23 Jul 2015

Wouldn't you just know it!

Morning all!

Well....wouldn't you just know it...I started to get excited about my upcoming trip and in a moment of weakness told a real life work colleague about it...within the hour I was called into the office and told that my contract would not be extended....I finish tomorrow!

Ok, so that reads like the two are related - and I feel that they only are in that the universe is laughing at me! Teaching me a lesson for daring to have any hope of enjoyment in my immediate future.

They aren't related. Originally my contract was due to end at the end of July and that is why I had not booked a holiday, but about three weeks ago I was told that they wanted to extend me...and the process had begun...until yesterday when I was told that some team reshuffle meant the budget for me was being spent on someone else.

I am angry that they left it so late to tell me but not surprised, they have a habit of doing this, but I am also upset because my two good friends here are both on leave this week so I won't get to say goodbye (they are work friends and we don't socialise outside of that, not because we wouldn't but just it hasn't happened). It hurts because I have been here almost two years and if I wanted to leave I have to give a weeks notice. Its frustrating because I am spending money on my trip that I had been saving as a cushion should I be unemployed and because I was being extended decided to book the trip. So yesterday I was a bit emotional, and today I am bloody minded, so I of course will do my work but I won't be in any hurry about it. I also don't want to think that it is personal - remember I am an INTJ so that is definitely what is going on in my head! - and so I am being positive. I am a pro at shoveling the faeces that gets flung my way and so I am continuing with my trip (I have one VERY VERY excited 6 year old on my hands!) and I am going to worry about it all when I get home. So expect panic stations in two weeks time and maybe a little too many blog posts!

However, all being said, I have started writing some blog posts about the planning stages or my travels and I will be posting them on a blog that I created over a year ago but have never posted anything on, and that blog is called...Travels with my notebook. I shall post about my travels on there starting with Germany...but occasionally I may review or re-review past travel destinations.

A german joke apparently....

A man walks off the street into a dentist's office.
"Doctor, you got to help me! I keep having these delusions that I'm a moth."
"That really sounds like something you visit a psychiatrist about," replies the dentist.
"I know," says the man, "but your light was on."

I like it! hehehehe

In other news, I have decided to take the next Joan Elliott decoration with me to stitch along with Frozen. I will save frozen for the evenings and stitch the decoration on the trains. I need to sort that tonight.

p.s I included the ecards to make myself laugh! Laughter cures all ailments...almost :)

Please feel free to share your GOOD news in the comments below.

20 Jul 2015

#IHSW July


'tis I....

I started stitching on the Frozen project this weekend and in all honesty it was like wading through mud!

I was also unsure about the colour choices but decided to go with it and see how it looked. I am quite happy with it, even with the darker colours, and I figure when it has been on her wall for any amount of time it will fade. Also, from afar it looks pretty good even if I do say so myself!

I hope you all managed to put a few stitches in this weekend too.

Here is my progress...

and a reminder of the target...

Now I am off to see how you all got on!

17 Jul 2015

Decision made!!!


Well I am having a weird day, on one hand I am really pleased that I made a decision about my trip next week, and on the other hand I am really annoyed with people at work who made minimal effort to decorate a friends desk this morning for her 50th!

Lets start with the negative...my friend is 50 but luckily for her she doesnt look it...today is her last day at work until her birthday and office tradition is to decorate that persons desk (special ages only).

I first met her eight years ago when I started here and we got along well, we both have the same working style and a silly sense of humour and have no shame in not acting our age! Although I have since moved about the University and have worked in the same department as her on occasion, we have stayed in contact via emails & IM at work. I consider her a really good friend. As an employee she is hard working, conscientious and reliable. She is never off sick, never late, and never takes more than her allotted lunch time. She doesn't go off for multiple coffee breaks or in anyway take advantage. Unlike me she is much friendlier to people. Basically, she is awesome!

I only realised on Wednesday that her last day at work would be today, so I contacted someone in her team about what was happening, if they were doing anything. I was told that there was a card going around (that I could sign if I could find it!) and that because this person didn't work Fridays they didn't really know. I contacted another person who told me that her line manager was going to decorate her desk with some sparklies but that was it. They kept telling me how they weren't mentioning how old she was in case she was sensitive about it....erm....do they even know this woman! Anyhoo, on Wednesday I printed off some stuff and bought a banner just in case. I was thinking I could add my stuff to theirs if there was space....I arrived this morning and this is her "decorated" desk...

I hope you can all see the sparkiles, some streamers and the cards. I have no issue about the cards but the decoration?? I had that much decoration on my birthday and it wasn't even a special one! Yes, yes, my blood is boiling! She is so nice to people and does what she can for charity and I am quite livid. Hurt me = fine, hurt my friends = NO WAY! Nothing makes you feel as unloved as this level of effort when you have seen the parades for your colleagues.

Anyhoo, I did my best with what I had, and this is my effort....

Not perfect, I know, i just expected more from them...and yes she WILL LOVE the candles...hehhehe....because she has a sense of humour!

The bag contains her gifts and cake and card but...I hope I have done enough. Her team mates are going straight on the naughty list or better still in the book!.

Ok, rant over.....

The good news!!! I have made a decision regarding my trip but it has got a little complicated.

I decided that Germany was going to be the place I went this year and it will probably be my last trip until October 2016 when I hope to be going to Canada! So lots of saving will have to take place.

Once I decided where, I thought about what to do and where to go, and Germany is a pretty big country and I often forget that but decided to reach out for advice. Thanks to all those who gave me location suggestions, all brilliant and all are places I would love to go! 

Then there was a twist in my plan....an interloper...yes, you guessed it...one of my naughty nieces is tagging along! This does affect my plans slightly but she is only allowed to come if she follows my schedule. I won't let her know that I will be adding a few excursions just for her! It also influences my choice of accommodation. Cost wise, it has actually worked out less than if we booked a package deal, which is good! Although still relatively expensive due to my last minute booking and it being a two week trip. All that being said I am looking forward to it and also to imparting my travelling wisdom onto my niece (the poor kid!).

The final details aren't yet final and I will regale you with those next week when I will need some kind of plan -but basically we will be starting in Dusseldorf and ending up in Dusseldorf but making a loop to Berlin and back. I should imagine I will need a holiday to recover but my niece will be on her summer holidays so will be able to sleep for a week when she gets back. I guess it will either give her the travel bug or put her off! Only time will tell but it's quite exciting.

This weekend I need to find time during IHSW to fine tune the plan - but I have to stitch - I mentioned I would have to to Ebony and she said....

"yes, you do auntie katy. You have to stitch because you need to finish my frozen picture that I asked for, for my birthday"

No pressure! But she is right, I do need to stitch...like the wind. I hope I can at least get the top third done and hopefully another third done during next week. 

On top of this I promised my eldest niece we could go and see Inside Out on Friday! I am taking the middle one to Germany. I also need to pack! 

I am exhausted just thinking about it! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

14 Jul 2015

Help needed! Travel advice. PST is back and on the loose..

So guess what?

I have decided that I really need a holiday - last years holidays were marred by illness and deciding to go and making plans for this year has well and truly been on the back burner. I guess I am a little apprehensive about it and have lost some of my solo traveller confidence! I don't know why because when I think about what I did do in the condition I was in - its dawns on me how stubborn I actually was, hehehe.

Most people plan trips well in advance or at least have some idea and usually I fall into that category, this year I have decided (last week) that I would take two weeks off and the sooner the better, I really need a break!

So I requested leave from work from 27th July till 7th August. Great right? This is where my lack of planning is most evident.

The school holidays all start here (England) that week - and a year or two ago there was a new law that children being taken out of school during term-time (for holidays) would have to pay a fine (or rather their parents would). Some parents would take their children out during term-time or there would be a few days overlap because the cost of holidays almost doubles during the school holidays.

Anyway...its not the best time to choose but I have decided and seeing as it takes me so long to do that I am sticking with it otherwise it means another two month wait! I'm not that patient. The second thing that highlights my poor planning is the fact that I haven't booked anything or have any idea where I might go! And a third, that also effects everything, is the fact that I am single and will be travelling solo - so last minute package deals are not such great bargains when you have to pay single supplements.

I have been browsing and still am no closer to making a decision on location - do I go somewhere and lounge or do I go somewhere that needs exploration or do I go somewhere and do both? Do I go for one week in one place and then move on to another the next week, or do I travel around a country?

All of this of course is dependent on what my budget will stretch to, but I am not a fussy traveller, if I opt to be on the go travelling here there and everywhere the I will happily stay in a Hostel or low end hotel as I am only there for sleeping. I always resent paying for a nice room that I won't get to spend time in.

If I travel about then I am currently thinking of Germany, but where do I start, what route do I take, do I focus on a region?....any other suggestions?

If I am going to stay put and lounge then, do I stay in the UK or some beach location such as France or Spain?

The reason I am writing all this is in the hope that you will have some suggestions - obviously, telling me to wait is not an option, so I would be very grateful regarding any travel advice. Those of you who have followed this blog in all its incarnations over the years will know about my Paranoid Solo Traveller posts (see the travel tab above) and may even be rolling your eyes and sniggering at me right now!

So...your challenge if you wish to accept is to help me come up with an itinerary for 24/25th July - 8/9th August (any 14 consecutive nights between those dates) leaving from any London airport. What would you do if you had two weeks?

Ok, I shall be back later to check up on you all! and maybe with some suggestions I have since come up with....

13 Jul 2015

Quick Faery 66 update

So I left off here last Monday...

I managed to stitch for a couple of evenings but didn't get any done at the weekend, but am making steady progress, I will put this down till IHSW this weekend and probably start on Frozen tonight.

Here is my progress...