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?


Ash said...

Hi there, I kept watching to see if you were going to be around again - now I understand why. So sorry for all you are having to cope with - life just seems to be so awful for so many right now and you wonder how it will all end. Like you I am searching for a way to survive - once my youngest has grown the state is not going to be so obliging so I too am on a short piece of string. I have abandoned my folksy site these last months and wonder if I should push harder at that - but is anyone buying right now? If I find some bright new way to be I'll let you know - till then, very best wishes and lots of luck. :)

MarmaladeRose said...

Gosh where to start! It's as if someone has picked your life up and given it a good shake and put it down again, leaving you to straighten everything up!

To me it sounds like you and Alan have already decided that you would like to spend more time together. Maybe it's time to try a new lifestyle.

What ever you decide I wish you well and hope it's works out. Keep us all informed sweetie.

love Fi x

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

So sorry to hear about all these unwelcome changes going on-I really hope you manage to find a solution that you feel happy with. At least as you say you have paid the mortgage off! Good luck-I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! xx

Fading Grace said...

Hello Catherine, I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles, Life does chuck some stuff at us at times doesn't it.
Keep strong, you never know what is around the corner, although one chapter in your life will be ending, you have the opportunity to begin a new one, you write it yourself and take what life chucks at you with your head held high, we are only here once, hey.....xx All best wishes
would love to meet Stanley's brother!! xx

Jill said...

Sorry to hear about your job, but sometimes things happen which after a while you realise are for the best, and just think of that lovely free time you will have with your husband, enjoying things when everyone else is at work, when places are alot quiter and sometimes cheaper!! Love your picture of you sewing!! Keep smiling! have a lovely weekend.

Hen said...

Hello Catherine,
I'm sorry to hear that you had such awful news about work but I have known quite a few people lose their jobs over the years and you know, it has always turned out to be a positive thing and they've gone on to be much happier and fulfilled.
Thank you so much for the very lovely comment on my blog. Mag due out 6th July so not long to wait, eeek!
Hen xxx

Rosie said...

Hi there - just got your e-mail but I can't reply on it so hope you find this comment. If you come out of the station at Shrewsbury and go up towards the town centre you will find quite a few nice places. The park and riverside walk are interesting and attractive - the park was looked after for years by Percy Thrower - you can see Shrewsbury School on the opposite side of the river. If you walk up past the castle, down St Mary's and Dogpile onto Wyle Cop there are lots of lovely shops in that area also on the High Street - peeriod shops, household shops gift shops selling pretty things and etc. You can go down Wyle Cop and join the river walk near the English Bridge.

vintage mum said...

Hi just noticed your blog on my stats Thanks for the visit.
I hope life is better for you, it seems to be tough for a lot of people in different ways at the moment,blogging has helped me over a few rough times,even now as we wait for my husband to have an op.
Good Luck with your job

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I had to come straight over when I saw your comment. A £3.99 Emma Bridgewater teapot? I am literally green with envy!!

I'm so sorry about everything with your work. My husband was made redundant four years ago, six months after we'd had baby twins. I remember the feeling so, so well. But, and I hope this sounds helpful, rather than patronising, so many good things came out of the situation that we would never have dared to try otherwise. He now runs his own company from home, which has been such a huge blessing with a young family. We'd never have taken the jump to self-employment if we had the security of a permanent position.

Anyway, I hope my ramble provides some reassurance. Yes, it's hideous. But you WILL get through it. If you want an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to shout at who isn't directly involved with your situation, then please feel free to email me.

I'd love to follow your blog....but I can't see your 'follow' gadget.....

This must be the longest comment of all time!!