Friendship - mars-mellow

Friending Policy

Hello, everyone!

I don't mind people friending me, but if you do friend me, leave a comment on this entry introducing yourself, who you are, and why you'd like to be my friend. It's disconcerting to have friend messages pop up and not know where you come from. And if I don't friend you back immediately, don't be offended. I like to take my time getting to know people. If you friend me without posting this entry, I won't friend you back. Too many of these leads to friends-only journals and while I understand the idea, I want to try and avoid that policy for the moment.
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Thoughtful - helensheep

Pandemic Diary: Entry Six

I had an interview for another job today. I am already qualified for the position so fingers crossed I get it. I'll keep you updated.

Staying with my parents for the weekend, which is bliss. I'll also be trying to get up in time to watch the summer solstice streamed live from Stonehenge.
DWPensive Eleven - mars-mellow

Pandemic Diary: Entry Five

I was hoping to write this entry and announce that I had finally managed to get a new job in the department. It's the same job I applied for back in 2018 (see this entry). I really thought I had a chance this time but it seems like they've hired someone they let go last year. So what's the point of going for the job if they're just going to hire someone who's been out of the business for a year?

Meeting up with Grace on Friday (socially distanced) and then parents on Saturday (socially distanced). Very excited to see loved ones after over two months without seeing any of my friends/family.
DWNo Way! - tenfeethigh

Virtual Jazz Festival

It was supposed to be the Cheltenham Jazz Festival this weekend but since they can't hold the festival irl they are doing a one-day festival online!

Free to watch with no regional restrictions (so far as I know). Enjoy!
DWCarmen - wg15graphics

Pandemic Diary: Entry Four

On holiday this week - I had planned to visit Cornwall again and explore the Lost Gardens of Heligan and St Michael's Mount but obviously that's not happening so I'm enjoying being at home with no work to do. I have done some ironing and also had a good walk today. Ordered a few books and a magazine to pass the time. I am also planning trips on TA as a promise for the future. I found out from my parents that Gloucester has the second highest number of places rated 5 out of 5 for food hygiene in the whole of the UK, which I have to admit surprised me but I'm also proud.

Hope you are all okay.
Exhausted - bellasinfonia

Pandemic Diary: Entry Three

*points at icon* We no longer have a past or a future, just a never-ending present.

Good News

  • My sister got a new job at her local GP surgery so she will be able to WALK to work, no more commuting! (It sometimes takes her up to an hour to get home purely due to traffic.) She has a two month notice period so will start working the new job in late June/early July.

  • My floor lamp turned up three weeks early and I put it together all by myself so now I have light on both sides of the room. Putting the lampshade together was a pain in the arse: you have to unroll the shade, tape it together and then push two metal circles down inside the material, which requires a) height and b) strength. While I have a reasonable amount of strength, I am not tall so there was a lot of sweating and muttering, but it's done now, even if the shade is slightly bent in places. I told Dad that if/when we're finally able to see each other again, he can come up and re-do the thing.

  • All the books I ordered have turned up, so I am enjoying reading. Currently reading Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem and Wildwood by Roger Deakin, up next are Water Shall Refuse Them by Lucie McKnight Hardy and Nada by Carmen LaForet (in translation but hopefully I can ask one of my Spanish colleagues to get the original in the future).

  • I have discovered Scala Radio and listen during the day to help get me through. Classical music definitely helps.

  • Panic buying seems to have died down and most items are available, although it's very difficult to get eggs so I get mine from the farmshop.

  • National Theatre at Home - coming up, Danny Boyle's Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller (one week with Cumberbatch as the Creature and Miller as Frankenstein, the next week with roles swapped) then Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo

  • The department that I applied to join in 2018 has opened up a new post so I applied yesterday!

Bad News

  • Still working from home

  • Missed my dad's birthday (12 April) and will miss my niece's (30 April) - obviously we can do video calls but it's not the same.

  • The government

TWDoctors - holo_daxy

Pandemic Diary: Entry Two

After resisting the change with all my might, I finally started working from home on Thursday. I hate it. I have to work in the front room and I don't have an office chair, so sitting in a dining chair is already straining my back, even with cushions. I also find it hard to focus. The only upside is that I can have my radio on low so I get to hear music now, which relaxes me and makes me feel better. I also know that I shouldn't complain too much because I'm lucky to still have a job and still be getting paid (and have the opportunity to do overtime!). We are very busy at work, since we do telephone, web and video conferencing - in fact, we're classed as key workers, although this doesn't really mean much since NHS staff still get priority (as they should).

I did manage to see the new Emma before the cinemas closed and it was exquisite, very funny and beautifully shot.

Otherwise, I was a bit lightheaded the past couple of days but no cough, sore throat or high temperature so who knows - there are still all the normal viruses and illnesses going around. I feel fine in myself. I would like to drive to Rodborough Common and have a nice walk but not sure if the police will let me since so many of them seem to be using drones to spy on people.

In other news, the PM has been diagnosed with CV19 and the health secretary (AGAIN). For those who missed it, here's real footage of Dominic Cummings (the PM's advisor) making a hasty exit from Downing Street after the PM's diagnosis to the Benny Hill intro.
SMHome - shiokaze_senshi

Pandemic Diary: Entry One

For anyone who still reads this, I'm fine so far and all my family are okay. I spent last weekend in Bristol with my mum and Helen, watching Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes at the Hippodrome. We then went to the airbnb that Helen had found for our overnight stay (Mum and I would have preferred a hotel), only to discover it had no TV or radio, just a piano. Helen then told us that we'd better not spend the entire evening reading as we were supposed to be spending "quality time" together. Basically she didn't have a book and couldn't occupy herself in any other way. We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant, Mum's first time eating Japanese food, she loved it and is happy to go back. We've decided to make this weekend away an annual event (though I think I'll be organising the accommodation next time) since we all had a good time. My train back to Gloucester broke down at Newport but fortunately they fixed it.

Hoping to go and see the new Emma at the cinema tomorrow if they don't close.
Thoughtful - helensheep

2019 in Review

The year started pretty well but ended sadly.

I went to Spain for the first time in over 10 years in March, with my parents. We stayed in a beautiful hotel at the foot of the Alhambra (here are some photos of the hotel), visited the Alhambra on our first day and then explored Granada and Seville. The trip definitely reignited my love for Spain and reminded me why I'd learned Spanish in the first place. My parents were enchanted by the Alhambra, the food and the people. We only had one day in Seville and my parents were interested in coming back and exploring more but given political developments and the lack of a train service between Granada and Seville, that doesn't seem to be happening this year.

Dad and I discovered a new place to eat - the Queen's Arms in Kensington. It's about 12-15 minutes from the museums (V&A/Natural History/Science) and very good value for the area. We also found a new gelato place near Pierre Victoire on Dean Street so we don't have to go all the way to Victoria. We saw the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, the Mary Quant exhibition and the Pre-Raphaelite Sisters exhibition - this last one was really fascinating, as I hadn't heard of some the women featured (Fanny Easton, Joanna Wells, Marie Spartali Stillman, Maria Zambaco) even though the two Marias were artists in their own right and very prolific. Joanna Wells died after giving birth to her third child and should be better known. Fanny Easton was the only WOC who consistently modelled for the pre-Raphaelites.

I spent my birthday weekend with friends in Bristol, and we saw a wonderful irreverent production of P&P: Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of), where a cast of six women played all the parts (except for Mr Bennett, who was nothing but an armchair and a newspaper) while singing, dancing AND playing instruments. It was incredibly joyful and I am hoping to see it again.

We had another family holiday at the end of October where we all stayed in a big townhouse in York on Gillygate, just outside the city walls. I was able to meet elisi in person for the first time and enjoy a day wandering around York with her. I introduced her to the Sapphire Blue tea from Betty's (a tea so delicious it needs no milk) and she introduced me to her family brew, two parts regular tea & one part Earl Grey, I look forward to trying this out. The day after, we went back to Scarborough, where my dad grew up. We used to go up to Scarborough to visit Nana (Dad's mum) every half term. The sad thing is that where Nana used to live, all the free parking has gone - you can't even leave your car there for 30 minutes, you need to have a permit of some kind. Mother Hubbards was still there and the food was as delicious as ever.

I lost a dear friend at the beginning of September and I'm still recovering from that. Also the general election result is just... crushing. Our system does not represent the people and I hate that the government is acting with impunity when they have less than half the popular vote. I haven't given up, though. We haven't given up.

For 2020, I hope to find a new job and get back to writing.