Sunday, 31 January 2010

One down, 11 to go

The end of January. We went to friend's for dinner last night. Delicious meal and good fun. They have two daughters the same age as ours, at school together, so it was noisy.
John and I loved that the meal was all done as we had spent the afternoon moving the furniture in the dining room to create a better working area for John. This was not a stress free activity as we see everything from very different angles.
It was a late drive home under the full moon and absolutely freezing.
This morning we set off for Oxford at about 10:00 and met up there with ex-HK friends for lunch at the White Hart in Fyfield. Great food, good natured staff and lots of laughs.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Hard habit to break

In the book by Duncan Bannantyne about starting a business, he recommended getting rid of the TV. His reason is simple. It wastes time. He claims he meets so many people who want to change their lives and who say they have no time. He then says if he asks the same people what they watched on TV last night, they can list the programs!! Had they not watched all that TV, there would have been more time.
I KNOW the man is right. I loved my first share flat when we had no TV. We talked and made things and it was great. Then the TV came and the relationships were put on hold. (I must point out here that I was agin the TV!)
I am guilty of the same. I sit at work feeling frustrated that I am not getting on with my projects and vow to do something when I get home. Then last night was a prime example of time wasting.
I cooked a great meal for John and I when I got home. Liver, red onions and gravy. Chorizo tossed in spinach, mushrooms, peas and we had left over mash!
Then we ate it in front of the TV (normally a family no no) and watched the box till 11. All the time my little crochet project was at my feet being ignored. No wonder I don't get things done.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


To celebrate, the girls and I made Lamingtons.....lots of phaffing around, but it was so worth it.
Today we all brought them to work/school to show off the Aussie delicacy. If anyone wants a good recipe, try Stephanie Alexander's.

As I am about to eat cake, it brings me to the boring topic of weight and my lament that I am tubbier than I have ever been (except when pregnant).
But the news is not all bad. My doctor phoned with the results of some tests and I have hypothyroidism. OK so not fab news, but treatable and it explains why I have been feeling so off for so long.

Ho hum - pills to take forever, but maybe I can lose some weight after all..

Monday, 25 January 2010

Dragging my feet

For some time I have wanted a new job. There is too much aggro in this one. But boy do I drag my feet. Then I get fed up when I do apply for something and do not even get a response. (Still waiting to hear from my most recent target!!)
The lastest is another admin job requiring a typing speed pf 60 wpm, minimum. I can manage about 45, BUT, I can do everything else they want and more. Why then do I not just write the cover letter instead of this blog and get my application out there? Is it a case of the devil I know?
Truth be told, it is hard work to sell oneself in a cover letter...they see that and the CV, but it is also easier not to and to tell myself my age is against me, or my experience etc.
By the end of today I need to have a letter in draft form That is my goal!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Something gave

This morning it struck me that it was time to face the grim truth that I am not going to wear my skinny jeans has been a long time coming, an unwelcome thought that I avoided as best as I could for some years now. The fact is that not only were they skinny jeans for the skinny version of me, but the skinny me was so thin because of extreme stress. As marriage one unravelled, I seemed to get smaller and smaller. It was great being thin, but to be so small again would mean a repeat of the level of anxiety that pared me down and or starvation and both would be unbearable.
I decided the best thing to do was to go and buy myself a pair of decent jeans that fit the me now and say goodbye to the pair that fit the me then. I did it and am not thrilled, but realise that at least they fit, are comfy and that finally I have jeans to hang out in.
I had my hair cut today as well. It is lovely; and Dawn, my hairdresser has done a brilliant job again. While waiting for the colour to absorb I read a magazine that advised exactly what I had done. Accept the new size of me and get rid of the stuff that does not fit and makes me feel large.
I then read about DE-CLUTTERING...this is my dream. To get rid of THINGS. So I got home and emptied the wardrobe, bagged up half the stuff (it went to the charity shop, I did not even hang onto it for a boot sale) and dumped the things that are worn out, or too ugly to wear. It felt good, but the fact that all that labour made such a little dent in the clutter mountain was a trying to see it as positive. It can all be done.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


It has been some time since I have felt myself. Being ill at the beginning of the month took its toll. Since then things have just not been right!
My doctor made me laugh when she said it might just be my age and the fact that I am a full time working mother! However, I am at the stage where I want to know if things are in perfect working order and if they are not, what can be done about it.
I have been walking to and from work most days and walking at lunch time. The truth is I want to shift some of this middle aged spread that has settled itself so comfortably on my frame....wonder how it got there? With the extra bulk it is probably only natural that one feels less like oneself. I like the fact that I eat healthy food and exercise, but am not so happy that my body is misbehaving. Let's just hope it is my age!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Dogs decide

I took someone to see a tiny furnished annexe on Saturday. He has two female Jack Russell dogs (one with some Dalmation in it, so it was spotty). The owner of the annexe also has a Jack Russell, a male called Patch. The idea of the viewing was to see the flat (about 2 minutes) and to see if the dogs all got along (about 20 minutes)! Patch was not too sure at first, but it was not long before there were some attempts at running and playing together. I am not sure if the man will take the flat, nor if the landlords want him, but all agreed that the dogs would be happy if it goes ahead!

Saturday, 16 January 2010


Thanks for the comment. Odd question, but who are you? Am I thinking you might be a Hanshin Tiger's fan?

Friday, 15 January 2010

Disturbing email

I received an email this morning which really disturbed me. It was about the boys who murdered James Bulger, the little boy who was taken from his mother in a shopping centre. Nothing justifies what they did, but this email asked me to sign my name to a petition preventing the culprits from being moved to Australia and being give life time anonymity. It came from someone I know, someone I have done quite a lot for over the years and I think what disturbed me is that without any thought to how I might feel about such a contentious issue, or how much I even knew about the facts (other than the 'facts' presented in the email), she assumed that I would sign the thing and pass it on.
Child abuse by anyone, adult or child is something I feel strongly about. If it were my child that died, who know what I would feel? Perpetrators should be punished, but something about this email smacked of the braying mob, of vigilantes who want someone to harass and who see themselves as right and possibly even righteous. All it did was repel me. They have not helped their cause, with me anyway.
There is a place for debate about what happens to those who have served their time and need to be moved back into society. It is not in large lettered, self important emails sent to 'friends'.
On a daily basis atrocities occur. I do not want to bury my head in the sand about them, but cannot see that this type of movement does anything to change or improve society.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

More of the same

8 days of snow. Hannah made it to school this morning only to be sent home! Em was due to leave as there was a delayed start, so she is now in the garden, playing.
An articulated lorry has slid off to the right of road at the top intersection in town and is resting agains the railings! My doctor has cancelled my appointment and so far I am the only one who has made it into work.
John fortunately has a teleconference from home this morning and does not have to be anywhere, other than at his computer and Adam, who left early to catch the bus to college, was spotted, the lone passenger on the bus coming back from college by me on the way to work!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Young Lady

Hannah is 15 today. She came in to see us this morning and I thought how beautiful she is! Full of youth and excitement. I was very proud and happy.
She went off sledging again with her friends, but tonight we will have her choice of meal and a special dessert. She is missing her day in London today with her friends, eating sushi and going to Camden Market. We have postponed that outing for a fortnight.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Snow Bunnies

I am out of bed ...yippee. It is so good to be dressed and up and being normal-ish again.
The snow still lies thick and falls intermittently, the wind is up, the country is paralysed if you believe the news...but it is beautiful. School and college have been cancelled for the last 3 days, fine as long as you are not doing GCSEs or A levels. I think my office has been closed for that long as well. No one answered when I rang this morning, at least.
The girls have been out in the snow everyday and it is great to see these teenage girls, being girls. Falling about in snow, sledging, snowballing and for hours on end.
Photos of both of mine, some friends and the snow bunny in our did not last long as someone used his head as a large snowball.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Bed and bug ridden

I have had a day in bed, the second working day of the year and finally both Adam and I succumbed to the dreaded bug that J has had for weeks. It was frustrating but useful. I get so bored being ill and fed up that I can't DO anything. So today, between naps I read most of Duncan Bannatyne's book Wake up and Change your Life. A book for those who want to start a those sort of books and get such a kick out of reading them. Gets my head buzzing. I also started a penguin and a pig for the menagerie of amigurumi and wrote out my first pattern.
Annoyingly the Japanese computer seems to have a worm and it is useless. I need to get a new one, a second hand one even, but we need a Japanese computer for the girls and for me to do research on. And to write patterns on!
I am off back to bed soon but will no doubt toss and turn all night with all this energy.
More snow expected overnight and there is talk the schools may close. The BBC local forecast was for light snow in this area. No sign of it yet.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Sunny Sunday

I have a bit of a gloomy pit in the gut about having to go to work tomorrow! It has been such a great holiday season. All that time for family and walking and crochet and relaxing. Still, plans are afoot to get out of the rut this year.
This is the today's animal, a little duckling. My head is still full of lots of other things to do. I must get off the computer and do them! The internet has to be life's second biggest distraction after TV, although TV I can live without.
I plan a walk past Mt Noddy today...not a mountain but a hill; it is a good course though.
John is STILL battling with his cold three weeks after it got here and sounds worse than ever. He will not be joining me.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

John celebrates his birthday today. We had a great morning talking to friends in Australia on Skype. Adam then made John a huge full monty breakfast, soon to be a thing of the the past, as they both go onto healthier diets and exercise regimes next week...will I join them?
I walked to the rugby club this afternoon up hill and down dale as my effort to get fitter. Met up with John, Adam, his friend and his friend's father for the last part of the last half of the game. Then a beer in the club house!
The breakfast shot is here:

Friday, 1 January 2010


Happy New Year to all. Hope you were able to celebrate in the way that you liked. We had a quiet evening (after a long day shopping in London), with my brother, his girlfriend and the girls. We watched Shakespeare in Love, SUCH a good film even after more than four veiwings, and then watched the countdown in London with the fireworks at the London Eye. So very glad we were all here snug and warm.
Our day in London was a date for John and I and we shopped for clothes. It was not as crowded as we expected and we took lots of detours and back streets to cover the areas we wanted to see. We went to Liberty's of London, which is one of my all time favourite shops and I got inspired to make things again this year.
We ate in the Tokyo Diner, just love it in there and love it that I can talk to the staff and use Japanese.
This morning there is a rugby DVD on, John's early birthday present, so I excused myself and made this little bloke. He is about the size of an egg and his partner is half done already...I am making two of each of my critters.