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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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A quick update

Posted on 26th March, 2021

"There's not a lot to report since we last spoke..." That's a phrase that I've been using far too often. Unless talking about what I've eaten or baked or watched on telly, there's nothing! And as much as I think that that is how life has been for years, it feels more compounding with the stay at home pandemic in place. So, with that in mind, we've been using the McDonalds app far too often and we've been doing some more experimenting in the kitchen with home baking. The offers and deals that McDonald's offer are enticing and really good value for money. They have us hooked on their limited burger offers like the Grand Big Mac and The Big Tasty. I think at one point, we were only not going to the Drive-thru because the quick debate ended with "... because we only went yesterday, that's why!"

Home baking tryouts have included a completely failed attempt of a two-layered jelly trifle (I used too much water and the second layer didn't set), lol. Also, the florentines really need a makeover. They're nice but they're not crunchy at all. We're gonna try a new recipe soon.

In our efforts to prepare for getting back to some form of normality, Jezz and I have tried venturing out... small trips (baby steps, that sort of thing).

The other day we went out so that Jezz could get petrol and we drove to a garden centre that we normally go to when we're looking to drive out a bit further than our local one. He bought me a scarf hanger, 2 jars of chutney and we shared a bar of chocolate-covered nougat... mmm, haven't had one of those since I were a lad.

On another occasion, after Jezz had made some peanut butter Millionnaire's bars, we drove over to Nik's and actually went inside for a short time. It was so nice to get close as it had been just over a year since we last hugged.

Still locked in!

Posted on 27th February, 2021

This month sees a full year of lockdown. I've been isolated away at home for 12 months and it's starting to affect me, mentally. Before now, it just felt like any other day, week or month but then, it was a choice. Not able to just get in the car and drive to see my sisters (and if I did, not be able to have a hug and a cuddle) is too sad. It's been compounded by not being allowed outdoors because, since the vaccination, we were placed on the 'extremely clinically vulnerable' list. I'm not sure we shouldn't have been on it from the beginning. Not being able to go and see A*** is bothering me too. As for sex... I'm wondering if I'll be able to remember what to do and then be able to!

There's plenty of tell-tale signs that we've been home too long. The memory foam of my mattress leaves a concaved-shape well where my skinny arse is all day and night. The consumption of electricity (along with a fuel price hike) has increased our monthly direct debit by £28.07. The successful boredom relieving project of experimental home baking is definitely showing. I'm able to empty the dishwasher with the light off. There's nothing in my recorded TV list... I'm always caught up. And the worst one... I went to pull away from the driveway and the tyres were stuck to the ground where they hadn't moved for a month. Madness!

 

Happy? New Year

Posted on 4th February, 2021

Well, 2021 hasn't offered much comfort since the dramas of last year and the COVID pandemic. But the news of a vaccine at the start of the year has changed the outlook somewhat. As I type this today, over 10 million people in the UK have received their first of two vaccine jabs. There's much debate about the gap between doses, currently 12 weeks but there are news reports that experts have said 6 weeks would be more efficient in providing the optimum vaccination against the coronavirus. Just today, testing has started to see if different vaccine types can be used between doses. We currently have 4 different approved vaccines in circulation and until now, it was believed that anyone receiving one type as their first dose, has to have the same product as their top-up second dose.

Life in lockdown, staying home for months at a time with the only need to go out to collect medication from the pharmacy once a month and two visits to the most local McDonalds to collect a food order, I have pretty much been stuck at home for 11 months now. I'm not sure it's making me a tad doo-lally! Lol.

 

In other news, Jezz has been away from work and together we have been experimentally baking, coming up with doughnuts, cinnamon whirls, morning bread rolls and flavoured cookies... and pretty much with complete success. I've mastered homemade banana pancakes and sometimes have them for breakfast.

End of year blog 2020

Posted on 30th December, 2020

I was explaining to my sister on the phone that I struggle to understand why people are not more aware of just how contagious this coronavirus is. I am even more perplexed when people say that it is just a conspiracy to kill off the elderly or it is the government just wanting to keep us all under control. During the past ten months, I have even heard that it is the work of Microsoft’s Bill Gates wanting to inject a chip in us all during the vaccine process... honestly!

I think I have a better understanding of the coronavirus because of the knowledge that I have learned about HIV and how it can be transmitted, the incubation period and how that leads to false blood test results. It occurred to me that when someone gets tested for COVID-19, the result is negative for that moment in time. I wonder if some people believe that the negative test result is in some way also a vaccine. The calm and relaxed attitude of someone with a negative test result seems to give a false reassurance that life can just carry on. Few people seem to realise that the virus can be contracted on the journey home from the test centre where they received their negative result. And then, because of the incubation period being between 7 to 10 days, and in some cases up to 14 days, if they get tested again as early as the following week and that result may also give a false result. And yet, understandably, the confidence of seeming virus-free gives the perception that they are safe.

As far as I am concerned, I believe that the virus can be contracted not just from saliva droplets sprayed into the air as someone speaks, or from them sneezing or coughing, but also from door handles, surfaces, seats and handrails, food packaging, letterboxes, money and much more. Although we are taught that the virus is not airborne, I have this constant belief that we should all behave as though it were.

Jezz and I were wearing the correct protective masks just two weeks into the news breaking in March of this year. So soon that everyone thought that we were behaving a little ‘over the top.’ We passed through every reaction and emotion, from fear to paranoia, from careful with hygiene to disinfecting the post. I realise now that we have not stopped behaving this way, it has just become so commonplace with everyone else, that it does not look odd anymore. So... we stay at home. We do not go shopping anymore if we can avoid it and instead, have a monthly grocery delivery from Waitrose. I bailed out at the last moment with an arrangement to meet with the family but it did keep within the government guidelines and restrictions. Over Christmas, we only agreed to see the family at a doorstep, masks on and staying sanitised before and after.

Well, we have not got ill and I am sure we have either avoided the virus so far or have actually had it and it has passed.

We both went for an anti-body test on 1 September and it was confirmed that neither of us had contracted it back then. We were also advised at the time, that it would only confirm that we had not contracted the virus recently. That meant that it was possible to have caught the virus months beforehand, been asymptomatic and recovered, unaware that we had it at all. And, if there were an undetectable amount of antibodies, the blood test result would be negative. It is still not known how long before the antibodies die off.

So, my conclusion is that we sit tight, wash our hands regularly, hibernate away for what feels like a lifetime and wait to be vaccinated.

 

In other news, it has been a testing time for everyone who lives with their loved ones as lockdown continues into 2021 but Jezz and I have managed easily to get on and work as a team, respecting one another's time alone and the get-together moments that remind us both of the love, dedicated and meaningful companionship we have with one another.

 

2020 was also the year that Jezz and I had a 20th year anniversary. We met in 2000 and have known one another and lived together since.

 

As we go into 2021, I'm reflecting on the dramas and sadness of not seeing my family and be able to give them hugs but comforted by the fact that we are all still here and reasonably healthy, despite 3 family members having COVID-19 and all recovered, thankfully. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.