Friday, 17 May 2013

A Design Disaster

The news on Anne is that she is still doing well and had some of the tubes and wires removed yesterday. A very good sign. She also appears to be regaining some of her feisty self, such a relief.

My cold/chest infection, general malaise rumbles on but does appear to be improving. I'm having a cough start in the mornings but once I'm up and running I feel pretty much normal, well as normal as I'm ever going to get with PH.

There has been a bit of a worrying development though.

On Wednesday soon after writing my blog I developed a migraine and yesterday on arriving home I went down with another one. Now I have had migraines all my life but they only ever appear when I'm stressed. Exams, interviews, first day at work and sudden upsets can all set me off, however none of that applies to the last two days. I have been fiendishly busy at work but nothing I couldn't handle, even with a cold, so I'm at a loss as to the cause. Maybe I am stressed but am not recognising it as such. Maybe it is just one of those things. Of course now I'm stressed out worrying about what could be stressing me out. It is probably a blip but whatever has caused it I hope my three days of R & R will get rid of it pronto.

Thought you could ignore me, think again.

In another strange development Smirnoff has taken to sticking to me like glue. He follows me around the house and cuddles up beside me when I'm watching TV. Most disturbingly of all though is his insistence at sitting behind my monitor and staring at me. It is really off putting and he only stops to do a loop of my desk every now and then. I don't know why he is doing this other than the fact it is shedding season so I'm brushing both of them at least once a day to try and limit the amount of fur on the furniture. It is very unusal because Smirnoff has always been aloof. You get affection when he deems you deserve it and if you take the liberty of picking him up at any other time you are rewarded with a scratch or a bite. Highly strung isn't the word. I'm not complaining though, I'm making the most of it.

Today is the first Friday in months that I don't have to dash off to a clinic, appointment or to carry out an errand for Andrew. I've taken advantage of this by having a long lie in, I didn't wake until eight, a read of the papers with breakfast in bed and a long soak in the bath. This afternoon I'll do the grocery run and that will leave me with a whole two days of leisure time. All I'm hoping now is that the weather perks up enough to allow me to spend some of my time outdoors.

Talking of weather, I spoke to my Mum last night and she reported a heavy snow fall in Aberystwyth on Tuesday evening. Such crazy weather for May and my hopes of a long hot summer are fading fast. It is looking more and more likely to be another washout.

The Apprentice Watch

We were back to all girls and all boy teams this week, which is a bit of a relief as I can never remember the team names or which is which. I think Evolve is the girls and Endeavour the boys but don't quote me on that.

Confusion about team names aside it was a rather good show. The task was to design, produce and pitch a piece of flat pack furniture. The team with the most orders wins.

The girls were all excited squeals as they thought this task had played right into their hands. They were women right, so naturally far more creative than men. Well that might have been true if the squabbling hadn't started within minutes of them sitting down to come up with a design. They changed their minds so quickly it was difficult to work out what they had designed until you saw it. This little pool of bubbling creativity had come up with a box on wheels. Not only a box on wheels but one in an unattractive battleship grey with a few scratches on the side masquerading as a funky pattern. The name for this item of wonder, The Sidy Tidy.

When asked about the colour by a prospective buyer he was told it was because white was too common. This came from Luisa, probably the most common of all the candidates, so I suppose she would know.

Over at the boys team Eyebrow Alex stunned, and proved that there was a brain behind that huge forehead, by coming up with a design that converted a table into a chair with one movement and with no screws or catches. The only criticism given by all who saw it was that as a chair it was a little high, a flaw that could be easily fixed. Not only was this table/chair functional but it was attractive, the table was in bright white, take note girls, and when converted to a chair sported baby blue upholstery. What's not to like.

However Alex very nearly scuppered things when demonstrating how to assemble the thing by standing between it and the buyers so all they could see was his backside. As Nick pointed out, 'no one wants to see that.' Quite so. 'The Coat' was also missing this episode, a very sad state of affairs.

After a hectic day of pitching it was back to the boardroom to find out how they has done.

Badly it seemed for the girls who only managed to foist their hideous creation, called a 'wishy washy poxy boxy' by Lord Sugar, on the smaller traders and getting orders for just 174 units. John Lewis and Argos wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. The boys triumphed by over 3000 orders and won themselves a climb up the O2 dome, not what I would call a treat but there you go.

Team leader Natalie, who has an enormous chin, something I hadn't noticed before, brought Sophie and Uzma back into the boardroom with her for the firing. I sort of felt sorry for her. Anyone who gets the roles of team leader with the girls is doomed to failure from the start because they just won't shut up and listen and they all think they are right. I had less sympathy for Sophie, who's sole contribution so far was to object mildly to selling China cats in China town during the first episode. However the person I though was most responsible was gobby Uzma who claimed to be in the 'looking good industry' and was responsible for the pattern on the side of the box. Uzma has a range of make up to promote and insists on demonstrating every product on her own face all at once. Her eye make up is more elaborate than Elizabeth Taylor's in Cleopatra and far more scary. Clearly the person with her finger on the pulse of what 'looks good'.

In the end Silent Sophie got the boot and everyone else lives to fight another week. As you know I don't like making predictions but I think this year's Apprentice is more likely to be a Ken than a Barbie.