hantsbear: (Seriously Pi**ed Off...)
Oh great.  A snap general election.  But of course, the great British populace will vote the way either the Daily Mail or Rupert Murdoch tells them to :(
hantsbear: (Life)
I always find bequests bittersweet.  On the one hand, the financial aspect is appreciated, but it comes with a heavy finality that the person is no longer with us, and all the money in the world will not bring them back.  Even if you tried...
hantsbear: (Land of the Free...?)
I am at a loss.  I just don't get it.  And I certainly want 2016 to be over.  What has happened to the UK and the US?  I certainly don't understand my own country any more and as for trying to understand our larger neighbour to the west, which I thought I was starting to...

The Trump talks of reconcilliation, whilst appointing a whole stream of right wing nutjobs into seemingly powerful positions, and pouting and posturing when someone has the audacity to call his running mate on his ultra white christian, gay hating beliefs.  I thought it was done with love and respect but the perma-tanned ferret thinks otherwise.

I hear conflicting stories as to what the new administration can/can't to to the hard fought LGBT* rights brought in by President Obama.  Could the USA even go as far as some Middle Eastern countries and introduce a gay test at the borders?  Yes, it sounds ridiculous but frankly, I wouldn't put it past someone like Mike Pence.

I just don't know what to think any more.
hantsbear: (Seriously Pi**ed Off...)
The black dog continues.  Several times this week, I have felt like crying for no particular reason apart from the hopelessness of it all.  Today, I just feel like hiding from everything as I cannot seem to derive much joy.  I feel like everything I touch turns to failure.

I think I need to seek out more counselling.
hantsbear: (happy pills)
Oh boy, is the black dog kicking my butt at the moment.  Work is well, just hell.  Constant change that has to be implemented NOW.  And you have to be doing it perfectly NOW.  And we need these reports from you to back it up NOW OR ELSE.  Added to the fact that I have been effectively written up for something purely subjective; something I had had no complaints about until this last year after 8 years in the organisation.

I cannot see a positive outcome.  I am applying for other jobs but I am not getting even an interview.  I tried for an internal post for a department that was apparently crying out for staff.  Nothing.

All my fight  has gone.  I have stopped discussing it at home because His Lordship gets wound up and keeps telling me I should do this and I should do that, but I feel it would have no impact on anything.
hantsbear: (Feel My Koala-y Wrath!)
There are times, and it has been happening a lot lately, when I come home from work and I wonder "What on earth have I done to deserve such punishment?"
hantsbear: (Marsupial Pride)
Haven't written anything of any consequence in the Journal in what seems like an age.  So, I suppose this is a bit of a where-I-am-now post.  Geographically, I'm still stuck in a village with one bus an hour except on Sundays where there is nothing.  One shop; one pub.  Tried to learn to drive about 2 years ago and came up against a brick wall, despite the fact that this time I was learning in an automatic rather than a stick shift.  Bought a (old) bike which I hadn't realised (due to my complete absence of nouse and mechanical skills) had a dodgy clutch and ended up selling it at a loss to someone who did have the requisite mechanical skills.  That and His Lordship worried every time I went out on it put the kybosh on that.

Mentally, been going through the wringer.  Went back on Venlafaxine again for 6 months, then found a local sexual health charity that was offering  inexpensive counselling, so have been working through with that for a few months now, which seems to be working fine. especially since my councellor works to the Person Centred methodology, with which I have a degree of familiarisation.  It is a minimal amount they charge, but I have volunteered to help them man their tent at Leicester Pride next month.

Healthwise, now have a formal diagnosis of Sleep Apnea (which many have suspected for years) and now the proud posessor of an "Inflate-A-Steve" as I call it.  Still trying to get used to it; it will take time, but given the potential health benefits, I am determined to make it work.  Noticed today that I managed to swim further than I could before starting the treatment, so the snatches of sleep I am catching with the device on seem to be having some effect.  However, I am feeling particularly fat at the moment - my mental health has meant that my comfort eating has been worse than usual.  My consultant at the Sleep Clinic at Leicester General tells me that one of the benefits of the CPAP treatment is that I should start producing more of a hormone that stops these cravings, so here's hoping.  His Lordship not really helping here as he tends to take the p--- out of any attempt to undertake any form of exercise, from his well-worn seat on the sofa.

Work - oy vey.  Where do I start?  I can't really go into much detail as we have a social media policy which prevents me from identifying who I work for online, but I am being micro-managed out of my head.  Not by local management who, for the main part, are supportive but those above, including one manager who I refer to as The Smiling Assasin as she pretends everything is nicey-nice and wonderful, whilst stabbing people in the back at any opportunity.  Paranoia levels high!  Took a test last weekend for another department which I felt I did well in but of course my self doubt kicked in.  Should hear before the end of the month on that one.

Musically, seem to be listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell of late, thanks to a local chanteuse by the name of Sally Barker who achieved a degree of fame a couple of years ago by getting to the finals of the UK version of The Voice, being coached by Sir Tom Jones.  She has managed to return to her roots, playing local venues and touring, despite being offered a recording contract which, frankly, would not have shown the British public how truly versatile she is.

On the travel front, apart from our road trip from Oakland to Seattle last year, spent a few days in the northern Netherlands based in Zwolle, which I throroughly enjoyed.  A bit of winter sun in the Algarve too, which is just what the doctor ordered.  And, of course, the few days by the Loire last month.  Got a trip to see little sis in Sweden in October, along with Florida in December as a Fiftieth birthday treat from His Lordship.

Well, I think that's everything for the moment, apart from losing my beloved maternal grandmother a couple of weeks ago - she was 94, so she'd had a fair innings, but it's still hard to let go of someone you've known for 49 years.
hantsbear: (The Bear-Koala Combo...)
beastbriskett
It would have been Beast's birthday today.  And of course, once my brain has gone down that train of thought, I think of Russ too and gave a little growl.  The world is a richer place for them having been here.  But still missed dreadfully.

Sigh...

Mar. 18th, 2013 03:59 pm
hantsbear: (In The Park)
russ19
Russ's birthday today.  Happy Birthday wherever you are xxx
hantsbear: (In The Park)
russgrave13-1

russgrave13-2
Took my annual visit to Russ's grave this afternoon - need to bring a brush with me next time to clean the stone up with...
hantsbear: (grrrr...)
In a grumpy mood today.  It's a strike day and I have been undecided all week as to whether to strike or not.  In Smethwick, it wasn't too bad as there would have been a reasonable number of people supporting in the office.  Hinckley, is an unknown quantity.  I suppose I am more of a pack animal than a leader in these matters.

The strike is all about the government increasing public sector pensions, on top of pay freezes and caps and the "promise" of regional pay.  Public sector pensions were revised in 2007 and even recent reports (in the Daily Mail of all places!) have said that they are affordable.  However, the current administration, which hates both Trades Unions and Public Servants, are effectively increasing payments for a poorer payout to bring us in line with the private sector.  Well, if they wanted to do that, why didn't they just close all the final salary schemes and replace then with money purchase schemes instead?

What the additional payment is is a tax on public servants to punish them for proliferating underneath the previous administration.  Only it's not really palatable to call it that.

Still, I should be thankful that I have a job and a pension.  But it's difficult working for an administration that treats its staff with utter contempt.  Much like a lot of private industry I suppose.  I suspect they are softening us up to sell us all to the private sector...
hantsbear: (pain)
I don't know why, but every time I have a day that ends with me feeling severely p*ssed off, I invariably end up at the local McDonalds in Oldbury.  Usually, I avoid "Mucky D's" like the plague - my fast food of choice over here is KFC.  However, there's something about being in a foul mood that sends me somehow to those golden arches.  Mind you, I do like their chocolate shakes even if I can feel my arteries clogging with their artery hardening wallpaper paste-ishness as my cheeks collapse to suck the last globules from the cup...!
hantsbear: (The Bear-Koala Combo...)
Went to Russ's grave today to put some flowers on it.  I wish I'd bought more - I only got 6 white carnations, thinking that there may have been more flowers with it having been 4 years since his passing on Tuesday.
Also got to wondering what mischief he and [livejournal.com profile] beastbriskett are getting up to in the great hereafter/Valhalla/(insert afterlife of your choosing here)...!
hantsbear: (Tea (nicked from who knows where!!!))

Remembering Greg ([livejournal.com profile] beastbriskett ) today on his birthday...
hantsbear: (all glory to the hypnotoad)
Things are a bit static at the moment.  Main blocking point is my transfer to an office closer to Steve - it just isn't happening at the moment, and I'm really not sure how long this situation is going to last.  The Powers That Be within the organisation told one office that I've been in contact with, that has vacancies that they will categorically refuse my transfer unless it is an emergency.  I wrote to the HR person concerned about 10 days ago; she only read the e-mail last Tuesday and has not replied yet.  Reading the official guidance, anyone requesting a transfer is pretty much at the bottom of the pile unless they can claim an emergency transfer, which, I am told is nigh on impossible to obtain.  I will probably end up trying though, because this is stressing both Steve and myself out...

Oh well (sigh)
hantsbear: (perkele)
I'd just put the picture of Russ's grave up onto my journal and found that [livejournal.com profile] beastbriskett is dead.  As the tears run down my cheeks, I remember the two occasions I met Greg.  I'd wanted to meet him for a while, having had favorable reports from Russ's visit.  I met a sweet guy and we went to see the koalas at San Francisco zoo.  And did the sightseeing thing.  Basically, spent a pleasant day finishing off with burgers with Hoody.  I saw him again last November.  Obviously, since then he'd been sick, but I was still made more than welcome chez Beast and Hoody. 
And now he's gone.  Physically, at least.  Hopefully, his web presence will keep him near to us all.

Greg, I know there was an ocean between us but I'm still going to miss you.
Hoody, If ever you're over this side of the pond, please look me up.  Steve and I woudl love to host you.

So long, Greg.  Happy trails... xxxx
hantsbear: (perkele)

January 31st. 2011.
hantsbear: (perkele)
Three years ago, I was in Tucson - I think it was a Thursday; various parties were being organised to local restaurants for the early arrivers at Fiesta de los Osos.  It must have been about 6pm - I had gone back to my hotel room for whatever reason and  I checked my computer and found a message from [livejournal.com profile] madamemish to contact her as soon as possible.  The transatlantic phone call that followed started something like this:-

"Mish?"
"He's gone." (sob)
"What?  Who...?"
"Russ.  He's dead."  There was a pause.  Then I howled.

The circumstances have been documented elsewhere, but at that moment in time I felt disconnected; hit by the full force of the distance between here and there.  There was only one thing I could do under that circumstance; I rang my father.  I needed the familiar.

I must have been in my room quite a while; when I re-emerged, I remember the first person to see me was [livejournal.com profile] shelbycub .  I'm not sure whether I just hugged him or blurted out what had happened.

Fast forward three years; it still hurts.  Which is good in it's own way.  Have asked Steve to take me to the grave the weekend after next.  I'll be a mess, but I think I need to be a mess.
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
hantsbear: (Life)
I am going to have to get my head round a very simple fact.

Given my current financial circumstances, it is very unlikely that I will be able to travel outside Europe for at least five years.  Maybe not even ten.  Barring miracles, but you see, there's a problem there.  I am an atheist and, as such, do not believe in miracles.

So, looks like I'm stuck here then...

And, yes, I know I'm whining.  There are a lot of people a lot worse off than I am.  Does it make sense if I say that I wish I had never experienced, because then I would never miss it?  And the fact that I miss long distance travel cuts to my craw.

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