Friday, November 30, 2007

Give me a sign!

I see Bob delivered my message in the post below. Anyway, you will all, no doubt be greatly relieved to hear that Bob has been fed as the last thing I would do is neglect the silly old fluffy cantankerous bugger. I do seem to neglect myself a lot lately though. My life remains hectic and I will not be around much next week at all as I am off to Brussels for 3 days on business. My time there is very much accounted for so it will be all meetings and no sightseeing. Still, I hope to get out and at least buy some yummy Belgian Choccies while I'm there. I have taken the Eurostar before but this will be the first time I have travelled from St Pancras station on the high speed track. Apparently I will be zooming under the Channel at 186mph and will be in Brussels in less than 2 hours! I expect the landscape (once out of the tunnel of course) will be a bit blurry.

Anyway, I thought I would leave you with a 'fun' thing. I was talking with a colleague at work and the subject of Chinese zodiac signs came up. She was surprised that I didn't know what mine was so I looked it up. Apparently I am a 'Rooster'. Cock-a -doodle-blimmin'-doo. The thing is, much of the following is on the nail:

The ROOSTER Meticulous, Efficient, Orderly, Conscientious, Intelligent, Honourable, Notoriously Candid (yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep and yep!).

The quick thinking, ingenious Roosters are a pragmatic lot who prefer not to take any risks. Roosters are so aware of what’s going on around them that some may believe them to be psychic. It is not easy to sneak anything by a Rooster. These beings are a frank, honest lot who do not pull any punches and admire those who are truthful with them.

Roosters do not play games and are not likely to create facades to hide behind. They are honest, open and keep their word. Roosters are perfectionists and like to be in control. Their appearance is of great importance to them. Roosters do love to be noticed and love socializing with those who love them. Roosters expect and will fight for control of their surroundings and those who fall within its boundaries. They are extremely neat and expect their family members to be the same. By nature, Roosters are conservative, and loyal, trusting and supportive to those who earn it. Those close to the Rooster who do not live up to their standards will find themselves henpecked incessantly. Roosters who learn to let others be what they are will have an extremely gratifying life.

Famous ROOSTERS Include
Dirk Bogarde, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michael Caine, Eric Clapton, Joan Collins, Errol Flynn, Melanie Griffith, Richard Harris, Goldie Hawn, Katherine Hepburn, Diane Keaton, Jayne Mansfield, Steve Martin, James Mason, Somerset Maugham, Bette Midler, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Kim Novak, Yoko Ono, Dolly Parton, Michelle Pfeiffer, George Segal, Peter Ustinov.

I'm still working on that gratifying life thing, but I'm getting there! So what animal are you? Find out here. See you soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Guard cat!

Hi, Bob here. The REAL Bob that is, not my 'owner' who I have so graciously condescended to adopt my name as a nom de plume. Actually I use the term 'owner' but we all know who is the real boss around here too. I keep her around as she has those handy opposable thumbs which are good for opening doors and packets of food. Also, she's taller than me as some idiot put everything too high in MY house so I need someone to reach stuff too. Besides, why keep a dog and bark yourself?

I have found a window in my heavy schedule of napping, stretching, napping, eating, getting in the way and napping to let you know that 'Bob-kat' is away right now being busy. Ha! has she not seen my schedule? There are not enough napping hours in the day and so my schedule eats into my night time napping! She tells me that work is manic as her boss is sick and there is much to do due to compressed deadlines, on top of that work are migrating to a new computer system which has meant much time backing up files and such and she is not getting ahead with her MBA essay as work is eating into study time! All I know is she is home late to feed me! Harumph. Anyway, time for a nap....zzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, November 23, 2007

Beauty on the Weblog

What is beauty? Well, I don't have the answer to that question, but it certainly seems to be in the eye of the beholder and Mr William Hogarth seems to feel it has something to do with variety, from the picture above. Whatever.
Beauty on the Weblog does exactly what the name suggests: It showcases beautiful things that people have posted on their blogs. When you visit you are always assured of finding something which fits the description, be it photos, poems or prose.

Imagine my surprise when the owner of this great little blog contacted me and asked if they could feature something from my blog! I felt very flattered and a little intrigued to see what would end up being featured. Go and visit
Beauty on the Weblog (click on the name) and see what was chosen for yourself. One of the photos picked is a favourite of mine.

Anyway, I am still busy and an all work and little play kind of gal at the moment and still not able to blog as much as I would like, though I have tried to visit most of you this week. Rather than bore you all silly with dull stories of work and paper writing for my MBA, I thought I would direct you to a couple of my blogging friends:

CrazieQueen over at
CrazieQueens Palace is looking for a name for her new bear which will be her mascot for the Walk of Life' she participates in to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Can you help?

Sarch over at
'Sarch's Blog' is a biker from Alabama in the US and is also looking for a name, this time for his new Goldwing bike. Go on over and apply your creativity here too. Links as ever, are in bold.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I am still as busy as before, in fact even more so now as I spent most of the weekend feeling very poorly and so didn't achieve as much as I needed to. All this means very little time left for fun stuff like blogging and I am in danger of becoming dull I think due to this work/play imbalance.

So, just a minute post from me then: It's a bit like minute steak, it doesn't take long to do. The clip below is of another advert that is currently running here in the UK that I think is very clever (though I prefer the bunnies in the post below). It is apparently the most expensive Guinness advert made to date and was directed by Nicolai Fuglsig of the Sony Bravia 'Balls' fame. The advert was shot on location in a remote side village called Iruya, in the Salta region of northern Argentina, with a population of around 1,000 people and is a celebration of community spirit set around a huge scale domino toppling project which included toppling: 6,000 dominoes, 10,000 books, 400 tyres, 75 mirrors, 50 fridges, 45 wardrobes and 6 cars.

Enjoy and I will hopefully find a moment to visit each of you soon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More Colour

This is my life at the moment:
  • Work
  • Study
  • More work
  • Deadlines
My boss has been ill for a while now and I have had to take on much of his work. All this at the same time as many of my project deadlines have been compressed and shifted left by a senior manager. Right about now I also have a deadline for my MBA and no idea what to write as it is meant to be work based and I am too busy doing actual work. All this has meant that blogging has taken a bit of a back seat so I apologise as I haven't been able to visit my blog friends as often as I would like to, and I haven't posted all week either. This pattern is liable to continue for a couple of weeks or so and then oh my gawd I have to start thinking about Christmas at some point!!! (Takes a moment to panic). Anyway, I will pop round when I can. I haven't forgotten.

Anyway, I thought you might like this commercial that I saw the other day. It was for the Sony Bravia TV. I posted about one of their adverts before *here*. You remember the one with all the bouncy balls in San Francisco? I just love their adverts. They are always so creative and colourful. They are art. This time art involving rabbits and NYC, 40 animators, 2.5 tons of plasticine and 3 weeks of shooting. What do you think?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We Will Remember Them

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

The 11th of November is Remembrance Day in the UK, or Armistice Day as it was originally known (and still is in many Common Wealth countries). It is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of those who have fought and died in the wars, specifically since the First World War that ended on this date in 1918. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we remember them and observe a two minute silence as a mark of respect. Wreaths are laid at monuments to the dead of the wars in every city, town and village in the country and the Queen and other notable dignitaries including the Prime Minister lay wreaths of poppies at the Cenotaph in London. In the preceding days in November, poppies are worn by people and the donations raised from the sale of these go to The Royal British Legion who help members of the Armed Forces and their families. The poppy has become the symbol of Remembrance Day as it grew in the fields of Flanders where many lost their lives in the First World War. They made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for us and the least we can do is remember that.

The following clip comes from a comedy series called Black Adder which was set in the trenches of WWI where Captain Black Adder and his trusty troops tried throughout to avoid going 'over the top'. We had shared their adventures, laughed at their mishaps and silly plans so the last scene of the series came as a shock to everyone at the time as it was so unexpected, so touching and so profound. Here it is.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just for Laffs

I saw this.

It was after a hard day at work and a heck of a week.

It made me laugh. I felt better. It really is the best medicine you know!

I thought it might make you laugh too, if it's the sort of thing that amuses you.

The comedians name is David Armand and he appears here as the interpretive dance artist, Johann Lippowitz. Enjoy!

Monday, November 05, 2007

I Remember

Photo not mine

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Remember, remember... Although it's not a public holiday 'Bonfire Night' or 'Guy Fawkes Night' is a big celebration in the UK. It marks the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 which was a failed attempt by a group of provincial English Catholics to kill King James I of England along with his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in a single attack by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during the State Opening. Although this celebration is synonymous with the name of Guy Fawkes the plot was in fact led by a man called Robert Catesby. Fawkes notoriety is likely due to his being placed in charge of executing the plot because of his military and explosives experience.

Traditionally 'Guys' which are effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned on bonfires and fireworks are let off to mark this date. Children would often make a 'Guy' and then ask for a 'Penny for the guy' in order to raise money for fireworks. However, it is rare to see this anymore, and I suspect with inflation being what it is, the entreaty is probably nearer to ten quid for the guy.

I was hoping to go to a fireworks display this year as I have never outgrown 'ooh-ing' and 'ah-ing' at them as they bang and crackle and light up the sky like an exploding rainbow, but I ended up working late instead. I can still remember my first Bonfire Night. I was very young so as it is cold this time of the year, mum watched with me from the warmth of the bedroom. We had the lights off and waited for my poor father, wrapped up in a big coat, to light the fireworks. I remember him running around the garden like an erstwhile pyromaniac, lighting fireworks and then retiring to a safe distance before the rocket would whoosh into the air. I thought it was magical. I still do.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Art of Demotivation

The 'Art of Demotivation' is a concept promoted by They do a great take on those posters that hang on the walls of training centres, that are designed to 'pump' you full of enthusiasm and make you think that scaling Mount Everest is just a walk in the park if you are simply motivated enough. claim to espouse the dangerous and disruptive ideas promoted by these courses through a tongue-in-cheek critique of the motivational industry (which is worth millions of dollars/pounds). Their posters are a hefty dose of reality to balance all the motivational courses out there that leave you pumped up, raring to go, and inevitably disappointed when placed back into a cynical real world outside the confines of the padded training room. Their premise is that motivation can be dangerous and can actually result in decreased enthusiasm IF your expectations are not met. And there is the rub. Often reality and everyday demands get in the way.

I find their posters, ironically motivating. They give me something to kick against when I want things to be better than they claim they can be, and they provide humour when they reflect what is going on. Rather like a Dilbert cartoon. I work in a very pressurised environment at times, where results are expected and if a senior manager shouts jump, we are expected to guess how high and then exceed it. I am sure you know what I mean. I work at my best under pressure, that is when I can shine like a diamond, but sometimes when it gets too much, we can all become a basket case. So, there is more truth in these demotivational slogans than just a quick laugh, and that of course is why they are funny.