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Wayne's Blog

Read through my latest blog posts and feel free to comment on them if you like.

Anything before 27 January 2019, can be viewed here: OLD BLOG.

 

 


 

 

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It's been a while

Posted on 25th October, 2020

With the fears of the second spike of COVID-19 around and the devastating effect it has had in the household, I haven't ventured out much. I have been out shopping but even food and groceries are delivered by Waitrose these days. The tiredness and lack of energy continues and living with it is my only option. I fear returning to the gym for the foreseeable future. I keep an eye on my health stats and weight every Monday morning by measuring blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, weight, glucose and headache monitoring.  

I've started buying Christmas gifts (mainly from Amazon online) for immediate family members and I have got Jezz's birthday gift. I ordered him a giant bean bag for his room. It's what he wanted!

The new person I've been seeing (?), visiting (?) is good for me. He's extremely intelligent (which is attractive, even sexually), he's affectionate and good company for me. I think he's adorable and I look forward to seeing him. He is hopeless at keeping in touch though and yet somehow, that works too. It can be frustrating but considering the line of work he's in, I'm grateful that he gets time to reply to the odd message.

New car... new lease of life

Posted on 29th August, 2020

This month saw the arrival of the new car on the drive. I got the Toyota C-HR. It's an excellent car all-round. The safety features are amazing and include pedestrian alert, anti-collision and adaptive cruise control which pretty much drives the car itself... well controls the speed, both acceleration and deceleration and keeps a distance to the car in front. With full leather interior and the upgraded 9-speaker JBL sound system, it really is a privilege and a luxury to have such a nice car.

In other news, I've met a nice chap through the usual method and have seen a few times. I'll leave it there so as not to identify him in any way, but I like him... he makes me feel good. 

We've been managing a leak from the unvented tank in the landing's airing cupboard that apparently has been there for months. It's been reported and plenty of people have either seen it or spoken about it. Someone came to see what was wrong, another identified another part that was helping the leak, two different people did the ordering and I've spoken to about 4 members of staff. It's still not fixed.

 

Jezz gets his new car

Posted on 5th August, 2020

Jezz has finally made the transition of sporty boy racer to middle-aged man car owner. He traded in his Mini Cooper Coupé for a Nissan Juke. He says his reasons were a matter of practicality and you get a lot more features in a Nissan for the money he had. The mini was a 2013 car and this is a 2019, just over a year old. He paid for extended warranty so is worry-free til 2025. My niece and sister are also looking at the Juke as their next car.

In other news, I received a call to confirm the hand over for my new car will be this week so the neighbours will think we've hit the jacpot with two new cars on the drive!

Monday 13 July 2020

Posted on 13th July, 2020

As the lockdown eases, we start venturing out to the odd shop. It started with one single trip to Wilko, masks on, 2 metre distance, panic stricken but coped. We tried walking around the block of Sutton Manor Park and survived that too. The next big step was to try a Waitrose store and it felt ok. All of these journies involving a face mask and lashings of hand sanitiser. 

I think things started to relax a little when we ventured out for a picnic in a remote corner of Farthing Downs, isolated from everyone. The next step was the biggest leap into the big wide world... it was ok. And we've been making up for it ever since.

I've been round to see a couple of regulars and met the odd guy from online.

Since my last blog, I took a massive decision to stop seeing my friend, Gary CB. Despite the banter, intelligent chat and one or two moments of advice and wisdom from him, I realised that a lot of our chat was quite venemous and damaging (and maybe for both of us). But in particular, this year, his hatred was spiraling out of control. He also had a way of reminding me of my failings which was always cruel. (If you're reading this, it wasn't all bad... there were moments of encouragement and praise, too). But the toxicity was overwhelming the nicities so I decided that it was time... I had had the feeling for about 6 months.

2020 - What a write off

Posted on 25th May, 2020

My life usually has nothing to report, therefore and generally, no need for a blog! This year, with the COVID19 pandemic, there's been even less going on... not even visits from family. The other day, while Kelly was back local collecting the boys from their Dad, she stopped by at the end of the drive and dropped off some beautiful yellow Cala lily flowers, some chocolate and some Cadbury's Melts cookies. Bless her. It was her way of letting us know that she thinks of us and misses both. Such an angel.

In other news, Jezz and I have managed to venture into town and queue for Wilko's. We sat in a park for a few minutes and walked around the block. We've also been to another Waitrose. Still playing cooperative games on the PlayStation daily and sometimes cook together. see, there seriously no new news to offer. Oh... we have been to a few garden centres and bought some plants for the garden.

Bloody COVID-19

Posted on 10th April, 2020

This is going to put a cat amongst the pigeons but it’s a slightly different take on the thanks given to the NHS staff by the general public banging pot and pans outside their front door.

 

My first thought is a lack of understanding that most people have for not seeing a negative effect they can have by an action they take. I’ll explain that a bit more further on. My next immediate thought is the herd pack mentality that humans seem to have. And finally, thought should be given to what physical achievement has been accomplished (not emotional) and maybe such energy would be better utilised elsewhere.

Consideration has played a major role in my life and some might say to an excessive degree. My first thought of a colourful but loud firework going off in a neighbouring garden is not that of the smiles and joys it brings to the cold, shivering, nose snot dribbling sightseers gathered but for the dog who is two doors down, shaking uncontrollably and suffering from severe panic whilst trapped between the wall and the back of a sofa. The collective sound of people cheering, shouting, applauding and worst of all banging a metal spoon against the inside of a metal saucepan must be a similar panic attack provoking noise, especially if their environment is typically a more quiet place, usually. My thoughts then make me realise that there is an ever-increasing amount of people suffering from mental health issues whose conditions are triggered or made worse by the action of others. I have witnessed, first hand of a neighbour who suffers from schizophrenia and had to leave his home because of noisy road re-surfacing works that were going on outside and lasted just a day. Clearly, in that instance, the work had to be carried out and could not be avoided. The frail and the elderly, too afraid to look out and observe anymore inconsideration of humankind who are suddenly petrified of loud excess noise are left shaking with heightened anxiety until the noise dies down. And then, just maybe, the very nurse who is being applauded for their bravery and heroism, whose shift starts at 11pm and doesn’t need to be awake for another hour, or a doctor who has finished their 14-hour shift and finally managed to get home and go to bed exhausted at 7pm (give or take hours in both examples)... do they really welcome the noise?

 

For me, yes, I did make an effort and applaud the marvellous and unbelievable selfless effort that frontline NHS staff perform every day. It’s an overwhelming realisation that these kind-hearted brave people choose to do this for a living and certainly not for the money but subsequent weeks of screeching and yelling in the street? I’m not feeling it. Mass thanks? No thanks. I saw and felt the unity the first time and with a tear in my eye hoped that the message rang out nationwide, purely as a token heartfelt thank you to the hard-working frontline NHS staff, key workers, care in the community nurses, supermarket staff and beyond... that the nation gave recognition and huge appreciation for all that they do in the name of a job. But this came at a price. For all those scared shitless indoors... too afraid to come out, too afraid to join in... suffered inside their home. We can easily be forgiven because a one-off the purpose outshone the negative effects but weekly... I’m not on board. The first one time felt special and very emotional but now... for me, the appreciation and thanks seem suffocated by a clan of inconsideration and just an excuse to be loud and vulgar.

I feel hypercritical when I watch a YouTube video of an Italian piano player performing amazingly from his balcony, playing to his neighbours when a neighbour harmonises with his saxophone, but once again, should we perhaps not give consideration to a night-worker or someone who doesn’t appreciate the good intentions because they are fraught with mental health issues.

 

An alternative show of appreciation.

My sister shared a story with me recently. While she was approaching the separate aisle for the key worker queue, outside Asda, an elderly gentleman noticed her nurse’s uniform and started clapping. He gave a cheer and said loudly: “thank you very much, dear. Thank you for all you’re doing.” As everybody else in the queue turned to see what was happening, they all joined in with the applause and cheering. It was highly emotional.

REFLECTIONS - March 2020

Posted on 18th March, 2020

I haven’t been writing my blog of late because I haven’t done anything or been anywhere to report on. Also, what has gone on in my life is too depressing to write about. Worse than that, documenting it brings everything to the surface, in exactly the same way as being assessed and asked to recall all of my failings.

I received a letter instructing me to attend another assessment. It was to be held in a building in Croydon and then a panic attack ensued. I focused and made a request for a home visit instead and was asked to provide ‘further medical evidence’ to warrant a home visit. My GP didn’t help and I found out later that it was because he had returned a form declaring that I had no anxiety issues, nor that was I housebound. I contacted my consultant at the clinic who was extremely helpful, as was one of the health advisors. The letter stopped any further appointments being made at the assessment centre and my case was passed to the team who organise home visits. I was advised that there would be a long wait as there is a backlog of appointments.

In the meantime, I returned to my GP’s office where I broke down and cried in front of him. I said that I was very disappointed in him and that considering he is the very person who prescribes a high dose of antidepressants and Diazepam, then he should be aware of what causes my anxiety and panic. He reconsidered and decided that he should write a letter and that maybe I would benefit from a home visit. I was grateful but said that it may not be necessary as my consultant had stepped in.

The face to face assessment took place in my home last week. The lady was pleasant and I didn’t feel as uncomfortable as I thought I would be. I was extremely nervous leading up to the appointment and realised that I was resorting to the Diazepam more.

During this time period, I have received letters stating that it is that time again for me to choose a new vehicle. I have been arranging test drives and have considered the Volvo XC40, a Toyota C-HR Hybrid and another Mini Countryman. I compared the models for each make and the optional extras and their costs. I decided on the Toyota and placed the order a couple of weeks ago.

And now new anxiety has reached the UK. Over the past few months, the world has been trying to cope with a new virus that is highly contagious, the Coronavirus (Covid-19). It started in China and quickly spread to Italy. The rates of infection and deaths have been increasing globally. It feels as though it came to the UK in late February. I haven’t joined in the mad panic buying and emptying of the supermarket shelves but the rest of the world has. I suppose it’s because of the way I usually shop. Kelly remarked that when she saw news items of people fighting in the supermarket aisles over toilet rolls that she thought of me and realised that I wouldn’t be affected as I’ve always bought and stored in bulk anyway. But I experienced first hand last Sunday, when I went shopping with Jezz to Morrisons, that people were buying aggressively and we were both keen to find a new way of grocery shopping, particularly as the virus and the panic are getting worse every day.

First post of 2020

Posted on 21st January, 2020

Hey - how ya'll doing? It's been just over a month since writing in here and that was Christmas 2019 done and wrapped up. Christmas tree is back in the loft and most of the edible presents are eaten. Jezz bought me a full-back massager and I'd been using it daily. Either an unrelated injury to my lower back or over-use gave me such a lot of pain that I needed to go and see Claire to sort it out (chiropractor).

On 20 December 2019, sadly Nanny Evans died. She was 101 and Debbie's Nan. I have known since 1981. She was an amazing lady, Welsh and tiny but mighty. She was so alive through the decades and was loved by everybody.

Yesterday Kelly and I went to the Sakura Indian restaurant for a curry. She was over this way. I went to the same last Sunday with Jezz. It's good to get back there. We were all going there regularly until Kelly moved away.

Last week Debbie asked me to help her to create a tribute book for Nanny Evans. We got the tributes and the photos into the printers on time and I collected them yesterday. We discovered an entire page missing and I got back onto Donna at the printers. She brilliantly rescued the situation. It was a problem their end but I was able to collect a second batch today. They look fine, from what I can see. We need them for tomorrow when Debbie hands them out to people at the wake. Nanny's funeral service is tomorrow.

 

Reflections - December 2019

Posted on 10th December, 2019

Just a few things I've done since I last blogged... went to Brighton again with Jezz, a bit of retail therapy and a few more Christmas gifts. We bought each other something from one of those shops in St. James's Street.

I took the plunge and drove to Aldershot on Mother's birthday. It was to see her, give her a birthday present and we went out for lunch with Jamie too.

 

I've spent a lot of time reflecting and thinking... and in particular, about my pal, David Jack. I haven't stopped thinking about him, to be honest. I know we didn't see a lot of one another but we were very much in touch, almost daily. I miss him so much. He wins the award for longest delay of shock when someone dies! 

Life at home has been pretty perfect of late. I don't want to jinx it but it's all been pleasant. Apart from the telly blowing up in the lounge last week, things have been ok.

I bought all the Christmas presents early this year and have kept an amazing budget. It's allowed me to spend a little more on Jezz this year... which is good because I feel that he deserves it.

Afternoon High Tea at The Grand Brighton

Posted on 10th November, 2019

On Thursday 7 November 2019, Jezz and I set off for another day out in Brighton. We parked up and went for brunch at Burger King. After a bit of shopping we timed it so that we would arrive at The Grand Hotel by 2.15pm. We were shown our table in the terrace and we ordered our choice of tea. Then quiche and sandwiches arrived followed by cakes and scones. We took photos and it was quite an emotional time. We left there after a couple of hours and drove to St. James's Street and bought one another a gift. It was a really lovely day.