March 23rd, 2015

Photo - leaves

Eclipse Day 2015

I drafted most of this entry on 20th March but then ran out of time to finish it, then was too busy on the weekend and forgot about it. 20th March seemed like as good a day as any to update, given there was a solar eclipse that morning. :) I am trying to get into the habit of updating at least once a month.

So, yes, there was a solar eclipse. Not 100% in Birmingham - I think we had maybe 90% but can't be certain - but it was very exciting nonetheless. Here in the office we worked out that the best way of viewing it was through the blinds, although there were a fair amount of people in the car park with pinhole cameras, too.

It was fab, actually - there was an air of tangible excitement at around 9.15 as everyone realised it was getting darker. (I imagine if I were still at Woodcock Street this momentous event would be greeted with disinterest and/or stupidity from my ex-colleagues...) My line manager was equally as excited as I was, so I felt somewhat less guilty for not doing any work for about half an hour. :D

The last time we had a solar eclipse visible in the UK was 11th August 1999. I remember because it was my mum's birthday. She was at work, but I can remember watching it out of the living room window, via a reflection in the roof of a car that was parked on the drive. Bizarrely, it was a red car, and for about an hour it didn't occur to me that it wasn't my mum's car (because she was at work) but someone else's. I remember that there were no shadows, the birds stopped singing - it was really eerie.

Not quite as eerie this time around, as there was more sun still visible, but as the sun re-emerged there were really pretty tree-branch patterns on the blinds.

Anyway, it cheered me up after a godawful journey on the bus that morning (the 120 was late so it was absolutely rammed, and since I have such a short journey to Bearwood it always makes me unnecessarily anxious when the bus is crowded...), although it did make the headache I woke up with worse.

In any case, last week was infinitely better than the previous one.

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Some of the stress had also come about because we’re trying to get away for a long weekend in April as it’s our tenth anniversary, but everything is conspiring against us as usual by being too bloody expensive. Hotels and flights or whatever are doable, but it’s the bloody public transport costs ramping everything up. Hopefully we can manage to get a late deal of some description.

We also had a vague plan of having a proper holiday in September, but the last time we went away in April and September (in 2012 when we went to Tenby and Corfu respectively) it essentially bankrupted us. (It also didn’t help that we booked up to see the Killers in the November, which ate the final few dregs of the tax rebate I got.) Seeing as I am now waiting on my non-urgent hospital admission for a procedure under general anaesthetic, though, I don’t want to book anything for September in case it delays things. And also because I’ve been too ill / tired to make it to the gym since last May (meh) so don’t particularly want to go away in any case…

Anyway, March is nearly over (just three more birthdays to go!) and this weekend I actually managed to get a few hours to myself to put a dent in my EastEnders backlog and do some embroidery now that it’s warmed up enough to do so. Once I get through this week there are two four-day weeks courtesy of the Easter bank holidays, and then I have a week off, THANK GOODNESS.

Also, after finishing the POTOver story for Eni just in time for her birthday, I was working on the epilogue until the end of February, but lacked energy to carry on once the impetus to finish the main story had burned out – I will actually try and finish that soon both for her benefit and that of [personal profile] cloudsinvenice (who is beta’ing it for me), as whilst the story ended itself in a most satisfactory manner, there are a few parts that need proper closure.

I have a couple of embroidery updates to post as well (once I’ve figured out where I got to) so I’ll do those later. I reckon within 4-5 sessions it should be finished, and then I can start on my next one. :)