Ballet and unexpected surprises.

I’m not a girly girl (at all), make-up, shopping and fashion are not my idea of fun in any shape or form. But put me in a theatre with ballet and I suddenly become ‘a girl’

I can’t really explain it, I never did ballet as a child or even saw one. I enjoy the gracefulness of it all and the story-telling without words only music and movement.

Last month I went to see Giselle, a new one for me. It was beautiful, and some of the music I recognised, which was surprising not knowing this ballet. It’s a very romantic, love story and didn’t seem as long as other ballet’s I have seen, however they do say time flies when you’re having fun.

Then we noticed Matthew Bourne was touring with his production of ‘The Red Shoes’ later in the year and this was one that we couldn’t miss. Matthew Bourne’s choreography is spectacular, quirky and always worth watching. His ‘Swan Lake’ with an all male cast is amazing. The morning the tickets went on sale we were on the phone and booked them immediately.

A few days later we noticed an advert on another theatre in Liverpool.

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Again we booked and got front row seats for opening night.

It’s was the craziest busy day and with a bus that never turned up we nearly didn’t make it at all, but I’m glad we did. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen, not just ballet but in general. It was superbly danced and acted. It was funny and sad (yes we laughed loudly). It is a walk-through of the pieces that have shaped his career and his life. Of artists that have impacted him through music or dance.

It wasn’t the longest ballet, each ‘act’ was around 40 minutes and we had two intervals but it was one of the best I’ve seen.

At the end as everyone was preparing to leave an announcement was made that a short question and answer session would follow with Matthew Bourne himself. That alone was worth the money we paid. He was a genuine, down-to-earth person. He refuses to be called Sir, even though he was knighted in 2016.

He explained how and why he’d put these pieces together and answered several audience questions about where his ideas came from, his inspiration and idols. He even gave some hints about his future plans and it would appear that we will be seeing more Matthew Bourne productions later this year and next, and thankfully they all seem to come through Liverpool.

So the future is looking good ……

100 posts and counting …

My last post was also my 100th post, so many things have changed since that first one, even blogging has changed for me. At the start it was new and scary, but a few posts in and I was enjoying doing things, looking for reasons to write.

Then life changed, in many ways and my world became tiny, distanced from friends, no routine. Lonely, boring and not blog worthy.

I’ve been thinking about a few dilemmas over the last few days. So here’s where you might be able to help me. As a single parent, making decisions can be terrifying, so having people around to discuss ideas, suggestions and recommendations is always helpful.

The current dilemma – to get my son his own mobile phone or not ? He’s starting secondary school soon. Here are my thoughts …

Around half of the kids in his class already have one, including some that he wants to keep contact with when he leaves for secondary school. I understand the pressure to be the same, keep up but it worries me. Is he old enough for the responsibility of a phone and internet access. I trust that he will tell me of any issues, and we’ve discussed rules. He already talks to me about any issues he has, so will it make that bond stronger or push him away ?

Getting one now will give him time to get used to using it with kids he is comfortable around before he moves to his new school. Also they could be a good support when he moves if he needs it.

So what do you think ? Any advice, guidance will be appreciated.

Thank you my friends for being around and the support you’ve given me, here’s to the next 100 posts….

Job hunting continues….

This week has made me a little bit angry and just a tad disheartened. After spending hours completing application forms I had an interview on Monday.

The usual questions,  everything went well and at the end the standard question, do you have anything you wish to ask ?

I asked a couple of questions to clarify a few things and finished with ‘when will you make a decision and are you informing both successful and unsuccessful’ – the answer was by close of business tomorrow (Tuesday) and yes, we will notify either way.

So I waited, and waited and guess what….. nothing. Yes, nothing.

Well not from them anyway, I did get two separate emails from other companies thanking me for my application but ‘after an internal audit they were no longer recruiting’ Why didn’t they do this beforehand and not waste everyone’s time. One of the applications took around two hours, the other about an hour and half.

I should be grateful really, at least with these I had a response, around 90% of the applications I send get nothing, not even an automated thank you we’ll be in touch.

Please, all I ask is if you are recruiting then take a little time to check beforehand that you actually have a vacancy to fill, and an automated message at least gives reassurance that someone is on the other end and possibly even interested.

Employers expect honesty from applicants, but it needs to work both ways. I might be unemployed but I spend around 8 hours sitting at my computer filling in forms, my time is as precious as anyone else’s.

Sorry for the rant x

The A-Z of me

  1. A – Age – 44
  2. B – Biggest fear – something happening to my son
  3. C – Current time – 10.48
  4. D – Drink you last had – Tea
  5. E – Easiest person to talk to – It was Phil, and possibly still is, as I talk to him everyday.
  6. F – Favourite song – I don’t really have one, I’m not a huge music person, I listen to the radio and enjoy a variety of songs, but never know who the artist is.
  7. G – Ghosts, are they real ? I do believe in ghosts, but not in a spooky sense.
  8. H – Hometown – Liverpool is my hometown, where I was born and bred.
  9. I – In love with – Oscar
  10. J – Jealous of – I’m not jealous of people generally as the richest people are often the ones with the least. Someone always has more than you, but someone always has less,so enjoy what you have and not what you wish you had.
  11. K – Killed someone – not that I’m aware, but my cooking can be a bit hit or miss !
  12. L – Last time you cried – I’m always crying, everything sets me off.
  13. M – Middle name – Louise
  14. N – Number of siblings – 3 blood siblings but many more non-blood siblings.
  15. O – One wish – For peace around the world and all children to live without fear.
  16. P – Person you last called – Home, to tell them the brake light wasn’t working on their car.
  17. Q – Question you’re always asked – ‘whose picking me up from school?’
  18. R – Reason to smile – My nutty family
  19. S – Song you last sang – Brown eyed girl – Van Morrison – it was on the radio whilst I was writing this.
  20. T – Time you woke up – 6.55 a.m.
  21. U – Underwear you’re wearing – Bridget Jones underwear, sod pretty, I’d rather be comfortable.
  22.  V – Vacation destination – nothing planned as yet, once again it’s finance based so probably not abroad. If we win the lottery then it would be India, Italy or Canada depending on the time of year.
  23. W – Worst habit – overthinking, and worrying about things that might never happen.
  24. X – X-rays – I can’t remember having any myself although I’ve been with both my brother and son when they’ve had them.
  25. Y – Your favourite food – I’m not overly fussy but love spicy tasty food, I don’t like plain, bland food especially mashed potato.
  26. Z – Zodiac sign – Sagittarius

So that’s me summed up in 26 easy steps. What about you ?

 

The Christmas tag

I saw the Christmas tag as on Bookfandom1001 blog and thought I’d join in.

  • When do you put our Christmas tree up ? Take it down ?

We put it all up yesterday, 4th but it can be as late as a week before, and usually take it down around the 2/3rd of January.

  • What is your tree topper ?

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She looks a little scary but she’s a good angel, she belonged to my nan and has celebrated more Christmas’ than I have.

  • Is your tree real or synthetic ?

We have had real tree’s in the past but for the last 10 (or so) years we’ve had artificial ones as they are easier and although the initial cost is expensive, they’ve saved money in the long term.

  • Favourite Christmas scent ?

I love the cinnamon spice and mince pie smells of Christmas. A warm mince pie at any time of year reminds me of Christmas.

  • Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer ?

Dasher, Dancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Rudolph, I’ve missed one but can’t remember it !

  • When did you stop believing ?

I don’t remember stopping but since becoming a parent the magic is still there.

  • White or Coloured lights ?

We have white lights on most of the trees, but Oscar has coloured lights on the tree in his bedroom.

  • When do you open presents ?

Christmas day morning, when everyone is awake and downstairs.

  • Have you ever had a white Christmas ?

Yes, the best one was a Christmas day at my Aunties house in Yorkshire, tons of snow and a power cut. We cooked chops on a grill rack over the open fire.

  • Are your wrapping skills Pintrest worthy or ‘Lets use a gift bag’ worthy ?

I’m a pretty good wrapper as long as I have time and allowed to get on with it without interference. I don’t go overboard though and I’m not into ‘trendy’ expensive paper, kids don’t care what the paper looks like, and it all ends up in shreds in the bin.

  • All time favourite Christmas song ?

Christmas songs should all be banned before the 1st December, my favourite is Fairytale of New York, The Pogues and Kirsty McColl.

  • Have you ever made a snowman ?

Yes, many times. The last one was a few years ago now though. I’m not sure it’ll get cold enough for snow this year.

I’m not going to tag anyone, as everyone is busy at this time of year, but feel free to participate if you wish.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you all.

 

 

Q is for …

Questions. The joy of being a parent means the never-ending questions, why, how, where, when, do I have too ?

Google is my best friend for the bizarre and wacky questions that Oscar randomly (on a daily basis) comes up with. As my mum said a few days ago ‘who wired his brain up ?’ but his randomness is what makes life interesting.

Ask a question and it will be answered (within reason)

Weekly round up #2

Monday was a stressful day, my first visit to the job centre with all the horror stories (and Jeremy Kyle) I wasn’t looking forward to it. The place itself wasn’t too bad but the ‘job coach’ wasn’t exactly friendly, helpful or welcoming. Anyway, after an hour ‘being told’ what I had to do I left with more questions than answers and generally feeling a little low. A quick look online and I found a couple of jobs which appealed so the application form filling began.

Tuesday, I felt much better about things and decided to forget the ‘job coach’ (even if they were emailing me a million unsuitable jobs every day) and sort myself out. So armed with notebook and laptop I spent the day CV writing, and form filling. I felt much better.

Wednesday and it was back to the job centre and the dreaded ‘job coach’ this time it was a better experience, I met one of the girls I worked with, so had a lovely and much needed hug, plus one of the staff there used to work in our building so had a catch up and laugh. All this seemed to turn ‘job coach’ into a human and a much more pleasant person.

Thursday was a day off from job hunting, I went to Liverpool to wedding plan with my brother and his fiance (and several others from both families). It was a lovely morning, the wedding coordinator is wonderful and very organised. She answered all our questions and had suggestions for things we hadn’t thought of. The families are doing a lot of it ourselves, personal touch means so much more than shop bought. Lunch was gorgeous and it was the last day the sun shone. I also bought a few special gifts for our ‘favourite’ teacher.

Friday was another day of job searches and form filling, I’ve decided I’m only applying for jobs I want or like. I don’t think the job coach will be happy but tough. The Euro 2016 football started, I love international football, and we sat down and watched, made bets and guessed scores. We’re all supporting different teams for a multitude of reasons so it’s making it much more interesting.  Oscar got the France scoreline correct.

Saturday was a busy one, Oscar had Tae Kwon-do grading for a new belt first thing in the morning, then we had a trip to the cinema to see angry birds, the music is ok but the film was dire, made worse by lots of little uncontrolled children running around the place. Then home for more football, Wales (Gareth Bale) for Oscar and another correct scoreline, then the England match, as usual they played well but still couldn’t win.

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Sunday was a rainy day, so finished homework and then had a minecraft session. We dipped in and out the football today but never settled to watch for long.

I have to share this week’s highlight, sorting Oscar’s school bag on Thursday and noticed he’d (very badly) ‘forged’ my signature in his reading book, when I asked him about it his reply was ‘it’s ok I told the teacher you’d been drinking’ – I don’t even drink  !