Cruising

Does the thought of a cruise excite you, or the fact that you will be stuck in tonnes of metal with 5,000 plus people bring you out in a cold sweat. Well for me it is a bit of both. To start with there is plenty to do, in fact it might be easier to mention things you can’t! You can ice skate, climb a wall, play golf, surf the waves, watch a West End Show and eat and drink.

Firstly the cruise terminal, sounds fairly straight forward, rock up to dockside, decamp from taxi with bags (I have to confess I did have a few, well you can if there is no flying involved) get on ship.

Well actually no! Firstly we were asked to leave our bags on the pavement, it seemed more like abandonment to me, we then found the end of the queue and I jest not when I say there must have been about 3,000 people queueing. However this was the start of the holiday so no point in throwing a hissy fit over a little wait. Mmm said wait took about an hour and a half. Eventually after doing the snake thing (if you have been to Disney World Florida you will understand – for the rest of you where have you been all your life) we got on board.

WOW! The ship was amazing, 15 decks in all and decked out like Santa’s Grotto, this was going to be a fun trip.

We made our way to our cabin, sorry stateroom, I think all the cruise lines use this term as it makes it sound very upmarket, however to me a stateroom sounds like it belongs in a royal palace, or at the very least a massive area split into bedroom, sitting room, bathroom with roll top bath and separate shower, not so our stateroom. It was however beautifully appointed. Big Queen size bed with memory foam mattress, flat screen television, sofa, coffee table, lots of storage space, and en-suite shower room with a massive mirror and good lighting, but a tad on the small side and no window but it served our needs.

The food was fantastic throughout the cruise, the ports of call good, and it was 20c in several ports and in December that is good.

BUT and here it comes………. The other guests, way way to many and a large majority of them over 65, not that I am a spring chicken myself you understand but not quite collecting the pension, in fact a long way off collecting it actually. I honestly don’t think I have seen so many motability scooters and walking frames in one place, was there a convention on Board I asked myself, no just people wanting to spend Christmas on the ocean wave.

So would I cruise again, most definitely yes, in fact that was my third cruise, but maybe I should wait until I am 65!

Christmas

Ah Christmas is upon once again and with it comes the usual madness. In every town and city up and down the UK people are fighting for a parking space, then the jostle round the shops to buy gifts that none of us want or indeed need. Why do we do it? Are we all trying to keep up with everybody else or do we think our lives will be somewhat less if we don’t do it. Don’t get me wrong I love Christmas day and seeing all my loved ones open their gifts, but oh the run up to it!

AND don’t even get me started on Christmas cards, most people I speak to see it as a chore yet we all still write them and post them with the ever increasing cost of postage even at second class. I diligently wrote them and pushed them through my neighbours doors as I didn’t want to be seen as “the miserable woman from number 26” who wouldn’t wish her neighbours the greetings of the seasons.

Well folks this year I have found the answer, go away on holiday a week before, avoid the panic buying of food, because let’s face it the shops will be shut for two whole days, however will we manage, we might run out of food!

So my bags are almost packed, taxi booked to take me to the cruise terminal and I will be out of here.

Now before I go I must write those last minute cards, wrap the last present and ………….

Unemployment

I have now been out of work for eight weeks! I seem to be settling into a new routine and to be honest have found plenty to do and wondered how I had time to work! The downside of course is having no money except of course the good old Job Seekers Allowance, or Dole as i like to call it.

That brings me onto the Job Centre. A delightful place NOT! Registering was quite easy on line then I had to go in for my first appointment which again was relatively easy. Not so the next visit when I had to see my dedicated adviser. Before me sat an elderly gentleman who asked me if I had been looking for work and I promptly produced my booklet with all my activity written down, he didn’t even look at it. Then he trawled through his computer to see If he could see a suitable job for me and printed one off and told me I had to apply for it as it was a condition that had to be complied with in order to receive the princely sim of £67.50 a week. Now don’t get me wrong I am happy to be receiving said sum, however when you have been receiving in excess of £250 per week it comes as a bit of a shock. Old grey haired man, sorry I mean my dedicated adviser, told me that it was a bad time of year to be looking for work and there was little call for secretaries and
PA’s those days AND finally age was not on my side.

I left the Job Centre swiftly after that and when to recruitment agency to apply for job only to be told it was too late.

So my question is this, why do they keep out of date jobs on their site, oh I know it is so it looks like there are loads of jobs to apply for. Next visit saw lovely old gentleman again, same routine, same old platitudes, but at least my money popped into my bank account on Friday morning.

Another beef of mine is why don’t you get a response from employers when you have been for an interview, this has happened to me twice now. I just think it is plain rude. I understand that they get lots of applicants and don’t reply to them if they are not selected for interview, but honestly even a no thank you text or email would be something.

So folks if you have a job and don’t like it or are thinking of leaving I strongly urge you to hang onto it in the current economic climate because it certainly is no fun being on the dole. Well maybe apart from the lie ins, freedom, having all your housework, washing and ironing up to date!

TIME

I have been inspired to start up a blog after reading a Facebook friends weekly postings. I am not sure if anyone will read it but here goes.

Time….. It’s a funny thing, sometimes we have too much of it and more often not enough. There never seems to be a happy balance.

On Friday last week I was made redundant. First time ever in my life I have been asked to leave a job but a sign of the times I guess.

Normally my day goes something like this:

6.30 get up, quick walk for the dog, shower, dressed, breakfast and out the door at 8.00am. 9.00am arrive at the office, work though till 4.30 then drive home arriving at 5pm. Out with dog (another quick walk) back home to prepare tea, eat, clear up and maybe be sat down to watch the telly at 7pm until 10pm then it’s off to bed. Then do it all again. Sound famliar.

My day now:

Get up at whatever time I wake, usually 6.30, cant get out of the habit, take dog on a long walk, do a bit of housework, check e-mails, Facebook, usual internet stuff and it is still only 10am. What to do with the rest of the day?

Today is my first day of unemployment so it actually only feels like a holiday. However as the weeks pass and I don’t find a job how will I feel about all this spare time. I have always craved it, needed it even so I guess I should embrace it and enjoy it whilst I have it. As with everything we only ever miss it when it is gone, so by starting this blog I have already found a way to fill in some spare time and actually it is quite fun.

Watch this space and I will let you know how I get on.

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