Eternally Formal in a B.O Ridden Waiting Room

Thursday was the day I had to go to The Job Centre to confirm my claim for universal credit (oh the joy). I was dreading this little visit. Thursday was a hugely busy day and this was my least preferred part.

The location – Parking and walking through a down trodden part of Bradford was not my idea of a good time to start off with. The Job Centre is located on Manningham Lane; for those of you who don’t know this part of Bradford I strongly suggest you don’t take a trip there unless necessary. Everything looks scruffy, filthy and well past its best. It’s like the sun got sucked out of the sky and your soul is slowly being consumed by a black hole that waits and feeds on all glimmers of possibility. I’m so very glad that I had care for Delilah on Thursday, I will aim never to take my child to this soul destroying place.

I’ve only ever been to The Job Centre once before. I felt exactly the same the first time, this being four year ago when I found myself redundant for the first time round. I had dressed as I would for an interview, but most people in the vicinity looked as though they had rolled out of bed and not showered for at least three weeks. People wearing tracky bottoms, looking like they had taken a dump in their slacks and carried on regardless – the smell from some would confirm this to be true. The gentleman who decided to take the seat behind me (we were practically back to back) had an odour so strong I had to strategically place the back of my hand under my nose and over my mouth so as not to breathe in the stench. The rancid smell of body odour was the thing I remember the most from the last time I had to make the visit. The thing of nightmares.

“Stay positive” I kept telling myself “It will be over soon – you’ll have a job by next week” My pep talks got me through the wait as did the thought of the two interviews I would sit that very day. I was feeling decidedly overdressed at the start, but convinced myself that I would never turn up to any interview in anything less that formal business attire and this should not be any different, even though the rest of ‘the Job Centre Crew Massive’ looked like death warmed up. Even the email concerning the time of my ‘appointment’ called it an interview. First impressions are important after all!

I was utterly determined they would not treat like a twirp, and went in ready to fight back and burry the potential insultee with words. The last time I was there I was told I was over qualified so they couldn’t help me. Let me clarify that I was out of work for a grand total of two weeks, and the claim I put in (just in case) for job seekers allowance was rejected because ‘I hadn’t contributed enough national insurance’. This was an absolute joke of a comeback as I have been working and paying national insurance since I was 16. I know people walking straight out of school at 16 claiming everything and anything they could, but I couldn’t even claim JSA regardless of working my entire workable life. Anyway back to Thursday, I was finally called forward (ten minutes later than my stated interview time) and the woman who I sat with was lovely. She didn’t talk down to me which was my major concern and led me through what would happen after going over the obligatory security details.

As we were sat discussing the bits we need to, there was rather a large hoo-ha outside the neglected building we exist in. As in noise, plus police sirens. Well that was comforting – at least there was police sirens. The woman turned to her co-worker and said “wonder what drama we’ve got today?” I’m sat there thinking that that statement means it happens on the regular and I would rather be almost anywhere else but here. She swiftly bid me farewell after that exchange and I cautiously left the building feeling pretty relieved that this particular interview, in this particular place was over.

Walking back to the car, I had no desire every to step in that hole again. As I drove off of Manningham Lane, the darkness lifted and the sun peeped through the grey clouds. The sun was magnificent, all ready for my interviews that afternoon and evening.

Job interview #1. Yes, this was just outside central Leeds. I’d planned where I would park, drove there with plenty of time to spare. The car park I had planned to park in was rammed. There was no way in hell I was getting in there. So I Google mapped it to the nearest car park. I ended up in Leeds city centre. Which while driving, is my idea of hell. I am far too impatient and full of road rage to deal with a city centre I just don’t know – most especially on my way to an interview. I spotted an on street parking spot, abandoned the car and threw money in the machine.

I set of walking. This idiot had only parked a 25 minute walk away from where I was interviewing. Would have been okay, but my little detour into the city had cost me time. I had 17 minutes to walk a 25 minute walk. I called and let the appropriate parties know, but I hate being late and having to follow Google maps on foot is stressful. The clock in the top right hand corner of your phone screen getting ever closer to the time you are supposed to be there, the map counting down clearly outside the time scale you should be working to. The walk was allllll up hill, and I’m not even talking a little hill. I’m talking like a really steep hill. The kind you would cycle up if you were in training for The Tour De Yorkshire. Realistically I should have grabbed an Uber to my location to save me the stress, and by the time I got there I felt like I had lost 90% of my bodily fluids. I never sweat, I sparkle. I had a very sparkly face. I was completely blessed that I had thrown flip flops in my bag as well as wearing heels. Flip flops were my saving grace at this point.

Got to the entrance of the building I had been told to go in. There was only a bunch of construction stuff going on right outside it. I couldn’t use that door. I walked back on myself to the last door I saw, threw on my heels and started to wander the corridors of a huge, huge building. I was so in the wrong place. I talked to some guy behind a desk who looked at me as though I had just landed my spaceship on his cat, but he managed to get a hold of the lady who was interviewing me even though it seemed like I was in the entirely wrong place. Once in the company of the interviewer things looked a little brighter.

SO as you can tell, this particular part of Thursday was highly eventful, and it all happened before 1pm. I was so very pleased to get home to Delilah. I missed her the entire morning I was gone. It felt like forever being so away from her. The latter half of the day went swimmingly with no mishaps or parking errors getting to the second interview. Here’s to next week when I should know how it all went in their opinions.

XOXO, L

Advertisements

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!

In the world of positivity, plenty of people say “don’t be so hard on yourself”. I’m guilty of saying it to others myself, but I find myself question the logic behind this.

Being ones own worst critic, is something that I believe to be a positive. Holding yourself accountable because you haven’t done good enough to your own standards is a powerful thing. A self motivational and powerful thing. After all you are in control of your own journey.

To be confident, we are told to master not caring what other think of us. Their opinions, next to ours shouldn’t have an impact on what we do or how we proceed on our own path within reason. If this is so and advice to be followed, which is what I see as true, should we not be relying on ourselves to be our own critics and cheerleaders?

When we encourage someone to “not be too hard” on themselves, are we encouraging some to slack off? Are we asking them to stop listening to their own inner critic? The very same inner critic that will push them to do better?

Food for thought indeed. I’d love to know what you think on the matter.

Life update: Today was not sunny. It started last night about 11ish. The temperature dropped and the wind picked up. When it’s a sweet and warm evening we often sleep with the window open, last night was one of these nights. Man got up twice because his blood sugars where monstrously high (diabetic type 1) so he needed to pee constantly. Then the wind kept making the curtains do this wild dance, hitting the footboard of the bed. Talk about disturbed sleep. Once the window was shut, man settled and I finally caught some Z’s.

Man gets up relatively early, but my plan was to beat him to the finish line and squeeze a run in before he went to work. I’ve been thinking of running again for a while. I was so cream crackered (nackered), that I couldn’t bring myself to get up on the 6am alarm. So here’s hoping tomorrow will be a better start.

Delilah and I got up, worked out, showered, dressed and painted my face ready for the day. It still looked like it was going to absolutely bounce it down, so we threw on out rain coats and got out anyway.

It did rain, but only lightly and we missed the most of it because we were in a village shop. Any which way it was a good day. A positive one, with smiles from every angle from Dela.

An update from yesterday’s news flash. Both women in the accident are okay. In hospital, with injuries but I believe from what I’ve read nothing overly serious. The crash wasn’t because of a police chase with a drug deal, police confirmed this with a local news hound. Im glad they’re okay, this was and will remain the main thing.

The situation in the village is somewhat quieter than it has been in previous months, but this morning a local drug addict was seen walking on the school route barely able to stand up. What logic that is! Get absolutely high on drugs and apear at the same time and on the same walk children take to school. I’m no-one to tell folk how to live their lives, but when it starts to impact young children enough is enough. It’s never going to be cut out completely, and that’s the sad truth as far as drug are concerned but we can make it harder for dealers to deal in our village. I urge you, if you see a deal being completed, get the car reg and report it!

Happy Wednesday Lovers.

Xoxo, L.

Peppermint Crispy Crunch & Village News

I’m in to preparing snacks at the moment, and following my recipe for energy balls yesterday I gave another couple of recipes the once over this morning. I managed to stock up my freezer and fridge with low cal snacks.

One of our faves at the moment is a peppermint crispy crunch bar. So easy to make and low calorie to boot. I used a loaf tin to make my crispy crunch in, but use what ever is good for you. I’m all about the improv here!

Ingredients (7 serves at 80 cals per serve)

50g Dark Chocoalte (I used 72%)

1 Table Spoon of Coconut Oil

1 Table Spoon of Honey

1 & 1/4 Cups of Puffed Rice

2 Table Spoons of Desiccated Coconut

Method

Melt the coconut oil, chocolate and honey together in a bowl over a simmering pan of water (bain marie).

Mix together the desiccated coconut and puffed rice, then pour over the glossy chocolate combo. Coat all the dry ingredients thoroughly with the chocolate combo. Once mixed, put in to your choice of pan. For this I used a loaf tin lined with cling film with enough over hang to cover the top of the mixture. Press the mix down into the tin till the rice puffs crush slightly, this will ensure that it all sticks together. Set for a few hours in the fridge and cut in to 7 bars/chunks/shapes of your choosing and enjoy with a cuppa.

Thank me later.

In other news, we’ve just had a riot of sirens all around us and an air ambulance over head.

Source’s say that there has been a head on collision close to where we live. I believe it was a police chase with drug dealers. An entire section of road has been taped off. Ambulance, police and fire services are all at the scene attempting to cut a young woman out of a car. I’m hoping that no-one is seriously hurt, especially the victim. There’s another load of victims from what started out as a petty crime in our village. (Picture not my own).

The impact on the families surrounding this incident will be immense. Sending warm and well wishes to anyone involved.

Xoxo, L.

A Whole Lot Better

Feeling a whole lot better today. Well this afternoon at least. Strangely when the clouds came over and we had a dash of rain, that’s when my mood lifted. Delilah was a moody mare all afternoon, so when she fell asleep on my chest my heart melted and I was back to myself again.

We spent a morning at the park with my mum, Em’s, my godmother and my oldest friend’s son. It was great to see them after so long, they’re over from Canada. The kids played in the park while the adults chased after them. Lunch was nice, the cafe there does really lovely salads. Sticking healthy still, and winning at it. Although mum posted a picture on facebook of me pushing Delilah on a swing and I look like a whale. It was such a bad angle. Please get my good side in future mother! I felt I was doing so well until that picture.

Got a load of washing done, and cleared the kitchen clutter. Metaphorically speaking I guess I cleared some mind clutter too.

My plight with the healthy didn’t stop at a lunch time salad either, Man ordered in. A huge pizza and a milkshake too. I resisted and made a tuna pasta bake for one. Which was made with wholemeal pasta, veg, tuna and all in a simple tomato sauce. It was super filling and tasty. I’ll be making that again. Demon dog licking his doggy lips in the background of my dinner snap.

For now I bid thee good day and farewell till the morrow.

Xoxo, L.

Belated Birthday

I spend the most of today with the man I call Grandad. My mum’s dad. I always enjoy our time together, but he gets increasingly more confused these days.

He suffers with vascular dementia and the signal from his eyes to his brain is not all that great. The smallest tasks are difficult for him and his known and loved personality is fading. It’s a killer for him, in his most lucid moments he tells us he hates it and he can’t go on. It’s hard for us around him becauae he is a shadow of the man he used to be. All because of dementia.

Delilah, Demon dog and I walked to the grandparents place this morning and arrived at about 9.30ish. Grandma had already set off for her morning out with a friend. They were off to see some historical picture at the film and photography museum. Grandad was waiting for us with the front door open, I just hope he wasn’t standing there for too long as I’m not sure what time grandma left.

Parked the pram up, got baby and dog inside and made us a cuppa. We had an upbeat morning together. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about. I’m finding it harder and harder to tell what he is talking about. I agree to most things and try talk with him about things in his distant past. Asking him questions about his old hobbies, cycling or bodybuilding or even his work. He was always so passionate about everything he did, almost obsessive. He’d have the best of everything and do things to extreams. He was, as far as I’m concerned, good at it all.

We’ve always had music in common, but he’s lost the ability to stick on a CD or even work the radio. He used to play guitar and banjo, relatively well; he can’t see where he’s putting his fingers now. He does love hearing his old favourites. Old rock and roll stuff like “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino. He lights up when you put on some music or they play live music at his dementia club on a Wednesday morning.

I miss him. His calming influence and his logical thinking. Always positive and very much an engineer with his approach to life in general. I’d like to think he’s taught me a few things over the years. (Delilah’s snap).

Mid visit, we had to take demon dog out to the toilet. Just so happened the post man came to visit at the same time. Demon dog decided to give the postie a head start before chasing him down the street. Playfully of course, but all the same running after the dog with baby on hip is a hardship. Poor postie must have been pooping himself, I mean know one else knkws hes harmless. He came back with his tongue hanging out and his ‘I’m pleased with myself’ playful ears on. He has demonic moments, hence the name. He is actually a very sweet dog, just a little mischievous on occasion and always protective.

Another cup of tea, and four hours later Grandma came home. Absolutely inspired by the film she saw and singing it’s praises, telling me I must go see it. I wanted to stay a little longer, but Dela decided she wasn’t going to nap. I knew as soon as I go her in the pram and set off she’s fall asleep, so I packed her and demon dog up and off we went.

It was a lovely day. One to memory bank. I hope for more of these with him, and I’ll continue to miss the man he was.

Xoxo, L.

A Run In

Spoke with a councillor this morning who informed me he didn’t do social media. And that our village news group is ill informed and the actions of the degenerates can’t possibly be true because they arent all verified by the police!

SHUT THE FUDGE UP.

That’s me not voting for their party this year.

Stop slating others and community run groups, and start talking in straight lines. Maybe answer a few questions directly; and maybe, just maybe appeal to your demographic instead of poo pooing it. Social media is what the majority use, and if your not going to make any effort to be part of the community why the hell would we vote so you can run it?!

Sorry for the mini rant, I have compose an actual article with the details in, but I caught the attention of the local paper while venting on Twitter. So this work is theirs. For now at least. Because if they don’t publish, name and shame the party and individual who I had a run in with, I will!

Want my vote – work for it.

Xoxo, L.

Kids or Gang Culture?

I live in a little village in the outskirts of Bradford, West Yorkshire. I’ve lived here my entire life, bar a stint at university. It has always been a sweet place with a decent community. And this is still the case for the most part.

We converse by our Facebook groups, support the local shops and generally have a quiet life style. That is until the last six months to a year, when our village has been terrorized by teen gangs.

It has come to light, especially since the festive period that we are over run by ‘kids’ and their idea of fun. It stops being fun when people are feeling threatened, unsafe and victimised. Some residents have had personal dealings with these ‘kids’ and agreed to speak with me, they shared shocking truths about what had happened.

A source told me: When the weather was icy her younger brother (23) who has Autism, had been targeted. The gang of children threw ice balls at her brother while he was on his motorbike, they hit his helmet and almost knocked him off. He hadn’t been riding long, so his confidence had been knocked by the hit to the head. He continued home to be followed by the group where the abuse continued.

When he had entered his home, the group tried to trash his bike. He went back out to confront them; to tell them to leave his property alone, this is when they picked up steel bars from a near by building site and swung at him. They were about 15 years of age and there were 5 of them in this group. With Autism, there is an increased risk of an angry outburst. With age difference, we all know that the 23 year old would be the one arrested in this situation if anything was to happen.

My source has had multiple dealings with these teens, and continued sharing what had happened.

A daughter, of 3 years old in the house with her mum. The village had icy weather about a month ago and this young family was targeted. The teens threw ice balls at the 3 year old child, who lucky shut the front door before she was hit with the ice.

The same mother was again targeted by our village park. She’s had bricks throw at her, barely missing her face. The police were called. They never came out to the call. This mother has had threats of her home being smashed up, and her car being smashed up.

As residents we shouldn’t have to live in fear of barely legal teenagers. We shouldn’t have to worry about going out after 6pm and being confronted by idiot pre-adults who get a kick out of acts of terrorism. The most punishment these single cell organisms have had, has been a 48 hour ban from the village. [Picture taken from Google]

They’ve wrecked buses, bus stops, local family run businesses, bigger stores. They’ve smashed windows of vans and attempted to cause physical harm to residents, and I am sure there are stories we are not privy to. They’ve shot cats with air rifles, and caused harm with fireworks. They’ve stolen and damaged private property. They’ve cause brawls at the local academy and pubs.

We need as a community to realise this isn’t kids playing mischief. This is gang culture. Gangs trying to rule territory and dominate the locals. It has to be time to introduce a more strict way of handling things before vigilante groups start popping up and dealing with issues themselves.

The age of these miscreants shouldn’t matter. If they do the crime, they should be paying the price. I hope that council members can help, I hope that the police can step up and seriously hope that was get our village back.

Have you ever had any dealings with teens like this? It would be great to hear from you and what your opinion is or what you experience has been.

Xoxo, L.