I am retired, and as I will be receiving my pension we can afford for me to go back to University, this time to study something I'm interested in for myself and not for work.

Fifth. I know I have been neglecting my blog over recent months and I will try to do better ... honest... no I will... probably :o)

PS did you notice The name of the blog changed :o)

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Reclaiming the Colonies

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.

Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Gordon Brown MP, for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections.

The House of Representatives and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium." Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour'; skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters.

You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise."

You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to re-spell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation.

Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary." Using the same thirty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "uhh", "like", and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

Look up "interspersed."

There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary, then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize."

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier).

You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents --- Scottish dramas such as "Taggart" will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.

While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is "Devon." If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become "shires" e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters.

British sit-coms such as "Men Behaving Badly" or "Red Dwarf" will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness. Popular British films such as the Italian Job and the Wicker Man should never be remade.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

6. You should stop playing American "football." There are other types of football such as Rugby, Aussie Rules & Gaelic football. However proper football - which will no longer be known as soccer, is the best known, most loved and most popular. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game.

The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football.

Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies).

We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2008.

You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of North America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called "rounders," which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. The 4th of July is no longer a public holiday. The 2nd of November will be a new national holiday, but only in Britain. It will be called "Indecisive Day."

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap, and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call 'French fries' are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.

Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling "beer" is not actually beer at all, it is lager . From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in the Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From the 10th of November the UK will harmonise petrol (or "gasoline," as you will be permitted to keep calling it until the 1st of April) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon -- get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.