I like the lull between back to back meetings. We’re in full scale planning mode for the year ahead and are trying to scope out new product ideas. Three different meetings, lots of personalities, ideas and noise. Those types of Friday afternoons need biscuits – it’s been a long old week and the troops are revolting – therefore it’s time to feed the nerds.
Just as I was about to tuck in with true abandon, one of my colleagues was talking about the sleepless nights she’d been experiencing since the holidays, now that her children were back at nursery. It involved a small child, projectile and copious vomiting and the 2am clean up attempt. It was not the kind of mid afternoon chat that ensures you enjoy your coffee and sugar rush, but it got worse, much worse. Parent #2 trumped parent #1 with a tale of woe so disturbingly disgusting that colleagues had to leave the room mid retch. It also involved a small child, but with double ended projectile missile blasting. Needless to say that no-one wanted the Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers. Then there was a free for all amongst parents, grandparents and anyone who had a gross-out story to tell. Mayhem. Order was eventually restored but all sense of appetite was abandoned, some required nicotine to calm their nerves, others asked to be excused, permanently, from the rest of the afternoon session.
I’m not a parent, not a prude and empathise with those sleepless nights, but stories like that need to be “saved” for families and friends.
Well, it is, isn’t it? It’s a month of reflecting on the past and being excited about what lies ahead. It’s the time when our clothes feel a bit tighter and our skin looks a heck of a lot grayer due to epic over-indulgences.
It’s also time to embrace winter and all of its layering opportunities. This week alone I’ve rocked an artic explorer look , an ice-skating princess ensemble, and tried out being a russian spy for the day. All good fun.
January, aka the month of good intentions – of being good to our bodies and our minds. I started well, but failed on wine-down Wednesday. It turned yesterday a very long day indeed. This first full week back in the office has been long – we were all knackered by mid week (hence the afore-mentioned wine-down) as everyone is used to working in small, concentrated bursts. I’ve had to lure people into meetings with the promise of biscuits. But it’s now Friday and the energy levels are rising appropriately, we can smell the weekend coming, and it smells of duvet.
I’m in the midst of hatching a grand master plan for 2014, and that’s what I love most about January – I make the first in a series of plans. Compulsive list-making session imminent.
‘Tis the season for detoxing, the five-two diet and abstinence. Well, it certainly is here in nerd land.
We all know that I’m on OBB (Operation Bikini Bod) so none of the above applies to me – I’ve been on a healthy(ish) binge for the best part of a year – although I have ramped up the pace recently as my hamstrings and glutes can testify. I am in constant and chronic pain, but as with L’Oreal products, I’m worth it.
It’s the 8th of January and what we’ve learned so far this year is this little pearl of wisdom, don’t leave your green tea teabag in your cup. Unlike herbal tea, where the fruity or therapeutic infusions improve with a good stewing, green tea has the opposite effect. In one disciplined colleague’s own words, “Oh my god, I’ve got the green tea heaves. Niiice.”
And so the moral of the story of today is, caffeine is good, red wine is better, but if you absolutely have to drink the detoxing and anti-oxidating caffeine-free green tea goodness, only leave the tea bag in for a couple of minutes or your body will reject the goodness. It must be true, we’ve done scientific experiments and everything.
I’m with General Melchett on that one. I wish the world was a safer, happier, healthier place to live and procreate in.
However, there is one aspect of security that I hate, although I do realise that it is a necessary evil – airport security. We live in a time when it’s essential, I understand that, it’s just that there must be a better way.
I’m sure that I’m not alone when I feel ever so slightly violated whilst going through – all of your liquid toiletries in a clear plastic bag – there’s a reason that the contents of a lady’s handbag are sacred and that clear plastic little bag takes away some of the mystery in being a woman. And then there’s the fact that you have to take half of your layers off and usually your shoes – this makes for an interesting balancing act, undressing whilst walking is never a good option for a clumsy person. Not to mention the fact that your underwear is on display at on all fronts – what with your belt being removed and your jacket off – pants and bra straps aplenty. I’ve learned to keep my jacket and belt on until I’ve taken my shoes off – the order you undress is important, you don’t want more of yourself falling out than is absolutely necessary.
The smaller the airport, the more scrutiny you get, probably because they have less sophisticated equipment to hand and more manpower available per passenger. I usually get frisked at the smaller airports.
I don’t mind my luggage or my person being searched, scrutinised or patted down – I just wish we could incorporate a little more technology to help us along the way. The full body scanners are controversial – but I’m all for them. Anything that stops me inadvertently flashing at strangers is a plus in my book. Hopefully, there’s some lovely new sci-fi inspired technology to come before too long.
In the meantime, “Crevice is a dirty word, but security isn’t”.
I have a large desk – I need a large desk – actually, I really do. None of that minimalist, tidy all your tat away each and every day for me. I like to look at things that remind me of loved ones and some of the places I’ve visited. So no matter how bad the day is going I have a little bit of happiness with me each and every day.
You can see from this image that I have a snow globe and a crystal ball to hand as well as a small, leather-bound notebook, and post it notes with lists, lists and more lists.
This is a small part of my desk – I also have a thank you note, a note from my Mum, books, business cards, and a picture of donkeys. I like donkeys, they make me smile.
Donkeys Two of a Kind by David Hastilow
And in a world where stress is ever present you need to be surrounded by things that make you smile. Oh, and a laptop, keyboard, monitor, network hub, chargers and all sorts of other business-like paraphernalia too.
I like clutter, I like to have a lot of things to look at. It stimulates and comforts me. It also grounds me on the days where I feel the better option is to launch myself out of the 11th floor window just to see if my cape gives me super hero powers.
Health, happiness and donkey smiles to one and all for 2014.
Over the years I’ve had my fair share of hairtastrophes, namely:
when a hairdresser cut into my ear rather my hair (ears bleed more than you think they would)
when a hairdresser gives you chemical burns and your fringe falls out
when you ask for an inch off and they give you a pixie crop
when a perm took so long I had to leave the salon with my hair dripping wet and still toxic to make the ferry home from university
Thus, when I find a hairdresser who makes me look great and feel fabulous, who’s had me in tears of laughter and who I trust enough to say, “do what you want” – that’s someone I’ll share a glass of wine with. Lately this has been mid appointment, although she waits until all the chemicals have been washed out and the cutting is complete before quaffing along with me.
One of life’s guilty pleasures – you bet. But I leave with a smile and a swagger (minus the bobble hat) looking my best.