Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What Goes Around Comes Around...

What's happened since Friday...well, I don't think that I have nothing to fear from my visit to see my Uncle but it went better than I thought that it may. Still could be damaged financially or emotionally only time will tell in coming years. However not going into details it went better than expected and there was some closure. I'd be telling lies that I am not worried what the future holds and its all down to "blastered" money...I wish that it wasn't. I don't like that it is. Its the worry that I won't have enough to get by, that changes are coming that I cannot change and that I will have to make myself poor to hopefully receive help again. And a little windfall which it really is will mean I have lost half my income.

If I do not spend it wisely and follow all the rules and have receipts to prove it wasn't spent frivolously I will see no benefit whatsoever. And then I have to reapply for help but be practically insolvent. No safety net. If I don't I will still be in that situation but perhaps within 18mths anyhow.

I have talked to the relevant departments and spending is the best of the worst options. So I'm thinking as mobility is am issue and likely to get worse...a mobility scooter(me of all people)decorating of the house all the way through, new lounge furniture, vacuum cleaner, a bed, perhaps a stair lift, carpets, curtains(Perhaps a chair and bed could be more fancy than usual)you know the kind they advertise without a price next to the illustration but are good for you if you have medical ailments. That will see the capital reduce. I'd have liked it there for emergencies, my retirement but its too little to last me for years especially as it will otherwise go on utility bills, rent, council tax and food.

This way I see some benefit.

When done visitors will say "He's doing alright!" But its all cosmetic and none of us know what the future holds for any of us.

I got home on Friday and was quite worn out by the afternoon with my Uncle. I went to bed. I discovered the following day I should've not have been in bed but at the theatre in Durham watching a show I had booked months ago so I missed it.

Saturday, I couldn't get peace so took myself off to Newcastle just because I could(and had a bus pass)There really wasn't that much to do and I did not want to spend money, walk around shops looking at what I do not need, I popped into my first Waitrose and though just my opinion I found everything overpriced and not very exciting. I popped into M&S the following day in Durham and found the same to be true of their food(I haven't been in their food hall in years)The quality is there but I'll only spend it there(again)if certain items are reduced on offer or because the sell by date is looming.

I spent around 3-4 hours in Newcastle city centre and came home, not sure how I filled the time. I did spend a little, came home with some beef mince, bread, strawberries and kale. I came home around 8.30pm and had to wait to connect with a bus at Durham and hang around for almost an hour and though not a busy time that bus arrived twenty minutes late for some reason. People were starting to worry it was not going to show. So I got home around 10.30pm.

Sunday I got it into my head to go and see a Palm Sunday service at Durham Cathedral and missed my bus by 30 seconds and with Sunday service I was going to give up and come home. Then I thought I'd be clever and take a bus to a place called Sedgefield and if lucky connect to another bus to Durham. I did. However, two arrived within minutes of each other and they both arrived after a thirty minute wait. Had they been a little earlier I would've made the service at the cathedral but by the time I arrived in Durham and slowly reached the cathedral the service had been going for over 30 minutes. I probably could've gone into it late but decided not to.

I was quite tired so slowly made my way back to the bus station and found a reduced chicken for five reduced in price(that will do a few meals/snacks and sandwiches)and in M&S I found some casserole beef reduced and if all is handled carefully that should give me approx 7-12 meals for around £1 per day. So perhaps not bad value.

When in Newcastle I came home with some thick Chinese noodles from the Chinese Supermarket, I have been putting them in with my homemade soup to help bulk it up and you do get a lot for 99p.

Sunday evening whilst I can afford to(I hope that I always will)I went with my friends to the bingo and turn night)and I'll never be in pocket but I did win on a Domino card...£20 and that paid for my night and the chicken and beef. I was still out of pocket on the mince, bread, strawberries and kale.

However on Monday at the afternoon bingo with the elderly I spent £6.10(bingo/raffle and taxi home)but won £4 so I was only £2.10 out of pocket. And that £4 was a bit like getting some money back on the food I purchased on Saturday. In the end I broke even I guess.

After bingo on Monday I caught a bus back to Durham and as I traveled there the weather turned horrible with lots of torrential rain, I took a short cut to the cathedral(never again)it wasn't much of a short cut and lots of steps but I had gone so far it wasn't worth turning back. I was "Knackered" by the time I reached the Cathedral. Why did I go?

There was an evening service of contemplation and prayer that has been offered since the days of monastic life. The Compline addresses will be given by the Rt Revd Martin Wharton, former Bishop of Newcastle. Perhaps 40 of us attended and we sat in the choir stalls. It was very interesting and very stripped back without any pomp. An address, prayers and hymns unaccompanied.

I struggled going back to the bus station and it took me at least an hour to get there and I haven't seen the city so deserted. Any resturant or pub was lucky if they had a handful of customers, many did not, newsagents and supermarkets practically empty and the rain just kept on coming. Durham makes its money during the Summer with tourists and light evenings, weekends with the people who go clubbing. I won't be spending money in the pubs/clubs and restaurants, most charge far too much. I can make three or four meals for perhaps a fiver but last night a one course meal was £10.

I did well to reach home and where I went straight to bed and slept. My back had started to really ache and was screaming...reminded me of how I felt when I first went down with kidney problems almost twenty years ago. At least I am managing to sleep. I was going to go out today but there isn't any point. Have done some more tidying, eaten some home made soup and will have some more later. More like a stew to be honest, lots of vegetables and added chicken* and noodles.

I am out tonight,  Nothing is free but you really could not have a cheaper night. Usually just a drink, a raffle and nothing more. Tonight a cover charge of £2 and a specific act booked.

*Cheap chicken thighs(six for £3)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Not Looking Forward To Today...

Do not see a good outcome and probably is likely to be the last time I shall see my closest relative who has made my life difficult. Ironically I have to remain civil and getting worked up will not make a blind bit of difference. Trying to get closure. Its taking me a lot of will power to still go and see him. But I will make the effort in the next 90 minutes or so.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Whilst The Future Is Scary...

I'm thinking I have turned the corner on my big worry of late and its not occupying me as it was. Always a good sign. Regarding the actual work I am having to do to close down the final issues with Mum are making good progress and I think that will go OK too, So hopefully I'll be upbeat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Love Letters...

My parents love lasted the whole of their time together. I wish I knew more or could remember stories told and had paid more attention. Few if any letters survive. Who knows where they went or why they were lost. Or why I cannot find any. Except I did come across some today that were new to me. I am assuming that they are at least 60+ years old and I get the impression they were written not long after they were married.

They are little more passionate and were obviously written even when they were seeing each other during the day. I'm sure like any couple they had their problems but I remember how Mum was devastated when Dad died. And continued to be. She never did get over it.

I remember what a close family we were and even I will always miss him. And we're talking 31 yrs. Heaven knows where that time has gone. I am now older than the amount of time I had him in my life. In a couple of years I will have been alive longer than he was. To live as long as Mum I would have to manage another 29 years. I'm not holding my breath.

Not even sure that I want to live that long when I see the circumstances I will probably find myself. Suspect health will be much worse, income very low, probably alone and in a home. But we cannot choose how long we have, that's chosen for us. Not strictly true I know because many do take their own lives. Not sure I am brave enough or is that a coward. I think I am prepared to go and not bothered if its sooner or later but have to live out how much time I have been designated.

I remember even perhaps 4 or 5 years before he passed away, him having to go on some kind of course to do with his work for around a week and in the evenings he would phone home from the hotel to speak to us. And where the rest on the course would be out probably in a group in a pub, he was in the bedroom reading, he was a big reader and read all kinds of books.

I can remember him falling asleep after reading in bed on a morning after doing a night shift and his book had dropped onto the bed and his glasses were perched on his nose and mum or me would nearly always have to remove the book and glasses and put them on the cabinet beside him. When I pass away this line of the family comes to a close. I have no children, not likely to now. In fact I believe all of the male lines of my family tree that have my surname comes to a stop. Any remaining lines changed through marriage and those relatives having daughters. Its sad in one way. And yet means nothing in the great scheme of things.

Back to that course he went on to do with work. I remember Mum being so excited as the day approached and he would be home again. Even the boss of the dress shop Mum was working in at the time on the town(quite exclusive)said it was like a teenager, young girl in love.

Of course they had problems but they always overcame them. And the vicar when they were married either said it to them privately or perhaps in front of everyone at the wedding in his address. Never go to bed without making up. Something along those lines. I forget the exact words.

In reality I was born quite late in the marriage for the time. They married in 1948 and I came along in 1958. Mum was 32 and Dad 34. And Mum nearly lost her life having me after seemingly a trouble free pregnancy. It was touch and go whether I would survive. But we did.

Again you could not visit as you do these days when someone was in hospital, they were less than happy if you phoned but there are stories of Dad parking close to the ward Mum was in so she could see him from the window.

I also have heard that the Dr who saw Mum through it all had said something along lines that Mum was "Quite a pretty girl now that he could see her" She had been swollen because she had Toxaemia which I have just discovered after nearly 57 years is another term for pre-eclampsia and though I have been told that my health issues have nothing to do with what Mum had I see that condition involves high blood pressure, fluid retention and protein in the urine which can mean damage of the kidneys and what do I have? Kidney disease and I have had high blood pressure and protein. Coincidence? Who knows...

More on the Love Letters soon.

Last Tidy...

Of the house before house is decorated and carpets/curtains are replaced but that could still be a few months away depending how long it takes to have the money to do the work. Looks worse than it actually is. All in one small corner of a bedroom. A lot has been put in the wheelie bins in the past 3-4 weeks.


And one last dress of my dear Mum for the charity shop. There really is very little to prove that Mum ever existed and was part of my life...Only memories and feelings in my mind and heart. And I fear they do dim as the years pass. I sometimes have difficulty remembering how she sounded and what we talked about.


I Think That I Am Feeling A Little Better...

than I was at the start of the week...that is all...

Other than that all Mum's clothes(I did find more)have gone to the charity shop, her shoes I decided were not good enough to go there as well so they have been put in the wheelie bin.

I am even more on top of the tidying up of the house. I have most of the forms I need again to claim Mum's estate but if I do find the original will which should be somewhere in the house I may hit a snag. It could then go to intestate and I fear someone who Mum trusted and was meant to help me could benefit if that happened. So I hope to goodness it comes to light soon.

I hope that I am starting to let go for my ill feeling towards said person. I have to otherwise I will remain hateful and bitter. I don't think that he thinks that he has done anything wrong. I am seeing him on Friday but I think I will not see a solution to the issue and will have to remain civil. Just that I will have little or nothing more to do with him in the future.

I hope my fears of an even more austere life and years ahead(though it will be worse)are less of a problem than I believe at this moment in time.
Update:Found the will!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Home Made Soup...




Needs to be eaten soon...I will have it as a late breakfast/lunch combined...It will warm me up. Tastes better than it looks, I have a little less vegetables in it this time but some chicken there too. This is it in the slow cooker.


Then get ready for the afternoon bingo with my elderly friends. Don't need to shave as I did so late yesterday and whiskers have yet to show. I may get to see my friend afterwards if he's home. He lives over the road from where the bingo happens and should hopefully be home by then(he's at a hospital for a checkup earlier in the day)a big one many miles away in Newcastle.

I'll make certain I catch a bus to the bingo(save money)not planning on shopping at all(save money)use what I have in the house.

I may tidy some more later after cooking another meal for early evening/tea.

I have some TV to catch up on which I did not watch last week. And seeing I watched the series for around six months to suddenly give up defeats the argument and means I wasted my time watching it in the first place. Its the series looking at life in the fictional city of "Gotham" before Batman came to be, its dark, unsavoury and sometimes makes me wince but its well produced, filmed and a quality programme.

I should've taken images of the old police station being demolished sooner so you could see it in stages but I didn't but I did get some yesterday(see below)and when I go for my bus in around 90 minutes I may take some more if the battery hasn't died. I don't really have a reason to go where it is though I could've really as you can catch a bus nearby and board it perhaps one or two stops earlier than where I usually go.




Update:Can't take credit fir the following image but someone else has taken the latest on the demolition of the old  Police Station...


Embedded image permalink


And as mentioned earlier here are the start of my flower tubs but I need to do more work on the borders and lawns, there is an old untidy little tub to be removed later that is still in the image.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Still In A Concerned About The Future Kind Of Mood...

but could be worse.  Been thinking how I would love to go and watch the sea roll in and have peace. But even with a bus pass(whilst I have one)it takes around an two to three hours by bus each way and I have to change buses and hope that they all connect. A train ride would cost money(the bus is mainly free)and with the added walking distance to many railway stations or needing a bus to reach them, no time is saved so its easier just to give in and use the bus services or not bother going. In a car I could probably reach the nearest destination within an hour and the farthest in ninety minutes.

But I want to see some sea and coast, I will do it but I will have to pick the right day and leave early and come home late to make it worth while. That's assuming I can get a bus home, evening buses often mean you have to leave earlier than you'd really like to.

These are all local destinations like Whitley Bay, Redcar, Marske, Saltburn, Seaton Carew and Seaham. Much the same if you want to go to Whitby, South Shileds and if you want to go to Scarbrough we're talking four hours. If I was living in Durham City or in the opposite direction Darlington I could shave approx twenty five to forty five minutes off some of these journeys but I realise this is a simplistic way of looking at travelling because at least my location means I am quite central if I lived at the end of a route I would be adding more time to the journey. I need more express direct services. Not holding my breath.

I did make an effort to go to Richmond in N. Yorks yesterday and it filled a few hours. Next time I go I may stay longer and really have a look around, I sort've went on one bus and came back on next(almost)going took me approx an hour and a quarter(if I time the change of buses better)that could be brought down to almost an hour.

I'd like to have gone out today the way I feel(trying to get my head around recent changes)but its too late really, Sunday services, I don't want to spend money either. The sun is out but I don't think that its very warm. I'll potter about. I'm listening to the Archers and Desert Island Discs. Thinking of doing a salad with haddock. Not really a Sunday meal but...

I am way off being a pensioner yet but its creeping up on me, it will arrive soon enough, if I reach it and things may very well change thanks to Government plans, nothing is in concrete but though I believe I will be lucky to be entitled to one benefit after I am officially retired, I think I will be on the lowest state pension possible(yet that amount they say could change)but if I can still get that too I may have less to fear and would be something. If one stops or the amount coming is low there could be something like Pension Credit or Attendance Allowance so I may still see it topped up. That's all for the future, lets just live for now.

Speaking of which I am now rather than worrying and moping I am going to have a quick look down town and take one last image of a building that is being demolished and has been there for something like 40 years and suddenly its disappearing fast(a police station)its just a shell now. I will see if I can find a new lead to help me record on my computer(I hope it doesn't cost much)Come home and make lunch and then continue my house tidy up. It will stop me thinking too much.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Still Nothin'...

From the Consultant about my blood tests. I've other worries again...which will have to remain and I can't remember ever saying this before off limits. You won't hear me say that too often if at all.

In the meantime in around 90mins I am off to see a little music show, it only lasts around an hour.

Its been a partial solar eclipse across the UK and most of Europe. Here it was not particularly dark, lots of cloud, I took a chance with a fairly basic digital camera and managed these two images. The best that I could. I was not looking directly at the eclipse and it was caught by looking indirectly at the LCD screen on the camera.



Update:Second lot of blood tests have come back as being OK so false alarm...this time...but seeing my Dr tonight and may suggest having a blood test done every couple of months rather than every 4mths so if something is suspect its caught quicker. He may say its un-necessary of course. One problem sorted, now for the problem I dare not mention. 

That I don't think cryptically can be fixed and the outcome will have me seeing a relative in a different light and that will mean I never will be able to be kindly towards him. I hope I can be proved wrong. If not I will have to try and let go and lose what is to be blunt hatred and hurt. The actions will affect my future well being.