Monday, December 31, 2007

Random Dad Fact #1

(This is not going to be a random fact about my dad, but a random fact that I would have phoned him about. I don't think it's fair that they get lost and I still want to share them. Besides, Emily says he knows them already.)

Anthony put on a film called Shooter the other night. I was not really watching it as it's not my kind of film (I don't mind guns in films, but I don't like watching films where you see brain splatter). The only time I paid attention was during the end credits.

That's when I saw the name Levon Helm and got all excited. Levon Helm was the drummer for The Band, who my dad really liked, and I just so happened to have bought a couple of their songs from iTunes in the last couple of weeks.

Not quite like David Crosby being in Hook (and I still like the fact he was one of our favourite pirates even before we knew he was in it), but still a nice random occurrence.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Birthday!

I hope you people all had a lovely Christmas?

Despite Anthony kindly passing on his stinky cold to me I have had a very good few days. (I'm still off work, now until the 4th Jan).

Christmas was strange without Dad, but at the same time there wasn't a huge big horrible gap there that was impossible to fill. Even when we were having Christmas dinner and I was sitting in his spot at the table, it didn't feel odd. We did go and see him on Christmas Day, after opening stockings (supplied by mum (and Emily got one from Brychan too)) but before we did tree presents and got comfy. It was pouring with rain, but since other people had had the same idea parking was a bit tight at the site. I did mean to take my camera and get a picture of his stone, but I didn't as the weather was so horrible, I shall get one of it in sunshine which will be more fitting. This picture shows the pond at the site, Dad is on the far side, in fact the little tree on the far bank is where we hung the bird feeders that we'd brought along as his Christmas presents. After we'd hung the feeders the rain started coming down even heavier, so we took that as a polite hint to bugger off and leave him in peace.

Tree presents (although there wasn't actually a tree this year) are always opened while drinking Bucks Fizz, and this bit of tradition was stuck to. Emily had a Jack themed set of presents from me and Anthony - Jack Daniels and Captain Jack that is. Anthony had a selection of car themed gifts plus Band of Brothers from Emily. Me? I'm the happiest girl in the world in my new Leyton Orient shirt, with oodles of Lush stuff and The Sims 2 to play (when I've defragged the pc this afternoon). My lovely neighbour Angela bought me a Cath Kidston stationery pack, thus fulfilling my longings for both Cath stuff and pretty notepaper!

My new board game Bookchase provoked some mixed reactions when we played it as both Emily and Anthony were convinced they would do badly. Who won? Anthony. Who came last? Me. So, proof that book knowledge is not always required to win a board game based around books! (You also have to pick up cards that entitle you to three free books, and then roll a six).

Emily kindly let me open my birthday present from her yesterday, a beautiful green purse by Jimmy Liao that holds EVERYTHING all in one go. I've just been a Googling to try and get you a picture...the range is very new and has no pictures anywhere so I will have to charge the camera up.

I do not know what else I have for my birthday as I am not allowed to open anything until Anthony gets home from work. I will distract myself by defragging and loading up Sims 2!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bookish

I had a very bookish Friday and Saturday. All the worrying about my lost sick note (which arrived at work on Monday morning, as I found out when I took my replacement one in) had got to me and I just didn't want to do ANYTHING.

So I cosied up on the sofa to read, and basically didn't stop until Saturday night. I had myself a fantasy kick to get my mind well away from the here-and-now.

I'd picked up The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce a few weeks ago and had started to reread it but got distracted by life. This time I read the whole damn thing on Friday afternoon (this edition is the 4 books in one) and then wanted more. So of course I went on and read the Immortals Quartet and the Protector of the Small Quartet that follow on from it. (this Amazon list shows all the books in their lovely lovely covers (same illustrator as the Casson books that customer didn't think much of)).

That took me through to Saturday night (with a couple of breaks for sleeping, eating and asking Anthony just why there was a mantelpiece in my hall*) and has left me with a small dilemma. What can I read next?

Logically I would carry on with the rest of Tamora's books, but there are hitches... I have Trickster's Choice which is the next in the Tortall series, but not Trickster's Queen which has taken three years to come out over here (and despite the picture, the edition we had in at work (the day before I came off sick) does not have the same cover style!), let alone Terrier. Emily does have these, but will possibly not let me borrow them...
The same problem occurs if I try to read the Circle Books (again shown on that Amazon list above) as I don't have the newest one of those either! (Emily does...)

(Yes, I know, I am so very pedantic about reading books all in one fell swoop)

I am now thinking about either reading some Mercedes Lackey or David Eddings, both of whom have written great series's's's, but can't sum up the energy for them quite yet. Instead I have gone off at a tangent and picked up Highland Fling by Katie Fforde instead. Hot toddies, snow, Scotland and a dashingly annoying hero - yum.

*The mantelpiece is there because a friend of Alf's moved house on Saturday and didn't want it anymore. Anthony went to help, I woke up when he went out (and read for a bit) but was asleep when he stopped here before breakfast to drop the mantelpiece off. So I wandered downstairs about 5 minutes before he got home and got rather confused. Apparently it's going in the front room, but not before that interesting shade of green on it has been painted over!

(The spellchecker changed mantlepiece to mantelpiece but I like the first spelling and by now can't tell which it should be!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Much like Posy the publication of the Radio Times Christmas issue is something that makes Christmas suddenly happening and actually real (and not the result of me watching too many Christmassy films in June).

I got mine this morning and have just spent a happy half hour or so (might well have been longer) going through it circling all the things I want to see/hear. It's a family tradition, Dad used to give us all different coloured pens to mark our programmes off with, and we weren't allowed to mark anything that we already had on tape - Mary Poppins, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang etc.

It was quite sad this year, discovering things like Humph in Wonderland and realising I wouldn't be listening to it with Dad. But I am slowly getting used to things like that.

One thing that did actually make me cry was the feature on the adaptation of Ballet Shoes. I was worrying it would spoil it but the pictures are just perfect and after reading the cast list I know that this is going to be a Christmas TV highlight.

I have circled everything that I want to see (including Mary Poppins and Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang) in purple ink, even though I probably won't get to see many of the things. As in so many previous years I shall probably watch the first of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and then end up missing the rest...

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Look

Oh yeah, I got bored and redecorated, Hope you like it.

Variousness

The lovely lovely Caroline is once again blogging things I'm thinking about. (She's so wonderful).

My thoughts on this were partly brought on by Facebook after a few very, very old pictures of me were put up on there and I still can't believe that was actually me. Partly cos I wish I'd had a hairdresser that would allow for the fact that I didn't want to spend 3 hours on my hair every morning. (The joys of bleaching it for so long mean that it's the same length now as it was then but so much more under control!)

I also just realised that of all my ex-boyfriends, there are only two that I'm not Facebook friends with (and that would be Jon from uni and the Yeti). I mean, there are a couple more who aren't on there, but Jamie's been dead for 11 years now so I'm letting him off, and the others I can only just remember first names let alone surnames. I think that's quite a good record really.

Not an ex-boyfriend, but a very dear friend from my Canterbury days, is thoroughly excited about the fact that his blog has shot to the top of Google on a search for three little words. I'm not going to put them here in case I topple him, but well done Steve on your success!

Foley chewed through the lights on the tree on Thursday so I have had to take the lights from my bed and put those on the tree instead. There is also now a length of lovely red ribbon draped round the tree after our visit to Hobbycraft yesterday. I keep wanting to make something, but I don't know quite what. I have a few ideas that I'm writing down until I have the money to give them a try. (Which makes it sound expensive, but it'll be about £5!)

The wanting to make something is probably brought on by some of the new blogs I have been reading, they're over in the sidebar under Home Stuff. I love Posie Gets Cozy and SouleMama, both of which I discovered via yarnstorm. I very very much want to make some of these which I first spotted on Posie, and then found all over the place on Flickr. This of course means I'm looking at all sorts of bits of fabric on eBay...

Otherwise I am ticking along nicely. The whole being violently sick thing has calmed down quite a lot, it really only starts up when I start feeling guilty about not being at work - so I am trying not to think about work.

I am also listening to large quantities of Radio Four and getting rather hooked on The Archers!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Temporary Hiatus

I went to the doctors on Wednesday. I've been feeling terrible for a few weeks now, nauseous all the time and very rarely hungry, then when I do eat I'm sick fairly soon after. Mostly not sleeping properly, going to sleep ok, then waking up for four/five hours and then falling asleep just in time for my alarm to go off again. Although my general mood has been fairly upbeat, altogether I've been grumpy and short-tempered because of the nausea and tiredness. (and no, I'm not pregnant...)

Anyway, on Wednesday I woke up and was sick, but there was blood in it. This made me panic and actually go to the doctor. Now the blood was apparently nothing to worry about, he thought that was just because I'd been being sick a lot and because it was always quite sudden. (Sorry for the TMI here guys).

But apparently all the being sick and not sleeping are signs of reactive depression. I told him about everything with Dad and my depressive history and that I'd never had symptoms like this before. I know how to cope when I feel blue, but this? no idea.

Basically he's signed me off work for two weeks. He wanted to make it 4, or better still 6 but I just couldn't do that at this time of year (2 weeks off is bad enough). I have to go back and see him on the 21st and if he's not happy, then I don't go back to work for another 2 weeks.

So for the next two weeks I will be about a lot. I will be doing useful household tasks (washing-up, cleaning), going for a walk every day, and working on mum's cross-stitch as well as some tiny little Christmassy ones that I've had free from various magazines.

Just so you know I'm being really productive...











I've added all the proper Armory links to my sidebar too. (I know, I know...)

Friday, November 30, 2007

The End

Well, I did it, it's the 30th of November and I've blogged every day for 30 days.

I've learnt from it that my life repeats an awful lot, that most evenings I'm not in the mood to write about anything, and that trying to blog every day and read all the other blogs I want to read is difficult. (I have discovered quite a few new favourite bloggers too!)
I have perfectionist issues about my writing, blog posts have to either be written and rewritten over and over, or written fast and published straight off. As for my whole pretty notebook obsession...

It's all been fun though.

As for today at work...RichieFingers did not need teaching anything about the English language, although he does think that anyone born in the 40's is a pygmy because of rationing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advent Calendar

Last year I didn't have a chocolate advent calendar, this year I have two!

Anthony bought me one last week (Dairy Milk) and today we both managed to tread on the one that mum sent as the postman and put it safely under the doormat...

It's the BEST advent calendar in the world! A picture of it is here at SheepWorld. (If you zoom you get a nice big picture).

Ohne Dich ist Weihnachten doof = Without you Christmas is stupid.

I need to buy lots and lots of SheepWorld things...

(work today was just as full of stupid, rude people so I am just as grumpy)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tired

I am a very tired bunny after a long day at work featuring various amounts of abuse from various bitchy middle-aged women.

So I am going to bed and may be more intelligent tomorrow...although that won't be hard.

(but I have got Beef Bourguignon for dinner!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'n' chips

Anthony always asks if I want fish 'n' chips even though I always have a sausage and never fish. I think it's one of those things. He usually has a pie so I don't think we've ever actually bought fish 'n' chips.

I am rambling cos I am tired sorry.

I am going to go and curl up on the sofa and do some sewing and also probably read some of the fantastic book that I finally got the proof of (although it was published in September). The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, if you like proper fantasy, you'll love it.

Tomorrow I am working the late shift (12.30-9) so get to have a lie in, I shall also attempt to go to the library before work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day Off

I had a nice relaxing day off today. I did a few productive things in the morning, then spent the afternoon playing on Neopets which was fun and earned me 23,846 Neopoints.

I had another culinary success tonight, I know! Two in less than a week!
I adapted my spicy chicken thing that I've made a couple of times.* This time I left the chicken breasts whole and didn't defrost them, just sat them in little dishes of tin foil, splashed them with lime juice, sprinkled the spice mix over the top, wrapped them up and stuck them in the oven.

It worked really well, I thought I might have used a little too much lime juice but the roast potatoes soaked it all up off the plates and it was all scrummy.
I'm not sure if it quite counts as a separate recipe though.

*Just had a look through the archives to discover that I haven't written about it so can't link. Basically it's a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper (and sometimes a little thyme) that I sprinkle over/rub into chunks of chicken breast and then fry up. When it's done you add a slosh of lime juice to the pan and throw on some spinach. When that's wilted, it's done! We've had it with noodles, mash, rice and on its own and I really like it. Easy cooking, but PROPER!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One more Sunday before Christmas...

...no really, only one more to go. One more at work for me anyway, and it'll be the 23rd...

...I will be a gibbering wreck before then.

To be fair, we didn't have any customers today like yesterdays. Thank God. There would have been blood up the walls.

I was a lot more relaxed today than I thought I would be after yesterday. This was partly due to the romantic film-fest last night (While You Were Sleeping and Practical Magic - I was in a Sandra Bullock mood) and partly due to the fact that when left alone yesterday Anthony went out and spent money. Some of this money was spent on secret Christmas things, but some was spent on a storage unit for the bathroom (so the cardboard box that's been in there since we moved in here in May can go) and some was spent on an electric blanket.

It was soooooooooooooo nice getting into a warm bed last night, it's impossible to describe the amount of tension that eased out of my body when it didn't have to deal with icy bedding. The hot water bottles are now redundant and I shall not have to buy so much Deep Heat (think Withnail).

I have a day off tomorrow and shall spend it doing nice domestic things like arranging things in my bathroom, and emptying the litter trays...



Mum's cross-stitch is coming along.


I've had to shift it all about in the frame as it's too big for it to fit on all in one go. I could have stitched it sideways but figured that would drive me barmy! All of the green bits on the right were done during the films last night.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturdayness

I love working Saturdays, no really, I do. After all, where else apart from in retail can someone repeatedly call you a liar and you can't do a thing about it.

Not to mention...

the scene - harassed bookshop employee talking to a customer
Customer 1 - I need a copy of The Quest by Wilbur Smith.
HBE - Certainly, I'll just grab one for you.
HBE steps around the customer and manages a grand total of three steps before...
Customer 2 - I'm after a book.
HBE - Ok, I'm just getting a book for this lady but...
C2 - *heavily sarcastic* Sure you are.
HBE - *speechless*
C2 - Why don't you just get me the book I want. It's Foreign Fields by Dan Collins. It's a war book.
HBE - *puts on big bright smile to cover up the fact that she would like to tear C2's throat out with her teeth* That's just upstairs in Military History. When I've finished with the customer that I'm serving I'll be happy to help you find the book.
HBE finds book for C1 and hands it over, then goes upstairs, finds the other book and hands it to C2 who is standing in front of the Computing section and looking puzzled.
HBE then goes back downstairs and into the storeroom behind the counter where she bangs her head on the wall until she feels better.


Then there was the girl who paid by cheque - "Forteen pounds and 73p only".

------------------------------------

Luckily I have an Anthony. I get a lift home, wine and cider bought for me, and pizza delivered.

I am also permitted to watch two soppy films tonight as we watched Mad Max yesterday.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday again

It doesn't seem like a week since I was running round at work trying to explain the English language (more better? betterest?) to RichieFingers...oh yeah, that's cos I had to do it again today.

He's stripping off (wait for it) the front hardback table (see, not rude) and then started putting the books back on from right to left rather than left to right.

RF - "Oh god. I'm doing this table backwards. What's it called when you can do things equally well with both hands? Ambivilent?"

Kate & Faye - "Erm, ambidextorous."

RF - "What's ambivilent then"

K & F - "Not really bothered"

RF - "No I am, what's it mean?"

*sigh*

I'm at work both days this weekend so you won't get intelligent posts from me. You might get funny ones, it depends on how many daft customers we get in.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nom Nom Nom Nom

Tonight I did some actual proper cooking.



and it tasted flipping gorgeous!

So I can add Toad in the Hole (or Sausage Toad as my mother calls it) to my very short list of things that I can cook.

I am so very proud of myself I am going for a very hot Lush-filled bath! (and Anthony is going to do the washing-up while I'm in it)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thoughts

fatboyfat has posted some Reasons to be Cheerful today. Since I was thinking about writing about the Men's Shed Movement it ties in quite well, also the fact I have had a nice relaxing happy day off is good too.

Ignoring the England football result this evening (and if they had won they wouldn't have deserved it, maybe now we'll get a decent manager and the overpaid little tossers will put some effort in) here are some happy thoughts.

Today it is 100 days until I can start divorce proceedings!

My mother has bought a Nintendo DS...this is more a shocking thought than a happy one but she did offer to get me one for Christmas which is the happy bit (although I am probably going to be sensible and have the coat).

I have finally got fed up with waiting for Emily to post me this first disc of Scrubs Season Four and have booked it on Lovefilm. So the Scrubs obsession will be back shortly.

I managed to complete a very tough quest on WoW today and got thoroughly overexcited about it.

I cleared out two bin bags full of junk!

It might have got very dark in my house at about 14.30 (2.30pm) but I had fairy lights to put on.

When tidying up the living room I found one last solitary Wispa...and saved it for after tea!

Jane Brocket is writing a perfectly delicious book that I can't wait to read.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Payday

I both love and hate payday.

I love the fact I've just been paid and the fact I have money to do things with, but I hate the fact that I go into my bank account and pay my bills and then have about £100 left for heating, food and general living.

I don't pay for food, Anthony buys that which is good as it means I can eat!

It does mean that paydays are more depressing than they should be.

But today I went on a shopping spree, the only sad thing was that none of it was stuff for myself.

HMV got a nice chunk of my wages today, and Anthony has most of his Christmas presents, as does my mother. (and I didn't even buy myself one nice Anime DVD...)

One day I will have more than a ninth of my wages left over after paying all my bills (and I don't have any debt I'm paying off either!). One day...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Meme

1. Do you like chinese food?
Yup, I like having it as a buffet type meal so I can try lots of different dishes.

2. How big is your bed?
King-size, feels too big for just me, but too small for me, Anthony and the cats.

3. Is your room clean?
Fairly clean, but it has lots of stuff in it.

4. Laptop or Desktop computer?
Desktop.

5. Favorite comedian?
Milligoon.

6. Do you smoke?
No.

7. Does anyone like you?
There's a few people out there who think I'm alright.

8. Whats the sexiest thing about Condoleeza Rice?
This is a very strange question.

10. Sleep with or without clothes on?
Usually without, depends how cold it is.

11. Who sleeps with you every night?
Nobody *sniff*, silly shift-working boyfriend.

12. Do long distance relationships work?
Sometimes.

13. How many times have you been pulled over by the police?
Never ever.

14. Pancakes or French Toast?
Normal toast please.

15. Do you like coffee?
Yuck.

16. How do you like your eggs?
Don't eat them very often...um...scrambled I guess.

17. Do you believe in God?
Not the God that seems to be implied by this question.

18. Last person you talked to on the phone?
Emily.

19. Last person on your missed call list?
Campbelli.

20. What was the last text message you received?
Anthony calling me his “sexy Essex Bahrainian goddess”

21. McDonalds or Burger King?
McDonalds, but very rarely.

22. Number of pillows on your bed?
4

23. Last thing you ate?
Sweet Chilli Chicken wrap from Boots.

24. Last thing you bought?
Far too many DVD’s from HMV

25. What are you hearing right now?
Doctor Who on BBC3

26. Pick a lyric
"When I am sad and weary, when all my hope is gone, I walk around my house and think of you with nothing on"

27. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich?
I have never eaten one and do not intend to.

28. Can you play pool?
Not as well as I think I can.

29. Do you know how to swim?
Yes, although I'm not keen on it due to being so very short-sighted and therefore unable to see without lenses/specs.

30. Favourite ice cream?
Phish Food or Bohemian Raspberry.

31. Do you like maps?
Yes, discovering places is always cool.

32. Tell me a random fact:
I currently love drinking fizzy water with a few drops of lime juice in.

33. Ever had a teacher tell you to stop talking?
Almost certainly.

34. Ever attend a theme party?
Yes

35. Ever do a keg stand?
Nope

36. Craziest place you've slept?
On the floor at a Korn concert.

37. What is your favourite season?
Summer

38. What is the first music video you ever saw?
First one I can remember seeing is 'Sledge Hammer' by Peter Gabriel. I loved the plasticine train.

39. Pick a movie quote:
"There's a little witch in every woman" - Practical Magic.

40. Favourite quote:
"I can tell I've been drinking, I keep forgetting to blink!" - Campbelli.

41. What is your favourite hangout?
Anywhere with good people.

42. Do you have a best friend?
I have a few.

43. How long have you known them?
Between 22 years and 18 months.

44. Last time you laughed at something stupid?
Foley conked out in front of the halogen heater

45. What time did you wake up this morning?
1am, 1.30am, 3am, 3.30am, 4am, 4.30am 6.30am and 7am.

46. Wake up next to anyone?
Anthony, apart from at 7 as he'd gone to work then.

47. Best thing about winter?
Those proper frosty mornings.

48. Name a couple of favourite colors:
Teal, red, white.

49. How old were you when you found out santa wasn't real?
Don't remember.

50. What month is your birthday in?
December.

51. What are you doing this weekend
Working, meh.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Snowy Sunday

It's snowing!!! What's more...it's settling!!!

*ahem*

I had a little too much wine last night. Well the wine was fine, it was the couple of bottles of beer I had after the wine that did the damage. We ate the lovely French Moroccan Lamb Tomato thing and played Trivial Pursuit (an edition from 1983). It was girls (me, Angie and Jo) against boys (Anthony, Paul, Joe and Dave). The boys won but since they had an extra player we may have to have a fairer rematch.

We nattered about all sorts of things including Nick Drake, Neil Young and romantic films (like French Kiss, Practical Magic and Love Actually). It was a very good evening. I'm gonna have to practice my cooking so I can have them round here and not poison anybody.

In my fragile state I managed to sleep through Anthony doing all the washing-up, he's a star that man. I also got to watch Order of the Phoenix which was rather good, I liked the way it was condensed in just the right way.

Now it's time for bed, and vast quantities of hot water bottles as this house just won't get warm. The thermostat is set at 21, sometimes it actually reaches 18, thank heavens for the beautiful halogen heater that Foley insists on sleeping in front of.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another busy day

Very quick post in the 5 minutes I have before going out again.

Went to the Flair Festive Fair at the Lighthouse today which was rather good. Had intended on going and then found out that Paul (my ex-neighbour Angela's man) would be having a stall there for his glassware. So Anthony and me went up with Angie and Joe (Paul's son) and bought some nice shiny goodies. I will post pictures when I have time.

Now we're going back round to Angie's for dinner - a "French Moroccan Lamb Tomato kind of a thing"

I intend to drink wine and relax.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday!

...and I've got the weekend off!

Today contained all of the elements that make a Friday at work so much fun:

A customer complaining that our shop was too cold - after walking past the guys replacing our front window (broken after some drunk attempted to dive through it two weeks ago). We can't work out how she didn't realise that the lack of a window would result in a very cold shop.

RichieFingers rearranging the Humour table and then saying "There, that looks...Kate? is it more better or betterest?"

Looking everywhere for The Girl's Like Spaghetti which we got on Wednesday and nobody can find. Supposedly in Children's Reference (I'm sorry, the "Discover" section - stupid rebranding) but not to be found anywhere, even in Cookery.

Putting millions of stickers onto millions of books, Christmas in retail is SO much stickering, I mean fun.

----------------------

Ok, my brain has frozen up after a cold day at work (even Chris H was cold and that's NEVER happened before) and since my boiler is having hissy fits I'm going to snuggle on the sofa with one hot man and two cute cats.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Short Post

This will be a very short post as I've just got in from work (did a 10.30-7 shift today) and there's a fabulous new WoW patch which means I HAVE to go on nd check out all the new niceness.

Plus Anthony is cooking...mmmm...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

London Town

When I was on the phone to mum the other day we were talking about how much holiday I had left and she suggested that if Anthony and I came to stay we could go into London on a couple of day trips. When I mentioned this to Anthony I said it would be quite cool as he's never been to London to visit (only driving with work) and that I "haven't done a real trip to London for ages".

Except...I've never lived in London so really all my trips there have been as a visitor/tourist.

Now I probably used to go into London at least once a month when growing up. We'd visit my grandparents (mothers side) who lived in Leyton (where both my parents are from) every few months, there would be visits to Frank and Teresa (parents friends from Libya) who lived in Battersea and to Ceri (mums old flatmate) and her family in Harrow, and pretty much every school holiday mum would take us in to visit a museum with friends - usually Ceri and her daughter Emily when we'd do swap visits (her to us, me to them).

With all of this I never really felt like a tourist. I've always felt Tube-savvy, checking out my route before hand and knowing alternate routes in case of problems and I always carry a little A-Z with me in case I have to walk somewhere (rather than meandering around shops). I've never really got the hang of the buses, mum never used to take us on them but on the times I went into London with dad (just me and him as a treat for me and break for mum) we would catch them as he always knew exactly which ones went where.
The only time I ever really felt touristy and like a visitor was the time I went in with a boyfriend and he really acted like a tourist, all gawpyness and asking loudly which station we needed for Downing Street or Buckingham Palace. In vain did I point out that it was pretty damn easy to walk from one t'other, we had to go to the tube station mentioned in his guidebook. Never again.

I can remember clearly the three times I went into London with friends from school. (I know, only three)
  • Carmen, after we got our GCSE results and we walked between Bank and St Pauls rather than get the tube. We wandered round various shops and parks and she managed to get sand in her shoes when we walked across Rotten Row.
  • Jo, when she met me at Liverpool Street and we went shopping in Covent Garden avoiding all the trendy shops and wandering through the back streets and nattering.
  • Laura, after our last 'A' Level Biology exam when she went to a very posh hairdressers, we had lunch out and bought perfume in Harrods.


They were all times when I felt grown-up and in control of my own trip into the city, probably why I hated being dictated to by guidebook. My last trip into London was when I saw the lovely Mark, a very nice day of wandering round and spending no money.

Even though I feel a bit like a fraud, I can't wait to "show" Anthony around. Silly but true. I want to go and see all the museums and galleries again, I want to go round the conservatory at the Barbican, I want to wander round the shops with someone who won't act like a tourist and will hopefully feel relatively at home there, even if he does think that Birmingham should be the capital city instead.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Black dog on my shoulder

So no chat today. Have a picture of Foley instead.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Insightful post?

Not gonna happen today.

I've been quite productive though, bought a nice halogen heater today to stop the house being so bloody cold. It's great. Neither of us are cold and Foley has collapsed in front of it purring like a mad thing. Takes after her mother that one.

Otherwise today started with a long lie-in, then had the blip of going shopping and doing housework before settling down to an afternoon of stitching, WoW and some good TV. Top Gear, as usual, rocked.

My life is deep thought free at the moment, partly due to the fact that I'm still doing things like bursting into tears in Sainsbury's because I saw a Dundee cake. (Which dad had sometimes at Christmas, although the last time was at least 15 years ago...)

Anthony is here all this week and I'll try to get RichieFingers to be more humorous at work - although he's not getting royalties no matter how much he complains.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Variousness

My sister has only just noticed that I'm blogging every day.

Apparently my writing is more intelligent than I thought.




Today I ordered in some copies of 84 Charing Cross Road to go on our reviews dumpbin - 15 minutes later someone came in and asked for it.

If you say (in a snarky fashion) to my manager (while he is having a bad day) that you want him to bring our stock of cloth baby books to the counter so that you do not have to walk 20 yards, do not then be surprised when he brings you the whole stand. (and then goes outside for a fag).

When Anthony tells me that I'm not allowed to buy any more Wispas, he should not be shocked at the fact that I come home with a giant tub of Maltesers, ok, a giant tub and another box of Maltesers, and three Chocolate Oranges, although one of those is his. (TMI: it's THAT time of the month).

And I bought him an apple pie!

I also bought a huge snuggly soft red fleece throw from Woollies, this is because the two blanket throws I have already are very thin and this house is very cold. So cold that Anthony is looking at electric blankets!

I have a day off tomorrow, so may attempt a sensible and coherent post. Although probably not.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Very random stuff

I have been trying to work out what to post about all day but with very little success. So I shall just do some rambling.

I got to spend today with Anthony which was unexpected and lovely. He was supposed to be on nights (11pm-7am) all week but managed to do 3pm-11pm instead on Tues and Wed which meant he came round last night and I got to spend the day with him. We watched Top Gear from Sunday (for the third time, cos it was so damn good) and then I watched Joe's Palace which was just brilliant as Poliakoff's stuff always is.

I did some work on mum's cross-stitch while I watched all that. It now looks like this:



That was spooky, as I typed "mum's", the phone rang and there she was.

I keep being asked what I want for Christmas and my birthday and I really don't know. My birthday present from mum is sorted, she's paying my initial divorce costs (as agreed with dad back in August) but she wants to know about Christmas. We were just discussing this coat and I also mentioned this clock to her. That's all sort-out-able later anyway.

I do know one of my presents. I will be getting this wonderful jigsaw for Christmas/birthday from Anthony's folks (or possibly from Anthony). I know this because it's been bought already as they were in short supply - in fact when he bought it there were 22 in stock, now there are only 5!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sunset

I may have moved house three times in the five years that I've lived in Wolverhampton, but I haven't moved very far. The second house was four roads up from the first one, and this one is only one road up from it. All the houses have felt very different (certainly this one cos it's all mine and the Yeti has never been here). It feels like I lived in that horrible first house a hundred years ago, so it shocks me every time when I walk to the end of this road and look left and see it. It's also very weird nipping into the local shop, as it's the one practically opposite the first house and walking round there brings back memories that are not always good. (There are about 15 small supermarkets here so it wasn't the closest one to the second house).

Anyway, as usual I digress.

The fact I haven't moved very far means that my walk to and from work has been essentially the same route for five years. When heading home I cross the ring road and walk down Merridale Street which is one long straight road. I pass the posh car sales room, the dodgy pub next to a concrete blocky church, the garage where they've covered all the windows so the police can't see what stolen cars they're working on. Past a playground, the fire station and the old pub that became a funeral home last spring. Then comes the only bit of my route that has changed. For the first house I'd go straight on, for the other two I cut left through the park (ok in summer, a little scary in winter) and catch a whiff of the *interesting* smoke from the group of boys by the basketball court. Then I used to go left again but now I go straight on down the road to reach home.

Having had the same route for such a long time means that often I don't notice most of it. I reach home having immersed myself in my headphones (but never so loud that I can't hear what's happening around me) and having walked it on autopilot.
Tonight the world made me look at it.

As I came to the top of Merridale Street I looked along down it and was amazed by the sunset. The whole sky was dark and cloudy apart from a strip at the end of it that was orange and gold and pink and crimson in lovely hazy stripes. The buildings either side meant that the only bit of the sunset I could see was the bit at the end of the road, with trees (in the cemetery at the end) standing black outlined against it.

I wished and wished that I'd had my camera, although I know I wouldn't have been able to capture it.
I wished that my sister was visiting as I know that she would have been able to photograph it and do it justice.
But most of all I wished that I could have phoned my dad and described it to him, instead I spoke to Anthony and have blogged it in an attempt to keep that glowing band of colour in my minds eye.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Music to my ears

Well, not music, books.

You know that I'm a big fan of Audible thanks to Keris who introduced me to the site. Today I found out that they've teamed up with our Waterstone's site to offer downloads through there (or Waterstone's link to them or something). This is quite cool as it will now be much easier for me to recommend the site to customers who want something obscure and out of print.

(The fact that I just got the free Dracula download helps too of course)

So as I wandered home tonight I treated myself to an audiobook I've been saving for ages, and I wasn't disappointed.

84 Charing Cross Road is another one of those books that I spotted on my parents shelves because of its cover. I loved it. I could almost hear the voices in my head when I read it, so I was worried that the audio would spoil this. Nope, it's just perfect.
When I'm not listening to this I have been listening to bits of This Sceptred Isle: Twentieth Century. I am trying to learn a bit more modern history and I figured this would be a good way. So far I have learnt about suffragettes blowing up post boxes, the fact that the Daily Mirror was started as the first newspaper for women and the fact the Government were more worried about civil war in Ireland than war in Europe, plus many other things that have of course gone from my head since I listened to it (I've been asleep since then) but that amazed me at the time.

I love the fact that my twenty minute walk twice a day is an opportunity to learn things as well as get some exercise. (Helps distract me from the cold too!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Never judge a book by its cover

The other day I had a customer ask me for a few children's books that had won prizes.

The first one I thought of was Saffy's Angel (which won the Whitbread Children's Award). I enthused about it to the lady and she had a read of the back and decided to take it (and the first sequel, Indigo's Star). But she did say that she wouldn't have picked it up because the cover was so horrible. "It looks like one of those cheap trashy chick-lit girlie books, you know" - I didn't know. I LOVE all the Casson Family covers. All I could say was "I suppose it is a bit..." and then trail off. I wanted to finish that sentence with "...beautiful" but couldn't.




Then today I was putting some books out and spotted a copy of The Darling Buds of May with a completely hideous cover. If my parents had had these editions there's no way on earth I'd have read them! They have the editions with cartoony covers, like their copy of Animal Farm had - which is why I picked it off the shelf at age 9. 1984 didn't have such a nice cover, but I read that next because I'd enjoyed Animal Farm so much.

Covers can indeed make or break a book. There are certain types of cover that I wouldn't pick up in a million years, and I may possibly be missing some good books because of it. We actually have a display at work that I set up called "Books that make you go mmm..." It's not a display of porn, it's books with beautiful covers.

These are some beautiful books.




Sunday, November 04, 2007

Soothing Sunday

I did intend to post about my dad's funeral today. It's a month since the funeral and I've written most of what I want to say about it, but it's still not quite right. So that will appear at some point I'm sure.

In the mean time I have been having what Anthony called "a proper Sunday". Since I've worked three out of the last four (and that one I was at Center Parcs) it's actually the first Sunday that we've had together at home since the beginning of September.

Last week I was longing for a Sunday at home, I spent the day at work looking forward to this week and it didn't disappoint.

We had a nice long lie-in and then Anthony went to the shop for the makings of bacon sarnies while I did some washing-up. This afternoon was spent watching V for Vendetta (which I watched on Wed but wanted Anthony to see) and stitching (me), WoWing (him) and generally chilling out.

This evening we are going out to the best curry place in town, the fabulous Cafe Champagne. We are also going to be enjoying the company of the lovely Miss Campbelli and her Jamie. It'll be great to see her, can't believe I haven't seen her for nearly two months!

Anthony will be on nights next week so I shall have lots of PC time and mum's stitching may get sadly neglected.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A very short post...

After a day of rushing around getting haircuts and seeing Anthonys folks, and before an evening spent at a friends party, the 15 minute gap in the middle is best filled with food.

Battered sausage and chips for me, the same plus a chicken balti pie for Anthony.

Yum.

Now, off to the party!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Essential Bookselling Traits

(inspired partly by a very strange conversation that I had with Faye).

A booksellers job is harder than you think. Not only do you have to sell books to people, you also have to decorate things with bits of cardboard, lift heavy weights, have the kind of brain that can solve complex crossword puzzles when all the clues are missing and also read minds.

You must not react angrily when a customer calls you a liar because the book they want to buy is only in hardback but they've seen it in paperback somewhere else, oh yes they have! Or they read in the paper that the new Anthony Horowitz book is out today and the fact that you only have it in hardback is obviously some kind of a con. I really thought that this particular customer was going to explode with indignation. In the end she just stormed out of the shop - and then came back today and bought it, from me, pretending that she didn't know who I was... "I saw this yesterday but didn't think your colleague could be right when she said it was only in hardback" - MY COLLEAGUE??? That would be the OTHER tall blonde girl we have on the staff, the one that is also me...

As well as the thick skin needed to deal with those people you also need actual thick skin. This is because the biggest enemy of the bookseller is papercuts - on my worst day I had a total of 15, that's including the one just above my right eye where a shelf strip whipped up and caught me. All those nice bright pieces of cardboard that you see, actually covered in blood smears on the back. (but we make a point never to bleed on the actual books).

The genius mind is needed to help out all the people who come in asking for that new book "about tractors", "the blue one that was on tv last night", "those bikers, the hunky ones", "that one about him off the telly, you know, the tall man" (answers at the end). This does often give a sense of achievement as you've been able to work out exactly what these people are talking about.

Heavy lifting comes in not only with lugging piles of books about the shop attempting to make neat piles on tables. The tables and browsers have to get there somehow after all. That 7ft tall dumpbin in the kids section? Dragged up the stairs by me and Faye (she pulled, I pushed) and then dragged into place by Chris as our arms had turned to jelly.

Heavy lifting is also needed when you are carrying one of those big armfuls of books and then a little voice says "Do you work here?" One day I will answer "No, I'm a shoplifter", but until then I will say yes and listen to their enquiry and then find them the book they want, all without putting the armful of books down because if you dare to do this the customer will look at you with disgust and decide that you are being rude.

Rude is something you cannot be when working in a shop. When customers walk past the big obvious pile of the new Ewan McGregor/Jeremy Clarkson/Wilbur Smith/Martina Cole and say "Do you have the new Ewan McGregor/Jeremy Clarkson/Wilbur Smith/Martina Cole book?", and you point and they say "Where?" and you walk over to the big pile of books and get one for them and they don't bother to say thank you and just sigh because it took you all of 10 seconds to walk over to the pile next to the customer and hand it to them, but you took too long....

Yes I have had one of those days...

So, to recap. Hide like a rhino, genius brain, very strong, ability to keep a smile on your face while you're wishing that they'd never been born.

Then you smile and say "Next please. Can I help anyone?"

"about tractors" - A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.
"the blue one that was on TV last night" - Planet Earth.
"those bikers, the hunky ones" - Hairy Bikers (not Ewan McGregor, lose five points).
"that one about him off the telly, you know, the tall man" - Paul O'Grady.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaBloPoMo

Well I thought I'd give it a shot. After all, there's enough random crap going on in my head to fill a million posts!

(and then Anthony phones and everything that was in my head that I could write about has gone)

I also decided to do this cos there's lots of things that I decide not to blog about as they're just little incidental thoughts that don't seem to connect up, and then a few days later when they do connect, I don't feel like I can write about them without backtracking.
Backtracking is something that I am trying not to do at the moment. I am thinking about past things, but not trying to go back to them. Partly I have been thinking about all the witchy stuff I used to do and the way I used to worship in my own way before it all got swamped under WitchGrove and the moot and other people saying that I wasn't doing things properly. Trying to start again with this is difficult as I do still hear those critical voices. I am getting better at ignoring them though.

So I am definitely rambling now! Going to play Warcraft instead, and tonight I might even cook myself something vaguely nutritious for dinner (my appetite is terrible at the moment, almost as bad as my short term memory) Now what was I going to do again?...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eeeep!



It's all Michelle's fault!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cold and Grumpy

That about sums me up at the moment. I'm having one of those times where I can't really get warm, then if I do I'm TOO warm. meh.

I also have a stinky cold.

I opted out of the world last night and curled up on the sofa to read my new book The Mitfords - Letters Between Six Sisters which I bought with my dad's birthday voucher that he never got to spend. (I figured I'd better buy something vaguely "serious" with it). It's brilliant and absorbed my attention all evening. Poor Anthony had no option but to spend the evening going through dungeons on WoW.

If it hadn't been for last night I don't know how I would have coped with today. Vast quantities of stupid questions from customers, an overly concerned colleague who can't seem to stop saying "how are you/your mum/your sister/Anthony/the cats?" and then today told me she'd been thinking of things to do for my divorce party. I know she means well but what!!! *deep breathing*

I did have a rather nice moment when I discovered something on our work discussion boards. Ages ago I had a problem with Lynx needing Irish postcodes (you just put EIRE in the box instead) and a nice chap called myincubliss_in_canterbury helped me out. Then when someone else had the same problem I answered them. I got thanked and told them to send their thanks to myincubliss as he was the true hero. Today I was on there looking for something and happened to click on myincubliss's profile - where in the quotes section is my comment thanking them! That instantly made my day!

In other news that is not very interesting but about as interesting as it gets, I went to the library last night and got myself some books to read including the new Phil Rickman book The Fabric of Sin. I like these books, they always turn up at the right moments. I read the first few quite a long while ago (in fact, I borrowed them from Mab which puts it about 2004) and then have found the new ones as and when. I haven't read the previous one but will pick that up tomorrow, in the meantime this one wants reading now. It's a bit ghosty which means I shall not have to read too much in bed as Anthony is back in Brum tonight. It also meant that when I was in the bathroom and reading it (long having finished what I'd gone in there to do) and the mirror fell off the wall - I jumped very slightly. I didn't squeak though!

I am going to my warm sofa (with hot water bottle, blankets and cats) to eat some Wispas and read some more.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hmmmm


Bagpuss Feet
Originally uploaded by Petronella Rose.

Being so sleepy all the time has been worrying me slightly, but I have found out the reason why...

I'm slowly turning into Bagpuss.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Homework

I have been having a day off today. A planned one because I worked Sunday rather than a phoning work at 8.45am to tell them I can't face getting out of bed day off(haven't hit that barrier yet but aware it may happen at any moment). I had a nice lie-in until 10ish because Anthony stayed at his house last night so I didn't get woken up at 6am. Since my sleeping is erratic at the moment any chance to get more is good.

Any hoo, I had to do a bit of tidying and sorting out today as Emily and Brychan will be staying the night here on Thursday before we head to Center Parcs for mum's birthday weekend. I didn't want Emily to walk in and announce that certain things hadn't actually be tidied up since she was here for Harry Potter (the boxes full of stuff in her bedroom for example) so thought I would attempt to add to the housework I did last week with some organising of clothes etc.

I didn't actually feel like it when I got up so I spent five minutes on the sofa with my new inspirational book.

*********
GentleArt
The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket.
yarnstorm
*********


It's about domesticity rather than domestication - the difference being that the former is about homemaking and the latter housework.

Now I'm definitely far from being the best at housework, I still don't own an iron, hate washing-up (mainly because sinks are always too low for me so my back hurts!), hoover when I feel like it and only dust because my feather dusters are too beautiful not to use them.
But domesticity I like. When I cook things I tend to enjoy it (but hate the washing-up bit so much it puts me off),I like making things for my home, I like choosing things to put in it, I like having things in my house that say that it's mine. Things that say "Kate".

Anyway, after a flick through looking at gorgeous pictures of quilts and fairy buns I got myself up and blitzed the bedroom - putting all the clean washing away and sorting out all the dirty stuff. I'm quite good at remembering to do washing, but not very good at putting it away once it's dried. The spare bed is usually its resting place but since Emily needs it all clothes have been banished to the wardrobe instead.

Once I'd done that and had a general tidy round I read a bit more book.

This meant that I then went and found the hammer and put up my fairy lights in the living room as I've been meaning to do since we moved in. I love fairy lights. I have them round my bedstead already but had been dissuaded from putting the ones up in the living room by a certain man who shall remain anonymous. But hey, it's not that long til Christmas now (and I'm sticking to that excuse).

I then had a wander round the house with my camera and took some pictures of bits of my house that are me. Some of it is just little things like my new oven gloves and watering can. Other things have come together as a collection that will change as needed but will still reflect me. It very much made me think of this post by Keris

So yes, today has been a day where I have made a discovery that I may not enjoy housework, but I do enjoy homework.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gosh I was a bit miserable last night wasn't I?

That was a bad day, today is going to be a good one.

On good days I am grateful that I got to spend so much time with my dad when I was younger and that I haven't (that WE haven't) then had to watch him change so much through illness that the old dad vanished.

After writing last nights post I spoke to mum and Emily. Mum told me to "stop wallowing. Imagine how bad it is for me!" - In vain did I protest that I wasn't, just having a bad day and that I was was worrying about her. I got told off for buying a book on grief "it'll tell you what to feel" and told off for associating James Taylor with dad "He didn't like his music, I do!". Ah well, my mother is coping in her own way as Emily kept telling me.

Emily has told me off for worrying about her so I shall try to stop (I said TRY) and instead follow her advice: "Worry about yourself, ignore mum she's never really understood you, do what you need to do to get through this."

I love my sister.

So today I am up early (ugh) for the early shift at work which means I get to finish early and spend more time with my man. We will watch the last episode of Scrubs Season Three (Turk and Carla's Wedding) and eat something that might be slightly nutritious.

Life is ok, not great, not terrible, just carrying on with a bit of a gap in it but not one that stops the whole damn thing forever.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Everything is broken at the moment.

My memory is shot, I have to keep making lists of things I need to do but then I keep losing the lists. It took me five minutes to get a yogurt for breakfast this morning - I got it from the fridge and went into the living room, then back for a spoon, then back again because I'd taken the yogurt back into the kitchen with me and then forgotten to pick it up again.

I can't listen to music, most of my music is stuff my dad listened to or stuff that sounds like it - so most of it makes me cry. I was doing fine at work listening to Sting but when the CD changed to James Taylor I had to go hide in Goods In so my sobs wouldn't scare the customers.

I forget for about five minutes at a time maybe, then I remember that the world has completely changed and the bottom drops out of my stomach. I see a book or hear someone say something and think "I must remember to..." and then stop and try to breathe through a throat that's just closed up.

I've been trying to write on here since Saturday night when we got back but every time I've tried nothing has come out. I keep thinking of blog posts in the middle of the night but I'm aware if I get up to write it then it will be gone and I can't get the words down on paper fast enough to get it all out before it goes again. I keep thinking that I have to get my thoughts about his funeral down on here because it was so long ago now, and then I remember it was only last Thursday.

I can't begin to think how this is for mum and Emily, mum being in an empty house and Emily being so young and already "half an orphan". I start to feel bad because it's got to be much worse for them and then feeling guilty for the way I feel and then Anthony will tell me that I am allowed to feel like this.

(and now I feel guilty cos I just opened the door to the milkman and had to explain why I was crying and why I've been away so much and he was just so lovely)

When I had the miscarriages and when Andy left I felt terrible, the worst I'd ever felt, but I knew everything would be ok in the end because my dad said it would be. But now he's not there to tell me everything will be ok and I can't believe anyone else.

I know this will pass, I know that one day I will not automatically think of phoning him when Orient aren't unlucky or when Alonso crashes through a fit of pique. I know this MUST be true - I just wish it didn't have to be.

I'm so glad they came to visit in August, that we went out for dinner and talked about old holidays and silly family jokes, and that when mum said something hurtful to me dad just rolled his eyes at her and made me feel better. That although I wasn't there when he died my last memories are of him smiling and joking and being absolutely himself.

He was the person that knew me best. We are so very alike. He made me who I am. At least I don't have to be scared of losing him anymore, since I've already lost him.

Now my terror takes the form of the next phone call being bad news about Emily or Anthony or mum. I'm not sleeping at night because I'm not tired, but I'm yawning all day. I'm either starving hungry or feeling sick so eating is a gamble, by the time I've cooked something I feel sick again.

Everything is broken and I don't even know how to start fixing it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Homeness.

Home is strange. It's mainly strange cos dad isn't here, although it still only feels like he's just in the garden or in another room. He's just popped out for a second, not died and gone forever. The other reason it's strange here is that this is the longest time I've spent in this house in five years, which means it's the longest time in five years that I've spent with my mother.

I love my mother, in a way I'm glad it was dad and not her (partly cos if it had been her I'd be working out a way to move back here for good to keep an eye on dad) but it doesn't change the fact that we get on better 150 miles apart. So far I think she's made me cry at least twice each day - and that's not cry about dad (although I'm closer to crying because of it) but cry cos she's said or done something. At the moment I am either perfect, or doing everything wrong - usually both at the same time.

The thing that is stupidly hard, is trying to get computer access. Now I knew I wasn't going to get hours of it, but getting five minutes is a fight. I'm also not allowed to blog or go on Facebook - and the blogging thing also includes reading my blog to look for comments, not just the actual blogging thing! Tonight she made me promise not to even look at my blog but she said I could look at my Facebook page (I think she hasn't realised you have to log on for that). So this blog is coming to you via Anthony, I've emailed this to him and he will cut 'n' paste it for me. Being unable to blog is a lot more restrictive than I thought. I can never handwrite fast enough to get my thoughts down while I can type fast enough. So all sorts of "deep and meaningfuls" have been lost to the ether and my poor silly brain.

We are busy doing things to get everything ready for Thursday but I still have lots of downtime when mum has to go make phonecalls or write emails. Thiis is currently mostly filled by sitting on the sofa working on her birthday cross-stitch (which is coming along wonderfully and she loves the fact that dad knew about it and kinda helped pick it) and watching the first season of Scrubs. I haven't seen much of it before. Partly cos it was always Emily's thing, but also cos it was something I wanted to see from the beginning and in order (like CSI). Darling Emily started educating me on Saturday by putting on her Season One DVDs and today I watched 11 episodes. Not all in one go, but three or four at a time. It's weird watching something that's only 30 mins an episode, can't get used to it. But I am enjoying it very much and hope that Season Two is round here somewhere so that I can carry straight on with it. I am enjoying finding out where some of her jokes come from, I watched the "Banana Hammock" episode earlier and burst out laughing.

Yeah, so apart from the lack of bloggage (and being able to read other peopels), life here is actually good. Yes I still have bad moments where I cry about dad, but the shock hasn't worn off yet so I still get to float around in a peaceful cloud. (Just give it a few more weeks...) Talking of peaceful clouds, I'm going to go have a hot chocolate with marshmallows on top and explain to mum that I haven't been blogging but emailing, and leave Internet Explorer open so she can check up on me...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The saving grace of solitaire.

I'm playing lots of solitaire. It means I'm doing something, while at the same time I'm not. My mind is busy on one level but free to think on others.

Today I have been playing solitaire and listening to this and crying a bit (ok, a lot).

I had stopped crying. It was like my body had dried out. The main problem is that my brain is still not convinced that all of this is real. As my mum said this morning, it's like it happened two days ago but also two months ago.

Dad is going to be buried in the fabulously lovely Herongate Wood next week. He'd left no instructions about wheres and hows (bloody typical) so we've got him a plot by the pond where there are moorhens in spring. As the homepage says there's no need for hearses and limos and very rushed half-hour slots at the crem all of which he hated. The funny thing is until mum found the place, we had no idea it was there although we've driven along that road hundreds of times. That's rather the point I think.

We're also probably going to get him a bench in the local park. On our Saturday library trips to Chelmsford we'd park near Chelmsford Park and then walk through (therefore avoiding the multi-storey car parks which he disliked). There is a bench that we'd walk past with a plaque on it that says "In Loving Memory of Ted and Cis". Now we have no idea who Ted and Cis were, but every time we'd walk past it he'd go "Oh, I remember!". So a bench for other people to make that joke about is sodding perfect.

Everything seems to happening very fast but also very slowly. Presumably time will return itself to normal at some point. Probably when I get back to work and have just five minutes to go before my lunch break...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Darkness

I'm rather confused at the moment.

When the world ends everything's supposed to stop right? Things aren't supposed to just carry on. At the very least there should be a moment when everything stops.

All I got was the TV blowing up.

Spain was lovely, got sunburnt and relaxed a lot and then got back to England at 3am yesterday morning. Crashed at Anthony's for a few hours, went to Tesco for food, went to Waterstone's for the new Pratchett and then came home just as the phone rang.

It was my mother ringing to tell me that my dad was in hospital. That he'd gone in on Thurs/Fri with a bit of a pain and that then all of a sudden she had a phonecall on Sunday to say that instead of thinking about him coming home on Monday, she should get there as soon as possible.

Unfortunately there was no point in me trying to get there as soon as possible. Instead we did sensible things like putting the food in the freezer and putting a load of washing on and feeding the cats treats.

Then we put the British Superbikes on to distract me. Then the TV went "buh-dooooooo" and stopped working. Then mum phoned about ten minutes later to say that dad had died about ten minutes before.

Bastard took my TV with him.

I think we are going to have to be careful with the family sense of humour. It is dark at the best of times but at the moment is very very black and leads to hysterical laughter followed by flooding.

Like the fact that my mother can now watch exactly what she wants on TV and has claimed possession of the "preciouses" (remotes) but then got all shaky when thinking about the copy of the Radio Times next to his chair with all the programmes he wanted to watch this week circled.

We are all over the place at the moment, literally. I'm in Wolves and Emily is in Cardiff. She went back yesterday morning when everything was still ok.

Anthony has had to go to work which is one of the reasons I'm up so bloody early. I don't have to even think about work until I have to ring RichieFingers towards the end of the week. Poor Richie, he was so very unintentionally funny on the phone yesterday when I phoned to say I probably would not be in today. He was all "Oh. What? No! What? What? No! WHAT?" Darling boy.

I spoke to my cousin Richard last night as mum couldn't face ringing my Aunt Sylv and so I rang Richard to ask him for her number. But he was also a star and said he would tell her (and his dad) and then pass on my number.

No one even knew he was in hospital cos everything happened so fast. But fast is good in a way as I wouldn't have wanted him hanging on and on for days. He would have hated it too, partly cos it's £3.50 a day for the TVs in Basildon Hospital. He was whinging about this, but then enjoying watching the football results.

Bloody Orient lost their first game of the season too. And he never got his birthday present - the programme for Leyton Orient.v.Arsenal in the FA Cup Semi-Final game from Saturday 8th April 1978. The game prior to this was the one that led to me being born.

I will be here for a few days and then will go home. Mum wants to be on her own for a little bit as it will make things easier afterwards. Emily is stuck in Cardiff until Thursday as she has to enrol on Wednesday (essential for student loan). I am worried about my baby sister. I am ALWAYS worried about my baby sister, but I am extra worried at the moment. Being worried about her is helpful cos then I am not thinking.

I will be spending a lot of time on the computer trying not to think. Thinking's overrated.

It also means I shall be doing lots of work on the cross-stitch for my mother.

And contributing to global warming by using acres of tissues.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Strangely satisfying

I just changed the countdown code for the Grand Prix from Italy to Belgium...then I realised with satisfaction that I will be on holiday when I watch the Belgian one, so I have added the code for Japan underneath. Possibly a little bit geeky, but satisfying.

In other news we went shopping for holiday clothes yesterday, and after being disappointed by Matalan (the Wolverhampton one is a clearance one) and buying me a fluffysoft new fleece in Next (very suitable for Spain I'm sure) we hit a successful run in Merry Hell.

Ok, so Anthony got lucky first, seriously, in the first hour all we found was stuff for him. But then we found some nice things in Peacocks (that phrase just sounds so wrong), got me a beautiful new t-shirt in New Look, and bought me THE sexiest dress in the world in West One.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Parents warned of additives link

Well durr!!!

My mother could have told you this 23 years ago when I wasn't allowed orange squash due to the fact it made me uncontrollable.

(and I've had a much better day today)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

To Do List

  1. Wake up to Foley purring in my ear.
  2. Have fairly productive morning at work.
  3. Have horribly frustrating and unproductive afternoon at work.
  4. Walk Campbelli to her car and share rants about work.
  5. Get home to letter from bank informing me that because I have gone £30 over my overdraft (due to a £30 charge they did not inform me about), they will be charging me £30.
  6. Throw boots across room in frustration and burst into tears.
  7. Put on "Mr Brightside" very loudly and sing along.
  8. Make delicious Black Russian.
  9. Sing along loudly to "Fat Bottomed Girls", then turn music down as remember that double-glazing is pants and if I can hear the "brothers" sitting on the wall outside, they can hear me.
  10. Blog.
  11. Check email/blogs/FaceBook.
  12. Put on pizza for tea.
  13. Make another delicious Black Russian.
  14. Earn 90 gold on Warcraft. while eating pizza, watching CSI and making more Black Russians when required.
  15. Buy flying mount.
  16. Go to bed feeling better.

Selection from Thursday's To-Do List.

  1. Buy more vodka and Tia Maria for making Black Russians.
  2. Go to bank.
  3. Have better day at work.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Haircuts and other girlish things

Now we all know I'm not that good at being girlish, in fact I sometimes think that Emily got all those genes - and jeans come to that as I only have one pair of girls jeans and the rest are mens ones, cos they are long enough in the leg!

One of the things she is good at and I'm not is haircuts. She always has beautiful hair and what's more she knows how to DO things with it. When my hair was long I would stick it in a ponytail, now it's short I wash, add wax and then go. No fuss. But this does mean that I tend to neglect my hair and only ever get it cut once in a blue moon.

It was a blue moon today.

Anthony was a darling and sent me off to T&G so it would be nice and short and under control for our holiday (in 12 days, but I'm not counting) as I hadn't had it cut for a few months and it was getting more than a little unkempt.

I did start to worry when after explaining to the guy that I wanted choppy layers, looking a bit like lovely Meg Ryan if he could manage it, he announced that he was thinking more Victoria Beckham and that I needed to be more feminine. So he washes my hair (always pure bliss) and then starts chopping away while I sit there with my eyes shut, only partly cos of getting hair in my eyes.

When he'd finished I was unsure, then I went over the road to work (T&G's is across and then three shops down) and realised again why I love my workmates.

Faye said "Wow" and that she nearly didn't recognise me, Chris gave me a thumbs up and said it looked good (extra kudos to him for noticing despite being male), Fiona saw me coming up the stairs to see Campbelli and said "Wow, here comes Kate looking gorgeous" and then Little Miss Campbelli told me that it looks fab. (Aren't they all so so wonderful).

So I am now feeling better about my hair, although I still don't know who it will behave once it has been washed and styled by me instead of Ruan (who was saying how my hair seems quite straight and under control naturally - afraid he got that VERY wrong), but we shall see.

Here we are then...



















Suitable for a week on the Costa Brava?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Slow Stitching

I don't think I'm going to get this finished in time for my mothers birthday...





















It's a lot harder than I thought it would be, partly because of the colours. There are four main shades of green and four of yellow and I have to do the lightest then 2nd darkest, then the darkest, then the 2nd lightest. (So shades A,B,C,D in order from light to dark have to be stitched A,C,D,B). Otherwise it's hard to tell which shade goes where. B is definately the one I have to do last each time which is a slight pain at the moment - you see the big empty space on the left, in the middle, that's pretty much all B... I am still enjoying it though.
It also hasn't been going too well as Anthony has been on evenings for the last few weeks, and is until we go on holiday. This means that the computer is all mine (mwahahahaha) and so I have been either tatting about online or playing WoW instead of sewing while watching films. Tonight is Veronica Mars night so I shall attempt to resist WoW and do some more work on it.

Other than not doing sewing I haven't been busy. I have been doing a diet that was working brilliantly - until my parents came to visit and I fell off it for the weekend, now I don't want to start it again. Basically it's a low-carb diet, I get to eat lots of cheese and smoked salmon, drink loads of water, but no chocolate, booze, pasta or bread etc. I managed a week (and lost 6 lbs) then missed a couple of days (last weekend), then did another week (and lost another lb) but came off it on Friday when we went for Chinese. Day 5 is the worst day as that's when I'm exhausted and my body is going mental for sugar, then Day 6 is good. I think I shall go back on it on Thursday as that way day 5 is my Monday off rather than my Sunday at work.

The diet thing is cos I'm fed up with carrying about 2 extra stone of "grief" (it's the two stone I put on through comfort eating when George and my Grandad died and I was off work with a broken arm) as it's a bad memory of a bad time. I just want to get back into the jeans I wore when I moved up here and stop my knees aching so much in cold/damp weather. It's getting easier the more I do it, partly cos most of the bad food has gone from my house and also cos I love the fact that eating peanut butter from the jar by the spoonful is sort-of allowed.

I figure two more weeks of being strict will have lost the first stone, then when we fly out to Spain in Sept (which I am sooooooo looking forward to) I can relax for a week. It's all-inclusive too so it would be rude not to drink....

Oh yes, my holiday - Anthony will only let me take three books! How will I cope! I've just read the first Lee Child book and enjoyed it so I plan to make Alf take some of those so I have so extra books. But what should my three be?
Can anyone recommend me a good holiday read?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Gone'd

My ability to blog seems to have vanished into the ether.

I think of something to write about, but when I start to write, it stops.

This is why it has been so quiet and Kimi having a shit has been at the top of my blog for so long.

I am trying to find my blogging ability so some posts should hopefully start appearing again soon.

I hope I find it soon as I have already been spoken to sharply about my lack of posting, and if I don't post soon I am worried that Campbelli will find something to stand on so she can clip me round the ear for not writing.

I go to hunt down inspiration...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Grand Prix

Gosh I rather dislike that boy (listen to me being good and not swearing like I want to).

For your viewing pleasure I bring you Hamilton and Alonso before today's incident...




...and Kimi, being his fabulous self. This one's for Emily:

Friday, August 03, 2007

Book Queries

Books I have been asked for recently:

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Yes, it's a real book)

That new childrens one about the rubber ducks - not 10 Little Rubber Ducks but Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks (which is not a childrens book)

The second book by the fridge guy - that'll be this one then.

Today I also had a phone call where I was asked the following:

Caller: I'm looking for a book
Kate: Yes....
C: It's called Downpour.
K: There's nothing coming up, can you give me the authors name.
C: I'll have to spell it, D-W-O-P-S and the first name is Wayne.
K: *sigh*
K: Nothing coming up for that (thinking: but you know that don't you)
C: Can you just repeat the book you're looking for please.
K: *sigh* Downpour by Wayne Dwops.

Then I sighed again, rolled my eyes and hung-up.

It turns out that I was phoned by Scott Mills. Not only that but Emily heard me on the radio. She said it hadn't sounded like me (which is a small bonus I guess).

I'm just doing the listen again thing from his site...

Update! The one that's in todays broadcast isn't me! Yay! That's probably why it didn't sound like me. It was also slightly after 10 that I was phoned which could very well mean that it was either them recording ahead, or some bored student copying the radio.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reading my subconscious

I'm reading all sorts of things at the moment. After Potter I picked up Hexwood to reread as I wanted something fantasyish but not too over the top. I then reread her latest book The Pinhoe Egg which means that in the next few weeks I'll probably go through all of the Diana Wynne Jones books.

I also read Flora Segunda of Crackpot Hall which Campbelli had a proof of. It was ok, took a while for me to get into it and it's made me want to read some Sheri S. Tepper which I'll probably move onto after I've finished all the DWJ books.

I've bought, but not read yet, the fantastic reissues of Just Another Angel, Angel Touch and Angel Hunt by Mike Ripley. I can still remember when the third one of these had just been published and dad found it in Chelmsford library. The grin on his face as he said "Look what I've found" and flashed the front cover at me. I'm so glad they've been reissued at last.
They also have nice introductions by him which talk about how he started writing them, the tv rights and all sorts of other interesting asides. (This more than makes up for the fact that the insides are not as beautiful as the covers).

I also shot through Lean Mean Thirteen last night, Janet Evanovich's latest Stephanie Plum novel. All good fun as usual, shootouts, Grandma looking for a man and the eternal dilemma of Morelli or Ranger...
Extra: Keris has an essay in Perfectly Plum which I'm planning to buy in August.

My reading matter yesterday affected my brain...no honestly! I've been rereading Books, Baguettes & Bedbugs and The Child That Books Built and reading The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop for the first time. This means that I had a fabulous dream this morning.

I was walking down a little arcade alleyway when it started to rain. I ducked into a dress shop that I'd been in before to find a prom dress (not in real life, in another dream. I seem to have a remarkable internal world in dreams, places pop up repeatedly). I looked at the clothes for a while and then wandered through a door into this huge bookshop (again, I'd been in there before). It's in a huge stone market hall and most of the stuff is second-hand. Big old bookcases just leaning against the stone walls and everything all mixed in.

I walked through the halls looking at the shelves and found copies of all three of the books above, then I turned out into a small courtyard. I asked if I could take the books into the stall on the other side (it's like lots of separate bookstalls in there) and then went over there for a look around.

I found a large box of Chalet School paperbacks, 60's Armada covers (the ones I love) and all brand new and shiny - and all 10p each! I handed my sister (who'd just appeared) the list of the ones I already own (which I don't actually carry with me, I'm not quite that bad) and then spotted a big shelf of foreign children's books.

On there were a selection of Moomin flashcards (which I'm pretty sure don't exist) and lots of Babapapa books. I was just about to take my armfuls of books to the counter when my flipping alarm went off and they were lost to me! I shall get back into that shop at some point and try to sit and read them!

I have a craving for a visit to a second-hand bookshop now, not one of the charity shops that never have anything good, a proper twisty stair cased shop with treasure waiting to be discovered. Now I just have to find one, I wonder if Anthony would like to go on a drive on Saturday...