The Big Event

Oh, hello. I’m back. There has been a good reason for my absense.

On June 17th, I was involved in a car accident. The simplified version is this:

I was travelling down the road, and saw the car in front turn left into a side road, I carried on, and the next thing I knew I heard a bang. I don’t remember being pushed to the other side of the road, but what I do remember is the car turning onto it’s side, with me in it, of course. The car had turned onto the passenger side, so I was suspended in my seat belt in the air.

I had to be cut out by the fire brigade, after being suspended for about an hour. My car of 11 months was a complete write-off. I spent 4 hours in hospital and thankfully got the all-clear. I had a visit from the police when I was in A&E, and they said to me the driver was driving by sat nav, and didn’t even think to stop, and that they’d only passed their driving test 2 months previously. I’ve since also found out that the police are sending the driver on a Driver Awareness Course, something I was told by the attending police officer they were not able to do, because of the driver’s experience in driving. I’m glad they changed their mind.

The next day was the worst. My neck and shoulder were in pain. I was supposed to be going into work that day, but I didn’t, hopefully taking it day by day. I was off for 4 days. I ended up going to the doctor the following Monday, and being signed off work for 2 weeks. I was given the choice, 2 weeks or 6 weeks. In hindsight, I should have taken 6 weeks.

I was lucky: the insurance company paid out within two weeks. I have a personal injury claim going through at the moment, and yesterday, I’d finished a course of physiotherapy, paid for by the other side’s insurance. I have to go to a specialist next week for my personal injury people.

I’m about 80 percent there, I think. I get occasional neck and shoulder pain, but only occasionally.

My own personal view about this all? I was lucky that I came out with only minor injuries. It makes me a bit more aware when I’m driving, no, a lot more aware. I maybe don’t like driving as much as I used to, but I was able to get into a car and drive a few days after the accident. My views on my work place have also changed, even though I can’t fault the people I work with. They were fantastic to me on my return. But the work I do every day? My views have definitely changed. I’m more cynical about what I’m doing, and don’t take crap from anybody as much as I used to.

There’s more to life. The hours I work mean I don’t get much of a life, but there’s more to life.

Speling wuz allwayz a strong poynt at skool

I know, I haven’t posted anything in about 6 weeks. I have a few posts planned, the first the biggest and most important to get off my chest. But it’s not the one today.

Part of what has happened (more so, what happened last week), gave me ample chance to look at my past posts. I don’t know whether my fellow bloggers do this, but I had a look back.

I make loads of spelling mistakes, don’t I? Of course the excuse could be that because it’s my blog, that I can make as many as I like. Looking at them, I think maybe it’s because of just one thing: because I touch type whilst looking at my keyboard, rather than the screen (I do that to make sure I don’t make mistakes. Aah, a vicious circle).

I use WordPress as my blog platform. It doesn’t appear to have a spell checker.

As the title says, spelling was a strong point when I was at school. I suppose the report card would have to say “could do better”. I’ll endeavour to, teacher, honest.

Now, I think it’s time to change my blog appearance yet again. It looks too “vanilla” for my liking.

EDIT: There I go again! “It looks to vanilla” rather than “It looks too vanilla”. Changed!

It’s All Work And No Play.

Three weeks of a long hard slog are finally coming to a close.

In the work I do, shift-day wise, you are working on a three week cycle. shift-time wise, you could be starting at 6am for 3 days, and then end the 3-week stint by working until 11:30pm. There are a number of start times, the earliest being 6am, and the latest 3:30pm, an hour-and-a-half before everybody else in other departments go home.

I started this phase by having 3 shifts starting at 6am, 2 days off, and then 3 days, starting at 3:30pm. Those virtually knocked me for 6. I suppose, the work I do, isn’t exactly boring, but you really have to listen to people. That is the most tiring. Listening to people drone on about stuff is tiring sometimes. You can tell a joke, and hopefully the person who you’re talking to will respond. Or maybe not.

I had another 2 days off, then 3 shifts of lunchtime starts, then normal shifts for the remainder. The last 9 days of the 3 week run,  you are in for 8 shifts (one day off obviously).

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag. I felt some stress coming back that I haven’t felt for a long time, but I managed to deal with the sources of the stress the best I could. Now, where I had disrupted sleep for the first two weeks, during the last week, Ihave slept soundly. I like my sleep. I have to sleep at least 7 hours a day, otherwise I’m tired.

So. back to normal shifts on Monday. Oh…and I’m working the whole of Bank Holiday weekend.

The shifts I work mean that I work 2 weekends out of 3. I’m working in 2 weeks time (FA Cup weekend). I’ve asked for the weekend off so I can go to Sheffield like I have done for the past couple of years. I have sorted out the Sunday, but I can’t get the Saturday, the main BBQ and drinking day. So, looks like I’m not going. Because I have to work.



Eat, Drink, Live

Oh hello.

I’ve been gone for six weeks. Doesn’t time fly?

In that time, I’ve had a very relaxing holiday in Spain where the weather was very kind to me, and I’ve managed to pick up a small tan.

And then back to work, where nothing changes, and you’re just doing the job to pay the bills. I’m getting sick, and I’m sure you are as well, my posts saying that my work is shit. It is shit. Working with members of the public, albeit not face to face, really grinds you down. I’ve adapted a familiar saying and added a little bit:

“Don’t work with children, animals or members of the public.”

That just about covers it. My last post hinted of a need to escape. That still applies.

All of this isn’t helping my weight. I’m going a bit backward in that respect. My weight fell when I was on holiday (for some reason it always does. It may have something to do with the Mediterranean diet I don’t know), but know 3 weeks back, and I seem to have undone what I was achieving. I have put all the weight I lost back on – twice. I’m not happy about it, but at least I’m not where I was 3 years ago: very overweight, not happy, blood sugar all over the place. So I’m back on roughly the same diet I was when I first got my diabetes diagnosis, and seeing how it goes.

I suppose it’s my own fault. In order to cope with the joys of work, I probably did too much comfort eating. That’s what I normally do if I’m really, really stressed. I’ll see how it goes…All I know is that once the next round of employee benefits come around, I’m joining the gym again. I really want to go back.

Oh, in case I don’t post again, good luck to all those running the London Marathon.!

Going Through The Motions

In the past month or so, a vacancy has come up where I work, because someone’s on maternity leave. For about 6 to 9 months while this person is with the newlyborn, there is a secondment on offer.

It would mean having a 9 to 5 existence which I definitely miss, meaning I can enjoy me weekends rather than being shouted at by strangers. Less money, but I can live with that. I had an interview last Wednesday, and was pleasantly surprised that I was invited back for a presentation and a question and answers sessions. I was quite hapy about that. Shows me the happy pills are working.

I had the presentation today, and I feel I didn’t do too badly. I had nerves when I went in, but lost them when I was in the interview room doing quite a low level presentationi came out quite happy.

But…(there is always a But isn’t there?)

It’s one of those situations where you know it’s a oregone conclusion/ You’re just going through the motion, of getting the interview practice, of goibng for a job you know you will not get. I was alking to my manager. There’s 4 of us, who have gone through to the presentation stage after the interview. One of these is someone no-one really likes, but she’s doing a sinilar rol at the monent (you can see where I’m going with this, don’t you). I was not surprised with this, but I must have shown some surprise at that by the way my manager reacted (she knows what she’s doing, she’s done presentations before etc etc).

I know, 100%, without being told, that she is the one who has got the job. What happened after the presentations showed me, by people’s actions afterwards, I know I haven’t got it. Imagine seing a huddle with the main players and this person, diaries out, the person in question not doing the work for the afternoon, the work the have done day in and day out for the last 18 months. I wish I could do that. I had to work on.

I’m not bitter or angry about it though. Honestly I’m not. Well, maybe a bit,,


Exercise. Yes…Exercise

Where I work we have a scheme where you can sign up for things for a year or more. You can buy a new laptop, then it would be paid for by taking the monthy payments out of your salary.

This had been going on for something like three years. The first year I had gym membership. I had been going for about 4 months, and didn’t see any weight loss benefits whatsoever. I stopped going because of my diabetes diagnosis. Then I stopped the membership. I wasn’t going, so why have it?

I think, the next time the benefits thing comes around, I’m going to go for the gym membership again. I’m nore than ready for it. I want to go to the gym, I really do.

Now I’m comfortable with my diabetes, it’s only right that I go back.

Holiday…It Can’t Come Too Soon.

In a little more than 5 weeks I’m off on my holiday to Spain, the same thing I have done for the last 4 years. It’s useful in that it allows me to relax, which all good holidays should do. I’m not one who does the sightseeing malarkey, I just want to chill out.

I really need it this time. I’m exhausted. Ever since Christmas I’ve been on the work treadmill, and the strain is beginning to show. I need the break. I go in to work every 2 weekends out of 3, in an industry that gets loads of weekend work, but the rest of the organisation works from Monday to Friday.

I’m not bitter abou this; it just makes the job much harder. I remember a manager saying one time, saying that the weekend work is no different to the weekday work, and quite correctly, he was shouted down by all off us minions working in the trenches.

Every day I have off I have to have a snooze to relax. I suppose it may be a sign that I’m getting older, but I need that sleep. It does me a world of good. Aren’t power naps supposed to be healthy for you?

Anyway, I need this holiday. Oh, I’ve mentioned that before. But it’s true.

A Rest Is Really Good For You.

I’m now only a couple of hours towards the end of my 1 week block leave from work.

I’m sure I’ve explained this before, but here we go. We get given a rota in aroubnd bout mid February listing the hours we work over the next 364 days. Built in to the rota are 3 weeks, which you let the rota people know about, which  you want to have off and when. These weeks are your weeks and you cannot be called in to work during those weeks. You can take these weeks altogether and have a nice long holiday, or you can do like I do, where you book the weeks so it co-incides with the holidays abroad that you’ve already booked.

Anywho, my week was spent relaxing, and basically gettinbg some eating habits back to normal again, after the eating fest that was Christmas. I did wrong this Christmas, compared to last, where I overate just a tad (well, okay then, quite a lot). My weekly weigh-in this morning, showed I’d lost close to 2kg, so I’m where I want to be at this stage of the year. Who said that doing nothing is bad for you?!

One  of the highlights was undoubtedly a trip to see the mighty Etihad Stadium with my Dad. Over dinner on Boxing Day, he asked whether I wanted to go on the Stadium and Museum Tour, which I said yes to quite readily. And quite a good tour it was too. We seemed to have a longer tour: it was supposed to kast 70 minutes, but lasted 2 hours. And it was well worth the money. Now, all I have to do now, is go and watch a match there!

(A bit of personal history here: I’ve been to Maine Road, but only to see a Bryan dams concert when I was 21. I’ve been to Old Trafford, Mnchester United’s ground, but only for a job interview for Barclays. And I’ve been to Old Trafford Cricket Club, but only for a works talk. So all of these places I’ve been to, but not to see any sporting endeavour.)

I expected City to win today. But no, because I’n watching it on television, they lose 2-nil. A bit of a downer for the end of quite a good week off, but there you go. That’s the life of a Manchester City supporter for you.




Hello, Friend

Yes, it’s well known that I have a Facebook page, and like most people (I suppose), I have friends and family on there from all over the world.

My line of work means that people who use our services may just call back for more service later on. I do that routinely shift in and shift out. It’s not an ideal line of work, but at least it pays well. That’s what keeps me there.

What happened this morning was extremely surreal and completely unexpected.

I get a call from someone wanting to make use of the after-service. Imagine this if you will. Of course you know, it didn’t happen exactly this way. The names and some of the dialogue has been changed to protect just about everybody, I think.

At the start of the call, I realise the caller has an accent, not an English, more Southern African.

Me: Okay, just need to take some details.

Him: Right, here’s the details.

I notice that the name is someone I recognise. While I take the additional information, I wonder whether to ask the next question, and finally decide “To Hell with this, ask the bloomin’ question.”

Me: What’s your first name?

Him: It’s Jim

Me: From South Africa? From <This Particular School>?

Him (suspiously) : Yes

Me: Hello Jim, It’s Threelight!!

We had a laugh and a joke about this one. I had to slip into my professional mode and cut the jovial tone short to go through with him what is involved with the after-service. He ended up not taking it anyway, and we had a laugh and a joke even more before saying goodbye.

He’s been a friend on Facebook since September 2013, when he made contact, thought I was someone else, but when I explained to him the history, we are Facebook friends.

So, I’m speaking to someone who’s now licing in the UK, who went to the same primary school I did, was in the same primary school class as me until we both went to the same high school, but in different classes. I mean I have a picture somewhere where I attended his 10th (or so) birthday!!

Now, I ask you, what are the chances of that happening???!!

Surreal, and weird.


Happy New Year!

Oh hello.

Happy New Year!

If you’re still hung over from the night’s excesses, you should be okay by now. You’ve had nearly a full day to recover.

If, like me, you’ve been at work today with no hangover whatsoever, well, today’s been like a normal day, well, hopefully the year will get better.

I didn’t expect to have a good Chinese meal of beef chow mien with noodles. It was an excellent way to end a day that doesn’t feel like New Years Day one jot.