Thursday, 21 April 2011

The press pass and the big hole

I am beginning to think I am a tad accident prone/careless/daft/unfortunate, feel free to choose which one you think best describes my personality.
I have been heavily involved with finding a new printer and mailing house, for the six magazines I am responsible for in my working environment. It would be true to report, I have been rather absorbed and a little obsessed with my recent work load. In my defence, it has been quite a task and a load of pressure, therefore in this case, absorbing and obsessing were permitted. Although I think it’s only fair to inform you, I enjoyed the challenge.
For the past six months I have telephoned, written letters to, and visited new printing factories. I have compared structures and costings and compiled useful spreadsheets. I have arranged internal meetings with colleagues and head’s of departments, and after all this hard work and procedures and evaluations, a new printer and mailing house have been awarded the six magazines I am responsible for.
Here’s where the responsible bit finishes and Nikki’s latest dilemma begins.
But first, let me describe my press pass and visit to Cornwall.
Chief designer and I arranged to press pass the first magazine the new printer would be printing. I know that I am definitely in the middle of the correct career path, because I was a teeny bit excited about this prospect, and more than satisfied with the chosen printer (they print Vogue, amongst other respected and perhaps difficult to please clients).
We reached the executive decision that a four and a half hour train journey was not sensible against a one hour and ten minute flight. We flew. Kind of felt like a mini holiday too. Yeah, kind of. Overnight bag packed, lap top with vital documents to accompany me, we set off.
So far so good.
The flight was officially the quickest flight I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. We arrived at our destination, grabbed a local taxi and checked into our hotel. The hotel was fairly basic but when the company are fitting the bill I do not want to take the pee. We had a pleasant meal, paid for courtesy of the company, and went to bed a reasonable hour for our imperative day ahead, press passing.
The next day began with a greasy English breakfast and a strong cup of coffee. Then lots of hand shaking at the printers and the grand tour of the factory. It still impresses me when I see the vast and expensive machinery (ten million pounds for their latest investment) and all the effort required to print one magazine.
“Goodness, after I design the magazine and send it to you, there are still fifteen hours of plate making and ink changing, and UV varnishing,” the chief designer send in awe.
We saw our front cover and first section in the midst of printing, we colour checked and signed off proofs. Oh the important things I surrender too!
It was a success, the feed back from the office regarding print quality and attention to colour has been well received.
If only I had not lost my keys.
If only I had realised a hole had developed in my bag.
I returned home from my trip, happy, tired, and content.
Until I discovered my two door keys and car key were missing, not to mention my Wham! key ring and my elephant from Thailand. I am sorry to say, I did not realise that a gaping hole had developed in the side compartment of my over night bag.
I have called the hotel, Newquay airport and London Gatwick airport. No joy. No keys. The house keys have been easy and cheap enough to replace. Unfortunately the car key, and the special locking/security function, is not so easy and cheap to replace. Boyfriend has given me another one of his looks. I know, I know, I feel his pain, and it’s worse when you know you have no one else to blame but yourself.
And the unknown and unexpected hole.
So that’s one camera and three keys lost as a result of my printer's visits.
I give up.
However, I must end on a high note, a very, very, exceedingly high note - the insurance company have finally coughed up and in my sight I have…a new Canon EOS camera.
Crikey, I have missed being the owner of a camera.
Dear readers, guess what I shall be doing this weekend?
Expect pictures very soon.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The evening the television did not work

Arg. The television does not work. You would think normally simple electronic equipment could not cause such stress and concern, wouldn't you?
Alas it is.
I have the flat to myself tonight, boyfriend is football training and girlfriend (that's me folks, in case you had not realised) was looking forward to watching her favourite waste of time, the television. It's the perfect opportunity to loose myself in rubbish reality programmes and wistfully witness cookery shows with the hope of picking up top tips, without fearing I am boring the boyfriend with my choice of viewing.
I hasten to add I have worked late, again. Then walked to Tescos to stare at the Pansies, in the hope of purchasing a few to replace the deflated objects in my tubs. The pesky neighbourhood cat has apparently sat on them and deflated them. I have inside knowledge from the landlord, so I also need pesky pet control things to discourage the culprit. Unfortunately the Pansies in Tescos looked half dead already so I treated myself to a bottle of wine, trudged home, indulged in a bubble bath and put a white wash in the washing machine. And still it's a fairly decent hour to waste time in flat.
Which is why I collapsed on the sofa, in pink luxurious dressing gown and glass of vino in hand, to see what the 42 inch screen was offering me in a way of entertainment.
But I pressed the red power button and nothing but the words 'no signal' could be seen.
I decided to press unknown buttons on the remote control, buttons I have never dared press before but have always been curious of their functions.
Sill nothing.
I turned the television on and off again. Well, if it's good enough advice from the IT department in office regarding PC monitor problems, it's good enough for the Samsung screen fixed to my wall.
This did not work.
Nothing left to do but surf the internet and stalk George Michael.
Before you reach for the restraining order and fret about my sanity and George's well being, I must mention we are twitter friends. Along with approximately 90,000 other friends. Hey, what's a number between fan and superstar?
I learnt George is up to his old tricks and teasing us with the title of his new song, dedicated to Prince William and his future bride. As long as I have not missed any other updates. On Sunday he posted a video of himself talking to and playing with his dogs. We got to hear his voice and see his left leg in his checked jim jams. Sunday was a good day.
Next I googled 'door bells.' The door bell is not working again. I have realised dropping the speaker noise thing from a great height is not a wise idea. It's now a silent speaker noise thing. I compared the cheap replacements and made a mental note to discuss with boyfriend upon his return. If I can not be trusted to work the television my own, I fear for my choice in other gadgets for the home.
I have also googled 'cats on your plants' and discovered I am not alone with this problem. I need to spray perfume on plant apparently. Excellent idea, a rather cheap and easy option, therefore I shall use part of my Benefit perfume (gorgeous bottles, it's all about the packaging) or maybe a squirt of Ghost should do the trick?
What next I pondered?
Arr yes, I know the perfect distraction. Last but never least, I have actually saved the best until last.
Blogging. How are you all my long time internet pals? My cyber chums from across the seas. It feels like the old days when I read and wrote regularly.
Blur, Nick, Amel, Kate, Eryl, Mary and Seagrape. I have dipped into your lives with keen interest and now it's back to mine to type the latest extract from my life.
But what's that familiar noise I can hear?
Boyfriend is back.
I interrupted this blog to watch boyfriend try to operate television and I am happy to report, the television is now in full working order.
Guess what technical process was his solution?
He turned it off and on again, as suggested by important IT geeks on various occasions in relation to technology not working, and it, erm, worked.
I am flabbergasted.
"But I tried that," I protested.
He is looking at me with that funny look on his face. The look that reeks, I do worry about you sometimes Nikki.
It's okay I'm used to it. It's quite a frequent look I see from friends, family and boyfriend.
To be honest, I can not blame him for looking at me like that.
I worry about myself sometimes.
Still, I got to blog. So all is not lost.
Now it's time to make an omelet.
Oh and hang the washing out.
What a life.
Until next time.
And any other mini disasters from the world according to me.