Posts Tagged With: Christmas

Good times (in an office…)

With Christmas almost upon us and the rest of the Grads having a great time abroad, Ben reflects on the good times he’s had recently in the Brighton and Surbiton offices.

I’ve never been a fan of working in an office. Sitting all day, staring at a computer screen, occasionally making a cup of coffee is a little… er… dull. Fortunately, there are times when working in an office can be a lot of fun. Aside from the fascinating projects I’ve been working on recently (more info to come in the new year), the social side can also be great. Furthermore, I think a good social environment can create a happy workforce, which is essential for a business to prosper.

For example, whilst in Brighton with the Sector’s eCommerce and iExplore team, we had “International Food Fridays”. Brave volunteers would sign up and promise to make the national dish of whichever country came out of the hat. I was given Portugal. Unfortunately I’ve never been to Portugal and had no idea what to make. Fortunately, there was a resident Portuguese guy (Fred Cardoso) who was there to advise/encourage/pressure me to make sure it was a success!

The result can be seen in the picture below and (to my relief) it went down really well:

For someone that never cooked a Portuguese dish, Ben got really near a Portuguese Chef” – Fred, resident Portuguese food expert.

There was also Movember, Halloween bake sales and an amazing place to have lunch (see pics below).

I have recently moved to the Crystal Ski office in Surbiton, where there is also a great social atmosphere. We’ve had a huge Christmas party, numerous cakes, several gingerbread houses and even wrapped the Product Director’s desk up in Christmas wrapping paper! ‘Tis the Season!

I hope you enjoy the pictures below and have a great Christmas wherever you are.

Categories: Ben Gill | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…

Janet looks forward to the holiday ahead…

At this point in time several years ago I was preparing for Christmas in China, and remarked to a colleague that Christmas in China is rubbish.  The decorations are there (to a ridiculously lavish extent), special offers are everywhere for the purchase of presents, and there is even the same CD playing on a loop in every shop you visit, but it just wasn’t right.  My Christmas break was ok, but nothing special, and I put this feeling of disappointment down to the fact that it was my boyfriend’s first Christmas away from home – for him, it just isn’t Christmas if it doesn’t involve his mum’s Christmas dinner.

A couple of months later, I experienced my first Chinese New Year.  Amazing.  For weeks in advance, people were scurrying around hoarding food and gifts, and my colleagues became increasingly more excited while discussing their travel plans for the holidays.  Literally no work was done for the month before the holiday.  Aside from experiencing the most amazing firework displays I have ever seen, the lesson I really learnt that February was that ‘feeling Christmassy’ isn’t down to what you do, but what you feel; it’s about anticipation.  For the fortnight before Chinese New Year, Shanghai felt like the UK feels in December.  The excitement was tangible.

As I prepare for Christmas 2011 (tree is already in place), it has occurred to me that the only other time I feel a similar sense of anticipation is before I go to a new place on holiday (or, to be honest, even with work).  And again, I am reminded why I love my job.  It’s a cliché, but it’s nice to work for a company that makes a product that people actually want, and that they look forward to, sometimes all year (just like Christmas)!  Customers work hard, save hard, spend too much and anticipate the event that gives them a break from their everyday lives.

And so, with a number of Christmas meals lined up this week, and (almost all) my Christmas shopping done, I am looking forward to the holiday ahead – it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Christmas Spirit

Categories: Janet | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Lets play dress up.

Well the blog has been on a break over the holidays and what better way to recap then to see how the guys spend their holiday.  Here’s what Guy was up to before the break and yes, you guessed it, it involves costumes.

The last office day of 2010 and Florida is returning to form, a last blast of sun before Christmas-time snow in northern Europe. We’ve all been a bit more silent on the blog recently, I guess because work has picked up and Christmas provides a useful mental goalpost for project achievement.  So, what’s been going on? Well, I’ve been writing business plans for new product launches, and making sure the right people are consulted and aboard the ship, I’m keen to put something together that has buy-in.  I’ve also been working with other members of the marketing team at strengthening our partnerships with yacht clubs – yacht club members are our most loyal customer base so we need to make sure that they are getting the most benefit possible from being associated with TUI Marine. I’ve also been trying to persuade farmers markets that Le Boat (our European canal boating product) and they are great partners, particularly given the clear gastronomic appeal of many of our destinations. We’ll see how many I can convince!

Outside of work, I’ve been attending Christmas parties from my various activities and hoping to get a bit of canoeing and a cycle pub-crawl in my home town of Dunedin tomorrow before my flight back to snowy Britain. I have to say, I am looking forward to some wintry activities particularly ski-touring in Scotland and Sweden over the New Year. I’ll leave you with some pictures of the TUI Marine Marketing Department in all our Christmas finery! Happy Holidays!

Categories: Guy | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Bath with Santa

Ali updates us on his to-ing and fro-ing from Britain as well as some Dutch Christmas traditions

Spent the weekend in the lovely city of Bath. If you haven’t been to the  Bath Thermae spa then you should, it is really relaxing and well worth the queue and the money. In all a great weekend, Birmingham beat Chelsea too!!! Seems strange that I can leave the UK to fly to Amsterdam and be home in my apartment before my girlfriend, who left at the same time as me on the train back to Truro!

Coming up is Sinterklaas, yes that’s right, I haven’t spelt Santa Claus wrong. In Holland they have a winter festivity called Sinterklaas to celebrate Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Amsterdam. Dressed very much in the same attire as ‘Father Christmas’ he delivers presents to children up to and on the 5th December. Children put their shoes out before going to bed, under the fireplace by the chimney (or nowadays next to a boiler/radiator)  and then sing the Sinterklaas song and then can expect some sweets in their shoe in the morning. It’s very nice and interesting to see how things are different here; traditional biscuits have appeared in the office and the story is explained to me as I watch bewildered thinking it’s all a bit early for Christmas presents!

Categories: Ali | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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