Tuesday, October 31, 2006
31 October
No Halloween for me, it's not something I celebrate - in fact, my late grandmother would have regarded it as shockingly blasphemous, I rather think my mother (nearly 80) regards it as mildly blasphemous and, even though I've become accustomed to other people going crazy celebrating it, I really wouldn't do it myself, it must be the subconscious influence of generations of Lutheranism!

Itis interesting that, working for an American company, anything religious is frowned upon, we are not even allowed to have a Christmas party, it has to be a holiday party, yet they have a big Halloween bash every year. A couple of the extremely religious Roman Catholics from our Paris office complained about this, and got told that Halloween was nothing to do with religion, it was an American national festival! Oh dear. Never mind, in Paris we have a Christmas party anyway - it's fine for the two or three extremely religious RCs, the moderate or lapsed RCs (the majority) and the lone Protestant (me), and we just don't tell the Americans.

Anyway we are too busy this week for any parties - yesterday I worked from 8:30am to 8:30pm, then went home and did QOTN inside part while watching "Bleak House". I would like to try and finish that inside part this week, let's see how we go, it may be a struggle if the hours are long all week. Then I tend to go home early on Friday and collapse. I know David goes home and sleeps all weekend. He is having hell today with the General Ledger, poor guy, and he did not sleep last night, so I imagine he will disappear for a bit this afternoon.

I am just ploughing through a huge number of UAT problems and general problems arising out of customisations, my goodness, some of them are obscure. I regularly have to notify stuff to our Product group, and it has to go via a very dim man in Paris. The one whom I get on really well with, because he comes out with gems like "ze French ladies do not work in IT and take men's jobs from zem, zey are very feminine and prefer to stay home to look after zere 'usbands". You can imagine what I think about that! Jerk! You can see that with mental faculties like that, it is fairly difficult to get him to understand complex metering problems.

We also got a new spreadsheet from the users, this one is a list of things they need to be shown, most of which they have been shown about a thousand times already........... my goodness.

Did I mention also that the French project is in chaos? Gil went outside for a cigarette, and slipped on wet ground, and he has broken his right arm very badly indeed. He will be off work until the end of November, as he needs further surgery. Obviously it is very painful. Guess who his replacement is? That's right, the one who took my job when I had to come back down here. I had a very lucky escape, I believe she is having hell. I am doing what I can in answering questions from the new people on that project, so that she can do other things. And poor Gil - not only is he in pain, but Sylvain doesn't seem to have grasped that the doctor has forbidden him to work, and is trying to make him work from home. He can't write or type, and I really think his wife has enough to do without being his secretary.

Well, I shall go back to testing, and try and get through a reasonable amount before 8:30pm. I can't see it being possible to leave before then, I only hope I am OK to do some QOTN when I get home.

Forgot to say, I have ordered the remaining thread for Catherine Agnes, some more needles and some Q Snaps from Sew and So in the UK, they should be here in a few days. Much better than those companies we won't mention that either no longer send to Cyprus or say they have stuff, but it turns out you have to wait three months for it.
posted by Ally at 12:09 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Photos - Partita, GNAA
Yes, Andy has gone home, so here we are:

GNAA Square, Michelle Wyman:
GNAA Square, Elise Duvekot:
And, the piece de resistance, Partita, assembled into a dear little cushion:
posted by Ally at 12:54 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday Morning
Yesterday was a public holiday here - one of those ones where everyone from the National Guard commando squad to the Brownies puts on their uniforms and marches through the main streets. I saw quite a lot of the march, as I got trapped on the wrong side of it when I went to buy newspapers. Of course, that was all I could buy yesterday, as practically all the shops were closed. I really want to buy some shoes, and simply haven't been able to. I only have sandals down here, and it will soon be a little too cool for them in the evenings.

Wintertime started today, so I was up quite early for a Sunday and having breakfast just after 8:00 am. On my way back to the apartment, I saw some people swimming in the pool, I think they are Eastern Europeans, these ones, I have seen them at breakfast before, but been unable to identify what language they are speaking. I might actually swim this afternoon of the weather holds up - we have had a fair amount of rain over the past few days, which is actually good, it may fill up the dams a bit, so that we don't need to import water from Greece next year.

Given that yesterday was a non-event, as far as any shopping etc was concerned - even the hotel gym was closed - I did quite a bit of stitching, including most of the Pretty in Pink biscornu kit from Indigo Rose. I still have to make 8 tassels and put it on its pedestal, so I won't post a photo until then. Pinkophobics will hate it - actually my sister is pinkophobic, which is a pity, as she would look lovely in pink, and I know she would look at this and writhe in pain. So I will just remind the pinkophobics when they see it, that part of the profits are donated to breast cancer research!

Actually I was going to take some photos of the new GNAA squares, but have been foiled by discovering that Andy is here. Most unusual to see one of the clients in the office on a Sunday, Andy is the only one who would ever come in on a non-work day. You wouldn't see Rosetta here any time that she didn't have to be. But it means I can hardly whip out knitted squares and a camera, so I will have to wait until he goes home and post them later.

The other thing I am waiting for is David's latest instalment of the blog of Rodrigo the Rat. Rodrigo the Rat is the Dwarf's pet and he comments on aspects of life in Cyprus, together with his views on the imbeciles that the Dwarf is forced to work with. That is to say, Ally, David, Alec and Nicky. It is set slightly in the past of course, but it is totally hilarious, the more so because a rat is the last pet that one would ever have. He is obsessive about cleanliness, to the point of OCD, we think, and washes his hands about 100 times a day. He even hates cats, and thinks that, apart from being unclean, they are very stupid. A view that he was unwise enough to share with Big Boss from London, who is a noted cat lover and chooses restaurants to dine at when he is in Cyprus by the number of cats likely to be present.

I did get email from work to say that as of November 6th, there will be further restrictions on hand luggage when travelling. From that time, we will be forced to put all our liquids, none of which may be more than 100 ml, in a single plastic bag of 20 x 20 cm. This has to be handed separately to the security control officers at the airport. As I habitually travel with a huge amount of makeup, perfume, etc, and it is all in my handbag, because that is where I keep it, this is going to be a complete pain. Just another thing to make life difficult for those of us who are forced to travel by air for business. Believe me, if Cyprus wasn't an island, I would be taking the train. These days, I would never take a flight in mainland Europe.

Well, I had better do some work, and wait until Andy goes, so I can take those photos.
posted by Ally at 11:20 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, October 27, 2006
Friday, Thank God
This week has been very very hard, the whole lawyer thing has been hell. He called Leo yesterday, and Leo refused to return his calls, then he called me on my cellphone, but I told him I was too ill to talk. Then we get an email saying that the work permit has been granted, and he has been waiting for us to contact him for a week to go to the Department of Immigration to collect it. As this is totally opposite from last week's story that I had to submit a whole new application, I don't believe it. He's actually told us before that the work permit would be issued on such and such a day, then mysteriously something goes wrong on that day, and it never eventuates.

He also keeps on saying he needs my passport, I think not, as he has already lost about seven copies of it and every other document we have ever sent him, so no originals! And definitely not a passport.

Mr New HR Man, who is actually in the Netherlands and not Paris (we have quite a large office in Utrecht), has asked some real lawyers to look into the matter. So hopefully something will happen.

I am still knitting away, I finished two more squares, Elise Duvekot and Michelle Wyman, now I am starting on Anna Zilboorg, which is one of those things where you slip one colour and knit the other colour on each row and end up having to do twice as many rows as normal. Hope it goes OK.

Today I really am going to go home early, I am unbearably tired (actually I am starting to get worried about this, as I wake up tired every morning). I need to get some decent sleep and not have nightmares about lawyers and other nasty creatures.... the others are not here, only the little boys from Singapore and two people from our partner, who are building a new database. We have a technical architect arriving on Monday to do a lot more databases and so on, there is finally a new machine, so I hope the days of snail-like databases are over.
posted by Ally at 9:38 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
It is True! And some Pictures.
Yes, I really am reading Dickens, someone expressed a surprise at this.... but in fact, the reason is that there is a very good BBC production of Bleak House on Cyprus TV at present. I realised I had never read this, so I went out to get it. At school, we did Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Pickwick Papers and A Christmas Carol, so there's a few Dickens novels I haven't read.

I slept terribly last night - did not get out of here until after 8pm, went home and in fact knitted compulsively, tried to go to bed about 11:30pm, but had to get up again because I couldn't sleep. So I was finishing the Elise Duvekot square at 1am! It was a pretty easy square, actually. Next on the list is Michelle Wyman, and this is actually the last of the five easiest squares.

Here is Deborah Newton:

Jean Frost:

And Partita:

By the way, have thrown total fit about the whole lawyer business (I'd like to have seen THAT, Nicky said), and am promised that something will be done, but I will believe it when I see it.
posted by Ally at 10:57 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, October 23, 2006
Another List
1. FIRST NAME? Ally - it is short for something dreadfully old-fashioned, of course...
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, my parents just liked the name, have to wonder why.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? This morning before work, because I was so tired and cross about the lawyer.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, it's very neat, and I can make it both neat and unreadable if I wish.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Does Danish leverpostej count?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Totally no way.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I never eat cereal, can't stand the stuff.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I never wear lace-ups, but yes, I would.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not really, but Alec is trying to influence me to be mentally more strong.
14. SHOE SIZE? 39.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I can be extremely sarcastic.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm wearing a black linen dress, with black sandals.
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Insalata gorgonzola with David at lunchtime.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? David and Leo discussing issues.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Yes - I've never met her, but she sounds lovely
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Champagne
28. FAVORITE SPORT? Cricket, I used to play for my university.
29. EYE COLOR? Brown
30. HAT SIZE? Largest, I can't wear those one-size things.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Oh no, glasses, preferably Chanel.
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Smoked salmon with dill sauce.
36. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Creme brulee
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Bleak House, by Dickens
41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don't have one, my optical mouse doesn't like them.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? CNN programme on children in Africa whose parents have died of AIDS.
44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles - but I prefer Kim Larsen to either.
45. THE FURTHEST YOU’VE BEEN FROM HOME? I don't know, I've got issues about where home really is.
46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Don't know if I have one, although I am good at some unexpected things - I am an expert on meter configuration and meter reading, for example.
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Wellington, NZ
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I took it from Anne...
posted by Ally at 7:34 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Fun List
That I borrowed from several other people..... things I have done are in bold, things I have absolutely no intention of doing (that I think I have a choice about) are in italic - hold a tarantula, yuk!

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111.Ridden a bike
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life
posted by Ally at 4:10 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Beyond Bizarre
On Saturday I said to a man who had parked his car on the footpath, so that I had to step out on the road to progress around it, "don't you think you are being a little selfish parking like that?" He gave me a filthy look, and said, "what else am I to do? there are double yellow lines on the road". Typical Nicosia, everyone drives everywhere here and parks where they like. They hardly ever get fines, because there aren't enough traffic wardens, and actually police cars are the worst offenders.

Actually I think most Cypriots have lost the use of their legs, it's pretty sad. I arrived at the same time as one of the users today, and she expressed great concern at seeing me on foot. I'm only coming from the Cleopatra, I said, but she seemed horrified by the thought of walking so far. It takes about six or seven minutes....

I did not have a great weekend, I was really upset about the whole visa issue. Leo has phoned our company lawyer, and he is allegedly working on it, but the lack of response from HR or the Resources Director has been mindboggling. I wonder what they would do if we were really in a tight spot. I would really like to arrange for the Dwarf to be kidnapped by hostile Bedouin tribesmen, then HR could ignore him when he screamed for help.

David just pointed out that Bedouins were not normally hostile, but I told him everyone was hostile when dealing with Dwarf. Actually he tried to Skype me when I was in Paris, but I have now blocked him from contacting me. He was on to David, and he wanted information that he can use for his new project. What a nerve! What was he going to say to me - "sorry I tried to wreck your career by telling everyone in public that you were a useless architect, but now I'd really like to plagiarise the useless decision sheets you did."

However I did finish the fourth square of the GNAA (Deborah Newton) and I have started on Elise Duvekot, square five, which is a square knitted in the round. It is the first multi-colour one. I also finished the chain stitch on Partita and started sewing the two halves together. Very stupidly I left my camera at home today, because I did take photos yesterday. I was intending to post them yesterday as well, but the whole of Cyprus had no internet access for most of the day, as there was a power failure at the CYTA international transmissions station near Paphos. It affected everything, my friend on the front desk at the hotel was having a fit because he couldn't do any credit card transactions, the machine uses a link to the UK for authorisations. Lucky it wasn't a shopping day, there would have been chaos.

I'm trying to do a lot of testing today, we have had a delivery finally (they sent us the wrong thing on Friday night, and at about 9pm too, you can imagine how happy we were). And then when I go home, I am going down to the gym. When I was in the bar yesterday, in my abortive attempt to use the internet, I saw a notice saying they had powerplate in the gym now, so I want to try this out, plus I need to do some exercise anyway.
posted by Ally at 9:00 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, October 20, 2006
Sleep Deprivation
I have not had much sleep since Tuesday, thanks to the incompetent lawyer the company has employed here - the whole work permit saga has been going on since May 2005, and the latest thing is that I have to apply all over again! I think not, so I have directed the company to sack this man and employ someone who knows what they are talking about.

Our lawyer is so unpleasant, and he is telling lies, we get a different story every day, which is very tedious.

So I've been going home and agonising about it every night, which is unproductive but unavoidable. I fall asleep sometime in the small hours, and this morning got woken up by bulldozers and trucks in the street at 6:30am - looked out the window and they were removing rubbish from the car park next to the apartments and crushing into this truck. No wonder it was so noisy. I screamed, but of course the man who was directing operations just carried on regardless!

It looks as though the Cleopatra apartments get serviced Monday, Wednesday and Friday - this is about three times more per week than I would do any cleaning off my own bat!

I don't really have any plans for the weekend, except to finish my third GNAA square and Partita, plus sort out the other things I brought with me. I really thought I brough with me the Needlepoint Silks for Toccata, but I looked at what I brought, and the colour numbers are completely different, it is very strange. It is definitely what I ordered, I checked the order that I made - but these ones are definitely also not for Toccata. I can only think I ordered them for something else and didn't make a note of it. I really must be going senile. Plus I would like to start Toccata, and there is no chance of getting Needlepoint Silks in Cyprus.
posted by Ally at 10:39 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Long, Long Days
Yesterday David and I left the office at 8:30 pm to go and eat pizza, Alec and Leo were still there talking about Greek translations of screens, I think they didn't leave until 10:00pm.

Of course I couldn't sleep, so I came at 8:00 am this morning, the head waiter looked freaked to see me at breakfast before 8:00 am. Normally I wouldn't get up until 7:30 am, since I don't go to bed until after midnight, but sleep totally eluded me, and there was nothing to do but get up. I really don't feel great, and am contemplating making a break for it at 7:00 pm, if possible.

We are also having terrible trouble with the lawyer here, and with my work permit, that still has not been obtained after 16 months. Mainly because he is such a useless type that he never does anything... he is trying to say that the ministry here has lost all my papers, but I think in fact he has, or he never made the application or something. Definitely there is something fishy about him.

Actually the first time I met him, he looked at my Chanel necklace and asked me if I thought his girlfriend would like a Chanel necklace for Christmas! Well, I don't know his girlfriend and he does, but she is a girl, isn't she? Any man who has to ask whether his girlfriend would like a Chanel necklace is seriously lacking. He is about 45 and has never married, I can see precisely why.

I guess Nicky is 48 and never married, but that is a mystery to me!
posted by Ally at 5:16 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, October 16, 2006
Nicosia Today
I am here in the office, with Alec, Leo is in with Andy discussing the issues list. Rosetta of course went at 2:15, along with everyone else in the building. Her list of complaints that she gave to the big boss last week - that caused him to blast David and me - is actually not so very many issues. In one case where there was supposedly a subsystem that doesn't work, there is like one error that needs to be fixed and one thing she doesn't understand! So I'm not very impressed that she told BB nothing works.

I am going to duck out soon to the supermarket, to get some stuff I need for the apartment, then I am going to go home at 7pm or thereabouts. I think I will quite enjoy the Cleopatra apartments, they are quite small, rather like a motel would be in Australia, I think, but larger than French apartments. There is a small balcony, overlooking the street in my case, I am not on the swimming pool side, a sitting room with attached kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. I have asked them today to unlock the cupboard that the washing machine is in, find out how the airconditioning in the sitting room works and leave me some instructions for it, move the tv from the bedroom into the sitting room and get me about twenty more coathangers. That's enough for them to be going on with.

The flight yesterday was very tiring, not least because of the Cyprus Airways staff member sitting next to me - in uniform, mind you - who whipped out her cellphone as we were taxiing down the runway and started messaging her entire acquaintance, it seemed, as this continued until we were well and truly in the air. Fortunately we did get into the air and did not crash into the neareast village to Roissy. The highly pregnant lady in the seat on the other side of the aisle was looking a bit alarmed as well, so I screamed and called for the attendant as soon as the captain announced the crew were released. He told the woman next to me to cut it out, and she spent the rest of the flight looking daggers at me. I hope she is not a flight attendant that I get on a plane in the future, she will certainly remember me and put something horrible in my food. But really I think she must have had a problem, as when we landed she pushed past everyone else in her anxiety to be first out of the plane.

I got off the plane, to find that all the package tourist luggage came out, then there was a half hour wait for the priority luggage. Finally I staggered towards the exit, only to be ambushed by several Tjaereborg Rejser reps, who asked me, one after the other, at 10 meter intervals, was I Fru Holm-Jensen. No, I am Komtesse A R, I most unwisely replied.... it's an instinct to reply in Danish, if they address me in Danish, but in this case I would have been better off not replying, from the looks I got.

I had masses of luggage, as I am staying down here until Christmas........... I went shopping on Saturday, and at the sale at Le Bon Marche, I got a portable daylight lamp, 20% off the regular price of 68 euros, so I've brought that with me. I want to get everything sorted out tonight, and try to master the washing machine and so on.
posted by Ally at 3:15 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Friday, October 13, 2006
Friday and I have to leave for Nicosia on Sunday.... I came back to La Defense this afternoon, because I had to do some things out here and collect my air ticket anyway, also it was so hot in the rue Washington offices that I couldn't breathe. Derek went home with gastro, I sincerely hope I do not get this. Apparently Casey had it last week.

I think there will be said things on Monday about this team, and it is going to be mostly Casey who is the problem, she is so young and inexperienced, at the same time extremely confident and with a very loud voice. She will ask me questions at the top of her voice, and it is plain from them that she has no idea about the industry or the system. Actually she asked me the other day if it was legal to apply late payment charges to unpaid bills. Well, yes. She is not the only one, there is another guy who has not impressed, he is a technical one, and doesn't speak French at all. Gil told me the partner and the client have some concerns about the level of the staff we have provided. I gather they don't extend to me, but even so, I am suffering a bit from imposter syndrome. Every time someone asks me a question about billing or whatever, I tend to turn around and look for Alec.

It is very, very weird going from being the project baby (albeit in the "retirement home", as the Cyprus project is called) to being the sage... I can only take small doses of this.

I absolutely need to sleep tonight, tomorrow I have to do one million things, including the hairdresser, and I am flying on Sunday.

Have nearly finished Partita - chain stitch over two threads with Soie Perle is not that much fun, although it is much easier if you draw a thread and do it in the ditch.
posted by Ally at 7:04 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, October 09, 2006
Paris For A Week
I came back as planned on Saturday, as no-one told me not to... the flight was uneventful, although I noticed that all the French people getting on were wearing winter clothes, doubtless in preparation for Paris, and sweating heavily. I was glad to be sitting up the front with a row to myself.

After I got home, I did go out again, to Le Bon Marche, as I needed food and a whole lot of other things, including a new handbag (from Lamarthe, dark grey). Then I had to walk all the way home, as for some reason a demonstration over at Bastille meant no busses in the 7th. Go figure. So I slept quite a long time on Saturday night, a good eight hours. Sunday I slept a lot as well, apart from a small excursion to WH Smith and Loisirs & Creations.

Today I went to La Defense to collect my repaired computer, I was so glad to see it, with its brand new screen. And then I caught the tramway down here to Boulogne, where the systems integrator has offices. It is the back of beyond, but it has a view overlooking the Seine and the Musee de Sevres - which is the National Ceramic Museum, full of Sevres porcelain. To get home again, I am going to take a bus and a metro, it will take nearly an hour, I think, as this is quite a way, literally and metaphorically, from the 7th.

Partita progresses, I will try and take a picture of the running stitch border, I am being rather good and doing it in double-running, although it won't be seen - but it is good practice. I make a few mistakes and find myself going into a dead end, but on the whole I am doing well.
posted by Ally at 4:18 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, October 06, 2006
Guess What?
The Resources Director range me yesterday and asked me to stay in Nicosia until Christmas... I can go home to Paris tomorrow as planned, but I will be flying back next Sunday. I managed to get the last apartment at the Hotel Cleopatra, they only have a few. It's one bedroom, again it will be strange for me to have a bedroom, because I am used to only having one room.

So it looks like the client won, and the powers that be lost.

This is Partita, as of now:

Only the date and the holbein stitching to go!

posted by Ally at 4:51 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
More Uncertainty
Leo and Alec don't seem convinced that I am leaving at the end of the week... but as far as I know I am.

Leo also asked me this morning casually, did I think it was OK to ring Nicky, was he an early riser? Crack of dawn, I replied, before thinking, and Leo smirks to himself. Most unjustified, I know this for quite OTHER reasons!

I worked over eleven hours yesterday, and it will be the same today. Then I went home and did most of the nun's stitching around the drawn thread work on Partita and started another afghan square. This one is ecru, with i-cord, I haven't done that for a long time.
posted by Ally at 1:05 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, October 02, 2006
Great Surprise...........
I'm quite happy today... Nicky is here! He is just in Cyprus for a week, he has to have one meeting for our client here, but apart from that, he is still working for the Irish. We had lunch together, and have spent quite some time chatting. I wish we still worked together...

Over the weekend I did not do much.......... went shopping on Saturday morning, and bought three towels and a fitted sheet at Zara Home. We don't have Zara Home in Paris, the nearest is at Antwerp, and I like their things, they are not cheap and nasty like Zara clothes. Then went back to the hotel, had a swim, slept and knitted. I finished the first square of the GNAA, here is a close-up of the diamond pattern:And the whole square (not blocked yet, of course):
I started on the second square, the Lois Young design, and I got quite a lot done yesterday as well:
This is a travelling vine pattern with leaves and flowers, and some increases that were quite troublesome at first. I haven't knitted for so long that I have to learn some things all over again. I guess this afghan is a good way to start, and I should, after some months, end up with something very nice for my flat.

Yesterday I came to work after breakfast and worked until about 2:30pm on problems, solving, documenting, raising new ones etc. Then went back to the hotel and had a swim (the pool closed at 4pm instead of 6pm both Saturday and Sunday because there were wedding parties), knitted quite a bit and got on with Partita:

I've started to draw out the threads for the nun stitching.... you can see the pulled work quite clearly above, the most fun to do were the middle square in the top row and the left and right squares in the bottom row.

I did a pathetically small amount of the inside of QOTN as well....

posted by Ally at 8:57 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments