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!

Interesting days …


Yesterday was a day I was a little apprehensive about. I was meeting up with an old school friend for lunch. We have met a couple of times over the past few years, but I seem to have School daysbeen trying to avoid meeting again. I can’t say why. We both get on together. We have similar interests and both enjoy reminiscing our school days. However, whether it is an age thing we always seem to talk about the same thing … teachers, school-mates, punishments and the general high-jinx we can remember getting up to. We did chat about our current respective jobs, but not much of anything else. Now the problem is, for both of us is a memory thing. He remembers many of the people we were with at school, and I only a few. But then again, I remember things that happened that he can’t remember. So it makes for an interesting lunchtime. We have both promised to ‘do it again, soon’ but I’m not sure it will happen.

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Today was K***s birthday. I did mention earlier that she was having a family break with her sister and father. I was going for the day to celebrate her birthday and have a nice lunch. That was the plan, and to all intense and purpose that plan was successful. The only downside was the location of the lunch venue. It was The Horseshoe Inn, in Levisham and was only 15 minutes away from the cottage Lunchthey were staying at. The place itself was great, and the food was mostly very good. I had Haddock and Chips. The fish was well cooked, but the chips seemed to be in the fashion of triple cooked chips. I’m not a fan really. They tend to be really dark, over cooked looking and not the golden brown chips I was brought up on. Always seem a little bit greasy to me. But back to the down side. The ride to get there was tortuous. It was all narrow, windy country lanes, but the worst part was the inclines and declines. At one stage the road sign said that the incline was 1 in 5 (an old sign which is usually replaced by one saying 20%) which is quite steep at the best of times, but when you factor in the twists and turns of the road, it was a bit of a nightmare. I drove most of the way without getting out of third gear and on the 1 in 5 stage, I was forced to drop to second gear. One of the most scarier drives I have taken, and then I had to drive back.

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K*** is back at some point tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it. I mentioned before about the noises, but not about the silence in between. I do like my own company, but I often find that I talk to myself as if there was another person there. I explain things that I know about, as if there is somebody with me that knows a lot less than me. Sounds a bit weird, but my doctor tells me that it can be quite a normal thing. To cap it all, there is nothing on the televisionTelly that I want to watch. I can’t watch the few programs we watch together, as they are being recorded for when K*** gets home, so if the telly goes on, it is usually and old comedy show or the news. the comedy shows I have watched before, and these days the news is so full of doom and gloom, that it is positively depressive. Still it does give me a little time to write a new blog post.

Really long days


I was supposed to be posting a little every day. But, as with all plans on this trip, things seem to get in the way.

I am currently enduring enjoying a family break in the Scarborough area. The week didn’t start well. R***’s transport arrived 40 minutes early. As this was a new driver and escort it seemed bothered more than him. Then, we got a little lost at the end of the journey. It would seem that there are two places in the Scarborough area, that have the same name with almost the same postcode. Of course, I had got the wrong one. S**** was arriving later and as I/we had given him the wrong postcode, the same happened. The place is not too remote, but as this is England the mobile phone coverage is poor to say the least. To cap it all, K*** got a phone call from R***’s respite to say that the transport had arrived to take him home. Somewhere along the line wires had crossed. It could have been a huge problem if they had brought him home only to take him back again.

Birthday and other things …


I went on my old chat site Monday night. It’s a site I used to use a lot a few years ago. It was before Facebook became really popular and I used to chat most nights. But as with all things, it changed, became a bit of a hunting ground for not so nice persons and I kind of lost interest. I go on occasionally, but the people I used to chat to have moved on and no longer use the site. Still it was good to have a bit of a laugh and to lead on the pervs a little. I’ll probably visit a couple of times this week and then lose interest again.

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It’s K***s birthday today, and it’s a biggie. The Big 60 … she doesn’t read my blog so she won’t mind/know about me mentioning. It doesn’t seem to be bothering her as much as the last big one. She got a little depressed when she was 50. I on the other hand had no feelings either way. When I was 60, it was just another day nearer me finishing work. And it did come with some good benefits. Haircuts are cheaper for one, and I can also order the pensioners meals in cafes and pubs. I hate leaving food and some of the portion sizes can be quite large. We shared a sandwich in a local café/bar on Sunday and to be honest, it was a struggle to finish it between us. Don’t know what it is, but I cannot get the weight down. When I came out of hospital in 2014, they had fed me up to get my weight back to the 10 stone that I went in with. Four years on and I’m now just over 12 and 1/2 stone. Well, saying that ‘I don’t know what it is…’ is a bit of a falsehood really. The weight comes from a combination of late night snacking and alcohol which is something I need to deal with. I can do without both and have done on occasions, but when it’s 5 minutes to midnight and you’re waiting for the youngest to settle, there is nothing nicer than a banana sandwich and a not-so-wee dram of whiskey. That’s the problem I need to deal with.

I seem to have gone a little off track here! So what is the plan for the day. Well, I don’t have a plan. Looks like it’s not going to be a dry day so a walk may be out of the question. We shall have a nice lunch somewhere and have a relaxing day. On Thursday it’s the main celebration day. We are going for an family meal at an Italian restaurant in Tadcaster, which should be nice. We’ve never been before, but reports have only good things to say. I shall let you all know.

Recycling and other things …


I’m not a fanatical recycler, but if it can be recycled, then I like to try. However, I’m in a bit of a quandary! My local authority actively encourages residents to recycle, but cannot handle shredded paper and they advise to put this in the non-recyclable waste bin. As I understand it, shredded paper clogs up the sorting machines. However, financial and security institutions advise that all documents that have personal information should be shredded. So here is my dilemma. Do I follow security advice and shred or follow the local authority advice and put it, un-shredded in the recycle and hope that nobody reads it? I have decided to follow the security advice!

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It’s been a long  week. K***s mother went into hospital for a hip replacement last week. It seems to have been successful, but it is going to be a long process to get her back to anything like what she was this time last year. She is quite confused and has been in a lot of distress over the past couple of months. Anyway, she is out now, at home and gradually improving. K*** and her sister are doing their best to help their father cope with his wife’s condition, but it is difficult for various reasons. So I’ve not seen much of her over the past seven days.

It is probably a blessing that R*** has been on respite since Monday, although he has had an infected finger which caused his respite team a few problems. We think that is sorted now, fingers crossed.

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S****, my eldest and A**** his partner are having a bit of a bad time. Whilst he was away from his computer at work, somebody (he knows who) posted, what some could call an offensive message on his Facebook time line as a joke. I believe this called ‘Fraping’. All in good fun and taken as such by nearly everyone who knows him. The exception being A****’s mother. She thinks that S**** posted the message and does not believe anything else. This has caused a massive argument and neither of them will have anything to do with the mother. Hopefully it will blow over, but the mother is one of those people that is never wrong. Of course this has caused a lot of stress for both A**** and S**** and it has also upset K*** at this difficult time.

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Me? Well I’ve just plodded on as best I can!

All starting to get a bit real now …


Well, the confirmation I’ve been waiting for, came through on Friday morning. My boss emailed me first thing to tell me that my application for Early Retirement had been passed by the Corporate Panel. I am now all set to retire from full time employment on the 31st October.

I may have mentioned this before, but Leeds has had to respond to the huge funding cuts that have been forced on the Council. One of the initiatives has been what Leeds call the ‘Early Leavers Initiative’ or ELI as it is known. This is basically voluntary early retirement. Staff over a certain age in services that are at the forefront of the cuts are able to apply for ELI in order to reduce costs. I applied back in July, when it became obvious that our team was one of the teams that could be at risk. I felt it was a case of jump before I was pushed. Going now, I get a reasonable package, that I would not have got if I would have been one of the ‘pushed’ and my Service Head made it quite clear that some people would be forced to go in March 2017.

So now, I need to look for a part-time job. Although the package is a good one, it’s a lot less than I am currently used too. I also need to be able to get out of the house an keep active. My knitting and computer hobbies will not fill all the time and I don’t want to be under the feet of K*** everyday. Fingers crossed I find something quickly. 

Not much sleep …


A stressful evening and a bad night. Don’t know what was going on, but at about half past 2, the bl**dy dog wandered into our bedroom. I’m thinking it might have been poorly, and K*** had left the door open with the idea that it might be cooler. That was never going to work. What with that and the “nasal trumpets” sounding most of the time, it led to about total is about 3 hours sleep.

Let’s see what today brings.

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Update: no news on our ‘Curious Incident … etc’ dog seems fine, and I’m the only one that appears to be the worse for wear … is it me?

Been a poor blogging week …


Title says it all. It has been a poor week for my blog. As I mentioned last time, I have been on leave this week and other things have kind of taken over. For example, I re-painted the ceiling of our en-suite shower. Don’t ask how that went, suffice to say, it took all day. Then there were other things that made sitting down and typing a few words , a bit of a chore. Although I did have a stab at the Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge. This blog give you 10 random words and you have to make a short story using all the words. As the subject says, it was a bit of a challenge, but as some of the words this time seemed to suggest an Easter theme, I came up with this.

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Friday was a hard day. The eldest son and his girlfriend are buying a house, but as with all house buying, there have been a slight delay in getting the key. The place that they have been living for the past two years has been shared with a friend of the owners … it’s complicated, but the short story is that they basically had to move out yesterday. There had been a lot of issues there, and they both thought that the had just got to get out. Problem! With no key to the new house it seemed like an impossible situation. Ta da! Family and friends to the rescue. Me and K***, his university friend R** helped them shift all their worldly goods (and there was a lot of them) to one of his drama group friends garage and spare room. They are also staying at this friends house until they can move into their new one. Now the husband of this drama group friend is local, or maybe I should say national dignitary. I do not agree with the majority of his Governments politics, and I’m not going to embarrass them by stating their names, but have to say, they are genuine, nice people.

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As expected, I did check on my work emails during the week. However I did not answer any, and they are all marked as ‘un-read’. Some of them will just go straight in to the trash/deleted folder, but intend to do what everyone else does, and ‘do a catch-up’ and read everyone of them, before starting anything else. Should put an hour or so away.

Life changer – “T” minus 4


Only 4 more nights until the op. I should probably call it ‘a procedure’ as it sounds more professional. At least, that’s what they call this kind of thing on TV. I suppose calling it a procedure kind of leads you to think that this is routine. Of course, it is routine by the very nature that these experts do the same stuff everyday but that no way detracts from the complexity of the work this surgeon and his team will have to perform.

A family day yesterday for my father-in-laws 80th birthday. One of K***’s uncles was there and he has been through the very same thing. It was interesting to hear first hand from someone who has had the ‘procedure’.

What is strange, and I’m not sure how to take it, is the number of people that have wished me ‘good luck’. I hope I don’t have to rely on luck!! They also say things like ‘I’m sure it will be fine’ and ‘hope everything goes okay’. It must be difficult to find something to say that doesn’t sound like I need a four leafed clover at my bedside. I almost kind of liked what my GP said, after he had diagnosed my Pulmonary Congestion. His comment as he shook my hand was “See you on the flip-side!”

Saw my mother on Thursday. She seems to be getting a little confused I think, as she asked me if I had had my operation. I explained when it was and what was going to happen, but she is either blanking it out or she genuinely does not get it. As for the rest of my side of the family, not heard a peep from any of them since the message I posted to them all. It is a sad state of affairs when people outside your direct family are more interested than they are. But I’m not going to fret over it. I’ve enough to worry about (excluding this) at work and at home. The situation at work seems to change on a daily basis and I can see our new boss, G***** getting a little annoyed about it all. This is about our latest office move, of which I may blog about in another post . Then there is the worry about R***. How will he take it when he realises that I’m not there for a whole week which has never happened before, and that his recite has increased. He does not take kindly to change and it has been made slightly more difficult with S**** moving out. Just glad that K*** has not told the community nurse that S**** is not at home. Heaven knows what she would have said/done if she knew. With all this going on around me, the small matter of heart surgery pales a little into insignificance somewhat.

This is probably going to be the last post on the subject until the deed has been done. So in the words of my GP …..”See you on the flip-side….”

Views but rarely commented on


I do get people viewing my efforts, but very rarely get a comment. Is it my subject matter ? Is it my style ? I am of the opinion, these days, that people just don’t seem to have anything to say about my posts. Do I need to pick a subject, that I know a lot about and blog about that, I wonder. But then again, what do I know a lot about? My family, there’s a start. I know what will happen there, I will end up just talking about R***, and his problems. I could talk about work. No, that could lead me into a lot of trouble. Music perhaps. But my taste is so eclectic, that the blog would too confusing. Sport !! Non runner there. I’m fast running out of ideas.

I think I will just have to continue in the same vein as I am now. Write about anything that comes into my head and forget about others comments.

Another week done …


   Sunday was a long day. Youngest had decided that he wanted some Eastender vids downloading from YouTube. Don’t ask me why Eastenders, as we have no idea where that came from!! So most of the day was spent doing that. A total of 99, eight minute videos to download. It is one of his things. I download them, convert them to wmv format, and he puts them in his own movies !!! It is quite a talent really.

   Out again last night. This time for a family meal. K***’s Mum and dad always take their offspring (and partners and grandkids) out for a birthday meal. This year it was a bit later than normal. We seem to be on a theme for the past few years, of Italian Pizza restaurants. It is not my favourite food style, as (to me) it all tastes the same. However, I shared a pasta dish that had some beautiful wild mushrooms in. Mrs H, chose a Calzone pizza (to share), that seems to contain a good 8oz of asparagus !!! Not nice, if you do not like asparagus.

   You will note, that I have (again) changed my theme. I though this new theme would liven my blog up a little, and I’m quite pleased with it. I like the way I can add my Twitter and Facebook links. I’ve also added a few more pictures. I did try using Flickr to show off the photos, but it was not what I wanted.

   Work went quite well. A lot to do today, but I had very few interruptions. My PC, at work, is still causing me problems. I can work okay, using the laptop, and I’m toying with the idea of dumping the the desktop, and just using the laptop. I will have to think that one through.

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.