rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
It's the kind of work week where I take a break from fixing something terribly urgent in order to fix something else terribly urgent. (And yes, I get a kick from being good at fixing stuff, but it's very wearing when it's non-stop urgency.)

Meanwhile at home and in studying I am behind on everything, so they're both heading into constantly-firefighting territory too. Argh. On the other hand I'm just about getting enough sleep again, and I'm having that lovely feeling of wellbeing that comes once one is fully over a cold, and I remembered to get some vitamin D supplements for this winter.


Three things that amused me recently:

1. Nico knows about high fives, and high tens, but this week he offered me a fist bump and said "High Zero!"

2. The romance novel genre has many many subgenres: regency, shapeshifters, billionaires, SEALs, shapeshifter SEALs, werewolf marines, etc. This week my kindle app offered me "Billionaire Aviators" which tickled me immensely (and reminded me obviously of Top Gun, which I watched at a very impressionable age).

3. We had a team-building thingy at work where we had to anonymously write down something about ourselves and the team had to guess in turn which person had written which thing. The trouble with this is finding a Thing that isn't really obviously me AND that I'm happy to disclose at work. I gave up on being hard to guess and just wrote "My favourite superhero is the Hulk". Surprisingly few people guessed right, several more were like "of course! how did I not guess you!", and then I looked down and realised I was wearing Hulk socks.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Poll #17637 Ring ring ring
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 39


Your colleague's mobile phone keeps ringing when they are away from their desk, from the depths of their bag.

View Answers

You dig the phone out, leave it on the desk, and pointedly turn it off.
5 (12.8%)

You grit your teeth and wish the forcefield preventing you rummaging in someone else's personal bag also blocked sound.
20 (51.3%)

Something else (see comments).
14 (35.9%)

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I think my physical fitness is still gradually improving - my cycle and walking commutes are getting a little smoother and faster and less tiring each week, and it's perfectly reasonable to cycle to hospital and then to work.  What I'm finding though is that exercise, work, childcare, study and housework are all drawing from the same pool of energy and that seems to have stopped growing.  "Pushing through", like I did to get the essay in a few weeks back, is like going overdrawn and then having to rest even more to replenish the shortfall.  I'm still going splat at least once or twice a week.

I seriously considered requesting a formal short-term reduction in work hours, to the point of working out how much it would reduce my take-home pay.[1]  That turned out to be quite a lot.[2]  I'm pretty certain we could cut back enough to cover the gap, but that in itself becomes more work and stress, so it's not as helpful an idea as I first thought.

Instead, at least for now, Tony is going to take on rather more than half of the housework, including taking back the weekday evening meals which I've been doing since the start of the year. The pressure to get the children fed as soon as possible after 6pm seems to have eased up, so eating later (which has happened a few times recently when I've been too tired to cook) seems to be fine.  I think we'll still try to keep weekend menu planning / shopping list generation going though.

I am going to use the time Tony is giving me to rest more, and to study more consistently, which will in turn make me happier and less stressed.  I would rather reduce our income than give up studying; one of the things I learned from being ill was that learning matters a lot to me.


[1] It took me a while to find a calculator that could reproduce my current payslip with the various deductions I have going out.

[2] Woe woe, the diamond shoes of my high income are pinching, I know.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
The ongoing return to work
Two more 4-day weeks at work have gone quite well - this is the Tue+Thu afternoons off model.  I have got quite a lot done, some of it urgent and important, without getting especially stressed.  I'm not as fast or as good as I'm "used" to being [as in, pre-cancer], but I'm being good enough, I think.   I have another two 4-day weeks booked, next week with Friday off, and the following week with Monday off.  This will let me find out which pattern is easier. 

I expect I will book another run of 4-day weeks after that though.  I'm still spending large chunks of my weekend days in bed, and rather more of my weekday evenings falling asleep early or sleepily hitting refresh on things without getting either OU study or Duolingo done, or even much reading.  I am really fed up of slow-motion OU essay crises, but I'm in the middle of another one, basically because I was too tired to study for too much of the last fortnight month.  Also, I use the app Regularly to track various self-care and housework tasks (which all need doing at some point - we're not talking make-work here) and I'm in the red on an awful lot there. 

So I'm regarding that as great honking warning signs that I'm running too close to my limits.  I plan to keep on doing 4-day weeks until I get my study hours back where they should be, and my Regularly dashboard back to mostly yellow and green.  I have enough leave left, together with things already booked, to do this until September, so I may as well take advantage.


Physical fitness
I had my second session of beginner's T'ai Chi today, and I'm really enjoying it.  It feels very gentle but focused; I've learned I can do it in a comfortable tunic and leggings, which is what I wear a lot of the time at the moment, and it's gentle enough I don't need to change.

I'm managing the cycling to work via nursery, and walking home via school okay at the moment.  I still get out of breath but no longer as boiling hot; I think I'm gradually getting faster, and it's becoming more routine.  On Monday I cycled to the hospital and back from work for an appointment, and on Wednesday from nursery to Hills Road and back on top of everything else, and wasn't completely flattened as a result.  Even so, like work, I think I'm doing enough right now, and shouldn't look to add anything else until study/Regularly tasks are under control.


Medical
Monday's test was a bone marrow sample.  It was moderately painful and I needed longer to recover before I felt able to go back to work than I would have predicted.  On the good side, they told me they got a good sample without apparently having to work too hard for it, unlike certain of the previous samples I've had taken.  I see the consultant on 10th May (it got moved back, I think because my test was later than originally planned) and as far as I know I won't hear anything before then.  All the external evidence is reassuring though.


... and this has taken me long enough to write and I need to do another chapter of study before I fall asleep.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Last week: 1 Bank Holiday, 1 intended half day that I took off because of migraine, 2 half days and then a full day to finish the week.
This week: 2 half days and 3 full days.  This is the first week I have actually worked 3 full days since returning to work, and it was more bearable than I'd feared.  I could track the cumulative toll by the effect on my after-work achievements:

Monday: made supper, did my Duolingo, did lots of studying
Tuesday: made supper, did my Duolingo, did some studying
Wednesday: made supper, did my Duolingo
Thursday: made supper, wrote a blog post in bed

Today was the second half day, and I spent the afternoon resting in bed, with a pleasant interlude catching up with my mother on our ~weekly phone call, before doing the evening nursery run.  I then made supper but have returned to bed shortly afterward. I may yet manage my Duolingo. Tomorrow is busy, with multiple things for the children, and a date with [livejournal.com profile] fanf in the evening, so I am deliberately taking it easy this evening and Sunday.

Next four weeks:
w/b 11/4 & 18/4: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons off
w/b 25/4: Friday off
w/b 2/5: Bank Holiday off

They're all four-day weeks but I expect the 4 consecutive days to be harder.  I'm going to review again on 4/5, or sooner if I get another migraine or other indication I'm overdoing things.


Other notes
I have my first follow-up bone marrow test on 18/4 and my review with my consultant on 26/4, so I will probably be extra-twitchy between the two.  Objectively I am continuing to improve steadily, there is no plateau or reversal of progress, and I've even stopped needing to change my clothes on arrival at work.  But I'm extra-aware at the moment of every time I get out of breath when cycling or walking or climbing stairs; I am 99.9% certain it's because I'm pushing just hard enough to keep improving my fitness, but the 0.1% is fixated on "breathlessness means cancer".   Charting my progress in these posts is one way of keeping that 0.1% in check.


rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
2 half days, 2 full days and thankfully a bank holiday.

It's the first time I've worked two full days in the same week.  Monday went fine, but I was seriously struggling Wednesday afternoon and went straight to bed and splat once I got home.  I was really glad yesterday was a half day for me, and that I now have a long weekend and then a very easy week, before I try again at the multiple full days the week after. 

I found myself saying "I literally should not run before I can walk" in conversation on Wednesday about exercise and how much I miss running and how I keep looking wistfully at local fitness classes.  I am still finding it funny, because it's true.   Though I do have an exercise class starting in a few weeks: a beginners tai chi class on Friday lunchtimes.  It's local-to-work and cheap, so if I'm not up to doing it when the time comes, I won't lose much money.

One of the things we covered on the Maggies Wallace course was reminding ourselves how far we've come: because I'm back at work I'm bumping up a fair bit against my memories and established habits from before I got ill.  But if I compare myself now to how I was at the worst parts of being ill (the first week of treatment; the week back in hospital in November) I'm doing really well

I've also gone through the handout on managing fatigue from a session I missed and it's essentially stuff I already know: (sleep, pacing myself, eating well, doing enough exercise to build up strength but not enough to exhaust myself, identifying things that replenish energy and things that deplete it, etc etc).

From week after next I want to see if I can manage working 4 day weeks (using annual leave)
- which also implies a cycle ride and a walk every day
- plus keeping up my studying
- plus keeping up my share of housework

... and I shouldn't look too far beyond that for now, even if I do have longer-term goals in mind.



rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
The plan is to fan this spark into a flame
Week 4: 1x full day, 4x half day
Week 5: 3x full day, 2x half day

In practice:
Week 4: 3x half day working at home, 2 days off sick
Week 5: 3x half day, 1x full day, 1x day off to look after child

Week 6 will be 2x full day, 2x half day, 1x bank holiday.  That completes my phased return and I will officially work full time from Monday 28th March.  In practice, due to bank holidays and school holidays (leave I would have taken anyway even if fully well) I will be working:

w/b 28/3: 1x bank holiday, 3x half day, 1x full day
w/b 04/4: 3x full day, 2x half day

and we'll review at the end of *that* if I need to use more half days for the next two weeks or if I feel able to actually work full time.  I finally checked my remaining leave and I have enough left to keep up a 4-day week for several months, which definitely takes the pressure off.


Argh

2016-03-16 09:59
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I was over the cough enough by Thursday to work from home the rest of the week, and to take Charles around some Science Week things on Saturday, and to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] beckyc for Bolshoi Ballet at the cinema on Sunday (all of which kind of deserve their own post) and I was gently cracking on going to work in the actual office this week and then ...
  • I managed to take the only set of bike keys with me to a thing at the hospital yesterday afternoon, and Tony needed them to collect Nico from nursery
  • so I tried catching a bus back to work after the thing, which in theory takes about 20 minutes, and in practice after an hour in horrible rush hour Cambridge traffic I disembarked and hoofed at speed to the nursery instead, and got there 10 minutes before closing, go me
  • and then I managed to coax a 3yo to walk nearly 2km home, go both of us
  • I have an essay crisis this week and really needed to work on it yesterday evening, and the whole bike-bus-nursery palaver didn't help.
  • and then Nico would not go to sleep 
  • and then started crying like in pain and saying his ear hurt, and we checked him over for signs of illness and injury but found none
  • so we gave him paracetamol anyway, because he was in pain
  • and he did go to sleep almost immediately after that, and though he woke up an hour later pain-crying some more, he went back to sleep fairly quickly
  • and this morning he was his usual full-of-beans happy self
  • so this morning I took him to nursery and mentioned the ear thing
  • and got sent home with him because the rule is no nursery for 24 hours after a dose of paracetamol
And argh, I appreciate the reasoning, and I want the nursery to be as minimal an infection source as is possible with large numbers of small people with no sense of personal space, and I would hate it if Nico got suddenly iller and made the other children ill, but it was a sudden and unexpected inconvenience.  Mostly I wish I'd known/remembered the rule before I cycled to nursery and back.

Working from home while in charge of a healthy and active Nico is pretty difficult at the best of times (looking after an ill Nico is actually easier because he tends to be quieter and less mobile) so I am not even trying.  I have asked for an emergency day's leave instead.

(and it might mean I get something done on my essay? who can say)

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I did not post a review after week 2, but I asked for and got agreement to do two more weeks at 60% time.  I had slightly more energy in week 2 than week 1, but not enough that I felt confident taking on a full extra day's work.

Weekend 1: did almost nothing

Week 2: got rather more done at work, yay. Meals and sleep went a bit better, and I started doing some studying towards the end of the week.

Weekend 2:
Saturday: attacked the studying backlog for the most immediate deadline, went to a PARTY (gasp! socialising!) in the evening.
Sunday: was ded, barely got out of bed

Week 3:
+ much more back in work routine
+ Thurs/Fri especially I was working more intensely than I have since coming back
+ coped much better with the full day on Wednesday (though this might have been because I was working from home, because of child illness, so much less physical effort involved in the day)
- complete splat Tuesday evening: I'd done a load more cycling than usual because of child-illness-logistics, and I came in, ate something, sat down "for 10 minutes" to rest, and woke up a couple of hours later.
- slightly less dramatic splat Friday evening, in that I spotted it coming, made food for me and children early, and deliberately went to sleep as soon as Tony got home.


We had planned to attend my stepmother's birthday party this weekend; on Thursday evening I made the decision to cancel the trip. It would have been 4ish hours there and 6 hours back on Sunday by public transport, or about 3 hours each way driving - but I'm the only driver in the house.  I just didn't think I could do all that, and attend the party, and still be fit to work on Monday.  So I am being sensible and spending the weekend at home (and tackling some more of the study backlog) and trying not to be too resentful.


rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Good things:
+ went to work every day
+ did all my child drop-offs and pickups, and made supper as planned
+ did some work! answered questions! pointed out a useful tool to a colleague!
+ good meeting with Occupational Health nurse, who was happy with my plan and the flexibilities built into it

Things to improve:
- arrived late every day
- slept through my alarm Thursday morning, after the full day on Wednesday, and arrived really late
- was late with supper Thursday and Friday evenings
- was really tired Friday evening and am still tired today


I think I'm hitting a kind of uncanny valley effect the closer I get to normality, the more I notice the difference between how I am and how I was / how I feel I should be.  Back in January when a bicycle ride to nursery left me tired for the next day and a half, I didn't care about being late to work, or worry about arriving sweaty.

I still think I'm right to focus on building up the physical activity faster than the mental activity, but I'm feeling it today ...

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Yesterday I had a meeting with my boss and we went through my plan for a phased return starting next week, and caught up on the highlights of what's happened while I've been ill.  The current plan is:

Start on 60% time and review after 2 weeks. I'll work Mon-Fri mornings, and a full day on Wednesday.  Ideally after two weeks I'll be ready to move up to 80% time, but if not, we'll stick on 60% for another two weeks.  For 80% time I'll add in two more afternoons, Monday and Friday, and again we'll do two weeks and review how I'm doing - should I cut back again, stick on 80% for another fortnight, move up to full time.

I have an appointment with Occupational Health next Wednesday, which I can go to with this plan in hand, and the experience of the first few days on it.

I have been practising my commute for a couple of weeks (cycle there via nursery; walk back), and I'm no longer wiped out by it, just left a bit sweaty and sticky.  (This is what changes of clothes and work showers are for.)  I'm very deliberately choosing to go in five days a week from the start, because I'm more confident in my physical fitness coming back than I am in my ability to concentrate on my work for a whole day.  But both need practice to improve.

It was really nice to be back in the office and see my colleagues again.  I'm really looking forward to next week, and getting a bit more of my life back.
rmc28: (glowy)
Graduate Trainee Developer - this is a post within my team of ~10 developers, and we're looking for bright people who can learn, regardless of degree subject.   Closing date is 31st Jan and interview date is 11th February. We're open to those graduating next summer as well as those available now.  If you know anyone interested, please do pass the link along, and I'm very happy to answer any questions about the job, either here, or by email to my personal address, rmcf@cb4.eu. 

Plus 3 jobs which I know rather less about, but can answer general questions about the department (either here or by email):

2x Programme Manager (Fixed Term)

1x Senior Project Manager (Fixed Term)

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I am now trained to use the evac chairs to help people who can't use stairs to escape my office building in case of fire.

Training was fun (if a little warm at times): we each in turn practiced unfolding the chair, being behind the chair and in front of the chair (it is a two-person job), and we all had a turn in the chair so we know what we're inflicting on people.  While I winced at the repeated use of "wheelchair-bound", the trainer was at least firm and clear that we should always ask the person being moved how they wish to get into the chair "as they know best how to move themselves".  I kind of wish that didn't need to be stated, but we're not in that world yet.

At the moment, we don't have anyone using a wheelchair in the building, but there is at least one person who cannot use stairs.   And of course there may be temporary reasons why someone cannot use stairs at a particular time: most likely injury or panic.

Also, yay checklist for making sure we had covered everything we need to know.


(And then after a couple of meetings I went to the gym and lifted weights, and now my muscles are really tired.)

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
+ back to work after 2 days sick
- lengthy meeting in room with flickering projector triggered a new headache
+ free lunch
- colleagues with assorted troubles taking them away from the office
+ played with new free project-management app
+ which resulted in dumping a lot of stuff I was perseverating over into external memory
+ got a few of those "little non-urgent but useful" tasks done
- missed book club due to headache
+ tony being supportive and children being (mostly) lovely
rmc28: (destructive)
I've spent most of the last week doing the sort of thing that, if it were being done by one of my colleagues, would have me telling them fairly bluntly to Stop And Go Home.  That is:
  • coming back from sick leave too soon
  • dragging round the office looking and feeling awful
  • getting stuff done but not really enough/good enough to justify being in the office rather than at home
  • coughing, omg the coughing, I am driving myself mad with the coughing never mind the rest of the office
I conclude that not only is my ability to function impaired, that includes my ability to judge my ability to function.  Today I kept just-one-more-thinging myself from lunchtime to hometime when I should have been going home already.

The Lesson Identified from copious empirical experience is if I feel borderline, stay home. Yes, even if there is important stuff to do.  Yes, even that. Stay Home.

Maybe one day it will become a Lesson Learned.

rmc28: Rachel speaking at a lectern with microphone and part of the slogan "Stronger Economy Fairer Society" in shot (libdem)
Nico & I were away from home from Friday afternoon to Wednesday night, attending LibDem conference in Glasgow.  I took yesterday off, with the intention of resting up a bit, and maybe actually blogging / emailing / otherwise following up all the ideas that Conference invariably leaves me with. 

Instead I had to go to the GP in the morning for a mildly embarrassing medical complaint (*) and to school in the afternoon for a conference with C's teacher.  I did at least rest a bit too, and create my new icon from a photo taken of me speaking on Saturday.

Today I worked my usual half-Friday.  Almost my whole department is moving offices over the weekend and the old office was organised chaos as last minute packing-up got done.  Along with a few others, I got my desk set up in the new building and confirmed I have phone and network there, and will be able to work on Monday. 

That was pretty much all I managed, apart from the last "helpdesk hug" in the old building (scrum was too unfriendly for the manager who'd read about Agile and set them up) and goodbye to one of my team who is off on maternity leave.  We were supposed to have food and "a few words" from the boss at noon.  The food didn't arrive until nearly 1, about the same time as Tony did with Nico.  Nico charmed a number of my colleagues, the boss said his stuff, we all ate as much as we could and I brought a doggy bag home.


(*) Nico has oral thrush and so I have nipple thrush, which is making breastfeeding almost impossibly painful.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I work for a large well-known place of learning. I help look after a big computer that is used by people who learn new things here, and by the people who look after them and help them to learn.

It is also used by people all over the world to ask if they can come and learn here, and by the people here who have to decide which of the people asking can come and learn, and what they will learn when they are here.

The big computer has a lot of different things in it, because there are a lot of different jobs to do when people ask to come and learn here, and while they are learning.

Part of my job is fixing problems with the things in the computer which are stopping people doing their jobs or learning things. Sometimes I make the fixes myself and sometimes I check fixes made by other people. We check the fix is right, and that it is made well, and that it is made in a way that makes it easier to look after the computer, not harder.

Another part of my job is working with people who want to build new things for the computer. I help them plan how to build the new things and how to check they are built right and built well. We want to make sure that the new things will not break and need lots of fixes. We also want to make sure that the new things work the way that they are expected to, and that each new thing will really help people here do their work more easily.

Another part of my job is planning how to move all the new things and all the fixes into the computer without breaking anything, and without stopping people doing their jobs which need the computer. I work with other people to plan when changes should be moved into the computer, and to decide which changes will be moved each time. Usually I do the work of moving the changes to the computer each time.

The last part of my job is helping the people I work with learn how to do their work better, and learning from them how to do my work better. I also try to make sure that each part of my job can be done by someone else, because sometimes I am not there to do it.

[Written using the Up-goer Five Text Editor: http://splasho.com/upgoer5/]
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Work
I restarted work! Mondays and Tuesdays only. Tony is not working on those days, and brings Nico to me at lunchtime. We heat up lunch in the little kitchen microwave and sit together at a table in the foyer of my building. I eat and cuddle my baby and feed him, and most times I also take him off to the ladies' loos and change him, and almost always I get to show him off to a passing colleague or three. And then I give him back and go back to the office and work for another 4 hours.

I love it: being back at work, feeling useful and competent, but not having to go too long without my baby cuddles, and getting to do a big feed rather than a big pump at lunchtime. It's not quite as good as the conference creche but it's SO much better than going all day without seeing my baby at all, and a huge improvement on the work pattern we did with Charles where I went from 0730 to 1330 without my baby 5 days a week and didn't see Tony properly except at weekends.


Running
All the updates are on [community profile] c25k but basically it's going well and I am liking it more than I thought I would. I've had a cold this weekend which has kept me indoors and I am missing it more than I expected.


Study
Going well, though I have been less good at getting in my weekly hours since starting work. There was a tutorial yesterday at Hill's Road and I was too ill to go, which annoyed me.


Charles turned 6 last weekend and we held a party at home for some of his schoolfriends (note for future reference that "colouring in pictures" which I'd thought of as an easy-to-join-on-arrival activity kept the assembled children happy for nearly an hour). He asked for an Angry Birds theme and we did our best, including commissioning this most excellent cake from [twitter.com profile] planetxanna (it was delicious too):

Pay cake #1: Angry Birds. On time! on Twitpic

He seems to be enjoying year 1 of school and certainly it is stretching him a bit harder than Reception. We are supposed to get him to read out loud to us for 10 minutes a day and we probably manage it 80% of the time. He has started spontaneously reading out random signs on the street and titles of books we leave lying around. It is really, really cool to see him starting to use this skill as a tool for himself rather than just something we or school ask him to perform.


Nicholas is three months old, almost certainly teething (dribbling, gumming hard down on things), smiling at people with great enthusiasm, failing to sit up but wanting to, sleeping midnight to six most nights plus several other naps each day, continuing to breastfeed plentifully and remaining beautifully baby-chubby. He is getting the hang of hitting and grabbing things on the baby gym but would mostly rather be held/carried in a sling.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
We've had nearly two weeks of the "family" timetable and it's beginning to bed in, just in time for me to disappear to Lib Dem Conference with Nicholas and disrupt everything ...  This week I actually managed to do my 5 hours of study, and I'm working on Charles doing his daily homework actually daily as requested by his class teacher.

I seem to be more-or-less physically recovered from the surgery, though I'm being quite cautious about increasing the weights that I lift, until I'm sure.  Mentally, I am very ready to be doing other things than 24-hour babycare.  The family timetable and the OU study are helping here, but even more will be my return to work in ten days.  It'll just be Mondays & Tuesdays until the end of the year, but I miss my work, I miss the people I work with and I miss being able to work on something solidly for more than 10 minutes without having to schedule 3 other people to free me up.

Also I think it'll be good for Tony and Nicholas (and Tony and Charles outside school hours) to have their two days a week together, build their confidence in each other without me around to interfere.

Putting myself together for conference and work, I've been getting important appointments done, like my post-natal check, a haircut, and a vital Rigby & Peller bra-fitting.  I now have supportive, well-fitting nursing bras and a fiercely supportive sports bra.  My last trainers died sometime during my pregnancy so I bought a new pair from John Lewis - rather cheaper than going to Advance Performance, but the service showed it.  So no excuses for not starting C25k when I get back home from Conference.

My suitcase is half-packed and I have been procrastinating actually reading the agenda and setting my timetable, but there's still a bit of time before I head out for the bus to the train to the seaside.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
There are two posts open at my workplace, supporting PeopleSoft Campus Solutions:
http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/jobs/vacancies.cgi?job=8512

We're keen to get a good field of candidates, so if you might suit, please do apply. Closing date is 5th August.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I am enjoying having an actual lunch break rather than pelting off to fetch Charles. I also feel like I have AGES to get things finished. Suddenly it's all a lot less stressful if I can't get something fixed by 12:45.

This week is not very usual as I was off on Monday and we had an Away Day yesterday and I'm going to France for a week tomorrow. But certainly from the work perspective, full-time is really good. We're off again for a week at the end of June so I guess it won't be until July that I get a feel for what this is going to be like on a sustained basis. Today at least I was thinking "it really is so much easier this way".

Charles also seems quite happy with J, is maintaining his usual nap routine with her and is eating plenty of packed lunch, so that is all good. I think he may be nursing a bit more than usual in the evenings, but not obviously so; he's more clingy than usual about sleeping alone, but that's reasonable.

Ouch

2008-06-04 14:31
rmc28: (nursing)
Second day of working full-time and my body thinks it should have fed Charles by now. I haven't felt this full in ages.

I wonder how long it will take to adapt - and why it didn't happen yesterday.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Today was my last day working part-time. Tomorrow I have off to go to Wychwood with [livejournal.com profile] antinomy (and her dad, and Charles, and without [livejournal.com profile] fanf). Monday I have off to recover from Wychwood and a weekend-with-toddler and then it is four days of full-time work and then a week in France to recover from the shock.

So, I'll be back at work 'normally' somewhat under 2 years after going on maternity leave.

Charles is settling in well with the new childminder. It will be interesting to see how the shift to full-time care changes his routine: he still nurses after I pick him up about half the time, but won't have the option now until 5pm rather than 2pm. He usually naps in the afternoon, but will be able to do so with J, so I will probably have a full-of-beans boy to play with when I get home, rather than a dozy one ready for a nap. Tony and I are going to need to work out how to divvy up the jobs I currently get done in the afternoons.

But still. "Normal" working hours, which in practice will be 8am-4pm with a 30-min lunch break. I will have lunch breaks again! And be able to go to meetings in the afternoon! I hadn't realised until the last few weeks just how much I'm looking forward to such simple logistical improvements.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I did both digging and ballet on BH Monday, which caused me to feel rather creaky as I changed after the class.

On Wednesday I did some necessary shopping in town, equipping Charles for hot weather. His feet have grown again: he's now a 6F in the right foot and a 5.5G in the left. I followed the nice assistant's advice and got his sandals in size 6G; they have velcro straps so are pretty adjustable too. Also did a swift trip round Boots and got 3 pairs of shorts and 4 tshirts. Now he is equipped.

Once home I cooked a vast pot of veggy pasta sauce, as I'd promised to make a family meal for one of the local NCT members who is undergoing chemotherapy. Thanks to Jonny this was merely a bit rushed rather than complete panic, as he took Charles off while I chopped and cooked. I always forget how long chopping takes. I decanted the family's portions into chinese containers and just dropped them off in time by bike. The idea was to have the rest of the sauce for our own dinner but I was too hot to eat hot food so had a cold snack instead.

On Thursday I joined Ben et al for a picnic on Parker's Piece. Charles ran around a great deal, and ate a fair amount of my pizza and generally had a whale of a time before we cycled home just before sunset. Then I took him and Jonny to Tesco because I'd failed to get Sandra's goodbye present on Wednesday. We were able to get other useful stuff to justify the journey, and Charles decided that he is now old enough for the trolleys with little cars on the front (he even did up the strap himself!) Unfortunately they don't let you take those out of the store because "people leave them all over the place and they damage cars" and Charles expressed his opinion of being transferred to a standard trolley at the top of his voice - at least we were leaving.

Yesterday was Charles's last day with Sandra. Thanks to those friends who gave me advice with the reference (I went with ending 1, the explicit explanation about the smell of smoke). I turned up with present, hand-made card with photo of Charles on it, and reference, but then got all emotional, and just handed over the bag with it all in and explained I'm not good at goodbyes. Sandra said she wasn't either and we retreated to laughing at the cat being silly. We sometimes run into her at the shops and stuff, so it's not goodbye forever.

Then swimming in Impington, for which I bussed there and walked back. My hair dried on the walk back, and I drank several pints of water on arrival home. Only two more lessons now before I go back to work full-time and can't take him any more, but it looks as though I may be able to get someone to take over my last 5 lessons. I must make an effort to get contact details for some of the other mums before I finish, I will miss chatting with them.

Work continues rather busy and I find myself looking forward to the extra 2.5 hours per day I'll have in June, while at the same time trying to make the most of my remaining afternoons with Charles. The lovely weather helps.
rmc28: (glowy)
Deputy Team Leader, Student Statistics.

There is a lengthy PDF about the job available from that link, but in summary, it is a new post within a small team producing student statistics from CamSIS. There are legally-required statutory returns (primarily to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), which are prerequisites for large amounts of university funding. Various university and College bodies require regular reports for their own planning, and then there are a large number of ad-hoc data requests. Student data is maintained by many different people in different departments and Colleges across the university, so part of the team's work is chasing up anomalies with the right data owner(s) and persuading them of the necessity to do any required work to correct the data.

The current members of the team work in my office, and are really nice, hardworking people!
rmc28: (glowy)
Last week I got an email from an "executive search firm" trying to interest me in working in quant finance. I was somewhat surprised and amused, as they contacted me on the address linked from my online CV, but I've never looked at it before and thought "wow, I should be a Quant". In particular I have no PhD which I thought was the big thing for Quants. ([livejournal.com profile] wisemanharris, I still haven't done anything with your kind CV-improvement suggestions, but it's on my to-do list. As I'm not looking to move jobs, it's not high priority.)

I replied as follows:
Read more... )

I don't expect to hear back.
rmc28: (glowy)
The 1st place doesn't surprise me - but is it something to worry about that what I actually do is 13th on the list?

Read more... )

In other news, I did update my CV and apply for one of the ooh-shiny jobs I mentioned recently - and was fairly promptly rejected. The CV feedback was "a lack of self-motivated web projects built for the fun of it". I can see why organisations, particularly the one concerned, would find "geeks on their own time" a useful filter, but it still rankles a bit that my ability to do a paying job was judged on what I do (or rather don't do) in my leisure time. I'll get over it.

This week went rather well at work, even with sleep deprivation.
rmc28: (glowy)
A thinking-aloud post about the pros and cons, to help me decide whether to chase the nursery to find out when Charles will have a place.
Read more... )

Not feeling enthused right now, it has to be said. Maybe if the house jobs were more complete and I wasn't so tired all the time ...
rmc28: (glowy)
Work was manic and stressful and there was a crisis erupting as I had to leave on Friday. I did enjoy some of it though, I'm sure. Trying to feel positive about tomorrow.

I spent the afternoons either resting or running around doing urgent errands. The treading-water feeling is quite strong as I just keep up with the deadlines and demands on us.

Charles walked 6 steps unaided on Tuesday but seems to be concentrating on consolidating his walking-with-aid skills, including traversing furniture. He's just started crawling as well, more on hands-and-feet than hands-and-knees, and not very far at a time.

I got a hire car on Friday afternoon. Keith bravely babysat for an hour while I was gone. Enterprise staff were all being very nice to me, and I felt slightly bad when I had to reject the first car they presented me (Vauxhall Vectra) as being correct in size but not able to fit a baby seat in the centre rear seat. They found me another one that did fit the seat (Renault Megane Scenic), said it was the same class so I didn't need to upgrade and apologised for it not being cleaned yet even though it was only a bit dusty.

Matt arrived on Friday night on a badly-delayed train from London, and I drove him, Jonny, Tony & Charles up to my aunt and uncle's home in Lincolnshire for a huge family party celebrating my mother's engagement to Mick. The weather was very hot and the food excellent and I enjoyed introducing Charles to lots of people. He got quite shy and tired. We also discovered tooth number 7 had just emerged on the way there.

The journey home was ok, but we had to stop at Peterborough for a nappy change and a drink for me. The moment I parked the car at home and walked into the house I noticed I had a migraine (it had probably been coming on for a while but I was concentrating on driving) so dropped everything and went to bed for about 12 hours. Just to help, Charles was very fussy during the night, running a mild temperature. Today he kept refusing to drink for ages though I think he is now caught up, but he's been fragile and frequently weepy and generally exhausting.

We took Matt to lunch at the Carlton and Jonny met us there. I had to dive out and get Matt to his train (and half the short-stay carpark was coned off, so dropping him was a bit hairy) and then returned to collect Tony for an exciting foray to the shops on Newmarket Road. I hate driving there. We found a fireguard in B&Q (on Saturday morning I took my eye off Charles for a couple of minutes and found him dismantling the fake coals from the gas fire) and a wipe-clean tablecloth in Homebase, for putting under Charles's chair and catching the debris at mealtimes. Babies R Us has mutated into Toys R Us and has very little of use to us any more.

Then we came home and flopped. Charles has finally gone to sleep in my arms and I'm hoping he'll stay that way - he's missed at least two of his usual naps today.

Work

2007-05-29 22:45
rmc28: (glowy)
I'm not being intentionally coy and expecting people to ask me what's wrong with my references to work - I've just been trying to sort my head out about what's going on.

Read more... )

Going away and walking up a mountain at the weekend definitely helped in gaining some perspective. I really really could have done with being able to go to work today and get on with demonstrating my use and efficiency. Going in with a migraine and making more mistakes would have been utterly self-destructive, though.
rmc28: (glowy)
Irritated with work and particularly with meetings. Meetings for the whole project team that are always scheduled when I can't attend due to my part-time working pattern. Meetings of the technical team when I'm on holiday that aren't followed up with an email summarising changes in development procedures, so I don't find out until after doing the wrong thing for a week. Meetings that get changed to an earlier time at no notice while I'm on my 20 minute pumping break, so I'm horribly late for them.

I've made some stupid mistakes in the last few weeks entirely on my own as well, and am feeling the worry that comes from lack of confidence in my own competence. Another worry is that people just see me make a lot of mistakes in a short time, without distinguishing the ones that were all my own effort from the ones that were caused by lack of communication to me.

I did at least get annoyed enough to chase up the big "all team" meeting issue today, with the project leader. Hopefully that will change and I won't feel quite so excluded. Being stupid I'll have to solve on my own.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Monday two weeks ago I was ill and off work for two days, having caught Charles's cold. Made it back in on Wednesday and survived the rest of the week quite well. On Saturday 17th we went to Picocon, where after a bit of faff we managed to meet up with my youngest brother Matt, who seemed to enjoy the event at least as much as we did. I got some reasonable photos of Baby's First Convention. Charles was fairly well-behaved, and got a lot of positive attention. I even got an approving smile from someone who spotted me nursing him at the back of the lecture theatre during one of the events.

Matt came home with us and stayed until Monday afternoon. We had a very lazy Sunday together, with lunch at the Carlton followed by a Bond movie (Thunderball). I am developing a bad habit, reminiscent of my father, of falling asleep for the last 30 minutes of any film, and this was no exception. On Monday afternoon, after I returned home from work and we faffed about with lunch and nursing and so on, Charles and I went with Matt to the station on the bus, and had a drink with him in the AMT cafe until his train arrived. While we were there, my phone rang and [livejournal.com profile] jdc39 said "Hi, I thought I'd drop around for a surprise visit". I said "Ah, I'm at the station," and he said "I know, I'm in your living room!" So anyway, he waited until I got back and we had a nice time chatting together and letting uncle and nephew play and so on.

On Tuesday evening, Tony's father Conrad arrived for a short stay. He seemed fairly impressed with his much-grown grandson, although said grandson played favourites for the entire stay, refusing to be held by Conrad for more than a minute or two without wailing. I even dragged him shopping for baby things on Wednesday, getting a few more bottles to expand the freezer stash, and some safety equipment as I'm convinced Charles will be mobile sometime in the next 2 months. He's also nearly got the hang of sitting up so we looked at various high-chairs and travel things for normal chairs but nothing convinced me very much. I got a photo of the three Frederick Finches that evening.

On Friday Tony and I took the day off in order to attend the funeral and wake for Chris Lightfoot. It was an emotionally exhausting day, an odd mixture of sadness and the meeting of old friends.

[livejournal.com profile] lusercop stayed with us after the funeral, and we got pizza and watched another Bond film that I fell asleep in. When I woke up afterward, Charles decided he needed to feed almost constantly for the next hour or two, but at least I could do that in bed.

On Saturday we had lunch with MBM and Phil in the Carlton and then went to visit Tony's colleague Anton and his family, to meet their new baby. At 6 days old, the infant was adorable and tinier than Charles ever was - he looked enormous by comparison. We had a very pleasant afternoon with the family, talking babies and associated topics. By the time we got home and had eaten I was suddenly very tired, so we crashed for the evening. Charles spent more time feeding, and has continued eating and sleeping more than usual today - I suspect he's about to grow some more.

Work continues to go well, and I've noticed I'm much happier since returning to work. It's a slog at times, especially leaving my darlings in a warm bed first thing in the morning, but it's worth it for the boost to my self-esteem. I've clearly got a lot of my self-image tied up in my career, and I do enjoy having that focused period of time each day to work on something other than babies. I think that Tony and Charles are also bonding more closely since I went back; without me there to keep jumping in, Tony's confidence has grown and they are finding their own relationship apart from me. All good stuff.
rmc28: (rmcf+fcdf-1)
Still surviving work. Actually writing some code now. Just about keeping up with Charles on milk production/consumption. Wondering whether to add a second pumping session in the evening to give me a bit more leeway/build up the freezer stash a bit more.

Charles is teething, poor baby. No actual teeth yet, but the dribbling, the fierce chewing on parental fingers or teething ring, and the intermittent crying-in-pain are all fairly clear signs. Dosing with Calpol when cuddling is clearly insufficient pain relief. Tomorrow I'm meeting Tony in town for baby-handover so will go to Boots and see about Calgel and ask about how often it's ok to dose a baby with paracetamol suspension.

Saturday we visited [livejournal.com profile] ailbhe on the way to visit Tony's sister Sarah and her fiance Paul. We were 3 hours late leaving home and thus 3 hours late arriving at Sarah's. Charles behaved beautifully until late in the evening when he completely melted down with the worst crying fit I've ever seen him have. Taking him away from everyone and cuddling and walking up and down and swapping parents eventually succeeded in sending him off to sleep (and me too!).

Yesterday afternoon I started getting a headache, took paracetamol and went to bed with Charles. After a bit of excited playing he nursed and we both fell asleep for about 3 hours.

Today Lois and I made ginger biscuits after I had finished chopping up an unidentified leafy green vegetable found in the fridge (with some leaves going manky) and throwing it into the slow cooker with onions and garlic and parsnip and vegetable stock. I'll blend it when I'm ready to serve it.

I ran into one of the stalwarts of the local NCT group today, which reminded me to check out the babysitting circle. One phone call made to the organiser, and one message left. First goal: regular (fortnightly?) child-free time with Tony; second goal: climbing time (Tony gets home too late for me to sensibly go climbing after he gets back midweek, and weekends are needed too often for other things).
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I got up and in on time (Tony and Charles looked very sweet snuggled together as I left). I have a temporary desk until one of the contractors finishes. I couldn't remember my password from 18 weeks ago, so got it reset. The PC is new and shiny and only has USB sockets, which is a pain when I have a Natural keyboard with a PS2 connector. I've got a ticket raised to ask for an adaptor. I caught up on the backlog of unread email, and discovered that Outlook is doing something screwy with the sent mail - although the first few got out, there's about 7 messages stuck in the Outbox. Another ticket in with the helpdesk, though their initial reply (received at 12:58) was to blame Hermes. I think not, but anyway tomorrow's first job is to Make Sent Mail Work. Then the email raising yet another helpdesk ticket about the software I need to do my job should get through.

I left on time and was home at 1:20pm. I'll be interested to see whether 2x20min brisk walking 5 days a week improves my general fitness at all - I walk for more than that but not on a regular basis.

I pumped about 230ml of milk and Charles drank about 120ml in my absence. I set up a regular booking of one of the meeting rooms so I have privacy for pumping, and put a regular appointment in my own calendar.

Now I have days of LJ to catch up on, so the stories of being stranded in Brussels and the wedding and my mother's 60th birthday will have to wait.
rmc28: (glowy)
I return to work next Monday. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Tony and I rehearsed the new schedule. I get up at 6am, feed Charles if he hasn't just fed (he often feeds around 5-6am, but I can mostly sleep through it now), shower, dress, have breakfast, put sterilised parts and freezer packs in my breastpump bag, pack a snack, change and feed Charles again. I put him back in bed at 7:30am and go "out". In this case to my study to attack the paperwork/email mountain some more. Sometime during the morning I pump milk - it takes about 20 minutes total out of the day, but I can do a bit of reading while the pumps go. I get home around 1:20pm and take over from Tony who attempts to get into work for 2pm and leave around 7pm. We eat together around 8-9pm and I go to bed around 10-11pm.

We found the following bugs:
1. Showstopper: Tony can't wear the Tricotti slings comfortably and therefore can't do anything at all if Charles is wanting to be held all day, which he often does.
2. High: Charles doesn't always want a second feed around 7:15 and trying to wake him up for a change when he doesn't want to wake is very noisy and eventually frustrating.
3. High: I didn't 'pack' enough food on either day; Tony also needs to start taking an afternoon snack, especially if he doesn't get breakfast until late.
4. Medium: I need to pack a spare tshirt every day in case I leave it too long to pump.

Solutions:
1. I spent a chunk of yesterday's morning session researching slings for Tony, and after he'd reviewed my research he settled on a Mei Tai. I managed to find one in a pattern that both of us were happy with and ordered it last night. It should arrive before I go back to work, and hopefully will solve the problem.

2. I'll try waking Charles by removing his blanket but if he doesn't wake within a couple of minutes, leave it. Just pump earlier in the day once at work. Tony can change him when he's awake.

3 & 4 describe their own solutions.

I pumped more milk each day than Charles consumed in my absence. We have a respectable freezer stash against sudden increases in appetite and I can go back to donating excess to the milk bank.

I'm very glad we decided to practice the new routine. Today we decided we'd done enough rehearsals and had an enjoyably leisurely morning together instead. Our last chance for a while as we're off to the Netherlands Thursday-Saturday and my mother's birthday party is on Sunday.

I'm nervous about going back. I've lost some confidence in my skills, as I don't think the last few months I was there I was working very well, and I've done nothing like my job in the 18 weeks I've been off. It's been a bit uphill getting everything sorted out for my return. On the one hand, work have been very generous with maternity pay and accommodating my wishes for part-time work, but on the other I don't have much sense that they're very keen to have me back. I want to make sure I repay the generosity by being effective, and worry that they're not keen because like me they've lost confidence. I expect I'm reading too much into things, but even telling myself that doesn't stop me feeling nervous.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Our department secretary Ann saw the FLEXAF form I'd submitted for "Flexible Working" and said "no no no, what you want to do is submit an application for Temporary flexible working under the Leave regulations on form LAF1 - and why didn't you come and ask me first?". It turns out that Flexible Working is very inflexible and the department would need to jump through hoops to get my post back to full-time if/when I want to work full-time again. Whereas Temporary flexible working lasts up to 3 years at a time and is renewable. And the department gets to keep the difference between my full-time and part-time salaries and use it primarily to alleviate the effect of my reduced hours.

Compare and contrast http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/personnel/policy/flexible/ and http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/personnel/policy/leave/temporary.html . What's really annoying is that there is nothing on the Flexible Working pages to suggest that temporary flexible working even exists as an option. So I am duly chastised for not consulting the resident expert on Personnel matters, and very grateful that Ann's so thoroughly on the ball.

I just have to fill out the new form now *sigh*. It's too cold and Charles wants to spend all day asleep on me.

Work!

2006-12-18 09:22
rmc28: (happy)
I had a very nice meeting with my team leader on Friday afternoon to discuss my return to work and my request to work part-time (8am - 1pm). He told me what work they had in mind for me to do, and took me through all the reasons why, as it's not what I Was doing or was expecting to do. In fact it's the role I was filling two years ago where I slowly got very bored, as it was essentially clearing lots of small fixes - busy but not challenging in the long term.

But things have changed while I've been gone, and I do agree that it's the best fit between the hours I want to work and the work that needs to be done. I'll be useful and busy, and it'll be a rather lower-pressure return than I was expecting. It took me some time to get bored last time, and this time we can take steps to avoid it: for example there should be scope for me to have some more serious long-term background projects as well as the daily "fix this fix that fix the other" grind.

So we finished the necessary paperwork and now all that remains is for the project management team to agree a return date for me which should happen quite soon. I've asked for 22nd January but they may push it a little later if they need more time to prepare.

Tony has also had a supportive response to his request to work part-time (2pm - 7pm) so I no longer need to worry about finding childcare. I love it when a plan works.

I took Charles with me to the meeting, and made sure to arrive early and feed him in a quiet corner, and then change him. He was thus fairly angelic during the meeting, with just one little burst of crying before he fell asleep. My team leader has children and we were able to continue a useful conversation throughout.
rmc28: (glowy)
Last Tuesday I saw Casino Royale with Andrew, Matthew & Duncan. We had dinner in the Zebra beforehand. I left expressed milk in the fridge and Sue & Tony managed well between them. Tomorrow Sue is very kindly babysitting so that Tony & I can go out together. We will have a meal in the sort of restaurant where you can't take a baby, and have some time together as a couple rather than as parents. I have already started stockpiling the milk in the fridge ...

I'm coming strongly to the conclusion that I am not cut out to be a full-time mother. I love Charles utterly but I do get fed up spending all day every day in charge of him, and sometimes have to work quite hard not to get grumpy with Tony for not instantly relieving me the moment he gets home from work. I am impatient to get back to my own job, and need to start hounding my bosses for a decision on my request to return part-time. If they say no, I need to hunt up childcare, and that's such a horrible task I'm not doing it unless I have to. Ideally I want to return in mid-January but this requires me to submit paperwork by mid-December, and time's running out for doing so.

My scar got better for a while last week so I didn't bother to see the doctor, only then it got worse again a day or two after I'd finished the course antibiotics. So I really ought to ring for another appointment. Also this week, we have a followup cardiac appointment for Charles on Wednesday, the health visitor on Thursday, and a mega-appointment at the GP on Friday for checkups of both of us and his first immunisation.

We went to visit my mother and her partner at the weekend. Some inconsiderate git jumped in front of a train near Biggleswade and held up all the trains for about 2 hours, and then when we did get on a train it turned out to be the wrong one, only we didn't realise until we pulled into York instead of Leeds. An entertaining departure ensued, involving detaching baby mid-feed in order to grab half our belongings and jump off the train while Tony followed with the other half. We eventually arrived safely and had an enjoyable nearly-24-hours with them. Our attempts to find somewhere for Sunday lunch were a bit jinxed: the first place we tried (non-smoking, German and Belgian beers) said "no children's licence, go away", the next two places were unexpectedly closed, and so we went into Leeds centre and ate in Pizzamania. All-you-can-eat pizza and pasta buffet with music a couple of notches louder than I really like, but it did prevent sound travelling between tables so when Charles was fussing no-one glared at us. And the food was ok and even my giant appetite was sated.

Transporting the baby by train was fairly straightfoward. We kept baggage down to three small bags and the pushchair and had seats on every train. Nappy changing in the train toilets varied considerably in the amount of acrobatics required. I had enough room in every seat to feed him on demand, plus we could walk him up and down when he fussed. He enjoyed lying down and kicking a lot - once on a table and once on a spare seat. Even the lengthy wait at Peterborough didn't bother him nearly as much as it did us.

Last night Charles uncharacteristically cried a great deal and today he's been all lethargic and low appetite, waking up for very short periods to eat miniscule amounts and then cry some more. From the noises I suspect some kind of tummy upset and I've had a touch of indigestion myself. Hopefully he'll feel better soon. Keith rearranged the living room while we were gone and I approve the new layout. A side effect was to tidy a lot of my tat into the study, so I spent a fair amount of time today clearing a path to my desk. All sorting out that needed doing, but I'm glad that it coincided with a day when I did actually have some spare time to devote to it.
rmc28: (glowy)
If there is a next time, I am starting maternity leave 3-4 weeks before the due date, not 2. I am barely making it through a full working day and I'm too tired to do much when I get home apart from read. I want to write LJ posts on: things I learned from the midwife and an updated birth plan; Mike & Tara's wedding; something else but I've forgotten.

I also need to pull together my brain and get the last few things ready for the birth and the baby. Pack an emergency hospital bag. Make lists of things. Etc.

The last piece of "what I did this year" documentation is taking longer than expected, but I am determined to finish it, and clear my desk, and walk out the door at 5pm tomorrow. It helps that some major system work is being planned at 5:30pm tomorrow, so if I'm not done by then, I'll have to go home anyway.

Time to head for the office.

Whine

2006-09-08 15:55
rmc28: (glowy)
oh the angst )

Woot!

2006-08-16 13:37
rmc28: (happy)
I have done everything for work that had to be done before I go to DWCon (i.e. I know that I can hit deadlines 3 & 4), and I have half a day in hand. This is to be spent on getting as far ahead as possible on my one remaining deadline. Once I know I can hit deadline 5, I can decide when to take the three days' leave I gave up to hit deadlines 3 & 4.

Despite the rushed nature of the last few weeks, I've been reminded just how much I enjoy writing code and making it work. If I get to do the same thing next year, I must remember to put more coding in earlier on the project plan.
rmc28: (happy)
The formal paperwork for my promotion arrived today, confirming my appointment from 1st Jan 2006. One happy Rachel. One lovely boss, who pushed all the paperwork for me several months before I would have got the oomph to do so myself.

I knew it was coming, but it makes all the difference to have it in writing.

I've been "doing the job" for some time, so there are no immediate changes to my work, but some already-planned changes coming up.
rmc28: (happy)
Friday evening I went to Eden at New Hall. Unfortunately for [livejournal.com profile] covertmusic, they cancelled Inferno at fairly short notice; fortunately for me and others, they attempted to compensate him with "as many guest tickets as you want". I assume that at some point they'll refund my largeish cheque, but will give them until after May Week to get out of headless chicken mode.

[livejournal.com profile] lusercop came up Friday afternoon and after a bit of faffing at mine, we wandered over, arriving around 5:30 or so. Almost the first person we saw was my old NatSci DoS, and we had a pleasant conversation with him. There were strawberries and cream, and Pimms, and lots of non-alcoholic drinks, and burgers and hotdogs and icecream and candyfloss. There was some timeless period when I sat on the grass listening to live music, watching Matthew devilstick and enjoying the glitter of light and the patterns of movement, and it was good.

[livejournal.com profile] mobbsy and [livejournal.com profile] pjc50 turned up in due course, and we had more pleasant conversation, while [livejournal.com profile] lusercop gave impromptu lessons to random passersby. Later still, [livejournal.com profile] acronym arrived just as I was attempting a guided tour of my old College and its artwork for Pete, and we returned from that to find [livejournal.com profile] j4 & [livejournal.com profile] addedentry. Because Inferno had been cancelled, Eden was extended until 10pm, after which Janet and Owen went home and Matthew, Andrew, Andrew and Pete came back to mine, where we hung out and gossiped. I eventually gave in and got some sleep, and left Matthew as temporary house occupant to continue being hostly.

Saturday dawned gorgeously. We sat and gossiped for a bit, and then I attempted to deal with the piles of to-do list. We had a lazy lunch, which I serendipitously started cooking just as [livejournal.com profile] jdc39 emerged blinking into the day after Robinson Ball. After this I did some working from home, fixing the problems I hadn't had time to fix before leaving on Friday. Most of it was the kind of fiddly, repetitive, careful work that gets immensely tedious but can't be automated. We listened to CUR1350's coverage of the Bumps, after which there was Dr Who and a very pleasant meal at the Thanh Binh. Sunday I spent rather more of the day working, interspersed with conversation with Matthew and Jonny. I finished bang on 5:30 when I really had to stop, so that [livejournal.com profile] fanf & I could go to the CUMC Centenary Dinner. This turned out to be excellent fun despite the heat, with a huge turnout of past members, some impressive beards and a fine after-dinner speech. It was fun showing Tony off introducing Tony to my climbing friends, and especially pleasant to see Andy B (and finally meet his girlfriend) back from Durham for the event. Lots of people I knew had been on the club week-long meet in Cornwall, which I missed due to having lots of work and a wedding to plan. Tony and I will go next year, if at all possible.

I slept very badly last night, but did get into work reasonably early. I migrated my package of fixes for testing by mid-morning ... and got back a shorter list of new bugs by lunchtime. Sigh. Must code better. I then took an extra-long lunch in order to pick up fripperies for the wedding, and was really a bit too hot by the time I got back to the office. It took quite a while and a lot of water before I felt able to think straight again. When I got home this evening, all good intentions to do useful things vanished in the face of being hot and tired, so I read a book instead. I probably should go to bed, but the upper floor is uninvitingly hot. I suppose I could read another book.
rmc28: (happy2)
I had a very productive morning at work - perhaps because no-one was there to interrupt me - and as a result am feeling a lot more positive about the work that needs to be done by Thursday evening. This was followed by [livejournal.com profile] crazyscot's promised plane ride.

I'd expressed an interest in seeing the coast, so our first plan had been to go up to King's Lynn and the Wash, then east to Norwich and back to Cambridge. Today's weather over East Anglia looked stormy, so Ross prepared a Plan B (and also plan C). We started from Gransden, and went north east, passing Cambridge on the west side and heading north to King's Lynn for a look at the Wash. There was indeed much stormy weather to our east, so we took Plan B and headed west to fly around Rutland Water. From there we headed south west towards Rugby, and I enjoyed seeing the M1/M6/A14 junction from above (so well-known from all the recent climbing trips). At that point we swung back south east and returned to the airfield. Just on two hours in the air in all, and marvellous fun. Ross offered me a turn on the controls, and another time I might have taken him up on it, but I was thoroughly enjoying not being in control of anything, so declined.

After tidying the plane back up again, and a cup of tea, we headed home. I felt marvellously relaxed and more than a little buzzed and tired - a most civilised way to spend a Bank Holiday afternoon. A pleasant evening at home with the housemates and the dog, joined by Peter and Debbie, rounded everything off nicely.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I am officially stressed. Be nice to me, and be patient with my whining, please.
cut to save effort for the impatient )

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

August 2017

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