Monday, October 30, 2006

Die, Die and DIE again.

Hopefully, this is the last post I will ever write about fleas. Having said that, I will be slightly sorry to see them all go, after all, it was the most action my bed has seen for months! ;~) Seriously though, yesterday I did 5 piles of laundry and I'm now doing another load. Yes, I know. It's my own fault for not doing it sooner. The upside is that my flat is like the tropics, hot and damp - I've got my heating up to try and speed up the process. We also hoovered and sprayed the flat with the stuff the vet gave us on Friday. The cat has stopped scratching and is coming to terms with the loss of her mulitple of blood-sucking friends.

Today, I head into college for the bollocking from my tutors. I have done bugger all college work for a month. I've got 3 months to write my dissertation and prepare my work for interim assessment and then there's that small matter of what do I do at the end of the degree?

One step at a time. Today, I hope to get onto a bus with a recording device of some kind to start making a film. But as equipment is first come, first served at the college and I haven't been about for 4 weeks, I'm not optimistic. We'll see, I'll sort something out.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Taking Advice

All my non-virtual friends will tell you, that I know how to give good, sensible advice. My advice is considered, rational and smart. My friends will also tell you, I'm rubbish at taking it. Until recently. I am learning to follow my instincts. I have to say, it's a bit weird. Yes, I'm still spouting advice at any given moment, but I am becoming more aware that people tend to do things in their own way, in their own time. And actually, it's a bit of wasted breath trying to get them to do 'the sensible thing'.

The advice I took? I took my cat to the vet, as per Dianne's advice. I'm really chuffed I did. Though I would say that the cat is still unimpressed with the whole procedure; she's not keen on injections. She had a steriod injection for the scratching, plus this new whizzy Front-line, plus a spray to do the flat, plus a flea comb.

If you really want my advice, the best way to spend a Friday night is on the kitchen floor with a bowl of hot water and several drops of lavender oil, a flea comb, and a scratching cat. Words fail to describe how satisfying it is to comb the little buggers out of her coat and drown them. The cat purred so much I was sure she was going to hurt her throat. The down side is that for every flea we took off of her, there are probably another 90 in the carpet somewhere.

But not for long. Tomorrow is my day off (the first day off for 6 days) and boy and I will be attending to the fleas. We will have to read the instructions on the tin, apparently this stuff is scary, kills all sorts of creepy-crawlies. Unfortunately, it does mean I have to do the laundry so I can hoover the floor.

I'm sure you never intended to stop by to read about my de-fleaing adventures, I am sorry. But next week I go onto my part-time hours and if I don't do some college work soon, I'm going to get my butt seriously kicked. So I promise, normal service will be resumed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Not Forgotten

No really, I haven't forgotten you, I've just been trying to juggle working full-time, with college and homelife. Yes the balls have crashed all around me as the 5 piles of sorted dirty laundry can attest.

The good news is that I'm now flying solo at work. I got signed off yesterday and today has been my first shift answering calls without someone actively listening in. I would have had more fun, had the shift not ended at 22.00 hrs and my next shift begin at 7.00 for which I have to get up at 5.30.

I've had something to eat, some ibuprofen, now I'm off to bed. Please talk amongst yourselves, I'll be back shortly.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Irritable and Weepy

No not me. I'll explain. Once a caller has been triaged, their case gets popped onto a national call back list and nurses pick up the calls based on the priority given the call and a brief description of the symptoms. Sometimes the Health Advisor makes some interesting spelling mistakes. My favourite last week was 'Graze to Leg. Pussy.' This opens up a whole new surreal world. Apparently, this is the correct spelling, as was checked by another trainee. But I had this lingering image of a person hobbling around with a cat attached to their leg. Far more entertaining than green discharge seeping from wound.

I'm blogging in between loads of laundry. When the load is done, I'm off to bed, so this may be very brief. I made it into College today to attend the Course Committee meeting, I am a student rep and I rather like going to these events; with bribery and corruption, I have ensured I am always welcome. I always take something naughty but nice to munch on. I began my working life in local government, and there if you wanted anybody to turn up to your meetings, you had to put food on. It's amazing how sharing food with people encourages partnership working.

Anyway, 'Irritable and Weepy' was used to describe a caller's penis. When I read it, I just couldn't stop laughing. I know it is probably a very uncomfortable condition, but it brought to mind Wicked Willie sobbing into a soggy, crumpled tissue, shouting 'eff off!' to gentle enquiries.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Did Do List

1. De-flead and brushed cat. Sprayed around the flat where she sleeps.

2. Ate part of Indian takeaway.

3. Watched Motorcycle Diaries for the 2nd time as part of my dissertation.

4. Slept and got up late.

5. IMed with Britwitch, checked up on my fave blogs, left comments where appropriate.

6. Ate more Indian takeaway.

7. Watched Ivanhoe, lusted after George Saunders. I just love those medieval epics. It's the dresses.

8. Despite myself, watched Sister Act II. Very cheesy, but enjoyed it. Don't tell anyone.

9. Laughed my way through The Full Monty. It's just excellent British cinema. My favourite scene is when they're cuing for the dole and Donna Summer is piped through. Another one for my Yule list.

10. More blogging.

How do I feel? Pretty good. Nearly ready to take on the world. Just give me a few more minutes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Last Free Weekend

This is my last free weekend as I face my last week of training. I have no boy, he's gone off to his dad's for the half-term. I was thinking about writing my letter of complaint mentioned in previous post.

Now I've got to the weekend and I'm sat here with my luke warm coffee, listening to 'Blue for You', I'm assembling my To Do List.

1. Do chores, my flat looks like a bomb site. (Yes, I know, it always looks like that, I'm sure I've got some UN reconstruction team running here). Laundry would be good, the socks keep scurrying around at night, fighting with boy's boxers.
2. Do admin. Like write letter to council saying I really am a student. Write letter to insurance giant telling them I am not coming to work for them, which they need in writing. Find council bill and pay, before they send the boys round.
3. Research the best way to get rid of fleas. Boy's cat has picked up some unwelcome visitors and looks miserable, so much so she won't play with the socks anymore. Perhaps that's why they keep picking fights with the boxers.
4. Do some work on my dissertation, like some reading maybe, taking notes. That sort of thing.
5. Do the work for NEAD, which I said I would do 4 weeks ago.
6. Write 1,000 for prose class next Wednesday, tidy up 1st poem and complete numbers 2 & 3.

I'm sure there's something else I should be doing, I just can't think of it at the moment.

And you thought I was a pessimist.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Quickie

I did an early this morning, and am about to do an earlier tomorrow, so I'm off to bed in a bit. Over the weekend I'm going to have to make a complaint to my bus service. I don't particularly want to, but I am a tad impatient with them.

1. The bus timetable on-line bears no resemblance to the timetable actually on the stop. Which seems to be the time that the bus runs to. I would rather the bus company let me deal with the works of fiction.

2. Their forms for bus passes are outdated and ridiculous. I do not have a Christian name. I am not a Christian. When I scratched it out and whinged for the 5th time to the guy behind the desk, he sighed. He works for the County Council and it's not his fault. I am not the only passenger to whinge. We sighed together and he gave me their e-mail address. Wonder whether they'll respond?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wonderful Wednesday

I have decided to see what happens. I am going to enjoy my degree, have fun with my work, celebrate my boy. I've got no idea what lies ahead. I'm enjoying each moment for what it is. For the first time in a long time, I am content. A bit scary to reach this stage in my life and realise that all that hard work and striving has been pretty much for nothing.

I am just going to sit here and see what happens. I have no idea what's good for me anymore, I just know that for the first time, I'm excited about my present. I'm not giving myself a hard time about the things I 'should' and 'ought' to be doing. It's me and boy having a good time.

I came home after a day at college and said to him 'fancy going to a poetry reading?'. He was up for it, so we rushed around and went. It was part of the Norwich Fringe Festival , the God of Poetry read, and it was just amazing. I know my boy didn't get the nuances or the beauty of the language, but he appreciated the bawdy humour. And it was a shared experience. As he grows up and away, I hope that one day he'll appreciate how hard I've tried.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Chasing Rainbows/Funding

I need some advice. Up until now, I've been gearing up towards working my butt off for a First degree, so I can get funding, so I can go on to do the MA in Culture and Communication. The chances of getting a first are about 50/50. At the moment my average is in the upper 2.i bracket. I've dropped poetry on the advice that it's never going to be good enough to make a First, but I do love writing it.

Given that I'm also trying to work, run a household, look after my pre-teen; oh and have a life of my own, I'm beginning to think I don't have the energy. I think I'd just like to get the best degree I can and see what happens afterwards. After all, the Universe provides. And I am good at problem solving, I'm sure I could find a way to borrow the money to do the MA. Lots of students work and study at the same time at post-grad level.

What do you think?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday Left too Soon

Yet another blog with nothing to do about buses...you'll have to make do while I finish my training. Once my preceptorship is out the way and I'm on to my shifts, I'll be able to go back on the buses. Normal service will be resumed, I promise.

Today has been a mix of chores and hanging out with my homie (my pre-teen). We watched Spirited Away again. I love this modern fairy tale, it is breathtaking at times and always leaves me feeling slightly awestruck. So much so that we'll be curled up watching Princess Mononoke after dinner. There is just something about the waterscapes that I find myself wishing these fantasy places were real, so I could go visit.

Yet another obsession coming on. Water journeys. I'd love to take a boat trip from the beginning of a river right down to the sea. When I was a teenager, there used to be a travel programme called River Journeys (I think. It was a long time ago) on early Saturday evenings, showing people doing exactly that. I seem to remember one done through the Black Forest, it was amazing. It was so atmospheric. Hmmm....something to do before I die.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nothing About Buses Again

Sorry about that, but I've been doing a 9 to 5 training stint and been getting lifts to and from Hellesdon, so I've not managed to get on a bus all week. I know, I know. All I can do is apologise from the depths of my heart and try again next week.

I've got one more day of training and then it's on to my Preceptorship, which basically means I begin to take 'live' calls with an experienced Health Advisor sitting next to me. So starts my life in shifts. In fact, this is my last free weekend, so I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can.

The training is going well, it's still loads of fun. But I'm getting a bit itchy not being at college. I will have only missed a week of sessions, which won't be difficult to catch up, but I'm aware my dissertation is looming....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

P.S

Check out the good news!

Knackered

In case you're wondering, I'm still alive. Just knackered. In fact it's just about 9 o'clock, and I'm thinking about going to bed. Training is hard going. Lots of important things to remember, like 'no sniggering', 'no sighing' and 'no swearing'. Which, for those of you who know me personally, is difficult.

I like expletives. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had by muttering 'buggery, buggery, bollocks', under your breath when you've forgotten that really important piece of paper at home and you are two hours away from your bed. Expletives are brilliant adjectives 'it was fucking huge'. You can deny something with vehemence 'I wouldn't fucking touch him in a million years'. And you can wish someone to experience one of the nicest things in the world - 'fuck you'.

I'm going to bed now. Night.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Typical Monday

Yet another whinge I'm afraid. I'd suggest you click on the links at the side of my blog, I'd recommend Slip of the Tongue or The Big Side Order, if you'd prefer a non-whinging blogging experience.

Today was Monday. I could tell because I turned up at the agreed pick-up point at 8.25, bought a sarnie and waited 10 mins. I waited by myself. I rang a couple of numbers. Apparently, the agreed pick-up time was 8.10, they had waited 15 mins for me and then gone on the the Ambulance Centre. *sigh*. I then had to leggit into the city to catch the Number 28. Half-way there I stopped and phoned the trainers to let them know I was going to be late. Fortunately, they forgave me and were really lovely. Thanks to the Number 28 turning up just as I reached the bus stop, I was only 20 minutes late. How to impress your employers - not.

The training was great, we got to play with the computer system all day, learning the best way to key in more and more complicated symptoms. In each pod (call centre speak for desk with chair, PC and phone) there is a file with need-to-know information, including a sheet on Christmas Specials. It's a sheet dedicated to the things people are likely to ingest. Wrapping paper, sellotape, tinsel, decorations, baubles and glow sticks. There's also a section for foliage.

The scary thing is that people must have tried to eat this stuff for it to be on the list. I mean, how drunk would you have to get, to look at a 6 inch glow stick and think 'yummy'? For the record exchange as many kisses as you can get under the mistletoe; under no circumstances eat it. Otherwise you'll get through to me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Nothing About Buses

Don't worry, this post won't be a complete whinge. It's just: I habe a cowd. I just needed to share that. So while the rest of you were enjoying your weekend, getting bladdered with your mates, the only thing I was necking back was the ibuprofen. You might have guessed I don't subscribe to the School of Stiff Upper Lips or I'm Dying and I Thought I'd Come into Work and Share my Germs. I like to stay in bed with a cup of tea, drugs, lots of drugs and a box of tissues. Check this out for a proper way to have an ill. Anna is all I aspire to be.

As I am now paid by the hour and I'm working with nurses and other medical people, I've got to turn up. If ever you're feeling a little bit poorly with a cold, a nurse is the last person you'll get sympathy from. They've seen it all that day/week/year and are probably fighting off the 'flu courtesy of one of their patients. Mind you, if you're really poorly, or upset, they are fabulous. Anyway, I'm not that poorly. I've been shovelling out the flat today. Mind you, if I didn't boy would be going starkers to school tomorrow and Env Health would've shut my kitchen down. It's tough being a grown-up.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Commuting

Did I tell you I caught an honest to goodness commuting bus? I actually got up before 7am and was on a bus going into town at 7.15! You read right. I was up and running at 7.15 (am). For those of you who haven't guessed. I am a student first and foremost, albeit a mature one. I go to an art school which means that morning lectures are scheduled to start at 10am, and most of the students turn up at 11am. I'm fond of my bed; it often has a black cat curled up on it. It's a warm, restful place, whose peace is only disturbed by my boy insisting I have to get up to do his lunch. Little Hitler that he is.

Anyway, on Wednesday morning grey and early, I caught the Number 15 and changed for the Number 28 to get me to Hellesdon by 8.15. Up until now, I've been catching buses outside of rush hour. I never realised there was such a difference in atmosphere.

The bus driver was the only one awake (thank goodness). Everyone else seemed fast asleep, the bus was dead silent. Now, the Number 15 comes in from Silfield and is usually a really noisy trip, with kids and OAPs and mums chattering to their seat partner, or to the person behind. No one spoke throughout the whole trip. I was amazed when we got into town, that the bus driver didn't shout "Norwich City Centre! Wakey, wakey!" People got off the bus at half speed. I was half expecting paramedics waiting for us at the bus stop with caffeine IV drips at the ready. How these zombies would be turned into the Productive, I have no idea. I just looked at the bus driver, but he didn't act like it was out of the ordinary. I had to wait half an hour before the Number 28 rocked up in the grey and cold, but I did get to hear about Karen's great night out. She turned up at 7.30, wide awake and chirpy. She told her friend on the other end of her super-slim phone, and all of us waiting for the Number 28 about her non-excitement in her local pub. After awhile, I could see that silence that early in the morning is actually a virtue. Fortunately she ended her conversation before the bus arrived and I think we all enjoyed the completely silent trip.

I have to confess I'm glad I've got a lift organised for the rest of next weeks training. It means I get half an hour longer in bed. I'm not sure I've really got the stamina to do more runs on commuting buses. I'm not sure I'm prepared to suffer that much for my art.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Participation

In the first part of the week I had to defend my pursuit of this project to my tutors, I had to come up with some intelligent and informed arguments why this project would be worthy of submission for my degree. Well, never mind. I found myself in both meetings stuttering as I tried to argue for the inclusion of this blog in my assessment. It's been exactly like an argument I've had with friends and family; days afterwards waking up in the middle of the night, springing up in bed with my index finger at the ready to point out all of the relevant issues that I missed during the actual fight.

This blog is about participation, a big issue that artists in galleries grapple with quite a lot of the time. Punters in a gallery setting especially, are often afraid to push the buttons that say 'push', or laugh or even to have fun with the piece. While this is not even close to the finished piece, it's still part of it, and in whatever form my submission will take in May, it will have been influenced by the comments and feedback that I will have got from you, my readers, my fellow travellers.

So perhaps over the next couple of weeks while I'm trying to come to grips with my new job, you'll do some thinking on my behalf.
  • What would you like to see on this site?
  • What are your experiences with travelling that changed your perspective on life? and would you be willing to share them with the wider world? Obviously being Anonymous is fine, but it would be great to be able to put names to stories.

I'd really appreciate it if you would take some time and bear those questions in mind. Technology and time permitting, I will try and follow up your suggestions. And of course, I'll let you know when my degree show is happening and you'll be more than welcome to come and have a giggle at my final piece.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hi Hoooo! (again)

I was in college at a ridiculous time this morning to discuss my submissions towards my degree with my Course Leader (CL) and the God of Poetry (GoP). I had to defend my choice of topic for my Creative Practice i.e. this blog and the rest of the stuff I'm working on around journeying. That was tough enough in itself. My CL is completely bullshit proof as I have found to my cost in the past, and he is master of the probing question. In the end, he seemed satisfied that this project would trundle along nicely. So coupled with my tutorial yesterday and today's meeting, we are all systems go....

Having signed into college, I'm now going to be in training for my new job. I will be travelling on another bus route, so I will have material for you, but I might not make it every day. Just bear with me, normal service will be resumed.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bloody Stoopit

"We're here. You can get off now."

"That's fine, I'm not intending to get off."

"What do you mean? This is the last stop."

"I'm doing an art project on bus travel, this is my bus pass for this month, so I can travel your circuit."

"I can see what it is."

"Do you want me to get off?"

"I don't mind what you do, I think you're bloody stoopit. Don't know why you'd bother."

I got off anyway.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

White Rabbits

Hottie tried to have a look at my blog today. According the library computer, this blog contains pornography. That anyone would look at journeying and think that stories about riding around on buses are sexual, they really ought to seek help. Soonest.

Tomorrow, I register in college. I've got an action packed schedule in between signing in and catching up with people, I've got a tutorial with my CP about my project. I'll let you know how it goes. It is a form filling in exercise as much as anything, they need to know my plans for world domination this year. The feedback and guidance will be useful after having spent the summer ploughing my own furrow, so to speak.

Watch this space. Please?