Wednesday, 20 June 2007
On Saturday, I had my final two BSL Level 2 exams - they actually went rather well (if I don't jynx it by saying so...) We had two modules:
203 - Conversation - taken first, as a warm up for;
202 - Productive - a 3-4 minute story to camera
For both modules, we had already picked a Theme (for me, it was Food and Drink for 203 and Travel and Holidays for 203), and when we went into the practice session, we were given the list of topics from which we could pick one. The conversation with Martin went well-ish - I completely blanked on the sign for 'pudding', which was very stupid! But the story was a dream - I'd already practiced around my Australia backpacking, as it could cover so many different ideas - "the best holiday" "the worst holiday" (obviously different bits!) "why I like backpacking" etc etc - and the topic that I picked was "travelling alone" - absolutely fantastic! I was able to put in most of the ideas that I'd practiced, so I hope that it came across very well.
Just 6 weeks to wait until the results now...
Then, after meeting with Leanne, Claire and Heather in the Greenhouse for a debrief, it was back home for Dr Who "Utopia" and the first episode of Jekyll.
"Utopia" was brilliant - Derek Jacobi was amazing as Professor Yana - the emotion that he could portray without moving a muscle was just fantastic. And, although I knew who he was going to be at the end, I didn't realise who he would regenerate into! That was a complete jaw hitting the table moment! So looking forward to this Saturday now!
And Jekyll - WOW! A few itty bitty plot things that need explaining (the main one being that if you knew that you were having blackouts, and that whilst in that blackout, you were doing things that you couldn't countenance, wouldn't you voluntarily section yourself?). However, I hope that these will be explained later on in the series. James Nesbitt was brilliant as both Tom Jackman and Hyde - and the script was super - all hail Steve Moffatt for a show that had me on the edge of my seat and giggling wickedly at the dark humour.
Sunday, we met up with Sarah and Graham to see Fantastic Four (Karen came to the cinema for a chat, but with two dads to visit, and a family wedding to go to, she was a little busy!) - a very silly popcorn film - not a huge amount of substance to it (although more than the original...), the barest minimum of plot, reasonably wooden characters, and lots of explosions. But it worked, as a 'turn your brain off and relax' film - no real need to think, just let the images flow over you, and stop wondering how much bigger Jessica Alba's lips can get before they explode...
Then, after the afternoon showing of the film, John and I headed to the Hippodrome to see Derren Brown on the last day of his tour. The man is astonishing - even though you know that everything he does is a trick - a verbal and mental illusion, you still can't work out how he does it! (and yes, John and I did talk a few of them through afterwards, and picked out a couple, but tell me how he knew that a woman in the audience, picked at random, lived on a houseboat?)
And finally - my little touch of work - we've offered the position of Sales Administrator, and she starts on 2nd July - can't wait! :-)
Saturday, 16 June 2007
Friday, 15 June 2007
So why the HELL do you not show up!?!?
We had three interviews yesterday. Two of them didn't show :-( No explanation, no contact, just no-one at the door.
So - 6 interviews planned, 2 actually done, and 2 to go (next person is supposed to arrive in 5 minutes...)
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Second interview was a no show :-( (but really :-) because it gives me a chance to do a bit more work!)
BSL exam last night was a bit rubbish :-( I had to guess at 5 of the answers, which when I need to get 9 right out of 12, doesn't give me a good prognosis for passing...)
Multiple tenders to go out of the door today, so its going to be a work late and lots of coffee today!
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
The workshop was amazing - we got there at 10 on the button (local church bells chiming the hour), and into a very hot workshop. There were 4 couples doing it, and we each had our own expert to help us (ours, Tom, has been jewellery making for 15 years!). We started off by sitting with him and discussing exactly what we wanted - there were lots of plain bands that we could pick so that we could look to see what different sizes and weights looked like, and we discussed how we could make mine so that it fitted to the engagement ring. Then we got taken over to the workbench, and got given our lumps of metal and a blowtorch. Under the guidance of Tom, we melted down enough each of the metal to make each other's ring, and poured it (quickly - it solidifies really fast!) into a bar mould. Then, after Tom had dipped it in water to cool it down, we squashed the bars through a mill which stretched them out and squashed them into a length that could go round a finger (with a bit extra for overlap. Then, after a reheat (squashing them like that stretches and knots the molecules and makes the bar impossible to manipulate), we got to bend the bars round into a ring shape. Mine was easy - because John's ring was just a straight band (and reasonably thick rather than being delicate), it got put into a vice, and I got to hit it with a mallet until it was roughly bent round! John had a bit more work, as my ring is more delicate, and had to be bent in a specific way to start the shaping process, so he had to bend it with pliers. Then cutting off the overlapping ends with a hacksaw, and using gold solder to seal the ring together. Tom then dunked the rings in diluted sulphuric acid to clean off the oxydised blackness (glad he did that bit - it splashed, and he had to go to wash his arms because they were starting to itch!), and the long process of filing and polishing began! (At this point, Tom said that as the dangerous stuff was finished, did we want our champagne now?) It started off with a filing tool, but quickly went on to differently graded sandpaper, right down to a very fine polishing paper. It was just amazing to see the lump of metal that just happened to be bent into a circle transforming into a ring! And then we got to take them down to the professional polishing machines, where they were buffed to an amazing shine (and Tom buffed up my engagement ring for me as well - he got out the dirt that had been caught under the diamond that I couldn't remove by myself :-) ) We also got to see one of the other couple's white-gold rings being electroplated (I don't really get white gold - why take something that is nice and yellow and make it look like silver?)
They are then sending off the rings to be assayed (i.e. to prove that they used 18 carat gold not brass...) and hallmarked - they will then post them down to us in a couple of weeks' time. So no rings yet, but once I remember to bring the camera in to be developed (they gave us a disposable camera, and Tom took photos of every stage), I'll be able to upload photos.