Tuesday, April 24, 2007


On the Tube on the way to work yesterday, I stood opposite a young man who was picking his nose with great gusto, vim, and vigour. He was relishing it greatly. And this was a somewhat crowded carriage. His nostrils were capacious, so I imagine they had collected a lot of furniture. (My mother calls nose-picking "moving furniture".)

I make light of it now, but I nearly gagged then and forced myself to stare at the floor whilst I could still hear him sucking his fingers and knuckles. *shudder* As I stared at the ground, I thought to myself, I do hope he is not a parliamentary clerk...and what do you know? When I got out at Westminster, he went through the passholders' private entrance...right into the Houses of Parliament, the cheek!


So, this job I am doing. It's very involved, and I got thrown in the deep end on Monday morning. They had no idea so much needed doing within the first two hours.

But it settled down and the department director thinks I am picking it up rather quickly. Maintaining links with people who had got used to the persons I had replaced - the first moved upstairs and the second, a temp, got a job two weeks after starting. It is a huge international project that is winding down in the next couple of months, and I'll be there till then, I guess.

One thing I don't understand is my odd change in attitude. While being rather amiable before, yet hesitant with phones, I have noticed this week I have become unusually reserved face to face, but suddenly pretty good on the phone. What is that all about???

Anyway, first day on the job I took minutes at a 2-hour strategy teleconference between London and Brazil - no idea what anyone was going on about, but I wrote stuff down on 8 pages, and before I lost my hold on what they were going on about, condensed it into 3 pages of bullet points. The director checked it over today, said she had no idea how I got it down to that, and then I sent it out to everyone. A reply came back from the other London attendee: "Blimey, that was swift, thanks!"


I took an hour's walk today, from Westminster along Millbank to Chelsea Bridge Road and then to Victoria. This room temperature weather is awesome! Lunch in the park was also pleasant, specially as it was a very neat toasted Mexican tortilla wrap stuffed with slow-cooked pork, refried beans, sour cream, cheese, and spinach, and topped with guacamole. I say it was neat because despite being a wrap, nothing fell out and it only dripped twice. I think sometimes wraps don't need to be as overstuffed as they are.


Sunday, I walked to Camden where I joined my aunt, cousins/hubby and kids at Marine Ices, a friendly family restaurant that is 75 years old this year. Pizza, pasta, and ice cream. Well, I had zabaglione. They didn't have any semi-freddo.

I like Camden. It's funny that I can say that after living in St John's Wood for the past 3 years because I hated it when I lived in Hackney. :)

Anyway, my cousin Mich said to her son Zack (he's 6), "I'm relying on you to help me with the twins." (They just turned 2.) And Zack said, "But I'm not relying on myself."
He's funny.

It was on the agenda that I would explain to Zack how trees make oxygen for us, so while I explained it, Mich wrote the chemical formulae for oxygen and carbon dioxide on a piece of paper for Zack to see. (Seriously.) He said, "Why is there a 2 after the O?" and Mich replied that it was because there are two oxygen atoms attached to the carbon atom. I love how she tells him everything! That is how I want to be with my children.


Pandabonium said...

A post that goes from the disgusting to the sublime! Glad you put it in that order. :D

I've only been to London twice (both times long ago). Once in February - brrr. Once in May - wonderful weather. Loved the city both times.

AmitL said...

Hi,Olivia...LOL at the nose-picker parliamentarian..frankly, I think this breed of people are not really picking their nose-instead,they're concentrating..the way we concentrate when we,say,drum our fingers on the table,or,stare fixedly at a source,or,rub the nose with a thumb..what do u think?Nice to see u're getting along in ur job.Change of attitudereserved,pretty good on phone,etc- it's a time of adjusting to new environs,I guess.Let me end with 'Blimey,u wrote this post well.':)

Anonymous said...

Ew how grim! Seriously why do people not just blow their noses rather than picking them. Bleurgh!

That wrap sounds gooooooood (despite not liking pork so much) Nyum.

You'll be so cute with your kids..I'll quiz them and they'll know everything there is to know about ANYTHING!!


ML said...

I could be wrong, but I think when people are that weird about picking their noses and eating the mother lode, it's some kind of nervous habit. Not that I'm defending them or anything because I was really gagging when I read the first part about Mr. Nostrils.

Way to go on doing your job so well! That definately puts points in your score book for good employee.

I like how your cousin interacted with her son :-)

Anonymous said...

what should you do if your nose goes on strike????


I'll get my coat....

lunaliar said...

I'm so glad things are going great with your new work! And I've never heard of "moving furniture" but I have heard of "mining gold" or "nose mining." Whatever you call it, it should require a tissue and be done in private!

Anyway, your family, as always, sounds lovely!

Memoria said...

We will have to talk about your previous post a bit more one day. I disagree with your reason behind stating the guy's race in the previous post but not the race of the "nose-picker" in this one.

I still love you, though! :D

david santos said...

O dia 25 de Abril de 1974 foi o dia do derrube da ditadura fascista em Portugal, a chamada REVOLUÇÃO DOS CRAVOS, e a queda do (poder) dos inimigos do povo. 25 de Abril, sempre.

Day 25 of April of 1974 was the day of it knocks down of the dictatorship fascist in Portugal, the call REVOLUTION OF the flowers, and the fall of the power of the enemies of the people. 25 of April, forever!
يوم 25 نيسان 1974 كان يوم تقرع عليها من الديكتاتوريه الفاشيه في البرتغال والدعوة للثورة الزهور ، وسقوط سلطة أعداء الشعب. 25 نيسان ، الى الابد!

День 25 апреля 1974 года, в день он постучит в воздухе фашистской диктатуры в Португалии слово О РЕВОЛЮЦИИ цветы, и падение власти враги народа. 25 апреля, навсегда!
Le jour 25 d'avril de 1974 était le jour de lui frappe vers le bas du fasciste de dictature au Portugal, de la RÉVOLUTION d'appel des fleurs, et de la chute de la puissance des ennemis du peuple. 25 d'avril, pour toujours !
Tag 25 von April von 1974 war der Tag von ihm klopft unten vom Diktaturfaschisten in Portugal, von der Anruf REVOLUTION der Blumen und vom Fall der Energie der Feinde von den Leuten. 25 von April, für immer
25天41974年的一天,它拍下來的法西斯獨裁政權,葡萄牙 號召革命的鮮花,秋天的權力得到人民的敵人. 25日,永不停息

Olivia said...

Pandabo - hm, didn't do that on purpose, but glad it worked out well.

There was a blurb in the newspaper about how people fall in love with London, despite how expensive it is and how grumpy its inhabitants. Juuuuuust when I am wobbling in the balance between staying in love with it and falling out of love with it...


Amit - I believe for him it was a tic. He could have bit his nails, but this is the one he ended up with.

Hm, adjusting maybe, but usually I am a bit more outgoing. I wonder if the approach of the director is affecting me - she reminds me of a headmistress from school.

Blimey, thanks!


Ames - LOL! I could hear you say that!

Pork isn't that high on my list either, but that's why I liked how understuffed the wrap was. There was just the right amount of everything in it.

Ames, let's hope I even have kids...I do want them more now than ever...


ML - spot on, I agree it's a nervous habit like biting nails as I said to Amit.

Oh my goodness you just reminded me (indirectly) that I forgot to inform my other agencies that I will be out of circulation until the end of June (apparently).


Anonymous - hehe, thanks for that laugh.
Do I know you?


Luna - yep, I always check on my nostrils before going out. Dust the furniture, you know.

And thank you :)


Memoria - argh, you are tenacious, and I always forget.

By the way, I could not tell what he was.


About that santos guy...! How did spammers overcome the security codes???

Anonymous said...

that weather sounds fine, it was 6 here today, very sunny so me and Gwyn took the bus to bowring park to wander


Olivia said...

Jia Li - 6??? It was 18 here today, do you even remember what 18 feels like in the sunshine, chica?

Brrrrr, you crrrrazy Canadians!

Dan said...

toasted Mexican tortilla wrap stuffed with slow-cooked pork, refried beans, sour cream, cheese, and spinach, and topped with guacamole

Stop torturing me so! It's about 10:30pm here in New Jersey which means that the next appropriate meal for tortillas will be at least 14 hours from now.


Anonymous said...

"Anonymous - hehe, thanks for that laugh.
Do I know you?"

Yes you do bubble. I thought this logger tracked IP addresses - you should recognise that. Or shall I babble on about fast cars???

Popped into a Ferrari dealer a week back - had a look at a 360M, 430, 430 Spyder, 575 and 612. All good, but the 360 was the best. Listed at £83k for a second hand model but it was a genuine manual box rather than a paddle shift so I was not buying. Bit of a pain to fit in the garage but what the hell....

Anonymous said...

first day at work, looks like you had your hands full. You'll probably learn lots of new stuff.

Yum, lunch at the park-- sounds marvelous. I have been eating indoors for too long.

Did I tell you, I am leaving for Mehico for 10days tomorrow.

bisous, vanessa

Anonymous said...

sigh, I hope I can remember


Ricercar said...

lol at ur commuter buddy

Olivia said...

Dan - anything that remotely resembles Mexican food here in London grabs my attention!


Anony! Yes it's the things you talk about and a certain tone that identifies you. A joke had me floundering. I've seen more anonymouses lately and am getting confused. So just call me bubble every time or something. Or make up a name for yourself. Bubble boy, Hehe!

What the hey jay, a Ferrari??? Remember when I told you if you got a Porsche I would stop talking to you. Your new one is still hot off the press, whatcha looking at Ferraris for?

You could put it in the garage at your house in St Albans...hehe, the one you haven't got. Yet.


Vanessa - no you didn't tell me about Mehico coz we haven't talked in aaaaages!!! Have fun, make sure to tell me about it when you get back. Is Yann going with you?


Jia - hold on, another month and you might be able to go out without a scarf :P


Ricercar - ew, buddy. ew!
LOL I just misspelled your name as Riverbar. LOL! Funny. :P

The Moody Minstrel said...

Hey, people in Parliament have every right to pick their noses! After all, they pick everything else for you, don't they?


Maybe that was his way of keeping himself from falling victim to frothy-mouthed political radicals.

Last time I was in Camden (which was the ONLY time I've ever been there) my newlywed wife bought a stack of rare My Bloody Valentine records at a phenomenally expensive price (though they were more than likely pirated) only to find out she didn't like them. I bought a cool-looking suede jacket which wound up covered with green mold two years later.

(Speaking of ewww...)

tooners said...

i love how she tells zach everything as well. it makes for really smart kids. i plan and have already started doing this w/ naief, even tho he's only 3 mths old. but can't hurt to start them young, the way i see it.

i love the story about the nose picker. i laughed out loud and then realized the baby is falling asleep as i read this on the hubby, and i find that i hope i don't wake him. but... gosh it was funny especially the part of hearing him w/ his fingers and knuckles. that is just sick but i love that kind of stuff and toilet humor... always have. :)

it's good that you've become good on the phone... especially when your job calls for it. i'm in awe of your minute taking. i always hated that... and found that i would day dream and miss big pieces of what was being said.... not too good now is it?!!

anyway... glad to hear that you're doing so well at work. i hope it continues to go smoothly.

tooners said...

i also agree w/ amiti... i think it's a concentration thing. some ppl become obsessed w/ it and space off, not realizing just how deeply they're getting into it. i used to work w/ a woman and everyone made fun of her behind her back.... for doing just that.

Olivia said...

Minstrel - ewwwww!


Tooners - I am glad I got to tickle your funnybone - and that Naief didn't wake up!