Sunday, June 29, 2014

Second week at work and I have been chucked in the deep end with the case load rapidly increased as the 'new boy' gets the 'difficult cases'. Next week I will be covering injections for staff who are on leave so I am no longer at periscope depth! All in all, it's been a better week and I feel more settled now, with familiar routines and a sense of business as usual.
Blue Witch asked a very relevant question about my return to work and end of this round of retirement; do I have any regrets? My hastily scribbled reply before I headed off out the door didn't really answer it. I do have regrets as I believe I wasted an opportunity but with hindsight I am also aware that my batteries had been on empty for a long time. I paid off debts, recharged my batteries and had the first long break in the last thirty years. The opportunity I missed was not waiting and relocating within the Trust to a job nearer home. I could have continued until the age of 55 and then retired on a full pension with everything paid off including the mortgage. I made my decision, went with it and despite some regrets I am glad to have escaped that situation. Over the past two weeks I have met three colleagues who have done the same thing and returned to work after early retirement. My plan is for 2 -3 years full time work which will pay off the mortgage, allow me to put money aside for myself and to then quit nursing or work part time. "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley" and it may be that my plans go awry but, my general intention is to stick to that plan. I do still have some wild ideas running about my head  such as buying a cheap house and land in Bulgaria; camper van around Europe; derelict old cottage in the Scottish borders. Mrs C is rather cool about the first and third ideas but is happy for me to bugger off in a camper van for several months. Those are future schemes and the camper van is likely to be the one that comes to fruition. But we are back to the present and the mundane task of a 9 - 5 job to realise that scheme. I also know that, despite the years of hard work and difficulties we have encountered along the way, I am in a luckier place compared with many people. Now it is time for a coffee and a return to my mandolin practice which I have neglected for the last three months.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First week completed and the weekend is here!
I am absolutely shattered and after a week of early nights I am enjoying a weekend of more sleeping! Lots to take in for the new job or should I say 'jobs' as I have three distinct roles to perform as a care coordinator, an AMHP and a BIA. As with the Pearl Girl I look cool, calm and collected from the waist up but from the waist down my legs are running sprints. I have been meeting and greeting countless people, finding out where things are and what agencies are available and I have barely scratched the surface. Next week I take on the first of my case load  as well as continuing IT training for the systems I have to use. Luckily they are familiar to me and shouldn't be too much trouble (famous last words).
I have returned to writing this after a brief nap. The combination of early rising, grass cutting and hay fever plus the inevitable piriton tablet took its toll and knocked me out for forty minutes. So I'll sign off now and go out to enjoy more sunshine on what is the longest day of the year.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Just a few of the photographs from the bike day I popped into in Grimsby last Sunday. For some reason my mobile would not connect with the laptop... well, after dropping it down the toilet several months ago it has developed some peculiarities.

The above looks astonishing but it can't be too comfortable.

This trio of bikes arrived as I wandered around although there were at least 150 bikes there as I left with more arriving all the time.

There were several trikes including this BMW plus attached bench.

This explicit bike was also on show... Although the following scooter also attracted much interest in this centenary of the Great War.

All in all an enjoyable afternoon with some amused looks as I locked my bicycle to a fence beside some Harleys.

In other news we believe Molly is (again) on her last legs after a faecal explosion yesterday over her favourite rug which has been binned as being beyond regular cleaning.

However, thirty minutes later she had eaten some liver pate, battered the Thugpuss and appeared to have perked up and wandering around the garden. That picture was taken an hour ago as various critters are dotted around the garden and soaking up the sun. That also describes my day, sprawled in the chair and soaking up the rays. Although there was work going on in the new builds there was no diesel fumes or block cutting taking place. Just the BBQ smoke drifting over from another garden and the gentle buzzing of insects. I shall now head out for more of the same!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I was feeling a bit weepy this morning and I have no idea why. So much for 'Stiff upper lip' and all that but, I imagine it is my return to work next week and the end of my first short attempt at retirement. I am looking forward to returning to work and I have a rough plan as to what I intend to do over the next few years. This depends upon good health and my ability to manage finances, savings, etc... My plan is to finish full time work for good at the age of sixty. Between now and then I will be signing up for the Open University to study a mix of literature, philosophy and history but, I also intend to start writing again. Short stories and particularly poetry, the latter I have neglected for over twenty years as that which we call life relentlessly battered me over the head. The alternative view is that it is I who relentlessly battered my head against variously ill chosen brick walls! The feelings of loss this morning, for that is what it felt like, caught me by surprise and has caused me to stop and consider why? A combination of the return to work, the recent death of Rik Mayall, my mother's recent illness, meeting new people... these have all contributed to it bubbling away at the back of my mind and eventually surfacing today. I'm also very much aware that the good work in losing weight and getting fit has been undone over the past year by laziness, eating and drinking too much and little exercise. I am once again on the healthy approach to life but I shan't be returning to the fat fighters club. I have the knowledge and experience so I will apply them, albeit shakily at times!

Anyhow, for the literary among you: What is the connection between the two pictures I have  posted above?
A virtual fat free, dairy free tall, skinny caffiene free latte (Why? You may as well drink water!) to whoever gets it right and a virtual hug.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rik Mayall has died at far too young an age and oddly enough I feel we have lost an individual who brought laughter, joy and made one think. From the Young One's, Bottom, Alan B'Stard, etc.. he weaved an anarchic course through British comedy.

It's also a shock to realise that he was only two years older than me and he has died suddenly. I feel sad for his wife and especially his children who are also having to cope with the glare of media attention and the interest of idiots like me. 

Hopefully he has gone to cause mayhem beyond those fabled pearly gates and returning occasionally to haunt that tosser Ben Elton. I saw the latter live at the Earth Exchange during the eighties in a tiny room but I never did get to see Rik Mayall. As another blogger says "They are being taken from our pen now". RIP Rik you funny mad old bugger...


Saturday, June 07, 2014

Sometimes a song says it all...

In other news... rain and more rain but, it is summer after all.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

 News just in!
I have just finished speaking to my new boss and I start the new job the week after next. The final reference has obviously just gone in and we are ready to rock & roll. I was extremely surprised given the length of time I have been waiting for this. I also had some extra news, that 2- 3 times a month I will be on call overnight which was not expected. It beats the 2 -3 times a week on call I did for more years than I care to remember but still unexpected. I suspect I may be in for a bit of a shock after ten months of doing Sweet Fanny Adams. But the bonus is a commute of two miles to my work base which may include cycling if that's encouraged. I'll cite green credentials, fitness, cuddly kittens although the wet weather might be a greater influence with recourse to dry car!
I cycled another five miles this morning, getting in practice and giving the bike a thorough workout. The annoying grating noise was down to the side stand rubbing on the tyre so I have removed that. After cycling with the endorphins whizzing around and lathered in sweat, I showered and collapsed in a heap. But am I happy? You can bet I am. A takeaway meal to celebrate and a glass of a good Malt this evening and I'll be sorted.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The above beauty now belongs to me. Yes, I bought myself a 'new' bike, second-hand from a delightful couple in Cleethorpes who have bought themselves new electric bicycles. I saw this advertised on Pre-loved for £99-00 and I was on the blower faster than Jack Robinson. I popped along  and the chap was clutching the money within five minutes. I know a bargain when I see one and this is just what I wanted. German built, 24 gears, built in lock, sit up and beg with a comfy saddle and a side stand plus dynamo lights. A proper European bicycle much loved by the Dutch and Germans. 

Similar models I have been looking at on ebay have been advertised at £300 plus for second hand bikes and I had even considered a trip over to Holland for a weekend break and return with a second hand bike. Today was a beautiful day for cycling as well so once home, tyres pumped up and everything checked out, I was in the saddle and away I went, wobbling my way around the local roads as I acclimatised myself to cycling once more. Home again, saddle raised and little success in identifying irritating noise from rear end (!) and I was once again off on two wheels. Wonderful! 

Despite cycling no more than four miles I had a huge grin upon my face... I am once again a cyclist. I plan to book it in for a service as the gears are slightly off key and 24 gears is too complex for me to start messing around with. But my mind is now full of plans for local cycle rides and days out with the camera. Old churches, pubs, villages, pubs, beach and more pubs. There's a theme here... I had talked with Mrs C. yesterday about my desire to pop down to Skidbrooke and see the old church there which is allegedly haunted. However, I'll stick to shorter rides to start with and build up my stamina as well as fitness levels.

On the work front, I have been out on one or two assessments for the BIA work and I have two lined up for tomorrow. That will be my limit for this coming week as I want to take things easy and avoid excessive driving. Aside from that I am awaiting a start date because of the tardiness / laziness / incompetence of my ex-boss whom I shall be having words with tomorrow on his return from leave. It is his reference that is required for the new job and I shall be going to his boss about his poor response. We'll see how things pan out although with my mother currently experiencing poor health I might be grateful to have the extra time if I have to shoot down to Essex. Now a shower and a cup of tea is required...