Word on a Whim

What began as a blog about writing and publishing has become a blog of whatever I feel like writing. Jules Lucton.

Archive for the category “Life experience”

I promise to change the subject soon …

You know how it is when a house has been on the market for such a time that you think there must be something wrong with it? My CV must be starting to look like that to the IT agencies. I adapt it depending on the role I am applying for; rearranging the layout to put more emphasis on those skills that seem most relevant to the role. It is a while now since I spoke to an IT agent, but in the early days of redundancy when I was new on the market and therefore interesting; no-one suggested there was anything wrong with my CV.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I had been head-hunted, maybe for the wrong reasons but I was nonetheless excited and hopeful. An agency I had never heard of had picked out my CV – it seemed I was ideal for a particular role. He was choosing his words carefully; “The company has a person-centred ethos … they are not necessarily looking for whizz kids but for people who live locally and are likely to stay with them.” I said, “You mean they take old people? Cool!” But he phoned back two days later and said that the finance for the new role had not yet been signed off, but they were keen to meet me as soon as it had been. Since then I have heard nothing, and I think I have seen the job he was describing advertised on the internet.

Meanwhile, the care work goes on. I’m thinking of asking about doing ‘waking nights’ as this would boost the income – being in one place for a big chunk of paid hours. At the moment there is someone I visit twice daily who lives out in the sticks and has formed an attachment to me; phoning the office to ask if I could visit more often etc. This is flattering and makes me feel good, but the two half-hour visits (which always over-run unless I have another call booked soon after) entail one hour and forty minutes travel time, so the morning visit followed soon after by the lunch time visit earns me a grand total of £6.60 and takes up most of the morning.

So far, I have kept one week-day as a day off to be available for interviews, but I have only had two. The first was back when I was still working my redundancy notice. The job description was vague and I was interviewed by two guys who didn’t seem entirely sure of what they were looking for. I didn’t get the job, and subsequently saw it re-advertised with a more specific job description. The second was booked about a fortnight in advance and whilst it seemed to go well I found it a little odd that one of the guys seemed to want to chat about the AS/400 I used to work on, which was not part of the advertised role. Then, just as I thought we were getting warmed up, he said “Thank you for your time,” and that was it. I suspect they had already found the person they wanted and were just going through the motions. Or maybe I came over as a complete weirdo.
If you want to sell a house but there has been no interest for a while, you can wait a while and then try again. If you are trying to sell yourself then it’s not so easy to take your details off the market. If you’ve read as far as this, thanks and well done – and I promise to change the subject next time 🙂

Aside from that, my son and his girlfriend are here this weekend. They had planned to visit the local Beer, Cider & Perry Festival but looked it up on the internet prior to catching the bus and found it had run out of booze!
“Due to a very busy day on Friday the range of drinks that we have on offer may soon become very limited. Sorry to those of you in the queue last night.”

Only in England, eh? 😦

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“And I’m trying hard to fit among your scheme of things”

The care work is going well and I feel I have bonded nicely with the people I care for, to the extent that if I ever do get back into IT I would still wish to keep in touch with some of them. I like being out and about instead of chained to a desk and I love the instant gratification of the job – knowing I have made a positive difference to someone’s day; although not every day is gratifying. There is a lane I drive up frequently where a young lad has been building a dry stone wall for the past few weeks. Sometimes I think how good it would be to be working with stones instead of people.
Yesterday, I applied for three IT jobs advertised by different agencies – although two of them looked remarkably similar so I suspect they are the same job. I asked one IT agent why jobs I had applied for ages ago were still being advertised; haven’t they found the right person yet? He explained that in quiet times some agencies tend to put the same jobs out repeatedly to attract as many CV’s as possible to add to their database.
So why do I want to return to IT? A regular income is the most obvious attraction. As a care worker I have a zero hours’ contract but also signed something to say I was prepared to work in excess of forty hours. I started the job at a busy time when carers were on holiday and off sick. Now the work seems to have dried up, in addition to students joining us for the summer break. Other carers I have met on ‘double-ups’ have said they have never known it so quiet. I guess it will even out again, as carers will move to other agencies if there is not enough work. Having less calls makes the job more enjoyable as you are not against the clock and therefore have time to do extra little tasks if required or time to simply sit and listen to them talking and learn more about the person, but it’s disheartening when you get home after a seven hour stint to work out that you’ve only done three and a quarter paid hours and earned a grand total of £21.45. On a couple of days I’ve only had one hour’s work; divided into two half-hour visits at different times of the day.
I also yearn to rejoin a workplace that is run with some competence. The care agency’s management and administration is shambolic and I seem to spend a lot of time phoning to query details or emailing to ask for records to be updated with the correct information. When I first met my boss, she said; “You look great for someone who’s nearly sixty!” It might have been a compliment if I hadn’t had to tell her she’d got my date of birth wrong (off my birth certificate, passport and driving licence – in addition to my application form) and when my first payslip finally arrived it was thanks to the post office folk that it reached me despite the random address on the envelope.
Writing novels seems to be a thing of the past now that my mind is unsettled – not just with work but with wondering whether or not to relocate, and of course each time I apply for a local job the relocation idea is set aside. I used to drive to work on autopilot, complete the day’s routine and then write for an hour or so most evenings. Back then, in an introverted job, I was on the outside of life and looking in. Now that I am part of the outside world, there is less inclination to write about it. I switch on the PC to write but end up just looking at jobs and houses. Maybe I should try to get a job in a care home, where I will actually get paid for the hours I work? I have a recurrent internal lament; “Life is a lemon and I want my old job back.” If I’m not lucky soon I will have to stop looking for IT work and fully commit to being a carer. I guess that’s the only way to eradicate the lament, but how long should I wait?

Domiciliary Care Work

After attending an excellent training course and going out for a couple of days with an experienced carer, I was keen to get started as a Domiciliary Care Worker. I was called by the office to collect my company mobile that tells me where I should be at whatever time, and also serves as a tracking device so that the office knows where I am. The woman who is my line manager switched it on and was about to show me through the app but the battery immediately ran out. “Take it home, charge it up and have a play with it,” she said. Having been told I must not charge the phone in clients’ houses, I asked if a car charger was available. “I’ll put one in the post tonight,” she said, and whilst I wanted to say “Please go and get one now, whilst I’m here. It will save the postage and packing, and we’ll both know I’ve got it,” I thought she must have her reasons and simply said, “Okay, thanks.”
Suddenly it all took off; I got home and had a call to say there were some visits that same evening if I could please take them – and so it went on. I had told them I was flexible about availability but was nervous about starting something so new and we agreed I would be eased in gently with just a few visits at first. I believed this was best for the clients as well as for me. As it turned out, I was plunged in at the deep end over a weekend, starting early and finishing late and being sent to addresses that were difficult to find even with a SatNav. Houses in villages often have names rather than numbers. I was running late and going into the homes of people I had never met before and trying to befriend them whilst also locating and reading the Care Plan so that I had some clue as to why I was there – as well as plugging my phone into a spare socket to charge it enough to tell me where to go next. One night I arrived, apologising, expecting to be told off for being late, only to be made to sit and wait until a TV programme had finished. This was the last visit of the evening, so it was okay. I settled in a comfy armchair and told myself it could only get easier. Next time I would know where to find the addresses and I would know the people a bit better and understand what was expected of me.

Half an hour is not enough time to meet a frail old lady for the first time; read her Care Plan (to learn that she has anything from dementia to a colostomy bag) get her out of bed, washed, cream applied to her legs, dressed, bed made, commode emptied and cleaned, stair-lift downstairs, meds and breakfast given and forms to fill in to say that I have done so. Some require a cocktail of medications to be administered. Never have I had so much responsibility, and never such low pay. It takes me at least an hour to get myself ready in the morning. There is no time to chat – you are in and out as quickly as possible; especially when the next call is a ‘double-up’ with another carer because a hoist is required.

Fresh from the training course, there was one visit where what I saw left me particularly worried. Following procedure, I phoned and told the office, and then again the next day after re-visiting and still being worried. On my next visit to this place I found my new friend in distress and awaiting transport to hospital. I phoned the office and asked them to reallocate my evening visits as I was staying here as long as necessary so that this person was not left alone. I told them this was nothing to with the Company and their half-hour visit because I had QUIT and I was staying here with this person BECAUSE I CARE! Whilst that might sound like I was being assertive, it was more of an incoherent blubbering. I was overwhelmed, you see. The days had started early and ended late. My phone would not hold its charge, so any gaps that were long enough to pop home were spent charging the phone and looking at Google maps to see where I was going next. I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t switch off from worrying about the folks I had just left (this one in particular), whilst still being anxious about the ones I was to attend in a just a few hours time. I couldn’t eat either, at first. The monkey in my mind would present the memory of the choicest smells and sights of the day in the space between my mouth and the food – but I think I have overcome that barrier now 🙂

They talked me into staying. “It’s because you care that you are exactly the sort of person we need – blah, blah, blah.” They agreed I could take the next day off to reflect and they would call me to renegotiate my hours. Taking a step back I was able to look at my schedule and realise that a twelve hour day only amounted to six hours paid work – an hour’s pay in this job being about as much as I’d get for going for a pee and making the coffee in my last job. Some of the visits are only fifteen minutes; most are half an hour, and some are forty-five minutes. Where the allocated time is clearly too short, they give you more travel time before the next visit – so you work voluntarily to make sure you have done the essentials in the time allowed before the next call. Mileage is paid, but not travel time. I really wish I did not have to think about the money. I have bonded already with some lovely people, and I wish that my connection with them was nothing to do with paying the monthly bills. I think many of the carers are youngsters still living with parents or young mums doing a few hours around child care or else women my age earning a bit of holiday money. I really couldn’t see it paying a mortgage, and I’ve yet to work out whether or not this will make ends meet.

Taking a step back and laying down some rules regarding my available hours, I have realised I can be assertive if needs be. I do have a home life and still want to be able to cook for my fellas sometimes and walk the dog in the evening. I had a call from my manager’s manager – another bossy woman – who tried various strategies and tones of voice to reel me back in on her terms, but by now I had realised they were desperate for carers so I stood my ground and told her what hours I was prepared to work. She agreed and promised to send me a car charger for the phone, and a spare battery. Still, I am getting texts to my personal mobile asking if I can help out by doing some outstanding calls, and I guess the women in the office trying to get the calls covered must be equally as stressed as the carers. The company appears to have taken on more clients than it can care for.
Taking another step back, and after sleeping well last night, I have also realised how much I am enjoying care work. I am looking forward to revisiting my new friends – now that I know how and where to find them. Of course, I have started at the best time of year and trying to do the rounds in winter weather might be a different matter – but I must try to stay in the moment.

Still haven’t received battery or charger for the phone, so I suppose I’ll have to buy them off ebay.

Going against the flow

On the front page of the weekly admag is an article about a woman who fears her children’s lives are being put at risk by careless drivers speeding past as they travel to school. How terrible, I thought; there is nothing that makes me angrier than cars speeding by, too close, when I am walking the dog and have to use lanes where there are no pavements. Then I read that she takes her children to school in a small cart, pulled by a Shetland pony. What?! Has it not occurred to her that she might be the one putting her children’s lives at risk? Will those children grow up respecting their mother for standing her ground over this eccentric but eco-friendly mode of transport, or will they shudder to think what might have happened? This is her choice, not theirs, whilst their schoolmates’ parents probably select vehicles for their safety data. If she smokes, does she share cigarettes with her children? Unlikely, I think.

I have occasionally used a bike around country lanes and felt nervous when someone drives round a bend too fast. It’s not so bad on foot – you can jump on the verge or press against the hedge, but on a bike you feel at the mercy of drivers who are under pressure to achieve timed deliveries and have been stuck behind a tractor for the last couple of miles. Of course, there are safety measures you can employ, such as wearing protective clothing – and I think those plastic flags are a good idea – you know, the ones that stick out at the side to make the bike wider and more visible. At this time of year when verges and hedgerows are overgrown, cyclists are particularly vulnerable, and so I was amazed last week to drive (slowly and carefully) round a bend in a lane to see a cyclist in front of me towing a little carriage with a baby in it. What a cock!

The Mayor’s sponsored reading ‘Mayorathon’

I saw the Mayorathon advertised in the free weekly paper a few weeks ago, and knowing I wouldn’t be at work on this day, decided to take part.  Each participant could buy a five minute slot to read to an audience an extract from a book, a play or a poem of their choice.  You could buy as many five minute slots as you wished, so long as you raised sponsorship of a minimum of £5 per slot. So I pledged a fiver and rehearsed reading a five minute extract from The Rise of Serge and the Fall of Leo. The Mayor had chosen a charity that supports people with acquired brain injuries and this seemed particularly appropriate as it is the cause of Serge’s disability.  I didn’t only take part for charitable reasons; I saw it as a potential opportunity to publicise my book and it was also a challenge to myself to read out loud in front of people.  The thought was terrifying.  I don’t know where my confidence has gone over the years. In my early twenties I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at the prospect – in fact I was in a local amateur dramatics group and even had the nerve to sing a solo in a pantomime as the Prince in ‘Sleeping Beauty’.  Looking back, I was a different person then – although I doubt my singing voice was much better than it is now.  What a cringe-making thought!  I want to get a bit of confidence back you see, so that I don’t turn up at job interviews like a gibbering wreck.

So, I found an extract that wouldn’t entail doing Serge’s voice or Paddy’s Northern Irish accent and turned up, as instructed, fifteen minutes before my appointed time.  The place was packed; standing room only. I had expected a more casual affair – but there was a platform, a lectern and, gulp – a microphone. Looking up, even the gallery was full – and they were mainly children.  I can’t remember what was being read at the time, but it sounded good.  I think it was an extract from a Dickens novel.  I thought about the extract I had chosen to read and whispered to the lady at the door who was doing the register; “Will it mess things up if I don’t read?  Only this isn’t a children’s book.”

She beckoned me out into the entrance hall and some of the other organisers followed us to see what was up.  “There’s no rude words but urm … this guy’s about to top himself by jumping into the Thames on a freezing cold night and he doesn’t actually do it and it turns out okay but there’s a fair bit of detail and I don’t think I should read it to the children.”  It was at that point that I wondered whether it was a good idea to be reading it to anyone.

They assured me it was fine – the children would be leaving in about ten minutes. They had been surprised and honoured that the whole school had come along to listen and to support the event.  Sure enough, ten minutes later, the children filed out, leaving an audience of about six – plus the organisers and the Mayor.  Cool.

I was surprised how good the readers before me were – and the ones I listened to after my turn, as I didn’t like to dash off the minute I was done.  I waited until some more folk arrived and then slipped out.  The readers I listened to had such lovely voices and great presence.  I have a thing about voices – you know how sometimes someone looks gorgeous but then they open their gob and ruin it?   I have never liked my own voice – it’s a bit nasal and I can’t pronounce the letter ‘r’ pwoperly; but I don’t mind sounding northern – if ‘a’ and ‘u’ were supposed to be pronounced the same there would only be four vowels in the alphabet.  Northerners make good use of all five.  I think swear words have more impact with a northern accent but am not sure whether that’s a good thing or not.

Anyway, my bit went okay.  I didn’t faint or have a coughing fit or anything.  It seemed odd to be out of the office on a week day, doing something different and being able to appreciate the time and effort that people put into organising these charity events. Then I came home, took off my Jules Lucton costume, put on my warmest top that smells slightly of yesterday’s cooking, and applied for a job as a Test Analyst.

Twelve Weeks

My twelve weeks redundancy notice has been the longest time ever, and it’s not over yet.  In the new year, I found myself sharing my colleagues’ enthusiasm for future projects but then had to remind myself that I wouldn’t be around to be involved with the development, which has led to boredom and general lack of interest in any of the tasks I am given.  Although there are a few of us leaving the IT department, I am the only one from this site and have noticed that some people have started to speak to me differently, with a tinge of sympathy in their tone, as if there is something wrong.  It makes me think there must be.  Others keep asking if I have got a job yet.  No, I haven’t.

I got as far as a second interview and the guy from the agency named the day when he would phone and let me know … and then never phoned.  That was two weeks ago, and I have just about stopped carrying my mobile phone around everywhere.  I thought about phoning them but left it, thinking maybe if no-one else accepted the job they might come back to me.  Now I think I have seen it re-advertised with a more specific description of the role and the skills required.  I don’t want it any more though, I’ve moved on from that.  I said originally I didn’t want another job in IT – but this was close to home and appeared to fit.  I have applied for several other jobs that are not ruled out by my lack of experience or wrong qualifications, but other than an automated reply from a couple, I have heard nothing.  When people advise me to apply for anything, as I have nothing to lose, I am inclined to agree – I’ve probably told other people the same – but I do have a tendency to completely see myself in the particular role, so there is an emotional investment, and this is what gets lost when I hear nothing.

I have filled in a form to apply for voluntary work at a wildlife sanctuary but have not sent it off yet, in the hope that the offer of paid work might be just around the corner.  The thought of having nowhere to go, and not ‘belonging’ to anything scares me slightly. I started work straight after school and am lucky enough never to have been unemployed and, other than holidays, scheduled appointments, or working from home, I have never had time off.  I even have an award for attendance – a little plastic gold cup on my desk; an award for being a bum on a seat and for my mild OCD about being in the right place at the right time. Now at that age where bits might start dropping off, I am looking for some wood to touch in this office, but it is all plastic or formica.  I guess I’m also a little worried that if I end up out of work for a few months I will adapt to enjoying the freedom and will resent it being taken away again – but then  adaptation must be the key, so  it will work both ways.

The IT manager just made me laugh.  He was faffing around in the meeting room, setting up a projector.  Satisfied everything was ready to go, he walked across the office, stood beside my desk and said in his most polite and deliberate voice; “I have been tasked with presenting to the department a video about the state of the Company, and where we are now.  Would I be correct in assuming that you don’t give a rat’s arse?”  Bless him!

So, whilst everyone was watching telly I wrote this.  I’m glad I decided not to try to stick to writing about writing as I now have far more scope for writing – and no-one has to read it if they don’t want to!

Mad World

Yesterday morning when I was driving along a country road, a car appeared sideways from round a bend – the back end overtaking the front end as it drifted across my side of the road.  I swerved to the other side of the road to try to get round it but there wasn’t enough room and the rear end caught my front nearside wing and wheel.  Crunch.  The other car drifted along gracefully for some distance, thankfully losing momentum, so that it finally settled into the grassy roadside rather than hitting it with a bump and landing upside down in the ditch.  For the driver and his passenger, it must have seemed like an eternity before it came to rest.

Someone who saw it happen stopped to check that everyone was okay; delivered gratuitous male banter to the other driver, “You lost it there mate, didn’t you, ha-ha,”  then went on his way.  We then set about getting the cars off the road so as not to cause another accident, and exchanged details.

I phoned work and told them what had happened and that I would be ’working from home’, and everyone I spoke to asked if there were any witnesses.  Yes, someone stopped.  “Did you get his name and address?”  No.  The driver who skidded was a really nice guy.  Ashen faced, he had taken a brush from his car and swept all the debris off the road, and given me a card with all his details on.  “Did you take photos of the scene?”  No.  Our priority was to get the cars off the road and into nearby clearing as they were a potential hazard.

I knew they all thought I was daft, but sure enough, yesterday evening I had a call from the guy’s insurance company who said he had reported the incident and accepted full liability.  So there!  He’d probably gone and done his day’s work before going home and reporting it.  I wish it didn’t have to be anyone’s ‘fault’.  None of us really want to be driving on black ice in the weak early morning light – it’s just that we have to keep our hamster wheels turning.

Today I am ‘working from home’ again and will be collecting a hire car this afternoon that I will use until my car is fixed – but how silly is this:  The car rental firm is coming to collect me to take me back to their office to complete the paperwork so that I can bring the car back here.  Bearing in mind that the main road into the village is closed again due to flooding and we will have to go all around the Wrekin, why can’t they just deliver the car here and complete the paperwork on the kitchen table, saving everybody’s time and thirty-odd miles of fuel?  No wonder all our insurance premiums are so high.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

After a few weeks of ‘consultation’ I have today been given notice of redundancy from my job.  The consultation process has been a charade – a procedure that was necessary to safeguard the company from any possible litigation.  I believe they had already decided on the outcome, but we had to have meetings to put forward our ideas as to how the redundancy might be avoided.  The timing surprised me;  I was half-expecting it a few months ago when the legacy system I had developed and supported was finally laid to rest and I was struggling to learn the new programming languages, but this has happened just as I was starting to be useful.  There are a few of us going from IT and many old colleagues from other departments.  Budgets have been tightened and the company is cutting away some old wood.  The bugger of it is that I have to work twelve weeks’ notice, so I won’t finish until mid-March.  Traditionally in IT, anyone made redundant has their access to the systems revoked instantly and is escorted from the premises.  Unfortunately, that rule has just been changed here.  Maybe if I rant at my screen and say “delete” as people walk by they might let me go?

It has been a funny few weeks.   That initial meeting so suddenly called – and the first formal letter informing me that my job was “at risk” came out of the blue at a time when from my point of view we were particularly busy – so it came as a shock, followed later by a vague sense of bereavement at the thought of parting from my colleagues.  I have worked with some of them for almost thirteen years.  Now I am trying to focus on the things I won’t miss such as the bizarre heating system that blows hot air from the ceiling – drying out your eyes whilst your feet freeze beneath the desk …

I have been lucky with managers in that those I report to have always told me the truth as they saw it – but the truth has mutated with the passage of time and the failing economy.  Our project plans – all that future work – has suddenly lost its priority.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason, and was tentatively hopeful that my screenplay might make it through the BBC Writersroom and I would suddenly have loads of time to write scripts.  Not expecting to hear anything unless I was successful, I was surprised to find an email from them this morning – but it turned out to be a rejection.  By no means the first rejection I’ve ever had – it is something many writers get used to, and at least I know now, and I can knock that little fantasy on the head.  It means a lot to me to have dates and times, and to know what’s what.  I really wish it didn’t.  I wish I could be more laid back, and ‘take it as it comes’ but this is the way I am and yes, I know it is only a job, and losing it is way at the bottom of my list of the precious things in this life that I constantly worry about losing.  But yes, I was grateful to receive the email from work this afternoon.  I am on holiday this week – I was advised to use it!

So, what next?  Preferably something different – something that doesn’t necessitate sitting at a desk for hours on end … but what?  I am determined to be optimistic that this change is for the better.

Happy Christmas!

Love xxx

Old Dog New Tricks

This was supposed to be a blog that was mostly about writing – only I haven’t written anything recently, nothing in English, that is.  At work I write computer programs but the switch from iSeries RPG to web front-end C# with Sequel Server has resulted in me coming home feeling utterly mind-fucked; my head a cage-full of monkeys as the ideas of the fiction I might write come and go amidst the frustration of knowing exactly what the system I am working on is supposed to be doing, but not having the language skills to make it happen.  Then the nights are full of mind-loop dreams of unsolved and surreal problems that I would never get to the bottom of, if I tried all night, because they do not exist!  And there is the nuisance of Christmas approaching.

I don’t really have the aptitude for C#.   I believe it was created by a bunch of … gents who were concerned that higher level languages were a threat; opening the IT doors to none-IT staff.  Unfortunately, it has also closed doors for some veteran programmers, and I thought I was going to be one of them.

The transition from ‘top down’ to ‘object oriented’ programming has not been sudden.  The system I had worked on for hundreds of years was decommissioned some time ago and I expected to go out with it.  I was glad to be kept on but the deadlines for the latest project were particularly tight and I found I was doing extra hours at home, weekends and evenings, in order to just about keep up.  I am lucky enough to work with a small team guys who are not only technically brilliant but good friends too, and supportive – but I am determined I will not be carried by them.

I am picking up the new skills, slowly.   If you throw enough mud at a wall some of it will stick, but all the mud that has hit and slid away has been depleting, and all I have done in my spare time is easy-reading and nosying on friends’ Facebooks.   I am tentatively confident that this is about to change so that work can stay at the office and I can put some disciplined thought and time into another writing project.

Keep warm, and try not to get too muddy 😉

Jules

Sunday Evenings

I always feel ‘down’ on Sunday evenings.  I think it must stem from hating school. What didn’t help at the time was grown-ups saying that schooldays were the best days of your life. Just as well I didn’t believe them!  But then I was miserable in the first job I had straight after school – I simply could not please the boss and dreaded every day.  Only after I got another job and moved on did I learn that this woman had a reputation for bullying the ‘office junior’.  Fortunately, most were more resilient than I was.

Even if there is no school or work on Monday, that Sunday Evening feeling is always there.  Sunday: the worst evening of the week.

Things that have, over the years, shaped the Sunday evening:

  • “School in the morning” (said by a parent or grandparent)
  • Homework that has somehow been left until Sunday night
  • Double maths first lesson on Monday
  • Having to go to bed early when you got up late
  • Sunday dinner’s lingering smell – especially cauliflower which somehow manages to lurk half way up the stairs
  • Leftover cold chicken carcass, smelling like a dead body in a morgue (not that I’ve ever smelt one)
  • Depressing TV programmes that other people like to watch
  • Making sandwiches for tomorrow
  • Setting the alarm for the morning
  • Wondering what to wear and wishing I’d done some ironing
  • What if it’s snowing in the morning?
  • What if the roads are flooded?
  • Remembering I’ve forgotten to check my oil, water and tyres
  • Lying awake reuniting with Friday’s unresolved work issues
  • Lying awake yawning and getting cross because I’m not asleep and the alarm will go off in less than two hours
  • Getting cross because I had to look up whether ‘lying’ or ‘laying’ is correct and I’m still not convinced 😉
  • All that writing I thought I would have done, and I only did half of it …
  • Urm … Any that I’ve missed?

I guess Friday evening is the compensation.

Happy New Week!

Jules

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