For the past couple of years I’ve been involved in a local litter picking project. I say ‘involved’… I don’t actually pick up dog poop and rusty old beer cans I just take photos of the area and maintain a blog. There’s a very small team of dedicated volunteer ‘Wombles’ who do all of the proper hard work and it would appear that the local ‘In Bloom’ judging panel, have just given the group not one but TWO Royal Horticultural Society Neighbourhood Awards!
This has been extremely exciting news for all involved, culminating in an official ceremony and being given our prizes by the Deputy Mayor no less. We wore our Sunday best and schmoozed with the hoy paloy of gardening circles whist indulging in tea and home-made cakes – Hyacinth “Bouquet” would’ve loved it.
The project was never created in order to gain any form of personal recognition, but to try to make the local green spaces and woodland a nicer environment for local people to enjoy. While it was, indeed, a great honour to be publicly thanked for simply being ‘good neighbours’ the real satisfaction comes from knowing that you’ve made a positive difference to your community. Kinda makes you feel all warm and squishy inside…
Despite the fact I’ve never really been one for ‘joining in’, I really am loving the regular pub quiz nights, which have opened up a whole new world for me. Getting there early is a must in order to secure a decent table (the quiz meal is a vital component of the evening and eating a vegeburger and chips while standing at the bar is simply not an option). Once seated, fed and watered, we’re all ready for the off, so to speak.
I used to think I had a relatively wide knowledge base but since becoming a pub quiz team member I now realise that this requires a level of familiarity of bizarre facts that I’d never encountered before. What kind of person KNOWS how many pints of milk are on the Flintstones doorstep in the opening credits? Thank heavens one of my co-horts knew that Mr Tod was a fox in the Beatrix Potter stories cos I didn’t have a clue. You certainly get an ‘education’ during the course of the evening!
This week we came tantalisingly close to getting the 3rd prize (£18 no less) – just 2 points away from it in fact. Kicking myself for not being able to pick will.i.am out of a line-up during the ‘pictures’ round (ugh – why did I write down Tinie Tempah?) but now I’m 100% focussed on doing much better next time. Who knew I could be quite so competitive?! The new ‘me’ is quite scary, lol.
I’d maintained loose links with my local university ever since I graduated back in 2008, but now I’m happily single I’ve re-connected with campus and it’s given me some really positive new experiences. During 2014 I took part in numerous paid experiments for psychology students; as you might imagine, I’ve participated in some extremely bizarre and amusing tests! The extensive grounds are a haven for wildlife and it’s been a joy to wander around with my Nikon Coolpix snapping flora and fauna around the lakes and woodland and I even joined the gym!
Today was another first for me – I attended the Student Union Carnival to celebrate One World Week. Mother Nature treated us to near-perfect blue skies and glorious sunshine while the performers delighted onlookers with an array of dancing from around the world, juggling displays and a variety of multicultural food and drink stalls. Flags were flying all around the square and everyone was smiling and clapping along to the beats. It might not have been in quite the same league as Rio, but it was fabulous.
Life really is full of surprises, and it appears that middle-aged, peroxide blonde zombies are exactly what certain employers are looking for (ref: previous post) and I got offered the position within 24 hours of the interview! It hasn’t actually sunk in yet, but I’ll apparently be receiving my official paperwork in the post and a training day will happen in the next few weeks. As it’s casual work it’ll fit in perfectly with my current part-time job, so I really couldn’t have asked for more.
I have to admit that the jury was out regarding how 2015 was going to go, however, even though it’s only February this year really is shaping up rather nicely. New experiences, new friends and now a new job! Who knows what the future will hold but from where I’m currently standing it’s looking VERY exciting indeed!!!
New experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Some are funny, others are exciting and my latest adventure was… erm….surreal. I haven’t been interviewed for a new job in donkeys years, but the lure of some lucrative ‘casual’ work within a 30 minute walk from home was an opportunity not to be sniffed at. However, sods law dictated that I failed to get a single wink of sleep the night before and was therefore sporting my ‘well-past-its-sell-by-date‘ look at stupid o’clock in the morning. Not the ‘first impression’ I was hoping for but you simply have to play the cards you’re dealt.
On arrival I was shown to the interrogation room, where my brain cells decided to die and the best I could muster was a glazed expression. Trying desperately hard to focus, I completely blagged my way through a series of questions; none of which I can now recall; and I now have to wait to hear whether or not I’ll be offered a position.
Fingers crossed that they’re looking for a middle-aged, peroxide blonde zombie!
My only previous experience of a Quiz Night was during a holiday in Corfu, where the room was full of iphone cheaters which totally ruined it for me, so when I was invited to a local event I was a teeny bit cautious. However, after being reassured that no mobile devices were allowed and that the evening would also include some decent grub and an opportunity to make new friends I figured I’d give it a go, and I’m sooooo glad I did.
Several of the questions were deceptively hard and I have to admit to being about as much use to my team-mates as a chocolate teapot for the most part (nope, no idea who sung Je T’aime!), but it didn’t seem to matter and I genuinely had a great time. The food was delicious, drinks were large and the company was a real pleasure. I now can’t wait for the next one!!