May into June / by 3.1

Berlin happened and all was good. In fact, it was too hot. And that was my first week of leave, more or less.

At some point after a bout of food poisoning (or during, I can't quite remember, as I was in bed for about four days) in my second week of leave, I met up with a very lovely and very chipper photographer called Andy Donohoe, and he took some photos of me at Northfields (possibly looking rather ill) for an upcoming book. He was very chatty and quite excited, and though I hate having my photo taken by other people, he seemed to be able to talk me round and so I'm looking forward to seeing the other photos of the other ladies and gents that are involved in this upcoming book.

S and I are back in the Lake District in a few weeks for a long weekend. I think. Renting out a cottage somewhere and going as a rather large group with some of his folks. It'll be the second time The New Car will have gone up there. Excitement, as there are so many nice places to see up there from the safety of the car, as well as nice walks to conquer. (But it wasn't us that got caught speeding on the A11, though it was the exact same model of car.)

In work work news; I followed my manager's advice (instruction) and applied for a new job/promotion because he wants some "new blood". Also applied for The Other Job at work, and The Other Job (but outside of work), but I digress...

The promotion meant I had to go up to an office above Oxford Circus for a week to get one NVQ (of many) under my belt. I hate going anywhere near Oxford Street. They do have some nice flags up again though, so if you're looking for touristy/Londony/Englishy photos, then the flags they've put up will make a nice backdrop for you if you want them:

Annoyingly (for us in the classroom), there was a man busking outside the station for two days, playing the bagpipes and the Star Wars theme over and over. Two days. It drove the six of us mad, but thankfully he was replaced with a shouty preacher lady who wasn't allowed to use a megaphone. Small mercies.

I normally hate being stuck in a classroom as I feel like one day I am going to succumb to Death by PowerPoint. I have these vivid daydreams sometimes (that normally kick in around Slide 20) of finding the people that developed PowerPoint and throwing things at them. Still, the plus side of the course was that we had toys to play with, and that helps a lot if you're a kinaesthetic learner like me:

The downside was that there was so much paperwork to fill out on most of the days. Filling out lesson plans and development plans for imaginary people so that we got the hang of filling out the paperwork that was required for our coursework portfolios. Lots of writing over a bazillion pages. Or at least it felt like a bazillion pages. And I think I was the only person that was able to keep inside the text boxes provided (finally – being able to write legibly in as small as 6pt has proved itself useful):

We essentially did the paperwork and training equivalent to an A-Level, but it was condensed into a 4 days, with an on-site practical on the morning of the 5th day that lasted about 2 hours. It involved being with a "trainee" and delivering a course for an hour or so, with a man from a training centre company following me around with a clipboard. I can't say that I enjoyed it all that much, but I passed, so my manager is happy, and so is everyone else.

In non-work work news; I'm still waiting for some newspapers to cough up what they owe me for some photographs they used. I find it hard to believe that the industry standard for payments is 3 months, but ho hum. And this is why I don't work in the creative industry full-time.

In completely unrelated news; for those of you that have been living under a rock for the last few months, the EU Referendum (of Mass Hysteria) is currently happening. My ballot paper landed on the doormat yesterday and is now back in the postal system and hopefully going to wind up in the right place (if the voting isn't going to be rigged):

I won't bother talking about either side or who I voted for, because that would be stupid. I don't care how you vote either, so long as you vote. Because people who choose not to vote have no right to whinge and complain. And for those wondering why I've opted for the postal vote: I've done the postal vote since being able to vote, and because I don't like the idea of being mobbed outside a Polling Station. I also don't trust myself with being arsed to walk or go down to a Polling Station within a certain time on a certain day, and the postal vote just works with shift work and all the rest of it because I don't have to worry about oversleeping or being stuck at work and thus missing the boat on the vote. The only downside that I've discovered with voting by post is the fact that I still have to put up with the hype in the news and on the street for a little while longer until the rest of the country gets to vote (as I discovered in Bath yesterday, when we were walking in the city centre and were approached with leaflets by the Remain camp).

Oh – yes. We went to Bath, but I can't say there was much to see/do besides eat lots of ice cream. Shame about the seagulls that are everywhere. The architecture was nice though. As were some other things.