the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train

June 11, 2011 by

grump grump whinge whine moan. There, I feel better now!

So, why grumpy?

My wrists hurt like fury and if I do more than half an hour of massage my thumbs are so painful I can’t move them. So no escape into a better paid job doing something I actually like then.

It’s still not clear if the play barn will continue trading. I’d love to take them to a tribunal for the unpaid holidays. It’s illegal, but as the law stands, it’s up to the individual employee to take them to tribunal, there’s no way in law to enforce or punish over this other than sticking your own precious neck out and hoping to God that your boss doesn’t turn round and fire you on some spurious charge. And it’s not like jobs are easy to come by so these people know damned well that no one is going to rock the boat.

We won’t know for another 2 months if Duke is going to have a job and if so where it will be. It depends on a contract that the business is bidding on – if they get it then they stay where they are (15 min drive), if they don’t then they can carry on doing what they do now but at Hinkley (a few hours drive each way) or retrain to do “supply logistics” at Elesmere port (about an hour away) or take redundancy. Duke plus one other have been asked to go to Hinkley every day for several weeks (all expenses paid) to train up the people who will take over their jobs, after which there will be a “significant thank you” which Duke takes to mean money and I take to mean a nice pat on the back and a redundancy cheque. If they go to Elesmere Port then they get travel expenses for the first year but will be “on probation” as it’s a different job, contract, holding company etc so no security. If he has a sudden flurry of migraines he will almost certainly not be looked on kindly. Duke has registered his interest with a temp agency to work where the bloke next door but one works – it’s a 2k salary drop for 12 months (but options to do overtime at fairly good rates after 3 months) followed by a very good pay increase. Assuming he gets the job of course…. He won’t contenance moving house to something cheaper/closer to EPort.

the Red Cross have failed to pay me for February (about £60) and April (closer to £200) which doesn’t look like much money but I booked a trip to get Aprilia screened by Ian Jordan on the strength of having that £200 to pay for the trip and go a long way towards the glasses/tinted lenses she probably needs. I’d hoped to have neough to pay for a report that the GP may actually take some notice of but actually, what with other lights being turned off that’s probably not so much of an issue now.

The government are planning on reducing by 20% the number of people claiming disability benefits. This means that poeple like Aprilia who are not exactly “disabled” but certainly never going to be able to function fully as an able bodied person are screwed. By taking away middle rate carers element they are taking away the basic criteria for that person claiming carer’s allowance for someone (like a parnt who needs to stay at home to deal with them or professional carer who comes in to do those simple things in life like their cleaning which they would struggle to do for themselves) This also potentially means that many parents who currently are protected from being “helped back to work” due to caring responsibilities are at risk. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you can work, I think you should at least make an effort before holding out your hand for benefits. But, if you ahve a child who is ill a lot so you need to go and fetch them home from school a lot/take time off to nurse etc you are not going to be a good employment prospect. It also means that we do not have a cat in hells chance of winning any appeal to our rejection for DLA as we do not have enough professionals saying she needs help. This would be because she’s not in school and causing problems. She’s asked if she can re-join the Guides where her GP is the leader “so that Alex can see how much I hurt all the time, then she might tell the DLA” She left after she was knocked over (accidentally) during a game and no one noticed that she could barely walk afterwards – when I took her boot off her foot was black and blue – the official response was that she needed to tell someone if she was injured….. you know I’m sure I discussed her inablilty to talk to adults when stressed…. but I got the impression that really the underlying response was that I am an overprotective woman with a spoilt brat of a child. Maybe they are right. Maybe it’s just because on the surface she’s so damned normal and capable most of the time. I don’t know.

I have an essay due in 5 days, I have 2,500 words of total claptrap which ties itself in knots and it makes up a full 50% of my final score so if I blow this one then all those 70-80% scores all year are for nothing.

I’m tired but when Aprilia isn’t waking me up, I’m waking myself up for some reason and not getting back to sleep

Of course, this is all minor stuff, I readily accept that. Doesn’t make me any less grumpy though!


two stories

June 9, 2010 by

trying to tip stuff out of my head about the feud between a friend and a collegue.  I am getting 2 stories, from the same person, depending on which way teh wind is blowing or who is in the room.  I don’t like being caught in the middle of this crap but more than that I don’t like being lied to.

At some point last year (I didn’t think to record it at the time so now I have no idea of the date although I could possibly find it out) whilst working overnights with JB, PG came calling with his wife having been in the area for PG’s retiring from the St John party.  They fell to talking about their favourite subject, slagging off RB.  During the course of the conversation one of them said that they would be angry if RB “got off” with a suspension or reprimant and the other agreed.  I can’t remember which side said what but both were in obvious agreement.   On Monday morning this week JB claimed that he had not wanted things to go to the HPC and was happy with having recieved his refund but his hand was forced as he was the “discoverer” of the original issue and thus he had to carry it on as other people had made complaints relating to the same issue.  So either he was lying to string PG along or lying to me on Monday.

Same conversation… PG was boasting that he had spoken to Anglesey circuit and told them that RB was no longer allowed to practice as a paramedic and that, because of this conversation, they were not going to use him again.  JB spoke in an aproving manner about this action and said that even though the public register said that RB was registered and did not say anything about any complaint that people should be paying a significant fee to the HPC in order to get hold of files to check up on the full history of any registrant before using their services and also that RB should not be working at all and that PG was doing the right thing by telling everyone that RB should not be working.  At the time RB was not under suspension, in fact he was allowed to continue working up until the day of his hearing yesterday.   The HPC website is clear on the fact that if a complaint is made that is considered serious enough that the public need to be protected then there can be an interim order made to suspend the registrant and that otherwise the registrant is free to continue to practice.  This stance of total intolerance is also at odds with the statement he made to me on Monday about how he felt he wanted the hearing to go.

Moving on.  A figure of £40k has been repeatedly bandied round at Oulton with regard to the ammount of money he had taken.  This figure was confirmed to me on Monday by JB.  The figure stated in evidence to the HPC was in fact  under £4k.  And yes, I know, it’s still a lot of money and he still should not have done it but it’s just one more lie told against him to me.

On Monday JB told me that at no point had he ever involved the police, one of the popular rumours round OP was that just as soon as the HPC were finished with him then the police were going to charge him with fraud and were merely biding their time.  Now, lets pass over any thoughts of the unlikelyhood of the police waiting on a professional register to do their stuff before rolling in.  In the record of the evidence presented by JB to the HPC it states that he consulted with the police during the dispute in 2008.

On Monday JB told me that he had had a stand up row in front of witnesses 3 months before the “discovery” during which he told RB something on the lines of he would see RB destroyed if he crossed him again.  This was told to me to assure me that, as it was in relation to some other issue (the details of which I can’t remember) that RB’s subsequent accusation that this complaint and persecution were part of his campaign to destroy RB was nonsense as it was a seperate issue.  Personally I see it as he saw the oportunity he had been waiting for but my personal opinion isn’t relevent.  What is relevent is that in his evedence JB stated that he had no previous animosity towards RB, so either he lied to me or to the panel.

I’m sure ther were other things said but I’m tired.  I may update this as I remember stuff (I really need a bit of sleep…) but I think it will do for now.

As an asside the HPC thinks that he had no mental health problems before these alegations were made and thus did not take any account of any mental health issues in his actions.  Now, I don’t happen to think that his long term mental health issues had anything to do with him being bloody stupid and charging a levy for getting very cheap insurance for everyone (which even with the levy was still very much cheaper than they would get otherwise) but I find it laughable that they don’t think that someone whose nickname at Oulton was Kilo7 (radio code for mental illness) for many years and who left the ambulance service a good long time ago after suffering PTSD had no mental health issues before 2 years ago 🙄

In the words of the Lord High Executioner…

November 8, 2009 by

I’ve got a little list, and no one shall be missed. Actually there’s only one extra person being added to the list today, although the adults who talked and giggled through the 2 minutes silence get an honourable mention.

someone who earns more than £30k, has no mortgage and drived a “midlife crisis” convertable car should not expect sympathy from me for the CSA requiring just under £400 per month towards the upkeep of his autistic son. Nor did I feel terribly much like agreeing that his ex wife is a benefit cheat for chosing to stay at home so that she is there when said son (who is higher functioning but who is fairly hopeless at looking after things like door keys etc) gets home from school.

He didn’t get much sympathy for “not sleeping” all night either seeing as every time I woke up he was snoring loudly on the next cot (just out of reach so I couldn’t retailate…..)

And if he mops the back of my ambulance with a dripping wet mop on a cold wet day again I am not going to be responsible for where that mop ends up…. (cos I had to drive home with the window open because it was the only way to keep the windows unfogged, it was still so damned wet inside nearly 12 hours later)

But he is partially forgiven as he was in such a rush to leg it at the end of the day that he left an entire wedge of white stilton with apricots in the fridge which will do dreadful things to my diet but I just don’t care!

Protected: Duke’s old phone – normal password!

April 30, 2009 by

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Protected: usual password, following on from Facebook status

March 26, 2009 by

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continued dumping

March 10, 2009 by

think it must just be “end of a long winter” sort of thing but really, keeping it all together at the moment is not easy. I don’t want to clutter up my proper blog with all this crap but it helps if I tip it out of my head. I just don’t feel like we are getting anywhere, I’m permentantly tired, she’s permentantly tired, I know we need to do more stuff, do more learning, get outside, eat properly, I know that would make us both feel better but it’s all too exhausting. I just feel that I’m carrying everyone here, I have a house full of crap that I can’t seem to process, I am, yet again, well behind with the OU stuff, I have a Rainbow meeting I need to get ready before tomorrow evening, I need to sort out clothes for a child who is teetering on the edge of obesity which is all my fault, because who else can you blame for an 8 year old wearing size 12 jeans? and I know if I don’t get a grip I’m setting her up for a shit life but I don’t know where to start. At her age I’d already been put on a diet by the doctor, mum didn’t follow it, she just packed me off to school with diet shakes and bars which didn’t work because I came home to an empty house with a full pantry, but made her feel like she was dealing with it. I wonder if Aprilia would be better in school because then she would have to have a routine, would have to move about more, would ahve to make the effort to read and learn. But I know that really she wouldn’t, even the LEA lady said that school isn’t the right place for her, but is that my fault too? Have I screwed her up to the point she wont’ cope with real life?

active choices or just who I am? Brain dumping

March 9, 2009 by

I’ve been taken by surprise a few times lately by people who think that I have made an active choice to not wear make up and to wear clothes that don’t flatter, why I live the way I do, with a sort of question of how I value myself. It made me think a bit about things that I actively chose to do vs things that I’ve just always done that way and if either action shows a value or lack of value in me. One of the people who made the comment is someone who does know me very well, sometimes better than I know myself, I think, and he does have a bad habit of challenging me. It’s sort of niggling at me, not in a nasty way, but in a wondering if they ahve a point way, so I’m brain dumping so I can think about more useful things like “what’s for dinner”

I don’t wear make up because, well, actually I don’t know really. It’s just not something that has ever been my “thing” My mum doesn’t and I just followed her I suppose. Aprilia likes to play about with a bit of colour and does a fair job on herself, and I’m happy for her to do that but don’t feel I need to join in. Does that make for an active choice or just me being me? I suspect there was a choice at some point but it’s lost in time.

And clothes? well, really, I suppose there is a sort of choice there, I chose to wear comfortable, cheap, baggy stuff because really, clothes just cover up and keep you warm. A £3 pair of jeans from Asda can do that just as well as £££ Levis, so why throw the money away? Smart Price teeshirts fit me and Duke the same so when they come off the line they can just get shared out equally and I can move on to more important stuff. Okay, a different cut or size would fit me differently but I’m not sure it matters, I’m covered up, that’s what clothes do, flattering stuff is for people with the money or the figure that invites it. And suddenly that sounds like an aggressive statement!

I was also challenged a while ago about me letting Duke have my desk whilst I now have a bit of shelving and a keyboard shelf. I think the person who threw that one at me did have a fair point, but it wasn’t one I could answer at the time, Duke was next to me and I wasn’t feeling up to bursting his bubble when we were away from home. So, here’s the reason, decide for yourself if it reflects badly. Duke spent a lot of money on making over his office. There was laminate flooring, the DVD for how to fit it, all the kit to fit it with, a new saw so the edges would be nice, then there was paint for the walls, a new blind etc. It was quite a bit of moeny all told. Then he decided that he wanted a nice corner desk like mine. It would be better for him as it would give him more space etc, he wanted a nice room to give him the incentive to keep it tidy. The desk costs very nearly £100. So I told him to ahve mine rather than throw £100 away on something that would be covered in crap within the month (no, I didn’t say taht last bit to him! I’m not that much of a cow!) I got the stuff that he used to use and told him taht in a few months, “when we have had a bit of time to save up” I’d get something nicer, something more in keeping with a bedroom setting, maybe with doors to shut it all away and make the room look better. I knew I wouldn’t, because there is always something else, but it stopped him spending and didn’t make him feel like I’d been mean to him with his own money. I was right though, his room is just as full of stuff now as it was before the make over and he never even finished the trim round the edges of the flooring, another £100 wouldn’t make that any easier. And really, a desk is a desk, it puts my screen at the right height for me to see, gives me somewhere to stack up coffee mugs and paperwork and saves me needing to balance my keyboard on my lap. Adn really, something all twee and pretty in the corner of this dump would look bloody stupid, and make me feel guilty either about the money I spent on it, the crap all round it or both. So my utility shelving desk suits me, just like my £3 jeans really. So why does it unsettle me to think about it?

But I can, just maybe, conceed a good friend’s point. I don’t always take care of me as well as I take care of everyone else. I don’t have the time. Or the energy. And I know full well that if my good friend had given me either of those excuses I’d have refused to accept them. And I know that I’m not happy with things like this. But really, would I be happy with make up on, pretty clothes and my old desk back? Or would I just be the same old me, just hidden even further inside? And does it matter?

Hmm, didn’t think I was pre-menstrual, I’m normally only this wobbly once a month…. must go find chocolate in case.

Protected: small minded men (not my DH for a change though!)

January 23, 2009 by

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limited sympathy

December 14, 2008 by

Duke now has my cough/cold.  I’ve been telling him all week to sleep away from me, even offered for me to inhabit the living room so he could sleep in the proper bed.  Also been telling him to up the vitamin c etc.  Oh, and to go to bed at a reasonable time (partly because then he doesn’t disturb ME when he’s settling down just as I’m drifting off and partly because beign tired doesn’t sit well with a cold.)   This has all been dismissed as me being that silly woman he married trying to tell him something.  Sigh.

He started with it on Thursday but confidently carried on staying up later than he should and not taking any vitamins to compensate for the total lack of vitamins in his diet because it wasn’t going to affect him as badly as it affected me now was it.  And besides, I’ve been to Asda and purchased the correct cough medicine so he wasn’t going to have to struggle for several days like I had to before getting hold of something that worked.

Yesterday evening I offered to do Oulton for him today as I’m feeling fairly recovered, weary but not ill anymore, whereas he looked decidedly second hand, but no, he would be fine.  What he really meant was that today was the last chance he would get to have a nosey at what work is being planned for the track over the next 3 or 4 weeks whilst there is nothing going round it so regardless of how shitty he felt he was going to go and inflict his germs on everyone.  He came home in a foul temper which he repeatedly took out on Aprilia whenever she had the temerity to be happy and giggly.  He is now on the sofa bed having decided he was too comfortable to come up to bed but isn’t setting his alarm because he is going to be too ill to go to work in the morning.  Which is interesting considering that Duke wouldn’t phone anyone or organise anything for me on Tuesday evening to cover for the Rainbow party that I knew damned well I wasn’t going to be well enough the next day for because I didn’t know I was still going to be rough after a good night’s sleep really did I?

what happens when you get pressured into buying….

October 3, 2008 by

Duke wanted to get a smaller tent for the 3 of us for single nights away.  I looked at the money and said no.  Or well, if you insist but it has to be a SMALL tent and pointed out a rather nice looking Khyam Sherpa available quite cheaply that would fit the 3 of us comfortably although wouldn’t allow us to stand up (which for 1 or 2 nights is really acceptable isn’t it?) and would also be practical as a tent for just me to use for Guider weekends without it looking bloody silly!  So, before I could change my mind, or horror of horrors, get it delivered and thus not have a chance to be persuaded to get something else, he whisked us all off to the camping shop.  They didn’t have any of the ones I wanted to look at pitched up, nor did they have a Sherpa in the shop but they did have it at the warehouse from where it could be delivered to me for the princely sum of a fiver.  But there was this other 4 man tent you see…. much better design….nice big living area and he can stand up it in!  Shall we gloss over the extra cost?  And the fact that Royal isn’t a name I’ve heard of and I’d already sworn after the leaky Argos tent that we weren’t buying brands I don’t have confidence in ever again?  Adn so it’s bought, along with the footprint groundsheet, I managed to put my foot down about the carpet…..

So here, in all it’s glory are the faults I found the hard way, when it was pitched up at the weekend, a long way from home and with nowhere else to sleep.


those holes are where a seam has been taken out and re-sewn, and just to add insult to injury, the seam tape doesn’t even properly cover the proper seam, let alone the holes.  Need I say there was a small puddle under that fault even though we only had a light drizzle?


and again, on a totally seperate area of the tent, another taken out seam although this one did at least have tape behind it.


and some fantastic seaming here….. yes, a third seperate area!  and yes, that’s the fabric edge fraying away from the seam cos it hasn’t been properly done even though, once again, there has been a seam taken out and re-sewn.

And finally…

The groundsheet under the sleeping area which is delaminated already despite being pitched on a footprint groundsheet which has absolutely no damage to it whatsoever suggesting it wasn’t damaged by my pitching it on a stone or any other such valid reason for a groundsheet getting damaged. The Vango’s groundsheet (after 4 years of devil may care ptiching on all sorts of rough surfaces and having all sorts of wear and tear from camp chairs etc) is in better overall condition than this one which is showing signs of being about to delaminate all over the place after one use!!!!!

So it’s going back, it’s taken quite a while to dry it (did anyone notice the rain this week????) and it has to go back dry and packed up properly or they won’t accept it.  Although they like you to pack it so that the fault is easily visible – no mean feat when htere are 4 seperate faults in 4 seperate areas of the tent, hence photographs!   Of course, in the mean time the nice little Khyam is sold out so that option is no longer open to us unless we wait for new stocks next spring which won’t be discounted like it was when I pointed it out to him.  Or of course, we could buy a couple of the outwell pop up tents for the same money…..