Friday, September 29, 2006


I must be blessed, in spite of feeling empty when I have it all, because this afternoon, I parked my car along my South African neighbour and her kids. dear little Katlyn, 3, is just the most adorable kid, she has lovely ginger blond hair and rosy cheeks. She jumped out of the car and rushed into my arms and as kids often do, gesturing me to come closer cupping her little hands around her mouth, whispered in my ear I love you Helen. Goodness, I love her too!

on my way to 30

Today I heard from Susheel, it had been months since I last talked to him. He's a funny guy whose first love is golf, and last time I heard from him was for his 30th birthday, and just yesterady I received an invitation to another friend's 30th in Britanny. I realised it is my turn next and I am fretting it. Which I find very surprising because I rarely question anything, I just live one day after the next. I guess I come to realise that I am about to hit 30, I'm married to a brilliant man, I've got a good career, nice home, good health, few good friends, enjoy gigs and art and I wonder is this it? Most people move on to have children. and I'd love to have children some day... but I feel this is all so superficial and empty and it scares me. I'm going to be 30 and I've done it all, what am I supposed to do for the next 50 years? Go to work everyday? Bring up kids? Cook nice meals? Join a pilates class? Explore the world? Why does it feel so empty? Life goes on and so must you said Gene. I'll do my best.

delayed update

Hey ya all!
I have not been keeping you updated in a while. Got busy with work as we had our sales meeting. It was really cool seeing friends and colleagues from South Africa and Denmark. However the party was not as grand as the first time. I reckon it is because we did not leave the country this time, so it does not feel like I was in a different planet at a different time. The only good thing about the three days is a conversation with Ron about 'intend' whether you do/say something with 'intend' or not and what motivates someone. (we were talking about harmless flirting, upon which Ron disagreed that it is not harmless if there is intend, which is very true). As you can see I have fascinating conversations with my boss. I also had a good chat with Mike about Ron... lol... Mike and Ron are best friends and have been in the company for 20 years. He told me to be cautious about a few things which is always good to remember. I am way too trusting in general and I have way to much faith in people. I refuse to believe that anyone would 'intend' to hurt, may it be spite, harsh words, lies, kill, harrass, bully, gossips, selfishness, malice, etc. It makes me quite vulnerable to harm.

Then this week I was visiting clients with Martin. I love meeting the clients, they're great people, I get along so easily with them. I was a bit bashful when Martin told me a client requested that I always be around when he visits. Martin is even thinking of giving me the account, which would be cool but that's besides my job. Oh well, I've got a career in progress.

So I had two good weeks, very productive with work and my back feels a lot better, I only feel the pain in my butt if I try to run. And it's getting cold here, it feels colder in my home than outside, I will resist the urge to switch on the heater at night until end of October.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Genghis Khan

I watched a documentary on the famous tyrant Genghis Khan, or so I thought until you find out a bit more about his life and why he did what he did. This demonstrates yet again that there is two sides to every stories.

Genghis Khan means Supreme Master and is a title he earned from his people who he united. His name was Temujin, his father was a tribe leader but when his father died, the tribe dispersed and Temujin and his brothers and sister were abandoned and left to their own fate. Temujin had to hunt to feed his family and one day he caught his brother eating his own catch not sharing it, Temujin shot an arrow to his brother’s heart, who died of his wound. Temujin later fell in love and got married, when his bride was kidnapped by a rival tribe, he forged an alliance with his sworn brother (referred to as Blood brother) Jamuqa to attack the enemy clan and rescue his wife – which in my opinion is a very romantic. The two of them grew very powerful and Jamuqa grew jealous when a shaman predicted that Temujin would conquer thousands of acres of land. That’s when Temujin said the second thing that earns respect: “Jamuqa thought he ought to be the leader because he was born into an aristocrat family and inherited his father’s status, whilst Temujin earned his place through survival, struggle and learning”. Jamuqa left the alliance and later ambushed and massacred the tribe of Temujin. This is when Temujin became the strategist he was, he said “One arrow on its own can be broken”… “a stack of arrows together are unbreakable” and trained his tribe to become warriors, he trained them to shoot accurately their targets while riding their horses.

My next question to Alex was “Then why was he a tyrant to China”, the answer came promptly. China saw a threat in Genghis Khan, and so he decided to invade China before they came to attack him (that battle I know of from Disney’s Mulan), now I don’t really agree with the plan of let’s attack them before they get the idea to attack us, but hey, this is year 1206. The way he besieged Beijing was especially cruel, forcing the resident inside the city walls until they starved to death. And I disapprove most strongly of the fact that he burnt down to the ground that beautiful city (but then again, the English did the same of the Forbidden City in Beijing in 1860, when you’d think they’d know better and show a little bit more appreciation). When he became Genghis Khan he said one more thing that I found very honourable, he said he wanted to unite the tribes of Mongolia and bring order (which I interpret as peace) to the world. When Persia slay his ambassador he responded to this rudeness by slaughtering pretty much everyone, then he went on conquering as far as Poland till he died. So although I disapprove of the massacres, he made some very justified (and effective) battles. I won’t be seeing him as a blood thirsty tyrant anymore, but as a man who had a vision and good principles. To read his story in more details, check out

Scissor sisters

Saturday… My back is getting worse. Maybe I should not strain it so much. I still want to go to the Scissor sisters gig in Trafalgar Square. The Aids charity concert rose money to buy medicine for HIV infected people and help them continue contributing to their communities, take care of their families and for infected women not to spread the deadly disease to their unborn children.

Trafalgar square looked impressive bathed in red spotlights. The concert was fantastic, I loved every single song they played and they put on such a grand show. It was however torture not to be able to dance due to my increasingly painful back, so I was condemned to wriggle my toes. Well worth the night out though and a huge thank you is in order for my colleague, Sarah, who gave me her tickets.

On Sunday my back got worse yet, so Monday my boss and colleagues kicked me out of the office to see a doctor and today I am taking a rest day to let my back recover. I only saw a nurse at the clinic who said my back muscles were tender and that I should try to exercise them to strengthen them back to life and take lots of pain killers to tolerate the discomfort till my muscles are renewed. Tomorrow there is our quarterly sales conference with my colleagues from Denmark and South Africa, no partying for me this time, but that would be a good thing as I have already earned a ‘party girl’ reputation in the company, this time I’ll show them I can be very decent too. :P

Thursday, September 14, 2006



We are off to Rotterdam to spend a long weekend with Neill and Chantal. It has become like a summer destination, but henceforth, we agreed we would meet up in a foreign place to discover it together. Chosen destination include Lisbonne, Barcelona, a skiing trip in the Alpes and Prague. The four-day break was supposed to include cycling and snow boarding. Unfortunately, it stopped on Sunday when I had a cycling accident while avoiding a car coming fast around a blind corner (and by the way, it was a cyclist road), I avoided the car, but fell hard on my back Alex cycling through the streets of Rotterdamand bum a luckily had time to throw my backpack under my head to prevent it from hitting the ground hard too. I was scared I broke my coccyx again from the pain. Alex said I looked so contorted that he thought I was broken all over, fortunately nothing's broken, just bruised and still very painful 5 days later, especially when I need to sit down, lie down, bend down and all of the above back 'up'. On Monday we went to Amsterdam anyway and had fun watching the girls on display in the red light district. The weather was lovely too.

Peggy Sue and The Pirates, Kate and Rose are very talented singers and had very original tracks, just one guitar and two great voicesOn Saturday night, we cycled to a club in central Rotterdam, to watch some indie unknown English artists perform. The first band was pussy rock (To Hammer: by pussy rock, I mean dull, not exactly rocking my world), they were followed by two girls, one guitar and funny lyrics. I think they have great potential, they certainly were entertaining. They are playing in London in November, I will ask Sarah, Orla and Alison if they want to watch them.

Chantal and me
Overall, we had a good time, if it had not been for the fall. I might see a doctor next week if my back does not get better, although surely it takes time to recover. Mostly, it was great seeing Neill and Chantal again, I can't wait for them to visit us over here.


Elena hugging the famous Berlin Bear
I went to Berlin last week to attend the IFA exhibition. I unfortunately did not see much of the reputedly beautiful capital. The exhibition was impressive, I was working at the stand most of the time but in two days I only managed to see half of the exhibition halls.

The best part was the chance to hang out with Elena, she's also in marketing but in charge of the markets of Russia and Eastern Europe. We get along great. I don't know if it is because we have matching names or because we both lived all over the world, but we have so much to talk about, work, hobbies and our experiences, it's excellent.

I also met the manager of the Spanish office Luis, who speaks French fluently because he spent many summer holidays in my home town! What a small world. Brilliant man, very interesting, he shared some of his work experience, nothing I can apply in my work, but worth knowing and remembering.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I've got it back!

Remember when I was feeling down a few weeks ago? Well, it didn't really go away, then I caught a cold, but today the cold is gone and it washed away my blues, I feel like myself again, I feel happy again. I have no idea how that could have been gone and be back again so suddenly but what matters is that I am back singing along the radio driving to/from work and smiling at those gloomy faces in cars on the highway, or the friendly 60-something biker with a cowboy moustache on his Harley Davidson. That was a good day. It's great feeling light-hearted again and simply... happy.

Ron noticed and asked me to be more in control of my emotions, he said "when you are a manager you have to be gender neutre, you cannot let your woman's emotion take over you". For one thing, just because I did not smile as much, did not in any way affect my work, but hey! wait a minute here, did he say 'manager'!!!??? lol. Actually he did, he's a brilliant boss, he said I was a very clever woman with a fantastic potential and that he had great expectations of me, I've got so much to learn from him, I was happy just working for him and now he gives me ambition. I know my short-comings, but I don't really know how to overcome them, that will make conversations with dad.