Yesterday was a day of two halves: the good bit was the evening...

The day was... odd.

Saying goodbye to classes you have only just got to know is wrenching. You can see potential, trust, enthusiasm... and you have to walk away.

Sod the money (well, no... I really need the money) I'll miss the people.

Anyhow, I popped my job app for a proper, albeit part-time, job in the college in the post this morning, I've a slew of other applications to fill in for various and nefarious jobs and I have to keep hoping/sign-on next week: I like my flat, I want to stay here longer even if it is a tad more pricy than I can afford to pay right now- and I like my life here...


Bloody hell...

My luck just gets better...

I woke up at 6ish this morning with a familiar trickling feeling tickling the back of my throat: ah yes, a nosebleed.

By 8 I was starting to get a bit panicky - it still hadn't stopped. I'd managed to turn my bathroom into something that resembled the aftermath of the Icelandic whaling fleet's trip to SeaWorld and I admitted that I should probably give work a miss today, what with the uncontrollable haemorrhaging and all...

I texted Theo for a some sympathy (well, I'm a big, soft scaredy cat at times...) and she supplied plenty, pointing out it sounded a bit like it could be a stress-related bleed.

Thinking about it, it makes sense. It has been a stressful year - and continues to be so to a lesser extent, but work and money etc., are constant anxieties. Certainly, I have lots of good stuff going on, but the tough stuff is bound to have taken its toll in some way: I've noticed a fair number more grey hairs (including several in my eyebrow and even *looks embarrassed* the first signs of greying pubic hair...) - stressy nosebleeds shouldn't really come as any surprise.

It finally slowed down to the occasional drip at 9:30, half an hour before my "fuck it, I'm going to casualty" deadline and I am now left with something of a fuzzy, dizzy, headachey feeling - but the nose is thankfully un-gory.

I shall immerse myself in the scent of lavender for the rest of the day and maybe beg on hands and knees for a massage later. Relieving stress needs to be a fresh priority - I've only got a finite amount of blood, after all.


Oh well. Just as I'm settling in to my new job, I get the elbow.

Not because I've done anything wrong, I might add - merely because the person I was covering for (who the department seemed to think would be away for "quite some time to come") has decided to return to work. As much as I am glad that someone who has been somewhat ill is now returning to health, I am more than a bit disappointed that I haven't been given the opportunity to show what I can do -and the money would have been nice, too... I was starting to get to know my students, even like them - it's never a waste of time to meet new people, and meeting new students is always a good thing - and was making decent alliances with new colleagues. *sigh* Anyhow, it's back to the employment hunting drawing board for me. Bugger.

I was going to write about how if you are over a size 20 it is nearly impossible to get a non-girly-girly warm winter coat, the ridiculousness of bra sizes and the irritation of shopping for necessary items near Christmas - but I'm too bummed-out today to really focus on it. It'll pass, but it's a dark rainy cloud and I feel like curling up on the sofa, hugging myself and drinking tea...

Otherwise, life continues to be filled with pleasant surprises; Theo and I continue to get to know each other better (yesterday's baking effort: a chocolate cake...) and are making plans to visit one of her friends in December; Scotmid has a 2 for a fiver special offer on washing liquid; my piercing is healing pleasingly painlessly... even my shower is behaving itself. Present inconveniences aside, life is good - and I need to keep remembering that.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes

I like tea, I do.

I like it with biscuits, with a scone, on its own.
I like it so much I have an entire cupboard full of the stuff: herbal, infusions, black, green, white - I like tea (I also like coffee, but it's not the same...)

Since starting work yesterday, I have developed a raging thirst for tea. I think in part it is because I am too scared to use the kettle and the strange water-container arrangement in my new staff base- and thus risk the wrath of the middle aged ladies who are my new colleagues should I upset the incomprehensible system - and so, apart from sipping water from a bottle I keep in my bag, I go thirsty for much of the working day. When I get home, the closeted tea-jenny in me comes out and the kettle is kept almost constantly warm due to afternoons and evenings filled with the brewing and consuming of tea.

Teaching is a thirsty business. Dusty rooms, talking into the void (or to students... mainly the void if the blank/quizzical expressions worn by the students are anything to go by...) and fear all make for a dry mouth. Teachers and lecturers generally seem to suffer from hellish halitosis as a consequence of this. Either that or people with halitosis are attracted to teaching and lecturing, I'm not sure which. Having a painfully fragile periodontal disposition myself, I am a keen slurper of sugar-free mints to maintain my oral freshness. Would that my new colleagues were as considerate...

Anyhow, in short, all is going well so far: I haven't got lost, said anything contradictory or inaccurate, insulted senior staff or cried in front of a class yet. Still, it's early days... but I am toasting my new employment status with tea(well, until I can get to the pub, anyhow): slainte!


Bleurgh. More information than you need, but I am having another one of those "periods from hell." This time, more than simply cramp, I have awful backache and total body lassitude (-mind you, that could also be due to still digesting the mahoosive "celebratory" meal from Vittoria's Theo and I had last night- Panzerotti dello Chef: fab, Lasagne alla Mamma: delish, Cheesecake rating: 6.5/10: nicely vanillaed, but soggy bottom...totally camp cream, ice-cream, ickle teeny weenyScottish and Italian flags and green glass plates though! There is nothing like indulging my foodie nature to make me feel better... and going out to dinner is definitely an indulgence...)

Back to the menstrual moaning, the timing could have been worse I suppose: nothing like starting a new job with a scowl, scarfing down painkillers as though they were Skittles and strapping a hot water bottle to your back... Very inspiring, very energetic. Hmmmph.

Anyhow, speaking of which, I also went to the college yesterday to meet my new colleagues, pick up teaching materials and schedules, and to get my bearings around the building. At present, the place is something of a building site, with corridors leading to closed-off bits of building, portakabins as classrooms and stairways to nowhere: seeing as I've had a chaotic summer (now thankfully somewhat more level and fun, but I digress...) I may very well fit right in...


It might be getting a bit boring to read, but Theo and I had a great weekend. One of the ways in which we entertained ourselves was for Theo to teach me how to make scones. (I'm not going to mention any of the other ways we entertained ourselves... apart from the lasagne we made, maybe... or the jaunt to the pub... or... No. Actually, I'll just leave it at that... *grin*)

I am not a born baker - my pastry is either so short it crumbles before you have raised it to your lips or so hard your teeth rock in their sockets. Theo, on the other hand, has a natural knack having been born to a family for whom home baking is an art. As you can see (above) we practised quite a bit. The miserable efforts to the right were mine, the rest hers. It would appear my dough-handling technique could do with some tweaking.

I look forward to the swirly things with lemon curd/jam she's promised to bake and I in turn will teach" Pasta Sauces 101" - things to do with tomato and basil, as well as "Mince: More Than Just Talk". All matters culinary are a passion for me - watching Theo handle dough was virtually pornographic, it's something to do with the fleshy pliability of the mixture and the sensual patting and kneading, I think... *whimpers*. As far as I'm concerned, cooking is the new Rock 'n' Roll and I intend to die of a chocolate and pastry overdose in a plush hotel somewhere, stripped naked and with lick marks all over my body...

Anyhow, all this has been a great distraction. Theo has been very understanding of my twitchiness - I'm never entirely focused when I'm broke, unemployed and with an interview looming... Speaking of which, I got the job! I'm back to being a college lecturer again (albeit of uncertain tenure and very part-time...) It's certainly better than nothing and it's something I know how to do (fingers crossed, anyway...). I start Monday and will hit the ground running. I can't say that I'm entirely lacking apprehension, but it will certainly be a good sort of apprehension, rather than the kind I've been getting every time I check my bank balance...

Oh! Oh! I forgot!

yes! my actual ear!
... I also had the outer rim of my ear pierced! I've been wanting it done for ages and while I was in a spontaneous mood I thought " ahhhh, fuck it" and just went and got it done.
I didn't flinch or anything. No, really. Not a flicker or wince.

Pretty bloody typical that it is now so frigging cold, eh? (Apologies for the blurriness of the shot- but have you ever deliberately tried to photograph your own ear?)

Avoiding Lesbania

Bogtastic"Theo" (see previous post... although she sort-of objects to the name: reminded her of The Cosby Show. *sigh* Fair point, well made, so it may very well change... To be fair, it doesn't entirely suit her... but I can hardly use any of the names I actually call her, can I? *blush*) and I had planned to go to the Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard "Halloween Ball," but due to a range of things (including lack of arsedness) we decided not to go. Instead, we gave-in to a spontaneous streak and took off for the weekend to York -originally to attend the York Lesbian Arts Festival, but (due to another lack of arsedness) we decided not to bother spending the money on rubbing shoulders with the "cliterati" and around 3000 others - preferring to do our own thing and explore the city together.

The drive down was long... we arrived at the B&B rather late and just wanted to get to our room and crash. Of course, our intentions were also subject to spontaneous change, particularly when Theo saw the above: I was summoned to the bathroom where I too fell into knackeredly hysterical fits of the giggles. My English teacher-ness appreciated the utter bollocks and pomposity of the non-existent word "sanified", the rest of me just found the idea of sticking a sash over a toilet bowl to proclaim its cleanliness delightfully surreal...

We had a great time. We wandered, bimbled and idled our way through the city, ambled through The Shambles and minced around the Minster (see below), that sort of thing... Our only encounter with Lesbania (apart from receiving the occasional "nod") was when we wandered to the Marketplace to be met with a sea of dykes gathered around a group of wailing choir-type singers. For once we were in the majority in a public place. It was a pleasant change, but as Theo and I discussed at the time, we did wonder if the locals thought the same thing as some of "us" Edinbuggers do at Festival time: "Oh shit, it's going to be mobbed" and therefore avoid the city. (-Except we pretty much have all of August - and hordes of leafleters, performers, tourists and the like to plough through across the entire city - and the Yorkies have one weekend in October to think "Oh bugger, Mavis - no going to Betty's Tea Room today, the city is riddled with drinkers from the furry cup...")

York Minster
Anyhow... we also encountered the world's dullest tour guide, drank in Yorke's oldeste Pubbe, considered doing the Tour Bus thing, but decided to drink cocktails instead and generally chilled out and got to know each other much better. As I said, we had a great weekend.

Now back to reality. I have an interview on Monday - only a part time job, but it's a start. *sigh* Where did I put that iron?...