Soapy Mugs Ahoy!


I suppose that, if Architecture really is Frozen Music, then this splendid corner of St Ann’s Square in Manchester represents somebody accidentally flicking their radio dial and being treated to a five-second blast of The Creation instead of the Nolans which they had just been enjoying…

Soapy Mugs Ahoy!

Sun 13 May 2007: This weekend was NABD Rally which for some reason clashed with the Thundersprint. I didn’t do rally, rode down to Northwich today to help with the MAG stall.

Had a rejection e-mail from Scapa adhesion tapes. So much for my brilliant interview technique.
Next Fri off to Viaton for second interview – car booked with Avis.
Listening to Nympholept.
Last night B- came over and we watched ‘American Psycho 2’ which turned out to be a rather witty film, very different from the first one.

Mon 14 May: In Portugal, a three-year-old girl has been abducted from her holiday chalet, where she had been left alone while her parents went out to dinner. This is the main news story, and a £2.5 million reward is on offer. Everyone frantic with worry.

Tue 15 May: Started reading ‘Why We Die’ and after one paragraph burst out laughing with admiring envy. Like Waugh, Tartt, Hardy.
Tomorrow have meeting with Khalid from Noveon. The lovely Tench has decided not to attend.
Text from Luke – he’s passed all his exams so now he can plumb.

Wed 16 May: A particular bounce and sparkle was evident in today’s banter among the QC and Tech Service staff.
Ann was saying that her husband used to be an altar boy – I misheard, and said ‘What, still?’ Then she mentioned that she had taken the kids to church on Sunday, leaving Paul at home to D-I-Y.
To which I pointed out that ‘D-I-Y’ was a common euphemism for masturbation. And Adam, who had only been half-listening to this conversation, remarked ‘I can’t remember the last time I went to church’ but we were all expecting him to say something VERY different, and Bernard, Ann and myself all burst out laughing.

Thu 17 May: An eeeenteresting day….
Went to Avis, picked up my car – a brand new Peugeot 307. Drove home, went out for a spin, drove to Altrincham to go shopping at Tesco.
On the way back a couple of police vans came out of a side road with sirens screaming, so I pulled over to let them pass and ended up scraping my alloy wheels. So that could be another £300 to pay.

Fri 18 May: Scratched the car paintwork this morning on a wheelie-bin as I was hastily leaving. Interview went okay. Firm seems very keen on commercial customer contact.
Questions from Howard and Greg: ‘How do you deal with urgent requests for work from the production department and customer complaints at the same time?’

Questions from Craig: ‘What sort of person are you? What would someone say about you who wasn’t supportive? Run me through your CV, let me get an idea of the logical progression of your career.’ He also asked me how I would establish a rapport with colleagues – presumably a cue for me to say ‘Oh, my wife and I always invite people round to our place for barbecue parties in summer…’

Tue 22 May: And of course Ann was right when she said that Alan would pump me for info during our trip to Nuremberg – presumably why we went from Stanstead, to make sure we spent plenty of time together – cos I was gently interrogated, a constant stream of questions about my time at University and in Industry. But: nothing personal – he carefully avoided any mention of home life or relationships.

Thu 24 May: No-one turned up at MAG last night.

Today at work Adrian had appraisal meetings with Ann, Adam and Jemma. So I’m the only one left out. Again.
When I do have my performance review meeting, I should ask:
Why my job title was changed from Senior Tech Service Chemist to Lab Technician;
Why my pay rise never appeared in 2006;
Why both Adrian and Alan refused to get back to me over my Open Uni course fee; and although the OCCA seminar fee was paid, neither of them could tell me when or why.

9 Jul 2007: Tonight Radio Four is having an interview with Leonard Cohen, discussing poetry and songs.
Had letter from Sci-Tech asking if I wanted to remain on their books. So I said yes.

At work I’ve been given a big job – carry out a comparison of blends 8, 9 and 10 of yellow GPC with the standard. But these three blends have been on sale to customers for a long time now, so why do we need to assert consistency?

Latest news on the Manchester Congestion Charge; the transport group sent round a huge colour leaflet, called ‘Our Future Transport’ with profiles of typical road users and how much they would be charged. Turns out these pictures had all been lifted from the website of a US model agency.

10 Jul: Today at work I e-mailed my 1957 OCCA journal article to Chris Pacey-Day for inclusion in SCI magazine. Also e-mailed Ted and Gisela Hill to say how nice to meet them last week.
In the kitchen at work I was going to make everybody a cuppa, but Adam insisted on taking his mug from me and washing it under lots and lots of hot soapy water.

Mon 5 Nov: How civilised – didn’t get up ‘til 7.45 today. It’s the combined OCCA / BCF meeting at the Manufacturing Institute.
Yesterday went to cinema to see ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ which I think was riddled with historical errors – and a bit slow. Lots of scenes on board sailing ships, cannon firing etc – which made me want to giggle cos they were so keenly reminiscent of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.


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