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 with Radio 2, getting older and the Wombles

Today at work my younger colleague kindly changed her normal radio channel to Radio 2.  The pair of us have been on the early shift this week starting at 6am. And after her morning coffee and my cup of hot water, we settle down and colleague streams her fav channel. The music is pretty much as expected, loud, good beat, sometimes a load of noise and meaningless, sometimes great, but whatever it is, it keeps you going and often I hear myself singing and humming along.  Anyway, a day or so ago, my colleague asked me which channel I listen to. Radio 2, I said. Today then, through no prompting or complaining from me, she streams my channel.

“That’s kind, and thank you very much,” I said. Very touched she would do this.

“I like old music too,” she said.

I laughed good and hard at being advised of my age and said she must change back whenever she wanted. We lasted, probably, about half an hour until the Wombles song came on, at which point she reached for her mouse and said it was time to change.

Can’t say I blame her.







Fifteen minutes – day trip with the colleagues


Odney – photo –  mine

Funny how the idea of a work road trip brings up such mixed emotions. Elation at a day out and leaving the desk, and familiar mouse to gather a few hours of dust. Panic – shit, who will I sit with on the bus? I don’t know them all that well. I’m not a great small talker, will I by virtue be bored shitless? Clothes, can we ditch the uniform for civies? How joyous to not wear my Business Dress shirt that likens me to a member of a local ten-pin bowling team. As in too big, in need of darts all over, and how can I forget the official shade of blue.

As it was the bus was OK. All official with its logo. Instructions to buckle up before we drive off, and even stronger instruction for no moonies on the motorway – jeepers who do I work with?! Everybody took up position, rabble in the back, graduating to the quieter ones and our leader up front with the driver.

We were off to the company Heritage Site, about an hour and a half away. Our leader having been there before, relayed how deciding to not leave her doggie at home, booked her into a local doggie day-care – at great expense. Lovely dog was provided with paw massages and facial, and our leader was provided throughout the day photo updates to her mobile of lovely doggie running freely amongst fields and orchards.


Heritage site – photo mine

Along the road, newly married and about to be married colleagues shared how they were/would be ovulating during respective Honeymoons completely unaware of how their voices were travelling across the bus.  Needless to say, much laughter and blushes when I turned back and said, “Thanks for sharing, Ladies.”

“Members Only,” the signage said at this beautiful place we arrived at.

Heritage site, though small, holds a wealth of information along with an extensive fabric library, items conserved in various methods, physical and digital.  And if you were looking for bedtime reading, they have copies of the company magazine that’s been going for over 100 years and is the longest running in-house magazine – I stand corrected but think our lovely Archivist said in the world.


Like a little boat trip – photo mine

As you enter there is a memory of the Oxford Street branch, bombed during WW11 – a small tin mangled, chared, with coins melted to the bottom. Very poignant.

We saw print blocks used for fabrics. An example piece called Tree of Life is on the wall. This beauty required over 300 blocks to produce and needed well over 3 years to complete. As you can expect these were pricey items, not for the regular man in the street. Jeepers one of the blocks I could hold was so heavy. Apparently, the printers knew exactly which block to use in sequence. Any mistakes, well the fabric was discarded at huge cost.

The entire place, not only the Heritage Site, for it is on a private members only estate, is idyllic. There are walks along the Thames, footbridges to take you across to further lush and extensive grounds, rowing boats available, accommodation, spa, the lot. You can even take your dog, and indeed we saw a furry friend swimming in the Thames, the ducks oblivious.

Back to the Heritage site, our Archivist – Hannah – was wonderful, sharing great snippets of company founder’s links to the Zoological Society and how after taking on a pair of gibbons to assist with breeding, founder managed to create quite an upset with his local villagers.  Apparently while he believed gibbons do not swim, he’d overlooked how they do wade, and in fact did so, deciding to take a pleasant stroll through the village.

We also saw some items pertaining to Queen Victoria, one being a rather solemn black, bejewelled funeral bonnet. The other was far more romantic. When she was sent a fabric print to agree to for Balmoral, Vicky added the silhouette of herself gazing across the printed forget-me-nots towards a silhouette of Albert. When the example was returned, these were incorporated into the print run, and yes, there they were, feint, but there.

We left in glorious sunshine, all keen to return. Let’s hope we do.


Time to say farewell – photo mine




Might have cheated here a bit, this was written on the bus and needed a bit more than 15 minutes.









Fifteen minutes – day off, reading a book written in the 80s, peep-hole coffee and sippy-cups

Funny when you read a book that was written in the 80s. Funny because even when the plot is crime, the old DCI never reverts to social media, mobile phones or carries a coffee in a disposable cup to slurp during moments of deep thought or general out for a walk.

And yet the crime is solved, life was not splattered over the globe and coffee was enjoyed from a reusable mug, namely a chunky china/porcelain or other washable substance, while sitting at home or at a desk.

I know I’ve pondered this before, but what is it with carrying coffee around? I don’t get the enjoyment of slurping my frothy drink through a peephole in a plastic lid? Actually, just thought how it reminds me of reverting back to toddler-hood and using a sippy-cup!


Day off today. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. What to do? Well, lunch with my mate, which is going to be great, because she makes me laugh and has shown me how to communicate far my easily when things are not quite right at work. Never easy to do that. The approach being, go in positive, say what needs to be said, and have a solution to offer. Sure, things may not be sorted exactly, however, they have been aired and bedded in the mind of the person who was made to listen.  And more importantly, there will be no or at least limited internal festering within my gut.




Purpose of this blog should you have fallen upon it:

Having fallen out of love with writing, yet deep down really wanting to, decided the best way was to write whatever comes to mind in 15 mins and then stop


Fifteen minutes – rolling on the floor with a quiche

How did I feel about work today, and what to eat this evening? Were we to have baby potatoes or chips with our Salmon and Broccoli quiche, the hubster asked.

I looked him directly in the eye and said. “After the day I’ve had I’m quite happy to throw the quiche on the floor and roll in it.”


photo borrowed from here

The quiche was far too tasty to waste, and instead, I went about ridding myself of pent-up frustration by running on the spot while watching the men’s 200m sprint at the European championships in Berlin, followed by a few swimming strokes while flat on my stomach on the carpet. Next, the ironing was completed and even the tea-towels were ironed to perfection.




Purpose of this blog should you have fallen upon it:

Having fallen out of love with writing, yet deep down really wanting to, decided the best way was to write whatever comes to mind in 15 mins and then stop



Outrageous – Local District Nurse attacked

I’m at a loss for words. Received this message from a colleague at the local GP surgery where I used to work. For the love of all good, what and why would anybody do this to a person who gives of themselves to help anybody put on this planet – or for that matter anybody in general.

This lovely lady would no doubt have been in full uniform and highly likely on her way to assist a sick person.

I say the attacker was cowardly and a $@%%$%$%$%$%$%*&^*%^!@!

#NHS #WhiteVan #attack #crime

Our district nurse has just reported an awful incident. She was driving up S Lane on Friday and pulled over to let a oncoming white van pass. The driver proceeded to squirt a liquid at her through her open window. It was some type of cleaning fluid. The matter has been reported to the police. Please be aware.

calls to the surgery

Part of my life is taken up working at the local GP surgery. You hear many things there, some of which you wish you hadn’t heard, but these two recent calls left me speechless, if only because of the absurdness

I can’t come to my appointment today because I’m not feeling very well

What the heck were you coming for then? A casual chat over a cuppa and iced bun? Book a holiday?


(Photo: http://www.ipvs.net.au/montserrat-day-hospitals-save-thousands-in-call-costs-during-period-of-rapid-expansion/)

I cancelled my appointment because it was about to thunder

Was the thunder going to make you worse, better, scare the living daylights out of you? Or is it simply you loose the use of your legs?


What’s your best excuse for not going to your GP appointment?





Best advice when looking for a job, screw the advice

giphy (1)

Having done a spot of job hunting of recent, and having had no reason to put together a CV for well over 20 years, I set about seeking advice hoping to get it right first time.

Well. To be frank. All the advice given, Googled or otherwise gained was mostly a load of old rubbish. And why? Because all the advice given is by currently employed people with no reason or intention of keeping a CV up to date, probably ever. And to be completely blunt, my advice to them is to MOVE AWAY FROM THE ADVICE COUNTER SO FAST YOU LEAVE A DUST STORM THAT REMAINS PERFECTLY CLEAR IN OUTER SPACE AND BEYOND.

Take the advice regarding ageism – there’s a lot out there. I’m early fifties, and the advice given is: you don’t have to add your age, you don’t have to add the years worked at any given job, and you don’t need to add when you graduated from school/university/college. Oh really? Well have you attempted to complete an online application lately? Because practically every job you apply for these days requires mandatory data input of namely birthday/age, years at job etc etc. IF YOU DON’T ADD IT IN, YOU CAN’T GET PAST THAT SCREEN, AS IN, YOU ARE STUCK AND APPLICATION STATUS = FAILED. Do I hear a suggestion to lie perhaps?

My next favourite – note the sarcasm – is, do not exceed 2 pages. Bullet form key points of each job held. Oh really? Two agencies I used came back to me with, you need to expand big time if you want to get an interview, forget the bullets, give the employer detail and, if you exceed 2 pages so be it. MAKE YOUR MINDS UP PLEASE.

But the thing that really gets my goat going is the request for a lengthy personal statement to include examples of how you can fulfil the duties of this position, and how you would fulfil the personal specifications for said job – they even suggest adding an extra page if need be, meaning, you’d better tell us a lot about yourself or don’t bother applying.  And while yes, I raise my hand and agree a personal statement is valid, the reason my goat gets going is that after compiling anything from the requested 500 to 3000 words, you barely get a reply or feedback or anything that gives any reason to believe your hours of work for this literary piece was even read. HAVE A LITTLE RESPECT. HOW ABOUT YOU TELL ME WHY I’M NOT SUITABLE THEN? YOU DO KNOW I PUT MY HEART INTO THAT PIECE OF WORK, DON’T YOU?

Yes I’m having a bit of rant. Yes I am now employed. And yes I’d love to hear what advice you’ve been given, or have given, which you consider to be good, bad or just plain STOOPID






I love toast, whether it be warm toast with butter and marmalade, beans on toast or gooey melted cheese on toast, even fish paste on toast works for me.  But a  colleague of mine must surely take the biscuit toast when it comes to eating the blooming stuff.

This dear young man – Toast-boy –  can eat a loaf of bread every single day, which, as he is skinnier than a bean sprout, shouldn’t be too much of a problem or be any of my business.  But as he eats from the free supply of bread for all staff members, he is starting to attract attention.  And to be honest, if he continues he might find himself being decked with a stale loaf by a disgruntled and hungry colleague.

 A couple of times I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the bread board with him, and I have to say I find myself speechless as he piles slices on his plate before smearing them with umpteen different toppings.  He’s not fussy about the bread he likes either, brown, white, seed, healthy muesli, nope he is a man of variety.  Clearly he likes to pace himself, and hits the bread bin roughly three times a day, and always at the same time.  At one stage I wondered if he packed it all up and took it home for the family, but no, that can’t be possible as  he devours half of it as he makes his way back to his desk – no doubt his metabolism working ninety-to-the-dozen.

It’s become so amusing and well known now, that last week when we had our official cake break, sponsored by the office that is,  you could see all eyes glued to Toast-boy as he hit the table, piling up his plate.  I didn’t see this, but apparently he helped himself to two bags of olives, as well as a tower of other savouries.  Oh-my what a joy he is to watch

This morning as, I spread my peanut butter, I thought I’d break the ice and have a chat with him, but we only got as far as his drinking habits of hot water and honey before it started to seem pretty obvious that I was snooping. 

P, our kitchen dictator has her beady eye on him, and while she has had a bit of a giggle so far, I can feel she will not be able to stop herself from blasting him into the stratosphere shortly, as she does with the rest of us when leaving a humble crumb on the kitchen counter.

It will be a case of, is it a bird, is it a plane, err no, it’s orbiting Toast-boy, peanut butter pot attached to his bum…