Strange and scary . . .


It started Saturday morning. I began to notice a slight ache across my chest. I thought it was the result of coughing and that I had strained some muscle. However, it seemed to get stronger slightly as the day went on. By around 6:30, it was a lot more noticeable, but I still put it down to the previous coughing.

Went off to bed around 11:30 and the ache had now become a pain. I was now beginning to wonder what was going on. I couldn’t sleep or get comfortable and went downstairs to get a warm drink. My wife followed asking what was wrong. I explained about the pain, which was now much worse. We decided that we needed to call someone, as I was beginning to think along the Heart Attack lines.

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K**h called the Ambulance Service and they arrived within about 15 minutes. The Paramedic and his partner were amazing. He asked a lot of questions and then wired me up to his portable ECG machine. He explained that he would do three scans to check the readings were all correct. After a quick study of the print-outs, he declared that he was convinced that I was suffering from Atrial Fibrillation and his partner quickly agreed.

Then the scary bit came, when he said, “Right let’s get off to the hospital!” Neither I or K**h knew what to say. It certainly wasn’t what I expected to hear. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe a tablet to put under my tongue (not sure what that does, but I had heard of that) and advice to see a GP. But the hospital was not on my radar at all. We asked what I should take and he joked that all I needed was a phone and a good book.

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The next thing I knew, I was strapped to a trolley and we were hurtling along the roads to Harrogate. With blue lights flashing, as the paramedic wanted to get me there quickly, we soon arrived at the A & E of Harrogate district hospital. Things moved quite quickly. After the usual blood taking and a chest X-ray, I was found a bed in a Critical Care ward. All in all, about 45 minutes.

I was hooked up to a full ECG monitor and was placed on oxygen as my saturation levels were low. Well, sleep was out of the question! The ECG machine was constantly beeping as my heart rate changed and if you have ever had the cause to use a Nasal Cannula then you will know how uncomfortable they can be when lying on your side, trying to sleep.

I was in my own room, and there was nobody to talk to. The door was kept closed as there was a patient with dementia, that was trying to go home and would go into the rooms if the door was open. I had a full day and night of this before a doctor decided that I should be on a Cardiology and not Critical Care. I was moved to another ward at 8pm. This time it was a five bedded ward, with four other patients. Although they were all around my age, they were all local people talking about local issues. Not as boring as before, but I had nothing in common with any of them.

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I now had a portable monitor which was linked by wifi to somewhere. This meant I was mobile and didn’t have to unplug anything to go to the toilet. I was still on oxygen though. Monday night passed without any issues and I found that I had slept for about six hours.

Tuesday was as boring as the other two days. For some reason, televisions are not on any of the wards. Something to do with the licence fee which I didn’t understand. So the only entertainment we had was a small radio playing music from a local radio station.

Later in the afternoon, a different Cardiologist saw me and explained that the increase in one of my medications had regulated my heart rate enough for me to go home. Hopefully that day. However, my blood oxygen levels were not good enough and I was to stay another night.

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Wednesday morning came and the nurse that was taking my blood pressure and oxygen levels told me to take really deep breaths when the oxygen was checked as that increased the levels. She also told me that I should regularly take a couple of deep breaths throughout the day as a matter of course.

The Cardiologist came again and explained that all the signs were good and that I could go home that day. This was around 10am. I now had to wait for my new medications. The Pharmacist turned up at around 1pm and took some details about the medication I had at home. She explained that she would put the prescription in and that as soon as it was ready, I could go.

I called K**h and explained that I was waiting for my meds and I would call her again when I had them. It was 4:30pm before the Dispensary called the ward to say my stuff was ready. It annoyed me that with all the bed shortages around, I was taking up a bed, whilst waiting for someone to fulfil my prescription.

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It was getting on for 6pm when we finally got home, and I have never been so happy to see the house again. It had been a scary episode and has given me cause to ponder on life, work and things.

Happy(ish) New Year . . .


The Crown

Didn’t get off to the best of starts! We stayed up to see the new year in by watching the annual Jules Holland Hogmany show. It had got to about 00:40 and K*** decided she was too tired to stay up any longer. I thought I would check some emails that had been pinging away since midnight. I fired up the laptop, which I had shutdown earlier. It can often take 5 minutes before the machine is usable, and during this time, I must have closed my eyes. When I opened them again the time was show as 02:50. I had know idea where I was, what I was doing, and wasn’t too sure who I was.

We decided to resurrect our tradition of a News Year’s Walk. K*** quite fancied trying a pub in Boston Spa that had recently reopened. It’s a 5 mile round trip and by the time we got to the pub, we were ready for a drink. The service was appalling! There was only one person serving at the bar, and he was also taking food orders. It took at least 10 minutes to be served but we eventually got our drinks and began to warm to the place. Warm that is, until we decided to have another drink. I’m not sure if it just bad luck, but it again took 10 minutes before I was served. Not sure if another visit is on the cards!

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R***, our youngest had gone back to his care home on the 30th. He usually goes back before New Years Eve as he struggles with the noise of fireworks. In his flat, they can ensure that the noise doesn’t disturb him, which is something we cannot do here as there are usually fireworks being let off most of the night. It works well for all of us and to be honest, he was ready to go back. He was sat waiting in his room, and as soon as his primary caseworker arrived in his car, R*** was downstairs and ready to go. It is really reassuring to know that he thinks of his flat, at the care home as his other home.

Then yesterday, we got our usual daily call (or so we thought) from his care worker, who informed us that because of the rising number of Covid cases in the area, the place was going into a mini lockdown until the end of January. It was not unexpected, and we were just glad he was able to come here for Christmas, and glad he got back. It was around this time last year when the country went into full lockdown, and Rhys was not able to come here for about 5 weeks. The year before we went into lockdown in March and it was July when he was ‘released’ for want of a better word. Then in October 2020 we had another lockdown and we were not sure if he would be allowed home for Christmas at all.

But through it all, he has amazed everybody with how well he has coped and understood. It could have been so different. We are convinced that this is partly due to him having a planner, that shows what days he is where and the team that look after him. They know him and know just how far they can go. Couple that with the fact that he is no longer on any medication for his condition, we continue to be amazed.

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Yesterday also brought some news that was expected. Another member of the team at the cafe where I work has decided to leave. That makes three of my friends leaving in the past three months. It leaves me worried about my position. A*** was at one time the top person in the team. The one to go to for help or advice. An expert in her job as a Barista. But she seems to have fallen out of favour with the management since our new team member started. He is one of those annoying people that will do anything to please. At least he thinks he is pleasing.

Anyway, she is going which leaves only one trained Barista left . The manager can do it, but she is not going to want to work six days a week. So I think it is going to be a big change all round, and I cannot forsee the outcome to be anything but a disaster.

One more sleep . . .


That’s all. One more sleep and then it’s over. Christmas can become a thing of the past until October 2022 then we do it all again. However, we probably will still be paying for it up until Easter. It’s been a wet one for us. No snow, not even a glimmer of a flake. I put it down to the fact that our village is in a dip, therefore, retains some slight warmth. Well, that’s my theory.

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I’m not back at work until 10th January. The owners close for their annual holiday at this time, and although they are not going abroad this year, they still decided to close. It may be something they regret in the near future. There are no new COVID restrictions in England at the moment, but the Government are trying to be popular and are putting the emphasis on personal responsibility rather than a Government diktat. I fear that come the beginning of the New Year, that decision may have to be revised.

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A strange night


I quite often wake up early in the morning, for no reason at all. I’m thinking that I may not need as much sleep as I did when I was younger, but who knows. I try and clear my mind and think of a single thing and that usually gets me into ‘dozing mode.’

Last night, or I should say early this morning, I awoke. But something was quite different. I couldn’t think of anything. In fact, I could not remember anything. I tried to think about work colleagues nothing. I could not remember their names. I could picture their faces, but I didn’t seem to know who they were.

I attempted to think of things I enjoy. Reading, writing my favourite music. Nothing!

I changed tack again and tried to think about family. Not close family, but my sister-in-law and her husband. I could not think of their names. I was beginning to think I was asleep and dreaming. But then again, do you know when you are asleep? Do you know you are having a dream?

I got up and went to the bathroom just to convince myself that I was awake and not dreaming. I was definitely awake. Gradually my thoughts started to become more normal and I began to create ‘family trees’ in my head. Some names didn’t fit, but as time went on, it got better, and things started to fall into place.

I then drifted back off to sleep. It felt strange when I woke up, trying to recall what had gone on, and I’m not sure if anything did take place and it merely was just a dream.

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.

Not much sleep …


A stressful evening and a bad night. Don’t know what was going on, but at about half past 2, the bl**dy dog wandered into our bedroom. I’m thinking it might have been poorly, and K*** had left the door open with the idea that it might be cooler. That was never going to work. What with that and the “nasal trumpets” sounding most of the time, it led to about total is about 3 hours sleep.

Let’s see what today brings.

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Update: no news on our ‘Curious Incident … etc’ dog seems fine, and I’m the only one that appears to be the worse for wear … is it me?

First day …


Well I think I slept okay. I don’t remember too much. I do remember getting up in the middle of the night for my usual visit to the toilet. Totally confused, I completely forgot that we had an en suite and trotted of downstairs. How I remembered there was a toilet downstairs if I had forgotten there was upstairs, I will never know. Still the sun is shining and we shall where today takes us.

Life changer – “Day 2 + “


After a surprisingly quiet and reasonably comfortable night (which I can only put down to the morphine) I woke about 6:30. This became the norm for me, to wake at around the time I would have done had I been at home. Breakfast arrived at just after 08:00 and was asked if I wanted cornflakes or toast. Now was a bit of a dilemma. When I was getting ready for the operation, I was told to remove my dentures and put them in the pot that I had brought. To my knowledge, those dentures were still in that pot, in my toilet bag, in the locker on the ward I had come from. That meant that toast was out and I settled for cornflakes. I have to say, that eating cornflakes without teeth is not to be recommended.

I was given a bed wash, which was an experience to cherish and then introduced to the physio-therapist. She went through some basic breathing exercises and explained that I needed to cough. She also explained the importance of the cough. Whilst following the logic, I had real difficulty in putting it into practice.

This day 2, was the day when everything changed. I was going back to the main ward! This entailed removing some the pipework that was still in me. A line was removed from my neck and then came the bit I had been warned about. The removal of the chest drains. I only reference I have for chest drains are the medical soaps on television. These programs never show drains being remove. You cannot begin to imagine the feeling when 18in of plastic tubing and another 8in of similar plastic tube is quite literally dragged out of your body. The nurse had told me that I would feel a lot better with them out. I didn’t!!

Within an hour, I was on the main ward and reunited with my teeth. K*** and her sister came to visit, which was nice, and both remarked on how well I looked. So I suppose the drain removal must have worked. Dinner was a bit hit and miss, but I did manage to eat a little bit more.

From then onwards, I began to get stronger and more confident as the days went by. Everyone was impressed with my progress and it soon became apparent that it would not be long before I could go home. That date came on the 2nd July, just seven days after being admitted!

I cannot express fully how remarkable the teams that were on the ward were. Not just the doctors and nurses, but the assistants, catering staff and cleaners. Everyone seemed to go out of their way to make all of us feel as comfortable and individual as possible. That old song that says “…..Heaven must be missing and angel…..” is not right. It should be “…..Heaven must be missing thousands of angels!!!” because a large number were on that ward.

Now, discharge day was something else, and I shall leave that tale for the next post

Life changer – “Job done!!!”


This will be one of the last few of my ‘Life changer’ posts. As you may gather from the title, it’s all over. I was admitted on the 25th of June and by 1pm on the 26th I was in the famed ICU (Intensive Care Unit). I shall not to into the gory detail of my return to consciousness, as it is not a pretty story. Suffice to say, I got over it. K*** rang to see how I was doing, and they told her I had just come round as was a bit sleepy. I’ll never grasp how 5 hours unconsciousness leads to someone being sleepy, but it does. We both thought it would be a waste of time to visit straight after the surgery as I needed time to come round, so she was coming the next day.

The nurse gave me some sips of water, and like a fool I managed to take too many large sips and suffer the consequences. I was amazed how little pain I was in, but soon realised that this was due to the copious amount of morphine that was being dripped into me. They sat me up a little and some food was plonked in front of me. Some kind of meat free cottage pie and some rice pudding. At another time, I think both looked quite appetising, but not then! Some nurse, and I don’t remember what they called her, asked me if I needed help to eat. I only managed the rice pudding before drifting off to sleep. I think I slept okay, but have no recollection of it at all, until 7:30 the next day when I drifted out of sleep. I have to say that without exception all the nurses, doctors, assistants were excellent. In fact all the people on ICU were exceptional people. I did not eat much that day and I did not expect to either, although everyone kept telling me I needed eat to get my strength back.

K*** came at around 1pm, just after attempting to eat some mince and mash. I know I looked terrible!!! I don’t know how terrible I actually looked, but had a good idea. She was shocked at the state of me, as I do not think she knew what to expect. I still had various tubes and wires and lines stuck in me, but I was not really aware of them. She helped me eat some of my lunch, but I still did not have any appetite and could only manage the trifle. She managed to stop until visiting time ended, and to be honest, I don’t remember her going, before going to sleep.

So that was what they call ‘Day 1 – post op’. Surprisingly everyone called it an ‘operation’ and not a ‘procedure’ like they do on the television. Day 2 to follow and don’t worry, this is not going to be like Big Brother with a post for everyday!!

Life changer – “T” minus 4


Only 4 more nights until the op. I should probably call it ‘a procedure’ as it sounds more professional. At least, that’s what they call this kind of thing on TV. I suppose calling it a procedure kind of leads you to think that this is routine. Of course, it is routine by the very nature that these experts do the same stuff everyday but that no way detracts from the complexity of the work this surgeon and his team will have to perform.

A family day yesterday for my father-in-laws 80th birthday. One of K***’s uncles was there and he has been through the very same thing. It was interesting to hear first hand from someone who has had the ‘procedure’.

What is strange, and I’m not sure how to take it, is the number of people that have wished me ‘good luck’. I hope I don’t have to rely on luck!! They also say things like ‘I’m sure it will be fine’ and ‘hope everything goes okay’. It must be difficult to find something to say that doesn’t sound like I need a four leafed clover at my bedside. I almost kind of liked what my GP said, after he had diagnosed my Pulmonary Congestion. His comment as he shook my hand was “See you on the flip-side!”

Saw my mother on Thursday. She seems to be getting a little confused I think, as she asked me if I had had my operation. I explained when it was and what was going to happen, but she is either blanking it out or she genuinely does not get it. As for the rest of my side of the family, not heard a peep from any of them since the message I posted to them all. It is a sad state of affairs when people outside your direct family are more interested than they are. But I’m not going to fret over it. I’ve enough to worry about (excluding this) at work and at home. The situation at work seems to change on a daily basis and I can see our new boss, G***** getting a little annoyed about it all. This is about our latest office move, of which I may blog about in another post . Then there is the worry about R***. How will he take it when he realises that I’m not there for a whole week which has never happened before, and that his recite has increased. He does not take kindly to change and it has been made slightly more difficult with S**** moving out. Just glad that K*** has not told the community nurse that S**** is not at home. Heaven knows what she would have said/done if she knew. With all this going on around me, the small matter of heart surgery pales a little into insignificance somewhat.

This is probably going to be the last post on the subject until the deed has been done. So in the words of my GP …..”See you on the flip-side….”

Survived ….


     Well, tonight (this evening to be precise) went a lot better than than the last one. Youngest seems to be a little more in control, although we have the rest of the night to get through. It appears that school was not good. He was so ‘agitated’ as they put it, that they felt they could not take him out on a trip. His psych has asked to see him on Friday, and has asked for a report from school. Mrs H says she is not coming away from the meeting without a positive  action plan. We will see what they say!!!!

     In my job, you don’t often have friends outside ‘the club’ so to speak. So it is great that a concept like Facebook, allows me to keep in contact with people, that without it would just be work contacts. I’m in contact with people that I have met and respect through work. Without Facebook, they would be just people I know through work. It is hard to explain, but without FB, I would not be in contact with these nice people. You know what ???? I’m rambling a little. Too much whiskey and too little sleep !!!!

A long long night


   Well last night was the first night of S****s play. From all accounts, and I’ll see for myself tonight, it went really well. The place was packed, and it was a really good night. Mrs H went along with her sister, her niece and her niece’s friend, and enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, she stopped for a drink with the cast. At around midnight S**** and his mum came home, bringing with them two of S****s friends. We broke out the drinks and settled down for what I thought would be a couple of drinks, then bed. At 05:15am, it was decided that we needed to get a little sleep !!!!! R*** was asleep in our bed, se we gave his quilt to the friends, and I thought I would just crash on R***’s bed fully clothed. Not to be !!!!! at around 06:15am he woke up, and wanted to go into his bed. So from then onwards, until I got dressed at 08:00am, I was up and down with him. Shattered !!!!!! Will probably have to do it again tonight !!! Getting too old for this.

… and so to the weekend


   An early start to Saturday !!!! Youngest up at 04:00am. What he usually does, is turn on his TV, then turn over and go back to sleep. Not this time !!! He sometimes does, what I call ‘droning’ ie making a continuous groan. That is what he did on Saturday morning. He never really went back to sleep. As a consequence, Mrs H an me were a little tired to say the least.

   Tried to watch the film ‘The Boat That Rocked’ last night. What a disappointment. I think we were both expecting a ‘Notting Hill/Four Weddings..’ type of movie. Sadly mistaken. We did not find it funny at all. I used to listen to Radio Luxemburg and Radio Caroline, when younger, and thought that the film may invoke some old memories.

   Better night with the youngest on Saturday night. He still awoke at around 05:00am, but thankfully he went back to sleep. He is out with his support worker for most of the day. Surprisingly, we did not have the usual ‘no out’ that we normally get. He either wanted to go, or accepted that he was going. This gave me a chance to get to the pub for a short while. Now I’m playing catch-up, and doing the jobs I should have done whilst I was out !!!

Still tired …


   Youngest was back from respite yesterday, and he seemed to be in great mood. All set for  an early(ish) night, when he started to be ill. For no apparent reason, Mrs H told me that he looked like he was choking on something. Then he was sick !!!! A bit of a mess. After cleaning him up, he settled down in his own room. Of course, neither me or Mrs H slept well. We both seemed to have that ‘one eye and one ear open’ kind of sleep. However, there were no further incidents during the night. He did wake up at around half two, but as usual, he put his TV on (very quietly), and went back to sleep. Seemed fine this morning, and for the most part, he has been great.

   So today was gardening day. Just outside the living room window, we had a patch of what was loosely called a lawn. In all honesty, it was a patch of moss and weeds, with a few blades of grass thrown in. I/we managed to get it down to bare, almost weed free soil, over the past couple of weeks. I had collected all the leaves, last autumn, and bagged them up. Mrs H then spent a good few days last week, digging in these leaves, which were now starting to rot down. A couple or three bags of cheap compost on top, and we have the makings of a half decent bed of shrubs. Just got to keep it that way now.

   I also managed to give my car a vacuum out too. Now there’s a challenge !! I am of the opinion, that our Dyson, is the only one that does not utilise it’s famous ‘cyclonic suction’ to its best. Well, it does not do cars well at all !

   So what with the gardening, the car valeting, and the other jobs I got done today, it has been a long day.

Expected


   The backlash came as expected. He seems to keep things in his mind, pondering or worrying over them, until the bubble bursts. In this case, he woke up at 01:00am on Wednesday morning!! Now usually, he puts his TV on, with the sound turned right down, and goes back to sleep. This time, did did not go straight back to sleep, and was up and down until about 04:30 am, when he did seem to drift off. However he was back awake at around 08:30 am. Both Mrs H and me were complete wrecks. To cap it all, the eldest was coming across for a drama meeting (did I mention he was directing the local group play this year?), which results in a trip to the pub at 09:30pm. It was gone midnight, when we finally left, so not much sleep last night either.

   This evening, we had another bad do with him. All stemmed from him wanting to download a video from the internet. He had found a Japanese site, similar to YouTube, and wanted me to download from there. It could not be done, not with any of the download tools I have. Not a good night.

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.

Saturday 10/10/09


   It was a long evening yesterday. With the youngest being away for the week, he was keen to get back onto the internet. So much so,that it was gone 11:30pm, when he finally went back to his room. At last we thought (well I thought, Mrs H was already in bed), at last, he going to settle down. But no ! There was a print to do, and he was part way through creating one of his pictures. All this finished about midnight. “Bed now ?” I asked hopefully. His reply was the usual ‘10 minutes’. So he watched a video for just about 10/15 minutes. Of course, then he needed his ‘goodnight’ cuddle from his mum. So all in all, it must have been about 12:30am when he finally went to his own bed.

   You would have though he would have been really tired, but he has still chattering away to himself at 01:00am. I know this, as I had just been woken by Mrs H. She is just getting over a cold (no not Swine Flu), and is suffering from a very bad hacking cough. It was this that woke me, and continued to wake me at around every 30 minutes or so. Then at 06:00am, on the dot, R*** woke up. So a late night, with fitful sleep, and an early wake up, sees me a bit bushed. And don’t for a moment think that R*** will going to bed early to catch up on his sleep !! Not a chance. It will be around 11:00pm when we get him settle down, and he’ll be up again at 07:00am. I could put money on it.

Nearly the weekend


   Well, the eldest did not manage to get up at 07:00 this morning. It was never on the cards really, and I don’t now why we thought he would be. He did not get back in until gone midnight, and was posting messages on facebook at 02:00am. We need to be a bit more forceful when he is here, and try and make sure he is up by 09:00 at the latest. The problem is, that because he has not had to get up for Uni, he sleeps late. It then follows that he is not tired enough at what is a ‘normal’ bedtime. And so, his body clock is completely out of synch. He will have to be up early on Saturday and Sunday though, as both him and his flat mate are working those days.

   Another IT disaster today. This time is was the whole council wide network that had problems. It started around 12:00, when people found they were having problems logging into the network. Those that did manage to log in, were having difficulties accessing certain applications. By 2:00pm most of the council was affected, and the IT help desk, was pushing out a message to the effect, that all the servers needed to be restarted,which would be done tonight. And that is how it was left. Of course, many of my colleagues thought they knew better than me and continued to try and log in. It is getting increasingly difficult to explain to some of these people, that when I say ‘the whole network is down…’ that it also applies to them too, and that they are not a special case.

   Youngest goes on respite tomorrow. Sad though it seems, both Mrs H and me are avidly looking forward to the break. He will be back on Monday, after school, so not too long. It is strange, though. Although we are ready for a short rest, we will miss him when he is not there. When he goes for a week, it seems a lot longer, and we start to look forward to him coming home. Then he kicks off, and we start looking at the calendar for his next respite (joking). I just hope that the current bout of good weather holds out for the weekend. We both need to get of the house for a while. R*** always says a firm ‘No’ to any suggestion that we go out. Even if it is something he enjoys, it is always ‘No’. We do get to have a walk round the village sometimes, but it is a struggle, and often can be painful.

   Right, that will do for now. Wish me luck for work tomorrow.

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.

Is it only Tuesday ……


This week seems to be dragging already, and it’s only Tuesday. It feels like it should Thursday. Had a quick look at the appraisal preparation form today, to try and get ready for the meeting. It all looks totally inappropriate for the work I do. So a fun (sic) will be had by all.

Oh did I say things were getting easier. Well they are not. Mrs H spent the afternoon trying to ring S****, only to find out, when she did get through (at around 4pm) that he had just got up. She was not best pleased. If this goes on much longer, I am just going to have to be quite blunt, and tell her to leave him alone !!!! It’s harsh, but he is never going to be able to break free at this rate. Mind you, if it is bad now, it is going to get a lot worse, when the other one has to go.

And so to the on going saga of the pedometer. I sent an email to the coordinator, V**** this morning. After wearing the damn thing from around 6:30 until 9:00, I had done a grand total of 7 steps. Within minutes, V**** sent a group email to explain, that there were serious problems with the kit. It would appear, that the supplier had sent us the ‘Christmas Cracker’ version,when we had paid for the deluxe version. The supplier claimed it was an innocent mistake, but V**** did not seem convinced. So the general consensus was, that we should start again with the initiative, next month, when the correct pedometers arrive.

I had a look at the upgrade for my mobile phone this afternoon. My contract is up toward the end of September, so I’m looking to Nokia E71 upgrade the phone to a ‘smart-phone’, the Nokia E71, and also change the the plan. I’m currently on a plan that gives me 300 minutes or texts, plus 300 minutes on ‘3 to 3’. A kind of ‘mix and match’. The plan I’m looking at will give be 200 minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited 3 to 3 and unlimited internet. The word ‘unlimited’ is of course incorrect as Three impose a fair usage policy. But It should give me a lot more freedom. I could change now, but I could not get the benefits of the plan, until my next bill is due, and as it would only be a month to the end of the current contract, I may as well wait.

Going back to work, I managed to get a photo of G*** dozing whilst at work. I am tempted to post it here, but she does not know about it, so it would not be fair. I said a week or two ago, that she was asleep, only to be told “I’m not asleep, just meditating”. I muttered something about snoring and meditation not going together, but regretted it quite quickly .. ha ha.

I think that will do for now.

The end of the first day ….


Well there was no phone call from him today. I did not expect him to ring, but Mrs H thought he might. It has been a long day. I was that concerned about Mrs H sleeping, that I did not get much sleep myself. She was awake around about half past four, and from about that time I just dozed with one eye open. We were both up at twenty past seven !!! I have a feeling, tonight may be the same.

It’s just five days work, then I am off for a whole week. I may have to go in on the Tuesday morning, but it will only be for an hour or and hour and fifteen minutes. I’m not too happy about leaving P*** to do both the download and the cash transfer. He would probably be okay with the download, but he just would not do the cash, which means D*** would have two lots to do on the Wednesday, and that can be a bit of a pain.

I have my appraisal or ‘Personal Development Review’ or PDR as it is called. I have always been a fan of appraisals, until S**** came to work with us. He takes everything just too serious, including the recording of the meeting. It will take at least an hour. All that will happen is that I will get my ‘objectives’ for the year, and a discussion about why last years did not get completed. There will be no training required (where does the ‘Development’ part come in ??), and I will be told what an asset I am, and how the section could not run without me. There is no financial incentive, no chance of promotion. No benefit what so ever. Total waste of time.

On a different track, my legs ache. It must have been all that walking up and down the stairs at S****’s flat. I thought I was going down with flu this morning. Apart from that achy legs, my head spinning. It was only when I realised, that I had drunk most of the red wine, that I understood the problem.

No one to chat to tonight. They must all be having an early one. Therefore, so will I. Tomorrow will be quite a busy day, especially if I decide to do my PDR prep.

Monday…..can’t believe I’m blogging again


So I signed up for the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). Apparently it is a program to get people to write in a blog every day. They have a theme (July is ROUTINE), and I think the Americans can win a prize. I don’t think we get anything over here. It is usually the case. Anyway, I have to write something everyday for a month, and put NaBloPoMo as a tag so people can find it. I wonder if it will get me a little traffic. Can’t not I suppose. Fear not, it will not last. However, if it gets me to write more, then my blog can only improve, which can only be a good thing. I may struggle with the theme too. I tend to write about nothing in particular.

And so to today. Youngest was awake at 4:00am and he was not very happy. I think he had had a bad dream. I heard what could be described as ‘grunting’ at about 3:50am, but he seemed to be still asleep. Then he kicked off. Thankfully it only lasted a few minutes. I got him some snacks and left him too it. I think he went back to sleep, well at least I did. My other theory is that he had not finished his computer work, and we made him shutdown. It could be that this was still running around his head, whilst he was asleep, and it was that which woke him up. He then finished what he was doing and went back to sleep. It is as good as any theory … the ‘experts’ do not have any other.

My lunchtime walk continues (okay it is only the 2nd one). As I have said, its not a pleasant walk. On one side of me I Knostrop Sewage Works have a continuous stream of heavy traffic, usually refuse wagons, and on the other side there is a large sewerage works. I’m not too sure of the health benefits in breathing that lot in !!!! Mrs H has suggested, that I go for my ‘brisk’ walk, before I go to work. This is an interesting idea. so as I am determined to shape up a little, I have set the alarm for 6:00am. I will do a half hour or so round the village before getting ready for work. Kill or cure.

Talking of work, we thought it might all kick off between G*** and S**** this afternoon. I was quite looking forward to it. Tomorrow maybe ??