10 years

10 years ago I sat at work and watched the events in the US unfold.  I remember the first plane crashing and thinking it was a terrible accident, then the second, then the people jumping from the windows and the towers collapsing.  They are images that will never leave me much as I would like them to. 

10 years later I still can't think about it, the horror for all those people. If I focus on it I feel like my heart and brain will burst.  I can't watch the TV programmes today in the same way I can't watch films about war.  I know how brave many, many people were and I have so much sympathy for all those impacted by the nightmare who have to live with it everyday.  I can't let myself think too much about the evil in the world because to do that for me leads to depression and that lets it win.

My thoughts that I can allow myself to have about 9/11 are with those who are still living with it and I hope they can all find their own ways to deal with it and find a way to not let evil win in their lives.

Mrs Midnite buys a Ube

Hello my name is Mrs Midnite and I am a shopperholic!

OK this isn't a bad purchase on a scale of impulse buys.  I've wanted this for a long, long time.

When I first got my own flat I thought about buying a fish tank but it's a small flat and I've never really finished getting it decorated how I want it so I've never worked out where a large fish tank would go.  I did look into fishies and tanks but that as far as it went.

10 years on and best friend boy and girl have bought a fish tank.  Jealous!  Best friend boy asked me what the first fish everyone who gets a tank wants?  I guessed neons?  Bettas?  No apparently people want a clown fish.  "But they are marine fish" says a fish educated Mrs Midnite.  Best friend boy says not many people know this, odd as Finding Nemo is set in the sea.  I've also chased clown fish when I've been diving so I know they are salty fish!

Anyway the BF tank arrived and sat empty to acclimatise, the first fish were added and survived.  More fish arrived and continued to survive.  More jealous. 

And then BF smallest boy leaves his fish viewing chair in front of the tank one night and Sasha decides to investigate.  Lots of Sasha entertainment watching the little swimming spots.  It was total dog enjoyment.

After that I thought maybe we could get a tank.  So on the next trip to buy dog sweets at the pet shop the furry girls and I had an explore through the fish section.  Sasha was even more fascinated by the tanks full of fish.  Even Star noticed then but the Princess wasn't really to interested.

Then there was an article about how watching fish reduces stress and helps with insomnia. A chain of hotels has started providing fish tanks in rooms based on the insomnia beating properties. Far be it for Mrs Midnite to ignore a message from the universe on how to treat the sleep deprivation.

So after much internet searching we have settled on the fish tank of our choice.  It's not a big tank, we're starting small.  So we've picked an artistic looking BiUbe:

Fish research is ongoing to pick now residents for the Ube.  All very exciting. We'll keep you posted!

To go or not to go

That is the question.

You know at work (or in school) you get groups of people.  You get the popular group, the swotty group, the nerd group, the always out group etc etc.

See how it sounds like school but it still happens when you are the far side of mid 30s and supposedly professional.

Well tonight is a leaving do for one of the popular kids.  I'm not one of them.  Apparently I can be difficult to get along with.  This is a fair point, I have mood swings, I'm unstable and can be a very different person depending on which side of the pole my moods are on any given day.  Thing is I'm not horrible, I always try to be nice to people and largely try not to bitch (hard thought this can be), I can be funny and entertaining, I can be depressed or hyperactive irritating.  Hey hoo that's the breaks.

I'm lucky in that I have great friends who I love to teeny tiny bits.  I have some good friends at work too but at work there are people who don't really seem to like me much.  It doesn't really bother me, except for the paranoia debate.  Am I just paranoid or do they really not like me?  Who cares?

As my therapist says "What people think of you is none of your business."  I like me, I'm happy to be me. 

But back to the leaving do.  Today there is only about 50% of the department in, they have all gone to the pub for lunch but didn't ask me.  They are not particularly my friends, not that I don't like them or anything we are just part of different groups.  But if one of them was in on their own and I had lunch plans I would have invited them.  It's the polite, friendly thing to do.

So tonight the leaving do will be largely these people and my paranoia is creeping in telling me not to go, they don't like me.

I'm driving Mr Midnite later tonight and then we are thinking of going for a dance but I had planned to go to the leaving do first.  Now I just don't feel welcome.  Can't decide if this is paranoia or just intuition, can anyone spot the difference?

What's a Cavachon?

Any idea?  Does the name give any clues

Could it be something dental?  Cavity prevention?

Or may it is a member of a group of giant robots, the leader or the cavachons?

No, neither of these things, its a type of dog.  A first generation cross between this:

And this:

And it potentially looks like this:

All together ............... awwwwwwww

The idea of first generation crosses sort of makes sense and baffles me at the same time.  Hybrid or designer dogs!  The first one was the labradoodle the idea was "to combine the low-shedding coat of the Poodle with the gentleness and trainability of the Labrador, and to provide a guide dog suitable for people with allergies to fur and dander".  Of course the random nature of genetics means that not all labradoodles have the poodle coat.  That's just the way it goes in the genetic lottery.

Because poodles don't shed and come in small and large they have been crossed with lots of other breeds to try to get non-shedding dogs:
Goldendoodles - Golden retriever + Standard poodle
Spoodles - Springer spaniel + poodle
Cockerpoos - Cocker Spaniel + Poodle
Cavapoos - King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Miniature Poodle
Lhasapoo/ Shihpoo - Lhasa Apso or Shih Tzu + Miniature Poodle
Bichonpoos - Bichon Frise cross Miniature Poodle

I very much wish they would not use the poo part of poodle, it's just silly.

The Bichon Frise is also a non/low shedding dog, it has a really soft wool coat so another ideal dog for crossing.  This gives us:
Cavachon - Cavalier King Charles + Bichon Frise
Wechon - West Highland Terrier + Bichon Frise
Shichon - Shih Tzu + Bichon Frise
And I'm sure the list goes on and on.

All the breeders claim low shedding.  Many claim a healthy dog. 

My bafflement comes in when you see the prices.  These mixed breed dogs sell for at least as much as pure breed, kennel club registered pedigree dogs.  Some breeders charge extra because they don't shed.  In that case buy a poodle or a bichon frise, they don't shed either!

Many breeders will give you the 5 generation pedigree for your mixed breed dog.  Just like you'd get for a pedigree pup, not sure I get it.

And here they lose me completely, many claim these crosses are more healthy than their pure bred parents.  Pedigree dogs get pedigree problems.  Years of breeding to get the desired type has led to genetic problems in all breeds that I can think of.  So breeding too different breeds could give you healthier pups or in the genetic lottery your pup could get the genetic problems from both parents. 

In addition some of the hybrids are badly thought out.  Take the Pugalier, cross between the cavalier and pug.  Both breeds have short noses and to some extent protruding eyes, so guess what the Pugalier will have, breathing and eye issues - tick.  Both breeds have neurological issues suspected to be genetic, lets put money on the pugalier having something similar.  Cavaliers have bad hearts, definitely genetic, mix that with dodgy pug breathing and the mix doesn't sound good.

So where do my mixed feelings about mixed breeds lead.  Many are really cute dogs.  Many don't shed, yeah for allergic dog lovers and yeah for less vacuuming.  Big boo for the price, no way can I see the logic behind the high costs.  And my advice.  If you buy a pedigree dog look it up and read about the pedigree problems, they cab be heartbreaking and budget breaking.  If you buy a designer hybrid dog look up both breeds and prepare yourself for the possibility of the pedigree issues from either parent.

And here for fun are my favourite mixed bred names:
Go on have a guess what they are, my Cavaliers may award prizes!

Mrs M

:0) What a difference a day makes

24 little hours!

Called the company back that I had interviews with last week to get an update and they offered me two jobs.

2 jobs!

The first I'd applied for and had two interviews for turned out to be the lower paid.  There was lots about that job that I could get excited about with new things to learn, a team on site and knowing a few people already there.  But I'd expected it to be the higher paid of the two.

The second job I'd applied for was a Project Support role.  I'd told them I was happy to take a step back to gain experience and then move up within the company to be a Project Manager again.  When I spoke to the nice HR girl today she said that between her and the manager they had decided that although I would get the experience I would get bored quickly.  Sooooo they upgraded the job to the Associate Project Manager role.  Woo Hoo.  Was not expecting that :0)

Actually didn't take me more than a few seconds to decide.  I had thought that if I could get the support job I'd get promoted pretty quickly.  I was right I got promoted before I even started.  I took the Associate Project Manager job because it has better prospects and it's the one I feel most excited about.  Plus it was higher paid although I'd decided money wasn't the deciding factor unless it was significantly different.

Anyway what I'm gradually getting to here is that I GOT A NEW JOB :0)

I am really really really (repeat to end of page) happy.  I'm also relieved that I have found something that interests and excites me and that I don't have to face a period of unemployment.

I think a lesson has been learned here and I will be trying doubly hard to keep in control of my finances.

Yesterday I was feeling really down with rubbish at work and all the uncertainty, now I feel so excited.  I can't wait to get out of my current job and start something new.

Thanks bloggers for putting up with my job searching blog, Normal service will be resumed shortly!

Mrs M

PS.  Now I think I should buy a new bag to go with the new job.....................


Having a bad day

Really not a happy bunny

Work is just problem after problem all rushing at me at once, don't want to be here.  I'm still wanting to help my clients but the company are just expecting too much.  I'm not doing a good job, I'm missing things and they then come back to bite.  Just really don't want to have anything more to do with this place.

Waiting for results from two interviews that I had a week ago. Recruitment process is too slow.  I was feeling really confident but the longer it goes the harder it is to stay positive.

Mr Midnite seems to have walked out on me in the middle of the night.  I don't know why, could be a good reason he left all his things but just went out in the pouring rain.  He isn't answering tests and his phone is switched off.  Sad and confused.

Think today is one of those where I should have just stayed in bed.

Moan and rant over.  Sorry to dump on blogger

Mrs M

Have to mention Riots

Well what a week going on down there in Englandshire.  Horrific pictures on TV, I'm shocked and stunned by what's happening.  So here are Mrs Midnite's thoughts on the events of this week.

A young black (or possibly mixed race by the look of some pics) man who was probably a criminal was killed by the police.  Seems he didn't fire a gun but did have an illegal fire arm.  Sympathy to his family because regardless of what he did or didn't do he is theirs and I'm sure they are devastated. 

A peaceful demonstration went ahead because people felt they were not getting information from the police.  Fine so far.  Then for reasons as yet unknown it erupted into a night of violence, looting and crime - riot. 

I heard lots about how frustrating and unpleasant it is for young people (mostly black) to be stopped and searched for no reason other than how they look.  I get it to some extent, I used to get stopped and breathalysed regularly when I drove around late at night.  I have friends who get stopped and searched, some just laugh, some get really really angry. 

A guy got shot, young people get stopped and searched.  Explain why this leads to riots all over England? 

The rioters on TV seem to be from most races, various ages, men and women.  Most of the TV shots are of young men. 

Poverty and lack of jobs are blamed for the problems.  The riots are co-ordinated using blackberry messenger?  Help me out here.  You have a £300 smart phone and you are rioting because you live in poverty?  The pictures show lots of expensive trainers.  They are looting TVs, PCs and clothes.  Wonder what the people of Somalia would loot if they were given the opportunity.  Oooh yes, food because they are really living in poverty.

I'm not without sympathy, the economic crisis is making life hard for people.  I'm loosing my job, so are lots of others.  Things are more expensive, the Government are taking measures to try to stop us ending up like Greece.  Getting stopped and searched for no reason sucks!  But if you are doing nothing wrong does it really matter? 

The way I see it the rioters are just criminals.  They are not making a political statement, they are not protesting about Government policies, economic issues, police racism.  They are using all these things as an excuse to steal and destroy.  They have grown up in a society where the consequences of doing wrong are minimal.  Miss school, your parents get into trouble.  Cause trouble in class, get suspended and have a holiday.  Be rude to elders, nothing happens.  Steal something, get away with it.  Take drugs, get a warning.  Carry a knife, get away with it.

My dad once kicked a teacher and ran home.  A neighbour saw him and clouted him round the head, took him home.  His dad gave him a telling off for been out of school and for kicking the teacher.  Taken back to school, given a slap and made to stand in the naughty spot.

What are the consequences going to be for rioters?  Will it be enough to prevent it happening again?  I have no idea.  I can't understand any of this, the way I was brought up means I couldn't possibly destroy other peoples homes, shops or property.  I couldn't throw stones at police or bystanders.  I couldn't so how can I understand.

My final point for today.  I'm so proud that Scotland hasn't joined in the mindless behaviour.  I love Edinburgh and hope everyone else here feels the same and won't destroy our city.

Sasha's Agility Pictures

Last weekend we all went to a charity doggie day.  Sasha's agility club were doing a demonstration and one of the lovely ladies had a great camera to capture the action. 

Enjoy :0)

Star had a try at the "have a go agility" and was, well a star!  Negotiated a way to take both to classes so she can do the training.  Next time hopefully will have pics of both pups.

Sasha and her little pal also won the waggiest tail competition aided by the generous application of popcorn :0)

So she doesn't feel left out here's a quick Star pic:

Eau de Parfume

Woof to all the blogger dogs out there, Sasha here with news on my new perfume.

Today at the beach I found a fantastic new smell and can bring it to you for the bargain price of one chicken wing per bottle.

You doggie types will love this new perfume, it suits all occasions and is a really good strong stench.

So I bring you from the furry girls perfume house ................................ Eau De Dead Crab

Place your orders quick before mum baths us!

Sorry another job related blog post!

Sorry, sorry, it's not supposed to be a job hunting blog but it's hard to think of other things just now.

This week I got my leaving date from work, 30th September is my last day.  10 years served and I was innocent I tell you ............... innocent!  It will actually be 10 years and 5 months working in the same place.

So now I know when I'll be finished.  I still don't have another job although the job with no salary has been in touch!

I had a phone interview with an HR person from a local company and was told I would hear by the end of the week ................... nothing!  This is a one of those interesting jobs, its an area I'd like to get into but to do that I need to take a step back to get some experience.  In some ways I'm over qualified, I have bundles of project management experience.  In other ways I don't have enough, only limited experience in this area of the Pharmaceutical industry. 

So I'd have to go from Senior Project Manager in manufacturing to at the highest an Associate Clinical Project Manager.  Except there are no Associate jobs around so I'm going back an extra step to the support level to get the experience.  Took some planning how to explain to the HR person that I'm not just using it as a stop gap while I find something better.  I do want to do this so happy to take the step back / pay cut and work my way back up.

Waiting, waiting, waiting for them to get back to me.  Even when they do it will probably just be to go for a face to face interview with the group manager.  Then more waiting, waiting and waiting.

Just give me the job, I'm fab, I work hard, I'm great with people, modest and I can communicate.  Go on!

Visualising getting the job offer in a positive thinking way. 

Wish me luck :0)

Interesting Interview

Well I had an interesting interview experience today.  It was a Project Manager job for a new company with a new product.  Very interesting idea and will probably work out if they market it well.

Discussed the job and it would be a good job, interesting to be involved from the start and a small company so probably I'd get lots of new experience.  But try and guess the salary.............

....................... go on have a guess

in £s if you can but I'll convert with my skilled maths mind and tell you if you're right for any currency

no lower........................

no lower ..............................

still lower ....................................

you got it

That's right zero, nothing, zilch, nada, nought, nowt, none, zip and nil.  £0.00 or $0.00 or €0.00 you take your pick!

So there you are, that was an interesting experience. 

PS.  Blogger has decided I can't post comments on my blog or anyone elses so although I'm around I can't comment.  It keeps saying I need to log in so I do and then we go round again.  Confused!

Still job hunting


What a boring searching for jobs blog.

Sorry I'm still filling my spare time job hunting instead of blogging.  Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon.

Next week I will get my leaving date from my current job.............. TORN

I want out!  So sick of working there.  Really wanting an early date.

BUT I have to pay my bills so I should be wanting a late date and hanging in as long as possible.

Anyway off to search for jobs!

Applications away

Busy week of applying for jobs.  Thankfully most have been via the internet / e-mail but one was a application form.  Took me about 4 hours to complete!  When I struggle to write a half page about why I want the job, main achievements and strengths I'd bring I have to question the statement "excellent communication skills" I have in my CV :0)

So first week of job searching:
CV to previous boss and one previous colleague - it's not what you know, it's who you know!
6 science / pharmaceutical jobs applied for, one thanks but no thanks but to be fair I didn't have the experience they where looking for.
6 alternative project manager roles applied for, mostly in finance.  I'm looking a junior / associate roles hoping that someone might give me a try!
1 events management job applied for, probably won't pay enough but I've always fancied doing this and it would pay the bills!
15 applications in one week, not a bad start!  Clearly I have my favourites, a couple of the science jobs look interesting and finance is where the money lives so that might be nice!

Not much fun at work still, too much moaning and negativity, understandable but it's pretty draining.  Got very vague details of the job opportunities they have, 3 out of 6 of the people at my level could keep our jobs but it is unlikely to be in Scotland.  The initial offer of redundancy is above the basic which is a good start but clearly we will ask for more. 

All in all I'm actually finding this quite exciting, it's an opportunity after all.

Lots of woofs and licks from the furry girls to all their blog buddies, will let you know what they have been up to soon.

Mrs M :0)

Well hello blog, remember me

Dear Blog

I'm sorry I have neglected you for months but I have been really busy.  Work continues to be a source of problems.  The site I work on is closing and the staff are leaving, well all be over by the end of August. 

In true Project Manager style I analysed the risks and decided that the major risk would be that the global Project Manager vision wouldn't work and our group would be next out of the door.  I did a quick gap analysis (get me with the worky buzz words) and realised my CV was missing an actual Project Management qualification.  Everything has been on the job training from one company.  So I decided that the way to go was to get an official qualification and show I know how the job should be done not just how the company I work for does it.

So I put myself in for an exam without doing the course, bought the books and spent the last few months revising in preparation.  I sat the exam recently and frightened myself because I found some of the questions very easy making me think I may have missed something.  One of the 10 questions I totally messed up but overall I think I will pass.  Fingers and toes crossed, results should arrive in the next few months.

My next step was to polish my very, very out of date CV.  When I say polish I mean start from scratch as it is 10 years since I updated it.  Finally completed a basic CV that can be easily customised for different jobs and all ready to start applying.


Last Wednesday we got the notification that plans have changed and our jobs are now at risk!  Spent the remainder of the week listening to the rest of the group saying they saw this coming and that now they need to start updating CVs etc.  Confused, if you saw it coming why have you done nothing?

Have 5 job opportunities to apply for, all of them have things that sound interesting and I know I can do them although all but one would be somewhat different from my current job.  CVs will be winging there way through electronic mail early next week.  Wish them luck if you have a spare moment!

On top of all my planning for this I have had to deal with work itself.  It has been horrible.  Without moaning too much I just need to say that the company has decided on really unrealistic timelines for closure and transfer.  So many things haven't been considered and it has been a nightmare recently.  As none of you know who they are I think it is reasonable for me to say that I am disgusted by their lack of customer focus and consideration.  They haven't treated staff well but we are costs so that's business but customers are your profits and future income, you'd think they would be trying to protect relationships.  Bitch over, not really my problem but when you have worked with clients for years it is hard not to care about them.

Away from work all is good, Mr Midnite has been very supportive and continues to infuse me with his positivity.  The furry girls are as usual wonderful and always ready with hugs and doggy licks when the day has been stressful!

Mental health wise the stress of work hasn't been a great help.  The situation is pushing my pharmaceutical support system to it's limits but I refuse to let it break me.  The doctor has let me have a few sleep tablets and the difference the occasional good nights sleep makes is unbelievable.  I have heard before that there is nothing you can't handle if you get a good nights sleep but now understand this. 

Knowing that I have been doing positive things to improve the situation as helped massively and I'm confident I'll find  nice new job soon.

Hoping my blog will forgive me for my extended absence and that I can get back to writing soon, I do miss it.

Lots of love
Mrs M

Decisions, decisions

I struggle making some of the easy decisions that occur everyday, like should I have dessert or not, and if yes then what should it be?  Or which handbag to buy?  That's how I end up buying 5, they are all so nice.

So imagine the difficulty when it comes to really big, life changing decisions.

With the situation at work I am trying to decide if I am going to stay put and see how it turns out, or start looking at options now.

The company are closing 2 of the 4 Scottish sites, my job is safe but it will be different.  Whatever I do there will be changes.  I could move for a complete change or stay put for a potentially complete change.

I've been there nearly 10 years, maybe now is the time to move?

Some of the possible outcomes of staying put look exciting but some don't, it's a risk waiting to see which way it goes.  There are a few opportunities floating about that interest me but I have some new job fear going on, what if I don't like it?

I visited our new site in Italy last week and the boss there seemed keen for me to go back for a longer visit and get to know everyone.  This for me would be vital to my job.  When I discussed it with my boss here she didn't seem very enthusiastic.  She said "you wouldn't want to move out there would you?"  I just said that I hadn't really thought about it.  Her reply was "I was asked to put forward a list of people who might be interested but I didn't include you because of the dogs and Mr Midnite."  Firstly I don't see that the two things are connected,  I want to spend some time over there so I can do my job better.  If other people want to transfer I don't see that this impacts my request.  Secondly, who is she to make the decision about moving for me, I might have had a life long wish to live in Italy.  Dogs and Mr Midnite are mobile, if I'd decided to go then Mr Midnite would need to make his own decision.

I think this and a few other things are putting me off staying but there are lots of new opportunities that I hope are well managed so that they work out.  I'd like to stay for some of them.

But, there are some interesting looking alternatives.  There are possibilities to move locally to other companies in the same industry or to change completely.  I just can't decide if I should send my CV out and give something new a try.

I'm too good at risk assessment for big decisions, I see risks everywhere

When maybe I should be seeing possibilities

Anyway I haven't decided what to do yet, I haven't even attempted to update my CV yet.  Lack of action is that an unconscious decision to stay put?

January 2011 Sucked

Just thought I'd share that.

I moved into the new year feeling optimistic, the end of 2010 wasn't the best but I had high hopes for 2011. But

My gran after spending 2 months in hospital died last Wednesday afternoon. She was 85 and had a good life, we have a close family, I'm the only one who has moved away. She had a good life and had told everyone not to be upset about her. The infection she had wasn't clearing up and the only real option was surgery. It was very high risk but she got through the operation and seemed to be better but the infection had spread and there wasn't anything they could really do. She had signed a do not resuscitate order before the surgery in case her heart failed, she wasn't the type to be content sitting in bed so maybe this is better than something long and drawn out. It's a strange feeling because I am so far from my family nothing has changed for me but I can't help feeling sad.

My little dog, the red furry one, Star is in season and did a spectacular Houdini escape act earlier this week straight into the paws of a giant mixed breed monster. I shouted at him and he ran away with the little tart chasing him down the street. Me following after, when I caught her and was carrying her back the dog was chasing me. Must have looked like something from Benny Hill. I'm pretty sure he didn't get her but I have to wait three weeks before the vet can check. The dog has been hanging about outside with little Star sitting on the window ledge watching him and crying to get out. It's like some really wrong canine Romeo and Juliet.

I have had a stinky cold and a kidney infection for the whole of January, two courses of antibiotics to shift it. I'm feeling better now but somewhere I've lost a few weeks.

Work is awful with the treat of redundancy hanging over the majority of my colleagues, it is looking more and more like they will be closing two of our four sites so the mood isn't great.

Add to that the general January grey days and lack of funds it has been a crappy month.

So here's to February, the real New Year. I'm thinking in song lyrics, "Things can only get better" and "The only way is up, baby!"

On the positive side my antidepressants are clearly miracle drugs, I am coping with the January blues and I'm optimistic that things will improve.

I will be back with a happier post soon!
Mrs M

More bags, money and credit

With the changes going on at work I realised I would need to travel more and therefore the shopping demon within me saw an ideal opportunity to buy new bags. 

Hi my name is Mrs Midnite and I'm a bagaholic, it has been 6 months since my last bag.

Cabin size to avoid the whole check in thing.
And a work / laptop bag to match.

Hi my name is Mrs Midnite and I'm a bagaholic, it has been 6 days since my last bag, ooops.

BUT, they were in the sale and the travel thing, it was essential.  I had Christmas money that I paid off my credit card so really it just used that.

I'm on a money plan designed by me to pay off my credit card, manic spending is a big problem.  I have been trying to get it under control and I'm doing OK, I just need to break the credit card habit and I'll be there.

Slight problem though, work has decided to change the expenses system.  Before we had to pay for things ourselves and then claim it back.  This is why I can't just cut up my credit card and never use it again, I had to have one for work.  Now they are providing an American Express card in joint names, they pay the bill directly.  Great was my first thought, I can cut up my credit card and remove temptation.  No actually I can't because loads of places in Europe don't take AMEX so I still need my own card as backup.  Plus an added issue, I now have another credit card that I'm not supposed to use except for work.  How much will this matter if bag mania hits? 

Bad Blogger

I realise I'm neglecting my blog and my blog reading.  It's been really hectic here so far in 2011 and after the storm I have been hit by a second bout of Gorilla flu.  The calm after the storm but unfortunately I don't feel well enough to look at the screen and catch up on your exciting posts.  I will though!

I've been doing some thinking about something that keeps cropping up in my life and wondering if it is a coincidence or a sign that I should accept it.  I need to think more.

A funny thing I find is what I take as signs and what I ignore.  I had a day when I was feeling fat and unhealthy.  I saw a few programmes on TV that inspired my last post and made me feel motivated to lose a few pounds.  The next morning with motivation high a leaflet for weight watchers dropped through my door, free membership and first class.  A sign?  Anyway I joined, and no that doesn't mean this is going to turn into a weight loss blog.  I like the system so far, got to say the Gorilla flu is helping as I'm definitely not hungry.  Will see if the universal signs that it's time to lose my spare pounds is really a sign or just a coincidence.

I wonder what other signs I miss?

Half Ton Teen

Like a large percentage of the population I am trying to lose a few pounds following the holiday excess.  I'm never going to be skinny, I don't want to be.  I have curves, or the currently unfashionable hour glass figure.  Even at my lowest weight I still have this shape and I'm happy with it. 

I love food, fortunately I don't focus on things like chocolate, I love lots and lots of food including the healthy stuff.  I'm an equal opportunities foodie.  I often think that if I didn't exercise or at least exercise some self control you would see me on the news.  I'd be one of those people you see getting winched out of a window because they no longer fit through doors!  I'd be dressed in a duvet cover because no company would make clothes in my size.  I seriously could eat myself to death.

Fortunately I do some exercise and I stop myself from eating the entire contents of my fridge most days.

I saw on TV a programme about a 19 year old boy who weighs half a ton.  I watched with a sense of disgust and fascination.  The guy had a giant armchair and foot stool, he spent his days and nights sitting there watching TV.  He couldn't get out of the chair without help.  The programme was about him going into a hospital that specialised in treating massively obese patients.  They did surgery to remove 65lbs of fat from his stomach to ease the strain on his heart.  They put him on a diet so he could lose some weight before having a gastric bypass. 

How does someone get like that?  Obviously they eat too much.  When you reach the stage where you don't fit in the batch or shower and have to have your mum hand wash you wouldn't something stop you eating?  How do you continue eating when you are too heavy to move?

If you have a pet and it is fat it's your fault, they can't get the food.  If you have a young child and it is fat it's your fault, you must be giving them food.  If your teenage son is so fat he has to be home schooled, can't bath and can barely walk guess what, it's your fault.

I wanted to shake this guy's mother, she was feeding him junk, bringing him all the food and watching him get fatter and fatter.  It was a disgusting inter dependant relationship.  She had lost a baby and when he can along she was over protective and wanted him to have everything he wanted, fair enough I get that.  But to assist him in killing himself with food, it made me angry, I cringed in my chair when I saw them together.  She did everything for him and was clearly enjoying his dependency.  She ended up going for therapy to resolve her problems while her son attempted to lose the equivalent of 10 adults in weight.

The programme made me feel slim!  But it made me realise how your childhood and you parents attitude to food stays with you for life.  My family eat really fast, the eat it before someone else does tactic.  The have large plates of food rather than a small plate with an option for more.  My Dad's holidays revolve around planning the meal stops.  My gran used to constantly be trying to feed us all, piece of cake, go on it's only light.  I realise why I love food so much and I'm just pleased they didn't take it to the level of feeding me to death.

So I'll have my healthy eating phase and lose a few pounds and be grateful hat I don't need to lose the equivalent of a few people.


The furry girls 2011 declarations

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman

I was talking to the furry girls about New Year's Resolutions.  I try not to date a resolution, this year I have two goals, I started one on Boxing day and the other on 29th December.  If you have decided to do something why wait until the 1st of the 1st 2011?  The furry girls however decided the resolutions were good.

I suggested the following options:
1) We will not chase children!
2) We will eat our doggy dinner when it is put down.
3) Sasha - I will not roll in stinky dead animals or smelly piles of unidentified poo.  This is not perfume!
4) Sasha - I will give up my 6 a year slipper habit, shops think mum has a slipper fetish.
5) Star - I will stop stealing underwear and hiding it in odd places around the house. 
6) Star - I will accept that I am not Princess of the Universe, just Princess of this house.
7) We will stop leaving snot marks on the window
8) We will accept that the basket is our bed and the big comfy bed is mum's

They disagreed and decided the following were better:
1) Grow opposable thumbs so that we can help ourselves to food in the kitchen
2) Perfect the sad doggy face for getting extra food
3) Get mum to take up less of the big bed so we can stretch out.
1) Prepare marketing plan for a new range of perfumes, eau de fox poo will make me millions
2) Kill all slippers, they are evil and must die.
3) Steal all Star's toys and pull the stuffing out.
1) Prepare plan to take over the universe, I am a Princess you know.
2) Steal all underwear and hang in the most embarrassing places
3) Get more cuddles

Last Day of 2010

As I'm starting this parts of the earth are entering 2011 while some are just starting the last day of 2010.  Here in Edinburgh we are half way through the last day of 2010.

I find New Year's Eve or Hogmanay as it is in Scotland a strange celebration, we welcome the new year with a big party to say hello.  Not to say I don't enjoy it, any excuse for a party and all that I just find the celebration and superstitions a bit odd. 

A lot of people pay to get into there local pubs or travel to cities and stand in the cold to countdown to the New Year.  The pubs are full of people who have never been there during the previous year and probably won't be there in the new one.  A lot of people end up in places they wouldn't go with people they rarely see to welcome the new year.   We join hands and sing and kiss strangers.  It's fun and nice but to me a bit weird.

My gran used to say that you shouldn't be in debt on New Year's Day or you will be in debt for the whole year.  It was very important for her to pay all her bills before the end of the year.  She also used to say to my brother and I "don't fight on New Year's Day or you'll be fighting all year".  I've heard this idea expanded to include thing like having to have a clean house, an empty washing basket, a full fridge and even a great haircut.

So you leave your house spotlessly clean with your washing all done and you head out to stand in the cold with a sparkly drink.  You count down the final seconds of the old year and sing Auld Lang Syne.  You welcome the new year with hugs, kisses and best wishes to all.  Then you head home and off to bed.  New Years day you sleep in late and wake with a hangover, you spend the day on the sofa watching TV and eating junk food. 

So how does this fit with the superstition, if you spend New Year's Day lying on the sofa with a hangover does this mean you will spend the rest of the year like this?  Actually that explains quite a few people I have met. 

Anyway for me New Year is generally spent having some found with best friend boy and girl and then watching TV with a glass or two of wine.  It's very nice and you don't lose New Year's Day in a hungover haze. 

It's now New Year everywhere in the world so here's to 2011, Health Wealth and Happiness, here's wishing you all you wish yourself.  Happy New Year.

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30 something female, GSOH, independent, unreliable, seeks sanity. Must like dogs and handbags!