Monday, January 29, 2007

Thirty it is, then...

Does that mean I'm a grown-up now?

Came in to work this morning to discover a Happy Birthday banner plastered across the door to the department. Then another one on the door to the office. Then jumped slightly when I focussed on another one pinned above my desk. It's rather like they're circling me...

Although I have to say, it is very nice to come in and find pink champagne, organic chocolate truffles and a book token on your desk. Brightens up a Monday no end!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cue Countdown Music

Well. This is it. The last day of my twenties. Eep!

Family fish 'n chips, stewed rhubarb (no, this is a good thing, really) and later, the return of Top Gear. Yes, I'm obviously old now, as this is what's making me happy...

Although of course not one but TWO fabulous meals out yesterday (and not inconsiderable amounts of wine) kicked off the birthday weekend in style. AND, no hangover. Bonus.

And tomorrow, work are taking me out to get shitfaced for a meal. I may well reach 31 before I regain consciousness...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Things that bug me: an occasional series...

Sign on door: "Due to circumstances, this office will be permanently closed until further notice."

Surely, if there is to be a future re-opening, then it's not permanent? And if it is permanent, the sign could have stopped there, yes?

(And what were the mysterious circumstances? An unexpected assassination, perhaps?)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh what a beautiful mooooor-ning...

Today is one of those days where you really wish you worked outside. It's freezing cold, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining and it's all just utterly beautiful.

As an added bonus, this morning m'colleague said "D' you want anything from the canteen?" (meaning in the muffin line) and jokingly I said "ooh, full English?" We laughed. And 15 minutes later she was back and had bought me a full English in a takeaway box. How feckin' marvellous is that?

AND, I've got the afternoon off beacuse I did overtime.

Alright, I'll stop gloating now.

*gloats sneakily*

Friday, January 19, 2007

Technology. Here to help.

And this week's edition of WTF? is brought to you courtesy of WH Smith. Clutching £30-worth of book tokens, I presented at the till the three new Torchwood books (buy one get one half price, which is somehow really annoying when there's three) and a Garth Nix book, marked half price.

Firstly it was apparently necessary for me to explain that yes, I did realise that it was two separate offers and I didn't think I was getting two lots of buy-one-get-one-half-price. Then there was trouble in trying to get the till to recognise that there was an offer involved at all. Then the Nix book scanned in at full price, necessitating much cross stabbing of the touch-screen to reduce it to the sticker price. Then all hell broke loose when I handed over my tokens. Yes, yes, I realise I will have to have my change in tokens, yes I am quite happy with this.

But oh no, foolish mortal, this will not be so easy! For reasons I am still not entirely sure of, it is apparently impossible for their till to simultaneously recognise the offers, the tokens, and the fact that it needs to provide tokens as change.

So she cancelled the whole transaction and started again. (All this time, I am getting filthy looks from the queue forming behind me). Eventually, I was asked if I could pay £3.96 and take one of my tokens back to use later instead. Not exactly ideal, when you consider the point of a book token gift is that you don't have to use your own money.

And, AND, what I've only just noticed looking at the receipt - because she cancelled and re-did the transaction, she didn't re-swipe my reward card, thus doing me out of £23.96-worth of points! Gah.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Charity begins in Devon

Received a letter in the morning post from the National Trust. As a "valued local member", they are after a donation for their latest project.

Now this is the restoration and opening to the public of Greenway, Agatha Christie's house in Devon, and I thought at first, ooh, that would be great, I might even give them a fiver. And then I read down to the bit that says "With your gift of £25 or more today..."

Now my question is, would they not be better off leaving it up to the recipient to decide how much they want to give? Because I know I could still send off £5, and that that would be better than nothing - they could gas the woodworm in one windowsill or something. But I can't afford £25, so now I'm not inclined to send anything, and they've lost out completely.

£25, you start thinking, would be better off spent on digging wells in Africa or somesuch. It won't get there, of course. I'll end up spending it on chips. And maybe a second-hand Agatha Christie.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Your piggy did a wee"

Finally got to see The Hogfather last night, and thought it was absolutely amazing. Almost exactly like I imagined it, which is pretty impressive.

Ian Richardson makes a brilliant Death. (In the book, does Death actually say "you might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment?" Or was it purely an in joke? And if it is in the book, did Terry nick it from House of Cards in the first place? Ooh, my head hurts.)

Nobby wasn't quite as peculiar looking as I felt he should have been, but that's a fairly small niggle. Also Marc Warren was obviously trying to do Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka (if you'll pardon the expression), and coming out more like Sandra Dickinson's Trillian, but he certainly looked right.

Loved the little touches, like the fairy lights hanging on the University Tower as you zoomed in, and the way the Hogfather's pigs trotted across the sky. And the Born to Rune wizard's jacket. And the 'Anthill Inside' sticker on Hex.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Very *Local* Shop

Once again, my suspicions have been confirmed that the staff in our local shop only have one brain cell between them. I just bought a paper and a card, which came to a total of £2.39. Now, I'd already thrown the cashier by having my own bag, but placing £2.40 in her hand was obviously a complication too far. She stood and looked at it for a while, then hesitantly held it out to me again. I looked back at her, in a "yes, and?" sort of way. She looked at the coins again. You could almost see the lips moving as she counted it up. "Oh. Sorry, I thought for a minute you'd given me too much." WTF? Yes, technically, I have given you too much, a problem you can rectify by giving one of your new shiny pence in return. Gah.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just another five minutes...

Fell asleep again after the alarm went off this morning, leading to the mad scramble that is a ten minute window to get up, get dressed, get train and get conscious (in that order). This has obviously screwed any chance I had of functioning on any meaningful kind of level today.

I've just spooned filter coffee into my mug rather than the cafetiere. I stood there looking at it, vaguely wondering what was wrong with this picture, then let go the bag to pick up the mug, and spilled coffee (I can't even think of the right word for it - is it grounds? or is that after you've used it?) all over the work surface.

Can I go back to bed now please?

[EDIT:] This morning also saw me standing in the office rubbing myself with sellotape... No, too tired for kinkiness, had grabbed a (black) velvet top from the clean laundry pile on the grounds it didn't need ironing - once a/ properly awake and b/ in daylight, I realised it was covered in bits of white fluff. I look like I've been mauled by lambs.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's In A Name?

Y' know how you can be idly staring at something, when you suddenly twig the funny?

I present a house-name that I saw last night - "Helland Bach". Yes, ha ha.

Almost on a par with the (sadly fictional) firm "Norfolk and Goode"...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Twelfth Night

So, I appear to have gone a week into the New Year without posting. Oops.

Took the tree down the evening, which is always sad. Am I *really* anally retentive, to insist that all the ornaments go back into the same boxes they came out of, the same boxes, indeed, that they were purchased in?

So, New Year's Resolutions then:
> Clean out the microwave (seriously. it's minging.)
> Complete the things on my to-do list. Some things have been on there for three years (renew passport, for example). And then there's 'get wedding pictures printed'. Hey, it was only last May...
> Be more adventurous in cooking. Got a 3-tier steamer for Christmas, and have just done boiled potatoes, fillets of salmon studded with fresh ginger and steamed leeks. On one ring. Go me!