So here I am, back at Logan Airport.  I am at the Hilton drinking a glass of wine and getting very excited for three reasons:

1.) Tomorrow I get to go home for ten whole days with family and friends;

2.) On checking in online this morning I noticed that my allocated seat number looked a bit low to be in economy, even premium econony.  On closer inspection, the seat is in Business Class.  After several minutes of waiting for someone to call me and tell me there had been a mistake, I spotted a note on my check-in page saying I had been assigned a FREE upgrade.  So I get a lie flat bed-seat, fab food, amazing service and it’s all for free!  Very excited doesn’t remotely cover it…. And

3.) I won’t say too much about this one, but I’ve been offered a role on a prospective client which is a really good development opportunity.  If we win the bid for the client I will say more, but the offer left me equally between wanting to shriek with glee and vomit with terror…

So it was a lovely last day in the office before the holiday season.  As an aside, after many years of mocking I finally understand why Americans say “happy holidays” – no-one needed to explain it, but it’s just a general expression of good wishes to all and sundry.  I actually really like it and have, shock horror, actually used it in general conversations…
I’m going to get bashed by some people when I get home…

Anyway, I’d best get to bed as I need to get up at around 4.15am to get to the baggage drop shortly after 5am.  I won’t be updating until the New Year when I get back to Boston, so to those of you I won’t see in the next 10 days I wish you Happy Holidays, a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful start to 2013.

As for the rest of you… Can’t wait to see you all!!

Parties and Packing

So last night was the work Christmas party. And I managed not to disgrace myself, so it was a resounding success! I didn’t last long enough to make it to the bar afterwards, but it was a great evening of wine, food and good company!

In other news, I failed utterly to win a kindle fire in the raffle, or another iPad! Ho hum… But the packing is virtually done now, just the last few things to go in and then I’m back to Blighty on Saturday for ten whole days! Obviously you won’t be hearing much from me during that time, as I will have a LOT of catching up to do, but I’ll be back in Boston to start the New Year. Well, back to Burlington more accurately……

Keep calm and have a FROSTED cupcake…

Mission complete:


Hopefully I’ll get them to the office for the party tomorrow without incident… The T can get very cramped and stuffy (like the Tube, but the drivers are less chatty) so I’ll be getting my elbows ready to fend off any problems.

In other news, I saw a Robert Downey Jr lookalike on the T today. It well and truly made my day! Now to find out who this person is, make sure he does not have a ridiculous voice (terribly important) and then marry him. Thus fulfilling my dream of finding an Ally McBeal-style “Larry” (without the unfortunate drug-induced impromptu departure – to those of you with no clue to what I am referring, Wikipedia has the answers: off you go…).

In packing news I have located the Visa paperwork that will let me back into the USA when I land. Which is a useful development! Now to find my UK chargers so I can actually use electrical things (I.e. the iPad) and bore people with photos. And there are A LOT of photos…

Keep calm and have a cupcake…

… Is what a very lovely friend gave me written on a mug before I left. And this evening I made my first set a Stateside cupcakes – one batch vanilla, one chocolate. Evidenced below:


Tomorrow will be frosting day (I know, americanism…) so they will be ready for our work do on Wednesday – it looks like being a lot of fun, just got to get the work done first!

In packing news, all the presents go in, and it shuts, and they are even padded where necessary. Sadly I’m not done with “me” packing, so there is work to be done…


It has begun… The epic packing to come home for Christmas saga. There are the things I need to take. Then there are things I want to take. Then there are things it would be nice to take but there is no point really. Like my snow boots. Which I want to show off but would be, I hope, totally unnecessary…

Then there are the presents. I shan’t go into detail, but the presents I have got for people, combined with some which I am merely delivering (to Roxton…) take up rather a lot of room. I feel a bit like Santa, only thinner and without the beard.

It was a gym morning today – I am going to hurt tomorrow, as a monster has been created in A, who has risen to the challenge of showing me how to use a gym (my previous experience is pretty much my Wii Fit – it’s not good a good starting point…) with brilliance. It’s ace!! My own personal trainer! And I even got to a carol service this afternoon at Trinity Church, which was rather magical by candlelight. I’d not been inside before, but it’s a seriously impressive building both inside and out.

Anyway, it’s work tomorrow so I’m off to bed. It’s going to be a mad week, but it’s all doable before the airport run on Friday night. And then I’m back to the UK for ten days!

Saturday Chilling

Today I had a lie in.  It was epic.  I didn’t even get up until after 11am.  Granted I spent some time playing on the iPad and getting some logistical things sorted (i.e. lists of things to pack to come home, watching a deeply depressing movie about someone with terminal cancer – I hoped it would end up with a surprise happy ending… I was wrong, etc), but it was lovely to just chill out in bed for a morning!  Then I headed into Boston to meet up with an old schoolfriend I hadn’t seen for about 11 years who is living in Boston with her husband!  It was lovely to catch up about memories of the music department, and proves once again just what a small world it is.


Last night was a bit of a night – a big group of us went out for drinks after work (to a dueling piano bar – very VERY cool, called ‘Howl at the Moon’ – definitely recommended) which was great, but I think I’m either more tired than I realised or I’m fighting off a cold.  I tried to have a couple of drinks, but just ended up a bit fed up and ready to go home.  Maybe I’m getting old…  But anyway, I was due to meet the ex-pats for drinks afterwards, but everyone was running late so I ended up calling it a night and getting a taxi back.  It was good to have a relatively early night with a book, followed by such a good lie in!  It’ll be a shock to get up to go the gym tomorrow….

Top of the Pops

The Boston Pops, that is – absolutely fantastic concert, marginally affected by some twerp of a teenage child muttering in front of me (at one point I actually rolled up my programme to swat him with… I didn’t, though!), but a fabulous selection of music, including a brilliant gospel soloist, audience participation and the best version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” that I have ever heard. Ever.

AND someone recognized my beautiful purple bag as a Radley. In the street. I was genuinely flagged down when I paused at a pedestrian crossing. The woman was almost crying with joy as she thought I had bought it in the States, and was showing me her Radley too (not nearly as nice, obviously) and virtually drooling over mine. Highly satisfying, and she told me that you can get them in Lord and Taylor. For a premium, and limited selection… I’ll stick with mine, thanks…!

Well, it’s 11.30pm now, and I have work in the morning, so it’s another short entry tonight. But it was a fantastic evening.

Christmas Spirit

… Is live and well here – decorations are up, the Salvation Army have people on street corners ringing bells (constantly…..) and everyone seems to be worrying about their shopping. Except me. I am done. Well… 99%…

I am off to see the Boston Pops Orchestra tomorrow night – they do a Christmas concert every year and I managed to get a seat! And am very excited, as they are one of my favourite orchestras! Now to get tickets for the John Williams concert in June…

Witches, or lack thereof

It was pointed out to me today that Salem, New Hampshire, where I have been working, is very different from Salem, Massachusetts. For one thing, the NH version is smaller, with more resemblance to an industrial estate. For another, there is no evidence of witches… Which explains why I couldn’t see much history when I drove in and out!

Anyway, small disappointments aside, work was good today. It was rather frustrating when I heard that the new secondee received her social security number yesterday, a whole week and a half after applying. Obviously I trail blazed at the airport… But I’m back to the office tomorrow anyway, so that will be nice. Busy, but nice!

GPS lessons

So a GPS can be easily confused. There are three different Broadways in Cambridge, and while reprogramming it to find the right one to go via on the way to a client in Salem (to pick up my junior staff) I dinged my front right hubcap. It’s still attached and looking ok, but just a bit of a pain.

Anyhew, the client is good, and Salem is a decent commute, so can’t complain. And the Pats are playing tonight, so things are animated!