Wednesday 14 November 2012

Inconsiderate parking - a rant.

Above is a photograph of my neighbour's car. I like my neighbours, but they seem to think that our road is an extension of their driveway and it's ever so slightly beginning to annoy me!

I know it shouldn't worry me. "Life's too short", i hear you cry. "Don't get so flustered over such a trivial thing. Irritation will only raise your blood pressure".

I know you're right, but i've taken a photo of their car now and i've put it on my blog. Oh dear.........

Thursday 4 October 2012

Turkey - colour and character.

This summer i was lucky enough to spend two glorious weeks in Turkey. We were based in the small town of Kalkan which is on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. It is a lovely part of the world where the sea is a transluscent light blue. That is why the region is known as the Turquoise Coast.

I will give more details of my trip in a later post but today i just wanted to try and convey the brilliant colours that i experienced at the local market.
Ceramic pots of all sizes and colours.

A fantastic array of fabrics to titilate the senses.

Various fruits to tempt the taste buds.
Shoulder bags, summer dresses and carpets.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Brother and Sister.

This is a picture taken yesterday at a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Street Party that we attended. The photo shows my Mum and her brother meeting after a 12 year absence. They're in their 86th and 90th years respectively. Can you spot the likeness between them?

Friday 30 March 2012

Too Cute!

This is my cat Bailey. I couldn't resist sharing this photo of him. Pure indulgence i know. This cat is so laid back he's horizontal!

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Goodbye Dad.

I know i cried during Mr.Bogangles Dad, but they weren't tears of grief, they were tears of Joy Dad. Joy at having the priviledge of being your son, having you as my Dad and just knowing you. Missing you already Dad.

Tuesday 31 January 2012

100 countries have visited my blog!

Today i had a visitor from the 100th country to register in my flag counter. That country was Azerbaijan. Who would have thought that my little blog would have reached so many people?
The Azerbaijan flag.
Map of Azerbaijan.

Monday 23 January 2012

Fresh Start? - Part 3.

So, after my Jobcentre visit i prepared to look for another job. Confident that i would get alternative employment without too much trouble and also confident that my leg pain would recede, i started to search in earnest.

I went online and subscribed to various job sites. I subscribed to the Government job site on I went and bought all the local papers and started to trawl through all the situation vacant columns.

There wasn't much available, but after 14 days i had applied for five possible jobs. I only got one reply and that was for meter reading. They wanted me to start immediately and it involved a lot of walking during the working day. Unfortunately i had to turn the position down. The pain in my back and leg had got much worse and i could hardly walk at all.

I returned to the doctor who put me on much stronger pain killers and made an appointment for me to have a MIR scan and to see a back consultant at my local hospital. After a further wait with the pain now bordering on the unbearable, i had the scan and then saw the consultant a few days later.

The consultant informed me that i had a disc profusion and was in urgent need of surgery on my spine. He explained that one of my discs had degenerated and the gel interior had escaped and solidified causing the spinal canal to become narrower. This in turn was pressing on the sciatic nerve which was why i was having so much pain in my lower back, buttock, shin and foot. The consultant said that my condition was serious as it had been going on for some time and i was duly booked to have the operation less than three weeks later.

I informed the Jobcentre that i was to have this operation and that the recovery time was six to eight weeks. They immediately took me off Jobseekers allowance as i could not accept any employment if it were offered  and put me on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which meant that while i was recuperating i would not have to prove that i was actively seeking employment. Sounds good, but i needed an income to help pay the bills!

The operation has now taken place and eight weeks later it's mid January 2012. I have improved albeit slowly. I still have pain in my foot and toes with occasional pain in my shin and back. I have had physiotherapy and have just enrolled in a spinal stabilisation course which lasts for four weeks. I had my first class this morning.

The consultant says that still having pain is expected and should go in severl months. It is possible that the nerve has been irreparably damaged. It is just a waiting game now. Meanwhile i am back on Jobseekers allowance and back looking for work. I have an interview on Friday so wish me luck.

Monday 16 January 2012

Chilled out cat!

 This is my eldest cat Bailey. He wanted to help me with my work on the computer the other day. He is one chilled out cat!

Friday 16 December 2011

Fresh Start? - Part 2.

Registering as unemployed was a bit of an ordeal. Completing an online questionnaire to apply for job seekers allowance (JSA) took the best part of 45 minutes. I found the questions quite upsetting in that you had to provide the most personal of details. Whether it was just me being over sensitive i don't know, but i read into the questions an underlying sense of blame from the authorities for my predicament. I felt as if i was on trial, guilty until i could prove my innocence as it were, that everyone who was applying for JSA was trying to cheat the system. I know it's silly, but that is how i felt. I felt demeaned. This after working full time since i was 18. and having taken nothing from the system in all that time.
After completing the forms i got a telephone call with an appointment to meet with my "personal adviser" at my local JobCentre Plus office. In the few days between completing the online application and the appointment at the job centre i had picked myself up a bit to the point where i regarded my redundancy as an opportunity to make a fresh start, possibly change careers (although i have no idea what i could do) and be excited about where my future may lead. I went to the adviser interview with a positive attitude.

It wasn't as bad as i had anticipated after getting past the initial embarrassment of being signed in by a suited gentleman that looked like a bouncer and being sent upstairs, then ushered through  a locked door to another large office and told to wait until my name was called.
The assessment with my "personal adviser" went ok. She went to auto-pilot asking me questions about what had happened, what i wanted to do and what sort of employment i was looking for. I had to sign a declaration that i was actively seeking work and was given a booklet into which i had to enter everything that i was doing in my attempt to find work. Where i was looking, what web sites i was looking at and registering on, newspapers and magazines,employment applications,responses and follow-ups with results. I was to bring this for scrutiny at the jobcentre every two weeks. I was told that i had been accepted for Job Seekers allowance and that i would receive £67.50 a week paid fortnightly. Goodbye Mr. Wissy and good luck.

To be continued....... 

Thursday 8 December 2011

Fresh Start? - Part 1.

I haven't blogged since October so many apologies for that, but i do have an excuse. The last quarter of 2011 has not been kind to me.

First of all i developed a really intense pain in my back and buttock which continued down my lower left leg and into my  foot. My foot and toes were numb on the top but very painful underneath. The closest that i can describe the pain was like when i had a tooth abcess a few years ago. Almost unbearable at it's worst.

I went to the Doctors who said that i almost certainly had sciatica. She prescribed painkillers and said that it would almost likely clear up on its own accord. I could walk only a short distance and the condition made me walk with a limp. I was unable to drive so was unable to work. I felt weak and feeble. It was impossible to get comfortable whether i was sitting, standing or sleeping.

Then the second bad bit of news.. My company closed and i was made redundant at the beginning of October. I had worked for this company for over 34 years. Although i guessed that redundancy was a possibility, when it came, it was a still a shock to the system. At the age of 56 i found myself unemployed and feeling really rough due to the sciatica which was not improving.

For the first time in my life i found myself hobbling into the JobCentre to sign on for jobseekers allowance. I had become a statistic of the recession.
To be continued.....