Hate is a big word that is used a lot these days. I often can be heard to say “I hate Christmas …“I don’t hate it, I just hate all the ‘extra stuff’ that jogs alongside it. You know, things like ‘Celebrity Christmas’ quizzes or game shows. All done for a charity of course, but you kind of know the ‘Celebs’ are not doing it for free. They mainly take part in these shows as a reminder to the public, that they are ‘still around…‘ Still, Christmas only lasts from around the middle of October until January the first, or is that me being a little cynical?
So the cards (what few I’m giving) are written and delivered/posted. The gift for the works ‘Secret Santa‘ has been decided on and purchased. I think nearly all the gifts we are giving this year have been bought and wrapped. Decorations are up. We don’t go overboard, and usually have the same things every year. Youngest came home with a fantastic handmade wreath which he had made himself. Looks amazing and because it is not made from any organic material, it will last for many years to come.
We have decided this year not to give each other a present. I had been thinking about this for a couple of years, although I never mentioned it, but it was K*** that came up with the idea and I had to agree. Seems a little pointless asking each other what we want for Christmas, when we can just go a buy it when we want.
I’m dreading work tomorrow (as is usual.) I have this idea that the manager is going to insist that staff wear face coverings again. We don’t wear them in the kitchen, but I think she will insist that staff wear one when in the restaurant. That will cause a lot of ‘moans and groans‘ again. It’s understandable that it is uncomfortable and inconvenient, but complaining does not do anything. The cafe is open today as there is a ‘Dickensian Christmas Market’ in Wetherby. They do not usually open on Sunday, but the staff get to dress-up and it’s a bit of fun. I do think they are missing a trick here. Sunday is quite a busy day in Wetherby and to be open, even for just a few hours may prove more profitable than some of the other days. All the other cafes (bar one) in Wetherby are open on Sunday, so competition maybe a little bit stiff, but once word gets around, it could be worth while.
One of the things that was enjoyed during those early years was the local pub. For us in the Main Kitchen, our favourite port of call was The George. It was quite easy to get to, just a matter of out of the kitchen, through the loading bay, cross the road and we were there. The staff in the Staff/Private Patients Kitchen tended to head to their nearest pub which was The Town Hall Tavern. Both were Tetley houses which was the only local brewery in those days. It tended to only be weekends and birthdays that staff enjoyed a pint or two in either of these two pubs.
We normally only got a half hour lunchbreak, but often people started early and turned the half hour into a full hour. It wasn’t officially allowed, but we seemed to get away with it and I was a regular partaker. It was on one of these lunchtime forays, that I got to know the ‘new girl’ a bit better. She was called K***, and someone invited her to the pub one Sunday lunch. That ‘someone’ then said they could not go, and totally out of character I said I would like to take her for a drink. We got on quite well, although I thought she was a little posh at the time. Her father was the senior Pharmacist which was a position that was Consultant level. One lunchtime led to another and before long, I plucked up the courage to ask her out in the evening. More evenings out ensued complimented by full days out. I was on a different planet. She was my first proper girlfriend and it was always going to end a certain way. Early November 1978 we were married. We bought a house in Bramley, just off Raynville Road. Life and work was really good.
However, by the middle of 1979 it became obvious that we could not work together in that kitchen. We were always on different shifts. An example would be K*** starting at 6:00am and me starting at 11:45am or the other way around. Days off together seemed impossible as the then manager could not afford to have his two ‘star cooks’ (his words!) off together. We decided to talk the the Catering Manager about the issue. As luck would have it, one of the trainees that started with me had left his job in the Staff Kitchen, so there was a vacancy there. The so called interview went my way, possibly because I was the only applicant and I was soon installed in a different job. Days off were beginning to happen and I could often swap shifts so we started and finished around the same time. Everything was back on track.
About six months ago, I was preparing our Sunday meal when I had an idea. We were having tray bake (we don’t do traditional Sunday lunch type food) which was basically roughly chopped peppers, courgettes, onions with new potatoes and chicken thighs all mixed with olive oil and crushed garlic. I’ve got a picture somewhere but not sure where. Anyway, to the point. I was just about to throw the bit of the pepper that you don’t use, in the bin when I wondered if the seeds would grow. I’ve never had much luck with growing stuff from seed, but I thought I had nothing to lose. Within a week, the seeds had started to grow, and within a month I had nine small plants. Now six months on I have nine larger plants, with flowers and the first showing of some peppers. This has totally amazed me as I never even thought he seeds would grow. We shall see what we will get.
Today is the first day of the 2018 “Leeds Festival” or as it is known locally “Leeds Fest”. It is one of the large music festivals that happen over the year and it runs at the same time as the “Reading Festival”. Both have the same acts over three days. Leeds is held at Bramham Park, which is extremely close to where we live. I have been back in 2011 and 2012 as local residents are allowed to purchase concessionary for the whole three days as part of a compensation pack. What happens is that the organisers donate a number of tickets to the parish council of Bramham, Clifford and Thorner (who are the most affected) and they sell them to the residents at a vastly discounted price. I think this year, the tickets were in the region of £40.00 for the three days in what is called the Guest Area, which is a much better camp-site then the general public get. So we get a few days of traffic disruption, a bit of disturbance during the night from the music and the local area gets some extra funding. As mentioned, I did got to the 2011 festival, and have great memories of dancing to Madness and seeing Ed Sheeran as an up and coming newcomer. There is a YouTube video of a band called “Bring Me The Horizon” or BMTH, finishing their set with a massive ‘circle pit’. The sound is pretty bad but, I can say that I was in the midst of it and it was as scary as it looks. From what I can remember, I was towards the bottom right when you look at the video. The guy next to me, at the time said I was in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ and advised me that the safest thing to do was to run !! K*** says that it would kill me if I did it now … it nearly killed me then!
I had a ticket for 2012, but the weather was very wet, and I was not that desperate to see many of the bands so I gave most of them a miss. Although I did get to see Foo Fighters, The Cure and Florence And The Machine, so not all that bad.
And now, in time honoured fashion for ‘Leeds Fest’ … it’s raining !
Another successful Sunday with the youngest, and yet again, no medication. That is three Sundays in a row. Just wish that it could happen on Saturday too. Now that would be something.
We think we have a small leak in the hot water cylinder. There seems to be water escaping around the thermostat. However the people we pay to fix things like this do not see it as an emergency, and are not coming out until Wednesday. Fingers crossed that it does not get worse then !!
I have a few days off work next week. I’m in on Monday and Friday, but mid week, I’m on leave. Youngest goes away on respite for a few days tomorrow, so it is a good time to take off. The eldest is 20 on Wednesday. He is coming up for his drama, but he has to be back at Uni on Thursday morning. Mrs H is not taking it too well I think. She was hoping he would come straight home after his lecture on Wednesday, but he wants to have a drink with his pals first. That may not go down too well if he is not home for tea.
It is quite a big week for the IT at work. Our building is moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003 on Thursday. I know what your saying, with Office 2010 due out soon, why are we still running 2003 versions. Apparently it is all down to licensing, suitability, time factors, or deployment issues, depending on who you speak to. What they don’t explain, is that it is all down to staffing issues !!! Still it will be good to get away from the limitations of Notes.
Sunday was just Sunday. Eldest stayed in his room with his girlfriend until 13:20. Then he suddenly realised that his best friend from school (JH) had just parked his motorbike outside. A little bit of a panic there, with the GF rushing to get dressed. He is a decent lad is JH. Easy to talk to and get on with, and always greets you as an old friend, which is nice. He took the eldest out for a spin on his bike. I can see that scaring both a little.
Usual drop off in Leeds today. 25 minutes from door to City centre. Not bad at peak time. I then found a quicker way to the office.
A friend from work has followed me on Twitter. I don’t know how she found me, and I did not get chance to ask. It would be interesting to know. I think she must have spotted me following one of the celebs.
Here’s a thing though. An old friend from the hospital messaged me on facebook this morning. I did not twig who it was at first, as I did not recognise her surname. It was only when I had a look at her profile, that I realised that I did remember her. I bet my brother remembers her too. I gave my email. I hope she gets in touch again, apart from facebook friending me (is that a real word).
All my banking and ordering up to date. I can now say goodnight.
Well if that’s my weekend, it all gone. Has it been a good one ? I don’t know. It’s just been the weekend. I’ve not done much really. A bit of ‘taxiing’ yesterday, oh and washed the big car. I’ll put mine through the car wash this week sometime. Made a start on my ‘Memories’ thing. That is not going to be a daily project, just when I get around to it, I’ll add a little more.
A normal Sunday today. A bit of washing, a bit of ironing a bit of cooking and nothing much else. I did manage to install Skype on my PC, and get it running. I have to use the cam mike though. It will not work with the head-set that came with the web-cam though. I managed to have a quick chat with Nina using Skype. It was a bit like MSN, so it seems to be quite a reasonable chat client in that respect. I have yet to try it with video, so that will be interesting.
I just missed my friend tonight. As I was signing out of MSN, they logged in. By the time I had logged back in, they had gone. Never mind.
It is going to be a short week this week. I’m on leave Friday and the following Monday, so it will be a 4-4-4 fortnight. It’s the last two days of this years leave, so I have to get them taken.
No suit tomorrow. I am going to wear a jacket and trouser separates. It will make a change.