The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

Thursday. Back to Joe Wicks after a 3 day break. Nothing of consequence at work. I got a frantic call from Mum late evening to say she wanted to leave the hospital as the woman in the bed next to her had died. That must have been rather traumatic. I did my best to calm her down, and remind her that she was in a hospital. She seemed to think that the woman had COVID, but I assured her that was very unlikely (I hoped!).

Friday. We had a rude awakening at 6:40am with a call from Mum. Not just a call from Mum, repeated calls to the home phone, my phone, and Lu's phone (and it transpired my work number also, as she'd left a silent voicemail there). To add insult to injury, whenever I picked up the phone she'd hung up (!). Eventually I managed to speak to her and she said she was worried that we were OK as she'd heard some news that there was a "situation". I looked at the news, nothing. I reassured her there was no "situation" and explained she was calling at 6:40am. It doesn't help that they wake them up there at 6am, standard hospital madness. It also doesn't help that she's lost her watch. She accused Jo of having had it for months to be repaired, but when I checked with Jo she said she'd given it back months ago. So I've bought her a new watch which should arrive in a day or two.

Work was nicely busy. I won a box of After Eights on the daily Christmas raffle. Add to that a box of "special" (weird flavours, but edible) mince pies that someone got me, and a bottle of wine, both as thank yous. Staff are also being encouraged to write nice messages about other staff on gold stars, which then get pinned up on a board. I checked the board and have received a few, which is nice. There's a prize apparently for the person who gets the most. Would be lovely to win it, but I won't hold my breath, and often teaching departments try and game the system. You'd think teachers would have better things to do.

During the morning I did some follow up for Mum. I rang the oncologist's secretary just so she could pass on that Mum is in hospital. I told her that I'd had no reply from the Nurse Consultant, and it looks like the email address on the card I was given is wrong. So I resent the email to a different address. The secretary recommended I speak to the Nurse Specialist team as well, so I called them and advised that Mum was there and distressed. They said they would aim to visit her, although I'm not sure what benefit this offers.

The Music classroom iMacs are doing my head in. Along with a long-standing issue using some remote control classroom software that the teacher wants to use, there are various other issues that keep appearing e.g. docks not rendering properly, system restrictions that don't apply properly. The latest one is apps that won't update, so apps are appearing as question marks in the dock because the app names have changed.

The other tech thing that's doing my head in are some new laptops. They don't have VGA sockets, which we still have in 40 classrooms with projectors. I bought some adapters, naively thinking that would solve the issue. Of course it didn't, they don't work in 8 classrooms. I bought some USB based adapters instead, which worked when I tested. It then transpired they don't work when logged on as a standard user. Bizarre. I've now bought one much more expensive adapter to test with. I'm not going to make the mistake of buying 10 this time without fully testing. To add insult to injury, the same laptops don't work on our 3 newest touchscreens. Despite three identical screens, one screen works with flickering, and the other two don't work at all. I have no clue why, and have contacted the manufacturer as the laptop works fine with a standard monitor. A friend has also suggested a different method of updating drivers. I have no clue what else to try, it's so frustrating. I've got 10 new laptops which I can't give out, which makes me look like a prize idiot.

Lu took me to work on Friday via the garage, as I dropped my car off at the lovely independent place to tidy up the bits from the car park bump. Lu was due to collect me after picking up the girls from school, but she forgot and had gone supermarket shopping. After repeated calls to her phone she finally picked up. I was in a rush to get to the garage as I had a visitors appointment at the hospital to see Mum at 5pm. Anyway, once Lu arrived and dropped me off I picked up the car and it looks a bit better. In fact the car still looks lovely, which is why I'm loathed to get rid of it. The repairs should be enough to get it through the MoT, and keep the car functional. I joked again with garage guy about trying to get the car to last as long as possible. We'll see. I went home, got changed, and got to the hospital way too early. After sitting in the car park for a bit I went and saw Mum. She's on a ward with lots of other old women, who all look very old and ill. The place looked a bit of a mess, and chaotic, but I guess that's SOP for NHS hospitals. She'd had an ultrasound of her kidneys, and is waiting for results from some blood tests. The nurse said they are waiting for those results to see if her kidneys are OK so she can have contrast dye for a CT scan. The nurse didn't know why she's having a CT scan, but I'm wondering if this is the scan she was due to have for the cancer follow up. Here's hoping they don't find anything. Mum seemed in much better spirits, and was actually smiling. I think she's enjoying having people around her, and she was saying how lovely the staff are. This is why I think she'd be so much happier in residential care, or at least having carers go into her own home. It must be grim at home on her own for hours and days at a time. It transpired I can only visit once every 3 days, presumably the latest regulations, which is frustrating. Mum had nothing to read, so at the end of the hour I went and bought her a newspaper and some magazines (and some chocolate). When I left, all the old ladies were smiling at me rather creepily, and I had a flashback to those Harry Enfield "young man!" sketches.

Once home I made myself dinner and caught up with the Mandalorian. The girls had a late night at 9:30pm, Elise was hard work again. I wasn't super tired, but tired enough to go to bed. I woke up around 2am feeling too hot (Lu'd had the heating on) with work issues buzzing around my brain. I eventually got up and did some research and remote working. I made a bit of progress as I can see there's an issue that the iMacs' apps are not updating, but I have no clue why. I posted questions on forums, and perhaps will need to contact Apple next week. I've already logged a bunch of tickets with the company that provide the remote management solution.

The girls have gymnastics today, and then we're going to 4 Kingdoms near Newbury for their "Santa experience", it's supposed to be good though. I was debating whether to book Chiquitos again for Sunday lunch, but I probably ought to not spend too much, even though the bank balance is still in good health after the bonus and insurance payout. Sunday week is Lu's birthday, and I've booked Preto in Kingston for the birthday lunch (otherwise I'll get it in the neck). I have no clue what to buy her for either birthday or Christmas, so £50 Hobbycraft vouchers it will be again, which means a visit to Hobbycraft will be necessary soon. I've booked in to see Mum on Monday at 6pm, so perhaps I could go after that, as it's vaguely on the way back.

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