More up and down …


downloadThis week has been a bit up and down again. The dishwasher was fixed. It seems there was a small piece of plastic stuck in the pump. It was only about the size of a small child’s fingernail, but was jamming the pump and stopping it from working. A local person came Tuesday lunchtime and fixed it within about 30 minutes, and that included having a look at our oven which hadn’t worked properly for a couple of years. That’ll be fixed over the weekend. We are going to keep this guy’s number.

Then came the downer! Our youngest son is Autistic and is in the ASDprocess of being phased in full-time residential care. He had been going on a Monday, sleeping 11 nights in his own flat and then coming here for a weekend visit. They test him on a weekly basis for C19 and unfortunately, he tested positive. They let us know yesterday morning. It’s a mystery how he got it though. His care team haven’t tested positive and being Autistic he doesn’t socialise with anyone else in his unit, so who knows. He seems to be okay and not showing any symptoms, but they are keeping a close eye on him. All very distressing. He was supposed to be coming home next week to have dental surgery, but that’s all put on the back burner for now. Looks like he’ll be on ‘lock-down’ until the end of March. The amazing thing is that for a person, because of his condition doesn’t accept changes easily he seems to somehow understand what is going on. We are very proud of him.

On the upside though, my father-in-law received his 1st vaccine jab on Tuesday. Which was a great relief for everyone.

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Then this morning we awoke to this scene:IMG_20210114_104851004_HDR It was expected, but not the amount that we have. At the time of writing (12:15) there looks to be about 4″ to 5″ at least. It seems to be getting a bit lighter and may even turn to rain later in the day. Not sure when it started.  I had to get up for a drink of water at around 5:00 and there was nothing then, so it must have come down quickly after then.

It’s that time again …


Tonight is the ‘works’ Christmas Party night. They’re going for a Christmas meal and dance at a local venue, all paid for by tChampagne-Glass-Remix-4-by-Merlin2525he boss. I’m not going for the full evening as social events are not my thing. I am not the biggest fan of Christmas either, so having a party with people I only see for a couple of hours a week, to celebrate Christmas, is possibly not going to be the fantastic fun time everyone tells me it will be. I will of course do my best to give the impression that I am enjoying myself and laugh at all the old jokes, but deep inside, I’ll be clockwatching.

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I don’t get the whole idea of ‘compulsory enjoyment’. By that I mean, people seem scroogeto tell me to “just enjoy yourself” and “it will be fun” or “it’ll be good”. It’s as if they know what I like better than I do. But I’m sorry to say, they don’t! And if I say that I’m not going to enjoy myself or have fun, then out comes one of the most over used phrases “Bah, humbug!” Someone even call me a “Grinch” but as I’ve never seen the film I had no response.

So I’m out for an hour between 7pm and 8pm, on a day that the first snows of winter are set to arrive (or so the BBC Weather-planks tell us). Wish me luck.

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.

Better not speak to soon …


Well, the weather has not been as bad here as was forecasted. We had a bit of snow first thing yesterday morning, but it had gone within an hour or so. This morning there was more, but most of that has gone now. We keep getting the odd 10 minute shower, but we’ve had nothing like what seems to have been happening in other places. Looks like we might be in for another shower in the next hour (15:00 now). Some rather ominous grey clouds seem to be drifting in from the North East.

Now although, our weather has not been bad, in the five mile drive between here and Wetherby this morning, I did run into quite a heavy shower of snow, which  needed the wipers on at double speed to clear the windscreen. Bearing that in mind, you would think that motorists would drive with  a little more caution than usual. Not here they don’t. The road, a single carriageway, has the national speed limit along most of the route, only dropping to 40mph as you approach the roundabouts. This speed limit appears not to apply to some drivers. On the longest straight stretch, I was overtaken by two cars going at least 70mph and probably more. I have no idea why they need to go at that speed at all, especially as when I got to the roundabout, they were still waiting move on! I joke with K*** that it is ’… because their cars are bigger and more expensive than mine, that they in front of mine …’ but it could be true.

It’s 15:20 and those grey clouds have delivered. It’s gone from sunny to heavy snow. But now, P1020181only 5 minutes later and it’s stopped again! It was heavy enough to give a covering to the car though. Its strange, because the sun is coming out now and the sky is once again blue. It’s very confusing to an old ditherer like me. Still, the youngest lad will be in his element. He loves watching it snow. He’ll flit from room to room, looking out of the windows, just to make sure that it is snowing everywhere. It can be so funny to watch him at times like this. He should horse-riding today but I wonder if he has gone. It is one of his favourite activities, but he hates getting rain on his face so we are hoping that it will be different with the snow. You can never tell.

I bit the bullet …


I completed the form, citing mid April 2017 as my leaving date and emailed it off to HR. I then composed, recomposed, deleted, recomposed again my email to my service head. Then took a deep breath and sent it. I believe the exhalation of that deep breath was quite audible. I had done it, now wait for the backlash. I had decided that I would tell him that I had made my decision ‘after a good deal of talking with family and friends and a recent disappointment on the job front‘ which I hoped would provoke queries about my looking for another post. It didn’t. The reply was basically ‘keep me informed‘.

Within about thirty to forty minutes, I received an email back from our HR explaining that that they could not register my interest for 2017 as the scheme was ending 31 March this year! There was no indication of it being extended for next year. This left me with the embarrassing task of re-emailing my service head to retract my original. Not a fun task.

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The first few flakes of snow hit us last evening. There was a very light covering where we live, but from the plethora of photos on Facebook, you would have though nobody had seen it before. Lots of people saying how wonderful it was to see snow, but they won’t be saying it if they can’t get to work in the morning or when their car won’t start. They won’t be saying it when the car can’t get up the hill or slides back down. I wonder if they’ll be now asking where the grit/salt bin has gone. Went missing last year and nobody really bothered. Maybe they will now.

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I thought I would post this picture. K*** likes hearts. We have a number of them dotted around the house in various formats from wicker work to rustedP1010820 iron to beads on a wire. Now I’m a bit of a knitter, and I realised that we did not have a heart that had been knitted. This could be a long story if I went into the full details, but I will cut it short. I found a pattern  for a knitted heart shape in a magazine which I thought would look good. So in keeping with the colour scheme of the room, I went to work on creating a heart out of wool. It was quite easy, and knitted up quite quickly. Only problem was that it curled up at the sides. I had the idea that if I knitted two, sewed them together and plumped it up with a bit of stuffing it would look better. I think it works.

Why does snow make people silly


It’s the silly drivers that really get my back up. I drove my son, who’s not been driving too long, to Wetherby this morning. The side roads in the village were, as expected, about 4 inches deep with the snow. The main road, which is a bus route was much better, but still tricky as the cleared snow had packed down before the salt had time to do its job. Once up on the access road things were a little better, but that’s when you met up with the stupid people. It is only about 4 miles to Wetherby, but in that space of time I saw a Private Hire car, a white van, a mini-bus and two other cars and not one had their headlights on. Amazing. Coming back I saw another white van, same again, no lights only this time, the driver had only cleared the driver’s side of the windscreen. The passenger side was still covered in snow.

It’s not only drivers that are bewildering sometimes. The number of pedestrians that were walking in the road, rather than on the pavement was astonishing. Everyone of them were wearing either Wellington’s or other kinds of boots. I had to ask myself why. Why put yourself in danger, walking  on the road, where vehicles could be slipping and sliding, when you could simply walk on the pavement. Are you worried that your boots might get wet? Do you think it safer?

Warmer ????


   Last nights snow did not amount to much at all. There was only about 1/2 an inch, but it was still enough to convince my line manager to dress down again. He’s not worn formal office wear since before Christmas. Tells us, he thinks he might get caught in the snow, and does not want to be wearing his office clothes. I can’t see it matters what clothes you wear in the snow, as long as you are warm. It has snowed for everyone else in the office, and no ones else has dressed down !!!! It’s the normal dress-down day tomorrow. I would not put it past him to wear his suit !!!

   All the files I was moving, at work last week got finished yesterday. Touchwood, no problems so far. What I should really do now, is copy those files onto a DVD, then delete them all, but I think I will wait a week or two. I’ll probably end up using a couple of my own DVDs, as it would take too much time and effort to order some. It is not as if I’m short of them.

   Mrs H has bought some paint for the kitchen. Looks like I’ll be doing the ceiling on Saturday, and possibly a wall or two. Fun fun fun !!! Living room looks weird at the moment. We have large samples of wallpaper sellotaped to the wall …… just to see what it looks like. This could be a long job. I’ve been having a look at the staircase. Could be that, I will be covering that in wallpaper too !!! I enjoy wallpapering though, much more than painting. I like to get the joins perfect, and usually succeed.

A little more snow ….


   Quite a shock when I went out to the car park at 4:30 this afternoon. We had a light covering of snow. To make matters worse, it was already beginning to freeze on the car. It is now around 10:45pm, and we have a good inch or so covering. It is very thin snow. The type that looks like rain, but it is not washing the snow away.

   I seem to be quite tired at the moment. I don’t know whether it is the stress of driving in this bad weather,or if it’s just things in general. Everything seems to be hard work. I’m not depressed, at least I don’t think so, just tired.

Ice …….


Well much of the snow seems to have disappeared, only to be replaced with with ice ! Here’s a thought, why is it called ‘Black Ice’, when it is actually transparent ? Coming out of the parking area this morning was okay, then I hit the road. That was the first tricky part, straightening up. Then at the end of the road, I began to slow down, well before the junction, but it was very close, and when I dd have to break a little, I felt the back wheels slide. It was all fine then, until I got to the work car park. M*** the handy-man, was at the gate warning people that the car park was very icy and slippery. I don’t know, but it may have been more practical, if he had spread some the grit we have. It does not need much, just enough to give a little purchase. We shall see how the drive home goes.

Saturday and all is well


   A good day, all in all. Youngest has been in a great mood all day. No problems and no medication. It is strange, because the weekend before he went on respite, he could not have done without it. Now was that because he knew he was going, and that was his way of rebelling ? The reports we get back, always tell us how he has been, and they don’t mince words. If he has had any bad days, they let us know. Interesting though.

   Went to the supermarket today. Just me. Youngest would not go, so Mrs H stopped at home. The main roads were snow free, and the car-park was not too bad, just a bit slushy. What annoys me are the other shoppers. They just seem to get in the way. Many of them seem to think that they are the only ones in the store !!! An example: I wanted to get a couple of light bulbs. I found the aisle where they were kept, but I could not get near them. There was a couple, and what seemed like 8 or 9 kids, all stood there, checking out the bulbs. Why does it take so many of the same family to look at items on a shelf. It was not as if they were young kids, no they must have been between 10 and 18 !!!

   Mrs H wants to decorate the house !!!!! We have started today, in the kitchen. We have a wallpaper border running around the top and middle of the kitchen wall. Problem is, that Mrs H wants the border to come off, and the border is washable paper !!!! See where I am going here ? It took 3 hours of scraping and wetting, and there is only half done !!! Not fun at all.

…. and it still goes on


The roads were a lot better this morning, but for some reason, very few drivers seemed to want to drive at faster than 40mph ! The M1 was completely clear of snow, and had been well gritted. The slip roads were not fully clear of snow, but the main carriageways were.

Spent most of the evening last night, trying to pack away the Christmas decorations. It is at times like that, when you have to question, why we do it! We spend a whole day putting them up and another day taking them down, all in the name of ‘Festive Cheer’ or something.

I have my ‘Driver Re-education’ course tomorrow. That is if it is still on. I will give them a ring this afternoon to see. It still irks me that I got caught for 6 miles over the speed limit, then you see all te bad driving over the past week.

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 !!!

Back to work …


   Well, that’s the Christmas part over with. It has not been a bad one really. Christmas Day went as well as could be expected, and the good thing was that no-one stopped too long. Although, at around 7:30pm, I did hear someone mention ‘What game do you want to play ??’ Thankfully, nobody wanted to. We went to the in-laws on Saturday. I was expecting the worse, with the youngest. He had been a bit stressed on Christmas Day, after opening his presents. But come Boxing Day, he was great. No problems at all. A bit tense whilst I was driving home, but were all the same way, what with the ice and the fog and the dark, and Mrs H gasping at every turn in the road !! Sunday saw Mrs H at work, and another good day with the youngest. No medication all day, and no problems at all. Same today, no meds, and no problems.

   Back to work for me tomorrow. but it is only three days to work, and then I’m off for the New Year. Mind you, D*** is off until the middle of next week, which leaves P*** and K**** as the supervisors, or more to the point, P*** as the supervisor and K****, the assistant. We all know who will take the lead there!! What worries me, is that one day, some of the trouble causers, will turn against her, just for the hell of it.

   Most of the snow has gone here. I hear that it could get bad again mid week. It seems to be getting colder tonight, or it could be that I’m just getting old. My Australian friend, says that it was really hot on Christmas Day over there. Did I feel sorry for her ……… I’ll let you guess that.

One more day to go


   Well it’s 11:20pm, eldest is out drinking somewhere, and the snow is falling. Looks like a good couple of inches already, and there seems to be no let up at all. It’s going to be a fun drive into work in the morning. To make matters worse, I have to go to the supermarket first thing. I need to get some sprouts and parsnips, for Friday. We went tonight, but the supermarket just did not have any. I could not believe it. Run out of sprouts at Christmas !!!

   Should finish a little earlier tomorrow. Although, I don’t have much time built up, so I will not be finishing earlier than 3pm. Most people seem to want to get off about 2pm, or before !! I don’t think that will happen, as we will still have a service to maintain. I suppose that is one of the downsides of working in the Public Sector. The public expect you to be there when they want you.

Today it snowed …..


   The snow had been falling for nearly 1 minute, before that fateful cry came from within the ranks … ‘Can we go early … It’s snowing ???’ It is the same every time. Snow only has to be mentioned, and there are some people wanting to leave early. Tomorrow, those same people will spend most of the day, watching the weather through the few windows we have in the office, and bemoaning the fact that management will not let us go home. Well is you like your home so much, LEAVE !!!!!

   To be honest, it’s 22:40 and there is a good 1 inch of snow. We probably will not get much more overnight, but you never can tell. I’ll take it easy driving tomorrow. It’s motorway for 9/10 of the journey, so the road will not be so bad, once I get out of the village. I’ll wager good money, that the car park at work is like an ice-rink. It usually is.

   No problems with the system today. However, one of the major parts of the upgrade, still has to be started. I am supposed to run a Windows ’Scheduled Task’, but our IT department, in their infinite wisdom, has disabled that particular function. Thanks guys, you really know how to make things easy for the rest of us. What really bugs me, is that technology is supposed to make work more efficient and productive. But IT departments do not seem to think that way. I’m convinced, that if the IT department had their way, then we would not have computers, just in case we caused any problems !!!!!