As promised months ago I have finally found time to write a catch up blog. Technically I don't really have time to be doing this, but I am aware I have been neglecting my blog and don't wish to make it feel unloved!
The two huge things that have been going on in my life is the ongoing saga of writing my Masters dissertation and the ongoing depression of trying to find paid work during a recession! I have been lucky enough to secure two interviews but neither of them ended up in an offer of employment. I have been applying to quite a lot of jobs as there has been an increase of jobs on the market which match my skills and experience. However so far still waiting for that illusive paid job! Fingers crossed something will come up soon as things are getting desperate and with our silly government's continuous meddling with the Benefits system it is becoming harder and harder to survive. Not live, survive! They seem to have got the idea in their heads that by reducing and capping benefits more people will be inclined to find work! Hello!! Nobody enjoys living on a pittance of a benefit and do want to find work. The problem is there are not enough jobs or jobs matching the skills of the country's population and lets not forget its the government who have inflicted hundreds of redundancies across the country without investing in industry and other businesses to encourage growth and therefore employment! Dur!!
The lack of a job has, in theory at least, given me time to work on my masters dissertation. The final deadline is October and is incredibly close and I would be lying if I said I was calm and relaxed about the whole thing. I have really struggled to concentrate and remain focussed on my writing. We have had so many stresses and problems going on at home not to mention illness and a broken toe, that trying to concentrate with so much on your mind is near on impossible. I am so looking forward to the day when I can hand it in, but at the same time that looks like a massive mountain to climb. I also have received very little support and understanding. So many people seem to think that you can just get up, sit in front of a laptop and write. They don't seem to understand the frame of mind you need to be in and how frustration and stress (and not to mention a bit of self doubt thrown in!) makes things worse. Its like a vicious circle! My tutor has been great but she can only do so much, as it mainly relies on me churning out the chapters for her to then comment on and offer guidance and suggest areas I might want to revisit or revise. I am also lucky to have a couple of friends who are very supportive and even offered to proof read my chapters for me, as well as a friend who finished her MA last year so can sympathise. However other people who are more involved in my life are either critical of the length of time it has taken or why I can't just "get on with it" or have lost interest. To be honest I feel very isolated and at the moment its not going great. However I am a fighter so I am not giving up - just yet!
On a more positive note, last week was my birthday week! Yes, its been exactly 12 months since my 30th Birthday celebrations. I cannot believe how fast it has gone!! I also expected to feel a bit different turning 31, but nope, just feel the same as I did at 30! I did have a great birthday week though. It kicked off on the Monday with a girly afternoon (and evening!) with my lovely friend Cheryl. We chatted and screamed with laughter until our throats were sore! It was also lovely that when Dad came home he joined in as well. I haven't laughed so much in ages and I had a really fabulous time. Spending quality time with a good friend can be a priceless gift. Definitely something Cheryl and I need to do more often. Then on my actual birthday as well as receiving some lovely parcels of birthday pressie goodness from my Mum and Andy, Dad and I went out on a shopping trip to get get my birthday present from him (a lovely MP3 Player) and to suss out the new Hobbycraft which has opened locally. Then we rushed home to get ready to go out again, as we went for a lovely meal with the Boy at the local Harvester. It was a lovely evening and a great birthday.
The following evening was Ian's 50th Birthday party. It was a fun evening and I got to see people that I haven't seen in ages which was nice and meet the gorgeous young-uns Ellis and Keaton. However it was also a working gig for me and Dad and we worked flipping hard. By the end of the evening we were exhausted and my toe was throbbing! I certainly paid for it the following day and the next! The following day I had a great day with No2, Nat and Mo and the gorgeous chihuahuas Maisie, Shelby and Yoda. I got lots of birthday cuddles from the beautiful doggies which was lovely and I also got fabulous presents in the form of PRO-MARKERS!! I can finally say I have started my collection of pro-markers and I can now work on building the colours up and having a go at stamping and pro-marker art. So excited! I have had a little play with them and the presents I got from my Mum, but I have also been careful not to spend too much time with them, with the promise to myself that once the dissertation is done I can spend as long as I want playing with them! I am hoping they will be my "carrot" to help focus my writing!
I also received some birthday money from Betty and others which I have already spent (being skint is horrible, so its nice to treat yourself!) I was able to buy the two books about London that I have wanted for ages, "London Under" by Peter Ackroyd and "London's Labyrinth" by Fiona Rule. I also managed to get a great deal on some Sue Townsend books I have been after for years, so Betty's money was spent on "The Queen and I", "Queen Camilla" and "Number 10". So looking forward to finishing my writing as I have so many books to read now!! I daren't start one now as I don't need any more distractions! But hopefully more "carrots"!!
In between this I have also continued to work on the preparations for the Museum's project. We will hopefully hear soon about the funding and once we have the green light I will be able to tell you more about that too!
I think that is most of the stuff caught up now - what I can remember anyway! Now I think I need to have some lunch and get back to trying to redraft my chapters!
Wish me luck!