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Year Me Out (January 2007)  
Posted by Laura on Monday 1st January 2007 at 11:18 PM

Year Me Out for January...




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#1   
Posted by Richard on Wednesday 3rd January 2007 at 11:27 PM

Re: 3/1/2007 ... Any suggestions? You could get that lazy, good-for-nothing husband to ... hang on a minute!

Have you thought about going to bed earlier?


  Blog Entries  [31]   Comments  [1]  


#31: 31/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Wednesday 31st January 2007 at 10:16 PM

I watched 'Party Animals' tonight on BBC2. Very good, very promising new drama. Slick production, interesting albeit a little shallow characters and best of all a fab contemporary soundtrack and a hooking plot. Yes I shall be watching again next week. Very 'This Life' but not so many annoying camera angles and better dressed people. Even so nothing holds a candle to 'Capital City' now that was good.

This show was serious and not funny - now I caught an early epidosde of Ally McBeal last night from 1999 - gosh I miss that too and again that had an excellent sound track - I still listen to my Vonda Shepard CDs and have tonight dowloaded into iTunes. Bliss. And its all got me thinking that some of the best dramas have already been made and had their run and now you can buy them cheap on DVD. I really must look out for Ally McBeal. I very much doubt that Capital City ever got put on video let alone DVD. Ahh memories.



#30: 30/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Tuesday 30th January 2007 at 10:55 PM

It is get ready for diet time. I am starting in earnest on 1st February -I don't believe in dieting in January - you have to wind down after Christmas plus it usually takes that long to finish off all the Christmas cake. Admittedly this year there was no cake to finish off- a good thing too probably - but you have to be in the right frame of mind. And suddenly the weather is feeling a little warmer, milder and the mornings are getting a little lighter - the days are longer and maybe just maybe Spring is on its way in the not too distance future and having salad for lunch as opposed to something with carbs for warmth in it doesn't seem like such an unattractive option. No rubbish shall pass my lips in February that includes sweets, cakes, chocolates and alcohol and anythong containing trans fats. Today I have invested in a Juicer so I will make myself healthy juices and smoothies and see if I can get fitter that way. I have bought a book that says loose 7lbs in 7 days following some juice diet and exercise plan - not sure about the exercise plan yet but it is worth a try I guess. Can't wait to give it a try. Here is to the new me. All New Year resolutions should start in February don't you think?



#29: 29/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Monday 29th January 2007 at 10:18 PM

It was just another manic Monday today. Only that makes it sound more exciting than it was. The last one in January this year. Good riddance perhaps. Nothing much notable happened really. Head down at work all day. Writing Group in the evening. The weather was nondescript all day. Still I feel content. Sometimes it is good to have a day without conflict, a day without difficult decisions. Just a day that passed that is all. Enough said.



#28: 28/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Sunday 28th January 2007 at 09:45 PM

Agoraphobia Weekend Part 2.

Well I ventured outside today, twice!! I put some plastic bottles in the recycling bin round the side of the house and I got some meat out of the freezer in the garage but that was it. I was too busy to worry that I wasn’t getting out and I had no need to go out in any case. Tomorrow I will be back at work and I will drive to work of course and all will be well with the world again and no know or suspect my secret shame.

Richard took Mark to his football today because Adam’s match didn’t clash. Mark's team won! He scored a goal and in fact came back with the “Man of the Match” trophy so he was one very happy boy. We were going to possibly be having visitors in the afternoon so I vacuumed and dusted downstairs and I baked blueberry muffins and fruity flapjacks. I also made chicken stock for soup for next weekend and I prepared a lamb shanks casserole for tonight’s dinner so I wasn’t idle in any way. I even found the time to read some of the Sunday papers. All in all, a very busy day. Iain, Vicky, Jhelissa and Harrison all came over too after five o’clock and the muffins were very much appreciated. After dinner I watched Top Gear and saw Richard Hammond crashing his car. It was scary and so good to see him back. I also watched the end of Big Brother and halleluiah, Shilpa Shetty won!! 63% of the vote no less- the public loves her so I hope that she does well and is successful. Good always triumphs over evil in the end and that was the fairytale ending that we were all hoping for. Shilpa was so gracious and she only had good things to say about Jade in the end too so she will definitely go far.



#27: 27/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Saturday 27th January 2007 at 11:08 PM

Agoraphobia Weekend Part 1.

I’m having an Agoraphobia Weekend this weekend. It’s something I do from time to time. I wonder, I worry if it is the preserve of the fortysomething woman or if it is just me? I'm thinking maybe it is just me and maybe I do have a problem.

What is an Agoraphobia weekend you might ask? It’s simple, it’s one where you don’t go out at all – you don’t leave the confines of your house or the footprint of your house and garden. I didn’t step outside at all today – not even to go to the garage to get something out of the freezer. I thought about it. I thought about popping out to Sainsbury’s to get a few bits, I though about going to the School uniform shop in the village to buy Mark some new trousers and I thought about paying the papers at the Newsagents but I did none of these things. I didn't want to walk and I didn't want to drive anywhere today

It is possible to have an Agoraphobia weekend because these days you can make everything come to you. Ocado delivered my weekly shopping last night and I was able to get Richard to go to Sainsbury’s for the few extras that I needed on his way to picking up Mark from his friend’s house – Richard dropped Mark off at his friend's too. I could have taken him but it would have meant driving and these friends have a long drive with only one way in and out and no turning space even for my little car so the only way out is to reverse back down the length of the tree lined drive and then turn round an equally tree lined corner. For me this is a nightmare – I’ve done it a few times. I’ve even done it in the dark and that is worse and that is what it would have been at six o’clock at night. It is easier, safer and less fear inducing for me to stay at home. PArticularily when I feel like this.

I drive to Sainsburys many times but today I couldn’t climb over that wall of dread and fear, it means reversing out of the drive. I hate reversing and every car journey I make from home starts with this manoeuvre and some days I just can’t face it. I can’t face it at all. I figure it is safer for everyone if I just stay off of the road when I feel like this. If I stay inside and wait for the feeling to pass. It’s not like I didn’t have lots to do. I did 5 loads of washing and hung it all up to dry. I prepared lunch – warmed up homemade chick pea and chirizo soup I made last weekend with bread, cheese, cold meats and crackers (cucumber and baby tomatoes for me because I am obsessed with getting my 5 a day). It was curry night tonight and I prepared it all from first principles – no cook-in sauces or ready prepared side dishes for me. I turned to Madha Jaffrey and we had her sag aloo (made with fresh spinach and not frozen and baby new potatoes), black eyed beans with mushrooms (I used tinned rather than dried black-eyed beans, it’s quicker to prepare and I’m sure she would approve I’m not sure you could buy tinned ones twenty years ago when I first got her M&S recipe book) and I did chicken in a sweet pepper sauce. I only discovered this recipe in the book about 2 years ago and it is brilliant – it doesn’t involve cream or yoghurt but the sauce is thick and creamy because it is made from a spicy paste that involves all fresh ingredients – sweet red peppers, ginger, onion, garlic and then it has almonds – you are meant to use blanched slivered almonds but I used almond flakes. All you need is a blender and a good sturdy frying pan and it is so easy to do. It all went down very well anyway. I watched the BBC News at 10 past 10 and Match of the Day before going to bed. I didn’t feel I’d missed out on anything by staying in all day but I guess I will never know.

So there you are, a day in the life of a closet agoraphobic where coming out, or going out even I guess means that you are cured. Cured or able that is to suppress the feelings for a while, just long enough from time to time to come across as normal.



#26: 26/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Friday 26th January 2007 at 10:48 PM

My creative writing homework for Monday , done on time for once.

The Passage

Does the moon catch your eye in the soft early light
As a new day is dawning and calming the night
Does the breeze brush your face as the clocks chime for noon
Do you care that the mornings are over too soon
Does the sound of the school children leaving the yard
Bring four o’clock memories when life was less hard
Does the sun kiss the hill as you walk round the bay
When your shadows are tall at the end of the day

© Laura Notley 2007




#25: 25/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Friday 26th January 2007 at 06:09 PM

The promised snow for today did not materialise but it was really really cold and I had to scrape the frost off of my car windows this morning. Early in the morning before the sun was fully up the roads were glistening with frost. The trains were absolutely fine today - no problems what so ever and I arrived in Redhill, bang on time and it was snowing too! The main thing about today was the cold - bitter cold. yeah it's winter all right but even so this is going to be one of the mildest Januarys on record - I wonder what those other ones were like? It always feels colder I suppose when you aren't used to it. I had to dig the fan heater out of the cupboard to use in the kitchen - those big windows give us a lot of heat loss this time of year. It's only for a few days hopefully - milder weather is on the way now.



#24: 24/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Wednesday 24th January 2007 at 10:53 PM

Snow! There was snow this morning. The sky was white and the ground was white and everything was covered, tree branches, cars, every surface. It looked quite beautiful. I decided to catch the bus to work; it was going to be bad enough on the roads without me adding to the confusion. It was perfect soft fluffy wet snowball snow so all around were school children throwing snow at each other and having fun. It didn’t feel that cold out – more muffled, muted, insulated, so it didn’t last. By lunchtime it was all gone – the roads and paths in central Woking were just white and crunchy from crystals of scattered salt. We may have more snow overnight. Or we may be lucky and it may pass us by. It looks beautiful but makes for awkward transport and travel.

This is winter though at long last but it won’t last. Bulbs are already poking through the earth everywhere they’ve been planted and in the mornings it is starting to get lighter earlier. It has been cold though compared to what it has been of late. I told the boys to wrap up warm. Neither will wear a coat to school no matter what. Mark agreed to wear a jumper and Adam donned 2 white t-shirt vests. I left the house in snow boots, a thick coat, ski hat , wooly gloves and scarf – I looked like I was embarking on an artic expedition and as I trudged through the snowy pavements on my way to the bus stop, tramping on virgin snow, breaking new paths, I could very well have been. Global warming – it ain’t entirely happened yet. Welcome to the ice age.



#23: 23/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Tuesday 23rd January 2007 at 10:56 PM

It makes my blood boil...

In the news today on the TV and in the papers, there is a new service being offered to pregnant women – a baby planners offering. For busy mums-to-be who haven’t got the time to prepare for their new arrival so they can have it all done for them – for a price of course. Someone – someone else other than you to choose your cot, your nursery wallpaper, the nanny for your child, the antenatal classes etc etc and for all I know even the baby’s name. Have these women gone absolutely mad? One of the best most exhilarating parts of being pregnant was the excitement and anticipation of what was to come and the buying, choosing and planning for all the things that we needed while we waited for B-day I loved that part. I treasure those memories. I would have hated to delegate any of that to someone else. It was so much fun. I would never have paid anyone else to do any of it. I used to get frustrated as it was when my mother in law bought something or knitted something that was ‘off message ‘ as it were.

If you haven’t got time to prepare for a baby i.e. you aren’t prepared to make the time because that is what it boils down to, then why oh why are you even having a baby in the first place? It won’t get any easier. The sort of people who will use this service are the sort of people who won’t spend any time with their babies or children anyway as they grow up– they probably give birth in their lunch hours and take the minimum of maternity leave. Why bother? Why bother having a child at all if you aren’t going to make the commitment. It doesn’t bode well if you throw in the towel before your waters have even broken. It’s amazing these people even bother to carry their own children - there will be surrogate baby carrying services next and surrogate conceptions and so on. Wombs to rent anyone? I can’t believe that anyone least of all another mother could cynically make money out of and rob other women of such a precious part of pregnancy. Nobody needs this service really and truly. This is one very special time when Do it yourself is very definitely for the best. You are the professional, at least you will be once your bundle of joy arrives. Some people have more money than sense of priority.



#22: 22/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Monday 22nd January 2007 at 10:27 PM

Ponder on this. Is it entirely normal for a cat to eat aloe vera leaves? No - for eat read, pig out or gorge. We have or rather we had three such plants on our kitchen window sill and very fine specimens they were too. But now young Ash has developed quite a taste for their succulent leaves. She keeps nibbling away at them. So much so that she has all but demolished one plant and is now making fairly good headway with the other two. She is like a goat. I have heard of cats eating grass but this is plain ridiculous. It can't be poisonous because she would be ill and clearly she is not, but she does seem to have developed a serious habit, a definite addiction ('Just say No Ash' is what Richard cries every time he catches her at it) and my collection of aloe vera pot plants, lovingly grown from three tiny shoots that I was given about two years ago are rapidly being devoured and spat out. Unbelievable, the strange habits and customs of the domestic cat. Whatever next?

Will she develop a taste for any other greenery I wonder? When she has got through this lot I have a Gerba and a Begonia waiting in the wings – I do hope she doesn’t touch them – they just have to be toxic in some way. Maybe just maybe, it was she who was responsible for the demise of my Eden Project banana plant. I expect we will never know. I bought a large green pot to put the banana plant in but it never grew big enough to fit. I had designs on the said pot to take the larger of my aloe vera specimens, however the way Ash is going this is not going to be necessary as her rate of munching is faster that its current growth rate. Sad really as the pot will go very nicely in the kitchen, the perfect minty green. Well one day, maybe one day.



#21: 21/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Sunday 21st January 2007 at 11:36 PM

Sunday

What happened today?
A lie in
Pancakes
With Maple syrup and blueberries
Strawberries and banana
The Sunday Papers
A shower
I made chicken stock
I made soup
Chick pea and chorizo
With sweet potato and squash
Mark scored a goal today – the only goal
He came home in his brand new kit
All muddy
It went straight in the wash
I didn’t think the white would ever be white again
But a little Vanish and a Super Wash went a long way
I hit Sainsbury’s at 3.30 and whizzed round
The store closed as I queued in the long line for the till
I cleaned the kitchen floor
I encouraged Mark to do his history homework
The Battle of Hastings – a page and a half
Don’t give up, you can do it
And he did and he did it very well
He was a member of the Norman Cavalry
Describing the events of that day
I felt like I was there
Anger and frustration turned to triumph in the end
I cooked a whole beef fillet tonight
With green beans, grilled peppers, tomatoes, onion and mushroom
I did sautéed potatoes
We had red wine
It was very good.
Afterwards, later we watched a film
The Break-Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan
I saw the start of it before
On the plane from New York to Montreal
I thought they would get back together
But they didn’t
And I felt sad – cheated somehow
I really thought they would
Things – sometimes they just don’t turn out how you think they should
Oh well
But it was still a good film
It was a good Sunday
But not very poetic somehow
Life’s like that.



#20: 20/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Saturday 20th January 2007 at 10:45 PM

Today was Christmas part 2. Richard took Adam out in the morning and bough him the new bicycle that we had promised him for Christmas. They went to “Switchback Cycles” in Knaphill. Adam had now got a fabulous new mountain bike, very light indeed. So hopefully he will he pleased by that. He also got a new cycle helmet.

We went down to Maidstone to see Yvonne and exchanged presents with her also. Richard got a leather wallet and a book. Adam got some money toward his bike and helmet. Mark received a selection of Dr Who books which he was delighted with – he spent most of the visit reading them and I got a blue fluffy dressing gown which is now hanging up in my cupboard. Yvonne said she bought one for herself just the same. Thoughts of Adam and his reaction to the man in the school outfitters who said that he also had one when I bough him his cagoule (which I don’t think he has ever worn) sprung to mind. The difference is I know I will wear the dressing gown – at some point - like in the next 20 years maybe – but not yet.

I didn’t really need a new dressing gown at this point in time and it doesn’t go with any of my sleep wear at present – I’m going though a purple, mauve and lilac phase just now and baby blue just doesn’t fit in with that at all. But I’m sure it will be good one day. It was also a bit big- a 12/14 when really a 10/12 would have been more my thing – the sleeves were very long, ridiculously long in fact - perhaps my arms will stretch in the next 20 years – the worrying thing is I think you shrink as you get older – that why your skin sags– and I don’t really plan to get much wider than I am just now. I suppose I can roll them up.

Anyway Yvonne said she very pleased with the pashima we gave her. She didn’t try it on at all though, she just folded it up and took it away so I don’t know whether she will wear it. Hopefully she will. I liked it – it was purple, mauve and lilac with hints of pink thrown in. Maybe she is going through a baby blue phase herself just now. It was good to see her although she is not in good health at the moment. She is suffering from some unpleasant stomach complaint which involves almost constant diarrhoea. Some days are better than others. Today was a good day however. She has lost a lot of weight recently and has little energy and little appetite to speak of not surprisingly but she was pleased to see us. We stayed for tea and headed home after dark.



#19: 19/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Friday 19th January 2007 at 11:05 PM

Jade was evicted from Celebrity Big Brother. Yey!!. 82% of the vote no less. Channel 4 is donating all the profits from the phone vote to charity. Would you credit it? I watched it tonight and more than ever I think that Shilpa is lovely. What a gracious lady despite everything she has been through she is dignified and poised and so well mannered. Just a lovely, lovely girl who stood up for herself and her beliefs. I don’t know what will happen to Jade now. She is going to be vilified, crucified you name it and she has brought it all on herself. Tragic. Big Brother was the making and the breaking of her. A world comes crashing down. Hopefully things will die down now. But Big Brother will never be the same. I don’t think television will ever be the same. Maybe all over the country people will stop and think before they open their mouths. Once something is said it can’t be unsaid especially when it has been recorded for all the world to see. Jade might not like the way she came across but she was racist in her comments and she was a bully. No amount of grovelling and apologies can undo that. Danielle was also shown to be back-tracking. She probably feels a right cow too for what she did. Curtains. Curtains to the lot of them!

What about the weather though? Yesterday was so stormy and this morning you could see the aftermath in the cold light of day. Our garden fences were still standing but quite a few of our neighbours are down. Having concrete pillars was the best thing that we could have done!! Across Britain there has been extensive damage, disruption and quite a few deaths. The storm intensified after it crossed Britain and Europe was quite badly hit also. Storms of all kinds raging this week.

I had a domestic storm of my own this morning. Ding. Ding. Adam and Laura, Round 50 million. When will it end? I shouted my disappointment at him when he left the house this morning. Words were said. He stormed off and left his lunch behind. I was harsh and then spent the whole day worrying that he wouldn’t come home at all after school. Had I gone too far? I was so cross and so disappointed in him and his attitude to my feelings and to his own stance/take on life. I rang Richard at lunch time and confided my fears. I rang Adam from work at a bout 3.30pm to check he had come home. He had. All seemed well and when I got home from work myself, the first thing he said to me was that he was sorry. So we made up and all is now well with the world. I resolve to be a better mother. Truly in Adam I couldn’t have a better son. I love him. I just hope he still loves me.



#18: 18/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Thursday 18th January 2007 at 11:14 PM

The big issue of the day, the big topic of the moment is Celebrity Big Brother. Amazing who would have thought. I stopped watching it when Jade Goody and Co entered the house very early on because I couldn’t bare to watch her and her ilk. Not my kind I’m afraid but it would seem that she formerly of Big Brother and Jo formerly of S-Club and Danielle formerly of Miss United Kingdom are now as Edwina Curry so ably put it on Question Time tonight “the biggest witches in the country with a capital B”. I don’t intend to add to the ratings but I can’t help reading about what is going on in my Daily Mail and on the BBC News website. These three drossy women, ignorant, racist bigots and bullies all of them, have been giving poor Shilpa Shetty a really hard time. Everyone hates them now, well everyone decent minded at any rate and they love Shilpa, Bollywood Queen and Indian National Icon who is dignified, graceful, beautiful, intelligent and talented. 5 things they can only dream of being. Tomorrow night Jade and Shilpa are head to head up for eviction. I really hope Jade is the loser. She already is, always was and always will be in my view anyway. It’s so much better when the good guys win. Whatever happens I don’t think that Jade will ever even come close to realising how much damage she has done to herself just by being herself. She is trash pure and simple and a national embarrassment to boot now. Her star if ever she had one is on the wane now and she can go back to the gutter from whence she came. Shilpa can rise and rise and good luck to her. I really wish her well.



#17: 17/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Wednesday 17th January 2007 at 10:42 PM

The phrase of the day is "Gutter ball". This is what kept coming up on the screen when I attempted to knock down all the pins when I went bowling this evening. If you scored special points for using the gutter then I would have done very well. I just couldn't quite get it at all tonight. Not even close. The ball kept going to the left no matter how hard I tried. I got just over 40 in the first game and I got less than 40 in the second. Needless to say I came last both times. Not a great night for me. The harder I tried, the worse I became. I have never had a strike and I didn't even come close to a spare this time. It's much easier playing with the bumpers on but I guess it lures you into a false sense of security. Anyway gutter balls are my speciality it would seem. Bowling is clearly not my forte. I wonder what is sometimes.

Bowling is not me
I strike not but Gutter ball
It makes me go spare.




#16: 16/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Tuesday 16th January 2007 at 10:20 PM

What is it with the weather at the moment? It is unseasonably mild. In fact it is altogether unseasonable. It should be winter but I think I could count on one hand or one finger come to that the number of days frost we have had since November. I don’t recall having to scrape the windows on my car once. I haven’t seen my breath, smoky white in front of me, in England at any rate, since early last year. It is really odd and eerie. I have flowers in the front flower bed and in pots round the back that should by rights be dead; my annuals are turning into perennials before my eyes. It can’t be good for nature either.

Storms are predicted for later in the week but not snow storms, no just high winds and rain. That is one thing we have had lashing of lately. Rain. Unrelenting rain at times. Washed down with wet and miserable murkiness with no perceptible difference between day and night. The heating might not need to be turned up just now but the lights do need to be. Not a good time for suffers of SADS or whatever it is called. The ground is sodden but yet you just know that they won’t lift the hose pipe ban that is still in force in these parts. Mind you with all the rain we don’t need to do any watering any way.

I had to go to Redhill again today which from Woking means a change at Guildford Station. Guildford in gloom. It was dark and wet when I passed through in the morning and tonight it was just dark but the wet from the morning never quite got dried away so there was a cloying dampness about it all. Guildford is not a railway station that you want to spend too much time at. I had half an hour this morning in the waiting room on platform 5 and 6. At least it was warm and the coffee that you can buy there is cheap and very drinkable. Tonight I managed to get an earlier train back to Woking than I had planned, by accident rather than design – if I had chosen to change platforms via the underpass rather than the bridge, I would have been doomed – doomed to another 13 minutes on platform 5. Luck was on my side. I don’t know what made me do that today but the bridge is by far the most sensible way of getting round at Guildford. Note to self.



#15: 15/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Monday 15th January 2007 at 10:00 PM

It is 15 January which means that we are already almost half way through January and I don’t really know where it has gone. Rushing past, no pause for breath it seems. The drive was block paved last week. It’s an improvement on the brushed away gravel we had before but I’m none too impressed with the finish on the edging. I think we may have to incorporate some concrete haunching of our own at some stage. We’ve had the drive widened by about 2 feet which means that you can step out of the cars now without stepping in the grass on one side and in the holly bush bed on the other. It’s that old adage you get what you pay for.

This was certainly a value job. Value has a new meaning these days – on the cheap, affordable, with built in savings that kind of thing. Value as in luxury, with low frills or in this case no thrills. As if to emphasis the point, the guys (Aldershot Paving) that did the job boldly stuck up an advertising sign outside our drive in the days before the job was started but now that it done they’ve been indecently quick about removing it I think – like they don’t want to admit it is their work now. Oh well. The grass will grow over on one side and the flower bed can creep over on the other and I guess it will weather in but I’m a neat sort of lines person myself and the lines are currently anything but neat. The drive itself looks great though and at least we won’t have stray bits of gravel in the house anymore which will be a welcome relief. There is always small good that comes out of everything you do, no matter what.



#14: 14/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Sunday 14th January 2007 at 08:24 PM

The final poem of the week. This is about the ending of an obsessive relationship, where the female victim finally manages to break away from her male tormentor after finding a new love. No special verse forms this time, just a simple 40 line poem of my own making, 5 verses comprised of 4 rhyming couplets with a repeating couplet at the end of each verse, with a special closing treatment for the final verse.

Breaking Away…

You don’t care anymore, he lunged
As one last time her passion plunged
He looked at her with gritty eyes
Two slits she had come to despise
His words, his anger, his pose, his stare
The crabby tone she couldn’t bare
It didn’t matter what he said
She knew her love for him was dead

The fire had dulled and waned and dwindled
The flames would never be re-kindled
She knew he had run out of road
The rat, the pig, the wart, the toad
She didn’t need him any more
He was a drag, a drain, a bore
It didn’t matter what he said
She knew her love for him was dead

His lips, his kiss grew ever meaner
Sucking like some vacuum cleaner
It was time to cut the rot
Draw the line, untie the knot
After all she‘d never picked him
So let him seek another victim
It didn’t matter what he said
She knew her love for him was dead

Because she’d put up for so long
He couldn’t see that it was wrong
For him to shout and rant and screech
Then cling like some demented leach
Expecting her to smile and stay
She was his life, his night, his day
It didn’t matter what he said
She knew her love for him was dead

She walked away, she couldn’t cry
She didn’t turn to say goodbye
His closing shots of ire and hate
Had sealed assurance of his fate
She knew he had no back-up plan
While she had found a kinder man
It didn’t matter what he said
Her love for him was truly dead

© Laura Notley 2007


The window on my Poetry collection is now closed for the time being. There will likely be another installment later in the year, once inspiration has struck again.



#13: 13/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Saturday 13th January 2007 at 11:05 PM

A sonnet for today. This is the only one I have ever written. It is not my favourite verse form and this is not my favourite poem. I will endeavour to produce a better one sometime next year, for my next poetry week perhaps. This one is about a lost love. I'm not sure what inspired me. Originally this was a creative writing group homework.

For a Lost Love

The dawn begins heralding a new day
The sky is clear and birds begin their song.
I hear them clearly now you’ve gone away
What did I do to you that was so wrong?

When noon arrives my longing wells anew
And lunch is but a poor distraction.
My thoughts of you forever will ensue
Love cast out cannot give satisfaction

The dusk creeps up extinguishing the light
I go back to my silent, darkened room.
Though floating candles make it appear bright
Their flames can't burn away the growing gloom

The cloak of night engulfs this empty place
Life without you, impossible to face.

© Laura Notley 2007




#12: 12/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Friday 12th January 2007 at 09:04 PM

Today let me treat you to a Villanelle. Or rather my first attempt at a Villanelle. There has been a great deal of wet weather this week so the subject matter is quite fitting really.


Raindrops


The raindrops pound the wretched window pane
A bitter storm is surging through the night
The dank deluge is driving me insane

When it’s this dark I cannot stand the rain
I yearn for summer days and warm sunlight
But raindrops pound the wretched window pane

The rhythm of the flood a wet refrain
I long for calm silence with all my might
The dank deluge is driving me insane

The wetness round here never seems to wane
The drains put up a most down-hearted fight
And raindrops pound the wretched window pane

My depression I’m unable to contain
There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight
The dank deluge is driving me insane

When will it end will someone please explain
The weathermen they never get it right.
The raindrops pound the wretched window pane
Their dank deluge is driving me insane.

© Laura Notley 2007




#11: 11/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Thursday 11th January 2007 at 10:09 PM

President Bush is sending 21,000 more troops to Iraq. He wants to end the war. He could do it tomorrow by sending all the troops home. By pullling out. But of course he won't, that would mean losing face and admitting that he was wrong. He wants to win. No one can win now. There are no real winners in a war.

Today's poem is my one and only attempt at a war poem. It was written around November 2004 after a British soldier was killed in Basra by a suicide bomber.

My views haven't changed, especially today. Point Bush and Blair at this blog. I am so sick of this war. I want all the boys to come home. These men of power have the power to stop it all. Real power is putting the needs of your country before your personal need for a place in history. Our leaders are weak but our fighting men are strong and we should honour them. Honour them by sending them home. The battle for Iraq in this so called war on terror is not a particularly honourable conflict certainly not now that Saddam Hussein is no longer with us. Too many soldiers and civillians are dying. And I don't understand what for.

The War Boys

You brave Black Watch warrior
I weep for you
Smiling broadly
Silent and strong
From a photograph snapped
Before the suicide bomb
Nineteen years old
Fearlessly grinning beneath
A khaki tam-o-shanter
Your pride shielding you securely
From the verbal bullets
Of your comrades’ jeers and banter
But in the flesh
You were still a boy
A mother’s cherished
Hope and joy.

You fallen Black Watch soldiers
I weep for you
Young lives cut short
So callously
They promised your loved ones
You’d be home for Christmas
And so you will be
Back for good
Buried beneath green fields
In flag festooned caskets
Or stored on homely mantles
In glazed ceramic urns
War is waste
And come each dark November
We will all remember you
Yet no one ever learns.

© Laura Notley 2007




#10: 10/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Wednesday 10th January 2007 at 10:53 PM

Here are some sample Retournes for today. A Retourne is a poetic verse form of French origin making controlled and careful use of repetition of words and phrases. A retourne consist of four quatrains (four-line stanzas or verses) in which each line has exactly eight syllables. On top of this the first stanza's second line must also be the second stanza's first line, while the first stanza's third line forms the third stanza's first, and finally the first stanza's fourth line comprises the fourth stanza's first line. Retournes may or may not rhyme depending on the mood, skill or preference of the poet. Myself I am in favour of simple rhymes on the last one or two syllables. Here are today's offerings. Enjoy.


So Near and yet so far

You stood but a hair’s breadth from me
My face, my smile you did not see
You turned to look the other way
Fate chose we would not meet that day

My face, my smile you did not see
Our love was never meant to be
The years rolled on, they were not kind
All hope now left so far behind

You turned to look the other way
When I walked by just yesterday
Nothing has changed nor ever could
To cry would even be no good

Fate chose we would not meet that day
Nor any other come what may
No sweet hello, no sad goodbye
Just dreams lost in a passing sigh

© Laura Notley 2007


The Stalker

Your hand in mine fits perfectly
He said on our first date to me
I’m never going to let you go
So true, so little did I know

He said on our first date to me
I think we are just meant to be
I’ll always be around for you
And so he stuck to me like glue

I’m never going to let you go
Unease slowly began to grow
I couldn’t get away from him
Constant presence through thick and thin

So true, so little did I know
Days filled with fear, a sense of woe
He tailed my heart, my life, my dreams
Taking his love to far extremes

© Laura Notley 2007




#9: 9/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Tuesday 9th January 2007 at 10:16 PM

It's Poetry week this week. I've decided. I've been reviewing my previous work and its time I put it out into the wider domain. This one must have come from a Creative Writing class homework from a couple of years ago on the theme of "My Greatest Fear". One day I will have an anthology of all my wacky stuff.

My Greatest Fear

Worms eating me
Chewing me, spewing me
Out into the black earth
Outside my coffin
Bore holes in the damp oak
My bones turning to dust
My skin to mould
My hair to rot
Why not?

The book in my hand
The pages damp with earthy dew
Tears I cried
After I died
Or worm pee
Permeating me
Death and nothingness all around
The cloying ground
Over and out.

My greatest fear
That’s it
I just disappear
Back into the land
A compost heap
In which I sleep forever
When you wash your lettuce
You wash me away
So enjoy your salad day.

© Laura Notley 2007


It's a morbid theme I know and enough to put anyone off opting for burial over cremation and I don't anticiapte it will do too much for salad washed or unwashed either for that matter. I'll have to come up with something a bit more cheerful for tomorrow.



#8: 8/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Monday 8th January 2007 at 10:04 PM

Today's entry is a poem that I wrote about this time last year and that I came upon when I was having a sort out on Saturday and Sunday.


This is the year

This is the year when
I will lose at least a stone in weight
I’ll keep right off the alcohol
Chocolates and cakes I’ll hate

This is the year when
I will stop making excuses
I will find a better job
And put my hands to more productive uses

This is the year when
My garden will bloom and thrive
I’ll plant up beds of exotic herbs
and block pave that rutted drive

This is the year when
I’ll spring clean through my life
I’ll throw out all the odds and ends
And rid myself of strife

This is the year when
I will begin anew
I won’t have time to complain or slack
As I’ll have far too much to do.

© Laura Notley 2007



Oddly enough I did achieve some of my objectives from last year. I did get myself a better more interesting job and best of all with the same company. I wasn't too hot on the no chocolate and alcohol but I don't exactly over indulge on those fronts any how. I didn't lose a stone in weight, it was more like ten pounds and some of it crept back on when I was in the USA and Canada. But I can work on that.

I'll keep with the program this year I think. I've already sorted out my bedroom and have plans to tackle the lounge next weekend and then the filing when that is done. This week we are having our drive block paved so I'll be able to tick that off the list come Thursday night, all being well. The trick is little and often. Break everything down into manageable chunks and work through them one by one and before you know it your To Do list becomes a rapidly diminishing asset. Sometimes life is sweet. My resolution must be to keep this going no matter what.



#7: 7/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Sunday 7th January 2007 at 10:33 PM

We are going through phases at home at the moment with both the boys. I put my foot down about them contributing more and doing chores around the house and I don’t think they were any too keen. Male hormones are running high at the moment. One minute Mark is sweet as a lamb asking for guidance with his homework and the next he is a raging lion when I make a suggestion that doesn’t fit in with his 'get it over with as quickly as I can' stance. He attempts to launch into every task by writing something first and worrying about what he is going to say later.

Yesterday we argued over planning out his assignment in rough first and then writing it up neatly as a final draft when he was entirely happy about everything he wanted to say – it was an evaluation for a desk tidy/storage tray that he had made in Technology. Well you would think that I had suggested murder the amount of fuss he made. He was going to write it up straight away in ink pen. I didn’t know what I was talking about. It would take too long if he did it my way. I pointed out that what was taking all the time was his raging and screaming at me. I left him to his rant and after he had calmed down he did follow my advice (mother knows best as they say) and an excellent piece of work he produced.

Today it was a drama assignment and he had to write down definitions for pitch, tone and volume with respect to voices. He began by writing down each word with a couple of lines between each. I explained that he would be better off writing a word, then completing the definition and then writing the next. He might need to write a sentence that went over one line. But oh no I was an idiot, he was right and I was wrong. Just as I predicted he ended up squeezing one of the sentences into one line because he had too much to say. But he wouldn’t admit it. He says I’m always criticising and I would be if it was after the event but I suggest and recommend what he should do before he has even started.

Adam was also not happy with his parents this weekend. Yesterday he was given several extra chores to do in addition to making coffee for us after our evening meal. Nothing major, I just got him to set the table for 5 before the meal, because Grandad was over and then he had to clear the table afterwards and coffee was for three instead of the usual two. Well evidently it was all too much because he totally blew when at 10 to midnight I told him to stop playing on the Playstation and go to bed as it was well past his weekend bedtime. He carried on because he had one thing to finish and this went on and on until I said that’s it I’m getting Daddy and Richard came in and paused the game and forced him out of the study. Later when I went up to bed he had left the following note on the ensuite bathroom window sill which I found just before I turned in:

Have a bad night’s sleep.
You guys deserve it
Thank you for giving me such a bad day
You can moan at me again in the morning.

Love from Adam


On the plus side the spelling and grammar are all correct, and although laced with sarcasm it was polite, to the point and he did send his love.

Fortunately as it turned out we all had a great night’s sleep especially Adam who didn’t wake up until 10 past eleven. I went into him after Mark had given me the third degree for not getting him up sooner. How dare I let him lie in. How was he going to get back the lost time? How indeed. It must be so tough being a boy!



#6: 6/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Saturday 6th January 2007 at 10:06 PM

You are never going to believe this. Today I woke up at 13 minutes past 9. I nearly died of shock. I haven’t slept in so long in ages. I always wake up naturally on a weekend around 8 o’clock, so this was a first. It meant I had precisely 47 minutes to shower, get dressed and have breakfast before leaving the house for my hair appointment at 10.15. A physical impossibility. I felt sick. I wasn’t late yet but I fear the fear of being late as much as being late itself. I’m never later. I’m always early, just in case – just in case of what I don’t know – unforeseen delays perhaps. I should have set my alarm really on reflection but I had been so sure that I would wake at my normal time. The light was very poor today due to rain and cloud and it always seemed either earlier or later than it actually was. In the end I didn’t do everything of course. I dispensed with breakfast and I didn’t wash my hair which meant I didn’t have to dry it because I knew that not only would I be getting it washed where I was going but I would also be treated to a complimentary head massage. So I did leave the house on time – no one else was up and I did make it to my appointment. I was home by 11:30 or so. Richard and Mark were just finishing their breakfast and Adam wasn’t even down.

I could not believe that I could get out of bed and leave the house in less than fifty minutes. Clearly what is going wrong in the week is that I am trying to do too much and in addition doing too much for other people. If it was just me getting out the door it would be so much easier. So maybe this week I am going to do the ironing in advance and maybe prepare the packed lunch in advance. This could work. Tomorrow night, I’ll give it a try. A bit of creative time management is what is called for.



#5: 5/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Friday 5th January 2007 at 11:25 PM

It was all going so swimmingly this morning and then when I was ironing Mark’s shirt, there was a long thread coming out of one of the tiny holes in the second button, I pulled and the thread grew longer and the button came off. This was Mark’s one and only clean shirt so it meant that a spot of needlework was called for at 7 in the morning. Oh joy! The worst thing about this was not the sewing. I love sewing and I can make fast work of a loose button. Nothing phases me there. No the torture and the tedium is threading the needle. This used to be so easy but I’ve got to admit it my eyes are not what they once were. My stigmatism has got worse and I’m getting a touch long-sighted. Not so you’d notice but I notice or rather don’t when I’m trying to do close work. This morning I was like Donald Pleasance in ‘The Great Escape’. Where is James Garner when you need him? It took me about 5 minutes to thread the damn needle. I was sweating, I was nearly crying – no point in asking Richard for help, he was still snoring at this stage and needles and threads aren’t really his thing. I went through all shades of frustration and then potential panic, visions of myself still there at teatime but eventually with controlled breathing and sheer determination, finally the thread went in the hole. Halleluiah! I nearly unthreaded it again during my celebration. I’ve been using my needles for years. I inherited packets of them all sizes and shapes from my Grandma who was a dressmaker by trade, every time I picture her she has pins in her mouth - she always held them there when she was pinning and tucking - but anyway these needles I’m sure like pierced ears without earrings, the eyes have been closing up over the years through lack of use.

It took me less than a minute to secure the button but I lost nearly 10 minutes of my morning and was playing catch up after that. And we had no milk in the morning so it was toast all round today – not bad actually – granary toast spread with orange blossom honey makes a nice change – but it all takes longer to fix than cereal. How I made it out of the house on time I’ll never know.

I was so tired tonight. I managed to stay awake for “Ugly Betty” – very promising new drama – I’m sure Ashley Jensen that girl from “Extras” was in it – but I fell asleep during “Celebrity Big Brother”. What a yawn. Surely this one will be the last. Jade Goody with the unfeasibly large boobs arrived in the house tonight with her sycophantic boyfriend and one-armed mother. Celebrity. Chavity more like. Who are all these dreadful people?

Don’t think I’ll be watching that again anytime soon. My favourite bit is the guy with the Newcastle accent who does the narration but I didn’t get to hear him tonight. I saw bits of the Live feed on E4 and there was no sound, just boring shots of Cleo Rocas mouthing off to Ken Russell and that Donny "Turret" from Towers of London. Her crows feety, puckered eyes look funny me. You know I think she might be a touch long sighted too, certainly if her haircut is anything to go by. Carole Malone – you’ve got nothing on me!!



#4: 4/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Thursday 4th January 2007 at 11:09 PM

Richard doesn't think I'll be able to keep this blog thing going so I am determined to prove him wrong, for now at any rate. I'm working upstairs tonight on a flaky wireless connection so my window of opportunity for being able to make an entry tonight may be low anyway.

I know I've only been back at work three days now but this is already feeling like a long week. Roll on Saturday when I can tidy and clean the house and when I've done that I can start looking for a weekly cleaner. The house is such a state just now I couldn’t let a stranger in just yet – there is too much clutter all over the place just now not to mention the washing that needs drying and putting away. Every room looks like a before room from one of those Life Laundry reality TV shows and there is mould growing on the mould in the shower cubicle in the ensuite. So Project DeClutter starts Saturday once I’ve got back from the hairdressers and have done the laundry. I’m going to have to make the time somehow – at least X Factor isn’t on TV anymore and I’ll be able to do something with the evening. When most people will be going out on the town, I’m going to be sorting out my bedside table. You sometimes see magazine articles where they ask celebrities what’s on the table next to their bed. Well if anyone asked me that I’d have to say what isn’t? I’ve got an alarm clock, a lamp, receipts from my purse, loose change from UK and Canada, an American $5 bill, various books, a basket containing numerous make-up items, a mirror, another pile of books interspersed with the detritus from my handbag from the last 6 months or so, a box of tissues, a portable CD player, 2 further makeup bags, various jewelry boxes and so on and not necessarily in that particular order. Arghh. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that it isn't Saturday tomorrow !!



#3: 3/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Wednesday 3rd January 2007 at 10:42 PM

Why does everything take so much longer these days? Is it because I’m cramming so much more into each finite day? Am I slowing down? Or am I trying to do too much?

It was back to school today for the boys which meant that my alarm went of at 10 to 6. Yes that is right 5.50am. In the good old days I used to get up at 6.25am but slowly, slowly that time has been creeping further and further forward or is it backward? Now that they are both at secondary school and have to be out of the house by about 8.00am since school starts at 8.25am, I can’t get up any later or else they would be late. I need a good 2 hours and 20 minutes in the morning minimum from the time I jump out of bed to the time I lock up and leave. And believe you me I don’t stand around day dreaming. I would love to be one of those people who can shower and dress and eat breakfast in twenty minutes flat but I can’t – it takes me twenty minutes alone just to wash my hair and shower and then I have to towel down, sort out underwear, iron my clothes, get dressed, dry my hair and put on my make up. If I’m lucky my hair is all dry before the review of the morning papers comes on the Today program at about 20 to 7 but more often than not these days, that radio event is drowned out by the hair dryer well at least that was before when I was only getting up at 6.00am – but it was just too stressful, those extra 10 minutes are making all the difference to my morning routine. When I’m done with my makeup and perfume (today it was Clarins but it could be Allure or even Chanel No 19 or Chanel No 5 if I'm in the right mood) I then iron all the boys school clothes and then wake them up, this will be between 7 and 10 past.

Then its downstairs. First thing I do is switch on the lights in the kitchen and put on Radio 4 downstairs then I retrieve the morning paper – the Daily Mail of course. I read the headlines while simultaneously opening the curtains and walking back to the kitchen. The paper goes on the kitchen table and then I empty the dishwasher and get the bread out of the freezer for the boys packed lunches. As I’m emptying the dishwasher I put the kettle on and I set the table for breakfast, feed the cat, put out all our vitamin pills and pour out our morning juices. I shout for the boys to come down – they never come instantly and I get Mark’s and Adam’s packed lunches ready – Adam makes his own sandwich after breakfast but I don’t trust Mark around sharp knives just yet so I always make his. I get Adam’s apple juice and apple out so he won’t forget to take them and Mark has a fruit shoot and a banana (or grapes if I can be bothered) and also a small square of cheese. The boys are usually down by this stage and so I get their cereals ready and then I sort out my own breakfast – cup of black decaf instant coffee (there isn’t time to fiddle with the filter in the morning plus I can’t face the washing up or worse still leaving unwashed utensils on the counter) cereal, chopped banana and yoghurt or boiled egg and microwaved plum tomato if I’m on a no carbs day. If I’m lucky I get 5 minutes to eat my breakfast and pour quickly over the paper, reading key articles and filing mental notes in my mind to read the rest after supper in the evening. The ideal is that all four of us sit down round the table (which is square incidentally) and eat breakfast together - I'm old fashioned like that - but more often than not we seem to do it in relays (Adam first, then Mark then me and then Richard but we are all interchangeable). When Richard sits down, this is my cue to hand over the paper and finish up my breakfast. If Richard sits down before me I don't get a look in with the paper. I then load the dishwasher and hassle Mark and Adam out of the house. If I am taking my own lunch in I will start getting this ready at this stage too. Mark leaves just before 8 and Adam by about 5 past. I then rush upstairs to brush my teeth and sort out which handbag to carry today depending on what I am wearing that day. Well colour coordination is so important. I check the change situation – I need £2.50 in coins to park for the morning and if I’m lacking I go on the scrounge from Richard or the boys – the boys get IOUs and I usually return with interest. Richard gets all his cooking and washing done so he gets a good deal.

I put on my coat and kiss Richard goodbye and then I am ready to leave. Sometimes Richard will leave before me and so I will lock up. As you can see it is all go. I’m exhausted just writing about it and all the time I’m racing around – I sit down for 5 minutes and I usually pour half my coffee away because there isn’t time to drink it.

If I leave by 10 past 8 the drive to work takes 20 minutes any later and we are talking upwards of half an hour – I drive past the boys school each morning and would you credit it some parents drop their children off every morning and cause unbelievable congestion. Make them walk I say – its good for the constitution and the environment and I could get up later too. Don’t worry I won’t go into the drive today – that’s for another time. I just wonder sometimes is there anything I can do to speed things up or cut down on the amount I have to do in the mornings. I could iron everything the night before but I hate ironing when I am tired. I could get the boys to iron their own uniforms but look at me I don’t feel comfortable letting them loose on my kitchen knives do you really think I trust them with an iron? I am going to have to though at some stage. Something’s gotta change. I need more time in bed. Any suggestions?



#2: 2/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Tuesday 2nd January 2007 at 10:14 PM

It was back to work day today for me and for Richard but judging by the emptiness of the bus, not a whole bunch of other people. At my workplace it was business as usual though, most people are back now – it’s a heavy duty sales environment and time really is money so the phones were buzzing and I had lots of reporting to catch up on.

The empty bus was nice, it meant the journey took a fraction of the time it usually does. Richard had my car today because his was still at the garage this morning but they delivered it back to our driveway this afternoon so tomorrow my wheels are mine again. I used to always take the bus – it is cheaper but the journey time is longer and you have to sit with all the bus people. Mad Sally wasn’t there today – she gets off at the next stop after I have got on – its amazing how much you can learn about someone in between two bus stops. She talks at me as though her life depends on it. She’s lonely and unkempt, usually clad in a thin cotton nightgown and wellies and maybe a tatty cardigan to keep off the chill if its cold. Somehow I just know that our very one sided conversations could be some of the only verbal interactions she will have with another human being all day so I always try to be friendly. The rest of the bus are all heads down trying to avoid eye contact, praying that she won’t pick on them – the tension is always palpable when you get on and realise that she is there, watching and waiting, ready to pounce. Mothers pull their children closer and commuters pull up their collars or bury their gazes deeper in to their books. But the way I see it – its costs so little of my time to make her day. Where is the harm? It’s hard to get a word in edgeways even if I wanted to, once Mad Sally gets into one of her rants – she barely pauses for breath so long as I interject with the odd ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at the appropriate points. She is happy to hold court. I told her my name once when she asked me directly, when to have ignored her query or refused her question would have would have been plain rude and so now its always ‘Hi Laura, how are you?’ when she sees me, like we were some kind of special friends. Perish the thought. And then she will launch into some major diatribe about what she’s been doing lately and then its her stop and she gets off, talking at everyone she passes, reaching out desperately as though the sound of her own voice is the only thing that makes her feel alive. I haven’t seen her for a while now because I haven’t been getting the bus lately. Part of me was relieved when she wasn’t there today because I just wanted a quiet reflective journey and part of me was concerned because I hope that everything is OK with her world.

I had a baked potato for lunch today from the van outside my office, smothered in cheese and beans - its usually my Monday lunchtime treat after I have completed the weekly reporting. Today was like a Monday since it was the first working day of the week and I needed the carbs to hold off the cold. It’s nothing like as cold as it was in Canada. There the cold was freezing dry, the kind where you could snap you icicle limbs off if you weren’t too careful. Whereas this cold we get in South East England this time of year is just so damp and damning. Drowning in cold is what it feels like sometimes.

The bus journey home was cold and dark. There are lights on the bus but they mean you can’t see anything outside the windows when you try and peer out – just your anxious reflection squinting back at you. I always worry I’ll miss my stop. I didn’t though. Tomorrow I’ll drive – not exactly my favourite pastime but it sure beats the bus and I get to listen to Eddie Mair and PM on the way home which is always topical. Back in the old routine already, now that didn’t take long really.



#1: 1/1/2007   
Posted by Laura on Monday 1st January 2007 at 11:18 PM

I’m feeling pretty jet lagged at present. We were supposed to be arriving back from Montreal at 7.30am on 31 December but we didn’t actually get home until around 2pm and I knew that I had to get to Sainsbury’s before 4pm otherwise the fridge would be bare. We made it, in fact I managed to stay up to see the New Year in and a bit beyond. This was largely thanks to a hastily prepared Penne Bolognese and Jools Holland.

It was a great way to see in the New Year, in post bubble bath glow, in my mauve waffle dressing gown, mint green pajamas and fluorescent pink crocs which are currently serving as slippers (no Santa didn’t bring me everything on my Christmas list but that will be remedied by my Next Gift Card from Uncle Den) lounging on the sofa, sipping Armagnac and watching the annual Hootenany on BBC2. I did the same thing last year – although I think I actually dressed up on that occasion. Who needs a party when you’ve got Jools and Co to entertain you – Richard dozed at the other end of the sofa, occasionally opening his eyes and mouth for another swig of Armagnac.

Last night’s show was particularly vintage, “The Kooks”, “Lily Allen”, “The Zutons”, “Marc Almond” and “Paul Weller” – heaven. Amy Winehouse was also on. What can I say? Strange girl with the belting voice of a jazz angel, and then the tattoos and snear of a Hell’s angel. Worlds collide. She also had an irritating stud above her lip – I think it was meant to be one of those rebellious-phase piercings but on the night it just came off as cancerous wart – shame really. Instead of oily biker leathers she was wearing a dress or more accurately a wide lacy black spandex belt covered in black feathers that she spent the whole show either pulling up to cover her boobs and then immediately pulling down again no doubt to cover her Brazilian. The girl did not look comfortable all night, methinks biker leather would have been a better choice. It looked like her feet were killing her too because she kept standing on one foot in her impressive six inch heels - come to think of it what with her crusty black mascara she was like some lost black flamingo. She sang a couple of numbers with Paul Weller – sweet music but the duo were distinctly lacking in chemistry – can’t see them getting it together again on stage any time soon. When it was all over the Weller looked a cross between embarrassed and relieved but he will always be the height of cool to me, ditto le Holland. Every time Amy finished singing they would cut to Lily Allen for one of her masterful quirky little songs. She looked so pretty and so together in comparison. Such an entertaining show, that we saw it through until the credits at just gone ten past one. And to think when I had got off the plane 12 hours earlier I didn’t think I’d even make it home before crashing out.

We were taken home in a taxi from the airport. It was an uneventful journey up to a point. Adam and Mark were asleep in the back and I was only just awake. We came off the M3 and were hurtling along toward Woking when another car took exception to our driver for some inexplicable reason. The guy was so incensed that when we pulled up along side him at the next junction and all took a good look in horror at what a perpetrator of rode rage actually looks like, he wound down his window, hurled out some indecipherable expletives and then flung a cup full of cola and a full serving of Fries – McDonalds I think - at our moving car as we pulled away. Coke on the window and chips in the road. Great. What kind of sad, shameless soul does something like that on the last day of the year? He was all alone in his car not surprisingly – I can’t imagine anyone wanting to pass any time with the likes of him. What a waste of a good takeaway – he drove off lonely, angry and hungry. Not a good mix in my book. I pity the next poor sod who crosses his path – lucky he didn’t have a shotgun in the car this time. Which ever way you look at it surely no one can feel good about themselves after a stunt like that? I felt sorry for our taxi driver who I might add was an exemplary driver and very polite and courteous. I got the feeling that it wasn’t the first time he’d received abuse and more from a fellow motorist. And with jerks like that on the road I also get the feeling it won’t be the last. Makes me even more wary about driving.

So anyway its 2007 now and this rambling musing is my first entry into blogdom. It remains to be seen if I can keep it up but I will try. Things can only get better I’m sure.

Happy New Year.


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