Breathing Easy After Escaping The Big Chokey Smoke

I have just been for my second interview of the day.  It lasted hours!  It wasn’t like one of those big group interviews when they invite a hundred students and ask them what kind of animal or superhero they would liken themselves to.  It was just me, on my own…let’s ask her three hundred obscure questions.

What is all that about?  To be honest, the interviewer had such an astonishing poker face, I have no idea what he thinks of me, whether he thinks I will suit the role.

There was a stage when a thought ran through my mind:

“If this is the interview before I ever start the job…can you imagine what team meetings must be like???”

I am so exhausted by that marathon interview that I think that for me it is a no…the interview has completely put me off that role, even though it is for a much larger salary.


Photo Credit: carloyuen @

But there was something else…as I was leaving I started to get a feel for the area where the business is based.  There are government buildings down one side of the road and tourist attractions all the way down the other.  Right in the heart of Pea-soup City.  The  middle of the big chokey smoke.  Now I am breathing easy after escaping the mire and murk of the City Centre.

It was the murky air that I noticed first…and then the putrid fumes of rose petal tuna fish peppery puffs wafting from the roll ups held by various individuals leaning against walls.  I can still smell it in my hair and on my dress.

The interview was draining, the area was dingy…I did not like it.  I took 46 minutes to travel there, 52 minutes on the return journey.  I am just sure that this is not going to work.  And after the interview went so well this morning, what can I say?

I don’t want to travel into the middle of the big smoke every day…it’s yucky.  I think I am happier working in a relatively more easy-going London suberb.

Aaaah…well this is what interviews are all about.  They have the chance to scrutinise you and, I guess you also have the chance to suss them out and detect if they are going to make your life miserable.

I just remembered I have a post all about interviews:




Posted in Worth A Thousand Words

Thank you to  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith for another beautiful photo prompt.


And…yuck it was still hot….hot in the city…tonight…

…which of course brought this back to mind…


Stephen T Has Tagged Me For The Friday Funday Challenge


It’s Frrrrrrrriiiiiiiiday – a day of fun, laughter and mirth…

I have just been for an interview and they offered me the job there and then…when can I start?  That’s a great start to the day – is it not?  Big thanks to all the lovely well-wishers who left comments on my post yesterday.

To continue the mirthful mood I am in, it seemed the right time to publish my post in connection to the Friday Funday Challenge.

I was tagged to take part in the Friday Fun Challenge by  Stephen T Stephen T (thank you Stephen) the creator of Armageddon Cafe as you can see in his post below:

This was another challenge created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! and is all explained in a post on his site!

It is a little like musical chairs. He writes: Each Friday l will ask 19 new questions, and nominate 3 bloggers of my own who will answer 16 of my questions, but insert 3 questions of their own and answer those as well, so that they are STILL answering 19 questions.


  1. Thank the nominator
  2. Answer Q1-19
  3. Nominate three bloggers and notify them
  4. Each selected blogger must answer 16 of the 19 questions AND insert three new questions to make the 19. [hint, delete three questions you don’t like or have an answer for and replace those]
  5. Q14 and Q20 Must remain intact.

Today’s Questions: (Some of which might not strike you as on a mirthful note, I have to admit)

1] Which horror movie monster do you think is the deadliest?

great whiteWell, I have not seen many horror monster movies.  They are not my cup-of-tea. I like animated films and the occasional musical, and the perhaps the even more occasional chick flick. Does Jurassic Park count as a monster movie?

My parents told me not to watch “Jaws” when I was younger.  I watched it in secret.  Of course I regretted it a lot.  Next time we went on holiday and I was swimming in the sea, I kept on imagining I was seeing sharks in the water and I was totally freaked out.  I spent the rest of the holiday only swimming in the hotel pool.

Yet another example of how I should have always listened to my parents – they know best!

2] Which serial killer do you find the most fascinating?

I certainly don’t find serial killers fascinating.

When I was 13, one of my close school friends was murdered.  I used to go running with her at lunch times (when I was not playing hockey) and after school.  They found her close to a route we often ran along, close to the hospital I was born in.

I can watch a light-hearted detective show, so long as there is no graphic violence in it, but I would not want to watch or read some kind of psychological thriller or delve into the mental state of a criminal.  Years ago I trained as a legal secretary but I couldn’t cope with the cases we  heard at court so I sought employment in other fields.  There was a man who tried to electrocute his wife by rigging up the garage door – he did it twice and I am glad to say both attempts failed.  I didn’t want to be around that kind of craziness.

3] Would you rather know the date of your death or the cause of your death?

make the most of it.jpgNeither have happened – so there is no way of knowing them. Maybe I will never die at all. Won’t worry about that one yet.

Life is for living, I would rather not dwell on the prospect of death.  I want each day of my life to count for something.  I have had one close brush with death which has  reminded me to use time/life wisely.

No regrets!

4] Would you rather be eaten alive by wolves or eat another human alive?

vegetarian.jpgWhat a choice!  Rory – did you write these questions?

I am a vegetarian – so I don’t know if that helps answer that one!  I have no problem with other people eating animals – that is allowed.  Eating another human is not allowed.  Of course neither would I particularly desire to be eaten by wolves.  But I might be dead already and it would be beyond my control.  But there is no way I would eat a human.

These are all boy questions.  We need more mirth in this.

5] If you and I were going to order a take-away on Friday night – what would you choose?

thaiAt the moment, my choice would be Thai food mainly because Goldfinch likes it and also because there is an amazing Thai restaurant that does take-away food just at the end of my road.

But I am not fussy, so long as there is a vegetarian option available I am ready to try any food – I am trying to choose healthier options though – to reduce my general wobbliness.

6] Can you swim?  Where have you swam (other than the local swimming pool)?

I can swim!  Oh yes I can swim!  I have taught friends from India and Pakistan to swim.  It has been quite special to see their excitement when they go from complete beginner to being able to swim up and down the length of the pool on their own.  To see their mirthful reaction to being able to swim was very rewarding!

swimmingMy sisters and I were competitive swimmers for years.  I love swimming.  Being in a pool feels wonderful to me…peace, calm, happy place…and then as I swim up and down for an hour or two I feel adrenaline and power rushing through my limbs.

I have swam in Hampstead Ponds and in the sea when we went on holiday to Cornwall.  I have also swam in the Mediterranean on holidays to France, Spain and Turkey but the whole Jaws issues has kind of ruined it for me.   We also went scuba diving in Turkey…which was amazing!

7] If you were asked to film a new horror movie, what would the plot be?

red velvetWell…it would not be a horror movie for a start.  I could do a musical or a period drama – last time I went to see a musical, the guys I was with looked quite disturbed, more than if they had been watching a freak show.  They actually asked us if the characters were going to stop singing.

I nearly fainted when I came home one day and found one of my flatmates had been making Red Velvet Cake – it did look rather like a horror scene.

Oh and then there was the time when my Dadda was sawing a wooden door and he nicked his finger tip – blood spurted out all over the hallway.

8] Do you like creepy-crawlies (insects, worms, bugs etc)?

What is not to love about them? 

I wish I made more time to learn more about them.  Everything I read about insects is pretty phenomenal.

9] Where is the strangest place you’ve ever found yourself?

endoscopyMy mum gave us a tour of the endoscopy unit at the hospital where she worked.  It was really odd seeing all the different shaped bed frames for patients to be positioned in whilst cameras were being inserted in various locations.

We were interrogated at Detroit airport after a misunderstanding a few years ago – that was scary!  We were not exactly given a warm welcome.

We went on a tour of Cape Coast Castle in Ghana and we were down in the dungeons where countless thousands of men and women would have been kept in depraved conditions before being shipped to the Americas.

Being within the innards of an enormous printing press (producing 100,000 newspapers per hour) with the engineers was quite cool.  I have been inside a few times and felt quite awed by it.

10] Where,or when, are you most at peace?

Well…every night when I slip into bed and fall asleep I am at peace – but I guess being unconscious does not qualify as peace.

I feel at peace when I am swimming (but after watching Jaws as a teenager, that has to be in a swimming pool).

Bala Lake at sunset

When I was in Snowdonia last week I saw so many stunning views that made my heart leap – you know that feeling? – it a mix of peace and wonder and gratitude for being alive and being able to enjoy life.

11] What is the creepiest book you have ever read?

ringwormWell, I have had to read a pretty horrid training book about fungal infections recently which we often have to advise on at work.  Quite regularly patients walk in and start trying to take their shoes and socks off and show us their symptoms.  Often my first thought is – why did you let it get this bad?

For your sakes, I won’t include any pictures with this reply.

Or…hold on…I bet I can find something that won’t make you feel ill after you have eaten your lunch.

The photos in the training book I had to read were horrid – worse than the imagination of any creepy book writer.

12] What fictional monster movie would you change the ending to?

I have not seen any monster movies other than Pixar movies…Monsters Inc – I don’t thing I would change this really.  I think Pixar are super – my cinema viewing would be non-existent if it were not for Pixar.

13] Do you believe in life after death?

adam and eveI have read the scriptures from Genesis through to Revelation many times and it seems very clear that death was not a part of the original purpose for humans.  It is a consequence of what Adam and Eve chose.

Did the Creator abandon His original purpose?  His own word guarantees He will undo all the damage including death.

If any of my friends or workmates ask me what happens after death, I ask them first what they believe.  I don’t want to be belligerent and knock someone else’s treasured beliefs they may have clung to for years, especially at times of bereavement.

But when I was younger and asked these questions, I was only satisfied with an authoritative answer that made sense from start to finish.  I only found that when I read the scriptures for myself.  I have lost many close friends and family members and the longing I feel to see them again is echoed in one of my favourite passages:

If a man dies, can he live again?…

…You will call, and I will answer you.

You will long for the work of your hands.

I have been with several people when they took their last breath.  It was strange but a relief to see their pain end…and they were fast asleep, no longer distressed.


I totally appreciate why death is likened to sleep throughout the scriptures.  And I draw tremendous comfort and confidence from both the promises for the future and the accounts of people being woken up from that sleep and being alive again.

To me, the only thing that will undo the damage that Adam and Eve’s decision caused and end the pain caused by disease, old age and death, is to wake up those who have died, to restore life to them. The comparison of death to sleep shows how easy it is for the Creator to do this.

I think it is very healthy for every normal human to ask themselves this question at some stage.  I pondered it a lot as a teenager.  Some said heaven or hell, others said a human might be born again as a different form of life, others said there is nothing, nada, zip and there is no hope after you lose your life.  I would not want to be ignorant of someone else’s treasured beliefs…but for myself, I was only satisfied when I read everything I could find on this subject for myself, and asked all my questions and saw proper answers.

I know that some people do not believe in a Creator, I have no desire to mock someone else’s sincere belief, but so far there is no human endeavour that has been able to conquer death.  Yet, throughout the scriptures it is clear that is exactly what is at hand. No more of the consequences including death that have been inherited from Adam.

14] Which 3 questions will you be deleting to add your own in?

If I had my way, I would probably change more than three (sorry Rory – but as someone who does not have any interest in horror movies and stays a million miles away from the occult – I think I have done well to provide answers to these questions at all)!

Definitely 6, 8 and 16 will be going – as they are questions I would never dream of asking anyone in real life.  I am going to cheat and take 5 out as well.  The horror movie stuff is going to have to stay I suppose, although they are not my cup-of-tea.  I am going to attempt make these questions less about horror and ghosts.

15] What is your song? Or for the kids- what’s your jam?

Oh so many…my music tastes are diverse.  I have already published a post with some of my all time favourites:

At the moment I have had one song whirling around my head for weeks…love the song, but it’s driving me nuts!  I don’t know how to get rid of it…I am a worker and so many of the lines it make me laugh…and I sing it in the shower at the top of my voice, which I worry my landlady is going to complain about one day.

16] Have you been to a castle, palace, stately home or National Trust property recently?  Where did you go

Goldfinch took me to Baddesley Clinton and we had a perfect afternoon together with an amazing picnic and hours of walking and talking and love.


17] Which type of movie monster is your favorite?

monsters incWell, I quite liked Monsters Inc…that was quite fun.

finding nemoBut one of my favourite movies of all time would have to be Finding Nemo.  There is a scary bit at one point, with Bruce the Shark – I mean the first time I saw it…I was rather nervous that Marlin was going to be sushi.

I far far preferred Finding Nemo to Jaws and it almost helped me get over my fear of swimming in the ocean.

18] What’s your biggest fear?

Well, I don’t exactly live in fear of being eaten by a shark…but it does dictate where I swim.

A lot of things have happened to me (a few boxes I would never have wanted to be ticked have been ticked) and I am not as frightened as I used to be when I was younger.  It is incredible what a human can go through and yet survive.

care assistantI see daily the physical struggle faced by those whose health and mobility is deteriorating. While working in healthcare, I have often been moved to tears by seeing someone who has been dynamic and energetic for decades become dependent on others for everything.  One of my fears is losing control of my innards.  I have always thought that when I help anyone in that situation, I want to do so with the greatest dignity and respect possible – I would hate to be in that situation, completely dependant on healthcare providers for physical help, but to find they had no sensitivity or kindness.  I hate to say it, but I have seen wonderful health workers and awful health workers who do not really care.

cyberbullyA worry that effects me now is fear that I will never make it back to my home, my career (where I was based before the crime that I have referred to in some of my posts)…I miss that satisfying purposeful life.

I also fear that there are people who I love and respect that believe the rumours my ex-flatmate spread.  I am fearful that there is no way to undo that damage and for as long as I live, people I think the world of will think I did things that I would never dream of doing.  It’s not possible to find everyone who has heard a lie about you and completely vindicate and exonerate yourself.  I guess you have to accept that those false words have had their effect.  You have to just carry on as the person you know you are and trust that people who are genuine will get to know the real you and value who you really are.

19] If you found yourself in a horror movie, would you be one of the first to die or the survivor?

movie set.jpg

This is one of the reasons why I don’t watch horror movies – people dying – I prefer to stick with Pixar productions.

If I made the mistake of wandering onto the set of a horror movie, I would immediately raise the alert and admit I was lost, even if I had to tell a bunch of movie people I was just looking for the toilets.

I would get out of there as quickly as possible – which I think would make me qualify as a survivor.

20] The three bloggers you are nominating are?

Christine Bolton   Christine Bolton, Poetry For Healing   –

amydwestphal   amydwestphal   –

Michael   Michael   –

Well – I am here wishing you all a very lovely and mirthful Friday.  Whatever you are up to..enjoy.  I am going to see my Goldfinch this weekend, so I will be full of mirth.