Saturday, July 12, 2008


It occurred to me that, even though I'm being coy about the details of who my new employers are (regular readers may remember that time, now purged from my blog, when I blogged about a choice between two jobs, listing the pros and cons of each, only for one of the employers to read it, take exception to the cons I mentioned and decide they didn't want to employ me after all), it would be entirely acceptable for me to give a plug to the employment agency that found me the job in the first place.

So, if you want a new job in the world of finance or HR, get in touch with Macildowie Associates! Seriously, I can't praise their service highly enough - they called me after seeing my CV on Monster, I had a useful and entertaining meeting with a friendly guy talking through my job history and the kind of things I'm looking for, they had me do an Excel test to prove to them and their clients that I'm as good at it as I claim to be and then within a week of signing up they'd arranged me a couple of interviews for two really cool jobs that were exactly what I wanted, with big, world-famous companies to boot, and another couple of similar interviews waiting in the wings if those didn't work out. As it happened, they did, and I've got a cool job starting on Monday. So yay for Macildowie, they get the Zoomy seal of approval!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Early to bed, early to rise

I need to get back into the habit of getting up in the morning at an office-worker kind of time, not at some time between nine and twelve (or later if I'm feeling lazy). This is one of the many disadvantages of working for a living, such as having to leave the house, having to sit in an office and play on a computer, having to do what other people tell you to do, all that kind of thing. Still, I'm sure I'll get used to it again soon enough. It's probably good for you, although I've got up early in the morning for most of my life and I'm still unhealthy, flat broke and stupid.

But it's the weekend first, and yay, it's a meaningful weekend because I'm working on Monday! Woohoo!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's like someone's erased my memory

I don't know what it is, but for the last few days I've felt sort of at a loose end, with lots of time on my hands. It's as if I'd previously been doing something that took up a lot of my time on a daily basis, but now I'm not and I need to find something to fill all the time I'd previously devoted to it. But what is it? I've been sitting around doing absolutely nothing for months now!

Job-hunting? That didn't take up too much of my time, and I seem to have spent a lot of time today anyway fending off calls from people who've seen my CV on Monster and want to offer me jobs. Seriously, they all seem to have come along at once lately!

Memory training? I haven't done too much of that just lately, but I've been pretty good about training at weekends and I don't normally feel vacant after not doing anything for a couple of days.

I think it must just be that I've officially got a job now, so I'm feeling like not working on a weekday is strange and gives me lots of spare time. Or perhaps I've been on secret government work of some kind and my memory has been blanked out. I like that second theory best.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Well, I've analysed my money situation carefully, and even a talented accountant like me can't juggle the numbers to come up with the answer I wanted to get. There is officially no way on Earth I can afford to go to the German Memory Championship in a fortnight.

It's unfortunate, but I can't go jetting off to Tuttlingen before I start getting paid for the new job, which won't be until August. Not without borrowing more money than is at all sensible, anyway. I'll just have to stay at home and memorise numbers and cards here. Maybe if I phone the competition and tell them my scores, they'll still give me a round of applause...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Get a job!

Yes, I'm talking to you, all you scummy unemployed people out there. I can now officially look down on you all again, because I've now got a job, starting Monday, subject to confirmation. Yay!

Feeling very accomplished and in the mood to achieve something else amazing this afternoon, I tried to fix a puncture on my bike. Now, I'm a man of many talents, but few of them involve fixing things. I'm entirely hopeless at fixing anything that's broken. And I can cheerfully report that after a great deal of effort getting the tyre off, finding the hole in the inner tube, patching it up with that glue stuff and little rubber patches, getting the tyre back on and injuring my hand in the process... my rear tyre is still flat as a pancake.

My natural instinct in situations like this is just to buy a new bike and avoid all the hassle, but under the financial circumstances, maybe that's not such a good idea. Let's wait till I get my first paycheque, at least.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Olympics here, olympics there, olympics everywhere!

I won't be going to the one in China, but luckily, everybody always wants to jump on the bandwagon in an olympic year, so there's a couple of other olympiads I'm thinking of checking out.

First off, there's the good old Mind Sports Olympiad, returning this year for the twelfth time. I've just got the schedule, and I'm considering whether or not to go along. I'm inclining towards probably not - I will be in London for the first weekend, for the UK Memory Championship, and that only takes place in the mornings (because it's sharing accommodations with a big chess competition in order to get a free room - hilarious arguments are sure to ensue when the memory competition overruns and hasn't finished by the time the chess players want to come in), so I could go along and join in the fun in the afternoons. But there isn't anything happening just on the Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday afternoon it's just othello, and will anyone else turn up for that? They haven't for the last few years.

Othello and some other competitions are cheaper than previously, just £8 rather than £12, but that's still more than British othello players are used to paying for a tournament (especially since the MSO competitions is shorter than the normal regionals that we pay £5 for). And the full-week, play-anything cost is still £99, and if you add the cost of accommodation to that, it all adds up to more than I can really justify spending on a holiday right now. So, all in all, I'll probably give the MSO a miss, maybe just turning up for the othello.

Olympiad number two is a Memoriad, which is even cooler! It's in Turkey, in November, and it's an olympiad composed of memory, mental calculation and speed reading competitions and promising to pay big prizes for the winners! I'm sort of sceptical about it, just because it's never happened before that a competition has popped up out of nowhere and given people money for memorising things, but I'm all in favour of the principle, naturally, and I'll certainly go along to this one if it doesn't end up being called off. It could actually turn out to be a lot of fun!

Sunday, July 06, 2008


After just making a passing mention of the final episode of Doctor Who last night, I thought I should probably say more on the subject, since it was actually quite good. Certainly a big improvement on last year's season finale, although it still had its flaws - rather too many technobabbly pseudo-justifications of magic things happening for plot convenience. And the poor old Daleks not quite being the indestructible killing machines we all love (it really shouldn't be possible to make them all blow up by pressing a few buttons on a control panel).

But what it did have was Julian Bleach's wonderful portrayal of Davros! He was amazing, clever, loud and stark raving mad, exactly what a real villain should be! He needs to come back as soon as possible. And exterminate people. Also, the Daleks should win. Daleks are great.