by Hilla Duka - View comments


No no, it's not the thick long eyelashes or the perfectly shaped eyebrows, direct your eyes at the gap. Huge milestone passed here. 


I came home from work to find something missing - Jacob lost his first tooth. He's incredibly proud, and quite exited to see if the tooth fairy takes it and leaves him a coin instead. That is, if he can let it go - he's been holding on to it ever since it fell out.

tooth in hand

Going home

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I'm sure I've written something to the same extent previously, but it strikes me every time I go to London how it doesn't stop being home. The funny thing about going back to work is that you still get up in the morning, you still moan internally about the laid back tourists walking in their leisurely pace, or the tube minutes who seem to have no relationship to normal minutes. It's just the same. 


This visit was so good, I got so much from my meetings and from talking to the team there, and was able to balance productive days and interesting meetings with laid back nights filled with wine and laughter and good company. Just the sort of visit I really love!


And for those hard won skeptics, who think there's nothing more to London than concrete and crammed buildings and crowded streets, I offer this pic, taken early in the morning as I headed back to the airport. Enough said, right?

So lately...

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I am aware I haven't exactly been very good at updating lately, which I will mainly attribute to being insanely busy. September included Baruco and the trip to Barcelona, which I believe I already told you about, and People Days in Berlin, which I have not yet told you about.

Basically, I am insanely fortunate to work at a company that evaluates itself mainly on how much people love working there. Let's just take that again, shall we? You read it right. My company measures it's success on how much we love working there. Based on that, I'll say it's a raging success. But I'm getting side tracked. Berlin. My lovely company just flew 120 people over for 36 hours, to spend our annual People days in Berlin. To celebrate we just opened in Germany. Great talks, workshops, drinks, live music with a band that took the roof of the place, the works. I may be skint having spent my salary on babysitters, but I had a great time!

My sweet friend Fia is getting special treatment and enjoying it like no tomorrow. Also, you know, hipsters taking pictures of food...

Lovely Li is all dolled up for the party in Berlin. She looks so amazing in this picture I think! 

Well, yes, there were drinks, and then I'd had too many to remember to take more pictures. That happens. :)


October is so far trying really hard not to be less interesting, so it's offered our annual Mynewsday, for which I was tweeting and it may or may not have been a coicidence (it is completely a coincidence) but while I was in charge of our twitter account, @mynewsdesk_se, the hashtag of the day #mnday was trending on twitter. Kind of cool no? Oh, and also no big deal, but that led to an article by our lovely internal journalist, which you could read here (especially if you like reading me ramble).  

Fredrik Rahnasto doing a stellar job at presenting at Mynewsday. Who knew he was so funny??

There were goodiebags. Soooo many goodiebags. I feel bad for the people packing them, but hopefully the people receiving them were happy enough to make up for it!


October is also offering up a trip to see my lovely UK team next week, which will be great! I haven't been over since August, and even though I got to see them all during People days, it's not the same as being there in person. On Tuesday we have an exciting product strategy day, and next morning at 4am I'm off! And yes, there is a slight chance I miss the flight. What can I say, I like living on the edge...


Oh yes, and getting back to the picture of me that I started with. I'm guessing you wonder why that's there? Well, following a discussion from last nights drinks, I figured a semi-public annoncement is in place: I've officially given up on my daily struggle with the straightener and am wearing my hair as it irrevertibly returns to as soon as I touch humdity - curly. If you see me and think I look odd - no, I did not decide to go for an eighty's perm, I've just given myself an extra twenty minutes every morning. End of anouncement. Sorry for the really long post, but it was either that, or like five of them. Honestly, what would you have prefered? I know, I know, I will get better at updating more often again.


P.S. I know the comments thing is broken. I know I need to figure it out. But you hardly ever comment, and I am short on time. So if you think about it, it's really your fault. Somehow. I'm not really sure how, but I'll work it out and get back to you, ok? Or I'll just fix the comments function and then you all comment like mad. Deal? Deal!


by Hilla Duka - View comments


Last week we packed up the entire product team and took of for Barcelona, and the Baruco conference. We combined a few days of team building with a few days of conference, and ended up having a great time. Though five days proved to be too much for me to be away from my monsters, Barcelona was lovely. I will always sincerely heart a city that sports a beach. 


We ended up renting a huge flat for the whole team through AirBnB, which was pretty great most of the time, at least during the days, but pretty awful as I snore and feel terrible about sharing a room with anyone. I ended up trying to go to sleep after everyone else and waking up before them, and as a result had such a sleep dept that by the end of the trip I was completely knackered. 


And now I'm back home, doing the Certified Product Owner course at Citerus, which is turning out to be mind boggingly good. It amazes me how they manage to cram so much information into just two days, and how it all manages to make sense. Two days of this and I will be returning to work with a revolution on my mind...

Birthday circus

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Milo turned five a few weeks ago, and for his birthday got a trip to the circus for the whole family. While I was less than thrilled, all of the kids where excited to go - all though Jacob expressed some concers about the clowns and whether or not they where frightening. 


We all ended up having a wonderful time. The kids from watching the show, and me from watching the kids. It really was amazing seeing how they reacted to all of it. Jonathan with shining eyes, on the edge of his seat, laughing and clapping. Milo watching, and without realising it doing the movements along with the performers. And Jacob sitting as still as a statue, nothing registering on the outside, just taking it all in. He was quite concerned about the elephants, and had that one lost its tusks, and did she not look sad. He is such an animal lover...

One of the best things, as far as the boys where  concerned, was the candy floss. Milo ended up having spun sugar all over his face, his hair - everywhere. After the show two kids where asleep, while the third declared it to have been the best night of his life. All in all - worth it. 

Animal lover

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Jacob has such a hand with animals. He absolutely loves animals, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Cats, dogs, horses, they all seem to flock around him, adoring him. And he's not like those kids who handle animals (pets mostly) really roughly, he really does understand that they're people, just of a different sort than us. 


Needless to say, he was thrilled when he got to go and visit animals with his granddad the other week. The highlight of the visit to the animals was apparently feeding the rabbits - but to me, this pic says it all...

This view!

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I just have to share this pic, taken just outside my hotel for my last trip to London. The hotel is literally just next to Saint Pauls Cathedral. So every time I went out for a smoke some fresh air, this was what I was looking at. The downside was that every hour on the hour, this is what I was listening to...


Still, felt good to not be stuck in old habits, and trying out a new hotel. Not that I had much choice, my usual hotel was full and this was the best I could do. Will I stay there again? For all the lovely views, probably not. Way, way to corporate for me. Lovely to stay at once, but next time I'll either be back at my usual hotel, or I'll try another one. 


I had a really good trip, and was able to combine some training sessions, meeting potential customers, and drinking wine with good friends, which is basically all the ingredients for a really good trip. Now it'll probably be until beginning of October until I go back, in September the Product department packs up and heads to Barcelona for a conference, and the entire company heads to Berlin for our People days. I wonder what my kids are going to say about me being away so much...?


This was Grange St Pauls hotel, and though it's usually a bit on the pricey side (like £300 per night for a single...) in the midst of summer I think I paid around £120 per night for it. It's absolutely lovely with large, clean and modern rooms and a great bar, though too corporate for my tastes.