Late Sunday Musings from Beetley

I am late with my musings today, as I cannot really post them without mentioning the situation in Ukraine, which is on everyone’s mind I’m sure. But I will leave that until the end, so if you don’t want to read any more about that, feel free to skip that part.

After two years, the NHS is finally beginning to catch up on the backlog of regular clinic appointments that were all cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I have an appointment at the eye clinic in Norwich next Thursday, for a review of my Glaucoma, and an inspection of my cataracts. As they like to poke things into my eyes when they do that, I refer to it as ‘The medieval torture clinic’. But after more than two years, I am happy to go.


After three weeks, the DVLA has still not sent my new driving licence, and they have also not confirmed whether or not they will be renewing it. That Department is a bureaucratic behemoth, and someone I know spent over three hours on hold to them on the telephone this month, before being cut off without speaking to anyone. Small wonder so many people in the UK just choose to drive illegally.


Julie still has her persistent cough, but she was able to go back to work last week. It has calmed down during the day, but still waking her up at night.


As for Ollie, it seems his fur has grown back as much as it is ever going to. We will have to learn to live with his bald spots, I reckon.


The very latest news on Ukraine is that Putin is now activating his nuclear weapons stockpile, supposedly in fear of NATO striking Russia first. All nonsense of course, but nonsense can start real wars. Beetley is near a lot of military installations. A large Army barracks is located just 2 miles away, at Swanton Morley. RAF Marham is 20 miles west, RAF Mildenhall is 39 miles south-west, and the huge USAF base at Lakenheath is 32 miles south of us. Given that at least three of those are designated Russian ‘targets’, if I stop blogging suddenly, you will know what has happened.


Refugees are pouring out of Ukraine, and being treated kindly by all the surrounding countries. But Britain has refused to issue visas to any of them to come and live in the UK.
So much for Boris, Liz Truss, and Pritti Patel, with their hollow speeches about soildarity with the people of Ukraine. They can still buy our guns and missiles though, let’s not allow a war to get in the way of big business.


Julie is no longer watching the news as I type this. She has changed channels to a programme about antiques.
Probably just as well.


62 thoughts on “Late Sunday Musings from Beetley

  1. I hope the checkup goes well, Pete, and the DVLA finally get their act together. It’s good news about Julie, although yes, a cough can be really difficult to get totally rid of. (I am sure it doesn’t do much, but I’ve taken to always trying to remember to wear something warm around my throat, just in case). Poor Ollie, but I hope at least it doesn’t itch or bother him. Ukraine… It’s difficult to know what to say. There is a fair amount of resistance inside of Russia as well, but what effect that would have on somebody like Putin… I’ve been reading about foreign students and workers in Ukraine having difficulties when they try to leave the country and Ukrainians being given preference… It seems that the EU might be making moves to at least recognise them officially as candidates to become members…
    Do take care, Pete, and I am with Julie. I keep wishing they’d show more antiques programmes here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Olga. Ollie’s fur problems do not seem to bother him, which is a blessing.
      Still nothing from the DVLA, so as of the 16th, I am legally no longer allowed to drive. I am starting to think about how I will adjust to life in Beetley if that situation becomes permanent. It will affect me in so many ways that are not all apparent now.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  2. So, we’ve been warned if your blogs stop? Be assured that if I even suspect you’ve been nuked, I will compose an angry letter to The Times. Glad Ollie is better. There was recently an auction featuring, among other items, assorted hairpieces owned by Carl Reiner. I apologize for not purchasing several as the little guy might have found them quite stylish. (Or, at least, good chew toys.)
    Chives de Pâté, master detective

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank goodness the NHS is getting caught up. You would not want to live in Massachusetts faced with your drivers license difficulties. It is far worse here. Nightmare would be a good description. And Putin….he invaded Ukraine after the last Olympics. He had that same smirk on his face this Olympics. I’m so sad that Britain is not allowing refugees to enter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope your licence gets renewed Pete, that’s a sword of Damocles for you I’m sure. Glad to hear Ollie is more or less sorted with his hair loss too. Re Ukraine, ach everyone’s saying everything already, I feel so bad for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Waiting for my licence renewal has started to occupy every waking moment. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up. Stuck in Beetley depending on lifts is not how I want to live.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Just in case—20in-wheel-457678.html?istCompanyId=b8708c57-7a02-4cf6-b2c0-dc36b54a327e&istFeedId=367c5610-f937-4c81-8609-f84582324cd6&istItemId=iaqwtiwri&istBid=t&_$ja=tsid:|cid:13230595586|agid:122356272693|tid:pla-1006314670000|crid:523557532720|nw:u|rnd:11431600270238699432|dvc:c|adp:|mt:|loc:9046774&gclid=CjwKCAiAgvKQBhBbEiwAaPQw3NzmJ_jMzZMemuCAFfR_dQpR8X4nQzpWW1pSSd8oUwbnWnYSp94FIBoCBqEQAvD_BwE

        this is my plan if they ever take mine away!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I sent all my papers, including my original German driving licence to DVLA in September 2021. February 2022 my papers were returned because the 30 days to view my permanent stay permit online, Home Office, had expired. I activated a new code, valid only for 30 days and sent off all papers once more. Still haven’t heard anything. They must have a huge backlog. The new code expires in two days. Aaaaah.
        Will keep you updated.
        Best wishes, Dina x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Some countries reduced defence spending, but NATO allowed extra members in, so they could practically surround Russia on all its western borders. That was definitely asking for trouble.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  5. Great post Pete, they are all interesting but once in a while they are exceptional. For me, this is one of those. Thank you!

    Re: “if I stop blogging suddenly, you will know what has happened.”

    I appluad your dry British witt in the face of total nucular destruction Pete.
    But seriously, considering the risk of total UK inialation at any moment that you face?

    Beyond my concern for your physical safety I thought, as a courtesy to your loyal readers Pete? In respect to us faithful followers, you really might want to consider loading the ending of your ‘current’ serial (what ever one that may be) up to the internet and have it mirrored from a remote server in a class V Data Center with auto publishing capabilities from some place safe such as Borneo, Cabo San Lucas, Tennarife or Barbados. If you got busy and punched out a bunch more serials and stored them remotely? Then you, Ollie, Julie and your entire Beetley existence would continue on in cyber space forever. I think everyone here would rather enjoy that. . . Just a thought. 😉

    Well, it’s finally past noon here in the lawless wild wild west of Arizona and the main street high-noon showdown shootings should be wrapping up which means it’s finally safe for me to venture out again and find my drug dealer.

    With certain Armageddon on the horizon? No way I want to chance running low on mescaline.😘

    All the Best!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Given the prospect of armageddon, I think leaving my serial open-ended would be a fitting departure after all the years I have been blogging.
      I hope those gunslingers have left the saloon now, you might need a stiff drink later. Especially if you have been watching the lunchtime news.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  6. I recently went for a check-up and decided to go private as the wait was so ling, thankfully £40 was the bill I ended up with so if that frees a spot for someone else I’m happy.
    Its a bit of a bugger about your license, I wonder if the police have a hotline they can call when they stop you and want to check if you are in the system?
    I’m sure you can imagine the topic of conversation in this part of Poland
    I’ve said a few times already today I’d prefer to be here if red buttons get pressed as at least it should be a quick end!
    But I remain hopeful that things will turn around soon. We are waiting for friends of friends from Ukraine to see if they need shelter and will be signed up to provide accommodation for a family should the authorities need extra space. Other friends of ours are running a mobile kitchen to provide hot meals, although I’m sad to report that the Polish authorities are still picky about the colour of your skin if you approach the border.
    I also read that as 30,000 refugees arrived in Poland on Friday, 9,000 men went back the other way to take up arms. I’m overwhelmed by the courage that the Ukrainian nation is showing.
    We have a new sound in the skies above us every 4 hours or so as the refueling plane circles to fill up whatever they are filling up, they are above for about 2 hours before they head back to Germany. My new obsession is checking flight radar websites!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. The jets from those nearby airbases have been flying over Beetley every day now. I presume they are practicing for the worst case scenario.
      Your country has done well with taking in refugess, and I just hope they don’t refuse the surprising number of Nigerians who are married to Ukrainian women. (No idea that was a ‘thing’.)
      Take care, old friend.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Such a tragic and despicable situation Eddy. I hope all your friends will be safe. Let’s hope Vladimir Putin isn’t crazy enough to use those nuclear bombs. This is very worrying. The people of Ukraine are incredibly brave and I hope that they will get back their country. As far as I am concerned any Ukrainian refugees are welcome here in Britain.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. My life will change beyond all comprehension, Jude. Now I am wishing, for the first time, that I had moved to a town with shops and a regular bus service. This licence thing is making me so depressed, I have to spend every day trying not to think about it. And I have started to really hate the DVLA, for the first time in my life.
      Best wishes, Pete. x


  7. (1) A pig in a poke is better than a poke in the eye.
    (2) DVLA—Department of Very Lazy Administrators.
    (3) Apparently, Julie’s cough thinks it’s in a different time zone.
    (4) Bald spots grow with old age. Furthermore, there’s less fur where the fur grows.
    (5) Zelenskyy is garnering support. Putin is a pariah. Ukraine may prevail. So I wouldn’t be russian to any conclusions.
    (6) Tell the government in the U.K. that there is money to be made by manufacturing and selling welcome mats that read: ласкаво просимо.
    (7) Watching programs about antiques gets old after a while.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great idea for increasing the GDP of the U.K., L.E. But one thinks that actually selling Door Mates inscribed with “Добро пожаловать” would be more effective.


      P.S. after reading Pete’s ramblings the next thing I do is scroll to see if you commented as they are always well thought out, deep and usually funny. Keep them coming.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I try not to think about cataract operations, Robbie. They did my mum’s with the wrong lenses inserted, and more or less blinded her. She could not read or watch TV during the last five years of her life, and I had to drive over every week to get her shopping when she became afraid to go outside. They admitted their mistake, but just said ‘Such things happen’. Even if we had sued, that would have not helped her eyes, and by the time it got to court, she might well have been dead anyway.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. They put my mum’s lenses into a man in the same operation room, and his lenses in her eyes. Then they told them both it was irreversible. It was an incredibly upsetting time, and involved lots of contact with lawyers. I sought a second opinion privately, and was told that the operation can only be done once. The private consultant actually took the side of the NHS hospital and told me ‘such mistakes occur frequently, that’s why you have to sign a consent form’. I have been fearful of eye surgery ever since.


  8. Pete, a sobering Sunday to be sure, thanks to this despicable situation unfolding in Ukraine. Sadly, we have people here in the US backing Putin…a stunning reversal of history here….people are SO uninformed , misguided and gullible – dangerously so. I’m sorry to read about your beurocratic nightmare…hope you get a happy surprise soon!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fingers crossed for that, John. Then again, if things get worse in Europe, driving will be the least of my problems.
      I don’t support this Russian action at all, but I do feel that NATO allowed in too many members, and definitely ‘surrounded’ Russia on its borders. Something like this was sadly inevitable, given NATO’s constant expansion.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  9. I had cataracts removed from my eyes 14 months ago. Very simple procedure, no pain and what a difference, although I still have double vision. Glaucoma I know is more problematic, though I believe it can be contained. I wish you the best there. Bureaucrats, politicians and big business….we feel alike on those.

    Liked by 1 person

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