Friday, July 11, 2003

Um, well, apologies for leaving a gap in days of entry... To recap:

Tuesday - Joan at add-on sales review meeting in Bury St Edmunds store so we got a bit of extra sleep before we had to head out there. It was a warm but dull day, drive up and parking went fine and we arrived with a good half hour to kill before her 12 noon session with the Area Manager and people from head office. Had a bit of a wander then dropped her off at the shop.

I then went for further wandering in search of distractions (found plenty, mainly in Ottakers book shop where I had to seriously restrain my urges to spend lots and lots and lots of money on multi-paged delights) and new shoes (didn't find any due to me having annoyingly small feet). Then at about 1230 when Joan should have been halfway through I found she'd sent me a message to say they were running 40 mins or so late, so she hadn't even gone in yet. Great news that was. In the end I found a semi-comfy bench fairly near the shop and settled in to wait with my book (glad I decided to take that).

They caught up a bit and she finally emerged about half past one. It all went very well, as they had done a load of preparatory work and they are actually up or at least on course on a lot of their targets and have had three managers in six months to muddy the waters. All told a good result I think. So we went off to a nice little cafe for lunch (which I managed to eat most of) then headed home. Joan went in to work to talk it over and I went home to do some preparation of my own for my review on Wednesday. The rest of the evening was nice and relaxed with a bit of telly and some mooching about.

Wednesday - in the morning we had a full group meeting. Nobody was 100% sure what we were going to be discussing as we'd been given no agenda. Basically it turned out to be a chance for us to throw in ideas for how we could get more people on the buses. These we then ranked and expanded on the top 15. All quite interesting stuff that hopefully will be used to steer where we go for the next couple of years. Plus I got to be all evangelical about Smartcards, which I am in favour of to replace more traditional bus tickets. And in keeping with tradition of big meetings in the room we were using, lunch failed to arrive. So we all went over to the staff canteen and had a lot of nice hot food rather than the anticipated drab buffet.

The afternoon was my performance review. I think it went OK, but I still have some targets I'm not too sure of. Still, they all have interim review dates so presumably we can tinker with them if it seems they will be totally unlikely.

Thursday - was of course the first anniversary of Ernie's death. Joan off but I had to come to work for the morning. Had the afternoon at home, however, to write up the review stuff so was able to give her a bit of support. We called in at the cemetary later on and had a moment or two of contemplation there. Then Joan had her back cracked back in while I did a spot of shopping and we called in to see Helen etc on the way home before getting scalped. A mellow day in all.

I can't quite believe that the year has passed already. Obviously things like Father's Day and his birthday were big reminders that yesterday was approaching, but it still doesn't seem like it was twelve whole months. As far as I could tell Joan coped OK with it all and is seeing her counselly woman again today. Hopefully things can only get better from now on.

Not much to report on today so far - have given Sonic my write up to see if there is anything else we need to add, and also my first draft of a letter to try and get books in to pubs. This afternon we have a New Routes meeting to try and take that onwards again as it seems to have stalled somewhere.

Finished The Many-Coloured Land last night and enjoyed it just as much as previously. But am indeed going with the intervening non-fiction routine so am now reading the second book by Giles Milton - Nathaniel's Nutmeg which is the one that brought him properly in to the public eye. It relates the history of the spice trade and obviously the one chap Nathaniel Courthope and is proving interesting thus far. More news when I'm a bit further in.

Monday, July 07, 2003

No beating about the bush here - by 2 o'clock yesterday I was feeling like death again so ended up sleeping for an hour and a half before (luckily) Joan phoned and woke me up. I think it did the job as I then lasted until bed time. I don't remember the first lot being this draining - I am still feeling a bit groggy today but I think curling up under the desk for 40 winks would be frowned upon. The main jaw throb has subsided now and all I can feel is a general stinging pain from the area of the cuts/stitches instead. Plus almost able to touch my cheek without wincing (which made shaving possible again).

Still, am off work again tomorrow for a flexi-day. Joan has a meeting in Bury so I have volunteered to take her. Very good of me I think. So we can have a bit of a lay in and I can relax when we get back (she has to go in to work). Of ocurse while relaxing I have to prepare some stuff for the appraisal that I didn't manage to do over the weekend through being asleep.

And another year has passed without Wimbledon-watching. The most I managed was 10 minutes on Friday while I was waiting for my jaw to go numb (these posh private dentists with tvs in their rooms). Can't say I'm surprised to see Henman not win again though. I wonder if we will ever have champions at half the sports we invented in this country again. And from the race reports it is just possible that Formula 1 is beginning to get interesting again so I might give a stab at watching the next race. Which I think will be the British GP so worth a look in any event.

In lucid moments I managed to finish the engineering history book yesterday. Not really what I was expecting but interesting anyway, if a bit technical. I shall have to look elsewhere though for a more in-depth study of how they built some of the grand structures of antiquity. Have now embarked on a mammoth re-read in the fiction department - Julian May's Exile/Galactic Milieu saga (9 books in all if you count the companion to the first four, 10 if you are reading the US versions) with book one: The Many-Coloured Land. I originally came across these in the mid-eighties and re-read the first 6 several times while waiting for the last three to turn up, but not read those since they did finally appear in the early '90s so it will be a mix of the very and slightly familiar. Definitely enjoying getting re-acquainted with the concepts and characters after at least 8 years absence. I think I will still slip in the non-fiction titles between each book though. Got to keep the brain ticking over.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

OK, so I could have written stuff on Thursday at work, and have had two days at home since then too but haven't. Blame extreme laziness or something on my part. Anyway, not actually much to say until we get to Friday afternoon. Basically on Thursday I wrote a few letters and crossed a few things off my to-do list so I could get away with having Friday off. Then on Friday morning I just pottered around the house doing thrilling ironing and stuff to take my mind off what was to come.

Didn't really work in that respect as by the time I walked in to town to meet Joan for lunch I was totally wound up with nerves and feeling more than a little tense. Still, it had to be done so when Mum turned up to drive me down to Colchester I managed to force myself in to the car. And promptly fell asleep on the A12. One day I will find out why that road does that to me.

Not sure why knowing what was to happen and having survived it pretty much OK should be more worrying than the unknown but there you have it. I got in the chair, got numbed up and he got on with it. Lower left this time and I can now see why he wanted the wisdom teeth out of the way. Man, there was some serious rummaging around going on in there. And today my face is still swollen like a balloon and tender to the touch. Thank heavens for soft food.

So yesterday I really wasn't up for much activity. In fact after getting up for some breakfast when Joan left for work I went back to bed again and swiftly slept through until 1130 which was nice. In fact I'm sure I could do the same again today if I let myself. Maybe after lunch. Then Richard came round for some Cubing in the afternoon before I collected Joan for a nice relaxed evening.

Which brings us up to date again. Joan once more at work, rain once more falling and I've been shopping and will now do a spot of ironing, lunch, web, more ironing etc until the time comes to pick her up...