Monday, 30 November 2009

Brevity ...

Exam tomorrow ... head full of stuff ... hope it doesn't leak out till 12:30 tomorrow (at the earliest).

Bed now.


Saturday, 28 November 2009


Sitting in the lounge, ostensibly putting together revision notes for my exam on Tuesday. Bjork's Vespertine in the background, which gives a chilled out, slightly festive flavour to the air. Lights on low, Charlie writing in the corner, kittens all snuggled up around us. It is cold, wet and uninviting outside, but our flat is warm, and a haven of contentment.

The revision is a bit behind schedule, as we have spent a day at the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum with Keith, Danni and little Mattie, who is now getting very big (18 months), and is just a delight! She is very quiet and good, well behaved and has excellent balance for walking. And running! It is lovely when you can walk along and she lets you hold her hand, while you point out all the animals both extinct and living, and she is fascinated by every light, sound and movement.

What a great way to spend a day. So why am I now thinking of lowering the tone by watching X-Factor?!?!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Like being 21 again

So, having pledged that I would be pushing back on work to ensure my sanity and immune system stay intact, it got to 7:30pm before I suggested to my colleague Dan that we have a swift half in the pub to mutually vent our spleens and relax. So now I have decided I am going to have a late one to get my assignment finished, hoping to do some final tailoring Tues and Weds evening before Friday's submission.

So I am attempting a late 20's version of the procedure I regularly went through when I was 21, i.e. staying up through the night in the computer labs, occassionally peeking at Transformer comic scans between hastily completing essays. The late 20's version involves tea (a lot of tea), a mousakka (in the oven as we speak, Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range) and likely some degree of chocolate as the evening/night draws on.

I look to the cats for some inspiration ... not so much. Oh well, best get on with it!

But before I finish, a quick note of gratitude for yet another glorious thanksgiving, with a special thanks to Theresa for giving me a colour treatment and a massage, both of which have contributed to my recovery. Demitris cooked a couple of beautiful ducks, and Theresa very kindly gave us a beautiful painting she created earlier in the year, which looks just fabulous in our lounge now.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Past and the Future

So, the snot is abating, and the congealing scum on my lungs is beginning to subside. The pile of tissues by my side is growing at a slower rate, and I am feeling less sorry for myself.

And I have been thinking. Thinking about the future, my career and my ambitions. The fact that 2009 has probably been my most ambitious year yet, does not mean that I have a particularly clear picture of where it will take me. And the confines of my wonderful yet taxing job, and the perplexingly infinite frustration it generates, supresses a creative urge that I feel has been missing for a few years. I look forward to Christmas as a time of rest and reflection, knowing full well that in order to have a sustainable sense of perspective I need to make every day balanced and calm, rather than hyping myself up to the next breathing space.

So, what is next for me? Can I keep learning and moving forward in my current role? Or is there something else, a flicker of realisation that there are bigger fish to fry, possibly writing, possibly something else even more different?

I look forward to my December of reflection. And in the meantime I hope this realisation that I need to transform the way I approach work and my own time stays.

Also, dear Norris managed to lock herself out of her flat, with Liam away in Malaysia, so she is staying with me overnight and has been looking after me very sweetly this evening, specifically through the medium of pizza and garlic bread.

Charlie has already gone to Brighton to his Mum's, and I am typically missing him, despite being only separated by hours ... this is where I pledge to be more attentive and appreciative when he is around ... when I get better, of course.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


Oh woe is me, for the second time in this blog's short life I am a sick bunny. What with the coughing and the sneezing and the general overload of facial mucus (steady!) I am sure I was super-welcome at my all day meeting today. Going in was the right thing to do, but starting to regret staying as I am now feeling the brunt.

You know? When every breath feels toxic, and people on the tube move so they don't have to sit near you, eyeing you with disgust as you clasp another sodden snotty tissue to your poor sore pink nosey.


So I am on a juice, carbs and paracetamol diet for the duration, somewhat challenging when I have a 6,000 word essay due in next week and a 3 hour exam in the following week. Ouch!

But after a busy and mildly stressful week I am hoping that, having made some progress moving things forward, my brain will relax, allowing my body to recover. When you wake up in the night realising something you forgot, and knowing that you would rather get up and get it done rather than try and sleep or write it down, you know you are (a) slightly more neurotic than usual and (b) having this neurosis heightened by snot overload.

So, perhaps now I can recover properly. With my body aching and face leaking, perhaps this is a message to rest.

We are at Theresa's (Charlie's Mum's) on Saturday for Thanksgiving ... hopefully I can be thankful for a speedy recovery.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Tiny Animals and the Brink of Immunity

I feel a bit like the hedgehog at the moment, feeling grumpy, quite small and wondering why someone has put me in an eggcup. Perhaps a metaphorical eggcup. Loving the tiny animals piece in the Guardian though ... inspired!

Feeling a bit coughing and headachy and big glands, hope it is not the Swine Influenza ... I am too busy to be a statistic in a pandemic. Can I show them my student card to get immunity?

Christmas seems to have infiltrated everywhere while we were up in the Lakes though. All reds, golds and green, advent calendars, wrapping, and mass advertising of unique gifts. Makes me think of the immortal Tom Lehrer Carol.

Back at work today, feeling full of wintry browns and long skirts. My hibernation instinct is really kicking in now, after all, it is the time of year when I turn into a small woodland creature and curl up in my duvet.

Maybe I should have saved up more of my annual leave.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Top 5 Top 5s

So, it has been a very relaxing Sunday after a busy Saturday. I stayed true to my lazy word, and watched High Fidelity last night. Am inspired, but possibly slightly too lazy, to compile endless top 5s ... such as ...

Top 5 Holidays
Top 5 Films
Top 5 Books
Top 5 Agatha Christies
Top 5 Sitcoms

... it could go on forever. Possibly a good plan to deliver with a glass of wine in hand over Christmas.

Back to work tomorrow. House is fairly tidy, washing done, and feeling jolly after a lovely roast dinner with Charlie, Andrew, Alex and Makeila.

Ho ho ho, bring on December!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Love and Affection

Not only one of my favourite Joan Armatrading songs but also the abiding feeling I am left with after Robin (Charlie's Dad) and Marion's wedding yesterday. The occassion was filled with such joy, the realisation of the happiness they have now found with each other. Such a personal day, with so much time and thought put into every attendee, every word said and every little finishing touch. Just lovely!

We spent a week up in the Lake District, detoxifying our lungs with the air, cleansing our eyes with the view and resetting our taste buds with the crystal water, which trickled down the hillside into our taps (miraculously avoiding any trace of sheep).

It was also lovely to have my parents up there too, who were on excellent form, especially taking out a gaggle of Sundts for lunch and a Jennings brewery visit in Cockermouth while I toiled on with my marketing assignment.

And it was marketing that got me up at 4:30 this morning, for my darling and ever-supportive husband to whisk me off to Penrith to catch the first train back to London for a day of marketing revision. Very worth it, if only to inject the basic concepts into my busy mind, while I finish off my assigment and wait for my inevitable weekend of cramming before the exam.

So, after an evening in with Kirsten of watching (wait for it) both X Factor AND Strictly Ballroom (no, my eyes aren't bleeding), I am looking forward to an indefinite lie-in tomorrow morning (get in!).

I might even have a bath now ... I might! On a Saturday night! You can stick your clubbing and your tequila slammers down my plughole!
Now, where's my rubber ducky ...

Saturday, 7 November 2009

On the Brink ...

One of those polarised days at work where the promise of a week off is so close, but you have to deliver 5 times the amount of work to ensure that everything keeps ticking along while you are away. There is a lot going on at the moment, and I was striving to get everything finished. Did a reasonably good job, though I won't know till Mon 16th if anybody disagrees :)

So, tomorrow we go to Spalding to stay overnight with Mum & Dad, then we all drive up to the Lake District for a week of hills, pristine lakes and valleys, and plenty of marketing homework. And Robin and Marion's wedding, which is the lovliest thought of all. I am looking forward to seeing the place 'close to heaven' that they speak about so much and love.

So, preparing to go away, with Kirsten coming round tomorrow to catsit. Halfway through tidying, packing and general assembling now ... must get on!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

S.A.D. and H.A.P.P.Y.

So, I have been like a bear with a sore head this week. Everything has been so busy and disconnected and, as some of my more astute colleague have reminded me, you can't always be a perfectionist when you have so much stuff to do. So I continue to strive for more than I can deliver, hopefully it will be worth the investment.
Another theory is that with a dark veil draping itself over London at 5pm, I am feeling the darkness inside my mind too. The world is closing down for winter, and my brain is losing the light touch of summer that helped me brush off the less important distractions, now leaving me grave and furrowed.

However, I am H.A.P.P.Y. for my wonderful talented husband, who visited the set of the short film he wrote this morning

He seemed almost surprised to find himself met by the cast, including Celia Imrie, Warren Clark and Richard E. Grant.

Seems it was worth getting up at 6am for!

Monday, 2 November 2009

The Simple Things

Back home after a lovely evening going out for drinks and a curry on Brick Lane with my colleagues. So rarely do we get to go out together as a group, it was great to relax and get to know people, especially the newer guys and gals. Again again!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

All Saints' Day ... #'I know where it's at'#

The day after another jaunty Halloween party.

Forced by a tantrum and mild claustrophobia to abandon my mummy costume, after the hundredth time trying to get my 'bandages' to stay on, it was quite a relaxed evening really. The cats seemed to enjoy their first Halloween, and were not put off by the people, the noise or the imaginative costumes.

So today has been a day of rest, a much needed self-indulgence, getting started on this year's Christmas card concept whilst watching movie magic in the form of Pirates, The Simpsons, and a sprinkle of Harry Potter for good measure. Ok, so I haven't acheived much, but never has being so unproductive been so satisfying.