Monday, 9 October 2017

Ailsa Burns does a runner

September. What a month! She usually brings a feel of excitement - new school shoes, the prospect of cosy nights in as the dark nights approach faster, the fact that the sun will soon bugger off and I no longer have to worry about pasty bare legs and carting around a bottle of factor 60!

But September was quite an emotional time this year, one reason being that this lovely lady decided that the life of a Library Account Developer (LAD) was no longer for her and that working at IOP Publishing is just not relaxing enough, so she opted to pursue her dream of becoming a yoga teacher and will soon be setting up her own business after doing her teacher training at a beautiful retreat in Spain. So as sad as it was to lose such a kick-ass member of the team, it's also actually quite nice to watch a friend chase what she really wants and make it become a reality. Fair bloomin' play!

Ailsa Burns, a bubbly kinda' character

As her line manager it was my duty to carry out the traditional leaving speech (get a load of colleagues to stand around her desk, say embarrassing things about her, shower her with gifts and make her open them awkwardly in front of the group, that type of thing), so to commemorate her succumbing to the call of the yoga beast (yes, that's a real thing), I worked this little poem into her presentation:

There was once a wee lassy called Ailsa, who was IOP’s top LAD,
Who worked hard, and then handed in her notice, which made the team really sad.
She brought marketing prowess and glitter and threw them around in an effortless manner,
So much so that all her achievements couldn’t even fit on a flexi banner.

Bunch of LADs

She toured around parts of Europe and got into lots of hilarious capers,
Which mostly involved helping libraries promote their ebooks and journal papers.
She impressed customers across the continent, because she’s as bright as a button,
And could even cope with the terrible jokes when on tour with Ian Sutton.

She sampled pizza all over Italia during work adventures with Fran,
And frolicked with the stars in Milano, well… that Made in Chelsea man.
She spent a whole day feeding Bristol, building a pond with pure man power,
Dug up the mulch and planted the shrubs, and made James Dacey eat a flower.

Feed(ing) Bristol (and James)

Her marketing plans were exceptional, her infographics had real appeal,
And she even managed to get her head round the Austrian offsetting deal.
She rescued institution’s subscriptions when their downloads took a tumble,
And even being paired with Lukas Piasecki couldn’t make this warrior crumble.

At the sales and marketing Belbin day where we played the ‘would I lie to you’ game,
Ailsa opted to tell all the group, about her five minutes of fame,
Where she starred in a yoga video, and had to hold the most difficult pose,
But all Davide was interested to know about was if she was wearing any clothes.

But outside of her IOP Publishing life, a different Ailsa emerges,
A fashion model, a DJ queen, and a blogger with ethical urges.
Yes, there’s many a project or good cause that this fab woman wants to tackle,
And if you ever need to track her down, just simply follow her cackle.

You spin me right round baby!

She is the girl who invented disco, and at karaoke she was a real hoot,
But come down time she was often found playing The Sims or Crash Bandicoot,
She’s a friend of the birds and the mighty red panda, who has the furriest face,
And she’s a pretty big fan of humans too, especially on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

All of the glamour

So now that the news has finally sunk in and we’re just about over the shock,
It’s time to say bye to our Ailsa, the pure, beautiful fairy on the fairy rock,
May we wish you all of the luck in the world as your new journey gets underway,
But please leave us a little of your sunshine, because we’ll miss you every day.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Hollie turns 30!

It's quite a rare thing to have such a close friend who you simply cannot fault. I mean, Hollie Steele is practically flawless! She has never irritated me (despite living together), we've never had a cross word (despite living together) and I feel nothing but joy and delight when in her company, be it just the two us, with her fabulous husband John or our wider 'Bristol ladies' crew (and I'm sure that will remain when mini Steele arrives at the end of this month!)

So when this lovely creature turned 30, I wrote her a little poem to let her know how awesome she is. And here it is:

I know a luscious Blondie who is just the real deal
Whenever I am with her it's always such a squeal
When it comes to getting jokes she can be a potato short of a meal
But she's always such a bloomin' delight is our gorgeous Hollie Steele.

Perverts on Sitges beach

She's travelled the world like a feather on a breeze
Yet her favourite meal is still soup with grated cheese
Her salsa moves and 'flashing' bring grown men down to their knees
And even her Charleston boogie would make Craig David wheeze.

The real 'flash' dance!

Her music taste is exquisite (remember the Artful Dodger show?!)
Her walking speed is more than enough to make Usain Bolt look slow
And it's truly been a frickin' delight watching this little beauty grow
While she's maintained her status as being one of the most wonderful folk I know.

Beauty and the bump