Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Today, as happens all too often, design work took a definite back seat, replaced by endless rounds of meetings.
Restructuring the teams, developing strategy, assigning projects and priorities, agreeing processes...all stuff that has to happen, but sometimes you have to wonder how much is actually being achieved.
Didn't we discuss this self same issue endlessly at the last of these meetings?
After work, I swam and swam and swam. The best part of two hours later, my head was clear, my frustrations were relieved and my muscles ached in a satisfying manner.
I would have spent the evening in an afterglow of smug health had I not gone home and finished off the last of Cherry Garcia Frozen Yoghurt and started streaming in an extreme nasal reaction to the chlorine.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Someone suggested that the best way forward in such a circumstances, is to just start blogging again as if nothing had happened.
Tempting, but just a little bit too "let's paper over the cracks" for me I think.
Some sort of explanation is due I guess...it's weird I'd forgotten this feeling of writing with two audiences in mind...but in both cases (me: keeping a journal in a format that suits me; and you: strange collected souls who read this twaddle for reasons I try not to dwell too long on) some form of account is requisite.
Life just got busy and a just a little bit bumpy and the desire to write (one of my primary reasons for ever blogging) diminished. It was a combination of factors and I find myself no more desirous to capture it all in words now, than I did at the time. That said perhaps a mini catch up of certain points is a way to draw a line and hopefully (possibly, no promises) start afresh.
On the negative side of things there were grisly bits, friends having particular tough times, couples splitting up, a funeral, dating disasters, festival stress, work pressures etc. Even simple plans to buy some new bedroom furniture and rearrange the upstairs’ rooms escalated into a “lady that swallowed a fly” scenario, that saw me re-carpeting, re-plastering, re-decorating, re-wiring and living in a house of dust for months (which in turn triggered a major allergy flare up that is only now, several months later, finally settling down). Somewhere within all that, the thought of blogging never gained enough momentum.
Better, I’m told, to concentrate on the positives, though; so here are some highlights:
Things tried for the first-time:
- Ski-ing – well just 4 hours, one day in Cyprus, followed by 4 months of “see this scar on my leg, I told you the boots were too tight”; in which I learnt to snow-plough, do turns, use the ski-lift and avoid the worst bits of the red run. Couldn’t strictly speaking claim to be able to stop on steep sections, but discovered that I was surprisingly comfortable about hurtling at uncontrolled speeds and then bailing out, which felt like a workable alternative.
- Eurostar – trains a bit 70’s décor wise, but pretty cool none the less. In fact trips are worthwhile just for the marvel that is the beautiful St Pancras International building.
- Walking up Kinder Scout, the hard way – some people have the strangest “birthday requests” you know. I resisted the urge to inflict “Love Actually” on said party in revenge when it came to my special day.
- Inviting everyone to a party at your house, only to have someone point out that you’d actually be in Scotland on the day in question.
- Holding a pre-recorded Eurovision party (may be slightly linked to the above).
- Eating Mussels in Brussels
- Barn Dancing – well it was a dear friend’s wedding, I felt obliged…all photos have been destroyed.
- iPhone – I resisted for all those good noble, hardware limitation reasons and then my Sony Ericsson died one week before the launch of the 3G model. I figured someone was trying to tell me something.
- Obtaining a second passport to enable travel to both Israel and Arab/Muslim majority countries. All a bit of a pain, but you have to admit it’s probably one of the more trivial inconveniences of the conflict. And on the plus sign I am now partly free of my “don’t get your passport renewed the one year you tried ‘blonde’” mistake. I look forward to passing through passport control without being laughed at or receiving comments like “not a good look, was it?”.
Tally of regular repeats:
- Curries at the Punjab, only a couple really, but did have the joy of introducing the lovely J and visiting S to our home from home
- Cross-Pennine train trips – at least 5 and each one making the associated meetings worthwhile.
- Gigs – a fair few, but never enough, particularly memorable would be the sublime beauty of Elbow in Delamere Forest, pushing forward to the front of the crowd to see the shambolic magnificence of MGMT performing Kids at close hand and dancing like a loon in the pit to Seth Lakeman.
- Bristol – not one but two trips to Bristol to see the lovely C. Surely my cup (and her mutant giraffe collection) overfloweth.
- Chiropractor – “just relax…” CRACK...damn it, it seems to work..
- Suppression of “Graduate Diva” revolutions – oh my, please tell me we were never that bad…
- Festival Meetings – too many to mention, many in London, ah the delights of letting the train take the strain.
- Days of walks around an island drenched in wild beauty, followed by evenings in the pub on Iona – every night for a wonderous week.
- Photos taken of puffins on Staffa – one here, one there, and another, and oooh just one more…
- Books – lots read including the titles here.
- Autumn days on Dartmoor – a whole week’s worth and only 10 minutes of rain.
- Music purchased – way too much as ever and certainly too much to list anything more than highlights. Elbow became early contenders for my album of the year, Ting Tings proved my “these guys are going to be important” prophesy and Fleet Foxes demonstrated that people outside Manchester can also make interesting music.