Friday, July 25, 2008

Two in One

Nope it's not the modern miracle of shampoo and conditioner in the same bottle thus negating the need for taking two bottles into the shower, rather the talented and lovely Diane over at Forks of the moment' has awarded me two awards in one. A double whammy if you will.

The first award is a 'You make me smile' one and the second is for being a 'Super Commenter'. I can think of no greater compliment then someone telling you that you make them smile and that they appreciate your comments. Thank you Diane, it's a pleasure. For those of you who haven't met her yet I urge you to visit her blog 'Forks of the Moment'. She is a very talented writer and story teller with a quick wit, a wonderful sense of humour and a very down-to-earth attitude.

These awards couldn't have come at a better moment. I have been home most of the week with a nasty cold which has become a chest infection and I have a hacking cough to add to the list of symptoms which is making my throat sore. I have also been feeling a little down due some old coals being raked over by my brother which have upset me. My family are as supportive as ever, i.e. they don't want to know as long as they are not affected by what is going on. As they say, you can't choose your family...

It's ironic to get a 'Super Commenter' award when I haven't been doing much commenting this last week. I'm afraid I was feeling too ill to do anything but nap really but hope to visit you soon, sometime between coughing fits.
For now, in true blogger form, I will pass on these awards to a few bloggers who make me smile and who I believe are super commenters. There appear to be no particular rules to accompany these awards so I'll award this to the following:

I have no doubt that there are many more people whom I can give this award to but recently these people have regularly filled the criteria as I can always count on these kind folk, whom I have never met to drop by and comment and make me smile and they have all done so for some time now. Thank you. I still wonder what brings you back sometimes but I am very glad that you do return.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Feeling Yuk

I didn't go to work today. I came home early yesterday feeling yuk. I went to bed feeling okay the night before and then got up with the most horrendous head cold.

It feels like a slime monster has set up home in their and is having a thumping big party. My head aches, I keep sneezing (such an annoying bodily response), my nose runs incessantly (another really annoying bodily response and really gross too), I feel dizzy and my throat is sore. My nose is redder than Rudolf's from constant nose blowing (even using those balm tissues) and quite unseasonal, it being July.

I am not a good patient but then I'm my own nurse so that's not too much of a problem. I hate being ill. I get very frustrated with feeling too awful to do anything except lie on the sofa. Life is too short to feel this bad. The slime monster must leave and take his party guests with him.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Live Act

Jools Holland Live - Westonbirt Arboretum, July 2008

As those who drop by here know, I have been pretty busy with my new job and other sundry things happening in my little corner of the world which I will post about soon. The other evening though I reserved for a little R&R and went and saw Jools Holland perform live in an open air event. The day was overcast but luckily by the time we got there in the evening the clouds had thinned a little and it stayed dry.

Jools is a talented Rhythm & Blues, Jazz and Boogie Woogie musician and is a brilliant entertainer who had an instant rapport with the audience. He was accompanied by Marc Almond, formerly of the 80's band Soft Cell who did a wonderful rendition of the classic 'Tainted Love' which was all the better for Jool's piano arrangement and also by the wonderful singer Ruby Turner. My what a pair of lungs that woman has and such a gorgeous rich voice which you can check out in the video clip below. All in all it was a great show made all the more atmospheric by the convivial woodland open air surroundings.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Not gone fishin'

Do not fret! Call off the search! I am alive and well and where I should be but have had hardly any time to spend posting and visiting for the last week or so.

I spent three days at 'Fight Camp' recently and am now playing catch up on chores and everything else. I am also very busy at work picking up the new job and am extraordinarily tired by the time I get home.

I have however decided who won the caption competition I ran a short time ago which you can view *here*. A hand written postcard from Edinburgh will be winging it's way to Linda of the MacDonald Clan and Susan Helen Gottfried of West of Mars. Congratulations to all who entered :) If you want to claim your prize then email me your address so I can send the card. My email is on my profile page.

I will post and visit soon. Just as soon as I can co-ordinate sitting down and keeping my eyes open. Hope all is well with you! Leave me a comment to let me know you stopped by :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Out of the zone

How did I get here? I appear to be out of my comfort zone and dipping my toes in the sea of uncertainty. It's scary and exciting at the same time. You see, this week is the first week in my new job.

I know the physical sequence of events that led me here of course. I applied for the job, I attended the interview and I accepted the job, ergo I am now here. But part of me wonders why I am here. Again. What makes me keep jumping out of the nice comfortable metaphorical sofa into the deep blue unknown?

Starting a new job is never easy. There is a new culture to integrate into which involves getting a feel for all those tacit value systems, there are a whole new set of acronyms and 'in speak' to make sense of, systems and processes to learn and personalities to fathom. Then there is the actual work, a whole new set of skills and knowledge to learn. And therein lies the crux of the matter. I like to learn. If I stay in one place too long then I stagnate. The comfortable sofa starts to become suffocating and I long to get up off it and start the next adventure.

I have no idea what this job has in store for me but I do know it will challenge and stretch me. I know it will sometimes be trying, but I also know that the present confusion and fear I am feeling will pass as I become more familiar with what is expected of me and as I find my niche in my new team. I'm feeling the fear and doing it anyway and it feels good.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The force is strong in this one

I did it! I got my Masters degree! After all the study, the time sat in front of a computer willing the words to join together in comprehensible sentences and the sentences to join together into a cohesive argument, after all the blood, sweat and tears (yes, there were some), after all the time pouring over books and journals, all the research and all the sacrifices I finally got my MBA. It has not been easy. It has, in fact, been very, very, very hard. It was a challenge juggling full time work with study and it was an even bigger challenge trying to have any sort of a social life on top of all this at times, but ultimately it has been worth it because I have passed.

Here are some stats:

It took me 5 years to complete
24 essays
4 exams
1 project
1 dissertation
4 residential schools
Approximately 1200 hours of studying (possibly more)

During this time I have gone through separation and divorce and two lots of surgery and assorted treatments, my mother was ill for several months and I lost my little niece. There were times when I wanted to give up, there were times when I thought I would never finish and that I had entered a sort of private hell where I would be writing business essays and deconstructing case studies forever. However, even while I was studying my learning has benefited me at work. I have been promoted not once, but twice during this time and I attribute some of this success to my studies. Part of me still can't believe it's over, it has become so much a part of my life, while another part of me is so relieved that I can close the books. A big part of me is chuffed to pieces. What I want to know now though, is when do I get my Jedi cloak and light saber if I am a Master?