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Tag Archives: Life

Another day/month/year/decade Another

List? Resolution? Promise? Beginning? Intention?

I’m in that eternal internal struggle, Brain versus Body. Brain gets all over excited with ideas of new interests and thoughts of changing this, sorting that, tidying the other, bouncing about like Tigger after a double espresso, Body quietly sits, sighs and waits for a break in the babbling to go “you do remember we cannot move independently anymore” and Brain’s exuberance deflates like a balloon across a room.

My list of lists is expanding, I have a couple of big projects to work on, mainly the website Photo Album complete recreation, but before I can attempt that, I need to familiarise myself with the new html editor. It is something that is going to need dedicated hours of concentration, I will have to figure out the best between pee visits to do that. I’ve been trying to get an article published on Wikipedia, they have their own brand of coding and a complete nightmare are arbitrary opinion as to whether the subject (an independent record producer) is suitably notable and the sources cited credible!

There are a few lighter ones, some of my photo frames could do with updated photos. My female spider senses tell me I’d better order some fresh printer cartridges because Mr MuckItUp Murphy is going to meddle with my best intentions.

I’m restless, swinging between short attention spam and procrastination, probably the after effects of holiday season inactivity and that sense of ‘should be doing something’.

So, here’s a few goals.

  • Finish cat blanket
  • Start another cat blanket
  • Familiarise html creator
  • Time to do another round of back ups
  • Attempt a new book

Might just keep things short.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2020 in Life, Projects

 

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2019

To say that 2019 has been an absolute horrid catastrophic year would be a cavernous understatement. Never at the beginning could I have foreseen the end, nor the hell in between.

I usually feel odd at the end of any given year. Many see it as a fresh page, the new beginning, the marker to strive forward. I just see it as another day, no different to the 31st, 17th or 4th. However, I’m not ready to let go of 2019, I don’t want to let go of what’s been lost. 2020 will be the first year without my Big Sis, and I am way far being ready for that. 2020 will be a year of more forced change and adapt as I try and find somewhere new to live and all the fraught difficulties that brings.

BFF and I are already planning some fun, hopefully when she visits we will over night in the city and revisit some old haunts and enjoy some reminiscent foods. I’ll still be crocheting blankets when the strive strikes. There are online projects to get stuck in to and ongoing business to fit in. I should get back to nightly reading.

Still, it will be what it will be and hopefully we are all still here by the end of it.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2019 in General, Life

 

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Tick-Tick-Boom

Right, let’s get comfy in the head’s office for a progress report ….. hmmmm

  • Complete three cat blankets ✅
  • Complete photo organising project ✅
  • Mac back up ✅
  • Add sailing blog to my website ❌
  • Add photo album to website ❗️
  • Send letter and photos to Aunt ✅
  • Finish current book and review ✅
  • Sort, weed, tidy desk and draws ✅

❗️Due to the delights of the latest Mac update, the website photo gallery is going to have to be a complete do over. Starting from scratch with eighteen years worth of accumulated archive that needs cataloguing again. That’s a three to four month job.

❌ I coulda, maybe shoulda, but just didn’t.

I might have got slightly over eager with the cat blankets but that’s another blog for another day. It felt good to get things finished and sorted but as always there are other things sneaking in to disrupt a goal. I’m trying to complete some new articles on behalf of a friend on Wikipedia, it is tedious in the extreme, the coding, citation and external references are complicated to complete, copyright free images keep getting deleted by a bot for no given reason. The articles in draft form have to be checked and approved which could take up to five months.

As for the next to-do list. Hmmm, well, let me think about that.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2019 in General, Life, Projects

 

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Stunned

Well, dear reader, I am somewhat stunned into disbelief, silenced and generally in a state of befuddlement.

Postie dropped an ominous brown envelope on the mat. It felt a little thick, hmm, so more than two sheets of paper, is that a good sign.

Okay, so maybe this is the letter about the face to face interview, I’ve been expecting the need for one. Is it an instruction to attend an interview somewhere miles away or maybe a face to face at my home at before-carers-arrive o’clock. Which ever it’s likely to be something that needs my input and wrangling with a call centre.

Tentatively I slit open the envelope and with a degree of trepidation I took out the sheets of folder paper and began reading. Initially I couldn’t comprehend the content, I finished my coffee and tried again. Well… well… well…….

This was not a request for extra info, nor details of a face to face interview, nor details of not meeting the criteria. It was in fact an award letter. Not just an award letter but an increased level of award letter. Not just that but an indefinite award letter. Not just that but details of back dating award to September.

😳

All that attention to detail and chasing for assessment reports and so forth was worth it. Okay so the care component only covers a quarter of the bill, but with the mobility component that bumps it to half. That should help the saving last a little longer.

Let me just go and read that again …. Incase I was projecting, nope it definitely says enhanced award.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2019 in General, Life

 

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Bactrian Conspires

Wednesday, often referred to as hump day, and I have the right ‘ump with this particular Wednesday, it’s not so much a Dromedary and much more a Bactrian of humps.

I mused this morning that today I would upgrade the OS on the iMac to the new Catalina. The timing was right, I’d time-machine backed up after the photo job was done, as well as external drive saved the valuable folders. I clicked the magic button and set it going, just one hour to download, followed by one and half hours to install and a further thirty minutes to set-up. Now that doesn’t sound so bad does it?

Just before Noon a four note trill sounded from the bedroom. Hmm, odd, that’s the sound the phone makes when you place it in the charger. Trill, weird was there a brief power cut, but everything else is working. TrillTrillTrill. Okay that’s more than a power out, it’s going crazy. TrillTrillTrillTrillTrillTrillTrillTrillTrillTrillTrillTrill non-stop and my next care visit would not be until 2:50, three hours of this four note TrillTrillTrillTrill that cannot be drowned out by music because the iMac is updating……… it’s like when the smoke alarm battery fades and you have to wait for a bod with step ladder.

After the install and set-up my computer ever so kindly informed me that some of the apps may not be supported by the upgrade. Hmm, well that all depends which ones. I perused the list and most seemed to be to do with the printer survey and compare list, all good. But oh hang on …. bummage ….. those two apps I use a lot, the one I use to write the HTML for the website and the one I use to organise and upload the photo albums to the web site. Whilst finding another HTML editor is not exactly difficult the photo albums one is, because it is essentially discarding all the work done over the past sixteen years and starting from scratch, again. Put that on the “projects” list. *sigh*

Carer came to the rescue taking the phone out of the cradle, whoohoo, bliss. We scuttle through to the kitchen to fire up the slow cooker, she went to open a draw and it wouldn’t budge ‘something’ was stopping it, I could barely get my fingers between the draw front and the work top. I teased out a plastic bag but there was something solidly jamming it, most likely the foil or cling film boxes. Grrr, between the two of us and the handle of the wooden spoon we managed to get it open, another to-do job, reorder that draw (there’s not a lot in it).

Not sure if today is the wisest day to try a new slow cooker recipe.

Is it bed time yet?

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2019 in General, Grumble, Life, Tech

 

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Fair Winds Following Seas – Farewell Friend

I’m saying good bye to another old friend, a tangible piece of my life’s adventure.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust operates two tall ships that are designed to accommodate many forms of disability, not only things like deafness and sight impaired, but also stroke victims, amputees, wheelchair users and mental health sufferers. We are all involved within the watch rota to sail the ships and keep them shipshape. Across her thirty year history STS Lord Nelson known as “Nellie”, has circumnavigated the globe, chased icebergs, clipped the Bermuda Triangle, tamed the China Seas, she has raced as part of the tall ship fleets and been the floating ambassador and has touched hundreds of thousands of mixed ability lives for the better.

A family friend passed a brochure to me in the eighties and I had toyed with the idea of running away to sea, so when Nellie visited my home port I secretly took myself off, explored her and spoke to a volunteer crew member, over a mug of hot tea and freshly baked cake we chatted, mused, discussed and laughed. After that I made up my mind to throw myself fully into this once-in-a-lifetime-never-to-repeat adventure and booked a four-week passage from Southampton to Gran Canaria via Lisbon.

The experience was nerve wracking, exhilarating, daunting, engaging, challenging, educational, but filled with hilarity, congeniality, and above all else, equality. We were just a bunch of people sailing together. I enjoyed myself so much that I repeated the experience another two times on Nellie before my last voyage on the sister ship Tenacious. The atmosphere and camaraderie onboard is indescribable and so special. It’s where I learnt to tie a bona fide hangman’s noose, take down the shipping forecast, complete obs for the Met Office. I’ve hauled ropes, peeled potatoes, polished brass, coiled ropes, swabbed decks, scrubbed toilets, pulled ropes, brewed tea, repaired flags, and messed about with ropes. I’ve been man handled, hauled, shoved, shifted, and tied down, I’ve laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed; I’ve helmed, watched, hauled, radioed, taught navigation rhymes, learnt a bewildering language of terms and created a few specific to Nellie and many other such useful/less life skills. I even have a qualification, the Department of Transport Steering Competency (sailing) Certificate from time at the helm before the mast. I’ve made friends I still keep in touch with. I’ve had conversations and shared experiences (like being at the helm when we were struck by lightning, playing with dolphins, counting shooting stars). There are anecdotes galore, not all repeatable in polite company.

Recently the Trust has been forced to look hard at its future running. A promised significant donation from a business source failed to materialise resulting in the Trust nearly folding (we raised £1 million in a week to save it). Subsequently the decision has been sadly made to decommission Nellie.

I kept a detailed diary, my (dis)abled seapersons twig (as opposed to captains log) for two of my voyages are on my website www.amgroves.com It’s on my list to add the others.

It is unknown what her next adventure will be, but I wish her fair winds and following seas, as we salty dog types say; and another piece of my heart is broken and another tear will fall.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2019 in In The News, Life, people, Projects, Website

 

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It’s been quiet ….. too quiet?

It’s been very quiet these past days since BFF jetted back home after our wonderfully restful, fun and encouraging two week pj-party. My days have been filled with pleasing myself between carer visits, maybe fiddling about on the iPad, twiddling some yarn, easing into a computer task, or just feet up watching tv (currently watching I’m Alright Jack, the black and white Peter Sellers movie).

After the past months of worry, anxiety, stress, mammoth personal physical changes, Big Sis’s serious illness, sudden bereavement, Government bureaucracy, so called social services etc the change has indeed a rest. I might even pick up a book!

No news about the yet to arrive Social Worker report, no news from the PIP review form, no new mind bending professional service cock up for me to sort out.

It’ll never last ………. but until then, pass the chocolate biscuits.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2019 in General, Life

 

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