Wednesday 29 November 2006

We don't like change

One of the things I am working on at the moment in my day job, is changing a major supplier.

I have been fascinated by the response I have received across the organisation. Makes no difference that our new deal is cheaper, more efficient, better all round....I have discovered that most people - even though it will not affect them in the NOT like change. Maybe it's not actually the change, but the fact that someone else is kind of forcing the change upon them...I don't really know. But I have been really surprised by the negative reactions I have experienced. To be fair, some people have been pleased by the change, but most have not. I suspect that they aren't even clear what it is that they object to. Does change make people feel insecure, the shift in status quo bringing about nervousness perhaps?...maybe they think.."If this can change, what may be next?" I really don't understand it.

Maybe change is okay if you're in charge of it yourself? It's a real puzzle to me and has caused me a great deal of thought.

People are really fascinating - but I wish that I understood them better sometimes.

What do you think?

Friday 17 November 2006

The Speaking Clock

Listening to Radio 2 in the car on the way to school this morning, Terry Wogan informed the nation that voice for the speaking clock is being changed after 17 years. They are looking for a new "voice".

Dan listened to this and then said "that must be a really boring job, reading the time out all day long".

Upon further discussion I realised that she thought that someone actually sat in a sound booth all day, every day, reading out the time!!! Bless!

I now have to tell her the truth, and I might mention the tooth fairy and Santa Claus as well.

Thursday 16 November 2006

The Army Story

Because Christian is always badgering me to tell the Army story (it's his favourite) I thought I'd better tell!!

When I was 19 years old I went to the cinema to see "Private Benjamin" starring Goldie Hawn. I enjoyed the movie so much I went and joined the British Army.

Now, what's funny about that?

I served Queen and Country for three years as a Lance Corporal in the Intelligence Corps. Two of those three years I was serving in Cyprus, and whatsmore I loved every minute of the whole three years.

How embarrassing

My cousin Stephen sent me an e mail with a movie attachment called "When lap-dancing goes bad"

I opened the attachment and the movie clip featured a naked young lady sitting, bumping and grinding, on the lap of a young man. The end of the clip shows the guy being sick all down the young lady's back...GROSS.

However before we got to that part, Dan's dad popped his head round the door to see if I had any salt he could borrow. He 'caught' me (so he thought) looking at porn, and apologised in rather and embarassed way for "disturbing me during my private time", then quickly backed out of the room.

Cue me chasing after him saying "it's not how it looks...I'm not watching porn", and him saying...."No, no, it's fine, whatever you need to do......etc"

Oh God :)


Just flicking channels and came across that train wreck of a programme "I'm a (non) celebrity , get me out of here". Dean Gaffney (of Eastenders fame) doing the bush tucker trial was fantastic. I thought he was going to need medical and physchological attention....I was laughing out loud at the bizarreness of it. Will try not to watch it again!!!

Saturday 11 November 2006

Looking to the future

Today we have been on a mini-adventure. It was very exciting. We went here to have a look around for Dan as she has chosen it as one of her options on her university application form.

The times for visiting were 10am - 2pm, and as her Dad was flying home from overseas and his flight wasn't landing until after 9am, and Hartpury college is about a 2 hour drive away, we went by a faster method of transport than the car. And what's more nobody was airsick. We had a very dishy pilot called "Captain Will" - but try as I might I couldn't get his phone number!!! I must just add a huge "Thank you" to the wonderful Jo (she knows who she is) who absolutely went above and beyond the call of duty to organise and arrange this trip for us...It was really fantastic!!!

Driving Test

Dan took her driving test yesterday and - after cutting somebody up on a roundabout - unfortunately she failed. She's not too disappointed though as I've been telling her that nobody passes first time anymore, and to treat the first attempt as a practise.

I've also pointed out to her that if her Grandma can drive - surely anybody can?

Sorry Mum!

Friday 10 November 2006


...we're going on a helipcopter ride to Gloucestershire. I'll let you know what happens!

We came last - but at least we did it!!!!!

Well, we went to the dressage competition - nearly didn't make it as Phoebe was reluctant to get onto the trailer. But with a few tempting carrots and the help of a lunge line around her big bum, she finally loaded and 30 minutes later we were there.

She was very good whilst being tacked up and we went to the warm-up arena side by side with Bugsy and Dan. I rode her for about 15 minutes, and all the time she was getting faster and stronger - so by the time we finally got to the competition arena I almost had no control whatsoever!!! We hung on (just) until we had to do the canter and then good old Phoebe went off like a bullet from a gun!!!!

The look on my face was priceless according to Nicola (my friend from work who also rides and came along to support us) and God only knows what the judge thought!!! I was glad to finish 4 minutes later, and was eternally grateful to have got through and still be alive.

Ten minutes later I checked the score board to see that I had come a very respectful last!!!! That's my purpose you see...I enter the competition to fulfil the role of preventing every other competitor coming last!!!

I did, however enjoy myself immensely and felt a huge sense of accomplishment for having taken my horse away from home, and the grin stayed on my face until long after we got home.

Doesn't take a lot to make me happy!!!

Sunday 5 November 2006

D-Day minus 3 days and counting

"D-Day" is Dressage competition day (next Wednesday) and I'm just beginning to feel the stirring of miniature butterflies in my tummy. I had my lesson yesterday and we did some preparation work towards the test. My cantering leaves a lot to be desired and Phoebe (bless her) gets a bit keen (fast). I get a bit scared, grip with my legs and therefore she goes even faster....vicious circle......

Will ride her again this afternoon and do more practise. Ho Hum.....

Saturday 4 November 2006

Brrrrrrrrr - Part 2

Well - it's getting colder and tonight it's going to drop to a rather frosty minus 4 degrees C.

What would be the worst day then for a central heating boiler to stop working - meaning no heating and no hot water?

Right - got it in one!!!!

Don't worry about me though, I'll just sleep in 7 layers of pyjamas!!!

The law of "Sod" strikes again.....


I'm not normally one to complain (what?!!) but I'm a bit cross about the weather. When we moved down here last December I was thrilled to discover that London is usually about 6 degrees warmer than Sheffield. Just to confirm this I check the BBC weather site for both locations daily .....I know it's a bit sad but I don't get out much.

My friends who still reside up north have had to put up with a little bit of gloating over the last 11 months, as I have repeatedly reported the differences in temperature to them. After 3 years in the Army in my early twenties I made a vow never to be cold again if I could help it.

This week it has been freezing down here - we've had a thick frost every morning since Tuesday. Last year we never had one frosty morning. It was such a novelty not having to scrape the car windscreen.

I'd like to complain to God, or whoever is in charge of temperature changes. I have had to wear woolly gloves and hats this week - and I really thought all that was behind me.

Do you think that the weather has followed me? And in case you were wondering - it's not 6 degrees colder in the moment it's actually 2 degrees warmer.....what's that about then?

Wednesday 1 November 2006

I've done something really stupid

Well, it's probably not stupid by anyone else's standards - but after being here nearly a year I have finally entered a competition with my horse!!! I don't want anyone to worry because it's nothing dangerous - I leave all that stuff to Dan and Bugsy - it's not show jumping or cross country (I don't do anything which involves the horse leaving the ground!!!)

No, I have entered a dressage competition - for those of you who don't know, Dressage is the most refined and sophisticated of the equestrian disciplines. It involves lots of pre-ordained movements in a certain sequence, which I have to memorise and then perform.(when I say "I", I do of course mean Phoebe and I!) You get marked for each movement, in terms of quality, timing and the obedience of the horse (ouch!) I have been practising and listening to my hypnotherapy CD (Very good - but sends me into a deep sleep, well actually a coma) and I'm ready!!! It's to be held at Merrist Wood in Guildford next Wednesday evening!!! By Tuesday I will be a bag of nerves.

When I first started riding I would look at the posh ladies in their posh jackets on their posh (clean) horses doing dressage and think "I so wish I could do that". Well, now's my chance!!!

I'll let you know how we get on!!!!

Beautiful New life