Archive for August, 2011

who’s she calling old fashioned!!

The whispers around the office were that she looked a bit frumpy for a young woman. With her black trousers and top teamed with her hair pulled back into a severe bun at the back of her head. She had come for an interview for the position of credit controller. A current credit controller (who was away on holiday) is retiring in early 2012.  Those of us who had seen her were unsure she would fit into our fun office, she looked so serious. But she had been offered the job.

Next day it was revealed that after discussing it with her husband she had turned it down on the grounds that we are all too old fashioned!!!

Perhaps next time anyone comes for an interview we should not all be on our best behaviour. We all work hard but we enjoy our work and have such a good rapport throughout the entire office including the Managing Director. There is frequent laughter around us. Workers from the surrounding offices often say that they wish they could work in our office.

Perhaps what this young woman (in her early 30s) meant was that we were too old. We are a small office of 11 people (3 in 30s 4 in our 40s  3 in 50s and our credit controller in her 60s). Just by coincidence none of the three younger staff members were in the office at the time of the interview. (Interviews are held in the boardroom adjacent to our main open plan office.)

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August 30, 2011 at 10:05 am 1 comment

Lonely old spinster……noooooooo

Last night I was chatting to a male friend online. During the chat he suddenly asked me how my love life is going.

I cheerfully replied that I don’t have one at the moment. I am just enjoying the relationship I have with my boys. It will only be a few years before they are all off living their own lives getting married moving away etc. Already two are living away from home, another is planning to go to University next year and youngest won’t be far behind.

I am lucky that I have a good relationship with all of my boys. I absolutely dreaded the awful stroppy teenage years. But to my delight Prodigal got through his mid teens without sign of any tension between us. I couldn’t possibly be that lucky a second time but I was and a third and I have managed to get through most of Skater’s mid teens unscathed too ……..fingers crossed behind my back that the next few years will continue the same way.

When I was first divorced I couldn’t wait to be on my own, my boys all leading their own lives so I could finally have a life of my own…….stupid woman that I was. But 5 years down the line I realise how precious these few years are.  My boys are not small children any more, but they do still love and want their mother’s approval. I don’t know if they are the way they are with me because they have witnessed my struggles. Maybe it has something to do with them knowing that we are all lucky that I am still alive. I really don’t know but the five of us are all really close.

But I am very aware that things will change once they start having families of their own. So I am making the most of this special bond we have before it changes.

My friend doesn’t understand this and quite bluntly stated that I should be careful I don’t end up a lonely old spinster. (impossible as not only have I been married but as you know I am not childless).

I am putting his statement down to disappointment that I told him a few months ago that although I am happy to be friends with him I am not interested in a relationship. There are several male friends in my life who this applies to. I feel bad that these men have feelings for me (probably more lust than love) but I care for them as friends only. I am flattered that they want to be with me but I know that it would never work even if I did fancy them.

I can’t abide negative people, people who are always moaning (not in a sexual way). Life is what it is and we have to make the most of what we have. Not spend all our energy complaining about what we don’t have.

Years ago I used to see single women who were desperate to have a man in their life, I swore I would never be like that. But I was for a while after I divorced the other parent. But now I am happy with who I am and who my boys are becoming.  At the moment I don’t need a man in my life. If one came along who fits the bill, happy, intelligent, kind etc etc then I will have to rethink but at at the moment I don’t  feel any rush to find a man.

Will I end up a lonely old spinster ………nooooooo

When the time is right I will find a nice man to have a relationship with.

August 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm 4 comments

Brothers

Today I grounded skater ……….nothing unusual about that you might think after all he is 15 1/2. But it is the first time I have ever grounded him. He hasn’t done anything to make me angry, but this is something that can’t be ignored.

I guess I shall start with the text message I received yesterday……..

        my skateboard has snapped!

maybe your shoes will last longer now!

Since I had bought him a skateboard 5 months ago he has gone through so many shoes even the triple stitched skateboarding shoes!!

I want the one Prodigal’s mate is selling 

All my boys are very aware that my financial situation doesn’t often stretch to things like that. It is always a case of just about scraping through from one month to the next. I did not discuss the possibility of a new skateboard with Skater but I did discuss it with Statto while we talked later in the evening. Statto is living alone in Sheffield so I have been talking to him most evenings just so that he hears a friendly voice when he is not at work. I told Statto that if Skater wants another skateboard he will have to ask his other parent.

Today I was checking my bank balance before work to make sure I have enough to get petrol or I shall be in trouble. I noticed a bounced direct debit from the mobile company for £158 !!!!

I spoke to Skater ……it was his phone bill his contract is for £15.50 per month so how had he managed to get it to £158!!! He had merely got carried away as it is the school holidays, he has a girlfriend and several other new friends. He hasn’t figured out how to keep a check on how many text messages he was sending.  I am not mad with him but need to figure out how this bill can be paid. How we can prevent this from happening again.

Having told him he is grounded and giving him some chores to do I informed Pug that Skater is grounded and let me know if he goes out. I did not tell him why Skater has been grounded. Pug had an interview at a store in the town where I work and he attends college today. I met him after work to give him a lift home.

He talked about the phone bill, Skater had told him. Later in the evening Pug told me that he had talked to Statto. Statto has said he will buy a new skateboard for his brother to help me out.

   Why?

  Because I told him about the phone bill

ok

Not long ago I had a phone call from Prodigal (he wants to borrow my car for a while tomorrow evening). Towards the end of the conversation he said that he heard about the phone bill.

How? 

  Statto told me

Apparently they have cooked up a plan that Prodigal will buy his friend’s skateboard (if it is still for sale), then Statto will give him the money for it when he gets paid.

So without me saying anything to any of them they have set a plan in motion.

I can’t believe I told Skater about the phone bill

Skater told Pug

Pug told Statto

Statto told Prodigal.

This doesn’t sort out the phone bill but I have a lovely mother who has offered to help with that but I did’t tell any of my boys that. But Skater will be mobile again soon and that is all down to his brothers.

Once again I am proud of my young men 🙂

August 18, 2011 at 12:13 am 3 comments

Happy

Yesterday I started to write a post about being happy because I am happy and I wanted to share it with you.

But I gave up on the post because it was getting too depressing.

I wanted to write a cheerful post after my more serious posts of the last few days.

So for now I shall just say that although life is a struggle and I have very little, there are no fancy cars or holidays in my life. There is no significant relationship other than the ones I have with my mother and four sons.

I am at a time in my life when I am happier than I have ever been before.

I have learnt to be comfortable with who I am, I am satisfied that I am a decent person, I might have my moments of bitchiness but I am never deliberately malicious and always try to treat others as I would be treated myself.

I know that life is a struggle now but it will get better, in the mean time I am just enjoying being alive ……..

There is no fun in being miserable

 

August 14, 2011 at 9:50 am 5 comments

Who is to blame

A week ago all the talk was the financial situation in USA, in Greece, Spain and Italy, now I believe there are signs that France could also be in trouble. All of Europe is at risk.We have not heard much about any of this since last weekend though. The reason being that the topic on everyone’s lips not just here but across the globe has been the riots in London and then spreading to other cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and to a lesser degree a few other places.

Why have these riots been such a big topic for everyone? Could it be the random nature of the outbreaks, the mindless violence or the fact that the majority of those involved are under the age of 18.

There has been much discussion about how to stop these youngsters. There has been much discussion about who is to blame for all this violence. I have heard time and time again that the parents are to blame for not controlling their children. I have seen many interviews where parents and social workers alike blame the government.

The excuses for the violence range from, not having anything to do, they want to show the rich that they can do as they like or that they have nothing to lose.

Watching news reports on tv, in papers, or on the radio or internet it would be easy to believe that all young people are capable of this mindless violence that we have seen for a week. Commenter’s from across the globe can be forgiven for thinking that the violence has spread right across this country of ours.

But the reality is that as great a number as it is that have been involved, this violence has been carried out by a minute fraction of our young people. Don’t get me wrong I do not in any way excuse what has happened, I am as outraged as the next person.

To a degree I believe that the parents are to blame, yes parents should be controlling their children, not by keeping them under house arrest but by giving them a sense of respect not only for other people and property but for themselves too.

I have long believed that there is an unacceptably large section of our society that does not have the skills to teach their children right from wrong simply because they have no perception of it themselves. For this I blame the Government, by this I don’t refer to our current Government alone but successive Governments for the last 20 to 30 years maybe more.

As many of us who were growing up in the sixties and fifties let alone the decades prior to that can testify we were brought up with discipline and a respect for others. But in recent decades the Government has bowed to the PC brigade, the Human Rights Groups. The right to teach respect and discipline has been removed. What we have been seeing this past week is a result of the breakdown of this in our society.

But having said this I now want to point out that it is still possible for children to learn right from wrong. This week 1600 young people have been arrested for taking part in the violence or looting. But at the same time there have been thousands if not millions of young people who are disgusted with their peers.

At this time when the violent youths are being filmed creating havoc across some of our cities. We should also be heralding those young people who have helped to clean up the carnage. We should be applauding the young people who have rejected the calls to join in with creating riots across other towns and cities. In this new age of social media, face book and twitter (apparently) have been rife with messages inciting riots. But from what I understand  many youngsters have been forwarding this information to the police.

My own sons have witnessed calls to start riots in our local cities. It is interesting to learn that many young people have been discussing the riots with their friends. They are discussing respect, right and wrong. They are coming to their own conclusions about the riots and what has caused them. They are deciding among themselves that this behaviour of the few is unacceptable. We should be proud of the majority of our young people.

The youths involved in these riots do NOT reflect the majority of young people in our society.

August 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm 2 comments

Oh My !!

I was a little confused at first. I had been catching up with one or two blogs, gone onto facebook to see if there was any news from family. Picking up my phone to call Statto I glanced back at the screen of my laptop. There was a message on chat, at first I didn’t realise who it was and the question appeared to be somewhat random.

But on second reading it dawned on me what the message meant. It was Statto asking me if 24/01/2001 meant anything to me. At first it meant nothing, then the cogs began slowly turning 2001  a very significant year for my family. But 24th January ??  I could tell you what 24th January 1988 meant to me. That was the date that my first born was due to be born but the stubborn little monster decided to stay put for a further 2 weeks.

24th January 2001 hmmm not sure I remember that was the month I first went to the hospital for checks. Still not quite sure which of the appointments this date was, it could have been the day I saw the urologist (we thought I had a prolapsed womb which was pressing on my bladder). He referred me to the gynae consultant and I was back a week later. That was when they tried to take a PAP test but couldn’t due to the blockage and profuse bleeding. Thinking about it that probably was 24th January.

Over the next few weeks I had more appointments for various tests including a colposcopy done in day surgery (only I had to do things my own way and spent 3 days vomiting before I was allowed home.) It was not until a few weeks later on 9th march 2001 (a date I will never forget) that I was told that I had cervical cancer.

So why was Statto asking me about this date that I had completely forgotten and had no idea would be so significant?

Statto is working for the next 12 months analysing cancer data for the Yorkshire area. Today whilst he was working he came across some data which included records about my cancer. Apprently 24/01/2001 is the date I was first diagnosed as having cervical cancer even though I didn’t know it until 6 weeks later. He told me that there were just 3 women my age diagnosed with cervical cancer in my health authority that year. I told him that one of those 3 died, he was shocked that I already knew that.

The reason I knew was that sadly the lady who had not survived, had worked in the same building I did, as did her husband. Talking to Statto tonight brought back the enormous feelings of guilt that I felt after hearing the news even though I didn’t know either the husband or wife.

Obviously I knew the nature of the work my son would be doing but considering he would be working on data for cases in a completely different part of the country I really didn’t expect him to come across the records of my cancer, certainly not just a week into the job.

I guess in a strange way this has made his number crunching more real for him as he can relate the information he is dealing with to a real life case of cancer. During my illness Statto was my rock. My mum was wonderful, my husband was not. Prodigal did his best to keep out of the way (I now know that he didn’t know how to cope with a seriously ill mother ….he was 13). Pug looked at me as though I had grown 2 heads but was the one who showed the most relief when I was given the all clear in September 2001. Skater was just a tiddler aged 5 and just started school, he had no understanding of what was happening except that his father told him ‘mummy is going to die’. But Statto who was 10 looked after me, he made me cups of tea and made sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed.

When he went for his interview for this job he was asked why he wanted this job. He told them that he knew he was very lucky because his mother had survived cervical cancer and he wanted to help others to be as lucky as him.

I am a very proud mother.

August 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm 2 comments

That’ll teach me

I thought I had planned it right………my plans are renown for going wrong (at least in my mind they are).

I packed my bag with everything I would need. I found a padlock and slipped it into my pocket. Walked out of the back door and down to where my car was parked. Driving along with the windows down, singing along to my cd of power ballads enjoying the unexpected sunshine …..it was meant to be raining by now.

5 minutes later I am parking my car in the town centre car park. Grab my bag and start walking. I can see through the window someone is vacuuming the reception floor. Checking the times on the door I can see that they shut at 8pm Monday to Friday but 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

It is now 6.30pm, I had wanted to get there after 6pm so I wouldn’t have to pay for parking but that will teach me. I checked the parking fees and discovered they only charge upto 4pm on a Sunday.

I am treating this as my practice run ………..next time I will actually get to work out and have a swim.

 

Oh did I mention that on Friday evening I joined the gym in the town centre.

August 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm 4 comments

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