Archive | December 2011

Hello: 1 app I will not be using

I do love my iphone and my cloud, they really make it a lot easier to hold on to that thought or that picture (in my mind – I am not a great photographer). I also like to use evernote, because it works beautifully together with those to capture any stray thoughts that might feed into a blog or some other piece of writing some time. But this is one step too far: evernote is showing off a new iphone app they in a moment of inspiration decided to call “hello”. It works like this: 
Use case illustration
“Whenever you meet somebody new, hand them your phone and they can quickly make a profile.” (courtesy of Evernote)
Seriously? You expect me to tell someone I have just met: “look, fat chance I will remember you once you are out of sight so please take a moment to create a profile of yourself on my phone. That way I can call you by your name after just the briefest glance at my phone when I next see you. After another look I will even be able to ask after your son/ last project / anything you wish to share.” I might want to add: “Do you mind lending me yours in the meantime so I can catch some news while you’re doing that?” The first problem with this scenario is obvious: I would be perceived as extremely rude by this new person in my life. This might lead to me losing out on a future good friend or a fabulous job opportunity, or my chance to star opposite Daniel Craig (I said “might” didn’t I). Basically, this person would be written out of my life as soon as they’d entered it. The second problem is that I would have to trust this new person, whom I have just insulted, with my beloved phone and all the data it holds on my behalf. If that were me, I would be sorely tempted to sabotage the phone I had just been handed. Sneakily, mind, leaving them with the most charming impression and me with a feeling of glee at the shock they’ll get later.
And do you know what the best thing is? It is not that I am getting old. I showed my 13-year old daughter the app description and asked her what she thought of it. She pictured it for a split second, then said “That’s just rude.” And left.




The Japanese people have chosen the kanji for “kizuna” or “bond, connections” as the one that summarizes 2011. Not “wazawai” or disaster, but bonds. You have to admire them for making such a positive statement. Perhaps defiance is part of the sentiment, as with 09/11. But ultimately they are looking forward into their future, not back to what once was or could have been. 

I have decided I will take the same approach now that I find myself on the cusp of a whole new year: I will ascribe the events of 2011 to experience and start a new chapter. No clean breaks, that would be stupid. I won’t disregard the learnings of experience that I have so painstakingly gained. I will continue to weave the fabric of my life, with the people that are important to me, adding some new found threads and phasing out any patterns that have outlived their usefulness. Hail the new year!


Here it is, my first post. I hope that my posts about people and things life throws at us, from my very own perspective, will touch a few of you out there. Dealing with people is a key part of my job, as is a bit of traveling. I can’t help but observe, and be amused and amazed. I have been writing some of it down over time, because I just had to, as a means of preserving the wonderment and my own sanity. What gave me the final push to go public was an encounter with a long lost friend:
We had not seen each other for 5 years. “5.5!” you said. We live in different countries so we only ever met a few times a year. Still, or perhaps because of that, we were quite close at the time. When we changed jobs our opportunities to meet stopped, and life pulled us each in our own direction. New love for us both, a baby for you, new jobs, my children turning into teenagers. You sent me some music links every now and then, and told me you were playing in a band again, rehearsing several times a week. Then recently work sent you here and we agreed to meet for dinner. I was really looking forward to seeing you again, and talk like we used to over a few glasses of wine. And it was wonderful to see you: we slotted back into our old selves at once. It was obvious you were happy. Much happier than you were. Back then your melancholy was at Slavic heights. The scenes of homely bliss you were painting for me now lit up your eyes, your whole face. Your daughter, already 4.5, your beautiful partner, your mum who has now moved in, playing the piano when the mood takes her, and you doing household chores. (Really? You??) I was happy for you, but at the same time I felt a little left behind. You had built the life you really wanted for yourself, with your own company allowing you the flexibility to also play your music and be with your family. You could see I was really frazzled (we met towards the end of a long working week, after a 10h working day), and asked me what I liked to do for relaxation. I answered “I like to write” without thinking, and I was probably more surprised than you were. So, I dedicate this first post to you!
Here is a piece of music you sent me some time ago: