Today, after 3 weeks of “consultation”, I’ve been officially made redundant. I feel relieved, resentful, angry, frustrated, elated, exhausted, mentally weak, mentally strong, excited, scared, hopeful. So many mixed emotions. Even though I’ve known it was coming since the end of last month, it’s still an odd sensation. Not that I was hoping the company would change their mind – indeed I’d have been disappointed if they had – but even when you’re content with a turn of events, its still an upheaval.
The sun is shining and I can see the rudiments of spring on my balcony. It feels like a sign.
Hyancinths ready to flower / a cute pansy face popping out from the undergrowth
2 year old snap dragon which keeps fighting back / spring berries
New shoots on my strawberry plants / pretty blossom tree
A couple of weeks ago I bought some pre-potted bulbs. I never think to plant bulbs; partly as I only have balcony pots to put them in but mainly because I always forget until it’s too late. With the job of potting some up already done by the shop, along with the fact they were starting to sprout, I invested in some red tulips, hoping for a sunny day to get them outside.
I carefully transferred them home in a carrier bag…and promptly forgot about them.
So, now that I have remembered them, they’re ready to be thrown away, right? No water or sunlight for more than 2 weeks, stifled in a plastic bag in a corner. They’re bound to have withered and given up.
Wrong! Look at my beautiful tulips!
Not only have they miraculously continued to grow, but they have done so in the most peculiar way; obviously growing towards the air and trickle of light that was available. Searching out the life force to not only survive, but flourish. That’s pretty bloomin’ special.
I’ve now popped them on my kitchen window sill, flooded them with water, and hopefully they’ll straighten out and grow upwards towards the sunlight; after which I’ll transfer them to my balcony.
I still have some snapdragons from a couple of years ago that refuse to throw in the towel; I thought I’d cleared them all out at the end of the summer but they sprouted back up in November and came into bloom.
Here’s a couple of pictures from the North Welsh coast from my weekend trip.
It all looks rather gloomy, but I quite like the power of a wild and windy seaside in cloudy weather. Not as much as I like a clear blue sky and white sandy beach, but the chances of that in Wales in March are slim to none.
And how quaint is this cottage?
Its one of the holiday park rentals; looks like something from a fairytale.
Today I’m off to North Wales for a 3 day mini break at a music festival called Hard Rock Hell. Which sounds very brutal and hardcore, but will actually be a lot of fun.
The organisers take over Hafan y Mor holiday park for the duration and there are lots of live bands playing in three different arenas. Because it’s out of season some of the holiday park facilities won’t be open, but there’s an on site shop, pub, etc. Accommodation is in a caravan, which I always turned my nose up at until a couple of years ago but now actually love due to the cosy home-from-homeness of it all. There are 5 of us sharing, which will be a new experience, so we’ll see how that turns out!
I have very eclectic music tastes and like a whole lot of stuff (some of it cheesy and embarrassing, but I don’t care!) I didn’t go to my first live gig until I was about 24 so was quite a late starter, but since meeting my husband I’m really into live music and love being at gigs with friends. He’s introduced to me a lot of smaller bands I would never have heard of otherwise, and things like Hard Rock Hell which I would never have dreamed of going to.
Hopefully we’ll get out and about for a wander and some sea air as well.
…goes to the person in charge of ordering supplies at my local Asda supermarket ; for running out of both standard size carrier bags AND bags for life, meaning the only options for packing up my shopping were the teeny tiny ones the size of a postage stamp (ok, slight exaggeration, but they’re so small that I needed 7 of them for one hand basket full of shopping).
Think of the environment! And my poor sore hands!*
Today I had a meeting in Stratford upon Avon – the birthplace of William Shakespeare; steeped in culture and history. Half way there, I noticed that my face was an unfortunate shade of orange! I had used new bronzing pearls this morning and evidently they were too effective. Rather than a warm glow I had a look of an oompah loompah (with a pale neck); not ideal job candidate material. Cue frantically rubbing my face with a tissue while navigating country roads.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time for a wander round Stratford. I did, however, make an unexpected stop in Wootton Wawen.
My only prior knowledge of this place was going through it on a train, and laughing because I thought the pronunciation sounded a bit Jonathan Woss-esque (I’ve since found out it’s pronounced Warn, which isn’t nearly as much fun). But today I drove through, and was thrilled by it’s prettiness, even on a grey day.
The Bulls Head pub was built in the 17th century – those are original beams and real thatched roofs.
St Peter’s church is one of the oldest structures in England’s Midlands. Its tower dates back to the 900s, if not earlier.
The building in the distance is Wootton Hall, and the grounds are home to a residential caravan site, aimed at “mature residents”. I couldn’t see any of the homes from the road, but what a picturesque place to live.
There’s also this weir waterfall, I think it’s connected to the lakes in Wootton Hall. I do love the sound of coarsing water; so powerful and nature-ish.
Oh,and I saw my first crocus of the year! And this sweet sign outside the village shop.
Wootton Wawen is probably only about 30 minutes drive from home, but couldn’t be more different. I’m going to head back in summer when the trees are in bloom, and maybe have a cheeky vino and some lunch in that wonderful pub.
After a few days of letting the redundancy news sink in, I’ve started to get pro-active on the job front. So yesterday I made some calls to recruitment agencies, and today I had interviews with two of them.
I’ve only had very brief experience with agencies previously, and that was 8 years ago when my skill set was very limited and people like me were two-a-penny; hopefully my career currency has improved since then. What to wear was a slight quandary, as it’s not formal but also you want to project the right image. I took my nose ring out to show I mean business!
While trying to find the first office I came across a young lad with a nosebleed, who told me he’d just had his wallet stolen and was trying to get enough change for a bus. Then I realised I was in completely the wrong place (my geographic knowledge of my own city is poor at times), plus the waistband on my tights was loose so I was scuttling along trying desperately to hoist up my opaques without drawing attention to myself. All this in galeforce winds. At least it wasn’t raining; no-one needs a frizzy me on their hands asking for a job.
My second interview was in another part of the city. I took this photo when I came out; it was beautifully sunny, although cold.
I thought I’d have a little sit down near the fountain before I left, but then the sun went in and my cape started blowing perilously close to the water (it’s a blanket wrap, I don’t think I’m a superhero). I did spot a lad walking round in a t-shirt, and a girl in sandals. Pretty daft when it’s only 7 degrees.
Poor old Madonna. So many people seem to find her Brits tumble hilarious – why is that? Why are we so keen to ridicule people when something bad happens to them?
The trouble with being in the public eye is that negative moments like that can become defining. The pictures of Naomi Campbell falling on the catwalk still surface from time to time, even though that was in 1993 (yes I had to google it, and yes that makes me feel OLD!)
I was in a nightclub once, with a new boyfriend* and some friends, when I perched on the edge of a table. Turns out the table top wasn’t attached to the table legs, and I went A over T, with the table top landing on top of me. The shame!
Stupidly, later in the evening, I did exactly the same thing again. Alcohol may have been involved.
*Said boyfriend later became husband, so no lasting harm was done, although we do still mention it from time to time!
Well done to Madge for styling it out, and being the consummate professional she is.