Well now, it's been a funny week and that's why there's been a bit of a break in transmission. It's Bank Holiday Monday now though, and my holiday is imminent, and I'm feeling pretty happy.
So, on Thursday we got the news that the NDPB I work for is being closed down. We got a letter from the Secretary of State confirming that in the autumn the coalition government will be introducing a bill into Parliament to abolish us. It didn't come as a great surprise because it's been talked about for some time, but it was a nasty shock all the same. I was grateful to be in work to get the news because we were all able to be there for one another, and then on Friday the manager of the group I work in gave us the morning to discuss it and ask questions. As it will take an act of parliament to abolish the organisation, my job isn't immediately threatened. In addition to this, I work on programmes that will have to continue so that's okay too. It isn't a great situation to be in but I'm much luckier than most. My friends and family have been amazing as well. Immediately that we got the news I called Nic, and then I spoke to my dad and to Sugar Plum, all of whom had wise words and lots of love for me. In fact, I have been really touched by all of the people who have shown concern and support, the majority of whom don't even work in the education sector and wouldn't be expected to know what my organisation does.
Anyway, that's the update there. I was determined not to let the coalition government ruin my weekend (and I felt even better after I further grafittied the picture of our PM I have stuck to the fridge) and so on Friday night I headed out to the pub. Alysa had organised a little get-together and she had even baked. It was brilliant, and I had a wonderful night. As always in the Somerville there ended up being a big group of us and it was excellent to be among such good friends. I wore the dress that I bought earlier in the week in the Myton Hospice shop on Warwick street:
I'm really pleased with this dress. It didn't have much hanger appeal, but I picked it up thinking that I could alter it or use the fabric for something else but I really like the way it looks. I nearly didn't get it because I tried to pay for it with an Ulster Bank £10 note. Two of the ladies working in the shop were happy to accept it (being that it's sterling and, you know, actual real money) but one jobsworth lady wouldn't let them. I'm used to that, and wouldn't have been annoyed except for that she took great pains to tell me that she would accept a Scottish note, just not the Northern Irish ones. They won't discriminate against the Scots, but they will against the Irish, apparently. Anyway, I got some real money out of the bank (as opposed to the Bank of Toytown crap we use in NI) and came back for the dress - which took the nice ladies by surprise, and they apologised to me lots. Still...grr!
The utterly miserable weather meant that Nic and I had a very quiet Saturday. He did a little bit of work. I got out the sewing pattern and fabric I had bought earlier in the week and marked and cut the pattern out and started on it. With the help of Sugar Plum and Martha I finished it off yesterday. It's far from perfect, and I think I'd like to take it in a little bit, but I am so pleased that I did this by myself:
The fact that it is also in red polka dot fabric is a coincidence, but obviously somewhere in my subconscious I think that Minnie Mouse is very stylish! I really enjoyed making the dress, and it was nice to have the time to sit down and make something. I went to a dressmaking evening class over a year ago that really knocked my confidence, and I learned more in a few hours of pottering away by myself than I did in 5 weeks of that stupid class. I have a pattern for a halterneck dress with a circle skirt that I think I'll try next, and I've even seen some fabric in a shop in Leamington to work with. It isn't something I'm going to do all the time because it is time consuming, but I'm looking forward to doing a bit more sewing in the near future. I won't bore you all with every sewing adventure (or misadventures) but it is an enjoyable thing to do all the same.
After I'd tidied up, Nic and I went down to the cinema to watch Sex and the City 2. I'll write a proper review later, but I thought it had very many good points. I had expected it to really suck, and while there were some really sucky moments, there were lots of good things too. After the movie, Nic and I went for dinner and then on to Wilde's to have a few glasses of wine and hear Kelly and Shanade playing. It was lovely - the gig was great, and Wilde's is a nice venue, it was extremely romantic. It was good practice for all the time I'm going to spend this week listening to music and drinking wine in basement bars!
Today I'll be spending some time with Sugar Plum and Martha, reading (Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant. A Martha recommendation, and one I'm really enjoying) and doing lots and lots of ironing, because we're heading off quite early tomorrow morning. I'll tell you all about it on our return!