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Friday, 30 October 2015

Saving money

I have just rung my broadband provider, since they have put my bill up mid-contract, and the rules dictate that this allows me to cancel if I am not happy.  Today, therefore, I rang to "cancel".  I would have done it actually, since another provider can do a better deal, however the nice lady on the phone was in a benevolent mood and she was able to give me a sizeable discount on my current bill to stay with them, this one including free* calls to mobiles too, which will contain our costs nicely.


We are also "saving it large" (as I think the young people like to say on the corners of the streets on which they like to meet to sing songs and swap football cards) with our new Sparks card.  Oh yes, we know how to live.

We have a fab day in London on Wednesday, meeting up with Brad and Angelina.  We went up the eye, ate food and visited the market at Covent Garden, stopping only to watch a very entertaining magician.

* I know, there is nothing for free in this world.

Friday, 23 October 2015

And . . . definitely time to relax

Another busy week at work.  We are due a big decision next week about my day job, not for me personally, but for the team, and I guess for Starfleet.  Will they, won't they?

On a personal-business level, I have only been and gone and done it.  I have verbally accepted an offer, which needs to be put in writing both ways before I can raise it with my manager, a process that I am, quite naturally I think, itching to start.  Then there will be the mandatory three months of notice to work, for which I have decided that, to quote an old cliche, as life is handing me some lemons, I plan to make lemonade, so my approach is going to be to go out with a bang (you never know what I might need in the future), and spend this time as three months of concerted and diverse personal education.  It will be tough; there will be tears, but it will be worth it.

I should therefore hopefully be starting at NeverNever early February.

After a hectic month or two, I have also decided to try stay off the beer until Christmas.  I could do with a break, and goodness knows I could do with the calorie reduction to kick start my weight loss campaign (which, not to tell tales, was meant to start when I got back from holiday in the Summer).  Time will tell quite how successful I have been, but I would like to try.  We all love a trier.

I now start nine days away work, having all next week off.  There is no sport this weekend for the Maggots, so it is likely to be off to the car showrooms to start planning for a car purchase, for what will be the first car I have ever actually owned.  I know, fifty-one, and never owned a car.  All rather exciting, but also rather nerve-racking, since I now not only need to do water for the washers, oil if I remember and that diesel thing, I will now have to contend with tax, insurance and servicing.  I am looking at it as all part of the growing process.  Others have been less kind.

I hope you have a good weekend, and speak next week.

Friday, 16 October 2015

And . . . relax

Fairly busy week.  Second interview on Tuesday.  Was not sure how well it went overall; he did a lot of talking, which saves me having to do it, but the little he did ask of me, I was not sure that I actually gave the best of answers to his questions. I have learnt that such a reaction to an interview can be either really good, or really bad.  In this case, it was really good, because the HR person, who I met after my interview and seemed like a very nice chap, rang me the next day to make me an offer.

This offer was not what it needed to be, so I made a counter-offer, and I am just waiting for him to come back to me.  I probably need to consider my BATNA too.

At home, we have our usual sport-filled weekend, but with a meal at ours for our friends Saturday night, which should be great fun.  Sammy has a cup game Sunday, which I rather enjoy, so other than having to get up too early, that will also be fun.

Have a great weekend, speak next week.

Friday, 9 October 2015

And . . . relax

Work has been fairly steady.  As I said previously, I have just migrated to Starfleet's new web-based email system, which is meant to "reinvent the inbox", and I have to say that, for me, it really has.  I am liking it very much and continuing to be more organised and have less stuff queued up in my inbox.

I am also having a second interview for an external role.  The first interview was by phone, and it went very well I thought, and I think the other side must have thought something similar to call me back to a face-to-face second interview, where I need to take all manner of documentation and proofs (hmm, is that a word?) of identify, which may be standard practice, but certainly feels encouraging.

The question will be whether I actually want the role.  All I can say is that my gut feeling so far is good, and that the prospect of leaving my current employer after 13 years of service (17 with my TUPE entitlement) does not fill me with any fear, in fact it rather excites me, so if you should go on such things, all is positive.  The real sticking point may well be the spondoolicks.  Can they make it financially appealing enough to entice me out of my slippers?  Time will tell.

On the home front, we celebrate Maggot 2's tenth birthday.  This is some achievement, not for him, but rather for us putting up with him.  Only joking*, he has been a pleasure to get to know, and his drive to independence and self-reliance is ahead of schedule in some areas (he acts like he is twenty), and perhaps a little behind in others (he is a lazy tike who likes to be waited on and to have as many strokes as we are prepared to give him), but I guess it is all our fault, and he has a few years yet to iron out the wrinkles.

We have a family party tonight, having had the friend party last week (four  hours of football, FIFA15 and climbing our trees), and the rest of the weekend is the usual sport-packed two days, with an evening and David and Samantha's on Saturday, which is well overdue and much looked forward to.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  Speak next week.  Probably.

* as I have often said, never let the truth stand in the way of a good story