Friday, March 30, 2007

When a fast journey home isn't always a good thing

To eat more healthily and save myself money in the long run I now find that enjoy making my own sandwiches at home and taking them into work as a packed lunch.

To save myself time I like to do this in the evening ready for the next day.

Yesterday night, I found that I had run out of bread. I'd forgotten to buy any on the way home.

This was because the journey home had been so smooth and quick that I hadn't had any of that "thinking time" when I stand there for ages waiting for a bus or train to give me the chance to remember that I had to buy bread.

As a result, my morning routine was also disrupted.

Usually, I grab the sandwiches that I'd made the day before out of the fridge and stick them in my rucksack along with some fruit to nibble on through the day this also nudges me to routinely pick out a work shirt for the day. (I travel in dressed casually and get changed when I make it in.)

But guess what?!

Because I didn't have any sandwiches to pack away, I didn't pack a work shirt. *sigh*
Bizarrely I did pack some apples though. Who knows what my brain on automatic was thinking this morning?!

So here I am sat, wearing my work shoes and trousers (which I leave in the office) but with a t-shirt and sweatshirt on. *sigh*

And all because my journey home only took a smooth 30 minutes last night...*bugger!*

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Coffee Pots and Bus Bullies

Things have been ticking along nicely of late. I continue to settle into my new office. My desk is nice if a little(!) hot when the sun goes by and super heats the windows by my side. And by windows I mean walls as the walls are glass. It's a lovely toasty 27 degrees and we're not even in Summer yet.

The powers that be have even put a spanking new coffee machine in the break out area near where I sit. It's less of a fire hazard than the last one from which the smell of burning coffee would waft when someone left the pot on with nothing in it. I'm not sure where the nearest fire extinguisher is at the moment, so secretly breathed a sigh of relief when they replaced old sparky.

Unfortunately the new machine's plumbing has a bit more to be desired as it's not connected up to the main water supply and relies on a bucket of water placed underneath the work surface to operate. And I have seen what that bucket looks like at the end of a day and its not pleasant!

Also, when the milk runs low in the machine it heats up to around about fourteen degrees, so probably goes off quite quickly!

The good thing about all this is....I don't drink coffee. *phew*

Lately it's all lemon and ginger tea in the morning and peppermint tea during the day for me at the moment. I know it all sounds a bit poncey but avoiding tea and coffee's caffeine highs and inevitable lows makes me feel less tired through the day, though it could all just be psychological.

My journey in though isn't as quick as it has been over the past two weeks. The express bus that I used to take doesn't seem to turn up on time anymore and I have to rely on squeezing myself sardine-like into one of the slower buses that stop what feels like every few yards.

And today the bus had tickets inspectors on. A particularly large, Canadian sounding woman got on the bus and proceeded to fine an old Somalian woman for taking the bus 15 minutes before her pass was valid. So in front of everyone else, she got her name, address and then starting asking her for twenty pounds. The poor woman had to get someone else to translate too.

The ironic thing is that I get on that bus so many times and see people not paying only for there never to be inspectors. This time this old woman was the only person they found without a valid ticket. *sigh*

Oh well, I know that she was in the wrong and I guess she won't do it again but it definitely wasn't right to pick on her in the way that she did. I really wanted to say something but was squashed in place on the other end of the bus. Nobody else did a thing.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Changed by deed poll

Today, I decided to change the name of the blog.

As much as I live in and love London, my daydreams are no longer restricted to just it's sphere of influence; so time for a change...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Settled In

So I (and my colleagues) bid our final farewells to Baker Street, uprooted and have finally officially moved to our new office in Marble Arch.

After spending a few days there last week mainly shivering away as they left the air-con on full blast to "clear the system," it was an interesting contrast to be sat there today with my South facing window absolutely roasting away! It's dehydration city, baby!

Our blinds just don't do a good job of keeping the sun out and it's not even Summer yet! *sigh*
I may have to buy a desk fan...

Also, the powers that be have decided that in order to encourage recycling we'll have no personal bins in the new office. Just a few recycle and general refuse points dotted around the building. Which means that if I blow my nose and want to throw away the tissue, I can either leave in on my desk, the floor or get up and walk off to the local refuse point and throw it away there. Good for exercise, bad for work efficiency! As luck would have it I'm only a few metres from said refuse points but some people will have a much longer walk to throw their waste away.

Hmmm, I wonder how long that'll last?

Other than those minor niggles, I have settled in very nicely and even have a slither of a view of Hyde Park (as seen above) from where I sit, though the buildings blocking the view aren't actually works of art.

The main bonus point for me at the moment is the fact that my journey averages about 30 minutes coming in and about 35 mins going home, so not bad really!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Work In Progress

So, it was first day at the new office today and a new journey into work. Okay, well strictly, I can still take the old journey from Acton Town, get off earlier at Hyde Park Corner and walk across Hyde Park to the office.

I'd tried that yesterday on the way home to figure out how long it'd take to walk from the office to the station (15 mins) and to see what other options I'd have.

Today, I decided instead to take a bus to Shepherds Bush (approx 20 mins) and then catch the Central Line to Marble Arch (10 mins,) which would have been okay but for the fact that the main road was closed off by the police and my bus got diverted up to the A40 and then back down to Shepherds Bush the long way! *sigh*

So in fact it took me 40 minutes instead of 20 and I only just made it into work on time.

But the fun didn't stop there. Our office is still mainly a building site. We're only there in a "testing the IT systems" capacity and the rest of the staff move in next Monday. The bits where we're located have been cleaned up but the rest of it is still exposed wires hanging from the ceiling, covered walls and lifts (as in the picture) and various bits of debris.

Oh and the temperature in the office started off at 18 degrees and fell to 15 degrees by the time I had left after 5pm. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!

So there I was in my fleece, jacket and woolly hat for the whole day, trying to work.

I have no idea why but I seemed to be more affected by the cold than anyone else. In fact I was still shivering when I got home. Hopefully I won't come down with a cold over the next few days.

Strangely Mesmerising

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Good Friday

I took Friday off this week. That made it a good day, but things got better...

The sale of my late mum's house went through. It was a one bedroom ground floor flat in a retirement age-only building but it had been on the market for four years now (yes, four!) and I was starting to despair of the monthly, ever-increasing maintenance charge that I had to pay on an empty flat and had thought that nobody would EVER buy it.

But they did, so thanks to this, the second good thing of the day was that I walked into my local Halifax and wrote the largest cheque that I had ever written and paid off my mortgage. I tried my best not to shake as I wrote the cheque. This was a momentous occasion and here I was in front of the cashier trying to look composed as I wrote a large number and then tried to remember how to spell it!

I made it in the end and joyfully handed it over. The cheque, weirdly, had to be paid to me but then you realise that the account, whilst always negative, is still just like any other bank account, just with a lot more zeros and a nasty minus sign in front.

Well, that all done, I popped off to the local sorting office to pick up a new broadband modem that I had ordered from the newly re-branded Virgin-Media (but which they had failed thanks to their own bumbling and the rather bad Parcelforce to deliver to me at work a few days earlier.)

It turned out that they had upgraded my area (without telling anyone, go figure!) and I no longer needed to rely on my faultless though puny (by modern standards) wireless 512Mb connection. So, lo and behold I'm now on a 10Mb connection for the same price as my previous connection. Result!

I finished off the day with a nice meal with the other half to celebrate. It peed down with rain but we didn't care.

It was a good Friday...