Beyond belief …


Sometimes, things happen that are quite honestly “Beyond Belief.” Our youngest son sometimes proves that. R… is 28 and Autistic. We are gradually phasing him in to full time residential. At present he goes on Monday morning and returns 11 days later for a weekend visit. He gives us the impression that he really enjoys  his life there.

ppeHe has a regular care-team, his own flat and his own motorbility car. During the ‘lock-down’ he went on the 23rd March and did not return until 10th July. Then again he went on the 19th October and was not allowed home, under the rules until 11th December.

All this, he seemed to take in his stride. In fact, we were more stressed and traumatised than he seemed to be. His care team kept us well informed  and rang everyday to let us know what he had been up to and with a weekly FaceTime we just about got through it.

White-one.jpgNow the interesting thing is that his daily life there is different to here. He does things there that we could never even dream he would do. When he is here, his daily routine is to sit in his room, with his laptop and TV. He will come downstairs for his lunch, then goes back to his room and that is it. Occasionally he will come back downstairs and use my laptop for a while.

Whilst in his flat, and this is the thing that amazes us, he takes on household jobs. We have photos of him mopping his kitchen floor, cooking his dinner (usually beans or sausage rolls) loading the washing machine and various other tasks around the place.

He was able to come here for Christmas, although there were times when it looked impossible, but his care-manager and all the teams put enough precautions in place for it to happen, so on Christmas Eve he came home. He would have had to come here anyway as he has a hospital appointment on Tuesday at which his legal guardian (horrible phrase) has to be present.

Now, on Christmas morning, we witnessed first hand something Lichfield Cathedralthat completely amazed us both. In fact, I still cannot get my head around it. My wife and me were downstairs getting things ready, as you do when I that he hadn’t had his morning drink of milk. I took his cup upstairs.

There was some typical Christmas church music playing and I assumed that my wife had not turned the radio off. How wrong I was. Normally, he would have one of the children’s channels on his TV , and he would also have a children’s YouTube video playing on his laptop.

CanterburyNot today. The TV was turned down and he had on his laptop a video of a Christmas church service. This played for an hour and a half before he started another similar video. I later found out that the first one was the Christmas Eve service from Lichfield Cathedral from 2000 and the second one was the previous nights service from Canterbury Cathedral.

By lunchtime he was back to watching old episodes of The Telly Tubbies as if nothing had happened. He did used to go to the local church to see the Christmas service when he was a school, but how he made the decision to watch that kind of video at that particular times, amazed us both

Nearly there and other things …


It’s painting time. Eldest son came around to do the ceiling as Mrs H thought I would struggle. I’m not sure if she thought I was too short or too old. He is about 5′ 7″ and I’m 5′ 4″. I don’t think it was a height issue. There was huge amount to cover, but we got the undercoat done in one day.

The following day, I cracked on with the top coat on the walls. We are using the same neutral colour that we have throughout the house. It’s a colour called “Natural Hessian” and it’s a bit like a marriage between magnolia and beige. It looks awful when being applied, but it improves vastly as it dries. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. I just need to give the main wall another coat, as it has dried a little patchy where I have done the cutting in.

Now all that is needed, is the new flooring and the electrics to be sorted. When the electrician came to connect the new roof lights, he did some testing so he could sign off the work. He then found some issue with the house electrics. He thinks it is something to do with the ‘zoning’ in the fuse box. So he is coming back in the middle of March to sort that out. Meanwhile, we had booked the flooring guy to come next week to fit the new floor and as the electrician may have to lift some floorboards, having a new floor would be another issue. And so the saga continues.


Recently, I have revisited the online chat rooms that I used to use a few years ago. The site is supposed to be a ship, with lots of decks and rooms. There are people who monitor what is going on, so in theory, it is pretty much safe. I stopped about three five years ago as I was getting bored with it. Then there were issues with some of the chatters who were not as pleasant as they should be. However, about a month ago I signed up again, with a different profile and username just to see if anything had changed. Guess what? I found myself getting back into the swing of it. Only problem was that I was now a very basic user with limited access to the main site. You have to progress through the levels by chatting more. Last, when I changed my browser and tried to login to the chat room, the browser had remembered my old login and I was now using my old profile, that had 11 years experience. I was back at a quite high level.

I’m not sure how long it will last, but for the time being it’s all well.

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.

The new desk and other things


    Well moving to the new desk went as well as could be expected. Most people seem to have accepted the fact that I need a base to work from. I think the main issue could be, that I am sharing a room with my manager. I could be perceived as being a spy in the camp. Also in the same room is the person to whom I was supposed to be partnering in this job. However, she is working on other things for the service head, and could also be seen as a spy. Devious people, these council office types.

     I’ve decided to push forward with the writing again. I joined an online group, and posted my initial short story,The Well, warts and all. I have had two favourable comments, with more advice on how to expand and develop the idea. So I’m looking at that again. I’m toying with the idea of setting the tale in an old windmill. That should open the scope a little more. However I need to find a way of incorporating the well back into the story (I nearly typed narrative there …… I have no idea why) and am thinking that there could be some kind of outhouse that may have been built over the old well. That is going to take some thinking about. I have also been toying around in my head, how to make it into a play, but that is a long way off yet, and I don’t know how popular a one person play would be.

     I have also started writing a short story about someone that works on a computer helpdesk. I’m not too sure what narrative mode to use. I have started in first person mode, but not too sure if it will be the right one for the story. Basically, you get to hear what is happening in the helpdesk call centre, but you only get to hear the customers, when the helpdesk people repeat things back. This may not work as I hope, and I may have to change the narrative mode to third person. Early days yet.