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Sunday, 20 April 2008

Things I never thought I'd hear myself saying. But I do.

The expectation management thing didn't work. Largely because even though I set myself some reasonable Expectation Management Goals (see previous post) I still secretly harboured the belief / unreasonable hope that I would exceed them. See, this is the problem with the whole concept of Self Management. You can't actually kid yourself. In fact, increasingly I wonder whether I am kidding anyone. Even my all-under-the-age-of-six children. It's the way they look at me when I come out with things like, "Try to remember who's in charge here!" As if they have no idea who's in charge and wish someone would bloody well make it clear or at least take some reasonably decisive action. Which leads me to the list I've been compiling of other such phrases of which I once lived - blissfully ignorant - on the receiving end, but now have to listen to myself saying with increasing disbelief and horror:

"Don't speak to me / your father like that, young lady."
"Come here, this instant!"
"Do I make myself clear?"
"That's enough of your cheek, young lady / young man"
The use of 'young lady' and 'young man' in general when implying disapproval
"Just what do you think you're doing?"
"We'll see. Maybe. If you behave yourself."

It is a concern. Paul is turning into a less funny blend of Victor Meldrew and Basil Fawlty and I am turning into I don't know what. Just some kind of haridan, I think.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Expectations are low

One thing I'm supposed to have learned over the years is how to manage expectations, those of everyone from my kids through to my boss. Problem is I don't seem to have worked out how to manage my own. So, in a valiant attempt to remind myself that I am very far from a superwoman here is a brief Expectation Management Message. It is the London Book Fair this week. I am presenting at two sessions on digital publishing, attending at least two parties, managing communications around several announcements and meeting with other publishers, technology providers, search engine companies and retailers. I may post a blog. Or I may not. I may indulge in further comfort eating. I will very likely spend more time staring at the mirror regretting the comfort eating and wondering how a person can suffer teenage-like skin DISASTERS (a huge spot on my cheek just as I am about to stand up in front of hundreds of people; typical) and be developing wrinkles all at the same time.
Eden is already counting the days till Friday when I will be at home again. So much so that she was quite beside herself when offered the choice of staying up to watch "I'd do anything" (yes, she is addicted) or coming upstairs to have a bath with Nathan, Ava and Mummy.
"OH! I want to do BOTH things so much! I REALLY want to see if my favourite Nancy will win but then I REALLY want to be with yoooooooo and, OH! It's too difficult to decide! Why can't I do both, Mummy?!"
I too am counting the days until Friday but can't guarantee what kind if shape I'll be in by then. The way things are going all I'll be good for is watching "I'd do anything." I MUST RESIST!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Back on the blog

Hello. Apologies for radio silence. I've been on holiday in Wales again. I know, I know, I really must break the habit. There are too many sheep and not enough mobile phone towers. Thus no wireless and definitely no blog. One or two work colleagues were more or less aghast at the thought I could willingly spend a whole week in a small caravan in the Welsh countryside with three small children and an exhausted house husband, but there it is. And Paul (said house husband) was pretty aghast himself when he saw the weather forcast for the week, which predicted rain, grey skies, sleet, that kinda thing. He actually suggested we just cancel the whole thing and hunker down at home.
"This isn't going to be a holiday!!" he screeched. "It's going to be a living HELL!"
Then one work pal told me he was so traumatised by a week in a caravan in Wales in the rain as a kid that he is sure it drove his Dad to drink and he has sworn never to take his family there so help him, over his dead body, etc etc. But we went. And it only rained once, over night. And it was absolutely brilliant. Especially getting up early (as usual) but (not as usual) having nothing to rush about for, so lolling about in the caravan watching the sun come up, drinking coffee and eating croissant with chocolate spread with the kids. (I KNOW, but it really tastes quite nice. Obviously I only eat it to keep them company). So there.

P.S. I finally changed the picture decorating this blog. It's a snap from the holiday.