A medical, a cat, a butterfly and a trip down memory lane – first published 13 March 2014

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Early March 2014 and I’d been offered a job. It wasn’t quite the job I wanted but any port in a storm and all that. There was also the small matter of a medical and some paperwork before the job offer was officially confirmed. The paperwork and a copy of my passport to prove I’m a UK resident is fairly standard these days but the medical was something new. Mostly it seemed to involve a drug and alcohol test, both of which i was sure I’d pass. Then again, as the appointment got nearer I began to wonder… Continue reading A medical, a cat, a butterfly and a trip down memory lane – first published 13 March 2014

Interviews and butterflies – first published 12 March 2014

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Interviews and post interview disappointment had been a regular feature of early 2014. So much so, that I’d become quite blasé about them. In early March I got a call asking me to an interview for a customer service job. To be honest, I didn’t even remember applying for it but it was within easy walking distance and I figured I probably wouldn’t get the job anyway so I went along. Continue reading Interviews and butterflies – first published 12 March 2014

Wet, wet, wet and wondering…? – first published 18 February 2014

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Mid February 2014 and the weather was supposed to be taking a turn for the better so I was more than a little disappointed to wake to more rain. It might not have mattered quite as much if I didn’t have an appointment in town with some paperwork for a job interview and a terrible loathing of paying for buses to places I could easily walk. In the end the whole thing turned into a very frustrating and slightly worrying event that left me feeling as if I’d been scammed. Continue reading Wet, wet, wet and wondering…? – first published 18 February 2014

Red tape and good news – first published 24 January 2014

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Hard as I might try,  the routine wasn’t really happening. Every morning I started with good intentions of getting this or that done but the days seemed to be running away with me. Some days I spent so long searching for a job I could do and hadn’t already applied for the whole morning was gone leating no time for a walk. It was all very well the job centre saying people have to apply for x number of jobs a week but what wawere you supposed to do when the jobs were just not there? It seemed fairly pointless to be applying for jobs as a brain surgeon or nuclear physicist but that appeared to be what they wanted. Continue reading Red tape and good news – first published 24 January 2014

Walking, talking and a seagull melee – first published 16 January 2014

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The beginning of 2014 was all about job hunting for me. In between scouring the job sites for likely work, sending off applications and fretting about the ones I’d already applied for, I walked. Sometimes there were great plans and long walks, other times just wanderings, meandering from place to place thinking and trying to find little things to make me smile. Continue reading Walking, talking and a seagull melee – first published 16 January 2014

Fallen trees and fallen gravestones – first published 14 January 2014

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My visit to the Common in mid January 2014 was mainly to take a look at the fallen trees Commando had told me about. After walking for more than four miles, the only fallen trees I’d seen were old and rotten. Still, it was a lovely day and I’d seen swans on the lake so I wasn’t complaining. Back then my real aim was finding things to make me smile. Continue reading Fallen trees and fallen gravestones – first published 14 January 2014

An icy walk on the Common – first published 14 January 2014

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January 2014 and I was trying to find little things to make me smile each day. It wasn’t easy. Most of the time I felt as if I was teetering on the brink of a black pit of depression after losing my job. Walking featured large in the things to make me smile stakes. Some days there were more things to make me smile than others. Continue reading An icy walk on the Common – first published 14 January 2014

Signing on part two – first published 10 January 2014

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January 2014 and it was time to sign on at the Job Centre for a second time. Even before I’d left the house I was feeling horrible about it. It’s such a demeaning experience I can’t imagine anyone looks forward to it. So I set off on the familiar walk to work route with a feeling of dread. Finally it really felt like winter, a proper cold and frosty morning. On the river path I stopped briefly to take a photograph of a skeletonised leaf on the ground and another couple of the mist over the water. Anything to take my mind of where I was going. Continue reading Signing on part two – first published 10 January 2014

Trying to create some kind of routine – first published 7 January 2014

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The beginning of 2014 seemed like a good time to try to get some semblance of order into my life again. Exercise was high on the agenda.  With a broken  DVD player in the gym Pump it Up had fallen by the wayside. Then I discovered some of the workouts were on YouTube. With a little fiddling and experimenting, I found out I could create a playlist on YouTube too. Who knew that? Ok, probably everyone knew that except me. Continue reading Trying to create some kind of routine – first published 7 January 2014

Signing on – first published 2 January 2013

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2013 was finally over and it was a year I was glad to see the back of. 2014 came in with a bang in Southampton. At midnight we opened the back door to let 2013 out and open the champagne. It was raining. We opened the front door to welcome 2014 in, look at the fireworks and listen to the boats. We didn’t stay out long because the rain started teeming down. As we sat back down in front of the fire there was a flash of lightening and a tremendous clap of thunder and all hell broke loose with the rain. We hoped it wasn’t a sign of things to come, 2013 had been stormy enough thank you very much. Continue reading Signing on – first published 2 January 2013