curiouswombat: (BigWheel)
curiouswombat ([personal profile] curiouswombat) wrote2005-08-23 09:52 pm
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I'm home. Well actually I arrived home last night, but have only just found time to get down to my keyboard and write!

Skye is very beautiful - I haven't down-loaded my pictures yet, but I think some of them will be worth putting up later.

My friend is a cordon bleu level cook - I could not have been better fed at a 4 star hotel - just to make you all jealous here is a list of main meals eaten by me on Skye, all cooked by my clever friend D.:

Venison in red wine sauce, rack of lamb with an oatmeal and black pepper crust, monkfish in a saffron cream sauce, pasta with spicy bacon and tomato sauce, morrocan chicken with barley couscous, duck with orange and mustard sauce, and kedgeree. Envious?

The cats were funny - the two British short-hairs, Tabitha and Dougal decided that I might be acceptable by the end of the first day - but it took the two identical British Blues, Mango and Rum until the last night I was there to come and play with me. I have led them into bad habits - all four have developed a taste for gluten-free pasta, couscous, and kedgeree! I have cat pictures also - when I get around to down-loading them!

The Dick Gaughan concert was very good - it reminded me of two of my LJ friends particularly - [livejournal.com profile] ezagaaikwe and [livejournal.com profile] missmurchison.

Why? Well Dick Gaughan reminds me of E's husband Frank - look: Picture of Dick Gaughan

Miss M - well he was talking about politics, as he does, and was describing a conversation in the bar with other performers at a Canadian Festival. One of the American singers said 'I hear you Europeans are having problems agreeing on a Constitution.' DG agreed this was the case. 'Well take ours.' the guy said 'We're not using it!' For those who don't read Miss Muchison (and why not?!) her daughter in particular is interested in the US constitution.

Both S2C and the cat seemed pleased to see me!

Life today has been back to Earth with a bump - I noticed when I got home from work that the freezer wasn't properly shut - and the contents were all somewhat defrosted and had to be thrown out.

And I have just discovered that although I thought my NHS pension had been transfered from the UK when I came home 17 years ago, there is no record of the transfer - so my first 9 years of payments do not go towards my final salary pension - they are frozen somewhere in the UK at the grade I was then. I think this is going to make me about £1,000 a year worse off when I retire in about 9 or 10 years time. If I can even work out how to access that frozen pension, as the Health Authority I worked for no longer exists.

I am hoping the Royal College of Nursing can help me, but the attitude of the civil servant I spoke to was 'You saying that you completed the forms means nothing - the forms are not in your file - therefore they did not exist', so I'm not holding my breath.

[identity profile] frimfram.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome back! Yay! I missed you :)

Glad it was so much fun - the comments about the food have caused me to devour the last of my polo mints, but they don't really hit the spot :)

But 'grr' and 'argh' to circumstances on your return. The freezer's bad enough but this pension problem could have come straight out of Yes Minister, or Curb Your Enthusiasm, or something similarly concerned with the fact that behind every bureaucrat is an evil puppet trying to protect its nest egg. Or something :)

Lots of people seem to be having an awful time lately. Think it's to do with phases of the moon :(

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome back! Yay! I missed you :)

Thank you!

I will fight about the pension thing - I gather that I am not the only one - at least I found out now, rather than when I get to be old and need it! But there is no point in getting too distraught about it, as it won't achieve much - but I will lie in my lonely bed tonight (S2C at work!) and BROOD - the depth of my brooding would impress Angel!

Also - lets look on the bright side - freezer is now clean!!!

[identity profile] frimfram.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 11:38 am (UTC)(link)
Oh no! The onset of Dark!Wombat must be nigh! But at least you'll have nothing encrusted on your ice cream tubs ;)
kathyh: I made this (Kathyh English)

[personal profile] kathyh 2005-08-23 10:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome back.

Envious?

Just a tiny bit *g*.

Sorry to hear about the pension problem. I really don't see why you should be penalised for someone else's blunder and hope the Royal College of Nursing can help you.

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you - actually it is nice to be back - on e of the best things about holidays - nice both ways!

It will be difficult to prove that it was someone else's blunder - their attitude is that I must have forgotten to fill in the forms. It is a sign of advancing age - worrying about your pension!!

[identity profile] bogwitch.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:10 pm (UTC)(link)
My mind kind of halted at the vension. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Mmm - and it was proper Highland venison as well. I would not be a very good vegetarian!

[identity profile] bogwitch.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Neither would I. Evil, nasty vegatables.

[identity profile] frimfram.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 11:38 am (UTC)(link)
They aren't all as bad as tomatoes, promise.

[identity profile] bogwitch.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 11:43 am (UTC)(link)
Peas and Cauliflower are the tomatoes lieutenants.
jerusha: (Default)

[personal profile] jerusha 2005-08-23 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Glad you had a safe and fun trip. Too bad about the pension, though. That's horrible! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Maybe you'll get a miracle.

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:42 pm (UTC)(link)
The trip was good - I travelled on three different ferries - ranging from our own one which carries about 200 vehicles, to one that only held 4!
jerusha: (Default)

[personal profile] jerusha 2005-08-24 02:38 am (UTC)(link)
That's a lot of ferries! I've never even been on one. :)

[identity profile] pfeifferpack.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome home! You were missed here, but oh so much by Speaker. You are obviously as necessiry to his well being as blood is to Spike!

Get rested, loved up and rejoin the party.

Glad you had a wonderful time.

Kathleen

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:44 pm (UTC)(link)
We are happily shouting at each other as usual - all is right with the world - well all is almost back to normal in our corner of it anyway - the final missing household member gets home on Saturday.

[identity profile] talesofspike.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Really good to have you back, not just for your own posts and comments, but because it's been patently obvious that S2C has been far from his usual self without you and D-d.

I hope the pension thing gets sorted out. It seems to me that if you've paid the money in you should be entitled to get it back, but what do I know?

BTW. I cheated with Of Comfort and Despair (http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofspike/27485.html#cutid1) and dedicated it to you both since I think S2C had a bit of help. Looking forward to some TYA once you get back into your normal routine.

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for pointing me at 'Of Comfort and Despair' - it is lovely.

Re pension - I will get it back in a way, I hope - but if it had been transfered they would just do a 'simple' sum - pension = 'n' x 1/40 of your final level of salary - where 'n' is the number of years worked.

As it is they will go pension a = 9 x 1/40 of my lower pay in the old 'frozen' job, and pension b = ('n'-9) x 1/40 of my higher pay in my current job- so 9 years worth will be at a lower level than the rest - I am severely pissed off about it!

[identity profile] talesofspike.livejournal.com 2005-08-23 11:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Let's hope the union reps can earn their keep... You would think the Isle of Man was a foreign country!

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:34 am (UTC)(link)
For pension purposes it is!
desdemonaspace: (Squee!)

[personal profile] desdemonaspace 2005-08-24 01:05 am (UTC)(link)
Welcome home! You were greatly missed by S2C, as well as all of us. Glad you had a lovely time, sorry about the dad-dratted pension. Bureaucrats!

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:35 am (UTC)(link)
It's nice to be home - one of the best things about going away!

[identity profile] evilawyer.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 02:59 am (UTC)(link)
Sounds like the vacation was nice. Sorry to hear your non-entity pension status. I very much hope that can be corrected, as the consequences will be serious. Perhaps another agency took over the old Health Authorities functions and (hopefully) database of employee information?

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:38 am (UTC)(link)
The records are all somewhere! One of my colleagues tells me they are all held centrally in Peterborough - I always thought that was just a railway station as it's one of those places you only hear of in lists of 'this train stops at a,b,c and Peterborough'!
ext_11988: made by lmbossy (Default)

[identity profile] kazzy-cee.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 06:40 am (UTC)(link)
OMG!!!! The pension problems sound like the usual fiasco! I hope you can get it sorted out. Food sounds wonderful (I love venison!!).

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:41 am (UTC)(link)
The only 'good' thing about the pension thing is that I found out now, rather than when I do retire - and so hopefully will be able to get it at least someway sorted out.

[identity profile] lillianmorgan.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 10:02 am (UTC)(link)
Yay, welcome back. So glad that you had a lovely time, although the return doesn't sound as good as it could be. I really hope you can sort up the mix-up with your pension.
Cat photos sound excellent, so please do share. I love their names so much too!

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:21 pm (UTC)(link)
I have got as far as downloading the camera to S2C's computer - it has a card reader, my lap-top doesn't. One or two of the cat ones are good - I'll zap them onto mine later, and then on to photobucket!

[identity profile] spikereader.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 11:18 am (UTC)(link)
So glad you had a great holiday and that you've arrived home safe and sound. Bet S2C was glad to see you home.

Freezers - been there, done that.

Hope that something can be sorted out, but know it will take a lot a battling with uncooperative jobsworth's.

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Freezer now beautifully clean - and I did a stock-up of basics - lots of vegetables, a couple of sorts of ice-cream, some meat and so on - so it's now back in business!

[identity profile] rincaro.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 11:26 am (UTC)(link)
Welcome home!

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! Sorry to mention all that meat!!

[identity profile] rincaro.livejournal.com 2005-08-25 12:00 am (UTC)(link)
Oh it doesn't bother me. I'm a pretty good "skimmer" when it comes to reading stuff like that. Glad to hear you are safe and sound though! And I love the icon!

[identity profile] missmurchison.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 03:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Welcome back! Your Constitution story got a snigger here when I repeated it. Sadly, almost true.

As for the pension, that just sucks. Make lots of noise! Have you tried contacting elected representatives and having them write letters for you? Or is there some kind of Ombudsman office in the UK designed to help with pensions?

Also, sorry about the freezer issues. Although I'm tempted to leave mine open so that we can rid ours of the very strange sausage that's been lurking there for over a month and a few other oddities. I'd have to schedule my sabotage for a time when there is no premium ice cream in there.

[identity profile] curiouswombat.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:44 pm (UTC)(link)
The freezer is now beautifully clean, and I've done a basic restock at the local supermarket tonight, so not too big a catastrophe. Three tubs of good quality ice-cream which had melted have been replaced!

I am going to start with the RCN (posh name for nurses union), and see if they can help, but I may well then go to my MHK (Member of the House of Keys - our parliament) and see if he can help - he's a nice guy, so he'll do what he can. I think there may well be a pensions ombudsman in the UK - hopefully this is the sort of thing I can find out from the RCN. Fortunately it is a long time before I retire, so time to try and make some sense of it anyway!

[identity profile] missmurchison.livejournal.com 2005-08-24 07:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Google is an amazing thing:

http://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/