Goodbye to a long year


     By the time you read this, 2012 will nearly be over. It’s a year that has had it’s ups and downs and I’m probably glad to see the back of it. Some the downsides have been quite traumatic: finding out that the job you’ve been doing for the past seven years, will no longer exist; Mrs H finding out she had a Melanoma on her arm; coming home to find the Police in the house after R*** had had a melt down; discovering that there was a plan in place to section R*** if needed and that the ‘plan’ had nearly been invoked twice, must all rank at the top of the downers. Then of course there was the uppers: getting a new job; R*** settling in at his new place; R*** taking to his respite without a problem; S**** getting a great review for his part in the local panto; surviving Christmas (still have New Years Eve) are all up there with good times. I also got a new laptop, and I was not sure if it was an upper or a downer. It was struggle to get it to how i wanted it, but when it was all done, it was brilliant!
     My writing is coming along. It is a slow progress, because I think in my own mind, that I’m not good enough to do it. I will have days when I will just sit at the keyboard, and do not know what to write. Then on other days, I will hammer out a couple of hundred words. But then i read back what I’ve written, and realise that it is nonsense, and I have to start again. I’m currently writing a story that has a troll involved. I’ve got up to 4000 words, but I don’t know where I am going from here, or even if going to take it any further. I may just use this a practice piece whilst I figure out what I really want to write about. I did start writing a blog for a national magazine and wrote a few  posts, about the local area and what was happening, but the stats were very disappointing, with no comments neither good or bad. You do need people to comment. Even if they just tell how bad the piece is, it shows that they have interested enough to read it and offer advice. I gave up after four posts and have not written anything for it since December 2011.
     I have recently taken one of the pieces I have written and turned it into a sketch/play. It still needs some work, but with that one, I know what I need to do. I’ve been reading and bought a couple of books about Creative Writing, and am now beginning to understand where I have to start from, and how to develop ideas. It is going to a long process, but as I have indicated to HR at work, I am interested in taking voluntary early retirement in March 2015, I need to get my skates on, so to speak.
     I suppose, that the last sentence needs a little more explaining. I work for local government, and without going in to the politics of it (especially my views) a number of staff in the 55 – 65 age bracket, have been asked to consider either early retirement (VER) or voluntary severance (VS). As I fall in to that age category, I decided to apply for VER. I have sufficient service to give me that maximum payout, and although the pension will not be full amount, I would only be eligible for a further £2000.00 a year if a I stayed on until I was 66. It has yet to be passed by management, but at my level, I do not think there will be a problem. It will mean a massive change, and I will need to get some kind of part-time job, to help with the finance situation, but I think it will be okay. So you see, if I can get my head around writing and develop the skills I need to write creatively, the boredom factor that people get when they retire should not creep in. Who knows, I may even make a few pounds from the experience.

 

     Well, I think I have blathered on for long enough. All that is left now is to wish you all a  very prosperous and successful new year, and hope that 2013 brings you everything you wish for.

It gets closer …..


    I don’t need to tell anyone, but it just over a week to go. Then we can get back to some form of normality, whatever that may be. Just a couple of presents to get, (last minute hints from Mrs H) and I should be done. So I’ll be nipping off to the White Rose centre tomorrow, and I also need to pay a visit to Aldi too. I need to get some Parmesan, and it seems to be one of the best places to buy it. We also bought some ‘mini’ mince pies there last year. They came out top in the Which Best Buy.

     This week will see the usual Christmas Fuddles start. Ours is on Friday, but I’ve also been invited to the one at my previous office, on Wednesday. I made the mistake of saying I would go there on Monday or Tuesday and was told that I was invited. I now have to find an excuse not to go. I never liked it when I worked there, so I’m not going to like it now. I think D*** will get it, but the rest of them won’t.

     K*** and me went to R***’s college on Friday. It is just outside Barnsley, and we (replace the with ‘I’) had to drive through dreadful weather. It was icy, foggy, and rainy at the same time. There had been numerous accidents on the M1, and it had been closed in parts, so we opted to travel the A1 instead. I think, if the weather had been better, it would have proved to be the more suitable road. It certainly seemed a lot easier to find his college this time, and I don’t think it was anything to do with the fact we have been three times before.

     It was a good day, and it was nice to see the flat where R*** has his base, and to meet the support staff he works with. I have just thought though. He currently uses this flat just as a day base. He does not sleep there when he is on respite, because it is/was a shared resource. The person who shared with him, will be based in another flat in the future. I wonder if they have given any thought to R*** using this flat as his respite flat now. To me it makes sense, although there may be many reason why the management cannot put this in place. However, it is worth a phone call next week. I shall let you know.

     His psychiatrist and the community nurse, that works with us, told K*** that they wanted to have their next meeting at a different place from usual. They tried to sell it to me as a way of getting him used to different places. However, it came out in Friday’s meeting, that this place is some kind of secure unit/place of safety. It did not click at first, but his psychiatrist want to get him on to an anti-psychotic drug to help manage his behaviour. Now we had this before, when he was put on a drug, and it completely disagreed with him. It made him worse. He was depressed, sobbing and weeping often, and also self-harming. The self-harm was only minor, hitting the side of his head and nipping himself, but the specialist wanted to increase the drug, bur we said we wanted to stop it. After a day or too, he was back to ’normal’ or as normal as he was before.  So what this new psychiatrist want to do, is to take him into ‘hospital’ so they can observe and monitor him whilst on this drug. This secure unit is the ‘hospital’ they want to use. We are going to have to be very careful here. I don’t want him on any anti-psychotics, and I think K*** feels the same, but I feel that there may be plans that we are not party to. A year ago, he was a teenager with Autism and challenging behaviour. Now it seems that he some kind of psychopath and a danger to the community !!!!! When did that all change.

Hospital phone call hoax …… my view


     This absolute tragedy, has highlighted a couple of issues, that I don’t understand. There has been no condemnation of the Royal security in this matter. As I understand it, all calls to the hospital should have been monitored, by the security services whilst members of the Royal family were there. Any call requesting any information, would have been automatically intercepted and redirected to a member of the security service, who would have a prepared statement. This is what Ken Wharfe, former security advisor the Princess Diana alluded to yesterday. and it does make complete sense. It’s been said that William and Katherine want a slimmed down security presence. Well so be it, but their security should be constantly reviewed.

    I’m not condoning what the radio presenters did, but it is what they do. It’s part of their job at that radio station to engage with their audience and give them what they want. It is also a sad indictment of the private health service, that such a valued nurse was on switchboard duty, and not doing what nurses are expert at. The question must be asked, had this highly professional nurse had the necessary training to operate a switchboard correctly. I have my doubts. Jobs such as telephone/switchboard operators are probably not seen in the same light as ‘professional’ jobs. I know from my own experience it is often assumed, that it is a job anyone can do.

It’s beginning to feel like etc etc etc….


     Yesterday was the first real day of Christmas here. The day also goes under the celebratory name of “I-need-to-clean-the-whole-house-and-you-need-to-clamber-around-in-the-loft-and-find-all-the-decorations-because-its-Christmas” Day!!!! Today is yesterday, part the second. With the sounds of  “Scrooge”, “Grinch”, “Miserable Old Sod”, “Humbug” and all the other seasonal insults around me, I reluctantly begin to fall into place. I have to say, I hate Christmas! More to the point, I hate what Christmas has become. It just seems to be a time for eating, drinking and spending more than is good for anyone. What has happened to the spirit of Christmas ? Seems to me that it now comes ‘gift pack’ with a 35ml bottle and a tacky glass.

     We don’t have a real tree anymore. We gave that up a while back, when tThe Treehe price of a piece of dead wood became too high. We now have a three foot high (including basket) fibre optic tree. It does the job, looks good and is always a talking point. The really good thing, is that there are no nasty needles to sweep up afterwards. Because, you never get them all. There will be one day, probably mid January, when you’re walking around in your bare feet, and you’ll find one !!! Never a good time.

     It’s ‘Panto’ time in Bramham again. I’m not going to go into the ‘oh no it isn’t – oh yes it is’ routine……. ah I just did! S**** is again one of the stars. This years effort has again been written by a local lad, and it is a version of Aladdin, but it’s more Persian than the usual Chinese offering. S**** plays the part of the Aladdin’s simple brother, Cy. He seems to be on stage for most of the performance, and his part is very slapstick. He is coming home very battered and bruised from all the knockabout routines, but he says it is great fun, and it certainly was very energetic, when K*** and me saw it on Thursday. I’ll post some pictures later, when they get uploaded.

     My writing efforts continue. I’m working on a short story at the moment, that may involve a troll. Not the internet type, but the type of troll that might live under a bridge. Still not sure where it’s going yet, but I’m managing to knock out a couple of hundred words every other day. I’m working on the idea that I should just write, and when I come to the end, then start to edit and correct it. It’s difficult, as I seem to see what is not right every time I come to write some more. Both style and content are a work in progress. I’m also in the process of writing a small play/sketch. This started as listening in to two separate conversations and then expanding it into a very short story. someone then suggested that it would probably make a good (or adequate was the word) sketch. So I’m giving it a go. Who knows, it may even end up being performed by the drama group.