Sunday, 30 September 2007


Today, I have rediscovered the life before my degree. I've been studying for 6 long years, and I've enjoyed them. Who wouldn't? Reading books, looking at pictures, watching plays, with the odd essay thrown in every now & then to make sure you've been paying attention. How can you possibly go wrong with that combination?

I could have done another degree I suppose, but nothing's ever grabbed me like reading, as a hobby. Well, I suppose vodka & tonic might run it a close second, but that's not so much of a hobby, more of a stress relief, if you will. And I could read every day, but I couldn't drink vodka & tonic every day, I get terrible hangovers. Except if I drank every day, I'd never sober up, now would I? I'm going to write a new hobby list I think. I'm going to put that one above 'looking at the garden, to see what other people could do with it'.

It is very strange though, not studying any more. I'm drawn a little to looking to see what courses I could take in the future. Physics perhaps? No, I had a bad experience in Physics at school & leant too far back on my lab stool & tipped off the back. That sort of thing can put you off a subject for life. Let alone that I never understood a word of it. Italian? I like a pizza as much as the next woman.Especially if the next woman is Mrs PizzaHut. But when would I use it? I've only been to Italy once, Rome in fact. Got engaged by the Trevi Fountain. As I'm now divorced for the second time, you don't need me to tell you that THAT can put you off a subject for life, either.

So instead, I shall return to my first love. David Cassidy. No, I beg your pardon, I MEANT to say reading. As the lovely Belle has tagged me I shall endeavour to oblige, and then I'll have a meander around your blogs, so you can be IT too.

First up, my Total Number of Books. Well, goodness. I'm right by the bookshelf, so hold on for a minute. OK, I lost count after 63, because some of the spines look the same. Very clearly over 100, because they're all scattered around the house too. Probably around 150.

The Last Book I Read - this was Mercy by Jodi Piccoult. I love her books, and I whip through them at an alarming rate of knots. She writes the sort of books that make you curl up on the sofa, and drink hot chocolate, and then sit up in shock, wondering where the comfort has gone. And usually, where the day has gone too. Thoroughly recommend her, loved her book called The Tenth Circle, which was a take on Dante.

The Last Book I Bought - I'm a bit of an old skinflint with book buying, of late. I do love books, but I don't have so much money to spend so they become a guilty pleasure. I haunt the library instead, & try to avoid the men who smell of toilets. They probably try to avoid me too. I'm the strange woman, always in a hurry, who always walks with her head at a 90 degree angle to read the spines of the books. Barely even straighten when I'm at the counter. Which is a worry. And not just to me. So I most definitely know the answer - it was Don't Tell Mummy, by Toni Maguire. True story. Rips your heart out, and chews it. And makes you wonder why you don't have to be licensed to have children. Don't read it if you're easily upset, because it's true.

Five Meaningful Books - well now. This is a difficult one. I'll start with The Ripening Seed (Or Le Ble en Herbe) by Colette, which I read for my French A-Level. Gave me a lifelong love of poetic novels, and Colette. Next up, I'll have Little Women by Louise May Alcott. One of the first books I remember reading as a child & wanting so desperately to be Jo. I have a copy now, and have probably read it upwards of 7 or 8 times. Next we have to have To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. There just aren't words to describe it, read it if you haven't and you'll love it for ever. Next, I'm going to have Catcher In The Rye, by J D Salinger. The book every teenager should read, and every grown up too. Vivid, and utterly believable. And finally, I'm going to have an obscure one, Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane. A great crime writer, fantastic stories, and meaningful for me for a whole host of personal reasons.

Phew, I need a lie down after that.

Time for a new book, I think.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Taking It Easy

I've been here all along, you know. I've been to see all of your blogs, and I've loved reading them, just as much as I always do, but with the added delight of knowing that I shouldn't really be there. You see, I've been studying, like Rainbow and Belle. We've all been studying for the same thing. But now we've finished.

So, what grand plans does life hold for me now? I'm going to take it easy. There's no point rushing into things, you should look before you leap. I shouldn't look for instant gratification, I should instead wait and see. I should try to be patient, I know I should. There's nothing I can do to hurry things along, so I may as well just take it easy. And whatever comes along, I'm sure that it will be worth waiting for.

But please, couldn't things move just a little faster around here? I haven't got ALL DAMN DAY, you know...

I've had a lovely award from Belle, and she's right, I need to get back on here. You're going to be sick of me soon. I'm going to post 4 times a day... I need to have a think who I'm going to pass the award too, I guess while I'm taking it easy, I might just have another stroll around your blogs...

Monday, 10 September 2007

I'm So Sorry, My Head Has Just Fallen off

Back to work today. Eventually. I've previously told you about my relationship with my alarm system in the morning. Today, in some kind of giant cosmic joke, it all went horribly wrong. I woke, with the sound of my trumpet fanfare alarm, at 6 this morning. I pressed click, snooze. And snoozed. BUT I DIDN'T PRESS SNOOZE. I PRESSED OFF! OFF! I opened my eyes, aware that there was no trumpet fanfare. And it seemed quite a lot lighter than when I had closed my eyes, just seconds before. BUT IT WASN'T SECONDS. IT WAS HOURS. TWO OF THEM TWO WHOLE HOURS!

This is a disaster. Most especially, because I had to wash my hair, blow dry it nicely, then straighten my hair. It is not a 5 minute job. It was easier when my hair looked like it belonged to Worzel Gummidge. That took less than 5 minutes. Less than 5 seconds, probably. I thought, when I was gasping for breath on the bus, that it would be really embarrassing to tell people in the office that I was late because I'd overslept. I thought I should try something unusual. I've just read a lovely funny post here about making excuses, so I know I can't be the only person that does it. I should maybe give it a go.

'I'm sorry, but the cat was ill.'

'The bus broke down'

'I lost my memory and forgot where I worked'

'Didn't we alter the clocks this weekend?'

'I lost my shoes'

They are all good excuses, I beg your pardon, reasons for being late. But I told the truth.

Telling the truth is meant to be a good thing. Indeed, when I did it, it wasn't too bad.

But the cosmic gods had a little snigger later on.

Damn that honesty.

Sunday, 9 September 2007


I'm back at work tomorrow. This is very, very bad. I haven't been to work for 2 weeks, and I was quite getting the hang of it. I quite like not having to put the alarm on for a hundred times every morning, and waking up naturally, at the crack of noon. It suits me very well.

There are many, many things to do now my holiday has finished. Like washing and ironing, just for starters. And a bit of cleaning wouldn't go amiss. I've done the important things, like a whistle stop tour of the blogs I really like, just to see what people have got up to whilst I've been away. But now I need to catch up. What I don't need to be doing is sitting at my PC, blogging, instead of lots of really important things.

So, here I am. I have an essay to write. It is to be 3000 words, and from a very small pool of books, I have to choose which book is best, then write about it. There are some on there that are really good. But they are not my favourite books, so it is an exercise in futility. My favourite book, ever, in the history of everness, is Ripening Seed, by Colette. I read it in French for my French A Level, about a hundred years ago. It is not on the list. I am doing an English degree, not a French one.

I have lots of thinking to do too, which never suits me very well. it is not one of my specialities, like being able to blow bubbles with gum, or twitch my nose. It is my own fault that I have to do thinking now, because I should have done the thinking before, but I didn't.

I am not looking forward to the thinking, because once it starts, I have no idea when it will stop, nor what I will do if I ever finish with the thinking.

That seems like a good reason not to do the thinking at all, but I'm fairly sure that I have to.

That is why today, I'm a bit slumped.

Maybe I could pay someone to think for me. And maybe they could do a bit of washing and ironing whilst they're about it.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

The Lady Vanishes

and then returns. For the approximately seven people who read this blog, I apologise profoundly for leaving you with no knowledge of my whereabouts, or idea as to when or if I may be expected to return. Very rude of me, I'm sure.

I have, however, been living the high life for a week in Portugal, and have the bruises to prove it. Both arms, courtesy of the log flume at Zoomarine. (Mummy, can we go on the log flume? Of course we can. Chug, chug, chug, chug, whoosh, splash. Mummy, that was cool! Yes, it was!.....Dear god, I hate log flumes)

I appear to have problems with packing for holidays. I remember that in days gone by, when I was part of a husband/wife relationship, I used to be quite good at packing. Very methodical, very sensible. When my decree absolute came through, I appeared to exchange packing sense for freedom. I still think I got the better deal, but it is a little inconvenient for about an hour every year, when I'm packing.

I like to be prepared for evey eventuality, and assume that I'm travelling to a Third World country, where there will be no shops. At all. This is strange, as I've never been out of Europe on my holidays. And always to touristy places. The nearest I've got to off the beaten track is a single track road instead of a dual carriageway. I take enough clothes with me. Enough to clothe myself 3 times over, and a small family that I may meet and insist on clothing. I do the same for my son, who cannot understand why any person would need more that 1 pair of sandals. He is odd in that way. There is no genetic link on that point.

I am fortunate that my suitcase is not too big, which means that I am limited by its size. I pack in both halves of the suitcase, and then attempt a sort of clam shell snap of the 2 halves, so that I can get it closed. I had to sit on it to get the zip closed. Then I remembered that I couldn't keep lip balm in my hand luggage, because of the very clear terrorist implications of Body Shop Brazil Nut lip balm. I had to undo the zip just a little way, and poke the lip balm in with my fingers. Than I needed my son to sit on the suitcase, as well as me, so that it could be closed again.

I apologise to all of the people who may have expected me to bring them souvenirs from my holiday. I couldn't bring them unless I wore them, and I think you would draw the line at that.