Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wednesday's Child

Yesterday, my kids' grandfather on their father's side, died. It was fairly unexpected, he'd been taken into hospital last week - a fact my kids and their father found out via Facebook. He had quadruple bypass surgery, but didn't regain very much consciousness and then Alex found out that her grandfather had died - via Facebook. Yesterday I managed to track them down to a pub in Woking where sorrows were being drowned.
Then both kids and their dad were anxious to ensure that Laurence was sat down and told properly rather than find out the same way, and thus it was. He finds it difficult to process that type of information, the others want him to go back to the UK for the funeral - well, two funerals in that part of the family as it happens, but he's not feeling up for it, given where he is in recovery. I've told them I'm just presenting the options to him and not pressuring him either way and he felt that his dad had done the same thing on the phone.

So today, coming back from my Career Planning workshop, a truck went into the back of me. There are two lanes of traffic coming off this particular bridge, the Queensborough, the right-hand one goes towards Richmond, and this is the one I was in. A yellow works truck, two vehicles in front of me, slowed to a halt and so the line of traffic did too. I think everyone must have thought it was going to move on, because no-one tried to move over into the other lane, but eventually, it seemed like it was stopped for some purpose, so I waited until the traffic in the lefthand lane cleared, then signalled to change lanes, and started to move over. The vehicle behind me did the same, and as we started to move, then the humongous truck in front of us decided it would too, and since my options were, stop or be crushed, I opted for stop. The gent behind me didn't, however and thus, my rear..well, got ended. It's a pain to go through all the rigmarole that you then have to go through, made the more frustrating by it being someone else's fault, and it occurred to me, that even if you argued that more than one person was to blame, you get down to three drivers, the works truck, the goods truck and the construction truck behind me, all of which are being driven in a work situation and yet who pay no attention to other road users. Aggravating to say the least.

Then there's the whole ESTA debacle. Now normally, every three months, because I'm not a Canadian citizen, I have to go into secondary inspection, when crossing the border into the USA, and get a visa waiver. Now, the situation is changing and you have to go online and get the same ESTA authorisation that anyone travelling from Europe would have. Ok, so I was told by the people at NEXUS, to google ESTA. This I did, and came to a website called USA e services. Clearly the website set up by the US to deal with the authorisation. But no. It is a website that does the work for you and then charges you way above and beyond the $14 the US government want. But they don't tell you that. In fact, all I really needed to do, had I not been hoodwinked, and given my personal details to someone not in any way connected with the US government, was to go to the government's own website. So in fact, I should not have googled anything.
And what-ho! The BBC are already onto this scam, and have a report on it!

And full moon.

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