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Dude… Where’s My Car?

26 Nov

Bbrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiinnnnngggggg!!! 6:30 am, time to get ready for work. As with any other weekday I sluggishly drag myself out of bed to get ready. Returning back to my bedroom I open the curtains…..Wait! Something’s not quite right about this view. My car isn’t there…I parked it outside right? Where did I go yesterday? Nowhere, I came back from work late yesterday and parked right outside my house, the usual spot.  Took a picture of a bottle of coke someone bought for me with a name on. I got out and routinely pressed the button to lock it. Did it roll away? I can’t see it anywhere. “Daaaaaaddd, erm… my cars not there!!” I called out. Perhaps he moved it. No?

Someone stole my car!!!! So, I have recently become a victim of car theft. If not inconvenient as it is, but on a weekday when I had to get to work. I don’t think it is something anyone can be prepared for, regardless of the day. My first car, my baby, I feel like I didn’t appreciate her enough until she was taken from me. Well the arsholes took my Tom Tom, sunglasses, auxiliary wire and a duvet too (I was planning to take the duvet somewhere). They weren’t on display, but it will teach me not to empty my car of valuables at least. I was angry, I am angry! Someone just takes my belongings that I work hard for, my convenience, interrupts my lifestyle at no fault of my own. Why? Because he/ she is a selfish twat! What annoyed me more was that I had just got my car serviced, MOT, road tax, breakdown cover and paid out for a new year of insurance, not all of which I can get it back. I reported it to the police, and checked with any towing company’s but no luck. It hadn’t been towed away for any reason, and the police couldn’t do much and closed the case after 3 days! I took it upon myself to ask local shops for CCTV, but it doesn’t help when a shop owner isn’t sure how to use it, or that all cars look the same once it gets dark. Booo!

I’m not quite sure what to do, I was hopeful that I would get my car back but its been a couple months and there has been no news, I suspect she’s been pulled apart for parts. I bought my first car from new with the expertise of my dad and the discount of my uncle. So I’m not quite sure how to go about getting a second hand car, and all the paranoia that goes with that. Any tips?

In loving memory of my Ladybird x

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Child’s future foretold…

28 Mar

We’ve all seen that child, the one with domestic problems. That one that’s still playing outside when it has turned dark. The one that teaches your child the swear words in school. The one that has been wearing the same clothes all week, holes in his shoes. The one that can’t afford to buy simple stationary to complete his homework, but Mummy had enough to buy Rizla. The one that is regularly taken out of class to be questioned by social services. Doesn’t concentrate in school, parents have no aspirations for him. He’s only as good as the expectations of him, as good as his parents status. Future drug user on benefits. Future foretold.

How often have people done this, foretold the future of that child based on their circumstances. Put less effort into advising him, less effort pushing him to work harder in school, after all we know what kind of future that child will have, right?

NO!

We don’t all turn out to jobless drug users, our parents and broken homes do not define our future. I was one of these children , one of the children on the child protection register at school, pulled out every so often to be questioned by the social services. Couldn’t afford a nail clipper because there is not enough money, so you steal scissors from school so you can cut your nails, but there was enough money to be spent on alcohol, cigarettes and whatever else. I have a job, a decent job, I went to university, completed all required qualifications to get there. Yes, I wasn’t really heading in the right direction as a child or a teenager, in fact it was a fluke that I even decided to go to college, it was only then did my aspirations change. I’m not trying to toot my own horn or seek sympathy, I am glad for every experience because it defined who I am. I am just frustrated with this stereotype being put on children, they are categorised and put in a box, pushed aside with an expectation that they won’t achieve much. I know I’m not the only person that chose a different lifestyle from that which I was brought up in. We all have the possibility to change our future, even as adults, it’s never too late. Yes, our upbringing does play a big role however children are open to many influence’s, they might have a negative influence at home, but you never know the difference you could make just by believing in them. Make suggestions, advise, let them know you care.

Please do not let statistics make you neglect the ability to change that child’s direction in life.

Financial exclusion, unfair or a life lesson?

10 Nov

I was having a discussion with some friends, one of which is a teacher and one of which is a tutor, about a child’s experience at a primary school. The school was developing children’s entrepreneurial skills, by encouraging the older children to raise money for a charity through a cake sale.  A letter was given home and the parents throughout the school were reminded about bringing in money for a cake sale. The parent of this particular child was furious that she hadn’t known to give her child money, as someone else had picked him up and dropped him off. She stated that her child was deeply distressed by not being able to have a cake and could not sleep. The parent didn’t understand why all children couldn’t all be given a 30p cake even if they didn’t have money as it is not fair on them.

This brought on a discussion with my friends in regards to financial exclusion. One friend perceived it as extremely unfair thing for a school to do and to teach children that they can’t have things because of money, money that they are not in control of and cannot earn. However the other thought it depended on the context, her reasons why I shall expand on later. I can understand both perspectives but agree with my friend that thought it depended on the context.

I do think it is important to consider the differences in the parents’ financial status’, and not to purposely make children feel left out due to finances. However in this particular circumstance the parent with the issue was a more financially stable parent within the class. Her son was not the only child to not buy a cake, however his emotional response to this was very different from the others. This led us to discuss if it was unfair or a relevant life lesson. This particular child is well behaved but is not accustomed to not being able to have what he wants. The intention of the child’s parents is to give their child the best and for him to never feel deprived. As a result when he doesn’t get what he wants it is extremely disturbing to him. Which is obviously not a result that a parent or any person working with children would want.

However the observation made was that other children who were from less stable financial backgrounds were not phased by not being able to have the cake, this may be due to them understanding that it isn’t always possible to have what they want due to the life experiences they have had. Therefore I thought about the importance of a life lesson that you can’t have everything you want in life, whether it is related to finances you are not in control of or not.

Children who are used to having everything they want can also struggle understanding the concept of earning something, for example other children earning a sticker for good behaviour, can distress children who have not earned it, if they are accustomed to always having their desires met.

In this particular circumstance, though the distress of the child was not desirable I believe it was part of an important life lesson, that he may not experience in his home environment, and hopefully in the long run he could develop an understanding and as a result be less distressed if he came across a similar situation. Children are being prepared for adult life, yes there should be some sugar coating because thy are young and lack understanding, but without being taught they lack skills to deal with situations as an adult. In this particular instance, the cake sale was part of other children’s learning and handing out cakes to everyone because its not fair is not a realistic lesson for the older children.

The friend that was so apposed to it, had this view because he had an unprivileged background. He thought that I had, had a privileged upbringing as a “daddy’s girl” because of my views and what I have achieved now. It frustrates me when people make that assumption because I myself had a difficult childhood in regards to finances and not just not being able to have the new trainers like the other children. Having to share the same bath water with my mother and brother boiled on the stove, because the heating had gone and we didn’t own a kettle or microwave for example.  Throughout I had always remembered that there are people worse off than me. I honestly believe that these experiences taught me a lot, to have the motivation to work hard and appreciate the things I do have. I don’t ever wish to impose what I experienced on children, but I think small lessons that teach children, that in life you cannot always have what you want are important in order to prevent the severe distress that comes with the inexperience of it.

Work to live, live to work

29 Sep

I haven’t posted in a while as I started a new job in September. A professional start to a career that I had been waiting for since I graduated from university… the first time around in 2010.

I was talking to my mechanic when I went to collect my car, we got into a discussion about starting my new job, and not having much time to fit in bringing my car for a service. My mechanic is a Christian and started to discuss how we live our lives for man-made concepts, and the way God intended for us to live with our family’s enjoying nature and not for money.

This made me think about the circular motion we tend to live our lives. We want to live well, we want to enjoy our lives, as much as we like to say the best things in life are free, there are plenty people who would disagree. I used to work in a place where there were groups of homeless people living in the garages behind the shop. They had company, they had people that cared about them, but they could not eat when they were hungry, they could not be warm in the cold, one of which died during the winter, many resorted to drugs because of the depression. To live life, comfortably, with enjoyment we need money. To get money we need a decent job, we hunt and we search and we’re filled with misery until we achieve our goal. Finally you get there, you get the job you’ve been dreaming of, the job with the good salary you wanted. You wake up in the morning 7 am to get ready to start your day, you finish work 5 pm and have an hour of travelling in rush hour to get home. You get home about 6 or 7 pm have your dinner, and you’re knackered, so you start the process to get ready for bed. Got to be awake early for work tomorrow! You work 5-6 days a week, when you get your days off, you had a couple of things hanging over from work that you need to catch up with so you think, oh I’ll just get it done over the weekend. You’re tired and drained, maybe I’ll just stay in and relax this weekend.  You have the house, you have a car for the convenience, you have a disposable income for your leisure, but you don’t have time. You barely have time to spend time in your house and enjoy the things you purchase in it, you don’t have time to use your car at your leisure besides the commute from work, the appointments and chores over the weekend because you don’t have time in the week. You have no time to go out and enjoy your money.

Maybe I should reduce my hours, get a less demanding job? I’ll have more time to enjoy these things, but with less hours, less responsibility comes less money. The kind that just gets you by, you now have time, but you don’t have the disposable income, all your money pays for necessities. You can’t live the life you want to live and enjoy the things you want to enjoy and treat your family the way you want to, because you don’t have the money. So the circle continues…

The more disposable time we have, the less disposable income we have to enjoy it, the more disposable income we have the less time we have to enjoy it. A large majority of people spend the largest percentage of their time in their workplace, we work to be able to live and end up living to work. The catch 22 of our world.

A shitty place to be a woman

7 Jul

Where you may ask. The world. The world, planet earth, every damn corner of the bloody well world is a bit a of a shitty place for a woman. You might look at the rights a woman has in India and the rights a woman has in the UK and think its incomparable, but I don’t mean rights, I mean sexually, sexuality, sexual harassment, being a piece of meat, an object, a weaker species at risk of attack from dog like men, no in fact that would be an insult to dogs.

Now I’m not going to go on a feminism hype, and bash and hate men, well a little. Its just really aggravating. It genuinely seems like there is no solution for a woman to be safe. I may be exaggerating, I may be speaking irrationally based on some things I keep seeing but I will have my rant anyway.

The world is a shitty place to be a woman. Seriously what is the solution, consider the recommendations from many different cultures and no ones really got it right. Not even the socially forward society of the west, because there is enough sexual harassment cases and rapes reported everyday.
It seems if you’re alone you’re at risk, so maybe avoid being out on your own you may say? Well I just read an article about women getting attacked in crowds with men conjuring some sick team work methods to do so, so If you’re in a crowd you’re at risk. If you’re with friends you’re at risk, so hey maybe its because its women you are with and a potential attacker still deems them as weak, so how about if you make sure your escorted with a male. Wait there are plenty examples of women being with males who then get beaten up and she still gets attacked, so if you are with a man you’re still at risk. Maybe the risk is from dressing provocatively, too revealing perhaps, attracting the wrong attention and giving the wrong impression, so cover up right? Well when there are YouTube video’s going viral of modestly dressed women being stripped in the streets of India and women covered head to toe stripped and beaten up in Egypt… so if your covered head to bloody toe you’re at risk. If you’re abroad you are at risk, if you are in a CCTV society you’re still at risk, hey maybe stay at home and don’t go out you might be safe, No! If you’re in your own house you’re at flipping risk. Dear God! Point me in the direction of nearest bridge, might as well flipping jump off. Why I have not bought two Rottweiler’s to walk with me at all times yet, I do not know. Maybe documentaries and watching Crime Watch is making me take a small sample of attacks and see it as a bigger issue than it is. But its a problem, women may be given the freedom of a man, but she still remains at risk from the sick men that perceive her as nothing more than a sex object, a tool to be made use of.

Ok, I may have watched and read far too many things relating to the bad treatment of women; the gang rapes in India, public humiliation in the Middle East, soldiers raping civilians in Afghanistan, kidnapping and locking women in the basement in America, grooming gangs in the UK to name a few. I know that all men aren’t horrendously immoral monsters, but there are too many that are, it just frustrates me. There are too many men that are cowards, many cultures deem men as “protectors” because they have biologically been given more strength (apologies to any of my iron pumping, martial arting, strong ladies out there who can hold their own), where is the protection? Why are these things going on in the streets, not just sexual harassment, harassment in general, I’ve read and seen so many instances of women being heckled in public, whether its because she is attractive or pulling off a woman’s headscarf as a hate crime. Are you telling me there are no passer’s by that can say something, hey macho men, where is your voice now?

Like I said I’m not a feminist I believe men and women are equal but we are different, I will not sit here and say I can do whatever a man can do because I can’t, and the same applies the other way . There is a lot that we can both do equivalently but there are also qualities that we don’t have that we should appreciate in each other. On the opposite side of the spectrum I’m not claiming to be a damsel in distress that needs to lean on a man to exist. We all play our roles.

I’m just sick of women being abused based on their weakness, where is the empathy and morality? I know its a really negative way to think and I don’t get raped every time I walk down the road, but why should any body have to experience that, why isn’t any other woman’s pain not my pain, after all it could have been me. I hate seeing and hearing what women have to go through all over the world, it makes me feel completely helpless, because not only can I not help them, but could I even do anything to prevent it from happening to me? Could I even do anything to stop it happening to me? Take up mixed martial arts and walk around with a beastly dog maybe. Hmm…

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So tell me about yourself…

4 Jun

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The most cliché question to come out of… yes you guessed it interviews! Argh!

I, like many other graduates have struggled to find a suitable career after finishing my degree, damn you recession! So obviously there is odd jobs, retail jobs and maybe the not so well paid slavery type jobs. However when you have gotten yourself potentially in a lifetime of debt, you don’t want a job that you could of had without the debt. So after attempts to “build my way up” the career ladder, I realised my attempts at creating a career were quite stagnant. This made me consider a back up career, so what can I do? Go and get in some more debt lol. Yes so basically I am currently a student again doing a post-graduate degree.

As I’m coming to the end of my year of study I’m going through the dreaded procedure of looking for a job. This means interviews! I can whole heartedly say I hate interviews, sometimes I can be a bit of a pessimist so the weight of awaiting the judgement, then the whole procedure of the judgement day and then the anxiety of waiting for the result of judgment. It really doesn’t help when its on top of the stress of your studies, but so is life.

Sooo, this is my second degree, some more debt, second attempt at starting a career, need to pay of my debts, living off money that is rapidly running out, need money to get back out of parents house, wait I need money to pay for my life, I’m 24 and I haven’t started my career, I’M 24 AND I DON’T HAVE A JOB! OMG! What if I don’t get a job this year I’ll be 25 without a job? I’ll be 5 years away from 30! Shit, this article says that my eggs reduce by 90% at 30, I’ll be 5 years away. What if I’m 30 and I still live with my parents, I haven’t started my career, I don’t have no money, couldn’t afford to have kids, then I won’t be able to have kids. I’M GOING TO BE THE CRAZY LADY WITH 12 CATS!!!

Anyhoo so what was I saying? Ah yes interviews, so knowing my anxiety I’m going to be a prepared bugger, GOOGLE! Research interview questions, write up answers practice, I am freaking awesome! Walks into interview “Hi, so tell me about yourself?” eeeeeeerrrrrrrr? Really? Really? All that practice and I don’t know who I am! My mind just goes blank, and its always that hand shake moment when everything I forgot to say floods back into my mind, Oh hey I just remembered a few paragraphs you can add to your scribbling there as I’m about to walk out the door. So interview after interview, “its all good practice” they say, but its bloody depressing, and with the list of consequences ever growing in my head as the weeks go by. Another “Unfortunately you have not been successful”… Screw you sir! Erm could I get some feedback please?

Persevering when so close to wanting to give up then today… I GOT A FLIPPING JOB!!! I am so happy, the anxiety and negativity feels a million miles away. I can appreciate all those experiences helped build my confidence and got me to where I am now. Sometimes in life we might not know the benefit in something, but there is always something we can learn from it. Turns out they were right, persistence and perseverance, if you can manage to muffle out the growing negative thoughts and keep plodding on, believe in yourself, believe that you can and will succeed, have patience and you will.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.” –Calvin Coolidge

Quote

3 Jun

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” — Marcel Pagnol