D minus 9 days – ahh God bless Yorkshirisms

In the past few days, I’ve really started to notice things about where I live, which I previously either chose to ignore, took for granted, or just didn’t notice.

The Peter & Paul show

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Peter Levy and Paul Hudson. Anyone who watches the BBC News coverage will know exactly who I’m talking about and, those who don’t, it’s worth a google (if you’re bored) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qMRt68olU4.

These two used to co-present Look North every week night. Well, in fairness, Peter used to present and Paul was the mere Weatherman, but the banter between them was brilliant. Think of Ant & Dec doing a local tea-time news show… double entendre, subtle piss-taking about ties and shoes, hints of late night antics etc… you get the gist. Well Look North soon got renamed in our house as ‘the Peter & Paul show’ and was the source of much entertainment. Clearly BBC Leeds thought otherwise, as Peter was soon relegated to Radio (nothing to do with ‘that nose’ surely?) and Paul still does the weather, and seems to be something of an icon? Or is that just me?

Tea or dinner?

This brings me to another anomaly… the meal which one generally consumes between finishing work and going to bed… the one where the whole family sits round the table (well, if you live on a farm maybe, otherwise debatable, albeit desirable, right?) What do you call it? Tea? Dinner? Supper? What’s the distinction? If it’s Dinner, then what do you eat around midday? You eat later than midday?!… This is a debate which has been ongoing from the day I joined the Leeds office.

Other similar peculiarities include references to timing, like “Spooks is on 9 while 10”. No it’s not! It’s on from 9 until 10. ‘While’ (in my book) means a static period of time (eg Spooks will be on for a while), not a duration or movement in time. Or am I just being pedantic?

According to the Southerners in the office, this is technically referred to as ‘a Yorkshirism’. Another is saying ‘I were…’ or ‘He were…’ instead of ‘I was…’ or ‘He was…’ – simple grammar or local dialect? God knows, and as Yorkshire is God’s own Country, it’s anyone’s guess.

Tollertopolis – road rage with a Massey Ferguson

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If you live in York, and work in Leeds (around 30 miles away), you can leave home and be in the office in 35-40 minutes.

If you want to go shopping at Monks Cross, or the Designer Outlet, you can get in the car and drive there, park for free, grab a coffee on arrival, buzz round the shops and be home within the hour. Or if you want to shop in the city centre, you can take a leisurely walk into town, maybe see a few buskers or a military parade en route, and be home again within the hour.

When we had 6 inches of ‘surprise’ snow a couple of months back, I drove up to my parents to watch my dad playing in a gig, and on the way home I passed the Lord Mayor and his Mrs in their stretch limo, she was leaning out of the window laughing directions at the 3 or 4 chaps who were pushing their tractionless car up the road in the snow… only in Yorkshire!

So when the locals arrive at a mini roundabout in a market town, and actually have to WAIT for more than one vehicle, they can start to get a bit frustrated. Especially when said vehicle is a Massey Ferguson… If there’s one thing I learnt from my brother was that if you’re going to buy a tractor, get a John Deere! Yes seriously, there were horns! It was brilliant!

So for my remaining 9 days in Yorkshire, I’m going to look out for Yorkshirisms… watch this space!

Heyupster, seethe… Bxx

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Getting ready to move – I’m like a coiled spring!

So, having blogged 2 months ago that I’d resigned and left the country, I haven’t blogged on the subject since. Could be a few people putting numbers together and coming up with results worthy of Carol Vorderman; others may be piecing the story together bit-by-bit, others probably don’t give a hoot?! Well *gets out Vorderman-style marker pen* I guess I should explain.

In February, I was offered a new role with Barclays Wealth, working in their Canary Wharf office in London. This posed more than the obvious ‘do I take it’ question… Will this role excite, enthuse, motive and/or stimulate me? Will it help me get to my dream job? Is it worth leaving Xerox, where I’ve spent the past 6 years? Am I ready to relocate? What will I do with my place in York?

At the end of the day, I decide the answers are just excuses not to go for it, and that’s not me. So I accepted the offer, started the clock on my 13-week notice period and suddenly had a heap of things to plan…

So, 8 weeks on and things now feel like they’re starting to happen. In two weeks, I’ll be packing him full of things I probably should be throwing away, and driving Bruno down to London for the final time. Two weeks later, I’ll be handing over a laptop which has somehow managed to avoid flying through a window on numerous occasions, a sim card which never had an accommodating handset (permanent divert to iPhone was far more sensible), various security passes and key fobs (including those I thought I’d lost, have since had replaced, and subsequently discovered the originals in the bottom of a pedestal unit I managed to fill with paperwork six years ago and hardly dared open since – the paperless office, kind of…) and Bruno.

Cue sad music 

Still not quite sure how I’m going to do this. I’m a petrol head. I worked in a garage when I left school. I got more of a kick out of Swarfega than other substances through university, and after graduating, I got a car before a job. So when other girls treat themselves with Leboutins, I treat myself with cars, and am now lucky enough to drive a car which corners like it’s on rails, has enough horses under the bonnet to make it fun, and has various gadgets and gizmos to make the drive an effortless experience. But realistically, having a car like Bruno in London, where he’ll be parked on the drive 90% of the time, is an expensive luxury which I can’t really justify (at least, not until I’ve settled into London life and budgeting anyway!) But giving him up is going to be the hardest part of this whole life-changing move for me (my best friend and my mum, have already started discussing a post-Bruno support network.)

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Since the two months it took me to pick and spec him, and the 20 weeks it took for Audi to make and deliver him; complete with all his naughtiness over the past 2 ½ years, Bruno has been my second office (conference calls in traffic jams, global WebEx meetings from motorway laybys etc), my second home (overnight essentials in a box in the boot, emergency Mars bar and water bottle in the glovebox), my entertainment (the SatNav’s usual poshness giving way to broad Yorkshirism when saying ‘Castleford’), my counsel (yes, I talk to him and he often provides useful advice, especially when lost in the Buckinghamshire countryside), and my friend. Yes, yes, I know it’s sad. But this is me; this is what I’m like!

When I had to say goodbye to my TT three years ago, a friend told me it was like ending a relationship – it feels painful and emotional at the time, but you soon get over it and find someone new. That happened when I got Bruno so I’m sure I’ll get over it… and if I don’t, I’ll just get a car again! But if anyone is going to the car auctions near Slough in the next few months, and a Black Edition Quattro comes up, it’ll be a good buy at anything under £16k… 😉

Cue Take that music (X Factor style)

But there’s plenty to look forward to and get excited about. I’m moving to Putney. When I first started looking at locations in London, Putney was a fave. The leafy green feel of South West London, the proximity to the river, and the general feel of Putney have appealed to me, ever since I had a night out there in 2000 for Tori’s hen do. But I was advised against it, as it’s a bit far out, not ideal for commuting to the East End, and doesn’t have the best transport links. So I looked at other places; next to MI5 (hoping Daniel might drop by), Paddington (the ‘please look after this bear’ ethic is tough to shake), Wimbledon (handy for the annual summer Pimms outing), Docklands (another childhood dream of living near Tobacco Dock)… but they all seemed to have a reason to say no.

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Then I found this place “Putney – riverfront apartment – massive double room in stunning mansion block” and got excited. The ad said viewings would be held on Sunday, I was in London on Tuesday morning, and places like this get snapped-up pretty quick. So I emailed them and booked to go and see it Monday night. Others had booked to see it Sunday night, so I was expecting a call to say it’d gone. But luckily for me, one of my new flatmates was poorly on the Sunday, so they postponed the viewings until Tuesday. I went to see it Monday night, and by Tuesday morning, the other viewings had been cancelled and I was sending ‘Eeeeeeeek!’ text messages to Alex, Sarah and Wendy. Their responses typically varied – Wendy wanted to be sure I could still afford to go out, Alex was arranging bubbles to celebrate, Sarah was logging onto Google Maps to plot the route from SW15 to SW19… perfect all round!

Look after the tyres

Now this is a weird feeling. I know I have lots to do – sorting / chucking out things I haven’t used in years, boxing up what’s going into storage, packing what’s coming to London, cleaning, painting, changing address, eating up the food in my cupboards (rather than buying more fresh stuff). But I feel like the F1 drivers at the moment; running at 80% so as not to burn out too soon. This time next week, I’ll be in full flow, as I start moving things into storage, but if I pack too soon, I’ll end up with nothing to wear (clothes being in suitcases), nothing to eat with/off (cutlery/crockery being boxed-up) and sitting on the floor surrounded by boxes containing the essentials I generally use to get by. So I’m looking after the tyres and just doing things slowly… BUT IT’S SO FRUSTRATING! I’m a doer, I hate being bored, I need more than enough to keep me occupied, I get a buzz out of falling into bed at night exhausted, being a fly in a jam jar is just my style! So having to sit back, looking at a list of things I could be doing but not yet, is driving me nuts!

It’s a similar thing at work too – I have a list of programmes to be delivered in 2013 which, typically, I’d be cracking on with right now. But there are things I mustn’t do, promises I mustn’t make, because I won’t be here to deliver on them. I’m having to stop myself doing, and start documenting what needs to be done later in the year, for my successor to pick up. I’m generally good at documenting things, but if I have spare time at the weekends or in the evenings, I’d prefer to be doing them – not because I have to, but because I like being busy. So add that to tyre management on packing, I’m mentally like a coiled spring! There’s only one thing for it… book a Grand Prix.

Hasta luego Bxx