• General

    Weekend, at Last

    the week has ended on a much better note than my last entry. Work is finally
    moving along, and although tired after a long week, I feel good. Phil and I
    went out in Leek this morning, as I wanted to show him all my favorite places
    (discovered on my long lunchtime walks) and my favorite park – and it rained!
    Of course, as soon as we got back to Congleton, the sun came out. There you

    What else is happening? I worked on a CD presentation this week, which was an interesting project. As soon as I shoot the video interview section and add music, I’ll be done. Phil is doing very well at his job; they are so happy with his work that soon he’ll be producing his own commercials. He’s very excited. The bathroom is finally almost finished. (Not banging my toes on the damn ladder is a GOOD thing!) Here is a picture of it.

    Not much else to tell. Things are good…

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    I was upset last night after work, and I sideswiped the concrete post on the side of the driveway. Slashed the tire and bent the rim, dented the fender. *sigh*

    Trying to get any work done on the site is like trying to herd cats. I don’t want to just jump in and start changing everything on my own, it’s not a personal homepage, but I can’t get anyone together to talk about it. I’ve been going blind this week and last, going through all of the multitudes of pages that people have done in FrontPage and Word (!!!), cleaning up the code, ripping out all of the background images and fucking awful colors and graphics…with no guarantee that the culprits won’t go straight back in and re-do their pages! A lot of it needs an ASP coder, which I’m NOT, and I can’t get help. I went and stood in Dave’s office yesterday, and he was too polite to ask me to leave, so he promised to get together with me after lunch. Well, five o’clock came around with no word…I don’t know what to do.

    This is the weirdest job I’ve ever had. I don’t know who I answer to, I don’t have any help or direction, and everyone is too passive to want to get anything done. I don’t want to go in all intense and gun-ho with them, but really! Should I quit? Should I stay?

    Do they even realise that I’m still there?

  • General


    I haven’t posted for a while, due to tiredness and just plain laziness. It’s always stressful starting a new job, and it takes a while to get used to a schedule again. I admit, we both got very spoiled while we were off work. ;)

    Last weekend we went to a ferret show (who’d have thought there was such a thing?) and came home with two new ferrets. The male is an albino, normally not my favorite color, but he is SUCH a sweetie. Phil’s father christened him Jose Ferret. The female is a sandy, which means that she is a cream/honey color. Very type A. I admit, I am quite taken with him, and I put up with her, little ball of stress and single-mindedness that she is.

    We went to dinner the other night with a lot of the people that I work with, to an Indian restaurant in Leek. Wonderful food, and wonderful company. Phil felt a little uncomfortable, since he didn’t know anyone, and he could only have salad, but overall it was a great night.

    The flowers are from our bank!!! They came with a bottle of wine, as a “We’re Sorry” gesture for making a mistake on our account! You’ll NEVER have that happen in the states.

  • General

    Pros and (just a few) Cons

    Today I went for a walk at lunch and saw:

    A market vender doing his spiel for the passers-by, who said “…now, I’m not saying that they fell off the back of a truck, but the fact is we may have knocked a few off…”

    A pub called The Quiet Woman, with a sign that shows a woman in a long dress, candelabra in one hand, and her severed head beneath the other arm. Really weird.

    An old lady pushing a pram with a Yorkie in it.

    Things I love about England:

    1) Everyone is really, really friendly.

    2) The politeness…even in road signs. If you are held up by roadworks, there will be a final sign that apologizes for the wait. There are caution and road crossing signs for Caution: Elderly People (with a little silhouette of a bent-over person with a cane), and also things like Watch for Blind Persons (near schools for the blind).

    3) Desserts. I need to stop eating them! Gorgeous sponge puddings with fresh berries and hot custard on them. Meringue shells filled with strawberries and double cream. *sigh*

    4) The livestock – all the cows and sheep look so clean and shiny. I’m used to rough beasts dripping snot on one end and diarrhea from the other. Also, you see them sleeping a lot…unlike there, where they have to spend every minute of the day desperately hunting food.

    5) Weird sports, like lawn bowling and cheese rolling. There was a carnival one weekend, and the local dog club put on a choreographed exhibition to music with their dogs.

    Things I don’t love about England:

    1) The rain.

    2) Things like Half-Day Closing. You’ll go into a town to do urgent shopping, and find out that the entire town is closed on Wednesday, or whatever. Weird.

    3) Driving. On tiny little roads that are big enough for one car, but somehow handle two-way traffic…AND cars parked on one side!!!

  • General

    The End of a GREAT Week

    It’s Friday night, and I am waiting for Phil to get home. I really am very, very happy…I can’t remember when I’ve been this happy. I’m living in a place that I love, I have a great job with really nice people, the best house, and Phil…who is wonderful. Yes, we’re broke…but it doesn’t seem to matter right now. :)

    PS: I saw cows in the road today for the first time. Came around a corner at 50+ mph, actually, and there they were, which was quite heart-stopping. Sat there while they meandered past, followed by an old bugger who tapped them idly on the butt with a stick, obviously in no great hurry. It was very “olde-English-y.”

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    Still not networked. *sigh* I just got back from a long walk at lunch, through the market, and then the churchyard and park. I bought some organic pumpkin seeds and dates at a health food store (I’d been told that they had sunflower seeds, and they did – but not in the shell). Phil is going to be gone for two weeks, at a training course for his job. I’m very nervous at the thought of being alone here for half a month – I just barely started driving alone! Plus the house can be a bit spooky at night, like all houses, I suppose.

  • General


    Still no internet access, and I’m too stubborn to just trash what I’ve written so far, so I am adding to this, and it will all go up in one great lump. I think I’ve about finished what I’ll be able to do without being able to look at the site or at any reference materials. I’ve done infinite versions of designs for the site, and at this point I’m just wanking if I do any more. :(

    Phil really likes his job, although they’ve said that they’re going to send him away to Leeds for two weeks of training. Wonderful. I’ll be living by myself for half a month. Ah, well, at least we’re both working.

  • General


    Friday the 13th, and things are wonderful! Still no internet access, as you can see, but I’ve been trying to keep busy. Very strange to just sit here without the capability to do my job, knowing that I am new here and on my probationary period, and I can’t do anything to prove myself! Very unsettling.

  • General

    Sad Anniversary

    Things are going well. I feel a bit melancholy this morning, as it’s the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks; there have been memorials all morning on the BBC. In an indirect way, though, I think it brought me here. Many people have said that they began to live more for the moment, and not just let their lives slide by, after the attack. I know that I have certainly changed my life…I am married, living in a country that I am totally in love with, and I’ve started to build a completely new life. It’s wonderful.

    Phil is on his second interview this morning, at a local radio station for a copywriting position. They liked the two sample ads that he wrote, and scheduled him to come in again. If he gets it, most of our financial problems will eventually be solved. We need a second car, though, as we won’t be able to commute together.

    Once we’re back on our feet, we’ll be able to travel and explore a bit. There is SO much that I want to see! The rest of Europe, of course, but also things that we can do on a weekend here: London again, Stonehenge, Wales, Scotland. When my family comes over I want to see Ireland…I’ll wait, I think, until I can do that with my sisters and my parents. That would be quite a moving experience. (Phil, of course, is very lukewarm on going to Ireland.)

    Postscript: I called Phil at lunch, and he got the job! Wonderful, wonderful…we’re going to go out to a pub for dinner tonight and celebrate. I wanted to talk to him longer, but a stout old lady was glaring at me fiercely through the glass. That’s right – it was my first time in one of the old red phoneboxes. :)

    We had a minute of silence in the courtyard in memoriam of 9/11; I had tears in my eyes. Now, I’m back at my desk, looking for something to do. (I’m still waiting for internet access here at work. I’m working on what I can, but with no access to the site, there’s not much that I can do. I’ve felt a bit like an orphan.) Ah, well…at least we’re a fully employed family, as of this afternoon!

  • General


    Went walking in the park today, picking up conkers under the chestnut trees in the park. I worked most of the morning in the garden, tidying up and pulling weeds and bastard nettles. It feels good to have a lazy weekend after a busy week at work. :)

    Phil is on the front page of two of the papers, after a letter that went out to both the Chronicle and the Guardian (as well as to the police). It is attached here. Pics are here.


    As a recent new resident of Congleton, and living near the park, I’ve been dismayed to see the local vandals doing their bit to ruin it for the rest of us. Only recently the bridge was burned and needed new planking; I hear that the bird cage was vandalised, and now the fencing leading to the bridge. I know this because I witness a group of kids doing it. I tried to call the police to alert them, but on calling the local station was re-routed to Macclesfield calling centre, who informed me that Congleton Police station was closed (this is 7 pm on Sunday Sept. 1st). They transferred my call to Northwich, and it rang, and rang and rang. I hung up, and called Macclesfield back to ask if there was an alternative number; “No” said the dispatcher, “It seems that Northwich are taking their time answering the phone tonight..” and she transferred me again. It rang, and rang and rang. I gave up. I decided to do something myself, so I pulled out my camera and shot a few frames. The quality’s not great, but I’m enclosing a few in the hopes that someone will publish them and shame someone into coming forth with some names. After I took the photos, I tried Northwich again and let it ring for a long time – upwards of 30 rings. In frustration I hung up, and am now writing this letter in the hopes that some justice, other than that provided (or not) by the local police forces, will prevail.

    Thank you for your time,

    Yours, Phil Worthington