… and then it was over …


The holiday came to an end on Friday. Was it a success?  In many ways it was. The celebration lunch on Thursday was great and everyone enjoyed the meal and general get together. However, it did have an effect on me that I will come to later. Some of the family went home Thursday, which left room for S**** and A**** to stay over for one night, which was nice. They were off early Friday morning as they were having a day in York. K*** and me and C**** and J*** (‘the in-laws’) visited a nearby garden that was open to the public and had a pleasant time.

At around half past two, we went our separate ways. K*** and me needed to get some shopping from the supermarket. We did that and then went on to Tadcaster and that cycle shop/bar/café that I may have mentioned before, for a drink before home.

R*** was home a little earlier than expected and there had been ‘issues’ in the taxi. He had been picked up a little early and the driver had had a problem with her ‘sat-nav’ which resulted in them taking a route different to his usual routes. This caused all sorts of problems and both the driver and the escort suffered for it. I’ll not go into too many details, but many will know that people that are Autistic do not cope well with change. I shall leave it at that. K*** is taking him and bringing him home on Monday, and we will await what the transport company make of it.

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Now to the ‘effect’ I referred to earlier in this post. The pub we went to was (as I’ve been told) the same pub we went to for my birthday back in April this year. I had no recollection of the place! Granted, we were in a different room, different time of day and we approached the place from a different direction, but I could not remember any of it. Apparently we had our order taken by the same waitress that took the order on my birthday. Nothing! I got the usual “Don’t you remember blah blah” and “You must remember blah blah blah.” But I didn’t. Even when someone said “You’ve ordered the same as last time … remember?” I had to say that I did not.

At first, my memory issues were put down to my operation and what is commonly known as ‘Pump-head’ but this usually clears up after a few months, and it’s been over two years since the op’ so it seems an unlikely cause. So what is left? One immediately thinks of Alzheimer’s and the worry starts to creep in. It is certainly something to mention at a future meeting with my doctor, and at times it can be extremely stressful and worrying.

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Back to work tomorrow and it’s getting close to the close down of the project that I’ve been working on for that past eighteen months. After this it will be back to being a ‘senior application support officer’ and all that that entails. Not something I am looking forward to.

I hope to hear something regarding my Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) application this week. It goes to the Corporate Panel on Thursday and as I understand, it is merely a rubber stamp procedure. I intend to chase up my Head of Service first thing on Friday morning for an answer and then the real planning can start.

Happy anniversary to me !!


The title of this post refers to the fact that it is a whole twelve months since my operation. The actual date was the 26th so any celebration should have been on Friday. Only one person mentioned anything, and that was only because they had seen it noted in my work calendar. In fact, the person I thought would have said something, actually tried to give a bit of a *ollockin* for something else.

So after a year how are things? Well I still have a beautiful 10 inch scar running half way down my chest and still quite proud of that. I was given all sorts of ‘hints and tips’ to help it ‘fade’ but, I went through quite a lot to get that scar so it’s going to stay as it is as long as it does (if that makes sense!)

Not much else has changed really. I suppose that having to take an ‘anti-coagulant’ for life is a major change, but I had been on a stomach acid suppressant (another leaking valve) for a few years, with no change in the foreseeable future, so the idea of permanent medication was not an issue.

I suppose the real change is my memory loss. Now that sounds a bit more dramatic than it really is. What apparently happens, is that I have forgotten things that I supposedly knew. It is well documented and even has the popular name “Pump Head“. It is usually attributed to the heart going on by-pass while the surgery takes place. It was assumed that I knew about it, but only found out when I was due to leave the hospital. I shook the hands of all the other patients, and I said the one I had most of my conversations with, that we would have to keep in touch and meet up when we were both fit again. He laughed and said would be a good idea, if we remember!

It is a strange feeling. There are times when I don’t know if I have forgotten how to do a particular thing or that I never knew how to do it in the first place. It’s more disturbing, when K*** mentions a place we have been to and I simply cannot remember it. Some of the memories that I thought had gone, are now slowly beginning to come back to me, but it usually needs a few prompts and there are some things like days we have out together or places we have been to, just don’t seem to be there in my head any more. It makes you feel quite alone, when people talk about things and you struggle to remember them.

Then there is also, given my age, the slight growing concern, that the memory loss might just have a different cause. It is only a very miniscule fear, but it is definitely on my mind.

Stress Factor – Not X Factor


This of course relates to work. Not exclusively, but in the main, it’s all work related. The latest restructure is beginning to have it’s effect on the team (and I use the term loosely.) Tempers are getting a little frayed and certain people are beginning to jockey for position. For me, it seems that I’m being, shall we say ‘realigned’  workwise. When I was interviewed for the job, there was no mention of it being a supervisory role. However, about four months ago, my line manager advised me that our service manager wanted me to supervise, the two staff below me. It was a bit of a shock, and to be honest, it’s not what I wanted from the job.

Last week, in our so called ‘one-to-one’ meeting I explained to my line manager about my understanding of the job, and not knowing that I was expected to be a supervisor. I was then told that I was being manoeuvred for a higher position in the the new structure. Now considering that the new structure seems to be very fluid, I have no idea what that position could be.

I don’t like supervising people. I’ve done allsorts of training and I still don’t like it. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I appear to have two supervisory methods. My catering method and my office method. The catering method, and it is used extensively in the trade, is to shout and swear very loudly until the job is done. My office method is more of a sweet talking method. The ‘can you do me a favour’ method. Unfortunately, these are not interchangeable.

It is the thought of being a supervisor, that is causing some of the stress. That and having some people having a higher expectation of me than I think I can deliver.

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     You’ve heard of the famous ‘mid life crisis’? Well I always understood that to be around the 45 to 55  years of age. If that’s correct, then I am just beyond the tail end of of that condition. But here is the worrying thing. I have started listening to Radio 1 on the way to work. In the old car, I always listened to Radio Leeds, mainly for the traffic news. In the new car, the radio is completely different, and I’ve not worked out why local radio stations don’t pick up so well. So after a couple of mornings, I pressed the button for the said Radio 1, and I quite enjoyed the music and the banter of the current breakfast show.

     Now you may not think of this as such an issue, and neither did I, until I started purchasing some of the music I heard. This car plays MP3 tracks and has a USB port. All this leads to me buying a 32gb memory stick and copying lots of this newly discovered music. I know listen to Radio 1 in the morning, and the rest of the time, I am belting out tracks from the likes of ‘Example’, ‘Professor Green’, ‘Labyrinth’ and even ‘Jessie J’, When I mention this to people, they just raise their eyes, shake their heads and laugh to themselves. It is a new beginning. I am saved from from the perpetual boredom of local radio. God bless Tinie Tempah. Now,  if you will excuse me, I’m going to listen to a couple of tracks from Wretch32 before bed.

An interesting day…


   Interesting, may not be the correct word here. It has been a very good day. Despite the rain when I was putting the washing out, and despite the fact that the bed sheet is too large for the dryer. R*** has been in an exceptional good mood. We have had singing and laughing and joking with him. There has been no violent outbursts whatsoever. He has eaten his meals without any fuss, if fact he seems to have eaten more today than i have seen him eat in a long time. The interesting fact though, is that he has had no medication at all. It is now 10:20pm and he seems like is is almost ready for bed. Just need to get him to turn his PC off. Fingers crossed.

   I sorted out the problem I had with the windows Recent Documents folder. It seems there is a bug in Office 2007. If you open and save a file, from within the application, be it Word, Excel or whatever, then no shortcut is placed in the windows Recent Documents folder. However, if you open the file from explorer then it does appear. I don’t know why I was that bothered really, as I never remember to look in Recent Documents. I usually tend to use explorer or open the file from within the application. Live and learn.

   Whilst I am on about Microsoft and windows. I recently downloaded, and installed the new Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software. It got good reviews in the final beta stages, and even more when the product was released fully. It has been running for about a week now, and I decided today to remove it. Since installation, a number of basic actions, have been taking a great deal longer than usual. Applications like Windows Explorer taking 20 seconds to open, and memory sticks too. Now, I have AVG Free, Spybot S&D, Adaware,  Windows Firewall and Windows Defender. Do I really need yet another security product ?? MSE is supposed to be good, and from what I read, it is supposed to do away with Defender, but it cannot be a coincidence that as soon as I remove MSE, everything seems to get back to normal.

  Today is a bit of a blogging celebration. I have now posted everyday since 11 July 2009. Feeling really pleased with myself. It has sometimes been a bit of a bind, trying to think of something to post, but I have managed it, even if it has only been a short paragraph posted from my mobile. Here is to the next three months.

OMG … my phone


Well, I only went and trashed the memory card for my phone. All I did, was … well I don’t know what I did really. Or even why, all I remember is the memory card flying across the desk, and the phone telling me the card was not formatted !!!!! I lost all my pictures, ringtones and music. I can get all the music back, as they are on the PC, and so are some of the tones, but it is such a bore having to put things back. To top it all, I had backed up the settings on the phone, to the card.

Crossed wires with the eldest last night. I thought, R**** was bringing him home (to this house), but what he actually meant was his flat, or as he calls it, his home !!! Told him, not to say the when Mrs H is around. That would finish her off I think. So I don’t think I got much sleep after waking up around half past two. He managed to get his broadband up and running, so we should be able to speak to him on Skype. That’s relying on him turning Skype on of course. May try talking through MSN messenger, although I’ve only ever used the cam without sound.

I don’t think there is any more to say.

And yet another day…….


It did not start well. The youngest lad up at 4:30am. He was in and out of our room for his ‘cuddles’ about every half hour. I reset the alarm clock for 7:00am, thinking I would be off at just after 7:40am. However, I had not banked on the frost. To make matters worse, the ‘de-icer’, that was a good price is a bit rubbish. The spray is so fine, that it just does nothing at all. So it took 20 minutes to get the car into a sufficiently safe state to drive. I was a little worried that I was low on juice, but the light was not on, so no problems. As soon as I hit the motorway, on came the light. The petrol gauge was hovering just a fraction above empty. So with fingers crossed I got to work. Just had to worry about getting home now, but there are plenty of service stations on the way home.

I thought I had trashed my mobile tonight. I had tried to send a ‘flash’ movie file (.flv) by bluetooth, but it was taking such a long time, that I cancelled the transfer. After that, nothing on the phone would work. Literally nothing was working. A bit of panic was staring to set in as I had no idea what the problem was, or what I could do even. I tried everything I could think of, but as soon as the the phone started, it crashed. I then had a random thought, and changed the memory card for the older one. Hey presto, as if by magic, the damn thing worked as normal. I was able to then delete the offending file from the phone memory and then replace the memory again. Job done. So now I’m puzzled. Why should changing the memory card allow the phone to work again ? Is there a link between the internal phone memory and the card ? Do I really care ? I think not.

The catering department are selling ‘bacon n sausage’ butties tomorrow. They are a good price, cheaper than the van by about 60p. It all depends on whether they are a comparable size. They say the baps are ‘floured’ baps, so I hope they are not those dinner bun size. That would be a bit small. Never mind, I will give it a try once and report back.

Speaking of reporting back, I made a start on the biography today and as promised, I read chapter one. It has started very well, and I’m enjoying it already. A friend has read it and says it gets better as it progresses.