Monday, 2 July 2012

Post Haste

I no longer know or indeed care whether anyone reads these ramblings or not.  I would rather it was not...  I try to stagger on but find myself more and more stagnant tepid and probably smelling of biscuits.

I wrote the above sad sentence over a year ago, I found it lurking in the "draft" section of this Blog, it is true that I have not written anything on here for about that long, where was I when I wrote the above?  I actually do know, I remember only too well, but for the sake of sanity I have decided to draw a veil over the intervening 12 months or so.  Suffice to say, that I am still here, some others didnt make it.  I miss them and wish they could have stayed longer.

In any event, life goes on, I have noticed that about life.  It continues.  Whatever happens in the meantime, which is always a surprise.  Him indoors often says that I am a natural pessimist.  A "Glass half empty" attitude, whereas he is a "Glass half full" - I don't understand this metaphor, surely they are the same amount of full.  Besides, I am neither, I just drink the whole bloody glass and look for a refill.  What?  It is the only sensible thing to do in the circumstances!

It has been over a year since Him Indoors, became Him Indoors.  Before he was made redundant (for the third time in as many years!) I suppose he was Him At Work.  Job Seeking seems to be a job in itself.  I can only imagine the hopelessness of younger people looking for their first job, particularly if they have been unemployed for a long time, there are kids now who are never going to be able to get a job.  People are institutionalised so quickly when they are unemployed.  It is bad enough for the middle aged, our generation at least has known employment, full employment for the most part.  I remember getting a job in the morning and walking out at lunchtime to find another job because I didn't like the atmosphere or, the boss or something. And, here's the thing, I almost always got another job by the time lunchbreak was over.  I am sure that was not just my experience either.

Get this, I actually went to an INTERVIEW recently, the advert said that they wanted - get this.... A GRADUATE (tick) someone with a BUSINESS DIPLOMA (tick) someone who could TYPE AT SPEED  (tick) someone who was presentable and intelligent with English A Level  (tick (ish) ) etc etc etc.... The "JOB" was data input.  DATA INPUT !!!  It was minimum wage and in a freezing cold warehouse.  I WANTED  THE JOB!!!!!    I got an interview and KNEW almost instantly that I would not be offered this job... I knew I didn't CLICK!   This is what it has come to.  The advert was in the paper again this week, oh my life - I am now "Previous Applicants Need Not Apply".  The shame!

Oh well, life goes on and all that.  Now you need to be a High Achieving Graduate with Business and Typing and computer skills for Data Entry - I shall need to brush up on my ability to suppress my disbelieving stares and mug up on my sycophantic fitting in skills.  Joy.

In Which She Rambles Aimlessly....

One knows when one is going to ramble aimlessly, even before one starts, she typed.  "Oh God",  She thought, "This is going to be worse than one of those Family Guy fill in running gags where they slip any old joke in just to make the time up".  "Except, " she mused, "I havent even got a small joke to insert and chisel into the narrative".

A new paragraph sometimes rescues one from the overwhelming ennui.  Not this time however.  Should she go over, around or through the Writers Block?  she wondered.  She could possibly start by dispensing with the unbeliveably poserish third person narrative.

So, I am now starting with the first person pronoun and it will be clear to even the most casual of observers that this ruse has not made any difference to the quality of the content.

Elderly.  Now, there's a thing.  Just because a person has been breathing for a long time does that mean that they have necessarily acquired more of  a"take" on life?  This is not a trick question.  Who among us can put their hand on their (aging) heart and say that they are a fundamentally wiser person than they were.... a year ago, ten years, 20, 30?  Who, in actual fact feels more or less the same about things (only slightly less passionate) (well ok, less passionate, bordering on apathy)  than they did when they were much younger?

I believe it to be not beyond the bounds of possibility that I have wised up somewhat since I was in my early 20's - but, truely cannot prove it.    Do I feel less passionate about things?  Or have those things just changed about which I feel passion.  When did passion start to be filed in my mind next to, for example, lemon drizzle cake, or the new series of Nurse Jackie?

I write (sometimes) in this Blog, as though it were a private diary, and yet it cannot be for it is open at the page for any casual browser to look through.  I am laying myself open to all (probably correct) charges of obscene narcissism just by typing rambling words on white screens.  

We are all Narcissistic Now - Discuss.  How many friends can you possible have?  On Facebook for example it appears that you can have thousands.  Now, I am obviously old enough to realise, as you all do, that it is not possible to have thousands of "friends"  IRL - see I can even use FB terms and phraseology  - not that happy with it though - In Real Life.  That's better.  I mean, seriously, what sort of human being would have even 100 friends, 50?  I thnk the true number is more likely to be below 20.  And, if we were to be truthful by the age of 50 plus, you can count proper friends on a couple of fingers.....

Networking.  That is what we oldies think of it as... we are not amassing friends just a sort of insurance policy - we might need these people at some point.  They may be able to further our various aims or help us out in some way.  I, however, gave up NetWorking almost before it had been invented.  I viewed it then, as now, as some vile insideous viral infection.  Be honest, if you have been "Networked" yourself, you feel used and - dear Lord!  sometimes inadequate.... Hideously I have had the feeling many, many times, that someone is "Networking" me, only to discover the sad truth that I am of no possible use to them in any way.  Then, despite my horror of being used in this way, I find myself even more horrified to be found wanting.  I start to wheedle and embellish my usefulness - I actually start to want to be NETWORKED!!! God Almighty, what have we come to????


Life in the Lentil Lane.

There are many good things about getting older - there are also way too many horrible things but we all either know about those or instinctively don't need to hear them.  One good thing though is you seriously begin not to care about what other people think of you.  This is totally liberating and a fantastic bonus which goes some way to make up for the horrors of mortality and aging which are far too boring and hideous for words.

I have to admit to sometimes feeling a little "out there" in terms of fitting in with other folk.  However, I love the fact that their snidey comments and tsk tskings cannot hardly even be perceived by me now let alone anguished about.  Where is your sting now Teenage Angst!????

For, gentle reader, I have had my (more than!) fair share of tsk tsk ings throughout my (seems so long) life and I can report that I am now, relatively free, of the guilt and confusion that other people's opinions about me used to induce.  The fact that I now have two children of teenage and one who is out the other side is interesting.  The two younger ones interact with us only through horror struck poses and "disbelieving stares".  The slightest movement from either myself or their father can invoke a torrent of awe-striking proportions from them.  They hate and are disgusted by everything about us.  The way we look, talk, eat, think, sleep, even.  I overheard them yesterday, ranting about the way their father sleeps!  They can work themselves up into a life-threatening seizure over the way that I cook sponge cakes for example.

"She (!)  doesn't even MEASURE the ingredients!  Look! LOOK!!! LOOK AT THAT!!! Omg!!! SICKening!   She is using her hands to measure the FLOUR!!!! OH my GOD!   I am not eating THAT!

I am NEVER inviting any of my friends here (good! - Ed)  I would be SOOOO EMBARASSED!!! (even better - Ed.)  There's NOTHING to do here!  There's not even a TRAMPOLINE!!!!!

They have this thing they do, miming an asthma attack !!!!  MIMING an inhaler !!!  They have abbreviated the mime so it is barely detectable to the casual observer.  On the outside, on the School Bus, for example, they may be outwardly completely calm, sitting there with their obligatory headphones on and staring blankly out of the window.  On the inside, however, they are SEETHING with rage and being totally SICKENED by the antics of their fellow passengers.

How do I know all this?  Because, on the "Family Fun Day - Sunday afternoon Dog Walk, ie, when I literally force them to take off the Headphones and step away from the x-box or whatever it is that invades our living POD! - they walk behind me in a simmering sulk for a while and then start to talk to each other - getting more and more animated as they do - about what they would do to all the people that sicken them.  Some times they would apparently 'merely' get a starving rat, place it on the offender's bare stomach and put a jar over it and then heat the jar to unbearable levels until the rat has to chew its way out through the stomach... that would be the punishment for someone who had, for example, had the absolute gall to speak to them on the bus.  I wonder what I have raised? but it is a momentary thought, since I am now so used to the outrage that it barely registers.

The son who is "out the other side" is gentle and caring and totally compassionate.  At least, he appears to be, for all I know, inside he too is seething with rage about people around him.  Perhaps we all are!

I dont know, I can only try.
Perhaps I am raising monsters.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps..... I will keep myself posted.


I had almost forgotten that I had started this Blog back in the mists of time.... I feel that perhaps I should update my Reader with news of what has been happening since I last posted my inane thoughts.  However, since nothing has been happening I am at a loss.

I can report however, that Him Indoors has decided to embrace the long forgotten art of FORAGING.  Yes, The Enthusiastic Vegetarian with whom I share my life has been out rummaging among nettles and cowslips and attempting to find things to put on our table for food.

Never, ever ever, have I been so GRATEFUL that he is a committed Vegetarian.  I can only imagine the kind of scene I would be confronted with if he was foraging and a CARNIVORE.  However, since I do not have to deal with Road Kill Badgers, Bunnies, Pheasants and the like, nor do I (mental shudder) have to prise fat white grubs out of bits of log for protein, I must give thanks and continue to raid the culinary expertise of my friends at Belleau Kitchen for recipes for the various flora (while leaving the Fauna for other appetites).

Monday, 18 July 2011

Not Really a Post - More of a stick....

So, we were returning from the latest "Clap-Fest" at the School where we had been entertained delightfully by some of the pupils.....  Youngest spawn is in the back of the VegMobile reading through the "Programme" from the evenings entertainment:

"God, " he sighs, what a horrible name this boy has, "Kevin Bowles"... (He pronounced it "Bowels".)

"Spell it" I demanded.  "You probably pronounce it "Bowls".

"No, says the Middle Spawn, "his sister is in my class, it is pronounced "Bowels" ".

"What's his sister called?"


"Oh, yeah, Luce Bowels!  I know her..."

You couldnt make this stuff up....

Monday, 11 July 2011

A Note on Hover Flies...

At this time of the year my shabby chic of a kitchen becomes adorned with dark ceiling shadows that on closer inspection prove to be My Favourite Insect - The Hoverfly.  In case you dont yet have a "Favourite Insect" I urge you to consider these delightful creatures.  They are so tame that they come and sit on your finger and you can en take them outside to the "Recovery Flower" -preferably one near the back door since once you embark on Hoverfly Rescue you could be busy for some time.

If, like me, you are lucky enough to have been ripped off by bogus builders from Sheffield and now have an unsightly carbuncle of a "conservatoy" attached to your home - you could even invest in a Hover Fly Catching Net which provides literally hours of stifling fun.

It has to be said that it is to everyone's advantage to take care of the critters - especially things that fly about and pollinate our veggies.  Be Seeing You.

The Reluctant Teacher....

Yes, I have become a Reluctant "Teacher" - and if you are underwhelmed by that information then you are not alone.  I have now got the job of  "teaching" Reluctant Learners.  I am told that they were reluctant even before realising that it was me that had been charged with their study of numeracy and literacy.  I remain unsure about this. 

The situation I find myself in has, however, made it nearly impossible for me to continue with my head in the sand.  I am now forced to interact with the seedy underbelly that is "excluded teenagers".  Oh dear Lord what have I done?  I suppose, apart from the inescapable realisation that we need more money coming in to the Reluctant Household, some part of me must have thought vague Miss Jean Brodie type things.  How else to explain why I accepted the offer to "work" with these people.  I can only hang my head in shame.  The only slight mitigation being that I cannot for the life of me imagine anybody actually enjoying this type of work so, in a small sense I could be seen as doing everyone a big favour by taking it on. Actually even a cursory examination of that last sentence shows up the level of my ignorance but still, the facts are there, it is, for the moment at least, me that has been charged with seeing to their basic education for the time being.

At the very least I hope that you will bear with me through these difficult times and allow me to use this Blog as a de-briefing room.  I have had many jobs in my time, being aged 158 will often do that for a person.  I have had jobs I quite liked, jobs I detested, jobs I have walked out of, and even, very occasionally, jobs I enjoyed.  I don't honestly think I have ever had a job that has had me feeling sick and burned out after only an hour.  Until now. 

If you ever wondered what happens to all those kids that get expelled from school then let me enlighten you as I have now been enlightened.  They go to special "holding pens" or "Centres" where kind people attempt to rehabilitate them into some semblance of useful members of society.  Except they cannot, for the most part, be rehabilitated.  They are the bare forked creatures that mainstream schools cannot cope with.  I can see why.  

Who was it that said "Give me a Child until he is 7 and I will show you the man"  Rousseau perhaps?  Cant remember.  However, what he definitely didnt say was "Give me a teenager raised on heroin and white lightening cider and a smack in the face for affection and I will show you the man..."

I remain hopeful however that better people than me can attempt to make a difference in this sad and frightening world that I have stumbled into.