A Festive Walk with the Westies

This was a particularly festive walk to the local park at the Bole Hills in Sheffield. Not because it was snowing or anything, but because there were people out wearing Santa hats, and I came across a bench decorated with a very smart Christmas wreath.

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We paused here because the bench was new and the wreath must have been in memoriam. The view was spectacular and I thought it was a very special way to remember a loved one.

A friend of mine has been taking me to the Sheffield local carols, which take place at this time of year in certain pubs on the outskirts of the city. These are the old folk carols, not the familiar O Come All Ye Faithful church carols. They are very jolly and upbeat, mostly with different words and melodies to the ones we all know. So it has taken me a while to pick them up. But the joy of it is, the sessions are packed with enthusiastic singers, the pub is crammed full, the sound is sometimes deafening and people even sing harmonies with ease. It never was like this in church! So a newcomer like me can just pitch in and sing anything until I get the hang of it. There is even a song for passing your empty glasses back to the bar because it’s impossible for the bar staff to collect the empties amongst the crush of singers.

I had recorded one of the carols on my phone in an effort to learn it, so on my walk I played it back to myself. ‘Goodwill to all mankind, goodwill to all mankind’ etc etc.

Harry and Dixie on the Bole Hills

Harry and Dixie on the Bole Hills

But the dogs were confused and it made them bark, so I turned it off. Still, it was ever so festive while it lasted!

I have started to get some temporary office work which is a real godsend. I will be working over the holidays for the first time in ages, but I don’t mind at all because it’s great to be back in the workplace. I am actually enjoying the temporariness of it: meeting new people and finding out about different workplaces, systems, and of course politics.

I hope all your plans for the holidays are coming together!

Till next time,

L xxx

 

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Officially unemployed

After 20 years of full time employment, my contract has been terminated.  I am officially ‘on the dole’. I have been to the Great Hall of the People (the Job Centre) for the first time in my life, and I am humbly accepting as many hand-outs as I can apply for.

They make you register on their jobs website, so that a civil servant can go online and track your job searching activity. If they see that you have not been using the site, they may decide to withdraw your Job Seekers Allowance. Now I think this is only fair. You should be at least trying to get a job, after all. The trouble is, I find I am either overqualified or under qualified for just about every job advertised. Or I don’t have the right background. I used to run the office of a fine art giftware company. So I could run the office of an estate agent or a training company, right? It’s called having transferable skills, right? Wrong! They want people who have actual experience of property management or training courses.

What I would really like to do is to make full use of my existing skills – for myself, if nobody else wants them. I am working on setting up my own company. OH is building me a website. As soon as it’s ready, I’ll let you know. It is nothing to do with knitting! But the knitting will continue alongside, as it did before.

I walked home through the park yesterday. The leaves made this beautiful pattern on the grass. The ducks and geese were mooching about under the trees and the sun was low. Autumn is so pretty!

Weston Park, Sheffield

Weston Park, Sheffield

Till next time,

L x