I woke to the sound of the wind howling down the chimney and came downstairs to see the trees swaying perilously. I was glad there are none that are too close to the house and dodgy. We had a power cut, just when I was happily engaged in reading blogs. It didn’t last long, but I left it a while before turning anything back on as it gets boring – it always blacks out just before you were intending to save your work, doesn’t it?

I went into town, bought fish from the market – Matt said it had been the quitetest morning for trade that he could remember; I bought sea bass and mussels, so at least he took £9 he might not have otherwise. I fetched 4 lbs of Seville oranges and some vegetables from Al and then I picked up the meals on wheels box and delivered lunches to our customers. It was a good excuse to drive and not to cycle. I saw a few people pushing their bikes, but no one was riding, because it wouldn’t have been safe. At one stage, I don’t think it was safe to drive either.

Shortly afterwards, we had a hailstorm, and then the wind died down abruptly.

I’d had a WRVS newsletter in the post, addressed to me as ‘Project Manager’. This annoys me mightily – I’m not a Project Manager, I simply do the rota for a village Meals on Wheels delivery. I don’t want a silly title that doesn’t reflect the small job I do. When I started doing this, there was a small honorarium, which I accepted and put in a charity box – a few years later it was decided that my National Insurance number was required, it would be paid direct to my bank account and called a ‘wage’. I wrote to say I was a volunteer and not an employee and I haven’t accepted it since. The thought of taking it, having to mention it on my tax return and then filling in a gift aid form is just too annoying. And frankly, if I was doing it for the money, I’d not be paid enough. I’ll happily work for nothing, but not for money if it’s less than I’m worth.*

I had the mussels for lunch. I scrubbed them and left them to lounge bewildered in a bowl of water for a while. I looked for the bottle of nice Chablis that Ro and I had started a couple of nights ago, but I couldn’t find it and had to make do with the Argentinian Chardonnay in the fridge. Tilly hovered hopefully, until I explained that mussels are much like crab, in that they’d make her go ‘Roo, Roo’, honkily. Then she drifted over to the Sage. He thought she needed to go out, but I translated her bodylanguage for him. She was asking him to tell me to get out of her chair, because she wanted to lie down. As I explained, she writhed expressively – I was saying what she would say, if only she had opposable thumbs. She could do and say anything, she tells me, if only she had opposable thumbs.

This afternoon and evening, I’ve made my third and fourth batches of marmalade. That may be enough for the year – or I may have one more effort. I enjoy making marmalade. I haven’t been eating it on toast, but I do lick the spoon…

*’arrogant little tit’, you’re thinking? That’s quite an accurate description and I won’t argue.

13 comments on “Thursday

  1. Alan

    Some volunteers like to have a title, I think it makes them feel some kind of value (or even power). I’m with you though it isn’t needed.

  2. Z

    *backs down hastily* no, no, I have respect for you, sir.

    Hello, Alan, welcome back. I can see they feel they have to call us something, but this is just silly.

  3. Dandelion

    If you were an unemployed person that was volunteering in the meantime, then being able to put “project manager” on your cv might help you back into paid employment. Just saying.

    (No, sir. But I do lick the spoon.)

  4. Dave

    What the weed said (the second time). My son, who is professionally involved in these matters, suggests voluntary work to the unemployed, as it does indeed give something for the cv.

  5. Z

    I’ve signed people’s gun licence applications on the strength of being a school governor and passsport applications as a churchwarden and they weren’t queried.

    Jamie, I hope you have a restful weekend too.

    The weed, Dave? You must think highly of her, to be worthy of such disrespect. Yes, Ro did voluntary work at university and put it on his CV – it was relevant to the job he then got, in fact.

  6. Z

    It’s been bitterly cold with a strong wind all day, but it’s raining now. If that turns to ice and snow later, the roads will be treacherous. I’ll be on edge until the Sage gets home – he poo-pooed my anxiety as he went out. He will eat his words on his return, along with a delicious dinner.

  7. luckyzmom

    We too have been having strong winds and nasty weather. We went into Walmart last night on clear, dry pavement and emerged to a slippery, slimy, frozey pavement with a thin layer of wet snow on top. Trecherous….

  8. Gert

    I understand the preferring to do it for nothing than for peanuts. In my first term as a councillor we got a ridiculous ‘allowance’ that worked out at about £50 a month, plus direct out-of-pocket expenses. I felt the £50 barely covered the extra indirect costs eg takeaway sandwiches or ready meals, or turning up to fundraising events, yet the number of accusations that were thrown of ‘you’re in it for the money…’

  9. Gert

    On the CV front, I would have thought it more useful to be able to describe the precise responsibilities rather than an ultimately meaningless title. Just as for paid work – my current job title is audit manager but if I went to an equivalent job in another central or local govt. dept., I might be Senior Auditor, Principal Auditor, Deputy Chief, Assistant Manager.

  10. Z

    Rain that freezes on the roads is more treacherous than snow.

    I agree with you Gert, my parents both having been councillors in their time. Voluntary workers are dismissed as do-gooders – it’s assumed one is in it for fringe benefits or some sort of power kick, or just because one is an interfering busybody.


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