Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm a Winner!

Batch number: 12/25/0340
Reff number: MSN-L/200-26937
Winning number: YM09788
Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice the result of MICROSOFT MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO. We are happy to inform you that your email address have emerged a winner of £500,000.00 (POUNDS STERLING).
MR. Terry Martins
Tel: +44-703-190-9638
You are also required to contact him with the below information.
(a) Your full Name:
(b) Contact address:
(c) Your Telephone and fax numbers:
(d) Your Age:
(e) Your occupation:
(f) Your country of origin:
Mrs. Rose Carl
Online Co-ordinator

This e-mail landed in my Inbox this morning. Horray! I can give up work and go on a 6 month holiday to Tobago! Not.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

All Change!

My nesting continues much to the consternation and surprise of the men in my life, to the point whereby Oblivion has gone unplayed. But my bedroom has been dug out, the floor is no longer a rumour, I've even created some space for my Viking to store stuff - should he so wish it. The front room still has more shite than I'm happy with, but until the Viking heads up into the loft to put away several crates, not much I can do about it. He promises that he will do that over the next few days, and I'll see if bribery and corruption can speed things along. At least the front room is now dust and cobweb free.

My intentions were to have a lazy day today, for once, my laziness didn't get the better of me and while I didn't exactly move very fast, I did manage to get quite a lot done. I look about my handiwork now, and I could really get used to this target-achieving-feeling. I can't believe that I've actually managed to do what I intended without major stresses on my part. I basically have just pottered around, doing little bits here and there and somehow they've managed to add up to something good.

It's a bit sad, that I'm a grown woman who is patting herself on the back for doing a bit of housework. But there you go. I doubt it will last, so it's good while it lasts.

Oh, and I have other news!

A couple of job opportunities came up at work. Both were in cosmetic houses. Yes, I know I'm being a bit vague, but I'd rather keep the new job I've got. I'll give you a bit of a hint: as from next Monday, I'll be a beauty consultant for the Cosmetic House for whom Kate Winslet and Clive Owen have done a bit of work for. It's very up-market and the products are fabulous. Before I went into the interview, I wasn't bothered, I had another interview lined up for the weekend, with more days and therefore more money. But during the interview I really liked what I heard and I was very pleased to be offered the job. I'm really looking forward to the change of pace.

It does mean that my days in perfumery are numbered - 3 to be exact, but as my Viking laughingly pointed out - I've got 13 bottles of perfume sitting on my dressing table - time for something new!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Spring is just round the corner. I know this is true because blackthorn is in flower. Today, I have been continuing my spring cleaning. Last week I started digging out my bedroom and happily re-housed 6 bags of rubbish which had been sitting in boxes on shelves for over 2 years (ever since I removed ourselves from a disastrous relationship). Last year I had my hands full with Pops, dissertation, work and finishing my degree.

A couple of weeks ago I looked around the flat and did not like what I saw. Since then my discontent has grown. Gee and I headed off to a garden centre (or two) looking for houseplants for me to kill and a coffee and cake moment. I was very, very good. I only got the things on my list. I did not succumb to the temptation of orchids in bright fuschia conical pots. I was so proud of myself.

I love gardening. I love having green things and flowers around me. Unfortunately, I'm a fair weather gardner with a short attention span. I am rubbish at remembering to water things, which is why things that grow outside always get on a lot better than the things that grow inside. I have a list of plants that I can kill: spider plants, rubber plants, peace lillies etc. The plants that are still alive are pretty much safe from nuclear fall-out. I have a weeping fig, 3 orchids and two pelargonams which are doing fine and an alpine strawberry and a money plant which I need to pay more attention to.

So thanks to B&Q, I have now added an ivy, 2 chyrsanthemums and gerbera (yes, I kill these with ease but it was a 3 for £5 jobby and I didn't fancy the flaming katy) to my collection. I even invested in a packet of seeds and am experimenting to see if it's possible to grow nastirtiums (I can grow the damn things, buggered if I can spell them) for indoor use. Oh, I'm also giving a jasmine in the kitchen another go. I tried to grow one over netting on my kitchen window last year. It succumbed to my lax watering. I think it's an idea worth giving another go. If I kill the damn thing this time, I'll have to try something else.

Right, rest break is over. Now to finish attending to my bedroom.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Urban Myth?

I get a lot of e-mails.

Some from people in far off places offering me cheap/herbal viagra for my erectile dysfunction and a plethora of pills, powders and potions, to make my floppy penis grow bigger. Presumably, when the pills finally work I can then properly enjoy Teen Hard-Core Lesbian Spanking Action.

Thanks very much.

I also get the cutsie ones with angels, fuzzy animals and a Celine Dion soundtrack which finish with the promise of dire consequences if I don't immediately send it on to all the people on my Contacts List. I have friends who appreciate my low-brow humour and they send me good/dirty jokes which I am happy to pass on - long may it continue. I also get the 'public service' e-mails about missing children in Utah - have I seen them?

If Harry Bloggs writes to me, it's a trick, so pass this e-mail onto everyone in my Contact List to make sure, none of my friends gets caught by this awful scam. Lately, I've been employing my delete button quite a bit. Strange how hard-hearted I've become. I really don't feel moved by the plight of that Nigerian Princess in exile who will give me her fortune, if only I would just help her out.

Today, I got an e-mail which I thought I'd put out there, see if it rang any bells with any of my plod readers.

An important message from the Police -

Guys please pass this along to all the women you know.....This actually happened a few weeks ago right here in England . It was early evening and a young lady stopped to get petrol. She filled her tank and walked into the store to pay for her petrol. The cashier told her 'Don't pay for your petrol yet.....walk around the store for a while and act as if you're picking up some other things to buy. A man just got into the back of your car. I've called the police and they're on their way'. When the police arrived, they found the man in the back seat of the girl's car and asked him what he was doing. He replied, he was joining a gang and the initiation to join is to kidnap a woman and bring her back to the gang to be raped by every member of the gang. If the woman was still alive by the time they finish with her then they let her go. According to the police that night, there is a new gang forming here originating from London. The scary part of this is because the guy didn't have a weapon on him. The police could only charge him with trespassing....He's back on the street and free to try again. Please be aware of what's going on around you and for your family and friends. LADIES you or one of your family and friends could be the next victim. Please forward this on to everyone you know. Please do not discard this message it is very important that everyone knows what is happening. Please be careful when leaving your vehicle and make sure it is ALWAYS Locked to prevent this from happening to you.

Sound familiar?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hints for Vikings

Shamelessly nicked from Spaceports.

Assault of V-Day

I was at work travelling up an escalator with a colleague I was on nodding terms with, when she asked me why I was dressed in a pink top.

"It's for Valentine's Day and the launch of a new fragrance," I say.

"My boyfriend and I don't 'do' Valentine's Day. He says it just commercialism anyway. You should show your love every day, not just on the day the retailers say," she says.

I've heard this argument quite a few times now and I have a lot of sympathy for it. And truth be known, I've spent far too many Valentine's Days checking an empty post box, in-box, doorstep. There's nothing quite as depressing as seeing the other women you work with getting big, bouquet's of flowers, balloons and cards. They always look so damned smug. It's led to me feeling old, fat and unloved at times. Billy No-Mate - that's me.

But tuth be told, I'm a shallow woman. I love flowers and presents. Someone who has taken the time and effort to shower me in both just because he could, is someone special in my books. One of the presents I hold most dear is a small, cuddly bat. Something silly and probably not very expensive, but it was chosen with care and love and it makes me smile. So please don't think I'm advocating spending a huge amount of dosh just because you can (but not to say I would turn down a romantic weekend break in Budapest).

So I turned around and asked my cynical colleague "Does your partner give you cards, flowers and chocolate at other times of the year then?"

She thought, frowned and finally said "No, he doesn't."

There you go then.

To my mind, even if you don't want to celebrate Valentine's Day, fair enough; but do make sure your loved one gets spoilt, even if because it's just Monday.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Nothing Else Matters ~ Metallica

I'm in a rockin'/mellow frame of mind. Enjoy.

Skinned Cat

This has been a pretty interesting week. My boss suggested that I might like to go for a full-time job in-store. I was at first uncomfortable with the thought because the company she suggested is young, funky and very sales oriented. I didn't think I fit into any of those categories. And then I went and proved myself wrong on the last one. I worked in a different department on Sunday and blew their target completely out of the water. And then on Tuesday, I had the sale from Heaven. Guy walks in, hands me a list and says he wants 2 of everything. His total bill was nigh on a thousand pounds! It took me half an hour to stop shaking! It was a bit of a shame it wasn't one of mine, but hey ho, it looks great for our targets this week.

So I've handed my CV in and I wait to see if I get a telephone interview and then an 'audition'. I'm not sure how I feel about the new job, but I'll give it a go. There's also another part-time job going with another cosmetic house possibly slightly better money but also with 2% commission which if they're on special promotion could go up considerably.

Last night Boy and I went to his school for a presentation on his choices for GCSE. As he wants to be a vet, his choices are pretty much made for him, but it's always useful to see what's available. I had a good chat with the heads of subjects and they seem quite a nice bunch. They were realistic in their advice and quite supportive. It is harder to become a vet than it is to be accepted into med school all of which which we knew. Not only will he have to get A*, Boy will also have to prove that he is a well-rounded individual as well.

Nothing less than excellent will do. No pressure.

With the world sliding inexorably into recession, it looks unlikely that the house in Trinidad will be sold anytime soon. Ultimately, it means I will be unable to go back to my MA in September. As I trooped about town today I've been thinking about the implications. It's so tempting to give in to self-pity and depression, I can feel it tugging at the edge of my consciousness. I've never been so content or fullfilled when I'm indulging my creativity. Writing and art have become part of my identity and when I'm not creative it makes me crazy, I feel unbalanced and itchy. I don't have any doubt as to the partial cause of my blues this winter, it's not just the relentless retail at Christmas.

But let's be realistic. Without a considerable cash injection, completing the MA is not going to happen. I simply cannot afford to pay my fees and keep my household, even on a part-time basis. And actually, I don't know where I'm going at the end of it. I still don't have a goal past the MA.

Boy does have a goal. He knows what he wants to do. The next four years are so important for him. He's going to have to be focussed, he can't afford to wobble or have doubts. He simply won't have time for teenage rebellion and angst.

Therefore, I need to find a full-time job with prospects of advancement. I don't know when the house in Trinidad will be sold and if there's a crash, revolution or an act of God and it doesn't happen, I need to have a workable Plan B. Plan B will involve selling the flat, transferring the equity to pay for Boy's fees and living costs. He won't be able to do part-time work, the demands of the vet degree are too intense.

The kind of pressure that Boy will be put under are incredible and I worry for him. But if he wants this, then he has to know what he's getting himself into. My natural impulses are to start pushing him to focus more on his school work, but I'm not sure that will be in his best interests. At the end of the day I want him to be happy. And if he doesn't get into vet school, first, second or third time, or he gets in and finds he hates it, then it's not the end of the world. His health and sanity are so much more important.

I also wonder what it means for me. Giving up the MA and my dreams of creativity and a creative life are heartbreaking. Will there be recompense for my dreams? Probably not. But that's not the point, is it? One of the things I can say with confidence is my heart mends. It's been broken so many times, I am confident in my ability to survive losing the MA. I've also been considering the worst-case scenarios: what if Boy turns into a druggie and crashes and burns? Well, I'll have done my bit and he'll just have to learn to pick himself up, if he can. What happens if he gets through vet school and he moves county/country? That's a painful thought. A colleague said to me yesterday 'a daughter is for life, you lose your son when he takes a wife'. I'll have to learn that it's not about me and what I want, it's about him and what he wants. I'm less confident in learning that than I am in getting over the MA. But I suspect that's true for most parents. I could worry myself into doing nothing, and that's not an option.

My way forward is this: I find a full-time job with prospects, I re-establish a work-life balance, I have a good time with my Boy.

There. That's not so hard, is it?