One person can make a difference, and every person should try


Yeah, another week has gone by, and this whole bi-weekly thing on the blog has fallen by the wayside a bit. Still, I’m here and back on it for a recap of this week. On a big plus point, I am now done with editing the two easter weddings, so I have a little more free time on my hands. This alone has been a major contributor in not blogging much for the last couple of weeks.

Another plus point is that this is a bank holiday weekend, so after what has felt like a long week at work, we have three days at home with the family. People kept mentioning the bank holiday, but I kept forgetting about it, which is a good thing, as waiting for something can make it feel like its never going to arrive. I didn’t want to make too many plans, as I know how much the wife hates it when we try to cram too much in. There were a few things I had arranged to do, and it started on Saturday morning with our friends coming to visit. These were the friends I had been to see last weekend, trying to get photographs of their newborn baby. The shoot didn’t quite work out then as he wouldn’t go to sleep, and this weekend it was much of the same. A disappointment, but one of those things. I can only set so much up, and the baby is in charge after that. I will endeavour to get them some nice photos however, but it probably won’t be the posed shots I had been hoping for. It was still lovely to see them, and of course for the wife to meet the little one as well. Their daughter is almost the same age as Olivia, and it was nice to see them starting to learn to play together.

After they’d left and headed home I had to head out on my own to look after my friends little boy, J again. I haven’t seen him for a few weeks, as they’d recently been away on holiday, but now it was time to start getting a few more hours in. It can be said that I don’t make a huge amount of money out of doing this, its certainly not going to be taking us on holiday, but it does help out a bit, especially at the end of the month when things are starting to get a little tight, and its nice to be doing something good, knowing they appreciate the respite that my looking after him provides. His autism is no real challenge for me, as I am already used to similar behaviours from the pupils I have been working with for the last 18 months anyway. So it has been quite easy for me to just walk into this role and provide the help they need, and things have got off to a good start so far, which we’re all very happy about. Initially I was a little concerned that this could really tie up my weekends and get in the way, and I was wondering if I had perhaps agreed to it too quickly without realising I’d lose a chunk of time with Olivia each weekend. Thankfully they have been very understanding of this, and they also have things they want to do as a family, so we are keeping this very relaxed and flexible, which seems to be suiting everyone. If it becomes a problem, of course we will review it, but for now it seems to be working.

I was home with enough time left for us to squeeze in a quick food shop for the week, so we all jumped in the car and headed out to Aldi, as we are now fully converted from mainstream shopping to budget shopping. There are a couple of things Aldi don’t seem to sell and we can only get from Asda, but we are saving a small fortune from getting everything else from Aldi. Their own branded products have actually really impressed us, and we certainly don’t feel like we are losing out on quality just because we are spending less! We are trying to switch to as much of their own stuff as we can, we are certainly not brand name snobs, if it tastes good and we’re happy with it, then there seems little point in just throwing money away at brand names.

Sunday I woke up feeling a bit delicate, I had decided to give Aldi’s own version of Jack Daniels a try, as it was less than half the price that Jack Daniels sells for in Asda, and still less than the cheaper alternative of Jim Beam. The verdict? Suitably impressed! So much so that I put away over half a bottle of it while I was watching a film and didn’t even realise! Although I don’t think it was the drink that left me feeling rough on the Sunday morning, my poor stomach was gurgling and spinning like a washing machine, telling me it was the Chinese takeaway I had thoroughly overindulged in! I had ordered far too much food, and knew I had, and yet still decided to do as much damage to it as possible… but in the end it beat me! I had little choice but to cancel the Sunday morning run, and postpone it to the Monday morning, which thankfully my running partner was very understanding about. The only other plan we had for the day was to visit our friends who had just moved house, they were now much closer to us, and the new house was lovely, so much space, but they’d totally earned it after spending so long in their previous house which was tiny, even smaller than ours! We spent the whole afternoon there, and Olivia plays so well with their son, who is a year older. We were even fed before we headed home, its so nice to spend time with them and see things actually start to work out for them. Its good to see friends happy, and lovely to be a part of it. This was originally one friend who I had managed to keep from my days of bar work, many years ago. Now we are both married and all four of us get on really well. Its funny how some friendships last while others just seem to fade away! I have always been proud of the fact that I am one of those people who always strives to stay in touch with others, but the trick is knowing when to give up. Its a fact of life that some people are only destined to stay in your life for a short period of time. It can be a bit of a balancing act, as you can find yourself being spread a bit thinly around everyone if you do manage to keep in touch with a lot of people though. Still, the weather was good and we had a great afternoon. We even got to put Olivia’s hair in a little pony tail to keep it out of her eyes and off her neck, which is still a little dry and flaky at the moment.

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I did want to brush on another topic, and while I don’t like to get particularly political in my blog, normally I’d try to avoid it completely, there is no escaping the fact that the UK’s general election is fast approaching and I am still totally sitting on the fence about what I am going to do with my vote.

I certainly don’t want to just waste my vote, I believe it is very important to get out there and use it to make a difference, but I clearly still need to do a bit more research into each of the parties before I commit and make a decision. I don’t have any kind of loyalty to any one party, unlike some of my friends and family, although I am very aware of the strong feelings for and against some of the parties, from some of those around me. I am trying not to be influenced just on the opinions of my friends, but I haven’t seen enough from any one party to sway me in their favour. In fact, its no secret that politicians are generally a bunch of lying creeps that no-one trusts anyway, so even if I DID see something from them that interested me, there’s no saying that they’d keep their promise and see it through anyway, which makes me wonder why we even bother sometimes. Why don’t we just roll a dice and put an X next to the corresponding number?! I was actually reading an article recently about what was promised at the last general election, from the party who actually won, and how little of it was actually delivered. It was frightening, these people we trusted and voted in, yet totally failed to keep their word on not just one point, but numerous points!

How are you deciding on who to vote for? Informed decision? Misguided loyalty? Taking a punt on a gut feeling? Lack of options?

Follow me on Twitter @andrewvokes to keep updated about future posts.

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About andrewvokes

Husband to my beautiful wife Clare, and father to two gorgeous girls. Cyclist, runner and photographer, living in Birmingham, UK.

Posted on May 3, 2015, in Personal, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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