Walking in a winter wonderland

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Firstly, my apologies to you. I’ve been meaning to write again for weeks but seem to run out of time.
I’m in the third week of my job and I really enjoy it. It feels like I’ve been here for about three days in terms of time passing – the weeks fly by as there’s so much to do. Everyone’s really nice – I’m sure that’ll change as I settle in more with the team, but so far it’s all been a smooth transition. As a whole, the team are really busy which means that I haven’t really had a chance to get to know everyone yet. As usual, smoking helps with that as you get to recognise people and have chats with them outside of work. The hierarchy disappears when you’re a smoker – if you (on the bottom rung) and the Director-General-President smoke, you’ll find yourself swapping nieces and nephews stories in no time, bumming fags from each other and co-ordinating breaks. In terms of the other people, we have a few Christmas lunches coming up so that’ll be a chance to get to know them properly.
I love working in Norwich. I’ve met a few friends for lunch already, which is great. I also get home in time for Neighbours, which I haven’t done for at least a year. Luckily, I have great friends who update me on what’s happening to who. It definitely looks different on Channel 5, though. Still, it’s nice to have the option of watching it if I want. Hollyoaks is on so late! When I used to work away it’d be a bit of a rush to get home in time for the E4 ep, nevermind the Channel 4 one. Now I have a clear hour to toddle about before the early episode comes on. Simple pleasures, eh?
There are only a few cons, neither of which go anywhere near outweighing the benefits. The first is that I don’t have time to read anymore. I used to spend nearly three hours a day reading when I was on the train, and now I spend an extra hour in bed and an extra hour watching the telly or doing something a little more productive. I know what you’re saying – I could easily set aside an hour or two at night to read. I’m just too lazy to. I am reading eclipse at the moment though, which is the third book in the Edward/Bella vampire saga. It’s pretty ace. Definitely a specific audience, but still ace.
The other con is that I’m spending far too much money! Popping out for lunch leads me into Topshop, where I buy things like this :
Shiny hat of joy
Or I go to somewhere expensive for lunch and end up paying a tenner a day. Not to mention the damage done to my waistline… Still, it’s all worth it. I just need to exercise my willpower a little bit more in the monetary and subsistence ways.

I have a bit of an axe to grind this week. How much does it cost for an overdue book? My library is upwards of £1 per book, per week. That means that I’ve regularly paid £8 for four overdue books, late by ten days. Please, tell me if it’s an over-reaction from me but I resent paying a new book for a couple of overdue books. I think my problem was that I was under the impression that you could get books out for six weeks, when it’s actually three.
That is an oversight on my part. However, I still think that the charges are pretty steep. That means that people who check out the maximum allowance of fifteen books end up paying £15 a week – more, if I’ve calculated incorrectly.
That’s another thing that’s irritating me. The fees and charges aren’t clear at all. On the website, in the library – ask a member of staff and nine times out of ten they give you a different/vague answer.
I wouldn’t grudge it so much if 1) the library was not equipped with dozens of computers complete with scanners, printers etc, none of which I use on a regular basis (ie more than once a year) 2) if the charges were clearer 3)if the library was not already funded with council money, paid for by council tax payers.
When you can get a book from HMV for £3, it seems pointless to waste money on the library.
Don’t get me wrong – the responsibility lies with me. I’m not moaning about the charges themselves – just the sheer expense of them. I’d like to complain but can’t think of a way to do it without sounding like a whiny teenager.
What do you reckon?

Anyway, on to nicer things. Christmas is just around the corner! YAY! I’m always excited about Christmas. I think, if it’s possible, I get more excited every year. We watch Christmas films, eat lots of yummy Christmas stuff (although I don’t like Christmases Cake, Pudding or mince Pies) and generally have lots of fun. I wrote a present list today. In fact, please don’t laugh or disown me due to excessive geekery, but I wrote a spreadsheet. It has people, shops, budget, items and status on it. There’s also a things to do list and a deadline. I might even incorporate some formatting so it can be pretty, shiny colours. Oh. Dear.
I’m also seeing The Black Keys in the next fortnight, in London. I saw them at UEA a couple of years ago and they were amazing. This is going to be cool. Another benefit to working in Norwich – when we got the tickets I was in Cambridge and was going to have to battle through rush hour on the train to get to London and then somehow meet Mr Charming and friends at the venue. This way we can all go together and it’ll be much more relaxed.

Speaking of relaxed – our new bed is amazing. I love it so. The top of the mattress is two feet off the ground, which is amazing when you’ve been sleeping about six inches off the ground for three years. It’s so big as well – I can stretch out and not worry about my feet sticking out the bottom. The duvet’s lush too – we got a Silentnight all seasons tog, which is basically a 9 tog and a 4.5tog duvet which you can stick together with heavy duty Velcro. It’s lovely. I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to get another bed. Of course, now we’ve done that we need to get bedside tables and a couple of tall bookcases as the rest of the house looks out of place… It also took us three hours to get the old bed dismantled and drag the new one upstairs. We live in a cosy mid-terraced house – fairly standard in Norwich. The less than average thing about it, the feature which made us plump for that house in the first place, is the unconventional staircase. It runs parallel with the outside alleyway and is hidden by a door which looks like it should belong to a cupboard. This is great, and it looks lovely, until you try to get something slightly bigger than a lunchbox up the stairs. They take a sharp turn after the door, which led to a pretty stressful forty five minutes. Still, it was all worth it in the end. Suffice it to say: we’re not going to be moving soon.

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