Saturday, May 08, 2004

And the weekend rolls around again in a haze of drunken debauchery, all-night partying and general misbehaving. Or perhaps that was someone else and I've done some ironing while Joan has been at work today... Take your pick. If Chris's latest plan comes off then I might be working some Saturdays in the near future as he reckons we have got far too much work to be done in our contracted 37 hours per week. While we are being told all the time from above not to exceed hours to build up flexi-time we never get to take, there might be the possibility of doing some paid overtime to clear the backlog instead. OK, so I'm not sure if 6 day weeks will agree with me in the long term but for a couple of months I might be prepared to give it a go. Especially as the extra hours will be at my new rate of pay.

Of course I still don't really know what I'm doing in my new job that will take all these hours to complete. It seems I will be running a project reviewing publicity, but then I was going to do that anyway. Just now it will be a bit more in-depth and generate interim and working paperwork as well as just a final report. I'm sure some of this project approach is just making work for its own sake (and we are surely meant to be churning out less unneccesary paperwork now we are in the gleaming world of Endeavour House) but I'd rather be busy than sit around twiddling my thumbs.

Not that there was much of that yesterday. Woke up with a headache that I didn't manage to shift until I got home an had a couple of hours sleep. Car Parks meeting in the morning which Chris came along to to see what they were all about. I think we were all agreed that the group has lost some of its focus over the last year or so - a lot of what it was set up to acheive has now taken place so we are in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment. Hopefully I will still get to go in the new world order (still not sure if I will be retaining all or some of the Park & Ride work) as I do like to know what's going on in Ipswich in general - and the group gets that info by virtue of being part of the Ipswich Partnership. After the meeting Richard Walker came back with us to have a nose at the new building and also talk to the marketing people about doing some shared parking adverts. I think he liked the place and seemed quite taken with some of the new ways we are starting to do things. And of course the Borough council are going to have to move soon as their building is gradually crumbling away, plus they have de-criminalisation of parking controls going through so that will change a lot of Richard's job too.

Joan and Helen are at the bingo right now - hoping not only for a win but also that Ipswich gets pulled out of the hat in the big million pound share-out happening tonight. Basically £1,000,000 will get split between everyone in the lucky club. Naturally there was a huge queue to get in when they arrived so even if they do get drawn the share will be fairly small (the place is huge and will hold at least 1,000 people I guess). Fingers crossed for them to at least cover the entry cost and have a nice night whatever.

Finished the geography book. Not quite what I was hoping for (it was more a review of different methods and techniques available than the history and overview I wanted) but still very interesting and reminded me why I took my degree in the subject all those years ago. And it was nice to realise that I do still use some of the knowledge gained in Derby without realising it. Will have to look out for something more along the lines just described some time. Which might be easier as I have taken the decision to rejoin the book club I used to belong to. The Softback Preview. Which is the only one out there that doesn't insist on you buying a set number of books per year or whatever. Which is the only reason I joined in the first place back in the College days and why I'm going back. Not that I ever officially left as far as I recall, they just stopped sending the brochures after I'd gone a year or so without buying anything.

Am now half way through the latest Terry Pratchett to hit paperback - The Wee Free Men which is just as good as everything else he has written. Technically a children's story set on the Discworld but still in the same league as the rest.

That'll do for today.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Well here I am at my new desk doing my new job. Well, sort of doing it anyway - I have written some letters pertaining to my new patch and have a thick report to read but am now looking at timetables as before. Same old same old, as they say. Anyway, at least I'm being paid more to do it so I won't complain.

So, a week since last post. What have I been up to? Wednesday was just another day of plugging away at Timetables and sorting stuff out prior to the move (and a thrilling meeting about timetable cases at the roadside), then we had five days off together.

OK, so Joan had been off all week but I couldn't manage all the time so just two days off work was what I had to settle for. We originally had grand plans to get away for a couple of nights - I got as far as sorting some brochures for short breaks but we never got round to booking anything. Still, cheaper that way! We also intended to take a few day trips, but the weather was generally dreadful (Thurs, Fri, Sat and the Bank Holiday Monday were all rainy, quite heavy rain in fact while Sunday was glorious sunshine and I got sunburnt rather than soaked) and the furthest we were able to manage was here in Ipswich. Quite literally here on Thursday in fact as we paid extensive visits to The Range and Dunelm Mill at the end of the street from the office. Just like a normal day's travel for me

Other highlights of the break included: Ma, Pa & Richard coming to dinner on Friday night, more Ipswich shopping, some wandering around Felixstowe and some nice meals here and there. And also getting hold of the new Chumbawamba album Un which is superb. In the same vein as the last one but using internationally sourced samples rather than British folk music. Needs some more listens to fully get under my skin but initial thoughts are highly favourable.

Sunday, the nice day, was also the annual Ipswich to Felixstowe historic vehicle run. So that explains the sunburn from standing on the corner watching everything go by then wandering down and along the seafront for another couple of hours (with an ice cream of course, although not Joan as she elected to stay at home after the corner bit). Another bunch of lovely old cars, trucks and buses etc and another reason to be grateful for digital photography. I think I have now just about covered the cost of the camera in not paying for films and developing charges. Plus it is very nice to be able to take a few different angles and choose the nicest or to preview the finished shot while still stood next to the subject.

And we also managed to watch a few films: 8 Mile which was a lot better than I expected. I seem to be growing to appreciate rap more and more as the years go by even if the lifestyle and a lot of the subject matetr (that is when they actually have a subject other than themselves) doesn't do much for me. Kill Bill Vol 1 which was superb, if totally ridiculous at times. In fact we might actually go and see Vol 2 at the cinema now rather than waiting for the dvd release just so we don't have to wait to find out the ending. And Sleepy Hollow which we had seen before, but it was on the tv so we thought we'd give it another go. Still fun - and Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are a great combination.

Back to work now...