Saturday, December 15, 2007

Drinking tea in Starbucks...

Two weeks in and I'm loving the new job. I seem to have met hordes of people (most of whose names I've promptly forgotten, but then there are 300+ staff here), been to the fantastic staff Christmas lunch - which was five courses, FREE(!!!) and full of bizarre toasts, Latin graces, copious quantities of Royal Doulton, speeches, cutlery in all directions and a slightly scary part where the new staff joining in the last year had to stand up in front of everyone else. There has also been an amazing candle lit carol service, which sent shivers down my spine. And it's SO nice to be somewhere again with a proper choir that can Sing In Tune (with each other AND the organ). And we had a Girl Power lunch at work (this is a bit of a male dominated institution). It wasn't actually called the Girl Power lunch, it was something like the "Ladies Lunch", but that sounded a little too sedate to me and my colleague so we re-christened it. It was very civilised - lots of "nibbles" to eat and two people had brought their dogs along, including an enormous standard poodle with pony-tails, called Mr Darcy!

And I have been doing work inbetween all of that too! Work is really fab. Have you ever got to that stage when you start a new job (or whatever) and found that it's got a real "zing" about it, and you bounce around and have loads of ideas? It's like that - it doesn't feel like going to work, and it's definitely not a problem getting up in the morning for it! ;-)

It has helped that in the first week I walked 25 miles. The place I was staying then was 2 miles from work, so a 4 mile round trip every day soon added up! And it was so much better than all the driving I was doing in my previous existence. I arrived at work actually awake and ready to go, instead of in a foul mood whinging about traffic congestion. OK, it did rain on 3 days, so I arrived a bit soggy, but that was OK as I got changed when I arrived.

Accommodation is still entertaining. I stayed in the first place for a week, but was slowly going insane with the nutty woman who was letting her room out (and who had failed to both empty her wardrobes or provide a bed). So work came up with a guest flat on-site, which is where I've been for a week now. Hopefully I should be moving into a flatshare next week, just before I go back to Newark for Christmas. The guest flat doesn't have an external phone line or wi-fi so internet access has been a little curtailed. Which is why I'm blogging in Starbucks. (Yes, I know Starbucks is Evil, Capitalistic, and a Sign of All That Is Wrong With the World, but it's the only place I could find with wi-fi).

Knitting is coming along - I still have one jumper and half a scarf to do before Christmas but am going to hand them over with IOUs I think. I think the camera cable must still be in Newark, I definitely haven't found it here and as I've now moved twice and packed everything up both times I haven't found it!

If I don't get a chance to blog again before Christmas - have a happy, festive, peaceful time!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Back down South

I moved yesterday. I am still recovering from the trauma of letting Monkey map read. Which probably wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't forgotten to pack the fruit bowl. Halfway down the A1 I remembered, he realised there were no bananas around and promptly went on strike. We got VERY lost, and also encountered rather a lot of roadworks, accidents, accidents in the middle of roadworks, tractors and other interesting road hold ups. I did locate some bananas at the services on the M1, but I am not paying 79p for one tiny measly banana (even for Monkey). Anyway, it meant that a 150 mile journey ended up taking six (?!?!?) hours, and my brainwave of arriving in daylight went completely to pot - yes, we ended up navigating the suburbs of London in the dark, in the Friday night rush hour and in pouring rain. Thank you Monkey. Still the Hemel Hempstead Christmas lights (which we drove round twice) were very pretty...

I also haven't the faintest idea where my camera cable is (probably still in Newark, or possibly in Lincoln, as I have no recollection of packing it), so this will be a pictureless post. We're currently living in temporary accommodation in Windsor, following the fun and excitement of flat hunting. Thank you for all the good wishes from my last post, when I had a cold and Monkey had flu (to whoever asked - yes, Monkey Flu is a LOT worse than Bloke Flu). I recovered pretty quickly but Monkey took forever...

The temporary accommodation is very smart. A bit too smart as I've been having problems with getting myself (and the car) through the various door and gate entry systems. I seem to have managed to get myself in now several times but the car ended up spending half of today parked on the road outside after I got back from the supermarket and got befuddled by which buttons to press. The owner of the flat I'm staying in also has more gadgets than I've used to. So far I've completely failed to work out how the DVD player works, and she has a Sky thingy which I've never encountered before and which is also a bit intimidating. In the end I just plugged in the radio I'd brought with me and put Radio 4 on. And don't get me started on the shower controls. Thank God Monkey doesn't do showers, else we'd be thrown out by now!

Knitting - well, it's a bit difficult without pictures, but one Matilda scarf is finished, another one is part way through. A Kureyon Kozy is halfway too (these are all Christmas presents) and I still have 1.5 children's jumpers to go before Christmas. Eeeek.

Anyway, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll rediscover the camera cable and be able to post some pics sometime!

And remember, if you're going on a long journey DO NOT forget to pack the fruit bowl!