Sunday, November 28, 2010

But that's life. One minute you're on top of the world, the next some secretary's running you over with a lawnmower.

I hope you've all been having a lovely, relaxing weekend, despite the snow. I've been really enjoying the cold weather, which I know sounds bizarre. Right now I'm curled up on the sofa with blankets and a hot water bottle. Nic is doing the washing up, there's a cake in the oven and we're going to have a big, warming stew for dinner. I feel warm and cosy and happy and loved.
Nic and I have had a quiet day. Unlike yesterday morning, we were able to sleep in. I love waking up on a weekend morning and being able to laze in bed and read while Nic sleeps, which is what I did this morning. I've been reading Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain, after having enjoyed the film so much a few weeks ago when we watched it with Nic's parents. The book is quite different to the film, but equally enjoyable and I've raced through it. I'm trying to decide now whether to read another Cain novel (I'm thinking of Double Indemnity, possibly) or move onto something else, perhaps another attempt to get into Wolf Hall. Anyway, after a delicious breakfast of porridge and banana Nic and I got dressed and headed into town. Most of yesterday's snow has melted away, and there's the odd bit of ice on the pavements but mostly it's clear and dry so I decided to forgo sturdy footwear and go for heels:
Fever Dordogne dress and Firetrap heels
I love this dress, and have done ever since I bought it a few years ago. It's definitely starting to show signs of wear now, it's a bit faded and there's some fraying at the cuffs, but it's warm and cosy and it has sleeves! I'm wearing it with some extremely cheap tights, I think I bought them in QS for £1 but they are miles better than the £7 opaque tights I bought in Boots last week, which went baggy almost immediately and the elastic bit in the gusset frayed and, well, that's not really somewhere that you want something chafe-y, is it? Another thing I like about this dress is the cute little buttons down the front:

Obviously I couldn't just dander about in a dress alone, so I put on a coat, a scarf and a hat:

Fever Paddington coat, my £5 trilby from M Butterfly and a really warm black cashmere scarf
Nic and I had a browse around the market on the parade before walking along the river to the tip shop. Our visit there was cut short by the fact that I needed to pee (the cold, and the large coffee I had in town) and also because they're renovating the tip shop so most of the stock was elsewhere. So neither of us bought anything, which is unusual for us. And that's really been it for my Sunday, and I have no further plans than to snuggle on the sofa and maybe watch a film. It's so nice to be lazy and indolent, especially as we seem to have a lot of socialising lined up between now and Christmas.
Yesterday I said I'd write a little bit about my week, and that's because I had a really good week. It's the first time for ages that I felt like I was actually getting stuff done properly at work. That might sound a bit silly, but over the past number of months it's been so hard feeling like there's no point to my job, and that I'm no good at it; it really knocked my confidence. This week I took part in two workshops and had the opportunity to work with some really wonderful people, some English subject experts and some mathematics subject experts. I'd never met the English folk before and they were a hoot, but I've worked with the mathematics people a fair few times before and it was a joy and a pleasure to see them again. So, in short, it's really good to be feeling more positive about work.
Things haven't really moved on regarding my huffy colleague. After more asshattery last week on her part, I got quite fed up and decided to talk to someone about it. A colleague I regard as a friend is one of the union reps, so I chatted to her and asked for her advice as a friend and as a union rep. Well, to be honest, it wasn't really advice that I was looking for, more just an understanding ear and she was wonderful. She told me that if I wanted to take it further, to HR or whatever, that the union would support me, and that I shouldn't have to endure it. She also said that there was no connection between Angry Colleague's attitude and the fact that I had been ill - Angry Colleague might see one, and the two things are related, but I didn't cause it by being ill. So that was nice to hear too. She suggested talking to Angry Colleague in a non-confrontational way and suggested some ways to approach this. It was really helpful. I still don't think I can approach AC in that way - there is something just too intimidating about her, and I don't need that, but I did rethink the way that I have been handling this so far. Because it has been affecting me, and I have been avoiding her, and keeping my head down, and generally letting her make me feel ashamed. And it can't go on, and I can't let it stop me from feeling good about work. I also reasoned that really, because AC hasn't said anything to me I don't know for definite that she's being funny with me because I have been off (although sometimes you just know, I think) and perhaps the fact that I have been avoiding her has made things worse. I've made more of an effort this week to be friendly and I've stopped avoiding her. It's hard, because each time I speak to her she looks at me like I've just taken a dump in her handbag but it's progress for me, anyway. I'm building myself up to asking her if I've done something to offend her, and if I can fix it, and then if it continues after that I'll think more seriously about getting someone higher up involved. I'll be honest, I don't have a good feeling about it. I don't really want to have to face this, but I know that I have to figure out some way to deal with it. And, as this man says:

In life you have to do a lot of things you don't fucking want to do. Many times, that's what the fuck life is... one vile fucking task after another. But don't get aggravated... then the enemy has you by the short hairs.
My instincts are telling me that she's a bully, but they're also telling me that I have to try to find a way to deal with it tactfully by myself first, you know? You guys all gave me such wonderful support and advice when I wrote about this before, and of course I'd love to hear anything you think about it again.
Still, despite Angry Colleague's crappy attitude, it's been a great week. I got to hang out with some of my favourite people as well, which was excellent. On Tuesday evening Nic and I met up with Lysy, The Scientist and Lauren to go to a tasting evening held by Riverford Farm in a local bakery. It was very nice, if a little bit busy, and after some free samples of various foods we all went for a drink. On Wednesday evening Lauren and I went to see Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, which I thoroughly enjoyed and which reignited my crush on Jason Isaacs (smouldering away since Nic and I watched The State Within). On Thursday I met my lovely Louise for a chatty, giggly lunch and that evening Denise and I had a hot chocolate and a long chat in Bar Angeli. I've been feeling very festive, as well. It's probably the crisp weather and the fact that the Christmas lights are up in Leamington, and that Nic and I have the excitement of this to look forward to:

Yes, it's a Dalek Advent Calendar (or, 'countdown calendar' as it's called on the box, presumably to secularise it) How cool is this? I'm dying to find out if the chocolates inside it are Dalek shaped! Next weekend Nic and I will put up our Christmas tree, and I'll start my countdown to going home for the holidays. It's all very exciting!
Okay, that's all from me for this evening. I hope you all have an excellent week.
(p.s. I'm pretty well decided I'm probably going to buy that dress. Y'all are surprised, isn't that right?)