Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The most bonkers Kevin yet

You would never guess that Kevin has been around for sixteen years.

You would also never believe that a congregation of adult women who really should know better are still able to laugh hysterically about the most (in the face of it) mundane items.

You would furthermore be probably quite incredulous at the amount of food - and beverage - we manage to put away over the space of a few hours.

We are not nicknamed 'The Bookclub Trough-ers' for nothing, you know.

It takes years of practice, believe me, to be this good at eating and drinking and still be able to discuss books and authors and other - less literary - issues.

For example:

  • the hosting Kevinette (who under 'the rules' gets to select the books for next time) asking one of the foreign members of the club whether they would have chosen either of the last English language books we opted for, only to be told, "I did choose them, I hosted the previous meeting!"
  • a Kevinette deciding not to vote for one of the new book choices proffered because they couldn't tell what the book was about ('A shepherd's life')
  • another Kevinette vetoing a further proposed book because they didn't understand what it was about from the cover ('A whole life')
  • one member getting so excited about being invited to a book launch by an author (with whom she has collaborated) that she got a) the date wrong, b) the day wrong, and c) the month wrong, when asking us all to join her
  • wondering whether there is a theme in one Kevinette's selection of books given they all appear to involve brain tumours, brain tumours, murder... and comedy
  • telling stories about a former colleague's mishaps with prospective parents-in-law when she made a dress out of IKEA fabric and visited for Sunday lunch... and blended into the furnishings which were of the exact same material (yes, we wondered too)
  • writing comments in the black book - another fundamental rule of Kevin, supposedly to recall what we read and what we thought about the tomes consumed, although the handwriting is pretty illegible given it gets passed round towards the end of the evening - and then realising that we skipped a section at some point in the past and are filling in a random blank page that is not even sequential to the last meeting 
  • but not wanting to continue writing on a new clean a-few-pages-along page when space runs out, thus prompting one Kevinette to merely opt for scrawling "Ditto" under another's comments - I blame the wine, and the popping candy chocolate doing the rounds...
But, best of all - the absolute icing on the cake - was when the Botanical Artist queried, "Why are we looking to read a book in Swedish?"

The book in question? 


Or apparently 'Låndskipping' if you've been frequenting Kevin for too long. 


* with apologies to the film 'Sixteen Candles'

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Old(er) dog, new tricks

Today I tried something new.

I lie. I tried something different.

Given my loathing of 'death by powerpoint' presentations, I have always sought to lead by example.
In past corporate roles I have done away with the dreaded slides altogether - and thus eschewing years of precedence by former management - and turned dreaded hour-long meetings into engaging and memorable TED-style talks that lasted no more than twenty minutes and were uplifting and valuable to all involved.

When meeting with prospective clients, my business partners and I have jettisoned the typical method of using an overhead projector and loads of jargon, for a far simpler - and more effective - session involving drawing icebergs and penguins and circles and timelines (you have to be there, trust me, it makes sense).

So today I gave a presentation to an up-and-coming new company.
Out of respect I will not divulge names or topics or agenda or remit, however I will say that I opted for a different tact altogether.

I used my cartoons to illustrate points.

They liked it.

They laughed.

And they asked whether they could keep the cartoons.

Let's see if it reaps rewards.
In the meantime, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I reckon!





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Monday, 11 April 2016

Survival

I've been busy.



Which entailed dressing up like this:



And doing this:



Yes, I am singing.
Really.

Some twenty-five-odd years after last doing backing vocals for a band I thought this would be an apt way to celebrate a half century. Along with an 80s disco theme, masses of friends and loads of dancing.

And it was brilliant.

I even sang in key.

Not bad when you cannot hear yourself talk, are trying desperately to lip-read, and your ears are already ringing from the volume of the speakers.

Or maybe that's just age.

Nevermind.
As you were.

I'm 50 and loving it.
You?

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Half century

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I will be 50.

I feel somewhere around 32.

I am not quite sure where time has flown except that it appears to have gone rather fast.

To celebrate I am having a big party with an 80s theme, with all guests invited to don their best outfits  honouring the period and dance along to a fabulous live band.

There will also be a photo booth which will undoubtedly result in plenty of silly memories to recall the event - which is the whole idea.

I did a quick summary of the range of friends (and family) invited and how they have come into my life:

  • rowing
  • cycling
  • running
  • skiing
  • book club
  • school (mine)
  • school (offspring)
  • work
  • writing
  • volunteering
  • neighbours
  • rugby
  • business associates
  • holidays
  • HOUSE MATES (late edited addition after best friend pointed out this dreadful oversight!)

Quite a variety and frankly I am amazed at how many have accepted to come along and celebrate (although I believe the theme has something to do with the appeal as well). It is a testimony also to the melting pot that is London given the wide range of nationalities, backgrounds, ages and cultures everyone hails from. I cannot wait to see them all together.

Hopefully my own outfit will do the evening justice as well. 
It's something along these lines:


Lacy fingerless gloves sorted. 
Crucifix necklaces, check.
Red lipstick, ditto.
Now. Where are my hair crimpers?

I'm almost ready!


Saturday, 27 February 2016

Focus

Ever heard the saying, "Don't enter a battle of wits with an unarmed person"?

I feel of late as if I have been un-wittingly drawn into such (see what I did there? genius) by way of my involvement with certain aspects of my life to which I devote - much to OH's annoyance - a substantial amount of time, none of it fee-generating, but very engaging and interesting and personally rewarding.

Well, I say 'personally rewarding' but in truth the fine line between that and wanting to head-butt a few people for the sake of knocking some common sense into them is rapidly diminishing.

So, a question to all of you: why do trivial matters evolve into substantial issues and how do you avoid the avalanche of time-wasting that accompanies the mêlée?

Do you:
a) attempt to put out any fire as soon as it appears by stamping on it
b) pull out a hosepipe, turn it on full blast, and aim at anything that moves
c) don a wetsuit, head for the nearest lake and bob about until the fracas has passed
d) call emergency services and try to explain whilst exonerating yourself from any culpability
e) focus on more important and pressing matters to hand

Me? I draw a cartoon.

Because that's what sensible people do in times of idiocy.



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Friday, 12 February 2016

Interlude

More to follow... in due course.

In the meantime, another cartoon.


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Sabbatical

Almost another year gone.

It's been hard work, stressful, testing, and tough. 

Plenty of mishaps, quite a few health scares (others, not me) involving nearest and dearest, some departures of loved ones, lots of trying situations, financial worries, and all the usual first-world problems that really pale into insignificance given other events going on in the world.

Suffice to say I have survived. Just.

But the focus for 2016 will be:
  1. moving the business on and growing it
  2. bringing in some much needed revenue
  3. sorting out the marketing and sales for my first book, and
  4. writing, publishing and doing the same for my second one
And somewhere in there is the small matter of family, social life, a semblance of training, and other events and commitments that keep me relatively sane and grounded.

So with that long preamble out of the way, I will be taking a sabbatical from the blog for a while. Not that I have run out of inspiration - unlikely, just ask OH, I have an opinion on everything apparently - but needs must and that means less fart-arsing around with fun-stuff-that-earns-me-nowt, and more energy into fee-earning hard-nosed business acumen stuff.

I won't be long. I hope.







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