When the postman came to the house earlier, Julie handed me a letter from the DVLA.

It contained something that felt like hard plastic…

I ripped it open…

Pulled out the form…

And attached to that form was…


It has been renewed until August 2025, so I didn’t lose the seven months I waited for it to arrive.

I was going to take a photo of it to show everyone, but then I remembered that someone could steal the image, clone my licence, and pretend to be me.

So I am using a Gif of Victor Meldrew instead, to show how flabbergasted I am that it is finally here.

Fingers And Toes Crossed

I am just back from Fakenham, and have taken the second visual fields test required by the DVLA. According to the technician, I got a ‘perfect score’. She also told me that due to ‘administrative errors’ at the DVLA, I am one of many who have been required to re-take this test.

(Perhaps it was not personal after all.)

Despite the perfect score, it is still up to the DVLA whether or not they issue my renewed licence. And according to the optician, they have a backlog of ‘many months’ still outstanding.

So it is ‘wait and see time’. (No pun intended.)

Musings On The First Sunday In August

August has arrived, and the weather is set to warm up again in the coming week. Thankfully not as hot as the recent ‘super-heatwave’, but hot enough.


Anyone who read my post yesterday will know that the DVLA is insisting I repeat the eye test I took in June, even though they know I passed it. I managed to get an appointment for Tuesday, so at least I do not have the extra stress of a long wait. But to be honest, it has worn me down, and I have become very pessimistic about the outcome.


Ollie has almost completed his long course of antibiotics and steroid cream. His fur is looking better, and his appetite is good. But whatever else is affecting him means he is still walking extremely slowly, and cannot manage a walk in excess of one hour. It is probably old age, so I can sympathise with my poor old dog.


My fiction serial concludes today, and I will take a break from serials before starting another one. We have a short holiday to look forward to in early September, and I will be offline when we are there. I don’t want to begin a new serial that might not conclude by the time we go.


That’s all for this week. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful Sunday.


Guaranteed To Spoil Your Mood

So I wake up after a decent sleep. It’s a sunny day, and not too hot. I am in a pretty good mood, all things considered.

An hour or so later, the post arrives.

A letter from Specsavers telling me that the DVLA have rejected my visual fields eye test. This despite passing it to the required standard, as confirmed by the opthalmologist on the day. And that was on the 17th of June, so they have taken their good time about it.

Now I have to make another appointment, take another trip to Fakenham, and sit the test all over again.

After a fit of rage involving many four-letter words, I telephone the optician in Fakenham. They are too busy to take my call, so I have to leave a message.

Regular readers will know that I first applied to renew my driving licence in February, seven months to the day I have received this letter. Since then, I have had to involve my member of parliament, the police in Norfolk, and have complied with every single thing the DVLA have asked me to do to get my renewed licence, including the June trip to take three separate eye tests they demanded.

And now this.

If I was paranoid, I would believe they are determined not to issue my licence at all, and are just repeating the test hoping to fail me and ensure that I can never drive again.

In that case, I must be paranoid.

Talk about ruin your day…

Pre-Heatwave Sunday Musings

I wrote about the forthcoming short heatwave yesterday. It hasn’t officially started yet, though it is set to reach 32C here today nonetheless.


It is now a month since I passed the DVLA eye test, and still no driving licence has arrived. It will soon be six months since my initial aplication to renew it was submitted. No doubt the staff in Swansea will all be going on summer holiday soon, and there will be more delays.


Ollie’s fur has started to come out in patches again, set off by the unusually hot weather. His coat now looks like a ‘work in progress’.


The Conservative Party contenders for Prime Minister continue to stab each other in the back. Westminster is becoming more like the Roman Forum every day, as sneaky leaks abound, and character assassination is the order of the day. Whichever one of them wins, it will be of little consequence to me.
All rats look the same, and do the same things.


One less pleasant aspect of good weather and open windows is increased noise. Petrol mowers, hedge-trimmers, pressure washers, DIY projects, and yapping dogs left in gardens. All congregate together to provide us with a ‘Symphony of Summer’ in Beetley.


I hope the weather is not too hot where you live, and that you all have a peaceful Sunday.


Sunday Musings In Late June

Almost ten days since I passed the eye test, and still no news from the DVLA about my driving licence renewal. As I mentioned last week, I will not be celebrating until I am holding the new licence in my hand. Next Friday will be five months since I first submitted my application.


The government lost two parliamentary seats in by-elections this week, causing mounting pressure on Boris Johnson to resign. Naturally, he was quick to say he was not going to resign, and ignored the results. It is worth noting why those by-elections had to take place, following the resignations of the Conservatives who had previously won the seats.

The former MP for Tiverton and Honiton was found to be watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons.
The former MP for Wakefield was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15 year-old boy, and jailed for 18 months.

Very much the kind of people the Conservatives like to have representing them.


The weather has stayed warm in the east of England, even overnight. Ollie’s walks have had to be curtailed by his frequent dips in the river, as he struggles to keep cool.


My blogging slump has recovered somewhat, with a new fiction serial in progress, and some other posts that have been well-received.


The overturning of the right to a pregnancy termination in America (depending on the state) is a tragic backward step for that country. But it moves it many steps nearer to becoming the ‘Gilead’ featured in the book and TV series, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. It seems to me that Canadian author Margaret Attwood actually saw into the future of the United States.

Wherever you are, I hope that you are having a peaceful and enjoyable Sunday.


My Driving Licence Saga: The Eye Test

As regular readers will know, I had to have an eye test yesterday. It was a special one, organised by the driver’s licencing agency. I had to pass it, or never be allowed to drive again. As the application to renew my licence has dragged on since the first week of February, my stress levels were reaching an all-time high as I got in my car to drive the ten miles to Fakenham, north of Beetley.

On the hottest day of the year so far, with 33C (91.5F) showing as the outside temperature, I arrived almost thirty minutes early, to make certain I didn’t miss it. At least the car park was almost empty in the town, and free for the first two hours.

When I decided to show up ten minutes early at the designated optician’s shop, I could see they were busy. No less than six female staff appeared to be run off their feet with a constant stream of customers. When I showed the official letter, the lady perused it and said, “Sorry, we have no trace of this appointment”.

I actually surprised myself by keeping my temper as I carefully explained that one of their members of staff had telephoned me over ten days ago to tell me that was the only appointment they had available in June, and I had accepted it. I added that I thought it was her, as I recognised her voice. She went off to check on her computer, and sat shaking her head.

“Sorry, it quite obviously was not entered onto the appointment calendar”.
(Translated by my brain as ‘Computer says no!’)

At this point, it was fortunate that the shop had air conditioning, otherwise my brain was liable to overheat and run out of my ears.

As I sat holding my head, incredulous at the complete and utter incompetence I was faced with, the nice lady saved the day.
“Let me ring head office. I need a log-on to use the machine, and that is usually the appointment number. They might be able to give me an emergency code”.

She rang them, and they gave her the code. Fifteen minutes later, thirty-five minutes after my scheduled appointment time, I was taken into a cubilcle smaller that the smallest toilet stall on earth, and sat in front of the ‘Visual Fields Analyser’. This invloves staring at a red (or orange) dot inside a screen, as various small white lights flash on and off randomly, anywhere in your field of view. Each time you see a light, you have to ‘click’ a button you are given to hold in your hand.

Before starting the sequence, the lady warned me. “Be careful, the button is very sensitive”. Then we ran through the long sequence of the moving red light and small white lights. When that was over, she shook her head. “You failed by a factor of nine. I think you held the button too long and registered some clicks twice. Shall we try again?”

The second try was better. I was aware of the sensitivity of the button, and I stroked it tenderly, as if caressing the lips of a lover, digitally.
She beamed at my success. “Yes, you are within the allowed parameters!”

But there was more.

“Now you have to see the specialist Optometrist, upstairs, I will show you up.”

I had been there almost an hour now. Upstairs, I was away from the airconditioning in the shop below, waiting on an uncomfortable chair while said Optometrist dealt with a schoolgirl who had an eye infection caused by contact lens fluid.

(I could hear every word of the private consultation though the door of his room.)

After asking the teenage girl far too many unnecessary additional questions, then having a protracted and rather pointless chat with her dad about nothing relevant, the Optometrist called me into his small room, and was full of smiles as he apologised for the delay.

The test that followed was a classic and basic ‘Eye Test’.

I had to look at 6 rows of increasingly small letters of the alphabet on a screen behind his head.
Once with one eye covered, no glasses on.
Once with the other eye covered, no glasses on.
Once with both eyes uncovered, no glasses on.
Then repeat, whilst wearing my glasses.
I had to achieve a perfect score of 6 on each line, each time.

Fortunately, he was writing my score down where I could see it, and I saw a complete row of 6/6.
The test was finally over. I had passed! I asked the cheerful man if that meant I would now get my licence renewed. He smiled again.

“Well I am afraid that is up to the DVLA. We send them the test results, but the final decision is up to them. You can go now”.

Sunny Sunday Musings

We finally got some of the Summer I was waiting for. On one day this week, I was actually uncomfortably hot! (Only becuase I was overdressed for the unexpected weather)
Not so great for Ollie of course, who spends most of his walk in and out of the river, cooling off. Also not wonderful for Hay Fever, which hit me hard on Friday. But I will take the tablets, and enjoy the sunshine.


As most of you already know, I have the DVLA ‘Pass or fail’ eye test next Friday. If I fail, that’s it. No more driving, ever. Meanwhile, I have been driving at every opportunity, in case I have to try to remember the feeling of just driving down the road with the window open on a lovely day after next weekend.


We went to a family celebration in Suffolk last night. It was a delight for Julie to meet relatives she had not seen (for various reasons) for seven years. We enjoyed a delicious meal in beautiful surroundings, and there was much laughter and catching up. This is where it was held.

As a result, we got home quite late, and stayed up to amuse Ollie who had been left all evening. That meant I didn’t wake up until 9am this morning.

Here we are at the dinner table.


I have decided not to mention British politics or the war in Ukraine today. I am trying to keep a good mood going until next Friday.


I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday, a relaxing and peaceful one.


My Driving Licence Nightmare: Catch 22

So this week, I have been trying to make the appointment for the eye test that will decide whether or not my licence is renewed. I read and re-read the letter carefully.

I have to contact the actual Specsavers shop in Fakenham directly.
I cannot book online as it is a ‘special’ test.
I cannot visit the shop to make the appointment, as I will not be admitted without an appointment. (Due to Covid-19 safety measures.)

First phone call. I get a recorded message telling me that the staff are too busy to take my call. It says I should book online, but their letter tells me not to do that.
Second phone call. Same message.
Third phone call. Same message.
Fourth phone call. Same message.

This morning, I rang the company’s head office. I tell a very helpful lady that I am unable to contact their Fakenham shop. She says she will ring them on her contact number and put me through immediately.

I wait on hold, listening to that international ‘On hold’ music that seems to have been composed solely for that purpose.

The nice lady comes back on the phone. She tells me that she also got a message saying they are too busy to take her call.

So now she has sent them an internal email message telling them to telephone me. I have to be by my phone after 3pm today.

Trusting that they are not too busy to make that call.

Very Wet Sunday Musings

I was woken up at 4:40 am this morning by the sound of torrential rain hitting the patio outside the bedroom window. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so have now been awake for over four hours. It is still raining, dark inside the house, and only 11C. Welcome to a very British Summer.


At least I managed to cut the grass yesterday afternoon, front and back. It took me almost three hours, and my hands were trembling all evening after that. Ollie helped of course, doing his special task of constantly standing just in front of the powerful hover-mower, oblivious to the fact that it could easily chop off his paws.


Now the interminable Jubilee celebrations are almost over, I have to call the optician about my eye appointment for the driving licence renewal tomorrow. I might as well get it sorted sooner, rather than later.


Talking of Jubilee celebrations, I was pleased to note that many people were doing what we do best in this country. Fawning, and sycophancy. We are world leaders in both.
If anyone saved their street parties until today, they are going to need their Union Jack umbrellas, by the look of it.


Ollie is snoring so loudly, I might have to wake him up in a minute. Perhaps the rain disturbed him early too.


Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, have a peaceful and pleasant Sunday. It looks like it is going to feel like a very long day for me.