Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Good morning

If it is a good morning wherever you are.

Here it is overcast and I am on my first cup of green tea of the day, and I came into work this morning trying not to sing aloud -
"BeELzebub has a devil aside for me, for meeeheee, for meeeeeeeeeeee"
Enough of Bohemian Rhapsody, on with work. Must do better than yesterday.

Tonight is our team Christmas dinner; a quiet affair at a nice cafe. I need to Tell Them Stuff. Hmmm. It will be an interesting evening.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Every day is like Saturday

I am having a hard time focussing on work today.

If you don't know why you may want to ask me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I don't actually think people are reading this blog, which is, in a many ways, reassuring and means I can say what I think.

More than ever I feel like I am looking for something. The title of the blog is not entirely coincidental. My stay here has given me the feeling that there is some kind of lesson that I need to learn, but I still don't know what it is. I was looking for an appropriate picture and came across this:
It is a painting by Elisabeth Siddal, Dante Gabriel Rossetti's muse and lover. Once upon a time when I was a student of literature I wrote a paper comparing her poetry to that of Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas, Oscar Wilde's infamous lover. The two are fairly similar in some ways. The historical context is almost the same, the esthetic is very similar and, most importantly, both are best known for the men they were with (and the "with" is quite hard to define). They both paid a hefty price for their entanglements with famous men; I know this is a point of dispute for Bosie, but it is what I believe. The point is that the conclusion I came to at the time was that while both poets remain in the shadow of the men whose muses they were. The main difference is that Lizzie never stood a chance - being a woman and one of an "inferior" class to boot.

I am simplifying things for lack of time and attention. Recently many of my female friends of my age, including myself, have come up against issues - mostly health issues - that the men seem to be free of. I can't help wondering if it isn't still the case that it is harder for women to make their way. I can't help wondering if it isn't a new version of an old predicament - being entrapped in social contradiction, and trying to be all things to all people. Trying to be professionally happy, domestically content, healthy spiritually and physically; trying to be adventurous without losing solid ground, trying to be oneself within a strict social framework. These things take their toll.

I really hope no one reads these ramblings.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Not a happy puppy

Today is not a good day. It is snowing and that is more slippery than picturesque. Moreover the day started with a two hour business presentation for which I had to get up an hour early.
On the plus side we will get Christmas goodies in the snow this afternoon AND I have cafe latte standing next to my laptop. God bless Hungary. I am seriously thinking about staying here after all. Ironically enough the dull presentation also reminded me that I have quite a cool job. A public pat on the back never did anyone any harm.

I keep quoting Ken Branagh's In the Bleak Midwinter because it is one of my favourite movies and also because it makes life worth living on days like these.

"Joe Harper: It was late November, I think, and I was thinking about the whole Christmas thing: the birth of Christ, the Wizard of Oz, family murders, and quite frankly, I was depressed.
Joe Harper: You know the way doctors say that nervous breakdowns can happen very fast and dramatically, sort of a big bang, or there are the other kind which happen very slowly over a period of time. I was thirty-three years old, and this one had started when I was seven months and had just begun to take hold."
"[Severely depressed, Joe wonders what makes life worth living]
Vernon Spatch: Rachmaninoff. That bit in Brief Encounter. And Brief Encounter, actually. That makes life worth living. I'll buy you the video for Christmas. "

Of course I should be angelic and happy on this day of multifarious corporate food and impending boyfriend.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The morning after

Goodmorning to whoever is reading this. It is Monday. This is not good but I am coping reasonably good-humouredly. It is not good because it is Monday rather than Sunday which means that I am in Budapest rather than in Vienna with my mum. Vienna, predictably, was lovely and bitterly cold. It was also just what I needed, a bit of a break, some stresslessness, a bit of quality family time and yes, I admit, some non-Budapest time.

On a cold clear day Vienna inevitably reminds one of the Ultravox song; but mostly it is just an excuse for having lots of excellent food, some of which was provided by my favourite establishment in the illustrious city - the Palmenhaus.

The Palmenhaus is not so much a cafe as a real palm house which more or less accidentally serves great food. It is like something out of Oscar Wilde, a place where a civilised person can have a cup of decent tea, or a glass of champagne with breakfast (no, really, people were having just that). Needless to say that I really adore it, and instantly made it my refuge of choice in the region. It even has gingko trees in the park in front of it. So if you are planning to go to Vienna, don't miss it.

However, I am straying from my purpose. The other reason why it is not good that it is Monday is because it is not Thursday, which is when my lover arrives. I really needed to skip straight from Sunday to Thursday, or from after lunch today to Thursday. Alas, the restrictions of the universe. Mind you, other than that things are good, I seem to be quite happy and healthy. Huzzah.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dear All,

Let me use this otherwise pointless blog (as I blog properly on Drek's site) for the general updates.

At the moment I feel like I am being taken over by the Dark Side, only without the glamour and the capes. It sucks. The Dark Side being, of course, the medical profession in Hungary. The ongoing story of delayed and inconclusive test results continues. The latest is that the CT scan and the gynaecological test are delayed and inconclusive respectively. The "inconclusive" comes with a vicious twist - the doctor tells me it could be an easily medicated pedestrian ailment, or something more serious like, oh, cancer. Take these pills and come back in three months.
Did I mention that I hate doctors? So anyway, sorted out my medical insurance compatibility and will see a gynaecologist in Belgium. I will also talk to my Belgian GP over the phone in an hour or so.

What an awful morning.


Update: I have just talked to my GP and she has calmed me down considerably. I will go to her for another examination, but in the meantime she says that in her view there is nothing to worry about. Nothing at all...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

You have to love 'em

I just spotted one of our managers. Not my manager - another known-to-me manager. He's the kind of person who, if he weren't a manager, I'd call a sweetheart.

Well sod that anyway: he's a sweetheart.

Not that I know him of course; it is an entirely superficial judgement. Nor do I have a special desire to change that. It's just that he is all soft-spoken and polite and somewhat reserved and it's just...endearing. Anyway so he was just standing here and I thought, aw, what a sweetie. Not like our Resident Canadian, who I actually really don't know but just like for being, well, Canadian and short and cute. The Canadian is the one that I would want to have babies with (manner of speaking of course, no worries Adam) if I didn't already have an outstanding genepool* at hand. No, this man I just find platonically endearing.

What is it that makes you love someone just like that, for no particular reason?
Can someone explain?

The most bewildering thing, I just realised, is when people you love sprout new endearing things. You've known them for so long that you are used to the traits that make them loveable. You hardly even notice anymore. And then one day you're sitting on the bus and suddenly someone you've known for years hums Animal Nitrate, the most unhummable song in the world, and you have to start loving them all over again.

*Is it, I wonder, depreciating to refer to my lover as a genepool? Personally I like to think of it as a compliment, because he really does have a splendid set of genes from the looks of things. I'll catch up on being sweet and sentimental some other time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Beast Posted by Picasa