Aug. 28th, 2011 12:53 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
[personal profile] gothams3rdrobin
The summer hols are almost over once more - thank god. It's been trying, as always, and I'll be glad when I no longer need to arrange childcare for Rowan while I'm at work.

He spent the first week camping at Chepstow Racecourse with the St John Ambulance, and he seems to have hated every minute of it. I missed him while he was away, and didn't get anything done that I had planned - I mostly came home from work and crashed out for the evening. I did take the opportunity to go see 'Captain America', though I would have preferred not to go alone. Such is my life, however.

Since he got back, he's spent the first three days of each week at his usual holiday club in a nearby leisure centre, then Thursdays with his grandmother. On Fridays I've been taking him with me to the rehearsals I've been running for the alto section of my choir - though only one or two ever turn up, and they're usually the ones that make the effort to attend the regular rehearsals every week and only need a little bit extra practise. The whole point was for the people who've missed several weeks, or are new, to get the chance to catch up! *sigh* I realise it's not easy for everyone to make it - I get excuses about meetings and team lunches and all sorts - so I try not to let it get to me. It can be hard to reign in my inner Rachel Berry though, when I hear people in my section bemoaning how they 'don't know this one' - they're not even practising at home! *grrr*

Anyway. After the rehearsal is done, Rowan and I go get a bite to eat and spend the afternoon doing something fun. Usually it's the cinema; we've seen 'Harry Potter', 'The Smurfs' (though in 2D - I recommend the 3D as I think we missed out in certain places. Didn't expect to, as most of the 3D in the films I've seen have been shoehorned in) and yesterday we went to see 'Glee In Concert'.

Best. Use. Of. 3D. Ever!

I don't care if anyone's sneering at the screen now, 'cause we went to see that. I loved it, and so did Rowan.

Last Friday I took Rowan swimming - something I haven't done since he was a baby, though he's spent time in the pool over the last couple of years through school. We were in the water for about two and a half hours, and loved every minute of it. He can't actually swim yet, but his confidence in the water is wonderful; we messed around with the floats a lot, pulling each other through the water, and he would cling to my back while I jumped around, both of us laughing like idiots. The last hour or so, we were deep in the middle of the pool - one of the advantages of me being short and him being tall is that we can currently mess around at more or less the same depth - and he was launching himself off my thighs into the water, trying to do somersaults. The only sad thing about it was that they never put the wave machine on the whole time we were there *pout*

The next day, we were joined by Rowan's classmate Lewis, and Lewis's little sister Eryn. Their parents were having to move house - all the way to the other side of the city too, so they've had to change schools.... *sulks* - so we kept Lewis and Eryn entertained for the day. They have four kids in total, the eldest being old enough to help out with the move, but I wouldn't have been able to cope with the toddler as well. Rowan's excitable enough when he has friends around, but when Eryn's around it's like they're a pair of Tazmanian Devils! *laughs* Neither of them were truly naughty, though I had to tell Eryn off more times than I'm used to 'cause she kept running off, and Lewis is always well behaved. We took them bowling down the Bay, which went well, then they cleaned me out on the amusement arcade *sigh* But I think they all had fun, and their Dad came to collect them just as I was dishing up some pasta for their tea. Going to miss having them all around, but hopefully the 'net will help with keeping in touch.

Work's been as dull as ever, and there's less work to go around at the moment too. We get our work allocated to us through an Excel spreadsheet - and hasn't that been a nightmare, having up to thirty people trying to work off the same file simultaneously! - and they've recently started training up previously 'phones-only teams to do some of our work. Which, of course, means there's less for the rest of us... *eyeroll* I really hate coming in of a morning to find maybe an hour and a half's work for me, then have to spend the rest of my - admittedly short - shift trying to locate more. My productivity always seems to suffer when I have to go looking.

There has been a new development, however. They're looking into testing how feasible it would be to have staff working from home. I think the main focus is on 'phones staff, as IT will have to install a system and phone into the work area of whoever tests it, but I emailed the Ops Manager asking whether this would also apply to someone like me since it would be very, very easy to arrange. All I would need would be access to the database software that hold's the policy files, the excel files we work off, and my work email account. I didn't hear back from Wayne, but a couple of days later I'm included in an email to those who have been selected to do the trial! I honestly don't know how well it would work out for me - I don't have a room I can use as an 'office', just a small desk over to the side of the living room where the home PC is. But depending on how they would expect me to organise my work hours, it could make things a lot easier for me regarding childcare - or I could find being at home extremely distracting. I honestly don't know, but it might be fun to find out. Plus attending choir might be a bit of a challenge, since it's a thirty minute bus ride each way. The trial's supposed to be for between four and six months - we'll just have to wait and see.

My new course for the Open University begins in about six weeks! *bites nails* It's a music course, and I've been going through their preparatory programme to revise the music theory I was supposed to have been taught during my GCSEs. As I'm sure you can imagine, the music department in my school wasn't that well funded and it was considered a 'bird course' by five out of the nine pupils in my class. I've been learning how the Sibelius software we've been provided works, mostly by painstakingly typing in scores out of my collection of song books - that is the best fun ever! And it helps cement some of the mechanics of music into my head as I go so it's not a waste of time. I'm really looking forward to the course itself, and once Rowan's back in school I'll have the majority of my Fridays back to get stuck in before it actually starts in October.

We have lots happening in the choir too; Mardis Gras next Saturday, which should be a blast, then we have a gig in London a couple of weeks later!! Just a small one in a hotel in Picadilly, but it has some sort of link to the BAFTAs? *hands* Then at the end of September we're throwing a party at the Tiger Tiger nightclub as a fund-raiser for our album, before we get stuck in to actually making it at the end of October! \O/ I honestly can't wait! We should have the actual discs in our grubby little paws by Christmas!

Date: 2011-08-28 12:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Working at home is great for me, as you've heard over the years. It does take some discipline. I do highly recommend sticking to a schedule, not to mention making it absolutely CLEAR to friends and family that when you are working at home, you are just as unavailable during work hours as you would be in an office.

Date: 2011-08-28 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can see a lot of advantages, and just as many disadvantages. I might be able to work longer hours, provided Rowan can understand he needs to leave me be while I finish up - and that's if I can arrange things around the school run. And if I can do fewer days, that frees time up for my studies. I'm just easily distracted ;-)

Date: 2011-08-29 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My choir has the same problem about people showing up for rehearsals - most of them are good about it, but there are some that miss rehearsals and then get offended if it's suggested they shouldn't sing if they don't know the piece that well. *sigh*

I really like working at home, especially the not-commuting and not-having-to-dress-up part. :-) But it is hard to convince people that just because you're home, it doesn't mean you're accessible for interruptions, especially if you have to keep up a certain level of productivity. (My husband doesn't always get that yet even after almost five years.) It would probably be better if you could get most of your work done while Rowan is at school.

Date: 2011-08-29 11:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We don't make that suggestion - thankfully the songs we sing are all chart hits so it's rare if someone doesn't know the song. The difficulty comes when the harmonies come in, as I'm sure you can imagine! The director usually suggests that newbies and returners mouth along till they figure it out - but she's kind like that. The whole point of our choir is motivation, after all. But it still gets on my nerves all the same.

I think I could enjoy it - I tend to go through phases of feeling isolated anyway, even when surrounded by my colleagues, so companionship isn't that big a deal. I think I would definitely need to be strict about interruptions - particularly from Rowan when he's not in school. He's bad enough when I'm trying to study, but if I can squeeze my work time into fewer days I can study more - in theory at least.

Date: 2011-08-30 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"...people in my section bemoaning how they 'don't know this one' - they're not even practising at home!"

Oh yes, I know that one. It's so frustrating when people don't seem to want to make the effort! I haven't been to rehearsals of the community choir for ages, because I want to learn and improve musically, and all I ever seem to hear are complaints that "oh, we don't know that one" or "we can't sing that it's too difficult" etc. If they'd only make the effort to do a bit of practice.... *sigh* I've had enough of banging my head against a brick wall. The worst thing is that recordings I've heard of our singing don't even sound all that good... and the same people who "can't learn; won't learn" anything new think it's wonderful. Head|Desk.


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