Seeds

Nothing better than blowing a few Dandelion Seeds about in the air. Normally you get one or two to play with. But occasionally it becomes an epic undertaking….

I’d rather spend my time working my way through this seed patch than deal with work emails. Why are so many of our fellow souls just so confrontational, self absorbed and difficult. Talk about opinionated and judgemental. So quick to pick fault with others. So quick to tell you exactly what they think of someone. I don’t mind it when people are praising or supporting others but mostly it’s so negative. All based on such limited understanding or awareness of the actual facts…..

For some reason I keep dreaming about an isolated tropical island……

Space

If only life was always this open and uncluttered…..

I was unfortunately wading my way through a mound of work emails when I could have been getting on with being a parent. Suddenly the world here looks like it’s caught up in a crazy stampede to open up again. I work in the events and sporting field. A pandemic is not conducive to full diary. For over a year our little companies order book has been as empty as a Yorkshire mans wallet after he sees a sale at the ‘Everything for a Pound’ store. But suddenly it’s gone mad. So much is now being planned, all without any formal regard for social distancing. All based on the assumption that the pandemic is over, everything is fine. I just think that we are still teetering on a knife edge. If we are not careful now then a lot of people are going to be at best disappointed, at worst, very ill. Will these events actually happen?

Anyway I was wading through the work emails. Wading is the right expression. If people just stick to the point then it would be so much quicker. But no. Let’s talk about what meal they had out last night. Let’s talk about the night at the pub. Squeezed somewhere in that social stuff will be the work bit.

Wow have I become The GRINCH ……

As I was wading through those emails a thought struck me. Wish I’d become something like an Astronaut rather than an Accountant…. I bet the Astronaut wouldn’t have to read about the stuff I’m suffering here. Having said that I bet you can probably get work emails in space now.

No one can hear you scream in space was the old horror movie line. Now it’s become ‘no one can hear you scream at your email inbox in space’.

Setting

The sun setting on another day.

Today has felt like one of those days that you need to keep pushing. Don’t push and you grind to a halt. Nothing comes easy. Always seems like it’s pushing up a hill. Nothing comes for free. No easy downhill sections.

So feeling a little worn out.

So on today’s late walk with Hawklad and the mad one, I tried to stand still for a second or two and watch the sun set. Look West. Then it’s time to keep walking. Well actually it was time to get pulled in a different direction by the hyper dog. That’s what you clearly get when there’s an accidental romantic encounter in a park between a small fluffy German Spitz girl dog and a slightly mad Cocker Spaniel boy. You get this….

So I was pulled along in a direction. Didn’t seem like I was completely in control of the direction. Just going with the flow. Life feels like that often. Not really in control. Being pulled. My preferred direction is always against the flow. That’s why life seems so hard most days. Constantly walking through treacle. So do I fight it or just go with it.

Today it feels like the answer is go with it.

Rainbow LOST

First rainbow of the year here. Sadly I failed to find that pot of gold. If I had found that pot then I could have happily binned this application form in front of me.

Having carefully followed the IKEA flat pack like instructions that came with the application pack I was officially LOST. Don’t you just love filling out Government Forms. Especially the ones which are designed to stop you claiming any money from them. You know your in trouble when your lost on the FIRST page with another 30 to go. Only thing left was for me to contact the dreaded customer care line. 🤯🙈

Having showed them the tattoo on my left buttock as proof of who I am and confirmed that I was a UK citizen… the main event started. I carefully explained my personal circumstances

“How can I help you Sir.”

Box 4. I’m not sure which option to tick in terms of circumstances.

Well sir you are not classed as a widow. You also don’t meet the definition of single, divorced, separated or married. So you would tick the box marked OTHER.”

Ok there is a problem being OTHER. That option then directs me to the final page. I get a paragraph to fill out with any other information and that’s it. I don’t get the chance to fill out the other 28 pages of questions. I’m guessing they are kind of important to the overall claim…

Unfortunately those are the current protocol rules. You do get that box on the final page to set out you circumstances and information relating to your claim.

Is there anything else I can help you with….

Would you mind answering a few prerecorded customer care questions…..”

*****

So I’m not entirely convinced that my claim will go that well. More chance of finding that pot of gold….

Prunes

Don’t you just love WordPress. It’s a bit like Prunes. You know they are good for you. So many benefits but a monumental pain in the backside….

Blogging is really so good for me but WordPress is a monumental pain in the ….. It just feels like wading through treacle.

Will it just once allow me to format the post as I want it to look.

Will it just once have a truly user friendly editor.

Will it just once not keep trying mess up my photos so I have to constantly keep on reloading them.

Will it stop showing me that my blog looks fine when some users can’t see the photos or only see messed up formatting.

Will it stop messing up a post when I dare to try and include a music or video link.

Will it stop changing all my text into micro font if I accidentally delete a bit WP doesn’t want me to do.

Will it stop randomly deleting people from my following list and then not bothering to tell me.

Will it stop randomly deleting comments I post.

Will it stop randomly deciding to freeze the iPad app. In fact will it stop freezing my iPad – it’s the only app that has ever done that for me.

Will the help desk stop blaming Apple for the working of its App.

WHINING OVER.

I like blogging. It helped me cope with loss. It helped me become a better parent. A better person. Made some great friends through it. Kept me connected with people during this period of isolation. So I guess I will keep taking my Prunes. The benefits are so worth it.

L

Farmer

Been far too grey and misty over the last few days. Too much winter. So let’s have a little bit of summer. Yes Yorkshire does get some of that. Sometimes.

This is one of those great footpaths. A footpath across the crop field that the local farmer dutifully maintains. Not easy to get lost of this one. I always think it would be funny if the farmer built in a maze to this path. He could get hordes of walkers lost here for hours. Could be a nice little money earner for him. Send his sheepdogs in to rescue the walkers for a small fee.

In that photo if you keep going straight. Climb the hill. Keep going straight and in about 10 minutes you will crash into our overgrown garden. You could get seriously lost in there.

I feel a little lost today. I think many of us are. A little tired of Groundhog Day. Bored with 2020. Hours , days, weeks and months seemingly merging into each other. Having to constantly look at the date on my mobile and then check the calendar to work out where I am. Is it a Sunday? Not sure.

But there is always hope.

This time will pass. Directions will be rediscovered again. The farmer will work on his lovely straight path again.

Back to normal

Do you ever have those moments in time that are just a little too busy. When lots of random events decide to bloom at exactly the same time. When life goes kinda mad. Well I’ve just had another one of those career defining epochs.

I was happily trying to cook tea. Pan boiling nicely. Grill turned on. Looking through the window at the washing gently drying on the outside clothes horse. Everything under control. Even time for a little air guitar listening to Kiss and then …..

For some reason the TV Speaker Bar kicked into life and decided to join in with the kitchen speaker and blast out Kiss. And I mean blast out. Deafening. It does have a mind of its own, definitely when it comes to Bluetooth. So I rushed to turn it off but couldn’t find the remote control (it doesn’t have any useful buttons on the speaker, apparently that is progress). Then a shout from the toilet…

Dad the toilet is blocked and flooding.

So I ditched trying to turn the music down and headed towards the toilet. The phone rang.

Can I phone you back, bit of a crisis here (having to shout above the music),

Running towards the toilet and the front doorbell rang.

Can you leave the parcel there ….. Apparently not and I had to sign for it. Definitely getting an evil look for listening to that type of music so loud.

Heading towards the toilet when the smoke alarm goes off. Run to the kitchen to find the grill was arc welding the once tasty food options. Turn off grill and throw the food embers outside. Then throw the smoke alarm out as well. That’s now happily screeching away on the lawn.

Head towards the toilet and the cat knocks the school iPad off the table. I try to catch it but fail. Check the damage. Screen looks slightly cracked.

Dad the toilet is flooded and I’m busting. Hawklad shouting over Kiss.

Head towards the kitchen sink to find the plunger only to find the pan was now boiling over and the top of the electric cooker is like a boating lake. Turn the pan off.

Dad I’m busting. The words almost lost amongst the dialled to 11 metal music.

Plunger now in hand. Front doorbell rings again. Can our postman leave a parcel for next door with me. Apparently he likes Kiss and went to see them 20 years ago.

Dad the cat is drinking the toilet water and I’m seriously busting.

Ten minutes later the toilet is working. Son isn’t busting anymore. Kiss is playing at less than 150 decibels. Soup has now replaced the wrecked food. I’ve got no idea who phoned. The smoke alarm is getting a free wash on the front lawn in a passing rain storm. As is the once almost dry washing.

Back to normal again.

Magical sky

Looking at a big sky opens up so many possibilities. It can fill your heart with wonder. It can fuel dreams and adventures. Bring back forgotten memories. It can also calm the internal raging storm.

It can also stop you taking a large sledgehammer to the telephone…

I received a letter from the bank informing me that my local branch was closing. I apparently had two options. Start using a branch which is 15 miles further away or set up an online banking option. I opted for the latter as the setup process was fully online and could be completed in just a few moments.

Did have a third option…. switch to another bank.

So I started the process from the comfort of my sofa. Rather than being complete in just a few moments the process was clearly going to be more akin to spending a few hours in the company of the Spanish Inquisition. Three hours later the trial was still ongoing. New passwords, passcodes, PIN numbers, memorable words and identifying questions seemingly required for each screen. The process was clearly not complicated enough so suddenly the iPhone was required to join in with the tablet. Verification codes started flying between the two. I’ve got a degree in computing and the process was still pigging beyond me.

Then at last the final screen. Confirm your new online banking arrangements….. then the sting in the tail.

You will need to go into your branch in person to sign a form before the process can be completed. You can now however view your account balance online.

Very kind of them to allow me to view my bank balance (or lack of it) online. Who needs the other stuff like transfer money, make payments, control direct debits. That’s all minor stuff when it comes to online banking.

Then followed a most enjoyable one hour spent in a call queue listening to a recorded message telling me that I was a valued customer but unfortunately the bank was experiencing high call volumes. Finally a person. Unfortunately a person in a different country who didn’t understand the fine twangs of the Yorkshire accent and also clearly had no idea what it was to live in a country dealing with lockdowns.

So I eventually found myself outside. Trying to calm the internal rage and work out how to pay a visit to the new bank branch. But then the sky caught my attention. Thoughts quickly moved to happier things. Yes the sky is magical.

Help

Sometimes you need help. Help with routine stuff. Something like Broadband. So Saturday brought a broken service. Our broadband doesn’t like rain. Certainly doesn’t like 14 hours of solid rain.

No service, no internet on an afternoon is not going to cut the mustard with a teenager. So it’s time to make the dreaded call to the BT helpline. One hour later I finally speak to a human who then decides to play me some more annoying music. Another hour later I’m handed to a service engineer. Having explained the situation in some detail to the expert he agreed to look at his system. After 20 minutes of much tutting the expert told me that the service was ‘not optimal‘. When I told him it was in fact ‘not working’ I never did get to hear his response. Rather an automated voice kicked in to inform me that the department was now closed and would reopen again at 8am on Monday. Dont you just love service…..

So we have resorted to my very patchy mobile signal as our broadband option. It kinda reminds me of what it was like a few years back with dialup internet. How did we survive.

Frustrating

So frustrating. Quite a bit of the sky is blue yet the black clouds keep rolling over the top of us. Keeping the Sun hidden. That’s as close as we have been to a glimpse of the big yellow thing. Which happens to be an awful lot closer than we have had to anything resembling competent government recently…..

So this morning the Government has said that their message is crystal clear, the problem is that some people just can’t understand it…. So they have helpfully clarified some stuff. The new Stay Alert message means you must stay at home and also that you must not stay at home. You can only see one person a day from a different household. So if you have two parents then you can only see one of them. Yet people can go to work and meet work colleagues (as many as you like) as long as you follow the new workplace rules – rules which have not been written yet. People should wear masks, but only if they really want to. Don’t need to worry about things like if the masks meet minimum standards, an old sock will do – anyway that’s what many of our nurses and care workers have had to resort to using as the Government couldn’t be bothered to buy enough protective kit. It’s completely safe to go out but don’t try to use public transport as this may or may not be safe. We have the same rules across the UK and you can drive anywhere you want to. BUT not to Scotland or Wales as they might be using the same rules but differently. It will soon be completely safe to send under 10’s back to school but they won’t be able to play together as that would be completely unsafe. We have the most open and honest government in the world but we won’t be releasing the scientific advice we have been using and we will only answer questions that we think are appropriate. The Government has issued detailed rules, bizarrely many of these are still being written (that’s a minor technicality) and don’t get so hung up on the safety details. Just use good old British common sense and basically wing this …..

So yes the sun has refused to shine so far but there is always hope it will. Unfortunately with Boris there is absolutely no hope of competent government ever appearing. Sadly we are not the only country like this. I just hope you get more of the sun than we do…..