Woeful Weeks and other words starting with W.

Hello again.  I am back.

Apologies for my absence over the past week….what do you mean you hadn’t noticed???  In the great scheme of things, me missing a blog one week isn’t even a pimple on the arse end of the universe, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put fingers to keys last Sunday.  Why??  Well, I knew at that point that I was in for an awful, awful week at work, and my head and heart weren’t on anything else.

I already knew at that point that on Tuesday we were to deliver some horrible news to many folks at work, which would lead to them all having to find jobs elsewhere.  I too am affected, being officially “at risk”, but I have a role I have been invited to “apply for”, and so I know we will have funds coming in for the forseeable, albeit at a reduced rate than we are used to.  As I always say, I don’t do work stuff on here, so I’ll not continue the story.  I will say that the sheer horror of last week isn’t something I can capture here, or some of the very, very dark places it took me.  Thankfully it is behind me now, and I suppose next week can only be better, if only by small degrees.  I suppose you know when real life stuff gets tough, as my nonsense via Twitter and Facebook stop!!

I’ve been through this a few times before at my old place, but being a much bigger outfit, it felt very much like I was “processing” folks as I just didn’t know them that well.  I know that is awful, but simply true.  This time, the company is much smaller, and it is all very raw.

So as you can imagine, these events have pretty much dominated our lives for the last week or two, so I haven’t got much else to report.  However, we’ve been photographing more doors today, and we’ve been walking Oli some more.  Last weekend, we took him out around the Jumbles Reservoir, and half way round we gave him a go off the lead for the first time ever.   I had my young and athletic frame poised to chase the little bugger the three miles home.  Thankfully, for my wobbly bit’s sake, he was brill.

He just trotted alongside us, never ventured out of sight, and acted like he’d been doing exactly this for years.  Unless you are one of our three cats then he is pretty much the ideal dog.  As far as the cats go, well he is pretty much making their lives a misery!!  He does just want to be friendly, but as he is now three times the size of them, I can see how he could appear a little intimidating!!

It is good fun to watch anyway!!

Harry Styles
A fine dicky

In other news, it would appear that my obsessive nature is pretty much passed down a generation to Emily.  As you may have noticed, once I get an interest in something, I tend to fixate on it.  Hence over a decade of Disney obsession and trip reports.  Emily tends to do a similar thing with bands.  Usually it is some black clothed loons called Death Rot and Garbage, but right now, she is absolutely engrossed in One Direction!!  Reconcile that with the fact that her usual taste is My Chemical Romance, Asking Alexandra, Panic at the Disco and Paramore, with the odd brush with screamo crap along the lines of Bring Me The Horizon.

With hormones a raging, if Harry Styles were to be locked in a room with Emily I fear for his safety.  He happens to be a member of said One Direction.  Ah the follies of youth.  Imagine my fixation with Disney and multiply it by a hundred.  I figure that her obsession will burn a much shorter life than my Disney thing,  as that is here to stay, but I’ll hazard a guess it will cost her a lot less money!!

So next week is looking full of trying to help those affected find a job.  I did quite a bit of this last week too, and thankfully many are well on the way to something else.  Having recruited most of them, and worked with all of them for some time, calling up anyone I know who might be able to help, and getting agencies in to talk with them is easy to do, and pretty much the least I could do.  When I’m not doing that, I’m doing a fair bit of job searching myself, as I would be silly not to!!  Who knows now when the reaper will come calling for me!  I’ve got a pretty good idea when actually!

In addition to all of that, I’m also tasked with working out how we continue to do what we do today without all these folks being around!!  I think the term for that is insult to injury!!

So I’m very aware this week’s post is a bit “woe is me”, so I’m sorry about that.  No doubt as the days go on, and my head continues to wrap itself around all this, I’ll be back on form in terms of moany tweets, and sarcastic facebook updates.  You have been warned.

As they say, there is always someone worse off than yourself, and I’m absolutely sure that is the case, as I’m working with some of them at the moment.  As concerned as I am for our own fortunes, I have to tell myself it could have been a damn sight worse, and take the chance to proactively get a plan in place just in case this is going to be a death by a thousand cuts!

Right, enough of this stuff, it is what it is.  I shall rev my sarcasm and pithiness back up to ten, and perhaps watch the X factor later so I can tweet myself back to form.  I always feel better after being sarcastic and nasty about people who will never know or care about my opinion!!

Till the next time……

I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll photograph your door!

How’s your Sunday been?  I have spent mine taking photos of doors.  No, worse than that, I have spent mine watching someone take photos of doors!!

I’ve been driving Emily around trying to find her interesting doors to take photos off.  This isn’t some sort of Jim Morrison pilgrimage, no, it is for her Photography course.  Her first project is on the subject of doors.  You would not imagine the numerous ways, angles, scenarios and locations in which one can photograph a door.  I do.

I have had to explain several times to worried looking residents/park keepers/pub owners that we are not casing the joint in any way.  We are not some sort of Kick Ass style father and daughter crime team.  Instead, I have a daughter lucky enough to be able to study something she likes.

Anyway, here are a couple of my favourites.  I have no idea if they are any good from a technical point of view, but I like them.

Emily door 1

Emily Project 2

There are 136 others that I shall not share!!  By the way, both of those were taken at the local church were Louise and I were married!  Cute innit?  It was a new build back then.

Emily’s interest in photography is going to cost me, literally.  She feels she now needs to progress onto to a “proper camera” and get an SLR, rather than the bridge she has right now.  That’s her Christmas sorted out then.

For those of a photographic bent, she is probably going to get a Nikon D3000.  I’ve spent most of this week consulting with my vast army of photographic expert friends….both of them!!  The chances of me blowing one of my xmas gifts on something for school back in the day would have been nil.  This is mainly as I took History, Economics and English Lit!!  These new fandangled subjects!!

Rebecca is much more traditional in her giftage.  Yep, quite predictable really.  Just an iPhone 4S please Dad!!  Nice.

Oli’s growth continues in Digby style progress.  He doesn’t like going for baths, as evidenced by the look in his eyes here, which says, just wait until I’m bigger than you!!

Oli after bath
Revenge shall be mine!!

He really has become part of the family now.  I shall take a chance and declare him fully house trained!!  He has been for a good few weeks now, but the real proof was that we woke on Friday morning to find him lay at the side of our bed fast asleep.  Some idiot had left one of his cage doors open (dunno who that might have been!!) and he had at some point in the night wandered out and settled down in our bedroom.

Not one piddle or poop was had until we got up and let him out the back door.  He shall be allowed to stay after all.

Later tonight, the reality TV trilogy is complete with the arrival of the Jungle thing.  With Strictly, X Shambles and I’m a Celeb, there shall not be one inch of TV between now and Christmas without some celeb gyrating or eating something unmentionable or a celeb wannabe making something their own.  As you may have noticed, my tolerance for X Factor is very low, but now I am officially middle-aged I can tolerate Strictly most weeks, and, not that I will have a choice, but I can watch most of the Jungle stuff without poking my eyes out with a rusty fork.

I already know who we shall be supporting.  In our house it goes off who is “fit” and therefore Emily has declared that the Williams household shall be team Poynter.  For those who don’t know (yet) who he is, he plays bass in McFly.  It would seem that McFly have decided to embrace reality TV in a big way whilst still actually in the middle of their careers rather than after them.

Without getting too analytical about this (I don’t wish to appear sad!) but this is quite astute really.  As they mature, and leave behind some of the tweens they built their careers on, they now need to establish a wider fan base, who will buy their albums for the next ten years or so.  You may not remember that Danny off of McFly did the Popstar to Opera Star thing, Harry is currently in Strictly having to dance with that ugly bird with the bright coloured hair(!!), and now Dougie does the Jungle.

At the risk of extending this image of being a sad git, I quite like McFly.  They write some “proper songs” with  melodies and choruses, like in the good old days.  We are almost related too, as Danny’s Mum & Dad live around the corner from Louise’s Mum!!  I’m not one to name drop of course.  See, I can be in touch with the kid’s music in some instances.  However, in other instances, I can only shake my head at the ludicrous nature of the music industry, as evidenced best by the mere existence of Professor Green and his comedy rap accent.  He’s like a character off a comedy sketch show!!

As someone once said, Pop will eat itself.

Till the Next Time……

A party, and people looking at a pair of puppies.

So as I come to fill another blank post with nonsense, I am on the couch, with Emily sat three feet from the TV, watching Peter Pan for the gabillionth time.  Her crush on the actor playing Peter is beyond measure.  The fact that he’s now 37, bald, and sixteen stone is something that I will keep from her for a little longer.

peter pan
and she hates Wendy!

I think that watching the same thing over and over is something that the generation younger than me have perfected.  It is only in the last ten to fifteen years that it has seemingly become acceptable to watch the same things again and again.  I suppose with advent of 24 hour TV and hundreds of channels, there would never be enough content to fill them all with unique stuff.  I admit to watching the odd episode of Champion the Wonder Horse more than once in my youth, but really, my girls have seen some films literally dozens of times, and still seem  happy to sit through them again.

It all started with Barney for us.  Every breakfast time, we were subjected to that overly sweet subject matter, and by the time they were ready to progress onto something slightly more mature, we’d seen every episode a good twenty times each.  As for episodes of stuff like The Suite Life of Hannah McGuire or whatever gets played on the Disney Channel, well, there are several episodes of those that I know all the words to.

We’ve just sat through most of Open Season, and all of the Grinch, as it seems today has been a relative day of rest following a very busy Saturday, and last few weeks.  This is because yesterday we hosted the party for Louise’s Mum’s 80th.  This involved over 40 folk cramming into our house for several hours.  It also involved about three weeks solid prep, and about six hours of the hardest work I’ve done in a while.  Constantly topping up everyone’s glass, warming and serving food, all whilst navigating a house made for four not forty is bloody hard work!

Mary's 80th party
See if you can spot me...

It all went very well to be honest, and the birthday girl was delighted.  All the guests seemed to enjoy themselves, and we kicked the last ones out (politely) at around 8pm, having opened the doors just after 1pm.  We were absolutely shattered!!

As you can imagine, this morning consisted of much tidying of all varieties.  We escaped with a small amount of collateral damage to the house it seems, and I’ll be ready to do it all again in another 80 years or so.

Today then, having reconstructed the house, returned the glasses we hired, and undertaken the big shop, the day has been quite restful.  This afternoon we went to a local park with Oli, and met up with my brother and his family, so that Oli could meet his cousin, Baxter.  He is a couple of weeks younger than Oli, and if Oli had a pocket, Baxter would quite easily fit inside it.

Still, they seemed to get on OK, after an initial bit of timidness on both sides.  Oli is a big softie, and when out for walks will sit down and wait for a car to pass as he isn’t keen on the noise.  This can make walks last about two weeks each.

Anyway, he doesn’t mind actually riding in a car, and here is about to set off for the park.  Ignore my hand showing at the top of the pic, I was trying to block out the low winter sun which was coming in right down the camera.

Oli at car
Mondeo Mutt

Once we got to the park, this is the calm, sedate way in which Oli and Baxter introduced themselves!!

With two little cuties with us, our walk around the park was constantly interrupted with folks wanting to have a look at the puppies and have a stroke.  Louise, and my sister-in-law Paula got very bored and quite chilly, and so declined most requests!!

So with my thanks to Ronnie Corbett for that last gag, I shall leave you again.  Frankly, I’m just too knackered to keep pressing these keys all the way down.  Luckily, work swings around again tomorrow, so that will make everything alright again.

Till the next time…..