Friday, 16 October 2009
I need a holiday
It's all been a bit mad this week and I am really starting to feel like I need some down time. Unfortunately I am not going to get it very soon, although I did get to sleep in this morning, which was great. Now however I have to get busy because:
- I have a job interview next Thursday for a civil service committee administrator job. It doesn't pay very well but this will be my first interview so I have loads of preparation to do. Apparently they are also going to give me a 45 minute test on my minuting skills - eek! I have good minuting skills, but I've never actually been tested, I wonder how they will do that?
- My company has embarked on a flurry of resourcing, part of the 'new brush sweeps clean' approach of our new CEO. A significant proportion of the company (hundreds 0f people) have to re-apply for their own jobs, the idea being that there are fewer jobs and they pick the best people. The unsuccessful will be redundant like me. It is a grim time, but it means there have been a number of vacancies posted this week which I have had to wade through to see if there is anything suitable for me. There is only one, in a completely new area and a bit of a step down, but I have to decide whether to go for it or not. To complicate matters further, in their hurry to get the process over and done with in two weeks, there are errors on the system, including two different deadlines (one this Sunday, the other next Friday) so I'm trying to find out if I have to hurry my application in this weekend or if I have next week as well. Meanwhile I've got to prepare my application and get the wording exactly right, as they are basing the selection entirely on the submission - no interviews.
While all this has been going on, I've had no less than three courses this week so I've hardly been in the office or at home. I was on a Search Engine Optimisation seminar on Monday (quite interesting), an outplacement course on 'Networking Skills' on Tuesday (not very good, and I'm not very good at it either), and yesterday I was on a full day course on 'Company Secretarial Practice', all about the legal compliance side of corporate governance. The last one was an exploratory course to see if that is an area I want to get in to. But I'm not sure I'm very keen, it seemed very dry and a lot of filling out forms etc.
So you can see why I am feeling somewhat burned out. And not a whole lot of crafting has been going on.
I did finish my Opal yarn Harry Potter socks. They have come out somewhat large on me so I think I will give them to my sister in law for christmas. I loved this yarn though, it had a great colour repeat.
I have been trying to sandwich up my Halloween quilt ready for quilting, after getting it to the top stage last Saturday and also piecing a back for it out of Halloween fabrics. Annoyingly, I snatched a few hours on Tuesday night to get it 3/4 pinned up, then realised that I had the top slighly off centre so it wasn't lining up with the batting/backing - so I had to unpin it all again. Grrrr. I started again but it is only about 1/3 pinned - maybe I will get that pinned up completely today if I need a break from job applications.
I have started a new pair of socks with some great Regia red, white and blue sock yarn that I bought at Alexandra Palace. It knits up in solid stripes of each colour. These will be a gift. Oh, and my friend Anita received her Scandinavian pattern socks in the post. She says she loves the colours and they fit great! So that's good, and a relief to know that they arrived safely.
And last weekend was of course the great Alexandra Palace Knitting and Stitching Show, one of the premier textile events here in the UK each year. It goes on for four days but I couldn't go until Sunday, when things were looking a bit cleaned out. But I had a great time, it seemed quite busy to me and some of the traders I spoke to had done very well. Even the Machine Knitting Guild had done a roaring trade in signing up new members, which is good news because machine knitting has been dead as a doornail for the last five years or so. The lady on the stand who sells secondhand machines said she can't get them cleaned up quick enough to satisfy the demand. Who knows, maybe we will get some new clubs started up (my local one closed years ago) and a new UK magazine. She also told me how to open up the panel on my Brother 260 machine to clean the patterning mechanism, because I've been having a problem with it freezing up as I am trying to knit DH's Kauni jumper (now knitting final sleeve).
So what did I get? Well, I did in fact take my knitting stash index cards with me as a kind of talisman in my bag, so I did not go overboard on the yarn front. However, as we all know, sock yarn doesn't count, so I did come back with yarn for four new pairs of socks including a gorgeous skein of Colinette Jitterbug, the red and white Regia, and two other self-striping yarns. I also bought a pattern for some traditional Sanquhar gloves, which are 12 stitches to the inch so I must be mad. To make those I bought a skein of white Shetland lace yarn and two skeins of navy (backordered as they were out).
I had a lovely but exhausting time viewing all the stalls, guild displays, artists' exhibitions, club projects, got chased off the 'Learn to Knit' stall for the crime of having a hot drink with me (I guess there is an HSSE risk that I might suddenly have a fit and start flinging tepid tea over the beginners), had some nice chats with other shoppers during refreshment breaks, and bumped into a few people that I know (Hi Vanessa!). I didn't actually buy any quilting stuff although there were several quilting shops there. I spoke to the Jamieson's people (shetland wool) about shade cards for knitting the Alice Starmore design that I admired at the I-knit Weekender event ('Marina') and they said to give them a call after the show and they would sort me out. Needless to say I haven't had time!
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