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melting but not down

Thursday, 27 November 2008

random Thursday thoughts

I drove to Nottingham and back again today for a meeting in the city and I didn't even get to see beloved son as he was stuck at work. Thank goodness for Sat Nav or I'd never have found the office. I was tired driving back even though I stopped for something to eat and drink, but I did discover a way to prevent nodding off at the wheel....buttock boogie! Just find a lively tune with a solid beat and get those buns dancing in rhythm! I even managed to fit in a sort of belly-dance ripple. A few more journeys like that and I can forget about going to the gym; oh ok, thinking about going to the gym.

Don't you just hate it when leaving a warm, stuffy building you go outside and take a deep breath of cool, fresh air only it isn't - instead you breathe in the toxic cigarette smoke of the addicts huddled in the doorway. There's this weird double-think about smoking - a practice recognised as harmful to smokers', bystanders' and unborn children's health, possibly fatal and linked to all sorts of maladies that put a drain on the Health Service BUT sanctioned by employers who turn a blind eye to smokers taking regular breaks from work to chat together outside while the rest of us get on with the work. Can you imagine employers' reaction if non-smokers downed tools every hour and stood around in groups gossiping or if employees requested special treatment for other addictions ... "of course, Fred, by all means use the staff room to snort coke/inject heroin/down a few double whiskies. You'll find razor blades/mirrors/needles etc in the cupboard next to the day bed." I think not.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The stuff of nightmares....

How creepy is this?!


Woolworth's is set to go into administration, tens of thousands of jobs at 815 stores are under threat.
Sad news, even though I haven't shopped at Woollies for years (so I suppose I have contributed to its decline). I saved my pocket money up and bought my first records there, 7" 45 rpm vinyl singles like Helen Shapiro's Walking Back to Happiness, Frank Ifield's I Remember You (there's a great joke in there but its too rude to print), Peter and Gordon's A World Without Love, Cilla Black's Anyone Who Had a Heart, the Animals' House of the Rising Sun. Anyone else have fond memories?

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

is it a full moon?

On the way home from mum's tonight, a young lad drove his(?) car straight across my path when he should have given me right of way; good job I wasn't going as fast as he was.

A few minutes later, another callow youth was travelling on foot heading towards me on my side of the road, mouthing away and doing a strange marching and arm flinging dance. I drove around him.

I wonder whether both arrived home safely.

Monday, 24 November 2008

when I'm old, I won't say....

  • I don't have a life, its just an existence
  • Well, they'll be old themselves one day (or substitute 'you' for 'they' etc.)
  • Don't book me in for Christmas dinner, I'll be alright on my own on Christmas Day
  • Its true what they say, laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone

I hate Mondays.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

burning the candle at both ends

Its just after 6pm on Sunday evening and I'm ready for bed. It has been a hectic weekend:

Friday afternoon - accompanied husband to the doctor's for his blood test results - apparently there's nothing seriously wrong with him! (Big relief as he was fearing prostate cancer - I'm just gobsmacked his liver's A-OK).
Friday night - straight to the pub after the doctor's to celebrate with friends. Picked beloved son up from Darlington station and brought him back to the pub - he'd made the journey from Nottingham to be with his dad as it was his (dad's) birthday on Thursday and he (son) had been worrying about the test results.
Saturday morning - early start with mum as I'd booked a hairdresser's appointment for her. Surprised her by picking up son at the end of the road and after the hairdresser's we three went for a meal before dropping son off at a friend's as they were going to the Boro match (they lost 3 - 1).
Saturday afternoon - Meanwhile...took mum to Morrisons (sigh) then went home, quick kip before....
Saturday night - Joining daughter, son and husband and thousands (well about 30) friends in the pub to remember an old friend who died a year ago at this time. We then took over a restaurant (apart from one table - poor things!) for a very noisy Indian meal. Home to bed.
Sunday morning - up at 5.30am to drive son back to Nottingham as there were no trains that would get him there in time to start work. After a hellish 2 and a half hour journey in hail, sleet and rain, struggling to stay awake, we arrived. Straight back on the motorway to head back for home; not even chewing toffees and swigging coca cola could keep me from dozing off at the wheel several times, don't know how I managed to get back in one piece - scary.
Sunday lunchtime - short nap then off out for lunch at the pub we'll be going to on Christmas Day.
Sunday tea-time - in bed by 6.30pm.
Sunday evening - back up again a few hours later, leaving snoring husband behind, and joined daughter in the back room. Which brings us up to now - 11.30 pm.

Sputter, sputter, fzzt.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Don't you just hate....

  • people who dawdle in front of you in the shop when you're on your lunch break
  • clothes that keep falling off the hangers while you're looking through the rack
  • people who say 'bare with me' before they keep you waiting on the phone
  • trying to look professional in meetings while trying to fan away a hot flush
  • the way bra straps always slip off your shoulders
  • the relentless march of time

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

I have another blog you might like to check out.....

.... or not, its up to you, I won't be offended, well I might be a teensy weensy bit disappointed, I may have to sulk for a day or two, but I will get over it, eventually.......

Monday, 17 November 2008

Sorry Gina!

You left me the same comment twice and when I tried to delete one before accepting the other, they both disappeared! Please comment again, I didn't have time to link to your blog.

Prozac - 18 weeks

I've been giving some thought lately to how I'm feeling and if you'd asked me yesterday, I would have said "just like the old me, before the anxiety and panic crept in". But am I? Here I am, doing what I've been doing every morning for goodness knows how long - its as though I can't get on with the day until I've checked my blog for comments, read other people's, followed interesting links, maybe even posted something myself. I could probably get to work an hour earlier on a morning if I didn't switch the computer on. Have I become stuck in an obsessive compulsive blogging rut? Or is it something to do with connecting to other people with similar problems in their lives? Lol, yeah ok, both.

Right, this is silly, its 08:14 and I'm still in my dressing gown. I WILL get ready for work. Any minute now.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

How long does it take to choose a meal?

If you're my mum, 30 tummy-rumbling, cruet-fiddling, clock-watching, letter-spotting, tune-humming, exasperated-texting MINUTES!

And in the end, she left most of her (starter-sized) cheese and salsa filled potato skins (2) with salad.


I suppose this is mean of me. Feel free to chastise.

how beautiful are these?

I found this very clever lady while rooting around on ebay

and sometimes surprisingly sweet

You were right, clippy mat!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Friday, 14 November 2008

and reeeeeeeeeeeeee-lax

Passed the tenancy check with flying colours. In fact the HA rep was so impressed, we may be getting some improvements we asked for....watch this space.

And still on the subject of good news, that Fenn Wright Manson 2-piece... I had another look at it ...its not devore, its PURE SILK!!!!!!!! The fabric is semi-sheer except where the flower petals are woven thicker and look like satin. I am sooooooo lucky.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

I came home at lunchtime to.....

  1. Have something to eat - done, the remains of yesterday's quiche
  2. De-poop the garden - it's pissing down, what do you think?
  3. Hoover the front room and upstairs - well they don't look THAT bad
  4. Wash 2 (or is it 3?) days' worth of pots - hello......I'm blogging.......

The housing association rep comes tomorrow to do a tenancy check. Aaargh. S'gonna be a long night tonight.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I'm not a boxing fan but......

....this one's a cracker! (The commentary has its moments too)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Links mended to BBC Quotes of the Day post

Thanks Corny, for bringing my ineptitude to my attention! Actually it was a good thing because I went onto Blogger's help site and found a much easier way to insert links than the hit and miss method I'd been using. Cheers m'dear!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Prozac - 17 weeks - the story so far

Well, the fact that I haven't reported on my weekly Prozac progress for quite a while speaks volumes, I suppose! Nothing much has changed. Generally I'm coping ok with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune although have felt a little stressed at work lately because we're going through a hectic patch where everything is priority and needed doing yesterday. I manage ok though, just tell myself that it will all get done sooner or later and ITS ONLY A JOB lol.

I'm getting quite good at adopting the gallic shrug. Like when our beautiful newly decorated hall, on closer inspection, needed touching up where the black paint on the banister had dripped onto the white paint below and the paint on the wall stopped a little short of the door frame, revealing the terracotta underneath. Not to worry - spent quite a pleasant, although fumey, Sunday putting it all to rights. Its going to look gorgeous when finished off with a new carpet. At the risk of boring you, the colour scheme is white paintwork on all the wood except for the black banister and rails and 'Egyptian Cotton' on the (newly skimmed) walls - a lovely, warm, very light grey. I'm thinking a black carpet with lots of flecky bits in it. Should disguise the dog hairs and bits of fluff/crumbs/dead leaves etc!

I think I'm starting to sleep better, perhaps because I've had a few sensible bedtimes - I've even been dreaming - yippee! AND I've found some brilliant charity shop bargains over the last few weeks:
  • one deep rose pink long sleeved top, perfect for 'wear pink to work' day a couple of Fridays ago (a few quid)
  • one M&S black and white tweedy flirty skirt suit (£8!)
  • one 'little black dress' - elegant sleeveless, cowl neck, cut on the bias, black slip dress covered by black chiffon over dress about 4" longer than the slip. Wore it with a lacey coral pink shrug to a 60th birthday party last Saturday and felt the bees knees! (less than a tenner, I think)
  • one beautiful Fenn Wright Manson devore top and skirt in shades of grey and pink. Gorgeous bias cut skirt with handkerchief points, I feel like a flapper in it especially with my new hairdo! (£20)
  • the most spectacular Precis Petite evening dress and matching stole - I have never owned anything as glam as this - pleated light grey chiffon covered in silver bugle beads, empire line and the hem dipping down into points at the side. The sort of dress you would wear when standing at the prow of a ship with your arms stretched out and a baby-faced 'actor' copping a feel from behind. Definitely a New Year's Eve dress (if I can still fit into it by then.) (£25)

I've probably forgotten a few things but those were the highlights.

Its a quarter to eleven. Goodnight folks!

More of the BBC's wonderful 'Quotes of the Day'

"Right on! " said I about this.... Bendy-buses with the slogan "There's probably no God" could soon be running on the streets of London

and oh how I laughed at this (looks like I'll be getting that telegram from the Queen after all.... 105-year-old virgin says no sex the key to long life

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Oh dear, I shouldn't laugh....

One of the Quotes of the Week from the BBC website:

'"I don't mind taking my clothes off for a room full of screaming women - just so long as no one suddenly shouts too loud" - Stripper Andy Latham, who suffers from a rare condition that means a loud noise makes his whole body stiffen.
Andy is one of only a small number of people in Britain to suffer from Hyperekplexia, a genetic disorder that causes an exaggerated startle reflex. And he is also a member of an equally select group - disabled dance act The Crippendales

Am I a terrible person for finding the above funny on more than one level? Oh OK, I'll go and put the hair shirt on. Again.

Oh crikey, have just re-read the post and realised how offensive some readers might find it. Just to clarify - one of the things that made me laugh was not the concept of a disabled dance act - splendid idea, it was the pun on the Chippendales. Please don't stop dropping by!

Lol, have just had another thought - what if the backing music is too loud - will poor old Andy be the statue the others dance around?

reality check

If you think you're not looking too bad for your age, do not, I repeat DO NOT, under any circumstances, look down at your face reflected in a mirror on your lap. It's horrific.

Should you accidentally catch sight of your face detaching itself from it's bone structure and heading for the floor, before you reach for the booze and pills, reverse the trauma by looking up to the ceiling and holding the mirror above your face. Instant face lift. Works for me.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A long day but a good one

The day started at 5am, when I moved my car so that my husband could get his van out to go to work. After putting away all the clothes I'd discarded in a heap on the bedroom chair during the week and drinking the cup of tea he made me, I went back to sleep. Up again at 6.45 for the usual morning ablutions, including a 'bit' of blogging that resulted in my not getting to work until 10! (Good job I've plenty of lieu time to use up.) Just me in the office today and I was kept really busy dealing with queries as well as reports, had quite a few laughs with colleagues and resolved several problems , including coming up with an innovative solution to a system that isn't working well at the moment. Hopefully it will be implemented and everyone will say 'for she's a jolly good fellow'!

At lunchtime I nipped home to wrap mum's present and write her card (she's 89 today) and to let the dog out but she didn't want to go. She didn't want to go again at tea-time, in fact she's only now gone out for the first time since this morning - wish my bladder were that robust! Off to mum's, arriving about 6.30. Lovely daughter already there. She had bought mum a card too and a box of Thornton's chocolates as a present from her and her brother (who phoned mum today to wish her happy birthday - he phoned yesterday too but being deaf, she couldn't hear him, thought he was a nuisance call and hung up !). The book about Middleton St George airfield was a big success (phew!) as was the meal we went out for. Mum ate more than usual but still managed to leave a piece of cajun chicken which she gave to me for our dog. Back at mum's, our lovely friend S came round and finished some electrical work on her fire. Tea was drunk, chocolates were eaten and now I'm back home again, determined to be in bed by 11 as I need to clear my hall out again tomorrow morning - its getting painted!!!!!!!!!!!

Blown away

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I have just watched Barack Obama's victory speech. What a guy! I hope America realises what a jewel they have in their new president. I don't think of myself as a political person, in that I'm not really interested in the endless cut and thrust of politics, but I do care about natural justice and striving for peace. This man speaks from the heart, I believe him, I trust him, I fear for him. I hadn't followed the election at all and was only elated by the triumph of hope over prejudice. Now I see that Obama is the leader we have all been waiting for. The world may just have been saved.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Bonfire Night 2008

It was a lovely bonfire night. The light drizzle stopped just as the huge bonfire really got going, warming the whole of the green. Crowds of people turned up and didn't mind the mud which was pretty boggy in parts. Jacket potatoes were being handed round and the fireworks were spectacular. I took a few (hundred) photos on my mobile phone, some of which make up the picture above. I really must get a good digital camera!

How absolutely bloody marvellous!!!!

And how heartening to know that all those doom and gloomers who warned that people were only saying they would vote for him to be seen to be non-racist but in reality would rather have their eyes poked out with a sharp stick, WERE WRONG!!!!!!!!

For the eddyfication of our friends across the pond..

... (with apologies to the BBC website this came from)

'Bonfire Night is celebrated across the UK on 5 November. The date marks the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament by Guy Fawkes1 along with a group of co-conspirators in London in 1605. The intention was to kill King James I and wipe out everyone in government. The group were Catholic extremists who wanted to return England to the Catholic faith. One of the conspirators had a friend in the Houses of Parliament and sent a letter to him, warning him to stay away from the House on the day the attack was supposed to take place. The letter was intercepted and handed to the king. Meanwhile, Guy Fawkes and friends, having formulated their plan, known as the 'Gunpowder Plot', had rolled 36 barrels of gunpowder into the cellars of the Houses of Parliament, and were waiting for the king to arrive when guards broke in and arrested them. They were tortured and executed.

Nowadays on Bonfire Night people organise their own parties or attend big organised fireworks displays. (Our village builds a huge bonfire in the middle of the village green and residents donate cash to pay for the very excellent firework display.) They stand around the bonfire, set off fireworks and eat lots of nice warming Bonfire Night foods, like sausages and jacket potatoes. (Well we used to, provided by the village committee, until the world and his wife decided to come to our bonfire night (for free) instead of the municipal one in the next town. Interlopers, grrr)...Which sort of suggests that people rather admire the cheek of Guy Fawkes, trying to blow up Parliament, and that's why they celebrate Bonfire night, rather than celebrating the fact that his plot failed and he was caught!

Fireworks that are sent up on Bonfire night have really evocative names like, Roman Candles, Mount Vesuvius and Golden Shower. There are also Catherine Wheels that spin and Sparklers that children write their names in the air with. Children make life-sized effigies of Guy Fawkes which are called Guys, to put onto the bonfires. The English have been burning effigies to mark Guy Fawkes' treason for almost 400 years. The tradition started in 1606, the year after the Gunpowder plot failed. In these first bonfires, called 'bone fires' at the time, it wasn't an effigy of Guy Fawkes that was burned, but one of the Pope. It was not until 1806, two centuries later, that the people started burning effigies of Guy Fawkes instead. Children make a Guy by stuffing some old clothes with newspapers, craft a head out of material, and either draw a face on it or buy a special cardboard Guy Fawkes mask. For a few days beforehand children are pushing guys around in prams, push chairs and go-carts, saying 'A penny for the guy'. Adults then give them money - how much depends on how good the guy is. The money is then spent on sparklers, or at least it would be, if children were still allowed to buy fireworks in the UK, so it is probably spent on sweets instead (or cider or heroin).'

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Running out of steam

Mum's again tonight. She was in a good mood, ie enjoyed a good ole bout of character assassinations again, only this time without the photographic prompts. I think her brain must be mending itself after the stroke, but only in the bit that links memories and stories together. The bit that controls walking and short term memory is still pretty shaky. Drat. I was quite enjoying the break from gleeful bile. Still, she was content, that's the main thing. Its her 89th birthday on Thursday so I'm taking her out for tea. Hope she likes the book I bought her on the history of Middleton-St-George airfield.

I'm tired, think I'll put some washing in the machine (don't have a clean pair of knickers to my name), make a mug of Ovaltine and go to bed. Bonfire night tomorrow - yay!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Funny what you find...

... in your mother's photo collection. While she was busy tonight finding something mean to say about most of the people in the pictures (including my lovely dad) I was revisiting the past, remembered and forgotten. So when mum said I could take any photos of my son and daughter that I wanted (part of her de-cluttering obsession, some would call it a total lack of sentimentality), I managed to slip these three in as well. Each has its own link to a strong memory of bad/good/bewildering times...

The bad - mum insisted on entering me for a beauty parade. I won but that didn't erase the humiliation of hearing one of the judges say about me 'such a pretty face, what a shame about her legs'. I hated summer - short socks and short sleeved dresses meant I couldn't hide the eczema in the folds of my knees and elbows.

The good - this is me with Billy, my beautiful sky blue budgie. He was actually a she but by the time we realised, we couldn't imagine her as a him. Billy could talk - 'shut the door', 'gis kiss', 'who's a pretty boy' and would do a somersault between your feet if you asked him. He always whistled along to the tune from Z Cars. He thought it great fun to land on your head and abseil down your face, hanging onto a clump of hair. With my dad, he would fasten the other claw round the tip of his nose and tap his beak on his glasses. He was very affectionate and would snuggle up against your face all soft and warm but he could also give you a nasty nip in a tender spot. Here I'm wearing my favourite dress, a bright blue tartan in which I won the school Twist competition (the dance) when I was about 11.

The bewildering - I'd forgotten about this momentous day until I saw the photo. I'd gone to a motorcross with mum and dad but my mind was on other things. I felt confused and anxious, uncertain of a journey into uncharted territory, conscious that one part of my life was ending and another beginning. I didn't feel ready. I think I must have been about 16 (I was a late developer!). Have you guessed yet?
Yup, that was the first day I got the decorators in.
I'm not in the photo, by the way.

My zizzle has fizzled

Think it evaporated somewhere between the front door and getting into the car this morning. Oh well, it would have been extinguished by mum tonight anyway, she never misses an opportunity to comment on my weight gain (which is not THAT bad, I mean I'm not morbidly obese or anything). How would she like it if every time I went round I said 'haven't you got skinny and wrinkly and just look at those varicose veins!' Not a lot, I'd wager.

Dutiful daughters look away now.

I am finding this parenting-a-parent thing really difficult at the moment. I feel unappreciated other than for my practical usefulness with shopping etc and really resenting the demands it makes on my time and energy, both physical and emotional. Never having loved my mother Wow I actually typed that! or liked her much for that matter - we are total opposites in most things - I can't fall back on 'I remember mum when we were close, this isn't really her' to help me through the groundhog days. I composed this little ditty on the way home tonight...

I'm sure I'd
Have more fun
If I were
An orfun,
On Mondays,
And Saturdays.

That's as far as I've got. Bit miserable this post, innit. I may yet delete it.

polishing my halo (and my horns)

Yesterday I washed the plaster dust off the hall floor, stairs and landing (its already looking sooooooooo much better now that all the walls and ceilings have been skimmed) AND I cooked (!!!!!) a lovely lean leg of lamb (did you like the tongue work there?) with HOME MADE red wine and rosemary gravy (!!!!!!!!!!) for Sunday dinner. Himself said it was the best meal I'd cooked all year which was something of a backhanded compliment but hey, never look a gift horse in the mouth. Hmm, I suspect I may be edging towards getting a little high today. Is it the Prozac? Is it me? (Long ago, there used to be odd days when I'd wake up feeling 'dangerous', full of life, confidence and superflirtability.) Probably just as well that I'm going on a training course today instead of going into work - best not to unleash the full force of my zizzyness on a captive audience ;-) *snort* Suppose I'd better get dressed now.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Now THIS is what I'm aiming for .....

.....by letting my hair go grey. I already have a very similar cut, all I need is some super-fast silvering!

tired now

That's because I've been up since 4am. I went to bed last night before 9 - it had been a stressful day..mum in a discontented mood, mollified by my washing the kitchen floor. Then stuck in an hour's traffic jam waiting to get into the retail park with an exasperating running commentary from mum, followed by 2 dithering hours in Morrisons to buy half a week's food and another traffic jam to get out. Didn't get home until 7.30pm and by then was too exhausted and flat to feel like going to a friend's Halloween party. Anyway, woken in the early hours by him indoors' sleep apnoea, spent half an hour poking him every couple of minutes to restart his breathing then gave up when the snoring got too noisy. Wide awake by then, downstairs for tea and cake and another go at designing a better life map for the previous post. I'm nearly done but need another break. May go back to bed soon. This is not good, is it?
I didn't go back to bed, it's 10am and I've finally finished the new life map (see below). It's official, I am an idiot.