How to make friends and influence people – two examples

1. There is an unwritten rule in our office that you don’t talk in the lifts.  Even if you know someone in there, you must talk in hushed tones.  It’s like an extension of the commute, I suppose.

Anyway, some of the time I obey this rule.  Some of the time I don’t (it is so awkward when there is only one other person in the lift with you, and I mostly just stick to asking why someone has 4 cups of coffee, or like last week, just a bottle of ketchup in their hands.  You get the picture).

So, it was a bit of a surprise when yesterday, someone got in the lift, looked at me and said ‘Nice flower’.  I have this flower on my jacket to try to make it less corporate and black:

imageNow, I know my response should have been ‘thank you’, but I was so stunned that someone had spoken to me, rather than the other way around that instead I went for:

‘Thanks.  I super glued my fingers to it last week.’  There was a confused silence so, I continued ‘the beads were falling off, so I tried to glue them back on, but you had to hold them to make them stay and I ended up stuck to it’.

The man looked a little pained, and we still hadn’t reached the ground floor, so I thought I’d add a bit more colour to things.

‘I probably shouldn’t use superglue.  But at least it wasn’t as bad as that time I glued my hand to the gear stick of my car.’

He laughed.  Then, as we left the lift he asked which floor I sit on.  He said he would be avoiding it at all costs….

2. When I get off the coach which takes me from London to close-ish to Bumpkinsville, I have a short walk to my car.  It only takes about 10 minutes so I usually spend it thinking through the day, planning the next day, or considering what topping to put on my toast when I get in.  I don’t usually listen to music, but last night I discovered that I can crochet on the coach without being sick, which was very exciting.  I couldn’t do it in silence though, so I put my earphones in and was very restrained by not singing along (anyone who does fitball with me will confirm that if I know anything close to the words, I’ll mutter the along with enthusiasm, if not with much tune).  My walk to the car is down a quiet, empty road and footpath, so I admit, I kept my earphones in and made up for my earlier restraint.  I was singing ‘I’ve got a burning desire for you, baby’ really quite loudly as I passed by a parked car.  Which, I then discovered, had a man in, with the window open.  He looked terrified.  I attempted an explanation that I didn’t have a burning desire for him, although I was sure he was very lovely, before scuttling off, and trying to work out another way to walk home for the rest of my commuting life.

So I’m not sure I make friends.  Or influence people.  Maybe I just make an impression and scare people a bit.  It’s probably best not to follow my example :o)


Posted in Pog Life, work | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Autumn and scarecrows

Autumn has officially started, so I took a few pictures on some of my escapades over the last couple of days.

Fridays’s bike ride:



Saturday’s run:


And this morning it was all a bit bleak:


But I did find conkers:


And I passed through a village holding a scarecrow competition:






Um…someone has some views on Trump…

And (I think) some pokemons

And (I think) some pokemons

I’m sad summer is over, but there are lots of smiles in Autumn too :o)

Posted in Bumpkinsville, Cycling, running | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy pants and houses

I have a pair of happy pants.  When I wear them, happy things often happen.  Sometimes I wear them if I need some specific to happiness.  I don’t wear them too often as 1) I don’t want to wear out their affect and 2) I don’t want to wear them out….they are pretty old these days.

Anyway, On Tuesday I put my happy pants on as some phone calls on Monday relating to my house made be think I might need them.  And sure enough, by Tuesday lunchtime, almost five weeks after my house went on the market, I was officially ‘under offer’.  I have one of those ‘Sold STC’ labels on the Pog Towers internet thingy.  It’s very exciting.

Most exciting is that I no longer have to have people viewing my house, which means I don’t have to keep it looking pristine.  It wasn’t intentional, but by the end of Tuesday things had gone from ‘show house’ to ‘have you been burgled?’  It also means I don’t have to put up with weird questions, like ‘Does your shed have electricity?’ ‘Are you leaving the curtains? and ‘Where do you keep the hoover?’  Those are the only questions one person asked.  I must have answered them right though as she was one of the people that put in an offer.

So things should all be falling into place, right?  Erm, not quite.  I don’t know if you get house buying nerves but I’m now having a minor panic that maybe Pog Towers 2 shouldn’t be Pog Towers 2.  Maybe there is a Pog Towers 2.1 out there that is better.  And that’s why Sister 2 and I have just been to view a house that is the complete opposite to the one I actually have an offer on.  It is 300 years old, needs a few things replacing (like the ceilings, some of the walls, the wiring and most of the windows) and I love it.  I think I’d need bottomless pockets to buy it though…

But we had a giggle viewing.  The bathroom, for example, had a sloping ceiling and sloping floor:


The electrics were….interesting:


The plug coming out the wall is upside down. But that’s ok, because the socket is too…

And the ceilings…well:


We chatted with the neighbour outside who gave up the lowdown:  He has no idea how it is staying up and there is nothing supporting it….other than the houses either side.  We chatted for a long time and he told us lots of useful information.  I asked about noise between the houses and he said there is one point between his and this house where there used to be a door and they could hear the man who used to live there, and that apparently the neighbours on the other side can hear through the walls of one bedroom.  And that is when Sister 2 came into her own with perhaps the most embarrassing comment she’s ever made:  ‘Oh that’s ok’ she informed him. ‘My sister is very single’.  Yup, thanks for that, Sister 2.

So on the way home Sister 2 and I talked through all the reasons I absolutely shouldn’t consider it.  The list went on and on and on. ‘So don’t put an offer in then’ she said.  ‘Oh no.  I’m putting in an offer.’ I replied.  Good.  That was a useful conversation then.

I have no idea what to do and I am no good at this adulting lark.  I think I need to put my happy pants back on. :o)


Posted in Pog Life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The joy of webcams

I have a new work lap top.

This is a good thing as my old one had been around twice as long as Little Pea has and, due to the number of lunches eaten over it, was a bit of a health hazard.

This is not a good thing because I now have a webcam that not only works (the one on the old laptop never did), but it starts up automatically when I have a meeting.

Three meetings later I now have a small list of things to remember that will no doubt grow rapidly:

  • Do hair and make up.  Gone are the days of working from home when nobody can see me.   (In my first meeting today I failed miserably – I only realised that the person I was meeting with could see me when I saw myself pop up on the screen looking more than a little scary.  Luckily, the lady I was meeting with is a) very lovely and b) also forgot about her webcam.  We looked like a right pair….)
  • Don’t get up part way through a meeting for a wander. (Second meeting I did just this and couldn’t work out why I was hearing someone saying ‘um, where have you gone?’.  Its cyber stalking, practically.)
  • Don’t pick that sore bit on your face while in a meeting.  (I actually finished my third meeting with blood on my face, which is probably worse than scary hair and lack of makeup.  Professional.)

I’m only amazed that Norman didn’t get involved.  Maybe he’s not keen on the camera either.

I guess crocheting my way through meetings (it helps me focus, I promise!) are also a thing of the past.  Unless I can work out how to turn the thing off :o)


completely irrelevant, but it reminds me of my holiday, where I would have rather been today

Posted in Pog Life, work | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

This is the way we do holidays

I am on holiday with my family in Ithaca – a teeny Greek island. It’s beautiful. Despite weather forecasts predicting thunder storms, the weather is beautiful too. For some, this would mean a holiday involving mostly this:



And this:


But today was more of the sort of thing my family do…

We drove up a mountain to a deserted monastery:


And found an old Greek lady who bought us Turkish delight…:


We discovered regal cows:


And tree climbing goats:


Then, I left the family to their ouzo in an empty shop / cafe (with just a stuffed vulture, live parrot and three locals and a set of worry beads) and went for a wander round the village. I thought this made quite a nice photo:


But as I took it the lady who clearly owned the grapes started shouting at me. I did the English tourist thing of apologising in English but it obviously wasn’t understood.  She came rushing out of her house and towards me with a knife and indicated that I should ….absolutely cut a buch of grapes and keep them.  And did I want more?

And that is how I ended up the proud owner of some not very sweet but not completely bitter grapes….:o/


I love our kind of holidays :o)

Posted in holiday, Pog Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The cherry on top

I rather like Cherry Bakewells.

I was wondering the other day in what way they are ‘hand finished’ as the box claimed.  I came to the conclusion it was the cherry.  Someone somewhere must have a job title of ‘cherry topper’.  Only the cherry topper involved in this box clearly had other things on their mind:


No cherry!

But I can understand that.  I leave to go on holiday in 12.5 hours and I have NOTHING ready.  My entire life is crammed in cupboards / the loft / under my bed / in the boot of my car as a result of de cluttering for house viewings.  Washing is hanging up wet in my bathroom.  I don’t have a clue where most of the stuff I need to take is.  I have a feeling it will be a long night….

Hopefully I wont forget something as critical as the cherry on top though!  :o)

Posted in holiday, Pog Life | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Look carefully

Sometimes we don’t all see things the way they are intended.

A friend posted this on Facebook from his holiday a few days ago.


I read it quickly, then I read it again.  I had no idea Abraham Lincoln had saved the unicorn…

And today, I popped out to my car to discover the kids that live in my road hadn’t gone back to school.  (I guessed this earlier on when I had to strategically mute my phone on conference calls so that my colleagues didn’t have to cope with their screaming too).  They all seemed to have gathered just outside my house, but one of them was deeply involved in drawing.  I asked her what she was doing.  It was this:


It may look like a piece of paper with some weird icons, but it turns out that one of my smaller neighbours wants an ipad.  So this little girl had drawn her one.  It had taken her all morning.  Tomorrow she’s going to colour it in ‘and it will look loads better’.

I think it looks good now.  Although maybe it could do with one of those unicorns Mr Lincoln managed to save… :o)

Posted in Pog Life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment