Monthly Archives: March 2010

To 5k or not to 5k… that is the question!

I have been pondering this question for a few months now. There are a couple of local 5k runs for Cancer Research in June and July and, despite never having been a runner in my life, I am wondering if this might be the push I need to become one!

I keep mentioning it tentatively to people in the hope that if I say it out loud enough times, I will actually have to do it! I asked my trainer at the gym to devise a new fitness programme for me to incorporate 5k training and he gave it to me today. On average, I can run 2k before needing to stop and walk for a while and I don’t know if I can improve quick enough! He seems to think I’ll have enough time to build the stamina needed, but part of me is now worried about letting him down. You don’t have to run the whole way round the course but for me, if I was going to do it, that would be the whole point of entering. Of course, I also hope that the side effect of training will give me those toned abs and killer legs that would be oh so handy for the summer time..! :o)

So, should I take the plunge and give it a go? Or should I train for a good few months and try a run later in the year?

The results are in!

It was a long 3 days of waiting but the results are finally in… I have a brand new permanent job, with a great starting salary, doing the job I have been holding out for over the last 8 months – I am now a Web Editor! Thankfully, it’s for the company that deals with the fashion retailer so my first choice job came through and it was a very easy decision to make. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know that I have a regular salary on the way, it’s not very showbiz but I can’t wait to join and start a pension scheme, at almost 35 years old it’s about time I got my future in gear!

It feels like it’s been a very long road to get to this career point and I couldn’t have done it without the blessing and support of my wonderful Other Half. He has always been there for me with good advice, a shoulder to cry on when things went wrong and most importantly, a regular wage packet – I knew my savings would only last so long and the bills never stop needing to be paid! Fortunately, I’m at the point where I still have some saved cash so once we have moved, I think it’s time to reward ourselves with a holiday on the horizon…

Playing the waiting game…

So, I’ve had both interviews and am currently dangling, waiting for the decisions that will shape my long-term job future (and chances of us affording a holiday this year!)

The first interview for the specialist retailer went well although in 35 minutes, I only spoke in total for about 5 mins, (if you know me then you are currently thinking this is very unusual!) It was not the “Give me an example when…” type of interview I expected, it was more that my potential boss was laying down exactly what would be expected of the new person in post, warts and all. The emphasis was on managing people effectively, being flexible when relying on others to submit work and making sure you hit your deadlines, no matter how much extra (unpaid) hours and work you needed to do. It sounded very much like my last marketing job where there was no work/life balance and I turned into a pretty rubbish girlfriend – no time to exercise, eating on the go, early mornings/late finishes, health problems… the list goes on and no amount of money can replace time for yourself and your family. Although this interview was first, it quickly became my second choice of job…

The second interview with the fashion retailer was totally different. We met in a cafe and had a 40 minute general chat about what the job entailed and the changes envisioned when the new person moves into post. I had taken a portfolio of work with me which he read through and in exchange, he showed me projects that are currently underway for Easter promotions. We exchanged thoughts and ideas about the job and at one point he said, “I think you would fit in very well” which made me think, don’t say that if you don’t mean it lol! 

I’m expecting a call from both agencies this week so all I can do now is play the waiting game…

Egg-tastic treats come early…

Commercialisation of holidays in our society has gone mad! Christmas isles appear in September, Easter eggs and hot cross buns show up in January and, no sooner do the kids break up for 6 weeks holidays, then they advertise back-to-school uniform!

My moaning is linked to the fact that I have fallen for this propaganda and have so far eaten half an Easter egg in January, 2 whole ones in February and 1 whole one in March! What is it about a Cadbury’s chocolate egg that is so alluring? I’m sure if I worked it out, I end up paying more money for less chocolate but when I’m eating it, I don’t care. Once I have given in and bought the egg, getting it straight into the fridge is a must – I like that warm, melting feeling to start in my mouth, not on the side table while it’s waiting to be eaten. The crisp shell breaking off piece by piece gives an instant ‘mmmmmm’ factor and as much as I kid myself I’m only going to eat 1 half, I always succumb to the second (unless it’s a large egg and the I-feel-really-sick feeling kicks in first!)

Cadbury's Treasure Eggs

Eco-friendly eggs!

My weakness so far has been Cadbury’s Treasure eggs, a medium-sized, eco-friendly foil wrapped Easter treat that has no nasty plastic or cardboard to get rid of at the end. So, I manage to salve my environmental conscience yet, can’t shake off that potential waist expanding nagging in my head…

My name is Biscotti and I’m an Easter egg-a-holic… Would you care to join me? 😮

Timing and decisions…

Amongst all the drama happening back Up North, a job interview has finally reared its hopeful head. Originally scheduled for 2 weeks ago but rearranged twice due to sickness of the interviewer, it is booked in for 8 am this Wednesday (eek!) It’s a long-term temping role which involves doing the kind of work I like to do, carries a great salary and offers stability for the next 12 months. Needless to say, I would really love to get it! However, another permanent role (great salary, stuff I really want to do, PERMANENT!) was advertised last week on Wednesday night which I applied for, got a phone call on Thursday to register with the agency and a first telephone interview on Friday! I have a second interview set up for next Monday and potentially, a dream scenario of 2 job offers… or a nightmare of 2 interviews, no job offers!

I have been determined to stick to my resolution that I will only apply for permanent jobs that I really want to stay in but, if I get a job offer this week for the year-long post, how do I balance that against stalling for time to see how the second interview works out? It’s a dilemma I’m dreading but  really hoping to face over the weekend, time to book in for an advice/lunch session with friends…

What a difference a day makes…

I haven’t blogged for a few weeks because on the 16th of February, I got a phone call that turned everything on its head. It had been a great start to the day as it was Other Half’s birthday, we had been out for a meal the night before and then woken up to card and present opening. He was off work for the day and I was planning to bring home a luxury M&S cheesecake as his birthday cake after work. The day carried on as normal and while sitting in Starbucks at lunchtime, I got a call from my brother, he told me my parents had been involved in a car accident and were in hospital. To get such unexpected and shocking news out of the blue was almost unreal – we discussed it later and all our first reactions were to feel strangely calm about the situation. It wasn’t until we had finished speaking on the phone and I was walking back to work that it suddenly hit me; I could have had a call to say my parents had been killed in the accident. Everything was starting to rush into my head, how to contact my sister, what to tell them at work, had I got enough petrol to drive straight back up north, what did I need to pack..? I rang Other Half who was reassuringly calm and didn’t ask questions, he just said he would be waiting for me when I got home.

Work sent me straight off and I packed some things, gave Other Half a kiss and a promise to finish his birthday properly when I got back and set off on the longest journey of my life, I kept stopping on the way as I received answer phone messages from my brother, sister and the hospital and just tried to mentally plan what needed to be done. I finally arrived at the hospital around 8.40 pm as had my brother who had driven back from his holiday in Skegness. My sister had not long gone home to break the news to our Grandma and all we could do was just sit and wait. At 10 pm, a theatre nurse found us and told us that both parents were out of theatre and in the recovery room, and my Mam was awake enough to be worrying that we should be at home, not hanging around hospitals! We went in to see them both and it was such a shock to see them lying there, dazed from both pain and anesthetic, looking like a fragile version of the parents we knew. After a very quick visit to exchange I love you’s, we were sent home for the night.

The next 2 weeks were a jumble of hospital visits, contacting the Police, Car insurance people, paying bills, caring for my Grandma who became ill (and then for myself when I caught it), visiting my Grandpa who lives in a care home, keeping friends up to date, organising a new boiler to be fitted, it was a mad task only made possible by us pulling together as a family and helping each other out as much as we could.

For my parents, it was and still is a slow road to recovery. My Mam broke 7 ribs, bruised her lung and has a broken eye socket. A week after the crash she was sent home with a view to returning the following week for her eye operation. It was subsequently discovered that she has a heart problem (something which may or may not have occurred since the accident) and could not be risked under anesthetic at this time without a different medication, she is now at home for another week before they attempt the eye operation again. My Dad had to be cut out of the car and the Police later told me it was one of the longest extractions he had seen for a good while. He was flown by the amazing staff of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to the hospital and treated for a smashed right elbow, dislocated right hip and bruised lungs. 2 weeks in and he has had surgery on his arm to pin and plate it together along with a skin graft from his leg to help it heal and a plaster cast, 4 surgeries to his hip which has managed to dislocate itself after each one and at least 6 weeks of bed rest. The Land Rover driver who hit them full on and crumpled their car like a tin can was ‘shaken but unhurt’.

If you could see into the future, you would think it an impossible task to cope with all that needed to be done. In reality, such a situation binds you together as a family like never before and proves you have the mental stamina to cope with anything that is thrown at you.