Sunday, 8 May 2011

A post at last - where has 2011 gone?

This is the osteospernum that has come out early with all of the sunshine over the past few days
This is some of my bunting from last year, I am making some Cath Kidston types this year as they sold well at my Spring Fair at Masham.
This is my lovely 50's (?) sewing suitcase it is about 10inches x 6inches and perfect for the job
This is me this week, making bunting on an evening for a stall at Masham Town Hall on Saturday!
Hello to everyone out there in blogland - I have never stopped reading and commenting since my l last post but not written anything myself.
Life has moved on, though the fat is not moving very quickly, I have lost 13 pounds to date, so slowly but surely the body change is taking place.
On Thursday I found out that I was redundant from my job in Economic Development in our County Council. This is a big restructure and cost saving operation. My job has been removed and also my line manager's, though there is higher job added that she could go for ( no different to what my LM and myself do already) but this is also available to those above us to apply for and as the system starts from the top it will go to someone higher and they get pay protection for 2 years so they will be happy to take it.
We have 30 days consultation and then 90 days notice. We are now on redeployment but so are others ( and coming on redeployment daily) and there are very few jobs to go around.
As I am 55 in July the CC has to pay my pension to me now as it stands on the day I leave which they do not like to do so they will try and find me another job which I will have take because if I refuse it I do not qualify for redundancy etc.
I am feeling miserable and though I expected it, it is a horrible feeling that all the work and dedication you have given for over 12 years means nothing. The work is still there but will have to be done by those remaining. I am not alone at the end of the restructure there will about 5 people altogether who will not have a position but at least they will have had the chance to go for a position in our department which I will not. I think most of all I feem embarrassed that they do not want me - though they keep saying its the post not the person. The thing is that post keeps me busy all day for 37 hours per week, so where is all that work going to go?
I am lucky because Alan and I did the 'downsizing' 3 years ago ready for his retirement and paid off the mortgage. My LM has put her house on the market a couple of weeks ago knowing that this would probably happen and she will try to clear hers or at least have a very small one. So I hope she is successful
Part of me is glad to have the opportunity to leave and take my pension, miniscule as it is rather than having it frozen for 11 years (till I am 66) at the same amount. Alan is retiring at the end of June and this could be an opportunity to have a different life but when you have been used to two salaries - not huge but good, we will go to Alan's small pension and mine (mine will cover council tax, gas and electric and nothing more) Will we manage?
I thought we could do more of our vintage and retro fairs ie every weekend as we will have all week to do the things we used to do at the weekends like shopping an housework. I know that you can't buy time and I would like to spend more with Alan as he is 10 years older than me and he is looking forward to doing things with me. We don't take foreign holidays, drink or smoke now so we can't give them up!!
I love my job and myself and my colleagues have all been together for a lot of years. Our work is very interesting and rewarding and we meet and deal with many people outside of the county council so working in a different department doing monotonous work will be difficult.
Alan and I have always fancy doing the housesitting that you see advertised, it would be nice to do something different like that. There are options out there aren't there.
Actually writing all this down had made me think - Hey - this is an opportunity to go and do things with Alan that we could never think of before.
Gosh I hope that people who are redundant and not as lucky as we are ( having no mortgage) will not think me selfish.
I am feeling angry with the authority and those who make the decisions as they have not taken our ideas into account but we never expected them to! I am worried about Norma my LM as she is younger than me and will not benefit from the pension yet, so she needs to find a job as her husband is not able to work because of illness and he will go onto a state pension soon.
I see that Carol at Carol's Kitchen has posted again after her mother died before Xmas, with more sad news, so if you want to pop over and send her your best wishes it would be nice.
I am sure that there are many of you in a worse situation than me in these changing times but when you read of 'cuts' in your local council you can be assured they will not be management that will be losing their jobs they will be the workers at the bottom. Most managers can go off for a month and noone notices but when the lower staff go off for a week people are running rould saying 'how does he/she do this'? - guess that is life and I have to see this as their loss!
My Mum is doing very well and we are all slowly coming to terms with Dad not being there. We have sorted out the loft, shed and garage and done the garden so Mam can sit back a bit now with her memories and not have to worry about where to start.
My brother and son both work at Teesside Power Station which is owned by a French company - they are reducing the number of employees from 98 to 32 as it is cheaper to bring the power under the channel than produce it in the UK. They will find out if they have a chance to apply for a position next week or if they are redundant. Adam has a lovely girlfriend called Emily and they are very good together, they seem very happy with each other and we are slowly getting to know Emily. Vicky is getting on with her life and has had promotion at work which I am pleased about for her, she has also had an Australian holiday so I wonder if she will go over there and work. I only wish her the very best, she was very dear to us.
So lots of changes ahead for not just Alan and I. I have had some lovely finds in the past few months especially in the 'dog on wheels' department.
In the meantime sorry for the rambling blog with only a couple of pictures!!! I hope some of you will leave advice or ideas of what you have done after a change in your life?