Friday, 27 March 2009

Can't Sleep, Won't Sleep

In case you were wondering, Charlie failed his test! It was something he’d really wanted to do, but unfortunately, his lack of confidence made him vulnerable behind the wheel of a bus. So, when fate intervenes, we have to go with the flow and realize - it’s probably for the best.

When we were 16, our cups runneth over on the work front. But now, there are barely enough vacancies to go around. Apparently, 900 jobs have gone from Wrexham since the beginning of January 2008. This I can believe because Charles has tried for jobs from road sweepers to refuse collectors, and received the same, sorry to inform you results.

Last night, I lay awake in bed pondering on what the future holds for us.

We did see a vacancy that looked kind of promising; it involved supervising the day to day running and opening of a castle. Since the successful candidate needed to wear many hats, we wrote and asked if we could job share. I had supervisory skills, but knowledge of collections care in a historic context and preventative conservation- in depth understanding of the 9 agents of deterioration (essential) was a different kettle of fish. So for the past week I have ate slept and studied the detrimental causes and their affects. And now, I can reel them off like I was reciting my times tables.

For me, a far more worrying aspect of the post is living in a supposedly haunted building. Imagine if you will, turning in for the night and meeting one of its past occupants on the stairs? In our house, there has been much debate over how our 13- year-old daughter would fare such secluded surroundings. And whether our 12- year- old Yorki cross, could cope in a 700 - year- old flat?

I've heard that if you really want something, you must imagine yourself there and it will come to pass. My imagination must be on overdrive as twice this week I have almost given poor Charlie a heart attack. Both times I was screaming ‘get away from me!’ to the windows and walls

The mind boggles. Is it any wonder that I can’t sleep?

Friday, 20 March 2009

Wrexham’s pass rate for bus drivers is the second worst in Britain

Yesterday, when Charlie left for his first driving lesson in two weeks, I drew a card for us both. First up, effectively portrayed in Japanese Manga art is The Three of Wands (reversed).

The card shows a woman sitting on the riverbank with a fretful, far-away look on her face….Sitting and waiting is the order of the day with the Three of Wands. The roses in the picture promise new beginnings and hope, but the thorns suggest there could be a few painful problems to endure along the way.

This lucky card suggests that you should cast aside doubts and fears and have the foresight to tackle something different. Also if you trust in yourself, everything else will fall into place. Another aspect to consider is two things coming together make three- so you can count on teamwork and cooperation

The Three of Wands (reversed) portrays problems that could arise from lack of experience. Or there may be setbacks and careless mistakes

Second card of the day (drawn with Charlie in mind) is The Eight of Pentacles. In numerology - 8 symbolizes material accomplishment, power and success.

In Tarot the apprentice card depicts job training, learning new skills and having the discipline required to succeed in something new. It also suggests the chance to work with someone who will teach him new methods.

And Charlie was certainly taught new methods yesterday (a little late at this stage of the game, don’t you think)?

Crestfallen Charles told me he’d been with the instructor who'd boasted he made grown men cry. Consequently, the little confidence the previous instructor had built up rapidly ebbed away. After an hour, Charles said jokingly that he wanted to return home as nothing was going right. (unfortunately, the intense, infinitely tiring driving lessons last for four hours).
Trouble was everything he’d been taught by his previous instructor - from roundabouts to checking over the bus was wrong in the new tutor’s eyes.. At the end of the lesson, Charlie asked how he was doing?

F…… S… !The bully barked.

‘So, is it worth taking my test?’ Charlie then inquired. He was told he had nothing to lose (meaning you can kiss the money goodbye if you don’t take the test).

Bully boy then begrudgingly confided , the owner thinks you’re good enough. Peter thought you were good enough and I think you can do it…So you may as well take the test!’ Did he just give Charles a compliment?.

Another aspect of the Eight of Pentacles is the foundation laid may pay off…so like the instructor says, he’s got nothing to loose, except perhaps, a couple of grand.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday the 13th can actually be a day of considerable good fortune.

In last Wednesday’s post was Charlie’s new test date. But, because he’d been given the date over the phone, Charlie glimpsed at the letter and tossed it aside.

Jotting it down on the calendar, I almost had kittens. It was on (gulp) Friday 13th! Some superstitious folk will not leave their beds on this ill-fated date - but I’m not usually that gullible. However, after our series of misfortunate events it had to be a bad omen.

And this was not our only concern, Charlie had been ordered to attend a Back to Work Group Session. The hour long course was intended to give general advice to people out of work). But, with a mere, 186 jobs in our area (and only one in manufacturing) can the talks really dampen-down the dole queues? Or will they just deflate myriads of jobseekers who, through no fault of their own, cannot find work? Nonetheless, failure to attend could result in 2 weeks benefit loss -so like it or not he had to go!

Fortunately, when Charles phoned the training centre and told them his dilemma, he discovered there had been a mix up in the dates. . Phew, I was so relived I could have danced around the bedroom naked, (believe me it’s not a pretty sight). His test is now set for Friday 20th March…
For those of you sitting at home dwelling on the date, according to 600 B.C mathematical philosopher Pythagoras – the number 13 is a chance for evolution and change. And blessed Friday 13th was a holy day in the church. So, think positive and your luck could be dramatically altered on today.

For more fascinating Friday 13th facts, check out this great website

Saturday, 7 March 2009

‘Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em!’

Well I said he wouldn’t fail and he didn’t. Unfortunately, he didn’t pass either...

In hindsight I can see where the Death card came in, because Charlie killed the poor old bus. Well, it’s not exactly dead, but it is out of action for a few days. We’d discussed forking out for extra lessons if he failed -little did we know that we’d be paying either way).

Yesterday, Charlie’s face had been as pale as the Dover Cliffs as he headed for the training centre.On his pre-test, he conquered roundabouts big and small, reversing and manoeuvring the 35 feet long bus through the busy town.

It was at the test centre gates, my nervy husband turned into ‘Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em’ star, Frank Spencer.

For instructed to head towards the white line, Charles forgot the rigid, 22,000 pounds vehicle doesn’t corner like a car. As a result, gate hinges ripped though the side of the bus like it was opening a sardine can. (They’re made of a thin metal you know.)

‘F…ing Hell, Charlie,’ the instructor gasped. Charles felt terrible and apologised profusely.

To cut a long story short, it was decided the bus was just too dangerous to take out.

Back at the training centre, Charles learned an Arriva driver had made the same mistake the previous week (he shattered the windows on his bus).

The instructor also declared Charlie was doing so well he was sure he was going to pass.
But, Charlie was to upset to speak.

Back home the owner of training centre phoned and told Charlie to stop worrying, it could have happened to anyone.

So now, my Page of Pentacles husband has to phone on Monday morning to arrange another test...

link to website design page

website design guide

Friday, 6 March 2009

A cracking card to follow Death.

In bed this morning, I told Charlie, ‘you are going to pass!’ He said, he didn’t want me to mentioned the test (it’s this afternoon by the way.) So downstairs, I shuffled the cards and with my lovely hubby in mind, I drew was the studious Page of Pentacles. The careful and diligent Page has an out with the old, in with the new attitude - so it’s a lovely card to follow Death.

The card shows a Page of Pentacles in a grass coloured tunic with a certificate in one hand and a spray of plum and pink fuchsias in the other. The beautiful bobbing flowers denote faithfulness -and of course, Charlie, has really been devoted to the course. For he was up before 7: am, taking the car around roundabouts and following the test-route. So like our Page of Pentacles, he’s really is a homework buff.

With the focus on learning, our Page shows thoroughness, practicality and hard work will soon be paying dividends. And he could soon be presented with an satisfying opportunity on the job front. Wow, that’s a relief. Like most people, in these credit crunch times, we need a bit more money in the pot.

Another aspect of the earthly Page is that he’s a keen and persevering young chap. He’s also ambitious, practical, responsible, patient and kind, but on rare occasions- easily depressed. That’s Charlie at this present moment in time and he’s so down -in -the –dumps, he’s gone back to bed. So have faith, Charles, Page's do not give in easily, or surrender their dreams….

It’s funny the card was drawn today, as the Page of Pentacles can also represents news. And we’ve heard this morning that my lovely, backpacking -in -Australia stepdaughter - has got a job! Yay, well done, Nic! And as the Pentacles suit denotes money and earthly possessions – it should take a great weight off her mind. Her new, Page of Pentacle position starts next Wednesday.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

New buds on old branches-

Charlie went through a pre-test with his instructor today, if this had been a real test he was told, you would have passed.
But he is so nail-bitingly nervous, there’s nothing I can say to pacify him.
So shuffling my Tarot cards, I said, think of a question- it goes without saying what he requested.
And gulp…the card chosen was Death.
Death is the card that sends grown men dashing for cover. But in the Tarot it very rarely means the grim reaper will be knocking on the door.

The Death card depicts a major change is about to take place. It can mean that a job, relationship, project, or in Charlie’s case a series of driving lessons are coming to an end.

Interestingly, if we rewind a few week, we’d see the first stages of his life changing journey was staring to take shape. Change is on the horizon, for the card represents important changes and letting go of something that’s way past its sell-by-date. Althought scary in the beginning, by cutting out things that are no longer useful, a new life cycle can begin

So tomorrow when a new sun rises, a great transformation will be taking place. And if Charlie can hold his nerve, he stands a good chance of getting his bus drivers licence...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Yesterday Charlie came back with his head held high. His instructor told him, ‘for the last hour I haven’t had to tell you anything. Drive like that on Friday and you’ll be okay.’ So things are looking sunny again. Today, his instructor’s taking him on along test routes and through our busy towns. He’s told him ‘I’ll just tell you when to turn. If you go wrong I won’t shout.’ He’s very lucky to have this ex-army man for an instructor. The guy that’s off due to bereavement, told Charlie, that it’s his policy to yell and shout.

‘Sometimes,’ he admitted, ‘I’ve made grown men cry.’ That must go a long way to instilling confidence in his clients—I don’t think! To me, it’s obvious why two, learner-bus-drivers failed last week.

One of them is retaking his test today. Fingers crossed for him.

I’ve searched the house from top to bottom for Charlie’s glasses. And believe me, searching through our junk-laden garage, is like trying to get around a military obstacle course.

Admittedly, when the loosely screwed plastic bottle came tumbling from the shelf, I muttered some choice words. The smelly petrol shower resulted in everything -right down to my teddy slippers – being run through the wash.

Ah well, I hope Charles fares better…

Unfortunately, Charlie’s confidence was short lived. Because Tuesday morning, he looked like he’d rather go ten rounds with Frank Bruno - than travel with his instructor on the bus.

Trying to instil confidence I told him ‘you’ll be right as rain, with a couple more lessons.’
‘It’s no good,’ he’s says, ‘if you’re not born with it.’

He hasn’t learned that not many people are born with self-confidence. For most of us, it’s just an act.

Another worry for him is, he’s lost his specs. Fortunately, they’re the ones he uses for distance. We're the Jack Sprat of spectacles. I cannot see far and he can't see close up. Together, we have perfect vision...

Sunday, 1 March 2009

My card of the day was The Three of Pentacles

It predicted that hard work will not go unnoticed - sounds promising don’t you think? It’s certainly true in Charlie’s case as he’s in the back garden cutting down trees. Trouble is as soon as the chain saw started wining our neighbour came out. She told him, when they first moved into the house the 90ft garden was great for young kids. They could play outside all day where she knew they’d be safe. But now with her arthritis, she hasn’t a hope- in -hell of keeping the jungle down. She does however manage to pull up the weeds and keep on top of the lawn (with either a garden shears or an antiquated push mower. So Charlie thought he’d help out and lop off the overhanging branches of the silver birch. He was also willing to cut the the tops off the conifers that keep her three- bedroom house void of light. However, she prefers the trees (except her lovely forsythia) to have a bit more than a short back and sides. But for this Charlie would need to climb trees. But, my ever-so cuddly hubby is not an agile cat that can clamber to the top of the massive trees. This morning, he stepped outside as the sun came up, ‘it’ll only take a few hours,’ he said. It’s just after 5 pm, the sun is going down and he’s still out there! And V, bless her, is still supervising. Oh, well like the card said, his hard work is not going unnoticed…
Another Three of Pentacles aspect is specializing in something that will bring future monetary success. Or a good time to start a project. This is true as I’ve just signed up for an on-line Tarot for Writers workshop. Besides learning to utilize the Tarot on a personal level, it guarantees to open my imagination (the only thing wrong with mine is that I forget to use it). And best of all, it promise to boot the dreaded writers block out of the water. Oh well, onwards and upwards….