Get off that high horse!

Well June certainly got away on me! What happened?? I can only really blame being stressed at work, the amount of work to do for the end of June is quite horrendeous… It’s now July and things haven’t got much better.

Work are looking into moving me into another role, and this has been in the works for a good four weeks now. The reason for the change is that I was going to leave to go to a competitor, and when they found out they offered me another role with a bit (a tiny, teensy bit…) more money. [Sigh...] And there have been complications. Or should I say, a complication, in the form of someone quite high up, and also on a mighty high horse. Politics can ruin any workplace, and I think these people are now starting to find out that it may not be a good idea to bend to every difficult person’s (unrealistic) needs and wants. That person is spiteful and petty, greedy, and, I’d quite freely use the word EVIL here, since she has nothing to gain from being like this at all – it’s certainly not advancing her career and hopefully will soon enough backfire on her. It wouldn’t hurt the bosses to grow a back bone either :-). There’s only so much Sandy the team leader can do to make work a happier place when there are people like the Wicked Witch around.

There! A bit of venting never hurt anyone, especially when it’s done anynomously! :-)

But let me now conduct a mini interview of myself:

1) Finnkiwi, what movies have you seen lately – anything good? – Yes I’ve seen a few movies, both in the cinema and on DVD. Walk The Line, The Ax, As It Is In Heaven, Waiting and Superman Returns are all worth watching in my opinion. I especially love foreign subtitled movies, having grown up watching TV with subtitles. And I discovered I can still follow a conversation in Swedish, and even a little in French. A less impressive flick worth mentioning is that silly ghost movie, what was it, Just Like Heaven? With Reese Witherspoon and the gormless new romantic interest (well, Tom Hanks is getting quite old) Mark Ruffalo.

2) Finnkiwi, what are you listening to at the moment? – Anything from Kelly Clarkson to Jose Gonzalez, but what I’d like to be listening to are the Fatboy Slim and Massive Attack compilations, both with a bit of oomph.

3) Finnkiwi, what have you been up to between working and .. well, working? – Gnome and I have been looking for our first house, and that takes some time and effort. Having lived together already for so many years, I didn’t think it would be so hard to agree on places to live! But yes, it is… I already moved into one of the houses in my head, only to discover Gnome wasn’t even remotely interested in it :-(. Other than that, there has been a lot of book reading and movie watching, the occasional brunch (hungover or not) and a bit of shopping.

4) Finnkiwi, what have you read lately? – I’ve just started another Jodi Picoult book, The Tenth Circle, and am undecided on it. Her books are always so emotionally complicated.. But she is still one of my favourite writers. Before that I read Kathy Lette’s How To Kill Your Husband (and other handy household hints), hilarious! And Valerie Frankel’s Hex and the Single Girl, good fun. Before that it was probably another Jodi Picoult – I should give her books a rest and read some less complicated books! Like Marian Keyes… yep, chick lit.

5) Finnkiwi, what would you take to a desert island? – To keep it simple, a lot of sunscreen as I burn easily (desert island meaning somewhere hot, right?), a hunting dog for those pesky little pigs that seem to be on every deserted island, a machete for coconuts and self defence, and matches in a weatherproof container… And my MP3 player, hopefully by the time I get stranded on this island there are solar powered MP3 players! What else do you need…. Musicwise my ever-expanding Top 10 (more like Top 100) would keep me entertained.

6) Finnkiwi, what super power would you like to have? – Don’t get me started here, umm, Finnkiwi! Flight would be good, so would invisibility. And X ray vision…?

Now I’m off, puss & kram.

It’s been a while since my last blog, and I got off to such a good start! Nothing much happens though, so rest assured my reader that you haven’t missed a heck of a lot :-).

I’ve got some books and movies to review, some people to trash, and generally a lot of complaining to do, so watch this space! ;-)

On a positive note a package arrived by courier this morning at work, carrying the old Kiwi favourite lollies (sweets/candy) called Jaffas! These from an insurance company who wants our business, we all got a jar. I’d rather be bribed by wine or movie tickets, of course, but it’s nice to have your day sweetened like this.

It is a wintry Friday in Auckland and I’m looking forward to this weekend and seeing David O’Doherty at the Comedy Festival on Saturday night with friends, it’s promising to be a fun outing. His short performance at the opening show was amusing, I liked the fact he is going to be calling his auto biography “Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Book of Sudoku” to make it sell!! Gold.

Good weekend everyone.

Happy 1st of May! – Hauskaa Vappua – Glada Vappen!

This is another true Finnish booze fest, the first of the year really after New Year’s. The closest equivalent to it in English is Labour Day, as it is the day for university students and workers, and, historically, marches and demonstrations. It also marks the arrival of spring, and after such a cold dark period you certainly need an excuse to drink yourself silly, and to clean and decorate statues with the student cap… Colourful balloons and streamers are thrown about, and sima (a non-alcoholic mead-like drink) and munkit (doughnuts) are staple foods for the festivities. So are sausages and potato salad, perhaps to line the stomach.

Vappu has been celebrated in Finland since 1890 and is a public holiday.  Celebrations start on the eve of 1st May with lots of drinking, and on the actual day most parties take place in the streets like a carnival, and around the afore-mentioned statues (of anyone, and anything!) where people gather and eat and drink, and usually drink till they literally drop. If anyone is still standing, you then move on to homes and restaurants/bars for more drinking. Students will don their university department’s colourful overalls, and the cap is super-important. If you have graduated from high school, you will have one. There are plenty of traditions but most of them are all built around drinking, funnily enough. There’s also all the political parties and their designated places for get-togethers, or something like that, don’t ask me – the most a-political person outside
Finland…

I was never a great fan of Vappu and all its mess.  The day after the chaos and mess of Vappu is always very, well, messy! Just you wait till the next booze fest that is midsummer, known to us dearly as Juhannus…!! Here in Auckland the celebrations for us are usually very subdued compared to back home, and that’s a good think in my opinion.  All in moderation, I say! Happy Vappu everyone. :-)

Random Acts of Kindness

This year’s Random Acts of Kindness Week was in February so we have missed it for this year. There is a World Kindness Week coming up in November, 13th to 19th, though, and we’ll start preparing for that later on. The http://www.actsofkindness.org website, albeit American, might be a good starting point if you are interested in reading up about this.

I found that http://www.fishpond.co.nz has a book for sale called Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways To Make the World a Nicer Place by Danny Wallace. “This book contains 365 real random acts of kindness real people have done for real strangers…so read it, learn it, and start making your world the nicer place, today!”
(I myself was wondering if I ever do any RAOK’s, and came up with not a hell of a lot.. Does buying doughnuts to your other half count as one?? :-) So there’s definitely room for LOTS of improvement here!)

Last year I heard that a colleague of ours had received a cruise for two in the Caribbean, or perhaps Mexico, as part of a RAOK promotion! It may have been by the local newspaper, from memory. She and her mother have had lots of health problems and the cruise came at a really good time to cheer them up, although unfortunately the mother cannot make it to the trip now as her health has further deteriorated. A case of the thought counting, this one.

Books and flowers – but where’s the chocolates?!

We all have pet hates, right… One of my pet hates, probably number 12,349 or so, would be: Having to listen to someone’s voicemail where they say they are “currently available at the moment”! Pfft. It was the second time I have come across this now and I remain bemused.

I have just started reading another book by Jodi Picoult, she is one of my favourite writers and I thought I would review the book in this blog when I’ve finished it. This one is called The Pact. Picoult’s books can be a bit same-y if read in close succession, but nevertheless I do always really enjoy them. The last one of her books I read was called Keeping Faith, and I just couldn’t put it down, I had to finish the last third of it in one sitting and ended up reading it until 2.30 in the morning one Friday. My team leader at work is also hooked on Picoult’s books (and there are more of us!) and has just supplied me with The Pact which she had read over the weekend. Hmm I shall try and start reading it tonight.

On the subject of my team leader, she (I shall call her Sandy!) is quite a character and really takes care of us, her little team. Sandy always notices when someone is unhappy and last week it happened to be me – but she managed to brighten up my day by buying me flowers! :-) How fantastic, and it worked as I felt instantly better. They were very girly flowers too, bright pink and fuchsia, with even glitter on them! So yes, our Sandy does these Random Acts of Kindness from time to time, and we are quite lucky to have her guiding our team of different and sometimes conflicting personalities. (The other team is quite less lucky, I’d say, but more on that later… perhaps.)

Hello world!

I'm starting a bit late this year with New Year's resolutions! Good luck to me! It's Easter and I'm feeling rather relaxed, and blogging was on top of my Easter break to do -list.  Very muchly looking forward to this!

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