Results

So today turned out to be the day I got my results. Just because I feel like winding you up, I want 3 comments from different people before I reveal how badly I did.

hehe ;o)

  • Happiness. 10 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Biscuits!
  • Song of the day. The happy song?
  • Thought for the day. Thank you Jesus!
  • What I’m Doing Now. Trying to ring mum and dad… what’s the point in having mobiles if you don’t answer them!

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

So the reason for the brief delay in posts? It’s not because I’ve had nothing to write, quite the contrary, I couldn’t decide which of my musings to share with you.

Since Wimbledon on Tuesday I’ve actually not been doing much (makes a change!) Hooked Victoria up with a computer, welcome to the 21st century Victoria!

On Friday, me, dad and Victoria went to the west end to see Derren Brown Live. I didn’t find it as good as I thought I would, some of the tricks he performed we’re more showmanship and suggestion than reading non-verbal queues which left me feeling like I hadn’t seen anything new. Saying that, I wouldn’t hesitate to see him again (have I been brainwashed?)

The last few days have really given me lots of time to deal with house things, mainly the mess NatWest got me in. It’s also been the first time since my exams that I’ve had time to digest my first year at university…

It was good. I made a good start to my course, joined some interesting clubs, yada-yada-yada. Let’s be honest, the first year can be defined by a few infinitesimally small moments and a few great people. I’ve mentioned them all before on this blog, and it’s really nice to be able to look over the posts I’ve made and see my moods change. Here are a few you might want to look at again, consider it the best-bits from the last year:

BTW RIP MJ

  • Happiness. 8.5 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2.5 out of 5
  • Last Meal. McDonalds!
  • Song of the day. Mariah Carey – We Belong Together (remix)
  • Thought for the day. Don’t blink… blink and you’re dead.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Chillaxing with Baz :)

Oh yea, and I went to Wimbledon…

so yesterday (Tuesday) I went to this lovely little tennis tournament down the road. It’s held every year and all the major seeds from all over the world compete on the only grand slam grass courts.

I came back from Josh’s house a day early after building his computer in record time. It was all up and running in a matter of hours, even had time to watch the new Top Gear on TV.

On Tuesday me and mum got up at 6:30am to get in the queue for Wimbledon. We were numbers 3257 and 3258 in the queue. It was all very organised and time just flew by. Before you know it it was time for 2nd breakfasts and then eleven-zies. We got in to the first court at about 11am, court 3, to watch Jankovic play. It was a great match, where the crowd were rooting for the underdog (because that’s what we British do best, see Hennman).

Round 2 was over on court 4, Keothavong (or sumin’) losing. Such a shame to see a Brit out in the first round, but again the crowd we’re supportive right till the end.

Murray Mound was crazy busy. But me and mum (being the jammy sods we are) managed to secure ourselves some seats on a bench!= near the front of the hill, primetime spot! We even saw some woman from ESPN interviewing people.

Why can’t Murray just win comfortably. I was in no doubt that he could do it, but it wouldn’t hurt for him to show it every once in a while. Joined in with all the cheering, had strawberries and Rosé, all very civilised. Victoria even managed to come down and join us, for free!

All in all it was a fantastic day, only made better by getting to spend it with my mum who I don’t get to see a lot these days!

The rest of the week will be quite quite in comparison to recent days, catching up on things and sorting out this bank mess…

Then I kick off the weekend with a bang on Friday with Derren Brown Live (absolutely cannot wait!) then off to see my sis on Saturday for a few days. Can’t believe it’s been over 2 months since I last saw you!

  • Happiness. 8.5 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Sausages and Potatoes (done to perfection, thanks James)
  • Song of the day. David Place – When The Sun Goes Down (from The Bedford last week)
  • Thought for the day. Don’t let life get you down, let NatWest do it for you!
  • What I’m Doing Now. Just chatting to Anne, one of my housemates next year

PS you know the score, check out the pictures at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2026050&id=1293892814&l=469b1faaf1

or check out the Flickr stream on the right —->

Special Post #14: Accommodation, Part 7 – Another way

Another post in the very on-going accommodation series about the foibles of getting a house

By now you should know that getting a house is a lot of work. Since signing the tenancy agreement a couple months ago things have been crawling along nicely. On the 5th July we will officially be able to live in the property. This is good because it happens to coincide with GuilFest, the Guildford music festival that I’m working with stage crew for. This is bad because it means paying rent. This is bad because it means having a bank account organised to pay rent from. This is bad because of NatWest. I feel a story coming on….

Our landlord wants us to pay our rent together. In order to do this we needed to find a way we could all pay into one bank account and then use that account to pay the rent. Simple, right? Well, in order to make it as fair and “jointly liable” as possible we opted to go for a 5-way joint account where all of us were account holders. This would avoid a situation where the person who the account is registered to is constantly chasing everyone else to pay up because it’s their neck on the line.

To make things as simple to manage as possible I decided to open the account with the NatWest on campus, so if there were any issues down the road, it was only a short walk away to fix them. So we all got together in the last week of term and went off to the bank with our forms. One of the things we all put on our forms was that we’d like to setup online banking to make it easier to manage the account. We managed to open a joint account with 2 account holders, but everyone else couldn’t be put on because they didn’t have valid proof of address (we’re supposed to have a recent bill addressed to our home addresses, but because we’ve been living at uni, it was hard to get them). Either way, we had the start of an account that we could use for now.

A week or so later I got a load of letters from NatWest with all the account information, including how to register for online banking. So I followed the instructions and registered. However, the website showed that their we’re no accounts. It wasn’t working. It turns out that you can’t have online banking for joint accounts. So why do they give you the option on the form! So there must be another way to check the balance of your account, right? Well, yes, there’s telephone baking. Ah, but your account doesn’t exist. Excuse me? Yes, there is no such account number. So that’s good news.

I’m left in the position where I may or may not have a bank account which may or may not have a standing order to the landlord and may or may not accept payments into it. All with only a week before the first rent payment is due. Good times. Thanks for nothing NatWest, all I can hope is that there is “another way”…

Banter

AKA “Do talk to strangers”…

Ascot was brilliant. There was a girl on the last day who said to me that I must be sick and tired of my job by now after 5 days straight, and I said to her that I could do it for another 100 days because it’s very engaging and the people you meet in the Royal Enclosure and the staff I’m working with are so kind and friendly, it feels more like a holiday than a real job. Overall, I got over £25 in tips this week. However, these do include money that people left behind as well as £7 of genuine tips.

One thing this week has taught me (beside the minimum stake for a permutation Jackpot) is the value of kindness. I have a new found respect for people who work behind tills, or in fact anyone who has to interface with the public on a day-to-day basis. Just by being polite, and having what me and Josh like to call “banter” can really make someone’s day. Working at Ascot it was always the people who I had a bit of a conversation with that I would remember. I would have girls who would come specifically to me to place their bets because I was good luck (apparently, even though it was them picking the winning horses).

A prime example of this was this week when me and Josh needed to buy our train tickets every day to get to work. We bought them from the same kiosk and chatted to the same girl behind the counter every day. By the end of the week it was good fun to ask her for “the usual” and have some “banter”.

I took this principle further yesterday when I rang up my bank to activate a new account. It was 12:30AM and I was expecting to get an automated message running me through activation. Instead I got a real human! After she’d set me up with my account she asked me if I had anything else to ask, I told her I was surprised to get a human to talk to and we had a bit of banter about her shift and what type of crazy people ring their bank at 1am.

It doesn’t take much to make someone smile and it makes you feel good too. It can even restore your faith in human nature. Your homework this week is to have banter with at least one person before Friday, just try it… you’ll be surprised how easy it is! I want to hear your success stories in the comments!

  • Happiness. 8.5 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Roast dinner (many thanks as always to mum)
  • Song of the day. Muse – Feeling Good
  • Thought for the day. Happy Father’s Day! I love you dad!
  • What I’m Doing Now. On the train to Josh’s to build him a computer

PS… If you bet £2 on a horse and it crosses the finish line first but without a jockey, it doesn’t count as a win. Learn from my mistake.

PPS… In response to my post on Monday (Quick Character Flaws), I’d like to strike confidence from the list. This week has given me more confidence about myself.

Ladies Day

I love working at Ascot. It’s really busy, but all the people are really friendly. I’ve been having a great time taking bets and paying out.

I’ve been working in the Royal Enclosure all week, which is where all the posh people go. Served plenty of Esquires and Lords spending £50 notes.

Today I saw none other than the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber and the brilliant Peter Jones. Oh yea, and the Queen.

Working at the Tote you have to balance your till at the end of each day, so far at Ascot I’ve done quite well. On the first day I was 5p over because one man didn’t take all his payout. Yesterday I actually balanced correctly, and today I was £5 over. So overall I’m not doing badly so far (watch now I’ve jinxed it I’ll be miles out tomorrow).

Josh has been staying over because it’s easier to get to Ascot from Balham than Dunstable (where he lives). We’ve been having banter and went to The Bedford for some live music yesterday with James. Really liked the sound of a guy called David Place, so we bought his album; check out his MySpace page.

  • Happiness: 9/10
  • Tiredness: 1/10
  • Last meal: Bangers & Jackets (sausages & potatoes)
  • Song of the day: The King Blues – My Boulder (again)
  • Thought for the day: If that horse wins I’ll eat your hat!

PS Sorry, forgot to say that you can see loads of photos of Ascot here.

Quick Character Flaws

If you are in a good mood, and plan to be for some time yet, do not read this. You have been warned!

Just a short post because I need to be in bed 1 hour ago so I’m awake for the first day of Ascot.

I have a few character flaws I would like to talk about today.

  1. Criticism. As much as I enjoy feedback and love it when I get some, I can sometimes take criticism very personally. I think this is one of those things that I just have to deal with. It isn’t that I lash out or become defensive, it’s just that it can sometimes knock me back. Luckily, most of the time I am also motivated to improve my work when given criticism, as long as it’s not too harsh. This steams from another trait, always wanting to make people happy/like me.
  2. Self-Confidence. I’ve come to realise that I’m not the bubbly, out-going person I would like to be. I’m quite defensive of my ‘true’ self to people I meet, which makes me a real hoot a parties. I think this again steams from wanting people to like me, and unless I’m sure that I am welcome and included, I will be very quiet and insular.
  3. Analysing. Now this I’m very good at, but it does lead me to over-analyse things which are best left alone. This was the main cause of much distress over the Easter break, and is by far the most frequent and common reason I’m not happy. The best cure for this is usually a good, long talk with someone I can trust. Some of you may have been at the receiving end of one of these, and to those I say thank you.

To balance all this out I have a great joke to share:

What did the mayonnaise say to the fridge? Close the door, I’m dressing.

  • Happiness: 6/10
  • Tiredness: 6/10
  • Last meal: Lasagne (courtesy of me!)
  • Song of the day: John Mayer – Stop This Train
  • Thought for the day: Can’t it not be over yet, to live not reminisce. Of all the things I could forget, it’s you I’ll really miss.