Wednesday, 20 May 2009


I don't really pay much attention to my appearance. This is probably obvious to anyone who sees me regularly. I generally try to look vaguely neat and tidy when I go to work or go out socially, however it is rare for me to wear make-up or do anything special with my hair.

Recently I had my hair cut. This happens about once a year when I'm fed up of it being really long and taking ages to wash and dry (by dry, I mean naturally, I have a hairdryer somewhere but it gets used on the bikes more than on my hair. Yes really). It is now short enough that it doesn't get in the way and still looks fairly neat, so I've been wearing it loose. It gets a bit of a brush at the start of the day, gets washed every couple of days and that's it.

Then something happened that made me notice my hair...someone said "Oh I like your hair like that, did you get it dyed?" I was quite taken aback, I've never really seriously considered dyeing my hair. The person went on to say "I really like the blonde streaks". I'm not entirely sure she believed me when I said it must just be the sunshine.

I now wonder whether everyone just assumes I dye my hair and is just too polite to mention it...

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Mistakes I Have Made

Everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes cause vast economic/life-threatening disasters. I'm glad that I'm not a doctor, I think I'd be too concerned about the possibility of accidentally causing someone's death to actually do a good job. I am however, perfectly capable of making mistakes that don't affect anyone else but make life a little harder for myself.

Learn by my example and try not to do the following:

1. Forget to have dinner the night before cycling. 
Especially if it's with people you admire and don't want to look a fool in front of. Basically, I knew I was going cycling the next day but was busy doing lots of things, seeing lots of people, having fun. And kind of never got round to having dinner. I didn't really notice that I hadn't had dinner until about an hour into the ride, half-way up a big hill, when I realised I was severely lacking in energy. Oops.

2. Reading amusing things on the internet while lace knitting.
For those who don't know, lace knitting can be kind of complex, every row you do something different. If you lose a stitch in normal knitting it rapidly escapes and starts laddering. In lace knitting it does this too. Except it's very hard to work out where the stitches should be, or even if you've lost one. Basically you (well, I, don't know about people who are actually good at this) have to go back until the line before the dropped stitch has got to and re-knit. Simple enough, except that un-knitting lace one stitch at a time is a lot more time consuming than knitting it in the first place. So yes, don't knit lace unless you are alone and capable of concentrating.

3. Being an Admin Assistant.
Obviously Admin Assistants are all omniscient beings, put there to await your every question, help with your every need. Unfortunately they neglected to put this in the job description. Being an admin assistant, everyone will assume you spend the day drinking cups of tea, gossiping, general nothing useful. Therefore they will be quite happy to come in when they're bored, waiting for a meeting, or need something done that they can't be bothered to do themselves. 
Some examples:
"I'm having a meeting this afternoon, book me a room."
Yes, I could do this for you. Except it's not my job, in no way do I work for you, and oh yes, you have exactly the same permissions for the room-booking system.

"How do I get to the conference, is there transport?"
Right, so I'm not actually organising the conference. Plus I live and work in a different country to the conference centre. You live very near the conference centre and go there for meetings regularly. All I am going to do is google your local transport and send you a link. I feel that you could have done this yourself.

"Check the financial situation of this thing that isn't actually related to your job will you?"
Ok. But it would be easier if I had all the information and was aware of the expensive things you've asked other people to buy and didn't tell me about. So that when I realise we have several thousand pounds less than I expect I don't think I've gone mad and misplaced 10k. Because I haven't. Thankfully I've managed to find out who is actually meant to deal with this stuff and knows what the deal is, and it's hopefully not going to be a major issue. But you know, I wish I'd had all the information to begin with.

Oh, if you're interested, the lace pattern is:

The blog I was reading was: