Tuesday, June 30, 2015

If you want something done...

I have a vague childhood memory, which is probably false as is often the way with childhood memories, of being told by a teacher at a parents evening with my Mum that I did too many activities. This has been a common theme throughout my life, I take on too much and I have a dreadful habit of not saying no.  Often I am too flattered that anyone asks me to do anything, and sometimes I just like the idea of being busy.  This is some thing that a dear friend of mine knows only too well and has written about on her blog.  There are people who "do" and we tend to do a lot!

I have just come to the end of a two year stint as Rowing Captain of our Club here. It's not really a rowing club like anywhere else, it's a massive private members club with some 3000+ members and around 300 active rowers and paddlers who all come under the section of which I was Captain.  And four full time staff. When I agreed to take it on I hadn't really though how much time and emotional energy it would take me. Two years later and, although I am not one to regret any decisions I make, I am wondering why on earth I did it.  I think it's taken, on average, around 10 hours of time a week. I've had to be a secretary, diplomat, CFO and mediator.  Sometimes people are just damn rude, forgetting that I was a volunteer. Ive weathered some very personal attacks, although also some praise too.  I've developed an understanding of the mysteries of HK government departments and employment laws.  I know the minutiae of insuring boats for a sport that insurers don't quite understand, and issued apologies and thanks on behalf of lots of people.

So now I find myself breathing a huge sigh of relief that it's over and other than a couple of sub committees that will take very little effort, I have lots of time on my hands.

So I've agreed to get a bit more involved in the running of the riding stables...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Start spreading the news

Being a lady, as I am, well travelled and in my late 30s, when I tell people that I have never set foot on Mainland U.S they usually shriek in horror or disbelief. Other than Hawaii, I have never been to the U.S.  When I lived in Europe there were always more interesting places to go (Russia, Africa, Egypt, anywhere involving diving with sharks).  Despite my sister living and working in the U.S. for a year, I didn't visit.  Since moving to HK it seemed a long way away and as living in Asia was always temporary (in my mind if not reality) then I travelled around this region.

So it is with some joy and excitement that I find myself in New York, currently sitting in the rather lovely apartment of a friend. 

I landed 4 hours ago.  It was a bit strange to land in the British Airways terminal, so it felt like landing in London. All the staff were wearing BA uniforms and the signs were all he same as Heathrow. It freaked me out a little bit initially and I did half expect to see Mum waiting for me after immigration!

However, thereafter I am flinging myself into NY.  In my brief 4 hours since then I have sampled the mass transit system (more confusing than London - I'm not sure why I needed one ticket to leave the station and another to go on the train), been in a proper yellow cab, driven past Broadway, spotted the Chrysler building AND had the largest oatmeal cookie I've ever eaten.

I have always known that I was a big City girl. I grew up in London proper and feel completely at home in HK. However, as my view of NY is largely formed by episodes of CSI and Person of Interest, I was a bit apprehensive about what I would find and whether I would like it.

No fear there. I LOVE it here already. I love the bustle and noise. I love that it is properly multicultural like London, I love that people talk to you and smile. I love that there are slightly nutty people on the streets.

I can't wait to spend the week exploring what I suspect will very quickly become one of my favourite places.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blogs in a Facebook world

I readily admit that one of the reasons I stopped writing this, other than the clear and obvious sense that it's a bit narcissistic to assume anyone else cares about my life or opinions, is the invention of Facebook.  I resisted Facebook for a long time until a friend signed me up when we were having morning tea one day - I can still recall it now, I am so tech illiterate that she had to do it for me.  Facebook has become an easy way to keep updated with news, especially important when my friends span 4 continents now, and generally let rip.

However, in the Twitter, whatsapp and Facebook age, I can't help feeling saddened that friendships and relationships are conducted with such immediacy and brevity, shooting from the hip, that we've lost the subtle art of thinking, pondering and writing.  I am horribly guilty of flying off the handle at someone on whatsapp, attempting a vague dialogue while working / on a call / making a cup of tea. It's caused more misunderstandings and offence than I ever could in person! I tried sending handwritten letters to a friend a while back, I think I managed two before I gave up.

So, I am returning to my blog.  Where I can use a slightly more meaningful length of commentary and return to using it as my sort of diary. Not narcissistic, I don't assume anyone else will read this, but I will (and maybe my Mum) and that's all that matters really.

7.5 years in

I thought I'd restart this. As Eve gets older the challenges change and the stories become different. I wonder if anyone still looks at it!