Monthly Archives: March 2013

Fabulous friends, burning both ends of the candle and nervous exhaustion!


I’m thrilled to announce that there’s been no life threatening fires or floods in my flat for the last week or so. And, I didn’t have to sacrifice my plumber. Which was just as well really as he seems to be the least incompetent one I’ve come across, so that’s a relief.

Productivity has been low. Socialising and burning the candle at both ends has been high. I have absolutely fabulous friends and it’s been heart-wrenching saying goodbye! Or well, not goodbye I hope really.

It’s been a whirlwind of leaving do’s! I had a lovely dinner at Diwani’s with my extended team – there were about 10 of us I think. Diwani’s is the best Indian buffet place in the world. AND it’s all vegetarian 🙂 Then there was a surprise night out with the badminton crowd from work which was excellent. We went to a place called Bounce. Doubles table tennis makes not a jot of sense. That’s of course why I lost almost all of the games. No other reason.

Pub club leaving do was last night (Piccadilly Institute) and it might be the best night out I’ve had ever 🙂 I will really miss Pub Club (my liver will most certainly not). They went to great lengths to be sweet and lovely and I couldn’t be more touched! They must REALLY want free Italian holidays 😉

The general work leaving do is Wednesday – it’ll be in a pub near work. Not sure how many will make it out– there’s a few folk that have that week off.

And then I leave the flat Thursday to move in with Mum & Dad for a bit. I need to desperately study – I’m really REALLY struggling with the Day Skipper course on the rare occasion I get to do anything on it. An example question: Plot a course between x and y bearing in mind the length of time it will take, the tidal streams throughout the trip, gale force winds from a southerly direction at the start but changing lots throughout the trip to be in different directions and at different levels, also bearing in mind that North isn’t indeed North (WHO KNEW COMPASSES DON’T ACTUALLY POINT NORTH FOR GOODNESS SAKES?! It actually turns out, most people. I must have been off sick during that lesson) and you need to apply a correction, and then another correction to account for the fact that your boat might also be messing with the compass and then you obviously need to avoid rocks/the seabed/other obstacles. By the time I’ve plotted the damn course, it’ll be the following week and all of the conditions will have changed.

So that’s going marvelously.

However, one stroke of luck is that I’ll now be out over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend at some point on a boat with a stranger. I’ll be annoyed if come my glorious retirement from Project Management and a stressful move out of my flat, I’m murdered two days later and cast into the watery depths of the Solent. Though at least I wouldn’t have to do the Day Skipper Theory so it’d not be all bad.

My exam is on the 7th April and the practical course starts on the 8th April in Gosport. Then I’m going to wait until the beginning of May before being Italian Bound. My Facebook countdown will be in minus figures! Having said that, I certainly underestimated the scope for a nervous breakdown / exhaustion when setting the timescales. I hope not to get out of bed in the two weeks after my practical course and before Italy.

I HAVE DECK SHOES! Look at these. Admittedly, these aren’t actually my deck shoes but they look similar. Mine are nicer 🙂 They were a very sweet leaving present from a friend. I thought deck shoes were all repulsive but aren’t they nice?!

The Saga of The Leaking Toilet is resolved – I’d stood on the wooden thing that boxes in the cistern and pushed out the pipe which connects the water to the bowl. It’s now held in place with foamy stuff.

If I’ve not been murdered over Easter, there’s a chance I might actually succumb to early onset dementia. Last week, I needed to get from Paddington to Embankment. That’s a single southbound trip on the Bakerloo tube line. I got on at Paddington and as the doors were closing, I realised I’d got on the wrong direction. What a twit (or variants) I am, I thought. But easily done. I got off at the next stop and faffed around trying to find the tube going in the opposite direction (by the way any Tube Bosses reading this – your signage is poor at Warwick Avenue) and sat down and read until I got to my intended stop. A few minutes later, noticing I had not got to my intended stop, I looked up and I was even further NORTH. NORTH!!!! ARGH!!!!!! I’d been on the right tube in the first place! I hope someone will feed me when I’m unable to remember where my mouth is.

Mum and dad are coming up tomorrow to take stuff back home. The Room of Chaos (aka “Dining room”) is fulfilling its name nicely. And I’ve run out of boxes so it’s doubling up as a sort of large assorted game of jenga. I need to sort that out tonight. Lucky I’m feeling in such tip top condition after last night’s drunken lateness and what must now be several weeks without sleep <sigh>!

I should rename the site MovetoItalyButGoInsaneInTheProcess!



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Sacrificial goats, knots and willies…

Dearest Readers,

Now, I don’t want to come across as paranoid, but something is out to get me. Let me take you through the evidence:

  • Exhibit A: Last month in the early hours I woke to find my bathroom ceiling dripping with water where upstairs had sprung a leak. The water was coming down in a sort of power shower fashion.  Two terrified upstairs neighbours (I had underestimated how scary I must look without makeup) and £££’s later the issue is fixed.
  • Exhibit B: Two weeks ago, a rogue candle which I swear I blew out, was still alight, set fire to the surround of the candle which FOR PITY’S SAKE WAS MADE OF CARDBOARD and set fire to the wooden floor in my living room. All the fire alarms were going at 5am, smoke was billowing out of the living room and dining room and there were quite high flames coming from the TV area.  Put it out with a wet towel. A full pot of varnish to strengthen a very charcoaled wooden floor, and a moved TV stand later, the issue was “fixed”/seamlessly hidden :-s
  • Exhibit C: One week ago, a plastic light shade that I’d washed to get rid of some dust in honour of the new tenant, melted, leaving a smouldering lightshade on his floor and a lightbulb covered in burnt plastic bubbling away MINUTES before the new prospective tenants were coming to sign the contract for the flat. And I wasn’t even able to blame him for it <sigh>.
  • Exhibit D: Today, I get a call from the building managers to say that the flat beneath mine was positively awash with water following what must be a catastrophic flood in my flat (I’ve exaggerated marginally here for effect but it sounded serious). Rushing home, the flat was fine. Downstairs has some staining on the walls of their toilet. My toilet however, looked ok, UNTIL I lifted up the lino and yes, yes there was certainly a leak. Thankfully not from the waste water pipe but from the one from the cistern to the toilet. When you flush it, it looks like a waterfall but alas, outside of the toilet bowl entirely. My plumber, well, he doesn’t like emergencies or anything that would be considered a nasty or awkward job. Or one that involves water. He basically likes gas safety checks. He should call himself a Gas Safety Check Man rather than “plumber”.  So his advice was “hmm, yeah, you should work out where that water’s coming from”. Another plumber is coming tomorrow morning. I’ll have to redecorate the toilet – you have to sort of wreck the room in order to get to the cistern.

See?! Irrefutable evidence that I’m being thwarted by bad luck. It’s exactly EXACTLY like that film, Final Destination where a bunch of kids narrowly avoid Death only to have Death getting them by other means. Admittedly, apart from the fire, I’m only being slowly annoyed / stressed to death but still. It’s the same thing. What have I done wrong?! I’m going to find a goat to sacrifice (only that’s somewhat against my vegetarian principles. Perhaps the plumber would be a better option. I’ll make a judgement call based on how he gets on tomorrow and how many kidneys I’ll need to sell).

What else? The contract is signed, packing is ongoing, the DIY was done (up until this afternoon at least), stuff is being cleared, work is being handed over. Generally it’s going to plan. You know the thing I’m looking forward to most when I quit work? I’m going to have a ceremonial burning of my tights <considers recent escapes> or perhaps I’ll just throw them out. Evil, restrictive, ghastly contraptions.

A slight change of plans from last post is that mum and dad are now coming up the Sunday before (24th) to take stuff back home. It means I need to do everything that bit sooner/quicker but there’s less impact of a hangover from my leaving do the day before. Why did I organise it then?! Last day in the flat Thursday 28th!

It’s fair to say that my Day Skipper course is going reasonably badly 🙂 It’s all written in pretentious jargon. Who says “blow” instead of “wind”?! I’m going to attempt to go to a face to face lesson next Tuesday but I must know about tidal somethings beforehand. I shall learn about that this weekend. And I’ve been working on my knots and quite frankly, I’m fully intending to dazzle teachers and students alike. Knotting is something I can do. Sometimes.  As long as I’m in exactly the right position in relation to the rope which is also in exactly the right position in relation to the other rope and myself. Yesiree. I’ve nailed the knots.

I have two quite strong reservations about my upcoming sailing though… Firstly: I must buy deckshoes. Have you seen them?! They’re AWFUL. What on earth is wrong with trainers?! My visions of relaxing on a boat haven’t included repulsive footwear to date. Secondly: Well, to be fair, my sailing teacher did give me an alternative to deckshoes. She said I would need to buy deckshoes or willies. Spelling mistake? Who knows! Having seen these deckshoes, I might be tempted to investigate further.

Tune in soon for more disasters.


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