localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Well the Local Lurgy continues - Mum has got it, Nanny has got it, it continues to linger mostly quietly-but-painfully in my tonsils which is copeable provided it DOES NOT GO ANYWHERE ELSE OR GET ANY WORSE. Seriously. Curtain up on Thursday for our three-day theatre run of Hamlet and I do not need to be sicker for that.

Yesterday I went to Liverpool to participate in the Liverpool Stands With American Women march and kind of spammed my social media about it. I actually know the organiser, who spoke on Radio 4 yesterday(!). I've just been re-watching the speeches I recorded and I really am so glad I went. I hadn't been sure I'd be able to get there in time. People came for many reasons- many of the speakers touched on their own causes and local concerns- the effects of Brexit on women's rights in the workplace and employment, the possible closure of the local Women's hospital, issues about Local Authority cuts outsourcing rape and emergency services to bad-rep companies like G4S, but ultimately their reasons were the same as mine. I went because I have friends in America, and they are scared right now. There are people young and old who are scared for what this regime means for themselves and their loved ones, who are scared at what this symbolises- an erosion of human rights and human safety and of bigots, triumphantly feeling they have the right to victimise, assault and hurt others and The Law- or at least The President- would back them up, is on their side. I went because I wanted to stand there so that all of those people can see that they have friends in other countries- in their own country- and all over the world and we want to help them, we want to be there for them and we want them to know THEY ARE NOT ALONE.

We have of late experienced some of that fear, on a smaller scale, when Brexit and the Farages and UKIP twats of this world won the vote- creating a climate of fear and racism and bigotry on a scale that I have never before seen in my real life. A friend of mine tells me when she goes out running her parents now warn her "be careful, don't go out in the dark, there are immigrants around" - never mind THE WHOLE TOWN has always been 'full of immigrants'- it was formed, not even that long ago, for and with migrant workers from Ireland, Poland, Greece... *sigh*

I hope that anyone who saw our march understood that. I hope that anyone seeing the tweets, particularly those who were too scared to march or their communities to unsafe for them to do so, saw an embrace the whole world was offering. It is sympathy. It is empathy. It is resistance and- I hope- it is hope.
localfreak: (carryon)
So it's my birthday today.
A
a
a
a
a
aghhfusdhfodhsdons

I've been really dreading this one. I can't believe I'm 30. I've been wracked with occasional waves of deep inadequacy for weeks leading up to the day (ohgodiveachievesolittlejesusdiedat33whatthefuckareyoudoingwithlifeyourealsogoingtodiealoneandunsnoggedbyanone)

but actually today's been really nice. I've had so many people sending me cards and well wishes and presents I feel wholly spoiled and absolutely undeserving that so many people would think of me and send me things. (I always find birthdays a bit difficult because of this. Christmas is easier because then everyone gets presents so it doesn't feel quite so overwhelming!) I really am lucky to have such lovely friends and family members. I got a necklace, and a beautiful probably-terrifyingly-expensive pen, Wolverine-awesomethings, oomics and a lot of vouchers and money because I start Uni next week and I am in DESPERATE need of a laptop so the majority of funds will go to that...though maybe a little to spare to finally treat myself to Against Me's Trans Dysphoria Blues album for car journey rocking.

I watched Sherlock Holmes (The RDJ film) this evening. I have avoided it previously as, after seeing the trailer, I concluded I would not like it. I was correct in my original assumption. I actually liked RDJ's performance (sort of) but I would've enjoyed the whole thing better if it had been just an action story with no mention of Holmes, Watson, Adler, Mary, the chequebook, the gambling habit, the injuries to Watson's shoulder and leg...because it all reminded me of something that it was not. A pugilist Holmes? Of course. But Alesteir-Crowley type cults, creepy sex-rituals and ridiculous anachronisms? No. Sorry but No. Sad face all around.

I am wallowing in my new stationary whilst I wait for my new laptop to arrive. So exciting times!
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
It's been a really shitty kind of week this week. That is a poor choice of words right there, sorry. But BASICALLY I've been REALLY ILL all week. It started at about 4AM on Tuesday morning and Mum came down at the same time which led us to believe food poisoning but other people have had a remarkably similar D&V bug lately so the jury is still out. I actually think I have been more ill this time than the time a few years ago when I had the Norovirus.

I'm trying not to overshare, because when I am ill I kind of want to and it is just awkward because I will undoubtedly regret it. So I'm just going to say I HAVE BEEN REALLY ILL and it has been TERRIBLE.

In ADDITION to that, my darling puppy-dog, my little ginger slug, my old tigger, my reading-and-cuddles companion for over twelve years had to go to be put to sleep on Wednesday. It had been a bit...ominous for a while. My Ferny had a cough, which put extra pressure on her dicky heart because there was fluid build up but after the vet upped her last lot of medication she perked up again. But the weather has been getting colder the past few weeks and then on Monday night we were walking and she just stopped. She didn't fall, but she knew she didn't feel safe walking so Auntie I had to carry her home and although she was pottering around again the next day it was really the last sign.

I can't even begin to think how much I am going to miss her yet. She has been as much my dog as my Auntie's really, when you tot up all our time together.

I am currently dealing with this by denial. Because apart from one small breakdown on the evening after it happened, I have been too ill (and because of ill therefore headachey, dehydrated and not eating anything) to actually deal with life properly. So instead I have indulged a newly formed obsession that started a week ago when I read a fanfic Avengers AU in which Steve and Bucky are internet vloggers. And so I looked up some well known vloggers to try and understand this more and got hooked on danisnotonfire and Amazing Phil. So I spend three days watching their danandphilgames TheSims series whilst sipping water and ignoring the real world.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
It is very hard not having twitter. Not just for the tweeting, but also for my feed- reading what everyone is saying, having something to scroll through before I get out of bed in a morning.

I can't really let on how much it has bothered me at work because *hand wavey complicated people suck* reasons.

People always claim that social media killed the art of socialising, but I think for many of us it enhanced it. I know what I'm like, the chances of me keeping in touch with my friends from college after we all left would've been extremely slim if facebook didn't appear when we were at Uni, but my facebook is by necessity very censored- it had to be, the moment that friends-who-were-actually-aquaintances-with-shared-interests or university-project-partners appeared on, and that has only continued as family members, my altar servers, distant relations, people from church, poetry and singing continue to be added to it. I didn't LIKE adding people from work, but unfortunately when I started and people added me I couldn't work out how I could say no although I never actively request anyone. So these days my facebook tends to be sharing local news (e.g. road closures, local events), arranging meetings and occasional photos of the dog/Blue Flower. Oh, and what I'm reading.

Twitter was mine. When I was alone in strange cities, sitting in solitary cafes with no one to share things with, I tweeted. When I wanted to rant, I tweeted. When I wanted to laugh, I tweeted. It has been my vent and PURE FUN. I wouldn't rant about fanfiction or bad spelling on facebook, or ever say if my mood was poor. These days that kind of thing prompts people assuming you want an actual conversation or, at the least lots of "u ok hun?" "hugs" "thinking of u xx" "msg me if u want 2 talk" which NO. NO. I don't want to talk and I don't want attention or hugs I just wanted to speak, vent, to be a voice crying in the wilderness, to Talk To Myself.

Anyway. I have 30 days (just under) before my account properly dies so I can change my mind and change my pseud there if I want but because of *handwavey can't explain here* Reasons I am not sure this method would prevent said Outer from finding me and causing trouble.

Soo...I'm off now to take the grandmother to see the Mikado at the pictures. Hope it's a good show!
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Tonight I finally got access to the television and watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I saw it when it came out at the cinema, and bought it a few years ago where it has sat in the cellophane ever since.

It is hard to watch films at home, because I don't actually like watching films on my own, when Mum is in the house. This is why she has control of the television most of the time- because I will sit in the room and, if not always watch (often I'm reading fanfic), at least we are sharing space peacefully. Wheras, if I put something on that I want to watch (so, when I still watched Agents of SHIELD, before I fell off the wagon) she tends to leave the room and go...do ironing or something. It's not a new thing- there is a reason I had a video player in my room, but it...I do like having someone to watch WITH. Anyway she kind of watched. She laughed a bit at the beginning and then played Patience on the tablet the whole time...but oh well.

I'm feeling a bit emotionally fragile now, because GRAHAM AND MANOJ and it is SO SAD and BEAUTIFUL and I know it ends so lovelily and positively but that just makes me MORE likely to spend half of the film in choking sobs.

Which I duly did- and no sunny walk home from the pictures to compose myself with.

*sniff*

I'm a bit moody and changeable at the moment. Frustrated by the mother who has not telephoned for an electrician. She has painted a wall. Because, you know, obviously that was more important than FUCKING LIGHTS. Urgh. Well. There's not much I can do unless I raid her documents and ring the guy myself. Which there's not much point doing as I'm never home and I have no idea when she is. So that's a bit of a bugger. And you know, stresed about my job and life and December and wanting to make time to spend with people but at the same time I have assignments to do and work and there's not enough hours in the day. Zog just texted me asking what I was doing this weekend (read, did I want to do things with her) but we went out for a meal last Saturday (which was lovely) and I do have vague plans to go to Manchester tomorrow so I cried off. I feel bad but I need to spend time with the mother too. She doesn't see anyone but my Nanny all week and it can get really tense and I worry because she doesn't go out to have fun or join clubs to make friends...and Cliff has been dead some years now...and I just worry. Particularly in Winter. I just want her to be happy- I want all of them to be happy- but they seem to just...not be very good at trying to find ways to have fun themselves. If I had been a reasonable little freak and produced some grandchildren by now we wouldn't have this problem. But we do. And I don't get why no one but me worries about these things. Zog and I once agreed that between us we probably worry enough for the whole family between us.

Keep on Keeping On. I think maybe that's why I like Marigold Hotel so much:

It will be alright in the end. And if it is not yet alright, it is not yet the end.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
It was the mother's birthday yesterday and the semi-secret party went off very well indeed. She had presents to open and there were mountains of cake and even our little Blue Flower had fun toddling around with a miniature pork pie in one hand, making a great mess on the glass of the staircase by kissing her reflection in it.

To give an idea of the food:
Individual wrap slices
Mini pork pies, plain, with bramlet apple and with branston picke on top
Sausage rolls
scotch eggs
chicken legs
vast little sandwiches

Home made cakes:
Chocolate cake with pouring cream
Raspberry trifle
Fruit salad trifle
Carrot cake without icing
Carrot cake with icing
Fruit and nut cake with Ameretto

Bought cakes:
A huge raspberry sponge cake with a photo of Mum aged 3 on it with stars etc, design courtesy of yours truly with help from the Asda's cake printing service

A beautiful iced cake with yellow flowers- content as yet unknown but I'm hoping for a fruit cake!

Quite the feast, though there were a lot of mouths to feed with it.


Much fun was had by all, anyway, and we're going to see Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the theatre next weekend as part of her present, and I also managed to find the first two seasons of Old Harry's Game a radio show about the devil, played by Andy Hamilton, that we both adored when it was on. (If it is findable online, I do recommend it most highly.)
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Well I spoke to the council man the next day and he apologised and has sent a correct bill out to the right address. So that HOPEFULLY is resolved. I say hopefully because my trust in their ability to not make a hash of things dwindled pretty much from the first phonecall over this whole mess in which, when I pointed out my change of address had been registered with the council in order that I was in the right ward on the electoral roll register I got a reply of "Well that department doesn't talk to us". OH REALLY. And I suppose that if you came to the hospital with a broken leg and people didn't give you your heart medication whilst on the ward the response "Well, Cardiology department systems don't speak to Orthopaedic systems" would be A TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

*sigh* Anyway so yes, massive relief, the mother might actually sleep through the night this week etc etc.

It feels like an awful lot is happening this week. My Auntie has sold her house and is going to be moving in with her boyfriend down South. I'm happy for her but there is a bit of a mixed reaction- it is a long way away and Nanny occasionally has been known to allow herself to be gently bossed around by said Auntie when she won't accept it from my mother or my other Auntie (because, you know, Auntie M knows what she is talking about far more than the two who work/have worked in the NHS/Medical Profession....). Things like, you know, eating sensibly, resting, keeping hydrated etcetera. So it's a bit hard if she is further away. On the other hand her boyfriend is retiring and their planning on setting up a dog training school which is something she is not only eminently qualified to do but something she has always dreamt of doing. So...it's nice to see someone following their dreams and going for it.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Yesterday was my graduation for my MA. I wasn't really looking forward to it - it was a bit of a drive and I was panicking about finding our way there, about the dogs being okay until my Auntie got in early from work to take care of them back home, about Nanny being up to the walking, about finding where I needed to go etc. A cousin of mine graduated in PHD robes by accident for his MA, because the gown people mixed up the gowns so that was an added panic- he dealt with it with amused aplomb, my reaction in a similar situation would be Total Meltdown.

So it is just as well it didn't happen. The drive there was a bit fraught (and the one back much more so due to long queues on motorways and being baked alive in a hot car). But it was wonderfully well organised, there were plenty of places to sit- or park relatives to sit- and get drinks etc. I was robed (correctly) in some very nice robes of grey with blue trim and, quite frankly if they had tried to give me a PHD robe by accident I would definitely as noticed as the PHD recipients were few and resplendent in scarlet and gold. The ceremondy was decently brief, and the only slight downside was that they pronounced my surname wrong- in Lancaster for my undergraduate degree, someone had slipped to each of the students with unusal names before the ceremony and checked the spelling, writing out phonetically for the speaker. But still, it is a small thing and I am rather used to it (although I swear I felt my mother twitching in the aisle. She has never got over how much she hates it when our surname is mis-pronounced whereas I was quite bored of correcting people by the time I turned ten). In a suprise turn of affairs for me I was the only one graduating with my award. We were only a small group of distance learners so, for some, perhaps the distance was too far or else they did not finish their dissertations- the forum boad quickly deserted once we had begun that module. Still, it had the advantage that the photograph company got a good shot of me shaking the Chancellor's hand, so we bought copies for the family, as well as a couple of copies of me in the studio pose.

The weather was gloriously sunny, which helped make it very pleasant to sit under the marquees and people watch. How young some of the undergrads looked! It made me feel quite old...and yet somehow it could be in a few years time I might be doing this all again.

One of the University staff on the podium facing us looked the spit of someone from Lancaster, I am sure- but I don't think he was every my tutor and therefore I have totally forgotten his name. It could well be him: most of my Lancaster tutors and lecturers dispersed after cuts to the Arts led to them amalgamating the cultural studies staff with the sociology staff- a state of affairs that neither group was happy with. There is a thin blurry line between cultural studies and sociology, but there is a line nontheless.

Anyway on the whole a very good but tiring day. I have spent attempting to recoup my energy somewhat- and my hydration as I think I only ate a cake and a museli bar all day yesterday and drank very little.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I am doing a LOT of learning this week. It is very exciting. Today I searched for 17 articles for one person and managed 5 pdfs and 2 urls and all but three I could put requests on to our affiliates for them to send them to me (the other three I have another system they need to go into but I need to stagger my requests on there).

I felt so bloody proud about that.

Yesterday I pulled together my first horizon-scanning/acadmic papers RTYI bulletin for my old team.

Tomorrow I have to write a presentation I then need to give on Monday morning.



In non-work stuff I am also singing in a concert tomorrow so have spent the evening trying to learn the lyrics. My only regret is I have no hair dye in so I shall have to sing with my newly-reappeared white streak in my hair (*sob* not even thirty *sob)
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
WOOOOH Show is over! It is done! All went well. Or, at least, any fluffs were minor and the audience liked it. My friends came to see it and were lovely, and Mum, Nanny, Uncle Rob and our friend Ann came as well (Mum came three nights out of four because she is both crazy and lovely, what was good to hear though is I was slightly out of time on the last night and Mum said she didn't notice and if anyone was likely to notice in the audience it would've been her).

We had the wrap party last night, the disco was good (wooh, function room with cheesy disco and only people who were invited allowed in the room so I felt comfortable enough to make a tit of myself dancing to a few songs. It is funny though because in many of the speeches people commented on the 'diverse group of people' all coming together for the show, and we were that. One lady, who I want to start by saying was always perfectly nice to me, had spend the whole of the previous night talking excitedly with one or two others about 'getting plastered', which makes me feel disapproving puritannical thoguhts that I hopefully hide from my face because...urgh...how can people older than me not have grown out of that kind of 'fun'. Her boyfriend came with her to the party and I had JUST ARRIVED (so the night was very young) and he was following her, feeling her bum as she walked and then ADJUSTING HIMSELF, so I naturally had to give them both an incredibly wide berth of 'awkward, apparently you like them caveman-style non-verbal knuckle-draggers'.

But yeah it was good and, I'm telling you, the lad who was the lead and is studying theatre I will be WATCHING THIS SPACE because I could genuinely see him going silver-screen famous in a few years.

Loads of people were all tearful and sad it was over, there was excessive hugging, which did make me feel like a souless git but I'm not at all sad it is over. We did it, it is the end of a job done well, I just feel pleased it has happened and at the same time happy to move on (and actually, you know, see my home other than to sleep for the first time in weeks).

So despite getting in at 1am and reading my library book till half past, I've been trying to be industrious today and enjoy Finding Home. We took Nanny shopping and I got stuff for work lunches this week, the I helped Auntie Irene with a job in her garden, finally put the cover back on the settee seat that has been off for an embarrasingly long time, and hoovered the settee, cut the grass and planted some things in the garden (also cleaned up a dead baby bird, put my hand in and then cleaned up cat poo in my vegetable patch and Something A Cat Had Buried In The Garden That Might Have Been Alive Once which I tried not to look at too closely. CATS! Every time I start to thaw about you you SHIT EVERYWHERE IN MY GARDEN and KILL THINGS. THIS IS NOT ENDEARING IT'S BLOODY AWFUL!)Oh, and wrote some letters that need posting. So, even though I had other jobs on my list, I don't feel like I've wasted the day.

I am seriously considering putting some sort of discreet alarm on my phone that reminds me to tidy or clean one thing every evening after tea. Except tomorrow because I have singing lessons.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I have a new car! It is shiny and red and fun. I picked it up on Tuesday and have done my run to work each day since. I still have a lot to learn (like where the hell are the rear wipers?) but on the whole I am really enjoying it. I feel like I'm tempting fate somewhat but for the first time EVER I have actually enjoyed driving, even if it is in the rush hour crawl.

Driving has always been something I learned to do because I felt I needed to. Buses and I don't get on AT ALL and I disapprove of their expense, so prior to learning my options were always the train or Shanks' Pony (walking, to those not versed in our dialect) so I always knew that, even though I put it off through Uni (on the basis that Lancaster is not a land made for driving and also that, terrible as buses normally are, when I started Uni it was a pound return to town from campus, so the cheapest buses I have ever ridden), I knew that the moment I was back home that driving would be A Thing I Needed To Do. And I have, I've been driving for just over five years now, but it has never been a pleasure, just a necessity. Every detour from my route easily becomes a panic, such as going for petrol (oh god the right turn out of the petrol station at rush hour will be horrendous and and and).

For some reason, with this car I just feel so bloody comfortable with it. Yeah, I haven't found all the stuff and what all the shiny shiny buttons do yet but I have felt an odd sense of confidence behind the wheel. Maybe it's tha the seats are better, and that I'm higher up from the road. Maybe its that I can't feel every pothole, or that the engine is astoundingly quiet, I don't know but I- I just feel happy about it. I hope this feeling continues!!
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Well, after my exciting news in my previous post I had a few days off, which I generally enjoyed by visiting [personal profile] still_lycoris , going to rehearsals and puppy sitting Fern and Snoopy as my Auntie had two days at Crufts (my other Auntie was manning a stall there, but Gunner's a bit too much to manage so went to stay with a friend of hers who also has Vislas). I also joined up for some singing lessons and attended the first session- it was okay, I know most of the people there from the play rehearsals, but really brought through my musical ignorance- I barely knew any of the songs they are currently working on! Some I knew a tiny bit, but certainly no lyrics! So I've got something to work on there- they also wanted us to start on The Partridge Family- I Think I Love You which, by gum, I do not like. It is damnably hard to sing.

THEN things got really interesting. When I got back into work on Wednesday I found out that no sooner had I got the job on Thursday Chez and L in our office have BOTH got new jobs and are handing in their notice. That makes all three of us lowly 'scut monkeys' (the ones on the least money who do all the practical things that keep the bigger projects going) leaving in a bundle! It's all such a weird coincidence. I'm torn between worried because Temps!Who'll MESSMYHARDWORK UP! and dreadfully amused. The upshot is however I haven't yet been told when exactly I'll be able to leave to start my new job, as although my notice period is two months if I were leaving properly, usually secondment and transfers are shorter- but Chez and L's notice periods were both one month so it just...depends how soon people can be found I guess. I mean, I'm only going to be down the corridoor it's not like I can't nip back and dispense advice when needed (and I expect it will be, but a part of me is like "I expressed my concerns to  my manager months ago that no one else was left in the office who knew how to do elements of my job and when I suggested showing the others as back up she brushed it off so she's made her bed")

So, that is that. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, so on my way home (late) from work on Friday (teaching overran) I stopped off at the Co-Op and bought mum flowers and chocolates- I also used her Co-op points card and so she got a coupon for £1 off as well! A bit unimaginative, I know, but the card I ordered will make up for that, hopefully, and we are going to see a play in a couple of weeks in Liverpool. I haven't had chance to go shopping without her to get anything more interesting. We got Nanny two Orchids the other week (she likes Orchids).



localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
It has been an eventful couple of days for yours truly.

On Thursday I was at a day-long 'assessment centre' interview for a job in the library where I currently work- our office (Education) shares a kitchen with the Library staff and we share photocopiers etc so I already know the people who work there very well. This new assessment centre process was very nerve-wracking though as it's all based on scores- and it wasn't just the current library people doing the scoring.

Cut for details )

I came out feeling really gloomy, like I'd just messed it up too much. Imagine my suprise then when they rang me later that evening and OFFERED ME THE JOB.

*cue flailing and hyperventilating*

Yeah! So, I'm off for a few days on leave anyway but when I get back in I'm going to have to start thinking handover and such. It's kind of sad because there are quite a few bits of my current job I enjoy doing and will really REALLY miss (and also feel very protective over like 'someone might come and FUCK IT ALL UP because they don't understaaaand') but really it's a practical move. I like the library, there's actual room for progression and further skills, and it's more money for something that will, quite frankly, be marginally less responsibility overall. (Or if I am wrong about that I'll at least be being paid to have responsibility rather than just...having to do it anyway!)

So yes. Exciting. Terrifying. Mum thinks it's awesome I might get to train to be a librarian and may need regular de-clawing (she thinks the librarians are the BEST THINGS ABOUT NIGHT VALE EVER).

Yesterday was my first day off which was spent quietly with Mum looking for a replacement teapot (she dropped it and it smashed on the morning of my interview which I thought rather foreboding) and then puppy-sitting as Auntie Irene has gone to Crufts. Took Fern and Snoopy on a big long walk around the park to keep them out of Nanny's hair for a bit and tire them out and then in the afternoon I got the train to see my Uncle, and we went out to see The Snake in the Grass at Southport's Little Theatre. I didn't know the plot at all and tried not to look up much about it beforehand for feat of spoilers. commentary under the cut for spoilers )

It was all very enjoyable to watch and I certainly hope that if they do any more my Uncle fancies going to I'll get to go with him. I got this chance on happenstance as his brother, who he would otherwise have asked, is in Chicago for work. I hope I proved a suitable enough companion that we shall get to go again.

This morning Mum has taken Nanny out food shopping and I have cheerfully volunteered to stay behind, eat porridge and clean the bathroom. I've done the first so now I'm off to the second task. Urg. But I'd rather be cleaning than shopping! Am puppy sitting again today so will be taking the hounds out later for a long trot weather permitting.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Can't believe it's been so long since I posted (also I am currently not receiving comment notifications so if I have neglected to respond to you, apologies). I've started a few posts but never had the concentration nor the heart to finish them.

St Raphael's has closed. Today is the first weekend without that stalwart family in my life. Mum and I went to evening Mass at the church I go to sometimes when I'm visiting friends nearby, and cased the joint for disabled access for Nanny. That meant I had nothing to do this morning until going round to cook the dinner at about 11ish (Nanny would've put the beef in herself).

I did not like that. I had a decadent lie in, dressed with classical music film scores playing, had breakfast (I don't, usually) and then tried to be productive by gathering up all of the Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, boxes and piling them on my bed to be sorted into new containers. After dinner Mum and I sorted them and they have FINALLY gone in the loft! Huzzah!

Now I can see portions of my room again which is nice, and also it means that I can't get away with going "oh I can't sort this out now because all that is Christmas stuff and we need two people for lifting those".

Overall though the house is worse than ever, but that couldn't be helped. The Powers That Be announced on Wednesday that the locks to St Raph's would be changed on Saturday (you know, to stop us secretly saying prayers or whatever, bastards) which meant that Mum & Nanny among with plenty of other people then had only Friday, after the last Mass on Thursday night to get out all their stuff that isn't the Church's (such as my mum's craft supplies she bought for children's liturgy and her books and my Auntie's bicycle and my Nanny's vases and so on). So of course it is all here in our house (or Shed, in the case of the bike which has been living under the stairs of the priest house for twelve months). Mum said afterwards Nanny was fretting too about my Auntie Nik's mirror which was donated to the cause of the disabled bathroom. It was a huge monstrous thing and quite frankly if Auntie N was still alive she would be the first person to go absolutely mental at the idea of my Nan wanting to hoard it away as a memory. She DID NOT DO holding on to stuff like that (apart from, weirdly, paperclips I found out...). Anyway it was too late to go back for it anyway which was a slight relief for all (there is NO WHERE TO PUT IT)

Just got in from rehearsal this evening. It wasn't as cheering as normal but then it's been so grey and miserable all day nobody's bound to be in much of a good mood. And the director is getting really frustrated with the amount of cast who basically can't manage to turn up on time (or some at all) so he's putting on the pressure with how little time we really have in rehearsal time before the show. GULP!
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
So I can't remember if I've mentioned but my library job has been on shaky ground for a while. We are very lucky in our area that our council are planning on keeping all libraries open, but we did have the weekend hours cut a couple of years ago (thirding my pay) and they've just finished another consultation and begun to send staff letters. The new opening hours are actually quite reasonable, although the Saturday's won't open till 10 which as a morning person myself I would not enjoy at all as a user. But, and the writing has been on a wall since the consultation started, their plans did not seem to include any Saturday-only posts. So the three of us who work Saturdays but have jobs in the week all could kind of see where things were going.

And I got my letter today formally informing me that my post is being 'deleted' and I am 'at risk' of redundancy- I am welcome to apply for any of the other library posts but to do any of them I would not only not be able to do my weekday job (so swapping a full time, permanent contract job for a part time-less money post) but also in doing so, should I be successful I would be robbing one of my co-workers of a post which might be their only source of income.

So yes. None of us will be doing that one.

At present it looks like I will finish on 11th April (which is, incidentally, my Saturday to be in so I will actually work my last day unless I have some leave hours to book it off). I will miss it. I love my little library Saturdays- love the people, the conversation, the books. At least I'll still have the books.

Between that and St Raphael's closing (just a few weeks to go now), plus everything horrible that has happened the past couple of years I'm feeling a bit wobbly. I don't like all this change and I especially don't like so many endings of things. WHY DO THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE WHY CAN'T EVERYTHING JUST BE THE SAME FOREVER THE WAY I LIKE IT
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Nanny is home from hospital so that is very good. My mum and Aunties have been staying with her each day, making sure she eats and drinks as she didn't do much of either when she was in hospital and is weak with it. I am still not clear on exactly what the diagnosis has been except that "they are trying to manage it conservatively with a combination of beta blockers and some other tablets". I might learn more on this when I see her. My lurgy is slowly clearing but I have still been kept away as I am still coughy and cattargh-y and I certainly don't want to risk Nanny catching it.

I have been very slow at work since I went back on Wednesday but I have been trying to just plod on and do a bit- it does mean that things are still building up to bite me on the rear but at least I can comfort myself that less is building up.

There is so much parish politics building I can't even-. Tomorrow I'm off to serve at a "special" Mass for the Altar Servers. I have been watching my mum in between running back and forth to the hospital/looking after the dogs/doing Nanny's messages with Nanny being ill, doing the shop and the flowers for St Raphael's and St Bede's, making booklets, writing out certificates, threading the red thread on the new medals. Whilst the others in the "team" (all men) send paltry emails with inaccurate or vague answers and - what?- sit the fuck back.

Honestly, whilst off ill I finished writing the last booklet for them and designing it, watched Mum take it off to print it then spend an evening stapling copies together and it really is enough to make converting to Quakerism really, really appealing.

Quakers don't have ministers and servers and priests- sexist or otherwise. They just ...sit. In silence.

10 minutes of all this *waves in an expressive manner* and it sounds JUST PERFECT. I had to resort to googling newsfeeds on Super!Pope Francis to make me feel better.

Pope Washes Young Offenders Feet At Holy Thursday Mass- Including Women

Time Is Running Out To Fight Climate Change Pope Tells Summit

Pope Francis ditches the red shoes

Pope suprises Nuns with a voicemail
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Well the Christingle & Nativity Pageant, our twentieth and final one, has happened. I am exhausted, the house is a tip and we have no decorations up.

So it's looking to be the usual Christmas situation then. The service went well I think. Well, actually, it was manic chaos as happens when the vast majority of your cast are under five, but people left smiling, saying how much they enjoyed it- and how sad they all are that it will be ending.

I don't know where we will be next year. Or even in eight weeks time I'm not-. Chloe said, when she realised the whole to do was started two years before she was born (and boy did that make me feel old. I was eight!) that "she didn't know how to feel about that". That's kind of how I feel. Everyone's Christmas cards from church say things like "thank you for everything over the years"- it is a breaking of a family, a community, and yet we knew it would come. We knew it would happen. We are helpless to prevent it. God works in very mysterious ways.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Aaand cue pre-Christmas turmoil.

This morning I ended up going out with mum and we bought an excessively large number of oranges and some sultanas and took them home to make Christingles. I also, whilst mum was at church setting out the costumes, managed to wrap some of her presents on the sly so that was good.

We then put some Christmas music on and sat getting increasingly sticky from orange juice and threading nuts and sulatnas on cocktail sticks. This will be the last Christingle and Nativity Paegent at our church but I have to say, as depressing as the thought is, I will NOT MISS making bloody Christingles at all. I do hate getting my hands dirty.

In the meantime Auntie Maura and Uncle Paul were battling the plumbing at my Nanny's trying to install new things in the bathroom. Things went wrong, I understand, so the next thing I know I was called to walk the dog and have subsequently had several rows and conversations in which everyone told Nanny to come and stay with us for the night as she has no running water and she adamantly refused citing a thousand reasons and basically just refusing to be swayed. After trying telephone negotiations I gave her an hour (during which Mum got upset feeling like no one actually likes to visit us in our family and are we really so horrible that they wouldn't come and stay? and I got upset because I hate rows and stubborness and the pressure was on now that all my Aunties and Uncles were expecting me to enforce what they had decreed, which I knew that if Nanny was being stubborn there wasn't anything I could really do and so I mostly made tea and cried in the kitchen). I then went round to try a face to face debate including using the "I know you'll be fine but please would you just do this for me and my sake because none of my Aunties will ever speak to me again if you don't comply they'll all blame me and hate me forever?" tack to no avail and I was forced into a retreat.

Tomorrow will be: Mass in the morning, followed by making a quick dinner for Nanny and anyone else who is around, iron the costumes, set up the church, check the music and then NATIVITY PAEGENT. It is lovely but it is increasingly stressful as I don't even know if our usual Wardrobe Mistress will be coming and so it might just be me and Mum and I do a lot of the setting up these days, including compering, ushering, booklets, music and sound tech etc but I really REALLY don't to getting the kids into their costumes. I leave that to those more talented than I.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Team meeting this morning then carol singing in work in the afternoon which was good. This evening Zoe and I took our Blue Flower to see an orchestral performance of The Snowman (with the film projected behind a live orchestra), they also played some pieces from The Nutcracker too. BF is a little young really, but she was very good- she conducted along with the conductor and bounced up and down at the livelier pieces. Zoe and I agreed that she's a musical little thing, she didn't cry or scream once just listened and babbled along a bit. It was lovely the look on her face too! Big wide eyes and mouth looking around at everything.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Basically my body has reacted to the final cumulation of my months of stress about the conference by going HERE HAVE LOTS OF SPOTS AND MOOD SWINGS. Which is...interesting. And by interesting I mean dreadful, particularly as I'm meant to be having my photo taken soon for the departmental Christmas card and there is little less appealing than a gingerbread man with fucking spots.

Yesterday I wrote out the "first wave" of Christmas cards- by this I mean the cards that need posting with stamps but do not contain presents. This is because not all of the presents I have ordered have yet arrived.

Today I got home only to be summarily kicked out and sent down the road because Nanny and Auntie Maura had gone to visit relatives in Brum and Auntie Irene was minding Gunner, so I needed to go and mind Fern and Snoopy (Mum had a meeting). It was fine, they ate every bite of my chicken noodles with me and we had a little play.

Got home and watched two episodes of Duckula, the second of which was interrupted by some bastards throwing eggs at the window. Cue cleaning in high winds and dark mutterings. If I ever ascend the throne, know that bromide in the water is sometimes the only way.

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