Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bye bye brick

Today at 7.40 (on a Saturday!!) I was woken up by the delivery man bringing me my shiny new camera! It looks like this:

and is fabulous and small and quick. It has a really big touch screen on the back and absolutely the best feature is that you can play back your pictures in a slideshow with backing music! So I have half a film left to use and then it's bye bye to the brick that has served me so well for over ten years, and hello to my pretty new toy. Yay!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A letter to everyone's favourite bus company

I thought you might enjoy the very understated rant that I've just written. I've gone for "quietly shocked" rather than the "disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" approach, in the hope of an informative response. I'll let you know what happens!

Dear Sir/Madam,

Last Saturday night (24th March) at a quarter past midnight, I attempted to catch the Travel Coventry bus that was due to arrive at The City Arms in Earlsdon at 00:14. Earlier that day, I had checked on the Centro website to find out when the last bus to Leamington Spa was due to operate, and had seen that this service was advertised on the timetable with absolutely no indication that it would not be running as normal. I waited, along with four other people, at the stop at Hearsall Common from midnight until 00:40, when it became obvious that the bus was not going to arrive. I had no money to hail a taxi, I clearly could not walk the ten miles home and was therefore left stranded, a lone female alone in the dark in the early hours of the morning.

When I finally arrived home on Sunday I double checked the online timetable and scanned it carefully to look for any mention of the fact that this service would not be running, but could find nothing at all to indicate that it would not be operating as normal. I am unfamiliar with University term times, but a friend informed me that the bus might not have arrived because it was a holiday week; however this was not mentioned anywhere on the website. There was not even a symbol in the key at the bottom of the page that stood for “term times only”, and the date on the page clearly showed that the timetable was intended to apply to that particular week in which I had attempted to travel.

I am sure I do not need to use words like “appalled” and “disgusted” to convey the seriousness of this situation. I was extremely fortunate to have been able to call on a friend in Earlsdon who did not mind letting me stay with her. Many other young women in my situation would not have had the opportunity to find somewhere to stay so late at night. I am absolutely shocked that the last advertised service of the evening did not operate, and am still struggling to understand how your company could leave its customers with no means of getting home at such a late hour.

I am not seeking compensation for myself, even though this incident caused me a good deal of upset and inconvenience. I would however appreciate a full explanation of why this situation occurred and an assurance that it will not be allowed to happen again. I also look forward to being informed of the steps that will be taken to ensure that the online timetables are correct in future. Centro are currently advertising their services on television, claiming that traveling around the West Midlands is now so much easier than it was before. I would like to be confident in future that the information they provide concerning your services will actually be correct.

I look forward to a swift response to my concerns.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Yesterday, I was skanky, my hair was greasy, I was knackered and my eyes were weirdly sticky. And yet, when I stepped into Symphony Hall and began singing Haydn with the excellent Simon Halsey and the fabulous CBSO, I was full of joy and my heart was lifted. There is no music that makes me more purely happy than a Haydn mass. They feel like simple statements of faith and of a joy in that faith, and they're just wonderful to sing. Thankyou to Jo for bombing down the A46 to get me there on time!

Thanks also to Juicy for letting me sleep on your floor and to both of you for putting me to bed in my "tired and emotional" (in both the literal and the Private Eye sense) state! I had an excellent time on Saturday night and love my Pass the Parcel prize. Ooh, and well done to Kelly for a rather gorgeous crispie cake - I think I could have eaten the whole tin!

I'm now looking forward to a quiet and healthy week. It's started well with the conclusion of the carrot episode - the tape came off today and while the cut still looks a bit manky, it's healing up well and will be ok. I do still have an impressive dent in the side when you look at it from the top though!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Carrots - episode three

Day three of the saga, and I've just removed the big fat dressing. All was fine until I got to the last layer, where the pad was actually in contact with the cut. At this point I discovered that when the paramedic made it bleed again while cleaning it, it actually carried on oozing after it was wrapped up and when this dried it stuck the pad very firmly to my finger. I managed to prize it off eventually, but the area now looks very much like it has a thin layer of plasticy stuff still stuck to it which bothers me slightly. Even if it's just the way the blood has dried, there's no doubt that the tape he stuck over it has been oozed on good and proper, and is now trapped nicely under the top layer of blood. The whole thing looks frankly manky and I don't think I'm ever going to get the tape off next week without causing it to open up again, so I'm going to have to leave it on until it comes off of its own accord when I'm finally allowed to wash it again. Plus, I still can't use the finger to type or do anything else useful as it won't bend properly and doesn't like having pressure put on it. At least I might be able to get my gloves on now if I'm careful, so my hand won't be turning blue anymore (I kid you not, yesterday it was distinctly blueish-purple when I got home).

Apologies for the graphic description, but if I have to put up with it then so do all of you I'm afraid! Plus I need something to remind me in years to come that I should never buy carrots again...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The saga of the carrot continues

So, about an hour after writing the previous entry, I removed the plaster to have a look at which point blood started welling up, running down my finger and dripping all over my floor in great quantity. It was at this point that I decided a trip to A&E was in order. After sitting in the waiting room for an hour and a half, watching the blood become visible through the thick temporary dressing they’d given me, a nice paramedic cleaned it up, stuck surgical tape on it to pull it together and then covered my finger in a big white dressing that’s making it very hard to type. At half past midnight I finally got into bed, where it started to throb like anything, and I had a very disturbed sleep. This morning I’m rather tired but pleased with myself for sorting everything out, and also for successfully washing my hair with only one hand! I’ve also had lots of sympathy from people at work. However, in terms of pain, stress and inconvenience I would officially not recommend hacking a chunk out of your finger. Definitely at the opposite end of the scale from drinking through cream.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another life lesson learned

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to bring you another piece of advice from Sarah's School of Idiocy.

When chopping carrots, you may first choose to cut your carrot crossways into two or three smaller carrots. You may then cut each of these in half lengthways and then cut each of these parts in half lengthways to make batons. At this point I must advise you to stop and think about your technique for cutting each small carrot down the middle. Please, please remember to make sawing motions with your serrated knife, even if this cuts the carrot a bit wonkily. Under no circumstances should you push your knife firmly down in one motion in order to get a good cut. This will work well for many years, lulling you into a false sense of security, but one day when you're in a hurry the carrot will roll away under pressure and the knife will go with full veg-chopping force into your index finger. This will cause a not inconsiderable amount of pain and bleeding. Placing firm pressure on your plastered finger with your thumb will also make it rather difficult to eat the dinner of which the treacherous carrot was part.

I am currently typing with one hand. The aforementioned incident occurred 50 minutes ago. My finger still hurts.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


After doing the food shopping and allowing for this week's buses etc, I was very excited to find I still had more than £6.20 left in my purse, and so I took myself off to the cinema to see Becoming Jane. I wasn't sure what to make of it - I knew that I enjoyed it, I wasn't entirely convinced that it was the best structured film I've ever seen and I came out crying without being really sure why. I think it was a combination of being annoyed that someone would voluntarily give up the love of their life, however noble their reasons, and being depressed that love in films is always so electric and passionate. I'd love to find that - I think it exists but I'm not sure it can be combined with anything that is long lasting and fulfilling. But then why would I settle for less if there's the possibility that it can?

Anyway, aside from all that I did very much enjoy the fabulous eye candy that was James McAvoy in a waistcoat. His gorgeous blue eyes and his rather peachy bottom in the nude scene (frolicking in a river - beat that Mr Darcy!) were a definite reason to remain fixated on the screen. Take a look at the pictures ladies, and appreciate yumminess when you see it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

And therefore today is thrilling

Or yesterday anyway, in the words of Arthur Shaugnessy's terrible poem which Elgar set to significantly better music to form The Music Makers. I really enjoyed our epic concert yesterday - I think I could have done a lot better in the Elgar and I'm not convinced we gave our best performance, but the Mahler as expected was fantastic and I left on such a high! The orchestra did a really good job and the fifth movement especially was brilliant; as expected when the organ came in I got all emotional and had to think very hard about controlling my notes which by that point were uber fortissimo and rather shaky! I hit my top G though and then spent the final orchestral bars wobbling about and grinning like a loon. Fabulous.

Today mum and I went to Charlecote Park which turned out to be closed, so we went on a gorgeous walk in the sunshine to Hampton Lucy where we looked round the village and the church. We had a drink in the hotel at Charlecote and then came back to Leam for lunch in Strada, which was delicious and very cheap thanks to my 20% off voucher: £10 each for three courses and a drink! Bargain. This evening I went to the Arts Centre again to see the Philharmonia of the Nations (who?!) and now I'm drinking the rest of yesterday's wine (fair trade, naturally) and generally being happy that it's 11.41 and I'm not in bed. I do like annual leave.

Oh, and I passed my driving theory test yesterday as well. Altogether a most productive and excellent day.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Most encouraging

Recently I've started emailing three men, all of whom contacted me first, and two of them are actually literate! Excitingly, all three of them are capable of reading my emails and asking intelligent questions, and they also sound like interesting people. In return I've been very nice to them and have responded promptly with lengthy emails that I've put some effort into. All most encouraging.

Also in the news this week:
  • I went to London on another UCAS fair. I had a fantastic time eating delicious meals on expenses and drinking gin and creamy cocktails with Michelle. I also nearly murdered the Officer who was with us. We gave out lots of prospectuses.
  • I love Elgar. Next week's concert should be fab!
  • I'm on annual leave next week and am looking forward to lie-ins and lunches. I also have some driving lessons which is less exciting.
  • I'm off to Reading again tomorrow with mum and dad for the great birthday piss-up. I'm not working on the open day with more pre-bookings than we've ever had before. This thought cheers me immensely.
  • Someone has left the end of a bottle of Bailey's in my cupboard. I discovered this today when I opened it looking for the Tia Maria. Whoever you are - thankyou! You have greatly enriched my evening.
I'm now going to watch Ugly Betty and perv over Daniel Meade while consuming more Baileys. Excellent.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Feeling live

The Feeling live: absolutely, totally and indisputably recommended. They were completely brilliant. I spent the whole gig with a huge smile on my face, singing at the top of my voice and dancing. Worth every penny of the ticket price and the train fairs and all the faff of getting there. They could have played for twice as long and I'd still have been loving it! Can't wait for the next tour.

Now I have chips and wine. Woo and indeed hoo.

Friday, March 02, 2007


This week I went to Manchester with work. Free hotel, free food and free pink wine equals one happy Sarah newly remembering why she enjoys her job! We gave out 1028 prospectuses over two days as well which is pretty good between two of us. Our hotel was right opposite the Bridgewater Hall which I've always wanted to visit, and I was really impressed with the city as well but I didn't get to see much of it, so a weekend in Manchester with a Halle concert has been added to my list of trips to take.

This weekend I'm off to Reading to see the brother and to go to a concert in the Hammersmith Apollo. We're seeing The Feeling and I'm just ridiculously excited! I have the album on right now and have been doing some extremely stylish dancing round my living room. I think at this point tomorrow night I will be in a state approaching hysteria. Yaaaaaaay!

And, to top this off, I'm even looking forward to work on Monday because at around 3.50 Michelle and I will be boarding a train to London to work at another UCAS fair for two days. I get two more nights in a hotel and she's going to take me to Leicester Square to live the high life. We've planned evenings of girly getting ready listening to Girls Aloud (yes, there is someone else out there who likes them!) and drinking cocktails and generally being fabulous. There may possibly be some prospectus waving to be done at some point, but I'm choosing to overlook that.

Back to work I shall go on Thursday for two days, before heading off yet again to Reading for the momentous occasion of Simon's 20th birthday which this year falls on the day of the Reading Uni regatta which as boat club president it's his joyful job to organise. Mum, dad and I will be spending the day standing on the bank shouting stuff at men in boats, and then the evening will be spent eating yummy food and drinking parentally-purchased wine. Me and the brother are then going for a quality evening of dancing and drinking crap in the Students' Union where I fully intend to become acquainted with as many muscly 6-foot 20-year-old rowers as possible. My hangover may be great, at which point I will be very glad that I've booked the week after that off work.

Life is once again good!

In a PS, I should probably mention that I had a re-think about the job application after speaking to my Dad who is the fount of all knowledge. Having cheered up a bit I think this was the right thing to do. A girl can only take so many risks at a time and pissing people off to the extent that they might not write me a good reference doesn't sound like a wise plan. However, I did pay off the credit card bill for the deposit on the holiday yesterday so we're all systems go on that front. This time next year I'll be somewhere on the Gold Coast in 30 degree heat...bring it on!