Monday, 29 August 2011

Becoming a beauty addict?

I never thought I would say this, but I think I am getting a bit of an addiction for beauty treatments. Now those who know me will argue there’s no way I’m a tomboy, but I’m not an overly girly girl who is prepared to spend countless hours on my appearance either. Put it this way, if I can have a bit longer in bed in the morning versus getting up and properly blow drying and straightening my hair, then the bed wins it every time.

As a recent treat for my birthday I went to a local business called Sole Sensation – the USP for this place is that they offer the increasingly popular ‘fish pedicures’. Not long after they opened I poked my head round the door to have a nose, but chickened out and didn’t go through with trying it. Now – pardon the pun – I’m hooked. For £15 for 25 minutes you can have your feet ‘nibbled’ by these special fish who get rid of the dead skin and leave your tootsies baby-bum-soft. Lovely.

I admit when I first put my feet in the water I shrieked a bit, I couldn’t bring myself to look in the tank and I did freak out a bit. However, once you get used to the sensation it is such a relaxing process. Due to a special multi-treatment deal they were offering, my boyfriend had booked me in for a manicure as well (minus fish I should add). This place is so popular that they were a bit booked up so my appointment was this Saturday (a couple of weeks after my birthday).

From when I was young the only pampering I did was to religiously use a Blue Corn facemask from Body Shop and relax in a bubble bath, or if not I tried to follow a cleanse-tone-moisturise routine. That was it. Then I got introduced to my boyfriend’s mates and their girlfriends/wives who it has to be said always look fab and are more interested in their appearance than me. They are the ones who got me into spas – hence my numerous visits to various Essex/Kent spas and then a friend got me a voucher for a local beauty place. As I visited more of these places I sampled pedicures, back neck and shoulder massages, facials, head massages and body scrubs.

The thing I find with beauty treatments is that the more you have the more you want to try. I did try out fake nails a few years back, but after leaving my natural nails as thin as paper I was not impressed and so far have never gone back to that. Apart from that I have thoroughly enjoyed my visits, I find they relax me and leave me feeling great. So this Saturday I went for a luxury manicure (for only £5 more than the standard manicure you get a hand massage, hand mask/wrap and you leave with super soft skin).

Even whilst I was having the treatment I was planning another visit and what I could have next time. In fact I purposely arrived early to my appointment so I could fit in another visit with my fishy friends! Needless to say I am now a fan of the manicure – my first one – in fact I have spent the last few days admiring my super shiny painted nails and stroking my super soft skin.

On visiting my Auntie recently I arrived to find the hairdresser there – who happens to be my hair stylist too. My Aunt religiously has her hair washed, blow dried and styled every single week. I haven’t had my hair done for quite a while, partly because I am trying to grow my hair out and also since I haven’t got cash to chuck around. However, I have since found myself lusting over a hair cut/dye and have been wondering when I could get one booked in.

Although, when young I used to be petrified of getting my hair done, as a child I would shout ‘Force me!’ when my Aunt/Mum tried to trim my locks and I had my hair ‘highlighted’ when I was at Uni with a petrified expression on my face throughout the whole time in the salon. Not now, I love my hair being touched, cut, straightened and styled – you just feel so much better once you’ve had your hair done.

So although I’m not off to join The Only Way Is Essex crew just yet and get tanned up and vajazzled, I can’t promise how long it’s going to be before my next manicure, pedicure, hairstyle or massage hit. Well, after all I only need to have one more treatment at Sole Sensation and get my next treatment for free! Beauty bargain hunter? Health spa hag? Massage maniac? Guilty as charged.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bringing books to life or killing them?

Tonight I went to see One Day at the cinema. A book turned into a film. As soon as I hear rumours or see the trailers for book to movie situations I start to worry. Is turning books into films a good idea? Should they just be left well alone? If a book is well written and is hugely popular is it wrong to make a film off the back of it and in turn make money? I remain undecided on this point.

Over the years I’ve seen my fair share of films which could be seen as points for or against these situations. Tonight’s choice I admit I did enjoy, bar Ms Hathaway’s ‘Northern’ accent. But in the back of my mind I have asked myself is this because I haven’t read the book in quite some time?

To me the beauty of books is that your imagination can run wild, each character is built within the mind of the reader and I believe we all have our own interpretation of what these people should look, sound and behave like. The story comes to life described by the words on the pages in front of you and your head a whole world opens up as you work through the book.

So then what happens when somebody comes from out of the blue, uses their ideas of how the characters work and then tries to reflect this on the big screen? It’s pretty inevitable their opinions and impressions aren’t going to match everyone’s. Also add in the limitations of film length, suitable ‘well-known’ big names who can play said roles and you start a slippery slope to offending bookworms and fans of the story.

In terms of enjoying a good film, the book-to-movie experience can also be bad as a cinema goer. This can happen in two main ways – you’ve read the book and can remember the details completely, you’ve built everything in your mind of how it works and looks, so that when you see the film you spend the whole time comparing it to the book. Alternatively you’ve never seen the book, yet when these films are made often some previous reader knowledge is assumed (or is needed) to get the full feel of the story/character’s journey. Yet again leading to frustration.

Coming up later this year are two other text to visual productions – The Help and We Need To Talk About Kevin, both books I thoroughly enjoyed. On watching One Day tonight I do feel slightly more hopeful, perhaps a good balance between being true to the book and developing something suitable for the big screen is being more closely adhered to?

In the case of Lovely Bones, for example, although I enjoyed the film I don’t really think it truly did the book justice and I didn’t agree at all with the casting of Susie’s parents.
Am I right to be so critical of such films or do we just need to accept they are going to be different and in fact is this a good thing? We get to discover the story in a whole new light? Or should good books just be left at that and not developed further, so we can see what we’re reading about?

One thing I have noticed of late is that I am getting gradually soppier as I get older. I’ve always been known amongst friends, work colleagues and the like as someone who isn’t really seen to cry. Not anymore. Not long ago I cried at Rise of the planet of the apes and now tonight I had tears running down my face at One Day. Let’s hope the book I’m reading at the moment on my Kindle doesn’t turn out too sad, else the commute is going to be interesting…

Monday, 22 August 2011

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo...

There is something about the zoo that turns me back into a small child. I get so excited it’s ridiculous. When we went to a zoo a few years back with our nephew I kept trying to show him how to feed the animals in the petting zoo. When he got fed up of trying to hold his hand out properly I was delighted – more food for me to feed the animals with!

This Saturday I’d been with my boyfriend for a whole six years and we decided to celebrate by going to the zoo for the day. Thanks to V festival at Chelmsford, Colchester Zoo was not an option so we opted for London Zoo instead; somewhere I haven’t been since I was very young. (Note: this was also the first year in about 3 or 4 that we haven’t been to V, hence the bitterness towards it this year!)

I was so excited; I couldn’t wait to get there. I was slightly concerned if London could match up to my beloved Colchester Zoo. I used to go there every Summer for years with my Aunt and Uncle, without fail. On the drive on the A12 to get there we’d also stop on the way at either the Happy Eater for toasted teacakes, or the Little Chef for pancakes or ice cream. It was like a big adventure for me, but without fail I would always end up getting over excited whilst we were there and I’d end up tripping over and scraping my knees or similar. I didn’t care though, nothing could ruin the fun of the zoo.

Well, I actually found I was pleasantly surprised. I still feel I prefer Colchester Zoo (to be fair it has got years worth of memories on its side), but London had some really good areas. I must admit I am quite bad in that I don’t consciously think about the size of the enclosures for the animals when I go to the zoo, something that was brought to my attention when I told a friend about my upcoming visit. Although I have, unfortunately, been to ‘zoos’ on holiday where the animals were in a right state and it broke my heart. I still to this day say I should have sent my photos off as proof of animal cruelty when we came back from our holiday in Fuerteventura and had experienced the hotel ‘zoo’. Awful.

Anyway at London I did find a lot of the spaces were of a good size (well let’s face it nothing is going to be as good as the wild and the natural environment they belong in, but still). The best bit I liked were the number of special areas where animals were allowed to roam free amongst the visitors. The signs were clear not to touch as the animals could bite, or you could pass you germs on to them, but it was a nice feeling being so close to nature. Highlights were Butterfly Paradise, Meet the Monkeys, Blackburn Pavillion and Rainforest Life. All of these exhibits involved the wildlife jumping, running, flying or crawling in a more natural environment around you, the visitor. It was great. Now, I know I’m a bit of a freak for taking photos, but I took 140+ photos on Saturday and the majority of them were at the zoo. It was fab.

Also, being the mug that I am for all things tourist I also spent quite a bit of cash there, the tickets alone were around £19 – either I am getting really old or the cost of things has really gone up extortionately! Anyways, although the fantastic weather forecasters had predicted a super hot day on Saturday (one of the reasons we picked the zoo), it did in fact start pouring with rain about half an hour into our visit. Therefore the first purchase (for my boyfriend, as of course Little Miss Anally Organised here already had an umbrella packed) was an umbrella to keep dry.

Now, I also feel I need to share with you another reason I love the zoo – monkeys! I absolutely adore chimpanzees, teeny tiny capuchins and loud and dominant gorillas. Not to forget fiery red-faced tamarinds and the big friendly giants that are orangutans. Love. Them. All. The fire of my monkey madness had already been stoked by my recent visit to see Rise of the planet of the apes. I really did enjoy that film and fell in love with Caesar – how cute is he? That bit when he’s all wrapped up in the red blanket, aw… I actually told my boyfriend I want a monkey (well, sorry ‘ape’ and obviously it’d have to be after I’ve got my micro pig!) Can you believe, yes I’ll admit it, I cried more than once in Rise of the planet of the apes, I had tears running down my face over a computer generated image! Oh dear…

Although there were no chimps to be seen at London Zoo, we did enjoy the sites of the humongous gorilla and his friends playfighting and what felt like them putting on a show for us visitors. The picking (and then eating what they discovered) of each other’s bottoms wasn’t quite so appealing, in the same way the aadvarks who slept with their heads in each other’s nether regions was pretty gross, if rather amusing.

So of course as a souvenir I had to buy some monkey-related presents. I am now the proud owner of a tiny toy chimpanzee and a snuggly, cuddly, rather realistic-faced gorilla. Oh and a whole London Zoo photobook of cheesy images of me and my man and an I heart London Zoo bag (hey it was £1 when you brought items in the shop, give me a break!)

Much to my boyfriend’s amusement, I took great care in getting my new pals home and agonised over naming them – they’re called Archie (chimp) and Toby (the gorilla) if you’re interested. See what I mean? Take me to the zoo and I turn back into a child every time!

On that note I feel I have embarrassed myself enough. I won’t tell you how I shrieked more than children around me in disgust at the nighttime and bugs exhbits over rats, spiders and scorpions. Or how I spotted ‘Dorey’ and ‘Nemo’ in an aquarium area before most of the kids there too. Oh and did I mention how long I spent staring at and photographing the pelicans and just had to tweet how ‘Melican’ was ‘meeting the pelicans’.

Okay, that’s enough, I think we’ve got it pretty much confirmed, I am not to be allowed to the zoo again. Never mind all this animal safety malarkey; it’s clearly not good for my mental health either!

The Friend

The friend you grew up with, riding your bikes out and playing fun games
The friend who’s so quiet and a bit out there, but you love all the same
The friend who matches your loud, dirty laugh
Nights out you never do by half

The friend you made at uni, you’ve shared so much
The work friend with a super sweet tooth, who always gives things the personal touch
The friends you’ve known for years and years
The friend who’s only interested when things are down and you’re shedding tears
The good time friend who’s always owing you money
The friend who has you in stitches, their humour is just so funny

Friends you can rely on, those who are just for having fun
The group of friends you’ve made and share with your loved one
The friends you made through work, who were once just office colleagues
The friend whose life is always full of secrets and intrigue

Those friends you haven’t known for all that long, but you are already so close to
You feel like you’ve known each other for years and they’re always there to turn to
The friend who can finish your sentence, so many interests you share
Evenings spent indulging in good food and giggling, you always know they’ll be there

The ones you thought were your friends, but sadly they change and become selfish
All life revolves around them and how their life is so rich
The ones who divulge your secrets and let you down
All those good times you shared seem so far in the past now
Special occasions and memorable events get forgetten
They’re not of interest unless it can be related back to them

The friends you’ve holidayed with more than once
Who are always genuine, there’s no need to put on any fronts
You laugh, you cry, you talk, you shout
Ups and downs across the years, but that’s what friends are all about

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

What's in a job title?

In line with developments in our industry, my role at work is going to change somewhat and in turn so is my job title. Unlike previous experiences, the company I now work for does give us input and has asked our opinions on what we think we should be called. And now the time has come to vote and decide which of the three shortlisted options we should move forward with.

For some reason I am finding this quite a difficult task – there are only three choices, but it got me thinking what sort of judgements do people make, just how important are job titles?

To me the work you do, the skills you have and how you prove yourself is more important than the title assigned to your job. However, we all know in reality that when scanning a CV employers will consider the job titles listed and when you’ve had a naff sounding name for your role you won’t be so quick to tell your friends and family about it.

We all know people do deem job titles important and do judge, hence modern day updates to more traditional roles and the importance of ensuring said titles are politically correct.

I can remember friends teasing me for one previous role I had, entitled Desk Head – not the most glamorous sounding of names. If people asked me what I did I tended to revert to describing my responsibilities and tried to avoid mentioning my actual job title. In reality it involved being in charge of a team of journalists and managing them, ensuring all online content and articles were delivered to brief and on time, and much more. Not exactly positively reflected in the label assigned to it.

On the flip side are people who have glamorous sounding job titles, which suggest a higher level of expertise than is the case. Throughout my working life I have on more than one occasion been amazed at the lack of knowledge so-called industry ‘experts’ have had. This elaborate naming can be seen on the likes of sites such as LinkedIn, I know in my previous role some people listed their titles in a fancier way to improve their profiles. However, this was picked up on by other departments who advised them if they were going to claim to be something then they better ensure their skills matched up to it.

How do you know the best way to label a job, how do you ensure it encompasses most, if not all, of the tasks you carry out on a daily basis. How will your clients view them? Will the name reassure them they are dealing with experts and an experienced, professional company? Or instead could it make them concerned you’re trying to blag about knowing more than you actually do?

I’ve found I prefer two of the three options so I managed to get the list down to two. To aid my decision making I also decided to enlist the help of some of my Facebook friends and see what title seemed best to them. I’ve got friends across various industries and contacts working in the same sort of area as me so I thought this could help me get some balanced opinions. I obviously kept it a rather general status update though as I didn’t want to start revealing things about the company, so perhaps it wasn’t ideal as people didn’t quite have the context in which to judge them by. Hence, I have so far ended up with near enough a 50/50 quota, with people split pretty much equally for each title.

Interestingly, people who I feel have closer ties to my industry have tended to opt for references to communication. Whilst those who are more creative, or are not really linked to what I do have preferred a media reference. I can see good points for both job titles and so it seems so too can my Facebook friends.

Oh well, I am going to just make myself decide one way or another tomorrow and one good thing that has come out of this debate so far is the fact that voting has given me something to blog about. After all I have been rather quite of late. Not to worry though, after getting a bit wound up by a so-called ‘friend’ recently and just witnessing some extremely irritating young layabouts on one of my typical trashy TV delights I am feeling quite inspired for ideas.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Bloggers Block

Whether it’s down to my head being crammed full of facts, names and processes from my new role, or that my creative juices have temporarily stopped flowing, I can’t seem to write my blog.

I feel a bit like I’ve neglected it lately and it was only conversations at work this week that reminded me of its presence and my lack of contributions. So I’m afraid this post is going to be rather random and filled with a bit of a mix.

So I guess I should start by updating you on my new job. I’ve now done 8 days at my new company and I am genuinely really enjoying it – much to my relief. After all it would have been a bit of a slap in the face to go somewhere new and find you enjoy it less than the previous job you left. It’s also highlighted how little things in life really can make a big difference – things like ‘proper’ mugs to drink out of, not cardboard cups; a sense of general trust in employees and a friendly, approachable nature from management (on all levels).

My boyfriend has found it quite comical – and a reflection of my previous company – how impressed I am by what some people will argue is behaviour almost to be expected by employers. I guess perhaps still being in the new person and learning stage my view may also be somewhat skewed too!

In other areas of my life, I will find myself in the last year of my 20s after this Saturday. A very scary thought indeed. To be honest I have been so caught up in starting my new job and issues with my boyfriend’s career that I’ve not built my birthday up as much as I normally would.

I am a bit of a nightmare when it comes to birthdays, I believe this is down to having such a small family, when one of us has a birthday we like to make a big fuss. I have been known to celebrate my birthdays over a number of days and in fact when I was 25 I had 5 consecutive days of various celebrations. Tip – don’t have your work birthday drinks as the final night of birthday events if you choose to do this, it gets very messy and you will be extremely hungover the next day.

This year I’ve made no arrangements, partly because I’ve not had time and also because my boyfriend has something planned for Saturday – this is all a complete surprise though, so I don’t know what he has in store… I only arranged to go out for a meal and drinks tomorrow night with a close friend a few days ago and that was after my poor friend had to nudge me on it numerous times. I do wonder is this also possibly my way of denying my age and that this is the last year of my 20s, it just doesn’t feel real.

When I think back to being young, back then if I saw someone 30 years of age they seemed so grown up and pretty much sorted – good job, married, own a nice big house, have kids. I didn’t know what, but I was fairly confident in the fact that they had achieved something with their lives. When you get to this age you can’t help but question are you where you should be and have you done and seen enough? I will worry about that after my birthday, else I fear I will spend the day moping about the things I could have done and not what I have done with my life.
I’ve also thought about life and being young with the recent violence and looting in London and across the UK. It saddens me to think this is our future society and although I know this is not necessarily a reflection of the majority of young people today, I’ve seen enough evidence of how teens and schoolchildren feel they can act to know things are different now.

Who knows perhaps again this is further evidence of me getting older. I know for a fact I’ve started doing the whole ‘when I was young…’ phrasing and labelling young girls and boys wearing hoodies or in big groups as ‘yobs’. I just really do feel that things have changed and just general respect and accountability of actions is lacking somewhat nowadays.

I am ‘friends’ on Facebook with some young people – generally distant family members linked to me or my boyfriend, and I find I don’t like looking at their profiles. The girls look too made up and too grown up, the boys have ridiculous levels of bad language on their walls or are using terminology which I’d associate with ‘chavs’.

Even the things our 6 year old nephew is aware of shocks me sometimes, just the general information or terms they pick up simply being around other children at school is insane. I just remember being in more of a bubble when I was young and enjoying the magic of childhood, rather than rushing to become an adult – well at least until I was about 13+ anyway.

The other concern I’ve had of late is my weight (yes, yet again). My whole healthy eating, exercise regime has gone well and truly out the window and I need to quickly establish a routine so I can get myself sorted again. I am actually going to see if I can use my gym membership in the same chain near my office – talks of early morning or lunchtime workouts have been heard, now it’s just a case of making them happen…

It’s just the area I’m based in now – around Spitalfields, near Shoreditch etc, everyone is so skinny and trendy. Seriously, this whole area is not doing anything for my confidence, I feel like an old granny and that I can’t quite work out what to wear – something I’ve never felt before to be honest. I thought how great it was that in this company we could wear what we want (within reason obviously) in the office, but it does add another factor to worry about each week.

So there you have it, I’ve turned into an ageing, judgemental, plump, frumpily-dressed woman on the speedy downward slope to 30. Happy days. I tell you something though, if you need me to talk about work orders, outlines, corporate websites or the best train to get from Romford to Liverpool Street then I’m your lady!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

London's Burning, London's Burning

I woke up this morning and actually felt quite sick when the images I saw last night rushed back into my mind. The events in Tottenham last night almost seem like some sort of film or bad dream.

Just having enjoyed a lovely relaxing hot bubble bath listening to some chillout music in my little flat, it’s easy to forget that other people today have found themselves homeless and surrounded by utter mayhem. Whilst many of us slept safe and sound at home, the people of Tottenham faced fire, petrol bombs, destroyed shops and homes and people that were quite simply out of control and had no thought for anyone it seems.

The reasoning being given behind the actions yesterday were in protest to a shooting on Thursday whereby a local young man was shot dead by police. Whether this should or shouldn’t have happened is currently under investigation, but before people could wait for an outcome a peaceful protest was planned outside Tottenham police station.

Unfortunately – although reports clash as to why – the protest took a nasty turn and the action in Tottenham switched from a peaceful protest to - as the media reported - a ‘disturbance’, to then a full on ‘riot’. This involved cars being burnt, items being thrown at police, a bus being set on fire, shops being set alight and looted and innocent people’s homes being broken into and damaged.

And how did I first find out about these events? Social media. I happened to check Facebook and noticed somebody’s comments about Tottenham, at which point I then turned on the news channels on TV – BBC News 24 at first. What I saw completely shocked me, I actually couldn’t believe what people had done and were still continuing to do. I also found myself increasingly frustrated by the confrontational and frankly childish behaviour of the young men and women on screen trying to disrupt the news reporting.

It’s on seeing people like this that you realise unfortunately things took a more negative turn possibly due to people going along for a bit of ‘fun’ and using the proceedings as an excuse for violence. People keep arguing how ridiculous it is to damage the area where you live in protest. However, perhaps it got to this level because a strong number of people then involved later on weren’t from Tottenham and on hearing of events had turned up to just cause trouble, with no particular reason in doing so.

It may sound sick, but I found myself hooked on the footage. We’d gone to my parents for the afternoon/evening and didn’t end up leaving until around 130/2am because I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen. I just couldn’t seem to understand why this was happening and that people in this day and age would act in such a way.

Now, I can’t comment on the reasoning behind the action and of course I don’t know how it feels for those people who have lost someone, who have had bad experiences with authority or feel targeted against due to their ethnicity. However, no matter how hard I try to identify or understand, I just cannot find a reason for people to cause such havoc and also cause so much hurt for innocent individuals around them. If this guy was shot wrongly, what does burning down a local businessman’s shop achieve? How does that fix things?

On another level I found myself feeling quite emotional at the fact that if my boyfriend was working he may well have been called to the area to be on ‘standby’ in his role as a student paramedic. Although he argued it is part of his job and he probably wouldn’t have actually had much to do and it would be an interesting career experience, I just felt ill at the thought that he would have his life potentially put in danger. If you’d have asked me earlier in the week if I’d be pleased about his current ‘break’ from work (long story) I never would have expected that a few days down the line I’d be pleased he was at home and not out on the road.

Feeling pleased he was safe by my side I ended up staying up until gone 3am in the end watching reports. Although I soon found myself more heavily reliant on social media, namely Twitter, to find out what was happening (often as it happened, in tweets reported by people who were actually there).

I watched live as the poor BBC reporter and camera crew came under attack and later saw images of the satellite van that had been smashed in, as people reportedly felt the media were going to use their footage as evidence for the police and were in fact the enemy too. Both BBC News 24 and Sky News had to withdraw from the area and stop live filming as their lives were being put in danger and I completely agree with them for moving and getting to safety.

However, what I then don’t understand is that BBC News 24 moved to a programme on the Olympics…Sky News went on to show the same loop of footage over and over (which clearly couldn’t be helped), but why weren’t they reporting on people’s comments and anecdotes that were going on live online? Listening to the ‘news’ on TV, compared to what people were saying on social media was laughable, the news was so far behind.

Also you could get a more balanced view on Twitter – those who lived there, people who worked for the media, people who supported the violent actions and so on. The news tended to be quite one-sided and I found Sky News constantly spoke to police and those in authority and didn’t tend to talk to the local people as the BBC had. Proof again what a great tool and how powerful social media is and how it is certainly not showing any signs of stopping any time soon.

There are claims the rioting may well continue again tonight and also spread further afield to more areas. I just hope people see sense and stop. Mark Duggan’s family have been on TV speaking exclusively to Sky this afternoon saying themselves they don’t want to be associated with this violence and that they don’t want their dead relative associated with these sort of actions.

Some residents speaking on TV, involved in the original protests argue the police cars were first attacked as they were like a “red rag to a bull” after over four hours of waiting outside the police station wanting answers. Some say this action reflects action back in 1985 when action started off the back of an alleged ‘murder’ of a black female. People feel the police are to blame by not coming outside and talking to the people and providing answers as requested, but if they aren’t allowed to speak due to the IPCC investigations what are they meant to do?

Whatever happened and whatever the outcome of the investigation, one things for sure, the acts of the violence involved have not achieved any more answers, but led to destroyed lives, lost homes, a torn apart community, regeneration severely damaged and held back and local businesses wrecked. With all that is going wrong in this country - and indeed the world – right now, it’s a sad day when London’s residents feel it’s right to resort to this sort of behaviour and cause more hard and depressing times for our capital.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Dr Foster went to Gloucester...

No I’m not about to write my own nursery rhyme, I realised I still hadn’t got around to revealing all about our super mini break! A short poem seemed fitting (and also quicker to give you a brief rundown if I'm honest!)

Excited faces, all ready for a break
Laughing at how much the girls just had to take

A two hour journey turning into five
Getting bored and hot on the ride

Arrive at the hotel ready to relax and de-stress
On check-in we had some complaints and I got stroppy I confess

A quick freshen up and we’re ready for dinner
Fruit and games machines for the boys, Pinot for the girls – we’re on to a winner!

Shame someone forgot to teach the waitress how to smile
Though it didn’t stop us eating, drinking and staying a long while

After a few too many it was off to bed
Plans and ideas for tomorrow running through our head

The fan helping keep us cool in a very hot room
We’ll be back on the road to do sightseeing again very soon

A big cooked breakfast, cereal, crumpets and coffee
Then off for a drive through beautiful scenery

Rejuvenated after a dip in Bath’s spas
Looking round the authentic Roman historical sites for hours

A late lunch chewing on paninis in the sun
Then a bit of shopping to add to the fun

Dining in a super friendly gorgeous country pub
Girls makeup free from the day, but not worried when sampling the traditional and yummy grub

The boys getting us lost by not using the sat nav system
Us girls just getting accused of nagging them

The next day brings an earlier start and this time brekkie at Starbucks
Driving super fast through country roads, making me cross my fingers for luck!

Cheddar Gorge is the next stop, what a beautiful valley
Surprised at how all these places are such good value for money

An open-top tour bus, cave visits, a museum and lots of photos
A gorgeous cream tea, buying cider, cheese and fudge, we don’t want to go

The crystal cave character making me jump
Being made to ‘climb’ up some cliffs gave me the hump

An evening dining out in the local area
Although dubious at first we soon found a good place where we felt a bit safer

Perhaps a little too much indulging in the food and booze
Non-stop giggling in the car then hit the pillow and ready to snooze

The last day arrives, it makes us so sad
Thinking back on all the laughter and great times we’ve had

We pop by Bourton-on-the-water on our route home
An idyllic village, we solved the maze all on our own

A final pub meal, sitting by the water
Not wanting to leave, the weather just kept getting better

We say our goodbyes in the local car park
And then make our way home, hoping to arrive before dark

A superb weekend, one we all want to repeat as soon as we can
With two of my best friends and my wonderful man

Monday, 1 August 2011

New job nerves

We're about to head off from our mini break - it's been a nice mix of sightseeing, laughs, relaxing and good food, with great friends. However, this morning I woke up not smiling and happy, but a bag of nerves. Tomorrow I start my new job and the nerves have well and truly kicked in.

I've been at the same company for seven and a half years and had built up my knowledge so that I always knew what was going on and how things work. I really can't imagine not knowing anything. But as of tomorrow I will be that new person, the one who has to ask questions and doesn't know what's going on. When I started my last job I was a fresh-faced graduate, are more allowances made if you're young? Or are things different if you are a graduate? You're not expected to be as confident or knowledgeable? Yet now, when going to a job where you've got years of work experience behind you are you allowed to be nervous? Should you know loads when you get there?

What if the people don't like me? What if I don't like the office or the role? There are ten million questions and worries flooding through my head!

For now I'm going to continue in my mini break mist of make believe and forget about work and the real world until I get home. I've got much more pressing matters - what country pub are we going to go to for lunch??