Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My Year in Pictures - 2014

That was the year that was....

After 2 redundancies and 12 years of low paid jobs, I was finally in a position to be able to buy a car.  It is the oldest car I have ever owned, it is the cheapest car I have ever owned, but, my word, it is the most appreciated of any car I have ever had the use of.

June saw exams and a week in Spain, most of the week was spent here...

 In the Alcatraz...

In Gringo Joe's....

Or in the strawberry cake shop, otherwise known as Bar Centric.

In September I travelled to Norfolk for a birthday party, I also visited some of the local attractions.

The Gruffalo Trail, High Lodge Thetford, Suffolk

 Banham Zoo, Norfolk

Gallifrey, Norfolk

September also saw me in Prestatyn for the Queen Fan Club Convention weekend.  Beautiful Haven site, but the sea had evidently gone away for the weekend too!

October saw me back in Norfolk for Halloween, alcohol may have been involved here, the theme was Doctor Who if anyone is still wondering,  I went as a fat Ace.

I again visited some local attractions.
Africa Alive, Suffolk

WWT Welney, Norfolk.

Then December was exams (boo) and Christmas, a colleague and I were taken out for a Christmas meal by our line managers (and friends) to say thank you for our help over the year.

Then Santa arrived

And New Year Happened.

The Grape Escape if anyone is wondering.

Happy 2015 everyone!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

My Christmas Presents

I wasn't going to follow the pack and do this, but then I looked at everyone else's posts and changed my mind.

These are my gifts...

From Mum and Dad I received the bottle of brandy, they also paid the deposit for the Queen Fan Club Convention weekend that I attend every year.

From elsewhere in the family I received a toilet bag with hand soap and hand cream.

From my friends at work I received a beautiful candle, a large selection of frozen cocktails (yummy) and some warm socks.

I didn't get anything from the dog this year, she was obviously a little low on funds.

Hope Santa visited you all too.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

My Birthday Wishlist

It is 10 days to my birthday and I am feeling sorry for myself, the office lurgy which has had various people off work over the last month or so hit me yesterday.

I also triple salchowed round the icy supermarket car park this morning and pulled muscles that I didn't even know I had.

So to cheer myself up, I decided to make a wishlist of birthday gifts, should money be no object.

  • Central Heating - I grew up in a house without Central Heating and I have lived in this house for 20 years without Central Heating with no problems whatsoever, but recently I have been feeling the cold more, not sure if it is my age or Global Warming, but I am almost always cold!
  • New windows - the existing windows have condensation between the frames and need replacing, it is worse in the kitchen and back bedroom.
  • New kitchen - the kitchen has not been updated since the 50s
  • Carpets throughout the house, I removed them all when I moved in, except for in 2 of the bedrooms, but now I want them back.
  • A new immersion heater so that I can have instant hot water.
Actually, I think this is making me feel worse.
  • An apartment in Calella, Spain, so that I only have to pay for flights and would therefore be able to afford to visit more times than I do now.
Something like this would be more than acceptable, this is in Sant Pol de Mar, the next town down from Calella
  • Someone to come in and organise my storage, such that it is, for me.  I keep attempting to tidy up but get bored and wander off.
  • My debts paid off, they are coming down slowly and I feel pleased with what I have achieved, but there is still more to do.
  • A place on a local ghosthunt
  • My ACCA letters! 
So if anyone is wondering what to buy me, feel free to pick from the above.

Friday, 26 December 2014

This fat-shaming outrage is getting old.

We have already established that I am fat, and that I am fat by my own doing.  And if I was that bothered I would make a proper effort to lose weight.

We have also already established that I don't believe in fat-shaming, if you have accepted that you are fat and are genuinely happy to be so then how can you be shamed by someone you do not know?

The latest outrage is over this tweet by Boohoo.

Boohoo have since bowed to pressure and removed the tweet.

The people currently writing to their MPs have clearly not seen Friends.  This is fat Monica from a Sliding Doors type episode.  She is fat, she is happy, she is dancing.  She is with Chandler who likes her for being her and does not notice her size.

If they really wanted to show a fat-shaming picture, then they could have shown any picture of skinny Monica who only lost so much weight because, back when he and Ross were at college, Chandler made fun of her weight, this shamed her into a major diet.

This happy Monica exists because in this alternative timeline Chandler was not a jerk.

So who is doing the alleged fat-shaming here?  Boohoo for showing a picture of fat, happy Monica or Chandler for laughing at her weight and shaming her into losing it?

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Maybe I do have personality problems.

A few months back I posted about Psychopathy and wondered if I maybe had psychopathic tendencies.  At the time it was said as a joke, but I am wondering more and more whether I do actually have issues.

If I read about someone else's problems I often think 'so what?'  I don't mean really serious problems or illnesses, I'm not that much of a bitch, but when people have had things going their way and then suddenly they don't I feel a bit too much joy.

I have suffered with depression for over 10 years, most of those spent trying to self-treat, but I always held down a job so when I read that people are 'too depressed to work' but not too depressed to go out every day with friends, or not too depressed to get pregnant, or not too depressed to go on holiday (that's another annoyance, if you never work, why do you need, and how can you afford, a holiday?), I get very angry with them.

When people claim they have no friends, and no money, and no-one to help with anything, then in their next breath are talking about their 'very good friends' and spending money on unnecessary things I get very angry.

When people announce they are pregnant, I get intensely jealous.

When I am feeling particularly low, and post or say something on one of my substitute friends (also known as facebook and twitter) and I get ignored, fair enough I am used to being ignored, but when someone else posts almost exactly the same thing and gets replies offering hope, help and companionship, I get very angry.

On the rare occasion that someone does say something nice to me, I can't cope and tend to dissolve into floods of tears.  If someone is shouting at me or telling me how useless I am, I just stand there and take it, no problem.

I don't find things funny that everyone else seems to.

I hate change that affects me.  

Little things that others ignore annoy me.

The recent tragedies in Glasgow and Cairns have left me unmoved, I'm not personally affected so therefore they are off my emotional radar.  And yet I donate to animal charities on an almost monthly basis and abused animals leave me in tears.  When I see that a pet has been stolen I am in tears.  When I see an old animal I am in tears.

Am I normal?  Is there something missing or not firing properly in my brain?  Should I try and get counselling?

My 'Ah ha' moment.

My 'ah ha' moment is not a positive one.  What a surprise, I hear you all cry.

For 30-something years, I knew I was single because I was fat and ugly and weirdly, this gave me confidence.  I knew that being fat and ugly made me invisible and that I could go where I wanted and no-one would see me, I joked that it was my 'cloak of invisibility' and I had mine before Harry Potter had even been thought of.

My 'ah ha' moment came about 7 years ago when I fell victim to a PUA student.

Despite just using me for fun, he did open my eyes and make me look at myself properly.

I realised that I wasn't the fattest woman out there.

I realised that I wasn't the worst looking woman out there.

But instead of this being a positive step it made me start wondering what it was that was so awful about me that I was still invisible to men.

I plucked up the courage to ask the cause of all this turmoil what was so wrong with me, but he just shrugged.

I turned inwards to try and answer this question.  I stopped going out, not that I went out a lot before, after all, it was obviously an act of cruelty to impose this on the world.

I still don't know the answer.

Although if someone did appear to be taking an interest, I would probably just assume that they were also making fun of me.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Gender Specific Toys - only if you want them to be.

I know I don't have children, and you have all been reading my blog to realise that I have pretty much a black and white view of the world, there are very few grey areas.

I hope that you have all realised that I am female too!

When I was little, my Gran spent a fortune on dolls and also a Silver Cross doll's pram to try and get me to play with them.  I didn't.  Eventually they all went to a little girl up the road.

I was far more happy playing with a remote control tank that my Grandad had bought, remote control in those days meaning that you were attached to the toy by a long wire.

I was also a huge fan of ferreting around in sheds, using hand tools, we had an old hand drill that I took great pleasure in making holes all over the fence and gate with.  I liked playing, I mean helping, up at the family allotments, I particularly enjoyed damming the small stream that ran through the middle of the site.

I loved running around scrapyards and builders yards, this was before Health & Safety was invented, most days I would come home caked in dirt from wherever I had been.

My other Gran bought me a Girl's World, I only played with it because I was fascinated at the way you could make the hair longer and shorter, the makeup that came with it I couldn't have cared less about.

If anyone had bought me a toy kitchen, I would have probably used the utensils to dig in the garden.

Children will play with what they want to, whether it is marketed for boys, girls or animals.  A doll will not explode just because someone with a Y chromosome plays without, similarly a toy chainsaw is not going to go rogue if the Y chromosome is missing in the player.

For a lot of youngsters, boxes are the best things ever as they can become many, many things.

Do you think it is a problem who toys are marketed at?

Monday, 15 December 2014

Another Christmas as a single woman.

Every year I say that 'this is going to be last Christmas and New Year as a single woman', and every year it isn't.

I watch everyone worrying about what to buy partners, children, the world and I wonder why people seem to make such a big thing about this time of year, why do they get into debt to buy presents, why the panic about not being able to get cranberry sauce?

Would I be like that if I wasn't single?

I'm guessing I will never find out as I am never going to be anything but single.

I leave the house for work, college and holidays and that is it.  Thanks to my medication, going to work and college is no longer an issue, leaving the house to go on holiday is still a struggle.

And when I do get out, I always holiday in the same place, and much as I love my time there, (if I get there, I have booked hotels and not used them) I know everyone, and I am never going to meet anyone.

I have tried online dating, it wasn't successful.  Although that is probably a good thing as I would have had to force myself to leave the house to meet up.

I do get annoyed when I hear people complaining about being single for weeks or months.  Try 43 years!

Whilst I was looking for a suitable illustration for this post, I came across this item from The Mirror, it's a Christmas survival guide for singles. 

  1. More money to spend on yourself - yep, bought myself a new duvet and pillows, boots and smellies.
  2. Don't be the only single person at the party - what's a party?
  3. Go for a winter escape - I was intending to, but outside forces (I shan't say what) put paid to that idea.
  4. Fill your time - I'm working most of Christmas and have no-one local to meet up with anyway.
  5. Catch up with family - I see Mum and Dad every day, I have no brothers and sisters.
Bah Humbug!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Exam Week - December 2014

This week I sat my two re-sits, two exams that I had failed in June.

The same complaints as before, the size of the desk which I measured this time, it was approx 45 cm x 60 cm, which when you consider that you have 2 A4 booklets (an A4 page is 21cm x 30 cm), plus pens, pencils and at least one calculator, there really isn't much room.

There were still the disturbances from people going to and from the toilet, luckily I wasn't sat right by the door for either of the exams this time.

For the first exam, the candidate sitting immediately to my left spent the entire 3 hours either talking to himself, chewing his gum really loudly or coughing.  I think the candidate to the right of me seemed to drop everything he had on his desk onto the floor at least once.

The second exam was a lot quieter, coincidentally, the average age of the candidates was a lot higher, there was a much higher proportion of people in my age group, usually they are all much younger.  The room was also a lot colder for this exam despite being more people in the room.

However, whereas for the first exam we were all sitting the same paper and therefore all finished at the same time, the second sitting was three different exams, one of which was just 2 hours.  Obviously the candidates sitting the 2 hour exam were allowed to leave once their time was up.

So why is that not considered a disturbance, yet someone leaving a 3 hour exam before the 3 hours is up is considered a disturbance?

The exams themselves were the first of the new format, part multichoice and part traditional questions.  And I am not sure whether I liked it.  I am looking forward to the exam review in PQ magazine to see what tutors and experts thought.

From the mutterings around me as people exited the exam hall, no-one seemed particularly happy.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Why don't I have friends willing to drive 100 miles to check on me and cheer me up?

I was on facebook recently, and in the ticker feed I noticed that someone had commented on a status, being the nosey person I am I had a look.

The person whose status it was had evidently been going through a bad time with their depression and they received so many invitations to visit people for the weekend.  Some offered to pay the train fare for them, one even offered to drive all the way to the Midlands to pick them up.

It must have been lovely for the poster to feel so loved and to have so many friends willing to put themselves out like that.  But instead of feeling happy for them, (trying so hard not to say him or her) I just thought 'where are my friends like that?'.

Why are my cries for help ignored?

Why is it acceptable for me to be lonely and see no-one from when I leave work to when I am back again, and apart from a couple of weeks a year, this is what happens.

I know I have posted before that I still have Mum and Dad, which I am grateful for, but at the age of almost 44 I STILL have nothing more to show for my life, no failed relationships, no children, no close circle of friends.

Where is my comfort blanket?