22 February 2007

Indigo Girls in Birmingham

For the first time in....erhm.....more than 10 years I think, I went to see The Indigo Girls!! I was extremely excited as this time, JD was coming along. When we first met, JD said she did not like 'my music' because they were all 'whailing women'. She did not even bother listening to the Indigo Girls. But then, somehow, she got in to them. Yay! She was an excited as I was when we went to Birmingham on Tuesday evening.

The gig was great. But not as much fun as it should have been. It was so totally hot in the small venue that half way through the show, JD had to get away from the front of the stage for fear of fainting. So we both made our way through the audience and sat at the back, listening to the wonderful music. We could not see Amy & Emily anymore as we were too far back. That was a shame but at least we did not faint. As said, the music was great but we were spending a lot of time thinking how hot it was, rather than enjoying the music. And not just us; the whole audience was very subdued.

I even considered going to manchester the night night or Sheffield the night after that. But with 3 hours travelling to get there, that would be unreasonable. Even I could see that. And don't believe I did not try all alternatives: Car, train, day off etc...... I can only hope they will be back soon and not need another 10 years!

My pictures all came out a bit rubbish but I did manage to shoot 3 little videos. If only I had videoed more!!

God Bless YouTube!!

16 February 2007

Aunty Me

Only a few more weeks to go (well, hopefully, about another 8 weeks), I shall be the brand new aunty to Pi(e)tje (Working Title). My sister is having a baby and I am WELL excited by the whole thing. We know if it is a boy or a girl (not telling you!) but until it is born, we are calling it Pi(e)tje. Pitje means 'pip' in Dutch (like those you find in your grapes etc.) and Pietje is a Dutch version of Peter.

Yesterday, Pi(e)tje looked like this.......

It's not easy being Treasurer

I am treasurer (penningmeester for those who do not know!) of the rugby team. Yes, mum & dad, you can now laugh. Your daughter has control over the money of a rugby team. Me, the one who can not control her own money.

Controlling other people's money makes me extremely careful about spending it. Too careful I suspect. I hae spending team money out of fear that we may end up being out of money at some point. Our budget is not huge though. This year for the first time ever, we have more than £2000 in our account.

It is always a problem to get people involved in activities like fundraising and organising ttours etc. So we take any help we can get. However, as treasurer and member of The Committee, I MUST have some kind of control over what is spent and where the money goes. When someon eis organising a trip for the team, I need to know exactly what the budget is, how much players will have to pay and how much the Committee is going to subsidise. Only THEN do you tell people what we want them to pay and what everything will cost. Right? You would think that is simple.

Well apparently not. In the last few weeks I have had fits of hysterical, desperate crying with frustration abouut our upcoming tour. Well, it is not realy a tour. It is a one night trip to France to play a 1 day tournament.

People were told it was going to be cheap. I insisted on not booking flights until everyone who wants to come along had paid their contribution. Seems normal to me. But the extra wait made the flights more expensive. Don't book if they are over £x I said. But they were booked anyway. In the end the flights were about £45 more expensive than what people were initially told.

I tried and tried and tried to get those organising the tour to let me know a budget BEFORE telling people ho wmuch they would need to pay. I asked for receipts and so on. And nothign ever came my way. It was completely unclear what was happening. And yet I was the person eventually responsible for guarding other people's money.

Once people's flights were booked, they were locked in to agreeing with whatever the tour organisers decided to do (coach to the airport, nice playng shirts, booze, whatever). I tried to get some control over the project but time and again, there was no information coming.

I just had a huge angry crying fit last week. I was so confused. Why is it so hard for peopel to say: I want to do this, this and this and Ithink it will cost so much.

The end of it all is that there is a hole of more than £600 in the budget of a 1-day tour. People are complaining that instead of the predicted £100, they now have to pay £130. But even with that extra money, we will be left with a serious loss.

And I take that personally. Becasue I look after other people's money But through no fault of my own, I will end up having to tell people they might not get their new Team sweatshirts this year because, although this was a record fundraising year, we have run out of money. Under my watch.

Life sucks a bit at the moment when it comes to rugby. Due to my injuries I have not been picked in the 1st team. Humbug. I'll bloody show them.

Fun work...

I had my appraisal on Tuesday. Apparently they like me but I need to be more assertive. it is strange that my apparent lack of assertiveness keeps cropping up in appraisals, no matter where I work.
I guess it has to do with my insecurity about being a bit of a waste of space unless I am brilliant. I want to be perfect at everythng I do and when I can not be perfect, I crawl into a corner and try not to get noticed too much.

My 'new' job is in a creative design agency and it is good fun. However, I know little about creative design and I hate that I have to ask people for help in using Phtoshop, InDesign etc. I want to be good at it. I hate disturbing people with simple questions when they are clearly working on some project with a big creative deadline.....

The result is that the directors feel they don't really know what I am doing most of the time. So we agreed I need to let them know more of what is going on. I need to ask more and they agreed to explain better what they expect from me when giving me a task.

Either way, I have survived my probation period and I am now officially employed as a Creative Coordinator. And no, I am still not telling you where I work.

07 February 2007

Too old for this...

Now that I have properly discovered rugby, I completely regret not having played it when I was younger. I think I could have been quite a good player. made the national team even? Who knows? I will never know as I am now officially getting too old for this.

Four weeks after a rupture of my ankle ligaments during a rugby match in Wellingborough, I have now injured my Achilles heel. It is the typical 'runners' injury': A stinging pain at the very bottom of my leg, almost on the bone, about an inch above the ground. Pain when I get up especially, feeling really stiff, getting slightly better during the day but still in no state to run around on a rugby pitch.

This season has been a nightmare so far starting with a strained quad, then RSI, then a shoulder injury, then the rupture of my ankle ligament and now this. All in all nothing major but enough to keep me from playing regularly and cementing my place in the team.

I should not complain though. Last Saturday saw the glorious return to rugby of Jonny Wilkinson. Now there is a man who has survived injury and pain, only to come back stronger. Since kicking the winning goal for England in the World Cup in 2003, Wilkinson had not played for England due to the following list of injuries:


* Nov - Fractures a facet in his shoulder on the way to World Cup win
* Dec - Suffers a recurrence of his shoulder injury


* Feb - Sees a specialist who says he needs an operation on his shoulder
* Oct - Ruled out for up to six weeks with a haematoma in the upper right arm


* Jan - Knee ligament damage
* Mar - Medial ligament damage to his left knee - the same knee from January
* Jul - Suffered a 'stinger' in his arm and shoulder area
* Sep - Appendix operation
* Nov - Major operation for groin problems


* Jan - Tears adductor muscle
* Sep - Knee ligament injury
* Nov - Kidney damage

So perhaps my injury problems are not really problems at all but juts little niggles………

A new band....

It is a bit like a relationship that is on-off-on-off all the time. In November, the band parted with the bass player. It turned out he did not like me and, without my knowledge, it became a her-or-me situation. He left.

We got a new bass player. Nice guy, great bass player, marked improvement on the last one.

I had noticed the drummer was unhappy but thought it might be because he lost his job. Then he quit on Sunday. I thought about it for a while and realised that I did not really want ot continue with the whole thing. After 1 months together, we had played all of 4 gigs and were still playing the same 12 songs we played when we started out. I am not a star musician in any way shape or form but I had hoped to be a bit further down the line after 12 months!

And so I too threw in the towel. As I said, like a relationship that is like a flickering light: eventually it will break down anyway so why prolong the misery? Obviously having to drive for an hour to get to the rehearsals was also a bit annoying but all that is not a problem if the band is going places……

But I do realise I quite like being in a band and so I did not waste much time and got on a website to find myself a new one, a bit closer to home. I am not too fussed about the repertoire, as long as the band is good fun.
So I sent an email to 2 bands looking for a singer and I got a reply from one of them. They seemed quite keen to meet up with me. Cool.
Which brings the whole relationship-comparison to the forefront of my mind again: the best way to get over a break-up is to get on with life and make yourself happy with someone else!!