Saturday, 21 May 2016

A day of rest?

I don't seem to have had time to draw breath this week!

On Monday I had to travel up to central London to Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, to attend a meeting of my London Lodge, the Blackfriars Lodge No.3722. Not only did I have to fulfil my role as Inner Guard, but I also acted as Worshipful Master for the part of the meeting when a newly initiated Brother is told the secrets of the Degree, invested with his apron, and has what I suppose could best be described as the basic 'rules' of The Craft explained to him.

On Tuesday I spent the day doing household chores and helping my wife with some shopping before going over the Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, to attend the Lodge of Instruction (LOI) for my Mother Lodge, The Grove Park Lodge No.2732. We had to practice the ceremony of Installation, which is when the outgoing Worshipful Master of the Lodge (in this case, me!) installs his replacement. The rehearsal went reasonably well, but thanks to some roadworks on the way back, I did not get home until 10.15pm.

Wednesday was the day when the Installation Meeting took place, and most of the day until I left for the meeting was spent doing a few small household chores. In order to make sure that I was not late, I left home at 2.30pm, with the result that I reached Cheshunt in plenty of time for the start of the meeting at 4.30pm. The first part of the meeting went well, but unfortunately my ongoing problems with what seems to be hayfever and/or a strong cold meant that my throat got very dry whilst I was speaking, and I had to keep stopping to drink water in order to speak. The situation got worse when I began to stammer ... and as I ploughed on, the stammer became more and more pronounced. (I had a terrible stammer when I was young, and had to undergo speech therapy for many years in order to overcome its worst effects. Unfortunately on very rare occasions when I am under some form of stress I still get episodes of stammering, and when they happen I have found that I need to stop what I am trying to say, and to not speak for a while whilst I regain control ... none of which was possible this time!)

Once the meeting was over and I had time to calm down, my stammer disappeared, and I was even able to make a speech during the after-meeting meal and to sing the Master's Song! (Interestingly enough, I was taught to sing in order to help me to overcome my stammer, as I am told that it is impossible to stammer whilst singing.)

By Thursday I thought that I might be able to have a bit of a rest and to use some of my time setting up the Internet router that our new service provider had given us. The router was quick to install ... but for some reason it would not connect to the Internet. There then followed a series of long phone calls to the new service provider ... but as their computer system was in the middle of an upgrade no one seemed able to help me. I was advised to telephone again on Friday morning, by which time the service provider's computer would be back online. Luckily we still had an active Internet connection with our existing service provider, and this meant that we were still able to receive and send emails, surf the 'net etc.

First thing on Friday morning I had to take my car to the body shop to have the damage that was done to it some weeks ago repaired. When I returned home I telephoned the new Internet service provider to sort out the connections problems ... only to discover that the contract had not been activated as they could not connect our house to their service! (It appears that the cables used by our existing service provider operate on a different system from that used by the rest of the service providers in the UK. To change service providers would have required a new cable installation and the loss of our existing landline telephone number ... all of which we had been told would not be necessary.)

Sue and I therefore set off at once to see the manager of the Bluewater branch of the new service provider where we had signed up for their service in order to find out why we had been told things that were patently not possible or true. After a frank exchange with him, our contract was invalidated and I was told that the money I had paid for the new router would be returned to me when I returned the router. As there is a branch of the service provider closer to where we live, it was arranged that I would take it there to get my refund.

After returning home for lunch, Sue and I went to the Bexleyheath branch of the service provider to return the router. This turned out to be less straightforward than we had hoped, and the manager of the store was more than a little reluctant to accept back the route and to give me a refund. Eventually he agreed to speak to the manager of the Bluewater branch, and once he had I was given my refund.

I celebrated this minor victory by paying a visit to the nearby branch of THE WORKS, where I bought another 54mm-scale pre-painted Polish Cavalryman (i.e. an officer of the Russian Life Guard Lancers/Uhlans) and a couple of copies of a wooden game entitled CHOPSTICK CHALLENGE. The latter contains a number of different-sized block of pine and wooden dowels which will be useful for modelling.

Once I got home I then had to telephone our existing Internet service provider to ask that the existing contract termination be removed. They agreed to this without any problems, and even offered us a new package which is cheaper than our existing package. Result!

Today I am trying to have a quite day doing as little as possible ... although I do hope to spend part of it reading some more sections of ZONES OF CONTROL and thinking about how easy it might be to convert the AIRFIX BATTLES rules so that they can be used on my Hexon II hexed terrain. Ross Macfarlane and one of his regular opponents have already made some progress in this direction, and his recent battle report has encouraged me to think along similar lines.


  1. Hope you manage to have a quiet day.
    Take care

    1. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

      I do hope so! I have just realised that one of my favourite John Ford/John Wayne films - 'She wore a yellow ribbon' - is on one of the Freeview channels this afternoon, so I hope to spend a quiet hour or two watching it.

      All the best,


  2. Good shout on the Chopstick game - those dowels would have come in handy just 4 days ago ..... I cut myself 18 sections of dowel (tedious) to attach figures to for painting. So painting sticks - not Chopsticks :-)

    1. Norm,

      I pay a visit to any branch of THE WORKS that I come across as they always seem to have interesting, useful, and cheap stuff on sale.

      Good luck with your painting project.

      All the best,