Archive for September 19th, 2011

Hello again.  So after that turkey came in and slammed the door I could not get back to sleep.  And to crown it all, he goes to sleep and starts to snore.  How I did’nt get up and toss him onto the floor I dont know!  Thankfully I have ear plugs so stuffed them in and tried to get some sleep.  But my stress levels were so high by then……  Tossing and turning I eventually gave up, got my clothes out, got dressed, went down and had an early cup of tea and my cereal then set off for work.  On my way out I spoke to the reception again but they were adament I had booked a mixed room.  I insisted that they phone the manager and suggested they get me another room. Huh!! no luck.  I was so shattered I decided to take the bus to work that day.  All this change and stuff is doing my head in.

I also had to make a very difficult financial decision this week, something that I quite simply did not want to do but with the loss of income and increase in living expenses I am going to be hundreds of £’s short every month.  I have been looking for part-time work but nothing has come up yet.  Anyhow with the long hours and staying at the hostel it’s enough to just cope with getting through each day at the moment.  However, I am sure that this will improve and in time I will be settled and able to look at things with a better perspective.

Seriously when I look back at 2007/2008 when I did all the personal development courses that were meant to change my life…. I had no idea how they would change my life.  I paid for course after course to learn about stuff that was meant to help me improve my financial future….instead, after doing the courses I have ended up with massive debt and have spent the last 4 years battling to pay off the courses.   Urgh!!!

I opened the Metro (a free daily newspaper provide by TfL), the other day and with a sickening thud of dismay to the stomach and chest I read a half-page advert that said Tony Robbins was returning to London next year.  All I could think about was the poor sods who would likely go and then sign up to the courses and probably end up in the same situation as me.  I know of so many people who did the same courses as me and all have ended up with serious financial difficulties.

Those 3 weeks over August and beginning Sept, I sat without work didn’t help either and I used up all my savings paying for my monthly bills, the hostel and for my accommodation from next week Tuesday.  Yes, the good news is that I leave the hostel on Tuesday morning and have managed to secure a place staying with the sister of a friend.  Whey hey!!! I will be staying on an island on the Thames. What an exciting adventure.   Always a silver lining somewhere hey! 🙂  actually I am so excited for that coz not only will I get to live on an island again (besides the one I live on now) but it also means that within 25 days from Tuesday I will move into a home again.  I will be able to get my belongings out of storage, have a room of my own, be able to set up my computer and put put all my books and things.  I won’t have to move out each time I go away and my daughter and I can now plan to create a real home again. 🙂

Now all I have to do is get through the weekend and finally after much discussion and pleading the manage has agreed to move me to a new room on Sunday night.  Which is great, except that I have to move again on Monday night.  All this to not sleep in a mixed room. What a life.  On the plus side of course this is all adding to my life story.  One day when I get to write my book I will have tons of stuff to write about and plenty of tales to tell my grandchildren one day!

my new bed for Sunday night 🙂

So hey….I got to go the watch The Great River Race on Saturday!!! it was brilliant.  So many boats I did not realise.  I had a lovely ride on the bus from Bayswater to County Hall and got to see some fab sights.  I do love this city, it is so beautiful.  I waited for ages on Westminster Bridge not realising the boats took quite so long to get from Docklands to central but it was so worth it.  It was mucho exciting to see the 1st boat coming into view, and trailing behind there they were….dozens and dozens of boats.  I got there at about 1.20pm and secured a great spot on the bridge near to the Scotsman playing his bagpipes and used his music as background for my videos. 🙂

at about 3pm right during all the excitement and when there were dozens of boats on the river the rain came down in a whoosh.  I thought of making a run for cover but on reflection figured that by the time I reached any I would be soaked….so instead I stayed where I was and got soaked to the skin…..literally.  By the time I eventually left at 3.45 once all the boats had gone by I was still dripping.  Hahahaha.  But, I carried on filming and got some brilliant footage of a rainbow over the river.  I am amazed my video camers is still working considering the amount of rain that came down.  But, it was so much fun and I will definitely be going again next year.

The piping Scotsman left (he was so grumpy) at one stage and another took his place…omg!!! hahahaha what a character.  He couldnt play for what he was worth and the sounds that came out of the bagpipes were beyond description.  He mostly did a lot of posturing and posing and very little playing….and thank goodness for that….even a cat caterwauling sounds better.   But he managed to get quite a bit of money and lots of people posed with him.  What a turkey.  During a break in filming I turned away from the bridge and noticed that he was standing with his hand up his kilt!!! seriously.  I was fascinated by this and tried to figure out what the heck he was doing without actually staring (not that I think he would have cared), so I was surrepticiously watching him when next thing he pulls his hand out from under the kilt and he has a bottle in his hand!!!  freaky friday…omg he had been having a pee!!!! hahahaha. I nearly choked.  And then what does he do? He pours it over the side of the bridge!!!!! ahahahahaha LOL even now as I write this I am laughing hysterically.  LOL I could not believe my eyes.  Have you ever in your life???  Goodness only knows!!!!

Of course it had been my intention to visit one or two of the Open House places but I was so wet that I dont think they would have appreciated me trailing a stream of water through their property.  Next year then.

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So as mentioned in my previous blog I don’t, at the moment, have a home!  In reality I have not had a home since I left South Africa in 2001 (just 18 days away from the 10th anniversary!!!)   Since I last slept in my bed in my one up, one down house in Cape Town I have lived out of a suitcase and slept  in dozens and dozens of different beds!   And except for a brief period of 1 year when I rented a room in a shared house back in 2007, I have essentially had neither a home nor my own bed.

When I arived in the UK I started work as a Care Assistant in a Care Home and have worked (except for that 1 year) pretty much as a Care assistant since then, and this entails a lot of moving around.

This was one of the biggest factors for quitting my job this year….I yearn for a place of my own.  A place where I can hang up my clothes, put out my books, put my toiletries in the bathroom (and not worry they might get used), a place that stays mine even when I go on holiday.   Working as a Carer you have to pack up all your belongings and move them out the house when you go on leave and mostly you move on from one place to the next every 2 weeks.  At first this was great as I got to see and explore little villages and towns I would never have gone to under my own steam.  But after 4 years I have had enough of that and I really want to settle down.

So the first 3 weeks after I quit my job saw me staying with my daughter for a few days, then onto a short-term job, then to stay at a friends place – initially that was meant to be for a few days but the agency let me down and I didn’t get any more work from them, and the one placement they gave me cancelled the day before I was due to go….so no job!!  in the end I stayed at my friends place (she was in South Africa) till the 11th and then to my absolute dismay I moved into a hostel.  Urgh!! I spent hours and hours looking for a short-term let but not only are they prohibitively expensive but they are few and far between and mostly, by the time you phone, the place has already gone.  Desperation was by then my middle name and at 11.32pm on the 10th I checked myself into a hostel.

Staying at my friend’s place saw it’s own challenges coz she shares with someone else and that person had no qualms when I was watching a programme to just take the remote and change the channel.  Even if I had someone staying over I would never do something like that!  But I had a room to myself and a lovely walk to the station and a commute that I used for study time.  People and internet marketing 🙂  It fascinates me no end the sheer volume of people that use the tube in the mornings and how very different they all are.

I left her place on the 11th and moved my stuff from one storage unit in north London to another in south-west London.  As it turned out I could have left it for another month and saved some money!!! I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball.  I stayed in a hotel last week Monday night courtesy of my lovely daughter…. 🙂

my room in the hotel

A fab little place in Richmond with the most amazing view of the river.  A most enjoyable evening and I was really sad to leave the next morning.  But before I left I made the most of a delicious full-english breakfast.  A great way to start the day and my new job.

the view from my hotel room

So anyhow I  moved into the hostel last week Tuesday night.  All well and good to start…..a 4 bed dorm shared with 3 other girls.  I got the top bunk ( 🙂 ) which is all very good and well….however!!! it entailed some climbing every time I got into or out of bed!  Can you just imagine!!! at my age climbing up into the top bunk.  It does’nt bear thinking about.   Mind you when I was younger I always bagged the top bunk….I can’t stand being confined and sleeping on the bottom bunk does my head in.  My roomies appeared to be rather nice and I settled in for the night, and next days walk to work was marvellous.  We have been blessed with some fabulous weather the last 2 weeks.

It’s quite weird staying in a hostel with dozens of younsters, mostly foreign, either on holiday or working.  It’s not exactly posh! Quite the opposite with faded carpets curling at the edges, very basic facilities, only a basin and a shower in each room (if youre lucky), tattered duvets, no towels, kitchen facilities that make me cringe, toilets on the landing so small you can’t turn around sideways.  So what I have decided to do is pretend that I am doing research on hostels in London for my website, and that I am practising for when I go to to Spain on the Camino.  When I do that I will have to stay in hostels which offer very basic facilities and I may just have to climb to the top bunk.

I was informed when I checked in that I would have to move to another room after a couple of days!  What? You have to be kidding me right!!!   they were not and I was not….pleased that is.  That meant I had to pack everything up and lug the bag downstairs before work on Thursday morning.

So on my way home that night I got the best call ever from my daughter.  The woman she was sharing with has decided to return to Brazil and whoooohoooo, we are taking over the lease of the house.  This is the best news ever.  We will finally have a place of our own again.  She had so wanted to stay there long term, what with the garden and all and that she loves the area.  So from 15th October I will finally have a home again.  The excitement is beyond belief and now we can plan ahead for Christmas and all of those wonderful things.  That news made my day!!!

So when I got home on Thursday night I hauled my bag upstairs from the storeroom and up to the room on the 4th floor (bearing in mind my bag weighs about 30 kgs) and opened the door to my new apartment (hahaha)….and then I got the shock of my life.   They had put me into a mixed room.  As I opened the door the first thing I saw were two guys in the room,  Initially I was like, ‘Oh! Right, visitors….thats not good’. And then it dawned on me!  Omgosh they had put me into a mixed room.

I nearly passed out with shock.  I left my bag on the landing an flew down the stairs to reception… no matter my pleading they were adament I had booked a mixed room.  No! I had not!!!

Anyhow I checked the confirmation and it definitely said ‘shared’ not ‘mixed’  Now in my language shared and mixed are two very different things.  I spent the next 20minutes pleading with them to move me but they did’nt have another spare bed anywhere and that was that.  I felt bereft and on my way up the stairs I just cracked.  I sat down on the stairs and for the next two hours cried my eyes out.   Then feeling utterly shattered, and unless I wanted to sleep on the stairs, I made my way to the room and yeehaa I had the bottom bunk. Hahahaha. What a joke.

my bed in the 'mixed' room....bottom left. as you can see not much room for privacy never mind a cat 🙂

And what a mission. I had to unpack all my pyjamas and stuff, make my way downstairs, change in the toilet area and then go back upstairs to the room.  I switched off my mind and climbed into bed.  By then I was exhausted and fell asleep almost immediately, only to be woken a few hours later by one of the chaps coming in and ……did he close the door?  No he let it slam shut behind him.  Omg!!!   I thought I might just have a nervous-breakdown.  The very thought of staying in that room till I left was not doing my psyche any good whatsoever.  They had to move me to another room!!!!!

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