Thursday, 28 May 2009

what an evening

Hullo ma wee blog,


Sitting in the garden enjoying the last of the days rays on my shoulder. The lovely G is out at a friends for dinner, an acquaintance from the early train to Edinburgh who has just recently changed jobs. So here I am, on me tod. I have opened a rather nice surprise from our meagre stock of wine in the rack in the kitchen - really must do something about that - an Argentinian oak aged 2007 shiraz called "The prop", and its a bit of a find, really nice and deeply flavoured, fruity and peppery and just now looking at the back of the bottle, a satisfying 14% abv. It is after all part of the reason to drink isn't it? Having been sitting in our warm kitchen for god knows how long too its just the right temperature and the flavour is lingering nicely on the palate. The birds are singing and if I listen carefully I can every so often hear the sheep in the fields at the edge of the village and the occasional mettalic rush of a train on its way from Edinburgh to points south on the east coast line. I feel quite mellow.......

I had a meeting today with the advisor from Careers Scotland to show me how to do a CV and tell me how to apply for jobs! He was a nice guy and after I brought him up to speed with what I have been doing so far and letting him know that I have quite high expectations, he seemed to treat me like a bit more of a proposition. I suppose these people are often dealing with folk who dont actually want to work and tend to try the sheep dip approach for everyone. Its not me. I'm going to go stir crazy if I dont get some work soon, and its only been five weeks if you include my garden leave. I told ham about one of the jobs I am applying for and he was able to point out a similar vacancy that has just come out today in another local area so I will be having a go for that. My problem, if it really is a problem, rather than my perception/fear is how employers are going to feel about me coming from a particular background where my role is not expected to come from. I hope it doesn't exclude me from interviews. I am trying to write my CV to highlight just how transferable my skills are and I hope I can do this clearly. I feel I have had enough this week and am going to take the day off tomorrow for me and get some stuff done around the house thats been bugging me and also spend a bit of time in the garden if the weather is good.
Listening to............Leonard Cohen "Take this waltz"



see you later.........

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Crivens, jings and help ma boab, what a shocker!


Went out last night with the lovely G, just up to the headland to take a couple of sunset shots as it was a clear and bright evening and the view from up there when conditions are right is one of my all time favourites and makes me glad that I live in a place like this. We took the road out along the headland as I had spied a couple of places along the road where I would be able to take some nice photos.
We stopped and I duly did my stuff and we were back in the car just coming along the road to rejoin the main road when I spotted some lambs cavorting in the field at the side of us. And, a convenient little part of the stone field wall that was substantially lower than the rest. Aha! I thought, that will do me for some cover and I'll be able to get in nice and close without startling them , as my lens isn't the best for that kind of shot. So I duly coasted quietly to a stop, slid out of the drivers seat and made my way in my best BBC wildlife photographer approximation to the aforementioned low part of the dry stane dyke. I saw that there were a lot of nettles growing around, but they were all low and with careful positioning I could avoid them no problem. I looked down and placed my knee in the appropriate spot, knelt down and raised the camera carefully to position.
I waited a moment and then I saw a group of lambs approach clearly unworried or even better, unaware of my location. They were however still slightly out of the ideal position and as I looked through the eye piece I leaned forward to bring them into a better fit in the frame. There was a loud bang { I later found out that was just in me head} when my forehead came in contact with the electric fence that I hadn't spotted, I jolted to one side hitting the dyke with me shoulder and knocking the top two stones into the field just beside the lambs, causing them to bolt. I then jolted in the opposite direction and, losing my balance, tumbled neatly into the nettle patch becoming very closely aquainted with the stinging flora all around me.

By the time I got back to the car to G who had missed the entire episode as she was fiddling with the radio or something, I felt like I had my hair completely on end, my jaw twitching spasmodically and was covered from head to toe in earth and nettle stings. I was literally seeing stars. Heaven know what voltage was going through that thing.
I managed to open the door and slumped down pathetically beside her. I felt like I was drooling uncontrollably and just needed a moment and some compassion. She straightened up in her seat again, still without looking at me, and looked out the opposite window from where I was and said
" If your quite finished, I think a cup of tea would be in order, dont you? "

I looked at her and put the car into gear.......

Listening to...........stereophonics "gone to the movies"

see you later.........

Apologies for the name


The blog is named after a similar saying by "Oor Wullie", a cartoon character in the Scottish paper, the "Sunday Post". He has short spiky hair, wears dungarees and sits on an upturned tin pail. Unlike me he hasn't changed in the last fifty years. When in dire straits, he has been known to utter " Jings, crivens and help ma Boab". Roughly translated it derives from "Jesus, Heavens and Help Me God!" or something like that..........

And that's also what came naturally to mind when I was trying to think of a name for the blog anyway.

Listening to....... The Proclaimers " Throw the R away"

see you later..........

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Me, and flowers?






Ever since I have had a decent camera I seem to be becoming more and more fascinated by flowers and trying to take a decent picture of them. I love it and now often wander off and leave G looking at other stuff until she almost has to remiond me that perhaps we should be moving on. Its amazing how interesting they are to photograph and I can't understand why I never looked before. Its as though just carrying a camera makes you look at things in a different way. Maybe us blokes should have to carry one all the time!
Listening to...........Queen "I'm in love with my car"
see you later.........

Monday, 25 May 2009

A lovely day and a visitor


Evening over Torness.

Its been a cracker of a day today weather wise and one of the lovely G's friends has come to stay over. G and I always enjoy visitors and its nice to catch up with folk again. Miss C arrived at about 10.30am and after a quick catch up cup of tea I took her and G off to drop them so they could walk along the headland to Fast Castle, a nice walk of about half an hour downhill to the fragmentary remains of what must have been an amazing sight. The site of the castle, jutting out into the sea atop some rugged cliffs covered in sea birds is absolutely stunning. And of course it comes with its own legends of fantastic treasure just waiting to be found. Not that I'd want to lug it back up that hill mind you as its a bit steep in parts.

After a couple of hours I picked them back up {although I was late - what can I say, I'm a bloke!} and we all went to a local hideaway restaurant for a { on their part} well deserved lunch and a nice bottle of red wine. The weather was glorious and we ate outside, a leisurely affair of a couple of hours before coming back to the house, a seat on the patio and our special sunny day treat of Asti with lime - a couple of limes squeezed into a jug of Asti spumanti - which turns a bit of a howler of a wine into something quite spectacular. Give it a go you will be amazed. { thanks for the tip Nigella!!}

While they chatted I went to a local supermarket to pick up some stuff for dinner in the evening and lunch tomorrow, forgot my wallet, had to leave the shopping in store and come back home for afore mentioned cash holder, dash back and pay - typical. I had managed to find some nice cheeses and biscuits for a late supper and I got everything I wanted to make some thai fishcakes which we will have for lunch at some time before C has to leave to go back to Harrogate on Mon.

As it should be with friends, wine and banter flowed freely, music played in the background and a great deal of lifes problems were put to rights in a happy, reflective way. Even with a short trip out to the headland again as I thought the light looked great and wanted to take a couple of sunset shots, soon we realised that midnight was on us and the ladies decided that it was a good time to head off to bed before I turned back into a frog or something. I stayed up for another hour or so going through the photos I had taken today and others that I had put onto the laptop, organising and editing and generally tidying stuff up into folders etc before eventually calling it day and heading off to bed too.
Looking forward to what today will bring.
see you later.............




Saturday, 23 May 2009

Why would that be?

Just noticed that the time of posting is listed as 7pm. Wonder why that is. Is the blog hosted somewhere else in the world I wonder? It is 4.30am - honest injun!

see you later...................

Redundant, who - me?


Redundancy seems to do strange things to you. Which is why I am sitting in my kitchen writing this at four o'clock in the morning. My mind is full of stuff and its making me toss and turn and to avoid waking my wife, the lovely G, I decided I should give in and get up for a bit. Daylight is seeping in through the windows and the dawn chorus is in fine voice. The view out of the bedroom window upstairs is across the garden to the bowling green and is actually quite lovely in this light as there is a long line of gold and pale brown across the horizon. Having decided to get up has immediately helped quiet the voice in my head and looking out across the stillness of the garden has calmed me in moments. I feel better already.

I have picked some music to match my mood and am just now listening to the beautiful, ethereal sound of the track " sacrifice" from the film "The Insider". The sound seems to hover about the room and feels like a call to the morning, a haunting instinctive hymn to the start of the day. At one time calming and restorative and, it feels, just a bit healing..........

My mind has been milling over the days events and it feels like I have at last come to a crossroads where I will be able to cut off dealing with my employer and start truly looking forward and getting myself sorted out. Its taken too long to get to this stage, more so because I have been waiting for a resolution to a dispute about pension funds.

During the redundancy process I was informed that I would be contacted six to eight weeks after leaving by the pension dept to give me my pensions options as I will be losing a final salary pension, which is a big thing when you are my age and have been working for the same company for thirty two years. Having done a bit of research I had found out that I could put a lump sum into my pension from my redundancy pay tax free and decided this was what I wanted. On bringing this up at what is jokingly called a "consultation" meeting, I obviously caught my head of dept and his personnel manager assistant for the process off guard as neither of them knew if this was possible. As I had discovered that as this could only be done as my redundancy pay was processed, I argued that it would be unfair to pay me off until I had the information to allow me to make a calculated decision, and so I was given a stay of execution for a week until they got me the information I needed. As it has transpired due to poor communication and blatant incompetence on their part it has taken them five weeks to get me the information and the forms needed and I found out at the start of this week that they were sneakily planning to make this wait part of my redundancy lieu of notice pay. Well to cut a long story short, I succeded in persuading them that this too would be unfair and have managed to get them to agree that my redundancy date will be as of today. So - an extra five weeks pay - which feels like no small victory to me. And another bonus is that I will qualify for another year of profit share. That should be worth a couple of grand too. What a result! Get it right up ye ya shower of B's!!!



Ah well, my tea is finished and maybe I can slip back under the covers for a wee cuddle and a snooze to start off the weekend.

See you later.................

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Annoyed already and introductions



Been setting up this blog, which is no mean feat for someone as technically challenged as me, and am already getting mildly cheesed off that I cant choose to tell you exactly where I live in the profile section. Oh no, that would be too simple I suppose. I have to say that I'm from the UK, as thats in their selection criteria, but really what I want to say is that I'm that from Scotland. Its only a small point I know, but for gods sake, its a bloomin country! We have our own parliament and everything. !
Ach, you'll just have to get used to me, wont you.

Anyway, Like I said above somewhere, I,m just the wrong side of 50 years old, or at least thats how it feels right now, and am lucky enough to live in East Lothian, a county which is a really bonny part of Scotland, a few miles east of Edinburgh. Its rural but still close enough to town that when the mood takes me I can be sitting in an Edinburgh pub having a beer or watching a movie in less than an hour. In the space of a month I have lost my job, my forties, my sense of humour and my Dad, of all of which there will be more to come. The worst of these of course is losing my Dad, but I still kind of find it hard to talk about him at the moment. Maybe later hmm?

I dont want this to be about loss though. I want to try and use this blog thingy to help me go forward, to have a moan sure, but to have a laugh too! I hope it can help me get ma heid around stuff as I'm in a bit of a fankle at the moment. In the course of posting I will no doubt tell you about the shitty minutia thats my life at the moment, and a bit about me, my family, my likes and dislikes etc etc, and the daily trials and tribulations of not having to get up in the morning and go to work like I did almost every single day for the last thirty two years. Actually most of this feels the same as just about any other blog so I wont be offended if you want to bugger off somewhere else. Your probably busy and got better stuff to do eh?

In the meantime please forgive me but I, for my part, am going to treat you like my imaginary friend. I've never had one before. An imaginary one that is - dont be sarcastic. I'm very vulnerable just now. You never know it might be fun.
Listening to right now.........Porcupine Tree " Arriving somewhere, not here"

see you later..........

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