Dare to care?

So who ever said care work was easy?  The thing is, no one tells you how hard it is.


Try being on your feet for more than 12 hours a day – and I mean on your feet and physically active.

Try keeping a smile on your face regardless of whatever may be thrown your way (sometimes very literally)

Try takimg the responsibility for anything going wrong and not beimg recognised for anything going well.

Lo and behold you feel ill – thats a road straight to the blacklist.

Heavwn forbid you highlight aby potential problems for you may be labelled as a snitch.

Dont dare question nurse or manager decisions even though they may be totally wrong.

Remember when you make a decision in a person’s best interest is will undoubtedly lead to a reprimand.

When you highlight gaps or things that need attention you are just nit picking and its not your job.  If you don’t and senior managers,relatives or inspectors pick up on a problem its your fault for not reporting it.

If you are spending time with service users you are being idle and avoiding other work but if you leave the room and someone falls or chokes or has any other unfortunate mishap it is your fault for not being there.

If someone in care needs anything you’ll be cast off and basically told to do what you must do.  When you sort out what person needs you’re probably going to be acting outside one or  another policy or procedure.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  You will probably only truly understand what I mean if you have worked in care.  I coild elaborate but I would be fired for doing so.

No, my friends, work in care is the lowest paid yet hardest job.

For reasons of self preservation you should probably look for another job – if you are fond of the people you care for you will know how hard it would be to turn your back on those who need you most, and you will just have to deal with it.


Yours in blogging

Cherryberrybear x


Back to blog

About four years have gone. Gone.

I don’t feel old and don’t feel like I am missing out on life or that time flies by unnoticed – that is, until I put a date to something.clockted

Like now – when I look at the last blog posted around 2013 – that’
s four years, almost one and a half thousand days.

tic toc tic toc

my mind starts drifting to how many hours of paid work I could have done in this amount of time – let me do an exercise:

Say 1000 days (for ease of calculation – I’m not the worlds greatest mathematician)

  • I sleep for 8 hours a day,
  • eat for about one hour a day, prep and clean up food dishes included in the hour.
  • Personal hygiene is about an hour a day .
  • Then we have weekends (or days off)  about 200 days (no formula for this, basically a thumb suck)
  • Anyway this would leave me 800 days of 14hours a day = 11 200 hours
  • 11200 hours at basic pay rate of £7.10 per hour = £79 520
  • Less Tax, NI, pension and all the other stuff that’s taken off before we even get it – this would amount to around £19 000 (correct me if im wrong)
  • So netting £60 520 – less monthly rent, council tax, water, electric, gas, phone, internet, tv licence, etc…… you know, all the necessary things to live before we look at what it takes to actually make sure the body we are occupying is able to cope.  My guesstimate for these costs over 1000 days is £35000.
  • This leaves around £25520 – putting aside 15520 for clothing, food, furnishings, make up and other incidentials would leave £10000.
  • This leave about £10 a day – not really much in the bigger scheme of things.  If I look at the fact that I used to smoke which cost £7 a day – this would have just about taken care of that.
  • Well now that I don’t smoke any more and should essentially have an extra £10 per day for spending or saving – why don’t I?money-teddy

So now Im over depressing myself, let me make a plan on what to blog going forward.

I have been working and have a host of stories to share so maybe thats where I will begin….

any suggestions?

Yours in time x






I’m always broke but now I’m beginning to feel broken. 

AT the same time as prices are hiked another household faces another week without gas or electricity.

ICEPOLARI am still waiting for vouchers promised by British Gas for gas and electricity.  When she spoke to British Gas on 19 September she was told that the technician installing a prepaid electric meter would bring vouchers for the warm home gas / electric.  When none came she wrote to British Gas twice but received no response.  On 11 November, freezing, not even 1p emergency gas left, £2.40 emergency electricity left and £2.68 in the bank.

What is she going to do – jobseekers money of £163 is only due on Monday and £150 of that must go towards our rent which is well in arrears.

My son has to come home today and I have not a scrap of food to give him, no hot water for a shower and no electricity to wash and iron clean clothing.  What a terrible mother I am .  I have never been so poor in my whole life and am at a point of wondering if everyone will be better off if I die.  I have even contemplated doing a large robbery, even if I am caught, at least my kids will be warm and fed for a week or two.

I hate our government, always going on about how the lazy people on benefits are ripping off Britain.  I wish one of them would walk in my shoes for a couple of weeks to learn what real hardship is.  How humiliating it is to owe everyone, not be able to pay everyone, to not be able to feed and provide a warm secure  home to your family.  On top of that I am not well, I have narcolepsy and cataplexy and suffer seizures all through the day.  Yes, I still look for work in spite of this.  I have just been taken off my medication due to a terrible eruption of a skin rash which may be related to the medication.  So now I am shaking and dizzy and I am not sure if the shaking is because I am freezing cold or because of the lack of medication.

British Gas will send letters to inform people who are eligible for the warm home discount  Letters will be sent between end November and end March.  So payment will be end March and earlier for the really vulnerable but not earlier than end November.  When I stated my case to them, appealing to them for the vouchers promised, all they said was ‘you shouldn’t rely on the vouchers or warm home discount for your electric’  – when I said I would quote this, they hung up.

So now another freezing cold night to look forward to with no hot water, nothing to eat and no end to this hardship on the horizon.

Not a week for the weak

Well this just has to be what one calls “one of those weeks”.
This one was probably one of the worst I’ve experienced. Not asking for sympathy but just expressing myself with the home of committing it to paper and out of what remains of my traumatised, abused, stressed, battered, beaten, bruised emotional system.
tatty tedWhere to begin.
• Oh yes, already up to the eyeballs in debt – having no cash in the bank just escalated that to a new cliché, drowning in debt. Letters from my landlord and calls from my debtors laid a fabulous baseline of what was in store.
• Between calls I received one from the dermatologist who has been working with my neurologist to try find the cause of the skin rashes all over my arms and legs. This resulted in the neurologist instructing me to put an immediate stop to my lifeline. I have to stop taking my modafinil, tablet that enable me to function as a normal human being. These stop me from experiencing between 10-20 seizures every day. So great stuff, she is going to get a drug approved to give me in replacement but I have to be off the modafinil and my skin clear before I see her again – in December. Come on! This is where I wish I were a bear and could just go into hibernation for a month or so.
• Being a bear wouldn’t work though, as we don’t have enough food to get through the week never mind a winter. I have made weird concoctions using the last of the rice and noodles – some nice tasty meals I may add but not really recipes for the Jamie Oliver show. We managed to overstay visits at family twice so they were sort of obliged to feed us, but one cant do this too often. So sitting here on Friday drinking black tea and not even a slice of toast to go with it just highlights how low the stocks in the galley are.
• Then the non smokers will be thrilled to hear I had to do the smoke free thing for the whole week. I had my last on Monday and thought I was bearing up alright under the circumstances. That is until my folks popped in yesterday, I thought I managed to look bright and cheery enough but obviously not when my mom popped back later with a bowl of fruit and a packet of cigarettes. Lovely, I was dizzy when I smoked the first three one after another. I did feel a little guilty but hell, I didn’t buy them and I didn’t ask for them.
• Then there’s the gas and electric. Already on meters so I can pay my arrears (£6.50 per week on each) – I couldn’t tumble dry in case we ran out and since the gas is too expensive that I can’t put the heating on, the washing has taken the whole week to dry, I even ironed some clothes damp last night. We have £2 electric (emergency) left and no gas.. this means no hot water and having to find somewhere to eat tonight. BRITISH GAS should hang their heads in shame though as they promised to send some vouchers at the beginning of October and Im still waiting for them.
• So I had £1.17 in the bank at the beginning of the week now I have minus £18.83 because the bank took off my household insurance. This I will pay dearly for in bank charges due to the account being in a negative balance – great hey!
• Then I woke up to finish my letters on the National debtline site to try address my financial problems and whoa is me, the internet is off. Now Im not sure if it is virgin media fault or if it is mine. I am busy changing service provider to tesco in order to save £30 per month but im not sure when the switch over is.Tattered_Teddy_Bear_by_metallixfaker
So to sum it up I woke up this morning to the light beaming in my room due to the fact that my makeshift curtain pole fell on top of me yesterday, I can’t get onto the internet, I have a pile of damp washing still needing ironed. I dare not iron lest the £2 left gets used up and im on my last cigarette. Today I have to have a cold shower, dress in some of the less damp clothing and get out to visit somewhere warm and where I can get something to eat – I will probably have umpteen seizures along the way which, needless to say, panics people.
Tomorrow I will get £45 in benefits of which £18 is already gone on the bank arrears and probably another £9 on charges for being in arrears.
I will not be putting a radio on to hear people say the benefits should be cut or that we should be out there working – I wish I could but can’t find a boss whose willing to deal with their staff having blackouts all day.
Its certainly been a trying week, but Im alive and I can walk and talk and see , hear, smell and feel so I am probably better off than millions of other people – so what do I have to moan about hey?
Roll on tomorrow….roll on next year…..i wish I could win the lottery but I can’t afford a ticket so I just hope something will come up to make the future look a little brighter and my bedroom a little darker.
Have a wonderful day!

tatty ted 1



Between her career at Qatar Air and Emirates, my daughter, Tarquin-Siobhan, takes some time out at the 2011 Oktoberfestival in Germany.

It was here she began her ‘postcard phase’ of life  which lasted about 9 months.

I thought it may be of interest to share these postcards in a series of blogs.  If nothing else they are good for a browse.  Anyone interested in working in the cabin crew industry may well find this a very enlightening look at what the perks of working in this line are.

Before visiting Germany’s famous beer fest with three of her ex colleagues, they visited Amsterdam – I will write another blog about that trip.  Coming back to the German leg of the visit I can only assume that since Tarquin is not overly fond of beer, she really went because she has always wanted to see the Castle in the sky.

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