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Monday, 3 May 2010

Thoughts on my present and future situation.

A few days ago I learnt through Facebook that an old work friend had passed away after a short illness. Peter was a lovely chap who was working at Capital One when I knew him last and was a very likeable, self effacing man with a background in professional touring theatre productions. Three years ago he had just taken his retirement and was looking forward to relaxing in his retirement years. He was single and will be fondly remembered.

This sad news came as a bit of a shock for me and other friends and many people would have missed the funeral in April. The event has made me re-evaluate my life and think what I am doing with my present and future years on this planet.

So, as the clock on the side ticks away I’ve been thinking about myself and where I want to go in life.


Sometimes I think that I am good at too many things and being of a bit of a butterfly nature I tend to flitter from one brightly coloured interest to another. There never seems to be enough time to do everything – despite me being unemployed – with all the time in the world – in theory. I also have a tendency to take on too many projects both work and leisure and then I wonder why I feel tired all the time.

The work I would love to do: travel & food writing.

I am currently being asked by a government body to ‘up the ante’ on my job seeking and expected to apply for large amounts of jobs per month. I do my best to comply and some opportunities have arisen from my endeavours but being a non-conventional person at heart, that same heart sinks quicker than the Titanic at the very thought of being stuck in an office based role all day. Yet this is what I feel I am being asked to do because of my previous work history. I have applied for a lot of jobs in the last year and a half and I hear absolutely nothing back. I often feel very confused about my way forward and disheartened and marginally depressed, hence the constant tiredness. If I was left alone to do it ‘my way’ it would probably be a lot easier. I am grateful for all the help I get but I now I feel I need to take control and get out of this situation.

Thankfully, my creative hobbies help to ease the way. The things that cheer me up are writing this blog and my other blog at and the involvements I have with the Lace Market Theatre and the support of some good friends. Also, I have had some writing published in the Derby Evening Telegraph of late about my childhood years. This is unpaid but at least I am getting published and will add to my list of published work as a writer.

Writing notes for my French journal in Bordeaux.

I do get fed up sometimes with the lack of work situation but, then I have mad moments like making the silly videos of late and then all is sweetness and light again. I’m just an entertainer at heart I think and those who read my blog know that I am passionate about food. I love my times in the kitchen or watching food programmes and would be more than happy to be paid to write to amuse and enlighten all day. Finding a work position in the food industry where I could help and advise folk would suit me too.

I feel I am at a stage in life age-wise that whatever I end up doing it has to be for me, not just something to get paid for and, be unhappy in, until the day of retirement comes lumbering into view. I need to live for now not later.

Me and lovely neighbour Joanne. (Jo).

My main passions are acting, blogging, writing, photography, travelling, learning French and German, enjoying food related events and cooking. I also enjoy the company of my close female friends, my neighbour Joanne and my good friends Janette and Marian amongst others. I do have a few male friends. They are usually artistic souls and I avoid what I call ‘blokey blokes’ who are mostly into their sports and being brash. Well, you know what I mean. Someday soon I hope to meet a nice woman to share my life with and cook some nice meals for. I’m very domesticated you know ladies.

Look ladies! He irons!

One thing at a time, perhaps. I have been told that I’m a ‘catch’ which is good cos I was born under the sign of Pisces. See, I still have my sense of humour intact.

My plans are to get out and exercise more, maybe tai chi and walking, structure my time better and really buckle down to looking out for work opportunities that inspire me, not depress me. I’m not that physically fit and don’t sleep well and I think doing some regular exercise would help me feel better about myself and to see a more positive side to life.

Phil enjoying time in the kitchen

So, thank you for reading this blog post. I know it is different from my usual food related stuff but I just wanted a forum to express how I happen to be feeling right now. Thanks too to the late Peter Fryatt for the joy and laughter that you brought into many people’s lives. If I could have any epitaph that would please me no end, to be described thus. But, think on, I ain’t planning on going to advise Jesus on the best way to serve bread and fish just yet. The heavenly kitchen can wait awhile. I’ve things to do, people to see and wine to drink.

My future plans involve directing Bouncers at the theatre, adapting Beowulf for the stage, possibly going on a cooking course (I year) at a college in Nottingham and enjoying my friendships and a few beers along the way. Some money coming in and fulfilling work would be rather handy too. Cheers!

Hmmm beer.


Marian Barker said...

A lovely post ..... it's good to sit down and take stock.

Thank you for being a good friend. ~x~

Dean said...

Very good post Phil and one i feel that is full of optimism for the future at least I hope so.
I took stock myself after my near death experience in Oct08 and am now at this moment cleaning and painting ready to move into my new house which will be a novelty in itself not having lived in one for 34 years.

I hope your stocktaking helps you prioritise the same as it did for me, Remember life is too short to not have fun on the way.

French Fancy said...

This was a real blog post from the heart and I applaud you for its honesty, humour and tinge of sadness. I sometimes think about how long I have left (I'm 52 and my mum died when she was 75). So, assuming I follow the same pattern how to make the best use of my 20 odd (very odd) years remaining. I dunno - my head hurts sometimes from thinking about the future.

I think the cooking course sounds just up your proverbial alley, assuming there is a thriving market when you are released, diploma in hand, ready to join an eaterie somewhere.

Have you ever thought about getting a dog - for companionship, the daily walks, it's a good way to get to meet women in parks, well - the love of a dog is a marvellous thing

Phil Lowe said...

Thanks Marian. You are a super mate. So glad I met you along the way. xxx
Dean: cheers for the great support. 'Life is too short not to have fun along the way'. That I like. Very much.

Phil Lowe said...

FF: ooh! you caught me by suprise there. A dawg? Hmmmm good idea but not sure what Mr Harris and Miss Soufie ( beloved cats from next door) would think of that. Maybe if I took one of them for a walk in the park that would do the trick. "Er excuse me! Your dog seems to like chasing my cat. Do you fancy going to the cinema one time?"

Maybe I should hang around the fish counter drooling on the lobsters. Apparently a lot of people meet in supermarkets. Just an

Scenario: "Oh, you like men who drool on shellfish and you are offering a job working in France for a writer who loves food and French things? Vraiment? It's your lucky jour Miss."

On a serious note. There always seems to be jobs in the papers for sous chefs and chefs d'partie. Hey why not.

Gail's Man said...

Sorry to hear about you pal. I had 4 friends die last year, including a suicide. One friend in particular I had known since 1970.
I'm sure you'll find both a good woman and a good job soon.
I'm an artistic Piscean too. Hope to see you around town soon.

Jean said...

When I was between husbands I thought I would meet "someone" in a supermarket. I had a close encounter involving a bunch of grapes which I offered to share with a likely looking bloke. For some reason he backed off when I got my swiss army knife out of my bag to cut said bunch of grapes in half. Funny that, n'est ce pas ?

Taking stock is good. Often good things turn up when you least expect them - I hope you get lucky soon.

Janette Jones said...

Ah my friend, you were born to entertain! I just wish I could wavev a magic wand and get your a new job and a girlfriend that deserves you. I'm sure your time will come! xx

Janette Jones said...

PS Remind me not to post a comment early in the morning - I obviously can't spell or type at that time!

Karen said...

I'm not surprised you feel down at heart regarding job hunting - our son has been doing this for a year & got nowhere. Endless applications by post & online, & never getting any reply, even after the occasional interview, is not a happy situation, made worse by the attitude of the Jobcentres (or whatever fancy name they have now). Also, it's a pity we don't live closer, as I need motivation to escape the house during the day & exercise (walking/cycling), & it's hard to get motivated on your own.

Your blog post is very honest, & from the heart, & has given me plenty to think about regarding my own life.

There has to be the right job & person out there for such a lovely man - and being able to cook & iron has to be a big plus.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I'm a first-time reader who chanced by your blog. I found your post quite inspiring, though I was sorry to hear of your loss.

I just wanted to say that. Good life and good living to you.

PSFT said...

Most excellent post my friend

The Quizzical Observer said...

I found this very moving, Phil, and - although we don't know each other - much of what you said chimed chords with me. Mrs QO & I have both found ourselves with no job wondering 'where next? how did this happen? wasn't it all meant to be according to our plan?' and then having to find a way forward. In fact, Mrs QO is still looking, and it's not easy out there.

I have no advice, but just an observation. I was lucky enough to find a new role that suited both my skills (such as they are) and my inclination, so it can happen. It was three years of tedium coming, but it did come. That role involves writing and editing, and from that perspective I will say that you can write. I think I've read every page of your blog, one of the first I came across when I started reading blogs, because I enjoyed the way you write and the honesty with which you express yourself. And I'm sure you're a good cook! I hope one or the other of those skills - or any other of your creative avenues - eventually provides the opening you deserve.

Hang on in there, and if you feel like a beer either in Ruddington or Lady Bay sometime, just drop me a line.

Phil Lowe said...

GailsMan: thankyou for your kind comments. I hope so too.

Jean:Your story made me laugh and I could almost see the guy's face as you whipped out your knife.

Janette: thanks for your lovely comment. I'm sure it'll slot into place soon.

Karen: Thankyou for your lovely support. Sorry to hear that your son is having difficulty too. I hope that things turn round for him as well. Thanks too for the nice comments about myself and my good qualities.

ishouldbeworking: what an apt name! Thanks for stopping by my blog and your condolences.

Paul: Cheers matey. Glad to see that you've joined the blogging community.

The Quizzical Observer: Wow! What a comment. Many thanks for your sympathy and support. I was very touched about what you wrote re:

'I think I've read every page of your blog, one of the first I came across when I started reading blogs, because I enjoyed the way you write and the honesty with which you express yourself.'

You deserve a prize for reading all my posts. I love writing and feel that I have a talent to amuse through words.

I'm away this coming weekend but I could well make myself available as of Tuesday 11th on going for a drink with you

The Quizzical Observer said...

I'll drop you a line next week then, Phil. Have a good weekend.

Cheryl said...

Hi Phil, I can relate to this post only too well. I've been going through a similar internal debate, whether to follow the conventional route or to stay true to my nature, even if the world (at the moment) seems to be advising me otherwise.
Creatives and storytellers, I keep hearing, will be in higher and higher demand in the new economy...

Thank you, also, for sharing your 'friend' story with me. I wish all friendships were easy, that all of them would last, but I'm blessed to have as many tried and true friends as I do.

Great photo, by the way! If you ever sign up for one of those online dating sites, that should be your photo!!!

John Medd said...

Plenty to talk about on Monday then Phil!

e said...

Dear Phil,

I've not commented before, but thanks for your "from the heart" post."

You are not alone in this situation; I'm working a temp job where many are middle-aged, otherwise unemployed, just doing what they can to bring money in. Others are pensioners who can't get by on their retirements alone and some are young, just out of university and wondering where all the decent jobs have got to...

Keep writing, acting, cooking and spending time with people who bring you joy...

I'm sorry for your loss as well.

Judith said...

Hugs to you! (That photo is irresistable!) What an impressive post, I can certainly relate. I have gone through the "taking stock" process too.

Exercise is good. Everything is better if you're feeling fitter. I can recommend tai chi, by the way, it's good for body and soul. I came across your blog via Meemalee's kitchen and I'm glad I did. I'll be back! Very best wishes and good luck to you.

Phil Lowe said...

thanks e for your sweet comment and to Judith and as I type some time later you will see that I am in employment in the food/hospitality industry.

Cheryl: You are a sweetie! Should I ever chose to take advantage of a dating agency I will take your advice. Need to earn some pennies first and clear some debts before I venture into the world of dating. :0)