So...

Aug. 28th, 2011 12:53 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
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!
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
My current course is almost over now - thank god! - and I'm in the process of signing up for the new one starting in October. On looking through the application form for financial aid, I noticed for the first time that there's actually a limit to how long you can continue to study while getting help towards your course fees - on reflection, this is something of a 'duh!' moment, 'cause really! You can't expect to be able to do it in perpetuity, now can you? But this is the first time it's actually penetrated my addled brain...

So, the T&C are that you can get assistance provided your degree takes you no more than twice the time it would take if studying full time; in other words, six years. Where I run into trouble is that I'm currently on my fourth course and in the process of applying for my fifth...

Going by the way this should be done, I should be just wrapping up my final course at level two, and applying for the first of my level three courses. But of course, stupid me, I took a step back and did my third level one course, didn't I! *headsdesk*

Had I realised this, I wouldn't have bothered with this godforsaken interdisciplinary course and gotten on with the more interesting ones! Likely I'm going to have to self-fund one or two of these somehow, if I'm to get my degree at some point.

Arglefaster...
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
Does anyone have any first-hand experience with an Amazon Kindle?

My neighbour at work showed it to me on the website, 'cause he's looking to replace his books due to lack of shelf space. While I will always love books, and don't intend to stop buying them, I gotta admit I don't have too much room either. Plus there are times when something like a Kindle would be really, really useful.

Case in point, I need a copy of the A-text edition of Christopher Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' asap to continue with my studies. It's ranging from £5 to £8 depending on if I get it off Amazon.co.uk or pick it up in a shop - however, I could download it off kindle for under a pound.... Would never fully replace the hardcopy, 'cause it helps with those kind of books to be able to see both the prose page and the notes page at the same time, but still!

Tempted to download the PC version of the Kindle reader too....

Any thoughts guys?
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
Well, next week anyway!

We're approaching the seventh and final week of the school holidays, and Rowan starts Year Four next week. We called it Standard Two when I was in Primary School. Three more years then he goes up to High School! Iesu Grist....

I've taken next week off work, because summer camps only usually run until the last Friday of August - which would have been yesterday, this year. School then starts back up the first Monday of September, but the calendar this year is such that there's a whole week between the two. You can imagine I was slightly gutted to hear on Tuesday that the camp I've been sending him to this year has actually made arrangements to stay open next week to allow for this, but I'd already booked this week off months back and could really do with the break anyway.

Rowan's been counting the weeks till it's 'Rowan and Mammy Week' as well, bless him :-)

My next course starts up in October; it's an interdisciplinary course intended as an introduction to Arts subjects. I struggled with the course I did last, 'cause it was far more academic than the previous courses I'd done. So I'm swallowing my pride and stepping back a level to get me closer to where I'm supposed to be.

My course materials arrived yesterday, and I spent most of the evening flicking through it all to try and get a feel for what to expect. There's a great deal being crammed in, but hopefully I'll cope. The first module is looking at reputation, what it means and how people develop one. The examples we're studying are Cleopatra, Christopher Marlow, Michael Faraday, Stalin, The Dalai Llama, and musical divas in general (but using Madonna, Maria Callas and a few others as examples).

I'm gonna make a start on it next week, even though there's a whole month to go before the course starts. My reason for this is that I can't study when Rowan's around, and I'm always too brain-melty once he's in bed, so I only tend to do any productive studying on a Friday when I can go to the library. Now, this isn't enough time to do everything the course requires, so I figure I need to get an early lead so that I don't find myself falling behind the way I usually do.

I just hope I can keep my focus. Never been a fan of art, poetry or religion... hopefully the literature, history and music modules will be fun though!
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
My exam for the current OU course was today *exhales in relief* I certainly don't think I aced it, but I did at least find something to write about for each part; four definitions of linguistic terms, an analysis of a transcript and an essay question. Don't think I wrote anywhere near as much I should have done, but meh. As long as I get more than forty percent I've passed.

And I knew I should have revised 'heteroglossia' in more depth....

Just gotta sort out the next course and wait for my results. It's nice to have my evenings free for a little while though!
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Today was my annual appraisal - been with the company seven years now! o.O I always dread these things, as I'm not comfortable talking about myself and never know what they actually want of me - management-ese sucks! Last year I actually burst into tears, even though my manager at the time wasn't being nasty with me. I just get that defensive and wound up.

This year was a completely different story. I was given a ten page document to go through before the meeting; ten lists, printed landscape rather than portrait so not as much as it sounds, where I had to rank myself on a scale of one to five. Things like how well I relate to my colleagues, whether I am confident of my procedural knowledge, things like that. My manager and I were to then go through the lists, discuss my responses, and he would give his own responses.

I have something of a mental block on giving myself top marks in anything, so I mostly gave myself fours, along with a few threes - mostly my attitude to my workload, procedural changes etc. I explained to my manager and senior that, while I do what is expected of me, I'm not above having a brief gripe about it. They were pleased with my honesty, and my manager either went along with me or gave me a four instead. When he wasn't going along with my choices, he usually marked me a five or a four, which was astonishingly awesome. Not once did he give me a lower score than I myself had.

As a result, I left the two hour meeting in an extremely good mood. The relaxed chat and free breakfast didn't hurt either! ;-)

I then had a choir rehearsal straight afterwards; we practised a Glee-type rendition of 'Lean On Me', and began learning our parts for 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' (six-part harmony, guys!! o.O) Very cool.

Rowan's not been very well this week, bless him. He had a bit of a cold on the weekend, and Sunday was a special activity day in West Wales with the St John Ambulance. It was wet and absolutely freezing that day, unfortunately, so when he came home that night the cold had fully taken hold. He was poorly all through Bank Holiday Monday, sleeping most of the afternoon, and hadn't gotten over it by Tuesday so we had to stay home. He was well enough to go back to school on Wednesday, which was ironically the first day this week my mother would have been able to look after him for me. She got made redundant from the office, and finished there last Friday, but she volunteered to work a little overtime at the supermarket on Tuesday to help with the inevitable post-Bank Holiday chaos.

My last assignment for my current OU course is due on Wednesday. Guess what I'm going to be doing during my day off tomorrow? Also, when is the weather gonna make its mind up? I turned the central heating off last week 'cause the flat was boiling, and we've had rubbish weather last couple of days - I am freezing!
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
My next assignment is due noon Wednesday and, while I've managed to meet the required word-count, I am entirely lost on how to conclude the essay for part two.

I think the problem is that I have spent the last six years having to outline things in as few words as possible. And the conclusion is usually "I hope this helps! Should you have any further questions, our Customer Service team are available on...."

Here's what I have so far... )


Any tips folks?
gothams3rdrobin: (Cunning linguist by kho)
So, a week or so back I posted about my current assignment for the OU, looking into 'Workplace Discourse Communities'. Now, my workplace has a number of good examples I can use for my essay, but I was talking to my Dad about it the other day and got to wondering about how language is used in other workplaces.

So I'm putting it out there to my flist; are there any unique or unusual ways in which you use language to communicate in the course of your working life? Think about, for example, the kind of language you hear when you listen to specialists like doctors, engineers, lawyers, where if you didn't know the 'lingo' (so you're not part of that particular discourse community) you wouldn't have a clue what they were talking about. Are there examples of this kind of thing in the work you do? Does the way you speak to a colleague differ to the way you speak to a client, or someone outside the company but still connected to your work?

It's not just limited to the spoken language either, as there's all sorts of terminology that's used in written english too; abbreviations that would be understood by someone else in the company, the formality of official letter writing, that sort of thing.

'Discourse Communities' are everywhere, in fact, not just in the workplace. For example, here on the internet we're part of any number of such communities just by virtue of understanding abbreviations like 'WTF', 'FTW' and 'ROFLMAO' *grins* When we use phrases we picked up from TV writers like Joss Wheadon or Aaron Sorkin, or simply get into a deep discussion about our favourite book, movie, record etc. that would leave any 'outsider' staring blankly at us like we're talking another language, that also makes us part of specific discourse communities.

I find it quite interesting to think about :-) Just hope I can do it justice in the essay!
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Despite only submitting my last assignment a week ago, I have less than a month in which to complete the next one! *brain frazzle*

The first part's easy enough; I have to do short descriptions of two linguistic terms. Not supposed to take too long, and I'm trying to resist getting complacent about it.

The second part is an essay regarding language in the workplace, specifically the way we talk to our colleagues compared to the way we talk to our customers, and the kind of terms we might use. For example, when a group of medical or legal professionals are discussing a case, there's all sorts of words being used that is specific to their line of work, and someone outside of their circle would need translated. This can and does occur in most - if not all - occupations, including mine.

Now, the assignment asks for examples relevant to our personal experiences. This is just a tad sticky for me because my line of work comes under the jurisdiction of the Data Protection Act, so I can't just blithely talk about when Joe Bloggs phoned up and bitched because we were demanding full payment of his premium as a result of his not keeping to his credit agreement. So, I had a word with my supervisor about whether I would be able to get hold of examples to use in the essay, before going to my Operations Manager to ask him the exact same question (Had Kelly told me from the start that it wasn't likely to be possible, there would have been no point bothering Andrew). Andrew and I discussed the assignment in some detail, and it was almost like discussing a thesis proposal with my tutor! (Not that I have any prior experience with that...) He understood exactly what the assignment was about, and was reeling off a whole list of examples relevant to our specific workplace - I joked he could have done the assignment for me! *grins*

So now I have to find some time outside of my regular shifts to listen to call records for some short routine calls which demonstrate how we use language to explain our procedures and underwriting criteria to customers (the 'laymen', if you will), talk to my colleagues about the way we discuss policies amongst ourselves (using codes and abbreviations, and being able to condense the information we provide due to shared knowledge) and the kind of abbreviations we use on the policy diaries in order to quickly note down what we did/talked about.

I may even speak nicely to my friends on the India Liaison team, for a few comparisons with our colleagues in Bangalore who cope with communicating with our customers through a second language. It goes a bit above the assignment brief, but every little helps!

Had a bit of a problem at work this morning too, as they've decided to change the company's domain name to something a bit more sensible and migrated everyone's accounts over the weekend. They swore that our previous email addresses would work just fine still, but at least three of us on my team weren't receiving any emails - though we could send them - and it seems this was true of many people across the company. I think the problem was one of laziness, 'cause the issue with my email account was the the username; when I first started at the company six years ago, it followed the format "firstname.lastname@brandname.co.uk". Then they decided to 'unify everyone in the company under the same banner' *yawn* and it became userid@companyname.uk.com. Following the migration, it evolved into "Firstname Middlename.SURNAME@newcompanydoman.co.uk".

The use of capitals and spacing is deliberate. See the problem? Yeah.

Wholly aside from the fact that I do not want my middle name in my corporate email address (It's bad enough that it's in my Identifier in the From header), you would think this would have called up a system flag, if not a complete error. But apparently not. The same was true of one of my team-mates, who's surname comprises of two words (not hyphenated). Why it also happened to my supervisor, who has a comparatively ordinary name, I couldn't say. It's fixed now, but I don't appear to have had any emails since half past two on Saturday afternoon, and I can only hope I haven't missed anything vital.
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
I recently made a post to my LJ asking that the f-list help me with my research for my current Open University assignment, in which I had to write an essay on a specific word of my choice. Thank you ever so much to those who kindly responded!

As I quote a couple of people who are on my f-list, I thought I would post it up here before I submit it to my Tutor Group's online forum ready for tomorrow's deadline. Let me know what you think? :-)

My essay on the word 'Cwtch' )
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
I started my new Open University course this weekend, and I already have an assignment to work on! :-/ Basically, I have to post something up to my tutor group's online forum by October 19th. This is my brief:

Your message should cover a mini-investigation into one of the following topics:
a) a word or expression in a non-standard dialect of English from your own area or other personal expertise.
b) a new English word or expression (or a new sense of an existing word or expression)
c) a word or expression that has become extinct or highly archaic in the English language.


I've been wracking my brain (which, yes, hurt quite a bit...) to come up with something I could write about, and I think I have something. So I was wondering if you guys could give me a hand...

What do you understand by the word 'cwtch'? Have you ever heard of it, and what do you think it means?

(And please, please don't google it first - though of course you're more than welcome to do so afterwards *grins*)

Your help would be very, very much appreciated. :-)

I'm still not entirely sure what they're looking for in this assignment, but we've our first tutorial on Saturday. Hopefully that'll clarify things.
gothams3rdrobin: (Josh and blankie)
It's my day off work today, but that didn't mean I got to laze around doing sod-all. I wish... ;-)

The singing group I'm involved in at work had a gig at lunchtime, at the Institute of Directors lunch in the Park Plaza hotel. We had to sing 'Somebody To Love' (Our biggest hit so far but, to be honest, it's getting old...) then we had to give a forty-second burst of the 70's theme tune 'Wonder Woman' to introduce one of the keynote speakers; Ruth Badger from 'The Apprentice'.

Yeah, I don't know who she is either. Don't worry, I don't think we're the only ones. ;-)

I was just a tad late getting there, as I wanted to drop my bag - which had my coursework in it - at my desk so I didn't have to lug it with me to the hotel. I misjudged how long it would take me to get to the office, however, due to the current bus service disruptions, and typically the lift coming back down wasn't on my side. So by the time I made it back to the lobby everyone else had already headed over the road, so I had to leg it over there. Thankfully nothing had started yet and I was settled in amongst the ranks with about five minutes to spare.

'Somebody To Love' went well, despite a really ropey rehearsal yesterday. Us Altos almost entirely forgot our harmonies, and Andrea sent me and Zoe to the back of the group to belt it out, in the hopes the others would be able to pick it up again. I was quietly freaking, as I don't get it completely right myself, but the technique seemed to work! The other advantage is that it meant I got to stand in the middle today, whereas Andrea and George had sneakily managed to get me into the front recently! ;-) I'm far, far happier in the second row, where my poor attempts at the movements aren't as obvious.

Andrea also designated me 'Section Leader' for the Altos, since the two strongest voices haven't been able to attend; Laura's been off sick, and Mel is on maternity leave. That totally freaked me out - but I don't know if this was a one-off thing or permanent. A permanent arrangement would be quite scary...dunno if I'm up to the responsibility, frankly.

'Wonder Woman' was also successful, though it was hard to hear the music so we came very close to ballsing up our entrance. We ended it with a flourish, however, turning to point at Ms Badger as we shouted out "Wonder Woman!" *chuckles*

Andrea and George seemed thrilled with us afterwards, before they headed back in to properly attend the dinner. Their company is supposed to be a motivational one, granted, but they've never bullshitted us - and are not above giving us a gentle lecture during the rehearsals- so we're sure we did a decent job at the very least.

I then retrieved my bag - should have left it at reception really, but ah well! - and grabbed a bite to eat. My plan was then to head to the Council's central housing office, to get them to stamp the OU financial support application that finally arrived in the post this morning, then go to the library for an hour or so to work on my final assignment before I had to go collect Rowan.

Ah, me and best-laid plans....

Last year, the task of getting the form signed took five minutes. I spoke to the woman on the front desk, she took it off me and headed out back to the main office, then returned with it signed and stamped. This year, the guy made me go queue at the 'Fast Track' window *snort* - I think because I couldn't remember if I still qualify for Council Tax Benefit as well as Housing Benefit (I don't, but I have done once or twice in the past, so I get confused whether I still do), and he decided it was best to make sure :-p Almost an hour later, I finally get out of there and there's barely an hour before I need to go get the bus to the school. So that put a complete kybosh on going to the library...

I have to work on the assignment through the weekend, as this one needs to be posted to Milton Keynes to be marked, rather than uploaded to the website like all the previous ones. So I have to allow for the postal system - and they're gearing up for the Christmas season by starting up their autumn industrial action :-p Apologies to anyone on my flist who may have a friend or relative working for the Royal Mail, but I've seen this too often now to not get cynical about it. A theory in the office is that they do this to ensure Christmas overtime...

It's my youngest nephew's second birthday party tomorrow, so my Saturday's going to be fairly busy. It's a very long way to my brother's house, by public transport. *sigh*
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
If you had to write a two minute podcast about healthy living, in pretty simple language, what would you discuss? What's the most appropriate way to start and end these things?

I have a Welsh assignment due next Monday (so you wouldn't be writing it for me - unless you can speak Welsh of course, which...hi! You're one of my new best friends! ;-) ) and I have no clue how to write such a thing.

Argh...I am so sticking to English-language academic courses from here on out....languages by correspondance is doing my head in!
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
Welsh assignment number three was due in tonight. I had planned to work on it on Friday and Sunday, when I had some daylight hours to myself, but alas twas not to be... There was a teacher training day on Friday, so the school was closed, and Rowan didn't go see his Dad on Sunday either.

Been having to work on it in the evenings this weekend, but Rowan's been something of a pill and keeps coming out of his room to bother me. Or makes a noise in there when he's meant to be asleep. *sigh*

But the problem is that the main part of the assignment - the spoken bit - I just couldn't get to be long enough! It's meant to be one to two minutes, but I just about scraped past one minute with my personal information tagged at the front :-( I'm quite happy with what I cobbled together - we were supposed to describe a holiday - but it's just not long enough, dammit! I got marked down for that last time too.

As much as I love them, languages don't seem to love me back. This is such a slog at times...

*flops*

Jan. 26th, 2009 09:38 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
That's assignment number two for my Welsh course done and submitted - the electronic submission system rocks! *grins* It's such a pleasant change from having to get everything done on paper and audio cassette, and then in the post a week before the deadline, like with my French course. About time you joined the twenty-first century, Open University!

I got 93 on assignement one, so I'm hoping I've done okay this time. We're starting to get away from things I remember from school, which means I need to start concentrating more now. Though things in the flat are much more sorted now, so I have less distractions.

Not that that's likely to help much...*whistles*

There's an online tutorial tomorrow night though *grimaces*

Aaaargh!

Sep. 23rd, 2007 06:32 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Just completed my aural exam for my French course...

...there was a lot of sotto voce cursing, let me tell you!

Plus I had to hiss my son away from me at one point, as I didn't have anyone to look after him for me and he decided to come up to me in the middle of the first part.

I've spent the day going over/rewriting my notes, and I had pretty much what I needed. Except that I forgot to prepare two questions to ask in the role-play, which was a job interview. Jenny had brought that part to my attention this afternoon, and told me what she planned on asking, but I completely forgot to get my own together. *headsdesk*

The tutor was nice about it though, and at least pretended to be positive about my performance.

*exhales*

Now I just need to get the written test completed, and I'm done. Anyone know how to compose french letters of complaint? It seems the format is slightly different to ours....
gothams3rdrobin: (Josh and blankie)
We're on to weekly tutorials now, since the End of Course Assessment (ECA) is due at the end of the month. I do my best to ensure Rowan's in bed and, if not asleep, settled enough that he's not inclined to leave his room. Not tonight, though *sigh*

He's been playing in the garden all evening, and while he was getting his bike, football etc. back inside, he admitted he's lost his baseball in the overgrown grass out there (The council haven't sent the guy with the lawnmower in ages, and we've had a long period of rain followed by a decent period of sunshine. Result: long grass) So, while I was trying to hunt it down, our upstairs neighbour left the building to take the dog for a walk. I'm on good terms with this particular neighbour, and she occasionally checks on the cat if I have to go away for any length of time. Anyway, she invited Rowan to go along while she walked Willow, and I agreed, thinking they'd be back in about half an hour and I'd have time to settle him down before my tutorial.

Nuh uh.

They finally got back at quarter to eight - almost an hour after they left - armed with a carrier bag of blackberries. So I had to rinse and refridgerate them and get him ready for bed quickly, and he got rather upset that we didn't have time for his bedtime story. So upset, in fact, that he wouldn't settle at all and I ended up attending class with him messing around behind me in the living room. *sighs* At one point he was chatting to Jenny, who I study with a couple of times a week - she was cool about it, having a gorgeous little boy of her own. Our tutor knows we study together in our own time, so when she assigned groups to go off for practice she put us together *relief* I like working with her.

I managed to put him to bed once the class was over - it's a good thing neither Jenny nor I were in the headspace to stay on afterwards for a little one-on-one. He's not given me any trouble since, despite doing the whole "I'm hungry! I'm thirsty!" act as I tucked him in. Not that I believed him, since he'd just downed a full cup of warm milk.

So now I need to either find that baseball (hah - no chance, I already tried) or find a replacement. It was one of those foam balls that, in theory, you can safely play with and not risk breaking someone's window. I got him the Cleveland Indians bat and ball set for Christmas a year or so ago.

He also managed to lose Willow's ball *facepalms* Pat was alright about it, though she was rather overwhelmed at just how much Rowan talks *giggles* He could talk for Wales, that one. Maybe even the British Isles!

When I get some time, I need to upload the pictures from Saturday; we went to a fete, and Rowan got to play some fairground games. One of which was the Coconut Shy, and he hit one down! *grins* So we brought a coconut home, and I had to learn how to open it. We tried the coconut water, and both of us hated it. And the flesh tastes just like any other nut I've ever tasted - I have no idea what to do with it.

Anyone have any ideas what to do with coconut flesh? I have tupperware in my fridge filled with coconut and blackberries, and I have to do something with them soon before they go off. Would be quite nice to combine the two....*ponders*

Oh and Rach? If you have any of that domestic energy going spare, I'd be grateful if you could send it my way. I've gotten bubkiss done this weekend, and Iesu do I need to get my arse in gear!
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
I have one more assignment to go on my French course before the End of Course Accessment (ECA), and my study-buddy Jenny and I have arranged to meet up on the computer twice weekly to prepare for it.

The first half is an informal conversation, covering the things that have been on the course such as family, holidays, interests etc. The other half is a role-play scenario where you're being interviewed for a job.

I've been trawling through my books and can compile loads of vocab and phrases which will come in useful for practising the first part. But the job interview? I can't find that anywhere in the course's set-books....*flicks through them with growing anxiety*

At least I've got about five weeks to prepare for it. 'Course, there's that final assignment due at the end of this month too....

Gah!!

Jun. 27th, 2007 10:02 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (Josh and blankie)
I need to post off my french assignment tomorrow, so it gets to the tutor on time, but I just can't answer the last set of questions. I don't understand the audio tape! *sighs*

I've been working on it pretty much all evening - to the point of ignoring Rowan, so there's been yelling and smacks at bedtime. That and the fact he's started stealing food from the kitchen again when he should be sleeping has me wanting to curl up and cry, frankly.

My grades are slipping on this course, and I just can't bring myself to attend the tutorials 'cause they freak me out so much. I'm gonna be an absolute wreck when it comes to the final test, which is held online.

I wish I could walk away, but there's only a couple of months to go.
gothams3rdrobin: (Captain Jack)
You would think that, by now, I'd have posted a massive squee-fest regarding last saturday's Doctor Who.

I have no explanation as to why I haven't. Rest assured it's not because the episode was bad, because it bloody well rocked!

It was so worth waiting for, and I've watched it twice since. I love the video library my cable provider has *grins*

In case anyone hasn't seen it yet (and why the hell not???), I'm gonna cut here for spoilers.
Captain Jack!! )

I'm likely to not be able to watch tomorrow's ep till later though, as my niece Jodie is performing in a version of High School Musical. I don't know what part she has, but we're all looking forward to it.

My impatiently-awaited dvds finally arrived today *yay!* An animated movie called 'Everyone's Hero', based around the 1939 World Series, and Team Baby: MLB Baby - a pre-schooler's dvd all about baseball. *chuckles* I watched that as soon as I got home, wanting to judge how Rowan might respond to it; while it's somewhat young for him as it's aimed at infants and toddlers, I think he still enjoys pre-school tv enough that he's going to like it. Plus he'll get to sing along to 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' during the seventh inning stretch!

He was supposed to have his school's sports day on Wednesday, but it absolutely tipped down on Tuesday so they postponed it. Ironically, the weather was pretty good on Wednesday, if somewhat windy, but seeing as they were holding the event over the Recreation Grounds, it was probably wise to wait. They've rescheduled for a week Wednesday now, so fingers crossed! He's been so excited, and getting rather upset every morning when I tell him that no, it's not sports day today.

Hmmm...what else can I say? Well, I finally finished reading Eldest, which is the sequel to Eragon. My Grampy let me borrow the books, though I don't think he wants them back (which makes them feel uncomfortably like a bequeathment, but moving on...) and I started reading the Doctor Who book I bought a couple of weeks ago called The Stealers of Dreams. I haven't read a Who book in a long, long time, so I wanted to start with an Eccleston, and since this included Captain Jack...*grins* I finished it on the bus this morning, after just a week - which was kinda depressing since it took me over a month to work through Eragon and Eldest. But still, very nice little tale.

Meh, I really ought to be getting on with some housework, and I've an assignment due next week. *grumps* I'm wishing I could drop the course, since I'm too shit-scared to attend the tutorials most times, but I'm only a couple of months from the end now. Just gotta keep telling myself that. And hope I can blag my way through the end of course test...

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