Author: Mr Knitter

Early 50's guy who happens to love music, knitting and photography among lots of other things. Living with Husband, two dogs and far too many fish in the North of England.

Ninja Madness?

Okay, I may have lost my mind or possessed by the devil, not sure which, but it is a close call. “Why Mr K?” I hear you say, “why?” I felt the need/urge to buy another Ninja product, not because I need it, as I have a machine that pressure cooks, I have a machine that will dehydrate, I also have a Crockpot, I have a grill, three ovens, a rotary fryer, a….. you get the picture, I have it all, in separate machines, and I love the all, not like my dogs of my knitting supplies, but I love them. However, I am in love with the look and verticality of the Ninja products (no I am not getting paid by them, or have any freebees from them, but I would not say no). They look sexy and now that I am renovating the kitchen they look super cool and in turn make the kitchen (still not finished) look very good.

So, I guess I better tell what the latest toy I have bought. Drum roll! It is a Ninja 9-in-1 6 litre multi-cooker. I was toying with getting the 7.5 litre one and thought to myself, I don’t need one that big, and now I have the 6 litre, I could have gone for the 7.5 after all. But hey, we will make it work.

As I got home later than normal due to going to the DIY store on the way home, then the supermarket I decided just to make burgers and beer battered chunky chips for dinner (fries to the USA). In the new 9-in-1 I did the chips which came out fabulous and the air grill I did the burgers. Everything was fabulous and perfectly cooked and in half the time it would have taken in the oven and grill.

Above my collection on the newly done kitchen cabinets, more about the refurbishment at a later date when I have finished it all.

Covid Vaccination

Three weeks ago I received my first vaccination for COVID-19 after receiving a text from my GP. A week later I received a letter from NHS England asking me to book my vaccination as I am a registered carer for someone vulnerable to Covid. Today I received a letter of the same ilk from the council’s carers department. Both letters mentioned that the person I care for (my husband) is vulnerable to Covid, however, M has not had his vaccination, and further to it all I have asthma which I have had from birth, and I also have a heart problem. Yes, I have had my vaccination, but only because I am a carer, and not because of my own health problems which happen to fit within the remit of the vaccination rollout.

When I went for my vaccination, one of the nurses who knows both M and me very well asked how M got on after his injection. I had to tell her that he had not had it, nor an invite. Needless to say, she was quite surprised but admitted that people were not getting invites when they should have had one. She assured me that she would speak to the surgery and get it sorted. A few days later she called and said she was having to fight with management over M and others that were missed off, but told me he was now on the list for the next set. The invite never arrived, and after getting my letter from the council I decided enough was enough.

As with anything official involving bureaucrats I knew it was going to be something that I had to fight for and was well aware that I would be sent on a wild goose chase. I called the GP surgery and after being in a queue that said I was number one, waited for 12 minutes to actually speak to someone. However, she was one of the surgeries “gatekeepers”. Unfortunately, most doctors offices in the UK have these gatekeepers who take it upon themselves to fob everyone off. I have had many arguments with these women who demand to know all the details of ailments as though they are the doctors, rather than booking the appointments as per their job description. (Before anyone decides to comment that I am wrong and they are doing their job, I have to stop you there as our surgery confirmed and published that the receptionists are not medically trained and when booking appointments you do not need to tell them about why you are booking it.). Anyway, I told the receptionist the reason for my call, she took M’s details and told me that he was not on any list and therefore would need to wait until they do 45 to 50-year-olds which will be some time. I questioned as to why there are no details on the system, and she informed me that I would need to get letters from the hospital for any appointments attended last year and send them into the surgery for them to look into it. I informed her that he had not attended the hospital last year as all appointments were cancelled due to the pandemic. she told me that if I could not do that I should call the NHS line and speak to them as it is them who decide who has their vaccination and when, but she had no records of underlying health problems. WTF!

Next stop NHS Direct. After going through 8 options I finally spoke to a lady who listened to me and tried to book the appointment. She told me that she could not as the system would not let her and that our GP surgery needs to correct their system to enable her to book it. I told her that the surgery had blamed NHS Direct’s side and said it was their records that were to blame. She assured me that their records are lead by the surgery and that they have “markers” that when the routines are run selects the people in those categories and invites them to have their jab. Feeling that I was getting another run-around I called the council’s carers line for advice. The lady was very sympathetic and told me in no certain words that M should have had his injection and that it is indeed the surgery who are to blame and that they had not coded M’s records properly, and I should call the surgery again and speak to the practice manager and refuse to give details to the receptionist as I would not get to the route of the problem.

Another call to the surgery to be told that the practice manager was in a meeting and she (a different gatekeeper this time) would try to get him to call me back. When I put the phone down I thought that I would not get a call and my request would be binned. However, I was duly surprised to get a call from the practice manager just 20 minutes later. So, on with my explanation to him, repeating everything I had said to all the others and telling of what I had been told by his reception to do, what NHS Direct said and finally what the council carers department told me. He looked into M’s records whilst I was on the phone and could see that something was wrong and he would speak to our new GP and get it all corrected. I told him what the nurse had told me and he said that she was one of the best members of staff and that she knew the patients very well and if she thought M should have been seen, then he needed to act on that too. I mentioned to him that our old GP who left the surgery was very rude about M getting a flu jab stating that those were only for people with cancer. When she said this to M I quickly corrected her and she finally backed down, however, M still had never received an invite for that either. He apologised that this too was missed off and admitted that M should also have been given the flu jab too each year especially in light of him being hospitalised with pneumonia, again, not recorded by the GP in question. I told him that the pharmacist next to the surgery had given M his jab each year and said that M was in the vulnerable group and that the surgery should have sorted this out. Again he apologised for all the mistakes and lack of professional conduct from our previous GP (who left in mysterious circumstances to a new life in Scotland) and promised to get everything corrected and went ahead with booking M in for his Covid vaccination.

Success!

Although I have condensed everything, the calls to all involved took me over an hour and a half. It is a sad state of affairs that we have had to fight for everything just because people cannot or do not do their jobs correctly.

Kitchen Toys

I have gone a little mad the last week with new kitchen toys. On Saturday I bought a Ninja Foodi Max Health Grill and then on Sunday bought a Ninja Foodi Hot & Cold Blender & Soup Maker.

I know! Do I need these things in my life? Probably not, but at the same time, yes I do, and now I have played with them, yes I do need them and so does everyone else. These machines are amazing, and it is very seldom I would describe a machine as amazing, but I have to say it again, they are amazing.

I am now considering replacing my Pressure King Pro with a Ninja Foodi Max 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker. I know, do I need to do this? Probably not! Will I? Probably will!

Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer
Ninja Foodi Blender & Soup Maker

So far I have cooked burgers, sausages and fries in the Health grill, as I had them in the fridge, but WOW, they were cooked in about 5 minutes, which was quite amazing and nice and brown too. With the blender I have made raspberry and coconut smoothie, curried cauliflower soup and peanut butter hot chocolate. Not a great deal of things, but I have only had them a couple of days.

If anyone was considering buying these things, then I say go for it. Kitchen toys are great fun, and these are worth every penny.

2021 – We Made It

Happy New Year

Well, we made it, we’re here. 2021, here we come, ready to charge and take life to its full, well, maybe tomorrow we’ll start.

Last night we “brought in the new year” twice. First was in Paris at a virtual concert given by Jean Michel Jarre at Notre Dame, which really was the best of the two, as the UK new year was just the bongs of Big Ben and the TV watching the Elizabeth Tower clock, yes exciting hey! NOT!

We did have a lovely bottle of red which J at work got me for my birthday. Smooth, and almost went down like water. M had a Guinness and I had a few Gins, so it wasn’t a drunk night, thankfully LOL. When midnight hit the “Spanish Villa” across from us decided to let off lots of fireworks, which I have to admit, they were really good. Our neighbours from a few doors down came out to watch the fireworks, and all at once turned to our house and waved, that made me wave back and brought a smile to my face. Maybe it was a sign to a better year ahead, or more likely, they were all drunk and saw me at the window.

We decided to have a lazy day today, however, I started to strip the Christmas lights from the windows, then M bought in the tree decoration boxes, and next thing all the decorations and the tree was stripped and all boxed away. Tomorrow we will take the tree physically down and box it up for this year. Each year we say we will wait till 12th night, and each year we never make it past new years day.

I have not really bothered with the whole resolutions as they get broken usually by the 2nd. My usual trim down after Christmas will begin, but I guess that goes for most people.

All that remains for me to say to you all is Happy New Year, and may 2021 be a better year for all of us.

2020, My Video

Day by day I have recorded whats going on, just a few seconds at a time, so grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy my view of 2020. Hopefully 2021 will be so much better.

I know that in the past some people have not been able to view my videos due to YouTube being asses. So, if you cannot, here is the direct link.

Birthday

Just over a week ago I turned 51 and due to the current world conditions, we did not go anywhere. We are in Tier 2, so could happily go to tier 2, 3 & 4 places, but this epidemic really has put us off from going places, add to that it was pissing down, meant that there was no point trying to go anywhere unless we wanted to either stay in the car, which wasn’t much of an option or seek out a place that was dry, which really meant that the day would be option one as it was raining close to all parts of the country, except the mountains in Scotland where it was snowing.

As always, M spoiled me with hobby stuff, books and a Go Cube. If you do not know what that is, it is a Rubix cube for competing, and it has an app for people wanting to learn how to solve the cube as well as brush up on skills, and speed. I did have it on my wish list waiting for the price to drop, but it really didn’t move, so I never purchased it.

I thought I would share my birthday cake with you all.

Covid Birthday

Christmas 2020

I have to say, I really enjoyed Christmas Day. Not only was I spoiled completely by M, but it was a nice easy day, with no stress at all. Even making Christmas dinner went off without any problems, and everything was ready when I aimed for it to be, and needless to say, it was rather delicious.

As mentioned, I was spoiled by M with a Yamaha Electronic Baby Grand. Not only is it a Baby Grand, but it has hundreds of different “voices” (instruments), and it can teach you how to play. I learned by ear when I was a kid, but due to my father being an ass hole I was never able to take it further. My uncle taught me stuff and let me play on his piano. Two of my uncles are pipe organ tuners and restorers. Both of them told my father (their brother) that he should encourage me as I had a talent and that one of them would get a piano for me, but the ass hole said not and that was that. M to the rescue all these years later and I am giving it my best shot. I admit, when I opened it I was shocked and rather intimidated as I knew that I had not played since I was about 14/15, and being 51, that’s a long time, almost biblical. My wrists are aching a little along with my fingers from all the stretching, but at least I am giving it my all. I feel 2021 is going to be a full packed year of piano, crochet and reading.

M bought me lots of books too including The Colour Purple, Malcolm X autobiography, James Baldwins Notes of a Native Son to name a few. I also got a beautiful William Morris tea set, William Morris notebook, oh, also a Vogue Knitting Colour Work Paper book that will enable me to design and plan some Fair Isle projects. I received so much more and will keep the details for another post as and when I get to them. There were so many gifts for each other we all, including the dogs had stockings full of gifts that we kept until Boxing Day, which we have decided will be a tradition from now on.

Harper

Over the years we have been asked what breed Harper is, which, every time, made me shake my head in disbelief as she is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We bought her as a Staffy and over the years we have had no reason not to believe that she is a Staffy. To us, she has all the traits and looks how a Staffy should look. 6 years after getting her we decided to have her DNA mapped, not for any real reason but curiosity and to see if she had any genetic conditions that could be a problem. Today the results came in and I am happy to say that she is a Staffy, but somewhere in the deep deep history of her mother’s line of ancestry, there is 4% Dalmation DNA, which is bizarre but could explain why she is a little taller than other Staffies. The tests were also 100% with her description of colour, tan points and what they call a “mask” which is that she has a blue face. They also said that she had Hind Dewclaws, which was true, but we had them removed due to them catching on things.

Purely due to the genetic conditions that they scan for, I am going to get Mazikeen’s DNA done. She is a pure breed English Springer Spaniel, we got her ancestry records though the Kennel Club which was presented on a huge certificate showing all the champion gun dogs she is descended from.

Christmas Wreath – Complete

I bought the letter off a seller on Etsy and never received them, being told they must be “lost in the post”. I question this and it turned out he had screwed up my address, but would not resend them, blaming Etsy on it. I had to order a second set in order to complete the project. It took him 5 days to actually put it in the post. Not happy as those letters cost me £10 in the end. Now I have them I will be complaining to Etsy about this as I think it was BS I was being fed. Anyway, I am very happy with the finished item.

Cable Beanie

Since it is winter, another beanie was needed, so whilst recovering from my operation I thought I would make this beanie. It is Patons DK acrylic yarn in Petrol, using a 3.5mm & 4mm needles. The pattern is a DROPS pattern called Finnley’s Hat, and is very comfortable and warm.

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