It’s been a long week …


I’m referring to the holiday my wife is on at the moment. As I’ve not posted for some time, I’ll get you up to speed. Around the middle of April, K****s sister and daughter, returned from a week away in Gran Canaria. She returned with an offer that K*** should join them on their next trip. There was much discussion about this, with me having a lot of misgivings about the whole thing. Firstly, it’s a ‘beach, bar and pool type of holiday, which I understood was not the type of holiday K*** enjoyed. Secondly there was R*** to consider. How would he react, coming home from respite to find his mother not at home, and not going to be home for another 4 days. Then there is the cost. K*** tells me that it’s a ‘one-off’, but isn’t that waste of all the money it cost for a new passport? And what about all the new clothes … more expense. Anyway, she is back on Tuesday. R*** and me will both be pleased, and as I say, it’s been a long week. I had a list of jobs that I wanted to get done, which I managed to do in between the rain and the wind we had here. I suppose the worst part of the experience is the lack of conversation. I went to the pub a couple of evenings, but there is only so much you can chat about with people that you don’t really know. It will be nice to get back to what we call normality.

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I’ve been a bit lazy with this blog over the past couple of months. To be honest, I’ve not really had much I wanted to say. I wanted to stay clear of politics as that is all that people have been talking about for the past month. I know from past experience, that it is one way to ‘lose friends and annoy people. That is something I can do without any external help, thank you very much.

I tend to update this blog in the late evening. I thought, that this retirement (early) would give me lots more time to do things like this blog, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way. It still late at night, when K*** and R*** have gone to bed, that I think ”I must do a blog post”, and then I get distracted and end up not doing anything. I was going to look for a part-time job. That’s not happened. I signed up with a recruitment agency, but the jobs they have come up with are never appropriate. I promised myself that I would do more writing, but I don’t seem to have had any ideas that I could write about. I have done a fair bit of knitting though. A three beanie hats, five headbands, a pair of wrist warmers, a couple of scarves and I’m a quarter of the way through a sleeveless jumper. So I’ve not been sitting on my hands, so to speak.

I shall stop now as I don’t want to start rambling on about anything. I think I shall make a mental note to think about updating this effort at least once a week. I’ll put a note in my diary. See if that makes a difference!

The result and other things …


I have decided. There shall be NO single theme in this blog. There are a few reasons, but the main one is that this blog is just me. I started it as a means of practicing my writing. The intention was that I would mainly read other writers posts and glean what knowledge and tips I could pick up to improve my writing and use that to post my own work. That part of the plan is still working, but to post my own work, I have to do some!

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Today it’s “Let’s Rip Off People By Pretending We Care About The Romantic Things In Life When They Have Just Started To Get Over Christmas” Day. Or as it is known “Valentines Day.” To be accurate it’s actually Saint Valentines Day, but in this day and age of religious intolerance, people tend to forget the ‘Saint’ part. It is just a money making con by retailers, to encourage people to part with money that they don’t probably have. You may have guessed by now, that I’m not a fan! I shall leave it there!

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One of the things I said I would do when I retire was to clear out some the junk we have horded over the past twenty (call that forty) years. The loft is ridiculously full of said junk, and the garage is not far behind. I took some stuff to the tip last week and yesterday spent a couple of hours trying to identify what we wanted to get rid of. I found a bag full of trousers. Some of them were mine that had mysteriously shrunk over the years, particularly in the waist area. I don’t know how that happens at all! Some of them were new pants that K*** had bought for R*** in the sales and such. This brings me, in a round about way to the sizing of some of those clothes.

I was ironing some of them this morning and was making a note of the leg length. Four pairs had an inside leg measurement of 29”, but they all seemed to be different lengths. Out with my trusted tape measure, and I find that one pair is indeed 29”, but two pairs are 31” and one was actually 32”. All were from the same store and all the same style. Then to cap it all, another pair had a size of ‘15 years’! How do they measure a size by a persons age? When I was 15, I was just a little over 5ft. Most of my class were around the 5ft 6in, but there was at least two, maybe three guys who were over 6ft.

I really do get a bit frustrated and angry with how clothes are sized.

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To IMAG0559finish up, this is the latest of my knitting ‘projects’. It’s a simple scarf that I have been on with for a couple of days. It was an easy pattern to work with and I thought I would share it with you. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not going to have a theme for my blog, and I’ll just throw in things like this whenever the fancy takes me.

Why do they have to be ‘projects’? It’s just a hobby.

Jury is still out …


Despite some very valuable advice from fellow bloggers at ojosworld.com and susanrushton.net, I still have not decided on having a single theme thread within my posts. I don’t want to go down the line of creating separate posts for this ‘single’ theme idea, I’m thinking that it would have to be a part of my normal posting. But I still have doubts.

My thoughts are to write my usual ‘rants & raves’ post, but have a section that follows my single theme idea. That is where I’m coming a little unstuck! What would my single theme be? I initially thought I could talk about my hobbies. But then, I only really have one hobby (knitting if you are curious) and what could I do with that. I’m drawn to the idea that I could post links to ideas on the knitting websites that  subscribe to or maybe … and that is where my ideas fall down. What else can I do? A ‘friend’ on a forum that I subscribe to said I should showcase some of the work I do. That would be a good idea if I my ‘work’ was of the highest standard. To put it simply my knitting is a form of relaxation. I don’t do big projects, I knit beanie hats, scarves and flower broaches. I’m no Kaffe Fassett, in fact despite the fact that non-knitters think I’m some sort of knitting genius, I’m more of an ‘okay’ knitter than an expert. But that is what suits me at the moment.

So the pondering continues …should I …shouldn’t I … the proverbial jury maybe out some time!

It seems so much longer …


Strange post title some may think, but today it is three months since I retired from working life. Not a long time, but like the title says “Seems so much longer …” Of course, my initial plan has gone out of the window. My intention was to have a part-time job before Christmas. Nothing too much. Somewhere around 16 hours, just to give me a bit of pocket/petrol money. At the moment, it is not needed and to be honest, there does not seem to have been anything in the offering that I feel I would have enjoyed. However, now that Christmas is over, maybe the type of work I would want to do will start to resurface.

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With work in mind, a couple of weeks ago, I contacted my old boss. My security access card was still sitting in the glove compartment of my car. It was my intention to call in at my old office, just before Christmas (possibly on the day when they had their Christmas fuddle!) and hand my card in then. It never happened. Or more to the point, I never made it happen. I bottled out, I’m afraid to say. There are many reasons for this, but at the moment I want to keep them private.

So, I contacted my old boss to explain and to ask for her address to send the card back. I did the usual and ask how things were going on etc etc. It took a couple of weeks, but she replied today. The email was brief, but had a lot of information, and I felt enough confidence to email a couple of other colleagues to ask how they were.

It is unfortunate that I only have their work email as I feel it takes some of the personal aspect out of it. Still, I hope that they get back to me, as at the moment, I still want/need to keep in contact.

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Yet again, on the subject of blogging I was asked “What is you blog about?” And, yet again I get the same puzzled look when I reply that it is just about ‘What I want to write about, when I want to write it!’ I don’t have a theme, it’s just general ‘rants & raves’ with a slight emphasis on the ranting aspect.

It has given me food for thought though. Maybe, just maybe I could add a paragraph or two about my hobbies! As I say, food for thought.

A new year … new beginnings? Perhaps …


So, all those promises I made to myself about getting a part-time job within two months, turned out to be just bluff and bluster. Well …not really. I have been looking, but maybe not as hard as I could. At the moment, things are working out quite well and there is no urgency for me to supplement the pension I’m getting. Of course, that could all change. As R*** starts to increase his respite stays, income we get for him may (will) start to decrease and that’s when our financial situation will alter. But that’s in the future.

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Yet again, one of this years New Year Resolutions has been broken. I shall go into a little more detail here, if I may. K*** had wanted to watch the Robbie Williams new year show (I didn’t) and in the spirit of compromise, I gave in. My opinion …total rubbish … sexist and egotistical does not describe what we watched. Anyway, to cut a short story even shorter, we watched the London fireworks (fireworks on the TV don’t really work for me) and then K*** went to bed. I quickly changed channels to watch Jools Holland and his, now famous ‘Hootenanny Show’. Where is this taking us, I hear someone ask? Well, it was during a performance of Tilted by Christine And The Queens that I once again resolved to ‘post everyday‘ which I quickly modified to every two days. As the date of this post shows, that was a fail! It is now modified to ‘post more often‘, but even that may yet be modified.

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Now here’s a question for you. What do you use to write your blog posts? I know I’ve asked this before, but that was before I started with Windows 10. The reason I ask (again) is that I tried today to use the desktop WordPress app. It started okay, and I was able to write and my work was saved as a draft. But then the program crashed … repeatedly. It crashed so many times, that it became unusable in my opinion. So I’m back using the faithful Open Live Writer which works without any problems. Just wondering if anyone who uses the Windows 10 WordPress app have had similar problems.

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Wait a minute! Where does the “new beginnings” part of the title come in? I just thought it was a good sound bite!

First successful Blogger post …


     I have been trying for some time to get Open Live Writer (OLW) to work properly with Google Blogger. I could actually connect and post, but one of the best features of OLW is the facility to download the blog theme. This enables you preview your post in draft mode, before you finally upload to Blogger. I use this with my WordPress Blog (unashamed plug there) and it worked without any issue. However I simply could not get OLW to download the relevant files. I tried raising the issue with the OLW forum, but that did not help. The answer came in an unorthodox way!

     I had a problem with my Google account password. Somehow it needed to be reset. I managed to reset to a new password, but then found a problem with Outlook 365. I was now unable to connect Outlook to my Gmail. Every time I tried to enter the new password, it failed. No passwords, old or new were being accepted. I tried removing my Gmail account and re-adding it, without success. I securebegan the process of adding Gmail to my Outlook.com. It took a Google search to find out the issue. It seems, that back in 2014 Google started to block, what it considered to be unsecure logins. This was the problem and I needed to amend a security setting. I needed to “Allow less secure apps” to be ‘ON’. Problem with Gmail/Outlook sorted. The relief was massive. I really did not want to have to use Outlook.com as my main email client for many reasons.
     It then struck me! “Hmmm,” I thought. “I wonder if that is the problem with downloading the theme for Blogger?” It seems that it was. So there we are. All sorted.

This is a bit cool …


I’m a bigger fan of the Android system, rather than the iOS system. So I have never really had anything to do with an iPad as such. Often have had to troubleshoot Mrs H’s and R***’s iPads,but only by Googling the issue. I have never had much knowledge of the product at all. 

I decided to buy Mrs H a new iPad, out of my retirement payout, as hers had got very very slow over the past few months, almost to the point where it was unusable. I then thought that it might be a good idea (full of those) if I had one also. Now R*** has two iPad Minis. The intention was that he would have one at home and take the other when he went on respite. But he wasn’t keen on that idea, and will not take it with him. Mrs H took the notion that the other on was just sitting there and that I should use it, to “… see how I get on …”. Well I’m getting on just fine and am beginning to use it a lot more.

And so to the point of this post. I was looking on the App Store for an app that I could use to write a post with and came across Blogpad Pro, which it seems is the recommended app for blogging on WordPress. So I downloaded it and you know what … those recommendations were right. It seems to be just what I needed to blog on this iPad. I was well impressed. I am so impressed, that I decided to with this post in praise. I still have a lot to learn, but it seems to be fairly easy to get the hang of. So easy in fact that this post is written with Blogpad Pro!