Thursday, 28 August 2014

I bored myself


My tomatoes taste horrible and seeing as they are the reason I started all this well...bit of a pain. Will stick with them and then think of something. Have now started some broad beans and onions in the old compost. The seeds were very cheap so no problem if they don't work. but something for me to tend over winter. The spinach is coming along.

I am trying to change how I eat. We eat fairly healthily and although we have the odd treat and takeaway we usually avoid processed food. However my metabolism cannot compete with my teen son's and changes are needed. I am not a natural cook so to contemplate cooking totally different meals is not the best option. And I did a lot of that when caring for my mum. So I need subtle changes.
At the moment I am reducing my fat intake. I love cheese and that is a big downfall. But if I reduce not eliminate it from my diet I may win that battle.
...I had written more about this then realised how bored I was writing it so can imagine reading it is even harder.
I made lemon chicken and we loved it. Had fat free natural yog instead of mayo. it's a start. Just got to watch I don't substitute it all with sugary stuff. If I don't tell myself its a diet I may just get away with it.

Concise diet info - that was much better.

I love to read the ins and out of lives on blogs, the more detail of regular stuff the better. Especially when accompanied by pics. But the minute I try to write about my mundane my brain tunes out. Bullet points could be my way forward.

Well at least I didn't mention Bake off in this post.

never got the job I interviewed for, big shame as it's the first one I left the interview really excited by.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Nearly Norman/Bin gate!!!!! breaking news edit

hi all and thanks for your comments yesterday, will pop back and answer them.

I reckon Norman was saved by Ian's strop tonight. Although why on earth was his ice cream left on the side? Ice cream gate!!!!!

Love Norman tho and the old fashioned posh lady (with the messy hair and trainers) and Martha and lovely Luis.

Can't bake
Don't want to
Can't cook
Hate competition
love the bake off though.


Thursday now and the bake off kick off has hit the news. 'Bingate'... but prefer my ice cream gate. Poor ol Diana (that's the one) is taking the blame. Nice lady like that, never.

People took time to contact the bbc and complained. Really? Surely not.
Maybe Diana and stroppy baked Alaska lad are actors and this is a publicity ruse. Maybe Mary was worrying her book sales were down.
Maybe I should really get a life.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Lazy scroungers unite

Hello, thanks for comments and hello to people who have followed.

I looked up the Harcombe diet after reading Sue's (Our New Life in the Country) post about her blog pal. I stumbled to the Daily Mail website to read what I thought was an article about it. Was more of a promotion. Foolish me read the comments. Someone managed to mention lazy benefit scroungers. Even in a article about a diet. How? The genius of the bigot. Or a wind up?

Why do the words lazy and benefits seem to go hand in hand nowadays. I received carers allowance and was anything but. 'Oh we don't mean carers' they may backtrack. Well I'm claiming jobseekers now I would tell them. Backtrack yer way out of that, you ignorant idiot. I cannot get employment because I took years out to care and now no-one believes I have a functioning brain.
on benefits - yes
lazy - no
scrounger - no.
Then I would poke them in the eye and run away because I'm not that big or brave.

Nothing like an imaginary conversation to help ease the anger.


Monday, 25 August 2014

Funny Irishman

Watching Dave Allen tonight takes me back.  Laughing at nuns and priests, so daring. He still makes me laugh. The lovely Irish brogue, so familiar.
I went to a convent school but I stopped going to church in my early teens. Was not something to brag about so used to keep quiet if we were quizzed on the Monday what the Gospel readings had been. When we did go I found it amusing that the priests would be round the front of the church after mass, fags lit having a laugh and a joke with all of us traipsing out. I did love choir though and miss the hymns and carols. Don't miss the parables though; could not make head nor tail of them. My poor mum never forgave the church for not letting her take communion once she divorced only when he died could she take it again as she was a widow in their eyes. But she had long since stopped attending mass by then. One story she told was how in a works canteen every Friday they produced a gorgeous roast dinner however she had to have the fish dinner. Catholics weren't allowed meat on Fridays. She followed it faithfully even though she longed for that roast dinner and was probably to poor to have one at home. I believe that rule has been lifted now.
Best thing a nun ever did for me was introduce me to Gerald Durrell books. Although that could just have been the curriculum, if that existed then. If not that means I don't need to be grateful to a nun for anything at all. That's good.

The priest didn't even turn up to issue last rites  for me mum. I think a nun turned up and prayed although was a bit worried what she might say as the dementia had made her blurt things out. The chaplain from the home where she had respite turned up and they prayed together. Would have liked her to have received the last sacrament though. She would have had a full set then. Bloody church let her down loads. Priest didn't even do the funeral mass as she had the audacity to die at Easter. The nice chaplain man did a lovely reading. A good man. Stupid barriers of religion.

'May your God go with you' cheers Dave.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

O not another post about results.

Have started to post a few times this week then abandoned  them. Have no idea why. Have not written a story or article in weeks either. Even composing the cover letters with my CV send outs have been a struggle. Probably need to just buckle down and get on with it. I lead a mundane life (happily) and so often figure who wants to read about that.

My son got his GCSE results. Results that would have left me on my knees crying in complete gratitude at 16. But he was not so impressed. A couple of A*  and loads of A's and a C. He did impress me when he said he would just have to work even harder for his A levels. Ever since he discovered universities it was all he wanted to do from that moment on. He accepted that school would be his best option as there was no way I could afford for him to do 11 GCSE's from home plus the tutoring as my knowledge has many limits. He loves school and now cannot wait to be in 6th form. He wants to study maths, physics, geography and history. Quite telling that he said that now the GCSE's are over he can get on with learning.

Many of his friends are going to do apprenticeships. I have lost track which government initiated this scheme. The one size fits all schooling system loses many by the wayside and hopefully these apprenticeships will find them again. I do hope they are genuine and not just an excuse for cheap labour.

I also hope the A levels get left alone. Gove managed to nearly send the teachers to an early grave with his instant changes with GCSEs. I believe this is the last year that AS levels will occur. The school do seem quite good at keeping on top of these changes and are quite pro active rather than reactive. The only change poor son howled with rage at missing was the banishment of 'Of Mice and Men' from the curriculum. He hated it with a passion. Luckily it came too late or we might have had to thank Gove we can sit happy in our contempt of him.

Monday, 18 August 2014


Hello all.

MOT today. It passed...just. Going to need a new clutch, front tyre, something to do with the handbrake and something to do with the exhaust. Like with directions I only hear the first two things. Could be worse, I could be scouring the ads for a new old car.

I also signed on today. I arrived at 8.57 for a 9.15 apt and was promptly told I could only arrive 10 minutes early. After waiting outside for 7 minutes I was seated and then finally got seen at 9.35. The man was obviously trying to give a hard man impression and be a right ball-breaker. He spouted some absolute rubbish. The worse bit as the false empathy when he told me he had been unemployed for a year. Then one booklet I had been told I must use he said not to bother with and the forms I liked using he said not to and to do it online. Even though I said how helpful I found the forms. I guessed the interview was over as he walked away while I was still talking to him. I know he went lightly as I'm a newbie.
And I've not even had a penny yet.
If I could find a way of making £70 most weeks then I would happily jack it in. The only bright side has been not waking up in a panic because there is no money coming in. I guess their plan is to make you feel like a piece of dirt then you won't bother.
My sis emailed me a link to some companies that pay you for your opinions on tv progs and other stuff - just in time for me to cancel Sky ha. Have registered for that and to be a mystery shopper. If that works and you really can make the money they say we could live of that while I look for work.

I do not mean to sound ungrateful it's just all new to me. I appreciate the safety net that this country's tax payers provide I just wish we were not treated like an underclass when we need to use it.
Good things are:
still have a functioning car and a mechanic I can trust.
we are well.
2nd footie match on the way.

Anyone with teenagers...results on Thurs. Got any fingernails left?


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Autumn in August?

Hello. Thanks for all the comments.

The weather has been almost autumnal at times here. Which if it was Sept/Oct I would accept and enjoy

Apart from tomatoes and some late planted spinach my gyo experiment is over. The tomatoes are showing signs of ripening and the ones that dropped off (football miss hit) are now on a sunny windowsill in the hope they may ripen. I am trying to keep some of the compost I used, as all my growing was done in containers and the compost was the greatest expense. I am wondering whether to buy a decent compost bin to put it all in. The one I have is a material one and the foxes ransacked it. I have used some of the used compost to pot up my Christmas pine into a larger pot as it was in a tiny.
The whole growing thing started because I wanted some tasty tomatoes and they cost too much in the shops. So far the few I have eaten are delicious.
The main things I have learnt are:
  • I need to learn to stake the beans a lot better
  • I do not need 10 courgette plants
  • I know nothing about growing tomatoes
Will I do it again? Definitely. Probably in pots again as I feel we will still be in rented accom next year. I considered an allotment but I don't think I will have time once we get back to our regular routine. And hopefully I will have work soon. Although it is tempting.
I have my tomato books on order from the library and I have my eye on getting some decent seeds next year. Has anyone used the real seed company before? It looks interesting.

Cannot wait to do it all again.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Where is the empathy?

Glenn Close said this about Robin Williams.

Robin was incredibly sensitive and gentle and loving. He was very self-critical. During Garp we had a press conference and I was asked to go along with Robin. I watched this quiet man, who I'd never seen reading a newspaper or magazine or watching TV, explode into the press room and do an amazing turn on all the most current events, people and issues. He wove it all into a cohesive whole with no notes, nothing but his genius. It was breathtaking in its spontaneity and brilliance. Everyone was completely blown away. When we walked out of the room together, Robin turned to me with a worried look and asked in a whisper, "Was that all right?" I gave him a long hug and said, "Yes! You were incredible" He checked to make sure I really meant it and then went to his trailer.

The fragility of his character and his genius all summed up.

Have taken a while to post about this I realise but had to think about it. A face of my childhood gone so shockingly and sadly. Apparently people have taken to 'social media' to condemn suicide as a selfish act. Do they have any idea? You only have to skim the surface of mental ill health to have a rudimentary understanding of the depths that people can fall to. Are they the lucky few that are untouched in life by any vestiges of mental health problems. Even if they have no understanding where is the empathy?

A less serious example was a tv programme on i player where people were complaining about the use of mobility scooters. Two elderly ladies were really moaning about how the shopping centre they use gets so busy with them. They did not pause to think how else the people would get around. Would they have them stuck indoors? A lady whose son was knocked down by one was calling for speed restrictions. Had to agree there as have had to move out the way of a 'speedster' every now and then.
I turned it off as just could not tolerate the two ladies anymore. My tolerance is always low when I am tired.

What is that quote about walking in my shoes for a moment to fully understand how I feel.

Every day I get updates from BUAV about the harm we do to animals in experiments. Every time a new shampoo is developed I wince as I picture the animals in labs bred so we may have lustrous hair.
There was a mini video doing the rounds yesterday of a dog trying to splash water onto dying fish. He scraped his muzzle into puddles and tried to splash it onto them. Possibly a fluke or a fake. Or was this animal showing empathy. It was for entertainment but the video overwhelmed me. What must they think of us? A harrowing story told to me about fake/faux fur. A man I dog walk with saw a video of a dog being skinned ALIVE for his fur to be used. He described the look of uncomprehending pain on the dogs face.

I have no conclusion to sum this up. Its just so bloody sad that so many lack a fundamental emotion that could make things better for so many people and animals.

Thursday, 14 August 2014



My MOT runs out tomorrow. I take my car to a great lad who never cons me and does things as economically as possible. Have texted him a few times over this month but with no reply which usually means he is on hols. I did not worry as for some reason I thought I had a 2 week leeway either way to get it done. I have NO idea where this thinking comes from. What an idiot. I am not an airhead. Honest. I just have moments of big fails.
Going by the dates of the texts I sent I figure the wonder lad has been gone for nearly a fortnight so would be home by Sunday ish. I know clutching at straws now I am. SIGH.
So dependent on the car now because so much we do is flippin' miles away.

To wait or to risk another place.

My poor little car is near to being on her last legs/wheels. Her indicators are still held on with tape and glue.

Yeah I think I just answered that.



Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rusty beans

Hello. Thanks for all the nice comments and good lucks.

The interview was very informal as the job is a newly created role and they do not have the specifics ironed out. If I'm on the short list I will know if a fortnight and they should have all the details then. I keep thinking about the stuff I should have said. O well. I did like the place and it is quite undefined as such which I like and have done before.

Can anyone help with my French beans? I am storing them in the fridge and when I went to get some they are rusty.

They were not like this when I put them in the fridge. I've picked out the unblemished ones to eat now. Wonder if a rogue bad un got in there?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Hello. Thanks for the kind comments. We had a lovely weekend. With a houseful on Saturday and champagne a good time was had. Then my brother and sis stayed on till Sunday. I am now the mother of a sixteen year old...quick some hair dye to cover the grey. As my sister pointed out its genetics we all go grey early - and we are sticking to that story.

Not much else is occurring at the mo. The tomatoes are ripening nicely and I have just received a letter to say I shall receive a little help with paying the bedroom tax till October. So that's a huge relieve. I  am now in rent credit by over £200. I don't think I shall see a penny of it ha but it should stay in place for when the help runs out. It's been about about £13 a week extra to find so it's going to be really useful.

Interview tomorrow. Better wash my hair. Working does require a certain level of care about the old appearance and that's not something I have ever cared much for. I can manage clean and at a push neat ha but beyond that then effort is needed. Never been a fan of make up and rarely remember where my stash is. Glad the tomatoes and veg don't care what I look like as most of my gardening gets done first thing in the morning whilst in jammies. Can veg scream?

ps the footie went well (poor sons very first match). They drew 2-2 as opposed to the 8-0 defeat last week. He was nervous but loved it. He had to be a linesman for the first part as they had not  turned up. I took my camping chair and enjoyed sitting in the sun watching. Knowing that very soon it'll be a different story - frozen feet and more no doubt. Incidentally it was a game of 3 halves!!!!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Staying alive

                                                         My lovely son is 16 today.

                                  I remember gazing into his see-through hospital cot and thinking
                                          'Bloody hell I have to stay alive for 18 years now.'
                                                                      16 down 2 to go. x

Friday, 8 August 2014


Hello thanks for comments and follows.

Plodding on with the job searches and faithfully filling in my forms, although I believe some of it should be online. But sticking to paperwork for now.

Busy with Poor son is 16 tomorrow...hooray. So plenty of visitors tomorrow but no time to clean in the morning as he has signed for his first football team and plays the first match in the morning. Big excitement all round. Cannot wait to watch, am just hoping it is not rained off.

Living where we do meant to watch TV we needed Sky or Cable, in the old days of analogue, as the aerial signal was too weak. Not sure what occurs now in these digital days as we still had Sky. The aerial lead is now corroded and just swings in the wind. Had the cheapest package going and due to good deals over the years we have stuck with them. But we just do not watch enough to warrant the cost anymore but had some lovely films and progs taped and ready to watch so kept on as they wipe them when you cancel.
Just as Big Bake Off was about to begin the box went kaput. It seems the hard drive is fried although we can still watch TV for now. I was not prepared to pay for an engineer so have cancelled and will now have free to air channels from Sept. Now it got me thinking do I really need them. I can access so much online after it has aired.I really do not moind the BBC license money as I think it's good value(apart from the over paid celebs) - I am a true advert hater.
But one step at a time as it is nice to pop the box on and take a lucky dip with viewing without planning. Not a big planner for anything really.

How could I forget to tell you -  I have a job interview next week. No proper details as yet except its admin. I refuse to get my hopes up anymore...well maybe just a little hopeful. Interviews are a funny ol' business these days. Have had them last from 15 mins to an hour and a half and then nothing, not a word. Shall dust off my smart trousers and try to cover the grey hairs and who knows.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Another brick in the wall

Thank you for all your lovely comments yesterday. Hugs are returned in the memory of people you have lost.

Today I am an official government statistic as I signed on for the first time ever. Must have been nervous as I got there 50 minutes early. It was all pretty straight forward, well so far. Maybe because I have everything in place to job hunt. My CV is up to date and I regularly check job vacancies. It's just a matter of recording everything I do now. Quite patronising paperwork to fill in each day bit I realise it's one size fits all. Well it's done anyway.
They were not the ogres I was expecting (so far). Years ago I was in a job centre getting some advice and the lady was so awful and negative that she had me in tears. I think that is where this all stems from.
I know the image is given of work shy people claiming everything they can. But I do believe that is a clever bit of propaganda to divide and conquer the common man. I'm sure there are some that don't want to work but I am troubled for those that truly cannot and are in a conveyor belt of a situation. Myself, I cannot wait to be signed off so I never have to go there again. It was a freaky place and I was brought up in quite a rough area, in fact if anyone attended the Olympics then you would have been treading on my ghosts. Do you think they put them in dodgy areas on purpose?

Another hurdle faced. Up and up now I reckon.

Nooooooooooooo 13 mins to British Bake Off and tv won't switch on noooooooooooooooooo

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Was going to post some photos of my ripening tomatoes with artistic raindrops beginning to drip. Then stumbled upon an untitled photo. Opening it up it was a photo of my mum, approx. a year before she died and before we knew just how ill she was. Its a side on view while she sits quietly, I suspect being my willing model for a new camera.
I stared and knew every part of that person. Every line, every hair, every mark was familiar. The scent and the feel of the skin etched into my memory. How can it possibly be 16 months since I have seen her. Surely she has just popped out to the shops and she'll be back laden with toilet roll and kitchen roll bargains tied to her shopping trolley. Which she will sort while I put the kettle on and get ready to listen to whatever saga had ensued on her outing - as there nearly always was one. She will tell who helped her in whichever shop and which neighbour stopped to say hello.
When I look at a photo it's like ten minutes ago. When I look at her empty room it's like 10 years ago. To have had a person for 44 years and then not to have her takes a lot of getting used to.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Not waving hello...drowning.

Hi all. Thanks for the follows.

I gave myself a personal challenge, last year, not to sign on. I have no odd qualms about people that do or anything-so no judgment going on here. It was a combination of wanting to be free of a benefit (had been collecting carers allowance) and also the horror stories I had heard about jobseekers since the changes came in. Having watched my mum descend into her dementia fog and then watch her die my nerves were affected and I knew I would not be strong enough for any obstacles. I just wanted to be left alone.

I knew we could survive with drastic cutbacks whilst I got my IT skills up to date and did some voluntary work to plug the CV gap. Interviews have come and gone so we tightened the belts a bit more. The swimming went to doggy paddle to now where we are splashing about. So before we sink I have applied to receive jobseekers benefit. Moneysaving was becoming obsessional and frugal pah... I was becoming mean. Everything we did or ate I was seeing pound signs.
So do I feel relieved? Nope. Stomach clenching nervousness. I hate forms and officialdom with a vengeance. My nirvana is an off grid piece of land with its own source of water and very little intervention from anyone. Minimal bills and minimal hassle.

I know voluntary work is forced at some point and I have a dreadful feeling they won't accept the vol work I have sorted for myself. It is totally relevant to the work I seek you see and looks great on the CV. Also I am fearful of them forcing carers work onto me. I truly am not recovered from caring for my mum. Some people do it effortlessly others not. Make or break a person. Well it damn near broke me and I'm just clawing my way back. I will not let there rules send me back down to that despair and do you know what? They can't. It was a despair that only watching one of your most treasured people dissolve and disintegrate can induce. A permanent feeling of panic that grips the heart and wakes you suddenly from a deep sleep and never lets that sleep return. A feeling that clouds every moment. The silver lining in that ol' cloud has been that I truly understand that health is the be all and end all to everything. I have found a contentedness I never had before although I still strive for better I am more patient (mostly). Its like a bungee cord - I stretched and stretched till I nearly broke and have now sprung back. Currently swinging in the wind ha.
We shall remain frugal and waste conscious. Save where we can and then if they force these issues I shall walk away.

Who knows? This could be the catalyst for a job acceptance. Or for money from writing to start pouring in. x