Wednesday, December 31, 2008
One year on, and I have six weeks left until I’m technically unemployed and heading back to live at my parents’ house. There are worries again; all the news from the UK about the job market is doom and gloom but despite these I’m feeling optimistic about the future. This year has changed me in many ways but also reaffirmed things I already believed both about myself and the world, mainly though it has made me believe in myself enough to think that my hopes and dreams for the future are possible and are very much within my reach.
So 2009 is waiting...I wonder what it will hold?
I wish you all a happy hogmanay and all the best for the new year.
*Apparently the last minute of 2008 will be 61 seconds long to take into account the slowing of the earth's rotation.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I'm working my way through job applications at the moment, hoping to find something suitable in Edinburgh but thinking that I may well end up in London. In the 5 years since I finished university I've moved about a fair amount and I think this time I will finally be settling somewhere at least for a couple of years!
I feel pretty miserable about having to go back to the UK but some things I will be happy to see the back of. Mainly though I will miss my friends. We've only known each other a year but we have been so much a part of one another's lives. E, who I am closest too out here is in Vegas* (along with most of our group) for the weekend, I had to walk to work this morning and yesterday without her and it was horrid. (I'm not in Vegas because I can't really afford it as I'm saving pennies for my month of fun + I've got no vacation days left at work, oh and I've been previously, twice!) Normally I would have seen her each morning going to work and I would have spent the majority of this weekend with her and the rest of our group. I feel rather a drift without them and that is scary. How will I cope back home when they are not in the apartment downstairs/10/15 floors down or across the street?
So here I am on the (terrifying) cusp of being homeless, jobless and friendless, well ok, so I'm being dramatic. I can go back to my parents and I do have friends back home although not many close at hand. Also my lovely friend is getting married in May so I have her hen weekend to look forward to 2 weeks after I get back (trying not to think about how I'm going to pay for it *gulp*) and lots of general wedding activities to be involved with since I'm one of her bridesmaids. Actually on that subject I was planning/hoping to lose 40 pounds this year so my friend doesn't have a fat bridesmaid. I've managed 20 pounds so far, I'd better get my wobbly arse in gear if I'm going to lose another 20 by March - I want to step of that plane and make my Mum proud!
So I do have reasons to be happy and things to look forward to. Finishing the programme and leaving New York will be bittersweet, terrible leaving this wonderful wonderful city but so pleased that I've had this year here, experienced so many things both good and bad and of course, made some truly fantastic friends. Life is moving on and my amazing time here in New York is coming to an end soon but not yet and I plan to make the most of it.
I have spent the majority of this week in a bit of a 'fug' mainly due to my crazy PMT. When I've not being wanting to stab someone, burst into tears or scream, I've just been wanting to hid under my covers away from the world. Today I'm back to being a normal rational human being and despite the horrid weather I'm going to a party on Hoboken tonight.
Have a happy weekend whatever you are doing and if you are having to deal with this weather stay safe and warm. x
The Radio City Rockettes by Me
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
On Thursday morning Capt and I made these rather pathetic attempts at snowmen!
On the Saturday morning while a few of the others went skiing, Capt and I went snowshoeing.
Not long after set out on the trail we met a man coming in the opposite direction. He was what I can only describe as a bear of a man, sporting a very impressive bushy beard and with a rifle slung over his shoulder. Just after we had passed one another, Capt turned to me "That is how horror movies start!". With my wild imagination I did check over my shoulder a couple of times after that.
After getting safely back to the car, we headed over to Whiteface Mountain where the others were skiing. We took the lazy option and went up to the top of the mountain on the gondola. The views were amazing but it was oh so cold at the top. On the way back down we spotted our friends - well mainly E, who stood out in her blue camouflage kids ski jacket and neon pink hat!
Sunday arrived and with it we packed up, loaded the cars and said goodbye to our lovely house. Before heading back to Jersey though we stopped at a couple of the old Olympic sites.
We took the elevator up to the top of one of the ski jumps and wondered what would make anyone want to be a ski jumper! The next stop was the bobsled track and Capt and Stu gave it try. I would have loved to have a go to but at$75 for an experience that lasts less than a minute seemed a bit steep for my intern budget!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This afternoon we are heading off for our Thanksgiving trip to Lake Placid. I'm looking forward to getting away from the noise and the dirt of the city for 4 wonderful days and nights. Captain and I are leaving first with all the food in his car for the long 5 hour drive up there and the other 8 are following later when they finish work.
So to the Americans - have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
I will be back next week with tales of the Brits doing Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Then when she does appear she either sits in the corner with a face on her like a slapped arse (sorry if this offends anyone but its the best description!) or just non stop witters on with the same stories we here every time.
This evening she has invited herself along for a drink with a few of us, normally I would be thinking fine, there is a few of us, I can ignore it but this week I have been hormonal and I have been exceptionally irritable this month - I fear that the heavy glass mugs that the bar we are going to uses may prove too tempting a weapon!!
When I write my complaints about her out they seem so petty that I think I must be an unreasonable person, however in 10 months this girl has managed to fall out with at least 5 people - surely they can't all be wrong?!
I've tried avoiding her and not responding to emails and texts or when she asks what I'm doing I make something up that she can't come along to. I thought she might have taken the hint but no, after 2 weeks of no contact, an email will pop up in my inbox "Why have you not been in touch? Don't you like me?"
I can't respond "No, no I don't. Take the hint and piss off" I know it would upset her and I don't want to be cruel.
I should feel better getting that off my chest but I just don't know what the solution is so I just get frustrated!
E and I had a good rant about this issue and a couple of others last night as we walked 25 blocks down and 4 across in the cold after watching The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (which was very good). I think the ranting kept us warm on that cold walk home!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The reason I went out at lunch was to buy myself some lovely new Ugg boots. My old ones have been a death trap for a while now, bought in Australia a number of years ago the sole is now completely smooth and walking on any wet surface can prove lethal. So sitting beside my desk waiting to keep my toes home all the way are these.
This cowl neck sweater
and finally this down vest.
Well I'm very excited about going away because E found this little perfect lodge up at Lake Placid.
10 of us including Captain are heading up there next Wednesday evening for 4 nights. I cannot wait. 4 days of eating and drinking too much, enjoying the peace and quiet, and fingers crossed some playing in the snow! So the Brits are going to attempt to cook an American Thanksgiving meal - I'm not sure if Captain knows what he is letting himself in for...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
First up is "The Bookworm". the rules are that you have to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence as well as the following few sentences. It has to be the closest book, not your favourite, or the most intellectual!
The closest book to me is the one in my handbag that I read to and from work everyday, Sebastian Faulkes 'Human Traces'. I have read a number of his books and I always enjoy them. It is one of 12 books I bought on the last hot sticky day of summer in a closing down second hand book store with no air conditioning! I endured the horrid sweatbox that was that shop though because those 12 books cost me a mere $24!
'"The sole is good, isn't it?" said Sonia.
"Yes," said Thomas. "Has my sister proved a satisfactory housekeeper, Richard?"
"Adequate, thank you. We had to let the cook go at Christmas. Domestic economies, you see"
"I enjoy it," said Sonia. "It's a pleasure for me to make dinner for Richard's friends, then to manage to budget with some modest suppers." She did not look up from her plate as she spoke.'
Six things I value:
2. The love and support of my family and friends even when I'm many miles away from them emails and letters tell me that they are thinking of me. The friends that I have made here, without them this year would have been so very different.
3. My health and also the free health care that we get in the UK. It may not be perfect but it's a hell of a lot better than here in the States.
4. Quiet. I don't think such moments exist here in New York.
5.Freedom. My father and my brother both served as officers in the British Army. My father in Northern Ireland and my brother in Iraq. My life would have been very different if either of them had not returned. I thank them and every member of our armed services and their families for what they are willing to sacrifice for us.
6. A really good cup of tea!
Six things I don't:
1. People that are inconsiderate - primarily I'm thinking about the subway but this extends to all areas of life. Those people who stand at the doors to get on and you can't get off, people that don't take backpacks off on crowded trains, all those people who don't stand up for elderly people and pregnant ladies - yes I"m talking to you three indian men who ignored the heavily pregnant lady at 23rd st last night and I had to push others out of the way so I could stand up and give her mine - just for you other Indian man to try and take it!!!Grrr!!
2. People that are tight with their money. From not standing their round to asking you for that 50p you owe them. I have a great friend who earns the same pitiful amount as me as an intern but we will always stand each other stuff because each of us knows the other will pay next time. Another friend always orders a nice expensive drink when it's someone else's round but on her round she'll always have the cheapest beer going!
3. Having to listen to someone judging others be it on their clothes or their choice of lifestyle. I have noticed this normally comes from people that are not very happy with themselves so have to belittle others to make themselves feel better.
4. Constant whinging, particularly from those who really have nothing to whinge about! (although I know this list is basically me whinging!)
6. A bad cup of tea!
I tag Melanie, Shari, Miss Meep and Mrs S
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
However, the great feeling of hope and expectation that is enveloping so much of the country is, for me (and I'm sure many others) tinged with a little sadness. As Peonies has also talked about today, in Arizona, Florida and California bans were passed stopped same sex marriages and in Arkansas a ban to stop non-married couples adopting or fostering was passed. The supporters of this in Arkansas admitted this was mainly to stop same sex couples being able to adopt. In all 30 states now have bans on same sex marriage. As Americans now prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving I find myself believing that somehow this country has gone a bit topsy turvy! The pilgrims braved the journey to this new land to escape religious persecution and now just over 200 years later, religion is being used to inhibit the lives of this country's citizens. Whether it be same-sex marriage or a woman's right to choose I really believe that religion and conservative groups should BACK OFF. Sorry really felt the need to get that off my chest. Why should one person's beliefs change the way another lives their life? If two people love each other and want to express their love by marrying - does it impact on my life? NO! It makes me so angry, I truly hope that the fight will be won in the not too distant future.
On a brighter note two animal rights bills passed, YAY!!!
I work with a girl who was a big McCain supporter, yesterday she just kept saying how she was going to leave the country for the next 4 years then she actually said "I am literally praying somebody assassinates Obama and does it before January 20th". I had to pause and question her, "You mean you want those two little girls to grow up without a father?" Her response "If that's what it takes to save this country". Views like that are terrifying and she is a young educated person living and working here in New York. What is also scary is that she is believing of so many of the lies about Obama (he's Muslim, he's not a natural born citizen). If educated people are thinking like this what is being thought in other parts of the country? I'm praying for Obama to have the strength to do all that he has promised for this country. Expectations are high and he has some serious work to do, things will be tough for while but the future is looking brighter.
PS After hearing this "Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House", do you you really think those little girls care that Daddy is president?! All they will want is to get their hands on the new puppy!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I went to uni at Aberystwyth and always liked that everything was dual language. (With the expection of the big long list of dos and don'ts at the beginning of every exam!) It is great to see a country that has implemented measures to ensure that its language lives on. I think I know more welsh words from my 3 years of living in Aber than I know gaelic ones and I have lived in Scotland for around 21 of my 26 years. I find it a little sad that Scotland could well lose gaelic completely within a few generations if we do not do more to promote it. Scotland has its own parliament and seems to be moving towards independence (eeek, scary thought)....wait, I'm starting to get political again and I didn't want to do that here. So I'm going to stop but I'm sure you get my point.
(I'm sure someone once told me that Welsh was the oldest language in the British Isles, true?)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Tonight I'm dressing up as a pirate - my outfit was called 'Captain Booty'! Not quite as slutty looking as it sounds, plus I'm wearing flat boots and opaque tights with it to decrease the 'hussy factor'. We are going to watch the Halloween Parade in the West Village and then its bar crawl time, (another reason for wearing flat boots!).
Last night I carved my first ever pumpkin. It's not too shabby looking, if I do say so myself, I'll post some photos tomorrow so you can decide for yourselves. It was a fun evening spent with my friends, watching Hocus Pocus (who knew SJP could look so bad?!), eating peanut M&Ms (yummy), drinking beer, last minute costume fixing and, of course, pumpkin carving.
Red Frame's latest post is all about bridesmaids dresses. The final picture is of the very dress that I will be wearing for a dear friend's big day in May. I feel a little sad that I have missed out on being able to help since I have been away since last January and only return to the UK 2 months before the wedding, although JB assures me that I will be helping with the favours* and all sorts of other goodies on my return. Seeing the picture of the dress made me smile. I'm so looking forward to the day, not only do I get to see my friend marry a wonderful man and be a part of the day, I get to do it all wearing a fabulous dress, YAY! I've lost 20 pounds so far this year and I'm hoping to lose another 20 before I go home so that I can do the dress justice. Obviously I will need to not spend too many evenings drinking beer and eating peanut M&Ms to achieve this. Did I mention the other bridesmaid is tall and slim and just beautiful...eeek!!
*The favours are going to be minature Green & Blacks chocolates - yummy!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Last Saturday I was team leader for New York Cares Day. It was a frustrating experience, although we did achieve a fair amount. My small team painted a mural and tidied and sorted what was basically a junk room into a library/reading/computer and science room at a school in Bronx. There was a lack of decent organisation and management from the site captain and I know that so much could have been achieved in the time we were there. We decided on the subway journey home that rather than going for a drink, heading home for a cup of tea and a slice of carrot cake was a much better idea - what a rock 'n' roll lifestyle I lead!
I've also started the scary prospect of looking for jobs back home. I finish my internship programme in February and then I head to Mexico for a month before flying back to the UK. I'm mainly looking in Edinburgh as that is where I think I would prefer to be but also I'm considering London which is something I never thought I would do.
The weather here is cold suddenly and that combined with the snuggly new bedding that Capt's parents bought him makes it particularly difficult to get up in the morning. It's like being wrapped up in down cocoon, ah bliss!
Friday, October 17, 2008
- Having dinner tonight with Capt, his parents and his aunt.
- Saturday morning up bright and early leading my 'team' up to a high school in the Bronx where we are taking part in New York Cares Day.
- Then afterwards enjoying a couple of well earned beers hopefully at 'The Frying Pan' if its still open (its a great bar on an old light boat moored right on the Hudson. What makes it so great? Cheap beer, tasty burgers and a great view across the river to Jersey, you can actually see my apartment block in the photo below.)
- Sunday going to the American Museum of Natural History - thanks to B for passing on 4 free tickets for entry to the museum and all the exhibits!
- Sunday afternoon/evening - trying out some of the tasty sounding soup receipes found on Farm Girl Fare. (If they are as good as they sound they will be used over Thanksgiving weekend at the amazingly cute house we have found to rent in the Adirondacks.)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Just thinking about it has made me pause to consider and enjoy the simple things in everyday life.
- the manhatten skyline from my bed with the orange of the sunrise behind
- the bright clear blue sky behind the empire state building (i do so love that i've had the opportunity to live and work here)
- the lovely text message from capt that was waiting on my cell when i woke up
- galaxy chocolate for breakfast (the last of my birthday chocolate *sniff)
- salt and vinegar kettle chips
- a pint of yuengling in a cosy local bar
- the john mayer track 'say' (loving it right now)
- the click clacking of a colleague's heels on the marble floor
- former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari talking about being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
- the laughter of my friend on the train to work this morning
- bread being toasted in the kitchen
- the wonderful mixture of smells in the deli
- the scab on the heel of my hand covering my 'boat bite' while the new skin grows
- my hair as i examined it trying to decide if it needs cut (it does!)
I should really have 5 for each sense but it's late and I'm sleepy.
Their plan is to open a sustainable ice cream parlor in Rwanda, yes, really, Rwanda.
Go here to read all about it.
This project isn't about saving the world. It’s not even about ice cream. It’s about hope.
With a cherry on top.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
You can check out her blog here.
Images from the lovely Bella Wish.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The sun shone each day and although we didn't get much wind and had to motor most of the trip, it was the most wonderful three days. Capt is laid back, easy company and I felt weirdly calm and at peace, which is not my normal state!