Can’t keep shifting the blame …


I don’t know what has happened to our postal service over the past few months. I know coronavirus has a lot to answer for, but twelve months down the line, you can’t keep blaming it for the current issues. We seem to have seen an increase in issues over the past two months.

Back in November, a parcel was delivered to the wrong address and annoyingly the people at that address moved house just a day or so after the parcel had been delivered. Since then two more, smaller parcels have gone astray. Last week three bank statements, all with the same address were delivered to three different addresses. One came to us and the other two went to neighbours at either side of us. The week before, K***’s new bank debit card was delivered to someone in the next street. We even had a letter from the DWP hand delivered by someone in the next village. It is not good.

On Friday, the post did not get delivered until just before 2pm. Now I’m old enough to remember when we used to get a second post, which was usually around mid-day, but that’s not really acceptable, considering how little is actually being delivered by the Royal Mail.

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I received a reply back from WordPress support regarding my ‘suggestions’ for the desktop app. I get the impression that it was a standard reply. Basically thanking me for reaching out‘ and for my feed-back‘. I am told that they ‘...can’t say whether or when they’d be implemented, but consider them noted…’ which is better than nothing. I do hope they consider them, as the app could be a great asset.

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Youngest son did come home for the weekend on Friday, which was great news. Because right up until his car and support worker pulled up outside the house, I had a very odd feeling that it may not come off. But he was in a happy mood when he got here and S**, his key support worker and friend, said that he was so happy that he could come home and see us. He will go back on Monday sometime and hopefully he will be home again in two weeks. His regular ‘home visit‘ pattern is to come to us every other Friday for three nights, but outbreaks of the virus at his care-home put paid to that again. So as long as there are no outbreaks on his unit and we stay clear, it could be back to normal(ish).

Difficult day tomorrow …


The youngest goes back to his residential place tomorrow. He has been home for the weekend which he does every fortnight. He knows he is going and we think (you never can tell) that he is looking forward to it. He sits at his computer desk with his legs crossed and waits for his transport to arrive. Then it’s a quick flick through a couple of YouTube videos and he comes downstairs to go.

He has a diary/calendar that shows when he goes away and the day he returns, as one of his Autism traits is that he needs to know what is happening. If he knows, then he seems to accept things better. It’s basically an Excel spreadsheet with different coloured cells for different events.

Tomorrow is different. Tomorrow he goes, and because of the restrictions, he will not be coming home until mid-December. This is different from the last time, during lock-down. Last time we didn’t know it would happen and there was no other option. This time, we do know and we could have had the option of him staying here with us. It may sound harsh, but he is better off in an environment that we know he enjoys, with staff that enjoy looking after him. When he is home, all he wants to do is be in his room. He will not go out unless it is on his planner, so it becomes very frustrating all round. He had to go for his flu-jab yesterday, and it took us nearly an hour to get him to go. Thankfully, the nurses at the surgery know him and were aware that he might be a little late. But they got there on time and all was well. The staff at the surgery are quite amazed that he just lets them do the injection, although he is like me (another story), he has to watch the needle going in so it doesn’t make him jump.

He does not know that he will not be coming home in ‘11 sleeps‘ as his staff will explain on Tuesday. He accepted it then, and it was felt that he may not want to go back if we told him. Very difficult decision.

Too clever for my own good …


This is a little techy. I have been having a problem all week with the performance of my main laptop. Applications were slow to open and even slower to close. I scoured the internet for answers and did everything, bar re-installing Windows, that was suggested. But the problem remained, and it was getting worse. Some programs were now not even opening. Then today I had an idea. You see, I have two laptops on my home network, both with an attached printer. At the beginning of the week, I thought it would be good if I could print to both printers in an effort to save ink, as the other printer never gets used. After a couple of hours and a fair bit of stress, I got it working. I then installed the other printer on my main laptop so that it could be seen. Then all I had to do was to ensure the other laptop and printer were switched on and I could print to it. Really quite pleased with myself at that point.

I didn’t really want to have the other laptop and printer to be on all the time, so I shut both down. This was on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, I started to notice the performance issues. As Tuesday was the day when Microsoft updates Windows, I put the problems down to that. When there was a second update pushed on Wednesday, I was convinced that everything would now be okay. Not so. The performance had improved slightly, but not so as you would notice. It was getting so bad that I began to think I had a virus or something. I searched the internet for the problem and the answers were as I expected: run an anti-virus; run an anti-malware; run a disk clean-up even reformat hard drive and start again. Well I tried all except the last one, but nothing seemed to work. Then another search, came up with something. I may have a corrupt drive recently installed. Hmmm … the only driver recently installed was the printer driver for the other printer. I thought I would have a look at that. I removed the printer from the device list (an I assume that removed the driver) and did a full reboot, rather than a restart.

Now (touch wood) it seems to be back to as normal as it was before. I had a quick online chat with the printer help desk (free thankfully). It would appear, that when the other laptop and printer were switched off any software that you can print from would be looking for the printers when the software opens. As the printer was off, it was not visible and so the delays. I’m not entirely convinced, but it does seem to have been resolved.

(Written with Word 365 – blog template)

Life changer + 21 … aka … bloody hell that was quick!


I did not mention it, but at the end of the angiogram procedure, the consultant told me that my arteries were ok. He also said that I would be contacted by the surgeon, and I thought he said within 3 to 5 weeks. The appointment letter came today, and the appointment is tomorrow!!! As I say ‘… bloody hell that was quick’. I’m now thinking that what he meant was that I would be contacted by the surgeon AND in 3 to 5 weeks I would have the operation.

It came as a massive shock, and I still have not got my head around it. It has still only been 3 weeks (that number keeps cropping up) since the ball started to really roll. I’m beginning to think that it’s a plan to get me in and get the job done, before I have too much time to think about it!

So now what’s happening is the well intentioned but less informed messages of support. Comments like “… they may keep you in and do it straight away, if they have a cancellation…” which seems to be the favourite of my manager. I don’t think it happens like that these days. Might get ‘bumped up’ a day once I’m in, but the way the NHS is at the moment, there’s just not the staff/time/money to do things like that now.

K*** is taking it very well, at least on the surface. I know from some the emails she has sent to R***’s support nurse that she is very worried. There are two counts for her worry. On one hand she is worried how I will cope with R***, given his sometime violent nature. But on the other hand, she is equally worried how R*** will cope with me being ill. It could be a bad time for all. However, we may all be getting this wrong and R*** will be fine and understanding. It’s something you cannot tell with R***, but I don’t intend to worry about that.

Work is being very good about all this. They have done me a favour last week with my time off, and I’m very grateful. So tomorrow, I’m working from home in the morning (will set up after this) then taking flexi time in the afternoon. Can’t beat a bit of give and take.

Get ready for tomorrows update, if they let me home!!


The new workplace review is starting to pick up speed now. I had, what they call a “Work Style Assessment” on Friday. That, basically was to a document that formally set out how each one of us will contribute to making the best use of the available desk space. It seems that at any one time, at least 28% of the office desks are not in use; people at meetings, training, sick etc etc. we have a program called “Changing the Workplace” which is trying to maximise the available office space to save money. Mine worked out very well for me. It means that one day a week, I’ll work from a satellite office, one day a week from home, leaving three days a week working from my base office. This, of course is to be more flexible than rigid. It might mean that sometimes, I do two days in the main office and two days in another office, it depends on what work I’m covering. It was what I was looking for and it seem to fit in with what the service requires. However, formalising the “Working from Home” part, means that I need to have either an office or a proper work station. When I have randomly worked from home, I’ve sat at the dining room table. 020214_1241_Workplacere1.jpgThat is not going to be allowed, which I kind of expected. So yesterday, I set about tidying up my computer desk, clearing out some of the rubbish and making it more of a computer work station than it was. So it should be okay now. All I need to do, when I’m working is to move my personal laptop and slot in the works one.

Of course, the ‘moaners’ are still finding things to moan about: the expense; the inconvenience; the increased travel; earlier rising; getting home later; unsettling, there seems to be no end to the excuses why this is not a good thing. Those people should take a good long look at their conditions of service. It is all explained there, and before they go running off to their respected Trades Union, they should be aware, that the Unions signed up to this from the very start! We have an ‘Away Day’ on the 7th, where we should learn a lot more about what is happening. Well it started off as a day when we get to meet our new colleagues and get to know a bit about them. However it seems that it is going to be a ‘bonding session’ and a ‘workshop’. Neither of which, is what I was expecting. I have also heard that our team will be “absorbed” into the service the following week, but that’s only a rumour, so I’m not sure how accurate it is. Still I accept that it is a worrying time for some people, who have never been outside their comfort zone. Me, I’m just going to get on with it. As I mentioned before, we have no choice, and at the end of the day we still have a job. The bigger worry will be when the new structure is formalised and we have to start applying for our jobs.

TGIF ……


   Well the week at work, went as well as can be expected. Friends remain friends, and colleagues are just people you work with (or try to). I must re-evaluate the people I call friends !! Some of the ones I used to think of friends are… shall we say colleagues, and some of what were colleagues, I would like to have a s friends. I am beginning to get confused now !!!!

   Home !! Well R*** continues to be very challenging at the moment. I/we don’t know what it is, but he can switch from being happy and loving to being angry and violent in a split second !!! There does not seem to be a trigger at all. Unless we are the trigger !!! If that is the case, then we are completely sunk.


   Just looking at the contents of this post, and I have to say, what a miserable sod I must appear to be !!! It is not the case.

  I now have the instructions on how to post a picture slide show. That is the weekend task. Wish me luck !!

Well pleased …..


   The computer task I had scheduled to run as a test, this morning, went without a hitch. The routine started, did what it had to do and finished. A couple of things were different from the usual, but it is nothing untoward. Part two of the testing will happen next week. I have set the routine to run at 1 minute past midnight on Monday morning. If all goes to plan, and I don’t see why it should not, then our notices will be ready for printing when we get in.

   Youngest is not very happy tonight. Mrs H said he was upset when he got home, and that he had been upset on the bus. We are guessing, as he cannot tell us, that someone on the bus is causing him a problem. Of course, the escorts can’t say what upsets him, just reports that he is out of sorts. Mrs H is seeing his teacher tomorrow, so may get more of an idea. Could be the length of time he is on the bus that’s the problem. It is silly really. We only live a mile and a half away, but he has to go by the school transport because there is nowhere to park to drop him off.

   I uploaded a video, to Facebook from the gig on Saturday night. Looks quite good, and already B** tagged his flatmate in it. Well pleased ……

Mind numbing …..


Here I am blogging from work. It’s a very quiet day, with no senior managers in the office. I am taking the opportunity to configure a report on our system. The main case database progresses cases through the system. Each stage of this case progression has to have 1 of 6 flags set for the report to work. There are over 4500 of these stages, and it is that which I am doing at the present ….. and as I mentioned, mind numbing !!!

As usual, there are some who are asking the question “What time can we go home ??” They have been asking the same question since December 23rd. Why did you not ask for the time off ? We do not need you this week. We go through this every year, with the same people.

Youngest has now gone four days, without any medication, which is a record. He is accompanying his brother to the dentist today, so that may be the straw etc etc.

Home again


A ridiculous amount of rain this morning in Whitby. Made packing up the car a bit of a damp experience. The rain did not stop until we reached Pickering. Had a walk round, then onto a Garden Centre nearby. No purchases though.

Lunch at the White Horse at Deighton. Then back home to await the return of the youngest, and to wake up the eldest.

The prodigal returns …


Well he came home for one evening. Mrs H all giddy at the thought of him being home for the night. He made the tea for us, and did quite well too. He should be okay making a tomato sauce now. Just needs to keep his concentration focused.

Pleasant night at the Red Lion for the quiz night. No one in when I got there. It was not as mad and hectic as the last couple of times we’ve been. I suppose, his drama friends out so outgoing, that when they are not there, it’s a bit flat. He does take the piss out of D** quite a bit. But the thing is, I don’t think D** knows when it is happening. Of course, no win again. The usual bunch won. I’ve stopped taking it serious now. You just cannot win against people like that.

And that’s about it.

All done..sort of


Well the reports got done. I tried doing the ‘fiddly bits’, but I did not know what ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’ actually wanted me to do. Juggling the spreadsheet about, using financial controls is not my kind of thing. So after consulting the boss, I left the job ‘unmolested’. Anyway, neither of the people for whom the report was for, was in this morning. So not really my fault. I got a couple of Spike’s reports done too. That shut him up. I don’t think he expected me to have them done. I’ll get the permit one done first thing tomorrow. I did learn how to create ‘Dynamic Ranges’ in Excel and how to create a User Defined Function, so not a wasted day then.

I’m getting really pissed off with that person I mentioned in an earlier post. I don’t know if they are getting worse, or if I’m just picking things up that I would normally not bother about. It was funny to watch her going though R***’s desk this morning, looking for things she can take when he leaves. Could wait until the guy’s gone at least.

Big man has got the Auto to do next week. He seems confident and he should be okay. I’ll make sure the Reg 10 copies are in plenty supply. He’ll have to make sure that only valid ones go. I reckon there could be a lot that get binned.

It’s dress down tomorrow. I really don’t know if I can be bothered with it. I am not comfortable wearing jeans and things at work. There is not that work/home separation when you don’t get changed at then end of the day.

Holidays next week. Sunny Blackpool here we come. It is strange to think that IMG_2342Blackpool is one of the most deprived towns in England. Where does all the tourist cash go ? Everything seems to be a little more expensive there than here, and the place will be heaving over the Easter Weekend. Saying that, when you look at some of the shops away from the promenade, it is very depressing.

It will be a strange feeling, without the eldest. We have been away without him once before, but not for a full week. He should be fine if he does not have any ‘emotional crisis’s’.  We just hope everything will be okay, and that he will be sensible and mature. Fingers crossed then.