Trainspotting before The Day Job

I had the *genius* idea of a a "Trainspotting" feature on my morning commute, but it sadly seems not many people utilise their train time like I do... or, if they do read, they hide their books so I cannot spy the title - rudeness! Do they not know some of us have blog readers to cater for! ;p

I've managed to spot, so far:

  • Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
  • Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
  • To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  • Parky: My Autobiography - Michael Parkinson
  • The Front - Patricia Cornwell
  • The Appeal - John Grisham
  • Mr MacGregor - Alan Titchmarsh

  • Verdict = dire. I won't be repeating this endeavour in March!

    Speaking of the commute, I guess I should write something about The Day Job - I cannot believe I've been there four weeks! I broadly work in "communications" (primarily assisting with a magazine and website), although I was a wee bit excited today when registering for as I got to list myself as "staff journalist" - ooh!

    It's all going well though; everyone is lovely, and I don't know what else to say about it! Except to ask, what's the most glamorous aspect of your job? And the least? What would your ideal job be?

    Author Events

    I've never actually attended an author event, and the only signed book I have, I have by accident - a friend bought me a book for Christmas that had been surplus-signed by the author at the store. When I opened it Christmas morning, I thought some horrible person had defaced it (his signature is just a squiggle)! But, when we contacted the bookstore, they confirmed he had done a signing there. Phew!

    Does anyone attend author events when an author is on-tour promoting their latest book? Is anyone keen to get their books signed or have a ten-second fan-moment with their favourite author? Or, is it more about the book than its writer?

    Jane Austen: Emma

    Jane Austen January moves onto:

    Emma (1815)

    Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.

    which will run until February 25th.

    Please be aware comments on this post will contain spoilers for those who wish to discuss during their reading. If you don't want the book to be spoiled, wait until you've read it to comment and discuss! And remember to still discuss Sense & Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park (especially Mansfield Park - no one has commented!).

    Happy reading! :D

    Any book collectors out there?

    Does anyone have a serious passion for collecting first editions or other collectible books? I'm in no way a collector, but I do have a few first edition Famous Five books and ditto for Roald Dahl books (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and Danny, the Champion of the World) in my possession.

    For the record, they are far from pristine and do get read. I love books too much to care for their monetary worth - it's all about their personal value to me. How about everyone else? And if you did have an expensive book in your possession, would you cash in with it, or keep it?

    First Day, First Date

    The first day at work is sort of like a first date with every person you are introduced to. There's a lot of smiling, a lot of tinkling laughter and a lot of pleasant exchanges to frantically try to commit to memory. Despite having a photographic memory when it comes to dates/textbooks, I am *useless* at matching faces to names.

    But, whereas you can decide not to see someone again after a date (although you'll only awkwardly bump into them ALL THE TIME if you do - sorry, I *still* don't like you), you can't chuck your colleagues. Not only do you have to look right on your first day (first few weeks actually), you have to be practically perfect with your behaviour. Not *too* perfect though, because no one likes a perfect person.

    It's exhausting.

    Yes, after the drama of yesterday, I *finally* made it in for my (second) first day. I say finally because I missed my train due to traffic and poor road conditions. I didn't actually get above 10mph. By the time I got to the station, my train was not-so-usefully already in Leeds. Gah.

    But, when I finally got there, everyone was lovely. So much so, I think I'll give them the "second date" tomorrow. ;p As for what my new job is, I will post in-depth about that later (this week is mostly induction/training stuff), but to sum it up, I will be involved with writing for/producing a bi-annual magazine (circulation 136,000) and doing their online communications. Ooh!

    Hope you all had a good Tuesday! (And I can't believe no one had a bad first day story for me - a bad workday story will do!)

    First day in the grown-up job

    Today was supposed to be my first day at my first-ever grown-up job. Ooh! But I say supposed because:

    Fact 1: I live in the UK.
    Fact 2: We cannot cope with snow.
    Fact 3: It is currently blizzarding.
    Fact 4: I did not have my first day today.

    Now, I tried to get there. After having to endure the "will the trains be running?" and "you need to get the snow off your car" remarks at the ungodly hour of blurgh this morning (for the record, I am not a morning person), I was über tetchy because a) I could see the snow for myself and b) the rail websites/phone lines were jammed. I had no idea whether the trains were running. Hmph.

    To set the scene, I currently live in-between Leeds and York. If it wasn't so grey and I could see further than five metres out of the window, I should be able to see the start of miles and miles of countryside that stretches to York. I also live on a hill, which has some wonderful 45 degree bends. Ever noticed that in the country? Tiny roads that are never reassuringly straight. Oh no. Hair-pin bends all the way. And yes, I know it's land boundaries, but it's a pain. As for what I was wearing. Why, my nice first-day outfit and WELLIES.

    Obviously I couldn't find the scraper. It's okay, I used one of my Havaiana flip-flops to belt it off won't be needing those for a while). I manage to get round the hair-pin bend and on to the hill which takes me down to the main road. Except, what on earth are the cars in front of me doing? Why, they are sliding all over the road! I mean, it looked fun, but I'm a grown-up now with a grown-up job - I didn't want to play the "let's mount the pavement without touching the steering wheel and avoid that pedestrian/lamp post/parked car" game. However, like a child forced into playing with children they don't want to play with, I soon joined in. Fun? No. Weird? Yes. I had a brief whiney-whimper, but I soldiered on. Made it to the main road.

    Ah, the main road. There's one main road in T and all the houses are off this road. I live at the bottom and it stretches up-hill for about a mile before it goes down-hill into G for half a mile. You can then go left to P, the motorways and the train station, or right to elsewhere. However, no gritters had been out* and the traffic was crawling up-the-hill. At this point, I had already been on the road twenty minutes and managed a grand total of 200 metres - my total drive should take less than that.

    Needless to say, I was panicking. My first day - first day - and I can't even get there. It then took me another ten minutes to get twenty metres up the hill, to which I exited right and drove slowly back to my house (more hair-pin bends), as did five cars in front of me and a few behind. Glad to see it's not just me who isn't a brave little solider. Even if I had somehow managed to get to the station for the next train, say my car had turned into a magical flying car... yep, the trains are cancelled.

    Wonderful. So, I'm stuck at home for the day. My new boss was very nice, but I still felt like it was personally *my* fault that the snow has happened (so, sorry if your train/bus/plane was cancelled today, my bad!) Of all the days for this to happen ... I just hope that I can get there tomorrow and have my first day because it is *still* snowing. *sigh* I miss the sun.

    How's your Monday going? Were you affected by the snow? And does anyone have a first day horror story to cheer me up? Pretty, please!

    * Of course not! You don't have to bother with gritters in the sticks. Or pot-hole free roads. All part of the rustic charm, isn't it! Pfiut.


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