Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Plumbing the depths

So last night, once again, the plumber was booked to come and fix my thermostat. And*… this time it was different! This time, he still didn’t turn up but he also didn’t answer his phone when I called to ask if he was going to show up. I left a message. He didn’t phone back. Maybe he thinks that if he turns up now he will have to give me a major discount. Somehow I don’t think plumbers work like that though. I’ll see if he leaves a message today and if not then I think I’ll have to find a new plumber.

I can be a very patient person. If I think someone has just made a mistake or that what they have done isn’t deliberately then I am often willing to give quite a lot of leeway but sometimes things really irritates me - and if you combine that with PMT, then you have a potentially lethal combination. Perhaps it’s a good job the plumber wasn’t available on the phone last night.

Also, I have not heard back from the freeholder to say if I can have a burglar alarm fitted. It isn’t really a surprise ,as that is what one of the neighbours said would happen, but even so it is frustrating and I want to phone the freeholder and be somewhat cutting. Except that wouldn’t be very constructive, particularly as I want to extend my lease. So I shan’t. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Anyway, on to happier things… Actually saying that reminds me that at some point I intend to try and compile a list of songs that are just really good “happy songs”. I was listening to Mr Blue Sky by ELO last night and that is definitely one of those songs that can put you in a good mood. I am going to come up with some others, this will probably include such delights as the Killers and so on and then at some point do something with those songs such as load them on an MP3 player to lighten my day on the way into work.

PG Tips have a new monkey advert out, which I find very exciting even if you don’t:

*I know that it is grammatically wrong to start a sentence with “And”. It was very naughty of me and I shall chastise myself suitably.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I see that giraffes (and out of date food) brings out the friendly side in people. So today we have a baby hippo. Not just a baby hippo, but also a giant tortoise! It’s becoming more and more like Blue Peter on here every day. Animal corner is unlikely to become a regular feature though so make the most of it while you can.

The new job is still going fine. We had a section meeting yesterday morning and I could have just wept. We were *allowed* to know what was going on, people were *asked* what they thought about things, we were *consulted* on issues that are coming up and we are given *responsibility*. This is going to take some getting used to folks. I don’t know if I can cope with this information overload.

By contrast, yesterday I was talking (separately) to a couple of people I worked with until recently and they were both utterly miserable and told me that they are just thoroughly depressed. One has written to HR to see if she can get early retirement and the other has got a new job, which is a really fantastic opportunity, but she says that her current job makes her feel so down that she just can’t get excited about it. Both said to me “you look really happy”. I wouldn’t say I am really happy but I am certainly enjoying the change of atmosphere and potentially having a job that I enjoy rather than endure. Now if I could just sort out the rest of my life things would be pretty good. Give me time...

Anyway, as if you don’t spend enough time on the www already here’s a really nice site. It is a whole load of short films from the National Film Board of Canada. They are really great. I hope they don’t take the site down as they’re well worth a look. Enjoy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Best Before

I went to my parents’ house for lunch yesterday which was it usual mix of nice food and barbed conversation between my father and I. One of the things that is a definite family trait though is eating out of date food. Don’t get me wrong, it’d not that we don’t regularly go shopping, its just things sometimes get pushed to the back of the cupboard and then a while later you find it and it seems criminal to chuck it out. Yesterday I wanted some custard and was looking through my parents’ kitchen cupboard and found a tin right at the back. It went out of date in August 2005. I ate it anyway.

Last week I ate a Cadbury’s Creme Egg that went out of date in July last year. You’re probably more shocked that I ate part of last Easter’s stash, aren’t you? I’m getting there slowly but surely. I do also realise that Easter eggs are in the shops now anyway (what is that all about? Easter is ages away) so I could have gone out and bought a brand new one, but it didn’t taste any different to me. Do I sound like some OAP who lives in one of those houses which is just filled with things that have been horded for years and is drowning in their own mess?

Just to reassure you, I tidied up loads of paperwork yesterday, as my living room just seemed to have piles of papers everywhere. Amongst all the paperwork I found the cartoon above that I had kept because it amused me. (It was in the London Paper a few weeks ago). You see - you can’t beat a good old bit of giraffe humour. Now I’ve started talking about giraffes it seems I can’t stop…

*I should point out that there is a difference between ‘Best Before’ dates and ‘Use by’ dates. You shouldn’t really eat things beyond their use by date (although that doesn’t normally stop me - within reason) but best before is about the quality of the product, rather than a health and safety issue necessarily. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it… and I don’t want to be sued by anyone who gets ill from eating things beyond their use by date.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Send help

My hair cut was pretty successful. I still have the standard number of ears and if anyone was amused by my hair cut they only laughed quietly behind my back.

The package at the sorting office was rather a disappointment. It was wasn’t a giraffe (or a baby hippo which would have been equally good). Instead it was a load of legal papers my solicitor had sent me because my mortgage lender no longer wants them. Life can be a big let down sometimes.

Perhaps I should explain that if someone ever says to me that they have a present for me, my normal reaction is to say “is it a giraffe?” which reflects a) my slightly bizarre sense of humour and b) that I see a giraffe as a pretty unlikely present and it just makes me laugh to think about how you would wrap one, particularly if you wanted to disguise what it was.*chuckles* You probably would have to be inside my head to quite see how amusing I find that and how I *never* tire of the question.

Anyway, should you ever want to send me a present, there’s a suggestion for you. I am in the phone book, although under a pseudonym obviously. It would have to be a small giraffe though because I live on the ground floor and unless I drill a hole into my neighbours flat, it would have to wander around with a permanently cricked neck if it was too tall. A baby hippo might therefore be more practical but I’ll leave the decision to you.

I managed to turn my mattress successfully on my own. If one Sunday morning I go mysteriously quiet, I am probably trapped under the mattress. So please send help.

Tonight at 9pm on BBC2 is a compilation of Louis Theroux’s weird weekend programme, where he looks back on the various people he has met over the years. I have to say that the person who win hands down is Jimmy Saville. There were other people who were very odd, but the programme about Jimmy Saville was very creepy, what with him being obsessed by his dead mother and so on - and that he was the presenter of a prime time TV programme for years. Anyway, I must try and remember to tune in tonight.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fingers crossed

I am off to have my hair cut this morning. I asked a couple of people where they get their hair cut and the only place people could come up with was Supercuts. There are two reasonably close to where I live, one which apparently very good and one that apparently is very bad. I think I may be swayed towards one over the other. However, I still don’t think the “super” of Supercuts refers to people’s first word when you ask them what they think of your new ‘do’. I think it is more as in the super of “supermarkets” and is therefore mass produced. I have asked people to be kind to me if it all goes horribly wrong. Let’s see if this time when I say that I don’t want my hair blow dried that the hairdresser can resist the urge to get trigger happy with the hairdryer.

The next round of the Bloggies have now been published. I have cast my votes so cannot be influenced… Choosing the best Brits one was difficult what with there being Unreliable Witness, A Beautiful Revolution AND London Underground Tube Diary. What a choice to have to make. Anyway, you can cast your vote up until 2 February, if you feel so inclined.

I have to go via the sorting office because a card was put through the door a couple of days ago to say there was a parcel for me that was too big for the letterbox. I have no idea what it is because I’m not expecting anything. *thinks* What would be difficult to fix through a letter box?

Maybe it’s a

Or a:

Or a:

*crosses fingers and hopes that it’s a giraffe.*

Friday, January 26, 2007


I think it is safe to describe the plumber as unreliable… or maybe just forgetful. He didn’t turn up last night either as he had totally forgotten again. He’s meant to be coming on Tuesday night now. We shall see.

Anyway, as you have probably noticed, I have been doing some spring cleaning here. A fresh lick of paint to lighten it up a bit. Not sure if I like it or not, but it’s certainly a lot lighter than it was. I might add an image at the top at some point. Constructive suggestions are welcome and I can actually go back to my original template if I just can’t cope with all this newness.

I have a slight dilemma at work at the moment. Someone I worked with until recently has invited me to her wedding. It’s only the evening reception, which is fine - but it’s in Southampton so a bit of a trek. I don’t actually really like weddings and I’m not great at the whole looking vaguely well dressed for the occasion. If I want to look fairly smart then I would generally wear something that I would normally wear to work, but couldn’t do that for this wedding because I work with her. There will be other people I know there but I just don’t know that I really want to go - even though I really like this person and think it would be good to show her a bit of support. I could also stay with my friend D as he lives in Southampton and I haven’t seen him for a really long time. I need to decide soon, but I am erring towards not going.

As much as I might wish to bemoan my lack of relationships of late, at least I haven’t had to resort to this. I guess there is nothing like a bit of self-promotion. Many a woman might look at the milk carton as she’s eating her cornflakes and discover she is gazing at the man of her dreams, at least she‘d never be likely to run out of milk ever again. I may have some stickers made and put them on various suitable products. Perhaps some toothpaste if I am looking for someone with minty fresh breath, or on some tea if I want to ensure that they drink the finest drink in the world or maybe some marmite because that is a pretty integral part of my daily eating habits and anyone who doesn’t eat it must be regarded with some suspicion. However, I think the first thing I will try is ot water bottles because at least then there will be a guarantee of some hot nights…

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I was sitting at my desk yesterday and someone who I worked with until last week walked passed and asked how I was and then she said “We miss you, it’s so much quieter without you about”. I asked if she was suggesting that I was really loud and she replied “no, you just used to laugh a lot and we miss that”. I thought that was rather a nice legacy to have left.

I have nothing profound to say about the debate that is currently raging about gay adoptions, but I am currently reading Alan Alda‘s biography Never have your dog stuffed, which is a nice read. I have actually been reading it for ages, which is no reflection on the book, as I am enjoying it. Anyway… I read something in that book yesterday that rather struck me. Many year ago the US was considering amending the constitution which would mean giving equal rights to women by amending the constitution to say “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex” Alan Alda was one of the spokespeople in support of this amendment and one day had the opportunity to speak before the Illinois State Legislature.

“I hadn’t meant to make an actual speech, but I went on for a few rousing sentences, and the more I warmed to the subject, the more restless the legislators became. It didn’t occur to me that since the [supporting measures that had recently been passed in Illinois] had just squeaked through, almost half of the people in the room were opposed to it. They didn’t just disagree with the [Equal Rights Amendment], they hated it. And it became clear that they hated me for mentioning it. Catcalls started, then booing and whistling. Then yelling and screaming. Like an idiot, I kept talking. The political consultant who had brought me there crawled on her hands and knees to a place behind the podium where she could pull my pants leg. I looked down and saw her looking up at me with an urgent expression on her face. “Let’s get out of here” she said.

I thanked them for their kind attention, a gesture that went unheard in the din of hoots. We had to walk through the chamber to get out, and people were coming up to me, denouncing me angrily. I wondered how the measure had managed to pass at all in this group of people. A short, thin man in his eighties squared off in front of me. He spoke rapidly, in a voice pitched with fury.

“I was in World War One” he said, a little bit of white showing at the corner of his mouth. “Do you know what war is like? Have you seen it? I have. I’ve seen what mustard gas can do to you. Blistered lungs, blindness, agonising death. You want women to go through that?”

I am not trying to suggest that the chap’s argument was good or right, but I just thought it was an interesting take on the issue and one that just really surprised me when I read it. Sometimes the opposing sides can become so polarised that there is an assumption that everyone arguing for a particular outcome thinks exactly the same thing. Alan Alda then continued:

“I told him I didn’t want men going through it either. I could understand his feelings. But I could also understand the feelings of the women who said they wanted full citizenship and the responsibilities that went with it. He walked away in disgust”

The amendment never did make it on to the statute books.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Abandon hope...

There was no fixing of hot water tanks yesterday. I phoned the plumber when he was 45 minutes late to see if he was still on his way and he had totally forgotten. I actually hate phoning people in circumstances like that because for some reason I always feel as though somehow *I* am the one in the wrong. Anyway, he was very apologetic and is now coming to do the work on Thursday, which is a bit of a pain because my neighbour won’t be about and so he won’t be able to talk to her about doing some work in her flat. Maybe he is just looking for an excuse to see me as often as possible and trying to put off our inevitable parting.

I’ve been trying to sort out various things with my blog, as I know a couple of things have broken since I moved across onto the new blogger. I have also done some things like sort the posts by categories, but due to the current setup of blogger it is really difficult to label some of the posts (I can’t be bothered to explain why here, so you’ll just have to trust me that it is). I’m not actually re-reading my old posts, just sort of skimming them and adding labels but it is quite a time consuming process anyway. I think I will probably re-label some of them and add a few more categories at some point. Some posts also have multiple labels so are repeated in various of the categories. It is all very much a work in progress, but I thought I would add it now anyway. I am still pondering changing the template, I still think it is too dark but haven’t found a template that I want to change to. I might tinker with the html instead and adjust it like that. That is how exciting my life is at the moment.

When my friend was over at the weekend, we were bemoaning our current dearth of relationships. She thinks that people only tend to end up liking her if they are forced to sit next to her for a long period of time - so at neighbouring desks at work etc. But as work has not been a big feature in her life for a while, she reckons someone will next be interested in her when she gets put in an old folks home and that person will be someone so infirm that they can’t get out of the chair to run away. I did say that it was good that she did still hold out hope that she would meet someone, even if it was about thirty years away. As for me, well I may well be beyond hope altogether. It feels like it has been so long since I have even kissed someone (let alone done anything else, although yesterday I was trying to convince my colleagues that the plumber coming over last night was going to be like something out of a 1970‘s porn film) that I wonder if in the end you actually forget what to, er… do. Please don’t try and reassure me by telling me it’s just like riding a bike and it all comes back naturally with a bit pf practice, as I can’t actually ride a bike. *shakes head despairingly* You see… there’s no hope for me at all…

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How to save a life

First day in the new job was good. The woman I manage is really nice and also intelligent - so I reckon she can cover up for all my inadequacies pretty well. Excellent. My new boss is a really good chap. I knew this already, but we walked to the station together last night and he was refreshingly honest and open about some things and we had a conversation where I didn’t have to spend the entire time wondering if I might get stabbed in the back. He also gave me some really good news about something which hopefully should come to pass in the not too distant future. I do, however, have absolutely no idea what I am doing and had to go to a meeting that didn’t finish until gone 6pm, but even so I feel as though I have found a haven from some of the madness.

When I got home one evening last week, it had been pouring with rain and very windy and the TV signal was awful. I thought maybe the TV aerial had been damaged in the wind but when I went and looked outside it was fine. I then went and moved the signal booster that is in my room at which point lots of water poured out of it, which probably isn’t very safe given that it is powered by electricity. The signal was then much better but I couldn’t find where the water had come from. After much head scratching, my friend who stayed at the weekend said that there must be a cut in the aerial cable somewhere and the water is actually coming in through the cable. So that’s another thing to get sorted. The plumber is coming back tonight to fix the broken thermostat on my hot water tank and hopefully speak to the woman who lives upstairs about what might need to be done to sort out my heating. The list goes on…

I like the new song by The Fray, which is called ‘How to Save a Life” - and an interesting video.

Oh and today should be the next round of voting in The Bloggies, although I assume it won’t come on line until America wakes up. Time to vote again.

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Starts

Well, it’s Monday *again* - wouldn’t it be more exciting if the week started on a Friday sometimes and we then just went straight into the weekend? I might suggest that to someone who can change these things. Except I don’t know anyone who could *actually* change this.
I was talking to one of my neighbours on Saturday and she said that there the people who live above her are actually tenants (which isn’t actually allowed under the terms of our leases) and they haven’t paid any rent for five years. Five years of no rent! Apparently whoever the landlord is, which may be the freeholder but I’m not sure, is trying to get them evicted. I’m not entirely surprised by this.

When I saw my friend L for lunch on Friday, she said that about a week ago she was in a car accident. She was just stopping at some traffic lights and suddenly someone went into back of her car. When she looked in the rear view mirror there was an AA van and it had driven into her. I did ask if her first thought was “wow, they got here quickly. I didn’t even have to phone them” but she isn’t actually a member of the AA which I think she is probably very pleased about given that the AA man asked her things like “were you wearing a seatbelt?” (she was) and “are you sure your brake lights were working?” (they were). To say she was unimpressed by this was an understatement - anyway even if she hadn’t been wearing a seat belt or had working brake lights, it doesn’t actually explain why the AA man failed to notice the big red traffic light and has probably managed to write off my friend‘s car as a result.

I’m not going to keep giving a running commentary on Arsenal’s matches but beating Man U is always a good result. Nice.

Anyway, time to start my new job today. I am looking forward to it but there are some other work related things going on at the moment that rather detract from getting too excited about work. I actually got an e-mail from someone I used to work with a couple of days ago telling me there was a job in his unit if I wanted to apply for it. If I wasn’t about to start a new job I would have jumped at the chance, but the timing just isn’t right. It was nice of him to mention it though.

I should be glad that I do at least have possibilities with work etc. The friend who came to stay at the weekend got totally shafted by her boss a few months back which meant that she had no job and was unable to sign on and then another friend texted me at the end of last week and said that she had gone into work and her boss had told her to leave, as she didn’t have a job any more. It seems they needed a scapegoat for something and as she was on probation it was her. Anyway, I am hopeful that my new job will be a breath of fresh air - a good and trustworthy boss and a nice team who hopefully actually work together. Here’s hoping.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I'm with the monkey

I stayed up rather late last night talking to my friend, so am kind of tired today. It’s been a nice weekend though. The friend who is staying is the one who lives in hostels most of the time. She texted me last week and asked if she could stay for the weekend as she wanted to escape hostel living for a bit. She hardly sleeps anyway but I think she just wanted to be somewhere that she didn’t have to put up with other people’s snoring and wasn’t working to someone else’s timetable on getting out of bed. For medical reasons she doesn’t get bags under her eyes, which sounds good but it means that instead whatever that effect is instead puts pressure above her eyes. I can’t really explain it very well, but it is very unpleasant for her (not that I can see this, but she says it feels like having bowling balls on her eyeballs). Anyway, it’s been nice to have company, even though my friend does tend to argue with the television a lot. I am normally more of a passive watcher.

You may be aware of the age old argument of when you make a cup of tea do you pu the milk in first or last. Well, I will leave it to monkey and Al to argue it out, but I’m with the monkey on this one:

Saturday, January 20, 2007


A couple of days ago I read a post over at the Overnight Editor, which I just had to nod my head at a lot. Oh how true it is that the media’s use of the inverted comma seems to be used by them as a get out of jail free card to print whatever they want and absolve them of all responsibility for anything they may say. You only have to read The Metro (why do I keep mentioning that newspaper at the moment?) and you’ll see a paper that has perfected the art of the inverted comma. I had actually meant to comment on it myself a while ago, but Overnight Editor said it better than I would have. Allegedly.

I want to get my hair cut soon, but the chap who normally cuts my hair phoned and left me a message to say that he is giving up cutting people’s hair. So this means that I will now have to go elsewhere to get my hair cut. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! He has cut my hair for over 20 years and I am now going to have to find someone else who is as amenable as he was and understood that when I said I didn’t want my hair blow dried that I actually, didn’t want my hair blow dried (the clue was there). Anyway, I’ll have to be brave soon and find a new hairdresser.

On Thursday night I went for dinner at the house of my old housemate (who I lived with up until just over a year ago) and that all went well. We haven’t really spoken to each other all that much since we stopped living together and so it was good to see where she lives and have a bit of a catch up. My friend also remembered to run up for lunch yesterday and that was good too. Now a friend is staying for the weekend which is a nice bit of company.

Anyway, here are a couple of links you might be interested in. First is Angry Alien which I think is very funny and is basically cartoon rabbits re-enacting films in 30 seconds. The latest one is Borat and James Bond is to follow. I was very amused by their rendition of It’s a Wonderful Life and if you watch it, when it gets to the end, if you click on the little bunnies you get some extra clips. Let me assure you, ‘your life has been incomplete until this point‘.

Second is something that I think is just kind of nice.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


You might be aware that Gripes has been asking readers to submit questions for her to answer (Brave woman. Let me assure you the likelihood of me ever extending such an invitation myself is practically nil). Anyway, she has answered the first batch of questions and invited more (a *very* brave woman) and I submitted some further questions, but thought some of them might need to be clarified a bit by way of illustration. So below are some of the questions with my answers to them. Once again I think I might be revealing the weird workings of my mind.

Is there anything that makes you sing a song in your head any time you see/ do it?

Probably the main time is when I use the “remember me” function when I log into things on the internet. When you put in your user details you can often click a box labelled “remember me” and whenever I do that the words “I will remember you, will you remember me” go through my head. The words are from a Sarah McLachlan song called “I will remember you”, funnily enough. I do actually think this is slightly odd by the way…

Are there any celebrities that you irrationally hate?

Oh yes… except that it is entirely reasonable. Brian McFadden (the chap from Westlife - if you don’t know who he is then you’ll have to google him yourself because I refuse to provide a link to him). I don’t know what it is about him but he really, really gives me the creeps. I can’t think of anyone else that I have the same reaction to, but there is just something about him that if I see him on TV etc I am just creeped out by him and would very possibly change the channel.

Do you have any conspiracy theories?

My latest conspiracy theory *lowers voice* (I have to whisper this because it involves the people who are behind blogger) is that google is trying to take over the world. Don’t get me wrong, I think google is a good search engine and so on, but consider the evidence... If you are on the new blogger then you have to log in using a google e-mail account. So first of all they force you to use their product (previously you could just create your own user name and password and your e-mail address didn’t have to be a google one), then once you have logged in, if you carry out any searches using the google search engine you will see that your e-mail address is at the top of the screen, so basically they can track everything that you search for on the internet and know that it is you who is doing it (you can of course log back out of your google account if you don’t want them to track you, but the default is normally that you stay logged on as you).

Then if you send and receive any e-mails via your google e-mail account, and why wouldn’t you use that account because it is so convenient what with them having made you sign up to it and log into it every time you want to blog, they give you targeted advertising based on the content of your e-mails. Also, if you have a google toolbar you can click a button and it will search all the files on your computer - and then it will also know everything that is on your PC.

So they are potentially tracking your every movement while you are online. They could find out where you like to shop, who your bank is, what books you like to read, what your hobbies are, what area you live and very possibly your actual address. Plus much more. People may think that the government is a bit big brother-ish but google wins hands down as far as I am concerned.

Suffice to say I rarely use my google e-mail account and try and remember to log out of google when I have finished using blogger.

But if blogger/ google take affront at this and want to shut my accounts then just for the record, I do think it is entirely fantastic.

Do you have any talents that not many other people have?

Not particularly, but I am fairly ambidextrous. I am right handed but can actually do a lot of things with my left hand *raises an eyebrow* and would probably use my left hand equally as often as my right hand. So I often write texts with my left hand, I eat with the cutlery the other way round to most people, I would often open a jar etc with my left hand and I do all sorts of other stuff with my left hand too *winks*- but I would still say I am right handed. My handwriting isn’t great and I do sometimes wonder if it would have been better had I been writing with my left hand all this time. I might try that some time and see what happens.

Do you have any special powers?

I think my main special power is one that I have mentioned before, which is my ability to mesmerise children. Young children just seem to find me kind of fascinating, which I think is because of the tone of my voice. I still find that very weird but also quite amusing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Good for the waistline

My neighbour came round to see me on Monday night. She’s not too keen on any work being done in her flat even though it would be to make sure that my hot water tank is safe. I can understand that she is not that she isn’t that happy about it, so I have arranged for the plumber to come and fix my thermostat next Tuesday and, if my neighbour is in, the plumber will go and speak to her and explain what he needs to do.

My neighbour was telling me that she hates walking home from the station in the dark, which I guess a lot of people might not be too keen on. But she told me that while ago she was on a train and she thought she was in the carriage on her own and she unwrapped a sweet and the sound of her opening the wrapper made a woke up a bloke who had been sleeping lying down on a seat. He went over and had a go at her for waking him up and she tried to run away and as she ran into the next carriage he grabbed her by her hair and wouldn’t let her go. A man in the next carriage grabbed her and pulled her in and then slammed the door on the bloke who was attacking her and the bloke continued to bash on the door. They then pulled the emergency cord and the driver called the police and the bloke was taken away by the police. What time of day was this?? 9 o’clock in the morning. Now if that doesn’t make you want to give up sweets forever, I don’t know what will. It will be good for the waistline and might even save your life.

I was talking to someone at work yesterday and saying that I should try and do some exercise really. She reckons I should try pilates, which apparently is good for you and tones you but doesn’t make you sweat or any other unladylike things. I might think about it, but as the most exercise I get at the moment is walking to and from work (which does include walking up a couple of escalators) I should probably do something to at least pretend that I am doing something to stay vaguely fit and healthy. Or I might just think about it a lot and never get round to it. Mental exercise is a form of exercise in itself, so that might be enough anyway. I’ll tell them that in years to come when I have had my fifth heart attack. *wanders off (slowly) to go and have a sit down*

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I really like my new bed. It makes my room look so different and much more like a bedroom rather than a “work in progress”. When I woke up yesterday morning I almost had to drag myself out of bed, as I so wanted to stay curled up under my duvet. Or that could have just been because it was a Monday morning. My room looks so much nicer now that it is a light colour and on Sunday afternoon when the sun was out it made it look really good. My mum asked if I was going to put a mirror up ion the alcove between the two wardrobes in my room, but I said that as this would mean that it was directed straight at my bed that I though there was something slightly kinky about that. Anyway, the mirror on the ceiling above my bed is more of a priority.

I think there is something slightly odd about
the story that has been in the news recently about the German woman who spotted some bloke on the tube that she really fancied. A lot of the daily London free papers have a column for people to get in touch if they see someone they fancy on the tube, but this has taken it to a whole new level. The woman took a photo of the bloke she fancied and then e-mailed it to lots of people to try and track him down. In the end The Metro featured it and as a result the chap was found and they are now planning their first date, which she is going to fly in from Germany for. Is it just me, or is there something slightly stalkerish about all of this? She takes a photo of a stranger on the tube, presumably spends a bit of time looking at it and decides that she must know who this chap is, so she e-mails everyone she can think of and then gets them to forward it on as well, until at last she finds this chap who she has never even spoken to and they agree to go on a date. I think there can be a thin line between romantic and psychotic. Let’s hope she doesn’t end up boiling his bunny rabbit, if he isn’t quite so smitten.

On the theme of The Metro, Yesterday’s headline was “Big Brother is getting bigger” and my first thought was “is a TV programme really worthy of a front page headline?” It was only when I read the article later that I realised that actually the article was about the governments proposal to have some super computer to track us. I don’t even watch Big Brother and I assumed that’s what it was about. TV truly is taking over the world.

Monday, January 15, 2007

It gives you strength

Eating in the supermarket, apart from being something that I think is kind of odd in itself, breaks one of the rules of supermarket shopping - never go to the supermarket hungry. If you do, you either end up rushing round and forgetting things or you buy lots of things you don’t actually want because you end up kind of craving them. When I was at Tesco on Saturday I was waiting for my friend so that we could pay for our respective shopping and I noticed that one of the checkout people was having a word with a customer because the customer had eaten half a bunch of grapes while he was doing his shopping. The customer seemed to miss the point that grapes are bought by weight and so if you eat half of them, unless they put *you* on the scales and then subtract your normal body weight, there is no way of charging you for them. Or maybe he did realise that…

I bought some Guinness Bread while I was at the supermarket, which might be a slightly odd purchase for someone who is entirely teetotal, but it was on special offer and I wanted to know what it tasted like - which is like bread that has some beer in it really. It tasted ok and I think I was still legal to drive afterwards.

A friend came over for lunch yesterday and that was nice. We don’t know each other very well but we just chatted and had a pleasant time. The only concerning thing was that she doesn’t drink tea or coffee. The coffee bit I can ignore, but not drinking tea - is that even possible?? Apparently so, but I can’t help but be slightly suspicious of such people.

In other news, I have actually switched my blog over to the new version of blogger, despite having said that I didn‘t plan to move across for a while. You shouldn’t actually see any difference apart from that the way you comment might be slightly different. But it raises another dilemma - for a while I have thought that the template I use is a bit dark and could do with a bit of a refresh, but I can’t quite decided if I want to change it. Anyway, you may drop by one day and find that it has changed, if I can go through the hassle of transferring my links etc, or it may stay like this forever. We shall see. I like to keep you on your toes.

Anyway, if you’re thinking that you’re not doing very well at keeping track of your life and want to keep a record of your achievements, then here’s your chance. Of course, it may turn into a record of your failures so you might want to exercise some caution. Maybe set some more simple tasks like opening your eyes or brushing you teeth and build up to the bigger stuff like finding the way to bring about world peace. But it’s always good to have ambition.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Is it the weekend already?

Last week just flew by. I can’t believe that it is already the weekend. It will be a busy weekend at that. One of my housemates from uni came over last night. I see her really regularly anyway, as she doesn’t live very far away, but I hadn’t seen her for a few weeks. It was really good to catch up, although we were both really tired. We got to the end of the evening and gave each other a hug when we said goodbye which is not what we normally do, but it was just nice to see each other.

Anyway, busy day ahead. I have to go out in a minute to go out and pick up a new modem that is waiting for me at the sorting office. Then I need to move the bed from my bedroom to the spare room as my new bed is being delivered today. A friend is then coming over at about lunch time and then I think I am meeting up with another friend later this afternoon for a cuppa. Then tomorrow someone is coming over for lunch and as she is new to the area I am going to show her around a bit.

I watched the Celia Imrie programme last night and whilst I thought the programme was a bit ropey, I thought Celia was good. So all is right with the world.

While I remember, here is a blog that I like. It’s three blogs in one (or four technically because the archives from another blog have now been added). If you like the blog, it is worth reading a bit of the stuff from last year to get a bit on context. Anyway, I reckon it’s worth a look.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Miss Babs

Just to once again demonstrate that my whole life seems to be house dominated at the moment, I went curtain shopping last night. I wandered along Oxford Street searching for curtains and found some that I thought might be up to the job in Debenhams. But I am never entirely sure if I have any taste in such things whatsoever. So I thought “what I need is my mum” and I rang her on the off chance that she might be of use. When she answered her mobile, we exchanged some pleasantries and then I said “where are you?” and she replied “I’m in House of Fraser on Oxford Street”. “Really??” I replied “I’m in Debenhams on Oxford Street and I want you to come and look at something”. How handy was that? For those who don’t know, Debenhams and House of Fraser are almost neighbouring department stores on Oxford Street. Anyway, as it turned my taste in curtains was fine and they got the seal of approval from my mum. (Should you ever see my curtains and think they are hideous, you can now blame my mother).

Yesterday I was wondering if the sale was still going through on the place I lived with obsessive landlady and so I had a quick look on the internet. It seems to be back on the market. My old landlady must be gutted and despairing of whether she will ever sell the place. She also now no longer has my rent to help her afford her mortgage and won’t be able to buy the house she wants to and will have to continue to stay in people’s spare rooms until she can. Oh dear…

I have to admit to a decided soft spot for Celia Imrie. Anything that she is in I am instantly drawn to. I just think she is really funny and like her decidedly superior tone, probably because of her appearances years ago in Acorn Antiques. I did actually see Acorn Antiques at the theatre a couple of years ago and had to resist the urge to worship at her feet. Anyway, she is in a new TV programme on BBC1 tonight called “After You’ve Gone” which I suspect is going to be atrocious but I am just going to have to watch because she’s in it. A friend is coming over so we will either have to watch it over a cup of tea or I’ll have to set the video, but Celia Imrie cannot be missed!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I’ve had a sore throat for about three weeks now and it has started to wake me up at night. I feel totally fine apart from that so it’s kind of odd. Maybe I am allergic to hard work. I phoned my friend K the other day and it turned out that on New Year’s Eve both of us made ourselves a lemsip just before midnight . Not really your normal New Year’s Eve beverage of choice but maybe more common than you’d imagine, it seems.

When I got home last night my sister’s Christmas card had finally turned up. It was only about three weeks late. My sister had posted it before Christmas but Royal Mail damaged it (only by ripping the envelope) and they then had to put it in a special plastic wallet and take several weeks longer to deliver it. I guess it will save my sister having to send me another card this year.

Anyway, I have to admit to really liking the new PGTips advert. It had Johnny Vegas and the monkey in it! Woo hoo! To fully appreciate the advert you will need to have seen the old ITV Digital adverts and understand a bit of the history of the company going bankrupt but I love the new advert and it looks like it is the beginning of a series. It has everything - a story, some humour, a monkey, a reference to an old Oxo advert and a bit of T’pau. What more could you want?? Fantastic.

To see the ITV Digital adverts you can either track them down on YouTube or look here

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It could drive you to drink

When I was out for dinner on Monday night the woman I gave a lift to was explaining why she didn’t have a car at the moment. Basically she had been driving on the motorway recently and the power began to go in her car, so she pulled over and called out the AA (that’s the Automobile Association rather than Alcoholics Anonymous). The chap turned up and said it was too dangerous for her to continue driving and that he would tow her. So he secured a rope between his tow truck and her car and they set off. The woman wasn’t happy about this and got the AA chap to pull over after a bit because she kept worrying that she would go into the back of him. He said she’d be fine and they carried on.

Anyway, at one point she really did think she would go into the back of him so she turned the engine on (as you can’t have it on when you are being towed) and tried to pull into the next lane - and as she did so a lorry hit her car. Fortunately no-one was hurt, and in fact the truck didn’t even stop, but they were pretty shocked. The AA man then put a tow bar on (I have no idea why he hadn’t done that anyway) and they drove on to a service station a bit further on and stopped for coffee (with *lots* of sugar) and he then drive her on to a garage. When they go to the garage the AA man pointed to a spot at the side of the road and said “I was here a few weeks ago and a woman was parked there. A lorry came down the road and hit her car and crushed it and she died in my arms” *gulp* Who would be an AA man?? Remember to salute whenever you see one.

If you live in London and fancy going to the theatre, there are some cheap deals on at the moment if you look here, although having said that, not all of them are that cheap. Still it could be your opportunity to get a bit of culture or to go and sing along to something (try and make that a musical if you do rather than something like Hamlet).

I also saw on the BBC news website that research has shown that sometimes it is better to be spontaneous when making decisions rather than deliberating over it for ages. This could totally revolutionise my life! Although obviously I would have to think about that some more in case I made a rash decision in doing this.

Oh and it has to be said that I am not much into sport, but I do usually keep an ear out for the match result when Arsenal plays - and we do indeed say Result!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I went out for dinner last night, which was very nice. I didn’t know anyone else there except the lady who had invited me but that was fine and I just chatted to people and had a pleasant time and some very nice food. I was really tired by the end of the evening though and need to start getting to bed earlier.

The brother of one of the people I work with died last week and he is really devastated by this, poor chap. He is due back in the office in the next day or so. I thought he was going to be in yesterday but he wasn’t. It might be a bit difficult when he is back though because he wants people to know but he doesn’t want anyone to talk to him about it because he is worried that he will get really upset. He is the nicest bloke and it would be awful if he got upset, but then you want to be nice to him because he is such a lovely bloke and has had something awful happen to him. Not that the death was unexpected but it was really miserable for him anyway. We’ll see what happens when he comes back to work.

I had some good news in that over Christmas my head of unit looked at some work I had done and last week she told me how good she thought it was. I now just need to get it all finished off and then I can move on to my new job. I am beginning to count down the days - which actually is quite difficult because I haven’t actually worked out yet when I am going to be in a position to move, but my mind has already wandered on.

I might also have to get the tube slightly earlier each day than I had hoped. I have a slightly different (and improved) route into work now, but yesterday morning there were only a couple of seats left when I got on the tube, whereas my previous journey before I moved there was never any problem getting a seat. How can I get that extra bit of shut eye if I have to stand up on the way in. So I may have to take drastic action and get out of bed earlier - or see if I can make myself look pregnant.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Small Steps

Last night I applied my brain and came up with my nominations for the Bloggies. There are only a couple of days left of the nomination stage if you have a burning desire to do the same. I suspect that, apart from categories where they are not eligible, US blogs will come out top, but I have done my bit to fly the flag for the Brits (and a few others as well). There were some categories that I didn’t nominate anyone, I can’t say that I have a particular interest in craft blogs for instance, but I nominated some blogs in various categories.

Doing that reminded me that over the next few months I will probably get round to expanding my blogroll, as I have been meaning to do that for a while. I will also finally go across to blogger beta at some point, but I’m sticking with the original for the moment. Blogger will force me to change at some point anyway.

I am beginning to make a few efforts to get myself back on my feet again friendship-wise. I had a brief chat with my old housemate yesterday morning (as in who I lived with until November 2005) and am going over to her house next week for dinner. She told me that that the place that we used to live is being sold for over £200,000. I can’t believe it is actually worth that much, it hasn’t got parking, but it is really near the tube - in fact my room was overlooked by the train line, which was always a good incentive not to wander around naked.

Yesterday I also briefly showed a German girl I know who moved to the area recently where some local places are and she is coming over for lunch next Sunday and I’ll show her about a bit more to help get her orientated. Then last night I phoned a friend who I hadn’t spoken to for a bit for a catch up. She teaches at a school very near where I live and so is going to come and stay over a couple of evenings when she has parents’ evenings etc. I am also going out for dinner tonight. The person who invited me must be getting on for 70, but she invited me and a few other people over for dinner. I have no idea who the other people will be but it will be good to have a pleasant evening out and a bit of a chat with people.

That all probably sounds like rather more of a turn around than it actually is. I am still feeling wary about things, and for me it’s also not really about quantity and rather more about quality, but it’s certainly heading in the right direction.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I had a pretty successful day yesterday and managed to get everything done that I had planned to. I now have a washing machine. Woo hoo! I did some washing yesterday and have another load on now. I am sure the excitement will pass, as it will with hovering, but at the moment the ability to do these things is very exciting. Perhaps I should have made some New Year’s resolutions, such as one about getting a life.

The bloke came round to talk about the burglar alarm and then I got my double glazing keys. The chap found the right keys within about a minute, so it was much easier than I thought. Then I went out with mum to look for a sofa and ordered the one that I saw about a week ago. I really like it and can’t find anything else comparable. There was another sofa that was nice but the chair that went with it was really odd and made anyone sitting in it look like a midget. So in about 6 weeks time I will hopefully have a new sofa and arm chair. My mum paid for it which was really kind of her.

Then I went over to my parents’ and helped mum take down the Christmas decorations. My father was as odd as ever. We were watching TV while we were sorting out the decorations and when dad had finished watching a programme, he just switched the TV off. I just looked at him and asked “what are you doing?” and he said “I don’t want to watch anything else so am going to bed” and I asked him if he had considered that someone else might want to watch something and he looked at me as though I was saying something absolutely shocking. I think mum was pretty upset by it all. Recently it just seems to be getting to her how totally selfish dad is. Because of his stroke he has got so self-absorbed and lives his life by such a routine that it wouldn’t cross his mind to take into account what anyone else might want. Mum was just really quiet for the rest of the evening.

Anyway, time for a brief house related rant. I was talking to my mortgage company about some things to do with my payments and I thought I’d ask a few questions while I had the chance. One of the things I couldn’t quite understand was why my payments stay exactly the same for the next five years (my mortgage is fixed for the next five years) when, although I would be paying vast amounts of interest, I would actually be paying off some of the capital. The chap seemed to be a little vague and so I asked a few more questions like how they take into account overpayments etc as well and in the end I got him to explain how it really worked. Basically even though I would be paying off some of the capital unless I specifically ask them to recalculate my mortgage or I make a lump sum overpayment of £500 they will continue to charge me exactly the same amount every month. This basically means that I would end up paying potentially hundreds of pounds in interest on money that I have already repaid. Even if I made an overpayment of £499 every month unless I trigger them to recalculate my payments they wouldn’t do it. Sadly my mortgage company does not know me well enough to realise that I see such things as a challenge and have no intention of letting the have one penny that I don’t have to pay them, so will be looking for ways to get them to recalculate my mortgage as often as possible. Oh, how they do not know what I am capable of... *evil laugh*

Saturday, January 06, 2007


This whole owning property thing seems to have taken over my very being. Today’s tasks are to get a quote for a burglar alarm - a chap is coming round this morning to do that. Then I need to go to the double glazing place around the corner, having unscrewed the window handles on the double glazing to take with me, to see if they can find keys for the locks. This is indeed going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack but it’s cheaper than the alternative which is replacing the handles. There are hundreds of different types of double glazing so it may be impossible to find the key, but you never know unless you try. At the moment the windows at the front of where I live are locked but I don’t have a key for the windows at the back - and there are two different lots of double glazing at the back as well, so the chap who is going to see if he can find the keys is not going to be too impressed me thinks. I am also due to have the washing machine re-delivered this morning as well and then hopefully, finally, I can do some washing. Then I’m meeting up with my mum later and we are going to look for a new sofa for me.

I only realised very recently that if you are sent money off vouchers by Sainsbury’s you can use them at Tesco, so I have been exploiting this in order to buy things for the new place. I had a £4 off a £20 shop voucher from Sainsbury’s and they accepted it at Tesco, which was rather handy. I do like a bargain. Which reminds me that I never did say how much my tube refunds came to last year. Well, it came to £104 and they also refunded £7 on to my credit card, so that is £111 back in a year. Do you see why I go to the effort of claiming for delays? That was a very nice contribution to my season ticket. Yesterday I put in my first claim for this year…

On other matters, I see that the nominations for The Bloggies have started again. I think there is only until the middle of next week to get your nominations in. This is not actually a shameless plug to get you to nominate me, by the way. Whilst, of course, I wouldn’t object, I think my chances are somewhat low and that there are others far more deserving. I will, however, be considering who to nominate over the next few days. You don’t have to fill out every category which is kind of handy as I would have no idea for some of them, Anyway, if you have some blogs in mind that you think are particularly worthy of an award, then here’s your chance to nominate them.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Well, I said that I would try and explain what happened recently with my friend. I don’t know what to say about it though really. Basically, my friend got in touch but I’m not sure why really - maybe it was just in the Christmas spirit? Anyway, it was nice of her to get in touch, but it was not to broach some kind of reconciliation, so again I say that I’m not really sure why.

Anyway, the result of some brief correspondence was that she had a massive go at me and basically accused me of various things and, as rubbish as I was already feeling about the situation, I ended up feeling much worse. The thing is that I don’t think my friend had intended to be horrible. I think she just thought she was being honest and straightforward, but there was no positive spin to put on what she said and it seemed that she could not find one good thing to say about me. Not for the first time, I was stunned and couldn’t quite believe that after her telling me that we were not going to be in contact any more that she then got in touch with me and was then totally horrible to me.

The thing is that I can see my faults very clearly. I look back on that friendship and know that I did not behave well and was already feeling bad enough about it all, but I would never have got in touch with my friend because I didn’t want to be kicked in the teeth again or to have all my failings described to me in detail.

In my friend’s defence (and I’m not actually trying to be horrible about her here anyway) she did subsequently apologise for what she had said and said that she hadn’t meant to upset me, but the thing is that it doesn’t mean that she didn’t *mean* what she said. She still thinks that I am a pretty bad lot - and I’m not really trying to argue the point. But it doesn’t do a lot for your confidence to have someone say the things that she did and the whole situation has made me wary of friendship, not because I don’t think people are worth getting to know but because I just feel as though right now I am not sure that I feel like I quite trust myself in terms of how I deal with people. What if it turns out as miserable as this situation has? I know my confidence will come back but I just need a bit of time.

Over the last few weeks I didn’t talk to anyone about how I was feeling about it all but on New Year’s Eve a friend came over and I talked to her about it and that really helped. She didn’t say the usual platitudes of “I’m sure none of those things are true” and what a wonderful person I am etc (which obviously I am really...). Instead she just said that even if every single one of those things levelled at me were true, we all probably have people who come into our lives at one time or another who bring out things in us that are not great or admirable, but sometimes that’s just life and as long as it isn’t what we are generally like then you learn a bit from it and you move on, which indeed I will. I just suspect that at times there are easier learning processes.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I am not someone who is generally known for their tidiness (my ex-landlady would certainly testify to that…) but I have found that moving house has certainly confused my brain. Being untidy doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t know where things are. An item might well be buried under a whole teetering stack of other things, but you do know that that it’s there. But moving house has made me forget that I even own certain things. It came as a real shock to me on Tuesday night that I would have to find some suitable shoes to wear to work and I stood there trying to remember what my work shoes actually look like. I think I found them but actually have know idea and when I have tidied a few more things away I might find another pair of shoes that might equally be for work.

I also have no idea where my glasses are. I have had them since I moved house but they now seem to have disappeared into the ether. I only wear glasses to read so can see perfectly well without them normally. But have had to find my spare glasses and wear those instead for now because I just cannot remember where I have left them. It is really unusual for me to lose things so I find it really strange.

When I got to work yesterday I realised I didn’t have the key to my desk drawers. The key was attached to my old house keys and so I didn’t have them with me. When I got home I scratched my head thinking of where I had put the keys and searched and searched and in this instance did finally find them. So I can at least have a cup of tea at work today. I keep very important things in my desk, as you can tell…

There are also various letters that I need to find, but cannot remember where I put them and there is a chance that they are not where I live at all but instead at my parents’ house, but I just don’t know. I feel I may need to get more organised or I will start to worry it is the early onset of Alzheimer’s.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Back to work

This home ownership thing is definitely not all it is cracked up to be! The chap came with his entourage to fit my cooker and fix the central heating, both of which he succeeded in doing but because the woman who lives upstairs hasn’t been about for days I couldn’t arrange for access to her place so that they could sort out the outlet pipe to prevent my hot water tank from exploding. The chap also found that the thermostat is broken on the hot water tank so it will continue to heat up even when it has already reached its optimum temperature. It’s not dangerous, but it is a complete waste of power, so he’s going to some back and fit a new thermostat for me. I reckon it will cost about £1000 to fix all these things.

The washing machine turned up but the chap ended up not even bringing it in because when he unpacked it in the van he realised that it was damaged. So now it is being delivered on Saturday morning instead. You may be advised to stand at a distance from me until I am able to do some washing again.

However, I did phone the water company the other day to query the bill they had sent me. I couldn’t understand why they were pre-charging me if I was on a meter. It turns out that despite me actually discussing being on a meter with the woman who set up my account and her saying that the place was already metered, that in fact it wasn’t and still isn’t. Somehow I have slipped through the net and they can no longer oblige me to be metered. You may now therefore flush the toilet at will should you come to visit. Given the amount of water they used to flush out my radiators, it is probably a very good thing that my water isn’t metered, as I would have needed a second mortgage to pay the bill. I might go on to a meter at some point anyway because I think it would be a lot cheaper but it isn’t really a priority to think about that right now.

Today it is finally back to work. Someone I work with texted me yesterday because they didn’t know I wasn’t going in and people were wondering where I was. I had arranged to take the day off, but it was when I had already gone on leave. Someone from work then wanted to speak to me last night as he needs a reference from me and it needs to be done today, so we had a chat about that and it will be one of my first tasks when I get into the office this morning.

On an unrelated note, if you are feeling creative then you might want to give this a go. I had meant to mention it a few days ago and forgot - and I think the deadline is tomorrow. Alternatively, although I don’t think it is an open invitation you could turn up at Julia’s party a bit like a stalker and join in on the celebrations.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Early Starts

I’m not back at work today (woo hoo!) as the plumber/ electrician/ gas bloke is back to wire in my cooker and fix my central heating. A washing machine is also being delivered this afternoon, and then hopefully after that I can actually have some clean clothes (woo hoo - again) I have a couple of other things to do today as well such as get a lock for the side gate. It’s not actually my responsibility to sort it out but at the moment anyone can walk round to the back of the property and I want to do what I can to minimise the likelihood of getting burgled and the freeholder won‘t do it. Paranoid it may be, but better safe than sorry. Anyway I went and spoke to one of my neighbours to ask if he would mind me putting a lock on the gate and he said it was fine and then said to me “well, security is only as good as its weakest link, so maybe you should put a lock on the gate on the other side as well”. Right. Thanks for that. Peoples’ lax attitude to security strikes me as being the weakest link here…

It’s been a busy few days anyway. My uncles and their families were over at my parents’ house on Saturday, which was nice. One of my cousins (who is seven) is really irritating though, he is a vegetarian and sees it as perfectly acceptable to say “what you’re eating makes me feel really sick” and other such lovely things. He is also just quite destructive and just made such a mess. I think he might have some kind of attention deficit disorder or he is just plain obnoxious. He was like a stroppy teenager but about six years too early. I pity his parents. He did, however, at one point say something about how he had saved my uncle from drowning. His mum just shushed him and said “Yes that is true, but now isn’t the time to talk about it” and changed the subject. What was that all about??

I went shopping with my mum yesterday and she bought me some new duvet covers and is going to buy me a sofa. I saw one hat I like but want to just look somewhere else first in case there is something I prefer. I am slowly filling the house and ordered a new bed on Friday which will be delivered in a couple of weeks’ time. It’s beginning to feel more like a home.

On New Year’s Eve a friend came over and we just had a quiet evening watching a DVD and having a chat. I talked to her about some of the stuff that has been going on of late and she was really helpful and that helped a bit. I hadn’t seen her in months and however much I might think I have things that need to be sorted out, she has much more of a messy life and my life seems a world of calm.

Anyway, on a totally different matter, this website is kind of cool and ideal for someone like me who has no artistic talent whatsoever. It is en entirely blank screen and you can draw on it as though you were Jackson Pollock. Just click you mouse to change colours. Enjoy.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Good Stuff

So, it’s a new year and time to look back at some of the good stuff, and actually there was probably more good stuff that happened than bad but I think the bad stuff has just had more of an impact. Although having said that, the good stuff kind of eludes me right now, so I might have to come back to this.

Anyway, this year there has been a fair bit of travel - Russia, Gibraltar, Madrid, Germany, The Gambia, Scotland. All very different experiences. In terms of the place that I went to that impacted me the most, I think it was probably Gibraltar, which was mainly because I went from miserable weather and hassles here to lovely sunshine and feeling able to escape for a couple of days. Despite it being for work, it was actually a nice break from things - a change is as good as a rest, as they say. But all the other places were good as well, Russia and The Gambia being by far the biggest culture shifts. In Russia they don’t even use the same written script so it was kind of disorientating and The Gambia was a country of contrasts with some poverty and so on and the whole bartering thing did my head in, but it was a great place to visit.

The most major change I suppose is that I am now a homeowner. That has actually had quite a good psychological impact on me, making me feel as thought for the first time ever I actually have some say over where I live and can do things in my own way. If I want to leave my washing on the clothes dryer for weeks then that’s up to me, and at last there’s no-one going through my underwear!

In the last year I saw more of my family than I have for a long time and whilst that has been rather strained at times I think over all that has been a good thing and hopefully at some point I will work through those things that hold me back. I am not someone who holds up family as this amazing thing, but I think there is still something significant (whether in a good or a bad way) about family. Something to work on in time to come though, at least for my own peace of mind.

In terms of music, at the top has to be Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, but also When You Were Young by The Killers (and I love their self-named album as well), and I really liked No Tomorrow by Orson. Of course, going to my first concert was great and hopefully will inspire to go and see more. I also went to a recording of a BBC radio programme which was good and I want to try and see more recordings this year too.

It’s been a really mixed year, but it has to be said that there were times when despite everything that was going on around I just felt really, really content and happy with life and that was something that I enjoyed and appreciated so much and I hope for much more of that in 2007.

Happy New Year. I hope 2007 is a good one for you.