There are two kinds of work days that I love. The ones when I come in to the office and my diary is so full that by the time I realise that I haven’t stopped for one minute, the day is over. The other kind are the ones where I sit down and look in my diary and I don’t have a single thing planned. I realise that they are polar opposites, but they both have their merits.

Things start to break down when I have too many of one type of day in a row. If lots of quiet days pile up I get bored. When every day is busy I get completely lost. That’s what it’s like at the moment. The days are so full of meetings that I am afraid something is going to be forgotten. I don’t seem to have time between meetings to do the work that I promise in the meeting that I’ll do. Occasionally I walk into a meeting, sit down and then remember something that I promised to do. It’s not a good look really.

I am generally a very organised person. I don’t plan back to back meetings. Other people book them into my diary without thinking about the fact that a gap would be helpful. (Mind you, I seem to find time to eat and work out – I guess it’s partly about priorities).

I have come up with what I thought was a brilliant new strategy. I stopped taking a pad and pen to the meetings. That way I figured people couldn’t give me work to do. Something would come up and if it was obvious that it fell into my realm I’d tell them to email it to me. Invariably people don’t.

Unfortunately there is a bit of a hole in the plan. There are sometimes things that I really do need to remember. The craziness has reached the stage that if something springs to mind I have to write it down straight away or it will be gone. So in an attempt to compromise between the no-pad-in-meetings strategy and the need-a-pen-to-remember-things requirement, I hide a pen in my pocket and make notes on my hands between meetings. It is getting slightly out of control – my hands are now so covered that there is only space for very small notes. This means that new notes require abbreviating to such a degree that they no longer make sense. I need a new strategy.

I’ll have to come up with it later though, right now I have a meeting.

So much for loyalty

A very weird thing happened to me this weekend. One of the strangest things I’ve experienced in a while. I have a good friend who has always had problems with being monogamous. While I don’t condone his behaviour, I have learned to accept that it is just part of who he is and if I want to be friends with him, it goes with the territory.

For the last 5 or so years he has been in a long term relationship with a girl up north (girl A). She is a nice girl, but they fight. In the last few months he has been mouthing off about her a lot and has started spending time with a girl here in Auckland (girl B). I told him that I think perhaps he should be calling off the long term relationship if he has nothing good to say about her – especially when she isn’t around to stick up for herself. But I left it at that.

On Saturday I got a phonecall from girl B asking if I had heard from him. She said that he was incredibly angry at me for sending an anonymous email to girl A, apparently containing photos of him and girl B together. WTF? I tried to call him but he didn’t answer (or return my call for the rest of the day). He called several of my friends though, telling them about what I had (supposedly) done. He then sent me a text telling me that I was messing with the wrong person and that he is getting his lawyer involved.

Girl B came over to my house that evening for dinner (which was already planned). She showed me the texts that he had sent her about me. I was reduced to tears. They were some of the cruelest words I have ever heard. The whole experience was so surreal.

I have no idea why he thinks I would do such an awful thing. He still hasn’t returned my call.

Mostly though, I am disappointed in him. What a way to repay loyalty.

I’m a shambles.

For the last week I haven’t been my usual self. I seem to have lost my edge. I am doing stupid things. Not dangerous things, just your average, run of the mill stupid. There is something on my mind.

On Tuesday night I jumped out of my car and it was raining hard. I wanted to get inside fast so as not to get wet. I accidentally leapt too far and landed in the garden. In my panic to rectify the situation, I leapt straight back into the car. When I tried it a second time things were going well until I quickly slammed the door – before removing my foot. I had one of those moments where you wonder if you should faint or vomit. I settled for swearing and crying. My foot went black pretty quickly. Thankfully it is one of those bruises that hurts like hell but didn’t really swell, so it hasn’t impeded my lifestyle much.

This morning I forgot to take a gym towel to boxing. I spent the hour trying to wipe sweat off my face with boxing gloves. What is worse is that I have just remembered now that I don’t think I opened the cat door this morning. It’s my job to do it when I get up, and Shaun’s job to put away the litter box. He did his job, which means the cats are locked inside all day with no toilet. Carnage.

Then I went to buy my coffee and I walked off without paying. I gave them my card but didn’t put in my pin number. Then I went into the supermarket and did the same thing. Well, almost. I put in my pin number but didn’t press enter. I stood there for minutes getting more and more frustrated before I realised.

I got to work and went upstairs to shower. I stripped off and then reaslised that I didn’t have a towel. Again. I had to put on my wet clothes and go back down to the garage.

I have decided not to operate any heavy machinery this week.

A hairy issue

As a child I had short hair. It came about when I was 5 or 6 and I was in the bath. Every time mum washed my hair I would whinge. She told me that the next time I moaned she would hack it all off. I moaned. She hacked. I leapt out of the bath and hid behind our bedroom door. Unfortunately it was at that time that some kids from down the road came over to play. I cowered naked behind that door for quite some time.

My hair stayed short for several years. I hated it. I have a huge cowlick (stupid name) on either side of my forehead and it was the 80’s – hair product had some evolving to do. When I reached 14 or so I grew it out and kept it long all through my teenage years and my 20’s.

Then I was diagnosed with epilepsy and I had it all cut off. Apparently that is a fairly common reaction to the diagnosis of a serious illness. I am not really sure why that is. Maybe it’s something about starting over. Anyway, it turned out well. I loved it and have kept it short ever since – 2 years now.

Then last night I went to get it cut and realised that it had gotten pretty long. I thought that perhaps I’d grow it out again. I thought hard about it all day. I asked Shaun what he thought. I decided that I was going to.

I got to the hairdresser and he asked me if we were just going with the usual. I don’t know if that induced some kind of absense seizure or something, but I told him yes. It wasn’t until I got in my car to drive home that I remembered I was going to grow it.

Still, I guess that’s a good thing.
I should probably wait until mum stops bathing me. 😉

Social mounting.

As a general rule I don’t blog about sex. I am sure that most of you aren’t particularly interested in that side of my life and those of you that are, shouldn’t be encouraged. If you fall into the latter category, then this may interest you.

I seem to be particularly attractive to dogs. It is something that I noticed years ago. Put me and a dog in the same room and for some reason, the dog wants to get it on.

The worst session of dog humping that I’ve been subjected to happened about 5 years ago. The parents of a flatmate of mine had a Pomeranian named Teddy. It had an issue with ‘treading’ as they called it. (I nicknamed him Tready). Apparently it was so hilarious to watch that we just had to go and meet him. So one Sunday we headed over. Teddy was cute…. for about 5 seconds. Then he launched himself several metres across the lounge and latched himself onto my arm. He started going for it like a bat out of hell. I screamed in shock and threw him off. It didn’t deter him. He managed to claw his way back up my clothes and continued where he left off. I was scared to death that he’d manage to finish. I had my favourite sweater on.

I picked him off and tried to hold him down on Shaun. Apparently Shaun doesn’t reek of the same dog pheromones that I do. Tready didn’t want a bar of him. I had to leave the house.

I don’t talk about it much. I had blocked it out of my memory as a sort of self-protection mechanism, but this weekend it became too much to ignore. We headed down the line to Napier for the long weekend. There were 7 of us staying at a friend’s house, and one couple had brought their dog. Frank is a British Bulldog, and if you like dogs, he’s apparently pretty cool. Aside from the fact that (like all dogs) he stinks, he needs a shag something chronic.

I’ve never thought I had particularly attractive legs. Frank didn’t agree. He formed quite an attachment to my left one. No matter where I went, he managed to attach himself to it. On Saturday evening he reached the stage where he was frothing at the mouth and had me in a sort of leg lock. He weighs 25kgs so shaking him off was a bit of a mission. When I finally succeeded to do so, my leg was a scratched and bleeding mess. Now, 4 days later, it is still badly bruised.

No doubt the bruises will fade, but the psychological scars will be with me for life.


This morning I went to the hospital. It has been a while since I’ve had to go. There was a time (when I first started having seizures) that I just about lived there. It became pretty familiar territory. I guess that’s why my reaction this morning took me by surprise.

The reason we were there was nothing to do with my brain. It was for our genetic testing. I have mentioned before that Shaun had to be tested for a mutant gene – one that can cause Cystic Fibrosis. He tested positive. That means that there is a 1 in 800 chance that we will have an infected baby if I test negative. If I test positive, there is a 1 in 4 chance. So that is what we were doing today.

As soon as we pulled into the carpark I felt vulnerable. I couldn’t describe it and I didn’t want to talk to Shaun about it, because I am being careful not to make him feel punished for carrying the gene. (It’s mean to punish mutants – look at X-Men.) The specialist we saw was great. She was our age and was brilliant at explaining things and laying out the options.

All was going well until she asked us if we wanted to talk about the kind of tests we could have if we get pregnant and what options we have if the embryo is infected. We talked about what would happen if we didn’t want to keep the baby. They inject a lethal dose of chemicals into the baby’s heart. That made my eyes water. She asked me if I was OK. I said yes as the tears started falling. It was weird. I’m not really a crier but I just felt so emotional. The full force of what we were talking about hit me. I started thinking about how hard that situation would be, after trying for so long to get pregnant, then carrying a foetus around inside you for 16 weeks, just to have to put it to sleep. I like the term ‘put it to sleep’. It sounds peaceful.

Anyway, I’m jumping the gun. Pole vaulting it, in fact. All the odds are on our side.

Still, I guess I’m grieving for those people that have had to make the decision in the past. I hope it’s not one I have to make.

Something’s gotta give

I seem to have done it again. Bitten off more than I can chew. I am running around like an idiot, trying to keep up with myself. I know that at the end of the day, if you try and do too much, something is going to suffer. I am trying to make sure that it’s not work that does. So far so good. Unfortunately the pay-off is happening in the ring.

Yesterday I spent an hour boxing like some sort of monkey. Actually, more like the offspring you would get if you crossed a monkey with a horse. A galloping monkey. It was the first time that I went home really disappointed after a training session. I guess once in a year is OK.

I had decided a couple of months back that Shaun and I needed some culture so I bought tickets to a play. When I got home from the gym we went out and rehydrated on wine, then went to the theatre. The play was hilarious – and even better, only 1.5 hours long. Any longer and I start to get restless. Unfortunately I didn’t have any water, so most of the last hour was spent trying to stop my tongue sticking to the roof of my mouth.

When we got home I had a couple of hours designing to do. I promised a client that I would get their files to the printer today. I crawled into bed just after midnight and wasn’t quite ready when the alarm went off at 5:30. When I arrived back at the gym I had the feeling that I had never really left. I am thinking I may as well set up a second bed there.

So now I’m back at my day job and it’s coffee break time. It’s the only time I can fit blogging in at the moment!

The saving grace is that this weekend is a public holiday so we have Monday off work. We are heading down the line to Napier for a weekend of sunshine and vineyards. No work or boxing for 3 days.

What the hell am I going to do with myself???

365 days of The Hawk

Today is my blog’s birthday. I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this religiously (any of you who have read it will know that I mean that figuratively), 5 days a week for a year now. I even managed to keep it up during my honeymoon, much to Shaun’s dismay. He’s never actually read it… that’s perhaps a good thing. He might realise what kind of a lifetime he’s signed up for.

There are approximately 60 of you that read my ramblings on a daily basis. I’m not sure how many of those are return visitors, although I know 20 of you have feeds. On my best day I got 86. I am aware that these numbers may sound pathetic to some, but when you consider that I write about nothing but my own personal crap, it seems astounding to me. I have only told 3 ‘real life friends’ about this blog, so the rest of you are cyber friends. A couple of you have become close online friends, and for that I am grateful.

I have thought about why it is that I blog. I find it strangely cathartic. It is a way of offloading. Bitching and moaning without cornering someone into listening. I guess there is also a part of me that loves the captive audience. I can say what I want and you guys are there. I appreciate it. I doubt I would keep writing if you stopped reading.

I’m curious though… why do you keep coming back? I guess part of it is probably to do with the fact that humans are naturally voyeuristic and we are always relieved to hear that other people feel the same way as we do about some things. We’re not alone. Perhaps some of you are interested because of where I live. I know I have a fascination with how people in other countries live their lives on a day to day basis.

Anyway, whatever the reason, thanks. I like knowing that you’re there.

Social experiment

Yesterday I conducted a social experiment.

It came about for two reasons. The first was that as I pulled up to the gym, John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High came on the radio. This in itself is weird – it is not the kind of music they usually play on George FM. I guess I’ve heard it before, but I don’t consciously remember it. What really got me is that I was completely hooked by it. I parked and sat there and listened until it finished. Something about it just made me feel at peace. I got out of the car feeling like I was going to have a great day. That got me wondering about how much control we have over what kind of day we are going to have.

There began the experiment.

I consciously kept a smile on my face. Not an irritating one (at least, I don’t think it was), just the kind of smile that makes people smile back. Like maybe I’ve told myself a joke, or just that I’m satisfied with what I have. I have always raved about the power of a smile, but it’s so easy to forget about.

So John was the first reason. The second was the result of a conversation I had with a friend last week. He mentioned that for some reason he always seems to end up in the supermarket checkout queue of Tina – the world’s grumpiest operator. And he is right – she is. I expect that being a checkout operator would have it’s moments, but surely 90% of the job is about customer service…?

I told him my strategy of dealing with people like that – just be really nice. It takes a pretty hard nosed person to continue to be rude if you respond with good nature. So I figured that the same approach would work with everyone – grumpy or not. You know how occasionally you have experience someone in your day that just makes you feel great? Imagine how good that person feels when everyone responds to them in that way?

So, the upshot of the story is that I had the most fantastic day. My face hurts, but I really did feel the love, as cheesy as that sounds. I’m definitely going to do it more often! It’s a shame it needs to be such a conscious choice.

Anyway, enough. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

Smile more. People will fall in love with you.

As an aside, this morning when I arrived at the gym the radio was playing an interview with an *interesting* American man who has invented a way to take any old hat and turn it into a device that will stop aliens trying to contact you or steal your thoughts. I wonder what kind of day I’ll have today?


I know that I spend a lot of time talking about how busy I am. I wouldn’t exactly say moaning, because I like being busy, but I do admit that I have a problem saying no (a trait that men, at least, like in a girl) which means that there are periods of my life that become stressfully busy.

I have always had a kind of ‘rule’ that I wouldn’t make plans for Monday evenings, unless something mission critical comes up (a friend from overseas visiting or something). That way I always have one evening to myself (or to spend with Shaun) and if the weekend was big and therefore Monday bad, I have some time to mellow out. Every other night of the week is taken up with Youthline, boxing or catching up with friends.

And now I’ve broken the Monday rule. Last night I started a calligraphy night class. A few months back I thought it would be a useful skill to have considering a large part of my business is wedding stationery. It is also something that I have always had a vague interest in. When we were kids, mum bought us a calligraphy set and although I had no actual skills, I used to spend hours getting covered in ink. As an ex-architect, I understand the value of having nice writing. When you spend hours and hours drafting something, you don’t want to ruin it with ugly notes. I am blessed with nice handwriting, so calligraphy seems like a natural progression.

Then yesterday I started wondering what the hell I was thinking. Aside from the time factor, who actually writes any more?

Anyway, I got there and it was cool. It is really interesting. The only thing is that I have always struggled with things when I first start to learn them. I want to be great at something straight away. It annoys me when I’m not. I was sitting there for 2 hours last night, painstakingly forming letters and it reminded me of learning to print as a kid.

Still, I think it was a good decision. I just need to find some time to practice. I’m thinking that perhaps if I sacrifice eating or sleeping I might be able to fit it in.