My car was in for it's MOT. It passed, eventually, so I have it back now, but while it was in I still needed to get to work. I spent the whole trip trying to press the clutch and stomping hard on the bit of floor where it should be. Also, trying to put the lever thing that decides whether it's in drive or park or whatever in the right place, which I couldn't do without looking. In my car I can switch between gears without even thinking about it. This, I had to think about, and that was weird, it was like learning to drive again.
I survived it though, and the car did too. I think mu mum expected me to come home determined to get an automatic. Nope. It honestly doesn't feel like driving to me. it's like dodgems, one pedal for go, one for stop! apparent;y she took to it really quickly though, when she hired one on holiday in Australia, and didn't want to go back to gears. Maybe I needed a longer run to get the hang of it. I'm glad I don't want one though, they are super expensive! Plus my little car still has a lot of life left in it. I hope.
So the MOT is don't, the renewal quote for the insurance was reasonable, and in fact not much more than the next cheapest I can find online and without the faff of switching, so Im going to leave it, and I did the tax as soon at the MOT was done, so I'm good to go for another year. What a relief, I hate this time of year when I end up paying for everything again.
In unrelated news, KCOM, our usually fairly useless broadband provider with whom we are stuck because they have a monopoly in the area, have finally made the ultrafast broadband available in our street. We got it upgraded today, and it works. 260 Mbps! Yesterday we were lucky to get 5. I've been celebrating by downloading a bunch of free movies from Sky and marveling at the time it takes to get them!
I'm considering taking up karate. I used to do it when i was a kid, but I quit when I was about 13, mostly because I didn't want to have to get up early on a Saturday morning! But my former sensei now has his own dojo only a few minutes walk from my house and I've been taking my niece each week. She got her yellow belt on Sunday, and he was really plugging a new adult class he is starting up on a Monday night. I really want to do it, the only trouble is that I'd have to go on my own, nobody else I know is interested. I'm going to have a word with him when I take Poppy on Sunday, let him know I'd be interested.
Work is going pretty well. Things were pretty chaotic when I first took over, but they seem to have calmed down a bit. Or maybe it's me that has calmed down! Because I'm feeling much less stressed and much more like if something goes wrong it doesn't actually matter in the grand scheme of things. I think that's a much better way to be. I am having some problems though suddenly being in charge of people I was the same grade as until recently. It's not a major issue, I just feel like when I ask them to do something or tell them they have done something wrong, some of them (one in particular) don't take me seriously. Hopefully things will improve. The only trouble is that is that happens and they then move me back to the other role, it'll be awkward. Never mind, I'm sure it'll be fine. Or they'll move me back to my old job, in which case it will also be fine.
Next week, we're all heading to Center Parcs, Mum, Dad, me, Jen, her husband and kids and the dog. I'm looking forward to it, even though sharing a room with Poppy means I will never get enough sleep!
Work is going well, though I;m glad to be getting a week off. It's a bit scary though, like one of the managers told me how impressed her manager had been with me, and then She was telling another manager how well I was doing, and I was a little baffled because I honestly don't feel like I;m going that well. I feel like I'm constantly asking for help, and struggling to put out one fire after another. But I guess nothing has actually burned down yet, so maybe It's going better than I think.
I'm up late drinking beer tonight because Poppy I don't have to get up to take Poppy to karate tomorrow, she went today instead. This will be my last lie-in for a week, so I'm going to take advantage by staying up late for no reason.
In other news, I finally got my hair cut today. It's been about seven months, and I decided it was time to get the back trimmed so it was more even with the front. It looks and feels so much better. I should have done it months ago. All I have to do now is decide what ind of a style I;m actually going to go for. I'm thinking inverted bob, but I will need more length in the front.
As much as I should be using the time to tidy up and stuff, I have to admit I've gone for a long walk looking for Pokemon instead. I even ventured to one of the gyms and had a battle. I won too, but got booted out immediately. I'm still not sure how the gyms work. Then when I got back, I made myself a baked potato and watched TV for about two hours. I've also been experimenting with overnight oats. I'm trying to lose a few pounds before my holiday next month and I'm trying to find something filling and healthy to have for lunch, because I keep getting those curry rice pots, and they might be yummy, but healthy they are not!
I've also just noticed that the weird Sky Movies channel that changes all the time has switched from being the Tom Cruise channel to the Star Trek channel for the weekend, so I might settle in for the night and watch my three faves. The Wrath of Khan, the Search for Spock and the Voyage Home, obviously.
We got Sky Q installed the other day. It's so cool! It's like how you'd think Sky would be if it was owned by Apple! We can record something, watch it on the main box, or access it from another box in the other room. You can pause it in one room and pick it up in the same place on another TV somewhere else in the house. Or on a tablet, you can watch things recorded on your box on your iPad, then if you're going out, just download them to the iPad and take them with you. You can stream anything that's available on demand directly to your iPad, then tell your box to download it for later. It's kind of amazing. I don't think this explanation does it justice.
Anyway, here goes sleep attempt no. 2!
Well, we'll see how it goes...
It's a shame though, because I've been enjoying cycling to work. So I got it into my head that I might be able to cycle to Hedon. It's only about nine miles away, and there is an off road cycle track about half of the way, so since I had a day off today I decided to try it out. It was pretty good, actually, took just under an hour. When I drive there, I can do it in about 30 minutes most days, but I have to leave earlier than that in case the traffic is bad, so I wouldn't actually have to leave that much earlier. It was pretty tiring though, but I guess maybe I just need to build up a bit of stamina. I probably won't do it every day, but sometimes, definitely.
In other news, the Labour party have decided that Jeremy Corbyn doesn't need any nominations to get onto the ballot in the leadership election, which makes perfect sense, as he is already the leader and someone had just come along and challenged him. Angela Eagle's supporters aren't happy about it though, because he's way too popular for her to win, who they have had a rule passed than anyone who has joined the party since 12 January this year won't get to vote. This is because most of those who have signed up recently support Corbyn and signed up in order to vote for him, knowing that someone would try to get rid of him. This all seems a but underhanded and undemocratic to me. But there are ways around it, which leaves me wondering whether I should secure my right to vote for him by paying a one off fee of £25 in the two day window they are allowing to join up as a registered supporter (I bet they will 'accidentally' have the site crash to stop people), or by joining an affiliated trade union.
In other, less political news, I have my helmet camera up and running, and started collecting the idiots of Hull in a new Youtube channel. Heres a guy who nearly hit me on the way to work yesterday.
And here's a car nearly hitting another cyclist the same day on the way home
There is little doubt in my mind that this is related to the EU referendum next week. Jo Cox was apparently a prominent campaigner for Remain, as well as being outspoken on the issue of helping Syrian refugees, and the man who murdered her appears to have been a racist BFfer. The Leave campaign has built a lot of their advertising on fear and intimidation, and this is what happens as a result.
It was just the two of us in work today, and when he arrived, my colleague told me radio 1 were having a rock day, that he was a bit gutted he couldn't listen to now he was out of the car. Radio 1 normally play crappy pop and dance music. So since it was just us, I put the radio on and we listened to decent music all day. They also had Blink 182 in the studio, they are over for Download, and they did a couple of songs, including the new single. It was good. I'm still not sure about Matt Skiba being in the band though. It's not that I don't want him there, it just makes me worry he's going to neglect Alkaline Trio. Especially with both him and Dan doing their solo stuff, I'm worried Trio is going to end up a bit like a side project. The song was really good though, I'll probably have to get the album when it's out next month.
And now, quite randomly, I have one of Matt Skiba's solo songs in my head. I think it's time for bed.
I've been thinking about my hair recently. A few months ago, I stopped having it cut. I were it really short normally, a little longer at the front with bangs that sweep in from one side, but really short at the back, and shaved at the neckline. But I had an appointment for a cut back in January, and I had to cancel it because I had been asked to work. Then I just never bothered making it again. Four months later, I just have this mess, still way too short to tie back, but too long to look neat. It doesn't help that it's curly, which you don;t even notice when it's short but now it has a bit of length, I pump of mouse and drying it with a diffuser result in something that looks like a 1980s perm. I know this because I tried it for a laugh yesterday. So my dilemma is this: do I make an appointment and have it cut again, or do I continue to grow it and see what happens? I would like to try something new, but I'm getting a little sick of looking like a mess all this time. I've been thinking for a month or so that any day now it'll reach a length that is more manageable, but it keeps not doing. What normally happens is you make an appointment to get it cut then the next day you realize it looks not too bad now. Maybe I should book in so that that happens!
I got my Esther the Wonder Pig book on Friday (along with my helmet cam, but I don't have a memory card for that yet) so I've been reading that over the weekend. I love Esther. She's a pig that was adopted by a couple in Canada a few years ago, they thought she was a mini pig, but she turned out to be a full sized commercial pig, who just kept growing to around 650lbs. She is enormous, but she lives in the house with them and plays with the dogs and is just one of the family. It's amazing. They changed their whole lives because of there, moved out of the city to the countryside, went vegan, opened an animal sanctuary, all because they had this pig and the couldn't bear to give her up. The book is about their whole journey, and although I know it because I've followed Esther on Facebook for a year or so, I'm really enjoying it.
I've also started rewatching Lillyhammer on Netflix, it's been a while since I've seen it, it;s just as good as I remember,
We went to watch the parrot show, and my baby niece Hazel found it hilarious. Every time one of the birds squares, this four month old baby was just giggling hysterically!
When we were kids, long before Pleasure Island was build, we used to go to Cleethorpes to visit my Nana Jenny, my mum's mum, who lived in a caravan there for half the year. Near to the site where the theme park is now there used to be a little park with rides you had to pay for individually. Little things like trampolines and swing boats, but my favorite was this massive bumpy slide. You sat in sacks to go down it, and it was probably as tall as two houses. It disappeared, with the rest of the park around the time the theme park opened. Well, now it's inside the park! Or if it's not that one, it;s exactly the same. So exciting. And exactly how I remember it. Poppy loved it, and she dragged me (ha! there was no dragging involved!) on if four times to race down it. A bit of a blast from the past. Basically, I spent most of the day being a kid!
I'm really glad I went. I wrote a 5* Trip Adviser review to try to counteract some of the negativity on there.
But as we had a sudden change of plans, and to distract Poppy, we've come up with an alternative. So we're heading to Pleasure Island tomorrow. It's a low budget theme park about an hour's drive away. I've not been there since I was a kid, and I'm kind of meh about it, but Poppy's probably going to love it. We'll probably go to the Deep tomorrow too, which is awesome. It's the aquarium in town, and they have penguins, tow of whom currently have eggs! So exciting! The babies are due early next month, and I can't wait!
I took Poppy to karate today instead of tomorrow, because of the planned trip tomorrow, and got her her karate suit finally. She was so excited about it she was literally jumping up and down! She's been wanting one since she started, but the teacher said to wait a bit till we know she wants to carry on. She looks so cute in it.
In other news, I bought myself a helmet camera for use on my bike today. Ive been thinking about it for a while and I found one for a decent price. If I'm going to be cycling t-o work in the city center, it;s not a bad thing to have with all the idiot drivers out there. I;m thinking of getting myself an AirZound too, to beep at said idiots.
Well done to Hull City for winning the match to get back into the premiership too. I don;t follow Football at all, and I feel a bit of loyalty to Sheffield Wednesday since my mum's from Sheffield and half my family support them, but Hull won, so yay. At least the many football fans at work will be happy. Half of them went down to watch it.
My cousin (kind of my cousin, but not actually) and his dad were going too, from Sheffield. My mum was texting them to see where they were standing, but it turned out that his dad's brother had forgotten the tickets and they had to go home to get them, so they missed the start, which is a shame. I think they only missed the first three or so songs though.
The most random moment of the whole show was when Bruce Springsteen noticed a guy dressed as Santa in the audience, holding up a sign saying "Santa Claus is coming to Manchester". He was baffled and asked him if it was some words way of doing a song request, then he got him up on stage and they did Santa Claus is Coming to Town while the guy danced around holding his sign. I got a video of some of it.
I don't really like to be one of those people filming the whole show on their phone instead of watching but I did take a few videos of some of my favorite songs. He was on for about three hours in total, so there would have been too much show to record the whole thing anyway.
We stayed at the Travelodge in the city centre. I felt a bit sorry for the two guys working there, when about fifty concert-goers arrived within the space of a half hour, checking in, using the bar, ordering food. Apparently there were two staff members down, and the hotel was fully booked. They coped well with the influx though.
We would have spent some time in Manchester the next day, but it was still raining, so we just went home, stopped at a pub in Rochester on the way for breakfast, and got back for early afternoon, at which point I went to sleep, because my mum snoring had kept me awake half the night!
Weirdly, we got an e-mail from Ticketmaster telling us that he has no support act, and that he will be on stage at 18.30. This seems stupid early to me, apparently the show will end at 22.00, which also seems early, and I know he has a bit of a reputation for doing really long shows, but 3 1/2 hours? Plus, the sun doesn't even go down til after 9 now, so it's going to be light for hours when he comes on.
Well, we'll see. One thing's for certain though, we're gonna get drenched.
We're also late, because the doors opened at 16.00 and we're not there yet. Which means out chances of getting a good spot are pretty slim.
Never mind, it'll be awesome anyway. :-)
Not that it was good that so many people smoked and carried lighters around with them. Plus they used to burn your fingers. But I still think they looked prettier...
I found out yesterday that work are moving me to another branch again. I'm going to be in the small branch in the city centre from the middle of next month. I got the feeling that my manager expected me to be unhappy about this, but I'm pretty pleased. I mean, they do finish an hour later, but you get a lunch hour, which I don't get in Hedon, and because it's closer to home I'll be able to cycle to work again, which is awesome. I really feel like I've gotten out of shape since I've been having to drive to work. Maybe I'll be able to lose a couple of pounds in time for the summer.
Talking of summer, I'm not sure if it's just appeared of if iI've sudden;y gotten my sense of smell back after my stupid cold, but there is suddenly lilac everywhere, and it smells gorgeous. Just walking down there road there are about five trees, and they are all just slightly different and I absolutely love it. Summer is wonderful.
Really good show. I've seen him twice before, years and years ago when the KC Stadium in Hull was new and people actually came here, and then a few years later in York. The York show was amazing, it was just him, without his band in a tiny little venue. He took requests from the audience. He took a few requests last night too, actually, when he came on for the encore; he stayed on for over half an hour, just him and his guitar.
I can't even remember all the songs he did, because he was on for about two and a half hours. All the well known ones though, and quite a few off the new album.
Hilarious moment of the gig - he got some girl from the audience to dance all the way through one song and had her on the screen behind him, partway through, the... rather large... guy behind her started doing a striptease! Which of course Bryan Adams thought was hilarious, he stopped singing and said "Welcome to Sheffield everyone!"
We met up with my mum's cousin and her husband before the show. They weren't going, but we met up for some food at Chiquito. I've not seen them in quite some time. I don't know them especially well, but we used to go on holidays together when I was a kid, my mum and dad and us kids, them two and theirs.
After the show we went back to the hotel for a few drinks, then this morning we went to Meadowhall on the way home, not for any particular reason, just because we were nearby. But you can't go to Meadowhall without going to the Disney Store. Going to the Disney Store is never a good idea for me though, so I came out with a couple of t-shirts and this fairly awesome BB-8 suitcase, which was on offer, (I did need a little suitcase, though this wasn't exactly as practical as I might have gotten at Domo!) while my mum was unable to give into the temptation to spoil her grandkids, with a Rapunzel press up dress for Poppy and a really cute Finding Nemo swimsuit for Hazel.
All in all, a weekend well spent!
We have a dress down day at work tomorrow to raise money for Alzheimers research. I might wear one of my new t-shirts. Maybe the Captain America one.
Actually, I'm pretty damn sure that's what I've done, because when I blow my nose, I can hear air coming out of my ear, which is incredibly weird.
Oddly, it's actually improved my hearing, I think because the pressure inside has been released and it can't build up again. But it's not the ideal way to solve that problem. The other ear's still bunged up, but I think I've broken the left one.
I rang 111 to see what to do about it. They suggest leaving it a few days to see if it improves, and then going to the doctor on Monday. Though I didn't actually tell them I've perforated it, as I wasn't sure at the time, so I just described the symptoms; pressure gone, awful sound as it happened, earache (which has thankfully gone now) and the buzzing, which is still there. My mum reckons I should go tomorrow. I haven't told her what's happened either, because she'll only yell at me about it.
The trouble with going to the doctor though, is that it would involve calling in sick. I can't get a normal appointment at short notice, they're booked up for about three weeks, so it has to be an emergency appointment, which means ringing at 8am and going whenever they tell you. It's that, or go to the walk in place after work and potentially end up waiting for five hours.
The medical adviser at 111 basically told me I should have gone to the doctor ages ago though, rather than putting up with a cold and probably a chest infection and all the sinus stuff for two months, because everything's connected up, and it;s obviously that that has messed my ears up. She's right, of course. It's just damn difficult to get an appointment when you work full time.
I'm going to Sheffield to see Bryan Adams on Saturday (if I can still hear!) so I'm not sure if it's best to go before or after that. My work know I'm going, so if I call in sick tomorrow, they might think it's to make it a long weekend, which it isn't. If I leave it till Monday, maybe I could give them some warning so that they can make provisions for the fact that I might not be in, or that I might have to arrive late or leave early or whatever.
I'll see how it is tomorrow.