The following is just a mish-mash of recent thoughts/draft posts I’ve had, to make up an ‘all filler, no killer’ kind of final post for the year!
Tis supposed to be the season to be jolly and all that, except it probably won’t be for some.
Alternative Advent Calendar (more dates may have been added since this screenshot)
There’s nothing cheerful about the UK suffering from a real winter of discontent, with the various unions determined to go ahead with strike action.
Should they all get their higher than inflation pay rises? Perhaps, perhaps not.
I’m probably not the best person to ask, as I’m undoubtedly biased having never been in a union and I don’t know anyone who works in any of those industries planning strike action.
But there was me being content with my max pay rise of 5% this year, knowing that inflation made me worse off, but mindfully aware that others in the company got less (or nothing) as pay rises at our place are performance related only. If you don’t like it, you lump it, and a few did.
Anyway, glad to say that I’ll be escaping the country shortly so I can hopefully avoid all the news about the disruptions and their consequences until I return.
Now that my heating is finally on, my energy bills have rocketed (credit balance on account has mostly been eaten up already) but at least I will be able to pay.
Sadly, for some, the cost-of-living crisis is real, so bad that someone made off with the charity box full of cash at work, which had been meant for the homeless this Christmas.
I think we’ve all assumed it’s someone really financially desperate, otherwise there would be a lot more anger.
For as long as I’ve worked there, there’s always been a charity box of some sort in the office throughout the year and this will now have to be locked up. Some people may now not bother to donate. Sad times.
I was at the gym, pausing in between workouts, trying to catch my breath, waiting for my quivering muscles to calm down before I attempted the next set of exercises. I’ve been carrying a couple of minor injuries recently; one of my knees has been giving me on-off gyp and I’ve got a bit of Achilles tendinitis. They’re the kind of injuries I’ve always suffered at some point from exercising, but age is probably more of a factor these days.
“Smile, love!” says a voice, “It’s not that bad!”.
I looked over at the man (of course it was a man!) and I was tempted to, a) ignore him/pretend I didn’t hear him, or b) reply with a quick put down about sexism.
Instead, I just gave a big sigh and said, “I’m smiling on the inside.”
He burst out laughing, which did bring a smile to my lips.
I know, I know, I’m not really helping the feminism cause here, but I’ll save my energies for some other battles, there was no harm done here to me.
A friend of similar age to me recently admitted that he hadn’t listened to any new music from the last decade and a half. I somewhat smugly replied that I still listened to stations like Radio 1 so that I could get to hear new tunes. It doesn’t mean that I like everything I hear but there’s often new songs or a new artist I find I can get into.
So there’s me thinking I’m down the kids/younger generation music-wise, until I saw my recent ‘Spotify Wrapped’ for the year, which was a roundup of the music I’ve been listening to all year.
I use Spotify (free) when I’m chilling, browsing the internet, writing this blog, updating my numbers etc.
If you’d have asked me, I would have said off the top of my head that the artists I’ve been listening to most this year are Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi and Adele. Maybe Wet Leg would sneak in there, or some Dua Lipa.
Well, actually no.
It seems like for comfort listening, I’m firmly rooted in the music I was listening to between my teens and early 30s, namely synth-pop from the 80s, with some grunge/alternative-rock from the 90s/00s!
The top 2 songs I apparently listened to the most were Erasure’s ‘A Little Respect’ – it is my favourite song of theirs – and Dead or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round’ which is a song I thought I only listened to when I’m getting ready for a night out.
According to a study mentioned here, people’s taste in music forms during adolescence (generally between age 10-30) but, peaking at age 14. When some “golden oldie” comes on the radio from my teenaged years, I still know all the lyrics from when I learned them from Smash Hits magazine – really showing my age now, haha!
Anyway, I’ll see if my listening changes at all next year!
Anyone else try this and get some musical surprises?
Comme ci, comme ça
I’ve continued doing my daily French lessons in Duolingo.
150 days in and I still haven’t learned anything that wasn’t taught at school and uni (I did ‘A’ Level French and also Business French at uni), although of course, I have forgotten so much of it.
One new word I guess was ‘le mot de passe’ (password) which didn’t appear in any of our pre-internet French textbooks!
I wonder how I will struggle when I eventually get to the genuine new bits of the language – my brain/memory is nowhere as sharp as it was back then!
Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!
For the first time in years, I didn’t attend work’s Christmas do because I didn’t want to mingle and run the risk of catching Covid or any other lurgy before travelling.
So it was a very pleasant surprise while I was sat at home in my PJs to get a message from my colleague at the party that I had won one of the Employee of the Year awards! Go me!
And on that note, I think I’ll sign off for the year.
So, wishing you all a merry Christmas, stay safe and warm and let’s all hope 2023 won’t be as tough as it’s predicted to be!