Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anna's Retirement Party

Those of you who know me well will know that I rarely speak fondly of work. Actually as far as possible I try not to speak of work at all when I'm not there as it just stresses me out. BUT many will have heard me talk of my American mother Anna Spurling. Anna is 66 and from Charleston and I've worked with her since I moved to New York. We always eat lunch together in the kitchen, with Jose. A truly beautiful, warm loving person. She and I have become very close through the years. Unfortunately she is retiring and her last day is tomorrow. Yesterday we had a surprise retirement party for her. There was lots of laughter and tears and I was reminded of how great some of the people I work with. Jose was DJ:Mr. Craig, my old claims manager made an appearance 5 years after his own retirement to say goodbye to Anna (I always call him Mr. Craig, but his name is Bill) - he's pictured here with Vince Solarino:. Chuck collected most of the money which the staff gave to Anna as a parting gift - we collected $1000 which is not at all bad. Don, Muge, George Grauling, Saki, Vicki, Alex, Sheriece, Cheryl - all people who I have a great fondness for and would miss tremendously if I left:

Oh yes and we also invited Anna'a daughter, Sonia and her 'play son' Javan: OK so perhaps a little bit of my heart does live in this town. I'm going to miss Anna like crazy - but she's one lady who I know will always be a part of my life:)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Weekend in Connecticut

Was invited to a cocktail party at Christine Norton's house in Cos Cob, Connecticut. Despite Sinead's and my juvenile sense of humor and merciless tormenting, Christine went ahead with the purchase of her house two years ago which is proudly situated on 'Mianus view' or as I affectionately refer to her street ' my anus' view.

We drank champagne and chopped veggies before the guests arrived. Christine's house looks very Christmassy and her tree puts my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree to shame. Lots of new people and by 12 I'm ashamed to say I passed out cold on the couch. Then to bed. One of my favorite things about Christine's house is the bed in her spare room.

This is one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in. Its also nice because when you wake up you can look right out of the window. I'd planned to get up early and jet BUT this bed held on to me til 10ish. I then sat and had a good catch up with Christine. We went through photo albums, talked about work, men, Mexico, friends and then headed out for lunch before I drove home in horrible sleety, windy, gray weather.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Naturalization Interview!!!!!

Well I'd just about reconciled myself to the prospect of not getting my citizenship interview until June (following my immigration attorney checking with the immigration services and being told 4-6 months still to go). I no longer was checking my mail box anxiously. I'd started to try to look on the bright side - if I don't get my US citizenship until September/ October at least I'll save more money, what's meant to be will be etc.

So tonight I picked up my mail after Spanish class and WOO HOO!!!!! I have an appointment on February 15 for my citizenship interview and test.

MEXICO suddenly is not looking so far away. VERY HAPPY ABOUT THIS:)

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Just returned from a business trip to Canada where there was 2 feet of snow on the ground. Then last night I went to Michele and Tom Henessey's for a Holiday party. Drove home this morning listening to Carols sung by Mario Lanza and began to feel very Christmassy. I had lunch with Carey and she asked if I was going to get a tree this year. I hadn't been going to bother because I go home for Christmas. Then I was in Shop Rite and there were cute little Christmas trees in pots for $14. I'd invited Jeff, Aaron and Cat over for dinner (Christmas curry - a great Geordie tradition), so I decided to get a little tree. I've always been a tinsy bit sentimental and have a chest full of tree decorations. I enjoyed dressing the little tree. I still have some ornaments from when I was a little girl. Some that my grandmother gave me and some that I chose myself when I lived with a boyfriend back in Newcastle (I was very grown up back then!).

So here is my little tree in my cosy kitchen.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Adios Hans, Allie & Stu Mac...

All of my favorite friends are leaving me:-( Stuart MacDonald, who I work with, is my American brother and a very close friend and confidant. Stuarts relationship advice has proved to be suspect, but he is very good at cheering me up when I've had a rough time. The kind of guy I can sit and chat to on my sofa in my jim jams (Stuart stayed with me for a month between apartments). So Stuart left last night for a job in Vancouver. I've had such a stressful time at work recently that Stuart's leaving kind of crept up on me and now I'm a little sad.

Then today I had lunch with Allie and our Spanish teacher Mercedes and realized that it would be the last time I see her and Hans before they leave to live in Playa Del Carmen on January first. I'm going to miss them both a lot. All three kindred spirits.

With Anna Spurling, my American Mother, retiring at the end of the year it feels like a change is in the air. All my peeps are leaving me!

Hans & Allie did say one of them will meet me in Texas if I drive down to Playa Del Carmen in July so I don't have to make it through Mexico alone. That was nice.

So I've invited myself to Jeff's house for dinner. I don't believe he has any immediate plans to leave NYC. He was also able to tempt me with a Christmas tree and a glass of burgundy. Perhaps I'll bring some Christmas tunes.

Cat, Michele, Carey & Jeff are not allowed to move anywhere any time soon!!