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Saturday 30 April 2022

Maslow was wrong

Almost since the very beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been working on our “back to work” strategy – new normal, time to review what permanent changes we can make as a result, blah blah. 

Amongst the myriad changes that we have made – mostly positive in my view, but I am probably biased - it seems to be parking (or the lack thereof going forwards) that has caused the most employee angst. The company logic of course is that if employees are not going to be on-site full time there is no need to pay for additional city-centre parking spaces.

Those that are most stressed about parking are the most junior in the company and the most senior. I have sympathy for the junior members of the organisation – they are obviously least well paid, and the prospect of having to shell out for a public car park every time they come in the office is obviously stressful and makes a big financial difference. Some of our offices are not the easiest to get to by public transport and there might be the added complication of kids being dropped off at school or nursery etc. 

It’s the more senior cohort and their reaction that interests me. I recently took part in an external “round table” event where a bunch of consultants tried to sell us services to things we already knew or had already done that was about best practice sharing and networking across industries. 

According to the research presented, those aged 48 and over are the age group most likely to want to return to the office. Now, first, as someone aged *cough* 48, I can say I’m definitely not in this camp, but then I’m an anti-social introverted grumpy old woman who has no desire to go back to spending 2 and a half hours of my day commuting when I can spend that extra time exercising, learning Greek and baking sourdough bread in bed. Apparently it’s to do with the fact that people aged 48 and over are all in “senior management positions”. A quick internet search tells me that a third of all workers in 2020 were aged 50 and over. I can’t actually believe that a third of workers are also senior managers, but I may be putting 50 and 50 together to make 4…

Anyway, prior to the pandemic, access to parking was based on rank (and length of service) and removal of the automatic right to park on-site therefore represents an obvious removal of a perk. The howls of outrage were deafening. Never mind the fact that this is the group of employees that can most afford the odd public car park and the fact that they will probably be spending less than 40% of their previous time in the office in future. In fact, the only other time I can think of that has been such "noise" was when the free Friday fruit baskets were removed a few years ago due to cost cutting. 

The message? Don't make us go back in the office, but don't you dare take away everything that was there before!

"Maslow's Hierarchy for Geek Events" by davidflanders is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Tuesday 21 April 2020

The discovery of the sardine tin

Hello, well, this is weird. Normally it's my mum writing the posts. Anyway, hi my name is Harriet but you know me as thing 2, DD2, number 2 child, etc. In a nutshell I am the youngest of the two children. I am almost 13, which I think is important because when the last blog was posted I was 10. In one word I would describe myself as weird, so would everyone I know. I'm that kid who likes chocolate fingers and ketchup. I told you I'm weird.

In this covid 19 crisis I have been doing work from my mum's tablet. Today I was scrolling through the camera roll when I came across a screenshot of this very website. Of course I've seen it before but I never thought about searching it. My curiosity got the better of me and next thing I know I am scrolling through these very posts. They made me laugh a lot and remember those moments. I particularly enjoyed the letter to shoe companies and got very excited of when there was a picture of my brilliant year 3 shoes. Man, saying that makes me feel old.

A lot has changed around here, we have a new kitchen and a fabulous bathroom. Pretty cool right? Covid 19 has given me a lot of free time. Which makes this even more boring. Especially because I'm an extrovert. I have to go places and the furthest I have been recently is our local pharmacy. I don't like having loads of homework but I can't just complain about that because it is my only form of education. The worst part is I might have to have my 13th birthday in lock down, however I'm kind of looking forward to it. One thing I am sad about is we had a whole list of what we were going to do and now we can't. 

I really like the name the sardine tin. One time I thought of a slogan: we are the sardines and the world is our tin can. So what's the moral of the story? Don't tell your kids you have a blog or this will happen. Heheheheheh. 

Monday 16 January 2017

Ski fashion through the ages

This weekend marked the panicky “4 weeks until we go skiing” weekend for me. Four weeks of “Argh,I will never be fit enough” and “argh, why do children always insist on GROWING?”

Anyway, last weekend, we had some of the lovely friends who we are going with over to our place, and we took them on a tour of local outdoor sports outfitters in a quest to get them kitted out in some new gear.This clearly made me realise that, while I am quite good at spending my own money, spending other people’s is ten times more fun! It was a largely successful trip, resulting in them mainly getting what they came for, and no children whining.

Our friend M has not updated his ski attire since we first went skiing with him around 15 years ago, and this got me pondering (in a totally unresearched, unscientific way) how slopeside fashion has moved on over the years...

The 70s:

The earliest known photograph of me on a pair of skis dates from roughly 1976 at the age of not very old, courtesy of a winter holiday in Austria. Sadly, despite my best efforts, I was unable to unearth it in my parent's house for the sake of this blog post. You'll have to believe me when I say it involves a very fetching bright red one-piece and the biggest 70s-style sunglasses on a very small child - very vaguely like this, but smaller:

Image result for 1970s child ski clothing
via Pinterest

My knowledge of the fashions of this time is slightly sketchy, but I can only deduce that the seventies followed the high fashion knitted jodhpurs and woolly jumpers of the Bond films of the 1960s with some slightly more basic “technical” properties, such as waterproofing.

The 80s:

The 1980s of course is where slope fashion really kicks up a notch - with added colour, added print and added volume. Common for both men and women was the all-in-one, either in delicate pastels or primary colours with graphic prints. These styles can still be spotted on the ski slopes of the French alps in the over-50s if you look carefully, but the photo I'm using to demonstrate this look IS from the family archive - eyes have been starred to protect the innocent...:

80s ski fashion

The 90s:

Starting off in counter-culture towards the late 80s and the early 90s, by the late 90s “snowboard style” was becoming more mainstream and with a defined identity - even influencing mainstream ski fashions, which got looser and baggier and reverted to two pieces

Image result

The 00s:

Thankfully, the noughties is where I first started my forays into serious downhill territory, and by this
point designer fashion was making a name for itself on the slopes, as in this photo of Victoria
Beckham – Chanel skis, anyone?

Victoria Beckham with Chanel Skis
via Pinterest

More obviously, however, for those of us mere mortals that could not stretch to Prada ski jackets, this merely meant a more toned down aesthetic – at least as far as colours went. Black was, after all, the new black, and even if you weren't dressed as the milk tray man, you were probably dressed fairly "tastefully" in comparison to some of the 80s and 90s.

The 2010s:

Which brings us to today. The biggest change in the last ten years has probably been the move from "helmets for the kids" to "helmets for all", and it's now rare to see people without them on the slopes. Colour and pattern are also making a comeback in a big way, and not just on jackets, but also on salopettes, as is ski wear that doesn't look much like ski wear -  beware the perils of a furry hood in the snow! If you're thinking of updating your look, therefore, you probably have more choice than ever - if you really want to, you can even find one-piece suits for adults again...

Dare you try that "anything goes" vibe? Here are some of my favourite slightly wackier picks:

L-R, from top left: Decathlon slide ski trousers, Burton radar jacket, Women's chevron "oneskee", Smith Valence ski helmet,  Top Shop zebra co-ord, Roxy Rockferry goggles, Sweaty Betty Jardin long sleeve top and leggings, Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex pro pants,  Dare2Be Illation jacket

Sunday 6 December 2015

I'm So Loving...

1) Christmas lights in December
2) Hamming it up in my first amateur theatricals in 11 years
3) That rehearsals mean I do some decent walking again
4) That there has been some great TV on recently (The Bridge series 3, Catastrophe series 2, Detectorists series 2, You Me & The Apocalypse to name but a few)
5) That the prospect of 10 days off for the first time since August seems tantalisingly close
6) The return of winter boots
7) The joy of discovering a real gem of a gift for someone
8) The smell of cinnamon and gingerbread
9)That my children still find this time of year magical
10) Christmas lights in December

Friday 27 November 2015

Things I am over.

  1. Beards.
  2. People who post nothing but Instagram links on Twitter.
  3. Christmas in November
  4. The state of my pigsty house
  5. People who keep pulling out in front of me on roundabouts
  6. Insurance companies
  7. Women's clothing without decent pockets
  8. Books with no obvious chapters
  9. Books with ridiculously long chapters
  10. Monday mornings
  11. Dark days
  12. People saying "off of"
  13. Not having any time off work since August
  14. Christmas adverts
  15. Getting old
  16. Car alarms
  17. Fly tippers
  18. Beards


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