Saturday, 31 December 2016

Review of 2016

A dreadful year for me, in many ways, but there's been some great points as well.
I managed to hit all my reading aims, I think. I'm slowly edging my way back to writing.
I have Kindle published a collection of my poetry, I have been dipping my toe into making and selling my own items.
I have a gorgeous Maine Coon kitten, who is eleven months old today, he's called Raphael, and is a heavily disguised angel.
I have tried new recipes out, but probably only one per month.

Bad things, :(
I was made compulsory redundant, I had to wave goodbye to Shadow as she crossed the rainbow bridge, several electrical items died, the boiler died, the toilet died. I haven't found a new job yet....

BUT......I'm still here, alive and creaking.  Another year older, maybe a little wiser.

Edwin and Becky are now living together in St Helens, Sam and Lewis have a house, instead of two flats in St Anne's, and Oliver has a lovely girlfriend, who he thinks enough about to have brought her home for Christmas.

Oh! And I met some lovely people who I was only friends online with before.

Not a great year, but some really nice bright stars in the darkness.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

This crazy world we live in.

A week ago, I decided that I'd like pie and chips from the chip shop for my dinner.
One thing caught my eye as I was waiting for my food.
There's a notice on this chip shop door.
"What's so eye catching about that?" I hear you ask.
Well, the notice is actually quite discrete, but what it was saying caught my eye.
It said "We accept...." and then listed the credit/debit cards, and "We DON'T accept...." and a list of unacceptable cards.

Not that strange in most shops, but in a chip shop?
Long gone are the days when buying a "bag of chips" is an impulse buy, and you knew that you'd have enough money on you to buy them.
Could you imagine trying to buy your chips by cheque back in the late 60s, early 70s?
No, me neither.

I think that the existence of this particular sign demonstrates that the world is going crazy.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Antique Road show......circa 2100

My brain sometimes goes off at strange tangents.  If you look closely you can just about see what is at the root of my crazy ideas.
Anyway, the other day I had been down to the town centre, and as I was walking back, I saw this guy with a carrier bag.  Yes, I know that they aren't that rare........yet, but this was from a shop that hasn't traded for at least five years, and it was in great condition.
That's where Antique Road show comes in.  I pictured a time in the future, let's say 2100, for argument's sake.
The expert is sat at his/her table, a member of the public approaches, they're invited to be seated.
"And what do you have for us today?"
The member of the public places a parcel wrapped lovingly in brown paper, inside the paper is a layer of tissue paper, nestling in the tissue is a plastic carrier bag, from Waterstones.
"I'm not entirely sure what this was used for, but it has an inscription on it."
The expert is awestruck, "This is incredible.  Do you have any ideas what it might have been used for?"
The member of the public shakes their head.
The expert goes on to explain what it was originally used for, "and do you have any idea what it's worth?"
Again the member of the public shakes their head.
"Well, originally they were given away to carry your purchases home from the shop, in 2015 a charge was brought in of 5p as they were injurious to the environment.  At today's prices it should be worth around €5000, as there's very few left in such good condition.
The credits roll at the end of the show, the camera focuses on the clearly gobsmacked member of the public.

Like I said, crazy things spring to my mind sometimes.

Form filling

So, it's over six months since I was made redundant, and I am sure that applying for jobs is in itself a full time job.  Some application forms can take up to two hours to fill out.  It's crazy, to take so long to do something that might only be given a cursory glance.
Perhaps it's just me, but when I fill out an application form, I write everything down truthfully.  I have heard the "urban myth" that "everyone lies on their CV".  I must be the the exception to the rule then, as I think that lying is counterproductive, and could end you up in an awkward situation, just because you lied on your CV.  Also, it does raise the question in my mind, "why would you lie?"
Anyway, that's today's musings.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

My thoughts today.

Given that  Cameron said back in February he wanted to leave, and then went on to lead the remain campaign, I can't help thinking that it has all been an elaborate ruse. It gives him an "honourable" way of stepping down, and after everything else that has gone on, perhaps that's been his only aim.  After all, people only focus on the moment, if he went before, it would have been in disgrace, but now, it looks honourable.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Dating sites

I know that I have posted about this before....but one site, I have left open as closing it isn't as straight forward as I would like.
Anyway.....every so often I get email alerts asking me if I am interested in various men.
And I cringe, the photos that are shared don't give the blokes a chance.
I'll try to list  photos that just make me, and any serious woman wanting to find a match, switch OFF.
1) a photo with sunglasses on......hey blokes.....your eyes tell a story that your mouth might not....ditch the sunglasses, especially reflective ones.
2) We don't want to see your six pack, or any other muscled part of your body.
3) don't post X rated's only men who get turned on by opposite sex genitalia......for most women....the opposite sex genitalia is a great source of merriment. (Think that one through guys.)
4)You with a woman of roughly the same age.....OK, she might be your sister, but female brains see a man with his arm around a woman of roughly the same age and see a relationship.
5) This one is really stupid, showing a photo of a superhero/movie/cartoon character....enough said.

So...if there is anyone reading this, put a honest photo of yourself on your profile, you might not be inundated with replies, but the ones you get should be genuine.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Highway Code, it's for ALL road users! learn to drive then you study the highway code.......
BUT......wait a minute!
The Highway Code outlines how ALL road users should behave.
I'm not getting at motorbike riders, it's cycle riders that get under my skin.  Proper cyclists are aware of the highway code, and don't wind me up.
It's the "occasional cyclists" who annoy the Hell out of me.
They have never even opened a copy of the Highway Code, and blithely cycle hell for leather the wrong way down one way street, and cycle along narrow footpaths without any warning to the other footpath users.....which is really arrogant...when there's a promenade as wide as the road, where cyclists are allowed...
Which would you choose? A three foot footpath...(Maybe 4 foot at a pinch,) or a least 10 feet wide, or more?
And cycling on the wrong side of the road?
To sum up, my thoughts, if you use the should know how to use it properly.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Job hunting

Last time I went to the Jobcentre, my "job coach" arranged for me to go for a fact finding type interview. Where they tell you about the job, and see what they think of you, and vice versa.  If both sides are suited, it's on to the next stage, of an actual interview.

I had been told that it would just be dealing with incoming calls, which it is.  However, once you have dealt with their enquiry, you are expected to fish for more.  Namely, try to sell them another of the company's products.  The lady leading the fact finding session was very nice and she did ask after she said that if we were all comfortable with that.

 I'm not.
Sure, I can sell things, but it's a very different matter trying to interest people in high priced products, than asking a person who for example, buys potatoes and carrots, if there is anything else that they need, or when delivering milk, asking the customer if the need any cream at Christmas, when you collect their weekly payment.

Anyway, I said no, I wasn't sure that I could do that sort of selling, and I wasn't comfortable with it.
I don't want to turn into someone I am not, for work.  No one would tell to look at me, but I would hate the job, and it would make me unhappy, no matter how much money it paid me.

So....on with the hunting! 😃

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Visiting the job centre

I had to go to the jobcentre today to sign on.
As I was waiting to see my "job coach", I couldn't help overhearing the person who was with her. It seems that he has the appointment before me, as he was there the previous time.
This man doesn't have a quiet voice, and I didn't mean to overhear part of the conversation. (In fact, it was difficult not to hear him.)
He was finding fault with jobs on offer, and I heard him say, well "that's a woman's job, they wouldn't want an ugly mug like me doing that."
The "job coach" didn't seem to correct him.
I was under the impression that when claiming support, you are required to apply for any posts that you think that you could do. In fact it does say something along those lines in the "contract".
In my opinion there are very few jobs that are gender specific these days. The only limits that you should put on yourself are not applying for something that you have no relevant qualifications for, and don't apply for anything that you are physically unable to do.

Sorry for the "soapbox" moment, but thinking along those lines is outdated.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

It doesn't bear thinking about.

Earlier this week, I shared this story on Facebook,
My first reaction was, sorrow for the owners of the cat, but on reflection, it raises more questions than it supplies answers.
Why was the person driving in possession of a loaded gun whilst driving? (Illegal in this country.)
Why shoot the cat?
Did they deliberately set out to shoot the cat?
Or did they just have in mind to shoot something?
It could have been a child playing in a garden who was shot, or anyone just going about their daily life.
That gun, if legal, should have been locked in the boot of the car.
I hope that the police catch this person.
For many reasons, they need catching, they're dangerous, the cat owner needs compensation, and the legality of the gun needs checking.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Difficult time

Over the last few weeks I've been missing Shadow like crazy.  I've only just stopped looking for her around the house.
Don't get me wrong, both her and Spark are still "around", spiritually speaking, I "feel" their presence, even though they are not here any more.
In a few days I'll be collecting my gorgeous Maine Coon, Anglesarke Raphael.....but I would still love another dog.  Perhaps when I'm gainfully employed again.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A sad day

Today, Shadow has crossed the rainbow bridge.  She'll be with Spark now.
She has been very poorly these last six months with a grade 4 heart murmur, fluid on her lungs, and poor circulation.  She was on 3 lots of pills, and the Last couple of times that she saw the vet, she had an injection as well.
When I took her last week, the vet said that she'd deteriorated vastly in four weeks.  Today she was put to sleep. She couldn't walk well when we got there, and she was shaking like crazy. I suspect that she knew that she wouldn't be coming home again.
My heart feels like it's broken into a thousand pieces.
I have to clear away her toys and beds, and just can't bring myself to do it.

Friday, 19 February 2016

And it starts.

Today is officially the last day of employment at the place where I have worked since 4th April 2005.
I have several tasks that I should complete today, and a dentist's appointment.
I only have one thing that I should really do today.
I have also applied for a couple of jobs, and sent my CV to someone who does a lot of networking. (They did ask me for it.)
When I was at the dentist, I noticed that they require a dental nurse. I have done the job before, but don't have any paper qualifications for the job. I might ring the practice manager and ask if it is worth me applying.
The other thing I need to do requires using Edwin's old's only marginally faster than the one I used at work, at least it's not linked to a network to slow things down. If I am successful in finding a job sooner rather than later, I might be able to treat myself to a new pc of my own.
Anyway, blogging is not going to get other stuff done.
I'm trying to be positive about job hunting, that's probably why I am putting off the other thing that I have to do today.

Quick update, now you have to be registered to be a dental nurse, so it's not worth me applying.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Strange "marketing" strategy!

On Sunday, I was sat knitting when the letter box went. Curious to see what was being put through the door on a Sunday afternoon.....probably yet another takeaway menu.  No! It wasn't, it was a small piece of paper stapled to a cellophane pouch, holding two foil wrapped hearts, I assume that they are chocolate. was Valentine's day. I turned it over, and thought that perhaps some young lady had taken a shine to Edwin, my youngest......but hold on a it's has the name of a local religious community at the top.  The wording further down states, "we love our community so we wanted to let you know that".
Then it goes on to give the details of the religious community's meeting times and dates.
Now, I don't know about you, but if their numbers go up next week, I would be highly suspicious, after committed to the religious community would be the new "intake"....after all, if a couple of chocolates popped through a letter box boosts the congregation.....are they the sort of people that are wanted?
Could a religious community buy your membership with a couple of chocolates?  Would you be a true member?
Just asking, because I for one would not, and chocolates give me migraine.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Just one day left.

I don't know how time has flown so quickly.  I have only one more working day left. I do technically have another week left of my notice, but as it's half term, and I don't work during holidays, that's it.  I am seriously sorry to be leaving a job that I truly love. A colleague did ask me if I was having a leaving, I'm not. Leaving do's are usually when the person leaving WANTS to leave, and usually has another job lined up. I do not want to leave. I know that I have no say in the matter, and have to keep my own council on certain aspects of it....for now.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Truth time

What does that mean, I hear you say?
I am getting to the point where trapped nerves are the norm..getting really frustrated, I hate this, but I can't do anything about it.....the epidural pain killing injection only kills the pain, it doesn't stop the nerves getting trapped.
I feel like I am slowly, becoming more and more disabled, and there's nothing that I or anyone else can do about it, as far as I can ascertain. Maybe when I eventually get an appointment with the spinal specialist, some light might be thrown on the progression, and what I can expect.  No sign of that yet though.
So as I see it, I need to face up to the reality that this is going to change my life dramatically, if I let it.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

As much use as a chocolate teapot.

Yes, I know, a strange title.
After being frustrated on the phone the other day, I have finally got through to a human being.......
But the human being I spoke to was no help at all, other than giving me two options.
I asked for information about the "rapid response team" mentioned on the government website, I was informed that the was for companies making large scale redundancies.  (No mention of it on the website, in fact the pages I was looking at were aimed at the employee NOT the employer!)
I obviously asked the person on the phone something that they knew nothing about, and felt like they had a "script" they needed to stick to, as it was like listening to a stuck record.
So.....I am letting off steam seems like there is no longer a careers advice type service provided at the local job centre, in fact it feels like the plus extra red tape, but MINUS accessibility to the general public.
Why are so many things automated these days?
Why is it difficult to get to speak to PEOPLE.....face to face?

And why do so many people use the excuse that it isn't their job, so they know nothing.  Ok, I'll let them off the last one, but they should at least have ways of contacting people who can help, if they can't.
I detest "jobsworth's" who let themselves be limited by their job description.....I can only think they must be sadly lacking in initiative, and life.

I rate my experience at maybe 3/10, and that's being generous......a chocolate teapot would be more useful.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Frustrating "fone" calls

Some of you might know that I am being made redundant.
After re-reading the gov.UK  advice, I decided to try to contact the "rapid response team" mentioned on the government website.
Frustrating, or what?
I must have been on the phone for a total of 45 minutes, being passed from one department to another, and no one knew what I was talking about. I also got cut off a couple of times. (Not to mention the first few bars of Vivaldi's Four nauseam.)
Frustrated, I revisited the page of the website, and found that I could email the correct department, that was done in a couple of minutes.
I can only hope it gets the desired result. All I want is advice that the website says I can access. After all, the job I currently have doesn't really use any of my qualifications, and I really would like to do something that will make much better use of them.

Well......I can hope, can't I?

Sunday, 10 January 2016

A little reflection.

I finished part of my friend's Yule and birthday presents, and as I finished "it" off, and started one last thing, a thought came to me.
The thought was how both Oliver and Edwin reacted the same after they had opened the socks that I knitted for them for Xmas.
They both did exactly the same thing, only three days apart.  Xmas day, Oliver opened his present, then pulled off the socks he was wearing, and put the hand knitted ones on. Three days later, Edwin did the same.
Although Kerry is not getting socks, I really hope that she reacts the same way, with obvious pleasure.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Plans for 2016

You notice that these are plans, not resolutions.
Resolutions are usually good intentions that run out of steam very quickly.
If you read my blog, you'll know that I have reason to be making changes in my life. goes.....
Obviously I am going to find another way of making money, I might find conventional employment, or I might be working for myself, however things pan out, my life will be different in a few months.

I will still be knitting, reading, cross stitching, sewing, baking......but I have other ideas I want to explore and possibly follow up. I'll keep you updated as things develop, when I explore my ideas.

My reading plans.
1. Read a "classic" book.
2. Read a translated book.
3. Read a "classic children's book", that I haven't yet read.
4. Read some poetry.
5. Read a Shakespeare play that I haven't previously.

One of my exploring "ideas" involves me writing, perhaps the urge to write will return properly, it feels like it is beginning to already, as I have been blogging more in the last couple of weeks.  I'll try to post every day, however briefly, just to keep me going.

I'll also try to keep up my weekly kitchen challenge, and try out an "unknown" recipe every week.  The one I tried this week  was Turkish Delight, not the strangest thing I have ever created in my kitchen, but it's in the top ten.