Closed for Refurbishment…et voila`..a black swan!

Last week we set our for an eagerly awaited day-trip to Audley End..the day was bright though nippy..but off we sped to the grand house and gardens.

Walking through the gardens...

Walking through the gardens…

At the entrance we were greeted by an apologetic guard who said that the house was closed until the spring due to major refurbishment work (I did say to hubby..trust our luck!!), so we could only gain access to the servants` quarters and the gardens. However all was not lost, since we strolled round the servants` quarters..saw the gigantic kitchen, the dairy and prowled around the gardens in the fresh English countryside air..

We managed to see a few sights..and here are some of our snap-shots…

Off you go to the kitchen!

Off you go to the kitchen and bake pies for The Family!

A massive oven to bake many a pie and cakes!

Oven

What an Oven mate!

We also saw a magnificent black swan and a very friendly Shire horse!

The Friendly Shire horse

The Friendly Shire horse!

The Black Swan

The Black Swan!

Advertisements

Womens` Day and Equality

So, last week for those of you who noticed…the world celebrated International Womens Day and in some countries, such as the UK, also Mothers Day, though on the continent, Mothers Day is celebrated in May actually.

International Womens Day

International Womens Day- Image from google pics

Well, a few days before the event, I heard a radio presenter remark that they should have International Mens Day and one of his female guests said that it would not be possible, since Mens Day is every day!

This statement evoked some thoughts which I will share with you:

In this era of equality for everyone`s rights..wether you`re black or white, female or male, gay or straight..everyone seems to be quibbling about rights. I think that we have got it all wrong– we can never be equal because everyone is an  individual, so what politicians need to do is to ensure that people embrace differences between each other and let`s say it…unless they stop attacking immigrants for what goes wrong in their country, we`ll never get anywhere.

So, let`s focus on males and females. We are told that women have come a long way since the days when they first had the vote (thanks to the suffragettes) and were married off to have kids and tend to the husband and children and never had a say in who ruled their countries. I don`t agree! Nowadays women have taken on roles which were traditionally male ones- in the caring professions (except nursing), law, engineering, business.They have been able to get a decent education which had been denied to their female ancestors for ages and that is a great thing but women are intrinsically different to men- anatomically, physiologically and psychologically, yet we still compete against men for jobs, recognition and salary (and here we still are not equal). These days,  female humans are still getting married or hooking up with men, having their babies and managing children, home, housework and real work.

The Suffragettes

The Suffragettes

Ironically, it`s quite obvious that women (or should we say super-women) have taken more on board than their male counterparts ever will do and what have we achieved with all this? More stress which results in mental illness such as depression which then may result in separation from the children’s father which impacts on the children themselves (and no divorce lawyer can convince me of otherwise) which then grow up and take on adult roles haunted by what happened in their childhood. Politicians claim that they want more women in the workforce, more of them at senior management  and in governments and in academia but realistically, what are governments actually doing in practice to enable women to be ‘ad par’ with their male counterparts? Are they subsidising nursery care and giving women extra leave to deal with the childrens` illnesses because, unless a man is a single parent, female colleagues are the ones who have to take time off work to tend for the child if unwell. And what do we say about housework? How many men actually put in their utmost to help with the chores and if this doesn`t get done, then it`s surely the woman who appears as a careless housewife!

Case Scenario: A woman, Mary strives to get a good education, goes to Uni, gets a degree and then a post-grad.  She starts to work and likes her job. Then she finds the love of her life, John and hooks up with him and has a couple of babies. They decide to buy a house and they both know they need to work to be able to pay the mortgage, bills and give a decent education and upbringing to their kids. Mary realises that she can`t work fulltime as she needs to take care of the kids and let`s face it, her salary practically all goes to the nursery, so why is she going to work when she can stay at home and care for her kids? Mary knows that  if she does remain in work and the next promotion comes up, her boss Larry will give it to Joe, as of course he won`t get pregnant and claim maternity leave or has to work part-time and take leave every time his child gets sick and business is business no hard feelings!!

The Multitasking Woman. Image obtained from tuckertalkin.blogspot.co.uk

The Multitasking Woman. Image obtained from tuckertalkin.blogspot.co.uk

Is the above scenario familiar to you? Does it ring any bells? Know someone in a similar situation? And they say there`s equality!

In conclusion, if politicians really want to do something for modern women, as a working woman with a husband and house but no kids who regularly sees colleagues who have 1-4 children struggle desperately  and work as hard as their male colleagues (if not harder), a few tips:

1. Women living with husband or a partner should have an additional allowance for housework duties irrespective of whether she works or not.

2. Women with young children should have additional days of leave and if governments want people to have more children, then the leave should increase proportionally.

3. If politicians want more women to have top jobs, ensure that salaries are equivalent to their male counterparts first and add incentives to businesses and organizations to promote women.

4. Governments should subsidise nursery costs.

Have your say and let us know what you think…whether you`re a male or female!

Happy Commuting!

Recently, I changed my job and this means that I need to catch a train and a bus to get to work.

The train journey theoretically should take  around 20 minutes and then a bus ride of 10-15 minutes, so you may think that it`s not much of an ordeal. However the constant delays in public transport is a key factor here. I notice that every time I go to the station, there`s someone announcing, a delay for a particular train journey or two.

When you think that  you dutifully pay your fare upfront and then they get away with the constant delays and simply saying ‘We apologise for any inconvenience caused!‘, it feels like they`re taking the mickey really!! Maybe we should be reimbursed for every single delay, since of course when we are late, no one waits for us!

Just felt a bit strongly about this delay business and how it increases pressure on people and if you get to work late, then you have to work later and of course originally you set out to be on time!

However, I don`t want to focus on the cons bit , which I must add also includes people bungling along with their bikes, so basically there are more bikes than people in some carriages!- Apologies to all you guys who need your bikes to commute but maybe train companies should look at having a bike compartment to make life easier for us non-bikers, as exists elsewhere in Europe!

There are some pros with commuting:

1. I get to travel with hubby both to and from work generally (unless I catch the wrong bus!)

2. You get to see such a myriad of different people and fashion ideas!

3. You are not constantly wary of others` driving and need to pay full attention to the road.

4. There`s no fighting over a car park place!

5. You can sit back and read the Metro or your book or Kindle or for some, even have a quick snooze!

So what`s your experience with commuting?

Winter Blast!

This week the UK has been enveloped in a layer of white….the snow has hit us!

So these are a couple of pictures I took as I was walking in the snow:

It`s snowing!

It`s snowing!

I must say I was quite tempted to stop and take a photo of the trees whilst I was driving, but of course I didn`t give in to the yearning….although I had the feeling I was driving through a Christmas card!!

This was another picture I took as I was walking home from the train station and dropped my gloves in the process…Brrrr!!

Houses along the river

Houses along the river

One year and still going…

One Year!

One Year!

Tomorrow diaryofanewife celebrates it`s first birthday, since  it`s now been a year, since the first day when I jotted down some thoughts in the blogospere. This was the first year of married life for me too and it has been quite a tough one I can say, not due to married life per se but because of external factors which impact on us both individually and this of course projects a negative effect which we have to deal with.

So, the motto I learnt quite literally is…Whatever Life throws at you, Do not Despair or Feel Negative, instead Rebel and Fight back and look at all the lovely things you have: a loving husband, family, friends, and anything which you have which makes you feel good. …..Indeed, a wise friend once told me, “ When you have a problem, do not feel down, instead be happy and take it as a challenge, the challenge being that you have a brain which you will use to overcome any adverse circumstances and indeed, turn it to your advantage”…..

What do you think my friends? Can we all live up the motto above??

Love

Camilla Rose

Life, nice and not-so-nice people.

This post is going to be a little bit abstract, so readers, if you are not in the mood, turn away now! I don`t want to put you off but I do feel sad, slightly belligerent and bitter and I am in need of giving vent to all my pent-up emotions, to the blogging airwaves!!!

The proverbial ‘shit hits the fan’ is a common definition of life and unwelcome unpleasant surprises which may occur. These past weeks have been dwelling on an event which can be defined as ‘the shit’ and consequences of this! Well, a wide variety of people took the centre stage in all this…the majority of incredibly nice, supportive people who show you respect, love, comradeship and ooze with pure humanity and a handful of others who poison the environment with their lies, incredible  lack of humanity and pure incompetence. It is truly a very varied world, this world  in which we live in!!

Image obtained from google images

Image obtained from google images

Well, I have always been someone who speaks their mind- My arguments are either black or white…no fifty shades of grey! 🙂 🙂 🙂 😉

I believe in having morals and principles and I stick up for others who are afraid to speak out for themselves. I don`t tolerate bullies and wherever there are situations where people are suffering or which are inappropriate, I am the first one to speak up and try  to help, even if this does not directly affect me. However, in life, I see so many people who stand back in silence and watch and take the backstage, incapable of speaking out!

Is this fair? How do these people live with themselves? It is absurd if they think that by not speaking out, they are protecting themselves and their families, because I do believe in the concept of karma….and trust me, it will come back to haunt them.

What about you? What type of person are you? Do you rise up against unfairness? Do you strive to help your buddy who needs your help desperately, or do you prefer to turn your face the other way and slink off quietly and avoid looking directly at your friend or that person-in-need, pretending they don`t exist?

Image obtained from google images

Image obtained from google images

Winds of Change, Sheep, Sleep and Superheroes!

There is something about change that brings some waves of uncertainty, mystery even, and of course stress… but then if things move on seamlessly, then we complain of boredom and routine. These forthcoming months, hubby and I anticipate that we`ll have some changes in our work schedules, so we have regular conversations on ‘How is it going to work?’, ‘What if?’ and ‘Would we be better off than we are now or not ?’. In reality, we cannot really know until the moment comes, the change takes effect and we will be either better or worse than we are now…however thinking about it as we both are will not really help except further increase stress levels!!

So, with these thoughts in mind, I could not drift off to sleep a few nights ago (not helped by a cup of coffee I probably had taken a few hours before)….and had a go at counting the proverbial sheep leaping over a pretty little wooden-bridge. Funnily enough, my lot were quite rebellious and gave me the evil eye and aggressive Baa Baa! cries.

Baffled Sheep from bing.com

Baffled Sheep from bing.com

They trotted off in all directions and only a few got over the bridge as they were supposed to!! Well, having had such a bad experience with counting the sheep (and still no sign of any sleep) my mind drifted to another subject…Superheroes!!

I listed all the superheroes which I knew and made a top 3 list.

1. First in the list is Superman. What would I give to be a female version of Clark Kent, rush into the telephone booth and then off to soar in the skies, putting right everything that is evidently wayward!! I must admit that when I took my first chemistry classes at school, I had eagerly inspected the periodic table and got quite a shock when I couldn’t find any kryptonite- must have asked the teacher at the time too (though I don`t really remember)!!

Superman from bing.com

Superman from bing.com

2. Of course, second is Wonder Woman. Funnily enough I can`t really remember her actions as I do some of the other superheroes, though I do believe she could raise stuff just with her glance and had a protective tiara and bracelets which allowed her to do wonderful things. However, I must say that I never really acclimatized to her outfit, which even when a kid I thought it was too ‘loud’ and would have preferred something less glitzy. Why couldn`t they dress her in something less showy, resembling superman`s outfit?

Wonder_Woman from bing.com
Wonder_Woman from bing.com

3. The Incredible Hulk- Well, having a scientific background, how can you not love the scientist Dr Bruce Banner who had an accident (whilst he was working religiously and was so passionate about his work) which turns him into this huge, powerful green being? Would love to throw stuff in the air and stomp around just to let out some steam !!

Incredible Hulk from bing.com

Incredible Hulk from bing.com

And then it seems I slept…ah, the magic of superheroes!!!

Back to Blogging and An Illuminating Blogger Award

So I`m back on the blogging waves, after a month! Feels a tiny wee bit strange as I haven`t blogged in, what feels like a very long while. Since I`ve been away from this cyber literary arena for some time, I did begin to wonder whether I should return to the blogging world or just stop the activity altogether, especially since people (non-bloggers, mind!) keep on telling me, ‘Why do you do it?!’ However, whilst I was off away holidaying in the sun, I received a nomination from Brigitte`s Banter on http://brigittebanter.com/2012/06/27/awards-acknowledgments-and-ramblings/ for an Illuminating Blogger Award. Such a lovely gesture, which is very much appreciated and makes me think that at least there are people out there who appreciate what I have to say which is encouraging and keeps me going with this blog, so I`ll hope to entertain you and keep you interested for a while longer!

Rules for the Illuminating Blogger Award

  1. Visit Award Site- see above
  2. Tell the person who nominated you- see above
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site- see above
  4. Say a random thing about yourself: so, here goes: I have just done 2 hours gardening with hubby since today was a perfectly, sunny, summer day. I feel quite pleased with myself, since I`m not really a gardening freak, but then I do like to keep things in order and our small garden looks alot better now, so I guess, I am a control freak of sorts!!
  5. Select 5 or more nominees: See below- I look forward to new posts from these bloggers; they are attentive to detail, fun and brigthen my day with what they have to say, so thank you all for keeping me well-entertained!

http://carolwelsh.wordpress.com/

http://emilyjanuary.wordpress.com/

http://serenescribe.wordpress.com/

http://phdincreativewriting.wordpress.com/

http://mina74.wordpress.com/

6. Place the award on your blog- see below

Illuminating Blog Award

Illuminating Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award goes to…me!

Versatile Blogger Award!

Yipee! I got nominated by Brigitte`s Banter: Brigitte’s Banter  for a Versatile Blogger Award. Many thanks to Brigitte for her nomination. Her blog instils a literary freshness and you undoubtedly feel ‘uplifted’ every time you read her posts. I am honoured and touched by this nomination. I highly recommend her blog and let me know whether you feel the same way too!

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award!

My Reaction…

It`s great to feel that there are people out there who like my blog and follow me. This blog started a bit like an experiment and I wasn`t sure whether it would last a week, a month or 6 months and err..it has actually lasted 6 months and I will promise that I will try my best to keep my posts interesting! What gives me great joy in blogging is that I sense that there are plenty of people out there who like to write and are genuine good people who are sharing their talents with others out there. If you blog, it doesn`t matter whether you`re male or female, black, white, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, sick or healthy, young or old etc- it`s your writing and the content of your blog which matters and you are judged solely on that!! Maybe politicians should use some of our `bloggin’ power’ to help reduce some of the misery which could easily be prevented in this world!

The Award:

This award comes with a set of rules, so here they are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. (see above)
  • Share 7 random things about yourself. (see below)
  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers. (list provided below)
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination (done)
  • Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blog post (done)

Share 7 random things about yourself:

Here goes:

  1. I have recently discovered Cranberry cheese- I adore it, especially with oatcakes!
  2. I wear Size 7 (EU Size 40) shoes and it`s normally a pain to find shoes in my size (here I appeal to shoe companies around the world to bear this in mind please!).
  3. Last year I went on a jewellery course and I really enjoyed it. I did make several pieces of jewellery too but now I`ve discovered blogging and I`m hooked!
  4. When I am next to the sea I feel happy. (I think in another life I must have been a mermaid!)
  5. I have just come back from a full body massage! (just felt like a bit of pampering really!)
  6. I enjoy giving and receiving surprises (gentle hint: to hubby, my family and friends!)
  7. I have a PhD in clinical microbiology.

My nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

Pretty and Delectable

Lenise Lee ♥ My Colorful Romance

hastywords

Ms. Suazo

Flowers, Trees, & Other Such Gifts of Nature

phaedria

CT Esthetic

littlegreybox.wordpress.com

A Serene Scribe

The Oven Mitt

StreetWise Decor

The Better Man Project

domestic diva, M.D.

Soulshine Traveler

These blogs have different topics- from beauty and fashion, to overcoming life`s challenges, great recipes, humour, photography, DIY, English literature and poetry too!

Pass on the award everyone, keep it going and well done! 🙂

Celebrating Workers` Day

Since this week we celebrated Workers’ Day and on the continent there are usually some celebrations of sorts…concerts and union meetings, I`ve decided as a fellow worker who is regularly in contact with other workers, not only in the UK but also elsewhere in the world, who feels their pain & anguish, to celebrate this event with a neat little piece…so read on and let me know whether you agree or not!!!

The Worker`s Life!

We start off as an enthusiastic graduate (most of us these days), some with one or several degrees…..we advance onto a career path….first rung of a very long ladder…we apply for jobs and we`re told ‘you have no experience‘ ; even though you have a top degree!

The Employee…
So life as an employee then begins….you start working life as a junior…in a ‘training post‘.. or rather, you do the dirty work of senior people…with a crappy pay (despite soaring Uni fees and loans) but you keep at it, solidly persisting..the months pass and years crawl by and after three or four years you`re ready to move on….so you`re back in the job market, polishing your CV and applying for jobs…a number of applications are sent..you get to the 1st interview and then if you`re lucky and everyone liked your presentation and if you answered all the random questions excellently, there`s the 2nd interview where you`re quizzed out of your mind and it feels like you`re doing another final year viva…..and you`re told that you`re very good but alas, another candidate has an even better CV than you…so you keep on trying and in doing so you discover that there are 100 applications on average for one job, some of whom already work for the institution you went for (so of course, I`m sure they`ll have more brownie points than you do towards obtaining that post)…but then the Eureka moment..someone sees potential and gives you a chance and you`ve made it…only to discover that they will give you the job if you agree to take a pay-cut and by this time, even though you now have worked hard to get a senior post, you`re so sick of it that you just accept- and when you do start, you`re doing senior and junior roles all at once because of course there`s no money for an admin person and its all in the name of Lean working!!!!

The Bosses…
Here of course I can`t help not adding that in your working life you must put up with a series of bosses…..some literally Hellraiser-style..you get ineffective and unsupportive bosses piling work onto you until you can`t see the light of day for weeks, others who drive you nuts by changing protocols all the time and treat you like some ‘dumb-ass’ and those who seem very nice and almost decent but in the end bleed you dry and get all the credit for your work! And in a few years` time, my friend, it will all start again!!

Last but not least…
I shall leave you with some Asian philosophy..this week we watched Confucius (2010)..starring Chow Yun-Fat. It`s a great movie and not just a story but based on the life of Master Kong, an Asian philosopher. We gave the film an 8.5/10. The main actor has also acted in Anna and the King, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Curse of the Golden Flower- all excellent films and worth watching if you haven`t done so already!)…..If you`re interested watch this official trailer and decide for yourself!