30 June 2009

Because of the hot weather I have been waking up just after 4am and rather than try to sleep, I have been indulging in reading some of my old and favourite books.

House of Brede by Rumer Godden. I can remember buying this book many years ago and it will be the last time I read it as it is being donated to the book swap. I hope it gives whoever reads it the same amount of pleasure it has given me over time. Rumer Godden is probably better known for her book, later turned into a film, the
Black Narcissus filmed in 1947 and starring Deborah Kerr as Sister Clodagh and Jean Simmons. Though they did make a film of House of Brede it wasn’t until 1975 and starred Diana Rigg as the main character Philippa Talbot who entered a Benedictine Monastery when in her forties.

This was, and still is, a great book. The trials of joining an enclosed order of nuns where your will is no longer important, only the will of the community. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to adhere to the strict rules and lifestyle changes necessary and yet I am fascinated by it.

I was a keen watcher of both the Monastery (filmed in Sussex at Worth Abbey) and later The Convent, filmed at a Poor Clare’s Convent in Arundel, West Sussex. While the behaviour of the men involved in the Monastery wasn’t always good, it was never disrespectful unlike those women in the programme the Convent. Both were expected to participate for 40 days, living as one with the Community, and while the men had sometimes anger issues, they didn’t deliberately flout the rules unlike some of the women involved in the Convent who left the grounds to go to a pub one evening, didn’t attend the services or the personal meetings with their personal/spiritual guide and generally ignored the rules about their behaviour.

I felt like they had wasted their time and that someone else could have had a much better experience than they did and that the Sisters deserved more respect than they got.

The monastery programme had a follow up programme where the men’s lives were updated with what changes had happened after the programme, while the Convent never had a follow up and it didn’t surprise me but it would be interesting to know how/if any of them were affected by their time with the Poor Clares.

29 June 2009

Sometimes you never know

An off the cuff chance remark on the telephone on Saturday afternoon, to someone collecting some of my junk office furniture led to them viewing the house on Sunday evening. What I actually said was them having the chairs would save me having to take them when I moved, and would they like to buy the house..

It turned out they are actually looking to buy somewhere and so the rest of the weekned working like a demon trying to get it half way presentable. Needless to say, after hoovering up, putting things in neater piles, mowing the grass I was exhausted by the time they arrived.

Do I think they will be serious and put an offer in, no, they wont be able to get out of their tenancy agreement until the end of the year and I want out of here before then.. also it will be their first purchase and I am not sure they will get the financing they need.. having said that I am not writing them off either... you never know what the world sometimes turns on..

27 June 2009

Saturday Satire - If Trafalgar was fought in 2009


Nelson: "Order the signal, Hardy."

Hardy: "Aye, aye sir."

Nelson: "Hold on, this isn't what I dictated to Flags. What's the meaning of this?"

Hardy: "Sorry sir?"

Nelson (reading aloud): " England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.' - What gobbledygook is this for God's sake?"

Hardy: "Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."

Nelson: "Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."

Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments."

Nelson: "In that case, break open the rum ration.. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle."

Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."

Nelson: "Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it ........... full speed ahead."

Hardy: "I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."

Nelson: "Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest please."

Hardy: "That won't be possible, sir."

Nelson: "What?"

Hardy: "Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."

Nelson: "Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."

Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral."

Nelson: "Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."

Hardy: "Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."

Nelson: "Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card."

Hardy: "Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."

Nelson: "Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."

Hardy: "A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"

Nelson: "I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."

Hardy: "The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."

Nelson: "What? This is mutiny!"

Hardy: "It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."

Nelson: "Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"

Hardy: "Actually, sir, we're not."

Nelson: "We're not?"

Hardy: "No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."

Nelson: "But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."

Hardy: "I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on disciplinary report."

Nelson: "You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King."

Hardy: "Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules. It could save your life"

Nelson: "Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"

Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on corporal punishment."

Nelson: "What about sodomy?"

Hardy: "I believe that is now legal, sir."

Nelson: "In that case................................ kiss me, Hardy.

26 June 2009

All the excitement of yesterday

At some point yesterday morning, we sat listening to the sirens going off and realised that this wasn't just another dutiful fire-drill or unexpected fire-alarm going off.. but something a little more sinister.

Having a University attached to a fairly good sized airfield and even larger technology park, means that all sorts of occurences are likely to happen and yesterday's incident was of a small plane with 11 Souls on Board who couldn't confirm their landing gear was down so they were diverted to our airfield.. normally used for University business or flight training.

Even though we are not like London Heathrow/Stanstead or even Luton we have a fire-crew based on the airfield and these were supplemented yesterday with crews from surrounding areas as well as the ambulance services sending teams out as well. Luckily for the plane all was well, it landed and without incident but it was the hot topic of conversation and needless to say didn't even get a mention in the local news last night as seemingly the Back of Beyond is outside of most reporting areas.

25 June 2009

List of things

I still need to accomplish quite a lot before I am ready to put the house on the market. I am looking forward to the day when I can hand over the keys and receive a large wad of money in return... lol if only for a short period of time.

I have decluttered, (house, not garden or sheds) it is time to decorate... ho hum... expect lots of cream/magnolia highlights on my skin and in my hair...lol

Living room, hallway, kitchen, dining room.. all need a lick of paint and the pictures taking down and packed away and as it is being sold I don't intend to put many of them up again as I want to leave a clean canvas for prospective buyers. So am busy collecting packing materials from work.

Upstairs, Study, bathroom and front bedroom all need a lick of paint. I have taken the shelves down off of one wall in the study and still have to do the same to the other wall but need to pack away the contents into containers for storage keeping only the things out I need for my remaining time in the house.

I have formally put my request in for early-retirement or early release (how many words can describe voluntary redundancy) from the University. This was made easier on my return from my holiday with certain members of staff behaving the same as when I had left two weeks earlier despite me saying it was a major problem/factor in my unhappiness.

I won't know the outcome until early August, but the University has to make cutbacks to make the books balance and I feel that I have a good a chance as anybody else and hopefully better in some ways but I can't talk about those on this blog until I have all the information checked over by an external person.

All is well in Sage's garden, all the plans are progressing well and all too soon you should hear about a possible transplantation to warmer climes.

24 June 2009

Thank you

I would like to thank Annette for this lovely award. I really must get around to creating my own one at some point in time :-) as there are many individual awards which must start from somewhere.

The rules for this award are:
1. Put this award on your blog.
2. Invite 10 people to take this award.
3. Don't forget to link back to the person who gave you this award.
4. Let them know that they have received this award.
5. Share the love to those who get this award.

I am delighted to accept this award from Annette, though feel that I have been a bad follower of late, and I promise to be better in the future. I have made a list of those who I feel deserve this award; though I promise it was hard to leave anyone off the list as anyone who repeats a visit here deserves something as a treat :-)

1. Jane at GemmaK
2. Nicey at Divorce and Onwards
3. Kathy at The Second Half of my Life
4. Jo at Life in Windermere
5. Leanne at Somerset Seasons, Dorset Days
6. Joanne at Cornish Beach Brummie
7. Sally-Anne at Cornwall beside the Sea
8. Hadriana at Hadriana's Treasures
9. A at A Changing Life
10. Max at Clarity2009

23 June 2009

Musings from Back of Beyond

During one of my (many) tidying up sessions, I re-found a book sent over by my brother about Oradour Sur Glane... The village has been left to stand testament to the suffering inflicted on the villages during the war and it set me thinking. Though some of the buildings now are being protected by metal bands to stop them falling down.

It seemed to be an act of almost petty spite, foiled at finding the real Resistance which had attacked the German garrisons at Tulle and Guéret as well as the kidnapping of Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, Adolf Diekmann, Commander of the Der Führer regiment of Das Reich ordered the systematic killing of the inhabitants of Oradour Sur Glane on 10th June 1944.

Some 642 villagers, including children attending the schools from outlying hamlets were shot by machine gun, set fire on in the church and in barns and some of the bodies pushed down a well.

It is a moving place to visit, but I wonder, if in the heat of the moment whether any of the soldiers under the command of Diekmann felt that this act was so wrong but were afraid of the consequences if they were to refuse the commands.

Zeltus and I took a brief tour of the village when I was on my way back to the UK, and it struck me then that sometimes we push our consciences aside in the heat of the moment even when we know something is so inherently wrong, but appears to be a lesser risk to personal safety.

We had a conversation, yes siblings even talk to each other sometimes, when is the right time to let the grass grow over the old ruins? to heal the rifts of time and anger.. It is on the same lines as Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, when do we recognise that it is time to let go of the anger for fear of just perpetuating the hatred?

What do you guys think?

22 June 2009

Dolphin House B&B

Down in Portreath, I stayed with Emma and Dickon at their lovely B&B called Dolphin House about 2 mins walk from the Harbour about 1 min from the Portreath Arms, about 3 mins to the Waterman and about 5 mins from The Bassett Arms. While the rooms aren't en-suite, none of the rooms are far from the bathroom and you feel like you are staying with a family friend rather than an impartial B&B; Room 3 is the best one, overlooking the front of the property.

Needless to say, I tried all three pubs, but found that the Waterman was the most friendliest one of the three and though none of them had Tribute on tap I managed second best with Directors which was a long time favourite of mine and my Dads.

I also had a happy evening in the Countryman pub in Piece, where I had fun at the quiz evening while devouring a large gammon steak and a pint before switching to drinking coke; one of the disadvantages of not going to the local pub but a good night out and our team came equal 4th with the aid of some answer swapping with two very nice ladies on the next table, the other team had a stack of reference books on their table and my competitive streak was such that I couldn't let them beat us.

While the weather wasn't always at it's hottest, it wasn't cold either and Portreath is a friendly little cornish village, not swallowed up by the likes of commercialism such as that found in Newquay and yet you are not that far away either.

If you are in the area, looking for somewhere to stay, I can recommend Emma's wonderful cooked breakfast, and she is right about the sausages... so much better than the commercialised versions found in most supermarkets.

21 June 2009

To my Dad

I wish I could say to you Happy Father's Day, to be able to give you a hug and a smile. I would love to give you a meaningless present with love, take you to lunch and laugh at the silly jokes.

Seven years on, still missing you as much as ever and tonight I will have a drink to you and thank you for being my Dad.

Love Sage

20 June 2009

Saturday Satire - Army Wisdom

A crusty old Army Sergeant found himself at a gala event hosted by a local liberal arts college.

There was no shortage of extremely young idealistic ladies in attendance, one of whom approached the Sergeant for conversation.

'Excuse me, Sergeant, but you seem to be a very serious man. Is something bothering you?'

'Negative, ma'am. Just serious by nature.'

The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and said, 'It looks like you have seen a lot of action.'

'Yes, ma'am, a lot of action.'

The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation, said, 'You know, you should lighten up a little. Relax and enjoy yourself.'

The Sergeant just stared at her in his serious manner. Finally the young lady said,
'You know, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, But when is the last time you had sex?

''1955, ma'am.'

'Well, there you are. No wonder you're so serious. You really need to chill out! I mean, no sex since 1955!

She took his hand and led him to a private room where she proceeded to 'relax' him several times.

Afterwards, panting for breath, she leaned against his bare chest And said, 'Wow, you sure didn't forget much since 1955.'

The Sergeant said in his serious voice, after glancing at his watch, 'I hope not ma'am; it's Only 2130 Now.'

19 June 2009

Anonymous - by Member of Parliament

I want a floating duck house
I want to clear my moat
I need to mend my tennis court
That’s why I need your vote.

I have to build a portico
My swimming pool needs mending
My lovely plants need horse manure
And the Aga needs much tending.

A chandelier is vital
Mock Tudor boards are great
My hanging baskets won awards
And I’ve earned a tax rebate.

I need a glitter toilet seat.
My piano so needs tuning
Maltesers help me stay awake
And my orchard must need pruning.

I could have said the rules were wrong
And often thought I should,
But somehow it was easier
To profit all I could.

The public really have to see
That the rules are there to test
And by defrauding taxpayers
We were just doing our best.

The Speaker of the House has gone,
Our sacrificial beast,
But the public are still braying
For our corpses at the feast.

What do the public want from us,
Those vote-wielding ingrates?
They really should be grateful
To be financing our estates.

The message is so very clear,
(we’re merely learning late)
That the British way of living well
Is to screw the bloody state.

18 June 2009

Like Arnie....

I'm back...

How can a great holiday, leave you so shattered at the end of it.

I managed to do some walking, the Portreath Tram trail is good, but not when it is chucking it down with rain :-)

I managed to find the Methodist Church in Falmouth, and gave blood.. now at 48 and only two more to go before I get a gold badge - that is just so sad lol

I had a day trip to Falmouth (on a day when the sun shone) and had a nice ice-cream out on Pendennis point (actually went there on two separate days and had an ice-cream on both occasions) the sun shone and the boats were sailing out in the bay it was lovely. Managed to get the obligatory trip in to Trago Mills as well.

Had a chat to a nice mortgage person in Truro about selling and buying down in Cornwall, I have 6 months in which to buy to keep the same mortgage and the only stipulation is that I must have a permanent job at the time of application. I am hoping this won't be too difficult to arrange, but as yet none of my applications has made it to the short-list stage but I am not deterred. Even Tesco's will need check-out staff :-)

Have even managed to find two or three properties that I like, and the possibility that I can rent the one I might be able to buy is even better. It is a two bedroom bungalow, with lots of ground out the front and a small secluded back patio which seems to get the sun most of the day. At the moment it is being cleaned and decorated ready for sale, but the owners have been asked to let me know as soon as they know how much they are selling for.

Had a chat to the team at Cornwall College in Camborne and submitted an application form for a part-time Teaching course starting in September; though if need be I can defer it to next September if I can't make it to Cornwall by this year.

I even managed a walk on the beach at Portreath, but not a swim - yet.

Had a grand day out at Murdoch day in Redruth, it's a big thing and the main street was full of traders and fair attractions.. had a great chicken pasty from Rowe's the bakers, you couldn't taste anything nicer at all.

I finally got home after 7 hours driving yesterday, the roads were chugging awful and I didn't actually want to go back to the house.. but sadly my numbers didn't come up in the euromillions last week otherwise I don't think I would have come back at all.

13 June 2009

Saturday Satire - Shipwrecked

A normal 40-something, having recently split from his girlfriend, decided to take a holiday. He booked himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time of his life..... that is..... until the ship sank.

He found himself washed up on a beach on an island. There were no other people, no supplies, nothing, only bananas and coconuts. After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore.

In disbelief, he asks, "Where did you come from? How did you get here?"

She replies, "I rowed from the other side of the island. I landed here when my cruise ship sank."

"Amazing," he said. "You were really lucky to have a rowing boat wash up with you."

"Oh, this thing?" explains the woman. "I made the boat out of raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches, I laminated the bottom from palm leaves, and the sides and stern came from a Eucalyptus tree."

"But, where did you get the tools?"

"Oh, that was no problem," replied the woman. "On the south side of the island, a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock is exposed. I found if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into ductile iron. I used that for tools and used the tools to make the hardware."

The guy is absolutely stunned.

"Come with me. I'll show you. Let's row over to my place," she says.

After a few minutes of rowing, she docks the boat at a small wharf. As the man looks to shore, he nearly falls off the boat. Before him is a stone walk leading to a small, but exquisite, bungalow painted in blue and white. While the woman ties up the rowing boat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the man can only stare ahead, totally dumbstruck. As they walk into the house, he tells her he is stunned by all this. She replies casually, "Thankyou. It's not much but I call it home. Sit down, please. Would you like a drink?"

"No! No thank you," he blurts out, still dazed. "I can't take another drop of coconut milk."

"It's not coconut milk," winks the woman. "I have built a still. How would you like a Pina Colada?"

Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepts and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they have exchanged their stories, the woman announces, "I'm going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and have a shave? There is a razor I've made in the bathroom cabinet."

The man can barely grasp all this. He is totally stunned. No longer questioning anything, the man goes into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet, is a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism. "This woman is completely amazing," he muses. "Whatever next?"

He finishes his shower and shave, and leaves the bathroom. When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but vines, strategically positioned, and smelling beautifully, albeit faintly, of gardenias. She beckons for him to sit down next to her.

"Tell me," she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, "You've been out here for many months now, completely on your own."

She runs her fingers gently across his chest.

"You've been lonely. I'm sure there's something you really feel like doing right now. There must be something you've been longing for?" She stares deeply into his eyes.

He looks searchingly back into her beautiful deep blue eyes. He can't believe what he's hearing. After all this time, completely alone.

His mouth goes dry. He tries to swallow, but can't.

Small tears start to form in the corners his eyes.........


She nods.

He struggles to speak.

"You mean..."

She nods, and smiles.

The words do not come easily to him.

"Are you trying to tell me......that....you....."

Her smile gets even wider.

"Are you trying to tell me you've got Sky Sports?"

10 June 2009

Memorable Quotes

I would love to be remembered for saying something so interesting that many years later someone will quote my wisdom.. don't hold your breath waiting, I haven't come up with anything yet and doubt I will but I give you my two favourite quotes on life and age.

Abraham Lincoln:
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"

Mae West from I'm No Angel
"It's not the men in your life that matters, it's the life in your men"

Both of these two quotes have got one thing in common (probably more, but definitely one).. you only have one life, don't waste an opportunity, it might not come knocking again at your door or if it does, you might not hear it..

You can live your life, like a good 'un, drinking/eating the right foods and die at 55, or smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish and still be kicking up your heels at 105 - who knows..

All I know is that life is meant to be lived, enjoy each day, even the downs because the rollercoaster of life will at some point in time take you up to the heights again and you will see the furthest horizons of your location again.

Live well and prosper

06 June 2009

Saturday Satire - The Wisdom and Cunning of Old Age

An elderly gentleman had been deaf for years.

He went to the doctor and he was able to have a set of very discreet hearing aids fitted.

He went back a month later for a check up.

The doctor said,"Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased now that you can hear again."

The gentleman replied,"Oh, I haven't told them yet. I just sit around and listen to their conversations. I've changed my will three times already."

05 June 2009

BOFH and Carbon Neutrality..

This is borrowed from the BOFH site, without their permission and I apologise for that, but it was just too good not to use.

BOFH - Bastard Operator From Hell
PFY - Pimple Faced Youth
Boss - Target

What're they for?" the PFY asks as the Boss rolls in a trolley load of brightly coloured plastic bins.

"They're for our recycling initiative," the Boss responds. "Red for plastic, white for paper, yellow for cardboard and blue for polystyrene."
"What about glass?" the PFY asks.
"Glass is to be sorted by colour into bins in the basement," the Boss replies.
"Hmmm... And what's driving this initiative?" I ask.
"The... company has decided to become carbon neutral by the year 2010 - and so they're moving to implement recycling prior to the announcement being made in the press."
"Carbon neutral in three years?" the PFY says dubiously.
"Yes. Obviously it will take longer for the whole company to convert to this but in the meantime we're planning to implement recycling, energy saving measures and implement the purchasing of carbon credits."
"Carbon credits!" I sneer, unable to suppress the derision in my voice.
"What's wrong with carbon credits?" the Boss gasps.
"Carbon credits are like putting a humidifier in a room then putting a dehumidifier in as well to offset the effects," the PFY offers.
"Only with carbon credits they're in different rooms," I add. "Or maybe it's a bit like putting your heater on in one room of the house and turning the aircon on at the other."
"I'm not sure I understand what you're saying."
"Okay," I say. "Carbon credits are a bit like beating someone up on this side of the world and sponsoring one of those poor starving kids on the other side of the world to make up for the fact that you're a complete shit at home."
"Only people think you're great because you're cancelling out a bad deed with a good one."
"Instead of not committing the bad deed in the first place," I add. "It's like dropping a crap in someone's desk drawer and offsetting it by cleani..." the PFY starts.
"I think he gets the picture," I interrupt.
"So what energy saving initiatives are we looking at?"
"Low power lighting, grey water harvesting and green computing, obviously."
"Green computing - you mean iMacs?" the PFY asks.
"I think he means computing hardware which supports hibernation, processor cycle reduction and suspension and virtualisation," I mumble.
"Oh right, NancyBoy boxes."
"Exactly!" "I..." the Boss burbles.
"So we'll end up with machines which'll slow themselves down at weird and inconvenient times and lose processing power while they ramp up in response to need?"
"No, I'm sure the bloke said you can tune them to only reduce to a certain point and to speed up recovery time. And with virtualisation you can tune them to consolidate virtual servers onto the least number of machines and shut the rest down till they're needed."
"Still sounds like Nancy-Boy boxes," I concur.
"A REAL computer has ONE speed and the only powersaving it permits is when you pull the power leads out of the back!" I blurt. "In fact, a REAL computer would have a hole in the front to push trees into and an exhaust pipe out the back for the black smoke to come out of."
"AND," the PFY adds. "they run so hot - even on screensaver - that they keep the room nice and toasty when you're not there - saves on heating."
"All that is a thing of the past though." the boss burbles. "The bloke was telling me that using mobile processor technology the..."
"What bloke?" I ask.
"The... um..."
"Mmm?" the PFY says.
"Bloke... from... uh..." "..." "...the... green consultancy..."
"So you and the IT Director talk to some yoghurt-eating fruitcake in a hemp suit and sandals and the next thing we know you're planning to replace our high power server environment with a poor imitation of it?"
"I think you'll find it's the way of the future," a voice from the doorway says.
"Ah, Simon, Steven," the Boss says. "This is... uh... Jeremy from the Power Green consultancy. He's been contracted to the company for a couple of months to help us reduce our carbon footprint."
"Hi," Jeremy bubbles. "Nice to meet you."
"And what is it you do Jeremy?"
"Well, in a nutshell I analyse plant and power usage, server capacity utilisation and desktop usage and feed those numbers all into a sophisticated package which makes recommendations on what hardware to purchase in the short term to improve a company's ITCF."
"IT Carbon footprint."
"Ah right, so what you're saying is you'll gather some numbers and dictate what server equipment we buy this year."
"Well... essentially, yes," Jeremy says. ...

Two hours later...
"OK," the PFY says as we leave the building via the service entrance. "All we have to do to be nastiness neutral is to find a couple of people bound and gagged in a skip bin, take them out, give them a couple of wallets, unkick them a few times, unelectrocute them with a cattle prod and say 'clothing hippy on discount percent seventy look oh'."
"On the other side of the world," I add.
"Should we stop for a quick lager first?"
"Be rude not to..."

And the reason I posted this, because our University has set itself a challenge for greening, and I don't mean grass, which will involve recycling, paperless office.. heard it all before and like BOFH I think it is unlikely to happen for various reasons.

04 June 2009

The Good News and the Bad News

I am having a holiday, that's the Good News. Sunshine, beaches, mines (Geevor and Poldark - who could forget that magical tv series - sigh), sand, walking, friends, alcohol, shooting rabbits, etc... all lined up for next week... so you can guess that the weather will take a downturn towards colder wetter times.. but it won't spoil my plans.

I am also going to donate blood when I am down in Cornwall, my regular session will be held up here while I am away so I had the bright idea of going to Falmouth instead so as not to miss out as I am close to getting my gold badge...

It is a milestone that I almost didn't reach as a few years back when I had an operation I bled profusely and was advised if my numbers (blood count) didn't improve by the morning they would have to transfuse me. This would have meant an immediate stop to any future donations I would have made, so I set myself an aim to get to 50. After that, I don't know but as long as I am fit and able I would like to continue.

I am also spending some time with the agencies down there, the ones I haven't seen already and some potential new ones as well. I am also trying to find out who supplies the NHS with agency staff, so if anyone has any information on that can you let me know.

I don't have any strong opinion of what I would like to do, as over the past 35 years of working (yikes has it really been that long?) I have done many things including :
  1. working on a pig farm,
  2. building electronic transformers (not the toys),
  3. plucked turkeys/pheasants, skinned rabbits
  4. working in a private kitchen/private dinner parties with the chefs',
  5. Secretary/PA,
  6. Executive Assistant,
  7. Computer Operator - those were the days.. anyone remember BOFH?,
  8. Customer Services Manager,
  9. Educationalist - e-Learning Advisor,
  10. Project Team/Manager,
  11. Science Ambassador,
  12. Parish Councillor
So I have quite a few skills to draw on, and hopefully something interesting will turn up in the next few months... watch this space.

The Bad News is that due to a lack of a laptop/pc, you will be dependant on only possibly receiving the saturday satire posts for the next week or so, but they are crackers.. and I hope you will enjoy them.

I will also put on some details of where and what I am planning to do.. just so that you have an idea, otherwise will catch up with you on my return.

Be lucky, be happy.

03 June 2009

A Good Read

I brought a copy, a few years back, of Blood Sweat and Tea by Tom Reynolds, and de man has brought out a long awaited sequel called...

wait for it...

More Blood Sweat and another cup of Tea

that's the bad news, the good news is that it is as good (if not better) than his first book and if you really want to laugh out loud in public at his antics as an ambo person then please read both of these... Tom has a way with writing that appeals to my sense of humour, both black and twisted but also hugely funny and I will never tire of reading his blog.

This is a public service announcement, I don't receive free copies from the author nor any financial reward whatsoever. It is a damn good read, and worth bringing to your attention.

02 June 2009

One of the reasons

I haven't posted much the last couple of days, mainly due to me being busy, but also giving me time to mull over the inadequacies of the HR department at the place where I work.

I was 'invited' to attend a meeting to discuss my recent sick-leave, which goes back to the 23rd Feb when SOH left. I was told at the time that any sick leave related to that would not affect any triggers that HR had in place, and apart from some asthma issues in late March, a migraine in early May and a virus later on in May I have been there more than I had been off.

I did have a meeting with the doctor, in Feb, and I was offered time off then, but wise ole me decided that work was a better distraction than the four walls at home so said no I wouldn't.

Needless to say the meeting went badly, I was so angry with them and said they were unsupportive not only of this issue but of a previous one and that I felt it was harassment and causing me more stress not less; which doesn't bode well for my asthma as that is worse when I am stressed.

I came out of that meeting, just wanting to turn around and say go to hell, especially when they set a target of no more than 3 days sick in the next six months. My answer 'I don't expect to book sick leave in advance, and I don't plan on any time off sick' but the reality was by the end of the meeting I was no longer engaged in it and just wanted out of the meeting, out of the job and out of here.

Common sense is prevailing just, however the house tidying is going well, the excess furniture went yesterday, and it will be a case of tidying/decorating and then valuating and hopefully selling very soon as I don't want to be here any longer than I have to.

I think I have grown out of this job, this location and the sooner I can leave and hand my notice in the better.