The end of my week in Southampton went pretty well.
I learned a lot during the course, some of which I'll be able to use now that I'm back in work.
The examination is booked for the 1st February and so I'll have to go up to London for that. It will give me the chance to catch up with someone I know that has moved up there.
The hotel I stayed at was great and I had no problems there.
The journey home from Southampton took a couple of hours and took me down through the New Forest via Dorchester.
The weather wasn't very nice with rain pretty much all the way home. At one point I was stuck in a traffic jam due to 5 cars going into the back of each other in the outside lane.
Arriving home, the family had gone to my in-laws in the Cotswolds as it was mother-in-laws birthday. She'd come down to stay overnight and had then taken them back up which left me with our car.
Saturday was a sort of chilled day. I was going out for a drink in the evening and had decided that I was going to wear a dress to the pub. working my way through my wardrobe I realised that I actually didn't have anything that was suitable to wear. Everything was either too dressy for the pub or something I would either wear leggings, trousers or thick tights with. So after conferring with a friend I headed into town and to the local Laura Ashley shop.
Now Laura Ashley has always struck me as being a bit on the floral side of fashion. I know that isn't the case in reality but still, I wasn't sure that I'd find anything that would be me. Still they had a sale on so it was worth a look.
Into the shop I went and over to wear some of the sale stock was, particularly the dresses. A bit of a rummage and I had found 3 possibilities. I sent a text to my friend and described them. She came back with two that she liked. I still wasn't convinced.
Just then one of the women that used to work in our personnel department walked past with who must have been her daughter and granddaughter. I was tempted to say hello and then ask her advice but couldn't bring myself to do so.
Still trying to make a decision I was surprised when one of our personnel managers also appeared. Now I get on with H so I said hello and roped her into helping me decided. We narrowed my choices down to two before she wandered off. I still wasn't convinced at this point, one of the dresses was definitely a yes, the other I wasn't so sure about as it had a pleated skirt and I wanted the dress to be able to wear it both when I went somewhere but also to work. In the end I put the dress with the pleated skirt back and went for the black dress with a pink floral pattern. Just as I was heading towards the changing rooms I noticed another rack with some dresses and tops on it. A quick rummage and I found a grey tunic top that I could wear to work, providing I got some camisoles to wear underneath it as it is a bit low cut.
Before I went to the changing rooms I had a quick look to see if I could find a black cardigan or something similar to wear with the dress. I found just the thing in a long sleeved cardigan/jacket.
Well everything fitted and I was soon heading back home with my purchases.
The afternoon was spent enjoying a nice soak in the bath while reading a book and then getting ready to go out.
Just as I was about to put my make-up on I got a call from my son asking me how to sort out a problem with his gran's computer. Fifteen minutes of trying to work out what to do over the phone, another 5 minutes of chatting to my family and I was free to finish my make-up.
The pub was really nice. It wasn't a local one as it was in a nearby town. When I got there the first pub was a chain pub that caters to families and was really busy. Not the place I wanted to go to on a Saturday night. The second pub we went to was more back street and although it was quieter I decided I might stand out and didn't want to risk any problems. The final pub was again a family pub but this time there was somewhere to sit for a quiet drink.
The evening was quite pleasant, I noticed a couple of women looking in my direction as they made their way to and from the toilets.
At one point I was a bit shocked to see some people that we know from Yeovil. The husband is a builder and has done some work at our home, one of the daughters is at school with my son. They didn't see me and I didn't go to say hello as it would have been awkward.
Sunday was a relaxed start to the day and then it was off to collect my family at our usual handover point halfway between our home and my in-laws place. We had a bite to eat and then returned home.
It was a busy week but nice.
It also showed that either I'm passing well enough or that people really aren't worried.
Roll on 2013 and whatever that will bring.