And so, another week rolls around. Monday dawned rainy and depressing, and the Bossman had to leave to go get ready for Korea, so for a free day off work, it was quite depressing really. I was almost relieved the weather was too bad to go up the Allittlement, and spent the day sitting in three layers of clothing, drawing dragons while listening to nature programmes. It was remarkably like chilling out, and (horrible confession) I enjoyed it very much.
Not quite so much the giant pile of dishes (look, I did them yesterday and yes, we then used a whole frying pan and two plates, but then we went out for dinner, what the hell, lodger? I said up front that this was Not Included In the Rent.)
On the other hand, the bugger hasn’t signed the lease and could do a runner any minute. Let’s check the bank balance… yup, Buttoning It time.
And Spending Nothing But The Essentials time, also! Which is how I come to have wireless headphones, plastic ‘Roman’ sandals and a highly ornate blonde wig en route, but I swear, these are all essential. If I can no longer listen to music in my own home, for instance, I really am going to flip out.
And come Tuesday, it was All Hell Breaking Loose time! Right, onward, with head high and middle finger likewise, to the office, Batman! – and to certain doom and a formal complaint when I can’t pull this impossible allergy clinic appointment out of the bag for this guy.
Against all odds, and thanks to an emergency brain-storming session with my Colleague of Skull Scarves, wherein I discovered that some allergy tests can be done by blood result, I have actually managed to book the bugger into a clinic appointment nine days before his op date. Crisis: averted!
(So far – there is still so very much that could go wrong and get the tail pinned back on the donkey, i.e. moi).
And I called his mother to relay the news. Alas, she was not in, so I got the patient himself, who received this with what sounded like utter disinterest, but what the hell, I have busted a gut and gone above and beyond and so forth, and am feeling quite spectacularly more invested in this process than the actual patient already, but ho hum.
Right, buoyed by this completely unexpected success, it is time to apply for that other job – the one which involves using a skill I Actually Trained in, and which doesn’t appear to involve answering the phone to the Public!
Well, that’s around the only job on the bulletin ever which had a closing date the same week it came out. So it seems I has missed the boat. Moral: And if you put everyone else first, that is what you will get. Forever.
So as of Wednesday, I had finally managed to not only complete typing up a maths assignment (a process that takes me nearly as long as the actual Doing Of The Sums) but bludgeoned the by-our-lady uni website into accepting it. Woo! Alas, that was the only thing that has gone right this week – I was also three days behind with my work, and were it not for the annual ‘Every Single Doctor Buggers Off For Two Days To Discuss Stuff’ meeting, I would be so screwed.
Fortunately, a whole whack of work has come across from the Rival hospital so that I don’t get bored or anything. It is now official; one entire third of their combined clinic load is making its way over here. So not only are the three of us covering all the typing for the one person who is on secondment, we also seem to be covering one of the other five’s job too.
At least, since it’s my week for the lion’s share, I managed to get everyone in Team Us into a room to discuss it calmly this time around.
In good(ish) news, the Bossman has made it safely to Korea; with his bathroom travel kit still in my bathroom. Which probably wouldn’t make much difference seeing as his suitcase is in Amsterdam. They think. And his boot has just fallen apart and is not responding to being plied with superglue.
I cannot help feeling other people’s work disasters are far more interesting than mine. I am quite the jealous one. I am also quite the, ‘Oh god, nothing will ever change and I will be stuck in this job (which I think I am really starting to hate, betcha couldn’t tell) until such time as I snap, or die, or civilisation collapses and I am left in such a bind that I pine for the days when at least the people shouting at me all day didn’t have literal pointy sticks. I want a refund’ one.
This (completely in character, alas) pessimism is possibly partly due to that cold that was threatening me all last week, (and which I lied through my teeth about to the dentist, pun totally intended, in case they decided not to operate on me) having fallen on my head like a miniature rainstorm. (Although there was rather a lot of the real thing too).
The (properly) good news: my tooth seems to have healed okay; so well, in fact, that the stitches they put in have migrated halfway up my cheek, and are now hanging around being annoying and sore, much as if someone had come along and tied a bow in the side of my face for no good reason. Which is more or less what they have done.
The bad news: the glands in my throat are in full-on Bullfrog mating season, and I require a couple of hours’ lie-down on getting in from work, which is very annoying and wiping out my schedule bigtime. The Bossman says I have viral fatigue from a Virus, due to stress wiping out my (admittedly feeble) immune system. He also recommends getting my arse to a new and closer martial arts purveyor, closer to my home, since I don’t have the time or energy or (sadly) the two quid to get into town and back of an evening, and have had to pack in fightclub.
He also says strenuous activity is well-known for knocking one’s immune system down flat, so I am a bit confused by the advice.
(However, his suitcase has now shown up, so maybe he’s delirious with excitement at being able to wear unbroken shoes and brush his teeth.)
Being a bit down, I attacked the viruses with the time-tested Bottle of Wine And No Dinner approach on Thursday night, and followed that with the Glass of Homemade Mead approach which probably predates this. It worked a treat, at least against the cold virus. However, it left me with a craving for grapes, so I took off at lunch on Friday, piled into Tescos and bought their entire stock. Binge time!
On returning to the office, I discovered that the grapes were nowhere near as tasty as the one I had nicked off a colleague (there you go, stolen fruit is always tastier. Especially if you stole if off someone who shops at M&S). They were also covered in some sort of grey dust which had come off all over my fingers. Hmm. My choices are: continue to eat grapes covered in god-knows-what -> die; or, wash grapes in sink in loo -> die.
Turns out the drinking fountain can also be used to wash grapes, however. Yay! I was just celebrating my salvation (and it being Friday and all) by cramming them down my throat (and simultaneously writing an email critiquing Rhianna’s grammar, but that’s by the by) when a grape jumped down my throat and started choking me to death. Curses.
With hindsight, this happens every time I eat grapes at work, and I should have remembered that. I turned to my Cellmate to ask her to thump me on the back, but of course, she’s been moved to the Rival hospital, and I was quite alone and rooms and rooms from anyone. Hmm.
Not wanting to flail and dash around, using up valuable oxygen, I emailed for help instead. Granted, this might have been taken slightly more seriously if I hadn’t finished my critique of Rhianna’s grammar first (“the plural of ‘wolf’ is WOLVES, dammit, ps send help, choking on grape”). However, help did arrive, and just in time, if I hadn’t managed to dislodge the damn thing with some over-caffeinated coffee dregs I was about to add boiling water to (foulest-tasting rescue ever). And thus I was spared the indignity of being the sort of bloody-minded pedant who dies mid-pedantry because they carried on pedanting while kicking the bucket. I mean, I don’t usually, but it’s what I would have been remembered for. [Who? – Rhianna]
Bonus hilarity – if that had proved fatal: my last message to the Bossman was ‘Bwahahahaha, I am about to binge on grapes and nobody can stop me!’ Could you imagine his face when he was told I was wrong about that.
Being thoroughly sick of attempting to claw my way to a better life (and failing at doing so by hard work, study or eating healthily!) I spent Friday night mooching around with a book and several litres of pineapple juice. Which it turns out is chock-full of sugar, oh bollocks to everything. The reading was ‘sort of’ productive, because my Colleague of Cakes, who is as bored as I am stressed out, bludgeoned me into signing up for some ‘Six Book Challenge’ with her. It’s for a good cause – it’s through the library at work, thus raising their profile, and I have a background-level of anxiety that they will shut the damn place, and then I will have nowhere free to hang out when it’s raining; which is all the time. Well, that and the first six folk to sign up get a free mug, and my lodger appears to have eaten all mine.
So, I have a free mug. Which feels like my only achievement this week. And I have Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass, which I might as well read for completeness sake, and I’m fairly sure it’s not the one with all that backstory about that lassie he fell for away back when, which I didn’t enjoy that much.
Oh, it is. Bollocks.
Under the circumstances, I felt a very laidback weekend was called for, on account of the next few are likely to be frantic. On the other hand, I really need to get a wiggle on – with the sums, with the Allittlement, with that ‘art’ I’m doing for a colleague – With A Deadline – and with the hammering practice I need to put in so I don’t make a fool of myself at blacksmithing. (Hahaha). Therefore, a very laidback Full Speed Ahead weekend was called for. Even I can see there is no winning this one.
But Saturday was nice, so I wandered up to collect my new suits from the post office hit up the Allittlement with lots of plants for the greenhouse, and whiled away a pleasant morning optimistically netting the currants (currant harvest to date: zero currants) and planting beans, before I realised I was out of string. And crappy nylon nets. So it was off to Homebase, where I balked at paying ten whole quid for a net; however the need for string was more pressing, so I am now really broke. I even cut planks for a perma-coldframe I’m vaguely planning – before the rain came on and I was driven home. Having walked about five miles and hauled a moderate amount of stuff, which is about as much as I can get away with and still claim ‘chilling’, I declined to go back and finish the job when the rain stopped ten minutes later. Screw it, I figured I’d be up at the crack of dawn on Sunday and dae it; besides, I felt unfeasibly rotten for all I’d achieved.
Hahaha. Sunday was gales and lashing rain and the perfect weather for staying in and sterilising demijohns to move all the home-brew on, rather than fighting madly-whipping nettles while wearing ‘gloves’ that are mostly holes. I was reasonably chuffed about this, being a lazy bastard, until it occurred to me that the bean and currant nets are probably in a different postcode right now, probably the beans and baby currants as well, and if I’m super-unlucky, the nets took the buds off me dwarf apple trees en route. [That’s ‘slightly’ unlucky. If you’re super-unlucky, the greenhouse went too – Ed]. Bollocks. Yeah verily, my name is Ozymandias king of kings, and all that, and it was hardly the monument of the ages, but really, within 24 hours?
Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks, I thought; but then I had to trog out to LIDL and it is exactly as bad as it looks. There’s even a tree down in the park over the road. That park is gonna be bald by Christmas.
In the end it turned out to be a nice night for making a roast and wrestling with the GIMP for a couple of hours. Alas, the GIMP won, in that I failed to either make it stitch any images together at all or produce a masking layer I could use for colouring in; and this with the help of tutorials.
It seems the tutorials all consist of instructions for doing what I want to do, only filed under ‘expert’ level, and when I look for a ‘beginner’s guide’, I get pointed at things entitled ‘Drawing A Triangle’. Apparently someone like me has no earthly business drawing a series of dragons and expecting I can just scan them all, run em together and add a few highlights here and there. I would protest this, but I clearly can’t hack it, and with a deadline on this one, I could keep trying and achieve nothing all month long, or go back to basics and start all over again. Le sigh.
I am very fortunate to have a selection of friends who think (or pretend to think, because they know I find it flattering, which is very kind of them) that I am some sort of unstoppable powerhouse who Gets Everything Done. How I wish it were so.
In the end, it turned out to be a nice night for calling me Chestnut-haired Old Mother, to bitch mightily about everything. Woo, go me, I am boring the crap out of the older generation; always a bad sign.
So yeah, the attempt at a comedic retelling of my life seems to have fallen by the wayside. Unless Schadenfreude’s your bag, in which case, knock yourself out.