Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I think I have Aspergers syndrome.

I haven't written anything for a while because I really struggle to put what I want to say in to words.

My wife was watching "Embarrassing Bodies" on Channel 4 a while back.  A programme I normally steer clear of.  The second half of the show was about the autism spectrum.  Different for their show and since our youngest has mild Aspergers I watched.

Aspergers Syndrome information

It was quite interesting and informative.  At the end of the show they gave you the chance to take a test to see if you have Aspergers and the level at which you might have it.

Most people have some portion of the syndrome but ever since getting a diagnoses for our youngest child I became more informed about it.  My wife thought I had traits so I took the test.  To try and be objective I asked the wife to answer some of the questions from her perspective about me.

At the end of the test you get a score.  There was a range of scores to show severity (up to 15 was low, 15-25 medium, 25 to 35 high and 35 and above very high).

I scored 42.              (Douglas Adams solution to life, the universe and everything :)

This was a bit of a surprise.  I knew I had traits but not that high.

A few of the staff at work also took the test and scored around the 9 to 11 mark.

I suppose it was to be expected with my son having Aspergers but I wish I would have been diagnosed in school if I showed symptoms.  Having said that I did go to school 30 years ago and the recognition of these things was like it is now.

It doesn't really change much but give me an explanation about the way I see and do things.  Do I bother to get an official diagnoses or not.  It will probably be wasting the Doctors time to be honest.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Toys, Toys, Toys everywhere

I don't think I'm a person to particularly prone to giving in to my childrens demands but, boy, have they amassed a large amount of toys.  These things were favorites for  while but not as long as when I was younger and generally got presents/toys at Christmas time.

I can only guess it is because we have more disposable income than we my parents were younger. It does represent a massive waste of money though over time.  The only thing is the youngest with his mild aspergers is very focused on his toys and still plays with hsi very specific items regularly.  The eldest has moved on to the stage of computer/electronic games.

As it is a bit on the cold side outside it was time for a toy audit.  Partly to clear space and partly to collect all the relevant parts together.   This is now done, apart from putting some of the Lego together.

Now all have have to do is get rid of the filtered out material as not many people are interested in second hand material.

I still think I'm going to hae the Thomas The Tank Engine material around the house for a number of years yet. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I really should write more.

It seems I'm not that creative.  I intend to write more but never really know what to put down.  I think my personality is probably more of a do-er.

I have been up to quite a lot recently with the formation of a new Focus Team in WELA and getting to know a whole new set of detail about one of Nottingham's wards.  Yesterday, myself and Alisdair with one of our former Councillor's for the area went delivering the latest Focus in the Lenton Abbey area.

It's fair to say that Dave understood where I got my reputation as a speedy deliverer.  He said "I would have kept up with you in my younger years (possibly)."      In the end, myself and Alisdair got most of these two pollling districts down in about 2 1/2 hours.  About half of that was down in snowy conditions.  This meant Wendy took an hour and twenty minutes to get home, by car, from a Nottingham Panthers game at the Arena.

Over the past week I have been creating a blog for the Chair of our local Nottingham Liberal Democrat party.  He has a history of articles to put on to improve his profile and collect his works together.  I have managed to create him a blog on Wordpress, a website system I have never used before.  I am quite pleased with the result.  It should also improve with newer articles.

The snow was quite a one this Saturday afternoon.  Its taken all the way until February for it to arrive though.  A full 10cm deep on our driveway in one session.  Of course this meant the obligatory trip to Wollaton Park for the sledging down the hill.  From the looks of it almost half of Nottingham descided to travel by car! there also.  The queue outside the gates was lengthy to say the least.  Why these people don't park a bit further away and walk is beyound me.  We, thankfully, live about 1/2 mile away so walking in is not a problem.  It wasn't too cold either as there was no wind.

I'm going to have to think of something more detailled to write at some point.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fear for Nottingham

After all the work our team has done to get our Councillors relected in the wards they represent has not worked. I'm sure the national situation had most to do with it but I'll let other people argue about that. I am going to go out on a limb and say that it can't be for a particular like for some of the candidates of Nottingham Labour or the Nottingham party itself.

Not all of them. There is one in particular I talked that, I felt, was a reasonable person who was actually there to look after the people she represents, a community activist instead of a partisan politician.

Having spent time with our Councillors well before election time I've have got to say that they are a bunch of people to be proud of. Always trying to work to better the situation for the residents of their wards the best they can. There never seemed to be a conversation in my presence about their own aggrandisement and their first concern was helping.

I have attended several (resident) meetings they have been to, outside the normal freak show that is Full Council, and found that they never politicised a meeting just to make a personal gain. Sound advice and help is what they offered.

I really hope that given the way I have seen Nottingham Labour behave that Nottingham doesn't implode and all the good work that our team doesn't come undone. The arrogance of the current ruling lot thinking they naturally deserve the votes of the people of Nottingham and not actually doing the detailed basic work for constituents to show that people should vote for them on merit makes me cringe.

We shall see what the next 4 years brings.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lib Dem FOCUS delivery.

It's getting near election time and like all the parties we will be
out delivering our Focus leaflets, although we do this all the time
and not just at elections. During election time obviously the info in
the leaflet changes slightly.

The ward i'm working in has about 35 hours worth of delivery so when
you are doing this every two weeks it can mean a tremendous amount of

Even though I'm not one of the candidates it gives you plenty of
opportunity to see if there is anything that needs reporting to the
Council. Another thing it gives you plenty of chances to do is
actually meet the people and have a bit of a chat. I had a good talk
with someone this morning and said hello to plenty of people. At least
a face to the person putting things through your door.

There are going to be people that aren't interested in either
politics, your party or even their local community. But one thing that
I'm afraid really annoys me is the odd occasion when, you are a couple
of doors away, the person inside just shoves the leaflet out of the
letterbox in to the street or their garden. This is just littering. If
you don't want the info whether it would be a political leaflet (any
party), that pizza menu, Chinese takeaway or charity bag please just
recycle it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Internet and Lost Relatives

I started doing family history research about 15 years ago as when internet research was just blooming. Initially I got all the information together I could about my immediate family and worked backwards from there, as you should.

Of course then Genes Reunited took off and more people became interested with the advent of the Who Do You Think You Are? series. At the time this put me in touch with a few third cousins doing research as well and my tree expanded through collaboration with this people. I am especially grateful to a couple in Derby called the Brown’s who had done a massive amount of research on the Brown family from Ilkeston before internet research made things quicker to reference. I went to visit them and they had all their evidence collected and would gladly share it with me. With a name in my past like Brown I was very grateful.

The more unreal things that have happened are as follows;

I have met my wife’s 7th cousin several times at work and they live not a mile away from me. Our common ancestor being from about 300 years earlier.

Myself and my father-in-law met up one New Years Eve with his 3rd cousin who came all the way from New Zealand researching his family.

I have been in contact with my wife’s 10th cousin whose connected relation was from about 1650.

I moved on from Genes Reunited as I started to get weary of their website and some of the people using it and started using instead. I put my research out there to find living people who might be connected to our family and in an exchange of information I was after getting so images out of them of their ancestors to add to my collection. Names, dates and occupation of ancestors are great but nothing can beat a picture of someone’s face which you can insert in your tree and their image won’t be forgotten.

Doing all these things have been fun but not my greatest thrill.

The best time I have had is quite recently. My father-in-law lost touch with the two sisters of his dad as they moved away from Nottingham and over time contact faded. I found this happens when the parents pass away and direct common link is there no more.

Well, finding living people can be sometimes difficult but after a bit of persistence I managed to find father-in-law’s cousins from Hull to find one had moved back to Nottingham and worked in a shop that my wife goes in all the time. The two sisters from this family hadn’t seen each other for a while either so I arranged a family get together back in Hull so we could all meet up and all say hello again.

My father-in-law’s other aunt (Annie) was a little more difficult as they had moved to Australia in the 1950’s, had stayed in touch with Annie’s mother but this contact reduced when her mother died. I think there was something more about this but not quite sure. Anyway, their names were Atkinson so finding the family was going to be impossible.

Janet was a daughter of Annie and in the earlier 1970’s decided that Australia wasn’t for her so did some travelling around Europe and then stayed with my parents-in-law in Nottingham for a while before moving on to Canada. Well, after 40 years Janet decided to do some family history research as well and because I’d put my information on Ancestry she emailed me to ask a question not realising that she was so closely related to us.

It’s brought back a lot of memories for Janet and she also gave me the information that Annie at the grand old age of 97 is still alive and, although bedridden, has all her facilities. She also remembers my wife, although the last time she saw her was at 2 years old so she has changed somewhat since then.

Although sometimes computers can be a pain and a thing someone of Janet’s age can be reluctant to learn from scratch recently like she has I am so glad she did.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quiet as a Church Mouse - Speaking in Public

Having been to our local Lib Dem AGM mini-conference today I was asked to give a little report about the recent Autumn Conference with a couple other of my fellow Nottingham Lib Demmers.

A few years ago I was at a induction session for Junior Doctors with a few Consultants present. I used to get extremely nervous talking to a group of people until one particular session when someone spoke before me who came across very poorly because of her extreme nervousness. I felt sorry for her as when not in these inductions she didn't come across this way. Having heard this though I was grateful that suddenly after thinking to myself "I'm not like that am I when I talk?" my "bad" nerves about speaking in front of these people disappeared.

I couldn't beleive it and I've not felt that nervous since.

My BIG problem is that I have been told repeatedly that I talk very quietly.

I think this stems from the fact that my eye sight is poor so, as they say, my hearing has compensated and my hearing is very acute. This makes my speech sound very loud to me but to everyone else barely audible.

Fortunately today I think people heard me as they at least laughed in the right places but I do have a tendancy to slip back to my normal volume after trying to talk louder at the beginning.

Is the solution to stick some earplugs? :-)

Do I then come across as loud and obnoxious?

I may try it one time in front of people I know.