I’ve dissolved in to tears twice today – both times because I was lost! On the first occasion I was taking Honor to a birthday party and ended up driving to the wrong church. Luckily I had the invitation with me and realised Roker Methodist Church, where we were supposed to be, was in fact not the same place as St. Andrew’s Church, Roker. We were already running late, and had left Monica behind due to a suspected case of chicken pox, so I was feeling rather harassed by this point. I couldn’t help the tears coming and I now know that it wasn’t because I was lost. On reflection, I know it is because I am, understandably, stressed. Work keeps my mind off any issues going on at home. The children, at school, keep me busy and I really love what I do. I’m happy at work and that hasn’t changed this week. I’ve kept going this week with less sleep than normal (tweeting, or twittering as my mam calls it, has a lot to answer for!) and I suppose the worry had taken its toll.

Paul and I decided to try and have a little bit of time, just the two of us, this afternoon. I’d won a competition for a free meal in a new pub in Sunderland so we decided to take advantage of it. We set off and after a while realised we had no idea where the pub was. It took us ages to find it – our phones decided to struggle to locate us and the sat nav was in the other car. Cue more tears. I had a meltdown, all because I couldn’t find a pub. Actually I think that’s quite a valid reason to throw a tantrum; who am I trying to kid that it was about redundancy? I was, probably, genuinely crying that I could not get hold of a drink! An hour after we set off (the pub was three miles away) we found it tucked right in next to Nissan. I wonder if that’s a good omen? I felt it a little too early for a cocktail (Ann I know you find this hard to believe!) so plumped for a thirst-quenching pint of lager shandy. The food was good but due to us being so late we had to wolf it down so we could get back in time for Paul’s parents to go out!

It’s an emotional time. I hadn’t shed a tear since the call from Paul telling me SSI was going to be mothballed. It’s been a real week of highs and lows and today without my school safety net the straw definitely broke the camels back. I feel a bit lost in the sense of I’m not sure how to make the situation better for Paul. Me, bursting in to tears isn’t going to help but I don’t think it’ll help keeping all the emotion inside. I know that there must be hundreds of ex-steelworkers out there feeling very down, unwanted and lost. The financial impact is huge but a price cannot be put on the emotional impact this situation is having on hundreds, if not thousands, of people in our region right now. Maybe work was their safety net. Now where will they turn? How will their self-confidence be restored? I hope they have the support they need to get through this difficult time.


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