Saturday 28 November 2009

Playing engineer

I've told you, haven't I, that I work for a firm of engineers? A couple of months ago, I finally did the health and safety course that would allow me to walk the building site at Site. I've walked the site a couple of times since then. It's interesting seeing where all the money has gone and identifying those components for which I actually remember the vendor invoices. (Not many - we've had almost 6000 invoices since we started.)

Last time, I went out with two of the cost engineers - one is an accountant by training, the other a quantity surveyor. We wandered around and pretended we knew what we were looking at, playing engineer.

- Pam

Monday 16 November 2009

Giving thanks where thanks is due

A big thank you to:
Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo (Hello Jason Isaacs!)
Lime & Violet
Never Not Knitting
for keeping me sane on my 230+mile drive to Site this evening. Your podcasting efforts are much appreciated. It was a very long and boring trip, which would have been much worse without you to keep me company. How long and boring? Well, suffice to say that I got through THREE episodes of Lime & Violet after I turned onto the M1 and they run to almost an hour and a half.

- Pam (who had to spend the morning at her regular office and didn't escape until 3pm)

Thursday 5 November 2009

Touching base

For the first time in what feels like weeks, I've got the house to myself. DH has gone up to Town* to meet up with a friend. I had been looking forward to my alone time immensely, but when it finally arrived, I didn't know what to do with myself. There is nothing to watch on the telly. I don't want to watch the downloads on the laptop without DH in case there is something he'd like to see. And it's taken me two hours to drag myself out of my inertia and start blogging.

So, what has been happening? Last week can be summarised as two concerts, an NFL match, two deaths and a funeral. It was a busy, draining and highly emotional week. I'll write about the football later - there are photos to post, when I can find the camera - and much fun to describe, but I did want to say "Amy, got your email; I'm glad the program I posted to you arrived so quickly".

The concerts were Spandau Ballet at the NEC in Birmingham, and Fleetwood Mac at Wembley Arena. Again, I'll talk about them later. It is difficult to create a coherent post that ties together, when I really want to talk about the other things that happened last week.

I got a text message on Monday morning: P's mum finally passed away on Sunday after a years of battling with osteoporosis and, more recently, "chronic" breast cancer. She was 89 and, I think, had lived a long happy life, although the last few years had been filled with pain and disability from the osteoporosis. Nancy broke her hip last December and never quite recovered. P nursed her at home for the last few months, providing round-the-clock care. She did her mum proud.

The other news on Monday had me in tears sitting at my desk at lunchtime. Thank God I face the window when I look at my computer screen. Andy, the husband of one my net-friends, Dianakalt, fitted and died in hospital on Sunday afternoon. (Some of you may remember Diana from the Motley Fool.) They'd only been married a couple years. He was 40 and had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour. No one had been expecting this; not yet. His diagnosis was recent - they were evaluating him for treatment - but he was well enough to be moved from a high-dependency unit to a physical rehabilitation unit to aid his recovery from the small stroke that led to his diagnosis.

How do you comfort a friend when your only medium of contact is words on a screen? What can you say? Losing a life partner is far more devastating than almost any other death - not only do you lose the person but all of your hopes, dreams and plans for the future as well. At least in real life, you can reach out and hug. And cry together.

I have something on my needles for Diana. It'll be finished soon. That is the best I can do - a gift, made with love, to hug her when I cannot.

At Nancy's funeral on Thursday, I said a quiet prayer for Andy. I don't think Nancy would have minded. And I hugged P and shared her grief.

- Pam

* Note the capital "T" on "Town"; a hangover from an earlier era which denotes London. All other towns in this country were once referred to with a small "t"; London was the Town. (Blame my mother.)