From then to now … back to the start


I was informed by a phone call from the Catering Manager, that I was to return to the LGI the following Monday. It was as simple as that. I was half expecting it to be honest as the the person I was covering had come back to work. It wasn’t expected as everybody thought that the pressures of the job was too much for him. That was the main reason he had been on long term sickness and the reason I was covering his job. But he had returned and as such I was  surplus to requirement. The worrying thing was that the follow up letter from the Catering Manager, talked about the post I was to take up as being a ‘temporary position at the moment’. That did not sound so good.

At the time, I was not a big fan of the hospitals Trades Unions. The primary two were the National UnionUnion of Public Employees (NUPE) and the Confederation Of Health Service Employees (COSHE). The issue I had was that neither of these would have anything to do with employees under the age of 18. This I thought was unfair as the people most likely to have issues were the youngest of the workforce. However, one of my colleagues, K**** was a good friend of the shop steward. ContractHe mentioned to the steward (called D***) the problems I was facing . He looked closely into my initial contract and found a clause that stated that at the end of my training, I would be found a permanent position within the catering teams. The kicker to this clause was that it never been changed in subsequent contracts and still stood. They had to provide me with a permanent position. I was a bit worried that I would need to join the union, but this never materialised.

This delayed my return by a couple of weeks until I received a letter explaining that there had been “… some confusion … the job was a permanent job, but not necessarily in the same kitchen …” The letter finished with “…please report to the Main Kitchen for 9am on Monday …”

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The kitchen was divided into three sections: the vegetable section; the meat and fish section and my Vegparticular favourite; the pastry section. I was hoping that I would get pastry as it was what I felt was my best area. But there was some new girl in that section. More about her later. No, I got the section I was dreading, the vegetable section. I was not a veggie person, in fact apart from  baked beans and processed peas, I did not eat vegetables. Simply did not like them, and to be given the job of cooking the stuff felt like a little bit of ‘pay-back’ for my unintentional union help.

Hospital vegetables were not cooked the way vegetables are cooked these days. Before the late 1960’s vegetables were always cooked to death and whilst the 1970’s saw new thoughts on cooking, hospital vegetables were still being over cooked. The premise was that poorly people needed soft food. Thankfully, to a greater extent that has changed for the better.

There was a set order for the rotation of vegetables on the main meal. I cannot remember the order, but the list consisted of: carrots, green beans, swede, peas (always on Swede n CarrotFriday with the fish) and cabbage. Occasionally, there were broad beans and very occasionally mashed carrot and swede. The broad beans were always served in a white sauce, but the swede/carrot mash-up only occurred if there was a shortage of one or both of the two vegetables. I love it now but back then I thought it smelled awful, and fully thought it would taste disgusting.

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That first week was terrible and I did consider looking for another job. Staff treated The Goonsme very indifferently at first, but as the weeks went by, I found myself enjoying my role more. The person I worked with shared the same interests as me both in hobbies and music and had a very similar taste in comedy. We were both huge fans of The Goon Show and often talk to each other using a couple of The Goons voices.

I was also getting to know the ‘new girl’ a little better and things were starting to get to a similar stage as they were before I was forced to leave the Maternity hospital. And the ‘new girl’ was beginning to play a very important part in my life.

Fathers day …. and the point is ?


     I really am against Fathers Day as a celebration day. A day that is thrust down everyone’s throat. It is in all the newspapers, imageon the radio, television, internet, although Google has struggled to come up with a iconic logo. It is commercialism at its worst.

     There a number of reason why I have a problem with this day, and also Mothers Day!! Firstly, whilst there is a large section of the population that can celebrate, there are a large number that cannot. Those people, who for whatever reason cannot become fathers. Those children, whose fathers are no longer around and equally, those fathers whose children are no longer around. The same applies to mothers. Secondly, it is just another American import, that does little to boost the economy of this country. Okay, so many shops will sell cards, and gifts and make a little profit. But it is not Britain/England that is making these gifts and cards. They are usually made in some Pan-Asian country that pays its workers a pittance. I also feel it can be divisive. Those couple who are lucky enough to have both fathers around have the dilemma, of who to celebrate the day with. not so bad if both fathers live within a reasonable distance, you can see both. I know at least two couple, whose parents live in different parts of the country. Very difficult if you have 200 miles between families!!

Rant over !!!!


     Good old Danny Alexander. Looks like the puppet telling the puppet master how to dance. http://tinyurl.com/66pqn7y Can the Lib Dems not see, that they are only there to make up the numbers, and not the policy. Are we are going to see this kind of thing a lot ? It will just give ammunition to the hard right in the Tory party, to attack the Trades Unions (it is Trades not Trade) It makes it look like the Government is pandering to the Unions and not negotiating with them.


         New camera seems to be working well. I’m beginning to get the hang of it. I’m not sure what format and size will be the best to use. I get the choice of 4:3 – 14mp, 4:3 – 5mp, 4:3 – 0.3mp, 3:2 12.5mp, 16:9 – 10.5mp and 1:1 – 10.5mp. From what I understand, each size is for a different picture use, and it is that that I am finding difficult to decide. For my use, I am tempted to use the 1:1 size, but the 4:3 – 0.3mp would be better for email and stuff !! I think, I am going to have to print out the full manual. May have to use the print save option (note to self – need more ink).