Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life Lessons

I have two scenes from recent times that I give you as potential life lessons.

Lesson One – Showers and telephones do not mix.

When you phone your mother to arrange to meet up for Sunday lunch and need to consult your partner for a view think about the circumstances, think. If your partner is in the shower, you might want to mention that not only are you seeking their advice, but your mother is still on the phone, which is in your hand. This might have a bearing on what they then choose to say to you, and whether they want your mother to hear it.

Lesson Two – Answer phones are not normally a good way to break bad news.

I know that grief hits people in different ways and that we cannot always be rational in such circumstances, but a colleague of mine returned to her desk from a meeting and checked her voicemail. There was a message from her mum saying that her uncle had died. This led to a very public breakdown in the middle of the office. Not ideal, although I suppose her uncle dying was, in itself, less than ideal.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I have been terrible at blogging recently. There just seems to have been a lot going on and not a lot of time to focus my thoughts into a blog post – although I don’t suppose my blog posts have always been that “focussed”…

My mind has felt very distracted of late, not for any negative reasons, it has just been wandering about of its own free will. I am an avid reader, but I went for almost a week without reading a book. Even on my commute to and from work I would just sit there and be absorbed in my own thoughts or stare out the window. Hopefully focus will return some time soon, not least because my library books will need to be returned at some point.

There are also some strange things going on at work at the moment. One part of this seems to involve an element of division amongst the managers. Another manager and I are perhaps more radical in our thinking on where the organisation can go. Others seem more reticent and one is entirely opposed to change. Perhaps strangely, the two of us who are more radical seem to be viewed as the prime candidates to go if changes need to be made. But my manager spoke to us both at the end of yesterday and in a rather heartfelt way told us how much she doesn’t want us to go. I was touched by what she said, and I guess we will just have to see what the future holds.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I am on about book number four or five so far this year and have lots of books that I already have lined up to read. Despite that, I have been tempted by Sarah’s reading challenge over at her blog. It is open to all, so feel free to join in too.

It is as follows:

Ten books, one from each category. Some books would fit more than one category making it ridiculously easy: so no crossovers within the challenge! Ten unique and distinct books are required.

1. A book that has been previously abandoned

2. A re-read. Didn’t quite get it/thought there was more/made promise to self to re-read? Time to make good.

3. A book that has sat on the shelf, like, forever. (Decades.)

4. A book that paralyses one with dread.

5. Investigate a canonical writer hitherto most shamefully overlooked.

6. Seek out a book by an author who has earned ostracism by being so good that any further novel could surely never measure up…?

7. And the opposite… That author who was supposed to be really good, but didn’t go down too well? Give him/her another go!

8. Take a chance. Read a book which you would rather not. For instance when the OH says ‘you’ll really like this’ and you’re thinking ‘no, I really won’t…’

9. A book from an unfamiliar genre.

10. Ask a friend (preferably a person of impeccable taste, and definitely not someone who might have an axe to grind) to choose a book that you will, in their opinion, like. (This does not mean ask a dozen people until you get the right answer!)

I am still pondering some of the books to read, but some thoughts so far are:

2.On the Road by Jack Kerouac
3.Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky
4.Possibly some Samuel Beckett
9. Neuromancer – William Gibson (borrowed from the library yesterday)
10. One Day – David Nicholls (a colleague recommended this to me the other day. I did say I had seen Deirdre Barlow reading it on Coronation Street once, which had slightly put me off, but she is going to lend me her copy anyway.

That’s about half the list so there is still much thinking to do.