Friday, July 10, 2009

What do you see when you look out your window?

From my desk I can see the top few floors of the buildings on the next block.
Building 1 is a social housing type apartment block. The residents wear track-suits and yell a lot and I'm fairly sure many of the conversations we witness during the day could very well be drug deals. But who am I to judge.
The building next to that is an office block. Slightly bedgraggled flowers in pots occupy window sills next to stacks of papers and pen-holders, and the window-blinds are always rolled up. Occasionally I see people moving around in the murkiness inside; probably, like us, getting up to a) make coffee b) have a meeting c) potty / smoke break or d) lunch break. Not terribly interesting.
Building 3 is the prettiest of the lot. It has been built in the manner of the French style, with rooms in the roof, so to speak. I think it is an apartment block because the windows all look different from each other. I never see signs of life, leading me to believe the people who live there are not home during the day; i.e. they have jobs or go to college or do whatever else fills their lives... Except for the window on the end, second from the top. It seems a young couple live there. Every morning at around 11:50 Rapunzel flings the window open as wide as it will go, and smokes a cigarette, blowing the smoke outside. I notice the time because it's 10 minutes before I head downstairs for my own midday fag. She obviously doesn't want the apartment to smell of smoke; my guess is she is house-proud - there are 4 healthy-looking potplants on that window-sill and the curtains are prettily draped. And yes, I call her Rapunzel because she has really long blonde hair.
Her flatmate is as just as predictable but much more disturbing. He must work night shift because every afternoon he arrives at the window for a good ol' stretch as if he's just rolled out of bed... stark naked. It's kind of distracting, for example if I'm on the phone with a colleague and I happen to glance out of my window just at that moment to see yer man in all his glory exposing himself to the Universe - does anyone remember the whole "Ugly Naked Guy" debacle from Friends...?!

Yep, sometimes my life is just one big sitcom.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Holiday snaps

Hello all! (All being the 3 of you who still read this blog. You're still there, aren't you?)

Well we're about half way through our holiday and having a ball but man, being on holiday can be tiring. I've done more socialising in the last week than I have in the last 6 months.
And I caught a cold. But that's OK, I'm surviving and it's great to be home.

The weather is great - as expected, warmer here in mid-Winter than Dublin is at the moment where it is mid-Summer. Our neighbours, who are travelling with us, can't quite get over it.

We spent the first 3 days in Cape Town and an old friend of ours was kind enough to play tour guide and show us around the place. He even stopped regularly so I could take photographs, although the temptation to disrupt my photography almost got the better of him outside the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay...

We hired a car and drove from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, breaking the trip into 2 days so as not to overwhelm our Irish friends too much with the vastness of our beautiful country.

I was glad we decided on this. Normally Hubby would be in such a rush to get the 800km drive over with that there's no way he would have stopped for me to take arbitrary pictures such as this one...

But he did, so I could, and you lucky things are the beneficiaries.

Well since getting to Port Elizabeth we have been on the go non-stop. There are so many things going on I am not even going to scratch the surface of them now. To be honest I am sort of on auto-pilot right now, hence the fluffy photo post. It's about all I can manage but I sort of needed to do something to take myself away from reality for a few minutes. I'd forgotten how draining it can be to come home, sometimes.

We're going to see some lions tomorrow (hopefully) and this weekend we're heading off to a game farm where the lads will do some hunting and we gals will probably do a lot of book reading and nail painting. Aaah, some rest, at last...


Monday, June 08, 2009

Little Grey Meltdown

What exactly are the symptoms of a mental breakdown? How does a person know they're having one?
Or 'burnout' for that matter... are they the same thing?
I look around me at all the people going about their daily lives without problem or issue or interruption, mundane smiles and normal expressions on their faces and I wonder, "How the hell do they do it?"
Here I sit, at my desk, the only thing keeping me from falling apart completely are the earphones playing the beautiful music of Rob Thomas in my head. Or the sassy tones of Daniel Powter. Giving vent to my expressive side. Because heaven forbid I should express myself at work - that is Simply Not Acceptable.
The Little Grey People, you see, among whose millions of numbers I am counted as one, are not allowed to be expressive. We sit at our desks, shuffle papers (or, as in my case, tap on keyboards) and smile benignly at one another, then go home to our standard-design houses in sprawling estates and do what all the other Little Grey People do, week in and week out.
I'm afraid I don't think I can do this anymore, though. I'm afraid that if I live the life of a Little Grey Person for much longer my head may just explode and that would just be terribly, terribly messy.
Luckily for all concerned, I am about to go on holiday. "Again?!" I hear you ask. Yes, again. Hubby and I are going back to South Africa for 2 1/2 weeks, and this time our friends / neighbours are coming with us. (This one of those ideas... born in a bottle of wine while watching the home movies we've been transferring from video tape to DVD... They wanted to see what our homeland looks like, the next thing you know we're booking flights!)
So anyway, yes, another holiday. And not a moment too soon.

It doesn't sound like the life of a Little Grey Person, does it? Then again, how often do I update this blog? Only every time I have something interesting to share. In fact most of the time I fudge it, in fact. Sorry about that. I'm hoping that will change shortly though.
Watch this space.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Soundtrack to The Life Of Terri

I started writing this post a very long time ago - 2005, in fact. I kinda borrowed it from fellow blogger Undr, who has long-since departed the blogosphere (more's the pity). He was a really nice guy, and I'm sure he won't mind me using his idea.

The idea is to compile the soundtrack to the movie that is my life.
This is not my list of favourite songs - not even close. They are just songs that have very strong memories attached to them.
So I guess mine goes something like this:

1. Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell) - It's the first song I remember knowing the words to. I must have been all of about 4 years old and I remember dancing around in the kitchen when it played on the radio while my mom was doing whatever it was that moms do in kitchens when one is 4 years old.

2. Dancing Queen (ABBA) - Memories of cold winters in the Transvaal (South Africa), me and my sisters dancing to this in our pyjamas in front of the old asbestos heater in the lounge after we'd had our bath on a Sunday evening. I'm sure our parents were mightily entertained.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) - Makes me think of my oldest friend, when we were kids and our parents used to have parties together. In hindsight I'd say there was an awful lot of beer, etc, consumed by our parents. We were oblivious, happy just to have long days and nights to play together.

4. Cracklin' Rose (Neil Diamond) - We gave my father a Neil Diamond tape for one of his birthdays when I was a child and we listened to it in the car on the way to a weekend away at a hot springs resort called De Bron. I got dunked in the swimming pool that weekend and it scared the wits out of me. I also ran full-tilt down a hill and smacked into a split-pole fence (I just didn't see it!) giving myself an almighty black eye. D'oh!

5. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel) - Another car song that reminds me of my dad, and my sisters, because we all love it and my Mom still has the LP at her house. Hey, I just noticed the connection to #4..!

6. Lawyers in Love (Jackson Browne) - One of the first songs I remember from when I first started taking an interest in the Top 20. Cool song, and I still love it.

7. Two Tribes (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) - Aah, my first boyfriend... He was shorter than me, and when he dumped me (via a note passed across the classroom) he told me I was too pushy and should go burn my bra. The laugh was on him - I hadn't started wearing bra's yet, haha!

8. You Win Again (Bee Gees) - From the first time I heard this song I knew it would make #1. I love being right!

9. You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive) - Ooh, my first French Kiss... I didn't have a clue what to do!

10. Wake me up before you go-go (Wham!) - Dancing in front of the TV with my oldest friend and singing our heads off. Puberty, eh? Oh wait, I still do that ;-)

11. Last Christmas (Wham!) - Hm, 2 "Wham!" songs in a row? My first unrequited love - someone told me I had a crush on him so he asked me to dance to this song, and I thought I was in heaven. That was really nice of him, don't you think? One of those far too infrequent random acts of kindness.

12. With or Without You (U2) - I kissed my first Serious boyfriend to this. It was the 80's; a time of tight jeans and big hair. Needless to say none of it lasted.

13. Locomotion (Kylie Minogue) - My final year in high school - what a party! Kylie pretty much summarises it... (ooh, and there was also that Beach Boys song that year... "Kokomo" - good times...!)

14. Sealed with a Kiss (Jason Donovan) - He broke my heart...

15. Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers) - Always made me cry because of the movie "Ghost", but then hubby dispelled all of that by dancing to it with me when we were on holidays in the Canary Islands a few years back. We were the only two people on the dance floor and it was incredibly romantic :-)

16. Black Velvet (Allanah Myles) - My party years as a student. This particular song always brings to mind my very good friend, who has the voice of an angel. Sadly, we're not friends anymore, in the way the world taught me I could expect to get kicked in the teeth when I'm not expecting it.

17. I Can't fight this feeling (REO Speedwagon) - First time I danced with hubby, long before he was my hubby. He sang this softly in my ear while we danced and I still think of it as "our song". The lyrics could've been written for us, and tug at my heart every time I hear them.

18. Truly Madly Deeply (Savage Garden) - Rang out at our wedding after the signing of the register. I chose it because of the

19. Angels (Robbie Williams) - I went mad on Robbie when we moved over to Ireland because you couldn't go half an hour with the radio on without hearing one of his songs. I was on a bus going to work one cold, dark morning, and when Angels came on the radio the bus driver turned up the volume just a tad, and everyone on the bus fell completely silent until the song had finished.
Then there was me and 135000 other people who sang it 'unplugged' at his concert in Phoenix Park here one summer... magic!

20. Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison) - The "Thelma & Louise" moment of my life: driving through the countryside in Cyprus with my sister, wind blowing in our hair, sun shining, and us singing our hearts out with not a care in the world!

21. Unwell (Matchbox 20) - Pretty much covers how I've been feeling the last 5 years or so. Check out the link. Enough said.

22. There's something missing here and I'm not really sure what it is. Although, perhaps it's exactly what I'm listening to right now. Here's a shocker: something classical. Because I even stopped writing a few minutes ago to close my eyes and listen to and dance in my head to Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the flowers from the Nutcracker (and to be honest my feet and hands were going a bit berserk too).
It symbolises something that has been a constant in my life; the style may have changed over the years - from ballet as a kid, to disco and then club, and now Salsa, but dancing has always been an important form of expression for me and this piece of music is so uplifting that it's impossible NOT to want to dance to it. Do yourself a favour; take a few minutes of time-out and click the link; check out the audience and you'll know what I mean. And tell me you don't feel uplifted afterwards.

Well I think that about covers it so far.
I'll let you know about the sequel in another thirty-something years...