Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm the boss

I thought it went pretty well actually.

Aiming to get in at 8.30, to give me time to set up the work for the new temporary employees before they started for the day, I accidentally arrived at an eye-smarting 8.15am. (And then I had a shortened lunch break and forgot to leave early - so it was a long day for me.)

I co-presented their "induction" i.e. where the toilets and kitchen are, what breaks they're entitled to, and - crucially - how to do their job, and only made two unintentional spoonerisms. And didn't forget anything really important.

Then I got them to team up (the boy was left on his own, probably because he was visibly twice as old as the others and acted like he knew what he was doing) so they could get to know each other and also "spot" each other (spot each other's mistakes, that is). What a great idea that turned out to be. Pity I can't take credit for it; it was the boy's idea.

He called me Sweetie once, but I think we got away with it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Who's the boss?

The boy has this little game he plays with TLM sometimes. When she starts bossing him around, he'll give her a look and say "TLM - who's the boss here?". If she points to me, the boy will smile indulgently and nod - and then ask her again until she points to him.

Well, for the next fortnight I will literally be the boy's boss. Yep, that's right. We've hired him to join the little team of busy bees for that little project I posted about earlier. He'll be a part-timer of course, since TLM is only in daycare for a few hours per day. And he'll have to keep a low profile and avoid acting like he knows a lot.

It's going to be interesting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I soldiered on

I knew it was going to be a really busy day at work today, so I gobbled up my medications and packed some Codral as well (that's the stuff that makes your cold symptoms go away so you can attend your daughter's wedding / spend a day at the office / still take that beach vacation). And I had a good day of it too, with only occasional telltale coughs, sneezes and wheezes.

Most of the day was spent interviewing applicants for a short project we are trying to get finished. I've never really been involved in the hiring process before (except as an applicant), so it was really interesting how different an impression you can get about a person from their CV, from talking to them, and from getting them to do an actual task for you.

For instance, there was one application which looked only so-so; there wasn't much in it that told us she could do the job. But we decided to interview her anyway. And she came across as being potentially really useful, because she seemed to have done similar work before and said all the right things about the importance of attention to detail. But after we came back to check how she'd gone with the little test we'd prepared - what a disaster! It looked as though she'd never used a spreadsheet before.

So after 7 back-to-back interviews, a run through all the test results and a debrief, I had to sit through a long meeting and didn't get out of there until 5 (I normally finish at 4.30).

So I guess I have to hand it to the drug-making folks who make Codral. It sure did work today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


"I've been coughing since June", I told the doctor. And I have, though there were moments when it seemed to get better - just before another virus came along and made it worse again. Lately, I've have been deliberately looking my worst when visiting the doctors', just to make sure they take my illnesses seriously. This morning I looked like a vampire, though not as glamorous.

The doctor listened to my chest as I tried to breathe deeply - I managed two before collapsing into the kind of scary-arse hacking that, in old movies, means you've got TB. Apparently it quite alarmed him (the boy was there to see).

So now I have a new, stronger asthma preventer, some cough syrup, antibiotics for the chest infection and another course of Prednisone. On the plus side, I already feel heaps better than I did 4 hours ago.

It's got me thinking that I really ought to do something about my asthma. I used to be able to blow a 700 on the peak flow meter, no problem. Now I'm lucky to get over 400. I can't afford the time or money to resume my pre-TLM gym regime, which is probably the thing that really helped me. And I can't kick the boy out of the house either (nor can I make him give up smoking, because really only he can make that decision). Maybe, when I'm better, I could try swimming a couple of times per week.

Or maybe I should just buy myself a packet of face masks and spend my sewing time cleaning the house. Ugh.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An early spring

For once, the skimpy dresses in floral chiffon that decorate every women's dress shop window, are not entirely out of sync with the weather. In other words, we've been having some pretty nice weather lately.

We are having an early spring. Apparently this doesn't necessarily translate to a longer-than-usual spring, just an early one - which ultimately means an early end to summer. But that doesn't stop me from enjoying the clothes-drying temperatures. I just love sitting outside on the step, feeling the warmth on my skin, even if it means risking a sunburn-induced cold sore. It makes me wonder whether I can do a goth-summer kind of look, because florals really aren't my thing.

There's one other thing. If it is spring already, then I have officially been sick ALL winter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday night in bed

...and not in that way, either.

I had hoped to spend the evening putting my coat together - I finally got going with the construction last week (which is why I've been silent on the blogging front) and wanted to make the most of this evening alone (the boy was going to go out and watch the rugby with my ex-guy friends - I say "ex" because I never see them any more). I reckon I'm about 25-30 percent done, which is not bad considering I'm working with a fast-fraying fabric which leaves the carpet looking like it's had a shave but no-one's bothered to come sweep up the cuttings.

But TLM got me up a couple of times last night, so I'm feeling really tired - and now I have a headache.

So I'm going to bed early. G'night.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Because nagging works

I may be a superb example of paralysis-by-analysis, or maybe just plain lazy, but it's nice to know that I can perform when the pressure is on.

So while I have been a prize procrastinator regarding cutting my spring coat, fixing my men's shirt refashion and fixing my denim shell-top refashion (have decided to find 2 more pairs of old jeans and turn it into a dress, then dye the whole lot) - it wasn't the case for TLM's Dora skirt.

When she accompanied me to Spotlight a couple of weeks back, I promised to get her some Dora fabric. Then I left it lying around with very little intention of actually sewing with it in the near future. But TLM was having a very at-sixes-and-sevens post-birthday-party sort of day and insisted that I make her a skirt RIGHT NOW, please???

So I measured her up, thought about how to do it, and half an hour later she is wearing her brand new Dora skirt. Thank goodness she is not as fashion-aware as she is fussy.

In case you're wondering (which of course you are), all I did was fold the fabric in half across, sew a seam up the side, put a casing in the top for an elastic band, and hem it up. Only a four year old cutie could look pretty in it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thankful for accidental protection

Last night the boy wanted to get some takeaways for dinner, so we had some lamb rogan josh delivered. But I'd had a couple of cream-filled brandy snaps (the boy does like to spoil me with yummy junk food), so I wasn't that hungry.

So I did the sensible thing, which was to eat half of my lamb rogan josh and pack the rest away for my lunch tomorrow. (Never mind that, an hour later, I was hungry again and munching on toast and leftover roti).

I put it in one of those sealable plastic boxes that takeaways come in, inside a supermarket bag for extra protection - so it wouldn't stain the inside of my nice work bag.

Only, when I took it out at lunchtime, I was horrified to discover that the oily brown sauce had leaked through the plastic bag. Oh no! I gingerly ran my hand over the lining of my bag, anticipating the slosh of grease on my fingers. But I didn't feel anything. So I shrugged, thanked the gods for small miracles and went to put my lunch in the microwave oven.

It wasn't until the end of the day, when I was reached into my bag for my spare packet of lozenges, that I noticed the discoloration on one side of the green Fisherman's Friend packet. It was slightly oily and golden brown colour.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Donut cake

Tomorrow is TLM's birthday and, as is customary, we are (or rather, the boy is) bringing a cake in to daycare so she can celebrate with her daycare buddies.

This time last year, I baked a big chocolate cake, covered it in a rich chocolatey butter icing and topped it all off with loads of coloured M and M's.

This year it's the boy's turn to produce a cake. And he is bringing a mass of mini-donuts, all iced and covered in sprinkles, and sort of rounded up into a vague cake hill on a plate. Apparently it was TLM's idea.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Progress on my spring coat

Over the course of a week, I have managed to wash and dry my fabrics, and cut out the lining pieces. And I've only achieved this by breaking the tasks into manageable bits that could be done in 30 minute chunks of time.

But I have been putting off cutting out the actual coat pieces, and this is because I did something kinda dumb - I bought fabric with a plaid-like weave, which means all the bits have to match up.
(It's over on the right - an Italian cotton black and white houndstoothy thing with subtle pink lines running through in a criss-cross fashion). I did consider putting the fabric aside for another project and buy something easier to work with, but I don't want to have to go out and spend more money and - hey - it was on sale for only about 6 bucks per metre. So I will persist.

Earliness is all relative

A friend and I are are organising a weekend playdate (for our respective kids, that is) via email.

"Is 9am good for you?" she asks.

Gawd, I think, that's a bit blimmin' early. So I suggest 10am instead.

And then I remember that it was not that long ago when TLM and I would be knocking around at 8am, looking for somewhere to go.

It's nice to know that we don't entirely lose the ability to sleep in, after having kids.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Soon to be 4

By this time last year I would have already booked a venue for TLM's birthday party, emailed invites to all her friends, decided on what food would be available, and possibly already have opened up the present that her Nanna sent from England.

But due to massive poorliness on my part, followed by yet more poorliness on the boy's part, nothing was organised - at all - until last night.

So, with only a week and a half's notice, we now know where and when the party will be. The boy has bought some invitations and party hats. Now all I have to do is decide whether I can manage the rice bubble slices and chocolate cake without coughing all over them.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Party pooped

There has been a run of kids' birthday parties lately, including two just this weekend. And of course, I have left the present-buying till the last minute.

So yesterday, I spent the morning buying a present for one of TLM's friends, plus groceries. Then we had a one hour break before it was time to go to the party. And right after that it was time to visit the cousins for dinner.

As for today, I spent all morning walking my mum around the produce market and supermarket at a soul-deadening pace, followed by a rushed half hour looking for a present for today's birthday party (because I was stupid and didn't just buy two presents yesterday). There was a 20-minute break for lunch, and then we were off for the next party. After the party, I checked the time and realised (with much joy) that I would have enough time to scoot off to Spotlight to look for the coat sewing pattern I want so much. But then the boy texted and asked me to get some rolls and stuff for tea. So we didn't get home till 5pm, when I discovered that I was supposed to also buy fags and wine for the boy ( who suffers terribly from withdrawal if he doesn't get his hourly smoke).
Which meant I had to go to the supermarket again.

Shattered, I was.
But then I picked up the new sewing pattern for my coat (not the one I really wanted, but one which will do), got interested and found some energy again.
Still, an early night methinks.