Archive for December, 2010

Christmas 2010

December 23, 2010 Comments off

Yes it’s the most wonderful time of the year once again the weather outside is frightful, and just maybe since I was a little boy I’m dreaming of a white christmas. It is the first proper snow in Liverpool for many years now, normally if we want snow it has to be import in from Scotland, Wales or Shropshire.

It has once again brought the city to a stand still, trains and buses cancelled roads closed, pavements un-walkable yet LJMU and McDonald’s carry on as normal. It’s been a terrible weekend first of all the works christmas party got cancelled due to the weather. Second having to get up at 4am Sat & Sun de-ice the car and brave the roads to collect Claire from work.

I belive myself to be quite a confidant driver especially on Ice and Snow due to I learnt to drive during the summer and winter of 96 and there was lots of ice that year, which helped my learn how to control a skidding car on lce. Neather the less I don’t go any faster than 20mph in bad weather. Other people don’t think and therefore they don’t adjust their driving style.

At the moment we have 4ich layer of snow and under that is an inch of ice and boy do you know it’s there if you go too fast. As a white van driver found out the other morning. 04:30am he can speeding past me must have only been doing 40 in a 30 zone but the roads had not been treated at all and I was only doing 15 myself. on my way to get claire. He hit the ice and span sideways about 5 feet in front of me. It was a box van as well and he was so lucky he didn’t topple it as it was wabbling all over. Once he regained control he was off again speeding. You think that he would have learnt his lesson he just got away with it once next time he might not be so lucky I don’t know how he didn’t hit the parked cars on at the side of the road.

Well we where all planned for a chilled out relaxing Christmas well thanks to the NEW management team at McDonald’s this has gone bye-bye since he threw out the holiday rota and re-asked people what the wanted gee thanks all our plans a fucked now. You see McDonald’s plan their staff Christmas and New Year brakes in July this new management turned up in November and has been shit.

It’s lucky I didn’t finalize this post yesterday, It is customary for all the hard-working staff to go early on the last day and the officers take over the normal duties and running of the LRC’s for the last two hours it’s a kind of unofficial thank you for all your hard work, I does not normally bother me as in all the years I’ve worked her I’ve only gone early twice it’s just that i’ve made plans. Well there is a bit of a problem this year most of the officers have taken this week off. All the others departments are leaving early and yet the LRC management has found yet another way to screw the staff.

It’s December 23rd Claire and I where up at 5am, at Asda by 5:30am and home with £150.00 worth of Christmas food shopping and no this did not include any alcohol. Then in work for 7:30am which was just as well as every one was dropping like fly’s so by the time the building opened at 8:45am I had already done half a days work around this place on my own. I’ve arranged to have my two-hour Christmas lunch between one and three to go Christmas shopping with Claire last few prezzis for people. We also had plans for the afternoon and Claire is not going to be happy if she has to wait around for a few more hours.

If I add to this post later you’ll know I had to stay to 5pm.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Where has all the Christmas spirit gone?

December 22, 2010 Comments off

 It get to you sometimes and you just have to have a rant.

Yes it’s that time of year again! Where kids are thinking of candy canes and wondering if reindeer can really fly?

 Yer right they are bloody throwing snowballs with rock in at your car windows while you are driving down the road.

You have the management who are trying to kill the Christmas cheer by first of all announcing that there won’t be a Christmas do, so we organised our own which had to be cancelled due to the bad weather and has been reorganised for January (something to look forward to!).  There was a big debate with management ans H&S weather or not we would be having a christmas tree. Bloody Hell here is the new one now we can’t even play christmas tunes, we only play them the last two days of work every year but no.

We have got students complaining why are we closed from the 23rd Dec to the 4th of Jan? “err it’s our christmas vacation” “Yer but I wanna come in and use the Library” GET A LIFE!!!!!!!

Your colleagues just start taking the piss this time of year oh I can’t get in the roads, the trains, the buses. Yet we still have to do all the work that would normally be done if there was a full complement of staff  normal day would include fifteen to twenty embers of staff our last day tomorrow “four”. People ringing in sick, travel issues, sick children.

The management say we have to stay open for the students who have made the effort. No thanks for the staff who have made the effort who are still her on the last few days. All day we have only had fifteen students in. I just hope they take things like this into account when they announce the next round of redundancies in January I may hate working her sometime but that is down to some of the lazy staff more than the students.

You try getting into the mood for Christmas and there is always someone who will knock you down.

But as the song goes “I get knock down, BUT I get up again your never gonna keep me down!”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Degree or not Degree that is the question?

December 16, 2010 Comments off

The past three years I have been working towards my BSc Honours in Computing. Working full-time during the day and all evenings on a course as well as extra activities and family it is a hard task but achievable. I was lucky it should have been a five-year course, but due to my previous qualifications I was able to jump the first two years and concentrate on the final three.

As I am already working at Liverpool John Moores experience and has assisted in my learning in various ways. Already know where the books are, How to use the electronic resources and daily access to information officers but the biggest bit of help was as a member of staff applying for an under attended HEFCE course my degree was free the University waved the fees. I am grateful for the opportunity as there would be no other way that I would have been able to undertake this level of education on my own.

Three years of very long days and even longer nights, little sleep even though very tired. With the amount of work required to be done it was always on my mind. If I could not sleep then I was up and working on an assignment. Some weeks I had no sleep for two or even three days with the assignments, lectures, work and other meetings. I hated to miss lectures so I made a conservative effort to attend as many as possible, somewhere missed due to work, conferences and sickness.

Working and studying all hours of the day and night I don’t think would have been possible without the help and support of my family and friends, especially Claire and Stuart. Claire as I have said before has been a pillar of strength to me supporting me through every endeavour I apply myself too. Stuart was one of my closest friends as well as my work group supervisor and would often give me some quite time away from the counter when it wasn’t so busy. This enabled me to work on assignments or do a little reading or even some research. He was very encouraging and unfortunately was not around to see me graduate. 

It is so tiring trying to gain your degree through the part-time route during the evening whilst working full-time during the day. You have to make so many sacrifices with relationships. Be them personal with your loved ones, your family and even your friends. socializing and short breaks away all go out the window.

The only thing keeping you going is the knowledge that it will all be worth it in the end. Many new doors and avenues of different career paths will open for you, well you hope in this economic climate jobs are few and far between and if they do pop up they are a short-term with no guarantee of renewal.

Apart from all the decisions you make along the path of your degree from the many various modules you can choose to undertake picking something that sparks your interest from a description that accounts to now more than a short paragraph of text and the weighting of the coursework to exam percentage ratio. The biggest choice to make is “with or without honour?” weather to go for your honours or not.

This is something that played on my mind for a while it took me the whole of the second year and most of the summer vacation to make up my mind. Out of the darkness of indecisiveness, a light of hope, not just a little flicker or glimmer a big shining beacon showing me the way. The beacon of light came in the form of Paula McGuffey. She sat me down and we talked. We talked for hours going away having a think then return and talking some more. Finally the advantages to having the honours outweighed not having it and the good guidance that Paula gave me was priceless. She even helped me by coming up with subject matter for the project. Once Paula is done with you, you are re-energised and you can feel as if you can take on any task that is given to you. Paula is one of the best motivators and problem solvers I have ever .encountered. I thank her for all her guidance and help.

There were many moments when I thought I was not going to make it ever right up to handing my honours project in, I still had doubts that I would qualify. I think it helped working in such a small class you got know each other very well and we all helped each other in one way or another. I would just like to say thank you Grace and Simon we all worked well together and bounced ideas and assignments off each other, your assistance and advice was welcomed.

The big day came Graduation at the Anglican Cathedral Liverpool. Proud parent moment well eventually when they turned up they are treble and getting somewhere on time any way it was nice to see the smiling and they enjoyed the meal we had in our special pub. There I was sat with all my fellow graduates in what the VC likes to call the VIP section. We listened to the speeches of the respected dignitaries and watch as the other graduates were called upon to receive their awards.

Then it was our turn and we went on the long walk around the cathedral and up to the platform. To were we  went each in turn being called onto the platform shaking hands with the VC, Then the Chancellor and the head of department. Then coming of the platform to the lectures whose life you have made hectic over the past three years.

It was a good day and worth it in the end, I just hope now that I can put it too good use and get not only a decent job with it but an enjoyable job.


The New Home

December 14, 2010 Comments off

Hi Everyone,

Yer I know three blogs in one day but what can i say practice make perfect and I have a lots of events to make up for.

Yer the new house, well it wasn’t the best of starts their was a few times we thought we weren’t going to get anywhere, we kept getting beaten on the housing bids. Oops sorry I better back up a bit for those of you don’t know.

Claire and I decided four years ago their was no way we would be able to buy a house again with the housing market in the trouble it’s in and the country so we decided to apply to the property pool. In Liverpool there is no such thing as council housing as Liverpool City Council sold all of it’s housing estates to independent housing companies.

The Council they stuck them all together to join the property pool. People apply and they bid with on properties they would like to live in. You bit with your circumstances the more dia you are the higher rating you get. The top bits get to view the house the top bit get first offer and so forth.

Well we kept getting letters and calls to tell us about potential houses and this was going on and on for months we kept going to see house after house then we got offered two at the same time one which was not even on the property pool and one we really didn’t want. The catch is that you are only allowed to turn down three offers then you have to go back to the beginning and fill out all the forms again.

The first one we didn’t want it was not in a real good place and it was a small terrace house with no gardens. So we declined. The second was from Cobolt housing what the companies can do is keep back half of the houses and distribute them to whole they want and they wanted us.

A working young mature couple planning a family. They showed us a three bedroom semi with back garden and front drive. The only problem it is in a roguish area. This is Cobolt’s master plan move the trouble makers out and move new people in and change the area.

We came to see the house and it was gutted the workmen were in and ripping everything out. We were a bit unsure a first and really didn’t like the attitude or language of the housing officer. She talked down to us both in a really pants manor. We went away and had a think weighing up are other options (none and one vote left) so we did a few drive byes at diffrent times and it seemd not to be too bad. So we accepted.

Next thing to go wrong was the handover dateit got put back twice then sigining day the housing officer told us to meet at the house and we waited and waited and she didn’t show so we rang her and she said we had to meet at the office and she was sure thats where she said (NOT do you think i’d go there if it was here!). Anyway signed for the house got the keys and drove round to see it.

It was bear, needed a lot of work. So we started to measure up and work out colours for the rooms. We started upstairs and had help from Mum, Amander & Peter. Then we started down starirs and all hell broke loose. We found some rotten skirten board called out the repair team and they discovered that it was rising damp. A specialist came out and decided we had it on every wall they came in and ripped all the plaster off every wall drilled holes in them and filled them then came back and replastered. This took weeks of tooing and frowing and many many phone calls and visits.

The the walls were dry the caprenters, plummers, gas fitters, electricians could all come back in. Then eventually we could start decorating again yes everything we had started downstairs had to be redone. But luck was on our side and Dad was at hand.

Dad is a time served painter and decorator and offered to help even though he had offered before but got a cob on as we were helping in every spare moment. So we left him too it. He has done a wounderful job on the down stairs and mum and dad even bought us a carpet for our living room which I fitted.

It was a month and a half over due but we finaly moved in on the first of November. We are settling in slowly and still have a room full of boxes to unpack but at least we have the important items unpacked and setup (Xbox 360, PS3, Wi-Fi, Sky+HD). Although the Wi-Fi took a month to get live as there were issues, it was only suppose to take ten days.

We have had Claires mum and new dad come and stay for a long weekend and Justin came for a lads night in of beer and Xbox and crashed in the spair room. So we are starting to get settled in and the house is starting to feel like home. As the saying goes your home is what you make it.


Categories: Home Tags: , , , ,

My Family – Part One

December 14, 2010 Comments off

Family are strange, we all have them & they all act differently, we love them even when we hate them. We fall out we fall in but we always forgive and are always there for each other when needed.

 There is Mum – Carol, She is kind, caring, sensitive, thoughtful, protective, hard-working, she is fabulous but she is also outrageous and fly by the seat of your pants. She is always there when I need her even if we don’t speak for a while. Never get her angry she will sit on you or slap your legs and owwww does it hurt either way.

 Dad – Tony, If your going to do it right do it my way, He’s always right even when he’s wrong, Takes his time to get going but when he does move out of his way and don’t offer to help him, you will either come away crying or fuming mad. He is loving and caring. I hope you don’t mind the language!

 Sis – Amander (Rugrat), She is weird we love to hate each other I know your reading this and saying what brother and sister doesn’t. But I’m sure she has a split personality one second she is fine next she flying of the handle, she has no person skills and can wind someone up who she has never met within five minutes of being around her. We go through patches of where one or both aren’t talking to the other it’s like that atm I’m not talking to her.   

 Gramps – Jim (Pops) **Mums Dad**, He is wonderful I have so much life experience from him. I get upset as I can’t see him as much as I want too and every time I go see him he changes so much. I am thankful that I still have him he is so sweet and kind. He likes his war movies and historical programs but lately he’s even been getting into X-Factor 

 Nan – Doh (Doreen) **Mums Mum**, passed away a while ago now but she is still with us all as she was an angel while she was on earth now she is defiantly in heaven she will be running the place. She touched everyone in a special way and she is left in every one’s thoughts.

 I never really knew my Dads Mum and Dad. Grandad left the family home before I arrived and never go to see me and my Nana died when I was three and can only remember her from the few photos we have as the rest of Dad’s family stole all the albums of photos from the house and they won’t let anyone else see them.

 Pops remarried a few years ago to Syl. She is nice and warm and open, she is small but has a big heart and god help anyone upset her she has a tongue like a razor and it will cut through you. Just be nice and respectful that’s all.

 The marriage of Pops and Syl split the family up they only ones who still talk to them are me and Rugrat this is one of the reasons why it is so hard to see him. But families surprise you my mum is going to offer the hand of friendship out and invite them to Christmas lunch this year I hope they come it will be a start and all good things need to start somewhere. 

 Rugrat is going out with Peter, he is ok, he thought I didn’t like him cause me and dad pulled the farther and brother act on him the first time he got left alone with us and how we would kill him if he upset her. I don’t know how they have stayed together so long, he takes everything she throws at him (actually). I remember she dumped him once over something stupid and we had a long chat then she called him and made up. He comes and plays on the Xbox & PS3 with me and others and we get on really well which winds Rugrat up something rotten so it works for me.

 I have the wonderful magnificent, Claire – she is so bubbly, cute and lovable. She is kind and sensitive and a pillar of strength. I really upset her the other month first time ever, I felt so bad, Apologised and made up with her. She lets me do anything I want, we work together to keep the house nice. I wish she would hurry up and pass her driving test her work shifts are killing me taking her in and picking her up at wired times of the day and night.


Categories: Family Tags: , , ,

The Second Begining!

December 14, 2010 Comments off

Hi Everyone,

This is my own personal blog, I’m not new too blogging I have been creating them for work and for UNISON and thought it was about time to have my own. So while I have been moving all my social network services from my work e-mail address to my personal one I though it would be a great time to start.

I have no idea where this is going to take me just like my Facebook (Ray.Burns77) and Twitter (R77B).

You are all more than welcome to help me trawl through my mind (what a scary thought) and adventure on my second journey.

A little about my self:

I was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, UK back in 1977 and I have lived here most of my life but I am well travelled but not as much as I would like. I have lived away from home but have always returned, We don’t intend to stay here (by we I mean Claire and I) have plans to move to New Zealand or Canada in the future.

We met five years ago this January coming, I don’t know what I would have done without her she has been with me through some of the most difficult and rough times of my life so far and she has been the single thought of hope & joy that has pulled me through. We now live in our new house together & I thank her with all my love everyday. We met at University she was studying Forensic Sceince I was working.

My Education:

It started in Holy Name Infant & Juniors in Fazakerley, Then I left the fold and moved to Cardinal Heenan High School (formerly know as Cardinal Heenan Grammar School) in West Derby. Once again I broke the norm and went to Riverside Community College in Aigburth then after looking at lots of Universities chose Liverpool John Moores University.

This year I graduated with BSc with Honours in Computing its been a long road with many diversions but I now have most of the qualifications I set out to obtain the only one left I really want is my PGCE, so I can go back to secondary school & college and teach people who want to learn. We went for a few drinks on different occasions then under the nights sky with the moon shining bright on a walk along the Albert Docks I asked her if she would make me happy and agree to go out with me. Every year we try to go back to the Albert Dock on the same night and then go for a few drinks in our pub Ye Old Crack.

My Work:

I have had many appointments since I was 16 and I have turned many opportunities down in the past as I thought my education was more valuable to me.

I started out In KwikSave as an assistant then moved to floor manager, then I left to pursue my Education. Then I held down a term time job as a WIDGIT it’s an I.T. helper for the University Learning Resource Centers helping staff and students at the same time I worked nights in Uncle Sams Restaurant as a kitchen washer, I never did pick up the wages from my last weeks shift their. Over the summer I have worked in various pubs as bar staff as well at the Universities Finance Department in Income & Expenditure apart from a stern office boss this was fun even though I had to wear a shirt and tie everyday.

I’ll never get that about this place all back office jobs I have done you have to be dressed smart all out and about dealing with people you can wear your own clothes crazy!

I have even been a teacher in secondary schools & collages. I have worked as IT Co-Ordinator for British Steal and even at IT Trainer for call centres. 

Now after many times of moving around changing job and position from assistant to manager to supervisor I have settled in the assistants role at the Avril Robarts L.R.C. you can’t miss it if you every come to Liverpool there is a Giant Yellow Lamb Banana on our door step.


I have worked as part of UNISON for the past six years and I have worked locally at LJMU as a Steward, H&S Steward, Communications Officer, Regionally I have been on the N.W.H.E.Committee and Nationally I have been the Chair of the H.E.Standing Orders Committee to H.E. Conference. I have put a lot into these roles and have had to leave home  on many occasions and be away from Claire and this is one of the reasons why I am standing down after the next conference in February.

I also try to play on the Xbox or PS3 as much as possible battling it out on and off-line. I can be found on XBox as R77B and on PS3 as Pittwall. I invite Friends back for a beer and games night and we play online and against each other through the night or until we fall asleep from tiredness or beer that’s up to you to decide.

Well that’s the second start of my blogging I hope you’re not asleep and that you will keep coming back and also let me read your blogs.


Categories: The Start Tags: , , , ,