DC 28: Something I’m afraid of

If I was supposed to write these up in 30 consecutive days then mark me down as a crazy rebel!

p45_example1Anyway, this is the thing I am afraid of. To put it in context – there are quite a few people depending on my wage and with the current economic situation it would not be quick to find alternative employment if I was made redundant.

As I am also responsible for a frail elderly relative, whose home is supported by my income, I think it is safe to say the pressure can be quite difficult on days when funding at work looks precarious. I work in a shrinking sector and funding is primarily through government SLAs.  I can’t have my projects fail.

I am lucky in that my colleagues are competent, persuasive and supportive people who know how to get things done. But customer expectations are high and the requests for development are often along the lines of “Can you make it more web-ish, but not too web-ish, you don’t really need a developer to do that do you?”.

Being made redundant can be devastating; not only financially but also at a deep psychological level. Because so much of our society’s value model is based around relatively standardised paid work, and with the current government ratcheting up a view of those not in work as scroungers or criminals, it is not surprising to read of increased hate crime against very vulnerable groups, such as disabled people or the Traveller community.

Which is a bit of a step from my worrying about losing my job, my house and my aged relative (honestly, a move would be the end of her!). But in the dark hours of a sleepless night, that step seems quite small and close.


30DC-21: A picture of something you wish you could forget

I have my share of unpleasant memories, but on the whole I think they are part of who I am. So even the really nasty ones have a lesson attached, unpalatable as it may be.

In time I will probably forget most things anyway. I can barely remember why I went upstairs, or where I left my shoes.

But some things contribute little to the greater good. And this is one of them: I can find no lesson to learn or silver lining in this particular piece of hideousness.


30DC-20 – A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel.

There are two places I am keen to visit, and I do have a preference.

The main choice is to follow the Silk Route, although admittedly this is not one place but a good section of the Earth’s circumference. I suppose the section I am most interested in is across India, so here is a picture of somewhere in India that I would like to include on that tour.


The other place is not so much a place as an event. I would like to visit Japan when the cherry blossom is out and have a picnic under the trees.

There are lots of other places I would like to see, but those two are long-standing from childhood, so deserve priority here.

30DC-19 – A picture of you when you were little.

At last! a straightforward post – except….which to choose?

The luxury of choice is often denied us in all kinds of ways, large and small. I refer the reader to Libya, as of now, or any autocratic regime of their choice, and there are many; alternatively my own dilemma, trivial in comparison, of choosing between so many childhood photographs recalling a happy and carefree time now long distant.


So here am I with my little panda. Aww!

30DC-18 – A picture of your biggest insecurity.

So here I am with the next in the occasional series also known as the 30 Day Challenge/

By coincidence today is also National Grammar Day so I shall perpetrate as many errors as possible in this post.

So, to the business at hand!

Being one giant bundle of insecurity means that I have quite the problem in deciding how to approach this response. In general I might describe myself as insecure, but without identifying the root cause or, indeed, the specific area of life in which I feel particularly insecure. I suppose I am particularly insecure about classroom situations (this is amusing from a School Governor!). I had a very traumatic time at secondary school and so whenever i am asked to evidence learning (as we say nowadays, meaning “answer the question”) I literally panic. And I do literally mean “literally”; my heartbeat increases, I sweat and if left too long, will burst into tears. This can be a little embarrassing in group situations.

The way my school worked was that there was a very high expectation on students to succeed academically (at least, for those of us in the A stream; the B stream students were generally ignored or disparaged by both staff and A stream students). In class, marks would be read out, and the general rule was: A is good; B is acceptable, but B- or less is a FAIL. In modern parlance, B- would be an epic fail. Achieving G- resulted in being stood in front of the class and harangued, often until you cried. It’s one reason I am not keen on independent schools – standards can be absolutely barbaric.

Strangely enough this has resulted in my not enjoying achieving less than an A grad or equivalent. I feel slightly queasy with qualifications which issue a Pass/Fail. Even the Pass feels uncomfortably like a poor grade.

And as a result of all that I put myself under huge pressure to achieve top marks all the time and never feel it is enough. For example, I got 49/50 on a Foundation exam for a work qualification, and am still niggling over the one I got wrong. Most recently I did another Foundation for a related qualification, and only got 45/50. I am in genuine fear of the results of the Practitioner exam due in a couple of weeks.

Bizarrely I love learning new stuff though. I am loving my course in Old English right now, although opening the envelope with the marked work is difficult. Suppose I have completely messed up? Suppose I misunderstood how to manage subjunctive clauses? I put off opening the last one for over a week because I was not confident about having done well enough.


30DC-17 – A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently


I have been suffering with plantar fasciitis (fascist feet) for the last couple of years, with the condition getting gradually worse. It is supposed to clear up in time but in my case this has not happened. The steroid treatment I took has also resulted in my putting on more weight which exacerbates the problem further. Just before Christmas I found that I needed to resort to using a stick to help me walk.

The stick I am using was my Grandma’s so I suppose it is almost an antique – certainly a good 50-60 years old anyway. Coincidentally I feel at least 60-70 years old.

Not interesting or exciting as posts go, but it is making my life very different.

30DC-16 Something I want to do before I die

 Actually I am not sure if this next on the list but I’ll go with it today.

So there are two main things I want to do before I die: one is to hold a grandchild, and the other is to see the Earth from outside.

Babies, picturesque and achievable (I hope). I can always adopt!

Space travel: difficult and expensive, but something I have wanted to do since I was a little kid and watched Neil Armstrong and the gang land on the Moon. I can take or leave a Moon landing, but getting into orbit is a top wish. I want to look down on the planet and see it in all its beauty and fragility; and I want to look up and away and see the universe unmediated by atmosphere. 

It’s not too much to ask. According to my memory we should all be living on Mars by now anyway.

That scene in Firefly where River and Simon are outside the ship hiding and River can’t take her eyes off how beautiful the stars are? That’s me