Monday, April 30, 2007

Free stuff!

I take online surveys for about four different internet research companies, and I earn various points or account credits for doing so. I've been doing them for years because I quite enjoy it (sad I know) and have never really thought about the value of the points I've been building up. This evening I randomly went into the My Account section for one of the websites, and discovered that I had absolutely loads of points to redeem. I went along to the rewards section and have just ordered a £25 HMV e-gift certificate. I'm now excitedly awaiting the arrival of Costello Music by The Fratellis, the Legally Blonde soundtrack and Film Molecules by Tender Trap. I haven't bought any treats for myself for absolutely ages so this is really well timed. Woo for free stuff!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Another shiny new toy

Today I finally got round to charging up my latest exciting new purchase. I am now happily listening to Mahler on my shiny cordless headphones and enjoying the novelty of being able to move freely about rather than having to keep my head at a slightly odd angle - previously if I wanted to listen to anything really loud I used my crappy little in-ear things plugged into my laptop, and just remained in my chair for the duration of the piece. Not really a workable solution! Now however I can wander round my flat and my ears don't even get hot thanks to these rather lovely big padded beasties that sit firmly round them rather than inside. Now I just need to find a day which isn't a Sunday when I don't have to leave the house, and then I can get on and order the even more exciting item which was the reason I bought these headphones in the first place. Yes folks, bring on the digital piano! Unfortunately such a day is proving rather elusive currently, but through some cunning driving lesson re-arranging I may yet find a Saturday when I can just sit at home and await the arrival of probably the most fabulous thing I will ever have purchased. Woo and indeed yay.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The little mundanities of life

Apologies for the lack of posting recently, but I haven't felt that inspired to write about my little dramas of late. This week has been fairly busy - I started my six week evening course on Project Management on Tuesday and enjoyed the first lecture. I have to attend every Tuesday between 6 and 9 and although it felt strange to be still working and concentrating after 5, the material was interesting so I think I'll enjoy it. Then on Thursday I went to a grammar school in south Warwickshire with Charlotte for a careers evening, which earned me four hours of overtime as well as a chicken sarnie, a muffin and a cookie which can't be bad. Today we had our last open day of the current set so I earned another eight hours of extra pay and it was much less stressful than sometimes as I was on office cover in the afternoon so could just sit quietly and avoid everyone, except for the moments when the phone rang.

Other events of the week include a power cut on Monday, which only affected my road and went on until I went to bed. I ended up getting dinner from the chippy and then reading by candlelight in the otherwise pitch dark! At first it was quite exciting to be having a little drama but by 10pm I was definitely bored of it. A more amusing interlude happened on Thursday when I dropped in to Mark's leaving soiree for ten minutes after work to find him in a state of extreme inebriation with some very dodgy wet patches down his jeans. Class.

So, as you can see it's been all quiet little events for me with nothing really worth writing about. (I do of course realise that I've ended up boring you all with it anyway...) I'll try to find something more interesting to say soon!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Contemplating the future

Although it pains me to look beyond April next year, I do on some level realise that once I return from the glorious land Down Under I will have to get myself a job. While in the short term this may be a temping thing or a similar role to my current one, in the medium to long term I have ambition and a desire to earn what I'm worth. With this in mind I've registered to attend the graduate recruitment fair at the NEC in June, just to get an idea of what's out there. Browsing the company websites for the past couple of evenings has been quite scary - I might finally have to get my graduate head back on and convince people that I'm brilliant at things that I don't fully understand yet. Demonstrating that you can be a manager and a leader involves so much more than being daddied along in a low paid public sector job does. Hopefully within the next year I'll have considered the problem enough to have made lists of things I have done that demonstrate potential, which I hadn't even realised demonstrated it until now. One can but try, and the worst that can happen is that I continue on my somewhat slower path and don't have to sell my soul to the corporate masses, which doesn't sound bad for a worst case scenario.

Everything just round the corner is so very unknown, interesting and challenging at the moment. It's a shame that the corner is so gradual and that I have another 9.5 months of boredom/stress/cock-ups (depending on the day) to go in my current position. I'm sure that all jobs become this tedious eventually, but it would be lovely to be looking for something new now rather than in a year's time. But then who am I to complain? It's even lovelier to know that on this day next year I'll be visiting Mount Cook and arriving in Christchurch, having just come from an overnight cruise on a lake under the mountains. I have the best get-out clause in the world!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Funniest line of the evening...

Raquel (on rice pudding): So, how do you make it? Do you just put rice and water together and let it cook?

Andy: No Raquel - because that would make boiled rice.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A very large cheque

Fifteen months ago, as some of you may remember, my Grandpa died. This meant that my dad was able to wind up our half of the trust that was established in 1951 to share between his and his brother's children and "remoter issue" - a charming legal term if ever there was one. The money was invested in various unit trusts and stock, and finally, after over a year of winding everything up, on Monday dad was able to sign off the cheques for all fifteen of us and post them out. This morning my cheque arrived.

My great grandfather, who set up the trust, never met me and I never met him. If he came back now and saw me walking down the street he wouldn't know who I was, and yet his money has enabled me to buy three of the things I most want. Money can't buy you happiness, but it can certainly buy you items and experiences that help you to create your own happiness, and that's what I'm doing in a major way this year.

Part one was the camera and assorted memory cards, case etc. Part two will be a rather fabulous piano and cordless headphones. Part three is the majority of my uber fantastic holiday next year which is currently the major thing getting me out of bed at 6am every morning. When I'm having fun taking pictures of my friends, or playing Beethoven, or standing on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge - on top of the world - I'll be thinking of my Grandpa, and of his relations, and of my dad who sorted everything out, and I'll be so grateful for being incredibly lucky and being given these fabulous opportunities.

Now I just have to head to the bank!