Monday, October 18, 2010

You Know Your from Northampton when....

1. You know or have seen 50p Lil

2. The Lift tower is a regular view from a window in your house.

3. Sixfields is not 6 fields it is indeed the football ground.

4. You know that the University of Northampton used to be called Nene College.

5. You know that Lava/Ignite was once called Visage and Time and Envy.

6. You still refer to Lava/Ignite as Time and Envy... or Visage...

7. You know that Carlsberg have one of the biggest factories in Britain just opposite St Peters Way.

8. You can always smell the yeast from Carlsberg.

9. You will know that Thomas Beckett did something in Northampton, as he has a shopping park, a pub, a school and a field named after him.

10. You possibly don't know what Thomas Beckett did.

11. Shoes mean more to people in Northampton.

12. DYK that there is a leather factory on the Park Campus?

13. The racecourse has been home to many drunken memories.

14. You have been near the Cock Hotel Pub, that does have the sign "Enter at Rear" outside it.

15. You notice the same sign outside the old gay bar called the Jolly Anchor.  

16. Finally, you have been on the Welly Run.

17. CHRON-I-CLE!!!

18. You actually know what that means without the aid of facebook.

19. You can remember Top of The Town and Cinderella Rockerfella.

20. You actually know what "och up" "m'duck" and "okkard" mean!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

If I Only Had One Day Left to Live...

I’d tell it as it really is!!!

Now it might be just me, it may even be my age; but don’t you just hate it when things try you and indeed your patient?

If it isn’t one thing is seems to be another...

Maybe it is the fact I get stressed easier now, or maybe I am just feeling pre menstrual; but everything seems to be out to get me at the moment.

Take the bus I usually get for example... I live in New Duston, as some will know the bus services to this area in the beginning were rubbish but then we got the number 27 service; run by Northampton Transport/First Northampton.

For the most part this service did what it said on the tin, apart from the odd missed journey; they were regular and took about twenty minutes. It serviced the village of Old Duston, went to Sainsbury’s on Weedon Road and then headed into town. It worked for us lot in New Duston, Old Duston and even those in between!

First Northampton then took this service away and replaced it with the number 22, which missed out Old Duston and went through St. Crispins and Upton; before heading to St. James and on to the Town Centre. This journey took around thirty minutes, and angered many residents in both New and Old Duston alike.

Now it wasn’t the time it took, (although that was a pain) it was the fact the village would be missed out; it was all well and good for those in Upton and St. Crispins but not those who needed to get to the village.

As is the way, after most of us had got used to this new service that took longer but just about had the same amount of buses servicing the area; Northampton First decided to change it all again! (Just like flipping supermarkets who go and change their stores around and move everything... trust me I am not going to buy anything I don’t want ~ I shall just get peed off and walk out!!!)

After local pressure, or more likely lack of finances; we seem to have gotten both a 27 and 22 service! Even though neither is run by Northampton First, both take longer; and we now have less buses serving the area of New Duston!! Someone please explain how THAT works!!!

Only in Northampton; could you get a driver who needs to ask the passengers where to go! Only in Northampton could the council or bus companies say they are “thinking of the older folks” only to miss out the retirement village in St. Crispins! Tell me the logic of wanting to provide a service for those in Old Duston to go to Sainsbury’s, only to cause those in St. Crispins retirement village to have the self same problems! It just does not make any sense whatsoever!

To say that the service before I went away (start of Sept) was getting a little slack would be an understatement! With buses being missed out or “delayed;” if you had any type of meeting or appointment to keep, you would be just as well to head out at least two hours before hand.

I was aware of the change before I went away; I knew that by the time I got home it would have changed. But I did think that some type of normality would have been achieved by the time I got back, after all Stagecoach were taking it over; they had been going for years ~ if anyone could they could surely?

Well, you tell me... for a single to town with Northampton First I would pay £1.80 and would get a journey that would last around thirty minutes, while having three buses run that route an hour. (If you were lucky and they had not been cancelled or delayed)

I now have to pay £1.95 for a single to town, and for that I get two buses an hour; out of two services that are meant to travel my route ~ I have only ever seen one... which is also often late or does not turn up!!!

So here I sit on a bus that has cost me 15 pence more for the pleasure of taking up even more of my time travelling or waiting to get to town, as you can imagine I am slightly annoyed ~ I mean am I wrong to be annoyed by this? Someone seems to be taking the you know what if you ask me!

It makes things difficult to say the least, not only do you have to leave like two hours before appointments and meetings “just to be on the safe side;” but many of us just have to “accept” it because this is our only means of transport.

I cannot drive or afford to learn, many places I could not walk to (in enough time) especially given some of the stuff I have to lug around with me; for duties and the such like. Alternatively, as is sometimes the case; I need to be at certain places in the evenings for a certain time ~ St. John meetings and duties are the obvious. Regardless of if I like it or not, I need the bus and this is how the council/bus companies whomever; get you... and we, the Joe Public have to pay for it all.

If I have a duty in the afternoon, say at 2pm; I now have to leave my house at midday to make sure the bus turns up and gets me there on time... if I am unlucky I am left rushing around like a blue ass fly trying to eat and get there on time, if I am lucky; I am left hanging around in uniform ~ in town ~ which my Boss hates!

And don’t even get me started on what would happen if I actually managed to get a job!! All this recent Tory rubbish about it “always being worthwhile working,” all just seems like another “annoy Nicky off” line if you ask me!!! Have they taken my ruddy bus lately? Do you MP’s and Councillors actually live in the real world? Come on, get real; you all have cars and drivers to look after you. You have two damn jobs (at least) for Christ’s sake, how in the blue hell would you know what my buses are like?

Even with those weekly/monthly bus saving tickets, I am still going to be paying out more than I can afford.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for working and getting people back into work. (Those who are able of course) But our politicians need to think this through more carefully, I just cannot see it working as they wish it too.

Myself? I got bad grades; I left school way before I should have done and therefore have no trade, skills, career or proper education. I had to “make do” with retail work, which was then (and I am sure still is) mainly part time/weekend work. Great for students and older folks or married mothers with children at school, and I can assure you I am none of the above!

So I would look for other lines of work, and the sad truth is that you need either experience or good grades to do many other jobs; neither of which I have. There seems to be agency work or unskilled work, but only if you are Eastern European... and please don’t think I am “Euro Bashing” there, I can assure you I am not. But it is just how I have seen things, how I have been treated and dealt with.

Even when I have asked, almost begged for retraining and help with funding for it; I am sent from pillar to post. This person sends me to that person, who then sends me to these other people who cannot help me; no one actually seems willing to stand up and say yes or no!!!

Yes it is great to know I can get help to start my own business up, but without training in said business; do you really think I am going to start it up in the first place? And please, next time I go and ask for help in the place I am sent to; don’t tell me I cannot get the help I need if I do not have an addiction! That will just pee me off even more ~ Working Links take note!!!

Is it really that hard for someone, anyone in the job centre or the council or the government; to say yes I can get the funding I need to retrain or no I cannot? Come on David, Nick and Ed; tell me... will I get the funding I need to do that plumbing course? If so, let me apply for it and not worry that I will have debts (on top of the debts I already have) BEFORE I start to get back on my feet and back working!!!

Valentine ~ Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
Like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
Like a lover.

It will make your reflection
A wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute care or a kissogram.
I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
Possessive and faithful
As we are,
For as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,
If you like.

Its scent will cling to your
Cling to your knife.

I Want...

I want a man that sparkles!
Not the vampire kind,
But the kind who sparkle when you see them.

What we old-fashioned ladies call
Having a “glint” or “twinkle” in their eye.
The kind that makes you go weak at the knees.
Or the kind that send you all “girly.”

The type of guy that gives you butterflies,
Deep down inside.
The kind that give you goose pimples when they smile at you.
The one that makes YOU sparkle!

Now that is the kinda man I want...

© Nicky D Sarti 2010

Blindfolds at the Ready...

Hard to say what I feel as I slip the blindfold on and await instruction, my mind is always racing; filled with everything from Mr. Sparkles to my complicated life. “Write what comes to mind...” is the first instruction, we are also given the choice to either just go for what came into our heads or using an object Jade gave us... I of course chose the object.

I can tell you though I felt silly sitting in a room full of people with a blindfold on, even though everyone (but the tutor) had one on too! The blindfold usually being reserved for “those” meetings!! However, the less said about them the better!!!

It smells musty and old, like it has been around forever. It feels cold and wooden, sturdy but also at the same time brittle. It feels about twelve inches long, by touch alone I could tell what it was; a fan of course.

However, without my eyes; I cannot see the colour of the actual fan or indeed the picture adorned upon its wafer thin paper. I can only imagine what it shows, is it like my own with the Spanish theme; or is it something oriental?

I imagine it has something pretty on the front, a scene or animals; all highly coloured and detailed. In my eyes the fan is an item you use for the memories it brings you, not to actually keep cool. Maybe that is the idea with many of the things (or “junk” as my folks like to call it) I keep; they are reminders of my past; what was and what could have been?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fill Your Paper With The Breathings Of Your Heart...

A hat box with red roses on, is beige and pink in colour; somehow it just seems to match and go together ~ bit like me really I guess...

The box itself makes me think of my Mum and how much she'd love the chance to use this; and of course the beautiful hat which surely was inside at some point, now of course it is just a box...

But that isn't strictly true, is has become something more than just a "empty box." It has been filled with all manner of things; each has its own story to it, each a reminder of a past I shall never forget.

There is a thimble that leads me to my Aunt in New Zealand, Sandra. She loves collecting them, and has loads. Her son is getting married next year; (2011) gosh how we would all like to be there to see that. I am sure my folks will manage to go, as to me? Well, who knows!

There are, of course the obvious pictures of faces from my past (and my present) and the newspaper clippings I just cannot part with, things that remind me of happier times; and some sad ones too... still now, it hurts to see the clippings about his funeral; losing Mr. Northampton has scared me deeply.

There are train tickets from those lovely days spent in London with that guy who shall remain nameless; which is a rather long name by the way! Now all I need to go with said train tickets are those tickets for them shows he kept promising me we'd go see!

There's a little stick on furry penguin, a reminder of those Raflatac stickers my folks used to use at their previous company; a penguin was the logo... made a great talking point. Especially when I was able to use them on that little enterprise I had going on, what was it called now? Oh yeah; SMART Merchandise... Gosh how daft? But the idea was good, paper/stationary packs and smelly packs... 

A gift box; well, basket of toiletries ~ all wrapped and presented with a Raflatac sticker on the top. And the paper packs were cool, even if I do say so myself... but they were nothing compared to the paperweights! Now they WERE class!! I must get round to doing some more of them!!!

The fan that reminds me of my travels to Spain, certainly a much more carefree time. The black sand a reminder of the time in one of the Islands, the pebble from a beach somewhere in Portugal; the small tile from my time in Italy... gosh, so many memories, I just could not fit them all in!

There is that Danish flag, to remind me of what I lost and my time in wonderful Denmark, an old badge in silver from St. John Ambulance; when we still had the zoo on there!! Dang, I even had that silly mic cover from the council chamber in here; best not tell Paul about that one!

Of course my little Knight makes it into my box, how could he not? Maybe it is purely the St. John thing, or maybe it is that I wish I had a Knight in shining armour; but he has to be there! 

And the last thing to go in there will be a bit of string with a noose on the end of it... Of course I know what it means, and what it could tell anyone that looks at the contents on my "Keep Sake Box." But I need to keep it in here, I need to have that reminder; so I will never forget nearly losing everything... 

After all; until we know where we've been how can we know where we are going?