Sunday, January 28, 2007

Something to look forward to

Apologies for the highly depressing nature of the previous post - I've been feeling a bit lonely and sad recently but my mood always seems to pick up when I have things to look forward to. On Tuesday night I'm going to Lucy and Stu's for a night of food, girly films and cocktails - if we get anywhere near as drunk as Juicy seems to be this evening then it should be a good night! Next weekend I'm off to Birmingham for Lesley's birthday on Saturday night which will be my first proper night out for ages, and then the weekend after sees the ball on Saturday, with dressing up, drinking and dancing, and a lovely English day out on Sunday with pub food which I'm sure will help the old hangover.

In conclusion therefore, I'll be having fun over the next couple of weeks which will definitely cheer me up on a surface level, and hopefully I'll feel generally happier in myself as well.

Friday, January 26, 2007

This is getting faintly ridiculous now

Sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon feeling a bit lonely and tearful is one thing. Sitting at home sobbing into your hands on a Friday night is quite another.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More weather-based ranting

This is just getting beyond a joke now. I woke up this morning to snow (thick enough to crunch on at the end of my road!) which was mildly exciting but meant I had to wear my trainers in order to not fall down on my way to work. I made it in ok, but discovered that I have a hole in my right trainer so spent the day with a damp heel.

Having spent about an hour in our slightly-less-Arctic-than-yesterday office, I headed out to our Performing Arts building where I sat between 10am and 3.15 in the foyer, working on the interview day that we were holding. The foyer was unheated and the doors were constantly opening, so I froze and then froze some more.

Then, about 15 minutes after getting back to the by-now-fabulously-tropical office, it started to rain. Insane coldness AND rain is frankly unacceptable behaviour. It had stopped by the time I went home, but the pavements are now slick with wet and tonight's predicted -4 temperatures mean that tomorrow morning I will more than likely be faced with icy pavements and will probably fall over and nearly die. (I'm not joking here - I've fallen over twice in my life due to frost, and both times my legs totally went from under me, I fell heavily on my back and stopped breathing. It was literally the most terrifying experience of my life. Feeling yourself choking and unable to do anything about it fills you with total fear and means that I've been really scared of walking in the frost ever since.)

On the plus side, I bought some rather lovely new trainers at lunchtime to replace the holy ones, so at least I'll have pretty feet when I kill myself!

I wonder why people think that the English enjoy complaining about the weather...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

There's no pleasing some people

Ok, ok, I admit it - I brought this all on myself. I ranted on about the terrible weather and its effect on my hair, and although I didn't actually write it down I was half wishing the cold dry weather of last winter would return, so that I could have perfect straightness for weeks on end like I did then.

And then, in answer to my wishes, it changed from unseasonably warm to bone-chillingly cold within the space of two days, and I remembered just how uncomfortable and unpleasant it is to be too cold to sleep. I'm a cold person at the best of times, with poor circulation in my hands and feet, and in these temperatures if I haven't switched the fire on as soon as I get in from work I'll be unable to sleep as my whole body will be tense with the effort of retaining a tiny bit of heat in my immediate space. This morning at work I had to sit in my fleecey jacket for the first hour because the office was too cold for me to function in my normal clothes. I'm also having rather unpleasant recollections of getting home on a Thursday after Chorus and trying to sleep in a house that hasn't been heated all evening (apart from the rapidly flagging storage heaters) and actually crying with frustration and tiredness while each movement sends a new shot of cold through me. I'm not looking forward to repeating that experience this week...

On the plus side, today my hair was as perfect when I got home as it was when I left the house in the morning. I think I'll start wishing for a hot dry summer!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fabulous day

Today has been a fabulous day for three reasons:

1. I handed in my career break request.

2. I gave a presentation to our Student Ambassadors which went really well - I wrote it yesterday and typed it up into PowerPoint slides without really thinking about it, and today when I stood up to speak I realised I was actually really nervous, but it went well and my colleagues said it sounded professional - woo.

3. We went for a drink after work and had a brilliant time. Michelle and I are going to a UCAS fair in London in about 6 weeks and on the bus on the way home we were planning where we're going to go on our nights out (we have 2!!), what we're going to wear and what music we're going to get ready to. It's going to be legendary.

Hurrah for being fab at my job and for my brilliant colleagues.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ideas needed!

Strictly speaking this is a travel entry and should therefore be posted on the other blog, but I’m hoping to reach as many of you as possible so it’s going up here. As you may have seen if you read my last post on the other place, I’ve spoken to my line manager about my career break and she’s asked me to submit my request in writing so that it can be considered by our Director, Pro-VC and HR! I didn’t realize I was that important… Anyway, I’ve written a very good letter (well I think it is!) full of ways that my work can be covered while I’m off, but I need all you lovely intelligent people to rack your brains and come up with reasons why me buggering off to the other side of the world for three months will actively benefit my workplace! So far I’ve said that the increased confidence I will gain from traveling alone and meeting new people will improve my presentation skills and my ability to think on my feet and find solutions to problems that come up during events. I’ve also finished off by saying I hope to return to work refreshed and ready for new challenges (ah the cheese) but I could do with a few more points to make at the beginning along with the confidence one. I know it’s really up to me to think things up and I’m doing my best, but I thought I’d open this up to my lovely readership in case any of you have a bright idea!

I hope to submit this on Friday so anything you can come up with before then will be most gratefully received. Thankyou all :o)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I am so fed up...

...of this bloody awful weather! I shower, I do my hair, I look good, and then I step outside into a howling gail/driving rain/both, and I get to work looking like the wild woman of Borneo. Then I feel rubbish all day. I'm seriously considering getting some new straighteners and bringing the old ones to work. Anyone fancy buying me a pair of GHDs?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I really like driving!

Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd find myself uttering. After the first time I tried to learn many years ago, I thought that this time I'd do it because I have to but that I'd never really enjoy it and it would always stress me out. However, right from my first lesson I've been having such a good time in the car every week and today was no exception. I went on the Parade for the first time, and although previously I'd hated sitting in slow-moving traffic and having to constantly stop and move off, today it was fine and I did well. I also went on the A46 and overtook a lorry! Go me. My instructor said I'm remembering and applying everything from all my lessons really well, and even my reverse round a corner has got slightly better. This afternoon I started reading my "Pass your Driving Theory Test" book and it's all interesting stuff although mostly common sense. In conclusion, all is good...except that I can really see myself wanting to buy a car which is just never going to happen. Oh well - here's to lots of trips out from work in lovely hire cars!

Friday, January 05, 2007


So today we went to the bar after work. Michelle and I bought a bottle of wine. Then we bought another. I just used the phrase "Kommen Sie hier, mein Herr" in reference to a bowl. Oh dear.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A semi-resolution

To start with, I should probably say that I'm feeling much better today. Apart from the rather fabulous party, of which our spectacular dancing session was definitely the highlight, I'd been feeling highly miserable up to and including yesterday, when I got home from the pub, sat on my bed and sobbed for a good five minutes for no apparent reason. This morning I was still feeling rubbish until about 11am, but surprisingly being back at work, which was one of the things that was stressing me out the most, actually cheered me up, and by the afternoon I was my cheerful old self again. I decided that all the work I'd been worrying about was easily do-able and I remembered why I enjoy my little daily routine. I'm now feeling very positive again which is quite a relief!

Everyone was discussing resolutions at work today, and while I gave my usual answer of "I haven't made any" I realised that I do actually have some longer term life goals that I'd like to work towards this year. I've drawn these up gradually over the past year but not actually done anything about most of them, so this year my semi-resolution is to do one thing each day that will bring me closer to reaching one of my goals. You'll see in a minute that this really won't take much effort, but it's definitely an improvement on going along in a wishy-washy fashion and not actually doing anything towards achieving my aims.

Goal One - Australia
I'm absolutely set on my trip to Australia next year, and my first goal is therefore to save £200 every month this year so that I can afford to keep my flat while I'm away. My budget this month has allowed me to do this, and I'm determined to continue the good work throughout 2007. In order to save the money I have to earn it, and therefore the action I can take towards this is to go to work! (You can see why this is going to be quite easy!) I also aim to resist spending money that I don't have and to go for the cheapest option wherever possible, which I did today by choosing the six day photo processing option instead of the 24 hours. They're only tiny steps but it all adds up. I apologise now for the constant refrain of "I can't afford it" and "Somewhere cheap please" which will no doubt get very boring within about three weeks.

Goal Two - Career
In the words of the Performance Review that I wrote up today, my current aim in this area is to "Increase my earning potential". I can do this by not just turning up to work, but by doing my best each day, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and improving my skills through external training and practice. I also aim to be more professional and not burst into tears at my desk again! As part of this I'm also going to wear a bit of make-up to the office every day which is a major step for me, as I've noticed recently that getting up at 6am gives me dark circles and makes me look washed-out and shiny. This has no impact on my work as such, but makes me feel slightly less confident and a bit less professional when I meet contacts in other departments.

Goal Three - Pass my Driving Test
Having just started learning, I aim to pass my test as soon as my instructor thinks I'm ready. I can work on this by continuing to take lessons, learning and revising the theory questions and taking mock hazard perception tests on my DVD. This is something that I aim to do mostly at weekends when my brain will be fresher and I will have less opportunity to work on my other goals.

Goal Four - Reach my Target Weight
At some point within the next two years, I would love to reach the target weight that I set for myself in February 2005 when I first changed my diet. I have never reached this target, even last February when I was the thinnest I've ever been. To achieve this goal, I will continue to go to the gym on all of my free week nights, something I've been doing very successfully since October. I will also aim to eat much more healthily than I did last year, and for this to be a day's achievement it doesn't count if I just haven't craved anything fatty - I have to have wanted to eat chocolate, biscuits or cake etc but resisted the temptation. I suspect that many of my male readers won't understand this, but I think most of the girls will know just how hard it is to stop yourself from eating sugary food when you really want to! I do however have lots of Christmas chocolate (fairly traded of course) so I will be allowed to eat small amounts of this after meals at the weekend. I also have no intention of giving up drinking, although I might swap wine for vodka and cranberry a bit more often!

Goal Five - Find a Boyfriend
I know that this is something I can't really control, but I can certainly make more of an effort than I did last year. Steps that I can take towards this goal include emailing people, refusing to let myself be put off people by petty things that don't really matter (smoking, having children and being 40 are still definite reasons for the Family Fortunes "eh-er" noise to go off!) and maintaining a positive mental attitude, horrible American phrase though that is. In other words, I will force myself to make an effort and not allow myself to take the easy way out and give up. I may be contented at the moment, but that's not good enough when there's complete happiness to be found.

So, as you can see, I can make one step towards my goals for five days out of seven just by turning up to the office. However, I hope that this semi-resolution will move me a lot closer to the things I really want during 2007 and will stop me from spending more boring Sundays achieving precisely nothing. I'll let you know how it goes!