Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year. May it be healthy, creative and rewarding for you all. Failing that, survival is the next best thing! Anyway, I hope that you're all doing something nice to see in the New Year. We're just staying in with a nice bit of steak with stilton and red onions followed by a vanilla and Scottish raspberries cheesecake. In case you're wondering, I didn't make the latter but it is of the Finest variety. I guess I'll have to start cooking properly now I've got a lovely new cooker and a new cookbook on its way, not to mention some new baking tins, a wok..... yes, I've been shopping. Being ill may have prevented me from visiting the sales but rest assured that retail experiences have not escaped my grasp. Unfortunately ....

I'll probably be asleep for the bells but I'll be with you in my dreams and just as soon as I've got my term paper sewn up, you can expect me back here regularly!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Homecoming

Yesterday was the last session at Sussex for this term and I expected to collapse in a heap with relief. Instead, my mind is buzzing with new ideas and they're not related to Christmas trees which is what I should be thinking about today.

The other major event on which I should be focusing is the arrival of a certain black Labrador at our new home. As he is slightly senile, blind and deaf, we felt that it would be unfair to expect him to clamber over boxes in a strange house and so therefore, he has been staying with my mother for the past week. Now, I'm not sure what the situation is there. When I've visited, he greets me with enthusiasm, in fact, he grabbed my coat the other day as I walked past him. My mother maintains that he is missing us all. I'm not convinced. Maybe he's grateful to us for providing him with a little respite? Time will tell. Or at least his blog might. She doesn't have the internet there so I'm sure that when he arrives, the first thing he will do is to spend hours surfing and other doggy-type things online. I can't wait.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Good News

I'm back here again. The first reason that I went off was to write for this year's Your Messages project on a daily basis throughout November. It was great fun (again) and I'm very, very pleased to say that I have been selected as a joint winner with Jacqui so congratulations to her too! When I took part last year, each day I would worry that I had exhausted my repertoire and that I had just written my last piece. This time I felt quite differently, much more relaxed which I think must be a measure of my progress. The beginning of last year's project coincided with my first attempts at serious creative writing and I wonder whether I would have continued writing without the momentum of the Your Messages project. So, all in all, I have a lot to thank Lynne & Sarah for. The best thing about it all has been the sense of a writing community in what can otherwise be a fairly lonely pursuit.

The second reason that I'm back now - albeit briefly - is that we moved house last Friday so it hasn't really been practical to do anything other than move boxes around. Actually, it's still not that practical as we're far from sorted out yet so I must go and have one final push to declutter the hallway. Oh, and our bedroom, the boys' bedroom. And then there's the garage. The sheds. I'd really better go. Back later!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Happiness tastes like Friday night

The taste of happiness is something I hesitate to think about until every last spice jar has been checked for its BBE date, turned upside down to see if its contents are still mobile or whether it has been replicated on a yearly basis in which case it will be thrown out.

When that lorry drives off down the road on Friday with all our belongings packed inside, I might have a think about the happiness we sought when we started this whole business. I seem to remember something about a big garden, vegetables, greenhouses and the sort of privacy from onlookers that we don't get just now. It does come with penalties. A bungalow that needs a loft conversion to meet our needs means a that a lot of stuff has had to have been given away. In fact, I'm giving it away faster than I'm packing. It's so therapeutic. When the removal men turn up on Friday, I can just imagine four of them taking a corner each of the one remaining box to be moved.

I'll let you know next Monday what happiness really tastes like but realistically, I won't be able to post until then as we won't be online over the weekend and seeing as how tomorrow, I'm off to do my voluntary work in the morning, I may be a little busy tomorrow. Have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Actually, I lied

There's nothing on TV except something about Einstein and string theory that my husband has watching. Therefore, I will post a little after all. Nothing exciting mind you.

The other day, I overtook a plumber's van on the dual carriageway. Nothing unusual in that, you say. Maybe not but I noticed something amusing. The van had a kayak strapped to the roof. At first I had thought that it was a surf board and it was only when he overtook me back again (these van drivers don't like being beaten) that I realised that it was a kayak. It's better that it's a kayak. At least it means that his jobs are negotiable with the use of a couple of oars and a strange shaped boat. Had it been a surf board, it would have suggested something completely different to me; that he was expecting tides of wastewater of such monumental proportions that he would have to ride from the stopcock to the ball valve on white water.

OK, the physics programme has finished so I'm off to watch the Culture Show.

Busy, busy, busy

I'm far to busy to post today but I have let Monty borrow the laptop for a few minutes.

Monday, 1 December 2008

I'm back

November has been and gone and so has this year's Your Messages. If you haven't done so already then why not have a look and even better, think about donating some money to Kids Company which is a very good cause. Plug over.

We're moving house on Friday so it is very likely that my posts will be even less structured than usual and if they are, then you may take it as a reflection of my manic state of mind at the moment. We have 3 days to pack up 6 people's belongings so that they fit into a 3 bedroomed bungalow. The reason for this is that we're planning a loft conversion so that eventually, it will be big enough to accommodate us all. I just lost half a day's packing because the children's new school told me this morning that actually, they can't hold the place until January and that they would have to start there immediately after we have visited the school which is tomorrow. Therefore, I spent the day fretting over their lack of appropriate uniforms and tore over to meet up with the uniform supplier, came back home armed with a bundle of pristine royal blue sweatshirts and fleeces (I even told our daughter about the change of plan) only to find out by accident during another telephone call that it had all been sorted out and that in fact, they would allow them to wait until after Christmas. Luckily, my husband is very understanding as when he came home this evening, there was no evidence of any packing having been done whatsoever. It's tempting just to order a skip.

Tomorrow morning, the dog will have a shower and his bedding will be washed. Tomorrow afternoon, I will spend my time trying different ways to extract dog hair from the drums of the washing machine and then the dryer. No doubt I will marvel yet again at the amount of hair collected in the filter, contemplate knitting a scarf or something just to prove a point and then poke it into the bin along with the usual byproducts of the drier. I'm sure that Monty will have something to say about all of this. I think he's a little overwhelmed at the moment. He's not the only one.