02 November 2015

October 2015

Well I have been in my new job for two weeks now, but the entire first week was an induction course so I've actually only had one week with my team. Induction was good though, it was tiring, like being back at uni, but we learnt a bit about the ministry and even went on a couple of field trips. Surprisingly, the best one was to parliament. We went for something called question time, and it is when all the MPs are in the great hall arguing with each other. The various ministers ask questions of the other ministers about policy and stuff they said, trying to find weak spots and get the better of each other. But they all interrupt each other and it just turns into a yelling match. It was really fun to watch.

My job itself is so far pretty slow. I am just slowly being given bits of work, so I am certainly not in over my head yet but I can see it will take a long time to really get to know the place and the people and my role. I should probably ask for more work but everybody seems so busy. Today I was invited to a meeting of the directorate events committee, which is like a mini-social club organising small events for our directorate. That's our team plus some other policy teams, basically all of us on the same floor. So it's a small group of the younger people on our floor. It was nice of them to drag me along and I like organising stuff so I'll probably remain a part of it.

The rest of the month has been busy finishing my old job, getting ready for my new job, and all the usual stuff. We did Halloween on a very small scale and we had a leaky pipe problem and had to get a plumber in. Mum came up to Wellington and we watched WOW, which was pretty cool but exhausting. And we bought expensive shoes and looked around a cool new steampunk shop. And we looked at more open homes and went mini-golfing :)

Now it's about to be my birthday and I'm not impressed about being older. Then Christmas, which I am looking forward to. I'll be in Invercargill for 6 days at the start of December, then maybe (only maybe) for a long weekend in January.

Now here is Cher:

01 October 2015

September 2015 and long awaited happenings

It is the first of October and I am not late in posting! I had good intentions to write a couple of days ago but they flew out the window at some point. Plus these days I don't have a computer, just a tablet with an awful touch-keyboard thing so typing is hard, I'll keep this short.

I finally got a real job! Not that my current job isn't real, but it isn't permanent so a couple of months ago I applied for the position of science adviser at the Ministry of Primary Industries. I had an interview at the end of August, before I came down to Invers. Then I found out that there would be a permanent place for me in my current team so I wasn't too worried, I had gone from being at risk of being unemployed and poor again, to have a definite permanent job waiting for me. And it had been about three weeks, maybe more since my interview. So I was actually really surprised when I got offered the job. I thought there would be more steps involved, more checks, maybe psychometric testing again. It took about a week to get the contract, read it and fill in the forms and take it back. And that's it, I start on the 19th of October. I'm meeting up with my new boss next week for coffee and a chat.

So this is a permanent job, a junior role in a policy team that will give me opportunities for further courses and training and to work on lots of different projects. I hope to do some writing and project management courses, and in the future just management in general. There will be opportunities to move up, and secondments to other teams, and all the benefits of a permanent government job. Might even go to the expense of getting health insurance and finally going to the dentist. Maybe I'll join the union. I don't know. I did put up my kiwisaver contribution though. Because while it's not a huge pay jump (I was already on good pay for someone from my experience), it's enough that I won't notice that extra percent or two being taken out.

In fact, they say you should blow your first pay check on nice new stuff, but I've been doing quite a bit of shopping lately so I don't think I'll be doing that. I've got new shoes, new dresses, a new trench coat and new fabric! There was a pop-up fabric sale so it was super cheap, nice wools for $5 a metre! I don't sew enough though so my collection just grows.

Anyway that's enough from me, I've still got to get ready for work tomorrow. Two more weeks at my current job, so much to do in that time!

02 September 2015

August 2015

I forgot to post again! I actually remembered on the weekend but then later forgot. But it's only the 2nd, it's not too late! The great thing about having a decent smartphone now is I can post from the bus! And what a bus ride it has been. I got on outside work only to find it was one of those horrible broken down old buses with serious issues. It was making a loud high pitched noise constantly, the drive tried turning the off and on a few times but it didn't help. Then the bus stopped and wouldn't go again so we were told to get off and wait at the next stop for the next bus. Then our bus started again and drove past us! So I reached the next bus stop with the rest of the stranded passengers and we all got back on. A few blocks later we stopped again, and had to get out again, and wait for another bus to come get us. And now we are finally on our way, and the later bus just drive past us. Should have just stayed at work longer today!

So that is the life of a commuter. I've been very busy this month, with work and life. My usually non-existent social life has reared its head and my weekends are getting quite busy, but at least I'll have plenty to write about for the next couple of posts. For this one though I think I'll just keep you all in the dark and see how a few things pan out before giving a complete life update. I think it's enough that I'm coming down south for a couple of days and bringing N with me. Should be fun despite the awful weather forecast! I have a dogsitter lined up and I got through a really crazy half week at work with my sanity intact, now I deserve a four-day weekend!

04 August 2015

July 2015

So, four days late. Did anyone notice? I have my excuses - work has been super busy, life outside of work has been busy, lots happened over the weekend, the weather sucks and I've been feeling ill. Time for bed nice and early soon, see if that helps (though it's unlikely to help with the bad weather). You know what's worse than having to hang all the washing inside to dry? When you then go and spill juice on the nearly dry washing and have to go wash it all over again!

So what as been happening to keep me so busy you ask? Well it seems sort of hard to remember July right now, I'm pretty tired. Let's see, I'll work backwards from last week ... I have started job hunting again, but this time with the knowledge that when my contract ends there'll almost certainly be another one waiting for me. Yet I'll job hunt anyway, because maybe an opportunity to take a step up will come along. Plus Nathan started a new job and I can't have him catching up to me in the wage department - I do have a PhD after all. At work things have been busy because the meetings that I was hired to coordinate all happened in the first three weeks. So last week was nice and quiet but the three before that were hectic, with longer days than I usually work, long hours spent setting up meeting rooms, packing down meeting rooms, guarding the catering (and then helping eat it at least) and running around on all sorts of silly errands. I'm glad it's all over. Now I have to try and get all of our assessment panel members paid, but we're having issues with our financial processes so it's slow going. And when the decisions are made about what research is going to be funded, my job will be to help get the contracts all arranged. So that will be new for me, hopefully it will be interesting.

Outside of work I have been struggling to keep up with my tutoring, with the long days I have been working. We have been doing somewhat lazy lessons, making and colouring in our own periodic table. Now back to physics, but my being a biologist leaves me at a bit of a loss to answer all her questions. We did take a weekend trip to the observatory though, that was pretty cool. Got to look through the big telescope - I have to say, Saturn was not what I expected. I guess I expected to see something that looked a bit more like the pictures you can see on the internet, but then they are probably from fancy orbiting telescopes or something. Through your usual telescope Saturn looks like a tiny stamp or cutout, of a planet with a ring around it glowing white on a black background. So a bit underwhelming.

And despite a heavy workload this month I have actually had a bit of a social life. Nathan's new job means more nights home, even on the weekend, so I made him go ice skating with me at the temporary rink they put up on the waterfront in winter here. It was fun but a small rink and so crowded, even at 9 pm. Full of kids with those frames to push on the ice so they don't fall down - they definitely shouldn't offer those, how can anyone skate while trying to avoid a traffic jam of plastic frames supporting children? This rink also had an ice-slide alongside it, that you went down on inflatable rings. It didn't look very high but for me it was still scary and I screamed a bit on the way down. All five times. It was more fun than skating on a crowded rink.

Then to keep the skating theme going, I went rollerskating for a friend's birthday. She saw 'roller disco' and assumed it would be for adults (in Europe they refer to nightclubs as discos so I can understand her confusion). So there the four of us were, at an event definitely aimed at children. There is a roller rink in one of the suburbs that does lessons and fitness classes and stuff, and sometimes opens up on a Friday night for a 'disco', for just a gold coin donation. It turns out it's not just roller skates either, there were roller blades and kids on scooters, and even one small child on a little bike. Roller blades are clearly the most popular so there were none of those in our sizes, we had to choose roller skates. Which none of us had used before. It is sort of the same, but entirely different way of balancing, and turning and stopping. So in an hour of roller skating, I knocked two children over. Luckily neither cried, but the first had a scooter and I landed on it - the handle jabbed me right in the belly and it hurt! There's even a little bruise. After an hour we were definitely ready to leave, and the few other grown ups on the rink turned out to work there, and be the MCs and DJ, who started to get the kids to try and focus on playing games like freezing when the music stopped. It was difficult both because it is hard to stop, and most of the kids weren't much interested in the game. We definitely had to leave before another started.

So it's my bedtime now, I guess I'll have to regale you with stories about the dog another time. See you all soon I reckon.

30 June 2015

June 2015

Well let's see, what did June have to offer? Well to begin with it was really bloody cold and rainy. Which was definitely reflected by our power bill. It seems like ages ago that I went down to Invers but I guess it's really just over a couple of weeks ago. Things have just been busy enough to fill in about twice that much time. Mostly it's work that's keeping me busy. I applied for another job too, also at MBIE. Waiting to hear. My current job has been focussed on coordinating the science panel meetings, where they will assess all the proposals that have been submitted for research funding. Everything is very much under control thanks to my super-spreadsheet, and I'm sure the next few weeks will run smoothly and everything will go fine. I'm looking forward to meeting all of the people that I have been emailing over the last two months, and trying out all the delicious food I've ordered for them.

At work we had a couple of dramas to keep us busy last week. And that's aside from all the bad press we're getting about spending too much money on signs and screens and other building-related things. Plus there were a couple of meetings last week (pre-meeting meetings, where we discuss how we're going to run the meetings (and before that we had pre-pre-meeting meetings, that's government for you)), where I inadvertently became the messenger that got shot - repeatedly. I ran the meeting because I am one of the coordinators, so it is up to us to make sure all the managers understand how everything has been coordinated, so that all their meetings run in the exact same way. Only my colleague wasn't there to back me up because she was on damage-control for one of the dramas I mentioned, and our manager was needed in another meeting, and our overall manager doesn't really keep up with the day-to-day running of things, and dashed off to somewhere else halfway through. Now on the second day that would have been fine, because the managers were nice ones. But on the first day there were about 10 people, one of them that could aptly be described as a bit of a snarling dragon, and they were all questioning and demanding and saying 'but we always do it like...' which is all well and good, but thanks to high staff turnover there is no set processes and none of us coordinators have done this before. So the dragon-like manager is not one to be argued with, so I nodded and smiled and apologised and made notes and said 'I'll see what we can do'. Then I let my colleague know, and our manager, and left them to go back to her and say no, we aren't doing that. She also pretty much called my team admin staff, which we actually are not. We do much more than admin.

So you see how work leaves me pretty much completely worn out. I leave at 4 though, which is nice. It's still daylight when I get home so I can walk the dog down to the dogpark. After work I sometimes have more work to do, because I have to prepare my tutoring lessons. Which is hard without my laptop, using a tablet just isn't the same. But these last few weeks we've been doing chemistry and the periodic table, and making our own poster sized version, so that's been fun. It's school holidays next week too so I should try think of something fun for us to do. If I can arrange it we might go to the observatory, I've never been to one. That would be a very nerdy Saturday night! This weekend might also be a nerdy Saturday night, I don't think I can handle being in town at all with the huge amount of people that will be around because of the rugby, I might just stay home and be boring. But speaking of the rugby, you might have seen some of the people waiting in line all night here in Welly for tickets? Well have a look at this new clip and you'll see a familiar face (and wearing a hat I knitted no less, shame it wasn't blue and yellow though): http://bcove.me/icgh1y7s. I feel he still owes me one after I gave up my lesson prep time to drive him to town, then had to go all the way back again because he forgot his sleeping bag!

So did anything else happen in June? Well, the oven broke and I've been without for two whole weeks! It's been hard, especially with some pretty cold weather about a week or so ago (it's nice now though). What's worse is that I had been planning in doing a big roast dinner the weekend that it broke! Luckily I have a big stockpot so I braised my lamb shoulder instead and it turned out really well! It didn't warm the house up like the oven would have though. The new one arrives tomorrow. So that's probably all my news. Oh, and on the crochet front - my bus time has been taken up with Pride and Prejudice this last while but I will get bootie-making after that. I might not make it back to Invercargill again as soon as I hoped, I am at work when the grabaseat offers pop up so I always miss them. I'll be there eventually though. Here's a picture of Cher to finish with (she turned three in June):

01 June 2015

May 2015

So what has happened in May? Well the big thing is I started my new job. My title is Investment Coordinator and I am very busy. It's good though. It's also good to know I will have a good pay cheque coming in until October. And I know when I stop to thin about it that's only 4 months away but this work will put me a good position for finding a permanent role afterwards. Plus I will meet a lot of people in various science areas over the next few months so that should come in handy too.

In the meanwhile I am still an employee of the museum and today I had a shift there. It is so hard to find spare time nowadays so I only work at the museum on a public holiday, and only for 4 hours. But today was pretty dull, compared to my normal day at work, and it's not like a really need the money. For once I am actually being paid for the public holidays that I don't work so I don't need to be able to make that day up with a second job. So I might just let that one go. If I end up between jobs again I would rather temp again for awhile.

Work has been keeping me that busy that I don't really have much other news. A lot of my spare time goes into planning my lessons for my tutoring. We have been doing basic physics and now doing basic chemistry. We watch youtube videos and are making our own periodic table. The commute to and from work every day gives me time to crochet - I have been working and working and working on a baby present and it is finally nearly finished. I can't wait, hopefully it will be finished tomorrow and I can finally work on something else again, and read books too. I try to find time for sewing too but there's not usually any time left after finding time to walk the dog and eat and shower and stuff. I did make a new dress this weekend though.

I'm looking forward to coming down to Invers in two weeks. Hopefully it will be a nice relaxing weekend. And not full of shitty weather. It's been a bit rough here but it's still a lot warmer most the time than down south. And the floods didn't really hit central Wellington so we weren't bothered by all that. I did get to leave work early though.

And that's all for May really. I can't think of any funny Cher stories ... oh wait I do have a story. It's a car story, not a dog story. So the car wouldn't start one night, not at all, and it wouldn't start in the morning either. Problems with it in general at the moment - sometimes it revs up and down when it's stopped at the lights. Sometimes it stalls when it's stopped at the lights. And sometime it accelerates itself when in first gear. But all hope is not lost - the battery was probably the reason for the stalling so that should get better. The battery guy tested it before changing it and said he was amazed it had got us this far, it was way below the point where they normally recommend buying a new one. And all in all it cost less that $100 to get sorted. As for the other issues - CRC on the accelerator cable usually takes care of the accelerating problem and hopefully the revving issue turns out to be simple too. Maybe it will pass its next warrant after all! Because buying a new car is not really an ideal situation right now.

Right, now I really have to go and do my lesson for the week and make some dinner.

30 April 2015

April 2015

Today I remembered that it is blog posting time without it even being written down somewhere! Lately I don't generally remember stuff if I don't write it down, it's all this full time work, between that and walking the dog and finding time to eat, there's not much room left. I've started being extra organised in the evenings so that I can get to work by 8, because leaving at half 4 is much more convenient than 5 and getting stuck on a bus in traffic. So I have been working at the MBIE since March 17, so over a month. Next pay day is next week and I will finally be clear of my overdraft. And unlike last time, I will stay out of overdraft because I have been offered a fix-term contract until October. Then when October comes around, hopefully there will be more work to step into. And hopefully a slight pay-rise will come along with this new contract - I will be moving from an hourly rate to a salary, so we'll see how it works out.

I'm still working at the museum as well, I go in for a short shift about once a month. So far I have managed to go in for the stat holidays to make it even more worth my while. It's nice to see friends and catch up with what's going on there, but at the same time it's rough to work a six day week. So on top of that, I'm also tutoring once a week, I'm not sure if I've mentioned that. I arranged it last year and started this year after school started. I'm tutoring a 13 year old girl who lives just up the road, she's not in high school yet but is super into physics, so we are going through the IGCSE curriculum for physics and chemistry. That's sort of like NCEA level 1, it's what they do in high-school in the UK. So it's a bit of prep work, probably an hour or two a week, but the lesson itself is fun, it's nice to hang out with a kid again. She's very smart, a little hyperactive, and we end each lesson with fun science-y youtube videos.

So life has been very busy, I don't have much time for hobbies. Getting the dog walked is mostly OK even though the days are getting shorter, except when it rains torrentially. I bought some waterproof pants but it's new hiking boots that will cost an arm and a leg. She's a pretty happy dog though, even if we get saturated. At the moment she's' completely spoiled because she has me home at night and Nathan home most of the day. But she was very confused last night, because after a bedroom re-arrange her chair wouldn't fit in anywhere, so we have taken it away. She still has a bed, but she kept getting up and going to the corner where her chair used to be, and looking confused and sad! She's spoilt anyway, she shouldn't even be allowed to sleep in the bedroom, she was only doing that because I had crappy crazy random people living here - now it's a nice normal household so I need to try transition her back to sleeping in the lounge.

It's getting late and I really need an early night, so it's time to go make some lunch for tomorrow. Funny Cher story for the day - funniest thing she has done lately was, one morning after I went to work Nathan let her into the bedroom, where she proceeded to jump straight onto the bed and puked on his chest! I wish I had been there to see it.

So that's that, time to go be productive and then get to bed!

31 March 2015

March 2015

I can't believe it is the end of March already. So much for having a great permanent job offer within a couple of months! But it's not all bad, I'm back at the Ministry of Education doing the same job as last year, which I enjoy so it's a good place to be for awhile. I would like to stay there if I could. Right now I am showing my worth by being the unofficial acting coordinator of my team and the process, because our actual coordinator has had to go away and be with her sick mother. Which is awful but a good chance for me to show that I'm up to a bit more responsibility. As for other jobs, I am still applying for permanent jobs. And remember that job at Statistics New Zealand that was a big deal a month or so ago? Well, a month after my interview, I finally got word from them. I didn't get the job but they wanted to keep me in the loop for the next round of recruitment, which was happening right then. So I was going to apply for that role anyway, but instead I was asked to just go straight to the psychometric testing stage and that they wanted me to come back for another chat and check my references. So that was really good news and when I finally got feedback it turns out the testing went really well. But I say finally because once again they were really rubbish at staying in touch and keeping me in the loop. Two weeks after I had done the testing I finally got fed up and starting trying to get hold of the person that had called me last time. When I finally got through to him he chased up the issue for me - because it was a different group of people in charge of the second round of recruitment. And no, after all of that they were going to stick with the group they had interviewed and not invite me for a second one. So all that stress for nothing. But the thing is, if I had sent in my application despite already being invited to do testing and stuff, would I have got an interview?

Anyway, that's it for now on the job front. They will be recruiting again soon and I will apply but truth is, I wasn't impressed with their communication so don't really want to. I will because I have to. At least I know I have full time work until July, and going back to the same job is actually a good thing, because it shows they wanted me back.

So this month's post is mostly negative and complainy I'm afraid. The next thing to go on about is my car. It's been playing up for awhile, but this week it has taken it to a new level. It dying a slow painful death would be bad enough, but what's worse is that it's quite intermittent. I never know what to expect. Sometimes it's fine. But when you turn it on it revs quite highly at first. Then other times it revs really low. Then sometimes, every time you slow down the engine just dies, as if you have stalled. What's worse is sometimes when it dies, the steering wheel freezes up, which is really not ideal when you're in the middle of the city, halfway through trying to turn onto the busy one-way system. Then just when you're really frustrated and feel like you're flogging a dead horse, it starts to behave itself again! On the Saturday just been it got really bad, then an hour later we went for another drive and it was mostly fine and it's been OK since then. But that's not all! Sometimes it has the opposite problem, and instead of low revs leading to it dying, the high revs increase to the point where it's practically driving itself! The first time it happened I was pretty freaked but Dad told me how to find the accelerator cable and spray it with CRC to stop it sticking. So second time it happened I did that again, but I don't know how long that fix will last. So I guess my first few pay checks will be going into buying a new car, because at this point there's not much point trying to fix the old one. Time for a fresh start.

To top it all off, I had to put up with a sick dog for a week. I'm not sure what started it, but then her food was exacerbating it, so now I have to get her a new bag of food, and it's not even on sale.

The only good point is that it's a short week this week. A bummer that I get paid less, but I'm looking forward to the weekend.

01 March 2015

February 2015

OK so my scheduled post is two days late but I think I can be forgiven that on account of it was the weekend so I didn't check my diary and also it was a short month so the end of it came around sooner than usual ... Anyway how about I just get on to filling you in about my month? I left you last time with high expectations that the big deal job interview I had would come to something. Well, that was a month ago now that I had that interview, I had to jump through so many hoops, with stressing out over a presentation, being prepared for an interview and then doing a written test. And you know what? I have never actually heard from them! How rude. And now the same organisation is advertising for more statistical analysts! In different groups this time I assume but you think they would contact all the previous applicants before re-advertising. So I will apply because it's still what I want to do but I'm not impressed with their HR department. I will call before starting the next application, get the final word on my last interview and ask for feedback.

Of course I have been applying for other jobs in the meantime, and I nearly got an interview for another analyst role - I was longlisted but didn't make the shortlist. My temp work at the Ministry of Education has finally run out and this week I am just taking it easy and working at the museum, to give my eyes a break from all that computer work. Then in two weeks time I'm starting full time work at the Ministry of Business, same job I did this time last year. So it's secure and pays decently, I can probably stay there till July again like last year. Yet it's a casual contract so I can keep looking for permanent work while I'm there. Hopefully something will happen and there will be no gap between jobs. There is actually a permanent role going there too, one I applied for last year, but my friend there got instead. She has moved on to a different position so that role is open again, but after seeing how overworked she was there is no way I'm applying for that!

With work stuff going a little way forward at least, I can pay my bills without worrying anymore, and I am nearly out of overdraft. I would have been out already but I had to buy some flights ... It is so expensive to fly to Invercargill, even if you are booking three months in advance! So $240 later, I have flights booked down for Friday June 12th to early morning the following Monday. I'm sure it will be OK to take a day off work. Just as I was writing that I suddenly panicked and thought I had booked the wrong weekend! But I didn't, so it's all good. Now I have three months to get to work on the project that I have in mind.

So thinking back over the past month I have just remembered one funny story to tell, then I should probably go get my day started. So we were driving to the outlet store that is just out of town, and we got stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. It was gridlocked and crawling along like a snail on account of an accident ahead, which required three lanes to merge into one lane. We crept along and crept along, and finally came to the big truck that was directing traffic to merge and the police cars on either side of the accident site. As we came closer we could see something on the road between the police cars but it sure didn't look like bits of a smashed up vehicle. It looked liquidy and brown, and as we got closer, we saw that yes this patch of road was indeed liquidy, and brown, and also full of fish ... So my guess is somehow a car accident caused a truck to lose some of it's nasty load of fish, and they cleared away anything else but now three lanes of traffic were forced to merge into one because it was too hard to wash away some fish goop? Seems a bit ridiculous. And my car speakers were all screwed up (they're not now, Daniel got sick of it and replaced them!) so we didn't even have good tunes to listen to while stuck in the traffic jam! We finally got past it and continued on our way, and the first then I had to do when we arrived was find the loo. While I was in the bathroom I could hear a child screaming and throwing a huge patty, and when I came out of the cubicle I found a crowd of ladies around a closed door, trying to encourage the child to try again. What did she have to try? Opening the door of course, the girl and locked it and couldn't open it. So I went into the next cubicle, climbed up on the toilet, clambered over the partition and rescued the poor thing. And the lock wasn't stuck at all, she had just panicked and wasn't turning it right. I hope I didn't break anything during my climb, neither the toilets or the partition seemed very strong. And so after a long journey I then saved the day for a distraught little girl, and proceeded to go shopping and treat myself to discounted outlet things that maybe I don't need but I wanted anyway.

And here is Cher:

31 January 2015

January 2015

Well January is over, who would have thought it would happen so quickly? I have been very busy but among my resolutions and decisions for the year is of course staying in touch with people, which includes keeping up the blog. So new plan: monthly posts. Solve my struggle to think of a post title, sets a schedule that I can put in my diary and be forced to stick to, and lets you (yes you know I am pretty much talking just to you) know when to bother checking for a new post - 1st of every month. I also want to try get my food blog back up and running just for me and my own use, but that's a story for another day.

So, what has been happening? Well, Christmas was just the usual, nice and quiet, pretty much the same for the New Year. I didn't work at the museum for the holiday days, I wanted a break. But with it being cruise ship season I have been working very steadily since then - in fact, it's almost been too much, I'm not used to working full time! Plus I am temping for a recruitment agency so I have also had a decent amount of well-paid office work over the last month. It is hard to fit in job-hunting with full time work though! I have been applying for relevant jobs still, they are starting to really pop up again. It is sometimes disheartening to apply for a job that I know I applied for last year - maybe twice or more for some! But I finally have a really good interview coming up! This one is another big deal one, like the one I had near the end of last year which included psychometric testing. This one is for Statistics NZ and I have to begin by giving a presentation! Then a full competency-based interview, then a written test. The presentation made me want to look completely professional and I figure, all guys have at least one suit for interviews and such, right? So I bought a suit! I went to Jacqui-E, where they are having a promotion, I bought a nice tailored black jacket and got two free skirts to go with it, one that is part of the matching set (and so, so nice) and the other a plain black pencil skirt. So I'm all set for professional life and dressing to impress! Wish me luck!

In other news ... is there other news? Wait, yes there is. My car got fixed and passed it's warrant of fitness! But it's not all good news. The clutch is on its last legs. But it only makes funny noises sometimes, not all the time, so I really hope it's got a few months left in it. If it lasts that long I should be able to manage to save enough for a new one, a better one in fact. With a good stereo, I miss music in the car! Plus I want it to last long enough for Nathan to get his licence - I am currently being a driving teacher, which is a bit of a worry! But if I'm going to have learner drivers in the car revving the engine and riding the clutch, would rather it all happen to this car then a nicer new one ...

We also have had crazy hot weather here in Wellington, it has been so hot and dry that I get all grumpy and restless, and we have to sleep with the windows open. It hasn't even been very windy! Unfortunately left the windows down in the car one night (have to leave them down all day or my car becomes an oven) and it smells funny now so I reckon a cat got in it. With the lack of rain I feel bad about watering my garden so I have been being super ecological-minded and using the laundry water to do the garden! So all the grass might be brown but the garden is happy, I'll post a photo tomorrow, my late lilies are blooming and my earlier lilies seem to be having babies - one has tiny little bulb things growing out of its stem! I have loads of geraniums because when I walk past pretty ones I pick a bit off and put in my own garden! The self-root really well. I have garlic too and it's time to harvest it. I haven't had much time for the garden but it seems to be doing pretty well on its own. It even has a resident lizard. I never see it properly, but every time I walk past it scurries away into a bush, I see it out of the corner of my eye.

Now I need to go to sleep, I still have loads of prep to do, I want to be so prepared and I want my presentation to be the best thing since sliced bread. The house is a huge mess because Nathan just moved in (and Daniel is having to move out of his place on the 20th and will probably come here for at least a while, I don't know if this house can really fit 4 people!), shopping needs to be done, and a huge pile of laundry (what would you know but it's finally meant to rain tomorrow), and as usual the dog needs a couple of walks. But my top priority is this interview. I will be super busy for the next couple of weeks or so (did I mention that there is a 10-week temp contract on offer, so I will likely have full time work soon no matter what?) - but I will definitely let you know what happens and then write again properly in a month.