Monday, February 26, 2007

Fantastic weekend

I had such a good weekend! I forgot how much I enjoy entertaining people and having parties, and it was brilliant to see all my friends. I drank gin, I laughed, I tried on the only item of clothing in the world that will ever give me breasts (and they nearly took my eye out!) and I had a fabulous time.

The next morning we all got up at about 11 and ate toast, and then Jo and I went for lunch at Strada. The food and service were excellent, and it was such a nice treat. The afternoon and evening I spent eating more toast and watching Sex and the City, and it was brilliant to watch something that didn't make me cry. There were no happy endings, no blind assumption that the girl will always get the guy, and plenty of the realism of being single. Of course I know it ends up annoyingly well in the end of the last series, but series 2 is great and also makes me feel good that I'm only 24 and not 33.

Fabulous party, gorgeous lunch out and snuggly me-time. An excellent weekend.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I love Mahler

Just listening to the 2nd Symphony again in preparation for our concert, and getting tingles. The part right after the choir first comes in and the violins have that fourth beat and then the horn plays the fanfare is just gorgeous. I think when we've got the whole orchestra going, I'm singing as loud as I can and then the organ comes in, I might just cry. Fabulous.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A turning point

All of a sudden, and quite from out of nowhere, this has become a very exciting week. Monday's announcement that my career break request had been refused really kicked off five days of butterflies, as my recent depressed feelings crystallised into actual thoughts and it became clear that I'm getting bored of my job and therefore a bit bored of my life, and really need to give the whole thing a kickstart. I was so energised on Tuesday night after booking the first part of my adventure, and spent the next two evenings frantically planning and the next two days dreaming. Then, to add to that, one of the more senior staff at work printed off one of the new jobs that's come up elsewhere within the university, handed it to me and told me to apply. I've been weighing up the pros (ever so slightly higher salary, much more impressive job title which will help in the future, really exciting job which I think I could definitely do) and cons (I'd only be in the job for ten months) and have decided to go for it. This week has been all about realising that sometimes you have to take risks, and the worst that can happen is that they don't interview me or I don't get the job. I was speaking to a colleague in another department today and she told me I had to apply or else, so I'll definitely be getting out the self-promotion side of my brain at some point this weekend.

Now, however, I'm going to celebrate my tentative new beginnings with a nice glass of gin. Excellent.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Possibly the most brilliant thing ever

Ok so this is a travel post, but it's just too brilliant not to write about here. Today, at approximately 8.25am, I booked my 26-day tour round Australia. I will now officially be departing from Darwin on Monday 11th February 2008 for a month of fabulousness, before arriving in Sydney(!!!) on March 7th and then continuing my trip independently from there. This is quite probably the best thing that has happened this year. Now whenever I feel rubbish at work and that my life is going nowhere, I can remember that actually it's heading towards February next year when I embark on the biggest adventure I've ever contemplated, with no ties, no worries and nothing to think about except the sunshine and the dream.


Saturday, February 17, 2007


The past two days have not been spectacularly brilliant. There have been high points (Chorus, the first few hours in the bar yesterday) but in general the low points have been many, starting with a horrible open day when my manager snapped at me and I convinced myself that I am in fact inept and rubbish at my job. Of course the next day she couldn't even remember doing it and therefore in fact doesn't think I'm totally hopeless, but I spent the day thinking I was. I will always over-react to that particular tone of voice no matter who uses it - I just can't handle it at all or deal with it in a sensible rational way. It's an achievement when I don't burst into tears on the spot! I did however manage to remain professional until my way home from Chorus, when I could finally sit quietly and think properly about the day, following which I began crying while still walking down my road and continued this when I got into my house, working up into a proper sobbing session as I thought about how I had no-one to comfort me at home, my love life was a failure and therefore I needed to define myself by my job, which I was rubbish at.

Cheerful stuff this, isn't it?!

Anyway, I eventually fell asleep hoping that life would look better in the morning. This soon turned out not to be the case when I woke up feeling so tired that I thought I might throw up. Someone had apparently attached weights to my eyelids as well and in general I was still as completely depressed as I had been the night before. I made it to work and spent the morning silently uttering my favourite phrase of the moment, "It's ok, I won't be here next year" which is such a happy thought at times like that. By the afternoon the sun had broken through the clouds and I was feeling much happier again - I can never stay totally depressed for very long which is reassuring as I do worry sometimes that I seem to be feeling sad an awful lot lately. I was still absolutely knackered but everyone was going out after work so I made the effort to come out for one, which obviously led to me being one of the three people left in the bar at 9.30. Unfortunately by this point a vast amount of wine had been consumed (I will never ever learn) and I have no idea how this next bit happened, but somehow I ended up sobbing hysterically in the bar in full view of the general public, about how my life was total crap, I would never meet a man and I was rubbish at my job. One of our Officers was there and told me that this was all bollocks and I was in fact fantastic at my job, which in hindsight was nice to hear.

Anyway, this morning I woke up highly embarrassed about the whole affair and with a pretty cracking hangover as well. I haven't cried in a pub in public for a year and a half now and I'm fairly concerned that it happened, but I know I can prevent it happenening again by not drinking wine (whether this will actually be achievable I don't know) and I have no idea of how to cheer myself up, so I may as well soldier on and look forward to next weekend, when the girls and I will be enjoying an evening of smut and innuendo and I can have a good gossip with people I haven't seen for a while. Plus I haven't got any more open days to worry about until April so that has to be another good sign!

Apologies for another depressing post, but I thought this blog ought to be a bit more honest. I usually write about incidents like this in Word and then save them on my computer, but I thought that this is supposed to be a record of my life and that should include bad times as well as good. Hopefully when another good period comes round I'll be able to look back at this and be even more grateful that I'm happy - and the fact that I'm even thinking that there will be good times ahead has cheered me up a little already. I hope they come round soon.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

All present and correct

Big Brother aside, I've been really impressed with the week-night programming on Channel 4 lately. Their news, current affairs and documentaries are excellent. I've been particularly enjoying the A Child's Life series on Monday nights, especially the fascinating film about primordial dwarves that was on a couple of weeks ago. Each programme is sensitive and insightful, and leaves the viewer to make up their own mind about the situations presented. Last night's film was a very moving look at three sets of children whose fathers had all committed suicide. All the featured kids were clearly totally screwed up by the whole thing, even the two girls who had only been 2 and 3 at the time and had no real memories of their dad. I watched with a lump in my throat. One of the boys featured described life without his dad as like "having a bit missing". I went to bed very grateful and glad that all my bits are still present and correct. I hope they remain so for a very long time.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I like snow. Snow means that my bus takes an hour longer than usual to get to work, so that I have a legitimate reason for being 45 minutes late. Snow also means that we all get sent home at 4 and I get a lift.

I also like my Wind Orchestra hoody. Combined with a vest top, work top, polo neck jumper, coat, tights, trousers, socks, boots, scarf and gloves, it stopped me from being too cold on my mammoth bus journey this morning.

I don't like Stagecoach. Given the state of the roads this morning I was fully expecting them to cancel the buses but they battled on regardless in a quite unusual feat of public-spiritedness. This is probably a good thing overall, but the appearance of the X17 this morning did rather spoil the nice dream I was having at the bus stop of going home, wrapping up in my duvet and watching chick flicks all day.

Tomorrow night I think one of two things are going to happen. Either the slush will freeze and I'll fall down, or it'll rain before it freezes and...I'll fall down. Neither of these options are particularly appealing. However, it is Friday tomorrow and I get to go for drinks with Michelle and then see all my lovely friends in the pub.

At this particular point in time, I also rather like Baileys.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


From the age of 9 upwards, I absolutely hated PE at school. I was completely hopeless at every single activity we ever did, and came last in everything except for the long jump when I came…second last. The day when I finished year 11 and never had to do compulsory sport again was a happy one indeed. For the next two years the only exercise I had was walking to school and back (which to be fair was 3 miles a day so not a bad distance) and then when I started at university I did pretty much nothing at all. Over the past couple of years I’ve started to feel really unhealthy, and eventually I felt so unfit that I decided I just had to do something about it even if I hated it and didn’t lose any weight.

I’ve now been going to the gym three times a week since the end of October – and I absolutely love it! The feeling of pushing yourself as hard as you can to a soundtrack of brilliantly cheesy music re-mixed to a dance beat is just brilliant. I think the only word that describes it properly is “euphoria”. My favourite song from all the many CDs they have at the moment is Take On Me, and when it plays I go faster than ever and have to seriously resist the urge to wave my arm in the air in classic Sarah-dancing-like-a-nutter pose. When I’m exercising I’m the happiest and most content that I am all day, because I don’t have room for complex thoughts in my brain. I feel like the archetypal modern woman: successful day at work, gym, cooking dinner and then relaxing for a couple of hours, and I also feel like I love my life. I never would have believed it, but working out has become one of my favourite things.

Of course, it helps that it’s also pretty effective in aiding weight loss! I had my 3rd weigh and measure today, and as well as confirming that I’ve lost half a stone it also showed me that 5.5 pounds of what I lost was fat which is excellent. On top of that, I’ve lost a total of 8 inches overall of which 2 have come off my waist! You can’t get much better motivation than that.

PS: Wish me luck for my event tomorrow…70 kids to entertain for a day and lots of potential for stress. I think that this time tomorrow evening I may well have a drink in my hand!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This weekend, I have

  • Stayed up until past 12 on two consecutive nights, thus actually making the most of not having to get up
  • Mastered the afore-mentioned reverse round a corner
  • Had my hair cut into a style that suits its longer length - it feels so good not to have masses of it falling round my face!
  • Tried on ball dresses and danced round my room - excitingly, they're all too big except for last year's green one which is good for the self esteem, and I think the addition of the optional straps to the red one will mean I can wear it without it falling off (breast flashing not such a good look...)
  • Travelled in a bright pink taxi
  • Drunk a very strong cocktail and a shot of Sambuca in a bar on Broad Street
  • Cut my feet to shreds in my stupid shoes - blood, blisters, the works
  • Stayed in bed until 12, which has to be one of the best ways to spend a Sunday morning
  • Had a late gossipy lunch in The Sausage
  • Been back to bed and slept for another hour on Sunday afternoon - bliss
  • Drooled over the exceptionally attractive Hugh Grant who was being charming and funny on Top Gear
  • Not been depressed!!! Hurrah.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A breakthrough!

Today, ladies and gentlemen, I finally understood how to do the frankly stupid manouevre known as the reverse round a corner. For weeks now I've been attempting to do this with my instructor talking me through it, not having a clue how I'd go about it by myself. However, this morning the light dawned and I reversed myself round left and right hand corners while knowing exactly what I was doing. Thanks goodness for that!

I'm feeling fairly legendary this morning in many ways...not only is the driving progressing well, but I'm also keeping up with my other goals that I set for the year. I've been frankly fabulous at work this month, and I've not only saved my target £200 but I've also underspent by another £30 which I'm saving in case we end up going on holiday this year. Also, this morning I weighed myself and I've lost half a stone - woooooo!

The weather's gorgeous today and I'm going out to get my hair cut this afternoon. The world is definitely looking more positive. :o)