Yelly Writes


Me and my Abba

I am finally celebrating your birthday with you! Happy 80th birthday Abbadabbadoo!

We are so very blessed by your life. Thank you for everything that you did and that you continue to do for us. Your strength of spirit continues to inspire us. Words can never really fully express how thankful for and truly blessed we are by you.

I love you more than I can ever say

This photo was taken in 2014 but this is one of my favourites.


Yelly Writes

Manila! Manila!

I keep coming back to Manila
Simply no place like Manila
Manila, I’m coming home!
(Manila by Hotdog)


Touchdown Manila!The sight of this city made my heart skip a beat.   I told myself that the next time I came home, I would take a photo of the cityscape from the plane window.  This was the view from my window when the plane was coming down to land today.


There is nothing like coming home.  Since I moved to England, I’ve only been home twice (both times in 2014) and both trips were made because my parents were unwell.  I’m happy to say that I am coming home this time for a happier reason.  It’s my dad’s 80th birthday in a few days and I am so happy that I’m able to celebrate this milestone birthday with him.


I can’t be sure I’ll take photos.  But you can bet I’ve got a smile on my face just thinking about everything I’m going to get up to (and eat) while I’m here!


I’m so happy to be home!





Yelly Writes

Helloooooo dear readers!

Ooooh apparently, on Tuesday, 18 October, I had 64 views on the blog.  64!  That’s the highest number I’ve had for quite a while.  I’d like to think that apart from my most popular post on salt and chilli belly pork, I’ve shared something else interesting!

readerspikeThanks to everyone who came by and read my musings.  Please leave a message as I’d love to hear from you! 🙂


Yelly Writes

Listening to female voices

I’ve always had music in my ears ever since I could remember.  It started with my father having these huge headphones (which funnily enough would have probably been de riguer these days) and I started listening quietly these Hebrew children’s songs that my dad used to play on constant repeat so that we would speak Hebrew (apparently, I was fluent!  How I wish I still were!  I can sometimes understand the Hebrew and I remember being so happy that I didn’t necessarily have to read the subtitles when BBC showed The Honourable Woman on telly! Yep, high point in my life.  I love being such a geek!).

I had the 80’s requisite walkman and warbled to Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.  Of course, I had the double tape deck and of course I had the portable CD player that eventually you could plug into the double tape deck as a line-in (I think!  Am not entirely sure that’s what you called it!).

It was only when I moved to the UK that I started listening to audio books.  Stephen Fry’s readings of the Harry Potter books helped me through the long walks to work (I had the first generation iPod Touch by then).  After finishing the Harry Potter books, I started collecting music and creating playlists.

Then in 2014, Alan introduced me to Serial, THE PODCAST.  Along with the rest of the world, I was hooked!  I would listen to the episodes twice; once to listen to it as soon as it became available to download and listen to, and then again later in the week, before the next episode came.  It was great because Sarah Koenig spoke like me (I’m Filipino but I’ve always had a decidedly American accent – which made working in call centres decidedly easier since they required someone with an American twang!  My dearest dad flatly refused to allow us to speak in Filipino or watch Filipino shows.  Even my nanny spoke in English to me!  Oh and no, having a nanny in the Philippines did not mean we were rich.  It was just an acceptable thing to have in households with two working parents.  It was the only acceptable solution really.).  After Serial finished, I went back to listening to my music playlists.  I did miss someone talking in my ear.  So imagine my joy when Serial released their second season!  But of course, once the podcast is finished, it finished.

I started exploring the podcast world and found a lot of interesting listening available.  I listened to Richard Herring a lot for a while, except that it became a bit too sweary for me (I use the occasional expletive like “sh*t, sh*t,sh*t, oh sh*t”, or “f*ck!” or “bugger, bugger!” but even I surprise myself when I say them out loud.  Alan says I swear a lot, which probably means I feel so comfortable around him that I say what’s on my mind…even if it is a swear word!) so I stopped following his podcast.  I also listen to The Allusionist podcast because I love listening to people talk about etymology and language (and yes, because I’m a bit of a grammar monkey!).  Once in a while, I download No Such Thing As A Fish podcast episodes because I am a QI fan!

These days though, my train rides are entertained by 3 amazing women:

I love Emma Gannon’s podcasts because whilst I am not a millenial (I think in the timeline of generations, I am a Generation X-er, only just), her insights and the insights of her guests are inspiring.  Emma’s podcast Ctrl, Alt, Delete introduces her listeners to a diverse line up of creatives and successful people who have made social media their playground; people who have created niches in the social media world and aren’t stingy with sharing their experience and knowledge to people who want create their niche in this rapidly growing platform.  I realise that talking about Emma so much might made me sound like a sycophant (I don’t really care if I do!) but she is amazingly brilliant and the people she talks to are equally so.  It’s perfect listening when you want to stop hating your journey to work, perfect listening when you want to get inspiration to make a difference, perfect listening when you need to refocus and understand that your current job will probably be a means to an end – the end being doing something that you really, really want to do!

Ctrl, Alt, DeleteAnother lady I love listening to is Dawn O’Porter.  Dawn was also a guest on Emma Gannon’s podcast and I soooooo enjoyed listening to that episode.  It was very laugh-out-loud and I must admit, I did get strange/annoyed looks from people sitting near me on the train because I was constantly snorting, laughing into my sleeve or making funny faces.  Dawn has this very easy-on-the-ears voice that makes you just listen.  I was so happy she started her own podcast Get It On by Dawn O’Porter (I know you can get it on iTunes and acast..and I think, PodOmatic).  I loved the trilogy on men’s style that she had.  She talked to Jason Segal, Dermot O’Leary and her husband, Chris O’Dowd, about their sartorial choices.  I blame you entirely Dawn for the looks I got from that man who gets on at Colchester.  He was very annoyed with me because for several days, I interrupted his relatively quiet train journey!

Get It OnI’ve only just VERY recently discovered Sofie Hagen.  My introduction to her Made of Human podcast was her conversation with one of my favourite comedians, Sara Pascoe.  I first listened to her this morning and let me tell you, it was another LOL journey.  Sorry Mr Sourpuss Colchester.  It was just too funny.

Made Of HumanAlso, I’ve taken away a few, very cool, quotes that Sofie and Sarah shared during their conversation:

From Sara:  “Don’t find happiness where you lost it.”

From Sofie (sharing a Frida Kahlo quote):  “Leaving isn’t enough; you must stay gone.”

When I heard this I was slightly blown away because for some reason, it fit the situation I was struggling with (it was mostly about relationships that didn’t really matter anymore and that I shouldn’t feel guilty about not liking people – I will probably write about that at some point!).

Also, the nerdy chick in me will read about something Sara Pascoe talked about: the zero-sum game.  Have you heard of it?  Want to discuss it?  Wait, no, not yet!  I’ve got read up first!


Yelly Writes

It’s not always my fault

I think I’ve had a proper breakthrough today.  It’s finally hit me, very properly (right in between the eyes, so to speak), that sometimes, it really isn’t me.  Sometimes, another person’s inconsistency isn’t how they’re reacting to me.  It’s really just who they are, and no matter how much one tries to be efficient to manage everything in the background, sometimes it just isn’t possible to manage someone else’s inconsistencies.  I’ve always had an overdeveloped sense of responsibility.  When something goes wrong, my first instinct is to think “What have I not done?”  But sometimes, it’s not my fault.  I need to stop taking it on as my fault.  Because I know that I’ve always done my absolute best with what time I have.

You're OKI can only do what I can do, in the time frame that I have to do things.  If I can’t get it done, then, well, I can’t because I can’t create time magically.  It’s not my fault and I am not taking responsibility for something I don’t have control over (i.e. someone else’s priorities).  It’ll have to be done another day.  I am only one person.

Yes, Alan, I am finally listening to you properly!


Yelly Writes

Sometimes you are heard

​Soooooooooo…I received a very interesting phone call yesterday afternoon. Last Friday I was on the receiving end of a hard sell cold call. Coming from a call centre background, I do have a few years of phone-based customer service experience and that phone conversation was particularly uncomfortable.  So I wrote about the experience and put it out on social media. 

Who should call me yesterday but the sales manager of the company because apparently one of their directors saw what I wrote about my experience.  I got an apology and an acknowledgement that their agents should get training on the hard sell vs the soft cell. They asked me if I could take the post down because their company name was on it, with the caveat that my concerns would be taken into consideration when training their agents. So on the basis of that conversation, I am placing faith in that telephone conversation, that blog entry is now marked private. I hope they deliver on the soft skills training! I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I went through. 

I didn’t think I should delete that blog entry because even if I’m the only one that sees the post from now on, it will remind me of the power of social media. It will remind me of how magnified one’s voice can be if channeled responsibly.

Yelly Reads

New book alert!

This book has sat in my Kindle for a while.  I loved the title and I loved what it professed to teach me.  BUT I’ve not had the courage to read it.  It will take a lot of courage to read a book that will probably suggest I do things that are completely alien to me.

I have always known that I am a person who cared too much about everything.  I’ve mostly ever really cared about other people more than myself (let’s face it, when you’re the eldest child you’re taught to consider other people, take care of other people, be a shining example and paragon of virtue for other people, be perfect for other people to look up to…etc., etc.!).  Mostly because during the times when I’ve actually put myself first, the resulting situations were disastrous and I ended up hurting so many other people.  So I usually steer clear from what I think are actions that might be construed as “selfish” and “putting myself first.”  Which is, in hindsight, probably why I feel like I’m in a state of arrested development.  It’s because I’ve put others first before wanting to do what I want to do.

In the last 18 months, I’ve come to realise that I do have to put myself first.  No one, not even the people who profess to love me (save a handful of people), have actually done what I’ve done for them: consider me before themselves.

I’ve read reviews about Sarah Knight’s book and I find my interest extremely piqued.  One review says it’s Oprah-esque wisdom with Amy Schumer swearing.  Now that sounds hilarious.

So…without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the book that will be accompanying me on the train journey for the next few days.  See y’all on the other side!



Yelly Eats

Craving Korean comfort food

Alan will be making feijoada tonight so that is an absolute treat and completely comforting.  But I find that because of the weather I am craving a lot of Asian food at the moment.  I am particularly wishing we lived in London so that I can order Korean food from Deliveroo!

I would love, at the moment, to be able to indulge in a large half soy half spicy platter of On The Bab’s yang yeum Korean fried chicken.

yang yeum fried chickenPairing that with their spicy pork buns

OTB Spicy pork buns…and just to be completely stuffed, I’d like to finish it with a warm and comforting bowl of bibimbap!

OTB Bibimbap


Yelly Writes

Of cold calls and hard sells

I know that when we receive cold calls at work, it’s people trying to sell the firm all sorts of services (from cleaning services to tax software products, you name it, we’ve probably received a sales call about it!). So today, I take one such cold call for my director from a Sam from DataTracks (I have his contact number).  He wanted to know if we had an iXBRL reporting service provider.  I had to make sure I gave the right so I had to check with our admin head.  We did and I know we’d just renewed the contract because of the merger.  So I said we did. He asked (not very politely) who it was so I said CCH.  He started getting aggressive wanting to talk to my director (who was honestly on the phone) and asked me if I knew what it was, how important it was for corporation tax reporting to HMRC.

Of course by this time, I knew he was going to try to get me to transfer him to one of the directors so that he could try and sell him their services.  It was a Friday afternoon, and all of our directors had better things to do with their time.  I politely told Sam that we didn’t require services from a new provider yet because we had just renewed our contract.  I suggested that if he could send over information about the services his company provided, he could send it to our enquiries email address so their services could be reviewed and the appropriate person could get in touch.  Somehow I could feel Sam getting agitated (his English started changing from an American accent to an Australian accent and some transatlantic call centre accent)  and he asked me if I was admin or an accountant because it’s possible I didn’t understand what he was talking about.  It ruffled my feathers because the implication was that because I was just admin staff that I knew nothing about what our office did.  So I said I understood that he had sales targets to reach but that we already had a provider we were happy with and to have a nice day and I hung up.

boilerroomI wish I could be rude to him but as I still had my PA hat on, I had to be polite and professional, and it wouldn’t reflect well on the firm if I was rude back. I get the sales target thing, that it can get all boiler-roomy and that they’re under a lot of pressure to sell. But if you provide a service (a professional service at that), the hard sell isn’t always the best way to get your foot in.  I hope Sam gets more soft skills training. He definitely needs it!

Thank goodness it’s the weekend!

Yelly Writes

My Duckie

So this little girl is celebrating her birthday today…well at least it is still her birthday here today.  I wish I could hug her and say how proud I am of her, of how she has taken on so much responsibility.  I wish I could tell her that I so believe in her capabilities and that I believe she can do anything she puts her mind to.

talulayI hope you had the most amazing birthday Duckie!  I know that William being well and truly married and Harry not really finished looking for himself is a huge disappointment, but remember this: