Archive for the ‘Meanwhile…..’ Category


January 22, 2011

Um, well ok. Since I last blogged with any regularity, you know, stuff has happened so here’s my bridge back 🙂

These are some things which happened since May last year.

Driving. Farking hell learning to drive was hard. I passed my test 3 days ago though 🙂 I inherited my driving instructor from my most neurotic friend so I had high hopes. Jim* was an ex marine from Leeds who has a catchphrase for everything and chattered constantly about Audrey*, ‘the wife’ (he was actually saying that! not on a sit com!!) and to his credit, didn’t lose his rag with me when I freaked out for the millionth time abotu scary lane changes. I am now driving on my own (watch out) and its going just about ok. Excpet this afternoon when I thought I’d trapped myself in a parking space so badly I thought I would have to go back inside the Devonshire and ask them to do a tannoy for me and make the owner of the car next to me move to let me out. I might have just died of shame if it had ocme to this 😦

Nursery. Small goes to a montessori two days a week now. Obviously I am supposed to at work whilst she is there but I’m not quite yet so in the meantime I finally have some time off from being a Mum. Before you judge me, my husband works away most of the time, I don’t get a break at weekends like most parents. I haven’t really had a break for a long time. Last time Small was poolry we stayed in the house for a week. 1 because I got it too and 2 because all of the lovely people who offered to help also have babies and I felt too guilty. Friday was my very first real break day when I drove Small to nursery and then had what seemed like one million hours to myself. I have been bouncing off the walls with joy since then!

Friends. Mmm friends yes. Massive cliche I know but having a baby fucks with your social life big style. Actually having a baby and graduationg fucks with your social life. In hindsight what happens is that big lifestyle changes act like a big old filter and do you a favour in the long run. Before this gets a bit crap and cryptic, my (perceived) bestest uni friends are no longer BUT I made lots of friends through having a baby who are amazing. The irony was that I looked everywhere for clever, cultured, self assured women who lean toward the tree hugging hippy lifestyle choice. And then I had Z and they just kept on turning up at the same baby classes. So as well as me having 5 new friends who I see twice a week, Small has 5 little friends to share her life with.

Job. I don’t have a job quite yet. My 12 month goal went out the window when driving terror fell in! I have an application deadline of February 5th and a heap of agency leads, well two. My hope is now to get back to work before easter. I have a social worker social do on Friday. I expect the shop talk to be depressing. There are lots of jobs but no money to do anything. I think the Riven Vincent case may be very topical.

House. We are atrempting to upgrade from Shep Towers. Wanky bachelor pad + truck loads of baby junk/diving kit/imaginary 2nd baby = chaos and arguments. When we have sold Shep Towers we have to enter the world of scary school catchment area issues. Yes, I have become someone else. Luckily I have mumsnet for this alter ego 🙂

Self. Well after nearly 16 months my size 8 jeans are too big he he. I know that makes me osund like a wanker but I NEVER thought I’d be me again, ever. Only thing for it is to walk everywhere shoving heavy pram, lots of gym ball crunches and a few gallons of Bio Oil. Yeh yeh. I had a baby and now I’m thin again. Dull isn’t it? I shall say no more 😉

And now its time to write proper posts, present tense like 🙂

My Secret Life

August 27, 2009

My parents were….

My Dad was a Civil Engineer but I don’t think it was ever enough. He was more of an armchair activist than anything else. I saw him once operating the loudspeaker on top of a campaign car for the Labour Party. I thought…it took him 70 years to do that.
My Mum, my mum knew what she wanted and did that. She put herself through college and trained as a school teacher, later specialising in Special Needs children and later the deaf. When I was little she taught adult basic education in the evenings as well. I think my Mum found fulfillment in her career easier than a lot of people I know. I think my Dad was always jealous of that.

The home I grew up in…..

Began as a regency town house with 5 bedrooms and 3 gardens with a gravel drive. It was cold and empty. Later it was a tiny cottage on the seafront that was cosy and warm and happy.

When I was a child I wanted to be….

About a million different things including a screen writer and a riding instructor.

At night I dream of…..

Reconcilliations and possible futures at the moment. Its very odd and I wonder if its something to do with big life changes coming up.

If I could change one thing about myself….

I’m not sure I would. I’ve had my ups and downs but I’ve enjoyed the ride. I’ve lived a priviledged life.

What I see when I look in the mirror….

I don’t look as old as I feel sometimes. And that confidence comes with age, not beauty.

A book that changed me….

Jack Common’s Kidders Luck. I wish I could get a copy of The Ampersand to go with it.

My favourite work of art….

I saw this sculpture in the Rome modern art museum by a sculptor called Bartholeme. It was his homage to his dead wife and was a marble relief of a sleeping couple. It was maybe the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

The last album I bought….

Was a Rolling Stones best of for Shep. Before that it was Kings of Leon for him and before that Abba – for him on his own in the car thankfully. I don’t really buy albums any more.

You wouldn’t know it but I’m very good at….

Getting other people organised – which is helpful for a Social Worker!

You may not know it but I’m not very good at….

Accepting compliments/postive feedback.

My favourite building is….

Columbia University in New York. It will always hold memories of freedom and youth for me.

Movie heaven is….

The Way We Were. I’ll always feel a bit like Katie.

The best invention ever is….


I wish I’d never worn….

Massive nail extensions like I did in the early 00’s. I think they look chavtastic now. And scary!

My greatest regret….

That I didn’t take more pictures. You think you will remember everything. You won’t.

Whats the point?

Be good and fear not?

My life in six words….

Its never too late to begin.

(theived from The Independent)


August 15, 2009

Since today I discovered my Social Theory exam is 5 days later than I’d planned for i’m awarding myself a short break.

1. If anyone doesn’t believe I actually look 8 months pregnant…think again!!


2. A taxi driver asked me if I had Russion roots because of my name. I told him my Dad named me after a child he read about in a museum in Moscow over 30 years ago. The taxi driver seemed pleased and told me it was a good name and ‘not too common’ in the UK. I wonder who will ask my daughter if she knew her name was Arabic.

3. I watched the film Grow Your Own last night on BBC2. It was the story of a group of asylum seekers/refugees being given allotments in Liverpool. It was so similar to my agency’s project we cou;d have written it ourselves. It was funny and subtle and very sad. I was very impressed.

4. On that note I’m going plant shopping tomorrow for the hatchling’s small balcony. Otherwise she will have a view into a gutter. Live things don’t fare too well up here so if anyone can recommend a really hardy perenial(sic) that doesn’t grow too huge in a pot I’d be pleased.

5. My ropey BT broadband is driving me fecking mad. I can’t have Virgin (no cables) and I’m reluctant to have Sky (don’t want a tv package). Any ideas?

Because theres more to me than just a bump (just about….still!)

June 18, 2009

We recently had a boss type person of Shep’s over for dinner with us plus PF. It was actually really nice and he was a very interesting chap. Today he sent me a thank you letter. Not an email/text….an actual letter – handwritten and more than two lines. I was astonished! And ever so touched. We have strict traditions in my family about thank you letters for christmas and birthday presents but even those have transferred to emails over the years. I’m just made up!

In other news I have had my second to last practice observation and my last meeting with practice supervisor, practice learning manager and academic tutor. I’ve had some really strong positive feedback which has been nice and a change from stupid assessors telling me I shouldn’t be letting the children I work with touch me (children i work with range from 4 months to 11 – the ones i see most are 2 year olds who climb all over me). Consequently I have been asked to speak at the uni in September to new social work students about social work in the third sector and opportunities to evidence theory in practice. I said yes, if I haven’t hatched by then.

Meanwhile…Here is a caption contest…

May 26, 2009

This is my beloved completing the Plymouth Half Marathon on Sunday.
shep running


April 26, 2009

I am fairly depressed today what with it being another home alone to write bits of portfolio day with the no company and or fun…but this cheered me up somewhat and reminds of every conversation i’ve ever had about boarding school with people who did not attend one.
Them: So where did you go to school?
Me: Actually I went to boarding school.
Them: Oh no, really? Poor you!
Me: No, I loved it, well except for the endless Bob Marley!!

To be fair BM seems quite inoffensive to me now but I still have issues with kids at my school in the later years trying to tell me that they were into the Fugees because they ‘totally got what it was about’. Thats a whole Stupid White People post on its own.


April 17, 2009

The sinusitis is officially getting to me now. I can’t have any meds for it. Its not getting better. I have started a course of acupuncture which is a bit odd and uncomfortable but i am open minded as the internet informs me it can be super effective. It made me throw up blood yesterday which was v scary and has never happened to me before. Tummy is a bit sore today. I am having a week off from placement/work and hoping a rest is whats needed.


January 6, 2009

1. I have started my placement at the charity which helps refugees and asylum seekers. I think it will be ok there. People were nice to me and I didn’t feel too much like a hopeless twat which is the extent of what I worry about really these days. There are 13 students there zalready who all seem v happy and enthusiastic which is comforting although to be fair I had a great time at my placement last year just doing my own thing.
2. The only downside to the above is that I imagine I will have to waste space in my portfolio having that rather dull value debate about whether accepting hospitality from service users compromises professionalism. It makes me quite mad. The succint version of my thoughts are that if an individual/family has the indignity imposed on them of having to accept services which they might not want but nevertheless have no means to pay you for then denying them the basic courtesy of making you a cup of tea is just bloody rude.
3. Shep and I have been watching Our Friends in the North (again as he’s never seen it). If you haven’t seen it you should.
4. We have no snow but its bloody cold.
5. I can’t help gloating a bit about more shop closures. Its all gone a bit survival of the fittest I think.
6. I am lurching toward the the end of my Direct Payments essay and must begin the child protection one imminently.
7. Did anyone watch Panorama last night? It was about sexual bullying in schools. Any thoughts?

If I knew then….what I know now!

December 29, 2008

I was going to do a post about new year resolutions (which I make every year and do not keep), Instead I have decided to make a list of all the things I learned/discovered in 2008. I tag you all to do the same if you like.

1. Shep can retouch my roots better than I can. (and enjoy it more!)
2. Babies are extremely messy/funny in equal measures.
3. Never again to let a friend be discharged from hospital alone. I made a solemn promise recently that god forbid if there is ever a next time that i’m showing up at 7am with a stack of books and magazines prepared to wait it out rather than put anyone through that again.
4. When you leave a hotel room, make sure you check EVERYWHERE that you haven’t left anything behind. (i can’t tell the story since i forbade shep from doing so)
5. Telling the above story to all your work mates at the xmas party will amuse them/embarras a 17 year old boy quite effectively.
6. As will explainig that you think its completely normal to display naked pictures of yourself on kitchen cupboards at all times.
7. Prison Break is totally addictive. I’m already over excited about Season 4.
8. That when you believing in yourself for a while – other people will pick up the slack until you get back on your feet.
9. I’m alot more competitive than I thought.
10. My Dad is never going to change/behave in a civil manner/ever have any real considerations for the feelings of his daughters.
11. That I’m starting to think that when someone stops talking to you that its not because they don’t like you anymore, its because they don’t like themselves.
12. That sadly, George Lamb or his father are not going away any time soon. Sadly. (if you went to my(and George’s) school then you’d understand)).
13. I am much fitter than I thought (with the climbing mountains n all that)
14. My Name is Earl is also great.
15. Easing up on the GHD’s will do wonders for your hair. And your man.
16. That ‘you can never look back’ is a well meant but pointless piece of advice. More useful would be ‘if you want to escape the past then stay the hell away from it!!’.
17. I will always be a dissapointed idealist trying to save the world.
18. That we’re not in Kansas anymore. Meaning that things down here will never be quite the same as they were in the somewhat more enlightened midlands. (i could explain but i’d be here a while!)
19. Expect the unexpected and apply this to everything.
20. The more things change, the more they stay the same. You can apply that to alot of my life too.


December 16, 2008

Since I passed my resit I have mostly been….

1. Arranging my placement for this year to start in January as promised at the charity for the refugees which was set up by my faculty 5 years ago. Tasks I will undertake there include digging on the allotment, sewing with muslim ladies, cooking and eating at the Cultural Kitchen, possibly making a film for tv about the asylum experiences of young people, doing some website development for them and generally being more busy than I can get my head around.

2. Going to London to visit my H, my travel buddy and Special Opps. The former was a bit strange an a sad reminder of how some friendships peak and wane over time. I might explain a bit more sometime, I might not.

3. Getting in over my head at un again. I was asked to do some training with Practice Assessors last week by the Dean of my faculty. It was bloody terrifying. However I did relax enough to really in my own words ‘gob off a bit too much’ about some bad practice I’ve experienced. I got sent a transcript this morning of the ‘aspiration’ discusssion they had at the end of the training. Its all the points I raised, word for word but repeated by 11 people. It was accompanied by a gushig email from the Dean who incidentally insisted on coming with me last week and meeting my Mum. Sometimes I have a handle on whats going on in my life…this time I got nothing!!

4. Going to Gloucester for the wedding of some friends of Shep and I. We had the best time lounging in the hotel, stuffing ourselves and generally swanking it up in our best outfits. Photos on facebook if you want to see.

5. Getting excited about xmas. I can start my shopping now. Xmas day arrangements have been made. Since I’m quite traditional I will NOT be putting the tree up until xmas eve however. But this weekend I have another party to go to plus its our one year aniversary on Friday so we are off to Tanners for more stuffing and swanking!