Showing posts from November, 2006

Bad Hair Day

You know when your working day starts in darkness with the bus being late and ends in darkness with the bus being late, that a hug and a glass of something alcoholic is called for to help deal with the trauma of the bits in the middle. Thankfully, I got both.

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 …

Celebrate Good Times

I am seriously bloated. Boy and I have just come home from a meal at the Lucky Star, a local Chinese restaurant that offers buffet meals - all you can eat, for not a lot of money. As I was sipping on my 4th cup of Chinese tea, Northern Monkey's Other Half's quest to find a decent Chinese meal flashed through my mind. So I thought I would do a restaurant review of our meal.

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&…

My Boy

Practising for the Asbo years!


[The sound my nails make as I slip off my learning curve]

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…

Sunday Shenanigans

I just called it that to make you think I've been up to stuff. Sorry. I've been writing and working and now thinking about the ever-present laundry. I just might do it too.

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 s…

Best Laid Plans

Today, I was going to get up early and head out with my camera. Instead, I saw boy off to school and went back to bed for another couple of hours. I then pottered round the internet for the rest of the morning. I didn't really feel like going off into the cold and damp, bus or no bus. So I put on Chocolat. A fabulous film, I laughed and cried my way through it. After the credits I had a line running round my head so I sat at my desk and wrote it out. I didn't stop writing until boy came home to get changed before he went off to the coast to see his dad and family.

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…

Sucker Part Deux!

After having complained of being behind in my college work and being knackered, I arranged to drop 2 shifts over the last fortnight. So what do I do when an ex-boss at the alternative healthcare clinic rings me up desperate for a receptionist today? I go in. I'm not very bright am I?

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, th…


I was checking out Gertie's website (link to be added shortly). She had done an online personality test and I was curious. Now I am a huge fan of Pop Psychology. I love the straightforwardness, the rationality and the simplicity of it. I think Dr Phil is great, I love the way he can sort out a person in a few short pithy sentences and bring about complete change.

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:

The Asserter

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…

Dear Fairy Godperson

Please will wave a magic wand and enable me to get a First, so I can get funding to do an MA in Fine Art. Would you also make it possible that I get accepted onto a course in an art college in London, which will also provide me and Boy with accommodation. I would really appreciate it if you could also provide me with the wherewithal so that I can live and work in London. Hope it's not too much trouble. Thanks very much.

*** What do you think? Do I stand a chance? I didn't think so either, but it will be worth my while having a look at establishments in the capital and exploring the idea of doing the MA part-time. I'm not convinced London is a possibility and I'm not going to get hung up on the idea at the moment. The important thing is that I find the best place to study and that may very well be in the art college here. There is also a great deal of comfort to be had from the Devil you know.

I have started telling people this is what I'd like to do and surprisingly t…

Hangover Cures

Gertie the Frog came over last night and we had a lovely bottle of red, which is now a dim memory. One of the things I learnt last night is that you should only pour Baileys into clean glasses. Pouring it into a glass that previously held red wine makes it curdle. Trust me, it's not nice. Really.

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 h…

Scent of Earl Grey

Today, I had a rubbish day at work. One of the things I'm discovering about working for NHSD, is that nothing ever happens by halves. It was a really rubbish day. As in I started work at 7 am and by 8 am I had my first expected death. Expected deaths are what they say on the tin. It was an elderly person with a terminal illness, whose relatives respected her wish to let her die at home. I heard the grief in his tightly controlled voice and I couldn't type, I couldn't think.

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.

Touching Base

I am still alive! Not only that, my butt is un-kicked! My meeting with my Super went really well. In a matter of minutes he identified why and where I was getting stuck. I'd been going about things arse about face. He's basically told me to start with my text The Motorcycle Diaries and build my conceptual framework around it, rather than do it the other way round.

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, …

The Ladies Like Armour Plating

"Thanks for the tank. He [Master Chief], never buys me anything." Cortana. "Oh I know what the ladies like." Sergeant Johnson.
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 th…

RVB Episode 62: Lost In Triangulation

This is for Ing...enjoy!

Captain Caffeine

I have survived my first twilight shift. Just. You might be wondering about the title (I am also, but just work with me with this for a moment). The first part of the evening was slow, mostly with 'interesting' calls. Calls that didn't seem to quite go according to plan. Then I had my first break at 21.30 and my first cup of coffee. At some time or other, I am bound to have mentioned that I'm very careful with my favourite vice. I make sure that I don't have more than 3 cups of coffee a day, and never after 14.00; otherwise I turn into Manic Bunny, and that is not a pleasant experience, for me, or for those unfortunate enough to be near me. That first coffee was lovely; it bucked me up no end. At my second break at 23.00, I thought it was a great idea to have another one. I was positively smoking after that. By about 1am the shakes had started and so did the awkward calls. The calls made by muppets. People who needed me to ring them back on their mobile phones and …

For Remembrance

For my friends who serve.

The Day Ahead

Today, my boy is off to a costume party with his dad. Just as well, because I am doing my first twilight shift. I troop along to work for 6.00 pm and finish at 2.00 (am). I am a tad worried about doing the late shift because 1) it'll be my first late weekend shift and the day shifts weren't fun and 2) I've been going to bed at 9.30 all week. I suspect once I'm actually at work and taking calls, I'll be so focused on my job, I won't be worrying about the time, or have the time to feel tired.

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?'


A candidate for the Darwin Awards....

In which reality did he think this was a good idea?


This week I've had to come to the rather disappointing conclusion that I am not Superwoman. My tutors have given me 'that look' along with 'that lecture' and consequently I've had to have a quiet re-think about my work-life balance. I am just knackered, the flat is a tip, boy and I haven't had a 'proper' meal in ages. A fabulous colleague is going to pick up one of my shifts next Saturday and I've asked a student I know to come blitz my flat every week.

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 …

100th Post!

To celebrate I thought I would share one of my pickies with you. It's part of the University in the pouring rain. It is unenhanced. I love the camera that I've borrowed. It's FujiFinePix and it'll take 9m pixles!
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

Flash, Bang, Whizz

For the last three days Norwich nights have been filled with a variety of those sounds. Mostly I'm not bothered, except for the ones that go off at 2.30 am and wake me up hyperventillating. Last night, I was in bed, cuddling up to my pillows at 8.30pm nodding off to the sounds of fireworks. I remember waking up at about 3.00am thinking 'gosh, it's awfully quiet'.

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…

Waiting for the Weekend

I haven't been home long and already I want to crawl into bed. I am not cut out for earlies. Mind you, I'm not cut out for lates either. But one thing has to be said for doing earlies, the time at work seems to whizz by. I've also got into the habit of having late breaks and lunches as it makes the time go even faster.

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 wor…

Friday Feeling

Hottie says I've corrupted her, a bit rich considering she descended upon us bearing the Colonel's finest and Banrock Sparkling Red (yummy and kind to the environment). We caught up on all the news and latest gossip and in the midst of this she let slip that she had never seen Dirty Dancing! The horror! It was immediately rectified. Boy stalked off to his computer in disgust while she and I lusted over Patrick Swayze as he gyrated and looked moody. However, boy refused to go to bed until the dance finale and very kindly handed out tissues to the two of us saps.

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 ov…

Chill Out Moods

I downloaded some Chill Out music (and some BENT~lovely) and as I sit blogging I'm listening to the laid back tracks, while my boy drives his Warthog over Grunts on Halo II. We are waiting for Hottie to decend upon us. She has promised KFC and sparkling red velvet. What can I say my two most favouritist things in the whole wide world and her and boy. I am a happy, happy bunny.

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…

Trick or Treat?

Did you spend last night dishing out sweets to little vampires and ghouls? I didn't. It was throwing it down here, I think the only thing out and about last night was the undines and they don't like sweet things.

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, h…