Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Wednesday, July 29


What with low job prospects, creditors sending letters, and now the car accident, I am sinking into despair.

So it is no co-incidence that my current Bible reading notes are on the topic of despair.

So even in the worst of times, I still feel God is in charge and holding my hand.

I have stepped out of the boat. The waves are looming large. And I desperately need to reach out and catch hold of His hand in response.


Phoned an old colleague yesterday re a rumoured vacancy - turns out the post is frozen and the work postponed till April.

Applied for a wastewater network modeller job, with good points and bad points:

the good
  • It's my core skill
  • It's only 2 hours travel

The bad

  • It's 2 hours travel
  • It's permanent not contract, ie [relatively] low paid
  • It's with people I know; ie they already know I'm looking but haven't contacted me, so I don't exactly feel wanted
  • Being people I know, I get the feel that seeming to be desperate by applying to work for them may damage my professional reputation.
  • Although it's my core skill, I want to move on and do other things

The prang

Travelling at approx 30 mph (50 Kph) towards a junction. The car coming in the opposite direction turned off across my path. There was nothing I could do. He immediately admitted liability. My car had the driver's side headlight pushed in, bonnet (hood) buckled, fender pushed in, and inner framework rubbing against the fan belt. The other guy was probably worse off, with his radiator emptying instantly onto the road. Mine will almost certainly be a write off, being 7 years old and in poor condition.

Why is it that I have had more close misses and accidents since I started driving legally than I did before? Had I been driving faster, either he would have seen me or I would have passed before he had a chance to turn.

It gets worse


  • 4 or 5 letters from creditors - mostly reasonable but still full of stress, and one unreasonable one, fortunately not an important one. (Isn't it often the way that the least important are the most bumptious?).
  • Pranged the car. Not my fault. Probably a write-off.

Sunday, July 26

Interview report XVI

Notwithstanding my previous post, I note that my verse of the day is:

“ Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Interview report XV

Still no official news. But the grapevine is that they have interviewed a new internal candidate who is a friend of the director.

So I think we will call it a a day and stop doing 'interview reports'.

I continue to submit my CV for anything vaguely hopeful.

Heavy Sunday

Not posted for a while - too busy.

Being unemployed:
  • Church thinks I can prepare sermons and servises 24 hours per day
  • Jobcentre thinks I can hunt for jobs 24 hours per day
  • Mrs thinks I can be super-house-husband 24 hours per day
  • Mrs thinks I can babysit 24 hours per day
  • Mrs thinks that I can talk to her 24 hours per day, I'd like a bit of time to myself please, to do all the things I've wantd to do but not had the time!

Anyway - today the bulk of the church is at New Wine. Guess who get's to man the fort?

9:30 service - lead the service and preached (If 'speak' goes to 'spoke' why doesn't 'preach' go to 'proach'?)

11:00 service - lead the service and preached

6:30 service - lead the service and stood in for the duty warden, who has gone to New Wine without arranging anyone to swap duties. Well, it would have been me anyway!

Wednesday, July 15

Verse of the day

The verse of the day in my side bar today is:

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:21)

I find I have been increasingly tempted by things I have given up in the past. The logic goes like this: I have been tested in that area and have won. Therefore, having passed the test, I am now free. Therefore I can do that thing again.

This is of course fundamentally flawed. Those things will only destroy. James is the right verse for me to contemplate at this time.

My birthday, age 45, unemployed

Mrs wrote me this birthday poem in a card showing giraffes.

Walk tall, walk strong
The end of the desert will not be long
The Lord is providing for your needs
And in the process throwing out the weeds
A stronger taller person you’ll be
One used by God, a flourishing tree!

Tuesday, July 14

Citizen's Advice Bureau

Finally got in!

My unanswered messages were because the man was off sick. I walked round to the office to make a new appointment, and it turned out that his locum had half an hour to spare and saw me on the spot, even though people in the queue in front of me were turned away with "Sorry. No drop-in service today"

I had always assumed that this was going to be the beginning of an IVA, but it turns out that you can only do an IVA if you have an income - which I don't. I had assumed the benefits would count, but apparently no.

So now, being unemployed will be even busier than being at work, since I have a large number of organisations to write to making token offers.

It was all good, sound advice, which made me feel a lot better about things. Though of course the imagined threat of repossession still looms over me. I am advised to put the house on the market, which is of course bad news because its a big mess at present, untidy and with many un-repaired faults and poor decor. But I get the feeling this is more so that I can tell creditors that I am selling the house than it is to do with actually selling it! That being the case the negatives might be good. Not sure how this works ethically. And of course, if I sell it, where do I then live?

It's all uncharted territory.

But there is always someone worse off than yourself. I was chatting to a visitor at church who has been out of work for six months, paying his mortgage with a credit card (!!) and struggling to get a tenant to pay £4000 overdue rent.

My perfect scenario would be to give up on engineering now and go straight into full-time training for the ministry. But I don't think they would take me on on that basis.

Friday, July 10

Interview report XIV

I've basically given up waiting for a response, and am getting on with the rest of my life.

  • Registered for jobseeker's allowance.
  • Tried contacting the CAB but keep getting an answerphone which they don't seem to respond to.
  • Mothballed my company
  • Church still being outstandingly generous.
  • My sermons seem to go down well.

Monday, July 6

Interview report XIII


Allegedly, the client has had 'the meeting', but still refuses to give any clues to my agent. My agent works on a comission basis, and needs the contract as much as I do, and is as livid as I am.


  • My daughter used her hair straighteners on her 'Bratz' doll, and wonders why they are covered in burnt plastic.
  • I have asked the CAB for a new appontment
  • I have registered for job seekers allowance. (My parents have covered the mortgage this months, but I can't expect or rely on them to do it for ever. Ditto, more 'rustling handshakes' at church)

Wednesday, July 1

Messed up the Cathedral Procession - again

Well it was nothing this time really.

Readers 5-yearly relicensing service.

My church does not normally robe, so I have to borrow robes. Hence, robes and my blue scarf not in the same place. Hence, arrived at the cathedral without scarf. Hence out of 380 readers, there was just me and one other sheepishly scarfless.

I am always doing this!


My third son wants to join the RAF.


Perfect career for his personality, versus ethics of potentially having to kill people who may sincerely think they are defending themselves against the evil British.

Personally, I do believe it is OK for Christians to serve in the armed forces - as per the 39 articles - imagine what would have happened if we had not won the second world war! But I would be a useless soldier, trying to aginise my way through moral dilemmas in the heat of battle.

Interview report XII


The agent emailed on Tuesday to say that the relevant bosses were having a meeting on Wednesday. So I have patiently waited for the phone.........

Meanwhile, I have started cancelling direct debits and standing orders, so from now on every time the phone goes it will be trepidation - news about the job or people wondering why I haven't paid them.

I really need the news, so that if I am not getting the job I can start to take appropriate action, visit the citizens advice bureau again, etc, and if I am getting it to start releasing money from the company.

Meanwhile, my accountant has changed his advice about job seeker's allowance - apparently I can claim it after all. I think his previous advice was to discourage me going in and out of benefits frequently between short jobs. But I've been off work fro three months now, so surely hat has to count for something!

In another development, my old agency is asking if I am interested in sewer network modelling with my old client (different department). But it would be permanent work with people that have previously rejected me, so it would be doubly low pay and I can't see it working out. Mrs is dead keen, because it is local and could be an answer to prayer.