It finally hit …


I refer to the so named “Beast From The East” weather event. Up to last night, the bad weather was more like a “Wimp From The P1020182West” as it had not been as we ha been advised by the TV weather gurus. But from about 22:30 it started to snow a little heavier than before. This morning we awoke to this. Must be about 10cm or 4” in old money. We’ve had some heavy bursts and some lighter ones, but it hasn’t really stopped. R*** has not gone to his day services today. S**** had told K*** that the motorway was quite bad, so we decided it would be better if he stayed at home. He is not good when it comes to traffic holdups and can get quite aggressive if there is any kind of delay. Its one of the main reasons he get transported in a mini-bus. He knows he has to have his seatbelt fastened and from the middle seat of the bus, he is not able to reach either the escort or the driver.

K*** has an appointment at the eye clinic today, and with the problems she has been having, decided that should keep the appointment. I would have tried to cancel it. It’s not a good driving day.

Life changer + 105


The assessment went as well as I could have expected. We found the hospital without too much of a problem. The only problem we had, was that I had read the route directions incorrectly. I had read it that we should go down the A1/M1 link road to the M62. What I should have read was that we should go down the A1(M) to the M62. My little detour cost us an extra 25 minutes, which meant that we got to the hospital with literally minutes to spare.

It was a Practice Nurse that did the assessment, which turned out to be a lot of questions, a few blood samples, a couple of swabs (for MRSA) and a urine sample. This was all done in about 30 minutes and followed by an ECG. In total, including getting to and from the parked car, we were there 45 minutes only. The nurse went over some of the details of what was going to happen but I don’t think it reassured K*** much more. I have not got to the mental state yet that makes me feel worried. However, I did get the slight feeling on the way home, that it is getting very real now.

Just a quick update


     First thing to say, is “I have a new phone!!”  It’s not that I needed a new phone, but my contract had come to the end of the two year minimum, and my Sony-Xperia-Tprovider gives the chance of an upgrade. There was nothing wrong with the old one, but the new one has a more modern styling, more storage, better range of applications and the new contract, whilst costing a little more, is more suitable for my needs. It is not the latest model, by a long way, but it is still a good phone. To get the latest, would have cost me over £34.00 a month, with an upfront cost of £49.00. Not worth it.

     I didn’t mention previously, that we are having our ensuite updated, or more to the point, completely replaced. Mrs H was wanted it doing for a long time, and the breaking point came, when the shower packed in. Our usual ‘handy-man’ fitted a new one, but it never worked properly. According to the people fitting out the new room, it was totally the wrong type. It never occurred to me to do any before/after photos, so the only one I have is a ‘during’ picture. I will try and remember to do an ‘after’ picture when it is all done. As you can imagine, there are quite a few downsides to the whole project. The biggest two are, the dust, and Mrs H’s dread of taking a bath. In all the years we have been married, I can only think of a very few occasions that she has taken a bath. Always a shower. It has usually been, when we had showers installed/replaced or when we have been away. I prefer a bath to a shower. I love to just lie there and soak, with a nice drink and a good book (don’t try it with a Kindle though.)

     Latest news on the job front, is basically not much more than I knew last month. We’ve been assured, that there are more jobs to fill than staff to fill them, so it’s not a cost cutting exercise. We’ve also been told (not assured) that they are not looking to change grading system, so I suppose, that there is not too much to worry about. My main concern is where we will be based. Seven years ago, when our service moved out of the city centre to an industrial estate just off the M1 KAmotorway, I bought a small car. Using public transport would have meant two buses each way, with ten minutes waiting time between. Although a car is more expensive than public transport, it is far more reliable and convenient. One of the rumours is that we may move back to the city centre, to have a more central base. this would either mean, back to the bus, or pay out over £100.00 a month in car park fees. Now I know that does not sound a lot for city centre parking, but that is the charge in one of the council run multi-storey car parks. The charge has just been reduced from £9.00 to £5.00 all day to attract business. I’m worried, that once the business starts to pick up again, the the council will increase to price again!! We are having a team meeting on Thursday, so may hear a bit more then. It it quite typical of council managers to drip feed information, which has the effect of feeding the rumour mongers. I will update as and when.

One Week On


It has been a long week! This was the week when R*** was going to have his first sleep at his new placement (let’s call it college). On Tuesday, the staff took him to visit the place where was going to sleep, just for a look round and to help him familiarise himself with the place. They said he seemed interested (whatever that means for R***.) Then on Wednesday, he stayed later, and had his tea there, again familiarisation. The staff it went really well, once he had accepted that he was having his tea there, and then going home. Thursday was the big one. First of all, he had an appointment at the doctors,and it was a bit of a surprise, that he, and K*** were given their flu jabs. Then he was told, that he was having ‘one sleep, then R***’s house’. I understand that it was not as bad as was expected. K*** got lots of phone reports from the college, to reassure us that he was fine. A little confused at the start of the evening, but apparently settled well. Friday morning, he was nattering to come home, and as an afterthought, maybe we should have told him ‘one sleep, college then R***’s house’. To cap it all, on the way home on Friday, an accident shut the Motorway, which meant he was nearly an hour late getting home. His taxi driver and escort said he had been fine, just a little loud. Touch wood, the weekend is going okay.

         The work in the kitchen is just about done. Just a few little bits to sort out, but that has been a trial too this week. The new fridge/freezer arrived on the previous Friday. K*** had paid to have it installed, which basically involved the delivery people, taking it off the van, putting it in the kitchen and plugging it in. This was never going to be simple !!!!! The first thing we were told, by the driver, was that ‘It’s not going to fit up the steps!’ K*** told them that the gap had been measured, and it would. Then we were told that ’We can’t turn it through the kitchen door!’ We ended up having to get them to put it in the garage. K*** called D*** (the handyman) and explained what had happened, and he said he would come round on Monday, and have a look what could be done.

          The day arrived, and D***, Me, S**** and K**** (the next door neighbour) stood around for about ten minutes, scratching our collective heads, before getting started. The wallThen it was a bit like that old Bernard Cribbens song ‘Right Said Fred’. Got half way up the steps, then D*** realised that half the gatepost had to come off. Bit further, then a fence panel The fridgehad to go. Eventually, after a great deal of manly huffing and grunting we managed to get it up to the door. The next thing was to lift it onto the side wall, turn it then swing the bottom in through the doorway (door had been removed before starting). The grunting and huffing had increased tenfold, by this time. Still, it went in a lot easier than we were led to expect. D*** replaced everything he had removed and went off, leaving K*** to admire her new kitchen. He came back on the Tuesday and did a bit more work, so that it actually fitted in the space left by the cupboard, but all is serene now. Just waiting for K***s next project with bated breath.

Top 10 Driving hates


I enjoy driving, and consider myself an average driver. I’m not the best driver in the world and certainly not the worst, so the word ‘average’ is probably the best description I can offer. Like most people I hate the way some other motorists drive, and I would like to share my Top Ten moans.

  1. Drivers who will not move out of lane one, on the motorway, when I am trying to join;
  2. Those who move into lane one when approaching  the joining lane of the motorway;
  3. Drivers who drive in lane two or three under the speed limit, when lane one and two are free;
  4. Heavy goods vehicle drivers, who wait until they get to an incline and then try to overtake, usually going at the same speed as the vehicle they are trying to overtake;
  5. Drivers who pass you, then pull in front of you and immediately slow down;
  6. Vehicles that have ‘Baby on Board’ signs in the back of their car, but don’t have a baby on board;
  7. Non Volvo drivers that have their headlights on all the time – just buy a Volvo !!!!!;
  8. Vehicles that have a faulty headlight and use full beam to compensate;
  9. Drivers that have their front fog lights on when it’s not foggy;
    and finally
  10. Drivers of grey vehicles, who drive on grey roads on grey days with no lights on.

Theses are in no particular order, because they should all be at number one, depending on the circumstances. I do have a lot more driving hates, but the list would go on forever.

What are yours?

Stereo again …


   Mrs H bought me the new PC speaker system I wanted. It looks better than the last one and has a much better sound. I can now alter the bass tones, which I was not able to do before. So well satisfied am I.

   It was quite foggy this morning when I set off. The A1 access road was really dense, but as soon as I hit the motorway, the fog lifted. It did not make the fools turn off their rear fog lights though. I think it is just laziness. The car was quite frozen too, which was a surprise, because from the living room window, it did not look frosty.

   Still having problems with my Asda credit card. I tried to get some petrol yesterday morning, and the pump would not accept the card. It was a good job I had my MBNA card, or else I would have been stuck. I think I’m going to cancel this card. I only got the thing because I could save 2p a litre on petrol and get points. But they stopped the points in 2008, and dropped the saving to 1p a litre last year, so it’s not really worth it.

Let it snow, let it snow, LET IT STOP !!!!


   It’s grim up North, or so the saying goes. There was no snow at 05:30 this morning when I looked out, but by 06:30 we had a good 1 inch covering. Driving was fun, to say the least. I struggle to comprehend, why people with 4×4 drive monsters, think they have the right to overtake, at speed, vehicles that are driving with caution. Nobody has anywhere to go at that speed, in those conditions. Another amazing thing, Juggernauts driving down the motorway in the outside lane !!!! Since when did that become legal ???

Of course, most of the staff that got in this morning, were asking that age old question ‘When will they send us home ?’ If you don’t want to be here, then don’t come. You see they think that if they get ‘sent’ home, then they will not lose money or flexi-time, whereas if they just don’t turn up, they will lose money or flexi-time. What they forget, is that this kind of thing is what flexi-time was partly designed for. My line manager turned up at 09:30. Did he thank everyone that had got here (before him), for making the effort ??? Not a chance !!!!! I think the ba*tard just expected it !!!