Les Mis Trailer

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Changing the face of my CV

Not without a lot of help so thank you for that!!! It was a case of find it, dust it down, translate it, move it around a bit, tweak and twist the language and make me sound as good as it can get!!! And now fingers crossed I guess.
I used to be so much more confident about going for interviews when I was younger and still in the UK. I knew I was always qualified for the job I wanted; I knew I presented well and communication was no problem, and I always got the job! So a 100% success rate and a very happy career behind me. Then it all changed in 2000 when we moved here. No-body wanted me; I didn't have the language; I missed my team dreadfully and all my friends and family and  I felt terribly homesick for such a long time. The jobs I did get were not my thing and I lost a lot of confidence in the first one because of the way one member of the team treated everyone else. It undermined our team spirit and caused many problems which had I been feeling on top of my game, would have been handled much better than I did at the time. Then I had another one which I did like, but which led to illness when I discovered that I had Asthma after two years of continually getting chest infections etc. There followed a whole re-integration programme and tests and you name it, I did it sort of thing, until I finally hit rock bottom: I went for two interviews so they obviously like me, for a job I was perfect for, only to be told that I was the best qualified, the most suitable but my voice and accent might not be good enough for people to understand me after all!!!! I was devastated as you can imagine, especially after getting through both rounds of the process, and since then, I have found it really hard to put myself back into a vulnerable position within work. It has taken three years to accept what I do, and value it enough not to want more, but it is not feeding the family and I cannot ignore that. So, as you can see, placing myself out there again is more than a little scary!! I feel torn - conflicted is the word of choice actually - because I know what I am capable of doing, yet have a zero belief that anyone is going to see that when I compete for different jobs. I don't want to resurrect all that insecurity within me once again.
But then again, without risk there is no gain, so I suppose I am talking myself into it slowly but surely, and wondering what the best way of coping with it is going to be................I am trying to find my very own action-oriented prevention mentality!!!! ;-) Hurrah for Egan!!! I know the theory chaps, now I have to practice what I am hoping to preach, right?......
Sue xx

Sunshine at last

Instead of the dense fog I woke up to yesterday the sky is streaked with plane stripes and wispy clouds this morning and it looks as though it'll be a lovely day. I did sit outside during the morning, and it was lovely but rather cold still, as the starting temperature was around 2C; this morning we are looking at a 6C!!!
Tim and I went to collect lots of bags of soil as there was a special offer on at the DIY store and it was too good to miss. Plus he could carry them for me! Just need those planters next............
I love gardening and garden centres - and I heard that there is a nice programme starting on 15th April about the Gardens of Italy with Monty Don. They look amazing and worth visiting..............but my ambitions are very small and I am so happy that my friend Lindsey is about to embark on a second career in horticulture cos she will learn even more to share with me!! She has green fingers that's for sure, so I applaud her decision to take this new turn in her working life. She is far better at the potting on and having a greenhouse and growing from scratch than I am - probably because I have never had one - but I am thinking about gro-bags!!! Does that count?!
Ah the shower is now free so time for me to take the plunge as it were..........
Sue xx

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

the longest-fit

was 8 hours sitting waiting at Kwik-fit ( I use the term lightly!) yesterday whilst my car went through its MOT. I was there back on the dot of 8am to be told 'where can we contact you when its ready?' as it is going to take a while. I replied that I had to wait.......and wait I did. They started on Phoebe around two hours later, and some time after that I heard my name being called............knew it was not going to be for coffee and cake!! It appeared that my back brakes didn't exist on the right side anymore. I was apparently driving a 'lethal weapon' and was very lucky to still be there to see the damage!! I was shocked, I admit it, when I saw the metal in tatters on the floor.............for those technically minded, there is a thin coil thing that sits inside the joint ( don't know what else to call it?) that was no longer whole or in place. Something else that should have been a complete circle was hanging from the wheel arch most pathetically, and extremely thinly. When they had tried to spin the wheel, it didn't. First clue that something was wrong. I had noticed that when I was on the motorway she sort of juddered sometimes, but I thought more along the lines of the fuel or spark plugs being dirty etc and not getting fed around properly. But what do I know? Nothing!! At the end of the day I was several hundreds of euros poorer but rewarded with being told I had the patience of angels, and something good would come of that!! Nice mechanic man. So when I drive 120 kms this morning at least I will be thinking I am safer than I have been for ages..............does feel strange though. Driving home that short distance yesterday the brakes felt so much softer and their reaction completely different from what I have been used to for about a year or so????

It is thick smog here this morning. As it gets lighter so I can see more of it! I am not used to the clock change yet, being dark when I wake up. And I am waking up SO early right now, cogs whirring around in my head. Lots to think about it seems but no more nightmares I hope.

My tracks I mentioned: yes, got them all done in one CD although I could fill several more!
These are the ones I have chosen to start me off; I guess there are few surprises for you, and a lot of memories!! If I had got these tracks downloaded I would have started with Mandy by Barry Manilow as that was the first single I ever bought, and gone on to include Steve Harley's Come up and See Me, and some Moody Blues and Dark Side of the Moon - mostly because Pete and I used to spend hours listening to them together in our teens!!! But I started with my personal favourite, by Bowie ( I am a child of the 70's music after all) because I used to enjoy the drum stereo when it bursts through the speakers, since it was so new to us way back when.................
John, I'm only dancing
So you win again - Hot Chocolate, first band I ever saw at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone.
I love to boogie - cos Marc Bolan was plastered all over my bedroom walls!
Stars ( Janis Ian) - my melancholic phase!
Tiger Feet - for those disco days at The Astor and Walmer Village Hall and the Greasers!!!
I don't like Mondays - very last day of my OT placement in Dorset, with alcohol and chocolate and Fiona!!
Yes sir, I can boogie - aah.............yes, summer 1977.
Without you - Nilsson, all time favourite song.
China in your hands - Shropshire working as OT and driving those country lanes so often to this one.
Win or lose - can't not choose one from Cock Robin, right?!
More than this - Love his voice, Bryan Ferry another fave.
Stars ( Simply Red) - because it is a beautiful song.
Missing you - our Tina. And I did.
Broken Arrow - Scotland, Edinburgh.
Against all odds - sad memory here.
The one - Curacao.
Endless Love - self explanatory!!
The whole of the moon - my theme according to my best friend Pete!!
Written in the stars
The promise - Tracey Chapman, love this.
Should I stay - my doubting Thomas theme tune keeps coming up!!!
Can't turn back the years - some Phil is always a good thing.
If not now
A million love songs....because this is where I am right now!!

Maybe these are not everyone's choice, but they are mine and I am transported back through the happiest days of my life whenever I listen to them.
Sue xx

Monday, 28 March 2011

body clock gone aschew...

....it might be spring but my internal body clock is functioning on an altogether different time zone! Lying awake this morning in the early hours was so extreme that I finally gave in and got up, and did some work on the computer. Which is why at almost 6am I am more awake than the birdies, than the cats, than the rest of my world, wrapped up in my thick dressing gown with a bottle of water and perfect quiet. I need to get dressed soon anyway since it is my intention to be at the garage for 8am in the hope that my car will go in first, NOT need any work doing, and be home by 9......................just throwing that out to the universe as my prayer for the day!!!

What have I been doing since the crack of dawn? Titivating my CV that's what! I need to find another job. I cannot  cope with this constant stress of having an income way below what is reasonable and adequate to live on every month. Much as I enjoy my job, the unreliability of it is crippling us financially and we are down to zero. I can sit here and pray for a miracle or I can do something about it, and since I am saving my miracle wish for something else, I have to do the practical thing instead. So it is upgraded, re-typed and sent in an email at 5am this morning!!! It is a long shot but you never know, and since it is about time my luck changed perhaps this is the moment. It helped yesterday having our study group. Gave me the chance to talk about how I feel about things and discuss what to do. Only two of us could make it, so we did some skyping with our third member so that she was involved as well, and I was very glad we did. I missed a day of sunshine in the garden but hey, moving forward in other directions is also time well spent, right?

Well, time for a shower and getting dressed as the clock is ticking my friends!!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The tracks of our lives

This seems to be a recurring theme for me at the moment. It keeps popping up in various places, and just did again now, as I was blog hopping. The sounds, the tunes, the melodies, the lyrics that all mean something special to each individual one of us. My resolve is to make a playlist on my ipod this afternoon with the ones that start and end my life to this moment - taking time to think about why I have chosen each one, dwelling on the memory I have attached to it for as long as I need to, and then playing it while I sit quietly on my own. It will be a superb ride!!

I have been busy cooking this morning and buying some of the many things I need for the birthday boy's celebration. Spreading the cost is essential, and even though I always know I over-estimate on everything, the fear of not having enough for people to eat well, remains a constant source of anxiety. When you are on such a low budget as  I am right now, I cannot afford to get it wrong, so planning, making lists, scouring the stock cupboards for anything I already have in house, cutting down on too many different things just because I really enjoy making them! - being REALISTIC is not my thing!!! I hope I am learning.

The car is booked in for its MOT on Monday. The worse thing about it is that I cannot go home to wait, so will have to spend several hours sitting at kwikfit which is a waste of a day. A good thick book is called for!!  I just hope if I take it in really early they will take pity on me and do it quickly!!!
I still have to do several other jobs but it is raining so I am leaving cleaning the car until tomorrow.

I have not enough voice to sing this afternoon which is really unfortunate as the choir desperately needs every voice it can get, but a soprano without the 'so' is absolutely nothing!! It was very disappointing last Thursday at practice as so many were missing - and I could only sit and listen. We are such a small dedicated group that every one counts, and the sound is really great when all of us are present. We are singing in a residential home because it is the birthday of one of our members husband. He has never heard her sing in the choir so she asked us to do this for him which makes it even more important to do it well.

So, back to the tracks of my years and that playlist........ watch this space!!
Sue xx

Rain, rain, go away....

What a difference a day makes! There is rain early this morning and the forecast is for less nice weather this weekend. Good for the plants but I was hoping for a bike ride this afternoon!
I am awake early because Tim gets up for his work around 5.30am and then plays music which wakes me further than I already am awake...and then I can't sleep any more. So I thought I would do so studying!!!
But first I want to tell you how lovely it was last night to skype with my friends in Poland. It is so hard keeping up good contact with only letters and emails, and since it is two years since we last met up, I was really happy to have the chance to see them in the flesh so to speak. Kasia' boys have grown!!! The oldest one proudly counted one to ten in English for his 'aunty' as they call me, and he can say please and thank you and the names of his plastic animals. The youngest one was just gorgeous. I fell in love with him last time, and he is adorable. Just an amazing character really - he will be someone special and do great things we all feel. Of course they want me to visit again this year...............which I would love to do. Funny seeing Kasia with her boys now and looking back at the summer she spent with us and babysat for my children - she was only 18 at the time and now Tim is almost the same age!! The circle of life.
Well, my tea is up and I need to concentrate on my essay. I only write when the tension has reached a point that it comes easy to me, to formulate sentences that make sense instead of drifting  and to feel good about what I am telling. It is such a personal story, the inner growth essay, and not one I can just up and complete without some pain and heartache..........its the process we all have to go through I suppose.
Enjoy this weekend everyone!
Sue xx

Thursday, 24 March 2011

the garden bug

First we sit and think....

then we plant these spring beauties - some of my favourites.

There is the tiniest of hints that there is new growth heading upwards
next to the tinkling mushrooms; wonder what it will be?

Pretty in pink!

The smallest buds are there for sure - this one is a beauty!!

This is the wall that is crying out for some planters!!!!

This morning the sun was glorious so I took my bike out and went to the market. Along the way I stopped to get the saddle repaired and the back light changed, and was amazed at what a super bike store we have in the village!! I knew it was there of course, but had not had need to go there, but it was coffee whilst you wait, repairs carried out on the spot and millions of bicycles everywhere I looked!!!
It was cold cycling so I was wrapped up warm but once on the market it was heavenly. I was looking at plants...........................but whilst there also decided to get my earphones repaired as when Gebke and I were sharing them recently only I could hear the music!! I know I am a little bit deaf in one ear but that was obviously not the reason - the right one was totally kapot. So head banging may resume.
Once home I spurned all thoughts of ironing ( there isn't a lot after all ) and cleaning in favour of sitting in the garden with three other things I wanted to do today. Make notes about the case study; start a new book, and dream fantasticle dreams of garden design!!! What it actually boiled down to, was sweeping the dead leaves away and tidying pots, making notes about what to have where, and lists of desirable plants! As you can see, this poor neglected fence really will benefit from those 4 large rustic planters I am bringing home in two weeks time!!! It doesn't get much sun apart from first thing in the morning, so one list is for plants that like this spot. Then which ones will climb, and which ones will grow fast, and colour combinations.....and in between the odd shut-eye. I was busy until three when it was too shady to be pleasant any more and the last remaining sunny spot had disappeared. Totally jealous of all those gardens behind mine where I can still see people sitting in them, all warm and glorious!! Ours is not the sort of street where you can really sit out the front to catch the last rays............although I could be tempted to sit on the doorstep with a good book if no-one was looking................
Sue xx

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sunny side up

So it was a good day for doing things. I made a route around the garden centre ( had to use my gift voucher from Christmas ) - the vets ( food for cats ) - Kwikfit ( for the MOT ) - post office ( for Carole ) - coffee with Gebke - the doctors ( all checked up for the coming few months at least!! ) and home again. Now that I know I am getting the planters from work which they were going to throw out I am excited about the backyard's prospects. It is kinda bleak right now  - hardly dare call it a garden, but there is hope. The cats came outside and sniffed the air and pottered with me, so they are at long last daring to venture outdoors.

And it suddenly struck me that I have almost been divorced for one whole year; coming up on 4 April. Also the same date three years ago that I started working where I am now - how time flies.

I have also been practicing recipes today. It was quite a phaff and I am not sure yet how it turned out, but lets say that making a Vegetable Terrine is not one of the easiest things to do!! I had thought to do one for Tim's birthday but it takes ages and I am not terribly confident about how it is going to turn out. It remains in the fridge, in the clingfilm and tin until tomorrow.......I think it needs tweaking. I also made some cupcakes as Tim did some at school yesterday which he is also going to be doing for his exam, and to be honest I felt they could be better. I know it is difficult, but somehow he can make them lighter I am sure, and the frosting I use is divine so he can surely take that on board????? It is not cool to use your mum's recipes I get that, but the experience must count for something? Just the recipe for the meatballs to go....

I also got a lot of emails out this morning - and have two skype dates!!! Both ones I am really looking forward to. But that is Friday. What I didn't do is the ironing and my study. On the list for tomorrow. I know, time management, right? Friday is for pleasure.
Sue xx

Sunday, 20 March 2011


for two reasons: Comic Relief raised 74million pounds, which is awesome, and I have a throat and chest infection, so nothing coming out of my mouth today!! Hope the rest of you are all well and cheery.
Sue xx

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Comic Relief

I watched it last night, until I fell asleep on the settee, but wasn't it incredibly moving hearing all those stories from Africa and here at home? Those children with Cataracts for example, and the family living in the slums, which moved Lenny Henry to tears............how can any of us complain about our own lives when people in the same world live like that? It feels like an incredible act of injustice that across our earth, the share of fortune and good health is so poorly divided. I am ashamed for all the worrying I do about my own situation when I see what is happening out there; however desperate I feel at times, I never suffer the same level of hardship as they do. However little I have to manage on, it is always going to be more than they have. However hard I have to work to get by, it is always easier than their daily grind. It was a real eye opener and moved me deeply. I need those images and stories to stay with me every day if I am going to really be able to unconditionally give what I have back to our world. I also know that every single person watching that last night will have given something towards Comic Relief. For however poor we may feel, we cannot fail to be moved enough to give that tiny piece of good fortune back to those in poverty and poorer countries including our own. Right?
Sue xx

Thursday, 17 March 2011

back home again

Yes, after a really good week away I am home again, and catching up with all the things that need attention after time away from normal life. So forgive me if it takes a little while longer to tell you all about it here.
Sue xx

Monday, 7 March 2011

thank you's

Just want to say a huge thank you to all my friends and family who remembered my birthday and sent me lovely cards and presents. I was thoroughly spoilt this year!! S'pecially love the glass troll bead Tim gave me called the Milky Way, my waterproof jacket, books, workshop and flowers. Going to The Kings Speech with Ann was a highlight - great film and so happy to have seen it. It is already a week ago but what with the trip and the bug I am way behind in so many areas right now. The sun has decided to shine today so I can plant the shrub Ann and Harry gave me, and get everything in order after a very lazy weekend. Yesterday I sat on the settee and watched films all afternoon in between the odd catnap, taking the tablets and drinking water with lemon - its been great for my diet!!! My tummy still cramps and I am not eating properly just in case I trigger it off again, but apart from that, I feel my head is back squarely on my shoulders and there is some thinking going on!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 6 March 2011

4am and it happened..........

......all day yesterday I felt my tummy was wobbly and I was cold and I felt really out of sorts and in another world, not able to focus on the course and what I was doing. I went with Ann to see The Kings Speech afterwards, and managed through that, came home, went to bed, slept badly and at 4am it started. I have the bug!!! Oh boy, was I ill in the night, but having fetched the bucket from the attic and got loo roll for by the bed and swallowed some Immodium tablets I felt I could sleep for an hour or two without the need to get up and run downstairs!!! This is not good news, is it?!!! At the  moment I am surviving on paracetamol and immodium and little else - and just praying I get through the next couple of days without too much trouble and without giving it to Tim or anyone else!!!! My tummy is cramping nicely and the rumbling and swishing and swooshing that is going on is almost orchestral!!!
Sue xx

Promised pudding pictures!

Rum and Ginger Pear Trifle

Strawberry and Kiwi Pavlova
They were both demolished very quickly!!! Yesterday I took a Lemon Drizzle Cake to my course and everybody wants the recipe for that as well, so I am going to be kept busy.
Sue xx

Saturday, 5 March 2011

just a quickie

because I am about to leave for Amsterdam and my course day. We had my birthday dinner party last night which was good - everything was eaten up which is always a good sign that it tasted ok. 3 helpings of the puds just about says what I cook the best though!!! Have taken photos so will post later. Maybe I ought to go in for "dinner party desserts", ( name I thought of for it) an idea I have had germinating for some time now. Tim and I could do wonderfully delicious desserts and cakes for those less interested in fiddling around beyond a starter and main course................

- Sunday 9pm,BBC 1, so 10pm here, Brian Cox, it is the Wonders of the Universe programme I told you about - starts tomorrow regardless of what it says in the TV guide ( knew I was right!).

Time to dash...................
Sue xx

Thursday, 3 March 2011

been there and back!

Becci, me and Ric.

I am home again from a delightful few days far away from the madding crowd, visiting with my daughter and her partner and doing all kinds of lovely things together. I had a great birthday and am all refreshed and ready to go!! Of course today meant that I spent it tidying and cleaning and shopping and washing and all those everyday chores that I had been able to leave behind just for a while. I found it therapeutic! Sort of like nesting; coming back to my own little piece of quiet on this earth, and moving the odd twig back into place and adding a couple of new ones............if you catch my drift? Somehow cleaning the kitchen is an undeniable statement of ' this is my space' - rubbing that j-cloth over the draining board and all that!!! I have unpacked and am now getting ready to re-pack it all for our small adventure into foreign parts next week.

Have to just mention the brilliant chat the captain gave on the plane. It was the first joyous realisation that I was homeward bound - gone was the pragmatism of the Dutch and in its place the eccentricity of the English! I think he was heavily influenced by Monty Python or some such comedic group as he began his rhetoric about our flight: ' welcome on board this short flight to England this morning. We should fly straight across the sea, making one or two swings to the right and left as we avoid flying over rich people's houses, and there might be some bumpy bits in between as there is some turbulence in the air today, but not to worry as our super crew will be there to look after your every wish. I do hope you enjoy flying with us this morning, so I will shut up now and let them get on with it!' He had more to say but this was the gist of it!! It made a change from the standard blah blah and had everyone smiling before we even took off. Same coming back, different pilot but same sort of chat - new training scheme maybe?

But now let me tell you about two brilliant programmes to watch in the coming weeks! One started last night and was really good: "The boat that Guy built." Tim and I really enjoyed it, but I do give advance warning that it will test the speed of your English whilst watching as Guy talks really, really fast in a Lincolnshire accent that is rather endearing. He and his mate are rebuilding a canal barge and in the first programme they made everything necessary to make a cup of tea, including the mugs, the kettle and the tea!! It is just one of those quintessential British quirky bits of telly, but I think you will like it. The other starts on Sunday and is with Professor Brian Cox and all about space. He is the new kid on the block, and really rather good at getting his message across about the stars and the universe and everything that's out there..............plus he is young and passionate about his work etc and that is enough to inspire even the most doubting Thomas that science can be interesting. Both are on BBC 1 - give them a go!

So, being home again means early rising so I am off to bed now in need of some sleep. Last night I was tossing and turning and dreaming all kinds of weird things, so hopefully that won't happen tonight. Must be the excitement or something like that!! :-)
Sue xx