Can’t remember the last time I went so long in between updates. Or if I have ever gone this long in between updates? Been quite busy though.

Last week I was sent on a training course to learn the wonders of System Centre Configuration Manager. Problem is a lot of that course was designed for System Administrators and whilst I may be a member of the system administrator team, I have no real desire to be one. So lets just say I went into it with a lot less enthusiasm than such an existing topic should have warranted (which is not much to begin with truth be told). Still, some parts were interesting enough and whilst I didn’t really have much to say to the other attendees, I actually quite enjoyed my week off work.

Better yet, I discovered the wonders of being given luncheon vouchers in lieu of a proper meal. If you play things right, you can get a lot more than a spot of lunch out of them. By the end of the week I’d bought not only my dinner time snacks but also three bottles of wine and a pizza for my tea one night. Reckon I could have made it four bottles if I hadn’t wasted some the first day on chocolate and drink….

Whilst I have enjoyed my week off work it was not particularly well timed as it pretty much hit the busiest time of my year, meaning I go back to work tomorrow to face some very tight deadlines. I do feel motivated however, not only by my little holiday but also by the fact that I have (apparently), finally, got my re-grade! The boss says it’s happening although I’m waiting to see the official letter before I really believe it (and find out how many months I may have to wait to actually get it). Still, I do actually feel appreciated a bit now.

The timing of that is also quite good as I’m starting to kick my house hunting into a higher gear. Strange how my thoughts have changed on the topic since the start of the year. First it was a city centre flat I was looking for, then a house on the outskirts and now I’m fairly well set on a place in a commuter town 5 miles or so out of the city. I an effort to be ready for when I do find somewhere I’ve started to gather my deposit from the various places it resides and visited a couple of bank advisors over the weekend.

Have to say I was not impressed by Lloyds TSB one bit. I already bank with them so it seemed a good place to start and after asking a few questions at reception I was fairly predictably invited for a chat with an advisor. Got some useful info to start and then it switched to her trying to sell me a new account just for one of the perks that might help me get a mortgage. I didn’t appreciate the hard sell that was directed at me one bit and although the only real selling point for getting a mortgage with them was it was easier, they have definitely done themselves out of my business now…

In contrast the lovely lady at HSBC was exceedingly helpful and didn’t seem bothered about getting me to sign up to anything. I’m now doing my best to stay in touch and build a bit of a rapport in the hope that I might even get the odd discount such as dropping the valuation fee or the like.

With a holiday coming up in 3 weeks I’m content to keep vaguely looking at houses for now and then really make a move when I get back.

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