Saturday, 3 November 2012

The coffee, the witch and the kitchen cupboard

Another week of 2012 behind us, and it’s flew past.

Possibly due to the amount of caffeine that I have been drinking this week.  You see one of the founders of the company has not been very present for the last few months, and he was feeling that he has lost touch with the people that work here.

His solution was fantastic.  He hired an espresso machine from a café and learnt how to be a barista. So on Monday morning I had, in place of my usual espresso and warmed milk, a real cappuccino. Handmade, using full fat milk and with a heart on the top (he wanted to do a tulip – this is Holland after all – but never quite managed to get those working). It has not helped my desire to lose weight.  I think it contributed to putting on ½ pound to be honest!

Now…  I love coffee (I know, as an English woman I should love tea – but no…  Coffee, coffee, coffee!) and I found it very hard not to keep going back. And so… I think on Monday I drank 7 or 8 in the office (plus the one I had before I left home). And that continued each day I worked in the office.  And, yes, I was climbing the walls J

After work I had to go and order a new sticker for our car.  We are taking a trip to a German Christmas market and the cost of the train was about triple that of the car.  But…  You have to prove that your car does not pollute the inner city.  Thankfully our car fulfils the requirements, but you have to prove it.  So I took a trip to the ANWB (Dutch AA / AAA depending on whether you are in the UK or America J) to order the sticker, and whilst I was there I thought it was an idea to get my details updated on their system (one of the ones I had forgot).

We got the paperwork for the sticker organised, and then we started with the details.  She asked what needed changing and I told her ‘De heer’ needs to be ‘Mevrouw’.  She commented that it was an unusual situation, I said yes assuming she meant the whole transitioning thing, but no.  “I’m terribly sorry, I have no idea how this mistake could get into the system.” I feel really guilty for not explaining what the issue was, but I couldn’t pull myself to do it…

Tuesday I was working from home, as the kitchen fitters were coming for the third attempt at doing it right (they didn’t).  That was also an interesting day.  In our home there are enough clues as to my past (not least the rather large wedding photo on the Piano that the fitter had commented on during his last visit when Mrs Stace was working from home).  So that fact that he was shocked when he opened the door, asked if I was the sister and got told, “No, I’m the partner.”  But for some reason he did not make the connection.  He was a very chatty person, and I must admit that whilst I agree with Jemmy’s assertion that we all have our history and there is no need to reinvent it.  But, at the same time I don’t feel the need to out myself to someone coming into my house for one afternoon.  A few questions were a little strained because I did not want to lie, but at the same time I did not want to tell the truth.  It was definitely an interesting afternoon.  Annoying too, with the fact that the third replacement cabinet was still broken meaning he has to come back again.

Wednesday was Halloween and I had a wonderful time (see my previous post)!  I know that it’s not really a Dutch tradition, but it was great how people reacted, and how many people want to be involved next year – it could be quite big...  The director making coffee even tried making a witches head in the foam rather than the heart (it wasn’t bad either!).

The strangest part was probably the fact that we are in a really stressful time at the moment. And in one of my most serious meetings I was sitting there in my witch costume, including hat, discussing IT resourcing for the project and technical limitations. Someone commented that it was strange – everyone acing normally, and yet occasionally realising something was odd.

In the evening I went to visit a couple of friends of mine, still as the witch, and their poor youngest daughter was terrified!  She came running to the door, saw the hat and then took three steps backwards…  Their eldest just laughed and thought it was funny – but I had to remove the hat and give it to the youngest before she would come near me J  It was a lovely evening, I always enjoy going to visit them and this time was no exception. My friend took a lovely photo of me going through an animal album that the girls are collecting at the moment.

And then yesterday was therapy day again.  It’s been a couple of months since the last time and seeing as everything is going well I only expect another couple of visits before I stop.  I see the point, I am getting prepared for the next steps, but I’m not needing the help as I did 30 months ago when I started.

It was a good chat, and he gave me some useful pointers and made me think about the short, medium and long term future.  And pointed out some home truths about something that was bothering me.  Basically pointing out that it is not something to be concerned about. Sorry a bit cryptic – but as I am not sure who reads this it’s all there is going to be J

Right! That’s already too long so I will stop there.  Time to get backing for Mrs Stace’s birthday – Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate New York Cheesecake.  Yum!


  1. Gefeliciteerd, Congratulations for Mrs S and for you too.
    Nice to know the both of you are doing well.
    Stay healthy. It's borreltijd so:
    Cheers, proost, op jullie welzijn.

    1. Dank je wel! Bijna borrel tijd, bijna :)


  2. I’m not needing the help as I did 30 months ago when I started...

    Yay. That is good news. May I say that your blog reads more calmly. If that makes any sense.

    The coffee routing from one of the founders sounds excellent. What a great way to level things between people and also get to talk to them. I can think of a few people (employment-wise) who could do with taking a page out of that chap's book..... even if he is pimping that heathen beaned witch's brew ;-)

    1. Things are much calmer than they were, thanks. Except for the standard stress from life (busy times in the office, and the lulls in between) things are gliding along.

      The two founders had very personal reasons for starting the company. One of them was to not treat people the way that they were treated in their previous careers - and so far they are achieving it.

      I think that culture trickles down and is one of the reasons why everything went so well at work nearly 11 months ago.


      PS Yes, he is pimping that heathen witches brew, and pimping it well! :)