careers testing

July 31, 2005

yesterday i spent three hours doing psychometric testing to try to find out what sort of career i would be good at and enjoy. i'd done a few test questions so i knew the sort of thing to expect: guess the next bead in the series; hot is to cold as x is to y; a series of numbers with one number missing, etc.

when i arrived, the room was set out like an exam and there were a dozen candidates. the tests were conducted in silence, with strict time limits. the questions started off easy and increased in difficulty, becoming incredibly hard. it was much more rigorous than i was expecting.

after nearly two hours, we were permitted a ten minute break.

the second part of the test really surprised me. the test questions didn't prepare me for any of the second part. it contained things like writing as many characters as you can in ten seconds; a test for accuracy where you had to compare two numbers and mark whether they were identical or different (as many as you could in the time allowed) and a series of diagrams where you had to add a few lines to turn them into a picture of something. fascinating.

apparently it will be ten days or so before i get the results. hopefully they will be useful and they won't say, "your ideal career is as an artist or a farmer".

on the way home it was pouring with rain. i drove past a big rolls royce with ribbons across the bonnet. every time i see a wedding car in the pouring rain, i am grateful once again for the weather on my wedding day. i don't think that feeling will ever go away.

team spike go to alton towers

July 27, 2005

on monday, matt, will, gordy and i all took a day off work to go to alton towers.

we got up at 6am.
we drove towards the m6.
we got stuck in a gigantic traffic jam for an hour.
we stopped at a garage because izzy needed a wee.
we found out the m6 was closed at the junction we wanted to get on, in both directions.
we turned round and drove for another 40 minutes to the next junction.
we got half a mile before the car broke down.

nevermind, eh? we sat on the hard shoulder until the aa man turned up (we had to wait ages because he also got stuck in the traffic) and towed our car to the nearest garage. then we went bowling in stafford.

comedy moments from our holiday

July 25, 2005

mattgreen, isabel and i went to somerset last week for a holiday. we had a very relaxing time. we even managed to get sunburned which is pretty impressive for a british holiday. we stayed in a cottage which had the world's smallest garage. the visitor's book was full of comedy classics including various people who had pranged their cars, followed by later visitors pouring shame upon them for being shite at parking. there was even a page marked, "garage hall of fame" featuring people who had squeezed in gigantic vehicles such as a seven-seater renault espace, a subaru imprezza, a volvo estate and, defying belief, a bentley 8.

here are some pictures of mattgreen attempting to reverse our (really quite small) car out of the garage:

the little thatched cottage we stayed in was called 'oak cottage'. when we arrived, mattgreen announced, "oak cottage eh? well, i think I'LL be the judge of that!" and set about examining the beams. apparently they were not actually oak but rather scot's pine painted black. suitably scathing commentary was left in the visitor's book.

one night we were awoken by a very bright light. mattgreen went to investigate and discovered it was the next-door-neighbour's rather fearsome security light which was tilted at an angle that shone directly into our bedroom window. mattgreen muttered darkly that it was like a new dawn was upon us.

we also went to the zoo where izzy held a tarantula - i kid you not. she showed no fear whatsoever and was most impressed at how furry it was. that's my girl! or maybe, that's the entomologist's daughter. like father like daughter?

(larger version of this pic will be on flickr soon - if you don't have access just drop me an email)

it was a lovely holiday and my mobile phone is still full of sand.

two minutes silence

July 14, 2005

i'd already decided i was going to observe the two minutes silence before i came to work today. unfortunately there's nobody else in today so having observed three hours of silence already on my own in the office, i decided i would go outside and stand in the street like people in london were being encouraged to.

once i was in a shopping centre when there was a two minute silence and it was very moving; i was astounded at the way everybody stopped and bowed their heads; it seemed very meaningful somehow.

today, however, was the least silent silence i have ever heard. i work on a busy road and cars were zooming up and down, people wandering in and out of the butchers, walking past chattering loudly. absolutely nobody seemed to be observing the silence apart from me. it was kind of sad.

i can't stop thinking about the bombers' families. i feel even more sorry for them than i do for the victims' families, because they have not only lost their sons but they have also got to come to terms with what their precious child has done. they obviously had no idea; i heard the uncle of one of the younger lads say, "we've lost everything that we have". his dad runs a fish and chip shop - who will want to go there now? they've lived here all their lives. they are going to have to close their business, move away... all the while grieving the death of their son with absolutely no sympathy from the community. it must be absolutely devastating.

search terms

July 13, 2005

some things people have typed into google and have got my website as a result (june-july 2005 edition):

scorpion clan tattoo
time shortage
andy roddick haircut photo
sweetheart darling
equation rearrangement
evil alien babies
frogs leg dinner picture
insanely disgusting toilets

interesting. i think a few visitors may have been disappointed.


July 11, 2005

"On any weekday there is a 39.7% chance Cathy will sweat like a beast. Cathy, seriously. The hospital. Go."

'cathy' was a cartoon strip in a paper we used to get when we lived abroad. i think it must be american. in any case, i found this link today and it had me in tears of laughter. i don't know whether it was the facts themselves, his writing style or just the sheer idea of somebody spending their free time doing the maths, but i laughed until i cried. the rest of the site is pretty funny too.


July 09, 2005

i'm tired tonight. i should be studying, but i'm not in the mood. i've already done 3 hours today... there's only so much oxidation of glucose i can take.

we all know what happened in london now. i think everyone agrees it was absolutely inevitable. you can't stand around going 'slurp slurp' to george bush all the time and expect the terrorists to ignore you. sooner or later they're going to call in. to be honest, i think we got off quite lightly. it must be very hard for the families who have people missing. i think i'd cope better with death than disappearance.

thank god we voted tony blair back in. i mean, can you imagine michael howard at g8, trying to deal with this. even tone seemed quite shaken up when he was standing there with the eyes of the world's leaders boring into his back. michael howard would've been a total disaster area. and let's not even mention charles kennedy. you've got to hand it to him, blair knows how to handle himself under pressure. i don't agree with everything labour do, but i was grateful to have them in power on thursday.

and then there is the frivolous stuff. like maxwell being voted out of big brother. i loved maxwell, he was my favourite housemate this year. i would so rather hang out with him and saskia than with a bunch of moaning, bitching, vain drama queens. i can't believe the public voted him out. it's the turning point of the series for me. i don't think i'll bother watching the rest apart from the evictions. i liked big brother because when it got to 10pm i could say, that's it, time for me to switch off and snuggle down in front of the tv before i went to bed. i guess now i'll be doing even more studying. hooray! bring on the electron transport chain!

isabel is going through a screaming phase. sometimes it seems like all she does is scream, all day long. it is...wearing. i ask her to do something, she says no and screams, i tell her she can have a treat if she does it. she doesn't do it, i warn her, i warn her again, she screams that she wants her treat. eventually i am forced to follow through and tell her she can't have her treat, gargantuan screaming follows. on friday i had to carry her around sainsburys whilst pushing a full trolley because she refused to get off the floor. nightmare.

in good news, she can totally write her name perfectly legibly without any help. she is starting to ask what the letters are in words and trying to write them. she drew a picture of me the other day and wrote "mummy" underneath it really very well. she is such an angel at times and a horror at others. thankfully it will pass. eventually.

mattgreen has gone to a game con tonight and will be back late tomorrow, before leaving again monday morning on business and not coming back until friday night. i'm going to miss him.

studying is going okay. i posted my sixth tutor marked assignment today - only two more to go. i resent the time it takes more and more. i especially resent the fact that i'm losing my entire summer. roll on october! i can't believe i'm thinking of doing another one next year, i must be a secret masochist.

i'm tired. night night.


July 07, 2005

i am alarmed. somebody phoned the office to check that none of our staff were in london today because there's been an explosion. it doesn't sound good. i don't believe for a second that this is a 'power surge'.

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