Monday, February 28, 2005

Grumpy Monday

Having a stress about my grown up pension. I want to stop payments to my stakeholders one, but my personnel office is saying I have to talk to the bank, and the bank says I have to talk to my personnel office. Can you hear that noise? It's my head banging against the wall.

Then the personnel clerk "remembers" what a stakeholders pension is, and says that I have to put my request in writing and she will send it to the pension department "upp norff" via the external mail. I won't be holding my breath that it will all be sorted out by next pay day.

She then proceeds to tell me that I will be able to get all my contributions back as well. It's a good job I didn't believe her because I worked out what 4 years worth of money is worth. Enough to buy me a car. :(

So nice gentleman at the bank said that I should go see one of their finacial advisors to make the most out of my money, seeing as I won't be contributing to the stakeholders pension anymore. I'm thinking something high risk, seeing as my "proper" pension will be put into safe options. I hope.

So off to see a proper grown up financial advisor next week. Scary stuff. I'll be taking up gardening next.

Got a half price box of chocolates from WH Smiths when I brough a Mothers Day Card, and am eaten them all. I feel so bad.

Have a Pass Plus lesson tomorrow, so your safe exclusion zone has now extending to the whole of the A2, the M25, and M20.

God help us all.
 

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Money Saving

What with me being very poor at the moment, due to inpeding car and insurance purchases, I've been looking at ways to save money.

Here are some free samples I an going to send off for, and see if I recieve any.

  • Cup A Soup voucher. (25p off)
  • Free pack of smarties.
  • Free Avery stationary samples
  • Free Bold sample.
  • Free budget headset. Order one, enter details as normal, at pay section click on promotional code and enter CHBH. The order should be £0 and you can click on place order without having to add any credit card details.
  • Free pain relief gel.
  • More free paper.

Will update this entry when I recieve each product.
 

Friday, February 25, 2005

Snow Day

Finally arrived. It's been snowing overnight, and is still snowing. If I were a child I'd be off school and down Shenstone Park sledging with my brother and giving my mother nightmares.

But alas I have to go to work this evening and hope the weather doesn't get any worse.

Haven't brought a car yet. But have sort of decided on getting a cheap runabout, probably a Rover 100. This will keep the insurance and running costs down for the first year I hope.

Starting my PassPlus next week. Hope the weather improves for that. But should be getting lots of practice for the All Weather module.

Haven't blogged much this week. Been really busy at work. My manager is in India, one of my staff is getting married, and another one is off on compassionate leave, so lots of work for me.

Here are some pictures of some gardens near where I live.

 

Monday, February 21, 2005

Snow

Its snowing in Katville. :D
 

Drivers Beware...

Because I am now allowed on the road without supervision.

Passed my driving test with 7 driver faults. Apparently you need to get a maximum of 6 to become a driving instructor. Heaven forbid!

Had an early night, and went to bed at 9.30pm. But I woke up at 2am and had a lot of trouble getting back to sleep. Got out of bed at 7am and had a big bowl of cereal and a cup of camomile tea to calm my nerves. Also swallowed 2 Beechams flu plus tablets in a vain hope the caffeine would make me alert.

Had a two hour driving lesson where everything went ok for once. For the last half hour my instructor took me around the roads by the test centre for extra practice, then did a last minute recap on the show and tell questions. I had a nutri gram bar to raise my blood sugar level when I was in the waiting room. My DI was trying to distract me by talking about the weather, but it didn't work.

The driving examiner had the same name as my instructor, so I took that as a good omen. He also went a bit over the top with the directions, repeating them twice like a robot, so that amused me and took my mind off my racing heart.

He took me into Welling, where I've only been driving a few times and I did a parallel park in one of the side roads near Danson Park. He then surprised me by taking me onto my arch nemesis, the A2 , at the Falconwood entrance. I'd never been there before, but I stayed calm and drove down Rochester Way without any high speed accidents. After the A2 my confidence soared. Came off at the Black Prince and did a turn in the road at the EXACT place my driving instructor takes me, just off Gravel Hill. Very chuffed with that. Then I drove around the side streets of Bexleyheath towards the Broadway, and returned to the test centre.

The git took ages to tell me I'd passed. Filled out the paperwork. (heart is pounding away) Then told me I got 7 driver faults. Then said I could have had a maximum of 15 to pass. Then said, "so congratulations you've passed". Could have said I'd passed straight away.

He then spent 5 minutes explaining all the paperwork I have to fill out to get my photo license and everything. I wasn't exactly listening though. I was too busy trying not to cry, and giving a thumbs up to my instructor.

My driving instructor has persuaded me to do the Pass Plus course next week. Two lessons of 3 hours each. Driving on the motorway, down country lanes, and at night. I also need to get a car, but I don't think I can afford that until I get my profit share from work at the beginning of April.
The pass plus should give me a discount on insurance though.

My 7 driver faults were:
  • Steering
  • Move off (control)
  • Signals (necessary) Forgot to signal left as I came out of the test centre. Oops.
  • Junctions (observations)
  • Junctions (Turning left)
  • Junctions (Cutting corners x2) Tut tut said my instructor.
28 x 2 hour lessons.

If you have just read all of that, congratulations! Think its my longest blog.

I'm still shaking.
 

Friday, February 18, 2005

Friday Ramblings

Just discovered that my two OU courses do not start tomorrow, but started last Saturday. That will teach me not to read my diary where I've meticulously written every thing down. Not so much of a problem for S280 because I've finished the first block, but I've spend the whole of my day of rushing around trying to finish a weeks worth of study for S260. I could just do a bit more next week but it's not good to get behind in the first month. I also have to get hold of some maps that I should have ordered 2 months ago but forgot. I can be so dippy sometimes.

I got called up to the personnel office yesterday. I couldn't work out why because I try especially hard to be nice to the people who work out my wage slip . It seems that at the grand age of 24, I am now old enough to join the company's final salary pension scheme. Never mind that I've been putting a few pennies into the stakeholders pension for the past couple of years. They are going to take 6% of my salary off me each month. I'm going to be so poor. They also want my birth certificate. But can I find it? I had to send my poor mother all the way to Gravesend to pick up a new copy.

Driving test is imminent. :S
 

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Graffiti

I too have also been a victim of criminal activity. This morning, my father went past our back fence and found someone had spray painted some obscure writing on to it. You can tell its half term and the local kiddies are bored and have finished their homework already. This is a recent addition to the local gallery my street has seem to become.

So I looked at my local council's website and found some surprisingly handy information about graffiti removal, and how to report it to the authorites. The council will even remove it within 28 days for free, if it is visable from the local highway. My dad will be spending the day sandpapering and painting it off though.

I have just finished reporting this to the Non Emergency Minor Crime Notification website which has promised to have a police officer contact me within 2 working days.

Lewisham council have got the right idea, and have just launched their Love Lewisham website where you can send pictures in from your mobile to report street cleaning problems. I shall be emailing my council with pictures of the graffiti around my house, and suggesting they have a similar scheme.

I will be holding my breath though.
 

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Valentine's Day Rant

Why is it that people spend vast quantities of money to celebrate the death of a Roman priest for refusing to give up Christianity?

It's not the amount of money being spent on someone you love or admire that is romantic. It's the spirit in which the gift is given.

What sounds more romantic? A £50 bunch of red roses picked at random from a Marks and Spencers advert. Or a small handpicked bunch of flowers from a stall that costs a fiver, because you know she likes white spider chrysanthemums. I know which I'd prefer.

Also whats with the whole new ipod/kitchen/expensive holiday type presents? This should be things that you give on any day of the year, not just because its Valentines.

Miguel, the gardener from Desperate Housewives gave the married Gabrielle a 'single perfect red rose, just like her'. Romantic eh? But then her evil husband buys her a car. Like that's going to stop your wife shagging a teenager.

Feeling a bit Anti Valentines? Then send someone a VD egreeting from this website. Or spend the money you would be spending on something a bit more useful.

 

Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm still here

But feeling rather poorly, and have spend most of my free time in bed. Will post more soon. I feel a St Valentine's Day rant coming on....
 

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Hey Nonny Nonny

Why can men be Complete Bastards™?

A work colleague of mine had been going out with her boyfriend for 5 years. To cut a very long story short, he wanted them to get married but she didn't want to tell her family until after her cousin got married this summer. He is white, she is Indian, and she knows her family would not approve, so wanted to leave the rows for after the family wedding. He didn't want to wait that long (A whole 6 months - WTF?) so they are no longer going out.

To top it off, after a fortnight after splitting up, he is now going out with a younger, skinnier, (but rather uglier) graduate trainee. FIVE YEARS and he gets over it in TWO WEEKS with someone who works in the SAME PLACE!!! Talk about sticking your small bent over ripe banana in the company's lumpy custard.

But shall I rant? Wax lyrical about how rebound relationships do not last? Sharpen the castration knives I had imported from Africa for occasions such as this?

No, I will channel my rage and quote one of my favourite passages by William Shakespeare from Much Ado About Nothing.

Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.

Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more
Of dumps so dull and heavy,
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leafy.

Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny, nonny.

Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny, nonny.

P.S Sainsbury's maximum flu strength cold control capsules are good.
 

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Poorly Sick

My glands are all swollen, and my throat feels like its closing up. All I've been able to eat this evening is lemon sorbet, and drink orange juice. Considering I'm in contact with the public all day, I'm very rarely ill. I haven't had a day off sick all year, but do i get a bonus? No, I get my name on a "roll of honour" on the staff notice board, and even then they spell it wrong. An extra days holiday would have been nice. I've spent the whole evening in bed asleep, propped up with pillows to help me breathe so now I'm all wide awake. Don't think its turning into mumps yet....
 

Friday, February 04, 2005

OMG

The "home kit" for my S260 Geology course has arrived. I say home kit, but it actually looks like the entire contents of a school laboratory. My poor neighbour had to take it for me because I was down Sainsburys getting some cold medicine. YES I HAVE A COLD. :(

I read an article on BBC online about how young people between 13 and 24 are susceptible to getting mumps because we wasn't immunized as children and wasn't exposed to the illness either. My glands are swollen. Please don't let it be mumps, my imminent driving test would be fun. I'd tell the examiner I wouldn't give him mumps if he lets me pass. Would only work if the examiner is aged between 13 and 24 though.

Back to the home kit. Its like pass the parcel because its a little box inside a bigger box to protect it. It contains a Real Live Proper Microscope™ so I can pretend to be a Real Live Proper Scientist™. My dad is really excited about it. Thinks I am really getting my moneys worth., bless him. Couldn't understand why I wanted to take pictures of it though.

Here are some proper pictures of some of the slides, and here is the wonderful Frances' website.

My tutor is my Most Enthusiastic OU Tutor Ever™. (Ok I must stop doing that) She has already sent me a letter and a few emails, and the course doesn't even official start till next Saturday. I am a bit worried about having to take my microscope on the train down to Chatham for a tutorial. But I have a couple of field trips to look forward to. Yay, I'm going to be a Real Live Proper Scientist™.
 

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ramblings

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, and I think I've lost my blogging muse.

I've started my two new Open University
courses, S260 Geology and S280 Science Matters. Surprised myself by nearly finishing my first assignment for s280 even though it doesn't have to be in till April. It's fully of horrible maths which I *think* I've got the hang of, maybe. I'vve never done two courses at the same time, so this is going to be a big challenge. Especially with two exams.

I've also managed to adopt another blog but the less said about that the better.....
 

 

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Eccentric contemplation from a twenty something retail supervisor, living in suburban London.

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