Friday, September 29, 2006

Better late than never

I know it's a day late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Linda and Lori for yesterday!!!
Here's a belated birthday present: twin roses from my garden, as if they were just waiting for your birthday.

I couldn't decide which photo I liked best so I figured what the heck, I'll put both up, one for each twin ;-)

I have the day off work today - no reason, just felt I needed a day off for me. No housework, no chores, just me. I think everyone should get a day off every so often just to rest. Call it a 'Mental Health Day'. I'm enjoying mine so far. I phoned an old friend in South Africa earlier and we chatted for almost 2 hours. I took some photos of my (sorry, Hubby's) roses. This afternoon I intend to sit down for a few hours of serious writing. I have the radio on, soon to be replaced by a CD (I bought Pink Floyd's "The Wall" last weekend at long last - now there's some music to get the creative juices flowing!) and There Will Be No Television Until I Say So!

Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Big Brother

We had a team meeting at work yesterday where we were told, amongst other things, that 'they' are beginning to monitor the email. In other words, don't send anything that could get you hauled up in front of HR.

Now, while I'm not in the habit of emailing porn and stuff around the place, and while most of the crappy jokes & stuff that land in my mailbox get deleted , I do receive the odd funny and sometimes I like to forward these things to a few select people who (whom?) I think may get a laugh out of it.
I like to make people laugh.

So now the first question is: What constitutes 'inappropriate'?

The second question is: Are they reading my personal emails?

I am actually quite annoyed by this whole thing because without email I would have very little contact with my family and friends, what with them living on the other side of the world and all. Now I'm going to have to watch what I say to them and Paranoid Terri wants to know how long these Mail Monitors will be able to keep the contents of the emails to themselves. I am personally acquainted with these people and have no illusions pertaining to privacy and professionalism.

We can take this thing a little further down the line too...
If they're beginning to monitor email, and they are already blocking internet access to loads of websites including Flickr and other photo sharing sites, then how long will it be before they realise there are blogs out there???

I fear, my friends, that the day is drawing nigh that I will no longer be able to access my or any other blog from work and when that day arrives, what will I do?
Will I down tools in protest?
Will I resign on the grounds of having my basic human rights violated?

Probably not but doesn't this stuff really piss you off?!

Will I ever get to a place or an age in life where I don't get censored, or told what I can or can't do or who I can or can't see? This is a weird rant for someone who is normally quite happy to follow rules and guidelines but then as someone once pointed out, I'm always quite happy to follow the rules as long as they suit me.
Um, fair enough, I can't really argue with that one.
Nobody ever said I was rational.

Phew! I'm working myself up into quite a little frenzy here and the day hasn't even started yet. Best I finish my coffee and get to work before Big Brother shackles me to my desk.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bad Carma

We were visited by what was left of Hurricane Gordon last night.

Holy moly!

Now I grew up in Port Elizabeth which is known in South Africa as "The Windy City" but I have to say I haven't often seen wind like we had last night in Dublin. Hubby, Cinderella and myself sat inside our new home like the three little pigs while a ginormous Big Bad Wolf did his best to huff and puff and blow our house down. Luckily he failed. The power went out a couple of times but we came through pretty much unscathed.

So this morning I decided to not even think about attempting to come into work by road. I got Hubby to drop me at the railway station and caught the train in instead. The trip was uneventful and when I got to my desk I rang Hubby on his celphone to find out how far along in the traffic he was.
Well blow me down if he wasn't just getting to his office!

So let me get this straight: The storm of storms crashed through here last night, trees were blown down, power was out, lakes sprang up all over the roads... and yet the traffic was fine. I can only surmise that it's my presence in the car that causes the traffic to back up so badly every time I get a lift to work with Hubby.
We'll chalk it up to bad karma and leave it at that, shall we?

The train is my friend
The train is my friend
The train is my friend

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pink ice, anyone?

So often during the day something grabs my attention and I think, "Ooh, there's a great blog post in there!" and then 2 minutes later poof! it's gone.
I know that's not an original complaint but today it's mine.

I don't have a lot to complain about. In all honesty, I have a great life. I have a husband who loves me despite myself, a stepdaughter whom I adore living with us, a nice new house, a good job and I get to travel a couple of times a year. As I said, not too much to complain about at all. But I'm human, and human nature is such that even when we get what we want, it never keeps us happy for very long and then we move onto wanting something else. I reckon it's a built-in failsafe mechanism to ensure the entire human race doesn't suddenly get complacent and lose the will to continue. Whatever the reason, despite all that I have, I do have a complaint. You've heard it before - quite a lot in the recent past actually...

I Don't Have Time To Write.

And it's frustrating the hell out of me. We went on this 2-week tour of Europe over a month ago and I've written exactly 1 page so far. People, I suspect there's a whole book in that tale but if I don't get it out in black and white soon it's going to be lost forever!

I can almost hear you whispering amongst yourselves now, "So why is she wasting time writing a blog post then?" Well the answer is, I'm doing this at work. 'Cos blog posts don't require uninterrupted concentration like writing stories does. So I'm typing this up in an email using a really tiny font so the people around me can't sneak a peek at what I'm doing, hehehe. Because I don't want to NOT blog, because for me it's a social thing.
Somehow I need to reorganize my priorities so that writing is not the last thing on the list. I know that. Doing something about it is another story, of course - I don't change easily.

Yes, I know what I need to do to make the change to lessen the frustration by giving myself time to write.
Yes, I know there's nobody to blame but myself.
But you know what? I just feel like bitching about it today.
I want to shout and stamp my feet and hammer my fists on a wall in tantrum because I want to do something and I feel like I cant!!!
And don't be giving me that "There's No Such Thing As Can't" speech either 'cos that just ain't gonna fly with me today, ok?! I'm annoyed. Let me be annoyed. It's not healthy to ignore feelings of annoyance, lest they build up inside and eventually explode like a bottle of pink champagne that's been in the boot of the car in 35 degree heat all day and then put into a freezer to cool down.

Trust me, I've had experience with both.
The pink ice is not worth it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy Days

I finally got round to uploading some more photos of our trip around Europe - you can check them out on flickr if you feel the urge. Unfortunately I've now reached my upload limit for the month so I'll have to wait a couple of weeks before I can put up any more.

What's that? The story I've written about it? Er, well, y'see, it's like this... It's sort of not written. Yet. I mean, I've started it but I didn't get very far and stuff has been getting in the way of my writing time. Like work and such. It's all terribly annoying. But I feel very positive about the week ahead and I'm now itching to get writing again.

Meanwhile to get back to the title of the post, I've had a great weekend. The weather has been gorgeous since Friday, I got a really good haircut yesterday, and today we did a whole bunch of home-improvement stuff like hanging towel rails, putting up shelves and planting daffodil bulbs so I'm just feeling good. It does make a pleasant change!

And so I thought I'd spread a little feel-good-ness around.

This is for those of you who want to stop and smell the roses but can't find a rose garden.

For the record, its scent is enough to make you giddy, so just pretend, OK?

Well it seems I've run out of weekend and out of things to say.
For now.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I can't help falling..

I fell down the stairs this morning. That'll teach me for, uh, getting up to make coffee. Don't worry, apart from a sore shoulder, skew neck and bruised back I'm okay. Really I'm only surprised it hasn't happened sooner.

The other day the local radio station invited people to text in their experiences of embarrassing falls they may have had, prompted by a story told by the lady presenter of a wedding she had attended that weekend. Apparently she had decided - no doubt emboldened by a couple of pints - that she was a world-class dancer, and had launched herself across the dance floor into the arms of her one-and-only... only he wasn't quite on the same wavelength and had failed to, well, catch her, sending her plummeting in her fancy outfit into a heap on said dance floor, head first.

My own beloved wanted to send a message in, along the lines of, "My wife falls down so often I think she is more likely to be surprised to find she is standing up".

While some may think this is a mean thing to say about the woman you love, I have to admit it's not far from the truth. Perhaps I should share some anecdotes to illustrate the point.

I think I'll start with this one...
Picture it: a svelte twenty-something Terri, all dressed up in pretty sandals and evening dress, attending the company Christmas dinner at a posh restaurant. All was going well and I had only had one glass of wine (yes, really!), when I decided to step outside for a cigarette. It was midsummer in South Africa and it was just dark out. A light drizzle had arrived to cool the evening down after the heat of the day. Pay attention now, because this is your lesson for the day: Pretty sandals, glossy floor tiles and light rain do not make for a particularly gripping situation and in one not-so-elegant misstep I tumbled down, landing with a sharp CRACK on my right knee. What escaped my mouth was not particularly elegant either, and the sight of my boss rushing towards me in consternation did nothing to help my humour. It hurt like hell, and all I could say, while rubbing my knee and trying not to lose consciousness from the pain was, "Don't touch me! Don't. Touch. Me!"
Embarrassing, you think?

How about diving nose-first into the couch after my rubber-soled shoe sort of got stuck on the floor (I don't know how, but it left a skid-mark!)? Thank goodness the couch was there to break my fall before my nose could break the floor. Ah well, at least only Hubby was there to witness that one. He had the good grace to wait until I started laughing before he exploded with mirth.

Unlike the time, shortly after our arrival in Ireland, when we went a-walking in Howth, a beautiful harbour on the North side of Dublin. If you walk to the top of the hill, the view over the little town by the sea and the Island just a little way off, is quite breathtaking. In Summertime that part of the world is always filled with tourists. This particular day we were on our way back down the hill. Yours truly, distracted by the pretty view, wasn't watching where she was walking. I stepped in a pot-hole in the road and the next thing I knew I was face down on the ground in the midst of a group of Spanish tourists, all of them enquiring as to my well-being. I guess that's what they were saying, anyway, judging by the concern on their faces, since I don't speak Spanish. Grrrr! If I wasn't so sore (that dreaded right knee again) and grazed from the tarmac I would have been Really Pissed Off.

And I'm sure I don't need to remind you of my attempts at skiing earlier this year, but in case you've forgotten, the easiest way thing to do is watch "Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason", specifically the part where she goes on a skiing mini-break with Mark Darcy. It was on TV on Friday night and I just sat there with my mouth open thinking, "That's Me! I know exactly how that feels!" And to think the first time I saw that movie I thought the scriptwriters were exaggerating.

Yep, I'm pretty much always sporting a bruise somewhere on my body. If I'm not falling over something, I'm tripping over nothing. Uh-huh, it's true: I have been known to trip over mere shadows on the ground. More than once. Then there are all those hazardous corners on desks, counters, beds, chairs - you name it, I've walked into it. I once went to work with a massive bruise on my forehead - I genuinely did walk into a door. It's amazing how difficult it is to convince people that this actually happens. Of course, once people have spent any length of time in my company it's much easier because my klutziness is pretty apparent.

I think it's a spatial awareness thing. Apparently I don't have any.
Ah well, I guess everyone has at least one downfall in life ;)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I just plugged in my router in case someone had switched on our Broadband and... IT WORKED!!!

Someone must've forgotten to inform us but that's beside the point.

I'm wired (or in this case wireless'd) to the World again, yipppeeeeee!!!!!

You know what that means, don't you?
It means I can once again browse your blogs at my leisure at home - no more sneaking quick peeks and only getting through half a post from work.

This is gonna be great...!!!!

Ooh, it also means I can start uploading photos to Flickr again. Hmm, best I start editing them properly first. I started last week but, well, it takes a while to get through over 350 photos when you're trying to make each one perfect.
Yes, perfect - I'm a perfectionist, remember? Although it's fairly soul destroying at times so I'm thinking perhaps some of them can be left as is.
I'm babbling now. Sorry. I'm just so happy to have broadband again :-)

Darn, supper's ready, I gotta go. But rest assured, I will be back!


PS... I almost forgot again! Reluctant Nomad, you asked for a present, but I couldn't be sure what you'd like, so here's a pic of a naked man in a pond for you :)

I think it's Neptune, though what he's doing in the middle of a green lake at Fontainebleu, I'm really not certain. Anyone got a guide book?

Friday, September 01, 2006

This should be interesting...

But it's not, really.
Sorry 'bout that. It doesn't take long for the daily grind to overtake one after a holiday, does it?!

The story of our trip is nowhere near ready although I have actually managed to start it. Meanwhile it turns out some people are feeling left out because they didn't get a present in my previous post, so...

Ben O, did you ever see the Olympic ski jump in Innsbruck, Austria?
That's what it looked like from our hotel room.

Or if you're looking for something interesting, how about these weird cube apartments in Rotterdam...

Lori, I'm feeling bad that you & Linda had to share, so you can choose a couple of eggs from this Easter Shop in Salzburg. But since you shared her chocolate fountain, you gotta get at least one for her too OK?
Those shops are amazing - they have Christmas Shops too, filled with loads of Christmas decorations & chocolates & stuff all year round but the photo I took of that didn't come out so well.

EKapa, I thought you could use one of these while your car is in for repairs - less chance of having to replace body panels in the event of freak accidents, hehe!
Yes, it's a tank at the D-Day memorial / museum at Omaha Beach in Normandy.

I also realised I didn't give Chitty anything, so this one's for you, darlin'...
Sunset over Lake Geneva, from a town called Montreaux. Why this one for you? Because if ever you were looking for a beautiful spot to take the gf to ask her if she wants to be your wife, this is it!
Personally, I intend to retire there.

Now I know that's not everyone but if I ever intend posting this thing I'm going to stop here. If there's anyone else who's feeling left out, let me know if you have any preferences and I'll do my best.
Jeff, I think I mentioned already that I was going to bring you one of the Concorde but we whizzed by it so quickly I didn't even have time to dig the camera out of it's pouch before it was gone, sorry buddy!