Saturday, December 18, 2004

So much for a peaceful December with loads of time to catch up on correspondence – and blogging. Oh no. Piper comes along and the world revolves around her! She’s either sleeping, at which point I can do basic things like have a shower and eat breakfast, or she’s tearing around the house and garden looking for things to chew/eat – namely human skin, poisonous garden plants, the cat (okay she hasn’t gotten quite close enough to chew on him yet), metal, cat food, avocado pits, cat hair and dust, pebbles, fallen leaves, her own pooh, and so much more. I can not wait for her to be able to go for walks as we are all getting frustrated at how much energy she has, and how hard it is for her to expel it when she is contained in house and garden! She’s barking, I’m tired of being chewed – so when she does get that energy out, and she’s feeling contented, we are all happy.

I also had a lot of work stuff to do at the beginning of the month, even though I was supposedly on holiday. At least now WAES is closed for 2 weeks and I don’t have to think about it – as I know no one else is! We had our work xmas do on Thursday night and it was pretty fun. I’d barely had anything to eat that day (nasty cold this past week too – lovely) and the wine went to my head early, but it was good to chat to loads of work people about stuff other than work. Mark turned up for a bit at the end so he can put names to all these people that I bitch and moan about :-). Or sometimes say nice things about. The director of HR was super nice to me that night – telling me how from the beginning they thought I was wonderful and at that level, they can see me moving up the organisation as time goes on! Wow that was nice of him – and no he hadn’t had too much to drink. He told Mark to take care of me as I am vital to the organisation!! I know they love me at work, but seriously – that is too nice!

For those that didn’t receive it as you got gifts sent early (alas there are too few of you this year as I am broke), here is the xmas letter that I’ve sent out with my cards. In the great tradition of my mother, a nice computer printed form letter update that Mark got upset about as I wrote about him and didn’t tell him!! Isn’t it nice how we all turn into our mothers…

Hi!

We’ve been terribly busy, and I thought that December would bring some time to sit down and get in touch with people, amongst other things, but December brought Piper and everything is revolving around her right now! So instead of writing out loads of personalised cards, you are getting a lovely form letter – sorry! I don’t think I appreciated how much bringing a puppy home was like bringing home a baby (well, seems so). She’s a ball of needs who hates being left alone and is scared of pretty much everything except her territory inside the house, the garden and the cat. The cat, however, is not exactly her fan yet. I have to say, though, that it’s only uphill from here with her – things are improving, and we are having some fun!

I was promoted to Development Manager for Community Learning at work back in August, and since then I’ve barely had time to catch my breath (and this is the first time I’ve been off on holiday since then, which is unusual considering the pattern of the last year where we seemed to be travelling somewhere new every couple of months!). I’ve been struggling with some challenging line management issues with a particular staff member, we’ve just recruited new staff so come January my team will increase to 6 from 4, and I’m trying to do the strategic overview thing of our community-based adult learning and responding to local need/hard to reach groups (which I love) – but it’s all a lot of work. At the same time, I’m trying to maintain partnerships that I was working on before I got all the new responsibilities, and we were just awarded a very large (over £300,000) funding proposal that I worked on with community partners, that will see a 2 year project start in June to get more adults with mental health difficulties into further education. Okay I am now getting stressed just writing about all the stuff I have to do! No more of that, then!

Mark had this policy where he couldn’t go three months without some kind of holiday, so he’s probably feeling a bit of cabin fever. We did get to go to France for the weekend just before Piper arrived – basically combining some sight-seeing with a ‘booze cruise’ for the wedding. If you are coming along this summer, you should now be able to liberally enjoy some wine, beer and champagne. Of course the credit card bill for that is coming along right at the wrong time – along with the costs of a new puppy – so we are having a very quiet no presents Christmas this year! I would have loved to buy for loads more people but I just can’t do it right now.

Other than that he hasn’t been up to much really – busy with work at Metronet as usual, hasn’t even been really flying that much. He sold his share in the Cessna based at Elstree, but still has a share in a Grob (motor glider) at the London Gliding Club, Dunstable. We’re spending Christmas day at his sister Liz’s house with his mum and her husband too, and Boxing Day is lunch with the same crowd. Not sure if or when we are going to see his Dad as Zari his wife won’t have Piper to stay and won’t come and stay here! They are sort of on the way to my Grandmother Bowman’s house however so we may stop there briefly at some point, just to say hi. We’ll probably see my Grandmother around the New Year, but won’t see anyone else on my side till August – no Barbados trip for us! L

I’m pretty much off of work from December 4th to January 5th, but a few odd days that Mark is covering the maternity-puppy leave. On December 15th, we’re switching to a phone company that is giving me 1 year’s free calls to Canada! Wahoo!

It’s weird spending the holidays in England, actually – it’s mid December now and there are flowers blooming and palm trees growing. That’s just wrong. But we have a little 3 foot Xmas tree and some lights up this year so I ‘spose that’s festive enough!

Enjoy your holidays, and we hope to see you in 2005.

XO Emma, Mark and Piper (and Piglet the poor cat too)

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One Response to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Merry Christmas, emma!!!

    man, it sounds like you’re almost as busy as me with my kidlets as you with that puppy!!

    i hope you have a good one!

    hugs,
    jamie


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