Monday, 24 October 2005

My boss decided that he wanted a "robo-raptor", having seen this year's candidate for "the toy that all kids will be wanting for Christmas"in Debenhams. On Friday he was worrying that he would be unable to get there after work, so I offered to get it for him and wait for him in the car park behind Debenhams. He gave me £100 to pay for it, it turned out to cost only £90, so he very generously gave let me keep the change. His partner, a teacher was horrified that he'd bought it, and his cat was rather freaked out by the plastic dinosaur.

I've not done this much lathe work and soldering in a long time, the mainspring barrel for a fusee clock (the biggest, most powerful range of mainspring) was rather poorly assembled, it split apart when Trevor tried to improve the lousy joins! I've had to make a bush for the first time in ages for the same clock. Another chiming clock needed 35 holes bushes, including 6 (mainspring) barrels, and 15 of then required me to use two bushes because the last repairer had used a weird set of bushes. I normally don't need to spend over a week on just two clock, but these two defied belief.

I got a bit of a surprise when David told me someone would be coming in on Friday morning who would start working with us on Thursdays, then a second surprise when David asked me to consolidate my half-days and take Thursday off to give the new chap, called Chris, a bit more working room. I didn't mind too much, but a little more warning would be nice. Chris is a temporary worker, helping to reduce our ever-growing backlog of work, (now if we could only get our customers to deal with the backlog of stuff to be collected and paid for.) Chris has been working from home and wants to get a bit more experience from the variety of clocks we service.

Monday, 17 October 2005

It's been an unusual few weeks for me, with the DLA, Housing and Council Tax benefits in place and Working Tax Credit applied for. It seems very strange to finally get the support that I should have been getting since my condition was finally diagnosed. I was almost angry when I asked my colleague, Matt who gets a free "Motability" car rather than DLA, wasn't getting Council Tax or Housing Benefit, it seems no one told him he'd probably still be eligible for those benefits when he changed from receiving DLA to having a car. I've given him the phone number for the woman at the CAB, who has been helping me with my benefits, after asking her if Matt could probably get those benefits.
I feel rather drained after putting all that effort into getting the benefits, it's been hard to apply myself fully at work, not through laziness but from exhaustion. I'm considering taking a few days off work just to de-stress.

It's also been a busy period, I go out to see "Howl's Moving Castle" at the PictureHouse Cinema, turning my phone off shortly before Dad attempted to contact me, just a bit of bad timing. Dad visited me on his way back to Camberley, with a damp, non-functional mobile phone. Unfortunately, this is the same day as my first Resident's Meeting with an agenda point I've raised. It was about the status of the Book Club I attempted to get involved with, only giving up after four weeks of no one turning up. I turns out that it had shrunk to only two active members shortly before I attempted to join and petered out. It's been revived, and hopefully will give me an opportunity to socialise in the evening. I fed Dad after the meeting, his sabbatical seems to be doing him some real good, although he was tired, it didn't seem to be as deep rooted as it had been.

I had signed up for the Belmont Church event, "Feed a Fresher", however on the day there were far more providers than mouths to feed, It ended up with me being invited to Mark's house by one of his housemates for a roast chicken Sunday Lunch, very nice. I left a little earlier than I'd wanted to because I needed a break if I wanted to be able to attend the talk that evening at Belmont, about the book "The Da Vinci Code". The talk was quite interesting mostly because I'd only heard bits and pieces about the content and implications. The talk pointed out that The Da Vinci Code was very similar in content to another book based on an publicly admitted hoax, and the so-called accuracy of the "facts" was rather questionable. Despite the general Christian view that the book is nonsense, the talk tried to be fair and was well presented.

Today I went to the cinema with Mark and Monica, to see the "Wallace and Gromit" film, it was good, but I felt a little disappointed that the density of puns was a lower than I'd hoped for.

Monday, 3 October 2005

Quite a busy couple of days, went to Belmont Church with the parents and Nan, they seemed to approve, went for a walk and then had lunch with all the family in Exeter. It would be nice to see a bit more of Tamsin and Martyn, but between their busy lives and the distance between us it will take a bit more planning than seeing Mark and Monica.

Today was I worked on four different jobs, reworking one, disabling the strike on another, replacing the quartz movement on yet another and lastly servicing a timepiece. It's been a while since I've been able to work on so many clocks in one day. Quite satisifying.