Monday, August 27, 2007

Ya ya I know

I realize it's been a while since I've posted. But I just can't believe any of you out there want to hear me go on and on about my work. And that is pretty much been the focus of the last 10 days.

I've been really good about not putting in the marathon hours but the days have been quite stressful so when I come home I usually grab a nice afternoon nap, then when I get up it's time to cook dinner and when that's done it's bed time (such an exciting life I lead I know).

But it's not all bad.

Went to a movie Friday night "The Walker" murder mystery set in Washington DC with a stellar cast. Then off to a pub to meet up with a few of the girls for dinner.

Saturday went to Edinburgh again to do some shopping and came away with a few fabulous vintage pieces. If I can get my act together I'll do a bit of a fashion show to post the results (but one piece needs to be altered so I'll wait until that's done as it's my fav).

Sunday was it's usual busy pace, rehearsal early as we were on team for the morning service. B's parents are in town so they came out and we all went for brunch afterwards. Sunday night was the going away party for a fellow St Silasite (one of my first connections at the church) as he's moving to Inverness.

Looking at the week ahead I've got some plans in the works already. A movie quiz night Tuesday with friends, Wednesday discussing Kitchen renovation plans and later in the week I need to tackle roasting a chicken that's been sitting in the freezer too long.

See nothing too exciting.

But - if you've got any burning questions for me out there, please drop a comment and I'll answer you here and then perhaps my postings will be a bit more regular.

Ta for now.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Life goes on

Here's the weekly update (I do seem to recall mentioning a while back that it may come to weekly updates once I started working)

The weekend
- Saturday was a girls trip to Edinburgh. It was a grey misty rainy kinda day but the temperature was warm so that made it bearable. First stop was a journalist photography exhibit at the Scottish Parliament. Some heart wrenching photos but inspiring just the same. Then a little lunch at a funky cafe on High Street. Walked around and caught some of the hub-bub going on as various actors were shamelessly flogging their shows at all the local theatres. Then a pint at The Blue Blazer (old man's pub off the beaten track). As we were working on our second round a ruby match got out and all the fans started to pile in and the singing began. Next up a little shopping in the Grassmarket area full of cool vintage shops. Lastly we finished the day with a play called 'Marry Me A Little'. Then hop on the train home.

* I've posted pictures from that day on my flickr site which you can access via the link on my side bar.

- Sunday was church and B and I were on team so early wake-up call in order to make the rehearsal. It was a good service and I really feel like I'm finally learning all the new music so can enjoy the moment rather than panicking trying to remember how the next song goes.

The Week

The pace of things at the office is slowing down a bit in that the phones aren't ringing as much. This doesn't necessarily mean that my life gets any less busy, but it does mean that I finally get the opportunity to do the 'management' type things that I'm supposed to do. I gave my first performance appraisal for one of my staff, had some 6 month reports (more pie charts and bar graphs - goody) to do for a Trustee Meeting, a client conference call and trying to mentor a junior staff member that has some low self esteem.

I also have a number of self study courses or on-line modules that need to be done in the next few months. I can't really do them during working hours as I get too many interruptions. So the plan is to try and do at least 60 to 90 minutes a night during the week. Reading all about pension legislation and management skills should put me right to sleep.

Thursday (today) I am flying to our head office in London for an editors meeting for the company staff magazine. The editors are a rotating group made up of a cross of employees from all the UK offices. A few weeks ago an email went out looking for volunteers and one of my staff that knows I've been dabbling in writing said I should definitely put my name in. I did and I got it so off I go. It feels so decedent to be flying to London and back same day (keep those BA miles piling up) but I'm not liking the fact that the cab is picking me up at 6AM as I'm on the 7:30 flight. It will be a long day but should be fun.

So that's my life in a nutshell to this point. Hope to have some more interestsingesness (yes Mom I know that's not a word) things to blog about on the weekend. But right now work has been all I've been thinking about lately so that's what I must write.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

Yes I've been busy. With what you say? Oh I'll give you 3 guesses.....

Yup, work again. With month end comes reports involving lots of numbers, pie charts and bar graphs. I hate doing those. They are fiddly and I need a solid chunk of time to really accomplish anything. But with the job I have and the many hats I wear throughout the day, that just doesn't happen. I get home and feel so uninspired, tired and cranky that I just have nothing to write.

So I didn't.

Saturday I had to go into the office to act as a point of reference for some engineers that were installing some hardware/software or what ever. Of course it was a lovely sunny day and I was stuck inside. However, the job was done before 3:00 and I headed out the door to go back home. It was still warm but then this wicked wind blew up and there was this moment when I was crossing the street that I was unsure I was going to make it without being knocked over. Only in Scotland.

Sunday the rains came and I woke up feeling sick. Sore throat and the beginnings of a migraine. I skipped church to try and get the headache under control but to no use. I ended up calling in sick on Monday and stayed in bed the whole day. Tuesday I felt a little better but couldn't allow myself the luxury of staying home another day because of the reports mentioned above. I felt like death until about 3:00 and then the pain seemed to lift away.

Woke up this morning again feeling like death but the tension in the neck lifted before noon so I think the worst of it is over, phew!

I left the office before 5:30, leaving the laptop where it belongs - on my desk. Came home, made dinner and then had a nice long soak in the tub. Ahhh, I can feel the tension melting away.

Only 2 more days before it's the weekend!! I promised myself I'm going to get out there and take some pictures if it kills me.

Oh, before I forget.... I had written another short story for a contest over at The Clarity of Night blog. I've posted it below, but be warned it's pretty dark (I think I've watched too much CSI in the past). No I didn't win, not that I was expecting too, but I did get some positive and encouraging comments.

The Dream

She awoke with the sun's warmth on her face and breathed in the dampness of the earth.

She tried to sit up but couldn't feeling the sharp pain in her ribs. She tried again, but this time rolling over on her side and pushing up with her left arm. The blood had dried to a dark rust on her skin and the forest floor was matted in her hair. A centipede crawled across her shoeless foot. Had this been another time she would have flinched, but not now. Right now, all she could feel was fear and humiliation.

How had she got it so wrong? The evening's events started to flood back and she found it hard to breathe as she remembered. The flirtations at dinner, the suggestion of a moonlight walk. It all seemed so perfect, so innocent. Until the other two arrived.

They circled her and as she turned to him for protection she realised he'd stepped behind her and was twisting her arms. She didn't think she'd had that much to drink, but maybe he'd slipped something in her glass. Soon after it began she must have blacked out.

Now she was alone, sitting on the forest floor in a sunbeam. How could a place of such beauty and warmth be witness to such evil. How could she.....

5:55 AM she is jolted awake with the mornings news. A young girl's body has just been found in the University endowment lands.

Friday, August 03, 2007

AND she sings too!

Back in November 2003 on a Saturday afternoon I got together with a friend I collaborated musically with and we decided to have a little recording session for posterity's sake. Now 4 1/2 years later I look upon that afternoon with bittersweet memories.

I thought the two of us sounded amazing together. It was weird how our voices just fit. I attempted my hand at playing guitar but could never really hold my own with him. I'm just ka-chunking in the background while he does all the fancy finger work.

Still, I think it was a good tune and I'm happy with the end result. We spent most of the day recording in my basement suite. Some tunes worked well, others took a couple of takes before we got it right. One tune even had a guest appearance by one of my cats.

My Dad's been working for the last while trying to edit the video we took and sinking it up with the CD master. It's a work in progress but he's retired now, so he's got the free time ;>)

But now I'm in Glasgow and have yet to find another musician I can collaborate with. I miss that part of my life.

In case you're wondering, the tune is By The Mark, by Gillian Welch off her album Revival.