Not lackadaisical honestly . . .


Bored

I tend to write blog posts when something comes to mind. It could be on a trip out, or something in the news, and even an event at work. This leads to a rather haphazard approach to my musings. So there are times when I may post a couple of times in a week and then miss a week or two before my next post. This has recently been the case. There has just not been anything that I felt a need to express an opinion about. I could have possibly had a groan about the fuel crisis, but that is of our (their) own making and it will sort itself about.

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Our youngest son is Autistic and lives for 11 days out of 14 at his residential care home near Barnsley. He has his own flat, decorated the way he wants it and is very happy there. He comes to us every other weekend and he looks forward to that. Equally, he looks forward to going back on the following Monday. Yesterday was one of the regular “Multi-Disciplinary Team” meetings and we are always invited. It is basically a way of us getting to know what is happening in the future with his care and to get to know his support team more.

Only went for a carrot

Afterwards, K*** decided that there were a few things we needed, so a trip to Tesco was the next order of the day. We didn’t need much as I had done our usual weekly shop on Monday, but there were a few things we needed for the weekend. Of course, without a list (I always have a list of some kind) things kept appearing in the trolley. In the most, they were things that we did need only we didn’t know we needed.

New hat

I did get a new hat though. It was half price, and I do like to wear a hat sometimes.I have a number of caps, an extensive collection of beanies (homemade), a couple of Panama’s and a couple of fedoras. But this one was a little out of the ordinary for me. It should have been £10.00 but at half price and K***’s staff discount, it brought it down to £4.00. Bargain! As soon as it was paid for, I wore it and I have to say, for the first wear, it was quite comfortable and I think I will get a lot of use out of it.

More up and down …


downloadThis week has been a bit up and down again. The dishwasher was fixed. It seems there was a small piece of plastic stuck in the pump. It was only about the size of a small child’s fingernail, but was jamming the pump and stopping it from working. A local person came Tuesday lunchtime and fixed it within about 30 minutes, and that included having a look at our oven which hadn’t worked properly for a couple of years. That’ll be fixed over the weekend. We are going to keep this guy’s number.

Then came the downer! Our youngest son is Autistic and is in the ASDprocess of being phased in full-time residential care. He had been going on a Monday, sleeping 11 nights in his own flat and then coming here for a weekend visit. They test him on a weekly basis for C19 and unfortunately, he tested positive. They let us know yesterday morning. It’s a mystery how he got it though. His care team haven’t tested positive and being Autistic he doesn’t socialise with anyone else in his unit, so who knows. He seems to be okay and not showing any symptoms, but they are keeping a close eye on him. All very distressing. He was supposed to be coming home next week to have dental surgery, but that’s all put on the back burner for now. Looks like he’ll be on ‘lock-down’ until the end of March. The amazing thing is that for a person, because of his condition doesn’t accept changes easily he seems to somehow understand what is going on. We are very proud of him.

On the upside though, my father-in-law received his 1st vaccine jab on Tuesday. Which was a great relief for everyone.

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Then this morning we awoke to this scene:IMG_20210114_104851004_HDR It was expected, but not the amount that we have. At the time of writing (12:15) there looks to be about 4″ to 5″ at least. It seems to be getting a bit lighter and may even turn to rain later in the day. Not sure when it started.  I had to get up for a drink of water at around 5:00 and there was nothing then, so it must have come down quickly after then.

Life goes on …


It’s been nearly a month since my last post when my short series “From then to Now…” ended, and even longer since I posted a general collection of words. For a lot of people, it’s been a very strange time and very worrying time. My youngest son, who is Autistic has been in “lock-down” at his residential placement since the middle of undefinedMarch, and we have not seen him apart from the occasional Facetime message. The main worry was him accepting the fact that he could not come home. He was used to going off at 9:30 on Monday morning and returning at around 5:00pm on Friday. But he seems to have run with it and coped really well, mainly due to his support staff, who know him really well. It was explained to him from that start that he had to stay until August, and it looks like that might be the case. But who knows?

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Now for a bit of a rant. There are a few things that annoy me when RoundaboutI’m driving in the car. Firstly, those ‘people’ that do not acknowledge when you have given way to them, when you had the right of way. Doesn’t take much, headlamp flash, quick flick of the hand, anything like that. Then there are the ones that never indicate at junctions or roundabouts and the ones that are in the wrong lane at the roundabout. My instructor told me that in general terms, the left hand lane when approaching the roundabout is for drivers using either of the the first 2 exits with the right hand lane for all other exits. This of course only applies if there are no other indicator to the contrary.

Then we come onto the ‘cyclist’! I don’t understand why, when there is a safe cycle lane/path that the majority of cyclists choose to cycle on the road. I passed four Lightstoday riding the road next to a completely empty cycle lane. Why? I’m assuming, rightly or wrongly that it is because they have this sense of ‘green’ superiority and that they think we drivers should make way for them. Beyond me. Also, why do they all feel the need to were the full Lycra kit, when it is obvious that they don’t need to. And what happened to cycle headlamps?? All we see now is one of those little flashing LED lights that are too small to be seen until it is too late.

Difficult times for all here …


Our youngest son R***, as you may know, is Autistic. He has a placement at a residential care centre and for the past 5 years, we have been increasing his stays there, from 1 day a fortnight to now 4 nights a week. He has gradually accepted the increase and we believe the reason was that we took it slowly. On the 23rd of March, he went off as usual. He has a Motability car and the staff at the care centre, pick him up Monday morning and return him home on Friday afternoon. Because of the issues caused by this virus, the care centre did not want their staff to bring him home, which we understood.

The plan was that K*** would take him back on Monday and she would pick him back up on Friday. It was thought that this would be the most practical solution. However, it all changed the day after. When it was announced that the country was going into almost full ‘lockdown’ with some restrictions on movement. The care centre rang and said that it would wiser to keep him there, as if he came home, he couldn’t go back until it was all over.

This caused K*** and me a fair bit of distress, but after a lot of deep thinking on the ‘pros and cons’ we decided that it would be in the interest of all, including R*** that he stayed put. It has always been the intention that he goes to live there on a full-time basis, but we wanted to build it up slowly, so we all gradually got used to it. This virus has changed everything. His care workers explained that there were problems and that he could not go home on Friday as usual. This immediately led him to ask about the next weekend, and when he gets something into his head, he will just keep repeating the question until he gets an answer. On Monday this week they changed his planner and explained that he could not go home for another two weeks. This of course led him to start asking (nattering) about going home on the 17th April.

We had said to his care workers, who know him well that it would be better coming from on how to progress this. So they took the decision yesterday to tell him that he was going to stay until the 7th of August. He appears from what they tell us, that he has more or less accepted this. He has written the dates in his diary and has got one of his care workers to add the words ‘Home’ to the weekends from the 7th August.

At the end of all this, he/we could have benefited from all this, as it might now be possible for us to create a planner for him that shows him to be away for however many days we feel necessary. It is what we want for him, and this virus has pushed us a lot further than we had pictured.

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No pictures today as I could not find any that I felt were appropriate.

A little bit pear shaped …


Last week, K*** suddenly noticed that she could see ‘floaters’ out the side of one eye. She had just started a new prescription for her contact lenses and thought at first it was that. But it got worse and she was experiencing a bad headache. Called the optician on Friday, who told her to come straight away. They sent her to the eye-clinic at the hospital, and it seems that the gel that surrounds the eye had become damaged, causing a bleeds at the back of her eye. They told that it should just clear up in the next few days, but she has to go back in a fortnight for check. Now, it would have hard anyway, but we had invited K***’s parents for lunch that day and we couldn’t really put them off. So I was ‘entertainments officer’ for the day. K*** thought she would be home by half past one, but it was nearer five when she got back.

To top it all, whilst I was out on Monday, I think the wind got into my eye, as that has been sore since then. Feels swollen and is a little uncomfortable when I blink, but not to the same extent as K*** has suffered.

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My laptop has started to play-up a little. It’s seems to have been happening since the last major update to Windows, but I think it is just a coincidence. What is happening is that my Wi-Fi connection dropping out. Does not happen to any of the other devices we have connected though which kind of proves it is not the router. My other Windows 10 machine does not have the issue (although I don’t had it powered up as much) which may be another pointer away from the issue being down to Windows update. I did Google the issue, which led to a lot of possible reasons. The main reason seemed to point to an issue with the network card in the laptop. I’m awaiting a reply from the manufacturer as to what can be done, but I’m of the opinion, that I may have to live with it. I can connect directly with an ethernet cable and it’s not too inconvenient, but I will see what happens.

The issues with K***s emails reoccurred again yesterday, just over a month since the last time. The mail app on her iPad stopped  delivering any emails. They could be viewed on the website but were not being ‘pushed’ the the mail app. I could not get them on my laptop, which was the same as the last time. Turns out, that it was an issue with Yahoo (Sky email provider) which was exactly the same as last time. No-one at Sky or Yahoo seems to care about it. Both say they are sorry and are working on a fix. Maybe it’s time for Sky to have a rethink!

(Update: emails on her tablet are now coming through. some 24 hours after the issue started. Not good)

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Well both K*** and R*** are still in bed, and I think I’ll let them sleep longer. R*** has been a star over the past two days. I don’t know, but he seems to kind of know when K*** is not well and it tempers his behaviour for want of a better word. We have has no issues with him at all, not even when my laptop dropped the Wi-Fi.

I’m just going to start on the ironing , which shouldn’t take too long. I actually love ironing and have sort of ‘adopted’ the job as my own, which suits us both. Someone once told me that we all have some minor Autistic tendencies, and I think ironing must be one of mine.

 

Labels … and other things


To be more precise … clothing labels. Wash-care labels, sizing labels and any other label that is on the inside of the clothes. Why do they always seem to have sharp edges and corners? It maybe the type of clothes I buy, cost , make, whatever, but I always have to remove the label before I wear them. If I don’t, then they scratch and boy does that scratch irritate. I think this the reason my youngest son R***, who is Autistic, cuts out the label from every item of clothing he has. The difference between us is where I cut out the label with a few (not so mild) expletives and hurl them in the general direction of the waste bin, he carefully stores each one in a mug on his computer desk. Last count he had over two hundred. We dare not throw them out.

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Now, talking about R***, his room at home has, and I may have mentioned this previously, a laptop, a TV (now new) a Sky box, a DVD player, a CD/Cassette player, and until yesterday morning a faulty VHS video player. It’s been faulty for about six to eight months, maybe more and had an old VHS tape stuck inside. He tend to want to use it when the Sky connection fails. But it does not work. We had in the other bedroom a further five players that had been given to us when his previous player broke back in November 2014. A friend heard about his breaking and kindly let us have all the ones she had. There were no guarantees with them, but one of them did actually work. The issue with that was no handset. Without the handset, there was no tracking and without tracking, the tapes were unwatchable.

The failure of his TV and his weeks respite gave us a great opportunity to remove the VHS player and hope that he either did not realise it or did not care about it. They are now stored, for the foreseeable future in the garage. As with the labels, we dare not throw them out!

Funny old week …


I’m not going to mention Britain leaving the European Union (well maybe a little) as I think it has all been said. All I will say is that I’m very disappointed with the result. I fully expected it to go the other way but as many people keep saying “Democracy has spoken” or words to that effect. So we have to live with it. Get on and make it work. It will take a long time to convince me that the country ‘did the right thing’ but there is no going back now.

Then to cap it all England was unceremoniously dumped out of the Euro 2016 football tournament last night. Beaten by a team that, on paper should have lost. But that is what we have come to expect for a team that just does not seem to have any spark at all. Of course it is all the fault of the manager. It’s not the fault of the bunch of second rate no-hopers that were out there playing the game. No it’s the managers fault. No other industry would it happen.

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Breaking news … I have just spotted a Police Community Support Officer walking down our road

Now that is something that does not happen very often!

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Now, back to the job in hand. I have a cold. A full on, streaming, head aching cold. It started yesterday afternoon really and just got gradually worse. I can’t stop sneezing! I’ve gone through about 12 handkerchiefs today alone. One of my colleagues had the same thing last week, and I was hoping that I would not get it … but of course I did. I’ve not been to work today, and I’m staying at home tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be okay for Thursday but time will tell.

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K*** is out tonight. She is going with her sister to see Cats at the Leeds Grand Theatre. It’s not the kind of thing I would want to see, so I’m home alone. Well home alone with R*** to keep me company. Should be fun. He only came back from respite yesterday and it is all change for him. Up until yesterday, his daily routines would start from what was called ‘Day Opps’. This was an area that he and the only other ‘daily’ resident used as their base for the day. R*** also has a flat where he stays when he is on respite. The change has come about due to the other resident moving on. This means that they need to area for some other activities.

R*** is now going to be based out of his flat. We were expecting to have a bit of a rough ride with the change, but he appears to have accepted the change without any issue. I say ‘appears’, we never really know what is going on in his autistic mind when these major changes happen. The next few days will be the telling time.

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I think I have given in with Blogger. You may recall that I wanted to use Blogger as another blogging platform. It was going to be used as an outlet for a project I was working and I did not want it to get mixed up with my main WordPress blog. I think I have mentioned that I use a piece of software called “Open Live Writer (OLW)” for composing my posts. This software boasts that it connect to WordPress (which it does quite effectively) and also to Google Blogger. It is Blogger that I’m having an issue with. In OLW there is a tab, that lets you preview how your post will look, before you upload it. With WordPress, this works without a problem. However with Blogger, I cannot get it to show a preview. I know others have had the same issue, but it is a community project and so the support is a bit limited. So, after much deliberation, my Blogger blog is going.

Do they really understand …


Autism, along with its related spectrum disorders, has become a bit of a ‘buzzword’ at the moment. We have had World Autism Day, British television programmes such as the drama ‘The A Word’ and the documentary ‘Employable Me’ seek to show the some of the issues surrounding ASD. Even the Lord Mayors Charity, here in Leeds is supporting Specialist Autism Services this year.

Now whilst all this ‘awareness’ is to be praised and very welcome, it can lead to some misconceptions. For example, in The A Word, the child with Autism has an obsession with music and is nearly always seen wearing a pair of headphones. My son R*** like music and does wear headphones. However, these headphones are noise cancelling headphones which wears when external noises become too much for him. I was asked by a colleague, how he was doing these days and I showed them a recent photograph of him at his day services. His was digging in the service allotment, and wearing his headphones as he does. The person I was show the pictures to said that he “looked liked the boy off the TV” and “what does he listen to?” It was very difficulty to get across why he wears them.

So, pleased that I am, that this awareness is now being pushed forward, I think there is still a long way to go before many people can begin to understand ASD.

The moving day has arrived ….


Looking back, I may not have mentioned this before. Our eldest son, S**** is moving out of the family home. He’s been living back with us since he finished University just over three years ago, and now he is moving out again. He is moving into a house with his girlfriend. They are renting the place, along with another person, from a good friend of his, who is going to work abroad for two years. It’s been in the planning stage for a couple of months now, and today is the day they go!

As you may imagine, K*** his mum is a little upset, to say the least. Everything that there could be to worry about, she is worrying about: can they afford it; will they all get on in the future; will he get taken advantage of (he is the only one with a car) etc etc etc. In fact, she is even worrying that she may have forgotten something to worry about!

One of her biggest worries, is that this has all come at completely the wrong time for us. If you’ve been following the “Life Changer” posts, you’ll know that in ten days time I go into hospital for my operation. That, of course has created all sorts of issues. There is a great fear that R***, our youngest son who is Autistic, will get upset by all this disruption. When he gets upset, he can get violent. J**, his community nurse has been putting all sorts of ‘coping strategies’ in place, but she does not know about S**** moving out. Both K*** and I felt that, it would cause even more issues. You see because of a couple of ‘incidents’ J** has no faith in K*** coping with R*** on her own. This of course has knocked K***’s confidence and we just don’t know how J** would react to the knowledge that S**** is no longer around. There has already been a mention of ‘sectioning’ if there is a serious problem, and I don’t believe she would hesitate to use that weapon, sorry ‘strategy’ at the first opportunity.

Watch this space, it is going to be an interesting few weeks.

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Now to change the subject. I have over the past few years written a few short stories. They are not brilliant, but I enjoy writing them and that is the main reason I do it. I have been posting my offerings on here in the form of pages as I don’t think I am good enough to publish properly yet. I have now had the idea, that I should create another blog on WordPress. Simply to ‘publish’ as it were, the stories that I have written. Would that be the right way to go or am I better off keeping posting them on this blog? I am 50:50 as to which to do. If I create a new blog, will it get seen? Do I upload them as posts or pages? Should I be thinking of trying to publish them elsewhere? Are they as poor as I think? Any suggestions would be welcome.

Bloody fireworks


      One of R***’s problems is noise sensitivity. I understand it occurs with many Autistic people. It is not the volume of the noise, more the pitch or tone. He can have his video and computer at the highest volume level and not bother at all, but there are some types of noise that causes him distress. Fireworks are an issue. We think it is the sudden randomness of the noise, rather than the noise itself, but it is a problem for him. This then in turn becomes a big problem for us. You see his frustration turns into anger which turns into aggression. This aggression usually manifests in nipping, biting and what we call ‘chinning’ whereby he will grab an arm/leg/neck and press down with his chin onto that part of your body. When he gets it right, and he invariably does get it right, it can be extremely painful. Then it is time for the medication. To be honest though, he has coped very well with the past few days. The medication did its job.

      What I get annoyed about, at this time of the year, and especially this year, is that people ‘extend’ Bonfire Night, beyond the 5th of November. I heard on the TV someone mention, that it is ‘Bonfire Weekend’ !! I also heard, on the radio young kids talk about it being ‘Firework Night’. When they were asked, why we celebrated, they did not have a clue. At the end of the day, what are we celebrating ?? We celebrate an historic event, whereby a group of people, did not agree with the Government of the day. That group of people decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament, in order to progress their cause. Today, we call that Terrorism !!!

Catch up time


I’m on holiday this week. We are not going anywhere, I’m just using up the last of my leave. I have my interview tomorrow (Thursday), so fingers crossed. Neither job I’m applying for, covers what I do at the present, but if I get one of the jobs, I think I will be doing a lot of the same work. Well that’s what both my line manager and service manager think. That is what they want, and they somehow are under the impression, that I have some influence over what work I will be doing. I don’t think that will be the case. If I’m successful, I will have a new line manager and new service manager, and it will be those people, that decide what I will be doing.

R*** was a bit of a pain on Sunday. He did not want to go out with D**, his support worker. D** has not been well over the past few weeks and we suppose that R*** has got out of the habit of going. From the moment he awoke, to the moment D** arrived, all we heard was “No out with D**”…”No D**’s house”…”Poor D**”…”No out. R***’s house”. However, he did go, and D** seemed to think he had been okay. Monday, school took the class out for a walk, by the river. R*** decided that it would be a good idea, to throw his headphones into the river. So, £270.00s worth of Bose, noise cancelling headphones, were last seen floating down the river Wharfe, in Boston Spa. I am tempted to think, that it may have been a payback, but then he was out with D** on Tuesday afternoon, and came back as happy as anything. So who knows, what goes on in an Autistic mind.

Mrs Me and S**** are out tonight. They are going to see Calendar Girls at the Grand Theatre, in Leeds. It was not something that I wanted to see, but Mrs Me did, and as it is her birthday, S**** said he would go. Last report, was they were sat outside La Tasca, eating Tapas. I’m having Egg & Chips I think !!! Make of that, what you will.

Nearly over ….


     The decorating is all done. Well, when I say ‘all done’ I mean the new flooring and the wallpapering is done. I’ve not done the paintwork, except for the window shelf. I managed to do that on Monday night, at around 9:30pm. It has been a long week. What with that and having to work all day Tuesday and Thursday morning, I’m quite shattered. S**** came up for the quiz-nite on Tuesday night, and I took him back first thing on Wednesday. The quiz was a bit of a let down. No prize this week, and no footie card. I do hope they get a permanent landlord/lady soon. The atmosphere is not the best at the moment. In fact, there is no atmosphere at the moment. It is the kind of thing that could kill the pub.

     R*** is back this afternoon. Hope he is in a good mood. I think he should be, but it is quite likely that he will want his Mum. Could be a bit of a difficult evening, if he does not understand that she will be back tomorrow. Fingers crossed. I don’t know how he has been, during his respite. I rang last night, and they told me ‘he’s been fine’ and then ‘he’s not eaten much’ followed by ‘we gave him some stew and mash, but he would not eat it’. How many times do we have to explain this to them. He will only eat certain foods. This is part of his Autistic condition !!!!! I think we are going to have to write to the centre manager and make a formal complaint or something. There is no wonder he always says that he does not want to go. I would not want to go if they tried to give me food I cannot eat !!

Randomness ….


     Youngest lads computer has gone tits up !!! This is a serious problem. His computer is a major part of his Autistic life. He has difficulty coping without it. So all day we have had ‘new computer’ thrown at us, at roughly 10 minutes intervals. We will get him a new one next week. He has some money saved up, but he cannot understand why we cannot just get another now !!!!! Mrs H wants to get him a laptop, as she thinks that it will give him more room. I’m not too sure how he will cope with the keyboard.

     I see William Hague is condemned ‘enemy states’ for the rise in computer viruses in government and civil services offices. Claims it is a ‘cyber-attack’ on the UK. I do believe that the so called attack is a variant of the Zeus virus, that was doing the rounds last year. Then it was so called ‘cyber-criminals’ after bank account details. Suddenly those same criminal are now ‘the enemy’ !!!!!

     The guy next door has decided to cut down his leylandii. He did mention it last year, but was waiting until the nests had been vacated. He told us today that he was going to make a start, but by mid afternoon, he had nearly finished. It is looking good already.

     Youngest lads support worker is not taking him out tomorrow. That gives me an opportunity to take him out myself. I’m thinking a trip to the  Red Lion might be an idea. I’ve not mentioned it, as he tends to dwell on things, if he know too far in advance. So I think, after lunch, I’ll just say ‘get your coat’ and hope for the best. I’ll post from the pub if we get there.