OK, it's been a while, a long while, in fact, since I last posted and not a lot and yet such a lot has happened since I last hung out in these unsavoury digs. Firstly, I didn't die, wasn't expected to, wasn't in any danger of dying - unless it was from pure frustration - and well, here I am.
Secondly, just to get it over with - I still haven't got a job. I may go into that some time as I am now on a Work Programme and it's SUCH fun. As you can well imagine anything that this present government organises to be.
A sad thing happened in May when I lost my only friend here, Sharon, after a several month-long battle against an infection. Sharon fought hard but the infection won, taking away a wonderful woman who spread so much happiness to so many. Richard said it all so much better and we all paid our tributes to Sharon at her cremation which ended with 'I Love To Boogie' by Marc Bolan. Sharon would have liked that.
An elderly woman, Irene, with whom I worked with every Wednesday at Oxfam also got ill and so I offered to help her if she wanted. She accepted my help and thanked me by giving us a canal boat holiday. I didn't want to accept it but after some advice from others, took it and Richard and I had a great week away on the Llangollen canal, chillin'. It was such a great holiday that I definitely want to go again and it really is a good test on your relationship. If you go camping with your partner there isn't really anywhere to go if you have a row, but on a canal boat you can either push the other one into the canal or go to the opposite end of the boat and sulk. We avoided pushing each other into the canal although when crossing the pontcysyllte aqueduct it was good that we were on talking terms.
Irene is better now, but has difficulty getting around so we visit every week and take her out every now and then. She is a lovely, bubbly woman who originally comes from the Czech Republic - and is a die-hard Trekkie and loves her Sci-fi. I look forward to our visits as Irene is so interesting but Richard came out with his ears ringing last time as the TV was on and Irene is slightly hard of hearing.
We visited my parents who were staying in my middle brother's house in Cirencester (he and his family are presently living in Oman) for a weekend and saw my other 2 brothers and their families, and then there was a family reunion of sorts for an afternoon at the newest McCarthy's christening. Only my children were missing, but that was fine as Richard and I were off to see them the following week.....
And we've seen Rich Hall and Jack Dee at the Crewe Lyceum, Wilko Johnson at a very moving gig in Holmsfirth which was a bit like a trek to Narnia, the clouds were so low on the roads and just recently saw my favourite, John Cooper Clarke at the Crowne in Nantwich.
So that's more or less what we have been doing which all sounds good when you compact it into a small box, but the periods of time inbetween each gig, holiday or visit should be filled with work. Richard is doing well with his eBay shop and I am spending my time volunteering at Oxfam and job-hunting. But I am not qualified enough to work at Argos, I was told, so you can only imagine what the job-market now requires - a PhD in Science and Technology so that you work out which customer should receive which package.
More on that and Brussels soon.
Meanwhile, I want - no, NEED these:
The Literacy Gift Company but I only want 4 of them.