There’s been a bit of a gap since my last set of journal entries, but that’s because this year’s got off to a very quiet start, so I’ve only written a couple of entries in this first quarter. There are still a few notable things to mention though, including work and family updates, meeting up with a friend, the Haiti earthquake, and David Tennant’s handover to Matt Smith in Doctor Who. Plus I’ve been emailed a couple of jokes from friends of mine, so I thought I’d include them for a bit of variety. I hope you enjoy!
Sunday January 31, 2010
Forwarded from a friend:
Here is a stress management technique recommended in all the latest psychological texts:
Picture yourself near a stream.
Birds are softly chirping in the crisp, cool, mountain air.
No one knows your secret place.
You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called “the world”.
The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
The water is clear.
You can easily make out the face of the person you’re holding under the water…
Thursday February 4, 2010
A belated Happy New Year! There wasn’t too much reason to write in January, so I decided not to bother. But it’s time I did an update.
It was a fairly quiet month at work, with the exception of Job Evaluation results taking centre stage halfway through. My pay remains unaffected – I’m in the middle of the scale they assigned me to, so I can still go up a little bit, although not by a lot. But a few colleagues have lost two or three thousand each, so our manager’s working on getting them re-evaluated, while some people in other departments have lost much more. And it doesn’t mean our results are right even if we didn’t lose anything. There have been all sorts of issues throughout this process, it’s not been very well organised really.
I also had to miss a day of work because of snow and ice in early January, particularly the icy element. Snow is very unusual down here, but the whole of the UK suffered from it for a couple of weeks, one week in particular bringing major chaos! The day I couldn’t go in, my taxi firm had no drivers out until 11am! The roads were just so icy – in fact, we couldn’t even walk out of the house, as the steps were just covered in ice! And there was even a video on Youtube of a car sliding down the street with its occupants jumping out of it (one nearly into its path). So it was quite a strange few days – but the snow looked lovely at least!
Regarding family, Nan had a touch of what seems to be termed delirium last week – namely doing things she didn’t know she was doing. For instance, my aunt found she had moved her chair from the corner across to the other side of the room, moving the table and TV next to it, yet doesn’t remember doing it. So she stayed with her, and after a few days took her to see the doctor. And it was simply a urinary tract infection causing her brain to go a bit funny, apparently it’s common in older people. So he’s given her some tablets for it, and she was feeling much better and was more herself again within a couple of days. And other than that, Nan’s perfectly fine – the doctor was quite surprised at how healthy she is at the age of 102!
As for what I’ve been watching and listening to, David Tennant’s Doctor Who finale was pretty great on New Year’s Day, with a few nice twists, and I’m going to order the DVD for all those specials of course. I’m in the process of re-watching all the Doctor Who DVDs in order again now – I’ve seen Christopher Eccleston‘s series, and now I’m doing all of David Tennant‘s episodes – so I can see it all together before Matt Smith starts in the role later this year. He’s got a lot to live up to, and with a new person in charge as well (Steven Moffat instead of Russell T Davies), and a new logo, I think it’ll be a very interesting new series.
Other than that, things like Harry Hill’s TV Burp, Total Wipeout and The Real Hustle are back, all of which are fun shows. And I’m now on to the fifth Harry Potter audiobook now at last (Order Of The Phoenix), as I’m still working through them bit by bit. And music-wise, I keep downloading bits and pieces that I’ve heard on Spotify – it’s great for helping me build up my collection with artists or songs I’d not thought of before, now I can try out songs and albums properly.
In the news, the biggest story of the past month has been a major earthquake in Haiti. It was already a highly deprived country, and this was just utter carnage, with thousands killed, and millions without homes or food or water. So the aid effort has been enormous, and it’ll take decades to get the country back to any sort of suitable state. So that was very tragic. Back here, the General Election is due in May, and the row over MPs expenses rumbles on in the background still. So the main headline stories are never anything too cheerful, as ever!
Tuesday March 9, 2010
Forwarded from a friend:
The Black Bra (as told by a woman):
I had lunch with 2 of my unmarried friends. One is engaged, one is a mistress, and I have been married for 20+ years.
We were chatting about our relationships and decided to amaze our men by greeting them at the door wearing a black bra & panties, stiletto heels and a mask over our eyes. We agreed to meet in a few days to exchange notes.
Here’s how it all went.
My engaged friend:
“The other night when my boyfriend came over he found me with a black leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask. He saw me and said, ‘You are the woman of my dreams. I love you.’ Then we made passionate love all night long.”
“Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office and I was wearing a raincoat, under it only the black bra & panties, heels and mask over my eyes. When I opened the raincoat, he didn’t say a word, but he started to tremble and we had wild sex all night.”
Then I had to share my story:
“When my husband came home I was wearing the black bra, panties and black stockings, stilettos and a mask over my eyes. When he came in the door and saw me he said: ‘What’s for Dinner, Batman?’
Thursday April 8, 2010
Another couple of months between entries, as again there hasn’t been a lot to mention.
At work, we got through the financial year-end jobs well enough, and everything’s been ticking along steadily since then. I’ve also got a new Mac Mini machine to replace the old eMac I had in the office, which was getting pretty slow. I’m still doing the customer service NVQ as well. My assessor, Neal, has been able to tick a lot of boxes for things he’s seen by way of evidence, either in person or via statements, and we’ve recorded my answers to the questions as well. So we’re nearly there with it all.
The job evaluation letters regarding our new contract terms have also come around recently. If you sign the box saying you accept the new terms, you’re dismissed from your old contract and put straight onto the new one. If you tick the box saying you don’t accept – well, the same still happens, but you’re noted as not agreeing, and they’ll contact you to ask why you said no. If you don’t respond to the letter at all, however, and you’re absent from work for a reason that isn’t annual leave or sickness or whatever, then you’ll just lose your job outright. So it’s a case of either take the new terms or get out really! I’ll be staying on of course, as my job seems reasonably secure still, at least for the moment!
As for home, our builder’s done some work on the back garden, getting rid of the pond, and redoing the space along the back and the side for planting, so Mum and Dad have been looking into various plants they might want to get. He’s coming back to finish the work next week, so Mum and Dad can start planting things for the summer. Let’s just hope the weather holds out. It’s been lovely for the most part this week, including the Easter Bank Holiday weekend just gone. He had a little bit of rain when he was here a couple of weeks ago, but mostly the days stayed dry, thankfully.
I had a 4-day Easter weekend off work, of course, because of the Bank Holiday. But I’ve also booked off this entire week to use up most of the rest of the leave I’m owed for the past year. I gave myself 4 days off for the weekend before Easter too, for the same reason. And then, at the end of this month, my best mate’s coming down for his next appointment, so I’m having 3 days off then to stay with him and AB.
I met AB last Friday (Good Friday) in Paignton. She split up with AL recently, though they’re still friends. The distance just got too much for them, as they didn’t live very near each other. Anyway, we were going to go to the cinema, but figured it would be too busy, so sat on the benches near the seafront and had fish and chips, then had a couple of drinks at the Inn On The Green, before going back to her Dad’s place in the town. Then her Dad took her down to her Mum in Totnes, while I made my way home.
And apart from all that, Doctor Who’s back with the new, young Matt Smith in the lead role, and a lovely redhead called Karen Gillan playing his companion, Amy Pond. The first episode last weekend was brilliant – lots of new things to get used to, but it worked very well, so I think it’ll be a good series.