Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Rejoining the workforce....2

 
A few days ago, I came to the realization that my role as 'mum' was becoming redundant. (You know, like the senior employee who has been with the company for a very long time, but suddenly realizes that none of the exciting projects are coming his way anymore. It suddenly appears he is no longer relevant and it certainly doesn't help that he is only a couple of years away from retirement. He is still an intrinsic source of knowledge, but just not one that they consult on a daily basis now. Simply put, the office is moving on...).

That's the feeling I'm getting.

Now I appreciate that a mum's role is never fully redundant. However as your children start to grow up, you are suddenly not needed for the day-to-day decisions (which were the ones that kept you busy), only the major decisions (the ones that give you headaches!). Do you see where I'm going with this? Yes, quite like the employee above - which is why I need to do something to spice it up.

I don't want to sit around, waiting to be needed and retirement is not yet an option. So I've decided it's time to head out the door and look for a challenging job. 

Last week, I tasked myself with a soul-searching exercise, to find out what I really wanted to do and how best to plan for my re-entry into the 'employed' cadre. 

Here's what I arrived at. 

I am skilled in my chosen profession (I'm a techie!) and it still makes me happy! I love what I do and consistently remain thrilled and ecstatic when I learn new things. I also know though, that as I have become more mature professionally, I am now querying the reasoning behind certain corporate decisions. So you could say, I'm a techie with some business savvy! 

Do I have the skills I need to call myself 'a techie with business savvy?' Indeed! (and not just because I watch C-SPAN or Bloomberg!) 

My major strengths (aside from the obvious techie and business skills) lie in my ability to interact with people on a deep level. (This, I am told, fairly frequently). I can empathise with people and I understand what people are saying.

I also have a 'non-threatening personality' which I now know represents a good thing.  (the first time this 'non-threatening personality' phrase was used, the words 'wimp' and 'milquetoast' came to mind as possible synonyms!)

Is there anything else I could do? Absolutely - but I love being a techie so much, it would be hard to consider doing something else. 

Next steps will now be to decide which path I want to take.
Part time, Full-time, Contract etc. Do I use a recruiter or do I  contact the companies directly? How do I get past HR - that big metal door that seems impenetrable, unless you know someone?
So much to do, but so much fun trying. More to come in the following weeks....

As always, do feel free to contribute if you have suggestions from your personal experiences, within your specific location.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Trash or treasure....



I have a friend whose office keeps a stash of 'tacky gifts'.

The office stash of 'tacky gifts' is a collection of souvenirs,  from everyone's holiday trips, to see who could find the worst one / the silliest one / the most useless one / the most meaningless one. I should also mention that these are not the good souvenirs, rather the type of item that will have you asking - 'What exactly is this????' or 'Somebody expects me to buy that????'.  

She once let my kids rummage the office stash of 'tacky gifts' and pick one each for themselves. They opted to rescue the Beachbabe (above), as well as the Flamenco dancers (below) from the box.

I don't care what anybody else thinks - I absolutely love these figurines and couldn't resist showing them off.

Whatever you're doing today, I sincerely hope you're having as much fun as they are!

One man's trash, another man's treasure!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

You raise me up!

Here's one for you to enjoy, on this holiday weekend.
This song, performed by Josh Groban usually gives me goose pimples, because of the combination of the powerful lyrics and the richness of his voice.

But finding this performance with the Children's Choir from Africa brought both goose pimples and tears to my eyes. What an extremely beautiful performance. Enjoy!

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Enough..


This poem is for anyone who has ever had to deal with a parasitic relationship! They can be physically and mentally draining! Enjoy!

I have just about had enough of you!
Your negativity depresses me
And your spiteful comments upset me
Why do you always gloat over people's mishaps?

You don't always have to gossip about people
And they're not always talking about you either
Deep down, I know you've got a wonderful personality
But lately, all I seem to get is moan, moan, moan

People do chat about happy things, you know.
But you seem to think that's just a myth.
It's cloudy, but it doesn't mean a thunderstorm approaches
It could just be, protection from the blazing sun!

I've tried to find excuses for you
Unhappy childhood, bad experiences
But now I give up, it's much deeper than that
And way too much baggage, for me to carry!

So next time I see you approaching
With that know-it-all smirk on your face
Just so you know, I'll be on my phone
Making a 'fake' call just to avoid you!

If you recognise yourself through this poem
Think about your relationships and what you can do
Life is too short to spend it so grumpy
Live a little. Please lose the baggage!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Dry 'holiday' spell looming...


The UK and the US have holidays this Monday. In the UK, it's Spring Bank Holiday. In the US, it's Memorial day.

UK workers have really hit the jackpot this year with the holidays. Well, at least until the end of May.

2 days for Easter holidays, 2 Bank holidays in May, as well as the extra day thrown in for the Royal Wedding - No doubt, this has certainly been a good period for those who live and work in England.

A recent news article said that there were fewer cases of people calling in sick.
Fewer 'sickies' = improved productivity 
How exciting! Possible explanations were the recession (more people needing to sit tight at their desks to show that they are still needed) or maybe people are just generally living healthier lifestyles.

My niggle for today is this, with all the lovely weather and happy smiley faces all around, do you think the 'calling-in-sick' numbers will rise again, when it suddenly dawns on everyone that there are no more holidays ahead?!

Let's face it, apart from approved vacation days, there's really  not much else coming through until the end of August. 1 solitary day. And then another long, dry spell until Christmas....

When I worked in the UK, I always found the time between September and December quite depressing. Firstly, accepting that summer was over was hard. Then the fact that there was no other holiday in sight till Christmas, was even harder! (My allocated leave days were usually almost depleted by that time of the year anyway and whatever days I had left, had to be used wisely!) Thankfully, this was all mainly superficial and did not result in anything more serious like S.A.D.

US employees are somewhat luckier. Despite the fact that most employees generally have only 10 days holiday (a paltry sum, compared to the UK's 20+ days), there are still various National holidays spread throughout the year. After Memorial Day, there's 4th of July, then Labour Day in September, Thanksgiving in November and then Christmas, so you don't really have the dry spell like the UK.

Which do you think is better?

  • UK's 20+ days + dry spell until Christmas OR
  • US's 10 days + a nice spread of national holidays throughout the year?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

To Joplin, Missouri


Someone cut in front of me in the carpool line the other day 
And that got me really mad
I was tempted to go up and confront her,
But it turned out to be a he and not a she!

So I suppressed my anger and fumed all the way home
(He was much bigger than me, you see...) 
I was really livid deep inside
Stressing about adults who do not follow rules.

"Car pool is not that complex
All we have to do is wait in line and take turns
Cutting in front of other cars makes me so vexed
Surely, that can't be cool!"

And then I switched on the TV at home
Only to see the news coverage about Joplin
The footage - scary. The people - helpless. 
Their devastation - palpable. 

(It kinda puts things into perspective, doesn't it?)

There I was, stressing about something as trivial as carpool
When there was a bigger catastrophe going on around me
Whole communities devastated, families brutally separated 
By huge, raging gusts of wind and rain.

Homes blown away, cars flying in the air like kites
Entire neighbourhoods turned into wasteland
These people had no carpool to worry about - not even streets anymore..
All they now had was confusion, fear and bewilderment

Rebuilding after events like this can take its toll on the nation
What can be salvaged? How do you console the bereaved? 
The mother who watched her infant snatched away by the wind?
The father who helplessly saw their family home collapse to nothingness?

There are too many of these natural disasters occurring
Too many hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and bush fires 
Some people say 'Global Warming'
Others say 'End times'

I do know that we Earthlings have ravaged the earth
Raped her endlessly in our selfish quest to get the finest
Of Earth's minerals and resources, to make our lives comfortable.
We have stripped her of her dignity.

And we continue to do so each day
In the cars we drive, the packaging on the food we eat
The plane rides, those luxuries we cannot do without.
At what cost to humanity?

Can we do anything? I think we can. 
Let's make a conscious effort in our communities, in our lives
Try a little, conserve a little, save a little, change a little
We owe it to the people in Joplin (and all the other cities affected by natural disasters) 
 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Rejoining the workforce....1

It's been a few months since we moved here.

The 'dust' appears to have finally settled and everyone seems to have some sort of routine in place.

Even I, have some sort of structure to my day. Between the school run, gym, errands, blogging and keeping up to date with current industry trends, my days are generally fairly busy.

I've perfected the school run and even the car pool line is no longer intimidating. I know where most of the bargains are in my city and best of all, I can now clean up a messy house (and prepare a decent meal) in record time!

But deep down, I yearn for something else. Something extra. I yearn for more.

It certainly feels like the time is right to pick up my career, from where I left off, and prepare for my re-entry into the work-force. (Before we moved to this location, I had a full-time job. Yes, it had its stressful moments, but I truly LOVED it!)

In today's current economic climate, I realize that finding a job is likely to be an uphill task, but one that is achievable, nonetheless.

Before commencing anything, there are a few preliminary steps that I need to ponder over.

  • what exactly am I skilled to do?
  • does it still make me happy?
  • am I up to date with the skills I need to function in that role?
  • am I legally authorized to work in this location?
  • what are my strengths?
  • is there anything else I could do??
Once this in-depth soul-searching exercise is complete, the next step will be assessing the options available to me, within my chosen field, to see what is feasible and what is not.

Options like contracting, consulting, employee, self-employment, volunteering will come into full play. I will also start thinking of how to create and maintain a work-life balance, to ensure that my transition back into the workforce is not detrimental to our family life.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...This should definitely be an interesting exercise and who knows, you might even find it useful, as well.

Do feel free to contribute if you have suggestions from your personal experiences, within your specific location.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

And the winner is ..... John Rich

If you've been following this season's Celebrity Apprentice, you probably know who won, because the finale was on Sunday.

I'm not a huge country music fan, so prior to this appearance on Celebrity Apprentice, I did not know a lot about this contestant. But now, I respect him immensely. His integrity, his character, his respect for people and himself, his polite manner. I know it sounds like I'm a gushing, besotted teenager, but he really did exhibit those qualities and more, during the course of the season.  (He's also not bad to look at, if I might say so!)



I've posted an interview clip here, a day after his win, so that you can get a feel for the kind of person he is. Always focussed on the goal and never forgetting how and why he got there.
(I do hope you are able to see it. If you can't, please go to www.today.com and search on 'John Rich')

I found his comments (from 1:54) extremely deep, because that summed up his strategy for the game. It wasn't about him, it was for his charity - and right up till the final task, he maintained that focus.

With fame and good fortune, many of us get carried away and begin to think that it's all about us. Several examples were seen during the show - petty squabbles, ego trips, sheer manipulative bullying, spiteful behaviour - suggesting that a few contestants had forgotten the true reason why they were there. To raise money for their respective charities!

Are there areas in our lives where we have lost the plot?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Endtime Predictions and Calculations

It appears a certain man of God got his calculations (and predictions) wrong - again. Here's a link to my earlier post on the topic.

Whilst probably embarrassing to him, it just goes to show how easily the words in the Bible can be misinterpreted and people misled. If there is one good thing that probably came out of this 'false alarm', let's hope that a few 'lukewarm' people got just a little bit closer to God yesterday - just in case.....

The Bible is the complete word of God. There are 66 books in it, giving us a historical and chronological perspective on Christianity, Christ and God. It starts right from the beginning of creation, all the way to the death of Christ and beyond, following the disciples as they continued to spread the word of God.

Of course, since it was written by several people at different times in a different language, there is always concern about the validity of the claims and the authenticity of the events mentioned. A common belief is that the Bible can be interpreted, anyway you want. This is true, because God gave us wisdom and indeed, a questioning mind. This is also why it is said that before you open the Bible to read it, you should pray for spiritual guidance, so that the true meaning is not lost on you.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God,
for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Followers of Christ live their lives by trying to emulate their saviour. By following his teachings, by obeying his commandments, by doing exactly what he has instructed them to do - as written in the Bible. The 'prize' is to live eternally with God, Jesus and all the angels, happily in Heaven - when the time comes.

When Jesus was asked, what is the greatest commandment - here's how that conversation went

Matthew 22:36 - 40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I do believe that if we focus on obeying these 2 commandments, we're definitely headed in the right direction... whether the ship sails on 21st May 2011 or 12th December 2012 (another date that's being talked about!).

Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Zzzzzzzzzzz....

I love my sleep.

It is refreshing. It is relaxing. And it is good for you.

I don't know how much exactly is good for each person, but those who should know, say somewhere in the range of 6 - 8 hours is sufficient for adults and 9 - 10 hours for children. I'd rather work with the kids numbers! I usually get about 9 hours of sleep each night. (Thank God for DVRs). And when I can't get all the hours I 'need', I 'bank' the hours I've missed so I can catch up later.

I also should mention that I rarely sleep during the day. For me, that seems like such a waste of the daylight hours. Not even on the weekends. Sleep, for me, is a night time treat! A gift for surviving the hassles of the day. 

When faced with a choice between sleep and a really good night out, can you believe I have to 'think' about what to choose?! I know it seems pretty obvious, but I really love my sleep! Slipping beneath the crisp clean sheets, nicely curled up, room temperature just right, lights off and the pillows so soft - bliss! Making a choice between fun and sleep at night is always a serious dilemma for me. And it has absolutely nothing to do with age too! I've been this passionate about my sleep since I was little.

I ultimately choose the fun event (it would be rude not to(!) and I do hate to miss out on fun!) and then I schedule the sleep for later.

(I guess, if you don't like sleep like I do, then you're probably thinking 'How on earth did I end up on this crazy blog?? .... Sorry! There are other posts in the blog that you might enjoy.)

So that's how I got to where I am today. It's Saturday the 22nd of May and tomorrow is sleep day. After 4 weeks of back-to-back fun, travel, laughter, great food, early starts, late nights and generally - A REALLY GOOD TIME - I'm now going to catch up on my sleep!

I can't even begin to express how excited I am about this....(I must remember to unplug my phone as well. I'd hate to be disturbed by the ringing of the phone!)

My bed beckons.....

What do you have planned for your weekend?

Friday, 20 May 2011

The end is nigh..

Apparently, Judgement Day is on Saturday, the 21st of May 2011. Click here for the full story. (I must have missed the excitement and build up to this event, due to my recent travels.)

Or maybe, I just believe what is written in the Bible

Matthew 24:36 (King James Version)
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Mark 13:32 (King James Version)
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven,
 neither the Son, but the Father.

I remember a similar scare when I was a bit younger. I went to bed petrified. I barely slept all night and woke up covered in my own sweat. I rushed into mum's room and that's when she calmly explained this bit of scripture to me.

History repeated itself last night, as I found myself doing the exact same thing with my kids. I had to sit my children down and explain the importance of being close to God, through our words, thoughts, deeds and actions - so that news like this does not lead to fear or distress.

Our goal is to be ready, whenever God says it is time - and frankly, He is the only one that knows when that will be.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Be Still...

I've had a very busy fortnight, doing quite a bit of 'fun' travelling. Whilst it's been extremely exciting, it has also left me feeling somewhat rushed off my feet! So much to do, so little time....

Today, I woke up with this Bible verse in mind, which has now set the tone for the day.
'Be Still and Know That I am God' Psalm 46:10

Have a wonderfully, great day!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Jar, Rocks, Pebbles, Sand et al..

I wonder if you've heard the story about the Professor, the Jar, Rocks, Pebbles and Sand. (I've done a recap of the story below. Alternatively, you could google the words Pebbles and Jar to read about it).  
Many have written about it and the underlying principles not only apply to lifestyle, but also management and business. Any aspect of life really.

I recently had some 'me-time' which I spent doing some inner self discovery and that's where this story came to mind.(I know, so many years on the planet and I am still discovering myself...What a complex creature I must be!).

Pressures of life and living often make us confused over what our priorites should be. We want to please others, to be seen as doing well, to be part of the 'in-crowd', to be popular. At times, we even sacrifice what we know is meaningful, in order to achieve that status.

As a Globetrotting Executive, I find that with each move, there is a need to quickly 'find myself' and get into rhythm. Doing this quickly shows everyone how well organised and in control I am (!). Sometimes, I have not always made the right choices, but it's all about learning...

Now that I've read this story about the pebbles and the jar again, I realised that sometimes in life, there is need for assessment of what is really important.

Do I really need volatile relationships?
Do I really need friendships that I have to justify to myself?
Do I really need a job that drains me physically, mentally, emotionally? (Yes, the money is good, but is it worth the abuse to myself, my family????)
At what cost am I getting the 'trappings of success' - the cars, jewelry, homes, holidays?
Seriously, who cares - anyway??????

I've started on the self-discovery journey again. Only this time, it's to discover what my true rocks, pebbles and sand are. At my own pace. It's an exercise worth doing. Try it.

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The students laughed.


The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognise that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.
Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

What I am by Will.i.am

And the motivational talks continue!
Enjoy this song by Will.i.am (I absolutely love the Black Eyed Peas) and the Sesame street crew, whilst having the best Tuesday ever!


Monday, 16 May 2011

It's all going according to plan!

How are you?
How do you respond when asked that question?

Some people just give a simple response ‘Fine’ or 'Good' and move swiftly on. Minimalists!

Some people don’t bother to reply. They look astounded and surprised at the question. I often think
a) they don't feel they are worthy of someone asking after them,
b) they feel they have too much to say and you’re not really interested in the real answer anyway.

Some people take you on a long journey, giving you every single detail about every single thing that has happened to them since you last saw them. Not minimalists!

My standard response is ‘Fantastic!’ That throws people aback, because they start thinking (wishing even) ‘I want some of what she’s having!’ But I kid you not. I do feel fantastic inside! The gift of life is fantastic and one I am always grateful for. (Do you have any idea how many went to bed last night and did not wake up to see the new day? There’s got to be a reason why I made it to the next day.).

I am one of the ‘half-full glass’ people. I also believe that laughter is extremely essential! I generally look forward to each day. I live the ‘early-to-bed, early-to-rise’ life. I’m always trying to get a laugh out of people I meet (ok, sometimes, that can be really annoying and I apologise!).

I once worked with someone whose response to the ‘How are you?’ question was always ‘It’s all going according to plan.’ I think that’s an equally fantastic answer. Let’s face it - whatever is happening today in our lives is as a result of decisions, choices and plans made in the past.

We can start the day deciding it is going to be a great day – or not. We can start the day believing it is going to be full of obstacles, and you know what – we subconsciously seek the obstacle ridden path to justify our thinking. We can start the day as ‘the-timid-self-deprecating-victim’, and then we spend the whole day putting ourselves in those situations, to justify it.

Simply put, do you want ‘a-bright-sunny-summer’ day or ‘a-cold-bitter-blustery-winter’ day?.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do have my occasional winter days. (Who doesn’t? My husband can probably write a whole volume about ‘my grumpy moments’!). I just choose not to share my grumpy moments with everyone I meet. Because in my simplicity, I believe I owe it to the people I meet in the course of my day, to be pleasant, polite, kind and well-mannered. (I would expect the same from them).

I also compartmentalise, you see. My grumpiness has nothing to do with them, and I think it is unfair to make them share my grumpiness with me! So, on those days, my answer might not quite be ‘Fantastic’, but I’m pretty sure it will still be something positive.

Because I’ve chosen to 'follow the sun' and not let ‘grumpiness’ detract me from 'the' plan!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Food for thought - 4


Some people are quite ruthless at carrying out these instructions. They approach it with deadly determination, ready to annihilate anyone who dares to stand in their path to achieving their goals! They're the ones wearing the 'It's all about me!' t-shirt.

Hmm, whilst I do not encourage anyone to remain timid and afraid to try, I would advise applying some caution and common sense.

If you have the money and you're not hurting anyone and it's perfectly legal, WHY NOT?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Food for thought - 3


This I fully agree with! (Substitute boyfriend for husband, partner, wife...)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

2000 and counting!!!

We're celebrating! We're at 2000 hits and counting...
Here's a link to the post that went out on the day we reached 1000 hits!

Once again, I want to thank everyone who has visited the site to date. Each visit has added one more click to the counter!

Can you believe that the 'blog concept' started off as a 'little project' to entertain myself and now it's something I absolutely, positively look forward to! I'm constantly thinking of new things to say and interesting ways to discuss everyday events in my life.(admittedly, somedays, I'm not so successful but it's fun trying!)

I do hope you still enjoy visiting and that you'll keep coming back again, and again!

I'll sign off by saying 'I'll keep going at it until it stops being fun!'

Business Speak 101

This main article that this post refers to, was originally published on bbc.co.uk  a couple of years ago and I thought I'd share it with you today.

You've probably heard someone in the workplace (or in the public eye) use some of the phrases or words in the article. I've definitely heard quite a few, and mainly from the same group of senior management suits, so you might want to fetch your pen and paper and make a list of the ones you will likely be adopting?!

Alternatively, you could just lose the ambiguity and speak proper English, that will be understood by all because of its simplicity!

I've listed below the ones I found really amusing. You can click here to read the complete article, as well as the context in which some of the phrases can be used (if you so desire). Enjoy!

Do share, if you know of any other grand, verbose and totally confusing terms!


going forward
idea showers (a replacement for brain storming(!))
product evangelist
platform atheists
incentivise
touch base offline
loop back
holistic, cradle-to-grave approach
got you in my radar
challenges (not problems)
low hanging fruit
looking under the bonnet
pre-prepare / pre-plan
forward planning
conversate (huh?)
think outside the box
sprinkling the magic along the way
in this space
from the get-go
going forward
360-degree thinking
feed through the pipeline
ducks in a row
fingers down the throat
my door is open on this issue
close of play
give it 110%
not enough bandwidth
out of the loop
cascading
living the values
blue-sky thinking
strategic staircase
the next level drill-down
granularity
high altitude view
silos
synergies

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Le "Rock-Star"

Another contribution by Melz2Belz. Hope you enjoy it..


I look up at stars shining so bright,
Before I go to bed each night.
One night I saw a falling star,
That's right!
A falling star.
It fell down to the ground,
Tumbling up and down.
It hit my head
And hit my teeth.
My tooth fell out and I couldn't eat!
It walked,
It talked,
And it was shaped like a rock.

It melted by day,
And grew by night.
And everytime I slept,
The star was my night light.
It was my very own rock-star!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Back in my happy place...

Arriving at the airport and seeing the family's smiling faces
Fond memories of my travels and all the distant places
Pale into the horizon, as I quicken my footsteps
Into the warm embrace of my husband, with the kids trying to intercept!

My beloved children look healthy and not at all gaunt
I'm delighted to observe, that they weren't affected by my brief jaunt
My husband looks well and really happy to see me - his lover
He's probably relieved that this role-swap is over!

Indeed it was an awesome week away, full of fun and gaiety,
The people I met with - most welcoming. All conversations - filled with levity.
The Royal Wedding was over, yet the city still beckoned to a tourist's mind
I trawled the busy streets happily, searching for that magical find.



London never disappoints. The grandness never dissipates
The history. The stately homes. The sheer regality.
There's always something to do or see
And quite a lot of these can be done for free!

Chinatown comes with its own special appeal
Sitting right there by Leicester Square, which is notorious for the glamour of the reel
That part of the city never seems to sleep
The hustling and bustling continues into the night, deep

I am glad to be back home in my 'palace', one of Earth's happiest places
No longer in hotels, airplanes and other confined spaces
I am in my happy place, new memories I'm now creating
But wait a second, is that a pile of laundry I see waiting?
 



WELCOME BACK! .... TO REALITY!!!!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Thrilled to be a mum!

Ever since I got married and had children, my one wish was to travel alone without kids. Not work travel, but just a short vacation. To chill out. I always envied women who travelled alone. No crying kids, no strollers and extra diaper bags, no hassled looks, just pictures of serenity and poise.

I had always dreamed of waltzing through an airport terminal in my crisp, loose linen outfit, with just my handbag (no carry on luggage even - that kinda messes up the look I have in mind), looking and feeling all sophisticated and cool with myself.

It just happened! I got to go on a trip, by myself, without kids or spouse in tow.

Was it what I expected? Absolutely not!

Right from the airport, I could tell it was going to be a different kind of trip.

I had no-one to chat with, whilst I was waiting for the plane to board (and the book in my bag was b-o-r-i-n-g!). I also had to wait until all the families with little children had boarded the flight before I could get on (No preferential treatment with boarding the flight ahead of other passengers because of kids). 

One thing that did not change though was that the guy sitting next to me on the flight, 'introduced' himself by accidentally pouring his entire can of beer on my laps. (I guess, no different from travelling with children. Juice, beer - same difference. I still needed to ask for extra tissues to mop up the mess!)

On arrival at my destination, I must admit that my visit was more relaxed and I had better control of my time. I ate what I wanted and walked almost everywhere. (My feet hurt now, but it was well worth it!). I also slept a lot and generally had a very relaxing time with friends, without feeling I needed to be somewhere else.

My trip was a mixed bag of emotions really, because whilst I felt I was 'having a grand ol' time being by myself', I know I missed my kids. A lot. It felt really odd, not having them around. We spoke twice a day and we've all kept count of the number of days to my return.

Going on this trip has made me realise that no matter what I think, no matter what 'lost youth' I am constantly pining away for, no matter what 'exciting past life' I lived pre-husband and kids - this is me now - MUM!. And you know what, I do love it!!!! (Seriously, I NEVER believed I would hear myself say that!)

I'm so proud to be a mum and I'll be celebrating today in style with my family!

To those of you in North America, Happy Mother's Day!

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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

World Domination - on a hiatus..

I had some success this month in my World Domination Via Blogging project.

I got 2 genuine 'new' visitors to the blog from China and Bolivia in South America! My first visitors from that region! Obviously the language was not a barrier, because the stats show that they did spend some time on the site as well, browsing other pages! How utterly exciting! I can't contain myself!

Over the next few days, I will be doing some travelling - this time with limited internet access..
(Not because there is no internet where I am going, but because I have chosen to detach myself from the Internet....just because.....)

I'm sure I'll survive (hopefully with minimal withdrawal symptoms). I'll very likely spend the week thinking up 'clever' ideas and posts to keep the blog relevant to every continent! My fingers already hurt at the prospect of so much anticipated penmanship - good old paper and pen!

Have a great week and see you all next week!

Monday, 2 May 2011

What goes around....

Thanks, Marion for letting me use this pic!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Funny how....

.....time flies when you're having fun!
It's Sunday already and I wasn't able to find a suitable YouTube video for today.

Have a great day anyway!
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