Saturday, 27 August 2011

A General Update

It's been a wet old summer.  A typically English wet old summer, with the sunny days as rare as rubies being welcomed by people with gratitude and adjectives followed by exclamation marks, such as "gorgeous day!" or "you can't stay indoors on a day like this!"

In the past when my parents would come to stay with me, I would suggest an outing and Dad would flick the curtain and say - "Mm, don't think so.  It's a bit cloudy."  Consequently we rarely went anywhere. 

When you live here you consult the weather only in the way that people check their watches - merely to verify how long you've got before the weather gets seriously bad.  Not because it might stop you going out, but in order to wear the right clothes.

I really don't mind this sort of weather, because I so hate feeling hot, and nobody has air-conditioning because it's not worth the expense for two or three weeks of the year (though when they come I'd mortgage my soul to have it installed right this minute...)

The job

I'll be changing jobs soon, though not venturing far.  For the past three years I've worked in research admin in the urology department of a local hospital, with some secretarial duties thrown in.  For some time now the funding has been uncertain - it's the same all over the NHS - and I'm on a rolling month contract.  This means I don't really know from one month to the next whether I have a job or not, and it was suggested to me that I see if there were any other research admin jobs within the hospital which had slightly better prospects.  I found one in rheumatology, and was lucky enough to get it, so I start at the beginning of October.  Mind you, it's only a 6-month posting, and at the end of March the hunt for another job will start again.  I'm sorry to leave where I am now, but the future there is too uncertain.  I'll be just a (long) corridor away anyway.

The weight

Sigh - not brilliant.  The band continues to protect me, and having gained some 5 kg, the numbers are staying put for the time being because I'm trying harder not to buy chocolate.  However it remains a fact that the band stops me from eating the salads and vegetables I love, and I haven't the patience to keep making soup.  It's the texture and the sense of filling up on low calorie foods that I enjoy and am unable to do.  I end up drinking too much milk, which is one of the reasons why I'm not losing.  And not to mention lack of exercise...

The blog(s)

A friend is helping me to do a makeover, and what you see now (pale green background) is the in-between stage.  Dark backgrounds are much better for showing off pictures, and ultimately I prefer the dark background and light print.  I do love having virtually the whole width of the screen to play with, and two columns instead of one.  I'm planning a special header, though my IT friend may tell me it can't be done.  We'll have to see.

As far as content is concerned, anybody who reads me regularly (bless them) knows that I've drifted away from writing about the lapband and weight issues, except occasionally.  I hold up my hands and admit that it's partly because I'm not doing very well at it for now, but it really isn't only that.  I'm very happy to read about other bloggers' experiences and updates, but I can't face writing a lot about it here:  what would happen is that I'd post less and less.  I've noticed that many of my favourites only update every 2 weeks...2 months... and longer, and if you're reading this, then I miss you, and would love to know what's going on in your lives, good or bad.  But I don't want this to happen to me.

The only way I could keep going AND enjoy it, was to write properly, not as a journal.  I had stories I wanted to tell, I wondered if anyone would be interested, and I told them.  I have lots more, and one of the changes I'm working on is to have a voting section at the end of the story posts (not the rest), to ask you to vote anonymously on whether you like that particular one, or not.  It'll help me look at how and what I'm writing, hopefully to improve.  I sense that the longer ones might be considered boring - or too packed with facts which make them difficult to follow - and I'm trying to address that, though some stories are necessarily longer than others. 

My blog is my home from home.  I can't wait to get back to it at the end of the working day, to see how many hits I've had that day, whether there are any comments, and to watch the list of countries of unique visitors.  I've been delighted at how the number of Argentines, Chileans and Spaniards has slowly crept up in the last few months, and this weekend Argentina has drawn level with Canada in this regard.  What is even more exciting is that in the stats I've been able to see that the Argentine readers have the greatest number of page views after the US and the UK. 

I'm of course most grateful to people of every nationality for taking the trouble to read me (as opposed to the 3 second visit where a glance at the heading sends them straight on to the next one!).  I thank you all, and particularly the lapband Followers who haven't taken their names away.

This is another little cross-pollinating from my other blog, Eavesdroppings & Stories:

Background: She is a highly organised individual, listmaker supreme and the tidiest mind I know. Some years ago she and her husband decided to cross hemispheres to have a long faraway holiday involving several mini breaks and stopovers within the holiday. Unwilling to hand over the responsibility of its coordination to an agent, she planned it efficiently and meticulously, compiling numerous interrelated charts and lists. Means of travel at every stage? Tick. Budget? Tick. Right clothes – and only what was strictly necessary to enable them to travel light? Tick. Medication ordered in advance? Tick. Visas, overseas driving licences? Double tick. All set, they departed for Heathrow airport, and once there headed for the correct check-in desk.
Check-in hostess: Passports and tickets please.... excuse me, this passport does not agree with the name on the ticket.

A stressful conversation ensued.

What he didn't say: For crying out loud, she’s brought her daughter’s passport by mistake! Little Miss Perfect – I DON’T think... What do we do now?

What she didn’t say: Why must I have to think of everything – he could have checked them...

Him: (annoyed) Well I’ll have to go on ahead on my own, and you join me as soon as possible, say a day late...

Check-in hostess: Ah, but just a moment Sir, you’ve brought an out of date passport – look, it’s got the edge clipped off by the Home Office. So where’s your new one? (Sees his flushed face) – ah... at home I take it?

What he and she said: Censored

(PS: There was a grumpy and recriminatory return home, and the holiday was eventually started three days late. The travel charts had to be torn up...)


Photo Finish -
from Lonicera's photo archive

(All non-digital, except for the Gilbert & Sullivan pictures)

Sunset at Portishead

St Ives, Cornwall. 
(Another doorway for Zanna's collection.)

Gilbert & Sullivan's The Yeoman of the Guard, 2011

Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, 2008

A fountain in Requena, Spain


A little robin in my garden



Zanna said...

I read and enjoy every one of your entries - but sometimes I'm reading on my Iphone and it's such hard work to type on it compared to my laptop - I always mean to come back and comment - but you know that story about pathways and good intentions!! Love Zxx

Joyful said...

Enjoyed your update. I look forward to the blog changes and your future stories :-) Congrats on finding a new job. I hope that once you're there they might be able to extend your contract. I know that not much is certain anymore and thankfully you have a job.

Lonicera said...

Thanks Zanna - I'm honoured that you should read my every post from your Iphone, don't worry about comments. I'd like to read another post of yours... Your holiday is coming up very soon, isn't it? Hope you're well organised!

Lonicera said...

Thanks Penny - I'm hoping the 6 month job will lead on to other things, as I've still got 5-6 years before retirement.

Sandy Lee said...

It's so nice to hear from you with an update. I've been trying to read your stories but haven't gotten them all read. But they are good. I've just dropped a bunch of blogs so I am not so overwhelmed reading anymore. But yours I keep. I think our blogs are what we make them. I'm slowing down with posts and sharing more general stuff than just about the band. It's now part of my life which is everything. So I'll keep seeing you in Google Reader and reading up. I can't comment from work and that's why it might seem I'm not around. But I am. This little shadow over your shoulder. Hope the sun comes out and the clouds disappear.

Lonicera said...

Thanks Sandy! Wonderful to know I'm still on your list. I've noticed your blog is including other areas of your life, and it's interesting. I like the idea of having a shadow on my shoulder.

Tony said...

The Portishead shot's a cracker. Can I borrow it and pass it off as one of mine?!!
Thanks for your very welcome comments about them.

Lonicera said...

Thanks Tony! By all means borrow, so long as you give me the credit.... You don't need to pass anything off anyway, not from what I saw...

Zanna said...

Sorry should have put in a blog entry - I've started a travel blog over at Travelpod and have a few forthcoming trip related entries there. I notify that I've updated via email and also to Facebook - but of course that doesn't help you. You can acccess the blog using the Travel Pod link on the top right hand of my blog or email me your email and I'll put you on the notify list. Love Z xx

Bunny said...

hey hun bun, I miss you too, so I am gunna make it a mission to update daily. I think you are right, the band is now a side plate in the dish of our lives, so why make it the main meal! :)
speak soon



Lonicera said...

Hey - lovely to hear from you again Bunny! Have just left you a message on your very honest post, which is helping me too.

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