Just very funny by Hughes.
Just very funny by Hughes.
I can’t remember believing in Santa when I was growing up. Being the youngest of five I don’t think I was afforded that luxury for very long. I pretty much always knew that my mum and dad bought the presents.
Because of this I have turned into a parent who is also very dismissive of the whole ‘Santa’ debacle. I go through the motions don’t get me wrong, I am not the Grinch. Reindeer dust, milk, mince-pie, stockings an all that.
Truth known though do I want my children to think so little of what is happening in the world around them that they can happily think that once a year a big fat man dressed in a red suit gives them stuff made by elves for nothing? That he leaves the other half of the world in famine or stricken with war, with absolutely nowhere to even plug an xbox360 in let alone give them the time in between running for their lives to enjoy a game of Lego Batman? No, not really.
I am not totally dismissive him, I just don’t like the fella. I am a realist and so for those reasons I just chose not to bring him up unless they do.
Also, I don’t really like lying to my kids. I am firm believer in “Sorry kid, this is the world we live in. I am not going to sugar coat this for you. We can only hope to understand it and maybe make it better with how we behave”.
Also let us not forget that kids are very fickle. My 9-year-old daughter asked me this year for the very first time ever if Santa was real and the best I could come up with was. “He is real if you really believe he is real. If you grow out of him then he won’t be real anymore.” (Thank god for Polar Express. If they want their Santa fix then they can watch that). I am sorry. I just cannot be the mum who at the point of her child outright asking her to answer a question. Challenging her for the very truth says. “Yes, that is absolutely real.” When clearly it isn’t. I literally cannot do that. I cannot lie outright to her but nor do I want to rip her childhood to shreds. My choice here has to be. “This is your call.”
Her answer told me everything I needed to hear. “Do you get less presents if you don’t think he is real?” Yea. See, now I know she know’s he isn’t real. The unspeakable has been said without having to be said. “You take your chances.” I replied. The nod and the wink has been done.
I know, I know. The innocence of youth and all that but it is just a tradition a tad too far for me. Parents on the bread line have to explain to their kids why they did not get the things they really, really wanted when Joe Richkid down the road got everything and more.
I guess my non relationship with him as an adult is wholly because I never had him in my life as a kid. I honestly didn’t get to know him, enjoy him or believe in him enough to pass that on. To be honest, I am glad I didn’t. I prefer it real.
I remember one year when my brother discovered where the Christmas presents were hidden. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. He told me and then he took me to them. They were in the bottom of my mum and dad’s wardrobe. Not very well hidden if you ask me. He got every single one of them out. God only knows where my mum and dad were that we could just empty their wardrobe full of our presents and play with them on their bedroom floor for half a day without being disturbed.
I just remember seeing Tiny tears. All I ever wanted. I was beside myself at that moment.
Except I wasn’t beside myself that Christmas morning. We didn’t wake up early with our stomach’s tight with sheer excitement. There was nothing to get up for. The joy of Christmas day had been ruined because I knew exactly what was wrapped up under that tree. I had to open my presents and feign surprise and I remember just hoping there was maybe one thing that had been hidden somewhere else that would make me jump for joy. Or maybe Santa did exist and there would be something from him. There wasn’t.
So yes. I will be glad when my children get passed the whole Santa thing. I wish I could buy into it but I honestly just can’t. I cannot be the only one who want’s to shove his sack where the sun don’t shine surely?
So today was the dreaded fortnightly trip to the job center and believe me it IS dreaded. It is just an hour out of my day where I am patronised by a man sat behind a desk paid to do not much else other than well patronise me basically. Hell, I want his job, I could probably do it better.
Here is how some of today’s meeting went.
‘I think you should consider dumbing your CV down’
‘You told me that already, twice and I have ‘dumbed it down’ now, twice. I don’t think dumbing it down any more is going to help me find a job that matches my skills, quite the opposite I think I will end up missing out on opportunities’
‘It is still a bit too impressive’
‘When did that become a negative?’
‘Well, you know. The people at these companies they might just look at this and think that you will be after their job’
‘Did I miss a meeting? Do all companies in this area now just employ incredibly insecure people to do their interviewing?’
‘There are a lot of applicants for these jobs, usually over a hundred’
‘Yes I know, but are you saying that all of these companies are going to pick the CV belonging to the person who has achieved the least during their career? These are very unambitious businesses then, I am surprised they are still operating’
‘Well, it is all the higher management experience you have, people might feel uncomfortable with that’
‘Yes, but if they actually read my CV they can do the math surely and see that those positions were before I had children and when I worked full-time. My last senior management job was 8 years ago and my recent positions have been part-time due to my circumstances, and actually the experience I had in my previous jobs made me a more valuable member of the team so I am not sure that what you are telling me is making any sense?’
‘Well, I am just saying, if you are applying for an Admin job for instance it might be a good idea not to have in your CV that you have been in management’
‘Look, I was in my last job for 5 years, they took me on based on my past experience. I didn’t exactly split the atom there, they can see what I can do it is relevant to the jobs that I am applying for’
‘Well, it’s just a thought.’ He ended whist sliding a job application form towards me for ‘cashier at bargain booze’.
‘I can’t apply for this’ I said pushing it back, ‘I have no retail experience and it involves working weekends and evenings which I can’t do’
‘There is no harm in just applying for it anyway’ He replied, pushing it back….. Sorry but WTF??
See the trouble is I am just an annoying little statistic to him and he can’t seem to really offer me any constructive help. I have worked all my life. I have qualifications and a good career history and I actually want to work. I HATE staying at home because I actually really enjoy having routine in my life which is why since I haven’t been employed I have filled my days looking for work, applying for jobs, researching how effective maybe going self-employed would be, writing, attending photography courses and just doing constructive things rather than sitting on my arse all day watching Jeremy Kyle and Homes under the hammer.
The problem is that I now live in a seaside town and jobs here are few and far between and hard to come by. When a half decent one does come up there are usually well over a hundred applicants for. Which by his standards means that I should be washing dishes at the local cafe rather than applying for jobs that I would actually be good at.
To him I should just apply for anything at all. Anything. It doesn’t matter to him that I would like a job that I am good at and can make a difference in or that if the hours are past a certain point I end up financially worse off than I am now because of child care costs. He doesn’t care that the reason I didn’t apply for a job that he suggested was because it would take me four hours to reach there and back without my own transport, so realistically as a single mother with two children in primary school that wouldn’t be a feasible option. He isn’t bothered that it is impossible for me to do a job that means I have to work weekends or evenings or that it is a job that I have no relevant experience in what so ever. He just want’s me and my sorry little statistical ass off his chair. End of. Well I am sorry. I have worked all my life and paid into this system that I now find myself helplessly and hideously pulled into. I do not want to be here any more than he wants me to be but if it takes me a little while to find the right job for me, then so be it.
There is nothing constructive or positive about these meetings. They just make me feel depressed, angry, worthless and fearful for anyone who finds themselves out of work and looking for a good support system. Sorry to disappoint you, it doesn’t exist.
I do know that I will get a job. Something will come up but unfortunately they ‘come up’ a lot less around here so until then I think I am going to have to sit and listen to his shockingly poor advice and I guess dumb my CV down some more every two weeks until I am just sending companies a blank piece of paper with my name scrawled across it in the handwriting of a 5-year-old child.
Sorry for the rant but I needed to get that one off my chest!
Peace and love.
My 9-year-old daughter has a very obsessive nature. (‘I wonder where she gets that from’ I hear you cry laughingly whilst pointing your finger squarely at me). She doesn’t just ‘like’ things she becomes all consumed by them.
She doesn’t have early onset of OCD which I briefly worried about when she was younger as I only have to visit her bedroom and attempt to wade across the room to become very aware the ‘Compulsive’ and ‘Disorder’ traits have passed her by.
She has two levels of ‘obsessive’ the first one is her unwavering obsessions which are books and bears. In particular ‘build a bears’. She has obsessed over books and bears for many years and I have now lost count of how many she has. I can tell you that if I had brought all her books to the new house when we moved I would have had to hire a separate van. She currently has around 500 books (all read) on her kindle and about 150 (all read) in her room (and mostly on the floor). These two obsessions show no sign of ever abating.
Regarding the bears, my saving grace was that the nearest build a bear workshop to us is about 60 miles away and so that little obsession fell upon her dad to satisfy. Or should I say it was. I was
horrified so pleased to find out that they were opening one in Blackpool that I wanted to throw myself off Blackpool Tower literally danced around the room with joy.
So, she has poured over the website religiously since she found out and she knows where it will be, when it is opening. She has already entered the competition to win the chance to open the store and have a build a bear party.
I can see what little money I have flying out of the window and that each and every weekend from now to eternity will be spent in Blackpool town center with her and her list (which she has already written) of every bear and outfit she wants. I am aware that I will have to break her heart on a regular basis telling her she can’t have every single
extortionately overpriced piece of fur crap and clothes that cost more than normal sized ones bear and accessory in the shop. Furthermore I liked the fact that it was Daddy’s job to break her heart on this one.
That aside her other level of obsession is anything else. Anything else at all that she has come across that she will then research within an inch of its life. She will then spend hideous amounts of time looking into it and relaying each and every tiny little piece of information she has found out to a very
weary interested me.
However, that aside. This blog post is about her newest obsession and will give you an insight into how things go. This is about contact lenses.
After 5 pairs of smashed glasses because they fell off and got trod on, she ran into a wall, or she got hit in the face by a ball I had pretty much had enough and thought we might try out contact lenses. The mistake that I made was that I told her about it a week before the opticians appointment. A week. A full week of her being able to obsess about it. And obsess she did.
Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci is frequently credited with introducing the idea of contact lenses in his 1508 codex of the eye, Manua D? No, nor did I. Did I want to know that? Probably not. She looked up absolutely everything that she could about them and she talked to me incessantly all week-long about her finding.
The other thing that she did was a bit more radical.
Me – ‘Frankie, what on earth are you doing with your finger stuck on your eyeball, stop it!’.
Her – ‘No, I need to get used to having a foreign body on my iris before my lens fitting’.
Pretty much all week you couldn’t look at her without her finger being stuck on her eyeball.
The day came for her fitting and I had the talk with her. ‘Look, don’t worry if you struggle getting them in and out at first, it is really hard to get used to. Sometimes you must have three or more appointments before you can do it properly’
I was reminded in my thoughts whilst having this chat with her about the one I had with her as I was taking the stabilisers off her bike when she was four. ‘Don’t worry, I will hold onto the back of the bike. It takes time and once you get your balance ….. YOU WILL BE FINE’. That last bit was yelled at her as she faded into a spot in the distance having just got on the thing and rode off.
We got there and the optician was lovely and my daughter told the lady whose actual job was contact lenses everything she ever needed to know about them and then, yes she did just put them on her finger and pop them in her eye and took them back out again without even flinching. The optician was gobsmacked. I was not surprised in the least.
Sadly the ones that were at the shop didn’t fit so we have to go back when they have her size in, which gives her another week or so to become more of an expert on them. *sigh*
Thank you for reading lovely people.
I was a little bit fed up last night and posted a photograph that I had found from high school onto Facebook. What ensued was the funniest trip down memory lane I have had in years with some old high school friends. With that in mind I decided to blog about a few events that I can remember clearly from those days. This may end up being a long blog so if you are not interested in my high school memories you might want to log out now!
I largely remember my high school days being really good. I never had any problems or issues and I certainly can’t remember disliking it. I think that I was really lucky in my friendship groups and we basically just had a damn good time, here are a few things that I remember vividly.
The school I attended was called Cardinal Vaughn and it was an all girls Catholic school. My mum thought sending me there would keep me out of trouble (oh little did she know) and the one thing that all girl Catholic secondary schools have is nuns. I only remember two of them Sister John and Sister Carmen and one was nice and one was hateful.
They used to just appear in front of you out of the blue like they actually did just float about the place. One of these nuns took us for typing and it is because of her that I can now touch type a billion words a minute because you either did that or you got smashed on the hand with a ruler really, really hard. Sometimes she would just smash you on the hand with a ruler for no good reason at all.
———- Mrs Renshaw
Mrs Renshaw’s car ————-
Mrs Renshaw was our needlework teacher. (No, needlework was not an activity, it was an actual lesson in those days) and the only thing I really remember making was a blue A line school skirt and a puppet.
Needlework was a bit like Art and Cooking, to us it meant ‘no real work involved’. It was a lesson that we all just dossed about in relentlessly.
What I remember about this teacher was that she was absolutely tiny and had one massive tooth and we pretty much crucified her on a daily basis.
The other memory is us playing ‘Kingsy’ with a tennis ball during break. The ball had been thrown and about 30 of us were chasing it down. It headed towards the MASSIVE metal dinner bins at the end of the playground that were conveniently located right by the teachers car park. The ball went under the dinner bin, and so of course did we, all of us. To be fair, her car was probably a write off so I can understand how upset she was. You have never seen so many girls run away from a scene as fast as we did. We got caught and boy did we get bollocked to high heaven.
Oh boy. Miss Roberts. She was our butch lesbian high school teacher of fear. She had her favorites and if you were lucky enough to be one of them I believe she had a nice side, but largely she hated kids. To make matters worse we had her for two lessons, History and PE. History wasn’t too bad I just kept my head down and sat as far away from her as I could but PE was another story. Her very favorite thing to do was if you forgot your towel was make you shower anyway and then she would give you a few paper towels and make you run around the sports hall naked with just them to cover your modesty until you were dry. Lovely lady, I believe she has passed away now, I doubt she got into heaven either.
The Hall and Courtfield
When you got to 4th year you didn’t have to go out at break times anymore. You had earned the right huddle in front of the radiators with your group of friends in the hall instead. However, the real holy grain came in 5th year when you got a whole building to yourselves, Courtfield. This was a small building that was located in the playground. The downstairs of this place was used for Art class (or doss class as I used to call it). Upstairs was where we used to hang out, unsupervised at all times during break time. The things we did in courtfield included fighting, openly smoking, making up excruciatingly bad plays, performing excruciatingly bad plays to a room full of people who really did not want to watch them and prolifically doing Ouija boards in order to scare the very shit out of ourselves.
Lastly – The strike.
Towards the end of our last year something must have set our teenage hormones raging and we decided to go on strike. The scary thing about this is actually how effectively we did it. We had pretty much the whole year involved and we refused to speak to the teachers in any way shape or form. We had people who had various jobs, like listening outside the staff room and reporting back what was going on, we had meetings about what we would do next (which largely just involved us deciding we would ignore the teachers a bit more). We had people telling us when any of the teachers were coming so we could gear ourselves up for ignoring them with a tad more attitude. We wouldn’t even speak to them in class if they spoke to us directly and I seem to remember that this went on for quite a while.
I can’t remember what had kicked all this off and I can’t remember if it worked or not but eventually people got bored and dropped off leaving just a few hard corers still fighting for justice. I can also remember that I got suspended from school over it for being a ‘ring leader’ and I missed the last week which involved the handing out of certificates and the leaving party. I never did get those certificates and I now wonder if they did this on purpose because they were worried about what my choice of outfit would be!
There are loads of other things I remember but this blog post will end up like war and peace if I carry on. So high school friends or anyone else for that matter please feel free to post any memories that you have in the blog comments I would love to hear them.
It’s a good job that bloke in France wasn’t my maths teacher! Although a male teacher did chase me upstairs with a video recorder up my skirt on this day (and who can blame him!) and my French teacher did give me a weeks detention once because I got my hair cut… wtf!!!
The 80′s crew.
Peace and Love my friends.
I usually reserve the kind of mood I am in at the moment for January when my winter blues take hold, but they seem to have taken hold a little bit early this year.
Where the hell has my motivation gone? I hate it when the house is all disorganised and messy, it stresses me out like mad.
I keep walking into rooms and thinking, right I really, really need to get this sorted out right now. Then ten minutes later I am back on my arse with a cup of tea staring at photographs on Flickr or writing an unnecessary blog post about being unmotivated.
The kids were away for a couple of days at the weekend. It is now Thursday and I haven’t even unpacked their bags yet!
I am wondering if this has happened through a lack of any real summer this year or if I just have to accept there are just times when this happens and it’s ok, because at some point I will wake up and be back to my old self running around and getting things done? At the moment I am not sure I will ever feel like that again though!
Well, this was just a short blog post to allow me to procrastinate for yet another 10 minutes rather than actually do any of the umpteen things that I really have to do today, which I am going to make a start on right now… Well maybe I will have just one more cup of tea first and have a little read of this…. http://www.productiveflourishing.com/how-to-recover-from-10-types-of-demotivation/! That is productive, no?
Oh, and just for the record… If you type ‘Demotivated’ into Google Images you get a whole load of tit shots. Am I missing another meaning for that word?
Bet you just googled it didn’t you?