Friday, June 29, 2007
Not A Great Week
Well, it was going OK and I was surviving until yesterday, when the client screamed at me... it wasn't for any particular reason, the person in question is highly unstable and cannot cope with pressure at all. It's too horrible to go into the whole story, but basically she just burst into a meeting that I was having with someone else and let loose, but thirty seconds earlier she had been talking to Suzette relatively normally.

Of course it was upsetting to be yelled at like that, even when rationally I know that it is nothing to do with me. I was very shaky for the rest of the day - I had planned to go home and work in the afternoon, but I had to stay until 5pm to cope with what she was screaming about, even though it was a storm in a teacup. On the way home every single person on the bus was playing loud music (why people can't get themselves decent headphones?) and then at home the kids on the other side of the courtyard were playing extremely loudly. So I ended up with a horrible headache, and slept badly.

Anyway I have talked about this to the PD, he was pretty shocked, and says he will have to do something, because this sort of behaviour is counter-productive and a risk to the project. Apparently there have been irrational outbursts before. I've never thought this person was pleasant to deal with, but this is the first time there has been actual screaming in my presence.

After this I am so looking forward to the weekend - I will finish my Thread Gathering, and I will organise things a bit more at home. The forecast is for dreadful weather, more storms and rain, so I guess I will be spending a bit of time at home.

On the bright side, guess what I ordered - the linen and threads for Marquoir de Justine, from Atalie. As they are in France, the delivery time should be very short, so I think this may be my next big piece. I also like the Needleprint Marken sampler, I am going to have to order that, it won't be out until sometime in July, though. I have so many big sampler charts, I do love them, but I will never be able to stitch them all, unless I have a very long retirement!

A proper stitching update at the weekend, I promise - I tell you, tonight it is going to be light the scented candle, pour a glass of chilled rose and watch the documentary on Venice that's on TV3...
posted by Ally at 12:40 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Another Gap
Still very busy at work, and it's another week where I have just the week to do something impossible. At least this time it is something I find wildly fascinating - to do the master configuration spreadsheet for our project. I've actually never done one before, or at least only bits and then not all by myself. I have daily reviews with the client, which raise about a million questions per day, and I am also teaching them the process, as they will need to do it themselves. I can see me working over the weekend to get it all ready for the big review on Monday, but at least it is not dreary translation.

By the way, no-one has raised any problems with my translation from English to French, so it must have been OK. Let's hope they don't ask me to do it again though.

This week I have been doing a bit of stitching, and have nearly finished the outer border on Thread Gathering, another couple of train journeys should do it. I find I can do it on the train, if I have half an hour and it is not crowded. Hopefully I will be able to post a picture soon!
posted by Ally at 10:30 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, June 21, 2007
New Laptop!
I just got it yesterday, although it has been sitting here waiting for a week and a half for me - yesterday was our first day in the new building in the suburbs. It is a Dell Latitude D420, and it is so, so light, I hope this will mean bye. bye backache. I was up last night transferring to it all the stuff I need for today, which has worked fairly well, although this morning I brilliantly brought the wrong power pack to work, so I will need to use Suzette's at some stage. Also I have just realised that I really need a new handbag that will fit this new baby in it, plus the stitching etc etc. I don't need to carry around an enormous tote bag any more, good news.

As well as the actual laptop, there is a "media base" i.e. a docking station that has the DVD drive and a few other bits and pieces - I wouldn't carry that around on a daily basis, but in fact it is very slim, fits on the bottom of the machine, and doesn't add too much to the weight. All in all, it weighs so much less than the T43.

Of course I did stay up last night very late to load up this machine, so I am incredibly tired, especially after doing 10 hours of translation on Sunday.... and I have heaps to do this week. Madame is in the US this week, which makes things a little more relaxed, but still she does write emails expecting me to do all sorts of things. Most of which I am not doing! I am going to do what the PD asks me to do - which he always consults me about.... he is reasonable, but firm, and he did actually thank me for doing the translation over the weekend.

Tonight I am going to do some more transferring of files, hopefully I can get all of this done over the weekend, then send the dinosaur back to the resources director next week. My ambition is to try and go home early tomorrow, and sort out my life to be normal again!
posted by Ally at 10:27 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, June 18, 2007
Gruesome Weekend
I crawled home on Friday night quite late, and I was so tired I couldn't even watch Thalassa.... so Saturday I got up around 11am (I was zonked), went to the pharmacy, went to Sephora, had some lunch and went back to bed. I got up later after getting a message from Madame, saying that she had sent me the report, but there was a little translation from English to French to do. 20 pages, great! So I went back to bed again.

Yesterday I got up relatively early and spent 10 hours, eight of them in the office, translating - it is a lot slower for me to translate from English to French than the other way around, and some of this is quite technical as well. Today I was in the office at 7am to complete it by the midday deadline. Suzette and went to Poivrier and had lunch after that, with Kir and Chocolate Moelleux - this was necessary for survival purposes!

Honestly it is the dullest weekend I have ever passed in my life! Nothing apart from sleep and work, and I still feel tired, and still have heaps of work to do..... and Sylvain passed by today, saying he might have to do something about my holidays, because our project might extend into August! Oh dear....
posted by Ally at 5:41 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, June 14, 2007
At Last A Few Minutes to Update
I have been working frantically all week on the hopefully final version of this report, and have barely had time to eat or sleep. I was quite happy today when I went to the doctor and he was running late - I sat there and stitched for half an hour! And the dentist who shares his rooms passed by and said, that is so nice, Madame. That is about the extent of my gratification for the week actually.

At night I have taken to brushing my hair, because I find it helps ease tension. I bought a new hair brush from Resonances, and it has very nice soft bristles. Brushing my hair is something I have never done on a grand scale, when I was younger my hair was much oilier than it is now, and it didn't seem to need brushing much.

I am also using my diffuser with essential oil in it, I bought a large pack of the tea-light candles that it uses at Resonances as well, plus some more oils. It's more of this comfort shopping that we seem to be indulging in (Suzette has bought shoes and jewellery this week).

Today I learned also that apparently I need to do a whole lot of translation from French to English over the weekend, it is needed for Monday. Needless to say, I don't yet know how much there is of it! That is a joy that lies in store for me..... I thought I was going to spend the weekend inhaling oils and fondling my silks.
posted by Ally at 7:34 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, June 10, 2007
A Really Lazy Weekend
I can't remember when I last felt so tired..... yesterday I got up at 10am, went to the supermarket, had something to eat, put a few stitches into a couple of things and went back to bed for the afternoon. Actually if I hadn't had to meet some friends from New Zealand for dinner, I wouldn't have got up again. I was glad to see them though, and we went to a great restaurant - he is a bit of a gourmet, and chose a really rather expensive seafood restaurant, like 100€ a head, but it was worth it, the food was totally fantastic.

Today I also slept late, but am now up and about, I'm going to go to Carrousel du Louvre and to the bookshop, then need to go home and finish the washing, ironing and defrosting the fridge! This latter has not been done for some time, and it really needs doing. I also have opened my large suitcase from Cyprus, finally, and pulled out some of the things that need finishing, so I'm going through those to see what is there and what can be done.

This week will be another very stressful one, I have to do the absolutely final version of my report by Friday, it needs to be sent close of business. But, on Friday, we will lose our servers at midday, because the great office move is taking place over the weekend. I can see myself in McDonalds working on Friday afternoon! And I can see myself up until midnight Monday through Thursday.... oh well, roll on August, I am taking the whole month off.
posted by Ally at 1:24 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, June 08, 2007
Still Alive
I think this is the longest gap I have had in a year and a half of blogging, I do get withdrawal symptoms when I am away from my computer - but this week I have been tied to it from duty for 12 hours a day. I have had very little time away from it, and there were two nights this week when I had no dinner, one of them I did not get home until 9:15pm. I've left before 8am each day, on two occasions before 7am in fact.

Needless to say, zero stitching, it's pretty awful. My apartment also looks like a bomb hit it! I must tidy up tomorrow.

A note to Ros - my email address is in my profile, so do drop me a line if you'd like, I'd be happy to discuss Lefkaritika to the extent that I can.
posted by Ally at 10:09 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Back Ache
I still have it......... I did take to my bed on Friday evening with a bottle of Chardonnay, and felt so relaxed I dropped off to sleep relatively early, after watching my favourite programme "Thalassa", which was about Sicily this week. Yesterday I felt not bad when I got up, so went straight out to Brentano's, where I bought:

- 4 Jennifer Chiaverini Elm Creek Quilters novels
- "Courgettes and Chocolate", a French cookbook, very good, and the lady who wrote it did it from her blog of the same name, I will have to check that out.
- 3 Japanese craft books, one is "Herbs in Cross-Stitch", then we have "Flora", which is embroidered flowers in many techniques, and lastly a knitting/crochet one where everything has cats on it. There are cute crochet cat brooches, I think Suzette may like to get one of those when I figure out the instructions. I don't read Japanese, but of course the diagrams are brilliant.

After that I took the bus to Le Bon Marche, where I bought two new pillowcases with Toile de Jouy in pink and a scented candle. So I spent most of the afternoon in bed, lying against my new pillowcases and reading..... I got up periodically to do washing etc and to make dinner, but apart from that slept until 8am this morning.

I don't know about this back ache, it seems to get better if I spend long periods in bed, which is strange, I thought it was better to be active with back ache. Certainly it gets worse if I carry things - so it is just as well I have ordered a new computer that is a lot lighter than this one (this one has been playing up for a while, and the big boss told me to order a new one, then this one will get fixed and go into the spare pool, I can't be without one at present, given the way we are working). Anyway I will see how I go this week with the back, and if it is still bad, I need to go to the doctor next week anyway, to renew prescriptions, so he can look at it then.

Of course I haven't stitched anything this weekend, given that I have spent most of it lying down, but I did do a bit of knitting yesterday and am about to turn the heel of my sock. I had this in the office on Friday, and the self-striping yarn evoked much curiosity amongst my colleagues, Nicky picked it up and I thought he and our project director would nearly take it to pieces to find out how it worked. And wretched Sylvain! He saw Nicky and me having coffee together and starts saying, in his terrible Clouseau English, "what happens when a Cyprus man meets a Cyprus woman".......... so we retaliated by laughing at his Lacoste baseball cap that he was wearing while sitting at his desk.

Today I am going to have something to eat somewhere near here (I am at a Mc Donalds at Richelieu-Drouot, and they snottily told me I couldn't have a burger before 11:30, so I bought a cup of coffee and I'll eat somewhere healthier), then go down to Carrousel du Louvre and buy newspapers and take a look in some of the shops there. I should go out to Porte Maillot and go to the supermarket, I have no food at home at all, except two oranges, some baked beans and some rice! But I'll see how tired I feel, I may need to take to my bed again.

I'm afraid this week will be another hard one workwise, Monday in the Far East, and the remaining four days doing reviews in our own office - but, get this! the chief product architect and one of his sidekicks are coming, and one of the things they are doing is going through my PA report. I must have done something really bad in my past life, to get this - I know, logically, that it is because this is a big client and the first project of this type we have done, but still, it puts a lot of pressure on me. David was saying, rather me than him, and he is more experienced than me, I think even Alec might feel some apprehension at such scrutiny.
posted by Ally at 12:24 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 2 comments
Friday, June 01, 2007
Friday, Glorious Friday
And it has been a hard week, I have just written non-stop for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, also this morning, but we had to go out to the client for the whole day yesterday - I left home at 7:15am and got back at 7:30pm. And I did something terrible to my back, I went to get coffee from the machie on the way to my desk, and, when I bent down to get the cup from the machine, my computer bag swung down from my shoulder and hit me in the small of the back. Ouch! It was agony all day. And we spent most of the day in a windowless, airless room watching the client pick her nose (which she does a lot, I have got no idea why, and there is no possible polite way we can stop her). So I was really quite miserable when I got home and lay down flat on my bed.

However this morning, I don't know what had happened, my back felt much better when I woke up - although it has got stiffer and hurts a bit more now - so rest obviously did it good. I got up at 6:00am and got here at 7:15am, to my own office, thank goodness, and I've now just delivered the 3:00pm update of the report that I had to do. I am hoping that over the weekend it will get better, frankly I intend to take to my bed tonight with a bottle of wine and see what that does in terms of rest and relaxation.

We did go out to lunch today, to my favourite Hippo, and I had Thai brochettes with a Cretan salad, a real cultural mix, but it was very good, and just what I needed. The great news of course is that Nicky was there at lunch! I didn't see him at all yesterday, as I was immured in this windowless room, and he was in a meeting in quite another part of town, but he turned up here quite early this morning, and we had a coffee and a chat. Wish he could stay all weekend, but he is up to his ears as well, he is trying to do two things at once. We did manage to sit together at lunch, that was something, and he is going to be back again soon, it seems.

I also just downloaded the latest Gift of Stitching magazine, just after I delivered my report - their email was very well-timed! And I do think this one is even better, they have had some really good issues this year, much better than last year when there were some really terrible ones, with nothing I would want to stitch at all. The Double Dutch Sampler is lovely, although I would change the colours.

Anyway this weekend I have some translation to do, of test scenarios delivered by our client - they need to be in English for Suzette and the developers, and it seems that my spare time is the only time available to provide this translation!
posted by Ally at 4:43 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments