Okay so apparently after coming to the conclusion that rocket science was actually too complicated for the rocket scientists to figure out in this instance, the Russians have given up trying to contact their strandard should have been Mars bound probe and have admitted it will be falling back to Earth next month sometime.
Of course in effort to reassure people although they don't know where it will fall they are hopeful that as the last two satelites to fall didn't hit anything, this one won't either.
Which probably proves that the rocket scientists in this case haven't heard of the old adage "best of three".
But at least they didn't wheel out that other thing they usually say in that no one has ever been hit by smalling debris yet. Because they really couldn't ( or shouldn't) tempt fate like that.
If there is one word that can describe the events of today quite well and yet still be a massive understatement, well that word is "interesting".
And I'm not kidding here.
We were expecting the day to be a little busy as let's face it, it was a Monday plus the last Monday before Christmas but even staff who have been there for a lot longer then I have were still shaking their head in absolute amazement/bemusement at how totally and utterly manic things became.
Still in the line of work we're in it's better to be working at maximum capacity rather than sitting around twiddling your thumbs as that would not be a good sign.
Of course we do have four more days of this to get through before we break up for Christmas.
Which are no doubt going to be as equally as entertaining.
Well a early morning scan of facebook revealed that was lots of snow around as it seemed like there was status update after status update from lots of people saying how excited they were that they had snow.
And exactly how much snow did we get in geektown?
Zero, zilch, nada. That old weather nullzone over geektown is alive and well as we didn't get any snow whatsoever.
Which also means it's likely we will continue to get no snow or we will only get snow during the week whilst I'm at work, which is a prospect I would not be happy about at all as if theres anything I find worse then driving in icy conditions it's having to drive in icy and snowy conditions.
But it is getting rather cold all ready here at geek towers as the cars are already covered in a thick coat of ice and we're not even at 7pm yet ( at time of writing of course :-)
So I get a feeling it's going to be a interesting week.
It was somewhat ironic this morning that over breakfast I was reading a news story that retailers were planning on desperately slashing prices in a attempt to lure christmas shoppers out as they were worried it was going to be a very bad christmas as there didn't seem to be many people on the high street as it were this year.
Of course reading a story like this meant there was only going to be one inevitable conclusion when we ventured into town.
It was packed.
No wait, to say it was packed would be a significant understatement. It would be better to say it was filled to overflowing and then some. There were people everywhere and some of the queues were rather long, which was annoying even if queuing is supposed to be something which actually good at as a nation.
Still if it's bad this week it will probably be a whole lot worse next week which is why I have no plans whatsoever to go into town unless I have no choice what so ever.
that's of course assuming I survive next week at work, which assuming the way things are escalating at the moment is not sure thing :-) Still it's much better to be busy then not.
Which is a thought I will no doubt keep telling myself as the week rolls on :-)
Firstly due to the large amount of open ground ( somewhat unsurprising at a airport) the wind has nothing to impede it so it tends to get cold. Really, really cold, which is fine at the start of the day when you can wait for the minibus to pull up before you jump out of your car and scuttle across the car park but rather annoying at the end of the day whilst you have to wait for the minbus to appear out of the darkness.
Secondly is the threat of the "car clampers". Now if you're good like me and park in the right car park you have nothing to fear. Now if you're one of the very naughty people who like to try parking on the roads around the airport or in the wrong car park you certainly have something to fear.
Now I say certainly because the clampers are a bit of a "bogeyman" style threat around the airport. You often hear of them but try as you might you can never find anyone whose actually seen them but you can always find someone whose heard of someone who did get clamped.
So me, well being me I tend to imagine them sometimes as either stealth ninja clampers leaping from rooftop to rooftop swinging clamps around their heads in agressive fighting style, or them looking like the child catcher from chitty, chitty, bang, bang as they prowl the roadways looking for poor little cars left in the wrong place.
Yes, I know my mind goes to bizarre places sometimes doesn't it?
Working at a airport you can sometimes see some strange sights. Be it from stupidly huge lorries trying to get down very narrow roads, snow ploughs driving around in the middle of summer or the general weird lighting effect you get at the end of the day on the minibus as everyone turns on their phones to find out what's happened on facebook in the three hours or so since lunch.
But even I was surprised this morning when on the bus we saw a car driver out of car hire place with it's windscreen a solid sheet and the driver obivously not wanting to clean the windscreen doing his best ace ventura impression.
And I don't just mean having his head out of the window, we're talking the head and most of his upper body and torso as well.
Fortunatly he was only driver it next door to where he set out from as otherwise we would have ...... well I'm not sure what we would have done but considering the narrow confines of our road and the trucks and vans coming down it on a regular basis the end result could have been nasty.
Well this is a very special picture for me right now. Mainly as it was chosen as photo of the week at work and that's not just for the uk. Oh no, it was for the whole company intranet site which meant it was worldwide baby!!!!
Of course in order to post it on here I have had to remove something that was one of the main reasons it was chosen as picture of the week, namely the company sign as I don't want to announce to everyone who I work for! and if I left the sign in, it's a bit of a give away.
Well yet more proof has arrived today that's it's winter. Yes I have started to develop a stinking cold which has been made worse by my usual lack of success when it comes to clearing my bunged up nose.
Which is a charming mental image for you all I'm sure.
Still at least it's the end of the week which means it's the weekend ( I was starting to wonder if it would ever get here!) which means I have two days. Yes two whole days before back to the insanity of work next week.
And the way this christmas is going, insanity is a understatement!
On the plus side there seems to be a large number of people ordering lego, as well A it's fun and B it;s nice to see kids using their imagination rather then playing on computers
(wow made myself sound so olddddd just then.)
Which if you go by what some people are church say....................... no wait, lets not go down that thread :-)
I was woken up yesterday in the very early hours of the morning by what had to be one of the most impressive rain storms I have seen or heard for that matter in a while as the sheer force of it pounding on the window, the side of the house and even the roof was more then enough to wake me up ( Grumpy mind you never heard a thing)
Of course with such a awe inspiring display of natures might I did what I did last time something major happened ( the earthquake) I simply went back to bed.
And today well we've had rain, a lot of rain and wind. Lots and lots of wind, in fact it's still going outside! Still it's not as Bad as scotland where it's been so bad a wind turbine caught fire as it was spinning around too fast!
But at least as it's December we've having a "dress down month" at work so I can go in wearing a nice thick coat and jumper as it would be rather cold having to wear my usual shirt and tie.
I did find out that unfortunatly due to wonderful timing of planning I've been scheduled to work New Years eve! Which although somewhat annoying could be a lot worse. I'm only having to work four hours and at least it's not Christmas even instead!
Mind you at the rate things are going I'm not sure if myself or anyone in my team is going to have much left in the way of sanity by the time Christmas day rolls round as with the christmas rush in full swing things are going ever so slightly, completely and utterly manic!
Okay I'll completely throw my hands up over this one. I have been slacking big time.
But not intentionally. Or at least not that intentionally.
Okay, I'm not making much sense there but at least it goes to show you that some things never change :-)
Basically I have been doing a awful lot of photography based things ( which I can't go into right now) which has been rather monopolising my time and adding in the fact I was on a tight time limit for said things something unfortunatly had to give.
And I'm not talking about my grip on sanity :-)
Still I am aiming to do a lot better from now on.
Assuming nothing else surprising comes along. But c'est la vie I guess :-)
Well it was a interesting evening last night as we had a work christmas party out in Derby, which I have to admit was the first real "do" I have gone to in a while that hasn't been a church function. Which of course meant there was drink and rather a lot of it.
Which means I'll just have to remember how to compartmentalise things again otherwise it might be a bit odd working with some people come Monday morning remembered how they look totally hammered!
Anyway, at the start of the night well before the drink was flowing freely I was sitting on a table with several of the other people from my team, when one of the guys started winding up another one about his chances of Pulling/getting lucky, etc, etc (you get the gist) and he responded to say he didn't think so. The other guy then continued to jokingly say that if no luck with the girls there were plenty of guys around as well and maybe he could get lucky with someone like "saxon" ( i.e me). He then laughed, everyone else laughed, I laughed and then noticed the guy who had the question asked to wasn't laughing and had actually paused.
Before I could say anything he then quietly and in all seriousness said " Well Saxon is a very nice guy and I have nothing againist him or his choice in lift but I'm just not into men that way"
Which lead lead me to a slightly worried realisation that he might actually think I was! I quickly responded " Well this would be a good time to point out I'm not into men either" thinking that would clear everything up.
Not so, it go worse. He responded " No, no, I'm not homophobic or anything, and please don't feel embrassed and that you feel you have to deny but I just don't like men that way"
Which made me realise omg he actually thinks I am! He's been totally serious! At which point I firmly told him that I wasn't into men. He simply responded oh okay then and I was left not quite knowing what to say.
Of course when I related this to Grumpy this morning he found it hilarious ( I didn't at the time but found it rather more amusing this morning) and of course with his sense of humour wanted to know if I had asked what I had been doing to make him convinced of his opinion. Not sure I would really want to pull at that thread though :-)
There could be many reasons why I'm not married but that more certainly is not one of them
After much pondering I have finally come up with a name for my photography.
Mind you considering the amount of time that I've spent trying to settle on one, it's not as terribly original as you might think :-)
But like that well known advert, it does what it says on the tin. I have already created a "proper" blog for it ( time to come out from behind the shadow of Saxon in that blog me thinks), I'm getting a website sorted and I have finally taken the final technological plunge and joined twitter.
Which will give a big clue to the name of the photography but c'est la vie :-)
Of course I have found that it is horribly, horribly addictive ( like this is some big news) and have already posted several tweets this evening alone.
Never mind, at let it's giving me something to focus on right now as with it approaching the end of the month I'm kind of feeling in a underappreciated/surplus to requirements kind of mood. But then again I always seem to feel a bit down at the end of Novembers, maybe it's because the christmas "spirit" as it were hasn't really kicked in yet.
Oh well, it's Friday tomorrow which means only one more day to the weekend and not only that we have the work christmas party tomorrow which should be a lot of fun, followed by our team Christmas Party next weekend which should also be a lot of fun especially as it's going to a event called "glitz and glamour". A good opportunity for blackmail.......... erh I mean taking of photos me thinks.
It can take a lot to make me jump with surprise ( no honestly) I mean when we had a earthquake hit geektown what did I do? Simply wake up, realise it was a earthquake and simply rolled over and went back to sleep.
But even when I was surprised when my whole desk quite literally "jumped" today with enough force that not only everything on the desk, computer, screen, keyboard, phone etc all rattled, but everything on the other side of the bank of desks also shook.
Which lead to the rather amusing site of everyone pushing back from the desk in perfect sychronisation complete with identical rather shocked expressions.
As it turned out it was nothing major, just one of the supports had rotated ever so slightly out of postion which rather confused the man from the estates department as I think he thought based on the report he had gotten that the desk was falling down around us!
Searching for a name for my photography is still proving to be a bit of a headache as just when I certain that I was certain about my choice along comes another idea.
Of course coming up with a brand would be a lot easier if I still worked somewhere with a whole lot of art people, in a studio with all arty software but oops two years too late for that.
Children in need is usually celebrated in a big way at work ( for example we've had two charity dress down days this week so far :-) and theres always something going on the week running up to the day to raise money for charity.
For example we had a visit from "pudsey" this week and for a small fee you could have your picture with him.
Of course when one of my team mates who just happened to be "missing" when pudsey arrived reappeared I couldn't resist the urge to tease him slightly by telling him
" N! You missed Pudsey. You missed him the same way Clark Kent alway misses superman"
at which point he collapsed into a fit of the giggles. Then things got even funnier when one of the girls who had heard this turned round and said in all seriousness
" Ummm, that's because clark kent is superman"
The quickest response I could think of to this was
" What? Really? Has anyone told Lois?"
At which point N was almost on the floor he was laughing so hard.
A few stories have been coming out today as to what we can expect by the way of festive "cheerful" stories over christmas in the soap operas. Seriously, it's surprising anyone wants to stay on coronation street or albert square on christmas day as your odds off actually surviving the day without getting run over, attacked, shot, stabbed, burned to death in fire, or a tram dropping on you are pretty darn slim.
Okay so at church we have a rather large hymn book of over 300 hymns. By it's very nature you'll have some hymns that everybody knows so well they could put the hymn books down and belt them out to their hearts contents, some hymns that people are not so familiar with, hymns that only people in the choir now and finally those hymns that next to nobody knows.
Which can be bad enough, but when you combine this with a ward where half the congregation are away, the general mood is worse then lethagic and a organist whose determined to play things his way, well the end results can get rather interesting.
And by interesting, I mean interesting in the fit of the giggles you have to fight off when by the second verse of the hymn next to nobody is singing but the organist is still valiantly banging away on the keys.
Plus that wasn't the end of the music hiliarity for the day as we had to pracise singing a song in priesthood that we're supposed to sing in sacrement next week. I do miss the good ole days when we could just get up, sing a hymn and sit down. Now there's just a whole lot of talking about all sorts of singing relating stuff that I have no idea what it all means.
The last time somebody asked me if I was a tenor I replied I hoped I was considerably more expensive then that!
Anyway, it's Monday tomorrow which means it's a fresh week of "opportunities" ahead.
Well the road around geektowers and by and large geektown as well are looking more like a obstacle course from it's a knock out rather then roads right now.
Apparently there's lot of work that needs to be done replacing gas mains and to replace these gas main it's apparently involves digging holes. A whole lotta holes, and of course where you have holes you have the health and safety bridage so you also get a whole lotta fencing.
So much so that it's actually almost impossible to see a turning into our estate to get to geek towers and this is in the daylight! In the dark it gets even more fun, you just have to slow down and hope you realise the turning is there quickly enough so you can squeeze through what is a rather tight gap whilst hoping that no idiots come racing up from behind you at Mach 3.
I don't know whether it's become a new status symbol of proving your nations capability ( or lack of) in space or it's just worrying proof that todays rocket scientists are well no longer rocket scientists but another satelite could soon be falling out of orbit.
Well technically it's a actually a interplantary russian probe that was supposed to go to Mars, but somewhat embrassingly for the russians it's not made it out of Earth orbit and is now doing a rather good impression of a rock.
Unfortunatly just like the old saying what goes up must eventually come down and if they can't get the probe under control that's exactly what it's going to do, with 11 tons of highly toxic fuel on board.
Try explaining that one to your insurance company.
It's been rather weird finishing work this week as it's now dark by the end of my shift. Which means we have reached that special time of the year when Winter seems to well and truly start.
Which lets face it with the way the weather has been in the uk the past couple of winters could mean anything from hot stick weather, to lots of rain to a rather lot of snow.
However darkness falling even earlier has lead to the minibus gaining a weird new lighting style, as everyone boards and immediately turns on their mobile phones to get their dose of facebook that they have been missing for the past seven hours.
I'm casting no stones mind you as I'm just as guilty as anyone else :-)
There was a great example to today of how facebook is such a huge and encompassing entitity on line because several members of the team today were talking about another team member asking if anybody knew "what was going on with him" as he's currently not at work. It was then best summed up by somebody who said " How are any of us supposed to know, he's not on facebook "
Well it's Monday tomorrow which means after a rather entertaining week, it's back to reality or work as most people call it.
Still a major advantage of my current role is that I won't have any "old" work as it were waiting for me simply due to the nature of my role. It will be all brand new work which can have it's pluses and minuses.
But c'est la vie, what will come will come. It's not like worrying about it will make any difference. Work will be assigned to me, I will do the said work, then come home at the end of the day. As the saying goes, jobs a good un.
Bonfire night round geektown seems to have turned into a little bit of a damp squib as it were, there's been a few fireworks but nothing major. Owen mind you hasn't been a fan this year of the ones which have been going off but as long as we're around he seems to be okay.
Well it was Saturday today ( for those of you who haven't been looking at a calender :-) but for a change I wasn't bothered about getting my usual massive lie in because lets face it, I've been getting lie in's all week.
Although of course next week it's back to reality, but c'est la vie I guess. as I could stay home and get lots of lie in's, but then I wouldn't get paid and that would mean no money for new toys :-)
Anyhow I actualyl went to get some of my photos printed so I could see what they actually looked like as real photos.
I know a bit of change these days getting actual photos what with everything always ending up on facebook .
Still I was more then happy with how they've turned out and I went and bought myself a display book so I've got the beginning of my first "proper" portfolio.
Well it's been a while since the latest scientific study that seems to be from the scientists of the we've got nothing better to do university. But we now have one.
It also seems likely that the motivation behind this particular study was probably down to somebody who was having trouble keeping to their diet.
Yes the scientists have discovered that due to the sugar and butter in cupcakes they can be almost as addictive as cocaine.
Or to put it another way with everything that they could have been investigating in the world they have discovered that things with sugar in are addictive. A simple fact which more or less anybody on the planet could have told them.
Well it's my week off and yes I know I've been terrible at updating this week haven't I?
For once I do have good reason for it as unlike most of my weeks off I've actually been doing some rather constructive things.
And if you're my friend on facebook you would have already I've been having a busy week :-)
Basically so far this week, I have finally had work on my tooth finished with the installation of a new permant cap, done a lot of sorting out, a fair bit of shopping, a lot of model making, plus learning how to use my new photo editing software, been out and about shooting photos, caught video of Owen going ever so slightly berserk when the postman arrived and been out with the elders teaching.
Plus... and this was undoubtly the high point of my week, as regular readers will know I have been working hard on my photography at the moment and although my landscapes and sunsets have improved lots, I simply haven't had much chance to work on portraits. Going to the halloween party last week gave me some practice but not in the way I wanted. So one of the girls at work is a aspiring model and she agreed to model for me so I could get some practise.
And before anybody gets horrified, or wondering whether my next post will detail a trip to the bishops office this shoot was totally on the "level", there was no "dodgy" nothing untoward or anything like that.
Or maybe in the sense you could see a her ankles in one shot. Wait what do you mean that's not risque???
I'm kidding, there was nothing risque, which I think proved to be a bit of a change of pace for her as well to have a photographer who wasn't asking for anything like that :-)
There's some ruins and woods up near geektowers so we went up there to shoot and I was more then pleased with the results as they turned out better then I had hoped and I'm getting lots of postive feedback on them.
Especially on facebook. Wait what do you mean you haven't see them on facebook? Well that's what you get for not paying attention to your news feed more. Go and have a look, go now!
My fruitless search for a name for my "photography" is well............. still proving to be rather fruitless as after coming up with another batch of possiblities for names I found they were already taken.
It wouldn't be nearly as frustrating if I was able to get at least one or two possiblities but everything is coming up as taking. I mean there is another "me" already doing photograph ( and I'm not talking about my evil twin from work :-). There's also another "me" running a dance school as well.
Which is rather strange.
Anyway, it's wednesday, which means it's the middle of the week where we are exactly in between last weekend and the forthcoming weekend. and of course it was it's usual "slump" day self in all it's glory and then some.
But then again it's like any job, you get some days where things seem to go very well, somedays when they don't and some days where you just want to hide under the darn table.
Still only two more days to survive until my week off.
So it's now dark when I have to get up which never helps encourage you to get up in the slightest as lets face it, in a perfect world we would all prefer to get up when it was nice and light and it was as warm outside of the bed as inside.
I did wonder if it was a sign of how the day was going to go when I went to prepare my lunch and found that the cucumber had been pressed to the back of the fridge by accident meaning it had frozen completely and utterly solid. In fact so solid the only possible use it would have been was if we had to club somebody over the head with it!
Still despite early unpromising signs it's actually turned out to be a rather good day ( especially for a Monday) especially as I found myself struck with several bursts of inspiration for possible photo projects. I had been going through a little bit of a creative slump as lets face it, there's only so many photos of sunsets you can take before your attention starts to wonder a little bit.
It was also a good day as after putting up with a little bit of a creative slump with my photography I found myself getting several bursts of inspiration today for future projects and as I had my notebook even better I was able to quickly note them down so I didn't forget which was even better.
This is actually a reason why you will rarely see me without a notepad as I always try to carry one after reading a book where one of the characters always carried a notebook in case they got a idea because their opinion was " If you don't write it down it never happened" which I thought was a good philosphy to have.
Well the preacher who claimed that the world was supposed to end yesterday must be feeling rather confused right now. But I'm sure like last time he will go back to his calculations, decide he made a mistake and quickly forcast the new date for the end of the world.
Anyway in a effort to do something slightly different today, I decided to get some bitz and pieces when shopping to try and cook something a bit different for tea.
First up were home made potato skins which I'm pleased to say came out very well (even if I have a load of spare potato right now I'm not too sure what to do with) and were rather nice, especially as I used some pancetta and sausage for the fillings.
Second up were homemade potato wedges and at least I now know how to make a plain basic potato wedge.
However in this instance I wasn't making plain basic potato wedges as I had bought some flavouring from the shops to add to them. Now I followed the instructions but the results weren't quite as good as I hoped for.
Or to put it another way Grumpy tried one and his eyes more or less popped straight out of his head as the flavouring was just a little bit stronger then it probably should been.
Well greeting loyal readers, I hope you've been making the most of your Friday because apparently is the end of the world. Now we haven't been given a specific time but we have been assured that the world will end today.
However considering this is the 4th time that the person has predicted that the world will end, I think that the odds will be in our favour tt we'll still be here when the sun comes up.
But of course theres the outside chance that it will be 4th time lucky and won't he be happy when he gets the chance to crow tomorrow about how nobody believed him. ...... oh wait no he won't......
Work today was interesting because well it's a Friday and work is always interesting on Fridays plus I was once again on the move as I changed desks. The slight downside on changing desks so frequently is that your denied that " Oh I forget that was there" moment when you find something you had forgotten was there.
Well as I now have my camera and now a rather large selection of shiny extras to go with it, I have been concious that I need to know how to use all of the bits not just individually but together to get the best photos possible.
Or otherwise lets face it, I'll just be left with a set of rather expensive paperweights.
So I have been investing in quie a few photography magazines which in the same way as lot of things until you actually start looking at them you don't know just how many there are! Anyway this means that there are now quite a few photo magazines starting to appear around geek towers along with multiple dvd's of how to do various things in photoshop. ( which I really need to get at somepoint but as usual I am digressing.)
Despite most of my photos so far being either of landscapes or owen ( he doesn't complain, he's always around plus he likes it when the cameras appear when he goes for a walk as he knows it means he's going to get a long one!) I am starting to like the idea of doing portraits. However I'm finding myself with a lack of suitable or should I say willing subjects.
However in one of the articles on portrait taking it advised of a website which it recommended everybody should try out as it was apparently very good and for the simple reason that it had a very simple operating goal.
Basically the idea is that it provides a "networking site" for aspiring models, photographers, photo editors and make up artists to come together. For example if your a aspiring model and don't have lots of money for shots, why you simply contact a aspiring photographer who is looking to expand their porfolio. You both help the other out, everyone goes away happy and as the saying goes the"jobs a good un".
Sounds good right? especially as it's free to join?
Well a little too good as it turns out as the entry requirements for photographers turned out to be completely baffling. As remember the site is intended for aspiring photographers, i.e ones who haven't been doing it for very long. Yes in order to register on the site you have to provide four portraits of four adult "models". Which seems totally counter productive to the whole point of the site because lets face it, if I had access to that many willing volunteers to being with to take that many shots, I wouldn't be really visiting this site to begin with!
Oh well, time for plan B I guess.
Not that I have a plan B right now, my plan C is to get a Plan B.
Wednesdays are always difficult for two reasons. Firstly that as it's the middle of the week it's always seems much longer and harder then other days and secondly it really does seem to turn into a anything and everything could happen kind of day.
Anyway, one of the girls from my team ( who is the massively outdoors one, does rafting, canoeing and all sorts of other things ) was talking about that she had run into a old aquaintence from school on Saturday night whilst she was having a night on the town. ( she used a slightly different turn of phrase which I won't use as it was depressingly chavish.)
Which in turn reminded me of a time I ran into somebody in the supermarket who greeted me warmly, asked how things were etc all the time I was frantically trying to remember who he was. It was only later that day that I suddenly remembered he was in my form at college. But I digress which are regular readers will know is not uncommon in the slightest.
Right back to the story, yes the girl then started to relate how the guy she ran into was asking her questions about life etc, etc, before suddenly asking her if she was librarian. When she then related to us she could understand him making this mistake as she wears glasses, wears her hair up most of the time and can look quite nerdish when wearign a skirt and blouse at times ( those were her words not mine and that loud bang you just heard was probably nemesis's head exploding when she read that :-)
Anyway, the girl then added that it was the guys next assumption that really surprised her as he then asked " Are you still a lesbian?"
Which really annoyed her ( she isn't one in case you were wondering) because as she explained " who meets a person after several years and asks them almost straight away if they are some kind of Lesbian Librarian?
And it was at this point one of the guys decided to interject with a question, and the rest of the conversation kind of went like this;
Guy: What would one do anyway? Girl: What? Guy: What would a lesbian librarian do as part of their job? Girl: Why are you thinking about this? Guy: Well if that's their job title, what must the job entail? Girl: Why are you asking me? Guy: Because I'm just wondering. Saxon: If you really want to know I'm sure there's plenty of information on the internet.
Well the path to becoming a fantastic well anything is rarely a easy one and I was taught a lesson this evening that no matter how willing you are if the weather, sunset and landscape does not co-operate your not going to get good pictures no matter how much you try.
As I had anticipated that with the weather being very nice all day we were going to be in for a very nice sunset and we were. Which I'm sure I would have been able to see if I was on a hill, but I wasn't and after spending some time trapsing over the open fields round geektowers I was disappointed to find that my view was all but blocked but a rather sizable wood.
Leaving me with a viewpoint that only allowed me to grab a few disappointing shots thatw ere nothing new and not especially inspiring.
But still at least as Grumpy says there's always another sunset so I can try another day and at least it proved a useful learning experience in the sense of I discovered that the tripod I have inherited can not cope with my camera when it has the wide angle lenses on which puts a new tripod to the top of the "need to get" list of shiny new toys rather then the " would be nice" list of shiny new toys.
Yes I really do have both of these lists. Well it gives me something to aim for.
Not that my photographic kit isn't already approaching a impressive size. I now have my camera, a additional flashgun, three and a half lenses ( the half is one I went half's on with Tap Dance. There's a nice advantage is having the same camera as other family members) a remote trigger system for the shutter and flash, uv filters for all lenses, a polarising filter plus a large and small camera bag with built in all protection.
Which gives me the ability to pretty much takes pictures inside, outside, in daylight, in the dark, next to the camera, away from the camera. I can als take pictures of pretty much anything from a small flower, to rafts, to helicopters to portraits.
There's only one small problem..........................
I'm currently struggling to think of things to take pictures of. So any suggestions of ideas for shots or even any ideas for photo projects will be gratefully received.
It's been a interesting day at work, mainly as they introduced a brand new all singing, all dancing system that was supposed to make everything far more effective and easier for everyone.
However what everybody tends to forget with any ( it based ) system that is all new, all singing, all dancing and is intended to make life more effective and easier is that when it first goes on line it is far from the all singing, all dancing system that will make life more effective and easier. There is always one or two teething problems.
So this is why for the couple of hours we had a whole lot of technical people running back and forth trying to make sure that any issues which did surface were rapidly stomped on.
Which went really well untl one of the guys from our team asked a innocent question that not only confused one of the technical people, it managed to confuse 5, yes 5 of them in one go! Which did lead to a rather amusing moment when our manager came round the corner and almost stopped in mid stride with a sheer look of panic on her face wondering what one of her guys had done to need the attentions of 5 technical people!
However this was quickly followed by another amusing moment when a sixth technical guy arrived and promptly solved the issue within 15 seconds.
Still at least everything ( touch wood, cross fingers, etc, etc) seems to be running okay now and after all it did make this monday far more entertaining then a usual monday.
So I was wondering if I was starting to think that I was hearing things at church this morning as when I sat down I heard a loud and rather odd buzzing sound. Physics who had just arrived at that point had already seen it was the alarm for the disabled toilet and it was a probably a false alarm.
But after a couple of minutes he declared that maybe someone should go and check it anyway as if everyone was assuming it was a false alarm, there could be somebody who really did need assistance.
And then he failed to come back which started to worry me, so I went to look for him and strangely enough found him standing in the disabled toilets with a big knife trying to help Bro Y who does lots of building maintence as he was trying to find out why the alarm wouldn't turn off ( the knife was becuase nobody had a screwdriver in case you were wondering). After much indepth analaysis he managed to fix the alarm in the only way he knew how...... he cut the power to the buzzer and will come back and fix it tomorrow.
I then noticed that the walls and door from the top foyer have gone, leaving it all open plan. When I pointed this out to physics he looked and me confused before informing me they hadn't been there last week!
So church had barely started and I was already believing that I was hearing things and had a epic failure of observational skills!
Anyway then in priesthood we were having one of those lessons that despite my best intentions, my attention was wondering slightly, so I'm not entirely sure how we got to this poiint but there you go, but one guy started talking about how the generation before his in the church were really strong and yet now you had a generation who thought it was okay to be hanging around and not get married.
And yes I didn't imagine that, he actually said " a generation who thought it was okay to be hanging around and not get married". So they you have it apparently I'm not married because I've chosen to hang around. See you can learn something new everyweek.
But that did remind me of a charming fellow who was at the multi stake activity day last week who came to talk to a guy I was speaking to. He was bursting with pride and wanted to tell him that he had scored a "date with that hot little blonde" who had been in the kitchen. He then announced that he was hedging his bets though by getting another date with another girl already as there was no reason for him to be dateless if the first one didn't go so well. The guy I was talking to then asked him if the second date was with a certain girl. The charming fellow then replied that now that girl was going to be his if all else fails and he can't get another date as and i quote " Because she's too desperate, as she's 30 and will be aware her clocks ticking".
I was kinda glad I was drinking or eating anything at this point as I'm sure I would have started choking as the universe once again showed that it can be dreadfully unfair sometimes as I have oh lets see no dates at present and not only does he have two ( well technically three) all with different girls.
Still I cheered myself up with the thought that if he had ever said anything like that in earshot of anyone like Nemesis or Scully or pretty much any female YSA we'd have probably never found the body.
Anyway, it's Monday tomorrow which promises to be a especially fun day as we're getting a brand new phone system installed which we're all going to have to try and get used to using.
Working in customer service I am very concious of when having to deal with other people in the customer service industry to keep nice and friendly as lets face it, I know exactly what it's like to be on the other side of the lines as it were and it's not nice when someone looses their cool.
However I was finding it very hard to keep my cool this evening when trying to talk to member of the customer service team at a certain well known internet anti-virius provider who could have been quite honest and explain that dispite the disputes in some charges, he was having difficulty locating them he would endeavour to solve things as quickly as possible.
What he actually did was for want of a better term, was to hide behind his computer, claim they hadn't done any additional charges, actually tell me I was wrong, ask me three times for the same bit of information before actually using the line " well the computer says no".
Still I tried to remain calm as maybe this was his best. Maybe it wasn't his fault, maybe it was just the level of training he had received? and maybe his supervisor who I was sure he ran off to see when he placed me on hold would prove to be more useful. So whilst waiting I decided to try and pass the team by mentally tallying up every point where he would have been cut off at the knee's in one of my works kpi's.
Fortunatly they were and managed to get things sorted. Which was good as it was getting quite late and I was starting to get cranky.
But at least there's only one more day before the weekend. Although of course with it being a Friday it tends to be either one extreme or the other and based on the week we've been having I'm fairly certain it will be going to the "downright odd" end of the spectrum.
Speaking of work I'm shortly going to be moving desks again as part of another team reshuffle. So this is going to be my 8th desk move in just under two years. Well at least it keeps things interesting even if with the new desk I'm going to technically be being "put in a corner:-)"
Well I was thinking the other day ( I know, thinking it's a dangerous past time) and anyway I was contemplating of starting my own website to show off some of my photography.
Sounds easy right?
Well not quite as easy as I was hoping as it turns out, as well it turns out there is already a "saxon" photography ( there's also a dance school as well strangely enough). In fact every name I've been able to come up with so far seems to be in use regardless of whether I use Saxon or my "real name".
So any bright ideas would be appreciated as I'm a little stuck right now.
It's also been strange getting on facebook tonAnyway, Later folks
Even by the standards of work we're having a especially strange week this week. Which may be in part I suppose to the christmas run up starting.
And before you mention we're only in October and how can the christmas rush possible be starting, I'd just liek to remind you of the advent calenders already in the shops.
Anyway, we received a important lesson yesterday about the importance of more haste less speed and why spell checking is always important as one of the guys was using a instant messaging program to communicate with another facility. What he meant to say was
" It's not out today today then"
What he actually managed to write was almost correct asides from the fact he added a additional T in a very unfortunate place, which as he was speaking to female member of staff, caused a rapid loss of colour from his face and a repeated mantra of " no, no, no" as he seemed to be conjuring up images of a sexual harressment case.
Fortunatly the staff member he was speaking to had a fantastic sense of humour and quickly realised that he had made a simple spelling mistake because when he quickly sent a grovelling apology her response was along the lines of saying that was shame as she was going to ask him out as she liked men who were forward :-)
Our manager also had a sense of humour as when he went to nervously confess what had happened ( before he had got that response) she simply roared with laughter for a good few minutes leaving him somewhat confused.
But anyway, it's only two days into the week so there's a lot of potential for things to get even stranger.
Okay, so apparently another satellite is falling to Earth and of course the top minds in the world, with access to the latest and greatest technology can once again say with great authority.............................
They have no idea where it's going to land. I think the only great mind who needs to sum this up goes by the name of Homer
And to add to the fun this one has a special heat resistant mirror which apparently could survive re-entry ( who will get the seven years bad luck for breaking this mirror) which means the falling pieces could not only be travelling very fast but could also be razor sharp. Not that if it were to hit anything that's probably going to mke much difference mind you.
Plus of course the scientists kept tempting the greats universal gods of fate and irony by keeping saying that in 50 years no one has ever been hit by a falling satellite!
( overheard during the indexing service project at the multi-stake activityday)
Girl: So why does't this women have a job listed Instructor: Because she probably didn't have one Girl: Why? ( then she starts chatting to her friend) Instructor: Because she was probably like a lot of women back then and her main job was being a homemaker and making babies Girl: You want us to make babies? Instructor: What? Girl: You just told me you wanted me to make babies Instructor: No, I said the women back then were mainly homeowners and made babies Girl: Oh, I thought you told me to make babies Instructor: Why would I tell you to do that? Girl: I have no idea but I was starting to get quite worried about what you actually wanted us to do in this workshop
So being out and about tomorrow, I had to go and do the usual weekly shop tonight instead. ( yeah I know shopping on a Friday night, going really wild this week aren't I?) That's a rhetorical question by the way.
Anyway, what do you suppose I see in the supermarket. A big massive display of ..........advent calenders. That's right we're in the first week of October and their already selling advent calenders.
Which just goes to prove that old adage that Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier this year.
Grumpy pointed out though when I mentioned this to him if there was really any reason any more for advent calenders to be limited to December. What's to stop someone creating one that covers November and December, or even October, November and December?
My response to him was that either we should keep that idea quiet or quite probably somebody was working on it already.
Well it seems that after making some cuts which in the words of the makers " Do not compromise the story telling and keep the level of horror intact" that the "human centipede II" has been given a certificate and will now be released in the uk.
There are two interesting things with this story. Firstly that a member of the British board of certification apparently abstained from the vote to classify this film. This is the same board who said a couple of months ago that no matter how many cuts ( apparently only 2 minutes 37 seconds worth) were made to the film they would not pass it.
Secondly is when this was discussed at work of those people who would admit to watching "Human centipede I" all of them admitted that the film had stuck with them and not in a good way. A few of the phrases used were sick, messed up and I wish I had never watched it!
So this should be fair warning for anyone who is intrigued by the media hype and has a " Oh what the heck lets go and see what it's all about moment" especially as the film maker, yes that's right the guy who made both films declared that the 1st film would look like "My little pony" when compared to the sequel.
So just watch a DVD instead. Or even better you know those rectangle things on your shelves which you have picked up in a while and are covered in dust. Their called books, try reading one :-)
Well it's Wednesday which means we've reached that point of the week where everything seems to slump a little as you precisely no closer to the following weekend then you are away from the previous weekend.
Still the CS week of activities we've been having at work has been quite fun, the massage ladies on Monday were very, very good and I really could have stayed there for the rest of my shift with absolutely no problems whatsoever.
Of course the only problem with having all of the stress and tension throughly released from your neck and shoulders is that you then get to experience the "fun" of feeling it all creep back in there.
C'est la vie I guess :-)
But I guess the tension wasn't helped by the fact that I had to go back to hell again yesterday...... err sorry I mean the dentists for the second round of work on one of my teeth. Fortunatly I only have to go one time next week and that ( touch wood, cross fingets etc) will be it because if there's one place that terrifies me like no other in the world it's that place. No matter how many times the dentist tells me to relax and there's nothing to worry about (easy for him to say he's on the other end of the drill :-)
Owen caused me great amusement last night as not only did we find that out of some left overs he had been given after dinner does he not like vegetables, he actually carefully removed them from his bowl and left them in a ring around the outside so he could actually get to his food that he did like.
Of course we would have been even more impressed if he had put them back in the bowl when he had finished but I suppose you can't have everything in life :-)
Well despite going very quiet for a while, political correctness seems to have decided to go out and hide out at the passport office as one story which caught my eye recently proved.
It seems that they are currently planning to remove "gender" from passports, i.e you will no longer be listed as male or female as this apparently discriminates againist transgender people.
Of course once this came up it was then proposed by another equal rights group that you should no longer have "mother" or "father" listed as this discriminates againist same sex couples who have children. So instead of Mother or Father they want to have "parent 1 " and "parent 2"
However this of course has apparently lead to another complaint from another equal rights group as if the mother is listed as parent 2 this discriminates againist women as by saying they are parent 2 and the male or "father" is parent 1 by implying that the males always come before females.
So as you can imagine this story seems to bear all of the hallmarks of running on and on in ever decreasing circles. Whilst it does that I'm going to go and hide under the desk and weep for the future of humanity.
There's a bit of a standing joke between grumpy and myself at the moment that if we go out we never have to check the letter box needlessly to see if the post has been ( or any number of people dropping leaflets, charity bags of betterware catalogues) as we have always get a very big clue.
You see Owen doesn't like people approaching "his house" and tends to get a little bit upset about it. Now his main weapon of choice for venting this displeasure used to be shoes, which meant we had to move all of the shoes out of the hall as we didn't want to get teeth marks on them as he threw them around in a berserk temper.
Now he uses his bed. Yes you read that correctly, he uses his bed and basically throws it round in a complete temple which usually ends with it upside down and insdie out ( literally).
Well he went one better this morning as he managed to get his paws on a pack of toilet rolls, proceeded to rip open the packaging and proceeded to scatter the rolls throughout the downstairs of good ole geektowers. There were toilet rolls in the hall, the lounge, the dining room and even the kitchen apparently. The only good thing was that he didn't unroll the darn things.
Grumpys suggestion was maybe that we let him watch too much tv and he was inspired by the andrex puppy.
The only downside with the joy of knowing that it's a Friday and that you have two whole days of freedom before it's back to work is the knowledge that you have to get through the Friday first.
And Fridays at my work are always interesting. Especially when it gets to the afternoon and what we refer to as the "omg it's not here yet" factor starts to come into play.
Still it's the weekend now so all's well that ends well there I guess :-)
Also on the plus side we're getting a whole week of dress down next week as well as lots of motivational events which are promising to be a lot of fun.
The theme is going to be "refocus, relax, recharge" and as part of the relax/recharge bit there getting the massage ladies they had last time back in again. Which is great as they were fantastic. So A free lengthy shoulder massages by professionals? Why yes please!
When the Ipad first came out I was realllllyyyy tempted to go and get one if only to fit in with the "cool kids" at church who all seemed to go and get one and use them for pretty much anything.
Need to read a scripture? Got a app for that! Need the words to a hymn? Got a app for that! Need someone else to do your talk for you in front of the congregation? Well that's not a app for that just yet but I'm sure it's a matter of time :-)
However despite the shinyness I soon realised that there was very little point in getting a Ipad as I wouldn't really use for anything worthwhile and I didn't really need it. Which as physics helpfully pointed out is a pretty good description of the latest fads. You don't need it, you don't want it, but it looks pretty and will keep you in with the cool kids.
In fact probably the only thing I would have used it for would have been for ebooks. Which allthough I have steadfastly refused them in the past are starting to look increasingly more attractive if only for the fact that I have to accept that my room isn't really a tardis and there is a upper limit to how many books I can stuff in it.
Not that I would totally switch to ebooks as there's just something about curling up with a good book that you just can't get out of a ebook reader.
Also the other problem with the ipad is t's sheer expense as with my shiny new camera I already have a nice new toy that is going to be sucking up a lot of my hard earned spare pennies for sometime to come. Not that I mind of course. OH that reminds me must start saving for a skylight filter...........
Wait I was going somewhere with this before I started shamelessly remenecising ( and I'm 200% certain I've spelt that wrong but c'est la vie).
Ahh yes, what's inspired this hopeless ramble is the announcement from Amazon today of the new "Kindle Fire". A rather nifty looking gadget. No announcement yet of a uk price but I feel safe in assuming that it will probably as is usual with most gadgets be pretty overpriced compared to the us costing.
Anyway speaking of books I was reminded this weekend that it had been the weekend of , a yearly event that my last company held every year and that all staff members had to go too. It was also the second one since I have left the company and despite a hugely prolonged attempt of persusion by my local store manager I wasn't interested in going as the thought of being the ghost of "staff members past" didn't really appeal to me.
But next year maybe. I guess I'll just see what I feel like.
This realisation also made me realise that my "2nd aniversary" at my current job is also rapidly approaching. I suppose yet another unwelcome bit of proof that time really does fly.
Well with the nights drawing in, I haven't had much chance to go out and play with my camera, but mind you looking at my recent photos ( go have a look on facebook if you want to see all of them. There's loads and that's after I've cherry picked a few. You should see the rest! I'm about to be in need of a new external hard drive me thinks :-) I a starting to feel that I have quite a good talent here. I've started to look for some local camera courses and clubs to see what I can do about expanding my skiills.
So if the fact that a world known organisation can loose a bus sized satellite when it crashes to earth isn't bizare enough the news just seems to keep getting weirder.
ITV have admitted using a clip from a computer game in a news report, passing it off as real footage.
The bbc seems to have interviewed a hoaxer instead of a real London trader.
Channel five is still showing Big Brother ( okay doesn't really fit with everything else as it's been going on for several weeks but you have to admit it's still pretty weird)
Choclate bars are now having to get security tags in shops as their being pinched so much,
and finally Rhianna was actually order off a farmers property after she displaying a bit too much of herself shall we say when filiming her latest music video to the seeming complete bafflement of every other man in the town.
Okay, well I'm well aware that my blog posts have been a little sporadic as of late.
And before you get all excited Drat it's not down to the " Get Saxon a Girlfriend" fund being a success sadly.
No, I'm not been feeling the urge or inspiration to write as I've had a prolonged period of feeling sorry for myself as I've been feeling very under the weather and in a lot of discomfort as I picked up a nasty infection, which entailed that I had to visit the one place in the world that is certain to strike pure terror in the heart of this saxon...
And not it's not a relief society meeting :-) ( Oh no he didn't :-)
Yes I had to go and visit Hell on earth, or as most of your mortals know it, the Dentists.
Firstly to find that my old dentist was gone and replaced by a new guy and secondly to find that the infection was serious enough to warrent a root canal! Which freaked me out enough and that was before the horror stories from people at work about sent me completely gibbering with terror.
However I had to face the fear as it wasn't something that was going to get any better and as it turned out I didn't feel a thing. Although it was nearly four hours before I could speak properly again. Which did lead to me having to use a notebook for sometime to ask Grumpy anything, which he found incredibly entertaining whereas Owen found it somewhat baffling.
So with that problem sorted, I'm feeling much better as unsurprisingly feeling the urge to smack yourself in the mouth to get rid of the pain tends to get you down after a little while :-)
I've been playing with my camera some more ( you can see lots of the results on my facebook page), I've aced my Kpi's for this month at work and they are also used some training material I've used to train other members of staff so despite the last couple of weeks being somewhat sucky the end of the month isn't turning out to be all that bad.
So after lots of scare mongering, hand waving and general attempts to convince people that there was no danger even though there was a 1 in 3200 chance it would hit somebody, the Nasa Satellite that everyone was talking about has finally re-entered the atmosphere and.....
Well promptly disappeared as nobody seems to have any idea where it went.
I don't know what's more scary, the fact that they can leave satellites that big to fall out of the sky uncontrolled or that when they do they have no idea where it end ups
Okay, so there seems to be a new "craze" going round on facebook this week in that people and by that girls are posting random facebook status update that begin with twords to the effect " I am (x) weeks in and craving (x)"
Now what ever the true meaning behind these updates is, it seems to be some sort of state secret between women which I am starting to wonder if it's sole purpose is to drive men mad with another question about the women they can not answer along with the old classic "why do women always go to the bathroom in pairs"
Now I hasten to add that it's only a state secret between those women that get it. Can you imagine what happened when you have women posting updates saying they are so many weeks and craving something?
Or let me rephrase that can you imagine what whappened when you have a load of Female YSA posting updates saying they are so many weeks and craving something?
Well nothing good for a start as there seemed to be some quite nasty misunderstandings.
Speaking of YSA I am still debating whether or not to go to institute this year as technically I can still go but it's not like I haven't done Institute before adn then some. Plus one of the courses is Eternal marriage so I'm sure doing that course for the 3rd Time would really improve my mood and not make me feel really depressed.
Mind you not that I got the most enthusastic of invites. The day after my birthday one of the adult couple came up to me and said " I understand you were 30 yesterday. Well you are still allowed to come to institute for another year so you can have this invite anyway if you really want to come"
Gee with a enthusastic invite like that where they obivously are keen to see me there how can I not go?
Wait, wait, probably don't want to start picking at that thread.
We finally had a nice sunset tonight ater days of waiting as I have invested in a new wide angle lense for my new toy. I get out to the fields to take some perfect pictures and what happens? I find the battery has died to a low enough level where the lense won't work correctly.
Conference was only a week ago which seems bizare as it seems like it was only yesterday but in it's own way it also seems a long time ago too.
If you get what I mean your probably nodding sagely right now. If you don't get what I mean you're probably shaking your head wondering what the heck I'm talking about.
Firsly I'd like to take this as a opportunity to say that I have been completely blown away to the response about what happened on the Sunday afternoon both with comments that have been left on her and a couple of people who have spoken to me through various means offline. When I wrote that post I was simply writing it in my usual matter of fact way without even begining to imagine the response it would generate. It's meant so much to me and is deeply humbling that so many people have leapt to my defence and left me so many heartfelt words of encouragement.
Secondly I think one of the most important things I learned from the weekend is that I need to have and indeed discovered some lost confidence in myself. Taking so many photos probably helped as you can't be backward in coming forward when it comes to taking photos. I think that refound confidence certainly helped make new friends as I've had nearly three times as many friends requests this year then any other year.
Thirdly I am beyond grateful for Phoenix and the gang for inviting me into their group and then letting me hang with them for almost the entire weekend ( even if it has left me with a lingering addiction for yahtzee). It really made the weekend about 10 times better then it would have been otherwise.
Fourthly I need to try and be better at accepting that there are some things ( and indeed people) that I can not change.
Fifthly, I seem to have a talent for photography and now I have the gear lets see things go there shall we.
Sixthly ( yes I now I'm probably making up words now) and probably this will be the hardest of all, I have got to stop being so hard on myself, I really can be my own worst enemy sometimes.
And lastly I guess I'm just thankful for the chance to go to so many conferences. Even though it may not be obivous I know I have made a difference.
Anyway that's enough looking back for today. Onwards and upwards folks, standard service resumes tomorrow!
So the end of conference usually entailed a last minute sprint back to my room to grab my stuff and hit the road asap to avoid the bank holiday day traffic. But of course with the early check out and much shorter transit time I really didn’t ( And didn’t have the urge too) to rush .
I took a moment to look at the “e-harmony “ dating wall which had been set up. Basically people could leave messages, their mobile numbers, email etc encouraging people to contact them. In some cases their numbers were up there without their knowledge as the committee chairmans mobile number had appeared with the message
“Looking for a female with a gsoh and child bearing hips. Call me......”
He actually found it quite amusing and told me that he took the long view that probably nobody would call and hey if they did then bonus!
I then passed another YSA who had taken part in the talent show who was looking very pleased with himself as after meeting a girl the previous evening had dedicated a song he was singing and playing on the piano to her. Which I’m sure was a little embarrassing for her but at least all of her friends didn’t stand up and point directly too her so the whole conference could see who she was.
Oh wait they did.......
Once picked out the girl had obeyed the encouragement from the crowd and had actually run up to the stage and sat while he serenaded her. It was really quite sweet and explained his well justified look of satisfaction.
Anyway that out of the way it was time for the one part of conference I didn’t like. Starting to say goodbye to friends both old and new. First up was ana who gave me a hug goodbye and a firm promise to add her on facebook. Second up was Little Em who had some inspiring words for me, which were for me and me alone I guess ( hey it might be hard to believe but I don’t put everything on the blog you know!)
However I certainly wasn’t going to be able to sit down and enjoy my lunch with my Salt and vinegar crisps ( no cheese and onion score!) As I quickly found myself volunteered shall we say once again to help put the chairs in the main conference hall away to help the staff members seeing as the conference had drastically over run.
But even that was over far too quickly and like it or not it was finally time for me to go home. I headed out to the car park with Phoenix, Braveheart and Cat who were talking about who they had to wait for to take home. I simply pointed out my car and said I was going to head out. They asked if I was waiting for anyone and I explained no and had come on my own.
I think the look that best crossed their faces was “ Does not compute, we no understandeee” , of course being a bit thick from my sleep deprived state I didn’t get what the problem was and pointed out that it was no big deal as we were close to home and I had only take people with my to Manchester one year and regularly travelled to activities by myself and no one ever wanted a lift.
At which point the look on Bravehearts face changed from confused to what I can best describe as horrified and he briefly verbalised a few very disjointed thoughts as he tried to get to understand that I wasn’t joking.
The best I could manage in a reply was a simple shrug as a way of saying if I let that fact get to me I would never leave the house asides for work.
Anyway, I felt myself reluctant to leave my companions of the last few days as I certainly didn’t want to go back to reality. But unfortunately as grown up reality has a way of turning up when you don’t want it too. A round of goodbye hugs later I was on the road.
Previously in other years I have bemoaned the long journey home with no one to talk too. This year with the short trip I was actually feeling the reverse. I didn’t want to go back to the reality of work the next day.
I arrived home to find Owen very excited to see me ( It’s nice to be missed) and was fully intending to go straight online to post on facebook ( if you really want to see all the photos I took look me up on facebook for some reason blogger is still not playing nice ) but my bed was singing a sweet song that I couldn’t resist and I promptly crashed out for nearly three hours.
I wasn’t to sure what to think at that point as after all it was the last of the conferences I had been going to for six years. But I don’t think it was any exaggeration to say it was the best.
If only in facebook friend requests alone
And there you have it folks, nearly nine thousand words later ( yes really that many) the last of the epic tales of National YSA conference has been completed. Thanks for staying with me.
There will be one final post relating to conference tomorrow and then normal service will finally resume.
Morning seemed to come quickly, all too quickly as a matter of fact as I was woken up by the crashing of doors as some of the committee members on the corridor left to go a meeting. A very early meeting mind you.
I did try to get back to sleep but failed miserably, before decided that any further attempts would prove either pointless or probably result in me sleeping through breakfast and checkout time.
But low on sugar and caffeine how was I going to fully wake myself and rejoin the land of the living and awake. Yes there was only one thing for it, a very cold shower! Which I endured with my most impressive manliness possible.
And for that read a depressingly girlish shriek.
Going across to breakfast I discovered we finally had breakfast.... but that was it as the only other choices were scrambled egg which I don’t like and tomatoes which I really, really don’t like especially when you see what looks like 2 dozens industrials tins worth of tinned tomatoes floating in a giant metal dish.
Battling tiredness, I decided that the best thing to do would be to keep moving and start packing the car up right away because to go and lie down again would probably be a fatal mistake. Mind you I reset my alarm on my phone just in case I did make that mistake ( hey sometimes I can actually not be brain dead stupid!).
Which was promptly disproved by my struggles to get all of my stuff back in the case, with a few moans and curses wondering what the problem was as everything had fitted in there on Friday and it was not like I had added anything. Or maybe I was just fulfilling the male stereotype of being unable to pack properly.
Still I somehow managed to get it all packed ( if not especially well it was still in the case darn it!), but even after loading the car up I still found I had ages of time before I had to give my keys in, let alone be at the conference centre.
Although I wondered if the possibility of cheerfully throttling two 18 years old who had skipped past me at breakfast happily boasting that they had only had one hour of sleep and felt fine, I decided that the stake president would probably frown on that. I decided to basically put some music on and dance around like a complete loon (in my room of course.)
Okay maybe not the most constructive use of time but at the time in my sleep deprived state it seemed like a good idea okay?
Arriving at the conference centre I found YSA rather thin on the ground which was not surprising as it was Monday morning after all. Phoenix and the gang all seemed to be mia so I was left to sit with only person I could see who I knew. The stake president! I did feel a little bit like the kid who has to sit with the teacher.
Anyway it was the talent show first and I was determined to make good use of my new toy and it’s shiny zoom lens to get some good pictures for once as in previous years I’ve been so far from the stage most pictures had people coming out very, very small.
Phoenix and gang finally appeared a little time after the start of the show and I quickly relocated back to join them. There were some very good acts in the talent show, asides from a magic act that quite frankly we totally couldn’t follow but we soon realised there was a problem as there were too many acts. People started to get bored especially as we started to close in on the supposed end time of the conference and we still had two more things to go.
Still that aside I was having a great time running back and forth taking photos, singing along to the songs, complete with bad air guitaring when somebody sang a bon jovi song and even letting phoenix take some pictures of me with my camera. Which I still think was her most impressive feat all weekend. Not only getting me in front of a camera but getting me to agree to it willingly!
My inner mental voice even put in a belated appearance at one point asking me what I was doing, as I didn’t do things like this, singing willing? Air guitaring? I don’t do things like this. No, I decided firmly silencing that voice, but I did and maybe that was the most important thing I could have learned all weekend. I was starting to find myself again.
Finally the talent show came to an end, just in time for the Disney interactive choir to start. Phoenix by this time had started to guard the main door in a effort to stop ysa raiding the lunches that had been put out rather early and so inevitably with a lot of tired and bored ysa people had started to take them.
The choir was good, very good in fact as they had spent large chunks of the weekend practising , unfortunately a lot of people at the back where we were didn’t appreciate this and were talking. A lot, especially a lot of lads who were cool coz they wore hats and Talk Street so people could get they were cool coz people could get it.
These Muppets I could have cheerfully strangled too if anyone was wondering.
Once the choir had finished it was time for the karaoke, which even my enthusiasm was lagged for as we were well past the original end point of the conference by this point and I was started to wish for things to come to a end as it was getting increasingly hard to focus in my fatigue addled state.
The karaoke was the classic boys versus Girls. The girls got Katy Perry’s Firework and the lads. Well we didn’t get a great song as we ended up with Bruno Mars which wasn’t the best. Which then wasn’t helped by said group of muppets from earlier and some other lads starting to loudly bellow ( not sing mind you) something else. Which lead to the girls in the audience starting to chant off, off and one half of the boys who were singing properely to start booing the other side of the lads. My backup photographer Phoenix got a great picture of this mind you.
Finally it was time for the Video of the weekend. Now I was still expecting only one or two photos of mine to be featured as I was sure they had got much better photos from other people.
After six of my photos appeared in rapid succession, I had a serious case of” Wait, what the heck is going on here?” as more and more started to appear I realised that in fact they had used almost all of the photos I had turned in leaving me considerably gob smacked. Overall I think at least 90% of the photos they used were mine.
And then suddenly that was it. The conference was over with the same suddenness I had learned all too well.
The last ever national YSA conference was over and my last sixth and final conference had drawn to a close.
So Sunday night previously had always been about heading across the road at the stroke of midnight to buy lots of fast food , however this year that wasn’t going to be happening as mainly there was no fast food places nearby at all. None, zero, zipo. Which did leave me wondering initially what we could do short of hanging around outside talking.
Going to one of the hall common rooms to watch tv was probably well off the list of possibilities even with news of what had happened between Man U And Arsenal causing many lads to long after watching match of the day because mainly a group of lads who had found a TV earlier in the day to watch sky news had become subject to a especially blunt and direct shall we say tongue lashing from a group of girls about not respecting the Sabbath.
Although I’m sure that the irony of them choosing to give this “advice” in the form of a public dressing down probably alluded them.
However my plans were quickly sorted when I was invited down to the girls hall again, which admittedly was an invitation from Phoenix and the girls in the form of “ You are coming” not “would you like to?”. Not that I minded of course. It felt nice to be wanted.
I joined up with braveheart and three other guys who had also been invited and we legged it back to the hall to change with very firm instructions to change and be back outside within 10 minutes or we were getting left behind. I was half way through changed when I was suddenly struck by the random thought that the room had no less than seven mirrors in it. My next thought was why the heck I was thinking about mirrors when there were people waiting. Out the door muppet, go move, quickly!
However for a change I was the first one to be ready and had to wait for the others, who eventually appeared after a lot of nervous pacing from braveheart who understandably wanted to get down to the girls hall asap. ( which I can understand).
But.... when we got down there we discovered out haste had been well a bit hasty as none of the girls had appeared. Our quick change however meant we were there in plenty of time to grab the tables so we could once again play yahtzee. ( seriously I actually started to feel like I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms from that darn game this weekend.) We also started playing card games as well, which at one point set me off on a complete fit of the giggles which I found a bit hard to explain, as lets face it my usual Sunday night does not involve sitting round a table with a large group of friends being taught card games.
It was still quite early in the night to think of food as we were still sticking to the adage from previous years that the Sabbath ended at midnight. Not so some of the other “younger” YSA who were saw passing through the hall who were starting to reappear with large amounts of pizza and so forth and then loud music started coming from the common room ( we were gathered around some tables in the foyer) before the lights went out. There was a long moment of unspoken pondering of whether we needed to do anything before the lights came back on, saving us from that particular dilemma.
Finally midnight came and so it was time for food. Or at least it would have been it we could have decided on what it was we wanted. It seemed like everyone was trying to be polite and deferring to the next person saying they would go with what they wanted which would have worked if everytime we had gone to the “next person” they hadn’t said exactly the same thing.
As it tuned out our long almost 20 minute discussion which finally settled on pizza proved to be in vain as the pizza place had shut, leaving us with only the local 24 hours mcdonald.
Which was still fun if slightly bizarre to end up eating McDonalds in the early hours of a Monday morning ( because of course pizza would have made much more sense. Oh wait no it wouldn’t have...)
But in all honesty I really didn’t care by that point as I was having way, way too much fun.......especially as we were onto playing Irish snap at this point.
However fun or not eventually the sensation of burning eyes began to creep in as my bodys polite way of saying “ I don’t care how much fun your having but your not 21 anymore and you need to call it a night”.
I took my leave, tired but very happy. Things had come back a massive 360% after the unexpectedness of what happened in the workshop that afternoon, as my spirits had got back to what they had been and had continued to rise. To be honest the workshop had probably only hit me so hard as I had been very tired and had let my armour slip, so another time it might have only proven to be very irritating as opposed to a full scale punch in the chest.
I checked my alarm for one last time that gleefully told me just how little time I had before I was going to have to drag myself out of bed for breakfast in the morning. Now I saw morning but lets be honest it was actually later the same day by this point.
Still I wouldn’t have traded those last few hours for anything in the world