Saturday, 30 April 2016

Office life: What I learned from the finale of Line of Duty (season 3)

So who caught the finale of Line of Duty on Thursday? What a ride! Two compelling interview scenes (accompanied by much shouting at the TV from MrM and me), before a brilliant text that culminates in an hilarious chase scene through central Belfast and the death of the Caddy.

My nerves have been completely shred, but I'm even contemplating watching it all again as there are unanswered questions. Who killed the Caddy? Why did the driver of the Range Rover drive around in circles? Is it possible to keep running after you've been knocked down? Why is Neil Morrissey mowing a lawn that has clearly just been done?

I also realised that I still have a soft spot for the brilliant Adrian Dunbar, long after seeing him in one of the most underrated films ever; Hear my Song.

But for a home-based worker like me, the episode provided a fabulous guide on how to navigate the tricky task of working in an office. Here are some of the top tips I learned in the 90-minute finale:

Never trust a colleague
Office politics eh? There's always someone who will try to play you off against the MD, show you up in front of your colleagues, email you to tell you that one of your documents needs to be in a 12 point font size instead of 11, or steal your car and frame you for murder. The Caddy's machinations have rumbled on undetected for five episodes, before he talked himself into a dead end and sent a pre-prepared text message. Which leads me onto..

2. "Urgent exit required"

This is actually trending on Twitter at the moment and I have saved this into the drafts folder on my phone just in case our next team meeting overruns. However, had I been the Caddy, under pressure, I would probably would have sent it to my mum by accident, instead of "ride", "removal" and "talk".

3. Drink lots of water

It's easy to forget to stay hydrated in a busy air-conditioned environment, but Line of Duty had plenty of reminders to drink water. Each interview scene contained much water sipping - not only is it good for your health, it's a good way of giving yourself thinking time when you're about to lay the clues down to suggest that one of your colleagues is corrupt.

4. Hanging on the side of a lorry

Next time I'm late for work, I will seriously consider hanging off the side of a lorry. None of the public seemed terribly surprised to see an armed police officer hitching a ride this way, and it is almost as fast as running.

5. WHOM!

Correcting someone's grammar in the middle of a heated row needn't be contained within my head anymore thanks to the frighteningly slick Gill Bigelow. Earlier this week, a colleague phoned me to berate me about some figures and continually repeated the words: "amount of people"; "amount of children" "amount of adults" until I could take it no more and childishly shouted "NUMBER, NUMBER, NUMBER" down the phone. Gill pulled this off in a much more ladylike way, correcting Kate Fleming's "who" to a "whom". Even when you're facing losing your job or possible arrest, never forget the principles of basic grammar.

6. How to multitask

Lastly, when small son was a baby, I didn't have the brain capacity to even remember how to walk in a straight line, but let's not forget that the copper who helped to provide the info that would incriminate the Caddy, had a tiny baby that she brought into the office late at night. If anyone should have received a commendation at the end of the episode, it was her.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Newbury Emporium - antiques, vintage and collectables, opening 1st May

Newbury Emporium – a centre with more than 30 antique dealers and specialists - is set to open its doors in the former Melville Burbage building in Bartholomew Street, Newbury this week (1st May).
Business partners Penny Morgan and Gary Wilkinson are moving the popular Marlborough Parade Antique Centre, which they have owned and managed since 2003, to Newbury to bring the concept to a new audience. Penny also owns Thatcham Jewellers and Hungerford Jewellers.

The centre will be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm giving customers the opportunity to browse more than 1,800sq ft. of stock including furniture, silver, glassware, porcelain, pottery, jewellery and collectables.
Penny, who has worked in the antiques trade for nearly 50 years, said: “We’re very excited about opening the centre as we think this is exactly what Newbury needs. Newbury Emporium is much larger than it looks with three rooms which means there’s lots to see.”

Gary, known locally as “Lovejoy”, is a long-standing antique dealer and part-time auctioneer and has appeared on the BBC’s Antique Road Trip and Bargain Hunt programmes.
He added: “Antique hunting is a great weekend pastime and we guarantee that for whatever your budget you can find something exciting and different.”

Michael Forrer who sells general antiques, specialising in naval and scientific instruments said: “Our association with the Marlborough Antiques Centre has always been a happy one, so we’re looking forward to moving to Newbury.

“We will bring valuable and varied, old and new stock to satisfy the collecting preferences of past and future customers at bargain prices. We look forward to welcoming you.”

June Weller who is primarily a jewellery dealer added: “There is always something for everyone to enjoy, it has been a very successful centre in Marlborough so I am really positive that we can bring the same to Newbury.”
The Newbury Emporium will be officially opened on Sunday, 22nd May by television antique expert Stewart Hofgartner who runs Below Stairs antique shop in Hungerford. The event will be open to all and include a free valuation session from 12pm to 3pm with Stewart and also David Harrison from Jubilee Auction Rooms.