Monday, July 31, 2006

Word Travels Fast...

Since my sacking a week ago today the numbers of people visiting this blog have rocketed!

Having checked my stats I'm gobsmacked to see I've racked up 47 unique visits in 2 days!


Jenny xx

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Dilemmas And Thankful Words...

I've been presented with series of new dilemmas over the course of the last few days.

The main one being should I still be writing on here at all in light of recent events?

Well as any of you who are on here with any regularity will know, this blog is basically a diary of my day to day life as a Mum and a 32 year old woman. It's how I let those friends I have in far of lands know what's going on with me (hello to South Africa, Oz and USA!) and it's hardly the musings of a literary expert! So I can't see any reason not to continue writing as before.

While I am here a couple of things are in my head that I want to mention....

Firstly, I was at Murrayfield to see my beloved Jambo's last night, cracking result, if a bit dodgy performance wise first half.

And secondly, and more importantly, a big thank you to each and every one of you who have commented on recent events, taken an intrest, offered advice and shown support. Some of you I have met, some of you I don't know from Adam...but thank you all the same.

Jenny xx

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Still Shaking My Head...

I woke up this morning still shaking my head slighty at the madness of yesterday. Still wondering how on earth a meeting being held to address my grievance could turn into the employer sacking me! Still not believing that an employer would be so irritated at being unable to answer questions that he jumped straight into blurting out the words "your services are no longer required" because to all intents and purposes that's exactly what I believe happened.

None of my issues were addressed satisfactorily. It was a clear cut case of we believe what we believe and to be honest they'd have been as well just calling me a liar because it was made perfectly clear they were not prepared to believe my version of events. Basically I was portrayed as a troublemaker. So when I was asked if I had any questions the answer was simple...yes...becuase they hadn't dealt with my grievance at all...they'd simply chosen to believe as gospel the words of another.

So I asked questions....was accused of trying to twist employers words and tie him in knots, was answered with "no comment" on more than one occasion. My questions obviously irritated my employer, who seemed desperate to draw matters to a close, and he just seemed unable to provide pertinent answers to them.

34 minutes or so later and it was all over with him blurting out that I was sacked and me wondering if that really was the sound of a gunshot I could hear hitting someone in the foot.

Now not being silly I am well aware that said employer will be on here at periods to see exactly what I've written about yesterday. So...

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, you'll notice Mr employer that I have not used your name, your companies name and you'll note when I mention how irritated I think you became I have used the word I...which means it is my opinion, which I am entitled to. I wonder if you are also shaking your head this morning at yesterday's events. I doubt it.

I've got to say though I'm disappointed. Disappointed the matter couldn't be resolved, disappointed you were so one sided, disappointed at your attitude, disappointed that your normally ice cool exterior crumbled, disappointed in your lack of self control and disappointed in your only intrest yesterday being to label me into a category.

For the intrest of others (and possibly Mr Employer), here are the 2 other Brits who have been saked for blogging...

Both have taken further action against their former employers. Both cases made international headlines. Both employers have been slated in the press for their actions.

So what next for me? Well I'll weigh up my options, take advice on the matter and go from there. Will you see me in the papers naming and shaming my ex employer? Who knows! Will the matter now escalate? Who knows! When I know Mr Employer I'll let you know.

Jenny xx

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sshh Don't Tell Anyone...I've Been Sacked For Writing On A Blog!

This is a secret just between me and you. Don't tell anyone.

I went to a meeting today with my employers as I was asked to do to try and resolve a grievance I had with them. I thought we would discuss my grievance and try and come to an amicable conclusion. It didn't go quite like that. Instead of resolving my grievance, I ended up being sacked!

That's right, they sacked me. Keep it to yourself though. My employer (ex) decided to bring into the meeting issues about my attendance and the fact that this very blog exsists! They read it you see and they don't like it.

So I have been offically sacked for 2 reasons - one of them being that I write on this blog. That's between you and I though because obviously I'm not allowed to express myself using freedom of speech.

Ross (my friend & not any longer my colleague) reckons I am probably only the second person in Scotland to be sacked for writing on a website. So I seem to have achieved something today. Sorry Ross, I know you'd have liked the honour but at least you can say you were there.

So we need to keep a lid on what I've said here because we might be being watched.

Anyway I better go now...I'd love to share more of my day with you but anything I do say may be used against me so I better not!

So as a warning my friends, be careful what you put on your Blogs, your own wee bit of cyberspace. Don't go expressing yourselves or discussing your day to day activities, don't go assuming you can write whatever takes your fancy, don't go thinking the internet is a wonderful place where you can be yourself and speak openly and look to interact with others.

You may find yourself unemployed if you do!!

You have been warned...but strictly between you and I of course!

Jenny xx

P.s I do hope I haven't offended anyone by writing this post. If you do feel I have offended you please feel free to contact me to let me know. In fact don't bother, I'm not really intrested. If you are offended there's an easy way to deal with it...don't read the blog on the first place!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

So Much For Going To Bed...

I posted on here on Friday night and finished by saying I was off to bed. Now looking at my previous post it says I put it on at 8.09pm. Don't go getting excited...I wasn't going to bed that early. 8.09pm is when I started the post, in between starting and posting was a phone call with my friend Eileen (always long!) and 2 episodes of Big Brother so it was more 12pm when I hit publish post.

However, just as I go to turn this thing off, Ross appears online and the next 2 hrs 50 minutes are spent chatting on the messenger with him! Very intresting it was too! We covered a range of topics from football to sex and played a wee online game of truth or dare. Actually it was more me just asking him questions to which he had to give me an answer! Pity he didn't go for a dare...I'm meeting him to do something this week...and it would have been kinda funny given where we're going for him to turn up wearing a tie, serious spectacles and carrying a clip board looking every inch the serious nerd! I'd have wet myself at the response it would have gotten!

Anyway, by the time he and I got done it was 2.55am and so realising Geoff would be up for work in 30 minutes or so I decided to stay up. I watched a bit of tv, chatted to Geoff when he emerged and headed to bed at about 4am. An hour and a documentary later I was asleep.

8am I was rudely awakened by the sound of the lorry arriving to pick up our skip. So I managed 3 hours sleep in total! Not the best of starts to a day which saw me hosting a party for 20 or so kids aged 5 and 6!

Jenny xx

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Silence Comes To An End...

So finally I have received a response from BBC regarding my issues. The clock was ticking away time wise and they've got their reply to me by the skin of their teeth really.

And what an intresting reply it is as well. It appears I have been wrong all along! I stupidly assumed that as I had been removed from the rota with no explanation and as my Boss refused point blank to speak to me and had actually told people I wouldn't be coming back that I was out of a job! How very silly of me because and I quote from the letter "I can confirm that your status is that of employed and that you have not been dismissed". Obviously then employers sometimes leave their employees sitting at home for the best part of 10 weeks without explanation or contact. So it's all good. I can't believe I made such a big deal out of it all. I'll just trot back into work tomorrow night then shall I? Unbelievable! Or maybe I'll just feck off from another job for 10 weeks and see how that goes down!

Better still though and again I quote "your current absence is viewed as unauthorised and as such unpaid". My absence? My unauthorised absence? What fucking absence? I'm not absent! Absence as defined by the dictionary reads - Not present, when someone is not where they are expected to be (particularly school or work). So let me get this right...I am not where I am expected to be? Therefore the fact I am not at work is my doing, I assume that's what they mean then. Bullshit. Utter and total.

However, the letter goes on to say "there has obviously been some misunderstanding". Really? What's to misunderstand? One minute you're working, next you're not. It is more than obvious where that line comes from. Boss has obvioulsy told them his version of the truth. However fecked up that might be. It's been a case of "Oh fuck, she's stirring up trouble for me, I'll tell them my version and they'll believe me cause I'm the Boss...I want shot of her anyhow because her tits aren't as big as I'd like them to be". You think I'm kidding about my breast size? I'm not! It's the first thing he checks when he's hiring...want a job at BBC stick your cup size on your cv. I am a modest B cup so it's well seen it was his predecessor who hired me!

Anyhow they've asked me to attend a meeting on Monday to as they put it "give us an opportunity to answer" and to resolve the issues raised. I am of course entitled to be accompanied at this meeting and it's my intention to utilise this right. I've been given a copy of my contract and a copy of the greivance procedure which I recognise as it's the same one used by a company I used to work for.

One thing is for sure. I'm not backing down. I have nothing to lose. I will not be bullied, blackmailed, persuaded, manipulated nor spoken to as if I am blonde (no offence to the blondes of course). I'm going for the big picture. Of course lets hope it doesn't come down to having to go that far.

Oh before I go can someone please explain the following to me....annual holiday entitlement accrues at the rate of one twelfth of the full annual holiday entitlement on 1st of each month in advance. Part time employees accrue holiday entitlement on a pro-rata basis. As you have no normal working hours you will be paid your average pay in the 12 weeks prior to the holiday. You are entitled to 2 public holidays per year. The 2 public holidays we recognise are as follows - Christmas Day and Boxing Day - you will be advised of the relevant dates on which these holidays fall as soon as possible. Where these days fall on a Saturday or Sunday alternative dates will be substituted for these dates. You will not be required to work these recognised public holidays. Eh?!! Have they changed Christmas Day and Boxing Day? Goddammit! 32 years on this earth and I always thought they were 25th and 26th of December. Honestly why can't they just leave 'em where they were! What are they now? 17th of July and 23rd October?

Oh and another thing, I'm not allowed under the terms of my contract (which I haven't seen before today) to tell you about "trade secrets including designs or inventions" or any "past, present or projected product or service of the company". So there. Anyone else think they stole this contract from Willy Wonka? I reckon this contract is more suited to Oompa Loompas than bar staff! Inventions? Trade secrets? Everlasting gobstoppers? I'm away to sell my secrets to Slugworth!

Right enough hilarity, I'm away to bed!

Jenny xx

Just Do One Will Ya Justin?

Justin bloody Timberlake. He's been in every paper I've picked up and on the radio way too much lately. He's releasing a new album. Woo Hoo. So every media outlet has been to London to interview him and they're all reporting frantically about it now.

I don't mind Justin. I quite like his music. However this "oh he's luvvellleee" and "how sexeee is he?" stuff is ripping my knittin'.

He's not. Lovely or sexy. He's got dodgy hair, ain't got anywhere near enough muscle on his body and he is fair...which means there's every chance his pubic region will not be dark enough to appeal either. His singing...yes. His looks...nah.

Jenny xx

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dad...The Aftermath.

So Dad was gone. A big part of our lives were gone. What happened to the others in the story though? What's happened since? Well I'll tell you...

Jimmy and Marion...

Sam’s relationship with Jimmy and Marion was always a little difficult - There was never that bond of family love that parents and children should share. It is sad that this was how life for them all turned out.

Who can you blame for it all? Marion is an easy target to fill the wicked step-mother role and she certainly played her part, Jimmy could also take the blame for being weak, Could it be Cathy's fault for dying? I don't think she had a choice! We will never know how life might have turned out if she'd lived. I think maybe it was all just down to circumstance in the end.

Marion never done anything wrong to my sister or I. I couldn’t comment on her treatment of Dad when he was younger or of her dislike of Mum first hand but the stories surrounding her are legendary and to me she was obviously a bitter and jealous woman for much of her life. Jealous of a woman who had died years before and a little boy without a Mum who shared a blood tie to Jimmy she never would. Marion never allowed Jimmy to speak of Cathy. Never allowed my Dad's childhood to be mentioned. This was wrong.

It was a shame as she could be a lovely and funny woman and at times had a fantastic dry sense of humour. Neither my sister nor I saw much of her "bad" side and to us she was our Gran and we respected her because of this but in our hearts we always had another Gran who we would not and will not forget exsisted.

Sadly she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2002. She was eventually taken into full time residential care. This did nothing to dampen her temper though - she began to smoke heavily again having forgotten she’d stopped some 14 years or so earlier! She fought and argued with the staff who were there to care for her, part of this will of course have been down to her illness, part was undoubtedly Marion being herself! Strangely during her illness she would often forget dates, times and names but never once did she forget who Dad was. Never once did she mistake him for anyone else and she always remembered he was not her son but that he was Jimmy's son. She began showing Dad a bit more respect and affection. Once during a conversation, she had slipped back in time to her younger years, and she told Dad that Jimmy had asked her to marry him and that she wanted to say yes but she needed to see if it was ok with him first. If only she could have shown this warm side to the small motherless boy my Dad had been when she first met him...

She lost her fight against her illness on 4th July 2004, just 2 weeks before Sam died.

Jimmy did do something wrong to both my Sister and I. He failed us in the same way he failed my Dad for years. He never made a point of openly loving us or made the effort to be a proper Grandpa to us. Maybe this was due to the fact that there was an emotional space between him and Dad that could not be filled due to the passage of time.

Drink was Jimmy's weapon of choice and when he had been drinking he would become emotional and tell Dad, my Sister and I how we were special to him, how he loved his step family but they would never be Shaw's, they'd never be blood. We were different, we were all he had left of Cathy. This would often lead to an argument between him and Marion. He would often say that if Marion died first all he'd have left would be the 3 of us.

Jimmy was left devastated by Marion going into care, he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003 and continued to be a heavy drinker and smoker all his life. Sam visited him every week when Marion moved to care and there did seem to be at last a thaw between himself and his only son. Following Marion's death Jimmy sat crying telling Dad how he wanted him to forgive his mistakes and wanted him to come through to see him to, as Jimmy put it, sort out the past. Maybe things would finally have been resolved and maybe things would have been different following Marion's death but we will never know because when Sam died 2 weeks after Marion Jimmy’s world crashed down around him.

I recall going to tell him his son was dead, It was horrible, imagine having to tell your Grandparent their only child had died. I saw the look of sadness wash over him. He didn’t take it in, didn’t really understand what I had said. Prophetically, he was alone for most of the week leading to Dad's funeral. His Step-children had all gone to Germany to visit relatives for a break following Marion's death. Dad had been a bit upset that they had had planned this as he thought it was too soon for him to be left alone. Personally I will never understand why upon hearing how he had lost his son they did not fly home to be with him. They surely must have known how this would affect Jimmy. True to form he hit the bottle big time and spent most of the week drowning his sorrows.

I think my Father’s death hit Jimmy on the day of his funeral. I saw something change in my Grandpa that day as he looked around and saw all the people there to pay respect to my father. I saw a man who realised for the first time that he never knew his own son. A man who realised for the first time that his son was a popular, likeable man who had the respect of many people and a friend on every corner.

I saw my Grandpa one last time 5 days later. He was just a shell, surrounded by sympathy cards for the loss of his wife and for the loss of his son. Gone was the big man of years ago who knew it all and was untouchable, in his place was an old man crushed with guilt, regret and sorrow. My Grandpa died the following day. 26 days after his wife and just 11 days after his son.
They say it was septicaemia that killed him. I think it was a broken heart. His wife was gone and now his son. The sheer knowledge of realising he had missed out on knowing his son, his last link to Cathy and as a result his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren was a heavy burden to carry. For those final days without my Father, my Grandpa had little time for his step-children whom he had loved so well. He made it clear to me that as far as he was concerned he had lost his only child. He loved "the others" as he called them but his life was now over. These were the same "others" whom he had seemed to favour over his own child.

Jimmy died a sad and lonely old man, filled to the top with regret and guilt.

The Wilsons...

Dad's cousin and long time closest ally is still alive. He was gutted when Dad died. For the last 8 years or so Jim has not had his troubles to seek. He was diagnosed with Parkinsons which has left the powerful man we know just a shadow of his former self. He is still a proud and lovely man but he has since suffered 2 strokes and his speech and movement are restricted. He has become more reclusive...embarrassed by his current physical state...but despite it all he made a point of offering himself for the role of pall bearer at Dad's funeral. Insisting even that he'd carry Dad himself if he needed to! He is the only real member of Dad's family left that we have now. He's very special to me and despite the fact that he is Dad's cousin, he is my Uncle and I am closer to him adn my lovely Auntie Margaret (his wife) than I was to my Grandparents.

The Step Family...

We have no contact with any of them. We were never close to them anyway so it's no great loss. My Grandpa had retained certain items and pictures form my Dad's childhood. Pictures of the Shaw family, items of Cathy's, photo's of Cathy. They were kept hidden for years due to Marion's insistence that Cathy not be mentioned. I saw the box they were kept in. Grandpa showed me it the last day I saw him. Sadly my Dad's step sibilings took it upon themselves to keep it all. Why? Who knows it meant nothing to them. It wasn't even their family. Bizarrely though they did offer the stuff to my Dad's Uncle. He told them it belonged to Gill and I and refused it. They cleared his house out and didn't allow Gill or I to attend. Everyone got to but not us. They seemed to forget that legally everything belonged to us. We ended up having to send a Lawyers letter to see if we could trace the items. We eventually recieved £33 each (which we didn't want!) and a handful of old photos mostly of ourselves and a denial that any box ever exsisted. They are all predatory fuckers who pissed off to Tenerife on the money the pocketed and stole things which did not belong to them. I hope they are proud of themselves.

Me, Mum and Gill...

Nothing much changes there. We all still miss Dad but it was 2 years ago so we don't dwell on it anymore. I notice a damn sight more people say to me now "oh you're so like your Dad, the way you speak and your attitude!" than they did before. I even notice it myself more than I did. Gill and I have always been close as sisters but I think there's a new closeness between all us Shaw girls since Dad went. We've all got a new sense of how important family can be and we put up with each other more than we used to. Where before we'd bicker over daft things, we're more likely not to now. Gill seems to have matured since Dad died. I mean that in a nice way. I think she realises now that she has a big part to play in the family and it's more us looking out for Mum now than Mum looking out for us.

Mum has met someone and has been seeing him for 7 months. He's a nice man and he treats her well and he's helped her smile again. It's not hugely serious but they spend time together and enjoy each other's company. We'll see how it goes but my money will be on it lasting. Neither of them are the love 'em and leave 'em kind! There'll never be another Dad or Grandad but there is room for a *insert name here* so it's all good.

So time moves on and we are all 2 years older. Nothing much has changed though in the grand scheme of things. Dad's picture is still there in all our houses. His name is still mentioned. His mad ways and funny saying are still remembered. His grave is still full of fresh flowers and visited fairly regularly. We'd rather have life with Sam but we're doing alright in life without Sam. He's keeping our seats up there, we're not planning on joining him anytime soon though so he'll have a wait but we'll catch up one day!

Jenny xx

Dad...Part 3...

Well we made it from birth to here....

Monday 19th July…

To me this is the day the world stopped turning, at least for a while, Monday 19th July 2004.

It started with a phone call. I answered to hear my Mum screaming down the phone. I couldn't make out much of what she was saying but I heard the words “I think he’s dead”. I didn’t wait for anything else. I told her I was coming and slammed the phone down.

I have never moved so fast in my life. Luckily I was driving around at the time in a nice sports car more than capable of getting me to Mum's in record time, although when I arrived I slammed the gears into park while the car was still moving and very nearly buggered the tiptronic gearbox!

I had a bad feeling. Mum and Dad had just moved house 9 days earlier and were now 5 minutes from me. The ambulance had arrived when I got there and they were upstairs doing their stuff. I knew he wasn't coming back as soon as I got in the door and realised they were still working on him. Too much time had passed now. I will never forget the sound of the machines beeping, the electronic voice saying "no pulse, begin cpr, check pulse, no pulse, begin cpr" over and over again. Nor the sound of the paramedic thumping on my Dad's chest to try and make it go again. Or the sound of that same paramedic shouting at my Dad to "come on big man". 10 minutes later a paramedic confirmed what I knew in just 10 simple words -"I'm sorry there's nothing more we can do. He's gone".

My Mum's face said it all as she just shook her head and said “no, he can’t be”. I'd like to thank the paramedic's for what they did, I'd also like to hate them for not doing more...It's just the way you feel. So it was that I lost my Daddy. Quick and sudden. Just like he would have wanted. No chance to think about it or watch him suffer. I swear to god when that man said those words I felt my heart crack.

The police had arrived as it was a death at home and he sat with us asking a few questions about Dad for his notes. It seems surreal to look back on it now. The silence between the questions was deafening. Just me, Mum and this poor policeman who didn’t know what to say to us. There was no crying, just shock. I remember him asking if Mum wanted Dad's jewellery and telling us it was best to take it now as it wasn't unknown for things to go missing after the event. I remember phoning Geoff who had stayed home with the kids and just saying “he’s gone and I need you here”. All I could think of was how to tell my Sister. She was at home with her kids and I just couldn’t bring myself to call her and tell her. I didn’t want her to be alone when she heard. I made my mind up that I’d send Geoff to tell her. I rang my mate Nikki who took over with the kids and for that I will always be grateful, and Geoff went to get my Sister. I phoned some close family and friends to let them know and it was only when I realised everyone sounded so sleepy that I saw it was 6am. It felt much later.

I went upstairs to see my Dad. The policeman wasn’t keen but I felt I had to. He looked different. Strange as it seems, I believe that as soon as the heart stops and the breath is out of you, the spirit that made you what you were is away. It was my Dad lying there but the spark and light was gone. I sat on the edge of the bed. Dad was in it the wrong way round with his feet at the top end. The bed at a funny angle as the paramedica had moved it to make room to put him on the floor while they worked on him. I touched him and tried to close his mouth but it wouldn’t stay shut. I said "Oh Dad what have you done?". I kissed his cheek, put my head on his bare chest like I did as a child and whispered "Bye Dad".

My Aunt and Uncle arrived minutes later closely followed by two of Mum and Dad’s oldest friends. The house which had been so quiet was now full of the sound of crying. Except for me. I put the kettle on. The undertakers van arrived a few minutes later and everyone went into the kitchen so Mum didn’t have to see Dad going out in a body bag. Except my Uncle’s and I. Geoff arrived with my Sister just after they left. She was in pieces as was Geoff. I put the kettle on again.

The rest of the week was a blur. We didn't know what had killed him and when we could organise a funeral because we had to wait for a post-mortem to be done. We didn't eat, we didn’t sleep much. We drank tea and talked. The house was full of people, flowers and cards.
We were hoping to have his funeral on the Saturday as there were people coming from far and wide so this made most sense. It’s a long process though and eventually I began harassing undertakers, procurator fiscals and mortuary staff to get things moving. My Dad had died from Respiratory Failure and a Probable Acute Asthma Attack. Just like his Mum all those years ago. Turned out my Dad had the windpipe of a small child, it hadn’t fully developed which is why the paramedics couldn’t get a tube in his throat and save his life. I went to the mortuary to collect the necessary paperwork and we got our Saturday funeral.

We went to see my Dad one last time, in the funeral parlour, in his coffin. I was terrified. I don't like dead things even when they are your Dad! We said our goodbyes, gave him his paper and a few wee bits to see him on his way and that was that.

Saturday 24th July…

The day of the funeral dawned and it was chaos at Mum’s that morning. The place was filled with people, many of them standing or sitting outside as they couldn’t get in the house. The journey to Mortonhall Cemetray and Crematorium was uneventful. When we arrived though…I couldn’t believe my eyes. Hundreds of people standing waiting for us. They all seem a blur but you pick out the unlikeliest faces in the crowd. Ross for all his lack of height was one of them. A lone piper (sent by his old regiment as a mark of respect) walked in front of the hearse and played Amazing Grace. I have never heard anything so beautiful. Bagpipes have a strange effect on folk, as soon as it began you could see people reaching for hankies and sobbing.

My uncle read out the eulogy which my sister and I had written about Dad. It mentioned, his roots, his love of Glasgow Rangers FC, Bowling and a pint, there was a story that summed up Dad’s nature in full and of course we told how much he loved his family. It’s easy to make martyrs out of the dead. To turn them into something in death that they never were in life but I think we told it how he was. We found out later that there had been over 450 people there on the day. It was fantastic to see everyone there for my Dad. In the days following his funeral, the anti climax of it all kicked in and the penny dropped. My Dad was gone. I don’t think the pain will ever go away. The hole in my life he’s left behind will never be filled. I honestly believe a bit of your heart dies each time you lose a loved one. Dad has took a chunk of mine away but despite it all I still laugh, smile and carry on. He’s left behind such great memories for us all and each one brings a smile, and I’ll remember something about him, something he said or did and I just laugh out loud!

So there you have it. Finito except for the aftermath.

Jenny xx

Dad...Part 2....

So here we are at the second instalment. As you'll remember Sam was feeling a bit lost at home. He'd always felt unwanted there despite settling into life with his new siblings.

Moving On…

It was these feelings at home that inspired Sam to join the Army at 17. The decision was made to join the Royal Scots Greys and of course along with him went his favourite ally and cousin, Jim. It was a good decision all round for the boys. Jim went on to have a successful career in the Army lasting his full 25 years and reaching Regimental Sargeant Major. Sam was a PTI instructor and the small, pale, malnourished boy was no more. For Sam the decision was also good in a different way.

His stint in the Army led him to meet Andrew Stenhouse, a fellow soldier, and through him his future wife. Andy and Sam had leave together and Andy invited Sam to Edinburgh to meet his Brother and go for a pint. Sam, never one to turn down a pint with the boys, agreed. On a more serious note Sam hated going home on leave to Glasgow. His relationship with Marion was not that great. Despite sending money home to his folks from his salary to help them with the housekeeping. Marion would refuse to cook him a meal when he came home unless he paid for it. (Marion had two sides to her one was nice and the other was...not. As her Daughter said “ If my Maw saw a man walking a dog she hated the man but she hated the bloody dog even more”).

Meanwhile back at the ranch…Sam gladly accepted Andy’s offer and went to stay as a guest in the Stenhouse home. He found in Andy’s Mum and Dad’s the kind of family life he had always wanted. A warm, loving Mother, a respected Father and a sense of family. (Don’t get me wrong the Stenhouse Clan weren’t the Waltons…but then they weren’t they Munsters either…they were you typical salt of the earth lot). Sam felt at home and became a regular visitor when on leave. Of course apart from the hospitality, home cooked meals etc there was one other draw that lured Sam to Edinburgh….Heather.

Making His Own Family…

Heather was Andy’s younger sister. Only 15 when they first met but love blossomed. Sam asked her out and after deciding that if her mates would be jealous that was a good thing Heather agreed. Fast forward a few years and hey presto they were married. This didn’t go down all that well in the West. Marion wasn’t happy that Sam had decided to get in tow with a snob from Edinburgh (well the Stenhouse’s had an inside toilet). Funnily enough Heather and Marion didn’t really hit it off. (Actually Marion didn’t really get on with many of her in laws!! Pattern emerging here eh?) Heather was undisturbed by it all, (She christened her new Mother in Law the Wicked Witch of the West).Heather and Sam settled into married life together living in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee where I was born after 3 years of marriage. Shortly after my birth the family Shaw decided to move to Edinburgh for good (as my Dad said the wise man went to the East) and life rolled on until June 1977 when I was joined by my sister. Sam never wanted me to be an only child like he had effectively been as he had always believed it was a lonely life. The 70's became the 80's and the family settled into life as a foursome.

Sadly a short while after my birth Granny Becky, Sam’s beloved Granny passed away. She had been ill for some time and her death was a sad time for Sam who felt like he had again lost his Mother figure.

Sam had a variety of jobs (many lasting all of a matter of weeks!!) and although in early childhood money was tight they stumbled on. (everyone you meet tells you they were poor as kids eh? Maybe prices were too high back then? Surely not everyone “had nothing”??!!) Sam had settled into a new family - his own- and visits to Glasgow were limited to 3 or 4 a year. (visits by them to Edinburgh were more infrequent - I can recall 4 visits in 30 years - still it’s a long way from Glasgow to Edinburgh isn’t it and the transport links are terrible it’s not as if there’s a train every 30 minutes or a straight road through!!).

Sam had long spells of unemployment (along with over 3 million others) during the 80’s . We weren’t rich but we got what they could afford. We still had holidays (caravan’s mostly) and were posh enough to go abroad (on the bus mind!!). I don’t ever recall much time with my Glasgow relatives during the 80’s (there were obligatory visits at Christmas and New Year and the odd drop in in between such as staying there for a few days over Easter each year) I won’t waste much time on life at this period but will instead move swiftly on to the early 90’s by which time Sam had reached the ripe old age of 43.

Life took a turn for Sam at this point. He secured a not bad job (he made plastic!!) and was bringing in regular and good money. Promotion followed and before we knew it we were rich! (that’s not true but it felt like it at the time we got a nearly new car and double glazing!!) Life got better and there were many people outside the four of us who benefited from the change in fortunes (the local pub landlord was one, and the bookies!!) By now Sam was looking forward to a peaceful life. His girls were leaving school and getting jobs of their own. However as any parent of teenage girls will let you, peaceful is not a word often used in association with this time of their lives. Sam didn’t reckon on boyfriends and pals staying and it’s fair to say that during the early part of the 90’s his house was choc full of both at all times!! Sam though took it all in his stride. He loved meeting people and playing host in his home and there was always a fried breakfast for the friends at weekends or an alcoholic drink on tap. (mind you maybe this all explains why he loved doing the 12 hour shifts so much - a bit of peace at work eh?)


1995 was a year that changed Sam’s life, yes at the age of 48 Sam was a Grandad!! Gill was just 17 when she dropped the bombshell that she was pregnant. Dad, although a bit annoyed in the beginning took the news well and spent 1995 looking forward to the new arrival coming. Kennedy Jennifer (she’s named after me she is!!) was born that year and was soon followed by Chloe Rebecca (after Granny Becky!) in 1996, Dean Samuel Ross, in 1998 and Jake Thomas Francis, in 2000 as my sister and I began our own little set of Mini Me’s. However to Sam that were known as Wee You, Becca, Deanie Boy and Doodle. Sam loved being a Grandad and loved his Grandkids with a passion. He regained his youth in them and loved to act the fool with them. He was probably happiest when we were all together in Florida on holiday. He enjoyed seeing the kids faces but this was also true at Christmas when he and Mum would spoil the kids rotten. The kids were the apple of Sam's eye. He was a great Dad but an even better Grandad!! I for one would like to say Thanks for that wherever he is!

The last few years of Sam's life were perhaps the most busy. He had taken up bowling (cheap drink!!) and had even ventured onto the committee in 2004. He spent a lot of time with his mates (some old, some new!!) and enjoyed a good social life with Heather. Sadly though his health wasn't as great as it could have been. He had been diagnosed with asthma and suffered periods of bronchitis. His breathing was starting to give him some problems. There were a few occasions he ended up in hospital when he had picked up chest infections. However, on the whole it didn’t give him too much grief. He had a nebuliser at home to help if he did have an attack and there were many jokes about him sounding like Darth Vader as he tried to talk while using it! He tried to avoid you if you had a cold to stop him getting it but he was still as strong as an ox and it didn't interfere with his day to day life. He had also developed Diabetes which came to light when he keeled over in the bowling club one day as a result of not eating anything and his blood sugar being goosed! Staff called for an ambulance but he came round quickly and told everyone not to make a fuss and that he was going no where becuase he hadn;t had a sip of his piny et. Mum son marched him to the docs though and diabetes it was! Despite this though nothing prepared anyone for Monday 19th July 2004. So ends part 2.

Jenny xx

It's Two Years Ago...

Today since my Dad died. To mark the occasion and because someone I know has asked me to, I'm posting my Dad's life on here. Some of you will have read this stuff before so if you have, apologies and you may now leave! It's kinda long so I'll be doing it in sections, beginning here...

Samuel Shaw was born on 20th December 1947 in Bellshill Maternity Hospital. His parents were Catherine Gallacher Wilson and James Shaw.

The Beginning...

Catherine (known as Cathy) and James (known as Jimmy) worked together at the George Hotel in Glasgow. She was Barmaid he was a Hotel Porter. They fell in love (I assume) and lo and behold my Father was conceived. (yes I know there’s supposed to be a wedding first!) Of course back then being conceived out of wedlock raised a few eyebrows. Cathy and Jimmy married on 1st September 1947. Cathy was heavily pregnant. The marriage took place in the Catholic Chapel. (Heavily pregnant woman married in Catholic Chapel to a man who was Protestant... shocking eh? but it gets worse!!) Jimmy was 17 at the time. Cathy was a more respectable 28. (Told you it gets worse...heavily pregnant 28 year old marrying a 17 year old boy in the Chapel?????!!!) God love her though Cathy tried to make it look better by lying about her age and claiming to be only 24. Anyhow shortly after they married along came their baby boy Samuel. Following his birth he was very ill and his weight fell dramatically due to him being unable to feed and suffering from bronchitis (Anyone else hear an alarm bell ringing??) Following Sam’s birth the family lived a blissful existence if you believe my Grandpa.

One Parent Family...

Sadly though Cathy suffered poor health having had chronic bronchitis and asthma from an early age and also a severe bout of TB in her teens, her immune system was weakened and she died from respiratory failure when Sam was only 5 years old. (respiratory failure? I can hear alarm bells again!). Cathy was just 34. Although even in death she lied about her age! It states on her death certificate that she was 32.

Anyway after Cathy's sad death Jimmy hit the bottle a bit and Sam was packed off to live with Cathy's folks. Here he lived alongside Jim Wilson, Cathy's Nephew and Sam's cousin. Jim was Cathy's sister May's Son (are you following this?) the two boys shared a lot in common Jim was also conceived out of wedlock and he also had only one parent on the scene. (Their Father must have been very proud of those Wilson girls eh? Jesus this was in the forties!!) Sam and Jim formed a friendship that was deeper than just being cousins. In fact the bond was so strong that the pair looked upon each other as Brothers. There were rumours this might have been the case but my Grandpa staetd he was not Jim's Dad even though he did admit to sleeping with his Mother!!

Meanwhile back in Glasgow Jimmy had sobered up and had returned to work. He had also met a new Girlfriend Marion. Marion was a divorcee with 4 children all of whom were in foster or care homes. She had suffered a mental breakdown and had spent periods in a psychiatric hospital receiving treatment for severe depression. Marion was an attractive woman and from all accounts once she had her sights set on Jimmy he didn’t stand a chance. Anyway they moved in together and were eventually married some years later in 1960.

Back in Sam’s life things were changing as well. Sam can recall his Dad visiting him fairly regularly during his stay with Cathy’s folks despite being back on his feet though Jimmy did not take Sam home. Cathy’s folks though were struggling to keep Sam. Both were getting on and both had their own health problems. Sam was a poorly child at times, skinny and pale and it was discovered that he was suffering from malnutrition. Eventually the decision was made to move Sam. Sam wasn’t taken to live with Jimmy though. He spent a period of time with Jimmy’s folks, Samuel and Rebecca (Becky). With Jimmy again being just a visitor.

Only Child To One Of Five…

Jimmy decided that Marion’s kids should be taken out of care and given a proper home with him and Marion. (Strange decision for a man who couldn’t find time for his own Son) and set about getting them back. Part of this process was that Jimmy and Marion had to prove they could provide a suitable home and stable environment for the children. This was where Sam became useful. Sam was returned to Glasgow for the visits from the officials in a bid to prove Jimmy and Marion were competent parents.

Eventually Sam was removed from Sam and Becky’s back to Glasgow full time. He had often expressed how he hated this happening. He loved Becky like a Mother and missed her when he was taken away. He had received love and a proper home in her care. It’s fair to say there was little love lost between Marion and Sam during this time. He was made to call her Mum. (Which he did not agree with) and Marion made it clear that she did not fully accept him. (Hardly surprising really as she found it difficult to accept her own kids). Soon enough Marion and Jimmy were given the all clear to have Marion’s children come to live with them. Sam went (literally overnight) from being an only child to sharing his house, bed and Father with 4 other children. It was a difficult adjustment not only for Sam but for the other 4 as well. By this time Sam was 13. Suddenly he had 2 older Brothers in the form of Billy (16) & George (14) and 2 younger siblings Ronnie (12) and Emma (10). Emma had never lived with her Mum. She had been raised by another family for 8 years. Ronnie was 2 when he went into care. Billy and George had vague memories of their Mum. Sam had some health problems round this time as well. He was hospitalised with pnuemonia and underwent surgery for a bowel problem. Sam never mentioned this spell in hospital to any of us and it was only after his death it came to light. Medical records show the hospitalisation occured but the records have been kept confidential as "they contain sensitive information which involves the actions of others and names of others involved in the incident"...what the reason for this is and what that means is anyone's guess.

Fate would have it that all the kids were dark haired and that Sam slipped right into the middle age wise. Although Sam grew fond of all his new siblings in time forming close relationships in those early years with both Ronnie and Emma he never felt settled in Glasgow with Jimmy and Marion and never managed to feel part of the family. He always felt like the outsider and this was mainly down to Marion’s attitude to him and the constant references to him being Jimmy’s Son. Sam still longed to be back with his Granny Becky where he had felt wanted and loved.

And so ends chapter one.

Jenny xx

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Not One Of My Better Ideas...

It was gie warm the day. Scorchin, Bielin, Rostin, Swelterin. The thermometer hit a crazy 84f today. That's mad figures for Scotland so it is.

My shoulders are now a nice shade of lobster pink! Luckily for this pale skinned, freckled, red head I do tan everywhere else so it's not too bad!

So what did I do on this glorious sunny day? Did I head to the beach? Did I lounge in my wee suntrap of a garden with a cool drink and a good book? No. I decided today was the day I was going to start a major garden overhaul.

Chloe headed off to the beach with her mate for the day. Jake headed off to the Falkirk Wheel with Granny for the day. Geoff headed of to work for the day (Ha, Ha) and I armed myself with fence paint and brushes and set to work repainting the back fence. Great idea...not!

My garden is one of the biggest in the street. It's about 50ft long and about 30 ft wide and the fence is 6ft high all the way round it. It's been painted blue for the last three years and I obvously forgot how tedious, time consuming and how much hard work it took to paint it! However, I'm bored with it now and my once lovely garden is like a shithole due to one crazy boxer dog who ate all my plants and has trashed my lawn, 2 kids who think it's a bike/go-kart track, football pitch or general play park and loads of nice scottish rain which has turned my already abused lawn into...well let's just say when the rain comes I could hold mud wrestling competitions!

So it's overhaul time, starting with that fence. 6 friggin' hours I was at it today and I kid you not I'm not even a quarter of the way through it! Course it's taking 2 or 3 coats to get rid of the blue paint that's already on it.

I am knackered now and feel like I've been kicked with a horse. So I'll finish the cold beer sitting in front of me and then I'm going to bed to recover!

Definitely not one of my better ideas!

Jenny xx

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is It A Bird?, Is It A Plane?, No It's Superman...

So Superman has returned! Bout bloomin' time too! One of the hottest days of the year here so far and I've just spent 3 hours of it inside the cinema. Still it's been a while since Superman made an appearance so it had to be done.

I was wary of this one mind. Superman is my favourite superhero and I loved the films as a kid (Superman 2 being a favourite!...Terence Stamp giving it "It is a strange place this planet they call Houston"! ). Would I be able to accept a new Superman and Lois? Was is possible to replace Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder? Actually yes it was.

Brandon Routh bears an uncanny resemblance and makes a fine replacement. His Clark Kent doesn't come across quite as geeky and clumsy as Christopher did it all those years ago but it's a minor point. Kate Bosworth does a fair enough job as Lois and I'm sure if there's to be a sequel ( em obviously!) she'll make it her own but there's just a teeny bit of me that thinks they've lost Lois' hard edge (Margot Kidder's gravelly voice and Lois' festy attitude seem a bit lacking) and I can't help thinking they could have found someone to fill the role better...for some inexplicable reason I kept thinking it should have been Courteney Cox..I don't know why!

Kevin Spacey (whom I could watch all day) makes a fine Lex Luthor. They may want to think about giving him a few more comedy lines next time round though, Gene Hackman always got a few funny lines which made Lex a slightly likeable villain!

The film is set 5 years on from Superman's last exit (which was quite frankly dire!) and he's reurned to find the world still needs a Superhero (you'd think he could have shown face round about September 11th eh?). Disaster is looming and he gets the costume on and heads to help out...I happily admit to feeling all warm inside as he averted the disaster and the crowds applauded his return!

It was nice to see all the old moves were there....laser eyes, freezing stuff, trips to space etc! Kryptonite made an appearance and caused a bit of havoc as well!

Spiderman may well be alright but let's face it he can't even fly! He'll never get across the Atlantic as quick as Superman can! Batman? Well he's just a rich guy with gadgets really ain't he? If you want a superhero you need to have Superman, simple as that.

Superman and Lois share the obligatory touching moment and it's obvious the love is still there. Lois appears in this film with a family. A partner and a son. However, from the minute we see the wee boy use his inhaler we realise just who his Dad is...your mind goes back to remind you that Superman and Lois once shared a night of passion!

So I enjoyed Superman's return to the big screen. It was worth the few hours of missed sunshine and the small fortune it costs to get into the cinema was a damn sight cheaper back in the 80's!

One small and insignificant niggle though...obviously Superman's outfit has been brought up to date a bit and it's nice enough but his cape and boots should be red! Bright Red. They're not though, they're more maroony red which is just not right. However it's a small irritation in the grand scheme of things. Superman is obviously a Jambo!

Jenny xx

Friday, July 14, 2006

This Weeks Interactive Question...

Right I need your help. You probably need a sick mind for this one so most of you that read this will fit the bill.

A few years ago in conversation with friends round the bbq and after a few bottles of wine had been consumed someone mentioned they had heard of a sexual practice known as an Italian Chandelier and wondered what it was. They were met with blank faces all round. None of us had a clue.

A few guesses were thrown about (I'll leave them to your imagination!) and we covered everything we could think of from rainbow kissing to roman fountains to pearl necklaces.

To this day the question still pops up from time to time. So what the hell is the sexual practice known as an Italian Chandelier???

There's no prize for getting the answer other than the smug satisfaction of knowing you knew something I didn't!

Jenny xx

Update - Ha, Ha....I know what it is now! So no smug satisfaction for you all after all! It doesn't have burn up the calories...apparently!

The Silence Is Deafening...

It's all too bloody quiet.

Still nothing from BBC. Clocks ticking there. Apparently I'm "being discussed", how exciting eh?

And nothing from my "In-Laws" either after my wee rant back to them. Bloody cowards.

You just can't get a decent argument from anyone any more.

Ooh wait a minute...just remembered I was going to phone the council and scream abuse at them for the state of the communal grass...trivial perhaps but it passes the time and lets me vent some anger!

Jenny xx

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Well It's Up And Ready...

The Trampoline that is.

Once my Mum gets an idea in her head there's no going back. I had an appointment yesterday so left her with Geoff and the kids to go and make their purchase.

One thing about my Mum is that if she's doing something now she does it to extremes. I think this is to make up for Dad not being here as he always had to buy the best or biggest thing for his Grandkids (or indeed himself, Mum, Me, get the drift!). So in this respect I now have not an 8ft or 10ft trampoline but a bloody 12ft one, with a safety net and rain cover no less.

It's friggin huge and is taking up a nice portion of my garden.

Chloe and Geoff, knackered already!

And Max...thanks for the tips! I already know 3 kids who have been to casualty in the last year! So the safety net stays put and I'm thinking of hiring security for the side gate to ensure my new stict numbers policy is adhered to!

Jenny xx

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Find A Peaceful Moment...

Put the kettle on, grab a beer or whatever you fancy and settle in front of your pc and have a look at this website.

Memories of your youth will come flooding back to you!

I knew I wasn't the only one who used to shout "Joey Deacon" while making slight spastic moves. Or indeed alone in slapping my own forehead and saying "spam" (why???). I definitely called others by the name of "Tefal" if they had larger than normal foreheads. Called people "Spangles" and was one of those who wouldn't get on a city sprinter bus like a C55 (small minibus type form of public transport much like those used to take the "special" kids to their "special" schools) if it could be at all avoided because doing so made you a "windae licker" like the kids on the "special" bus. I recall many a pubescent boy in my class having an embarrasing erection while we all stood round the edge of the pool before swimming and the hysterical laughter such an event would cause. I hold my hands up to making up new nicknames for people such as poor Darren Foreman whom I christened "four-head" which stuck before I realised I could make it "Fore-skin" which caught on like a match to a petrol soaked cloth. The laddie must have hated me, Fore-skin he stayed till he was 16 and left school! Or the poor unfortunate Michelle who was christened "Fishy" due to her lack of hygiene, another name that stuck, poor Fishy Moffat.

I recall playing Thundercats and hurling abuse at other girls till they'd let me be Cagney when we played Cagney and Lacey or for that matter the Heather Locklear character whenever a game of TJ Hooker was played cause then I got to kiss and hang about with the best looking boy who was always TJ! What can I say? I liked to get my own way and I was popular so there!

Sad but true. Go remind yourself of your own school days now before you think I'm were all kids once!

Jenny xx

Objects Of My Desire....

Number One...
How nice are they? Stumbled across them by accident when I was ordering my niece's new trainers earlier from Schuh. They are and I quote "the disco diva's dream, stunning metallic navy leather, they'll catch every shimmer from the mirror ball as you dance till dawn". Yeah so what if my dancing till dawn days are behind me! I can strut round Asda's in them and catch the sparkle from the lights in the frozen food aisle!

And Number 2...

Wasn't too fussed for the much hyped Adidas Y3 series of trainers until I saw these. The Y3 are series is a bit like gold dust to get hold off and they retail at a nice £145! They've just landed on the doorstep of the USA and are not yet widely available in the UK with Harvey Nicks being one of a handful of stockists. Wouldn't dream of paying £145 for them though...I mean that's a pair of Jimmy Choo's in a good sale that amount...but I've found a site that's got them for £70 when you convert the currency so I may be able to get my paws on them after all!

Jenny xx

Bouncy, Bouncy...

Soon to be 6 year old has decided he wants a trampoline for his upcoming birthday.

My Mum, a woman of easy persuasion, has been won over by her youngest Grandchild and has decided she's going to buy him one.

I am decidedly undecided as to whether this is a good idea or not. On the plus side it will keep small child and his sister amused for the remainder of the holibobs. On the negative small child or his sister will probably end up in casualty at some point and my garden will become a meeting point for children from far and mate Nikki will testify to that I'm sure as her kids have one already!

Of course it also needs to be considered that small child already has a set of swings, cheesecutter and chute (I can't call it a slide...that's just so English!) out in the garden as it is and a whacking big trampoline is going to take up a nice wee bit more of my garden!

Still I have no doubt that if I decided to put my size 6 well shoed foot down my Mum would remind me that she is his Granny and therefore can do what she likes and I'd be a bad Mum for disappointing my small child....he would look at me as if I was satan and throw a tantrum of epic proportions and probably come out with some sarcastic remark along the lines of "thanks for ruining all my fun Mum...Not!". He gets this cheeky streak from his Mother!

Jenny xx

* Update....My Mum has been on the phone. She has spotted a trampoline and wants to buy it now. We have been summoned to meet her at 2pm to make the purchase. Seems we're getting a trampoline then. Waste of time putting my foot down now then! There's still 14 days till his birthday!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dilemma's, Dilemma's...

There's a bit of thought needed in this house at the moment and we seem to be going round in circles a bit. So I'm opening this up to you, the fine people of blogland, to seek your opinions. I reckon it's only fair as I don't see why I should be the only one having to think at this point!

So here is the dilemma...

You have a job at present. It's not your normal line of work. It is part-time but you get so much overtime you end up doing more than a full time 40 hour week. It's temporary but you have a one in three chance of being kept on. The money is good. The people are great. You really enjoy it and for the first time in a few years you like going to work. There seems to be a good chance you're going to be one of the lucky one's to get kept on as your bosses keep saying they hope you don't leave. It's with a well known company, there's perks to be had. The job is not rocket science but it's intresting and everyday is different. It's shift work and you need to work weekends and public holidays like Christmas but the hours mean you're about for your family a bit more. There is little or no stress invloved and for the first time in 20 years or so you're not the boss and have none of the shit that goes with being the boss.

However, you have been offered another job. Its 9-5. It's Monday to Friday. It's permanent. It's the same money per hour. It's with a big employer as well. It's more or less the same job as you've been doing for 20 years. It is office and field based and there's a fair chance of promotion or internal movement within the company. It is further to commute each day by about 45 minutes or so each way. It's a secure role though.

So you have a family to support. You've dipped into your savings big style having taken time out from work for almost a year and could do with replenishing some of them. You have bills to pay and have always made a wage good enough to keep your house without help from anyone else. You're no longer a fresh faced school leaver and know good, secure jobs with good salaries don't appear everyday but you love what you do now and would jump at it if you got it permanently. However, the prospective new employers want you to start in a few weeks time. You're current contract runs till October and as a result they are not interviewing for the permanent roles until August with you not getting a decision until the mid to end of September.

What do you do?

Do you take the sensible option and go with the permanent job and the security that goes with it knowing you've a family to support?


Do you follow your heart, stay where you are and see what happens knowing you've got a good chance of landing the permanent job but risking not having a job at all at the end of October if you don't?

Points to remember when making your decision include...your partner has a crippling shoe addiction which must be paid for, your savings won't last forever and you've no living relatives who may die and leave you money to re-stock them (Boo!)...only kidding!!

Fucked if I know! Do you? Answers on a postcard please...or just leave a comment if you like!

Jenny xx

The Timing Was Just Wrong...

So we headed out to Asda (British version of Wal-Mart to you Usa readers!) this evening to do a food shop. Nothing unusual in that as Asda's has always been my food shop outlet of choice, however, tonight we had been to visit friends in Edinburgh and then dropped in on Mum, who decided she needed milk and was tagging along, so we had gone to the one at Chesser rather than our own one out in Livingston.

We get round with trolley filling it with the necessary items and a few bits from the clothing school skirt for madam, yes it's early to be buying the back to school stuff but any Mum will tell you black skirts are a bitch to get in the right size so it's grab 'em while you can and a pair of trainers for he who will soon be 6...because despite buying him a pair only 4 days ago they are fucked, toes hanging out and all because my son refuses point blank to use the brakes on his bike and prefers the toes of his trainers instead, the swine! Anyhow back to the matter in hand...

So we pay for the shopping and are waiting for Mum who has been conned by said children into buying them a happy meal from McDonald's in Asda when all of a sudden I turn round to see an old face from BBC heading in my direction. It's Shirley.

Shirley was until about 6 weeks ago the assistant manager behind the bar and a woman known for her bad temper and bad manners. Her daughter Linda, another ex-BBC employee, is with her and they stop to chat. After the niceties of "how are you" are dealt with Shirley begins showing me her leg and telling me all about her recent trials and tribulations of breaking it. As she's doing so we begin walking towards the car park. Shirley's still hobbling, I'm listening to her story and we all head out of the shop and stand for a couple of minutes still chatting...or rather I'm still listening...then it's "nice seeing you again" and we head our separate ways. She heads to her car and I go to mine. A minute later we're driving out the car park, Shirley and Linda in the car behind ours, when who should be driving into the car park but the bar manager and the man at the centre of my current issues.

I was gutted. I mean if only the timing had been a few minutes different. He'd have gotten out his car to find 3 former employees he'd rather not see again standing together chatting. Now I'm not Shirley's biggest fan by any means but the fact that it would have been her, Linda and I standing there together would have been priceless! He'd have had to go right past us to get in. How could he have avoided speaking to us? Would he have put his eyes to the floor and hoped to sneak past? Not likely as I would put money on either Shirley or Linda stopping him as he passed. What could he have said to me given the current scenario? Not the sarcastic comment I'd usually have gotten, not with Geoff standing there. The awkwardness of it for him would have been cracking! Sadly though the gods deemed it not to be and fate fucked up the timing. Typical!

And no I've still heard nothing from him work wise!

Jenny xx

Monday, July 10, 2006

As If He Wasn't My Favourite Already...

Big Brother's Pete has only gone and dyed his dark brown hair bleach blonde. Now I have an aversion to blondes normally but I don't mind a bit of bleach as long as I know the rest of the body hair is dark it's all good. Yes I have an aversion to light coloured pubic doesn't make me a bad person!

Anyway I digress here...fact is Pete is gorgeous and looks just as gorgeous with his newly blonde hair. It's been too long since I fancied a man who wore make up and it's reminded me of that long lost crush I had on Billy Idol!

Yum, Yum, Yum...Nuff said!

While I'm on the subject I don't mind a few highlights either like those sported by the fine specimen of manhood that is Josh Holloway (aka Sawyer from Lost). He is quite frankly the only reason I still watch the show. That southern drawl. Those eyes. The small dimples in his cheeks. The fact he doesn't shave everyday. That grin. Sigh!

It should be illegal to look so bloody horny fully clothed!

Jenny xx

Wake Me Up When September Ends...

Cause by then there should be a new Killers album out!

How long does it need to take for god's sake???

Jenny xx

Calm Down Mr Secretary...

As you regulars will know I am in the middle of a disagreement with sections of BBC where I used to ply my trade.

I had a wee chat with my Mother, a member of BBC, who asked me if I had heard from them yet. The answer to that would be no. I mentioned to Mum that I hadn't checked to see if the second letter had been received yet.

Now my Mum, who does not have an issue with them, saw the committee member to whom the letter had been addressed on Saturday night and politely enquired if the letter had been received. She didn't ask for secret information. A simple yes or no was all that was required.

However instead she was met with the response "if your daughter wants to know she can check with the post office". How extraordinarily petty. This from someone I have always considered one of the good guys as well! Is there a need to take attitude to my Mother? I think not. How hard would it have been just to say "yes we've got it but I'd rather not discuss the matter".

Manners cost nothing now do they?

You can't help but get the feeling that the people in positions of responsibility in BBC assume that as we are there doing a job that let's face it is hardly rocket science we must all be a bit thick. It's like they reckon we do that because we couldn't get another job which requires more intelligence. The fact that they have had and still have among their staff bank employees, special needs assistants, office workers in responsible jobs, former airline workers, hr advisers, debt recovery team leaders, fishmongers, call centre team leaders and tax office employees all of which require a degree of skill, seems to have escaped them.

The fact is I have a brain. It's in perfect working order (backed up by a nice high score on Dr Kawashima's Brain Training on Nintendo Ds I might add!). I have an IQ well above average and once passed to test to join Mensa. I left school at 18 with a variety of qualifications under my belt and I am a general knowledge champion and Buzz champion..ask anyone who's played either a pub quiz or Buzz with me and they'll tell you I'm right! So I consider myself fairly intelligent. Intelligent enough to engage in civilised discussion and to be able to look for and follow advice. Intelligent enough to know the difference between right and wrong. So despite petulant behaviour I will not go away and I will see this matter to what I feel is a fair conclusion.

So just to clarify matters I am aware the letter has been received. I was intelligent enough to know Royal Mail would be able to tell me this because funnily enough that's why it was sent recorded delivery! I am intelligent enough to ask the right people the right questions to find out what I need to know. I am lucky enough to have people around who reckon like me that enough is enough . I will be making a point of not dragging anyone else into this matter despite having had offers from people willing to be witnesses to incidents etc. I will do this alone, because I am intelligent enough to take whatever is thrown back at me and respond as neccessary.

Jenny xx

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Why Is It So Odd...

Russell Brand - Big Hair, Big Mouth, Big Knob (allegedly!)

When I said I quite fancied Russell Brand, the man who presents Big Brother's Big Mouth, my Better Half and my Sister looked at me like I had just confessed to fancying John Prescott or something. The Swines!!!

Now he's not my usual type I'll give you that and I can't abide the hair nor the way he dresses like a second rate lead character from a Jane Austen novel but he does have a lovely face and I kind of like his theatrical turn of phrase.

I quite like to hear what his ball bags have been up to of an evening their escapades are like a mini reality tv show in their own right!

Jenny xx

Friday, July 07, 2006


For three days in a row I've had the mother of all headaches. It comes on at the same time each day (mid afternoon) and stays till I go to bed. Asprin doesn't touch it, darkness doesn't help and neither does quiet. 2 dihydracodine worked a good bit yesterday but haven't touched it at all tonight.

I am getting a wee bit demented with it now. Head is thumping, vision is blurry and typing this is not helping! I can't sleep, I feel thirsty like I've been in the fucking desert and while I'm fucking hot is it???? I am boiling. I'm sitting here naked for god's sake and I am sweating (sorry perspiring!). I am as wet as a prostitutes nether regions. My face has that hot glow about it and I feel a sick with the heat. It's half 11 at night. It's Scotland. It's not right. Am I the only one feeling so bloody hot???

Actually rewind a bit...I am naked. I am in my kitchen. I have patio doors and no curtains. I am reaching for my bath robe!!

Best go before I scare a peeping tom to death!

Jenny xx

Oh Brother..

It's eviction night again in BB. The great British Public decided it was time for Lea to go. Mistake there methinks. Anyway it's done now so that's an end to it.

I've not done a wee regular BB update thingy this year and you know what...I don't think I want to either.

Suffice to say...I like Nikki, Pete, Glyn, Mikey, Richard. I'm not sure about Jayne or Michael. I'm not keen on Susie or Jennie. I can't abide Aisleyne, Imogen or Spiral.

So there. Pete still to win for me just now.

Jenny xx

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Captain Jack Sparrow....

We took the kids to see Pirates Of The Carribean 2 tonight. I haven't seen the first one yet but as they've been bugging us about it for a week now we decided to give in.

It was quite good. It's not my usual choice of movie but I do like Johnny Depp and it did have a few funny moments. I couldn't say if it was better than the first one given I ain't seen it!

It did have a bizarre ending though. I won't say what it was in case you fancy seeing it yourself but suffice to say there will need to be a Pirates 3 as it's left on a cliffhanger and nothing is resolved at all!

I quite liked the fact that despite not knowing who is was beforehand that played Davy Jones I was able to guess and get it right even though his face is that of an octopus and he's kind of unrecogniseable!

Jenny xx

Wierd Weather...

What funny weather we're having at the moment. It's all hot and sunny one minute and pouring down with rain the next.

Yesterday we headed to Port Seaton to spend a wee while out on the beach. It was glorious when we headed off but as is usual (and expected) it was chillier by the shore. In fact as we looked along the bay towards Edinburgh it seemed the sun was still shining there so we headed back towards the beach at Portobello. 2 minutes along the road and the heavens opened. The rain was bouncing off the streets and in a matter of minutes there were huge puddles appearing all over the place. There was also a fair bit of thunder and lightning which we drove through. 10 minutes later we arrived at Portobello and there had been no rain there at all. It was still chillier than inland but nice enough so we sat for a while. Bizarrely enough we sat on the beach looking back round the bay where we'd come from and could see the dark clouds over that area and hear the thunder still rumbling in the distance.

A while later we decided to head home again and being rush hour we went the long way back to avoid certain traffic blackspots. We had just hit Duddingston and again the heavens opened and the thunder and lightning came. It must have caught up with us! We ended up eatign fish and chips in Mum's lounge having played cat and mouse with the rain all the way home.

Today has been muich the same. One minute the sun is shining and it's boiling hot, the next the sky goes dark and the heavens open.

For all the thunder we've had though in the last few days it is still humid and muggy.

Jenny xx

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Away Oot...

I'm away oot. It's 30c here today and gorgeous. Summer is here! It's been muggily hot for a few days now but the sun has not shown it's face. Today it's shining down which means Scots will be heading out in their droves. Well those of us lucky enough not to be at work today!

So we've packed the bags and we're hitting the road. It's the beach for us today!

Jenny xx

Monday, July 03, 2006


That's the number of posts I've put on here. This one makes it official.

Jenny xx

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bye Bye England...

Comece-lhe ascendente direito você Inglaterra!! Batedores do mundo? Que riso contudo outra vez você não bateu a mente do goalkeeper nunca o mundo. Alegria profunda!

Which is Portugese for...

Get it right up you England!! World beaters? What a laugh! Yet again you failed to beat the goalkeeper never mind the world! Deep joy!

I am officially happy today.

Jenny xx

For My Old Friend (Ex)...

Received this wee message yesterday at exactly 8:37 pm last night.

"Jenny, make sure of your facts, I will never read your blog again, up till now I have enoyed its originality. But you have just lost the bloody plot."

For the record the spelling mistake is theirs and not mine!

Anyway it came from someone who listed themselves as "an old friend (EX)"

How exciting! How mysterious! How totally wonderful! How bizarre! How it made me laugh!

Why? you may ask. Well I'll tell you why.

A) I have no idea who this "ex-friend" is.
B) I seem to have pissed them off greatly.
C) I was only aware that the usual suspects read this blog and not long lost friends
D) I wasn't actually aware I had any old friends! Top of my head there are 2 people who I class as old friends and to my knowledge neither of them even know about this blog!
E) Most of my friends are confident enough to say what they think using their name and not some anonymous version of it.
F) If I don't know who they are then how I can I take them off my Christmas Card list!
G) Someone thinks I am original and off my head which is always a good sign.
H) To my knowledge, although friend claims to be a reader of this I am unaware they've ever commented before.

Anyway it's all good. It's brought a bit of a smile to my face this weekend! Sadly as they'll never read this blog again they will never know the impact their words have had on me. They will also never know that I value their opinion so much I've removed the offending post just for them! See how nice I am??!! Fuck I've just blown my bitch title big style there eh? I should've left it on! Och well. Plenty more opportunties to be a bitch I suppose.

So it's a pity I've lost an "old friend". It's a pity they'll never grace my blog again. It's a pity they'll never tell me exactly what the fuck it was that offended them so much. Of course you never know...maybe "old friend" will sneak back on when I'm not looking just to see if I responded to their comment and maybe they'll read this and maybe then they'll realise that I would only give a fuck about their opinion if I knew from whom it came.

So farewell old friend...we had some fun times (or did we?? I guess I'll never know!!) I will miss you (or will I??) now be sure not to let the door hit your arse as you leave.

Oh and just before I bid you farewell one last point worth noting...any "old friend" of mine would know I lost the plot years and years ago!!

Jenny xx