Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Today happened.

My predictions were correct - today was what can only be described as 'a right 'mare'.

As soon as I got into work, people pounced with inane questions (most of which they could have answered themselves) and my inbox was crammed. Top it off with ridiculous arguments between team members, countless HR issues and directors requesting stats with an hour's notice. Every time I'm feeling down, I remind myself that there are countless people out there who would kill to have a job right now and suddenly, it all seems that bit easier. I'm lucky, really lucky.

I also think I'm coming down with something. My throat feels like a meat grinder and some little red bumps have appeared at the back of my mouth. Add to that the lack of air getting through my nose and occasional light headedness and you pretty much have the full picture. Just my luck; I NEVER get ill. Never.

God I'm whingey and whiney tonight. Bore off Wayne.

With the few hours I've had to myself this evening, I've perused Ebay and purchased some more Bath and Bodyworks pocket bacs. I'm obsessed with hand sanitizers (I have them everywhere - work, the car, kitchen, bathroom) and I've been meaning to see what autumnal ones I could get my hands on for a while now. It's so frustrating as the ones I want are normally unavailable and you can't buy Bath and Bodyworks for love nor money in the UK. I almost flipped when I saw some for sale in Egypt of all places. You'd think that they had managed to get to our shores by now.

Anyway, on that note I'm going to double check that I've done everything I was meant to do, hop on up to bed and pray that my throat isn't any worse in the morning. Sod's law ay? What an irritating concept.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Back to school.

(The sky was mesmerising this evening)

Today wasn't as bad as anticipated. Yes, the phones were busy and yes, I was on my feet a lot of the time but I don't feel too exhausted. In fact, it felt like more of a 'oh, where's the time gone?' rather than 'god, this day is dragging'. To be honest, I'm expecting tomorrow and Wednesday to be sheer hell as that is when the majority of schools return. 

A few people have commented lately asking what my job is - well I'm customer service manager for the company that provides a certain cow-based product to all UK educational establishments (that was my poor attempt at being cryptic in order to avoid the company's Google alerts). I'm sure it's clear enough for you clever people. Either way, all you need to know is that term time is busy, busy, busy.

I came home slightly earlier than planned to find Adam fretting over the fact that he appears to have spent more than usual on the weekly shop. Personally, I don't get the big deal as long as it isn't over £100 or something but I'm kind of particular over what brands I prefer. I'm all for saving but if it tastes like crap then I'd rather pay more for something I'll enjoy. Adam, however, isn't quite like that and he constantly tries to trick me into going to Lidl or Aldi or suchlike. Over my dead body - those places are warehouses for the walking dead. I really don't want to have to Google my food in order to figure out what it is....

I'm determined to get a good night's sleep tonight if it's the last thing I do. I was woken ridiculously early this morning by the mother-in-law having a small panic attack over picking up Skye for the day. When we're both at work, Caroline often looks after her (if she had her way, she'd have her all the time) but she usually manages to turn it into a bigger deal than it actually is. The plan this morning was that she was going to come and get her around 10 o'clock after I'd gone to work. No such luck; she tried to rearrange plans and when I told her that it would be okay and that I'd just check on her at lunch instead, she started getting anxious and in the end cancelled her 'appointment' and came to pick her up. The mind boggles but it was definitely a waste of 30 minutes, I'll tell you that much.

And so, our beloved hound is still at Caroline's, my lunch is prepared and it's now cool enough to sleep comfortably with the windows closed. So help me god - I will sleep well tonight!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Fun times and farewells.

Yesterday was busy, busy, busy. Adam had the afternoon off so we ventured into the city centre to pick up a few things. I can hand on heart say that yesterday was the most traumatised I have ever been by a city centre visit. I know I'm somewhat antisocial but there were people everywhere and they seemed hellbent on being the most annoying as they could possibly be. Slow walking, texting in the middle of the aisles, kids everywhere - you name it. Anyway, we survived and I managed to pick up a couple of pairs of pumps and a shirt. A small miracle really.

We then went up the house that I lived in when I first moved to Lincoln after graduating uni in 2010. It was a big old Victorian house-share overlooking the common and the original housemates have remained friends ever since. It turns out that the last of us, Nikki, is now moving into her own place so we seized the opportunity to have a final cup of tea and say farewell to the house. I can't say that it was sad as it is so long since I lived there and, to be honest, I couldn't wait to get out (did I mentioned I'm somewhat antisocial?) but there was a sense of emotion at the prospect of a particular era coming to a permanent end. The house itself is so beautiful; huge, old and with all the original features but the landlord Dave doesn't really know if he is coming or going and so it has kind of fallen into disrepair. I spoke with him once and he told me that he didn't really want to be a landlord but he had trouble selling the house so it is a better of two evils for him. I really don't think he'll intervene until the place falls down. Such a shame.

We're all meeting up again at Claire's (the blonde girl leaning back) wedding in a few weeks so that should be fun. Selfishly, I really can't wait to see what it will be like as both her and her partners' families are millionaire farmers. I'm sure it will be beautiful. I also can't wait to see Nikki in a dress. I hope she's better at dress wearing than she is at keeping her eyes open in photos....

After a quick shower break, we then went back into the city for a meal with my work friends. Originally, Adam wanted to go out to celebrate his promotion but when he realised that we'd already been invited out, he seemed happy to tag along. Technically, it was our apprentice Katie's 18th birthday but you know, any excuse. We went to The Slug and Lettuce - the meal was nice but they did that annoying thing where they shove you all on the world's longest table so that you go the whole night without actually realising who is sitting at the other end. It happens on actual work events all the time and is one of my biggest pet peeves. I consoled myself by sampling every type of gin on the menu - bars seem to be really big on gin promotion this summer, not that I'm complaining. I did try one that was meant to have herbaceous notes but let me tell you, it was vile. Comparable to licking the back of a roast chicken; I kid you not. I'm still trying to rid myself of the taste.

Now I'm having a chilled Sunday ready for the dreaded start of September at work. I say a 'chilled' Sunday however I spent the best part of the morning chasing the damn dog around the nature reserve after she figured out a way to slip her lead. I swear she knows what she is doing and she always picks the most awkward times. Have you ever tried catching up with a Husky? Well don't. You'll lose. I'm now having to scrub the grass stains out of my jeans and soak my new white trainers. Such fun.

Happy Sunday all.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Baking dramas and dull days.

Before I go any further, can we just talk about the absolute television gold that occurred last night on The Great British Bake Off?

After a highly fraught technical challenge involving Tiramisu, emotions were running high as the contestants embarked on a round featuring Baked Alaska. After hours of slaving away over sponge and meringue, they were faced with the unenvious task of setting their ice cream on a boiling hot summer's day. One of my personal favourites - the lovely Irish Iain, looked as though he was doing quite well....... until the sinister Diana 'accidentally' removed his ice cream from the freezer, leaving it out on the hot worktop. Needless to say, complete drama ensued and Twitter appeared to go absolutely crazy. I've even seen a couple of ice bucket challenges in aid of 'Justice for Iain'. Throughout it all, even after the utter condemnation of Paul and Mary, he still held his own and refused to even mention that it was Diana's fault. I did try and find a clip of Diana's stealth ice cream attack but all I could find was the aftermath - equally as humorous though.

You have to laugh - we've seen wars, terrorist attacks and racist outcries yet nothing captures the nation quite as much as a sabotaged Baked Alaska. God bless Britain and its priorities!

Edit: I just read on the BBC website that Diana has now voluntarily left the show due to 'medical reasons'. Drama drama.

Anyway, back to reality. Today was one of those days that seemed to drag on relentlessly - completely uneventful and completely dull. Work is starting to pick up as the school admin assistants are starting to return after summer. I'm sure that you can tell by my tone how excited I am...

I did however treat myself to an hour's nap and a pizza tonight. I never partake in either of those things (especially the nap) so things really must have been dull.

I'm just hoping that the weekend picks up at least!

Forgotten times and gameshows.

I feel ultra cosy tonight. Nothing special, just cosier than usual. Maybe it's because I've finally started to feel caught up at work or simply because it's the only moment today in which I've been able to sit down and chill? Who knows; all I know is that I'm cosy and that shall be my word of the night.

Today was the dreaded 'Weakest Link' themed gameshow afternoon at work. We do it every year just before September (our busiest period due to the schools going back). I'm presuming that other countries have some form of The Weakest Link? Most of these successful gameshows tend to be exported to death so I'll presume you've probably heard of it. It's meant to be a kind of morale boosting exercise whilst also providing an opportunity for the customer service agents to brush up on their knowledge. It's also great for the newly recruited temps to mingle with the permanent staff. It's a always a huge success and the guys love it but my god, it takes so much planning. I've been organising it for what seems like weeks and, gratuitous whinging aside, that's easier said than done whilst also trying to the run the Customer Service Department with most of the other managers off. Needless to say, I donned my Johnny Cash attire, channelled the acid tongue of Anne Robinson and fun was had by all. I'm kind of jealous of the first place prize though - a cow shaped milk jug (not as random as it seems as we work with dairies). I almost stole it for myself.

We still have a few days left before the dreaded September where we all become slaves to the wage from 7am to 7pm so I'm going to force myself into making sure that we're fully caught up and ready. Thinking about it, I suppose it's our version of retail's Christmas after all.

Adam has just been given a promotion so no sooner had I got in this evening that we had to venture into the city to purchase some new work clothes. No rest for the wicked. Despite my insistence that he has enough clothes to open a GAP, he was adamant that he wanted something more 'managerial'. He cracks me up sometimes. As per tradition, I wandered around the other shops whilst he busied himself with clothes; bought myself a coffee and grabbed a brand new office chair that was luckily on offer in ASDA (of all places). I'm resting the old derrière on it now and I have to say, it's quite comfortable for the price. Wonders never cease as to what supermarkets will start selling next.

One of my best friends from back home (Alysha), sent me a message yesterday informing me that her cousin Marie had found an old bible in their attic full of old photos. Marie bought her house from my Nan after my Great Uncle passed away a few years ago. It had been in my family since it was built; first home to my Great Grandad before my Great Uncle. She is currently in the process of renovating it before selling and came across the find in the far corner of one of the attics. I asked Alysha to send me a couple of photos with her phone so I could see what they were of and preempt my Dad and Nan before collecting them from her. It looks as though they are from the turn of the century (1900-1925 ish) but I have no idea who the photos are of. My guess is that the little girl is most likely my Nan on her Dad's knee. As for the other photo, I have no idea who the ladies are and, strangely, the bible is addressed to a Phyllis White. I personally have never heard of a Phyllis White but that means nothing in my family. To this date, my Nan has never ever spoken of her mother and a quick call to my Dad confirmed that his Grandmother has never been mentioned to him either. He told me to go ahead and take the stuff to my Nan but he warned me to tread carefully as he isn't sure how she will react if any of it relates to her Mum. He suspects that she may not even admit it and try to pass it off as someone else's photos - obviously this is impossible as my family have been the only ones in the house previously. I know that it's a sensitive subject but I really want to know what happened with my Great Grandparents - how sad would it be if my Nan took that to the grave with her? I have a fantastic relationship with my Nan so I'm hoping she'll open up to me. Fingers crossed. I'm extremely interested to know who the soldier is in the second photo. I'm pretty sure that it must be World War I and that looks like an African uniform, maybe Egypt? To my knowledge, I've never heard of any family members fighting in the Great War so that would be quite the revelation. To be honest, I don't think that many men returned from that war at all; such a sad time for many English families.

Now, after that short history lesson and the stresses of the day, I'm all showered up and ready to hit the hay. I generally detest sleep as I feel as though I'm wasting the precious night but I have to admit that I'm extremely excited to finally get some rest. The waking up early part has not even crossed my mind yet so I'll bid you all a fond farewell before I give that sickening thought any time to manifest.

God natt alla! (as they'd say in good ol' Sweden)