A little stressful . . .


The youngest is with us this weekend. He came home on Friday morning for his fortnightly visit. This is always a little stressful for us. The reason being, that before he can come home, we have to have a negative covid-19 test. His residential care home have provided us with a quantity of testing kits and we do our test first thing, then contact the care home and let them know it is negative. We have to go through the same procedure again on the Monday morning, before he is allowed to return.

It was very worrying when we first started the test. We were concerned that we were not doing the test correctly and even more worrying that the test would show positive. After a couple of tests we became quite familiar with the procedure, but there was always that nagging feeling that one or both of would show positive either before he comes home or before he returns. It is now even more worrying as things start to open up more and people seem to more relaxed about social distancing, that the chance of a positive reading is possibly greater now than it was a couple of months ago.

<><><><><><><>

We went for our, now usual lunch on Thursday at Bar3, a local Coffee, Bar & Kitchen (as it is called) bar in Wetherby. Neither of us can face a whole meal, so we tend to share a wrap or a panini and have it split over two plates . They don’t seem to mind this as a few couples do the same. The café where I work tend to frown on ‘sharers’. The boss sees it as lost income, but surely it is better to have two people share a meal, than have them go elsewhere? Some people do push it a little too far though. Three people came in on Tuesday that had been in before. They decided they wanted to share a Greek Salad. In my opinion the salad is too much for one, about right for two but not enough for three people. The boss was not happy about three sharing and told them that she would have to make a charge for using the cutlery and extra plates! She was even a less happy person when they said they wouldn’t bother and left.

<><><><><><><>

Coming back to the testing thing. On Saturday morning, the post arrived and the was a letter with the NHS (National Health Service) logo on the front. I’ve been waiting for a while to be contacted as I have a problem with arthritis in both knees. Back in late 2018, I had an X-ray on them and I was told that the Dr’s would be in touch. At the end of January 2020, I received a letter explaining that appointments have been delayed and I would be informed about my condition as soon as they were able to confirm a date.

The about three months ago I received a letter, from the Government department, DoHSC (Department of Health & Social Care) inviting me to take in an “Important Survey” to would supposedly ‘help the Government avoid outbreaks of COVID-19″. My name had been picked out at random from many thousands to take part. I read the letter and decided that I didn’t want to take part. I have enough to deal with these days without having to take part in ‘voluntary’ studies. I shredded the letter and thought that would be the end of it. at the beginning of May, I got a reminder letter, again asking me to take part in the study. another letter for the shredder. The letter on Saturday was my ‘final’ reminder.

I couldn’t help thinking, where do they get the resources to send out three letters to someone who obviously is not interested (I would have actioned the first letter if I had been). And, why use the postal system, when they have my personal email address that the Dr’s surgery contacts me by. But then at the end of the day, it’s not the NHS that is doing this. It’s the DoHSC in conjunction with a London college and a company that specialises in surveys and polls.

It’s getting closer …


The big ‘Non-event of 2020‘ is getting ever closer and with comes the things you have forgotten, either on purpose or genuinely forgotten.

Christmas cards! Love them or hate, they are always there. Every year I make up my mind not to bother with cards except for family. But every year, the same thing happens. Someone gives you a card with that expectant look in their eye that says “Where’s mine?”

I’m still on furlough as we are still in tier 3, which means that the café can only open for take-aways. So a message came through last evening to that effect, that I wasn’t needed back yet. But also the boss mentioned that if I was in town sometime, I should pop by as there are many Christmas cards for me.

I groaned, as we no cards left and my plan to finally forget giving cards had been thwarted. Mrs Me said I should pop into the charity shop and get some cards from there, as they would not be any more expensive and would support a good cause.

I got back to the car with my chosen selection of festiveness and looked for something firm to rest on whilst I added our names to each card. I knew that I had a crossword book in the pocket behind the passenger seat and as I pulled the book out, a pack of charity Christmas cards came with it. I must have bought those last year and forgotten them.

After a few choice and not so Christmassy words, I wrote my seasonal message in each card. I only needed six, possibly seven cards at the most. All done taking great care not to lick the gummed part of the envelope, I made my way to my place of work wondering if my seven cards would be enough. I should not have worried. There were only two!

And it goes on …


The 2nd day back at work was really busy. One of my colleagues, who lives just around the corner had gone sick. Not the virus, but I think it may have been stress related. So the effect of that meant that the boss was working. It can be quite difficult when she is in, as she will not say no to a customer. For example, the chef was due to finish at 15:00 (he’d been there since 07:00). Five minutes before he took off his apron, she asked if he could do an ‘afternoon tea’ for 2 people. She explained that they had been in since 12:30 and had bought many drinks. The lady of the party was Canadian and had never had a proper English afternoon tea. The chef looked a little annoyed, but he agreed. So it was 15:30 when he finished eventually. Now the deputy manager would have said no! She would have explained it takes a bit of time to prepare and that they had some customers waiting to come in. Which was true. We seem to be getting the same or more numbers in with only half the tables.

They have a young lad, still at school who does the washing up on Saturdays and he is covering my Monday shift. Because I can be furloughed, it seems that they can give him a couple of extra shifts, until he goes back to school in September. Seems a bit cheeky to me, but I’m not losing out and he gets a bit extra pocket money. How legal or even moral it is I don’t know, but it’s not an issue I feel I need to raise.

<><><><><><><><><>

Youngest was home on Friday. He now comes home every 2nd weekend as opposed to every weekend. He seemed very content. It has taken a long time to get to this stage and he coped really well with being in lock-down, and not coming home for 4 months. We wouldn’t have thought it possible a year ago. His medication helps. It seems to relax him. The only downside is that he put on a lot of weight. We were asked to monitor his weight back in October last year as there were concerns that his weight was dropping. But some of the medication he was on, is not appropriate for his age and this is being reduced and replaced with a better solution. This where the problem lay. The old medication had a side effect that suppressed hunger a little. With this gone he began to increase his weight going from 9 stone in October to nearly 12 stone today. It seems to have stabilised now, but it means that most of his clothes no longer fit.

<><><><><><><><><>

I’m going to have to go sick tomorrow. I’ve somehow got an infection on my left leg which I need some antibiotics for and I’m having a problem with my right knee. It started on Friday night, with my knee feeling just a little tender. By this morning, it’s got to the stage where I need a stick to get around. There is an art to correctly using a stick to help with walking, and I’m finding how difficult that art can be, but I think I’m getting there. Just texted the boss to explain that I will not be in tomorrow. Not sure how well that will go down, but I can’t be bending up and down with a walking stick. We shall see what happens.

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!

Final lap …


Today the new flooring goes down. We are having a laminate floor put on top of the old floor in the conservatory. In a marked contrast the the “Sparks” that came yesterday, there has been a lot of ‘tut tut‘, ‘Oh dear‘, ‘That’s not good‘ and a fair amount of head shaking! I hadn’t realised when the boss came to give us a quote, what a misery he was. The guy with him seems a lot more laid back, with ‘Don’t worry, we can fix it‘ attitude. I’m not sure how difficult the job can be. He is an expert and, according to his van a “Which Trusted Trader”!

Anyway, they were here when the said the would be, so we shall see how it goes.

<><><><><><><>

So, we are just over 2 hours in, and the skirting is 90% done. We still have the head shaking and tutting, but I think they are getting there. Problem has been that when the patio door was removed, it left a gap in the floor which was more or less bare brickwork. Trying to level the floor has been quite a task.

The boss has just ‘nipped back to base’ to get something that they need. I would have thought they should have everything basic, so it must be something special for this job. But hey, what do I know.

He’s back now, with the comment ‘Some people just moan about anything’. The colour of pots and kettles sprung to mind. They are now having a ‘tea and chat’ break, so I’ve now idea how long this is going to take.

<><><><><><><>

Lunch break is now over and the floor laying has begun. This going a lot faster than the previous 4 hours! Although both are now on their 4th cuppa!

<><><><><>

It looks like they are almost done. That will make it 7½ hours in total or about 5 hours if you take out the chat/drink/lunch time. It looks good though and it means that we now have a room we can use all year round, instead of just the warm days in middle of summer.

Wasn’t expecting that …


Ancient_Mexico.png

I got a text message from my boss, who is in Mexico at the moment for their annual holiday. The text said that she had received a ‘picture message’ from me, but could not open it. I quickly checked my phone, but I hadn’t sent a picture message to anyone, which I explained. It was then I noticed that there was an extra charge of £3.84 on my next bill. Very puzzling!

I went on to the providers website, but could find no nothing to say what the charge was for, until I got my next bill. The online ‘chat support’ was available, so I sent a message, basically asking questions: 1) who sent the picture and 2) what was the charge for.

thumb_new_year_HappyNewYear

I had a very informative ‘chat’ with someone using the alias ‘Zahir’. He explained that I had sent an MMS message to eight of my contacts on the 1st January. I disputed this and explained that I had only sent a text stating “Happy New Year” to a group of contacts. He then informed me, that a group text, with my provider is sent as a text to the first in the list, then as a picture message to the rest. The picture being charged at £0.55 per message. It was then that I vaguely remembered being told this before. I thanked Zahir (or whatever his real name was) and quickly closed the call.

**Note to self: NO MORE group text messages !

First one done …


The first ‘official week’ of my new part-time job is over and done. After the trial day, it was very much as I expected it to be. It’s fairly physical and quite hot especially at the peak time of the day between 12:00 and 14:00. I did end the day with a bit of a sweat-rash (in a place that I have no intention of mentioning) and my legs do feel a bit tired today. It is understandable, I’ve not done a standing job for over 25 years!

I don’t think I made any mistakes and everyone seems to be quite pleased with me. Unfortunately, I did forget to turn off the water heater when I went home yesterday. The boss did say that it did not matter too much, but I was a bit annoyed with myself at forgetting. I think I’ll make a list on my phone of the jobs I need to do at the end of the day. See if that helps.

–<><><>–

Talking of phones, I’m getting a new one tomorrow. It’s bought and paid for and I just need to pick it up from the local Tesco in the afternoon. K*** bought a new iPhone as her old one just was not working properly. I just kept cutting out whenever she used it and the reception on it wasn’t the best. I like the phone I have. It was the phone I wanted when it came out and was top of the range at the time. However that time was about 4 years ago and the poor thing is starting to show it’s age. Apps don’t open properly and there is very little space to work with on the phone itself. So I’ve opted for a “Moto G6 Play Gold” which is a bit of a mouthful I know. Seems to have all the features I want, although I may have to order a new sim card from ‘3’ before I can use it.

–<><><>–

Another stressful day


It was a quite stressful day today. It’s the end of the financial year, so certain reports have to be done. As usual, the reports did not do what the ‘finance whizz kids’ wanted them to do. It’s a bit annoying. Seven years ago, the software house told us that they would write any report we wanted, they just need to know what was wanted. The ‘whizz kids’ did nothing! As a consequence, I had to write the reports. The thing is, I am not an expert (more an expert now than I was) so the reports I write are very basic. At the end of the day, it all got sorted. It gets a bit heated between me and the finance manager. It’s not anger, more frustration, not helped by a certain line manager (soon to be ex) who seems to like to wind things up a bit. However, at the end of the day, it all got sorted, and the finance manager and me are still friends. That has got to say something!! We can have four or five hours at each other’s throats, and then when it’s all done, we are still mates.

I told my line manager (SM) that I had got a new position. He arrived at around half nine, and it took him until half ten, before he spoke to me. Then it was a beckoning wave and a “when you’ve had your chat, can I have a word?” Told him I was waiting to see my new boss, and then I would come and see him. His face was a picture. As I have mentioned, I did not get the job that ‘they’ wanted me to get. So he was not very pleased that, I was not going to be at his beck and call. My colleague, D*** was most supportive, and I felt he was quite pleased for me. Some of the others though, were still talking about ‘what are we going to do ……’ and ‘who will do this ….’ To be frank, and to misquote, “Frankly my dears, I don’t give a shit (damn)”

It is not going to plan…..


Another missed blog. To be perfectly honest, I was too tired, and did not really have too much to say. I was awoken at around 5:45 Yesterday morning, by the usual, and did not get to bed until 00:15, because of the usual, so it was a long day. Work was okay, but there are some days when the job is just a bit tiresome. Yesterday was one of those days. Today was a bit different. There were a lot of handhelds to re-install, four in total, which means that they broke ten in as many days. I told the boss, as at £200.00+ to repair, they need to be a lot more careful.

I hope all the ‘new’ progressions on the system are done now. That has been a ball ache too. All because ‘Spike’ went for the ‘cheaper’ option, instead of the full conversion. I mean I can do it, when I know exactly what is needed, and where they need it to go. Karen is quite good at explanations like that, so these were a lot easier to do. However, I think the next time, and there will be a next time, I will insist on the full job being done.

Last day tomorrow. Well for four days anyway. I don’t know what we’ll do though. I’ve enough money to go out for lunch a couple of times. It is nice to have a bit of money to spare. Now that the car is paid for, I have a bit extra  cash to spend. I do not seem to be scrimping at the endRND2009 of the month. Even with saving an extra £100.00 every month. That will be useful when the next service, Tax and MOT is due.

Not spoken to my friend at all today. I did not get chance of Yahoo this morning and like I said, I was too tired last night.

It is RND2009 on Friday, so in keeping with the spirit…