Saturday, October 04, 2008

The busy social life that I lead!

We went to the Goodwood Revival a few weekends ago, which was great fun and warm enough to dress up! The car just about held up long enough to be driven there and back, but is now once again off the road!

Hayley also came back last weekend, and we had a great girly chat. In between all this, I have had to find time to complete the last of the leaving present paintings, which seemed to go down well.

We have been very preoccupied with trying to find the best deal for flights and accommodation in Oz, when we go next April to visit my half-sister and her newborn (eugh). Really looking forward to it, as it will be an opportunity to go and visit my uni friend Margaret who emigrated over to Perth.

Later this month I have three social engagements in a row! Paintballing in a couple of weeks for a friend's birhtday, then my 80s themed party (parents away!), then a charity black tie event and screening of the new Bond film in Devizes, that glamorous market town!

Hopefully this weekend I'll get out and try and spot rutting deer, making use of the free time before it gets really busy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

weekends away!

So these last few weeks have been very hectic. The weekend after the great family gathering, Steph and I, together with a whole bunch of people, mostly from the Trust, stayed in an old cottage in the Brecons. We visited many spectacular waterfalls, loved the cottage immensely (even though the stairs were a nightmare - very tight spiral staircase of slippery slates, that you have to crawl on hands and knees to get up) and all agreed that it should be an annual thing!

Then last weekend, when Sarah and I were supposed to be going to visit Patty in Essex (who was ill), we actually ended up fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast, and then going shopping in Bournemouth the next day, so we had lots of fun then too!

Now this weekend I'm off to the Goodwood Revival, though judging by the chill in the weather I don't think I'll be dressing up!

Monday, August 25, 2008


I'm going to be an aunt - we found out yesterday that my half-sister who lives in Brisbane is due in March so we'll be heading over there for Easter hopefully, which should be lovely. And this also means that I may yet get to see my friend from uni, Margaret, which is great news.

We had the great family gathering to say hello to my half sister and her husband yesterday, which was attended by numerous relatives including both cousins and their partners, who we haven't seen for several years - we were truly honoured.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tanzania pics!

Just a small selection of the 783 I took while I was out there!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oops! Forgot about my blog!

Oh dear - I've been so busy with the new job and holiday that I had completely forgotten to update here!

So, the new job's going really well, slowly getting the hang of it all - I started on 23rd May, and have been out and about quite a lot, which is great. Much more interesting than planning, which I am not missing at all (well, maybe a little as this is so completely different to anything I've done before!). Really challenging, but loving the learning curve!

On 26th of June I went to Tanzania for our (probable) last family holiday. We'd just found out that my brother is now a doctor, and my sister had got the 2:1 she wanted, so that was great news.

Tanzania was amazing - we got back on Wednesday morning, though I have to say that three weeks in a 4x4 is probably too much - not enough exercise, too much food, and escalating levels of moaning due to awful roads and a couple of 10 hour journeys!

I only took 780 pics, a modest amount for me really, but I'm really pleased with most of them. I sort of binged on sunsets quite a lot! Hopefully there will be some in there that could be entered in to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2 more into the semifinals this year; that's two out of the 16000+/32000, which isn't too bad I suppose!).

We started off in Arusha, driving to Tarangire NP (lots of elephants), then Lake Manyara (flamingos, monkeys and tree-climbing lions!); Oldupai Gorge (the Cradle of Mankind - the Leakey's dig for hominid remains); Serengeti (lots of lions, sunrise balloon ride then amazing bush breakfast! And of course our magical leopard encounter - see pics!); Ngorogoro crater (AMAZING!!!!); Arusha NP (no views of Kili due to clouds - gutting); a day hiking in Usumbara mountains (wonderful views, totally knackering climb!); Mikumi NP (some lions, but pretty quiet really); Udzungwa NP (beautiful tropical rainforest - so much wildlife - best park I went to I think); Selous Game Reserve (awful 10 hour drive there - most people fly in and we can now see why! Again, quite quiet, but river and lakes had great bird life) and then 1.5 days in Dar before heading back (walks on the beach had to be done without valuables inc. cameras due to high probability of being mugged by local fisherman - sort of typifies Dar really, but nice to chill out for a couple of days!).

So you can see we packed an awful lot in! And now I have to catch up with work...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No, still haven't started

So it's been a month and a half since I was made redundant, and almost a month since I got the job, but I still haven't started it officially! I say 'officially' because I am already doing some things, such as training and some SSSI condition assessments to come, but these aren't paid, rather to be taken as TOIL later on.

The problem is that one of my references went on holiday before the request for his came in (although he is now back and doesn't have any email from them requesting it), so this has led to a delay - the proposed start date of this Friday has now been put back until the 2nd of June, which is very annoying, but at least allows for greater tennis playing time!

I'm having a Eurovision party this Saturday too - my costume is truly spectacular in the degree of shoddiness - I have to say that the shoddier the costume, the funnier it usually is! Everyone attending has to come as either a country or a past act - my past act features much foil, though that doesn't really narrow it down much. one clue: Tanzen!

So here I am, sitting at home waiting to start an exciting new job, but with no income and having run out of things to do a long, long time ago [in a galaxy far away]...

Friday, May 02, 2008


Yes, I have a job - in fact, I almost had two!

I managed to get an interview for the NE job - problem was I had to drive to Lewes for it, and it was at 5pm... There were a couple of posts in Lyndhurst - one doing coastal planning, the other concentrating on mainly land management. Thankfully, I was successful, though I was a bit annoyed to start at 19K, which was a pay drop, instead of the 23K, but I can see they had to be fair to everyone. I was bracing myself for the planning post, but whilst waiting for confirmation of the job I was actually going to do, and having accepted the offer, I was offered an interview for an ecological consultancy in Winchester in response to a speculative letter and CV I had sent out a couple of weeks before.

They kept changing the date for the interview, and Rachel from NE had phoned to offer me the land management post (hurrah - no more planning!) so I had to bring the interview date forward. I had it on Wednesday, and found out yesterday that I had not got it. I was actually quite thankful - from the sounds of things I would have been starting on 17K (!) and be shoved into doing bat stuff, including becoming licenced - what fun. Plus, the NE job sounded so brilliant, so I was probably going to go for that anyway.

I'm still not sure when I start, but am really looking forward to it! The only problem is that this will severely limit tennis playing opportunities in Devizes - oh well, sacrifices have to be made!