Wednesday, October 29, 2003
A strange thing happened last week. We managed to find a recruitment agency that seemed interested in finding people temp jobs. I'd naively assumed that that was what they all did but the experiences of the last couple of weeks proved me wrong. Anyway, within the space of a couple of days of registering we had been found positions. As luck would have it a company in Harrow (where we live) needed two people with office skills and we fitted the bill.
We are working for a market research company and our roles really make us feel like we are making a difference. The project we are on involves correlating the results from four countries and producing the presentations which will be delivered in December. The reason we are making a difference? The company we work for is conducting market research for pet food.
When a cat turns its nose up at mackerel flavoured treats.... we want to know why.
When a dog owner asks themselves the question "If this brand was a person, would it be someone I would really like and have lots in common with?"...we need to know the answer.
When an overpaid middle-manager wants to know how loyal his customers are to a brand of cat litter.... we can show him in a range of pretty colours. By customers I guess I mean their cats for this one. Although cat owners can be an odd bunch.
I only hope the pet owners of Europe realise the sacrifices brave office workers are making to put the spring back in Fido's step.
Monday, October 27, 2003
Sunday, October 26, 2003
Saturday, October 25, 2003
What do you think is the fastest colour for a bike? Spirit Of Stockton is yellow but is more of a beast of burden than speed machine. Spirit of Brisbane is black and stylish but is it the quickest? Who would argue with Eddy Mercx's orange or USPS blue?
Well now is your chance to have your say on this important topic. Select your choice at the poll on the bottom left-hand side under the Message Board.
Polls will close when we have enough to make a decent graph. Or if we get bored....
Friday, October 24, 2003
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
On Saturday we attended Kate and Maca's Wedding in Winchester. This event has been sat (usually alone) in the column labelled "good things to come from our house sale fiasco".
Due to our current limited financial resources, we were staying at the Youth Hostel and had arranged for the warden to let us call round after the 10am closing time. We didn't want to travel down in our finery or have to carry our normal clothes to the big event. He was expecting a quick bag drop so it was with a slightly put-upon air that he showed us to the ladies' washroom.
We were getting changed in record time when a puzzled look crept across Vic's face. It was the same sort of expression she sees on me when I finish assembling flat pack furniture to find a bag of screws and a piece of wood which looks worryingly load bearing left over. In these instances I can claim spare parts or a design amendment are responsible but it would be difficult for Vic to pass off her dress as wearable with the inner layer two inches longer than the outer....
It's character building to discover your wedding outfit is ruined two hours before the service but as veterans of the TV show "SAS: Are You Tough Enough" we knew well enough not to panic. In fact there are many similarities between having to survive in a hostile environment where any wrong move could lead to injury or death and life in the SAS.
Winchester is a beautiful city but its cathedral and museums were sidelined in favour of Debenhams which, unable to compete directly with Jane Austen's final resting place went for providing a reasonable array of dressy women's outfits.
By 12 o'clock we were out and waiting for the 12:10 bus to Alresford. By 12:30 we were in a cab slowly and expensively negotiating a one way system.
Still all was well and we arrived to see our friends Paul and Sandra get dropped off by Paul's dad. They too had had a difficult morning, but we happily accepted our role as bad luck magnets for the event.
The service itself was both moving and fun. Rev Phil Collins kept things light with a couple of jokes but sadly avoided any readings from Genesis and missed his chance to warn that "your can't hurry love". One of the hymns, Lord of the Dance, was a real blast from the past as it was an old school assembly favourite for the majority of the people there. I probably hadn's sung it for the best part of 25 years which was cause to stop and think....
The reception also had Kate and Maca's unmistakeable stamp on it. From the table decorations (sugared almonds out, lottery tickets in) to the speeches. The food was excellent, as was the company, but the highlight for me was when additional goodie bags containing howler balloons and peas shooters with crepe paper "peas" were handed out. There followed a pea shooter battle which accompanied dessert, coffee and about half an hour beyond and was notable for the way everyone joined in. As either participants or targets....
The rest of the day passed in a blur and it was a real wrench to leave for our 11pm curfew. As it was I had to tackle climbing into my top bunk in pitch darkness. Which probably explains why I woke up having slept on my backpack.