Sunday, December 31, 2006

End of year musings

So... 2006 draws to an end, 2007 is about to emerge. Looking back on 2006 it doesn't seem as eventful as I feel it should be. Whilst I finally managed to achieve my dream of moving to the US after 14 long years, getting here with such "delay" was almost an anti-climax. Life is good though even though I could do without the crap IBM stuff at work but as things stand at the moment 2006 will go down in history as one of my better years I guess. I did learn one heck of a lot in the past 12 months, that's for sure.
From the fact that I never thought I would miss the UK (and Woking in particular), to the astounding discovery that the life here in the US is indeed very different from what I know, yet at the same time, the exact same... to the most recent discovery that I am terrified of driving in snow and heaven knows, there's gonna be TONS of snow here sooner or later.
Lessons learned in 2006 also include finding out that I really, really liked the company I work(ed) for (the US part anyway) and that I really, really don't like working for ridiculously huge companies. Also, Weight Watchers might work when doing it on your own, but provides much better results when going to meetings (I'm just about choking as I write this, simply because whilst I know that the results from going to meetings are much better, I would still hate going to the standard meetings, as opposed to the "WW at work" ones we have once a week at lunchtime).
Oh yeah... there's always the lesson that truth and justice do eventually prevail - like when stupid bastard Townends refrained from paying back my deposit without any reasoning and without ever replying to my communications. A letter from the Small Claims Court telling them that I've sued suddenly made them very keen to resolve the matter and I am the proud owner of my own money again!!!

Things I learned to appreciate this year:

- friends, from all over the world, that are still near and dear to me, no matter where my restless life takes me
- family, who are wonderful to be around for very short periods of times, enough to keep the illusion alive that all is well with the world (and conveniently forgetting that longer stays usually end in disaster)
- classical music, that gradually inched its way to the top of my listening list again and that still provides hours of peace, excitement and relaxation
- singing, which is still the single most exhilarating thing I can think of to do
- Route 3 in NH and MA, which has provided me with endless hours of jaw dropping beauty on my drives to and from work.
- the peace and quiet I had in my apartment in Woking, because I now know what it's like to have a phsycho neighbour live above you!
- most people at work, who made me feel welcome and needed and just overall important
- my dad, who helped me get my first car many, many years ago, and my second car, two years ago. After dealing with car dealers, I realize how lucky I am to have had his support and help when buying a car!
- my parent's sacrifice when moving to Germany all those years ago, because after moving to a completely different culture myself, I can't even begin to imagine what it must've been like for them to give up the life they had already built
- my courage to move to the US, because I never saw it as a big deal until I got here and had to go through so many things that were totally foreign to me. I can now pat myself on the back and admire the guts I've had to do this completely on my own. I only know two people that have done this and they'll both tell you, it's not easy - hi Eric & Ros!!! :-)

There's much more really but this sums the most important stuff up. So without much ado... goodbye 2006, welcome 2007!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My new video camera...

... is SUPERCOOL! I haven't had much time to play with it yet, but here's two pics I took with it. Eventually, once I've figured out what to film and how, I shall try to post little videos as well. Give me some time though ;-)

Me waving the video camera around and accidentaly hitting the "Photo shot" button LOL

Snow falling on my car - at this point, it all looked beautiful and not quite threatening. I made the mistake to drive to the shops zfter taking this picture to get some food and other stuff and by the time I got back there was enough snow to make me realize two things:

1. I am absolutely and totally unprepared to drive under such conditions. And
2. I need winter tyres. I was barely driving and my car was skidding all over the place. I went as far as having to park it within my apartment complex but nowhere near my own apartment because I was too terrified to drive down a fairly steep hill. Thanksfully the snow is already melting so I picked up the car a while ago and brought it back. But I am totally freaked out now. God knows what'll happen once serious snow falls. I guess I'll be working a lot from home!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bad week

Had a bad week - but just foodwise. After managing to be incredibly good while "on tour" through Europe, I totally bombed last week.
Just had weigh in and put on 1.8 pounds. Oh well - starting tomorrow, it's a new week. I will make that U-turn and get back on track, even if it kills me.
Looking at the tracker at the top of this page, I have managed to lose 1/7th of the weight I want to lose. So only 6/7ths to go!!! Now all I have to do is make sure that the WW At Work will continue - if not, I guess I will have to bite the bullet and go to meetings, which would be SO very inconvenient!

Onwards and upwards, I say!

Monday, December 11, 2006

An attempt to catch up...

So much to catch up on and so lazy to write it all up now - but I will try anyway.

After a substantial amount of travelling through Germany and to the UK, I've returned home to the US a week ago. It was a great trip to Europe and to be honest, even with all the travelling involved I had a fabulous time. I could've done without the jetlag but whatcha gonna do?
Needless to say, I didn't have nearly as much time as I would've liked to have with people but I guess it was better than nothing! And just to make this clear to those involved - next time, YOU're coming to see me ;-)

I felt very blessed (in a non-religious way, of course) to see my old Woking Choir perform on December 2nd. I had arranged the trip around this concert and whilst spending all this trip looking up old friends and old haunts, nothing made my heart ache more than seeing the choir perform. I guess no matter what happens, that choir gave me music back 18 months ago and I will always long for the times I've spent with all the friends I made there. It was just a very special time in my life and they were part of it. I suppose in a way, I could equal it with the time I spent at Expo. It was just unique.

Coming back here was really nice, too. On my first day back at work, everyone I met kept saying "Welcome back, we've missed you!" I mean, how can you not love a place like that? Granted, they probably missed me out of necessity and the fact that I wasn't there to help with their problems but still, it was a lovely welcome back message throughout.

Last night we performed Christmas songs with my current choir and that went fairly well for a concert that we've only had four rehearsals for. Four weeks of no choir practice is awaiting - what will I do??? LOL

Everything is slowing down in anticipation of the holidays and life here is a lot easier going and I actually get to catch my breath every now and then rather than run around the building like a headless chicken. I've been thinking about whether I should take a few days off around Xmas or New Year's but had to acknowledge that it would be stupid simply because there will be nobody here anyway as most people will take time off work, so I might as well come into work and get paid and just do nothing here! LOL I always did love the peace and quiet in the office around Xmas - I doubt it will be any different here.
I've got a ton of other things to write about but I think I'll do that some other time. I shall try to dig up some pics to post here but I don't know when - you'll be the first to see ;-)