Monday, 31 August 2009


You never know when it will strike, but there comes a point in every day when you decide you will no longer do any more work.

Usually, I can hold it off til after lunch at least but it's been getting earlier and earlier until it pretty much culminated on Friday by striking at 9am! I'd only been at work long enough to buy myself a coffee and flick through some overnight emails. Anyway, I felt so guilty that I stayed until 9pm - I actually got pretty productive after 6. The weirdest thing is, there is this man who works in fixed income who I only know by name and he was there even when I left. Thinking about it on my wonderfully lonely tube ride home, he is always there when I leave and always there before I arrive in the morning. Does he go home at all? Does he not get on with his wife? Do they have nothing to talk about now that the kids have flown the nest? Is he still living with his mother? Honestly, I was having a random Tuesday thoughts rant in my head and it kept me entertained all the way home.

So, hopefully this slackness was a Summer thing and I shall be good to go tomorrow. Although I keep looking at the clock willing the moment not to come. The guilt is simply unbearable.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Goody goody gumdrops

The whole blog journey began for me as I was procrastinating my way towards some financial exams. Results were out last week and I have passed! Hooray! After the initial relief, the whole thing is somewhat anticlimatic (don't you just hate that word?) because my reward is to sit the next level next Summer - although that one is the last one after which I can stick 3 extra letters after my name. Oh goody...

My 3 summer weddings are also over. Through some cunning facebook de-tagging, I have managed to go to all three wearing the same outfit without anyone knowing. The recession has got nothing on me - although my larger European neighbours have called an end to this depressing period by reporting the return of economic growth. Not only do I not trust their statisticians, but overall it's fairly meaningless to me as the UK still has a long way to go. But to cheer us all up, Simon Cowell is back on our screens with the latest series of the X factor. Oh goody....

At one of the summer weddings, I was reunited with James Bond - no, not the international man of mystery but the guy I was sort of dating before he decided to stop calling me back. To cut a long story short, during our first date, he found out his dad had been diagnosed with cancer (this was almost a year ago now). His dad passed away in June and we hadn't seen each other since. At the wedding, he was very open and chatted about his dad and how he is now looking after his mother, his parent's house and his dad's outstanding affairs - all pretty heavy burdens for a guy who should also be grieving. He was also coming on to me pretty strong but as much as I like him, I had to hold him back. He is very vulnerable right now and I don't really want to get involved with someone who doesn't return my calls. I felt really moral and superior at the time, but I regret letting the opportunity go now. Oh goody...

The news is smothered by 2 stories. Firstly, the UK is divided over al-Megrahi, the alleged Lockerbie bomber. The Americans are outraged by his compassionate release but the British news is reporting it at arms length as it falls into Scottish jurisdiction - they wanted their own parliament so let the Scots lie in the bed they have made. Even worse, the Libyan news thinks that al-Megrahi's release is a reflection of their country's growth in power - the Libyans believe he was set free because the Western world wants to be their friends. He was not set free as an innocent man, he was sent home to die as a guilty man as an act of compassion which will forever be argued as something he does not deserve. Secondly, we are all wasting time arguing over whether Caster Semenya is a woman or not. Leave her alone. What a horrible trauma for an 18 year old girl. Very publicly, the world is debating her gender and she has taken 'tests' (I really can't even begin to imagine how they test her) which will say whether it is appropriate for her to race as a woman.

Sometimes, I am so grateful to be a nobody.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Question of the day

What is your first response to this question?

Back when I was in school, I was in fact fourteen, I received a letter through the post. This in itself was exciting because post is a joyous affair when you're young as you haven't yet learnt the dread of those monthly bills... Anyway, this letter was addressed to me and simply had 'Who are you?' typed on a blank sheet of paper. Sadly, this was during the scary nineties and I was so worried that someone was out to get me and that I would find a horse's head in my bed that my dad had to come clean and say it was from him. He had read an article about a book called 'Sophie's World' in which a fourteen year old girl receives the same anonymous letter and it begins a journey through philosophy and self discovery. I don't think he ever got over the disappointment of me not being able to think outside of the box but such are the risks when you set such high goals...

I was reminded of this today as I was chatting to my friend over a coffee, having dragged her round Nike town as I tried on every pair of running shorts going. She is probably the most religious person I know and we were killing time until she had to go to church for evening service. She was telling me how last week, the sermon had been about identity and how we choose to identify ourselves. How do I answer the question 'who are you?'? I am a daughter, a sister, a banker, a European, a female, an athlete...etc etc. The sermon was saying that some identities are not forever - ie your parents will pass away, you may change jobs - but if you identify yourself as a Christian then this is an everlasting relationship.

I'm vaguely aware that I have written 2 consecutive posts that are loosely based on religion but I think this is interesting for everybody. Given my track record, I probably wouldn't define myself first as a blogger (although I am trying!) but I really couldn't decide what to choose first. If I was a believer of mantras then I guess I could make myself into anything as long as I say it out loud enough times! Although it makes you think about all those AA meetings where they make you say 'I am an alcoholic' before you say anything else which seems to be a somewhat negative form of self-branding. However, I'm off to polish up my positive outlook on life - I am afterall an optimist!

NB. Usain Bolt has just run 100m in 9.58s - it seriously takes me longer to get out of bed. Immense.