Sunday, 24 August 2008

As I watch the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics...

...and the handover to London for 2012, I can't help but agree with Billy Connolly.

I'm kind of undecided in what I think of the handover performance from London. It would have been nicer if they'd used a traditional routemaster bus, but I'm guessing it's a lot harder to peel one of those open. The umbrellas were a realistic touch ;-)

The Summer of Sloth Continues

I knew I’d hit a low point in my summer of sloth when I caught myself watching the “Scooby Doo Where Are You” weekend special on the Cartoon Network today.

Oh dear!!

Not exactly mature viewing for a 37year old woman eh!! In my defence it was the original classic and not the newer version with Scrappy. That damn puppy was so annoying; he completely spoiled the show for me and my sister.


Nevertheless finding myself sucked into children’s TV was enough of a motivator to peel my arse of the sofa and go spend some time outside. I decided I’d walk down to the shops in the flatiron district and see if I could bag myself a lightweight jacket. Not that it’s cold enough to need one in NYC just yet, but there’s a good chance I might be going to England next week to join my new boss on a client training course. This would be my new British boss – and funnily enough the former boss of my good friend (and former manager) Miles, who speaks very highly of her. I work in such an incestuous industry – who’s dividing her time between the US and the UK at the moment until her visa gubbins is sorted out. She advised me that something rain proof would be the way to go if I were heading across the Atlantic, what with England currently experiencing its
wettest August on record.

It’s funny, it’s only when I moved away from England I realised how truly appalling the weather is. Believe it or not, according to, New York has a higher average rainfall than London with 4.1inches of rain on average bouncing off Central Park in August vs. 1.7inches for London. The difference is those 4.1inches of rain in New York have a tendency to deluge us in just a few days, whereas in London it seems to drizzle just consistently enough for it to rain every other chuffing day. Oh well, I suppose without near constant rain we wouldn’t have such a beautifully lush countryside. Silver linings!!

How British of me chit chatting about the weather.

Rain or not a free trip to England isn’t something to be sneezed at, especially as it’s conveniently timed right before the Labor Day weekend in the US. If it all works out I’ll be able to take advantage of the long weekend to go up to Yorkshire to visit my family and then fly back to NYC on Monday. That would be fab; especially given I haven’t seen my nephew since December ’06 what with my sister and family moving to Australia temporarily a few weeks before I came home for Christmas last year.

The training is Thursday and Friday next week. Actually it’s Wednesday through Friday, but I have a meeting with another client in New York on Wednesday afternoon so Big Boss Man suggested I fly to overnight to the UK following that meeting and go straight to the training course on landing. I can’t say I am looking forward to that part of it. I’m not one for sleeping on planes; however there is a chance I will get to fly in business class which would be smashing – don’t those seats practically recline to beds? Our client has a relationship with an airline which means we fly standby but if there is room in First or Business they pop us in there, we’re just not allowed to use the lounges, which is not great news if there are no public showers when I land in London. It’s certainly not good news for my colleagues on the training course. I shall have to run into a loo and change my clothes in a cubicle, throw my unwashed hair into a clip, fumigate my pits and do my ablutions at the public sinks.

Its glamorous business travel isn't it :-)

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Something to look forward to

I've been very lax in writing recently; I’ve come down with a severe case of lazy-itis of late. I feel like I've aged a decade, I'm so damn tired. Work is completely kicking my arse. I’m either stressed out about not having enough work to do – one of the clients who pays for 50% of my time has been decimated by resignations and lay offs – or I have the opposite problem of being so overloaded I'm working a 14hour day, which has been the case this past week. I've been running around like my arse is on fire, although I suppose I should be thankful given the economy. The r word is on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days and clients are cutting budgets left right and centre.

The biggest problem I’m finding with being so busy at work is that come the weekend I have no interest in doing anything more taxing than laying on my couch. I'm enjoying my summer of sloth, but I’m also starting to feel guilty about being so inactive, especially since my muffin top seems to have taken on a life of its own recently. I'm making a concerted effort to get back to the gym on a regular basis, although that's a resolution I frequently make and then break. I manage to make working out a habit for about a week before I get caught up in work stuff and then I’m lucky if I go twice. I’m trying to make up for it by walking the 5mile round trip to and from the office as much as I can and even bought a pedometer to encourage myself to walk faster and more aerobically, to burn a few more calories – I draw the line at power walking. I was pleased to discover that 95% of the time I walk fast enough for it to be aerobic but disappointed to discover that I only burn 135 piffling calories each way. That’s not even a Walnut Whip’s worth!! Harumph!!

At least one benefit to all these weekends spent lying on the sofa, relaxing my life away, is that I’m not spending much money. A very good thing, because I’ve just booked flights for what is potentially likely to turn out to be a bloody expensive holiday to Hong Kong and Shanghai!!!!


I’m sooooo excited, I cannot wait. I even found myself mentally packing my suitcase while trying to distract myself from the pain of Pilates class this morning. We’re – that’s Melissa and I - going at the end of October, which means avoiding typhoon season and the oppressive heat and humidity of summer. We’re spending 5days in Hong Kong – with a side trip to Macao planned – and then flying to Shanghai for a whirlwind 3day trip. I wish we could stay a bit longer in Shanghai, but vacation allowance doesn’t permit more than a taster trip this time. I walked down to the Barnes and Noble in Union Square on Saturday – I walked 5.28miles yesterday; or 13,947 steps and burned 298 calories (1¾ Walnut Whips) – to peruse through a few guide books and determine the best areas to focus our search for hotels. If you've any tips let me know!!

Anyway I’m going to go back to lying on my sofa; I’ve got episodes of Dexter to watch ;-)

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

No time!!

Phewwwww!!! I'm busy. No time to write or blog hop!! I'm too busy chasing down clients and having meetings with my new boss. I spend my evenings recovering in a heap in front of the Olympics. I find watching it can be quite exhausting. I get so tense for the competitors that I sometimes feel like I’ve competed myself!! I tumble into bed close to midnight instead of 11pm and then I struggle to get out of bed on a morning. My snooze button is getting a workout I can tell you.

The opening ceremony was rather spectacular wasn’t it, even if the bits with the firework footprints and the little girl singing were faked. Tsk!! Whoever’s in charge of London’s opening ceremony in 2012 must be bricking it. A bit o' bunting just isn’t going to cut it is it?

I'm hoping the mania will abate soon!!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Joining the 21st Century

It was a quiet weekend. I was laid low; recovering after a tough week with a client whose irritating first instinct is always to blame first, ask questions later and I spent much of my week in seethe mode having to prove to him that the issue was on HIS side, not mine. Diplomatically of course. I was exhausted by Friday. It was one of those ‘I’ve-had-it-with-this-crap-I’m-off-to-see-if-McDonalds-is-hiring’ kind of weeks and I felt the need to relax and recuperate sufficiently before the aforementioned pain in the arse client arrives for a full day visit on Tuesday!!


Not a day of meetings I'm especially looking forward to.

The most exciting thing that happened to me all weekend was finally succumbing to the wonders of cable internet. Yup…before Saturday I was dialling in – I know, what a Luddite. I put up with it, because I don’t have a home computer so I only need the internet on weekends or occasions when I drag my laptop home from the office. I didn’t see the point in shelling out $45 a month for the privilege- and um….well on occasion I would naughtily glom off my neighbour’s unsecured wireless network – oh don’t give me that holier than thou look you’d do it - but no more. On Saturday morning I dragged myself down to the Time Warner store on 23rd Street to sign myself up.

I’d never been in there before and as I opened the door and saw the rows of ashen faced people slumped in uncomfortable plastic chairs awaiting their number to pop up on the screen my heart sank, ‘there goes my Saturday’ I thought. But of course, that wasn’t the case. I was buying something not complaining about service, so naturally I was seen straight away. Not 10minutes after walking through the door I was clutching my big orange bag of high speed internet accessing goodies as Mr Time Warner Sales Guy pushed a slip of paper towards me.

"If you could just sign that for me please young lady"

Young lady!!!


That brought a smile to my face I can tell you. At 37years old I more often than not get the dreaded "madam" - I hate the word madam, it makes me feel matronly - than "young lady" these days.

Clearly my Estee Lauder Idealist skin refinisher is doing the trick!!!

Well ok, I'll admit, the lighting in the room was erring on the dim side, I had my hair pulled back into a ponytail, Croydon face lift style, and the guy barely glanced in my direction, he was too busy checking his computer screen to scrutinize my face for fine lines, but still…young lady!!

Gosh!! That's one way for Time Warner Cable to instill customer loyalty.

He made my morning ;-)