Sunday, April 29, 2007
Sunday Morning Before Breakfast
Oh yes, we are at the computer! That is the Royal We, unless you count rabbits and lions (of the toy variety). My plan is to write this morning, sleep this afternoon and do the washing etc, also some stitching. I was actually up until about 1:00am with a mixture of writing and stitching, and I now have "THREAD GATHER", so today's ambition is to add "ING"!

Then I am going to email my work to Madame LA, who is working tomorrow, and I will do it really late, so that she will feel guilty. Is that mean of me, or what? Actually it suits me to work at night, because the neighbours are taking advantage of the holiday, they started on the music at midnight last night. I would retaliate with opera right now, except it would be a bit unfair on the nice neighbours, who need their sleep. I don't know when the lady upstairs sleeps, she goes out at 7:30 am to work, comes back at 7:30 pm, and she also takes all meals to her elderly parents who live next door to me, they are very frail and must be at least 80. Possibly older, as she is older than I am.

Anne said the word "Nicky" may cheer me up, that is true! He is also working like a maniac, he was online until midnight as well. At least these days, with Skype, we can communicate with our friends while we work. Although I think the bosses insist we have Skype so that they can tell when we are online and keep track of us. I am glad we did not have it in the days when I was in customer service group and on call 24 hours per day.

Yesterday I did have a moment of panic that I would not be able to go away next weekend, but I've now realised that it is possible, even mandatory. For one thing, the first draft of the PA report is due Monday morning at 10am. That means I need to give it to Madame LA before the weekend - it is still uncertain whether the French version needs to be delivered Monday, but the client would like it in both languages, so she needs the weekend to translate and put her finishing touches, as it is her responsibility. If necessary, I can get a hotel in Helsinki that has wireless (many of them seem to) and do some stuff, but I hope not. Anyway, I am working now even when it is supposed to be a holiday, and I have already given in any case, as the Dwarf did not recognise public holidays or RTT days, except for himself.

Did I reveal the final news about the Dwarf? He has left the company!!! Evidently has got another job in London, I feel sorry for them, but at least we are no longer burdened with him. I was too tired to have a party, unfortunately, but at least I thought about it. No-one seems to be particularly sad.

Well, back to work for an hour, then I will have a shower and go and get some newspapers and bread.
posted by Ally at 9:37 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Waves of Tiredness
It has been a hard week.......... two days in the Far East of Paris, one and a half days at La Defense, then this afternoon back to the client again. Tomorrow in my own desk at La Defense, and back to writing.

We have a huge problem with our overall design, how to represent things in the system, but I have had some ideas today, they are milling around in my head, and I will be able to draw them tomorrow, I think. Then we will see if they are robust. It seems to be up to me to have these ideas, Madame LA only goes so far with her vision. Anyway I will sit down tomorrow with the data dictionary, and draw, we will see what we have got. I already had a couple of minor ideas that solved something that had been causing a problem conceptually, so it would be good if mine was also the major idea.

I have done so little stitching, a few stitches in Thread Gathering, but I have this four day weekend, followed by the O Orientation Day. There will be some work, but there will also be sleep and stitching. And I also did this crazy thing for next weekend, another four day weekend. I booked a trip to Helsinki, business class, using my Qantas FF points, which have just been languishing for a couple of years. So it made sense to use them, and they are partners with Finnair and Iberia, so that means Finland and Spain from Paris. The first trip is Finland, I will go up on Saturday arriving mid-afternoon and leave mid-afternoon on Monday. Just right for a 48 hour Helsinki card! It cost me £30 in charges to book, and a good hotel will be about 200€, I think. I will see the sights and see what they have in the way of shops etc. The flight is three hours, so it will be nice to be up front. I thought also of going to Spain in August, if I can, just fly there, travel around and fly back, they have Madrid and Barcelona from here. I have been to Spain a couple of years ago, but just for a week to a spa in Torremolinos (which was nice out of season), so I want to go back and do all the history things.

Sorry no real stitching update - I feel sorry for my loyal readers, of whom I know there are a few, they are just getting the daily meanderings of a very tired business architect, and I know you are not interested in utility billing systems, my mother always tells me not to talk about electricity or meters, but there we are. I am now going to go and watch Julie Lescaut on TV and let my ideas mill around. Sleep in tomorrow, go and draw stuff in the office, and then it's the weekend. More interesting stuff then, I hope.
posted by Ally at 9:42 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, April 23, 2007
Monday in the Far East of Paris
I got there at 8:30 am, not bad, as I did not get up until nearly 7:00 am, but the buses and trains were cooperative, and I did not have to spend 20 mins at the bus-stop, which I did every day last week.

The session was not too gruesome, but it was tiring, and I don't think I had enough lunch - although it was delicious, we went to the Italian place and I had a Venetian salad, with shrimps, tuna, avocado etc etc. Our project director was back today from his holiday, he had been to Cyprus, although to the beach, not to Nicosia, of course. So we talked a bit about Cypriot food, he had his birthday while he was there and they went to a traditional taverna.

I did some more "Thread Gathering" last night, I have "THREA" and half a D on the top line, the middle line is finished, so I will get there. Tonight I have to do a chapter of PA report, if I do not make great progress this week, I will be working during my four day weekend. I know I will have to a little, but I don't want to work all weekend.
posted by Ally at 9:45 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Sarko and Sego
Today was the first round of the presidential elections.... they have just announced on the news that it looks as though it will be Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal who will go through to the second round, they have 30% and 25% respectively, and the next one is about 7% behind.

I guess it could change a little, but not enough probably to knock out Segolene, unless the vote counting procedure is really weird. Most of it is electronic, that's why they have figures so soon.

Of course I can't vote, despite the taxes I pay, as I am not French - yet! I don't know who I would have voted for, but not Sarkozy and not Le Pen. The latter is the National Front, the one who said recently that French people couldn't support their football team because they were all immigrants, I ask you! Sarkozy also loves foreigners, not, although possibly he makes an exception for mega-tax payers like me. In some ways I would like Segolene to win, but I think it would be very hard for her - there are so many people out to get her, already there have been comments that her vote is a bit down, because there are people, even from the left, who do not want a woman as president. The other candidate I quite like is Bayrou, from the centre, but I'm glad not to have to make a choice this time.

Sarkozy is beaming out on the television, he actually looks a bit like the Dwarf in some ways (although he has more hair, I think it is the shark like smile) ... this may well be a factor in my being put off him. I also find him fairly hard to understand, rather annoying, as Chirac was easy to understand, he said everything very clearly.

I could hear some of the neighbours cheering when the news came on, I wonder which one it was for?

Well, back to my document, I have done a bit today, and also a bit of "Thread Gathering"
posted by Ally at 9:07 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Roses are Red
This is my little finish of last night... to be made into a pinkeep next weekend, this being the four day weekend when I will have more time.

Yesterday I went and bought out Le Bon Marche, no, I guess that is a slight exaggeration, but I bought:

- DMC thread for Lady Scarlett
- finishing materials for the pinkeep
- an Elle Tricote scarf kit
- five books, including "Hunting and Gathering" by Anna Gavalda, which I have read in French, but also want to read the English.
- a doudou like a chicken for my new nephew
- exercise books for work, and Sudoku pencils
- food at La Grande Epicerie

All this before midday, so I came home, did washing, cleaned a bit and went to bed for two hours with a clear conscience. Got woken by the phone, some woman trying to sell health insurance. I must find out if I can get these calls stopped, some of them are so rude, I had one woman a few weeks ago wanting to know how much tax I paid! Great way to find out who is "rich" and come to burgle them.

Then an early night, and no parties in the neighbourhood, great. If I sleep a little this afternoon, I may be in quite good shape tomorrow, and we are back to 10 am starts for the workshops, so I don't have to get there until 9 ish.

My plans for today do include some solid work on the PA report, some stitching (probably Thread Gathering) and also a bit of tidying up of clothes, I think I can put the winter ones in the depths of the cupboard.
posted by Ally at 10:05 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Friday, April 20, 2007
Doing Quite Well
On "Roses are Red" - of course, it is small, but it is a good way of just getting back into things again, take something small that I know I can do in a week, even a horror week, which this pretty much has been. I think I may make it into a pinkeep, I printed out some instructions for this today - in French, but I understand that!

I got home before 7 pm today, which was great, after a fairly relaxed day - Suzette and our trainee and I went to lunch at Hippo, and had big plates of meat and trimmings, well, they did,I had my assiette exotique, with lots of bits and pieces. Suzette had ribs and Salima had a hamburger.

Tomorrow I want to go to Le Bon Marche and get quite a few things, but apart from that, nothing much. I am in full writing mode now, and I think it will be about 150 pages, maybe 200, it can't be more than that. It's a pretty important document, because it will be a blueprint for any water development we do. I quite like water, I have only worked with electricity and gas before.

I had a Skype chat with David, poor guy, he is trapped in Nicosia, because they should be going live on May 15th - he was allowed to go home one day for his wife's retirement party, and he will go one day next week for Israel independence day, but that's it. He was dashing out to buy food before dark, because he can't handle money on the Sabbath. If we were there together at the weekend, I would always pay for his lunch on Saturday. Alec has been on holiday in Spain for two weeks, and he will come back to chaos on Monday, apparently. And Leo will be in Paris for three days next week, there is a conference of project directors, so I will get to see him on one of those days, which is great. Wonder if the Dwarf will turn up, there are all sorts of rumours about him.

Ok, back to Thalassa on tv, and "Roses are Red".
posted by Ally at 9:53 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Thursday, April 19, 2007
At My Real Desk
I am at La Defense today, in my real desk - not that I will have a real desk much longer, when we move to O (the one who has taken use over), we will not have desks assigned to us. Well, only the people who always work in the office will, those of us who are travellers will have to use a pool desk. I hate this system, it can be very inefficient if you have to go around looking for a desk. Our boss says that there are plenty, so I hope he is correct. It is further out than La Defense, so I wouldn't want to go there and find there was nowhere to sit, it would be an hour home again.

Today I am writing PA report, rather slowly, and I am doing the bit about meters and so on first, as I like that. Madame LA said "yuk" when I told her, she hates them. I want to get this whole technical section down this week, so that I can work on modelling stuff, I will do those ones myself, I think. We only have about three weeks to write, and I seem to be the one who will do it. Suzette will do some as well, but I will have to give the headings of what we need for her to fill in. Madame LA has gone home, she said something about not having any food in the fridhe, ha ha, who does?

I am still so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open today - and this even though last night I went to bed at 10 pm and slept fairly much until 7:30 am. Three days in a row of getting up at 6:00 am, after a weekend full of work really did for me. I think it will be another early night tonight, after some stitching on my little HIH piece.
posted by Ally at 4:20 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Goodness Gracious Me!
After two days of these analysis sessions that I learned I had to do on Friday when they started on Monday, I am quite exhausted - we change priorities every three seconds! And I have heard far too much of one person's voice. She does things like tell me I must set a timetable and keep to it, then upsets it by asking questions for hours at a time. And I am not exaggerating, she can talk for a long time without drawing breath. Some duct tape would be very handy.

Last week she complained that we didn't show our expert knowledge of the subject, now we are not allowed to say anything too technical! Suzette mentioned the word "bi-polar" to me, and I have to say... Suzette and I met on the platform of the RER station quite by chance at 7:25 am this morning, and oddly enough I had just seen our lawyer's relocation consultant on the bus.

So actually tonight I am not doing any work, as it will probably be wasted tomorrow, I am stitching, but I need to sleep early after two six am starts. We had to start the sessions at 9:00am, and this means getting up three hours beforehand.

I did start the little HIH "Roses are Red" on Sunday, it is a small, quick stitch, the sort of thing I would do in a day in normal circumstances. I have all the WDW and GAST colours for these HIH charts, there is a relatively restricted palette - Antique Rose, Straw Bonnet, Lancaster Red, Maple Syrup, a few others, I like these colours very much on the beige linen.
posted by Ally at 9:05 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, April 15, 2007
A Few Stash Pictures
First, the GAST Colours of America:

Great colours, my only gripe is that the colour names are only on the bag that they came in, not on each individual tag, as with other GAST colours.

Now Lady Scarlet and her Secret Garden:

Close-up of herself, mega mega-cute:

And now my kits from Des Histoires a Broder - I got these at Vernon:

Yes,I like pink and green, it was hard to choose from the ones available, and I will be getting more at some stage....
I didn't get up until midday - apart from a little while at 7am - since last night the neighbours were having parties until 2am! I can't work out why people here keep their windows open in summer while they scream all evening and half the night, then close them when they go to bed. I hate sleeping with a closed window.
Now I've talked to David for about an hour, he is working in the office in Cyprus, and I should be working here now... instead I am going to read the Sunday papers, have a sandwich and then do some work. I worked from 7 to 11 last night, and I can see myself working until 11 tonight, which is not fun, as it is a 6:30am day tomorrow. Roll on Thursday lunchtime, I am going home to bed then. I told David this, and he said, yes, definitely, and don't let Madame LA stop me. I also talked to him for an hour last night before I started working, I couldn't manage without him...
posted by Ally at 2:30 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Saturday, April 14, 2007
A Fruitless Excursion
As I said last week, I could not find Le Coeur A Ouvrages in Versailles, and thought it was closed for Easter - today I found that it was closed full stop! I asked in a shop round where it should have been, and it turned out that this was actually the shop that it had been and it changed hands not long ago, to become a clothes shop, quite nice, but not what I was looking for. I'm actually very surprised, because it was featured in the most recent issue (March) of a French stitching magazine!

After that, I went to Aerosoles and bought two pairs of summer work shoes (slingbacks with open toes), in taupe and black, and then to Des Fils et une Aiguille for some linen and some Au Ver A soie silk thread. And I've just got home at 4pm after being out since 9:30, so it's been a long day for so little shopping.

It's very hot, and is scheduled to be even hotter during the week (up to 27 degrees). I hope our friends from Indianapolis have brought their summer clothes. My plans now are to stitch a little, have a nap and then wake up and write up my notes from yesterday and send them to Madame LA at some unearthly hour of the night - give her a guilty conscience, I hope! I did not sleep well last night, I was simply too enervated, this happens sometimes after a PA session. Our trainee has commented on the amount of energy I use during these sessions, I don't think she realises what being an architect is like. Practically all graduates - well, all the ones I meet anyway - want to do this job, but really they don't seem to understand what you have to put into it. And I think it is a better job for a more mature person, I couldn't have done it when I was 30, and I am glad I spent a long time as a programmer, a team leader, a construction manager, in customer service, etc etc. The more experience you have, the better. Oh well, off my soapbox and onto the bed!
posted by Ally at 5:24 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, April 13, 2007
Tough Day - Great Mail
What a day! It was so nice to learn at 8:30 am - after a not too great night's sleep - that our clients from theUS would be here Monday, not Tuesday. Evidently everyone was expecting me to send them an agenda for three and a half days of workshops yesterday! Sadly, as I am not clairvoyant, I did not do this. Suzette agrees with me that we didn't know this, and we would both have killed Madame Lead Architect, had she been there. I apologised in fifty different positions to the client and told them that I would have killed me too, had I been them.

You would think the day would only get better after learning that I have about a hundred hours of work to do over the weekend. But no, we start the workshop really well, with everyone rubbishing my slides and the billing expert stomping out because it was a waste of time. After that, in fact, we started to make some progress, because they decided Suzette and I - mostly moi - were so stupid that they had better explain the whole thing in words of one syllable. So they do this in French, andI translate word by word and finally we each believe that we understand. Which is a pretty giant leap forward, so I am not altogether displeased with today. It was just very exhausting.

Then I went to the Post Office just before it closed and picked up the three parcels I have been worried about:

- Hillside Samplings tray with accessories
- Queen's Heart from just Nana
- Lady Scarlet bug needlecase and the GAST colours ofAmerica in the third package

I am far, far too exhausted to take any pictures of them, so this is a treat in store for the weekend. I just took the Lady Scarlet bug out and fondled it a bit.

I also spoke to Madame LA - in fact she called me to see how the week had gone - and instead of saying f..., f..., f.... (please remember that I used to work exclusively with men who had a fine command ofAnglo-Saxon, not the ladylike types with whom I am presently surrounded) I explained relatively rationally what was going on and told her I would have killed her at 8:30 am, but things seemed a bit better later on. I've kind of accepted that each day will bring something new and probably horrible that will mean hours and hours of work. Suzette and I have agreed to try and regard it as character-building.

The other person I spoke to was Mr Resources Director, because I had a bit of a moan at him the other day, and he called me to make sure that I hadn't slit my wrists yet. He agrees that I am handling this correctly, and says I can moan at him if I need to. Which is good, he is a person I can say practically anything to. And I think he has the worst job in the place, because everyone moans at him, sometimes for entirely specious reasons.

With that, I will sign off for today. This evening I think a little gentle stash fondling is in order, accompanied by the wine that is in the fridge - Listel Gris, a very nice pale rose - and the smoked salmon also. That may restore me enough to contemplate tomorrow.
posted by Ally at 9:03 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
And Even More....
I got home to find that there was a package from SBB, with a lot of Crescent Colours and the Embroiderer 1 & 2 charts from Homespun Elegance:

They had a sale at SBB, so I ordered all the Cottage colours plus a few others I need for projects.

And the next one is my truly pathetic progress on Thread Gatherer:

It will be cute when it is finished, and I can just see it in a nice wooden frame. The colours are actually much stronger, the light here is terrible at present.

Still no train tickets, but I hope soon, also I hope soon the missing packages from Silver Needle... I also just had a long talk with David on the phone, he wanted to know something about one of my functionalities, and we also gossipped madly. I heard today that the Dwarf is leaving, it is called a resignation, who knows? But anyway he and our company are not right for each other, that's for sure. Also talked to Nicky earlier, so I am in a good mood.

Now I plan to do a bit more on Thread Gatherer, maybe even a whole letter, if I am very good!

posted by Ally at 9:50 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Nice Stash Enhancement Package
I arrived at work today to find my monthly packet from Traditional Stitches waiting... really nice, it has the chart and charms for the Lynne Nicoletti Fortune Teller, also some Mary Arden petite beading needles, a couple of free charts, one of which is from Long Dog, and three fridge magnets - "I only stitch on days that end in Y", "I'd rather be stitchin than in the kitchen" and "Things to Do - cleaning, NO WAY, cooking, NOT TODAY, laundry, TOMORROW, stitching, YOU BET!!!"

At least this one comes to work, so I got it - I don't know what's happening to my home mail, I have had very little, and I am expecting at least three packages, plus my Eurostar tickets. No idea if La Poste are doing one of their things, or if packages are going astray.
posted by Ally at 10:52 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Very Long Day!
I got up at 6:00 am to finish my slides for today... I left for work at 7:35 and got there at 8:25, it was just me, the cleaners and the boss of the clients - he looked mildly surprised to see me there so early. Remember this is France where it is quite normal to work from 10 to 7, instead of 9 to 5, or 8 to 4 or whatever. Even if you get there at 6:00 am, it is pretty difficult to escape before 6:00 pm. If you hear about the 35 hour week, it does not apply to professionals.

We had our workshop from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, then again from 2:00 pm to 5:45 pm! I got home at 7:30 pm. Given that our lead architect was not there, she is on holiday this week, I had to talk for a huge amount of that time, and about something that I have only worked on for a couple of weeks (as opposed to a year for her). It's a new development espcially for this client, and very idiosyncratic, so it's not something where I can just guess or go from other experiences - well, not entirely, although there are some parts like that.

Thank goodness next workshop is not until Friday, they changed the program a bit this week. So I have two days to document and do some new slides....although frankly I feel like spending them sleeping.

Tonight I shall do some stitching and tomorrow I am not getting up at 6:00 am, more like 8:00 am.
posted by Ally at 8:53 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, April 09, 2007
Some Photos At Last
First the inscription that Isa Vautier wrote in her new book for me... I must take another photo of the cover of the book, as the one I did take is all blurry:

See the little heart? It is a lovely book, with poetry for each design, and they are all red of course.

Next a nearly finished Point de Reprises:

I have only half a darning square to go! It is the square I have found most difficult, do not know if I will do it today, as I have a stack of work to do.

What have I done for Easter? Very little, I did go to Versailles on Saturday, with some difficulty, as there were buses half way instead of the RER, because of track work. Crowded buses, as every tourist in Paris was on them. And when I got there, could I find the shop? No, not at all, I suspect it was closed and had the shutters drawn down, so I may take a trip back next week. They have a great Saturday market in Versailles, also.

Saturday afternoon I went to Ulla Popken on Boulevard Haussmann (this area was also packed with tourists and their buses, which were making it very difficult to cross the road). I bought a green t-shirt, a pink t-shirt, a very pale pink linen shirt, a black silk t-shirt and a khaki pantacourt. Also ordered a dark brown linen dress that they did not hav ein my size, so I did well. The dress should arrive in about ten days.

On Saturday evening Suzette and I took the train out into the suburbs to have this barbecue at Eliane's chateau. It is a nice area, but of course the house is nothing like as big as it seems to French people - but it's very pleasant, with a garden and a large living room. We ate indoors, as of course it was too cold for anyone French to eat outside, spare ribs and merguez, with salad. Jerry also came, he lives near, and he brought foie gras, Suzette brought a cake and I had brought macaroons from Lenotre, so it was altogether more than I eat in a week. Mike, another friend from work, was there as well, he is staying with Eliane and family for Easter. Of course, at 10pm we all start talking about service agreements, this is what happens when you get a bunch of architects together. Mr Eliane, who is rather charming, did very well not to yawn. I got home at 12:30, not bad, it was pretty quick on the RER and the metro. When I think back to Melbourne, I would never have dared to go on a suburban train after dark, let alone midnight on Saturday!

Then yesterday I went to WH Smith, and bought a stack of books, I finished already the new Penny Vincenzi, "An Absolute Scandal", it's very good. I just love authors who write about normal people like us, and she is so good at people that are just like everyone I know.

Today I have been out to Monoprix and bought veges and a few other things, apart from that have done nothing at all - except that is about to change, I have to prepare for an all day billing workshop tomorrow. This is not going to be great fun, I shouldn't imagine, but I am going to do my best to make the client talk, and hopefully Suzette and I will take notes. I will take our trainee in with us as well, as she can take notes in French. At least this week, there is only tomorrow and Friday for workshops, and Friday will probably be only half a day. If it is, I am decamping in the afternoon, that's for sure, and no guilty conscience, given the hours I have been working. I haven't had a two day weekend for ages until this weekend.

Better go and get my documents out and start reading and memorising...

posted by Ally at 3:17 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, April 06, 2007
Easter is Nearly Here!
I did go to sleep quite early last night, but I didn't really want to get up this morning, I only came to work at 9:15. And I am contemplating going home again at 5pm, after spending two hours this afternoon presiding at the bureau de vote for our employee elections. As there was only one candidate for each position, both were elected, but neither had a majority. Personally I would slit my wrists if that happened to me when I was the only candidate, but I think both were standing for reasons other than to serve the voters!

I am going to sneak out at 5pm and get an early start on the weekend, tidy up a few things, as I will be out for a lot of tomorrow.... I got invited by Eliane to a barbecue at her place in the suburbs, so it will mean quite a late night, I guess. I don't really want to go, but it wouldn't be politic to refuse, and I gather it is some huge place that is her pride and joy, I don't know what that will mean by French standards. I guess I just try to show the appropriate admiration, people here don't know much about my background, so there are very few who know that I grew up somewhere that makes your average suburban house look very pokey and cottagey indeed. I have nothing against cottages, and indeed I am generally quite happy living in my 29 square meters in Paris, but it takes a lot to impress me housewise.

Tomorrow morning I want to go and look at the stitching shops at Versailles - if they are still there!
posted by Ally at 4:31 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, April 05, 2007
About Me...
As I have done so little stitching recently, I took this from Anne...

10 Firsts

1. First best friend - Alexandra
2. First car - I've never had one
3. First love - Vladimir
4. First vacation - Akitio
5. First job - in the local bookshop during school holidays
6. First piercing - never had any! and never will!
7. First concert - hard to remember, probably a classical concert with my grandmother
8. First record/cd bought - again hard to remember, but likely a Mozart from Deutsche Gramophon
9. First real love - Richard
10. First screen name - Ally

9 Latest

1. Latest alcoholic beverage - a glass of wine last Friday lunchtime
2. Latest car ride - about three weeks ago from the RER to the office with Eliane
3. Latest movie watched - Julie Lescaut on tv last week
4. Latest phone call made - to the Resources Director at work
5. Latest jacuzzi bath - in Cyprus about a month ago
6. Latest played cd - Hvem kan sige nej til en Engel? (Kim Larsen)
7. Latest time you cried - this morning
8. Latest meal - dinner, carrot and apple sticks with cream cheese
9. Latest curse - muttered f*** when I nearly collapsed the projector screen over myself in the PA session

8 Have You Ever

1. Dated one of your best friends - No, but there is the Nicky & me situation...
2. Been arrested - No
3. Fallen in love at first sight - No
4. Been in a TV program - Yes, I've been on the news a couple of times in connection with a previous job, and I also used to be in the audience of "Mastermind" quite a lot, if those count!
5. Had your heart broken - So many times...
6. Said you love someone without meaning it - Yes, in order to avoid being screamed at by my ex-husband.
7. Made a prank phone call - No

7 Things You Wear

1. Chanel necklace
2. Sunblock
3. Flat shoes
4. Glasses
5. Lipstick
6. Natural fibres
7. Pink

6 Things You’ve Done Today

1. Caught the RER, the metro and three buses
2. Updated my blog
3. Lunched in a Japanese restaurant
4. Talked about rates for nearly six hours, after staying up until 4 am to prepare for this.
5. Complained to my boss about some unreasonable expectations
6. Looked forward to the weekend... and some stitching

5 Favorite Things

1. My stash
2. My books
3. My necklace
4. My Ipod
5. Handbags...

4 People I Can Tell Anything

1. Nicky
2. David
3. Alec
4. Resources Director

3 Choices
1. Black or white? Black
2. Summer or winter? Winter
3. Chocolate or chips? Chips, although I can always leave both.

2 Things to do Before You Die

1. Publish a book
2. See all my favourite samplers in museums

1 Thing You Regret
1. Difficult to say, but I think getting married wins

The 4am thing is catching up with me, I need to go to sleep now, but I risk waking very early. At the moment I would be disinclined to recommend a career as a software architect to anyone, but it does have some good moments, I guess. The session was interesting, but I am not doing another 4am in a hurry - especially not in Spring, when I have a runny nose and slitty eyes anyway!
posted by Ally at 3:00 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Another Fun-Filled Day
Today I didn't get my lunch until 1:30 pm, which was not great considering that I had about five hours sleep and had to present all morning. Lunch itself was nice, we went out, without clients, to a Thai buffet - but I took some of a deceptively hot sauce, and I was suffering a little this afternoon. Without going into excessive detail, there were a few visits to the bathroom. I am not doing any work tonight, and I am not getting up at 7am tomorrow. I know there are people who get up at 5am every day etc, etc, but I lay no such claims to virtue, I just don't function well if I don't get sleep.

I am also mildly (so far, but this could increase!) annoyed with the person who is in charge of the functional aspects of the project. It's shaping up to be one of those situations where I am supposed to read minds, then get ticked off if I don't do so correctly. All very well to say she is not my mother, but if she wants something done a particular way, please ask, otherwise I might do it another way!

Off to have a shower, and possibly do a few stitches...
posted by Ally at 10:03 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, April 02, 2007
Another Day Where I acquire 1 Million Things to Do...
But I am getting to expect this, why should today be any different? We had sessions until 5pm today, what fun. Tonight I have to do a diagram I don't really understand yet, for them to pull apart tomorrow, and two more sets of slides, one including some new development I don't know anything about. Par for the course, I guess, I learn a new subject every day.

On the plus side, my Rebecca Jeffcoat Needleprint arrived from the Netherlands today, I only ordered it on Thursday, so that is extremely impressive. Think I may order a meter of Antique Ivory Belfast for these Needleprints and some other samplers. I could go the R&R route, as so many have, but I am often disappointed in their quality, I always seem to get the piece that looks like a paint rag. I think it may be better to vary the fibers e.g. Au Ver A Soie, Vicky Clayton etc, in function of what I have and what I can get.

I also got an email from SBB saying that a load of fibers, mostly Crescent Colours, are on their way. My feeble progress with Thread Gathering has impressed me with CC, so I have decided to collect them. Haven't yet decided about their Belle Soie range, but it is a possibility.

Well, back to the salt mines.......... did I mention it will be a three day weekend this week?
posted by Ally at 9:46 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, April 01, 2007
This has been quite the worst week I have ever had for both stitching and blogging - in fact the reason I am sitting in front of the computer now is because I have more slides to do for tomorrow's meetting at St Maurice, I have completed two sets, and should do another three. Most of this week is subjects I dont know anything about, so the reading is horrendous.

Yesterday I did nothing at all, went out to do a bit of shopping, and actually bought some books to read - I am in the middle of "Sun Storm" by Aasa Larson, a Swedish thriller writer, it's rather good. I felt very tired still and actually didn't get up until really late, then wanted to sleep at intervals throughout the day. I feel less drained today, but have a lot to do, I am spring-cleaning the bathroom in between slides.

I did go out this morning and buy some vegetables and a roasted chicken. I am getting used to the markets again, and it is nice to go down there on a Sunday morning and get enough to eat for several days for about 20 euros.

Well, I need to get on with it! Thank goodness next weekend is three days (Good Friday is NOT a holiday in France, but Easter Monday is).
posted by Ally at 3:18 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments