emspace thoughts

What's floating around in Em's brain today?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Day in the Life of...

Yesterday was a really weird day for me. I don't do many diary blog entries, but it was one of those days I feel need to be recorded for posterity.

I'd taken half a day off work and the other half was spent getting to one our other sites to go for a job interview for a job that I wasn't too bothered whether I got or not, but seemed (on paper at least) to be half like what I envisaged to be my 'dream job'. My other mission for the day was to head back to Liverpool for my sister's birthday.

As I did not want to risk motorway driving after several years off the road, I decided to take the bus and coach route to Leeds for my interview. I arrived at the bus stop at 10am, to wave goodbye to the earlier bus that was not the one I had planned on getting, so I wasn't too bothered that I'd missed it by about 2 minutes. So I sat and waited for the next one 15 minutes later, listening to my Ipod and went through my interview prep in my head. Suddenly this guy sits down next to me and says: "Good Morning". Not wanting to be impolite, I said Good Morning back to him and plugged my headphone back into my ear. Bad move... this guy proceeded on asking me rapid fire 20 questions about my background, China's political situation, whether I could speak Japanese, who invented electricity, whether Einstein was a physician and what I thought of Britain's transport system. In the end, I just ended up replying "Don't know" because I felt so uncomfortable. It was the longest 10 minutes ever and I was so so glad when his bus arrived and he left. I am so glad I don't work with the public any more - too many weirdos nowadays.

So my bus arrived and I headed out to the coach station. The ride to Leeds was pretty uneventful, thank goodness. I'd planned to get some lunch in when I got to the office, but although I was not at all nervous about the interview, I didn't feel like eating. Instead I went in search of some familiar faces (and somewhere to dump my bag) but my counterparts in Leeds had been scattered and relocated. I must have looked either so dumb or suspicious as I trawled the offices looking for where my colleagues had been moved to. Finally I found them, but they were going for lunch and didn't have much time for me. I was sweating like a pig, probably a mixture of discomfort, stuffy rooms and hormones, so I decided to cool off a little in the washrooms before finding my interview.

Then I arrived to what was the weirdest interview I have ever attended.
It was like Good Cop Bad Cop meets the Reeves and Mortimer show as in between asking me the usual questions, Vic and Bob would spring into some kind of comedy routine of their own and I just sat and watched as they seemed to heckle each other about something totally irrelevant. Then after veering completely off topic for about 5 minutes, Vic would come back to the interview and ask me to continue with my answers. I was pretty confident through the interview as I have been to enough in my time to be able to reel off answers that fell into the company's requirements (and having been to the company's interviewing course), but this interruption was quite unnerving. Every now and then, Bob would come in with the odd question, which I can only guess was designed to throw a spanner into the thought processes, but they were all very negative and really gave me the impression that she didn't like me. That's all fine, but she ended up doing such a great job of putting me off that at the end of the interview, I came out thinking to myself that even if they offered me the job, I don't really want it now. If anything, the whole experience has made me feel even better about my current job (not that I had a major problem with it in the first place), so I think I will be staying put for now.

Anyway, I emerged from the interview, picked up my stuff and bade farewell to my colleagues before heading out of the office, which incidentally had been infested with hoards of daddy-longlegs (aka Crane Fly to non-Brits) into the pouring rain. Got the bus back to the coach station, again to wave goodbye to the previous coach, so I waited for mine and finally had something to eat. It was 4pm. I had a cheese and ham toastie and a hot chocolate - sod the healthy eating thing, I needed comfort food. At 4:20, I joined the queue for the half four coach back to Liverpool. At five o'clock, I was still in the queue for the half four coach. At 5:05 I was on the half four coach and at 5:15, the half four coach left Leeds. God bless the Great British transport system.

Despite my friend pointing this out to me some years ago as a 'British-ism', I don't usually notice that British people like to talk to complete strangers, but the guy sitting next to me on the coach started nattering on away to me as soon as he sat down. My patience was lacking a little by this point, so although he was not as weird as the earlier guy, I gave him a few curt responses before plugging my trusty Ipod into my ears, closing my eyes and pretending to sleep. Traffic was horrendous, weather was atrocious - what more could I ask for? The guy got off in Manchester and a woman carrying a toddler sat next to me. As far as young kids go, he was actually pretty bearable because at least he wasn't screaming. However, throughout the whole 50 minute journey, the little black kid had his wide dark eyes staring at me and it was quite unnerving. That and his mother allowing him to put his feet on my trousers and kick me on the leg was rather annoying. Unfortunately I am too British to say anything to her for fear of being accused of being racist or something like that, so I just wished and wished to hurry up and see the end of the M62.

There is nothing better after a long hard day than to come home to a welcoming home and caring family. I am lucky I have both at my parents' house. Everyone was busy doing their own thing, but to come back to an environment where there are no judgements or expectations is the best feeling in the world. Mum's home cooking, Dad's 'nice cuppa tea' and a good old belting karaoke session with my sis is all I need to put things right. Raaaahhh... as Snoopy and Woodstock would say.

Oh, and happy birthday to my sis today, who is 21 for the fifth time!

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Friday, September 15, 2006


Put my order in for a Nintendo Wii today! What a beautiful piece of kit!!
Roll on December 8th!! Tons of fun!!

If you have been on Mars for the last six months, then take a look at this and all will be revealed:


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Double Take 2

I was watching 'Celebrity Masterchef' on BBC1 this evening and I noticed there is another uncanny likeness between former Chelsea and England footballer Graeme Le Saux and TVB main man Moses Chan. Take a look and see for yourself....



Incidentally, I was a bit gutted for Mr Le Saux when he didn't make it into the quarter finals after his stunning performance in the kitchen, I thought he did a fine job!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Five Fab Things about Madeira

Sunny blue skies and even bluer sea.
We didn't have a drop of rain all week, temperatures were a warm, but comfortable 25 to 18 degrees C and it is nicely cool at night to make for a good sleeping temperature. This is a view of the cliffs on the far side of the island from our trip on the Catamaran.

Stunning sunsets and total tranquility.
No rowdy Brits or noisy nightclubs here, just sitting on the balcony in the evenings or taking a walk around the hotel gardens and watching the amazing sunset scenes.

Fantastically fresh and reasonably priced food.
49p for a third of the sweetest, tastiest, most refreshing watermelon I have ever had and the spread you see in the picture came to just £20! Tuna tastes like tuna and not some bland reconstituted dolphin meat you get in tins in the UK. The tomatoes are large, juicy and beefy and the cucumbers contain about half the water of the British ones, so they are packed with taste. Oh and their steaks are always cooked to perfection!

Dolphin watching.
For around £18 for three hours, you can take a trip out to the Atlantic and go dolphin and whale watching. Okay, the pic isn't that great, but we did get to see plenty of dolphins and whales on our trip. Not for those who get seasick though as the waves can get a bit choppy.

Beautiful flowers and parks and NO BUGS!
For a warm place, there are relatively few bugs and insects in Madeira, so for an anti-bug activist like me, this was ideal! The ones you will see are some butterflies and moths and some wasps that are more interested in the lovely blooms than your arm. So I rested easily without worrying about being eaten alive by stupid mozzies. There were some little lizards running around in the rocks, but they seemed relatively harmless and couldn't make the climb up to the hotel balcony, so that was okay.

The holiday was fab and so relaxing - plus our hotel had FIVE pools, so there was never any crowds. Everywhere was so quiet and we never had to queue for much. Would definitely recommend the island if you fancy somewhere to totally chill out!

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