Saturday, 22 March 2014

Two months in (selected) tweets

Right. This work lark ain't particularly conducive to blogging. Who knew? Still, as I do occasionally send out the odd random tweet, I thought I'd use this medium to bring you up to speed. I know, I know, it's cheating, but Mr Tin has been complaining that this is the only medium through which he finds out what I'm up to.

First off, the usual new job jitters:

...then we have the early false sense of security and annoying smugness (pride comes before a fall, they say...):
Yeah. Jinxed it.
Still, it's good to see I've still got my priorities right:
By week 3, I'm starting to definitely feel more at home in the new job:
...and my colleagues' little foibles are as familiar as those of my family:

...whilst I soon find that work not only gets in the way of blogging, but also Twitter itself:
...and there are other annoyances to being back at work:

...such as those "novelty days" at my children's school:

...and the odd commute. "L'Enfer, c'est les autres"(*).

The thing is, I normally like food. A lot. But I guess I wasn't really feeling it. Who knew the humble pancake could cause such strife?

Things then went from bad to worse:

Do I really moan that much? I guess I do...

Yep. Still doing the rubbish mother bit:

...and the rubbish housewife bit.
Not forgetting the rubbish working woman bit:

So, all in all, no real change. Life is busy, and generally good, although reliable hot water would make it even better.


(*roughly translated as "Hell is other people", Jean-Paul Sartre)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Things I'm going to miss when back at work

So this is it, the day of reckoning. The last day of officially being unemployed, for yes, I do indeed start a new job on Monday. Having resigned myself to the fact that the recruitment process always takes longer than perhaps would be ideal, I envisaged having another couple of weeks before being in this position. Yet I am going from initial interview to first day in less than two weeks. Whilst this is obviously a Good Thing, it has left me a tad shell-shocked and panicked about getting all those things on my list done that I have been dragging out for the best part of four months...

It will also be the first time that I will be working properly "full time" since before having children, and I am certainly apprehensive about how the whole work-life balance will look. Here, therefore is the list of things I'm going to miss about going back to work...

1) The kids. Despite my regular cries of "IF YOU CARRY ON LIKE THAT I'M SENDING YOU TO YOUR GRANDPARENTS", I am quite fond of the little blighters. The truth is, however, that with both of them being at school and at various hobbies I probably won't see that much less of them anyway, so actually I am less worried about this than perhaps maternal guilt should dictate. But I've never been a fan of guilt of any sort anyway.

2) My burgeoning social life. I've probably made more "playground buddies" in the past four months than in the whole of the almost four years that my eldest has been at school. Whilst I expect I will always float on the peripheries a little bit, it has certainly been nice to not feel like a complete Billy-No-Mates at the school gates for a change. I've even "done coffee" on one or two occasions...

3) Walking. Forced exercise is anathema to me. The thought of the gym fills me with horror, and I've never seen the point in running when walking is perfectly acceptable. I do, however, love walking, and will miss the walks to and from school, and even my weekly walk to the job centre. I really noticed a change in my fitness levels even after not having done it for two weeks over the Christmas holidays.

4) Time for appointments and admin. No longer can I mooch around the local shops on a whim. Groceries will probably have to be ordered online again. Paperwork and tidying will take up evenings. Hair cuts will have to be done on Saturdays. Appointments with doctors/dentists/chiropractors etc will have to be carefully scheduled around working hours.

5) Time for Reading and Relaxation. And Twitter. And painting my nails. And farting about on the Internet...and just generally wasting time by myself.

Mostly however, I am excited. Excited by a new challenge, a chance to learn new things and meet new people. Oh, and excited by the opportunity to go shoe shopping. What does one wear in an office these days?!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Review - Tom Gates: Extra Special Treats (not)

"Never work with children or animals", or so the saying goes. In blogging terms that might also mean "never agree to a review that involves a child giving you his or her opinion". You see, the lovely folks at Scholastic sent me a copy of the latest special hard cover winter edition of "Tom Gates: Extra Special Treats (not) to review.

The book duly arrived, and was swiftly ferreted away by the 8 year old, who emerged at the end of the same day and declared that it was "epic".

"Epic?" I said.
"You'll have to give me a bit more than that - that's a bit of a short review!"
"Well, it's got cool pictures and stuff, and it's funny."

Weeks of wrangling didn't really give me much more, so I had to make do with the official description:

'The sixth in the series by bestselling author Liz Pichon (winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and current holder of the Blue Peter Book Award), the book is jam-packed with trademark illustrations, hilarious characters and stories - guaranteed to tickle children's funny bones as the evenings draw in!'

Tom Gates: Extra Special Treats (not) is out now, published by Scholastic.

(...and yes, it's "epic".)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Only Boring People Are Bored*

I always assumed that the only thing standing between me and a spotless home was a full-time job. It turns out that really, the only thing standing between me and a spotless house 

With the children at school all day, I should have plenty of time to whip the place into serious shape. A household of four people who aren't that great at picking up after themselves is never going to be a recipe for show-home like conditions, but it turns out, I actually don't really care that much. Not enough to spend the two to three hours a day that it would require to get it to that stage, at any rate, because quite frankly, domestic chores bore the hell out of me. 

It makes me wonder how things would have been different if I hadn't gone back to work after having children. Maybe I'd have found some meaningful hobbies to fill my time by now? Maybe I'd have become more active on the coffee morning scene? (Unlikely) Perhaps I'd have got stuck in volunteering with something? Maybe even started my own business from home?

I suppose I'll never know! However, I'm definitely past the stage of unemployment being a nice novelty and a bit of a rest, to finding myself thoroughly bored. 

Bored of not being mentally stimulated.
Bored of every day feeling the same.
Bored of having to watch every penny.
Bored of the housework. Definitely bored of the housework.

I need to get back to work, and fast.

Boredom by Alison on Flickr

(*Did anyone else's parents say that to them? Used to drive me crazy!)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Things I still can't do at 40

So, "that birthday" has been and gone and I've had a couple of weeks as a fully-fledged 40 year old. I'll forgive you if you missed it, I didn't particularly publicise the actual date due to a (possibly irrational?) fear that all you internet weirdos are going to steal my identity if you have my full date of birth. Plus, the introvert in me cringes at anything that draws too much attention to myself. (Yes, I fully realise the irony in that last statement as I broadcast my thoughts out to all and sundry).

Anyway, I've never been one to subscribe to the significance of birthdays - it's all just another number, after all, and the ageing process is so much more gradual than overnight. Still, it is fun to take stock on such occasions and look back at all the things I have achieved, which, let's face it, is a lot. 40 years is quite a long time after all - you'd hope there were one or two achievements in there!

By contrast, the list of achievements since turning 40 are probably somewhat slimmer...(yep, still jobless).

So here instead is the list of things that have stumped me over the last couple of weeks:

- I still struggle to tell the difference between mumsnet and netmums.
- Applying nail varnish that doesn't look like my kids had a go.
- I really should have learned that I must ALWAYS go back and buy a second pair of my "ideal" jeans when I find them, as they will promptly be discontinued and I'll have to go through the whole tortuous process of trying gazillions of pairs on again.
- While it took me a long time to become a "handbag person", I still don't understand the appeal of satchels for grown women. They'll always be cute school bags to me.
- Will I ever master the art of putting a king-size duvet on a bed by myself?


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