Friday, April 30, 2004

Relaxed and ready for the weekend

After much debate last night I have changed my mind and decided not to apply for the new job. Looking at each point of the job specification in detail I think it is a bit of a poisoned chalice. There are several elements to the role that are really full-time projects in themselves. Knowing some of the local politics I am aware that trying to support six chief executives, all with different working styles, may be an unmanageable job.

I think some inherent dissatisfaction with my current job may have been behind my initial decision to apply for this new job. There are things about my current role that I am dissatisfied about – but that isn’t enough itself to start applying for other jobs. My boss is back from leave next week and I will need to start thinking about identifying the specific parts of my current role that bug the hell out of me.

On a lighter note I am looking forward to another bank holiday – we will be touring the salvage yards of the northeast this weekend looking for antique corbels, floorboards, doors, fireplaces, architraves, door handles etc. No doubt we will end up coming home with something completely different like a marble sphinx (or sphincter?) for the garden. Enjoy your break – whatever you are up too.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Moody little bugger

It has been a funny few days. I have decided to apply for this new job and will now have to spend the rest of the afternoon surreptitiously filling in my application form. My CV is a couple of years out of date, so much for trying to update every 6 months to make sure it is ready to go at a moments notice.

The uncertainty has made me a bit restless and, frankly, probably a bit of a pain in the arse to be around. It is quite unsettling deciding if it is the right job; how I let my boss know I am applying and how it may affect working relationships if I am unsuccessful and there is a mark in the sand that I am looking at other posts. I can probably manage the discussion in such a way as to suggest that I am not randomly looking for jobs, rather this specific job is my ideal post and it would be madness to let it pass by. This is actually pretty much the truth –although I think the phrasing will need some work. In the meantime my boyfriend has to manage my moods, which vary from avoidance, sullen whining and self-doubt – not exactly a barrel of laughs!

It hasn’t helped that this week has been the deadline for the annual business cycle in the hospital and I am fielding plans from all the departments, trying to analyse them and return them for completing the gaps. My boss is on annual leave (handy) and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to give the new job any proper thought. The end result is a state of lethargy interspaced with bursts of frantic energy. Thank God it is a bank holiday on Monday and I can luxuriate in bed (or get on with the skirting boards, painting, electrics etc.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Art and crafts

I haven’t really had time to update for a while. Birmingham was pretty busy although I did manage to fit in quite a bit of late night shopping! I spent most evenings in a restaurant in town with a leisurely meal and the daily papers and a book. Catching up on the day’s events and then reading my book with a glass of wine made a relaxing change to feeling that I should be doing some task or other.

At the weekend we did further planning for the changes to the house. My boyfriend has sorted a plasterer for May to redo the celini8g and walls, so we should be able to move out of the spare room soon and be able to have guests staying again. To my surprise we also had a landscape gardener on Sunday afternoon to appraise the backyard. The boyfriend is very keen to get some of the work done that we have in mind, and is far more organised than me about actually getting it done.

My big project this week, apart form catching up on all the work I need to do, is to complete a new job application. The job, Head of Policy Development, is pretty much my ideal job – just not 100% sure that it is the right time. I am going to compete the form any way as I can always withdraw before interview if I change my mind, and this will give me a little more time to think it over. I haven’t broached it with my boss, and won’t do unless I am asked to attend an interview. Don’t think she will be best pleased but that is always the way.

Tonight we are off to an art auction. A friend heads up an art centre for people with mental health problems. More than art therapy, the users have their own studios and can be quite long term clients. Some of their work is on auction tonight and we may well become art collectors!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Speedo time with Prince William!

Quick post before class this morning. Check out Prince William in Speedos. There is something about speedos that nworks for me and seeing our future king in them is weirdly exciting!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Back to school

I have spent the morning learning the difference between bar charts and histograms; how to properly decide on data ranges and classes; and staring aimlessly into space. The statistics course is aimed at beginners, but I am finding it pretty hard going - and it is only day one. I am now on a long lunch break and will hide myself away to try and make more sense of the course.

I arrived in Birmingham yesterday and spent the afternoon looking around the town; doing a bit of shopping; and randomly bluejacking strangers, My best success was bluetoothing a photo of a koala bear biscuit (don't ask) to a group of girls while I was having dinner last night. They got very excited and started ringing their friends to decide who it was from. In the end they decided that it was 'Dave', even though he had denied it they knew he was keen on one of them. Hard to keep a straight face as I was only at the next table - but very entertaining.

Monday, April 19, 2004


As suggested by Terreus I thought I best join the lastest blog 'craze'.
  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 23.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

So - from 'Was' by Geoff Ryman:

The hens seemed to explode, running off in all directions.

Not exactly earth shattering! The book tells the story of Dorothy and how she came to live with Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. It is a pretty dark tale and is tied in with a gay man's childhood and his family's movie theatre. I bought it after reading 'Wicked' by Gregory Maguire, and it has a pretty similar theme in so much as the lives of the main characters of 'The Wizard of Oz' are given added depth and history.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Post Easter update

Hi guys. Not really been posting too much lately. Had a pretty busy time of it lately. Easter break was great – we did a lot on the house and did some partying as well. We had a big hole in the yard to fill, which we managed by mixing 22 bags of concrete – pretty long afternoon! Looks a lot better now and we can begin to plan the decking and arrangement of the yard ready for summer. The boyfriend bought a big cactus yesterday to add in with the banana plants etc. Look great, but I don’t think all these plants will last through the English summer.

I came 3rd in the Easter Egg competition at our friend’s house. My final entry was ‘Egg-Hen-Em’ – pretty lame I know, but the egg looked great. I will try to get a pic up soon – having real trouble configuring my new web space to upload images. Hopefully get the blog transferred over there soon. My boyfriend had made ‘StoneHenge’ with a load of egg shells as the standing stones and judicious use of the glue-gun to add whole eggs as lintels. It looked pretty good with a mini-chick as chief druid. Unfortunately (for him) I managed to kick it over before the judging and sabotage his entry. It was an accident! First prize went to our host who had created ‘The passion of the Egg’ complete with crucified egg and demonic imagery – pretty creepy.

I am off to Birmingham again on Tuesday for a 4 day course on Statistics. Should be pretty interesting to learn some jargon for throwing around in meetings, but always a drag to be away from home. The evenings are the worst – sitting in the hotel bar with a book and a few pints. I am not the most sociable with strangers but equally would prefer not to be sat in my room alone. My main amusement is trying to Bluejack others mobile phones. I have managed to send a few (clean) pictures to random strangers on the train, but may progress to whole messages. You can tell I will really be living it up!

UPDATE: I have manged to get the web space configured - so here in all his glory is 'Egg-Hen-Em'

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Luckiest people born in summer

Heard this on the Today programme this morning. Apparently, there is a slight increase in self-perceptions of how lucky you are if you are born between March and August. Those born in May have the highest self-rating for ‘luck’.

While this is probably more about inherent optimism and glass-is-half-full thinking it is interesting that 40,000 people completed the questionnaire, through the BBC, and that there was a marked difference depending on birth month. Those born in October had the most negative view of their lives. The researchers admit those born in the winter months can help improve their luck quotient by having a more positive mental attitude.

I was born in June and tend to be fairly optimistic, I am sure this wouldn’t be the case for everyone. I have also just realised that one of my most psychotic friends is a winter baby and maybe this explains her perception that the world is against her.

More at….

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Unexpected Surprise

I had a meeting first thing this morning and came out to find I needed to attend another at 10.30. I grabbed my notebook, wondering what I had forgotten to do or what new projects were heading my way. Most of the senior management team were already there looking a little shifty.

Then my boss arrived to congratulate the whole team on significantly surpassing our end of year targets and performing better than other trusts in the region. She thanked us for all our efforts in getting to this point and proceeded to treat us all to a champagne breakfast (well a small glass of bucks fizz and a selection of pastries).

I think everyone was a little taken aback as we have spent the last year racing around trying to keep everything under control. It was great to have some thanks and my boss took me aside to thank me for my contribution to achieving the targets.
It is not often that we get this kind of thanks, especially in the public sector, which made it all the more meaningful.

If only I could celebrate by taking the rest of the day off!

Monday, April 05, 2004

Easter Egg - Help needed

I finish work on Wednesday with 6 whole days off! We have lots of pans around the house with a bit of carpentry, plumbing, decorating etc. Hopefully, there will also be some time to relax. We have been invited to an Easter meal on Saturday evening, which includes a decorated egg competition. The pressure is on to come up with the winning design. I have got absolutely no ideas – so all suggestions are welcome. The previous year’s entries seem to be pretty high including the wining entry of an egg-ecutioner complete with axe and mask.

An ideas very welcome – ideally I would like something topical. I had considered fashioning Janet’s breast, complete with nipple ring, or maybe something more tasteful like a crucifixion scene?