Annoyed on a Tuesday

Two weeks ago I was excited(!), I had went into Borders bookstore in Glasgow, had a chat with the really nice friendly folk at the University of Glasgow’s Department of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE) and got an application form to go and study Ancient Egyptian Text. It was a Tuesday afternoon and I even agreed an arrangement with my work to take 3 hours off on Tuesday afternoons and work back the time through our flexi system (starting at 8:30 and working ’til 18:00).

For those that know me they will know that I must have been keen to do this to agree to early starts!

Well I posted off the app form (after phoning to make sure there was still time to post it) and then I thought I was sorted. I did get a little concerned mid-last week that I had not heard anything and called the Uni on Friday.

My first annoyance was that the whole university closes for a long weekend at the end of September; “no-one available to take your call”(!) I think that is ludicrous for a university department who had courses starting on the Tuesday not to open again until that Tuesday.

So I called this morning; “Sorry we don’t have your application and the course is full.” WHAT!. “Sorry it must be lost in the post.” HUH? “Yes, and that course is now full.”

So….. in my annoyed (I am not swearing on this but you might imagine that I am!) I have had to phone the credit card company, someone may have lifted the app form and my card details with it…..

So….. I don’t get to go until next year now, if they offer that course next year. Annoyed? #@!?!@”~###?#@!!!!

QE2

A friend of mine is very much “in to” the QE2, in fact he uses the word awesomealot when describing the ship (it is not a boat; as I have been told many time ;o).

When he heard that the last of the Clyde built ocean liners was being retired to life as a floating hotel off one of the palms in Dubai he was a little distraught and immediantly jumped on to Cunard’s website to book a cruise (or 2!). It was at that time he asked me if I wanted to go on one and, interested, I said yup.

To put it (and him) in context a bit, my friends dad used to be one of the people who would have to fly out around the world when a QE2 engine/turbine started to play up. So he was brought up with liners, and you could say it is in his blood.

I understood the majesty of the QE2, rather than being an ocean going hotel she was the last of the liners and she was Clyde built at John Brown’s, so there is a degree of history with her.

This was all fine and dandy until she started her 40th birthday lap of Britain. I had never seen the her with my own eyes so I booked up, with my friend, to take the Balmoral down the Clyde to escort her out of port and down the Firth of Clyde. A couple of days before we went to see her on the Forth and I was impressed. She was larger than I though and with the black hull and bright white decks looked good, but this trip down the Clyde made me understand a bit more about his “thing” with this liner.

Our first views were from up the Clyde as she was still docked at Gourock, just seeing the height of her against the cranes gave me a some kind of yard stick as to how bit this ship was. I am sure I could easily ask how long and how high, but suffice to say that in my eyes she was big, impressively big, but at the same time very stylish and proper. It is difficult to explain; maybe to say she was not big in the ostentatious or OTT way, there was a dignity and grace that I started to understand.

When she pulled away from the quayside and the floatila of boats were heading down the firth we got exteremly close and she was awe inspiring (have I just fallen head first into the awesome trap?). To hear the horn blow, it was one of those sounds that reverbarates in your chest; a sound you can feel, and that is always something.

I now can’t wait until December and my first (and most probably last) trip on the QE2, now I just wish it was transatlantic and not a weekend of the North Sea!

More pictures of the day are on my flickr

It has been a while……

The last post was back in June, in some ways it does not seem that long ago, but in others it seems to have been ages.

I must admit I spent a lot of July worrying and mildly panicing about the up and coming first anniversary of Tony’s death. I thought I was unprepared for what I was going to feel and how I was going to react. It was a very strange time and essentially has made me realise how much I cannot remember from July and August last year.

Towards the last minute I made plans to try and be away from home as much as possible; away to the Cairngorms in a friends croft. I find the hills and open spaces far more relaxing that the city and my friend and his mum were very understanding (as they were last year). Then after that I was away for Spain and France to spend a week with Scott as he had finished work and was ‘holidaying’ for a month before coming home. That trip was truly relaxing, I hired a car and we drove around the north of Spain, through Andorra and into France. Stayed a monestry, climbed a peak in the Pyrennes and explored a castle in the dark. It was a such a difference from last year that I still have vivid memories of the holiday even now.

I have now also got Fes back :oD The work was pricey but he is a new car now and has returned my joy of driving around in a small odd wee car. It is not an understatement to say that the Mini thing and the trips and runs with the Mini Clan are reasonable part of my life. I have met some great friends through it and have been on some spectaular holidays and trips. At the end of August I was up in the Black Isle supporting Minis in Inverness’ charity run. Another really good weekend taking me to places in Scotland that I have never been to and I want to go back and explore more. Some more flickr photos.

Work has been good, in fact it has been damn good. I have a couple of really interesting items on my desk at the moment and I am really enjoying the challenge. It once again reminds me that I am very luck about working life, I enjoy (to a high degree) the work and I do and the place that I work. Granted there are always small things that I would change (and the odd big one as well), but I get the opportunity to say my bit and I know that, in some if not all, it is taken on board and valued as a contribution. There has been a bit of sadness as one of my good collegues and mates has left to go on to better things, but it has left me with the opportunity to get some staff now and learn what it is like to be a people manager as well a the manager of a subject. Time will tell how that will go, but I think it will go well. (Maybe you can tell I am in an optimistic mood about life at the moment!).

There are more detailed things some of which are mentioned above and some are not, but I am going to fill in more blanks over the coming nights.