Saturday, 16 May 2015

New beginnings?

I’m not really sure where to start. I can’t even remember where I left it off. So, bear with me till I figure this out. This is the fourth or fifth attempt at beginning to write this. I have even finished two other posts during the last month that I didn’t upload. I don’t really know why. At one hand, I miss writing. At another, I don’t want to write a couple of posts and then fail to continue. Anyway, I will keep on writing and see where this leads.

 Please? Give me a treat or take me for a walk! Anything will do

The thought crossed my mind of leaving blogger and moving to another platform. I could really start fresh and create a site on either tumblr or wordpress. From what I can see though, tumblr is mostly used to share things (images, videos, gifs) and for small posts. I think it’s very easy to use but it has a ‘tweeter’ and pinterest feel to it. Wordpress is something I’d like to investigate. My main problem is of course continuity. I wouldn't like to lose my previous posts and being able to refer to them. Yes, I can simply create simple links to blogger from wordpress, but I’d like to ask you whether there is a way to do something better? Have any of you moved from blogger to wordpress?

Having a coffee with the acropolis as our background.

Generally, we’re all doing great. I started a new job a bit more than a month ago in the City that I really enjoy. I managed to find something that pays better, but demands less. I’m not managing a team anymore which is weird because I kind of miss being part of the decision making team and mentoring people. But I lead a far less stressful life. I no longer spend my working days in long meaningless meetings but still stay long hours and work weekends to keep up with demanding projects. And talking about being underpaid; the role I am now is in theory more junior, but still pays better than before.

JJ was the one that commented the difference the change of jobs did to me. We were in a coffee place where the service wasn't the best and the food we were served was slightly burnt. I didn’t really make a fuss about it. I got slightly annoyed but got over it quite quickly. JJ said that if the same incident happened a couple of weeks earlier, it would have annoyed me much more. I don’t think I had anger management issues, but a stressful work life is definitely reflected on someone’s everyday life. I’m happy to say that I’m in a much happier place now. I feel a bit sorry for JJ having to put up with me, really.

Speaking of which, JJ is doing very well, so does our little Penny. Next month, it will be a whole year that she will be living with us and it’s been amazing. She’s the best dog in the world (yes, the whole world). She’s been so much easier than I feared she would be. We even managed to sort her out during some small holidays we had earlier this year.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

hablas español ? ελληνικά?

Apart from all the construction works, the barking and coming and going of people, there’s a weird notion going on in my house. Both JJ and I are in the process of studying a new foreign language! JJ decided to study Greek and I decided to study Spanish! Between the two of us, we speak 5 languages! Fine, we have English in common, but I don’t think we’re doing badly. After the courses, we’ll be able to communicate in (alphabetic order) Afrikaans, English, Greek, French and Spanish.

JJ wanted to learn to speak Greek for some time now. At first he started a Rosetta Stone course some years ago. But he had some issues with his laptop and the whole we-need-to-buy-a-house malarkey happened and he stopped it. This time around he found a course in the London Hellenic centre. Most of his colleagues are people who are in relationship with a Greek and want to meet the family!

Unfortunately for him, Greek is not an easy language. The alphabet and the phonemes are different and can be complicated. The only good thing is that after you’ve learnt them, you can read any given word. In Greek what you see, is what you can read. A bit like Italian, although a bit more complicated. The bad thing is that even if you can read a word, it doesn’t mean you can easily find its meaning. I can help him though (duh).

For me the decision to learn Spanish was a bit out of the blue. A very good friend of mine found some discount vouchers for foreign languages courses. It could have been Italian, French, German or Spanish. She knows German and I know French, so the logical option was Spanish. I don’t have anything against Italian, but between the two, Spanish sounds to me a little bit nicer and more useful.

Since there are discount vouchers included in the deal, to be honest, I don’t have tremendous high expectations for the quality of the course. My only hope is that they’d like to do a good job, so that we stay for the next level and pay the full price then. But in any case, I’ll try to enjoy the experience. The last time I studied a foreign language in a classroom was the year before my university graduation, more than a decade ago, for my DALF (iplôme approfondi de langue française) which I enjoyed tremendously.

Do you think Penny will be even more confused if we spoke to her in 5 languages?

She's bored already... 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Blood and even more blood...

I haven’t been blogging much lately. I know. I've generally been very busy with work, the house, my social life. I’m not complaining though. It’s been fun. In an even weirder note, I've even enjoyed having to work over the weekend. It’s nice to be productive and creative on something that you don’t mind doing…

Anyway, starting with the most major news of the last weeks, I met the doctor of my heart! I can’t really remember his name but he’s a nice gentleman from the NHS that acted as my medical and cardiac consultant! He’s the kind of doctor of that age that took notes with an ink pen and my blood pressure with an old style manual monitor. It was adorable. And what made it even better where the wonderful news he brought me.

Apparently the diet worked! Shedding a bit more than 10% of my body weight and watching my diet decreased my cholesterol levels. They’re still higher than normal, but fell quite a lot. So, the bottom line is that I’m under surveillance and will go back in 2 and again in 4 months, but at the same time I won’t start any medications or other treatments. Hoorah! That's the first part of my news associated to my own blood.

In a way to celebrate these news, I took JJ to his ever first Ancient Greek tragedy called ‘Medea’ by Euripides in the National Theater, produced for the first time in 431 BC! The adaptation had somewhat brought Medea to contemporary times. I can’t say I was entirely thrilled with that (being a Greek snob) but I’m glad to say that JJ liked it. I quite enjoyed it too.

The actress playing the main role was simply amazing though. It’s not an easy role to play. She wants to plot her revenge over the husband that abandoned her, but at the same time to portray an inner conflict and struggle over her hatred and whether it’s the right thing to do. For such an ancient play the subjects analysed are quite modern; foreigners versus natives, men versus women, power abuse and the subjective sense of rightfulness. In all fairness however, the Ancient Greeks really knew how to put curses on one another.

Yes, as promised, more blood at the end...