Holidays – 5.6 weeks?

Did you know that if you work in the UK you are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday a week even if your only working part time. That can include bank holidays but doesn’t always – you should check your contract. I didn’t realise it but found it while researching something for holiday time off.

Government Business Website Link:

Using calculations from:

For a normal working week (37.5 hours)

Hours: 37.5 * 5.6 = 210 Hours
Days : 5 * 5.6 = 28 Days

Seems you get around a month off annually which sounds like a lot but probably doesn’t quite work that way so well. It was effective from the start of the financial year – April 2009.

Sell off – The plan

I’ve discovered I have a load of stuff I’ve not used in years, and piles of cables and bits I will probably never use again.

So I will be at some point sorting all the bits and selling them – hopefully helping clear two things at once: Having a clearer room/boxes and making some money ready for Christmas.

So where do I sell things? I know of ebay – but there are so many fees involved from posting an auction, to selling fees, and then transaction fees if using paypal so where else could I sell things?

Wardrobe Build

I had fun the other weekend attempting and successfully building a wardrobe with dad. It took us a few hours to put together and thankfully it fitted into the space we had with around 8 cms to spare… so its not coming out anytime soon.

There isn’t as much room in this one as my old one but it looks a lot nicer and fits into my room nicely. However now i need to find new homes for all the bits I had everywhere and its not an easy task.

But I was thankful for the help as there is no chance i’d have managed that on my own, nevermind the moving of it – the actual build needed more than one person and the instructions were a little crazy as are all instructions.

Lord of the Dance

Its good to remember what you miss sometimes… For you can go and often try it again. Remembering what is lost and what could be found again.

Lord of the Dance

Lord of the Dance

On friday night I went to sunderland empire theatre with a friend, we went to see Lord of The Dance. It was a good show with Good seats, and company.

Lots of dancing, a little singing and a lot of music – I would recommend seeing it – it was great. I really enjoyed it, althou still not sure what the story was if there was one.

I’ve always loved dance – the expression of self in relation to music and sounds. To flow or just move and enjoy. I miss it – not been in a while, one reason was headaches (Hard to concentrate on a beat, when there’s a pulsing extra beat in your head), another is money (Costs to go to classes), and time – I seem to fill it doing just stuff or work.

I look forward to getting back to it. I’m unlikely to ever be fit enough as a dancer is but I will enjoy the time, and hopefully get better at it.

Headaches… Continued

I’ve had headeaches for a long time – well around 8 to 10 years is the furthest I can think back to them starting and bugging me. I tried all different medicines to remove them, and only found one that worked. That one got taken off the market which was very annoying as nothing else yet as worked. They last between a few days and a few weeks from something in the background to a bluring pain that makes concentration an impossability and the only thing to do it lie down and hopefully sleep.

Last thursday I went to the hospital to see a neurologist that asked about 50 or so questions, checked my eyes and general health. After answering I was told I had migrane, and another type of headache thats like a daily one that there are no real cures for but they are trying me on a preventative. The medication they are giving me I know as an anti-depresive which is not why I take it… but at a lower does is a good pain killer as effects the cause rather than the symptoms.

I’ve discovered a lot of friends on it so far for pain relief of different things so I hope it works. I’ve heard that it can make you sleep better or a lot more which can’t be too bad when I usually am up til 2am and up at 8am. So early bed times I pressume will be forced on me. It suggests that I shouldn’t drink (at least for the first month) as it will make me very very tired.

I was glad to go and get something for the headaches, but I guess i’ll see over the next few months whether it works or not as it takes a while to get in the system. Friends at work take 50mg+ and have said its made life a lot better, they still get attacks but nothing near as bad as before. So I wait and see and hope I don’t have any bad side effects.

Standing up for the people

Last week I decided to go ahead and go for my thoughts in polotics, I spoke with friends and they say the way i’ve spoken about it shows a kind of passion – as I want to help people and its a way I know how too. So my name is put down onto the list and we’ll see how it goes.

I have stood for a ward councillor before – in an area that I live in, but was unlikely to be won for the party I stand for – There was 2 positions, and 6 of us going for it – I came in 3rd with 498 votes and that was a few years ago now. I learned a lot from the time of doing the build up – one thing in particular was how open people were at the doorstep just to listen and got me thinking as to why more people don’t share so easily.

The process isn’t easy to become a councillor – First of all you have to apply/volunteer, then be chosen within the party itself which may involve applications, interviews and speeches. A panel chooses to put you forward and where to stand. Then its onto the People: Going out and talking with people, trying to get yourself known, trying to help people and then voting day – where you have to be chosen by the people and compete against however many other parties and people for the top 2 or 3 positions. A stressful and yet exciting day ending with the count – which half the time is boring, until its your turn or someone you know and then its the end results of a competition being read out.

And when you get in, a party – then work for the next 4 years or so trying to help others in the specified area you stood for.

If I had the money…

What would I Like to do if I won a large amount of cash like the lotto millions…?

There is the idea that I would be debt free and help out close friends and family with cash too but apart from that would there be anything I’d really like to do.

There are things like travelling, to see different parts of the world and how cultures work together or against each other. To learn how to cook different dishes traditionally for me and others.

There are a few projects i’d like to do aswell for the community I live in. Maybe some of them I could do now but never seem to have the time or know where to start with it all. The theory is with money you can take the time to do things – I don’t know if this is the case really.


I’ve enjoyed learning trampolining and the freedoms and friends made doing it and try to encourage more people to do it. We are currently located in a sports hall in part of a school in billingham.

I would love for there to be a speciallised place for trampolining where it could be run all day, every day with set days where anyone could come in and try it aswell as run for the club.

A training, fitness area aswell as several trampolines maybe in more than one room so more than one class could be run easily…. Its just an idea – not sure if other places have them already but know in Teesside they don’t.


Take a plot of land or a few plots and build a semi self sufficient set of housing with eco friendly energy. The idea would be to generate all heating using underground heating and energy from solar/wind power with maybe some of the excess heating from underground to also generate power.

I know how fortunate i’ve been in life and althou I’ve never won the lotto or large cash sums before I know that i’ve got a good life and been supported by family and friends and always had somewhere to sleep if needed.

The housing could be used to provide services to the area we live in. There are so many homeless people and people living on the streets, and council properties that are not great and I know that its not much I can do but this idea could help and in theory help pay for itself in running costs. The initial cost would still be expensive.

These are just ideas of a what if.. however maybe its something that could happen without the “what if” – maybe its a set of ideas to start with and something that if local businesses were interested in helping could work together and sponser a project like this. I don’t know – its one of the many ideas I have.

Prayer Diary

I’ve always struggled with prayer, and all it is about is talking to God: telling him what you’d like, your feelings etc.. What you’d often say to friends but often its asking for something or thanking for something.

I still never seem to know what words to use, I know of the “Lords Prayer” which is put simple a guide on how to pray – it speaks about others, self, protection, and future plans aswell as forgivness and authority and still even with the guide book I have trouble.

I’ve talked with lots of people and one friend recently told me about a “Prayer Diary” – I’ve heard of them before – not tried it but heard of it. They too struggled with prayer and what to say and have said that writing helps and often answers come to them as they write.

So a suggestion is: Write down your prayers in a notebook, and when you get answers – add them too – if needbe, number your prayers so you can know which answer is to what prayer. You may discover more of your prayers answered if you remember what you’ve said.

I know its an interesting idea – maybe one I will take up. Thanks for friends – is what I know I can pray – for without them, I don’t think i’d see a lot of whats about

Harvest – Psycological Re-boot

I went away to harvest this year calm and knowing that this year was just like most years. I steward, chat and chill with people. I seem to meet people more on a personal level now than just those I work with… Think its got to do with the amount of time we’ve worked things together.

I went there trying new things like the ministry team – to try and stretch me.

I also went there open to what God can do in my life. How I can do things differently but also took a back seat to volunteering myself into more things. I did the ministry team when i could but also saw myself as in a settling place – somewhere I fitted in but didn’t too..

So much changed and to talk with others there again also feeling the same change, and they’ve only done it a fraction of the time there. I think Harvest is now a past rather than present thing for me and a few others.

I left harvest feeling some decisions in life were actually happening. I saw people on teams that haven’t worked well before work amazingly well together and support one another when it actually mattered.

I felt a part of the many things that were holding me back just gone. I can’t explain what was holding me back but the weight was not there so much – I felt so much more relaxed and more like me again. A side effect means people see a lot more sarcasm but thats just who I am.

It felt great – a friend said it was like a psycological reset – I had returned to an earlier happier person again and it is good to see me again.

Harvest – My Beginning Time

I’ve gone to harvest since 1994, on and off for the first few years. Since 2000, I’ve helped on the stewarding teams with a variety of people now.

The first year I attended, the topic for the week was “Everybody needs somebody”. This seemed to hit home really strongly.

I was part of a church youth group, I got on with a few people but not many, and I wasn’t close to any inparticular. I knew of Christianity and believed in it althou still with many questions. I was a mid-teenager with a lot of questions in life. I still do now but then it was really confusing.

I went there with the feeling of knowing no-one. I wanted to go to things no-one else in the group wanted too and so instead I went out and mixed. I spoke to people, people that if I was at school I would be too scared to try – but all these people didn’t know me and if they complained I’d just go elsewhere.

I will always remember meeting a few other people there – some of which I made great friends with, some I never saw again. One person seemed troubled and talked to me. I didn’t feel alone, but felt comfortable trying to help another.

We went for a walk one night, I didn’t realise i was meant to tell my youth leaders… we wandered and talked for a while and found ourselves at the enterance road and headed round in a loop. We didn’t get back til after 11pm and my youth leader was not pleased probably to say the least.

The event had a lot of loud, fast, rythmic music that was fun to sing, and join in with. We prayed, talked, were spoken too and in some times felt so much inside that it was hard to explain.

There was games on a saturday: Football, Rounders and Its a Knock out.

Its a Knock out – probably totally against Health &  Safety laws of nowadays but so much fun. Four coloured villages playing against one another in a variety of crazy games. Nothing really won apart from the Joy of beating the others.

I remember things on Sale such as a T-Shirt with the branding of Harvest, and the topic for the year and the year. Something to remember it all by except well… memories.