Okay. So. We have recently obtained a fancy new PACE machine for transcribing police tapes. Before we obtained this we would have to play them through an old-fashioned cassette player and manually pause/play/rewind, which took hours. The PACE machine has a foot pedal and headphones and speed switch, making said transcriptions much easier. (Except that the pedals are laid out completely differently to every other foot pedal in the universe, and the headphones are horribly uncomfortable but cannot be changed because the jack is incompatible with standard headsets.)
Anyway, on Friday I volunteered myself to do a couple of police tapes, which took around five hours in total to complete (about 40 minutes of interview). They have to be transcribed verbatim, including all ums and errs and interruptions, so they're not easy. I did at least put in punctuation to break up the rambling, which is more than Moany did. :P
Anyway, we were not given a matter number for the case in question, but I managed to find it eventually with the old number, as did Moany, who was typing several front sheets on the same day. It wasn't until much later in the afternoon when Forgetful typed up another document that the fee earner in question gave us a matter number, a different, new one.
I discovered this morning that the old matter number has now been closed (as of Saturday, apparently). Forgetful is doing another police tape today, and for some reason (despite being given the new matter number on Friday) she's typing it in the old matter number instead. Oh, wait... yeah, her nickname is true. :P She's probably forgotten it. Anyway, the old matter number appears to have been closed at some point after she'd created the new document (closed as of Saturday, apparently) so now that matter is no longer open. On discovering this and upon the fee earner not being able to find the documents from Friday, I said it had been closed and that I would move the documents over.
I went over to Forgetful to tell her this and was going to ask that she temporarily pause in her transcription and save/close the document, so I could move the contents of the file over to the new matter number. I attempted to approach this politely and sensibly; the following conversation ensued:
Me: Is that on Name/OtherName?
Me: What matter number are you using?
Her: 12345 [i.e. the old number].
Me: That matter's been closed now.
Her: I managed to get into it.
Me: Well, it's been closed as of this morning, so I need to move the documents over to the new number.
Her: Well, I've started typing this now, I'll have to move it later.
Me: Okay, can you move it over when you've finished?
Her: *nods, carries on typing*
I don't think her attitude comes across very well in that. She looked at me like I'd suggested she jump off a bridge. I didn't even want to ask her to stop what she was doing because it wasn't worth the hassle of an argument.
Of course, after this I attempted to move the contents of the case file (excluding the open document Forgetful was working on) only for IKEN to throw a wobbly, and when I went back in her document appears to have vanished, which is most disconcerting. I don't want to go over there and ask her to copy the contents into a fresh document because trying to explain why will be like eating a phonebook...
On the plus side, the police transcription itself was quite interesting, and a definite change of pace. The police could help us by moving the machine closer to the interviewee, and people in general could help us by talking more clearly. :P The mother, who was being interviewed, mumbled her way through the majority of the interview until she got annoyed and started shouting. Also the police officer was amusingly sarcastic:-
Mother: Okay, whatever you said I did, I fuckin' done it, is that good enough for you?
Policewoman: Can you see why people might say you're not cooperating with professionals...?
Also at one point the police officer actually said "would of" and I had to put a "[sic]" after it because it was glaring at me from the page and I didn't want it to get 'corrected' by the fee earner when checking it, having thought I'd done it. I have a reputation to uphold here. :P
I think my favourite bit was when they were asking her to back up what the dad had already said in his interview and she thought they were taking his side...
Mother: Do you love him? Do you fancy him? You can have him!
Ah, Birmingham, you do make me laugh. And also despair for humanity...
That aside, on Friday we went to the Briar for Lloyd's birthday drinks, and did nothing all weekend except (as usual) play Super Mario Galaxy. IT IS INSANELY ADDICTIVE.
On Saturday I was in a baking mood for some reason, and after deciding that biscuits were too much of a hassle (my kitchen is too small for dough-rolling) ended up making a chocolate-orange cake with marmalade cream, as it was the only one in the book Paul would eat. As yet he has not eaten any of it. :P It turned out okay, though I might use pre-crushed almonds next time as my blender didn't do very well at those - but in the alternative, it whisked the egg whites in about 15 seconds. :) (I only discovered my blender had a whisking attachment about a month ago, after looking in the box for the slicing blade, finding a strange round attachment and looking in the manual to find out what it was...)
The marmalade cream was amazing, though. I will definitely make that again if not the cake. :) Here is a recipe for the cream if anyone wants it:-
100ml double cream
7oz (200g) full-fat cream cheese
1oz (30g) icing sugar
2tbsp orange marmalade
Mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and marmalade in a bowl until smooth.
In another bowl, whip the double cream until just thickened (I recommend using an electric handwhisk, otherwise you'll be there for hours).
Add the whipped cream to the other ingredients and stir well. Refridgerate until required.
This cream is quite light and a bit sour on its own, so I would suggest it goes with a very stodgy cake like a chocolate brownie - or obviously anything with orange in it. :)
I also made us a steak-and-ale pie, made with Guinness (belated St Patrick's Day celebration) which was AMAZING. The Guinness really seems to work well because it's so thick, and the gravy was lovely. Also I never buy supermarket braising steak any more because it's better quality from the butcher.
We also bought two pheasants from the butcher (for £9.99!) and had one for Sunday lunch - wrapped it in bacon and shoved apple wedges into the cavities before roasting - which was nice. Still a bit of meat left so I can have pheasant sandwiches later in the week. :)
Anyway, nothing much else to report. We're two days behind on typing today thanks to my doing police tapes on Friday (go figure) so today is going to be busy, and that's about it. Over and out.
Oh, I also need to do a bit of an update about our current house-hunting status and adventures thereof on Saturday, but I'll do that when I get in later.