Archive for March, 2006


Bedecked in the Cheap Suit, yesterday I went back into the depths of wildest Lincolnshire for my second interview.  I had a look around the factory which was really interesting – the process looks fairly simple and easy to manage as it is very automated and the systems they have in place look fine.

Once again I dealt with their questions well and came across as interested (but not too desperate) and things were going swimmingly.  Until, that is, they came to the issue of how flexible I can be with a toddler at home and no family (other than The Yorkshireman of course!) support if she’s ill or I need to finish late.  They seemed quite concerned that they would be left in the lurch if I suddenly had to go home because of an ill child – quite justifiably so to some extent as the department is very small and there would be no-one there to cover my job if I was called away in the middle of a customer audit or factory trial.   One advantage of the job I’m in now is that I am part of a team and someone is always available to pick up my work if I’m not there.

They explained that I would not be expected to work overtime as such, but if there is an important customer visit or some urgent development work that needed to be done then I would be expected to be there.  Sometimes these visits and trials can go on past 5 o’clock, fairly standard for the food industry really.

I fielded it as best I could, explaining that The Yorkshireman and I share the responsibility if she’s unwell, according to who can get away from work more easily on a particular day.  I also said that I would be willing to take paperwork home and that I would make up any hours lost.  Hopefully this will be enough for me to still be in the running.

I came away with a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I just know that they will interview some bright young thing who can work more flexibly than I can and that I will lose out.



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Today’s the day…


… of the second interview.

I have checked over my checklist and all appears to be in order. I have washed my hair, filed my nails to a neat and tidy length and turned my monobrow into two separate entities, one above each eye, as is the usual arrangement.

We had a chinese takeaway at the weekend, complete with fortune cookie:

Looking good then 🙂

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A very happy Mothers’ Day to all the Mums (and, especially for BabiesEverywhere, Mums-to-Be) out there. I hope you all had a lovely day.

I woke up to a bunch of tulips, some chocolate and a teddybear from my beautiful daughter, aided and abetted by Daddy of course! Sadly I didn’t get a lie in and lazy morning though, The Yorkshireman was at work today.

I’m not sure that I really deserve anything though… I know that most Mums have a story of how their carelessness has caused injury to their little one – yesterday it was my turn to swell the ranks of Bad Mummies.

Little’un and I had been out in the morning and when we came home I didn’t check to make sure the stair gate was closed. I was putting the shopping away and I thought to myself, “Hmmm, it’s far to quiet…” and before I had time to investigate I heard







She had fallen down the stairs, and from quite a way up judging by the number of thuds. It may not have been so bad if she hadn’t arrived head first at the bottom and collided with the radiator… cue screams and copiously flowing blood. I arrived in time to see the final impact and in my attempt to catch her using a flying rugby tackle I fell against the clothes airer on the radiator, bending it an bruising my arm in the process.

What it is about cuts to the mouth that make them bleed so profusely? There must be extra capillaries close to the surface or something. I couldn’t get Little’un to open her mouth to assess the damage and I was convinced she must have knocked out a couple of teeth judging by the amount of blood there was and by the amount of screaming that was going on. Quite aside from the fact that she’s far too young to have the “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” look, some of those teeth were incredibly hard won and I didn’t want to have gone through the teething process just to have them knocked out at 21 months.

After what seemed like about three days she finally calmed down enough for me to have a look. She had a tiny tiny wee cut to the gum between her top front teeth. And that was it. No bruises, no broken bones and no head injury.

I think we had a very lucky escape but it hasn’t stopped me from feeling horribly guilty.
According to my Mum, I did a very similar think at my Gran’s house once, flying head first down the stairs and hitting the radiator at the bottom. I also remember falling feet first down the stairs when I had an attic room in a tall, narrow terrace house in Sheffield (No, I hadn’t been drinking. Not this time, anyway.). I had a bruise on my arse and a bruise on my coccyx for each stair, and couldn’t sit down comfortably for about two weeks.

Time to buy a bungalow, methinks.

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Race for Life

Its official… I’ve lost the plot.

For reasons that are utterly beyond me at the moment I have decided to enter this year’s Race for Life.  The event I’ve entered will be held in Boston on 9th July.  I suppose I should be grateful for the fact that Boston is in the Fens, surely the flattest landscape on the planet.  If I still lived in Sheffield, the city built on seven hills, I’d be a candidate for a comfy jacket and a room with nice padded walls.

I am really hoping to be fit enough by July to run at least half of it, in bursts of 5 minutes or so, the rest of it will have to be completed using my usual lolloping amble.  I’m already perfectly capable of walking 5km with no problems so I’ll definitely complete the course.  I’m just hoping not to be the last one across the line!

Here’s a link to my sponsorship page.  Feel free to have a look and to sponsor me, even if it’s just for a pound or two.  It all adds up 🙂 . My real reasons for doing the race are explained properly there.

I was at the gym again last night, discovering brand new muscles that don’t seem to want to do any work.  There were no treadmills available so I went on the bike, and oh my god was that ever a wake up call!  I really thought that I was fitter than I look, but that turns out not to be the case at all.  As I said above, I’m used to walking so 20 minutes power walk on an incline causes me no problem at all.  Cycling is a different story though, my thighs were screaming “Stop it! We don’t like it!” for the whole 20 minutes.  I think I’m going to have to keep the cycling up though otherwise I’m going to get too comfortable on the treadmill and not do much to improve my fitness.  Gah.

I haven’t even contemplated running yet.  I’m still too wobbly and I don’t fancy the bruises that I’ll get from the boob and tummy flappage.  I’m working on that though and my weight finally seems to be coming down.  Probably because I’ve woken up to myself and stopped the outrageous diet cheating.  I finally seemed to have learned that even though no-one has seen you eat the chocolate, the calories still count.

There are these little muscles just under my armpits that are killing me today.  What are those muscles for?   I clearly haven’t used them much over the past few years as I only lifted super light weights last night.  I look like a rugby player at the moment but I only have the upper body strength of a bowl of soggy mash.  I’m regularly beaten in battles of strength by a 20 month old, which says it all really.

If I don’t have the physique of (a blonder and pastier) Xena Warrior Princess by July I shall be seriously annoyed.

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A photo for you. She has her hat on so you can’t see the mess I made of her hair when I tried to trim her fringe last week.

Like most babies and toddlers, she loves riding in the car. We sing “Wheels on the Bus” and “Old McDonald” all the way home from nursery – I do most of the words and she does the sound effects

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I got a phone call this morning inviting me back for a second interview and a tour of the factory!  It’s next Tuesday.


  1. Remember safety shoes.  Try not to kick interviewers with steel toe caps if things look like they’re going badly.
  2. Don’t wear any jewellery other than a plain wedding band (a standard requirement of factory visits in the food industry, makes me look like I know something about it!)
  3. Tie hair back neatly in a style that won’t look too hideous after the removal of the obligatory factory hairnet.
  4. Don’t wear trousers that are too long for flat shoes or they trail on the floor.  Fortunately the trousers belonging to the Cheap Suit are fine with flatties.
  5. Make sure no lipstick on teeth or mascara on eyelids.
  6. Practice interested facial expressions.
  7. Read up on pet food and pet nutrition issues.
  8. Read up on factory quality management.  Fortunately The Yorkshireman is something of an expert on this, being a food factory auditor by trade.

So please keep those good wishes coming my way.  It seems to be working so far.

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To Granny

This is especially for my Mum, but you’re all welcome to have a look 🙂

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