Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Whistle While You Work

Had a constructive day of working from home, ploughing through some of my more arduous and outstanding admin jobs. Then finished at 5 on the dot to plunge into lots of very useful tidying.

Sorted out the study, the tool boxes, my calligraphy stuff, the lounge, and made some good progress on the various piles that get gradually bigger in our bedroom, the ones that gradually drive Charlie a bit round the bend.

Also, in the tidying, put all the different cat stuff away ... the catnip mice, the brush, the treats. Was sad but necessary. An excuse to put some more cat photos in the blog anyway. The second photo was kindly sent through by Keller from when she was staying with us. Such a beautiful picture, she has an exceptional eye:

Oh, and my Dad says the bendy trains are on the new East London Line ... must try them out, if ever I am in that neck of the woods.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Self-Discipline and Patterned Seats

A challenging day at work. Must remember to listen to people’s advice when they tell me to pick my battles. My dad always said that there was a particular face of distaste I used to reserve for my Headmaster when I was at Primary School, and I could feel myself pulling the same face today. Must keep the end goal in mind. Must remember that honest confrontation is not always appropriate. Must consider what I am really trying to achieve.

Spending the evening writing in the Hive with Charlie-Fish and Norris, to be honest I can’t imagine a better way to relieve myself of the day’s frustrations and be surrounded by lots of good, constructive (and yummy) things and people.

Also, it still cheers me up to come back home on the posh new Victoria Line trains, although they are not as spectacularly different as I was expecting (i.e. was expecting a long wormy train, but it still has separated carriages). Picture of seat pattern (most important bit!) below.

Made even more progress with Erika’s Hen Weekend, which is now almost here. Am extremely excited, I promise to tell all once I am back on Sunday.

Working from home tomorrow, which should give me perspective on today’s shenanigans.

Have added a few new posts below, and some giant pterodactyl photos from last Tuesday too ...

Monday, 28 June 2010

Grande Chai Tea Latte, please!

Left work at 6 (pretty early for me) and spent an hour in Starbucks writing. Is refreshing to get back into the story again, and feel that it actually has some potential. Restarted Michael Palin’s 1980’s diaries to help inspire me, and taking his 1970’s diaries on the tube (as the 1980’s are a massive hardback book, too big for an efficient commute).

Busy evening preparing for Erika’s Hen, everybody has been so helpful in bringing it all together, can’t wait to meet all the ladies!

Charlie is extra busy at the moment, thriving but choca-block with his different writing projects/course.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


Watched the disappointing football round at Andrew's, with Erika, Alex, Matty and Ellie the elephant (see above). But despite the drama and poor eyesight of the ref, was please to simultaneously get back into writing my book. Once I am through this round of corrections, am going to give the draft to Mr Fish for his thoughts, before I begin to flesh out more of the detail.
Headed back home before the Mexico Argentina game started, indulging in a little Galaxy before Charlie got home, tired but happy after his Go-filled weekend.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Sunshine and Swedes

A really lovely day, selling lots of old designer clothes at Retro Woman in Notting Hill Gate (one of my favourite shops for 15 years, but now a bit too high and mighty for me). Then to Balham to check out the charity shops, and got a couple of great work tops (though I am really in need of trousers).

Then off to Sevenoaks for a sunny afternoon and dinner with my friends from South America. Lucy’s veggie patch was just amazing, with giant strawberries, pumpkins, pak choi, broad beans, swedes, tomatoes and plenty more. Then to Zapato’s Mexican Restaurant for dinner, they even had Fairtrade wine! Was very easy to get down into Kent, must make sure I do it again soon.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Constructive and Relaxed

Feeling a bit better now the weekend is here, have made a start on my long list of jobs. Charlie has gone to his Go tournament in North Wales, and the house is peaceful. But there is lots to do ...

... and Matty is coming back for the week, before he heads off to Prague.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Mood Writing

Have been feeling quite angry this week, probably fuelled somewhat by the loss of our dear little Poppy on Monday. Work has been challenging, though I am very pleased that our new Director seems completely on the ball, and it is only his first day.

Pulling final bits and pieces together for Erika's Hen, really pleased it has all come together so well.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Without Cats ...

... the flat is very different. Doors to the outside can be kept open, but the bathroom door can be kept closed. Cat fur can be hoovered away for good. The hallway does not mewl gently when you come home from work. Laptops are not trampled, your dinner is safe and the cat treats on the side have no use anymore. Fake mice can be extracted from under chairs, and other chasing toys and the scratching post can be untied, unscrewed and undone. There are no demands for supper, and there will be no sweet furry alarm call for breakfast tomorrow morning. And the gentle sound of Poppy landing on the duvet to knead the covers and swirl lovingly around us to say goodnight before falling asleep at the end of the bed will not happen anymore.
I didn't sleep much last night, just wanted to stay up as late as possible chatting with Charlie-Fish. And so morning came too soon and I was pretty tired, but had a good day of meetings in York, with the sun beaming down on York Minster and a chip buttie for comfort food.
The flat seems very empty without them. I would love to get more cats, but it is just not practical in the short term, besides I think we both need some time to remember Max and Poppy. We were so lucky to have them both, such friendly, happy, personable cats. I don't regret a minute of it, one of the best decisions we have ever made to take them in.
Had a light hearted dinner with Mink and Dave at Pain Quotidien this evening to discuss a games project Charlie has his eye on, was very soothing and pleasant company, especially in contrast to yesterday's events. Especially with the giant pterodactyls outside the Royal Festival Hall.

Monday, 21 June 2010

My baby Poppet is no more

Poppy did not get any better from the oxygen tent, and she went into cardiac arrest. On trying to resuscitate her with adrenalin, they found lots of pus in her lungs, so she apparently had a massive infection. And she died this afternoon.

So sudden ... she was still eating food and treats yesterday! She was not herself, but did not seem nearly as severe as the vet now tells us, as the extent of the infection came up on the xray.

She was such a beautiful girl, always so sweet and such a tart, prancing round the middle of the room for attention or chasing your toes through the duvet. She would chirrup and purr, and was so friendly to everybody.

We will miss her so much, our Supercat.

A Thought for Poppy ...

... she is in an oxygen tank and going to the cat hospital, as her breathing got worse. Poor kitty ...

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Fringe of Concern ...

Have had a week of indulgence, playing lots of Super Mario Galaxy 2 while Charlie finished off his video of the trip to Austin, TX.

Had a nice evening yesterday, meeting our new nextdoor neighbour Lucas, who seems really nice and has just moved here from Chile. Went round to Andrew's later where he and Alex were grumpily commiserating over the football with Erika T and Norris. Mink also came round to play, was good to hang out with them all.

Spent today celebrating out goddaughter Matty's 2nd birthday in a lovely park with lots of her family. Then came back to have a relaxed evening with Charlie at home.

Bit worried about Poppy. She has been breathing very heavily and been a bit off her food for the last few days, and does not seem to be getting any better ... which is worrying. Will be taking her to the vet next week. My baby is sick ...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Back to Work ...

Not a bad first day back, a bit of hysteria and lots of chocolate helped.

Also Super Mario Galaxy 2 was waiting when I came back today ... joy!

Plus Matty is coming to stay for a few while he is in between houses in Chichester, will be lovely to see him!

Now having an SMG2 break to watch the season finale of Glee ... which is Glextraordinary!!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lazy Day

So, after spending a great deal of time yesterday sculpting the perfect 'To Do' list, I spent today having a lie in, doing a bit of tidying, playing Super Mario Galaxy 1 (as I wait for SMG 2) and baking chocolate macaroons.

Fish came back from Dan's stag not looking too broken.

We are both somewhat in anticipation of what work holds in store for us tomorrow ...

Saturday, 12 June 2010

A Cat called Ptolemy

Just watched the Sky at Night, with a beautiful fluffy black cat called Ptolemy in the front of the screen as Patrick Moore signed off. What a great name for a cat.

Busy getting my post-holiday jobs done today, lots of washing etc. Also found some time to pop into Brixton. There is an event on in the recently renovated Windrush Square, and as a result I am now a member of the Brixton Society and an official Friend of the Brixton Windmill (as well as a proud owner of both a basil and a thyme plant).

Feeling a little exhausted still, did not sleep for very long last night so trying to avoid having a siesta, which became so normal in Greece.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Home Again

Feeling calm and regenerated after a week in Greece. Mum and Dad kindly hosted dinner this evening for me, Andrew and Erika, which made coming back even easier.

Charlie is up in Edinburgh for Dan Keat's stag weekend. So I have a long weekend of getting back into the swing of things ... no, wait ...

... as always, I have come from Greece full of beans and inspired to do lots with my time. So evening though a relatively free weekend awaits, I feel unable to decide which of the exciting things to do first (once the washing, changing sheets and house tidying is sorted).

Potential excitement includes signing up for Bikram yoga in Balham, exploring Brixton Market, going to Ikea, various sorting of the kitchen and the study, and maybe even watching the England World Cup match. After all, if the whole nation is football crazy, who am I to resist?!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

In Greece and slightly confused

Having a lovely time in Greece with Charlie's Grandparents. Has been a bit rainy but the sun is due out tomorrow apparently. Lots of incredible food, and catching up on sleep and books ... reading Michael Pollan's 'In Defense of Food'.

Also, Google locked me out of my accounts which was very strange, and I hope there has not been any nefarious activity in my name ... the internet can be a scary place!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

"May you live in Interesting Times ..."

Stayed at work till late, finished my 'work work' at about 8pm, got my CIM docs all printed out at about 9:30pm. Still needed to do some tweaks and rewrites at home, but all now in place to submit a paper and electronic copy tomorrow as required.

Had a good appraisal this morning, bodes well for the future.

Lots of jobs to get done on my day off tomorrow before Greece.

Legs still ache a bit.

Looking forward to seeing Mum and Dad who are flat and cat sitting.

Exhausted ... but relieved!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A Long Day

Up at 4am to jump on a flight to Bonn for a meeting, then rushed back to the flat to pick up Patrick (our neighbour from the upstairs flat) to go to our local Neighbourhood Watch meeting. Everybody had had a few Pimms, including Sally the local councillor, but good to feel a small part of making things change. A nice bunch!

Having a quick laze before bed, as have been flat out all day.

And my legs!! How they ache ...