Monday, April 30, 2007

Asking only workman’s wages…

This may turn out to be a boring post but I need a place to boast. The last few weeks Husband and I have been giving our little garden an overhaul. Including the patio (or the “slab ‘o concrete” as we like to call it) I guess is about 12m by 3m with a garage at the end – confusingly our “front” garden is also our “back garden” – come and visit, then you’ll understand.

Unfortunately the garden had been rather neglected by our house’s previous owners and as spring has most definitely sprung it was in desperate need of attention. So far we have cut and scarified the lawn (twice). Not much grass was actually left so yesterday we overseeded it and then top dressed with compost.

We have also cleared all the weeds (and some shrubs that were too unruly to save) from the borders and attempted to bring the lavender that runs along the left hand border under control. We’ve weed-killed the path we share with our neighbour and dug up everything that was left in it, and then realised that we had even less intact path than we thought we did.

This weekend’s largest task has been the sanding, priming and painting of our gate, our neighbour’s gate and our gate posts (two gates, one path, go figure); and the sanding and painting of all of the gate ironwork. All is now resplendent in a wonderful national trust green and the gates will by dry enough to hang tonight. I purchased from eBay some wonderful new chrome house numbers to adorn our gates – which will be a surprise for our lovely neighbour.

For the next couple of weeks as the grass germinates we can’t do a great deal as we must not walk on it. Then it will be digging compost into the borders and getting planting. I want some ferns behind the tree at the bottom of the garden and some hostas in front. I think we’ll sow some annual flowers down the side for this year. And I haven’t decided what to do with the rest of the main bed.

Ok, you can now declare me officially middle aged!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chuckle of the day

Found this on one of my favourite "business blogs" - Change and Internal Communication. A conversation between the bloggers two kids:

"If you eat too much sugar it is bad for your heart. It explodes," says daughter, aged 7, with conviction.

Son, aged 4: "Oh! Does that kill the baby Jesus?"


Me: "Ahem. Um, what?"

Son: "Well, I have the baby Jesus in my heart, don't I?"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I would have been happy with one!

I think one of the oddest things I had to get my head around when I got married was that I was actually going to be part of a new family. Actually, as husband's are long divorced I've married into two, very different, families.

This weekend it was a trip up north to celebrate a big birthday with new family no. 1 - father-in-law and tribe. It was all very civilised, a select gathering, private fully panelled dining room at very posh country hotel/restaurant, silver service... it was all rather beyond the level of luxury that I've experienced before.

We sat near the birthday Auntie and opposite father-in-law and partner. Also sat next to cousin (one of three "boys" of Auntie-in-law). The three boys, now all in their 20s, aren't exactly the most average of cousins-in-law. All intelligent, all had every opportunity they could possibly want, all pretty much drop outs. One at least now seems to have found a long term partner (who didn't say a word, and wasn't introduced to us). The other I think is currently working in a local pub and pretending to write a sit com. Husband and I were sat next to cousin number three.

M fulfils the much missed role of family mad person. I'd always considered him a little eccentric - in the camp, childlike way. Now, having spent an evening sat next to him I realise that he is totally barking mad - luckily in the pleasant way, not the stab you in your sleep way. He spent most of the night making no sense, did not follow any social conventions (like waiting for everyone to be served before eating)... until I checked with Husband that he is always like this I thought he was totally stoned. Apparently he has been like this since childhood - so the great British eccentric (now read nutter) is still alive and well. M is currently doing an MA in Acting at a drama school in Essex.

Anyway, it was a lovely celebration and I feel I have a little more insight into new family no. 1 - what strange beasts families are!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

10 things I don't understand about my man

  1. Buying an Easter Egg (or any other chocolate) and then not eating it for weeks.
  2. Professing to be obsessed with cleaning only to not agree that cleaning involves a duster (apparently hoover clean is husband clean).
  3. Molesting me in my (and his) sleep.
  4. Liking doing destructive DIY but then giving up when it comes to the construction.
  5. Obsession with steam trains and football (and getting disappointed when I don't do more than nod and look confused).
  6. Pretending the cat is a guitar.
  7. Putting vacuum packed baguettes in the freezer (ok that was just once).
  8. Moaning about not doing anything interesting without a) sorting out something to do or b) wanting to get up off his arse when we do have something interesting to do (although he always enjoys it in the end).
  9. His collection of Cathy Dennis, Betty Boo and other CDs no straight/sane man should own.
  10. His liking of Guinness.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The joy of recruitment

Well, after a small amount of nagging I have finally received my contract for my new job (10 days after the offer). Unfortunately the offer letter (which is the same as what I had been told verbally) and the contract do not match. It looks like they've grabbed the old contract template from before their pay scales changed so it makes no sense - wrong spine point number, wrong salary - although 30 days annual leave and get to stay with the same pension scheme, woo hoo!. So back that will go to HR. Also had a bit of a battle to get them to send me a form to claim my interview expenses - which should have come with my interview invitation. Think I may have pissed off a high-up's PA, but I was very, very polite. Oh well.

Getting very excited about new job and very happy and chilled out about the current one. I guess now that I know I'm leaving, I find it easy to forget about the long term lack of change frustrations and just focus on what I need to achieve in the next 2 months. Quite a few people have been rather shocked that I'm leaving, but then I was on a fixed term contract, so its easy to explain it away. There are lots of people I'm going to miss - I'm arranging lunch dates like they're going out of style - and I hope I'll managed to keep in contact with most of them, as they are my 'people' base here in the South. They are a couple of people I really wish I could take with me as they are pretty unhappy and frustrated at work - so fingers crossed they'll move on soon. A job is never worth wrecking your mental health over.