Tag Archives: work

International Women’s Day

Morning!

Happy International Women’s Day, today is dedicated to women and just how bloody amazing we are!

I’m surrounded by strong women in my family and friends. Some are stay at home mums, company execs, some consistently blow me away with their natural talent and flair in floristry, baking and cake decorating, medicine and nutrition, fitness and well being……not to mention my friends in the armed forces. They all deserve the utmost of respect and beneath what they do for a living, all of these women are the most amazing friends and mentors a girl could ask for. They all love to have lazy days in their pjays, dress up in their heels, read, shop, work out, act daft with their kids and unite in their mutual love of wine consumption. Since moving back to the city and facing the challenges that 2014 brought, I’ve never felt more grateful for having them in my life.

Women Rock

We women are just awesome. Life’s multi-taskers! I regularly manage to bath my kids while simultaneously having a pee, restocking the toilet roll, cleaning the dried toothpaste off the sink and soaking up the tidal wave of bathwater with the bath mat! Are you nodding? You do it too right?

On the world stage there has been much talk of pay equality, the press went wild at the Oscars where Patricia Arquette made a resounding speech, supported by cheering and whooping from fellow A-listers Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. There are varying reports on what percentage women are paid less than men, and it varies by industry too. Whatever the percentage, anything less for the doing the same job as a man, is just plain wrong. I live in hope that the more publicity and high profile backing this issue gets, the more likely a positive outcome will be…..and soon. I’m not going to go on a feminist rant (that’s a blog post in itself) but I will be writing a post about how mothers are treated differently in the world of work. Watch this space.

So back to us amazing women……I want to highlight a trend on Twitter #womencrushwednesday and encourage more women to support each other by posting a pic or brief description of a woman you admire and tagging it #wcw. It started out as just a daft celebrity thing, but hey, why not spread the love and bring it to the masses!

Women, keep doing what you’re doing because you rock!

I would like to dedicate today’s blog to Judith Arnett and Rebecca Gould, in loving memory

GG

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Don’t Call It A Comeback!

I know I said I needed some space and that we should have a break from all this sharing of stories and views and opinions….but the thing is…I bloody missed you guys! Since I last wrote I’ve lost two laptop keys (right arrow and exclamation mark, damn it) gained a tooth filling and a good few pounds due to my new love of baking. Things haven’t gone entirely to plan.

So how was your Summer? Or should I say how IS your Summer seeing as it’s officially September 2nd and it’s still gloriously sunny outside? Mine was awesome, even though I’ve spent the majority of it on my own (Geordie away with work for a few months) but me and the girls have made up for it with some lovely trips, visits and shopping sprees.

It’s Summer break eve eve in my house as my two girls are back at school and nursery on Wednesday, so the question of ‘what am I going to do with myself’ rears its ugly head once more. I consider myself ridiculously lucky to have been able to stay at home with my girls for almost 2 years now, the time has been incredibly precious and I’ll treasure being here for all those important milestones which I know others have sorely missed.

Unfortunately for me full-time work is not an option at the moment, living in the middle of no where and still only on my provisional license makes finding worthwhile part-time work very difficult indeed. Not one to sit around and mope (okay I’ve moped a bit) I’ve found a couple of projects to keep me busy…..

junk

junk

blanket box

more junk

Behold the pile of junk I bought on Sunday from an ‘Upcycling’ centre near by (sadly no jobs going there, yep I asked) which I intend to ‘do-up’ and sell on to make a few bucks. I’m already at the sit-scrolling-through-Pinterest-for-hours-on-end-looking-for-ideas-whilst-eating-baked-goods stage of the transformation. Sadly the only thing looking more attractive so far is an elasticated waist band.

I’m also doing my bit towards the Fraja Ellie appeal and today pledged to stitch 500 badges to be sold and the up coming charity ball (attended by some Emmerdale stars) as well as overhaul the photo character boards I painted earlier in the year.

It’s so good to be back (exclamation mark….exclamation mark)

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Nine Two Five

It occurred to me earlier today that I haven’t done a full days work in two years, I’ve had a baby in that time but really, where did the time go? It seems like it was yesterday that I was clocking up a 50 hour week, watching the sun come up and set again while sat at my desk, calling my Dad to prevent me having a panic attack when I had to go down into the dark, scary basement on facilities checks and drinking far too much coffee that almost cost half my weekly wage. Now I’m lucky if I manage to get all my ironing done, take my youngest to play-group and make sure dinner is at least in the oven when Geordie gets home from work.

I’m pretty sure my CV states I am ‘a great co-ordinator’ and ‘organisation is my passion’ (or some similarly ridiculous buzz words) So where has it gone? Did I lose it along with my pregnancy baby weight? Did it slowly diminish while I spent hour upon hour watching Mr Bloom’s Nursery? Or is it still there lurking in the back of my mind behind the lists of size 5+ Pampers and Persil Non-Bio? I really hope it’s the latter as this realisation today has kick-started a plan of action……to go back to work.

Bog Off Eamonn

Bog Off Eamonn

I’ve heard many people say that it’s easier to get a job if you already have one? I’m not really sure I understand the logic there? Is that because you have recent, relevant experience or more chance of a glowing reference from your employer? Maybe I’m discounting this notion because I haven’t learned anything new or relevant to PR or marketing in over two years and I don’t want to believe that I am going to struggle before I even get started. Bearing this in mind I am considering a refresher course but I’m unsure about what I should refresh? I can (just about) speak, write and read English and while I am no Carol Vorderman I can still recite the times tables.

Working in media generally means having to completely submerge yourself in current affairs, so maybe my refresher course can be self-taught? I simply have to reinstate my subscription to The Times, switch Cbeebies over to BBC Parliament, CNN or Sky News (I really can’t stand Eamonn Holmes) and re-follow all those media bods on Twitter who are in the thick of the action around the globe? Also I’m thinking that a volunteer placement with a local paper might help me with the lack of recent experience issue…being the new girl again at 30 should be interesting!

The catalyst behind all of this is that I am missing a sense of achievement, I made it to 30, not without a few scrapes but it has taken me until now right now in fact, to realise what I really want to do with myself. Now I just have to make it happen. Maybe I can have it all, it just takes a little patience and a lot of hard work. Wish me luck!

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When The Ends Don’t Meet

What do you do when the ends won’t meet, money-wise I mean, when you work, you care for your family and have next to no social life yet the money is still never enough? Look for a better paid job, yep good luck with that in the current jobs market. So if there’s no prospect of more pay you have to tighten your belt on all the things that money has to cover right?

Every month Geordie and me sit down with the kitchen calendar and plan out what needs to be spent for the month. We’ve resorted to walking around Tesco using the calculator on my phone as we shop to make sure we don’t go over budget, it’s embarrassing as hell but it’s got to be done so our kids can have birthday presents and school uniforms etc. You might think well why don’t we both work? I’m still at home with our youngest who is 1 now and would have no trouble in going to nursery. When you do the maths I would be going to work for £1.26p an hour once childcare and travel costs are covered. Is it worth it to pay someone else to care for our daughter, not to us, no.

Recently we were a little short for our daughters birthdays which conveniently follow one after another in fairly quick succession. In the last few weeks we needed a small cash boost following our washing machine breaking, the girls snapping their bunk-beds into pieces by jumping on them to Jessie J and our car breaking down 150 miles away from home…September has not been kind to us.

Classic Tiffany inspired 6 claw setting design...

(Photo credit: Jewels Globe)

From past experiences I’m very wary of accumulating debt and friends have warned me against the dangers of the quick pay-day loans that are popping up with their 400% interest rates all over the place, so I decided that my engagement ring made for good collateral against a short buy back loan with a national retailer. Apparently this way of raising cash against items you own seems to be the way forward, there are no credit checks, small interest rates and basically if you don’t pay back the money as agreed in the contract, you lose your goods. I’m new to this whole thing so I thought I’d wander around a little and find out what the best deal was, five stores later I was starting to lose hope.

According to the bored looking staff in every store I wandered into, diamond solitaire rings are ten a penny! I hope Geordie won’t mind me telling you this but I know he paid almost three thousand pounds for my engagement ring which to me is a hell of a lot of money. It’s just 18 months old and has certification and paperwork etc. The best possible price I could get to either sell or secure a temporary loan was £200. My beautiful ring that means the world to me is worth £200 to Cash Converters! Gob smacked isn’t the word. Another retailer offered me £60 for the white gold band but said they would chuck the diamond! On hearing this I put the ring back on my finger and as I type it is shining proudly like it has done since the day Geordie asked me to marry him.

I am all for finding alternative ways to make money while I’m not physically working, I’ve used Ebay and Preloved to sell some items to make a little money but it’s back pocket change really and not a reliable source of income. I’ve done some pretty crappy jobs over the years and I’m far from work shy, it’s just increasingly difficult to find a job with a good salary and affordable childcare.

I suppose I’ll have to rush the little one into potty training to save money on nappies next?

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Mum Knows Best?

The Pink Panther cartoon character

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please help me! My daughter has been asleep for the last twenty minutes and yet I am still sat here watching Raa Raa the Lion on CITV and I can’t bring myself to get up and turn it over. I’m fast becoming a champion of theme tunes, celebrity voice overs and episode names for the majority of Cbeebies and CITV cartoons and it’s not really what Geordie wants to hear about when he gets back in from the adult world of work. He moans about the monotony of his daily routine and not getting to the gym, I moan that the episode of Horrid Henry when Henry makes his Mum some nasty perfume was on AGAIN! It’s hardly a match made in heaven.

I am pleasantly surprised that with all the cartoons on the TV 24/7 that my youngest has taken a shine to some real classics, Sooty and The Pink Panther raising the highest squeal as soon as the theme tune kicks in. Are you humming The Pink Panther now? I do…in my sleep. There have been many heated debates over the dining table about which Atomic Betty theme tune is the best, I’m so old school but my girls are rolling with the times. Pah! what do they know, they’ve never even heard of ThunderCats, Trap Door or Willow The Wisp!

My Mum has offered to buy my eldest daughter a TV for Christmas for the last couple of years but I’ve always declined because I’m positive it will become impossible to get her out of her bedroom and into the fresh air without resorting to blackmail. Not a situation I want to tackle until she’s at least at high school, and while she still believes that you get square eyes from watching too much TV I’m going to usher her in the garden in her wellie’s to play as much as possible, especially when my cartoons are on.

What’s your favourite cartoon?

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