Monday, 28 February 2005

social psychology and statistics

After I joined the Small World Project, I emailed a few people telling them about it ... I got this email back from a Social Scientist I foolishly included on the mailing list:

"couple of problems with this.... one the original research was Milgrams, two his findings where flawed. The assumption is all people are connected by only six others, an amusing game and commercially available as "The Six Degrees of Separation of Kevin Bacon."

Social Psychology isn't sociology, and neither should weigh themselves down with fruitless statistical studies... statistics is not sociology or psychology.

Plus I feel time would be better spent either mapping the social relations of individuals and overlaying these. Creating a much more dynamic view of the social construction of reality. Alternately, go watch John Gares play or watch Fred Schepisi film of the playwrights screenplay version. Both are more entertaining and certainly more thought provoking!"

beer and skittles

The free beer was not a lie.

It wasn't a great vintage - but after a nightmare rig that ran three hours late, we weren't complaining.

You know that your is colleague is drunk when he spills his whisky on your ankles and then insists on licking it off because it was the last of his drink.

You know that you are drunk yourself when you find yourself pogo-ing along till the end of 'Teenage Kicks', despite the fact that your feet are killing your and it feels as if you are going to have a heart-attack.

You know that your client is drunk when she starts relating indiscreet tales about her directors whilst ordering a sixth round of samubca on her company credit card and insinuating that her boss has a friend called Charlie.

It wasn't all that wild, and we didn't drink all that much - but I think we're out of practice.

However, we were all present and correct at breakfast at 8.30, even if R did sit for most of the meal groaning with his head in his hands, having flashbacks about going on clubbing after the event finished.

And then we de-rigged and drank three pints of water each.

And then I came home to send out call-sheets for the ENORMOUS job we have tomorrow and Wednesday/Thursday, while the lads gathered up their hangovers and went to prep cables for the client.

I think they may be late home.

Excuse me, I am going to lie down now.

Sunday, 27 February 2005

of ankles and hedgehogs

I have a problem.

Whenever I drink more than a thimble full of red wine, my ankles swell up so much that it looks like my feet are stuck on to the bottom of my legs at an inflexible ninety degree angle.

This seems to be a product of my maturing years, rather than, as I initially thought, a reaction to the ingredients in homebrew kits (which incidentally often seem to make me hallucinate hedgehogs, which is disturbing, although pleasantly rural).

I am sorry to report that I have fallen off the lenten waggon.

Yesterday's AV job went on until about 2am, which meant that we went to bed at 3.30am. We were woken up by the postman at 8.30 and 9.30, after which we gave sleep up as a bad job and got up.

The logical conclusion to a day spent bimbling around in a haze was to crack open the wine this evening, and now my ankles are the size of zeppelins and will probably be the same all day tomorrow.

Tomorrow night we are going to a belated christmas party/dinner thing hosted by Diana-The-Poacher's company for their waiting staff - we are doing the pin-spots for the tables as a freebie and have got invited along to the party afterwards as an alternative to paying us. We aren't that happy about it, but when the agreement was made Diana's full perfidy hadn't yet been revealed. And a couple of other people we know have been caught in the same honey-trap and should be good company. Also, allegedly, there is free beer.

Issues include:

  • the free beer might be a lie
  • I have put on so much weight that my posh dress won't actually do up at the back without making me look like I am a Diana Dors replicant that is carrying triplets
  • Diana-jobs are NEVER simple - there is always a 'could you please please please just ...' moment at about twenty minutes to show-time that requires the warping of space, time and the speed and properties of light
  • we only had two tickets and as B, R and I think there is safety in numbers, there will be three of us

Solutions include:

  • take ones own emergency alcohol supplies, concealed about one's person - having fallen off the waggon I might as well be dragged in the mud behind it
  • buy a new dress - aquired from the British Heart Foundation shop for £3.25 this afternoon, and, I have to say, looks pretty dashed smart
  • wear the most structured undergarments one possesses and make mental note to self not to wave arms in air too much on dance floor
  • aquire extra invitation - done by having a chat with Diana's oppo at the show yesterday. This solution requires R and another of our client's, Steve, sharing a room at the hotel after the gig - have mental image of them tucked up in bed together like Morcambe and Wise
  • also make mental note to self to bite tongue when Diana holding forth. I am busy sending her good vibes and have her permanently visualised in a nice, comfortable jam-jar so that her stress-vibes don't affect me

I am going to rip the hairs out of my legs with my painful wizzy thing now, in order to facilitate stalking in tomorrow afternoon in a kind of Cinderella transformation from dowdy technician to sophisticated, witty swan.

Thursday, 24 February 2005

here we stand

B marched out of the house this morning with a determined expression, only slightly hampered by the fact that he forgot his car keys and had to come back and do it all over again.

He was off to a production meeting for what is rapidly becoming the Worst Job Of The Year So Far.

It is in large exhibition venue in Manchester and has been on the books since before christmas. Last week all sorts of shennanigins about it were revealed. And this morning, pre- the production meeting, we found out that instead of starting the get-in at 10am on Tuesday, for a show on Wednesday night, they want us to start at 12-midnight on Tuesday and effectively work 36 hours straight. This was intially said to be 'for health and safety reasons', but when we pointed out that it was probably actually safer to allow the crew some time off to sleep, the venue sales guy came clean and said that it boiled down to cold hard cash, and the space hadn't been booked for the day before. Of course, no-one mentioned the European Working Time Directive. No-one ever does, or the entertainment industry would grind to a halt.

Anyway, hence B's set grimace as he set off this morning.

There were twenty four people at his meeting. Only four of them needed to be there to actually discuss getting the show up. Diana was obsessing about where the plants were going to go and sucking up to the end-client, to the extent of asking B if he could do something with the lighting to get boss-lady's little black dress to look lovely on the stage. No-one seemed concerned about the fact that we might not actually have time to get the show actually rigged.

I am now actually boring myself.

Anyway, apparently it is okay for us to get-in during the day if the venue book us. So we are billing the venue, who will be billing our client, who will be billing the end client. I could draw a diagram, but I don't have enough coloured pens.

Tomorrow we have a 6am start for a job for Diana. I am biting my tongue already with her, so more pranayama is needed I think.

Good, happy, cheerful things, as I appear to be moaning a lot recently:

  • I have learnt how to use my new phone and have got it to say "I would like to speak to the crew now" in Janeway-from-Voyager's voice when messages arrive.
  • I have sold lots of stuff on ebay, so I might be able to afford the Complete Babylon 5 Series if I make a lucky bid
  • The snowdrops and crocuses in the garden have come up and the mini-cylamen I planted in the autumn are still flowering.
  • B has just phoned me and said that he fancies pizza for tea. Yay!

Wednesday, 23 February 2005

very frustrating

I have a rant.

Please move on if you are a mortgage broker or an estate agent, or anyone with loved ones in either of those professions.

I have spent three weeks [voice goes all shrieky and shrill] THREE WEEKS discussing our mortgage requirements with someone at a well-known and apparently well-respected online specialist mortgage brokerage. During this period I have given her all the information she should require to tell me whether or not it is possible for her to arrange a mortgage for us.

For example:

  • the properties we are looking at are semi-commercial ones
  • we wish to buy in our own names, not the business
  • we will need to self-certify as we do not have a sufficent period of audited accounts
  • we have at most a 25% deposit

I have reiterated these things several times.

Today I was finally telephoned by the specialist-guy who deals with commercial mortgages, who was under the impression that he was simply taking a few details in order to finalise the application. However, he did not know any of the above things, and he also didn't know that we needed finance in place by Monday if we want to bid at the auction. When I went through all the details with him, he said it would be impossible to find a product to suit us, particularly given the short timescale.

Am I mad? Naive? Stupid?

These people have wasted three weeks of our time, made it impossible for us to go for a really good property that would be brilliant for us on Monday and have basically been stringing me along.

Also, the specialist-guy tried to bully me in to saying that we would be happy to take the mortgage out in the name of the company rather than personally.

I am not even going to start on the subject of the estate agent who said they'd get back to us about an offer we put in and haven't, despite three phone calls.

I am going to have a nice lie-down with some soothing wet newspaper over my face now and practice my alternate nostril breathing.

six degrees of separation

The six degrees of separation (or more accurately apparently, five to seven) is an interesting thing.

Chatting to a school-friend of mine from Somerset at the weekend, and looking at some of her photos, it turns out that her cousin Katie is the best friend from University of my WI-friend Dani.

Tuesday, 22 February 2005

fancy that

I am, temporarily, all alone. And it's fab.

B has gone to do a reccy in a tram-shed in Stuttgart, for a show that is happening there in July as part of an arts festival, that involves one grain of rice for each person in the world.

R has gone on a three day rigging course in Birmingham, which apparently involved four hours on the M6 due to an overturned lorry.

They left home this morning respectively at four-thirty and seven.

I rolled out of bed at half-past nine.

I bimbled round all day.

For tea, I ate a whole box of Mr Kipling's French Fancies (which have DEFINITELY got smaller since I used to have them on a Saturday afternoon at my Granny's) and six raisin and lemon mini-pancakes from the Co-Op.

And now, my incredibly high blood-sugar and I are going to bed early with a cup of chamomile tea.

Admittedly I have also started sorting out the finance for a flat/office combo we want to have a stab at buying on Monday ... which is a) not very far ahead and b) scary bananas, as I've never bid for a property before and I don't want to die in a car crash coming back from the auction like Helen Baxendale in Cold Feet.

I have arranged for B's dad, Vic to come with me and to hit me on the back of the head with half a brick in a sock when I get to our limit, as unfortunately B and R are otherwise engaged.

Thursday, 17 February 2005

parental inversion

We are off to my Ma and Pa's for a couple of days.

Apparently it is very windy, which makes the glass from the greenhouses fly about in an alarming manner.

Rather than this though, I am worrying about my Dad ... the angioplasty he had late last year hasn't worked properly and the ulceration on his leg is really painful. He went to see the specialist last week, who basically said that he can't do any more for him and that the next move is to amputate.

I know someone who has had precisely the same thing done and says that it is the best decision he ever made. Not an easy one however.

And however distressing it is for me to see my father cry with pain, which is part of his normal morning routine now, it is infinitely worse to be the one crying, particularly since is eighty-seven. For a man of that generation to cry in front of his daughter, the pain must be pretty bad, despite all the painkillers he is on.

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

machiavellian

B has invented a new word: "shitilating".

He and R have just arrived home from a very informative production meeting. During it's course, it became apparent that another, relatively new client of ours has been poaching end-clients from other production companies.

It is considered very bad form indeed in the industry to 'poach'.

So much so that most freelance technicians have a policy of not giving out their contact details to the end-client on jobs, even if asked. The accepted form if someone asks who you are or where you are from is to say "I'm working for [Blah Blah Blah] Production Company, my boss is over there ...". Giving out ones own card is definitely seen as crass and under many circumstances may prevent you being used again by [Blah Blah Blah].

This person, who I shall call Diana, has apparently been actively poaching, by approaching end-clients on jobs that she has been employed on to do 'fluff' - table decorations, napkins and balloons and the like - and telling the client that she can do the whole job better and for less money.

Both of which are pretty much fibs ... hence shitilating to describe her approach to event management.

She is also 'passing off' other people's work as her own, displaying photos of gigs that her company did the 'fluff' for and implying that they did the whole thing.

B, R and I (sorry Adrian!) are all very uncomfortable.

We don't want to work for someone who is

  1. a great big fat fibber
  2. likely to pass our work off as her own rather than a collaberative effort and
  3. possibly poach OUR clients.

However, the work is very handy, given our current office-buying situation.

Our decision?

  • To fulfil our current commerical committments to Diana.
  • Not to light her wedding in the autumn as a freebie, as tentatively arranged.
  • To accelerate our marketing plan so that we don't have to accept her work.
  • If anyone asks us our opinion about her and her company, to be rigorously honest, which includes not passing on gossip or speculation.

It's left a really nasty taste - partly because some of it we've worked out by putting two-and-two together. We may have made five ... but we genuinely don't think so.

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

small single room to rent, no heavy rock fans please

Our new bed has arrived.

Yay!

We now need a wardrobe of some description that will fit in the tiny space left in the room - and then we are all set to rent it out. I have filled in the form for the Theatre Digs List and posted it today and put our details on various websites advertising accommodation and house-sharing.

I feel slightly wierd about the whole thing ... I do like people, but I also like my own space. And in the past my flat-share experiences haven't been all that positive. I am sure that everyone has nightmare stories from when they were a student - mine involves a Metallica fan who used to put his steak (I went to York - large percentage of rich kids) on the top shelf of the fridge with no plate under it, so that it bled down on to everything. And he used to leave a scattering of odd black particles in the bath.

I don't know what they were, I was too scared to look; but I am affirming to myself that the first sign of any mysterious black bits anywhere in the house will result in all of the guilty party's belongings being placed in plastic bags on the doorstep, along with an eviction order.

trivia

As I've implied, much discussion at the wedding swirled around different flavours of religion and worship.

One person graced us with a story about his Christmas season, about a nativity performed in a church that had recently been converted from a chip shop and still smelt of fish-and-chips. The event also featured an unscripted fight between two women outside the ladies toilet.

The same person has recently started teaching in a girl's school on the Isle of Sheppy. A colleague apparently asked him whether or not he thought he'd have any 'romantic trouble' with his students. His reply:

"I shouldn't think so. So start with, I'm really ugly. And secondly, I'm not a blood relative".

I like him.

Monday, 14 February 2005

a touch more self-loathing please

As per Winnie's suggestion I spent my weekend having a Cultural Experience.

There was some culture. And then there was the experience.

I am pleased to say that throughout it all, our friend The Bride, really glowed; which I know is a cliche, but cliche is there for a reason and you could almost see the happiness she was radiating. So that was good.

I am also pleased to report that my concerns about the food and the beer failed to materialise.

However, there was some stuff that I found a bit odd, to say the least. The church was a 'Free Church' of an evangelical nature. There were two things about the service that actively freaked me out:

One was the part of the ceremony where the congregation were invited up to the front of the church to pray over the couple. There was much muttering-out-loud and waving of hands, which was distinctly un-nerving.

Secondly, the Bride said 'Obey' - and not in a way that was simply a part of a traditional service. The pastor took pains to explain to us that her husband had committed to her in the eyes of Jesus/God and was therefore prepared to cherish her and lay down his life for her. And therefore, it was okay for her to be expected to obey everything he asked of her, because he would never ask her for anything that wasn't okay with God.

That was pretty much as I understood it, and to be frank it made my elbows tingle.

The pastor was nice chap, who could have learnt his routine on the northern club circuit, or alternatively in a used-car dealership in South London. "Awight!".

There was one point in the service where he exclaimed "Jesus, he's lovin' it!" and the person standing next to me muttered "Yeah, he's lovin' it!" under his breath, which caused the chap on the other side to go dark pink and stare fixedly at his order of service so that he didn't catch anyone's eye.

The 'Worship Songs' were all projected on a screen over the band for us to sing and were not my cup of tea at all. They seemed almost empty of content and were mostly about how the congregation was 'saved'; which seemed a little self-congratulatory. I've never been to a church service where there have been electric guitars and a drummer before though, which was quite fun.

However, all in all I think I prefer my spirituality quieter and perhaps with a touch more guilt or self-loathing.

Despite that, a good time was had by all and as we discussed with some of our friends who were also guests, how you get married is all down to personal choice and as it was what the couple wanted, good for them.

We also had time to catch up with a couple of other friends - we solved our potential sleeping-in-the-car-because-of-not-really-being-able-to-afford-a-hotel issue by staying with a mate of mine in West London. And on the way home we popped in to see a college friend who has just given up a lucrative IT job, retrained as a solicitor and moved to a new town to do her articles.

We've got a handful of invitations to visit people later in the year and are planning a kind of Progress Of The South-East, a la Elizabeth I.

Friday, 11 February 2005

do you take this woman ...

We are going to a wedding in Surbiton this weekend.



The bride has just been born again and the entire event is being held on the premises of the evangelical church they are marrying in. Hence there is no bar at the reception, which is vegetarian.



I have no issues AT ALL with any of the above - apart from the lack of bar, see below - but I was slightly scared by the invitation, which stated that we should let them know if we had any special dietary requirements "except for the desire for meat". Even an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence would have taken the sting out of it.



I have arranged to borrow R's hip flask, which I was going to conceal stealthily about my person - however he has advised against this, as he says he thinks it won't hold enough for two people through one wedding reception. I am therefore going to purchase half a bottle of Jack Daniels and take a BIG handbag.



To add to the excitement, B's ex-girlfriend, Xena ("The Warrior Princess") may also be going. After Xena and B split, a lot of his clients started using him more, as they said they were so scared of her that they hadn't liked to phone up and book him in case she answered the phone.



In addition, everyone we came across seemed to have a "The Day I Saw My Arse With Xena" story, including an ex-employee who said that he had started looking for a new job the day they were working together in the office and she told a client to "fuck off" on the telephone.



I suppose a wedding isn't a good one unless there's some sort of punch-up, but traditionally it is between relatives of the bride and groom rather than friends.



If all else fails I plan to use the JD bottle as a weapon.



do you take this woman ...

We are going to a wedding in Surbiton this weekend.



The bride has just been born again and the entire event is being held on the premises of the evangelical church they are marrying in. Hence there is no bar at the reception, which is vegetarian.



I have no issues AT ALL with any of the above - apart from the lack of bar, see below - but I was slightly scared by the invitation, which stated that we should let them know if we had any special dietary requirements "except for the desire for meat". Even an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence would have taken the sting out of it.



I have arranged to borrow R's hip flask, which I was going to conceal stealthily about my person - however he has advised against this, as he says he thinks it won't hold enough for two people through one wedding reception. I am therefore going to purchase half a bottle of Jack Daniels and take a BIG handbag.



To add to the excitement, B's ex-girlfriend, Xena ("The Warrior Princess") may also be going. After Xena and B split, a lot of his clients started using him more, as they said they were so scared of her that they hadn't liked to phone up and book him in case she answered the phone.



In addition, everyone we came across seemed to have a "The Day I Saw My Arse With Xena" story, including an ex-employee who said that he had started looking for a new job the day they were working together in the office and she told a client to "fuck off" on the telephone.



I suppose a wedding isn't a good one unless there's some sort of punch-up, but traditionally it is between relatives of the bride and groom rather than friends.



If all else fails I plan to use the JD bottle as a weapon.



Thursday, 10 February 2005

planning ahead

I am stuck in a mire of planning permission forms.



To use premises that have been a shop (category A1) as an office (category B1), one has to apply for a Change Of Use, using the "Planning Application Form" (Parts 1 and 2) and attaching "Notice 1" and potentially, any or all of "Certificates A, B, C or D".



With me so far?



To complicate matters (as if that was possible) if one is going to have clients visiting the premises for specialised IT training (powerpoint and presentation skills for conferences, anyone?), then one also has to apply for Category D1 (non-residential institutions). But there will be qualifications if this is granted, as it is also the category things like day-nurseries and doctor's surgeries fall in to.



It takes six to eight weeks and costs £220.



The offer we've put in on the property is subject to the planning being granted and it hasn't been accepted yet. However, I am getting a start on the forms as I may need to get some help sorting them out - I have a feeling that it might be a disaster if one puts a tick in the wrong box.



The chap I spoke to in the planning office was very helpful ... I am hoping he wasn't lulling me in to a false sense of security and isn't suddenly going to jump out from behind a lamp-post brandishing an injunction.



planning ahead

I am stuck in a mire of planning permission forms.



To use premises that have been a shop (category A1) as an office (category B1), one has to apply for a Change Of Use, using the "Planning Application Form" (Parts 1 and 2) and attaching "Notice 1" and potentially, any or all of "Certificates A, B, C or D".



With me so far?



To complicate matters (as if that was possible) if one is going to have clients visiting the premises for specialised IT training (powerpoint and presentation skills for conferences, anyone?), then one also has to apply for Category D1 (non-residential institutions). But there will be qualifications if this is granted, as it is also the category things like day-nurseries and doctor's surgeries fall in to.



It takes six to eight weeks and costs £220.



The offer we've put in on the property is subject to the planning being granted and it hasn't been accepted yet. However, I am getting a start on the forms as I may need to get some help sorting them out - I have a feeling that it might be a disaster if one puts a tick in the wrong box.



The chap I spoke to in the planning office was very helpful ... I am hoping he wasn't lulling me in to a false sense of security and isn't suddenly going to jump out from behind a lamp-post brandishing an injunction.



Wednesday, 9 February 2005

run, run away

Yesterday I did a handover of my tippy-top web-based quality system for scroat*-training companies to the person who will be maintaining it for the company.



This is not something I encourage, as I rather like clients to come back and pay me to maintain my own system, instead of doing it themselves and not paying me anything, thank you very much.



However, clearly there was a snowball's chance in hell that these guys were ever going to do that, so instead of doing a staff training session to show the end-users how the system works, they negotiated a run-through for the person they are giving the maintenance responsibility to.



It is not a complicated system (er, I probably shouldn't be saying that, should I?) but it does need a basic grasp of the principles of HTML to update it.



The first time we met, at a meeting that also included her manager, the person I was training claimed to be familiar with HTML and web design.



However, in our one-to-one yesterday, sans-manager, it soon became apparent that she was fibbing big-style.



Questions like "So what are the pointy brackets for?" gave this away. And the fact that she did not seem to be able to navigate her way through the directory tree. Or understand the concept of hyperlinks.



I have just finished drawing up a signing-off document for her mananger to sign, in order to conclude the contract. It has been very difficult to think of a tactful way to say

"If you mess the system up, don't come crying to me to fix it for you unless you pay me big wedge".
But I think I've managed it.





* disaffected scallys (chavs for you southerners) or their offspring.



run, run away

Yesterday I did a handover of my tippy-top web-based quality system for scroat*-training companies to the person who will be maintaining it for the company.



This is not something I encourage, as I rather like clients to come back and pay me to maintain my own system, instead of doing it themselves and not paying me anything, thank you very much.



However, clearly there was a snowball's chance in hell that these guys were ever going to do that, so instead of doing a staff training session to show the end-users how the system works, they negotiated a run-through for the person they are giving the maintenance responsibility to.



It is not a complicated system (er, I probably shouldn't be saying that, should I?) but it does need a basic grasp of the principles of HTML to update it.



The first time we met, at a meeting that also included her manager, the person I was training claimed to be familiar with HTML and web design.



However, in our one-to-one yesterday, sans-manager, it soon became apparent that she was fibbing big-style.



Questions like "So what are the pointy brackets for?" gave this away. And the fact that she did not seem to be able to navigate her way through the directory tree. Or understand the concept of hyperlinks.



I have just finished drawing up a signing-off document for her mananger to sign, in order to conclude the contract. It has been very difficult to think of a tactful way to say

"If you mess the system up, don't come crying to me to fix it for you unless you pay me big wedge".
But I think I've managed it.





* disaffected scallys (chavs for you southerners) or their offspring.



Monday, 7 February 2005

moving on

I have decided that I need a new project.



We have started the whole 'buying an office-and-flat combo' thing, which will result in moving the office out of the front bedroom. This is good, as it will mean that we can close the door on work at the end of the day and come home. And I will no longer need to be up and dressed by the time R comes in in the morning. Not that it bothers either of us, but I feel that I need to have some standards, as otherwise somehow my mother will find out that I am regularly still in my dressing-gown at 10.30 am with a man who is not my husband in the house, and give me a bollocking*.



We are also planning on taking on more staff in the not-too-distant-future, so it's a necessary step.



Of course, the downside to this is that I will no longer be able to spend all day coding in my pajamas.



However, this will give us two spare bedrooms.



We are going to rent them out and use the money to pay off our mortgage early.



I am also going to try to throw myself in to growing the business. And I have a couple of children's short stories on the go that I'd like to finish and see if I can find a publisher for.





*Unlikely actually. The bollocking, not her finding out by some kind of parental ESP.



moving on

I have decided that I need a new project.



We have started the whole 'buying an office-and-flat combo' thing, which will result in moving the office out of the front bedroom. This is good, as it will mean that we can close the door on work at the end of the day and come home. And I will no longer need to be up and dressed by the time R comes in in the morning. Not that it bothers either of us, but I feel that I need to have some standards, as otherwise somehow my mother will find out that I am regularly still in my dressing-gown at 10.30 am with a man who is not my husband in the house, and give me a bollocking*.



We are also planning on taking on more staff in the not-too-distant-future, so it's a necessary step.



Of course, the downside to this is that I will no longer be able to spend all day coding in my pajamas.



However, this will give us two spare bedrooms.



We are going to rent them out and use the money to pay off our mortgage early.



I am also going to try to throw myself in to growing the business. And I have a couple of children's short stories on the go that I'd like to finish and see if I can find a publisher for.





*Unlikely actually. The bollocking, not her finding out by some kind of parental ESP.



pain

Back to need versus want. I guess I don't need kids to be fulfilled, satisfied, happy etc..



But I do want them.



So badly that it's painful sometimes.



I know all the bad stuff: the screaming in supermarkets, the lack of sleep and disposable income, the never having enough time for proper sex, ever, ever again.



But somehow there is a part of me that disregards all of that and craves a family, desperately.



I knew when we started having the fertility tests that I could get obsessive about this. And I have.



Yes, perhaps it's not the right time.



Yes, perhaps we are meant to have our own.



Yes, perhaps the children we are supposed to adopt haven't come up for adoption yet.



Yes, perhaps there's more stuff I need to do for myself first.



Yes, B and I have each other and lots of people don't even get that far.



How can you feel bereft of something that you have never experienced?



This HURTS.



pain

Back to need versus want. I guess I don't need kids to be fulfilled, satisfied, happy etc..



But I do want them.



So badly that it's painful sometimes.



I know all the bad stuff: the screaming in supermarkets, the lack of sleep and disposable income, the never having enough time for proper sex, ever, ever again.



But somehow there is a part of me that disregards all of that and craves a family, desperately.



I knew when we started having the fertility tests that I could get obsessive about this. And I have.



Yes, perhaps it's not the right time.



Yes, perhaps we are meant to have our own.



Yes, perhaps the children we are supposed to adopt haven't come up for adoption yet.



Yes, perhaps there's more stuff I need to do for myself first.



Yes, B and I have each other and lots of people don't even get that far.



How can you feel bereft of something that you have never experienced?



This HURTS.



Sunday, 6 February 2005

it was me

I have broken the internet.



I've spent the last two hours trying to load some of my surplus stuff up on to ebay, and not only can I not seem to get it to upload photos using Mozilla, but the entire interweb seems to have slowed to a crawl.



I have spent the weekend feeling pretty crap - isn't wierd how sometimes when you are feeling really down, the universe decides that what you really, really need is to feel a bit worse?



So just after we got back from the adoption meeting, I came on. My body can't seem to grow babies of it's own, but hell, it's gonna spend four days every month reminding me that my biological purpose in life is actually to produce more humans, and if that doesn't happen, to shed my womb lining in as much pain as possible. With added mood swings, for extra joy.



Yay.



And to cap it all, I've been reduced to using Internet Explorer.

it was me

I have broken the internet.



I've spent the last two hours trying to load some of my surplus stuff up on to ebay, and not only can I not seem to get it to upload photos using Mozilla, but the entire interweb seems to have slowed to a crawl.



I have spent the weekend feeling pretty crap - isn't wierd how sometimes when you are feeling really down, the universe decides that what you really, really need is to feel a bit worse?



So just after we got back from the adoption meeting, I came on. My body can't seem to grow babies of it's own, but hell, it's gonna spend four days every month reminding me that my biological purpose in life is actually to produce more humans, and if that doesn't happen, to shed my womb lining in as much pain as possible. With added mood swings, for extra joy.



Yay.



And to cap it all, I've been reduced to using Internet Explorer.

Friday, 4 February 2005

good and bad

We had our introduction meeting with the adoption agency this morning. They were lovely.



However, it is one of their policies not to place children with people who are taking anti-depressants.



We have agreed that rather than us start the process and have the required medicals six months down the line and get knocked back at that point, we will have them now. It involves having a check-up with our doctor, who then writes a report for the agency's doctor, who decides whether it's appropriate to proceed with the process.



I have a good relationship with my GP and I am hoping that he will be supportive and start me on a process of coming off the medication if he feels I'll be able to cope.



However, I also feel a bit discriminated against. Whilst on medication, I am fine. Off medication, I might not be. Surely someone who is dealing with their issues is a better parenting prospect than someone who is depressed?



I feel really tired and very miserable.



However, some good things:



By a fluke I have got the most correct answers in Rhys' movie quiz.



We have found a flat/office that we like and think we'll be able to get a mortgage on it.



R is now being booked as a tech in his own right, as independent-lighting-guy by one of our major clients. Quote to B after his solo job yesterday: "That feckin' R, he's a feckin' credit to you mate!" I wish he'd said something that I could put on the commercial website :-).



I am going to drown my sorrows with my friends Ernst and Julio Gallo and a big pizza now.

good and bad

We had our introduction meeting with the adoption agency this morning. They were lovely.



However, it is one of their policies not to place children with people who are taking anti-depressants.



We have agreed that rather than us start the process and have the required medicals six months down the line and get knocked back at that point, we will have them now. It involves having a check-up with our doctor, who then writes a report for the agency's doctor, who decides whether it's appropriate to proceed with the process.



I have a good relationship with my GP and I am hoping that he will be supportive and start me on a process of coming off the medication if he feels I'll be able to cope.



However, I also feel a bit discriminated against. Whilst on medication, I am fine. Off medication, I might not be. Surely someone who is dealing with their issues is a better parenting prospect than someone who is depressed?



I feel really tired and very miserable.



However, some good things:



By a fluke I have got the most correct answers in Rhys' movie quiz.



We have found a flat/office that we like and think we'll be able to get a mortgage on it.



R is now being booked as a tech in his own right, as independent-lighting-guy by one of our major clients. Quote to B after his solo job yesterday: "That feckin' R, he's a feckin' credit to you mate!" I wish he'd said something that I could put on the commercial website :-).



I am going to drown my sorrows with my friends Ernst and Julio Gallo and a big pizza now.

Tuesday, 1 February 2005

no more ms nice person

I have just had a VERY therapeutic conversation with Harry-the-illuminated-one. As both B and I suspected he might, he has come back to me with a host of fiddly changes, including, but not limited to, 'the text is very slightly wobbly and my publisher can't use it if it's wobbly'. I tried to explain that the quality of the text is down to the printer not the data file ... besides which, my printer is a pretty good ink-jet and the print quality is fine. I suspect that his publisher is a publisher-of-the-mind.



Anyway, it's not often that you get to say to a client things like "I no longer wish to work with you because your energies are inappropriate" or "I have done the work for you and whether or not you choose to pay me is your own karmic responsibility" :-) .



The end of the conversation went something like this:

Harry: "And another thing ...."

Ms No-More-Nice-Person: "No, Harry! No more 'another things' ...." [click]
On balance, I decided not to mention the masturbation issue.



[sigh]



no more ms nice person

I have just had a VERY therapeutic conversation with Harry-the-illuminated-one. As both B and I suspected he might, he has come back to me with a host of fiddly changes, including, but not limited to, 'the text is very slightly wobbly and my publisher can't use it if it's wobbly'. I tried to explain that the quality of the text is down to the printer not the data file ... besides which, my printer is a pretty good ink-jet and the print quality is fine. I suspect that his publisher is a publisher-of-the-mind.



Anyway, it's not often that you get to say to a client things like "I no longer wish to work with you because your energies are inappropriate" or "I have done the work for you and whether or not you choose to pay me is your own karmic responsibility" :-) .



The end of the conversation went something like this:

Harry: "And another thing ...."

Ms No-More-Nice-Person: "No, Harry! No more 'another things' ...." [click]
On balance, I decided not to mention the masturbation issue.



[sigh]



a place of our own

We've been to see some office/flat combo's for sale this morning. We're looking for somewhere that we can use as an office, with a flat upstairs that we can rent out.



Last week R and I went to see one in the centre of town that was a real dive. Very cheap, which is good ... but it smelt very odd indeed. As if something had died.



Also, the woman selling claimed to know nothing at all about any surveys or work that they'd had to have done when they bought it three or four years ago: "You'd have to ask my husband about that". Which seems a bit poor if she's the one who a) uses it as a shop and b) was actually the vendor. She didn't make eye contact, either, which doesn't inspire trust. It was cheap, but the flat was actually missing some windows. So a no-go.



The three we've looked at this morning are in better nick, and we are thinking of putting an offer in on one.



Then we can move the office out of the front bedroom and fill it with adopted children :-).

a place of our own

We've been to see some office/flat combo's for sale this morning. We're looking for somewhere that we can use as an office, with a flat upstairs that we can rent out.



Last week R and I went to see one in the centre of town that was a real dive. Very cheap, which is good ... but it smelt very odd indeed. As if something had died.



Also, the woman selling claimed to know nothing at all about any surveys or work that they'd had to have done when they bought it three or four years ago: "You'd have to ask my husband about that". Which seems a bit poor if she's the one who a) uses it as a shop and b) was actually the vendor. She didn't make eye contact, either, which doesn't inspire trust. It was cheap, but the flat was actually missing some windows. So a no-go.



The three we've looked at this morning are in better nick, and we are thinking of putting an offer in on one.



Then we can move the office out of the front bedroom and fill it with adopted children :-).

coming or going?

I have just finished entertaining the ladies of my local WI (five friends, no calendar) to an evening of butternut soup, corn-bread and wine (one of us is detoxing in order to increase her chances of conception, too complicated to explain, but the soup was very nice).



I have been entertaining everyone with a blow-by-blow account of my interactions with Harry-the-illuminated-one, and Tessa voiced the idea that the reason he was delayed in answering the door when I called round was because he DID REALISE I WAS COMING. And so decided to himself.



This had genuinely not occurred to me, although B says that it had to him and he didn't mention it because he thought it would squick me even more.



It has.

coming or going?

I have just finished entertaining the ladies of my local WI (five friends, no calendar) to an evening of butternut soup, corn-bread and wine (one of us is detoxing in order to increase her chances of conception, too complicated to explain, but the soup was very nice).



I have been entertaining everyone with a blow-by-blow account of my interactions with Harry-the-illuminated-one, and Tessa voiced the idea that the reason he was delayed in answering the door when I called round was because he DID REALISE I WAS COMING. And so decided to himself.



This had genuinely not occurred to me, although B says that it had to him and he didn't mention it because he thought it would squick me even more.



It has.