Thursday, 18 January 2018

And here we go again

What? Already more than half way through January? How did that happen?

Bearing in mind I spent the whole of Tuesday this week convinced the next day was Thursday (yes, I know, I know, I confused myself as well as everyone else, no mean feat either), I have now put my skates on - figuratively speaking - as I have month end in sight and a raft of meetings and networking events to attend in the interim.

And a few cycling trips to look forward to as well.

It was while I was trying to find the most appropriate manner of telling OH about these that I relished the upside of honesty.

Telling the truth - even when it involves sorties with cycling buddies over long weekends and not necessarily in this country - goes a long way towards avoiding confrontation or tying yourself in knots.

Unlike some other individuals who just cannot stop themselves it would seem. I came across this and lost the will to live about two months' in.

Good grief. Another three years still? It is beyond 'the new normal' even for someone with my level of innate sarcasm.

On another note, there is something to look forward to on Sunday morning (and I am not talking rugby or refereeing in the pouring rain):


Fortunately it takes place before rugby training beckons, so I may just have the opportunity to hear another privileged toss-pot speak very slowly to maximise their airtime, and throw in some Latin for good measure, in an attempt to illustrate how ignorant we Remainers all are.

Thank goodness for those who fight our corner in the public eye, stand up for true facts, and have brains to debate and argue a righteous cause without resorting to insults.

And on that note, I'm on my bike.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Ode to 2017 - almost rhyming

After the shambles
that was 2016
the new horizon
appeared pristine.

Alas, not so.

It started quite well
with a trip to DC
marching with millions
wearing hats à la pussy.

I saw for myself
his fervent supporters
so out of place
so... well, thick as shit, actually.

Many rendezvous with ladies
who cycle for cake (and coffee)
kept me going through the year
when I needed a break.

The banter, the laughs,
the routes and travails,
we maintain our sanity
and explore new trails.

The election came and went,
I wish the PM had too;
alas she stayed on,
forever missing her cue
to fire all the idiots, bigots and fools
that form her front bench
and believe the EU
is the curse that has bound us
from achieving potential
in anything worthy or important or existential.

I despair. And so do others.

Any voice of reason
is rapidly drowned out,
with cries of foul play
or "You know nowt!"

But the facts are there for all to see
without the EU we are pretty much... well, f*cked for starters

And so the year lumbered on
there was work to do
with clients that listened
and projects to pursue.

New friends have been made
old ones fallen by-the-by,
where opinions diverge
it is harder to comply.

As the new year approaches
there will be more of the same (no doubt)
as well as cycling adventures
and family acclaim.

So thank you 2017,
Brexit and Trump,
the bar's so low now
there's nothing to jump.

exit stage left


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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Of robins and books

It was the last Kevin rendezvous for 2017.

Train delays, icy roads, snowfall and freezing temperatures were not going to deter the Kevinettes from meeting up and partaking in festive prosecco, hearty food, good wine and talk about books.

Oh no, not at all.

Despite Southern Rail's best efforts, we (nearly) all made it, the only two absentees having excuses that were not even festive-related: university lectures and orchestra performance. Albeit the latter was child-related, but we'll make allowances for that.

It was a hygge-inspired evening.

Warm, cosy, fun and happy, with loads of laughter and sufficient bad taste Christmas jumpers to seriously question their provenance (M&S, since you ask).

The books were discussed - because we are a serious book club after all - and debated... and then we had some more celebratory drinks.

There followed a fair bit of animated hand flapping by yours truly which, miraculously, failed to break any glasses (despite knocking mine over not once, but three times), and some platonic love for decorative robins which adorned our host's home... and eventually LCM's head.

But, in all honesty, there is nothing quite as comforting as spending quality time with a group of wonderful women with whom you have developed great friendships over the past seventeen years.

And all for the love of books.

Hooray for Kevin.

a (festive) bird in the hair...

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

The multiplication of Kevin

Many Kevins ago, a strange thing happened.

Well, not really strange per se, let's just say weirdly coincidental.

Via a tenuous two-degrees-of-separation, it transpired that a fellow blogger and LCM - who had randomly come across each other in the peculiar world that is the bloggisphere - discovered that they had a mutual friend.

Now, bearing in mind that one of us was in London, the other in Brisbane, and no names were ever mentioned, it certainly is rather peculiar that the mention of someone moving house should trigger an increasingly excited exchange of messages - they may have been via Twitter, I lose track at my age - as we discovered that, yes, the person we knew in common was the one and same.

Fast forward to the latest Kevin rendezvous.

Host: the Botanical Artist 'friend-u-know' (BA-FUK for short)
Special guest: Spartan Superwoman
Troughers and earnest book readers: the Kevinettes

What a great occasion to run our guest through the origins of Kevin, fill her in on the missing members (two at parents' evenings, one in the Cotswolds, and another double-booked - tsk, but at least the volume of noise was halved and there was more food for the rest of us, yay), prove that we really do exist, and discuss the books which she had read as well - top woman!

Definitely, definitely, definitely an honorary Kevinette.

Plus she eats and drinks like the best of us.

And plans to set up a bookclub of her own when she (eventually) returns home and call it... Kevin's Younger Brother.

Brilliant.

not really :-)

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Monday, 30 October 2017

Timely return of the doctor




It was bound to happen.

After wandering running cycling many hills over the past year, Doctor LCM returned to her office to find a stack of letters so high she failed to locate the door handle to the BADASS* clinic.

Undeterred, she binned recycled the lot save for this one gem which she has deemed fit to share with her devoted audience.

And here we go.


"Dear Doctor LCM,

No one likes me. 

All the kids in the playground - who are mostly boys - make fun of me behind my back and play cruel pranks all the time. Whenever I try to tell them off, they just snigger amongst themselves and tell me to stop being such a cry baby, it was only a bit of fun.

If I go to the teacher, they act all innocent and pretend that I am the one at fault, which inevitably means I look even more stupid and unreasonable, presumably because I cannot 'take a joke' in the spirit it was intended.

I once had a great sense of humour and used to run through wheat fields when the farmer was not looking, trampling some of the stalks and having a little wee behind the hay bales without anyone seeing me. It was very naughty but I knew when enough was enough. 

These awful boys are making my life a misery and they also fight amongst themselves too as if still at preschool! It is exhausting and detracting from my aim in life to be a great leader.

What do you suggest?

Hopefully,
May Bot"


Doctor LCM replies:

"Dear May Bot,

Give up now while you're still (marginally) ahead and hand over to someone more capable of:
a) making a decision
b) showing some backbone
c) slapping down irritating schoolboy antics
d) putting pranksters on the naughty step, preferably for a very, very long time

The wheat fields await you, trust me.

You're welcome.

Dr LCM"


If you too have a pressing business or personal matter that you would like answered or on which to receive similar valuable advice, please submit to the Doctor and wait patiently in line.

* Business Advisory and Select Services


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Friday, 22 September 2017

Creativity beckons

Far be it for me to predict what will come of today's speech that the Maybot will make in Florence.

I do, however, like to play about with options on outcomes, a form of Mystic Meg soothsayer, if you like.

Why? Well, why not?
With the Tories having f*cked up pretty much anything they could think of in this country - much of it without even trying too hard - you might as well laugh and poke fun while the sun's still shining.

So, without further preamble, here's my starter for ten on how the Maybot, BoJo, DD and their merry chums expect Brexit discussions to move ahead after they propose the following to break deadlocks.

  1. A bridge shall be built from Dover to Calais. The EU will have to fund it and only when complete will the Tory government agree to meeting their European counterparts halfway. In all senses.
  2. Britain will return to imperial measures across the board. No more of this metric nonsense, and currency denominations will once again be defined in terms of shillings, farthings, pennies and guineas. All bartering as to what is owed to the EU will be subject to conversion and the UK will set its own exchange rate. So that makes it twenty guineas and sixpence, take it or leave it guv'nor.
  3. Any negotiations shall henceforth be conducted in Olde English. That's a close match to a thick Scottish accent to you and me, hence a new opportunity for translators to flock to the table and variously interpret what each party is trying to convey. No doubt further hours of joy and, indeed, procrastination.
  4. Every participant at roundtable discussions shall be proficient on the rules of cricket. No knowledge, no say.
  5. Each negotiation session shall begin with at least twenty minutes' talk about the weather. There is no precursor about how you engage in this, nor which country's weather you opt to discuss - although penalties will be awarded at random if your country's rainfall/sunshine/temperature is deemed to be preferable to Britain's - but failure to comply will mean the entire British congregation have the option to walk out in disgust.
  6. There shall be no talk about the Royal Family.
  7. Unless you wish to touch on whether past imperial connections and interfamilial marriages actually infer that Britain should seek to reestablish reign over numerous regions in the Continent.
  8. All participants at negotiations must abide by a British sartorial code: oversized suit jackets for men, bland ties (preferably with yesterday's lunch stains well visible), scuffed shoes, ill-fitting skirts or kaleidoscopic dresses for women, preferably adorned by chunky costume jewellery for added effect. None of this European elegance please, far too distracting.
  9. All impasse shall be resolved by having a cup of tea. In times of extreme tension, this will be extended to include a biscuit and a nice sit down.
  10. There will be no negotiations during the airing of The Great British Bake Off. After all, what's not to like about a good cake? 

So there you go. I may be wide of the mark, but then again what would I know about the intricacies of politics and negotiations?

yes, exactly, hung out to dry


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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Twenty-seven years

Time passes quickly - we all seem to say so at some point.

Twenty-seven years ago today I landed in this country, slightly adrift in terms of where and what I might be headed towards, and thus commenced a rollercoaster ride into full adulthood and beyond.

A couple of points worth noting:
  1. I never came to the UK seeking citizenship, I already had two other nationalities to my name, one of which enabled me to settle and work here without the need for a visa;
  2. I believed - correctly as it turned out - that any career I sought was best pursued in London given the opportunities, cosmopolitan mix, and proximity to Europe that it offered.
Now, close to three decades later, I approach this anniversary with mixed feelings.

With the Brexit vote last year I have found myself in a similar quandary to many others in my situation.

Do I remain in the country that I have called home for more than half my life?

The honest truth is I don't know. Given family, friends, work, social life, health, education and much more, there is too much at stake to make a rash decision. Ironic that OH - who is British - would happily decamp tomorrow to warmer climes Down Under.

So what would otherwise have been an occasion for celebration feels far more subdued now. The country I call home is feeling somewhat unwelcoming.

A nation divided? Definitely.

A nation defined now by tarnished ideals and lies? Absolutely.

Not sure that sits comfortably with the values I wish for me and my family any longer.

In the meantime, work and plan, work and plan, work and plan...



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