October 2nd, 2007

Wanaka tree

Hello. Remember me?

Yet again I have to apologise for not being around much lately. It's an easy excuse to say that I have been really busy, but it also happens to be true. 

I'll just give you a bit of background. For almost two years I have worked as part of a team of two people providing information for the public on a whole range of different issues for Somerset County Council. We have also advised people on using plain language and worked with designers to produce display material, written press releases and a load of other jobs as well. Last Friday my boss retired. So, for the past few weeks we have been working really hard to try to get projects finished off, deal with all we could to make life a little easier for me and generally get everything as up to date as possible. On top of that we seem to have got a higher workload and haven't really been able to poke our heads up over the parapet. 

Now, it's just me to keep things going until a replacement is found. Realistically, that could take about six months. So, really, I'm now doing the work of two people plus another major project to bring the Intranet up to date and I'm being paid at the same rate I was before. I don't mind that so much but a bit of recognition would be nice. Anyway, whatever happens I fully intend to keep in touch with all of you, so I will find time and make time for LJ. 

On a lighter note. I have a huge debt of thanks to a couple of great people. First of all there is

ironicpseudonymwho first pointed me in this direction and then
chocolatesaucefor reinforcing the point just over a week ago. 

What is he talking about? I hear you ask. Very simply, what I'm talking about is,

                               Flight of the Conchords.
 

Last Tuesday evening was the first episode of their TV series which was shown on BBC4 at 9.30. I have only one thing to say, Brilliant it was. If you are in the UK and can get BBC4, please give it a go this evening. If you are in other parts of the world and it is being shown, please watch it. It is incredible Kiwi humour with pithy songs thrown in and, well, it's just great, so watch it, so there. 
For more information, click here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/conchords/ and here http://www.whatthefolk.net/ 
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Wanaka tree

Interests meme

Comment on this post. I will choose seven interests from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so others can play along.

The wonderful

detacixotnigave me these.

Airports:
I love airports. They are full of expectation and excitement. It’s great sitting in a departure lounge wondering where everyone is going and trying to fit the people with the destinations. I know that there are hassles like security and stuff, but the overall feel is one of optimism. Obviously, some airports are nicer than others. I can’t stand London Heathrow; it’s such a grotty place and it really bugs me that it is likely to be the place people see first when they arrive in my country, but airports like Schiphol, Auckland, Christchurch, Bristol and Zurich are great places. The quirkiest airport I’ve ever arrived in is Wanaka, and that would take an entry all of its own to describe.

Cheese and banana sandwiches:
Oh yes. I don’t know why people find this odd. Cheese and banana are a great combination. I realise I stand the risk of appearing boring but most of my ‘outdoors and on the go’ lunches when I was stomping around New Zealand consisted of cheese and banana sandwiches. 

Correcting apostrophe-related errors:
This is one thing that really gets to me. There is a tradition in the UK known as the grocer’s apostrophe. Painted on the window of an old-fashioned greengrocer’s window will always be something like, ‘Apple’s 70p/kilo’ or ‘banana’s fresh in’. There is something that makes them use an apostrophe when they don’t need it and totally fail to use it when they should. In my work I have to check other people’s writing and I especially enjoy correcting all the apostrophe catastrophes.

Nature photography:
This goes without saying, really. I love being out and about and taking photos. I enjoy the countryside and the landscape, and the things and creatures that grow and live there. 

Owls:
Living in the country as I do, I get to hear owls quite often. Most nights between eleven and midnight I hear tawny owls in the trees outside my window, screeching away at each other. Of course, there are times when I could lob a brick at them, but generally I love to hear it. One of my very favourite sights in the whole world, and it doesn’t happen often, is to see a barn owl in the early morning flying silently and white low across the misty fields of my part of the world – truly magical.

Swearing creatively:
I don’t swear much in writing, but far too much when I speak. It’s fun to really put some feeling into it sometimes and emphasise those words that are so full of meaning. I enjoy the company of people who swear well, who use it, not in an offensive way, but in a creative way to get their point across. My favourite swear word, just for the record, is ‘bollocks’.

Swiss hugs: I enjoy being hugged and I especially enjoy being hugged by my wonderful Swiss friend, Rebekka. I remember when I was in New Zealand after Rebekka had gone home. I sent her a t-shirt as a present. The t-shirt had a huge sandfly on the front and this alluded to a, sort of, private joke that we had. She sent me an email thanking me, telling me that it was a good thing that I was still in New Zealand because if I was any closer than that I would have all the air squeezed out of my body by the huge hug I would receive as a ‘thank you’ for the gift. I love Swiss hugs. Of course, I will happily accept hugs from any geographical location but I do have a soft spot for the Swiss variety, so if any of my Swiss friends out there........