Nearly over …


I refer, of course to the “Home alone … yet again …” experience in my last post. Well the week has sometimes flown by and then at other times it seems to have dragged a bit. I suppose the hardest part about the week was notAlone having anyone to talk to. S**** and partner came round on Thursday, but they only stopped for a meal before going for their Thursday swim. I went to the quiz-night at the local pub on Tuesday, but it’s been that long since I last went, there was nobody in that I knew. Seems that the pub in the next village that used to do a quiz-night has closed, so all their regular ‘quizzers’ descended on my local. I didn’t stop.

R*** has been marvellous! An absolute star. It looks like the fact that we told him K*** was going on holiday with his grandad Starworked. He was home by 5pm on Friday, and it took him until 10pm on Saturday before he asked where his mum was. I told him again and he hasn’t mentioned it again. I was quite amazed really, as it was K***s biggest worry. It goes to prove a point we have been making for a while. That is, if he knows what he is doing then he seems to accept it. Autistic people like routine and can get distressed if their routine is changed. With R***, it seems that his routine is able to change as long as he knows about well in advance.

Break over …


Well we all managed to get through the week without any major upsets. Some of the family were going home one way and the others were going a different way. K***, S**** and me decided that we would just go straight home. We called in Aldi and were going to have lunch at Ask Italian, in Wetherby. However S**** had found out that his house having a viewing and he just wanted to get back. So we left it at that.

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R*** was home a bit later than usual, and he didn’t look too happy. He was droning a lot and then started shouting and banging the furniture. He was also getting quite violent. We gave him some of his medication that calms him a little,but it took quite a while to work. Eventually he did calm down. We have no idea what caused the melt-down, but I think it may have been some issue with some YouTube videos that he was looking for. Often when new ones that he likes are added, some of the older ones drop off the suggested list. He slept all night without a problem, and whatever it was was no longer an issue. It has been a long time since he was like that. We have had the occasional angry outburst every few days or so, but have not needed his medication for months.

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I think there has been an update the the web version of Outlook.com and I’m not sure if I like it. formatting the afore mentioned break, there was a button in the Spam folder, that allowed you to block an email address. This button is no longer there. I liked it, because you could select three spam mails, hit the Block button and Outlook.com would display the senders address. That way you could make sure that the emails were really spam before you blocked\deleted them. Now the only viable option is to delete. I feel that Microsoft is taking away more of my control and I’m not sure I like that.

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I’m still learning how to use this BlogPad Pro app. Each time I use it I find new things about the software. For example, I prefer to have my posts full justified and using Open Live Writer, that kind of formatting is easy. This was a tad more difficult to find the formatting button, but I got there in the end. Think it may be a long haul to fully master it.

 

It’s that time … again!


It is just about a year since the last time K*** went away with her sister. She said then that it was a ‘one off trip’ and I thought at the time, that it could not be a one off because of the pre-holiday costs. You may remember (and I forgive you if you don’t) that I posted my feelings about it at the time. However, it all went very well, better than I thought and a lot better than I posted. R*** seemed to accept it without any issues, apart from asking every day where his mum was. Well the time has come around again. R*** went off on respite until Friday and K*** set off to her sisters soon after. So I’m “home alone” so to speak. Again, I have a list of jobs I want/need/have to do before R*** gets back and a couple more before K*** returns. For now, I’m just calming down a little. I have been a little stressed about it during the build-up, but I think I’m okay.Garden Storage

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Got to go out later. We’ve bought a storage cupboard for the garden. We usually keep compost and the like in the garage, but it is a bit of a bind when you’re working in the back garden and 18V-Li-Ion-Combi-Drill-Ahave to keep going to and fro to get stuff out of the garage. So K*** has bought one of those Keter storage boxes. I’m just hoping that I can get it in my car. It is quite a big thing and I’m a little concerned that it won’t fit in the boot, even with the seats down. We shall see, but I’m not sure of the options if it doesn’t fit.

After the problem, I had buying that drill from eBay, I ended up getting one from Aldi. I have had some of their tools before and they seem to be quite good. It’s being delivered today and when I last looked at the tracking site, there were two deliveries before mine, so anytime now I suppose. In fact, it’s just been delivered.

A couple of days away … day 2


So, after a good hearty full English breakfast, we set off for Robin Hoods Bay. This is a small cove about 5 miles from Whitby that was used in previous times by smugglers. All very romantic and exciting … apparently.

We had a good look around the few shops that had not closed down for the winter and a nice drink in the pub at the bottom of the main road.

During a break in the rain, we managed to have a look out over the bay at the the slightly turbulent sea. Now here is my moan. It was cold. It was wet. It was windy. But out there in the sea we’re four or five surfers! I can barely understand why people do this in places where the surf is high and the weather hot, but when the weather is as bad as it has been and the waves seldom get over 2 foot high, I just don’t get it. We watched them for a good 20 minutes, in which time they managed to paddle out about 100 yards. Then “the wave” came and they started to paddle back. Only one managed to get to his/her feet and they lasted no more than 3 (and I counted) seconds before they fell off! It is completely beyond me.

Moan over.

Got some great pictures in Robin Hoods Bay which I’ll post later. Need to get them off my camera before I can upload them.

… and then it was over …


The holiday came to an end on Friday. Was it a success?  In many ways it was. The celebration lunch on Thursday was great and everyone enjoyed the meal and general get together. However, it did have an effect on me that I will come to later. Some of the family went home Thursday, which left room for S**** and A**** to stay over for one night, which was nice. They were off early Friday morning as they were having a day in York. K*** and me and C**** and J*** (‘the in-laws’) visited a nearby garden that was open to the public and had a pleasant time.

At around half past two, we went our separate ways. K*** and me needed to get some shopping from the supermarket. We did that and then went on to Tadcaster and that cycle shop/bar/café that I may have mentioned before, for a drink before home.

R*** was home a little earlier than expected and there had been ‘issues’ in the taxi. He had been picked up a little early and the driver had had a problem with her ‘sat-nav’ which resulted in them taking a route different to his usual routes. This caused all sorts of problems and both the driver and the escort suffered for it. I’ll not go into too many details, but many will know that people that are Autistic do not cope well with change. I shall leave it at that. K*** is taking him and bringing him home on Monday, and we will await what the transport company make of it.

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Now to the ‘effect’ I referred to earlier in this post. The pub we went to was (as I’ve been told) the same pub we went to for my birthday back in April this year. I had no recollection of the place! Granted, we were in a different room, different time of day and we approached the place from a different direction, but I could not remember any of it. Apparently we had our order taken by the same waitress that took the order on my birthday. Nothing! I got the usual “Don’t you remember blah blah” and “You must remember blah blah blah.” But I didn’t. Even when someone said “You’ve ordered the same as last time … remember?” I had to say that I did not.

At first, my memory issues were put down to my operation and what is commonly known as ‘Pump-head’ but this usually clears up after a few months, and it’s been over two years since the op’ so it seems an unlikely cause. So what is left? One immediately thinks of Alzheimer’s and the worry starts to creep in. It is certainly something to mention at a future meeting with my doctor, and at times it can be extremely stressful and worrying.

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Back to work tomorrow and it’s getting close to the close down of the project that I’ve been working on for that past eighteen months. After this it will be back to being a ‘senior application support officer’ and all that that entails. Not something I am looking forward to.

I hope to hear something regarding my Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) application this week. It goes to the Corporate Panel on Thursday and as I understand, it is merely a rubber stamp procedure. I intend to chase up my Head of Service first thing on Friday morning for an answer and then the real planning can start.

Not much sleep …


A stressful evening and a bad night. Don’t know what was going on, but at about half past 2, the bl**dy dog wandered into our bedroom. I’m thinking it might have been poorly, and K*** had left the door open with the idea that it might be cooler. That was never going to work. What with that and the “nasal trumpets” sounding most of the time, it led to about total is about 3 hours sleep.

Let’s see what today brings.

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Update: no news on our ‘Curious Incident … etc’ dog seems fine, and I’m the only one that appears to be the worse for wear … is it me?

Day 2 …


So the second day went well. Forgive me if I sound surprised, but it can be difficult at times. Scarborough was the order of the day and a walk from the North bay to the harbour. Lunch was at an Italian chain restaurant called Ask. K*** had used her Tesco points and had got £150.00 in vouchers which meant we only had to pay for the drinks. Very nice.

It’s been really warm today and at the moment it is even warmer and quite oppressive. Could be an uncomfortable night at this rate.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol


I thought I would have a go at this. I’m not sure if it will work (fingers crossed I’ve got it right.)

I have been a fan of old British films for a long time now, and the first one I remember watching and enjoying was Brief Encounter. For those who don’t know the film, it is set in the Forties, when a suburban housewife and a doctor meet at a railway station and fall in love. Their love is doomed as both of them are from backgrounds that shunned extra marital affairs. The film starred Trevor Howard (real brother of Ashley Wilkes from Gone With The Wind) and Celia Johnson, and was written by Noel Coward.

The station where they meet is the station at Carnforth in the North West of England. K*** and I were having a few days break, and I wanted to see the place. It was a great few days away (a wedding anniversary actually, but don’t ask me which one) and the trip to Carnforth was one of the highlights.

I have a lot of photos from the trip, but this one is of the station tearoom, where the couple met and ultimately parted. The tearoom has been faithfully restored to the same as it was when Brief Encounter was filmed, and it was quite an unusual feeling to be sitting in the same room, effectively where two famous stars of the classical days of British film sat. I have tried to work out the actual position where we sat, in relation the film, but that was too difficult. A beautiful symbol of a bygone age that has been lost forever.

Satisfying week


A great week off from work. Used the last 5 days of leave for 2014/2015. So we had two nights in Whitby. It’s a place we both like and have done for quite a long time. Whitby has lots of history about it, and I’ll mention some of that later.

We stayed in a hotel called “The White Horse and Griffin” which is a very old coaching inn, located near the harbour. The bar is interesting, as it is quite a narrow room. In fact the doorway you can see in the picture, is more or less, the width of the bar. There two seats at a table to the left of the door as you enter and to the right there is room for what can only be described as a shelf with stools. There is a gap between these that is suitable for two slender people to walk down together.

The room was good and comfortable and the food was excellent. The only downside, if you could call it a downside, was the Wi-Fi. It was really, quite poor. You could only pick it up in certain parts of the room, and whilst the hotel information said it was available in the public rooms (which was the bar, restaurant and breakfast room) it was very hit and miss there also.

Still, we did not go there for a technological experience, and one day, I will simply leave my tablet at home and forget about everything that is going on elsewhere. I say that now, but I don’t think it will happen soon. We are all too reliant on these things today. It’s true! I feel quite naked, if I forget to take my smartphone when I go out of the house. It’s a little bit scary really!

Now, a little bit about Whitby. It is the place where HMS Endeavour, the ship that James Cook sailed to Australia and New Zealand, was built. It has a ruined Benedictine abbey, which can trace its roots back to 657AD. Jet, the compressed remains of ancestors of the monkey-puzzle tree, can be found in the cliffs and on the moors and has been used since the Bronze Age to make beads. It was the favoured mourning jewellery for the Victorians. Of course, one cannot mention Whitby, without mentioning Bram Stokers Dracula. The famous gothic horror/romance was partly set in Whitby, and the ruined abbey has been used in many film and TV adaptations of the tale.

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It was K***s birthday yesterday, and she had mentioned the day previous, that it would be nice to have a pork chop for dinner. We had two in the fridge, which she had got at the beginning of the week, and I was to get some veg when I went out. This was the plan. However, the night before, S**** had texted me to say that him and his girlfriend were coming over on K***s birthday and could stay for dinner, if it was okay, but it was to be a secret. No problem, I thought, we could have the chops today (Sunday) and I would cook the ham joint, that we were going to have, on the Saturday. Simple. But it was not to be. K*** wanted the chops on Saturday. So my trip to the shops, involved sneakily buying a couple of extra chops, extra veg and hiding them in the fridge in the garage. K*** quizzed me a bit about the number of potatoes I had got out, but I explained that I was using up some of the ones that were getting old. I think I got away with it.

All in all, it was a great surprise for here, and it all went as well as could be expected, even though I slightly overcooked the chops.

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Today sees the start of BST or British Summer Time. It is the day when the clocks in Britain are put forward by 1 hour and nearly everyone gets up 1 hour earlier than usual. It goes back to the Summer Time Act of 1916. I say ‘nearly everyone’, because this time, we forgot! I put it down to having S**** and his girlfriend here the night that made me forget. It was not until K*** was listening to the radio after her shower, that she realised, she was one hour late! I will not repeat the language used, but it was not quite lady-like. We shall say nothing more about this.

Back home …..


Well, back home. Yesterday in fact. It was a pretty uneventful day. The weather, whilst not bad, was not as good as it had been. It was going home weather. We stopped off at a gift centre for a look around. My god, these place do depress me at times. Here we are at the start of November and the place was full of Christmas decorations and gift ideas. I don’t know about you, but I think it is far too early. Some of these places have had Christmas stuff for sale since mid-October! Most stores have been planning for the Christmas period from around the end of May. Takes all the symbolism out of the occasion if you ask me. I remember when I was young, there was a department store in the centre of Leeds called “Lewis’s”. On the top floor, at Christmas time, there was Santa’s Grotto and Santa used to arrive on the 1st Wednesday in December, with the Grotto opening the following Friday. Christmas time started in December not November or October. How times have changed.

I digress. I was going to start this post by talking about what I call the “Twat Gap”. How big should the Twat Gap be? Should its size depend on certain conditions? Should there be a minimum size? Maybe a maximum size? What about penalties for abusing the Twat Gap. Now I know some of you will be wondering what a Twat Gap is. Well, you know when you’re driving, you leave a space between the front of your car and the back of the car in front. That is the Twat Gap! Why is it called the Twat Gap? It’s because it does not matter how small that gap is, some twat will try and squeeze into it when they overtake. The Twat Gap!

Holiday week post from away ….


Well what a good day. First we went to Carnforth. The home of Brief Encounter. Was a bit emotional as it has always been one of my favourite films. Always gives me the goosebumps when ever I hear the music. Warsaw Concerto Actually ‘Piano Concerto No2’ by Rachmaninoff (oops). Gives me the shivers.

Then onto Morecambe. Bit of a disappoint there. It just seems like all the Chavs in the north are walking around, looking for somewhere to spend their benefit money. I know it sounds like a cliché, but that was the impression I got.

Holiday week …..


Well that’s the first day gone. Six more and it’s back to work. Last week was the first full week of work since coming out of hospital, and to be perfectly honest, I could have done that full week the week before. But ‘Occupational Health’ said four weeks at 50% hours and I almost stuck to it.

K*** and me are going away for a couple of days (we don’t do big holidays because of R***) so that should be nice. The last time we did that was just before going into hospital, and I think it was then that K*** and I realised how bad I had got. We did a walk that normally would have taken 45 to 50 minutes. It took me over an hour and a half and it was really hard work. We then had to walk the same distance back!! This time it will be different.

Really getting into blogging again. It was good doing the Blogging 201 challenge (challenge or course??) and now being part of “The Blogger’s Network” means that my rants and raves are getting to a wider audience. Not sure if that is a good thing for the ‘wider audience’ but it is good for me.

Now all I need to do is find a topic/theme that I can explore and post about. Something to think about over the next few days.

All went well ….


The weekend in The Lakes went quite well, although, I’m not sure how you can spend nearly three days in the souThe hillsthern lakes area, and only visit Bowness !!!! The ‘Lodge’ was better then expected. You see, from the brochure, it all looked a little bit … ‘up-market’ would be an appropriate phrase. However, when we got there, it was a lot more homely than we thought. The weather was excellent, and could not have P1010126been better. The views were amazing, as we seemed to be situated, half way up the side of one of the hills. There were some really beautiful sky views in the evening. I quite enjoy taking photos of the cloud formations in the evening. Especially when the sun is quite red. The colours can be quite stunning.

R*** coped very well, considering that we left within minutes of him getting back from school. It was lucky, that the place had free Wi-Fi, and we were able to set up his laptop. He spent most of the time sat at his computer !!! Only had one blip, and I’m afraid, that was probably our fault. We were having dinner on Sunday evening. R*** was at his computer, in another room (he doesn’t eat what we eat and generally does not eat with us. It is too stressful for him.) He kept popping into the dining room, and asking to play his game ‘Hide and Seek’. Everyone kept telling him, that we would play after we had finished. So what happened ?? We finished dinner, and almost everyone disappeared before he could start his game !!!! No wonder he got upset. So would I!!

The travelling was a bit of a nightmare. Google Maps (good old Google) told us it would take us about two and a half hours, which is what we expected. However, given that we were setting off at around 4pm, we were expecting a bit of slow heavy traffic. What we did not expect, was that a journey that would normally take 25 minutes, took us nearly an hour. Then we had to detour into Settle, as the bypass was closed because of an accident. So all in all, the journey took over three and a half hours. Coming back was not much different. Slow traffic and road closures, not to mention the idiot that thought it was okay to drive around narrow country roads at over 30 mph and clip the wing mirror. They claimed it was our fault, and that we were in the middle of the road (we were on a blind bend doing about 20mph if that). They were still going too fast for the conditions.