Mad day today. Work is rather crazy, and our deadline has moved up. Which is actually a positive thing as it means we should be done by end of day Friday so I can relax properly in Chicago. Which would be lovely…

Anyway, the end result is that I am very sleepy this evening so the NYC stories will have to wait for tomorrow. Or Wednesday… But they are coming, fear not!

Home time

Just a quick post from the train home – another lovely day with Mrs G, who I was very sad to see go back to the UK. As most of today was spent either wandering Central Park or Fifth Avenue, here are a few photos, with more to come when I’m not on a train that is as bumpy as this one (makes using a touchscreen challenging, and dealing with cash flow tie outs, come to mention it!)…






A picture is worth a thousand words…

… And since it is very late and there has been a lot of walking today, here are a few photographic highlights from New York day one, pending full updates tomorrow:

Grand Central Station:


Staten Island Ferry trip:




A wander through Lower Manhattan:




The High Line – an old raised railway line that has been converted into a greenway:



The Empire State Building:








I am writing this from somewhere in Connecticut. And now somewhere else…. And now somewhere else again… I could do this all night, but I won’t. It would get dull for you, if not for me. I am on the train down to New York for a lovely weekend meeting Mrs G for all things touristy. She has landed at Newark, and I am due into Penn Station at around 10.45pm. Hooray!

Naturally work has not been as smooth as hoped. The client wants things done sooner than expected which means a lot of pressure, and a bit of guilt about going away for the weekend. And next weekend, come to that… However, I booked things based on the fact that quarter reviews are NEVER* like this, and so it would all be fine logistically.

* an example of why you should always take these things with a pinch of salt, and why I will never be booking any trips away during a quarterly review again. Ever. Maybe…

Anyway, I’m on the train, and have tied out and audited three cash flow working papers. Which is harder than you might think using a laptop with no mouse on a rather bumpy Amtrak train. But it is done, and I am saving the rest for the return trip on Sunday.

I took the car to get appraised for damage to report to the insurer today (as it turns out I went to the wrong place, but hey ho, take two on Monday!). The woman with her GIANT Chevy appears to have done, at a relatively conservative estimate, about $4,000 of damage to my lovely shiny 2013 car, which is likely to take nearly four weeks of work to fix. That is damage of nearly one third of the value of the car, taking about a sixth of its current lifespan to repair… I have, if possible, gone off her even more… I imagine there will be some kind of reaction from her when the insurance company get in touch. I do hope she tries to shout at me over the phone, she really has no idea what she would be letting herself in for when it comes to me and my “angry and disappointed” voice…

Anyway, I am going to enjoy the rest of my train journey before I have to get through New York Midtown to the hotel. I’m debating a taxi, as the chances of me getting lost on the subway are pretty high tonight after my brain-jellifying cash flow work… Bring on the Big Apple!!

Crash bang wallop

Myself and a friend from work tend to go out for walks during our lunch hour. As we are based out in Burlington at the moment, these walks tend to take us round the edge of the client building and through the car park. Today, as we were walking back to the building, a giant Chevy (a Tahoe, I am told) drove past us pretty fast. The driver had seen a space, and was making for it. As she swung out to turn into it, we both had the chance to think “she’s taking that a bit fast…” before there was a colossal crunch. As she drove into the back driver’s side of the black Fiesta parked neatly to the right.

My car, as it turns out.

She didn’t get out of the car until we made it clear that we had seen it, and appeared to be about to reverse out and move off. My friend started taking pictures with her phone, though, she started to pay attention. When she did get out, I said “this is my car” (as you would, if it was). She responded with “You’re kidding me!!”. No, love, I don’t think so. She pottered off to check her car for damage (the thing is a tank, it wasn’t even scratched) then gave me her name, address, email and phone, and I did the same. She did not provide her license number or insurance details, as she said she would have to check them.

I found out why shortly later. After she called her husband, in whose name the policy is in, she said that she was not willing to involve the insurance company as it would put her premium up and instead I should get it fixed and just ask her to pay. As it turns out, I’m not that trusting of people who drive into my car and don’t look awfully concerned about it. My car is leased, so I am not willing to go outside the book in dealing with it – frankly, they could take the car away if I breach their rules, so I won’t be irritating them… So I called my insurance company, and they are sorting it out.

In the meantime I have a car with a very dodgy petrol cap (it’s crunched part-closed), some big dents and some very impressive scratches. I also have two witnesses, including the client’s head of compliance, who saw the whole thing and has asked for the name of the woman so he can have a word about not hitting the cars of the external auditors…

Plus it was another late one, so I am only just packing for New York at 11.30pm. And I missed the gym, as it was shut when I left work. However, those are my three things for spring, so it’s all good things from here!

Long day

We are back to pretty long hours. Today was a 7.30am to 8.15pm day, so it could have been worse, but was still long… No packing achieved tonight, but some cards were written and are ready to post. An epic packing session will be ensuing after the gym tomorrow night. I know how to have fun.


… Is something I should probably consider before Friday morning. However, I went to the gym tonight, and did my first solo session. It went pretty well, in that I did all my running, but I have to say it wasn’t nearly as fun without someone to chat to!

After a bit of an epic attempt to get to sleep last night (buzzing brain, for some reason) I didn’t make it to work quite as early as I was hoping. But I still got a lot done today and will be going in nice and early tomorrow to get more done so I can take a step back over the weekend. Such will be the pattern over the next fortnight, I think!

In other news, epic plans are coming together for August, both in the US and the UK! Now to get things organised… It’s going to be “Wicked”…

New regime

The diet is back on with a bang this week. After spending much of last week grazing in a stressed out manner, this week is going to be the epitome of restraint. Apart from when I am in New York at the weekend, when I shall be a bit restrained and walking a lot, so that is ok…

Lots to do this week. We are back in Burlington and working hard, plus the Engagement Quality Control (EQC) reviewer on another job has had a go at the file, so I have to get in early tomorrow to sort things out on it. Which is fine, as I would always rather be busy’. It does mean I’ll be working on the train to and from NYC to keep up, but I can still look out of the window, take breaks and get nice cups of coffee. Well, cups of coffee…

AND our Chicago hotel is booked – girly trip number two of the next two weekends is 100% booked! Hooray!

A lovely day

Today was a nice day. There was the gym, where granted I didn’t do as much as I hoped, but I am going back in the week to get better so that is ok. There was the impromptu pedicure with my landlady at the spa shop round the corner (I now have turquoise toes!). There was the lovely Skype chat with my parents. There was the tracking online that let me follow Mrs G as she completed the course of the London Marathon – very proud of her! And the presence of proper crumpets in Whole Foods rather than the cinnamon ones they stock ordinarily (lovely with a big cup of tea).

And then there was the relaxing with a bowl of home cooked veggie pasta with a good movie. Nothing like a lazy Sunday before heading back for a new work week. One week to go until my first NYC trip of 2013! And under a fortnight until my very first trip to Chicago! Hooray!


It has been a long week…

I went with A and her kids to the Museum of Fine Arts today – not only did I feel terribly cultured (and impressed with the museum itself) but I gained a whole new level of respect for parents on trips out with their small kids – seriously impressed. And had a lovely time!