An End of Year Resolution

I have decided yet again to try and make a ‘diary’ of my daily trudge through this thing called ‘LIFE’.  Wether I actually manage the task is probably the biggest question, I’m hoping I can do it most days (I was never any good at keeping a diary).  Can’t wait to see the back of 2015, it’s not been that nice to me.


A Near Miss…… (so, so, close)

On Sunday 9th November we left Sunderland station on a trek to see family in London. We travelled on the Grand Central Railway to Kings Cross, a pleasant enough journey apart from travelling backwards. We were met at the station by Gemma, Pauline’s youngest daughter who has lived in London since starting Uni in 2000. We were given our Oyster cards for travelling around London and made our way towards the tube station as we had to get to Crystal Palace. After using one Underground and one Overground service we arrived at Crystal Palace station, then began the long trek uphill towards our hotel. We were staying at the Euro Queens Hotel, a very nice looking building from the outside. After a few problems with my credit card we managed to pay our bill before even being told our room number (I thought this very strange, usually bills are paid on leaving not arrival) The reason for this was soon apparent, my comments left on their website:-

From the roadside a lovely looking hotel. ‘Gentleman’ who booked us in appeared pleasant enough at first, telling us he was giving us ‘his best room’. He got rather sarcastic with his comments when the hotel credit card machine would not work properly, it kept telling me my pin number was incorrect. We were given a grubby little plastic key card and directed to our room. What a shock! the smell of damp was to say the least unpleasant, the bottom left corner of the large sash window was rotted away, there was a large cob-web filled gap between the window frame and the heating radiator(which was held on by a piece of wire screwed to the window frame) The two chairs in the room were dirty and stained, one seat barely staying on the metal framework. The bathroom was in a likewise sorry state, the bath taps appeared not to have been cleaned in years, the shower curtain rail was rusty, the toilet seat was too small for the pan, the bathroom door did not close fully, the bath panel was in a terrible state of repair being held in place by some sort of white mastic and the sink pedestal was barely touching the base of the sink and was ‘glued’ in place to the cracked floor tiles using the same white mastic. Being too tired after our long trip from Sunderland we decided to ‘sleep on it’ until the morning. The morning came and with it dawned two more surprises, the bed was soft in one corner, upon inspection it was found that the divan base frame was actually broken in one corner and then there was the awful smell of stagnant water from the bathroom.

We complained about the broken bed and the smell from the bathroom and were told to remove our belongings from the room and we would be found other accommodation. The new room was completely different, it was as pictured on the website. The question remains of course, why weren’t we given this room in the first place? After eventually working out how to use the air-conditioning system the rest of our stay in the hotel was pleasant enough. We ventured to the local Weatherspoons for breakfast everyday not wishing to use the hotel facility.

We had a great time seeing some sights,The Tower Poppies, travelling on the Emirates Air Line, a Casino visit in which the girls challenged the boys to beat their ‘winnings’ (they came back with a voucher for £7.10 and £20 cash out of £30) Needless to say us boys failed miserably, losing the lot. Having said that if I hadn’t hesitated at the Roulette table we could’ve won £150.00, I had made the decision to put my chip on 21 but not being sure of when to place it I hesitated and it was too late, yes! the ball stopped on 21, that’s my luck all over.

We are now back home in Sunderland and I am preparing for annual my pre-christmas trip to Bristol to see my family and some old friends, four days will fly by!

Why can’t I just tell them?

Yesterday was my sixtieth birthday, it was a day that during my teenage years I could not see me ever reaching (emotional problems). I am now pondering about how much time I have left and what I may miss in the not too distant future. Living three hundred miles away from family wasn’t going to be too difficult I thought, when I first moved to Sunderland from Bristol thirteen years ago, after all I can drive and there are good rail and air links too. But, everyday needs and work have a habit of ‘getting in the way of what we had planned’. The reality? sometimes I feel very lonely and lost, I’ve always been made to feel very welcome in my partner’s family but I deeply miss my own. My childhood was emotionally prohibitive, this has made it very difficult in my adult life to verbally express my emotions. It was one of the first things my partner noticed about me, how I could put deep feelings onto paper but couldn’t say them. The number of times I’ve wanted to tell my kids that I love and miss them greatly is massive, the number of times I’ve failed is equally as massive! I feel it’s now time to overcome those childhood oppressions and tell them how I feel, it will be very difficult and will probably end in tears on my part (I’ve had a few just pondering about it) but I feel I should do it as soon as I can. There’s no specific reason to tell them now, I just feel I should do what I should have done years ago. Let’s hope I can summon up the courage and finally tell them how I feel!


Well it’s been a couple of weeks since my Son and Grandchildren visited, had a great time, going bowling and visiting a local park. The house seemed very noisy and crowded while they were here but that was much better than the ’emptiness’ that followed them leaving. Had a picture from Thomas on iMessenger the other day, he was dressed as Darth Vader, he’s off Spider Man and now Star Wars mad.

Our new duties at work which started at the end of July are changing again at the end of August and apparently again before the end of September, what a carry on! Things just get worse with every change…. 06:00 start in a late shift week and a 22:30 finish in an early week….. someone needs a good kicking!

Can’t believe what I’ve just heard on the radio, widening the definition of domestic abuse. You won’t be able today anything against your partner soon without getting arrested…….lol.

Life is trundling along quite nicely though I did leave work early last Saturday, I was feeling really exhausted and just couldn’t go on any longer. Came home took some ‘super pills’ and went to bed, 16 hours later I woke and got up feeling great. Six hour shift for overtime today and day off tomorrow, not looking forward to the weekend, I’ve got ‘Spare’ on Sunday and Monday being a Bank Holiday means I should do the same shift as I get for Sunday. To make things worse one of the supervisors at work is getting married on Saturday so there will be a lot of failures/sick calls on Sunday. Still I can only drive one bus at a time! Trying to persuade Pauline to start coming to the gym with me, even if it’s only twice a week, not sure if I’ll be successful.

Now got another Apple TV up and running in the bedroom, had a small problem to start with but that was operator error and soon sorted by logging in with the correct account.

Ordered some more stuff from Tassimo, got some that I haven’t tried before so hoping they’re okay. Spent £45.00 and they wouldn’t add the free TDisc dispenser to my order after I’d sent it. They would send it to me if I would like to place ANOTHER order before the 27th August for at least £40.00, two replies to that and both un-repeatable.

WHY? why? why?

Isn’t that just typical of the British Summer! Weeks of lovely sunshine, then as soon as we’re due to get visitors who would really enjoy being near the coast, it absolutely chucks it down all day! I know it’s only been three weeks since I last saw my grandchildren but it’s still very pleasing knowing they will be here tomorrow, shame it’s only for three days but that’s better than none. Let’s hope it changes in the morning. Another visitor I was supposed to get didn’t turn up for the third time so now I’m just not worried if he gets here or not at anytime.

Work has been chugging along fine, we’ve started new duties yet again, that must be the fourth or fifth time in the last year. Of course each change brings it’s fair share of ridiculous duties and this set has not let me down. More and more long Friday, Saturday and Sunday duties which are designed supposedly to give us more long weekends off but it never happens, we get four long weekends and 3 three day weekends in 34 weeks.

The car is running okay, I actually gave it a wash and wax last week, must’ve been feeling ill at the time, that’s only the second time in almost five years! It has now covered just over 50k since Sept 2008, so less than 10k a year, which means since leaving NIAL my annual mileage has dropped 4k a year to just over 8k. Arranged some more ‘GAP’ insurance on it so I now get at least £5800 if it’s stolen, written off or vandalised!


Well now, it’s been three whole days since I returned from my visit to see family in Bristol. What’s happened since then? I hear you ask! I’ve had work on the telephone everyday, can I work Wednesday? No! I’m expecting visitors, can I work Thursday? No! I have to wait for a delivery that will be here sometime between 7 a.m and 7 p.m! Can I work Friday 05:30-12:50? We’re really desperate! Ok! if you’re that hard up for drivers! I go in and what’s the first thing they ask me? Can you work tomorrow? What’s the point in giving me holidays if you are just going to ask me to work everyday? My Wednesday evening visitor has postponed his visit until Sunday, so I won’t be working Sunday either!

The new bed has arrived and been duly constructed! It was really quite heavy, glad the delivery men took it upstairs into the bedroom. Out came the new sheets, pillow cases, duvet cover etc, it looked so good after, we didn’t want to go to bed in case we messed it up! It was really comfortable, I slept almost all the way through the night without being woken up by pins and needles in my arm or pains in my back. We also had some new electrics installed so we can put a new Apple TV box in the bedroom (when I get one) it will be great being able to listen/watch all the stuff I have on iTunes whilst upstairs. Got a couple of T.P Links ready to connect the router to the ATV for a better signal, might even put in a hard connection to the Mac from the router as well because I’m suffering a bit of interference with the Wi-Fi.

I didn’t manage to find time to see any old friends/neighbours whilst in Bristol, four days just isn’t long enough. Got to go out with the grandchildren to Noah’s Ark Wildlife Park and Farm near Wraxall just south of Bristol. As usual the car did very well on fuel on the return journey, at a steady 55-60 mph I was getting around 80 mpg but it was taking to long to get back to Sunderland so I put the pedal to the metal a bit harder and still managed an overall 64.6 mpg. Mileage on the car is just nudging 50k now so the engine is almost run in!

Life goes on! for better and worse!

Firstly I must apologise to my Son Kris, you were right about the date of my last blog, I didn’t publish the last one I did and have just found it in ‘Drafts’, It was done some time in March. Though I think you could WRITE a few more blogs yourself and not just put up photos! Nice car too!

Due to a lack of time I haven’t blogged for a while and after a visit to Bristol to see family and a bit of badgering from my son I’m going to try and make this a more regular thing. Not a great deal has gone on since my last blog though I have been feeling a lot happier, we’ve recently redecorated our bedroom and are having a nice new double bed delivered sometime tomorrow. My money problems from earlier in the year seem to now be sorted and back on track. A family problem has caused me some sadness but hey that’s life! I’m sure things will sort themselves out for the best! My poor stomach has had more than it’s fair share of food, visits to the local Harvester Restaurant two days following upset it slightly but I enjoyed myself, though strangely didn’t have any alcohol with the meals. Was great to see the grandchildren and fun helping Tom put together some of his new ‘Lego Star Wars’ models! Bought Pauline a DAB Alarm Clock Radio which can also be used as a portable and also an emergency charge pack for her mobile phone. Overall I had another great visit and as always had the bittersweet journey alone all the way back to Sunderland but I’m still looking forward to my next visit!
On the work front, our duties are changing yet again, don’t expect them to get any better. I have to make a journey into work today to copy down my work for the next few weeks because they start this coming Sunday. Need to pick up my wage slips too!

I have a friend making a visit this evening and with Pauline at work we’ll be able to have a good old ‘sort the world out and put things right!’ natter.

Just remembered! Back in April /May we had our company ‘Well Driver’ bus visit the depot, they hand out advice on diet and exercise etc. Because of how I’d been feeling earlier in the year I decided to go and get my BP checked and have a word with the people ‘in the know’ To my surprise my BP was below normal for someone of my age which really gave me a boost and made me realise that although the weight was still problem, changing my eating habits was still having a beneficial effect.