Monday, 31 December 2012

Farewell 2012 and hello 2013!

Dear all,

Thank you for a tremendous 2012 and I look forward to seeing you all in 2013...

I will not be sorry to see the back of the aftermath of Sandy - 4 days with no power chez Simons was nothing compared to what some people went through...

However, I am happy to be going into 2013 as the godmother to Oliver - a charming little boy who apparently loves Snakes and Ladders and train sets!

Ed and I attended out first wedding in the US - in Detroit! We also witnessed the marriage of two dear friends in the UK. Best wishes to both couples - may you enjoy the rest of your lives together!

4th of July (the only time the date is stated in the British way, ironically!) was spent atop a roof top with vintage-clad friends at a burlesque party which opened the door to a very warm summer and a welcome break in the UK.

Thanksgiving was a welcome break in Maumee, OH followed closely by Christmas in NYC... Tonight is NYE and then it will be back to the grindstone aka work.

Happy New Year!

(And no, blogging more is not one of my new year resolutions!)

Sandy ravaged Chelsea

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Please don't shout...

Christmas was  familial and New Year's Eve was amicable (in the true French meaning) so all in all the last month or so has been wonderful.

The office of the New York Mayor, however, has come under considerable fire following the snow deluge on Boxing Day. I can understand the frustrations of those who are accustomed to getting around unhindered particularly as Delta resolved to cancel our flight from Detroit to JFK which was scheduled a full two days after the storm...
Not only were we put in the position of having to hire a car and drive 12 hours back to New York across Ohio and Pennsylvania but our money has not been repaid for our return flight - customer service from the public sector and from the private sector collide in a snowball fight!

So, without shouting on the television or at the television or from my soapbox I would like to have a little word with our flight operator and their lack of empathy for our situation... Did they really think that offering to re-book us on flights on New Year's Day would be acceptable? How do you refund time with friends? Please pull your finger out, Delta and at the very least return our hard-earned cash to us!

Time with friends is not a perk, it is a precious commodity that we all work hard to attain....

Perks are fringe benefits, for example free food at one's work place or subsidised gym membership (or if you are really lucky, both!). If an employer feels they are in a position to entice the best employees by offering above standard recompense, is that to be frowned on? I would have thought that would increase the calibre of the staff by increasing the competition, no....?

Don't all shout at once!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas gets off to an early start...!

The weekend before last Laura and I went to the New Amsterdam Market at South Street Seaport. It would seem that all things Danish and Denmark are getting quite a lot of attention these days... There were about 5 chefs making Danish open sandwiches, or smørrebrød, at the market and the queue was loooong! However, no-one seemed to mind that Laura and I wiggled our way to the front so we could take photographs...

The atmosphere was great and we enjoyed walking around the intimate market taste-testing some of the wares on offer!

On Friday my friend Kimberly (who I met through New York Cares) invited me to a networking event she was hosting. The event was at Blaggard's Pub on West 38th street and it was interesting to meet people with such varied backgrounds, including two massage therapists! Following my manicure today, I think I could get used to more pampering and a massage might be just the thing...

Yesterday (Saturday) Laura, Thomas and I met up and, after a walk along the promenade, went to the Danish Seamen's church in Brooklyn Heights where we indulged in a little pre-Advent Christmas fare - they even had Elephant Beer and Gløgg (mulled wine) to go with the æbleskiver (dumplings served with jam), frikadeller (Danish meat balls) and hotdogs. There was such a lovely atmosphere and Danes doing what Danes do best - indulging in "hygge" (think cosy ambience, candlelight, good company... you get the picture!). We had a great time and also purchased some goodies for delivery to my mother in a week's time...

Frank Gehry's new building in Downtown

Thomas and Laura indulge...

Next week Ed and I are taking the train from Penn Station to Toledo, OH for Thanksgiving  - no doubt there will be stories from that adventure...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, 8 November 2010

The happy couple

Night on the town in New York

The Carter family in Arkesden

Take part!

It is too easy to let the days go by in an interminable cycle of morning ritual, daily routine and evening slob! So we don't...

Besides other smaller treats and diversions, to break our cycle Ed and I spent the last two weeks of October in the UK.

We had a lovely time rushing around in the first week in a whirl of pre-wedding madness helping Alex and Keri prepare for their joyous day. It was an honour to be a part of the early morning journey to New Covent Garden Flower Market, the rehearsal in the church, the subsequent dinner and, above all, the beautiful ceremony and fantabulous reception!

In the spirit of taking part, I must confess I worked three days of each week at the office on Victoria Embankment. London is a lovely place to be at this time of year and there seemed to be a distinct vibrancy in the city - maybe something to do with the new city bikes - so it was no hardship going to work, at all!

One of the great things about being in the UK is the proximity to our lovely friends and we certainly made the most of them during our visit! Thank you all for making our holiday so enjoyable and we look forward to returning the favour when you come to NYC...!

Our Icelandic friends arrived to visit us the day before we returned to NY - rather nice to be welcomed home to our own apartment! Being employed is a real hindrance to my social life but I need an income so we utilised the hours at each end of the day to have some fun instead and this culminated in a great night on Friday.

It all started with drinks at our local bar where the happy hour prices are bound to make anyone's frown turn upside down... The Crooked Knife for dinner, the Cubbyhole for my first experience of a gay bar (lesbians in this case), a bar in the Meatpacking district (name not known!) and the Back Room on the LES ensured spirits were kept high until late! Thank goodness the Coffee Shop on Union Square does such a good brunch!

So yes, life, we're taking part and sometimes to do that I have to take time out... Time for a cup of tea.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

First NY purchase...

I have ordered my camera (see previous post) and hope fully it will arrive in time for our holiday in the UK! If I am really lucky it may even arrive in time for me to read and understand the destructions, sorry I mean instructions...

We have had visitors and been to a wedding, booked a train trip to Maumee for Thanksgiving and booked our flights to Maumee for Christmas...
The schedule is such that our lovely friends Rósa and Dagur are arriving to stay with us here in NYC before we return from the UK and during their week here we are going to a basketball game! My friend from Bristol University, Alan, is hopefully also coming to stay for a weekend mid-November, before he commences a very highbrow job in Washington DC...

Busy we may be, but this evening there are no plans and it is time to catch up on housekeeping etc.

Time to sign off!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Work and on-line shopping...

It has been a crazy week - I have rejoined the ranks of the employed and never in my life has a week passed as quickly as this one!

Thankfully, the weekend will probably be just as crazy - what is the point of achieving a level of craziness if you are not going to maintain it?!

In all seriousness, it is great to be back at work and, once I can establish my own rythm, rather than be subject to the seemingly wild rythm of others, I am sure my life will become less crazy again!


The weekend is over and it was amazing! There were a few mundane tasks that had to be completed yesterday but once they were out of the way the fun began...

Mette and Anja arrived  from Copenhagen late afternoon. They dropped off their bags, changed their clothes and off we went to partake of the celebrations of Thomas' 30th birthday. We started at White Slab and went on to a great club called the Back Room. Here the drinks were served prohibition style, so bottles of beer were served in wrapped in paper bags and cocktails were served in tea-cups - inspired!

Later, after champagne, white wine, a few tequila shots and beer Ed and I took  our jet-lagged charges home leaving my siblings and several other revellers to party the night away!

Unfotunately for Thomas his birthday is in fact today! We (Laura, Cameron, Edward, Mette, Anja and myself) therefore traipsed to Brooklyn Heights and dropped in on a delicate-feeling little brother... A couple of Alka-Seltzers and some birthday presents later, Thomas seemed more like his usual self so we were all able to go to brunch. Lovely!

This afternoon Anja and Mette have been contemplating the purchase of digital cameras... Following consultation of the internet they have decided upon a model and are currently indulging in a little Sunday evening shopping - welcome to New York, girls!

Speaking of retail therapy, a certain important person in my life made a certain purchase at a certain fruit inspired store today.... No it was not an iPad but still, there is at least one happy person in our apartment this evening!

Canon PowerShot SD1400IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)