What's it all about?

Fast approaching 30 I've fallen in to teaching, a career though championed by many amongst my friends and family, I've tried desperately to avoid. Worse still I appear to have missed the heyday when students were keen and wages were plenty. Having left city-life behind to support my partner through a prolonged recovery from cancer, it's clear I've become isolated, not only from my old life, but from the future I hoped it would lead to...

There must be more to life than this..?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bright Ideas!

I've recently discovered that my brother also has a Blog. His first book is soon to be published and it's all about how to generate ideas for business, or any other area in life.

If you get a chance please click here, or on the picture above, to swing by and have a look - it's worth it I promise :)

In particular the following link is extremely interesting. It's a short video explaining in more detail what the sites all about and how it works. I know I might seem somewhat biased, but it is quite brilliant!


Drew x

Friday, February 11, 2011

Non-Moan no.3 (Week 6)

There’s a hole in my bucket...
I only work part time. The job I’m currently in is my first since my partner’s cancer treatment. It’s very much about us getting back on our feet financially. Or at least that’s how we hoped it would be.  Unfortunately however we’re now worse off money wise then we were when we both received benefits. Much worse off in fact.
So I don’t spend all my time at school 9-4 – but I do work hard and I do work far beyond the hours I’m actually paid for, and for what? We’re poorer now then when we ere doing nothing.
Neither of us had ever been on benefits before. We’ve both had jobs since we were 15 and 16. So when we were forced to claim them through unpleasant circumstances it was quite a shock. I immediately seized the first available opportunity to get back in to the work place.
We’ve never lied to the authorities, always been honest regarding our claims. When we told them I would be going back to work, they immediately cancelled all of our benefits. This left us with a month long period between having no benefits and me getting my first pay check.
Fortunately we have an amazing support system of friends and family who were able to help us, but what about those who don’t? When I posed the question to the benefits office of how we were supposed to manage for an entire month with no money, despite the fact we were attempting to come off benefits, the lady on the other end of the phone simply stated ‘there was nothing we could do.’
I actually understand why some people simply stay on benefits; it’s easier than trying to get off them. For some people it must be impossible to survive and come off them. Clearly there’s a massive gap in the system here.
So now financially we’re treading water. Paying off debts VERY slowly and only just getting by each month. People who are in the same position but still on benefits and not going back to work are actually better off than we are...

Does that sound right to you?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Non-Moan no.2 (Week 6)

The Divine Inheritance.
Having been raised in a strict and heavily practised Catholic family it’s fair to say I’ve been burdened with my fair share of catholic guilt. A cross many have to carry. I’ve since completely denounced the faith which was thrust upon me from birth with some vigour. (I’m sure it has nothing to do with facts such as Britain, a country whose head of state and national religion is Church of England, has recently shelled out a ridiculous amount of money, quite literally millions of pounds, for the ‘honour’ of a Papal visit. Or that collection plates are sent round during mass which encourage congregations, including the elderly and those who may be poor, to part with what little money they have, despite the Vatican being one of the richest states in the world). In all seriousness this is not a bashing of the catholic church or it’s congregations so I hope I don’t offend people. Just my thoughts and ramblings really...
In theory I like the ideas and values that Christianity stands for, however in truth, the Catholic Church, like many religions, does not seem to practice, nor encourage such actions.
Judgement, judgement, judgement... That’s all I’ve encountered. As an all encompassed entity it never seems happier then when someone is shunned and extradited from the land of the good and any right to expect some form of paradise upon death.

This guilt however seems to have spilled over into many other areas of my life. This week at work a colleague blamed me for something that was not my fault. I quickly corrected the issue and revealed, unintentionally, that I was not at fault and by doing so, indirectly named the guilty party. Thought he did not seem to care about letting me take the fall, I still felt incredibly guilty for telling the truth. Guilt which when coupled with a nervous energy induces a paranoia I don’t care for. These emotions if looked on logically are quite inexplicable.
This sense of guilt occurs frequently. I remember in my youth at school for a short period we appeared to have a class thief. (That would be a thief who stole items from members of the class and not a thief who possessed particularly good taste). Even though I knew nothing about it, and had taken no part in the stealing of items, I still felt terrible, as though somehow it was my fault and I should be punished.
There are many other anecdotes I could recite, but my point is, even though I don’t class myself as a member of this or any other religion and refuse to step foot in any religious buildings for fear of my body setting ablaze after self-combustion disappearing in to a cloud of dust, I still carry the effect that it has had upon my life.
After much pondering, I wonder, do all religions impose such guilt on their congregations? Or are Catholics alone in this? And either way, is it healthy?

Non-Moan no.1 (Week 6)

Parking your prejudice.
I don’t have children. I don’t want children. I don’t even really like children. They’re messy, noisy and frankly at times quite irritating. I send apologies to all you parents out there, though I wonder if you feel the same about other people’s kids?
I’m not disabled, unless you count my mouth which sometimes speaks when it shouldn’t. I am physically very able.
Yet I’ve noticed more and more at my local supermarkets that there are fewer and fewer parking spaces for those of us who are in childless families, or not disabled. It seems there are spaces for people who are disabled, people with large children, people with small children, people with short children, people with tall children.

Okay. I’m exaggerating now. And I should point out that I do understand it must be difficult to go shopping with kids, not to mention worrying as they cross roads and car parks.
Now obviously being disabled is not a choice and if it were I doubt anyone would choose to be. But having children is a choice. Of course if people didn’t, I’d be out of a job, so I do appreciate the irony of what I’m about to say.
Should having children give you the right to park closer to the store? Should it provide you with a wider, easier to use, easier to slide a trolley between and unpack your shopping, space?
I don’t think it should.  Where are the spaces for the young professionals who are in a hurry after a hard day’s work? Where are the short stay spaces that allow me to pop in to a shop and quickly grab a pint of milk? Where are the spaces that cater for me and my needs?
I’ll tell you where they are. About a frickin’ mile and a half away from the store’s entrance, that’s where! I am in fact being discriminated against because I’ve chosen not to have kids.  So in order to remedy this, and much to the disgust of many passing vehicles, loaded with children bouncing off the windows from sugar induced highs, I’ve started using the family spaces near the entrance.
I have a family. I am part of a family. I just don’t have children. I have a partner. I have two cats. That to me constitutes a family. I have parents, brothers and a sister. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins etc.
So I say to all those who believe it is their given right and those who design car parks in such a way, Down with Discrimination! And until the day this prejudice is toppled I will continue to park in the wider, family spaces, closer to the store entrance!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Non-Moan no.3 (Week 5)

The Poly-Blend Cage!
After  a foul day at work, irritating colleagues, impending deadlines, annoying students (You get the picture) I arrive home and decide it is time to strip out of the cage like collar I’m forced to endure and cosy up in my pyjamas.
The material of my shirt has been rubbing all day, chaffing my skin as I stretch to write on the board. Then foolishly I attempt to remove my shirt and jumper without undoing any of the buttons.

This proved to be a HUGE mistake. Ultimately it led to me being trapped for ten minutes straight in my own clothes. Literally trapped. Half up around my shoulders, pinning  my arms down. I could not move for love nor money.
I actually wore myself out attempting to rectify the situation but my clothes refused to release me. With each tug and pull my frustration grew, exhausting me.
Eventually after being rescued, my arms numb from fatigue, I sat and pondered ‘Should there be anything more humiliating than not being able to undress one’s self at the age of twenty nine?’

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Non-Moan no.2 (Week 5)

The superior, Inferior hypothesis.
In my short life (Please remember I’m VERY young, still in my twenties ya’ know ?) I’ve worked in many different job roles. Varying from retail and bar work and waiting tables, to what might be considered more glamorous roles working on TV and Film sets, then through to teaching.
I’ve always tried to remember that whichever role I’ve been in has simply been a job. I haven’t provided the world with any great service, I’ve sold clothes, or made TV programmes. I wasn’t saving lives, digging wells or building orphanages, and that’s ok.
Recently though I seem to have encountered too many employees in local stores and shopping centres that seem to think serving me is beyond them.

Overly manicured women and men, who are only a shade or two away from being viable for employment as oompa loompas in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Their eyebrows plucked to within an inch of their lives which allows them to perpetuate their frowns and glares. Their hair bleached so bright it burns your retinas as punishment for daring to gaze upon their holier than thou existence.
I believe that the customer is NOT always right, however I still believe that each customer, until they raise their voice, swear, or are simply unnecessarily rude, deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect., or at times their presence simply acknowledged.
Am I asking too much? Or are these living Barbies and Kens simply better than me?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Non-Moan no.1 (Week 5)

I live my life by the Eighth and one thirds...
Firstly please accept my apologies for my sporadic posts of late. Work is very intense at the moment and I’ve been sleep deprived! I promise to get back on form this weekend though.
So I realised this week that I’d been waiting, since my return to work after the Xmas holidays, for the end of January... Payday, a fresh month, white rabbits, etc...

Then it occurred to me, exactly what percent of the year does each month account for?
 I didn’t do the math very accurately, I simply divided the year in to twelve, rather than specific amounts of days for each month. Each month loosely translates to 8.333% of the year.
I wonder how many of us live our lives by this? I stand in the staffroom counting down the days, weeks and months until the next holiday, wishing my life away. All that time that I write off between the counting and the actual holiday simply discarded, thrown away, mentally consumed.
I wonder if in my old age I’ll sit back and consider all of that wasted time regrettably and all that could have been done with it. To remedy this unnecessary waste I’ve decided to try and make the most of each day. I know, I know, that sounds terribly optimistic for me, but I thought it was worth a shot.
I wonder how many of you also wish your life away and live your life by the Eighth and one Thirds?