Saturday, 28 May 2011

Stand too close and you'll be covered in it

Despite being rather a frantic, excitable person I don't tend to get stressed by too much.  I can roll with the punches as well as the next man.  For two weeks however I have felt increasingly anxious to the point were the last three days have been spent in a state of nauseous panic.  A tennis ball of sick felt lodged in the base of my throat, held back by the faintest pressure, ready to expel itself bileous and green in a broken, teary breakdown.

I spoke to my Dad and the husband and voiced a few of my niggling worries.  They both had the same thing to say.  Life is for enjoying, particularly in the now.  Don't worry about things too much.  It was such welcome, calming and simple advice.  Then I read an article about someone trying to let go in various ways.  Thank goodness for Dads and husbands as well as random advice from strangers.  This morning I still feel nervy but I no longer feel like I'm gliding here and there with a face of pinched muscles and a brain smashing round in cavernous darkness.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A room with a view

Last weekend was exciting.  I went up to Auckland with some girlfriends to celebrate a birthday.  Needless to say the weekend invloved champagne, high heels, looking at nice things, eating when we damn well liked and about 43 shades of lipgloss.  I returned home on Sunday night to a tidy house a freshly baked bread.  Astonishing.

We have arranged to meet for further wine consumption and the obligatory debrief.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I love you even if you are a complete twat

The husband flew to a wedding in Australia today with his siblings and parents.  We said goodbye in customary fashion by going out for a romantic dinner last night then squeezing in a quick argument about suitcases before he left this morning.  If, God forbid, I don't ever see him again, my final words were 'I love you even if you are a complete twat.'

My neighbour's husband is also away for a few days on a fishing trip so she's bringing her children over at 5pm for tea.  We have got 3 tins of baked beans, a loaf of bread and two bottles of Lindauer bubbles.  That should do us nicely.

The beckoning thrill of the city

The husband returned from his Australian adventure last night.  The past five days have been quite relaxing.  There has been far less to do round the house so it has been tidy, I stayed on top of the washing and the kitchen has been spotless (I cooked about 80% less than normal).  As they say though joy is not in things, it is in us.  And how true.  Lad, twin1, twin2 and I are all ecstatic to have him back even though he has left for work in a flurry of dirty washing and the discarded wrappings of duty free presents.

This coming weekend I'm off to Auckland with some of my girlfriends in the picture to celebrate a birthday.  I'm flying up with the birthday gal on Friday.  The thrill of the city beckons.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

It's not as easy as it looks

A few years ago I was between jobs.  I had given up my job as a trader in London, gone travelling and met the husband who had sold his house in Wanaka and was about to arrive in London to start our life together.  I had a few months before teacher training started at Goldsmiths.  At lunch with an old school friend, she mentioned that her office of about 3 companies and a huge number of people were relocating to the other side of London and they needed someone to project manage the move.  I have always considered myself an organised person and have enjoyed administrative roles in the past.  'How hard can it be?' We asked ourselves over a pint.

That's how I found myself on the highest wage I have ever earnt, in an office of my own (my chum who'd been working for the company for years was sitting near me in a much more junior open plan set up.  Ha) organising the move of a company to an empty building.  The organisation was involved in politics and media.  The room which housed the computer server looked like something off the set of the Matrix.  I sat at my desk on day one and wondered what the fuck I had to do.  Luckily there were plenty of ways to suck up the hours at work such as throwing back cups of tea with my chum and finding out who had shagged who in the office.

Problems started to crop up when some of the managers asked me to draw up a schedule for moving and re installing the vast amount of electrical equipment they worked with.  I rang British Telecom and sunk into even deeper water thrashing my way through incomprehensible technical jargon.  Phrases like ISDN and ISDL were thrown about (it took me about two weeks to work out that ISDN and ISDL were different things).  The new building was a concrete shell.  The scale of the project made my mouth dry.  I rang the husband several times a day (he has been managing construction projects for years) for advice.  He understandably didn't have time to teach me the basics of project management over 2 minute mobile phone calls as he had his own project to manage.

There was a girl in the Manchester branch of the company who had just managed their office move.  She started to video conference me several times a day.  Her irritation with my incompetence was exacerbated by the gap in our remuneration for the same task.  She had orchestrated the Manchester relocation within the scope of her monthly salary whilst keeping up with the other duties expected of her job.  I began to rely heavily on my daily communication with her to keep the move on track.

It didn't take long for huge cracks to appear.  I met with one of the managers and regretfully informed him that my teacher training course started earlier than expected and that I would not be able to see the move through.  Organised of Manchester called me and told me she would be taking over my role and that my services would no longer be required.  Relief didn't even begin to describe it.  I have never been so far out my depth nor more grateful to walk away.  The move did go ahead as planned but there were a number of glitches - one of which was a fisticuffs scrap between the removal men at the site of the new office.  The husband and my chum take enormous pleasure in reminding me now and then of my career which didn't exactly go stratospheric.

Monday, 2 May 2011

A lesson in relaxation. All you have to do is shift the goalposts

Have you been to an indoor playground?  You know the ones; plastic ball pools, inflatable slides, no windows, someone dressed up as a furry mascot who scares the shit out of all the children eating mechanically reclaimed chicken nuggets and spongy sausages at the $7.90 per head birthday parties.  I'm about to become well acquainted with the weekly rotas of the staff at our local as autumn gets wetter by the day.  This afternoon I took lad, lad's chum, twin1 and twin2 as they started to trash the house immediately after lunch with their surfeit of toddler energy.
Reading magazines and drinking tea has always been high on my list of enjoyable ways to relax.  As we all know, environment plays a key part in relaxation and it is a mark of this period in my life that I felt warmly fuggy and calm whilst propped up in a stiff plastic chair in an airless hanger ringing with preschooler shrieking and the rat-a-tat-tat of mock Gatling guns propelling balls into a metal cage.  I put my back into Grazia and a pot of Earl Grey while my charges hyperventilated their way through tunnels, bungee cords, padded ladders and scrummed down with hundreds of other fetid children.  Whilst it wasn't quite the same as the soft bilge of a sofa and silence save the crackling of an open hearthed fire, I realise that beggars can't be choosers so feel content and refreshed in a manic, spaced out kind of way.

photo with my ma and pa by Quinn O'Connell

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Royal Wedding highs and lows

There were two highlights for me.  The first was witnessing the warm, real and ordinary love between the bride and groom.  Although it was an enormous affair watched by billions and meticulously choreographed to within an inch of its life it was a grand spectacle of the monarchy butit was also just a wedding.

The second highlight was seeing London stick out its chest, hold up its chin and show off its beauty, history and ability to throw a party to the world.  I felt so very proud of my home.

Although I would love to have been in the UK to join in the celebrations I was lucky enough to go to a party thrown by someone who clearly understood the need for some pomp and circumstance.  Champagne flowed all night and trays of delectable little bites were laid out on the best linen.  Pews were arranged with the TV as the altar with pink bows flowers and programmes decorating our 'Westminster Abbey'.  A framed pic of the happy couple kept an eye on you in the bathroom and you were reminded to 'Keep Calm and Carry On' in the hallway.  It was absolutely everything a royal wedding party should be - attention to detail and appearance of paramount importance but delivered with tongue in cheek frivolity.  With that in mind, there were only highs, no lows.


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