Entries Tagged 'What I’ve been doing' ↓

Paper alarm

Even with all the tech in the world, this is how I remember the must-do stuff!

IMG_5835

Staycation – Christmas 2013

Had a blissful time during Christmas and New Year this year – we took two days off work and combined with the statutory leave days and weekends we didn’t need to go into the office for 8 days … well we had one work day at the office to pack up to move Xero NYC (a.k.a. Fringe Division) from Astor Place to the bottom of Broadway in the Financial District.

We stocked up on groceries before Christmas so it was great to mostly stay at home and spend no money – although we did go outside most days to get coffee (of course), went to the museum of natural history one day and saw 3 movies: Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle and Secret Life of Walter Mitty (all good). We had an NYC family Christmas Eve dinner (Moroccan chicken), movies and a rolled pork roast on Christmas Day.

The city was pretty quiet (except for Chelsea Market and the museum which attracted lots of holiday-makers). We also caught up on some TV shows we’d missed, binge-watched The Americans, Orange is the New Black and The Fall (all great!) I also knitted most of 2 Xero baby sweaters.

Staycation was great!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day quiet

Christmas Day afternoon tea & gifts

Skyping with family on Christmas Day

Christmas Dinner

Moving to a new office

Christmas tree time

Christmas trees in New York arrive on street corners, wrapped up in netting and held up by wooden brackets. Brave souls (or guys out to make a buck) brave the cold weather in tents with wreaths and decorations waiting for us all to come out of our apartments to buy a tree, hoping we’ll want one of the big ones for $350.

Getting the Christmas tree

We walked a couple blocks to a neighborhood lot last weekend and met all the trees. We chose our usual small one and carried it home and decorated it with orange baubles and fairy lights.

Getting the Christmas tree

Getting the Christmas tree

Getting the Christmas tree

Happy Christmas!

Tree trimmed in #orange #xmas

21 November 2005 #8

It was pretty special to be in New York on our 6 years married anniversary and even special to be here again for 8 because this time, we live here. We only dreamed of this 8 years ago :) We wandered from our Astor Place office over to the East Side to Ninth Street Espresso, their original location that we’ve only been to 2 or 3 times. We got there in time for our 10.20am coffee. We had to leave our little coffee group – the entire New York office as it stands now at 5 – behind. Hope we’re still here next year!

21 November coffee date

First New York snowfall

So hard to capture actual falling snow on camera but it *was* snowing yesterday morning. Started out as sleety rain then turned into snowflakes. They didn’t stick to anything and they were gone by the time we had to walk to the subway. I was still excited to see it!

First snowfall!

Meet Orange Girl – an interview

First time I’ve been interviewed for being me. It’s on the site: Meet the Gravy along with a bunch of other Xeroes and interesting people. I’ve reproduced it here below.

CatherineWalker_Casual_BW2_coffee_550

So who are you anyway, and what do you do?

I’m Orange Girl. Or OG, no, not Original Gangster … I’m Xero’s Community Manager and look after all our company social media accounts and keep watch over many forums and our own Xero Business Community site. It’s one of those jobs that no-one understands and everyone wants … I mean, all I do is fluff about on Twitter and Facebook all day … right? A teenage dream?! Some think it’s really easy, others think it’s really hard, and many think they know how to do it better. I’m a digital message air-traffic controller.

What was your last job before getting into this?

I’ve been Xero’s Community Manager for almost 4 years and the 3 years before that I wrote and developed Xero’s Help Center. And before Xero I was working in a bank in NZ on a short contract as a business analyst, I was buried somewhere deep in the wholesale lending department trying to change some long-winded process involving several systems into one. Most of my working life I’ve done project management, business analysis and product documentation.

And why did you decide to do what you do now?

I like startups, those early days where you can see that what you do is useful. I’ve worked in startups with Rod (Xero CEO) before so when he and my husband Craig (Xero CTO) started talking about this idea (Xero) being the next big thing I was caught up from the start. And as the financial controller in our family the decision to take out 2 loans to invest in Xero had to run through me! I joined pretty quickly in the first few months because Rod promised there’d be orange in the brand. There is :)

What is it about the 60/70/80/90 that you miss most?

Knight Rider.

What is the biggest challenge facing SMEs today?

Probably the same big challenges we all face – dealing with information overload, so many choices and options and noise out there, how do you know what’s the best thing, that you’ve made the right decision and how do you know you’ve got all the information to make those decisions? How to keep up in this fast paced world where things are changing so rapidly?

Can cloud software solve that challenge, and if so how?

I’m not sure whether it helps or hinders actually! So many options and review sites and choice. However the standard cloud stuff makes it easier – no massive investment in IT and consultants, if you make the wrong software choice, move on. And of course the time savings and ability to get help – if you’re deep inside trying to make your business successful and stick out in a crowd, cloud software gives you the chance to use it where and when you need to even if that’s out of regular business hours and give others access if you need help.

If you could retire now, what would you do? Or not do?

Find something to write about about and post often on a blog or write a book.

If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?

Make friends with your sister. Don’t worry so much about what other people think. Speak up.

If you could buy anyone a drink in a bar and chat to them about anything, who would it be, what drink and what would you talk about?

Wow, if only I had time. Lots of people. I don’t like bars or the social pressure to drink. It’d be a coffee shop and I’d have a flat white (or equivalent). Anyway … someone who’s fascinated me over the last couple years is the person behind the San Francisco Bay Bridge Twitter account. Before moving to New York I lived in an apartment looking over the bridge and felt we became quite good friends. (This is embarrassing but I’d often get home from work, go directly to the window and say out loud “hello bridge.”) I’d love to talk to the guy about how he got into it, where he gets his intel from, and how he maintains his secret life.

If you could walk up to anyone, kick them in the shins and shout something at them, who would it be and what would you shout? Go on, get it off your chest.

I know you mean figuratively but I just don’t feel that angry towards anyone. Plus I don’t like confrontation and would be petrified they’d shout back at me. I do feel rather annoyed and let down by the people who design lingerie though – I would love the opportunity to “yell’ at Fantasie or other makers of lingerie at the ‘fuller’ end and ask why no orange? It’s not fair that those of us who can’t fit into skimpy strappy things are restricted to beige and black. Or I’d give people who shout in my direction from the safety of their keyboards a good talking to – there is a real person at the end of your tweet or forum post and I’m really truly honestly just trying to help.

If you could walk up to anyone and hug them, would would it be and why?

My best friend Leeann who I met in my second week at university. She’s the closest friend I’ve ever had and it’s just coming up on 10 years since she died. Since her passing I’ve not had another deep friendship like the one I had with her and I’ve lived my life since then with a terrible undercurrent that everyone around me is going to be taken away.

What’s your favorite meat and gravy meal?

Precooked sausages (like those you get in NZ), not gravy – Watties tomato sauce, mashed potatoes and Veuve Cliquot.

What is your greatest achievement?

My Masters of Library and Information Studies. That degree was really hard and pure determination (plus what it cost me without a student loan) saw me through to the end less about 10kgs. I wasn’t a librarian when I started out and was way out of my depth until the elective courses later in the program where I found my niche with the ‘Intro to the World Wide Web’ course (as the web was back in 1996). I was the first at my university to submit my research project as a website and I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t discovered the wonderful logical uniformity of HTML and ended up with a job out of university hand-coding and project managing websites for various NZ government organizations. Plus I have had a dream for 10 years to live in New York, I’ve worked hard to make it happen, and I’ve just arrived. That’s pretty unbelievable.

What do you want to achieve that you haven’t as yet?

Confidence. I spend too much time worrying that I’m not doing a good job and that I’m not being useful. And perhaps some me time. I’d also like to wave those orange glow-sticks and guide a 747 into the gate.

What’s next for you?

More Xero! And becoming a New Yorker.

New York: that was then, this is now

New York skyline - filtered

OMG. WE LIVE IN NEW YORK!

It’s amazing to be here. Our dream has come true. We’ve been here before. We’ve dreamed and now we’re here to stay.

2005 – November

We got married at City Hall! Our first trip together after 9 months of a secret engagement – meeting up with our friend from Switzerland to be our witness. We got married on a Monday morning in jeans and celebrated at the 21 Club. We 3 explored the city that week. It was amazing. When we got home we celebrated with close family and friends. And we talked about when we’d get back to New York. We wondered if we’d be able to visit, perhaps for our 5th wedding anniversary, we wondered what on earth it would take to return to live. And as time passed …

IMG_1172

2007 – Christmas

With The Mister’s brother living in Washington DC and a passing conversation about Christmas in the States we all of a sudden felt a tug and came over for a week. Xero had IPO’d by now and was 18 months in so we took a week off for a holiday. Being so close to New York we couldn’t resist and came up on the train for a night. I got my first Mac and we saw New York at Christmas for the first time.

IMG_3154

IMG_3186

2008 – November

We found our minds wandering to New York and missing it and by now Bev and Dan were living in California so we decided to come visit them and have a few days in New York over Thanksgiving around the time of our wedding anniversary. We discovered Ninth Street Espresso and went over the Brooklyn bridge.

IMG_4479

IMG_4628

2009 – June

Xero won a Webby Award with the ceremony in New York. Sara and Lucy were on holiday in Canada and able to go to New York to accept the award – too good an opportunity to pass up so we dashed over for a 4 day trip! It was our first visit in the summer so we spent a bit of time in Central Park and discovered Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

Central Park

Madison Square Park

2010 – March – July

We lived here! 5 months getting to know the city as residents from March through July – avoiding the very cold and very hot. We had a short term vacation rental in Murray Hill, commuted on the 6 train, used a basement laundry, found a friendship with Cousin G, had several sets of visitors to stay on our fold out couch, went to a couple of Yankees games, museums, visited many many of the independent coffee shops opening up, went to lots of movies, spent a lot of time at Chelsea Market, dealt with a cockroach, experienced our first heat wave, saw 4th of July fireworks from an aircraft carrier on the Hudson River, kept up my Project 365 photo project, sat in parks and cried all the way back to New Zealand. But that solidified it, one day were were definitely coming back here to live.

Miss Scary

On the train

2011 – November

By now we were living in San Francisco after we came over to help Xero set up their US operations. After an extremely busy month traveling for work to Austin, Las Vegas, San Jose and Kansas – we figured we deserved a weekend off and going as far as Kansas meant we were over half way across the country – plus it coincided with our wedding anniversary! Explored more coffee places, saw a bit of orange in the leaves and a bit of Christmas stuff.

Central Park

Downtown

2012 – March

A surprise birthday visit for me! Organized in secret by The Mister … awww <3

Brooklyn Bridge walk

2012 – May

Accounting Conference season in full swing and with it being our first year in the States, Xero had to send whoever it could to as many conferences as possible – of course we put our hands up for the New York show even thought it’s a pretty tough crowd! We were stuck in the basement of the Pennsylvania Hotel most of the time but of course Chelsea Market called when the weekend came!

Chelsea Market

2013 – January

Time for a long overdue visit and we discovered what it’s like to be cold in New York – we tried to limit any time outside to scurrying between subway stations, cafes, public library, shops etc! We went home via Florida to visit Kara so it was from one extreme to the other! 18*F (-7) – 77*F (25)!

Freezing in New York

Bryant Park frozen

Chelsea Market

2013 – April

Once the year got into full swing and after a trip to New Zealand we made the decision to move to New York. THIS YEAR – somewhere in the June – August time-frame. All systems go and we were back in April to stake out the apartment market while on a work accounting conference trip.

New York water towers

Springtime on Greenwich Street

2013 – July

AND NOW WE’RE HERE! Our dream has come true – now it feels like the time and wait has passed so quickly. The hard work has paid off. We’re so lucky to still be working for Xero and to start the next chapter of our work and personal lives here. We live close to Cousin G, we’re getting used to a new neighborhood, finding new cafes, commuting across town on a bus, getting used to the heat, buying furniture, hiring people to build an office, making new friends and settling in for the long haul. We’re here.

View East

Central Park

A year in review 2012

Looking back at the photos I took last year, it was a pretty busy one! 2012 marked one year living in San Francisco and we had a few visitors and trips. One picture per month.

Elite Audio cafe Evening at the beach Brooklyn Bridge walk Orange rocks in Sedona Golden Gate 75th birthday celebrations Saturday at the Ferry Market Muir Woods Grouse mountain Parliament & Big Ben Sausalito Alpha Omega Chrstmas tree 2012

New Year’s Eve 2012

Nice to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks off a pier out our window again to see in another year.

New Year 2013

21 November 2005 #7

Second time we’ve had a wedding anniversary in the Bay Area – #3 we were visiting Bev and Dan, this year it’s a normalish day at work and we’re in the office. I say normal-’ish’ because it’s the day before Thanksgiving and we were wondering this morning how to tell our usual coffee posse a.k.a. Girls’ Coffee Club that we might like to go off on our own when we realized the rest of the group were all out of the office prior to the long weekend.

So we went around to our usual coffee haunt and stayed in to drink our coffee at 10.21am on the bench with a special treat – peanut butter cookie. There was even a heart in my coffee :)

Heart coffee