Friday, 16 September 2011

Confused Bean

I've been rather confused this last week. Somehow, it's been decided I'm the most responsible of the group and it's been left to me to sort out utilities and broadband for the house share I'm moving into next week. I was kinda hoping since I found the house, someone else would take on the mantle of doing all that stuff. Unfortunately, no one stepped up and then one of the lot announced they were moving in four weeks earlier than we had to be there to start lectures. They also weren't offering to sort bits out so I started doing a bit of research. Broadband was alright. I understand we need unlimited broadband as fast as we can get it and as cheap as we can get it. That's logical. I managed to get us a deal with Orange with a £40 Sainsbury's voucher and £50 credit. If you're going with them too and want £50 credit, send me an email and I'll tell you my Orange email address you need to quote to them to say you've been referred by me.

Gas and electric however, completely floored me. There are so many different tariffs available, how do I know which one's best? Is it better for us to be on a standing charge or not? Currently the house is economy 7 which seems like a stupid idea for a bunch of students, so how do I go about changing it and do I have to, and will it cost and *pop* (small bean explosion). All the comparison sites want to know how much you'll use before they give you answers and lots isn't one of the options available to pick. I know there's 6 of us, well, there will be, there's only five at the moment, we're still looking for a sixth. I know it will be expensive. There is nothing out there that is a rough guide to sorting out utilities for students moving into shared housing for the first time. I know technically it's not my first time, but, somewhat shamefully, a different housemate sorted it all out in Southampton and I didn't bother getting involved to see how they did it. I'm paying for it now though. I've picked a plan, and I'm getting the meter changed over next week. I do feel very pleased with myself I've figured it out and sorted it. I just hope I picked correctly.

In other exciting news I have children! I have a boy fresher and a girl fresher. One of them is a mature student I think, although they aren't replying to my messages at the moment :-s Although I guess if you had a randomer sending you a message on facebook saying "hi, I'm your mum", you'd probably ignore them too. Wifey and I are planning on cooking a meal for them at our house. Details of our tutors have been released and our intranet page is looking very whizzy now as more stuff is added to it.

I'm working at the uni this weekend as an open day helper which I'm looking forward to. It's been ages since I did anything like that. To be honest, it's more the £7.33 an hour I'm looking forward to. There's been an announcement on the intranet they will be advertising for people to sit in our life science room which has books, computers and plastic models in it and be a life science technical helper. Talking to last years' second years, it's an evening job that involves sitting in the room and making sure no one trashes the place or steals things. They're quite happy for you to sit and work while you're there. I'm seriously tempted to go for it, although I wonder if I'd be able to fit it in with my GP job I'll be going back to. That's as well as trying to be better friends with my housemates than I managed to at my last degree. I think my downfall there was the hours I spent working in my room that they spent downstairs watching telly or going out together. I have to try and make more of an effort this time. Oh, and this week I need to decide if I'm rowing with the city club for this year or not. It's my last chance to row with them, and it looks like there's a perfect squad to fit me, if I can just maintain the oomph to go train and fit it in with the rest of my life. If someone could just sponsor me to do med, that would be great. That way I wouldn't have to decide between course, friends, sports, jobs, cooking and sleep.

I mentioned last time listening to music while I work and the song I linked to last time is a favourite Friday song of mine. Had you been a fly on the wall, after one particularly busy Friday you would have seen me playing that song on full blast dancing around Mr's room like a loon, with him smiling at me and wondering how he landed himself such a funny, strange girlfriend. I believe people must think that of me fairly often, as I frequently find myself bopping away to the songs I'm listening to whilst sitting in my chair at work. It's only small dancing, but there's definite swaying, tapping and bouncing. Ah well, life would be boring if we didn't have our oddities, wouldn't it? Another song I'm loving at the moment is Titus Jones - Pokestar  The whole album it's on is great, but there's a couple of stand out songs for me and this is one of them.

Friday, 9 September 2011

A hodge podge of placement, work and music

Happy Friday! Continuing the trend, I have two weeks to go!! Placements were released yesterday, and I've been given a rural GP's. Still making my mind up about that one. I'd wanted to go to the one I already work at as a receptionist/administrator, because that would have completed the circle nicely. I would have seen everything that surgery does. I can't work out if a rural GP's means I'll get to do more because they may be more relaxed, or I won't see anything because they are so tiny. I'm not looking forward to the 20 minute commute to get there, but it could be worse. Some people have to go much further than I do.

All that's left to find out now is what my SSU's are and who my fresher children are. I'm trying to work out what to do with my children on our parent's night. My parents took me bowling. I'm torn between that, cooking a nice meal for them at my house, or showing them a great pub in Exeter they may not discover by themselves. I'm sure they'll be a little weirded out whatever, as we are an odd couple. I'm a mature female student and the girl I took for my wife repeated first year. I cooked for my mentees at Southampton the first time I met them, and that worked well. They appreciated having proper home cooked food for once. Well, it went well until one of them had an epileptic fit on the driveway and we had to take him to hospital. Hmmm. Anyone have any suggestions?

I'm somewhat buried at work. My boss is going on holiday next week, so gave me his backlog of work to clear as much of it as I can before he gets back. That's on top of the projects I already had from him to do. Most of those are just starting to get big and actionable as people are finally responding to the questions I sent them weeks ago, now they realise I'm going soon. With that, comes the little spreadsheet queries people have, as the people that are used to me being here that I have worked with over the years fall back into the mind set of 'Oh, it's a spreadsheet thing, Bean'll do it.' I did get a little stressy last week. I had a day where I was given masses of stuff to do, which looked simple at first but none of it was in the end. I cleared none of it that day, I was so frustrated and just felt completely rubbish at my job. Just as things were getting too much, mr and I's song came on the playlist I was listening to (a radio station made of all the songs and artists I love on It's not really a happy song, but it always seems to come on when we are together - a busker will start singing it, or it'll come on the radio or start playing in a shop. It calmed me down so much. He's on exercise at the moment, stuck on a moor somewhere and pretty much out of contact for a few weeks. It's pants because I normally speak to him everyday and I really miss chatting to him. At Southampton we used to work together and if either of us got stressed with what we were working on the other could tell and would initiate a five minute break of a chat and a back rub. At that moment, silly as it sounds, it just felt like he was watching and he knew I was stressed so he sent that song. I know, I know, I'm soppy beyond redemption. Shoot me now, disgusting loved up person that I am.

Songs are really important to me. I love songs that remind me of events, people, places and great times. So, my loved playlist is pretty eclectic, but putting the right music on can really alter my mood. For example, I have masses of work to do at the moment, so I have dance music on so the beat helps keep my motivated and concentrated - Chase and Status today and the bootie mashup by DJs from Mars - Show Me in the Deep (Listen here). Bootie mashups are great because they can put a really different spin on songs. There's a couple where I love the mashups more than the original. If I'm learning I like either dance, house, funky folk (Seth Lakeman, The Bad Shepherds) or something soft and quiet, like Joshua Radin or JJ Cale. Rock guitar and grizzly vocal pieces come out if I'm grumpy and am happy to stay grumpy for a bit, like Queen sung by Paul Rogers or Daughtry, or happy cheesy stuff like Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat if I don't want to grump anymore. You can tell a lot about me by listening to what music I'm playing. I listen to music all the time, I love it. I like so much there's bound to be stuff you like and others you don't, but I don't care what others think of my music taste. I listen to it because it makes me happy.