Category Archives: Duran Duran

Is there something I should know?

I must admit, when I reached my late fifties, I thought it was safe to assume that my exam taking career was over. Like most schoolchildren, I have sat more than a few exams in my time, and its fair to say, with mixed results. A long time ago (over 40 years ago, for the youngsters here), I took a series of O Level exams, and came away with 6 successes, and 3 failures. A reasonable set of results, you might say, and I guess you’d be right. I wasnt surprised to fail Latin, or Science, as I was not great at either. Geography, I failed twice, but most remarkably, they were the only 2 geography exams I ever failed to pass! Yes, that annoyed me, though in truth, it didnt matter, because I knew I wasnt going to University, due to being in a single parent family. Yes, it was out to work at 16 I went! Funnily enough, because of the increase in the retirement age, I will only miss on working for 50 years by about 7 months! Not that I will have worked for 50 years, quite, but the vast majority of it, yes. Well, all of that is body permitting at present, of course. At the moment, who knows?

But seemingly no, its not the end of my exam taking career, it starts up again tomorrow. Yes, the apprenticeship at work sees me facing my first exam tomorrow, and though I suspect all will be fine, I cant say I’m looking forward to it. Not that I might add, that beyond pride, I’m going to let me worry about the result, regardless. I guess thats the big difference to 40 years ago? Lets face it, as mentioned before, even if the old, creaking body lasts that long, I have just over 6 years to go to retirement. So in terms of improving myself, to boost my career chances, well…? So why am I letting it get to me? As I said, pride. I know, I’m not defending a perfect record, or anything like that, but all the same…

Actually, strictly, in one sense, I am defending a perfect record, I’m 0 for 0. How, you ask? As a woman, of course! I know, strictly, if I could trace the board, and trace the certificate, I could get the name changed, and everything, and then they would be as a woman, but unless I really need to? Not even sure if the Board I took them with would still exist anyway?

So yes, if you want to think of me, about 3.30 pm UK time, tomorrow afternoon, feel free to do so, because thats when it starts! I know, it will hopefully be fine, and if it isnt, its not the end of the world, but its the principle of it, thats all. And yes, thats why I’m not looking forward to it.

Oh, and to add to the delight, the 2 following Wednesday’s, 2 more exams, eek! Ah well, fingers crossed…

Video time. A witty retort about me, and sitting my exams, I guess?

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View to a chill

Yes, I know, its been a while, so, what would you like me to tell you about? Being wired up so I rode in a Davros type wheelchair, rather than being pushed in a standard one? That nice mad scientist I met who transformed me into my past life self, Clara Johnson, at the age of 25, with all her dancing skills (and seemingly she had plenty), so I’ve been dancing the nights away at delightful flapper style parties, darlings? Or the journey on that flying saucer that whisked me across the Atlantic, in about an hour, maybe? Flight diverted to Hollywood, so I could sign up for a big acting role? Or would you prefer the dull, actual, truthful version of events lol?

Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to set me up for any of those first 4 events mentioned, I’d love it! I know, I know, in my dreams, nothing more…but… 😉

OK, lets catch up on reality, before I get the full makeover, as mentioned above! Ooh, that would be fun, mind!

Saturday saw my first ride in a wheelchair for 50 years. I suspect it wont be the last holiday I need one at an airport, but we will see… It started off smoothly enough, as I got wheeled through security, and me, and my luggage checked over, without me actually ever leaving the chair. Then, after a slight delay on the flight (plane had to stop inbound, due to a medical issue, so was nearly an hour late leaving), I was wheeled down to the gate, and told someone would be back to take me down to the plane to board. Yes, fine, never happened, so eventually the Rep asked if the 2 of us were able to get to the plane under our own steam, so I went for it. Unfortunately, having taken the brace off, thinking I wouldnt need it again (its neoprene, and warm to wear for very long periods), I struggled the way with my hand luggage, and pulled it off. But yes, instead of having plenty of time to stow my bag, I was pretty much the last one on, but as I had a double seat to myself, I was able to get my bag stowed away anyway.

Arrival at Boston was good, and efficiently done. The two of us might have been the last ones off, but we were probably 2 of the Brits through first, all the same. Given I have a black, expanding suitcase, just like dozens of others, I need to get some pink, or rainbow tagging around the handle, so I can recognize it easier, even more so when you arent close to the conveyor belt, being in a wheelchair, and all that!

The rest of the day, just fine. After arrival at hotel (Kate had already booked us both in), we ended up calling out for food, chatting a lot, just having a good time.

Sunday afternoon, we came down to this glorious place we’ve rented on Cape Cod. Well, Kate did all the hard work booking it, I just paid a share of the costs really. Yes, its gorgeous! I’m sat in the living area, with a stunning view of the sea, typing this now. We ended up having pizza, watching NFL, just having fun.

Monday, being 2 ladies of reasonable leisure for the week, and given that neither of us are in the perkiest of health, we had a quiet day. Finished off for me at least, by getting my annual chance to swoon over Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football!

This morning, I had a couple of cups of coffee, sat outside, complete with a couple of muffins for breakfast, and just enjoyed the sun. Havent seen a lot of it in the UK this summer, so a real delight. Since then, just relaxed, and given my body the break it really needs. We’re here, somewhere near Mashpee, on Cape Cod, until Thursday morning, and I’m loving every minute of it. Might get another ride in a wheelchair at the 2 stations on Thursday, will have to wait and see. Or the next one, may be at JFK on Monday evening!

Yes, Thursday, I need to start getting into bridesmaid mode, but more on that later in the week. Thats when I could really do with that 25 year old, Clara Johnson makeover lol, especially if I’m expected to dance at the reception afterwards, as I currently have 2 left feet, in that sense. Where’s a good mad scientist when you need one, lol?

Right, video time. Yes, the blog title is a slightly tweaked version of that

Her name was Rio

Yes, I started the Olympics with one of the blatantly obvious videos, so lets end it with the other!

I’ll be honest, I havent seen a lot of it. To a great degree because a lot of the main events have happened in the middle of the night, our time, but also, because for once, it wasnt relevant to my work, unlike 4 years ago! About the only thing I’ve seen much of, live, was the mens golf, and in truth, that was because I’m involved in a golf tipping competition, and that was part of the challenge.

There have been a few highlights, the most medals won by any GB team, though I assume thats strictly got some cut off point in history, given we won 146 medals in 1908, and its nowhere near that number! But its given the BBC something to talk about, even if by all reports, their coverage has tended to verge between bad, and embarrassing!

Also, I do wonder if the absence of most of the Russian teams has played a part in that, but lets not go down that road. I’m cynical as to how many athletes are genuinely clean, its just that some have been caught, and others havent? Yes, thats a big reason for my lack of interest, in all honesty.

We’ve also had the robbery that never was. How those US swimmers, in these days of social media, and CCTV expected to get away with that, I will never know? Lastly, and saddest for me, is the carving up of events for the Paralympics, due to what the Brazilians are calling budget issues. Nothing to do with the fact that tickets sales for that are very slow in Brazil, a country with a record of lack of concern for disabled people, anyway.

But fine, thats it, until Tokyo has its second time, in 2020, part of an Asian domination, given the next 2 winter Olympics (2018 South Korea, 2022 China) are there as well. Where will we all be then, who knows?

Yes, as I said, the obvious closing video, after Mike Nesmith started it.

Is there something I should know?

So fine, I survived the training period, and now I get ready to get down to the serious stuff. Well, when I say survived, some might say I did better than that. At various points over the fortnight, we had to sit various assessments, and get 80% or better on them, or face a resit, and who knows? Seemingly, what I saw from others, it was never a critical event regardless. Who, me? Fine, lowest mark I got was 85%, and I averaged 89.3% over the lot, not that the average really mattered to anyone other than myself. And yes, big test, got 90%, so… But fine, the Customer Service side of it, in a training sense, other than rustiness, should never have been an issue for me, anyway.

The training for technical service, which starts in a fortnight, might be a whole different matter, but I’ll give it a go. Yes, fine, I know, but I’m more into being controlled by tech, than me controlling it lol! The one personal blessing over the next fortnight, with the exception of 1 day (next Saturday), is a slightly later start, at 10.30, so I might get slightly more sleep than now, which will be a blessing. Later finish too, obviously, but not so bad that it should affect my time to bed, with luck. Yes, a weekday off, on Tuesday, I’ll see if I can come up with anything brilliant, and different for that! Feel free to suggest, mind. Tomorrow, I’m told will be more about getting my email, and systems set up, and not taking calls, but then, on Wednesday, after our day off. dip my feet in the water again.

Of course, with luck, something else is going to come and whisk me away from there, very soon. No, not a series of acting performances in the US, I only wish! No, the preferred job in Bradford, hopefully the checks will be sorted soon, and I can move on to that one. Later start, better money, less travel costs, and all that. Fine, I’ll have to start buying my meal again, but I can live with that!

Oh lastly, a couple of things from spending a little time on the call center floor. Firstly, they use wireless headphones, definitely a new thing to me, but I like the idea of it. Sadly they dont seem to send a signal to take control of your mind, but fine, I’m probably the only one who would enjoy that! Yes, I was doing some call listening. Once it was sorted out how to let me listen in on calls, it was quite interesting. Lets say that the guy I was with Thursday, did a good job. Calls, making me feel welcome, the works! Then Friday, I was paired with a woman, and I could say that I learnt how not to do a good job of it. She couldnt understand why her probation period had been extended, but I could!

Ah well, in for a penny, and all that…The other big challenge will be making the finances balance, until the end of August, when I get the first full pay packet, but hopefully I survive?

The video. You could say that after training, this shouldnt be the case, but who knows?