Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gift Aid, Heating & Samuel Pepys

I spent about 7 or 8 hours yesterday sorting through loads of signed
Gift Aid forms for my local U3A, an educational charity I do voluntary
work for. I won’t bore you with the all the details, but it takes me
2-3 days to do the job.

Last year I raised over £1400 in Gift Aid, which I was very pleased
with, so it was worth the effort. This year, I’m enlisting some help
from another member, with view to him taking it over next year. I’m
feeling overloaded with U3A admin and teaching at present, so I’m
looking at ways of offloading some of it to others.

We’re having our gas central heating system overhauled, as our boiler
was overheating and switching itself off in a rather erratic way. Mick
our boiler man was here a good part of yesterday, re-arranging the old
pipe-work and putting in a return-flow valve into the system … bypass
surgery. Unfortunately, when he’d got it all connected up, the pump
developed heart failure, so we’ve had that replaced.

I mention all this, as I spent a fair bit of yesterday chatting with
him and making cups of coffee for him. He’s a bit of a chatter-box, but
he's got lots of funny stories.

He’s coming back on Friday to replace the timer for the system. Like us,
he doesn’t like the new electronic devices that are usually fitted
nowadays with settings for individual days, weekends, etc.. Even though
I’m short-sighted, I find it difficult to read the f***ing screen on
these things, so we’re going for a timer with the old-fashioned dial
and with simple on and off switches on it.

Last night, Mrs C and I watched a film we videoed a short while ago ~
The Page-Turner, a French thriller all about revenge for a past hurt.
“Thriller” is too strong a word to describe what happens, It's more
a slow burner, but the revenge bit is very well done.

We also watched the comedian Rory Bremner presenting a documentary
about political diarists, entitled “Dear Diary”, kicking off with
Samuel Peyps’ diaries. They are well-written with lots of insights
into his own personal life as well as being a chronicle of events in
the 1600s, including the Great Fire of London in September 1666.
Here’s a link to a page giving you a few excerpts from his diary
about the Fire.


Blogger Keith said...

I know what you mean about the all-singing, all-dancing digital time clocks.

After the fitters had "modernised" my boiler I ripped their gadget off the wall and put the old faithful analogue one back. Luckily for me they had thrown it into the wheelie-bin so I fished it out, wiped the last nights bolognese off it, and it's as good as new!

10:27 AM  
Blogger justin said...

That's brilliant, Keith ... good job you could work out how to re-wire up your analogue clock.

12:00 AM  

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