Sunday, 28 June 2015

Do you do something you love?

Today has been fantastic

I've mentioned my career before - I work in I.T and have known since the age of 9 that that's what I wanted to do in life. I remember the exact day, when I was at school and the teacher told me that one of the boys in my class (who couldn't make the robotic turtle with a pen, draw a square) could have twice as long on the computer as me 'As he was a boy'. I said to myself, 'I WILL work with computers when I'm a grown up' and put every effort into making that dream happen. My Mother was incredibly supportive and found a BBC Basic computer at a local jumble sale and I used to sit at the kitchen table, writing code - 10, 20, 30, IF THEN GOTO 10... I was ecstatic when, after 1.5 hours, I successfully drew a graphic of a stick man, bouncing a ball.

From then - Everything was focussed towards working in I.T. My GCSE's included I.T, my A levels included Computing - My BSc and PhD were both in Computer Science and I managed to secure a graduate position in one of the 'Big 4' as an I.T. Consultant. It's something I don't regret and I know I'm quite unusual to have realised what I wanted to do at such a young age.

So today was brilliant as my gastric band friend (who also works in I.T.) and I paid a visit to Bletchley Park - Home of the code breakers and of course, the incredibly famous Alan Turing and the Enigma machine. I went once before on my 30th birthday and still believe it was the best Birthday I've had as an adult. It felt so 'right', being in a place that was filled with technology and computers - seeing a whole room of BBC Basics - The computer that started my lifelong affair with the I.T. industry, was just magic.

Breakfast was porridge - Although unfortunately Sainsburys seemed to have suffered a 'Golden Syrup porridge shortage' so I had no option but to buy a few pots of the Caramel one instead. They're OK, but not my favourite taste! I didn't know what the food situation would be at Bletchley, so I also brought some strawberries and a Bakewell tart nakd bar for emergencies. I drove the 40 minutes to my friends house, then we switched cars and she drove us the rest of the way. We made really good time and arrived just after 10:30 - The weather was pretty dire to be honest (lots of rain), so there weren't a lot of people and we managed to buy our tickets straight away without much queuing.

After a quick cup of tea, we started wandering round and reading about the efforts of the brave men and women in the second world war. It's incredibly humbling to read about the conditions that some of the people worked under to help win the war - working in rooms with no natural light or ventilation and standing for hours. Once again, it puts things slightly more into perspective and despite my back hurting after walking around for a few hours, I didn't really think I had cause to complain. 

Bletchley has changed a lot in the last few years. There's a lot more interaction with things and a lot more information to take in. After 'Block C' - the block all visitors head towards and buy tickets, my friend and I wandered to Block B, to see the Bombe machine and learn all about Alan Turing - an absolutely incredible man who unfortunately was too advanced for the period he lived in and as such, was treated appallingly due to his sexual preferences. All of the staff were incredibly friendly and even though I've read about the Enigma machine, been to Bletchley more than once and watched a number of documentaries, the maths behind it still evades me! 

Lunchtime came, and my friend and I decided to head to the cafe to grab some lunch - We both opted for a jacket potato and out of all the usual potato toppings, I opted for baked beans as didn't really fancy cheese, tuna, chicken tikka etc. Thankfully the rain had stopped so we sat outside and chatted whilst noshing on our food - You'll note on the photograph that my potato came with some butter, however I didn't use it. Whilst butter tastes nice, the beans were enough and the whole thing was filling. It was really nice talking to my friend as we had a bit of a 'bonding moment', where she told me she's been much more open with me about her gastric band and feelings as she feels she trusts me and I, in turn, told her about how I felt like a failure due to not getting a job offer this week and how I get really anxious before interview and still feel so scared.

She said she felt the same - and that it's normal. It's odd, as she's made so many changes in her life in the last 2 years (split from her Husband, got a new job, had gastric bypass surgery, lost loads of weight, moved house....) and just appears so 'together' and so 'switched on', that it was oddly reassuring to hear that she sometimes feels like me - a bit worried, not necessarily confident about life. She's an awesome friend, I guess sometimes I don't tell people how worried I am about things and it's nice to feel close to people who feel the same way sometimes.

We did some more wandering before heading over to the National Museum of Computing which was again, amazing as it housed 'Colossus' and some of the very early computers. Despite having to pay additional money to get in (£7.50 per person) we spent over an hour walking around and learning about the early computers, before deciding to call it a day at just after 4pm. If you're thinking about going - GO! Just make sure you put a whole day aside, as there's just so much to take in, it's crazy.

The drive back was uneventful, until I switched cars at my friends house and continued the journey home. Unfortunately, after 15+ years of driving, I can now say that I've hit a pheasant :-( It was dithering at the side of the road and decided to fly across my windscreen as it saw my car coming. It hit my windscreen with a massive 'smack' and as I looked in my rear view mirror, saw lots of fluffy feathers on the road. I couldn't stop as there were cars behind me, and I was doing 50 MPH. 

I feel so guilty at the moment - I would never intentionally hurt any animal or bird and whilst it's not my fault, I hate the idea that I've killed something, or worse, there's a bird in pain thanks to me. There's nothing anyone can do, I know that pheasants seem to want to be run over as they seem to wait until there's a car coming, then charge - but even so, it's just a bit crap.

Dinner tonight was a marinated BBQ chicken breast with rosemary roasted new potatoes from my Riverford box and steamed carrots and peas. Absolutely delicious and now I'm incredibly full, sat on my Sofa, writing this blog and watching the Antiques Roadshow - I know, I know... old before my time :-)

It's been a lovely weekend with my Boyfriend and my friend and I'm focussing on the memories of the last two days to get me through next week at work.

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