Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunshiney Day

Another week has flown past. Fortunately, the last of my full-time work on the PCH, my counter manager is back from her holiday. I've really missed working with her, and to be honest I don't want the responsibility of the counter. It's been hideous trading and we're so behind with our targets, I have a feeling she's going to go ballistic when she sees the figures. Ah well, I can't be worrying about it.

Going back to regular PCH hours also means my working for the Heat Pump Company again. Back to the 6 days a week. It's brilliant for my bank account, but it's wrecking my social life and energy levels. The good thing about working out of the city, is there's not much to spend my money on apart from the odd sausage roll or cornish pasty (which are gorgeous, made locally, yum yum). I'm not sure how long I can keep this pace up, but I'm going to do my damnedest.

Today, I took things really easy. I had a lie-in, then wandered into town to do some paperwork at work, ready for my Counter Manager's return. I then went into M&S and bought some cherries - very naughty of me, I know. But they were begging me to take them home, begging I say. I gritted my teeth and went to Argos to get my CD alarm changed. It wasn't half as painful as I thought it was going to be, not only that but I also got a gift-card for £5.99 because the price of said item had been dropped in the new catalogue. I was so chuffed. It's now installed on my bedside table and seems to be working ok; tomorrow will tell.

When I got home, I was very naughty. I slathered myself in suntan lotion, put on my skimpy wear and lay out in the sunshine for over an hour. It's such a pleasure to feel the sun on my skin. I never realised quite how much I've craved sunshine and heat before now. I know that I'm going against all of my training, scientific knowledge and good old common sense, but I did take the precaution of SPF 50 on my face and neck first. I don't usually sunbathe, I normally get bored, but today I lay in the park, bathed in sunshine, listening to my tunes completely blissed out. Apparently, it's going to be chucking it down this week, but given that was the forecast for the weekend and it's been fine - more than fine, I've got my fingers crossed that the good weather will continue.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Decadent Day Off

Life here continues apace. My Counter Manager is away, sunning herself in foreign climes, drinking French wine, eating French food - and she didn't invite me along. Humpf. I'm working full-time for the PCH, which is tiring, but not as exhausting as doing 6 days on the trot as I have been doing lately, juggling two jobs.

I've decided I'm far too lazy for this type of economic activity. The time I spend working to pay the bills (after the second black bill, the one before the red, snotty one), I could be interferring with Boy's X-Box time; I could be drinking coffee, eating small pastries with Gee; I could be irritating Viking in the mornings making him get up and amuse me; I could be writing. Instead, I'm being fiscally responsible. Humpf.

This week pretty much everything that could go wrong electronically, did. My wonderful Nokia N73, of which I have had many a diatribe, its days are numbered. O2 said I could have an upgrade, which I nearly bit their online hands off. I elected to have a cheaper tariff, with a less snazzy phone in the hopes that the less there was to go wrong, the more likely it would work more. Which in theory was sound. New phone arrives. Does it work? Does it heck. Couldn't even switch the damn thing on. In the hopes it was just me being thick, I took it to an O2 store in town. A sales guy, who looked younger than Boy, deigned to stop talking to his girlfriend long enough to assertain my phone didn't work. I then had to ring O2 Customer Services to organise the swap. I thought I'd have to post the damn thing off and wait until they sent a new one out to me. There is a God, and She is good. Or perhaps the nice lady on the phone heard how fed up I was. They organised for a courier to come with the new phone and swap it for the faulty one. Of course, I was at work and they couldn't guarantee when the courier would come a-calling. Boy was home from school and was able to take delivery. So I now have a swanky new phone, one that actually works. How cool is that?

Unfortunately, my new CD alarm seems to be lazier than me. It starts playing a track and then decides it really can't be bothered. At all. It means I have to go back to Argos and bitch to some bored teenager to get it exchanged. Can I find the receipt? Can I heck as like! So, I'm now looking at my baskets where I dump my paperwork, to see if I can find a bank statement with the transaction, to show I paid for the damn thing. Do I want to do that today? I'm in my pink, fluffy dressing gown, enjoying my second cup of coffee (love you Hottie) and I'm loathe to leave my flat to head into town just for that. There are plans afoot to meet the gang in the Pub-Over-the-Wall and while I'm happy getting dressed for them (though to be fair, they wouldn't care if I turned up as I am), I really don't think the sacrifice of becoming presentable is worthy of Argos today.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Forgive me Mr Bank Manager...

...for I have sinned. I got carried away with trivial, frivolous things and yea, I bounceth off my overdraft facility yet again.

I did need a new CD alarm from the den of iniquity that is Argos, to play me soothing sounds so I might rest well and be woken up gently. This way I can go to work refreshed and able to earn money to keep you in your BMW.

I have over-indulged in frothy coffees and meals in the staff canteen, cafes and takeaways. I now am making interesting and healthy packed lunches as penance. No more shall I covet Wagamamas or Pizza Express. This I do swear.

Lo, I hang my head in shame for the weakness that lead to the purchase of not just one, but two bottles of OPI nail polish. Their sexy, sparkely shades of red, one of which (Midnight in Moscow) is such a dark red it looks black, seduced me. I admit it, I was weak.

And thus, I count the hours til pay day and keep my fingers crossed that your wrath does not lead to a £30-a-day charge. tide me over until then, I will need to visit M&S for a bottle of naughtiness to keep me sane as I continue to work 6 days in row.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Long Live Lazy Mums

I was reading Northern Monkey's post about the imminent arrival of her niece and she touched a nerve and I ranted for a bit, and when I paused to take a breath I came back here to start writing. This has been something that has been lurking in the back of my mind for ages so it's the perfect excuse to vent.

What is it with mums today? They give birth and pretty much in a couple of days they are tottering around on heels, showing new born baby off in the brand new pram. The Viking and I were queuing in Boots when the baby in front started to exercise his lungs. Newly birthed babies have a particular kind of cry, it's not the fully fledged waah of a 6 month old, they almost sound like a cat mewling. This baby was certainly in his first month, and Viking couldn't understand why I was tutting like a maiden aunt.

The more I think about it, the more I think that mum's aren't encouraged to enjoy the speciallness of the experience of having a baby. Everything is geared to getting her 'back to normal', which to me is both downright daft and bordering on criminal hypocrisy. There is no such thing as 'normal' when you have a baby. They change your body and your life. I feel nothing but sorrow for the women who work so hard to 'get back to normal', who then spiral into depression because their version of normal can never live up to their expectations.

Being pregnant puts great pressure on a woman's body. For 40 weeks, hormones prepare her body for the assault of labour, ligaments and muscles are softened so the pelvis and coccyx can give way to let the baby through. The woman carries however much the baby weighs and probably the same again in amniotic fluid. A solid night's sleep in the last weeks of pregnancy is impossible with junior tapdancing on your bladder which seems to have shrunk to the size of a walnut. Labour is called labour because it's bloody hard work. While there are some women who drop children like shelling peas, mostly, it can be long, painful hours.

So having gone through all of this and then thinking about breastfeeding, some women want to climb back into their skinny jeans and parade their baby about like a winners cup to all and sundry. I think they're mad. I stayed home in bed for a week. A week of trying to rest, to get used to this small, grizzling bundle, who ideas of his own about everything. My husband dealt with the house and other stuff. My midwife strongly advised me not to climb up and down the stairs unnecessarily so as not to strain my joints. I lazed in my jammies, seeing only the in-laws for a short time at first, then after two weeks friends were invited round and invited to leave quickly so as not to tire me and subject my little one to too many germs.

It was special time. It was time that I'll never forget. I slobbed around in sweat shirts and jogging bottoms watched my baby boy air his bare bottom in front of the gas fire.

I don't mean to make it sound too rosy (pardon the pun). It wasn't. There were sleepless nights, sore bits, sore nipples, short tempers, lots of icky nappies, not to mention flabby tummy and stretch marks. There was no expectation of me and from me, that it was anything other than what it was. No tummy 'snapping' back, no parade. No pressure to conform to the motherhood as portrayed by Posh, Mylene Klass etc.

Long live lazy mums, who enjoy their babies, take the time to get to know them and also take their time to enjoy and learn about the changes their babies make. Long live lazy mums who give their bodies the time to recover from pregnancy and labour, who don't try and rush the process. I don't regret being a lazy mum, it was a special time.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Difference Between Retail & Office Work

I had a friend ring up last week and ask if I would provide emergency office cover. I'm not proud, I need the cash, I gave it a go. I had a really good time. I then realised there were some major differences between Retail and Office work:

Retail: You have 1 and a half hour break, and nothing bar fire, flood and acts of God will keep you from them.

Office: You turn up at 9am, leave at 5.30ish and eat at your desk.

Retail: You have to smoke in your break time.

Office: Smoke every 3/4 hour or more often depending on your stress levels. If you don't smoke, you're glued to your desk.

Retail: On your feet 7.5 hours a day.

Office: On your feet only to get to the photocopier/kettle and only if your chair won't roll all the way.

Retail: You count the seconds between your coffee break and lunch.

Office: Coffee is but a click away. Oh yeah, baby!

Retail: Lots of 'interesting' customers in your face.

Office: Not so many 'interesting' customers, and they're usually on the phone.

Retail: Nothing less than glamorous will do, preferably in a short skirt and high, high heels.

Office: It's clean, what more do you want?

Retail: Every moment is a surprise.

Office: Same shit, different day.

I'm hoping to do more of the office stuff, it really has been fun and it will keep me in coffee and hopefully, a colour laser printer. Besides, what else am I going to be doing on my days off?

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Yesterday evening, I thought I'd finished the triptych. I kicked back, drank a glass of raspberry beer and contemplated my work. As I co...