May 28th, 2008
Another entry in less than a week? Crikey Imogen. Incidently, arlier I posted on my big brothers facebook wall and used the word crikey and in his reply he basically laughed at me for using such a word. I didn't think it was that unusual!
Well I had an absolutely fantastic weekend. After all the rediculous club politics, faff about who was on the teams and a resignation the trip was amazing and definitely definitely worth it.
Basically, Kevin, Nikki, Gover, Andy T and I went away to the Forest of Dean. We stayed over night en route in Worcester at a friend of Govers house and then camped in a little campsite quite near Chepstow. The main part of the trip was to go down a cave called OTTER HOLE, which is underneath Chepstow Racecourse. It's the prettiest cave in the UK and has some amazing formations. It was really hard work getting to the formations and I was absolutely shatterred afterwards and covered in bruises but it was an absolutely brilliant weekend, and even worth all the battle scars. I didn't think I'd be able to wear pretty dresses ever again but the brusies faded pretty quickly, which I'm half bothered about because it made me look hardcore at least! After we got out the cave I was walking so slowly back up the hill through the Forest because I was so tired. We took loads of food in with us, and the malt loaf we had after we came through the tidal sump was possibly the best tasting food I've eaten. I needed it so badly! The cave was a grade 5 (5 being hardest) and you had to navigate through tight crawls and muddy passages as well as the previously mentioned tidal sump, which because it's one the River Severn estuary you have to wait to be able to pass, and be quick enough to get out before it closes. We got pretty far into the cave and the warden showing us around said that on the between the tides trip (the type we did) only about 5% of parties get that far, which is cool! The formations were absolutely stunning, although there were some quite hairy bits where I had to decide whether it was better to risk breaking me or the cave (chose breaking me) and where I almost got trapped at the tidal part because I went through the water too early and it just got narrower and narrower. There were some pretty tricky crawls through foot deep squelchy mud and I seemed to manage to cover myself quite spectacularly in the stuff. I washed my hair on Sunday when we finally got home and it took 3 applications of shampoo to stop the water running brown! I'm a classy lady! Definitely, definitely worth it though. I can't believe I was lucky enough to see it all, and it was just such a buzz having those sites as a reward for the 3 hours intensive caving either side of the pretty bits!
We were finally back to the car and changed by 9.10pm (after setting off from the car at 12.45pm) so it was a long trip. We tried to get food from a pub, but had to settle for a pint with our warden instead. He was a very friendly bloke. We went into Chepstow in search of food and I had an amazing aubergeine curry. Finally we found the campsite and pitched our tents in the dark. We awoke to lots and lots of rain so unfortunately had to cancel Sundays caving plans, but instead found a lovely cafe where we got a massive breakfast each and then had a scenic drive home. The Forest of Dean was absolutely stunning. I want to go back!
Here are a couple of photos (more on facebook, but these are courtesy of Nikki who has a waterproof camera she can take underground):
A pretty picture of the cave:
An afterwards group shot with us caked in mud!
So back to reality now! Mum and Dad came to visit on the bank holiday Monday. I was too achey to do the walking around the walls that they had planned but we had a lovely potter about town and ate lunch in El Piano and then walked by the river. In the evening I drank far too much as we went to the pub and then to a beer festival at another pub where the quiz was also on. I need to drink less.
I appplied for a job in Leeds last week so fingers crossed for that, I really want to do something else now and something more relevant and better paid and more enjoyable. I think I'm getting fed up here, and while I can apply for stuff I may as well. I'm not too hopeful that I'll even get asked for interview but I might as well give it a shot. Got another one to apply for after I've written this, and then I'll look for some more.
Going away this weekend with the club to Bull Pot Farm (a very basic but lovely caving club near a really good system of caves) so that should be fun. I'm in charge of organising food, but I'm hoping that doesn't mean paying for it all too as I'm not sure I can afford that (I do get the money back eventually though!), but we'll have to see. I quite like planning the food. Weekend after that we're sorting out all the caving gear and meeting up with Cardiff Uni Caving Club, weekend after is caving in North Wales, weekend after that is Southside (yay!) and then I think I might be free! Crazy!
Ben and Lynnes new baby is due in less than a week so I need to get sewing the elephants I'm making my new niece or nephew. Not sure when I'll have time to do it all though!
Phew! That was a long update. Overall I'm really happy at the moment and just smiling a great deal and having a good time. I'm feeling a bit under the weather but hopefully that will pass. Maybe I just need to slow down, but I seem to be getting by okay without so I might as well carry on!
Current Location: York
Current Music: clickety click
May 22nd, 2008
Long time without posting again! Oops.
I'm not feeling too great today. I'm not sure what's wrong with me, no matter how much or little sleep I think I've been having I feel really run-down and just don't want to get out of bed. Last weekend I sacked off doing a great cave just because I was absolutely shatterred and didn't think I'd make it to the bottom and out again. I really wanted to go caving as well :(
I had a nice weekend though and it was incredibly lazy. On the Saturday I went to Leeds and bought some fabric to eventually make a mummy and baby elephant for my new niece or nephew and a yellow gingham skirt for myself. I met up with Sarah in Primark where I spent even more money on new clothes. I really am getting very girly! I got another couple of dresses (including the blue and white star dress I meant to get last time, but I need to adjust it as it's too big), some vest tops and some shoes. Kevin came home with the helmet I'd been saving up for so that's even more clothes! Haha.
I started this a while ago, and have just looked and realised the window is still open and it's still not finished, ah well, I'll write more at some point. I'm off home now as I'm incredibly bored!
Current Location: Work
Current Music: just the sirens outside
March 5th, 2008
New haircut, new me. I've decided. I like my new (well it was like this 20 months ago but I've got really lazy with my hair lately) and I want it to bring about a new me. I've been a bit down lately. Lots of little things seem to have been making me upset so I'm going to stop letting things get to me and be happy and shiny again and PROACTIVE.
More about that later, I'm off home. I'm really hungry as I didn't have time to make lunch this morning and forgot my purse. Oops.
Current Location: Hudson house in the far corner, York
Current Music: Radio 1
December 21st, 2007
It's nearly Christmas!!!!
I'm very very excited and I wish I could leave work now. It would be especially useful considering we have no work to do at present and I have lots and lots of stuff I could be doing.
I'm heading down to my parents tonight with Kevin. WE'll stay there for 3 nights and then head to the New Forest to see his mum, step-dad and brothers and sister until the 27th. They've rented a 17th century thatched cottage and it looks beautiful from the picture! It will be so odd not celebrating it at home and sharing someone elses customs but I'm hoping it will still be very special.
I am mostly on top of Christmas but need to do a few last minute things like buy a nut roast, wrap some more presents, get some cakes from Betty's to take home... that kind of thing. Oh and PACK!!!
The trains look like they might be a nightmare, but I really hope it will all be okay. I might ring up and ask about delays and the like. If it looks like it will be hopeless on our route I might just resort to buying another ticket and trying another route.
We had a curry round at ours last night with all the cavers who were still around (i.e. mostly the working members of the club). It was very yummy and I made mulled wine and we watched Finding Nemo until very late! On Monday we had our work Christmas meal at Strada. It was a gorgeous italian restaurant with really yummy food. Ian liked his secret santa present and I had an amazing gift of a personalised minature jenga set from Simon who had handwritten on forfeits to do when you removed each brick.
Kevin's work Christmas dinner on Saturday was ace too. A completely free 4 course dinner and a free bar. I had lots of yummy amaretto and also lots of port. I think amaretto and port are probably my new favourite drinks. How sophisticated! I wore heels for the first time in about 4 years and loved wearing them. I'm definitely going to more often!
I'm so excited hurray!
Current Location: Hudson house in the far corner, York
Current Music: Radio York
November 21st, 2007
Back to having no work to do at work again, hurrah! Only in the past half hour, but still, it would be nice if I knew occassionally I'd have work to do all week. I can't see any more work coming in before then, but we shall live in hope! This week has been a bit odd in the world of Network Rail as half my office left last Friday, so now there are only 5 of us here. It's a bit quiet, but it's going okay. Today we researched Balamory and started listening to Christmas songs. It got me all festive. I am really excited about Christmas! I might make a list a la the one Gem did last week.
I went caving at the weekend in the peaks and it snowed! It was very exciting as it was snowing as soon as we crossed the border from Yorskhire into Derbyshire. We had a massive breakfast at my favourite cafe in Hathersage and then drove to the cave (well mine actually). Getting changed in the snow was less fun but it all looked so pretty, especially when we emmerged out. We had a moment of panic when we thought Simons car wouldn't start but after a bit of perseverence it did and we joined the other carload in the Peak Inn in Castleton where we had a hearty tea and some mulled wine by the fire. Ace. Driving back home through the flurries of snow looked pretty. I hope it snows on Christmas day and again soon! I had a bit of a panic before I went in the cave as I didn't like the look of the pitch (basically jumping- attached to a rope obviously- down a 60m shaft), and normally there's someone who goes after me, but because we had a fresher with us I had to go last, which was a new experience. But I'm really pleased that I achieved it.
We had a social last week, going around town dressed in Bernie's bags (the caving cafe we go to has these big red heavy duty plastic sacks that we put our caving gear in). It was so much fun! There's a few people in the club that I'm starting to think of as my friends and not just Kevin's friends, which is lovely. I got pretty tipsy and felt very rough the next day. This is what we looked like:
all of us
Me and Kev (aka Robin Hood)
Me and Charlie
I seem to be drinking far more than I did when I was a student, which is a little worrying. Aside from the bar crawl and mulled wine after caving, there has been a lot. Me and my colleagues did the pub quiz on Monday (competing against cavers) and we won. Lots of wheat beer was drunk. Friday everyone left work so we started drinking at 3pm, had a meal and continued all night. I was pretty tipsy. Thursday was caving training, I drank at the campus bars and then back at our house.... I think we get the idea. Maybe I'll take it easier next week in the hope that I don't completely destroy my liver before Christmas has even begun!
And speaking of Christmas I think I shall plan my Christmas cards tonight, buy stuff to make them tomorrow and start making them and wrapping paper very soon. Mum is coming to stay on Saturday! We're going to a craft fair that my Aunt has a stall at and I guess we'll look at the Christmas Market and sites of York. I asked Olga and Sarah if they want to visit for tea on Friday so hopefully they are free.
Current Location: Hudson House, Network Rail, York
Current Music: Ian whistelling Good King Wencleslas
October 16th, 2007
Seriously, I'm rubbbish at updating this thing and the only really reason I'm doing it now is because I have nothing to do at work, and by nothing, I really mean nothing, and my boss in London is fully aware that I have nothing and that I may not have anything to do until at least the end of the week. Why he doesn't just send me home I don't know, but instead I'm busying my time going on sites I can get on to at work, ie bbc news, livejournal, punktastic and the yucpc forum (but not going on too much or my name will be on the front page with the most logins).
So... what's new? Well as you'll have worked out I have a new job. I've joined the world of graduates who can only get temp jobs! Woo! I actually really like my job though at the moment, aside from when I have nothing to do because it just feels a bit pointless. I'm doing admin stuff for Network Rail on team DMFP (the data management framework project). Main questions I always get asked answered first; no I'm not responsible for trains being late, and no, I don't get free/reduced train tickets. I basically check that the information going into a database of all the structures ever that Network Rail own match information on the picture (usually of bridges, tunnels and walls). If information isn't present I have to look things up (usually using books but sometimes google) which is actually alright. The work is okay and the people in the office just make it even better. To break up the mundane stuff we do we do lots of general knowledge quizzes and just chatter and stuff, they're all really friendly. I also don't have a dress code so can be as scruffy as I like, and we work flexi time which I love. Pay is alright for temp stuff too. It's all good! We often all go to the pub together after work, it's a lovely team. In the time I've worked there they also sent me down to London for training, giving me free drinks, travel and food, and we had a night out the other day with free drinks and a meal, I was pretty tipsy! Everything is changing though as the other person on my team in the York office has left to go to Australia, leaving me sort of in charge until the other team in our office's project finishes, and then everything will be changing. Exciting times.
I love living in York. It took a bit of time to get settled in but I am so much happier after getting a job and moving into our lovely little house. The whole thing is working out brilliantly and I love living with Kevin. We have a terraced house about 5 minutes walk from the city walls (and my favourite York pub). We're really sorting stuff out, having bought a dining room table and chairs, and lots of shelving (although I still think we'll need more CD storage...). Mine and Kev's room is in the attic and has a wall of spots leading up to it! We usually cook with Andy and so far that's been working out great, we've even started getting a veg box again. It feels lovely to be all grown up with a non studenty house. I can't wait to own a house, but that is a long way away.
I'm starting to feel happier about my finances too (working obviously helps) and it's good to not be on the vey edge of my overdraft anymore and just not have to think too hard about money, although once I'm in the black again I do want to start saving hard for Masters courses and you know, scary things like being able to put a deposit down on a house one day.
I'm really getting into caving, the cave at the weekend was a nice easy trip for the new freshers and it was like a giant underground waterpark. Team Lidl had lots of fun in our wetsuits! Going climbing a bit more too, hopefully more and more and I even bought some climbing shoes with my birthday money at the weekend!
Me and Kevin are going to Koeln in December for a long weekend to see Charlotte and for the Christmas markets, I'm so excited!
I will endeavour to update this more frequently,
Current Location: network rail, hudson house, york
Current Music: radio 1
April 4th, 2007
It's been a while! I'm sorry!
Life is pretty ace at the moment, and has been really since I last updated. I was catching up in my '365 reasons to be cheerful' positivity journal the other day and I think the amount of time was about the same since I'd last updated that too. I realised just how ace things had been going for me, which is always nice isn't it?
I've been staying in York since Kev got back from Wales. It's so nice to spend so long with him and see him off to work and know he'll be back later. By day I've been getting up when he does and working hard until he gets home. I've finished my first draft dissertation, done work on one bioinformatics exercise and started work on the last essay.
We went climbing last night with Laura and Sam. It's the first time I've been in years but it was so much fun! It felt good to be getting out and doing something that felt like I'd achieved something and was energetic at the same time. I think were going to make it a regular thing, which is exciting! It's always nice to have a hobby!
What else? The weather was gorgeous at the weekend. I was a bit moody on Saturday, which was probably a combination of stressing about the final stages of dissertation and being a bit hungry. I felt bad though for being so whiney! Ooops. Kevin got some new sofas and they make his living room look really homely :) We played scrabble in the evening and I won 3 games in a row. Quiz on a triple word score= genius :D I was lucky with my letters though. Sunday we potterred about doing a few things in York and then had a few pints in the sun outside the Kings Arms (?) pub by the river. It was lovely. Kevin got a call from Ade inviting us to a BBQ so we headed there after which was good... the first one of the year!
We went for dinner last week at Nicki and Govers with some of Kevins other friends. It felt very civilised and I felt very grown up sat around listening to them all talking about mortgages and jobs... The food was lovely though. I want to have dinner parties next year!
At the weekend we've got tickets for Straylight Run at fibbers but I think we might go camping in the dales instead and just spend the weekend walking (and there will probably be the possibility of a cave too). It's a long weekend and it would be lovely to have a break especially if the weather stays like this!
I've not been missing Leeds at all, I'm starting to love this part of Yorkshire. Oh dear!
Hope you're all okay,
Current Location: york
March 17th, 2007
hehehehehe............ tipsy!!! mmmmmmmmm red wine and cake and not a lot more!!!!
red nose day is funnnnnnn!!!
i think under the influence of alcohol i am a bad influence. i encouraged my youngest brother to in the future stick to spirits and basically invited him to outdrink me, he won't manage. i also told him that in the grand scheme of things gcse's weren't that important. he's an ace brother though... i really hope he comes to leeds/york for either jimmy eat world or straylight run.... would be amusing!
10 nights 10 daaaaaaays though. i'm so pleased i'm cheery now, after a lovely surprise call earlier from k after not hearing from him all day i had a little therapeutic cry, but felt so much better after a cup of tea, a cuddle in my bed with the koosh and a change into my pj's. and then an ace night in with pingu, AND planning of the amazing wonder that is southside with jon, nadine and ed, all will be expained later but it's going to rock!!!
Current Music: red nose day!
March 11th, 2007
I was rediculously honest last night, to the point where I even told Kevin something I vowed never to tell anyone. I hate talking about my problems/bad thoughts/worries too much with others, even those I love, I much prefer listening to what they have to say, so it was really hard to say and I got a bit teary, but it felt quite good after, and it's nice that I can be so honest.
Today I got up quite early (well, 10am, eventually) and worked quite hard. I wrote notes from the 5 books I got out the library on Friday, and then wrote 500 words, 500 actual words on my dissertation. I was quite proud of myself. It probably doesn't sound like much but I'm having such motivational issues lately. Also, all this reading of gentic counselling makes me even more adament that that is what I want to do with my life, and I'm slightly concerned that a) i won't get a 2.1, and b) when i eventually decide I'm mature enough to apply they won't want me.
it's quite scary!
The weekend has been pretty quiet though. I've been in Leeds longer than I have in ages, it's been quite nice though and I've enjoyed hanging out with the Sarah's and Olga even if I have been getting wound up by washing up and things. Sarah cut my hair last night, only trimmed though, you can't really tell, but she did it well! I mended my sleeping bag on Friday, (we were all sewing!) and now I can go camping with Kevin as the 5 holes in it are mended!!! Exciting! I've also been watching celebrity fame academy as pingu is obsessed with comic relief. It's actually quite good and I have a soft spot for colin murray, he's lovely! Oh dear. Indie boys!
Hope others weekends were a little more exciting!
Current Location: norwood road, little sofa
Current Music: coldplay- fix you
March 8th, 2007
Today was really unproductive. I really dislike my new timetable, it's not very good for motivating me to work and I lose my Monday's off (and after Easter my Fridays too). But I woke up just before 8 and felt fresh and ready to start work and then it all disappeared and I just spent morning in bed listening to Radio 4, eating chocolate and wishing I could go out into the sun. I had a little scare too which is all okay now, but didn't help with the motivation. In retrospect I could have enjoyed the sun, but instead I pretended I would get work done. Tomorrow I actually have to work. Olga got me out of bed though when she told me the landlord was coming over, so I showered and tidied my room and it actually looks quite good now, so something was done at least!
An afternoon lecture and picking up the veg, ordering some more and buying quinoa completed my thursday afternoon. I've done a little bit of work tonight (well found some books that I need to check out tomorrow to write my introduction). I also got to enjoy Grand Designs! I really like that programme. I really really want to make my own grand design when I finally get my own house. I'm still thinking about a train house after the inspiration me and Kevin got from walking near Whitby, but we shall see! It's probably not that easy to purchase a disused train carriage or two, but it would be quite cool!
Yesterday I felt a lot more positive. It was just a really ace day, helped by a lovely start. I woke up to heaps of sun shining through the gaps in my window and then a text from Kevin. I'd also had a really decent nights sleep (for the first night in about a week in my bed) which had been helped by a surprise call from Kevin just before I fell asleep. It is nice when he calls. But I got to Uni (eventually) and bumped into Eva in the Philosophy department where I was off to meet Greg (my supervisor). Neither of us had anything to do until 11 so we went to the union and just had a chat and read the guardian, it was pretty ace, I hadn't seen her in ages. I had my lecture, went to see Olga in the green co-op and decided to stay while she did her shift. It got a bit hectic when we used the wrong jug and I decided to help out. It was fun and I'm going to do it every week! :)
And before settling back into a Leeds routine?
I spent a couple of days in York with kevin, trying to do dissertation work during the day and just having general lovely times, quite simple times in the evening. It felt good. I quite like just lying on the bed doing work while he plays online. I know it's simple and normal but I dunno, it's hard to explain why I like it so much. On Friday I met Kevin at York station and we got the train to Nottingham (via Chesterfield where we even had time to walk to the spire!) to meet the parents! He did very well and I think they all liked him. We played lots of scrabble, upwords and uno, looked in the charity shops and walked along the river, good times were had and it was nice to see all the family, and to introduce Kevin to them.
Not much really to look forward to at the moment, it's just lots of work. I really need to try and sort out my finances too, they're really scaring me...
The sun at the moment is ace though!
Hope you're all doing okay!
Current Location: norwood road big sofa
Current Music: tv in the background