Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Gathering

Well what a week! From the tapas meet onwards I knew this would be a good week, just a vibe I got (admitedly nervous as half the group didnt show at tapas).

When I arrived at the venue and saw I knew 4 of the master students that made me smile, as the ice is already broken, they know me and vice versa, which helps! Not to mention one of them was Rodrigo (the clown) the guy is amazing and has plenty of energy.

After giving the speeches we decided there would be no parties; just gatherings. Essentially the same thing but without the mess, lol. Well there were a few of them throughout the week and luckily for us there was no mess and no damages! ;)

Eduardo was the party animal of the group and kept everyone well stocked and amused, it was a pleasure meeting him and several of the others Javier, Fernando, Mar to name but a few. We also had some old favourites such as Jimmy Casanova - who has insured he's not forgotten by writing his name is permanent marker on the board (muppet, lol), Katrina, Mike and Fred. Who know the program and gave it their all too; which helps make my job far more enjoyable.

I also made what I hope will be a long term relationship with a very special person who had plenty of positive energy for everyone: Heidi. I really hope our paths cross again and her life gives her everything she needs, she is such a beautiful person; if you meet her hug her - she wont mind, in fact she'll insist!
And Kenny who took great pleasure in throwing me around the grass (he's a Judo Instructor) and a great guy to boot.

What else to say well loads but it will just bore you, if you think your missing out - YOU ARE!! COME ON!!! Join in the fun and sign up to Vaughan Town I promise you wont regret it.

As usual the photos are posted and you can see them HERE

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Reality bites

Well another week over, they keep mounting up. For this program I was in San Zoilo and what a week mixed with highs and lows. There was a strange tension on this program which I hadnt experienced before as the week when on so did the tensions, I'm just happy it didn't end up ruining what otherwise was a good program.

The usual mix of activities to get people bonding and maybe knowing more about you than you would normally reveal, 1 to 1's and telephone sessions kept them all very busy, but I felt this week very draining and struggled to keep my energy levels up and biting my lip - obviously something I'm going to keep working on.

The theatre went well again lessons learn't there too - a new sketch which was funny almost fell flat (work in progress), although we had some excellent input from the participants which is always nice.

Party night was fun and David and I danced to its raining men - dont ask! Anyway it was really cool and he danced very well, in fact i think he carried me through it really, but i noticed camera flashes galour so the must be some interesting photos out there! Not satisfied with making me sweat he turned to Marisa and they cha cha cha'd there asses off, very cool indeed.

When I returned to Madrid, I went to find my new flat and move in, so glad to have a place to call home again, it wont be lonely as I'm sharing with a guy and a girl, so that will be nice too, the place is very cool has what I need - which isnt alot. And tonight I'm off to do it all over again with a new bunch of Anglos - keep smiling ;)

If you want to see a selection of photos of the time we shared check

Thursday, June 21, 2007

While on the subject of interesting jobs...

How would you like to be paid €60,000 euros to go into isolation with 12 others for 17 months?!!?!

The European Space agency are looking for volunteers to spend 500 days in an isolation chamber to simulate a trip to Mars, to study the effect the boredom of it would have on people...

€60,000 does sound tempting, but i know i definitely wouldn't be able to hack that long with so little to do - heck i get bored if i have two nights at home in a row!

Though might get my book written if i did.... hmmm

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

YIPEE!!! A place to call home?

YAY! I've found myself a new place to live! Sorted out all the details tonight and I move at the start of August. I'm moving into Chiswick, so closer to both my jobs by about 15mins. And the place have a garden which will be wicked for summer.
Definitely had a better feeling about it than where I am at the moment and there are less house mates, more living areas, a far more chilled out feel to it over all, so should be good for me. Its alos only 15mins walk to Chiswick High Street and about 8mins walk to the river with lots of pubs along the edge. Looking forward to being able to invite you all around!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Job Number 3??

Readers of our blog, who also read Andy's Blog may remember a while back that we uncovered a job with Durex.

Well today I got home to discover an email in my inbox saying I'd been successfully selected and a package of 'equipment to be tested' was on its way to me!

Talk about timing! Not only do I now find myself without a test partner, I had just walked in the door from finding myself a new place to live - which happens to have a single bed!

Well, what can I say? I applied for a laugh while Dade and I were still living together, in the same country!!

Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown Festival

This last week deserves to be labelled 'Production Music Appreciation Week'...

It started of with the gig I went to at the Jazz Cafe on Wednesday night, featuring the Sound Sytlistics, who started life as a production music band (which you all should have read about in my previous post!) and was rounded off nicely on Sunday evening by free tickets to see the KPM Allstars play as part of Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre (thank you KPM! - Another music company we use at work!).

Meltdown Festival is an annual event, curated each year by a different famous person who chooses the line up etc. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Jarvis, as he was next door at the Royal Festival Hall singing Disney classics (I kid you not!!), but we did get to see an amazing show.

It was a 14 peice orchestral line up, and compeered by a selection of production music composers - they played a whole heap of wicked tunes including some well known theme tunes - admittedly not having grown up here, nor having a TV currently i didn't know a lot of them, but hey, i still managed to bop my head to it all!

Love Life and make the most of it...

beware this is a long one...

Since being back in London I have been doing a lot of thinking about life, where I am in it and where I want to be. For the past few months I have been not overly happy living in London, and about this time last week had pretty much decide was going to leave the UK and take off travelling again for a few months, decide what I want to do in life, where I want to do it, and who (if anyone) I want to do it with. Heck I'd even bought a ticket back to Spain with Dade when he flies back after his two week trip here in August. I thought i was set, just plans to firm up, money to save...Still a lot of stress involved, since everything i wanted to do would cost a bit, but hey, I could work my guts off (harder) and make it happen like i always do. Some of you with eagle eyes may even had seen, for a brief moment a post on this blog hinting at my plans and with 6 goals i wanted to achieve by the end of the year...

Then something triggered a moment of clarity and it suddenly dawned on me it was the situation i had put myself in that was getting me down, stressing me out and by constant thinking that i didn't want to be here, i was not giving my job or London a chance. Basically for the past six months I've been so busy looking forward and planning and wanting more exciting things that i have been forgetting to live a lot of the time.

Add to that the fact that realistically if I took off in August I would maybe just have scrapped together enough money to survive the year but i would come out the other side of it with 1) no money 2) no job 3) no visa for the UK and would probably have set myself back to where i was a few year ago... Yeah i would have experienced and seen amazing things, but those things are not going anywhere... and to be fair i have not really experienced all that the UK has to offer.

So, I've decided to stay and make a proper go of it here. I have a good job, with potential to develop in it, i just hadn't been giving it anywhere near my full potential. I had a steady income from working two jobs, and with careful management i will be able to pay of debt, save and have a life at the same time. I just have to remember to live a little and not get bogged down in all the negatives of it all...

So here is my updated list of goals...

1. Take some time for myself, do the things I've always wanted to do and stop living for the approval of other people.
2. Learn to just chill and relax - not to think so much and slow down and give each day the attention that it deserves.
3. Learn to dive.
4. Discover and make the most of what living in London means.
5. Give my all to my job, gain valuable work experience and take every opportunity they offer. Learn from the pros there.
6. Learn a new language.
7. Spend Christmas with those who mean something to me (though admittedly I can't entirely control the outcome of this one - what are YOU up to a Christmas??)

They are pretty much the same as the ones i had made this time last week as surprisingly i have found with an open mind i can achieve my dreams whether here or elsewhere in the world... Plus if i stick it out for another year, i can continue the progress I've made financially, so that I can realistically take off travelling and discover the rest of the world, whilst not crippliing myself again, plus i might even be able to secure my working future in Europe...

Since I've made that decision its like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and the constant knot at the base of my neck has slowly started to unwind...

Will finish this here for now, but stay tuned for updates of how I am going...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Sound Stylistics

Last night went along to a Deep Funk night at the Jazz Café in Camden, courtesy of one of the music companies we use at work. Wasn’t sure what to expect, but hey as I was going with Helen, Geary & Michelle I knew it’d be good company and besides it was free so all’s good! (oh it’s a hard life working for a media company sometimes!).

The Jazz Café is quiet a chilled venue, nice comfy seating area near the bar, for those pre gig drinks, where we just chilled and chatted through the support act (The Grits I think) before moving to the comfortably intimate space in front of the stage when the main act came on. The Sound Stylistics started life making production music together (that’s non commercial music that is used in Movies, Promos, TV Shows, commercials etc that doesn’t cost anywhere near as much to use as the commercial stuff ) but have now released a commercial album together. They are a deep funk 'super group', featuring members of Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, Galliano, The New Mastersounds, The Herbaliser and the James Taylor Quartet and last night was their first live gig. And a very good gig it was indeed. There were about 10 of them – reminded me of a school band as they came on stage, but boy, the sound was nothing like one! They were very very good, and great to bop along too. All the musicians obviously love what they do, as you could see it in their whole body language as they performed. It was so cool to watch, especially the bongo drum guy, and the keyboardist, when they got going! Didn’t get any pics of them, and can’t find any online but they are definitely worth seeing if you get a chance.

If there is one thing that always makes me regret not learning to play an instrument, its going to live gigs like this! Though I don’t get to nearly enough of them. Must try harder.

How to lose 5 kilos in 5 Days

DAY 1 - Get tongue pierced

DAYS 1 -3 - Be restricted to a diet of liquids and ice creams for 3 days
(supposedly without alcohol, though alcohol is useful to numb the pain!).

DAY 4 - Once able to eat slightly solid foods again, go out for a curry.
Get food poisoning

DAY 5 - Spend 24 hours in the bathroom ridding your body of entire stomach contents.

Having no appetite for a further 2-3 days will help to maintain this new body weight….

NB: Location is unimportant, though I found that by situating myself in a foreign city for the first 2 steps particularly beneficial, as I had no access to a kitchen in which to prepare wholesale ‘liquids’ such as soups and mashed up food!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

oops I did it again!

Okay I'm not to blame, I got bored!!

If you have the attention span of a goldfish (like I do) you know how easy it is to get bored and create mischief, well it happened - first was the hair - i went to a Spanish hairdressers, I swear he never once picked up a pair of scissors just a razor and hacked into my hair, which left me feeling that I had to take action myself. So for 2 days I fought the urge then I decided right I'm gonna do it - so I headed off to El Corte Ingles to buy some clippers - only they were closed; DAM!

The following day after trying to get another style outta the hair (which wasn't happening) I headed straight for the centre and bought some clippers - went back and started to restyle my hair, boy I didn't realise how much silver i was hiding under there - I could have pawned my head and made a fortune - needless to say a dye was required!

This 'haircut' is getting expensive. OK so dye on beard trimmed and hair sorted, I'm happy right?? Well no, I want something else but what??
I know a piercing, but where? Got it!

I'll get my eyebrow pierced (again)! But along my eyebrow rather than down like normal - just to be a bit different.

Anyway why not check out my new look for yourself.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Boy, its hot!

Okay yet another program under my belt, working with Rob has been the usual fun and laughs and again I have thoroughly enjoyed the time and gotten to know (if only briefly) some amazing people. Having said that this week had been especially trying what with personal issues and a few issues with participants; however it all worked out in the end, fortunately.

The weeks seem to go by very quickly, its like Carrie only left a few days ago when it been a week already. Shes now back in the UK planning when to leave and see the rest of the world - London seems to suck you in and refuse to let you go if you let it. Break free and show the world who and what you are.

I on the other hand am here (and loving it) with somewhere to live as of next week; Yeah!

Highlights of the week:
Rob rocking on his guitar,
Participants bonding so quickly made our lives so much easier (well done guys),
Karaoke night; boy that night hurt, but its all practise!
I did some magic never performed live before (scary biscuits!!) but it worked out, yea me!
Party night rocked - I'm still recovering!

The surprise birthday bash for Rob - dude you rock!

After such a varied week I realise there is far more to this job than as an Anglo you appreciate (I say that as having been one), no complaints here just observations. I sincerely hope that yet again the friends we met will make the effort to keep in touch

As usual all photos are posted HERE

and please upload and share the photos that you have so we can all enjoy them too ;)

Down from the high

After a lovely long weekend in Spain I've come back to england and got ill :-(

I've just spent the last 24 hours alternating between bed and the bathroom with either a tummy bug or food poisoning. Not sure which - i did go out for a curry for our work team building day on Tuesday, but as far as i know, no one else in the office is ill... hmmm

I'm going to brave going into the office today as I have sooo much to do, but I definetly do not feel my complete self!

Is this a sign that London is wearing me down?

A Few days in Very Sunny Spain...

Last weekend I took a break from the dismal London weather and headed out for a few days in Sunny Spain.

Dade and I spent a lovely two days together wondering the streets of Madrid, trying to find the elusive market at Fuencarrel (btw Dade i now know where we went wrong, ask me next time we speak!), getting my tounge pierced, therefore not so much enjoying the lovely tapas as the lovely cool spanish beer, milkshakes and ice creams...

Dade unfortunately then had to go back to work on the Sunday morning, so I had two days to amuse myself, so on Sunday i jumped on a train to Toldeo, only 30min south of Madrid (I even bought my ticket completely in Spanish - so proud :-D ). Toldeo was gorgeous, lots of winding narrow streets and alley ways to get lost in. For those who ever get a chance to visit it do, but I would definetly recommend talking the bus up to the old town - don't try to walk it, at least not up from the train station. Also its probably best a town to visit with others as, other than wondering the old streets there wasn't a lot else to do except enjoy the tapas bars.

create your own slideshow

Sunday night I caught up with Esther and her boyfriend, who very kindly took my out for Tapas near their place - they live in one of the outer suburbs of Madrid, but it used to be a completely seperate village, and it definetly had the sort of feel too it. The tapas was great though, even if it did take me a long time to eat it - being the first solids i'd had since getting my tounge done!

Monday I took the bus out to Segovia, another beautiful town, about 1.5 north west of Madrid. It seemed bigger than Toledo, at least the historic centre was, and sported an amazing Aquaduct, and also is home of the castle that inspired Walt Disney.

create your own slideshow

Spent the day there before heading back to Madrid for a final drink and some calamares in our favourite tapas bar then met up with Esther again who kindly took me to the airport. So bye bye sunny Spain and hello again to England.

I got so used to the 28+ degree weather in Spain that on Tuesday morning when i saw the blue skies outside in London I left the house without my jacket. I quickly return to retrieve it, and a jumper as while the skies were blue, the temperature was not quiet the same!!
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