My boss texted me on Thursday about our re-opening. They attached a copy of the ‘flexible furlough’ scheme. Now I had not heard of this, but it seems that staff can be brought back to work, as part time. The employer will pay the employee as normal for the day/days they work, with the Government paying 80% (for now) for the days that the employee are furloughed. It is ‘designed’ to assist businesses get back to some form of normality. I’m not sure how this will work for someone (me) who only works two days a week. It has already been mentioned that they need to prioritise the full time staff, which makes perfect sense but leaves me wondering if they will ever need me. The place seats about 48 customers when full, but the tables are very close together. I can foresee that the number of seats could reduce to 20 or even less, which means that the number of staff needed would have to be reduced. I wait in anticipation.
My strawberries are starting to ripen. My wife had the first two on Tuesday, but we now have four or five just turning that first shade of pink. I’m quite pleased with how they have turned out. I bought two small plants last year and when they finished fruiting I noticed that they were producing what a friend called ‘runners’. He told me that they were basically plantlets and that I should peg them down into small pots to created. I did this and it resulted in me growing on another twelve plants, all of which are starting to fruit. I think I initially lost about four of the plantlets, probably due letting them dry out too much as some were in very small pots. I wonder how they will fare next year, as some of the plants are already producing runners, which I have had to remove.
About six months ago, I was preparing our Sunday meal when I had an idea. We were having tray bake (we don’t do traditional Sunday lunch type food) which was basically roughly chopped peppers, courgettes, onions with new potatoes and chicken thighs all mixed with olive oil and crushed garlic. I’ve got a picture somewhere but not sure where. Anyway, to the point. I was just about to throw the bit of the pepper that you don’t use, in the bin when I wondered if the seeds would grow. I’ve never had much luck with growing stuff from seed, but I thought I had nothing to lose. Within a week, the seeds had started to grow, and within a month I had nine small plants. Now six months on I have nine larger plants, with flowers and the first showing of some peppers. This has totally amazed me as I never even thought he seeds would grow. We shall see what we will get.
Today is the first day of the 2018 “Leeds Festival” or as it is known locally “Leeds Fest”. It is one of the large music festivals that happen over the year and it runs at the same time as the “Reading Festival”. Both have the same acts over three days. Leeds is held at Bramham Park, which is extremely close to where we live. I have been back in 2011 and 2012 as local residents are allowed to purchase concessionary for the whole three days as part of a compensation pack. What happens is that the organisers donate a number of tickets to the parish council of Bramham, Clifford and Thorner (who are the most affected) and they sell them to the residents at a vastly discounted price. I think this year, the tickets were in the region of £40.00 for the three days in what is called the Guest Area, which is a much better camp-site then the general public get. So we get a few days of traffic disruption, a bit of disturbance during the night from the music and the local area gets some extra funding. As mentioned, I did got to the 2011 festival, and have great memories of dancing to Madness and seeing Ed Sheeran as an up and coming newcomer. There is a YouTube video of a band called “Bring Me The Horizon” or BMTH, finishing their set with a massive ‘circle pit’. The sound is pretty bad but, I can say that I was in the midst of it and it was as scary as it looks. From what I can remember, I was towards the bottom right when you look at the video. The guy next to me, at the time said I was in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ and advised me that the safest thing to do was to run !! K*** says that it would kill me if I did it now … it nearly killed me then!
I had a ticket for 2012, but the weather was very wet, and I was not that desperate to see many of the bands so I gave most of them a miss. Although I did get to see Foo Fighters, The Cure and Florence And The Machine, so not all that bad.
And now, in time honoured fashion for ‘Leeds Fest’ … it’s raining !
The new “Garden Cupboard” is built and in place. It is a lot bigger than I expected and not as stable as I think it should be. The location where I sited has a slight gradient to it so I thought that I needed to raise one end up on bricks. That might not be the case as it seems that the floor has a bit of give in it. This means that with being raised up a little at one end, it is a little difficult to close the lid properly. I have a shelf to fasten in yet which should help with the stability, so we shall see what happens then. The shelf that I’m using is the side of an old cabin bed that the eldest used have in. He grew too tall for it and we had to get him another and as I’m a bit of a wood-nerd, I refused to throw any wooden parts away. I knew they would come in useful someday.
The youngest is back from his midweek respite this afternoon. His usual lead carer has left to work elsewhere and this could have serious repercussions for everyone. K*** is quite worried about it. The lead carer he had was very good with him and knew all his quirks and ways. One of his ‘quirks’ is when he is asked if he wants to do something. They are big on personal choice, but with R*** you have to expand the choice range. For example it is no good saying “R*** do you want to go shopping?” as he will invariably respond with “No shopping!” That “No” response would mean he never actually take part in any activity as it would always be ”No…” We found out over the years that you have to give him a choice of two things. So instead of saying “… do you want to go shopping?” the question would be something like “R*** do you want to go shopping or go for a walk by the river?” That type of question will always receive a positive response to either one of the two choices. So in actual fact he is getting more choice not less.
It is that kind of thing that they don’t all seems to get their heads around, and it is a worry. The next few weeks are going to be a challenge, especially as from the beginning of July his respite days are to increase. There is going to be a lot of crossed fingers in this house!
It has been an stressful if not interesting week. R***’s medical team have decided that they need to reduce the dosage of one of his medications. To be specific, Lorazepam. He has been taking half a milligram every morning, Monday to Friday, with a full one milligram if needed (PRN). This has been working fine. However it’s been decided to try and get him off the drug completely, as it is supposed to be highly addictive. The issue here is, what will replace it, and what effect will that have on R***. We saw the effects of medication change some years ago, when a doctor decided that he would be better taking a form of Risperdone, which is an anti-psychotic drug. This caused severe problems at the time, and was stopped. I fear that the same thing may happen again. Not with the same drug, but something similar. We are going to tell his medics that we feel he should stay on the half milligram dosage, with the one milligram PRN for the time being, then gradually reduce the dosage, over a number of weeks. I will let you know how we get one, with that one.
I think I may have tempted fate, last posting with regard to Mrs H’s next project. Her hand has been forced somewhat. On Tuesday evening, I had given R*** a shower and decided that I needed one too. Now whether the shock of this was too much for the shower to bear, I couldn’t say, but the shower broke. What actually happened, I have no idea, but the controller made a cracking noise as I was turning it off, and then would not turn off. I eventually managed to get it turned off, but there were problems turning it back on. So a new shower is the order of the day. Mrs H went out and bought one yesterday, and the guy that did the kitchen said he would fit it. We just have to wait until he can, but Mrs H is already thinking we need a pump for the shower also. The one we have is gravity fed, so not much of a power shower. Apparently, a pump would improve this. Expensive days ahead, I think, as she also wants the whole of the en-suite replacing.
Well, that’s Saturday over, and it’s not been a bad day. Youngest has been fine, if a little loud, for most of the day, with no real problems at all. Mrs H dropped a bombshell this morning, when she asked me to take him for his hair cutting !! This would not normally be a problem, but the way he has been for the past few weeks, meant that I was dreading it. However, he surprised me, and trip went very well.
Managed to get to mow the lawn today. Now that usually is a chore. What normally happens is, that the weekend weather usually prevents me from cutting the grass, until it has got too long. Then, with copious amounts of bad language, I spend a good one and a half hours, trying to cut the damn stuff. I also sorted out my little ‘greenhouse’ and planted some Dahlia seeds. May plant some salad leaves tomorrow, if the weather holds.
I now have a new page on here, that has a few photos from our last holiday. They are not the best pictures, but for a first attempt, I don’t think I did too bad.
I posted a status comment on facebook today, whilst I was in the garden. It basically said “……has cut the grass, and is now chopping out some dead wood (why does work spring to mind ??)……”. This seems to have caused a little upset, with some of my colleagues …… ha ha ha. Just need Doris Day singing “The Deadwood Stage” as my ringtone to finish them off, and I will have lost all my work friends … ha ha ha.
A quiet day today. R*** had a lie-in until 07:30 which was nice. No jobs to do today, except making the dinner. I pegged out a few more strawberry plants. That will make about 8 new plants all together. I don’t really know how we will over winter them. I think, I’ll leave them out doors until it starts to get frosty, and maybe put them in the shed, with some fleece over them. I don’t think they will keep very well in my little greenhouse.
S**** was online with Mrs H tonight. He doesn’t seem to be that well. His back is getting so bad, that he says he is having difficulty walking!! Mind you, it does not seem to stop him spending all night watching DVDs. He says he was up all last night, until 10:00am this morning, watching ‘24’. Now that surely cannot help !!
It seems funny seeing Mrs H on messenger. I’ve also got her checking her email. Now that I’ve got Outlook, I’ve moved my accounts from Outlook Express, so that there is only her account on there. What with that, and her searching online and Googling, there will be no stopping her.
All my bluetooth kit seem to be working okay now (hurriedly looks for wood to touch.) I had to uninstall the bluetooth software and drivers, before I could get my PDA to synchronise. For some reason, the software was only opening two COM ports, when there should have been about 4 or 5. Odd thing is though, that while ever the Nokia PC Suite is open, both my phones are connected to the PC. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. What it does mean though, is that I can have all my contacts and calendar details on both my phone, PDA and the PC. I think I’ll give up with the Tiscali email. It is not that good, and apart from getting a monthly email from OpenOffice.Org (which I no longer use), the rest is spam. Now I know I get a lot of spam with the Gmail address, but Google seems to have a very good spam filter, something that Tiscali could do with.
I think that will do for today.
Work is a ball ache. Nuff said ?
Eldest lad and me went to Scarborough last Sunday (youngest was on respite.) Very ‘man-to-man’ experience. A pint in a pub, then fish & chips on the front, before a couple of games of pool in the arcade. We then went on to Filey, but there was nowhere to park, and we were both feeling a bit tired so we just came home. Took ages to get there, traffic was a nightmare.
I was off on Thursday, and we took the eldest to Beverley to stay with his Uni pal. This is the guy he will be sharing a flat with from August. Only stopped to say ‘hello’ and then we had to leave, but he seemed okay. We then had a day in Bridlington, which was nice. It seemed very strange, just the two of us. Took us back a few years. Is this what we will have to get used to again ??? I am going to pick him up at around 6pm on Sunday.
I have a new friend on MSN. A nice person from ‘chat’. We got into ‘PM’ somehow, and it grew from there. We now chat for a while most nights. No expectations, just pleasant conversation. She is going to Ireland for 5 days, so I’ll be a bit lost chat-wise. I never know when N*** is online, A*** seems to be very stressed at the moment and certain other people can be a bit weird. Some take everything too serious. Lighten up !!
I saw the nurse on Wednesday evening, about my blood pressure. Gave me lots of ‘good advice’. Told me I need to do 20 mins vigorous exercise, at least five days a week. So the walk along the prom at Brid was a start. On Friday, I decided to go for a ‘brisk’ walk at lunchtime. Walked on the footpath toward the M1. It was about 2 miles there and back, so not bad. I will try and do that more often. It’s not the most pleasant of routes, but I’ll put my MP3 player on, and make the best of it.
Gardening today. Hedge trimming and lopping mostly, and the ubiquitous grass cutting. I’m wacked, but you can see what we did.
I need to write more often. Get into a routine. This needs a plan. I may have to make notes during the day…that may be an idea.
That’s it for now.
Where did the week go ? It’s been quite tedious at work. I’ve not had too much to do really, and because I’ve lost some jobs, I’m struggling some day to fill the hours. Never mind, next week should be better. I wonder who is coming from Northampton. I suppose it could be Martin or Paul. Either would be fine. Just so long as it is not Ian. I find him incredibly difficult to work with.
Eldest has been a bit off this weekend. He was a real ‘tw4t’ last night, and he wasn’t much better this morning. Could have been the drink. I think his girlfriend gave him a bit of a bollocking, because he came to apologise. I think he thinks we are trying too hard. He was much better this afternoon though.
We had some of my home grown salad leaves again tonight. They have really turn out to be quite good. The first four bowls I grew will last a good week and a half, and by that time the ones in the trough should be ready. That should give the bowls time to recover. Apparently, they should keep growing as you cut them. The leaf beet is growing steadily. From what I understand, I should get some small beets, when the leaves are done. That will be nice if it does. Fresh baby beetroot is supposed to be very good. Only just over half of my bedding dahlias have come through. There is still time for the rest to get going, but it is a little disappointing. They grew well the last time I grew them. It must be at least 16 years ago though.
I’ve to redesign the tickets for the play tomorrow. I’m struggling to work out how to get them bigger. I think I will have to 4 x 2, landscape so that I can keep the ratio correct. They want me to design a poster for the show, and he’s even mentioned designing the t-shirt. I’m not sure about the t-shirt, but the poster will be okay. I can see me ending up doing the programme too, although that has not been mentioned … yet !!! It will be quite a lot of printing, so I may need to stock up with ink. Paper is cheap enough, and I have some (hopefully enough) card. The quandary is, do I ask them to pay for some ink and paper ? I should get to hear about quantities tomorrow. That will help me decide on how I’m going to do this.
It will be a full week to work next week !!! But to compensate, the week after is only a 4 day week. It’s hard to believe that it is 1st May on Friday. Where’s it all gone.