A somewhat scattered collection of notes, thoughts and ideas

Thursday, 31 December 2015

" 10... 9.... 8.... "

It's that time of year again when we start thinking up resolutions for the upcoming year, often involving losing weight and saving money, while simoultaneously paying obsene amounts of money to get into that New Years Eve Party and stuffing our faces before the diet starts.

I too have some New Year's Resolutions, but although mine include the standard ' lose weight' promise to myself, this tends to be an all year thing and a given from when the clock strikes midnight on 31/12 each year. This year my resolutions are not so much resolutions, as they are goals I want to achieve, starting with 'get that job'. The success of the rest of my 'resolutions' tend to rely on that first one being achieved, so no pressure at all, no.. *gulp* On the plus side, the role I'm going for is one that I've already had one interview for and have also been invited to the second and final stage interview too, so maybe this is going to be the one.


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Friday, 4 December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like.. rain

Back to reality, this week has been the complete opposite to the last in almost every possible way, starting with the weather. Last week I flew to Portugal on Tuesday afternoon with my friend/ housemate and immediately you could tell we were no longer in England. Firstly the skies were beautifully clear, but more than that, the people were different (in a good way) and more so, the biggest difference was that no matter how late it got, the city was still so awake and vibrant including the place where we were staying, Moita, which, I was informed by my friend, was considered to be a village.

Here in the UK, I live in a village, and unlike where we were in Portugal, there is no nightlife to speak of, unless you count the odd pub, but even then it's last call at 11pm and closing time at midnight (as though we're all Cinderella, but unfortunately lacking any sort of Prince Charming). In Moita, and locally, it was not only the bars that stayed open far longer, but even the cafes and restaurants didn't shut their doors to us until nearly 2am. Vastly different to here, but only in the best of ways. Aside from the extended opening times, the contrasts could be seen in the sheer beauty of, well, everywhere you looked.

Here are a few pictures to show you exactly what I'm talking about and why coming back to the misery that is England at this time of year, was even more disappointing than usual..

And just to reiterate.. I travelled in November ...








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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

I've got the travel bug

After 9 wonderful days in the beautiful (and I mean that quite literally, especially in the autumn) Big Apple, we were ready to go home. Saying that, it really has been a wonderful  holiday. We've seen everything we planned to see and even had time to spare, which meant we could take it easy the last few days of the trip. Though I will never agree with those who claim that 5 days is enough time in New York, I have to admit that 9 days was ample, but in a good way because the trip was more relaxed - who wants to fly half way across the world for a holiday and come back exhausted as well as jet lagged because they didn't give themselves enough time there? Not me.

We didn't stay in a hotel in NYC, instead we decided to give AirBnB a whirl, and though the location of the flat was pretty ideal regarding sights and the metro, I would argue the landlord's claim that 3 people could comfortably stay in the studio that we rented. In fact it was rather cramped even for 2 adults sharing.

Following New York, I had just 4 days back in the UK before I jetted off to Greece to spend 4 days with my Grandfather and cousin to celebrate our combined birthday. Again I opted for an apartment through AirBnB, never one to be put off, and this time hit the jackpot. Almost. The apartment itself was big, airy and beautiful with ample space to sleep 6 people. My only note would be that the water pressure wasn't the best and the bed I slept in could have kept me awake half the night (if I wasn't so tired and a deep sleeper) from the sharp creaking sounds it made.

The birthday celebrations themselves were fantastic and absolutely without a doubt, very greek - lots of food and drink including 2 different champagnes, as many family members gathered as possible and completed with greek music and dancing (no, of course we didn't throw plates).

As though these two travels are not enough though, I have since booked to go to Portugal for 6 days with my housemate, who has an apartment across the river from Lisbon. Unlike New York and Greece, Portugal is somewhere I have never ventured to and so of course doubly as exciting. If anyone has any recommendations regarding portugese food to try or places to visit, I'd love some helpful suggestions!


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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Empire State of Mind

Oh New York, New York I'm back again! And this time it's for 9 days!! 9 whole days in this city and I still won't have my fill I'm sure. This is my 3rd time in the Big Apple, but it's my mum's first time, so it's extra exciting because I want her to love it here as much as I do.

We have been here two days so far and already we have shopped on 5th Avenue, visited Central Park, been to see the Lincoln Centre, had an American breakfast, shopped in Macy's (though only briefly), relaxed on the Circle Line Landmark Cruise (while chuckling along with our jokey guide John), walked past Time Square, dined at Ruby Tuesday (if you're a Stones fan, you'll now be humming the song while reading, like I am while typing) and enjoyed cocktails at the SixtyFive Bar at the Rockerfeller Centre (phew I'm out of breath just typing that). Needless to say, therefore, we have decided to slow it down a bit today.

So far the plan for today simply involves a bit more shopping at Macy's (the store is HUGE!) a light lunch and some R&R in the form of a drink or two (no not necessarily an alcoholic beverage.. What do you take me for?) at SixtyFive Bar, possibly in time to see the sun set over Manhattan *sighs dramatically*
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                Ok you've twisted my arm.. Here is a small visual sample of our activities so far..







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Friday, 9 October 2015

Sunday is Brunch Day

Whoever said it's too late to start a new tradition? Not me. I have two housemates who are amazing and who I love spending time with, and as of a few weekends ago, we started a 'habit' or 'tradition' if you like, it is the nicer word after all, of having brunch together on a Sunday. It started with a confession from me that I'd never had Eggs Benedict before (I know, shocking, right? Don't worry I've well and truly made up for that in the last 3 weeks) and finished with a hot chocolate and lots of mini marshmallows at an outside table of Dalling & Co. in Kings Langley High Street.

I have to be honest, before this first venture, I had never so much as been curious enough about Eggs Benedict in order to even ask what exactly it is ( don't say 'eggs' - I worked that much out myself from the name, thank you very much! ), and yet since then, whenever we go to brunch on a Sunday, I don't even glance at the menu so see what else they offer ( see, I told you I'd seen the light ).


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Thursday, 17 September 2015

"And the Award goes to..."



Ok, so I'm jumping ahead a bit with the title, but I bet it got your attention ;)
I was surprised yesterday, but pleasantly so, to receive an email notification informing me that I have been nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Laura R the lovely author of Hundred and Counting - thank you very much for the nomination! Here is the link to her original post: https://hundredandcounting.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/and-the-liebster-award-nominations-go-to/

For those of you who don't know, or haven't heard of the Liebster Blog Award (like I honestly hadn't before about a week ago), it's an award that is given to new bloggers or bloggers with less than 200 followers as a way for bloggers to give recognition to their fellow bloggers, and draw attention to blogs they particularly enjoy and admire.

As with all awards, there are rules to be followed, so these are listed below for your convenience:


Here are Hundred and Counting's questions with my answers:
  1.  What made you start blogging?
    I was on my year abroad when I started my first blog. It didn't last. This is my third attempt and so far it seems to be going well.
  2. Are you an indoor or an outdoor person at heart?
    I think the answer to this question depends on what kind of day it is. I love days out and would honestly love to do more outdoorsy things, but when it's cold outside, ther truly is nothing that beats curling up on the sofa with your duvet and an extra large mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows!!)
  3. If you could make one wish to change the world, what would it be?This is an excelent question, and one I have to say I've never pondered, so to give a wuick answer, I guess maybe that travel and holiday costs were cheaper so that everyone could enjoy seeing the world at an affordable price.
  4. What’s your pet peeve?
    I have a few (sounds awful doesn't it) but my biggest pet peeve is being interrupted (especially during a heated disagreement). It's just rude.
  5. What would you recommend that I read next?
    If you like light hearted and slightly girly books, I'd recommend The Single Girl's To Do List by Lindsey Kelk
  6. If you were the DJ, which record would you play?
    There's a few I'd play. None of them remixes.
  7. What did you dream of when you were ten years old?
    I genuinely cannot remember, which probably means it never came true anyway.
  8. Have you experienced love at first sight? Doesn’t have to be with a person.Yes, and don't judge me when I say this but, it was the Apple Watch. LOVE it!
  9. What is your favorite musical instrument? (you don’t have to know how to play it)
    I don't really have a favourite tbh, but I think the piano and guitars are both beautiful instruments. I'd love to be able to play the guitar (though I'm not sure I'd be very good at it)
  10. Who is the most inspiring person you know? Why?
    I've been asked this a few times, and the answer is always the same: my mum. She moved to another country, where she couldn't speak the language, with a young child (me) to be with the man she loved (my dad), and then when it didn't work out, she had the strength and courage to leave and come back to England and start over at the age of 50. She's the strongest person I know, and my absolute hero.
  11. What do you consider your personal super food?
    Recently I'm loving stuffed peppers and came up with my own recipe for them. You can find the recipe and try it for yourself here: http://scatterbotblog.blogspot.co.uk/p/random-recipes.html
My nominations are (in no particular order):
  1. https://wisdomelements.wordpress.com/
  2. http://thebrokenspine.net/
  3. Invisible World
  4. http://drimhaus.com/blog/
  5. http://superinspiredmoments.com/
  6. https://inspireadventurer.wordpress.com/
  7. https://melaniiin.wordpress.com
  8. http://stephwenburg.com/
  9. https://daisywillows.wordpress.com/category/
  10. https://notesfromanarcissist.wordpress.com/
  11. http://lauraalord.com/2015/08/28/man-you-call-dad-not-your-father/ - this post literally moved me to tears, I could feel your fear and anxiety in every heartfelt word.
My Questions:
  1. What inspires you as a blogger?
  2. Who do you blog for?
  3. Who or what is your favourite book/ tv/ film character?
  4. If you could choose to have a super power, what would it be and why?
  5. What was the last book you read?
  6. What was the last film you watched?
  7. What was your childhood fear? Has it changed?
  8. Recommend a song to me
  9. Tell me an inspirational quote
  10. How much does this nomination mean to you?
  11. What would you do if you won £1,000,000?
Thank you again Laura, for the nomination. Good luck everyone, and have fun doing this :)
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Saturday, 12 September 2015

Blogging 101: Third Assignment

I'm in a bit of a pickle with this one - day three's assignment is to 'Say Hello to the Neighbours", in other words, introduce yourself to other bloggers - no not in the sense that you literally find them  and say 'hello' in person (that'd be weird, and kinda stalkerish). What it means is to read some other blogs and then interact with the author, by leaving a comment for example. The author will then hopefully also see that comment, reply and/or click on your blog in return, therefore raising awareness of your blog to at least one other reader. Problem is, unlike on Wordpress.com (which is the blogging platform that the blogging 101 course is run through), I can't actually figure out how to find blogs to follow on here..
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Blogging 101: Second Assignment

OK, I'm a few days behind with regards to posting, though if you check my blog regularly you'll notice that I have actually added a couple of things to it. So day 2 of blogging 101 was to come up with a blog title (which I've had for a while) and a catchy tagline/ short blog description that sums up or explains your blog title. I didn't have the description bit filled in so I've added this: "A somewhat scattered collection of notes, thoughts and ideas". I actually came up with this rather easily and as it is a rather accurate description of this blog, I thought I'd keep it. I did play around with an extension of this, but when previewing it, it looked like half of the words would disappear behind the 'search' box, so I figured I'd just stick with the short and sweet version. As they say. "don't fix it if it's not broken".

I know this is a rather short post, but as it was a rather easy assignment (for me) I can't really help this being short. I just thought I'd keep you up to date, so here it is - short and sweet like the tagline itself.
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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Blogging 101: The first assignment

Yes, you read that correctly - after two previously abandoned blogs, I have decided to try and make this one work. Not only in the sense that I post regularly, but also to hopefully gain regular readers and followers. I was considering setting up a wordpress blog with the same name purely for the course, but then figured that this would distract me from my goal to make this blog work. Therefore, I hope you will be patient with me and enjoy this journey with me as I go back to basics and start this learning adventure that is Blogging 101.

As for this first assignment, it was to introduce myself, and write abit about why I decided to start a blog in the first place. Well from my very first post "An Introduction: F is for Fran" you'll know a bit about me already, so I'm going to skip to the bit about my reasons for starting a blog. Here goes..

The truth is, I started my first blog while I was studying on my Year Abroad in Graz, Austria, and the reasons behind that were a combination of trying to keep a journal of activities to help with part of my then degree assignment, wanting a creative outlet of where to post my photography, and one post was inspired by another friend who was trying to gather various writing materials on places to visit for his website and asked me if I would write a piece. Unfortunately this blog didn't really last past the end of that year, and then a short while after, another blog was started. This time for no particular reason, and again, it didn't last.

Scatterbot Blog was started after watching a tv show starring Sheridan Smith in "The C Word", I'm not really sure of the reason again, but I do enjoy writing, though sometimes the thoughts come out a bit scattered, hence the name.

Anyway, that's a little bit about the reasons behind my writing a blog. The reason for taking this course, is simply to improve my writing and learn a bit more about blogging as well as maybe interacting with others who also enjoy writing and blogging about it.

Also, as you are fully aware by now (if you have been following my blog thus far) I am unemployed and blogging certainly gives me something to do in between the constant monotony of searching for jobs.
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Monday, 7 September 2015

The Single Girl's To-Do List



 Firstly, in case you are not aware, this is actually the title of a book by the very talented Lindsey Kelk, and also the inspiration behind this post and my entire last two years. If you haven't read it, you should (regardless of whether you are single or not) this book is brilliant - I highly recommend it.

                                
                                    Available on Amazon or as an ebook for Kindle and iBooks. 

Anyhoo, this isn't a book review post, (though if you want my personal thoughts on it, I can write a review of it, no problem), but to give you an understanding of what I'm talking about, I am going to give you a basic overview of the story. A girl finds herself to be single somewhat unexpectedly, and for the first time in her life it's not of her choosing. Her two friends attempt to help her get through it and in the process compile a list of things that she has to do before she can officially announce herself as single. Oh and there's a time limit in which she has to do everything on her list. It really is a great book.

So when I read this (the title caught my eye), I happened to have recently got out of a relationship myself, and after reading it, I suddenly had a completely different view of being single. In the past it has always seemed a bit depressing, especially when every social media seems to be full of people's romances and everyone around you is engaged or shoving wedding pictures in your face. I know, I sound like a grinch haha, but that's how it can come across at times (if you're single, I'm sure you can relate).

Anyway I read this book and it changed how I see being single - it's your personal unlimited allowance of 'me time'. Have you ever wanted to do something/ travel somewhere and then not been able to because suddenly someone new has come into your life? I have. After my first long term relationship, I swore that I'd have the next year for myself because not only had I wasted my first year at uni, I also knew I'd have a my year abroad coming up in the third year which could complicate a relationship, so I was determined not to get involved with anyone. Second day back at uni and that plan went completely out of the window (and I was right, my year abroad did add complications).
Looking at singledom in this new light, inspired me to make my own list, not of things to do before I can declare myself single, but of things I want to do and places that I want to visit myself and that I don't necessarily need a boyfriend for. I made my list around this time two years ago, and looking over it, I can say that I have managed to complete a few of the things on there (just to be clear, I didn't set myself a time limit). My list isn't in any kind of order, though you will be able to see for yourself that a few things are more easily achieved than others.



I'm not saying I have to do all the things on my list, while single, but more that these are a list of things I want to do and can do with or without a boyfriend. I had started to achieve the 'make over' and 'exercise regime' parts, but have decided I'm hitting 'refresh' on those so haven't ticked them off yet.

So first step, make over : New Hair, New Make Up and New Style
Closely followed by step two : Exercise regime (make a plan, set a goal and stick to it)

Let me know in the comments below, what you think of the list idea and, if you've read the book how it affected you.
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Thursday, 27 August 2015

" I'll be back... "

No this post is not to do with any of the Terminator films (though I did recently watch them for the first time.. yes that's right I'd never seen the Terminator films, terrible I know, but I have now, so shush and let me get on with this). Anyway, so unlike the post title this has nothing to do with Robo style Arnie, instead it is to do with the slight chance of a possible job I may be officially starting on Tuesday (woohoo me). So I had an interview on Tuesday last week and they've finally come back to me with the feedback, which is, that the company really like me and that they have invited me to go in on Tuesday for a 'trial' day, which will be paid, and I will then see how everything works, be given basic training and if all parties are happy at the end of the day, I can start in the role on a temporary basis from Wednesday. So, in case you haven't worked it out already, the follow up to the post title is "to work" (again, yay me !)

In the meantime I have a number of things I need to sort out and get finished before my big return takes place, namely, have a clear out of things in my room, organise my shelves, and after that, fully enjoy and make the most of my last few days (and woo the bank holiday) before it's back to the grind, hopefully for a lengthy foreseeable future.
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Monday, 24 August 2015

How to stay sane while looking for work

So you're unemployed and actively looking for work? Here's how you can stop yourself from going completely crazy.

1. Make sure you check job sites every day, and apply for the roles you like the look of.
2. Register with agencies, so they can do some of the work for you.
3. Keep in touch with the agencies you have registered with, to keep them on their toes.
4. Indulge in tasks you don't usually have time for when at work, like the gym, reading or catching up on tv.
5. Find a hobby, like cooking and experiment with new recipes (but not expensive ones).
6. Look at online courses that interest you (via groupon and wowcher) and would benefit your career.
7. Start a blog and tell everyone about how you are doing (because 'secret' diaries are so last decade..)

 If you're still reasonably sane after following the above, then congratulations - you're certainly doing better than I am!
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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Stuffed Peppers: An Original Recipe

Stuffed Peppers : An Original Recipe


OK, I don't give exact measurements of the ingredients on here for 2 reasons; 1. I never measure out the ingredients, and 2. your taste preferences may differ to mine, so it's better if you add the amount you will like rather than what I say to do. Nevertheless here is the recipe, so good luck and enjoy!

Serves 1-2 people

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 large bell peppers (your choice of colours)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • oregano
  • ground garlic
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • chilli flakes
  • italian garlic herb mix
  • lemon juice
  • vine tomatoes
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • tomato purée
  • old el paso garlic and paprika soft taco seasoning mix
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Method

Preheat oven to 250°C while you prepare the chicken

Shredded Chicken:

  1. Cut chicken into small pieces and put into an oven dish
  2.  Season the chicken pieces with the following according to your tastes: ground black pepper, sea salt, oregano, ground garlic, chilli flakes, italian garlic herb mix, lemon juice 
  3.  Mix the chicken with the herbs until all the pieces are covered reasonably equally
  4. Place the chicken into the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes
  5. When the timer goes off, take the chicken out of the oven and cut a piece to check it is cooked through. If in doubt, put in the oven for another 5 minutes
  6. Once cooked, grab 2 forks and start to gently pull apart the chicken

    Sauce Mix:

    1.  Put the shredded chicken in a saucepan and add the grated cheese
    2. Slice the plum tomatoes and add to the saucepan
    3. In a separate bowl mix tomato purée with boiling water and stir well
    4. Add approximately 1/3 of the sachet of Old El Paso Garlic & Paprika Soft Taco Seasoning Mix to the bowl and stir until smooth
    5. Add the tomato purée mix to the saucepan with the chicken and grated cheese
    6. Heat through until boiling hot
    7. Preheat oven to 200°C, again, if you turned it off inbetween

     Final Step

    Stuffing the Peppers

    1.  Cut the top off the peppers and remove the inside of each, including all seeds. Do not throw the top away as this will be used as the pepper lid
    2.  Stuff the pepper with the chicken sauce mix until full
    3. Put the pepper top on the stuffed pepper and place on a foil covered oven dish
    4. Place in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes. Fan ovens may require less time.
    5. Check the peppers after the given time and if ready serve and enjoy!

    If you try this recipe, I'd love to have your feedback on how easy your found it and whether you liked it, so please do leave me a comment below and let me know :)





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        Tuesday, 18 August 2015

        A day in the life of..

        I'm writing this while on a second stage interview "assessment day", which currently involves me sitting in a window seat in KFC in Hounslow 'observing' a team of 4 people attempt to find 3-5 people each to sign up to the charity they are working with.. Obviously, as I'm typing this, you'll be able to tell I'm not particularly bowled over by the job in hand.. However, I am stuck in Hounslow, so I'll be here twiddling my thumbs until around 5pm, unless I get so bored that I either give up and take a risk with public transport or call my auntie in desperation and beg her to come and get me.

        See? I'm really not a great advertisement for this role..
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        Monday, 17 August 2015

        G is for..

        Goals.

        Ever set yourself a goal and actually achieved it? Isn't the feeling fantastic?!
        I've set myself so many goals (losing weight is one of them) this year and then circumstances change and I lose focus, so it's not been going too well for me. Forever stubborn though, I've decided not to give up and despite my routine being completely out of whack, I've thought of a way I can keep going and then when everything else falls into place I won't have to start again because I'll already have my rhythm going steady.
        I thought of this a few weeks ago and since then have lost over half a stone! My trick? Pretend I'm working each day and therefore prepare myself lunch the night before like I usually would so that when it gets to lunchtime, I already have ready what I'm going to eat. I have a feeling this is going to work even better the next few weeks because my housemate has decided to go on a diet and we are therefore going to encourage each other to be healthy and even cook together in the evenings. So keep your eyes for the next post where I hope to be able to tell you that I'm another stone down (that would mean 2 stone lost since January) .

        Wish me luck! 
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        Friday, 31 July 2015

        Coffee with Candi and a touch of sauce

        Candi is always a pleasure to spend time with, we are very much like two peas in a pod, or as I like to put it, we were twins in another life. However you like to word it, we always manage to have a giggle together and possibly seem completely bonkers to everyone else unfortunate enough to be within earshot of our conversations (and no, alcohol is not always the cause of this - we're naturally that way inclined). Nevertheless, I always leave with a distinct ache in my jaw brought on from laughing and smiling too much. Is there such a thing as smiling and laughing too much? No not really, but when it hurts to not smile, that's when you know you've had a really good time.

        Today was one of these days. Candi lives not too far from me, so I picked her up and together we set off to have a coffee, a bite to eat and a good old natter (leading to a lot of chuckling and guffawing). I'm not too sure what the staff in the shop thought of our illicit discussions; Magic Mike, love, life, sex, BBQ's, cocktail nights and everything above, below and almost certainly in between, in a lot of detail, but the two ladies, deep in their own conversations, didn't seem at all disturbed when my giggling led to a furious attack of laughter further amplified by Candi's loud exclamation for me to swallow (referring, I should add, to my mouthful of hot chocolate). Luckily, I did manage to get myself under enough control to swallow without any severe embarrassment or unpleasant drooling of anything (yes, unfortunately, that has happened once before).


        3 hours later and we're still chatting, giggling and guffawing, mixed in with a bit of gossip and sharing of secrets. Altogether it was a lovely way to spend a Thursday afternoon with a fab friend, and I'm already looking forward to the next time. 

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        Wednesday, 1 July 2015

        Back to Square One with a Bump on the Head

        "Equal Employment Opportunities" which so many companies claim to offer, actually leave a lot to be desired. What they essentially mean is that anyone from any ethnic background with or without disabilities and of any religion and sexual orientation, will all be equally considered for whatever role they are applying for. However the part where this apparent "equality" is limited or does not apply, is when you are a temporary worker.

        My job contract at Britvic Plc recently came to an end and I was given a total of 5 HOURS notice (so that I could finish anything I was working on).. I was told that they had wanted to "give me as much notice as possible". Following this, I spoke to my agency, Cobham Consulting Limited, and it was explained to me that the company had no obligation to give me notice because I am a temporary worker. This is the same agency who had politely asked that, if I decided to change roles or was offered a permanent role elsewhere, I was please give them a minimum of 1 week's notice.

        Perhaps it was naive of me to expect that I would be given the same courtesy and treated equally in this matter..
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        Friday, 19 June 2015

        " Save up to 50% off " - is a sale purchase always a bargain?

        Have you ever noticed that sales, a concept that is supposed to save you lots of money, actually end up making you spend more? We all get that wonderful feeling that we've got ourselves a great bargain in the sale, when the price decrease has been so high that we simply cannot resist bagging ourselves a bargain buy. But is it really a bargain?

        Picture this; you go to the shops, not really looking for anything in particular, because there isn't really anything you need (stop me if you never go shopping unless you absolutely intend to buy something), so in your mind your budget is £0 because you're not expecting to actually come away with anything. Then you spot a sale, and you go and have a look, "just to see what's on offer", and the next thing you know, you've spent £XX amount on shoes, clothes, make up, bags, whatever else, and consider yourself to have done really well because you've 'saved' money. Except you haven't really, because you originally had no intention of buying anything, and instead you bought a lot of stuff, so in reality and looking at it that way, you've actually lost money.. Food for thought..

        The flip side of this of course is when you've either gone out shopping because there's something you need or something particular that you are looking for, and then you find the perfect item that you wanted in the sale and make a saving - that's a bargain. However, if once you've found that or those items, you keep looking just for the sake of it and come out spending money on things you didn't intend to buy, well then you're back to the situation above.

        I got lucky in a sale this week, and it actually was a bargain, well partially..
        About a month or so ago I was in Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush with my mum and as always we were drawn into a store with windows advertising for all to see that there was a sale on. Having ventured inside, my eye was drawn to a handbag, which unfortunately for me was not in the sale (typical, I know). It was a gorgeous sea green shoulder/ tote bag made from the most beautiful soft leather, and I fell in love immediately. The only thing about it that I didn't love was the price.. £179. Now, I am definitely a handbag person (and some might say I have too many - but really, is there such a thing?) but I draw the line at spending over £100 on a bag. Though I'm telling you, I was very close to making an exception for this bag. I have to say, I am so glad I didn't, because on Saturday just gone, I received a notification that this particular store had a sale where selected stock had up to 50% reduction on their price. I'm much to curious a person to have not had a look, but my curiosity (and patience) paid off, because my bag, my beautiful soft leather sea green bag had a new price of £89.50. I'm sure you can guess what happened next :)



        I can say without a doubt though, that I am one of those people who will get that happy feeling about finding a bargain and let it spread to the point of looking at what else is in the sale and justifying buying other things, because 'it's still less than the original price of the first item'. So my online browsing meant that my shopping basket total grew to encompass a new purse too (because it perfectly matched my handbag mirror in design and colour and the handbag in brand).



        Justification of my expenditure? I was given some money for a special occasion and hadn't spent it yet, so these items are 'presents' from those who gave me the money..

        I know, I know, but it's a valid justification and I'm sticking with it.. besides they really are lovely..
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        Saturday, 13 June 2015

        New Blog, New Job.. New House

        A lot has happened since my last post 3 weeks ago. For one thing, I'm now back to being employed (yay me!) and I can tell you after two months of unemployment (ugh) it really is a shock to the system - not so much the getting up early again bit, but more having to get used to the fast paced office environment again. Especially if it's in a role that you've never done before.. I am now "Francesca Pateli, Marketing Assistant". On the plus side, fast paced is good, and this new company is definitely one that allows you new experiences and doesn't go easy on you just because you're new. It really is a sink or swim situation. I'm still swimming.. I think.

        Aside from the new job, I have also managed to land myself a room in a house share, located about 2 minutes in the car from where I live now. And it was such an amazing find too - 7 bedroom house (6 ready, one still being worked on), fully renovated and refurbished, 5 of the bedrooms have en suite, all bills included - even garden maintenance and weekly cleaning service of the communal areas, massive garden (perfect for BBQ's if the weather plays ball) and beautiful kitchen, and lovely landlords on top of that too. How could I resist?

        The irony is that when I stumbled across this fantastic find, I wasn't actually looking at moving out, I was just having a nose at what was available in my area. Then I saw it, read the description, got my mum's attention, read her the description, and 24 hours later, I'd been to view the house, chosen a room, paid the holding fee and agreed a move in date. Amazing what a bit of nosiness can achieve, right?

        All in all it seems to be a good month for houses/ moving - my friends have been approved for a mortgage and are also excitedly running round like headless chickens (well their dog is, but that's him on a normal day - he's nice and consistent like that) trying to sort everything before they move next week. My mum's friend has had her offer on a house accepted too. Good news all round it seems.

        So now, with less than two weeks to go, I am trying to get over a habit of a lifetime and actually become organised; I'll start by making a list of everything I'll need, then cross out everything I've still got from when I lived at Uni, then rewrite the new list. I've already bought a wardrobe, and 2 tall DVD cabinets. You might be thinking that I need to rethink my priorities, but what I didn't mention above about my fantastic find, is that it's fully furnished (the wardrobe provided is much smaller than mine at home, so I decided to get another one). Next is deciding on a TV and then a colour scheme for the bits and bobs that will be in my room, and finally shopping.. It's very exciting. And stressful.

        I know how I'll be spending my weekend.. how are you spending yours?
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        Wednesday, 27 May 2015

        An Introduction: F is for Fran



        To be perfectly precise, it's Francesca Elena Pateli; hi, nice to meet you!

        At 26 and a half, this happens to be my third attempt at a blog, so here's hoping that the saying "3 times a charm" is actually derived from truth!

        According to various online sites, a key ingredient to a successful blog, is to pick one subject/ theme and write about it.. well, just to put it out there from the start, this blog won't be one of those. As the name suggests, 'ScatterBot Blog', the subjects/ themes in this blog will be varied, and somewhat scattered.

        So we'll have to see how it works out.

        P.S. You know how sometimes people like to have another name online? Well I'm one of those, so despite just telling you my real name, I will be signing each post as Eleni Jane ☺️
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