At the risk of sounding ……


I hate Christmas!

     Now I suppose, I should justify that statement. I hate to use that tired old cliché, but I hate what Christmas has become. When I was a child, Christmas was at the end of December, and it lasted, at the most three days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. That was it! Santa had his Grotto in the main department stores, but not before the 1st of December and most people did not put up their decorations until around the 20th December. Some of the local shops did their decorations a bit earlier, but I don’t really remember them doing much.

     Of course, there was not the mass media hype that we have now. Television did not have the power it now has, so Christmas advertising was mainly driven by what we would call small, posters. Now we have Christmas from around the beginning of October, with all the pressures that it brings. It is a similar thing with bonfire night. It used to be Mischief Night on the 4th of November, when we would go around knocking on peoples doors or pinching wood from other bonfires. Sometime, the older ones would let off ‘bangers’ and then run away. Then there was bonfire night itself. The only night when fireworks could be legally set off. Now it starts at the end of October and mixes with Halloween (I refuse to call is ‘Trick or Treat’), then goes of until the weekend after bonfire night. It’s turned into ‘bonfire weekend’.

     But I digress. This rant is a Christmas rant. this is also the time of year, when charities feel obliged to try and wring more money out of us, by mentioning ‘Christmas Spirit’. I don’t have a problem with giving to charity and regularly do so. My problem is that you get inundated with them, and you cannot give to them all. That does not include the professional charity collectors. Chuggers, they are called. They are the ones that stop you in the high street, carrying their obligatory clipboard, to sign you up to give only £2.00 a week. With their usual mantra of ‘….it can do so much….’ they attempt to make you feel as guilty as possible so as to convince you that £5.00 will do so much more!

     Now, we are in the midst of the worst austerity measures in  British history, with Local Authorities being forced to strip millions from their budgets. Yet they are still expected to spend many thousands of pounds on Christmas Illuminations and the ‘C’ lest celebrities to switch them on.

     To cap it all, when it’s all over, it will be only four months to Easter!

Decisions decisions


So what should I do ? Should I write up a blog post or should I just carry on with my story ? Well seeing as this post is is now on the blog, you can guess what I decided.

     My story, and I suppose it is a story, it at the stage, where I neither know where it is going next or how it’s going to get there. I have the bare bones of the idea, but when I make notes, it just does not seem to work. To be honest, I’m not that sure, that this is the story I want to write. This could be the problem. I think I need to have a more structured approach.

     I have finally subscribed to a magazine for writers. It’s called Writing Magazine. There appears to be a great deal of content, that will hopefully be useful to me. I’m also following a number of writers blogs (they know who they are) and the tips and resources are very welcome

—————–

     The Christmas decorations came down yesterday. They are all packed away in the loft, ready for next year. We can now get back to what passes for normality in this house. I’m saying ‘all packed away’, there are bound to be a couple of items that have escaped our scrutiny and are sat somewhere, just waiting to be discovered sometime in February.

     Tomorrow, Mrs H is starting some kind of diet. I think it is going to be one of those diets, where the portions sizes are small and the alcohol is non-existent, well until the weekend anyway. We have done this kind of thing before, and we usually last a month, and when we see that there is no discernable effect, we give up. But we shall wait and see.

Welcome to another year


     Well 2013 arrived, and the expected, and dreaded firework trauma did not happen. We had given R***  1mg of his PRN medication at around 23:15, as a precaution. But we had none of the usual ‘incidents’ that we have had over that past four or five years. To be honest, there was not as many fireworks going off around here, as we normally get. In fact, there were more on Christmas Day than last night. So the question is: why was he better last night than before? The “psych’s” will tell us that it was the drugs that settled him and they will try and use it to give credence to solutions. I rather think, that it was just the lack of the fireworks that did it. Whatever it was, it was 1000% better than previous years.

     I find it rather disturbing, that for a country that is in such a dire financial situation, we still have money to waste on the New Year Celebrations. The London fireworks lasted for 15 minutes. How much must that have cost ? There would be the actual cost of the fireworks (22,000 in total). Then the cost of the organisation and planning. Where did all this money come from ? And the scenes were repeated, albeit on a smaller scale, throughout the country. If we are a country with such a large deficit that we are cutting welfare payments to the most needy, do we really need to ‘burn’ so much money just because the number of the year changed ?

Goodbye to a long year


     By the time you read this, 2012 will nearly be over. It’s a year that has had it’s ups and downs and I’m probably glad to see the back of it. Some the downsides have been quite traumatic: finding out that the job you’ve been doing for the past seven years, will no longer exist; Mrs H finding out she had a Melanoma on her arm; coming home to find the Police in the house after R*** had had a melt down; discovering that there was a plan in place to section R*** if needed and that the ‘plan’ had nearly been invoked twice, must all rank at the top of the downers. Then of course there was the uppers: getting a new job; R*** settling in at his new place; R*** taking to his respite without a problem; S**** getting a great review for his part in the local panto; surviving Christmas (still have New Years Eve) are all up there with good times. I also got a new laptop, and I was not sure if it was an upper or a downer. It was struggle to get it to how i wanted it, but when it was all done, it was brilliant!
     My writing is coming along. It is a slow progress, because I think in my own mind, that I’m not good enough to do it. I will have days when I will just sit at the keyboard, and do not know what to write. Then on other days, I will hammer out a couple of hundred words. But then i read back what I’ve written, and realise that it is nonsense, and I have to start again. I’m currently writing a story that has a troll involved. I’ve got up to 4000 words, but I don’t know where I am going from here, or even if going to take it any further. I may just use this a practice piece whilst I figure out what I really want to write about. I did start writing a blog for a national magazine and wrote a few  posts, about the local area and what was happening, but the stats were very disappointing, with no comments neither good or bad. You do need people to comment. Even if they just tell how bad the piece is, it shows that they have interested enough to read it and offer advice. I gave up after four posts and have not written anything for it since December 2011.
     I have recently taken one of the pieces I have written and turned it into a sketch/play. It still needs some work, but with that one, I know what I need to do. I’ve been reading and bought a couple of books about Creative Writing, and am now beginning to understand where I have to start from, and how to develop ideas. It is going to a long process, but as I have indicated to HR at work, I am interested in taking voluntary early retirement in March 2015, I need to get my skates on, so to speak.
     I suppose, that the last sentence needs a little more explaining. I work for local government, and without going in to the politics of it (especially my views) a number of staff in the 55 – 65 age bracket, have been asked to consider either early retirement (VER) or voluntary severance (VS). As I fall in to that age category, I decided to apply for VER. I have sufficient service to give me that maximum payout, and although the pension will not be full amount, I would only be eligible for a further £2000.00 a year if a I stayed on until I was 66. It has yet to be passed by management, but at my level, I do not think there will be a problem. It will mean a massive change, and I will need to get some kind of part-time job, to help with the finance situation, but I think it will be okay. So you see, if I can get my head around writing and develop the skills I need to write creatively, the boredom factor that people get when they retire should not creep in. Who knows, I may even make a few pounds from the experience.

 

     Well, I think I have blathered on for long enough. All that is left now is to wish you all a  very prosperous and successful new year, and hope that 2013 brings you everything you wish for.

It gets closer …..


    I don’t need to tell anyone, but it just over a week to go. Then we can get back to some form of normality, whatever that may be. Just a couple of presents to get, (last minute hints from Mrs H) and I should be done. So I’ll be nipping off to the White Rose centre tomorrow, and I also need to pay a visit to Aldi too. I need to get some Parmesan, and it seems to be one of the best places to buy it. We also bought some ‘mini’ mince pies there last year. They came out top in the Which Best Buy.

     This week will see the usual Christmas Fuddles start. Ours is on Friday, but I’ve also been invited to the one at my previous office, on Wednesday. I made the mistake of saying I would go there on Monday or Tuesday and was told that I was invited. I now have to find an excuse not to go. I never liked it when I worked there, so I’m not going to like it now. I think D*** will get it, but the rest of them won’t.

     K*** and me went to R***’s college on Friday. It is just outside Barnsley, and we (replace the with ‘I’) had to drive through dreadful weather. It was icy, foggy, and rainy at the same time. There had been numerous accidents on the M1, and it had been closed in parts, so we opted to travel the A1 instead. I think, if the weather had been better, it would have proved to be the more suitable road. It certainly seemed a lot easier to find his college this time, and I don’t think it was anything to do with the fact we have been three times before.

     It was a good day, and it was nice to see the flat where R*** has his base, and to meet the support staff he works with. I have just thought though. He currently uses this flat just as a day base. He does not sleep there when he is on respite, because it is/was a shared resource. The person who shared with him, will be based in another flat in the future. I wonder if they have given any thought to R*** using this flat as his respite flat now. To me it makes sense, although there may be many reason why the management cannot put this in place. However, it is worth a phone call next week. I shall let you know.

     His psychiatrist and the community nurse, that works with us, told K*** that they wanted to have their next meeting at a different place from usual. They tried to sell it to me as a way of getting him used to different places. However, it came out in Friday’s meeting, that this place is some kind of secure unit/place of safety. It did not click at first, but his psychiatrist want to get him on to an anti-psychotic drug to help manage his behaviour. Now we had this before, when he was put on a drug, and it completely disagreed with him. It made him worse. He was depressed, sobbing and weeping often, and also self-harming. The self-harm was only minor, hitting the side of his head and nipping himself, but the specialist wanted to increase the drug, bur we said we wanted to stop it. After a day or too, he was back to ’normal’ or as normal as he was before.  So what this new psychiatrist want to do, is to take him into ‘hospital’ so they can observe and monitor him whilst on this drug. This secure unit is the ‘hospital’ they want to use. We are going to have to be very careful here. I don’t want him on any anti-psychotics, and I think K*** feels the same, but I feel that there may be plans that we are not party to. A year ago, he was a teenager with Autism and challenging behaviour. Now it seems that he some kind of psychopath and a danger to the community !!!!! When did that all change.

It’s beginning to feel like etc etc etc….


     Yesterday was the first real day of Christmas here. The day also goes under the celebratory name of “I-need-to-clean-the-whole-house-and-you-need-to-clamber-around-in-the-loft-and-find-all-the-decorations-because-its-Christmas” Day!!!! Today is yesterday, part the second. With the sounds of  “Scrooge”, “Grinch”, “Miserable Old Sod”, “Humbug” and all the other seasonal insults around me, I reluctantly begin to fall into place. I have to say, I hate Christmas! More to the point, I hate what Christmas has become. It just seems to be a time for eating, drinking and spending more than is good for anyone. What has happened to the spirit of Christmas ? Seems to me that it now comes ‘gift pack’ with a 35ml bottle and a tacky glass.

     We don’t have a real tree anymore. We gave that up a while back, when tThe Treehe price of a piece of dead wood became too high. We now have a three foot high (including basket) fibre optic tree. It does the job, looks good and is always a talking point. The really good thing, is that there are no nasty needles to sweep up afterwards. Because, you never get them all. There will be one day, probably mid January, when you’re walking around in your bare feet, and you’ll find one !!! Never a good time.

     It’s ‘Panto’ time in Bramham again. I’m not going to go into the ‘oh no it isn’t – oh yes it is’ routine……. ah I just did! S**** is again one of the stars. This years effort has again been written by a local lad, and it is a version of Aladdin, but it’s more Persian than the usual Chinese offering. S**** plays the part of the Aladdin’s simple brother, Cy. He seems to be on stage for most of the performance, and his part is very slapstick. He is coming home very battered and bruised from all the knockabout routines, but he says it is great fun, and it certainly was very energetic, when K*** and me saw it on Thursday. I’ll post some pictures later, when they get uploaded.

     My writing efforts continue. I’m working on a short story at the moment, that may involve a troll. Not the internet type, but the type of troll that might live under a bridge. Still not sure where it’s going yet, but I’m managing to knock out a couple of hundred words every other day. I’m working on the idea that I should just write, and when I come to the end, then start to edit and correct it. It’s difficult, as I seem to see what is not right every time I come to write some more. Both style and content are a work in progress. I’m also in the process of writing a small play/sketch. This started as listening in to two separate conversations and then expanding it into a very short story. someone then suggested that it would probably make a good (or adequate was the word) sketch. So I’m giving it a go. Who knows, it may even end up being performed by the drama group.

…….after Christmas


So today is the first day back after the Christmas break. Including the weekend, we, at the office, have had 4 days off. What would be the first thing you would think the staff would ask ???? I don’t suppose you would guess at “What time can we finish ??” Well that was what they were asking !!! The dissapointment showed no bounds, when they were told that it would be 5 o’clock. A lot of coughing and spluttering as they groped for the words “But…but….it’s Christmas !!!!” Nope, that was why you were off, with pay for the past two days. Today is Wednesday, the only connection with the festive season, is that it is 3 days after Christmas Day. They are all looking to go home early on Friday too,”…cos it’s New Years Eve Eve”

You see, what these people forget, is that they are ‘public servants’. People, paid by the public to provide a service. They seem to think, that ‘someone’ owes them the job, and the public should be grateful that they are there. Well this time next year, some of them may not be there ! The way this country is going, there will be no public sector, and the job they are doing will be with a private company. That will be a much needed wake up call.

Here endeth my Christmas message.

Back to work


     Well not really ‘back to work’ in the sense that others may say. It was back to work after the New Year. Of course, the IT system failed again. Lost a couple of network drives over the weekend, so the automatic program that should have run at 5 past midnight did not run. That put me back a couple of hours, so some of today’s work will have to be done tomorrow.

     Big problems with the youngest last night. Screaming and shouting and intense anger  at around 10pm. Nothing seemed to calm him down at first, then he was awake up until about 2am. Tonight, much the same. At around 9pm, we got the screaming and shouting and the anger, but tonight he was crying and saying he was so unhappy. Now, he was probably reciting a DVD or video that he has remembered, but it was very upsetting, and had me convinced it was him trying to tell us what is going on !! Who knows. This could be the side effects of the small dose anti-depressant that he has been prescribed, or it may just be another development is his Autism !!! It is now 11pm and he seems to have settled down, but he could turn at any moment.

     Christmas cards are now beginning to get me down !!!! Just want it all to be over. I know, I know, only a couple of days to go, but it is not soon enough. If I had my way, the decorations would go up on the 24th, and come down again on the 26th !!!! I know what you’re thinking …… and I have been expecting a visit from the three Christmas ghosts for many years.

…. and it still goes on


The roads were a lot better this morning, but for some reason, very few drivers seemed to want to drive at faster than 40mph ! The M1 was completely clear of snow, and had been well gritted. The slip roads were not fully clear of snow, but the main carriageways were.

Spent most of the evening last night, trying to pack away the Christmas decorations. It is at times like that, when you have to question, why we do it! We spend a whole day putting them up and another day taking them down, all in the name of ‘Festive Cheer’ or something.

I have my ‘Driver Re-education’ course tomorrow. That is if it is still on. I will give them a ring this afternoon to see. It still irks me that I got caught for 6 miles over the speed limit, then you see all te bad driving over the past week.

First day over and done


   That, as they say, is that. Day one down. Only 364 until 2011 !!!! When you think about it, it’s not really a long time. Or is it just me, dreading the countdown to next Christmas smile_sad


   Eldest lad goes back to his flat tomorrow. Mrs H is not going to be to happy about that. She hoped he would spend the day with us today. That did not happen. He went to the New Years party at the village hall, after we had had a few drinks in the pub. I think we expected him home around 2am or maybe 2:30am. Mrs H rang him at 3:30am, just to see where he was, and he texted back to say he was at a friends and would be sleeping there. Now, would you not think he could have let us know ? Anyway, we thought that he would be kicked out about 10:00, but no, he arrived back at just after 2:30pm. A quick hello, and it was up to his room to chat on the computer with all his friends. Saying that though, it was 2:00am when I finally stopped chatting this morning smile_embaressed

   So it has been quite an odd day really. We did not get out for a walk. Youngest would not go anyway, but he has been a bit off today. He had his medication for the first time in 5 days, as he seemed to be getting quite upset. He started with a cold sore, and both of us think that this may have been causing him a bit of pain. Mrs H has been attacking it with Tea Tree oil, and it seems to be working. He goes to his weekend group tomorrow, which is useful. It means me and Mrs H can get the eldest, and all his washing, back to his place without too many problems. He is then on respite from Monday until Friday, so it is going to seem a very empty place next week. Shall Mrs H and me do the quiz-nite on Tuesday ? Probably not, but never say never.

Back to work …


   Well, that’s the Christmas part over with. It has not been a bad one really. Christmas Day went as well as could be expected, and the good thing was that no-one stopped too long. Although, at around 7:30pm, I did hear someone mention ‘What game do you want to play ??’ Thankfully, nobody wanted to. We went to the in-laws on Saturday. I was expecting the worse, with the youngest. He had been a bit stressed on Christmas Day, after opening his presents. But come Boxing Day, he was great. No problems at all. A bit tense whilst I was driving home, but were all the same way, what with the ice and the fog and the dark, and Mrs H gasping at every turn in the road !! Sunday saw Mrs H at work, and another good day with the youngest. No medication all day, and no problems at all. Same today, no meds, and no problems.

   Back to work for me tomorrow. but it is only three days to work, and then I’m off for the New Year. Mind you, D*** is off until the middle of next week, which leaves P*** and K**** as the supervisors, or more to the point, P*** as the supervisor and K****, the assistant. We all know who will take the lead there!! What worries me, is that one day, some of the trouble causers, will turn against her, just for the hell of it.

   Most of the snow has gone here. I hear that it could get bad again mid week. It seems to be getting colder tonight, or it could be that I’m just getting old. My Australian friend, says that it was really hot on Christmas Day over there. Did I feel sorry for her ……… I’ll let you guess that.

One more day to go


   Well it’s 11:20pm, eldest is out drinking somewhere, and the snow is falling. Looks like a good couple of inches already, and there seems to be no let up at all. It’s going to be a fun drive into work in the morning. To make matters worse, I have to go to the supermarket first thing. I need to get some sprouts and parsnips, for Friday. We went tonight, but the supermarket just did not have any. I could not believe it. Run out of sprouts at Christmas !!!

   Should finish a little earlier tomorrow. Although, I don’t have much time built up, so I will not be finishing earlier than 3pm. Most people seem to want to get off about 2pm, or before !! I don’t think that will happen, as we will still have a service to maintain. I suppose that is one of the downsides of working in the Public Sector. The public expect you to be there when they want you.

Weekend … what weekend ?


   Well nothing much happened over the weekend. I did the run around with the Christmas presents, for my family, on Saturday. That took all of 2 hours. Great fun, I don’t think !!!

   Sunday at home, then into Leeds to pick up the eldest, who is stopping here for Christmas. He is going back on the 2nd or 3rd of January he says. Well his washing should be done by then !!! He has now dyed his hair RED !!!! Saying that, it was his Mum that dyed it. The jury is still out I’m afraid. At the moment, it looks like he has not washed out the make-up from the panto. I suppose it will grow on me.

   The scheduled routine on the computer, at work, that was supposed to run over Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening did not work. I had my doubts when the IT guy suggested running it from a batch file. I did everything I should. My PC was left switched on. We will see what the IT man has to say in the morning. I have a strong suspicion, that one of the staff, may have been logged in, and that may have caused the problem.

   I had a lot of printing to do today. Some of it I could have left for next week, but I thought I might as well get it done. About 3,500 printed pages, and there is still another 300 to do. Over the next couple of days, I’m going to try and get everything that needs doing this week, done. I do not want to do much at all on Thursday.

   I think, I have just about finished Christmas shopping now. Although, I’m sorely tempted to get some Grand Marnier. I’ve got 14 presents in total, which is not bad to say, i had no idea what to get.

   May not post tomorrow night. I think me and the eldest are going to the pub-quiz in the village. I also have to get my hair cut. I should have gone on Friday, but what with the bad weather, I thought I would leave it until Saturday. But Saturday came and went, and I could not really be bothered. It needs doing though, so it is either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Another weekend done …..


   Back to work tomorrow, and I have a job list as long as my arm for the week. There is the extra job of reprogramming some the handhelds. I as kind of expecting it really. Although they will tell me different, I feel that some of them were being updated on battery power. As the update takes just over an hour, and the unit’s time out after 5 minutes, running on battery power will cause a fail. Still, if they get them to me first thing, I can have them back out in the field by afternoon.

   Youngest has been in a strange kind of mood today. Last week he needed no medication at all, for two days. This weekend, completely the opposite. Mind you, he only had two out of the three doses each day, but you could see the difference. I hope this is not an indication of what we can expect on Christmas Day !!!!!

   A few things to organise tomorrow. I need to book a dental appointment, for sometime either this week or the next. As it is a 12:00ish appointment, it should not be difficult to fit it in this week. I also need a haircut. It is getting a bit straggly at the moment. At some point in the week, I need to make an appointment to have an induction in the gym, at the leisure centre. I need to get some form of exercise program, to help lose a few inches off my waist. I need to get back to at least a 34in waist (which is what I try and kid myself I am now), maybe 32in would not go a miss. I have this idea, that a rowing machine would help, together with a treadmill. We shall see, but I need to do something. Cutting down on the junk food will help too.

Christmas has started …..


   It is the office Christmas night out tonight. I never go. Not these days. They always end the same way. Someone will try and get off with someone, someone will get too drunk, someone will get violent and someone will get lost. Everyone will say what a wonderful time they had, whilst bitching about everyone else. Not for me, I’m afraid. I mean, lets face it, you spend on average (or so I’ve heard) about 220 days a year with these people. Many of whom, you cannot really stand the sight of, and can just about tolerate them for 7 hours in the day. Then you are expected to go out for the evening with them, and what’s more … enjoy yourself !!!!!!

   I managed to get a few of presents for Mrs H today. That takes the total to five. I have had to leave them in the car boot. I’ll take them out on Sunday, and wrap them then. I have no real idea what else to get now. It is always the same. Every Christmas, and birthdays come to think, do I struggle to find something.

A good Sunday


   Well the panto is over for another year. Eldest went back to his flat this evening, so his flatmate will be happy. His drama friend B** stopped the night last night. After the show, they have a kind of a wind down session, with food and a few (sic) drinks. They both polled in about 2:30am and settled down in the conservatory with a bottle of fine ale each. S**** asked if it was okay for B** to stay, and that he would be okay on the sofa. I brought him my dressing gown, as unfortunately we do not have  any kind of blankets. I went back to bed and slept until about 4:30am, when I heard S**** coming upstairs to bed. Heaven only knows what they could have had to talk for so long.

   Youngest has had a good day. Another day with no medication, and like yesterday no major incidents or episodes. There was just one time when he got upset, but that was because I had put the wrong file on the disc he wanted. Understandable. He has actually been quite good fun over the past few days. Christmas Day will be an interesting time. There will be a lot of people here on that day. We are having K***s Mum and Dad, her sister and partner and two kids, plus a dog. I’m not sure if we will get away with no medication that day.

A busy day at home


   It was the school Christmas Fayre today. Mrs H was running the Tombola for a change (she is usually in the kitchen), and she had her niece to help her. It is hard work when she is here, as she is quite energetic, for want of a better word.

   Last night of the panto tonight. It all went very well. The first half was not as good as then second half. But Saturday night, all hell lets loose, when the official script becomes a distant memory.

  Heavens only knows what time he will get in. They usually have a wind down session at the end, a bit of food and drink, but it sometimes goes on for quite a while. He has to be back at the village hall at around 11:00 in the morning to help tidy up. They are then going for a meal at a local pub, as a kind of celebration. He says he is going back to his flat in the evening. I think his flat mate is missing him a bit.

   Youngest has not had his medication today. I’m going to try and keep him off it tomorrow too. There has been a couple of minor ‘episodes’, but nothing to really mention. This will be the first full weekend with no medication at all. Fingers crossed.

Early start ….


   That early start, was the youngest. For some reason he awoke at around 01:45. Now usually, when he wakes early like that, he’ll lie in bed with his video playing quietly, and eventually drift off back to sleep. We have leaned not to turn his video off at times like that, as it usually wakes him again. However last night was different. He did not go back to sleep at all. And of course both me and Mrs H lay there, dozing with one ear open, listening for every little noise. Between 2:00am and around 4:00am, I must have been up four times to get him a drink or something to eat. So we are both a little bit tired.

   Eldest is back today, big drama rehearsal today, so lots to do at the village hall. He was there at 01:30, but should be back here around five. He then has to go back at around 7:00pm, and that could take until well after 10:00pm, as it is a full run through dress rehearsal. Hopefully, I’ll get the programme details when he comes home for tea. I get the impression that this panto, has not been as well organised as previous years, and has not gone as smooth as it should have. Time will tell.

   Managed to write my Christmas cards for work this afternoon. When I say ‘write’ what I mean, is that I put my name inside the card, and the recipients name on the envelope. Job done !!! I’ll now just wait for the people that I have missed, like every year.

   Leeds Utd managed a 1 – 1 draw, at Kettering Town today. They could have finished it off a couple of times, but the Kettering keeper (and manager) played very well. Still, we should beat them at Elland Road. Well hope so anyway.

Christmas parties ……


   The subject of the works Christmas party/night out has begun to raise it’s ugly head. First of all, it was discussed, that we should join with another team, in our department. That was going to cost in excess of £40.00, so the discussions on that quickly dissipated. Then we got a ‘Blues Brothers Party’ offered. Sounded interesting, and at around £30.00, a bit better price. But we are not doing that. Instead, we seem to have opted for a sumptuous feast (?) at a major hotel in the city. That is going apparently going to cost £34.95.

   I of course, being a ‘miserable sod’ (their words, not mine), have again, declined to grace the proceedings with my presence. For many years now, I have failed to understand why we go through this annual rip off.  By December 28th, everybody is sick of turkey and stuffing, so why on earth do we insist on paying huge sums of money to have more ????? It is, apparently, the social aspect of the evening, that is important. Really. I have also, never understood, why after spending five days a week with people, even ones that you actually like, you would want to waste good money, being with the same people in a ‘social arena’. Nothing, that anyone has tried to tell me about this ‘social occasion’ has ever convinced me that this would be an enjoyable time.

  Maybe, I am the ‘miserable sod’ that people say, or maybe, just possibly, I have better things to do ?????

   Ranting done, although this subject may be revisited.

Half way through…..


Yep !! It’s nearly half the way through 2009. We will all be starting to look at what we are going to do/buy/want at Christmas. Depressing isn’t it !!

So what’s happened since last time. Well not much really. Eldest lad is classed as ‘single’ on his facebook profile. He says they are just having a break for a while, and to be fair she did come to see his play and he did go for a meal with her and her family. He went out at 8pm last night, to go to the local fair, saying that he would not be late home. At 01:30am, Mrs H asked if he was home. So I had to txt him to ask where he was. ‘Staying at R****’s tonight. She is a friend from the drama group. Make of that what you will.

Talking of the play. The local drama group did an outstanding performance of Alan Bennett’s ‘Wind in the Willows’. He played the part of Ratty and it was excellent. He was on stage most of the evening, had the most lines and was prompting when they got it wrong. A real star.

I was asked to do some the promotional material, so it was my design for the tickets, posters and such. I was given a mention in the programme and a T-shirt for my efforts. I wonder if I will get asked again. If I am, I’ll have to get the details direct from the group, rather than hearing it second hand. It should stop any misunderstandings.

I’m getting a bit sick of hearing about Michael Jackson (not going to tag this). Okay he was a brilliant singer, excellent song-writer, fantastic dancer and an all round brilliant performer. On the downside, you only have to look at all those thousands of ‘X-Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’  failures that the guy ‘inspired. They would not have been so humiliated had they not looked up to Jacko. And lets face it, away from his music, he was very weird.

I’ll tell you what makes me laugh at the moment, Celebrity Masterchef. It is how the Beeb describe the ‘celebrities’ . They get described as ex this and ex that. For example, this week, ‘Wendy Peters – Ex Coronation Street actress’. As if that is all she has ever done in her life was to play ‘Cilla’, when in fact she is a highly accomplished and well respected actor/actress.

That’s all for now.