Thursday, 28 July 2011

Office Bean

I have fully settled back into office life now. I have my work to do spreadsheet fully up and running, colour coded for when things need to be done by and rapidly filling up with "can you do this for me by the end of the week?" jobs, and "when you have a minute, can you look at this for me?" jobs. These must be fitted in with the "oo, Bean, do you know how to make it do this?" quick fixes. Slowly the last year goes a bit fuzzy round the edges, like it didn't really happen, and I slip back into feeling like I've been here for years and I could stay here for years more. I'm making the most of being able to paint my nails shockingly bright colours (electric blue today, if you wondered), of finishing work at 4pm and playing cards every Thursday lunch time. I'm still a little sniffy, but much better than I was. Today I had a jolt that prompted me to wake up and start counting the weeks until I finish again; a reminder that this life is not my only life. I had an email inviting me to enrol for second year. :)

For the last two weekends in a row I've been lucky and have been able to see Mr. Last weekend was his Summer Ball, and my presence was requested in a pretty dress. It was a lovely evening, with much mingling, dancing, alcohol and a little coughing, hidden as demurely as I could. Before the ball we went for a walk on some moor land close to his base. We saw wild rabbits, jumped over giant muddy puddles and stood hand in hand in the middle of a flock of swirling birds. It was beautiful. Long distance relationships are hard work, but that walk really made me think about what I want for my future and what I'm working towards. Our mantra at the moment is very much 'one day'. One day we'll be a normal couple, we'll have a house and dogs and cats and we'll go for walks and we'll be a normal couple. I know that's not normal really, but it makes a pretty picture in my head.

One of the biggest problems I have with the drive to see Mr is the nutters that appear to be on the roads. The first weekend I went up there was a car coming at me head on my side of the road, trying to overtake but horribly misjudging it, and a bean sandwich between two milk lorries that nearly made for a squished bean. This time however was the worst. I really did think that was it for me and I was about to die. I was on a roundabout and I looked out my window to see a massive BMW bearing down on me, having decided to move from the inside to the outside lane without checking it was clear first. Luckily I was able to shoot off at the exit on my left and sit quietly in the crosshatched extra wide mouth of the exit for a little bit and slow my heart rate down. I'm more cross that all I could manage was a feeble "eep" instead of finding the horn to frighten the idiot as much as he scared me. I'm really not a bad driver, and this never happened on my commute to Southampton and back. I'd quiet like it to stop though, I don't need my driving skills tested. A nice quiet, uneventful drive would be good.

Finally, it's no secret to those that know me, that beans run on biscuits. Custard creams, shortbread, digestives, I'm not fussed - if I get hungry biscuits are usually what I reach for. To try and healthy me up a bit I've started having Graze boxes and I have to say they are really tasty. Normally I come home from work starving and head straight for the biscuit tin, but not since I've been snacking on these throughout the day. They are tasty and there's a real mix of things available for if you're in a healthy mood or not. If you'd like to try a box for free, use this link on the website enter this promotional code 8N13FZ3

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Snotty Bean

Not a lot to update you with I'm afraid.  I walked 300m in the rain (not even that, it was drizzle at best!) in a dress and cardigan and I come down with a stinking, horrible cold.  Lovely.  Whilst I'll admit it's been nice to have time off work sat at home doing not a lot, I'd quite like to stand without wobbling, smell things, go more than 3 minutes without soaking a tissue, have muscles that don't ache and not be addicted to max strength cold and flu tablets and lucozade.  I think everyone has staples they turn to when they are ill don't they?  Things that make you feel better, whether they work scientifically or not.  For me it's supermarket brand cold and flu tablets, lucozade and chicken noodle soup.  My knitting is coming along nicely, and I'm finally watching the Godfather trilogy for the first time.  I'm getting a taste for what it must be like for other students who do nothing in their holidays and don't work, something which I haven't done in 6 years.  That said, my facebook is filling up with people complaining they are bored.  I keep thinking how much work I have to do and everyday I call in my boss sounds more and more upset (I have a feeling this isn't because I'm ill, it's because I'm not there to do my/his work).  However, when I can't walk for more than a few metres without holding on to something and when I think 3+3=5, I really don't think work is the best place for me at the moment.  There is a highlight to my day though.  I have just discovered Kleenex balsam fresh tissues with menthol in them.  Genius idea :)  I shall bid you a snotty adieu and hopefully next time I write I shall be a healthy bouncing bean again.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

In time

Sorry it's been so long since I posted.  Lots to fill you in on, as inevitably, all things work themselves out in time.  Firstly, I am enormously happy to say I passed!  I was sat on the plane hiding my phone from the stewardesses and praying for the pages to load faster before I absolutely had to to turn off the phone because we were taking off when I finally saw the magic green word satisfactory.  I passed both the AMK with a score of 28 and the EoY1 with a score of 50.  Both comfortably above the pass rate and the cohort mean.  I was so happy, I was grinning madly all the way to Lanzarote, and every now and then whilst on holiday I would suddenly be struck with the thought that I was a second year, or a fifth of a Dr.

Playa del Papagayos

The holiday was amazing.  7 days of blistering heat with enough of a breeze to just about stop Mr from melting, beautiful scenery, a couple of days on the beach or by the pool and the rest was spent sight-seeing.  We went to a couple of amazingly well done landscaped gardens and houses, took a trip around a volcano and down lava caves and saw a natural lagoon in one of the lava tunnels in which lives the only colony in the world of small, white, blind crabs.  Very bizarre!

Cafe in Jameos del Agua ( near the blind crabs)
Evenings were spent in the bar playing cards with Mr and indulging (sensibly) in the free bar, or wandering round the local town and harbour front.  We ate sausages cooked over the heat of the volcano and had the nicest squid I have ever tasted.  We had ice creams in the shade over looking the beach whilst small lizards ran between our feet, and on our last night one of the cats at the hotel came and curled up to go to sleep on my lap.  It was bliss.  I'm not sure what it was and can only speculate it was the minerals in the water from the volcano, but my hair has been the nicest, shiniest, softest it has ever been.  It's like I've stepped out of a Pantene advert.  Unfortunately the Lanzarote for Beans fund couldn't raise enough money to keep me there for the sake of having beautiful hair and finally being warm.
Lazing on Playa del Papagayo, enjoying the sun
It was lovely to be able to spend so much time with Mr, and time where I'm not rushing from place to place, not worrying about things, not thinking of the enormous piles of work to be done or trying to recall nerve tracts and muscle names.   I heard news from home that my office job were going to take me back, so once I got back I had one last week at the GP's and I have just finished my first week back at the office job.  I have been promoted to senior and had a small pay rise which is nice.  I have been tasked with setting up control environments for them, so working out how things should be done and constructing spreadsheets with control elements for people to fill in as they progress through tasks to ensure nothing is missed and it is easy to see where hold ups are and where they are with tasks.  I also have 40 30-page documents to write on how administration has been going on some of the schemes and am head up a task to ask all the trustees of schemes whether they want to adopt new government rules about pensions or not.  All in ten weeks.  Except most of this week has been spent completing tasks my boss has emailed me that are due out urgently today this minute now!  It is nice to be back though.  The knowledge of how to do things is slowly trickling back to me, and, I won Thursday cards! I was very happy.

After many phone calls, threatening to get my MP involved like I had to do last year, threatening a formal complaint, having some outright lies from them, hearing each person I talked to tell me something different, I finally managed to get Student Finance to give me money, and an apology letter.  I shan't entirely believe it until I see the money in my account in September, but things are looking hopeful.  All in all things are going pretty well at the moment :)

[All photos taken by me]