Tuesday, 31 January 2012

New girl....

So today was the first day of my new job.

Overall it was good - everybody was really friendly and the team seem really nice. It was one of those 'first days' though, where as I don't yet have a contract, I also have no swipe card, no email address or computer access. So I had to be escorted through all the doors, which means interrupting colleagues, and that I mostly did filing! It's really frustrating not to be able to get stuck in straight away, but it was good to see how the paperwork goes, and learn some of the forms that I'll be using.

Tomorrow I go to the imaging centre and learn how to do things there! Including a safety lecture...I bet that will be thrilling ;o) It also means that I now have three phones! My iPhone and 2 for work, which are of course, ancient. They do share a charger though.

But wooooop(!) for the first step of my new career in research :) Still haven't written that bloody personal statement. Bugger it.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Blue Sunday

After yesterday's failed gym attempt we were also going to go to body pump this morning at 11.30 but couldn't even make that! Not sure why this week has been so tiring but an early night tonight and then hopefully reset for next week.

Michael has a big important interview in London this week so we went up to the mall and did some suit shopping. He has a few suits, but they're a bit worn and on the new regime he's looking trimmer, so needed to get a new fit. In the end I persuaded him that the 'slim fit' version is a better look for him, and we got a steel grey cut that he'll look gorgeous in on Wednesday :)

This also means though that his beard has to go! I've never been a huge fan of the facial hair, but I'm becoming more attached to it so will have to make an adjustment after tomorrow's visit to the barber! 

We visited the Toyota dealership today to investigate new car options - either which way you look at it, cars are expensive! We haven't decided whether to go for a new one on finance and commit to monthly payments or buy an old one outright and risk big bills.... I'm hoping to cycle in to the new job when I'm based in Bristol, but need to ask my sister nicely if I can steal her bike while she's in the States. It might mean one less gym trip too!! 

I've been a right grump the last couple of days, especially today....this was not helped by a) missing the gym (twice!) and b) having a rather disappointing cappuccino in Starbucks earlier. I'm not sure what was wrong with it but it was disappointing nonetheless, hmpf. On the aforementioned diet this is a regular, and necessary, treat! I am doing Step 3 of the Cambridge Weight Plan , which is 1000Kcals a day. I'm getting on ok with it, but for some reason have found weeks 3 and 4 difficult (last week and this week). I've lost 9lbs so far in three weeks, but weigh-in tomorrow and am not sure how well I'm going to do. I haven't drunk enough water (supposed to be 2.25 litres minimum) so I shall try and massively rehydrate tonight and tomorrow to kick-start my body before weighing in tomorrow eve! I am starting with a Berocca; 
Hopefully my saviour??!
To top today off, Michael has just nudged past the shelf in the above picture, and it's bloody fallen off the wall, smashing our key pot, change pot and thrown all the coppers halfway across the floor. And I've just caught my ring in my jumper and pulled a hold in it. Just sums today up really!

I'm now going to write my PhD personal statement (yuk) and watch Dancing on Ice in an attempt to cheer myself up while Michael goes to the gym. Here's hoping that next week will be a better week!

This week....

I did so well with two posts in one day but it wasn't to last! The rest of this week has been a bit of a blur. As my last full-time week as a family support worker I've had quite a lot to think about and organise, not least trying to sort out a new car to replace the company one I'm entitled to now - an expense I don't really need! It's January so the bank balance is looking rather shocking, thank goodness for working in a pub as well! I had a fun shift with the lovely Laura on Friday night and then yesterday worked the afternoon - quite quiet so even did a bit of my PhD application.  

Yesterday morning Michael and I were supposed to go to the gym but managed to oversleep completely and miss my 9.35 step class! Oops.

So instead, as it was a gorgeous day - crisp, cold and bright - we went for a yummy cappuccino from Coffee #1 in Westbury and then wandered round the village and the park before my shift:

Saturday cappuccino - diet-friendly weekend treat!

Chilly and beautiful Westbury park :)

Lovely walk, although we felt a little out of place being
neither a) elderly nor b) scooping around four children!

Michael, one of my fave pictures of him :)

Not my best photo....!

Westbury-on-Trym, looking lush!

That was a lovely way to spend a cold Saturday morning!

After my pub shift we couldn't decide what to do with our evening (I finished at 7.30), particularly because in true January detox style neither of us is drinking, and I particularly am on a strict diet! Michael has also given up red meat for January so going out for drinks and/or dinner (with the aforementioned bank balance!) was not massively appealing. We did the cinema on Tuesday for The Iron Lady so didn't particularly fancy that - I want to see the artist but need to rope a girl in with me as Michael isn't keen! So we looked at the Watershed in Bristol as Laura remembered their slapstick festival, but there wasn't anything we fancied there either! The tobacco factory theatre is a Bristol experience I'm yet to have but 'the ragged trousered philanthropists' seemed a bit much for my tired brain!

So we came home and found that the magic box that is Sky+ had recorded Audrey Hepburn films on series link, so we settled in for an evening of Funny Face with Fred Astaire and 1950s fashion, alongside our healthy tuna and sweet potato supper :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Iron Lady

Gosh two posts in one day, I might be getting into this!

Tonight, after my previous post, Michael and I went up to the Vue cinema at Cribbs Causeway to watch the Iron Lady: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1007029/ (courtesy of IMDb).

We had mixed feelings about this film. Meryl Streep gave an undoubtedly wonderful performance as Margaret Thatcher, Jim Broadbent was good and the film was engaging and emotional. However, as someone who doesn't know a great deal about Mrs. Thatcher's career, the miners' strikes or the falklands war (in my defence it was a little before my time!) it was hard to follow the political storyline. Michael had no such problem, being quite knowledgeable on the history of the Conservative party, so luckily he explained the gaps in the car on the way home. If this had been because there was just too much to get into the film and they had to cut bits out somewhere then it wouldn't be quite so frustrating. However I actually feel that it was partly to do with the construction of the film - quite why so much of it was set post-Denis' death I'm not sure. It seems a bit odd to focus on happenings now, when much of that is unknown, and all of it is certainly private, when so much happened in her career that could be explored. For example, her speech following the Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton was alluded to but none included, and 'To those waiting with baited breath for that favourite media catchphrase 'the U-turn'... You turn if you want to - the lady's not for turning.' was sadly missed out, despite being a direct link to the film's tagline; 'Never Compromise'. Having said that, I do feel that her old-age was delicately dealt with - there was an implication that much of her fragile mental state was attributed to grief rather than dementia, and there was hopefully little to offend family members.

Overall I am glad I saw it, but I do think the opportunity was a bit wasted - I shall be looking up the recent BBC documentary on her rise to power to satisfy my historical itch, although it'll be a shame that Meryl Streep isn't in it.

January 2012

I think it might be best to start with a few things that have already happened this year...

1. We spent new year in Wales with my lovely friend Hannah T and her boyfriend Scott, Hannah J and Edward, including this gorgeous new year's day woods/beach walk:

Scott stripping for a very chilly swim!
Beautiful dusk in the rain

No effects on this one, just a gorgeous pink Welsh sunset :)

2. I got a new job! Finally, after over a year of applying for everything I could find. I will be working part-time at the University as a researcher (great for the PhD application) and staying part-time in my existing post as a family support worker.

Cue beautiful flowers from my mummy, and these from the lovely Camilla.

3. Not technically this year, but we *finally* bought our first (not actually so) little house. After months of waiting and anxious breath-holding we finally moved in at the end of November. We loved the new flat we were in last year but it was just too small! Here we decorated three rooms within the first 72 hours, with a lot of help from both of our mums and friends. Pictures to follow when I have a bit more time!

So far, 2012 rocks :)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Blog beginner!

I have started this blog mostly because; I have a very poor memory, am hopeless at remembering to take photographs (let alone get them developed for albums) and am totally rubbish at keeping a diary, but I would love to have a record of my life with my gorgeous partner; Michael, not to mention all our wonderful friends and family.

So, as a (slightly delayed) new year's resolution for 2012, I have started this blog in the hope that it will prompt me to take photographs (I have an iPhone and therefore zero excuse) and record some of my thoughts and the more important/interesting things that occur in my day-to-day life. Hopefully I'll keep it going and we'll have something to look back on in the future!