Saturday, April 03, 2004

Well, much as I would love to be writing today about how well Joan's interview went and that we are now preparing for her to start in Ipswich I can't. In the end she didn't actually go for it. I got to work, logged in, did about 5 minutes worth of data entry and got a message saying she was stressed to hell and not feeling good. So I came home and took her to see the doctor. Not her usual one, but a nice fellow all the same. After what he said she decided that the stress of the journey every day would not be good (she is not a good car passenger anyway so doing the A14 twice a day was never an appealling prospect) and she doesn't want to leave Felixstowe. Leave Argos, yes, but not the town. So she has decided to bide her time at Argos here, put up with Marion and look for something in town that pays enough and won't be as stressful.

Part of me wishes that wasn't the case as I do think the Ipswich job would have been good for her, but mostly I am in agreement. There is no point her travelling if she won't enjoy it and there are ways she can put up with the situation for now without going mad. We shall just have to hope mine goes OK on Thursday.

Not a lot else to say now. Listened to Acid Motherhood this morning and while I don't think it will become my favourite Gong album it is pretty good. Recorded in collaboration with the Japanese Acid Mother's Temple who I am now tempted to check out to see what they are like without Mr Allen along.

Have also watched the qualifying for the first Bahrain grand prix. Nice looking track (and all the desert views are much appreciated while I'm reading the Melanie Rawn books as they are largely set in sandy parts) and it could be a good race. Schumacher on pole of course, so no surprises there, but I will give them a chance tomorrow.

Joan at work so I will have to get on with some more ironing now.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Day four, natives restless but providing superb cuisine. Strange wingless bird seen in sky and mighty thunder-lizard spotted across the wasteland. Water plentiful and morale good despite defections.

Or in tranlsation, we are still enjoying the settling in process, except for Charles who seems to have found something new to complain about every hour on the hour since he got here on Monday morning. The catering facilities are up and running very nicely, with an exquisite range of sausage baguettes that we thought we ought to try this morning. 25p more expensive than Alberts, but about £2.50 better tasting. I finally got something slightly more exciting than the side of the football stadium to look at this morning when an army helicopter flew in, landed on the pitch and then departed. Ans we didn't hear a thing which proves the double glazing to be eefective at any rate. Then at lunch time a large percentage of the office (but not me) wandered over to the station to see the first train in the new "One" livery arrive. As of today our rail services come under a new operating franchise, but it seems they have chosen a truly dreadful colour scheme to go with the daft name.

Yesterday was Mike's last official day working for us (he was back at his desk this morning, but in his new guise as a temporary contract/consultant type person). We all went up to PJ McGinty's Irish bar in town for a Thai meal (in their cunningly named McGinThai restaurant) to wish him on his way. And very tasty it was too. Although I only opted for the stir-fry in Oyster sauce which tasted just like it had come from the Magic Wok at the end of our street rather than the spicier choices at least I didn't go for the burger and chips option followed by several of the party. It was a good meal in good company and naturally the talk turned to all the other people who have been through the team in the last 14+ years he had worked here. Scary how many people have been and gone just in the last 6 since I started. We then dragged him back here for his formal presentation and gift giving (we gave him a load of plants, he gave all the management team something suitable including a can of shit for Peter the marketing manager and a spinning top for Mitchell, king of the corporate spin). He also then declaimed a bit about the move here being a bad one and the structure changes taking us all downhill. Not the best way to leave you remembered favourably it has to be said.

Otherwise it has been the usual round of fiddling with timetables, spending money on adverts and repairs and generally getting to know this place. I also now know who I am up against for my interview (1 external, 1 from education transport - but his interview is not until the 20th rather than next week). I guess with two vacancies and only three candidates I have a pretty good chance! And it could be interesting either way with the education guy as they will be sharing this end of the office with us by then so he will then spend the next couple of years either resenting us or being resented by them for deserting. Still not 100% sure I want to do the job, or that I have enough skills to get me it in the first place (especially now we apparently have to be competency based in everything we do) but I feel it is time for a change and the extra money would be nice.

After turning down the interview offer with the dentist because the pay was far too low, Joan has her interview for the job at Ipswich tomorrow. I have the afternoon off to take her as they have decided to hold them in Sudbury of all places. Still, the meeting I was supposed to be at in the morning has been cancelled so I will at least be able to leave this week with many loose ends tied rather than flapping.

Monday, March 29, 2004

So here we are in our lovely new home. Obviously I use the word lovely with caution. Certainly it is going to take a bit of getting used to - for instance nearly all the internal doors are protected and need a button pressing or id card swipe to open. and there is a lot of noise floating across from down the way. Although not as much as previously feared (but then Education Transport don't move in for another couple of weeks yet and they will be our other close neighbours). There is a definite sense of feeling a bit hemmed in and crowded once sat in position as everyone is so close, and it will be ages before we can find anything despite trying to be fairly methodical when unpacking.

It took me an hour or so to get logged in to the system for PC and phone this morning, but it all appears to be going pretty smoothly now. Got both printers up and running from Windows, but not yet from DOS, and generally settling in. Charles and Gary were annoyed by the limited lunch availability but that should be up to full speed soon as well. I think I have even managed to come to a desk layout I like already. So now all I need to do is find the time for a wander about to take a few more pictures...

Going back in time, on the whole we had a pretty damn good weekend. Went round to Ma & Pa's for dinner Friday night as Grandma was up (having paid a flying visit on Thursday night to deliver her Birthday card) and departed seriously stuffed with tasty nosh. Then Saturday it was down to London for a spot of shopping along Oxford Street (finally got hold of the new Gong album Acid Motherhood but not listened to it yet so can't pass comment as yet), another tasty Garfunkels lunch and the theatre for We Will Rock You. Which was absolutley superb. Now I've been a Queen fan for as long as I can remember but hearing the songs performed live, even by someone else was rather special. I don't mind admitting that there were more than a few tears being shed. All the singers were excellent, and as themselves rather than trying to replicate the originals. Plus the story was pretty good and the scripting by Ben Elton absolutley brilliant with just the right mix of comedy and drama. It was also most impressive in the scenery and use of screens and computer graphics to set the scene too. Top stuff. The only real problem was that Joan and I were placed either side of an aisle by the ticketing arrangements. Not best pleased by that but nothing we could do about it as the place was full.

Otherwise highly recommended as a total audio-visual experience.

Plus Joan had a good reunion with Briony who used to work with her at Argos and was along for the trip with her Mum who works
here. Lots of gossip and things to catch up on.

Yesterday was fairly relaxed - shopping, ironing, rounding up the dog to deliver back to Helen & Bhupen and catching up on a few bits with them. I think they are still in shock over the whole affair but that will pass in time I guess. And I was right about the design book not lasting all that long. By bedtime Friday I was in to Star Scroll, second of the Melanie Rawn series.

Right time to get on with some work then...