iBlog: October 2008


Tomorrow's blog today

Friday, October 31, 2008

Buy The Laura Marling Album

Because it's reet good and if you don't I'll make you eat overcooked cabbage and beetroot vegan stew.

I posted a song before of hers a few weeks ago (My Manic and I). The album is quite melancholical without being depressing. Think Dido covering Alexi Murdoch and you're just about there.

Anyway, without further ado, I'll let you go out to HMV (because as with all re-branding of things from MY DAY we don't do`Zavvi`).

Go on... GET!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Beginnings. A blog all about me :)

So as most of you are by now aware, the wife and I are moved back to Norwiches. We viewed the move, at first, with a great deal of sinicism. In the year we've lived in Diss we've grown very attached to the rural lifestyle of walking in the countryside, peaceful evenings, and the detatchment of work from home life and the benefit of a twenty mile seperation between the two. Almost as importantly to these reasons our home was, as much as a ground floor rented flat can be, a castle to us and the move has caused us a considerably worse place to live*.

So for all this reasoning, the whole moving affair is just a cross to bear. A two year endeavour designed to pay off debt and, hopefully, have enough saved up for a deposit on a mortgage for when it's time for life in the city to come to an end.

But two weeks since moving day (or `moving week` as it should be known), our experience of living here hasn't really lived up to the dread we had imagined. For a start I get a two mile cycle to work which is BRILLIANT! After the first week, I already felt a lot more strength in my legs, and after two weeks, I've even noticed my resting heart rate lower. (Yes, I'm the sort of anal person who measures his resting heart rate). In week three I hope to be able to cycle up Grapes Hill out of the saddle all the way so I'll let you know how that goes.

Laura is also feeling the benefit of walking to work and is enjoying the fresh air and `thin waist` it affords.

More new starts include me being nominated for a management `fast track` at work, which, if all goes to plan should eventually work out as a 70% pay increase. As part of this, for the next fortnight I am the acting manager of Decor which is about a third of the shop floor and a massive opportunity for me. To put it in perspective, when our shop opened there were five Trading Managers for five departments who struggled with the work load. Over time and tide, the same area is now split over three departments so without experience and with little support from the senior management team I have the opportunity to do something with the department that should hopefully make an impact on my management aplication and prove I'm better than the other managers that opened the store.

All told, I'm absolutely brickin' it over this as it proves to my bosses and to myself whether I have the minerals in me to be a manager or not: can I lead a team? Can I deliver projects? Can I maintain bottom line processes within the team? Can I increase profit? I don't really know the answers to any of these questions and, considering my patchy employment history, this is a really powerful trial-by-fire that should go someway into seeeing what I'm made of. Anyway, 2 days (12 hour days I might add) in to this and I don't seem to be doing too badly. The project I'm working on is on schedule, and my team don't seem especially de-motivated so let's hope this trend continues.

So there are some interesting new beginnings to life at the moment. Last year was a nice honeymoon period for us in our designer home, but a year on from the wedding, it feels like life is coming back down to earth. This year will be very career focused for both of us (Laura is studying for her interior design qualification so we both have hard work afoot with work!) and our home environment has taken a considerable beating but there are some exciting times ahead I think. We're starting to settle into our new lifestyle, and with things like open air Opera, the Skating Rink at the forum, a zillion restaurants and `quirky` coffee shops to try, and all the art exhibitions Norwich seems to boast I'm sure we'll make sure we see the brighter side of living in N'arch before long... and if not, we'll be working too many hours to notice anyway I suppose!

* Even despite the house having subsidence in the bathroom, broken light fittings, three out of four radiators not working, and a washing machine with four inches of water in the drum that backs up the kitchen sink whenever turned on for more than twelve seconds. Oh and the car window was bricked in the first night we stayed there.