Thursday, 29 October 2009

Jordan


Where have you been? Well - as you can see from the picture - I've been to the Middle East! Jordan to be precise on a lovely diving holiday with Posselq. We went for 7 days - and dived twice a day for 6 days. We saw all kinds of critters under the water and had a fab fab fab time. I must have behaved because Posselq didn't try to drown me even once. That in itself is a big surprise - he had every opportunity.

We saw so many creatures under the sea - too many to list - but the best
was a huge Moray eel lurking in its cave - complete with the skeleton of its latest meal right outside the door! The eel's head was as big as my thigh (thank you - I know that means it was huge).

I have to tell you that getting in and out of a skin tight rubber suit twice a day wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done - (in future I'll leave that particular fetish alone!) and to begin with I struggled with my buoyancy - but by the end of the week I was floating about like Jacques Cousteau......




Friday, 16 October 2009

Working 9 'till 5...trying hard to make a livin' !

Oh my God - I'm now back in the world of work. I landed there from a great height on Wednesday morning with my first day in my new job!!! I have now done three days and so far haven't lost my sanity.

Seriously - my new job is quite cool. I am working for a brand new Commercial Property Agents and my role is that of Office Manager / PA. My desk is new, my chair is new and my PC is a brand new shiny - all singing - all dancing Mac - for which I am eternally grateful. Our offices are in a really lovely location in what used to be a dairy farm on a National Trust Property called Upton House. So when I look out of my window I am gazing straight out onto a field full of sheep. It's truly lovely - and what's more it's only a twelve minute drive from our house - so I leave for work at 8.40am, and after finishing at six pm, get home again at 6.15.

I work with / for two gentlemen - one is a surveyor, the other is a businessman - and at the moment I am busily setting up their office systems etc.

So this week I've done three days work - and then am getting my first week's holiday as Posselq and I are off to Jordan next Tuesday for a week of scuba diving in the Red Sea.

Sounds good - doesn't it?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Man flu - swine flu - Posselq flu!

Poor Posselq has had man-flu this week. At first he thought it was swine-flu. That's what he was looking up on t'internet at 2.30am on Wednesday morning when I woke up to find he wasn't laid next to me. I was convinced he'd sneaked downstairs to look at porn on the 'net - but alas no - he was on the NHS website!!! How sad is that????

As soon as I woke the next morning he told me he wasn't going to work - so that meant it was serious - Posselq would have to have a leg hanging off before he would willingly miss work. At this point - had he been Canine, Bovine Equine or Feline I would have called out the vet and asked him to bring his despatching kit.

I dutifully popped down to Boots to fetch a thermometer and some medicines. When I got home the thermometer wouldn't work (what a waste of £14.99 - and time - somebody could have died) so that meant another trip out - this time to Tesco where I managed to find a "Mr Sneezy" strip thermometer for children's foreheads. That'll do nicely!!!

I arrived back home and ran upstairs to the patient - we took his temperature - only to discover that it was normal!!!!

Anyway after three lemsip sherbert lemons - poss decided he was feeling up to the drive to Leeds and duly set off. He stayed away overnight with ne'er a complaint and came home again on Thursday. He did say he felt a bit chilly and so went to pop on his thermal undies before we nipped to Tesco (in the tundra), but all in all he's on the mend now thank goodness.

For a minute back there I thought we might lose him.

Update - I know he's better now as he's flouncing round the kitchen a la Keith Floyd making a god-awful mess!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

On the dole!

I've just been to the job centre. Apparently as I'm 'looking for work' I am entitled to 'Job Seeker's Allowance'. Back in the day this was called dole money - but now it has a much fancier title. To qualify for this government funded gift you have to be seeking work - which I am - so I am therefore entitled to some sixty-odd quid per week for my trouble. I'm not going to say no - now am I?

Anyway - my visit and subsequent interview was a tad traumatic. Firstly the place was full to bursting with pikeys. No offence to the mass unemployed - but one glance would tell you why the majority of them are unemployed. I know I'm a bit of a snob (no? really? you're kidding - right?)

I was a wee bit discombobulated to discover that the job centre has had an interior designer in to give it a kind of make-over. Designer carpets, fancy desks, up to the minute electronic notice boards - all a bit worrying if you ask me...I would have thought it would be better if they were grey and institutionalised - a bit like an open prison - and I would have them turn the thermostat right down - it needs to be chilly? right?...but no - it's very comfortable, I could have stayed all day! (if you pay income tax - you should be weeping right now!)

Anyway - my interviewer - was a wee bit amazed when I told her I had applied for more than 6 jobs in the last week and had been for three interviews - I get the feeling that most 'customers' don't manage that in six months - let alone six days.

She asked me what kind of job I was after - Office Manager, PA - that kind of thing.....imagine my surprise when she printed off the details for a night time shelf stacker in a well known supermarket!!! Beggars can't be choosers it seems.

I didn't think it was prudent to mention that I won't actually be able to make my next signing on date, as I'm going to be away on holiday!!! (ouch).

Needless to say once the interview was over I made a hasty exit - came home and spent half an hour in our fumigation chamber. I have set myself a goal to get a job wthin the next 2 weeks so I never have to go there again!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Perception

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:  If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made... How many other things are we missing? 
 

Dr Drill

This afternoon has been grave. Very grave indeed. I have been to see 'Dr. Drill' the dentist. Whilst I was on my scuba course the other week I grew a very impressive abscess in my gum and finally decided to not leave my dental well-being to fate any longer - but rather to put my money where my mouth is (loving these puns!) and make the call. 

My new dentist is called Lana and she's very nice. When I walked in today I promptly burst into tears (the fear was making my hands sweat and my heat beat that little bit too fast!) - and she was very kind to me!!!!! She took ages to explain what she was going to do and how long it would take etc. She promised not to hurt me and suggested that I hum a tune while she did the drilling as this would help me relax. 

It had to be Monty Python's "Always look on the bright side of Life" - what else could it be?

Anyway - I have my root canal drilled, cleaned, disinfected and temporarily filled - and I have to go back after our holiday to have it completed. I am pleased to report that it didn't hurt a bit - and now that I know that - next time I will be much more relaxed.

I am now dribbling when I drink anything and I have just bitten my tongue whilst eating half a cheese sandwich!

Latest news - read all about it !!!!

I've just had a message on Facebook from my beloved daughter asking me to write something on here as she has nothing to read. I think perhaps she should be reading her university books seeing as she has just embarked on a second degree course at Bournemouth Uni - but - clearly not!!!

I can see that I have been a bit remiss with the blogging of late and for that I apologise. I have, however, been a bit busy!

So - what's been happening in the throbbing metropolis that is Banbury (not by the sea)?

The chickens are doing well - all laying at least one egg per day - mind you the other day we had an egg count of four - so somebody (cluck cluck) is clearly working overtime. I managed to decipher a recipe for Green Tomato chutney last week and created 6 jars of the same - very nice too.

On Saturday night we had Lisa and Giles from next door round for dinner with their two little girls - Lisa is a vegetarian - so that involved creating a veggie burger with cous cous and other unmentionable ingredients...I just don't 'get' vegetarians...although as Veggies go Lisa is very nice - and not at all pale, fainting or ridiculous.

In just over two weeks time Posselq and I are off to the middle east for a spot of diving - 7 days in Jordan (is that a Peter Andre quote?) to be enjoyed - a last bit of sunshine before the winter really kicks in.

I have applied for about 7 or 8 jobs in the last few weeks - have been for three interviews and as I write this am still jobless. I was quite annoyed by one company when I applied, chatted to one of the directors on the phone - went for an interview - and then heard absolutely nothing - despite being promised a response before then end of the same week! I know that job applicants far outnumber jobs advertised at the moment - but that surely doesn't obliterate the need for basic manners - does it? A simple note in the post saying - "thanks - but no thanks" would have been fine - but to just be completely ignored?...how very rude!

Finally as I sit here I am trembling with fear. Later today I am due at the dentist for some fairly extensive root canal work. I just know - despite the lovely lady dentist's reassurances - that some pain is heading my way. Today I am going for drilling and packing - with the remainder of the work to be carried out when I return from our diving holiday (that's if I return - hopefully Posseql won't drown me!!)

So that's the latest news....dull isn't it?