mbernardi: (Default)
So over the Christmas holiday (which I spent at my parents/sister and family) I suffered a cold, causing me to cough all night. I did get better over time and now my coughing is not nearly as racking.

My Dad's eye sight is still poor, an I've been investigating option that will allow him to read his office (once a priest, always a priest even after retirement). I've been looking at Kindles / Android tablets with large print and read aloud options. Also text to speech on Windows 7 (but the free options seem very limited).

I've also re-started listening to Audible books, most recently "Bloodlist" by P N Elrod, read by Barrett Whitener. This is the first in the Jack Fleming series. I'll probably get the next one in the series as my January book.

One thing that is different in contracting, than in permanent employment is payment. I now get paid weekly, and have to get 3 different sets of time sheet numbers completed every week. One for the company where I'm actually working, one for the recruitment company (signed) and one for the payroll company (done on line). Then I have to have a master sheet for my own personal use, which includes all expenses and salary details.

We were working between Christmas and New Year (for 3 days) which was an unusual experience for me. The building was almost empty, and with nearly all the permanent staff off we got a lot done. I'd made some suggestions about documentation, and was very surprised to be shown some a while later that took my idea and ran with it, to produce something that would have been very good to have when we started! It was still very handy even so...

I've been wanting to see "Stomp" at the theatre for years, but haven't got around to it. I was therefore very happy to see that it was on Sky Arts during the Christmas/New Year period. I managed to watch it this time and was very impressed. They managed a live recording at the Dome in Brighton. Anyone interested in dance/acrobatics/movement and percussion should try to get to see this. And I expect a live performance would be event better.

My favourite ebook reader on my ipod has been for the last few years "Stanza" which is well supported by many ebook sellers. However a few years ago Amazon bought the company, and the software languished unsupported. Last November a final version was released, with a note that no further support was available. Unfortunately this copy was broken and only ran on iOS 5 devices. Since I have an iPod Touch 2G with iOS 4.2.1 it stopped working! I did manage to recover the previous version of Stanza on my device, but decided enough was enough, and moved to ShuBook, which while not quite as functional as Stanza is under current development. I have managed to archive all the ebooks I'd downloaded to Stanza (285 in total) and have just finished copying them back into ShuBook. Stanza is no longer on my iPod!

For New Year D cooked a chicken dinner with roast potatoes and sprouts. There was a chicken EACH so I've been eating the stuff all week.

Last Tuesday there was a storm across the UK and trees were blown down on the railway line, which meant that instead of taking 45min door to door, it took and hour and a half (which was my average journey time when I worked in London!) Luckily nothing was damaged near my house and if I hadn't watched the news I'd never have known.

With the New Year a new batch of people started doing the admin work we had been doing for 2 weeks, I got asked to do some mentoring, which seemed to go well. I'm also part of the pilot group which will start on the second half of the job, inputting data from the on site examining engineers.

I've been looking at the other software that was on the original requirements list (Office skills being number one) Visio was mentioned and I've do a little with it but not much. The other was SmartDraw a simple CAD package. I was able to download a demo and it looks very easy to use. It has the same layout as Office 2007/2010 and a wide selection of pre-developed objects. I would expect that Amey has added their own widgets, so I'll have to try it out next week.

Today I went shopping and got a coat (on sale at £11) and pyjamas (on sale at £1.50!) then to the library and got 3 books (including the latest book club one), and finally to the hairdresser to get a hair cut. Then home and a chance to update my blog!
mbernardi: (Default)
So over the Christmas holiday (which I spent at my parents/sister and family) I suffered a cold, causing me to cough all night. I did get better over time and now my coughing is not nearly as racking.

My Dad's eye sight is still poor, an I've been investigating option that will allow him to read his office (once a priest, always a priest even after retirement). I've been looking at Kindles / Android tablets with large print and read aloud options. Also text to speech on Windows 7 (but the free options seem very limited).

I've also re-started listening to Audible books, most recently "Bloodlist" by P N Elrod, read by Barrett Whitener. This is the first in the Jack Fleming series. I'll probably get the next one in the series as my January book.

One thing that is different in contracting, than in permanent employment is payment. I now get paid weekly, and have to get 3 different sets of time sheet numbers completed every week. One for the company where I'm actually working, one for the recruitment company (signed) and one for the payroll company (done on line). Then I have to have a master sheet for my own personal use, which includes all expenses and salary details.

We were working between Christmas and New Year (for 3 days) which was an unusual experience for me. The building was almost empty, and with nearly all the permanent staff off we got a lot done. I'd made some suggestions about documentation, and was very surprised to be shown some a while later that took my idea and ran with it, to produce something that would have been very good to have when we started! It was still very handy even so...

I've been wanting to see "Stomp" at the theatre for years, but haven't got around to it. I was therefore very happy to see that it was on Sky Arts during the Christmas/New Year period. I managed to watch it this time and was very impressed. They managed a live recording at the Dome in Brighton. Anyone interested in dance/acrobatics/movement and percussion should try to get to see this. And I expect a live performance would be event better.

My favourite ebook reader on my ipod has been for the last few years "Stanza" which is well supported by many ebook sellers. However a few years ago Amazon bought the company, and the software languished unsupported. Last November a final version was released, with a note that no further support was available. Unfortunately this copy was broken and only ran on iOS 5 devices. Since I have an iPod Touch 2G with iOS 4.2.1 it stopped working! I did manage to recover the previous version of Stanza on my device, but decided enough was enough, and moved to ShuBook, which while not quite as functional as Stanza is under current development. I have managed to archive all the ebooks I'd downloaded to Stanza (285 in total) and have just finished copying them back into ShuBook. Stanza is no longer on my iPod!

For New Year D cooked a chicken dinner with roast potatoes and sprouts. There was a chicken EACH so I've been eating the stuff all week.

Last Tuesday there was a storm across the UK and trees were blown down on the railway line, which meant that instead of taking 45min door to door, it took and hour and a half (which was my average journey time when I worked in London!) Luckily nothing was damaged near my house and if I hadn't watched the news I'd never have known.

With the New Year a new batch of people started doing the admin work we had been doing for 2 weeks, I got asked to do some mentoring, which seemed to go well. I'm also part of the pilot group which will start on the second half of the job, inputting data from the on site examining engineers.

I've been looking at the other software that was on the original requirements list (Office skills being number one) Visio was mentioned and I've do a little with it but not much. The other was SmartDraw a simple CAD package. I was able to download a demo and it looks very easy to use. It has the same layout as Office 2007/2010 and a wide selection of pre-developed objects. I would expect that Amey has added their own widgets, so I'll have to try it out next week.

Today I went shopping and got a coat (on sale at £11) and pyjamas (on sale at £1.50!) then to the library and got 3 books (including the latest book club one), and finally to the hairdresser to get a hair cut. Then home and a chance to update my blog!
mbernardi: (Default)
So it's Chrismas Day and I have been catching up on my blogging, the last eight months have been extracted from my diary so don't have a lot of character ;-)

My volunteering at Sussex Oakleaf had a change, as the work I was doing for the Finance team had been completed, and they didn't have any new stuff for me to do for the moment. So I got re-assigned to another project at The Yews, first helping re-format some teaching documentation, then helping create some graphs in Excel.

I've been watching a fair amount of TV including Haven, Warehouse 13, Alphas, Bones, Fringe, The Secret Circle, Frozen Planet, The Mentalist, Rissoli & Isles (started reading the books too), Lost Girl, not to mention Strictly Come Dancing and it's companion It Takes Two.

What now appears to be my last book club meeting discussed "The Tenderness of Wolves" by Stef Penney, once again I haven't finished it, but I still have it on loan so I may do so eventually.

I took my duvet and under-sheets to the nearby laundrette to get them washed, while there, there was a short power-cut, but the wash cycle continued on power resumption. I then put all the washing in the drier (which was the main reason for going. If washed at home it wouln't dry before evening).

In the first week of the month I got an email from Deekay Recruitment indicating that there might be a job available for me if I was still looking. I replied in the affirmative and then the next week was sent a contract to start on 19th December in Crawley. This without any interview, just on the basis of my CV. I wasn't even told what the actual job was!

Since I still wasn't sure what the job was I signed on for the last time, and was told my next sign on day was 10 January 2012 due to the Christmas holidays. So I have to notify them before then.

I had a morning of admin at Sussex Oakleaf and was able to to provide some final assistance, but then had to say I wouldn't be back, at least for a while as I'd got a job! Thought they were sad to loose my expertise, they were happy that I was soon to be employed.

I also notified CDG as I had an appointment at their new office (they had moved in early December).

Last weekend I went to see Puss in Boots in 3D followed by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows at my local cinema, both fun in their own way.

So on Monday morning I got a weekly season ticket to Gatwick Airport and then walked in the cold morning to the Amey office where I discovered that there were 15 other people starting on the same job at the same time. It was a new project relating to the administration of railway inspection! But we didn't actually find out what the job entailed until Monday lunchtime.

The first two days were mostly training then we started report writing. By the end of the week I'd just managed to complete 25 reports! On Thursday I started to suffer from a cold/flu despite my flu shot.

We were let out early at 3:30pm and I then took the bus to Crawley, where the traffic was jammed, and it started to rain heavily with strong winds. My umbrella blew apart! Then train to get picked up by my sister then on to her home!

This is the first time I've had a short term contract and/or worked through an agency. I wonder how I'll cope!
mbernardi: (Default)
So it's Chrismas Day and I have been catching up on my blogging, the last eight months have been extracted from my diary so don't have a lot of character ;-)

My volunteering at Sussex Oakleaf had a change, as the work I was doing for the Finance team had been completed, and they didn't have any new stuff for me to do for the moment. So I got re-assigned to another project at The Yews, first helping re-format some teaching documentation, then helping create some graphs in Excel.

I've been watching a fair amount of TV including Haven, Warehouse 13, Alphas, Bones, Fringe, The Secret Circle, Frozen Planet, The Mentalist, Rissoli & Isles (started reading the books too), Lost Girl, not to mention Strictly Come Dancing and it's companion It Takes Two.

What now appears to be my last book club meeting discussed "The Tenderness of Wolves" by Stef Penney, once again I haven't finished it, but I still have it on loan so I may do so eventually.

I took my duvet and under-sheets to the nearby laundrette to get them washed, while there, there was a short power-cut, but the wash cycle continued on power resumption. I then put all the washing in the drier (which was the main reason for going. If washed at home it wouln't dry before evening).

In the first week of the month I got an email from Deekay Recruitment indicating that there might be a job available for me if I was still looking. I replied in the affirmative and then the next week was sent a contract to start on 19th December in Crawley. This without any interview, just on the basis of my CV. I wasn't even told what the actual job was!

Since I still wasn't sure what the job was I signed on for the last time, and was told my next sign on day was 10 January 2012 due to the Christmas holidays. So I have to notify them before then.

I had a morning of admin at Sussex Oakleaf and was able to to provide some final assistance, but then had to say I wouldn't be back, at least for a while as I'd got a job! Thought they were sad to loose my expertise, they were happy that I was soon to be employed.

I also notified CDG as I had an appointment at their new office (they had moved in early December).

Last weekend I went to see Puss in Boots in 3D followed by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows at my local cinema, both fun in their own way.

So on Monday morning I got a weekly season ticket to Gatwick Airport and then walked in the cold morning to the Amey office where I discovered that there were 15 other people starting on the same job at the same time. It was a new project relating to the administration of railway inspection! But we didn't actually find out what the job entailed until Monday lunchtime.

The first two days were mostly training then we started report writing. By the end of the week I'd just managed to complete 25 reports! On Thursday I started to suffer from a cold/flu despite my flu shot.

We were let out early at 3:30pm and I then took the bus to Crawley, where the traffic was jammed, and it started to rain heavily with strong winds. My umbrella blew apart! Then train to get picked up by my sister then on to her home!

This is the first time I've had a short term contract and/or worked through an agency. I wonder how I'll cope!

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