So, while flipping back through my facebook posts searching for something unrelated, I thought I would put together a little montage of snippets from the last 6 months of my life for all my readers out there.
I realise most of my blog followers are also friends of mine on facebook, so this will be boring and meaningless for them (they get to enjoy my awesomeness on a regular basis via my facebook posts, and often also in person), but for those of you out there who follow my blog and don’t know me in person, or are not friends with me on facebook, (and assuming you are interested), here’s a little bit more of what it’s like in my head, and in my life, in short, bitesized chunks…
2nd June 2015
A day in the life of Maya (abridged version):
1) Woke up, went to work, decided it was far too early to read any stories about mass graves, and selectively deleted those emails, thus maintaining my cheery disposition a bit longer (ignorance is a beautiful thing sometimes).
2) Went to a cash for work payout and met not one, but two beneficiaries called Saddam Hussein.
3) Reflected that names such as Saddam Hussein will no doubt be significantly less popular these days, and will probably soon be extinct, along with names such as Barry and Clive….
4) Started what will no doubt be an endless cycle of edits to a document I am co-writing with an American, in which we both continue to change the spelling of “labourer/laborer”.
5) Felt guilty that I failed to do my daily 7-minute workout, managed to counter-balance it by actively not having a cornetto after dinner. Felt so proud of my self-control I rewarded myself with a gin and tonic. Dieting in Maya’s world is an extremely complex process…
5th June 2015
Bliss is a lazy weekend morning after a nice long lie-in, when the AC is actually functioning, with a nice cup of tea, some marmite on toast and a poached egg, and catching up on a few News Quiz podcasts.
I don’t know what I’ll do when Sandi Toksvig leaves the news quiz. Sunday mornings won’t ever be the same again.
10th June 2015
Casually mentioned to a friend while on a long car journey that I’ve had a strange red lump on my back for the last four days, and I think maybe some weird insect bit me in my sleep.
After dismissing scorpions as a likely culprit (I’m a deep sleeper, but I’m fairly confident a scorpion bite would have woken me up), she has now convinced me that I’ve got leichmaniasis.
Let the paranoia and the google searches begin…
18th June 2015
You draft an angry email, you delete an angry email, you draft an angry email, you delete an angry email.
I may get as far as saving one as a draft at some point, but I know I can’t actually send it, so am attempting to find alternative outlets for my increasingly impotent rage….
Plate-smashing and screaming into a pillow are possible options, as well as of course the old-school option of going for a beer with a mate and having a good moan. Any other possible rage-management suggestions are welcome…
23rd June 2015
Today is brought to you by the comedy stylings of Maya…
Wake up at 4am (like you do) cos it’s hot as balls, stumble off to the bathroom to pee, and decide to pop out to the balcony by the kitchen and see if the streetlights are on (if they are, it means I can turn the AC back on and cool down a bit…).
However, being half-asleep and not wearing my glasses means I smashed face-first straight into the screen door, which banged open and made me yelp quite loudly in surprise.
My poor flatmate, who was sleeping in the room next to the balcony was not impressed at being woken up at 4am by a loud bang outside her room and a female voice shrieking in shock. Apparently that’s quite a terrifying way to wake up….
I may need to bake her some apology brownies later…
1st July 2015
So many hilarious quotes from today. But my favourite was this morning, when I complained that my hair was inexplicably fluffy and larger than usual, a colleague commented “yeah, your hair does look very big today, but I think it makes you look slimmer.”
All those years of complaining about having big/unruly hair, and it never occurred to me to look for the silver lining and potential slimming effect if might have!
Second favourite quote from a community leader today, who said “I really like British people, but I don’t like your country.”
2nd July 2015
Scrolling through my facebook feed with all the comments about the heatwave in the UK, it’s extremely tempting to mock you all with the fact that’s it’s 46 degrees here, and has been pretty consistently for the last month.
However, then I remembered that it’s also Ramadan, and my amazing Kurdish and Arabic colleagues are not only going out into the 46 degree hear every day to provide much-needed support to people, but they also can’t eat or drink any water for 17 hours straight. And they come in to work every day and do it all over again with a smile on their faces.
Trust me when I tell you that, based on past experience of my grumpiness factor when my blood sugar level drops too low, that if I had to go out into 46 degree heat everyday and stand in the sun distributing emergency kits without a single drop of water or food for 17 hours, I’d either collapse or start World War 3.
So I can express nothing but awe and MASSIVE respect to my incredible colleagues for continuing to come into work everyday and help all those people in need of support.
Here’s to ALL my Muslim colleagues and friends working hard in humanitarian emergencies this Ramadan all over the world. You are incredible.
7th July 2015
This week in Maya-World…
1) Discovered that my work tabbard is oddly slimming from the right angle. Strange but true.
2) Was accused of hiding my beauty under a bushel after I had a Kurdish makeover. Had to point out that I don’t normally come to work ugly on purpose, it’s just that I can’t be bothered with makeup when it’s this hot and it’ll melt down my face in seconds.
3) A colleague said “You look so beautiful, like an air hostess!”
4) Just posted my 300th Blog post, and realised my blog now covers 11 year’s worth of the life and times of Maya. Bit proud of that really.
5) Successful work week getting some cash for work projects started and about to start recovering some small businesses, all very satisfying! Now I just have to write my pesky handover notes and start applying for jobs again….
17th July 2015 (back in the UK)
Happiness is….. Waking up in my own bed, having a nice cup of tea and some quiet morning cuddles with my lovely cats. Then popping out for a quick emergency pedicure before heading off to a music festival with some of my favourite people.
20th July 2015 – Festival musings
Phew! Home and ready to catch some zzzz’s after an epic festival weekend at Latitude! Here are some things I now know:
1) Bob Geldof is frankly far too up his own arse, and a bit of a prick. He’s a poor man’s Mick Jagger, and is pretty much a walking caricature of himself.
2) Finding a lost diamond at a festival is definitely harder than finding a needle in a haystack.
3) A second pint of red wine is always a bad idea. It will only taste of regret.
4) Seasick Steve is excellent, you should give him a listen.
5) Noel Gallagher closing out the weekend with his headline act was amazing, and it reminded me that 19 years ago I was at my first ever festival, V 96, and Noel Gallagher popped out as a surprise guest during Paul Weller’s headline act.
6) When your tent blows down and you have to pack up all your stuff in the dark at 1am, it’s surprising how many upsides you can convince yourself there are.
7) Spending quality time with some of my favourite people in the world is the best.
8) Lazy Sunday mornings that involve live comedy and breakfast Pimms are awesome.
21st July 2015
Classic post festival comedown. Already been sucked back into doing boring things like making dentist and vet appointments, doing laundry, replying to some work emails and cleaning up the cat puke off my DVDs.
I like to think the cats missed me so much they threw up from all the excitement.
I’m also wondering if it’s acceptable to continue the daytime drinking when not in a festival environment….
22nd July 2015
The perfect day on vacation… So far today I have been both productive and lazy:
1) Slept late
2) Finished reading my book
3) Made some homemade ice-cream
4) Spent several hours shopping online for a sexy new shower curtain (yes, I am that rock n’ roll)
5) Got my glasses fixed
6) Became a member of The Women’s Equality Party
7) Played around making arty-looking pictures of my cat on Instagram
11th August 2015
Eaten my bodyweight in cheese?
Swam 40 lengths of the pool in a feeble attempt to work off the cheese?
Binge-watching series on Netflix (including all of the Twilight movies)?
Applying for jobs?
Staying up all night partying with the Colchester massive?
Hanging out with all my favourite peeps?
Planning more happy fun times with Messrs Hutton, Copping, and the Roberson-Dix crew?
3rd September 2015
Can’t help feeling overwhelming emotions at the juxtaposition of today’s newsfeed stories.
So many people sharing the tragic photos of the little Syrian boys who drowned off the coast of Turkey, mixed in with so many people proudly posting pics of their own gorgeous children heading off to their first day of school.
I think everyone in the world is united in wishing that those little boys were on their way to school today instead of lying in a morgue. I hope more countries open up their doors to all the other little boys and girls who should be at school instead of risking their lives to find a safe place to sleep.
6th September 2015
Ahh, what a very productive and successful weekend at home!
I have cleared out my room, taken my quilt to the laundrette, done some filing, caught up with some lovely people, bought a shiny new bike (thanks to the encouragement of J and F!), and raised my voice in protest.
All in all pretty satisfying.
9th September 2015
Utterly brilliant piece of journalism this morning on the Today programme on Radio 4….
While discussing the Stria crisis and the fact that the war in Syria has now been going on longer than World War 1, the broadcaster said:
“Until this war ends, it’s just going to continue.”
Really hope the Private Eye Mediaballs writers picked up on that…
12th September 2015
Perfect Saturday night. Pyjamas, prosecco, and trivial pursuit….
14th September 2015
You know you work for a really global organisation when you find yourself having these types of conversations in the office…
“By the way, you know that event we are planning in Burkina Faso on the 19th? It’s now gonna be in Senegal on the 22nd. We had to move it to Senegal because of the elections in Burkina.”
“Ok, good to know.”
“Oh, and you know that other thing in Nicaragua, on the 9th?”
“We may have to move it to Colombia. Or possibly Paraguay. Or the Dominican Republic”
“I’m not sure yet – I’ll keep you posted.”
“Oh, by the way, do you want to come over for dinner sometime next week?”
“Oh yes, that would be lovely! I’m going to Uganda this weekend, but I could maybe do Thursday?”
15th September 2015
It’s only Tuesday, and yet here are the week’s highlights:
1) Got my first ever Royalty payment from my book today! WooHoo!! $112!! I feel very proud. Those of you who don’t already have a copy, get shopping immediately so I can get another one!
2) People continually laugh at my utter inability to wake up in the morning, and they find it ridiculous that I need 3 alarm clocks to ensure I get up. Well last night 2 of my back-up alarms failed due to battery issues, and I massively overslept. Apparently having the Today programme blaring into my ear for an hour doesn’t even nudge my subconscious. At all.
Luckily my first meeting this morning was via skype and they don’t need to know I was still in my pajamas… Tonight however I am armed with new batteries and have cranked up the radio volume just in case. May have to give up on Radio 4 and try something with a bit more Rock n’ Roll….
3) My friend C sent me a hilarious reminder of my hair troubles in the Philippines. Humidity has never been my friend…
19th September 2015
Busy achieving my #weekendgoals. Washed my bedsheets, 2 loads of laundry done, made delicious poached eggs on toast, de-scummed the bath, unclogged the drain, did the shopping, cleaned all the windows, and my bathroom is now sparkling!
Next up on the list is a little trip to homebase with Clarissa the bike to get a new toaster, and fix the dodgy shoe rack.
Also I officially have the best lodgers in the world.
How many lodgers would casually offer to help you lay flooring in your attic and re-seal your bath for you? Or cook you chicken pie for dinner?
Yes I do have the best lodgers in the world.
No, you can’t have them, they’re mine.
25th September 2015
So today I accidentally found myself standing next to our current Prime Minister, David Cameron. I was literally close enough to poke him with my finger.
I was all poised to shout “excuse me Mr Cameron, but what is your opinion of the war crimes currently being committed in Yemen, and the UK’s role in it by breaking the arms treaty?”, but sadly a youthful-looking whippersnapper got in there first by blocking the door and demanding some answers regarding the situation for junior doctors in the NHS….
29th September 2015
Extremely sombre morning, after waking up to the tragic news that my former colleague from the Philippines was shot and killed in Bangladesh yesterday.
5th October 2015
Clarissa and I DO NOT LIKE CYCLING IN THE RAIN! We got very wet and we look like drowned rats.
Apparently I need an entirely different outfit to be wet-weather ready in future.
6th October 2015
Also today I achieved new levels of greatness for the uncoordinated. If there was an Olympics for clumsiness, I’d have just taken the gold.
I managed to fall off my bike today while completely stationary, and with both feet on the ground.
Clarissa the bike was not amused, but everyone else on the petrol station forecourt thought it was hilarious.
I’m glad I could bring a little joy into their otherwise dreary commute.
9th October 2015
I do love the unique and amazing minds of my niblings sometimes. Early this morning my niece climbed into the bed and very gently and quietly started pressing her little fingers into my back and arms. When I asked her what she was doing, she said “I’m imagining I’ve got buttons to press. This one does the bath, and that one drives the bus.”
14th October 2015
Tonight I had an inexplicable urge to do some DIY instead of watching tv, and then I realised I have actually turned into my mother!
17th October 2015
I am LITERALLY (and very impatiently) waiting for paint to dry.
Can’t tell yet if it’s streaky and needs another coat or if it will dry out evenly…
Luckily I have a backlog of Radio 4 comedy podcasts to get through. Just listened to Sandi’s last episode of the news quiz. I especially liked Phil Jupitus’s poem, “Nothing rhymes with Toksvig”.
25th October 2015
Today I accidentally ate a digestive biscuit that was 4 years out of date. I could not have anticipated how disgusting it would taste.
My mouth has never felt so violated.
29th October 2015
As an auntie who travels a lot, I don’t get to spent a lot of quality time with my niblings, and so I had forgotten all about the joys of having a toddler-sized child climb into bed with you in the middle of the night.
There’s the obvious wriggling and helicoptering around the bed while they sleep.
There’s the moment when they roll over and cough directly into your face, and then rub snot into your cheeks in case there was any remote chance you might not have caught their cold already.
There’s the realisation that I actually haven’t been woken up by a sharp kick in the boob since my other nephew N was about 3, which brought back some very fond memories!
Then there’s the hilarious moment when said toddler rolls over in his sleep and sprawls himself fully across your face, effectively smothering you until you wake up laughing and gasping for air at 3am
Of course, all the cuddles, giggles and smiles more than make up for the occasional smothering and the odd, sharp kick in the tits.
In addition to the joys of auntie-hood, I also enjoy working from home, where no-one in the conference call can tell if you’re still in your pajamas, and you can take regular breaks to play with bubbles/eat biscuits/make pretend phone calls/be tickled.
30th October 2015
Awesome bit of Friday morning comedy with Grandma and the niblings.
Postman Pat comes on the telly, along with the line: “Pat’s never late delivering a parcel”.
Grandma says “Ha! What a load of bollocks! He’s ALWAYS late – and he can’t seem to deliver any of the parcels to the right people. They’re constantly getting mixed up. When you think about it, he’s actually a really crap postman.”
One can’t help but wonder who is in charge of Postman Pat’s annual performance review…
4th November 2015
Achieving some serious Auntie Goals this week.
Quiet early morning breakfast of cheerios, toast and trains? Check.
Kids dressed, delivered to nursery, and had their photos taken? Check.
Auntie Steph finally learnt the alternative route to nursery in order to meet the demands from 3 year-olds of “please can we go the bumpy way?” Check.
After a long period of deep thought, all my niece had to say about it all is:
“Auntie Maya, you smell of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Actually, no. You smell of poo.”
Rather abstract, but it’s certainly given me something to think about. It’s the kind of thing one ponders late at night, and then goes “Huh?” and swiftly sniffs the armpits just in case…
18th November 2015
Saw a woman in my office wearing a jumpsuit/onesie type thing today.
My immediate reaction was to mock her shamelessly (in my head) for wearing such ridiculous work attire.
Then I paused, and realised I’m actually deeply jealous that she can look simultaneously so fashionable and so comfortable. She’s a large-ish lady, but she is completely pulling it off and looks amazing.
I would never have the balls to wear something like that to work, and I definitely cannot pull it off as a look (believe me, I’ve tried!)
Utterly chastised, I have now turned my bitter jealousy to quiet admiration and an inexplicable urge to hug this random, awesome woman that I don’t know. (I probably won’t though).
Isn’t it funny when you stop and reflect on your nastier inner thoughts and feelings and realise the root cause of them often comes from your own insecurities?
That’s my deep thought of the day.
21st November 2015
I am definitely gaining the upper hand in the cat wars. Cats thought they could scratch and sharpen their claws on my shiny new sofa.
Cats were mistaken.
Step 1 – temporary tin-foil covering to throw them off (My cats hate tin foil).
Step 2 – deploy the double-sided sticky tape – cats hate to be sticky.
Step 3 – new and improved scratching post to tempt them away – freshly sprayed with catnip to entice them away from my sofa
Step 4 – throw blankets deployed on the couch to absorb muddy pawprints and so on…
I will win this war.
29th November 20159
The tiny midget overlords decided sometime during the night that sleeping was for losers, so after ensuring everyone was up, they set me a series of challenges.
Can I build a Lego princess furniture set before 6am on a Sunday morning? Apparently I can, although to be honest it took me a while to remember how Lego works…
Can I build a brio train track with the requisite number of bridges, tunnels and trains on it that early in the morning? No, no I can’t.
Can I put CBeebies on the tv? Apparently not. Fun fact, CBeebies doesn’t exist before 6am. Now we know!
12th December 2015
The most excellent bedpan reindeer I spotted at the hospital while visiting my sister. NHS staff are not only dedicated and amazing, but also extremely talented and creative.
21st December 2015
According to the fashion bible (aka Grazia), it is now acceptable to wear pyjamas to work. I clearly need to upgrade my wardrobe immediately…
“Dear Santa, please can I have some executive pyjamas?
I’ll probably skip the heels and jazz them up with some fluffy slippers….
23rd December 2015
Given the close proximity to a significant religious holiday, my status update has been written in the appropriate format.
Book of Maya, chapter 8, verse 3:
“And Maya said unto them
“Lo! Look you upon the Airbus of wonder, for it is resplendent with luxury!
Feast your eyes upon their spacious seats and luxurious bathrooms!
Look you to the wide selection of excellent movies and the extremely mediocre meals which are not totally disgusting!
And behold! the highest honour which can be bestowed unto an economy class ticket – Adequate legroom!
And they even waived the additional 3 kilos of baggage without asking for my life savings as a deposit!
See the ambient lighting which ranges from dusky sunset to twinkly starlight.
Truly Emirates is the Airbus to the gods!”
And Emirates said unto Maya:
“Kindly de-plane, as we have reached the terminal. We regret to inform you that you are not allowed to live on our Airbus forever.”