Posted Dec 3, 2007
I can't believe it's December already - what happened to the year?
It's been a very very hectic few months, between returning to full-time work, having a 40-mile round trip every day, and Dave having several weeks off work due to being ill (he passed out for no apparent reason and then spent a few weeks being really, really lethargic and not well at all - thankfully he's now back to normal!). So I've been rushed off my feet - in fact, I don't think my feet have hit the ground since September!
I haven't even *started* thinking about Christmas, beyond the fact me and Dave are having beans on toast...
I am still alive, if rather stressed out - web time is very much at a premium, as is time for anything else . Sorry for not posting for so long - I'm not ignoring anyone on purpose and a lot of RL friends are just as neglected!
I can't wait till the New Year, and then just maybe things might calm down and reach some sort of normality...
Hope you all are well and looking forward to having a good Christmas .
Returning to work
Posted Aug 17, 2007
Well, I'm still not 100% sure how this happened, but I start a new job on Monday .
I get to work with our ex-lodger Chris at the engineering firm where he works in Banbury, and I get to be a Document Engineer - i.e. I write technical stuff . It's only a 6 month contract, so it's only a temporary job. The weirdest thing will be the hours - 9am till 5pm, Monday to Friday, with an hour for lunch. At Land Rover I worked 7.30am till 4pm Monday to Thursday, with half an hour for lunch, and then 7.30pm till 12.30pm Friday - so Dave will be getting home before I do. He's offered to do housework while he waits for me to come home - ahhh, bless. We'll see how that goes, though!
I'm half tempted, after a few weeks, to ask if I can do LR hours (or at least shrink down my lunch break), as I'll find it a lot easier and I'll get to miss rush hour. I'll be getting up when Dave gets up anyway, so waiting till 9am to start work seems a bit, well, silly to me.
I'm still really not sure how this job is going to go, but for some odd reason Chris seems to be keen to work with me (as he encouraged me to apply in the first place), so hopefully it'll be OK .
The worst thing about having to start work? Having to find new work shoes. Once again I've been reminded that if you have very wide feet, it's b****y hard to find a decent pair of well-fitting shoes that don't make you look like you're aged over 70 .
And on that cheerful note, I'm off to panic and generally freak out about the fact I'm going back to work!
Water, water, everywhere - in South Yorkshire!
Posted Jun 26, 2007
Leamington did its flooding thing last week - which isn't that unusual. It seems to be fairly common that a reasonably heavy downpour results in the closure (or at least, flooding of) of one of the main routes between Leamington and Warwick , so while it was inconvenient, I didn't think too much of it.
But this week's rain in South Yorkshire. Oh my . I've only seen the devastation on the news, and it feels kind of dreamlike. I'm used to Leamington flooding in heavy rain - that's almost normal - but Rotherham? I lived there 18 years, my parents have been there most of their lives, and none of us can ever, ever, remember anything like this happened before. Ever (just to press the point!).
My home town, and home area, is headline news. Tesco in Rotherham is *literally* under water; it's almost on an island in the river, you see. The Meadowhall centre is actually flooded. Parkgate is under water. Rotherham train station is under water. I'm also completely flabbergasted by the state of Catcliffe! Even Barnsley. And as for the threat to the Ulley reservoir...
If there was an area I thought would flood, those that have been affected this week wouldn't have been anywhere near the top of my list - or even on the list at all. I really am shocked by what's happened, because it's so unexpected. The scale of it has really taken me aback, too - the sheer amount of water flooding the streets is astonishing.
I feel mean, because there's been awful flooding down in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire (around the Severn) which I haven't worried about beyond thinking "oh, that's awful for them" - probably because the Severn often floods - but this event in the place I once called home has really knocked me.
I really feel for those who've been turfed out of their homes and are wondering exactly what devastation they'll go back to.
At the risk of sounding mean, I'm so, so glad my parents live on the top of a large hill, and my dad works in Wath, away from some of the worst flooding. Though my mum did comment this morning that if it rains much more, the hill they live on will end up an island .
Here's hoping the reservoir holds, that the forecast rain doesn't arrive and the floods recede, and that people will still have homes to go back to once it's all over.
Makes me whinging about the fact that last week the patio ended up under 3" of water pretty minor!
Here comes the new boss?
Posted Jun 12, 2007
Well, it appears that Jaguar & Land Rover, after many years of such speculation, are actually up for sale .
It's been rumoured for *ages*, even before I left the place (and boy am I glad I got out when I did!), that sooner or later Jaguar or both them and Land Rover would be up for sale.
Actually, Land Rover are making a profit, it's just Jaguar that are bringing them down . I could post a lot more, but that's probably far more than I'm supposed to, and it would still count as a rant, anyway.
The annoying thing is that Ford is refusing to either confirm or deny the rumours - which, considering the last time such rumours came out it flatly denied them, is as good as standing on a rooftop and shouting, "Anybody wanna buy a couple of car companies?"
I'm just trying to work out who in their right mind would want to buy them. A gang of venture capitalists (such as those who bought Aston Martin) seems likely but would worry me on many, many levels. In order to run a mass-producing car company well, you need to understand the industry and its trends*, and venture capitalists aren't going to have that . For Aston, the situation was slightly different; they're already low-volume, high-margin niche products, an approach which won't work with Land Rover, though it might with Jaguar.
*though it could be said, Ford haven't really excelled themselves with this bit, either, particularly as the US market has changed from SUVs and pick-ups to smaller, European-style cars.
BMW have apparently stated an interest in Volvo (who, as yet, aren't up for sale, AFAIK), but after the mess last time I can't see BMW jumping in and saying "Two British brands, one in a reasonably good shape and the other struggling a bit? It's similar to when we had Rover. Oh, go on then, we'll take them."
VAG have enough brands of their own at the moment (VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda). GM have enough problems of their own - their odds on bankruptcy are worse than Ford's, or at least they were. Fiat would be a nightmare and they've only just recovered from trouble themselves. PSA (Peugeot/Citroen) I can't see being interested, and Renault & Nissan are rumoured to have made an approach for Jaguar a few years ago - I can't see them wanting both. Honda has been mooted, but I can't see it - and Toyota are hardly likely to jump in (apart from to laugh, probably).
In that case, I wonder if it's worth brushing up on Chinese?
I'm back! And glad it's all over
Posted May 14, 2007
I'm back online - even if I am still quite tired, and feel like I'd like the world to stop for a couple of days, just to let me get my breath back .
Last weekend we spent hurriedly putting the wiring in place for the sockets for the conservatory, as the dwarf walls were finished. Lots of drilling and double checking of regulations and stuff, not to mention trips to B&Q etc. Some friends came up at short notice and we went to a Land Rover show at the Heritage Centre, and had our first day of not doing anything on the house for weeks . But it was tiring and despite it being dull, we got horrendously sunburnt.
Dave's uncle's funeral was on Wednesday, and as far as these occasions go, it was good. It was a very *real* funeral, and uplifting, in a sad way. We had a lot of running around on Monday and Tuesday. Dave bought a black suit, and when we got home I thought I'd check my black skirt fitted. Well, it kind of did; either I've put weight on, or my definition of acceptable skirt length has changed, as it was a mini skirt - so we had to run back into town to find me a black skirt that fitted...
Tuesday was the first day of construction of the plastic bits of the conservatory so I was running around in a panic for most of it, as we were heading down south as soon as Dave got home from work. This panic led to me forgetting the fairly fundamental thing, when wearing a skirt, of shaving my legs - thankfully we passed a Tesco on the way so I could grab some Immac!
Wednesday itself went well - we avoided getting too rained on or stuck in traffic, even if we didn't get home till 10.30pm. Thursday for me was spent doing food shopping and clothes washing and all the other stuff I hadn't been able to do earlier, and Friday was a panic as I opened the washing machine to do more washing and found it full of the contents of last nights washing up bowl . Saturday and Sunday we did absolutely nothing, but I wish I could say we feel better for it .
The conservatory is nearly finished; it's watertight and very white and shiny, and they're just doing the guttering and interior trims as we speak. Apparently they should finish tomorrow, which means at long last we have a conservatory! .
I'll be glad when it's done, and I can have my house back. I've had nearly three weeks of various tradespeople round, and while they're not rude or anything, I'm looking forward to it all being done. My milk bill for giving them all cups of tea should drop then, too .
Whew. That's *a* summary, even if it is a breathless one. I'm still feeling a bit flattened by it all, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel .
Hopefully I stand a chance of catching up on all my convos sometime soon, too .
Rains - Wondering where time's going and why it's in so much of a hurry!