Thursday, 29 April 2010

Bank Holiday Hoopla

Charlie called, very bored at Chicago airport. Looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.

Had a busy evening of getting jobs done. Ran out of bin bags, I am sure recycling bags will do until Mon.

Looking forward to Miranda's wedding in Cornwall , fingers crossed for good traffic. We are going to see Charlie's Aunt and Uncle beforehand too, which should also be fun.

And also roll on a restful Monday :)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Overwhelmed and just a little bit Knackered

After a couple of evening staying late at work, I could barely get anything done when I came home tonight at 9:30.

Nilufar at work has been such a star helping me with my CIM, but I just don't have the energy at the moment to get it done. Am starting to wonder whether I should get a couple of leave days in the diary to blast through it.

Lots of jobs to do tomorrow evening, but for now the best decision is rest ...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Blinky Winky

Stayed late at work today. Pleased to have been making more progress with the house

Poppy is being exceptionally squeaky and friendly, I guess she is missing her Daddy. It is a strange mix of both completely missing him, and enjoying full and imposed independence for a short time. Charlie did call me today though. Was lovely to speak to him, though quite funny as we both hate the phone so much.

Very blinky today, hoping it is not the onset of hayfever.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

A Good Neighbour and Domestic Bliss?

Went round to join the Gateley Road gang in their chat with the council yesterday evening, and they were very friendly. Jamie from the Council seemed smarty and helpful, but it is just so hard to prove anything when large rubbish gets left in the middle of the night.

Then headed off to the V&A to see the Quilts exhibion, so beautiful! Not too keen on the modern ones, but the historical quilts were just fabulous, such sumptuous flowing patterns. Then cam back home to tackle the lounge ... another rearranging!

Today spent all day on the ensuite bathroom, which has been in a bit of a state for a while now. Though bathrooms take so much time, resealing, whitening the grout etc. But it is nearly done.

Fi came round in the afternoon as she was staying overnight, really lovely to see her, and we went to Andrew's for dinner and a game of 'The Hustings' in preparation for election day.

Feeling nervous about having said I would join my work colleagues watching the marathon tomorrow given that the is so much to do on the house and my CIM. Perhaps better to duck out rather than spend the day worrying.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Who's got the most coins?

Spent the evening at ours with Erika and Dan, playing Mario on the Wii and having dinner. Also had the leadership debate on in the background, but was too tempting to give Cameron a negative vote on the Guardian live polling device.

Was sweet to watch the cine film of Erika and Charlie when they were little.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Pub followed by Pub

Had a lovely couple of half pints in the pub with work people, then returned to Brixton to join Charlie, Andrew and Erika T at the Hive where Charlie was drinking away his disappointment at his Texas flight (probably) being cancelled, Erika was getting addicted to the flight management game on his I-Pod and Andrew was getting pretty poor flag scores on I-Geo.

For the record, I am once again the queen of I-Geo with around 38,000 points ... go flags!

Monday, 19 April 2010

The Gateley Road Mafia

The doorbell rang this evening. Curious, I thought, though perhaps my dear husband had forgotten his keys.

"Are you Emma Sundt. living at the First Floor Flat?"

"Ummm ... yes? Why do you ask?"

"Well, your recycling was left all along our road."

"Oh, well we did a bit of a sort out this weekend, but we put it by the door as per usual, not down your road." said the blonde girl, sweetly.

"Well, there has been a lot of fly tipping around here lately, and we are trying to stop it. The police and the council are involved."

"Well" said the blonde girl, still smiling sweetly but being very firm, "I would be pleased to give you my phone number, and would be happy to speak to the police about how I left my recycling by my front door as I am permitted to do. Though clearly, for some inexplicable reason, some people think it should be strewn down your road."

And so the conversation went on. As these situations tend to go, they clearly saw that I am not the fly-tipping/yob/mean type, and we began sharing stories of how various challenging things sometimes go on around our respective houses. For example, we have one bin between 4 flats, and have tried to get another one from the council in vain. Oh, and the time my car got broken into (a long time ago, my car was left in the P&G carpark 3 years ago now).

They were a nice couple of guys too, clearly doing their fierce civic duty by addressing such travesties of justice in their neighbourhood. We shook hands, and did proper introductions once I had verbally redeemed myself, and they even kindly brought our recycling back. One even gave me his card, I guess he felt it was a bit uneven, what with him now having my name, address, mobile number and email address! Perhaps shoe size also?!?!

Still feel a bit tense at being confronted on my own doorstep for something I didn't do, but pleased to feel so confident in my own innocence and pleased to have potentially cracked into a local circle of community minded people. At last, a chance to grow even more into the Margot Ledbetter mould!!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Busy doing nothing

Wow, maybe all the volcanic ash has swept all the clouds and the winter away?!

Had a lovely sunny day, starting off with a lovely lie in and a laze around with Fish while he did some e-jobs. Then hoiked myself off for a 5km run around Brixton. Starting to feel the benefit of running more regularly. My time is improving, and I don't feel quite so deathly.

Then flittered around for the afternoon sorting and addressing a bit of my CIM while Charlie wrote and Norris joined us for some computer jobs she had to do. During the flittering I sorted out all the empty boxes that have been cluttering up the spare room, and also found a pink ribbon (see below).

Then hung out in the Duke of Edinburgh beer garden, subtly enjoying no planes flying overhead. Afterwards we went to Norris' house where we ate pizza, listened to Tori Amos, Charlie wrote, and Norris taught me how to felt (results below).

All in all, a brill weekend! Even looking forward to tomorrow, though roll on 3 day weekend season ;)

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sunny Saturday

Yes, the sunshine is still so joyous it deserves to be in the title :)

Had a lovely lie in, and met with Veronica and Rachel at UK Aware. Still not quite as good as two years ago at the Barbican, but still interesting (especially the guy having a massive go at the banking industry). And had a relaxing pub lunch with Veronica.

Then pootled up to Holloway Road to check out Vivien of Holloway's dresses in anticipation of Miranda's wedding. Still in two minds, though they are beautiful!

So far, 3 people I know have been affected by the flight ban. Alex (who was going to Washington), Kirsten (also headed towards the States) and Liam (spending an unexpected second week in South Africa). I just hope that it doesn't expand to 5 people, as Theresa and Charlie are booked to go to Austin, TX, on Wednesday to see David.

Tomorrow need to address my CIM backlog, whilst perhaps making time for felting with Norris while Liam is stuck in S.A..

Friday, 16 April 2010

Oh blessed Friday, bringer of beer and sun!

Ploughed through my 'to do list' today to escape after work to the pub with colleagues, and then to meet up with Fish. He has a geography app on his I-Phone that I had a clear lead on. He was proudly showing me that he beat it, then I beat him instantly. Hooray! It is not often that I get to beat Mr Fish, so enjoying it while I can.

Came home to watch Back to the Future, which is such a great film. Classic!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

A New Day!

Had a great and productive day. Swooshed through my emails and work tasks for the day, made easier by a lunchtime run which filled me full of vim and vigour.

Tidied up the lounge, the study and our room, putting washing away and making the bed in the spare room. Sorted through one of the many piles of paper, and also my post tray, leading to a great feeling of acheivement. Accidently missed the election debate, but seems that may not have been a bad move.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Relief and Space

Pleased to get the big meeting out the way, and pleased it went well.

Have perhaps now eaten too much chocolate in mild celebration.

Bought daffodils to brighten up the house, especially as I am convinced we will be so busy over the next 7 weeks that any form of brightening or indulgence is easily permissible.

Charlie's pride and joy, a new camcorder, has just arrived in the post. He looks a little like it is Christmas morning ... how sweet!

Working from home tomorrow, will be a good opportunity to catch up on all my admin, especially in anticipation of my annual appraisal in the next week or so.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Long and Winding Day

Stayed late at work, had a good chat with Sam and Reena and also set up some of my CIM planning sessions. Has only dawned on me now that there is so much to do before the end of May. I can feel us both tipping over the edge of the busyness precipice.

Big meeting tomorrow so must get some sleep.

Monday, 12 April 2010


A funny day at work. So much to do at the moment and crazy deadlines. My boss has had a baby, which is fab news, but it is hard when so many people are away or we have vacancies. But we do our best.

Went to my CIM class in the evening, realise I have to make some tangible progress before the end of April or I risk giving myself massive stress palpitations at the end of May (the deadline).

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Bright, Bright Sunshiney Day

Felt like hell this morning having over indulged in Guildford last night. As a penance went running with Andrew and Alex this morning, meeting Alex's parents for a cup of tea afterwards. Now having a lazy afternoon, deciding between doing jobs and a quick nap.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Old friends

Had a beautiful sunny day out in Guildford, first with Robin, Marion, Erika and Dan, then meeting up with Charlie's old school friends for Nick's 30th birthday. Had a lovely evening, first doing v well at Laser quest, then chatting to Clare and Danni. I really don't see enough of them.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Food Glorious Food

Had a glorious and gluttenous evening with Erika and Dan at Le Chardon near Clapham Common, which was their treat as a 30th birthday present. Steak Tartar, fried brie, creme brulee, good wine ... marvellous! And an appropriate length of walk home to digest.

Kirtsen is with us temporarily over the weekend. Heading to Guildford tomorrow to meet up with Robin, Marion and Erika, then to meet with Charlie's old school friends for a birthday Quasar and restaurant session.

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Closed my Barclays accounts ...

Had a drink with colleagues ...

More Hen progress ...

Now sleepy ... snoooore!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Spent two hours in the Hive tonight breaking the back of my two marketing assignments. It is going to take a good chunk of time to get through both of them at the same time, but it is good to feel more confident about what needs to be done.

Came home feeling duly energised by progress and a glass of prosecco, so folded all the washing and downloaded a couple of podcasts in anticipation of a potential run over the next couple of days.

In bed enjoying the new snuggly Poppy who loves to pad around and be indulgently mollycoddled even more than before. She is so fluffy, and just a teeny bit more chunky than she used to be. Not a bad thing, as the vet said previously she was underweight.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

Everybody pulls together as we clean up the accommodation, and our weekend landlady is satisfied. Head off, and spend the whole journey playing ‘French Toast’, where you are asked questions and have to answer them , only revealing another letter of the word you are once you cannot answer.

Took far too long being served for food in a pub, and quite worried about getting back to London on-time, but seeing Stonehenge and a magically clear M3 all serve to cement the success of the journey.

A big thanks and shout out to all those who came along with Charlie and I, Alex, Andrew S, Andrew M, Fi & Andrew, Laura & Ian, Jonathan and Louise, Norris and Liam, Natalie and Pete, Becky, Nik, Bobbin and Neil, Jess and Gareth, Marion and Robin, Nick H, Mink & Dave, Jo and Kevin, Matthew G, Matthew S, Owen, Kirsten.

Also had a lovely time when back in Brixton having dinner with Andy Hall, and old Spalding school compadre of mine who has been working in Thailand for the last 5 years. Lovely to catch up with him as always, and to hear his latest news. Erika and Dan also dropped off Poppy, and listened in to some of Andy’s tales.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Blue Sky, and a Life Cut Short

The first thing I am properly aware of today is the blue sky beaming through the skylight, then immediately afterwards Marion murdering me in cold blood with a teatowel. Honestly, you think you know someone?!

Managed to gather together a ‘Team Bagpuss’, so while ‘Team Intrepid’ went off to climb rocks and walk a very long way, a group of us has a pleasant amble over the nearby ridge where we both enjoyed the sunshine and saw snow. Half decided to detour to the pub, I continued home with the ‘cup of tea’ contingent.

Team Intrepid's Lunch Break

Alex helped me cook all of the BBQ bits and pieces for the evening meal, it is not easy to fill two ovens and make sure a kitchen full of people don’t burn themselves as they walk past. But we managed it and everybody seemed once again full.

Charlie and I draw in our ‘Jess Challenge’ to race to the wood shed with a balloon between each of our legs (though I was trying for a win).

Then we all delve into Mink’s Murder Mystery. It is Widecombe many years ago, and somebody is about to be killed. With costumes and amusing voices, it was exceedingly good fun. “Danny, Danny, we love you!”

Oh, and a big happy birthday to Theresa!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Murder Most Horrid

Overjoyed to murder Becky quite early in the day, finishing off Neil soon afterwards with a fork. Feel very naughty as I invent the pretext of inviting him outside to help me lift a heavy box. Chivalry, if you weren’t dead before, you are now! Plan for my next deed, Matthew Gill with a Scotch Egg.

Team Intrepid head off for a walk in the rain, whilst a more indoor bunch stay inside to read, practise crafts etc. A lovely day of games, card making with glitter, learning to crochet …

… Becky helped me with the basics of crotchet with her ‘rough’ pink wool. Which, when I extend myself to cylinders, looks extremely rude. I try to fix this by creating a ball, and attempt to avoid the testicular similarities by insisting it is a cat toy (on our return, Poppy is not convinced).

Spend a while chopping veg with Marion and Kirsten, turns out my quantities are not bad (will add cooking for 32 people to my CV) as everybody seems full up and happy before we start Alex’s quiz. As always it is excellent, some great connections, music round, geography/map round. People are sufficiently rambunctious to enjoy, whilst being clear about which constitutes a full point, and a half point.

Oh, and the evening are also punctured by Jess’ challenges, last night’s was a 30th birthday rap by us both … turns out Brixtonians can’t rap, or at least we can’t.

Charlie has also already had some good games of Settlers of Catan, my 30th b’day present to him.

Have an interesting game of Werewolf, where I learn how clear it is for me and Andrew to understand each other, even in a deceptive board game situation. However the upshot of that is that when he is a werewolf in the following game he chooses to vote me off asap … curses!

Also make an assassin deal with Big Dave to swap my Matthew G for his Nik O … so neither of our victims are expecting this. Kill Nik accordingly … both he and Matthew seem peeved by this development.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Motorway Emptiness?

A hasty exit, met up with our minibus companions successfully in Gunnersbury to head off to Dartmoor. Traffic not too bad, a couple of snarl ups but nothing fatal. Arranged to meet with Bobbin and Neil at Tesco in Exeter so we can fit all the food in, catering for 32 people on 3 nights needs lots of ingredients!

A joy to swing the bus over the top of the valleys, seeing sunbeams shimmer on the towns below. Dartmoor turns out to be very open, less craggy peaks and more broad moors.

Our accommodation (in the background, the owner's house in front) and a massive ginger Tom Cat!

Arrive to find Robin and Marion, Bobbin and Neil, Jess and Gareth and others already enjoying beer o’clock. Decide to abandon the complex, veg-chopping, pasta plans for tonight and swap with easy pizza. Churn out tonnes of pizza, salad. and garlic bread. Charlie has already explained that we will have one of the staff rooms, leaving the others to deal with the noisy, cold dorms. Feel guilty, but not guilty enough to resist.

Our first Jess challenge, a rap ...

Bobbin initiated a game of Assassin … all those playing are given a victim (a fellow player) and a murder weapon with which they have to touch their victim, but only when nobody is witnessing. I draw Becky with a Mancala glass bead … loving it already!

Make some vague plans for the morrow, already bracing for rain. A noisy night, with assassinations already in the offing.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Eyelids closing, brain grinding to a halt ...

Had a lovely dinner at Erika and Dan's, where they were also hosting Erika's old friend Sam. Was good to see her! We took Poppy round, she seemed much calmer in more familiar surroundings, as she has stayed at E and D's before.

So now we are all packed up, we have identified a massive supermarket en route, so we should be ready to go when we get up tomorrow.

But for now I am so tired I may just fall asleep whilst writing thi ...