First day back …


My last working day was the 16th of March. I got an txt from my boss on the evening of Monday the 23rd of March to say that the cafe was now closed, and that I was to be furloughed until further notice. I wasn’t too worried, as I do the job (only 13 hours over 2 days) more for the interaction rather than the money. I had been ‘retired’ since October 2016 and this job came up in September 2018, and I was more than qualified for it.

My workplace

I was a little concerned when the call came through last week, that they wanted me back. It was only for one day this week. I am now on what is ‘flexible furlough’ which apparently means that I can be called in to work one day and be on furlough the next. My main concern was the safety aspect. The kitchen that I work in is very small and can get a little crowded when the chef, me and one of the waitresses is in there. Social distancing is not possible and because of the heat, the wearing of a face covering is just not feasible.

I got through it. Safely I think, but only time will tell. I have no knowledge of next weeks work, but they do know that I would rather them bring in people that need the money more than I do. The staff for who this job is their main source of income should be the priority at the moment.

I was quite weary when I got home, as I expected, but a warm bath and a cold beer soon had me sorted. Interesting thing though, I’m never hungry after work. I don’t eat much for lunch, usually a sandwich and a few chips, but it’s not a large portion, so I can only assume that it is being around food takes any edge of hunger. Who knows!

Interesting times …


I’ve had to do a couple of shopping trips in the past week. Just the essentials, wine, whiskey beer etc etc. I have been amazed at how my local Aldi has got their head around the ‘panic buying’ that we have seen reported. Shoppers queuing outside keeping two trolleys apart. They were operating a “10 out, 10 in” policy and it was working fine. People just seemed to be getting on with it. One funny moment though … an oldish guy turned up on his mobility scooter and started asking “Can I queue jump?” He asked a couple of times before the elderly lady behind me called out “No you can’t … join the queue like the rest.” She then explained that she knew him and it wasn’t his scooter. and that he wasn’t as disabled as he purported to be.

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Morrisons and Aldi today, and although they had got a queuing system in place, it was quiet and not really needed. Aldi still was operating the same system as before, but again it was very quiet. Only thing that I couldn’t get was plain flour and the obligatory loo rolls. I understand, that it is due to the fact that they can be used as paper handkerchiefs.

The thing that struck me most, was how nice people were being. No pushing or shoving. Everyone giving way to everyone. Most people keeping the 2 metre distance. However, the only people that seemed to not have a clue, seemed to be ‘old’ people. Old as in over 70 or so they seemed. One couple in Morrisons today did not seem to be aware of the 2 metre rule and gave me the oddest of looks when I asked them if they could move back a little.

Funniest thing of the day was when I was looking for plain flour. Morrisons had a few bags of own brand and a couple in front of me were looking at the shelf. Her husband said “There’s some!” His wife’s reply was “We don’t buy that type!” To which I relied “I do!” and plonked the offending object in my trolley.

The other funny thing I heard to day was a new word that has slipped into the British language. We had ‘Brexit’ now we have “Covidiots” Hate this ‘made-up-word’ stuff. I think it cheapens the British language somewhat.

Day two …


They are back again and right on time at 08:30. It’s very wet, so they opted to take the old patio door out. Problem: while cutting the frame, one of them cut through three wires. What is a strange thing is that all three wires are red! The electrician is coming to sort it out.

Tried contacting the alarm company, as we have/had a ‘tremble’ sensor on the door. The alarm company not interested as they did not install the original system. They wanted to charge a huge amount just to come out and look. It was going to be around £200.00 before they did anything so we are thinking just hide the sensor under the plasterwork. The main room sensor picks up movement where the old door was I don’t think we need it.

Mrs H has gone off to get her nails fixed and to get a few things done in Wetherby. That’s going to take a couple of hours at least. I overheard the fitters talking and they seem to think that they will have done all their work by around 15:30. Given how much work they have done this morning, I think that could be right.

Tomorrow, the plasterer is due. I’ll be glad when he’s done his work, as it means we will be able to get into the garage again. It’s always been a bit of a tight squeeze in there anyway, what with all the ‘stuff’ we already have, but now we have all the plaster-board in there ready to be used tomorrow. There is so little space, that I cannot even get to the cup-board where my beer is kept !!!

Tune in again for the next (yawn) instalment …

Daily prompt: All a matter of choice …


Some call it froth, some call it foam many call it ‘the head’, but whatever you call itBeer, which is best. {‘m of course talking about the tight mass of bubbles at the top of your glass of beer. I call it ‘the head’ and always have done. Foam and froth make me think more about coffee than alcohol.

Although it is right to invoke personal choice, the choice of beer often dictates the type ‘head’ your beer has. It also depends on your location. Northern England seems to prefer their ales with a head measuring about 15mm whereas Southern areas, I am told the head doesn’t usually get larger than about 5mm. Coming back to beer types, Lager drinkers seem to prefer their drink to have a smaller head than an ale drinker. Of course, cider tends not to have a head at all. Some beers/ales have a head that takes a long time to settle. I thinking here of draught Guinness, that depending on how long the barrel has been ‘on’ can take anything from 2 to 5 minutes before it is acceptable to drink.

Then you have bottled beers. Their head is often quite loose or slack and disappears quite quickly. Once again, some of the more stronger types do not have a head.

Me (being a Yorkshireman) tend to prefer an ale head of around 15mm and a lager head of about 5mm. But saying that, I’ll usually drink however it is served.

At the end of the day, it is down to the skill of the bartender to produce the head that you prefer.

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.

Poor games ….


I am begining to think, that I may be glad when this football World Cup is over !!!!!! There games have ranged from average to poor, with the odd ‘good’ one thrown in. The talk is that it will all improve vastly, when the knockout stage begins. I await to see!

It was the Clifford Beer Festival on Saturday. Some nice beers, and it was good to catch up with some of my old friends from the days when I used to bus to work. I only seem to see them at beer festivals !! How sad is that.

Work is the same as usual. Too many of the people think they are more important than they are. Of course, they all think they work too hard !!! When in actual fact …….

Youngest is away on respite this week, and both K*** and me are attending his annual review on Thursday. That should be interesting. I am also looking into publicising the PTA of the school. At the moment, they issue the occasional letter goes to parents, whenever the PTA have an event, and that is about all. I’m looking into creating a weblog on here, together with a regular newsletter. I’ve not done anything as big as this before, but I have a few ideas. Mind you, I’ll have to talk to them and convince them of the benefits. That could be the biggest challenge. I think I will just set it all up and them present them with it. Wish me luck !!!

A long week ……


   I did not get chance to post over the past few days. Decorating seemed to have taken over a little.

   In the end, I only put one base coat on the walls. Mrs H was in a hurry to get it all finished, and to be perfectly honest, so was I. The walls did need two top coats, as expected, but it covered well, and looks quite good. I did a bit of ‘glossing’, but then Mrs H decided that she preferred a silk finish to the woodwork. Glad I had only done a small amount.

   I started the wall papering on Friday, and got it finLiving roomished first thing Saturday morning. Well pleased !! I really enjoy wall papering. I  get a great deal of satisfaction out making it look as perfect as possible. I think that it’s the fiddly bits that I enjoy. The cutting around plug sockets and the like. This particular wall, only had six full lengths, but only two of them were straight, without any extra work. Next job……the dining room. A smaller room, but with more stuff to move. We are having new internal doors fitted tomorrow. I may post ‘before & after’ pics.

   Eldest came up on Wednesday, and me and him went for a pint at the ‘Lion. He also came on Friday and stopped until Sunday, which was nice. We took him and his flatmate out for a meal on the Friday evening. He/they seem to be keeping their new place really tidy. We were both very impressed.

   All three of us (youngest was on respite) went to the 2nd Boston Spa Beer Boston Spa village hall Festival, at the village hall. We got there about 2:30, and it was nearly 8:30 when we left !!! Tried a lot of interesting beers/ales, and it was a great afternoon. Took him back Sunday lunchtime. We were all a bit apprehensive, as his flatmate was having some of his friends around on Saturday night, and I think we all expected the flat to be trashed. It was surprisingly in an excellent condition. A coffee table full of empty beer cans was the only evidence of any visitors at all. Well done R** !!

   Well that’s the week covered, apart from a trip to Harrgate today, to finish the holiday off. Back to the grind-stone tomorrow.  ** Latest news though, was that the eldest had been out looking for a job today. He was filling in application forms for a couple of restaurants really close by to his flat. One of which was currently looking for staff. So fingers crossed **

Back to work ….


   It has been a good weekend overall. Today was R***’s birthday. He was really excited this morning. He came into our room, around 6:30 this morning, with his arms outstretched, and said ‘Happy Birthday to me !!!’ It was very funny, and quite surprising that he did that. We certainly did not expect him to do that. He has been really good, all day, with just a tiny blip around 4:00pm, but that very minor. S**** rang today to say Happy Birthday, which pleased Mrs H. Neither of us thought he would ring.

   I am in a bit of a ‘weight crisis’ at the moment. I went for a shower this evening, and as is usual, I got on the scales. I have finally hit 12 stone !!!! This is not good. I have been hovering around 11 stone 11lb for a week or so, but to hit the 12 mark is a bit of a shock. I know what it is though. Biscuits and beer ! It has to stop now ! I also need to start the walking again. Problem is, that it is just not a pleasant place to walk. I suppose I could drive somewhere, but those options are limited too. However, I will make the effort.

   I really need to stop installing software that I do not need. How many ‘uninstallers’ does a person need ? I already have a copy of Revo uninstaller, why on earth do I need Zsoft ??? Fair enough, Zsoft does monitor your installations, but Revo is arguably the best freeware out there. I’m not 100% sure about this new Microsoft Security Essentials either. All the talk about it is very positive, but it depends on how much system resource it takes up. I will see how it goes, as it has only been installed since yesterday.

Bramham Beer Festival (pt2)


   As I said before, It all went quite well. I was there from about 3pm until 4:30pm, and it was very very busy. There seemed to be a lot of money being spent, which was good, and everyone was having a great time. The prices were extremely reasonable at £2.50 for a pint and £1.50 for a half pint. I think that was the only thing that could have been a little wrong. With it being cheaper to buy a pint, rather than two halves, I think many people would have bought pints. As a consequence, they will have either drank far too much, or not had the opportunity to sample more ales. Maybe £1.30 for a half would have been better. Another idea could have been to have 1/3 size glasses at, say 90p a glass, which would have encouraged people to try more different ales. Still just minor points.

   The entertainment !! Well I did not see much of it at all. In the time I was there, there was just one act on, an acoustic singer, who on the whole was quite good for that type of music. The stand-up comedian, who should have been on when I got there, was not on. He was sat in the audience. There had apparently been some issues with the microphones ???? The bands did not seem to have issues !! Again minor points.


   Leeds Utd won again today. For a change, they snatched the win in the last ten minutes of the game. In the past 5 or so previous years, the last 10 minutes of the game is where Leeds usually lose. Things are looking very well for the side. If they keep this up, then they will fly into the Championship League next year. I then predict (but don’t put money on this) that two year in that league, and they will be in with a chance of the Premiership

An odd day …


   It has been one of those days, when nothing has gone wrong, but nothing has happened to make it memorable. It just happened. Of course, the idiots were still idiots, and still did the stupid things that idiots do. It gets me quite angry, when they do stupid things after four/five years. Grrrrrr !!

   It’s the 2nd annual Bramham Beer Fest tomorrow. There are over 20 local real ales on sale, with entertainment and food all day. If last year is anything to go by, it should be a good day. They got about 200 customers last year, and are expecting in excess of 300 this year. Eldest is coming up, and we think he may bring his flatmate, but that changes by the hour. I don’t think either will stop the night, as S**** indicated that he wants to go out in Leeds afterwards.

   The online training course and quiz, at work is turning out to be a disaster. We are moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003 (2003, I ask you) next month, and we all have to go through this so called ‘training course and quiz’. The course is online, and consists of, what looks like a PowerPoint presentation. No interaction, and it is supposed to take 2 hours to get through. Everyone (except the numpties) got bored after about 20 minutes. It is not a good piece of training. Then there is the ‘quiz’. Everyone needs to get 80% on the quiz. There are 10 questions, and they are either single word or multiple choice answers. But there seems to be a problem with the results. My first attempt got me 60%. Second go, and I realised 70%. Third time, and I’m down at 50%. Problem is that the feedback from the quiz, does not tell you which questions you got wrong !!!! So, attempt number 4. This time, I am armed with the ‘official’ training handbook. Every question, and I look the answer up in the manual. Cannot fail. Result …… 70%. See the problem !! Methinks that IT need to do some work on this one.

   The  non-recyclable bins got emptied today. It will have been private contractors that covered the job. I’m not too happy about the use of contractors, but I think the unions have shot themselves in the foot here. The council has to get the best deal, and have been looking at outsourcing for some time. This strike has made them look harder. And I think, the longer it goes on, the more the public support will dwindle. I don’t think they had that much support anyway. A lot of people remember how hard the ‘binmen’ of old used to work. Carrying those steel bins on their shoulders to the bin wagon, and then putting them back in the garden. No wheelie bins in those days. What it will make people aware of, is exactly how much stuff they put in the bins on a regular basis.

All done …. well for six months anyway


The appraisal went much as expected. A 10 minute trip down memory lane into what my objectives were (memo: ‘I already knew’), why they were picked (memo: see previous memo) and why they were not fully met (memo: ‘we knew they wouldn’t be’). Then we moved into patronising mode, where we discussed my strengths and weaknesses . This meaningless exchange lasted a good 25 minutes. And the outcome ……… nothing has changed since last time, but ‘I’m working on my weaknesses’. I have been doing so for the past 40 years or so. Then came my objectives (or jobs that I have to do because my line-manager can’t). These were basically to continue the ones before, plus one more. Now why on earth it took another 20 minutes to complete that part, I have no idea. That is it until the six monthly review, when we will go through the same thing again.

The situation with Mrs H and the eldest, is beginning to improve. She seemed a little happier this evening. They had all been to her sisters for my Mum-in-laws birthday, and S**** had come along too. He was not well yesterday.  Apparently, he had had a pizza on Tuesday night, and was ill after it. Now I remember being his age, and experiencing the very same type of illness on a regular basis. You go out, have 16 pints of beer, followed by a curry/kebab, and it is the food that always makes you ill !!!! I don’t think she slept too well last night worrying about him. I honestly believe she thought he had swine flu’.

Youngest has just had an ‘episode’. He has been great all day, then it comes to go to bed and he kicks off. All the Autism experts say there is a trigger, but quite often it is nothing that can be indentified. The droning starts, then the violence kicks in, and it is often 20 minutes before settles down. Tonight it seems to be taking a lot longer. The violence seems to increase when you try to stop it. It is as if he needs to hurt you, and his anger will not subside until he has. But the reason for the anger is not obvious. One of the annoying things is though, that the experts always look to you as if you are the cause. We spoke to one of the ‘experts’ some time ago, someone from the Disability Team, and when Mrs H said that often the anger is directed at me, the ‘expert’ turned to me and asked me ‘why did I think he directed it at me?’ Or in other words … it must be my fault.

Last day tomorrow. Hopefully we will have a reasonable week. I hope the weather picks up again. It will be quite a miserable week if we get the rain we had last time I was off. R*** has been quite amenable this week. Let’s hope it continues (apart from the bad parts of course).

Thought I had bagged a bargain tonight. I need to but some more RAM for my PC. It has 1.5gb, but I want to get it up to the maximum 2gb (it’s a 4 year old PC.) I bought the last lot from Play.com for about £16.00. When it worked, I though I would get 1gb, but the price had rocketed to £34.00. However, when I checked the site today, there was an offer, for the same RAM as before, at £17.00. Too good to be true ??? Well yes and no. They were out of stock, and there was no indication when the new stock would come in. So I left it, but I will keep checking, as that extra 1/2gb will make a lot of difference.

That’s it. Seem to have gone on a little tonight, but it has been an interesting (and I use the word lightly) day.