Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Off to London (yet again)

Well, in answer to my last question, the hassle is indeed worth the crap salary offered! I've decided to go for the interview mainly due to good advice from parents, Graeme and Kat. I was just a bit annoyed at the tone of their email but now I am trying to see it as a gift. I didn't think I would ever hear back from this job and I did. That's got to be good.

I'm going by train which should remove the terrible problems that Graeme had yesterday. His flight to London was delayed by five hours - eek! He finally arrived in London at 4pm after leaving the flat at 7.30am! Thankfully, the people interviewing him was happy to work around things. It still meant Graeme had to re-schedule his flight home and then it was delayed!

I think we must have said about all of 20 words to each other yesterday!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Why oh why do prospective employers wait until two days before an interview to actually invite you along. I've got an email this afternoon from a company wanting to interview me on Friday. WTF is that all about? If I was working, there would be no way I would get the time off and it's going to cost me a small fortune to get to London then.

Trouble is, it's the job I really wanted but missed the deadline for (due to New Scientist's incompetance). However after the snippy "we're just interviewing you because we've ran out of applicants" type email I got, I'm not so sure I want to work for such people.

Is it really worth it for £19K a year?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Burley-Q Fun!

What a night last night was :o) My first time at Club Noir and certainly not my last!

Graeme and I got glammed up. Graeme looked fab and you know something, so did I! It's not often I can say that - lol. I'd done all my nails (bright red of course), actually got my hair to sit nice and managed not to overdo the make-up. I really wish I'd got Graeme to take piccies of us before we went out, as we looked quite a pair :o) Gives me an excuse to do it all again!

We met Cairine and Andy at the Jam House and enjoyed our free cocktails. It's a fab venue with plenty of space. It's also bright and clean unlike dark and dingy Studio 24. We stood for ages admiring all the costumes. One girl was done up as Carmen Miranda complete with paper pineapple on her head! It was a great atmosphere, very relaxed and totally fun.

The shows were funny but sexy at the same time. There was a lot of "getting one-up" on blokes type themes, which I loved. The only weak one was a bellydance one and I think that was because I don't like seeing bellydance in that light. It's much more spiritual and sensual with me than openly risque. The dancer herself was ok but Cairine and I were horrified to learn that she was giving classes. Thankfully, Moira and Hilary have nothing to worry about!

Cairine and I were also intrigued by the advert for a Burlesque workshop. We'd both love to do it but I don't think we've got the courage. It would be utterly fab for the self-esteem though :o)

Anyhoo, what a great night! My feet are killing me and Graeme slept in for work, but I won't be missing the next Club Noir. Even if it means coming back from London!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Busy, busy, busy!

That's me this weekend! I've been approached by the company I went for my last interview with. They'd like me to go for another job with them (as well as the first one), which I am sure must be a good sign :o) Typically, they need me to do some "homework" for them, so I am working away on that in between other things.

Yesterday, Graeme and I went shopping to get stuff for Club Noir tonight. Graeme is away back out today, as he couldn't decide what he wanted. LOL! I've been planning my outfit for weeks. Typical boy, waits until the last minute!

We went to see X Men 3 with Kat and Doug last night. It was good enough but I can't help feeling a little short changed. Some of the characters have been badly underplayed and killed off for no real reason. It's so not the Last Stand too. They've laid the foundations for part 4 - maybe they can get Brian Singer back! Saw the trailers for the new Superman movie (looks good enough but I think will disappoint) and the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie (Johnny Depp - need I say anymore ;o) ). It may be enough to entice me back to the cinema on a more regular basis!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A storm in a gluepot....

That's all it is really. All this bother over something that, in the scale of things, is totally insignificant. I just wish everyone could get on and put things behind them.

They say Druids were the peacemakers. Sometimes it's a lot easier said than done.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Recovering from the weekend!

Monday was a little bit of a blur to say the least. I seemed to do very little in a long period of time! Thankfully, yesterday was a lot better and I actually managed to get out of the house.

Graeme has another interview next week in London - yay for him! They were very keen - he sent off his application and they called him the next morning. Sounds like a good sign to me. I also got in contact with the people who interviewed me a fortnight ago. They still haven't reached a decision. So, at least it's not a knock-back yet. Got some more jobs to apply for this week too :o)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Scrapaganza - tastic!

What a fantastic weekend I had. Scrapaganza was excellent :O) I came home with so many goodies that I am going to have to seriously rearrange the scrap-room! It was also great to meet so many lovely people, who I've only ever spoken to online.

On the Friday, we went on a trip to the Keukenhof gardens. Although, it was the last weekend, there was still plenty of colour (even if some of the tulips were a bit windswept). There were stunning displays of lilies and orchids too. I had never seen such a variety of flowers. Some of them were displayed as walls of flowers and they were just gorgeous.

After that, it was time to go to the hotel and register for a weekend of manic scrapping. We did three classes on the Friday - two Ranger Inks ones and the first Heidi Swapp one. I really enjoyed the canvas class as it was something new, but the other one was a little disappointing. As for Heidi Swapp, I am still in shock at how many goodies we were given. Even though it was three classes, it was still generous. By the time Friday night came, I was shattered!

Saturday worked out well. I had a nice break in the morning, meaning I didn't feel too stressed. I also got time to get some piccies of Egmond, as it had finally stopped raining! My first class, Transparency Techniques, was one of the best of the whole weekend. Karen Burnisten was an excellent teacher and the class was packed with ideas. I loved the Rusty Pickle classes too - the jar was one of the only classes I finished all weekend! The only real disappointment on the Saturday was the Make it Meaningful class. I thought it would be more journalling orientated than it was. I think it tried to be but fell short of the mark.

Sunday was good fun too. CHA #3 was a right let-down though. It was completely different from advertised and the kit wasn't particularly nice (actually, it was rotten). However, the Shabby Chic Scrapping class more than made up for it. We got a gorgeous mini-album and all the stuff to make the pages. I'll be working on that as soon as my Herma restocks arrive :o)

So, probably 8/10 from me. The classes were excellent but there were little organisational niggles which could have been dealt with much better. I'm planning on going next year but I am also considering doing an Altered Art weekend as well. Hopefully, I can fit it all in :o)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Coo-hunting Day 1

36 cows found today :o) I am just amazed at how gorgeous they all are. They are all so different and it's great to see so many produced by schools and colleges. You can see some of my favourites above (as you can tell I found it hard to choose) in one of those mad slide things that seem to be appearing everywhere :o)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The joy of mail!

Some days you get good mail, others you don't. Yesterday's was definately good! My ATCs from our easter egg ATC swap on AN arrived back. They are gorgeous, each and every one :o) It really brightened my day when they dropped through the letterbox.

Speaking of brightening - what is it with this dull weather at the moment?! It was gorgeous this morning when Graeme left for work. Now, it's just grey and dull. I was hoping to go coo-spotting this afternoon but it might have to wait for another day.

Coo-spotting?! Yup, coo-spotting. Edinburgh has suddenly become home to some gorgeously painted cows. They can be seen dotted all over the city. I'm planning on trying to see as many as possible. It's a good way to encourge me to get out and about!

I started my basic yoga routine yesterday. I am so lacking in flexibility it is unbelieveable. I just want to cry when I see the pictures of people sitting serenely in the poses, when I nearly have to break myself to manage the stretches - lol. Gives me something to aim towards for sure.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Catching up with old friends

Went home at the weekend to see my parents. Dad seems to be ok. Doesn't talk about things much but that's understandable. I finally managed to catch up with my friends too. I seem to be the only one not having any serious issues at the moment, which is unusual! Steven hates his job and is worried that he is drinking too much. Billy and Katy are having all sorts of problems due to the reappearence of Katy's mental dad. It's really not a nice situation.

It made me realise how much I had missed my friends from home. I hadn't seen them in person since February - eek! I'm trying to organise for them to come through here one night for dinner. I'll need to try and get them to come to London too when we move!

I was a bit ill on Sunday morning - sickness and the squits (as they call it in Theme Hospital). All day yesterday, I had weird pains in my stomach every time I ate something. It was most strange. Thankfully, I feel a lot better now.

The weather here is rotten today. I don't quite know what to do with myself. Graeme is off to London, so I'm on my ownsome all day. I need to get stuff organised for Scrapaganza (bounce) and finish off some other bits and pieces. I could also do some work on my bardic gwersu. First thing I have to do is tidy this tip of a flat up though!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Parent worries....

Called my mum last night for our usual weekly chat. I knew it was coming. "Your Dad is ok but...." I hate the way she does it. I know she's trying to soften the blow but for about 10 seconds my mind goes daft. I always snap at her telling her to get to the point. I feel terrible for it but I wish she wouldn't beat about the bush.

Anyway, the short of it was that Dad was nearly stabbed at work. He's a prison officer at Scotland's most dangerous prison and they feel that at the age of 54, my Dad should be fighting with animals. It makes me so angry. Sure, they'll give him an easier job but they'll cut his wages and his pension for it. That's the thanks he gets for 20 odd years of service.

Mum said Dad was pretty shaken up (no wonder) and one of the blokes he works with was nearly stabbed in the eye. Apparently the creature who did it is "too dangerous to be in a mental hospital". So, it's obviously ok for him to try to kill and injure prison officers then?! I thought in mental hospitals they could at least restrain and sedate him until the day he dies!

It makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. This country needs to take a long hard look at itself. Prisoners seem to have more rights than the people who risk their lives to keep them under control. It seems that some animal who has killed others has more rights than people who have worked hard all their lives and lived within the law.

My Dad only has 9 months until he retires. I pray to every God I can think of that he makes it through this time. All I can think of just now is that I might not have someone to give me away if I get married or my kids not having a grandad (Dad would be a brilliant grandparent). It just seems so wrong and screwed up.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

If the weather stays like this...

... I'll never want to go back to work!

I've just had the most fabulous two days. Yesterday, I met a lady I used to work with for lunch in Princes Street Gardens. She's considering making a scrapbook of photos of her late sister, who wasn't all that old when she died. So, I gave her some advice and I've promised to meet up with her again to discuss some ideas with her.

After she went back to work, I lay in the Gardens for a little while. It was great taking off my socks and shoes, and feeling the earth beneath my feet again. By the time I came back home, I just felt so calm and relaxed :o)

Today, I went on a walk to Braid. I was conscious that it might be my last time there for a while, so I went to say goodbye. The grove where I used to meet my druid group was utterly divine - carpeted with bluebells and glowing with the sunlight. I'll miss that place as it means a lot to me, however, as I stood there a voice in my head told me it was time to move on and find my own grove. Which it is.

I walked through the trees for a good long while. It's so different to the Gardens, you can really escape in Braid. There were points where all I could hear was the breeze in the trees, the rush of the braid burn and the singing of birds (accompanied by a chorus of buzzy bees). That's why I love it so much - I can lose myself there and forget that I live in a dirty city!

I was exhausted when I came back as I had been walking for almost 2.5 hours. I promptly got out of all my sticky clothes and lay down and had a nap :o)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ickle toots!

For Graeme and I:

Graeme has an interview on Monday. You go boy! I am so pleased for him and I just hope they recognise him for the talent that he is.

As for me, last week I finally got my award letter for my PhD. I had totally forgotten about it! That's it - signed, sealed and delivered. I'm a doctor now and nobody can take that away from me. I graduate in the summer and despite my reluctance to go through another ceremony, I intend on celebrating in style!

Moreover, I have also started studying my Bardic Gwersu (lessons) again for OBOD. This is a big thing for me! It's been a long time since I could focus on them but now I feel I am in the right place again. I've written a letter to my tutor, telling him of all my experiences over the last year. I just hope he remembers me! I am aiming to complete the Bardic course in a few months, allowing me to move onto Ovate grade in the Autumn. By then, we should be settled in London and I'll actually have the finances to pay for it.

Wow! I actually scrapbooked!

Yes, I completed a LO yesterday. It's my first one in over 6 months and I'm really pleased with it. I just love the photo as Graeme and I look so happy in it. The colours of the papers are a bit washed out in the picture though. They are really bright in real life.

Hmmm, I remember that day in Braid. It was fab. We had a picnic of egg and cress sandwiches, juice and cakes. My most enduring memory is climbing all over Blackford Hill in my bare feet with Graeme. I can remember the feel of the grass on them like it was yesterday.

So, maybe this will be the key to opening the floodgate of more LOs. Maybe it won't. In some ways I think I am going off scrapbooking in favour of other things. I think I prefer making journals and mini-books as opposed to making layouts. It's funny how your tastes change!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Not enough books in the world...

Since I finished up working, I have been tearing through books again. It is so wonderful to have the time to read :o)

On Friday, I read and finished Geraldine Brook's "March" on the train to and from London. I absolutely loved it. It's just a fantastic story, which highlights a family torn apart by war and also the struggle of experiencing the war itself. I found it incredibly moving although I don't think I can ever understand the horror of living through such an event.

Over the last two days, I have read and finished Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl". I enjoyed it also, although it's not very historically accurate. It also paints Anne Boleyn as a most dreadful creature indeed. I almost started cheering when she was executed! However, I think it captured very accurately the political games and the atmosphere at Court during that time.

So what now? I want a book that will last me more than a few days! I suppose I need to stop reading so fast and getting caught up in the story! Now, I'm torn between Anchee Min's "Empress Orchid" or Jung Chang's "Wild Swans". Empress Orchid will last only a few days again but I don't want to take Wild Swans to Scrapaganza (it's quite a big book). Maybe have to read some Jasper Fforde instead.

Decisions, decisions......

Monday, May 08, 2006

Interviews and absolution....

It's been ages since I've written anything. Time just seemed to disappear last week.

The interview went a lot better than the previous one. They were actually interested in me and not whether they could pigeon-hole me into "competancies". YAY! It made such a difference. I really don't know why the biggest publishing group in the world (supposedly) advertise for out of the ordinary people, when it's clear from their interviews that they only want clones. Thankfully, not every employer seems to be like that! Hope has been restored - lol!

Upset of the weekend was making a boo-boo where another job I was going to apply for was concerned. Thanks to New Scientist jobs for screwing up their info! Hopefully, I can fix everything out and it will be ok. If not, too bad, I suppose it was really my fault for not being more aware of things.

Graeme and I are working hard at the moment to sort things out for when we move. We'll only have a matter of weeks to get ourselves down to London and most of that will be taken up by Graeme's notice period, so we'd best get organised now. We've started fixing up the flat. Finally, we have a new curtain rail in our bedroom again! We've also been chucking out anything that we don't use any more, which has been mostly Graeme's electronics stash so far. Oh, and plastic bags! I don't know how we ever ended up with so many. They really are awful and it's a nightmare to find anywhere that recycles them in Edinburgh!

I suppose all this work could be a waste of time, if we don't get work soon, but I'm trying not to think like that. I'm sure someone must want to employ us!

On another note, I seem to be at a strange turning point in my life. I discovered a few things, which I had forgotten when I went home. I also found some answers that I was still looking for. Now, I find myself beginning to understand many of the events of the last few years. My most valuable lesson of all this has been how much guilt I have needlessly carried. I don't know how many times I have blamed myself for things that were never my fault. I seem to carry more guilt than the average catholic - lol. Joking aside, I know now that this is something I need to stop.

I've also started working through a cognitive behavioural therapy programme. It's supposed to help people with depression. It all seems a bit dull but I'll give it a try. It's very difficult when I'm really sceptical about it though. I know CBT doesn't seem to work in the long term going by statistics, so what is the point?! Well, I suppose the point is that it's better than sitting doing nothing and letting myself get down again :o)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A perfect May holiday weekend!

What a great weekend I've had! Graeme and I had a talk on Friday about all my/our concerns regarding jobs/money etc. It seemed to clear the air a little. We also decided to have a weekend where we focused on spending time together.

On Saturday, we had a late breakfast sitting outside in the sun. It was a gorgeous day - I don't think there was a cloud in the sky. Then we went for a wander and discovered Ottakers half price sale (they are closing on George Street). I got five books to add to my ever-growing backlog :o)

On Sunday, we had a really relaxing day. It was great, although we didn't do overly much. I suppose it was just enough that we enjoyed each others company.

Yesterday, we went walking in the Pentlands. Stupidly, we didn't take a map as we expected the walks to be a bit better marked than they were. So, we ended up walking for miles trying to get back to where we started from. It was good fun though. We managed to find a bit where you couldn't hear the hideous Edinburgh bypass. So, we just sat. It was so still and quiet with only birdsong and the odd sheep punctuating the silence. Bliss.

I'm off home to my parents for a few days today. I wonder how long I'll cope before I want to come home again!