Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Under the weather

April 6, 2015

That is a strange phrase isn’t it?  Anyway, I’ve got a cold, it’s in my sinuses and I can’t sleep for the pain in my head. Ugh. 

Still, it’s a beautiful sunny spring day and I’ll spend the day…sat indoors revising for an exam tomorrow. Since I changed job two years ago, my role involves supporting finance systems, which I found challenging at first as I knew nothing of finance or accounting at all.  Two years later I’m partway through my second bookkeeping course and much more comfortable in my job.  I brought the technical/reporting/data skills with me, but understanding what the systems I’m supporting are actually designed to do makes a big difference.  

Tomorrow’s exam is professional ethics in accounting, not the liveliest subject but this time tomorrow it will be almost over.  

Last week was a challenging one, with a funeral, a system failure and so much going on I hardly had time to think.  

This week coming isn’t likely to be much easier, especially now I have a cold as well…

Tuesday – exam

Wednesday – essential data extract at work

Thursday – hospital appointment to discuss surgery, performance review at work, phone conference with our support team in India

Friday – several meetings

I’m tired just thinking about it!  Still, reasons to be cheerful:

  1. We’re going on holiday soon – to Cyprus ( mmm, sunny)
  2. I’ve got all day today to revise while A is at work, no distractions
  3. I tried a mock test yesterday and got over 90%
  4. I have chocolate
  5. I’ve got a new knitting/crochet challenge in my head

More on the knitting/ crochet challenge when I’ve got it going…

Anyway, I’d better get on with the studying.


Ups and downs

July 9, 2011

More ups than downs, I think:

  • Saturday we went to Gethin’s birthday party, but didn’t stay long as we were both struggling to get our energy back after a nasty stomach bug earlier in the week;
  • Sunday we took A’s Mum out for the afternoon, to visit her parents’ grave in a nearby town then for a walk around a pretty lake and back to ours for Sunday dinner;
  • Monday I worked in Bristol, because Theresa came in to visit, with baby Mia.  Our team went out for lunch together, probably for the last time before the current reshaping process takes hold;
  • Monday night I was in bed by 8.30pm with a killer migraine, didn’t wake up until 8.30am on Tuesday when I felt better (no migraine) but wiped out;
  • Tuesday and Wednesday I was swamped with work stuff, which was not going well thanks to technical issues.  I didn’t get to knitting at the library;
  • Thursday I went back to Bristol, found out my new job role.  I got my first choice of the options available, but am not really sure what that means as yet;
  • Friday we re-arranged furniture slightly so I now have my Nan’s old writing bureau next to my desk in the dining room.  I moved all my work books and folders on to it, so I have an office corner.

Today and tomorrow…no plans at the moment.  I’ve started the week’s washing, but I’m not hopeful that I’ll get far with it as there are showers forecast.  We’ve got a few bits of shopping to get, but not much.  Other than that, we’ll hopefully have time for walking.

In knitting news, more ups and downs…finishes and lack of interest in ‘what next’ and sudden inspiration followed by a lot of starts.

Finishes first:

Those are my blue fluffy bedsocks, mostly knitted on train journeys.  I have to confess that I’m finally getting a little bored of plain socks…complicated patterns aren’t really good for train journeys, and that’s when I knit socks these days.  I’m running low on really good sock yarn too.  So I’ve started making mitred squares for a lightweight blanket – they are really airy and loosely knitted, and I should hopefully have enough of the cheap Lidl sock yarn to make a single blanket if not a double one.

Also finished…

This is a baby elephant, made using the same pattern as previous elephants (from but using sock yarn instead of heavier stuff.  It turned out about 2/3 of the usual size and looks really cute.  I have sent it to Theresa for her birthday – she loves it!

Also started this week…another shawl and a selection of sea-dwellers for Isla’s first birthday.  Obviously!


A hard week and a busy weekend

June 27, 2011

I know this post is two days late, but we have been busy all weekend and I have today off work so I knew I’d catch up!

Some highlights…and some very low points:

  • Last weekend was quiet and relaxed
  • On Tuesday one of my colleagues died, the manager in charge of my very big, important, main-release-just-closed project in fact.  He was just 36 and had a massive brain haemmorrhage.  Shocking, tragic, still really hard to grasp.
  • Also on Tuesday we heard that baby Isla was back in hospital for more surgery, as she had a big build-up of fluid around her heart and in her lungs.
  • Wednesday and Thursday were quiet days as I digested all the trauma of Tuesday.
  • Friday evening A had to work so I arranged to see my friend Mrs Jarge, who I haven’t seen for more than 6 months.  We have that kind of friendship where it can go months and months but as soon as we meet up there are a million things to say.  Mrs Jarge isn’t doing too well as she is very slowly recovering from a massive and serious car accident.  But I made her and her 10 year old son laugh by producing their xmas presents…still wrapped up in xmas paper!
  • Saturday we squeezed in time for shopping before meeting Alan and Kat and baby Poppy for lunch.   No bad news there (phew!)
  • Saturday evening we looked after Gethin while David and Sam were at a wedding.  He was cute as ever, but didn’t want to go to bed as he’d had such a disrupted day.
  • Sunday was painfully hot, and we all benefited from an ice cream at the farmer’s market.  We got a lot of washing done though 😉
  • Sunday evening we heard that Isla had been allowed home from hospital again – the chest drain had been successful and she is lots better.
  • And finally, here I am today, with a day off for no reason.  I had hoped to visit Caron and her girls today, but having spent a week in hospital, they want some time together as a family again.  That’s understandable, and it leaves me with no specific plans 🙂

So, apart from all the chaos and shock, there has been knitting!  I finished the Citron shawl:

I have no specific plans for it, but it looks really good.  The yarn has softened nicely after washing – Judith said it would and as usual Judith knows!  🙂

I’m still doing bits and pieces with the forest path stole, but it hasn’t made much progress this week as it requires concentration and there has been precious little of that to spare.  I have also made some progress on my blue bedsocks, but they suffered a setback when I attempted to turn a heel after a drink or two and dropped a stitch.  Now usually picking up a stitch is no big deal, but with this fluffy yarn it is a nightmare…and in my slightly beery state I managed to ladder it further than necessary.  Needless to say, when I looked again in daylight the next day, it took seconds to fix.

This coming week…not a lot going on, I hope.  Work is still busy, but not manically so, and we have no social plans until the weekend, when we’re going to Gethin’s first birthday party.  I know, can you believe it?!  One already!


June 18, 2011

That about sums it up, really.  As expected, work has been all-consuming this week with long days and big deadlines and technical difficulties a-plenty.

BUT – I met the biggest, most critical deadline yesterday and now I can breathe a little easier for a while.  I’ve still got plenty to do in the near future, but nothing so difficult or important.

Sadly, that means there isn’t much more to tell today.  Last weekend was lovely and quiet.  When it rained all day Sunday, we got our waterproof coats and trousers out and walked anyway…well, it isn’t Sunday without some outside time.

On Wednesday I made it to Knitting in the Library, and was able to stay a whole hour!

Yesterday was our niece’s 3rd birthday, so we met up with her family in the local pub for an hour or so.  Amy seemed thrilled with her funky flowered jeans and hippy top…her parents less so 😉  There was a comment about ‘Auntie Helen clothes’, which of course just made her love them more.  She even offered to lend me the jeans!  I’ve lost a little weight, but not that much 😉

I don’t even have much knitting news this week.  I’ve been plodding away on the forest path stole, which I’m much happier with.  The Citron shawlette is somewhere near done, I’ve just got to decide whether to put in another pattern repeat before the edge ruffle.  I think I have enough yarn, but I’m not sure how big I want it to be or how blocking will affect it.  And of course there are socks.  The first of the bedsocks I started last week is almost done, just the toe to do.

So, this week coming…tomorrow is Father’s Day, so of course I have to track down my Dad.  Easier said than done.  I think I’ll make him some jam tarts, to go with his present.  This week’s Bristol trips are a little disrupted due to meetings, so that will get confusing.  And I’m considering taking an afternoon off to visit Caron and her little ones.  We’ll see.

This is Sunday, not Saturday!

June 12, 2011

I considered getting the ‘puter out yesterday when I woke up, but the sun was shining.  A had managed to get a Saturday off work, so it seemed a waste to sit indoors looking at pictures of the outside world when we could be out in it.  So we walked instead.  And a glorious walk it was – we saw water voles (first time round our local patch) and a bullfinch (fairly scarce), and a whole raft of other interesting wildlife.

Anyway, this week just gone has been busy, work-wise at least.  I’m really up against a deadline now, so this week will be no better.  After repeated wireless/connection dropouts on Thursday I spent 10 minutes sat on the floor crying in frustration, then resolved to move my desk downstairs…closer to the wireless router.  This improved things to some extent (although there are still issues that aren’t at my end), so yesterday we moved my entire desk down into the dining room.  It’s not ideal, but we’ll see.

On Tuesday I arranged to go to the Bristol Children’s hospital on Thursday to see my friend Caron and her 10 month old, who has just had major heart surgery.  On Wednesday, when I woke up with a cold, I called it off.  I just couldn’t risk taking a cold to a 10 month old recovering from such a big op.  I’ve promised to visit them at home some time soon instead, as remarkably they went home on Thursday tea-time, just 8 days after surgery!

On Wednesday I made it to Knitting at the Library for the first time in ages.  Two new people were there, as well as one other regular, so it was an interesting half hour.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but was so conscious of my workload I didn’t dare.

Let me see…what else?  Oh yes, last weekend we had Gethin to stay.  And the boy was fine until Saturday evening, almost bedtime, when he started to be sick.  No other symptoms, just vomiting.  All over his pushchair.  All over me.  Everywhere.  Poor little munchkin didn’t cry or make a fuss, just turned to me for a cuddle.  A really, really gross cuddle.  We hosed him down a couple of times, gave him plenty of water to drink and put him to bed.  Apart from a brief drink and cuddle at 2am, the tired one slept through until 8am and woke up full of smiles as always.  It is hard to believe he is nearly 1, time really flies.  That means it is almost a year since we went on our last cruise.  Scary!

In knitting news, I frogged the double-knit socks.  They were really boring.  Seriously, so dull.  So I decided that I’ve proved to myself that I’ve mastered the technique and don’t have to do that anymore.  Instead I’ve started another pair of fluffy bedsocks, this time in dark blue.

This week also saw the finish of the green alpaca pimpelliese scarf, including blocking:

In its place, I have started another shawlette/scarfle. This one is a pattern called Citron, from Knitty. I’m using one of the skeins
of yarn I bought in Denmark three years ago, whilst on our Scandinavia cruise. It’s a lovely raspberry colour and so far it suits the pattern really well.

I’ve also resurrected the Forest Path stole, which was hibernating. It is now just 3 repeats wide, instead of 5. We’ll see.

So…this week coming…lots of work stuff really. The pressure is mounting and 2 of our team are on holiday, which piles even more on me. Hopefully I’ll shake off this stupid cold really fast. We have a niece’s birthday on Friday. But I think (hope) that’s it!

Startitis and Socks

March 26, 2011

And so much else going on!  Should I try to tell this in the order in which it happened?  I’ll give it a go:

  • Sunday morning – my Dad turned up, as promised, and fitted our new dishwasher.  He even took the old one away to the tip.  I don’t ask my Dad to do much for us, but when I do he always saves us a lot of stress and usually money too.  Although I know it is really a luxury, I had missed my dishwasher and was so glad to get a new one up and running 🙂
  • Sunday afternoon – we finally got round to clearing up the garden, cutting back the bay tree, the cherry tree and the climbing rose severely and trimming lots of other things.  We still have the many pots to sort out, and I can’t quite decide whether to plant out my apricot trees this year, or keep them in their massive pots for another year. 
  • Monday – went round to visit Alan and Kat’s baby, Poppy.  We took the cutest pink baby Converse in the world, and the cardigan I had knitted, and they were really excited about both.  I knew those guys would love the effort involved in hand-knit stuff, and I was right.  They were particularly pleased about the colour of the cardi (kind of pale blue-green) as it will match with other things they already have. 
  • Tuesday – to Bristol for a regional briefing. 
  • Wednesday to Friday – to Birmingham for a SQL Cubes course.  It was a long, hard three day course, but really useful for work.  It’s also an extra skill for my CV. 
  • Friday night – Theresa’s baby arrived (hooray hooray hooray!).  A little girl, born late at night, Mia Jane.  Congratulations to Theresa and to Graeme, and Hello!  to Mia  🙂 

Today and tomorrow we have a whole list of chores to get through, to do with birthdays, Mothers’ Day, holiday and lots more besides.  Then next week is another mad one. 

So, in knitting news, I’ve been bitten by the startitis bug it seems.  Last weekend I cast on a lace stole and also started a jumper.  Neither is worth taking pictures of as yet, because I didn’t make much progress before going away.  I’m currently resisting the urge to also start a cardigan. 

I’ve almost finished the baby blanket…but it didn’t seem worth taking a picture of a nearly finished blanket when in a week or so I can take pictures of a finished one. 

While away I made a little progress on my brown fluffy bedsocks, but they seem to be going soooo sloooowly.  I don’t know why that is.  Maybe because I’m really not enjoying them.  I’m not a fan of brown, but I got this stuff cheap and figured brown would be ok for bedsocks.  I’m knitting them toe-up, when I prefer top down.  Also, I’m doing them 2-at-a-time, which means my progress looks less.  They seem to have been going forever but I’m still just on the foot! 

Whereas the other sock I started while away (I know!  Too many new projects, not enough progress on existing ones!) is coming along nicely:

It’s only one, it’s top-down and it is such pretty yarn.  Who’d have thought those things could make such a difference?!

Not much news

March 5, 2011

This has been the fairly quiet week predicted a week ago, thank goodness.  On Wednesday I made it to Knitting in the Library, and so did Judith.  It was lovely to catch up as we haven’t made it in at the same time for a while. 

As planned, Theresa came up to the Bristol office for her final visit before her maternity leave starts.  She’s got a big bump now, so it’s starting to seem real.  I remembered to take her elephant with me, which she really loved, and we decorated the team meeting room with a banner and balloons and party favours – just for the fun of it.  Lunch was nice, then a nearly weepy farewell as T left…not to return until January if all goes to plan! 

Speaking of babies, Alan and Kat’s baby was due last weekend or thereabouts…we should give them a call and see if there’s any news! 

There’s nothing exciting in knitting news this week…I got some more fluffy sock yarn to make bedsocks…wore out another two(!) pairs of socks to build into my worn-out-sock-blanket, which I still haven’t really started.  I did finish these pretties:

…and started a new pair, of course.  While I’m lacking in other major or inspiring  projects, I’ve gone back to my rosebud shawl, and made loads of progress.  Now that I’ve got past the trickiest lace bit and the number of stitches has started to decrease, it is going much quicker.  Still the border to tackle though! 

I think I have just one more baby to knit for in the immediate future, but it isn’t due until April, so I have time to come up with inspiration. 

So…this week coming…Gethin is staying tonight!  Tomorrow we are planning a trip to the farmers’ market, to visit A’s Mum and to see my Dad.  And of course at some point we have to return the baby.  I have Monday off work, to use up outstanding leave days and to recover from the weekend, then it’s work as usual for the rest of the week.

But I LOVE that blanket!

February 12, 2011

Yes, you guessed it, more about the blanket!  Only this week will be the last post about the blanket for a while as I have run out of yarn.  Not completely, you understand, I have plenty of yarn in the stash…I just don’t have any more for this blanket at the moment.  It’s looking good though:

Instead of casting off the last stitches, I have threaded the end of the yarn through and knotted it so it shouldn’t come undone.  I could have used a stitch holder, but I want to use the blanket as it is and my only stitch holders have wicked points on them!  So, there it is – cosy and warm, just in time for the weather to warm up 😉

Now that the blanket is done with, I have returned to my rosebud shawl, and made loads of progress on the socks which were taking forever.  I have also started plans for a card for Theresa at work, which has to be done this week as she goes off on maternity leave very soon! 

Anyway, this has been a busy week, as predicted.  Way back last weekend (which seems so long ago), we had Gethin over to stay on Saturday night.  That will now be a regular event, the first weekend of each month.  It is so much fun!  Hard work, but really worth it.  He’s an affectionate little guy:

Unfortunately, his kisses are with mouth wide open, and I always have to keep one hand free to guard my hair and piercings from his grasp.  This is an unusual picture, as A managed to catch me laughing – I’m notorious for my solemn photos, right from when I was a baby. 

After returning Gethin to his well-rested and happy parents, we slept for a while to recover (oh, the luxury of being auntie and having time to sleep) then went out for dinner with Alan and Kat.  Their baby is due in just 2 weeks now, so we may not see them for a while, but that’ll be another new baby to fuss and play with 🙂

This week was work, but not quite as usual.  I had Monday off as leave, and we slumped around the house all day and generally chilled out.  Tuesday morning I got up oh so early to catch a train to Bristol, only to spend 45 mins waiting at the train station with no sign of any trains at all!  There was a major problem with signals near Didcot and nothing could get through!  By the time I gave up and came home, the 8.00 had been cancelled and there was still no sign of the 7.30 – the platforms were packed solid with people! 

On Weds afternoon, working from home, getting frustrated with various technical issues, we had a massive power cut.  It affected a huge area, apparently, and meant I could not work at all.  I have opted not to go Knitting at the Library, as I had so much work to do, but I may as well have gone anyway! 

But now it is Saturday again, and I have 2 days of peace.  We have no plans for this weekend at all, except a bottle of wine and a take-away tonight and hopefully a long walk tomorrow.  🙂

Freaky Friday

January 21, 2011

Freaky because I’m off work on leave for the day.  Freaky because I’m writing this on Friday instead of Saturday.  Freaky because A is at a work training until this evening some time so I’m completely alone all day. 

Except that I may well be looking after Gethin for a couple of hours, so his Mum can do some housework…tomorrow is Gethin’s re-arranged christening, so Sam wants to make sure the house is tidy.  That’s also why I’m posting today instead of the usual Saturday post – although I’ll probably be around all morning tomorrow, I’ll be getting ready to go out for the rest of the day. 

Anyway, this week was dominated by work.  I made it to Bristol twice (first time since September!), staying until 4pm on Tuesday and 3pm on Thursday.  Not quite full working days, but getting there.  I’m finally starting to accept that it will take a while longer to over my op completely, as I’m exhausted after 4 days of working!  Still, I’m getting there.

I didn’t make it to knitting in the library again this week  as I had work stuff to get done and was tired out. 

I have been knitting though…of course!  My scruffy blanket is my current obsession.  I only started it as an easy, no-concentration-required alternative to the delicate shawl I’m also knitting, so when I’m tired and need a break from the fine stitches and complicated pattern I have something mindless to plod away at.  Instead it has turned into a monster, I don’t want to knit anything else.  This is what it now looks like:

I have started blankets before, but given up on them fairly quickly.  This one, however, has my attention and I’m still enjoying it many hours after I would expect my attention to drift.  It helps that every change of yarn reminds me of something I have knit, especially lots of pairs of socks I have loved.  The colour changes, the corners, the self-patterning/striping yarns, all of it helping to keep me interested. 

Sadly, my other projects have suffered a little.  I have made very little progress on the rosebud shawl, and my current socks have only appeared on train journeys.  Never mind, I can knit whatever takes my fancy, there’s no reason not to do what I feel like at the time 🙂

So…this week coming…Gethin’s christening on Saturday.  Work all week, including two Bristol trips.  And, ummm, not much else!

Back to the real world

January 8, 2011

Meaning back to work, I suppose.  Back to feeling exhausted by the weekend and not wanting to do much. 

Of course, this wasn’t a normal working week.  In fact, it was probably harder, physically!  I didn’t return to work from the xmas break until Thursday, when I plunged in with both feet, going in to the office in Bristol for a team meeting.  The day went fairly fast and wasn’t too bad.  I did start to slow down by about 4pm, when I struggled to get my brain running properly, but that’s not bad on my first full Bristol day since early October! 

Anyway, aside from the work stuff at the end of the week, we were busy throughout the early part of the week too.  On Monday we went for a lovely long walk, then Tuesday spent the day at Slimbridge.  I realised later that Slimbridge is the furthest I have driven since my op. 

On Wednesday I looked after Gethin for the afternoon, even dragged him over to Knitting at the Library with me.  I didn’t get much knitting done, but it was good to get out and catch up.  G fell asleep in the car on the way home, so I clipped the carseat into the pushchair wheels and left him snoozing in the dining room while I made jam tarts for the team meeting at work on Thursday.  The jam tarts went down well, all 24 disappearing rapidly. 

So what with all the walking, driving, baby-carrying, commuting and working this week, I’m exhausted now.  It’s a 3-6 month recovery from a hysterectomy, not just the 6-8 week return-to-work time, and I keep forgetting I’m not at full strength.  Last night I felt really unwell, like I did a few days after surgery when I tried to lift something too heavy or walked too far.  Today I’m a little better, but it will still be a quiet, lazy weekend if I get my way. 

So, in spite of all the activity, there has been knitting.  In fact, I have a little of my knitting mojo back, as I bought a lace knitting book with some of my xmas money.  It’s called ‘Wrapped in Lace’ by Margaret Stove, and has some lovely patterns in it, as well as lots of guidance for designing your own patterns.  I have lots of lace yarn, can’t seem to help buying it, so I could get on with something lovely fairly quickly. 

Not before I’ve finished this little guy though:

That’s one side of the elephant I’m making for Theresa’s baby.  I have already done both sides and started on the smaller sections, so it should be done soon. 

Also this week, I finished my turquoise alpaca socks:

…and I started a new pair.  Now I’m commuting 2 days per week again, the socks should make good progress. 

As well as a knitting book (and some other books, a CD and a selection of e-books for my kindle), I bought myself a set of digital scales with my xmas money, for weighing yarn.  Obviously!  Generally I guess whether I have enough yarn for whatever I want to knit, so it will be useful to be able to actually weigh it.  By using my xmas money, rather than just our usual money, I can keep them exclusively for yarn and we won’t be tempted to use them (ie get them dirty) in the kitchen. 

The other purchases I made were these pretties:

 ‘Emile’ from the Laughing Yaffle

 ‘Zippy’, a sushi sock roll from EasyKnits

The sushi sock roll is pre-knitted, then dyed, and you knit socks (or whatever) directly from the roll, unravelling the fabric as you go.  It’ll be interesting to see how well it works.  I just couldn’t resist the bright colours and frequent changes. 

So, this week coming…just work I’m afraid.  I’ll get over to the library again, work allowing, but other than that it’ll hopefully be peaceful 🙂