Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Works in progress

Currently I have the following projects underway

I like to keep busy

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Uneasy bedfellows

Funny what turns up when you search for acronyms. There I was searching for more info on an Excel formula, and look what I found

Search for ISNA

So many different organisations sharing the same initials, but somehow I don't think they're all friends.

Posted on reception lunch cover

Sunday, May 28, 2006


A Less Than Good Day

I somehow don't think I'll forget yesterday in a hurry. It was simply a catalogue of Unfortunate Events.

Was heading down to Southampton en famille to see my brother. We were running late and stuck in slow traffic when suddenly there's a scream from my mum in the front of the car, and a quick look to the right reveals a caravan on its side in the middle lane of the other side of the motorway and just in front of that, a car on its roof. As we were doing 5mph stop-start, I [rather stupidly in retrospect] got out, grabbed the First Aid kit from the boot and went to offer my help, crossing both outside lanes of the motorway.
Thankfully there was nothing for me to do (no blood, except from the dog, and everyone was fully conscious), and a passing fire officer took over spine control on the casualty who'd been sitting in the back with no seatbelt. I did get told off by the police for Doing A Stupid Thing, but they kindly helped me cross back to my family on the other side of the M3. People, don't do 65mph with a caravan up a hill, it's not a good idea...

Anyway, finally reached Southampton, picked up my brother and went to the New Forest. Ate our lunch, got out for a walk and were rained on.

Went to Kingston Lacey, argued with a steward about the relative merits of Kingston Lacey and Snowshill Manor, and eventually agreed to disagree. Consumed more cake than was strictly necessary, and then went outside where we got rained on... and then a bird crapped on my camera. So, the day wasn't improving. Wiped most of it off, and I think a little toothbrush action will clear the remainder out of the crevices later.

Left Kingston Lacey, went to Poole and found that the town has lost all its charm, and is now rather depressing Also there was nowhere to find anything to eat. Went to Eastbourne after going round in circles thanks to a misplaced roadsign and had a wander between the revellers and underage drinkers mingling with the heavy Saturday night police presence. Walked down the seafront where we were harassed by charity collectors, and then popped into a Starbucks where there was no food to be found.

Finally found food at a 24-hour Costa, horribly overpriced but satisfying, dropped my brother off and then had an uneventful late-night journey home, getting in around 1am.

All in all, a day memorable for all the wrong reasons.
And in a matter of hours I will be tending once again to the little dears who frequent the under 18's event. Good Times.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006



  1. Football fans are a funny bunch. For 30 seconds of watching a bus full of players they will spend an hour or more stood in the rain buying overproced flags, horns and t-shirts, and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Nevermind. I doubt Watford will be having another parade any time soon. They can't be promoted next season :P
  2. People can be incredibly rude without realising it. I know I look young. The right places to bring this up are when I attempt to buy alcohol or go for a job interview. In a work context it's irrelevant, and the next person who asks me and then responds to my answer with "Oh, you don't look it! You'll love it when you're 30!" will be asked in all innocence "How old are you?" See how they like it. If I get an answer, I will of course then have to say "Well you don't look it" And then walk off...
  3. Kebab_1 is possibly the most unattractive screen-name I have ever seen. Where did I see it? On a dating website. Eugh!



I've just locked myself out of my online banking. That's annoying.

And now I have to get sleep because I'm spending tomorrow doing child protection training [I don't even work with children], and maybe tomorrow evening patching up overzealous Watford fans.

Funny the things you do for fun

Sunday, May 21, 2006



A night of television, entertaining for all the wrong reasons
That's all I remember. Not because I was drinking, but the rest just blended into one good-looking europop bland mess, usually dressed in blinding white.

A few links:
The winning Finnish lyrics Learn them for future karaoke usage
Is this the coolest t-shirt ever?
More megapixels then you could ever possibly need [via]

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Faces on the Train

As an official slave to the 9-5, I now make at least 10 train journeys a week. This brings me into contact with a random selection of other commuters, everything from sweaty through suited to sexy.
On the return leg of the journey [never seems to happen on the way in], I occasionally notice an attractive young lady in my vicinity. Naturally being young single & straight, I a) notice them and b) pay attention [NB I look, I don't touch] Now as with all British communal situations, everyone crammed into the carriage is trying to avoid eye contact. We're like that. But occasionally the lady I'm admiring from afar [or not so afar, probably the seat opposite] notices me looking at her.

She's seen me!

Quick look away, find the safety instructions fascinating or pretend to be trying to sleep. Hey look, North London whizzing past the window!

But there was a flicker of eye contact there. Maybe, just maybe, she was looking at me before I was looking at her...

Look back... no... Yes! she was definitely looking at me, and has now quickly looked away.

So, my question is this. Is there any chance that there is some kind of mutual interest there, ever? And how on earth do you start a conversation? Most irritatingly they often get off at my stop, so they're probably fairly local to me too - though they never seem to be in the town centre at the weekend. Odd that.
I do know someone who has successfully started conversations with complete strangers on public transport - but she didn't really want to.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Handing over the reins

I've spent a week now being inducted into the ways and little quirks of operating the charity's database, and from Monday I'm on my own. My prdecessor will be sent off with some style and a lot of alcohol tomorrow evening, and then will spend a happy week basking in glorious sunshine before jetting off to Romania to dig up dead people. Maybe I should be concerned she's picked this as a preferable option to doing the job that I am now?
I'm absolutely terrified that I'll forget something crucial and make the charity go bankrupt. Still, at least I'l know it wasn't intentional.
In my first week, I've got hideously drunk, spoken to the BBC & ITV, and been amazed at the size of some donations people will send to a charity they've never been in contact with before. (I can't say the exact amounts because of contractual agreements, but I can say that it would cover quite a few of my pay packets)

I think I'm going to like working here

Sunday, May 07, 2006


And so it begins...

I've been nearly fully accepted into my new job, with lots of meetings with the word 'induction' in the title, and more to follow. There was also talk of an 'initiation ceremony' in the pub on friday, which I'm hoping will be forgotten as details were not forthcoming.
All I can say is that I had a 'merry' time on friday night, and advise everyone that when you've caught the last train, it's a bad idea to sleep past your station.
Tequila aside, the place is really nice, and everyone's really welcoming. There is a theory about the optimum size of a community/tribe It's not without controversy, but based on how many people work for my new employer (about 150) it sounds right. It's personal, but not claustropohbic, unlike some organisations I've worked for with just 5 or 6 employees.

Apart from settling in at my new job, I'm keeping my hand in with theatre work (for the moment at least) and St. Johnning (v. To stand around looking like a fluorescent fool waiting for something to happen. See Also: Working for nothing, Activities that are inexplicably enjoyable & addictive) The 10k race last week was largely uneventful but involved excessive quantities of mud, though probably not as much as the motorcycle grass track event I'm going to next week.

The final bit of work I did as a volunteer for my last charity was to lend a hand at their major donor event last week. Useful experience, but it's a completely different world. Most of us are familiar with appeals to sponsor children in developing nations, endangered wildlife or threatened habitats for a few punds a month. These people were being invited to sponsor a PhD. student for a year at a cost of £20,00 a year. Like I said, a different world.

The downside of a full-time job is office hours. My natural body clock likes to go to sleep some time around 2 or 3am, and wake up between 9 & 10, becoming full productive around 11. Lunch then happens sometime between 2 & 4pm, and I down tools by about 7 or 8pm. Unfortunately the rest of the world does not operate like this so I'm re-training my body so I can be alert from 9.30 to 5.30 as DatabaseMonkeyDave. It's tough.

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