Thursday, 22 October 2009


So often the days before going abroad on holiday raise the blood pressure and anxiety levels - will we enjoy it? will we come home more exhausted than before we went away?

How nice to visit friends for a week's holiday and not have any stress about it; to know that it will be totally relaxing with no standing on ceremony, no wondering if you're sitting in the wrong chair, no worrying whether it's ok to make yourself at home, or do the washing up, or to just sit and read (and not be interrupted every five minutes).  Just a laid-back, mutually (we hope!) enjoyable and chilled-out time to be had.


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Confidence questions

Why is it that some of us refuse to believe we may be good at something, or are always doubting ourselves and our abilities?

I just finished my very first Open University assignment, which I am pleased with; yet I'm thinking "that seemed to happen too easily, I must have overlooked something."

I know it's not just me...... Is it a female trait? or do men think it too but cover it up with b*llsh*t most of the time? 

I've sailed with so many men who are full of bluster and give the impression of being extremely competent, but then it turns out they aren't.  Are they scared to say 'well actually, I'm not sure about x, y, z' in case they lose face?

I do know that when I do something and afterwards think 'you know what? I was pretty good at that' it boosts my confidence until the next time when I get the same old nerves and worry about messing it up.  At least these days I will give something a go and risk making a mistake or not being very good at it, rather than saying 'no' and avoiding the situation as I would have when I was younger.

Let's face it, we only have one of these lives; and if the worst thing that can happen is that you are disappointed, or not asked back, or any other red-faced outcome, then what the hell, just go for it!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

"Does not play well with others"

I have come to the conclusion that the office communal kitchen must be the source of more raised blood pressure than anywhere in the work place.

I have laughed as much as anyone at the cartoons about offices covered in Post-It note instructions, but as soon as I go into the office kitchen I am gripped by the desire to join the Kitchen Police. Is this just because we all have different standards, or because it almost feels as though somebody else has come into your personal kitchen and messed with stuff?

Here are the notes I would like to leave in the kitchen at work:
  • Will those who eat lunch at work please wash their crockery and cutlery and place on the draining board.
  • Please empty the dirty washing water, which contains the remains of your lunch, out of the washing up bowl.
  • Please do not leave mugs etc.’soaking’ in cold water overnight for me to find in the morning.
  • Fill up the water filter jug after you have emptied it into the kettle.
  • Please wipe the work tops after you have spilled sugar / coffee / hot chocolate / water all over it.
  • Please wash up teaspoons properly instead of just swishing them in the water and thinking that will remove the tea/coffee stains.
  • Put the milk back in the fridge after use.
  • Do not leave 1mm of milk in the bottom of the bottle.
  • Do not buy odd flavoured teas that no-one will drink, unless you are going to drink them yourself.
  • Please do not leave food in the fridge for more than 4 months.
There, I feel better already.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

There's no "but" about it

I was thinking this morning about the description I had written for my Open University profile, and realised that I had automatically written "married, but no children", which just goes to show how even I am programmed to think that marriage = children.

When himself and I got engaged, my brother-in-law asked us about having children; I think we replied something about not planning to have them, certainly not straight away. His response was "why are you getting married then?".  I was gob-smacked, and if someone said that now I would probaby reply "um, love?" 

Things have changed in society, but our inbuilt stereotypical ideas still hold strong.   

I have now removed any reference to children from my OU profile; after all, people who have children always mention them when describing themselves; so by default my not mentioning them should make it clear that I don't have any, right?

Monday, 5 October 2009


I have found that when you change something, people will often say either 'I preferred it the way it was before' or 'Oh that's much better, I never liked it'; I'm never quite sure which is better to hear!

I vividly remember when we moved from our 1 bedroom modern house with a postage-stamp garden to our current 2 bedroom 19th century house with big garden, my father said "I never liked the other place".   But, being my dad, I appreciated the fact that it being our first starter home, and him always being supportive, he never said a word at the time. 

Sometimes, however, you wish that somebody had mentioned something they hated; but let's face it, we none of us take criticism well especially when it's personal choice, so perhaps it's better we tend to keep our mouths shut unless it is really vital.  

I am having a temporary change to my hair colour, primarily because I want to wear a red dress at the weekend and I think that too much red may be over doing it. So I am toning down for a month or so.  

I have no doubt that tomorrow somebody will say "Oh no, I much prefer it red!"... it's just a case of how many minutes after I walk into the office they notice it.