November 26th, 2006


Snow predictions

I just noticed that exactly a year ago, we had the first snow of the season here in Zurich. mr.ncot and I had a bet, which I won. Well, we've just remade the bet for 2006. A. reckons that we won't get snow before the end of the year (it is unseasonably warm at the moment!) whereas I think we will get snow. Enough snow settled to make and throw a snowball. And the loser? Well, the loser is just a "loser" *said in teenage tone of voice with accompanying gesture to the forehead!*

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Yoga and handstands

I hadn't been to a Friday session with Coleen for a few weeks, and boy, had I forgotten how hard it was! Cara was also there (the studio owner) and she pratices such beautiful yoga, that it's always a pleasure to be in the same class and to be able to watch and learn from her...

Anyway, my balance was all over the place and I was a bit stressed having literally raced there from work. I had left late because I was having a really interesting conversation with a work colleague about life, the universe and everything... But, I managed to do one bridge and I also did a handstand all by myself, no assistance! Plus, I bought myself one of there lavendar eye pillows, an early Christmas present to myself.

Children of Men

We went to the cinema on Friday evening and this was nr.ncot's choice. It was one of the best films I have ever seen - intelligent, thought-demanding, gritty, frightening, brilliantly acted.

Set in 2027, the world is infertile, Britain alone is the last functioning "nation", immigrants are hunted down and sent to Bexhill, Britain's Guantano bay. The film starts in London - grey, grim, strangely patriotic and a bizarre mix of WW2 imagery / Orwell's 1984 / Handmaid's Tale / 28 days. And bizarrely the film also had hints of "The Truman Show."

Clive Owen (was wonderful, brilliant actor, still sexy) as the "Hero" Theo. He is a middle aged, disillusioned alcoholic at the start and we see this world through his eyes. Despite the general grimness, there are fleeting moments of humour, swearing and smiles. Religious imagery puncuates the film. The "rebels" are called "fishes", Theo helps to rescue the last miraculous women on earth. Water imagery is prevalent - water is life, freedom, rescue.

This is a blinding film which affected me deeply - from the first scene to the last. Wonderful. 10 Stars!

Guardian Review

Observer Review

edited to add
My response to gir1fromipanema's entry
what really scared me was how "possible" this future was. So many elements seem already to be in place :-( Like you, I'm still digesting the story.... I thought Clive Owen was absolutely brilliant - really human, a little bit grey, grim, sexy plus a sense of humour.... the bit with the flipflops was great. And what I thought worked really well was the touches of humanity throughout - individuals looking out for one another. Ie the guy in Bexhill who finds him a pair of trainers. Real touches of human spirit.

Week 47: The Grateful One

At least once this week, I would like you to go out of your way to be grateful about something. Anything! Maybe you will take a moment to just sit and enjoy a beautiful day. Maybe you make a point of saying thank you to someone who has done something nice for you. Anything, big or small.

Then write in your journal about what it was you were grateful for, and how you expressed or lived out that gratitude. Share it with us here, if you want.

I am grateful for so many thigs and as I get older, I seem to find it easier to be thankful for even small pleasures!

I am grateful that my life here in Switzerland has reached a good period. We're happy and settled, we are both working, we have outside interests and a much better work-life balance than in London. We like the clear air, the healthy life, the swiss way of life :-) We're slowing building a more secure financial basis for our ourselves and our future.

I am so grateful to mr.ncot. We've had some rocky patches since moving here, but we never stopped loving eachother. He makes me laugh, he gives me courage, he scrubs my back in the bath, he strokes my hair and calms me down when I'm stressed or in pain. He hugs me and tells me he loves me. He's my star. I don't know what will happen inour life, but I look forward to finding out.

I am grateful that I have an interesting and challenging job, which is helping me to grow personally and professionally. I am grateful for such a great bunch of colleagues and a good boss. I am grateful that I am building professional networks outside of work, such as the professional women's group.

I am grateful for my family - real and extended - who support and visit me even though I'm here in Zurich. I love my cool parents, who have always supported me, who never say "when are you coming home?" or "When are you going to have children?". I love the fact that I'm close to my brother and sister and that we all look out for and look after each other, in different ways and at different times.

I am grateful to all my friends - long established and new, real and virtual, near and far. Living here has really made me appreciate and treasure all my relationships. I love that fact that my friends challenge me (to run and race, to speak German, to be honest, to confront my fears) and also share my history.

And I'm grateful for so many other things. I'm grateful for being a woman. I'm grateful for my strong, flexible, healthy body and for my running. I am grateful for finding and practising yoga - I hope I do yoga throughout my life. I am grateful for music and for my ipod - music keeps me sane and makes me feel alive. I am grateful for all the books that I have read and learnt from and I am thankful for all the books I still have to read! I am grateful for the freedom that I have as we wait for a family - the freedom to stay in bed at the weekend, drink tea, read books, write in my journal.

I am so grateful for the pleasures and the priviledges of the life I currently lead and I hope that we get a chance to build a different life together in the future.


Women, Leadership, Culture

The November PWG Meeting was about different cultures and the stereotyping of male and female leadership styles. The speaker was Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden from Catalyst.

Extract from pwg website:
Different Cultures, Similar Perceptions: Stereotyping of Western European Business Leaders
In collaboration with IMD, Catalyst has conducted a study and examined whether managers from ten predominantly Western European countries perceive differences in women's and men's effectiveness at key leadership behaviors. In addition to this, she will talk about managers' cultural beliefs, including their attitudes about which behaviors are most essential to overall leadership erformance.

My Notes

Misperception that female managers are risk averse

Role of silence at work and honesty at work

lack of female mentors / old boys network
lack of alternative female network

Made me want to do phd and to do more research

Story telling at work

female managers are perceived as "taking care" of staff
versus male managers who "take charge" - But this is not backed up by research

Humour "I'm the black, you must be the woman!"

2 characteristics of being a leader: "perceive reality honestly" and "say thank you"

Running on the Uetliberg | 58.51 (8.88km)

Distance: 8.88 km
Time: 58.51
Average: 6.37
Fastest: 5.03
Slowest: 6.36
Hill: 6.46 uphill running / 10.49 walking uphill
Hill walking section: 14.49 min
Calories: 593

A lovely afternoon on the Uetliberg with the late autumn sun. I had a really good run - my average pace is slower because the first 15 minutes / 1.5 km was a slow uphill walking pace. I can comfortably cruise at under 6 min per kilometre ie 5.45 as long as it's on the flat.

When I did this run a few weeks ago, my time was 61.21. Go me!

November 26th | 65.5 kg

Last week:
I ran three times
Went to Yoga twice
So I'm a bit surprised to not lose any weight. This week I will track my food and will get to 65 kg.

Track food
Run x 3
Yoga x 1

Mon: 1272 + 382 = 1661 | 1652 | 9 under | 9 undder (35 minutes run, 2 x walk)
Tues: 1272


Yoga and feeling a bit yucky!

I'm not sure what happened tonight, but I felt a bit jangled and then yucky throughout yoga and particularly when we'd finished. I couldn't quite seem to get it all together tonight, and usually this doesn't phase me, I just get on with it. But tonight I couldn't get into the flow. We did lots of hip openers and a long inversion sequence. And by the end I felt a bit nauseous and then walking home I felt spaced and a few times like I was going to faint (so I caught a tram). I'm now warm and safe at home and feeling better, but it really was a horrible feeling. Any yoga gurus out there got any feedback? here_be_dragons?

I did talk to my teacher to let him know how I was feeling and he thought it might be to do with all the hip poses, as these sometimes cause emotions to come out. As I said to him, I always leave yoga feeling calm and serene and was a horrible change tonight.