What a week! Seems to be the story of 2011 (at least the story so far!). We have a project coming up for release and it’s entering the stressful period. Give it a week and it should be fine – but for now it’s slightly less than great fun. It has been a nice project though, and I am going to be proud of it when it goes to production.
Monday I was sick – I don’t know what it was, I got to Hilversum and suddenly I felt really nauseous. I struggle through the morning, but after a stand-up meeting for a project where everyone else in the project group told me how bad I looked I decided it was time to call it a day and went home. 90 minutes on trains, busses and then a 2km walk wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered and when I got in I just collapsed on the sofa and slept for most of the day.
It was a 24 hour thing though, as on Tuesday I was back at work, just very, very tired. Wednesday I had to stay late for the something that went wrong on the project (my fault, I was supposed to copy data from production before changing data structures, it seems I forgot and had to spend 2 hours matching the old production data, with the newly entered data to make sure that the business didn’t have to spend a second day setting everything up… It was difficult, but I was actually enjoying the challenge of making a SQL statement that would do the work for me (I may be a project manager / team lead – but I’m still a geek :p) and learnt something new in the process that will save time in the future.
Thursday I was evil (as I said yesterday – I have not heard if the guy is walking without saying ‘ow’ a lot yet).
Today (I started writing this late last night…) was just non stop.
The car needed servicing. I don’t trust garages, there is one that I just about trust so I always use it even though it's 90 miles away (I’m also the only English customer so I am always remembered and get good service – or so I thought). It was a cheap service (you have cheap, normal and expensive services for AWD Volvos – but it’s all relative…) but I knew that the rear brakes were ready for replacement – they are 168000KM’s old.
Or so I thought. It was the front. And as it’s a turbo they are special brakes and I prepared for a stupid price. It actually came back *very* cheap (10 euros more than someone on my team just paid for front brakes on a Fiat Punto!). Oh, but the rear pads were also shot (oddly enough not the discs – another 168000KM left on those!). Oh, and as they played with the front and rear brakes the fluid was changed at the same time.
And the alarm needing re-certifying (now a yearly occurrence) in order to keep the theft insurance valid (just because it’s an AWD the insurance classes it the same as a Chelsea Tractor re theft protection, the FWD version doesn’t need it even though it’s faster and more likely a target for the joy rider!)
All in 800GBP (less than I was expecting with the extra bits, more than I wanted to pay). But, it took 4 hours to do all of the work. And I had lots to do today so it put me way behind.
I drove back and rushed the weekly shopping (thank goodness for smart phones that Mrs Stace could send the list to!) in a store I was not used to, so I was walking back and forward for longer than I wanted.
Got home, rushed lunch – which was a shame ‘cause I had treated myself to some really nice cobs that I rushed too much to really enjoy. I was now 20 mins behind schedule and had to be out of the house in 40 minutes for therapy. Normally that would be a rush, but since my first laser appointment I have started to wet shave as the results are far better. So, a bit more than a rush…
Shaved, dressed (first time for a new outfit – I was over the moon with it; for one thing it fitted, which is an improvement on a couple of weeks ago) and started on my face. I have switched foundation this week – a local stored had a special offer on L’oreal so I decided to try the roll on foundation. It’s wonderful stuff! It gives a much nicer coverage than doing it by hand, and you don’t get foundation under your finger nails.
I actually managed to get ready in time (how I don’t know) looking better than normal because of doing things wrong (no time to do my hair using the brush normally, so I tried just using my hands – that didn’t work, but a quick attack with a brush afterwards looked better than normal and took half the time. I have to practice that I think to make sure it wasn’t a fluke…)
Go to Amsterdam with no traffic issues for a change, and found somewhere quite easy to park. And for once didn’t freeze getting the parking ticket or walking to the therapist’s office. I got myself a winter coat. Love the look and it’s *so* warm. My only issue is that it’s slightly longer than my skirts. Now this is not unusual in Holland (see it all the time at the train station – but Mrs Stace thinks that it looks a little like I forgot an item of clothing…)
The session was quite heavy this week – with a subject that I was really not comfortable talking about. I’m glad that we did – it was what I wanted to talk about before I arrived (though he brought the subject up in the session), but it was difficult none the less.
Something light to end on… I have gadget shopping trip coming up and have been trading mails with my ex-boss all week. He is a Hi-Fi nut, valve CD players etc – and so I wanted his advice on how to set up my system when I get my next toys. Got the advice I needed to get the preparations sorted (basically KISS) and found what I would like from Mrs Stace for my birthday - a FLAC server so I don't have to switch CD's all the time to get good quality music (and much cheaper than the presents of the last couple of years). He also showed me he home network setup, and as a geek I have to say it’s very nice. Something to think about if we build an extension to the house (as we are thinking about).