Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Let's waste time chasing cars around our heads

Just watched a TV show produced in the UK some time ago titled the Human Zoo. It had me thinking, (since Tom is about to start uni, I should actually exercise my brain sometimes)! It's a show (like many other which have preceded, and no doubt will still come) over a 'psychological experiment' and how people react when put in different situations, and why etc. It is on every week, and tonights topic was over 'leadership'. The group of people (somewhere around 15) was divided into two - half was the red group A and the other half was the blue group B. The task was for the people of group A to instruct the people of group B to build a structure with certain materials, but not help them. A sort of similar scenario as with managers vs workers. It caused me to start thinking within my job (and im sure everyone elses as well) there are far too many managers...basically everyone with half a brain is a manager in something which actually means nothing except the thought of being powerful. I too am faced with a job which sometimes makes me a 'project manager' but it is almost worth laughing at such a title! Sorry, such a long introduction to what my point of the entry is... I find it very sad that I am surrounded with people (and Im sorry to say it again, but in Australia it is worse) who consider their 'job position' such a powerful and important status, that they may forget that others dont feel the same way. Needless to say, that at the end of the day (in the experiment on telly), the B team (workers) ended up being required to cook the dinner for the A team (managers) and created such a good atmosphere for themselves, while the team of 'leaders' ended up eating in silence and fighting. One could say that the managers actually won, because the workers did eventually do everything they asked, and this power is multiplied each time they are obeyed. However, I am not arguing that people should be followers and not leaders, it is just an observation on how (as I see it) too many leaders causes unhappiness (no, totalitarianism is probably not the answer either - I actuallly dont know what the answer is...). I could keep on discussing this for a while (to myself...), and I know that many people wont agree, but this is just my view. I know this isnt always applicable to everything, but it did make me smile and know which team I would rather belong to.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Our house, in the middle of our street

At long last, I decided to post some images of the new apartment. Take notice, no photos of dining room, or either bedrooms. As you can probably imagine, all of the above are not quite ready for photos (due to laziness on our behalf)!.

This is our first lazy weekend since we can remember (we actually did go out on friday night, but that doesnt count this time) and it is starting to show... we are attempting to detox, but are still buzzing somehow, and need to learn to take it easy! Next weekend is another housewarming (our landlords!) so this time we can trash somebody elses place! We still have the slight smell of beer in the corridor (I think the door accidently had a bit too much to drink...) but apart from that, we have mostly recovered.

Received a 'weekend-desk' voucher from work (basically allowing you to go to specific places in Belgium/Holland/France or Germany and do 'things' like cooking with chefs, or bungee jumping or relaxing spa - anything you can think of. So my mind is now in overdrive planning our next adventure. Was considering hanggliding, until I remembered that there arent many hills (in fact, any) in this part of the world, so will try to think of something else...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Let's conspire to ignite all the souls that would die just to feel alive

Finally another entry from me and not from ingrid. After another horrible workweek of playing games on the internet, counting down the days till I leave and making up jokes to harass the people that are actually working, I was pretty worn out. So on Friday we had dinner with a colleague who leaves for holiday and I am not going to see him anymore. So I can not leave without telling all the company secrets and gossip for him to use or to abuse. On Saturday we prepared everything for our party. Tim and Tash came especially from Liverpool just to help trash our apartment. Tommeke organised a whole tap and two kegs of beer. Luckily Ingrid's plan of getting our new couches failed so people couldn't spill all over them.

The night itself went as expected. Ingrid's work colleagues came and behaved, Tash spilled and blessed the new place, my mates showed up fashionably late and left un-fashionably drunk. After cleaning up and watching soccer till 4 in the morning we got to bed. Being the happy little campers that we were on Sunday morning we managed to go to Antwerp for about an hour and the rest of the day we spent playing boardgames with Tim and Tash while we got rid of excessive wine bottle. So I think we all ended up a little tipsy when we got to bed.

So now we have got the prospect of going home to an apartment we have got to clean while we both are buggered and just want to relax. We were going to have a quiet weekend this weekend but that fails again because of my going-away party at work. But I think we are going to spent the rest of the weekend doing nothing except for getting the new salon. And we can now call all of you people in Australia through skype because we ended our Flintstones era and joined in on the international communication highway. Details of skype you have to ask Ingrid.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday, I've got Saturday on my Mind...

Right, most of you would agree with the age-old American Philosophy: TGIF - and 9 times out of ten, I would too. However this morning, it didnt feel like a 'Thank-God' moment - more like, 'God is taking revenge on us'...

So I boarded my fiets (oops, bike) at around 7:45 (a daily ritual, associated with arriving at work on time) and it was 'spitting', but with still a little sun. So I put on my rain jacked, placed my lunch in the carrybags (which hang onto the bike) and headed off. I was 5 minutes into my journey when out of nowhere (actually, probably the sky...) it started really pouring down. For Belgium, this is very rare, so I tried to make the most of it, while my jeans and shoes happily drank up all they could carry in a matter of seconds. Now I could sit here and whinge all day (shiverring due to the stupid airconditioner), but instead, I decided to find all of the good points to starting a day off this way.
1. My rain jacked worked superbly - my hair and upper body is completely dry.
2. My canvas carry sacks work also well - I have dry lunch (pity my lunch couldnt ride the bike while I sat in the carry sacks...
3. My jeans had a nice rinse through (it is the 3rd day running that I am wearing them)
4. My shoes had a nice rinse through
5. My socks are no longer 'boring' white, but white with interesting red flecks throughout (to add character) - (red shoes).
6. My eyes have had a nice rinse through (can't remember the last time I bathed my eyes).
7. No cars hit my on the way
8. Relatively few riders today, so almost the entire path to myself
9. Heaps of empty bike parks here at work.
10. I am fitter for riding

Since I started the list, I shed my shoes and socks and am considering losing the jeans as well (I do have a lab coat) - one problem - black undies. Not too keen on the entire working staff seeing my undies through my coat on this lovely day!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I know, she knows that Im not fond of asking

First things first - sorry for being such a slacker! Always have the intention to update the blog, but have to squeeze it in at work (until the 18th of August, when we finally have joined the rest of the human race in regards to being online!).

Things occurring in our lives in the past few weeks... bought a brand new computer - now we just need to do something with the old one - probably find a nice home for it amongst other old computers at the 'container-park' (fancy belgian words for 'dump'). Our new one is an imac with all sorts of little cute 'girly' things - very cool looking, space efficient machine. If I knew any more than the fact that it has 180GB and 1GB ram (??) I would say it, but am not that smart. As long as I can hook up to internet and emailing... I am happy. Am yet to name her, but will keep you all posted.

Have hung wall paper (the kind which for painting on) and that was a mini-ordeal - but we are finally ready for painting our bedroom (one wall...) and the rest of the kitchen. Our light in our dining room remains happily perched on the dressoir (gathering dust) because we are both too afraid (and impatient with ourselves) to try. So we will have to find a handy friend to do it for us, I think!

Am starting to think about next holiday plans. Am really keen on the idea of Tuscany in November (havent actually talked it over with Tom yet, but home he is happy with that!).

Other than that, I have found an old friend 'via our mums' from Australia who is actually living in Holland... We used to play in a string quartet together (while pretending to study in Brisbane) and when I left, I didnt really keep in good contact with the girls - turns out Kelly is married to a 'Hollander' and has been living there for 4 years! Was so happy to hear it. What makes things even better is that she called, and we chatted for a good half hour - experiencing the exact same culture/life differences.

Gonna head of to FISH. Until next time...