Sunday, 27 September 2009

book reorganisation

not mine, blessedly. mine are perfectly (un)organised. but this made me laugh so hard i almost spilled my wine in the bath!

lucy mangan on reorganising her books with her husband:

We work for a while in silence. Eventually the room is mazed with books. "It looks like postwar Europe," he says as we unpack the final box. "Borders mean nothing any more, and everyone is looking to a higher authority to help them out. So… what kind of system are you planning on? Simple alphabetical order? Chronological within alphabetical? Maybe a moderated form of Dewey Decimal? I do most of mine by publisher, but then the colophon was my only childhood friend."

"None of the above," I say. "It goes 'Fiction', 'Non-fiction'. Read and unread within each of those. Within each 'unread' there will be 'Really want to read', 'Quite want to read', 'Not quite sure why I bought this' and 'Accidentally bought this twice – this is the spare.' Then a shelf for 'Lovely books' – that's my Folio Societies and my Persephones and occasional other volumes whose beauty trumps their read/unread status. And here, maybe on a special shelf all of its own, I'm going to put Bridget. And call it social history. OK?"

Friday, 18 September 2009

up late

ha - not even midnight! years past this was considered going out hour. how things change. now it's the latest i've been up in about 6 weeks (excluding lisbon of course). working weekends kills your night life.

my night life tonight is solitary - n's gone to bed. not quite solitary - humph is perturbed that his nocturnal idyll is being disturbed in such reckless fashion and is harumphing and rolling his eyes.

i am looking forward to two glorious days off and it has completely gone to my head. it's the secret joy of working weekends - when you work loads in a row, and have one off, it feels like heaven.

here's some pics from the day - this is looking out the window of the Town Hall Extension, Camden at St Pancras in the sunset-

this is re-patching the comms cab for the move:

humph has given up and gone to sleep - and i will too - soon -

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


it's very very autumn today. it rained all day. it's dark.


and this from someone who loves autumn. generally. when it's not being boorish and cracking dumb jokes and whispering behind your back. flirting with raindrops and howling with mirth.

and knitting is hard, goddamit.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

my life at work

from a fantastic TED talk (check them out) by Emily Levine:

a girl is in the car with her elderly mother driving when she goes through a red light. the girl,worried about her mother's reaction, doesn't want to say anything (like - what are you doing - you're too old to drive) so she keeps quiet. her mother goes through a second red light. the girl says, tentatively, "mom - do you realise you just went through two red lights?" the mother looks at her in alarm and says, "what?? i'm driving???"

btw i am the girl in this analogy. i think i am, anyways


well i aced the move (heh heh heh - take that you silly techy people who thought i couldn't pull it off - you have underestimated me and showed your nefarious intentions too soon - round one: me). and yeah, i'm feeling a little smug about it. generally that means i am about to fail in a hitherto unimaginably spectacular fashion. i'll keep you posted.

i also put together the first edition of the new east kent rape line newsletter! in a 70 hour week! i'm quite pleased about that. it's badly designed, but for a first go - hey, it's better than nothing, and i will improve. i enjoyed it immensely so i think this will be much more fun than pain. it has also made me feel much less guilty about quitting helpline volunteering.

our team, "drink canada dry", came in second in the pub quiz on monday. we would have won but we were tired, slightly giddy, got a bit drunk, and didn't really pay tons of attention at a few critical junctions.

i have not started my knitting. i will though. i swear. soon.

h is snoozing in the doorway in his well-researched most-likely-to-be-tripped-over position and n is making a green thai chicken curry that smells so good that in a moment i will actually go into the kitchen and eat it straight out of the pot. no - not really. i'll wait, then inhale it at the table and burn off the roof of my mouth. ah the perils of greed.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


i am about to embark on my first proper knitting project - a hat. ostensibly for n but i would wager that the chances of this hat being remotely wearable are rather slim and we will probably be chalking this one up to a "learning experience". this has not stopped me from buying yarn! and nice bamboo knitting needles! (i really wanted to write chopsticks there - hmmm - freudian? like the joke - how many freudian psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? answer - two - one to change the lightbulb and the other to hold his penis --- i mean ladder)

my friend k has been a patient goddess in teaching me and is forever calm in my various knitting crises. and i just found out our other neighbour, b, also knits! i am surrounded by wisdom. phew.

in other news work is manic. gigantic move this weekend and the politics are going insane. never fails. and this morning, 4 out of 5 lifts were broken down. have you ever tried to get 450 crates to the fourth floor of a building at 9 am with 600 staff all vying for the same (almost definitely soon-to-be-collapsing-under-the-strain) lift? i don't particularly recommend it.

and yes, i realise in that last sentence my numerical references were all over the place. sod it.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


last saturday we attended our friends' wedding. in lisbon. ahhhhhh. i will never get tired of the wonder, the sheer amazement of being able to go to these magic other places for a weekend. just like that. all casual-like. the wedding was beautiful - tasteful and classic, in a beautiful botanical garden in the late afternoon sun. there was more food than i think i've ever seen before in one setting. there was a cheese buffet :) :) :)

and lisbon was fantastic. charming. not show-off-y at all, but warm and inviting - and oh - those custard tarts - oh my! we were staying two doors down from the belem cake shop and started each morning with a dose of espresso and custard tarts that left us reeling out of the shop in pupil-dilated, sugar-laden ecstasy.

lisbon still has the old trams with their wooden paneling and hand brakes that screech as they tear down cobbled streets at a speed which starts fast and picks up pace as gravity takes hold, blowing cool air in the open windows. it's a city of stairs, and hills. lots and lots of stairs and hills. old buildings with tiled fronts, and all of the sidewalks in black and white tiled mosaics.

we spent a day on the beach as well, waves crashing in on mile upon mile of soft fine white sand. when it got too hot we'd retreat up to a beachside bar for a cold beer and water and some shade.

we were up early on saturday morning and climbed up to the bairro alto - narrow cobbled streets all shuttered, graffiti on every wall. the street was ankle deep in glass and plastic cups, straws and beer bottles, and the remains of hundreds of mojitos. it looked like some kind of party slum - amazing. as we walked up the street we heard water, and cleaners were coming down, bagging everything up and washing down the streets with huge hoses. the before and after was startling. the next night we went back to see what could have caused such devastation. all the shutters were open to reveal small bars, most with live music. restaurants opened up onto the street, tables were perched everywhere, and the whole place heaved with music and dancing. the mojitos were pretty good,too.

now it is back to our regular broadcasts, so to speak. but what a great city!