Tomorrow is the 1st May and its local election time! Now I’m not really going to talk about them but I watched Have I Got News For You on Monday and they showed this great clip about the London Mayor elections and children’s TV programme Rainbow. Click here for it. I am going to vote tomorrow in case your were wondering.
Also, my OU course starts tomorrow, scary but I’m taking Friday off work so I can spend the afternoon (I’m having a lazy morning first) working on my first lesson. Wasn’t May 1st also called May Day (in my youth) and required dancing around a Maypole and involved Morris Dancers. I’m remembering all this from my childhood – what a bizarre time that must of been for me! I wonder if the May Day protests are on this year, last year they were and I watched them from Clerkenwell Road. Lots of ‘No troops in Iraq’ and ‘free … someone or something’ – quite entertaining. The amount of police that are the streets when this goes on is amazing – burglary and car crime must really go up in the London area during this time!
This post is a bit rambling as I don’t have much time to write today as off out for a leaving party for a colleague! Cheers everyone.
Published April 29, 2008
Life , thoughts , UK
Tags: family, mother
Running for the bus today in the rain while sticking out my hand to stop it, I had a sudden vision of my mum running (more like a slow jog) for the bus with me and my brother in tow as small children and how embarrassed I was of my mum trying to get the bus to stop. Does this mean that I’m turning in to my mum – oh dear! My mum doesn’t know about my blog but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me saying this as she is always saying that she is turning in to her mum and every now and again I see my nan in her as she gets older. I love my mum to bits but I just don’t want to turn in to her. I don’t know why this is but one friend of mine says the same.
I wonder if it is to do with being independent, cutting the umbilical cord properly this time or trying to be your own person. Maybe that’s why the idea of having to move back in with your parents, for whatever reason, seems like a nightmare to me. I’ve heard that it’s not until you have your own children do you really appreciate what your parents do or have done for you. I have a pact with myself that to stop myself from turning into my mum I’m going to do the following: go to the hairdressers every 6 weeks and in years to come I will get my grey hair dyed professionally, keeping up to date with the latest fashions, keeping fit and not getting fat, keep working and keep learning new things. Hopefully I won’t turn in to my dad – having a beard is just not me!
Published April 28, 2008
Life , London , thoughts
I decided today that I would write about my day – like a proper diary, what I did, who I saw and so on. I might do this occasionally just to see how my days might be different every couple of months.
Alarm went off at 6.35am followed by a 8 mins snooze. Managed to get out of bed at 6.45am, showered, washed hair, moisturised, put contact lenses in, cleaned teeth, cleansed, tone and moisturised face, applied make-up, got dressed and dried my hair. Left house at 7.50am (yes, it takes me over an hour to get ready!!). Walked to the train station and got the 8.03am train to Fenchurch Street. Walked to Aldgate from Fenchurch Street and got the tube to Farringdon – arrived at work at 9.05ish. Got my computer going and made my morning cup of Earl Grey (black) with toast and jam. Checked emails and logged on to my company website to check the daily headlines. Message from Director who was working at home today, to check her machine and send over a document for her – did that. Checked daily headlines, edited and tagged them on the website. Answered a few emails and started a PowerPoint presentation for the Chief Research Fellow. Went to lunch at 12.30pm with Office Manager and walked to M&S for a quiche to go with my salad. Flicked through the FT while eating my lunch and then checked the BBC, ThisisLondon, WordPress, Fantasy Football and Facebook websites.
The afternoon was more exciting as I was working on some website icons using Illustrator. Designed some more, sent them over to our Lead Architect, discussed some more ideas for them and then I designed some more. All done and looking great (I say so myself) and I will create proper Icons with them tomorrow using IconFactory. Can’t wait to see them live! Finished off the PowerPoint presentation and sent that off by email. Replied to a couple more emails and then left work at 6.30pm. Got the train back home arriving at around 7.30pm and luckily dinner was already being cooked by Husband. Put some laundry on, ate dinner, washed up after dinner and then MIL came round with a premium bond form for me to fill out for our family syndication. Chatted and ate Green & Black’s dark chocolate (yum) and then after she had left I got the laptop out and wrote this! Whew, what a day and I’m sure I missed most of it, like the chatting to colleagues, texting and skyping, listening to my iPod, reading my book. I’m going to watch Have I Got News For You now and then it’s off to bed. Goodnight (UK/Europe) or have a good day (US)!!
Published April 27, 2008
Exercise , Life , Sport , thoughts , UK
In January I decided to start running to get fit – now running long distance to me is impossible as I’ve always been a 100 metre sprinter type at school. My stamina is something to be desired but I thought running would help with this, for one it’s free (unlike the gym) and I can go whenever I want without having to drive anywhere. Just step out the front door and off I go… well, maybe not that enthusiastically. In the winter months of Jan and Feb I was doing quite well – 3 times a week after work in the dark (so no one could see me huffing and puffing). I started with a walk/run/walk routine which I found out about on a running site. Started off OK and my running sections improved but I found the walking sections didn’t. Instead of fast walking like the website said I was reduced to a slow crawl with tight aching calf muscles and feeling generally knackered.
In the month of March, things started to go to pot and so did the long list of excuses as not to go – working too late, rain, snow and nights out drinking. April is an improving month with running back to at least twice a week and now I run continually albeit it is a lot shorter than the walk/run/walk route that I was doing but at least I can feel and look knackered at home.
Maybe I needed a goal to help with this so I foolishly decided that I would register for the ‘Race for Life’ 5K race in June. Now, I’m doing this for fitness and not for charity (I’m going to give them £25 of my own money so I don’t have to feel embarrassed about collecting money). Hopefully having something to compete in will give me the encouragement needed and might bring out the competitiveness in me to train for this properly. I might even get in to this running malarkey – I wonder if I could ever do a marathon… not very likely!
Published April 26, 2008
Essex , Life , London , thoughts , UK , Weather
Not sure how this post is going to read as I’ve just been down the pub and had 3 drinks on an empty stomach but at least I managed to remember that I needed to write on here! Today was a lovely day in Essex, the sun shone at a barmy 21 degrees with a nice breeze. Spent the morning ice skating, then popped home for lunch before visiting girlfriends at one of my friends homes for tea and cake. Sitting in the garden in the sunshine in just a t-shirt was so nice. It makes such a change to not wear 20 layers or carry an umbrella around with me. After much chatting and playing with a three year old, it was time to go home and then go down the pub. Nothing beats a beer on a warm sunny day! Now, I’m writing this while dinner is being cooked, drinking a very strong cosmo. Hopefully the weather will stay for tomorrow but I’ve heard rumours that it is going to rain – boo! Anyway, sorry so short but the cosmo is going to my head. Happy weekends to everyone!
I’ve been very fortunate that the company that I work for is based in San Francisco (Burlingame actually) and have been to San Francisco twice now on business trips. These trips are where the whole company gets together once a year – there are a lot of meetings but also a lot of talking, laughing, shopping, food and drink involved. The best thing that I’ve discovered about the US and in particularly San Francisco, is cocktails. My previous knowledge of cocktails was a snakebite and black (beer, cider and blackcurrant juice in a pint glass) while in my late teens, B52s (any shot is prone to make me sick, after about 2 or 3 of them), Pimms (which is classed as a cocktail) and pina coladas (umbrella and all). Since going to San Francisco I have got to know quite well Cosmopolitans. Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime – all in a wonderful martini glass. I make these quite well now…
Other cocktails that I have tried is Manhattans – which looks just like a Cosmo but tastes a lot stronger thanks to rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. It’s pretty powerful but it’s on my list to like more! Yesterday I tried Mojito for the first time and wow, that was gorgeous. That will be my next cocktail to try and make at home as it will be great in the summer and I’m thinking positively that this year we will have a great summer in the UK. Since I’m not a great fan of wine and drink mostly beer, it’s good have another collection of drinks open to me. There are just some occasions when a bottle of beer doesn’t really look the part but now I can go for cocktails and if they aren’t an option (like most pubs in the UK) then vodka and tonic will have to do! Bottoms up!
Published April 24, 2008
Exercise , Life , thoughts
Getting to my mid-thirties happened in such a quick flash of light that now I’m here I keep thinking how did that happen. I don’t think I would want to go back to school but college was good fun and so was my early 20s. The problem with being thirty-something is: age groups on questionnaires and now being classed in the upper bracket (35-44); middle-age spread starts happening without you realising it and not by changing your eating habits; wishing you was 18 again so you can go to parties (like on Skins); grey hairs and spots! I really thought by now I would be over the teenage spot thing but the buggers just keep coming back. Nowadays I spend a small fortune on face cleanser, scrubs, masks but still they keep popping up! I can have months of nice clear skin and I think yes, they finally gone for good. Hell no, eventually they come back to haunt me in the night.
To top it all off there is the fine lines issues – where all of a sudden you see that the lines don’t disappear like they used to, especially after a night out drinking. Grey hairs suddenly appear, spouting from the top of your head like an antenna saying ‘hello look at me’ . Middle-age spread on the stomach has started for me and now that I’m doing more exercise than I have done for years – no noticeable change. (Note to self – must run for longer). One of the goods things about getting older, especially for me anyway, is my confidence has got a lot better over the years and hopefully it will continue to do so. Now where is the concealer and hair dye…
Happy St Georges Day!! So what does it mean to me – born and bred in Greater London with parents and Grandparents all living/working in the East End of London, not a lot actually. I’ve only remembered it’s St Georges Day because City AM had a advert cover saying ‘Happy St George’s Day’ for some Spread Betting Online Account (huh?). The BBC website had a piece on their home page about it but that’s all I’ve seen, which is very unlike St Patrick’s Day, which I wrote about before. I’m doing my bit by writing about it so here is a brief history lesson on St George and his dragon.
Born in Turkey in the 3rd Century AD, become a Roman soldier and beheaded in Palestine. April 23rd became St George’s Day in 1222. The dragon is a big myth! Sorry it’s so short (I did say it would be brief) but there is a really good article on the BBC about his life if you want to read more.
Well it’s nine o’clock at night and after a stroll around the streets of my home town earlier I only noticed two St George’s Cross flags and that was it. Admittedly if I had gone to the pub tonight I might of seen more evidence of the celebrations for St George’s Day. Maybe next year will be better… more like St Patrick’s Day (fingers crossed)!
Published April 22, 2008
London , Polictics , thoughts
Tags: art, Banksy
Spotted this yesterday – I wonder if it’s a Banksy?? It’s on the pavement right by the Guardian building on Farringdon Road.
It’s brings an interesting theme to the London Mayor elections… I read in papers at the weekend that the contest between Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson for making politics interesting again. I don’t think they would ever be on the scale of the US elections – UK politics is never that interesting but for London and its suburbs the Ken and Boris bout is making the news. Even by just saying Ken or Boris without their surnames must mean they have a bit of celebrity about them. In the said article it even mentioned that London Mayor elections made the news state side (NY Times I think – memory is not what it was).
My own opinion of it all is that I’m not that interested – I will go and vote but I won’t vote for Boris as he is part of the Conservative Party (esp. as my parents business went bankrupt in the Thatcher era) so it will be either Ken or the other guy from the Lib Dems. I’ll decide on the day.
Another great article I read today was in the FT (I don’t normally read this but we have it delivered to the office), anyway it was about the American Presidential elections and comparing them to the Weakest Link and American Idol. It’s a very funny article (link above) – if you can’t be bothered to register with the FT to read it, oh well, take my word for it as a very light-hearted look at US elections.
Published April 21, 2008
Internet , technology , thoughts , UK
Now in my world at work (where I do spend most of my time) I check the news headlines everyday for news about the publishing world. Everyday there is always something about Google especially since it went public a few years ago. I’ve been using Google for about 8 years after a colleague mentioned that the search was much better than Yahoo! or AltaVista. It was so much quicker and easier to use than anything I had used at the time and it is still to this day. I just love the way their home page is so non-fussy unlike MSN/Yahoo!. On Friday, Google announced it’s financial results beating the predictions of the analysts who were saying there was a downturn in online advertising. This new boosted Google’s shares, the biggest one day gain on their shares since going public.
Since the day of when I first used Google, using Netscape as a browser, who decided after a few years to change it’s look and format thus making me turn to Internet Explorer (I use Firefox now – highly recommended), Google hasn’t changed its look at all. Of course you can now have a personalised Google page with news feeds, clocks, weather etc or the Google Toolbar. There is also Google Maps, Google Mail, Google Images, Google Books, Google Scholar, the list goes on and on. Google has now been voted the most powerful brand in the world by BrandZ for the second year running and I can see why that is with TV/Radio shows saying ‘I Googled that’ or ‘I’ll look that up on Google’ instead of saying ‘look that up on the internet’. I still find the search in Google is the best in the world and it always finds what I’m looking for – I just hope they don’t change the way it works or looks. The only thing I wished that did more of, like they did before going public and that is the Google Holiday Logos – they were great fun to see now and again.