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!

All going along nicely …


The hospital appointment went well. The doctor has always had a knack of being ‘a little behind’ as the nurse politely put it. So it was no surprise when the appointment was delayed by about 30 minutes. I had blood pressure taken and the (same) nurse observed that the ‘bottom half’ was a little high, but nothing to worry about. I put it down to driving through the centre of York. Why is it, that visitors to that grand city seem to like wandering into the road for no apparent reason?

Anyway, the ultra-sound scan I had the previous week was just what the doctor was expecting. He listened to my heart, and that was fine, and he never even mentioned my blood pressure. We had a chat about how I was feeling as opposed to before the operation, and what was going to happen in the future. That was it! In his words, it was ‘all going along nicely!’

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That is about it really. I’m on leave for a week and I don’t really know whether anyone will pick up the work I do. My line manager (gnash, growl, spit) should do it, but I can’t see it happening unless she is forced. I would say I don’t care, but I do! I know I will be checking my emails every day, and I’ll try not to answer any of them, but for the past ten years, I always have kept in touch while on leave. It’s just something I do.

An interesting weekend …


That is what I was going to talk about. The ‘interesting’ weekend! But, after writing the first couple of lines, I decided that the weekend was not about me, and that it was not fair to write about it. So you may not get to get to know … yet.

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Instead, it’s going to be an interesting week. Well that maybe pushing it a little. I have another INR test tomorrow, only a week after the last one. I cannot believe I had got up to six weeks between tests. I still think that stress plays a part, but maybe I’m just kidding myself and it is really too much alcohol. I was going to have an alcohol-free evening, but it has been a poor day at work and that and the small issue with R***’s computer, meant that a glass of wine was required.

It was the slightest thing with his computer. We had somehow switched off the power to the 4 way adapter and his laptop was running on battery power. Unfortunately, the battery had got to 2% power, before it became clear what was happening, so he got a little stressed when his machine told him about his battery needing charging. It took a good 30 minutes before the pop-ups stopped, but things like that seem to linger in his autistic mind and worries him. Still, he seems to be calmed now, so we may have got away with it this time.

Then, the ‘interest’ continues when I have my hospital appointment on Friday. I am supposed to be at a ‘team away day’ on the other side of Leeds and I was going to take the afternoon of as ‘flexi-time’. But I’m not happy with having to increase my journey time by an extra 30 minutes, just to satisfy someone’s managerial ego. My current line manager, totally agrees (but only because she doesn’t want to go) that I would be greatly inconvenienced by this. I may have to take the decision not to go and possibly invent some excuse why it would be not a good idea.

An odd couple of weeks


My sister has been in hospital for just over two with a very serious condition, which I won’t go into on here. Suffice to say, she was in a critical state and after the first night, we were told to ‘hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst’. Having special needs and learning difficulties has not helped the matter. However, she has fought and pulled through and has been waiting to go home since Thursday. The thing that has been really useful, has been Facebook. Or more accurately, Facebook Messenger. One of the family set up a group message, which we all subscribed to, and we have been using this as communication medium. It was far easier to message the whole group through this system, than to telephone or text each individual. It goes to show, that for all its faults, social media does have some powerful and useful tools.

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This blog has recently had a huge upturn. My efforts usually rewarded with the occasionally, random visitor who more often than not has a quick glance and moves on. However, I was reading a post from one of my followers and I read about a weekly photo challenge on The Daily Post blog. Basically, they provide a theme, and you post a photo on your own blog and ‘ping-back’ to the particular blog page on The Daily Post.

I thought that I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try last week. I was amazed at how many visitors and like I received for a single picture and a few comments. So amazed in fact, that I posted again this week increasing my like and visitor count yet again. By the end of yesterday, I was getting quite giddy at the number of hits I had been getting. I may sound a little sad, but going from the occasional visitor to the numbers I have been getting makes this post a little pointless.

I wonder now, how many visitors this post will attract ……

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I am still toying with the idea of changing the theme of this blog, but am struggling to select a suitable (my opinion) theme, from the many free themes on offer.

Now I have mentioned this before, but am still interested in what application people use to write their blogs with. I use Word 2013, which comes with a ‘blog post’ template. I type up, proof read and format, including images, before publishing to WordPress as a draft post. I then go into the WordPress editor, add tags (does not seem to work properly if I embed them) and preview, before making any final adjustments and publishing. It works well for me, as I am a seasoned user of Microsoft Word.

Happy anniversary to me !!


The title of this post refers to the fact that it is a whole twelve months since my operation. The actual date was the 26th so any celebration should have been on Friday. Only one person mentioned anything, and that was only because they had seen it noted in my work calendar. In fact, the person I thought would have said something, actually tried to give a bit of a *ollockin* for something else.

So after a year how are things? Well I still have a beautiful 10 inch scar running half way down my chest and still quite proud of that. I was given all sorts of ‘hints and tips’ to help it ‘fade’ but, I went through quite a lot to get that scar so it’s going to stay as it is as long as it does (if that makes sense!)

Not much else has changed really. I suppose that having to take an ‘anti-coagulant’ for life is a major change, but I had been on a stomach acid suppressant (another leaking valve) for a few years, with no change in the foreseeable future, so the idea of permanent medication was not an issue.

I suppose the real change is my memory loss. Now that sounds a bit more dramatic than it really is. What apparently happens, is that I have forgotten things that I supposedly knew. It is well documented and even has the popular name “Pump Head“. It is usually attributed to the heart going on by-pass while the surgery takes place. It was assumed that I knew about it, but only found out when I was due to leave the hospital. I shook the hands of all the other patients, and I said the one I had most of my conversations with, that we would have to keep in touch and meet up when we were both fit again. He laughed and said would be a good idea, if we remember!

It is a strange feeling. There are times when I don’t know if I have forgotten how to do a particular thing or that I never knew how to do it in the first place. It’s more disturbing, when K*** mentions a place we have been to and I simply cannot remember it. Some of the memories that I thought had gone, are now slowly beginning to come back to me, but it usually needs a few prompts and there are some things like days we have out together or places we have been to, just don’t seem to be there in my head any more. It makes you feel quite alone, when people talk about things and you struggle to remember them.

Then there is also, given my age, the slight growing concern, that the memory loss might just have a different cause. It is only a very miniscule fear, but it is definitely on my mind.

Clueless !!


So, I was going to take up this challenge that a fellow blogger Mel Cusick-Jones had devised on her blog. It is called “The Sunday Write-up”. Mel provides five words, and you (ie me) have write a blog post and include those five words. It’s a monthly challenge and it seemed simple enough and it would encourage people (ie me) to write something regularly. Just the type of thing that I needed to give me that little push. Well guess what? I forgot! I did joke about forgetting in the vain hope that the joking would serve as a reminder. It didn’t!

But, in the end, it has given me a bit of a push to write. Hence this post.

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Last time, I was a little concerned about going back to work, and any little surprises that may be lying in wait after my “Big Day.” I had planned to go in, thank everyone for the birthday wishes, get embarrassed and then nip out at lunchtime and buy a supply of cakes! I didn’t want any fuss, as I mentioned before, and I did not get any. In fact nobody mentioned it at all! Now I know they knew, or at least my previous line-manager knew, but nobody said a thing. I thought at first, that they were waiting until most of the team were in, but no. Nothing!

“But it’s what you wanted!” I hear you say, and it was, but I have to admit to feeling a little disappointed. So the cakes went by the wayside.

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What else? Not a lot really. I went to the doctors today. K*** has been going on about me going to basically find out if my medication has caused me to put on over 2 ½ stone in weight over the past ten months. That and should I have had a follow-up from the hospital.

Well I knew the answer to the first issue, and the Dr just confirmed it. At the end of the day (and during the day also) I’m just eating too much of the wrong type of food. He did put a different slant on the reason though. He thought, that the increase could be partly due to the fact that my body was functioning better after my operation, and that I was processing and absorbing foods more. You know what? I almost believed that. It wasn’t until a lot later that I realised that he was trying to take the “blame” away. To try and stop me from feeling guilty. As I say, I’m just eating too much, and it has to stop. Instead of reaching for that Kit-Kat, have a banana! Instead of having a banana sandwich for supper, just have the banana. He also mentioned, that often people mistake thirst for hunger. Sometimes when you feel like you want to eat something, you really need to drink something. Well that one was new one on me, but it kind of makes sense.

With regard to the second query, it seems that I should have had a follow-up appointment in February! He was partly surprised that it had been missed, but I suppose these things just happen sometime. A bit philosophical I know, but the way the NHS is at the moment, nothing surprises me.

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What else? I was going to have a rant about “other drivers”, but I think I’ve exhausted that previously. Cyclists were going to come in for a bit of stick again, but they all seem to be behaving themselves at the moment.

So that’s it for this time. We are going away for a couple of nights when R*** goes on respite. Two nights in Cartmell, Cumbria. Should be nice. I think I may have mentioned some time ago, that R*** no longer wants to go away with us. In fact, apart from his fortnightly respite, he does not want to go away with anyone. So every so often, when he goes on respite, K*** and me have a couple of nights away. It’s not ideal as holidays go, but it’s what we have to do at the moment. Who knows what will happen in the future?

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One last thing. I do wish that those who visit this blog, would actually make some comments. I would be disappointed if the comments were all negative, but I get visitors, but no comments. Makes me think, at times, if it is worth the effort.

Twitter fun !!!!


Tonight I’ve been part of what I believe is called a “Twitter Storm”. The @NHAParty have been trying to draw peoples attention to the privatisation of the NHS. As part of this campaign the created a hashtag ‘#PublicDuty‘ and invited people to use this in Tweets in order to get the hashtag trending. Being a survivor of major heart surgery, I joined in, and at the last count, it was trending at No 3 in the UK.

I even posted my own tweet as part of the campaign. I do like to ‘retweet’ and quite often post my own comments, but this was a bit more serious than usual. What is happening here, is that the Conservatives, supported by the turncoat Liberal Democrats are trying to finish what Margaret Thatcher started. That is the total elimination of the NHS and in fact the elimination of all public services. It is their belief that these functions would be better served if they were run by the private sector for profit. It is my belief, along with many others that this it wrong and dangerous. It would also be prohibitively expensive. The average cost in the USA would be in the region of $49,000.00. As I understand it (but it is anecdotal) the full amount is not always covered by health insurance.

But it is all academic! The great British public will be fooled again into another 5 years of Tory misrule. Who will support them this time though? Methinks that the ‘turncoats’ Liberal Democrats will not enjoy another term in ‘power’, so it will be up to one of the other minor parties to take up the mantle. The question is which one? With arguments about the televised debates, I think the PM has been trying to cosy up to the Green Party. That would be interesting!