Ichabod is itchy

June 18, 2006

Happy Father’s Day

Filed under: life,reflections — by ichabodisitchy @ 7:50 pm

Today is Father's Day in the UK and I wanted to send out best wishes to all you dads out there… One of my friends, Rafael Behr, has only recently become a father and last week he wrote a rather moving piece for the Observer Woman Magazine called  'Is being a dad ruining your career?'.

People are always talking about the problems that women face in trying to juggle their work and family life– but what about men? They have just as much dual responsibility to handle and are equally keen to spend time with their children. Raf does a good job of describing the dilemma from a dad's point of view.

June 14, 2006

The old world is black and white

Filed under: reflections — by ichabodisitchy @ 11:24 pm

Every now and then Harry–my younger stepson–comes out with a 'Harry-ism' that opens a window into his perception of the world. I love the way that kids try to make sense of the world and think they have it all figured out. And sometimes I wish things were just the way Harry envisages them. Yesterday he was giving me career advice. Having watched me take a paid week off in between jobs (having not taken all my holiday entitlement), he thought he had found a cunning way of getting extra holiday time and told us that when he grows up he is going to move jobs every month– that way, he will only have to work every three out of four weeks but still get paid for the full month. How lovely. And then I shattered his illusions by explaining the term 'freelancer'.

But my favourite 'Harry-ism' was one he came out with a couple of years ago. And I didn't have the heart to disillusion him. We had just bought Drop Dead Fred on dvd and, inevitably, had watched it 100 times. On the way to school, Harry said "We're so lucky to have Drop Dead Fred on dvd aren't we?" "Yeeees" I replied. He went on to explain "I mean, in 15 years time, when it is only available in black and white, we'll still have it in colour". He had it all figured out– movies had a limited life span after which, they became 'old' and, therefore, only available in black and white.

I'm sure all kids must have these worldly insights. What's your favourite? 

June 10, 2006

Orchids

Filed under: flowers,reflections — by ichabodisitchy @ 7:55 pm

One of my leaving presents was this beautiful orchid. I'm not reknown for my green fingers, so wanted to get a picture of it on here before I inadvertently kill the thing off. 

It's a stunner and has lots of unopened buds, so should (in theory) stay in bloom for ages. 
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Am a little worried that there is already a brown leaf. Not sure if I'm meant to give it lots of water, or practically none. I'm guessing the latter, as the pot doesn't appear to have any sort of drainage. But have been taking the middle road thus far… 

June 9, 2006

World cup fever

Filed under: football,reflections — by ichabodisitchy @ 4:17 pm

Having grown up in Brasil, I can't help feel a little tingle down my back as the world cup finals start. I'm sitting in front of the first game as I type, waiting for kick-off…

and they're off. Costa Rica vs Germany– the first of 64 football games where legends are made and dreams of glory crushed (for most!) The funny thing is that, although I do still enjoy watching a good game every now and then, I really don't follow league football anymore. I used to as a kid (Corinthians was our team) but sort of lost interest somewhere in my early 20s. 

[Goodness- first goal of the match. Germany have scored– Philipp Hamm– beautiful goal].

Where was I? Yes– having lost interest in football. But there's something special about the world cup. And something happens to people at the start of a world cup (at least, in England it does). Everyone has such high hopes and there is a real feeling of optimism in the streets. It happens for the Euro cup as well. Everybody smiling, flags waving and it feels sunny even if it isn't. The brotherly love doesn't stay for long, as we invariably get booted out in one of the early stages. But it's good while it lasts.

[Costa Rica have scored– amazing! that was some poor defence. He just walked right into the goal!] 

I've drawn England out of a hat for our world cup sweepstake. But that's not why I'll be cheering for England. I want to hang on to the general feeling of optimism around for as long as possible. Go England! (and Brasil– would be disloyal for anyone who's spent any time living in Brasil not to cheer for them!)

June 7, 2006

Time spent in between

Filed under: reflections — by ichabodisitchy @ 3:38 pm

I'm in between jobs at the moment. Not for long– my last day was Friday and now I have a brief respite until Monday, when I start my new job. I've timed it pretty well– the sun having finally decided to make an appearance this summer. The gorgeous weather, combined with my being internet-less over the past few days, has meant I've spent most of my 'time in between' sat in the garden, reflecting on the last two years of work and going over all the things I've done and learnt at what was, my first 'real' job.

Despite being a novice blogger, I have already learnt that it is not good etiquette to discuss office life on your blog (although I dare say that having already left, I can hardly be dooced for doing so), so won't post all the ins and outs. But I do want to say a few words about my manager, Maxine (aka Petrona). With my new job offer in hand, I made a list of all the pros and cons against leaving my current position. The list of cons was, inevitably, fairly long. And the pros were small in number. But at the top of the pro list, in capital letters, was Maxine.

Maxine has guided me, through the last two years, with infinite patience and wisdom. She started off as 'just my manager' but rapidly became my mentor and my friend. I have learnt so much from her– about journal publishing, science editing and about life. I know I wouldn't have been given the opportunities I've had without her, nor the constant support or encouragement I needed to gain confidence as an editor. My new job is a great opportunity for me and I am so excited (if also a little nervous) about stepping up to the challenge, but I know it wouldn't have been possible without Maxine. 

And so, I woud like to thank you Maxine. For everything. I only hope I can do you credit by making this next stage of my life a success.

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