Thursday, 31 May 2007

I am exhausted. I don't know what to do first; I don't think I'll ever manage to get everything done; and my priorities are all screwed up.

I want to sleep for a week, but there is too much. Just... too much. Of everything.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

corner shop

I know exactly who's calling and why the second I hear my mobile ring. I'm halfway up the street from the bus stop, at exactly the same point I've always reached when D rings to ask me to get milk. I almost suspect that he has a CCTV camera pointed down the road so he can ensure his timing is perfect. Sure enough, when I pull my mobile out of my bag, it's his picture flashing up.

'Can you get me some milk please?'

I turn round and start walking back to the shop, even as I'm still complaining bitterly about why it's always me who has to go to the shop for milk.

I wouldn't mind so much if he managed to call before I got off the bus so I could just nip straight into the shop.

I wouldn't mind so much if I actually drank milk.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

visit

My parents visited today with one of my sisters. We had lunch at Wagamamas, went to Starbucks for coffee. My dad wandered into the churchyard of St Andrews church, the oldest church in Newcastle; it's where I took the first two of these photos the other week. I've never been in before but as we were looking for the door, the caretaker appeared. He offered us a look round and we accepted.

It's a beautiful church, and it's a shame it's not better known. He is fantastic; he knows the history of the place back to front and is incredibly enthusiastic about sharing what he knows. He took my dad and I up to the bell tower; we were disappointed, though, to discover that it's automated now since the Scottish attacked and damaged the tower. He showed us bones in the churchyard that were disturbed when a trench was dug to put in some floodlighting; apparently more are exposed every time it rains. If you're ever in Newcastle and need something to do to fill a wet afternoon, I'd highly recommend letting the caretaker show you round.

It was fab seeing my family. I forget sometimes how much I miss them - especially my sister N. She lives a long, long way away and I don't get to see her very often. She hadn't been up here nearly two years.

My dad confused me mightily by offering to write off the £5k I owe him and my mum (they lent me the cash at 0% to put down as the deposit on our house and pay off my credit card). Now if someone offered me five thousand pounds, I would bite their hand off, because I would be able to pay off my dad and have a clean slate. It would mean that in just a few months we could replace our (decrepit) boiler, the doors that the people who lived here before punched holes in, decorate our bedroom, rather than waiting for aeons.

It would mean we could save up and start thinking about having kids.

But I borrowed £6k, so I've hardly paid back any of what I owe; because of payment holidays so we could do a couple of things that desperately needed doing in the house we've barely made a dent in the debt. Technically, we've added to it; they gave us money to redo our bathroom when it was about to fall through the floorboards thanks to wet rot. I've been concentrating on paying off my student loan first anyway; that charges interest. Although I was going to make at least one more months' payment after we paid off the amount in lieu of interest.

My first reaction is 'no, i'll never learn my lesson if you let me off'. But I know that's ridiculous; I've learned my lesson already. I look after my money these days. I rarely overspend and never overspend money I can't pay back within a month or two. But I really do want to pay this off. I didn't want to borrow the money in the first place; D pointed out in the end that I was going to hurt them if I didn't accept their help, and I know we never could have afforded this place without it (trouble as this place has turned out to be). They have done so much for me over the years and I want to do something for them. Even if all I can do is to pay off this one debt, after all the others they have written off for me with a smile.

I love my parents more than I can say.

Sometimes I can't tell people how much I love them so they really understand. I say to D sometimes 'no I really love you' and he smiles and says he knows. But I wonder how anyone really can appreciate the depths of love unless it's been tested.

My parents have done so much for me and all I can do in return is to tell them I love them and say thank you.

I wish I could see them more often. But the debt repayments mean there isn't much spare cash for train tickets.

Either way, we're paid up by summer next year. It's not long. I hope I can last til then.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Bank Holiday weekend

Friday: washout.

Saturday: town with D. Discovered he's told one of his workmates I write this blog. So much for noone knowing apart from a very select few. Oh well. *waves at G* Spent over £100, mostly on stuff that's not for us. Panicked about how little money we have and how June is going to be expensive. Had a friend come round to see us as it was his birthday.

Sunday: woke up two hours later than planned. Told self must have needed the sleep. Went to visit D's grandparents and do their Asda shopping. Did my Sams shift. Went straight from there to friend's bonfire party. Busy day.

Monday: cleaned out cupboard under kitchen sink. Lots of washing up (you'd think the five thousand lived here, not just two of us). Lots of washing (ditto). Spoke to my parents. Tidied up a bit in the lounge. Failed to do my ironing. Put a spider out. Cleaned the cutlery drawer. Watched The Prestige. Started to panic about the first deadline for my OU course, which is 12 days away.

There is so much that needs doing, and so little time. And it just gets worse. I don't know where to start.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

I can't remember where I lifted this from.

I don't think it does me any favours in making me look well-read....

The directions: Look at the list of books below.

• Bold the ones you’ve read.
• Italicise the ones you want to
• Don't do anything to the ones that you aren’t interested in

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) I'm sure this is against the law, but I enjoyed it too. So sue me.
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Read for GCSE English. Hated it. I'm curious to reread though and see if I think it's better when I'm not forced into it.
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) and i've not seen the film, either. I'm OK with that.

5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) I got bored after the first book. Got bored of the film about ten minutes in.
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) I tried to reread this recently, though, and couldn't. No idea why.
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) - I've tried and tried, but I just can't get into it.
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) I know I've read some Steinbeck, but I've no idea which. I'm aware that this list isn't making me look any more intelligent....
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) It's on my reading list, but I've not got round to it yet. I LOVED The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) - this is on my reading list too, but not yet.
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible - well I was brought up Catholic, so I've heard the whole damned thing in readings more than once....
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) - yep, but I can't remember a damned thing about it.
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) I've tried but not finished. Bought it second hand recently and am going to try again.
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)

57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger) why won't the italics go off? Loved this anyway. Made me cry.
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) - seen the film...
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) - ooooh been wanting to read this for years. I should nick my sister's copy next time I get the chance.
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) - errrm, I've seen the stage show.....

70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)

82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMavrier)

84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen) I'm half way through this and stuck. Will try again soon.
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)

95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)

98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Thursday, 24 May 2007

It's amazing what little things you can notice walking round the city. And what little things you can miss for years.

Phone numbers in Newcastle have been seven digits for as long as I've been living here, and I've lived here on and off for 15 years.



How many times must I have walked past this place in that time? Hundreds, thousands? And I've never noticed til a few days ago that the phone number in the window (above the Magic Box sign) only has five numbers.

It's on a corner, so by the time I get near enough to look I mostly have my head turned to see if any cars are turning into the road. But that's no excuse, really. Sometimes I think I must walk around with my eyes shut.

It's amazing what different things I notice when I have a camera in my hand.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

a changing city

There is so much changing in Newcastle at the minute.



It's about two years since the Brewery, the 'home of Newcastle Brown Ale' as you can see in the picture above, closed and production of Newcastle Brown Ale moved south of the river, in what felt to many like a massive betrayal. The buildings have stood empty since then, apart from one that's being used as a car park. Another has an optimistic banner offering office space.



But now the buildings are falling, one by one. The first one, arguably the nicest building with a lovely clock tower, went a couple of weeks ago. (It's the fourth photo down here.) The one wrapped in plastic will be the next to go, I guess.



I don't understand why one of the buildings, at least, couldn't have been saved. A brewery museum would have been pretty popular, I bet. It's such a shame to get rid of the asthetically pleasing buildings, although it'll be good to see a couple of them go.



In the meantime, this is what's going on round the corner. The nearer building is being built; the one in the background is being demolished. It's strange to watch the city change like this.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Cranes

I don't know much about the shipyards.

One of my friends from work used to work there. And I've seen photos of North East streets that go down to the river with enormous ships just at the end of the road. I can only imagine what it used to be like when the shipbuilding days were in full swing.

When I first moved to the North East, I occasionally used to get the metro out to the coast. And I always used to hate going past the cranes and industrial landscapes of the shipyards on either side of the river.

But somewhere along the way, that changed. They just became part of the landscape. And sooner or later, they are going to disappear. The ground will be sold off and used for something else (God save us, though, from more executive riverside flats). And now? I'm going to miss them when they go.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

It was one of those days.

For the past few weekends, D and I have been talking about going to the coast to get fish and chips for lunch, but something has always intervened to stop it from happening. Rain, me being due somewhere, getting up too late for it to be worth it... just things.

We decided we were going to go today, come what may. We were going to get the bus, get off outside the chippy, sit and watch the world go by while we ate. I was due to be at Samaritans by late afternoon, but we thought we'd have plenty of time.

We got up late, but thought it was going to be OK. We'd have enough time. I checked the bus timetable and we left in good time.
It was a beautiful day, mostly; sunny and warm, but very windy.

When we got to the bus stop, I looked more closely at the timetable. 'It's going to take 40 minutes to get there,' I said to D. 'It'd be quicker to walk down to the metro and get the metro out to the coast.'

He frowned. 'What if there's a delay on the metro?' he asked.

'What are the odds? It'll be tons quicker, honestly.'

So we set off for the metro stop, him complaining bitterly as he hates walking anywhere. We got to the metro stop, waited for the train. I noticed that the display was stuck - it had read ten minutes for the ten minutes we'd been there. I called the control from the help panel, they told me the train really was on its way, would be with us in three minutes.

One of my friends called on my mobile; I was talking to him when the train arrived. I kept talking while we got on, found a seat, waited for the doors to close. Nothing. I looked up at a couple fooling round, spinning each other round the pole just a couple of feet from where we sat. I noticed how he held his groin against her as they moved and pulled a face to myself, wishing they'd keep their sex games for when they were in private. But then I looked again as he somehow got her hands off the pole and marched her off the metro, his arm tightly round her neck. I noticed the broken glass at the same second I noticed her bare feet, shuddered as I realised something was definitely wrong. But not wanting to leave the comparative safety of the metro. Fearing that if I intervened that he would attack me. Not wanting to be close enough to him to find out if he would.

He walked to the back wall of the station, loosened his grip just a little but still holding her round her neck so she couldn't stand up straight. Most of the front carriage of the metro was watching them openly by now; he started shouting that we were muppets. I told my friend what was happening. I didn't know whether to hang up and phone the police. I didn't know why the driver hadn't intervened or done so already.

I didn't understand why someone wasn't helping. But I was too scared for it to be me.

I noticed her hand sneak out and settle on his hand, and suddenly I started to wonder how she was seeing this. To us, it was an assault. To her, it might have been a reasonable action on her boyfriend? brother? friend?'s part. And that made it all the more creepy in my head.

In the end a guy walking onto the platform, ignoring the metro still sitting there, started to talk to them. I don't know if he knew them or what; he seemed to be remonstrating with the man. The first man let her go and she stood there, calmly, not seeming to know or wonder what all the fuss was about.

I still wonder if she was on something.

The doors shut. The metro finally pulled off, seemingly hours after arriving at the platform. The sun was still shining, but the day seemed tainted. Wrong. I looked at my watch. 'If we'd got the bus, we would have been there by now.'

I let the fact that we would also not have witnessed the assault remain unspoken.

The driver announced that the police had, in fact, been called and were on their way. The people in the other carriage must have wondered what on earth was going on.

My fish and chips were nice, but I didn't really enjoy them.

You can't see how choppy the sea was from these photos, unfortunately.

We barely got back in time for me to leave again for my shift. One of those days.

Now, I don't know whether or not to call the police. I think I would recognise him if I saw him again, but I doubt I would recognise her. And he scared me. I don't want him putting bricks through my windows. And I'm not convinced it wouldn't happen if I go forward.

I've lived in the north east eight years or so, in total. I've never witnessed anything like that before.

I wish I could still say that.

----

I talked to one of my sisters before. We somehow got onto the topic of how, randomly, she has the highest tolerance for spicy food of anyone I know. She said that if she had a superpower, it would be to eat spicy food and then breathe fire.

It's really bizarre. She's a pale little slip of a thing, but she used to dip her finger in the mustard jar and eat it when she was barely 2 years old. By the time she was 5 she was eating raw chillies. None of the rest of us can do this. I still believe she must be some kind of genetic mutant.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Bus

There was a man on my bus home that smelled.

Really, really bad.

It was one of those small buses that seem to have been compressed. There was only one pair of seats left when I got on and I sat down, pleased to get a window seat. But the pleasure only lasted a minute until the smell filtered through. I can normally deal with BO, but this was awful.

There were two side-facing seats left at the front of the bus, which was still sitting in the bus station. I weighed up my options and decided I had to move away. I didn't want to offend anyone but I felt ill.

A minute or two later, a couple of people got onto the bus, sat behind him, and left the bus which still hadn't left the bus station, complaining loudly about the smell.

At least I was more tactful than that.

It makes me sad though. He was an old man with white hair and he may just not realise. Does he not have any family that could wash his clothes, make him have a bath? Maybe he doesn't, and that's the saddest thing of all.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Geordie weekends

I'm getting on with my course.

Of course, with it being a writing course, I'm doing a lot of writing as part of it. All my observations are going into my notebook, so there's less going round in my head to go here. But I do enjoy writing this, so I'm going to try and make the effort to write here.

Anyway. At least I'm working on it. Although right now I am stuck on one of the exercises and have been since Friday. I'm going to do it before bed though, just to get the damned thing out of my hair.

I went into town yesterday afternoon. My haul was: 3 books (one for me, one for D, one for my friend whose birthday was yesterday), D's prescription, 1 bag of mushrooms, some wrapping paper, a bag of porridge oats and a sosmix roll. Packaging from this: two plastic bags and two paper bags. It would only have been one plastic bag if I'd remembered to say no to the bag for one of the books, and one paper bag if I'd remembered to say no to the paper bag my sosmix roll came in (shockingly it came in a plastic bag wrapped in a paper bag from the healthfood shop that now charges for new carriers and will only give out reused ones for free). Not hugely great for packaging, but a lot better than it could have been.

I took a short cut through the place where the goths and hippie kids gather at Old Eldon Square. (The link is a bit out of date but it gives the general flavour.) I've never been one to hang around there, even when I was a student and could have got away with it - in those days it was more students than teenagers that gathered there.

It didn't used to be too unfriendly for any 'normal' people who might have been wandering through. But I was hyper aware of the fact that I was looking very normal. Even though I was listening to Nine Inch Nails as I was walking past.

It got me thinking, so here, for your reading pleasure, is a list of things that you wouldn't know about me from looking.
  • I love goth, rock, metal music. I've mentioned it before, but it's worth mentioning again: if I spend too much time listening to 'normal' music, I get antsy and nervous and don't feel like myself.
  • I'm married. Technically, my wedding ring would probably give this away, but if my hands were behind my back? I don't think I look married. I don't feel old enough to be married. I kept expecting someone to stop the ceremony, realising there'd been a huge mistake.
  • I'm a feminist. I don't know what a feminist looks like, but I don't think it's me.
  • I'm very short sighted. But I wear contacts, so unless you look very closely, you won't realise. I wish I'd realised my mum had a point when she told me off for reading under the covers (not even just in the dark!) after my bedtime. But it was worth it for those extra minutes with the Famous Five.
  • That I'm not as confident as I usually look. Sometimes you can see through it. But usually I look as though I'm fine, even when I'm falling apart with nerves.
  • That I'm a not-really vegetarian (ie I eat fish). Again, though, I don't know what a veggie person looks like. And noone makes t shirts for that.
This is fun. I think I'd like to find out this about other people, so I'm making this into a meme, just because I can. I'm going to tag anx and Loria. Cause noone else reads this regularly ;) Tell me 5 things that people wouldn't be able to tell from looking at you.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Friday afternoon photos

I went for a wander after I left work last Friday.

This was taken in from the street adjacent to the churchyard of St Andrew's church.



This is the church, taken from the same place.




















This is the Percy Arms. On Percy Street, funnily enough. I like the hanging baskets.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Saying thank you?

So I have a question. If someone serves you badly in a supermarket, or if a bus driver drives terribly, or something - would you say 'thank you' to them?

I usually say thank you to people who've performed a service for me, but when the bus driver ignores the fact that I pressed the button and stood right at the front of the bus waiting for my stop til, like three feet before the stop and then brakes really sharply - even though there are people at the stop waiting for the bus - I'm not that grateful.

Yet other people seem to say thank you no matter how bad that service has been. I just wondered if I'm incredibly rude?

Monday, 7 May 2007

a confusion of colour

Bank holiday weekend. Sunshine, and strong wind. A 4.5m, hard running into the wind but lovely when it pushes me along. A quick shower before going out for a friend's birthday.

Sitting on the Quayside, warm in the sun but nearly blown away by the wind. Meeting good friends and new ones. Chips and onion rings, everyone dipping in. Moving from bar to bar, sticking to cokes until the dehydration from the run passes. Laughter. Friends asking if I've lost weight, wondering in a split second how to react (tell them about how frustrating it is that I only have one pair of work trousers that fit? that I always used to be OK in work and how I'm always cold now? tell them that I don't care about the numbers on the scales because it's the amount of exercise and the quality of the food you eat that count?) and then just taking the compliment they intend. Not the moment for a feminist rant, unfortunately.

Tiredness hitting, deciding to leave. Walking along the Quayside, a confusion of colour all around.
People everywhere; hen nights and stag dos, couples and groups. A girl asking for a light; I have to shake my head with a smile. Wanting to catch the yellow diesel-electric Quaylink bus but realising that I've misjudged the times and that if the bus is late I'll miss my bus home and have to wait 30 minutes for the next one. Turning with a sigh to walk up Dean Street in my high heels, striding up the hill with an effort, heart beating hard. A couple asking where Marco Polo restaurant is; pointing them in the right direction, smiling again. A groups of guys walking down to the Quayside as I walk up; wishing I didn't have to walk past them. One of them trying to get on his friend's back for a piggyback, not doing very well; as his friend looks up and clocks me he says 'help, he's bumming me'. Quietly, not being loud and in your face about his joke. I smile despite myself.

Finally reaching the top of Northumberland Street. Seeing my bus go past towards the bus station, trying to figure out how much time I have before it comes back around. Watching the traffic lights, realising they're about to change. Wondering whether to run for the green man, reluctant to risk my boot heels, but when he appears I run nontheless. Reaching the bus stop and sinking onto the bench, legs needing a rest after the run and the heels. Seeing the bus come round the corner and sticking my arm out to make it stop, only standing up at the last minute.

I enjoyed my day.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

scared

My OU* course starts today.

I'm terribly, terribly scared. Because I have a horrible tendency to start these things in a blaze of glory, only to get bored five minutes in and drop out. Not just 'leave things to the last minute', either. To really die.

My JanNo attempt stalled after all of two weeks. And most of the last week I didn't really do very much. And this is going to take more effort. That was all about just getting words onto the page and not worrying so much about which words they were. I've got a month to get my first assignment done, and then six weeks for the second (and although the first deadline can be extended if necessary, the second one can't, whatever happens).

I'm looking into the possibility of transferring some credit from the bit of university that I did finish to put towards a degree, but I'm not sure yet whether or not that's just a crazy plan. I'm hoping that by the end of this introductory course, I'll know the answer.

* for anyone outside the UK, the Open University is a national university through which you can do distance learning towards degrees.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

I went out for tea with D tonight. We went to Wagamamas and sat next to the window, watching a small boy with a net on a stick chasing pigeons.

We never worked out what he planned to do with them if he managed to catch one.
I know not many people read this, but I wanted to post it anyway. This is the justgiving page of the guy that died doing the London Marathon. Just tried to donate but the site was running too slowly.

One of the girls at the running club I started Tuesday saw him collapse and tried to help him.

I don't know what else to say.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

I'm still alive. Honest. I've been writing blog posts in my brain, but I have a nasty feeling that by the time I get round to writing them, they'll all have fallen out again.

I've joined a running club, gone swimming and done pilates. I'm going well on the training for the Great North Run. Yay me.