Busy Doing Nothing

I haven’t written much in months. That’s becoming a regular refrain, sadly. I now work in a call centre, a job I love far more than I expected for money I didn’t expect to get. The only problem with it is that it’s full on and constant. Breaks are ad-hoc, grabbed when I can manage it, and lunch is half an hour. I can’t even scribble down ideas, partly because my writing is very rarely safe for work but mostly because you can’t hold onto a train of thought in between taking calls. So the writing and stuff like that has dwindled. I can’t even geek out about stationery so much, because there’s no variation in my life, and thanks to the Data Protection Act, nothing I can take home from work or even write down.

But at the moment, my life is full of interior design magazines. Thanks to work and having money, I’m in the process of buying my first house that’s all of my own. So this blog might come back into use and change a bit, as I fill my life with beautiful things. For a few months, though, it’s all going to be expensive swearing, as it looks like I’m going to have to have the place re-plastered and a new damp proof course installed.

Watch this space. I may yet become an interiors blogger, and at some point I can return to stationery.

What a Test Match that was!

This Sporting Life

The atmosphere and noise generated at Edgbaston Cricket Ground is unequalled in this country. We were there Wednesday and Thursday for the first two days of the Third Ashes Test and from the first ball onwards the noise was unbelievable.

Stuart Broad bowling to Chris Rogers in Australia's second innings Stuart Broad bowling to Chris Rogers in Australia’s second innings

It’s certainly a hostile atmosphere for the opposition to contend with, particularly when the opposition is Australia, but having said that the crowd are always quick to acknowledge good performances by opposition players. Mitchell Johnson scored his 2000th Test run and took his 300th Test wicket in this match and both events were warmly applauded by the capacity crowd. The rest of the time of course he is fair game and ‘The Mitchell Johnson’ song was heard frequently throughout the match. He handles it far better than he used to – probably because his bowling these days is usually anything…

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Well, I’m back

I let my WordPress elapse, and have been away for ages. It elapsed in April, and now it’s July.

The good news is that it’s partly because my job search intensified, with a lot more interviews, and now I’m in work again. Less time, less energy, but more fun and more money, so it’s all good in the end. I know I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, though.

Touching base

Aside

Pretty much a dash in and out of here. I’ve spent the last few weeks frantically working on a PhD proposal as part of a job application, and four days from now I’ll be settling into my bed on Corfu at the start of a week away with my best friend. After that she’s coming back to my parents’ with me to look at apartments, in the hope that I get a job soon and we can move in together (interview last Monday, should hear this week), and I get started with getting quotes for my brother’s wedding next spring.

In short, the downtime didn’t last long, and I’m busier than ever. No idea how I’ll cope if I do get a job, although then I won’t spend all my time doing job applications at least! Sorry I’ve missed so much blogging, but I’ve not even made it on Pinterest this month. Too much busy, but I do have a couple of book reviews to write from the research I was doing.

Personalised Wedding Favours

This is mostly an aide memoir for me, but I can’t be the only one who thinks these are cool. There’s so much stuff available for putting your brand on, why not use them as wedding favours or even invitations? All of these were grabbed from the same site, but the options are endless and suited to most budgers. The cheapest things are a few pence a piece, the most expensive a couple of quid. Continue reading

Let Summer Commence

We had a beautiful weekend in the Yorkshire Dales a couple of weekends back, but it can’t really be considered summer in March, can it? April, though, is fair game, and as today was the first day of play at Headingley Cricket Ground for the year, I left home just before 9 in order to get there for 11am. I missed the first couple of overs by stopping into Morrisons to get some breakfast, and then spent the rest of the day sitting in glorious sunshine, reading through a book on the Barmy Army and making notes pertinent to the PhD proposal I’m putting together.

There really is nothing I love more than a day spent watching a game of cricket, but I don’t get to do it often enough. Last summer I only saw a couple of days, largely because I spent most of the season in South East Asia. My county are in the ascendency, and I saw them parade the championship trophy at home on the last day of the season. My country, less so. This summer they face New Zealand and Australia, two of the top teams in the world, and aren’t expected to do well.

If I can afford it, I’ll be there. The book I was reading was about the Barmy Army, the legendary group of England fans who gained their name and reputation when I was just a child. I was 15 when we won back the Ashes at home, in a series that cemented our return to the top flight. For the previous fifteen years, we were woefully inadequate, inept, pathetic. And still, a raggedy band of fans followed them all over the world, singing and chanting and drowning out the local supporters. The Barmy Army backed their side, no matter how awful they were.

I think England need the Barmy Army now. We’ve got complacent, we gained fans when we were at the top of the game, beating the Aussies on their own turf back in 2010-11. Now, though, we’re rather less than superior. We got kicked out of the World Cup in the first round. We got thrashed in the last Ashes series. We’re facing another drubbing this summer.

The media are up in arms. The fans aren’t any happier. The Barmy Army will back their team no matter what, though. If I can, I’ll be there with them. I remember the 90s, listening to the best teams in the world battering our boys, and I never stopped hoping. I still haven’t.

But at least Yorkshire are still in the form of the century.

And now, another challenge or two

My brother and his fiancée have finally, officially, set a date, and they’ve asked me to help them organise it. I’ve always wanted to plan a wedding, so I’m a bit concerned that I’m going to turn into Bridezilla. It should be a really low key affair, with morris dancing around our local area and a celidh to finish.

In the more immediate, I’m doing my usual last minute thing, this time on a job application. I’ve already missed the deadline once on this one, but they relisted it and I took the hint. The problem is that it needs a research proposal, and I have a lot of reading to do before I can put that together. I was meant to be doing it today, but instead I helped out in the garden and then cooked the most amazing Chinese spread for dinner.

The deadline is creeping closer, and all I’ve managed to do is locate an essay I wrote on the subject for my BA and build a bookshelf to house all my textbooks. Watch this space.