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Category: Writing (page 1 of 5)

To Work Or Not To Work

Well, if only it was that simple.  Truth is I’ve some bits and bobs but not nowhere near enough money coming in.  I’m applying for jobs and writing to organisations that appeal to me most days.  One application can easily take four hours to complete.  That time aside, however , no work means that I have time now to swim three mornings a week – which sets me up for the day mentally and physically – to clean, to clear out years of accumulated stuff in the the flat, to really focus on my piano playing, but most importantly I have had the time to spend with ailing parents and  to help look after a terminally ill friend. If I had a full time job, boy would I be struggling if able to do those things at all.  Goodness knows I have worked hard all my life and  to have such time is so important- but I have no income.

I am determined not to go back to supply teaching but I am realising how hard it is to rid myself of the label “teacher”.  I’ve only done it for the past nine years, but once a teacher you are always perceived as a teacher as if you cannot do anything else – despite the fact the skills and experience it gives you are invaluable and can easily transfer into all sorts of other jobs.  But you are just a teacher.

I have no chance now of earning anywhere near my teachers’ pay.  I have to go back to the beginning. Which is why I am having to take as much emphasis off my teaching career as I can.

Even as I write this I wonder how spoilt and privileged I sound.  And I am.  But I still need an income and changing careers right now is proving really tough.  It’s not a mid life crisis: I am of the generation who won’t be retiring at 65.  I am going to have to work long past that, and so I want to do the best for myself that I can.

This situation with so many positives has got to change pretty damn quick.

A Dilemma And A Question

Long story short.  I have no work at present and annoyingly I am about to have to renew my web host’s services (i.e. if I don’t the website disappears).

I can’t really afford  the money right now, but I love the blog because it keeps my creative juices flowing a bit and so helps my well-being.

I don’t honestly know who reads, likes or hates this blog.  So I am asking you, dear readers, would you like me to keep it going?  If I get an overwhelming positive response (hem-hem) I’ll find the money and continue on.


Human Light

I was really moved by this piece:


Good Grief

Just been into town with my father to help him collect his pension. When we got into Post Office a single cashier was working and serving a male customer. We arrived next and alone in queue.

A woman who had draped herself and her shopping over the two seats (for customers who need to sit) was now dancing back and forth shouting (I think in her head she was helping) at the man being served. She gave out some postcode to the cashier:

“H for Harry, T for tuberculosis…”

By the time the two of them had finished there was 11 people waiting in the queue behind us. I pay attention to detail.

My Dad had forgotten his reading glasses but put in his PIN by sight and touch memory. Once to get the balance, then you have to take out the card and put it back in again (putting in PIN again) a second time to draw out the money. Then repeat with my Mum’s card. Cashier counted out the money loudly which I then shoved in my wallet feeling twitchy at the amount and looking like a son stealing his father’s pension money.

Then I had to go and get a clock battery so left Dad sitting, as it was too far for him to walk, praying he wouldn’t get mugged while I was away. At this point I noticed my flies had been open the whole time.

Went to a jewellers.

I was buzzed through two doors.

I muttered something about not being able to find this battery in any other shop, to which the assistant sweetly commented she was surprised as it is the most common sort. The battery cost £3. I flitted out rapidly making hilarious jest of supposing that transaction made a change from the usual multi-million dollar ones (MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR?) they had. She laughed politely and said they get all sorts.

Yeah, me being one of the “all sorts”.

At least my flies were up.

Annoying People

Actually I could re-title that with a more colourful phrase.

On my way up to Yorkshire again – on train.  When I came back down last week I was watching a film on DVD on laptop and became aware of a voice behind me which never seemed to stop.  I listened and heard the word “drones” (the irony!) and thought he was talking about those flying cameras.  Oh no.  It was bees.  75 minutes without a break on bees.  Just one of the many topics covered was the recessive genes of Italian bee sub-species.  Yes, you can imagine how I was gripped. His voice was of such a pitch that I could hear it through my earphones (I lost my noise-cancelling ones recently damnit).  In the end I gave up on the film and looked around.  Middle aged man with pretty much silent male companion.  Just as I thought I could stand it no more, he got onto his divorce….

At end of journey I heard him say: “We better go back to our seats and get our luggage.”


Today I got on the train, walked to my booked window seat at a table, to find a woman eating a salad at table in the aisle seat (next to mine) and a man opposite her.  She/they had stuff all over the table and she had put clothing on my seat – despite the reservation ticket on it.  I had a cup of coffee so I reached across her to put it on what little space there was on table in front of my seat, and my bag slipped off my shoulder onto the table, knocking her salad everywhere.

Absolutely no chance of getting into the seat now, so I apologised  (too much) and went to sit in (cramped) seat behind. She said in a loud voice something about mayonnaise on cashmere.  I didn’t say if she could afford cashmere she could be First Class with a free meal.

I’m right behind her now.  She made no effort to move any of her stuff, produced more food, stretched across the two seats and now is sitting in my seat by the window.

I’ll just have to watch no coffee spills on her head when I stand up.

The Lettuce Spinner

There is very little more annoying than lettuce spinners.  Bring “forced” to use one is extremely annoying. Struggling to push the lever round in circles as the whole thing moves uncontrollably all over the worktop is mightily annoying.  Having to wash up three large pieces of plastic with nooks and crannies that you can’t get into with the washing up brush is really annoying.

When you then discover that the spinner is designed to drain by means of a series of holes in its base – which is why the work surface is now flooded in green water – that is annoying beyond words.  Far far beyond words.

Quick Update

I’m relaying back and forth to Yorkshire with my brother, caring for our parents.  Dad is recuperating from a heart operation.  All is well.  I am very tired but I am getting quality time with my ancient parents which is good for all of us.  Last day at school tomorrow – possibly my last ever day teaching; who knows.

Job front still at a standstill

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Knock Knock

Well the cat was at Death’s Door yesterday.  She’s arthritic, deaf, has breathing problems and has hyper-thyroidism.  She used to be well-upholstered but now is skin and bones.  She sat yowling, growling and then started turning restlessly.  As it was Friday 3pm and the out-of-hours weekend vet service costs two arms and two legs (as opposed to an arm and a leg for normal hours) I rang the vet feeling anxious and sad and made what felt like the last appointment.

5 minutes later  a fur ball is ejected, followed by a wee in the hall, a snack from the food bowl and she curls up to sleep.

7 minutes later I call back the vet.

It’s Never Sunny But It’s Too Hot.

Well I am with no computer again as my laptop has a cracked motherboard. Perfect. Two deadlines and two Skype interviews this week and I’m still trying to find a job for September. However I am unnaturally calm as everything is out of my hands.

Hey ho. Will be back here as soon as I can.

Writing this on an iPad.  I now know I hate iPads. Cannot put into words how much I hate iPads.


A bolt of shock shot through her as she lay under the weight of his silent body.  The weight of the dead.  The scream that followed did not come out of her mouth, but remained inside her. As it reverberated around her head, her breathing became more strained.  Panic was beginning to take hold of her.  In the few moments before, as he had pushed her onto the bed, his live body had held back some of his weight.  Now, in death, he was smothering her.  Her chest was tight.  She was desperate to breathe in, but as the panic continued to surge through her, her mouth just moved like a fish breathing water.  She remembered the frantic movements of his mouth as his throat had closed against the air he needed, and she gasped, raising her head involuntarily, as  air filled her lungs.  She saw her room, seemingly as empty as it had been when she led him into it, silently stare back at her.  Then her head hit the bed again.

It was a struggle to keep her breathing steady, but not impossible.  It kept her calm and the panic began to wash away.  But this calm was an enemy.  As she regained physical control, she woke up into the full horror of this conclusion to the past events.  Her stomach tightened in a grip of nausea and she knew she had to move.  She kicked her right leg up, almost like a reflex, but it was between his legs and she just felt a flash of pain in her thigh.  His hands were still round her shoulders, his chin rested on her collarbone.  He was mocking her by holding her this way; the body warm, the heart stopped.

Another bout of nausea crawled from her stomach to her throat.  For the first time she was truly afraid.  In a rage of fear, she embraced his torso tightly, and pushed the inside of her knee against his right leg.  By keeping her pressure constant, she forced his body to move.  Pain stirred across her body as she battled against him.  Her head was enclosed by blood pounding in her ears and tears filling her eyes, as if she was losing two of her senses.  She cried out, partly in misery, but partly just to hear a sound.

Now her own body was moving the opposite way, until his right leg fell over the side of the bed and his shoe thumped sharply on the carpet.  That was the sound she needed to hear. She gripped his shoulders firmly and heaved his body away from her.  It crashed out of her sight onto the floor.  As his weight left her, she greeted an intense sense of freedom, and gave a sharp, cold laugh.  She remained motionless for some minutes until she could control her breathing, and had the comforting awareness that she could hardly hear her heartbeat. There was a tickling sensation by her ears. Tears were running down the side of her head.  It was a sweet feeling.

Next she had to sit up, but as she gripped the duvet with both hands, nausea flowed a third time.  Saliva crept out of the corner of her mouth and down her face in a parallel flow to her tears.  She wanted to wipe it away, only her fingers continued to claw the blue cotton beneath her.  She had to look at him. She had to see.  Raising her head slowly, she began pushing up on her elbows.  She reached a sitting position, only to slump forward, her head weighing her down.  Then she swung her legs across the bed and pulled herself onto the floor.  She walked over to a small table, sat down at it, pulled open a drawer and took out a make-up bag.