Monthly Archives: July 2009

Are you kidding?

I arrived at work yesterday morning at 6.45 to be greeted by three giggling senior colleagues: “Are you going to tell her, or shall I?”

You know that sinking sensation when you know one of your senior colleagues is about to delegate you a task which nobody in their right mind is going to want to do?

“You’re in charge today!”

It was with great glee that they foisted upon me, just six weeks into the job, the role of being in charge for the day – making all the decisions, allocating tasks, making sure the essential things were done and recorded… even deciding what to have for lunch! AGGGGHHHH! I’d been told I’d have this task after about five or six months at work. Was I ready? Was I heck as like, as my Dad used to say. And it was quite an eventful day, too – though most days are fairly eventful in one way or another.

But there seemed to be no argument I could come up with that would sway them in their malicious glee (and I knew they were there to back me up and for me to turn to whenever I didn’t know what to do – which was most of the time) so I acceeded. My first act of delegation was to delegate the task of being in charge – but that was thrown back at me. So I threw myself into it and nagged and bossed with a vengeance, frowning on any insubordination from my superiors and allocating tasks left, right and centre, drawing on all my experience of being a teacher, a line manager, a mother, and organising Wightmeets.

The comment at the end of the day? “We’ve created a monster” 😀

Turfed out

We have just had new turf laid in the garden at work. Boy, does it make a difference to the place. Next on the agenda are plants and some new garden chairs.

The trouble with turf, of course, is that it needs lots of watering.

Hmm… not as easy as it sounds. We have a hose. But it’s not a very long hose. We have an outside tap, but it’s not a very conveniently placed outside tap… at least, not as far as the new turf is concerned.

One option is to put the end of the hose through the bathroom window and attach it, not very convincingly, to the tap in the bathroom sink – you know, those really useful taps which are designed not to accept people trying to fasten garden hoses to them? It was good timing that my colleague was being assessed on whether she dealt appropriately with spillages – she had a good excuse to use the mop. But alas, the “sprinkler effect” was only successful in the bathroom which got far wetter than the turf.

Plan B. While looking for a longer hose or a firmer attachment, we found two watering cans. Seizing an opportunity for some extra exercise, I volunteered for the rather time-consuming task of watering the turf by hand. We are talking three areas of lawn here, and each watering can only covering a single strip of turf. But I persevered, and though it was not the world’s most interesting task, I was getting some exercise and doing some good.

As I neared the end of the the first lawn, another colleague arrived, bearing a much much longer hose and a proper lawn sprinkler. Hoorah! We fixed the hose to the outside tap and put the sprinkler in place on the lawn. Hmmm…. this was not going to work. The sprinkler turned so slowly, it being impossible to get any decent pressure through the long long hose when all the connections were leaky, that we were going to end up with a tiny quagmire in the middle of an arid lawn of dry, dead grass. Three of us stood for some time trying to get it to work.

It was only when we realised how cold and damp we were that the penny suddenly dropped. We were stood outside in the garden trying to water the grass…… during a downpour of rain!

(Wonder whether anyone’s remembered to water it today!)

It was rather odd..

to sit in church this morning and join in congregational prayers for myself .. though not half so odd as putting my money into a retiring collection knowing that it was going towards paying my own salary. Especially ironic considering that I haven’t been paid yet! 😉

(By the way, I am not so self-absorbed as to think that the prayers and the collection were all about me. But it did feel a bit funny being there in one capacity when I could have been there in a different one).


Slightly not as bad as it was a few days ago, but some serious decisions to be made by several people.
I am suffering from torn loyalties, being pulling in every direction, and knowing that whatever decision I make will be a bad one. Not a very helpful situation really.
Tasks for tomorrow mostly involve the telephone again, both dealing with the problem and trying to get the right support for the decisions ahead.
Ho hum.
I wish I could tell you more.
But thank you all for your support and prayers.

Always look on the bright side of life

Apparently I am coping too well for anti-depressants. Humph. Mind you, I was betrayed by the questionaire I had to fill in. “On how many days out of the last fortnight have you felt…. ” Well, actually, for the majority of the last fortnight I’ve felt pretty hunky-dory, thank you very much. Now if that questionaire had said “on how many days out of the last nine months….” or “on how many days out of the last four…”, the answers might have been entirely different. But still, in many ways I’d rather NOT be on antidepressants – I just wish I could have a break from all this coping without them.

Still, the Smudgelet goes off camping yet again (in the rain, probably) tomorrow night and I have a whole weekend to myself. Yippee! The main plan is to tackle the bedroom and rediscover my bed. I rather like sleeping on the sofa but it’s not really a long term arrangement, especially not with four, yes four, cages full of hamsters playing by my right ear. (I finally think I’ve done it, though a magnifying glass would have helped immensely in feeling confident that I’ve separated all the males from the females), but I’m also planning a trip to Portsmouth to have lunch with Honorary Auntie M whom I haven’t seen for ages and ages and ages.

And before then, I have work this afternoon (at least concluding that I was not badly depressed enough for antidepressants means that the doctor did not suggest me having time off work – thank goodness. It makes a nice change for work to be my sanctuary rather than a source of my stress), a million phone calls to make this morning, a miserable pre-teen to deal with, or rather not to deal with because I won’t be seeing him until later, and a kitchen to clean. Hmmm… and a high score to improve on Bejewelled and someone to beat at scrabble….

I may or may not be around much

I thought rollercoasters were supposed to have a few ups.
You know those manipulative people who post their imaginary troubles all over the internet in order to drag people in and get their attention, I feel like one of those, except that even I am beginning to wonder whether the bodyblows which keep hitting me and my loved ones can possibly be true. But they are – I know, I can feel the bruises.

I was driving along a motorway today and saw the sign for its end destination. There was a moment of temptation – keep driving. Keep driving until you can drive no further. Run away and hide.

You’ll gather that, just when I thought we’d plumbed the absolute depths, I discovered that they go even deeper today. I am sitting on a timebomb and there’s no escape. I find myself in a situation not of my making and beyond my controlling for which there is no “best outcome” and I simply don’t know what to do. You have prayed for us so often and supported and comforted me so greatly. Please continue to pray for us: me, my sons, and my whole family. Thank you.

Bugger it

Well, one day of happiness is a gift and I can at least treasure that moment. We’ll get there again.

Now excuse me while I go and deal with another body blow. Life with eldest son was never going to be a walk in the park.

Happiness is…

..well, it just is, really.

It’s my day off today. I got up early to see the Smudgelet off to school and put the bins out, then lazed in the bath for half an hour before tackling the ironing and housework.
I caught the bus into town and did a bit of shopping – essentials, not browsing – and then walked to my friend’s for a rather so-phis-tic-at-ed lunch with napkins, no less, and a healthy amount of random nattering. Then I returned home to await the return of the Smudgelet, taking advantage of beating him home to lie on the sofa for half an hour and snooze in the warmth and enjoy the gentle breeze that was softly pushing the voile curtain in the lounge back and forth alongside me. And as I lay there, half awake and half asleep, a random thought crossed my mind:

“I feel happy and contented”

Then I realised what I had thought. I feel happy and contented. Things are still not perfect. My eldest son is still struggling with incarceration and there is a battle ahead between various people about the degree to which we should be pushing him to apply for parole at the earliest opportunity (Personally I think it’s a behaviour-management-ploy by the prison service to keep people as positive and cooperative as possible in the short term – a policy for which they can hardly be blamed but which may not be that helpful for the person in question). My brother is still fighting to get restitution for the dreadful way he has been treated by his employers. The bungalow is not yet let and I am paying out on two properties and, because I started work on 10th June, I don’t get paid at all until the end of July – and the council tax want 1/3 of my year’s payment up front – so money is really tight, my savings are almost all gone and I have a hefty loan from my brother to bail me out. And if I ever find my bed underneath all these boxes it will be a miracle. But I feel happy and contented.

God is good. My new home is lovely. I love my job. I missed OFSTED at school by two weeks. I have good friends and a lovely family. The Smudgelet has a social calendar that is beyond belief and appears settled and happy in his new school and new environment.

This is my life, and I am content with it.