Posts Tagged ‘work’

A wasp in the office

Friday, August 27th, 2010

I don’t usually mind wasps. I’m happy to get up close to them and to bees to try and take photos of them. When they’re in the garden on the flowers they sit still for a little while, and sometimes I can take a shot of them before they flit off to another flower.

I didn’t like the one I saw today though. It must have come in the open office window, because the first I knew about it was when it was flitting round my drink of apple juice. It was flying all over the place and wouldn’t keep still. I tried to get it out of the open window by gently guiding it with a sheet of paper, but it wouldn’t go. Instead it went to the next window. The one that was closed, the one I couldn’t open because the handle was too high up for me to reach.

I couldn’t concentrate on my work because I didn’t want to lose sight of it and accidentally put my arm on it, or worse take a drink of my apple juice while it was in the glass.

So my two colleagues came to the rescue. One of them was standing on my chair trying to reach to open the other window while the other one was on the other side of the office. I kept out of the way as they started batting the poor wasp backwards and forwards with magazines. Even though I was nervous in case I got stung, it made me laugh to see how one small wasp made two grown men behave!

Eventually one of them got it, and it fell to the ground, dead. Now why hadn’t it listened to me and gone out of the open window when I told it to.

Loud music

Friday, May 21st, 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with loud music. If it’s the sort of music I like listening to, then I love having it loud enough for me to sing along to, but still be able to hear it. If it’s the sort of music I don’t like, such as that really bangy music that repeats the same thing over and over again until your brain feels as though it’s going to explode, then I hate hearing it loud.

I can park where I work. I go in through a gate and then drive down a narrow single track lane to a designated parking space. There’s a pavement down one side of the lane and quite a lot of pedestrians use it as a short cut.

Even though there’s a good wide pavement built especially for pedestrians, guess where most of them walk? Yes, that’s right, right down the middle of the single track lane.

When I pull in through the gate, there’s often someone walking either right in front of where I need to drive, or to the right, in the lane, on the opposite side from the pavement. Most people show no sign whatever of realising that my car is behind them and I’m just about to drive past them, so I think it’s important to alert them to my prescence. I would hate someone to suddenly step out into the lane just as I’m passing them, and get run over.

I used to try and beep the horn really gently and not too loud so that it didn’t make them jump, and so that it didn’t sound as though I was saying rudely ‘Get out of the way!’ That often worked well. People would turn round, see my car and amble over to the pavement. Sometimes it didn’t work very well, and more than once I’ve had someone come over to me and be abusive! I thought that was very unfair, when all I was trying to do was get to work without running them over.

After the last time when a lady was really abusive to me, I decided I wasn’t going to do that again. It was unfair and unpleasant, so I needed to find another way.

That was when I had a bright idea! Now as I get ready to drive through the gate, I turn the music on the radio or CD up really loudly and open the windows. It works brilliantly! Without me having to say anything, or beep the horn, people look round and move aside, and I know they’ve seen me and aren’t going to step out infront of the car.

No-one seems to mind me having loud music, no-one has complained. So I can recommend it as a pedestrian alert that’s abuse free. I like loud music!

Bread pudding

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

I think I’m addicted to bread pudding. It all started in the snow. I hadn’t been able to get into my local town to get any shopping and I was running out of food. I had some very dry, but not mouldy, fruit bread and some semi-skimmed milk that I’d got from the local shop. I don’t like drinking semi-skimmed, it’s much too creamy for me, but as it was all I had, I needed to do something with it.

Stale bread? Milk? Yes I had an egg, I could make bread pudding! So I did, and it was gorgeous! I’d added some more dried fruit and some mixed spice and also cooked a meal and a baked potato while I had the oven on.

I wasn’t in the habit of using the oven because when I worked until 6.00pm, it was far too late to cook something in the oven when I got home. Now I work until 4.00pm, there’s plenty of time to get a meal ready for the oven and mix up a bread pudding to pop in with it.

I’ve tried several different flavours. Chocolate is my favourite. The latest one I made was Ovaltine flavoured and it’s really nice! To look at, it looks as though it could be a heavy old fashioned pudding, but it’s not. It’s light and delicious! I want to try a marmalade flavoured one by spreading the bread with marmalade. Then there’s dates, prunes, oranges, banana, toffee……..

I was always throwing bread away because I don’t eat much of it, but now I don’t need to throw any away – I can use it all up making lovely, tasty, low fat bread puddings.

Let me know if you’d like the recipe.

The thaw that came and went

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

At last the snow we had struggled with was chased away by heavy rain and warmer temperatures. I could get my car out, and for two days, I drove to work on clear roads!

It’s looking really pretty again today, as it’s been snowing overnight, just as the weather people predicted. There are reports of closed schools and closed roads on the local radio. I’d like to take a day’s holiday and stay in the warm and off the roads today, but I can’t as I have a deadline to meet at work.

So I’ll put my boots and other snow requirements in the car and head out carefully. It’s nowhere near as deep as it was a couple of weeks ago, but apparently it’s a different type of snow that is more icy and slippery than the lovely powdery stuff we had before.

I don’t like the travel difficulties that the snow produces, but I do love the way the countryside looks. Here’s one of my snowy shots…..

Winter garden

Waning enthusiasm

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

My newly found enthusiasm for local buses is waning. After my success on Friday, I checked the timetable and confidently set off through the snow to catch a bus to work. I’d timed it well, so I only had a few minutes to wait, and by the time the bus was due, three other people had joined me at the bus stop.

Just on time, the bus was seen at the junction in the distance, so we knew it wouldn’t be long before it appeared round the curve in the road to pick us up. After a few minutes when it still hadn’t reached us, we began to think that something was wrong. And it was! Instead of using the route listed on the timetable, the bus had gone a different way. That meant that the four of us were left standing at the bus stop while the bus headed off to our destination on a different road.

We were disappointed and frustrated, but we decided that we would walk up to the next stop so that the same thing wouldn’t happen to the next bus, due in half an hour. The couple who had ski sticks set off at a fair pace, so I walked slowly with the elderly lady with a walking stick.

She was chatting away to me telling all about why she was going into town, and I was glancing at her as I walked and listened. One minute she was there, the next she’d disappeared and was lying full length on her back in the snow. It was so fast! Her feet just went from under her. I asked her if she was ok and she was, so I retrieved her walking stick, helped her onto her feet and brushed the snow off her so that she didn’t get cold. She thought it was funny, but walked even more carefully after that.

We got to the next bus stop in plenty of time and all chatted as we waited. The time for the bus came, and went. We waited and waited. My toes had become blocks of ice by this time and it was impossible to warm them up even when I kept moving them and stamping them in the snow.

Eventually half an hour late, a bus arrived. I asked the driver if it was the 11.26am bus on time, or the 10.56am bus late. He said no, it was the 10.16 bus very late!

Once on the bus, I enjoyed the snowy views again and it wasn’t long before I got to work. I was concerned about getting home though. I wanted to try and get home before dark, but if a bus was likely to be an hour late, that wouldn’t be possible, and I didn’t fancy walking on snow and ice in the dark. So I was very glad when someone who lives near me offered me a lift home.

Winter wonderland

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

The snow hasn’t melted yet, and it’s still really, really cold. I’m having difficulty keeping warm, but I expect it’s the same for lots of people. The newscasters have been saying that we’re having the coldest winter here in the UK for 30 years, then I heard that it was the coldest since 1963, and I even heard one newscaster say it was the coldest winter for a hundred years! I expect they’ll sort it out soon and let us know what it really is.

I’ve been snowed in for a week now. The main roads aren’t clear, and my estate road is treacherous. The car is snowed into the drive, and I haven’t attempted to dig it out. If the road clears, then I’ll start digging.

It’s quite fun walking around my village in wellies ploughing through deep snow. I’ve managed to get some milk and bread from the village shop, so together with what’s in the freezer and the cupboards, I’m ok for food now. Work was closed for most of last week because of the snow, but on Friday they were open. I walked up to the main road to have a look at it’s condition, and decided that I wouldn’t be driving on compacted snow and ice.

While I was out, I saw a couple of buses. Frequent buses are a new novelty in my village, so I decided that I’d go to work on the bus. It was fun. I had a wonderful view of the stunning beauty of the snow covered countryside.

Once the bus dropped me in the town, the roads and pavements were clear. They must have been gritted more often than the rural main roads. I went to the supermarket after work to get a bit of food, but realised that I wouldn’t be able to carry much as it was a bit of a walk after I got off the bus. I managed to get the essentials though.

You have to be a lot more organised and prepared if you haven’t got a car waiting to take you and your shopping home. I keep a torch in the car, and I remembered to take it with me, in case it was dark by the time I needed to walk home from the bus stop. I knew there wouldn’t be a Moon to light my way home as it would have already set.

I could have done with a rucksack as well though. That would have been a much easier way to carry the shopping, and it would have kept my hands free to steady myself if I slipped. So now I’ve got one of those rucksacks that folds up really small and can go at the bottom of my bag, because I enjoyed going on the bus and I’m planning to do it again.

This is one of my snowy shots…..

Winter wonderland

Snowed in

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

The snow that fell a couple of days ago is still here, and more has fallen to add to it. I hadn’t been to work for a couple of days because they’d closed due to the weather, but today they opened again. As I live in a village 5 miles away from where I work, I was concerned about the state of the roads. So I went out to have a look.

Often my estate road can be very icy and slippery, but the main road can be clear because it’s been treated with grit and salt. When I went out, I had to wear wellies because there was about 10 inches of snow in some places and it would have gone over the top of my walking boots.

I trudged carefully through the snow enjoying the beauty of sun, snow and blue sky, and taking photos. When I got to the main road, it was covered in compacted snow and ice. I heard on the radio that the salt only worked to a temperature of about -7 and it was expected to be colder than that. I had driven home from work a couple of weeks before on a road like that and it was the scariest drive I’ve ever done. So I decided that I wouldn’t be going to work.

It was about midday when I reached the village shop, and thankfully they had some milk and bread left, as I’d completely run out and was missing my cup of tea.

This is what the main road through the village looked like….

It's been snowing

It’s been snowing

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

It’s been snowing here for most of the day. The forecasters have been promising snow for some time, but they’d got it wrong and we just had frost and ice and it was really, really cold.

But today they got it right. It started snowing at around 10.00am. I was actually looking out of the window at the time and saw the first flakes floating down. Before long it was snowing really heavily, coming straight down and getting thicker on the ground. Everywhere looked so pretty blanketed in white.

After an hour, I knew the roads would be likely to be impassable unless the gritter lorry had been out, and it probably hadn’t had time. I was due to start work at midday but before I had time to phone and see what was happening, they phoned me to say don’t come in as they’d decided to close.

That was a relief. The roads can be so treacherous when they haven’t been gritted. At around 4pm it stopped snowing for a while, so I wrapped up warm and went out for a walk with both my cameras to look for some nice snowy shots. The snow was nice to walk on as long as I was careful not to slip. It was the sort that squeaked as I trod on it. I was pleased with the photos I took, and will add one here soon.

It started again before long, and has been snowing all evening. I looked out just now to find 6 inches of snow on top of my car. Freezing has been predicted for tonight, which would make the snow very slippery. I shall go to bed now, and worry about tomorrow in the morning.

There are advantages to being ill …….

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

…… but not many of them. I discovered one of them yesterday though. I’ve been ill since the end of July, when I developed a chest infection and viral illness at the same time. Unfortunately after all this time, I’m still not better and the doctor has told me that I’ve got Post Viral Fatigue. He says it could last for weeks, or months or years! I don’t want to be ill for that long. I feel fine when I’m sitting here, but as soon as I get up and try to do something physical I get absolutely exhausted.

When I was really ill for all of August, I could hardly do anything. I knew it was important to eat properly to help me get better, so that’s what I concentrated my very limited energy on. I tried to eat good nourishing food, probably better than I do usually when I’m busy and rushing around. (yes, I can just about remember being like that!)

When I had recovered enough to go back to work after being off for five and a half weeks, my new hours had started. Funny how things work out isn’t it. I’m working every other day now, which gives me a day to rest and recover in between. As soon as I started working again, people said to me ‘You’ve lost weight’ Well that’s good news. I wanted to lose a bit of weight, but not in such a drastic way by being so ill!

I’ve been wearing black to work ever since I had that meeting in July. I couldn’t wear colour as I was in mourning for the loss of the hours but especially for the loss of the creative part of my job that I’m not expected to do any more. Yesterday for the first time I decided that I was ready to wear some colour. I chose a long turquoise skirt and turquoise top, but I did team it with a black cardigan because I didn’t have a colour to go with the skirt.

I had a bit of time to look at the shops before work, and wanted to try and find a brown cardigan – so I could move on from black! There wasn’t one in the shop I like, but I did see the skirt that I’d had my eye on all summer. I was hoping that it would be in the sale by now but it wasn’t.

I tried it on and it fitted me perfectly and looked really nice, so I decided to buy it. I also decided to wear it, because as I’d been walking round looking at the shops, my turquoise skirt kept slipping down and I had to keep pulling it up. It was in danger of slipping off altogether, which as well as causing me acute embarrasment, could have tripped me up and caused an injury, especially if I was on the stairs at the time. It definately wasn’t safe to wear it to work.

It was only 3 weeks since I’d last worn that skirt, so I certainly have lost some weight. I’m happy with that, and I hope that I can manage not to put it back on again when I’m better, which I hope will be very soon!

No Woolworths

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

We’ve had some lovely sunny Spring days recently, so I’ve been out in the garden enjoying the warmth, the lovely flowers that are out and having a look to see what needs doing.

Lots needs doing! It’s a bit of a daunting task, but I wanted to make a start so I went into the garage to look for my trowel. It wasn’t where it should have been, but I did find an old rusty one so I had a go with that. Unfortunately it wasn’t very well. It was old and decrepid and it’s strength had gone. As I tried to use it, it bent in half. In the past, that wasn’t a problem. I would just nip down to Woolworths which was a few doors away from where I work, and get a nice new shiny trowel. But now what will do? Where will I get my trowel from now?

Since all the Woolworths branches closed their doors early in January this year, there have been so many times when I’ve wanted to pop in get to something I needed. Pritt Stick for my cardmaking, Easter Eggs, scissors after I broke some trimming a rubber stamp, plant pots to fill with flowers and put by the front door and lots of other things.

I work in a small town and don’t often get the chance to go to my nearest city with bigger shops and more choice. But it’s the convenience as well as the range of stock that I miss now that Woolworths has gone. It would only take a few minutes to nip in before work, but if I go to my nearest city, it would take at least a morning.

I’ll have to hunt around a bit harder, as I know there must be several trowels around somewhere, if only I could find them.