And Life Goes On

The random bloggings on what gets my goat!

Back to Reality

I have just returned from a week away in Tenerife. It was bliss being able to lie in the sun all day, reading and writing at my leisure with the kids playing happily in the pool.

However, although I love being away, I also miss the simple things that we take for granted whilst at home such as being able to make a cup of tea when I wanted or being able to have a plain and simple piece of toast, also a glorious hot bubble bath. 

I know it sounds silly but boy, did I relish these things when I got home. Is there anything that you really miss whilst away?

Advertisements

Dear Snow……

So yet again the snow has arrived and the UK grinds to a halt. 

What is it with us that we can never just carry on.

The trains are delayed.

Schools are shut.

Airports closed down, yesterday some were closed just in case it snowed!

Come on Britain get with it, other countries seem to cope pretty well why can’t you?

Yours a Mother who will no doubt have her kids with her this week due to ice!

Stoptober- Day 23

My eldest daughter who is 9 has been asking me to give up smoking now for some time, ever since she was taught in her science lesson that cigarettes were bad for you and was able to read the public information notices that now accompany a rather horrid picture on the front of a packet of cigarettes.

I have not really enjoyed cigarettes for some time now as I don’t smoke at home due to the children and the smoking ban put paid to anyone smoking in a public place such as a restaurant or a pub. So the idea of a leisurely cigarette for me had long been a thing of the past.

The children and I decided that I would sign up for Stoptober http://smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober/?&gclid=CKSusL3glrMCFcbLtAod5UQAug which is a 28 day challenge  to stop smoking. The blurb tells you that there is lots of free support along the way and that after 28 days of not smoking, you are more than 5 times more likely  to stay smoke free.

I received my pack which comes with a stress ball, a day by day mantra to help you on your way with topics such as how to focus on beating the cravings, coping with withdrawal symptoms  and keeping your guard up, all very helpful.

I signed up with my local chemist to get my patches and agree to a carbon monoxide test which involves blowing into a gadget which then tells you how much carbon monoxide is in your lungs. I started at 14 and have since been on 0 each time since. Proud, that doesn’t even cut it!

I am also using an electronic cigarette, there are many on the market, mine is from www.ukecigstore.com and it is really helping when I have a craving for a cigarette along with the patches, I can vape away on my e-cig and the cravings pass in no time.

So, so far so good, lets see if this can last. My helpful mantra on today’s date tells me to keep looking forward as in another five days I will have conquered Stoptober!

Oh yes, I will have done.

Smoke free and loving it, come on!

 

Skinny Jeans Nearly Killed Me!

It was my daughter’s birthday at the weekend and she had a party at home with loads of her friends over.

When all her friends had left for the evening and both the girls were in bed, my sister, a friend and I decided to open a bottle of wine. Now this was great, we had a fab night discussing old stories of us in our youth, laughing, giggling and more drinking.

After a couple of bottles we decided to head up to bed, now I am not a big wine drinker, I knew that I had had a drink, but I was no way drunk, tipsy maybe.

I creeped into my bedroom trying not to wake the girls as I changed into my PJ’s. All was going really well until I tried to take my jeans off.

I had on a pair of grey skinny jeans that were rather too skinny around the leg but I soldiered on, and on, and on. They would not come off. I realise now that I began to panic after five minutes or so of trying really hard to get them off.

Please bear in mind that whilst trying to get them off I was hopping around the bedroom, by this time swearing like a navvy!

I thought to myself “Come on now, this is silly, one last pull and they will be off”, so I pulled and ended flat on my back with the leg still inside the jean leg, I called out to my sister to come and help me rid myself of the jean leg and sheepishly went to bed, half an hour after entering my bedroom.

Eat Up

I don’t know what dinner time is like in your house in mine it is a nightmare!

I don’t look forward to it at all.

Why? Because it is a daily battle. Now don’t get me wrong my girls are good eaters they eat most things and they eat their vegetables so this is not an issue.

My bug is the amount of time it takes for them to eat.

They can be eating a small dinner for over an hour I therefore spend said hour shouting at them to get a move on.

Cue tears whining and snot!

So I have now told them I will no longer be shouting at them for my own sanity. If they take two hours to eat their dinner so be it as I will have left the table and be able to get on with the rest of my day. The girls however will sit at the table now with no shouting at them to get a move on. I have told them the only people that it is affecting is them and if they are happy to sit the dinner table for two hours then so be it!

Self Publishing – To Buy or Not?

Does it really matter as to whether a book is self published or has gone down the more traditional route?

Do you the reader not read a book due to the fact that the writer has themselves self published?

“I think readers are more focused on a good story that they can enjoy instead of where the book was published,” said Mathewson, of the self-published authors’ success. “Thanks to the internet they can research books before committing time and money on them. Flashy advertisements really don’t mean anything to most avid readers. They care more about reviews, ratings and recommendations than they do about ads telling them what to read.”

As Mark Coker said, “It’s a big deal to see a single Smashwords author on the New York Times Bestseller list, let alone four in one week.  A year ago, it was unheard of.  A year from now, it’ll be more commonplace.  Tomorrow’s global bestsellers are at Smashwords.  Maybe the next bestseller will be the title uploaded to Smashwords two minutes from now, soon to be visible at the top of the Smashwords home page.  Or maybe it’ll be one or more of the nearly 9,000 new titles uploaded to Smashwords in the last 30 days.  Or uploaded three years ago….maybe tomorrow’s bestseller is languishing on an undiscovered writer’s computer, still waiting for a publisher to give it a chance.  Maybe that writer will now realize they don’t need the blessing of a publisher to become a published author, or to reach readers.  Maybe they’ll realize that that the tools to publish and distribute a book are available at no cost, and the knowledge to professionally publish is available for the taking. It just takes effort.”

Twitter for me has really opened up my reading world as I now buy e-books from authors that I follow, whether they be self-published or not.

For me it is about the story, does the blurb grip me if so, I buy with not a thought as to how it has been published. It does annoy me however when there are lots of spelling mistakes or other glaring errors which is just sloppy and should not happen under any circumstances.

So go on, the traditional route is becoming harder and harder to break into so give the self published writer a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.

The Aftermath

It had been six weeks since the bombings in London, six long weeks that felt more like a lifetime.

Everything had changed, everything.

Nothing would be the same again, nothing.

What had her life been like before?

How had everyone gone back to their routines?

No one understood, how could they?

If only she had missed that tube, she had even ran for it, frightened that she would be late for work again.

Trivial it seemed now, worrying about work, if only that were all she needed to worry about.

All these thoughts swirling in her head.

Haunting, haunting.

That is what her life had become, one long, sleepless nightmare.

Bad dreams, is this her minds way of making sense of the bad memories?

Soot covered faces.

Bloody faces.

Limbless torsos.

Get me out of here.

Please, get me out of here.

Bodies everywhere.

Screaming, deafening screaming.

Silence, deafening silence.

She would never forget, never.

How could she?

She was a prisoner of her own memories.

A life sentence with no time off for good behaviour, life would truly mean life.

That morning, that terrifying morning had ended her life as she had known it.

Everything had changed, everything.

Nothing would be the same again, nothing.

Gone in a Heartbeat

I hadn’t slept all night worrying about my work appraisal today, I shouldn’t really be worried, I have these every six months, with a tidy share of the annual profits.

I had been in the job for eighteen months now and everything seemed to be going really well. It was a new company, actually a new branch of the firm I had worked for for going on eight years. I had been asked to head up the new branch, starting from scratch and knew I was doing a good job, profits were up, up a lot, I was pleased with how it was going.

Sitting on the bus for my half hour commute to work, leaning on the glass window, taking care not to get my hair stuck in someone else’s hair gel that was all shiny and sticky on the glass, I allowed myself to think of what I would do with the bonus that I had been looking forward to.

Six months ago I had been given fifteen thousand, nice tidy sum, especially considering that the firm had only been going for a year at that time. I had to pinch myself that I had been given this opportunity. My bosses seemed happy with what I had been doing so that was the main thing.

Jumping off the bus and running into the local travel agent to get a cruise brochure, I hadn’t told the kids or Simon that I was going to take them all on a once in a lifetime cruise. Money had been tight for so long now, what  with Simon being a builder in the current market, he had struggled getting regular work and I knew that he felt like he wasn’t able to provide properly for his family, but all the worrying  of how we were going to pay the mortgage and the ever increasing bills was a thing of the past. We had seemed to have turned a corner thankfully and things were looking up, a holiday was just what we all needed, it had been years since we had a real family holiday and I was going to blow my bonus on an all expenses, money being no object, once in a lifetime experience for us all.

The office was a real hive of activity this morning as usual. Grabbing a coffee before sitting at my desk and firing up my work computer I began to go through the endless emails that I received. One from Nick my Director caught my eye immediately, informing me that we were having the meeting at lunchtime in the other office. I wondered why we were going over there when we could have it in our own meeting room which as far as I could see was free most of the day.

The morning passed by in a flash, after lunch I made my way over to Devonshire Row to our old offices for my appraisal.

Nick was at the reception as I entered

“Hi Lucy, take a seat, be with you in a tic, okay?”

“No probs Nick, thanks”

Grabbing myself a glass of water, Nick sticks his head out of the conference room

“Lucy, do you want to come in now please”

As I entered the room, I was surprised to see all of the directors sitting on one side of the conference room table.

“Hi Lucy, have a seat”

“Thanks for coming. Tell me how do you think the last six months have gone for you?”

“Really well, sales are up, we are all being kept really busy. I think things are going really well. I hope you are happy with what I have been doing, are you?”

“Well to be honest Lucy, no we are not. Hamish has brought to our attention over the last few weeks that he does not feel that you have been pulling your weight here over the last six months at all”

Hamish was the Director that was based in the same offices as myself. He very obviously did not like me, but I figured if I did my job well, then I could win him round.

“Em, I’m sorry, what?” I whispered, shocked to the core.

“We are rather disappointed to note that your time keeping is terrible, you have taken a lot of days off in the last couple of months. Your interest seems to have waned off, and we are not at all happy with your performance” Nick continued.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I knew Hamish didn’t like me, I did not however realise that his dislike for me ran this deep.

“Late? I am never late”

“You are never, I repeat never at your desk before 9am” Hamish retorted, not even looking at me.

“I don’t start until 9am!”

“You are CEO of that branch Lucy. You should be setting an example to the other staff”

I could not believe what I was hearing, I had no idea that this was how they felt, I was under the impression that all was going well.

“Why, if I have been under performing to such an extent has nobody said anything to me?”

“I am telling you now. In light of this, we have looked into this further and believe that maybe we were too hasty to give you the promotion that we did. I am sorry to telly this Lucy, but we are going to have to let you go”

My head was spinning, let me go, let me go! Three hours ago I was planning a family holiday with the family, I felt sick.

“Obviously you cannot stay on. We are going to put you on gardening leave. We will pay you your salary tax free for four months and we will also be giving you a one off payment of twenty thousand pounds, and a good reference. This of course is only payable if you go quietly and without any fuss. I am sorry Lucy, I realise that I have bombarded you with a lot of information this morning. Go away and have a think about what I have said to you. Obviously, if you decide not to take our offer, well, we will cross that bridge when, and if we come to it, 0kay?”

My head was swirling.

“I am sorry that it hasn’t worked out, we have had some paperwork drawn up which my secretary will be bringing in for you in a moment.”

With this, the Directors all stood up, the screeching of their chairs on the floor, pounding my head which was struggling to keep up with how fast this had all happened.

“Take care and please look over the paperwork at your earliest convenience. I hate loose ends and well, the sooner we can all move on and draw a line under this, well, the better in my experience”.

With that the Directors all walked out.

I suddenly felt sick, what the hell had just happened?

Natalie, Nick’s PA entered the room with her beaming smile.

“Here is the paperwork Nick asked me to prepare Lucy. Nick asked that you please look over this as soon as you can. Take care and look after yourself. Here, let me get your coat”.

 

Older and Wiser – Friday Flash

Maeve watched as the new girl walked from bed to bed with the medicine that they all had to have administered in what seemed to be every five minutes, this being the last ward round until lights out. They had all had their hot chocolate and one chocolate chip cookie.

Maeve had been here a few years now since her so called loving daughter had dumped her here after saying she couldn’t cope anymore. Can you imagine if she had thought that herself after giving birth to her, honestly, it had made her mad, really mad.

The new girl finally got to her with the medicine,

“Morning Maeve isn’t it?”

“Yes dear, and what’s your name?”

“Jenny. Lovely to meet you Maeve. How are you feeling today?”

“Fine thanks. Is it your first day today?”

“Yes, I was a bit nervous to be honest, didn’t know what to expect”

‘You will be fine enough love, everyone here is really friendly, give or take a few, but I will fill you in on the comings and goings, maybe tomorrow if you are in?”

“That would be great, thanks Maeve. Sleep well”

Maeve watched as young Jenny walked out of the ward. She envied the life she had ahead of her, all of the ups and downs she had reaching long ahead of her.

How she will laugh.

How she will cry.

How she will love.

A silent tear ran down Maeve’s cheek as it occurred to her that her life was reaching the end.

Is Summer Here?

Wow, what is this orb that I see in the sky?

Could it be?

Can I believe it?

Oh yes, it is the SUN!!!!!!!

At last, I am a bit unsure as to whether to get the Summer wardrobe out and put the Winter wardrobe in the loft,  I did this a few weeks ago, all pleased that I was saying goodbye to my polo necks, chunky jumpers etc away until next Winter, what a fool I was!

You would think I and the rest of Great Britain would be aware that we cannot rely on our weather, but each year, I forget!

So, I am going to believe that this weather is now here to stay as I am a glass half full kind of girl!

Happy Summer to each and every one of you

Post Navigation