Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Holding up the mirror

I've spoken many times about TV shows I like, one of these is called The Apprentice and I'm enjoying it very much again this season. It's what you'd call a reality TV show, it's very well edited and put together. I was just thinking and reflecting about my performance at work today. I sometimes get feedback but I don't get it all the time. And although I might be a harsher self-critic than my colleagues, it would be good to be able to see myself and make some adjustments as I go along to make sure I'm hitting the right note or chord with people. I guess this is a luxury only people on the TV have as they work.

My main point is we sometimes get too close (or too into) to a subject to be able to pull back and see the effect we have on others - or see the knowing glances and smiles between others that give away what they think (rather than what they don't say). Picking up on these clues is very difficult when you're in the thick of the action.

My natural inclination is to observe and interject when I feel I can contribute, which sometimes makes me invisible in a room full of large personalities. At school and even now, when I feel the need to speak up in a room full of people I feel a certain nervousness or rush of adrenalin that makes my heart beat faster: I sometimes end up saying something different to what I was thinking because in the distance between my brain and my mouth the logic behind my point gets muddled as the words come out and I can hear what I'm saying rather than hearing what I'm thinking. Does any of this make sense?

Monday, April 28, 2008

April Nearly Done

My blogging performance has dropped quite dramatically this month I see. That's not good. Today though, the gloom was lifted by the installation of a new shower in our house. We have put up with our old shower for 8 years and that is enough by anyone's standards. The new shower runs straight off the boiler so it has better temperature and water pressure (we'll know in the morning rush hour tomorrow!). So, yeah I'm looking forward to returning to showering rather than bathing, which I have been doing everyday for the best part of a year. It's better on the environment than bathing, I do like a good soak (but not everyday). We just have to tidy up a few tiles which were left bare after the old shower was removed.

On Saturday I bought the family a Wii Fit balance board. It's really a very nice and pleasant way to tune up the body. The Yoga section is my favourite and the balance games are good fun too - especially the hula hoop, which had me laughing out loud watching my 5 yr old son trying it.

The sun has been making appearances recently, I'm so glad I bought myself a pair of sunglasses when I got my glasses. Driving is much easier when your not squinting with the light.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I came to the conclusion this morning that I need to bring some creativity into my life. Everyone needs a balance of things in their life: love, friendship, fruit and veg, laughter and play, exercise, sense of purpose and productivity and also creativity. We get some creativity by enjoying the creative efforts of others, through entertainment of various sorts, and some of us can enjoy being creative in lots of different ways: cooking, while we're at work (if its possible) and what we wear or things we buy. In my case, the creative need goes a little bit more basic - its a need to create something - whether a piece of writing or a drawing. I want to train myself to produce a drawing or some writing everyday. That feels like it will be very hard but I think it is something I have to find time to do.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Where has all the time gone?

Wow, it's almost mid-April. Can you believe that? I've been working like a dog recently and its not going to change for the foreseeable future. My wife has also been working hard, using this computer, working late into the night so time for blogging has been severely restricted. I guess also because I've just been working there hasn't really been anything to post about.

I have been listening to a lot of classical music on the radio though. It seems to calm me down a lot actually, I never thought about music as a calming force before. Perhaps there is something about listening to classical music that forces you to listen in a different way than you would to pop or rock for instance. I can't really describe what I mean just that I feel different listening to classical than I do when I listen to pop or rock. The biggest difference is that I sing along loudly to pop or rock but usually I just enjoy thinking about what kind of creature or world classical music conjures up. A nice piece of music I like hearing is The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams, you can imagine a bird dancing from branch to branch in the early morning when you hear that violin, give it a try and you'll see what I mean. If you hear Mars from the Planet Suite by Holst, I can imagine an invasion fleet of spacecraft led by Ming The Merciless from Flash Gordon.

I took the children up to my parents yesterday and returned today. Its nice to visit my folks and take the day off. I did look at my work email though and made a call. Its really difficult to switch off completely from work, I feel somehow obligated beyond the call of duty. The weather on the roads started off being lovely and sunny (I wore my sunglasses) but later in the journey the heavens opened and I've never known it to rain so hard and fast in so short an amount of time. My wipers on their fastest setting didn't clear the rain as quickly as it was coming down. Everyone on the motorway had to slow down, I'm just glad that they were sensible and did slow down, it would have been awful to have been involved in an accident in such dreadful weather.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gnawing Hunger

I have some food under the grill as I type and I'm SOOO hungry, the smell is driving me wild. Chicken tikka kebabs, my own variety: pretty good but I realise I risk sounding conceited, have no fear I'm no great cook. I cook a tuna pasta bake for my kids that comes out of a jar, tastes nice though and they like it. I wish I was one of those people who can make something remarkable out of seemingly nothing - a potato, an onion, a bit of bacon and a few spices but I'm not.

Why does food take longer to cook when your hungry or your in a hurry. Have you ever made a decision to cook something before you had to go out and found that the cooking took longer than you expected? I've done this a few times, annoying isn't it? You eventually turn the gas or electric off and serve it up only to realise you have left approximately a minute and a half to eat it. I'm a fast eater but I would prefer just a few extra minutes to ENJOY the food I just bothered to cook.

With some foods, like chicken, you have to be sure it is cooked. I like my chicken, actually all the meat I eat, to be well-cooked and I'm not talking about black just that I like it to have a good appetising colour. I fry chicken with cashew nuts, terriyaki sauce and a little drizzle of honey and I like to boil off the sauce so it leaves the chicken a rich golden brown colour. I dislike bland white chicken, it has no colour.

Right, now I'm REALLY hungry I just better stop myself here and attend to the grill - what's worse: hovering by the grill or writing about food? I've got to know, talk to you laters x