You know it’s Not A Good Day When…

… you find yourself at 8am in a well-known supermarket looking for someone called Daniel in the bakery section. Failing to find Daniel you ask someone at the bakery counter who denies any existence of a Daniel. You turn around and bump straight into a lovely gentleman with a nametag: Daniel. Person denying Daniel and Daniel himself actually look each other in the eye: the cockrel crows and Peter walked off…

… you rush to get products to location to shoot beautiful life style shots of fish (which is why you had to pick up stuff in well-known supermarket), someone asks you whether he can send his stuff in the same van. You agree and he helps you to pack: meaning he puts his stuff in a box. That is so small only his stuff fits, he then helpfully hands it over to you: you have to repack it.

…Then someone changes their mind and you put the shoot on hold, and then someone changes their mind again and we are all Go Go Go Again. It’s not even 11am yet.

…you  have to call 4 different stores of well-known etc etc to try and find vital fish product that is missing. 

…you offer to pick up some other products whilst you are going and ask colleague to print out the pictures of products he needs, with name and price, so it is easier to find. He then proceeds to give you a print out with out a picture… and just the generic name of summer punch. Missing the point, yet summer punch being appropriate word to describe feeling.

…you manage to get product and ask for it to be put aside. When you have travelled down for 45 min, they have no idea what you are talking about. Great.

…when you get back you find a half- opened printer with paper everywhere, screen flashing Paper Jam and a whole office gently ignoring it. 

…you actually still manage to get upset about this and send out rant e-mail after you fixed the printer (just follow the instructions!) then getting comments from everyone including management that you write so well and that you are funny. Thanks guys! So tell me why am I still just clearing paperjams again?

…you get an e-mail from IT that you have tried to send such a large attachment that you crashed the server.

…you phone the photo studio to check whether they got your e-mail and the receptionist recognises your name as The Fish Lady.

… all your plans to shoot off to the gym are blocked because you are waiting for the pictures to come in – still you manage to write a blog entry: silver linings

…you have just seen the shots and you know you will end up re-shooting them because they look dire.

Roll on Friday.

Surprises

This weekend I tried to put my feelers out to see what my friends would think about organising a surprise for another friend’s birthday. I am still not sure as I have had two reactions back. Well, no I had three, so I guess I’m sure. For those interested: one person was enthusiastic about the idea, the second was not, the third the majority was silent.

Ah. The second who was not enthusiastic kind of questioned the concept of giving a gift when the birthday is not really celebrated. 

Ah come on! Our friend had a crappy time, he probably doesn’t feel like celebrating. Doing things when they are not expected is what is called a surprise! Even though it is not being celebrated: it is still a birthday.( I like birthdays, when the birthdays stop that’s when the problems start. Or end I guess, just the way you look at it!) Plus maybe, just maybe, it might be nice to get something without having to actually have done something for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I know: people are busy. They have more important things to do than just reply to e-mails with silly suggestions. Work takes up a lot of time, as does the sunshine in the weekend. I know I was out myself! It makes me wonder though: what if I just done something completely wrong.  I was not planning anything inappropriate I think, nor something outrageous. Just something fun to show appreciation and support and a little love. You’d be surprised that a little love can go a long way. 

Yes, can tell you I am still surprised after three days of silence.  

PS: Oh and if you read this birthday boy – I’m sorry…Surprise?!

How do you measure a year?

… as the cast of Rent sang: in daylights in sunsets in midnights in cups of coffee, in inches in miles in laughter and strife in fivehundredtwentyfivethousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure a year in the life? How about love?

I believe my year was measured in:

2 weeks of sleepless nights.

3 weeks of complete company and support every lunch hour by colleagues.

50 lunches and coffees with friends in the immediate weeks after to chew the fat.

2 unknown flatmates with 80 friends who organised 12 parties in the weeks I was there to keep my spirit going.

10 very confused and grey area weeks.

1 trip to New York that made it all clear.

1 best friend who ensured I could live with her.

52 Strada pizzas with Sura.

4 weekends away with different sets of but equally loved uni-girls.

1 one-woman show.

16 Dutch friends who showed their support on a random Thursday in Rotterdam.

1 severe fall from faith

2 potential dates I declined.

1 lust crush which gave me hope for the future.

1 ten-year anniversary get together with old friends.

4 pregnancy announcements around me.

1 set of parents who are the rocks of my life.

1 very cool sister who can pull things in perspective.

3 trips to Scotland.

1 ongoing rehabilitation of faith.

45 trips to the cinema to get inspiration.

107 blogs to write about things that inspire me… or just strike me odd.

1 set of straight teeth after freak accident.

1 death that made me reflect on my life.

9841 dreams still to pursue.

Tonight I was thinking about the year gone by when the credits of the film on tv started to roll and I heard Minnie Driver sing:

So laugh in your loneliness
Child of the wilderness
Learn to Be lonely
Learn how to love life that is lived alone.

Not in a sad way, all in a good way: yes- this year I have managed to learn to love a life that is lived alone (not lonely!).

If it ain’t Dutch…

…it ain’t much, as the well known proverb goes.

Today Holland House organised an event in Trafalgar Square and all the Dutch came out of the woodworks!  Basking in the sun, the tall the blonde and the not so tall or blonde united under the national colour: Orange. Ah yes, The  House of Orange – the monarchy, have given the Dutch the option of best national outfits .

Ah, it was a money making machine: free to get in then you get ripped off for Amstel beer (AMSTEL?! Why? I guess they sponsored it, I still went for the non- Dutch cider. Out of principle. I would even go as far as to apologise for Amstel…and this is why I am not a diplomat.)

There was chips with mayonaise, kroketten, poffertjes and hot-dog like things; there were the merchandise opportunities left right and centre…and we all suckered into it. Music was playing on stage, people were dancing around, people were meeting friends introducing the non-Dutch to the Dutch and where I would be mortified at home I happily went with it today.

What is a Dutch girl in London to do after a drink and some food? Have a nap in Hyde Park! We joined the rest of London in our T-Shirts and sunbathed. Apparently I nearly had a crust of bread thrown at me by a toddler until I was saved by his mum. I was blissfully unaware, asleep but it entertained my friends…

On the way back, we said hello to Lizzie in Buckingham Palace; she must have been out in the garden as she didn’t pick up the phone. We decided to go home instead, humming that tune…

Tudududu…

The Art of Making Lists

My lovely flatmate makes list. She makes lists so she can tick things off the list; then she picks the unticked things and put them on another list.

Sounds familiar?

Yes, there is a whole group of list makers out there! So many that they even wrote an article on the BBC website…

Apparently lists give a sense of achievement, of ordering chaos of control even etc. As frustrating as it sometimes is (at times we have a lot of lists hanging in our flat.) you kind of have to admit they work. Lists work exactly as described on the tin. Whether they increase productivity is another matter, but I can see how it can calm people down because have an overview and structure. Or it can trigger panic  when the list is so long, one doesn’t know where to start; or when obsessive compulsive disorder takes over and we have the order and re-arrange the list over and over again. Then it defies the point. Obviously.

I also know the opposite kind of people: the ones who write everything on scraps of paper and lose it. Some call it creative, I still think it’s undermines any efficiency. Creativity should not be used as a smoke screen under which to hide personal flaws: ” I cannot work my computer- I’m creative!”  or “I have no idea about my finances- I’m creative!”  Madonna is creative too

25 and on her way to become a music business genius - Fact.

 and I have this feeling she knows what she earns and what she spends.  (It can also get you into serious trouble – just ask Mr Wesley Snipes who tried to tell it to the judge.) Personally, I have no patience for the creative souls who have coping with the world issues- we all have issues, deal with it.

So not keen on lists, not keen on total chaos, I decided to try middle ground this week and compile a list after I have done things. Less stressful and still a sense of achievement.

Result. Tick!

Don’t you think?

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you’re already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think
A little too ironic…and, yeah, I really do think…

– Alanis Morrissette

Too much. Way too much. Still it’s a little bit funny… and typical…and funny. O god. so typical.