Friday, 28 November 2008

A320 Perpignan crash

My heart is filled with sadness for the families of the seven people on board the A320 that ditched off France yesterday afternoon. Such a shocking, horrific thing to happen. I understand the aircraft had just finished a lease to XL Germany and was on its way back to Air New Zealand, and it had two German flight crew, and 5 Kiwis on board doing a check flight after maintenance. As I write this in the early hours, there are two confirmed dead, and five missing.

The crash didn't really rate high on the news agenda alongside the Mumbai terror attacks - what a day for horrible, horrible news - but as ever, this remains one of my nightmares, and my thoughts are with anyone involved in this horrible incident.

God bless them, and may they all rest in peace.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Being thankful

In conjunction with the US Thanksgiving holiday, and various posts giving thanks - including ones by Partner of a Pilot and Cpt J's Wife - I thought I'd do the same. Because, despite our financial nightmare, there's still a great deal that I know I should be more thankful for.

1) Meeting my husband was the most amazing bit of luck, and I'm thankful for that every day.
2) Our parents are fantastic: so loving and so helpful, always there for us when we need them.
3) We're both healthy (aside from my infertility of course)
4) We love each other very much
5) We have enough money to pay our mortgage and keep us fed
6) I have a great job
7) My husband has chosen a career he loves, and isn't stuck in some crappy desk job he'd hate
8) We have a lovely home, in a great place with a fantastic community around us.

And this made me smile...It seems I'm spot on with my taste in carols!

"While some of the carols nominated may seem unfamiliar, does any other song
get to the very heart of Christmas as understatedly but effectively as In the
Bleak Midwinter?" said Jeremy Pound, deputy editor of BBC Music

I'm feeling rather smug!

Monday, 24 November 2008

In The Bleak Midwinter

Despite our financial and job worries, I'm getting very excited about Christmas already. Some may say I'm still a child at heart (and perhaps I am!) but I don't think it's just about that, really. I personally believe Christmas is all about love - for our family and our friends and neighbours - and that's something we can all get excited about.

The title of this post is my favourite carol. I have several really, but I love the gorgeous tune and beautiful poem it was composed for, despite the obvious fact of course that Jesus was born in the balmy desert and not in the frosty wind of the wintry British countryside. Still, when I hear it I'm immediately transported back to a small Norman country church stuffed full of well wrapped-up locals each holding a candle, and it being so cold that we could all see our breath.

Perhaps I'm lucky, but when I look back over the years and think of all my Christmases, I have warm memories of all of them, despite the inevitable family tiffs that are part and parcel of what can be quite a stressful time.

I'm lucky too that my husband loves this time of year as much as I do. We have strong Christian beliefs, so it has deep meaning for us, beyond the festival of consumerism that it has become for so many.

One of the only few good things that has come out of him losing his job is that this year at least, he's guaranteed to be around for Christmas - all of it! I can't wait, despite the fact we're going to have to restrain from indulging ourselves on presents this year - we'll still have our good old trusty fake tree (£10.99 from Argos, still going strong!) cards on the walls, a home-made Christmas cake, mince pies and some yummy mulled wine.

And of course that thing that money can't buy - lots and lots of good, old fashioned, unlimited love, wrapped up in our warm house and tied with a decadent (but imaginary and therefore free!) big red bow.

Happy Christmas in advance, everyone.

Monday, 17 November 2008

The girls of Ryanair

I don't think I need to say anything about this really... except that Ryanair claim their annual charity calendar isn't sexist! Bless them, it's all about excellent customer service, isn't it.

Keeping my own counsel

I've had quite a few emails and phone calls of late from concerned friends, asking if I'm ok, and saying that they're worried that I've been so quiet recently. They know, you see, that we're having a crap time, and wonder why I'm not behaving like my normal self, and picking up the phone to call them with daily/weekly updates on our tale of woe.

Let me first say that it's not personal. My friends are still my friends, and you mean a great deal to me - it's just that, at the moment, I'm in a slightly altered state.

The thing is that, to be honest, I just don't feel like talking about everything. I feel like I run over the issues we're dealing with - my husband's redundancy, and my infertility - over and over in my mind as it is, and speaking about it out loud doesn't seem to help. No matter how many times I recount the number of airlines which aren't recruiting, or the results of my latest medical test, none of it is going to get any better. Increasingly, I prefer to ignore it in conversation, and chat about other people's problems, and not my own. That way I can pretend for a few minutes that the problems we're dealing with don't exist.

Which is odd behaviour really for a person who usually has so much to say.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Take That, depression

Despite our current reduced circumstances (how very Jane Austen that sounds!) I did something to treat myself last week.

Take That, a band I have loved since my teenage years, are going on tour again next year. For anyone who doesn't know who they are (i.e anybody in the US!) they're a former boy band who are now a man band! They broke up years and years ago after Robbie Williams left, but got back together a couple of years ago and are now even more popular than they were before - much to everyone's amazement (except mine!) Here's a gratuitous picture....

So, despite the fact the tickets weren't exactly cheap, I spent rather a long time clicking the refresh button on the website and finally managed to bag a pair of tickets to one of the stadium gigs. Bless my lovely husband (he'd rather eat worms than go to hear them play) - he just told me I deserved to go, so I SHOULD go. What a wonderful man he is...

I just felt that, given all the depressing things going on in my life at the moment, a slice of pure escapism (because that's what it is) is just what I need. Of course their music isn't high art (or even anything close), but there's something about their brand of optimism and wholesomeness that is hugely cheering. And added to that, they put on a fantastic live show which has you singing and dancing for days afterwards - which is what I really need at the moment.

Fingers crossed we're still in the county so I can actually make the gig!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Another random pilot skill

Another random pilot skill to add to the list: being able to tell the temperature, to within a degree centigrade.

Recently, our heating broke. Just what we need when we're worried about money, but there you go - someone up there is having a laugh at our expense, I think. Anyhow, it was bloody freezing in our house, and my husband went to check our thermometer - we have a digital weather station (such a pilot gadget, but quite useful too!) Before he went, he said "bet you it's 11 degrees" - and sure enough, it was 11.5 - pretty impressive!

Not sure if that's just random chance, or something common amongst pilots? What do you think?

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Losing my temper

Some people are spectacularly thoughtless.

I've just been to the dentist, and whilst there I asked whether my husband would qualify for free dental treatment, as he's on jobseeker's allowance, which I was told he would. This was the conversation that followed.

Receptionist:"So your husband's lost his job then?"
Me: "Yes, he was a pilot for x airline, which went bust".
Other receptionist, overhearing our conversation: "oh, don't talk to her about x airline, she lost flights she'd booked with them"
Me: "Oh dear. Well, my husband lost his job".
Other receptionist: "If it makes you feel any better, it was her 40th birthday".
Me (unable to contain my infuriation): Well, she can always get another holiday. My husband, on the other hand, is having great difficulty finding another job".

Yes, I know, I know, I could just have shut up and said nothing, and I probably should have, but something about that exchange just really got to me. Actually, the receptionist who had lost her flights didn't actually raise it, and looked mildly embarrassed that her colleague had. I do feel a bit bad for being so rude back - after all, she DID lose money - but then again, nothing like the amount of money we've lost.

It's the first time I've lost my temper about this actually. Luckily not too many people have been tactless enough to tell me about their airfare woes! Just as well, eh.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

A metaphor

This morning, I put a coloured wash through. In it, I put a pair of walking sandals that had been languishing in the bottom of the washing basket for far too long, and were rather unpleasant, to say the least.

When I unloaded the machine, I discovered the colour on the shoes (which had been washed before) had bled into the water and turned a number of lightly coloured items a delightful shade of grey/blue, including my favourite light grey shirt, and more importantly, a beautiful patterned dress my husband bought me for my birthday. Not only was it fairly pricey (and God knows, we're short of money now) but it's also, as they say, the sentimental value that matters more.

I think on relection that the dress is salvageable. The pattern had some white bits in it which are now slightly duller, but I don't think people who didn't see the dress before would notice it. But if anyone has any good suggestions for getting rid of bled colour, I'd be happy to hear them!

I feel in general lately that someone has just put our lives in the washing machine with some nasty colour leaking object, and our previously dazzling life has come out a muted and unpleasant grey.

I just hope that some magic whitener will come along soon to return our lives to the brighter than bright it was before. Some sort of grace-filled non-bio, perhaps.



Relationship Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory