Sunday 31 July 2011

Endings, New Beginings and Just a Little Shopping.

Well the last week of July has certainly been a week.

I was scheduled for 2 job interviews, a meeting with the HR department and getting another job application done and handed in. On top of that as of Friday at 5pm the building I have worked in for 23 years would shut and my department would no longer exist.

My first interview was monday late morning. I was able to go into work late which was a Brucie bonus, it meant I got a bit of a lie-in and also had the leisure of choosing an interview outfit and getting ready at home rather than in 5 minutes flat in the ladies toilets at work!
I decided on a smart dress in the end as my suit is black wool and it was a pretty hot day, also the skirt is just a we bit tight....
Sorry no picture I genuinely was going to before I left, but was rushing round and forgot in the end.

The job in question was called 'MBA Admissions Co-ordinator' at the Said Buisness School. I had read up on the course before hand and actually put myself off the role if I'm honest. Having said that the interview went well, I answered all the questions and wasn't too nervous, because I'd kind of put myself off the job, so that actually helped lol. Anyway I came out thinking 'that went well but not a hope' I didn't feel I had the office experience they needed.
Back to work, back into jeans and t-shirt, think no more about it. They told me I would hear by the afternoon and I didn't hear anything, oh well, onwards and upwards.

Tuesday morning rapidly turned into what has probably been my worst day at work ever, it was just awful. I was seriously ready to say fuck the lot of you and just go home, and no matter what I have never, never felt like that before. When at 3pm I got a call offering me the job. I must confess I was completely knocked for six by that and asked for some time before I gave them an answer. Given my fuck you comment above you might think I would have taken it and stormed out saying exactly that, but to be honest when you are so upset you are about to sit down and bawl you eyes out and right at that moment you get a job offer it just knocks you sideways. I think I was just too emotionally drainned.
So I talked over the pros and cons with a collegue and my boss. I got home and talked them over a bit with Himself and then went out to see Phil Jupitas doing stand up, laugh a lot and drink a little too much beer. Especially on a school night!
Wednesday I rang up and accepted the job and cancelled the other job interview. This was followed by a day and a half of confusion with me piggy in the middle between two HR departments to such a point I woke up at 3am having a complete panic. Just horrible.
Thankfully things were finally sorted by Friday morning, apparently moving departments within the same institution is meant to be the easiest thing to do!??!

It's been very weird. Everyone kept coming up to me and saying how thrilled they were for me and was I excited? I ended up lying and saying yes because it was just easier.
 I'm not excited. I am relieved, my overwhelming feeling is of relief, to have found something, to not be redundant, but excited? no.
I think it is partly because it all happened so damn fast and I don't have to work notice so I don't have the luxury of that time to get myself prepared. Also it's been a tough week and very emotional. All bar 2 of my collegues finished on Friday, they were such a great team I shall miss them dreadfully. Some of them don't have jobs to go to either so that is hard too. I have 23 years of memories from a job I truely loved and have only left because I was forced to rather than by my choice. So for now I'm relieved and a bit maudlin but not excited. Hopefully it will come, I am an optimist at heart but I figure I am allowed a little wallow first.
I finish at the Bodleian on Wednesday and start at the Said on Monday the 8th.

 I got my traditional leaving book on Friday, though I have to hand it back in to have some more pages of signatures bound in apparently, what it is to be popular eh? Lets hope I can get my swell head through the door on Monday! I will say if I wasn't feeling teary before I certainly was after reading it.

As to the mention of shopping. My new job requires a smart professional appearance. I have spent the last 23 years going to work in either jeans or combats. Smart professional does not come easily to me. I am planning a complete military operation on the wardrobe next week!
Everything out, outfits coordinated, everything tried on as I suspect many will not be suitable or will not actually fit (damn you comfort eating!)
I bought some lovely smart trousers in the Next sale and a handful of work shirts on Ebay, I knew what I wanted and couldn't find it in the shops but on Ebay struck gold.
On Thursday I went for a milkshake at lunchtime with 2 friends from work. We stepped into a little boutique in the covered market because it had sale signs. They had some lovely dresses, but I felt for the quality and finish of the garments they were too expensive for what they were. There was one that was down to £35 in the sale which I quite liked but would have had to try on. I didn't have the time so planned to go back the next day. Instead I got lured into Debenhams on my way past, it had even bigger sale signs you see.
I browsed, I found things, I tried them on and I purchased them! All of the below were purchased for exactly £35, the cost of the dress in the other shop which is a bit weird really.

To digress for a moment. I have read a few blogs lately apologising profusely for using 'Ebay' style photos of clothes on hangers as if it is some disgusting, heinous crime. Bollocks to that.
I hate having my picture taken at the best of times and will continue to show pictures clothes on hangers rather than on me. If you are offended by that then that's up to you of course, but frankly my dear I don't give a damn. If it distresses so much unfollow me, simple as.

Anyway as I say all this booty for £35. A few of them need little repair jobs hence the low prices but it's nothing I can't fix :-)
Cute tea dress, I wasn't sure about the v-neck but it looked fine with a necklace.

I'm not a fan of strapeless dresses as a rule but this one had strawberries on it and it was black, which is a win win in my book. I plan to add some plain black straps myself. I do have to wear it as a top though, because being tall like I am this is just too short to be a dress on me!

  I need to mend the neckline on this dress, but I loved the colour and the butterfly design.
Again this one is too short to be worn as a dress so I nearly didn't buy it, but it was a bargain and I can always wear it over leggings......

Ok I admit NONE of the above are smart workwear!

Saturday 23 July 2011

Bloggy Swap and Random Things

On Thursday I received my Bloggy Swap parcel from Vintage Vicki. As some of you know the  lovely Lakota of Faith Hope and Charity Shopping came up with the great idea of a charity/thrift shop blog swap, judging from other peoples pictures, so far it has been a raging success and I'm thrilled to say Vicki's parcel was another winner.
                               Purple and green two of my favourtie colours

I couldn't and didn't wait to shred into them!


You  can't really see the lovely glass bead necklace Vicki got (one gift had to be a piece of jewellery)so here is a close up
                               Again green and purple = perfect :-)

How about this fab little bag of sewing booty? The egg cup pincushion is the star of the swap by far!
  Sorry crocheted bunting, picture frame and china elephant but the egg cup wins it.

                                                 Thank you so much Vicki.

Other than that it has been a week of highs and lows. Work has been busy in terms of all the clearing out we have had to be doing and Friday was my last day at 'my' desk. As you know I have worked in that building for 23 years so it was tough and I am a sentimental creature which doesn't help. Luckily for me Soo was on hand and met me after work for food, drinkies and belated birthday gifts. (I do love spreading my birthday out)
We sat outside at Prezzo in the castle complex in Oxford and ate yummy pasta followed by dessert, something I don't normally do, but just sometimes only something sweet will do and I'm pleased to say my vanilla panacotta hit the spot. God bless my ever expanding waistline! 
Then the heavens decided to open on us so we retreated to the pub where I don't think I paused to draw breath all evening, nothing like putting the world to rights over a large glass of wine. Thank you dear Soo for being such a fantastic friend, for listening and for spoiling me rotten. x
I had to share this with you, we spotted it on one of our charity shopoing sprees and Soo whisked it from my hands and insisted on buying for me for my birthday before I could hot foot it to the till. I know it's pink but there are shades of pink and shades of pink and this is one of the shades I allow, also it's just so fantastic that I don't care.
                                                     Cat Straw Bag!
Also no birthday is complete without an elephant and here is a doorstop one.

On Wednesday we went to see Harry Potter. I loved it, and yes I shed a tear or six in the scene with his parents. I do recommend it but don't bother with the 3D it doesn't add to the film at all.
We went to the 5.30 showing which meant I had time to kill before and of course I ended up browsing the shops. I came away with this pair of black leather wedges from Clarks.
                   Reduced from £49.99 to £14.99 at that price it would have been rude not too!

Also on Wednesday my Mum drove into Oxford to meet me at work and pick up the little metal cabinet I had been given permission to take home. Mind that was not without incident as I managed to tip it up the wrong way and deposit all 12 drawers all over the pavement whilst cars honked impatient horns behind us!?!
                                                     Saved from the skip.

It needs a good clean and then I plan to store all of my buttons, ribbons and sewing stuff in it.
I also salvaged a whole load of vintage glass baubles which suddenly turned up in the rubbish area from lord only knows where.

and finally this beautiful shawl was also about to go in a binbag too, so I whisked it into my bag instead!

Next week I have two job interviews and also hope to hear about a third one I applied for. Fingers crossed. Now I just have to figure out what to wear.........................

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Glamour of the Gods Exhibition and Birthday Booty.

I had a deliciously quiet sparkling wine filled weekend and it was just what the doctor ordered. I know it was the day of my birth and everything but really all I craved was peace and quiet after all the madness of the last few weeks. Thankfully Himself was happy to oblige and kept the wine flowing and the conversation to a minimum. Blissful.
I got some lovely birthday pressies.
 Very excited about the Miss Marple box set!
 How fab is this purse??

treated myself!

Anyhow yesterday I took myself off to London to the 'Glamour of the Gods' exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery. I had a wonderful few hours and my only complaint was there weren't enough pictures to look at!
Displayed chronologically from the 1920's to the 1960's the exhibition gave a glamourous snapshot of the biggest stars of the day. I loved the fact that they also acknowledged each photographer, every picture had 2 career descriptions, one about the actor/actress and one about the person behind the lens. There were some fascinating examples of how the pictures where set up and shot but also how they were fiercely touched up.Again only complaint is there weren't enough!

  Not so clear in this small picture, but here is Joan Crawford with freckles, wrinkles and dark lines.
and after touch-ups are done!
There were also some fascinating pictures of studio portraits being set up, a real glimpse at just how much hard work and equipment went into getting these artless shots so artless.

To digress for a moment whenever I go to exhibitions that have books in them I tend breeze past them busman's holiday fashion, thinking nothing more than 'oh we have that one at work'  or 'their copy is in better condition than ours' or 'more manuscripts - yawn'.  In this case however it was blissful to linger over the cabinet 'Oh they have a copy of that' or 'oh! I've never seen that book before'. I guess it just takes a subject I am passionate about to have me cooing. Lol.
Small though it is the exhibition is well worth the £6 entrance fee. It is well researched, well written, and an interesting glimpse into one aspect of the golden years of Hollywood. On top of that if you are a huge fan of black and white films and movie stars like I am this is sheer heaven.
Below are some of my favourite pictures from the exhibiton:

Nina Mae McKinny
Carole Lombard

Norma Shearer.

James Cagney
Grace Kelly.

Ava Gardner.

The only cloud to my enjoyment was from a strange old man who insisted on standing right up behind me no matter where I moved too *shudder*

Happily I hunted high and low and found no pictures of Maralyn Munroe! (there was one of Marilyn Monroe though ;-))
 Finally this wonderful picture of Ann Sheridan/Penny Dreadful 
Is it just me or do you see the likeness?

Saturday 16 July 2011

The End is Nigh-er than I Thought!

This week was meant to be a bit easier at work as our book ordering system is down and I had planned out a leisurely schedule of sorting out and packing up of my 22 years worth of 'stuff', plus a bit of illicit computer browsing. Typically the powers that be moved the goal posts. 4.30pm Tuesday they announced we had to be packed up and out by this Friday at 5pm rather than next week!?! SHIIIIT
 Cue lots of manic hard work, plus trying to fit in sorting my personal 'stuff' out and the lugging home of many heavy bags each night on the train. I have ceratinly given my biceps a good workout this week.
Yesterday my collegues and I trawled through double checking everything was collected up and ended up rooting through the 'rubbish' that had been left by other departments. We all came away with much booty (me literally as I found a brand new pair of Dunlop wellies in my size = result)  Suddenly I had even more bags to carry home. If I thought my sitting room was a mess last week it's nothing on what it looks like right now!

I could go into the rant that I have been having all week about the disgusting shameful waste that is going on but I won't. Your poor ears don't deserve it anymore than any of the other poor people I have raged at this week already. I'm choked up, trying not to think about it all too much. If I knew it was going to be a sympathetic restoration it wouldn't break my heart so much, but it isn't so it's very, very hard to see things being ripped out and destroyed forever. 
I can't bear to think of these wonderful bookcases being smashed up and ending up like the picture above can you?
This says it all really.

Anyway enough of that, there have been good things this week too. On Thursday I got word I have a job interview on the 25th, followed by news of another possible job opportunity, which I should hear more on next week so fingers crossed. Onwards and Upwards.
I shall share a picture with you of the cakes I made to take into work for the combination of cake thursday and my birthday this weekend.
                                                            Cosmic rainbow cakes!

They were yummy even if I say so myself. We also have tickets to see Phil Jupitas on the 26th, yay.
This morning Himself announced it to be my birthday weekend and therefore I was to do nothing. So far I have spent it doing precisely that, other than eating that is. I have no other plans which I'm very happy about, I've been so busy lately it's actually lovely to do absolutely bugger all.
Anyway for a birthday treat to myself I have Monday off work and shall be indulging myself at the the Glamour of the Gods Exhibition in London. Happy days.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Shopping, the Good, the Bad, the Vintage, the Kitsch and the Mistake?

So the no shopping rule has gone out the window lately. I have been hitting the sales, there is no excuse old habits die hard I guess. Bad I know and I'm kind of dreading the creditcard bill at the end of the month. I haven't gone mental but I know I shouldn't have been shopping at all really. I did incredibly well last month too......ah well.
The Good:

Sale shoes. One pair £6 and one pair £3. A shirt from the charity shop and some accessory goodies, all less than £2.

The Bad:
The Oasis dress I bought in Reading just looked awful on so I returned it. Typically I left it too late and could only exchange rather than refund but lucky me the Oxford store had a much better choice and I got this lovely navy blue skating style dress. This time I tried it on before I bought!
The other two bads I bought on Sunday and returned them the next day for a refund.

The Kitsch:
He made me laugh and I knew he would be perfect for the cotton buds in the bathroom. Himself, however  was not so convinced, but here he is in situ in the bathroom. :-)

The Vintage:

I'm not sure if I will keep this skirt or sell it, It has so much fabric in the skirt and a good swing to it, so I will try it on with my crinoline underneth and then decide. It is very unusual and I'm guessing came from Austria or Germany judging by the label. It was the ducks that caught my eye.

Finally The Possible Mistake:

It have no idea why I bought it really except it was £1 in the charity shop, it's not my colour, it's not my style but it was £1. I haven't tried it on yet, I sort of can't bring myself too, who knows I may be surprised but somehow I doubt it lol.

Monday 11 July 2011

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.

Well I am finally catching up, thank the lord I decided to take a day off work today. I got a much needed lie-in and have now been online for 3 hours, 3 freaking hours maintaining the Mother-in-Law's games on Facebook whilst she is away (only 114 requests to accept today!?!), catching up on my Facebook, my email and all the blogs I follow! Shesh.
The washing machine is on load 4 of 6 and the sitting room looks like it has been ransacked. After I've been out to restock the fridge I think I know what my afternoon will be spent doing *SIGH*
Shouldn't really grumble, today the mess was definitely made by me, I do just tend to open my case up and tip it out when unpacking as I find it quicker to sort through that way lol. This time I tipped it up and left it where it lay, I know what a slut, shameful.

We had a great weekend away. Friday night we just had a couple of beers and something to eat before heading back to Himself's parents house.We were meant to be going out in Broadstairs but Himself's friend Paul couldn't make it after all, as it turns out the weather was awful anyway so it was probably for the best.
Next morning I went to meet my sister and friend Kay in Ramsgate. I decided to get off the bus early and walk to my sister's flat along the cliff top. I took my time, filling my lungs with sea air and just contemplating the ocean. I swear I could feel all the stress of the week just melt away. I really should live nearer the sea, maybe one day.....
Gabs and I sat in her garden drinking tea and chatting until Kay arrived. It's great to see she seems to be in a good place after all the upset with her ex.
This is the view from the garden to the sea.
 My sister is a great one for using random household objects in the garden, hence the wicker baskets, cups, plates,clock and staffordshire dogs!

  We had some lunch when Kay arrived and a bloody good catch up as we haven't been able to organise a get together for months now. It really does the soul good to be with old friends.
So we were going to go into town, but as we were getting ready it started to hammer down so a change of plan! A dash through the rain to Kay's car and off to a local garden centre instead. It's one of those huge ones with shop outlets and a cafe, so we mooched for a bit, ate huge wedges of cake with much tea and mooched some more. Bliss.
Kay dropped me back and popped in for a chat with Himself whilst I got changed. after Kay left, Himself's friend Paul and his Dad arrived and the 4 of us went out for dinner at a hotel on the cliff top in Kingsgate. The food was nice, but sadly the service was dreadful. Having said that we ended up moving through to the bar and staying there all night chatting and drinking! Sorry Broadstairs maybe next time.
Sunday Paul collected his car and popped in on his way home. He gave us a lift to the shopping mall as we needed to get some bits and there are sales on and I love shopping, need I say more?
Now I'm this side of it, and after such a great weekend I don't want to go back over the shit, shit, shit week I had at work so I won't.
There was a highlight on Wednesday night when we went to see the comedian Ross Noble (we are both big fans of his) at a tiny venue in Reading. He was showcasing 2 up and coming young comedians and also testing out new material before his next tour. It's such a small venue that there is no backstage area and the acts have to walk through the audience and then clamber up on to the stage!
This meant Ross did the first 15 minutes in the dark running up and down the walkway and even hiding behind a curtain at one point. There were some very confused latecomers!
The other highlight of the week was my boss bringing in 2 huge boxes of doughnuts on Thursday to say thanks to us for trying to cope with all the chaos.

On a side note as I say I did take all dresses with me at the weekend. Thanks for the comments on that by the way. I feel I must point out that I do love my jeans and essentially at heart I am most comfortable as a jeans and t-shirt kind of a gal. However I have made the descion to dress a bit better and wear some of the lovely frocks that languish in my wardrobe due to nothing my that sheer laziness on my part. I'm afraid I have only one picture of me in a dress from the weekend.
I always feel like I should be serving tea in a Lyons Corner House in this dress. Mind with that face on I don't think I'd get many customers, Jesus! No idea why I look so stern, it's a face to turn the milk sour!
I hadn't had any wine yet, maybe that's it, maybe this is my I've had a crap week give my wine NOW face? If so, I can see why Himself often wordlessly puts a bottle in the fridge!

Oh and to finish on a lighter note, there is nothing like having nature on your doorstep. I went out to water the garden last night when we got home and our resident hedgehog had done what can only be described as a spectacular poo by hedgehog standards right in the middle of the door mat. Lucky for me I was looking down at the time.