Monday, March 26, 2007

Zing, zing zing! Went my heartstrings!

Twang, twang, twang! Went my neck! My neck has well and truly twanged. Something went on Saturday morning and it has just got worse since then. I barely got any sleep last night because of the pain and this morning I've just been horizontal and medicated. I've managed to get an appointment to see my physiotherapist tomorrow morning so hopefully the twanging will be put to an end.
Feeling like a very middle aged woman which has not been helped by my attempt to try on a tankini (I'm spa-ing this weekend with a friend from work) which made me realise that I really must shift this extra 15lbs. And my arse is that top from Next a 36F!

On a good news front, I've been offered the job at the University. Having not heard anything before the weekend I had talked myself out of it, not wanting to be disappointed... so I wasn't too revved up when I got the call. Also means I will be about £200 a month worse off as the travel is so expensive, even with the raise it doesn't cover it. But it is a permanent job, and one I really, really want to do, so I think Husband and I will just have to bite that bullet. The pay will go up through increments over the next few years anyway. And since when have I been all about the money?

I haven't officially accepted it yet and they've sent me an email with all the details that I can then reply to. The other thing is I haven't talked to anyone there about my CFS. It is good in a way, means they really do 'appoint blind' (even though I declared my disability openly), but just means I need to check that they are prepared to be flexible in the way I need it. Just checked out their policies online and it looks like the medical clearance form I would fill in would prompt occupational health to recommend reasonable adjustments, so I'll just have to be clear (but positive) about what I need on that form. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhh! I can't believe I'm going to have to start a new job, I was just getting used to this one!

Friday, March 23, 2007


There are so many different kinds of waiting, each of which has its own delicious torture. There is waiting for a good thing, like Christmas as a kid, or your family or best friend to arrive on a visit or back from long trip away. There are waiting for the bad things, like someone to die or even as petty as I was this morning, waiting from an email from a colleague who has a tendency to get nasty for no reason. And then there is the other kind of waiting, waiting for a phone call that could change your life significantly.

I had my interview on Wednesday. I came out thinking/screaming in my head: 'I WANT THAT JOB'. It is the same feeling I had when I came out of the interview for my current job (which shows how much I've moved on in the last 18 months). The University suits my idea of higher education (i.e. teaching and research), the people were smiley and friendly, the campus was grassy, the commute was a bit long but involved a train so I could read/listen to music to my heart's content. I think I did the best interview that I could have done and came with four or five questions that I genuinely wanted answering - at least two of which got them thinking, which has got to be a good thing.

I think they had one more candidate to interview yesterday and then they obviously have to get together to work out who to appoint. They said they'd let me know as soon as possible so I was expecting to here either the end of yesterday or today. I'm trying to take the delay as a NOT BAD THING, as considering the people on the interview panel I can imagine trying to get them all together in a room to talk about the appointment is going to be no mean feat.

This is truly torture and I don't know if I want it to end as that means that I might not have got the job... send me positive and calming thoughts.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The air is turning blue

Unfortunately, my mild mannered husband has gone to the bad place. Middlesbrough have just lost 1-0 to Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA cup. Looks like it was quite a 'nasty' game which didn't help the level of swearing in the living room next to me.

I never thought I'd marry a football fan as it wasn't something I had been brought up with. But, he is a northerner brought up by a flat-capped grandad who worked in heavy industry... so I guess it was inevitable.

He's now just gone 'out for a walk' and slammed the door behind him.

Oh well, more sofa for me.... xxx

Friday, March 09, 2007


My cross-Atlantic random blogger I love to read, Rand, and I are obviously on the same wavelength as I am also in the mood to write a 'That was the week that was...' post. Husband is out bowling with his work so I'm here at home save for the munchkins

Ok, right, its been a 'bad' week. Monday bed. Tuesday, at work but should have been in bed - what did I do again? Wednesday bed. Thursday bed. Today work for five hours then feeling so dizzy and sick that Husband had to drive me home at 3pm to the sounds of me going 'Oh god...' and 'wibble'. This is post isn't proving as interesting as Rand's. Ok... more rambling required.

I got shortlisted for a job this week. Interview is set for the 21st - and thank god no stupid presentation this time! But, being a University, they want all your references BEFORE you are actually interviewed so I had to fire off some swift emails, including one to my current boss. His reply included the line 'Yes, I had been meaning to talk to you about your intentions'. A little bit useless if you ask me. I have six months to go on my 2 year contract... talking to me about my 'intentions' currently depends a lot on what his intentions are for me! I think I could do my current job for another year, if the European work continues, if not, I'm just not going to have enough to do without taking on some other projects.

I'm also still very frustrated about the general madness of where I work (yes, I know everywhere is mad, but this place has noooooo excuses). Got chatting to a friend/colleague today who is an even sillier position than I am. She looked so defeated and feels like this was a really backward career move. How rubbish is that? Note to all employers, do not hire good staff and then not allow them to do what you hired them for. I don't get how everyone can have such good working conditions, benefits etc. and yet have such a crappy organisational culture. Actually, yes I can, when the senior management has no sense of the need to value the organisation as an entity in itself and people need to buy in to to feel a sense of worth in what they do.

Reading a recent (badly written but interesting) report I did realise that maybe it is the nature of our bit of the public sector - lots of responsibility but no power - we are not even vaguely the makers of our own destinies, we just get a 3rd hand destiny which is only decided upon after tortuous negotiations with umpteen stakeholders. Ok this will make no sense to anyone else, but I'm ranting.

Right now for my random Rand-inspired 'Separated at birth':

Barenaked lyric of the post, from 'Bank job':

"You had the last word, the go or no go
I knew every laneway in Ontario
But it's not what you're sure of, it's what you don't know
It should have been filled with the usual ones
Throwing their cash into mutual funds
We all had our ski masks and sawed-off shotguns
But how do you plan for a bank full of nuns?

Well, I guess we panicked - we all have taboos
And they were like zebras; they had us confused
We should be in condos with ocean front views
Instead we're most-wanted on the six o'clock news"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Let's get naked!

I always like to have something to look forward to. In the past I had a tendency not to book things in advance, mainly because of money. About a year or two ago Husband and I came up with a pact - if you want to do it/see it/buy it and not spending the cash there and then means you won't get the chance again; for goodness sake just do it. Now this does obviously apply to big ticket items but mainly to things like concert tickets and that cardigan in Monsoon that was sold out by the time you decided you should have it.

Something I booked about four or five months ago was the Barenaked Ladies at the Bristol Academy. I've liked BNL for years, and luckily has husband, so we couldn't pass up the chance to see them, full stop, and definitely not in a decently small-sized venue (I generally hate stadium gigs). They've just brought out two new albums about a month apart, we bought one the other week and the second is on its way with my book club book from amazon.

Anyway, I thought I'd let you into my little barenaked world by sharing with you this video, which was made by fans, to accompany the song 'Wind it up' from one of their new albums.

Now this gig is almost upon us (4 April) I need to go hunt the net for the next thing to look forward too...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The madness of Charles de Gaulle

Thought I'd do a pre-bed blog as although I'm totally exhausted my chest is all tight with remainder stress. Flew to Vienna and back this week, via Paris, in 36 hours I had two 8 hour journeys (door to door), a few hours sleep and a 7 hour meeting. I honestly don't now how my boss does it - or for that matter why he'd rather change in the worst airport in the world (must take camera the next time to take a photo of the two identical signs pointing in opposite directions) instead of fly direct from Heathrow. Admittedly Heathrow can be a nightmare too, but at least you wouldn't be doing a transfer through it.

I saw pretty much nil of Vienna itself - although the glimpses I did see and the guidebook definitely made me want to go back for pleasure. I do enjoy the actual meetings - the trips would be totally masochistic if I didn't. There is something I find captivating about listening to a bunch of people from all over Europe talking, debating, negotiating. All with the same aim but all with different viewpoints.

I applied for a job last week though the deadline has just passed. Although I would miss the group of Euro peeps that I've come to know this job would keep that element going, and make me more my own boss. Anyway, we'll see what happens in a few days if I get an invitation to interview. I don't know if my boss knows I'm looking at other jobs - admittedly not with all out determination - as I still haven't been told what his plans for me past September are. I have to say its not the first organisation I've worked for - or heard of - that has no conception that if you don't firm up someone's future far enough in advance, they are pretty likely to find somebody else who will.

The rest of work has been manically busy. That's the other thing that drives me mad about my job: some weeks I'm twiddling my thumbs, and some weeks I'm totally run off my feet. I'm completely shattered but I've got tons to do tomorrow: a set of minutes, proofreading a non-native English written report, finishing off a Board report and a million other smaller things. None of them could have been done any earlier than now and all have to be done by the end of tomorrow or Monday. Aaaaaaaarrrghhh!

When husband swung the car around to pick me up I just told him I wanted to have a total 4 year old 'paddy' (the word for tantrum in our family). To throw my arms around, scream at the top of my lungs and whine 'I'm fed up'. I know the feelings will pass, aided by rest and muffkin cats this weekend. Husband has been great since I got back, doing shopping, cooking and putting up with a ridiculously grumpy wife.

Right... bleugrh over... I'm off to bed to be molested by a ginger cat.

P.S. Picture is of the airport before they built about 3 million new terminals... doesn't it look beautiful.