Monday, 20 April 2015

A marriage of texts

A good friend of mine shared a link recently on that wonderful medium that is Facebook which not only had me laughing but also got me thinking of how OH and I communicate and what our text message exchanges say about twenty plus years' worth of a relationship.

Needless to say I subsequently wasted about an hour scrolling through hundreds of SMS* to get a feeling for what is important to us.

I think I know now:
  1. food
  2. rugby
  3. food
  4. offspring
  5. training
  6. food
  7. other random stuff
And single word replies. From OH. Or cryptic messages. And zero punctuation.
Sound familiar? Here's a sample few to prove my point.

LCM - At M&S. Will get prawns for dinner.
OH - Great
LCM - Do we have any fresh salad? Bought some yesterday but think we ate it all last night?
OH - Ate

LCM - Widget in rugby semi final match at festival.
OH - Ok
LCM - Bloody freezing pitch-side. Sun out but cold wind. Usual suspects as opposition. Coffee rubbish. Ref'd two games.
OH - Home
LCM - Lucky you.
OH - Yes

OH - What time are you back?
LCM - Due to finish at 9. May go for for quick drink. Eat first, I'll eat later.
OH - When
LCM - When I get home.
OH - What time
LCM - After conference finishes, after I attend reception that follows (briefly), after I catch tube home and walk back from station.
OH - Shall I leave you something
LCM - Dinner. Or winning lottery ticket. No pressure.

LCM - Sink in guest bathroom leaking. Seal appears to have broken or disintegrated from horizontal out pipe under plughole, probably because it moves about like our one does. Have put note and bucket under it but will need sorting, something to look forward to when you return.
OH - Yes
LCM - Don't get too excited.
OH - No

LCM - Arrived early. On bus now to station then change for next destination. No swimming for Widget on Monday. Starts again January. All his PE kit in blue box.
OH - LW 66, Edgh 10
LCM - You watching the match?
OH - Yes
LCM - Have kids finished homework?
OH - Yes. Watching match
LCM - Gathered that. Get him to pack his kit before school.
OH - Who
LCM - The cookie monster.

LCM - Washer on rear window of car not working any more. Front ones also not right :-(
OH - Park in the sun.
LCM - I was parked in the sun already.
OH - More
LCM - So helpful.

LCM - Am still at swimming gala, almost done. Can you please collect other two from school?
OH - Y
LCM - Need dinner as well please?
OH - What you feel like
LCM - Food and strong drink.

OH - How was your run?
LCM - Muddy. Cold. Wet. Bit of sunshine. More mud. Lots of hills. Just finished.
OH - That's why it's called Tough Mudder.
LCM - So perceptive.
OH - Y
LCM - Am filthy. No showers available. Only cold water!
OH - Don't get car dirty
LCM - Seriously?

OH - How did it go?
LCM - Disaster at 34km, flat rear tyre. Changed but something still wrong so have stopped by marshal to request mechanical help! Not happy :-/
OH - Bad luck. Thought you were doing 25km
LCM - Hah! 63.17!
OH - Should have done short ride
LCM - That was the short ride.

OH - Please can you get stuff to make pizza?
LCM - Too late, missing mozzarella. You will have to get that. And salami.
OH - Will pick up
LCM - And milk please? And ice cream.
OH - For pizza?
LCM - For breakfast. And coffee. And bathing.
OH - What?
LCM - Okay, last one was joke.
OH - Milk?
LCM - Bathing. Still need milk. And ice cream.

It's called 'cheap entertainment' and 'how to waste two hours and not get the time back'.

You're welcome.

(c) www.savagechickens.com

* that may be an exaggeration, in all senses

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Monday, 13 April 2015

April? Already?

I'm back, I'm back.

I've just been a bit busy.

With this:



Which involved a lot of this:



On runs of this colour with funny names:



And required lots of replenishment of this nature:



Which you need when this happens:

video


And you return home to be confronted by this:



Back to work. I have some serious bills to pay now.
And possibly a new washing machine.


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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

How not to interview

Let me tell you a little secret.
I have almost finished my book. The one I am writing, that is, not the ones I read for Kevin.
And I say 'almost' because it has been a labour of love for the past eighteen months and I still have...

*pauses to check*

... five more chapters to write.

Anyhow, the book.

It is not a novel.
It is not chick lit.
It is not a crime thriller.
It is definitely not science fiction.

It is a career guide for women. And men, should they be that way inclined.
Marginally sarcastic (would you expect anything else), ever-so-slightly cynical, but definitely informative and overall humorous.

Because if you cannot laugh, well, then, there is no point.

So, today, I went to see a man about a job.
Not because I am looking for a permanent position (I am not) or because he had something I was clamouring after (he most definitely didn't), but because - via a headhunter - I was 'sought out', as they say, for my background and skills as "someone they would definitely like to talk to."

Well, I'm always up for having a chat and if nothing else believe you can learn from all such events.

So I trotted back up to the City to meet this fellow at the agreed time.

And a mere forty minutes later placed a call to the headhunter to give him a stern talking to.

"A total waste of my time," was how I put it to him, although I used a few more expletives.
And I explained why - because there is no point complaining unless you can offer constructive feedback:

  • the interviewer was late (this despite being "very keen to see you as soon as possible")
  • he had not read my CV and was quite obviously bringing it up on his phone and scrolling through it whilst firing random questions at me (more below)
  • his introduction was "I am [insert name] and I am head of [insert suitably generic title] and I was in the US for 10 years and now I am in the UK" - yes, that's it
  • there was no outline of the role he supposedly was seeking to fill, no insight as to the company's vision or plans, no details around how they are structured and operate - so just as well I had done my own homework and had a grasp of facts
  • his most pressing question was, "What was your largest sale?" (this for a business development role)
  • his other question was, "What is your experience in capital markets?" (err, hello? I was a trader for over ten years in the banking treasury division and have been in financial services more or less ever since? It's on my CV... oh wait, you forgot to read that, didn't you...)
  • but most of all - and yes, I am being totally non-PC here, but who gives a shit - he was almost incomprehensible with one of the most difficult accents to understand ever, not helped by speaking through clenched teeth
It was a classic lesson in how not to interview - from the employer's perspective.

Man, I could have given him a lesson there and then on good practice, engagement, courtesy and talking clearly.

Would have certainly made it worth my while. 
In the meantime, it has added another chapter to my book:

'What to do when your interviewer is a twat'.





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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Rendezvous du Kevin

Since touching down from last week's cycling academy in the company of my awesome Aussie Solicitor friend - a blissful combination of no laundry, no work, no demands from children or otherwise, but an awful lot of miles and LOTS of hills, she nailed them, me less so - I don't think I have quite yet caught my breath.

With any luck I may do so just in time for the end of term break. Yay. Lucky me. I foresee lots of shouting and threatening children with all kinds of horrible endings.

Anyway. One upside from returning to the fray was Kevin, the much ridiculed, most beloved and of many years' standing bookclub. And LCM's turn to host.

Cue panic.

What food to prepare for the demanding posse that would require minimum time and produce maximum contentment? Easy. Thank you Cook. I'm not proud.
How much wine? More than usual, that's for sure.
What books to suggest (the host has the honour of proposing a selection of their choice, we are very democratic) that would encourage debate and opinions?

But more importantly - what to say about the previous tomes in conversation, one which had left me wanting to slit my wrists, the other which had depleted my best speed-reading skills and been abandoned halfway through?

Thankfully there were mixed reactions to both, including some defiant non-reading by some - horror, shock, pagans in our midst - most of which were neatly summarised in the black (now blue) book that contains our many years of comments.

With regard to the first choice, in one camp sat Belfast Blonde, the Wine Writer and the Botanical Artist. They analysed, dissected, explained and enthused about eels, ale-making, history and torment. My eyes might have glazed over at some point but fortunately I had food to delve out and drink to replenish.

In the other camp sat the Lovely Radiographer, the Doctor of Psychology, Tough Mudda and yours truly, LCM. I think my comment summed up (most of) our feelings: "I felt like I was going round in circles so much that I was about to spiral out of control."

Aussie Solicitor positioned herself conveniently in the middle having managed to avoid even getting her hands on the book. We told her to continue desisting. It was time better spent.

As for the other, well, what to say? My comment was a sole word: bleak.

Fortuitously we have chosen two new books now from the seven proposed, one of which I know will lift spirits as I had started it on the tube (pure fluke that it was later chosen by the Kevinettes, I promise) en route to meetings this week and have already laughed heartily out loud a few times, much to the consternation of fellow passengers.

I seem to have vacant seats either side of me as a knock-on effect.

Excellent result. Will certainly make for additional entertaining conversation at the next Kevin convention.


(c) savagechickens.com

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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Mental merry-go-rounds

As per my last post, it never rains but pours.

On the work front, after a year of networking, meetings, discussions, proposals, more meetings, more networking, more discussions (repeat times fifty), things are looking a little more promising.
Out of fear of jinxing matters, I will say no more, aside from waiting to quietly 'high five' myself and my fabulous business associates if things run their course over the coming weeks.

On the governor front, the overwhelming amount of process and paperwork, revising, rewriting, cross-checking and reviewing details that go with the search for a new headteacher has - for the time being - been dealt with. We now move to the next stage of formulating and scoping out the interview process and timetable for prospective candidates. Don't all jump up in excitement now. At least I have the good fortune of working with some amazing and talented (and very knowledgeable) fellow governors who are incredibly able and helpful guides in this sea of bureaucracy. They also have fantastic senses of humour, a necessity in such times, believe me.

And on the rugby front, it is all guns blazing in the run up to the club's annual Minis Festival. This year, after announcing that I would be stepping down as Vice Chair at the end of the season, I found myself subsequently agreeing to stay on (I blame the Chairman's tweets) as well as resuming the task of finding sponsors and supporters for the festival programme. In a nutshell, we appear to have blown last year's target achieved out of the water. What can I say? Once a salesperson, always a salesperson. Alternatively, "You can take the girl off the trading floor, but you cannot change her tactics!"
Again, great teamwork and some brilliant results.


how to get my attention: sarcasm works wonders


One thing however that is amusing me no end.

The rugby club - for those of you who still have not cottoned on - is London Welsh. Being party to a number of emails between the Chairman of the professional club and the Minis Chair, reading through the editorials for the programme, and observing other Welsh-isms, got me thinking.

How does Google translate pronounce words with more consonants than vowels?

Yup. Interesting. And endless time-wasting.

Hwyl a bendith i pawb. Mwynhewch y dydd, mwynhewch y rygbi.

(bet you are all going to give it a go now) 


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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Things I have learnt over the past week


  • nothing ever comes in half measures: work, rugby, governorship, meetings...
  • except training which falls slightly by the wayside
  • or gets relegated to the bottom of the priority list
  • there are only so many iterations of the same document you can read in one sitting before your eyes glaze over
  • about seventeen
  • maybe eighteen
  • FB is a very bad distraction when you should be writing
  • especially when friends post random photos
  • that always get about one hundred and thirty plus 'likes'
  • which make me wonder what their friends are actually doing with their time
  • probably stalking
  • shopping for groceries never gets any sexier
  • even if you prance around a supermarket still in your training kit
  • because FB distracted you again when you should have had a shower
  • doing just your own laundry is a positive option
  • and is much more satisfying
  • and takes a fraction of the time
  • however the message about the Laundry Fairy being on permanent strike takes longer to filter through to the rest of the family
  • about four weeks
  • better late than never
  • writing client proposals when the offspring are in the house is not productive
  • yet watching silly videos with them on YouTube is very entertaining
  • but still not a good use of valuable time
  • taking time out on weekends is the best way to distract yourself
  • long bike rides in particular
  • although lots of hills and lack of feeding stations can lead to more swearing than usual

it's a long way to the finish, with no food in sight
unless you like foliage



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Sunday, 8 February 2015

LCM's CBB (celebrity bashing bunfight)

Four years ago I wrote this. It still holds water. My opinions have not changed (funny that).

However, I am increasingly annoyed with respected online newspapers being hijacked by stupid stories that serve no purpose other than to make you a) click on the link just to see what the fuss is all about, or b) waste time reading total tat. I guess that's the point though, right?

So I thought I would add an updated 2015 version of 'Celebrity Bashing' to my earlier list. Do feel free to join in and post your own, the more the merrier.

Here we go.

My top five celebrities I would happily slap around the head with a damp wetsuit, part deux.

In fifth position: Ed Miliband.
(Yes, yes, I know he's a politician, but it's my list and my rules)

There is one reason I am leader of the Labour party,
and it is uhmm, err... damn, what was it?

Because, just, zzzzzzzz. And now that a former PM has stated that he "will do what it takes" to help him win the general election, well, what more can I add? Aside from thinking that David Cameron must be jumping around his kitchen shouting hallelujah and thanking his own lucky stars. Talk about a 'gift from heaven'... Oh, yes. And the Wallace likeness. Hmmm.


peas in a pod

In fourth place: Katie Hopkins.

Never heard of me? Really? Lucky break!

In all honesty I have no idea what she is saying - aside from it being rather a lot, most of it obnoxious or offensive to someone - as I only ever came across her in series three of The Apprentice. Possibly her one redeeming feature (which I discovered whilst researching this incredibly well thought-out and highly intellectual blog post) has been calling that piece of vapourware that occupies third place, "A nobody with a pair of tits." Talk about stating the obvious.
But she otherwise clogs up the airwaves (read: serious news) and that in itself deserves a place on the podium of shame.


At number three: Katie Price.

A pink unicorn. Because that's
what I want to be when I grow up

Honestly? Still here? How tedious to have to live your entire life yo-yo-ing between the tabloids with tales of sex, plastic surgery, foul-mouthed tirades, more sex, more plastic surgery, absurd names for offspring, feuds with ex husbands, ex boyfriends, ex friends, ex anything.... ex-hausting. Can someone please adopt her and dispatch her mind-numbing fakeness to, oh, I don't know, Siberia? One way ticket please, thank you.

Runner up: Kim Kardashian.

Waaaah! They said I was too stupid to have a Twitter account

In a nutshell, I just don't 'get it'. Or maybe I just live in a parallel universe and fail to appreciate the intrinsic value of someone who thinks posing naked, doused in baby oil, in an effort to 'break the internet' is akin to finding a cure for ebola or ending the crisis in Syria. Hah! Silly me.

And in first place: Russell Brand.

nothing of note to say

Total twat. No more to add. Aside possibly from three words: waste of space.


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