Tag Archives: Coffee

Lanzarote 2016 Day 1 (Vlog #338)

My 2nd and the girl’s first time to Lanzarote. We sooooo needed this break

Weekly roundup A trip to the Robot Exhibition (Vlog #236)

Apologies for the long vlog.

Filmed on Canon Powershot G7X

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Meeting, doctors and money

Today is the day I have to go for my Occupational Health assessment. I has been arranged via work, due to an ongoing back injury that every so often results in me having to take time off on the sick. I have to admit that I am a bit apprehensive because I cannot help but feel ( and this is the cynical side of me ) that they are looking for stuff on me to get rid of me. I’m sure its not the case, and they are just doing the assessment to help me at work and make my working conditions better. I’m not sure how they will do that because as it stands, I already have a hydraulic sit stand desk ( this lifts and lowers at the push of a button depending if I need to sit or stand at any given time ), monitor raisers, ergonomic mouse, ergonomic chair, and on top of all that, I have been granted occupational health breaks, which are a god send. As and when needed, I can go on a 5 -10 min break to ease and mobilise my back.

I am back now from my assessment. It was a case of straight in straight out. I must of been in with the assessor about 5 minutes in total. Thats what it seemed like anyway. He checked my posture, asked me to bend over in different directions, the checked my reflexes, then that was basically that. Away I went. He seemed happy with my movement and said he he was happy for me to return to work soon. From there I went to a nice little cafe


The cafe is called Cosentino’s. One half of the premises are a hairdressers whereas the other is the cafe. The free wifi was a bonus there. Non of this free weak signalled wifi you get in some places. This is full strength wifi. I held a long Skype video call with J, my son, whilst there. I’m impressed.
I had to take G back to the doctors today as her cough has not really got better since being given antibiotics and an inhaler by the doc last week. Sometimes she coughs so bad she looks like she is going to be sick. Its worse at night when she is in bed. We can hear her sometimes over the TV downstairs. Anyway the doc checked her over, and all seems fine. Just the cough lingering on. No temperature or anything. We are going to monitor her for the next week and see how she does. She’s happy enough and not stressing at all.
I have just had yet another trip to Ikea. I know, I know, I’m spending too much time there at the moment. JUst for a tiny little 12 inch long floating shelf. Had to have one of their lovely coffees as well while I was there. Mind you, I couldn’t help but crack a smile when I said to the girl at the counter that I was surprised they are still showing meatballs on the board and that I didn’t fancy any horse today. She gave a half smile, but I could tell she wanted to smile more but was worried in case she was seen. Neeeeyyyyyy problem
to me.
Tonight I spent some more time doing our finances. Ohhhh how I love doing that. NOT!! We are going to have to change the way we do things. One thing we are going to do is do a weekly shop instead of a daily one. We need to save money and getting a weekly shop and making it last the week should help in some way instead of a daily shop and buying stuff we forgot we already had and food being wasted. I am still looking to give up smoking real cigarettes and move to e-cigarettes like D. I work out I, alone should save about 500+ pounds a year. Then D has her saving as well from going onto e-cigarettes.
If anyone has any tips on how to save money within a household, let me know. Please leave a comment.

Joke of the day:

A man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says: “Pint please, and one for the road.”

Freezing cold

Today is the day when I have to hand out a load of money. The day my car goes in for its MOT. An MOT is a yearly safety check, with a legal requirement on all vehicles in the U.K. You need this to be able to obtain your road tax disk. The car seems to be working fine. Tyres have loads of tread, lights work, wipers and screen wash work, brakes work fine, so unless there’s something found underneath that I’m not expecting, hopefully it will pass with flying colours like last year.
I dropped the car off and headed for the train station as I thought walking right down the road for the bus, would be too cold and the station was just round the corner. I will add, it is snowing today and the temperature is zero degrees. I got to the station only to find that the trains were delayed and mine was going to arrive in 20 minutes. By the time it did arrive, and I had spent the 20 minutes chatting to a very talkative old man, my feet and my hands were like blocks of ice.
After the train arrived, I had a whole 5 minutes to try to warm up. It didn’t work. As I got off at my destination, I was still freezing, so I decided to head straight for Starbucks. I got my normal Venti Misto coffee and found a nice seat by the window, and watched the world go by while at the same time, typing up my blog. As I type this, there are two people sitting outside in the freezing cold and snow. One of them is drawing anything that takes his fancy into a small book. A woman stopped to have a cigarette and he drew her.


I’m surprised, as I’m in his line of sight, he hasn’t drawn me yet. I must not be interesting enough. I enjoy watching street artists. I saw one of his drawings and he is quite good. More like quick sketches, but still way better than I could do.

Leaving Starbucks, I walked around some of the shops in Newcastle, including the Grainger Market. The Grainger Market is the City’s largest traditional market, situated in an elegant, classically styled building in Grainger Street near Grey’s Monument. This under-cover market was the largest in Europe when first built in the 1830’s. It sells mainly meat and vegetables with a good variety of game available. There are many other stalls, each with its own particular character. Hidden within is the unique “Marks and Spencer Original Penny Bazaar”, the world’s smallest Marks and Spencer store.

048424:Grainger Market Newcastle upon Tyne City Engineers 1985

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/newcastlelibraries/4081062987/

I think most people had the same idea. Try to keep out of the snow and find shelter wherever you can. After speaking to garage, I made my way, by train again, back a couple of stops to where I needed to get off to collect my car. A short, cold, walk later, and I was there, to be told it had passed its MOT with flying colours. Not a thing wrong with it, on the points the MOT covers. It still requires a serve, as the car has not had one for a couple of years. Now, that’s bad, as its recommended you get one every 6 – 12 months. It involves filter changes, oil change, stuff like that.Hopefully I will get that done in the next few days. I may possibly have to get the oil pressure switch changed as my oil light comes on after about 15 minutes of driving, and the oil level is fine. It depends though, may just need the oil change. Hopefully that’s the case.

Once home, a made a steaming hot cup of tea and sat beside the window, where the radiator is, and watched the snow continue to fall. Theres a draft that comes from behind the kitchen units and I’m unable to get to the source so it means that every winter, there a cold blast that freezes your feet. I seems to come from behind the sink unit, round the corner, then underneath the washing machine. Sometimes it gets so bad, that even next to the radiator, it’s still not really hot. Thankfully it’s not always that bad. I do have one thing to warm me up. One of cats, Costa, has jumped up for stokes. He is keeping my lap nice and warm.

costa on lap

Sorted with the solicitors, and Run Geordie Run

This morning, I arrived at my Dad’s house with half an hour to spare until we had to go to the solicitors, only to be going through the paperwork, making sure we had everything we needed, and finding out the time for the solicitors was at 14.00, not 11.30. I was not expecting that. Another 2 and a half hours to waste. We were all set to got to that appointment. We decided to go to Boots to get my prescription put in for my pain killers then go for a coffee, or two. After filling in time at Costa coffee, we walked along to the solicitors. This solicitor was as you would expect a solicitor to look. Very professional and authoritarian looking, but at the same time was very down to earth and telling us about his experiences with our local hospital. After the initial chit chat, icebreaking talk, we got down to business and handed over all paperwork we could find, to be informed that the process could take 8 – 12 weeks to complete. This is the irritating part of the process, all the waiting. As anyone who has been in this situation will tell you, you just want everything to be over so you can get on with your life, and get some form of normality back to it. Both me and my Dad are both looking forward to that.
My Dad, dropped a comment into the conversation whilst at the solicitors, after the solicitor advised making a will. He did state we didm;t have to do it through themselves, so he obviously wasn’t looking for business, just offering advice. My dad took me by surprise and said that he wasn’t going to be around much longer himself. I was a bit taken aback by this as it showed a bit about what he was thinking. Like I’ve said previously, he does not give much away about how he is feeling or what he is thinking. Whether thats due to his upbringing or that he doesn’t want me to worry, or a bit of both. He also mentioned about the trials he is soon to start at the Sir Bobby Robson Wing of The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. He said that the chances of the trials helping him are 1 in 20. Not the best odds, I’m sure you will agree, but its better than zero chance. Plus, the fact, that he is helping to find a cure for cancer. Sir Bobby Robson used to positively say “when’ not ‘if’ we beat cancer” ( Quote from Run Geordie Run / Mark Allison’s blog http://markallisonjogtole.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/a-change-of-tactics.html )

On that subject, Please support Mark Allison’s quest to raise money for the The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation http://www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk . Please check out http://markallisonjogtole.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/a-change-of-tactics.html, and http://markallisonjogtole.blogspot.co.uk and on Twitter @rungeordierun. Please drop him a line and show his some support. He replies to his tweets. He is doing an amazing job raising a lot of money for a great cause, which for obvious reasons, is close to my heart.
Not only is my Dad going to be attending the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in the Sir Bobby Robson Wing, my brother was also on that wing as well, when he was critically ill, Not in the Trials Research Centre, but on that wing of the hospital.
He got moved from there to St. Oswalds Hospice in Gosforth, where he later died in 2011. My Brother, James, suffered from kidney failure and blindness, as well as other multiple problems, most of which stemmed from diabetes.

Mark is running across Australia from Perth to Sydney on October 16th 2013 arriving on Bondi Beach on December 24th 2013.

All funds raised for the run across Australia are split between The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation (Charity No. 1057213) and The Children’s Foundation (Charity No. 1000013) who do wonderful work with children in the region where he lives.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Today, G and myself, got the train to my Dad’s for a change, instead of driving there. A bit more relaxing. When we got there, we took dad for our normal coffee at Costa’s, to get my Dad out of the house for an hour or so, and get a fresh air on the walk to Costa’s. I enjoy our little coffee stops. It gives us a chance to have a good natter about whats been happening and my Dad a chance to get into ‘story mode’, which he seems to enjoy. It takes his mind of everything else, which at the moment, I think he needs.

Back at the house we went through a load more drawers and dug out yet more paperwork and sorted it out. G volunteered for the job of shredding all the unwanted stuff, and stuff with personal details on. We went at this for must be nearly 2 hours. By the time we gave up, the large bin bag we were using, was three quarters full of shredded paper. The shredder, which a couple of days ago, was partly sat in water, worked perfectly and did not cut out once. What a time saver it turned out to be compared to ripping stuff up by hand or using my Dad’s manual shredder. By the time we finished, we had gotten through loads of paperwork, There is still loads to do, but, with regards to personal stuff needed for the solicitors, I think we have found most of it. The rest should all be stuff that needs sorting and shredding. A big pile, today, got reduced to just a small pile of letters etc. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer.

All that was left to do after that, for today, was head off home on the train and go to the local Tesco and buy loads of shopping. I’m going to put my feet up tonight, as sitting in a rather hard dining room chair for all that time this afternoon, has played havoc with my back and neck.

Coffee Star

I had a quiet day today, well that was after I managed to get out of bed. Last night I had an awful nights sleep. It was after 03.30 when I eventually got to sleep. Due to my back problem, I had pains in my legs, right arm, neck and hips / pelvis. I woke Denise up a few times twitching, jumping, huffing and puffing, moaning and all round irritation from not being able to get to sleep. I was getting myself frustrated, which didn’t help matters. As a result, it was nearly midday when Denise woke me up with a phone call. As Grace finished school early I’ve not had time to go and see my Dad today, but did speak to him on the phone. He seemed in good spirits, which is always pleasing to hear. I will be popping down to see him tomorrow, and sort through yet more paperwork. Grace is going to help shred papers, with the now dry and working shredder. After doing a bit of work, I might treat my Dad to a Costa coffee. He seems to enjoy going there now, well I hope he does. It was funny the other day, he seems to like, and find it funny that Costa top off their cappuccinos with a chocolate star. They other day they didn’t do it, and my dad noticed lol. He laughed, saying ‘where my star?’, pointing at his coffee. I am going to have to make sure in future he has a star on there. I might take a stencil in and ask the to put a ‘G’ on for his name and see what he does. I’ll let you know if I do that.

coffee star

Time for a relaxing coffee

As things are so manic at the moment, I decided, while I have a couple of spare hours, that I would come to Starbucks for a coffee. I love coming here and just sitting and relaxing and watch the world go by.


Four generations

On one of the first trips to Costa Coffee, This is the one and only photo of four generations of our family. Unfortunately Grace was missing, although she is same generation as my son John. Left to right: Baby Jack ( my Grandson ), John ( my Son ), me, then my Dad. I love this photo. Due to circumstances prior to this, this is the first time my Dad had met his Great Grandson Jack. Also, this was taken just 2 days after my Mam’s funeral, so it was nice to bring a smile to my Dad’s face.

The one and only photo of 4 generations of the family. L - R: Baby James, Joe, Me and my Dad
The one and only photo of 4 generations of the family. L – R: Baby jack, John, Me and my Dad