Monday, April 30, 2007

Blood in my Shoe

Both interviews went well - more on that in a sec...

I am in serious pain though.  New shoes -> Blister -> Popped Blister.

So badly popped in fact that the inside of my shoe has a little red stain where the blood seeped though my sock and soaked into the leather.

Interview 1 at BarCap in Canary Wharf went really well - I think I have all the skills they are looking for.  Shame I think the job is really narrowly focused and would get boring very quickly.  I have fed that back to the agent though, as it may just be the manager's poor representation of the role.  I reckon it is a job I could have done a few years ago, so it feels like a step sideways (and slightly backwards) rather than forwards.

Interview 2 at Ernst & Young was really friendly.  I can't say that I like Lambeth that well, but I thought the team dynamic was right up my street and that the seniority of the role is exactly where I want to place myself in the market.  I feel I represented myself very well.

I doubt I will hear much for a couple of days on either though as both seemed early on in their recruitment process.

Best Laxative Known to Man!

I have two interviews today...

These are the first face to face interviews I have had, where I don't know the interviewers, for over seven years.

I am bricking it right now!

I have just ironed my shirt, having polished my shoes earlier.

Transit time to Canary Wharf is a little over an hour, so I am leaving myself two hours!

I then have an hour to get back to Waterloo for the second interview, however that is only a 15 minute journey, so that should be OK.

My initial preferences lean towards the first job, but we'll have to see how I feel tonight!

If only the forecast was for cold weather...  I will probably be soaked come the second interview!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Banner

I finally decided what to do with the banner at the top of this blog.

It will now detail my celebrity spot of the week.

I won't be backing this up with photos, as that is just plain annoying both to them and to me.

Serena did try and take a photo of JD yesterday when we spotted him in Chiswick, but she ballsed it up!

Monday, April 23, 2007

No Sweat

Apart from one acronym that I didn't recognise until it was expanded, I thought the GE Money interview went well.  Blooming Six-Sigma speak!

I have a Six-Sigma mini-guide somewhere round this house, so I must dig it out if they invite me for the next round!

Exams over... Time to Sign-on!

I reckon I passed the big exam on Friday.  All the questions I didn't want to come up, came up, however I had prepared hard for that scenario and would be very disappointed if I failed.  Still, I have to wait 6-8 weeks for the marking to be done!

Down to the Job Centre today and signed on for the first time in my life.

I am appalled by that lack of evidence you need to provide as proof that you are seeking employment!  I just need to fill in a log of what I do, so I could write down complete bullshit and still get my dole money!  That isn't right!

Anyway I have a 1st round interview with GE Money this afternoon.  Just a quick 15 minutes with HR on the phone to prove I am who I say I am!  I'm not convinced that I want this particular job though as it is in Watford!

No news on the Computer Games company job though!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

More Photos

Three pictures showing the glorious weather and Bournemouth Beach.

A view from my hotel window showing a local "attraction" which is a balloon that just goes up and down giving you panoramic views over the bay and town.

Losing the Will to Live

The little red light came on around 3 pm today as my Brain went "DING" as it was full!
The two hours of exam revision from that point on were a bit torturous!
I am not scared of tomorrow's exam any more, it is down to technique rather than knowledge and you only need 50% to pass. There is no negative marking and you can theoretically get >100% as a question listed as being worth 10 marks could have 12 marks available on the marking scheme!!!!
As long as I read the question I can guarentee to get 60-75% on any question (it's when you don't answer the correct question that you are in trouble!).
There are a few questions which are complete bread and butter - I can pretty much guarantee 90% on one of those, as they are just too easy! (Really!) I reckon there is only about a 33% chance of one of those coming up though.

Curry night was fun, I didn't drink too much and was in bed by midnight. The Geordie did sleep in though and turned up looking green about 30 mins late!

I have a few more photos for you that will go in another post.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Curry Night

Well I passed the multiple choice paper with a cool 92%, which means I can update my CV to say "Prince2 Qualified", even if it is only to Foundation level.

I am a heck of a lot less scared of Friday's Practitioner exam now as well.

Whilst waiting for our results, a few of us were sat in the bar having a beer and complaining about the food in the hotel. Since the Ex-pat living in Portugal said he had to have a Curry before going back to Lisbon, we have decided that tonight is Curry Night and bugger the free food at the hotel!

I don't expect it to be too late a finish though... After all we are all professionals! If only the other two Curry-chasers weren't a Geordie and a guy who works at Lords Cricket ground, then I wouldn't be worried!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Day 2

Two days down and I just aced my mock exam, so I feel a hell of a lot more relaxed tonight.

Tonight I sat discussing the finer points of football with a Sunderland fan and an ex-pat living in Lisbon, which meant we had a very entertaining dinner after I admitted to supporting Newcastle!

Beyond that I have found a local Blockbuster and have bought 3 DVDs from their bargain bin, since there is bugger all to do in the hotel apart from drink or dance with the crumblies...

Tonight is Line Dancing, so they are all bedecked in Rhinestones and are wearing stetsons! I kid you not! I almost feel I am at a Kylie concert!

Whilst on my walk I came across this retirement home, whose signage made me laugh!

Monday, April 16, 2007

End of Day One

So that is the first day of the course out of the way.
I have done my first hour of home work and have 30 mins of practice questions to do once I have finished blogging.
I think that I am doing OK, and that it is all sinking in. My first exam in on Wednesday afternoon and I should be OK for that one! It's the Friday morning exam that is scary!

My co-delegates are a very diverse bunch, from the NHS manager who I met propping up the bar last night, to the fuzzy cheeked teenager who is filling in for someone who has gone off sick!

I am one of the younger delegates, but not by much and we all seem to have families or at the very least a partner. There is definitely no "lad" culture trying to force everyone into the bar for a late night "session".

I went for a walk after breakfast as we didn't start until 9.30 am and found the local convenience store. I bought some more post-it notes, as my supply of ones I pinched from NAB were starting to run low! I also bought myself a decent pen for the exam on Friday, as I neglected to bring one with me (decent that is). I am not certain how my wrist will cope with a 3 hour written exam! I am rather more used to typing things nowadays!

Lunch was quite nice, buffet style, with samosas, deep fried prawns, satays and the like, and I took a quick stroll down to the cliff tops (not to consider suicide) to clear my brain a little.

These photos show the mill-pond sea quite nicely - it is a real shame that I was stuck indoors all day.

Finally, Lauren needn't worry about Daddy not having any company when he takes a bath - the hotel have provided "friends"!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Room Photos

All alone in my room!

A Real Corby Trouser Press!

Nothing on TV and the decor sucks!

Saga Central

My first night in Bournemouth for the Prince2 course that I have shelled out for and I feel young! In fact I feel like I should be in bed by now!
The Wessex Hotel has two types of clients on a Sunday night....
1/ Mid 30s people eating by themselves and looking round wondering whether the other saddo's are here for the same course.
2/ A mixture of wrinklies in the 70+ category wondering whether their dentures and colesterol medication can cope with the Chef's Turkey Roast!

I went down for dinner at 7.30 pm and the place was heaving with the more mature clientel, who all shuffled out around 8.00 pm leaving the restaurant to the "solos".
I quickly finished my salty French Onion Soup, my "£5 extra" Sirloin Steak and my "serve yourself" Apple Strudel and waddled out into the lobby to find a couple of the solos had started chatting about the course, so I introduced myself and we had a bit of a blather.
The wrinklies had all retired to the ballroom and were circling the floor in a stately fashion.
Anyway I have worked out the BT OpenZone and forked out for 5 days access so I will try and Blog each night I am here.
Piccies for Lauren and Mama to follow.

James is a Poo!

James - I have texted you and emailed you to get Sally's address so I can post this prezzie to you both!

I am now away for a week so you will have to wait!

Sally - give him a good thump for me!!!!

PS  Your Mum gave me Sally's home number but there was no answer, so don't say I didn't try!!!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007



Further forays into the house by the mice were spotted today by both of us. We've figured out that they are coming from a gap at the back of the fireplace in the study, so Jase has plugged it with copious quantities of tin foil (we figured that this material would be both fire proof and chew resistant).

We will need to see if this makes any difference, but obviously there may be other access points into the house. However, of the four mice who have ventured into the house, all either emerged from there or ran to there to escape, so hopefully this will be a temporary stop gap.

Once in the house they head straight for the sofas or the kitchen. Much like the humans then!

You Little Beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Silver Birch


£20 Each Way Bet

£432.50 Returned!

My heart is still racing!

Grand National Day

A lot of you probably don't know this, but I actually enjoy a flutter on the ponies every now and again.  I only bet on big races or if we are actually there and I always set myself a limit so I never go over.  Winnings are never re-bet either.

In general I am "lucky", raking in £220 on last year's National and over HK$2,000 when we went a couple of years back.

This is the first time I have decided to publish my bets before the race though, so you can see how I get on!

Jasie's Picks:

7. Numbersixvalverde - Last Year's winner, which scooped me a big prize.  I reckon that you should not break a winning combo!

30. Silver Birch - Good odds for an improving horse.

Rena's Pick:

25. Longshanks - Hammer of the Scots!  Jockey called Dobbin!

Lauren's Pick:

5. Thisthatandtother - She likes "Dis" and "Dat" at the moment, so seemed appropriate.

Jasie's Eachway Longshot:

10. Cloudy Bays - Black and White stripes for the Zebra in all of us!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday 13!

I just realised it's Friday the 13th today.
Clearly unlucky for mice!

I have been put forward for a role at a very large computer games company.... I hope there are fringe benefits! I can't say too much but it is "in the game"!

I am not Paranoid!

For once!

This morning I thought I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.... Nothing there.

This afternoon I had the same feeling but this time I got lucky!

Mouse 001

Mouse 002

Rentokil are coming to make certain this is a one off incident and the lady or gent pictured is very lucky I wasn't in a bad mood, since our neighbour's cat looked hungry! I released him into the wild half a street away from our house - it can annoy someone else!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Computer Porn

Now if I was earning big money then this website would be my bestest friend!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Not Half Bard!

Last night's Doctor Who was excellent. Set in 1599 and involving Shakespeare it was exceptionally well written and despite the topic absolutely triumphed in not being corny.

It's funny I am a big fan of drama that spoofs or tributes to Shakespeare, with my favourites both coming from the pen of Tom Stoppard - Shakespeare in Love and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

I hope the writing of this season of Doctor Who continues to be this good.