Sunday, 31 January 2010

Brighton Rocks

Spoiled rotten by Theresa and Demitris, on a clear chilly Sunday in Brighton.

Was a jolly and social afternoon, with Keith, Danni and darling little Matilda joining us for lunch. She is just so GOOD! Plays happily with cars and balloons alike, no screaming, whinging or anything. I am sure she must have her moments (as all kids do), but it is a joy to see her grow from the cutest baby into a fantastic little girl.

Good to hear from David on Skype, Theresa and Charlie are going out to see him in April which sounds like a great trip. T and D seem very well, especially having just come back from jaunts to Greece and Israel to see family. Unsurprisingly, especially with Matilda there, the 'G' word came up ('Gra******dren'), but it doesn't bother me anymore. Having just spent a long weekend feeling supremely 'loved up' hanging out with Charlie Fish, I am very content and at peace with both myself and him.

Going for dinner with Andrew tomorrow to catch up and pick his brains on a few things. I can't help but feel that 2010 will be an interesting year ...

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Shiny places

What a glorious Saturday! Woke up mildly hungover, with a text from Alex saying that snow on the ground made our running plans void ... no arguments from me! We moseyed on down to Old Street to have brunch in Hoxton with Miranda, Nigel and Dave Williams, Miranda's friend from uni who I also co-incidentally was in the 6th Form with in Spalding.

All very lazy and relaxed, so Fish and I jumped on a bus to Hatton Garden to look at all the magnificent jewellery shops. I used to work near there, between Chancery Lane and Farringdon, so I know the area reasonably well. I have been concerned for a while that my wedding ring is both faded and is extremely small (very, very hard to get off, no room for any significant finger weight gain). Charlie's is also faded, but as his is more of an 'action ring', he does not mind in the slightest. For me, it is a little odd having non-matching rings, so we decided (a very kind gesture from the Fish really), that we should buy a new one ... one a little more unique that will stand the test of time a little better. And we found one! It is beautiful, being resized at the moment. I can have something engraved on the inside, but there is apparently only room for 6 characters. So I have to put my thinking cap on ...!
Spent the rest of the afternoon in the Black Friar pub, an exquisitely decorated 'old school' pub opposite the building site of Blackfriars Station. With portly monks and delicate lettering over every wall, and the arched ceiling smattered with golden mosaics, it was as impressive as Charlie-Fish had led me to believe.
Got some small amount of writing done, then home for a lazy evening with Andrew, Alex and Erika T playing Mario Kart and Erika T's new deck of Africa Mapominoes!

Off to Brighton tomorrow ... looking forward to seeing T, D, E and D!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Friday Flights of Fancy

So, with 'Friday Night is Music Night' on BBC Radio 2, we settled down to a lazy evening in, overjoyed to be joined by Patrick from upstairs for beers, pizza and chats, and Alex who popped in briefly between drinks with colleagues and home. The conversation drifted comfortably between film and music, Brixton and France. Patrick regaled us with his thoughts about various films, kindly jumping upstairs to fetch his Sherlock Holmes compendium, after I expressed an interest in reading it.

We gave him a crash course in Mario Kart, in which he showed some promise, but swiftly got sucked down the canyon.

The end of a hard, long week at work, I am tired. But awake at the promise of next week. Meeting Miranda and Nigel tomorrow, possibly in Shoreditch, with a day in Brighton with Theresa on Sunday.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination

A speech made by J.K.Rowling, which Charlie's Grandmother Erika gave us to read during one visit to Greece. An incredibly inspiring piece, reminding us not to be afraid of life, instead to take it by the hand and run with it, using our immense good fortune to help those who have not been born so lucky.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

It's a Conspiracy!

Feeling very tired, after a few long days at work, and a few late nights at home. Decided to abandon some of my jobs for tonight to lazily watch QI while eating my dinner and writing this, and will try really really really hard to get to bed and to sleep by 10. Charlie is out at his lecture tonight.

Oh, in case you didn't know, Charlie has a couple of blogs. His film blog, where he has pledged to watch and review the IMDB Top 250 films, and also his writing blog, which hopefully gives an insight into the world of a fledgling screenwriter.

So, what is the conspiracy? A few things really ... the current investigation into the legality of the war in Iraq which seems to consist of a line of sheepish middle aged men saying "Ummm, the yanks told us to" and "Ummm, I changed my mind". Primary school children could give better excuses for forgetting their homework, "Ummm, the cat ran it over and ate it". Disappointing.

Plus I have just watched the end of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he was interviewing a very smart, very open lady called Elizabeth Warren who explained that the reason the majority of Americans had been screwed over by being sold various dodgy mortgages and credit cards by banks is to maintain the status quo of making some more naughty middle aged men astronomically rich. Of course I knew this already, but it never hurts to refuel the fire.

Today at work, Joe Human gave a fantastic presentation where he talked about companies 'making a killing and actually killing people', referring to the levels of poverty caused by massively fluctuating commodity prices which are fuelled by the stock exchange and the futures market. More anger from me, the enormous greed of individuals hiding behind the shield of 'we're a company, we're here to make profits', when people working for such companies should at least be fully aware of the consequences of their actions (I feel I was in denial when I was at P&G, though at least that time is now in the past). Kind of like a meat eater being prepared to kill their own animals (still not round to this, only fish so far).

Makes me wonder why people wander round worrying about assassination and alien conspiracies, when there are so many more obvious and horrifyingly blatant conspiracies going on.

For our little part, we moved our banking from Barclays to Co-op at the end of last year. Barclays' customer service is pretty poor, and we wanted to move to Co-op for ethical reasons too, so we finally got round to it. My ISA is still with Barclays, as Charlie pointed out that it is helpful to ensure I don't have everything in one place, but I still think I will move it elsewhere, even of not to Co-op.

Might circle that on my to-do list ...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The End is also the Beginning

Have finished reading 'Anansi Boys' by Neil Gaiman, which Fish gave me last year. Another excellent, compelling and quirky work from my current inspirational favourite writer. Left work late, intending to have an early night, but instead cosied up in a warm little spot by the radiator in the lounge on a blue beanbag, surrounded by parading cats, to skip through the last couple of chapters.

Am going to move on somewhere different now, 'Brideshead Revisited' by Evelyn Waugh ('Don't mention the Waugh!'). Part intrigued, part sad, that 'Anansi Boys' is now over. It is always the same when you finish a book ... or realise that your jeans really are so broken that you need some more, but you swear that the new ones will never be as comfortable ... though you move on all the same, and it generally turns out ok.

I swear the pizza we ate tonight tasted just a little of compost heaps. Charlie thinks I am mad.

Monday, 25 January 2010

What is your QI?

Poppy, with Cornthwaite and Salvator, wearing the hats Charlie and Kirsten made at Mink's birthday party yesterday. She looks a bit sad and left out not to have her own hat.

Trying out doing little and often to keep the house clean and the chores under control. Is it working? Sort of. The thing is, if you are only doing a little bit, the voice in your head says that you can pretend that you have done it, whilst actually spending the evening watching QI and stroking kittens.

I might be a bit addicted to QI. I blame that new tv channel Dave, who pump it into my living room, constantly filling my head with itty bits of pub quiz fodder, cosily delivered by Stephen Fry. What a formula!

Kirsten stayed over last night after she and Charlie were done at Minky's party. Was good to see her, though I had totally forgotten she was staying, and so slightly undercatered ... my most hated predicament. No matter, much healthier for us all to have a larger share of cous cous, sweetcorn and butter beans.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Here Comes the Bride(smaid)

Had a fun afternoon trying on many many dresses with Erika and Gilly, to see if we could find something. We went to the Westfield Shopping Centre, the collosal new shopping mall in west London. Gilly lives just opposite it, and it has one of every chain shop under the sun (therefore probably two Starbucks').

Honestly, that girl is the only person who can get me trying on dresses, after getting me in the shops trying on wedding dresses for my wedding, to today ... when I swear we tried on at least 15 dresses each. It goes to show that it is not just about the size, but the colour, style, fabric, so many details. I don't know how people shop online without the 3D experience that is trying things on.

And there were some contenders. Some really good ones ... how exciting!

And last night was fun, though despite my sound logical reasoning, I chose the wrong person as the murderer ... consarnit! AND I had thought about it properly. Maybe my brain was addled by the cheese and delicious food. I was quietly very pleased with how my baked cheesecake with blackberry compote turned out. Indulgent but not too rich, I will make it again!

Some house jobs to get through tonight, before the start of another week. The last week of January in fact. Already the new decade is tearing past like a Harrier jet!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Museum of Everything

We were whisked off to the Museum of Everything on Primrose Hill today by Norris. 'We' being her parents, who are staying in our spare room this weekend, myself and Charlie, Becky, Alison and of course Norris herself. She had already been there, but loved it so much that she wanted to bring others. She even managed to keep it as a surprise, until I spotted a makeshift notice on the way to the pub where we had a quick lunch.

And it was an enormous mixture of imagination, like taking exercise in your brain by going for a creative jog. The sanity of the artists whose colourful and detailed work graced the exhibition was often openly questioned, but the intricacy and the focus of the different pieces was overwhelming, and I was scribbling away in my little notebook.

So now the cheesecake is in the oven, and the blackberry compote is tucked away in a little tupperware, ready for an evening of dinner and murder at Alex's tonight.

Friday, 22 January 2010

A vice

I have realised what my real vice is. Not anything particularly dark or sinister, but something so utterly unnecessary I feel really bad when I indulge in it. Something that is so enjoyable, packed with immediate and oh so intense enjoyment. Full of texture, flavour and naughtiness.

And it is crisps.

I believe I have always had a weakness for crisps, since I was a teenager. Partly stemming from my love of savoury food, especially cheese (which I think was the only thing I ate between the age of 1 and 13), they are so unequivocally bad for you and yet so addictively tasty.

Whether a tart, sharp Walkers Worcester Sauce French Fry, or a cheeky Prawn Cocktail Potato Crisp from a girly pink packet ... or a deeply cheesy Wotsit, covered with mystical flavour-rich orange gumption, they are all the same. And, as it was a Friday, rather than go to the pub to purchase my usual end of the week vice in liquid form, I bought a packet of Quavers to sneakily snack on on my Tube journey to the V&A.

Which was magnificent.

Strolling well out of the way of the rain down the tunnel that springs from South Kensington Underground Station, it is like a doorway to mystical worlds, like the bit in 'A Nightmare Before Christmas' where Jack is in the woods, and there are various themed doors that lead to the different holiday lands. Do you feel like Science, or Natural History? Maybe Decorative Arts? Well, in that case, turn off at the V&A.

And once you have picked up your obligatory map, and dutifully sought the recommended change in your purse to fulfill your civic duty and give the requested donation, you come out in a room full of statues. Naked ladies and gentlemen, all being sketched by silent art students with notebooks sitting quietly at the side of the room. From the Cast Courts to the Raphael Room, to even the dear but unique gift shop, the whole place reminds you that we live in a world of such creativity, that humankind has an innate drive to create beauty, or at least to try our darndest to reflect the beauty we see naturally displayed in the world.

Idealistic thoughts for a Friday evening, no better time to have them!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

A Better Way

Since my office moved to Minories near Tower Hill tube in Oct 2008, my daily commute has consisted of getting the Victoria Line from Brixton to Victoria.

5 mins - Walk to Brixton Tube
10 mins - Tube from Brixton to Victoria
5 mins - Change at Victoria
20 mins - Tube from Victoria to Tower Hill
5 mins - Walk from Tower Hill to Office
TOTAL: 45 minutes

What a silly girl!

My new route is:
10 mins - Walk or bus to Stockwell
20 mins - Northern Line from Stockwell to London Bridge
15 mins - Walk from London Bridge to Office
TOTAL: 45 minutes

15 minutes more walking, no loss of time on commute. The only loss is the reading/thinking/zoning out time that sitting on the Tube gives you, though lots of people get off at London Bridge when I go back home so at least there is usually a seat for my limited Tube journey.

Slightly undone this morning when, not only did I walk to Brixton Tube this morning, but when I sat down I got the sinking feeling that I had left my laptop at home. Muttering a profanity and skipping off the train, I couldn't bear to retrace my steps back to Brixton Tube, and trundled on to Stockwell instead once I had picked up the missing item from home.

Felt pretty chilled out at the office today, lingering remenants of yesterday's Zen. Traidcraft came in to do a presentation and tasting of Fairtrade tea. What with them bringing biscuits, and there being plenty of Fairtrade chocolate in the office, I tried my best to match the chocolate gram per gram with fruit on my new fruit snacking plan, but not sure how the final tally lay.
Oh well!

Pondering a visit to the V&A tomorrow evening, as I didn't quite fit it in to my day off yesterday. The weekend again comes around so soon.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Clouds of Blog

Thanks to lovely Fishy for sending me a text file of my blog, below is a word cloud of it so far ...

Zen and the Art of Taking a Day Off!

Ommm ...

... yes indeed, I have extremely neat hair and a relaxed body, fresh from being pummelled by hot stones (are we humans strange!). Though I do have a nagging headache that I am hoping a big glass of water and an aspirin can fix.

What a great relaxing day, getting up at my leisure, and wandering round Balham, which once again astounded me with the rich pickings from its charity shops.

Unfortunately Jane has just called to say that her grandfather has taken very ill, so she is going to see him this weekend. She sounded so disappointed, not surprisingly considering she had filled the 5 hours I was going to be in Oxford on Saturday with all sorts of splendours. Must make sure we reschedule it though, poor Jane.

So, an evening of jobs, writing and relaxing, then back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Basking Emmy

Ahhhh ... the temptation to stay up extra late on the verge of a lazy day off is almost irresistable, and yet my little eyes do feel like closing.

Plans are coming into place for the rest of the year. Turning 30, weddings, holidays, so much to plan, so much to do!
Looking forward to indulgent V&A visit, writing, Balham charity shopping, haircut and hot stone massage tomorrow. Still keeping up with the new household routine, really helpful for keeping my mind on top of things.
Have taken to eating lots of fruit at work, keeping it on my desk so any hunger pangs are addressed not with a cavewoman-like search for Fairtrade chocolate, but instead by eating a nice apple, clementine or plum. How wholesome!
So, will hopefully be reporting an excessive state of transcendence tomorrow ... watch this space!

Monday, 18 January 2010

#My least favourite things ...#

Have just provided someone, on request, with a list of foods I dislike/cannot eat. Not sure if it is long or short, or even complete for that matter. But quite strange to be an adult and yet find some foods truly so distasteful that if they were put on my plate I simply couldn't go near them.

1 - Sprouts
2 - Baked Beans
3 - Cauliflower
4 - Fresh Leaf Coriander (can cope in small quantities)
5 - Tinned Tuna
6 - Mayonnaise (unless made in the Hive)
7 - Peas (though again, can cope if needed)
8 - Offal

Quite a selection, from a variety of food groups. Definitely much shorter than in my childhood, but still reasonably significant.

Am full of beans (not baked ones, obviously) today, for reasons I can't quite fathom, but am clearly very appreciative of.

Am trying a new way of cleaning my face (will share more details if it actually manages to sort my skin out, looking reasonably good so far) and also trying to tackle the housework in small chunks. Both tips from dear Miranda, bless her!

Also, looking forward to a mid-January, winter-blues-beating, day off this Wednesday. Have booked in not only a haircut, but also the hot stone massage that my parents got me for my birthday last year. A bit late, but all the more appreciated for it.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Birmingham Bliss!

Back from a relaxing weekend in Birmingham staying at Miranda and Nigel's. Had a fun evening with them, along with Jess and Gareth, as we went to a Moroccan restaurant, and today also went for relaxing brunch with Ruth today.

It is just a different lifestyle up there. Far fewer people, many good, comfortable, welcoming pubs, the city all focussed in one place. Moseley Village is very sweet. Although I didn't really know it when I lived in south Brum, it is quaint.

And how we laughed and laughed. I think there is something about the people that you have once shared a house with. As you have seen each other at everybody's worst and best, there is an air of relaxed enjoyment that comes so naturally.

And M&N's house is lovely, we were very spoilt with our own immaculate guest room. Splendid!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Simmer for an hour ...

Ahhh .. have just had a relaxing Friday night bath, whilst simultaneously addressing my backlog of emails. I do let them clog up. I guess because I am pretty good at handling my professional email now, something has to give.

Another slightly trying day, left work pretty late for a Friday. But a joyous weekend in Brum to look forward to.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Back to Back

So, only 9 days back at work, and already I am booking myself back to back meetings, due to the incessant sense of urgency I seem to introduce to every little thing. It was a good day though, ending up in the Crutched Friar for Hannah's leaving do. She is only going for 6 months for a secondment to the Africa Fairtrade Network in Nairobi, but I will miss her both professionally and personally. She seems to think in a similar way to me, and there is always some solace in talking to someone whose brain clicks in the same way as your own.

Charlie has gone to the cinema ... perhaps I can run a book with myself, Poppy, Max (our cats), Salvator and Cornthwaite (our bears) as to what he went to see. Aww shucks, none of them seem to have any money on them! Oh well, my 50p is on 'The Road', which he knew I didn't want to see.

I am tired though. Already ... it is only the 14th Jan ... there is a whole year to go ... yikes!

Spoke to Mum and Dad on my way home, they sound good. They are going to my Great Aunt Isobel's funeral next Tuesday though. Sad, but I don't feel that I knew her at all. Though Mum was close to all her aunts, so I am sad for her more than anything.

Looking forward to a weekend up in Brum with Miranda, Jess and Ruth, meeting Miranda's intended, visiting old haunts and generally indulging in food and drink most heartily!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Away for a Day

Today was a good day. A well constructed, positive away day arranged for my team, where we learned lots about skills, our organisation and each other. Oh ... and we also had curry ... mmmmm!

Whitechapel Gallery was very pleasant too, if a little bit of a maze. Shame I didn't get to catch up with Kat (who works there, I know her from my Mkt course), but good to know that she is just round the corner, so there is really no excuse for us not to meet up for lunch.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Tower Bridge Sketches

Met up with Fish for dinner this evening at an Italian restaurant off Shad Thames overlooking the river called Cantina del Ponte. It was half a reward for all the housework we have done in the last few weeks (which is of course partly its own reward, but that is more boring), but also to use up the Top Table points we have accumulated.

Either way we had a good meal, to start with a light Italian Sausage with Lentils for me and Game Terrine for Fish, with both of us choosing the cosy winter comfort of Pumpkin Fusilli as a main course. Along with sharing a yummy and very sweet Panecotta Bread & Butter Pudding for desert, it was a nice indulgence, but not so outstanding that we would go back there.

I was, unsurprisingly, late as I scampered across Tower Bridge in the cold and the dark towards Butlers Wharf. Even though I was rushing, it was still a great opportunity to stare at the wonderful structure which looks almost fake, or drawn on. Maybe a hologram, projected from the funny headlamp shaped GLA building. Maybe the next time I am on it I will see it flickering ... if I look closely. It is so pretty, especially with its brilliant turquoise blue highlights. This, as well as a fun, creative and chatty meal with Fish, helped me to get over the slightly trying day at work I had.

We wandered back to London Bridge tube, staring up at the walkways that hang above Shad Thames, meandering along the southbank reading the snippets of history dotted around and enjoying the wintery view of the cold, dark river.

Somewhat enjoying the warming winter soup I made on Sunday for lunch this week, though I may switch to the slightly easier Charlie Fish Lunchtime Cereal Plan once the soup is gone. I simply don't think I can be bothered to make soup and take it in every day. Besides, a high fibre cereal and lots of fruit must be better for me than soup, especially when I insist in filling the soup recipe with cream and cheese!

We are having an Away Day at Whitechapel Gallery tomorrow. Deep breaths, and best tolerant hat on. Think patience ... collaboration ... calm ... clear blue oceans ...

Monday, 11 January 2010

Crisp Creative Visions

Finished 'The Graveyard Book' today, one of my Christmas presents from Erika and Dan, and it was magnificent. Short, but it built a rich world, thick with wonder and tension. And apparently it is pushing 70k words ... and I am barely past 21k for my own little book.

Sigh, and it felt so short reading it. Did I read so fast because I was so desparate to see what happened? Of course :) So I need to keep writing so I can try and create something almost as beautiful.

Had a quiet evening in, finishing the book and having a bath. Everybody at work is sick, with colds and tonsil hell. I just hope my immune system can hold this latest barrage off!

Greece is booked for June, Dartmoor is booked for Easter, the year is coming together ...

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Poker and Chores

So, 22 lengths at the pool this morning with Andrew and Alex. A relaxed afternoon doing some more house jobs, sewing on buttons, cooking soup for the week, sorting the lounge. As a reward I think we are going out to dinner on Tuesday night. A bit indulgent, but something to get us over the dreary weather. The snow has inevitably turned to rain ... my most hated of all precipitation.

Andrew and Erika cooked a lovely casserole this evening before Erika proceeded to trounce, Andrew, Alex, Charlie and myself at poker. I should know better really, though I do recall making the arrangement earlier in the week to play 'Run for President'. Dammit, should have stuck to my guns.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Below Zero

My word, it has been cold today. After my fun snowy excursion in town, I got off the bus to find that the world had changed into that strange super-frozen cyclone from the film 'The Day After Tomorrow'! I actually ran home from the bus stop, as the cold was making me gasp slightly in surprise.

A lovely day though, starting with 30 lengths of Brixton pool completed with Alex. Arms ached a bit, it has been a while, and realised that my main problem with pool swimming is boredom. As much as I like the sensation of being in the water, it does make you feel like a fish in a tank going round and round and round ...

Ran into Laura's friend Kate in the pool, who looked happy and healthily pregnant. Good to see her, it has been a while.

Then off into town after yummy mozzerella salad lunch to do some exploring, photo taking and thinking to take me on into the next stride of my book. With a little detour via the stinky cheese stall at Borough market :) Started off at Marylebone, then London Bridge, then Monument and beyond, then home. Need to spend some reasonable amount of time at the V&A at some point, perhaps tomorrow. But the whole city, especially City itself, looks splendid in the snow, like a film set. Clearly I have seen 'Bridget Jones' Diary' too many times.

Then back to the freezer of Brixton, but was happily warmed to jump into our centrally heating flat (thank goodness) to find Charlie, Alex, Andrew and Erika playing Super Mario Kart. Joined in and did pretty well whle we nibbled at cheese and pizza. Andrew and Erika disappeared off to see Avatar, while Alex and Charlie proceeded to thrash me at Ingenious. Sigh.

Cement my disappointment by spending the rest of the evening with Charlie defrosting our fridge freezer (the first time in 3 years, well overdue). Not sure if we were very efficient, putting the food outside on the window ledge which was definitely at very low temperatures, using paper towels, a bath mat, a spatula and a hairdryer to hack away at the thick tundra that our freezer had become. But it is done now, another good household task complete, along with the bedroom tidying, study tidying, lounge tidying etc. Who need Spring to clean?!

Any tips on efficient freezer defrosting are very welcome for the future though!

Tomorrow, we are all pootling round to Andrew's at 6 for dinner, a casserole apparently. Bring it on, winter indulgence and extra carbohydrates!

Friday, 8 January 2010

#I've got a peaceful, easy feeling ...#

A relieving and yet still quietly challenging day. An end to a funny week really, what with being back at work, the snow, the trip on Tuesday and my snuffly cold, which is now improving (perhaps it was that apple I ate this afternoon).

A chilled out evening writing with Charlie in the Hive (2000 words, not bad!), joined by Alex for a quick drink (a cup of tea, no less) before heading home. Spent the rest of the evening very relaxed, cleaning the Berocal Cofaneto (well overdue!) and making a mess of myself in the process before QI and bed. Ahhhh ...

... swimming at 11 tomorrow as ice has temporarily halted the running plan. Bring on a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, 7 January 2010


This picture was on the BBC website, incredible really. And it is apparently going to be -20 tonight. The office was sparse today, amusingly the more senior you are, the further away you live (in the 'burbs), and the less likely you were able to get into work. I struggled against the fountain of snot pouring out of my head and decided to go into the office after all, although two out of my three meetings were cancelled due to snow stopping play.

Have finished sorting the study this evening, it is refreshing to have everything neatly in its place.

Have started reading one of my Christmas presents from Erika and Dan, 'The Graveyard Book' by Neil Gaiman. Even having barely read the first chapter I am inspired and wrapped up in the rich winding tapestry of the journey. In fact, Neil Gaiman's blog is one of the few I read, full of library cats, a British life in Minnesota, and a vision of a creative man strolling through life.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The exhaustion of 2010

Woke up this mornin coughing and spluttering with an ever growing mountain of white tissues by my bed. I am a little frustrated that I have yet another cold, possibly another symptom of not running for 5 months, but it seems a little unfair. Am I really that unhealthy? Clearly more orange juice needed.

Worked from home today, more due to my delicacy of health rather than the snow. there was barely any falling until the afternoon in Brixton, but when it did it was splendid. Great tufts of fluff falling from the dusty white sky.

Managed to make some progress tidying the study this evening too. Charlie has been running his 30th birthday/Easter plans past me too ... sounds like great fun!

Sunshine forecast for tomorrow. Not for poor Mr Brown though, seems like my director was right when he said a leadership battle is imminent. I guess they are trying to get it done with as much time as possible before the election so they have a new spangly leader who can face nice Mr Cameron with pizzazz.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Back in London after a jaunt up north on my first day back at work. Having planned the transport meticulously, it took an hour and a half to take a 15 minute cab ride, thus throwing everything out of kilter. Could be worse though, another meeting attendee was snowed into their house. It was beautiful though, with the snow delicately slinging to trees and a complete white out in some areas on our way home on the train.

It is somewhat strange to be back, which proves I must have had a good and relaxing break. With some internal changes going over the next few months, I am pondering what the Spring and Summer will bring.

Once again I have been struck down in my prime by the irritating snuffles, which is making my evening of sorting out become somewhat of an evening of sitting down and watching the Futurama videos I found at the local charity shop. Sweet indulogence ...

Saturday, 2 January 2010

A Quick Note

Started the day off by running 5km with Alex, took us around 33 mins and 47 seconds. Not bad for two bodies full of Christmas cheer! In full training now for the BUPA 10km in May, will hopefully be enough to get me back to being as trim and jaunty as I was last summer.

Ended up NOT in the pub yesterday, instead everybody poured round to ours for board games (ok, Ingenious is great fun) and chatting. A lovely, friendly way to start the new year.

So, the final 24 hours of freedom will be spent hastily rushing through the sorting out I need to complete before returning to work, all the tasks I have been meekly avoiding whilst getting my Zen back.

And I think it is back. The level of relaxation reached when leaving the spa with Andrew on Wednesday was pretty good and, despite a brief hiccup, has not left me since.

The only mild concern is a gradual leak from my right nostil and a slight tenderness in my throat. The beginning of something? Surely not ... aaaaa .... aaaaaatchooooooo!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Fresh, Bright, Shining and New!

And a happy new year to all!

Feeling bright and spangly after a refreshing new year of fun quizzes and games at Andrew's, and having overdone it on the 30th, not having overindulged last night. Hence, here I am starting off the new year well slept, feeling bright and ready to take on the new decade.

It was a good night last night, Alex truly does run a good quiz. We were slightly thwarted by Tony's ability to recall all Prime Ministers, Monarchs, Olympic locations and football managers since the dawn of time, but it was a well fought fight. And the ridiculous spiky lighting up toys were an excellent prize and highly entertaining and disturbing at the same time.

A lovely cosy evening in ... and a new dawn is here. To the pub at 3pm ...!