Have I answered my own query …


Last month, I posed the question about upgrading to a paid plan rather than the free plan I currently use. The type of blog I write is basically a random thought blog. I think of something or something is on my mind, and I write a few words about it. My wife’s argument was that I ‘…don’t write enough to warrant the fee …’ and my counter was that ‘…it would encourage me to write more…’ Now I’m not sure who wins that particular discussion as I think both are valid. But, and there always is a ‘but’ it’s been over three weeks since I felt the need to sit down and say something, so maybe my wife is correct. On the other hand would a fee encourage me? A lot more thought needs to go into this I think.

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Mrs H is out tonight. She has gone with her sister to see a musical play at the theatre in Leeds. R*** went on respite this morning, so I’m ‘Home Alone’ as the saying goes and pondering on what I want to eat. Do I have a bacon and eggs, maybe egg and chips or quite possibly something else and chips? K*** always says ‘Have something nice for dinner …’ and I always reply that I will. It will probably be fish-fingers again. It usually is fish-fingers! Or … I could go out! Now that would be different. But where would I go and what would I get to eat? I did it once, went out that is. It was when K*** was away for a few days back in 2015. I thought ‘I’m going out to eat!’ I ended up at a McDonalds and I ordered the same as I usually order. So it looks like the usual will happen and I’ll settle for fish-fingers (yawn…)

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Been doing a bit of decorating today. The hall and staircase was the task and I had to start with the ceiling. The ceiling has three levels decreasing in size as you come down the stairs. All the ceilings except for the bathrooms have a cornice. It’s a bit 90’s style, but it does break up the height a little. The real issue with decorating the hall and staircase is the access. It almost takes longer to move the ladders round the  area that it does to actually paint the thing. The second issue, and it’s almost big an issue the access, is seeing what you have painted. I’m putting white emulsion on top of white emulsion, so you can probably see where I’m coming from. Still it’s done. The next job is the walls and for that, I’m putting ‘Pale Hessian’ emulsion on guess what? Correct, Pale Hessian. Expect the same volley of bad language as before.

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The on-going saga of the eldest son’s relationship break-up continues. His ex-girlfriend has opted to go down the road of a formal ‘separation agreement’. It’s probably the wisest move as it will legitimise the break-up and all that goes with it, but it is a cost that he cannot afford. We’ve told him not to worry about it as I can cover the cost, but it doesn’t leave him with a comfortable feeling. He doesn’t see why we should get him out of what he calls ‘his mess-up’. We have tried telling him that’s what parents do, but he still finds it difficult. It is going to be a long few weeks ahead. The big issue is that he cannot get his own place until he has been removed from the mortgage/help-to-buy agreement, and that could be a long drawn out procedure. It shouldn’t be, but it could be, if his ‘ex’ does not get the correct advice. Watch this space.

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It has now been over a year since I retired. I’ve been looking for some part-time work, but I may have narrowed my options too far. I’m looking for no more than 12-14 hours per week, in a location around about 5 miles from home, with no weekend work. I gat an application pack for a post in the local council garden centre, but when I looked into it deeper, it turned out to be a ‘zero hours’ contract with no fixed working days. Basically I could be working, for example 20 hours one week then nothing for the next couple of weeks. Just not what I wanted at all, and I’m not sure I want to work in a garden centre.. I’ve an application in to work as a receptionist at a local doctors surgery, but I’m not holding out much hope. When have you ever seen a male doctors receptionist?

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Bloody cats …


Well at least one cat anyway.

I was just having a cup of coffee and nosing around a couple of websites, when I heard K*** say “Oh my god. What’s happened up there?” She was in the kitchen, and ‘up there’ referred to the decking at the top of IMAG0660the back garden. I wandered into the kitchen and then realised what she was talking about. The whole of the top deck was covered with feathers. K*** thought it must be a cushion of some kind, but as soon as I got to the window, I could see that there was a dead young pigeon and an older one trying its best to eat what was left.

I knew what had happened straight away. At the back, there is a railing, just in front of the fence, There is a neighbours cat that sits on this rail waiting for birds to land on the back fence. It then leaps up and tries to get the bird. It usually fails, as the birds seem to be faster than the cat, if not smarter. On this occasion, the cat won the day.

What annoys me is that cats are allowed to roam free! There are no restrictions on cat owners that are similar to the restrictions on dog owners. Whenever I have brought this up in conversation, I get ‘reminded’ that “… cats have a free spirit…” and that “… cats bury their poo, not like dogs …” What seems to happen is that as soon as the owner gets up in the morning, they let the cat out, and it does not come home until it gets dark. I think that is wrong! Cat owners should have the same responsibilities as dog owners have. Cats should be kept under control. Only last week, when driving home did a cat run out into the road and was nearly run over. If K*** had not been slowing down, then the cat would have been history.

A bit of a quandary …


I’m going through a ‘should I … shouldn’t I?’ period at the moment. I’ll explain. I have had my WordPress blog for a few years now. I think I saw somewhere that it has been up and running since 2009. It’s a free plan and it looks like I’ve used around 3% of my allocated free space, which does not seem much. I have around 100 followers and have posted around 750 times. I have no posting schedule and no particular theme. So basically, I post what I want to, when I want to.

Back to the ‘quandary’ In the title of this post. One of my failings with this blog (in my opinion) is that I don’t post regularly. A friend has advised me that the reason for this is that it’s free! He claims, that if I had to pay a fee then I would either stop all together or make the most of it. Now, I enjoy doing what I do now, so stopping would not be on the table, but giving me another incentive to post might, just might be a good idea.

I have been looking at the Personal Plan upgrade as an option. The Business Plan is not something I need (I’m not a business) and the Premium Plan seems to be too advanced for the type of blog I write. So the question I’m asking, is it worth spending that £36.00 a year? My wife thinks I don’t use my blog enough to warrant the expense and tends to glaze over when I mention domain name, ad free etc. My current thoughts are that the increased storage would allow me to upload more/better photos for example, and I quite fancy having my own domain name.

I shall have to make a decision soon and I’m leaning toward upgrading but …

Now this is annoying …


For over 20 years I worked in a Local Authority parking department, so I know a great deal about the issues surrounding IMAG0658parking in this country. It’s scenes like this that I find very annoying. Anyone who drives knows that there is a finite limit to the number of available parking spaces. It can be very frustrating to drive around a car-park looking for that elusive space, when you come across something like this. Now I know there is another free bay behind the bike, but that had just been vacated by another vehicle and was occupied a few minutes later. On this particular occasion, it was a Saturday and not a problem, but this car-park has no limit on the length of stay, so that bike could be there all day. During the week, things are different and the car-park is always full (it is close to a doctors surgery and health centre.) I find myself asking the question ‘Why?’ Why does the bike have to take up a full parking bay? There are plenty of places in the car-park where a bike could fit without a problem. It may be me, but it just seems a little selfish for a vehicle of that width to take up a space, that may be needed by a larger vehicle. Is it just me?

Full of cold …


Yep, I’m full of cold. It started with a bit of a cough at the beginning of the week and it’s now reached the ‘messy’ stage. Problem is, that on Saturday, we are all going for our annual ‘flu jab’. I’ve been told, that with any prosthetic heart valve, the flu vaccination is a very good, if not essential idea. Not sure if I will be able to have it. Certainly don’t feel up to having it at this precise moment.

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Bramham All Saints Church

We went to church on Sunday. Not such a big thing you may say, many people do. I used to go often when R*** was a lot younger, but as he has grown up, getting out of the house on his ‘days off’ is a big problem. I can understand too. He goes off to his daycare centre Monday to Friday, so on the weekend, all he wants to do is be in his room, doing the things that he likes to do. A bit like most of us really. If it’s not something you have to do, then why do it? Anyway, he was on respite at the weekend, and it seemed such a good opportunity to go. It was interesting seeing people that we know, but have not seen for a while. We are looking to go again on the 5th November, when R*** is on a weekend respite again. This could become a regular occurrence.

 

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Now the bathroom is finished, I’m looking to start on some decorating. I need to tidy up the paintwork in the bathroom, (ceiling and door frame to be precise) but want to have a good go at it without too many break-offs. R*** goes on respite again on Monday, so I could probably do that in one day. I then need to start on the staircase. There is not a lot to paint, but it will be the access that will be the main issue. Hopefully, if I can crack on, I should get it all done before he returns of Friday afternoon. Ideally, I’d like to have all the work done by the end of Thursday, but that may be pushing it a little. It’s all in the planning! I’m thinking though, that the doorframes, may have to wait until the following week.

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I have once again used the new WordPress editor to publish this, and the jury is still out. I have yet to work out how to publish as a draft, or in fact if I need to publish as a draft first.

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** I have just discovered the ‘Preview’ button. This seems to work as a draft mode, allowing me to check what the post looks like before posting. So no real need to post a draft first. I have also just found the Windows Store ‘WordPress.com’ app. So the next post will be using that (if I can remember) **

This basically a test …


Whilst I was editing my last contribution, I had a go using the new WordPress editor. When I started this blog, I used Microsofts blogging tool known as Windows Live Writer (WLW). After a while, Microsoft stopped supporting WLW and I was ‘forced’ to use Word as my blog editor. It was okay and I got used to it after a few posts. ThenI was told about an open-source editor called Open Live Writer (OLW). This free software was based, as you may have guessed on the old WLW programme. I’ve been using that for a couple of years now.

I am now beginning to come round to the idea of using the WordPress editor instead. In fact, this post was created using that editor. One of the selling points, in my opinion, is that this editor uses Grammarly as its spell and grammar checker. This is something that I have logged with OLW as a future update. I do find Grammarly very useful in spotting those silly errors that happen when we get a little carried away with our typing.

Finally over …


This, of course, refers to our new bathroom. The fitters finished at around 1pm on Friday, but there was an issue with the lighting. They just couldn’t get it to work. The issue started on Thursday morning when they had fitted the ‘over the sink’ cupboard clip_image001which has two LED strip lights to light it up. No matter what the guys clip_image002did, there was no lighting. One of them called the electrician that they use, who couldn’t come straight away, but promised to come early that afternoon. He didn’t turn up. Next time we had was Friday morning which quickly changed to Friday afternoon. We needed him to be away before R*** came home at 5pm. The guy turned up at around 5:30, which was too late if he needed to turn off the main power supply. So it was arranged for him to come on the following Monday, just after 9am, which he did. Took about an hour, and when he finished he explained that one of the cupboard lights was not working. He had informed the company we were buying the bathroom off and they advised that they would be ordering a new one. That was fitted yesterday. K*** is very pleased with the outcome and we both think they have done a good job. It was not cheap by any means, but it is 1000 times better than it was before.

I do think the company is missing a trick though. I would have taken some photos before the job was started and more when it was finished. I would have then asked for permission to upload them to the company website, as a ‘Before & After’ type of self-advertisement. Could even have a few shots (not many though) of the fitters doing the job.

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I thought I had found the perfect part-time job for myself yesterday. I don’t want (or need at the moment) a job with many hours. This one would have only been 7 hours, on a Friday doing mainly admin work on the reception desk at a local school. Slightly fewer hours than I was looking for, but it would have been something.

Now, the issue here was that when I took early retirement, there were some conditions laid down. The main one was that I could not work for the Council, either paid or voluntary for 12 months from my final working date. This was because it wasn’t actually retirement in its usual capacity. How it worked was that I was taking voluntary redundancy (VR) and that the Council had arranged with the Local Government Pension scheme, that I could take my pension and lump sum early. As the closing date for this job is the 9th October, I would be in breach of the VR terms by applying before the 1st November.

A little disappointing, but it’s been the first time I have seen anything, that I know I could do with the hours that would suit. I just have to hope that they re-advertise the job again. It sometimes happens.