Friday, September 28, 2007


It’s Friday. Yay! G and I are going out for dinner tonight. Yay! We should get 50% off the meal. Yay!

This new found excitement does not reflect me having returned to ‘normal’ more that I am just glad to have made it to the end of the week! Yesterday went ok though. I was talking to my boss and C, the woman who works for me, yesterday morning and we were discussing how the meeting had gone and all concluded that it had not gone well. I think all of us were kind of subdued about it. I do a lot of work with another organisation and that other organisation had suggested that maybe the way to make progress was for me and C to go and work with them on a semi-permanent basis. I said that I didn’t think this was a good idea. We were down enough about it already without being punished by having to go and work over on the dark side. I think it will be discussed again next week but I think my boss is not keen on it happening either so hopefully it won’t. I actually do a range of work that has nothing to do with that particular project so just practically it isn’t the right way to deal with it. I just hope we have a choice in this. C seemed very subdued yesterday though and I asked her if she was ok and she said she was but had just got quite a lot on her mind. She’s actually on leave for a week now so hopefully she’ll feel a bit more positive by the time she gets back.

I also got summoned (in a nice way) to go and speak to someone who had been at the meeting and he wanted to make sure that I hadn’t been upset or offended by what he had said at the meeting. I assured him I wasn’t. He is very nice and I didn’t disagree with what he had said at all, it was just one of those things. I did also achieve some things at work yesterday too which was a good sign.

I haven't turned into sweetness and light though. Yesterday I touched my oyster card on the reader at the barrier and went into the station and some bloke came through the barrier right behind me. I turned to him and said “Did you just come through on my ticket?” and he replied with a somewhat aggressive “Yes” and basically asked what my problem was. I then stood there and told him in no uncertain terms (!) that I had paid my fare but I hadn’t done that so he could travel for free and that I didn’t appreciate him going through on my ticket. We then both proceeded to walk down the same escalator and he must have thought I was following him (which I wasn’t, I always walk down the escalators) and he then said “what do you want? 50p? £1” and I just replied that I wasn’t following him and was just walking down an escalator. I think in many ways I was actually more bothered that he had to walk through right up behind me and that was what I disliked more than the actual fare evasion side of it, although I didn’t see what he should get away with not paying. I was talking to G about it later and did say that one day I may well get stabbed to death for being a bit bolshy. As I said to G, always assume that each time is the last time we’ll be in touch, just in case.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I went for a walk on my lunch break yesterday. It was very chilly.

I went to a short meeting yesterday afternoon. It lasted three hours.

At the meeting my colleagues and I were given rather a hard time. This was not fun.

Think we may get a talking to at work today about how we are going to turn things around.

Sometimes I wonder why I do my job because it doesn’t seem to have much purpose to it.

Last night I was reminded of the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants”#. I like it.

I was meant to go out last night. I forgot.

I was talking to G on the phone last night. For some reason I just couldn’t say I don’t feel very cheerful at the moment.

G has lost almost half a stone by walking ten thousand steps a day for the last few weeks. Impressive.

Time to head off for another day at work. *sigh*

#It basically means building on the wisdom of others who have gone before. It is the inscription on the edge of (some) £2 coins.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


G pointed out last night that yesterday was three months to Christmas Day. How is that possible?? Mind you the weather has taken a turn for the worst. I looked out the window before I set off fro work on Monday because I could hear how windy it was. Not only windy, but also pouring with rain. There has definitely been sunshine over the last couple of days, but also rain… I know it’s almost October but I still feel hard done by and am refusing to put my heating on until we have had a proper summer (I suspect I will relent on this in the next day or so…).

This change in the weather is also not great for my new fitness regime, which basically consists of trying to go for a walk on my lunch breaks. Maybe 30 minutes or so, as many times as I can a week. I think if I only do this in good weather then I won’t be able to continue with this until next year, by which time I may have become a beached whale. For a few years I used to go for a walk every lunch time and then when things went wrong with A I stopped, but now is the time to try and reinstitute it (but with routes that avoid possibly bumping into each other, as much as is possible). I’m not sure I’ll be able to go for a walk every day, but every little helps, as they say and doing something when I can is better than doing nothing at all.

I think some of the reason I have been feeling a bit down this week is that sometimes I think deep down I am just not a very nice person. When I am tired and worn out, I am just a bit of a grumpy old git and it makes me wonder if the rest of the time I am just able to keep it in check because I have the energy to do so! I know it must be a shock to you to realise that I am not sweetness and light all the time, but it’s better that you know the truth now. I’m sure you’ll get over it and if not well, do you want to have an argument about it? Well do you?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I went and sat on the interview panel yesterday afternoon. It went fine, despite having to hang about in reception for a few minutes until someone came to take me to the right room. I was there as the independent person and it turned out that they were expecting me to be an expert on the interview process. Fortunately I had actually read the guidance and therefore was able to sound reasonably knowledgeable, but that is only because I have recently advertised a job and so had looked at it for myself. Otherwise I could have looked like I knew nothing… *cough*

I then had real trouble following the interview because the other two interviewers were a bit all over the place with their questions. One of them obviously didn’t know the process at all though and after the candidate had left complained that he hadn’t been able to ask things like what qualifications she had (which to a large degree is irrelevant where I work). Anyway, I survived and that task is now done and dusted.

I’m still not feeling my most chipper, but hopefully it will pass soon. In the meantime (I might have posted this before) if you are look for a relaxing moment in your busy day then you might want to go here and maybe spent a bit for time looking at a lake (you need Flash to make it work – and there is a bit of background music, but it’s very soothing). Maybe put your feet up for a few minutes and relax.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Yet another weekend over, and it was somewhat of a mixed one. I don’t think it is worth explaining the bad stuff that happened but there were a few somewhat unpleasant and tense moments over the weekend. But I shall pass over them…

Anyway, some of the good things were that G and I had a very nice lunch at Wagamamas on Saturday and I had a 2 for 1 voucher for it so we got it at a bargain price. We then spent a bit of time mooching about in London which included going to Fortnum and Masons. G had never been there before and was somewhat shocked at the price of everything. We both decided that touching anything they sold might prove to be very costly so we just looked on in awe from afar.

Last night I then went to the theatre with my mum and sister to see Jenny Eclair’s stand up show. That was quite good and it was actually the first night so probably by the end of the tour it will have evolved quite a lot and some of the lines that fell a bit flat will have gone by the wayside, but it was an amusing evening and worth going to.

Having said that I do feel a bit subdued at the moment. Some of it is possibly because I have to go and conduct that interview today (which incidentally I have done little to prepare for so had better get on with doing that when I get into work today) and in some ways that feels a bit like stepping back into the past. I think I just feel a bit subdued anyway though. Over the last few weeks I have felt a bit of a failure at various things. In the grand scheme of things, nothing major and also this has certainly not been a continuous feeling, but still it has cropped up on occasion. I am sure it will pass but even so I am not feeling my most cheerful. Anyway, another week begins and so I had better get on with it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Not knowing

So last night was fine. G has nice friends and we just chatted away and had a pleasant time. We were actually meant to be going to see the White Stripes in concert on November but apparently the tour has been cancelled so that won’t be happening now. I will therefore stay at my total of having been to one popular music concert…

As I say, last night was fine, it really was, but I still actually headed home feeling kind of subdued. There were two reasons for that really. First, it was fine seeing C and we chatted away and had a laugh. Neither of us mentioned A at all, which is as it should be, but there was a point when it was just me and C and there was this slightly uncomfortable silence between us. I filled some of the silence with some brief banter but I think ultimately we both knew that there was something (someone) that was a bit of an issue between us. I don’t want to talk to C about A. Whatever A told her was in confidence and that is fine, I’m not asking for confidences to be broken. But I know that C knows things about me that probably aren’t that complimentary and that C knows things about my past relationship that probably I don’t even know (!). On the other side, C knows that I have my own side of the story and possibly a different understanding of what happened. But I don’t want to broach the subject because it is unhelpful to everyone concerned and would touch on things that are probably best not discussed. The only person for me to have those conversations with is A and that’s not a possibility.

Anyway… the other issue was that it is no secret that I am not a fan of alcohol, so being at a pub is not always the ideal place for me. G was by no means drunk, but certainly had had a bit to drink and was ‘merry’. It just made me feel wary, not because I thought G would do anything awful but because alcohol makes people less predictable and lowers their inhibitions a bit, potentially meaning that they do or say things that they wouldn’t if they were sober. G made a couple of comments to people that I just thought crossed the line, they weren’t offensive or nasty, they were just unnecessary and reminded me of why I don’t like alcohol. I did actually say to drop those particular lines of discussion but G took some convincing that somehow they were inappropriate things to say (basically humour over-stepping the mark rather than anything else) – and the reason was alcohol. I just always feel on my guard when people have been drinking a bit and I don’t like feeling like that. I have just seen the ill-effects of alcohol too many times and it makes me wary. Don’t get the wrong impression, G is lovely and I also know that I am overly sensitive about alcohol, but even so it’s something that bothers me.

The evening *really* was fine, by the way, and G phoned me later which was a somewhat drunken but very sweet conversation. Everything is ok between us, there were just a couple of things that hit a raw nerve with me last night.

Another song that I heard for the first time in ages was “I don’t know you anymore” by Savage Garden, which if you listen to it is kind of self-explanatory. Or you can read the lyrics here. Ignore the video that goes with it, but here’s the song:

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I spent some of yesterday evening doing some paperwork. This included writing some minutes for a meeting I went to some 10 months ago. I think it is fair to say that they were a bit hazy. The next meeting is in November so I figure I will get asked to provide a copy of them at some point so it seemed like time to write them. I’ll try and write them a bit more promptly next time…

Tonight I might meet up with G and some of G’s friends for a drink. This may well mean seeing C who is a mutual friend with A, which I have mixed feelings about. I haven’t got a problem with her, my annoyance had passed, it will just be weird seeing her knowing that she knows far more about why A and I are unable to be on speaking terms that I do! Still, I’ll have to face her at some point, so if it’s tonight then at least it’s over and done with.

At the beginning of next week I also have that interview to conduct in the same building as A works. I will just get on and do it, but the problem now is that I have some concerns about the procedures have been followed for the job. The people I am doing this for have been appalling at sending me the paperwork and what they have sent me has been questionable (one of the items had a closing date of May 2006). So I have sent them a list of questions that I want them to answer – not least, who the other interviewer is!- and I will have to decide if I think they have followed the correct procedures and what to do if they haven’t. They wanted me as an ‘independent’ person and as such I have to be satisfied that they have done things by the book and at the moment I am very unimpressed by what I have seen so far. They only seem to be interviewing one candidate and I want to know why and who sifted the applications. It’s all just very odd. I’m wishing I hadn’t agreed to do this now!

What has happened to the weather? It is so chilly in the evenings now. I suppose that is what should be expected for mid-September, but I feel hard done by what with not having had a proper summer. I am back into hot water bottle territory now. However, just in case you were wondering, it is a mere 95 days to Christmas so time to start getting ready.

Oh and the other day, one of my colleagues said "I hear you're off to work for [the big boss]?". I looked somewhat confused and said that I hadn't said one way or the other whether I was actually going to do this. But it seems the rumour mill is already working. Yesterday I actually bumped into the chap who is covering the job at the moment and asked him how it was going. He left work at 9.15pm on Monday night and 7.30pm on Tuesday night. Not my idea of fun, so I'm not convinced that I want to do this even for a short period of time but I'm now wondering if the assumption is that I am doing it so they won't have lined anyone else up. If they are really desperate I would do it (for a short period of time) but at the moment I am not keen to volunteer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast me hearties*

My talk yesterday went very well. Fortunately someone else came along to do the second half of the talk (which was the stuff I was really unfamiliar with, but had spent time revising just in case I had to give the whole talk). Anyway, at the end of the talk someone came up to me and said “I can tell you’re a really experienced public speaker, you’re really good” and then someone else came up to me and asked if I could give her some advice some time on public speaking. Yesterday’s post was not an instance of me trying to sound really rubbish so that I could then act all surprised when I got a couple of compliments. That talk could have been really dire had I had to give it all, fortunately someone took over from me at the crucial moment. I know that I can do public speaking really well, I just need to know what I’m talking about! I suspect the previous speaker (who I did not hear) was somewhat dry, so by comparison that made me look even better…

For several days when I have logged into my blogger account part of the text has been displayed in German, even though my language is listed as English (and I cannot read German). It seems I am not alone in this (that’s a very useful website, by the way), but I shall have to soldier on because I don’t think Blogger is in any hurry to fix it. I may have to take a crash course in German…

I don’t have a Facebook profile. I’m not into this whole poking people thing (surely it’s just not British!) and I spend enough time on the internet already without getting distracted by that. There has been a bit of backlash from employers, and some have banned their staff from accessing the site. You should perhaps keep this tale in mind next time you switch on your work computer. Be warned.

On another note, a song has been going round my head of late. It’s “Over My Head” by The Fray. I’m not sure why it has been on my mind (apart from that I like the song), but I offer it to you and perhaps it will get stuck in your head instead…

*Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. You can also do this in German, which might come in handy given my current Blogger problem

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I spent some of last night practicing a talk I have to give this afternoon. I think it is safe to say that I feel very unconfident about this talk. What is the golden rule of public speaking? Know your material. There is no substitute for it. The problem is that this is such a wide ranging talk that I have had to ask several people for contributions and don’t really know the material well enough myself to talk about it really confidently. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll give it a good go, but talks are always much better if you really relate to the material and understand the context of what you are talking about and I just don’t. let’s hope they don’t ask too many questions…

I also seem to have a pain in my back at the moment. If I do anything that stretches my back including hiccupping it really hurts. I think I must have strained myself over the weekend, but I have no idea how. Sitting on the sofa is obviously the only cure for this though.

Last night I watched the programme on the McCanns that was on ITV. As the programme unfolded I was just struck by how inappropriate it seemed for them to be showing that programme at this time. They can get away with it because Madeleine McCann didn’t go missing in the UK, but to all intents and purposes they are commenting on a live investigation. Personally I don’t think they did it, but even so I just think it was really inappropriate to show that programme, they are attempting to try the case before the Portuguese have even made a decision on what to do next – and it did still have that feeling about it of the “stupid Portuguese police” and how differently we would have done it. I really do hope that the truth comes out soon in this investigation and they find out what happened to that little girl but programmes like that are unhelpful, particularly as none of the people involved were actually involved directly in the investigation. Trial by media indeed, but it is the Portuguese police that are being scrutinised more than anyone else. For some reason this case seems to have captured so many people and everything seems to be fair game.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Another weekend over. In some ways it feels like it was bit of a tragic weekend, not for me personally you understand but what with Colin McRae being killed and that plane crash in Thailand, plus all the stuff going on with the McCanns and so on. The news just seems to be filled with sad things. I watched a programme last night, which was a bit sad and then went to do something on my computer and I think I just felt as though bursting into tears would be a good option - but I resisted the urge.

Anyway, it was a fairly busy weekend which started with me meeting up with a friend from university for dinner. We had a really nice evening but a couple of times I had to tell her that she was scaring the waiter (as his face clearly showed). Admittedly he did fail to bring the olives despite being asked twice and was generally a bit dopey, but my friend was dead scary! We had a good catch up though and exchanged news and had a good time.

I wasn’t meant to be seeing G until Saturday but due to a change in plans G phoned me and came over on Friday night instead, which was fine and meant that less of the day was wasted on Saturday meeting up. We tried to do our normal Saturday walk but due to various factors, had trouble finding somewhere suitable to go, but in the end went for a stroll by the Thames in glorious sunshine and then ate ice cream. Very healthy…

G then prepared some dinner and I continued to paint the front door. The front door has turned out reasonably well. It’s not fantastic but it is much better that it was. I was talking to my neighbour on Saturday morning while I was the painting on the door and he made a reference to earlier in the week when my door was “multi-coloured”. Quite… This is why people in London don’t talk to their neighbours.

Now the door is passable and the plan is to replace the fire place in the living room (technically there is no fireplace there at the moment, it is actually a very badly fitted surround with very fake looking marble insert but no actual fire) and then get someone to redecorate the living room. I could redo it myself but I don’t want to repaint the ceiling myself and that really needs doing, so I could get the same person to do the front door. This is not an imminent plan so it is not that all my hard work is going to disappear in the next few weeks, but I would just like it to have amore professional finish. I don’t know why I have struggles with it so much because all the other decorating I have has been totally fine and I’m really pleased with my hall, but for some reason, I just could not get the front door quite right. Anyway, now I just have to tidy the glass in the door up a bit and that is about it. At last.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thinking time

It’s Friday again and not a moment too soon. I have actually been sleeping really well this week and have been feeling so much more wide awake than I have for ages. I think spending so much time in the evening decorating that it has made me tired by the time it comes to going to bed.

My front door is now ready for painting, so tomorrow morning I will bite the bullet and give it a go. I have a plan B and possible a plan C if it all goes wrong… It has to be said that I will feel really down about it if it ends up still looking a mess. This has taken a lot of work and I am genuinely concerned it will be for nothing.

Anyway… today I am having lunch with someone that I used to work with (and works with A actually). He sent me an e-mail last week complaining that we hadn’t seen each other for so long so we’re going for a Chinese and a catch up. Then tonight I am meeting up with a friend from uni and going out for dinner. We have a few things to talk about tonight and I think it could be a challenging evening for both of us!

An opportunity has also come up at work which my head of unit is keen for me to do, but my immediate boss is not so keen, which would mean working temporarily for the big chief of where I work 9as n who heads up thw whole organisation rather than just where I work *gulp*). My boss is a nice chap and isn’t trying to stop me doing it if I really want to, he just thinks the timing isn’t right in terms of the work we have coming up. I need to think about it all though. She’s female and having had two female bosses who have been an utter nightmare perhaps I should be wary of this, but she seems like a decent sort so really it come down to whether I want to work the hours that it would involve – and it is also one of those things that could make or break your career (what career? I ask myself!), so it is a big decision for that reason as well. I think I probably have a couple of weeks to say what I want to do. If I say nothing then the opportunity will probably just pass me by, so it’s up to me to speak up if I really want to do it. Time to get my thinking cap on.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Yesterday’s work away day was very good and the people who organised it had obviously put in a lot of effort. We basically had to follow clues that took us all across London and then make it to a particular place for lunch. The team I was in were doing really well and managed to workout the answers to the clues pretty easily. However, on the last clue we just totally messed it up and so lost our lead. Still, it’s the taking part that counts…

It meant that I got home nice and early though and so I finished stripping the door and put on some primer. I was hoping to be able to paint the door tonight but the primer is not as even as I would have hoped so I think I will even it up tonight instead. Having gone to all this effort, it seems worth trying to get the base even before painting on it. It means I won’t be able to paint the door until Saturday though as I am out on Friday night. There is a part of me that is really nervous about trying to paint the door again, as it turned out so badly the first time that I think it might happen again, but unless I intend to just leave it with primer on forever, I haven’t got much choice. So Saturday morning I will try and give it a go… Of course I had to shut the door last night before it was totally dry so there is every chance that I am now trapped inside forever and can just avoid the issue altogether.

My broadband also failed again last night and so I had to phone my ISP and ask them to fix it for me again. Whilst, once again, they were very quick and efficient at fixing it, I am not actually very impressed that for the second time in a week my connection has failed. Hopefully this is not going to be a recurring problem…

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Progress, of sorts...

So another evening was spent trying to sort out my front door. I have basically done all the paint stripping now and will do a bit of sanding when I get home tonight and will then hopefully be able to put the primer on. Hopefully…

I have been trying to convince a friend that she should come over and paint the door for me. She is pretty good at DIY and have offered her bed and board and as much Diet Coke as she can drink (that is what she lives on) if she paints my door. She doesn’t seem to keen on the idea but maybe she’ll take pity on me.

I’m actually going to be home nice and early tonight if all goes to plan. We’ve got a work ‘away day’ today which looks like it might be quite good and enjoyable. It is meant to finish my 4pm so hopefully I can then head home and get more done on my door. My big fear in sorting out my door is that I will have gone to all this effort and it will still look terrible! Mind you, I think I would have had to strip it back anyway because I think if there were many more coats on it the door wouldn’t have been able to shut. If all else fails I’ll just have to pay someone to come and paint it.

Yesterday I got a phone call from someone who I don’t know but works for the same organisation as me and they asked if I could help them with an interview. I said I’d do it but while they were talking about it I did wonder if the interviews might end up being in the same building as where A works. Sure enough, when I checked where the interviews were they are in that building – which is not a big building. Chances are that we won’t bump into each other but it just made me feel quite down to think about having to go over there to conduct this interview. There’s nothing I can do about it though and it wouldn’t be very professional to back out. It’s over a week away so there’s no point worrying about it now anyway.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to basics

So the decorating saga continues. There were parts of my front door that were just so poor that I would have had to strip them back anyway, so I figured I should bite the bullet and get on with it. I have taken most of the paint off, but I have one of those 1930s doors that is mainly wood but also has small glass panels in it – and getting the paint off those bits is going to be a bit of a task in itself. Hopefully I will pretty much have finished stripping the door by the end of tonight. Maybe…

I went to Robert Dyas to get some supplies for last night’s task and the chap put my purchases in a bag and then asked me if I’d like it to be double bagged. Now that’s service for you and one of the reasons why I love Mr Dyas. I may have to make a return visit there today to come up with some ideas for getting rid of all the paint on my door.

I need to set off for work early today because I have to be in for an 8.30 meeting. Someone has ordered breakfast for it and their boss said “Breakfast? I’m already half way through my day.” Comments like that really irritate me because a) I don’t suppose he really does get in at 4.30am and b) I think it is a bit arrogant to assume that just because you work anti-social hours that others should as well. I know 8.30am isn’t actually all that early, but every moment I get to stay in bed in the morning is a moment of pure joy for me. This morning is a real sacrifice.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I could just scream. I repainted my front door yesterday. Or I at least tried to, but it just ended up looking utterly appalling. To me it looks like when someone has really badly varnished something (except I’ve painted it which makes it even worse that it looks as though it is badly varnished. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!). Anyway… tonight I will put another coat of paint on in the hope that it will miraculously look much better. I just cannot work out why it has ended up looking so bad, but if I can’t fix it be putting on another coat I guess I’ll just have to try and paint it darker in the hope that this will cover up the bad finish.

Despite all that, I did actually have a nice weekend. G and I went to the New Piccadilly Café for dinner on Friday night, which was really nice. It’s not exactly the most exotic food, but it really is stepping back in time to go there. You can have the standard fry up or an omelette or various items with an Italian influence (I think the owner is Italian) . However… you will need to be quick because I think it is closing forever on 22 September so if you want to experience a small piece of history you need to get on with it. It’s on Denman Street which is just off Piccadilly Circus, in case you are interested.

On Saturday G and I went for another walk and did our 10,000 steps again. I had actually gone out in the morning and bought G a pedometer, so this time we actually had proof that we had walked that far. It wasn’t as nice a walk as the precious time but it was fine anyway. In the evening we watched ‘Hide and Seek’ which is the Robert De Niro film and it has to be said that I found the film really creepy. There were bits of it that didn’t quite make sense, but it was quiet disturbing nonetheless. In the film Robert De Niro’s character kept having bad dreams that were flashbacks to various things that had happened. Then he would suddenly wake up and when he looked at the clock, each time it was 2.06am. I woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning and when I looked at the clock it was 2.06am… Disturbing indeed…

Of course this weekend’s news was dominated by the McCann family. First them being names as suspects in their daughters disappearance and then them returning to the UK. Not that it matters, but personally I haven’t heard anything that suggests that they are responsible for her disappearance. I also think that it is so difficult to compare our legal system with that in Portugal that it seems very difficult to see what the moves by the Portuguese authorities actually mean. I just get more of a feeling of the Portuguese clutching at straws in order to try and solve the case, rather than them necessarily having any actual evidence. To lose your child must be hard enough without then being accused of being the guilty party (assuming you are innocent). I can see that they would want to come back to the UK, even if just briefly and lets hope that what ever the truth is about what happened to Madeleine McCann that the truth comes out soon.

Friday, September 07, 2007


There was something whirring around in my mind that was making me think that there was some significance to the date.

Yesterday was mine and G’s four month anniversary. How time flies. I had completely, forgotten, as ever, but I think G had as well until we were talking on the phone.

Yesterday was also a year since A sent me the e-mail telling me to go away. A year. How time flies indeed…

Anyway, G is staying for the weekend again and I think tonight we are going to a café for dinner, as a bit of indulgence and also because I think it is closing in the next couple of weeks so this will be one of the last opportunities to go there. At least it should keep me from Robert Dyas.

I was somewhat fascinated by this rather macabre story (excuse the link to The Sun, in my defence, I didn’t originally read it in that paper). Basically two sister’s visit their mother’s body every week – which is stored in a fridge at the undertakers and they even reapply her make up. In the Daily Mail version of the story, there are such lovely lines as:

“When she died in 1997, the body was preserved with formaldehyde but it has deteriorated to such an extent that it is largely skeletal with some skin remaining on the upper half and head.”

I think there is possibly something somewhat questionable about this and that although apparently it isn’t illegal to do this that maybe someone needs to suggest that they actually decide to bury their mother at last – or what’s left of her…

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Yesterday’s journey into work was long but much better than the previous day. I did feel there was a certain irony when the tube train I was on stopped at a station for several minutes because it was running ahead of schedule though… I couldn’t be bothered to cram on to a packed tube for the final bit of my journey to work so I walked the last 20 minutes and strolled into work all refreshed and revived. No chocolate supplies needed – although someone did give me a really delicious chocolate caramel slice. I ate it. Just to be polite.

I seemed to spend quite a bit of time last night sorting out my computer. Yesterday morning it stopped connecting to the internet and I was hoping it was a temporary glitch but it was still the same when I got home from work. I tried various things and in the end I had to phone my ISP and ask them to look into it. They were actually really good – no hanging on a phone line waiting for them to answer, they picked up the phone and I explained the problem and then they ran through various things and monitored my modem remotely and within about five minutes it was all fixed. I was really impressed.

I went out on my lunch break yesterday and while I was wandering about G phoned me on my mobile.

Me: Hello
G: Hello. Where are you?
Me: Just having a wander at the shops near where I work… *voice trails off*
G: *slightly suspicious* Where exactly are you?
Me: Erm, well, I just visited a particular shop, but I know what you’ll say if I tell you where…
G: *sound of thinking* Are you at John Lewis?
Me: *slightly ashamed* No, it’s the other one…
G: *exasperated* You’re at Robert Dyas! You really are having an affair with Robert Dyas aren’t you! If it’s not John Lewis then it’s Robert Dyas.
Me: They mean nothing to me and no money even changed hands between us. It was just a quickie.
G: That really helps.

Some people browse shops for nice clothes or go for a coffee on their lunch break. I hang out with John Lewis and Robert Dyas. Worrying.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


What a day yesterday… My journey to work consisted of a bus, a bus, an over ground train, an underground train, an underground train, a walk. It took me two hours to get to work (but I did get a seat for 99% of it, unlike most people who were crammed in like sardines – although, having said that, the Northern Line was half empty which felt very weird at that time of day).

My journey home consisted of a bus, an underground train, an over ground train, an over ground train, a bus, a bus. It took me just under two hours to get home. I got home feeling really hungry so immediately ate my dinner and then… cracked open an Easter Egg. Desperate times people, desperate times. Anyway it seems the striek has now been called off, it's just that the trains still aren't running. Jolly good...

I’m meeting up with someone at wok today to go through some applications for a job and choose the people we will interview. Two of the forms were utterly appalling. I am sort of tempted to put in their feedback that they need to go on a course to learn how to fill out an application form (meaning that in a constructive way). We’re actually going through this process to try and sort out someone’s job so that they are formally promoted, so it all feels a bit of a farce in some ways - but without the outcome actually being a foregone conclusion, as she does actually have to prove that she is up to the job, pass some exams etc. Anyway, her application was so much better than everyone else’s so that was a relief.

One of the really bad candidates phoned yesterday to find out what was going on, as she hadn’t heard anything. Except she didn’t phone me, she ended up speaking to my boss because she hadn’t kept a copy of the job description which had my contact details on, so had no idea who to contact and instead had to phone and try and find out who she needed to speak to based on the little information she could remember. I was totally unimpressed by her application (and had I been her line manager I would have strongly recommended that she consider rewriting it) and even less impressed that she didn’t even bother to keep a copy of the job description or a note of who to contact. She will not be making it through the sift.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The truth hurts

So, it’s a tube strike day. Woo hoo and also Grrr…. Yesterday I left work early so that I managed to get one of the last trains home. The chap at the station kept announcing that the train service was “dying out”, which sounded a bit more fatal than he perhaps had meant it to, but we’ll see if it does end up being revived by the end of the week. So leaving work early was good - and I think we can safely say that I will be in work late today, which I don’t mind as it means less time at work. However, it also means potentially much longer journeys. But it also means tube refunds – and potentially three days worth, so six journeys, which is a lot of money back. Hooray!

Things like this do appeal to my geeky side though. I *hangs head in shame* e-mailed the BBC yesterday because I thought they should clarify exactly which tube liens would be on strike. They were listing three lines as not running, when Transport for London were listing about nine or ten. I sent the BBC the link to the relevant page on TfL’s website. They amended the story. I am a geek. I sent a confessional e-mail to G admitting this. G e-mailed me back and confirmed that I am a complete geek.

I then spent some time last night working out with routes into work that involve using national rail. I came up with two routes that I hadn’t even considered but might just do the trick (unless the trains are totally packed). I noted the train departure times down for the journey to work and home again, so that I could choose the best route both to work and home again (which as it turned out are actually totally different routes *tries not to sound too excited at having worked this out*). I am a geek. Again.

Because I got home from work early I had more spare time in the evening than normal. So I went to B&Q to try and find a basin waste to try and fix something that is broken in my bathroom. B&Q is useless. I went to Homebase. Homebase was closed. Homebase is useless. I had a whole evening ahead of me. I went to a DIY shop. I am a geek.

Monday, September 03, 2007


I had another nice weekend. G and I met up after work on Friday night and headed back to my place. When we meet up we tend to end up eating later than I would normally and I am one of those people who needs to be fed regularly and so I had planned ahead… As we sat on the tube on the way home I whipped out a couple of Tunnocks logs for us to snack on and then when we had finished those I pulled out a Chinese take away menu and we sat on the tube and decided what we would each have for dinner and then I phoned from the tube and ordered it – so when we got to the station we just had to nip down the road and there was dinner waiting for us to collect. Perfect!

Saturday we decided to try and get in out 10000 steps so we went for a couple of hour’s walk in a park. That was good in itself but it also meant that G and I just chatted for a couple of hours with no distractions or chores to be done. We just made the most of the sunshine and spent a bit of time with each other. In the evening we had a really nice dinner and watched the end of the Euro dance thing, which was a truly appalling programme and the commentators were so irritating and took it far too seriously. Where’s Terry Wogan when you need him – at least he understands that most countries in Europe hate us and so would never vote for us!

G has got quite a lot of stuff to get used to at the moment what with a new job etc so yesterday we spent a bit of time doing some mindmapping. Not that I am an expert on this but I think it is a good way to break down things in to more manageable size chunks and to workout how you are going to deal with them. We started with a pen and paper but then I found a website where you can create mind maps, which was useful because it meant we could revise it if some of the connections didn’t seem quite right etc. I then did used it on a couple of other things after G had gone and so that was good. Whilst I wouldn’t say that mind mapping is necessarily as revolutionary as the creator suggests, I can certainly see that it suits the way my brain works and is a useful tool (although perhaps not the only one) to deal with tasks, ideas, revise for exams etc.

G was meant to be paid on Friday but the money didn’t come through as it had been paid into someone else’s account. G’s work was very unhelpful and it seems they won’t be able to sort it out for over a week(!). If this happened to someone who worked for me, I would have kicked up such a fuss and insisted that they made an emergency payment, but it seems they don’t do that where G works. So instead I have lent G the money, which I don’t mind but surely most employers would see that they have a primary duty to ensure that they do actually pay their staff?? I know that G will repay the money but we were talking over the weekend about how I lent A a not inconsiderable sum of money due to a short term financial problem. I had said A could just have the money, but A insisted on repaying it and that it was only a loan but when it came to it I didn’t ever get the money back (I’m sure for a whole array of reasons, not least because things then got very difficult between us and owing some money was very inconsequential by comparison and it probably just never even crossed A’s mind). G was quite mad about this but I explained that I was never that fussed about the money itself, what bothered me was that A had insisted on a particular course of action and had then not followed it through - the money in itself is just one of those things and I know that it isn’t down to dishonesty or some such thing. I think A would actually be quite mortified about not having given it back.

Anyway, I’d never ask for the money back, not because we are not in contact(!), but because I don’t think you should ever give/ lend money to someone if the money is more important to you than the person. If, for whatever reason, they then don’t repay it, it could forever damage your relationship and people should always be more important. I guess it’s a matter of only lend money to people you trust and don’t lend it if you’re not willing to let it go.

Enough of such things yesterday afternoon I got a call from a friend from uni who works in Bangladesh and he is back in the country for a week or so and wanted to meet up. So he dropped in for a cuppa last night and we had a bit of a catch up. I don’t think I had seen him for about three years so it was really nice to have catch up and then I drove him over to another friend’s house and dropped him off there. So it was a busy weekend and now I’m going back to work for a rest… Oh and it’s September – how did that happen??