Friday, September 29, 2006

I appear to be slightly drunk

So tonight three of us went for after-work drinks because no-one else would and we are hardcore. Charlotte, Mike and I went to Dogma and I had 3 cocktails and 2 gin and tonics. Then I went home by miraculously managing to ctach 2 buses and now my dinner is in the oven. Coktails are well yummy. I am a liittle bit durnky and I keep running across the room to do cooking type things in a slightly boundy fashion. Hurrah for work people and Dogm.a. Going on holiday tomorrow. Yes.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A somewhat erroneous morning

Last night I decided to set my alarm slightly early, so that I had a bit more time this morning and could get some stuff done before I went to work. Unfortunately, while I changed the minutes correctly, I appear to have left the hour unchanged. This morning I woke up from a lovely sleep that seemed strangely longer than usual, to discover that it was 6.50 instead of 5.50. Major major error. However, following a bout of quite impressive swearing, I managed to pull off a fairly brilliant display of speed getting up. With my brain going through my usual routine and omitting the non-essential bits, I got up, showered, dressed, straightened the thing on my head that passes for my hair when I wake up and don't wash it, packed my bag, ate a bowl of cereal and left the house bang on time at 7.12. Not bad for 22 minutes! And the bus even turned up on time.

Of course, the entire population of Warwickshire and the West Midlands then turned out onto the bus route, filling the bus with more people than I've ever seen on that journey before and causing us to arrive at my stop at 8.30 instead of 8.15, which considering I start work at 8.30 was really not that great. I arrived in the office at 8.45 having speed-walked across the city at the highest speed possible in the shoes I was wearing, with a bright red face, my (greasy) hair all over the place and generally cursing the whole of humanity. Sometimes it just isn't your day.

But hey, David Tennant's on tv tonight for a whole hour, I made tart for dinner and I ate Cadbury's Eclairs this afternoon. Things could be a lot worse.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A lady who lunches once again

Today I had a lovely time in beautiful sunny Birmingham with my friend Gemma who I met at youth wind orchestra when I was 14. We had lunch at All Bar One in Brindley Place, where I had a smoked salmon and crayfish wrap with chips, and then we transferred to Starbucks on Victoria Square where I had a hot chocolate with cream and a slice of blueberry cheesecake - highly naughty but very delicious. Here we sat and planned our holiday! Gemma's a doctor and is given a rota of nights, days and weekends when she has to work, but she has the week off at the start of November so we've decided to go on a girly break to a country house hotel near Bath. We're going to have a day shopping, a day in a spa and a Jane Austen day, and then drive home via other places possibly including Stonehenge and Cheltenham. I haven't seen Gemma properly for years so it'll be brilliant to have a few days catching up and being unashamedly girly, and we've got a 3 nights for the price of 2 deal so we can have luxury for a bargainous price!

My life is so full and exciting at the moment - the thing I'm looking forward to at the moment is our Thora trip to Yorkshire next week, then as soon as we get home it's our big birthday bash, and a week later it's my birthday! I do love October.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Washing up

Don't try washing up after drinking 2 large glasses of wine. When you come to do the second lot, you'll start drying the first and find that you have bits of food stuck all over your food processor. Then you'll have to wash it again.

I love Fridays.

And I didn't get the job. But I'm quite pleased really, because it means that a) I won't have to go to the same bar every weekend to sell stuff to people, b) I can do exactly what I want on my birthday, ie go to Pizza Express and get pissed (of which more to follow by email in a couple of weeks) and c) I can go speed dating again should the mood take me. Hurrah! The money would have been nice though.

I shall report back in my comments a little later on my first meatball experiment. It's smelling really really good at the moment so fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A celebration of the thought processes of that special being that we know as the Stagecoach Bus Driver

Last winter I spent many weeks repeatedly emailing Stagecoach asking them to turn the heating on on their X17 buses. There were days on which there was snow on the ground, it was minus several degrees outside, and I was sitting with my foot rammed up against the heater which was stone cold and giving no suggestion that it might start giving out heat any time soon. My general attire at this time was trousers, socks, underwear, a vest, a smart work jumper, a big fat bus jumper, a coat, hat, gloves, scarf and shoes, and yet I arrived home day after day with at least three of my fingers completely white down to the second joint. On one occasion I was chopping chicken and thought I had a piece of it stuck to my fourth finger, but it actually turned out to be my middle finger which had lost feeling so completely that the rest of me thought it was a foreign body. In short, it was really quite chilly on the buses.

Today the temperature was in the mid-20s. It was a gorgeous sunny day that felt like high summer and not the middle of September. I wore tights and was far too hot; we had fans on in the office.

Today, for the first time since last winter, the heater on the bus home was pumping out hot air at full power. I give up. I will never understand them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A momentous day

Today, after about 6 months, I finally phoned my letting agent and asked them to fix the light fitting in my living room. They're sending someone round this week. I think I've got the same gap in the efficiency part of my brain that my parents have when it comes to fixing things round the house - currently they have a broken chair, broken curtains and a broken piano stool, all of which have been like that for years. It must be a Barbour thing.

Just think - by the weekend I might be able to turn the living room light on! I'm all about life's little luxuries.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Most bizarre interview ever?

Tonight I went to the most random job interview of my (admittedly rather short) working career. Last week the manager of the speed dating company that runs the events at the Slug and Lettuce emailed round the mailing list advertising for a new person to run the Leamington events, and as it was a job aimed at people who already work full-time and offered the chance to earn around £200 a month (depending on bonuses) I thought I'd go for it. So this evening I threw a bit of slap on and headed out to the Slug, where I was interviewed by the manager who bought me a glass of wine before we started and had to take a break every 3 minutes to ring the bell - he was having to run the event as the person they had before had already left.

I think the interview went well and I was able to suggest some marketing ideas which he seemed quite impressed by. Apparently they've had 3 good applicants which he said he'd have trouble choosing between, although you can never be sure if they're just saying that. Anyway, if I get the job it'll be a fantastic way of earning extra money and a great excuse to spend lots of evenings in my favourite bar, and if not then at least I went for it and didn't let myself down. The fun part of the role is running the dating evenings and writing up everyone's comments afterwards, and the hard part will be going up to people in the bar on a Friday or Saturday night and selling the event - but I've got so much better at things like that since I've been working in my current job, and it'll be a great reason to push myself and get much better at it. I think being able to walk up to people and talk to them is a skill that's required by so many jobs these days and I'll need to be really good at it if I want to progress in my current career, so I'd really like the chance to get the experience without having my manager standing there watching me the whole time.

Anyway, if I do get the job the first event's on my birthday, which is a bit of a bugger but does give me a ready-made night out! I checked with the manager and of course everyone would be very welcome to come to the bar and sit in the non-speed dating bit (or join in if you want!) so it could still be a fun evening. The other bonus is that I'd need to ask a friend to co-run each event with me, and whoever wanted to do it would be paid £35 - it can be a different person every time, so get in line ladies (and gents)!

Fingers crossed for Wednesday when I find out...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

More shopping!

Today I found a pair of boots that fastened all the way up! Woohoo! They are mid-calf length instead of full knee length, hence the fastening, but they're flat and really comfy so I can wear them both to work and at other times, and they look really pretty which means I can ignore the ever-so-slight pinching at the top of the zip. Plus they were from a cheap shop (Deichmann in Cov) so they were £2 cheaper than the limit I set myself. Hurrah. Hopefully now with my new-found enthusiasm for exercise they'll fasten up even more easily before long.

Speaking of which - exercise is fantastic! Apart from my four week crazy motivation time back in January, I've found it almost impossible to make myself do aerobics once I got home from work, as I've been tired and hungry and not in the mood to throw myself round the room for half an hour and then have to shower and dry my hair. However, I've always enjoyed doing it in the morning at weekends - it's a great way to start the day and makes me feel less hungry. So, this week I've been getting up half an hour early on work days too and starting the day with 20 minutes of madness. I never thought I'd be able to imagine anything good about waking up at 5.45, but it makes me feel fantastic and I'm not tired yet either. I'm really hoping I can keep this up, and I think I should be able to as once I'm awake it's a waste of time being up early unless I exercise, plus at that time of the morning I don't have enough brain cells to talk myself out of it! I like motivated Sarah - hopefully with enough commitment I'll soon be back to looking like the picture of myself I have stuck on my Motivation Board. I think that calls for a second "Woohoo". Woohoo.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I love shopping. I hadn't been on a big girly shopping trip for aaaaages, but today Lucy and me went to Solihull and had a great day out. We spent 6 hours there and apart from a 45 minute lunch break we just shopped the entire time! I was really pleased to find a soft brown cord skirt that I can wear to work, out to the pub or curled up at home with a snuggly jumper, and it'll go with shoes or boots. Yay! Having whinged about there never being any pretty pyjama sets with long sleeves (I get really really cold in winter and long sleeves are a necessity) I then found just such a pair in Ann Summers of all places, so I bought them as well. I also picked up some tights and some cotton wool, and a cocktail accessories set from Whittard - they were reduced to £1 so we bought one each, and are now the proud owners of straws with sparkly tops, paper umbrellas, seahorse shaped plastic swizzle sticks and odd paper pineapple shapes on cocktail sticks. Class. Lucy found some lovely stuff too including a gorgeous brown leather bag and some smart stripy trousers. As well as buying fab things, we also felt very swanky and ladies-who-lunch-y by going to an Italian place and both ordering smoked salmon fettucine, topped with caviar! It was really delicious and not that expensive, and the Italian waiters were rather yummy as well.

Now all I need to do is find a dress and some boots that fit! But all in all, an excellent day out.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another anniversary

Today it's exactly a year since I moved into my little house in Leam. After work, mum and I lugged all my boxes down the stairs in Canley, drove them here in two loads, dumped them on the floor and went out for dinner. It took so long that we didn't get to the restaurant until 9.20! On reflection I should perhaps have taken the day off. When we got back I found the essentials I needed for the next morning and fell into bed, and then spent the next week unpacking during the evenings and trying to get the place in order. By the time mum and dad came to help me carry my new table and tv stand home from Argos they were most impressed with what I'd done, and ever since I finished building said furniture (all by myself - one of my proudest achievements) it's really felt like home.

I signed up for 6 months initially and then for a further year last March, so when my contract comes up for renewal again I'll have a look to see what's out there. If I can find somewhere with a separate bedroom for the same price I'll definitely go for it (central heating would also be nice!), but otherwise I'm very happy to stay here as anywhere else would have a lot to do to beat this fantastic location.

In the past year my tiny flat has seen a brilliant housewarming, an Ann Summers party, a rather embarrassing Eurovision event, various hysterical cocktail mixing sessions, a pampering party, a very drunken "let's cook everything in my fridge" experiment and a wondrous moment when I fastened the zip up on my ball dress and nearly cried because it fitted so well. My bed has also been shared by five different people, but sadly they were all female - something to sort out during the next year I feel! Hopefully there will be many more happy memories made here before I leave, and I'm already looking forward to making it look lovely again next Christmas, and to buying lots of gorgeous things for my kitchen with my Christmas vouchers. Ooh, and I might even get up the courage to host a dinner party one of these days...then again, that might be taking it just a bit too far...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A pretty perfect day

Today I spent a rather fantastic day with mum. We walked to Warwick along the canal and river, and then sat and ate an M&S picnic in St Nick's park by the river. The chocolate pudding and strawberries were a particular highlight! We then wandered all round Warwick being touristy, which was lovely for me as when I worked there I didn't really have time to walk round slowly and I didn't appreciate how lovely it is. We spent ages in St Mary's Church and I found out why so many places round here are named Greville or Beauchamp (they were the surnames of the Earls of Warwick) and discovered that Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester is buried there. He was a favourite of Elizabeth I and it was so exciting to find someone who was so central to my A level history buried so close to where I live. I really had no idea there was so much history in that church and it was fascinating to find out about it.

After that we sat and had a drink on Market Square, before walking home the same way we came. A well-earned sit down followed before we headed out for dinner at Rhubarb. I've wanted to eat there since I moved to Leamington - I walk past it every day on my way home and in winter in particular it always looks so inviting and cosy. Today it was quite hot in there but still a lovely atmosphere, and the food was absolutely gorgeous. I was very glad I wasn't paying as it cost £80 between the two of us, but mum agreed it was worth paying that much for such delicious food, and we did have wine as well. My main course was steak with the best chips I think I've ever tasted, and mum had goat's cheese ratatouille. We chatted about everything and nothing and it was a great evening.

I've had such a lovely long weekend with fun things to do every day, and today was the perfect ending. Tomorrow it's back to work, but I'm on training for two days so I won't be back in the office until Friday, and then it's the weekend again! What a grand life I do lead.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

We were on the telly!

Woohoo! Just watched Songs of Praise, and Juicy and I were on screen in close-up for a whole 4 lines! As Dad pointed out, the camera did slightly go up my nose, but Juicy looked great and we both looked very virtuous - not sure how we managed that! Juicy rang me and we both squealed down the phone, and now I'm wandering around going, "I was on the telly!". How exciting!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Magic Hour

Ladies and gents, it's the magic hour. Let me explain. The magic hour begins at the precise moment that I shut the front door behind me having got back from work on Friday evening, and involves putting on a really fab CD, pouring a large glass of wine, and dancing round my room with joy because it's the weekend. The magic hour can last any length of time, and tonight I think it will be longer than usual because my brother is driving over to see me, and we're spending the evening eating takeaway pizza, drinking, and watching old "greatest sporting moments" compilations - this is an activity that is peculiar to us (and probably peculiar to the rest of the world as well...ooh, wine fuelled humour there) which everyone else would find highly tedious and which we both enjoy greatly.

This weekend is going to be fab! It kind of started yesterday in a way, when I went to Birmingham after work to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Hippodrome with Mark and his work friends. I was only invited on Tuesday because they had a spare ticket, and decided to treat myself given that they were half price seats. The show was really well done with great sets and costumes, and it was lots of fun even though it was about the cheesiest thing I've ever seen. Mark even bought me an icecream in the interval!

Tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut and shopping for shoes (woo) and then hopefully seeing Raquel again if she makes it down, and then Sunday is my proud moment of fame on BBC1 when Juicy and I appear on Songs of Praise! It's on at 6.05, and if anyone fancies popping over to watch it with me you're very welcome. I never thought I'd be inviting people to a Songs of Praise viewing, but there you go.

The really great thing about the weekend though is that it's a long one. I've booked Monday and Tuesday off, and my plan for Monday is to have lunch with the lovely Juicy, while on Tuesday I'm spending the day with mum. We're walking to Warwick and either picnicing or pub lunching, then we're going out for dinner as well. Four long days of freedom in front of me, each of them containing good things! Can't wait.

EDIT: I've just taken Simon's pizza order over the phone. He's having a deep regular Oriental. Say no more...