Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Turbulent Week

Sorry for ignoring you, but between the demise of my car and the death of my dear friend I haven't much felt like sharing.

Funeral went as well as they can, car replaced, week off over, back at the grindstone.

I've been advertising for a new band, with little success. It seems the colour of my hair is quite important, though how will never quite be clear to me.

'Hello, I saw your advert, heard your music, you sound great, just what we're looking for'
'oh thank you, is there anything else you want to know?'
'Um, yea, do you still have red hair?'
'No, it's blue'
'Oh well, we have a few more people to phone, we'll get back to you...'

It's quite possible they have a fear of blue - takes all sorts.

I also had a supervision today, it appears my boss is so pleased with me that she spent most of the time telling me all sorts of establishment gossip and talked about her own circumstances. My 'supervision' was limited to one sentence - 'you're doing really well, no problems, no complaints'.

I was hoping for a little more feedback, you know, a little ego rubbing, but I guess I should count my lucky stars, certainly after hearing what another member of staff was told. Let's just say no news is very good news.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Huge Sadness

They say bad things come in threes, so I'm totally dreading my third thing.

On Tuesday I managed to send my little car to the great car park in the sky. To say I was a bit gutted would be an understatement. I woke up the following day with a pain in my shoulder, which is just starting to ease.

Friday morning I was looking forward to getting a long weekend with my children and was concentrating hard on my work when my phone vibrated. My phone never rings at work, mostly because people know they'll get ignored. I like to concentrate. I turned it over and looked at the message. Five minutes later I found myself in my boss's office staring into space with tears running down my cheeks. My dear dear friend Suzie had died. Her poor daughter had texted me to let me know. I've known Suzie and her family for 9 or 10 years and for 8 of those years she has bravely battled against a form of cancer which aggressively came out, receded to the point of remission and then came out in an entirely different place. She lost her breast, had cancer of the nasal cavity, bone cancer, cancer of the lining of the brain, a huge benign lump on her vocal chords, and finally lung cancer which was a secondary. She has left her lovely family, young teens and a bewildered husband, and all of her friends and we are the poorer for her passing. I am heartbroken.

Having left my work, which I like to do well and never take time off and sobbed silently on the bus going home. I pulled myself together last night and thought about Suzie and her beliefs. She was a spiritualist and as such has not left us, she has simply got on with the rest of her adventure. She would love the drama of us sobbing but would hate it too because she was so full of love for us all. I sat in the hairdressers today, having my hair dyed blue and purple and imagined her sitting next to me guffawing at me, while rolling her eyes and calling me a 'bloody nutter', as she was known to do. I distinctly heard her say, 'I 'ope you're gettin' ready to sing at me fun'ral rubes' (she called me ruby, for reasons that only she and I know or care about).

She will love it. I'm going to put my thickest eyeliner on, my heaviest boots and my blackest clothes and my bluest hair and sing the song she asked me to perform when we discussed her funeral way some time last year. As I say, she loved a bit of drama.

I'm going to miss this girl so much.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


If I seem a bit frantic, well, it's because I have good reason. I'm bouncing. I've avoided driving for a week because of all the snow and ice. Today, being the first day where the roads are safe, I took my daughter to her karate dojo, popped to the gym with the hard negotiated permission to get fit from my doctor (I still think it's one of the most ridiculous situations I've EVER encountered), and then home for an hour of hardcore gossiping with my old friends, organising a weekend away.

I got back to pick my daughter up at just after 10 and tootled towards home. About 3/4 mile from home, but on a major road I drew up to the traffic lights, but when they turned to green I put my foot on the clutch and it just snapped and fell to the floor. I coasted to the side of the road and weighed up my situation (freezing cold, 14 year old in car with a woman, 10.30pm, main road, hmm, freezing cold, ooh and i needed a pee) and phoned the AA. They said that 'as a priority' they'd be at least an hour. Good job we were coming back from a karate dojo eh and not a couple of wimpy women in a car on their own in the dark, needing a pee.

I spoke with the far more experienced driver that is the Adrenaline Junkie and he suggested that I could go slowly in first gear and get home. I decided to give it a go. Trouble is you've got to start in first (ie lurch forward) and when you have to stop you immediately lurch and stall, before having to lurch forward and start again. I got through the first set of traffic lights like this, crawled up the high street and at the second set struggled to get it to turn over, but gladly it did. 5mph all the way home I got to the house and turned on to my forecourt and took the foot of the accelerator to brake. It gave one almighty lurch and shot forward (no foot on accelerator) rammed into the parked trailer which jumped in the air smashing the front porch sill, scratching the neighbours bumper and...totally writing off my little car!!

I almost laughed and then I remembered - I'm only third party. Now, I know... no one was hurt...but it's not true, my little car is terminal. It's so sad, my first car and I've totalled it after a week of avoiding dangerous driving. I totalled it at less than 10mph. I've done the bumper, the lights, the bonnet and not forgetting that fabulously broken clutch I'm calculating it won't be worth fixing and I can't afford to replace it either. I'm really dread to use the credit card but don't know how to manage the family piano lessons, karate, etc without a car for when the Adrenaline Junkie is at work.

I wrecked my car, did I mention that to you? I crashed it into my house. Poor car. Poor house. Poor me.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Ooh I do love a good gig. We went out last night to see our friend play and both came home feeling really itchy and in need of a project. The Adrenaline Junkie has been playing guitar all day and I've spent most of the day thinking about accordian players. I told him that if I get a promotion he can switch to working part time and get out there. How good am I? I'd love it if someone said that to me but truthfully I don't think I have sufficient aggression to push myself to the front of the creativity queue.

I've finally decided I can no longer fight my European designer addiction. I feel a Rundholz moment coming on, followed swiftly by a Hebbeding moment. Actually, perhaps he better carry on working full time.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ski Tuesday

Well while those fluffy types down south are sitting at home quivering with fear about getting erm, cold, the rest of us have been going to work today. Well, the rest of us apart from all those fluffy types in my own city who also stayed at home. My sprogs used socks that were not quite as fluffy as these people to snuggle up their feet before charging off to make snowmen this afternoon. Meanwhile I didn't look out the office window all day. I arrived at work at 8.45 and the next time I checked it was 5.25. I'd spent the entire day protecting the world from the bad guys one rubber band at at time. I'd used 15 rubber bands and drunk four cups of coffee. If you only knew how exciting my life was you'd develop narcolepsy.

I admit to getting all southern and opting out of driving the car this evening. I didn't take my eldest girl to karate, nor did I get any dog food. Instead I found my local weight loss club on t'internet and then ate a packet of jaffa cakes (well you can never be too careful, if I'd left them lying around I might have been tempted to eat them once my diet started - I was doing myself a favour).

Tomorrow I will be getting my ski hat out again and accessorising my little black dress with a pair of hiking boots, a lime green coat and a pair of over sized pink gloves. It's a good look. I expect a few people will blag an extra day off, particularly as the next day is forecast to snow heavily again. I mean, it'll be Friday after that: not much point in coming in to for one day is there? Ohh don't give me any power whatever you do. I'd be a right Pol Pot.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Snow (noun) White powder used by British workers to avoid actually working.

I donned my walking boots, daft hat and utterly unflattering bad weather jacket and braved the great outdoors. My bus took exactly three minutes longer than normal to get to work and yet 40% of our staff failed to arrive. Even if half or two-thirds of those were parents dealing with school closure there is still a significant number who opened the curtains, grinned and swiftly jumped back into bed for a duvet day. Goddamnit, I wish I'd thought of doing that.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

My Mate Tom

Tom, or Tom Tom as you might know him, is one of my bestest buddies. He has given me a hitherto unknown sense of freedom. Although he never sends me on the route I know he is very good at recognising that I'm a stubborn mule. I imagine that inside that little box he is huffing and puffing and flicking through an atlas for a direction that involves the road I've just flippantly decided to take. I merrily tootle along ignoring him, that is until I realise I'm utterly lost and at this stage he pipes up with 'so...are you ready to listen to me now?' (well he would say that if he could but usually it sounds more like a very very forceful 'turn left in 20 yards'). Bloody knowitall.