Tuesday, 9 February 2010


It’s happened. After 5 months/ 149 days/3576 hours (approx) of official unemployment; Morag Christie has a job.

Now, don’t get too excited. It is not my dream job by any means and technically until I prove I’m not a serial killing paedophile and get my disclosure Scotland certificate, I can’t start. But it’s an offer, it’s a job and I now can pay my rent (after March this was going o become an issue as on March 18th my JSA i.e. dole money was going to run out).

Phew, phew, phew.

Thank-you Student Awards Agency Scotland (my new almost-employer) for taking a chance on me and allowing me to give advice to young poor impressionable students and deny them funding. I relish the opportunity to ‘advise’ them to get weekend jobs because its recession and the government spent all their parents’ tax money on duck houses thus decreasing funding dramatically and the 25% increase in post-graduates leading to an altogether strain on the financial stability of the organisation. Sounds like great fun eh?


Sorry that is just how it feels. I had anticipated when I got the news I had managed to secure employment that I would feel elated and want it party, get drunk and dance on tables. But what I actually felt was like there was a mill stone around my neck that had been finally lifted from my shoulders and thunk loudly on the ground at my feet, sending mill stone dust whooshing around me. I had a sit down, phoned my mum in disbelief and then did what is fast becoming one of my favourites past times of late- I cleaned. Favourite is not the word. Compulsion in fact. Yes, on hearing the news I had got a job a felt the compulsion to clean. I polished the window sills and mantle piece then cleaned the kitchen. I even moved the cooker and mopped the floor. I would have moved the fridge too, but it began to topple in my attempt and I could just visualize the scene that would greet Sarah on her return form work of my rather attractive pink love heart slippers poking out from under the horizontal fridge freezer and decided to leave it be.

I’m now having a sit down and a cup of tea out of my new mug. Who says I don’t know how to have fun?

I must back track slightly to events prior to today. The last I wrote I was getting very philosophical and this was mainly because I was waiting the results of a job interview that I thought I’d get. And then of course didn’t. Fortunately, I got the news whilst visiting my mother in Killin, the home of her fancy man. Yes, my poor mother is still waiting for her house to be finished and had gone to dog sit whilst her hard working fancy man completes the work. We had decided to go to Calander for the day, a nice wee town near Richard’s house and were just looking round a nice 2nd hand book shop- (but mainly just talking to the resident book shop cat) when I heard the news that I still didn’t have a job. So I decided that the best way to deal with this news was to buy an extortionate amount of sweets. I got vanilla fudge, honey roasted cashews, milk chocolate jazzies, sherbet pips and mixed fruit creams. I spent the next 2 days in the country eating these whilst drinking left over wine from Christmas and watching truly appalling true life movies and crime shows. By the end of it I felt much better, spiritually, but not physically.

The Borg also were there of course, the full complement of five. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned before, but of the 5, 3 are young siblings, the other 2 are slightly older mum and (honouree) auntie. Jet is the mum dog and is a bit stiff around the back legs, but still as enthusiastic as her brood. When giving them their afternoon constitutional, I play the game commonly known to many as fetch. When playing this with five dogs, the game talks a slightly different format that I would describe as manic dash. This comprises of me wresting the ball from Tom, having the dogs running around me in ecstatic pleasure, jumping with an insane amount of anticipation then the ball been thrown, the Borg tearing after it. The ball lands and is usually initially caught by Megan, the small (but most devious) yellow lab before it us wrestled from her by one of her siblings the black ones Tom and Sally. Pip the auntie has by this stage realised it’s all over and given up, ran back to me to see if I have another ball just for her to throw (I don’t). A then a curious event occurs. After all the excitement, all the jumping and scrabbling, barking and near death leaping off the garden embankment, which ever child dog has it, they drop it. They drop it and run off. Then Jet the mum dog picks it up and returns it to me. It’s a curious thing that I’m sure if I was in my philosophical mood of last week, I would reflect on.

Anyway, since then it has just been the grind of job hunting (mercilessly over- I’m not going to stop job hunting, but just take it down a gear, maybe 2) and of course socialising.

The pub quiz was missed last week as my cousin was ill (don’t worry, just a cold) and grave news was also received. I mentioned back in the beginning of the blog my aunt Moira’s cat Asti. A magnificent beast of white and tabby, a stalwart of the family and not totally in love with his cousin cat Edgar when he was staying. Well, alas after 16 years of bravely defending his home from interlopers, the occasional spider and the more frequent mouse, he sadly passed away last week. It’s hard to describe the sadness of losing a pet to those who have not had a beloved pet die, but certainly form experience, when Linford, the equally magnificent black fluff monster died several years ago I felt quite bereft. It was an unexpected grief, one I felt a bit ridiculous about. I’m meaning he was only a cat, was he not? But I think a family pet, especially one you have had for years can leave you quite profoundly sad because of the associations they carry. Linford had been in my life from an early age, he had been there during school, university, holidays, illness and death. When I would come home from school before mum got home from work, he would greet me with great enthusiasm at the door and accompany around the house as I completed my daily ritual of ripping off my school uniform and purging myself of the school day (school was not my favourite time). He was there where when I was studying at university- even when I didn’t want him to be. I recall on one occasion his persistence was so over whelming I had to eventually lock him outside of the house and close the curtains. So when my cousins and aunt expressed their great sadness on the loss of Asti, I could easily comprehend their emotions. RIP Asti, king of the Forsyth cats, you shall be missed.

Gosh this blog is getting long and I’m hungry. More socialising has occurred, but I’ll talk about that next time.

To end on a happy note, as mentioned, the quiz was missed 2 Mondays’ past. However last night, we made the quiz (without Niall who was until this morning in Ghana and missed the last few quizzes) and I am happy to report that after finishing last, then finishing 2nd last that yesterday we finished 3rd last. So a definite improvement.

Things are looking up.

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