15 minutes with a Pirate colleague

There’s long been a suspicion in the household of how the Hubster doesn’t really pay as much attention to me as perhaps he should do. Case in point was this past week.

“Hey, Hubster,” I said, my phone roughly three inches from his nose. “Look at this photo of where I was today.”

He’s always keen to hear about my day at work, and as that particular day had taken us to play Pirate Crazy Golf, part of a team-building/getting-to-know-you/building-relationships day with colleagues, it was sure to be a better conversation than the normal one along the lines of.

Hubster. “How was your day?”

Me. “Same old, same old. This one did this, that one did that, I got lost in the warehouse again, lunch was yet another baked potato with tuna, blah, blah, blah, I came home.”

Hubster. “Right. Coffee or tea?” – a euphemism for, well that was bloody boring, let’s move on.

So back to the phone, settled inches from his nose, displaying a superb digital image that with all likeliness will never be seen again.

“Oh,” the Hubster, says, completely genuinely, no jokes, no nothing. “He looks a bit stiff, is that one of your colleagues?”

“WHAT?” I said – phone dropped to my lap, chin on chest, eyes wider than a 10lt casserole dish. “Are you serious? How can that be a colleague?”

Take a look, let me know what you think.

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This blog has no theme other than to allow me 15 minutes to put a blog together. Thank you for visiting

15 minutes with a Nun in Newport Pagnell

nun driving

Photo borrowed from HERE

So, there I was last week. Heading home from work. Took the back route that would lead me along winding, leafy, country roads. The type that has me sucking in air as I belt around a bend only to find myself swinging the steering wheel so my tyres touch gravel, and my paintwork takes on scratches as a gigantic 4×4 – actually I think it was a mini – on that note, MINI! who are they kidding? They are beasts. Certainly a vehicle on steroids. As I was saying a 4×4, err Mini, crosses my lane.

Back to the Nun. Well before I thrashed my way through the home counties there was a need to navigate Newport Pagnell’s High Street and its several roundabouts – circles to my SA friends. I digress once more. Is there anywhere in the solar system with more roundabouts/circles than Milton Keynes and any other town/village within a 10-mile radius?  Focus, Ruth. Newport Pagnell – home of amazing Aston Martin – High Street. Right, so about halfway up the street, my lovely Google Maps announces.

“Take the first exit at the roundabout and continue straight.” Perfect.

At said roundabout/circle I pause and give way to a sparkling, clean car, driven by a Nun, who from sight I would guess be around her 134th birthday marker. Seated next to her is also an elderly lady, not quite so old – I’m guessing about 127? Or thereabouts. Said Nun with a bestie in a smart hat at her side, inches sparkling car across the roundabout, completely forgetting the need to turn the steering wheel while keeping comfortably shoed foot on the accelerator until literally the last minute when she came practically to a halt, and I swear her next move would require a 3-point-turn.

I winced, and then cheered for Nunny to keep on moving that car, and all but got out with a mind to suggesting I complete the roundabout/circle for her. Suffice to say, divine intervention, or at least a little twitch of the hands on the steering wheel, and a flick of a foot to a pedal, and she was off and away.

And there endeth my tale of a Nun in Newport Pagnell.

 

This blog has no theme and is here purely for me to type for 15 minutes on anything that catches my eye. Thank you for reading and popping by

 

 

 

15 minutes with a don’t tell the hubster and ice-cream licker

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Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

 

If you know my hubster, please don’t let on I’ve purchased yet ANOTHER jacket! I hasten to add he doesn’t curtail my spending, rather it’s the number of jackets I have that will raise his right eyebrow.

But you know a girl/woman just has to have a jacket for all seasons – well that’s my defence m’lud.

OK, so this one made me want to scream EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW!!!! Apparently, a young American woman took the lid off a tub of ice-cream – in a shop – and then put it back in the freezer for some poor person to purchase. For the love of all goodness in this world, what was she thinking? Kinda would have been nice if she’d tumbled into the freezer, feet to the sky, head amongst a mound of waffles and mixed berries.

There is video evidence of her, and you can read/see all about it HERE. And again HERE

I wonder how we will all feel about tackling an ice-cream this coming weekend then? Might be a big fat, err, PASS on that one, thank you very much

 

 

 

 

 

This blog has no theme other than to allow me 15 minutes to put a blog together. Thank you for visiting

 

15 minutes snoring, talking, flying

animal close up donkey
Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

It took an economy class, twelve-hour flight, no frills attached and supplied bum squashing seat to get me to Cape Town. British Airways, thank you so much for having a direct flight. Leaving me free of frantic stopovers where you end up running like a loon for a flight only to arrive at the gate flushed to the hilt, sweat pouring from places it should never pour from, begging for oxygen. Done that before. With the hubster. A stopover in Dubai. During that mad time when the fog was playing havoc – who knew Dubai had fog? – certainly not me. On our approach, the pilot and head flight attendant had announced words to the effect of.

“Tough lot you lot, chances are you’ll miss your connecting flights, but don’t worry you’ll get a free food voucher that will cover a big mac and some fries that with luck will plug your sobbing gob while waiting twenty-four hours for a next flight. As to me, well hey-ho, I’m heading home for feet up, glass of wine – is that allowed? – and a healthy meal that won’t leave my arteries straining. Hope you have enjoyed your flight, and hope to see you soon. Oh yes, to claim said voucher, keep your eyes open for the longest queue on the planet, and you’ll be in the right place.” And all in the sweetest, corporate tone that does nothing to satisfy a frazzled flyer. No, rather it’s more about gnawing the inflight magazine and wondering if you could get away with ankle tapping the cabin assistant when they next pass with a laden tray of plastic cups of juice and water.

Restraint in place, suffice to say we made our flight, along with with probs twenty others. We launched ourselves from the stationary plane, en masse, cabin luggage flaying as our feet hit the ground and the sprint for the gate begun. I swear it was like Moses with the sea as those waiting in the departure lounge parted with haste, if not from fear of the stampede as sweaty, day-old clad folk of all ages, belted like the clappers, eyes wide with panic, caring little of odd shoes and socks and underpants being dropped as we surged forward and descended on our respective departure gates.

Hubster and I, barely able to speak, slammed into our seats and hoped of all hope that oxygen masks would release, only to be told there would be a forty-five minute delay due to . . . FOG. Restraint, Ruth. Restraint.

Back to BA, while I am eternally grateful for said direct flight, sadly you haven’t banned snoring passengers. Just saying, but you really should add a snoring capacity to your booking process.

It could be a simple tick box, with an algorithm along the lines of:

Do you snore?

Yes. I don’t know. No

If NO, go to ‘continue with your booking’

ELSE IF, I don’t know, go to

‘Good try, however, YOU HAVE BEEN BLACKLISTED FROM OUR BOOKING SYSTEM. THINK ABOUT GETTING YOUR BIG FAT SNORTING NOSE FIXED.’

ELSE IF, YES, go to

“WE’RE NOT WASTING OUR TIME ON EXPLAINING THIS. NO SEATS AVAILABLE. TODAY, TOMORROW, EVER.’

Suffice to say the traveller to my left, a nice, polite, reasonable young man until he fell asleep was a mild snorer. Now, when said seat occupant is not your spouse, partner or whatever, you can hardly thump them and whisper loudly to shut the flucking shells up.

However, what you can do is tell people to shut the flucking shells up.

Being roused from sleep and having attempted to cover my ear with the thin, oh so very thin and itchy blanket, and even bunched my fist and pushed it in my ear, there was no blocking a LOUD American chap sharing his political views to an elderly English couple, who being English were politely agreeing and not managing to get a word in edgewise.

Breaking cover of my blanket I twisted my neck and settled eyes on the three of them. There they were standing in the spare area up by the toilets. I gave them a few minutes to shut the flipping heck up, and then that was it. Blanket flung, fight with the seatbelt to free myself, earphones untangled – how the heck do they manage to get around everything – neck cushion still in situ, up I get, march to them and ask them very politely to “tone it down a bit.”

The elderly lady offers a genuine apology and after my loo break – well I was in the area after all – I head back to my seat.

I should add, that on arrival and heading towards immigration I spied the elderly couple ahead. Their pace was gradual yet sufficient to allow a blue tog bag to gain momentum and gently swing. Hmmm, should I take this moment to increase my pace, reach them and offer an apology? For, to be honest, I was feeling much like a grumpy old cow. My heart said yes, go for it and I closed in, a little like a leopard stalking, waiting for the moment to leap. Edging in, just as my hand was about to raise and the words were on my tongue, I dropped back.

Suddenly I was aware of how sometimes you just have to let things go. But more so. Yes, more so, if said elders were tired and irritable, chances were the mild swinging of luggage could pick up momentum to warp speed and flatten me.

Oh the joys of flying.

 

 

NB this one took a bit longer than 15 mins.

This blog has no theme other than to allow me a place to write for 15 minutes. Thank you for popping by

15 minutes of our community Facebook page

selective focus photo of brown monkey
Photo by Arindam Raha on Pexels.com

So often amazed at what the local community posts on our Facebook page.

This one is today:

Hi Good morning all wonder if anyone has had a wisdom tooth with complications removed in hospital. Really worried as I have been told it carries risks. The Tooth has been laying dormant with no trouble for many years and I have no pain now But apparently its laying flat on its side with the nerve running over the tooth. to say Im anxious is an understatement. Any light would be much appreciated thanks in advance.xx

Surely the old dentist should be advising on this one. And really, is that a local community issue? And kisses? A little over-familiar would you say?

So far I’ve not replied to ones along the lines of:

Good morning. Sorry to be a pain, but does anyone know for definite whether XXXX is serving gluten-free fish and chips this coming Monday 1st July? 
Thanks.

Really, they can’t pick up the phone and call and ask themselves?

fried meat beside sliced lemon and white mustard
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

There’s also a lot of moaning about how people park in the High Street, how Sainsbury’s is not welcome and how sheep are escaping from fields. Actually, there was a post recently regarding a fox sauntering through a field of sheep and lambs – which was to be fair a little worrying.

focus photo of brown sheep under blue sky
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

There’s also a lot and I mean a lot of moaning about weekend visitors to the local country park leaving a mess. Now, yes agreed, some do leave a mighty mess. But instead of writing on the page, why not go and moan at the people in the park. Man up, speak up.

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. WINGE, WINGE WINGE

 

This blog has no theme other than to allow me a place to write for 15 minutes. Thank you for popping by

 

15 minutes with Facebook/social media and employment/life

abus brand close up closed
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This past weekend I was interested to learn how a young lady is about to take up a teaching position and how her prospective employer wanted visibility of her Social Media – in this case, Facebook – before they would honour the offer.

Prior to her providing access – as in removing her privacy settings – she was asked to remove all photos, images, comments, opinions, in fact, anything that could in some way, I suppose, offer an insight into her personality, likes, dislikes, her life basically. And which would potentially allow her students and or their families . . . Well, what? Judge, comment, target, troll, stalk, befriend?

I’m a little lost about how to voice my feelings on this. The initial thought being, well who the heck does the employer think they are to be able to request access to privacy, and or almost blackmail you into giving this up, out of fear of getting a job?

Then I ponder, well perhaps they are trying to assist a new employee with navigating their way around students and parents, who can, let’s be fair, be rather demanding and or biased?

Then I think, well isn’t life really sad that we have almost got ourselves to the point where personal opinion, likes, dislikes etc are almost having to be suppressed out of fear of not finding jobs, losing jobs, forming relationships, ending relationships and oh so much more.

But of course, I will agree, there is a part of me that would like to know a little bit more about a person before taking the next step, and therefore a quick Google seems to be the way to go.

All so complicated and open to many points of view, all warranting far more than my 15 minutes worth of writing.

 

 

My blog is here as a 15 minute target writing tool. There is no theme, no plan, other than to write. Nice to see you.

15 minutes learning new skills

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Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

 

Spending some time teaching myself Excel skills. I’ve never considered myself to be an expert with Excel but felt I had sufficient knowledge to complete the job I was doing. Lovely, until you get a new job and suddenly find you’re the biggest dope on the planet. As in, sure you have some skills, but you sure as heck don’t have the ones we need.

Suddenly I’m learning how to work with vlookups and conditional formatting and data validation, and loads of other things too.  Thank goodness for online tutorials, helpful colleagues and knowledgable family.

That’s the thing about being the senior person in the job market, it’s just not enough anymore to have some skills, you have to show you are still learning and still keen. Because let’s face it, there is ageism out there. Those interviewing will say there isn’t, but there sure is.

On that note, a question at a recent interview “what’s your favourite excel formula?”

Any takers?

 

 

 

 

15 minutes without my Valentine

stone artwork

Flipping heck, in the 25 years of being together, the hubster and I have never, and I mean never missed spending Valentines together. Not that we go all out mushy or anything, we just share a nice meal and enjoy being together. This bloody year though, I will be working on Valentines night. The graveyard shift 2.30pm – 10.30pm. WHAT! And I mean WHAT! the flaming heck am I going to do, eating my leftovers from a plastic container in the company dining room, amongst many, and I mean many other folk who are no doubt lovely, but not who I want to be with.

I look at the hubster now, snoozing at my side, in front of the TV and feel positive the same will occur tomorrow, with or without me here. But you know what, I don’t give a flying hoot, because I’d rather be next to my man, snoozing and snoring his way through Valentines, than sitting in front of a computer screen and eating leftover risotto any day.

Groaning and moaning and feeling sorry for myself over.

Happy Valentines good people

#Valentine #Valentines #Hubster

 

If you have come across my blog, welcome. It’s here for me to type for 15 minutes and then post. No great theme to the blog, other than keeping me writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 minutes when (x+e)=Z(Good)

healthy vegetables hand gardening
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

So here’s the thing, the appraisal is done, results are in, breathe for another year. You’d think after doing this process for more years than it seems good to admit too, they would be old hat and done and dusted without much thought. But no, each year the demand is greater to list all you have done, to sell yourself like a piece of prime beef, or for the veggies amongst us, the largest radish in the patch. To ask your colleagues for feedback on yourself, to deliver it all, including what you want to achieve in the next 12 months, before waiting for your manager to agree, discuss, disagree and finally after leaving a sufficient waiting time of about week, you receive the final report, with a rating that determines potential pay increases.

There are 5 ratings to be given for multiple behaviours/skills/ability, call it as you will. Me, well my rating came in as GOOD for them all. Sounds wonderful however GOOD is number 3, basically the average. Not quite sure how I really feel about it, because GOOD sounds OK, Average provokes much inwardly groaning.

Hey-ho, so it goes.

 

 

If you’ve stumbled across my blog, it’s here for me to write for 15 minutes and then post

Hope you’re having a good day

15 minutes on the Yoga mat and bring me a cup of beer and a sausage roll

balance body exercise female
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One of my all time favourites has been Yoga. I’m not the best, I’m not the worse, and my legs are never going to come up behind my ears, nor will my forehead touch the ground, when bending forward, no matter how close to the ground I find myself.

Still, the pleasure is much and it’s all about some exercise and being amongst others. There’s a new studio close to home, which I’ve joined, hoping to get there at least twice a week, if not three times. A challenge, but achievable.

Most practices start with the obligatory Oom’s, deep, vibrating and rather glorious to my ears. To the extent, I find it hard not to smile at how we all boom that ommmmmmmm out together.  Now, at this studio, they like to do a bit of chanting. And it got me worried. Not because of any moral or religious or self-consciousness mind, no, more about whether my chant is lost in translation.

Take, for example, there I am, eyes closed, legs folded, amongst many,  repeating oom shaka laka bing flow too, min coo – that’s what it sounds like to me! – which means something like “may peace be within me and let it flow beyond my soul to the world and beyond” when in fact my repeating (some 27 or 54 times) is better translated as “bring me a cup of beer and a sausage roll.”

I’ll try harder tomorrow to listen and repeat, but chances are the beer and a sausage roll will be on the mat once more.

Namaste, to you all – a lovely way to complete the practice, and perhaps Yoga’s way of saying, may the force be with you 🙂

 

If you have come across my blog, it’s here for me to write for 15 minutes without real purpose, thought or – at times – good grammar.