Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today is the much anticipated (by the media) public sector strike day. In a previous post I gave my reasons for voting against strike action because I believe the recent govt. offer was a good one. Happily I have today as a day off because I am working over the weekend and I did not have to cross any picket lines. It will be interesting to see the public reaction to the day of action although sadly I believe there will be further public sector strikes and industrial unrest.

No.1 son has a wisdom tooth coming through and he is not a happy bunny. I'll be taking him to the dentist for the first time ever and he is terrified. I am also having to pay for it because he is still unable to find work and he receives no benefits. I also googled some apprenticeship schemes and I have plonked those in his lap with instructions to apply for them. I have also suggested he consider any work going because I am no longer going to subsidise him. Mind you, he doesn't get any money from us but he is aware of the current economic realities and that any job is better than nothing at all. The glow in the dark nuclear apprenticeship could be interesting but he will be up against thousands of other applicants. There's always fruit / veg picking next year...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

After the last three mucous filled days and heavy investment in Olbas oil I feel human again. (Some) Chores around the house completed,  breakfasted on bacon, eggs and tomatoes, dog groomed and then we went for a long walk. She hadn't been out for three days and we both needed to blow away the cobwebs. I am supposed to be going out tonight to a wedding reception but I am opting for another early night and sleep. The cold wiped me out and I still feel a little unsteady on my feet. Mind you, a few beers last night may have contributed to that. I have also decided to avoid the political blogs for a while again because I just get wound up. I will concentrate upon my immediate world for now rather than impotently raging at the stupidity of others.
No.1 son found out at yesterdays apprenticeship interview from another interviewee that last weeks interviews resulted in someone else getting the job. No wonder he is so angry with it all. He was also informed by the job centre that he is not entitled to any benefits because he refused to attend. As he pointed out to them: his money was stopped anyway, he has attended several interviews he arranged and they are patronising and singularly useless at finding him any work.  He is continuing to look for work and he is now reconsidering college with part time work to keep him going.
Like the picture below I now intend to put my feet up, listen to the local sports radio* and chill out.


* I will be asleep within ten minutes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

... and the banned played on...

Disclaimer: I don't smoke cigarettes or any tobacco products since quitting smoking back in 1985. I therefore have no axe to grind regarding smoking but I do object to interfering numpties wanting to interfere further in our daily lives and activities. Fags, alcohol, salt, food, blogging... is there no end to this nonsense?

So much for feeling full of vim and vigour. I can't hear anything this morning, my head is full of cotton wool and spinning around, earache... bleugh. Strong coffee, bacon and paracetamol aren't doing the trick so I am off back to my bed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The weather has changed and the cats clamour to get in / remain in / hide away when it's time to turf them out for toilet beaks. As above, they appear to be permanently attached to radiators. We have to play hunt the cat first thing each morning for Molly (She's in the box) because she has taken to hiding from us. I can't blame her as my second cold in two weeks brought me out in sympathy with her and my marked reluctance to emerge from the duvet. Two paracetamol and a trip down the M1 yesterday finally helped as I performed yet another 300 + miles round trip for one assessment. I took a colleague along as part of her training and we put the world to rights... well, we moaned about the NHS, managers, colleagues, etc... The M1 was a doddle despite being busy especially with HGV's and the usual shocking behaviour of white van drivers. But I was pleasantly surprised in that despite several hours of driving I felt quite fresh, relaxed and full of vim and vigour on my return. I can only put it down to the ongoing weight loss, exercise and generally improved levels of fitness.  I'll be buying a new wardrobe of clothes next year as everything now hangs off me, a situation I am very happy with. I also plan to buy a secondhand bike next spring because I miss cycling and I still keep an eye out for my stolen bike although it has probably been stripped down and sold off long ago. I have also looked into local sailing clubs because I promised myself last year that I would lose weight and take up sailing again. The cycling is top of my list for when spring returns because a cheap bike and I'm away with plans to explore the Wolds. A good lock for the bike even in the garden as I found to my cost!
I must away as the hound is sitting by the front door hinting at her evening walk.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Swearing alert - If easily offended by strong oaths please go to CBeebies where you can enjoy less challenging language and ideas.

Days off and a chance for a beer or two. I need beer after the last few days at work but not because of the work. Listening to social workers whingeing about the govt., society and the public sector strike at the end of this month turned my stomach. This forthcoming strike can be interpreted as a genuine response to the government attack upon public sector pensions. But once you place it in the context of reality: no money; the private sector create the wealth and their pensions are generally shite especially since new labour robbed them; the eu sinking fast and a general economic malaise in the west. It beggars belief that a general public sector strike is called until one sits back and takes another perspective. The conversations I heard back this up. An opportunity to attack a Tory govt. and to bring it down. So much for democracy. I have a day off on the actual day and for once I am glad because I have never crossed a picket line but this may have been the first tme I did so. I had been a trade unionist for much of my working life including holding steward positions within trades unions. I withdrew my active support  ten years ago when I realised the bullshit, the betrayals of the working class and the idiocy that went with much of the unions and new labour. Again I have to add a disclaimer in that I do not support the shower of shite that currently makes up the govt. because they are no different from the last shower of illiberal, thieving, lying fuckbags that slowly destroyed this country for personal gain. It will be another winter of discontent...

Local BBC radio is being reviewed with a view to saving money / streamlining services / providing value for money. What it really means is to cut the services which some people like whilst saving money to fund management and ensure thousands of staff and ceebrities are available for the Olympics in London next year. When the vote was announced that London had won the 2012 bid I realised I was a miserable curmudgeon because for once I wanted the French to win. It is public money but the BBC board and managers know best. After the loss of Folkwaves from BBC Lincolnshire the cuts will remove other folk, jazz, etc... programmes from the airwaves. Just cut a small % of the funding to sport and redirect it to local radio... problem solved. Alternatively, stop the licence fee and introduce the real world and advertising to the BBC. Having to endure the interminable adverts for various BBC shite programmes on the various BBC stations... eastenders, strictly, currently children in need... fuck off! My children in need money has gone, for the umpteenth year running, to the Poppy Appeal and I like BBC radio! But it drives me nuts hearing bloody BBC adverts for their own programmes none of which I care about.  But to give them credit where it is due... Frozen Planet. Wonderful camera work, beautiful scenery, the various critters,  engaging and just a first rate incredible programme. If you get the chance to watch it I can highly recommend that you do so.
Finally, I do want the BBC to continue but I want the mouthpiece for generally leftist bullshit to stop and for a service that provides balanced information, entertainment and education as well as providing top notch programmes. £140 odd a year is not a bad price but it is our money. That means it should represent all and not just the metropolitan liberal elite of the south east of England. Now that I have finished this howl into the wilderness I will continue to listen to BBC Radio Foyle, Ulster, Shropshire, etc... until my favourite programmes are removed and we are inundated with more bland, boring boyzone bollox of the musical and verbal kind. I hope the language hasn't been too rough for you but if it has... it means there is still life and passion. As a 101 year old woman recently said to me... 'Enjoy the best of life, the alternative is worse'.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder and treason,
Should ever be forgot.

It's fireworks night but I have elected to stay in with the animals. The cats are alright as they have been fed and are safely settled down in their various favoured spots, usually beside a radiator. The dog is a different matter entirely. She is glued to my side and the music is turned up to drown out the louder bangs. Trying to get her into the garden for calls of nature is difficult and it usually involves a sprint there, during and back again. So it will be a couple of glasses of whisky, music and internet surfing  / reading a book this evening. The music will also have to be 'loud' so metal and rock is the chosen style for this evening.

This past week off work has been a "wasted" one for me because of illness. A lousy cold which effected my ears and consequently my balance necessitating I stayed at home. Nothing more strenuous than brief forays to the local shops and short walks for the dog. The lightheadedness, the world spinning and nausea was most unpleasant. The one positive is that I wasn't at work and I could relax, read books, sleep, watch DVD's, sleep and then sleep some more. My plans to go to London were cancelled and I missed out on catching up with some old friends. Mrs.C pointed out that as soon as I was on holiday and I relaxed the leurgy hit me. There is some mileage in that because I am now keenly aware how tired, tense and wound up I was prior to this break as a result of work. So a week spent relaxing and doing very little has allowed me to recuperate and given me some time to mull over my future options. They are currently limited to sorting out the repairs to the house and then much needed redecoration which will make Mrs.C happy. No.1 son had the second of two interviews for an engineering apprenticeship which is looking quite positive. The past six months have seen him mature and he has been busy chasing jobs, apprenticeships, etc...  Fingers crossed this will be successful because it includes his studying in Bristol and his first big steps into the wider world begins. I can then reconsider my options regarding work which I now realise I no longer enjoy. I do enjoy the actual nursing but not the politics, the bullshit and the idiots. With services cut to the bone and few staff it really does hit home when managers make stupid decisions. Each of us then has to work twice as hard to ensure patients aren't effected but the cost is staff quickly burnt out. I have been there before and I have seen it happen to colleagues so I have no desire to repeat it again. Some ideas come to mind and over the next few months I will explore what I can change workwise.

Regarding the union vote for a strike over pensions I voted no. I actually consider what the government is offering as reasonable especially so in light of the amended version offered. I don't think there will be public support for the strike nor do I believe it is right to do so given the current economic situation, the lack of decent pension schemes for those in the private sector and, I believe the strike is using public sector pensions as an excuse for attacking the government. Sadly I am in a minority and the strike will be going ahead. Cue the usual useful idiots using it as an excuse to riot. All this against the backdrop of the eu experiment imploding, sabre rattling at Iran and a real disconnect between the political class and the general public. *Sigh* I think I may be about ready for my first whisky... two 70 cl bottles of Grant's 'Ale Cask Whisky' for £18.00! A bargain and we got the last two in Sainsbugs with one bottle now put away for Christmas. I mentioned this as a comment upon another blog suggesting he check out his local store because this particular offer was not advertised and that blogger enjoys his whisky. Mrs.C spotted a small red label attached to the price tag and we asked a shop assistant to verify it was correct. He was very helpful given the last two bottles had different labels but were essentially the same product. When a regular bottle of the Cask Ale Whisky costs  just under £17.00 this was undoubtedly a bargain. I would say the whisky is for medicinal purposes but I return to work Monday and my cold has gone with the last vestiges going today. My ears popped this morning and boy is the world loud.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Yep... I think I've got the hang of it. All I can say is enjoy...

Followed by the ever wonderful 'The Move'...

I can post the videos in full but I haven't yet managed to reduce them in size despite playing around with the embed code.

So how I managed this I don't know? I'll have to try the same approach with another favourite and see what happens.