Posts Tagged ‘Work’

Shock and awe…perhaps not

The eve of the Jumble Sale and instead of being tucked up with my cocoa, curlers and a good book, the other one and I were out to say goodbye to my ex boss and his family as they took their leave of the island  – so of course one has to put on a good show. The night got off to a rollicking start with the other one with a cob on moaning the whole way there about driving and having to go out, a situation only resolved once a cold Seybrew was shoved into his hand (though I did have in mind other places). There were loads of people there and so I set about mingling, details of which I shan’t bore with you, except to say that I ended up holding two beers on account of over zealous resupply (by others I promise), the student in me finding it an anathema to put one down even when I somehow found myself on the makeshift dance floor, swooping, swirling and gyrating like I really didn’t care (cos I didn’t), stumbling over plastic cups that the crowd of ex work colleagues laughing at me because they thought I was drunk couldn’t actually see, and generally enjoying myself thoroughly. I was merry and unleashed, and you see in Seychelles I’ve done a good impression of pretending not to be. I might actually leave the island and people think I’m boring and hate going out. I might have to explode that myth at our leaving do…

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Jubilee Social Whirl #2

We nearly missed the bus, or maybe we had missed the bus, but it came for us and there were three of us laggards at least, arriving belatedly at the Residence for the official celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. The President was arriving and the protocol guys were lined up and some bright spark in front decided to go down the line and shake their hands, so it was like do I have to do that? I did. I don’t think I’ve ever greeted colleagues so formally before, I don’t know who was more embarrassed, them or me. The Ex Boss and his wife were at the door ready to greet and I chatted on with myself. They probably thought ‘move along gobby northerner, the President is coming’, and I did eventually, though in hindsight I’d like to have stayed. I could have put a few questions to Mr Pres, but still best to be on my best behaviour I’ve not left the country yet.

It didn’t rain, a relief for all the guys who’d worked so hard to get event together, and marquees had been set up to host Nikki Murrary and The Sneer again (getting maximum use out of them), though it was a shame as most people were there for the social affair and the music really just a backdrop to the chit chat. It was a lovely do and fitting as the Ex Boss’ last one before he leaves. He made a speech as did the Minister of Foreign Affairs listing all that had been achieved in the past couple of years – quite a lot!- and also bittersweet moment when they made dedications to our colleague who died a couple of weeks ago. It was strange and sad for her not to be there.

It was probably the last time the other one and I will get to smooze with diplomats (not that I did, I was doing my usual trick of chasing the hors d’oeuvres around). However, I’m delighted to report that despite there having now been many occasions where I might have smoozed, I have done so in such a way that my dignity  (and theirs) has remained intact.  Well, as much as I remember at any rate.  Diplomacy holds. Now that’s worth celebrating.

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Jubilee Social Whirl #1

Live music in Seychelles courtesy of the British High Commission and Nikki Murray and The Sneer,my god, what next, our very own Glastonbury? The event was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and I was happy for the excuse to get out, thus avoiding the incessant and inane commentary of all things jubilee on the tele. Whoever thought that 4 hours of watching boats move down a river would be exciting was clearly misguided – just because a painter has ‘brought something to life’ doesn’t mean that we then have to try, does it? Surely, that’s their talent –  I’ve never seen the Houses of Parliament cast in a Turner like glow, and I doubt a real life Mona Lisa would make it through the local auditions for cycle 1025 of America’s Next Top Model. The Thames was never going to be a Caneletto; more a Vienetta perhaps, masquerading as high brow.

Here in Seychelles, there was the official lighting of the beacon on the beach (a bonfire basically, and I made sure I wasn’t too close to it being lit, not wholly trusting that it wouldn’t go wrong) and the other one and I splashed out for once, joining the hoi polloi at the Berjaya Beau Vallon for a jubilee buffet and music from the bands already mentioned (and totally because I was supporting ex work colleagues and figured we didn’t have that many occasions left in Seychelles to celebrate!). There was plenty of food and choice, but it was filling and satisfactory rather than anything exceptional. There were loads of people there though. I was surprised.

Nikki Murray and his sidekick Victoria (I think) had great voices, though not quite music to my taste – sort of James Blunt or is it James Morrison I don’t know – and The Sneer were more jingly jangly guitar, again not quite my thing, and I certainly wasn’t drunk enough to dance at the front of the stage. I got a badge though. We didn’t stay too late as the other one was keen to get home so that he could watch the jubilee concert. I fell asleep.

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The daily grind

Looking for jobs. Tedious, occasionally exciting, mostly depressing. Previous experience in public sector not proving particularly helpful. Three degrees – the group more useful than my bits of paper. Pish posh.

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Not at all workshy

So why exactly have I finished work? For no other reason that I have to focus on what comes next because it’s a BIG move. The other one and I are returning to the UK!!!!

Fab, brilliant I might think if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s in a bloody double dip recession. I wouldn’t mind but one of the reasons we left in 2009 was because recession was looming and I foresaw see a tough path ahead for my career. And now its probably worse. Timing couldn’t be better.

So if anyone wants to provide me with gainful employment, please do.

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Fly by…

Two weeks came and went in a flurry of finishing things off, and thankfully not too many new things to do. I hate leaving places of work, usually because someone gets the embarrassing task of having to come up with nice things to say about you and then you have to say nice things back and a general love fest is had by all, you leave, and never see anyone ever again. Me jaded, cynical, nah – ‘let go’ from my saturday job at WH Smith’s when I was 15 not scarred me for life at all.

We had a lunchtime farewell, organised by the Boss and his wife with scrummy food and some bubbles.I was actually very touched, but glad that I had two days left so it didn’t quite feel like I was leaving, and on my last day, it felt like any other because there was no big send off, which is how I liked it. Weird that I be wouldn’t be back in on Monday. But I’d get over it, I’d get a lie in.

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Back to the old routine

It was my first day back in work. Apparently, they”d worked on as normal through the Tsunami warning, good old Brits soldering through. Amazingly, I remembered all my passwords, something of a miracle. I checked my 400 odd emails, caught up with people and then it was hometime. And only two more weeks left. Not bad eh?

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Of all the people…

Most of my recovery was spent inside. The other one had the car, we live way up a hill, and so there was me and the cat, and a few visitors who very kindly came to visit. I didn’t mind at all, and in fact I think I’d make quite a good hermit, basically you’re never far from food, drink, TV, books and bed. What’s not to like?

Anyway, after nearly another week had passed since the excitement of having a haircut and lunch on one day, I ventured into Victoria with the other one. I was reminded of the daily frustrations that can come from living here (more on that later) and we decided to recover and refresh ourselves at a new cafe that had opened in town (more on that later too). Standing outside what I thought might be the cafe, the door swung open and a bright and breezy hello was offered to me – from the boss’ wife. Of all the people…. It got better, ‘guess who I’m meeting for lunch, we hardly ever get to meet, he’s in the back’ she said. Yup, the boss. My second visit in town since the operation, of all the people…

I shuffled in, and there he was, and there the other one and I spent 20 minutes chatting away. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the boss, I just felt totally bogus. I was at the end of week three of my six week sick leave, and I was still sore, but I didn’t look awfully ill. And never having had more than one day sick in my life, I felt guilty, that I should for his benefit be looking really really rough. As it was he said, I looked very well. That had me pecking the other one’s head all the way home – what to you think he meant by that? Do you think , he thinks I’m not really ill? blah blah blah blah.

Being a hermit really does make life simpler. The other one seemed quite an advocate too – of me being one that is, not him.

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Mandatory away from home food mention #2

I went to Pizza Hut. I think I might make it my mission to go to a one in every country I visit. Because I’m sad undoubtedly, and because I really like deep pan, but more than that, they’re like a cultural microcosm. In Indonesia, they served avocado milkshakes, in Mauritius, Tikka Masala pizzas, in Altrincham, hmmmm let’s see, other than pizza, garlic bread and lasagne, tres exotic.

Once the world of diplomacy has tired of me (quite soon I imagine), I might see if I can get me some funding.

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What a wheeze

Last week, playing pirates with the navy, this week, making small talk with judges. So far, UK diplomatic effort remains intact. But for how long?

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