So I’ve decided to take my guitar out of its case for the first time in many years…It’s my New Year’s resolution to learn several songs from start to finish before the year’s up. To help me, I’ve employed a guitar teacher and so far, things are looking positive! Though if you’ve ever played a guitar, you’ll know that until your fingers are used to it, it can be somewhat painful!
I’ve just come to the end of my 365 photography project – a challenging year for creativity. Now that it’s over, I feel obliged to focus a bit more on my drawing so I’m tentatively starting a doodle a day for 2016. The drawings will be rough and ready and I probably won’t post all of the images, instead, I’ll just share a select few, like this one!
Sometimes my daily routine floods me with guilt. Guilt for the impact I’m having on the environment. I spent seven years working in the sector, bossing (yes ‘bossing’ – I know, hard to believe eh?) people around because I wanted everyone to sit up and listen. I’d tell them to recycle because in the UK we produce enough waste to fill the Albert Hall every two hours. I’d run around switching lights off after everyone and chastising people if they didn’t turn their computer off after a day’s work. For those seven years, I was told that the tipping point was coming – the point when the detrimental impact of human society on the planet would reach the point of no return. I would get upset because people couldn’t see beyond today. I left that job. I left it because I felt helpless.
These days I still boss people around and harp on about the penguins, polar bears and climate change – people think I’m odd. I also carry a lot of guilt around because my daily routine still leaves a massive footprint!
For those of you that know me, I’m not much of a hiker nor do I like to be far from my bed beyond 10pm. I’m quite happy to do a 6 or 7 miles stroll in the Peak District before I’m ready to put my feet up, have a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Anything more and I tend to grumble.
Well, despite my love of sleep and fear of long walks, I signed up for a sponsored nigh walk for St Luke’s Hospice (13 miles) – which, being in Sheffield, involved numerous hills. 1000 people signed up, many whom had lost loved ones and benefited from the support and care of the charity. It was a great night and I’m glad to have helped raise money. Today however, I’m nursing an aching body and have ventured no further than the sofa except to make tea and watch some fantastic Rugby (Australia Vs Scotland).
I don’t like asking for money, but if you would like to donate to St. Luke’s, you still can by visiting my Just Giving page.
The kitchen at work is tiny. There’s an unwritten ‘cat swinging’ rule which stipulates one must NOT swing one’s cat, unless of course you no longer want it.
Peak times in the kitchen are challenging. The first hurdle is how many people dare to enter at the same time? Most people will stop at 5, which is far too many in my opinion. The hot water boiler is located on one side of the kitchen and the fridge on the other, which means there’s a high degree of toing and froing and an increased risk of scalding someone as you manoeuvre your coffee from one side to the other. The coffee-making flow is interrupted when more than one person is in the kitchen, but when there are five caffeine starved people, it’s like one of those sliding puzzles… or indeed an intricate modern dance!
There’s a gin festival in Sheffield this weekend. I took part last night. It went something like this…
After Mackerel Man’s debut the other week, his son was quick to request a drawing of himself as a super hero (minus the fishiness). I had a bit of free time on my hands sooo…
Well, what a roller coaster of a ride these last few weeks have been. It was down to the wire – the gladiatorial battle for the job was due yesterday, but on Monday, everything was turned on its head and we both come away with a job without having to wrestle “naked in a skip” as one colleague put it. Both of us will now be working four days a week and we can once again get back to being bezzie work colleagues, eating cake and drinking wine! (Note who has what in their hand!). A four day week is just the best news for me. I have been daydreaming about my rise to fame, or what musical instrument I’m going to master. In all seriousness, I will relish the time and head space to be creative. WHOOP WHOOP!
This is one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments, but I’ll tell you anyway. A colleague of mine managed to get a fishbone stuck under his fingernail, causing it to go septic. This sparked a rather raucous conversation about the fish equivalent of Spiderman. It started out as Sardine Man, with the ability to fit into tight spaces but I thought Mackerel Man had a better ring to it (and theme tune).
Today I had a taste of what it’s like working in a call centre as I manned the phones for University clearing. Hopeful young students nervously gave me their grades and waited with baited breath while I calculated their credits before putting them through to a tutor for the final decision, or told them they hadn’t met the minimum criteria.
It’s heartbreaking when you tell a young person their grades aren’t good enough, especially when they beg you to consider the fact that they really, really want to do business studies and if they could ‘just talk to the tutor’ they could possibly negotiate their way in… I can sympathise – I know what it’s like when you don’t get the grades you hoped for!
What’s worse though, are the ranty parents who don’t understand why little Billy wasn’t accepted on the course and “What are YOU basing YOUR criteria on?!!!”. Not surprisingly I came away with a rather large headache and an overwhelming desire to lie down. Despite this, it was an enjoyable experience and great to be directly interacting with young people!