Ronnie Moran

So sad to hear of the death of Ronnie Moran, the Liverpool FC coach. Although I was never a fan of LFC, he was one of the constants in what could be thought of as the Liverpool family, before money took everything over.

Reassured

I got an email today from Age UK, co-incidentally after yesterday’s blog.

The message was clearly directed at all volunteers, so presumably I am “on their list”, so I suppose I am reassured by that.

I do find it a bit strange that they didn’t contact me (it could even have been a nothing email, just something as a pretext) to let me know that the application process was complete, and that they were just waiting for someone suitable to get in touch (I told them that I’d ideally like to befriend someone within a short distance of my house. There are lots of elderly people in this village.)

Ironically, the person they did contact me about lives too far away for me to be able to help.

Limbo

So there’s a couple of areas of life that are quite frustrating at the moment.

First, I’m looking for a job. I mean, for years, I designed IT systems. This really was top-of-the-Premier-League stuff, although it often didn’t feel like it. But the sacrifice here was that I needed to travel up to central London each day. In fact, at one stage, a long time ago when I was single and prepared to travel a bit further, I worked for a spell in New York City. Although the stroke has left me with some physical impairments, obviously these roles were purely intellectual in nature. And hopefully the reader will judge that I still have this intellect. So I’ve been brushing up on some technology skills, just because having these “hard” skills makes the “soft” skill of system design that much easier to convey. You often find that there needs to be a period, while a trust is established, which is effectively a “probation”.

On the plus side, the stroke has meant that I’d settle for lower-league work these days. So I’d be far less choosy about the nature of the work. Possibly something outside of IT altogether – I’ve always been very numerate, and started my career off as a research scientist. But I’d want something local – I wouldn’t want to tire myself out on the commute, before I’d even done a day’s work. For the same reason, I’d want something part-time to give myself time to recover.

I have several problems here. First, there is very little IT, period, in the Salisbury area (Salisbury is my nearest city). Second, it is very rare to find IT jobs that aren’t full-time. Third, I suppose, I’d like to find something that is accessible by public transport, although I should be able to fix this myself somehow.

So, in the meantime, it is a case of keeping looking.

Second, my volunteering appication for Age UK appears to have stalled. I went to their inductions, and they asked me to undergo a criminal record check. I did this (absolutely clean), and emailed the certificate back to them, to an address I’d used before. Since then, nothing. Not even a “welcome on board” message. This must be about 6 weeks now. I mean, in some ways I don’t mind, because the volunteering role had turned out to be not quite what I expected, but even so…

You see, in many respects, my life is identical to somebudy’s who is able-bodied.

Jars

I have jars sussed, although I need to move from the kitchen to the sofa to do it. It I put the jar between my thighs, I can generally use my hand to undo the lid.

Although I get there in the end, it takes that much longer, as you can imagine. It’d be far easier if I could have my other arm back!

Inheritance and Cycling

When I made my will, I basically worded it so as to prevent my daughter from inheriting my estate, should I outlive my wife. I mean, I wish her all the very best in life, but she has never been (and still isn’t) very responsible with money, and when I think how much my estate would be worth (several hundred thousand GBP) it is quite scary. I mean, there’s not much cash, but the value of the property has risen several times over since I bought the house almost 20 years ago.

Anyway, I made my will a couple of years ago, and nothing much has happened to change my sentiment, but I regularly hear about cases in which the person’s will has been overturned by their children, who feel wronged. One such story was on TV this morning, and so this prompted me to contact the solicitor who drafted the will, just to see if I should change the language to make my wishes more explicit, as if that were possible.

This is something I have been meaning to do for a while, although events have kind-of got in the way!

On a less morbid note, it may be very overcast here, but in Italy I see that today is the Milan-San Remo cycling race, which is a traditional curtain-raiser to the European cycling season. Since the season for road racing generally follows the good weather (Spring Classics to start, rising to the Tour de France in July, World Championships in September, then trailing off in the autumn), might it possibly be assumed that winter is finally on its way out?

St Paddy’s (2)

As a very brief follow-on from yesterday’s post, I saw a wonderful video on Facebook. Victor Meldrew is alive and well!

St Paddy’s

I’d like to wish everyone a happy St Patrick’s Day.

Tins

I should say that tins give me trouble these days – can you imagine trying to open one with just one hand? Even those newer easy-open tins are not trivial.

I was very unimpressed when I got up the other day, to find that our cats had no food, and so I dug out the only appetizing thing that I found in the cupboard – a tin of salmon, un a traditional tin can. There then followed 10 minutes of frustration as I battled to get the thing open. Suffice it to say, when I finally got to the salmon, it wasn’t in a nice round tin any more, and at one stage I did resort to using the tin opener as a hammer in frustration!

So, two lessons. First, I went to the shops and replaced the salmon, this time buying one with an easy-open lid (which I hope, in my case, will mean “easier open” – I can generally manage as long as I use my teeth too). I can’t help thinking how perverse it is – that this kind of thing drives our buying choices. Second, I went out yesterday and bought an electric can opener, one that can be operated with just one hand.

The cats, by the say, said thank you…eventually!

There really are a myriad of gadgets – especially kitchen gadgets – where, beforehand, I used to think “what’s the point in that?”, but for which I’m now grateful. My little electric cheese grater is another example. But it does make me realise in all of this that I’m very lucky to have a bit of money tucked away when such things crop up – I would hate to be financially dependent on anybody else.

Well, I did say at the outset that this blog was going to be about my life – but I never promised it’d be interesting!