So we had E&E to stay last night, but they were so good that we hardly knew they were here. Auntie S showed up about 11 ish this morning to collect them with only a very slight hangover. Think she’d had a good night.

We also got to catch up with A&L via the miracle of Skype. Haven’t seen them for a couple of months so there was much to catch up on. Photos were swapped, stories regaled and vino quaffed. A’s doing a particularly good job of not smoking as long as he can keep away from the cigars. Daughter was with us too and I think she enjoyed seeing Uncle drain, L and photos of A.

By about midnight the waking hours were taking their toll but did finally manage to arrange a get together and we’re now very much looking forward to the three of them visiting us for the weekend in a fortnights time. That will be a very funny and no doubt boozy couple if days.

While we were online, in my other inbox last night, there was email from Mr Dhanda thus:

Hello Golfy, I read your blog and I’m concerned you never got a reply from me about DEB. Chased it with my office but we don’t know your name or address – other than golfy.
My apologies, but could you e-mail me your name and postal address so I can at least give you an explanation on my views on it.

Thanks,

Parmjit

P.S. you can get me at dhandap@parliament.uk

Hansard has this to say on the subject of MP’s email:

Once an election is called and Parliament is dissolved our MPs (and their staff) have to contend with some significant changes to the way they can use IT (and other parliamentary services). From the day of dissolution, their status changes and they can longer do many of the things that, since being elected, MPs have taken for granted. Traditionally (and fairly obviously) this includes using House emblems on stationery and free postage (although postage for existing case-work can be claimed back).

This time around, restrictions will apply to IT. From 5pm on the day of dissolution, members who are seeking re-election won’t be accessible via email or be able to access their files through the parliamentary network (members standing down have access until the day before the election). This presents an obvious challenge but one that can be easily got around by nominating a forwarding email address, to which email is automatically redirected until after the election.
It’s made clear that the cost of this new email account can’t be claimed on expenses.

So I probably can’t reply to him now anyway. Regardless it’s dealt with and the election is now the focus for all potential MP’s. Looks like VAT will be going up now that they’ve all remembered it exists.

Sunday has been another beautiful day allbeit a windy one. Network rail have been running a very strange machine up and down the nearby railway line all day. At first I had no idea what it does but it looked deeply technical. A little bit of digging (there’s far too many train spotters in the world that like to record such useless information) and what do I find, but it’s a Plasser & Theurer Tamper. Riveting stuff – well, tampering stuff actually. And what is tampering ? and do we actually care ? Something to do with getting the tracks level on the ballast that’s used to support them, but in actuality, no we don’t care.

I managed to make a start on the garage, but only the first job, clearing out the cardboard for recycling. Still, it’s a start. Such an enormous amount of cardboard and such a small car did initially present a problem, but as Auntie S was here and she’s blocked the driveway with her monster truck, she kindly offered me the use of it and it made short work of hauling the corrugated to it’s final resting place. Next job will be the stripping and rebuilding of the bar-b-q, but probably not this week as I have to spend three out of the five days at Starfleet offices for a change.

Back to the real world and Steak for tea with daughter who’s been at special school all weekend. She’s then off out to see C. Were stuck with nothing on the telly so perhaps a short wander or an early night… once I’ve finished my 750 words, well who knows.

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