Good start to the day …


We have been hoping that our youngest can come home for a weekend visit today. He has been in ‘lock-down’ at his care home since he went back on 28th December due to him and others testing positive for the virus. The ‘lock-down’ on his unit was lifted on the 22nd and preparations have been in progress since the 10th.

So this morning, K*** and me had our Lateral Flow Test. Not a particular pleasant event, but the result came back negative. This (I believe) means that neither of us have the virus and that our son can come home for the weekend. So two great positives there.

Then, K*** got a text message from the doctors say that she can now book her test. Another great one. However, that was soon short lived as twenty minutes later she got another text from the doctors apologising for getting it wrong. Apparently the doctors had been given incorrect information. But here’s the interesting thing, she was half way booking online at the centre I had mine and decided that she would wait for the doctors to call. When the second message came through, she went back online and booked her appointment without a hitch. All a bit mysterious.

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I am giving the desktop version of WordPress another go. I had given up with the app because of issues I was not happy with. One of the issues is with the way when the app opens, it opens with the last post you have written with the app. In my opinion, it should open at a blank page with the option in the file menu to open a previous post. It gets a bit annoying if you create a couple of posts via the browser or Blogpad on the iPad, and then use the Desktop app and it opens an old post. In this (ver 6.10.0) and previous versions opening a new post is done via the Window menu which is a strange way of working. I have mentioned this in the forums and the answer I received was that the app was still a ‘work in progress’. There doesn’t appear to be much difference that I can see from the last few versions but I will persevere and see where it goes.

It had to improve …


It started when I got home Friday afternoon. I left early as K*** was taking her mother to an appointment and I needed to be home in time for R*** coming home. He’d been on respite since Tuesday and has been getting home the previous week at about16:40. So I needed to ensure that I was home in good time to allow for problems on the motorway.

The guy who had done our rendering was supposed to have been to clear up, but he can’t have done much because it was hardly noticeable. What I did see though was that he had dumped some of the rubble he had cleared in the garden waste bin. Working for the Councils Waste Management, I know that he should not have done that and that we could have our garden waste collection stopped. I managed to get most of it out and into an old compost bag which I can get rid of later.

So back to being home early for R***. What a waste of time! It was 17:40 when the taxi finally dropped him off with the drivers excuse that there had been a ‘serious accident at the roundabout.’ Now this was a blatant lie. When I got home, I checked the travel details on the BBC website, which showed that traffic on the motorway was running fine with no delays in our area. I continued to check as it can give an indication of the time that R*** would arrive home. There were no issues at all. It was a lie. K*** is going to check what time he was picked up, and she will take it from there.

The thing with R*** is that when his routine is compromised, the effect comes out in his behaviour. It’s one part of his Autistic condition that we always try to prepare for. Doesn’t always work though. He started to get a bit tetchy at around 21:00, shouting and playing his computer at full volume. We gave him some medication to settle him, which seemed to work. He became more his usual self. Went off to bed at the usual time and it was all as it should be.

Then disaster! At about 01:00 we heard him shouting, not too loudly, but loud enough to realise he was not dreaming. K*** went to see him and called me to look at his computer. Now I think I have mentioned this before, but R*** sleeps with both his TV and computer on. His TV is on a specific channel and his computer has some YouTube videos on a loop. Both are very quiet, but he always has them on. What happened was that his computer was not working. It was completely dead with no power at all. I checked all the other power connections and they were working okay. So I changed the fuse in the plug for the computer and tried again. Nothing! Then without warning, his computer kicked back into life. All happy again. I could only surmise that the computer battery had completely discharged. It was either the fuse or more likely that the power cable had come loose from the machine.

By this time though R*** had gone into partial melt-down and K*** had given him some of his PRN medication. This really calms him down, but sometimes effects his sleep pattern. It was about 04:00 that he finally settled to sleep. A long night for all of us.

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Now after ‘The Curious Incident of Laptop in the Night’ to paraphrase, I began to worry about what would happen if his computer had not restarted and was broken. He does have another laptop that he takes when goes on respite, but that is for there. He just would not accept that he could use it at home. I began to think that my ‘old’ laptop could be upgraded to Windows 10. I bought a new one when Microsoft started to push Win 10 and reduced the mainstream support for Win 7. I did not want to upgrade my machine as there was some core software that I use, that was reported not to work in Win 10.

So, I bit the bullet and decided to upgrade the old machine to Win 10 and use it as an emergency machine. I knew it as going to take a couple of hours, but what I was not prepared for was the actual time it would take. It was 10:30 when I clicked the ‘Upgrade’ button and I sat for the next hour watching what was happening. I had been told that there was very user input, and that was correct. It finally finished installing leaving me with a workable system, just under eight and a half hours later!

I am now in the process of un-installing all the software that nobody would actually use. Could be another long day.

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A quick update on my early retirement bid. On the 7th, I emailed the pension company asking for a copy of my 2015/16 pension statement. The reply I got back was short and sweet telling me that the ‘… statements were being sent out everyday, in alphabetical order and I should hear in a couple of months …’ I was going to wait until Saturday and write a more detailed email to point out why I needed the statement now. So it came as a bit of a surprise when the post came on Saturday morning to find my 2015/16 pension statement had been sent. Date of printing … 7th June. Coincidence?

Almost time …


The title of this post refers to the fact that it is ‘almost time’ for me to return to work. The past three months recovery time are now at an end. As I mentioned before, I will be back at work from the 1st October. It is a phased return over four weeks loosely based on 50% of my normal hours over a four week period. The suggestion was that I should build up my time as one day week one, then two days week two etc etc until I was back to a full week on week five. I was not two happy with that so am going for a two, a three, a three then a four day week. I will have to monitor how I am feeling of course, but I suspect that I should be okay.

I’m tempted to make week four a three day week. It depends on both how I’m feeling and the way the work is going. A lot is happening behind the scenes with this new restructure and I may have to rethink how I’m going to change with it. There seems to be some jockeying for position within certain parts of the team, and I feel I may be missing out a bit. I was assured that I would not be ‘disadvantaged’ by the restructure, but the person who gave that assurance is not as influential as they used to be, in my opinion.

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Doing a little bit of ‘touch-up’ decorating today. What do I mean by that? Well a few weeks ago, we had new windows and external doors fitted doors. The fitters (as they called themselves, no fancy names here) were very good and the damage to the decorating was very very minimal. But of course there are some parts of the walls need a little maintenance, and that is what I am finishing today. It’s not a big job, just part of one of the walls in the kitchen needs a bit of paint to cover up the repair work. However, Mrs H has decided that ‘we’ need to put some edging down where the floor meets the units, to finish off the effect. So I looking to do some of that work today also. Another little job! They all mount up.

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** In my previous post, I made a suggestion that if anyone had any ideas how to improve this blog, they would be most welcome! To the commentor that suggested that “stopping writing would be a great start”, I have to say “Thanks but that is not the type of suggestion I was looking for!!! ” **

Weekend over ???


Yes it is over, and to be honest, I’m quite glad about it. It wasn’t the painting that was the problem, although that was stressful in itself, it was the problems with R. It must have been the new medication. Sunday was just as bad as Saturday. It just was not him, and he was so distressed. Mrs H rang his consultant on Monday morning, and explained just what he was like, and that we were very concerned. He did not settle down to sleep on Saturday, until gone half past one, and it was the same Sunday night. The consultant said that it was not a usual side effect, and to halve down the dosage, He was better last night, although still a bit agitated. He did settle to sleep earlier though. Mrs H says he was a ‘bit bouncy’ this morning, which usually means he was he was running up and down the room on his toes. If he is smiling or laughing, then we are fine. If he is holding his ears, then it indicates that he is getting upset,

I cannot help being a bit bemused at the comment “….not a usual side effect….”, He has never had that medication before, and ALL Autistic kids/people have different reactions to different things, how can anyone know what the side effects will be. Still, they appear to be listening to us.

Weekend comes early ….


   A couple of days off straddling the weekend, comes as a welcome break. Although more decorating is on the cards. This Dining room time its the dining room, and  aDining rooms you may be able to see, the colours are very strong to say the least. another problem, is the amount of furniture in this room. Against the other wall in here, is a drinks cabinet and a sideboard. Both of these will need to be moved, when I come to do that side of the room. This room poses many problems.

   I’m often quite amazed at the so called driving skills of some people. Three incidents, over the past three days have left me quite angry. On Tuesday, when I was turning right into the village, some half-wit decided to cut me up, by undertaking me on the turn. Tonight, the same idiot, passed me and another two cars, on the access road. We were doing at least 60 mph, when the clown decided to pass all three of us. He must have been doing at least 80mph. This morning, whilst travelling in the centre lane on the M1, I had left a two vehicle space, between me and the Mazda in front. This gap was then filled by another idiot, in one of those hybrid eco cars, who then proceeded to slow down quickly. I nearly had his battery in the front of my car, had I not had my wits about me. How on earth did these fools manage to pass any form of driving test ??? Or did they ? I read somewhere, that at anyone time, 17% of the vehicles on the road are either untaxed, unlicensed, or have uninsured or unqualified/banned drivers. Apparently that is a very conservative number.

Weekend … what weekend ?


   Well nothing much happened over the weekend. I did the run around with the Christmas presents, for my family, on Saturday. That took all of 2 hours. Great fun, I don’t think !!!

   Sunday at home, then into Leeds to pick up the eldest, who is stopping here for Christmas. He is going back on the 2nd or 3rd of January he says. Well his washing should be done by then !!! He has now dyed his hair RED !!!! Saying that, it was his Mum that dyed it. The jury is still out I’m afraid. At the moment, it looks like he has not washed out the make-up from the panto. I suppose it will grow on me.

   The scheduled routine on the computer, at work, that was supposed to run over Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening did not work. I had my doubts when the IT guy suggested running it from a batch file. I did everything I should. My PC was left switched on. We will see what the IT man has to say in the morning. I have a strong suspicion, that one of the staff, may have been logged in, and that may have caused the problem.

   I had a lot of printing to do today. Some of it I could have left for next week, but I thought I might as well get it done. About 3,500 printed pages, and there is still another 300 to do. Over the next couple of days, I’m going to try and get everything that needs doing this week, done. I do not want to do much at all on Thursday.

   I think, I have just about finished Christmas shopping now. Although, I’m sorely tempted to get some Grand Marnier. I’ve got 14 presents in total, which is not bad to say, i had no idea what to get.

   May not post tomorrow night. I think me and the eldest are going to the pub-quiz in the village. I also have to get my hair cut. I should have gone on Friday, but what with the bad weather, I thought I would leave it until Saturday. But Saturday came and went, and I could not really be bothered. It needs doing though, so it is either tomorrow or Wednesday.

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.

That was the weekend that was ….


   Another weekend over. Eldest was up for his drama rehearsal tonight. He should have been at the village hall for 7pm, but the bus failedLeeds Christkindelmarkt to turn up (hmmm). He did not want any food, as he had been to the German Christkindelmarkt in Millennium Square. It is an annual thing, and is very popular. Of course there are many who like to complain that it is ‘very expensive’ and ‘ a waste of money’, but I sometimes think, that it is just because some people are simply used to an English type of market.

   I have been asked to do both a poster and the ticket design for the panto. I did the ones for the Wind in The Willows play in the summer, and I think I did Snow Queen & Wand them too well. This time the panto is The Snow Queen, and trying to find a graphic to put on the tickets is difficult. All the images of a ‘Snow Queen’ seem to be mainly ice blue and rather too serious for a panto. However, I did find one, which I am going to work on. Wish me luck, I think I might need it on this one !!

   Work should be interesting this week. Fingers crossed, the software testing should go ahead on Tuesday. I really do not have a lot of faith in our IT department having everything in place. Most of the problems we seem to have with our main system, is due to a lack of understanding by our IT. However it always is the same …… the software house blame our IT, and our IT blames the software house. Then we play this ‘cat and mouse’ game until our IT realise it’s their fault and blame the software house for not being specific enough. Come on guys, you’ve been doing this for over ten years now. Is it not time that you worked together?

   Youngest had another Sunday without any medication again. Another day of laughing and good humour, with no incidents at all !!!! Mind you as Mrs H said, he could not have done without it yesterday, and we both know he will need it first thing tomorrow !!! So was Saturday’s issues a left over from Friday ???

The end is nigh ……


   That of course refers to the weekend being nigh. It seems to have been quite a long four days. I think the late night on Wednesday did not help, although, I did not feel as tired on Thursday morning as I did this morning. I suppose it’s catch up.

   Eldest came home tonight, which was a surprise. When I say ‘came home’ what I really meant, was that he arrived about 7:30 had a bowl of soup, and got changed into his fancy dress outfit (a pirate, Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for) before going out to a party, with his ‘best’ friend in tow. We have no knowledge if he is sleeping here tonight, or what he is doing tomorrow. I am supposed to go with the flow. Now I don’t know whether it’s my autistic tenancies, but I don’t do ‘going with the flow’. I like, nay need, to know what is happening. I always have been like that. Even as a youth, when we went out for the evening, I always needed to know which pubs we were going to, or at least where we were going to start. I need to be able to follow a plan.

   I tried to buy my car tax online again today. Only to be told, that as my insurance is due to expire soon, I have to go to the Post Office to buy the disc. Now that is 21st century Britain for you. Here I am, debit card at the ready but without any success. so now I’ll have to make a trip to the nearest Post Office, next Saturday. I may try again, mid week. My new insurance starts on the 24th, so I’ll try then.

   Not heard anything about the speeding yet, although it is probably still early. I’m not sure how long they have before they inform you. I hear it can be up to 28 days from the date of offence. I think it will be a £60.00 fine and 3 points. Just wish I knew.

Well if that was the weekend ……


   Not a lot happened this weekend really. Youngest got through the day without any medication again. There was a couple of close calls, but when I look back on it, it was probably my fault. He probably just wanted his space.

   Eldest came up for his drama rehearsal this afternoon. He was helping out in the hall this afternoon, and brought his friend B** back for dinner, which was nice. He seems to quite a decent lad, and I think S**** looks up to him a lot. No-one went to the pub tonight. I was already with my coat on when S**** sent a text. However we both went for one.

   I’m dropping my car off at 09:00 for it’s service tomorrow. P*** T has kindly agreed to pick me up and bring me into work. It is not too far to walk, about 45 minutes, but if the weather is bad…… All I need now, is someone to take me back at 4pm. If P*** can’t do it, I may ask A*****, if she is in.

That’s Friday over


   It may seem silly going back to work for one day before the weekend, but I did manage to get quite a bit done. Our ‘corporate email’ is in the process of migrating from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003, and it was our offices turn this week. Of course, all the Numpties found it a struggle, which was only to be expected. From what I hear, the so called ‘super-user’, who was supposed to be able to show everyone where they were going wrong, was nowhere to be seen. I suppose, he/she/it spent most of the time up with senior management. Not out of necessity, you understand, but out of ambition. The problem most of the staff have, and it has long been a bit of a bug bear for me, is that they do not have the wherewithal to find things out. They do not have the skill set, to be able to utilise the ‘help’ pages. They can only function, if someone tells them what to say/do etc. For example, one of the fools has spent all day, trying to send emails, whilst working offline !!!! A quick type of ‘unable to send emails’ into the help box revealed the answer !!!

Bit of a break….


The youngest is away on respite this weekend, so it’s a bit of a break. He went off this afternoon, and will be back on Monday around 10:00ish. Mrs H has a day off on Sunday, so we have the weekend all to ourselves.

I’m not sure about this new theme. I quite like the plain look, but I don’t think that this is the right one. I’ll checkout some the others over the next couple of days.

Spike is off for a week, so that’s good. I think we will enjoy his holiday a lot more than he does.

Nothing much else really.

Yah ….. nine days and no work …


Today went as well as can be expected. It appears G*** is not too happy with me. Seems to thinks she has done something to upset me !!!! How long have you got ???? If she thinks she can p**s up by back and get away with it, then think on. I’ll bide my time. Even though nobody takes it serious, I will not forget that.

I’m now on holiday for a week. Nine days if you count the two weekends. I don’t think we will go far, just have odd days out. But it will be a break.

I’m going to fix up S****’s computer tomorrow. There is not too much to do, but I am going to install some new ink in his printer. Mind you, it may be wise if I let him install it himself. It’s not been used for a least two weeks, so the ink that in may have dried up a bit. I’ll then have to check the web site and order some more. Now do I have it sent to his flat, or have it sent here ??? I don’t know how the post works there. An ink package would not fit in that wall box, and I don’t know if the postman can get inside to put post in their pigeon hole.

I had to get an extension cable for him. My idea was to buy 4 or 5 metres of 3 core, 13amp cable from B & Q, and use the trailing socket that I bought before. I know it’s orange, but I didn’t think that would matter. At first I could not find blank cabling, so, unusually for me, I asked one of the assistants. They promptly advised me that it would cost me £16.45 for 4 metres, but I could get a ready made 8 metre extension lead for £9.45 !!!! How does that work ? The guy saved me £7.00. How’s that for customer service.

Youngest seems to be a lot happier tonight. No problems so far, however it is 10 minutes to 11, and he does not seem to want to turn his computer or his TV off !! No sound of any ‘droning’ so far. Now 11:05, and he has settled down, PC and TV off, all serene. This is a good sign !! I bet the little bu**er is up at 6am though!!

I think that’s about it. May not be much to say over the next week, but we will see.

All done..sort of


Well the reports got done. I tried doing the ‘fiddly bits’, but I did not know what ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’ actually wanted me to do. Juggling the spreadsheet about, using financial controls is not my kind of thing. So after consulting the boss, I left the job ‘unmolested’. Anyway, neither of the people for whom the report was for, was in this morning. So not really my fault. I got a couple of Spike’s reports done too. That shut him up. I don’t think he expected me to have them done. I’ll get the permit one done first thing tomorrow. I did learn how to create ‘Dynamic Ranges’ in Excel and how to create a User Defined Function, so not a wasted day then.

I’m getting really pissed off with that person I mentioned in an earlier post. I don’t know if they are getting worse, or if I’m just picking things up that I would normally not bother about. It was funny to watch her going though R***’s desk this morning, looking for things she can take when he leaves. Could wait until the guy’s gone at least.

Big man has got the Auto to do next week. He seems confident and he should be okay. I’ll make sure the Reg 10 copies are in plenty supply. He’ll have to make sure that only valid ones go. I reckon there could be a lot that get binned.

It’s dress down tomorrow. I really don’t know if I can be bothered with it. I am not comfortable wearing jeans and things at work. There is not that work/home separation when you don’t get changed at then end of the day.

Holidays next week. Sunny Blackpool here we come. It is strange to think that IMG_2342Blackpool is one of the most deprived towns in England. Where does all the tourist cash go ? Everything seems to be a little more expensive there than here, and the place will be heaving over the Easter Weekend. Saying that, when you look at some of the shops away from the promenade, it is very depressing.

It will be a strange feeling, without the eldest. We have been away without him once before, but not for a full week. He should be fine if he does not have any ‘emotional crisis’s’.  We just hope everything will be okay, and that he will be sensible and mature. Fingers crossed then.

Weekends all gone….


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.