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January 29, 2015

Party people

Party people

I love parties. I love the meeting old friends, meeting new people, eating, drinking, dancing. Love the positivity about parties. People want to have a good time. And if they don’t, they shouldn’t come. Hosts provide the venue, the guestlist, maybe food, maybe drink,maybe music – but partygoers have an obligation to bring their party spirit and get stuck in. And get stuck in we all did. We went to a 125th birthday party. Not one individual’s birthday obviously, but the combined ages of two friends.

And what a lovely party it was; friends and family in their open plan kitchen – mountains of food, fizz and a playlist that had everyone up on their feet. One of their children gave a lovely tribute, and both responded with their usual warmth and generosity. I, of course, churned out an Ode…

 

Ode on the Occasion of the 125th

So here we are all gathered round

To celebrate two dates

The birthdays of these two young pups,

Our fabulous two mates.

There’s Gerald, Mr Stevens,

Half English and half Mick

Brought up in lovely Twickenham,

But born in Hampton (Wick?)

And Julia, lovely Julia,

Half English and half Jock,

She couldn’t wait to leave old Kent

And don a nurse’s frock

Now Gerald loved adventure

‘Over the wall’ to overseas,

An economics graduate

He wandered as he pleased

Returned at last and set to work,

In computing – he adored

His universal knowledge makes

Him Ealing’s motherboard.

Meanwhile our lively Julia,

A student nurse at George’s

Spent most time dating different lads

She could – she’s bloody gorgeous

They were worlds apart but then one night

Nurse Mary thought she would

Take Gerald to a party and it

Changed their lives for good.

They met across a crowded room,

To the booming strains of Wham

He looked long and deep in to her eyes and

Said “I am your man.”

“But we’ve only met this evening,

There’s so much that is unknown”

But Gerald pulled her close and said

  He could fix her pleasure dome.

A whirlwind courtship then ensued

Engagement and a marriage

Bet Julia did the organising and

Gerald arranged a carriage

They moved to leafy Hanwell

In 1987

The same year the birth of Richard,

Their first joyous gift from heaven

Then Edward three years later,

And Bella number three

Their love and pride exemplified

In their perfect family.

They’ve always loved to socialise

Their friends are far and wide

Dinners, picnics, parties

Their arms are open wide

Julia is a stop out

Be it theatre, dance or bars

Whereas Gerald has much expertise

In doing up old cars

They are giving, they are thoughtful,

Their hearts are made of gold

So here’s to birthday 125

Who knew they were so old?

Please raise your glasses, sound a cheer,

Let the trumpets sound a herald,

A toast to two most magnificent folk,

Our Julia and our Gerald.

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Line ’em up barman!

January 22, 2015

Monday night we went to a Wine Society event in Merchant Taylor’s Hall in the City. A quiz – the format of which we were pretty much in the dark about, but assumed it would at least involve some tasting. And we were not let down. As hubby said “It’s not often you sit down with nine glasses of wine in front of each of you.”IMG_1502

ooh! 9 wines to go at!

ooh! 9 wines to go at!

Forty two teams of six (or five in our case due to last minute car crash -no serious injuries) all with these gleaming glasses of wine laid out in a beautiful triangle in front of each of us. And a proper amount in each glass. Not  miserly mouthful you get at tastings. No this was a full on glass of fizz and the others were a good few glugs each. Not that it helped us. We were pitiful in identifying the grapes, the country, the cost. But held our end up on the more random questions like “What’s the longest recorded flight of a champagne cork?” Actually we got that wrong (its 175 feet not the 125 we thought), but you get the idea; there were questions we at least had a chance of answering. And we did OK -17th, so just made it in to the top half of the table and we are all going to study hard and return next year and do better!

Being one member down we had 9 extra glasses of wine to share between the five of us and I bagged the champers somehow :). Old habits die hard. Then on to Jamie’s (much better food than the Westfield one) and home via Uber. A really fun night, well organised, fast paced and shedloads to drink. What’s not to love?

I’m a supporter of the Bush Theatre and have seen some of the best shows there. Exciting, innovative, heartwrenching, brilliant. But Islands isn’t one of them unfortunately. It could be a  Sixth Form end of term review taking a pop at tax havens. But it doesn’t even really educate us on how tax havens work, what they are, why they are bad, let alone entertain us. It just says ‘shit’ alot, referring to Shit world and its Shitizens that they stare down on as they float above us with all the cherries. It is absurd and deliberately so – with the ‘God’ a Puck-like character and her two side kicks over the top camp cabaret artists. And the few musical interludes were a welcome diversion from the derision of Adam and Eve (the workers) who were not allowed to eat the cherries. It was half baked, well acted but with a poor narrative that no one could have rescued. Two stars, and even that may be generous.

  1. It wastes so much time. Every morning all hotdeskers have to unload the entire contents of a locker on to a desk space only to have to tidy it all away again every night. In a building with 1000 people that’s a lot of wasted hours. Every day. If we say, as a conservative estimate, it takes 5 minutes to pack up and tidy away and a similar time to unload and set up, thats 10 minutes a day per person. That’s 10,000 minutes in my mythical office of 1000. That’s 166.66 hours wasted every day. 833 every week, That’s over 100 8 hour days every single week. Wasted. Just because you can’t leave your stuff on your desk. Imagine what the company could do with that time.
  2. It wastes so much time. I can never find anyone as I can’t simply go to ‘their’ desk and see if they are in. As they might be sitting on an entirely different floor today. I can’t leave a small donut by way of thanks either.
  3. I don’t know anyone’s name. Now there aren’t nice little name plates by people’s desks I have no way of  cheating by having a sneaky look at their name plate when I’m talking to them.
  4. If you come in after 9 o’clock you have no chance of finding a seat in your area and you end up sitting miles away and eventually you realise you might as well be working from home. So you do and the company loses the benfit of your physical proximity and you lose the benefit of social interaction.
  5. Some people don’t actually hotdesk. They still have ‘their’ seat and no one dares to sit in it. And that just p*sses people off. If the company or going to make rules, we all need to follow them, or agree they’re not working and revert to all having our own desks.
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