Wednesday, December 12


That's it, I'm officially old. My blood pressure is high. Ridiculously so, despite the lovely practice nurse chatting about embarrassing her children by booking to go to the IOW festival in order to relax me as she reset the machine twelve times in fifteen minutes.

Still, I came away with another script for keepmesanes (along with an appointment for the 2nd Jan to confirm whether I was still at risk of a stroke) and they've kicked in so I'm back on a relatively even keel.

Even enough, in fact, not only to cope with three assessments over two college days but to pass one previous failure and earn first attempt distinctions in the other two. These results have confirmed to me that, as a florist, I'm much more suited to wedding work than sympathy tributes.

My classmates were far less surprised than I at this outcome and I admit to being quite flattered that my peers, as well as the examining tutor, saw my stitching, wiring, taping and individual artistic detailing of intricate bridal designs as good enough to be a speciality within the industry.

Until, that is, I remembered that they'd all heard my portfolio of death / funeral / undertaking jokes and one liners during the course of the unit and that's when it occurred to me that this was less a vote for 'she's great at wedding work' and more a case of 'don't let her anywhere near a grieving widow for fucks sake!'

In other news I had a karate grading and gained my 1st Kyu. Next one will be for a black belt. And I heard on the grapevine (ok, at the christmas party) that I actually impressed my sensei during our sparring match. I'm a bit bloody chuffed at that.

Tuesday, December 4

Puke and pettiness

I'm ill. No, make that sick; I'm sick.

I ran out of keep-me-sane tablets* and hadn't been able to sort out the blood pressure test that will resume supplies, mostly down to being so messed up from sudden cessation. I have an upset stomach, a brain that doesn't actually hurt but constantly shakes in my skull and my eyes feel so fragile in their sockets I worry that they'll fall straight down the loo every time I regurgitate my regime of light, dry meals.

All in all then, the wrong time for the self-important tutor of the laughingly named 'IT session' to call into morning class and check who's there so she knows how many don't bother to stay for the afternoon. Wronger still for her to get snotty when I mentioned I'd couldn't make her class but would happily re-invent yet another wheel for her and create a risk assessment page (and even use a table in word, ffs!) at home. Especially since I put it much nicer than that at the time.

'Oh? Oh! But no, it's not just that, I'm setting an assignment' she splutters, with a gaze that I think is meant to be stony but her eyes let her down and come over more like she's having the naked in public dream.

I take the fixing line out of my mouth long enough to say 'Well you know I'm more than able with computer stuff so I'm sure I'll cope, I'll have to pick it up next time I'm on campus'

She's giving the look a bit harder now. She's annoyed. She's bloody lucky I didn't add that I was sorry I couldn't be there to show her how to do everything faster and easier than she's 'teaching' it. God knows it's embarrassing for us both that everyone directs their questions to me.

She fixes her expression, focusing slightly above my eyes and does her pointed silence thing, much like my mother does when on the back foot, in an attempt to make the nasty, offensive person feel obliged to make things better.

I am shocked to feel tears of frustration welling and suddenly become very, very angry at people that resort to that passive-aggressive shit around me. There is a click in my head. A loud click that sounds like No. Fucking. More.

I stop securing the practical work that I'm doing for the morning tutor, put my scissors down and stand up slowly, knowing that I can't allow this bint to look at me that way whilst I'm on my knees. I breathe deeply on the 5'2" ascent lest my nausea manifests, the tears escape or, worse, I punch her smug, sucked-in face straight across the college.

Behind me, the rest of the class have gone quiet and not a sculpture in the room is being designed. It's a stand off amidst 20 latex balloon columns, a more surreal situation has yet to be invented. She speaks first, "Why do you have to leave early anyway?"

Normally, I'd spare the awkwardness that arises when certain drugs are mentioned in polite company but, as she was being less than polite and I was off the meds, normal wasn't really an option.

"I'm ill because I've run out of anti-depressants and can't get any more until I actually see a doctor for a blood pressure/suicidality check"

Slowly and much more quietly than normal, the balloons start squeaking again as my classmates attempt to look like they're working whilst digesting this new information about me.

She keeps looking at my forehead for a few seconds, then replies "Well I also have your CV assignment, which it's (sic) not correct"

From a workstation nearby I hear a mate exclaim "Oh for fucks sake" and pretend to rearrange a pattern that wasn't wrong in the first place. The support buoys me up and I smile slightly, shake my head sadly and say "Tell you what, why don't I come to the office and see you before I go to my doctors appointment? Those places always run late, one more won't hurt"

I don't think she got the sarcasm cos she just agreed and turned away, calling 'see you all later' much too loudly and brightly.

She'd picked out everything she could on the CV 'assignment'. It was pathetic really but I needed to get out of there before I did damage so I leaned on the desk to stay pright while I listened to her reading out what changes she wanted. Changes that were clearly written on the feedback sheet but, of course, she never trusts that we can actually read and has to verbalise absolutely everything.

Later, when I'd calmed down a bit, I picked it up with every intention of re-working it, making it her version of perfection and leaving her with nothing to say. Until I reread the task brief and saw that, for her critique to make sense, she'd either cocked up the brief entirely or, as I'd originally read it, given two choices of approach and was calling my direction wrong cos I'd chosen her least favourite.

It's a CV for fucks sake. I've been doing them for years, and I've done a lot of jobs for years so mine is chock full of phrases like book-keeping to trial balance, profit and loss forecast, CRB check, leading team of 30 and supervising 6 other team leaders, ensuring contract completed on schedule and to client specs, child protection legislation and even current first aid certificate. This granny has a rather successful egg sucking system and intends to stick to it.


I have had enough of her self-importance and passive-aggressiveness.


And she's about to find out what petty really looks like.

*These would be the very same tablets that I managed to lose a while back, eventually discovering that somehow, I'd thrown them in the bin. See why I need them?