Thursday, 31 August 2006

Mum's back from Inverness ... and 2.5 days work to go...

My mum enjoyed Inverness – and has been phoning in every night (I really don’t want to see her mobile phone invoice, but we kept the calls short). She even phoned tonight to confirm that her bus is a bit delayed and that we shouldn’t worry. Have I been a little harsh last week?? LOL.

Glad she enjoyed it though – and it seems the weather was nice up north as well, even though fairly windy. She’s been to Culloden again but hasn’t been searching for Nessie this time.

The last 2 days for me was mostly working (my boss was off, but my plans were just crammed in with stuff!!), coming home, cooking dinner, eating and then kinda falling into bed after checking my e-mails. I am not sleeping well lately, sleep like a log but feel totally tired/exhausted when I wake up. Might be the stress about the decision to quit.

If that doesn’t change soon I may think about going to a sleep clinic. My dad has sleep apnia and while I don’t think that’s something that is inheritable I would like to find out WHY I am so knackered after enough hours of sleep….

Oh … my mum arrives safely at home!! *grin*

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

3.5

That's the days I have still left to work ... and somehow my boss seems to try to cram everything she can think of into these short 3.5 days.

Have spoken to two colleagues about the real reason why I am leaving (boss didn't want to shed a bad light on the company I believe so she didn't mention that I offered to work 2 days until February when we announced my leaving to the team) and they are totally shocked and don't understand the reasoning behind the management letting me go. They just see that one of them is actually having a bigger operation next year and is probably signed off for 2-3 months. Then we have one person working on a project until end of this year at least .... Again.... I don't understand why the company couldn't help me out here with 5 months of 2 days only, but there you go.

Currently browsing jobsites to find out if there's anything for 14 hours per week for me ... we'll see.

Mutsch phoned, she's doing fine, no problems, she's enjoying Inverness. Glad that there wasn't any trouble finding her B&B etc. She'll be back tomorrow evening, probably around 9:30pm.

Off to check more websites....

Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Counting down ... 4.5 days to go....

And somehow I seem to have to put off things every day at work ... my list for the daily plans is getting longer - have a meeting with my boss on Thursday about that (i.e. trying to figure out what we can leave out etc.).

So - I am off on Friday definitely ... that's my 0.7 days from my holidays .... how do they manage that, calculation-wise? I know it has something to do with the fact that I am only working 4 days a week, but still... during our calculation with holidays left etc. we had at some point 15.02 (how did that happen?????).

Friday off and Thursday seems to be a 1/2 day. And I already made a date with my friend Heather (and maybe Lisa, still to check for availability) for lunch at the other office building. Last supper ... LOL.

Enjoying the first of 3 days without my mum ... she's off to Inverness (and yes, she arrived ok - got a phone call from her... ;) ) on her own. Sounds really bad to have that feeling after 1 week and I tried to figure out what the problem is (apart from me living on my own or with boyfriend (ex and pre-hubby)/husband since I am 18!)... and I think it's the translation thing.

I am not getting a break - when I am in the room both DH, his family (if we are with them) and my mum take it for granted that I am on constant "translator duty" ... but if I am not there they manage fine. It's just so tiring at times, feels like working overtime all the time.

So ... sorry, DH and mum, but I just said it as it is. Phew....

Plans for this week - tomorrow DH and I are planning to go to the cinema (not sure which movie), Thursday is another day catching up with things and Friday is my last Friday at work, so I am going to the pub and see who's coming to join me for a couple of drinks (will only stay for 2 hours max because of my mum being back from Inverness).

Saturday we hope for good weather so we can finally go to St. Andrews and East Neuk ... my mum (and I for that matter) LOVES beaches. She's always going to Portobello or Musselburgh at least once each trip! :)

Sunday is football and Monday my mum will be flying back home in the evening. Depending on the weather we're probably trying to do the rest of the Water of Leith walk (Saughton Park up to Juniper Green - or as far as we get). We'll see...

Sunday, 27 August 2006

Gone to Deep Sea World

When you have family or friends staying with you it is usually not avoidable that you become a tourist yourself.

We had planned to go to St. Andrews and East Neuk today - provided the weather is nice of course. However...Scottish weather as it is it looked of course like it's going to rain. So we had the choice between Butterfly World and Deep Sea World.

As my Mutsch can go to Butterfly World by bus we went to Deep Sea World and had a fun day. The conveyor belt in the Tunnel didn't work but this made things even more exciting as we could just stand there and wait for the sharks to swim overhead... ;)




We saw Piranhas, rays (which from below look very scarily like "Cassandra" from Doctor Who. *lol*

And also some "native Scuba Divers" ... :) quite funny, they were swimming about with small nets - we were wondering whether they were picking up roe??

They also had lots of creepy crawlies, but I loved the small frogs in different colours, ranging from yellow over acid green and electric blue to red.

And of course the seal sanctuary, where they had two seals in - very good in swimming on the back under water.

After the visit to Deep Sea World we drove to Dunfermline for a quick visit of St. Margaret's Cave and the old town where we bought some goodies for tea and coffee and then went back home in time to watch the Edinburgh Tattoo 2006 on TV.

Friday, 25 August 2006

LOST... A grown adult, 61 years, female ...

non-native English speaker ....

Geeessshhh... just had a hard attack averted ... now I know how parents feel!!!

I booked a megabus trip for my mum to Perth and told her that she'll have to take the bus from P&R to the city centre and the other way back.

My mum's English is fairly good, she's been on the MacBackpackers tours twice now for a weekend each, she's been to Las Vegas with 2 of her friends (whose English is about the same level as hers) earlier this year and she usually gets around.

Anyway, she was supposed to arrive at Edinburgh at 6:30pm today (which would have gotten her home by about 7 - 7:30pm). By 8pm my mum was still not here and I got fairly worried ... tried to phone megabus (and guess what - their line's not manned after a certain time I think!!) and DH in the end phoned Perth Police at 8:05pm - just to check if anyone collapsed or had an accident. Well... they confirmed that no person was taken to the hospital ... but ... there's a traffic jam on the road to Edinburgh and that could have held up the bus.

When my mum returned at 8:20pm I had a funny feeling in my tummy and I am sure I gained a couple more grey hairs!!!! It's just the foreign language and being at a new place (and that stupid P&R system with megabus in Perth!!!!!) that got me worried ... probably should have known she wouldn't have any trouble and would have phoned us if she needed help ...of course our Onetel box played up again today - which meant nobody could have left a message on our answer machine and my mum left her new mobile here - and I phoned her old number and always got the mailbox. These 3 factors just added to my worries!!!

Anyway... she's back, all happy and sore feed from walking around Perth etc... and in bed now.

And I think I'll be going to bed now as well, have to get my (still increased) heart rate down!

Thursday, 24 August 2006

A bit of a walk

Today we had gorgeous weather - so my mum and I went to take on about 1/2 of the Water of Leith Walk.

We started at Balgreen Library and walked all the way to Ocean Terminal. I've never done the Walk before (although I had the map for about 4 years now). It's absolutely gorgeous!!!!

Mostly along the Water of Leith the path goes through Dean Village and past the Botanical Garden. And the most amazing part is - you feel like in a green oasis and I couldn't imagine we're actually in the heart of Edinburgh and close to traffic ... you couldn't hear a thing apart from the ducks!! Lots of old railway bridges went above us - I have taken a couple of pictures and will post some of them once my battery is charged again.

We had a cuppa at the Terrace Cafe at the Botanics with a bit of cake as well for lunch break and then went on to Victoria Docks. Shame people have to throw their rubbish in the water/along the path. This increased coming into Leith.

I think we walked 5 miles in total and now our feet/legs hurt. We took the 22 bus back into town, I showed my mum the Bus Station for tomorrow (she's going to take the Megabus to Perth for the day) and we quickly went into the Tourist Information to see what they have on Inverness (where my mum is going for 3 days next week).

Once we got home we couldn't move for about 1 hour ... our feet were just burning! But they are better now.. :)

Plan for Saturday is going to St. Andrews (neither my mum nor I have been there) for the day ... provided the weather is nice!!!

Sunday, 20 August 2006

Arrrghh!!! Sinusitis!!

Hah! Not the best time to get that, eh? My mum is coming on Wednesday - so tomorrow will be a lot of steaming and then probably going for a swim instead of the gym.

Hurts nastily, and I look like a chipmunk and my cheeks are red (inflammation). Didn't go to training today because of that and feel bad about it.

Have been doing some steam ironing today (apparently helps ... or so DH says... GRIN) and will have another ibuprofen after dinner. Hopefully it's going to be a short term one only - I should get used to sinusitis - have them at least once a year!!!

Tomorrow I am housebound from 9 - 6pm anyway because I have to wait for our microwave to be exchanged ... will do some housework and then do some crafting (think I am allowed that, mmmh? ).

Saturday, 19 August 2006

Crop, meeting a friend, a Chinese Buffet and a Fringe Event (again) ...

Busy Saturday!!!

First I went to the monthly Edinburgh Crop and had lots of fun (and even got some pages for FIL's album done!!! ). Did abstain the lures of shopping at Stampers Grove - didn't even buy ribbon!! :)

Sharon arrived at the crop - she came up from London to empty her flat and we agreed to meet up and go for dinner. As I thought she may like Rob Deb's fringe event I told her about it and I think she was very keen to go and see him.

We had a good natter at her flat before her BF and his pal turned up with the van - and not only natter but also a good bitch about life etc. Just normal girl talk then? ;)

After a couple of phone calls we arranged with DH and Nick to meet up at Jimmy Chungs for dinner and take it from there - and then I played "General Kat" ... being bossy and typical German (???) and forced the 3 to start packing some boxes before we went out for dinner ... that's efficiency, and I think DH's behaviour is catching... OOOPS!

Lots of fun at dinner and lots of food ... realised that Sharon, her BF and his pal still had a lot to pack and all 3 looked fairly tired, so we decided to let them go back to the flat and we would go to see Rob again.

Hugging Sharon goodbye was hard and I nearly started the waterworks on the way to The Jekyll & Hyde ... weird situation!!! I mean, I only know her for 1.5 years but she is even dearer to me than my other friends here ... Probably because we're very alike in person (although she prefers skirts and I am a trouser person... lol).

I am going to plan my trip to London soon - I am going to visit Sharon end of September so we can go to Ally Pally together... :) Very much looking forward to that!!!

Rob's show was funny again and had a couple new lines in it (so he's flexible!!). He had a fairly tough crowd though, poor guy. I am sure DH and I will go and see him again with a couple of DH's work mates and some Wolves players who are comic fans.

If you want to go and see Rob you'd better hurry... His show is finishing soon!

Friday, 18 August 2006

First week of notice already over...

... now that's a scary thought!!! I wonder how I am supposed to get everything done, I am only working 2 days next week (2 days off because my mum is here), 4 days the following week and then 1.5 days or so the last week. Think I have to do a learning aid and am not 100% sure what else my boss wants me to do.

Feels GREAT to have 1 week done already though!! :)

DH and Nick went to see "Snakes on Planes" but I am having a little headache and still have to get ready for the crop tomorrow ... so I stayed in.

My first Fringe Event!!

... And Yes, I have been living in Edinburgh for 7 years now .... ;) Usually DH and I avoid the city centre during festival time like the plague - far too many people and lots of bustling about - it's more like a wrestling match to get through the streets!!

We had booked tickets for Michael Moore a couple of years back but he had to cancel his show because his mother died.

ANYWAY ... we did go straight from work to meet with Nick at The Jekyll & Hyde which is on the best way to becoming my favourite pub in Edinburgh!!! We nipped across the street to Garibaldi's for food (mexican - very nice) and to talk to one of our players who works there.

Food was very good (thanks, Seb!) and afterwards we went back to The Jekyll & Hyde to have a few drinks and then attend our first fringe event (free as well!!). I had 2 of the Seven Sins cocktails - yummie!!!

But food and drink aside (lol) ... we saw "Rob Deb - From Krypton to Clapham" (and yes, as the title already suggests there are some comic book references - ergo perfect for DH!!! And for me ;) ).

I have to say Rob is VERY good!! And anyone who is just a little bit interested in comic books should really go and see his show!!
I think it was hillarious (and found out that I am a "fanboy/geek in disguise"!) and think we will go and see it again.

With the free fringe events the entertainer asks for donations at the end of his gig - today Rob has given all the money he made to Nick for his walk (they're friends). So that was very nice of him!

Well.. off to bed now ... was a long day today!

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Houseguest arrives

With 2 spare bedrooms fitted for sleeping we have had our fair share of houseguests so far - usually Wolves players staying over for away trips etc (and my family & Markus from Germany plus DH's friend Alan who always have a free space - but not all at once!! :) ).

So - I received a phone call from DH while at work asking if I'd be ok with his old friend Nick, who is currently doing the "BIG WALK - John O'Groats to Lands End" , could stay over - he didn't find any accommodation in Falkirk.

I admire people who do big walks like Nick and also doing the West Highland Way or the Appalachian Trail in North America. And DH already said that Nick would be staying over for one night anyway, so I agreed - no problem with that. And I am off on Monday anyway so I can get the spare bedroom ready for my mum.

Nick is a funny guy and I am really impressed with his determination to do that walk ... I'd fancy the West Highland Way myself but am not sure if I'd actually be able to DO it... :) He is doing this walk to raise money for the Brain Research Trust and in memory of his brother who died last year of a brain tumor.

I am sure I will visit Nick's travel-blog during his walk to keep up with him.

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN.... !!!

Now... I've done it. One letter to HR and one to my boss. That's now 15 days at work to go (minus holidays/plantime days) ... due to my working pattern of 4 days a week. 4 weeks.

Kinda looking forward to it. Nobody in my team apart from Fran knows about it ... not sure how boss will handle it.

Monday, 14 August 2006

Tomorrow is the big day Part 1

Well... one of the big days I hope to have this year at least.

My resignation is re-typed (had to change a few things from the first one I did but didn't hand in on Tuesday last week) and ready to be handed in tomorrow.

It's 16 working days at that place (working only 4 days a week) minus holidays/plan time days ... wonder if/how many holidays I have left to take but suspect I don't have any more left before I leave ... but I have about 2 plantime days to take, so that's ok.

Calculated for the last day at work to be the 8th September ... that's one day after our wedding anniversary .. now ... that's a coincidence, eh? Needs to be confirmed by HR of course...

Well... am tired ... heading to bed and see what's going to happen tomorrow. Think boss hopes for me to change my mind ... Nae chance!!!!

Friday, 11 August 2006

THEIR BLINKING LOSS!!!!!

ARRRGHHH!!!! After all that delay with the form etc (yes... because team leader's boss wasn't in yesterday!) all I get in the end is a "No, we cannot accomodate your reduced hours because of 'detrimental impact on customer satisfaction' (or something along those lines .... would have to check the form to get it right!). How CRAP is that???

I have been with this company for 6.5 years, have been holding of handing in my notice for the last 4 but that's not the point just now. All I have asked for was to have 5 MONTHS of 2 days a week work!! Would have gone back to 4 days a week once I had my diploma.... WTF!!!!

Once I got the news from my boss I contacted my union rep and spoke to them and HR for about 45 mins. But they couldn't suggest anything else. It's a NO and because I cannot go up to 3 days or even 2.5 days (that would be stupid as my travel time to and from work is 1 hour each way - during Festival, i.e. now, up to 1.5 hours!!!) there's no chance for me. The only thing is to hand in my notice. I said to my boss that I may be back in February applying for my job but ... why should I??? With me handing in my notice I am giving up my Final Salary Pension Scheme. I would be a new start and as such would do the Purchase Pension Scheme.

They don't really do much to keep employees happy ... with a career break I would have to resign first as well, so I would give up on the Final Salary Pension as well.

Apparently my free shares and sharesave need to get cashed in now as well when I hand in my notice (haven't checked on the Life Cover Insurance yet)... my boss asked me if I am going to change my mind now with that information. ... ERRRR..... ***NO*** Why should I? The diploma course is paid for. If I don't do it now I may have to wait 5 years to do it again (next IVF starts in December, if that's positive I'd have to wait until kiddies are 3 or 4 before I could study again properly!!!).... NOT AN OPTION!!!!

Gosh, I am so mad at them!!! And I still don't see the logic. They are losing one of the 4 most versatile people in the team. Plus a specialist in monthly/yearly jobs (monthly/yearly tax, family income benefit inserts/monthly runs) and the champ for compliance, Potential Loss, stationery ....

The union reps said that they cannot understand their decision either, specially as it would take probably 3 months to get a replacement for me - a total rookie who needs to be trained again (and we have already 3 people on the team who only do amendments and easy correspondence!!! They are with the team between 1.5 years and 5 months). Why the crap couldn't they give me the 5 months? That's all I wanted??? Everyone is talking about "loyalty to your employer" .. well... it doesn't really work the other way, does it?

The only reason why they let me go down to 4 days and no phones was because of THEIR agenda ... they couldn't afford to lose me as a "working horse" ... but now I went a step too far for their liking? Didn't they like the fact that I have to go through IVF, need time off for that and then may be pregnant in 6 months time? (Maybe I have been listening to DH's conspiracy theories a little too often????!!!! :o But what else should I think, mmmmhhhh????)

Okay... and why do I bother? I wanted to leave the company 4 years ago, why do I care??? It's what I wanted in the first place and what was the plan in the first place ....

Mmmh... I think it's the German brain kicking in... you just don't hand in your notice

- without a new job
- when losing your Final Salary Pension
- when losing free shares

Can someone please give me a good kick and tell me that it is the right time and right thing to do????

I'm going to hand in my notice on Tuesday, no matter what ... I know it's the only time I can do it (with IVF and studying and diploma) but it's still worrying ... and I think part of me is just totally gobsmacked that they cannot accomodate 5 measly months of 14 hrs per week after I have been working for them for 6.5 years!!!!!!

Change in Comments settings ...

Sorry about the inconvenience of those letter verification thingies ... My blog has been spammed by someone "anonymous" with links to game websites etc (looked like one of those robots to me). As I am not really in the mood of deleting all those comments I am now letting Blogger "moderate" a bit (against spam only).

Another Cyber Crop at UKS

Ah well... didn't clean up much ... maybe will have some more time in September for that... :o

Had signed up for the UKS Summer Scrappin'Holiday - a more relaxed cyber crop with only 1 class, 1 challenge and 1 project each day stretched over 5 days instead of the usual frantic lots of classes/challenges in 3 days ... ;)

And what did I do? Not much ... I did my first ATCs (see entry 27 July) and then also an altered Chipboard Letter.... Wanted to start my A-Z "Book of Me" but didn't even get there.... :O

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

It's a no - or maybe not???

Ok ... my boss told me this morning that the decision is "No". They would have to employ a new person and train him/her from scratch. Not feasible. Doesn't work with the headcount or budget.

Ah... mmmmh... where's the logic there? If I am going (and both my boss and her boss are aware of the options for me!!!) they'd have to do that anyway? And I am sure they can get a temp for 5 months? Even me saying that I'd be happy to be back to 4 days a week once I have my diploma doesn't change anything.

And then she told me I have to fill in a "Work options form" ... so a form to apply for what I have applied verbally for. And I (!!!) have to provide information how my boss can manage my reduced hours? Gosh, I knew my company is getting weird! First normal employees are doing some controls the boss is supposed to do and now that!!! What are the team leaders doing? Why are they higher graded than us if we have to do this????

Well.. that form goes to senior management and then HR ... or so I think... doubt they will change their minds but you never now ....

Can't believe I have been crying after the talk with my boss.... for goodness sake, I wanted to leave the company for a good few years now and hate my job, so why crying? I should be happy and laughing and all that ....

Assume it's just because it'd be a change in my life .... humans being creatures of habits and all that ....

DH suggested that I should paint my face blue on Friday if I get a "NO" from them and shout "FREEDOM" .... mmmh... no!

Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Little Gadget for Blogs ....

Hah! I have put some blogs and the Ebay announcements into my GOOGLE READER which means that I get a feed when someone has updated their blog... quite handy! :) Love it! :)

Little hope?

Spoken with my boss today - went better than I thought, no hostility or anything... she understands that I have to put my life first and it's my decision after all. She's going to check the figures/plans and will speak to her manager tomorrow and get back to me.

She knows that the options for her are either having me at 2 days for 5 months or me leaving ... so maybe that's doing something??!

Craft Shopping..

I went shopping to Perth!!

Took the Megabus (£5.50 return - cannot complain ... it's cheaper than a cheap day return to Linlithgow by train!!!) to have my first trip to "Scrapbox Studio" and "Stampaholics".

The ride up to Perth was nice - fairly short (A little less than 1.5 hrs?) and we had gorgeous weather, so I had a stroll around Perth City Centre and along the River Tay.

Then had lunch and went to do some serious damage to my credit card (well... or so I expected). Everyone was talking about the gorgeous papers etc at the Scrapbox ... but somehow I only spent around £45 there ... and most of that was for my FIL's album anyway. Think I am just not fitting in the current patterned paper trend (retro style or pink!!!).

Then went to Stampaholics and got the HOTP 8x8 Wedding Paper, Heritage Cardstock and Heritage Paper packs...they didn't have a Skeleton key stamp. :(

All in all I wasn't too impressed with the Scrapbox shop ... expected more. So... Theresa can be rest assured that she will still get my custom ... specially with Memory Avenue having moved back to Linlithgow now ... ;)

Monday, 7 August 2006

Shattered confidence ...

Ah well... that's life then. WHY? Somehow I am getting blocked everywhere from getting my Sports Therapy diploma!!! I still didn't get my First Aid Certificate yet - and I need it probably for Module 12 in December or at least for the Exam in January ....

And today I got a phone call from Gavin, the owner of ActiveX (the osteopath where I was observing) telling me that due to a previous observer he had a couple of his patients raising concerns about a 3rd person being in the room (although they have agreed to it in the first place - probably felt they cannot object?!). So ... because of that they have changed the company policy and I cannot do anymore observing.

GREAT!!! How am I supposed to get my 100 patient contact hours done? It's impossible, that's how! I am able to do some bits and bobs with the Wolves (have enough injured players) and there are no problems getting my massage practice done (heck, we have enough players with hamstring problems!!!) but I won't have anyone to supervise me ... and that scares me. And of course I won't get 100 hours. But ... suppose the Sports Rehab people will just have to accept it. I'll contact the Rugby clubs and maybe soccer or the Edinburgh Rocks or maybe some other sports clubs - which means it may take me away from the Wolves ... not sure if I can do that. Or maybe I can contact the NHS Hospitals??

Have had a fight with DH about it (misunderstanding) because I expected sympathy and hugs and all that and, DH being as he is, he was emotionally cool and provided good advice ... geesh, could have killed him at that point!!! But we spoke about things ... different personalities ... and I probably sounded too "tough" on the phone when I told him about it, so he thought I don't need a hug anymore... (MEN!!!!)

Decision is to speak to my boss tomorrow and see if I can get my hours reduced to 2 days from September to January, just to get my studies and diploma done. It would be the best solution as I won't lose out on my pension payments and regular income - which I would if I am handing in my notice (which was the plan anyway).

I just feel like a failure - first the need for IVF, then the removed tubes, then the BFN result in IVF and now that.... LIFE is just unfair ...

Feel stupid to say all that, specially with all that war going about the world .. but it's my life - and it affects me more (obviously) so I am a little selfish ... :(

Thursday, 3 August 2006

Observing...

Well.. had my 2nd observation day today ... first one was on Monday - where I turned up at 10:30am just to be told that the appt was cancelled and if I could come back at 2pm. DH and I used the time in between to see "CARS" (very good movie, very funny!!! Can only recommend it!!).

Had 1.5 hours on Monday (i.e. 3 appts) and 2 hours today (2 appts with 1 hour break in between). It was very interesting how Caroline and Jenefer handled the patients. Osteopathy is not really Sports Therapy but the whole interaction was helping as I am getting some experience with the Wolves Players anyway and they know me already for a while so are not really "strangers" for me to deal with.

Have a break next week and then will be back with Caroline on 7th August for a bit again. Time to hit the books ... Jenefer put me on the spot with a question regarding a nerve (location etc.) and I totally blocked ... well.. haven't touched my books since January and lots of other thing on my mind .... I really need September to January off work... or just with 2 days working per week.