Saturday, 25 September 2010

I had a life once...& have evidence to prove it...

Spent half the morning up in the loft. The stables are closed this weekend as one of the family who owns it is getting married, so for once Miss Sensible's actually at home. For some unknown reason, the sprog who normally can think of nothing outside the equine world suddenly decided it was desperately necessary to rummage through my old frocks to see if there was anything suitable for her to wear for her end of school prom next year. Advance planning or what?? or perhaps the chance to put aside homework for a few hours ;o) Anyway we ventured up into deepest recesses of the roof void and located the carefully stored items, then began rooting out all kinds of beautiful things, little black dresses, sequined cocktail affairs, formal about stuff up there I'd completely forgotten about, and all manner of long lost memories of events & people bubbled to the surface. Ended up being a bit of a trip through Mum's luck in terms of finding anything suitable but a lovely way of spending a few hours & we both highly enjoyed it.

Clone required

Been one helluva week work-wise. The boss is signed off sick so myself and a colleague are sharing her workload which necessitated me being in London for four days...two of them I commuted the usual 3.5 hours journey each way, but I couldn't face that for the rest of the week so felt a stop-over was required. Ha! London Fashion week put pay to that. A reasonably priced hotel couldn't be found for love nor money. Fortunately a workmate came to the rescue and offered me board & lodgings, and very nice it was too but it has to be said I am going to spend this weekend doing the minimum possible!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Not that easily shocked but...

Interviewing for a reasonably senior post in one of the hostile environments. Generally I find the experience pretty interesting listening to the candidates talk about their experience etc. but the last session of the afternoon floored me completely. The guy had plenty of relevant skills and had worked in the country so, so far, so good, as we got to the end of the interview and I explained the next stages of the recruitment process and the vetting involved he said,

"I need to declare to you that I've got a criminal record"


Some offences are time limited so I asked if it was something which was likely to be 'spent' at some point...staring me right in the eye he responded..."it was downloading offensive images."

....NO idea how I managed not to react and professionally draw things to a close but apparently the Director who was with me was impressed with my composure... Hmm... only hope I don't ever have to deal with that scenario again...

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sunday roast

is back on the menu due to the onset of autumn & the need for comfort food. On canvassing opinions from my colleagues they all see this as a positive move, however the sproglets see it as the basis of complaint as:
  1. that they have to eat more vegetables than is considered reasonable (which brought to mind a comment made by the Middle Eastern Correspondent to my mother many moons ago as he lifted the lid on a pan of Broccoli, "I don't 'do' green things")
  2. there is a predictability about the next days dinner...
Roast chicken is followed by a Chicken Curry (Thai or Indian...tonight being the latter); roast lamb is transformed into Scouse (*what else!); roast pork coverts to Sweet & Sour; whilst roast beef may materialise as either Strew & Dumplings or Goulash.

I had thought that this was a reasonable arrangement and certainly economical & nutritious, but it seems perhaps I should invest in some Turkey Twizzlers so they know which side their bread's buttered on....pardon the pun ;o)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Random act

on the way back from the stables struck gold. For some time I've been looking for a mirror to grace the hallway. It needed to be something which was in keeping with the house but not too run of the mill. I'd done the usual trawl round the shops, searched the internet but not really seen what I liked other than at a completely exorbitant price...(can't help having good taste....I may have been born free, but now I'm expensive ;o)

So pottering along I suddenly got the urge to visit one of my favourite curio shops. Under normal circumstances it's nearly impossible to park round there, but to my surprise there was an empty space... Seemed too good an opportunity to pass by.....I could hardly believe that as I walked into the store immediately in front of me was exactly what I'd been looking for, & at a ridiculously reasonably price. SOLD!!! and swiftly transported to it's new home. Fate! Must be...

Friday, 17 September 2010

Budgetary cuts

An email informing us we need to question & justify expenditure was circulated today, shortly followed by one from my boss informing me I need to be more frugal with my trips to London! I am not quite sure how she's expecting me to manage my team on a long distance basis, perhaps pedal down & stay overnight in a bus shelter at Victoria.... Hmm :o/ Anyone would think I enjoy the ridiculously early starts and time away from the sproglets.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A most remiss mother

I failed to spot that Minor Mayhem had loving prepared last night's dinner wearing his school uniform sans apron. This fact was only spotted when doing the school run this morning I checked my rear view mirror to see him scampering happily over to school with large white smudges across his previously pristine navy jumper.....Oops!

On the more positive side, he'd made sooo much batter mix I was forced to make pancakes tonight, sproglets had theirs with chocolate/hazelnut spread, whilst I opted for the more traditional lemon & sugar... Yum :o) Having provided ample sustenance my conscience re. the mucky jumper is now suitably salved.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The influence of TV

should not be underestimated & can, on occasions, work in a positive way. Minor Mayhem had been watching 'Masterchef' and decided he could do that sort of thing no problem. So tonight he organised his ingredients etc. then knocked up a fab gastro version of Toad in the Hole...not quite the career path I had in mind for him but just what I needed when I returned from the joys of the 18:22hrs Great Western service.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Sleep deprivation

again...I reckon could become completely fixated by the lack of shut-eye....

So here I am in London. The company have booked me into my usual hotel (the Grosvenor). When I got to my room I was delighted to see that unlike the usual shoe box I frequently get allocated, I'd been given a decent sized room. That glow of satisfaction was short-lived when I realised the traffic noise generated from being positioned on the corner of Victoria coach and rail station, was also combined with a jack hammer which was being used to dig up the road allegedly for Tube improvements :o/ Eventually I became accustomed to the background noise and, perhaps lulled by it, dropped off.....only to be rudely awoken at 3.08am. by a text from Strident Student informing me she had now safely & happily arrived in Greece! Needless to say it wasn't long after that that the station and buses kicked back into life and that was it in terms of kip....

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Another couple of firsts

  1. first time on a plane with propellers. I can now proudly state I have been on a Dehavilland Dash 8-400 Turbo Prop. Got to admit I thought that type of aircraft was a relic from the 1970s but it seems not. It was incredibly noisy but had it's advantages; cruising at 1700ft you're able to see the countryside spread out below like a patchwork quilt, and test your geography by trying to recognise places like Southampton from an aerial view.
2. I've been to Jersey...never been to the Channel Islands before. Although it was a work trip (honest Guv), the MD who was hosting us drove us around the island, telling us all about the history of the place and pointing out landmarks etc. We also managed to squeeze in lunch at a fab place overlooking Corbière Lighthouse. One thing I really noticed was the pace of life is slow...literally 15mph in some places (no good for rally types Rocketman ;o) It kind of felt like going back in time to the UK as it was 30 years ago. So not as exotic as some of the other business trips this year, but far more civilised...

Monday, 6 September 2010

Up since 1.27am.

Insomnia’s been back with a vengeance for the last couple of weeks. Nothing worse than lying in bed, tossing & turning and watching the clock slowly edge forward to the alarm call knowing you’ve got a heavy week ahead of you. As you’d guess I’ve got ‘stuff’ on my mind and much as I might try to distract myself and bury it, it’s there like an elephant in the corner of the room. Ironically when I’m lying awake it’s not the 'biggie' which occupies my thoughts, my brain kicks into life and manically throws up all kinds of trivia, never stopping long enough to actually focus on one thing, almost as if the constant activity is purposely trying to distract from thinking about what’s actually bothering me, meanwhile in the background there’s always music; this morning laughably it was ‘Compulsion’ by Doves. Wonder if I'll fall asleep at my desk today and even more importantly how long this spell of sleeplessness will last…might have to resort to the magic sleeping draught tonight.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

There's an adjective for what happened to me last night

I was 'Janesed'!!! It's a well recognised term in some quarters and you definitely know when it's happened to you. In fact those who've been there will now be nodding their heads sympathetically. You'd think I'd have learnt from the Manchester episode or perhaps spending an entire day by an open window in the middle of a Dublin winter, or in fact any other scenario where he's been involved on the entertainment front, but no....

A lovely evening, excellent company, plus, as usual, Mitzi excelled on the cuisine front and should undoubtedly consider entering 'Masterchef', but, it has to be said, I am feeling decidedly jaded today. I can however report Miss Sensible was deposited at the stables prior to 10am, and on this occasion the gates and rear of my car remain intact ;o)

Now all I have to do is get my head together to write this business case and CapEx application for tomorrow.... *groan*

Friday, 3 September 2010

Re-visited a previous life today

I sneaked back into my old employers in order to attend a presentation to my ex-boss who has opted for voluntary redundancy. Felt quite surreal having to get a pass from reception then wander across the site seeing familiar places and people...even stranger seeing someone else sitting at my old desk!

Loads of people I know are on their way out of the organisation either through VR or on a compulsory basis. It feels so sad to see the place as quiet as it is now and think back to when I first started there many moons ago.

So as the clock ticks toward the completion of the consultation period at the end of September, everyone is trying to make light of the situation with invitations to events such as 'not the last supper', 'practice leaving do', and 'so long shindig' but there are already strong rumours of waves 3 & 4 of further job cuts.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Autumn's in the air

the grass was covered in jewel-like drops of dew as I made my way to the station this morning, and as the train sped through the countryside there was a heavy mist hanging over the fields. I find it helps if I can see things in a poetic way at 6am in the morning, lessens the pain of the early start ;o)

Having made a fruit crumble from the blackberrying efforts of Minor Mayhem (combined with apples and pears from my little Bruv's garden) only the night before, it struck me the summer is definitely coming to an end.