Trying again . . . or not


Back at the very end of 2019, I took the decision to start using the WordPress Block Editor. I had previously been using some open source software called “Open Live Writer” or OLW for short. I had been quite happy with this but had been told (by one of the so called “Happiness Engineers”) that the OLW software was out of date and would no longer work with future versions of WordPress. So I stopped. It hadn’t been updated since 2017 so I believed they could be correct. There also seemed to be some issue with images being duplicated in the gallery.

I struggled on with the Block Editor for a while and then found that I could use Microsoft Word as a blog editor. As I had experience with Word, I gave that a go. Worked reasonably well, so I began using that. However it soon became clear that some of the posts were not formatted correctly, so I went back to the Classic editor. It’s not a very exciting editor and is no longer being developed by WordPress. I flirted with an application called “Net Writer 2” but that was not successful so I returned to the Block Editor and that has been my editor since.

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After a few tests, the issue with the duplication of images remains, and the only way around this is to save draft posts locally before posting them as a final draft on my blog. So at the end of the day, the Block Editor lives to ride again.

Payment methods ? . . .


We had an invoice to pay to the Local Authority(LA). Not a problem I thought. Wrong!! There were several ways to pay, the most obvious one being a BACS transfer. It is safe and so easy that an 87 year can do it without an issue.

Not so in this case. Usually, I would go onto my banking website, enter the payee bank details, the amount and a reference number. On this occasion, the payee account was a collection service (whatever that means) with an account number consisting of simply zeros. I would also be required to email a “remittance advice” to the Local Authority showing the payment details. Not the kind of thing that should be sent by email. Also, I don’t remember receiving any “remittance advice” when I made payments before.

The next option was “Telephone Banking“. This was a 24/7 payment line, which meant it was an automated payment system. I have worked in the Local Authority and know that these automated systems often “misplace” payments. So that was out.

Option three was to visit the LA’s website and pay online, following the “… simple on-screen instructions …”. Unfortunately these instructions did not exist in the same format as on the invoice. Option four was to pay by cash at the Post Office which was another non-starter.

So we are left with a Postal option. I have to write a cheque, write the invoice number on it and post it. No pre-addressed envelope and certainly no pre-payment on the envelope. Given that technology has moved on so far over the past few years it seems very strange that the oldest payment method (that I have ever used) is the prime method. Looking for to paying in groats and shackles in the not so distant future

Accidentally . . .


I applied for another job last week! It was entirely by accident. I have been casually looking for another job for a few weeks now. A previous post explains some of the reasons. I visited the “Indeed” website and entered the search criteria for the particular type of job I was looking for. I spotted one at the local Sainsbury’s which seemed quite interesting. There were no details regarding hours or pay rates, but I thought that was because I had not logged into my Indeed account.

I clicked the “Sign in” button, but it would not let me sign in and asked me to create a profile. I’ve not used the site since getting my current job, and I assumed that my account had expired. I began to enter the details it was asking for. Some of the questions I remembered from the last time, the general ones “Name”, “Address”, “DoB” that kind of thing. But some seemed a little more direct “Why Do you want this job?” was one of the questions, which I thought was a little odd.

I finished entering the required details and pressed the save/submit button. A few seconds later, I received an email notification which I took to be a confirmation. I read a few more job descriptions and then left the site. A quick flick through my emails and a surprise, surprise … there was an email from … the Local Sainsbury’s! It was thanking me for my interest in ‘applying‘ for the position and advised me that I would hear from them soon if I was successful in getting an interview. I could not believe it, I had actually applied for the job!

Fast forward 30 minutes and another email arrives congratulating me on my success and inviting me to select the time I would like for my interview.

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It’s now Friday morning and I’m pacing up and down the street next to the supermarket, passing time before my interview start time. I’m chattering away to myself, practising what I was going to say to the questions I may be asked. I was getting some funny looks even though I had a pair of earphones and was looking at my phone.

About five minutes before my allotted time I entered the store and spoke to someone at the customer service desk. I was shown to a room and told that the manager would be with me soon. She arrived very quickly and we went through a few legal details. She then explained the hours. It was evenings on two of the days I could not do. We both agreed that it was pointless to continue and we shook hands and thanked each other.

I left feeling a bit dejected but also a bit relieved. It had been a long time since I had a proper interview. Even though it was ‘short and sweet‘ I felt I had achieved something. There would not be as many self-doubt nerves the next time.

Waste ! ! !


Medical Centre

Back in the middle of September, I received a text message from my GP’s surgery. It was an invite to book a Covid 19 booster jab. Because of my age, I had become eligible for the “Autumn Booster” jab. The date they had offered was not a particularly good date for us for a number of reasons. However, as I had an appointment a day or two after receiving the text, I was able to make a different appointment.

COVID-19

At the beginning of October, another text message appeared. This time, it was from the NHS, inviting me to book an appointment for the booster jab. I checked with the GP’s surgery and they told me that I was booked with them and it was on my medical record. So I left it at that making the assumption that there had been some kind of crossover delay or something.

This morning, the Royal Mail delivered a letter. It was from the NHS reminding me to book my booster jab, and explaining all the problems that ‘could’ occur should I fail to take advantage of the booster.

It seems to be such a waste of valuable Health Service resources to issue an invite and a reminder for something that is already booked. It’s not the first time this has happened. Last year I received an invite and reminder from the NHS about the annual flu jab, that I was entitled to. This was two weeks after I received the flu jab. I’m having the flu one today so will be looking out for messages and letters in the coming weeks.

Rant over !!!

Work and stuff . . .


I need another job. I’m having issues with one of the ‘the team‘ and have just found out that I cannot take some time off as the chef is off at the same time. I’m a kitchen porter! I wash up! I don’t really see how my taking time off can affect the chef. It seems it can. I am looking for another job, but I’m limited in the hours I can work or to be more accurate, the days I am able to work.

I have done this job for four years now and can say that I know it inside out and it bugs me when a new member of ‘the team‘ try to tell me what I’m doing wrong. I’m not saying much more, but it could get …

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I would be intrigued if anyone has a definitive answer to this one. When the access from the village to the motorway was changed, a cycleway/footpath was created along the side of the new access road. This cycleway/footpath is wide enough for both cyclists and pedestrians to use safely. So my question is, why do the majority of cyclists not use this facility? Is it some kind of protest against motorists? Or is it a case of ‘… it’s my road too …’? Either way, it can be dangerous for all.

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Well, the blood test was fine and as expected my dosage of Rampiril has increased to 2.5mg a day. So I will jave another blood test in 2 weeks and we will see what happens then. I’m expecting it will increase again to 3.75mg, but who knows. I’m not sure it has any effect on my warfain, but my INR was too high again. That’s after six weeks of it being in range. It shouldn’t cause a problem, but knowing my luck these days.

I’m also having to monitor my blood pressure. I’m checking every couple of days, but from 19th of this month, I will have to do a check twice a day for four days and submit the results to the Dr’s. Then the following week I will get my flu jab followed a week later with the Covid booster. It’s all go!

More strange stuff . . .


I am currently Home Alone. Mrs H has gone away for a few days, with her sister and father, to a cottage in North Yorkshire. I don’t like that kind of holiday, in fact, these days I don’t really like holidays. So here I am, the ‘saddo’ supposedly ‘enjoying my space’ (whatever that means.)

My sleep pattern does not exist. Some nights I can sleep for seven hours uninterrupted, but other nights it’s three hours then four or five hours of dozing sleep. The kind of sleep where you don’t realise you have slept, but time has moved on.

Well, last night was one of those nights! I staggered off to bed at around 11:45 (wife away, don’t forget) and was soon asleep. I assume I was soon asleep as I don’t remember being awake for long.

At around 3:30am I awoke. Unusually, I still felt sleepy, so after a quick visit to the bathroom, I snuggled down to sleep. After a few moments but could have been longer, I suddenly realised that the room was getting lighter. Sitting up, I quickly noticed that the Amazon Echo Dot that we have in the bedroom had somehow activated and the room was filled with a blue light. It lasted no more than ten seconds, but it was quite disturbing. I spent the next 30 minutes or so, trying to think if I had mentioned the ‘Alexa’ word in my sleep. Very disturbing!

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You may recall, I had a cause to contact WP support over an issue I had. I’m told that the issue has been passed on to the developers. I have now discovered another issue.

I decided that I would like to change the theme I use for my blog. I’ve had this one (Independent Publisher 2) for a couple of years now, and I thought I needed to have a refresh. Endless scrolling followed, but there was a problem! I seemed to be unable to preview a large number of the themes available.

I thought at first the issue was with the ‘free themes’ (I’m not paying any more for this.) But no! The issue affected most of the paid themes too! So I contacted Support! I pay for it so they might as well earn it.

I got a reply the next day (which was good service, I thought). It seems that my current theme is a “Classic” theme. Most of the themes are what they like to call “Block” themes. Support explained, clumsily I thought, that the ‘preview’ only worked properly for ‘Classic’ themes if I was previewing a ‘Classic’ theme. I needed to be using a ‘Block’ theme to preview ‘Block’ themes.

This has also gone to the developers, but as the ‘Happiness Engineer’ explained, they didn’t think there was any chance of it being changed or fixed.

Strange goings on . . .


I’m having an issue with the WordPress Block Editor currently. It’s to do with adding ‘tags’ to the post. I use ‘tags’ quite a lot as I feel they can draw people’s attention to the post’s ideas. Recently, however, a problem has arisen.

I usually add ‘tags’ at the end of writing the post as it gives me a reason to re-read the post and check for any typos or other errors. I occasionally add the ‘tag’ whilst composing the paragraph. This has served me well over the years, and there are a great many ‘tags’ in my Tag Database on this blog

Tag Database

The problem I have is (bear with me as it is not as complicated as it seems) that if the word I wish to use as a ‘tag’ is not in the ‘Tag Database’ then typing in the Add New Tag box in the editor, the new ‘tag’ is not saved if I use the ‘Enter’ key. I can use the comma key and the ‘tag’ is saved, but not if I use the Enter key.

I have raised a support call, but I don’t think they really understand the problem. The solutions (all of which have failed) have ranged from “using too many tags” and “clearing the browser cache” to “logging on to a different network” and “rebooting the router“. It was even suggested that it may be the theme that was the problem. I have tried three different browsers on my laptop all with the same result. The only browser that I didn’t have the issue with is the Safari browser on my iPad. However, that is not a practical solution.

As it has only just started to happen (in the past two/three weeks) I suggested that the problem may have been caused by the latest update. That didn’t go down too well with the “Happiness Engineers.”

It is very baffling and a little bit of a bind to use the comma when I’m used to just typing and pressing enter.

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Update:
I think I have found the root of the issue. From my many times of entering data into various spreadsheets, I came to the conclusion that the Enter key on the numeric keypad was the fastest key to use. This has led to me always using this key as opposed to the main keyboard Enter key. I discovered quite by chance that the tag will be saved if used the main Enter key. I have reported back to WordPress and am awaiting their next response.

Hope it’s for the best . . .


The results from my 24-hour ECG came through last week. It seems that I do not need the Cardioversion treatment. The Cardiologist felt that the results didn’t warrant it and I was prescribed an ACE Inhibitor. My GP explained, or tried to, over the phone that this drug would help “relax my veins and protect my heart“. So at the present time, I am taking 1.25 mg of Ramipril with an instruction to book a blood test in 2 weeks time. It will then be decided if the dosage needs to be increased.

So that means that I am now on 6 different medications a day. I’m beginning to rattle a little I think. I have alarms set on my phone as some of the medications need to be taken at around the same time every day. It’s got to the stage where I need 2 Dosette boxes. One for the morning and another for the evening.

I’m quite pleased that the Cardioversion treatment is off the cards. I have read seen and pictures of the process and it was somewhat worrying. A number of people that have had it done have related that it does not always work, and that it can only be done once. So I could have ended up with the new medication anyway.

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The cardigan I’m knitting for my granddaughter has reached a critical stage. the main body is complete and I’m at the point when I am ready to start knitting the sleeves. And there is the problem! I will have to use double-pointed needles (DPNs) for this part of the job as the number of stitches involved means I cannot use circular needles in the standard fashion. I find using DPNs quite difficult and have never really had to use them except for a few rows when I was finishing a beanie hat.

I could use a technique called Magic Loop, but that is something I have never tried and wouldn’t want to learn on this piece of work.

So, the problem I face is … do I persevere with the DPNs and hopefully manage without any issues, or … do I put the work to one side and learn the Magic Loop technique with some scrap yarn. I am told that it is quite easy, once I have learned it, but it is ‘biting that bullet‘ which concerns me.

I will then have a button band to work on, and that is a different ball game altogether.

Glad that’s over . . . hopefully


The past ten days or so have been a bit stressful, to say the least. It started on the Monday when my father-in-law was rushed into hospital with suspected pneumonia. My wife stayed with him until 3am on Tuesday, in the A & E department, hoping to get him onto a ward. That didn’t happen until Tuesday evening. Then on Wednesday, in a bizarre twist, my Mother was rushed into the same hospital with the same suspected condition. She too was left in A & E for over 19 hours until a bed could be found. The staff, what little there was, were brilliant and did all they could with the limited resources available, but unfortunately, they tend to bear the brunt of patient and visitor frustrations.

They are both out now and on the mend, hopefully.

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Another bit of stress came when our youngest came for a home visit. He has an obsession with Mickey Mouse and his flat, at the care home has many pictures and wall stickers of this cartoon character. Towards the end of July, he came for a visit. He came with a request for “51 Mickey Mouse stickers!!” He was able to show me the ones he wanted. They were located in South Africa and at a price of 1900 Rand (plus postage), but I managed to explain that they were too expensive, as it worked out to around £100. He accepted this, but almost immediately ask for “4 Mickey Mouse stickers.” He then showed me the new ones, and I agreed to get them.

That’s when the problem started. The seller was on holiday and wouldn’t be back until the 16th of August. He seemed to accept this, but then the nattering began. He was asking everyone for “4 stickers.” We managed to order them eventually and told him that they would be arriving at his flat on Monday 22nd. All was going well but then a new phase came in. He started asking for “16 stickers on Tuesday!” Nobody had any idea about these new stickers, but he kept mentioning them.

The stickers finally arrived on the 23rd and he is very happy with them. It was later that day when it suddenly struck me where the “16 stickers on Tuesday” had come from! I had told him about the seller being on holiday and had said I would order the stickers when he came back … the 16th of August, which was also a Tuesday. I am convinced, that in his Autistic mind he was checking that the stickers had been ordered on Tuesday the 16th!

Makes sense . . . and a bit of nostalgia


I did something unusual this week. Well, unique for me at least. I signed an ‘online’ petition. It’s not a thing I would typically do, in fact, I can’t recall ever signing one before. This particular petition is to have a complete ban on disposable barbecues. It’s been seen over the past weeks that these items can have devastating consequences when the land is as dry as it is currently. So it did make some sense. Also, I’m not a particular fan of the “Bar-B-Que”. I just don’t like the smell of burnt food mixed with charcoal and that hint of lighter fuel, and I often think we are just trying to keep up with our Antipodean friends.

I remember, back in the day when I was young (humming the music from the old Hovis advert) we never had a barbecue when we went to the country. No, we had a “picnic”! It’s funny, I remember stuff like this so well. Picnics were always the same. We kids had either meat paste or polony sandwiches. Always white bread and always cut into quarters. There were crisps, with the little blue bag of salt, ready salted crisps came later. And bottles (glass of course) of dandelion and burdock pop! Parents would have egg sandwiches. Sliced boiled egg, none of this fancy ‘egg mayonnaise stuff, with maybe a smear of salad cream. Or there would be tomato sandwiches, with sliced tomatoes and again a smear of salad cream. The adults drink would be tea! Poured from a vacuum flask (never heard it called a Thermos flask) into the cup that doubled as the lid. The tea would already have both milk and sugar, so it was too bad if you didn’t have a sweet tooth.

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One of our favourite places to visit was the small market town of Otley. With Dad working on the buses, a trip to Otley was a reasonably priced day out. The day out was always the same. We would go into Leeds on the bus and then wait for the Otley bus to arrive. This was at the “Red Bus” station, where buses that were going out of Leeds would depart from. We would all have to visit the toilet (mandatory before any bus journey) whilst waiting to board the bus. Usually, it was a ‘double decker’ but quite often when the day wasn’t a busy one, we have a ‘single decker’. These were not as much fun.

Once we arrived at Otley, we would make our way to the local riverside park. There was a paddling pool here with some sheltered seats. This was the picnic area. We kids would spend a long time playing in the pool whatever the weather. That’s what kids did back in the early 1960s. After the picnic, we would have a walk along the riverside path for what seemed to us, miles, but was actually only about half a mile. We used to stop by the tennis courts to watch whoever was playing, but that was never very interesting.

Then it was back to the bus to get home just in time to watch Coronation Street on the telly.

It’ll all be fine . . .


Toward the end of last month, I had to go back to the hospital to review where I was after my stay back in February. I was scheduled to go in the middle of June, but with one illness and another, it got cancelled and rescheduled. We had been watching the news programs which showed patients waiting in corridors for long periods, waiting to be admitted to a ward. This was not our experience at all. More on this in a while.

Electrocardiogram
Echocardiogram

I was to have an Electrocardiogram which shows a graph of my heartbeat followed by an Echocardiogram, to get a look at how my replacement Mitral valve was working. The Electrocardiogram showed that I still had what the medical people call Atrial Flutter/Fibrillation. This is where the heart is beating irregularly. The image shows this quite well. The large peaks show that the blood leaving the heart is going at the correct pace, whereas the small peaks show the problem with the irregular heartbeat. The Echocardiogram however showed that the valve was behaving itself.

Cardioversion

The next step is I will need to wear a portable ECG monitor for 24 hours. this will give the Cardiologist a more accurate picture of the problem. The stage after that is the more worrying one. Once the data from the portable monitor has been analysed, the Cardiologist will decide If I need to undergo Cardioversion. Cardioversion is a medical procedure that uses quick, low-energy shocks to restore a regular heart rhythm. It’s a treatment for certain types of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), including atrial fibrillation.

As mentioned above, there had been TV news videos showing patients on trolleys, and in corridors for hours on end. My appointment was at 14:30. I arrived at 14:25. after both procedures and a good talk with the Cardiologist, I was out at 15:20. A total of 50 minutes. I was amazed as I was expecting to be there until 18:00ish.

Yawn . . .


Says it all really! Nothing much has happened this week. Work was quiet on Monday and busier on Tuesday but nothing out of the ordinary. Eldest went down with Covid mid-week but it was kind of expected. Youngest is on a home visit this weekend and seems to be in a good place. My hospital appointment has changed (again), and that is about it!

Eldest and his family visited the RSPB Centre at Bempton cliffs last week. The granddaughter was obsessed with the Puffins. Unfortunately, there were only three visible, but she was still very excited. They bought me a present of a Puffin knitting kit which was kind. I’m not a huge fan of knitting kits as they tend to be expensive for what they are. This was no exception! It cost £17.95 for the kit which included the pattern and just enough yarn to complete the project. The annoying thing is that the pattern is available on Ravelry at £2.95 and the yarn is just standard low priced acrylic. I reckon I could have put the kit together to make at least 5 Puffins for less than £10.00. But it’s the thought that counts.

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Including ‘Barry’, I currently have two projects on the go. This is unusual for me, as I like to finish one before starting another. The other one is a cardigan I’m knitting for my granddaughter. I found the pattern in the last issue of the Knitting magazine that I recently subscribed to. I tend not to buy magazine subscriptions, but it was a good offer and it’s a magazine I’ve read before. I decided to go for a larger size than I needed, as I think it might take me longer than I expected. She is only three years old, but the size I am working on is for a four year old (note to self: need to buy another pair of 4mm interchangeables). Hopefully, I will get it finished by then. I’m almost at the bottom of the raglan stage, so probably about a third of the way through.

And that is about it for this week.

Always “When” rather than “If” . .


After about 2½ years of mask wearing, stepping into the road to avoid people, and hand sanitising, I finally succumbed to the virus. We had both tested negative on Friday morning (we have to do a lateral flow test [LFT] before R*** can come home for a visit) so everything looked okay. I had been feeling a little off colour since waking up but put it down to simply being a summer cold.


Saturday came, and I spent most of the either dozing in the chair or in bed. I was still thinking it was a cold and nothing else. By Sunday, I was thinking that the cold was lasting longer than it should. K*** said I should do a LFT to be on the safe side and I was beginning to think it might be a good idea. Then it showed … positive … which was not too unexpected. What was unexpected was the feeling of relief. Relief that I now knew what it was. I called K*** and let her know, before calling the boss. That’s another story, which I may put in writing when the anger dies down.

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Flash forward to today (Monday) and we are testing again as R***’s care home had said that he could go back as long as he tested negative. Well, nightmare time again, this time K*** tested positive. R***’s test was negative, so he was picked up around 11:00. It’s messed him up a little as cannot do any of his normal activities, has to be tested every day and his team have to go back to wearing the full PPE.

Then, at around 12ish we got a phone call from his care home. They are obliged to do a test when he arrives as a matter of course. Amazingly he tested positive. Could not believe it. So now, not only can he not do his normal activities, he is not allowed out of his flat until Tuesday.

The week got better . . .


The are no images in this post for reasons that you will understand as you read.

It’s been a bit of a rough week. In fact, it started the Friday before. I had been along to the Drs for my INR test, which was only just over a week since the last one. It had been a little high previously, so my dosage had been cut and it was time to check that it had worked. Problem was that it had gone even higher. No idea why, but it was well out of my range. The clinician decide to reduce the dose again and gave me an appointment for the following Wednesday.

Then in the early hours of Monday morning, I started to feel unwell and began a bout of S&D (sickness and diarrea). I had not felt as bad as did for years. I spent the whole day between and and the toilet. By late evening, I was beginning to feel a little better, but decided that I should not go to work in a kitchen with diarrea. That’s how it spreads. Tuesday came and went and I was beginning to think I had got the better of it.

How, by lunchtime on Wednesday I had a sort of relapse. I had no energy and literally no interest in eating at all. I thought It would be a good idea to go have a lie down and just rest for a while, to see if that helped. I had rung the INR clinic to explain the situation and we decided that it was probably not the best of ideas to have an INR test that day, and I was booked in for Friday.

By the time of the appointment, I was feeling fine again. Everything seemed to have cleared up, although my energy level was still low. I talked though how I had been with the clinician and was expecting the worst. However, I didn’t expect my INR to be so low, that it was out of my range. It was low enough for the clinician, to explain that I was at a slight risk of a stroke and what signs to look out for. She boosted my dosage drastically for two days and asked me to come for a test on Monday, before work. A little worrying.

On the plus side (sort of) I have lost about half a stone in weight and haven’t had an alchoholic drink sine last Sunday. The weight will probably start to creep up again, as it always does, but the cutting down on alcohol will be a great benefit.

Still some lingering issues . . .


After the last issue with my laptop, when it turned out I was using the wrong profile (see this post) I have been most careful with updates. Touch wood, the last couple have not been a problem. In fact (groping for more wood to touch) the computer start-up has improved from a poor 8 minutes to a more appropriate 3 minutes. Not too sure how long that will last though.

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I think I must be one of the very few people that are not really bothered about this Jubilee stuff. I just cannot get excited about it. Especially at this time with the current issues facing the country. I think of the billions being spent on these four days of ‘celebrations’ then I get angry at the people that say my youngest cannot be fully funded in his care home..

And all the plastic! Everywhere you look there are plastic Union flags. The great majority of them are upside down. Most people don’t know there is a correct way to show the flag. The red ‘X’ is set slightly off centre of the white ‘X’ which means (bear with me …) that the left-hand lower and upper legs have narrower lower white parts. This rotates to the right-hand and narrow bands become the upper side of the bands.

To the great majority of the country, I suppose it doesn’t matter, but it’s just another part of our culture being eroded. It’s as bad as the poor use of the English language that has pervaded the way some people speak. I get quite tetchy when I hear someone say “fustrated” instead of the correct “frustrated”. That and the incorrect use of the word “done” in phrases usually by football pundits. Phrases like “The boy done good!”

A bit of a nightmare . . .


I opened up my laptop this morning as I had a couple of things I needed to do before R*** came home. To my total surprise and annoyance, there was that little box at the bottom right of my screen, telling me that my computer needs to restart to complete the update process. I thought it sensible to do it straight away. After about 10 minutes, the system began to start-up again. But what was that? A pop-up message telling me that my profile had failed to install and was advising me to sign out. This was duly done and the start-up continued. My laptop is always slow to start so I wasn’t worried.

That is when the trouble started. My desktop screen had changed. All my usual icons had gone, only to be replaced with some random ones. It actually made to screen less cluttered which is not a bad thing. I then had to check that a document had been scanned and I needed to print it. This is when the real nightmare began. All the documents I had saved seemed to be missing. Everything for the funding review had gone! Months and months of work were nowhere to be found!

I headed straight to Google, but that produced nothing helpful. After about an hour of frantically pulling out what little hair I have, I decided to search for one of the documents. To my amazement, they were still on my machine, only in a TEMP folder. It seems that when the profile failed, any saved stuff was moved into this temporary folder. All I now needed to do was to move the files back into the main part of the storage area. This is going to take some time.

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After a lot more hours on Mr Google things are still not right, but better than first thing. I’m not holding my breath that everything will get back to ‘normal’, this is Windows after all.

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I continued with the Googling and profane language when some of the basic apps just wouldn’t work. then hidden on one of the Microsoft ‘help’ pages I spotted something. It appears that I was signed into my machine with a temporary login. The puzzled look on my face got more and more contorted as I scrambled about looking for my normal login. I found it and signed in using this profile, and everything opened up as normal. Everything I had lost was back in the correct place.

I have to admit that the foul language did not lesson very quickly and I was still more than a little angry about the whole experience, but all is good again (until the next time!)

Not as bad as expected . . .


As weeks go, last week was no different from the usual, although the cafe was (as usual) closed for the Bank Holiday, so Monday was a holiday. I find it unusual, that on possibly one of the most lucrative days on the calendar, the business closes, whilst the other coffee shops are open. But they have their reasons I suppose.

The biggest event of the week was my niece’s wedding. We have never met her husband to be, although we were aware of him. She is about 5 foot tall and very slim and he is getting on for 6 foot and is very large. Large to the point of being obese, but that has nothing to do with me. They are both well suited and seem very much in love.

They had a civil ceremony in a local event venue called The Engine Shed. It literally was an old railway engine shed in Wetherby but is now a much used local ‘party place.’

Then © disused-stations.org.uk
Now © confetti.co.uk
Ready to eat © Tony Huby

It was a good, if a bit of a long, day. The ceremony was at 11:00, but we were asked to be there at around 10:30. I think this was to ensure that the obligatory latecomers didn’t disrupt any of the proceedings. The ceremony went according to whatever plan was in place, and it was quite emotional for the groom, who bravely struggled with his own personal vows, but it all came good in the end.

It took no more than 20 minutes for the service to complete and we were then told that photos were to be taken outside. this was the first of the, shall we say “boring bits.” It took about an hour before all the formal pictures had been taken and we could go back into the warmth. The ‘Wedding Breakfast’ was served and it was a good meal. Then came the speeches and by half-past 2, the first part of the day was complete.

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The evening session was due to start at around 17:30, so time was spent in the bar trying not to get drunk. I was our driver, for a change, but I had a plan, that if I did feel that I couldn’t drive home, we could always get the local bus. Thankfully the price of the drinks prevented me from drinking more than I should.

© RockChoir.com

The session started with a performance by the Rock Choir, which was excellent. They sang around 6 or 7 songs, all of which were favourites of the bride and groom. Then we were ‘treated’ to the sounds of the ‘Disco!’ The ‘DJ’ could only be described as a cross between Greg Wallace and Ross Kemp. He liked the sound of his own voice, as the volume on his microphone was louder than the music he was playing. And the music . . . he seemed to like playing all those tunes that Dad’s dance really badly to (ABBA for example) or those rubbish tunes that are designed to get people all doing the same moves such as The Macarena. Supper was served at 20:00 and it was a choice between a rather dark looking chicken and rice offering and Macaroni Cheese with a small corn-on-the-cob. By this time I was completely passed it and needed to go home.

It was a good(ish) day, but thankfully there will not be another one in the near future.

A bit of a panic . . .


It was more than a shock when I read on one of the WordPress blogs, that pricing has changed. No discussions, no warning, just an announcement that the company was moving from a 5 plan structure to a simpler 2 plan. There was to be a ‘Free’ plan and a ‘Pro’ plan. All other plans would go. So no Business Plan, no Premium Plan, no Personal Plan and no eCommerce Plan. The cost would be (here in the UK) £7.00 per month for the ‘Pro’ plan. This would almost double the price I was currently paying.

I did a quick email to support, explaining that ‘… I neither needed nor desired …’ to upgrade to any other plan, so what did it mean for me? The reply was quick to arrive:

“… you do not have to switch to the new WordPress.com Pro plan if you don’t want to. All existing users will be able to keep their current legacy plans and no further action is required on your end for this.”

My feeling is that it is safe for now, but wonder how long before one of the ‘happiness engineers’ decide that the ‘legacy’ plans have to go?

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Not gone away . . .


Once again, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. No real reason, except for laziness in the area of writing! I have been knitting some small gift bags for a friend which has taken some time. The picture only shows the first three. I did ten altogether. But it has basically been a case of nothing interesting (to me at least) to write about. Now I have been informed, that “… it is the reader that decides on the level of interest …” and I agree, up to a point. The point is that I need to enjoy what I’m writing about, or what is the point of writing?

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Another week of stress is forthcoming. We will be going through R***’s Annual Review on Thursday. It’s always a strain at the best of times, but with the current situation facing us, it’s even worse this time. At least it’s a face to face meeting with his whole team, which is an improvement. Meeting over “Zoom” was ingenious, but it didn’t quite work as it should. His support team had a laptop between them, which was placed in the middle of a rectangular table. This meant that people at the far end of the table couldn’t be heard and the people closest to the laptop couldn’t be seen.

What should have happened is that there should have been a laptop between two people. That way everyone would have shown on screen when they spoke. It seemed such a simple idea.

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I was doing a little computer “housekeeping” last week and came across a link I had almost forgotten about. I used to have a site on “Blogger”, but it began as a cross-posting site for this blog. I was never satisfied with it as it didn’t seem to have the style that WordPress has and I quickly abandoned it. However, the link I re-found was to a “Google Sites” location. I seemed to have created it way back in 2009 as a place to self-publish some photos and short stories. To be honest, there is not much there as I concentrated more on this site.

I’m not sure how long the site will stay live, but it’s there for now and I’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the future. I have no immediate intention of updating or adding to the content, but it was interesting to visit it again, and who knows what will happen, if I ever get the “story bug” again …… The five short stories that are on there are all based in part on things that did actually happen to people I know.

Dreading it . . .


My post

What am I dreading? It’s back to work tomorrow and I’m not really sure I want to go back. I’m not sure if the work is too much for me these days. A couple of people have said that I need to think about either stopping work or finding an easier job. No not easier, more less strenuous. The job is easy. Put the pots in the dishwasher then take them out. No brain strain there, but it’s more of a physical thing. So it’s something I need to think about carefully, because with the cost of living rising every day, the money is going to be needed.

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Almost !

I got my hair cut on Friday! I had decided to get rid of the moustache and beard at the beginning of the week and had been promising K**h that the hair would follow suit. I enjoyed the length, but it was beginning to get a bit scruffy and unkempt. It was also a bit of a bind having to wet my hair every morning to make it lie correctly. So I bit the bullet and went for the clippers with blade number four. No before and after pictures I’m afraid.

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Strange and scary . . .


It started Saturday morning. I began to notice a slight ache across my chest. I thought it was the result of coughing and that I had strained some muscle. However, it seemed to get stronger slightly as the day went on. By around 6:30, it was a lot more noticeable, but I still put it down to the previous coughing.

Went off to bed around 11:30 and the ache had now become a pain. I was now beginning to wonder what was going on. I couldn’t sleep or get comfortable and went downstairs to get a warm drink. My wife followed asking what was wrong. I explained about the pain, which was now much worse. We decided that we needed to call someone, as I was beginning to think along the Heart Attack lines.

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K**h called the Ambulance Service and they arrived within about 15 minutes. The Paramedic and his partner were amazing. He asked a lot of questions and then wired me up to his portable ECG machine. He explained that he would do three scans to check the readings were all correct. After a quick study of the print-outs, he declared that he was convinced that I was suffering from Atrial Fibrillation and his partner quickly agreed.

Then the scary bit came, when he said, “Right let’s get off to the hospital!” Neither I or K**h knew what to say. It certainly wasn’t what I expected to hear. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe a tablet to put under my tongue (not sure what that does, but I had heard of that) and advice to see a GP. But the hospital was not on my radar at all. We asked what I should take and he joked that all I needed was a phone and a good book.

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The next thing I knew, I was strapped to a trolley and we were hurtling along the roads to Harrogate. With blue lights flashing, as the paramedic wanted to get me there quickly, we soon arrived at the A & E of Harrogate district hospital. Things moved quite quickly. After the usual blood taking and a chest X-ray, I was found a bed in a Critical Care ward. All in all, about 45 minutes.

I was hooked up to a full ECG monitor and was placed on oxygen as my saturation levels were low. Well, sleep was out of the question! The ECG machine was constantly beeping as my heart rate changed and if you have ever had the cause to use a Nasal Cannula then you will know how uncomfortable they can be when lying on your side, trying to sleep.

I was in my own room, and there was nobody to talk to. The door was kept closed as there was a patient with dementia, that was trying to go home and would go into the rooms if the door was open. I had a full day and night of this before a doctor decided that I should be on a Cardiology and not Critical Care. I was moved to another ward at 8pm. This time it was a five bedded ward, with four other patients. Although they were all around my age, they were all local people talking about local issues. Not as boring as before, but I had nothing in common with any of them.

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I now had a portable monitor which was linked by wifi to somewhere. This meant I was mobile and didn’t have to unplug anything to go to the toilet. I was still on oxygen though. Monday night passed without any issues and I found that I had slept for about six hours.

Tuesday was as boring as the other two days. For some reason, televisions are not on any of the wards. Something to do with the licence fee which I didn’t understand. So the only entertainment we had was a small radio playing music from a local radio station.

Later in the afternoon, a different Cardiologist saw me and explained that the increase in one of my medications had regulated my heart rate enough for me to go home. Hopefully that day. However, my blood oxygen levels were not good enough and I was to stay another night.

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Wednesday morning came and the nurse that was taking my blood pressure and oxygen levels told me to take really deep breaths when the oxygen was checked as that increased the levels. She also told me that I should regularly take a couple of deep breaths throughout the day as a matter of course.

The Cardiologist came again and explained that all the signs were good and that I could go home that day. This was around 10am. I now had to wait for my new medications. The Pharmacist turned up at around 1pm and took some details about the medication I had at home. She explained that she would put the prescription in and that as soon as it was ready, I could go.

I called K**h and explained that I was waiting for my meds and I would call her again when I had them. It was 4:30pm before the Dispensary called the ward to say my stuff was ready. It annoyed me that with all the bed shortages around, I was taking up a bed, whilst waiting for someone to fulfil my prescription.

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It was getting on for 6pm when we finally got home, and I have never been so happy to see the house again. It had been a scary episode and has given me cause to ponder on life, work and things.

Not the best start . . .


R**s was home on Friday for the weekend. We spent most of the day waiting for storm Eunice to start, and when it did, it wasn’t as bad as we had been led to believe. Well not for us anyway. Then at around 17:45, we got a power cut. I had been expecting one all day and I thought we had got away with it. The problem was that everything went down. R**s did not understand this and he became more and more stressed. We were off-grid for only 30 or 40 minutes but it seemed a lot longer. As the power cut continued, we realised that we needed to calm R**s down and opted to give him his PRN medication. He has not had any for quite a long time, but it seemed to work.

Suddenly everything began to work again. Lights came on, the wi-fi router fired up, the burglar alarm sounded and everything was back to normal. Or so we thought. It became obvious that there was something amiss with R**s’s television. There was no signal. He has a secondary Sky receiver and the TV was showing a graphic that said “No Signal”. K**h thought it may be the satellite dish, but it was working downstairs. after a great deal of ‘Googling’, we came up with the idea that his box may need to be reset. This was not as easy as the Googlites were explaining. We seemed to have buttons and switches missing.

Composite AV
HDMI

Then, for no reason whatsoever I selected the ‘Source’ button on the TV handset and instantly realised what had happened. The power cut had reset the input to its default Composite AV. To view from the Sky receiver it needed to be changed to HDMI. Once this was done, everything was back to ‘normal’. I should have remembered this from when we had the problem a couple of years ago. We now just had to reset all the clocks, timers in the house that do not have a battery back-up, of which there are many!

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SCART

The next morning all seemed okay. His computer was working and so was the Sky receiver. I quickly nipped out to the bottle bank and came back to hear that his DVD player was not playing correctly. Or more correctly wasn’t displaying correctly. I immediately checked the ‘source’ which was correct, but quickly realised that it must be the SCART cable that had worked loose whilst I was trying to reset the Sky receiver. After a few minutes of juggling about and we had ‘lift off’. Everything back to what we call ‘normal’ again.

Then it snowed!

Hello COVID Year 3


R**s came home for the weekend on Friday. We have not seen him since 30th December. He likes to be in his flat over the New Year as fireworks upset him, and at his care home, they are able to minimise any startling noise. So it’s a lot calmer for him.


The home went into ‘lock-down’ on the 2nd of January, when one of the staff tested positive. As per the Government guidelines (sic) they were not allowing home visits until there was 28 (?) clear days without any new infections. That changed about a week ago to 14 days, and so he was able to come and visit for the weekend

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Leeds Civic Hall

We had his assessment on Wednesday, which was very traumatic. The Social Worker went through everything with us, and noted everything about him. This should have been done before the funding meeting, but there was nobody available at such short notice, except for the Duty Social Worker. He had little or no knowledge of R*** or his case, so could only go on what he was being told.


The case now has to go to a panel, who will decide if it is an appropriate placement. If it is, and I think we all made a good case, then it goes to a Financial Assessment to see if some of the funding needs to come from R***’s benefits, before going to yet another panel for financial approval.
It’s just more worries on top of more worries, especially as this is likely to happen every year.

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Work is turning into a bit of a chore at the moment. The Assistant Manager left, and it seems that people are jockeying for the position. To be honest, I don’t think any of them are capable. There is more to a managers job, than simply telling others what to do. The boss has her favourites though, so it is down to her as to what happens.


I’m still half-heartedly looking for something else. This job is getting a little too strenuous for me these days. But I don’t want a job that has any form of responsibility. I had enough of that over the past 50 years. I’d love a job, where I can sit at a desk and tap details into a computer system. I wouldn’t want a phone as I’m not very good with people on the telephone. In fact, I’m not very good with people full stop.

Not been in the mood . . .


I’ve had a cold since around the 16th of the month. I started with a bit of a sniffle on the previous Wednesday and I did a few Lateral Flow Tests (LFT’s) on the basis that the new Omicron variation had cold-like symptoms. All showed negative thankfully, but by the afternoon of the 17th (Monday), my cold was in full flow. So bad that I decided to ring in sick on Tuesday, which was probably the best idea. I spent the whole day in bed, sleeping which was very unusual for me.

By Saturday, I was beginning to feel much better and was almost looking forward to returning to work on the following Monday. I duly went back, but by Tuesday afternoon, I was beginning to feel bad again. More LFT’s followed, but again all were negative and I had to give in to the fact that either my initial cold had not gone, or that I had a new version. It’s just coming to the end now, ready for work tomorrow. Oh, joy!

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Wednesday is not going to be a good day. The trust that funds R***’s placement has decided that they don’t it to be fully funded by them. It has been for the past 10 years, but they now think that the funding should be shared between them and the Local Authority. I find it very wrong, that people make decisions about people, without even really knowing them. But apart from him getting older and becoming more tolerant, he still has the same diagnosis. He has not been ‘cured’ of Autism or ADHD. His medication has been reduced, but that is down to the team he works with.

So on Wednesday, we are having a Zoom meeting with the Social Worker that has been allocated to him. It’s going to be very stressful, especially as he’s been in lock-down since he went back to his residential place at the end of December. Hopefully, he can get home for the weekend, but much depends on how the virus spreads over this next week.

Going backwards ? ? ?


I don’t like the Gutenberg Block editor. I feel constrained when adding images by the way I am forced to let the image sit at the top of the block. It’s either left-aligned or right-aligned, but always at the top of the block. It used to be the case that an image could be placed anywhere in the paragraph and the text would wrap around that image. This was most useful, especially if you are writing a longer paragraph and feel the need to add an image halfway down the text. The top of a text paragraph is not always the most appropriate position for an image. Here you can see that the image appears to be embedded within the paragraph, and you can see that it is relevant to the text.

I have tried a number of 3rd party editors much to the disgust of the WordPress mafia, team. who appear to think that the block editor is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Open Live Writer, which was an open-source replacement for Windows Live Writer, was my favourite, but that has not been actively developed for over 5 years. Microsoft Word is good but I need to do a little bit of work to get the display of the post to look correct. However, there is an excellant tutorial on https://weeklyprompts.com/ website/blog (NB: I must re-read this again) along with many more helpful downloadable files.

So, I may have to go back to the Classic Editor, with which this post was written. Any suggestions to the WordPress team/support/forum is met with the classic “Thank  you for reaching out ...” (whoever coined that phrase needs help) followed a day or so later with “We are not currently looking to blah, blah, blah…

I recently tried a Windows app called Net Writer 2. From the information in the Microsoft Store this app “…Net Writer helps you write blogs. WordPress, Movable Type, Livejournal, Google Blogger and MetaWeblog based blogs are supported…”. To be honest, it not worth the time it takes to download. It looks clumsy and dated and has an interface that looks like it has been built by a seven year old.