Sunday, July 26, 2020

Well that was an interesting week at work,  extremely busy as we are very short staffed and we are currently subject to another ongoing inquiry. I will one day devote a post to the psychopaths and narcissists who pursue careers in the health and care industry and the damage they cause.
What has made it interesting is that I realised I enjoy working in this team, I enjoy working with my colleagues and there are several clients who I have invested a lot of time and effort in and I'd like to support them as time goes on and eventually see them discharged. In short, I don't want to leave the team and I took a good honest look at the job I have applied for and realised it is only the reduced hours I want. After a lengthy discussion with my boss who doesn't want me to leave we agreed to look at reducing my hours, possibly from autumn once things are more settled at work.  I don't entirely trust my manager but the conversation was part of supervision and it is now documented. She has form for reneging on promises but there are other reasons for wanting to stay on. Sue is struggling to find work locally and I feel more comfortable with reducing my hours to thirty a week than the nineteen hours offered in the other job as money remains a factor. We have major house repairs planned for next year and this will help.

Otherwise, with the ongoing CV-19 saga and currently sticking close to home I have used this weekend for modelling and trying to sort the cats out. The smallest cat has become semi-feral and is reluctant to come in after a day spent roaming / sleeping / catting about the neighbourhood. Getting her in led to this...

Plus a new t shirt that has acquired a distressed look! Another new t shirt ordered and hopefully will avoid meeting a similar fate but I have suggested we return to bribery and affection rather than pick her up

I am a huge fan of M.R, James supernatural stories and during the lockdown I have followed Nunkie's on-line renditions of the stories.

The latest model on the table is a cheap old kit I bought from evil bay and I am applying scratch building techniques to bring it up to a reasonable standard. The Heinkel He 162 was a modern jet fighter in 1945 made on the cheap including a lot of wood and recycled materials! Flying at over 550 mph in an aircraft which was largely plywood and glue would do wonders for anyone suffering from constipation and the aircraft also had an ejector seat. What is even more astonishing was that of Eric Brown's opinion of this as an excellent aircraft!

Quite a few built but thankfully they only operated during the last few weeks of the war and the evil empire was consigned to history.  I will have a shelf devoted to these early jet aircraft and this one will join the Vampire I completed last year. A welcome distraction from the current madness of the world.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

A quick update as Sue reported seeing the ghost cat again and called me in quickly to see. I couldn't see anything but Mindy was on alert and staring intently at one spot in the doorway. This is the first photo...

This is the second immediately afterwards...

There were no insects, there are usually dust particles around but none caught this time and Mindy's behaviour had been odd for the day although she had Frontline flea liquid applied a couple of days earlier.  
She was transfixed by whatever she was staring at and she continued to stare at something on and off during the evening.

I did an experiment later that evening and caught lots of stuff on the video but it is dust particles and very different to the above image. Sue and I have seen a black cat on and off for years different locations and we have that image we captured which we cannot explain away.

All very odd and spiced the evening up.

In other news another 'paranormal' activity debunked and explains some of the noisy aerial activity around here of late. Interesting that the media focused on this and not the reasons behind the increased activity.


Friday, July 17, 2020

An extra day off today as I have accumulated hours and decided some TOIL (Time off in lieu) was necessary. It's been a busy week with the team down two staff and we have been rushing hither and thither to cover the extra work. Awake at 05.50 ready for work and realising it was my turn to work from home and having covered a lot of the phone calls and paperwork during the last four days as well as urgent visits, I took the opportunity to use today to rest my weary bones. Shopping and grass cutting completed early plus some model painting until Watson decided otherwise I can now put my feet up.

It is nice to have the day off away from the increasing turmoil but after four months lockdown and the contradictory messages from the government, media, chicken entrails I have little desire to go anywhere and frankly I feel too tired. Music and a good book it is then and I'll wait patiently for the paint to dry on the SBD Dauntless...


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Some news from work as I have applied for a part time job in the team I worked in several years ago. A friend informed me an internal advert had gone out but it was for a social worker so I left it. The team manager then asked me if I was interested and she explained it was open to nurses and recruitment had made an error. My application went in that evening and I will await an interview date as I am keen to start making the changes needed to improve my health and wellbeing. It will be nearly nineteen hours a week with two long days, using team cars and crisis response work. I had spoken with my current boss a few weeks back about potentially reducing my hours and she responded with the enthusiasm of a cat disturbed from a nap. Talking of changes, I bit the bullet and joined the local fat fighters club which, as they all are, is a virtual one via computer and phone. My back isn't too bad but my right leg is causing me a lot of discomfort so reducing the weight and gentle exercise should help. My fingers are crossed for the job and I will prepare for any surprise interview questions although, whether it is human nature to seek a 'supernatural' answer, I wonder whether there is some 'divine' guidance at hand that caused my mind to blank out for an interview question on a topic I used to teach! I failed to gain that full time position but now have the opportunity for a part time position in the same team! 

This is the latest work I have on the table, a SBD Dauntless in 1/48 scale and I am trying to obtain the correct shade of blue for an aircraft gifted by the USA to the New Zealand airforce circa 1942. I was pleased with the result so far only to discover from further research that some of them were in a darker blue, light blue and then grey colour scheme. A bit more research required  but that is part of the joy of doing this hobby. I am brush painting and to avoid brush marks I am using very thinned layers of paint with a broad brush. I've moved on from buying any old brush paints to now paying out for quality brushes which are thoroughly cleaned after use and cosseted to maintain their effectiveness.

After saying I would abstain from buying any more kits I bought the one below as it cost me £7.00 including P & P.

It's a kit from 1965 and it shows as there are few parts and it is very basic. I have decided to upgrade the kit with some aftermarket parts I have ordered and some scratch building of parts. I am fascinated by the history of flight and the transition from propellor aircraft to the early jets is one particular area I enjoy. I have a couple of Messerschmidt 262's in the stash as well as the Vampire I built last year and I have an eye on buying an early Meteor as well. There are others on the list such as the Lockheed Shooting Star as I will start with those aircraft that were in production before the war ended. Moving to part time work will give me more time for modelling as well as other activities.

Another heavy week ahead as we continue with telephone contact but our face to face contacts for urgent work has increased and sadly, a lot of this is dealing with people who are in or approaching crisis. I seem to spend 40 % of my time dealing with the same five people and making no progress because of the lockdown and the reluctance of other agencies to attend until restrictions are further reduced. The whole Covid 19 lockdown and the accompanying nonsense has also contributed to my desire to reduce my working hours and I know of several other colleagues of a similar age to me who are planning on leaving or doing the same. Something does not smell right and I am keen to focus on home and loved ones, get back to gardening and growing fruit and veg and becoming more self sufficient. I also find I am tired and I ache from a lifetime of acquired and accumulated injuries and the final straw was the work injury from earlier this year. So a move to a job with fewer hours where the nature of crisis work is that when I finish for the day it all remains with the team and not come back  after days off to umpteen emails asking me to do the impossible as I am the care coordinator for an individual will be very welcome. With these changes in lifestyle I might regain some of my former energy to do those things I have long wanted to do. 


Sunday, July 05, 2020

Another weekend and the pubs are open after being closed for the past four months. I shall be giving it a miss but as I now rarely go to local pubs it doesn't really effect me. I am still confused with regards to Covid 19 advice although there is no doubt that those over 70 and / or have underlying health problems are most at risk. We had our antibody results back and all negative except for one person who had gone skiing in France last February. Yet antibody results pertain to any Covid illness so that includes colds and there is a debate as to how soon should blood tests be done i.e. Within fourteen days of being infected! To further reinforce the message one of our doctors died last week following three months in ICU and that has brought the message home.  But he did tick many of the boxes for the at risk group. A sad loss. Let's see what happens over the next couple of weeks as the lockdown restrictions are slowly removed.

The 1/72 scale Whitley bomber has been completed or almost completed. I used oils for some of the camouflage and a week later it is still not yet dry. I plan to put a matt coat on for a final protection once the oils have completely dried. It is the first time I made a template for one of the letters after I ruined a decal and I painted it in.

It isn't perfect but it's not a bad first attempt and I am pleased with it.

Overall not a bad job and I am improving in some of the skills particularly addressing the seams although a lot more patience is required. Up on the table is the SBD Dauntless in 1/48 scale that I had already started and I am building this one as an out of the box model with no aftermarket parts or scratch building as I want to relax with a simple kit build. I intend to do this one in the colours of the Royal New Zealand airforce circa 1942 - 43.

This should keep me busy for the next week or so and I am already considering the next build although I haven't yet decided whether to build another aircraft or the Henderson motorcycle. The latter is appealing and I have already started it but the plastic is very brittle and I want to work on this kit slowly and do it justice. I find I have little time outside of work and when I am home by 6 p.m. I shower and eat before crashing out in front of the TV or immerse myself in a book. I am annoyed because there is pressure on us to do more work yet if we end up doing extra hours to accommodate this we are then criticised for wanting to take those hours back. Over the past month I have generally been sticking to my regular hours and ensuring I start and finish on time, working to rule and refusing any extra work. We still have at least one day each week working from home so as to reduce the number of staff in the building. If we stuck to the Covid recommendations from the health and safety team we would have to work from home and not enter the building at all! 

Anyhow, time for a cuppa and a catch up with some Sasquatch podcasts which makes more sense compared with much of the nonsense happening in the world today!


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Another weekend and a welcome break from the madness of work. It's been a wonderful week with lots of sunshine and temperatures of 25 - 28 Celsius ( mid 80's Fahrenheit) but I've been in the car, on an occasional visit or sat indoors at the desk. Yesterday afternoon and today...rain, rain and lots more rain just appropriate for two days off! An opportunity to crack on with modelling and today this arrived in the post.

I saw it on eBay and considered it for the next two days, did some research and this is a rare kit, discussed it with Sue (it was pricey) and I bought it. It's an old kit (1975) and having rummaged through it and examined it in detail, it will be challenging. As ever, I dived in and tried a couple of pieces and this will keep me occupied for a few weeks as the Whitley build is not yet completed and I want to finish that first. Plus, there is another build on the go and currently boxed away awaiting my attention.

This is the kit awaiting my attention...

It too is an old build with the moulds from 1960 so cheap and cheerful but good fun.

I had hoped to do some walking today following the advice from the Occupational Health interview I had this week. I explained I was doing some daily gentle walks for my back and knee and their advice was "Carry on doing the same". I also have to somehow persuade my GP to interview me so some boxes can be ticked for my manager that I have had medical guidance. Unless it is urgent GP's aren't seeing anyone face to face during this Covid crisis but I still have to talk with a GP. I have also been advised to lose weight so back to fat fighters next week but pain and discomfort is a great motivator!
My back isn't too bad and it clicked during the week I was off sick which is both a comfort and worrying simultaneously. My right knee is a problem as my injury from a few years ago has returned with a vengeance. If I sit too long in one place it seizes up so I have to ensure I get up and walk  every half hour or so. Driving isn't too bad for short journeys but longer journeys could be interesting. I have slowed my pace at work and I have this week refused some extra work my boss was trying to dump on me.  We are short staffed but apparently we have more than enough staff to meet demands and quell surprise, community services currently being audited by some arse polishing a comfy seat far away from reality because the last four months didn't happen!
I think I need some coffee.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

I had started a post about the BLM protests but I deleted it because my core belief has always been violence engenders more violence and is not a solution to the worlds ills. I am not going to offer an opinion about the protests / riots in the USA except to say it worries me when I see what is happening there.

 Over here in the UK the usual suspects are involved in or using the protests (SWP, antifa, etc...) for their own ends and really don't care about other lives at all. I saw first hand on numerous occasions what violence is in Northern Ireland and encountered it again on a couple of occasions in Israel.  Dismantling the police, demanding preferential treatment, attacking the structures of the state and its representatives provokes an equal and possibly greater reaction and sadly that will happen unless some leadership across the board from all parties resolves this peacefully. As for historical far back do we go? I know and talked with some anti-English people in Ireland and over here who are still fighting the battles of 1649 - 51 and 1798, the famine of the 1840's and 1916. It fuels politics and anger still today and I distrust people who offer simple solutions based on aggression. If people aren't convinced that dismantling the police is a bad thing there are plenty of examples in history and post WW1 Germany is one example that comes to mind. The Freikorps and other militia eventually led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. Is that what people want? 
The idiots using the genuine anger and anxieties of minority groups to further their own ends would also do well from a close examination of Russia 1917 - 1922 and what happened to those deemed enemies of the state by Lenin and Stalin following the civil war. If that's too close to home for their university learnt but reality free Marxist fantasies they could take a gander at the French revolution of 1789. 
One of the general themes from my time at university studying history was dissent and revolution. My saving grace was that I started my degree as a part time student whilst holding down a full time job and at the age of thirty I had some life experience. I also had the experience of trades unions and the politics involved in doing that so I had been exposed to the batshit craziness of extreme leftwing politics. It's why I avowedly avoid both right and left and opt for sensible consensual politics. 
Nobody likes to be called a racist and overt racism is hugely reduced. I have heard the occasional racist remark from individuals but it is rare and can and should be challenged. Over the past few years I have heard an increasing number of anti-semitic remarks and I have robustly challenged that shit. It worries me that that has increased and that people are now being forced into choosing sides because that lays the framework for civil discord and potentially for conflict. 

Meanwhile, more rain and modelling or as Sue calls it 'Sniffin' glue'!

Work so far on the Whitley with some 'sprue goo' laid along the seams which I have now started to sand down. I have behaved myself and not ordered any new models but I have ordered new tools, paints and thinners although I now have the recipe for making my own thinners which will save me money.A bottle of my regular thinner costs me several quid for a 250 ml bottle. The recipe will cost about the same for three litres and the smallest ingredients can contribute to making approximately fifty - sixty litres! I shall look into that next month, order the constituent ingredients and not worry about buying thinners for the next few years. 

I received a text from a work colleague and I have to admit I am anxious about my return to work next week as it does sound like the shit has hit the fan. A work colleague and I use that term loosely, has transferred to another team and dropped the team in it with covering their caseload and other assorted duties. I am glad to see the back of them as they caused nothing but trouble and the complaints about their behaviour from patients, other teams and agencies was pouring in thick and fast. It's left all sorts of headaches but they'll be sorted out eventually. I also have a telephone physiotherapy appointment next week! I will see what happens as I plan to work full time for the rest of this year and as previously stated, I intend to look at my options for next year. With the mortgage paid off this summer and my attempts to encourage Sue to consider changes in our lifestyles it's a definite plan. I again suggested a move to Bulgaria as property is cheap there and life is very affordable on a small budget. Still a no from her! 

                                         An early Fathers day gift from No.1 son!

Now...back to the garden as there is some sunshine. Be careful out there folks and avoid the idiots.