Saturday 8 January 2011

from engineer to childminder.............

Well I thought I’d try my hand at this blogging malarkey, which I never knew existed until I joined twitter by the way :) Thought I’d start by googling what it meant, and its name is derived from “web log”, who knew? (Well probably everyone else in the world)!

Anyway, you know I’m a childminder, but been a long road getting here, so thought I’d fill in the gaps.

My Dad had his own building firm and was an electrician by trade. As kids my brother and I would spend hours swinging off scaffolding, or threading wiring under floorboards - was better than any playground I’d been to, though his labourers hated us being around cos they weren’t allowed to swear – yeah right! Anyway, fast forward and at the age of 14 I was offered the opportunity to go to Acton Tech to study City & Guilds in Electro-Mechanical engineering. My brother did it 2 years before me and got an apprenticeship with the BBC, so I jumped at the chance. I became somewhat of a local celebrity cos a “girl” wanted to do it, but apart from my love of all things mechanical, there was Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons “released” from school, and erm 18 year old BT Apprentices ;) So slightly distracted, and despite making pretty rings out of resisters, I qualified with a Credit, and can still tell you each resisters value and quote Ohms law along with the best of them.

At 16 I went for a job at London Transport, I passed the mechanical aptitude test 100%, funnily enough, but they asked me to lift a bus tyre in the following interview #fail!

Mum made me go back to school *kicking and screaming* to learn typing and shorthand. So I left school at 17 with 9 O’Levels and a C&G in Engineering.

I started working 2 days after I left, as PA to the Sales Director of Victoria Carpets. My salary was £4500, and boy I thought I was minted. I loved it though, and our offices were in Kensington, next door to “Rods” so was all very exciting.

A few PA jobs later I ended up working for Renault Financial Services, and was about to embark on an 11 year roller coaster. Including meeting marrying and divorcing a psychopath – but that’s for another time. I became Customer Services Manager, Contract Hire Manager, Business Development Manager and National Accounts Manager, only to be head-hunted by Renault UK, to be their Contract Hire specialist. I worked in a team of 19 guys, and being in hotels for weeks at a time for Fleet Shows, Car Shows, car launches etc., it was an absolute blast, and hence me being in every strip club between here and Manchester. In the meantime I had bought an original Classic Capri, pre Mark II Consul, which I bought later, and I had stripped and rebuilt it. I was the only one in that team that knew what went on under the bonnet, and I wasn’t averse to letting them know!

3 redundancies saw me working for Lex Transfleet, GRP - a refrigerated vehicle specialist, and then Biro Bic! I fell back on my PA skills to temp there but they offered me a job in National Sales.
I Met Chris there, married and Jasper came along a few years later. I didn’t intend to go back to work, and at some point during the previous years I had studied to be a masseuse. So I went back to college again and trained to be a Baby Massage Instructor.

On one of the sessions I met a lady who was training to be a childminder, and the little lightbulb went on in my head 
4 years on and I haven’t looked back. I was awarded with an Outstanding inspection late last year, and I am currently studying my Early Years Degree. Who knows where that will take me, but if you follow me on twitter you’ll probably find out.

And, I managed to follow my team QPR throughout of course, but that’s for another time! If you haven’t nodded off or blocked me in the meantime, thanks for listening 

Annie x

Friday 7 January 2011

Twitter Annie-versary :)

I was recently described as a foot-balling mad, childminding mum, and I like this very much. It was a #ff (follow Friday) on twitter from the lovely @harpendenpeople. I would maybe change this to read “Outstanding” childminding mum, but that would be showing off!

As my birthday looms, so does my 2 year anniversary of being on twitter. I remember with cringe-worthy accurateness the moment I first logged on. As with many twitterers it was after @schofe (Pip Schofield) muted those immortal words “yes it is me” and went on to describe twitter, whilst Fern merely stood, arms crossed rolling eyes. Oh thought I, along with ten million other middle-aged housewives, I get to talk to slebs and everything, that’s for me.

So on I log and stare at the screen thinking what the buggery-b******s is this all about. Then I tweet something and watch the screen like a hawk – unaware at this point that without followers I might as well be talking to the wall. Bless @schofe for his patience though, cos he must have been bombarded, he then posted a simple outline as to what to do and how to get started. He even followed me, and still is, and eventually the following began.

Like most twitterers I went in search of slebs, to gain an insight into their life, and squealed, blushed and cried at any responses. Of course now, like most people, I can’t be bothered with those that don’t tweet and just spew their own self-promoting bile *unfollow*! Unless they are the twitterati like @wossy and @stephenfry – though Wossy does follow me too – showing off again doh!

One of the highlights for me however has to be the tweet ups. It is well known that facebook is for friends and twitter is for people you would *like* to be your friends, but this is fast becoming a reality. And for every one of them I’ve been on, I can confirm that everyone I’ve met has been exactly as I knew they would be - as lovely as they are on twitter, which is why I wanted to meet them in the first place. In simple terms, if you can understand someone, their humour, their woes, their emotions etc., in a series of 140 characters, then you pretty much get to know someone very well.

In 2010 I Rocked the Rectory with @annjj and had a long weekend in Spain with @DerekinTorre and @MarkNolanX where I also ended up presenting a competition on their Radio Show @exiteradio.

Local twiss-ups have been an absolute blast too, with people from all walks of life coming together with often, it seems initially, only twitter in common. However, now firm friends, we've had plenty of fun, erm alcohol – cold dependent, often karaoke, and sometimes gymnastics – that’d be me of course, but only demonstrated the splits so far - am saving the flick-flacks for an outdoor event 

And then there’s my other passion in life, apart from my children I guess(?), my QPR. Having been a season ticket holder for 13 years, but a fan for a whole lot longer, I have endured much of every kind of emotion, but this year, one of hope even more so than in 2003 (play-offs) or 2004 (promoted as 2nd). I still cannot see that we will in fact be promoted to the Premiership, but we are making a good account of ourselves so far. Having travelled home and away for many years, Oldham and Luton away make me shudder, you have to understand I have mainly done this on my own. For years I sat next to a man and his young son, and people thought we were family, but no, just me on my lonesome.

Not anymore however! Twitter has brought me together with lots of likeminded QPR fans, many of whom I’ve now met, and some I cannot wait to meet. Instead of just containing my hopes and dreams for my beloved club, I am able to talk/tweet with other fans, about our hopes and dreams, transfers, results, and snigger at the anagram of our manager Neil Warnock (Colin hee hee – work it out).

Anyway, I just want to say I love you all, you’ve transformed my otherwise fun, but children-filled life, and given me a whole lot of laughs.

Some close, loyal friendships have developed on twitter, and I really cannot imagine my life without it.

Thank you all!

Annie x