The Rim of a Black Hole

I feel low. Like I’m about to nose dive of a cliff low.

I’m borderline redundant, funds are low, I haven’t seen some ‘close’ family in over a month and I have no idea what to do next.

I’m stuck because of my work situation. I can’t get another job because officially I’m still in a contract. I understand why this has occured and I’ve tried to stay positive through out it all but the fact of the matter is I’m clinging on to the rim of a black hole. Its not personal, it’s business. In contrast, I don’t even know if getting a part time job is going to be worth it. I don’t want to have to start again from the bottom just because I made the life choice to have a child. I don’t want to earn minimum wage just to pay out the most of it for the child care I would need. What’s the freaking point? They want to get mum’s back working, why make it so bloody hard to do so? Where to go from here?

I’m so torn between writing about other issues. I really want to. It’s my therapy. On the flip side I know it will hurt and possibly alienate certain people further. So what’s a woman to do? I’ve already said my piece once this year and aired concerns. Apparently honesty is sometimes a little bit unappreciated. So silence will win, because how many times should you go ignored?

Gratitude, because I’m clinging so fiercely to positivity that I have to write this. Always remind yourself of the good, because when you stop seeing the good thats when it really goes wrong.

I’m so appreciative for the life I have ended up with. Ten years ago I seriously thought I’d be a crazy cat lady, living alone. The people who have stayed; you’re amazing. I don’t always make it easy for you to be in my life and I will always appreciate you being here. I am thankful for my little one, she’s as sassy and as happy as a baby could possibly be. I am full of gratitude for Man – he needs no explanation other than he’s got my back.

So where now? I guess I will figure it out. Today was a bad day, but tomorrow, well that’s a new one. It’s a shiny new start.

Xox, L.

Bad Mood

I turned in to work this morning after an early gym session (trying my best to get back to my desired fitness level- but that another story). I got in to find three of the blokes I work with in their usual spots but one of the very grumpy. Now I work in a recruitment agency, so tone, mood and just general attitude comes across very strongly in the office. Stress levels are always high on a Wednesday as it’s the day we run our payroll. Everything went wrong, that you could possibly imagine! Time sheets weren’t in, time sheet were wrong, guys didn’t send back documents, we couldn’t get in touch with site managers. It was difficult morning, which didn’t help with the stress levels of my colleague.

With payroll finally complete a couple of hours late, it was lunch time and said colleague is normally up and away from his desk 2 mins before 12pm hits. He is, like us all a creature of habit. Not today. Despite asking him, despite telling him to take a break he wouldn’t. He continued to work, but also continued to be a complete grump (due to work stress I’m entirely sure). It got me thinking about how important breaks are.

Yes, it may just be half an hour or an hour away from your desk or work, but mentally it makes a world of difference. I’m guilty of the same thing, or at least I used to be until I worked at my current place. It cannot be natural or normal to sit in front of a screen for so long without taking a breather. Take today for instance. I’m sure if my colleague had taken at least half an hour out and went for walk no one would have died while he was away from his desk; everybody would have survived. He would have been able to come back from lunch with a clearer head, surely making him more productive in the long run. Our attention spans are not that great. We are surely not meant to work for such long periods without a time out. Hence, lunch break being so sacred.

So moral of this blog post; step away from your PC at work and take a walk. Breath in the outside air, make an excuse to sit somewhere new and picnic with your humdrum dinner and your work mates. Talk about anything other than work, but break it up a little. You will feel a whole load better.

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Next week I’m going to try the ‘Lunch Box Challenge’ – Meaning something different and homemade every day! I’ve been sticking to soup or salad recently so it’s time to mix it up.

Don’t forget to take a break tomorrow.

Love & Best,

L xox

Bitter Sweet

Today was officially my last day at my current place of work. I managed only to cry once. Which is a major victory for me, as emotions are uncontrollable most of the time. Poor work friends. Probably didn’t know what to do with me.

I will, with no doubt in my mind, miss the people. Some of the most wonderful people I have worked with so far. It’s been a strange transition year. I was made redundant April 9th of last year and ended up temping two weeks later out of pure panic because of my lack of employment. It wasn’t something that I expected to happen. I was happy in my job in a local family run business. I enjoyed the variety of work and loved the family I worked for. In all honesty, I think I’m only just coming to terms with the loss of such a massive part of my life.

It was more difficult still, when two months in to me temping, we were thrown into more stress as the other half ended up jobless too. It has been, at times, a rough year. Luckily the temp job I ended up with turned out to be a hidden gem. Okay, so I had a bad start. I’ve never worked in any kind of finance before and I found the transition hard. Spending most lunch times hidden away alone in my car across the road, in Morrisons car park. It took me sometime, but I came off of my lonely hermit road and joined the girls for lunch one day. I pushed myself to be more involved, and it turns out I met some pretty awesome people. I will miss them. But it is most certainly not goodbye. Only ‘see you soon’.

To mark my leaving, as you know, I baked. One of the recipes I used seems to fit the feel of today perfectly. Bitter sweet. Bitter as I don’t want to leave my new friends, but sweet as I am excited to see what’s on the horizon of my new career. So here it is. My lovely lemon loaf.

Lemon Loaf

Lovely Lemon Loaf

Ingredients

225g Butter
225g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
Zest & Juice of 2 Lemons
225g Self Raising Flour
85g Granulated Sugar

Method

Grease and line a loaf tin. The one I used was a 500g tin, which I found perfect for this recipe. Don’t worry if you don’t have a loaf tin, round tins, square tins are all good too.

Cream your butter and sugar together. Makes sure it’s smooth and light in colour. Add the zest of 2 lemons and the juice of half. Mix thoroughly and add the eggs one at a time. Any sign of curdling, just add a spoonful of the flour.

Once the eggs have been beaten in, fold in the flour. It really is as simple as that. If you are using a hand whisk its super quick as well, but don’t be tempted to whisk in the flour. This would knock all the air out giving your cake a reason to misbehave. Bake this in a 160 degree oven for around 45 mins. If the oven is too hot the cake will colour too quickly on the top, if this happens don’t panic, but cover with a foil lid to save the cake from burning.

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When the cake is golden brown and you can pull out a skewer clean from the centre of the cake, take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 10 mins. While the cake is cooling, combine the granulated sugar and the rest of the lemon juice in a separate bowl as well as any zest you have left. Poke a few tiny holes all over the loaf with a skewer and drizzle over the sugar syrup. The liquid will soak right into the cake, but some of the granulated sugar will sit lusciously on the top. The sugar will cling to the wonderfully tart lemon taste. Perfectly sweet and tasty when it’s cooled and great to share with friends.

Lemon Loaf

Enjoy!

L xox