It’s been three weeks since my last post, and there have not been any real reasons why. I’ve just been a little bit lazy I suppose. I don’t like writing when there is a chance of being disturbed and with the problems we are experiencing with our youngest son, sitting and putting fingers to keyboard has not been the top of my to-do list. I think I’ve explained here before that Rh*s is Autistic and has several other linked conditions. One of the issues many Autistic people have is routine. Things have to be the same with little or no variation. Rh*s likes to know what he is doing, where and when he is doing it and who with. Changes, even the slightest can lead to anxiety and stress, which often manifests in his behaviour. He currently lives at his residential placement for 4 nights and 5 days a week. He is picked up from home Monday morning and returns Friday evening. It’s taken a long time to get to this stage, and he appears to be happy with the arrangement. He has his own flat and many staff to support him on a daily basis. However, it is now the time to plan his placement for the next year, and this is causing some issues.
I create a planner that shows the nights he sleeps at his flat and the nights he doesn’t. This planner is on his bedroom wall at home and one of his walls at his flat. The current planner ends on the 31st December this year. Since the middle of June, he has been ‘worrying’ that he is not going to his flat next year. Before he can see his dates we have to run it past the representative, of the people who funds his placement and this is where there has been a stumbling block. We believe, that as his placement is fully funded for 24/7 care, that the funders are going to insist on him going 24/7. We, as parents, and the support team do not think he is ready for this yet and we may have some arguments to overcome in the next couple of weeks. The uncertainty has come out in his behaviour, to the extent that he is not wanting to do some of the activities that we know he enjoys. He has also taken to ‘chanting’ about his dates. Every so often and at the moment it seems to be every hour or so he will recite “Friday, Saturday, Sunday” for every weekend up until the end of 2020. This is basically, we think is his way of asking “What am I doing next year?” We think he can actually picture his calendar in his head, rather than actually remembering the dates.
We were supposed to be meeting with the representative for a review of Friday, but the person had got some crossed wires and did not turn up. The meeting has now been rescheduled for early October, but this does not resolve the issue we have. What we and his care manager are now thinking, is that we just go ahead with the dates we are looking at, and if the funders are not happy with that, the issue will be taken to an advocate to speak for him in what they call “Best Interest”. From what I understand this advocate will look at what each party thinks is his best interest and make a decision. Could go either way, but I think that parents and carers know what is best for him more that someone sat at a desk with a financial spreadsheet in front of them. Gong to be a stressful couple of weeks.
I’ve heard a bit about Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor so I thought I would give it a go. “Be bold.” I said to myself, “Don’t get in a rut” and a few other motivational phrases that I don’t want to go into.
My first impression was that it had a quite confusing interface, and I found switching from what they call “Block” and “Document” to add a tag or category, very frustrating. I like to add tags as and when they appear in my text. Then there is the text formatting which seems to be missing ‘full justify’ which is how I usually format my words. Embedding an image within a paragraph does not seem to work. There may be a way to do it, but I could not see how. I didn’t seem to be able to post my words as a draft post. Although I selected ‘pending’ as an option the post went live (now deleted). All in all, unless WordPress are prepared to give us a full tutorial, then I’m going to sit in my rut like the cowardly lion and stick to what I know. It’s the same feeling I had when Windows Live Writer was withdrawn (before I found Open Live Writer) and I tried using Microsoft Word to write a post. I would possibly get used to it, but in the end, is it worth the stress of change?
I can quite see, that WordPress might want everyone to eventually use Gutenberg, but until then, I’ll stick to Open Live Writer.
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 not 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 worked. 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.
Change! It’s not a thing that I’m particularly good at. I tend to stick to something I’m comfortable with or something I like. I’m not one for trying out new things. Prefer the ‘status quo’ rather than be adventurous. But … I’m seriously considering changing the theme on this blog. I’ve had this current theme for quite a while now and while I still like it, I think it’s time to to have a change. I’m looking for something a little more subtle. So you may see a change over the next few days, but then again …
I finally got around to putting a picture on the Simply Knitting Group Facebook page, of some the knitting I had worked on. They are three plant pot hangers that were in the style of those macramé hangers from the 1970’s. When I knitted them, I found that one of the patterns was slightly wrong. I managed to work out what was wrong and was able to complete the knits. I emailed the magazine, the designer and the Facebook group about the error, and finally I got the response that I was expecting and the correct instructions were posted on the magazine website. Feeling a little chuffed with myself as I have got a few likes, which I wasn’t expecting.
Whilst I bragging about my knitting ‘success’, I have to boast about another one. Way back in October last year, we had a new bathroom fitted. Just before the plumbers finished and packed up, one of them said he was going to fix the kitchen tap. Now the problem was that when K*** got the kitchen sink replaced, the ‘handy-man’ fitted the tap, but did not tighten it up fully. He claimed that he didn’t want to over-tighten the fitting and crack the sink basin and it had been loose ever since. The bathroom plumbers found this highly amusing and went on to explain that there was a silicon washer that prevented the tap from over-tightening. They fixed it and all was good for a while. Then recently I found that the tap had worked loose again. The plumber was due back again for a small thing and I cheekily asked if he could fix the tap again. Unfortunately the tool he needed had been lost on another job. However, he explained that all I needed was a number 10 box or tubular spanner. eBay to the rescue. After a quick search, I found what I was looking for and am now the proud owner of a full set of tubular spanners and a fixed sink tap.
In spite of the fact that I don’t like change, I’m experimenting with a different internet browser. For the past few years, I’ve flitted between Firefox and the Google Chrome browsers. I gave up on Internet Explorer (IE) years ago and find their new ‘go-to’ browser, Edge to be not dissimilar to IE. I finally settled on the Google offering about 18 months ago, and have been reasonably pleased (if that’s the right phrase) with it. However, over the past couple of months I’ve noticed that opening webpages/sites in Chrome has slowed down a great deal to the extent that sometimes the page/site just doesn’t even open. I’ve done all the obvious things like clearing down the cache, deleting offline pages and deleting browser history but it has not had much effect. So I have now installed the Opera browser and am testing it for a while. It seems faster (could not be slower) and I have managed to import all my shortcuts and bookmarks. So we shall see if it is any better.
I am referring to the new free theme Karuna. I’ve been on the lookout for a change of theme as I’m beginning to tire of my current one. There is nothing wrong with the Independent Publisher theme and it has served me well for a long time, but I think I need a change.
There seems to be a lot of things that will be familiar in Karuna, but the overall look is a bit cleaner. The default font looks tidier and I like the idea of a menu at the top and a side menu. So I might just give it whirl over the weekend.
(Posted by email)
Today’s task is to audit my blog. To look at what I’m displaying to the world and see if changes might be needed.
So, I’ve made a start. I’ve changed the header image to one of my own photographs. It was taken last year in the field across the road from where we live. The second change was to change the background colour of my blog.
Now I like the header image, and not just because it is one of mine, but because it reminds me of how and when I took it. Change number two is a different proposal. I cannot decide if I like the new colour. In fact, I’m not all sure I like having a coloured background. I tried using an image as a background, but that did not work.
So, I leave it up to you. Do you like the changes?
It’s not so much the work, more some of the people I have to work with. There’s a lot of stressful things going on in my life at the moment. What with the “Life changer”, the ‘restructure’ and the new service, things are quite worrying. The whole of the public sector is going through a really bad time as we pay for the mistakes of the past years. So it becomes very hard to be understanding of the microcosm attitude of some of my colleagues. I’ll not call them friends, because despite their ‘crocodile tears’ and concerns, I still feel I’m an outsider and that they don’t really care as much as they try to make out. Saying that, there are some who I genuinely believe do care. I will only identify them by their initials (not that they are likely to read this, but you never know) and they are SB, MS, JB and DC. If they do read this, then they will know who they are.
I’m sick of the little ‘chats’ the others have between themselves, when I seem to be out of the office. The sudden ‘quite’ when I come back into the office after the private phone call with my manager. Do they really need to make it so obvious? Today was a great example. I went to have a chat with someone, about a work issue, and when I got back, three of my colleagues were sat together talking about something. I don’t know for sure what it was, but am convinced it was about the new changes. There was no attempt to either include me or bring me up to speed with what was happening. And this kind of thing seems to be happening more and more. I am now watching my back a lot more closely than ever before. I’ve identified my friends and am just watching the battle lines being drawn. This could be a rough few weeks, but I know which side my bread is buttered. Interesting times ahead.
Now here’s where I apologise for the number of clichés used in this post.