Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another year with nothing to do

The weekend started well with a trip to my local boozer of old, the Rugby Tavern in Bloomsbury, for some birthday drinks. It was great to catch up with some folk I hadn’t seen in a while. Plans and schemes for more get-togethers were put in motion.

Saturday evening found us in a pub in the dark back streets of Stockwell to celebrate another birthday: this time a landmark one for Mr NB. He was hosting a 60s-themed fancy dress do. The journey to the party was harrowing: we got a black cab from Vauxhall station that was being driven by someone who clearly didn’t have the Knowledge. Upon arrival, we quickly found Messrs. JW and KS in the bar. The latter was dressed up as Charles Manson, which is quite the best fancy dress outfit/concept I think I’ve ever seen. One female guest was in full Thelma from Scooby Doo garb, another great idea. NB himself looked like a White Panther, all enormous jewfro and MC5 t-shirt.

The week started badly with news of draconian measures being brought in with other teams in our department regarding timekeeping, internet and mobile use. I suppose it may be time for me to stop posting on here during work hours. Pah.

A couple of things that I was meaning to post here last week:
I'm sad to report that our friend Ms Harrison lost her battle with cancer the Sunday before last.
The day after I received this piece of news, I was called by Sister #3 to say that she had received confirmation that she didn't have cancer, after a recent scare.

I've felt a mixture of relief and sadness, which is never a terribly comfortable sensation.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Half-full, half-empty...half-nelson

Those of you who know me (I estimate that accounts for 99.5% of the readers of this blog) will know that I'm a pessimist by nature. I find it hard to look on the sunny side. For me, behaving in an optimistic manner requires a force of will not unlike that of Sisyphus - or for those of you not accustomed to classical allegories, like trying to enjoy Bitches Brew by Miles Davis.

[Ironically, I was an extremely optimistic manager of people, always mindlessly thinking the best of them. This lead to a huge amount of stress and misery for me in the past. Managers tend to be either a) credulous and fluffy or b) always under the impression that the staff in their employ are stupid, lazy and greedy. I'm in the former category, deffo. But I digress.]

Pessimism is the way I'm built. I was actively encouraged in this endeavour by my father, who was a great pessimist. I think he came to be that way from a veritable cavalcade of disappointment (a couple of those including being unable to go to art school owing to his family's grinding poverty, and having five female children).

Imagine my surprise, when lately I've been wheeling out jolly old me. Compared to my usual January glooming, I've been veritably Bob Fosse-ing it up, all day long. Why is this?

Put simply, I've never before sat next to someone more miserable than myself. In comparison to the colleague to my left, I'm a proper chirpy chops. So, being positive has suddenly become my life's work.

Plus, it's fun to be contrary.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Time for living

Back again.

As ever, I won’t be making resolutions, because they always get ditched in mid-January. Instead, I have one over-arching philosophy: to get out, do more and say yes to things instead of making excuses not to do them. It’s not unreasonable to find something to do in London once a week, so that is what I’m going to aim for.

A couple of musings:

This morning, during one of those blank moments, I looked out of the window and noticed a plane taking off. That made me think wistfully about the United States again.

I was saddened to lose my work colleague Ms King yesterday. She has been a stalwart since my arrival in my current job and I’m going to miss her.

Despite the loss of Ms King, work continues to be a low priority in the grand scheme of things.

I have an iron constitution. I remain untroubled by the various bugs doing the rounds. Perhaps I’m tempting fate a bit by saying this, but so what.

Happy New Year one and all.