cybermule: (Default)
Had a rockin' time at Global Gathering - even the camping didn't piss me off too much (although it was unreasonably crowded). Got to the mosh pit about 2 layers back during the Prodigy, which was a bit like being close to ground zero. Breathe? Hahah... I don't think so...

Orbital were a surprise hit for me. I never liked their CDs much. OK, but a bit dull, whereas live they are absolutely fantastic. Danced to a load of other completely random stuff and had a really good time. Will probably do it again, but spend the VIP money on camping somewhere that isn't the festival ;)

And today I went to see the council about the web job. Seems they really are going to bend over backwards to suit my needs, and therefore I have a job come mid to late September. I'm pleased, but not over-involved with the idea so I think that's a good thing. I'll probably post more on it another time to be honest.
cybermule: (Default)
Well, the sprog and I have managed about 30 hours together without injury, although it has been a close call at times. Most notably when he grabbed my favourite DVD, broke the cover across his knee and threw it across the room laughing. Potty training is difficult. I'm not sure whether I just need to have faith that it'll come together, or that he's too young to bother trying with right now. And my MIL phoned basically to tell me how this week should be easy because I only have one, not two like she had. So that took the wind out of my "managed a normal day with a two year old and a foul stomach bug" sails.

Did Judder on Friday night, which has been one of my goals for years. It was ace - mostly hogged the dance floor upstairs jiggling to the guest DJ with some wicked drum'n'bass. Got me into the mood for global gathering, and I'm pretty sure I'll be going again. Hopefully with [livejournal.com profile] ninneviane:)

I'm pretty much considering taking the web job I was re-offered, providing they bow to my childcare needs. Otherwise they can go piss up a rope and I'll carry on with the plan A. I've been guessing and second guessing what I want with it so I'll just tel the what I need and see what happens. Worst case scenario is putting the sprog into a creche one morning a week, and the conclusion I came to was that in all honesty it would be worse for me than for him.

Busy head

Apr. 1st, 2009 08:44 pm
cybermule: (Default)
so many things going on, it's hard to know what I'm thinking right now, especially factoring in some sleep deprivation.

The sleep deprivation is from two bits of stress. The first is my grandad. He's recovering well from his stroke as far as mobility goes with sensation and movement returning to his leg and particularly to his left hand fingers. This is great. What's not great is that he has a chest infection and is rapidly losing weight due to oral thrush, general anorexia and lack of help. I'm not NHS-bashing - the NHS is great - but with one staff nurse on a ward of about 30 high-need patients, things aren't getting done. Like eating. Or people noticing lack of eating. It sucks. I don't want to see my grandad waste away because nobody considered the fact that it's quite hard to eat a normal meal with only one hand.

And then I think that maybe he just doesn't want to eat. Sure, he seems happy, but he's 92 and his chances of walking or even returning to his own beloved flat any time soon are small. He's lost a son and a wife in the past 7 years, and even though he loves the rest of us, he is pragmatic to the point of gloomy about the point of life. He has a chance of being moved to a smaller cheerier ward back in Stroud, but the catch-22 is that his eating and mobility problems have to have stablised first.

We'll see what happens.

The second low-level stress is my brother deciding that now is a good time to split with his girlfriend. His stated reason is that it's because everyone has told him the relationship is a bad idea. I doubt that, really - extrapolating from my own experiences, he moans a lot about how he doesn't like her, they both argue openly about how bored and incompatible they are, and people generally mildly agree that they don't seem to have a lot in common but each to their own etc. Reading between the lines (and I'm aware I'm giving him no credit at all) he's met someone else and fancies testing the water while GF has been banished for a couple of weeks "thinking time".

Again, we'll see what happens.

Things are moving more positively in my head and in my legs. I've been documenting my reluctance to let go of the idea of a "proper job". I'm now welcoming the gifted opportunity to attempt self-employment, appreciating the fact that it's taking off while simultaneously fitting around my need to provide a good level of mummy-ness for my child. This is actually perfect, and I have to give myself permission to enjoy it. If all else fails, I'll go back to my old job without losing pay and having gained a lovely son :) What's the problem there, except in my head? In a couple of years I can work for the NT or for some private estate, maybe go back to college. Whatever I want, really. I'm also doing an afternoon a week voluntary work - half teaching gardening to inner city kids (whice may eventually become paid work) and half doing horticultural therapy with stroke victims. I enjoy them both and they're moving me out of my comfort zone too.

My own garden is leaping forward.I have a new lawn, which I'm avidly watering, and 200 freebie plants to fill the gaps left by the old greenhouse. Maybe after the weekend I'll post pics. It's going to be lovely, and I'm super proud of myself.

I'm also pleased with my running. Giving up my increasing number of "occasional" cigarettes has cleared my lungs and I'm rapidly banking the benefits. One of the trainers at the gym has given me a new treadmill program for indoor days which is stretching but achievable, and I'll feel good when I can do it and move it up again.
cybermule: (Default)
Good question. I've not felt much like posting recently, being knackered both mentally and physically. And up and down like a yoyo. i didn't really realise how much of my identity was sunk into having employment, and that's been hard to adjust to. There have been knock on effects on other areas of my life, and at times I may have panicked.

For the sake of sanity and having what I think is my most coherent and sensible outlook down in pen and virtual ink... if I think about it logically, moving heaven and earth to get back into a data/admin job is a bad idea. I didn't like it,I’d feel guilty and would miss the child, and what is the point of doing that for a job that I always wanted to leave? It came to me while I was gardening on Friday that this is the job I really love - it keeps me cheerful and active, allows me to engage with people on my own terms, and I can use all the different bits of my brain. Win!

So really I should just try and expand my gardening clients. Carefully (I spent half an hour on the phone to a total knob chasing one advert). The voluntary garden therapy work is nearly nailed, and that will lead to a much better chance of (a) getting a job in the field when I need one, and (b) starting up my own consultancy in this area.

In the mean time, I have a couple of job leads for regular (if boring) income - one with an interview! Yay! I'm vastly over qualified, but it works around the child issue and has potential to be quite interesting (working as hospital admin, but also triaging calls from patients and doctors).

I think one thing that has really been bothering me is that I suspect none of this psychological drama would be occurring if I was male. I have a lovely husband who supports me, and the men I know are also fair-minded and great guys, but the odds seem really stacked against females with children, and that pisses me off. [livejournal.com profile] maetang posted a link to the male privilege checklist, and it just concreted some ideas I've been having (http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/).

I don't know many couples with children, but it seems to me however wonderfully fair and equal minded and supportive the man is, the woman takes the crunch as soon as kids come along. It's sad...I suspected the world was slightly unfair before I had kids, but now I'm sure. First solution is that one of you gives up work. And unless there is a huge preference due to one of you loving your job (and how many people can swear that?) logic says it should be the lower wage earner. There are other factors I'm sure, but despite about a decade in a technical field (so about 5 years longer in a higher paid field), guess who was earning less in the partnership? Me, of course. So given that like most people, I don't "love" my job, it makes sense that it's me staying at home.

Second option is basically full-time childcare. Given that I can smother my guilt, resolve the fact that I'd not see much of Ben, and find somewhere I think would be a good influence, even in a well-paid job my wages would effectively take a massive hit from paying for nursery. Now in most parenting situations, the woman organises childcare and does a lot of dropping off and covering for sickness. Probably doubly so if it's family based favours. It's not that my husband wouldn't, it just somehow works out easier that way. The expectation that mothers stay at home to look after children has somehow morphed into an expectation that they take responsibility when they choose to delegate childcare. After all, the least they can do if they can't be bothered to bring the children up is to ensure someone else does it properly, eh?

Third option is some sort of hybridised care package. It's what we plumped for, and it has it's ups and downs. It's fair, but fair in that we both suffer the pain to some extent.

It's a lot of generalisations, and random thoughts spewing out of my brain, but it's been niggling me and I need to put it out there for future thought.

The other thought I have is organising some sort of North of Bristol permaculture group. There's plenty going on in the city centre, but nowt out here.

In other news, the garden is slowly but pleasingly progressing, and my running has got both faster and longer. And I've decided to do only half of my RHS exams in June because I need to take it easier on myself.

Okey dokey

Feb. 21st, 2009 08:32 pm
cybermule: (Default)
I've been working on the theory that physical activity is the antidote to the glooms. This is partly based on scientific reasoning (endorphins and all that) and partly on my own subjective evidence. The upshot of it is, though, that I've upgraded my running plan to typically run about an hour instead of about 40 minutes. I've slowed down because of that, but not substantially, and I figured that the reason I wasn't improving my running was that I wasn't really stretching myself. So now I am.

I've also been on quite a few outdoor runs this month. I'd like to do more of those - it's just a case of finding somewhere to do that where I feel safe. Not in a mugged'n'raped'n'leftfordead kind of way - that doesn't bother me more than I think it should. Just in an avoiding little gits sniffing glue / drinking cider / giving me a hard time sort of way. Which does bother me more than it should, I know, but I was a fat hippy-goth growing up in a small rural town full of inbred chavs, and I still try to surreptitiously cross the road when I see gangs of teenagers.

I think I found somewhere, though. The road down towards Bristol neatly combines quiet (pedestrian-wise) and busy (traffic) and is pavemented and streetlit for miles, so I'll go for that. I also fixed up my bike and took the sprog out on it today with much success.

The sprog is a joy to be with at the moment - funny, energetic and full of hundreds of new words. He seems to enjoy everything I throw at him, and that is at least one reason I count myself lucky that I don't have to work right now.

I have some voluntary work lined up though - horticultural therapy and teaching gardening in schools. The latter could turn into enjoyable and child-friendly paid work. I also applied for an admin job for two evenings a month - triaging calls for the local NHS PCT, which might well be quite interesting. We'll see. I have a feeling of progression at least.

And the garden is getting fixed. I sorted out the allotment last week, and we've just finished dismantling the rickety old greenhouse. There's a hella load of lansdscaping to do out there, but at least I now have the space to do it. And once it' done, it's just a case of laying some turf down. All mucho work, but more short term gain than making plantings. And when it's done, it'll be safe for the child to just go out and play around half-supervised, which is a great thing in my mind.
cybermule: (Default)
Well, yesterday was the last day at work. I feel kind of numb about it, to be honest. Or maybe I just don't care that much, although I think I do. I would certainly rather have kept going another few months, but the odds were against it. I'm slightly nervous about my mental health. I've always had regular employment (or study) for nearly twenty years now. I've a little slef-esteem attached to it, certainly, but not so much that I value it highly. More that the odd couple of months here and there where I have had no work have been closely associated in my memory with depression, insomnia and plummeting mental health. There's a whole chicken and egg argument with this, and I know there are many factors then and now to work into the equation. I'm just kinda edgy is all I'm saying.

Anyway, I took a lot of positive things from the job. It was a linker to get me over leaving my career-type employment with little trauma. It was independent income and a chance to get out of the house and socialise in a work-chum type way. It was an immense confidence boost in that I not only became a lot more sure of what I knew, but also of how well I could constructively bullshit. Sometimes it's good to be detached from your work. And finally it was a good first step in a field which I've felt strongly drawn towards for a while now. I can build on this in several directions. My boss said I was good, and I should carry on in the field, and he was a nit-picking old queena boss of high standards.

I won't miss the endless sweeping and the arsehole customers. I only wish I'd been ruder.

Anyhow, future opportunities:

- expand the private gardening (at least deliver the leaflets I made at business class ages ago)
- chase the horticultural therapy voluntary post
- chase G re extra work on the IT-garden fusion project
- send my CV to Jekka's Herb Farm (who sounded interested)
- wait to hear back from garden centre B
- chase garden centre A

Plenty to do :)
cybermule: (Default)
Who thought looping Madame Butterfly would encourage punters to spend money on plants? seriously, it got to me after the 9th repeat. Well, probably earlier than that to be honest.

spent the morning dismantling the grotty grotto and trying really hard not to arrange pairs of topiary balls with single tall pointy topiary into really obvious combinations. May have failed here and there ;)
cybermule: (Default)
Web support officer for the Child Development office of the local council. I'm qualified to do it, the hours are the same as my current job, but I'd be paid twice as much. In an ideal world, it would be a horticultural job, but I need to face the fact that for the next couple of years, I'm not going to want to work more than a day a week. I'll keep my self-employed gardening work, then build on that when the bambino goes to nursery.
cybermule: (Default)
Thank god, really. My last day in the office for my "old job contract". Actually, it's not all been bad. It's made me remember what I didn't like about the place, and how glad I am not to be returning. But it also gave me a twinge of nostalgia, and a reminder that this is somewhere where, although I might not have excelled, I certainly succeeded (both socially and workwise), often against all the odds.

The worst thing about it has been missing the sprog. I've been pounding 3-day weeks for a while (oh, the pain!) and I feel like the world's worst mother. God knows how people deal with a full working week, and thank the deities that I never got myself into that financial position. The sprog is making more and more forays into the world of walking, and I will be glad to get back to spending more time with him. I have Monday and Tuesday with some (nicer) commitments, then back to just one day a week for November.

The pain was made worse by scheduling a load of stuff over this fortnight to just try and cram the pain into one short stretch. I went on a drystone walling course with my brother, which rocked. I even enjoyed his company for a bit, when he wasn't bossing me about. He's learning to drive at the moment, which obviously qualifies him to give a running critique on my driving abilities from the point of view of what he doesn't realise is the callow learner.

In other work news, I was super-brave and screwed up my courage to go and talk to the local garden centre about jobs. Which paid dividends, as they seemed quite keen. I think I need to move fast on my gardening career, so that I can screw it up and bin it if it's not worked out in a couple of years.

The upside of this job is I'm nearly caught up on LJ. I'm aware I still have to do a meme-post on my childhood, but it would be a big document. Maybe I'll get time to do it on my NEW EEE-PC! Ahem ;)
cybermule: (Default)
Just more generally about the big stuff, rather than pretending to be the data contact for some faddle-arse little HE data survey that you can't actually do yourself.

FFS - *eye roll*

I don't actually miss this job. I though I did when it initially became apparent that I wouldn't be able to have it any more [on my terms]. Now I've realised that I just don't fit through lack of interest rather than lack of qualituies.

It's a boost to my self-esteem that moving away from here has made me realised that I *can* play the games - I'm not incapable, just disinterested.
cybermule: (Default)
I wanted to be a vet when I was little, then a doctor when I was older. If I'd become a vet, I would have ended up as Mr Chinnery; the success and confidence of becoming a doctor would have turned me into Gregory House. Odd to see your future in TV entertainment portrayals.

I'm actually quite enjoying being a horticulturalist at the moment. Being physically busy out in the fresh air is good for me. Certainly much better than cooped up over a desk brooding. I'm getting rather sick of the handful of people who are unwise enough to ask me if I wouldn't rather be back in my old job "using my brains". I'm an intelligent person, so I tend to use my brains to do pretty much everything to an appropriate capacity, except when I'm getting out of them. I use much more interesting parts of my brain gardening - design, research and reference, project management.

What I really suspect they're trying to say is why am I not doing something I enjoy about 90% less for about 40% more money.

Well, the first and simple answer is that I'm not bloody stupid. I appreciate everyone needs to earn a certain amount of money. For people in low paid jobs, that amount is a necessity. I'm deeply grateful that I don't have to struggle for my living. For a lot of other people I feel there is some confusion between want and need. They could par their "essentials" down, learn to live without two shiny new fucking cars, and work about 3 days a week. But they're too scared. More and more these days, I fail to understand what we're all doing with this strange money concept.

Are we just using it to buy a cocoon to shield us from reality - subsistence and existence?

So one reason I don't work as a rat in a stats wheel is because I made certain decisions, compromises or sacrifices - whatever you want to call them - so that compared to many people, I don't need to earn that much money. Even without the help of a man :) Ergo I don't want to earn extra money and stash it in an ISA just because I can.

Secondly, there's the issue of childcare. I'd have to put the sprog in a nursery to work in my old job. Ain't going to happen. And that's a whole nother kettle of fish that I'll certainly boil at some point on LJ.

Thirdly, there's a natural energy issue. I'm using unnatural energy to be a number monkey, doing something I can force myself to do fairly well and coming home mentally exhausted. To garden, I use natural energy to do something that I'm actually good at without trying, and come home tired but alert and satisfied.

Worth a pay-cut. I'm not setting myself up as special here - everyone's doing what they're doing for a whole complex blend of reasons. I'm just wanting to be left alone to do my doings at this point.

Work stuff

Aug. 16th, 2008 07:41 pm
cybermule: (Default)
You know what, I actually went to a work do that I enjoyed last week. It was actual fun - we had a few beers, talked about this and that (not work!!!!) and just wore some nice clothes (not brand new £100 dresses!!!). Nobody was hugely emotionally invested in it, and it was just so much better than the dismal parties in the last place I worked. I could actually be said to be looking forward to the Christmas do a tiny bit. Or at least, not dreading it ;)

Anyhoo, not to let this single positive experience cloud my plans to get out of there early next year... It looks good on my CV, it's a great career start, and it's mostly ok. I hate working in retail sometimes - people think it's ok to just randomly lay into you about nothing in particular, and I'm not sweet or dumb enough to live with that for long.

So the plan is to spend this year working at Wyevale, doing my new gardening gig (yeah, I got one of those :)) and finishing my web skills certificate. Early next year, I'm going to try and get a gardening job with the NT and/or some nursery experience, after I've done my RHS certificate. Autumn 2009, I'll start my level 3 certificate. 2010 (when sprog possibly starts nursery) I'm going for one of the NT careerships.

I don't actually want a career - just a job that I can settle into at a satisfying level. Head gardener somewhere with accommodation attached would be pretty sweet. I haven't ruled out the option of doing more voluntary work at Westonbirt or the NT, or going to work in one of their education offices or plant sales areas.

New job

Feb. 26th, 2008 08:25 pm
cybermule: (Default)
My new job rocks. The people are really nice, and it's a pleasant place to work. It was a little weird shopping in my home town for lunch. I felt kind of furtive. But all good. I get paid to look after plants, which is like paying bears to fertilise their surrounding tree population.

I'll try and keep this one going with my old job until next spring, I reckon. I might also have the option of some landscaping work. If I could do a small amount of that, I could drop my old job in the Spring, pick up more gardening and freelance stuff next year and see how things all pan out. Myabe move onto something more career-ish in a couple of years when the Ben goes to nursery.

This is the first time my work has felt good for many years.

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