Friday, January 18, 2008

How to have a successful business trip

1. Pack clothing for all occassions.
Whilst you may normally wear shirts and ties, you may need a pair of shorts, t-shirt and suncream. Just in case. Sometimes when you're working really hard it's really nice to slip on some cool breezy shorts.

2. Always take a camera.

Not just any old camera. Your wife's new one will do the trick. Don't worry, no need to tell her or anything. You'll need a record of the details of your work. Venus' shoes for example. 3. Take some time to reflect on your career

This can include trying out other jobs. Being a paparazzi is a job too. Try following crazy parents around and see how close you can get.

4. Remember to think of your wife

Your wife might like a picture of Venus' shoes. Perhaps she wants to buy the same ones. That's thinking of her right?

5. Network. Network. Network. With all walks of life.

6. Use your language skills
This may include saying hello to others in Swiss German.
7. Work hard
Trying to be a serious tennis fan and a serious worker is hard.

8. Think of others
Suddenly fill your tennis loving wife in on your adventures whilst she watches you in the stands on live TV.


I haven't been a very good blogger. I've been away (west coast) and I haven't managed to get my old routine back. The last month was great... here are a few of the things we got up to.

Celebrated Christmas with lots of extended family.....

Met adorable new new babies we hadn't met yet... little Lyla is the teeniest little bundle ever (5lb flat)

Also not so new babies we hadn't met yet... this little lady doesn't know how to cry, all she does is giggle, giggle, giggle and flash that smile.

Appreciated the sun setting in the CORRECT direction. I'm still not used to living on the east coast and having the sun set in the hills.

Drove around our old suburb and appreciated the wide streets and lack of traffic. The leaves are still crunchy underfoot and the bitumen still bubbles in the heat. I used to jog about these streets... it made me quite nostalgic!

Enjoyed waterways that were squeaky clean.

Consumed plenty of the creamy cold stuff. The tempreture stayed between 38 - 40 degrees the whole time (100-112f). The dry heat is so much nicer then the sticky humid stuff I'm sitting in at the moment.
But after all this... it was nice to come home. There may be more traffic, people, pollution etc. here, but home is where the heart is, and my heart must be here.
And home is where we enjoy Bondi Icebergs - a summer tradition.
Note the new camera - it has been showing me a lot of love over the Christmas season! Its so nice to push the button and get clear, light filled photographs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Does "no gifts" really mean .... "no gifts"?

The other day I was wrapping some gifts and my husband stops by me and says "... we're not giving gifts, are we?......right?..."

I replied "uh... of course not."

But I know I'll be really disapointed if there's nothing under the tree for me on Christmas morning. Why did I agree to this???!! My husband is really good at keeping agreements like this :)

On the other hand I'll always get him stuff no matter what. Afterall Christmas is the time for giving.

So - Honey, if you are reading this I'm just going to give you some ideas here. Because "no gifts", really means I'd love a surprise. Here are some ideas for a winning surprise..ok?

Notice how I have linked all of them to on-line stores. That way you know where to find them :) 143 x

Blog issues

I am having blog issues. Namely:

-my header - I uploaded a cute picture of a giraffe, but it seems to be getting cropped such that only its bum is showing. I really hope that I have not caused offence to anyone! Why has my header suddenly shrunk?

-uploading photos - I type and then upload - it totally messes up the spacing. I then spend ages trying to fix it all up, and then I accidently delete pictures, so the cycle begins again. Is there any way to upoad without the spacing issues?

-fonts - why is there such a limited range of fonts?

-bullet points - I can't seem to effectively use them without the whole post becoming a bullet point.

-Shrinking paragraph syndrome - if I past a quote from another source, and then use the blockquote feature it makes the writing minute (as in 0.5pt) then I can't bring it back. Why?

While I'm here I'll air a few blogger grievances -

1. The compose window is too small - If you upload a picture as large, I have to scroll up and down to see it.

2. Copy, paste doesnt always work - it depends on your source.

3. You can't indent sections of text.

4. You cannot copy posts from one blog to another.

Does anyone have any tips??

I guess you get what you pay for :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

You go Ann Romney!

We have been watching this race unfold from afar. While I don't fully understand the US political system (my education consists of 7 seasons of The West Wing), I can't believe how long the campaigning lasts for. We just elected a new Prime Minister in AU - there was 8 intense weeks of campaigning, the election and then back to work. The energy of these US hopefuls is amazing.

I just saw this positive article in the New York times about Ann Romney, wife of candidate Mitt Romney. She comes across as one classy dane.

The perfect hostess gift

We have been entertaining ALOT over the past month. House guests, dinner guests, Christmas parties... its all been very fun. On Saturday night we had a formal Christmas dinner with 12 friends. I loved it - I volunteered to do it, but I was soooooo unbelievably exhausted by 11pm. The guests had just left, and we were cleaning up. I rested for a moment and fell asleep on the sofa. My husband coaxed me to walk to bed so my neck wouldn't get stiff. I awoke the next morning to this- clean, polished dishes all lined up on the table. I love that he took the care to wash our good china and silverware by hand as I do.

We are heading home on Saturday for Christmas with family. Its much warmer where we are going - I'm looking forward to their white sandy beaches, long conversations with family members, tennis and bike riding. I love that for the next two weeks we will be entertained by others :)

I was always taught that you should never arrive at a dinner empty handed. This has lead me to contemplate "what is the perfect hostess gift?".

I think that the perfect gift is consumable, thoughtful, simple, classy and inexpensive.

Kate Spade in Manners, says "Wine is a customary hostess gift, however flowers are always a crowd pleaser and safe token. Arriving with them is always thoughtful, but better still send the flowers early in the day of the gathering."

So wine for the non-drinkers? On more then one occasion we have had guests bring wine to dinner at our house. Its always a little awkward - they have been thoughtful, however in a country where drinking is so mainstream, it is a bizarre concept to others that we don't drink - not ever, not even at Christmas.

Flowers? They are always a winner with me. Ensure that they are fresh and dressed with a ribbon. I recently received flowers that the giver admitted were being re gifted. Clearly they were a couple of days old.... I felt a little insulted, and would have preferred she hadn't admitted that. After all the dinner I cooked was not a few days old.
Cakes? Be careful. There is nothing worse then an oversupply of desert. Its such a burden (on the hips!) of the host. Phone ahead and warn the host so she can manage the desert.
Candles? Simple, scented candles in neutral colours are always a winner.

Some other thoughtful gift ideas: fresh cherries, a bottle of quality olive oil or balsamic, hand cream; gourmet jams or conserves, a nice t-towel rolled and tied with a ribbon, homemade lemonade, quality chocolates, gourmet salt flakes, note pads, lemons secured in an inexpensive t-towel, homemade soaps.
According to Emily Post, a contribution to the meal (by way of desert or salad) constitutes a hostess gift, so unless you desire, there should be no need for an additional hostess gift.
In the absence of a gift, card or meal contribution -a complimentary and grateful heart expressed is priceless.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I have arrived

Sheer need drove me to purchase one of these puppies. Carving a 10kg ham no longer requires the stamina of a pump class.