The Eclectic Journal

I have just finished reading this book about the early life of Ghengis Khan and how he combined tribes ready to secure his place in history. Obviously this is a work of fiction but it is based on fact and it truly brings to life how it really would have been in that time in history.

It is a brilliant book and I can’t wait to get the send book in the triliogy and start reading it.

Overall I would give this 4.5 out of 10.

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Just had delivery of two new cookery books. One is Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals and the other is Gordon Ramsey’s Best Menus. I can’t wait to get home tonight to have a good look through them.

I normally make a meals list out every week so I know what we are going to have for our dinners and I know what I need to buy, however recently I’ve become bored and feel like we eat the same meals over and over again so I needed an injection of inspiration – hopefully these books will provide it. I’ll be doing my shopping list tomorrow ready for the delivery on Wednesday so that will give me enough time to plan some nice meals for the rest of the week and weekend.

Can I have some “Happy Pills” please? The only reason that I ask is that, as indicated last night, I’ve been out of sorts all week. I expect that part of this is down to interupted sleep and part is down to worry!

And the reason for the worry? My son has been in a peculiar mood all week and every single day I have expected a phone call from school asking me to come and collect him. Finally today the inevitable happened.. they rang. Fortunately it wasn’t a direct “please come and collect him” but more of a warning that I might be receiving that particular request in the next few hours. These calls are becoming more and more frequent and although finally we are coming close to getting a proper diagnosis of his autism (aspergers more specifically) it doesn’t actually make me fell much better as I still feel that I’m a world away from the help that I actually need.

That helps isn’t someone to listen to me (although I could perhaps have someone listen to my inane rants), it’s more for someone to not only understand what I am going through but to perhaps actually take notice. For example – each and every time that I have to pick my child up from school it is a three hour round trip from my workplace-to school-to listen to the some old story-to drop my son off at home-to travel back to work again (home to work BTW is an hours drive in good traffic). Therefore not only do I have to make up the time that I have lost in my working day at home, I also have to chase around for my boss to let him know that I need to leave, re-arrange any meetings, etc, etc. I feel that I am unable to progress at work because I have this, shall we call it an “issue”, hanging over me and at any given moment may have to leave work. I dread having meetings in the knowledge that I might not be able to attend and have to give my excuses and look completely unprofessional. I wonder what might happen as in this current climate a job is practically a luxury and surely if it is seen that I am leaving work early, regularly, this cannot be a good thing and I would potentially be a victim of the current economic climate due solely to the fact that the school which looks after my son is unable to cope and the council have been slow to react to his needs. If that should happen then, as the breadwinner of the family, we would have to sell our hame as we would not be able to afford the mortgage. In fact we would have to sell out home at a loss due to the fact I am sure we would not get the full asking price, so we would have to pay off our mortgage with money that we do not have and cannot afford. We have loans that we would be unable to pay and I would have to claim for bancruptcy to clear our debts. As an accountant I would no longer be able to call myself an accountant and I’m pretty sure that you cannot have a bankrupt accountant and therefore I would never be able to get anotherjob in my chosen field….. all because my son has autism…. great isn’t it… so please can I have some happy pills, since at the moment I feel completely depressed!

Apparently the BBC journalists are on strike today because they are unhappy with changes to their pension. I will not pretend to know the details of this, but suffice to say the only reason I noticed that they were on strike was because I actually preferred the news this morning as it was more like the news journalism that I would actually expect from the BBC instead of the banter that usually appears on my screen every week day morning when I am “trying” to find out what has happened in the world.

Please can the journalists go on strike more often so I can more regularly receive the news that I want to see instead of the “news” that it given to me?

Finally, after planning to have a bath at the beginning of the week to have some ‘me’ time, eventually at practically the end of the week I finally managed! A whole 30 minutes relaxation time to read a book – it was just what I needed.

All week I’ve been feeling out-of-sorts. I keep having bad/weird dreams that have resulted in me having disturbed sleep, so I’ve not been waking up very refreshed and by about 3 o’clock in the afternoon I hit the wall at work and feel ready to call it a day. I know I just need some decent rest and I figured a nice bath would do the trick. At the moment all appears well although I am contemplating whether to go the whole hog and have some hot chocolate as well… Maybe not, as I’m not sure I can be bothered to make it…

The book I’m reading is “Wolf of the Plains” by Conn Iggulden. It’s the first in a series of books that he has written about Genghis Khan. I actually started reading it months ago (at least back in May as I remember reading it on the train on the way up to Edinburgh for the marathon) but I’ve been unfaithful and read a few other books in the meantime – I usually have a couple on the go at any one time so I can read one that best suits my mood. I haven’t really felt in the mood for this one again until recently (and I also haven’t made much time for reading). Despite that, it is a good story. I’ve previously read the books that the author has written about Julius Ceaser (apologies for the spelling, neither the spell check nor I know how to spell it properly!) – both Julius and Genghis being rulers that interest me.

As I was saying, I haven’t made much time for reading recently, but maybe a month ago I picked up a copy of “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens in the bookshop, mainly to keep on my bag as something to read if I got stuck waiting. It’s actually proved invaluable as shortly afterwards I had to take my son to hospital for a suspected broken finger/hand. It was actually ok, just sprained but in the hours wait in the waiting room I certainly had something to keep me entertained. Plus it’s also been read in the dentist, doctors, all sorts of places – it re-awakened me to the joy of reading so I’ve told the other half that I want a Kindle for Christmas (e-Book reader basically for the uninitiated) and I’ve already made my list of books that I want to buy. In fact from the lovereading website I downloaded the first 10 pages or so of “The Finkler Question” which was the Booker Prize winner last month and I’m itching to start reading it, it has a really good introduction.

So here’s to a good nights sleep and a better start to tomorrow

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When I got into work this morning my colleague was playing music through his mobile phone.  To explain I sit in an office with four desks of which two are in constant use, mine and my colleagues, and the other two are hot desks, so the fact that he was playing music is something that is possibly acceptable.

Now he has a creative role, so music probably helps to get the creative juices flowing.  I am an analyst.  I deal with numbers all day and I need to concentrate.  I do speak to myself and I find that when there is a distraction I actually speak louder in order to compensate and try to make my thoughts heard.

I have put up with him playing music in the past (once only, admittedly) and I begrudged that, constantly frowning to myself and generally getting more and more worked up.  I promised myself that should it happen again, I would nip it in the bud and say something straight away.

Amazingly, I did.  I came in, switched my computer on and made myself a drink in the vain hope that the music would be off when I returned to my desk.  It wasn’t.  I sat down, tried to do some work and couldn’t so just blurted out “I’m not being funny, but… I can’t concentrate when you’ve got your music on.”

And that was it.  He accepted it and turned it off.  I was very impressed with myself, I’m not usually taken to making a fuss or standing up to myself, this is twice in two days (what with the email to my broadband supplier).  Could I be turning over a new, more authoritative leaf?

I started a new job about 9 months ago.  I changed my broadband supplier about 4  months ago.

Today, one of my old colleagues forwarded an email to me from my broadband supplier that they managed to send to my old work’s email address.  Obviously this surprised me.  I logged on to my account to ensure that my profile was up to date and had my most recent email address (the one, I hasten to add, that is attached to the broadband supplier), just on the off chance that I had done something really stupid and left my old email address in there.

My suspicions were correct – I had the correct email address in my profile – as I suspected since this is the one they used to let me know that I had a bill to pay!  I had too much to do at work to spend time on the phone and know how frustrating it can be to actually find the right number to ring, so instead opted to send an email to vent my frustration and concern not only that they were emailing to an address that I no longer had access to, but that wasn’t even on my profile as a means of contact.

Within two hours I had a phone call back from them saying that they were sorry that this had happened, and that they had now removed all reference to this previous email address and my current one was the only one that they had on record.  All in all, I was actually quite impressed at the service.  It took me less than 10 minutes to write the email (and find the correct place to send the email) and then I didn’t have to do anything else – no hanging on the line whilst they go through security questions or any of that other nonsense, the problem basically got sorted out in the background and I was only told when it had been solved.

One task on my “todolist”, one task straight back off my “todolist” – Brilliant!