A small world …


Way back at the beginning of 2017 I posted about a familiar face popping up on FaceBook and how I was in two minds as to whether I should make contact or not. Looking back, I don’t think I posted that School palsI did get in touch. We had a good evening out some time later, and have kept in touch (on and off) ever since. In fact, we had lunch just recently. Now this is where the title comes in. At that first evening meeting we talked about our family and such. But then we got onto work, and it turned out that this old school friend worked for the son of my maternal grandmothers brother (my mothers cousin). Not only did he work for him, but he knew my grandmother and often visited her. All this came out at that evening out. And before you ask, we both did have that amount of hair in those days.

Then around June time, last year I noticed a post, again on FaceBook from a friend that I worked with way back in the late 1980’s. Back in 1986, I went to work as a clerical officer Typingfor the Local Authority. She started in 1988 as a clerical officer and left that job around 2001 which caused us to lose touch. The post in question was a reply to another post from a current local friend who knew this girl from college way back in the late 1970’s. Thankfully, although she now lives in New Zealand we are now back in touch again. She and her husband are a couple of the nicest people I know.

Leap forward to this month (May 2019) and the relative smallness of the world is again raising it’s WPhead. This time, through this very blogging platform. I was reading through some of the comments on a post I had just read. I often have a look at blogs of people who make interesting comments and this was no exception. One of the commenters (is that what they are called?) I visited had an interesting post that had an image of a place near where we used to live. I commented on the post and to cut a long story short, after a couple of messages I now find out that this person lives close to my wife’s father, and may even know him. I refer you back to the title …

Interesting days …


Yesterday was a day I was a little apprehensive about. I was meeting up with an old school friend for lunch. We have met a couple of times over the past few years, but I seem to have School daysbeen trying to avoid meeting again. I can’t say why. We both get on together. We have similar interests and both enjoy reminiscing our school days. However, whether it is an age thing we always seem to talk about the same thing … teachers, school-mates, punishments and the general high-jinx we can remember getting up to. We did chat about our current respective jobs, but not much of anything else. Now the problem is, for both of us is a memory thing. He remembers many of the people we were with at school, and I only a few. But then again, I remember things that happened that he can’t remember. So it makes for an interesting lunchtime. We have both promised to ‘do it again, soon’ but I’m not sure it will happen.

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Today was K***s birthday. I did mention earlier that she was having a family break with her sister and father. I was going for the day to celebrate her birthday and have a nice lunch. That was the plan, and to all intense and purpose that plan was successful. The only downside was the location of the lunch venue. It was The Horseshoe Inn, in Levisham and was only 15 minutes away from the cottage Lunchthey were staying at. The place itself was great, and the food was mostly very good. I had Haddock and Chips. The fish was well cooked, but the chips seemed to be in the fashion of triple cooked chips. I’m not a fan really. They tend to be really dark, over cooked looking and not the golden brown chips I was brought up on. Always seem a little bit greasy to me. But back to the down side. The ride to get there was tortuous. It was all narrow, windy country lanes, but the worst part was the inclines and declines. At one stage the road sign said that the incline was 1 in 5 (an old sign which is usually replaced by one saying 20%) which is quite steep at the best of times, but when you factor in the twists and turns of the road, it was a bit of a nightmare. I drove most of the way without getting out of third gear and on the 1 in 5 stage, I was forced to drop to second gear. One of the most scarier drives I have taken, and then I had to drive back.

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K*** is back at some point tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it. I mentioned before about the noises, but not about the silence in between. I do like my own company, but I often find that I talk to myself as if there was another person there. I explain things that I know about, as if there is somebody with me that knows a lot less than me. Sounds a bit weird, but my doctor tells me that it can be quite a normal thing. To cap it all, there is nothing on the televisionTelly that I want to watch. I can’t watch the few programs we watch together, as they are being recorded for when K*** gets home, so if the telly goes on, it is usually and old comedy show or the news. the comedy shows I have watched before, and these days the news is so full of doom and gloom, that it is positively depressive. Still it does give me a little time to write a new blog post.

Small and strange …


Let me get something out of the way. The title of this post is not a case of self deprecation. No, I’m talking about the world and how is connected by the internet.

A bit of background here. I was doing a search on eBay, for something I wanted to buy. I was not having much luck so I thought I would widen the search to pick up other online stores. I add my criteria into a web-search optimiser that I’m beta-testing and clicked on the ‘Go’ button. The search optimiser is similar to Windows 10 Cortana, and uses all the available search engines such as Bing, Google etc to maximise the search area. Anyway back to the main story. It only took a few seconds before the results were starting to show and some of them were not what I was expecting at all. I found the item I wanted and have ordered it, but that is not what is interesting here. There was about twenty or so links on each results page and I think it was on page four that the “interesting” thing happened I was reading the link descriptions when I spotted a name of a person I thought I knew from school. The link was to a Facebook(FB) page. I don’t click on FB links as they are often not genuine so I opened FB on my tablet and enter the persons name. When FB opened I was amazed at the face that was staring  back at me. Apart from a few grey hairs and the odd forehead line, the person was exactly how I was sure I remembered them. I ‘ummed’ and ‘arrghed’ for a couple of days before biting the bullet last night and sending them a message. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in contact after all these years as I’ve not had a lot of luck with friends from my past. Within a couple of minutes the message was replied to and it was who I thought it was. We messaged back and forth for a good half hour talking about each other and the past, and are now friends on FB.

Now I come to the “Small and strange” part. I had a look through their photo’s and friends list (as you do) and was amazed that (bear with me here) some their friends had friends who were friends of mine! Not just FB friends, but actual real friends. I can never get my head around the fact that a local (real) friend is a friend of a friends friend, if that makes sense. It’s a bit like when I discovered that the son of my manager when I was at work, supports by youngest son with one of his activities. Really does make the world feel “Small and strange…”

Finding old friends …


I’m tempted to give up on Facebook in some instances.

Over the years, I have lost contact with people I know. Sometime it’s because one of us moved house or job. Sometimes just drifting apart. None of my friends and colleagues from my first and second job are still in contact. These are people that I’ve probably not seen for twenty-five years and more, so it’s little wonder that I’ve lost contact. With todays connected world, it is some easier to stay in contact with people.

Now this is where my issue with Facebook comes in. I suddenly think, “… it would be nice to get back in touch with so and so again …” and of course I naturally assume that they will be on Facebook. So the search begins. Male friends are easier to look for as they tend, for the most part to keep their surname. You type the name you remember in the search box and hit enter. You decide to look at all the listed names, not just the ‘top ones’ that Facebook deems useful. You scroll down the list looking for anything familiar without much luck.

Then, you spot someone! They look about the right age and given the length of passing time, they look like you would expect them to look. You click on their name and wait with fingers crossed.Is it the right person? You check out what personal details they have shared, and it’s beginning to look like you have struck gold! A quick look down the photos and you begin to get more and more convinced that this is the right person. After all these years. I’ll send them a message.

“Hello! Did you used to work at {blah bah} back in the early 1970’s?”

You now sit back and wait for them to reply. Might take a day or two, but your hopes are high. A week goes by and nothing. I’ll check their profile again. It is then that you realise, that the last post they have made was back in 2009! They’re no longer using Facebook. Now you begin to wonder if you have got the wrong person after all. Then finally it starts to creep into your head, that this person may no longer be alive! That is the thought that suddenly deflates you.

This has happened to me on three occasions now and whilst (am I the only one that still uses that word?) I don’t get depressed about it, I do end up feeling a little down. I resolve to check out the posts before waltz off trying to contact them. Maybe next time!

(Posted by email, using ZoHo Mail)

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.

Good intentions


   I have meant to post, but the evenings just seems to run away these days. so to catch up. The play was as good as I was told it was going to be, and S**** was really pleased afterwards. As expected, Saturday night was a late one again. We got back in about half past two, and it would have been three when I fell into bed. Sunday was a lot quieter.

   The past week was a bit hectic at work. We were having some new hardware and software installed, and it never quite goes to plan. This time it was not too bad. Still had problems, but they seem to be working themselves out. Fingers crossed. But it made for a very exhausting week.

   Saturday, saw the first Strawberry Jam Music Festival. Well, I should explain. The toilets in the village hall need refurbishing, but there is no money to do it. One of the young people people in the village, decided to do something about it. She organised, what she called the ‘Strawberry Jam Music Festival’. It was basically a twelve hour musical event, featuring local, unsigned bands, that performed in the village hall. Some of the bands were quite well known in the local scene. Bands such as Soul Circus (who are playing both Leeds and Reading festivals), White Light Parade, Die Video Die, Testtone3 to name just a few. We had a Bramham guy called Owen Richards, who is part of a well known band called ‘Grammatics’. All in all, it was a good event.

   The PTA website is coming along nicely. i just need to get people to pass me information. And as important, visit the site. I’ve emailed the committee members, to try and get them to pass the web address to other. We will see what happens. At the moment, the stats have ‘flat-lined’. It would be good, if people would sign up for the email. That would help.

Different night in the pub


   Not my usual pub night, but S**** was up for the first rehearsal of the panto. He mentioned that I should come along for a drink afterwards. As R*** seemed to be quite calm, I went along. It was a good laugh. Of course when Dr J*** is there, it is quite outrageous,and with St*** being there also, the jokes just seemed to flow.

   So here I am, at quarter past midnight, trying write a blog for yesterday. Oh well !!!!

TGIF…..


   I’m glad that week is over. Work wise it’s been quite a successful week. All my PDA’s came back from repair, although one has to go back. That was hard work. They don’t realise that I’ve working with the kit for 5 years, so I know when a problem is real. Hardest is part, is that they cannot follow my accent. For most of the time, I can understand them perfectly well. Most of the help desk have that strange American/Asian accent, that is neither one or the other, but is easy to follow.

   D*** got the departments ‘Leader Of The Year Award’ today. I think he was really touched, that firstly he was nominated, and secondly that he actually got it. He does get a lot of respect from his team though, and there is a lot of respect from the other teams too. It was a good choice.

   R*** got his ‘ear-plugs’ today. the doctor was pleased that he allowed him to put them in, and apparently, he kept them in for an hour or two. He has not put them back since though. I tried listening to one, and it just sounds like the sea. Would probably annoy me I think. Mrs H says he was quite bad during the day, but he seems to have settled down tonight. I think he wanted a download doing, but he has not asked for it. He was kicking off a little, but it was not too bad.

   Just been chatting to my old mate C****, on facebook. She is just getting used to this social networking stuff I think, so I had to explain some of the acronyms, which was funny.  I’ll have to get to get Messenger though, it’s a lot easier to chat. I think here daughter is on MSN too.

   All done.

Back again ….


   Well, as expected, the quiz-nite went well again. We got 37 points, which is a record for our little (sic) team. Of course, we did not win. That was never on the cards, but that’s not the point. R** won the bingo though. I don’t think she really knew what to do/say when her numbers came up.

   It’s strange though, seeing people, that I know from the primary school, when I was on the PTA. People that you remember as little kids, that are now grown up and quite mature and sensible. Makes you feel a little old. I think what is worrying though, is that I know the faces, but not the names. Must be an age thing.

   All done for today.

Quiz nite … yeah


A good night tonight. Of course, we did not win … we left the winning to the usual crowd. But  still a fun night. A lot of S****’s friends turned up, and I think they turned up because he was there.

Here’s a thing though. I got a message from K**** on MSN messenger. It was really nice to hear from her. Sounds like she is on the mend now. Funny though, I did not know she was on MSN !!

R*** has his ears syringed today. It sounds like it was a great success. I think he seemed a lot happier tonight. More than usual. Fingers crossed that we may have hit on something here.

Well I think that is it for tonight. I’m typing under the affluence of incohol.

…. and it is still only Thursday


This week seems to be dragging on somewhat. As I expected, the software house rang me at twenty past four … “hello … I finish around four pm as I start around seven thirty am”. Yet again W**l came up with a theory, that I instantly demolished. Does this guy not have any experts that talk to him ?? It is getting to the stage whereby I may have to ring the other office and talk to one of the old school, either M****n or P**l. Still no phone call from the repair company. It is quite bad really. Parts of the company are willing to help, beyond their remit, and others just don’t care at all.

Again, no walk today, except for when I delivered the Parish Magazine. I suppose that could count. It does take just over thirty five minutes, but it’s not exactly ‘brisk’ exercise. However it is better than nothing at all. Still no sign of the pedometer. Tomorrow is the last day. I knew it was too good to be true, that the Council could get something right. But then again …… I could be wrong !!

Not chatted to J**** since Monday. It is slightly worrying. I hope everything is okay. She seems have been on facebook recently, but I don’t often show myself to be online there. J*** was in a chatty mood last night. I can handle that occasionally, but I don’t want to get back to the old ways there. There you go. It is 10:20 and J**** has just signed on a mobile. Panic over.

A bit of a ball ache …… Spike is back on Monday. I thought he had Monday off. It would appear that it is the 1st Monday in September that he is off. G*** is still being a bit of an ar*e. She is such a patronising person, and quite selfish really. If that is Buddhism, then you can keep it.

Youngest is back from respite tomorrow. We hope he is in a better mood than before he went. As I have mentioned, the eldest moves out on Saturday. Mrs H is bearing up at the moment, but it is going to be a rough weekend. I am not looking forward to Saturday night at all. I had a quiet word with him about ringing home over the next week. I think we need to plan this out. I don’t want his mum thinking he is only ringing for the sake of it. What I think he needs to do is not to ring on Saturday, but wait until Sunday evening to call. Then he should ring again sometime on Tuesday. After that, just a couple of times a week will be good. If he rings mobile to mobile, it does not cost anything.

All done.

Quiz nite … yeahhhhhh


Today has been a good day. C**** came in to see everyone. She’s not changed, except that she is about 40 shades browner than she was.

And so to the quiz nite …… S**** had either invited or was invited by, some of his drama friends. So there we were, B** and his partMallfoy ??ner R**, R****, and good old Dr J***.  Of course, we got no where on the old footie card, but S***** won £27.00 on the bingo. We also did very well on the quiz, scoring a rather respectable 30. All in all, a very pleasant (if a little mad) evening. I’m looking forward to next Tuesday at this rate.

Eerrm, the eldest has changed his hairstyle. It is not what we expected. He had sais that he was going to go Post Box Red, so blonde is kind of a relief. He got a lot of comments and double takes whilst in the pub.

No walk or bike ride today. It was too wet at lunchtime, and by the time I got home, it was raining again. I will do something tomorrow.

That’s all though……

…..and so to continue


I did the bike ride !!!! Must have been about six miles. Spen Common Lane - BramhamAlong the access road (keeping to the newly made foot/cycle/bridle path), up  Spen Common Lane to Headley Hall, down the bridle path (passing a few bricks on the way), then along Aberford Road, down Church Hill and home. Knackered !!I think I may alternate between walking and cycling. My calves feel like iron.

C**** is coming in to say hello tomorrow. It will be good to see her again. I may even take the plunge and go into town on the bus. Go out for lunch. But then again, that could ruin my ‘grumpy old man’ image. But who knows.

Here is an odd thing (just to change the subject). My car seems to be doing, more miles to the gallon/litre these days. Take today for instance. The odometer showed that I had done 300 miles since the last fill up. Now that is usually, the number of miles before I fill up, give or take 5 miles or so. However, at 300 miles, the petrol gauge showed just over 1/8 of a tank left, or an equivalent of 35 miles. My theory is that, the warm weather (?) means the engine does not take as long to warm up, and so uses less juice. However, I do seem to be driving more miles these past few weeks.

I’m now on the NaBloPoMo blogroll, so I may get a little more traffic coming my way. hope this is not too boring for you all.

A wet day


It was a bit wet at lunchtime, but still warm. Warm and wet does not bode well for a walk by the sewerage works. So I thought I would walk when I got home again. However, It was looking really unsettled, when I got home, and true to form, it was raining within half an hour. Anyway, after yesterdays ‘epic’ four miler, my legs were a bit achy.

Eldest is out on the lash, in York tonight, with some old school pals. As we do not have a bus service, that would get him the 15 miles or so to York, I took A64 at Bramhamhim. It is ridiculous really. It is only 2 miles from our house to the A64, but we would have to catch a bus to Seacroft (10 miles), to catch the bus to York. It always gets me angry, when people says we have to change our reliance on the car. Improve the bus services and people will change. I get even angrier, when they call it ‘public transport’. It’s not!! They are private commercial companies that are in business to make a profit for their shareholders. Customers take a back seat, and routes are only viable if they make lots of money. Rant over !!

J**** was back tonight. I left an offline message, but when I logged on to MSN, she sent a goodnight message. She will have been travelling for a long time, so bound to be tired. We will chat tomorrow hopefully. I have missed her. Strange that, after such a short time. I had a bit of chat with N*** on Yahoo this morning. We’ve not done that for ages. It was good to hear from her.

S**** is having his PDR (personal development review) tomorrow, so that means that we will have to have ours next week. It will be next week, as he is off the week after (hurrah). I would love to be a fly on the wall when he does G***’s PDR. I imagine that sparks will fly !!!!

All done (see I appear to be writing everyday…how long will this last … watch this space)