Cardiff Snow- Feb 09

Monday, February 9, 2009

Snow Snow Snow!!

Thanks to anyone who held thumbs for snow!! On Monday night as I walked to my St John meeting, it started to come down quite a bit and by the time I arrived, Phil, who takes the meetings, told me that we were going to be cutting it short as the snow was coming down heavier and he didnt want people to get stuck in it. We had a very short talk and then left. I got a lift into town and by the time I got to the bus stop, it was coming down even heavier. It carried on getting heavier and I went to Bart's place for dinner.

After dinner, I decided to go out in his little garden and have a play in the snow. There was a nice thick layer on the ground so I was able to make a snow angel and start building a snowman...althought I didnt get too far and ended up with just a big I decided to go inside as I was wet and cold.

The next day there was still thick snow all over the ground and on my way to work, it started coming down very heavy again. It was so beautiful!! This carried on for 4 days, on and off and they say we could be getting a bit more tomorrow, although I think it could just miss us here.

I am suffereing the consequences of having a good time in the snow now though, I have a nasty cold, but it was all worth it!!

Enjoy the pictures!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back to Work

Hello everyone,

Things are starting to settle down here, I have a job with a Call Centre company who work on behalf of Sky (Famous for their TV). I spent the whole of last week doing training and am starting tommorrow (Tuesday) on what's called the 'Grad Bay'. While we there, we will be taking live calls but with lots of coaches and help around us if we need it. The kinds of calls we would be taking are from existing customers only wanting to upgrade or add additional products, etc. So no phoning people trying to sell them stuff. We will be in Grad Bay for a week and then we will go to the floor and join the rest of the teams. Training was alot of fun, there were 15 of us in the group and it was a mixture of total newbies and those who have done call centre work before. It was alot to take in, having to learn the systems they use and of course, learn all about Sky products and services. The office is a bit out of the way in a big business park, but a free company bus runs from the city centre to the business park, so that makes it very easy for me as I catch a bus from my road straight to the city centre. It's my first time working in an office, so it is very different and takes getting used to. I will be working shifts over 7 days totalling 38-40 hours a week and am looking forward to seeing the kinds of shifts I'm going to get. This week I have two 10 and a half hour shifts, one 10 hour shift and two 4 hour shifts, with today (Monday) and Sunday off.

The other good news is that I also got offered a job at a leisure centre, I actually got the call from them the same day I found out when I would be starting at the call centre. This is a council run leisure centre in north cardiff, pretty close to the business park, except hard to get to as a short trip on the motorway seperates them...and no busses run there. This job is on a casual basis as a centre assistant, so I will only be working there when I have hours to spare and there are shifts available. Just waiting for some paperwork to come back from there and then I can do a bit of training with them and take a few shifts.

The other thing I've started is volunteering with St John Ambulance. I have been to 2 meetings so far and started a Medical Gas Administration Course in the previous meeting which will run for the next 5 weeks. I am also waiting for paperwork to come back with this, and once all is clear, I can put my name down to cover some events, like football and rugby matches as well as road races and concerts. I have all the qualifications behind me so this will be a great way to make sure all my first aid skills and knowledge dont go to waste. I'm really excited about it and hope that I can still do it along with the 2 jobs. The meetings are only once a week, every Monday from 7:30pm-9:30pm.

Other than all that, not much else has been going on. There has been heavy snow warnings all over the UK since the weekend, and in London, there was ALOT of snow. The weather forecast still says the storm is moving westerly, so we will still get it...I am hoping so anyway!! Its bitterly cold, 1 degree with a cold wintery wind and it's no fun if there isnt snow to accompany that. Earlier on, we had snow flurries. It was so pretty, little white flakes dancing all over the place. They reckon the rest of today and tonight going into tomorrow will be heavier, but I'm not getting my hopes up just yet. I'l believe it when I see it, it would be great if I woke up tomorrow with a nice layer of snow on the ground!!!

I need to go do some shopping so I better be off before it gets even colder and darker.

Keep all your fingers crossed for some snow :)


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

September, October, November and December


Yes, It's been almost 5 months since I last wrote anything on here!! I've always been meaning to, but then I never got around to actually doing it. So much has happened in the last few months and hopefully I can fill you all in about some of the things I have been up to. (Well the ones I can remember anyway).

One day In September I had 2 days after the weekend off from work, and I was in Cardiff with Bart, so he took 2 days off too and we went to Bristol for a day. This was the first time for both of us being there, so we were much like tourists. He even had a backpack with water and some munchies in it!! We took the train there and set off to find the SS Great Britain- the worlds first steam powered cruise liner- built by that Brunel guy. It was a nice walk along the river to the dry dock where the ship was and once we got there, we bought our tickets and had a full tour around the ship. It was really amazing to see the inside, you could walk freely around and go into all the rooms and see the cabins, etc. They were absolutely tiny and it's hard to imagine trying to sleep and be comfortable in them. We got given audio guides and you could choose between 3 different points of view while you explored- First Class, Lower Class and Architects. I did the 2 classes and it was amazing to hear the huge differences they had, in every single part of their journey. I cant remember the specifics, but it was quite shocking to hear. Anyway, after the long tour, we took a boat trip along the river into the city centre and had a look around there and found somewhere to get something to eat as we were both starving by that time. Later in the evening, we headed back on the train and got home and made mac and cheese for dinner!! Yummy!! We now have this often enough since we tried it for the first time, coz Bart really likes it, and of course, I LOVE it!

I dont remember anything exciting that happened in October, besides doing my Defibrillator Course. it was just a one day course and it was held at my centre. It was really short and pretty simple, but it was important that you made sure by the end of it, you were 100% sure you knew what you were doing. I passed that with no difficulty and became one of the few at work who are fully qualified. Other than that, work went on as normal and as usual nothing exciting happened at home...besides becoming more and more irritated with the housemates upstairs. It was around this time I made my final decision that I wanted to definately move out of London as my contract on my room was coming to an end in December, and I had decided it made sense to move to Cardiff.

Going into November, the SA couple who were living downstairs told me that they were moving out and back to SA so I was glad that I would be going soon too, because I would've gone crazy if I had to stay with the other 2. I had handed in my notice towards the very end of October and told everyone I was moving.
I had a few days leave still, so I took a day off to go out to a theme park called Thorpe Park with one of my old school friends, Michelle, before the park closed for the winter. We met in the morning, and caught the train there. It was a very dull day, but dry at least and all the way both of us were well excited to be going!! We got there and saw how dead it was, less than 60 people visiting the park I would guess, which meant absolutely no queueing for any of the rides, which was GREAT!! We started off with something small, because Michelle had never been on rides like that and then would progress onto the bigger ones. She skipped nearly all of them right away so I ended up going on them by myself while she took pictures. We got to the main rollercoaster and I begged her to come on, she had never been on a rollercoaster and it would've been such a shame to go all the way there and not go on her first one. She agreed and came along. It was a really fast, long and very loopy rollercoaster, the best I've been on!! She said she liked it, but wasn't going to go again, so I carried on exploring the park and going on all the rides I could, including 2 water rides where I was told I'd get a bit of a splash....only to find out their version of a bit of a splash is more like taking a shower. I was soaking wet and had to walk around with a wet jumper and very wet patches on my jeans for the rest of the afternoon. As the park was closing soon, I decided I had to go on the rollercoaster again, so I did, while Michelle carried on snapping away. This time, when I saw the photo that was taken while I was on the ride, I couldn't not buy it as it was too funny. I put it up in one of the slide shows.

The week before I was leaving work, we had our quaterly Open Day. This time it was just a Wig theme and there were plenty of different funky wigs lying around!! Being on the pool all day, we weren't really part of all the fun, until 2 of us got hold of disco type wigs and kept them on the pool for every time we went on break or other duties so we could wear them and be part of the fun. By the time my shift was finished, I hung around a little while and had photos with some of the other wigged was really fun! The photos will be up in a slide show, but just to let you know the names of some of the people so you know who is who, here's just a little list and description.

Ray- Operations Manager- boss of the Duty Managers and does all Health and Safety things
Karen-Admin Manager
Sam- Duty Manager
Dave- Duty Manager (You will hear lots about him coz we good friends and he also moved
to Cardiff after me, he is Welsh origionally)
Jarin- Lifeguard and my good friend- she is also South African.
Danny- Fitness (Gym) Manager
James- New Duty Manager

My days at work started getting less and less and my friends at work started getting really sad I was going, which of course made me sad I was going too. But I knew it was something I had to do, because I could do much better for myself in Cardiff. It seemed I had started off something at work though, because 7 other people had also given in their notice and were leaving a little bit after me. 2 Duty Managers, all 3 full time membership guys , 2 lifeguards and 1 gym guy. Was quite a sad time there with everyone leaving, but also exciting for the others because it's always fun when you get new staff. I had leaving drinks with my friends the night before I was moving, which ended up being the night after I worked my last shift as well. It was a really fun night and I got a little bit drunk, but made sure I sobered up a little by the time I had to leave to get the last train home. Check out the pics.

The next morning, at around 9am, Bart came to London to pick me and all my things up and we headed off for Cardiff. I had been franticly worrying the night before that my things wouldn't fit in his car, but he assured me they would..and they did! We got back to Cardiff later in the afternoon and chilled out for the day. I had found a flat on a previous weekend when I was in Cardiff and could only move in on the 11th of December so I had to stay with Bart for 3 weeks. It was really great and was such a nice thing to see him everyday compared to only seeing him every 2 weeks. While I was home during the day, I was looking and applying for jobs online, going shopping for food we needed, etc and decided I was gonna clean his house. I ended up cleaning his kitchen and bathroom and hoovered his whole place. His bathroom looked completly different, it was all shiney!!! He was even shocked when he got home!! At other times during those 3 weeks, I ironed some work shirts for him, did laundry and cooked or prepared dinner for when he got home....quite shocking to hear innit? Felt like a housewife just about!!

Anyway, the time came for me to move into my place, and it was very exciting. The place is great and I have soooo much space. I spent a few days organising things and unpacking but once it was done, I culd focus again on getting a job. By this time I had been to a few interviews but hadnt been successful yet. Nothing in my industry was coming up and I was applying for things I didn't really have experience in, and kinda just hoping someone would take a chance....but during this time, with so many people looking for jobs, you are up against lots for the same job. I got told very often at interviews that they had alot of applicants to interview!
As it was gettting closer to Christmas, it started getting much colder and I had to start wearing gloves, boots, my scarf and at least 2 jumpers or jackets while I was out and about. Bart was on leave from the week of Christmas until the 5th of January so we spend that whole time at his place just about. We went to the Winter Wonderland in the city centre and went Ice Skating. I had been begging since last year to go, and Bart had never skated before, so this time we finally went. It was quite funny to see him doing it, but he picked it up pretty fast and really enjoyed it. So much so, that he said he wanted to go again!! I was very glad to hear that, because skating has always been one of my favourite things to do.

On Christmas Eve, we spent the night at my place, opened pressies later in the evening and had a nice dinner. He bought me a DVD player, a DVD and a big cuddly shark toy I had spotted once and said how cute it was. I got him a DVD, a James Bond Book and a new Espresso Coffee pot thing( He loves his espresso!!) On Christmas Day we went back to his place where we started cooking the gammon we had bought. He hadn't ever had gammon and I had told him how much I loved it always at Christmas, so we waited in anticipation to see how it would turn out. And, when we finally got to eat it, it was DELICIOUS!! We had it with mashed potato which was very yummy as well. Between Christmas and New Year, we went skating again and just relaxed at home and did some shopping while the sales were on. For New year, we went to a fireworks show that was held at the castle. It was over really early, at like 7:40pm so we headed home because Bart wasn't feeling well. ( I forgot to mention, he had been sick with a nasty cold for 3 weeks before this) We just watched tv at home and then had some sparkling wine when it hit midnight and watched the fireworks in London. Not sure if anyone saw them on telly, but they were really awesome to watch, wish I had been there in the crowds!!

Whew, this has been alot to type and I'm sure some of you, if not all, must be tired of reading by now, so I will wrap it up. I'm still looking for a job, and continue to hope that something comes up soon. I'm really enjoying my flat and just wish I had more visitors because its so empty with just me in it. Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that I get to see you in 2009.

Will write again soon, enjoy the pictures and take care!!

Tired fingers signing out...

My flat, Christmas and New Year

Thorpe Park, Open Day, Drinks