Status update or something

So, this is long overdue, really, but I figured I should mention where I'm at right now. As of two weeks ago, I no longer work as a researcher; my contract ran out and given my lack of interest in the job and subsequent lack of commitment to my work neither my supervisor nor myself had any interest in extending it. I'm now unemployed and so, like the majority of my unemployed friends and housemates, have taken to lazing around the house in a dressing gown until the late afternoon playing computer games and watching anime.

I'm not looking for another job yet because I'm spending three weeks of July and August at the Global Village camp in Kent. I'm going to be running wide games for groups of up to a hundred children, young people and leaders and it's going to be awesome. I'm skipping out on MESTUP this year, which I have mixed feelings about; it's been an amazing experience in the past, but due to my advanced age I now don't have DF Camp or anything similar afterwards at which to unwind from a week and a half of emotional stress, and besides, I've done a bunch of the administration and training for the last two projects and it's time I passed the responsibility, and the opportunity, on to others.

I just spent a couple of days back in Sheffield with my parents, having not really seen much of them since Christmas, and realised how anxious they are at my sudden apparent loss of direction in life. It's perfectly true that I have no idea what I want to do come September when I'm looking for a new job; on the other hand, I'm feeling rather optimistic about getting to try something fresh. I think I managed to somewhat assuage their fears, but we'll have to see.

I have no real plans between now and Global Village.

ETA: Also, having severed my ties with the University of Cambridge, my email address will cease to work at some point this summer. If you want to get in touch, my first and last names, separated by a dot, at either or should do the trick.
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Why have I never tried wet shaving before? The electric razor felt like a crude and awkward weapon in man's doomed fight with his own bestial origins, but this, this is an art worthy of a gentleman.


So I mentioned to Peter (my boss) today that I was intending to take the latter three days of Mayweek off with my last three days of annual leave. The conversation continued approximately thus:

P: "Well, you realise that there's only so much store one can set by these official leave allowances Personnel give you."
A: "Well, I signed a contract saying I had thirty days of leave."
P: "Well, you can interpret that two ways. You can stick to the letter of it and take your thirty days of leave, but then you also have to come in from nine to five and so on, and you can't have the former without the latter."
*long silence*
A: "Are you saying that I haven't been here from nine to five?"
P: "I'm saying that it's not clear to me that you're in a position to ask for these three days of leave."

What he means, I suspect, is that while I arrive at work not toolong after 9 and never leave before 5, he thinks I've been slacking off too much or not working hard enough. Which are perfectly legitimate claims, to be honest, but as far as I'm concerned if he wanted to take issue with that he could damn well have brought it up months ago; I don't think it's reasonable to suddenly pull it out now as some sort of bargaining chip.

I'm hardly in a morally superior position in this case, but the idea of ignoring the terms of a written contract in deference to some informal office culture is tied in my mind so strongly to notions of corporate exploitation that my instictive reaction is scary, violent disgust. I need to email him and clear up the situation, but I'm not together enough to do it now; I hope, but I'm not sure, that I can cool off enough over the evening to write a coherent email before I go to sleep.
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the name of the game

So, inspired by a comment on my last entry, I've got to wondering about this. There's a children's game that you play in playgrounds and parks and stuff where one person is on, and waits at the base counting with their eyes closed while everyone goes and hides. Then the person who's on has to find the people who are hiding, and when they do, they race back to the base and shout out the name of the person they saw. People who are hiding have to run or sneak back to the base before they're called out and shout something different. If you're caught (ie. don't get back to the base without being called out), you're potentially on next game, except that someone else who gets back without being caught can shout some other phrase and 'save' all the people previously caught.

I've known this game by a bunch of different names, usually the same as the phrase you have to shout to get yourself in/get someone else out. I always called it one-two-three-done-ya, my mother called it forty-forty and other people have told me they knew it as free-pod, tiggy-1-2-3 and sardines (although I always thought sardines was an entirely different game). How many other names are there?

(no subject)

May! Two more months and I'm outta here!

In other news, mwahaha. You know all your friends are unfit sedentary geeks when a couple of hours of Cops & Robbers at the weekend leaves everyone moaning about their terrible aches and pains for several days afterwards.

I am ninja!

Today I went to a ninjutsu class. It was pretty cool. I learned several ways to inflict unexpected pain on an attacker who has you backed into a corner and is trying to strangle you, as well as various ways to avoid punches, put people in wrist locks and and hurl them to the ground.

It also made me realise how dependent I am on my glasses. I can see things and move around without them, but without being able to see I can't reliably make out what people are saying in a noisy room from more than a couple of metres away, which makes me very uncomfortable. If I want to keep going, I think I may have to invest in some contacts.

Also I had to remove my two current friendship bracelets (one from Naomi which she made in Ecuador, and one from Rose Orlik which is actually a camera strap) for safety reasons, which makes this the first time in four and a quarter years that I've had nothing around my wrists.

Birthday Cops & Robbers

So, this Saturday (the 29th) is my birthday, and I will be celebrating with a giant Cops & Robbers crawl around Cambridge. By which I mean, we'll wander around Cambridge, stopping at likely locations to play Cops & Robbers, and possibly other exciting playground-type games. Calling in to pubs to rest and regroup during the afternoon is a possibility. I may decide to suggest optional fancy dress. In the evening, there'll be some kind of party.

Anyone who knows me is welcome to join in, and feel free to pass this on to any such people who might not be reading it. Email me and I shall be sure to let you know of proper plans when such things actually exist. If anyone wants to come up to Cambridge for the day/weekend/whatever, you're extremely welcome.
  • Current Music
    the gentle tapping of Tom's keyboard