Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Porage Diaries

Hullo ma wee blog,

The weather has dropped a few degrees now and the morning run to the station is now in 2 or 3 degrees rather than the 7 or 8 of a week or two ago. Not that cold really but you have to factor in a bit of chill coming in with the sea wind.

Porage has become a mainstay of breakfast now winter is here. I make mine with water not milk and a good turn of salt to the mix when its being made, not on top once its served. Then again, I am only making it for me. 45 - 50g of oats to 350- 400ml water and five minutes later its pretty much good to go. As good a fast food as you can get. Strangely I used to love it as a child, loaded with sugar on top of course, and then went through about 30 years of hating the thought of it so much I was never tempted to try until one day I had some in a hotel while away working somewhere and it was so good that it kind of reopened my mind to it.

Reality has come home to roost with a rejection letter after my parole board interview. I shouldn't be that surprised, it was always a big leap for me, but one that I felt I could justify. Guess I invested too much emotion in it which isn't a good thing when your unemployed I suppose but I'm gutted none the less. I put a huge amount of effort into that particular venture and to have it miss the point is hard to take. But I have asked for feedback to help me understand where I fell short. So its back to the grindstone of looking for jobs which often aren't there even if you actually want to do them. I'm quite hacked off today as its all rubbish that's on offer. I have talked it through with my lovely G and I am definitely going to give the Parole Board another crack when the next raft of recruitment comes along regardless of what work I may be doing by then. It won't be for a year as appointments run for fixed terms but hopefully now that I know what the interviews are like.....

Insurance money is beginning to kick in fully which keeps those worries mostly at bay but even that is a double edged sword as it doesn't really make me HAVE to go and get a job, and while its good not to be in that position, the lack of impetus is something that any potential employer could read any way they choose. Actually as far as insurance is concerned I have found yet another policy which will pay us even more so that is in place now too. How unreal to have more money coming in than when I was actually working!

The divisiveness of unemployment is also to be seen in frustrated wee moments and criticism given to and from each of us based around thoughts of 'its been a while now/what are you doing around the house all day' to 'do you have any idea how stressful it is doing nothing/do you know how lucky you are not to be in this situation/have something to get out of bed for in the morning'. Luckily these are few and far between but they are there, an unspoken resentment which is in reality about the situation but in vulnerable moments could be read as personal and aggressive in either direction. We know about it and have spoken it through and are on the watch out for it. Our relationship is the most important thing for both of us and its a strong one. But its a debilitating experience for drive, enthusiasm and confidence this malarky and hard not to wallow in self pity. I'll be glad when it can be over. Like millions of others I suppose. I see a table in the paper which says unemployment in the county is just nudging 8%, one of the lower ones in the national average. Not very comforting though, nor is the fact that the rate of unemployment is slowing. {Yeah, and your point IS Mr. Politician?}

So I am forcing myself to spend a couple of hours daily doing the rounds of the web sites and keeping in touch in the forlorn hope of a contact coming good, making lists of jobs around the house I want to get done and trying to get them ticked off, mostly unsuccessfully for the last couple of weeks for sure. But its a temporary thing I'm not going to lie down to. Things will get better, truly better for us in time. At least we have the finance to let us tough it out.

Meanwhile its back tae auld claes 'n' purritch

see you later.

Listening to Sting 'dream of the blue turtles'


Anonymous said...

Hi Al,
Sorry to hear the parole job interview didn't pan out .,., I can understand you being gutted of course but a brighter light may be just around the corner ? and hey, like I've said before ,, there's more to life than work !
In fact MUCH MORE .,.,., Give it a wee try, for a while at least ,, you might find you quite like it ! Meanwhile ,, chin up !
Now as for your Scottish porage in watter ,,, yuk ,, give me my more posh porridge with yer guid auld fashioned coo's mulk any day .,., nae suger richt enough ! But I also have to confess ,, I make mine in the Micro wave !!
Well why wait 5-whole minutes ?

Alistair said...

Scudder - where ye been man. Nae posts for a bit?

Cheers for the comments. Will try to get a bit more positive......

microwave porage is ok, one o my uncles makes his that way. Not quite right though.

Anonymous said...

Just been busy ,, doin' ,, eh ,, I don't remember ,, stuff !
You seem positive enough Al, planning your next forage ( as well as your porage )
into the Parole board already !
Oh and I forgot to add this yesterday .,.,
A wee thought from another old philosopher ( other than me that is ! )....
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
- Aristotle ... so there !

Big Swifty said...

I love porage, especially when it's spelt porage. I have had porage in many places in Scotland, and, they almost always use water, so I accept this is "correct". But I usually use milk, a pinch of sea salt and maybe some maple syrup. My pal Rod from Stonehaven soaks his the night before (in water) and adds golden syrup. His secret ingredient is 30% pinhead oats, which makes it chewier! Whatever the formula I love it. (And I use the microwave too, I'm so ashamed!)

Big Swifty said...

Sorry about the disappointment about the job. I hope you find what you are looking for. I've been lucky, I have a part-time job that I (quite!) enjoy, which fits in well with my other life as a househusband and carer for young child. Very best wishes with your search, from Andrew aka Big Swifty

Morning's Minion said...

There hasn't been a lot of me left over for posting lately, but I've been mulling this, the "porage" as well as the frustrations you have chronicled.
Here we call that breakfast "oatmeal." My late mother-in-law made the best that I have ever eaten--she used "old fashioned" oats and prepared it in a double boiler. I never achieved her knack with it. J. refused to eat it for many years into our marriage, declared that he HAD to eat it as a child and that he considered it......well, maybe we can skip that! Maple syrup has always been our sweetner of choice for most anything from baked beans to "hot cereal".
The thoughts you expressed here re being unemployed likely strike a familiar chord with anyone who has endured that experience---whether as a blue-collar worker, or someone farther up the corporate ladder. J. has been self-employed most of his working life, which has meant immediate financial worries when there is no work. We incorporated the construction business a few years ago, so during this year of slow-down, he has at least been able to draw on the unemployment insurance paid in. The other aspect of this is more subtle, but has a terrific impact. There is the implication that whatever one was offering is devalued, that our skills or insight are not as useful as we imagined. While that can lead to reassessment or a refreshing change of direction, it can also lead to discouragement...and the fact that what happens to us is indicative of a larger trend is not always immediately comforting.
This is the first winter in many that J. has no foreseeable work project. He is doing catch-up work on the house we live in, filling his time. In spite of the big financial disappointment with the sale of the spec house, we remind ourselves that our careful lifestyle and a healthy debt to equity ratio are cause for optomism.
I trust you will soon find a new niche for your skills--which I would guess are impressive. In the meantime, I'm interested to read more porage chronicles.

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