Category Archives: Random

The suspense…

probably should be more than it is, but I’m not getting really excited until tomorrow night. For such is the joy of my working life that I could be finishing tomorrow or the day after, the jury’s out temporarily. I don’t mind which, other than I’ve stated firmly I want to know before I come home tomorrow night. Because I’m not travelling into work the day after to find there is none!

So either tomorrow or the day after sees the end of what has been Quite a Year!! In more ways than one!

This time last year I was surrounded by packing boxes, not sure of anything except change was going to happen. There have been more changes than even I had imagined, more moving than I wanted, and more uncertainty than is really good for me.

This time this year… well, there’s still loads of change in the offing, I have no real idea about what paid employment will be like after the end of this week, I’ve no idea how long I’m likely to be living where I am – it’s likely to be the next few years, but could be only another few months. But, the change in me is huge. I’m much, much more settled, and feel as if I’m becoming the person I’ve always thought I was meant to be, not the one I was in danger of becoming.

I will temporarily be returning to the world I’ve left. I’m not certain at the moment if it’s a good idea, several of my friends think I’m completely mad. Only one understands why I’m doing it! I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do, it’s what I would’ve been doing around now if I’d not chosen a different path, and this will be an appropriate way of rounding off that period of my life. I’m glad that there is clarity about one major issue that hadn’t been particularly clear until about a fortnight ago, that will make the few days so much easier. There’s no “technical” status about it now, it is definite.

Hopefully, by the time I return, some of the day to day uncertainties will have cleared up!

They mean well…

Oh my goodness me.

Somewhere, somehow, in family folklore, I have been assigned this role of hapless, eccentric, elderly female relative (can’t pin it down to any one – this was after an afternoon out with three generations!) who can’t cope with real life, who is on a totally different planet…. (well, possibly that last one is true!)

So, as my aunt and I were settled, by our younger relatives, into a quiet corner of a coffee shop whilst the rest of the gang sidled off to continue the shopping, we looked at each other, spluttered, and said in unison “They mean well!” They had done their duty by me, had asked all the questions they wanted to ask, but it was time to put me back in my box as this really weird relation who gets let out to play on the family arena occasionally, as and when they can cope. They had to go back to their realities, because mine is just too, too peculiar.

We had a long conversation about it all, my aunt and I.. and it is true, my siblings and cousins and I have always had totally different outlooks on almost everything. Different values, different interests, different lives. I’ve had so many times of being told I needed to try harder to fit in with everyone else, that it was me at fault if I wasn’t a part of family events, I was the “different” one, I was the one who had to adapt and learn. So, keeping away and limiting time with family has been my way of coping.

What made me feel so much better about it all was the admission from her that actually it’s not been me that’s put myself outside the family circle, as I’ve been told on so many occasions, in fact, I’ve been put there and kept there. It’s suited my family very well not to try to engage with the reality of my world. It’s not been lack of effort on my part, it’s been lack of effort on theirs.

I don’t think outwardly things will change, but there are little signs all round that a bit more effort that isn’t all mine might be made!!

This could be a tricky one…


The good news is I’m not expected to be part of the whole day shopping trip for my female relations, I have been informed my presence is only required at the lunch stop. Apparently the consensus was taking me on their quest for posh frocks would not enhance the experience for any of us. It’s an excellent point! I believe the two younger members of this group have also been informed they are on their own until lunch-time, too.

The bad news was trying to arrange to meet up! My points of reference in the city centre are clearly unique… churches, bookshops, library, railway and coach station. All of which drew a blank with my relations. Well, not the one railway station they will be using, but they don’t want to walk back to there to meet me! They then listed numerous clothes shops. My inability to say confidently I knew where they were has confirmed them in their decision to arrange to meet me at lunch time. I took a lot of rude comments for not knowing the city in which I live… I decided not to point out I do know the main city centre really well, I’ve worked there, this is my fifth year of living in this city… but I rarely, if ever, go into the shopping centre where all the expensive shops are!! Especially since the demise of the bookshop I did occasionally visit.

The somewhat irritating part of it all is I arranged to have today as a day off, which took a bit of doing, and refused to change it for something else I’d much rather have done. Oh well, my reward will be in heaven, possibly…..

Nota Bene

All attempts at asking my brain to work are failing.

All attempts to interact with other human beings are also failing.

I declare myself Out Of Action until further notice. Thank you.

In which Very Important Matters are contemplated

First of all, an overhaul of the Sock Department is about to take place. Despite the solitariness of my existence, and no other persons socks having been in washing machines I’ve used for the past six months to confuse matters, (I have returned the one sock that had somehow worked it’s way into my Sock Department from the last abode) I am once more at the stage of having several odd socks, and no partners for them. More importantly, the long, knee high socks for under trouser wear in these inclement weather times are showing signs of decrepitude. Holes are appearing where holes should not be in most of my socks.

Moreover, Best Friend has threatened to visit and attend to the overhaul herself if I don’t. As I wish this to be an overhaul, not a massacre, it’s becoming a matter of some urgency. Best Friend is somewhat outspoken in her opinion of my ability to make certain of my clothes last longer than I probably should. She would also have no qualms at marching me to my Sock Department and demand I do something about it.

Secondly, there are the Other Undergarments Departments. Both of which need attention, due to the slowly, but steadily Changing Shape of a Japes. Given this is likely to continue for a while to come, I’m reluctant to do much about this yet.

Thirdly, there is the extremely pleasing matter that the utilities bills were about a third less than I was expecting.

Fourthly, if I have done no other good for some time in my work place, I now have a deeply reluctant learner who’s grasp of basic mathematical concepts are seriously limited, but who can now recognise the difference between perimeter and area, and how to calculate both for a simple shape.

Fifthly – may turn into a separate post!


Of all the things I hate about moving, finding someone new to cut my hair is pretty high on the list of the stress factors.

It was decision time this week… and this weeks stress started with me going to the hairdresser I’d been to before, one of the walk-in chain variety, to discover they now will only do dry cuts when it’s a minimal trim, otherwise you have to have your hair washed. Wetting it doesn’t count.

So, it was a toss up between taking myself off to the area I’m moving to in three weeks or so, and finding someone there, or looking in the local shops, which conveniently are on a direct bus route from New Area, to see if I could find someone I liked. Which I have done.

We chatted – which is really unusual for me in a hairdresser. I hate talking to people I don’t know when I can’t see them as I’m seriously short-sighted without my glasses on! She did as I asked, not as she wanted, and was complimentary about the state of my hair!! “Can’t remember the last time I cut natural hair!” was the comment, after she’d asked if I’d ever had it coloured/permed/used styling products, and I cheerfully replied in the negative to the lot, said I didn’t even own a hairdryer, and had only started using conditioner since the infamous Hot Chicken Fat all over my Hair Day. Which had necessitated 27 applications of washing up liquid and cool water to remove the fat… and luckily happened a day or so before a hair cut was due, which protected both my face and scalp from worse damage.

So, that’s that one solved!

Just got to get registered with a doctor asap now.

Silly Season is upon me…

The next fortnight looks ridiculously busy, on paper. I know, I’ve just written it all down. It’s one of those times if I don’t have a timetable on my wall, I’m apt to go horribly wrong. It’s not quite as bad as it looks, though, as for some of it I’ll just be sitting patiently, to do my little bit, then sneak out again!

I do wish ordination season was better organised, though. I think I’m kind of grateful they’re all roughly in the same direction, and not opposite ends of the county this year.

Then, it’s preparation time for the children’s holiday work stuff… This year, I am not getting dressed up as any character at all, for which I am truly and deeply grateful. I cannot guarantee I won’t end up either soaking wet, or smothered with shaving foam or some other delightfully childish substance, at some point, though.

It perturbs me that of all the things I could have remembered easily on a health and safety test after a three hour session, the one thing that seems to have stuck in my brain is the date of the Manual Handling Regulations. (1992).

Victory declared

I think I can declare the Grand Sort Out finished for now. I have achieved most of what I set out to do, and that which I haven’t managed this week, can wait until my next few days of solitariness. Which will be upon me very soon.

But, I have tackled the Top of the Wardrobe, the Top Cupboard, the Space Under the Bed, and dusted the Shelves Behind the Books.

I do have one small dilemma… my cassette tapes. My cassettes are not in their first flush of youth, some of them are nearly as old as me. But, they were my very first collection of recorded music, carefully purchased using limited Saturday job income, and some of my favourite recordings are on them. My cassette playing machine is distinctly newer, but was involved in a little mishap a couple of years ago during a Painting and Decorating Saga, and it’s never been quite the same since. So, I can’t quite tell if it’s machine or tapes, and there is no other machine in the house to test them on.

A return to my normal routine beckons tomorrow… (EDIT.. oops, I mean today! I hadn’t realised it was quite so close to midnight) apart from the extra plant watering duties, which cease the day after.

Confession time

I’m having a somewhat minimal Holy Week.

Oh, it’s still busy by many peoples definitions, but I am not feeling obliged to go to everything on offer. Holy Week is done pretty thoroughly in these here parts, and I’ve got an eight day individually guided retreat starting on Monday. (That’s eight full days, so I won’t be emerging until the Wednesday of the week after.)

Yesterday I was like a grizzly bear with a sore head and a toothache and any other kind of ache likely to cause the bear to be cross and irritable. I was ready to fight my own shadow if it flickered the wrong way. I was seriously fed up with myself by the middle of the afternoon, and it didn’t aid matters that I was awoken from the nap I was having (as an attempt to see if that would improve things) by someone who I very rarely get cross and snappy with. And I, um, got very short and snappy.

Luckily, that seemed to snap me out of it! I gave myself a severe scolding, reminding myself the world did not revolve around me, I was getting wound up about something that didn’t really matter, had I forgotten how awful self-induced migraines were, (as a teenager, when seriously stressed out by something, I could bring on a migraine, but learnt other ways of dealing with my stress when I realised what I was doing. I’ve not had a migraine in the 25 years since this realisation) and did I really want to revert to those, which at the point of the nap, I was in serious danger of doing.

I will apologise for the snappiness tomorrow… but it may not have been noticed! (It’s happened before, I think I’ve been really nasty, gone to apologise, and been told it hadn’t been noticed.)

In other confessions…

I have spent too much time hitting a Penguin with a Flamingo, and causing said Penguin to crash into trees, (and Elephants, and occasionally Giraffes) bounce off Snakes, slithered over Elephants, and been thrown by Giraffes.

I have cleaned my room, but am afraid to tackle the Area Under The Bed, the Shelf Space Behind the Books and the Top Of The Wardrobe.

I have failed to write two letters which need writing, but will now have to wait.

I am about to be late for the one bit of non-Triduum Holy Week I’m taking part in!

Don’t panic, Japes, just don’t panic.

Breath, and calm, and think positive thoughts…


I know I’m ready. I’ve done all the print outs, all the equipment is packed up and ready to trundle, I’ve practiced all songs, I’ve got enough Duck Tape and hazard tape, along with extension leads, to get us through a national emergency. I’ve organised everyone to within an inch of their lives…. Why do I get involved in creative liturgies?! Especially in these days of Health and Safety and Fire Risks and….

Finger is unbruised enough to cope with all tomorrow will bring.

My inner being, though, is fairly bruised from yesterday, and I think I’ve worked out why. I need to stick to the resolve I made never to let this particular friend rant at me about another friend. I had more of it than I can can cope with, at a time when I don’t need it, and I certainly didn’t need the brand of teasing I was getting either, I know there are some brands of teasing I don’t respond well to, (I’m better at covering it up than I used to be, but it’s still not great….) and I thought this friend was aware of it. But obviously not… and it’s one of those really stupid things where I feel I could well make matters worse by trying to explain it to her, when actually, she really wants to see something in a situation that’s just not there.

Then, the household returns to normal today, and I’m not sure I want to hear what might be coming back from this meeting.

Why didn’t I agree to plan B?