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The castanets, the chicken and the coach!

Today I had career coaching. I learnt I’m a secret castanet player with a love of coconuts and crap music. This was a transformative experience and one that will definitely enrich my CV and career prospects!

I set out in the morning, arrived early and grabbed a coffee and a danish. An overzealous lift of the plate saw my pastry shoot off onto the sofa next to me.

I made my way to my meeting and waited in reception (bit too long if I’m honest) and watched as the receptionist was as unhelpful as she could be to every visitor, basically dishing out ‘fuck this shit’ looks to everyone who inconvenienced her.

The lady I was meeting came down to collect me. I got off the low sofa and stepped forward to shake her hand and say hello. At which point the heal of my shoe got wedged under the sofa and as I moved forward my foot came completely free of it! There was a point where we both knew I was only continuing to hold her hand to steady myself back into my footwear!

Here’s how the career coaching conversation panned out and what I could have said that was more congruent!

Coach: ‘The purpose of today is to find out who you are’. My thought: Shit…really. We already know I can’t wear my shoes properly. What-else is there to know? What I said: ‘Great’.

Coach: ‘It’s an opportunity to ask any life questions you have in a safe environment’. My thought:  I don’t really have any life questions since I had it validated that chickens do actually eat mice as I’d suspected. What I said: ‘Perfect’.

Coach: ‘Let’s get to know you, what’s your story?’ My thought: Have I got one, shit I don’t know. Can’t you just read my blog. I like animals…like a lot… I trap, neuter and release feral cats. I’m part of a local badger club. What I said: ‘Great’.

Coach: ‘What do you like doing?’ My thought: Stroking the cat’s snout gently while she’s sleeping and trying to follow her or my boy cat when they are out and about to see where they go and how long before they notice me. What I said: ‘Leading high-performing teams and driving organisational effectiveness’.

Coach: What would you do if you could?’ My thought: Wake, drink Presecco in bed upon immediately opening my eyes and stay in my dog pyjamas all day. What I said: ‘I want to get back working in a commercial, fast paced dynamic organisation’.

Coach: ‘What get’s you all fired up?’ My thought: Singing the Spanish bits to Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and pretending to snap castanets. Animals and coconuts. What I said: ‘Working in a progressive organisation and delivering value to the business’.

Coach: ‘When are you at your best?’ My thought: Dancing to Chain Reaction, Reet Petite or sniffing coffee now I can temporarily smell. What I said: Developing and leading high performing teams in a global, matrix organisation where I have full autonomy and can be an authentic leader.

Coach: ‘What do you fear?’ My thought: Bumping into someone I’ve de-friended. Running out of tigers. That dream I had where Hitler was looking for me, wanting me to be his secretary and I was hiding in a green wheelie bin.

Coach: ‘Have you thought about setting up on your own and any business ideas’? My thought: Should I tell her about ‘Letter blox’, my idea to revolutionise the humble letter box so it doesn’t accept junk mail…no…my nephew Dean, let’s call him that because that’s er, well, his name, told me never to verbalise it to anyone because ‘only a twat would’ because it’s a stupid idea. Primarily because it doesn’t work! What I said: ‘Not really’.

That all clear, she told me I basically needed to re-write my CV. At this point it was like being in bed with a dementor from Harry Potter as that bloody thing drains my peace, hope and happiness. A CV is soulless and evil! I would rather unload and re-stack the bloody dishwasher repeatedly and hoover properly even with the pipe than do that again! And the narrative of ‘it needs a bit of work’, did not mirror the amount of notes I took, which concluded, ‘re-write me’.

The only thing I could do to make it bearable was to go and write it right there and then. If I went home, I’d put Judge Rinder on and that would be it, other than trying to dodge the sad donkey day time TV appeal.

So I found a pub. Bit grubby, the sort of place where you just know the baked beans would be darker than they should be, and had a glass of wine and cracked on. My only distraction a bloke eating crisps noisily.

Having done my CV, it was free time. So, after walking around in a bookstore for no apparent reason, I came home.

Quick change of attire and Tony (husband) and I spent time trying to get the perfect picture of Winston (dog’s) bum cheeks that have grown since he has been growing out his fur for a competition. They have grown at such a rate, it’s like watching the speeded up version of what happened to my own arse between 30 and 40!

They are hilarious and we wanted to capture them for our future enjoyment (there’s probably a register for that). He was onto us though, he kept following his butt round in a tight circle following his turkey twizler but never letting us get a picture. Nonetheless we spent a joyous afternoon trying. This is the sort of shit you can do if you get your work-life balance just right! It gives life a real sense of meaning and purpose!

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Trump and the pineapples!

I need a job because I spent too long this week talking to the greengrocer about his views on the Trump administration during the exchange of two pineapples.

A job to me means many things – caring, kids, volunteering, housekeeping, looking after you…

Here’s my fun take on why since being made redundant I need to get a paid job and to learn to love Mondays again and it goes beyond Trump and the pineapples!

Top reasons I need to get a job:

13. I am thinking of following my tortilla wraps on Twitter and facebook.

12. I have far too many selfies with me as a bumble bee.

11. I’ve taken the dog out for so many walks his become lazy, no longer cocking his leg up for a wee but favouring the sit down release method instead.

10. I am showing the same level of excitement as the dog when the doorbell rings. I’ve yet to show the same level of interest in a used toilet roll and socks.

9. I only know what day it is if facebook shares a memory on my timeline.

8. I am showing an unhealthy interest in getting up in the loft and sorting it out, when it’s been treated like David Bowie’s nose for years in that we’ve been shoving all sorts up it.

7.  The only thing I have in my diary is an engagement with the dog to give him his monthly worming tablet.

6. I had a random conversation with a man about the origins of the poodle and his dog Spike, long since departed from this world and who was once chased by a bull in Torquay.

5. I have had long enough to ponder and establish that there is a clear need for agreed branding and regulation relating to the colouring of salt and vinegar and cheese and onion crisps. They should not swap between blue or green depending on brand.

4. I spent too long thinking about why the Argos screens in the collection area have never worked and remain an under-performing system since the mid 80s. I have never successfully once had my number called out to inform me my item has arrived. They are always behind. I just see my item, point to it, get it, secure another small red pencil and leave before my number is even on the flickering screen!

3. I have taken an entire walk with a local dog walker annoyed about the increasing number of poo bags left in our local meadow, and waited with him while he circles them using a yellow spray can to make a point! We also went looking together for the person leaving them in distinctive blue like freezer bags and I was far too engaged in the search.

2. I enjoyed way too much spending time with the dog sitter when collecting our dog Winston, even though Tony (husband) was openly punching me by the time we left to stop me engaging further in conversation. When we had an overly extended and informative discussion on the numbers of nesting woodpeckers spotted nearby, I think he openly sighed. I was just about to go in for my second cuppa because I was interested in learning more about the lesser spotted woodpecker when I got the ‘don’t you dare and shut up chatty mchatty look’ which lasted all the way back to the car.

But at number one, the real reason I need to get a job is…

I just can’t bear to watch the little loaded up donkey with overgrown hoofs on the day time TV fundraising appeal!

Of course there is the obvious concern too about not being potentially made homeless but I have to say the donkeys are worrying me more currently! Little respect for a species that many believe carried Mary safely on her way to Bethlehem. A willing helper who hung about waiting for the kid to be born so he could plod them back to Nazareth and we repay them by loading them up like Buckaroo!

But not working isn’t all bad. I don’t have to worry about spoiler alerts as much, particularly when I still haven’t seen the last Broadchurch, and I am using it as an opportunity to learn new skills, like trying to take the perfect picture of a coconut.

PS – the picture at the top is my Winston (aka fancy snout), helping me work on my blog.

Silliness; LOL; personal blog; funny; funny stories; quirky; humour; humor; wit; happy; cheerful; fun; light-hearted; carefree; upbeat

The real reason Henry the VIII beheaded his wives!

The reason Henry the VIII beheaded his wives was because his bed was too small and this resulted in insufficient sleeping space and major arse collisions during the night with his wives. Let me explain my day yesterday and how it led me to this conclusion…

It was my last day at work due to redundancy. Usually on your last day there’s all that, ‘don’t be a stranger malarkey’ and cakes. But being home-based I finished up, said goodbye to myself, wished myself luck and stroked my co-workers – not in a saucy way, it’s just one of my cats and dog.

Then back to the Dr, and on for a chest X-ray as my asthma has been bad all week and they wanted to check my pneumonia wasn’t back.

It was during the check over with my GP, which involved a quick look in my ears, I learnt that apparently and unusually, I have upward facing ear canals instead of downward facing. Not sure what to do with that information but decided I’d point my Q-tips in a different direction from now on.

Next, I was going to take a leisurely bath and get ready to go out for my leaving do, with my family (bit weird), to a murder mystery dinner where we were also staying over night in a 16th century hotel.

Just before getting ready, my friend texted and we decided to take our dogs for a quick walk. Unfortunately, the little buggers decided to chase each other into water and mud and refused any type of treat to get the hell out! At that point you start walking off saying, ‘bye, see you’, but they don’t give a shit or know. They’re a dog.

Eventually, they get out, and Winston normally cream, looks like Michael Jackson, in that you’re not sure if he’s black or white and his fur is tight curls like Wacko Jacko’s in Thriller. Annoyed, we walked home to lots of hilarious comments from funny strangers, ‘someone’s having a bath’…

So my luxury time to get ready went from 1:30 mins to 18 mins including washing my hair and packing an overnight bag. The rest of my time was spent giving Winston a hose down, a shower and a bath using the last of my blinking bubbles!

Winston is a Cavapoo and has been growing his coat out for a competition. It was like soaping up a polar bear and he has so much fur he floats in the bath like a marshmallow. His fur has got so big he’s actually now got bum cheeks.

Then came the blow drying. To his credit, he did just lay on his back with his paws up and let me do it, enjoying being pampered a bit too much which annoyed me even more.

Winston off to his sitters, then off to the hotel for murder and grub. Oh no, a U turn first, someone, after moaning he had been waiting for me forever, forgot his over night bag!

When we arrived at the hotel Tony (husband) and I were the first to arrive, and I instantly felt myself feel awkward when we met actors walking about in period costume with very theatrical hellos. They’re annoying and completely over the top, I thought. Only to be told by my sister when she arrived, ‘they remind me of you! I could see you doing this’!

Time to take our stuff to our room before the murder starts, leaving me just enough time to fall a third of the way down the narrow staircase and land with a bump on the mat at the bottom, which took off like I was going down a helter skelter.

Seriously, look how narrow the staircase is, how did my arse not provide some anchorage against those walls bearing in mind I had to basically get up it by going sideways! What’s the point of having fat cheeks if you can’t use them as brakes during a fall! Though they did bounce up like airbags upon impact on the mat.

No idea how Henry the VIII and his immense 52inch girth made it up those or any of the other similar sized stairs. Apparently, he and Queen Catherine were frequent visitors to this manor house and according to Google he had an ‘above stairs’ room of some standing.

The murder happened and then we were taken into the grand hall for dinner, to discuss/talk over each other/argue about who had done it and to admire the 16th century architecture when we stopped listening to each other.

We are deep in the heart of Brentwood, the birth place of the TV reality show about people living in Essex, known as, ‘The Only Way is Essex’ in which people are commonly heard to say, ‘Shut up’, every other word. We wondered whether this was Catherine’s response when Henry told her he was going to take off her head…’oh shut up’.

It was a good laugh. We decided who did it, wrote it down and why we concluded that and it was marked by the actors and scored. When it was announced that we came second there was a bit too much air punching.

Back to our room, the bed was comfortable but the smallest I have ever slept in. Tony likened it to sleeping on an ironing board while I resigned myself to the fact he was basically going to be sharing my pillow all night.

I didn’t get much sleep. There was a lot of arse buffing in the night every time one of us shifted. Our butts were like 2 poaching eggs in a rapidly boiling saucepan. Try as you might you can’t keep them apart.

It was at this point I knew Henry the VIII cut off his wives heads just for more bed space. Believe me I was seriously considering doing it to Tony, especially when the snoring kicked in, but there was only a teaspoon available for chopping purposes.

At one point there was an almighty head on arse collision instigated by Tony. The impact nearly booted me right out the bed. It had the force of a tennis ball being whacked in an upward serve by a racket. I wouldn’t mind but his arse is at least 1.5 cheeks smaller. Definitely no arse anchorage for him if he fell down those stairs!

I must have fallen asleep at some point, as I awoke to Tony repeatedly bumping into a wall in the corner of the room like a small child’s toy. I thought I was going to have to get out of bed, pick him up and turn him around and point him in a different direction.

He was up for the loo and scrabbling for the light for far too long, I did think about using that teaspoon! Instead I shouted to go in the bloody dark! Then I’m up for the loo with the same interest in the same wall, bumping about in the dark and also giving up finding the light.

A few more times up for the loo, and eventually some sleep before I was woken up by a loud bang. Not two arses knocking. It was different. I sat bolt upright and expected to see Henry VIII leaning over me gorging on a vast haunch of meat with greasy lips and fat fingers.

Tony in full snore, I rammed my ear plugs in my upward turned ear canals but still couldn’t sleep. I shouldn’t really take it out on my ears, they are good ears. They are only doing what comes natural.

I lay there for ages until Tony, woke with a start and said ‘urgh, what’s it doing, it’s staring at me like a weirdo’. ‘Er, you’re on my pillow’. Ignored, he tells me, ‘I didn’t get any sleep last night, you were snoring’! Whether or not I said it, I thought it, ‘are you f’ing kidding me’!

Then, another repeated request for me to move over, before me actually turning the light on to demonstrate how little room I had, and to re-draw the sleep boundaries onto the mattress with my finger.

I decided to get up, no idea what the time was as my phone was dead, but it was a long night and I felt like it should end. So, I decided to go in the ample bath and use the Jacuzzi jets.

While I was running the bath, I realised the bottle of complementary soap I had used in the dark to wash my hands was actually mouthwash. I thought it was just cheap and thin and I had no way of telling it was minty fresh as I can’t smell!

Revitalised, I went back in the room just as Tony was waking and looking at his phone to check the time. ‘What time is it I asked?’ ‘6:00am’. ‘Jeez, are you kidding me. I must have been in the bath since 5 with those noisy jets on!’ Now, the whole hotel would want to use that teaspoon!