Monday, 22 April 2013

Chloe is 9

It was Chloes birthday at the weekend. 9 years old, that means I am 9 years older but lets brush over that fact quickly.
Shes a sweetheart, very serious, very sensitive child. Shes learning a lot about friendships and the dynamics that come with them.
Shes still in touch and hangs out with her BFF Leah in England, skype is a wonderful invention.

Shes dropped her English accent almost completely and has stopped wanting those awful Findus waffles at last.
Shes a picky eater but shes getting better, roast dinner finally has the thumbs up. She loves animals especially Mr Dukie and can be heard shouting loudly at her sister to "get out of my room"
The ocean has her vote along with all ocean mammals especially dolphins and whales.
This past winter she learnt to ski extremely quickly.
She got an Ipod Touch for her birthday - I dont even have one of those!

Happy Birthday Chloe, enjoy your last year in single digits xxxx

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Inspiration on the Linkedin Homepage

This morning I logged into Linked in and read the posts on the homepage. This is one of my new daily rituals that is only recently discovered and its great. It gives me the opportunity to read inspiring posts about career, business strategy and new trends. The posts that have the greatest pull are about new trends, thinking outside the box, change management and how to drive your business or career forward, being aware of how dynamic the world is and how to keep up. It also focuses on what can happen if you are unaware or dont keep up.

The best writers have my interest the most... and I think its because lately I have really been focusing on where my career is going here in Nova Scotia. I believe this is one of the aspects of emigrating that I didnt really focus on at any point in time in the lead up, mainly because there was so much else to think about.

I was comfortable in the UK, even when I was uncomfortable there, I was *more* comfortable than I am here on some days. I feel the slow desire to change here and see how uncomfortable it makes many people, even those in positions responsible for a company's success. I was and am still, more used to the UK way of working. There is more drive generally, more desire to look at why something fails and what the company as a whole can do about it. That may be what happens here but its certainly not the perception that I have. And so, I am still trying to understand what drives people, what the working culture is and how companies succeed when it appears that many employees are unaware of the big picture and actually dont care for it. They are more interested in what *they* can get from their job and what time they get to leave for the day.
Yes, they work hard but they dont look at why they do something and what they can do to make it more efficient thereby allowing themselves to pick up something else too.....
I am more interested in getting past the daily grind, minimizing it so that its still achieved but you then get time to look at whats new, what can be new, what can be changed, whats wrong with the picture and how it can be put right.....

This morning, I came across a post on Marissa Mayer, new CEO of Yahoo and it was about her decision to pull working from home at Yahoo. I read this with interest as of course its going against the current grain, but mostly because lately I have felt more inclined to work late at the office, than work from home. I get more done there as its harder these days to even concentrate here as I am pulled into what is important to a 9 and 5 year old. And I believe in team spirit, in the great things a cohesive team can achieve. You cant get this if you are not even working together.

I also love to read the views of intelligent, dynamic individuals... Lately I have been considering how I am going to continue to grow here in my career as an Accountant. I dont want to just be someone who analyses past data into present reports, I want to be part of the future of the company I am in. I want to look back and say - I was part of that!

So... now I am following this inspirational female and other driven writers on Linked in home page.

Friday, 19 April 2013

the peepers are back

Its here! Zipppeeee
When I left work this evening at 5pm the breeze was warm! Warm I tell you!!!
I have had some good lunchtime walks this week, without my coat on as well, the sky was blue, the sun hot and the breeze cool but not cold.

Tonight when I went outside at dusk I heard the peepers. They were so loud and it was a most welcome sound, I felt like my heart would burst with happiness. This means its Spring, which means in short weeks it will be Summer which means I am uber happy.

Tonight we have some girls here for Chloes sleepover birthday party, shes 9 years old tomorrow which I find incredible really. Shes a good girl and just wanted some girls round. Its been very noisy and a touch manic but great.

This week I have had sore knees so havent been running at all, I am mad about this as its not in line with my Mud Hero training plan but I have started pushups. Not real ones, I have to do them on my knees but I managed 15 yesterday and I will do the same today and maybe I can run tomorrow.

Lately I am working too hard, but its yearend so hopefully there is some light at the end of the tunnel

Sunday, 14 April 2013

calling Summer!

Ok, so where is Spring? Where are you, we are waiting for you!
Its been snowing all damn weekend, its not really the lay on the ground and hang around variety, although you could have fooled me on Friday night when real amounts of centimeters of the the stuff settled out there, but more the in the air variety.
If its not snowing its raining and its dreary and its frankly dull. Overcast and grey which I cant stand and reminds me too much of England.

I am hanging onto the memory of how summer sneaks in, overnight and takes you by surprise with its heat and humidity and how suddenly there are large plants in the garden that most definitely weren't there the day before and you have about 5 minutes before the bugs wake up.

I am remembering the car being full of sand constantly and of a trail of it through the house, how my flipflops are either on my feet or tossed carelessly in the hall when I want to get them off and feel the coolness of the tile under my feet. How we actually shut windows to shut out the heat. This is a phenomenon that took me a while to get my head around last year.

I am remembering, of course, and lovingly, the sound of the pool filter and the creepy banging around as it does its maintenance round in the pool. Happy sounds and happy days.

But, until then, we wait. We listen in dismay at more "weather" announced on the radio and I have to remind myself that actually this is still only April!

Come on Spring, closely followed by Summer,. I am more than done with Winter already

Friday, 12 April 2013

Mud hero is entered for

I am super excited!

I just bit the bullet so to speak and entered myself for the Mud hero event in July.

Its a 6km race over a lot of mud with some army style fences and rope ladders and tunnels thrown in and like stacks of mud. I cant wait. I am not worried about the 6km side but the mud is freaking me out slightly, I dont naturally choose to roll around in mud so that will be weird. Maybe I should practice the mud side of things in the leadup..... I am in for the 9.30 start time and I will now be hitting the gym like every day on top of my running!
Its actually really nice to have a goal in sight and have something crazy to aim for.

I also fancy the Bluenose still and the Bay of Fundy race, I need to get some more cash together to enter those though...

We also have some guests staying from May through to July so that makes me happy. My cousin arrives around May 8th and leaves around the 22nd, Pauls dad arrives on the 25th for a week, mum comes on June 6th until the 26th and friends are here from the UK for two weeks in July.

Tonight we have a friggin winter storm of all things coming in, I mean like seriously!!!! I plan to hit the bath in a mo and then stay up ridiculously late watching movies because I dont do that anymore and I should.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

This is Nova Scotia

Often I find myself in lively debate about life in Nova Scotia. Often this is with people that have moved out West to Vancouver or Alberta or are still here and are unhappy for various reasons.

They seem to have the view that Nova Scotia is poor and has very little in the way of employment and hence the housing is so cheap because no one wants to live here. They use the "youngsters going West" as a backup to this argument. Often they have never even been here.

I once read that someone wanted to honestly know what was so great in NS without the beaches being quoted, and someone replied that that was like asking for information on happiness in Alberta without being able to mention the lakes and mountains.

And heres my point:
Nova Scotias strength is in its natural beauty, its family friendly beaches and its beautiful warm lakes in the summer where you can swim the evening away in peace, and skate in the winter.

Its strength is also in its ambience in downtown Halifax, in the bars and the taverns, in the harbour walkway, in the quaint shops and the people.


People here are friendly, often to the extreme. You could be asked if you require any help in Home Hardware by another customer. I recall when we were here on our reccie and I was looking for the entrance to the office with an accounting recruiter in it, I was a little worried as I was in danger of being late. A lady with a tray of Tims coffees asked if I needed help as I was looking a little lost to her.

But Nova Scotia can also chew you up and spit you out.
The majority of employment is in or near to Halifax, those in more rural towns are jobs held for life or as near as damn it. They are then passed down to someone recommended.
If you get a job here and you are happy, this bonus becomes yours too. People give you more chances here to succeed in a job or allow you to try something else in the organization, as they want you as a person.

The housing is not so cheap nearer to Halifax, in fact I have come face to face with some of the most pricy homes I have ever seen. So the cheap housing argument becomes null and void. People can struggle to pay their rent/mortgage here too. We live in a University town, there are lots of good universities and education is a requirement for just about everything. So get out and get it, you need it!

I would want my children to "go West", I want them to be brave and pursue travel and big city life for some of their life, to live their life with a wider view, if they want to.

Therefore I know that if you are here to pursue the dream and you have all your ducks in a row, luck is required too, that and a stack of patience.

Life can move slowly here, that includes recruitment. Taxes are higher than anywhere else - 15% HST, cell phone bills are more expensive than say Ontario and thats before tax but you know what, I will still pay it. I will still pay these irritating expensive items to live here in this ambience, in this beautiful province.

Yes - we have the people of Walmart, we have people here that are indescribably dense, people in jobs that frankly they wouldnt have a hope in getting or retaining in the UK. But we also have great friendly people, good people, that will walk my daughter home when she fell off her bike. That stopped to help me in Lower Water Street, that will stop their car to let me cross the street. That will take care of my children and find me when we got disconnected in Superstore.

This is a place where there is less traffic and therefore less fatal accidents, less violence, less anti-social behaviour, less keeping up with the Jones.

Where I say good morning to the lakes on my way into work and the Bay if I happen to go to Joseph Howe Drive and good afternoon to each and every person in the evening when I walk the dog.

This is Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

kitchen and florida dreaming

Plans are afoot and that make me a very happy bunny. I love plans.
Kitchen designs are being considered. I say considered because thats all we are doing, the kitchen will cost such a large chunk of change that a) it has to be perfect and b) it needs some saving for....

I am thinking granite and island and tile - floors and silvery glass ones in a strip on the walls amidst white tile...
something like this Ikea kitchen:

Talking of islands - we are all set for Florida in the Fall in our hearts and minds. The time off is booked, the cash is squirrelled (thank you CRA tax refund) and the days are ticking along closer and closer. I can almost smell the pina coladas and the great thing about all this is that we have the summer first, so its like double whammy before the cold sets back in again....

And the cold appears to be at last leaving us, we had an amazing Easter weekend weather wise. Once Lily got over her sickness she was out on her bike and I was surveying the crocuses that have appeared like magic over night.

We are still in yearend at work, its so stressful that I have managed to get into my OCS mode. Theres nothing I can do, but what is in front of me, worrying about it all will just waste time....