Thursday, 19 June 2008

Is it home time yet?...

Well winter is here with a vengeance, though I guess that's not surprising, seeing as the winter solstice is almost upon us. Still, today is definitely duvet weather which is why it's almost criminal to be stuck at work. And with the mountain of tasks ever increasing, my motivation levels are bottoming-out. I've definitely reached that 'stare-at-the-screen-and-wait-for home-time' phase of the day.

Anyway, at least it's a short week. YAY for that. Last weekend was quite good. It started off with breakfast at the Table Bay hotel which was really nice. My friend Des and I went through for an 'author breakfast' where Alexander McCall Smith was the guest speaker. It was a brilliant morning and the gorgeous goodie bags were the cherry on top. Stunning!

After having our books signed, we toddled off to grab a drink at Ferryman's, which meant parking in the Waterfront parking area. We had a great time but were robbed blind at the end. No, not by nasty knife-wielding Cape Town criminals. Nope, we was robbed by the Waterfront. The parking cost R40 for about three hours. Shocking. Such a tourist trap - I should've known better. What made it worse was that after handing over my hard-earned moola, I drove to the booms to find them OPEN. Paid R40 for nothing. Grrrrrrr...

It seems everything is sky-rocketing lately. I filled my car up with petrol the other morning and left feeling positively violated. R450 to fill up my chariot! And believe me, my chariot is one of the smaller models. Awoooo...

Well, onto more positive things. I'm taking a very long weekend because it's my birthday on Monday and I really do believe no one should be at work on their birthday. (Unless your work colleagues are prone to showering you with gifts. Mine aren't.) So the prospect of a few days away from the office makes me very, very happy!

One last thing - the Wacky Wine Weekend was fantastic, though the weather was shocking. The best part was that we had a designated driver who drove a combi big enough for us all to fit in. What a pleasure! You'll be pleased to know that I was a reasonably responsible wine taster, and that the wheels only fell off after dinner. Thankfully, dinner was had at the place we were staying. That place also had a bar, which led to the afore-mentioned fallen-off wheels. Oh well, what's a girl to do? And what doesn't destroy the ol' kidneys makes them stronger, right? Hmmmm... maybe not.

(Another goodie from the guys at ShoeBox)

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Powerful yet contemplative ducks

Lately, I've come across random yet deep little messages. Not the usual voices in the head kinda stuff. More like things in passing that have a greater impact than I imagine was originally intended.

For example, I was moaning to my mum about my dumb-ass neighbour and as always, she took my side. She also told me not to let him have the power. 'Take back the power.' Hmmmm...

A few days later, I was reading a newsletter that discussed gender issues in the workplace. The author used a duck metaphor that really got me thinking... She said when things are getting you mad and pissed off, 'be the duck'. In other words, be calm and composed on the outside, even though you're spitting mad on the inside. I liked that analogy because I'm fairly emotional at the best of times and so when people rain on my parade, you can read me like a book. Most particularly in work situations (and you know how it is, if a man loses it at work he's seen as 'passionate' whereas when a woman loses it, she's frowned upon as being too emotional).
Anyway, 'be the duck'. I liked that.

Then last night I watched an Oprah rerun (stop rolling your eyes) and she had Elizabeth Gilbert on her show. Now Ms Gilbert wrote the hugely popular Eat, Pray, Love - a book I happened to read fairly recently, even though it looked suspiciously like a religious self-help book (I detest those). It wasn't. Well, not entirely. It's the memoir of a thirty-something woman who reached a point in her life where she had to admit to herself that she wasn't happy. She had everything that was supposed to make her 'happy' and yet it wasn't enough. So she packed her bags and embarked on a year long journey to Italy, India and Bali - in search of INNER happiness. I won't lie to you, religion played a role for Gilbert, but what struck a chord for me was the courage it took her to stop and start again. Nevermind heading off into geographic territory that held no familiarities or comfort. Very Good Book. Oprah had Gilbert on as a follow-up to a previous show which showcased the book. Last night's episode was about the impact the book had on readers. Some of it was very much Oprah-fied, but there were a couple of stories that demanded nothing but sheer admiration. People who had the courage to acknowledge that they weren't satisfied or happy and then started on a new journey towards that frikken' allusive goal.

So, these are my three things. Multi-mantra, if you will. Take Back the Power (I need to stop letting the small things get to me); Be the Duck (take a deep breath... and exhale) and Find the Courage and Time to work on what really makes me tick.

In anticipation of my newly found 'resolutions', I set my alarm clock for 7am - half an hour earlier than usual so I could get up, have a cup of tea and enjoy some quiet contemplation time before throwing myself into the rat race. Sadly, I am (ashamed) to report that I slept in and only gained consciousness at around 8. I was very late for work - again. But I'm going to try again tomorrow...

Monday, 2 June 2008

'And you may ask yourself, well... how did I get here?'

Well, the last few weeks at work have been pretty much diabolical, to say the least - reinforcing my firm belief that this work thing is for the birds. I'll spare you the pathetic details but let's just say I'm really beginning to grudge spending my precious time here. Time for a change of scenery and perhaps even a change of career, me thinks. Ah, the tragedy of the working middle-class. So amidst all this debilitating and soul-destroying drama, I welcome all distractions. Especially on this particularly cold Monday morning. An hour away from lunch time, and apart from an overly extended morning meeting, I've gotten nothing done. No point in starting now. I'll write a quick post and then knuckle down after lunch.

So last Wednesday, I found myself at Grandwest watching the gorgeous James Blunt crooning his self-admittedly sometimes-miserable ditties. Oh boys and girls, it was a very, very good concert - he's so much better live than he sounds on his studio albums. (Quite rare, don't you think?) He performed a good mix from both albums and gave a pretty damn good show. It was also the first time I'd been to a concert at that venue. I had my doubts initially - I've just never been a fan of casinos and Grandwest is in the less-than-pretty area of Goodwood. But the venue size was decent, the seating (yes, it was a seated show - I guess that's old age setting in) was spacious. The acoustics were also really good. So in all, the concert scored a fabulous 5 out of 5! The only drawback was being surrounded by great music while confined to a chair. Other than that, awesome! Needless to say, I've since been listening to lots of James in the car... at home... and right now my iPod is filling my head with all things Blunt. Nice...

Last week was one I was looking forward to as it also saw the release of the Sex and the City movie. So on Saturday, I watched the last episode of season 6 then headed for Cavendish were I was finally able to catch up on what the girls have been up to since they left TV airwaves. What can I say - of course the movie was fabulous. That goes without saying. Though it also left me feeling a little sad. I'm not sure if it's because things don't always work out the way you want them to (no surprise there) or if it's because this really is 'goodbye'. Then again, maybe it's because I've been listening to too much sad JB. ;) Anyway, I enjoyed the flick on a few levels, though I must admit I prefer the episodes to the movie. Being a feature film, it was less intimate than the 22 minute instalments, and in some bits it was a little clich├ęd. But on the whole, it was great and as for those outfits... FABULOUS!

Okay, so that's pretty much my news for the past few days. Only five more sleeps 'til the weekend (sad, hey?) and I'm particularly looking forward to this one because I'm off to the Wacky Wine Festival. Haven't had a weekend away in a VERY LONG TIME! So roll on Friday...

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