Month: June 2017

14 years, and still not ‘Man down’ – how to stay on your feet in public service.

Today was my last day of work at Ridgeway.


That’s my office on the middle floor to the right.  Ridgeway was once a care home for adults with learning disabilities and then changing standards of care made it unsuitable in the early 1990s.  Different children’s and adult social care teams have made it their home for the past 20 years.  It is entered through this back door;


Nothing but the best for us in public services, as you can see.

Up a flight of stairs, sign in and into our wonderful office space.


Filled with boxes full of stuff, ready for our move.  I used to sit at the desk at the back you can see on the side of the room with the window.  But then I progressed


to a shared office.

We like to meet targets in public services.


I said before that our building used to be a care home.  Well one advantage of working in such a location is that it has multiple small bedroom sized offices.


This is where I wield power, take telephone calls, reply to emails, and drink 6-7 cups of tea a day.   And mostly whilst listening to some quality material on my IPod.  Sometimes I am so enchanted by a track that I freeze and look out the window and allow a bit of audio pleasure to sink into my day.

My colleagues like to know where I am, so here is the whiteboard opposite Sam’s office where I have to write where I am if I’m out of office.


Nowadays we’re all modern and have an electronic calendar too, so even our colleagues in Eastbourne know our whereabouts.

And if I fall down or am assaulted in the line of caring for the community I have one of these bloody lovely things;


Complete with instructions on how to use, so technically adept am I.

This will alert a call centre in Yorkshire that I am horizontal.  And they will call me.  And then my manager.

I don’t know how I’d stay safe without it….

As today was our last day I nipped round to Domino’s Pizza and enjoyed a shared lunch.


And a slice of Ridgeway cake lovingly cooked by a member of the team downstairs.

I’m going to miss the building.  But mostly I’m going to miss this litle bit of Cyprus in Hastings.


Which provides me with a nice supply of fresh figs at the end of August and early September.  They are an acquired taste.  And just so I have them all to myself I have done nothing to share my love of this wonderful fruit with my colleagues.

A special guest to our last day at Ridgeway was Olivia.


And she brought her mum along too, that’s Michelle who’s currently on maternity leave.  You’re never short of female company working in social services.  And that suits me fine.  But they could improve their knowledge of the offside rule a little.

14 years is a long time.

Just ask any 13 year old.

Over a quarter of my lifetime.

As the child of an immigrant and a disrupted childhood I find moving quite a difficult process.

Monday is the start of a new adventure.



















Locked out Boogie

Good morning and on a personal level it’s been an eventful few weeks.  Kenan got a first in his degree and yesterday learnt that he’d been awarded a prize for best final year project in the Electronics and Computer Engineering field.  In a couple of weeks we’ll be heading up to London for his graduation ceremony.  Jafer, like most people in the education sector, is counting down to end of term and a nice few weeks break from 5-11 year olds in August. He’s down in Hastings for the weekend. Continue reading “Locked out Boogie”

Go, now!

For many people Kensington conjures up images of wealth.  It is paired with Chelsea in the pretentiously named ‘Royal’ Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.  Last week Kensington was the last constituency to announce its result in the General Election.  On the third count the Labour candidate was declared the winning candidate by 20 votes over the sitting Tory candidate, who lost her seat, and her job.  During the week the Conservative Party declared that all former MPs who’d lost their jobs would be looked after by their party, having lost their jobs 2 years into a possible 5 year term.

But during the week North Kensington was in the news for different reasons as the fire in a tower block devoured the lives of at least 30 people and we won’t know the full number until the emergency services have made the building safe enough to properly check all the flats.  There are 120 flats and there could have been as many as 500 people in Grenfell Tower when the fire started. Continue reading “Go, now!”

In office but not in power.

A late start and a lazy Sunday morning.  Thursday night is still having an effect on my body clock.  I’ve been taking medication to help me sleep for years but I don’t think I need them.  I just need to stay awake for 36 hours and then I have a perfect nights sleep. On Thursday night I got a call from Jafer who was watching the election in a south London pub.  It was nice that he wanted some information on what happens in the event of a hung Parliament although at the time I was cautious about whether the exit polls were accurate.  And in the morning as I was getting ready to have a bath I managed to accidentally call my cousin Ayse and have a pleasant, but short chat.  Be good to get together soon. Continue reading “In office but not in power.”

Don’t waste time and opportunity for success.

Good morning all.  I failed in my meagre efforts to sleep yesterday morning following my all nighter on election night.  I slept like a baby last night but woke at 9 am as I had to drop Penny off at the station, think I might have slept a few more hours otherwise.

The success of sleeping through the night wasn’t matched by the success of the Labour Party in becoming the government.  Close.  But second is still second even if the vote did go up by 10% (to 40%) from 2015.  But the Tories at least lost their majority and are reliant on others to get their progeramme through Parliament.  My prediction that Teresa May will be gone by 1 pm yesterday didn’t occur.  I think I got the facts correct but not the timing.  Although not defeated she was wounded by the result.  How long it is till she exits out of Downing Street will depend on what happens in the next few months.  There are Conservative MP’s who are out of work due to her.  And there are plenty of others who hung on to theirs by a small margin and will now be worried about what might happen next time.  And next time may not be so far away. Continue reading “Don’t waste time and opportunity for success.”

Fear versus hope

Yesterday Penny and I travelled to Eastbourne to meet Chris, a former colleague from a day centre in north London.  Chris lives in York but was spending the weekend down south.  It’s thanks to social media that Chris is in touch with us and yesterday morning I got a lovely message from a fellow Tolly Park student about my blogs.  A fellow called Joe who I didn’t know but who I hope to get to know a little better, and this on top of a message from Claire last week.  So I was having a good week until last night when the news from London Bridge came through.  Our beliefs and values are being tested.  Will we be strong enough to get through this period without over-reacting and succumbing to hatred and intolerance?  I aim to be. Continue reading “Fear versus hope”

Hold on to your humanity

Damn them.

Those who have no regard for the life of others as well as for themselves.

Those who seek to divide us when we have so much more in common.

This morning I woke early having gone to bed late.  Anxious to find out more about the tragic events on and near London Bridge.  Where I was myself on a Saturday night a fortnight ago.  Jafer was in Hastings and Kenan replied to my text this morning.  I don’t think I know anyone caught up in this.  There are six dead, I hope it stops at that and the injured recover, physically.  And get the support to do so psychologically too.  For the time being take care and remember not to lose your humanity in the rush to make sense of the senseless.