Just weekend things …


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 IMAG0817Sunday lunch type food) which was basically roughly chopped IMAG0816peppers, 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.

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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 leeds_festivalsame 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 BMTH 2011Horizon” 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 !

It’s the August Bank Holiday and Leeds Festival …


This is that time of the year, when the Leeds and Reading Festival takes place. These are two of the largest music festivals in the UK, and take place simultaneous over Friday to Sunday. There are usually the same acts appearing at both sites over the Image result for leeds festival 2017three days. I was going to link to festival, but know of old that these links often simply disappear, so I’m going to make do with a couple of images. We live quite close to the site, so we get all the traffic and noise issues. Happily, Image result for leeds festival 2017the organisers seem to have got the traffic problems under control this year, as there has not (yet) been a repeat of the 5 hour tail-backs on some of the approach roads. The noise? Well it all depend on the wind direction. If the wind is in a certain direction, we do get the continuous hum from the motorway so when  that happens we do get some of the festival noise, but it’s not been loud enough to notice.

I have been before, back in 2011. The Parish Council of Bramham and Thorner are allocated a number of free ‘Guest’ tickets. From BBC NewsThese ‘sweetener tickets’ are then sold to genuine residents at an extremely discounted rate, with the funds going to local projects. Every year since 2011, I’ve thought about going again, but at the last minute, I back down. I don’t think K*** would enjoy it and I wouldn’t want to go on my own. But who knows how I will feel next year? I have to admit, even though the weather was bad that year with some rain on each of the 3 days, it is quite an experience. The weather has been sort of kind this year, except for the 23rd this month, when we experienced 3 weeks rain in one hour! Now that was a wet day!

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I’ve come to a decision! Crochet is not my thing and I’m dumping my hooks (except a 3.5mm and 6mm). I can knit. I do knit. I will have a go at any knitting pattern or stitch that you care to through at me, but I totally fail at crochet. I just cannot get my head/hands around it. I’ve watched all the tutorials and even had a ‘one-to-one’ with a work colleague and I still cannot do it. It looks like the old ‘Granny knots’ we used to do when I was a kid. So I’m calling it a day. I’ll keep the two hooks I mention, as they can be very useful to pick up dropped stitches and the like, but the rest …gone!

A new year … new beginnings? Perhaps …


So, all those promises I made to myself about getting a part-time job within two months, turned out to be just bluff and bluster. Well …not really. I have been looking, but maybe not as hard as I could. At the moment, things are working out quite well and there is no urgency for me to supplement the pension I’m getting. Of course, that could all change. As R*** starts to increase his respite stays, income we get for him may (will) start to decrease and that’s when our financial situation will alter. But that’s in the future.

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Yet again, one of this years New Year Resolutions has been broken. I shall go into a little more detail here, if I may. K*** had wanted to watch the Robbie Williams new year show (I didn’t) and in the spirit of compromise, I gave in. My opinion …total rubbish … sexist and egotistical does not describe what we watched. Anyway, to cut a short story even shorter, we watched the London fireworks (fireworks on the TV don’t really work for me) and then K*** went to bed. I quickly changed channels to watch Jools Holland and his, now famous ‘Hootenanny Show’. Where is this taking us, I hear someone ask? Well, it was during a performance of Tilted by Christine And The Queens that I once again resolved to ‘post everyday‘ which I quickly modified to every two days. As the date of this post shows, that was a fail! It is now modified to ‘post more often‘, but even that may yet be modified.

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Now here’s a question for you. What do you use to write your blog posts? I know I’ve asked this before, but that was before I started with Windows 10. The reason I ask (again) is that I tried today to use the desktop WordPress app. It started okay, and I was able to write and my work was saved as a draft. But then the program crashed … repeatedly. It crashed so many times, that it became unusable in my opinion. So I’m back using the faithful Open Live Writer which works without any problems. Just wondering if anyone who uses the Windows 10 WordPress app have had similar problems.

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Wait a minute! Where does the “new beginnings” part of the title come in? I just thought it was a good sound bite!

Some good, some not so …


I took the car in for service and MOT on Friday. All passed without any problems. Tyres might need a check before Christmas but other than that, all was goo. Eldest lads car went in at same time. His, not so good! He needs new tyres again. That will be the second lot in three years. Driving style, road quality and luck are the most likely culprits,or so the service department said.

As I was off for the full day, K*** thought it would be a good time to go into York whilst we waited. So we did the ‘Park & Ride’ which was a first for us. The garage dropped us off and promised to pick us up and it cost £2.80 each for a return ticket. A bargain, I thought.

We had a nice lunch, and then did a tour of the shops. That is were the ‘not so good’ came in for me. I’m still looking for a couple of pairs of lounge/jogging pants (mainly lounge as opposed to jogging) and we started to look in the obvious sports type shops. Ridiculously expensive for both the brand names and the unknown and nothing in my size. I was now starting to get a bit fed up. We then went into one of the major well know high street stores. I won’t ‘name and shame’ because they are all the same really. Found a pair that were exactly my size, and I totted off into the changing rooms to try them on. As usual, the size on the label bore no resemblance to real life. I asked the assistant if there was a manger available and I explained to her the problem. You see I have an inside leg measurement of 29”. The pants I picked up said they were a 29” leg. I asked if she would measure the pants. She reluctantly agreed and to her amazement they actually measured 34”. Apologies followed and she went looking for more styles. Five more 29” pants were measured, with the sizes ranging for 31” to an amazing 36”. To make those fit, I would need armholes instead of a waist band. This size problem seems to be an issue in many stores, and I’m of the opinion that the leg size is just an estimate or possibly an opinion.

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Well today is Bank Holiday Monday or as it is now called the Bank Holiday Weekend. In fact Bank Holiday now start around 15:30 on the Thursday before and lasts to around 08:00 Tuesday morning!

This weekend saw the annual Leeds music festival, more commonly known as “Leeds Fest”. It’s held in Bramham Park, which is literally just over the road from where we live in Bramham village. Apart from the traffic disruption as thousands of people descend on the park, it has little effect in my opinion. There is the noise issue, but if the wind is in the right direction we hear very little. We hear more noise from the A1 (the road I mentioned earlier) which seems to have a continuous drone with the amount of traffic.

Because of the location, Bramham is allocated a number of weekend VIP tickets and residents can take up the tickets with a donation to the various causes in Bramham. These tickets are at a extremely discounted price and go very quickly.

I’ve been the festival twice, in previous years and seen fantastic acts such as Sea Sick Steve, Madness and the first year I went, Ed Sheeran was a new and upcoming musician.

The line-up this year was not to my particular taste, and there was no-one I was particularly interested in watching. Maybe next year.

Stress Factor – Not X Factor


This of course relates to work. Not exclusively, but in the main, it’s all work related. The latest restructure is beginning to have it’s effect on the team (and I use the term loosely.) Tempers are getting a little frayed and certain people are beginning to jockey for position. For me, it seems that I’m being, shall we say ‘realigned’  workwise. When I was interviewed for the job, there was no mention of it being a supervisory role. However, about four months ago, my line manager advised me that our service manager wanted me to supervise, the two staff below me. It was a bit of a shock, and to be honest, it’s not what I wanted from the job.

Last week, in our so called ‘one-to-one’ meeting I explained to my line manager about my understanding of the job, and not knowing that I was expected to be a supervisor. I was then told that I was being manoeuvred for a higher position in the the new structure. Now considering that the new structure seems to be very fluid, I have no idea what that position could be.

I don’t like supervising people. I’ve done allsorts of training and I still don’t like it. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I appear to have two supervisory methods. My catering method and my office method. The catering method, and it is used extensively in the trade, is to shout and swear very loudly until the job is done. My office method is more of a sweet talking method. The ‘can you do me a favour’ method. Unfortunately, these are not interchangeable.

It is the thought of being a supervisor, that is causing some of the stress. That and having some people having a higher expectation of me than I think I can deliver.

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     You’ve heard of the famous ‘mid life crisis’? Well I always understood that to be around the 45 to 55  years of age. If that’s correct, then I am just beyond the tail end of of that condition. But here is the worrying thing. I have started listening to Radio 1 on the way to work. In the old car, I always listened to Radio Leeds, mainly for the traffic news. In the new car, the radio is completely different, and I’ve not worked out why local radio stations don’t pick up so well. So after a couple of mornings, I pressed the button for the said Radio 1, and I quite enjoyed the music and the banter of the current breakfast show.

     Now you may not think of this as such an issue, and neither did I, until I started purchasing some of the music I heard. This car plays MP3 tracks and has a USB port. All this leads to me buying a 32gb memory stick and copying lots of this newly discovered music. I know listen to Radio 1 in the morning, and the rest of the time, I am belting out tracks from the likes of ‘Example’, ‘Professor Green’, ‘Labyrinth’ and even ‘Jessie J’, When I mention this to people, they just raise their eyes, shake their heads and laugh to themselves. It is a new beginning. I am saved from from the perpetual boredom of local radio. God bless Tinie Tempah. Now,  if you will excuse me, I’m going to listen to a couple of tracks from Wretch32 before bed.

After the Party … Leeds Festival 2011


Well it’s over for another year, and how do I feel about it this year. Mixed feelings really. I suppose the weather Leeds Festival Mudhad a lot to do with it. The continuous rain on Friday, left me feeling very depressed. Then there was the mud, which really made the weekend, very hard work. I know festivals are supposed to be wet and muddy, but ….

We did not camp after the Thursday night. S****’s tent got a quite a bit of water inside. One of the door flaps did not get closed properly, so the floor of the tent was quite wet. Some rain got under the roof vent on my tent and leaked a bit. We only live a couple of miles away, so it was as easy to go home to sleep. With the added benefit of a cooked breakfast.

On Saturday, they had the bright idea of laying straw on top of the mud !! I’m sure I read, that they used to make houses out of straw and mud !! The walking was a bit easier, but the mud had started to dry out and was very thick. Sunday was much dryer, in Seasick Stevefact it was very pleasant. We did get to see a number of bands, but never even went near the comedy tent. For me, the highlight of the whole weekend, was seeing Seasick Steve. A real experience, made even more so by the fact that before his second song, he brought on John Paul Jones, bass guitarist from Led Zeppelin !! Such a legend.

This was followed a bit later by Madness. I’m afraid, I did get a little carried away with Madness. I’ve always liked them, and when you’re in the middle of a large crowd, close to the front and wedged in, there is not a lot you can do. you just have to go with the flow. I paid for it later though. My legs were like lead weights for a couple of days !!!

All in all, I probably enjoyed it more than I think. Next year ?? Well I don’t think I/we will be camping this time!

Leeds Festival … at last


So it is here at last !!!! Leeds Festival 2011, or as it known locally LeedsFest. A bit of rain last night, well quite a bit of rain. It did not seem to stop from around 3am until about 8am, so things may be a little messy. Hopefully we will not get too much. Light showers, I can cope with.

The tents and beer and food, already in the car, an we will set off around2pm. Should not take us long, we only live a couple of miles away. We are hoping to meet up with the same crowd we were with last year, so that should be good.

Will post after the event, with any decent pictures.

Leeds Fest 2011 … countdown


It’s only seven days to go to the annual Leeds Festival. All the road signs seem to be in place, and the security fencing is going up very quickly now.  This will be my second Festival, and I”m beginning to look forward to it now. After last year, which was great, I wasn’t sure if I would do it again. However, I quite like the line-up, and as a local resident, I get priority tickets, so I might as well.

I’ll have a look at the tents this weekend, and make sure that last years is still good enough to use. It should be. It was dry and in good condition when I put it away last year. Hope the sleeping bags are still okay. Will be looking at what booze we will need, this weekend. I’m of the mind just to get some cans of beer, and take stronger stuff in a hip-flask. As usual, no glass bottles are allowed.

First day


     I’m currently off the booze! Well to be more accurate, with effect from today, until Saturday, I will not be having a drink in the house. I’m out on Wednesday night, for an hour, so will have a couple then, but for the rest of the time, it’s carbonated water and tea.

     I probably do drink far too much. When you listen to what the ‘experts’ tell me is a safe limit, then the word probably should be replaced definitely. I tend to have a can of beer when I get in from work, a glass of whiskey whilst making/waiting for dinner, wine with dinner then finish the evening off with a brandy or two.

     Stopping during the week will not bother me, as I have done it before. In fact, during my early twenties I contracted Yellow Jaundice, and stopped for a whole year, so it’s not an issue.


     Right, that’s the guilt trip out of the way. I found a real bargain today. We watched the Brit awards, last week, and I enjoyed Alfie Boethe Les Miserables part. I’ve been a fan of Alfie Boe since he first hit the big  time, back in 2006. Well Mrs H told me that she liked him too, which was a bit of a surprise, seeing as she did not know I had got an album by him. Anyway, his new album was advertised, at ASDA for £9.97. Aha I thought, it will be cheaper on the internet. Amazon had it for more or less the same price, but Play.com had if for about a pound cheaper. I’ll order that next week, I thought at the same time as ordering printer ink. Well, I went to get some salad stuff for tea (healthy eating as well as booze free), and spotted said album, at only £5.00 !! Bargain. Mrs H was well pleased, as I explained that it was a present for her !!!


    

     Youngest is in a good place at the moment. He is on a new medication, which seems to be having an effect. He seems to be a lot happier in himself. It is an antidepressant, which his consultant believes will help with the stress, he thinks might be the problem. I have to agree, he does seem to be very stressed when he has his violent episodes.

     Still issues with the dawn chorus though. It woke him up at around 3:30 this morning, but he settled down after about half an hour, which was good. Let’s see what tonight brings.

After Leeds 2010 ….


   Well I managed to camp at Leeds Festival 2010 for three nights … Thursday, Friday and Saturday. S**** slept in “The Tent” the first night, and then stopped with his mate from drama on the Friday and Saturday night.

   The bands were amazing. With the size of the festival, being what it is, we did not get to see everyone. It would be impossible, but here is a list of the ones we saw:

  • The Cribs
  • The Libertines
  • Pendulum
  • 3OH!3
  • Ash
  • Chief
  • Paramore
  • Cypress Hill and my favourite
  • Klaxons

    It was a fantastic experience, but not too sure if I would do it again though.