Thursday, November 30, 2006
To those people who perpetrated the poisoning against the Russian Spy ~ I curse you with that most ancient and dangerous of curses: may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits and genital areas. I hope it rots and drops off.
I go into work with feint hopes that all will be well. Yeah right. Three BA planes grounded, potentially 36,000 people advised by BA to get in touch with us for further information. *sigh*. The only problem was, our callers knew more about what was going on because they could watch the news and could catch the hourly updates. BA had completely forgotten to tell NHSD that they were palming off their customers onto us and guess what? We didn't know what was going on and there were no procedures to handle yet more enquiries, and no extra staff to deal with them either. And boy, were their customers a right stroppy bunch.
Tomorrow, I've got to do it all again. I keep telling myself it could be worse. I could be selling insurance.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I have had squid in England and in Turkey. I've had it stir fried, battered in rings and now tonight, done with onion and chillies. I've been told that squid when it's fresh and flash cooked is a joy to behold. Tonight, I came to the conclusion that it's all bollocks really. I will now stop giving it the benefit of the doubt. Squid is a bit like chicken cartilage, chewy and tasteless.
Crispy seaweed. Tell me again ~ why? Its like deep fried cabbage. With a slight sweet tang. Nothing to write home about.
I'm really nosey about what people chose to eat and in what order. Think about it, you've got 3 different buffets ~ starters, mains and deserts. If you can help yourself to anything, you could be really inventive about the order of your meal. Start off with fruit, a bit of icecream and then beef in black bean sauce, prawn toast and crackers. Why not? Why do we always do the 'right' thing?
I also love watching people fill up their plates. It's like watching an artist preparing an installation, the care with which each type of meal is arranged into a huge food mountain the EU would be jealous of. I get to the point where I'm betting on the mini-vegetable spring roll that will exceed the critical mass and send the food spilling everywhere. Sweet and sour chicken balls being chased across the floor by the breaded crab claws.
Seriously, for parents wanting to eat out with their little darlings, I'd definitely recommend eating at Chinese restaurants. Culturally, they love kids, they expect them to run around and get in the way and be noisy. They don't give you pointed looks, get you extra napkins for the finger food and they'll sneak the kids treats when they think you aren't looking. I'm sure Boy has half a hundredweight of mints in his coat pocket.
We had a good time tonight. OMG am I full!
Monday, November 27, 2006
I have had a whopper of a bad day. Not helped by the continuing farce that is the radiation scare. Needless to say when I went in today, there was yet another way of processing the calls. Unrelated, tonight I went back in to work to get some training on the ugrades they will be making to the system. It is good how the system is organic and adjusts to meet the needs of the callers, but damn I'm tired.
I've just finished wrapping the first of Boy's pressies. A little something special for him. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I still find it so hard to believe that my bump turned into him. I was at a friend's birthday do which consisted of young trendies who were very down on the whole parenthood thing. They spent a lot of time coming up with witty ways to put parenting and children down. Afterwards, I realised how awkward I found the scathing humour. I love being mum to Boy. He is seriously wonderful and I am potty about him.
Hmmm....there should be a punchline with that thought, but it's late, I've had a glass of something naughty and I think I can hear my bed calling. Coming!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Work was okay. Apart from the face that everyone in London seems to think they've been poisoned. Some idiot thought it would be a really good idea to bandy NHS Direct's number about on Friday. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that using NHSD as the signposting agency for public health concern is wrong, far from it. I am saying that it's been 3 weeks since the poor Russian spy got poisoned. Wait until Monday before releasing our name and number, use that time to properly decide how to best process the calls and train staff in the new procedure. Don't do it Friday, knowing that the weekend is the busiest time, don't call in extra staff, don't dither about the procedure and change it 3 times during an 8 hour shift. Piss-up and brewery, the last words I shall say on the subject.
Apart from that, I've been preparing for Boy's birthday on Tuesday. He's going to be a teenager and I'm getting a bit excited about it. I'm going to be a mother of a teenager! Speaking of which, I'd better stash the goodies before he gets back.
Friday, November 24, 2006
He had his grandad and his grandad's new Love Interest in tow. She was lovely and I have to say I heartily approve. She is obviously very fond of him and vice versa. Certainly from the conversation it was clear that she has been introduced to the rest of the family. I still miss boy's nana, she was quite a woman. It's been 4 years now and I know she is not forgotten, but happiness does not have a timetable. I think he's a lucky man and I hope they continue have fun together. I quite like the idea of naughtiness late in life. Boy seemed quite comfortable with with her and he's a good judge of character.
After they left, I returned to the keyboard and only stopped to get some fish and chips and to watch Chocolat again. Unlike Dianne, I can watch films over and over again in quick succession. I then returned to my keyboard and now after 4,458 words my brain is fried. I have about another 1,000 words to go and then my story is done. Hopefully, that will be my prose submission for my degree done. Well, the first draft anyway. I'm not even finished and I already have marked out passages to be changed.
When I popped into the fish and chip shop, the owner gave me the once over and announced how pleased she was that I didn't look so tired. Bet she won't say that next week. I have five shifts waiting for me over the next week, starting tomorrow.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Having said that, it's an easy job. I answer the phone, take money, talk to clients. In between that I can write and study as much as I want. I realised it's the first time I had solidly sitting in front of a desk with just pen and paper. It gave me the space to collect my scattered thoughts and formulate a plan of action. Not only that, but I also had a massage.
One day I will become a qualified aromatherapist. A proper one. Not to make money, but purely for the joy of massage. Massage is wonderful to give and fabulous to receive. With all those yummy essential oils it is the best way to spend an hour. When I'm rich and famous I am going to have a massage every week. I lurve it. Anyway, there was a practitioner who specialises in remedial massage. I didn't really take much notice of the word before the interesting bit, I was too busy salivating. So I troop up for my 45 mins of luxury, I was thinking how fabulous I would feel after. Yeah. Remedial means painful. As in she found all of the knots in and under my shoulder blades pummelled and pressed each one until they gave up and slunk away. She said there were two things wrong with my shoulders. Firstly, they should not be on the same level as my ears. Secondly, they aren't supposed to be covering up my boobs. Quite.
So I'm sat here with very sore neck and shoulders trying to decide what I'm going to do tomorrow. I've been very naughty and with the money my Pops has given me as an early Christmas present I bought a digital camera and bits. I've been stroking it all evening. It's only a cheap one, but it's mine bwahahahaha....all mine....
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Unfortunately, I don't believe in it. It's a bit like the FGP, I'd love to believe in one, but it aint never gonna happen. Life is never straightforward, situations and people do not fit neatly into boxes. But it doesn't stop me being fascinated by it. Anyway I did a test. These are my results:
you chose AY - your Enneagram type is EIGHT.
"I must be strong"
Asserters are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.
How to Get Along with Me
*Stand up for yourself... and me.
*Be confident, strong, and direct.
*Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
*Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
*Give me space to be alone.
*Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
*I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
*When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.
What I Like About Being a Eight
*being independent and self-reliant
*being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
*being courageous, straightforward, and honest
*getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
*supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
*upholding just causes
What's Hard About Being a Eight
*overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to
*being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
*sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
*never forgetting injuries or injustices
*putting too much pressure on myself
*getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right
Eights as Children Often
*are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
*are sometimes loners
*seize control so they won't be controlled
*fugure out others' weaknesses
*attack verbally or physically when provoked
*take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings
Eights as Parents
*are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
*are sometimes overprotective
*can be demanding, controlling, and rigid
The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Testhttp://www.okcupid.com/tests/taketestid=6711512663497470889
Unfortunately, doing the test has meant that I've been signed up for OkCupid. *sigh*
Monday, November 20, 2006
I have started telling people this is what I'd like to do and surprisingly they haven't called the men in white coats yet. In fact, the contrary. They have been very supportive. I still feel like I'm bonkers, but I'm getting used to the change in direction. I do know I want to do the degree part-time, to really give myself a chance to 'experience' the full creative process.
Those of you beginning to worry, please be reassured. I have actually started on my dissertation and have nearly completed my first tranche of notes to be discussed with my Super. This morning over coffee and a chat I was able to talk about some of my ideas for my prose submission and I feel like I've got a better idea about what I'm going to be writing about. I think I'll write several pieces and chose the best one at the end. I'm going to experiment and just have a play with my ideas, something will come through.
Early night tonight. Work tomorrow. Deep joy.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The plan last night was to watch DVDs and loads of them, we drank wine, chatted about work and moaned about callers, ate pizza, drank more wine, chatted about men. Drank more wine, chatted about families. Did lots of hugging and squeaking when her parents text her to say her sister had her baby. It was a lovely evening.
Not so lovely feeling this morning. Especially when Boy announces we have to go into town to get a present for the birthday party he was invited to this afternoon. The Xmas shopping bonanza has started. Cheerful shoppers, smilling happily with their gifts, laughing at their kid's jokes, clearly enjoying the feeling of warmth and togetherness - not. I was so glad to get home. This evening has been relaxed, friends popped round with posh bickies and a bottle of wine, it was so good to catch up with them.
I'm going to let you into a little secret. I've been looking at MAs in Fine Art. I think I want to be an artist. Oh dear Goddess, did I say that out loud? I will always write, one way or another, but I don't get up in the morning thinking 'I've got to write this down'. When you talk to writers, or listen to them being interviewed, it's an obsession with them. I'm not obsessed by writing, but I am obsessed by my Creative Practice. When I was so low in the summer, it was that which kept me going. Yes, I know. This way lies madness. I have no idea how I'm going to do it, or pay for it, but something will work out. If it's meant to be, it'll happen.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The best part of today was coming home, getting changed and chatting to new friends on-line. Virtual friends, but friends all the same. We talked about stuff and lots of it. Tomorrow, I'll work on my dissertation and prose and then the weekend and more friends, this time in the real world. I might have had a shite day, but I've had a lovely evening. I can't help but feel that yes, life might not be quite going according to plan, but it's all good.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I must admit, had it not been for my Super, I'd have come home and stuck my head in the oven [fat lot of good that would do me - it's electric]. I had a prose tutorial and the work I did yesterday got shredded. Which was bad enough, except my work at the beginning of term was also shredded and I'm running out of resilience. I am usually okay about having my work critiqued, but this term, my writing has been rubbish and whatever I try, it's still mediocre. Sigh.
At least I'm able to say that I'm catching up with my workload. I now have 5 poems (drafts), my Creative Practice is going really well, I have an idea to work with for prose. So things are looking up. Really. It just doesn't feel like it at the moment.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I have been converted to Halo 2. Don't anyone start to fret too much. I do the level called 'Metropolis' and it starts off with that gag. It then descends into the mayhem of me in a tank shooting the crap out of anything that moves (as Boy has found to his cost). I love the fact that all the characters have these wonderful lines. Further on into the level, one of the marines is panicking and he gets told: "Marine, did I give you permission to bitch?"
How sad am I?
Not at all actually. I had my first call review today. Which meant my lovely supervisor listened in on two of my live calls and one recorded one. The recorded one I chose. I chose my lovely gentleman from the early hours of Sunday evening. Halfway through the 11 min call she turned around and said I ought to have a medal, for being so polite and unflappable in the face of his obstructive and stroppy behaviour. I basked. Her only criticism was that after 5 minutes I should have called my Site Lead and got a nurse to take the call off my hands. Not too bad then. I'm really pleased. The review has done wonders for my confidence as I can see the progress I've made.
Now all I need to do is make some progress with my college work and I really will be smoking.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
My penultimate call was from a gentleman who was prepared to argue that the grass was blue and that I was being a right bitch for asking him all these stupid questions. Normally, any hint of confrontation and my flight response kicks in. I'm not into emotional arguments at all. I'm a wreck, if I get told off or make a mistake. Not tonight though. I was assertive, I told him off, I took no shite. What I'm really proud about is that I managed to process the call and get him through to the nurse who was sat beside me. Normally, I'd be quaking and doing a runner. Given the trouble he was causing me I could have hung up on him. Oh no. Not me Captain Caffeine! I sorted it and I was polite, if firm.
The downside of this. Well, lets see. It's gone 2.30 am and I'm still buzzing. I did manage to put my head down this afternoon, but I am knackered. Knackered and buzzing is not a good combination. I think I'll be doing quite a bit of surfing for a while yet.
There's no one else to talk to. Everyone else is in bed. :-(
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I actually started working on my dissertation yesterday and hope to do some more today, after boy goes off. Tomorrow, I suspect will be a write-off, but I've got until Tuesday to do the 1,500 word proposal. Wish me luck.
While I was getting my daily web-fix, Northern Monkey raised a very interesting question - how much does the Internet play in peoples' daily lives. Taking that a step further, I would ask 'how much is too much or too little?'
Friday, November 10, 2006
In which reality did he think this was a good idea?
Today, I am not working, so I'm in my jammies, catching up on the blogging world I've missed out on all week. Later I'll be trouping down to the college library to pay my fines and borrow some more books. The task for today is: dissertation proposal. Nothing else. If it takes me all day, so be it.
Meanwhile, this morning we had our first proper frost of the Winter. It was amazing, white crystals sparkling in the dawn. I have to confesss that I've had my standard winter gear on for quite awhile now. Thick 60 dernier tights, woolly black socks, black thermal long-sleeved vest. Given that I must look drop-dead gorgeous in these deeply sexy undergarments, I am surprised that I'm still single.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
My butt is getting well and truly kicked and I am panicking. I have no idea how I'm going to work and produce this wretched dissertation and keep my household going and still keep my boy happy. Work is still fun, but I come home knackered and grumpy. I resorted to takeaway last night, having missed the 18.11 bus. I had to wait half an hour in the cold for the next one. After about 10 mins I was joined at the stop by a woman in a white woolly hat, lugging a pet carrier.
Things to do While Waiting at a Bus Stop.
- sing/ mutter along with MP3 player, even if it means admitting that you like cheesey music
- flex and rotate hips
- try not to stare at the woman who is singing along in her KA stopped opposite
- rotate ankles in time with Donna Summer
- stare into oncoming traffic
- practise footwork for body jabs
- smile at woman with pet carrier
Is it any wonder that the woman with the pet carrier stayed as far away from me? Anyone would think I'm a bit odd.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Work today was not fun. It felt like I had everyones share of stroppy and narked callers. But the good thing was I came home. I'm turning into such a homebody. I love my home, it might be dusty, filled with dirty dishes and the corpses of thousands of dead fleas - but it's mine.
I caught the Number 28 bus back into Norwich and there I endured Clash of the Ring Tones. Two blonde, chav teenagers were at war with two dark haired chav lads. They decided to play the most annoying ring tones at full volume. The only good thing about that experience was that neither group had anything vaguely connected with the Crazy Frog, or I would have lost it completely. I got off the bus as soon as I could and stalked home. The walk did me good. And the cat opened one eye in greeting.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Today's calls had a theme. Let me share. They went along the lines of...
"I've had really bad toothache/vomiting and diahorrea/chest infection/bleeding from various parts of the body since Monday."
"What do you mean you can't find me an emergency dentist/doctor/gynaecologist/proctologist, today?"
I know. It's so selfish of the dentists/doctors etc to want to have the weekend with their families, catching up with their friends.
On the other side there are the other types of caller: they tend to be elderly and don't really want to make a fuss. Just because they have crushing chest pain, can't draw breath to finish two words, please don't send an ambulance. Ambulances are for desperately ill people, and it's only a little heart attack. No need to bother the nice young men/women.
One thing is for certain, working with the British public is anything but boring.
Oh. Changing the subject, ing and I were hanging out in MSN last night and he asked me about Hottie and our relationship. Apparently, I confused him because I refer to Hottie as Hottie and said she has sexy jammies. I know I don't need to, but I will explain.
Women, especially if they're on their own, tend not to receive compliments, or have many opportunities to flirt. Compliments and flirting are necessary for one's ego, makes a woman feel special; it doesn't actually matter if there is or isn't substance behind it. I have a large group of female friends and we all compliment and flirt together. Because, let's face it ~ it's not like a bloke is going to notice if you've had your hair done, or bought fabulous new sparkly eye shadow.
Friday, November 03, 2006
My corrupting influence did not stop there. Oh no. Please note the new link on the side bar. I'm such a bad person. Hottie paid me back though. This morning when I surfaced I wandered into the kitchen, and there she was in her sexy jammies doing 3 days worth of dishes to the Beach Boys. Slightly disconcerting considering it wasn't even 7 am.
Right, I'm off to get dressed and face the day. I'm on earlies over the weekend and Monday, so I'm not promising that I'll be about. I'm not sure what it is about starting my day at 5.30 that fries my brain but I'm not able to do much else. Oh yeah, it's starting at 5.30.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
My tutorial went well this morning. My Creative Practice tutor likes the pictures I took, I've just got to take loads and loads more. My CP tutor had leant me a video on artist Sophie Calle. I was blown away by her work with Paul Auster and now have two of his books, the New York Trilogy and Leviathan on my bookshelf waiting for 5 minutes to read. I love the blurring of boundaries between art and life, fact and fiction. The energy created is so colourful; it makes me think of a painter's pallette and the picture that is created. I can get ridiculously excited about the weirdest things.
I've decided to postpone my novel for the moment. Instead I will be working on a fictionalisation of my journeying on the buses. Watch those boundaries turn baby blue. My project is beginning to encompass three aspects of my degree now, the only part it has left untouched is my poetry. And I suspect it won't be long before that gets pulled in. I think I'm becoming a little bit obsessed.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I got my butt well and truly kicked on Monday by my tutors. I've got 2 months to prepare my Creative Practice, Poetry, Prose and Dissertation - help! I'm a procrastinator - get me out of here. The good news is I have a digital camera and it's nice and shiny. So, I'll be out and about taking pictures a bit later on. I hope to get some photos uploaded later on in the week, but I won't promise in case it all goes horribly wrong.
Yesterday, was Child Protection Training. NHSD gets a significant proportion of calls about and by children, and the service is committed to protecting children. I must admit, I was horrified by the statistics that were given to us, especially considering that it's likely to be the tip of the iceberg. If you have a chance, have a look at this. When people think about child abuse, the focus tends to be around sexual abuse. Apparently, this is on the decrease, but the other types of abuse: emotional, physical and neglect are on the increase. One to two children die a week in England and Wales because of abuse. When I think about statistics, i think 'ah, these are just numbers'. Actually, they are not, they have names: Victoria, James, Jenny, Peter...
Sorry, I didn't mean to come all heavy handed and righteous on you. Look, it's safe, I've put my soap-box away.
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