The Xmas tree gallery

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@Girlinthecaf It's finished !  on Twitpic
This is Annerie’s xmas tree – click for larger image because there is a heart in this tree. Actually!!

@CrazyLady22 Nou...deze! on Twitpic
Pedro’s tree, still standing in a considerate amount of snow. Wonderful.

Grigorisgirl’s tree is here Love the Sun globe. It is fun to see what other people have in their Xmas tree.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpicthewholetweet’s parents’ Christmas tree

If you have any photos of your Xmas tree please send them and I will add them here. (or if they are on Flickr or Twitpic or such, please send a link). I love to see how all those xmas trees are different.

Show me your Christmas tree

I don’t really like the Christmas shopping madness, but I love the lights and Christmas trees.

My room in London is too small for a tree so I would love to see your tree if you have one setup! It might be a festive sight to see the photos so if you have a tree at work or at home, big or small it doesn’t matter, please take a photo of it and email it to me on the following address:

Spread the word and send me your trees please!

The snow situation in London: apart from some flakes on the roofs there is no snow here. How is the snow situation where you are?

The job hunting situation

Just a short update on the job front.

I have found a temporary contracting job.

It is in a huge international creative agency in London and I am doing project management work for projects for big international brands. It is very busy and there is a lot of work which is a good thing. I have been there for a week now and they haven’t told me to go yet so I guess I am doing allright. For now.

The plan is to hopefully stay there for some months (am hoping for January and February at least), acquire some great additional experience to put on my CV which hopefully will make it easier to find the next job after this.

It calms the nerves and worries down for a while and I am taking a short break from frantically hunting all other possible jobs, but will keep my eyes open should the perfect permanent job come by.

Somehow losing my job has had an enormous effect on my spirit and creativity, but I can feel that I am slowly getting back on my feet again now. Writings here will still be a bit irregular but will get back to normal not too long from now.

So that’s the current situation.

I also realised that I left my notebook including my sketches for my not-an-xmas-card in the plane coming back from New York! That’s a bit of a bugger, but I vaguely remember what the idea was so I will start working on that soon too.

Where The Wild Things Are

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If you are young at heart, go see this film. It is wonderful. If you have children (not to young though) take them too. And the music is absolutely awesome too.

Official website

I am not back yet, I am still running around on the island with Max and Carol and KW. If you are as tired of everything as Max and me, I can recommend you to join us and be king for a day or two.

I will return soon (ish).

Did I tell you that you should go and see this film? Really you should.

A break

I am taking a break from this blog. I am sure I will return but at the moment I don’t have any energy for it. Sometimes life gets in the way and asks to be sorted out first.

I still have the intention to do the non xmas card exchange but it won’t be before January (which is a perfect non christmas month).

In the mean time: fare well, enjoy life and be happy!

A week of Wows

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Despite the job hunting going like wading through ever in thickness increasing mud, I had a week of wows. I witnessed beautiful things that really made me stop and say “Wow”.

Dan and Hugh

The first WOW was Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman, Thursday a week ago exactly. I already wrote about that here, so I will spare you any further remarks. Clearly they have the wow factor. For obvious reasons.

Tim Burton Exhibition – Moma, New York

On Monday I visited the Tim Burton exhibitions in the museum of Modern Art (Moma) in New York. It was great. I am a big fan of Tim Burton’s film work and have seen most of his films. He has a very distinctive style and the exhibition showed a lot of film props from his films, models, drawings and paintings by Tim Burton. It was great to see some of the models used in stop motion productions (The Nightmare of Christmas, The Corpse Bride). Sketches of what the hands of Edward Scissorhands should look like and more. It is amazing what a creative and weird brain this man has. Very enjoyable and wow if you are a fan.

My favourite Tim Burton films: Big Fish and Edward Scissorhands. I also quite liked Sweeney Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and can’t wait for his take on Alice in Wonderland (the trailer with Johnny Depp looks amazing).

You can read more about the Tim Burton exhibition here, and also have a look at some videos. The photo above is the only photo we were allowed to take, a Tim Burton designed inflatable in the entrance area of the museum.

Do you like Tim Burton’s work and what are your favourite Burton films?

Snow Patrol in the Royal Albert Hall

And yesterday there was Snow Patrol in the Royal Albert Hall. I admit that I was quite late in discovering Snow Patrol but better late than never. The Royal Albert Hall is a fantastic place for concerts and Snow Patrol made good use of the hall’s possibilities. They even used the amazingly huge Albert Hall organ in one of their songs. They had a lot of musicians with them on stage (I counted 15 people at some point!), strikers, a horns sections, a harpist, and lots more and also had an amazing light show.

They played most of the songs from their latest Up to Now – The Best Of album. The first half was dedicated to the more quiet numbers (Run played with the violinists made me cry, as did the thousands of people singing along to it, fantastic atmosphere). And the second half was more rock ‘n roll and people got out of their comfy seats. It was an amazing experience.

The concerts are filmed for a later to be published Live DVD.

Some of my favourite Snow Patrol songs:

And some others:
Chasing Cars
Take Back the City

Do you know Snow Patrol and what are your favourites?

Oh and a final Wow !! for all those people who have signed up for the non-xmas-card thingy. You can still signup if you haven’t done so and I better start drawing soon!



I admit that I am a little late this year but it is that time of the year again:

The annual this-is-not-an-XMAS card postcard exchange

I will design a brand new Girl postcard which I am going to have printed in a card shop in a special very limited edition. It is not going to be your typical Christmas card, there is no Christmas tree on it nor any other Christmas references. It’s probably going to be more of a New Year card to be honest, but I am not sure yet. It can be anything.

It will be a double card in full colour and it is not going to be the image you see on the top of this post by the way.

Now, you want one of those extremely-limited-edition-due-to-be-a-collectors-item-cards won’t you?

Current card counter: 10

Continue reading

Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman in A Steady Rain, New York

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Now this was bound to be a magical evening and it was. I am not sure if it was the fantastic well acted and intense play that this is, or if it was the two leads auctioning off their shirts at the end of the show. Tough choice!

It was a challenge to get a decent ticket for this. Not the least because Ticketmaster (the ticket company selling the tickets) gives American Express creditcard holders a chance to buy tickets one week before all others. A very irritating gesture for all other people wanting to have a ticket.

So at the day the left over tickets became available I went to through all performance days until I found a ticket that wasn’t in the back of the theatre. And I fond one, for the 19th of November.

Needless to say that tickets for this show are immensely popular (when will you ever have a chance to see James Bond and Wolverine on stage together again?). And while it seemed that most of the Americans seemed to be there for Hugh Jackman, I certainly had nothing against watching Daniel Craig too.

Both actors played Chicago cops, best friends, in good and in very bad. It was a very naked staged, two chairs, a little bit of background and one and a half hour of intense acting. (There wasn’t an interval, which was great).

I admit that I was just interested to see those two men without really caring about the play – but the play was absolutely gripping. It took a little time to get used to the Chicago accents with which both actors speak, and it did take a little more time to get used to Daniel Craig’s moustache, but I was drawn into this intense story very quickly and forgot all about insignificant details like that.

All I can say is that if you are lucky enough to have scored a ticket, you have something to look forward too.

When I saw Bill Nighy in the Music Box theatre in 2007 (which was just opposite the Schoenfeld theatre as you can see on the photo), after the play the actors would come out and sign tickets and Playbill programs. I can only imagine the mess it would create if Craig and Jackman would do this. They were fully aware of this too, and decided to use their stardom to support charity. This meant that you could buy signed posters and Playbills in stead (for quite a spicey price I must say), and to raise even more money, they took off their outer shirt (big approval from the audience!) and offered to sell their under shirt to the public. The shirt would be signed, and you would have a chance to briefly meet them backstage. The two shirts went for $12000!

Life is good in New York. A little bit of (steady) rain yesterday (nothing more than appropriate) but today the sun is out. I am just checking the latest emails, try to not be too worried that there aren’t any concrete job related ones, and then I am off to Coney Island for some sun, sea and fresh air.

Have a nice weekend!

Breakfast at Heathrow

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Say about Terminal 5 what you want, but it has the fastest check in possible. No queues at the luggage drop off points, a tiny queue at the security check. So that meant I was very early, so what do you do? Indeed, have a warm waffle with fresh berries with a cup of love tea for breakfast. One and a half hour to take off, time for some shopping.

New York – the plan

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Plans are there to go and do something completely different – but this is the basic idea I have.

As you can see, Sunday is still open for suggestions. I might need a quiet day there, but any suggestions on what to do there are appreciated. I might take the free IKEA ferry and go and visit a part of Brooklyn.

Some news from the job front:
I have my first non-recruiter interview on Wednesday (next week). I have had loads of interviews with recruiters the last couple of weeks, but this is the first concrete job interview. I am exited and look forward to it. My CV has also been send to a couple of other interesting companies, I am waiting to hear if they are interested to see me.

My biggest problem is to convince both recruiters and companies that my split back ground (I am 50% techie – 50% creative – but 100% nice) is in fact a good thing. Some of them seem to get it, and hopefully in the end the right (and open minded) company is going to offer me a job.

So it is not a bad time to have a short getaway trip. I can’t really force things to go faster, I have put an enormous amount of energy into job hunting the last weeks and I think it will be good for me to have a short break from it.

I will get back to the this-is-not-an-xmas-card exchange, but there seem people enough to have a go at it again so let’s do it! I have to admit that I currently have no idea for a card yet, but maybe I will find some ideas in New York (While watching Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman perhaps? Ok probably not …).

I will make the official announcement for the card exchange when I am back. And seeing as I am a bit late this year, I might move it to January. Hey it wasn’t a Christmas card anyway right?

I will take camera and laptop and such to New York, (I need to keep an eye on my job emails) so I might post from there. Be good while I am gone!

Freebie to download: Free notecards and envelopes printables


I have distracted my brain a bit and designed four small notecards and envelopes to go with it. (See the not so great photo above, they look better in real life!)

I kept the design simple (I like simple designs) and am quite happy with the result.

If you like them, you can download them here for free and print them on your printer, they are free for personal use.

There are four different cards, and they both come as a single card and as a double card. And there are two types of small envelopes to go with it.

You could use them as a card to go with a present, or you can hide them in the lunch box of the person you love, or hide them inside a book the next time you swap one! The possibilities are endless really!

All files are in PDF format and can be printed on most (colour) printers.

You can download all files in one handy zip file :

download the zip file (ca. 800k).

I can recommend to print them on a little bit thicker paper. If you are making the envelopes, fold the foldable parts along a ruler or even better, first carefully cut (carefully, don’t cut through the paper!) along the fold marks with a hobby knife or pair of scissors for a sharper cut.
Use a bit of glue or double sided tape to put the envelope together.

Let me know if you like them!

The law of sod: Phone calls

Here is what I have learned the last two weeks.

When you are looking for a job and desperate for recruiters or job people to call you:

  • The phone will ring just when left your room for a minute making a cup of tea.
  • Would you however take your phone with you at all times (I admit having taken it into the bathroom) – it won’t ring.
  • When you miss that most important call, the phone number of the caller in your missed-calls-list will say “UNKNOWN” so you can’t call them back!

It drives me mental at times.
Other things I have learned – job hunting takes time. It also takes time for people to get back to me, it is just the way it is and I need to get used to it.

And here is something someone told me in an email yesterday:
The more little bits of paper you push in a tube the sooner one pops out the other end.

So I will continue to push little bits of paper in the tube (god knows how many applications I have sent already, but new jobs keep popping up every day so that is a good thing right?).

It still is up and down, but when I hit a low point the phone rings, and if I actually am lucky to get the call (see above) it is a recruiter and I have hope again. At some point in time, there will be a job for me, I just need to be patient.

I am actually looking forward to New York now. I will bring my laptop to be able to check up on email but I will try to not think to much about it those days I am away. I am quite sure that seeing both James Bond and Wolverine on the same stage will somehow enable me to do that. Not sure why …

I am taking the afternoon off. Will take the bus to Chelsea, have a tea and a read, and will then watch Michael Caine’s Harry Brown. It is supposed to be one of his finest works. (And I loved him on This Morning yesterday).

May your Friday be funky.

Up and down in London town

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It is not going that well with the job hunting, and I had a bit of bugger of a day today, so instead of words – here are a couple of photos I took yesterday night and today.

I don’t really like Christmas but the blue and white lights currently installed in the trees on the Southbank are wonderful.

A new one for the collection. I like how this sign is worn down, I spotted it in Wardour Street (Soho).

And this was the t-shirt I stared at while sipping my tea after disaster recruiter meeting number one today:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge”
~ Albert Einstein

I feel so connected to that statement.

Tomorrow I will straighten my back and get on with my job hunting project.

(Update: two new opportunities are bubbling at the moment. Hope is back again – and it really is up and down in London town!)

To all of us who need some …

(If you like the above Sondre Lerche – Good Luck song, download it free and legal in MP3 format here)

Latest news from the find-a-job-rollercoaster-ride:

I have not heard back from the recruiter I visited yesterday, so either the jobs were already gone or she didn’t like me. I will send her an email tomorrow to check up on it.

And after a very long day of waiting for things to happen today (ok I admit that I did stare at my phone for some time today!) – I got a phone call (really like it when they call, I like to think that they are genuinly interested when they do) from two new recruiters, and an email from a third.

So here is the plan:

1. I will meet with recruiter one at 10am tomorrow for an introduction interview (that’s them trying to figure me out)

2. At 12.00pm I will meet recruiter two. Now recruiter two is incredibly interesting as in one hand she holds my CV and in her other hand she holds my dream job. I have seen the job description and checked out the website of the company where the job is at, and oh my – how I would want that job! She will interview me to get to know me and to hear more about my work experience and after that she will decide if she is going to propose me as a candidate. I am not counting on anything, but fingers crossed here.

3. On Monday I will have another introduction meeting with recruiter three.

So that will keep me occupied the next couple of days, and the recruiter interest is kind of a good thing. Of course I am also still sending of job applications and I am amazed by the number of recruitment agencies in London. One of them surely must have a job for me?

Five very random notes to end this post with:

  • I am hugely enjoying Jamie Cullum’s new album (I’m all over it is one of my favourite songs). Anybody else out there likes him?
  • Here is a very handy page telling you (in a beautifully designed way!) when and when not to use an apostrophe. Very useful!
  • The Brit with the most difficult to guess twitter name must be Alexander Armstrong. Xanneroo? Come on! I do like him though, he is tall and lanky, a tiny bit posh and very funny in Armstrong & Miller. Miller is on Twitter too by the way. (Bennylicious, honestly guys ..!)
  • And actor Jim Carrey is on Twitter too. Not only that, he has one of the most creative websites I have seen in a while. Check it out on Amazing.
  • I am trying to think if I am going to do a this-is-not-a-christmascard-exchange this year. What do you all think? I know I made the unforgivable mistake of not posting all your cards online last year, but I have just ordered a scanner and I promise that that won’t happen again. I am just polling interest here, the official announcement might come later – if I have a go from my audience … (oh an to take the stress out of this all – we could move the whole process to January?)

Diary of a redundant person: Speak the Lingo, shape your day, see a film

Here are experiences from the last couple of days:

  • I have spent the last couple of days fine tuning my CV. I did not think it would take me that long but it did, mostly because it is so important to put the right wording in it. And to mention exactly the experience they (future employers) want you to have.
    I have uploaded it to a long list of websites and I daily sent out job applications.

    The more positive side – I have been called by two recruiters who have expressed some interest in my CV. That is positive isn’t it?

  • My state of mind was horrible the first couple of days, but it is simply too energy consuming to just constantly be depressed about it all. So I have decided that I won’t be depressed anymore and I have tried to find some sort of rhythm in my days.

    Sitting behind your computer screen all day staring at your email inbox waiting for something to come in does not do you any good. It drives you crazy.
    My schedule now is:

    • get up at 8.30am, have breakfast and more importantly make a cup of tea – the Milky Way
    • concentrate and work on job applications and CVs for a couple of hours
    • shut down computer and get out of the house
    • go and do something nice (a tea in a cafe, a film in the cinema, a walk in the park)

    Simple, but it works. There are also a couple of museums in London that are long due to be visited. The London Transport Museum is definitely on the list for this week. I might as well take advantage of the fact that I have some time on my hands.

  • I know what job to go for now. I know that I probably have a slightly better chance to get an IT project manager job, but I am more focusing on a creative project manager job simply because that’s what I really want to do. There are jobs out there to apply for, I just need to find that one employer who is willing to give me a chance.

    And I don’t mind leaving London for a great job.

The cinema cheers me up. I am able to forget all about job hunting while sitting in the dark for 2 hours.

In between the long list of boring block busters I recently saw two different films that I highly recommend:

  • Bright Star about the life of poet John Keats (with the always brilliant Ben Whishaw and directed by Jane (The Piano) Campion).
  • An Education with the highly talented Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard in the main roles.

    An Education is directed by Danish director Lone Scherfig who you might know from Italian for Beginners. I love her work. The Education has been well received, so let’s hope she gets to make more films for an international audience.

Go see them if they come to a theatre near you.

Diary of a redundant person day 1: Register your CV

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Hello world.

I have returned to London after a nice weekend in Devon. The weekend was great in good company of my best friend, two dogs, and lovely weather. But being back in London feels as nice as a cold shower in the morning. Not good.

I will have to try to get into some sort of working schedule at home, and I also need to get out of my room every now and then, otherwise I will go mad. Or madder.

I have spent this day fine tuning my CV and registering on websites like Reed and the Guardian. And have send off about 15 applications for various roles from programmer to project manager to content producer.

Registering your CV is a majorly time consuming activity because all those websites have their own specific formats. And worse – if you decide to apply for a job you might be transferred to the company’s website and fill in a complete new form with all your details. Can someone please develop a standard CV format that everybody can use from now on? It will make life a little easier for us job seekers.

My biggest challenges at the moment are:

How do I market myself? Am I a project manager with creative experience? Or a web developer with project manager experience? Or a creative with programming experience?

I am worried that my slightly split background is making it harder for me to get a job.

I am also not quite sure what I am looking for – but if it could just be a little bit creative it would be great.

What I do know is that I have a healthy and good working set of brain cells, and also that I am a quick learner. But how to convince any potential employers that they should give me a chance?

I also think I am willing to relocate (within reason). I am prepared to take a break from London.

And lastly a practical thing – my trip to New York – will it be a good idea to go away a whole week in November. Will I be able to enjoy it? Or will I be thinking about jobs I am missing out on because of me being away?

Decisions, decisions. Am having a major headache about it all at the moment.

I will leave you with another view from my window, taken around 15.24 (London time) today. Not bad, eh?

The Dark side

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Thanks a lot for all the encouraging comments on my previous post, it really makes me feel less alone with this.

I had the talk with my boss this morning. He basically confirmed it all, I will get paid until the end of January after that I am on my own. And I don’t have to return to my office, so I bascially have three months to go job hunting in.

My head is a bit frazzled at the moment, and I don’t think I have quite gotten over the shock yet but I am OK. My good friend in Devon has invited me over for a couple of days. My first reaction was, no, can’t do that, I need to update my Cv, I need to call agencies, I need to send applications, I need to … I was stressed basically.

But even my (now ex) boss thought it would be a good idea to just take some days at the coast and clear my head. That way I will be rested and ready to face the music when I get back on Tuesday. So I am away for a couple of days.

It is the weirdest feeling. Yesterday I cycled in to work. Today I know that I am not going to return there ever again. I will really try to stay focused and devote all my time to finding a job. I might escape for a tea to my local Starbucks now and then though, as sitting in my room all day on my own will drive me crazy. I need some people around me and hopefully there will be a good job out there somewhere with some nice colleagues.

I am trying not to panic.

Have a nice weekend everyone. I will be back soon enough.