Sunday, 24 March 2013

Damn, blood pressure again!

It's been an interesting week...

But let's start with what you already know.  The pain in my leg, ankle and foot is almost gone, thankfully, and I'm getting back to normal.  The bruises have decided to make an appearance, so my toes and ankle did turn a lovely shade of purple - but that is also starting to go now as well.

It has caused me some issues though :)  I saw some lovely shoes this week, and as my summer heels have seen better days I thought that maybe it was time for a new pair.

Err...  No. The shoes in the shop were as small as child sizes - I take a euro 39 / 40 depending on style and the size 40 pair in the shop were still about 1 cm too small to even get my foot into - let alone be a bit too small!

So... Onto another shop, one of our favorites.  There were not too many styles to choose from (I don't like the shoes this season!) but one pair were quite nice.  Beige suede, and just the right height for what I was looking for.  Only...  The 39s pinched a little too much, and I walked out of the 40s.  Hmm...  OK, I know the bridge of my foot has swollen a bit, and apparently so has the toe.  Lets abandon the shoe shopping until my feet are normal sized shall we.  I hate failed shopping trips!

But...  That was the end of the week, time for a flashback to the start!

I have taken over the project from a colleague so that he can concentrate on a new project that he has.  It's an evil one, that when everything works is going to be great, but getting to that point is going to mean that multiple companies are going to have to work together, and at the right pace and understand each other.  And therein lies the problem :)

So, on Monday the project started for me for real.  A trip to one companies offices to discuss last year, and to see where we are going to take the project this year.  Fine.  No stress at all.  Zero history and scared witless of sitting silent in a meeting for 2 hours feeling a complete failure and fool.

On the way discussed some of the history with my colleague.  Got there fine, and into the meeting.  And yes, sitting there silently as I listened to the evaluation of the last year, not being able to make a good contribution.  Lots of notes, and actions for me, but nothing really to say at that point.  Hmm...

Still, it improved.  They asked about our implementation of SEPA and it was something that I know a lot about (being involved in the pre work to see what we have to do, and knowing what the really annoying and difficult problems are!)  At last I could speak, and actually I quite enjoyed it!

We agreed on what we needed to do, and closed the meeting and left for home.

Or that was the plan.

Unfortunately my colleagues car other other ideas.  Whilst changing gear it suddenly revved uncontrollably.  Hmm...  He tried a second time, and this time it just went insane.  Hazard lights on and over to the hard shoulder (emergency lane - thanks Cass!).  Keys out, but no difference, it's still revving well over the rev limit of the engine and the smoke coming out of the exhaust has put a solid smoke screen across both directions of the motorway.

Only once before in my life have I been that scared of a non moving car.  That was when the AA set fire to my first car by removing what the guy said was 'dodgy, cowboy wiring' but which was in fact the main fuse for the car.  2 hours later the engine bay caught fire whilst I was driving.

This was the same feeling.  I just wanted to get out of the car and as far away as possible!  I wasn't worried about fire this time, but flying con rods and pistons should the engine really let go.  I ran up the embankment (not easy when it's overgrown with brambles and is loose sand, and I am wearing tights and heels). And filmed it for my colleague, he wanted some proof of exactly what it did.

The first tow truck came and moved the car to a safe place.  We got to a rest spot and my colleague called the rescue service, just as his phone died.  So he needed my number in case they needed to contact him again, so I had to try and write it on the back of his hand.

The ANWB (Dutch AA) guy came and very simply said it's dead - you need towing.  So they arranged that the truck that picked us up from the motorway would take us to get the hire car.  As it was bloody cold, and I had no coat with me we waited in the truck whilst the loaded the car onto the back.

Oh...  And tight(ish) skirts are not the outfit of choice for either climbing the embankment, or climbing in and out of break down trucks! :)

We eventually got the hire car and started on the way home again.  And saw the time :O So...  he offered to make me some food as it was going to be very late before we reached the office, and I had another 45 minutes from there to home (I was assuming that the traffic was going to be fine at that hour!).

Now I need another flash back...  Whilst we were waiting for the car to be loaded a second time he told me that the first guy assumed I was his girlfriend.  The second assumed I was his wife.  Quite outside of the wonderful feeling I took from that (could you ask for more of a compliment from complete strangers!?), it made a wonderful 4 part joke.

In one day...  I went from having a guy ask me for my number for the first time.  To being his girlfriend.  And then his wife!  And he cooks for me!!!!! ;p

Not a good end to the day (especially for him, I feel so sorry for what has happened!) but there was something that we could laugh at, at least :)

And...  Seeing as I think that is quite enough for you guys to have to read in one go I think that I'll give you a rest now, and type the rest of the week up later :)


  1. The cheeky question is whether is marriages material ....

    That must have been quite a frightening experience. Knowing nothing about cars wouldn't have stopped me running for safety, skirts, tights or heels.

    I hope this project turns out ok ..... A big vote of confidence in your abilities that they want you to run it.

    1. I was quite scared yes :) More because I know what can happen and not wanting to be near it if it did!

      Once it starts to run it should be a good project. It's a back end connection project, consisting of several sub projects for each of the companies that we connect to.

      There was a short list of people for the project of me :) Quite what my boss would have done if I had turned it down I don't know... But yes, I was pleased that I was asked to do it. Not something I was expecting.


  2. Stace, does it make me an awful person to say that I am laughing at the image of you attempting to a) run up the embankment in tight skirt and heels and b) attempting to climb into a tow truck in same? lol

    Of course, I have no doubt I just ensured something similar - or worse - will happen to me now, but the laugh was worth it! Actually, when you read the post I am finishing now and see how I spent my Monday evening, you may say that it already has!

    Also, this does make you wonder if if this colleague may indeed see you as more than *his* colleague. :c) Not that Mrs. Stace wouldn't set him straight, needless to say. (God help him. lol) Totally charming story either way!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, sweetie!


    P.S. I second Becca's point that this represents a pat on the back in terms of your abilities...

    1. Only if it makes me a bad person as well... :) Once the pain in my legs stopped hurting it was fine, and we could make jokes about it. Quite pleased that the tights were 200 denier though - otherwise they would have been ripped to shreds!

      I read your escapades on Monday and can see your frustration, and how you can laugh at it afterwards (I've had those days...)

      I think I am safe there, he is happily married :)


      PS Thanks :)

    2. Married, you say? Ah well... a girl can still dream, can't she? And think what a great first-date story you would have had! :c)

      Remind me to share the story of how parents met, Stace; you will get a kick out of it, I promise. :c)


      P.S. Three cheers for high-quality tights!!! :c)

    3. That was supposed to be "my" parents. Although I'm sure your parents met in an equally charming way. :c)

    4. Well...

      I know how my parents met. It's not that charming :)


      PS I'll do my best to remind you.

      PPS Can you remind me to remind you please? ;p

  3. I have had rather too many 'too many cooks' projects, both as supplier and as customer. I don't envy you.

    Was your friend's car a diesel by any chance? They have an impressive failure mode in which the breather pipework blocks with oily muck and the engine breathes oil vapour into the inlet. The engine then runs away fueled by its own oil and revs in a huge cloud of smoke until it blows up. Only blocking the air inlet stops it but since the vacuum is so high it will happily suck anything it can straight into the engine.

    I once saw a Toyota van do it in town. Very theatrical it was.

    1. It's not so much that there are too many cooks. It's that there are too many people in the chain, and each link has to work for the whole to work...

      There are thankfully only two cooks. Me (this is what we delivery) and the other company (this is what we accept). The project is then joining those two up. Either the company changes what they accept, or there is some translation in the middle that joins the two together.

      But, yes... More than 10 companies all with their own standard...

      As for the car, yup. A Diesel. I hadn't considered the blocked breather option. I'd gone down the turbo failure option - where the turbo force feeds engine oil into the inlet until there is not enough oil left to run the turbo any more.

      Theatrical? Yes, I'd go with that (along with other things!)