Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Three Good Years

(posted by Elizma)

Today is our third wedding anniversary. It's been great so far and I'm looking forward to the next 50 years together. I do want to mention that I have a wonderful and loving husband for which I am truly thankful... Thanks to all our family and friends for you text messages, cards and e-mails. We miss you all very much!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Fat Man Walking

(posted by Elizma)

I found this website as a result of an article on the BBC website - The Fat Man Walking. Steve Vaught is walking from San Diego to NYC in a bid to lose weight and get his life back. I find it 'inspiring' - for lack of a better word. I really enjoy his thoughts and his experience of 'finding himself'. It gives me a lot of food for thought and makes me think what I am willing to do and sacrifice in life to get where I want to be...

Now why am I not surprised?

(posted by Elizma)

As you all probably know, we've had no heating for the last month as our boiler (geyser for the South Africans) broke. In all that time, we braved temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius dipping into the the minusses quite frequently. Our boiler was repaired yesterday, and lo and behold, the forecast for the next week is a very mild 12-14 degrees. But that's the way it goes, isn't it?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Our latest Italy photos

(posted by Leon)

Here we are on top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa! See that smile on my face? Well, it's all fake! I'm scared witless. And for once I've a right to be -- this tower REALLY does feel like it's going to fall over....

Click on the photo to view our (long promised) Italy (Tuscany, Florence, Venice) photos.

Hint: There is a slideshow option available
here, but this won't include captions (hint-hint Flickr!). Otherwise, to view photos and captions, use the 'next/previous' thumbnails to the right of the main picture. Have fun!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The cat's out of the bag....

(posted by Leon)

NO! We're not pregnant! :-)

But.... I did, in fact, resign yesterday! Which is a big step for me - I've only ever had 2 jobs, of 5 years each. So I'm pretty nervous, but decided to take the plunge & go contracting.

"Contracting", for those who don't know, is kinda similar to freelancing. You get short-term contracts with, in my case, investment banks. I've landed a great one at a bank called Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. It's a 6 month contract, but one that'll hopefully roll on a few times (i.e. hopefully they'll extend me for a few more 6 month contracts).

I'll be doing exactly what I do now, and hopefully be learning a bit too. Contracting pays a lot more than permanent employment, and, correctly structured, one can pay less tax (%) too (legally!). But there are risks and other con's. Like not having paid holiday or paid sickleave, no company pension, etc.

But I believe the pro's outweigh the con's. I'm looking forward to the change and to the new challenges -- which is one of the main reasons I decided to leave Lehmans. I felt that I'm falling into a comfort zone again, so just had to force myself into action.

I got on with the people who interviewed me like a house on fire, so I'm keen to get stuck in there.

My last day at Lehman Brothers will be the 13th of April. Oh, and I'm going to miss the great friends I made at Lehmans a lot!

So, nerves aside, I'm pretty excited! Will post some more about the new job when the time arrives.

I love my job!

(posted by Elizma)

Yes, I still do. It's been almost 4 months now - so it's pretty amaizing! This week I spent a couple of days filming for Surrey Police. The 'subjects' were people who have been around 70 years or more. I spent the mornings filming for about 30 minutes and then an hour having tea with them as all of them already prepared everything before our arrival and it would be quite rude to refuse. Yesterday I had a meeting with one of my colleagues close to Brighton. After our meeting we went to his home as his dogs needed to be walked (the dogwalker has fallen ill). So I spent an hour of my Friday afternoon walking two dogs on the beach. All in a days work, hey?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Good news at work

(posted by Elizma)

I've had some good news today. I was originally employed on a 6 month contract with the possibility of an extension. Well, they were happy enough with me so far to offer me a permanent contract yesterday - after only 3 months. That is obviously great news. I'm extremely happy in my job. I can truthfully say the thing I thought did not exist: I LOVE MY JOB!


(posted by Leon)

Tomorrow will mark 2 weeks since our boiler (South Africans: "geyzer", Americans: "water heater") went bye-bye. And, if by any chance you've been watching the Weather Channel, you'll note this coincides precisely with the coldest spell of our winter! Great, just great!

So, after a few very uncomfortable days at home, friends loaned us a standalone oil heater. It's an amazing little thing -- heats the whole house. We don't, however, keep it on overnight, so getting up in the -3 degree (celcius) mornings is a tad ...well... uncomfortable.

Hopefully not too long now. I've got the quotes and they should be fixing it soon-ish.