Friday, January 25


Here is Leo. Tied. Wanting to be free, to run off & see what Gom is up to. Gom is repairing a small section of fence he put up to stop the dogs going & snuffling under the fence, upsetting noisy barking neighbour dog. He barks quite enough, without our dogs egging him on! It is a dull overcast day, & I had thought to get more photos, with perhaps less glare. Not having much luck, but this Grevillea is not too bad. Same old, though. Sorry I have no exotic flowers to show. Nor any exotic birds, or even interesting bugs.
We have these 'free' Begonias. They just come up whenever & wherever. I think in America, they are known as 'Volunteers'?

There were some sweet little ferns growing by the makeshift fence. Gom made short work of them, & alas, they are no more.
I wanted to post about pressure today. I am feeling under pressure to get some sort of sewing done. It is me that is pressuring me. I need to get off here, stop admiring everyone elses nice quilts & get sewing! if there are any puncutation police reading this, you will note I have left the apostrophe off elses- the truth is, I am not sure where it should go.
Back in the day, when I was living other lives, I found I hated pressure. A lot of people thrive on pressure, they love to be 'on a deadline'. Somehow it gets the adrenaline pumping & they assure me it gets the best out of them.
It has the opposite effect on me. I loathe pressure, just feel flustered & upset by it. I like to take my time, spend as much time as I need for a project or task. Deadlines make me very nervous.
A large part of Hotel life was pressure. One minute the bar would be empty, the next a line of thristy drinkers would all be clamouring at the bar. Gom loved it. He shone when he was under pressure. He loved the hustle & bustle, the excitement of it all. We had an excellent bar maid, who was just so efficient under pressure. Nothing got her flustered, & she could cope as well as anyone I have ever seen.
When we were in the Inner City Hotel, for a time I was manageress of the Restaurant. When it first opened it was at the forefront of Bistro style meals, in our city. It was busy beyond our wildest dreams. Opening for lunch & the evening meal, it just boomed, & we never had time to stop or think.
I would stagger upstairs at the end of the night, & just fall exhausted into bed. If I sat down in the afternoon, I would instantly fall asleep. I could understand that sort of pressure. I didn't really enjoy it much, but I could see the point of it all, & with great staff we could have it all running smoothly.
Cooks were probably our biggest worry. Many of them did not work well under pressure. Some of them threw tantrums, & walked out. One poor boy lost most of his hair, & his skin began peeling off. Pressure, we decided, as he told us he needed to leave. Another wore Army clothes, & made huge lunges with his personal giant knives. I was terrified he would kill someone. He had to go. Another argued hysterically with customers, telling them he would never cook a well-done steak! No matter that we told him the customer can have his steak cremated if he likes.
Some of the cooks were fun. We had one with fiery red hair. He talked non stop, & told us all sorts of intimate details about his life & times. He wore very tight jeans, & he told us he didnt wear undies. Our barmaid told him he would end up sterile. He was so worried he went out & bought undies & some looser jeans.
We called him Cookie, & we once backed a winning racehorse called Excessive Talk, in his honour. It wasn't named in his honour, we just backed it in his honour.
Back to pressure. When I worked in an office in a huge company, & had to send off telexes (remember those? I wish we had had email!) & organise conference calls, I was always furious when, at the last minute executives would come begging for 'urgent' calls, tickets, telexes, faxes to be sent. I knew those execs had been sitting about on their rear ends all day, drinking gallons of awful office coffee, or in the case of the MD & the Financial Controller etc, the coffee in the percolator that we organised every morning. Just as it was time to be getting on home, in would come a flustered exec, full of pleases, & BS about why they had to get this or that done urgently. To me that sort of pressure was just infuriating.
Mostly it was rot anyway. It was to go to Europe, & most of the countries we dealt with were happily alseep, & unaware of any urgency. To his credit, my immediate boss, who was Swiss, was the most unflappable person you could meet, & he had a wonderful calm pressence. He would take the steam out of the pressure.
How do you find pressure? Do you thrive on it? Or do you fold under it?
Queen, Under Pressure.


Mike said...

Without pressure, I wouldn't even get up in the morning. I have to have it.

Poor Leo looks so totally dejected.

Catalyst said...

When I worked in t.v. news, the days were long and slow and then the pressure was intense in the last hour and when we were on the air. I was pretty good at that.

But I don't think I could handle a cook lungeing about with big knives or one who wore tight jeans and no undies and bragged about it.

Joyce said...

I don't enjoy pressure and now that I have retired there is not much of it in my life. My greatest pressure is catching flights. I need to be at the airport at least 4 hours ahead of time and even then I don't relax until i am in the departure lounge.

Q said...

I do not care for pressure. I like to have all the time I want to do things.
If I am pressured most likely I will not participate. Sometimes pressure (stress) does happen and I do what I must do. As quickly as possible I get away from the stress and relax. I seem to create best when I am relaxed.
I love volunteers! My favorite sort of gardening is to see what Mother Nature plants!

Tanya Brown said...

Ugh. Pressure. Let's just say that large amounts of it don't bring out the most winsome part of my personality.

fifi said...

I like a little bit of stress, otherwise I ooze in all directions.

Anonymous said...

I am quite keen on pressure - well, it is good for me I think.

What I do not cope well with is having one large thing looming that I dread doing - that always paralyses me and stops me doing anything at all, including all the little things I need to do. so I have to be really strict these days and if I get something like that (and I have at the moment) I have to make myself do an hour on that first every day, before I do anything else. If I do that I am fine.

But I love hustle and bustle - no time to think type time!

Poor doggie!

I love Queen!

ancient one said...

OK, I'm a folder. If I know something is coming up, I stress for days. I prefer slower easier days.

Now, you must never appoligize for showing your Grevillea again. It is a lovely flower. Don't you remember how many times I made everyone look at my bean plant last summer...LOL

smilnsigh said...



mereth said...

Nup, I don't like pressure either, it doesn't motivate me at all, and I get bitter and resentful. On the other hand I procrastinate an awful lot so sometimes I'm the reason for the pressure in the first place. It should teach me a lesson for the next time, but it doesn't seem to.

Isabelle said...

I don't like pressure but on the other hand, I sometimes need deadlines to make me get on with one task and stop faffing about.

I can't believe that those begonias just come up by themselves! Here, we have to grow them from seed and not put them outside till early summer - or they die of cold.

And your Grevillia looks extremely exotic to me!

Christine Thresh said...

I like to pace myself. I do enjoy the pressure of a looming deadline near the end, though. It spurs me on to the finish line.
We used to have a weekly newspaper. We started off slowly on Monday and the pressure built all week. I had a regular Thursday night meeting to cover and I would stay up until early Friday morning to get the story written. The last day was intense and so often a breaking story would add more pressure. We had a wonderful staff and we all pulled together. I loved the wonderful feeling when the paper was (put to bed) being printed and the work was done.
Nowadays, not so much pressure.

Rosie said...

Pressure has to be just the right level for it to work for me. I think that you get used to it after a while. It is related to my confidence in what I am doing. If everything is going well, I am just "busy", and that is fine. When things are nose diving the least thing can throw me and even small problems become stressful.
I was hoping that this would get better as I get older...but of course not. I am joining the ranks of those who get to the airport 4 hours before the plane leaves, just like my mother before me...

sheoflittlebrain said...

I used to thrive on pressure, but now just love to drift through my days taking life as it comes...I'm just grateful to be able to do this now that I'm...well..I'm old..

I love the forays into your garden, Meggie. Your plants are all beautiful and exotic, and much, much better than looking at the seed catalogs as I've been doing lately!

Ragged Roses said...

I loathe pressure but when I was at school it was the only way I would learn! I think I was basically lazy or lacking in self discipline and it was only when the exams were the next day that I actually got on with things, which because I am conscientious, meant that I was usually up all night learning everything!

Tanya said...

I'm afraid I'm not much good under pressure. I find myself talking to myself. I think someday when I've lost a few more marbles I'm going to one of those people who babble all the time. If I'm late for somewhere or have made some mistake and am trying to correct it (under pressure) I suddenly hear my own voice. And even more of a surprise is more often than not nowadays I talk to myself in Japanese! Now that if called falling under pressure!