It has pretty much been a month since I last posted. A month which has been full of incident, mainly work based (and therefore not bloggable about...); suffice it to say that I've been flat tack, and have also sat my first professional exam - the first module out of five which will get my Level 4 of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. Level 7 will get me my MCIPS which will allow me letters after my name (besides my BA, which I don't really use...) - it's going to be a long road, but will be well worth it in the end. At least, that's what I'm going to keep on telling myself as I trudge through the text books and practice papers! Two more exams in July and two in November will see me through (as long as I pass them all, that is...).
The garden is looking a little bit shabby as winter is setting in, and I have less time to potter during daylight hours (leaving for work and returning in the dark means far less weeding time...), though there are still a few blooms on the rosebush, and the birds are loving our berry filled bushes. We have a large collection of silver-eyes and thrushes who are eating their fill every time I look out of the window; I love having a garden which attracts so many birds! We've had our first significant frosts of the season (bye-bye dahlias...), as well as the first significant (an hour and a half) train delay because the tracks, overhead power lines and train were frozen. Must not grumble that winter happens every year, because by all accounts, even for where we are living now (which is in a cooler area than our rented place), this is pretty cold. The vege box now has a good growing of mustard, which I'll dig in when it gets tall enough (the books all say 50cm, so it has a way to go as yet); I've already started planning what I'm going to put in there (it slightly changes every time I see another cookery show!), and am really looking forward to getting going in the Spring.
The orchestra is nearly at its next concert, On Wings of Song, whilst we are still listening to the recordings of the last! We're performing with a choir called Cantala, who are also led by our conductor - they are a school choir who have won awards in the national school choir competition (The Big Sing), and who are also competing in a competition in Vienna; as part of their European Tour, they are also performing at St Pauls Cathedral and Notre Dame, so anyone in the vicinity, please do go and support them - they are really very good. I am still enjoying playing the bassoon - the pieces we are playing this concert (main ones for the orchestra are Finlandia and Rossini's Boutique Fantasque) really let me get at the bottom notes, which weren't really used in the last one, and there is something really satisfying about hitting a really deep bass note - it really seems to connect the body to the instrument in a way that you don't get with the high ones...
I've been a bit quiet on blogging about hockey this season - we haven't been doing very well! We've gone down a grade, and also lost our first match of the lower grade (though I feel I played a lot better than I did in the higher one, and we only lost by one goal, rather than by 7...). We have to fight our way back up into the higher grade, but I think that we can do it as we all get together better as a team; we have been hindered slightly by the fact that so many of us have come up from the seconds to play in the firsts - the different team dynamics have made more of a difference than I think people had realised.
We're off up to Auckland this weekend for Unconventional, the national science fiction convention. I'm very excited, because the guest of honour is Trudy Canavan, a writer I very much admire, and she is running a writer's workshop. I might have happened to be first in the queue when that one got announced! Full report will (possibly!) be posted after the weekend.