A Year of Firsts

I realised earlier today that I’ve completed my ‘year of firsts’ – a year of everything happening without Jacqui. The Widower’s groups I read said this would be the hardest. A widow I met though said the first five years were the hardest. I suppose the truth is somewhere inbetween.

2019, apart from bring the saddest year of my life, has taught me a lot.

It showed how amazing Automattic has been. They have gone over and above what I think any other company would have done. HR, my team lead Raul and my team have all been there, and at the Grand Meetup two people in particular, Alicia and Chrissie, help me get through what I found to be a very difficult time.

It also showed me a lot about people personally. Pointless saying any more here about that.

Twitter. When did I leave twitter? No clue, don’t miss it.
Facebook. Very happy to have left the lizard’s domain.
Tumblr. Sad to have left there but it had to happen.
Both of those domains are comprehensively blocked here

Climate

What would I like from 2020?

A holiday would be nice. Have not had a proper holiday in over 11 years. Doubt it will happen though as going away on my own I would not enjoy.

Sorting the house out some more, but that’s money and ideas needed.

To see my youngest get married next November.

There is one more item, more of a hope. But that’s for me and a very few to know and know why.

Life

A strange eight days

Books

4 December was Jacqui’s birthday. She would have been 56
11 December marks the first anniversary of the last time we spoke
12 December she had gone

I did not know how I would react as December approached, The raw grief has gone but it is replaced by sadness. Lots of sadness. Remembering. Noticing things around the house that have remained unchanged since that day.

I haven’t moved on really. I don’t really know how to if I’m honest. SSDD.

(and the pic? I just like it)

I brought Jacqui home

A Certificate of Cremation. I had no idea such a thing existed, and now I own one. I do not know what it looks like as it is unopened in an envelope and it will remain so forever.
We have a partial solution to what we want to do with J’s ashes which is why I went to collect them today. Almost no-one in real life asks me how I am, but the lady – who I first met when I had to organise the thing last December – did today. I had to work to not cry. Then in the taxi back holding Jacqui I had to just.not.cry and when I got back I kept it in.
Talking to Chrissie at work she said it was okay to cry. I knew that because I’ve never been one of those “Man up” types, or that “Men don’t cry” silliness. But she sort of gave me permission if that doesn’t sound odd and the tears came. I had to stop work an hour early because you can’t read a screen properly when crying and all I could think of was J.

She’s here. She’s at home.

It is closing in on a year since we lost her but this, her ashes being here makes it more real.

How does something real become more real? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I have a green (biodegradable) urn here which I can touch. Which I talk to. Which makes me cry.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Love you J

X

CCTV

Decided to add some decent CCTV to the front area of the house covering the doors and the car. Just can’t be sure that whoever stole the keys won’t come back and try to see if they work. Saving to a DVR and wifi streaming to an iDevice is good.

And I await the owner of Bosworth Homecare to call me and demand I remove the last post. That’s when I find out just how well my webhost protects my ability to complain and should they fall short I’ll move that post to WordPress.com where it will live forever……

Bosworth Homecare

It has been an eventful week that if I had not already been scheduled to be away from work would have meant that I would have had to take time off anyway.

 

Details don’t need to be gone into for personal reasons but there is some information I do need/want to write about.

My wife has/had 2 carers 4 times a day for personal care for over a year now – multiple sclerosis is a nasty thing. The company providing the carers is based in Leicestershire and is called Bosworth Homecare. This is important.
Several months ago I bought a set of measuring spoons from Amazon – a hoop on which you have 1/4, 1/2, teaspoon etc. And some months ago they completely disappeared from the house. Do you have a place in your house where you put change? I did, and I was sure on a couple of occasions  that when I went to grab a couple of coins to buy milk that there were a few coins less. I put both of these down to me being forgetful. And then I did one particular online shop.
In that shop I bought 2 large bars of popping candy chocolate. 2 were delivered – I recall that because as I took them out of the shopping crate they were both broken. I put them in a kitchen cupboard. A couple of hours later my daughter goes to get some chocolate – they were bought for her – and there was one bar there. Not two. One had gone.
This was reported to Bosworth Homecare.

So there is no confusion, this is Bosworth Homecare, Leics.

Nothing happened but the carers were told that we knew something had  gone missing. I told Bosworth Homecare about the previous incidents.

Let me ask you a question – where are your car keys? If you are at home I bet you know where you left them. If not the exact place then you know the room, yes? Important things are keys and we all have habits. Last Monday my daughter went to get her car keys from the kitchen – and they had gone. This wasn’t just one key – it was a full set of car keys, several keyrings (including some with great personal value)  and a full set of house keys. Not a small bunch and hard to miss on a kitchen counter.
They had gone.
I don’t mean misplaced, dropped down the side of a chair, behind the toaster. I mean completely and totally not in the house. My daughter and I searched everywhere. We looked inside mugs, inside cereal packets, the fridge, the freezer, the bin, cupboards. No keys.
I rang Bosworth Homecare and they said to report it to the police. (And the policeman that visited laughed when I told him that saying “Well as there is no proof their staff did it they would”). So it has been reported and will be pursued.
One of the carers – and it’s one of 2 – we have the attendance sheet – took the keys. Why? Maybe because we had reported them for not ringing in/out of the call as they are required to do. Maybe because they were reported for not wearing aprons as they are required to do. Maybe because they were providing intimate care and then preparing food without changing gloves. Who knows… but regardless those keys were stolen from this house by employees of Bosworth Homecare, Leicester.
It cost over £200 for 2 new sets of keys. (Can you afford that if you employ Bosworth Homecare?)

Bosworth Homecare then stopped all care without notice. Nice eh?

This is where if you are after a care provider that you go back to the CQC website, find someone else and insist on them. You don’t need the people you invite into your house to steal from you.