Strange but true …


The strangest thing about being “Home Alone” is the noises that occur during the night. K*** is away with her sister and niece and R*** is on respite until Friday. Usually, R*** has his computer and TV on all night and you can hear that as a faint background noise. Then there is your partners breathing and other sleep noises, which I won’t go into. But you get used to Sleepthose sounds as they have become part of the norm. Now, when those noises are not there, you begin to hear the other noises. The noises that you never normally hear or register. Monday night is an example.

I had woken up around 2:30 for some reason and was struggling to get back to sleep. My usual sleep trick of trying to focus on a single thought wasn’t working and I was just laying there, listening. The creak of the floorboards. The passing car. The screech of the owl. The cats fighting down the road. The neighbour taking his dog for a walk (not kidding.) The hum of the refrigerator downstairs. They are all noises which I don’t usually hear. Then just as you start to drift off to sleep, the wind blows and one of the room doors bangs shut. You know what it is, but it shakes you up a bit and you’re back where you started.

Then last night, I was late going to bed (reason below). It was gone midnight when I settled down, but was awake at 4:00 and just dozed until 7:00 when I decided to get up. Couldn’t stay in bed any longer.

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Went out last night. Went to the Red Lion in the village. It’s been a long time since I was there on a Tuesday night. Stopped going when I started to get worried how K*** would manage if Red LionR*** had a melt-down. But, as I was on my own, I thought ‘why not?’ Tuesday is “Quiz Nite” as they call it, so all the old faces I used to drink with were there. It seemed strange to see them again, as it must be a year since I was last in on a Tuesday. I didn’t do the quiz, as I’m not so good on my own, but it was nice being part of that crowd again. I was thinking as I walked home, that when R*** starts his new respite hours in July, Tuesdays will be one of the days when he is away every week. I think it is time to maybe start the “Quiz Nite” visit again on a more regular basis. Just got to convince K*** that it might just be fun.

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Eldest is coming round tonight. He has someone to see and something on with the drama group. He is not taking a big active role in the group this year as he is finding it a little tiring at the moment. So no “Murder Mystery” play and no Pantomime either. The group are still trying to get him to take a part, but he’s insistent that he wants a break this year. They’ll be going on to the pub, so it will be another late night. Then tomorrow, I’m out with my old school friend. But I’ll be driving back, so it may not be a late night.

One month down … rest of my life to go …


As the title says, it’s been just a month since I took the plunge and retired. So how’s it gone so far?

Well, my idea, that I would get a part-time job within the first couple of weeks has been a non-starter. I’ve not seen anything that I could honestly is a job I want to do. In fact, that statement has 10 words too many. It should actually read “I’ve not seen anything!” I have looked. Possibly not looked too hard, but when you don’t even get an answer from the ones you do look at, it kind of puts a bit of a damper on the whole thing. But I’m not going to dwell on that … I’m putting that to the back of my mind for the time being.

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It’s “Panto Week” in  Bramham his week. We are not going this year, as neither S***e or A***l are cast members this time. Both of them decided that it is a bit too much to get from their house in Castleford to Bramham for the rehearsals. They are still involved, but it will be the first time S***e has not performed for a number of years. I think they both miss it a little, but things move on and I get the feeling that this year’s effort is not up to the usual standard. I may be wrong.

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I feel I may have been neglecting this blog over the past four weeks. However, I don’t seem to have had much to say if the truth is known. My intention was to write something at least every other day. I think, I’m still at the novelty stage of my retirement. It’s sunk in a little, but it still feels like I’m on holiday. I’ve done a bit of decorating (not a lot, but some) and have been doing a bit more knitting, but that’s about all really. We have been out a couple of days and at the moment, we are sticking to going out one day a week. If we can get the spending that we are used to down a little, then the part-time job may not be necessary. We just need to get Christmas out of the way, then we will know where we stand.

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I think that’s just about it. No … wait …had a lovely chat with an ‘ex’ colleague on Sunday. I got to hear about all the hopes and fears that my ex-workers are going through. It made me realise even more that I did the right thing by finishing.

I’ve not really had much to do with the people I used to work with. To be honest, I’m not really that bothered about most of them. But it was a nice surprise when K***e messaged me, to ask how things were. I have to admit, I have a lot of respect for K***e. She is the only one out of our ‘team’ that I miss. When I say that, I mean that I miss a lot of people for one reason or another, but K***e was a special person. Without question, there was nobody that a bad word for her. I have never worked with anybody before that was so universally liked by everyone that met her. It may sound a bit twee, but she did make the day pass a lot more pleasantly.

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.

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.

Nearly the weekend


Work has gone according to plan today. I knew that there was not going to be too much to do this afternoon, so I paced myself during the day. I got most of what was to do done completed. Just a couple of mail merges with Excel, and it will all be done. ——– Right, that’s them done. I’ve another two to do on Monday. I suppose I could finish them today, but then again … maybe not.

I’m going to watch the panto tonight. They have had a couple of performances, so all the major mess-ups should be strightened out now. I’m looking forward to a good laugh. Mind you, one of the Dames does take a walk into the audience and pluck some unlucky person to go up to the stage. As I’m now ‘one of them’, as they so kindly say, this could be me !!!!! I’m not too sure if I’ll go to the pub after the show. I’d better take some money just in case.

All done bar the shouting


   The panto programme was finally finished tonight. I dropped it off at the hall at around 08:30pm after typing in the huge cast list. It would appear that there are over 40 characters in this production. A number of the cast have more than one part, but even so. I was quite pleased with job, and I just hope everyone else is as pleased with it.

   The facebook issue took another turn today. I added an ex-work colleague, who immediately sent me a suggestion to add the very person who is the cause of my dilemma. I am now of the opinion, that I must add this person, and then in a week or so amend my settings so that they do not show on my profile. Then maybe, in a month or two, I’ll then ‘un-friend’ them. Is that not the most bizarre phrase …… ‘un-friend’ …… what on earth does it mean ????? Anyway it is now done. Hopefully I’ve done the right thing. Only time will tell.

Will the panto work ?


   This could be the last rehearsal tonight. Then again tomorrow could be the last !! They don’t usually have a rehearsal on the Tuesday. It’s kind of tradition that they have a rest and an early night, as it the last one they’ll get for 4 or 5 nights. It’s now 10:40pm, and there is no sign of the eldest. I can see it being nearer midnight … no wait a minute, that’s him now. It would appear that there is no rehearsal tomorrow after all. I have the programme details …… what I thought was going to be an A4, 4 page, single fold booklet, now looks to be turning into an 8 page booklet !!!! Bit of a challenge, but at least I get my name on the credits.

   Now, how to be diplomatic with facebook. Someone I work with, has added me as a friend. Unfortunately, I am not too keen on adding this person. so how do I diplomatically ignore their request, without causing offense. I don’t want this person commenting on everything I say/do on facebook (have already fallen into that trap once). I have been told to add them, and then, after a week or two opt to hide them. Mind you, whatever I do could be a potential disaster.

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.

The weekend at last


   A lot was achieved at work today. It’s getting close to the month end, so there a lot of reporting to do. And, as it is getting close to the end of the year, my stats spreadsheet needs updating for next year. Fingers crossed I have got it right. I really should document the damn thing, but I just never remember. It has grown from a single sheet of weekly numbers, to a 8 sheet workbook. I’m quite proud of it really. No one else has a clue how it works, they are just grateful it does. If I sat down and took it to pieces, I’m sure I could make it a lot easier. Some of the formulae I think could be simplified, and I’m sure I could tidy up the look-up tables, but at the end of the day, it works !

   I started work on the panto programme tonight. Hardest thing was getting the picture in black and white. For some reason my copy of Photoshop Elements 2 is playing up. I have a strong suspicion, that the twain drivers have corrupted, as a few times tonight, the thing has hung up when initialising. I think I may have to reinstall it at some point.

A reasonable start


   The day went quite well. No major disasters. A couple of annoying things, but nothing too dramatic. I’m down at the IT department in the morning. Really looking forward to that experience (not). I don’t know what it is about IT people. They are all nice guys, but I could not spend all day with them.

   I managed to design the panto tickets and poster. The graphic I found looks quite good. I just hope the like it, and that there are not too many changes. From what I understand, they need to go to print this week, so if i need to make any changes, I’ll have to be quick. They have not given me any ticket prices, so that may mean an amendment to the poster. I will have to wait and see. Eldest is coming up for a rehearsal tomorrow night, so he can get some feedback then. I suppose the main criticism will come on Wednesday, when the director sees it. Wonder if they will need something for a t-shirt.

…..come here…there’s more


So Tuesday continues. I decided to go to the quiz-nite after all. Well J**** and his pal C*** arrived and I somehow thought I was showing them how to get to the Red Lion. Yep … an excuse I know.

S****’s friends R**** and B** turned up as expected, and I was kind of introduced. B** seems a really nice guy and R**** is really nice also. I’ve met here before, once, at the last show. I did the ‘promotional material’ for the play. Well I did the poster and tickets, and I think it was appreciated. I did enjoy doing it. Both of them think I should be involved with the panto in some form. I’m not too sure. These things need a commitment. Will I go to the drama meeting … possibly, but then again highly unlikely.

Does this count towards NaBloPoMo ??? Or does only one a day count.