Friday, September 06, 2013

Working Dream



I think I might resurrect the blog, but make it a bit more focussed than previousy. I learned the hard way that you can't use a public blog to let off steam about yer work colleagues, and the world doesn't need the likes of me to post random links to interesting stuff anymore. Everyone knows how to find stuff now.

Here's the rationale: 18 months ago I experienced a dramatic cardiac event, which necessitated a bit of a lifestyle reappraisal. Sad to report, reappraising a lifestyle is one thing; acting on the reappraisal quite another: I'm still the same fat bastard that found himself being whisked off in ambulance in such a humiliating fashion. I have tried, a bit. I am much more diligent with the medication than I was and the blood pressure and cholestrol level is way down, and I eat less through the week and I make sure a I go on walk of at least 45 minutes every day and I go on the occasional bike ride. The bikes gears are knackered and according to the local repair man, not worth repairing, so that isn't much fun in such a hilly environment, but I try, occasionally.

You may ask, why don't you get a new bike? I might reply, because I'm fucking skint! Which brings me to the point of this newish blog. When I returned to work, I was grumpy and miserable. You think to yourself, I'm not going to accept as much pressure as before, not going to eat quite as much shit, and your managers and human remains departments all tell you that you must look after yourself, before piling as much shit on your poor, decrepit bonce and down yer lily livered throat they did before.

They pile more shit than before on your head, and warn you "not to play the heart card" Then they say, "work is stressful, and it's going to get more stressful, and we are not in a position to protect you, so you better be able to man up…….you said you were fit for work, so you better had be"

Frankly, I was feeling sorry for myself. I was burned out. I was lacking in enthusiasm. I couldn't be arsed. A major crisis would hit and I would think, "here we go again same old shit" I was no fucking use to anyone.

So I changed jobs. Still a social worker, of sorts, and, in some senses I have more responsibility than before, but not as far to travel, no management or supervisory responsibilities, no huge caseload, but, a huge fucking pay cut of about 400 quid a month. Was it worth it? Who knows, time will tell. So far, it seems worth it……..the little team I joined is ace and despite spending all day every day up to our arses in other peoples pain and misery, we spend most of the day laughing our heads off. For the first time in years, I can say that I love my job. Might just be a honeymoon period though. Also, love might be overstating the case, a little. And the pay cut hurts, a lot.

So, I have to economise. This is difficult, as I was hardly flush to start with. A few years ago there was a spate of articles on high flyers downsizing. I would chuckle as I saw that they were tending to downsize to a lifestyle and income I could only dream of. I've always been mindful of the cost of good grub, and tried to buy and cook stuff I could get several meals out of. It isn't difficult, if you have the time and patience……..and there's the rub, time and patience: I have little of either.

The prompt for all this bullshit is the increase in celebrity chefs telling us how to economise. There was an Irish bloke on the telly the other week, a big, bluff, jovial bloke, forever on Saturday Kitchen. His task was to shop and cook for a family on their weekly benefit income. He couldn't do it, he blew the budget on a  whole salmon, saying they could make it last a week, the fecking eejit, Then last week there was the Jamie Oliver hullabaloo. I like Jamie, but he can be a dope.

So they have vexed me. They are full of good heart and good intentions but they have vexed me. I propose to change the tack of this blog. There will still be a bit of the usual bollocks, the odd link, the odd book and record recommendation, the odd diatribe against the bastard tories, but the focus is going to be on food, good cheap, everyday food and how to stretch it out…….food that can be bought in a supermarket in a small, nondescript Welsh town: a town that has no decent butcher, no decent bakery, no kind of delicatessen at all.

I got Jamies new book out of the library yesterday.How's that for saving money? I have already tried 2 recipes, one worked, one didn't. I'll be using it all weekend and all next week and posting my thoughts. I bet you can't wait.

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