Saturday, March 28, 2009
Another Horrible Cold
So I have been back in Tallinn for a week or so, and the first thing I did was catch a very nasty cold! Probably because I was walking around at night to Thai restaurants in below zero temperatures - apparently the temperatures at night this week have been records lows for March. So I was quite miserable for most of the week, and am still a bit light-headed. Actually I should have flown home today for a week of working at home, but I have put off my flight until Monday, as I didn't think it would be a great idea to fly, and probably rather unfair to anyone who had to sit next to me.

And I have so much work to do!!! Several decision sheets and a large report to write in two weeks, basically. I have Fiona to help, but she is only a beginner at this, so it is more that I give her bits to do and review them - she is a fast learner though, so I think she will be doing her own things before long. This is more than I can say of Mr-100-Years-Old-Totally-Irritating-Pest, who is probably a contributory factor to my cold. We have all been sitting in the same room this week, having a consolidation meeting after our analysis sessions. He has tried to sit next to me every day, which I foiled by taking the next chair for my handbag. So he has sat opposite me, which is quite close enough, but it means I can see him sitting there with his eyes closes, yawning, or twiddling his eyelashes or whatever, even picking his teeth at times. And one day, he farted loudly, it was so embarrassing, no-one knew where to look!

Honestly, it is a pain, we have a really good team, even though no two people are from the same country, but this latest guy is no positive addition. For some reason, when he asks a simple question like "are you married?" or "do you have children?", it comes across as really nosey and rather creepy. He asked me yesterday when I was flying home, and I had this impulse to tell him it was none of his business. And normally I never feel like this about people, especially not work people, who are often friends as well. I predict he will not be.

Just an example of what a twit he is - he is following me in the lunch queue one day, and I can hear him behind me asking for fish, and being told there is none. When he comes to sit down - next to me, regrettably - he is complaining about being told there is no fish. I say, well, there is no fish on the menu today. And he says, but I saw "sealiha" on the menu and that must be fish because it begins with "sea". I am speechless, because Estonian isn't even an Indo-European language and in fact "sealiha" means pork!!!! Plus everyone else has taken the trouble to learn a few food words in Estonian, even Sasha, who actually asks for his in Russian, as the ladies who serve the food are Russian.

Have I stitched anything this week? No, but I did go to another Estonian yarn shop, this one is called Veimevakk, and it involved my first excursion on public transport here, lots of practising with the internet map to find the route and so on. It is south of the city centre, in a big shopping complex, with some other interesting stores, including one of those home stores where you can buy all sorts of pink things you never knew you needed until you saw them. So I have acquired a cream fleece blanket printed with pink roses, as well as some yarn.

I thought Veimevakk was a great little store, and I'll certainly be going back there. They have Rowan, and I bought some Soft Kid to make a felted bag, because I also picked up the Rowan Felted Accessories book. And two Regia Magazines and some sock yarn.

Now I feel really rather exhausted again! Maybe time for a walk around my own shopping centre before I start working again - I have to do three decision sheets this weekend!
posted by Ally at 2:50 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Saturday, March 21, 2009
A Note From Paris
I got home just before 11pm on Thursday night, that's the quickest journey so far, I think. I am still enjoying changing planes in Copenhagen much more than I did in Amsterdam. Much better selection of books at the airport, and much better food as well. Both planes were very crowded, and I did well to have empty seats next to me on both legs.

Friday I went to the bank and the pharmacy and also to Sephora, where I bought a stack of stuff I needed, lots of shampoo and conditioner, as they don't seem to sell my brand - John Frieda Blondes - in Tallinn. I had to come home and have a sleep, I was tired out and I seem to have aches in my legs a lot lately. I did do a bit of work, but nothing too strenuous, next week and the week after will probably be hell, as I have a PA report to write, plus about a thousand meetings about it, I think. And I don't think I am allowed to write more than about 100 pages, if that. Given that it has to be translated into Estonian for approval by the client, and our company is paying for this by the page. I've been told that bullet points and diagrams are the way to go.

Today I went out and bought a second Nespresso machine to take to Tallinn tomorrow, boy, was the Nespresso boutique pleased to see me! I've got a huge load of capsules as well, so I will be taking another suitcase up there. With my second iron that used to live in Cyprus, plus a few cushions and things.

Hopefully when I get back my washing machine will have been installed, and the elevator will have been fixed. On Thursday morning I had to walk down nine flights of stairs, which is probably why I have been having leg trouble, my knees do not like stairs at all. I have no ambition to walk up them with luggage, that is for sure.
posted by Ally at 6:18 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Home Tomorrow Night
Yes, I leave the office at 4pm and get on two crowded planes and get to Paris at 10pm, weather permitting. I still remember the de-icing platform at Copenhagen and the holdup the last time, hopefully it will not recur.

I moved into my apartment at the weekend, and spent most of the weekend walking between Viru Centre and Swissotel, plus I walk there every morning to get our minibus. And I shall set off there again shortly to have a drink with the team, very small team this week, as two are away, and one more left today for a week and a half of vacation.

The apartment is so nice that our PD has decided to become my neighbour, and I seem to be acting as intermediary between him and the building management, sigh. Most of my emails today have been on this subject, and he has departed with my spare key. So that he can come in and get his own key, as I will not be here when he comes back.

Hopefully I finish my sessions tomorrow, then we can start writing our PA report, I will be submerged for about a month with that. Translators are involved, so it could be fun.
posted by Ally at 7:36 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Another Post from Tallinn
With nothing much except the weather and work......... it is very intense at the moment, and I am chained to my laptop, practically. Plus I keep having "discussions" with people, I actually barked at a couple of them today, which is rare for me, but had the desired effect, more or less.

The first one was my temporary designer, who is still sitting in my sessions, even through the real one has come back. He decided to tell me in the morning break that this was all very disorganised and he would do it differently and he had to bite his tongue not to intervene and put things right! I immediately told him that I am running these sessions and he had better be quiet if he has nothing more than that to contribute. Later on he sought me out and said he hadn't meant to offend me. Not sure how he could think his comment was anything other than offensive, but hopefully he will not repeat it. The guy really is irritating, if there is a stupid "joke" to be made, he will make it.

Then I had a go at another consultant, who is from another company but working for us. He specialises in stating the obvious, and decided to do so at length while we were supposed to be talking about something else. My boss also had words with him later, about another subject, so hopefully he will shut up for a while.

But I had a great weekend, it was totally ice-free, so I walked around a lot. I walked to the spa and around the Old Town on Saturday, and took our new team member, who arrived from Manila at midnight on Saturday, out to lunch on Sunday and for another walk around the Old Town. It is so beautiful - actually it is possible to rent apartments there, but I think not advisable as there is a lot of noise in summer.

Then on Monday I woke up to snow everywhere, it actually fell all day, and the ground was covered again. Today it has turned to ice again! I love the fresh snow, it is great to make footprints in it, but the ice makes it so difficult to get around. The temperature tomorrow will be 3 degrees, but I am not finding it cold, just the ice is the problem.

I'm looking forward to moving into the apartment at the weekend, since there I will have a sofa to stretch out on, and there will be no maids to come in every day and put my shampoo beside the bathroom basin and my nightcream in the shower tray. I will be able to arrange all my WIPS properly and do bits when I feel like it, and all sorts of other things you can't do in a hotel room. Roll on Saturday!
posted by Ally at 8:44 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, March 06, 2009
Maybe Spring is Here?
I have been very neglectful of everything except work lately, and that includes my blog, stitching, reading, anything that may qualify as normal life. I hope to start rectifying that situation at once. At least the weather seems rather better - almost no ice today!!!

Today I am sitting here in a virtually empty conference room, as we have no sessions on Fridays. The only other person in here is a very strange temporary designer that I have for a week, as Fiona is on holiday. This one is fairly new to the company, but I swear he is about 100 years old, and he behaves very oddly, he is one of these men who has to say whatever comes out of his mouth. It doesn't matter what it is or who else is talking at the same time. Even though he was told he was here to take notes for me, he has constantly interrupted to ask the client the questions he thinks I should be asking, which is so annoying. In between times, he fiddles with his eyebrows! And a few times I have caught him with his eyes closed, and not taking notes at all, which was really annoying. Very unattractive manners, in my view.

This week I have been out to dinner three times - Mexican, Russian and Italian - so I am staying home tonight, with a large bottle of water, some NZ wine and some cheese and crackers. The hotel is getting a bit boring actually, so I have rented an apartment, which I should move into next weekend. It is not very big, but is in the shopping centre tower, and has a large balcony overlooking the harbour in the distance. It's possible that Fiona and Giulia will also take apartments in this building.

In the morning I am going to the spa again, to have one of these 40 euro hydradermie treatments (much cheaper than Paris) and a body cocoon treatment, so that is the whole morning taken care of. I am really hoping that it will not snow tonight, so I can go for a walk afterwards with my camera - I would love to see the sea, which is so nearby.
posted by Ally at 11:46 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments