Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Week 4-itis

What is it about week 4? I seem to remember this from last semester too. All of a sudden it seems like there is just so much to do and I may never ever get around to it. But then I spend a couple of hours sitting in front of the laptop and I hammer away at it and realise that it will be ok. There's no need to panic and that overwhelming sense of being overwhelmed - be gone! 

It's all the bloody reflection you know. For every module that I am doing this year I am working in groups which has its own nightmares, and we have to include reflective pieces that are worth a big chunk of our final mark. The thing about reflection is that you have to do it as you're going along, you really can't try and play catch up at the end as it's impossible to remember everything. I'm pretty good at writing up what I think one week and then the next I might forget. This time I'm determined to stay on top of it. I've just typed up some thoughts and reflection and looking to the future for the Prince 2 module and now I'm going to move on to research and development. This way, I hope, when it comes to writing the final piece I'll have all these chunks as a head start. That's the plan anyway. 

I'm going to a careers fair next week. The thought of real work now is odd, how will it be? Will it be easier than trying to find work in a shop (blimey I really hope so!) It's quite exciting. But also a bit nervous nelly. The future really is out there! But for now I should concentrate on week 4 and reflect my ass off. So long, then. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Time. Tomatoes.

The clocks went back one hour last night which means dark nights and colder days. Time to dig out the gloves. 

Rather randomly, the other day the sun was shining into the kitchen casting some rather lovely light on the tomatoes that I had on the windowsill. So here are my tomatoes:


Friday, 25 October 2013

Film week (small screen)

It's been a bit of a nothing kind of week here. Wavey has been away and I ended up with a rotten sinus infection that made me dizzy and felt like my nose was going to explode off my face. Just thought I'd share that with you. So I spent a lot of time on the sofa feeling sorry for myself and watching films. Also because I am kind, I'm going to share my thoughts on these films so that you can of course rush out and watch them. 

I've had this one on the box for almost a year but I kept putting it off as everyone told me I would bawl my eyes out, and you kind of have to be in the right mood to handle that. So when better to choose when you're feeling ill and a bit sorry for yourself?! As with all Pixar films I loved it! I defy anyone to not shed a little tear to be honest, the love just seemed so big and real. As with all Pixar the animation was excellent and the colours were fabulous. The story was a little sad but by the end you have a warm fuzzy feeling that all is right with the world. I think my favourite character was definitely Dog. He was awesome. Definitely recommend, but bring a little hankie for your little tears. 

Celeste and Jesse Forever
I know I am very late to the party here but Wavey and I have just discovered Netflix. We can have two accounts which means he can watch when he is away in strange foreign lands rather than trying to translate badly dubbed local tv. This is however not an advert for Netflix, moving on. This film came to my local arthouse cinema but I missed it and was a bit gutted as it sounded right up my street. Plus I firmly believe that Rashida Jones is just the coolest, ever. This dates back to when I saw her in NY:LON which is possibly one of the finest programmes I have ever watched and I am so going off tangent. Back to the film! Celeste and Jesse used to be married, but then they split up but stayed best friends and all their other friends thought they were totally weird and should never have split up in the first place. Other stuff happens, Emma Roberts plays a rock star who looks a bit like Avril Lavigne, more stuff happens, the end. I really liked this film, it was thoughtful and thought provoking and stays with you after you've watched it which is exactly how I like my films. Don't watch it if you like super happy endings. Just warning you. 

The Joneses
I had literally never heard of this film which surprised me as Demi Moore and David Duchovny are hardly small time names. Anyone else? You heard of it? The premise of the film is that Demi, David, and two shiny teenagers move into suburban America with the sole target of increasing sales, and they do this by having all this stuff and talking about all this stuff and essentially selling it all to their neighbours via parties and showing off. Their aim is to reach Icon Status as sellers and this will please boss lady Lauren Hutton. Sounds weird but again it was actually pretty good whilst being a bit scary and eep-y all at the same time as it started to make me wonder whether this kind of shit really happens. Then again I have never lived in suburban America and my only experience is from the tv where they make these Stepford people look like freaks who all dress the same - basically my perception is based entirely on fiction. I can't imagine my neighbour with her freaking giant dogs and squawky birds is actually trying to make me buy into her zoo, but hey, you never know, it could happen. So another recommendation. To be honest, I try to avoid seeing films that I don't really like as that doesn't make much sense...

The Adjustment Bureau
I like Matt Damon and I kind of like Emily Blunt but I didn't really get these two as a couple at all, there was definitely some major chemistry missing. Maybe it's because I sometimes think that Emily Blunt acts like she has a stick up her arse she is so stiff and British. But without the chemistry that this story so badly needed it really was just a bit blah. It's a bit of a spooky idea and I wasn't too surprised to see that it was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, and with two other actors it might have been cracking but as I say, bit blah, bit disappointing. I'm glad that I recorded it from the tv rather than paying money to see it at the cinema. 

So there you have it. Film review week. Move over Barry Norman (ah, does anyone remember him before the annoying Winkelman woman took over the BBC Film [insert year] programme?) Bet you can't wait for the next installment... 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Things that go bump in the night

As the song goes, oh what a night! The wind was blowing, the rain was pouring, the roof was creaking and groaning, the water started to come in, something disturbed the menagerie that lives next door so 4am found me sitting bolt upright as dogs barked, birds squawked, and general mayhem ensued. No wonder I feel like I need to go back to bed! 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A moment of reason

It suddenly occurred to me at the weekend that I should stop whining. Yes it has been incredibly frustrating that I've been unable to find a job, yes the application process is a load of old nonsense, and yes having a much smaller budget is not that great, but none of these things equal end of the world. Stop the drama, I want to get off. Just like that I made the decision that I would simply stop it all. Stop applying for jobs that I know I won't get, stop putting myself through the inevitable rejection, cease and desist. It was like suddenly my head finally accepted it just wasn't to be and that was a good feeling!

Three weeks into the course and with deadlines stacking up around my ears I now believe that this was perhaps serendipity at work. There has been a timetable change which means we are in for an extra day, if I had have found a job I might have already started working that day and would have had to approach them with the news that I would have to change days which would probably not have gone down well. 

I found out today that not only do we need to produce a gazillion documents for our PRINCE2 module, but we also have to design the product - hello panic, welcome to the party. 

Three large items of work have to be handed in at the same time, on the same day, and that is in about three weeks.  None of them are even remotely started.

Oh and I'm supposed to be coming up with some zowie wowie idea for my final project that is new but has enough information out there in the big wide world to be able to write an academic paper for a conference or journal and a presentation in front of a conference board. 

My head may shortly implode. 

And so in a total reversal I would like to say thank you. Thank you to all those shops, bars, and restaurants who have rejected me over the past few months. You may well have saved my bacon/sanity. 

I have to sign off now and pretend that I know what I'm writing for a Project Brief...   

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Dashed. Running. Splat.

Right now is such a strange time. I always knew it was going to be strange. I don't think you can walk away from something after twelve years into something totally and utterly different and not expect to feel a bit funny, odd, weird, call it what you will. The first few months flew by with nerves, excitement, anticipation, heaps of work, and relief that I was free from the place that had literally dragged me down. Then came summer with its extreme high at finding a job before crash and burn as the job came to an epic fail close. The long summer months were tough, not being able to find a job, the endless rejection emails, the constant battering of my confidence levels. And now the return phase. Highs, lows, crash, burn, dash, splat, this battering is still going on. 

Take yesterday for example. After much frustration and despair I finally managed to find a roof guy to come and do our work. He could start right there and then, he was a nice guy, I trusted what he was saying. The job was finished really quickly (alarm bells start to ding quietly in the background) and I felt good. Yay! And I was loving my outfit that I was wearing so I thought I would take some photos for the blog. 

(Small detail to pay attention to: it starts to rain. Like really rain. HUGE rain)

Here are my outfit photos:

It was as I was messing about with the camera upstairs that I took a look at the wall. This was the wall that had been causing us the problem, hence the need for the roof work. My heart started to sink (alarm bells are no longer merely dinging but close to full on clanging), the rain water that should have been outside seemed to be inside. Running down the wall. 

Oh what a surprise. Another epic fail. Whatever the roof guy had done clearly had not made improvements. Straightaway I'm on the phone to him. Oh I can come back tomorrow he tried to say. Or you can come back today was my very polite but firm response. 

(Takes a further look at the wall that is now seeping. Alarm bells might as well have whacked me on the head)

So he came back. He made some adjustments to his previous work. I tried not to spend the rest of the night watching the wall as the rain poured down outside. Thankfully it ceased to come inside which is some relief. I'm not entirely convinced that I want to be responsible for any further work to the house arrangements but I'm sure I'll get over it. 

That was yesterday then. Glad it's over. 

(Heads upstairs to make yet another check on the wall)

Monday, 14 October 2013


It's safe to say that Autumn has well and truly landed. Gone are my much loved blue skies and sunny days, someone has turned on the rain. Like big style. Rain rain rain all the day long. As if this wasn't bad enough my umbrella literally snapped in half within seconds of opening it this morning. SNAP! Right in my hands. Oops. So I spent the morning walk to school getting rather soggy. Homeward bound tonight I discovered that my park and ride scheme actually doesn't work too well on Mondays, they stopped the ride part 30 minutes before I finished school! Pah I say, Pah! Cue another extremely soggy walk back to the park in the badly named park and ride scheme. So summing up today: soggy, fed up, drowned rat-like. Smashing.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

What would you do?

Another day, another couple of job applications, and the obligatory "we are sorry but you have not passed our online test" messages. These tests are crazy. They always throw in this question that basically translates to would you go and sprag on one of your fellow workmates if they weren't working their arses off for [insert company name here]. Now I don't know about you but one thing I have never been, and never will be, is a big fat spragger. What sort of person are you if you run straight to your manager everytime someone does something like, utter horror, dare to have a conversation if the [insert company type here] is not busy? I'm happy to pretend that I like to follow procedures instead of desperately wanting to break with convention and trash all the rules, but I can't, I just can't, bring myself to answer this will you sprag question any other way. Even though I am beginning to believe it prevents me proceeding further in the application. But say I was to lie and agree that I would sprag; if that situation then came up they would expect that kind of behaviour from me and it just won't happen. 


Frustrated doesn't even cover it! This type of recruitment is just so so so stupid and I don't see how it can possibly help any company recruit someone worthwhile. In fact, I know that often it turns around and bites them on the arse as the daily job bulletin I get via email often advertises the same jobs over and over again as no-one has passed their ridiculous online recruitment method. PFFFFFFFFFFFF! Sort out your nonsense recruitment type people! 

*takes deep breath to pause and reboot*

In other news, I am beyond thrilled that one of my favourite bands of all time are dipping their toes back into the music biz. I could only find this little teaser trailer for their new album but if you like what you hear, I urge you to buy. You won't be disappointed.  Oh and don't let the beginning of the video stop you as it crackles into life, I think they did it on purpose...

Welcome back old friends. Placebo, you rock my world:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Soggy with a side of damp

Deciding to do outdoors exercise as the seasons change may not be my brightest idea yet. But it's free, feels good, and seems to be working so it's hard to find an argument against it. Well other than looking like this as a result...

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Unexpected moments

1. Thank goodness for exchanging mobile numbers with friends on my course. Without this I would never have known that our first lecture of the new year was actually yesterday and not Monday as I have been told by several people who clearly don't know what they're talking about! I really didn't expect to feel such joy at being back. It was lovely to see everyone again after such a long break away, hugs and hand shakes and how was your summer questions. I'll probably change my mind soon but it was even joyous to be in the learning environment again.

2. I literally ran into heaps of people! Every which way I turned there were people that I hadn't seen in months who wanted to say hello and catch up. More hugs, not as many handshakes. I even ran into my old journals colleague in her new work location and it might have been at least a year since I had seen her. Barmy!

3. The meeting of the new people. Via the power of the volunteer I am meeting so many more new people, this time it was Oxjam (happening next Saturday!) I spent a fab afternoon with these new people, getting to know each other, finding out a lot of information about cold war bunkers (history buffs!), and generally mucho laughter and more joy that like minded people exist out there who are beyond keen to do and be part of things and stuff! The plans we made! Who knows if any of it will come off but it gives me hope for when I finish my course that the kind of work I want to do is out there, here in this area (sigh of relief)

4. Suddenly becoming picky on the job front. Who am I kidding that I will do any job? The old biddy in me who likes to be tucked up in bed by 10pm is definitely not feeling the idea of working late into the night for a few meagre pennies. Today I've just applied to be a weekend receptionist in a car dealership, and rejected the food and beverage host in a casino and hotel. I read an article the other day that said you should be smart about your job hunt and not just apply for any old thing. I admit to almost total desperation during the summer months but as we head into Autumn and I'm back at uni it suddenly doesn't seem so vital that I apply for anything and everything. 

5. Chasing workmen. I am genuinely baffled when you organise for someone to come and do some work, why they then don't turn up at the agreed time and I'm already thinking I'm going to have to make another uncomfortable call asking if they are coming or not. What is this confusion? Do you not want my money? The guy today has been like this throughout and it's starting to annoy me a smidge. Why is it so hard to find a good reliable tradesman these days? Sheesh and ohmygod how old do I sound?! 

6. My final moment is tied in with something that I'm not making a huge deal about but basically I'm trying to lose weight. Quite a lot of weight actually. I'm approaching it in an entirely sensible manner and am really upping my exercise more than anything. So far I've lost 9 pounds. The weight loss and exercise combined means there could be lots of unexpected moments as clothes that were maybe a bit on the tight side suddenly fit perfectly or are even a bit on the loose side. This happened yesterday with my funky red jeans that I bought ages ago. I was very happy to strut my stuff in them. Let's have a whoooop for that I reckon!  

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Hold up!

Yesterday my little village was like something out of a teevee show! The petrol station just down the road from our house was held up! At gun point! And then the baddies drove off so a high speed car chase took place around these mean streets! And I was completely oblivious to it all until by the power of social media I learned this sorry saga was happening right outside. I remember thinking there were a lot of police cars and ambulances flying around, but living on the main road like we do, this is not really that unusual. In fact I think I worry when I can't hear sirens these days. But blummin' heck! Serious stuff. 

Who knows if the social media power was exaggerated but apparently the baddies had either a) machine guns or b) sawn off shot guns (select a or b depending on your need for drama I think, though let's face it, both qualify in that category!) And then one of them got caught in the high speed chase whilst the other one got away. I've not been back to check for the latest social media update but there was a lot of police helicopter going on last night so I suspect the net was closing in on the rogue villain. 

I don't kid myself that I live in a dream place but I think it's fair to say that very few people actually imagine this kind of violence metres from their door! It's actually pretty scary. I went out to move the car last night and I did a lot of looking around and checking behind me before I went anywhere (very overactive imagination to blame). And the people in that petrol station are always so nice too, I hope no-one was hurt in all the drama. I feel the whole thing is worthy of a big DOUBLE EEP!