Friday, May 28, 2010


In a bid to not eat sugar, but still being able to eat sweet stuff, I baked a cake last night. I am going to have some today. I hope it is ok. It has strawberries in it. What could possibly go wrong?

We are off to Poole this weekend with my sister and nephew. My nephew seems to hope that the main feature of the weekend will be running away from waves. It’s the simple things… We might try and do some other things as well, like go to Monkey World.

We’re not back until Tuesday, so I’ll be back here Wednesday. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I came very close to losing my temper with a colleague yesterday. She only started three weeks ago, but let me tell you what I know about her so far. There is one way to do things, and it’s her way – and she is always right. We were in a managers’ meeting yesterday and it is fair to say that we had a very robust discussion.

After the meeting, I found out that the reason someone who is a good friend of mine has been off sick is due to stress – and this new manager is her boss. It’s not a good start. She is due to be back in the office today and so I am going to have a chat with her and see if I can do anything to help to reduce her stress levels.

The new manager and I will be sitting opposite each other as of next week. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


We are still continuing with our sugar purge, but given that we went out for dinner on Friday night (no dessert), went to some friends for dinner on Monday night (including dessert) and out for dinner last night (no dessert), we are maybe not setting ourselves the easiest task. I have been pretty good at not falling off the wagon, although I did have two white chocolate ferrero rocher last night. *sigh*

It has been so hot at work recently. We have air conditioning that switches off it the temperature outside gets too high. I am not sure who designed the system we have, but I am thinking that maybe they hadn’t finished their qualifications before they were let loose on the real world.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Late nights and early mornings do not a working brain make. I was doing nice things I might add.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010


On Saturday, I opened the back door of the car to get a bag out and there was a photo of a small baby on the floor of the car. I had no idea who the baby was or where the photo had come from. I showed the photo to G, who also had no idea. I mentioned it to my sister and told her some of the details of the photo, including the baby’s bedding and she said it is my nephew – although it isn’t very recognisable as him if it is. However, that doesn’t explain how the photo of him as a baby appeared in my car, particularly given that he is five years old now. Very odd.

We went with my mum and sister to see Ruby Wax on stage last night. It was quite good, but also a bit hit and miss in places. I didn’t feel worthy to be there though, given that in the audience close to where I was sitting, I saw Celia Imrie (who I think is marvellous, in case I haven’t made this clear before), John Sessions, Ronni Ancona and Richard E Grant. We were all in the dress circle, so the mind boggles at who was in the stalls.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Do you know what today is? Well, yes it is 21 May 2010, but it is also National Letter Writing Day. According to World Vision, one in five children in the UK has never received a letter. How terrible is that? So today, is a day to put that right!

As I have mentioned here previously, I am wanting to get back into letter writing and have made a bit of a start on that. There is so much that can be conveyed by taking the time to hand write a letter, so if you can think of someone to write to today, be that a child or an adult, then give it a go. I think I might write to my nephew.

Or don't you like to write letters. I do because it's such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something.

Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I am currently on a regime to try and avoid eating sugar. I have a
very sweet tooth and so it is not an ideal plan for me, but I am hoping
that it will reap rewards – not least avoiding a bit of a rush of sugar
followed by more of a plummet. But, I have to make sure that I am not
denying myself things – so it isn’t about going hungry, it is about
instead of having something sweet, finding something savoury to have

It isn’t just sugar in things like chocolate bars, it has also meant
(for a while at least) re-evaluating my breakfast. I have marmite on
my toast, so that is ok, but I have had to search about for a cereal
that doesn’t have much of a sugar content – and that primarily boils it
down to All Bran.

Have you looked at the back of a box of All Bran? It is primarily
filled with ways to disguise that you are eating it. It suggests you
put a couple of handfuls into the cereal you normally have or that you
put it in a lasagne, chilli con carne or bran muffins. It is hardly a
way to encourage purchasers to feel that All Bran is something to be
enjoyed in its own right. I am not quite sure how much they paid their
marketing people to come up with that strategy.

It was, therefore, with some trepidation that I opened the box of All
Bran. But I need not have feared, it is nowhere near as bad as their
marketing strategy might suggest. Perhaps that is the way they work
though, make people feat the worst and then it can only get better.

I shall soldier on with my (relatively) sugarless life, but am going to
have to find something to guy with a nice cup of tea in the evening
sometimes. Needs must.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A while ago there was a programme on BBC 4 called Dear Diary. Richard E Grant presented one of the programmes and he was looking at the power of the diary. Unfortunately, the programme isn’t on the BBB iPlayer or YouTube, but if it ever gets repeated, it is worth a watch.

Anyway, he made some really interesting observations on diary keeping. I don’t see my blog as a diary, but I thought some of what he said had echoes and similarities to writing a blog. So I shall with you a couple of things that he said. Make of them what you will.

All diaries are about dealing with loneliness. No matter who or how much you are in love with somebody or how many friends you have there is part of you that is always alone and I think keeping a diary is companionable in that way.

If no-one else has understood you, you are trying to understand yourself in writing it down.

Then at the conclusion of the programme he said this:

I’ve realised now at the end of my journey that I need to be very careful with what I have written in private. I’ve had to be honest in my diary. But however true and authentic it may be, it has power over the innocent bystanders in my life, and I risk betraying myself and them in the words that I leave behind. I’ve realised that my diaries are potentially powerful, possibly hurtful, in that they are open to interpretation. I can feel my hand hovering over the delete button as I speak.

A diary is your control of what you want to say about things. How other people read it, interpret it or use it then you have no control any more, unless it is completely secret and you press the delete button or you burn the lot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Two years ago, G and I went on holiday to Cornwall. While we were there, we listened to The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. A Canadian book. Last year went to Canada on holiday.

Last year, while we were in Canada, we listened to another talking book. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. A Swedish book. This year we are going to Sweden on holiday.

Make of that what you will. I will make sure I am careful about any talking books I choose though and perhaps will avoid any set in a prison or hell.

Monday, May 17, 2010


It was a busy weekend. We sorted out our holiday to Sweden. The itinerary is finalised, train tickets are all booked, after finally having to resort to calling the Swedish rail company and booking the tickets over the phone, and hotels are booked. I am just hoping the train tickets are right because the only way to get confirmation of the details is when I get the tickets out of a machine in Sweden in July…

We went to Southampton on Saturday to see a friend and meet her new baby, which was very pleasant. I then had to meet up with the freeholder on Sunday, who wants lots of money to do various bits of maintenance. I rather picked up that one of my neighbours has lied to them, by telling them she doesn’t have a job, to explain why she hasn’t been paying any maintenance charges. I just stayed silent on the matter, as I know full well that she is working. None of my neighbours turned up to the meeting, so I went for a coffee with the freeholder and her husband, which was a weird concept, as I have very mixed feelings about her, but it was pleasant enough.

As part of my wanting to write more letters, I wrote to a local councillor who lost his seat at the recent elections. He had been our independent councillor for years, but, somewhat surprisingly, lost his seat. He had been really helpful over the years and so I had written to him to say that I was sorry he wasn’t going to be our councillor any more. He dropped round yesterday afternoon to say thanks for the letter and we chatted for a few minutes. I felt rather sad after the conversation because he is a good chap and it is a real shame he won’t be our councillor any more. I was glad that I wrote to him though, and I got some rather speedy feedback on how much he appreciated getting the letter. So, I should take that as impetus to find other suitable moments to drop someone a few lines.

Friday, May 14, 2010


We’ve come up with a tentative plan for our holiday in Sweden. We wee going to try and travel up towards the Arctic Circle, but every idea seemed to involve having to route back through Stockholm. I am sure Stockholm will be nice, but I don’t think we want to see it several times on the same trip. So we are going to stick to the south and go to Gothenberg and some places in between. We plan to travel by train and I have discovered that booking directly with the Swedish Railway is considerably cheaper than doing it via Rail Europe. It is more responsibility though… Anyway, hopefully it will all be booked by the end of the weekend.

We are off to Southampton tomorrow. A friend had a baby in January and we are, at last, going to visit to meet him. We are only going down for the day, so we’ll get up early to make the most of it. I might have to see the freeholder on Sunday, which is not ideal. She and her husband want to charge us all more money, so we are meant to be discussing it. However, one of my neighbours won’t be about, so I think I will decline to discuss it in any detail. I also intend to prevent them from coming into my home. I really don’t want the freeholder coming in to where I live and so I shall have to learn to say no without sounding overly rude. It could be a challenge knowing what my freeholder is like.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


When I was about to leave work yesterday, there was one member of my team left in the office. I had shut down my computer and was about to put my coat on when I overheard her talking to her husband on the phone, and she was clearly very upset. When she finished her phone call I asked her if she wanted to have a chat and so we spent a while talking about what was going on and cam up with a short-term plan (which included her going home, as it was quite late already and she clearly wasn’t in any state to do more work anyway). My team just seems to go from one problem to another, and I am not unsympathetic, but I do find the scale of things that happen quite hard to keep up with!

It’s been rather cold the last couple of days. In fact, ever since the Tories gained power. I was wondering if this was the first sign of hell freezing over.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I was saddened to see Gordon Brown resign as Prime Minister. I was even more saddened to see David Cameron become the next Prime Minister. I think we will see interesting times ahead, not least because it will take time to see if the Tories can truly get another party to co-operate with them.

Things have moved on in terms of holidays. I sent G an e-mail yesterday (because we aren’t allowed to actually speak to each other obviously) and said that I thought a lot of the reason why I was having trouble coming up with holiday plans was because what I really wanted to do was go to Scandinavia. G rather agreed and so last night we booked flights to Stockholm. We have no idea of what we will do in Sweden, where we will stay etc etc etc. But we do have flights. I guess we’d better get on with coming up with more of a plan.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I was quite late into work yesterday morning. I got on the tube that was hit with various delays and then changed (earlier than normal) to another tube line. Four times, I repeat FOUR TIMES within five stops we had to wait several minutes before we could set off again because someone had set off the passenger alarm on the train in front. Each time, it was because someone had passed out on the train. At one point the train driver even said to us “unbelievably, someone else has passed out on another train in front of us, so we’re going to have to wait here until we get a green signal”. I am guessing it was not a good start to the week for a number of people, particularly those who passed out, but I just decided to get on with reading my book in the hope that at some point I would get to work.

It’s an interesting development that Gordon Brown is going to step down as the Labour Party leader. I won't go into my thoughts on this matter, although I do have quite a few! Instead, here’s a photo I took yesterday when I went and had a nose and had a look at all the various media broadcasters reporting from outside Parliament. (It’s John Sopel and Laura Kuenssberg in case you can’t see it very well!)

Monday, May 10, 2010


We had a busy weekend. On Friday night, we went to a quiz at my nephew’s school. We came second by one point. We was robbed.

Then, on Saturday, we went on the Orient Express to Deal. That was really good and felt very decadent. We left at Victoria at 10.45am and by 11am we were being the first course of our lunch, having already been served champagne. It was a long lunch that lasted until about 1pm. Then we arrived in Deal and had a wander around for a couple of hours by the seaside before boarding the train back to Victoria with afternoon tea to help us to pass the time. It was a really nice day out and we are now going to have to think of other such things to keep us in the style to which we have become accustomed.

I find the election result fascinating – but the post-election coverage less so, particularly given that there is nothing, as such, to report at the moment, which doesn’t stop the 24 hour news rolling on. Given the state of politics these days, anything that might make politicians co-operate more surely has to be a good thing, but we’ll see if we can have any proper form of government, and what that government will look like, in due course.

Friday, May 07, 2010


So we voted and ate Chinese food to celebrate our anniversary. We know how to live. We even have leftovers from the Chinese for lunch today. A celebration and yet also practical. What does that tell you about our relationship?

A new manager started this week. She is the same level as me and seems nice enough – which is a good thing as we will be sitting opposite each other in about a month’s time. However, she phoned me yesterday. From her desk which is about 20 feet away. I felt I had to talk to her in a quiet tone because we would probably have been able to hear each other without the use of a phone if I hadn’t. I don’t think it’s normal to phone someone that you could either walk over to in about 10 seconds or just raise your voice and (anti-socially admittedly) speak to each other. I feel I am going to have to break her of this habit or else I will have to build a huge wall between our desks so that we can at least pretend we need to use a phone to speak. I will be keeping an eye on her for other strange quirks.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


So it’s Election Day. Remember to go out and vote! I normally vote on the way into work, but G didn’t want to have to get up extra early to vote, so we’ll go together after work tonight. I am not hopeful that tomorrow’s result will be a good one. I have spoken to so many people who fear we will end up with a Tory government and I haven’t spoken to anyone who thinks it would be a good thing. But I don’t think the people I know are representative of the population as a whole.

Not only is today election today, but G and I have also been together for three years. G did ask if, in light of it being Election Day, if it might be an opportunity for a change of leadership in our relationship. However, I explained that our relationship is not a democracy and there will be no such changes and any votes cast for such a move will be declared null and void. Coups will also be severely punished.

Mind you, it is actually quite an achievement that we made it to three years given that yesterday G sent me this article. Everything has now become clear.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


We are now thinking about further destinations for a holiday and have been wondering about Belgium? Does anyone ever really think of Belgium as a holiday destination? Is this a weird place to be considering? We will probably have ruled it out by the end of today and come up with somewhere totally different as a holiday idea by then.

I felt really out of sorts yesterday. I think the only word that I can think to describe how I felt was “bored”. I don’t know why really. I just didn’t feel inspired. Someone new is starting today so I will have to pretend to feel inspired even if I am not actually feeling like that. It’s odd because I don’t normally feel bored at work. Perhaps I need to find some new inspiration to liven things up a bit there.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


We had a good weekend. We went to Stratford overnight (and stayed in a ropey, but incredibly cheap Travelodge) and that was pleasant, but we didn’t get to see a play because the RSC don’t have any performances on a Sunday night. I have to say that I am not someone who really “gets” Shakespeare and so don’t particularly feel as though I am missed out. Although, they are performing Anthony and Cleopatra at the moment and I studied that at A-level and did like it. Most Shakespeare passes me by though and I don’t normally have a clue what’s going on. Is that a terrible thing to confess?!

We still haven’t got a clue what we are going to do for our summer hols. We seem to be going round and round in circles about what we are going to do and have looked at a few options, but then when we have added up the cost, it seems to be crazy amounts to spend. At this rate, I think we will just decide it is less hassle to stay at home.