Thought I would have a go at Listography organised by the Kate Takes 5 blog this week looking at bad jobs. Here is my list.

1. Placement in a Company Law Department of a Solicitors’ Firm.

I wanted to be a lawyer ever since watching Crown Court on the telly. I wanted to be a barrister with the fancy costume and mouth off a lot as a child. As I got older, I saw myself as a campaigning solicitor fighting to redress miscarriages of justice. Im my late teens, I did Summer work experience placements at a solicitors’ firm. I used to go in the Personal Injury Department. I loved reading all the gory details of people’s injuries and helping to come up with an amount to compensate them. One year, the partner decided I should try another department and company law bored me stupid. In fact, on reflection, I think this is when I started to get turned off the whole idea of being a lawyer. Seriously, if it was about making rich people richer and wearing tights that never laddered, somehow I thought I would probably never fit in.

2. Advice Agency With Troublesome Boss

I had a job in an advice agency once. I loved the work and was good at it. It is such a good feeling to see someone coming in despairing and then to enable them to turn the situation around. Showing them their rights and their responsibilities. Giving them a voice and kicking ass when necessary with various authorities including creditors, landlords, employers and the Government itself. Great to be able to campaign for policy changes too. In this particular agency, I had one of those bosses who was just against me from the start. Despite the fact that I was saving people’s houses and sorting their problems out, she focussed on whether my desk had too many papers on it or whether I had remembered to wash my coffee cup. I let her get to me and used to dread going in. One day, I decided I had enough and never went back.

3. Charity Project With Unrealistic Targets

In the not too distant past, I had a job which involved getting prisoners into volunteering placements. Now not to put too fine a point on it, it is up to the prisons whether they want to let people out or not. I did my utmost but they were cynical especially after incidents before my time where prisoners had dealt drugs from their volunteer placement or gone off and got a tattoo whilst out for the day on placement. This project was one of those charity projects where no proper research had gone on before funding was applied for. I was not confirmed in post after my first six months for not meeting targets which, to be fair, were unachieveable from the start.

4. Charity Project With Bullying Boss

There was another job that I really loved and did well at. I exceeeded all targets but it seems in the charity world that can be as annoying an issue to bosses as not meeting targets. My boss bullied me. He used to have meetings with the other staff and exclude me completely from them. He did not apply for funding to renew my post purely as a way to get rid of me. I made too much noise. I have a habit of doing that. Fortunately, in the blogging world, this is allowed so it suits me down to the ground.

5. Unpaid Housekeeper

This is a bugbear of mine. I really don’t understand why several people can live in a house and yet only the wife and mother is held responsible for the housework. People tell me I am blessed because I have a husband who does housework. I don’t agree with that. He lives here so he should pitch in when it comes to housework as should all members of the family. It is not that my family don’t help but they say things like “I have done the washing up for you” which just says that they think it is my purpose in life to just skivvy. If someone came to the house, they would judge me by the state of the house but not the male members of the household. How is that fair exactly? The thing with this last one is that I never remember applying for this job in the first place!

Wow, that was cathartic.

Yes, I have a huge problem with authority. It distinguishes me from being a mere doormat so get over it.

PUMPKIN SOUP WITH LOSELEY SUMMER MEADOW BUTTER

Pumpkin soup is ideal for warming cold hands for Halloween particularly when served in mugs.

INGREDIENTS

Loseley Summer Meadow Butter 25g (1oz)

Onion 1, peeled and chopped

Carrot 1, peeled and chopped

Peeled Pumpkin 350g (12oz), roughly chopped

Milk 750ml (1 ¼ pints)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Natural Yoghourt 150g (5oz)

Dried Pumpkin Seeds to garnish (optional)

METHOD

Melt the Loseley butter in a large, lidded saucepan and add the onion and carrot. Cook gently to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft but not brown.
Add the pumpkin, milk and seasoning and bring gently to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, in batches if necessary. Return to the saucepan, reheat gently and serve swirled with yoghourt and garnished with pumpkin seeds. Accompany with hunks of warmed bread.

10 minutes preparation time

40 minutes cooking time

183 Kcal per portion

8.8g fat per portion of which

5.4g is saturated

4 servings

Suitable for freezing

Suitable for vegetarians

My Random Musings
Cuddle Fairy

I have had a good week on the healthy eating front.

The things I have found helpful are as follows …

1. Peer support from blogger and twitter folks especially the #mumentum women

2. My love for smoked salmon as you can have lots for very few calories

3. Weightwatchers products including their bread which is about half the calories of normal bread and also the odd ready meal

4. 1 per cent fat milk acquired at the Co-operative supermarket

5. Low fat and very tasty soups again from the Co-operative supermarket. Both the carrot and coriander and the leek and potato come highly recommeded by myself.

6. Diet coke with a citrus twist which makes it feel more like having a alcoholic drink without the alcohol.

My only sin of the week was a chicken burger and chips when I dined out with my Dad on Friday. This is a tough one as he likes to go to a fish and chip restaurant every Friday and there are no low-calorie options on the menu. I think Dad would feel uncomfy if I just sat there drinking without eating so Friday is a bit troublesome on the healthy eating front.

Now due to my various experiments with weighing scales last week, I am not sure how much I have lost this week. There is a lesson in this. Weigh yourself on one pair of scales at the same time each week and stick to that.

So I think I have lost 0.7 pounds this week. A little disappointing after such a good week but perhaps this is an indication that I need to get more active. I keep saying I will go walking or do the Wii Fit and then not doing so. This is not good enough and I resolve to report back on doing some real exercise next week.

Still, a loss is a loss and I am heading in the right direction.

Current Weight = 223.7 pounds

I am writing it down here however embarrassing that figure is and then I can’t pretend it is not true.

Wishing all fellow #mumentum ladies a wonderful week and anyone else who is trying to shift the pounds.

My mum was a communicator.

You knew where you were with her. That could be a good or bad thing. If she was in good humour, she would have you hysterical giggling as she pushed the boundaries with ribald humour. If she was not in a good humour, her use of language could reduce you to tears very powerfully.

Mum loved school but had to leave aged 12 so with words she was largely self-taught.

She clearly remembered learning to read and how she had seen a tin of toffees and mispronounced the brand name as “supper” instead of “super” and how her older brother had laughed at her mistake.

When she went into the mill (very much against her will but there was no money to send her to Grammar School due to the same brother “taking the King’s shilling”), she decided she would take her education into her own hands.

She used to spend her wages on the Reader’s Digest which had a list of words and she used to learn the meanings and commit them to memory.

Later, this lady would mix with people at Cambridge University, at Glyndebourne and amongst the Kensington glitterati. She held her own verbally, never coming across as uneducated. In fact, she was very well equipped to blow holes in other people’s arguments.

Of course, Mum was a Yorkshire woman through and through. So for much of my childhood, she was “Mam” rather than “Mum”. She would tell you not to walk on the “causa edge” in case you fell in the road. She would ask you to close the “pull-ons”. She would refer to “ginnells” a host of other words that are not UK wide. Of course, I did not become aware of this until I left home aged 18.

Mum was certainly an avid reader and loved her Catherine Cookson books, Forever Amber and Gone with the Wind. Basically, it seemed to me that if it involved a girl born in squalor, impregnanted by the local early but saved by a good man, it was right up mum’s street). She had a bookshelf in her bedroom that included a copy of the Thorn Birds. In public, she expressed that the whole idea of the book and film was disgusting so it was odd that she had a copy lol. I never remember her showing interest in non-fiction books particularly.

Mum advised me that I should always read “because it is impossible to be lonely when you have a good book on the go”.

Mum’s words – ones that taught, ones that comforted, ones that made facts fit her particular opinion on a matter, ones that cajoled, ones that wounded, ones that made me wish she could be easier on me and herself.

Mum wrote to me at various points in my life. I remember her telling me that one of Dad’s work contacts had a baby girl “so now he will know how lovely it is to have a little girl”. She gave me a voucher for Bon Marche when I was 40 and sent me specific instructions how to use it practically in words of one syllable. She never had much faith in me that way. She sent me an anniversary card on our first anniversary knowing it would be the last she wrote to me. In her wonderful curly writing (“I was taught by nuns you know”) she referred to the magical quality of our wedding day and how much had already changed. It was very poignant and I have kept it.

Mum was terminally ill for 6 months and we talked during my Friday night visits that I would do so that my Dad could have some respite and go out to choir. Illness and morphine made her gentler. Important words were said on those visits.

“When I said P was a loser, I got it wrong” about Him Indoors followed by “Tell him but only after I have died”.

“I am proud of you because your children are the happiest I have ever known”

“I spent far too much of my life cleaning”

“I am happy to die because I have seen all the places I wanted to see and done all the things I wanted to do”.

And her very last words to me ever…

“I will hand you back to your Dad now”.

ethannevelyn.com
Super Busy MUm
Hot Pink Wellingtons

Happily joining in Ella from Notes from Home’s Friday Club where this week’s topic is clutter.

I honestly believe that a house with clutter is a house with soul.

Let me see. There are my bookshelves with hundreds of books on them. They make me laugh and cry. They help myself and my family to learn new things. They are essential.

There are little hooks with children’s artwork showing that I am blessed to have children and reminding me of when they were younger or or art projects we worked on together. They warm my heart. They are essential.

My walls are packed with works of art that may well reflect various aspects of myself. Dark, brooding forests, voluptuous women, lighthouses and more. They are essential.

My mantlepiece is incredibly cluttered. We have ornaments that make me giggle. There is a tile s6aying that happiness comes through doors that you didn’t even know you left open which I bought when L came back into my life. There are crystals in vibrant colours, hip flasks, incense and a photo frame that announces “Girl Power”.

Recently, my brother attacked me for my way of living with all these things around me. He practically announced that living in this way was tantamount to child and elder abuse (I live with my 3 children and elderly father). I have reflected long and hard on this and actually cleared everything away when he came to stay here for a few weeks. I felt like some essential spark of me had disappeared. He disappeared to live somewhere else thank goodness and I was able to get my clutter and myself back.

If I were to die today and you came to my house, you would not need anyone to tell you what I was like. You would see huumour, deep thought and feeling, ecletic tastes, objects of learning, celebrations of family life. For me, clutter will always be something to celebrate.

When the clutter gets too much or I judge things to be no longer useful or beautiful, I send them to the charity shop knowing that the saying is very true that one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. I am also a member of freegle where you can give stuff away for free. Storage-wise, I find drawers more useful than wardrobes. Again, if you visit charity shops, you can find some brilliant storage solutions from dark brown solid furniture to vintage trunks/suitcases and more. Incidentally, if you are like me and enjoy clutter, both freegle and charity shops are great ways of acquiring stuff whilst helping other people too.

So what do you think? Is clutter a good or bad thing?

Now pop over to the Notes from Home blog and clutter you mind with other people’s ideas. You might just learn from them.