Monday, 31 January 2011

Something in the way you speak

It is the annual sales conference. It is being held in a country in Europe which is - to be brutally honest - very flat. The location is somewhat grim and desolate although I am told there is a beach nearby should I feel the need to go running. I probably will, very soon.

That aside, what I wanted to touch on in this post, is languages. So many of them, so little time to devote to learning them all.

I pride myself on having a good ear for languages. The upside of this is that even if a language is unknown to me, after a few hours of full immersion I am usually able to communicate and understand my peers. It may involve rather a lot of hand gestures and some peculiar pronunciations, but by and large the effort pays off.

The downside is that I often find myself involuntarily imitating picking up accents, although typically this is more applicable when I am conversing with people who hail from the Emerald Isle, Canada, South Africa, Down Under, New Zealand or Newcastle. As in upon Tyne.

Less so of course if it involves a country where the native language is not English. Then I just morph into a poor version of Alastair McGowan with an Italian accent.

Anyway, at this week's sales conference I have been amazed by the number of colleagues who are conversing fluently in English, when this is not their mother tongue. Regardless of accents, there has been a common denominator, and I salute this. The whole conference could have just as easily been conducted entirely in French. Or German. Or Dutch.

A mere handful of words though have given the presenters a few problems with regard to pronunciation. What were they? Oh, you know. nothing too far-fetched: diarrhea (in place of diary), shit (sheet), and - my favourite - fuckers (focus).

Not bad, all in all.


Saturday, 22 January 2011

And now for a little light 'sleb-bashing

Personally I blame Very Bored in Catalunya. Were it not for her latest post I would probably have ignored the issue altogether, but alas, no. She brought it up, egged on by some others, and hence - not wanting to be outdone by a donkey - I am adding my two-pence to the mêlée. 
And I hope you noticed that last very clever word. I am a businesswoman after all.

The subject is my top five celebrities I would happily slap around the head with a damp wetsuit.

So, at number five we have: Ant and Dec.

I may be a midget, but my (pay) packet is huge
Yes, I know they are two. I can count. But they seem to be joined at the hip and unable to 'go solo' to do anything of worth. Either that or ITV has such a dearth of alternatives that it has bound them - literally - under a single contract so if Ant goes to the toilet, Dec is forced to stand outside the door to ensure the former doesn't do a runner, leaving him destitute. And they are short. Very short.

Irritability factor: 8.5 out of 10 

At number four: Myleene (No) Klass. 

Sorry, I'm not that desperate
How shall I name the ways? How about a list? Let's see...

- TV show no. 2
- TV show no. 3
- random adverts (n.b. skanky hair prevents you from playing the piano)
- opening of an envelope

Okay, I made that last one up. 
The final straw for me was an email last year which announced I was shortlisted for an award and the judging panel consisted of three people (woo-hoo, push the boat out people, why don't you) of which one - you guessed it - was Ms Klass herself. 
I didn't win.

Irritability factor: 9 out of 10

At number three: Gordon Ramsay.

Bad case of constipation? Try a laxative 
A hyped-up, potty-mouthed, egotistical, self-centred, woman-hater (think Tracy Grimshaw and her brilliant retort), and overall sad fuck who has now apparently resorted to plastic surgery. Says it all really. 
Oh, and he is a chef, by the way. Stick to the pots and pans is my advice.

Irritability factor: 9.5 out of 10

At number two (are you excited yet?): Martine McCutcheon.

Suck it in baby, the cameras are snapping
Used to be relatively normal. And moderately successful. Until she left Eastenders (I think, I do not watch the soaps) and decided to embark on a (relatively unfulfilled) movie career.
Cue the amazing weight loss. And gain. And loss. And gain.
Cue the lack of roles and 'needs-must' take-up of advertising clips.
Oh, but she is an actress, singer and novelist. Right. So I shall hold my breath until you complete your next masterpiece? Thought not. 

Plus, I'm sorry Martine, but why would I ever need you to tell me that a certain yoghurt was going to 'love my tummy'? Fuck off, will you? And do a triathlon, that'll sort you. Tsk.

Irritability factor: 10 out of 10

And at number one. The suspense must be killing you (probably because my posts are never this long).

It is, without a doubt, the one and only intensely irritating......

Ricky Gervais.

Yes, yes, yes, very funny, ha-bloody-ha
I make no apologies. The Office may have been funny (but sorry, not a patch on Kath and Kim), Extras might have drawn in the out-of-work luvvies desperate for some air time, and he might have offended - or not - all and sundry with his hosting of various award ceremonies in recent years.


Mr Gervais. You have one fatal flaw that puts you at the very top of my list.

You are a total and utter wanker.

Irritability factor: immeasurable.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Kevin's full house

Maybe it was the promise of food and drink. Maybe it was the knowledge that everyone would be there. Maybe it was the thought of exchanging belated secret Santa books with others.
Or maybe it was simply the fact that Kevin is entering his second decade that ensured all the devotees came a-worshipping last night to the holy temple that is this entertaining book club.

Whatever the reason, it was a full house. The Belfast Blonde, the Lovely Radiographer, the Doctor of Psychology, the Wine Writer, the Botanical Artist, the Aussie Solicitor and LCM. We lost the Accountant-turned-Nutritionist late last year - figuratively speaking, of course - as she decided that participating in the meetings without (hardly) ever reading the books was akin to buying a Louis Vuitton handbag but never using it.
Of course, we did tell her that our standards are so low that her mere presence was sufficient to lift the tone, but she was having none of it.

So there is a vacancy should anyone be interested.
Terms and conditions do not apply, although living in London or surroundings would be an advantage. You must also be prepared to have a number of ravenous and cackling women descend on your home at least once a year, scare off the neighbours, wake up any sleeping children, and eat and drink your larder clean. Free of charge.
The upside is that you get to return this favour a number of times before it is your turn to host again.

And to the book. The last choice received a universal thumbs-up. Even from those who had not read it yet. Meaning that our enthusiasm was so contagious that some individuals were chanting the "I-will-definitely-read-this-now-on-holiday" mantra despite the size of the tome being enough to put any carry-on luggage over the legal limit.

LCM admitted to devouring this book in audio version in the car, during the weekly commute.
"That's cheating!" the Kevinettes intoned. Possibly, but at least I finished it. Even if it did mean spending slightly longer than necessary sitting in the office car park waiting for a chapter to conclude, more than once.

Not sure what the security guards thought I was up to. But then again, I know they have better things to do than watch me on CCTV.

Or do they?


Thursday, 6 January 2011

Time flies when you are having fun. Or children.

Just a quick one today.

Eight years ago my life underwent something of a transformation when this little treasure made his appearance:

And was followed in quick succession by his younger sister and brother. Hey, it all just happened in a hurry, okay? Irish triplets, anyone?

So, despite there being the 'M' word in the blog title, and the posts about children's antics being few and far between, and the emphasis being on work, career, triathlons (and associated training faux pas), and laundry with a hefty dose of sarcasm, I just wanted to say this:

Happy birthday Mr Man - you were the start of the best thing I have ever done in my life.

Love, LCM x


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