Saturday, July 29, 2006

Moving on

Feeling a bit overwhelmed at work at the moment. It's 2 weeks til my due moving date to the BSE office and I'm getting lots more phone calls from the facilities type people about getting my stuff boxed up and itemised - spent 3 hours sorting out this afternoon, my room looks like a bomb's hit it and I still feel as though I've barely done anything. Added to which I'm supposed to be managing my own case load and looking after boss' while he's away on hols for 2 weeks. Not sure it's all going to fit in either....

Also, heard on the radio news today that las vegas have banned feeding the homeless in parks. It seems to be aimed at the soup kitchen-type affairs but you can get up to a $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail! Seems a bit extreme.

Friday, July 28, 2006

And so the saga continues...

Following up my debacle at the Post Office I checked my bank and credit card statements when I got home. Payments appeared to have been taken from both. spent a long time explaining the situation to both the PO helpline and then a very helpful chap at Thetford who said the money will only have gone into a holding account and will be returned when they balance up and realise the currency was paid for twice. It wasn't.

I was referred back to the helpline to get my refund, but spoke to someone who patently didn't believe me and was trying to get me to ring the branch again...but got that sorted. now looks as though I'm going to have to post a whole load of stuff to them to get the refund! still need to actually speak to someone again to find out what they want. Hmpf.

Brussels Baby!

Had a fantastic weekend. I almost don't want to say anymore in case that spoils it, but it was ace!

As I had organised the weekend I was as usual a bit nervous about whether anything would go horribly wrong - the car parking not have us registered, too much traffic on the M25 and even that they wouldn't let us on the plane because our boarding passes didn't have our middle names on them...yes it's okay, I have received plenty of ridicule for that from Leigh!

But no problems getting there or back and Brussels itself was truly great. We arrived on National Belguim Day which meant we were treated to a military flyover and a fireworks display in the evening. Also went to the Comic Strip museum, the Musical Instrument museum (absolutely beautiful - the instruments and the exhibits), the Museum of Fine Art, the cathedral, the atomium and Mini-Europe (see this cool photo) name but some. A very busy, tiring weekend but great - a good chance to try out my awful French on the good citizens of Brussels, go a bit mad in the TinTin shop and eat delicious food! (My Flemish casserole was just lots of the tenderest beef you've ever eaten cooked in a rich beery gravy and served with chips - yum!)

I even spotted a free concert at the Instrument museum on the Sunday afternoon - viola, oboe and piano trio no less so that just about made my weekend!!! (and because L had been making fun of the fact there didn't seem to be many violas on display!!) It was lovely and I was just reminded again how much I love the viola.

Came back with a few questions for the internet -

- who was Eduard Fetis? Found a portrait of him by a painter called Louis Gallait in the Museum of Fine Art - had a particularly serious and intense look on his face and I got a bit obssessed about who he might have been. Found this later - he was a student! (okay, I needed to get it translated first...)

- what is the big clock we found at the Mont des Arts? more particularly I wanted to know what each of the figures stood for, but have only found this so far - it's a Jacquemart clock apparently.

- why were there two street signs on some streets? I know that there are two names on each sign, one French and one Flemish, but some streets had two signs - the blue one was the normal sign and the white one appeared to give an alternative name relating to a comic strip character (yes, we found Smurf Street!). Still not sure

- finally can I get a copy/recording of the whole sonata from which the allegro moderato was played at the concert? (sonata in d minor for viola and piano by Mikhail Glinka) Couldn't find it on iTunes, although will need to go back and look again, but did find this, which talks about the sonata ("unfinished" because he only completed 2 of the 3 planned movements) . Also found a site where I could download the sheet music and the New York Viola society which has listings of who has recorded it so I'm sure I'll be able to find it somewhere!!

Hurrah for Brussels!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Brussels here we come!

I've cancelled the veg box and the milk, rung the bathroom man (although am not particularly expecting him to call me back - although we do need to do something about the bathroom living in our spare room!), and got the Euros - Brussels here we come!

Very excited about having a weekend away, not least because have had a tiring and frankly frustrating week trying to get work done in between thinking about what I'm going to need to do to transport my room from Watton to Bury...

But had a quite tedious 40 minutes in the Post Office today trying to pick up the currency - here's a tip for you - always use cash at the Post Office. I had originally ordered the Euros using the PO online service, set the amount, they told me the exchange rate and I booked to collect them from Thetford. Thought this would make things nice and safe - no danger of them running out because mine would already be pre-booked. But no. Got to the B de C at Thetford PO only to be told they don't bother with the order forms and just gave me the exchange rate today (which turned out to be better!). I asked what the point of ordering online was then - they said none!

Then sadly, my card turned out to be the 20th transaction. It appears there's some kind of policy where every 20 transactions, the staff have to run through an authorisation procedure with the bank. Okay fine, until they asked me for my expiry date - which is on the card, still in the machine, cleverly hidden from view by the machine and I wasn't allowed to take the card out. so I guessed. It was wrong. Spent the next 25 minutes waiting for them to sort it out with the bank - I had to use a different card in the end and now have to ring my bank to make sure they will now authorise any future transactions because of some weird way the PO tried to cancel the transaction!!!!

Is it me?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I wonder if it's true...

Found some old emails from a friend today that BT Yahoo had helpfully tidied into my Bulk folder which for some reason I don't seem to be able to access from Outlook. So found it today on one of my infrequent checking of home email at work (and I sit right in front of our HR department desks!!) - it was an email of "interesting" facts - apparently if all the Lego in the world was divided up, we'd get about 30 pieces each. Do you think that includes Technik Lego - had a great time with that at school, but there were only about 2 of the battery power thingys to go round a class of 30. Not enough!!

Also, at the office I was working in today, we appear to have 2 air-conditioned rooms for meeting clients and the rest of the building is unair-conditioned (although the toilets are strangely cool..) thinking of ways to try and get my desk moved either to one of those rooms - or somehow managing to have day long client meetings - or to the toilet...hmmm, not sure that would work somehow!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Went to G&S on my own tonight - we have a bit of a bug bear about people arriving late. Now I only just got there by the skin of my teeth for half 7, and there were only about 10 other chorus members there by then, but had swelled to twice that by twenty to eight. surely if we start on time we finish earlier?? (okay I know that doesn't always work...)

Also have a new Pinafore score ordered from the internet which was being happily christened with random markings (and a few lists) tonight before I dropped and broke my extendable? repelling (thanks Leigh) pencil. But it smells great - shame I was in company really...

Why oh why oh why

did Bassetts make a Desserts Allsort selection??? It's simply wrong, and I'm going back to licourice? licquorice? Liquorice - thank you Wikipedia. (and thanks to that I also now know that the nearside of the car is the side nearest the kerb - hurrah)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Time may change me...

Have been thinking a lot this last week about how things and people change over time. Now, while I fully accept and know that you cannot stand still, time must move on and you can't ever go backwards and there is nothing I would change about my life at the moment, I find it sad sometimes when you revisit old friends and places and seeing how they have changed. I went back to the church of my childhood at the weekend (for a strawberry tea), and got news of another lady who has died who was a member when I went there. It just got me thinking about how much I loved that church and its congregation when I was younger, and how many people have now left or died - quite a few recently. There have also been marriage break ups which have affected me a lot - was it all just a big lie? It used to make me quite sad visiting and thinking about how I remember it to be, and the people who aren't there now, but I mustn't be melancholy - I know there would have been things going on that I wasn't aware of and that not everyone would perhaps remember it so fondly, but there we go. Perhaps part of it is that Mum still goes there and she tells me about all the problems and difficulties between people and perhaps I don't want to know about that - I want the good memories from my youth. Things move on and the current lot are great as well, but it was just such a big part of my childhood, it's strange thinking of it being so different.

Is that just really self-centred? Am I rambling? I think I am.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Treasures of the loft (2)

Well, not content with sorting out our own loft back in February, I've now had a go at my mother's! It's been something which has been in the offing for many years now, and I have been pestering her for absolutely ages about sorting everything out. Basically, we moved into the house in about 1986, stuff went into the loft from the old house which we didn't use any more and then noone's been up there since, except to put up a couple of computer boxes. There's certainly no way Mum would ever go up there and she's always been particularly cautious about anyone else going up due to an unfortunate "falling through a ceiling" episode she had when she was younger together with there being no boards, just the joists to stand on!

But, she's finally decided it needs to be emptied - she might be selling up next year and it'd need to be done anyway so we managed to get up at the weekend (despite Mum being completely stressed out by everything when we arrived).

So, it was dusty and dirty and we have thrown a lot away, but particular highlights from our childhoods include Playschool Pick-a-Pair, Mr Men Marble Race, the Sindy house (tiny, tiny chocolate cake) and bags of school work from when me and my sister were about 11/12. I was such an awful artist!! But I did find a poem I wrote about my friend Jane which was ace!

Rounded off the day with a strawberry tea at church - and some interesting cabaret... I wasn't going to help out in the kitchen, but it was so easy to slip back into that role - I just took a plate in, the ordered mum out to go and eat her strawberries while I took over drying up, then somehow found myself taking to pot round for a second cuppa! Oh, those were the days, and I still maintain that men just have not got the knack of washing up after a church tea/coffee morning - far too slow!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's time

I really ought to start blogging again - didn't feel like it for a while but that's all passing now. Can't believe how hot it is at the moment, I seem to be permanently sweaty! Also, had a horrendous overslept by an hour morning yesterday! Leigh shook me awake at half past 7!!! The time I usually leave! Fortunately because I seem to be able to have super-quick showers still got to work for nine. Now is this telling me I get up too early every other morning??

Also, big changes afoot at work. They're closing down the office I work in, which isn't too bad for me because I now get to move to another office where my work commute is cut in half, but bad and sad for several members of staff who can't/don't want to increase their own commute. Most people at my office live in the same town (as the office) so it's generally a 2/5 minute drive to work. Now it would be more like half hour/40 minutes. So morale hasn't been particularly good and add to that new work seems to suddenly be multiplying and we were 3 secretaries short yesterday and today. Time for me to brush up on my typing skills!

And I have to interview for a secretary! This is a bit scary - I've only ever been on the other side of the interviewing desk before! But I was speaking to someone about it today and they reckoned HR helped them out with some questions for an interview so I'm hoping they'll take pity on me as this space.