All 14 entries tagged Blog A Day

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August 15, 2006

Bonce and Frasnia

aeroplaneAdam and I are off to France tomorrow to “meet the parents” (well my mum and Stephen) for a 3 day holiday in Ceret, after which we are flying back to Britain briefly before heading out to Zagreb on Sunday, getting a bus into Bosnia to Brcko on Monday morning.

This is assuming that the plane works properly and nothing untoward happens and we don’t miss our connection and I don’t get too drunk on triple vodkas.

Assuming all that, I am actually quite excited now, not least because I’m off work from 3pm tomorrow for almost 2 weeks until Tuesday 29th – more leave than I’ve had all year!

Having said that, I’ve really enjoyed the past few days in my new job despite the steep learning curve. Getting my head round the whole project (along with everything else vaguely relating to it in other govt departments) makes me feel slightly frazzled, but I’m currently enjoying my job to the extent where I’ve stopped daydreaming about becoming a teacher… for now anyway.

Last weekend was really good too – besides meeting Anna on Saturday at the Tate Britain, Adam came down to London on Saturday evening, and we went out for curry in Tooting Bec (the “new Brick Lane”?) at a south indian restaurant. Very very taken with south indian food… and it was cheap… we had the vegetarian set meal for 2 for £20 which was absolutely gorgeous, and there was so much food we couldn’t finish it all.

burekSunday we mooched – late brunch, trip to Sainsburys (always fun), before popping down to Elephant and Castle for a couple of hours to visit the Imperial War Museum with Rhiannon. I cooked fish red thai curry in the evening and we watched Delicatessen – now there’s a film I haven’t seen in a long time.

Now I must pack and get an early night. Yay for leave and holidays! (it had better be warmer in France/Bosnia than it is on this arctic wasteland). And I’m going to eat all the pies.

August 12, 2006

Fin de semaine!*

Went out last night for someone's leaving do – meant to stay for just one drink after work but ended up leaving just before midnight instead – at least i DID make the last tube this time. Briefly went to watch a comedian who wasn't very funny; he was of the type that doesn't have anything original to say so just works his way round the audience systematically picking on people, a technique that quickly starts to wear thin. Luckily the person I was with protected me admirably by giving as good as he got, but we didn't stay for long. And at least it was free.

Didn't eat enough (one 50p sandwich from Benjys that was starting to curl up round the edges) so I got a bit tipsy, and started talking about my MA dissertation to some people I'd just met… it seemed relevant… at the time. Then i got stuck in the middle of a rowing (as in fighting not boats) couple all the way home on tube including someone i work with and had to try to persuade his girlfriend not to storm off and get on a train to Southampton.

Luckily I had the sense to make some tea when I got in so I'm not hungover today.

Yesterday was a really, really GOOD day, both at work and in the evening. I met lots of new people, and started organising a conference, and found out lots of useful info, and called people, and generally just didn't allow myself to be scared or anxious about anything. Which was refreshing.

Now I have to try to heave my lazy lumpen self out of bed, preferably make my legs perform a running motion for an hour or so around Clapham Common, before heading into town to meet Anna at the Tate Britain.

*as they say in Quebec

August 10, 2006

Lingo lunacy

I'm getting confused between my Bosnian (minimal), my Russian (terrible) and my Chinese (was once functional in that I could buy a portion of prawn egg fried rice and take a bus across Taipei but has now deteriorated to the level of the first two). My French is in a completely separate brain compartment – the rusty but can actually construct complete sentences if I put my mind to it section – but all the other bits of languages I once knew have morphed into a weird amalgamation of bits of phrases that are useful when talking to 5 years olds (things like "cat", "well done" and "2 beers please").

My brain just doesn't seem to be set up to deal with languages that well, despite supposedly having a degree in them. And my English is a bit dodgy too, come to think of it. I may give up trying to communicate with the outside world and instead express everything through the medium of gruntage.

Just been for drinks and Thai curry at The Railway with Thomas, Helen and Helen's friend Jenny. Followed by Helen's gorgeous "the secular equivalent of heaven" chocolate brownie and icecream, after which I waddled back to Clapham South for some sleep. Now roll on Friday and the weekend…

August 09, 2006


So this whole bloggaday project malarkey didn't work out too well, as I've just realised it's been a whole week since I last wrote anything. I blame this on my new job, my demanding boyfriend (:P), and my dull little life.

Had a good weekend though – it feels like a distant memory now, which is worrying given it's only been 3 days. Adam came down to London on Friday and we went to the Globe to see Under the Black Flag. Think Adam enjoyed it, but I couldn't concentrate on it for some reason – I'm not entirely sure why; I just wasn't in the mood for theatre. I love the Globe theatre though. This was the first time I'd been inside, so that was quite exciting. Next time I'm getting standing tickets though, esp for a comedy, because the audience in the yard looked like they were having more fun than I was. Or maybe I'm just a miserable git.

On Saturday we went to the London Wetlands Centre where we saw lots and lots and lots of ducks. There were other fancy birds there too, but the only ones I could recognise were ducks, geese, swans, coots etc. My favourite thing was watching the little fluffy ducklings swimming really hard to get down to the bottom of the pond before bobbing back up to the surface like corks.

Deer in Richmond ParkOn Sunday we went for a picnic in Richmond Park with Rhiannon, Thomas and Helen, where we scoffed lots of food and saw 2 different types of deer roaming around the park.

And then work happened… Which was fine. Wish I could stop feeling anxious though. And a little bit of wine–drinking and food–eating and gym–tripping and Bosnian–learning etc etc. as you might expect.

And that was a really dull blog entry. But my head hurts and I want to sleep now.

August 02, 2006

Zelim jesti burek

Not much to report today… spent most of it worrying about being stupid, trying to get my head around a whole new set of acronyms and poring over organograms trying to work out who's who in the different teams I'll be working with. Went to the gym this evening though, and ran properly for the first time in ages (6km). Just realised that it's 7 weeks till the Windsor half–marathon, and I need to train as I've been really slack for the past couple of months. Especially as I'm away for almost 2 weeks at the end of August.

Been ressurecting my dodgy Bosnian language skills for the past few days, and have now remembered how to count to 10 and learned some useful food items / social niceties. My self–taught language classes usually involve me muttering under my breath and trying to make up mini dialogues with myself on the tube. Really exciting dialogues that go something like this:

"3 eggs please."
"7 tomatoes?"
"No. 3 eggs. How much does it cost?"
"8 KM."
"Thank you. I like to eat pie. How are you?"
"I like cats."

I'm sure this will be very useful come August 20th.

August 01, 2006

Crazed giraffes

giraffeFirst day of new job. Brain hurts a lot and I am horribly aware that I'm back at the consciously incompetent stage of working once again. It makes me feel slightly better that I was equally confused by pensions back in October, but I still hate being the new girl and not knowing anyone or anything about what I'm supposed to be doing. It didn't help that I got rather drunk last night at leaving do #1 and forgot to eat dinner (or rather the garage closed before I managed to figure out what I wanted to eat). Not the best start. This evening I thought I'd unwind by going to the gym, where I somehow ended up in an aerobics class with a demonic gym instructor. I wasn't very good, but since the chances of me ever getting very good are slim, I have decided that when it comes to aerobics at least I am quite happy being stuck at the unconsiously incompetent stage. I will hurl myself around the studio like a crazed giraffe to my heart's content and it shall be beauteous.

July 30, 2006

Tropical triffids and brummie curry

Weekend in Brum visiting Rebecca = great, except for the 5 hour trek on a multitude of different forms of public transport to get back to London this evening, which I'd best not talk about as I'm only just calming down from the whole sorry experience.

Tropical section in BWe went to the Birmingham botanical gardens yesterday and watched the pitcher plants play with their prey, which reminded me of my class in Taiwan and the module we did on carnivorous plants. I remember that I was dead impressed that a class of 6–year old Taiwanese kids learned how to spell carnivorous so quickly, let alone grasped its meaning, but then kids are gruesome like that I suppose. Certainly they would particularly relish it when I explained to the class in graphic detail exactly how sundews, pitcher plants and venus flytraps capture and digest their prey. Yum.

Speaking of yum, we then went for curry in Harbourne at a very nice restaurant, followed by a couple of drinks, while today we braved the city centre for a couple of hours of shopping.

Tomorrow's my last day as a pensions presenter – sob. One of my colleagues has introduced me a great vegan Chinese restaurant near Leicester Sq (£5 all you can eat buffet), so we had a little outing there on Friday lunchtime to celebrate my leaving. But planning more drinks tomorrow night with my team post–pensions conference, and possibly more still on Thursday, just to make sure I really balls up the first week in my new job by turning up every day with a stinking hangover.

July 27, 2006

Love junk fizz

Met Helen, a friend from my MA year, this evening and went for happy hour cocktails and cider at a couple of bars in the west end. Wow I did actually have more than 1 friend at Warwick – amazing – in fact I think that makes it 2…! It was a nice evening, anyway, lovely to catch up not to mention hear another northern accent which can be something of a rarity in London.

Bloggaday project may suffer as I'm going away to Birmingham all weekend to visit Rebecca, a friend from university. Ah well, twas fun while it lasted – all 7 days of it, and i think i missed one of those too. As somebody once said though – only good girls keep diaries (blogs), bad (or at least semi–interesting) girls don't have time.

Just watched the news. What a mistake. I'm going to lock myself away and cry now.

July 26, 2006

Curse of the werecat

pantherThe next time the local inbred posh freak of a cat wakes me up at 5am with its relentless yowling outside my window ("it's just what Burmese cats do"), it gets the water pistol treatment.

I have never disliked any animal as much as I dislike this cat. And as I love most cats, these are harsh words… fighting words in fact.

July 25, 2006

Pie Mission

Made disgusting watery red thai vegetable curry for tea tonight – note to self, must not use reduced fat coconut milk in future as it mingeth and tasteth of very little. Made me feel even mankier than I already did. Have spent the past 2 days feeling very sleepy and sneezy and sore throat ridden. Can't seem to get comfortable – being outside makes my limbs feel all melty and heavy, but being stuck inside an office gives me a headache and I can barely stay awake. Thank god for iced coffee and intravenous drips, I mean straws (for the purposes of maintaining a steady flow of caffeine into the system). And vodka.

burekOn a jollier note, I've been researching hostels in Zagreb this evening for Bosnia trip (well for the 2 nights we'll be spending in Croatia at beginning and end). Am so so so so so excited about Bosnia, especially the pie-eating and coffee-drinking this will hopefully entail. Adam et al may be on a fact-finding mission to investigate needs and capabilities of local community, but my personal mission will involve sampling the local burek, sirnica and zeljanica (PIES! PIES! PIES!) and drinking strong turkish coffee and that nice homemade plum brandy stuff.

Is dead exciting to be going somewhere interesting rather than just lounging around on a beach (not that I have ever really done that). I went to Bosnia in my first and second years at university and helped to set up and run a couple of summer camps there with some other students from oxford – such an interesting experience, really rewarding and a lot of fun. Very excited to be going back this August.

Denby Dale pie villageOn that note, I would definitely urge anyone at Warwick with an interest in travel / teaching / languages / "making a difference" (in a non-cheesy sense) to get involved in this project that Adam is setting up if you possibly can.

If nothing else, the pies in Bosnia are stupendous and have to be munched on to be believed. And since I'm from the (in)famous Pie Village it is even possible that my pie appreciation palate is more discerning than most!

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