Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mistress of Reinvention

No, not Madonna. Moi. Yes I am now officially a 'Care Worker'. My friends are laying bets on how long I will manage to stay in employment in this capacity. Odds on for 5 seconds. You can get quite good odds apparently for me going back in time and retracting my application, so I will actually be employed for a time period in negative terms. I'm exaggerating slightly. Everyone's almost as thrilled for me as when I got engaged (not). Seriously, I'm looking forward to it slightly, in the same way one has a sort of nervous expectation when going to collect the newspaper in the rain. To be honest, they've already singled me out for a sacking probably - I was the only person who read our job contracts, they were actually trying to employ us as office workers. I have another new boss who I get on with very well, that's in my other job that I'm more keen on keeping. Astute readers will notice that this blog has tried to clean up its act recently. Patricia Hewitt in particular has had an easy time lately (or perhaps that's because she's retired, or should I say gone into consultancy with BT on £60k per annum for 1 day a week). Anyway, the new boss who I get on very well with has a lot of journalistic experience, so I'm hoping to nick some of his creative asperge. (A French word which probably doesn't exist but not knowing any French couldn't think of a good one to put in there). Apparently he takes four weeks to think of an idea and then takes 2 hours to write it into a six hundred word article. I'm the other way round. I get two million ideas per minute, then have to try and make it at least palletable over weeks. I'm my own worst editor and consequently delete a lot of rubbish. Even my new boss doesn't earn any money from it.

Other news, we had a marvellous meal at the Boxtree on Tuesday for our anniversary meal. It was bargain basement prices (compared to London anyway) superb, great service. It has made me want to try 'Anthony's' in Leeds. Our word of mouth reviews (who quite frankly are useless) said it was rubbish and overpriced. But the Good Food Guide put it in the top twenty in the Uk, so we'll have to go there soon. (They said the Boxtree was good). Our 'word of mouth' reviews recommended this 'all meals under the sun on one plate and as much as you can eat' place in Leeds, which Phil took me to. I lasted two nano seconds. I preferred the taste of my own vomit. And, as all my friends have been informing me, that, as well as the smell -and feel, if not taste - of excrement is something I will be having to get used to over the coming weeks. And these people get the minimum wage. It's an Outrage. If only Tony Harrison was a trade union rep. [Mum: You probably haven't seen it, but he's the pink octopus Shaman on the BAFTA awardwinning comedy The Mighty Boosh written by Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt]

Monday, May 19, 2008

One year ago!

It is of course our wedding anniversary - first year today and what a beautiful day. Just like last year and a gorgeous sunny day, to match the husband. The horsechestnut is out with the laburnum and some cowparsley (in Leeds it's much greener). Even the Tories and Labour are agreeing on the embryology bill, with both Dave and Gordy recommending to their MPs to support it, so things couldn't be better.
People keep on saying 'Hasn't it gone quick?'. Well, when a lot of things happen at once somehow Time slows down a bit. One day someone will prove that. In the meantime I'm enjoying the slow/fast pace of change after a generally brilliant year. Husband is sleeping at the moment (night shift) and I'm cooking later - he has a stressful appraisal tomorrow and we're going for our celebratory meal after that. Just can't wait to properly move to Leeds. Fingers crossed I enjoy/can afford the job I've got! We've made friends with our neighbours and I might pop round in a minute to show them the wedding album.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Things which cheer me up when writing an essay

1) Tidy up papers
2) Read through what you've written
3) Look at Bibliography
4) Constantly update wordcount
5) Have a cup of tea
6) Know that you totally disagree with 90% of everything you've written but you are just trying to pass
7) Delete a lot, especially 6)
8) Write a lot of lists
9) Remember an essay is just a long list
10) Remember life is a very long list
11) Break a list down into doable chunks
12) Read through stuff you wrote that got high marks. If you can't do that meditate for 5 minutes.
13) Remember that a good essay is an indulgent bit of praise for whoever's marking it. If you don't agree with a word they say, then politely don't mention that.
14) Remember the purpose of an essay is to pass whatever it is you are doing. You can change the world later.
15) Compare yourself with Che Guevara rather than Tony Blair on these sorts of occasions - Che passed his exams and changed the world later. Tony did worse than his wife and later messed up things a lot. In other words, just pass. You can realign with your principles at a later date.
16) You are a trainee. Failing won't get you anywhere.

17) Stop procrastinating.

Monday, May 05, 2008


One of my best friends described herself as a procrastinator at a large event a couple of months ago. I put it down to depression on her part. Then I thought about this and thought to myself that I am a lot worse. To cut a long story short, which is my favourite phrase apart from anyway, I have to write an essay by Friday. And to be honest 1) I am not enjoying it 2) it's not very good 3) I can't do it. So I thought I would write my blog. When did I stop being able to write good essays? How come I don't own any books about how to do it? Why have all the people who helped me died? What's the point of pointless thoughts like that last one? It wasn't true anyway. Only one of them has, well, two.
Anyway, the point is, the key to a good essay is a good essay plan. But if you have a poor essay plan - what then? I seem to have decreased in the rate of words I write. At christmas time I was writing about 1000 words a day. Now it's 500 and they're all rubbish.
I don't know the cure for procrastination. Probably medical training. Except even my husband is apparently renowned for being a faffer. So there we have it. Faff. It's a word, I just need more of them that make sense, in the right place. At the right time. Writ for Porpoise.