The book I can’t put down

Not a lot of people read books for study and fall in love with them. Like, I’m reading it because I have to. But this one really spoke to me. La Plaça del Diamant by Mercé Rodoreda. Ok, I’ve read it cover to cover twice, but that’s saying something, I had to read it the first time as part of my Catalan course at uni, but the second time was also for study – but by choice.

The novel follows a woman at three stages in her life, reflecting events in Spain at the time. Before the war, Natlàlia is young and naïve, marrying Quimet because – well why not! They have children and  struggle, but life remains quite calm until the Doves arrive in the house. Quimet buys one or two, which after he goes to war turns into a flock that takes over Colometa’s life. She sinks into a depression so low that she takes steps to end it all, until a grocer is nice to her. I can’t remember how she gets rid of the doves, but as the war ends, Quimet having died in battle, life gets brighter. She marries the grocer, and calls herself Senyora Natàlia again. She finds herself despite all that struggle.

An amazing summary and review of it lies here at Kinna Reads, please have a look : http://kinnareads.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/the-time-of-the-doves-merce-rodoreda/

We went to Barcelona for my 30th Birthday, I wanted to go to La Plaça del Diamant – this is how much I love this book!

Last Day At Work = T-7 days

occupational preoccupations.

Not that I’m excited, you know… But these last two weeks have been full of running around trying to wrap things up neatly ready for leaving and entering the big wide world of Export. Hold on, I’m already in Export! I’m on the manufacturing side, all I care about here is that containers leave factories on time and arrive with the customer on time. This will be new, the other side – I’ll be the middleman.

I have one week left, which I plan to tidy up my desk, my cupboards and my computer. I’ll also finish off any projects I need to sort out any issues that can be sorted out.

But why? Will they appreciate it? The girl taking over from me will, but will management? Will they look back and say “Yeah, Katherine did a good job of making sure she starts on a level playing field”? Of course not. It’s a peculiar company, maybe one day I’ll write about that, my lips must remain sealed at the moment – at least for 7 working days!

Trains and Afghanistan

Summer 2003 : I got on the train and it was fine, I knew I had about three hours to Ely, so I read my book, I think it was one of Philip Pullman’s trilogy – before the films were even a glint in the producers eye! I was looking forward to the 50 minutes I had at Ely before my next train too, I loved to sit and read in those days. There was an Arab-looking man sitting opposite me, carried on reading.

About 10 minutes before Ely he started to ask me about a phone card he had, whether you have to dial another number to activate it. I had a look and said “Yes, this one should do it”. We get off and he follows, asking me for the next train to somewhere, I’m not sure where, but it was the same as mine. The Station Master hears, and asks me to look after him, I guess he’s a regular on that route. We sit down and he tells me he’s an asylum seeker, and shows me his papers. He’s going to work at Felixtowe in a warehouse, but goes to Peterborough for the markets.

He’s got a family in Afghanistan, a wife and two daughters, “one five o’clock, one eight o’clock”.

He doesn’t earn much money, but everything he has he sends to his family. He tells me that they are scared and want to come but he can’t do it until he’s settled here. We get on the train and he sits with me, we don’t talk because I am reading, I leave the train and say good bye. I wonder what happened, whether he managed to do it, I hope he’s happy with his family here.

It’s nothing spectacular, it didn’t save lives, but this lovely man stays with me forever.

Why I can’t do Twitter…

I have a job. A full time Job. Simple as. Oh, and a life. How the bloody flipping hell am I supposed to keep up with messages aimed at nobody in particular, coming at me less than a minute at a time?

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I tried following some NFL teams, I tried promoting my blog – to the six or so people I know on Twitter. I’m not saying I have no friends, I just think that maybe they are in the same frame of mind, who can be bothered with that? Maybe it’s an age thing? Or a time constraint? Or just a fad?

Why do we need this compulsion to document everything? I admit I caught facebook early, before they let just anyone in – my original network is University of Sheffield. But for the last two or three years I’ve been gradually pruning it all. Basically I keep you if ::

  • We are actually friends in real-life – we text, arrange to meet up, bump into each other on the street and actually have a reasonable conversation.
  • We are family – My sister, fair enough, we are stupid together! My sister-in-law, of course, three idiots together! My Mom – and I have to completely rethink all my settings so she doesn’t see the drunkard photos, stupid status updates that would make her worry, like “Aaaagh! The Engine Light is on in the car! (And has been for the last week! Oops!)”.
  • We go way back – not necessarily in good contact, but when we are it’s massive conversations that started out as a grown-up coffee then before you know it you’re in the most chavvy pub there is in Solihull (I mean you, Mason’s Arms) ordering Apple Sourz to remind you of the good-old-days!
  • You are a friend of a friend that I know I’ll see a lot – There’s always the possibility they’ll become your friends too!
  • You remind me of fantastic times – I still have about 5 people that I went on a Contiki Tour to Turkey with about four years ago, can’t stop looking your holiday photos.

I’m not going to bore you with the rest of my facebook habits. But Twitter, Instagram, MySpace – they all passed me by. I really thought I’d get back into it with the First and Ten Blog, and I’ve got so many friends telling me how good it is for industry updates, but I just can’t do it. Who on earth has the time and the will to read something inane, that isn’t even for you every 10 seconds?

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Rant over, feel better. And just in the time taken to write this post, I have 12 new tweets waiting for me! Probably from the Cowboys, or the Steelers Cheerleaders, who haven’t even set eyes on this Blog…

30 Years Old

I’ve changed the layout of my blog, mainly because I was bored of the Broncos theme – I mean, I love the Broncos – woah! But it doesn’t reflect me. This background belongs to an Italian restaurant in Queretaro, Mexico. There’s more than just trying to understand American Football, it’s life and everything that comes with it. I’ll still try and connect my Football posts to my every-day life, but maybe a bit more every-day life will creep in – it is off-season anyway!

And by the way, I’m 30 now!

Glass Box

So, something stupid happened and I stopped blogging. Basically it all got really really busy at work, the NFL season ended, I found other things to do at 9pm on a Sunday evening, my car is broken, I turned 30 et cetera…

So this is my ultimate escape plan, out of this hole. So they moved me from my lovely window – at work. It all starts there. I don’t have a view anymore, no more daydreaming – I now have to sit and involve myself in office politics. My role there has changed beyond my expectations. This is the Glass Box – not from my desk, but from the ground floor looking up. It’s a pressure cooker and we are constantly being kept in the dark about the “bigger picture”.

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So this is what happens : I get up from my desk, drive for a bit and talk to another company about it and they want me to join them instead! So that’s it. Good Bye Glass Box.

Ok, it’s not rocket science, or a massive quest for enlightenment, but it’s my escape. Today is T-15 days!