The extra bits...(Under construction).

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Black Dog .....

     Good day to you fellow scribers and peruses of the blogosphere. I must confess to have been a tad lax of late in both my scribbling on my own paltry offerings and the reading of others fine pages but, to tell truth I have been at a loss of late. Tis a hard thing to put into words when the 'dog' is circling in the shadows of your mind searching for an opportunity to bring the darkness back, dragging you down once more. Tis not that I've been totally incapacitated this time, just aware of the presence of her growling in my head, making me more thoughtful of late. Hazzy reflections of past mistakes and the guilt that they carry have been brought into sharp focus via certain events that have occurred lately and these memories have stabbed at my mind like Ahab riding the back of the great white whale.

      But I have coped far better than before and have managed to function far better than times gone by when the dog growls. Perhaps tis because I read the signs better these days and so I am more able to function and understand what is happening in my head, perhaps it is because I have the love and support of a wonderful partner in my George or perhaps it is the medication and the happy pills keeping me more grounded. Either way this time the dog has not isolated my mind from the world but she has done enough to make me with draw within myself a tad.

     I do not know why I feel the need to explain the times when the dog bares her fangs, perhaps it is just part of the healing process. Nor do I have the words that fully describe just what being accompanied by the dog is like. I just hope that on the occasions that I mention her that it helps others whom the dog haunts realise that they are not alone and that I will help you if I can.

Till the next time, take care,

John

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Dog is discussed ...

     The shift engineers (myself included) are at present undergoing a structural reform within the Fun Factory. This, apparently, is in the name of the latest term being bandied around which is 'harmonisation'. We are being sold this turkey idea under the speal that all the factories within our owners group based in the United Kingdom are being 'harmonised' so that we all have the same structure and follow the same working practices. Mmmm not sure about this idea as our little Fun Factory is a tad different to the other factories within the group having more of a diverse set up of machinery than our sister factories. But I'm sure that our owners have looked fully at all the angles, have researched, modeled and held countless meetings about 'harmonisation'. I have every faith that they are doing this purely to improve working conditions, earnings and our general health & welfare, after all a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Oh I'm sorry you must excuse my cynicism but after over thirty years of similar rhetoric in different factories I am not holding my breath.

     Now you may well ask to the reason that I am sharing this information with you? Or you might not but I am going to bore enlighten you with the answer anyway. During the process of 'harmonisation' we have been included in some meetings, the first a group one to outline 'harmonisation' and our options, the second a one to one to enable individuals to discuss their concerns and finally another one to one for each individual to inform the company which option they wish to apply for. Oh how remiss of me not having explained said options, basically there be three;- Option 1 being a dogs body at the bottom of the engineering ladder (no need to apply as we are all guaranteed this spot, option 2 is the 'multi-skilled' and higher paid role (only one per shift team of 4) and finally option 3 being the higher paid of all being shift engineering team leader, tis also the role that brings with it the most stress and bullshit. Now personally I think that in such small teams as ours this will cause a tad of turbulence in our working relationships, but then again that does not appear to be the company's concern.

     Now bear with me as I am creeping slowly towards my point. My present position is 'lead shift engineer' which is the equivalent of option 3, which I have managed to do for about three years now without getting the sack. Only option 3 comes with a healthy pay rise but a whole load more bullshit responsibility. So during my final one to one which option I intended applying for was discussed. Here I was told that option 2 was not for me as I did not 'fit the bill', fairs fair and I appreciated the honesty so would I be applying for option 3? But before I answered I asked "well, where does the company see me?" to which came the reply well there are doubts about me for option 3 being as my attendance record has been poor in the years first quarter and there is a worry that the added pressures of the position would cause a relapse. With this in mind do you think that your 'condition' may return in such circumstance? Oh and it would be frowned upon if I did not apply as the company expects employees to constantly try to better themselves.

     So we finally get there, "do you think your 'condition' may return....?" errr let me see now, mmmm ahhh you are referring to my depresion, of course the penny dropeth. Well unfortunately the answer to this is extremely simple, no my 'condition' will most definitely not return due to such circumstance  because the bitch that is depression will always stalk me in the shadows of my life awaiting opportunity to rend my mind a fucking shambles once again!!! Everyday is a day managing it and trying to take a tiny step forward and not fall back into the abyss of mindless shit that the bitch draws my back to. For fucks sake how the hell am I supposed to answer such a question when I have no bloody idea of what is to come. I am trying my best and that will just have to do you stupid retarded fuckwits.

     Of course this was not the way I responded verbally but just some of the thoughts that cascaded through my mind as I digested 'harmonisation'. Being the gentleman and completely sane person that I am my response was perhaps slightly more eloquent. "Since returning to work from my 'conditions' last return, I have come to understand more about my 'condition' through medical advice and I am certain that the structures and management techniques that I now employ, together with the improved medication and its positive impact upon my 'condition', that I am in a position to provide you with the service that is required. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration over my 'condition', live long and prosper." Ok so perhaps not the last line, though I was sorely tempted.

     I guess what I am trying to say is not that the company does not have a clue but that there is so much to do because people fail to understand that depression is not something that can compartmentalised nor covered with a broad stroke of the brush. It affects each sufferer in so many different ways and is an absolute bastard to live with. For me it has torn my life apart, I have lost 'friends' and it has caused so much heartache that I had reached the stage of taking my life. If it was not for one little dog I am certain that I would not be here rambling on today. Of course I couldn't answer the questions fully and truthfully because I do not believe there is an answer, just time.

    Speaking of time, thank you for yours in reading my words, till the next time take damn good care of yourselves,

John

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Compromise Garden....Pond life ...

     A very good evening goodly folk of the blogosphere and I hope that you are all in fine fettle?

      Well after a trip to and from Londonium in yesterday's sweltering heat in a van with no air conditioning I have to report that all here at Compromise Garden are bloody well knackered too say the least! Fortunately the terrible twosome were spared the ordeal and are having a break from us at the moment. I just have to say at this point how many dogs have to die such horrible deaths in these hot conditions before people are either educated or punished for their neglect or just plain stupidity? 

      Well rant over and on with this swift posting. Having unloaded previously mentioned furnace on wheels I decided to cool off in the shade of compromise garden drinking fruit juice (not from the Fun Factory, bloody bilge) this noon after and take a look at the small wildlife pond. Within seconds I am scampering to the house for me camera as there are new guests in and around the small, watery, refuge...


My first Damsel Fly

A tiny Water Boatman

and the Tadpoles are now tiny Frogs

      I am really pleased with the way this small pond has changed. It certainly appears to be attracting the wildlife and I hope that this small success will convince others that only the smallest of ponds is required to encourage a whole bunch of wildlife to your garden. Speaking of ponds the fish pond has now been started and I have a feeling that once finished (not that anything in a garden is ever truly finished) this project will really tie the garden together....



     ...as you can see it has taken centre stage yet I know that once finished and planted it will just be another component of Compromise Garden, blending in and adding to the sum of the 'hole' garden. And yes I did say "fish pond", not perhaps exactly a watery area that would be ideal for a wildlife garden but as the name implies tis another compromise. 

       My George has not asked for much in Compromise Garden and has left the vast majority of decisions to me, the fool! But one thing requested was water flowing towards the house with a certain number of fish, it be a Feng Shui thing. Now ideally Koi Carp would be the fish of choice but for myself that would mean a lifeless pond as virtually no plant life would survive and the pond would just be a deep pit, I plumped for Golden Rudd but another aspect of the Feng Shui thingy was that there should be eight red fish and one black fish. So after some head scratching we agreed upon the lowly common Goldfish as the choice when the pond is ready and mature enough to accept them. Yes I know that wildlife will not flourish in this pond but with more robust planting and some careful planning I am hopeful that some wildlife will find this compromise a suitable option to frequent, time will tell I guess.

    Tomorrow I am hoping to spend a little time down at plot A2 but that depends upon a host of other chores being completed first.Well tea is on the table so that will be all for this evening's post, til the next time fare thee well my friends...

John