Recycling and other things …


I’m not a fanatical recycler, but if it can be recycled, then I like to try. However, I’m in a bit of a quandary! My local authority actively encourages residents to recycle, but cannot handle shredded paper and they advise to put this in the non-recyclable waste bin. As I understand it, shredded paper clogs up the sorting machines. However, financial and security institutions advise that all documents that have personal information should be shredded. So here is my dilemma. Do I follow security advice and shred or follow the local authority advice and put it, un-shredded in the recycle and hope that nobody reads it? I have decided to follow the security advice!

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It’s been a long  week. K***s mother went into hospital for a hip replacement last week. It seems to have been successful, but it is going to be a long process to get her back to anything like what she was this time last year. She is quite confused and has been in a lot of distress over the past couple of months. Anyway, she is out now, at home and gradually improving. K*** and her sister are doing their best to help their father cope with his wife’s condition, but it is difficult for various reasons. So I’ve not seen much of her over the past seven days.

It is probably a blessing that R*** has been on respite since Monday, although he has had an infected finger which caused his respite team a few problems. We think that is sorted now, fingers crossed.

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S****, my eldest and A**** his partner are having a bit of a bad time. Whilst he was away from his computer at work, somebody (he knows who) posted, what some could call an offensive message on his Facebook time line as a joke. I believe this called ‘Fraping’. All in good fun and taken as such by nearly everyone who knows him. The exception being A****’s mother. She thinks that S**** posted the message and does not believe anything else. This has caused a massive argument and neither of them will have anything to do with the mother. Hopefully it will blow over, but the mother is one of those people that is never wrong. Of course this has caused a lot of stress for both A**** and S**** and it has also upset K*** at this difficult time.

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Me? Well I’ve just plodded on as best I can!

… and then it was over …


The holiday came to an end on Friday. Was it a success?  In many ways it was. The celebration lunch on Thursday was great and everyone enjoyed the meal and general get together. However, it did have an effect on me that I will come to later. Some of the family went home Thursday, which left room for S**** and A**** to stay over for one night, which was nice. They were off early Friday morning as they were having a day in York. K*** and me and C**** and J*** (‘the in-laws’) visited a nearby garden that was open to the public and had a pleasant time.

At around half past two, we went our separate ways. K*** and me needed to get some shopping from the supermarket. We did that and then went on to Tadcaster and that cycle shop/bar/café that I may have mentioned before, for a drink before home.

R*** was home a little earlier than expected and there had been ‘issues’ in the taxi. He had been picked up a little early and the driver had had a problem with her ‘sat-nav’ which resulted in them taking a route different to his usual routes. This caused all sorts of problems and both the driver and the escort suffered for it. I’ll not go into too many details, but many will know that people that are Autistic do not cope well with change. I shall leave it at that. K*** is taking him and bringing him home on Monday, and we will await what the transport company make of it.

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Now to the ‘effect’ I referred to earlier in this post. The pub we went to was (as I’ve been told) the same pub we went to for my birthday back in April this year. I had no recollection of the place! Granted, we were in a different room, different time of day and we approached the place from a different direction, but I could not remember any of it. Apparently we had our order taken by the same waitress that took the order on my birthday. Nothing! I got the usual “Don’t you remember blah blah” and “You must remember blah blah blah.” But I didn’t. Even when someone said “You’ve ordered the same as last time … remember?” I had to say that I did not.

At first, my memory issues were put down to my operation and what is commonly known as ‘Pump-head’ but this usually clears up after a few months, and it’s been over two years since the op’ so it seems an unlikely cause. So what is left? One immediately thinks of Alzheimer’s and the worry starts to creep in. It is certainly something to mention at a future meeting with my doctor, and at times it can be extremely stressful and worrying.

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Back to work tomorrow and it’s getting close to the close down of the project that I’ve been working on for that past eighteen months. After this it will be back to being a ‘senior application support officer’ and all that that entails. Not something I am looking forward to.

I hope to hear something regarding my Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) application this week. It goes to the Corporate Panel on Thursday and as I understand, it is merely a rubber stamp procedure. I intend to chase up my Head of Service first thing on Friday morning for an answer and then the real planning can start.

A Long couple of weeks …


Just over two weeks ago, my father-in-law went into hospital for a hip operation. He is in his early eighties and he had been going through a lot of pain prior to going in. He was also very very apprehensive about the aftercare for both him and his wife.  His wife is really quite frail and forgetful these days, so the whole thing had been quite traumatic for him.

Between them K***, my wife and her sister have taken to sleeping at their parents house so that they can help them and gradually ease them back into some kind of normality. The big worry for me and K*** was how our youngest son R***, would cope with his mum not being at home every evening. R*** is Autistic and does not cope with changes to his routine. Amazingly, he has coped really well. He seems to have accepted that mum is sleeping at grandads house and that she would be home the next day.

As an extra trial, we have had the rendering on our house replaced. This entailed drilling all the IMAG0446old rendering off and putting new on. So for just over three weeks (it went last Saturday) we had scaffolding all around the house. One consequence of this was that we lost our satellite connection for the television. I may have mentioned before that one of the things R*** likes is to have his television on all night. It is on with the sound very low, but it is on all the same. We were expecting serious problems. However, he simply played two of his DVD’s over and over again.

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Still no news on the job application. I’m beginning to think I may have missed out, but then again, they simply may not have filled the interview quota. I’ll have to look out to see if it gets re-advertised. The project I’m currently on shuts down at the end of May, and it looks like I may be moved back to the main team. Something I’m not looking forward to for reasons I won’t go into here.

The job I applied for seems to be along the lines of the work I’ve been doing for the past 18 months, but in a more formal and structured way. Although I don’t have all the IT knowledge they ask for, I think it is something I could pick-up reasonably quickly.

The fingers are most definitely still crossed.

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I have always been a knitter. It is something I learned how to do when I was very young. During the early years, I tended to make baby clothes (my parents were pre-adoption foster carers at the time) so I became quite skilful in knitting complicated lace-like patterns.

Now, I have begun to take an interest in crafting as a whole. It was really sparked when we were visiting a small craft exhibition, and I saw a handmade Valentines card. It was simply a piece of card folded in half with a variety of small coloured buttons stuck oMy versionn the front in the shape of a heart. Price was £1.99 for a single card and envelope. A quick trip to our local £1 shop and I had a pack of blank cards and envelopes and a pack of small coloured buttons. Price? £2.00 for enough to make ten cards. I was almost hooked. The thing that finally convinced me that I could do this crafting as a hobby was when I saw how to make a small bow using a four pronged dining fork.

Since then, I’ve been collecting a variety of bits and pieces that I think will be able to make some ‘craft type’ thing with. It has now got to the point where I have subscribed to a crafting magazine that comes with a small beginners sewing machine as a free gift. There is no stopping me now!

Easter … what a flop!


Well not just Easter. The whole weekend was a bit of a flop. K*** was not working on Sunday, so we were set for a quiet lazy weekend, after the hectic Friday. But, Saturday afternoon she started with what seemed like flu. S**** and A****, his girlfriend had both been quite ill with it during the move, and now K*** seemed to have the same thing. It would only be a matter of time before I went down with the same. So she spent most of Sunday in bed, and a great deal of Monday too. R*** seemed to be fine, and by some miracle, I appear to have escaped the bug also. From what S**** says, quite a few people have gone down with this bug. K*** ended up going to see the doctor, who told her she had a viral infection and gave her an inhaler to help it clear up. It’s beginning to work, but it’s taking it’s time.

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An odd thing happened tonight. I’ve had a LinkedIn profile for quite some time, and I don’t really do anything with it. I’m connected to a few people from work, a couple of random people that seem interesting and one or two Facebook ‘friends’. Well tonight, I got a LinkedIn email connection request. I usually ignore them if the the name is not familiar, but this one was different. The name was one of the (very) few names I remember from school. I checked his profile, and it was indeed someone from school. Strangely, I could picture him in my head, which given the issues I have with memory was quite a thing. It must be nigh on on 45 years since I last saw the guy, and would love to know how he found me. I think it must have been some kind of search on schools or something, but it was quite a shock to hear from him.

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Work is a bit strange at the moment. There seems to be a few people that are taking early retirement. One person, who I worked with for over 20 years went last week, and another goes this week. It all seems very surreal and makes me feel old. I will really have to give it some thought, if the Councils early retirement scheme runs again this year.

Been a poor blogging week …


Title says it all. It has been a poor week for my blog. As I mentioned last time, I have been on leave this week and other things have kind of taken over. For example, I re-painted the ceiling of our en-suite shower. Don’t ask how that went, suffice to say, it took all day. Then there were other things that made sitting down and typing a few words , a bit of a chore. Although I did have a stab at the Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge. This blog give you 10 random words and you have to make a short story using all the words. As the subject says, it was a bit of a challenge, but as some of the words this time seemed to suggest an Easter theme, I came up with this.

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Friday was a hard day. The eldest son and his girlfriend are buying a house, but as with all house buying, there have been a slight delay in getting the key. The place that they have been living for the past two years has been shared with a friend of the owners … it’s complicated, but the short story is that they basically had to move out yesterday. There had been a lot of issues there, and they both thought that the had just got to get out. Problem! With no key to the new house it seemed like an impossible situation. Ta da! Family and friends to the rescue. Me and K***, his university friend R** helped them shift all their worldly goods (and there was a lot of them) to one of his drama group friends garage and spare room. They are also staying at this friends house until they can move into their new one. Now the husband of this drama group friend is local, or maybe I should say national dignitary. I do not agree with the majority of his Governments politics, and I’m not going to embarrass them by stating their names, but have to say, they are genuine, nice people.

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As expected, I did check on my work emails during the week. However I did not answer any, and they are all marked as ‘un-read’. Some of them will just go straight in to the trash/deleted folder, but intend to do what everyone else does, and ‘do a catch-up’ and read everyone of them, before starting anything else. Should put an hour or so away.

Another week done … finally


I don’t know why, but it seems to have been a long week. By the time Wednesday had arrived, it felt that it should be Friday.

An issue I had at work, with one of pieces of software we use was resolved. It was a simple setting that, for some reason had become ‘unset’. Now it maybe that this setting only need to be ‘set’ when certain jobs are being run. I don’t know, but I think I need to check with the people that manage the software.

The major upgrade to another piece of software went as well as could be expected. There was a couple of issues, but with this project there always is a couple of issues. It’s just the nature of the beast.

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The eldest son and his girlfriend/partner got the news they had been waiting for. The completion date for the house they are buying came through and it’s around the time they were looking at. Both are really happy about it. I’m not too sure that they fully realise how hard it is going to be over the first couple of years. They have got lots of plans and both seem to be quite sensible with money, but neither is on a fantastic salary at the moment, so it’s a bit of a worry.

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Last week I bought a new shower head from Amazon. The old head was not working as it should, mainly down to it’s age and use. The new one wasn’t a cheap one, but equally, it Head 1wasn’t the most expensive one either. It arrived in good time, before the expected date and last Sunday, I attempted to install it. It was a simple ‘remove old – fit new ’ operation and there was no problem with it. That is until I came to test it. I could not believe it. Water was pouring out of the the ball and socket joint. I thought hHead 2ad done everything right and checked by refitting it. Still the same. I had no choice but to remove the new one and put the old one back. Not feeling very pleased about this, I contacted the seller for their advice. I got a reply within about 12 hours, which I thought was good, but their resolution did not work. A couple more emails back and forth ensued, and each time, the resolution failed. In the end, I emailed back advising them that the issue was still there and requested a refund. A response was duly received (again within less than 12 hours) explaining that I needed to contact Amazon for a refund together with a thank you for my custom. Amazons return procedure is very good, and the unit is now all packaged and labelled ready to return.

Now whilst I could not recommend the product, I could find no fault the the company selling. Communication was prompt and courteous and they were good to deal with. Shame about the product though.

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On a last note, I’m wondering if anyone has had the same problem as I found yesterday. K*** asked me to forward an email on for her, as I had the address on my computer and it as easier. I opened the email, selected forward and clicked on the ‘To’ button to insert the address. I was shocked to find that all my contacts had disappeared! The Outlook address book was empty. I scanned the computer trying to find the file, but it was not there. Google searches provided no help except the person who said that it was probably an update that did it.

No problem I thought, I would reinstall it from a back-up. Not as easy as it sounds. After a lot of messing about, I found that the back-up must have run, after the address book had gone. Only alternative was to try and reinstall the address book from the Outlook on my old computer. That was done with some success.

I’m confused as to how or why it happened. I am blaming updates as there had been a big one on the 9th which covered a lot of stuff. Annoying though.

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And so to finish.I got the end of writing this post and thought to myself ‘it’s over 700 words’ which I think is quite a lot and possibly a little boring? So my aim now is to go for the ‘little and often’ option, rather than a weekly digest. See where we go with that idea.