Friday, March 30, 2007

Rain rain...I'm in pain...wanna go stay in Spain...

Yep, its me again. By now I am sure everyone can see I am totally bored, really lonely and in definite need of company! I don't even mind that the phone isn't ringing much, in fact, I am really glad because the headache that started up this morning has escalated and is now developing into a migraine. The bath and bed idea is sounding better and better by the minute!

One thing I have realised is that I can never ever ever ever ever ever be a business woman and work most of my life in an office. Don't know how other women get it right but I never could. I am just longing for a nice quiet home life, raising the kids, cooking meals and cleaning the house. I thrive in that area, and really wilt in the business world.
Its not that I can't do well here, its just that its not me. I mean, its a little hard to explain but I just can't seem to reconcile myself to the whole corporate world. I'll leave it to all those other women out there. And the men. They can do a much better job than I can.

You do get to meet interesting people, though, I will say that for this place! In fact, in the four days I have worked here I have met so many interesting people and have come to like quite a few of them as well. Almost feels as though I have been here for months!

Just got off the phone with a Frenchman...couldn't understand a word he was saying and he kept calling me Madame. Eish....I'm getting quite homesick for my old job working with the farmers and joking around with them.

Today I have had endless cups of mocha coffee and coffee and espresso and hot chocolate, all in an effort to stay awake and alert, but they haven't helped much. In fact, all they have helped to do is make me have to run down the passage more times than usual :o)

As I am sitting here I keep on getting an urge to sing. I would, if I knew that I wouldn't keep on being interrupted by the phone ringing. And the people who work here aren't used to hearing someone just burst into song in the office. They classify that as really odd and weird. It might ruin my chances of getting a permanent job anyhwhere!

Almost 4pm. That means its just another one hour until I get to go home...HOORAY! I am really looking forward to it. I liked this place quite a bit and it will be weird to not come in again on Monday but I can't make up my mind whether or not I am glad about it or not. I think I might have been able to get really used to it as long as I wasn't stuck on reception all day every day. I rather liked the post room and I wasn't expecting to. I thought it would be boring but it was anything but boring! It was very interesting and I had fun. And the day passed by so quickly! Today has just crawled by but thankfully it is almost over and I can go home soon.

Its getting darker and darker now as the day progresses. Its even been raining most of the day. I don't mind since I have been stuck inside but I did really want to go for a walk during my lunch break and the rain rather spoiled that idea. Murphy's Law, I guess.

And on Monday I have an interview...perhaps two. Should be interesting, might finally get a more steady job that I can get used to and be assured of regular income. Its hard not knowing where or when the next paycheck will come. Really hard!

Remember that tune that school kids used to chant when it rained...
"Rain rain go away, come again another day" ? Well, its been stuck in my head all day now and I can't seem to get rid of it. Funny how a little rhyme or tune gets in your head and you just can't get it off your mind so you keep on humming it. I do that with that silly Spongebob song. I keep on singing out, completely out of the blue, "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?....SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!"
Whacked out, isn't it? I totally amused the people in the post room yesterday because I did it a couple of times sort of without knowing I was doing it.

The other oddity that seems to strike my fancy is walking past people, nudging them in the side and saying "widgy widgy". I mean, where does this come from???? It just amuses me and I don't know why. Truly strange, completely insane and a surefire way of getting myself booked into a house for the mentally unstable.

45 minutes to go.....

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Time just can't seem to fly today, someone stole his wings...bring 'em back, THIEF!

Stressed? I'm not stressed.....

"Hello? Hello, who's this? Hello??? HEEEELLLLOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

So, either the stress is getting to me or the people around here need to learn telephone manners...or all the phones in the area are out of order because today I have had so many times when the phone has just been slammed down in my ear and I am really getting annoyed now! Its not funny anymore. I mean, really, my feelings are starting to get hurt now. Its like the people just don't like my voice or something? Why is it when I pick up the phone and say hello blah blah, they just put the phone down on the other side? Am I doing something wrong?
(By the way, I don't say blah blah, I just put that there cos I don't want to publish the company's name...you knew that, didn't you?)

My neck and back are giving me hell and right now the only thing on my mind is a nice hot bath, a glass of whiskey (not a fully one, mind, just a tot), some soft music and my bed! See, you can see I am stressed because that is more than just one thing, its a couple!

I just saw a stress kit on the net whilst I was browsing. Its for putting on a firm surface and then you just bang your head against it. It says to repeat step two until feeling better or until conciousness is lost. Perhaps I should try it. It might take away the pain in my neck and back :o) Then again....it might make it worse.

Receptionist Required

Today is a change in atmosphere, for sure. Yesterday I started work at 08:00am as the receptionist but got moved to the post room by 09:00am. I worked there in a very relaxed and happy environment until it was time to leave work and it was actually a lovely day, plus the bonus part was that it flew by so quickly!!
This morning I started working as the receptionist and I am still here. I get regular breaks, though, which is nice because the phone is quite busy today. However, its not nearly as bad as it was last week Tuesday when I was feeling rather ill. Today is actually quiet, but it is loooong! Time just doesn't seem to want to move faster than a few ticks a minute and so the day is just crawling by. Thankfully I can amuse myself by recalling funny instances of my time here in London. And believe me, there are MANY!

For instance, the other day I was walking through the park minding my own business when all of a sudden these two high school boys came towards me and the one was pushing the other in a shopping cart. This in itself might not seem all that weird but what struck me was the fact that the paths are not ideal for shopping carts because they are uneven, they are winding and just not suitable for that sort of thing. Also, the wheels on the carts all turn simultaneously. So it was no surprise to me when the cart, with the guy in it, fell over. He must have got pretty hurt, I mean, it was a long sort of fall and it was onto tarmac. I stopped, pulled out my earphones and asked if he was alright. And then they started chaffing and mocking me and I was just astounded. In South Africa the guys weren't quite so blatant about stuff like this and I was quite annoyed. I guess I just wasn't expecting it. Anyways, I laughed them off and put my earphones back in my ears and carried on walking. Amazing how the people differ in different countries. I knew things would be different but some things one just doesn't expect. This was one of them.

I do suppose I will get plenty more opportunities to be shocked, though, so I better get used to it.
One just doesn't expect something like that, though.

It amuses me now, though, so thats okay :)

The weather has changed quite drastically again, as usual. Its permanently dark and cloudy now. Looks like rain but although we are waiting for the rain, it hasn't come. Can't say I'm sorry as I liked the sunshine and warm weather. It helped to get me better and because I am still fighting off the flu which keeps on threatening to come back I really don't want it to rain as that will probably bring the flu out in full force!

I'll be getting another break soon, I think. Good thing too as I need to stretch the legs a bit. Can't wait till lunch time as I'll be taking a walk along the Thames. Its just around the corner from where I am working so that will be a nice getaway. The phone is driving me MAD!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

No Departure

Watch the sun set in the Northern skies
It reflects the teardrops in my eyes
You're always there, so strong and true
Just one of the things I love about you.

No matter where I am in the this world
Your smile is still the best sight to behold
I carry your love buried deep in my heart
From your love and respect I cannot depart.

Poem for You

Whenever I feel sad or blue
My mind reverts to thoughts of you
To times we laughed, or smiled or sighed
And even to the times we cried.

You've brought such blessings to my life
Taken away all my worry and strife
Filled my life with sunshine and bliss
Smoothed away worry with your loving kiss.

Myself Requested

This is a very strange feeling...sitting here in the post room (feeling like a postman...errr...postwoman) and writing on my blog. This place doesn't let you get onto most sites so I can't check my mail but I can write on my blog. Very strange!

However, the reason I am writing is just to share with you all that I was personally asked for to come back and work at that company that I first got a job for. The one thing I wasn't expecting happened and it made me feel so good, just knowing that the way I worked seemed to make some sort of an impact. I mean, if I didn't do good work then they wouldn't have phoned my recruitment officer and asked for me personally by name. So it most certainly was a good feeling and when the phone call came through yesterday morning I was feeling a little down so it came at just the right time. Definitely a lift for me!

Today, I came in early and worked on the switchboard for about 45 minutes and then I moved into the post room and its been the most amazing experience! I really like working in here, its relaxed and fun and just peaceful although quite rowdy. The people I am working with are just so humorous and I don't think that they know they are funny. I am enjoying myself today, and there is a lot less stress involved and I also don't have to talk all the time, which is rather nice since although my sisters insist I have a big mouth and like to talk a lot, I do sometimes like to not talk....if that makes any sense at all, which I have a feeling it won't really :)

Okay, so I am sitting here and I've been thinking that I might just compile all the entries here in my blog, into a book. Someone gave me the idea and this one author just happened to mention it to me a little while back and so I have been carrying the idea around in my head for a bit and it is starting to sound better and better. Problem is...would anyone want to buy a book entitled "The Life and Times of Angel Weed" ? It does sound rather catching and some of my friends think I can pull it off but I suppose I lack a little self confidence in that area.

More news is that I finally got my internet up and running in my room at home so that I can now chat, check mail, write and work on compiling that book of mine whilst I am at home. This way I don't have to try and find a computer somewhere with internet access and I can do it whenever I want to. This is most definitely more convenient.

Oh oh oh! I have to tell you about the lift ride. Its just a classic!

The other day I had to go to the job centre to get information about getting myself registered and getting an National Insurance Number. So I walk up these really dodgy looking stairs and then into this really filthy building and I see the lift that I need to get into to get to the second floor. I step into it and there are two other people in it already. I push the button for the second floor and this double encased steel enforced door shuts with a thud and the lights go off. Then this deep male voice informs us that we are going up...I totally flipped! I closed my eyes, held onto the railing and chanted "I don't like lifts, I want to go home, I don't like lifts, I want to go home...let me out, let me out, LET ME OUT!" until we got to the second floor. When the lift stopped and I opened my eyes, the other two people were squished up against the side of the lift with eyes round as saucers. I just looked at them and stepped out, breathing a sigh of relief. Then I walked into the job centre and had to stand in a queue for about twenty minutes. Whilst doing this I amused myself by staring at the security guards and making quirky faces. I nearly cracked up laughing at their facial expressions!
After I got the information I wanted, I had to go back down in the lift. I got in and once again there were two people in there with me. I closed my eyes and started muttering and whispering "Lemme out, oh please lemme out!" until we reached the ground floor upon which I darted out the lift and dashed into the safety of the mall. Of course, this is rather relative since I ran into a gentleman who tried to get me to sign up to get my name on an energy and gas bill. I informed him I already had that privelage and then he just rolled right on and started talking to me about this and that and the other. It was just so funny yet so sweet, I couldn't stop him. Shame, I think he just needed to talk to someone. Anyways, after that I decided I really needed a coffee so I stopped at home to get one and then got stuck there and ended up watching a movie.
All in all it was a very interesting day!

The best of it all is that each day has been filled with interesting things! And its bound to get more interesting.

BRING IT ON!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Fruit Bowl of Life


I think that life is like a fruit bowl…I mean, there are so many different people in this world and each one is unique in a very similar way. No two apples are the same, yet they are still both apples. Is this making any sense? I guess not too much but it made sense when I was thinking about it. Anyways, I have noticed since being in this very differently strange country that there are a couple of different sorts of people. Especially in the area where I am staying.

Let me list them.

1. The Weird

2. The Dodgy

3. The Strange

4. The Scary

5. The Hilarious

6. The Nice

So, those are the six different sorts of people I have met so far. Or become acquainted with. Its been quite an education for me, I must tell you! Firstly, I never thought to meet quite so many scary people in this place but obviously where I come from there are just less obviously scary people. I was walking down the street the other day and nearly passed out from fear when what I think was a guy walked up to me. He was wearing jeans (or what I suspect were jeans but which might have been the window cleaner’s rags which he had borrowed) with a reddish kind of shirt thingy that was missing half its buttons and then he had on trainers which looked to be a size which could Bigfoot himself! His arms were tattooed with snakes and a dragon tongue or something to that effect could be seen emerging from behind his ear. And that’s not all, there is more. He had studs through his lips, two nose rings, a whole couple of earrings and some sort of bullet effect coming out of his eyebrow. As if this wasn’t scary enough…the most remarkable feature was his hair! It must have been (with no exaggeration) at LEAST a foot and a half high and it was colored bright lime green with pink streaks and it was spiked. I totally nearly passed out, really I did. I choked, gasped, spluttered and pretended to cough but my eyes were as big as saucers and I think he might have noticed something J

That was the scary.

Then there is the Weird. This pretty much covers the population who walk around in big groups laughing at nothing, spitting chewing gum all over the streets and looking like they are glued to their mobiles whilst swaggering around tripping over their jeans because they left their belts behind…or they just don’t possess them. All this in the name of fashion.

The Strange sort of fall into the same category as the weird except that instead of the younger generation it’s the OLDER generation!! Which then also lists them in the Dodgy category. Although with the Dodgy also comes the gang members, the early twenties who hang around smoking weed, swearing like sailors (although not with quite the same effect) and who litter in the park.

And then there is the Hilarious. I think that all of the above fall into this category but there is just one more additive here and that is the group who are pretty much misfits but who aren’t aware of that fact and who keep on trying to copy the style and general appearance of all the other groups thrown together.

Walking through the mall here is like watching a motion picture…and the bonus is that you get to be in it whilst not really being a part of it.

The best of all these groups is definitely the Nice category. These are the people whom I greet whenever I walk through the mall or through the park, those I have met and who do not really classify as being in any of the above groups because their character as well as their general “normal-ness” sets them apart from all the rest.

What amuses me the most, though, is how any one of these groups would classify me?

For instance, I was walking through the mall yesterday and I kept on walking in circles and then would have to turn around and walk back the way I came because I wasn’t going in the direction that I wanted to go in. And then as soon as I would walk into a shop and would come back out I would go in the wrong direction again and would have to turn around and then walk back in the other direction and so it went on and on until I did it for a final time and stopped just there in the middle of the center, stamped my booted foot and muttered “Bugger! I did it again!!! I really must STOP doing this!” The security guard was standing just behind me and I hadn’t seen him but I did hear this muffled chuckle coming from behind me and I swung around still with a fierce frown on my face, which must have scared him because his eyes went huge and round, and the smile was wiped completely off his face. Shame. I felt real bad and so I gave him a completely angelic smile and apologized most profusely for frowning at him and explained that I get lost all the time and it was driving me mad. He smiled again and then pointed me in the right direction. And ever since then I have become a source of amusement for the guards as they always watch me to see how many times I have to spin on my heel and walk in the opposite direction. I am sure they are counting by now!

Either that or they are wondering when would be the right time to call the green van !

All in all its been a pretty educating few weeks. I look forward to the coming few weeks. Especially since I might actually have a full time job soon. I got a call this morning about a job and so I am really excited…well, not really excited. It means I will need to catch a tube and to be perfectly honest, I am quite terrified of them. I have never been on one before but I just don’t like the sound of them, the idea of them or the reality of them.

The other job which is in the pipeline is for a place called Tooting which is really nearby and can be reached by bus. This will make life easier, although I don't know yet how much it pays or what it all entails. I will hear later today whether or not I merit an interview.

Well, I am going to leave it at that for now, time has run out and I still have to put the chicken in the oven to start cooking else I am never going to eat tonight!

Take care, all!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Illness Squared and Quarentined

This is a very sad state of affairs indeed *sniff* *cough* *sneeze*
It seems that I am still capable of getting sick and its not a nice reminder! I slept through most of today, had to take time off my first job and it wasn't cool at all!!! I got home from work yesterday and I was feeling really awful and weak and so I just fell into bed and slept. When my alarm woke me up this morning I could barely open my eyes, my head felt like it was stuffed with cotton wool and my body ached all over and I had a fever. I switched off the alarm, set it for 8am and then passed out again. When the alarm went off for the second time I was still so groggy I could barely make the call to work to let them know I wouldn't be coming in. I left a most incoherent message ~chuckle~ and then phoned the recruitment agency to let them know I was sick as well. And then I went back to sleep and didn't wake up till much later. Then I moved myself to a couch as the bed was getting really uncomfortable, and then I slept further, after dosing myself with vitamin C and some other stuff.

I woke up later on and was feeling a bit better but I still have a really sore throat and my chest is just aching like nobody's business. Plus I have a very bad cough which is making everything worse. I should be grateful for small mercies, though, since I am not losing brain fluids through a drippy nose nor do I have ear ache and my migraine is gone now. Thankfully!!

I found out that most of the people at the office are in quarentine today due to the fact that they all have viral infection and flu. I hope I am not going to get that! I think my illness is just due to the fact that I got rather wet yesterday (the weather has turned freezing and we have even had small doses of snow!!!) and then walked into an office where the central heating was on full blast and then I had to go out again and then come back in and so I was constantly going from cold to hot. It is not good.

I got a mail this morning from the recruitment agency girl to let me know that they had to send in a whole bunch of other temps to take over since half the people were sick :o) And then I was told I didn't need to go back in tomorrow which is fine with me since I know that I am going to need at least another day of sleeping mostly before I am completely better and if I were to go back into that environment of illness now I would just get more ill than ever. So I am glad of the respite.

Well, now that I am ill, the weather has decided to warm up a bit. I am most grateful for this as there is nothing worse that ice cold weather when one is sick, especially when all you want to do is be out and about in the sun.

Things are still going well and I am still loving it here. I don't think anything can change my mind there. I just get more and more attached to this place. I even got inspired for some more writing!
I shall add my newest little poems in seperate entries.
For now, this is all the news I have. Sorry for being so quiet lately!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Moving...

It feels like an age since I last wrote and indeed it has been about a week now. I had all these good intentions to write every day but the only problem was that I didn't have regular access to a computer, so I couldn't. Now, however, I do, so I will and I am :o)

The weather has been absolutely beautiful so far and I am really impressed. I was under the impression it was supposed to be cold? And what's with the umbrellas everyone carries around? It hasn't rained or drizzled ONCE since I have been here. I hear its pouring in South Africa. Hahahaha! I am catching a lovely chocolate tan here and already my face and arms have gained a nice tan color. I've been walking around in short sleeves and with no jacket or coat. The people think I am completely mad but there you go, its what happens when you go to a foreign land, isn't it? Personally I think the people here take things a bit to extreme, I mean, its a warm day and almost everyone is walking around with scarves, coats, trenchcoats, gloves and muffs. I don't get it!

The other thing that baffles me is the transport. It took me a whole week to get the hang of the transport here. I got lost three times so badly that I ended up walking for miles and miles and actually walked around the whole of Reading before finally one old dear gentleman stopped me and asked me if I was lost. Bless him! I was lost indeed and close to tears. I couldn't find a bus stop (I'd been walking circles around one for hours) and nor could I find the shops I was looking for. It was quite pathetic, really. I surpassed myself in looking pathetically lost and puppy-dog-eyed. And then when I finally got the bus times right I had to negotiate the trains. This went quite well until I landed at Reading Station and it was pitch dark and I couldn't find a bus to take me home because they had all knocked off for the night. Whilst I was standing there singing softly to myself (I do this when I get really nervous or afraid) a very dodgy Frenchman swaggered up to me and told me that I was beautiful and I looked like I was waiting for someone (not for HIM, that's for sure!!!) and that I looked like someone who knew where she was going (certainly not with HIM!) and I had a marvellous accent and etc. I was by this time blushing furiously and hopping up and down on my toes trying to find a way out of this conversation. And then he staggered off and went into a pub. Half an hour later I was still waiting for my lift and he came stumbling and swaying out of the pub and straight up to me again. I was mortified! Try as I might I couldn't get rid of him and had to bear with his drunken compliments for the next fifteen minutes. Of course, all the people around me thought it was hilarious and they were all watching the show. I was so thankful when my lift finally arrived!
And then there was the memorable time I had to catch a late train back home to Reading and the train was filled to overflowing with rugby enthusiasts! England had won against France and everyone was well warmed up and some were even a little more than just three sheets to the wind. One was completely shot the cat, he passed out across two seats and had to be helped off the train at the end! Oh boy, yes indeed, that was one interesting trip! They started singing and everyone was laughing and I couldn't help but laugh at the off key singing and chanting. It was truly amusing. There was this man who was standing next to me and he was asking everyone around if the train stopped at Virginia Waters. Nobody knew...but I told him it did (by this time I knew the train stops off by heart!) and he asked me if I was sure and I said yes, of course. He said would I bet on it and I said yes I would. So we shook on it and when the next stop was announced and it was Virginia Waters he bowed comically over my hand, kissed it, bowed again, kissed it again, bowed a third time and then bid me a fond (and well overdue!) adieu, and left the train. Great, now all that was left was to get rid of the very non-sober old gentleman who kept trying to sit on my lap!
Right, well, so far that is my adventures for now in a nutshell. I might save the ghostbusters for another time! For now, I have some shopping to go and do!
Viva la England!!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tourist on the Loose!

I never thought that when I came here I would find the weather so wonderful. Seriously, from the way everyone was talking, I thought it would at least be a little chilly. Well, its not! I have been walking around in sleeveless thin tops and skirts and its just not cold. Slightly fresh, and perhaps at times a little crisp, but not cold. Not by far as cold as it was this past weekend on our farm.
Yet the people here are walking around in thick coats and scarves and tights and the whole works!! What is with that????? Eish man, really, its not cold in this place. I don't know what I am going to do about clothes now, since I mostly have warm clothes, nothing for summery weather.

And today I managed to find a shop and bought an umbrella (or brolly???) which was quite a feat (note the sarcasm) and then it started to drizzle a little and it was so funny to watch everyone diving for cover. And then staring at me whilst I was walking along, singing happily to the tunes on my MP3 player. I could hear the thoughts as if they were saying them out loud : "WHAT A WEIRDO!!! MUST BE A TOURIST!"

Well, people, I have news for you...I am NOT a tourist, merely another South African coming over to work and make a new life.

Of course, finding work and a place to stay which suits me is not easy, although I was prepared for this so it isn't any sort of setback. I have interviews lined up and I will be looking at places tomorrow, if all things go well.

The plane trip over was a nightmare and I spent it laughing and joking and talking nineteen to the dozen with a complete stranger!
It was alright although I was so glad to get off the plane and go walking around in the airport afterwards.

More updates to follow! Stay tuned....