Tag Archives: work

Writing

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I am attempting to take more time for me now that I am beginning to get some semblance of routine back into my life. With work just round the corner an the end of my maternity approaching, I am trying to think more about myself and where I want to go. I don’t want baby black to grow up with a miserable mother – just because I carried on doing a ‘job’ that pays the bills. I want to be a role model for him, to show him if you want something bad enough you can do it, you just have to work hard. So, now I have a fixed laptop, it is time to crack on with my writing course. Incase anyone else fancies themselves a writing course you can find it here.

So my first assignment, and piece of writing I had to do was a piece of descriptive writing. I thought I would share it with you. It was an observational piece, and we had to choose somewhere of interest and describe it. Feel free to comment if you like:

In the distance an aeroplane rumbled, and I strained to find the contrail jutting out of its rear. Unable to see it, I meandered down the twisted wisteria walkway instead. This was the aisle I was meant to walk down on my wedding day. Sighing, I stroked one of the baby branches arching over the walkway and was surprised to find it furry and covered in moss; my fingers tingled at its touch. Its elder looked down watching it grow, bark as wrinkly as a grandmothers.

The gravel crunched under my feet, as I continued down the path. I halted as I glimpsed a hint of the pillar-box red oriental bridge in the distance. Veering off the walkway I headed towards the bridge to stand at the edge of the lake, I heard the quacking of a pair of ducks paddling in the pond, and the roar of a waterfall pounded the jagged rocks surrounding it. Staring at the pool beneath the waterfall, I wondered whether mermaids lived in the murky midnight blue depths.

I stepped around the end of the walkway into a huge open space covered in a blanket of green grass. It felt like I was entering a magical world. A towering pagoda stood peacefully amongst the trees and boulders around it. If you listened hard enough you could almost hear the clip clop of geisha shoes, and the flapping of kimono fabric in the wind. Poised at my feet, stood a single flower flecked with pink ready to battle the first frosts of spring like a samurai preparing for war. 

I inhaled deeply, and the sharp air cut my throat as it whipped my fringe into my glasses. I pulled my jacket tighter to protect myself from the chilly air and walked through the dewy grass towards the aged mansion at the top of the gardens. I placed my hands on the filigree garden gate, and shivered as the icy metal bit my fingers. A delicate spiders web quivered in the breeze lonely without its eight-legged owner. The stately gardens behind the gate were pruned to perfection, with chess shaped bushes and neat lines surrounding the majestic fountain centerpiece.  

Springs first sunshine kissed the mansions sandy colored bricks. Terracotta turrets bulged out of the roof, and evergreen coloured ivy crept boldly up the walls.  I walked away imagining wartime evacuees waving behind the mansions enormous square windows and running through the great rooms inside.

 

 

 

Tales of Advice

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The thing is, we ask for advice even when we don’t really need it, don’t really want it and then, we don’t really follow it!

I have a bee in my bonnet about this because I annoy myself asking for advice.

Why do I do it?

I… Infact WE all already know the answer. Don’t we?

For example:

Should I go out tonight?

Even though your asking with a little wry smile you already know your going, so why do we bloody ask?

Should I eat a second bar of chocolate?

No Sach, of course you shouldn’t, because once you do, your guna be wracked with guilt over the calories you have guzzled, feel guilty, fat and then reach for a third bar to console yourself – why do I do it? I just shouldn’t ask because I already know the answer!

The real irritation I have with asking for advice is really, deep down, we’re all just looking for self justification. It’s kind of arrogant! We want everyone else to agree and justify what we want to do, even when we know it’s a bad idea.

Oh what should I do? – my (fictional) boyfriends cheated on me… again – should I take him back? I mean he is really sorry this time.

Why can’t we just be confident in our decisions? In what we already know we are going to do. Why do we pretend and deny that we haven’t made our minds up?! The moment I ask for advice I’ve already made my mind up. I know it, whoever I’m asking knows it too. Yet we both persist in dancing around the perpetual advice fence: you justify whatever course of action you really want to take, and the person giving advice rolls around the reasons why it’s a bad idea.

What’s the point? Waste of air.

AND…. Even when we do get advice we never bloody follow it! Humans are awful at following advice. We all give it, and even when we ask our dear friends what they would tell themselves, we still don’t follow it!

So – I decided –

Fuck advice, I already know what I want to do….

I have been searching for the right writing course for two years, the course to give me the right knowledge to finish my novel and kick start what I hope will be a writing career – my dream.

Why I thought to ask whether or not to do it I have no idea. I only got annoyed with what I heard, because really, all I wanted was confirmation I was doing the right thing, and who can actually give me that? No one but me!

Yes it’s 350 quid, but I can pay it over a few months, yes I have a newborn. But so what. Who do I actually need to justify it to?

Does having an infant mean my life goes on hold? That my dreams stop?No. More to the point, if I did put my life on hold, what kind of role model is that for my child? Do I want him to learn that you can be lazy and find excuses not to follow your dreams? Or do I want him to know that he has to work, hard, play hard and never give up….

So, I’ll ignore the pessimism, stop asking for advice and do it anyway. My money, my time, my choice.

I might be, covered in sick, soaked in pee, stinking of baby poop, slightly delirious, and temporarily daisy the milking cow, but that doesn’t mean I can’t follow my dreams…..

Even if I have to do it one handed, smelling of baby fluids and caked in puke. Failing that I’ll do it in the bath once the boys asleep!

33 weeks – advice needed

Advice needed.

I had a funny turn this week – went all pale and sweaty and ghost like, and I nearly fainted. I got sent home from work and worked from home for two days.

I feel exhausted – like totally utterly and completely drained. I want to cry every morning trying to get out of bed and force myself to work. I sit at my desk and I can feel heavy weights dragging the bags under my eyes lower. I am exhausted to my bones, to my soul, my very core.

I really feel like the funny turn was probably exhaustion related. In fairness I have changed job, moved house – fully redecorated the entire house, started and completed a dissertation and a huge work submission all whilst being pregnant and the only time off ive had is 5 days (2 of which were a weekend) when I was ill. So I haven’t really had any time off so I am not surprised I am unwell.

But heres the thing, I have 4 full weeks left at work and I have to go in for one day for a big work conference a week later – that’s compulsory. But I feel like my body is giving up.

I could leave work a week earlier…. I could. I am due to leave at about 37.5 weeks but I could leave around 36 if I shifted a weeks leave from the end of my maternity to this side. But the thought of doing that makes me feel like a failure, I feel like I would be failing the baby before he even got here, giving up a weeks worth of time with him, to rest. I cant seem to get my mind out of that mindset… it just seems wrong.

I don’t really know what to do.

I have a weeks leave to play with, I could work 4 day weeks for the next 4 weeks, or I could split the hours and work 2-2.5 hours less a day – but that feels like a waste – like I am not really getting anything from using a whole weeks leave. Or I could leave work in 3 weeks instead of 4… or I could just man up and leave when I planned too in 4 weeks time…

What should I do????

Good Karma

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I seem to of had an exceptional run of good karma this week.

It started with P!nk last weekend, and just spilled into the whole rest of the week.

I have a dear fertility friend at work, who was also having issues conceiving. I remember having a conversation with her before I was pregnant and I said:

“wouldn’t it be funny if we both ended up pregnant at the same time…!!”

well….

This week she told me not only was she pregnant, but that she is due on the same day as me!! I kid you not!! I nearly fell over myself. How did that happen?? I mean really what are the chances!

Ok so then I went to a vending machine to grab some chocolate, popped my money in and out came my requested bar of chocolate, and I asked for my change, and the machine decided to give me over double my money back!! I love it when that happens!

Anyway, now we are pregnant, we REALLY need to move, we live in this tiny house with no walls. Everything is open plan, and theres only one bedroom. So we have been stressing out a lot, about how we would find £1500 for a deposit for a rental house. I had forgotten that when all this fertility stuff came up I signed on to a work housing scheme, where you can rent a house from them, at a slightly lower price than usual. Well the houses are so highly in demand, I basically forgot I had even applied for a house and had given up hope.

I got a phone call asking if we were still interested in a property to which I said yes absolutely. The agent said they had two flats available. We went to see them later that afternoon and he showed us round the first flat, which had nothing inside and I do mean nothing, no carpets, no white goods no curtain rails NOTHING. It didn’t feel right, and the cats couldn’t have got out of the flat easily, it was just wrong, and I was gutted.

Anyway, I asked if the next flat was upstairs, and he said oh I have a two bedroomed house next. I was like “are you joking me?!” he said no it’s right around the corner!!

WELL. It was BEAUTIFUL.

The whole house needs stripping, and painting, and decorating, but you can just tell its beautiful! Two double bedrooms, an enormous livingroom, gorgeous views, and a patio and garden! and the best bit…. it’s under £550 per month!! total bargain.

As if this wasn’t good enough for a week’s karma, I was practically head hunted. I was asked to apply for a job… that would mean a hefty pay rise, and mean that my maternity pay would be significantly higher… So I have to apply before going on holiday on Monday….

Keep your fingers crossed for me. 🙂

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Spiralling Down

One week. One week back in my cesspit hole of a job to feel myself start to tip off the side of sanity all over again.

I hate it. I hate my job so much it infects me. It putrefies my thoughts and tears tiny bits of my soul away, day by day. I can feel myself erupting on the inside over nothing. Something someone says, an insignificant remark makes my mind seethe and my blood burn with angry lust.

I am becoming scarred with bitter frustration.

I am broken.

I have a new boss, and he asked me this week after hearing my story if I had any fight left in me.

“you do don’t you… have fight left in you?” He asked me expectantly.

I just turned my head away. Biting back the tears.

” I don’t know”

And I really don’t know.

My old boss stole my confidence, and crushed my creativity.

” The thing is Sach…” He would say patronisingly.

“You got a big personality. You just need to be a bit less Sacha… you know?”

Cunt.

He hated me. He hated what I represented and made sure I knew it.

I am disgusted with myself that I could let a man beat me down and crush me the way he did, the way work has.

He left, but I have given up. I have nothing left, no fight, no drive, no ambition.

My entire being is bruise and I am exhausted.

I am Sacha, and I am beautiful, but, I am utterly broken.

 

Fuckin' Monday Strikes Again.

I am a strong believer in putting good karma and energy out there. So I am considering trying to change my severe hatred of Monday and put out some Monday love.

However, today is not that day.

I REALLY fucking hate Monday, and it hates me.

Today is the first day of my new placement. I rotate ever 6 months for two years, and I am hoping that this will be my last rotation. But we shall see. Anyway. So as first days go it was relatively pain free, other than the fact I am a guinea pig for my line manager who has never line managed anyone, was possibly the most patronizing person I know and only gave me one project, which she claimed would take me 6 months, and I had to try not to laugh in her face, knowing my insatiable appetite for work, I could obliterate it in two. AND, I took that as a challenge to prove the point to her. ANYWAY.

I am hopeful that this placement will be much better, for a start the office isnt some holier than thou – took an oath of silence – type offices, people actually interacted.

Enough moaning, I am genuinely happier in this office, although this is only day 1 so… I ain’t counting any chickens just yet.

Today is the wife’s birthday.

I had this whole brilliant idea for a present and card, and had planned on doing it on Saturday because she was going out with her friends back home (home being where she grew up, as opposed to our current home)

ANYWAY, she was supposed to be going to her nans the following day, and wanted me to come with her. Her nan lives an hour further south than where she came from.

So dick head over here – me – opens my big mouth and asks her why she isn’t staying in reading for the night and driving straight on to her nans in the morning.

Well I thought I was being logical and rational. Which I was, but then I got caught up in the whole thing, and shes draggin me down to her mums because she wants me to go to her nans the following day.

So I am stuck in my mother in laws house (she wasn’t there btw) with no car, no nothing, no ability to go shopping for her. She says she doesn’t care, and would prefer me to go to her nans than get her anything, but it makes me feel like crap.

So when she wakes up this morning I have nothing to give her, squat. Not even a card, I feel like the worst wife ever.

So I leave home early to get her something before work (my first day in the new placement mind) and rush to work.

Go through the whole day no hitches, minus my minor irritations, and when do I ever get through a whole day without getting annoyed?!

Anyway, I leave early in the hope that I can get to the shops to buy a cake before she gets home…

Climb in the car, key – ignition – splutter splutter… DEATH. My car literally committed suicide on me.

Why? why is it always the day before I go to uni? I have a two and a half hour drive to uni tomorrow, and I am in real danger of not being able to get up there.

Why is it always fucking Mondays??

Friday Fails…

Everything anyone has ever said about weddings is true. Especially the come down.

I genuinely had the worst case of man flu that has ever existed….True story!!

I felt particularly sorry for myself, but I have now sucked it up, manned up,  and I am well on the road to recovery.

That is, except for the extreme exhaustion I am still feeling. This is a whole other level of exhaustion, it’s some kind of nasty life sucking, energy draining beast.

I can’t even think clearly, I am desperate to blog properly again, but I can barely drag… and I do mean drag myself out of bed, let alone blog. Whatismore, for medical reasons I am having to withdraw from caffeine…

This has led me to do a really good impression of death warmed up right now, I am also throwing in a pinch of the lights are on but no ones home just for good measure. I am not functioning. I don’t understand sentences, I cant text and this blog will ruin me for at least a few days!! 😛

Basically I am so tired I am totally incapable of doing anything… Apparently I am not young enough to do a typical Sacha and burn the candle at both ends and in the middle, and get away with it. I am paying a steep price… I look like the kid in the picture!!

 

Today was an epic failure, but Friday was so so much worst.

Friday…

Actually Thursday night…. We went for dinner with some friends and the usual Gran Canaria pride chat  came up again. After much discussion it was decided that like this year we would all go.

This year was epic, there was a group of about 10-15 of us that went, and it was genuinely one of the best weeks of my life. Anyway. I go to book the hotel, pay for it, and then realise I have booked the wrong dates. Fuck.

I ring the hotel in Gran Canaria, try to have a Spanglish type conversation and establish that its too early and I need to ring the travel company and sort it with them. Which I do and just about get it sorted after some serious fannying about on their behalf.

So I search for flights but can only find flights for the furthest airport away from us. ugh. But decide that I would rather book early than wait for the price to go up just so I can get a closer airport.

I book the flights, and go to bed happy.

Friday morning…

I wake up seriously bleary eyed and had to forcibly rip myself from my cosy warm bed and into the shower. Whilst I am showering I realise that I feel like something is wrong with the booking.

I pick up my mac and open the receipt page for the booking, everything looks fine. I open up the web page to manage my booking and to my horror, they have messed up my surname… (we have double barrelled btw). So I am particularly irritated at this point already seeing as I fucked up booking the hotel. I ring the stupidly expensive phone line and get half way through sorting the problem and the phone gets cut off.

RAGE.

It is at this point that I look back at the web page and utter horror washes over me, as I look at the dates.

I booked the wrong fucking dates.

How did I do that?

HOW CAN I DO THAT????…. twice?? for gods sake.

I go back to the search page just to make sure I am not going insane and I did actually search for the right dates its just the piece of shit web companies mistake for showing the wrong flights… and possibly mine for not double checking. *cough*

At this point, I am having to really suppress Hulk back down. I am also  late for work, have no caffeine, no breakfast and I need to ring the company to sort this out.

I get on the phone to one of them and they tell me to ring the airline direct.

More rage.

The airline tells me thats no problem they will change the dates and my name and wipe the admin fee… but the flights are more expensive. like £90 more expensive.

Not happy.

It is at this point I am now REALLY late for work, and I go to gather up my bag and stuff for work. I get flustered because I have had no breakfast and now cant find my wallet.

The wife rings… “Babe I just found your wallet in my car… do you need it?”

RAGE.

Of course I need it. So instead of going to work, I have to drive to her work to pick up my wallet first.

I check my diary to make sure I am not going to be late for a meeting and just my luck I have a 9:30am meeting booked in. Luckily its with someone who is ALWAYS late, or just doesnt turn up. Plus they didnt accept the meeting request, so I am pretty sure that they wont be coming.

I run into work throw my laptop on the desk and ring the guy I am meant to be meeting, who of course, today….is waiting for me in the canteen. Fuck.

So I have to run to the canteen, I get three quarters of the way there and realise I left the single most important piece of paperwork I needed in the office. At this point I am sweating and flustered. So I have to bolt back to the office rifle through a mountain of papers just to find one thing!!

When I get there. He has the smelliest, most tasty looking coffee, and I am beyond envious. withdrawal is not fun.

The last fail I managed to rack up on Friday was epic on a huge proportion.

I like to think of myself as technologically ‘with it’ I know how to use most technology without being told how, I like techy things, and generally I am very careful about which profile I use to say what.

Apparently, not when I am tired.

I managed to tweet my boss from my Sacha_black profile without realising, and inadvertently gave him access to my blog, my twitter, my rants… everything. #fml.

I just need to sleep. But my cats like to see to it that they get fed at ridiculous o clock in the morning, or let out, or in, whenever they see fit even if its at 2,3,4 or 5 am.

Even my work mate turned round to me today and said…

“mate… dont take this the wrong way… but you look like shit!!”

Great.

Surely not a good Monday?!

 

It’s about this time on a Monday when I usually start ranting about how shit it has been. Someone or other has pissed me off, something has gone horribly wrong,  etc etc. In fact, I secretly love the fact so many ridiculous things happen to me. It gives me funny stories to tell and hopefully some good anecdotes for others to enjoy.

HOWEVER, I am dumbfounded to find that I have NOTHING negative to say!!

My heart bleeds!

I almost don’t know what to do with myself it has actually been an above average day!!!

Despite my usual Monday routine of: waking up, getting ready, passing out again fully clothed trying to scrape the last few minutes before leaving for work, cradling coffee the rest of the day went surprisingly well.

This is odd for me, firstly because I love a good moan, or rant. It saddens me that I have nothing to moan about! *at least I am honest!!*

Perhaps I should enjoy the moment!

Secondly because I have the worst luck with Mondays, they normally feature somewhere between diabolical and worst days of my life.

Anyway.

I am a trainee manager, and on a ‘scheme’ at work, and today I was given a budget for a project that will remain nameless because it is an extremely large national project that is running across all authorities. The fact that I will have some responsibility over a budget is fab, and also something I think, not many other grads have had the chance to do yet. Which considering I have my mid placement review tomorrow, is beyond excellent timing.

I have had some seriously good feedback about my role in this project too, which was also great, and a real boost to my confidence, particularly because I haven’t really enjoyed the work I have been doing.

Then, I decided that I wanted to shape my next placement. I do not want to be in the situation where I am not enjoying what I am doing. More to the point, because of my drive to be a millionaire in 10 years see other blog! (http://sachablack.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/this-time-next-year-rodney-well-be-millionaires/ )

I decided I want to look at property development. So I thought considering the company I work for has a huge portfolio I would try to get a placement in their property department. So I nudged a bit and prodded in the right direction and it’s looking promising to say the least!

This is a major win!

It is only 6pm… maybe I shouldn’t count my chickens just yet!!

An unusual proposal

 

I used to be the president of my Students’ Union. Definitely the best job in the world! Anyway this isn’t the point.

I had to get elected into the position, so there were 2 weeks of long elections, where you are beyond exhausted because you campaign, campaign, campaign. I think I must of only slept about 4 hours a night.

I was voted in by a huge majority, and had one of the best most productive years in a long time. So I have been told I left a bit of a legacy, that’s not for me to determine, but it was nice to hear it all the same. I was just passionate. I lived to work. Obviously this wasn’t great for the gf. She had to put up with me working all manor of ridiculous hours, put up with constant ranting; and emotional swings, where something had either gone my way, or gone seriously wrong.

We also had a few housing issues whilst we were together and I was in the Union. We lived in one room, sharing a house, so there was little privacy, a lot of arguments, fallings out, my cat being abused, we ended up moving out two months early and paying rent on two properties just to protect ourselves and the cats. Suffice to say it had been a fairly stressful year. The University, Union and town we lived in had been a bit of a legacy for us too.

So I was coming to the end of my term as president, and I couldn’t re run, so instead I decided to get involved in announcing the results of the next president and other elected officers. We were in the Students’ union pub. It was noisy and rammed full of friends, family and other students, all hoping their candidate was going to win. The atmosphere was electric, all my friends were there to support me leaving, but I had gotten all emotional trying to announce the results.

I dont do emotion, and I definitely don’t like other people seeing me emotional on the rare occasions that it does happen.

All day the gf had been saying weird things to me, and I (wrapped up in the elections) just ignored it, and brushed them off.

She was saying things like:

“Oh sweetie, I know this is hard for you, it’s the end of an era.”

“Sach, we can move on, start a fresh.”

“Babe, this is the start of a whole new part of our lives.”

etc etc. If I hadn’t been so wrapped up in the union, and admittedly my own ‘end of an era’ I might have thought something was up. But as it was, I didn’t, I just thought she was trying to be supportive , if a little odd!!

Anyway, I was all flustered and upset once the results were announced and I hung around for a little while to say congratulations to the successful candidates. Particularly because one of them (the one who won president, was the mutual friend of ours that had dragged me out the night I me the gf).

Anyway I started to get upset again. So I said to the gf I was going to go home, but she should stay because of our mutual friend. When I said I was going home. I was only going to get changed and have a word with myself so that I calmed down and sorted myself out. I had intended to come back out. All and I do mean ALL, my friends and the gf’s friends were trying to persuade me to stay out, and some a little too forcefully, which I also thought was odd. Apparently I am stubborn!! and so I was like “thanks guys, but no, I am going home”

I asked one of my friends to walk me to my car, they gave me a hug because I had tears flooding down my face. I couldn’t really see, for all the tears had clouded my eye sight. But I had a funny sensation that someone was following me.

We reached the car park, and my friend suddenly disappeared like a shot as I was fumbling for my keys. I turned round to look for where they had gone and the gf was bent down on one knee holding a ring out. I saw a flash of colour in the corner of the car park, but my eyes were still too foggy to see clearly, especially as I didn’t have my glasses on.

“It wasn’t meant to be like this…. but baby will you marry me?”

Well obviously I just cried harder at this point!!

“Y, y, y, yes” I stuttered out, half crying, half giggling. As a huge crowd cheered and 40 people ran out from the corner of the car park. All our friends had been hiding watching her propose to me. (Which I later find out, was meant to be in the middle of the Students’ Union pub!)

I wore a ring on that finger anyway a ‘commitment ring’ which we both had. The gf  pointed out, that in order to get the engagement ring on, I needed to remove the other one. This just made me giggle more. I took it off and pushed on the engagement ring, and bent down to get her up off the floor and give her a massive kiss. Everyone just cheered louder at this point.

I guess now I see why she kept dropping comments in about it being the start of a new phase, the end of an era.

Although I joke, about how ridiculous it was to be proposed to in a car park, the sentiment was there, and I think it’s kind of romantic really. Especially when so much of our life had revolved around the union.

This was a year and a half ago, and now we are just over a month away to the big day… eek.