Sunday, 22 November 2015

Oh Kevin

At present I am not quite sure whether I am coming or going.

Between persistently following up prospective clients (phone call, meeting, email, text message, phone call, email, 'out of office', email, 'on annual leave', phone call, text message, email... repeat times three), dealing with disgruntled (former) members of voluntary organisations intent on jettisoning responsibilities, networking with new associates and exploring potential work partnerships, keeping an eye on the offspring's social calendar (far more vibrant than mine) and trying to complete an online course for boosting book sales, I was so glad that it was time for Kevin again.

And this time I did not have to drive to the venue.

Which meant I could have a drink or two.
Even better.

On a Monday night.
Not a good idea.

Anyway, we were a full contingent bar the Lovely Radiographer (at choral duties) and La Diplomat (last minute work meeting), and hosted by the wonderful Aussie Solicitor.

Now, when Kevin meets, we all know that eating and drinking are priorities. So is discussing the books - two very good choices the last ones, btw - and catching up.

As ever, we did not disappoint, although I somehow think that our host was hoping that one E-N-O-R-M-O-U-S fish pie plus greens might suffice for the lot of us.

And it did.

Until she uttered the infamous words, "Would anyone like some more?"
And that was before pudding.

Alas, that second fish pie she (and her husband) had been hoping to keep for another meal... well... there was not much left. Not. Much. At. All.

So let it be a lesson to all who host the Kevinettes:
  1. only make just enough food for one serving
  2. if you make more, do not tell
  3. if you tell, do not offer
  4. if you offer, it's your own fault - see point 1 above 
Oh. And do not drink more than two glasses of wine on a Monday night when you have a long 'to do' list ahead and a very early start the next day.

That'd be a lesson for me, at least.

But the pie was delicious.

note the wine glass, if you please


Monday, 9 November 2015

Bleeding patience

It is a long game this one.

The one where you brush yourself down after another knock.
The one where you 'smile while you dial' and aim to get through to the correct person on the phone, bypassing voicemails, unhelpful PAs, obstructive admin people and clueless individuals in general.
The one where you finally pin someone down for a fruitful conversation only for them to have to "hop on another call, sorry".
The one where you have a great face-to-face meeting, agree next steps, follow up, and... nothing. Vanished into thin air despite capitalising on every possible known tactic to hand to engage the particular individual in taking the opportunity further.
The one where you put on your happy face and open the front door and step outside again.
The one where you just DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.
The one where you also go, "Good grief WILL SOMEONE GIVE ME A FECKIN' BREAK?!"

And then you have a conversation - or several - with the person for whom the glass is always half empty.
Or totally empty.
Or actually there is no glass at all, come to mention it.

This person has nothing to do with anything work-related.
Thank heavens for that. One less obstacle to consider.

But you wonder why do you bother putting time and effort into quelling and continuing the latter interaction when you could put the same energy to more productive ends.

I know why.
Because I can see the finish line.
And I am, fundamentally, a nice person.

In the meantime, however, the merry-go-round continues.

Yes, this is cryptic. Grant me some respite.
At least my glass is always half full.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Pet hates

  1. People who use their Facebook page to post job vacancies because they cannot be f*cked to use more appropriate social media *culls 'friend'*
  2. anyone who says, "I'll get back to you with some dates", and then doesn't
  3. dog owners who seem to conveniently be elsewhere/on the phone/talking to someone while their beloved pooch shits in the middle of the footpath, and fail to 'scoop the poop'
  4. dog owners who do none of the above but still fail to 'scoop the poop'
  5. dog owners who 'scoop the poop' and then proceed to hang the offending bag ON A TREE FFS - what is this? a new festive ornament?
  6. latecomers
  7. latecomers who live less than two hundred metres from school and yet still fail to realise that YOUR CHILD'S CLASS STARTS AT 8.55AM. Not 9.05am. Not even 9.00am. GET AN ALARM. Alternatively use that phone that appears to be permanently attached to your ear whilst you amble along your way en route to the school gates, (very late) child in tow
  8. people who answer a question with a question, as in, "What are you doing today?" "Why's that?"
  9. hang on, that'd be OH
  10. people who ask inane questions, as in, "What did you do today?", and then fail to listen to your in-depth answer ("I had a conference call with my business partners, updated the company website, worked on a client proposal, and confirmed two customer meetings for next week")
  11. people who ask inane questions, fail to listen to your in-depth answer, and then get offended when you 'elaborate' with sarcasm ("I cold-called two of my ex-boyfriends, booked a one-way ticket to New York, put the children up for auction on eBay, and auditioned for the next edition of The Apprentice")
  12. oh, that'd be OH, again.

As you were.

(c) Scott Adams


Thursday, 15 October 2015

How not to interview - part II

Some of you may remember this episode earlier in the year.

Guess what? It almost happened again.

When I say 'almost', I actually mean that the so-called 'headhunter' failed to learn any lessons first time round and had the audacity to call me again.
Here's what transpired. I posted on my FB page for the amusement of friends, but then thought, "F*ck it, let's entertain the masses!"

So here you go. A worthy cut and paste this time round.
The comments have been even more amusing.
Laugh along now...

Mobile rings. Private number. Weighing up the 'calculated risk' option, I answer.

"This is Rob. I'm a headhunter. I wanted to know what your current status was and whether you would be interested in [insert lowly position here]?"

"Why don't you tell me a bit more about yourself, Rob, and where you are calling from?"

"I'm a headhunter. We've actually spoken before..."

Aha. I gotcha. You're that sad f*cker that set me up on the memorable 'interview' with the company that was 'desperate-to-meet-you-how-soon-can-you-see-them' that turned out to be a whole load of shite. The very same 'headhunter' who had not only not done his homework then (and got a mouthful from me post meeting with the 'desperate' client) but has also failed to learn any lessons since. Including the "Do not ever call me again" one.
Because, Rob, if you READ my LinkedIn profile (which you do, I can see that much) you would see what I am up to and maybe, just maybe, alter your pitch ever-so-slightly? Yes?

"So do you have anyone you could recommend, any names for me?"

"No, Rob, I do not. But I have a choice name for you: how about D*ckhead?"

Yes. This really happened just now.

How many more months do you reckon before he tries again?
I'll give him marks for persistence at least.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Kevin and the animals

Kevin time again.

We rendez-voused this time chez the Wine Writer's abode in leafy Oxfordshire, a beautiful Sunday's outing to the countryside, complete with dogs, chickens, goats, sheep... and children.

Eight of them.

There were only six Kevinettes.

We were outnumbered.

This had not been the original plan.

Undeterred, we offloaded the minors on to WW's husband, the Resourceful Dentist, who nonchalantly proceeded to throw another batch of sausages under the grill to feed them all before taking them off on a very long walk with the dogs in tow.

Excellent stuff. We could proceed with what we do best: eating, drinking, and talking shop. And books, of course.


When it came to pudding there was a slight mishap, a Goldilocks moment.
Someone had got there before us!

something is ever-so-slightly lopsided here

Belfast Blonde thought it was merely an innovative designer cake tin at fault.
The Doctor of Psychology presumed otherwise.
Our Botanical Artist declared it "an interesting illustration" of a pear tart.
Tough Mudda declared she was too full to eat any more, thus immediately arousing suspicions.
LCM laughed - mainly because she, too, was overfed by this point and could hardly speak, let alone comment.

Our gracious host conceded that no, 'twas none of the above.
One of the dogs had decided to sample the baked wares... and the damage had been "cut off".

Cut off the cake, that is, not the dog.

Either way, it was delicious.

Three days on and we are all still fasting.

Who needs a diet when you have Kevin for company? Even the chooks were amused, as the Botanical Artist's 'Inktober' sketch illustrates.

Brownie the hen

Cooking, drawing, reading, eating, drinking. We're a talented bunch.
Even if we do divert somewhat from being a 'typical' book club.


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Oh what's occurrin' boyo?

Aside from new work ventures, partnerships, public speaking events, mentoring programmes, everything kicking off again now the school year has started, rugby training and festivals and refereeing underway, and trying to keep track of the offspring and OH's whereabouts, well nothing much.

Unless you count the Rugby World Cup, which, bar playing on loyalties in this Australian/Italian/Welsh household - with strong Kiwi/Irish/Scottish/English heritage to boot - has seen the LCM troops screaming the neighbourhood down (last Saturday) and ensuring that everyone joins in the national anthems.

Especially this one, which, regardless of which country you hail from, is certainly the most beautiful and by far the most moving, ever:

Blame OH. It's all his fault, of course (he's the Welsh contingent, in case it still had not dawned on you).

Right. Back to work now until the next kick-off.
As you were.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Undoubtedly the best way to celebrate twenty-five years (TWENTY-FIVE YEARS *shakes head in disbelief*) as a Londoner:

- don nun outfit (courtesy @peabee72 circa 2010, I've been waiting that long for the right occasion to wear it)
- enlist other Von Trapp family devotees (Liesl and Gretl who obediently stayed by my side; Captain Georg and Sister Bertha who ran off into the distance, tsk)
- join forces with some two and a half thousand other half marathoners
- majority of whom are also in fancy dress
- complete course - up hill and down vale - in ridiculously long time
- because there was lots of wine to taste
- at every feed station
- and dancing
- and laughing
- and singing
- including karaoke on demand (Elvis, Spice Girls, Abba... we ROCKED, I tell you)
- finish in one piece albeit with sore feet

that'd be two of the Von Trapp children
disappearing in the distance,
escaping Mother Superior

And just in case you doubted any of the above, here's a taster of what was going on en route:


So. Happy anniversary to me. 
Who would have thought it?
I only came for a couple of years...


Yadda yadda yadda...