About Me

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Cromer, Norfolk, United Kingdom

I'm a former hospital radio/club/mobile DJ, avid record collector and amateur musician (playing guitar, keyboards, recorder, harmonica and percussion.) I've even filled in on bass guitar for a couple of local bands as well (although that was quite a few years ago). Also interested in Motorsports, Wrestling/Mixed Martial Arts and Classic Television and Radio from the 1960s - 1980s.

Why am I on here? Well, I'm just trying to make some sense of life before it's too late...but who cares anyway?

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

You thought they’d be happy if you moved on for the better…

Well, that’s what I thought. While I’ve been acting as a feedback volunteer for Fledgling Arts Collective I’ve been keeping an eye open for other suitable voluntary roles, which would not only keep my skills up to date, but also build up my confidence after several years dealing with my Social Anxiety Disorder.

A couple of days ago I found one that was right up my street so to speak – a “Get Digital Volunteer” for the local library service. This involved helping people get to grips with computers, which was something I had started to do towards the end of my I.T. course at the old Peele House centre in Cromer around 22 years ago. Naturally as it would affect what I was doing with Fledgling, I sent a message about it to Dale, who was one of the managers, who was generally quite reasonable about it, asking me to keep him posted when I knew of any developments.

The founder of the charity, a lady called Jewels, sent a reply which, although polite, wasn’t exactly supportive, being more akin to a stern lecture about responsibilities and commitment and so on and so forth. I thought she’d be pleased that I had a chance of a role which would enable me to utilise my skills more effectively than just sitting at a computer, reading copious amounts of poetry etc, and simply typing positive comments for the sake of it.

Anyway, I replied to her message, basically explaining about the Social Anxiety Disorder and other Issues I had including lack of confidence – well, let’s face it – I find it damned near impossible to express myself as eloquently as most people sometimes. Even doing things like this blog for example can be challenging because I have trouble trying to find the right words for a certain situation. People in the past have written me off as a slow learner, or just thick, while others have speculated that I could have Aspergers but nothing has ever been done about it, but I digress. I’m expecting a reply back, but I’m not sure it’ll be a positive one. In the meantime, It appears that I’ll be finishing up with Fledgling, but I’m not too sure about what’ll be happening in the future.  As Paul remarked when we were discussing it earlier on Facebook -  "If you volunteer you may as do something that will benefit somebody else & give you experience as comment on badly written poems written by people whose talent is more Laurel and Hardy than Laureate".

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Overloaded (Or a cry for help)

Under pressure from all sides
Don’t think I can handle the stress
Just being expected to do so much
My whole life’s turning into a mess

Left on my own to run the house
As everyone else is at work for the day
Cooking & cleaning, feeding the pets
No one else to do it so I’m told I must stay

Then the pressure begins to mount
with the Jobcentre constantly on my back
“If you do this you’ll soon get a job”
But it doesn’t pan out. “There’s something you lack”

So I try volunteering “It could be worth a punt”
But I end up in a panic – no one knows why
Until I explain about my anxiety
Then all they say is simply “Goodbye”

I’m not even allowed to take a step back
And calm down, of that there’s no hope
It’s getting to be way too much for me
I simply just can’t cope.

I really need some “me time”
Or else I’m going to crack
I wish they’d just leave me alone

©2017 Mark Radbourne

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Compare and contrast

This time last year a search on Universal Jobmatch for vacancies in Norwich over a 3 day period yielded 40 pages of results (approx 1,000 jobs)

Today: using exactly the same search criteria; 8 pages of results (180 jobs)

Now with all respect to DWP no amount of visits to jobs fairs, work experience placements, training courses, seminars and other initiatves is going to get me closer to finding paid full-time work, especially as an advisor on your flagship Work Programme deemed me as "too old" at 48 years of age four years ago.  

I'm now 52 years old with type 2 diabetes and various mental health issues, so in the immortal words of one Vincent K. McMahon I have "no chance in hell" of finding meaningful paid employment.  I've had job interviews cut off when employers discovered that I was laid off due to "stress related illness", and in one case had an extremely severe lecturing from one HR person at a caravan park  in Trimmingham purely for using public transport!  No matter how hard I try, or how much of an effort I make to try and better myself, I keep getting pushed back further and further.  It's not just a glass ceiling that I run into, it's a bloody titanium-plated lead wall!

So while it's good news (in a way) when the unemployment rate is down to the lowest it's been for around 42 years, it's getting more difficult to actually find a job as the figures I've quoted above illustrate.  And the more knock-backs I get, the less confident I get about getting work.

Thank God I don't have to go through the humiliation of one of those Work Capability Assessments.....

Friday, 3 February 2017

The following was something I sent to one of my Twitter followers after I saw several posts expressing her frustration at being single..

There’s something I need to say to you
And I hope you don’t mind if I do
It’s something that I need to share
and prove to you that I do care

You see, when I ask “are you OK”,
it’s just the first thing I can say
I’d like to help out if I can
So put your trust in this gentle man

If you just want some idle chat
Well, I would be OK with that
It would help to pass the time
and hopefully, you’ll soon feel fine.

I hope you’ll get to know me well
As there’s loads of stories we could tell
There’s no need for you to be scared
as a problem halved, is a problem shared

There’s one more thing that I must say
As we reach the end of the day
Distance may keep us far apart
but you’ll always have a place in my heart.