Sunday, July 22, 2007


As children, birthdays were big. As a result, they still are but, as I get older, they seem to lose a bit of the sparkle... I remember looking forward to my birthday for weeks, probably months actually. On our birthdays, we were allowed to choose what the meals would be for the whole day... Year after year my parents and sister were subjected to Wimpy burgers for lunch and spagetti bolognaise for dinner on my birthday. If I still had that, what would I choose?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday in the sun

It was a lovely Sunday. The sun shone, we sat in it. The sky was so blue it hurt my eyes, we looked at it. The food was good, we ate it. The wine was delicious, we drank it. The waiter was lovely, we loved him. It couldn't have been better.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The gate, the slugs, the bell and the lizard

So, as I was writing my post last week about the lizard in the bell, the guy arrived to fix our electric gate into the driveway (which also was not working). We stayed warmly in the kitchen supping on our Friday evening sundowners while he went out into the ever-darkening dusk to tinker and toil on the little plastic box which houses Gate Headquarters and (should, but often doesn't) make the gate open and close at the push of a little blue button.

Twenty minutes later he came in looking suitably handymanny with oily hands and a happy smile. He had removed the family of slugs who had taken up residence. They, apparently, had happily moved in and were leaving their belongings (slime?) around Gate Headquarters resulting in the inoperation of gate. Hmmm, should I be worried that I seem to be collecting creatures in electrical goodies that should possibly not be doubling as housing for said creatures?

P.S. Turns out the bell, too, was once again inhabited by a baby lizard - who would've thought that generations of lizards would gravitate back to the same 'house'! He is now living in amongst the creepers on the back wall. I hope he's still as cosy.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The bell and the lizard

Our bell is not working. This makes it hard for people visiting us to get in. Logical really. It has been a week since the bell broke (although it did work briefly in between not working, don't ask - I don't know). The last time this happened we took the little boxy thing apart and found that a small lizard had moved in and his worldly goods that came with him were preventing the bell from working properly (could've been his tiny lizard suitcase, or maybe one of his little lizard socks causing a lack of connection between one wire and another, or something).

This time, however, there seems to be no sign of lizardy interference. Biggest problem though, is the fact that I got the guy to come and fix it and he was supposed to come this morning and I think he may have, but... We didn't realise he was here and he couldn't ring the bell to let us know he was here. Oh bugger. So, it seems we'll have another weekend of people having to squeal at us from the gate to get in. Do you think the neighbours may start complaining?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The joys of being Thirty-Something

I have discovered a wonderful thing about being thirty two and a bit - me and my fellow thirty-somethings are in our prime. The books that are being published are about us: our childhoods, our angst-filled teenage years, our slightly-to-completely-messed up lives now. It's fabulous. There's just something really satisfying about being able to relate.

I met up with a friend who I haven't seen for probably three years (at least - I find it increasingly hard to keep a measure of time) over the weekend. In the missing time he has found himself a wonderful girlfriend with whom he has just bought a house, has got a relatively stable job and seems content. He was, basically, all over the place before. Now he's joined the ranks of many of the rest of the thirty-somethings... finally settling down and doing what our parents did in their twenty-somethings. Why the shift to later life?

Good heavens, I'm all over the place. My mind has had one of those weekends, okay, months of wandering off by itself, like a naughty puppy, for extended periods until finally I realise that I've been staring into space for half an hour and my office mate is looking at me strangely and tapping me on the shoulder. I wonder if it means I'm lacking something in my diet. Could a chocolate deficiency have this effect?

Friday, June 1, 2007


One wonders sometimes at how time flies. It is June. Like I said in my little blurb above, it is highly unlikely that I will update this blog daily. I am trying for weekly. I have a whole day off school a week which I have done specifically to provide me time to do such things (most importantly the paying kind but also the fun bits, like this). So far though, my three Fridays off have provided me with extra time for a leisurely Friday lunch in the sun with a good friend and a bottle of wine (it’s her off work season and she thinks we should do this every Friday – no, okay, maybe… rubber arm? Me?); some extra shopping time and, on one of them, a couple of hours of wage-paying work. Hmm, looking at that I don’t feel so bad really. One out of three seems fine. I figure I should just put up my hourly fee by three times and it’ll be perfect. I can be so clever sometimes, my heart swells with pride.

The whole regular blogging thing, though, is what has held me back from blogging for so long. It’s the pressure you see, to keep the momentum going. I have been a blog voyeur for years. There was a whole group of people on 20six whose daily lives I followed for, literally, years, never commenting for some reason. My heart broke with them and then healed (Daisy), I fell in love, with them (Late Bland – if there’s only one you read, this should be it, for sure. Read it from the archives forward), I went through their pregnancies with them (Jojo), I have followed the adventures of a beaver and his not-so-clever-but-most-fabulous reptilian friend, Steve and their creator (Beaver and Steve – I may, even, be in love with Steve). These are just four of a group of them who seem to be close friends. Some moved blog sites, me dragging along behind, like a ghostly chain. I still go in to check up if Late has updated yet, and still get sad every time I see he hasn’t. His is the only one I ever commented on, in the hope that it would make him come back.

That all makes me sound a bit weird. Hmm, voyeuristic is not the word but, if you read them, you’ll understand. Also, I’m a good multi-tasker and have been known to answer a phone call, read a blog, write an e-mail, drink a cup of tea and put a batch of muffins in the oven – all at the same time (okay, okay, I don’t even have a recipe for muffins, I lied… but the rest is a true story, really). So I see them as a way to keep my ever-racing mind entertained.

Anyway, this whole blog story got me wondering whether a certain type of voyeurism is not only okay, but actually bloody wonderful?

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I closed my eyes and turned my face toward the rising winter sun and allowed it to fill my head with gold. I felt the gold change slowly to a brighter, whiter light and knew I had been oh-so-very-lucky to have done it at that moment before the deep gold changed to it’s brighter, daylight hue.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cold, Hair Dryers and MacGuyver

It is cold. Like in bone-chillingly cold. I have a vest, a polo-neck and a fleece on and it is still cold. The heater/airconditioner thingy that's supposed to make the room "ambient" is also on, dehydrating us slowly from the outside, like those dried apricots, and I'm perfectly happy with that. It's just that it's still bloody cold.

If I could, I would have my hair dryer at work. I'd make an elaborate stand out of bits and bobs in the office (like MacGyver. Come on, who wasn't in love with him in 1986?) onto which the hair dryer would be placed in the perfect position to blow hot air over me, warming me gently, but not too much to lull me to sleep (it is, after all, work and it's apparently not acceptable to drool on one's keyboard - I'm not sure why but my best friend at work told me that, the last time I did it... I was full for heaven's sake - I'd had a big lunch and we all know that results in overwhelming tiredness and a need for an afternoon nap.)

Anyway, yes, so I had spent most of the afternoon drawing the plans for my elaborate bits-and-bobs-devised hair dryer stand when another work mate came in and looked over my shoulder and asked what I was doing.

I immediately got very excited and started detailing my MacGyveresque plots when he rudely interrupted me and asked loudly: "Why don't you just buy a fan heater?" Hmph, I hate it when Mr Logic comes and foils great plans. Still though, wouldn't it be cooler to have a Uniquely Designed Bits-and-Bobs-Devised-Hair-Dryer-Heating-Apparatus stand in the office?

Friday, May 11, 2007


Well, I'm pleased to say that, either the chemical warfare on the bug worked, or I still have a piece of toilet paper lodged up my nose which is keeping it from running. I'm not concerned as to which it is, I'm just glad it's stopped. I'm wondering though, if day-old toilet paper stuffed up one's nostril eventually biodegrades?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Nostrils and toilet paper

So it started yesterday afternoon with a leak out of my right nostril. Just enough to be irritating, but not enough to give a good blow. Then the sneezing. Lots of it. I dripped echinacea into my water and blocked my left nostril (the right already being sort-of-blocked by the incessant dripping) to mask the taste as I glugged it down. I dosed myself with Wondercold or some such thing before laying myself in my bed. I have been known to use this wonder drug purely for its sleep induction properties but not this time. No siree, this was for real. While sleeping, I got that feeling of gloop at the back of my throat, a little sore but, mainly just gloopy. This morning it was still there. It's very much an in-between, fighting-off, I-will-beat-this-bug, with chemicals if necessary, kind of feeling. The whole point, however, of this post (other than to whinge) is to put this question out into the ether... Is it socially acceptable to stuff toilet paper up one nostril while in the office?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sore wings and vodka

I have always had a problem with vodka. When I drink it, I get sore wings - they kind of ache and make me feel uncomfortable. My housemate, The Pond, disputes this. I fear she might be right, which I find hard to admit. I have always liked blue cocktails, especially when they have little umbrellas. Generally, blue cocktails contain vodka. I have, mostly always, got sore wings after drinking blue cocktails. Other cocktails have left my wings feeling light and free and, well, non-achey. Other cocktails often contain vodka too. So, The Pond, in all her wisdom has deduced from this that it is NOT vodka, but instead the blue stuff. I think she may be right. So, I fear I may have missed out on, oh, ten years of vodka-drinking, purely due to misinformation given to me, by... me! Does anyone else suffer from sore wings when drinking blue cocktails, or am I some kind of human anomoly?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Lost and found

My cat went missing on Friday. She is eleven. And Siamese. And a princess. She does not wander which led me to a state of almost-insanity by 26 hours after my last sighting of her. I am running ahead of myself. Friday lunchtime she ambled through the lounge in the pretty way she does, glanced at the fire, feigning disinterest (this is her way - in reality, she loves the fire and is the first to push in front to be closest to it). Then she disappeared. Not instantly, in front of my eyes like something in a Harry Potter book but just by walking out the door and not coming back. As darkness fell and no whisker was to be seen, we searched back rooms, cupboards and other dark, cat-swallowing places. Nothing. Dawn arrived (okay, a bright Saturday morning, let me not give false impressions that I stayed awake all night and resumed the search as the birds started twittering), still no kitty-footsteps or morningly crunches heard from the kitchen as normal. Panic set in. I called the neighbours, vets in the area, my housemate found the best picture of her and missing posters went up on lamposts, it was the full tooty. Minutes ticked by, hours, and I became increasingly tearful and helpless-feeling. As night two fell, my mind flashed to the worst-case scenarios. At about 7pm, a little, squawky (she is Siamese, as I said - they're not known for their melodic tones) meow was heard at the door and relief flooded through me, the house, the housemate, and then everyone I'd called all day, panicky. She was fine, a bit hungry, and quite tired and would not, under any circumstances tell us where she'd been or what she'd been up to. What do 11-year-old, Siamese princesses do when they're away for 28 hours? It's a wonder.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Blog names and party plans

Why did I call this blog what I called it? Well, surprisingly, it is because I'm thirty-two-and-a-bit. I thought quite hard about it, went through all the discussions in my head about how it'll become redundant in February next year, then got distracted by thoughts of how I'll celebrate my thirty third. I'm thinking I might wait until June and then have a thirty third and a third birthday party instead. It just seems to sound more fun. By that time I'd strayed completely and was wondering if it was a better idea to stick to the formulaic party I've had for the past, well, five or so, years - disco in the garage (visions of spinning-the-bottle, aged 12, and having to kiss boys in a cupboard), fairy lights in the garden, large amounts of people, fun music. It works so well, yet, each time I do it again, I fear that, this time, it might be "The Time She Did it One-too-many-times"... One of those parties people bring up for years after at dinner parties when anyone brings up the words flop and party too close together in a sentence. My thoughts then turned to how to change it slightly, while keeping relatively close to the winning formula. My aunt's stepson had a jumping castle at his 40th birthday party - the thought of a bunch of forty year olds (or thirty three and a third year olds, for that matter) jumping with their champagne-filled bellies on a jumping castle filled my head with thoughts too vile to put down on this page. Pony rides? Good god girlie, THIRTY three and a third, not three and a third. That was just a momentary regression to childhood longings of having "pony rides" written on my birthday invitation - I don't even like the concept of ponies in sunhats being led around in circles with small children clinging to their furry backs. Then my thoughts wandered to cocktails. I like blue ones. The same party, but with blue cocktails... It was at this point that I realised I had strayed away from the task at hand completely and needed to get back to blog naming. Ah, fuckit, it's still months until my birthday, and the party, so I decided I need neither worry about how to change the formula or how to deal with the redundancy of the name of the blog for, well, 10 months at least. Phew. I did warn you in the previous post about my tendency to stray... In the meantime (I don't suppose there's any harm in being prepared - that's what they always told the Brownies, or something like that), what ingredient do you add to an already fabulous party formula to make it, well, fabulouser?

Melancholic joy

I have been a blog voyeur for, oh, probably 4 years now. It provides The Great Escape from hours of tedium at work. It's not that I don't like what I do, it's just that it can be a bit black-and-white at times. I find my creative side cowering beneath my desk sometimes, staring up at me disconsolately between the wires connecting my computer to the electricity supply, looking petrified. As if it might be killed by a falling pile of reference books. (This is not essentially an invalid fear - the shelves holding up the books are starting to look a bit dodgy as old editions are replaced with new ones, made heavy by added information). But back to the point - forgive me, I am easily distracted. The voyeur bit - I have always contemplated starting my own blog. I've even written my first entry a couple of times (I may dig them up at a later date and post them, as evidence - it may be amusing. Then again, it may not). So, what made me do it, finally? My friend, the amazing Leah. She started one and I love it. Also, the following facts:
  1. It is a grey, rainy day
  2. I am sitting next to a fire
  3. I now have wireless access at home
  4. From next week I am pursuing my second career (finally). I have gone down to a four-day week to allow myself time to proofread/edit and maybe, even, write
  5. It is a grey, rainy day

Point 4 - I have a sneaky suspicion that possibly starting a blog may not be very conducive to encouraging me to work on my fifth, allocated-to-other-work-not-mucking-about day. Oh-oh...

And, yes, I know points 1 and 5 are the same. It's something about grey, rainy days - makes me want to write. Melancholy mixed with joy. It also makes me want to drink. From what time of the day is it acceptable to drink alone? Or is it never acceptable? And who made up those silly rules anyway?