Monday, 31 December 2007

Things I have done and not done.

Things I have done today:
  • Finished my book. I need to read it again before I can be sure, but the ending is sad.
  • Ordered a taxi to take us to the pub tonight and one to pick us up from my friend's house
  • Swapped a shift around.
  • Ran D a bath. May not sound like much, but it was an apology for leaving the bath taps on 'shower' rather than 'tap' (we have a shower over the bath too; I'm not sure why but D wanted both) as a result of which D sprayed water all round the bathroom. He was not impressed.
  • Done a tiny, tiny amount of work.
  • Brain training on my DS.
  • Received an email from a friend that I very rudely dumped just before our wedding and who I emailed not expecting a response about ten days ago. I am so happy to have heard from her again. I saw her outside a concert in Manchester earlier this year and suddenly realised how much I'd missed her and I'm really glad she replied. I hope she has forgiven me.
Things I have not done today:
  • A proper amount of work
  • Tidied the house
  • Called D's mum (or got him to) to see when we are giving the car back.
  • Texted my friend to say thank you for a favour she did us. On Friday.
  • The first draft of my next Tutor Marked Assignment, due very soon, for which I have an extention for having been ill but that is also getting very close.
I have been off work now for a long time after being ill and on leave. I wanted to have all this stuff done, dammit.

Ah well. At least we have tomorrow, still. I am about to drop my food and drink round at my friend's house for tonight. After that I will have some hours to get some work done. I will do it, I will do it, I will do it....

Happy New Year everyone.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Good things from Christmas.

My shiny new Nintendo DS, complete with brain training and sight training. Whenever I've seen the ads for months, now, I've said 'I want one of those... no I don't'. D decided to ignore the rational half of my brain kicking in and just got me one of the damn things to shut me up. I love it. My brain age has dropped from 60 to 24 in 5 days (the ideal is 20). My eyes on the other hand have gone from 'in their 40s' to 34. I fully intend to get both down to 20, even if they don't stay there.

Fudge from the Fudge Kitchen. I just about died of pleasure.

The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I loved We Need To Talk About Kevin, although 'loved' is possibly a bad word; it's an incredibly disturbing book, and one I had to reread quite slowly. I've not finished The Post Birthday World yet; part of me wants to just sit down and read and read but it's too rich, like the fudge. I have no idea how it can possibly end, but I'm going with it. Even though this is only the second book of hers that I've read, I trust her.

Popcorn. It's the new packaging in Lush's mail order and gift boxes. Genius. I did think about eating it, but apparently the essential oils make it taste bad. Shame.

The use of a car from Christmas Eve til sometime in the next day or two. Not great from an environmental point of view, but it made it a damned sight easier to visit our respective families.

Spending time with D. Impossible to overrate.

Hope you all enjoyed your Christmas.

Monday, 24 December 2007

A post to say...

Merry Chrimble.

I hope Santa brings everything you wanted.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

frosty

It hasn't been quite so cold the last few days. I've still been wearing layers and layers of tops, jumpers, coats, but I've been a little warmer.

It's gone cold again tonight, though. I've never seen a frost quite like it. It sparkles against the black tarmac in the street lights as though the pavement and road are coated in silver-white glitter. It's pretty, but impractical for walking, kind of like spiky stilettos for a girl who's more used to trainers. The air stings on your face; not at first, it takes a minute or two to register, but as the cold filters through the top layers of skin you really start to notice it.

The moon is full, or near enough to bring the werewolves out if you buy into the Buffy mythology. It's bright against the dark blue sky.

Shortest day was yesterday. I normally love solstices and equinoxes; they make me unreasonably happy. This year, I am completely sick of the dark, the cold. The days can't lengthen quickly enough as far as I'm concerned.

----

I'm listening to Suede's Singles collection at the minute. I never really cared about Suede for a long time, but D loves them, and one day when he had the singles collection on I realised I'd been singing along to just about every song. I rarely choose to listen to them myself, but I've got myself into a bit of a music rut recently, consisting of Nine Inch Nails, Editors and Interpol, with only the occasional bit of Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and Placebo, and I think we can all agree that there's not much cheery listening in there. I keep going to the CD stand with every intention of listening to something else (and we do have some great CDs!), but then one of the first three seduces me and I end up listening to that again. I think D is getting the Bloc Party CD for christmas from someone, so maybe that will make me branch out a little.

Funny thing is, I keep hearing that Pepsi ad with the Black Eyed Peas (you know the one where they keep falling through the floor and yet luckily noone gets killed?!), and I love that track. So obviously my liking for other genres of music is still there. Even for bands I'm aware aren't very good. But I still can't make myself listen to anything that wasn't influenced by Joy Division*. I don't even like Joy Division.

Err, please don't anyone tell D I said that.

Friday, 21 December 2007

stuff to read

So seeing as I have nothing to write about (unless anyone actually wants to hear about the amount of phlegm and snot I'm producing at the minute) I thought I'd link some articles for you to read.

Firstly, no one wants to ban Christmas.

Secondly The Girl talks about consent. Highly recommended.

Thirdly, that myth about reading in the dark making you short sighted is finally debunked, along with some others. I knew four or five (I think I knew the reading in the dark thing was a myth, but I'm not sure) but didn't know about the water thing (...but seeing as my husband lives on four cups of coffee a day and maybe a fruit juice, it doesn't surprise me) and the turkey thing I was marginally surprised about for a millisecond - but being veggie I don't really care.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Ill.

I keep telling myself it's better to get viruses out of the way before christmas, but I don't really believe it.

Will probably be quiet round here til after Christmas, as my life at the minute consists of sitting in the house and not doing anything.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Cold

For days, now, the frost hasn't melted on our street. It's been constant. It's so thick now that it looks like a proper layer of snow. The air smells clean, of ice.

I have four Christmas meals this year. Old job, new job, Samaritans, friends. One of them was last night at the Assembly Rooms. Fab night, although the food wasn't as good as last year. We were in the Chandelier Room and the disco lights looked fantastic sparkling through the chandeliers. And I was right, pulling a cracker and eating a mince pie did make me feel more christmassy.

I drank too much wine. It took me til nearly 7pm to feel human again. I should have had more water when I got in.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Ways to start feeling christmassy, finally.

Catch a whiff of mince pies at lunchtime. I can't wait to eat my first one of the year.

Go to a carol service lit by a thousand candles and with a choir. Jesmond Parish Church is a really nice church, and lit purely by candlelight, the air shimmering with the heat of the candles, it was beautiful.

The christmassy feeling didn't appear til right near the end. The final verse of 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful', to be precise. Do I mean counterpoint? Where the choir start singing a complementary tune for the last verse? It set my spine shivering. And suddenly, I felt I might get excited about christmas again.

Other things I think might help:
  • mulled wine
  • finding some red baubles for the christmas tree, distressingly half finished at the minute
  • replacing the old fake tree with a little real one that smells of christmas
  • wrapping presents
  • pulling a cracker
I'll get there in the end.

fakeout

The last two mornings, when I've looked out of the window at 7am (or 7.20am if I'm honest), I've thought that it's snowed. But it's turned out to be just a layer of frost lying thick on the pavement.

You'd think I would learn after the first time.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

unchristmassy

In previous years, christmas displays have been up from mid November. Nothing new went up this late. There were hundreds of them, or at least it seemed like it; most were relatively subdued, but some were so ridiculously OTT that I couldn't help but stare open mouthed when going past. And not in a good way.

This year, there are fewer displays. The ones that are there are more subdued, mostly, and they went up later; some have even gone up in the last week. Strange thing is, I have no idea why this has changed. Is it environmental concern? Denial about the proximity to christmas? Just the fact that everyone's sick of life this year?

------

I am completely, hopelessly in denial about how close Christmas is. I enjoyed the christmas markets when i was away with my sister, but since i came back i've been miserable. i have about half my presents, but i can't seem to muster up any sense of urgency about getting the rest, and if i don't order them soon, they'll never arrive in time. i can't even make myself write the one single christmas card that i really need to (...my boss, due to a misunderstanding today about who the card i was handing her was from).

i don't want to tell anyone how sick of everything i am, because i'm heartily aware of how much worse some people have it. but this is backfiring because i don't feel able to say anything to anyone, because the words that are waiting to come out of my mouth are so full of misery.

and it's ridiculous, because things are not. that. bad. but because i won't tell anyone (except D who has been wonderful) they are feeling worse and worse.

so hopefully, now i've written it here, it will go away.

but i do hate how every so often i seem to have to post here about a panic i'm having. that isn't what i want this place to be. and i'm not asking for sympathy or advice or anything, although i won't bat it away. i just need to let this out.

i failed miserably at nanowrimo.

i am very far behind with my course.

i should have posted some work online for my course by saturday, and i still haven't done it. neither have i fed back on anyone else's.

i have a good theory that the lack of exercise recently is one of the major causes of all this. but still i'm too scared to just get out there and run or swim.

i know the answers. i'm just stopping myself from putting them into practice.

i am an idiot.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

The bus

It took me a minute to realise that I was the only woman on the bus. And the only person under 55.

Usually there's quite a mix of people on that bus. But tonight it was just men coming back from the club. Bizarre.

I went out tonight with some friends for a christmas night out. We went to Treasure of the Orient on Stowell Street. The food was fab, but the other vegetarian and I only had one choice on the (large) menu. Vegetarians who don't like spicy food, be warned; it's not the best choice. Meat eaters, it's highly recommended.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Cobwebs, music and lights

I didn't really get out at lunchtime today; just over the road to pick up a packet of crisps (I am currently unable to go through a day in work without a packet of Salt and Vinegar Squares). By the time I left the office it was dark and the wind was strong. I made my way to the bus stop slowly, walking against the wind. By the time I got to the bus stop I was smiling. There were a few large drops of rain, stinging hard against my face with the ice on the breeze. Blowing the cobwebs away.

Interpol were fantastic the other night. They seem to have been forgiven by Newcastle for last time. Highlights were Paul going 'That was No I in Threesome... no idea what that was about' and Carlos, the one who was ill so it had to be called off last time, coming up to the mike when they came back for the encores, making the entire place be quiet, and saying 'I feel much better today'. All the vids on YouTube are pretty crappy, luckily for you, so I'll just suggest you go to their website if you've never listened to them before and listen to Evil, Mammoth and maybe NYC. And maybe just all the rest of them too. Fab night. Editors had more energy, but Interpol just have better songs, damn them. Their light show was also fabulous.

I got a t shirt that lists both Newcastle dates, just because it made me laugh.

I picked up a brochure of all the Winter Festival stuff that is going on in Newcatle and Gateshead at the mo at my hairdressers tonight.
Some of it looks fab, so I'll go and test some of it out for you in the next week or two. I'm nothing if not good to you, eh?!

(I finally got around to unpacking tonight. Three nights after I got home. That's how disorganised I am at the mo. I am also in complete denial over Christmas. I have no idea how I'm going to get sorted in time. Oh well!)

Monday, 3 December 2007

home again

My journey home took 12 hours 10 minutes (I did stop to have lunch with my mum and one of my sisters on the way back though) and involved the following means of transport, in the order given:
  • train
  • plane
  • car
  • train
  • metro
  • bus
So I'm rather exhausted, and about to collapse into bed. Thanks for all the comments on the various posts; I'll reply midweek as tomorrow I'm off to see Interpol. AKA Interpol. Let's hope tomorrow night works out for them, eh?!