I've been listening to this ad infinitum, so I thought I'd share. Enjoy!
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Well, sale fever certainly has hit Norwich, women with carrier bags swinging, pushing buggies full of grumpy, nose encrusted children. I would like to join Ing in his move to have gender exclusive shopping. The M&S lingerie department was filled with men of all ages, looking bored and lascivious in equal measures, making sarky comments about the underwear in other women's baskets. At several points I had to bite my tongue when a group of young lads trailing around after their mum, felt up bras and knickers. But perhaps that's just more down to my frame of mind?
Tried to get ticket prices from a local travel agent. We've got two choices ~ hideously expensive or moderately expensive. All I can do is wait and see; take it from there once the results are in. Fingers crossed.
You will have noticed the change in title. That stems from some news, which I was aware of just before Christmas but denial never works for too long. P, my step-father, is seriously ill. It is the dreaded 'C' word and today he is undergoing a biopsy to discover what flavour it is. My brother, Atlas, has asked that I fly back to Trinidad no later than the end of January. If it is the more aggressive form, then I will need to make travel arrangments in terms of days, rather than weeks. But at the moment, we are all acting on the assumption that Boy and I will be flying out later.
I have some decisions to make. Do I try to write my dissertation, get it out the way as soon as possible and try and complete my degree this year? Or do I just say, I have other things to think about at this time, and take a year out. Complete my degree next year? Last night I thought it would be better to take a year, this morning looking at my pile of books, I'm thinking I ought to press ahead. I don't know at this stage. I'm not going to be able to speak to my lecturers until next week Thursday and P's results wont be in until possibly Friday.
How am I otherwise? Well, I'm trying not to think about it. My mother died about 2 and a half years ago, so although I'm still fairly raw, I know the process. At this point, I've just slammed the door on the emotion and I'm focussing on creating my To Do List. Hopefully, I will be able to blog while I'm abroad, so you won't get rid of me that easy. The rest of it, we will see.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
My self-pity gnome did not stay long. It popped by, had a cup of coffee and a biscuit and then went off again. I think I frightened it off with my pile of books and notes. Today, more laundry and more dissertation. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go outstide to see the bank and pay the butcher for the duck. It's been a few days since I've left the house and while I don't feel claustraphobic, I do feel the need for some bracing air and a gentle stroll around the block. I've just crawled out of bed and am on my first coffee, still a bit fuzzy.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Boy and ex-H have now been and gone and I'm sat here listening to my stomach rumble and Faithless. The realisation that they are probably the last human contact I'll have for the next 3 or 4 days is quite depressing.I didn't realise it until last night that it's been a long time since I have had someone hold me. Hello self-pity. Actually, I'm really good at keeping busy and in the past few months I've managed to put that need for a cuddle far, far out of mind.
At the end of the day, I know I'm going to be fine. The financial and other problems dogging my heels will be brought under control. Anyway, saftey nets are for wimps. This is not a dress rehearsal, life is happening right now. I really don't have time to indulge in self-pity. My life might not be ideal, by any stretch of the means, but it's mine and when it boils down to it - I'm safe, I have a flat, my health is reasonable, I eat regularly. There are too many people in this world who cannot say that about their lives. The Gods have their work cut out with them; I certainly won't take up their time.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
When I finally made it out of my pit for Dr Who, Hottie started on another bottle of wine, while I looked pale and interesting clutching my glass of water. We indulged in rubbish television and then Chocolat as promised, which was as fabulous as ever.
Hottie look fabulous this morning. She was chirpy, bright and bouncy ready to take on the world. Biatch! I on the other hand, am feeling like I need to give my liver a very big hug, for looking after me. I feel wretched. I did want to go with her to see Britwitch, but the thought of leaving the safety of my flat is just too much. But I have finally sorted the laundry and have actually done 3 loads, which is a start. I think I will probably have a nap a bit later on and then start gathering my books and notes to get me in the mood for dissertationing over the next few days. I've promised myself a treat at the weekend if I get the bulk of it done. No more procrastination, just action.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I picked up the duck, still haven't got a clue how we're going to cook it. I will make it up as we go along. I then took it into my head that I really needed to go into town and get some special Christmas pjs for tomorrow. Hottie and I will have a completely decadent, girlie time. With DVDs, lots of booze and good food. Given my dodgy financial situation at the moment, it was a bit silly, but I have been meaning to get a new dressing gown for ages. They're not exactly dead sexy, but they are very comfy.
I'm really looking forward to doing the cooking and lots of lounging tomorrow. It seems that the last 3 or 4 months have been frantic/fraught and the thought of some down time with some good company is just bliss.
Blast, I've just remembered I must go and change the bulb in the kitchen. It blew last night. Right, must get on. Best of luck to you all tomorrow. Have fun with your rellies and loved ones. Cherish and enjoy them. Failing that: eat, drink and be merry.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
I've really enjoyed working at the department store, and apparently they've liked having me because they've asked me to come back to do some data entry work for them in the New Year. So it's all good.
My favourite customer comments have been:
1. You will take the price tag off before you wrap that, won't you? No, showing how cheap you are, is all part of the service.
2. I can't remember what the fragrance is called, it came in a twisted, mid-green bottle with a red crown. Really?
3. I'm in a real hurry, will you be done wrapping my gift in 2 minutes? If you are in that much of a hurry, wrap it your bloody self.
4. This is the first gift I've bought. (This is at 17.55, shop closes at 18.00 on the 23rd of December). It must be so difficult to plan ahead for Christmas, after all, it only happens for one day, on the same day, once a year.
It's not because I'm just being stroppy (okay, I do admit I have no patience with people), but getting stressed with me, when I am genuinely trying to help, isn't going to improve matters; or my mood.
I've really enjoyed this first serious foray into the retail world. The department store has been a hub of social gathering, I saw more people who disappeared off my social radar in the last 9 days, than I have in the last 4 years. Including my recent 'date'. Which was quite amusing.
He is a friend of a friend, who had the mistaken view we might get on well together. To be fair, we did get on well with each other. But, one of our last communications went along the lines of:
him: I fancy you a little bit.
him: I have some things I need to sort out with my (psycho) ex-girlfriend
I was more miffed that he told me he only fancied me a little bit, than I was about him going back to his ex. What was funny about today was he came scuttling in, Xmas panic etched on his face along with horror that I went up to him. I was polite and helpful. He wanted a Chanel perfume, for a 'friend' of the family that he didn't like very much, but his mother told him to get it. This from a 44 year old man.
So, is it just me, or do you think that he was buying for his woman? See, because Chanel does not do cheap, relatively inexpensive or even moderately priced. And I don't see why some one would spend £50+ on a perfume for someone who wasn't well liked, mother's orders or not. I think I would have had more respect for him if he would have said "I'm buying a gift for someone" or "I'm buying a gift for my woman." Life is way to short for games like that.
Hottie arrives tomorrow. Hopefully, by the time she rocks up, I will have bought the duck, some munchies, booze and done some laundry. Hears hoping. Have a good Christmas and New Years if I don't see you before.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I'm afraid the cold has settled into my sinuses and seems to quite like its new abode, despite my best efforts to evict it. I'm working late night tonight which should be quite interesting, by all accounts the pre-Christmas panic has well and truly set in. Roll on Saturday afternoon when I finish work for the moment. Then it's two days of drinking and eating and then onto the dissertation.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Yesterday, I was visited by the Self-pity gnome and stayed in bed moaning, mopping my fevered brow and making like a fog horn every time I blew my nose. In case you might not have noticed....I'm not good at being ill. I have yet to master the stiff upper lip and carry on regardless.
All I wanted to do this morning was crawl back into bed, pull the duvet over my head and go back to sleep. I didn't dare do another sickie. For one I'm temporary staff and if I don't go to work, I don't get paid and for two, it was bad enough letting Alix down for one day, I couldn't do it to her for another. She went out on a limb to get me the job and I really did not want it to reflect on her. Most of the day, I've been worrying about it until I got called to HR to give my bank details. We had a long chat and basically, they want to find me as much work as I want. I know they are happy with me juggling my study and work and although the money is not wonderful, it is a really fun working environment.
And the best thing about working in this department store? No one has died on me!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Fragrance has 3 categories. Eau de Toilette, which is the weakest and cheapest form of the perfume; it does not tend to last as well and you can be liberal with application (depending on the scent). Eau de parfum is more concentrated and therefore you need less of it. It should, in theory last longer. Parfum is the most concentrated and most expensive scent. Apply sparingly.
My mum always used to say, a man should only be able to smell the perfume when he stands close enough to kiss you on the cheek. There are a lot of women and men upon whose forehead I would like to stamp that on. It really is not meant to be anaesthetic. Mind you, having said that, there are a lot of people who ought to get acquainted with the simple concepts of soap, water and anti-perspirant.
Today, despite my aching feet and streaming cold (thanks so much Boy), I made my way into town to have lunch with flirty Gertie and her fab mates. Nope. She still hasn't stop smiling. When they all left I had another cup of coffee and planned my attack. I went into work, squirted myself liberally with Prada and bought my cards. I then pushed my way into the throng, called into 4 shops got my pressies and wrapping paper. I have one more present to get and then I'm done. I am really pleased with myself, had it not been for my cold, I would be even happier. This evening will be spent wrapping pressies and writing cards, were it not for the cold remedy I will soon be taking, I would indulge in a bit of naughtiness to see me through. Ah well.
As I was juggling 4 carrier bags, three rolls of paper, three bags of bows and ribbons and gift tags in WHSmith, I spot my ex and his grown daughter out of the corner of my eye. Now in case I haven't mentioned him before....we were on/off for 4 years and when we finally split in February it got quite unpleasant. He queued behind me and initiated conversation. I was shaken, but not stirred. We exchanged small talk and I was sweetness itself. On the way home, I realised I was quite pleased to see him. He became a man again inside my head, rather than my arch-nemisis with hooves and a tail. It allowed me some perspective about the whole situation and reinforced the pleasure I have in my life and current situation. I can finally wish him well and let him go.
I rushed home, got changed and headed out to Gertie, for it is her birthday. We drank wine, ate munchies while we waited for her friends to come up from London. They are absolutely lovely. She has such good taste in friends. We all headed out to the Waterfront for the 80s night, which was just excellent. As a venue, it's just great. You can wear jeans and trainers, it's not a meat market, there's a good selection of music. I'm not sure why I left it 5 years to back there. Gertie got her birthday present courtesy of a couple of mates who fixed her up. I believe she's got a date Tuesday. Go Gertie. I danced like it was 1999. Smiled at a couple of guys who blanked me, smiled at a couple of guys whose girlfriends blanked me, smilled at a couple of guys whose boyfriends blanked me. At that point I thought 'perhaps there's a wider cosmic message going on here'. Then bumped into this quite nice guy who danced well, if a touch enthusiastically. Our conversation went as follows:
Him: so are you single?
Me: I'm awkward
Him: really, how awkward?
Him: so, what do you do when you're not being awkward?
Me: I'm a student
Him: so, what are you studying?
Me: Creative Writing
Him: why are you going to university to study that? why don't you just write?
We didn't talk much after that, and he siddled off with his friends to dance enthusiastically elsewhere.
Message received loud and clear. Thanks for that great Cosmic Energy. These things are obviously not mine to have. Whilst I might feel wistful about the idea of having a relationship, my dissertation is far more important to me. My feet might need amputating at the moment and my tininitus might be playing Big Ben, but I had an excellent single time with some fabulous women. I am going to bed a happy woman.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
My feet are aching, but not as badly as Monday. It took me awhile to settle in to the swing of things today; I was all fingers and thumbs. My gift wrapping is still painfully slow and I do keep cutting the paper too small and I have to start all over again, which is a complete bummer if there's a rush on and the customer is standing practically on top of the wrapping table, sighing and tutting. My sinsuses are playing up and I'm hoping that it's just the effect of too much perfume being inhaled rather than me coming down with Boy's cold. I'm out clubbing tomorrow with Gertie for her birthday, and I need to be on tip top form.
Somehow, I've got to get my shopping done Saturday. I'm working Sunday and all of next week and there will be no other opportunity. *sigh* You'd think the fact that Christmas is an annual event, and enough hints are laid out at the end of August that I really should not be getting into this muddle every bloody year.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Saw my Super today. He liked my ideas, he nodded a lot. Ultimately, he wants to see something he can read....ooo like a chapter or two of my dissertation. Yeah right. It just isn't happening. Yesterday and today, I crashed, did some food shopping so we wouldn't starve and did my nurse impression for the Poorly One. He's better today, and I'm going to send him off to school tomorrow as I've got to go to work and he's beginning to get tetchy with the XBox.
At the moment, I have a big list of all the things I ought to have done by now.
- Christmas cards
- Christmas shopping
- Christmas tree & decorations
- Creative Practice
Answers on a postcard please.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Boy is sniffing back the Red Sea, just in time for his Christmas Break. I'm wondering whether I'll have some company tomorrow while I do my dissertation. From a completely selfish view, I do hope he makes it to school because I'm meeting my Super on Wednesday and he will give me a good kicking, if I don't have something like a chapter to show. Wish me luck.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Norwich has been in the past quite an insular city, the diversity message still has trouble getting through to some members of society, so much so, that it was once known as the last white city in England. I used to diversity training with NEAD which was quite scary when you start experiencing peoples' prejudices. Anyway, I digress. I have my favourite coffee oases and the clientelle is predominantly white, middle-class, very rarely do I see people of BME persuasion eating or drinking there, despite the diversity of the menues on offer.
In McDonalds, the people eating there were predominantly young, white teenagers with a love for Burberry, white velour track suits and heavy gold chains. Pizza Hut had more of a diverse age range with couples and families eating, again, predominantly white.
In KFC, there were representatives from all age groups and ethnicities. I sat behind a couple who by the sounds of their accents were French African and German. There was an Indian woman in a sari eating with her family. A grandmother gumming a drumstick, with her Burberry grandchildren. Several Chinese girls sitting together nattering and laughing together.
I know as a TNC, KFC is the spawn of the devil. It's deeply unhealthy, environmentally questionable, pays rubbish wages and according to some, does not even serve chicken, but genetic mass-produced freaks. However, here in this restaurant, in the midst of retail heaven, people from different economic, social and ethnic groups were meeting and eating together. I don't think that's a bad thing at all.
Friday, December 08, 2006
I spent yesterday reading Anne McCaffrey after catching a glimpse of the trailer for Eragon. I was in the mood for dragons and trashy reads. It fortifies the soul, good trash does.
I've got a retail job for the next 10 days starting Monday. It'll tide me over Christmas and give me some time to get my dissertation sorted. Plus, I'll be working with Alix, who I've known forever and is really good fun. I get to pretend to be a girlie, get made up in the morning, do completely frivolous stuff. At the end of the day, I can just walk away. No one will die if I don't make a sale, or if they change their mind and want a refund.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Yesterday, it became very clear to me that actually, I had some hard choices to make. It was my degree, or my job. My degree represents my future as a Creative/Writer, brokedom, more debt than several third world countries put together. Versus my job: represents money, self-esteem, professionalism. I love the people I work with, even the spikey ones. They are incredibly supportive and compassionate, i'm often spluttering coffee everywhere with their jokes and wry observations. Then, there are the callers who are Byronic: mad, bad and dangerous to know. I think if I wasn't doing my degree, the job would be fine, in fact, more than fine.
My underwear is firmly hidden by my tights. I am not Superwoman. I wish I was. I really do. I am just a single parent, trying to finish my degree, trying to sort my life into some semblance of coherence. Ultimately, I'm on my own. My family is not in this country and while I have an excellent support network, of which I now count my 'virtual groupies', at the end of the day, it's just me looking after a teenager and a cat.
Work have said that they don't want me to go. They will pretty much strew rose petals in front of me if I come back. And I do want to. I hate letting the people down who have shown me so much faith and support. If I didn't have a dissertation to finish...okay, if I didn't have a dissertation to start, I think I'd probably be okay. But I do have it, and this isn't my life's calling.
I get up in the morning to write, to blog, to do my bus journeys, not to talk to attention seekers about Polonium 210.
Fortunately, the agency who took me on seem to like me; they immediately offered me more work. I have agreed to do odd days for them, but until January, my time is now my dissertation. The good news is that I've borrowed more books out of the library. The bad, well I've yet to open them.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Place an X by all the things you've done, or remove the X from the ones you have not. This is for your entire life!-
Smoked a cigarette X
Drank so much you threw up X
Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back X
Gone on a blind date X
Skipped school X
Seen someone die X
Been to Canada X
Been to Florida (been through Florida airport)
Been to Mexico
Been on a plane X
Been lost X
Been on the opposite side of the country X
Gone to Chicago
Swam in the ocean X
Felt like dying X
Cried yourself to sleep X
Played cops and robbers X
Recently colored with crayons
Sang karaoke X
Paid for a meal with only coins X
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't X
Made prank phone calls X
Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose X
Caught a snowflake on your tongue X
Danced in the rain X
Written a letter to Santa Claus X
Been kissed under the mistletoe X
Watched the sun rise with someone you care about
Blown bubbles X
Made a bonfire on the beach X
Crashed a party
Gone roller skating X
Any nicknames? Mouse
Ever steal any traffic signs?
Ever been in a car accident? X
Was it your fault? YES and NO (2 accidents)
2 Doors or 4 Doors? I like hatchbacks 5 doors
Favorite number? 7
Favorite movie? Chocolat
Favorite holiday? May Day
Favorite dessert? Strawberry Trifle
Favorite food? Prawns
Favorite day of the week? Sunday
Favorite brand of body soap? Dove
Favorite TV show?
Favorite Toothpaste? Colgate Herbal
Favorite smell? Ylang ylang
What do you do to relax? Go on a bus journey
Do you have a message to your friends reading this now? Welcome to the strange life that is mine.
How do you see yourself in 10 years? Older, as broke, no difference really
What do you do when you are bored? I don’t have the opportunity
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Apart from that work went well. It was a very busy weekend with silly call volumes not helped by the continuing BA Radiation alert. A lot of very grumpy people ringing back to enquire about their call-backs for their ingrown toenails.
By the way, if you ever have dental pain:
1. don't leave it to Saturday afternoon to get it sorted out, when it started Monday morning
2. don't say 'I don't believe in painkillers, I'm in agony' and expect to get any sympathy
3. please register with a dentist well before the event, because trust me, dental problems will happen
My good deed for the day was for my taxi-driver. We were having a quick chat on the way home and he casually let slip that he'd gone to hospital the day before to have a chest X-ray for chest pains. He'd forgotten to mention to the doctor that he was also having pains in his jaw and down his left arm. Either, he was just looking for some attention or some sympathy or, his heart was sending him some messages he really should be listening to. One thing is for certain, my scripts are now second nature. I told him to give NHSD a ring, and if his pain increased at any point, to ring 999 sharpish.
Here endith the lesson. Hope you had a good weekend and will face the coming week rested, refreshed and ready to take the shite.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Part of the reason I've been finding it hard going is that I don't like doing 999 calls. I don't like unpleasant things happening ~ it just does not compute in my middle class world. Recognising this block has meant that I've been able to relax a huge amount. Today, I had 2 suicidals and 2 999s and I just took them into my stride: they didn't get to wind me up. I was really positive with the callers and I'm really pleased with the way I dealt with them, previous mistakes were not repeated.
The farce which is the BA radiation alert continues. I found an article in The Guardian which covers some of the reasons why this week has been so stressfull. I'm sure you'll understand, getting a bashing in the media when I'm dealing with 'interesting' callers, does not help.
As a result, my energy levels are up and I've actually cooked something nutritious ~ chilli time*! And I've got some laundry on the go. If I'm not careful, I might even do some college work. Tomorrow, Boy is having his sleepover party. Think of me, hiding in my bedroom, earplugs firmly attached, glass of wine in one hand and a book in the other.
*chilli means a dollop of beer for the pot, the rest for me. Unfortunately, because I'm cooking for an army which is yet to camp out on my doorstep, I've had to top the beer up with something naughty! Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone.