Monday, December 31, 2012

Coffee with Flocky

Nice change of scenery and a few coffees and a chat and a few beers on the way home - all good stuff.  It's nice to get out and about.  New Year's Eve already - where has this year gone?  It's been one hell of a year and it all looked so different this time last year.  Here's last year's post.  

You can't tell (of course) what will happen and whilst some of it was inevitable some was openly speculative and didn't quite turn out like I had expected.  I will again go for some more lifestyle changes as soon as the next few weeks and this mountain of food is eaten.  It will be a combination of a number of things I think.  Almost certainly the Low Carb diet and this time with some exercise and also using the juicer too as I used it a lot but then it was put away and didn't get used at all for a couple of months.  

As for friends, family and work well that is a different matter and needs to be worked on speedily as I can't get my head around it at the moment.  I feel I'm doing the wrong things for the right reasons and vice versa and my usual logic and thoughtful approach isn't working as emotions are getting in the way of my decision making.  

2013 will I hope be a healthy one and I'm just trying to work on the other stuff too to see if it can be better than 2012 - let's hope there aren't as many traumatic times ahead.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bump bump bump

Bumping along the bottom and I've been somewhat down this Christmas - even been noticed by some people that I'm not my normal happy cheery self and indeed I'm not.  I'm kind of in a strange old place really as I have many roads that I can choose to go (Oh sounded like Stairway to Heaven for a moment).  Of course you can't predict the future and you can't always work out what is the best thing to do.  If you did, well we'd all be rich and happy and satisfied with our lot.

I had the most awful vision as I climbed into bed last night, it was of my father dying and lying helpless in his bed at the Hospital and it really took me aback and unsettled me.  Somewhere there was a shift in me last night that brought that on - I believe it was from a couple of programmes that were on TV and it sort of flashed in front of me and made me quite anxious and upset for a short while.

It's New Year's Eve tomorrow and I'm hoping that I can finally get some sort of cut off point and sort myself out.  I have all these ideas and opportunities and yet I know that until I get the stuff that's messing in my head out in the open and discussed I won't be committed to making proper and well founded decisions.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wonder when

My mobile phone will be fixed.  I'm using the old trusty Nokia - you know the one that lasts for a week on a charge and allows you to talk to people!  :-)  The other one died when I was at my mums and looked pretty terminal when I took it into the shop last Saturday.  Let's hope that they can fix the damn thing.

Lots of people around tonight for a party which will be fun (I hope).  Still communicating in mono syllables here at the moment and will need to tackle that pretty soon.  Pretty fed up in myself though - not sure but have been very flat this Christmas.

Just got news that another relative has died this year - that makes three (excluding my dad) and this one also died of Pancreatic Cancer.  I'll write a little note to his widow - I hate it when you don't know and send a Christmas Card to someone who's died.

Have had assurances that the Piano will go in January - let's hope so and also hope that the temperature change by sticking it from house to garage won't overly affect it.  There was no way we could get 14 around the table (tonight) with the Piano in situ.

I'm just having a breather ready to commence preparing the meal for tonight.  I just need to go and work out a schedule for that. It should be easy as it is sit down and easy to prepare stuff, Italian Anti Pasta, Seafood, Cheese, Cold Meats and that sort of thing.  I think I may be cooking some Chilli and some Lasagne but need to find out from Mrs. F.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Shattered indeed and also not in a great sense of humour this morning either.  I do tend to work at keeping everything going during the day and do whatever is needed in terms of cooking, drinks and so on.  Today, whilst there are people in the house I think I've actually only had a one word exchange and it's gone midday!  Today is a rest day as we have another day full on tomorrow with our friends over.  There's plenty of food to be eaten and my smelly cheese is lined up ready to be tackled too.  Plenty of beer in the garage as well.

I will see if I can hold back my current feeling that I want to rip someone's head off :-)  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve - Bam that came around quickly

Last year we had a good Christmas as I recall but tinged with some sadness as we knew dad would be unlikely to see this one.  He was recovering from a massive operation to sort out the infections he was getting regularly and whilst this did give him a little respite and probably prolonged his life I'm not sure how he would have balanced that out himself.  I suppose at least we didn't have his death at Christmas because of this.

I'm marching off down to the Hospital to get my blood test done - I admit to engineering this in this way because I'd gotten into a habit of going at Christmas time and it means the place is almost empty.  I will go in a short while, get my test done, wander back to the Greengrocer and pick up some odds and ends and then I might pop into the Cafe for a Bacon sandwich or something similar.  I can walk home or go via my local pub for a beer and say hi to the Landlord and staff.  Then back here for preparation for tomorrow.  Party tonight is also on the cards.

It's highly unlikely that the piano will go and so I need to put some pressure on after Christmas for that to be sorted out.  I think otherwise I will re-offer it to the family and if there are no takers I will see if I can just get rid of it or break it up - it's a sad thing to do but it can't sit in my garage for ever.

I'll probably sign off here for a few days so Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Let's see what 2013 brings.....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Almost upon us once again

Christmas that is.  Final bits and pieces are being picked up and acted on - a bit of shopping here and there, some gifts as we may have an unexpected guest on the day and odds and ends like that.

I'm busy transferring my music from vinyl, tape and CD to my hard drive and also now the stuff I got from my mum (dad's stuff).  I must have doubled my DVD collection and have a hundred CDs and Cassettes to rip and store.

It's actually quite nice that dad and I had similar taste in films and music although I doubt he ever got my French and bizarre film collection - not many people do :-)

I'm having trouble being "nice" to people - it is the same every year - why on earth people get all stressed out about things is beyond me - no one expects it to go as planned surely that's part of the fun?  Taking out their stress on me isn't the best way to make me sympathetic or help out - I tend to have to bite my tongue very hard indeed.  At least stuck up here by my PC I'm not going to get involved too much!  :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Early Morning

Some idiot trespassing on the lines so A can't get to work, what is wrong with these people?  Anyhow, meant a rude call and Mrs. F. has gone and picked her up and taken her to a parallel line into town so hopefully she can get to work on time.  I could go on about our transport system especially having used it for 30 + years myself.  The number of incidents you get that stop the damn thing working are a joke.

So that's us up and about this morning.  Let's hope Mrs. F. is in a better frame of mind than she was yesterday - you'd have thought I was some sort of mass murdered the way she treated me when she got back from work - I've hardly seen her all week and all she could talk about was the couple of boxes I'd brought back from my mum to give to A so she could sell them.  Rather than leave them and look in the New Year it had to be unpacked (and then re-packed) there and then, on the spot, in the hallway which then means your sort of cut off from getting anywhere else in the house.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas has arrived

My Turkey arrived mid morning and is sitting in the fridge ready to go along with other bits purchased and all the veg I bought yesterday.  So at least we can eat :-)

Business partner came over and we had a few beers and lunch and a chat which was nice.  I need to take my mobile phone in to the local shop to be sorted out - perhaps I will do that on Monday (if not tomorrow).  Will try and arrange to go to the Hospital on Monday too so I can get my blood drawn for the Doctor so I can go see them in the New Year.  Also need to see the dentist too - both of these are at least 6 months overdue but I really wasn't in the mood I have to say.  I think maybe I can use 2013 as a "turning point" allowing me to move on a bit.

I'm concious that the inaction has gone on long enough and now is the time to declare interests and to make decisions.  At least I don't have too much to worry about at the moment apart from the Piano which is now in the garage.  I think if I don't get an answer or the thing moved that I will just recycle it.  

Back from Mums

Not a sign of the Piano being moved and so glad it is stuck in the garage.  In some ways it gets rid of one problem for me and reasserts my belief that if you want a job done - you'd best do it yourself.  * sodding months it's taken and it still hasn't been Moved!

Had a good couple of days at my mums.  Amused me going out with my brother, the one with the really important well paid job where he took a 5 figure drop in pay a few years ago which equalled the money I earnt in a year!  For the 4th time in a row I've got him to come out and meet me and I've bought the first round, My mum bought the second and his father-in-law bought the 3rd.  I notice things like this the tight sod!  Of all of us in the room he's got the money to buy a round but even with the empty glasses staring him in the face he waited until his father-in-law offered.  Oh well, why am I not surprised by this?

The rain has caused chaos on the roads but my journey was uneventful until a Dutch lorry rammed a car outside of the Dartford Bridge in the narrow roadworks!   Crazy stuff but as luck would have it I was about 20 cars behind so managed to get through and keep moving.  I've done all the veg shopping and see that my Christmas is on its way from good old DHL.  I hope that it will arrive in the morning which might allow me out for a beer with a friend.   Fingers crossed.

To make things really bad my phone has died on me :-(  It is pretty annoying as it looked as if the battery needed charging which I did and then the phone just wouldn't work and kept turning itself off.  So I need to get onto the manufacturer and sort that out - it is just annoying though.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Not  where they stick me in a home!  No commitment where you ask someone to do something and they do it when they said they were going to do it and how you agreed to do it - the sort of stuff I've lived with all my life as a Project Manager.  Why oh why can't people just commit and that's it instead of saying one thing and saying or doing another?

The words I used to dread were "I've used my own initiative" or "I decided not to do it like we agreed" or "Did I say I was available tomorrow? Well I'm not now"  Call me old fashioned but this is just another one of the failings in modern society no one (sorry over generalisation but I'm having a flame and it's justified) just gets on and does it these days there's always some stupid excuse or they want some sort of commitment from me when they aren't willing to give one themselves.

Had a good evening out with Flocky down in Sussex and had a great meeting and good fun with the lads (we tend to all meet up on "the circuit" as we call it).  Luckily it wasn't a Christmas meal but a really nice Beef Bourguignon and a fabulous cheese and fruit board afterwards.  My nemesis is a cheese board.  Once Christmas is over I will need to get back onto the diet and cheese and many other things will have to be put to one side and only had on cheat day.

It is getting towards Christmas - one week on and it will almost be over for another year!

Glad I'm Going Out

Sometimes I wonder just what I'm meant to be able to do when I get whinged at because someone hasn't done something, hasn't got time or hasn't done something.   Can you drive me to ..... well no actually I can't I'm getting ready to go out at that time.  They made the appointment 5 minutes ago, it's been known that I'm gong out for months and that this week is a bit of a difficult one.  Suddenly I'm the villain of the piece or is it peace?

Once one starts on me then it's fair game for all of them to round on me.  That's the one that rattles me, suddenly I'm the whipping guy for all sorts of sh1t and when I try and assist or suggest there's always some sort of reason that won't work.  So I end up telling everyone to forget it and walk away.  It just annoys the hell out of me and I was in a pretty good frame of mind this morning.  Now - well I'm going to leave earlier than I would normally have done and get an extra hour in at the pub waiting - I can at least have a drink and work on some notes and important stuff. 

I'll be back late so at least I won't have to interact until tomorrow - I have a friend coming round so I can sort out some problems they have with their computer and then the hairdresser and then we are off out for a meal in the evening.  I'd better pack my suitcase too I suppose as I'm off to my mums.

Crazy week.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hell of a week coming up

Out Monday and Tuesday Nights off to my mums on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday my food arrives.  I also hope that the Piano gets shifted this week - after all it's only been about 8 months!  I need the space for Christmas.  

I still need to make sure that I have case available for odds and ends - I'm buying all my veg up at my mums where there is a great big farm shop and the stuff is at least half the price it is here if not more.

I need to do some more paperwork too.  Suddenly the time pressures are back on!  Oh well keeps me on my toes I suppose.  

In a better frame of mind at the moment and Mrs. F. is getting better though not 100%  Just fingers crossed that none of us goes down with it - it was pretty disgusting I have to say.

Mrs. F's Birthday

She's a bit better than she has been and at last was able to get out of bed - have a bath and eat something.  Poor lass but at least none of us have it which is a good thing.  

So we had an interesting day eventually and it's nice to have L home from University as she is very good around the house and good fun - I miss her as she is good company too.

I've convinced Mrs. F. not to go to work tomorrow - she is too weak and the last thing she needs to do is to either pass on what's she has had or just get completely knackered trying to do a full days work with kids after being stuck in bed for close to 2 days.

Tomorrow I'm off to Sussex for a meeting in the afternoon and then on Wednesday off to my mum's for a couple of days.  Mind you one of the roads I normally use is now flooded and so I need to work my way around that somehow.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A little calm restored

Mrs. F. is a lot better this morning and at least able to take some food (well Rich Tea biscuits) and some water and now some tablets for her headache.  Poor girl has had a horrible day and night but a good night's sleep.  I also managed a good 7 hours sleep but did have a few Ginger Wine snorters before coming to bed :-)

I have had a headache for a couple of days now but that's being stuck inside and doing the Thursday overnight vigil.  Anyway, so far I appear to have gotten over having the same things so I hope that it is an isolated incident and more food poisoning than Norovirus - but time will tell I guess on that.

I've now catalogued my DVDs, have decided to discard my VHS tapes (those that remain) and see if I can transfer them to DVD - not hopeful about that - I may as well just buy the DVD replacements for the odd ones I have still.

It's a bit like going through my Cassettes and Vinyl records and making them MP3 before selling or dumping them (whichever is most appropriate).   I was meant to be out tonight but just in case this is viral or can be transmitted I'd best not as giving it to a further 20 or more and their families is not a good Christmas Gift.  If I can keep well then I am out on Monday to my last meeting of the year.  We are out Tuesday and then I'm away Wednesday and Thursday to see my mum and then Friday - Christmas arrives (well my Turkey and all the trimmings).  Now to hope that the Piano gets sorted too.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Not been a great day

Poor old Mrs. F. has had a horrible day today and can't keep anything down but at least she is sleeping now.  I'll hang around downstairs for a while and then try and get a bit of sleep - I've been disinfecting all day and running water up and down the stairs.  I've also managed to start to catalogue my DVDs at last and that's helped me to work out where some of them have gone (like in my daughter's room) and some I've lent out.  At least I can now track them.

I think I'm OK but haven't felt great all day - perhaps that's because Mrs. F. has been so ill.  I've cancelled tomorrow's party just in case I've got anything.  

Sleepy and heady

Ever worked right through the night?  Well if you have you'll recognise that slightly heady and very tired feeling you get.  I've had a couple of hours sleep I reckon but poor old Mrs. F. is throwing up regularly at about 1 hour intervals so after I've sorted out cleaning and resetting and then nodded off the poor woman is off again.

I don't feel good myself but then I've never liked to see anyone suffering.  I've forced some food down my neck, had my tablets and can definitely feel slight cramps in my stomach but that just might be something else - I sure hope it is.

I've cancelled going to a party for a friend tomorrow - if I'm carrying this I don't want them to catch it.  

On more mundane things I'm planning to get back to some serious diet and exercise in the New Year mainly because it makes sense to do so after the excesses of the Christmas period are gone.  I've been careful about what I eat but with 4 to 6 weeks of being out and about I've noticed a big increase in my weight and also in my physical appearance.  I'm also puffed out coming up the stairs etc and so out of condition.

I intend to get back to the Tim Ferris diet (a modified Atkins) and to get back to using my juicer, my exercise X-Trainer and Vibration Plate on a regular basis.  It just goes to show that when you get sidelined by an event it is quick to fall back into bad habits.  This time I actually hope to take my weight back to before I was ill and if possible back beyond that.  

Yes, it IS 2 in the morning

I'm up and awake as Mrs. F. has been ill for the past 2 hours or so.  Not good - looks like Norovirus to me and that's scuppered a number of things.  She wont be going to work like this in the morning and from what I've heard, despite all my clinical precautions I'm next in line for it as is young A as we have all been in contact this evening.  That also probably means that I ought to cancel going out on Saturday night as I may well be a carrier if not already have the damn thing by then....

That's one of the problems with Mrs. F. working with young children and also today was the school play so potentially anyone could have brought this in with them!  Oh well.

I'm not going to disturb her by trying to go to bed so I'm going to hunker down in the office a few yards away and I can at least fetch water, clean out buckets (yep - yuk) and try and keep the bathroom sprayed down with disinfectant etc.

It was all going so well up until then too :-)  I thought we had managed to miss it altogether.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It appears that most people have been put on this earth

To p1ss me right off.  The craziest of which today was when asked to confirm my date and place of birth with a call centre (which getting to a live person past "speech recognition" suitable only for Martians and those of Eastern European dialect).  I correctly go my birthday right and where I was born but did sub-district, post town, region.  Then asked what my password was I said I didn't know.  They they suggested it was where I was born.  So armed with that I gave the 2 and 4th letters or each of the originally correctly answered questions before and guess what - there's no way it was any of them!

So when I had the conversation that how did they originally say where I was born was OK but now it was different I had to call back and speak to security.  What a pain as I asked for a direct line as I didn't want to go through all the nonsense a second time.  But yes I did have to go through it all but made sure that I spoke like a Ukrainian this time which appeared to work some of the time.   Eventually things were resolved but it was entirely unsatisfactory and I can see why Mrs. F. is normally loathe to leave me to deal with this sort of sh1t on a day-to-day basis.  

Surely there must be other pragmatic down to earth people out there :-)  Whoever thought of voice recognition on the phone needs certifying as the experience was painful to say the least and just serves to make customers angry.

Christmas is wrapped up and ready to rock and roll and I'm just completing copying over my CDs to my hard drive so that I can use that to stream music in the house.  Apparently my dad's collection is coming home with me next week (CDs, Cassettes and DVDs) I already have the record collection but have been unable to find a suitable buyer for that although there are some good albums in there.  Maybe in the New Year.

I suppose I ought to start moving all my Vinyl over to hard drive soon too - there'll be a lot of that to do I guess.  It also needs some attendance on the tracks as well to make sure that the record isn't jumping and to clean up the hiss and pops from the surfaces.

I have my accounts to complete as soon as it is the end of the year too so I may as well get started with those too as I have some time available.  It's actually nice not going out but that all changes again on Saturday...

All Wrapped

Yes - I managed to get all Mrs. F's birthday and Christmas presents wrapped up and stored away and I just have one more set of presents to complete - once I've worked out a little poem to go with them.

Other than that - I am busy ripping my CDs to my hard drive and onto a pen drive so I can play them on my surround sound downstairs.  I've now got the ability to stream music and film but don't have the devices to actually play them (to the quality I want).  I have a number of cassettes and vinyl records I need to transfer too at some point.

Later today I need to concentrate on my remaining tasks.  The company that I was meant to do the test for have now confirmed that I am waiting for them to get back to me (not vice versa).  I wonder do I really want to work for a company where this has happened.  Mind you it probably means that no one has questioned it before....

Somehow I need to start having a meaningful conversation about the future with Mrs. F.  neither of us has much time and I've been out and about for what feels like 4 or 5 weeks now and hardly around and so it is difficult.  However I need the conversation and to make some decisions.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bait not taken

I decided not to go to London today - I'm a little bit wary about what the Charity want to talk to me about.  Mind you, I wouldn't rule out doing something active for them as long as I'm not expected to be in the office all the time.  But I digress.

I shall see what they have to say but probably in the New Year.  Actually a part-time role may be good and I've digressed again - you see the way my brain works filtering and reassembling to make things fit? :-)  

Oh well - now to make use of today and go and get presents wrapped up and sorted out ready for Christmas.  It is also Mrs. F's birthday and so we have to get things that are non Christmassy for her and then only after her birthday can decorations and the like go up.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Early back

Yikes the freezing fog has moved in and the lads went home early so leaving me to finish up my beer and come home - I managed to tip about a quarter of my beer over myself though - DOH!  Sticky beermat syndrome and the glass tipped rather than slid towards me drenching my notepad on which I was writing at the time and then wetting my knees!  So finished my beer, wiped up the mess and got home before I froze.  It is horrible outside and I haven't seen weather like this since the early 1980s when I had a particularly horrible drive and my car just kept icing up in a sort of ice storm.

It looks positively yuk at the moment.  I had a funny set of meetings recently with people from the charity I used to work for.  They want me to come and talk to them tomorrow at their party or Friday at the staff party.  No one is letting on what for but they are interested that I am "between jobs" at the moment.  Shall I take the bait?  I don't know.  Maybe I should just turn up tomorrow anyway.

Piano solved and cards done

Phew I think - it looks as if the Piano can finally go to its new home next week.  What a nightmare it has been and I'm feeling a bit guilty as I haven't touched it for ages it has just been sat up against the wall.

So that is now coming to pass and the Christmas cards are posted to all around the world and here in the UK.  Good.

Now to get down to wrapping the presents which I feel I ought to do tomorrow.

I was interested to read that a number of cancer patients go onto anti depressant medication.  I was reading of one lady who took them because of the huge changes the hormone tablets that follow on from Chemo have made to her.  I can understand this and I wonder if that's what I should have.  As my dad used to say he used to pop his "happy tablets"  I suppose I ought not to be too surprised that I now appear to be having these "head issues" more than I ever have done before. 

I'm out with my school chums tonight and that will cheer me up no end - we have lots of fun and we are all very comfortable with each others company - only good friends can be (funny) cruel to each other I find.  It's OK to be quite nasty I've noticed :-)

Anyway - it will be nice to get out and see the lads and start to Christmas run in from tonight onwards.  

A Doh Moment

I don't believe it!  I managed to send all the family history researchers the wrong newsletter having to then resend the proper one - DOH!  

Also getting sweaty on getting the second piano out of the house before Christmas - if it don't go then I will have to get rid of it somehow as there is no way it can actually reside in the same room as 12 of us for Christmas lunch - absolutely no way I can see especially as I also have units and a Welsh Dresser in the same place!  I need to get onto the case tomorrow and chase it up as I'm getting awfully nervous about it still being there and wrecking Christmas! Mind you I suppose it wouldn't actually wreck it but you never know.

I hate chasing people up but it has been 8 months since it was agreed that they'd take the Piano and so I'm getting slightly twitchy.

A guy I used to work with at the Charity has been pretty obtuse with me a couple of times now and wants me to attend the Presidents drinks party on Wednesday or the office party on Friday.  I think I may need to try and get to the bottom of what they are trying to do here.  It all seems a bit strange to me :-)  Maybe they've a job for me - who knows?

I'm still waiting for the other lot to get back to me with some sort of resolution to the problems I've encountered with their initial selection process email that asks you to do something but in fact doesn't actually work!  Having had a series of exchanges I wonder whether this company (one of the biggest in the world) really knows what they are doing or whether all other candidates have just not read the preamble.  

Tomorrow night - out with my school chums - looking forward to it immensely.   

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nice Article

I read this and felt that it might be useful if you know someone who has Cancer and want to help them this may help you get started with the right words and phrases.

LINK "What to write to someone who has Cancer"

There are some very relevant tips in here especially in relating your writing to the relevant area of the patient's journey (diagnosis, treatment etc).

Well that was nice

If not a little nerve fraying.  Mrs. F and I were President and President's Lady at my Stewards' Lodge Christmas Lunch.  It was a nice affair and we had the Provincial Choir there who kept us entertained beautifully with Christmas Carols and got us leaping about to the 12 days of Christmas.

I only had to say a few words but I was a little nervous to make sure I got the right words in.  Mrs. F. received a lovely bouquet of flowers so she was happy :-)  All in all a lovely day and we now have a more formal dinner in May 2013 to attend.

I find myself in a reasonable frame of mind at the moment and yet there's something nagging away making me just a little cautious.  I'm waiting to hear back from the company who want me to undertake these tests after a silly set of crossed emails that frankly I'd be mortified if I had sent them from my account.  

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Lifted my spirits

I had a great day out today with some friends and had 12 hours of laughs and some serious stuff too, there was a brass band playing carols and we all joined in and that made it very Christmassy - and we got home at a decent hour too - at least an hour before normal allowing me to write this blog and be sober to boot!  That's pretty good as I'm normally a few more beers to the wind than this.

I like the lift I've got from that and need to carry it on for tomorrow.  I had to laugh today because after having confirmation that I wasn't going nuts and that the firm who want me to do the tests actually did have their web link broken (has no one else noticed this or have they blindly gone and done the tests?) and confirmed it in writing I got a "reminder" that I should do the tests to which I have politely responded that they have already acknowledged that their links are broken etc etc and round the mill we go again!  I will have some interesting information to discuss should I get to interview time.

I'm still unsure what I want to do but let's see where this leads me.  It could be in totally the wrong direction but then again - serendipity has always played interesting tricks on my life.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Printer Woes

I have three printers (I would wouldn't I?).  Being in IT I have copier printer, A4 colour laser and an A3 Inkjet.  There are a couple of other printers in the house but the three I have a networked together and work rather nicely, that is until they run out of ink/toner etc.

Both the colour laser and the inkjet are now in very low mode and the laser has stopped working - just when I need it to print out some more newsletters to send out to family and friends.  I'll be doing some more cards and newsletters when the new ink arrives in a few days.

At least I'm part of the way to being organised.  I'm waiting to hear from my daughter who is due back shortly and will need picking up and turning around so to get to an appointment. I've not heard back from the people who want me to do the test yet so I feel an email to them explaining that they haven't responded to my earlier email and that time is now ticking down on their deadline might be in order.  You can't believe some people's urgency levels.

I'm feeling OK - not too bad but perhaps a little flatter than I normally am but nowhere near as bad as I felt a few days ago.

Depression - Should you "snap out of it"?

Flocky and I met up and he castigated me for not calling on Tuesday when I was so low.  Interesting as the very last thing I wanted to do was to talk to anyone!  Flocky suggested he would be able to "snap me out of it" and that's interesting as he and I have both been to the depths of the Black Dog and so he knows a lot about this.  I feel somewhat naughty that I didn't call anyone and I've got lots of very nice and good friends who will gallop to the rescue - I just don't acknowledge how wonderful my friends are really - I don't deserve them do I? :-)

The bottom line is that you just turn into a self wallowing mass of introverted self serving goo and aren't really in any mood whatsoever to call anyone and let them in on the secret.  I wouldn't want to "phone a friend" if it meant emptying my guts out to them.  YES I know that is what friends are for but are they really?  I wouldn't want to burden my friends with it and yet I know that I've done that before for them.

Ho hum.  I was a lot better today, I thrive on the right sort of company and I have to say I'm really blessed with some lovely friends and many of them through Freemasonry.  The Masons have a number of particular rules that mean that you can call them and sort stuff out like I've just had.  They are like the Samaritans in many ways.  Whatever I said tonight was taken in and will not be repeated.  My friends suggested different courses of action but didn't dictate what to do they just listened and provided balanced feedback and a shoulder to cry on and someone to bounce ideas off, that's all there's no judgement calls or anything else what more could you ask?

We discussed Mrs. F's and My President's Christmas Lunch on Sunday and the running order and all that good stuff.  It's important that we have some idea of the structure even though the day may go slightly different to what we have planned :-)

I hope Mrs. F enjoys her day I really do.....

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Printer Packed Up

Blast - I hope I don't need my laser tomorrow - I know I need my A3 to be ready for action for the table plan for Sunday.

I've done pretty well on card duty but ran out of newsletters which are slightly heavy on the blue (cyan) and so that has packed up - of course I did 60+ Carol song sheets for Sunday too so that depleted my supply.  Anyway, have ordered another but it could be a few days off - will just have to manage that's all.

A should be just about flying now off to Munich.  L has phoned me to say she is arriving tomorrow so I can do taxi service for her too.  

The very last present arrived today and so I'm now left to choose what ones are for Mrs. F's birthday and what for Christmas.   I know some of the answers but need a viewing to decide finally and then I can wrap those.  I have a lot more cards to write too but that should be OK as there is plenty of time for the UK ones.  

I had quite a few conversations today - I'm a lot better than I was Tuesday afternoon and evening and at least I have a partial understanding what it was (almost certainly my mum going to be checked out for cancer on Wednesday!) but that isn't everything that added together to make me feel that bad.  I know what I have to do and I'll sort things out.  Nice to know there are people who will listen and help out - I wasn't thinking like that at all when I was in the dark place on Tuesday.  

Up and About and almost enthusiastic

Almost :-)  Certainly I'm up and sat at my desk by 8 which is pretty good.  A is off to Germany a little later today to have a few days at the Munich Christmas Market.  I'm sure she will have a lovely time there.  It's nice to see her getting out and about now that her work has calmed down and her first contractual stint is over.  She had to work a number of months before getting holiday.  She has also booked to go to New York in the New Year, this time with her boyfriend (and not her crazy aunt) so she will be able to take in the museums and what she wants to do!  

I am out again tonight and I look forward to next week when I have a couple of days off.  It really is that crazy at this time of year.  The only night I wont be out is Friday night, Saturday and Sunday are full on long days.

The bathroom is now finished - apart from stuff that my brother-in-law can finalise for me.  Then it will be finally finalised!  As it is now it is more than adequate and the radiator gives plenty of heat to the room which is a little colder than it used to be through the floor tiles.

I should be on card writing duty today.  I shall get myself in the mood for that before taking A off to the station so she can travel to Heathrow and fly off to Munich.  I then have most of the day to sort these out.  I have decided to fill out a spreadsheet (I did it last year but lost my hard drive you may recall).  This time it will be backed up to my on-line storage system.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

End of an Era

I started going to the Jazz night in 1988, I think in the May of that year because Mrs. F. came with me on the first two but not thereafter and I went on my own shortly after we moved into our present house in July 1988.  Tonight they called it a day and the last Jazz night was performed with just one of the original members in attendance.  It just isn't viable for him to travel the distance and the audience is getting smaller as the older ones die off and failing health grabs them.  

It's the end of that era and one that I've enjoyed very much but life goes on.  The members of the band will go on and do other things and there's talk of some of them coming back next year anyway to do something similar.  In the 24 years who could have predicted what would have happened and since then we've had children who have grown up and are at Uni and work.  We've had 6 elections and I've changed from working in construction to IT.  Lots of stuff has changed.  I was in my early 30s and things were just about to take off :-)

Yes, it is the end of an era.  The Piano player has cancer and his own battles to go and fight, of the initial members one has died and the others gone their own way, players have come and gone and once a month I've been able to go and see great musicianship at a cheap price, had some good beer and great company.  Of the 5 regulars that used to go there are only the 2 of us remaining.  Many of our number have come and gone.  It's a bit like life really.

I'm in a reasonably good mood at the moment, I've pulled myself out of some of the rut I was in and tried to work on some of my problems.  I hope that I can just work a little harder on keeping positive in these next few weeks.

Well that's a little better

They can't find anything wrong with mum so that's good - she thought she might have a lump in her breast but scans and checks all done and she is fine which is a weight of her mind and I guess mine - maybe that also added to my bad day yesterday.  Today is getting better.  I finished off the silicone in the bathroom and the pipes - a few hours and the ob was done and I've been putting it off for far too long! 

I will tackle Christmas Cards and Newsletters tomorrow and get those out of the way and then move on to wrapping presents and slowly work my way back into being active and getting things done.

I've also had time to do some planning and think things through which is also useful as I need to work out what I'm thinking of doing.  I've not heard back from the massive corporate as of yet - I will give them a day or so and then write once again and see if they've figured out that they have the wrong link on their email to me.  It's hilarious if you think about it.

I'm certainly feeling a lot better this afternoon than I was yesterday - let's hope that it stays that way.

Things aren't solved but it's better

Snow on the ground outside (would be worrying if inside I suppose) which wasn't expected last night in the weather forecast, and the start of a better day for me.  I haven't been as bad as yesterday for a very long time indeed.  I'm not brilliant today but yesterday was absolutely horrible.  The trigger, if there was one, was getting that "test" email through from the potential future employer and then seeing that they hadn't got part of it right.  Suddenly the ground opened up beneath me and I was in a horrible place.

The alarm bells going off should be asking why did that set me off.  It's obvious in my mind that I'm going for a job that I shouldn't be and doing it for the wrong reasons.  I'm trying to please other people and not myself and I'm also concerned that it's running away from the issues I'm trying to iron out.  There's one other thing that may also be playing on my mind and that's my mother is in hospital today to have a check up on an unusual lump and I'm sure that that is also playing on my mind too.  Having already lost my father to Cancer this year I'm not sure what I'd do if my mother was found to have cancer or something serious.

At least today I am a little more with it and feeling somewhat better than yesterday so one small reason to be thankful for a good nights sleep.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

An Unexpected Outing

I didn't go to the ex-works do - I knew that I'd be in the totally wrong frame of mind and I'm up for a fight with anyone who will give me one.  I'm angry, upset, confused, tearful and generally in a very uncomfortable place right now.   I'm completely unstable emotionally and my logic isn't working properly and my spider senses are ringing bells everywhere.  

Out of the blue I got a text message.  I'd had a bath and tried to chill down and then had tea.  The text said a friend of mine was in town and would I like to meet for a beer.  Well yes I would.  I wasn't' right but let's meet anyway - I know I need to be out of the house.  Another very good friend was there too and I was able to just bounce some nonsense off of him tonight and that's been very good.  I'm in a bit of a mess here as I have a conundrum to solve.  I go for this high pressure job and it pays great and it takes me back 15 years into my high flying consultancy days but, as my friend reminds me, those were the days that led to my downfall in the first place, the high flying days burning the candle at both ends and the stress and the pressure actually may have been part of the cause of my cancer.  

That's actually in the back of my mind.  Also in the back of my mind is that I get back to where I live, eat and breathe.  Where I make a difference, where my career has meaning where I am valued and (let's face it) paid a decent wedge for what I know and what I can do for my customers.  But can I hack that life any longer and am I just going to use it to get out of the house for prolonged periods of time and not be here and just live the life?  There's the trap and there's the concern.  I may not be wanting this for the right reasons and using it as a means to an end.

Life at the moment is one of walking on egg shells, balancing on quick sand and trying to balance so many things at once that there is every possibility they will all fall to the ground at the same time.  All the balls cannot be kept in the air at once.  I'm in need of a hiatus but it isn't happening now in the short term.  It will have to happen soon though as I can't keep trying to balance all these permutations.  Oh well - time to get to bed and try and get some sleep - that didn't work at all last night - let's hope the addition of a few pints of beer will allow me to sleep through tonight.

That's Interesting

I feel quite queasy and I've figured out that it is to do with an email that arrived this morning requesting I take a verbal and numerical reasoning test.  Not that the tests worry me that much but progressing with the job application does.  That may not make sense but my heart really isn't in it at all.  The last thing I want to do is go back to Corporate life but then again the money is good as is the overall package.  The real trouble being that it just diverts me away from sorting things out and allows me to duck a number of things.

I know that I should tackle all these problems but in tackling them I'm very concious of the fallout and wreckage I might leave (real or imagined).  Success in getting the job may mean that it allows me to just go off and do my own thing anyway running away from any problems.

I'll see how I feel about this in a day or two, I have time to prepare and take the tests.  Mind you I've already found that their email points to a web site address that doesn't exist and I've asked for clarification on that - it makes them look amateurs but there you go...

Ex-Works Do tonight

I'm not up for that yet, I still don't feel I can keep a civil tongue in my head with some of them.  I do find a few of my ex-colleagues have their heads shoved up their arse and I don't deal with their type very well at all.  If you want a yes man who kowtow to the norm then you've got the wrong man for that.

In my present state of mind it isn't actually going to do me any good meeting some of these guys.  They're not all like that just a handful of them and after all it's 14 years since I was there last and some still act as if they're your lord and master.  In another frame of mind I might just be able to do it.

Well the excitement is that at last there is some movement on the job hunt front as the email that asks me to do some on-line tests has arrived.  That should be a laugh as I inevitably score badly in these things because my mind works differently to most.  Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained I suppose.

I'm a little better than I was yesterday in overall demeanour but I still have a really heavy chest and a headache just painful enough to be there nagging away.  At least I have completed the Newsletters and can get on with writing the Christmas Cards and sending those.  I will do far more by email this year than post - the cost is prohibitive and Royal Mail thumped up their prices earlier in the year - probably in response to falling demand and the threat from email - you have to wonder where they get their thought leadership from...

BTW - when I say heavy chest what it means is that I am prone to be sighing a lot and it sort of feels as if my body is heavier than it really is.  Anyway, feeling blah at the moment and hopefully will snap out of it down the week.

Picked up a bit

Out tonight and the lads cheered me up a bit - must watch out though I was taking no prisoners with the sarcasm - I can be a little too sharp tongued sometimes.  

I do feel massively low though and I know what it is - I'm not telling you though but it's more about us than me let's say.

Suddenly it's three weeks to go to Christmas and I'm in a very strange place and need to snap out of that and get back on track.  Later today Flocky and I will sort out Mrs. F's and my Christmas Luncheon which is happening this Sunday.  I'm delighted that we will have close to 120 people attend the day.  That really is nice.  I could have done without the "assistance" of one of our friends who was telling us about this fab offer so we could get raffle prizes (which I've already got) and turned up today with a massive box of chocolates that she got in the sale that I had to offer to pay for.  With help like that - well it was a nice idea but we've already got the prizes so it's just more expense!

I'd better go to bed - have to be up in the morning so we can tackle the tricky bit of the seating plan and who sits next to whom... :-)

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Basement

Don't know what it is this morning but I'm back in the basement again and feeling pretty low.   Yesterday's meal was very nice but once again I really only got going after an hour or so.  

I can't quite work out why this should be but there you go, I'm just going to work my way through this and see if I can pull myself up.  

As it is December I think I will now concentrate on getting Christmas and the New Year out of the way and forget about the job (although no reasons not to stop planning).  I have plenty to do and if I get myself organised I can work my way through all of this.  

I can't really begin to explain what this is like other than a total weariness and a lack of enthusiasm to do anything.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

December already

Strange feeling especially after having my second Christmas meal last night at a Lodge meeting I went to over in Surrey.  It was a lovely meeting and there were a number of Hungarian Masons there which was nice to see.  I ended up being asked to respond for the visitors, I tend to forget that those who have heard me speak are happy for me to get up and say a few words and compliment everyone which I managed to do admirably last night I'm pleased to say and even remembered my joke.... 

I used to keep a file of jokes - perhaps I ought to recommence that as I was worried whether I could magic a joke up.  I'm fine in casual situations as I can use what the group are saying to fire an idea.  Anyway that all went very well and I'm delighted that it did.  I have no idea though how these things go as I tend to concentrate on performance and not on reaction from the crowd but they said it was good so that's OK I suppose.

Good old Flocky Bicep picked me up and dropped me off which was also a bonus.

Later this morning we are off for lunch with the "Holiday Gang" - 3 couples, our children all grew up together.  We meet every Christmas Eve and the day after Boxing Day (our turn this year).  Gosh, we've known each other 22 years!  We arranged a number of holidays that were just great fun - we get on quite well together which is surprising considering how different we all are.  But it is nice to meet up, we don't so often these days - perhaps 4 or 5 times a year and 2 or 3 times at Christmas.

And it's December and one more delivery will complete my gift shopping.  I now need to get into wrapping, writing and cleaning mode.  I will start tomorrow doing that as I have a stack of things to finish off in quite a short space of time.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Thoughts of Dad

Funny that an evening interrupted by the odd thoughts and reminiscences - that's not at all a bad thing I reflect.

Mrs. F. said she was going out and so I reminded her that so was I - which came as a shock to both of us as neither knew the other was going out...... 

We are both out tomorrow meeting with some friends and that will be fun (I hope).