Tuesday, 28 December 2010

slothing apace

christmas is over, whats left of the turkey is tucked into small bags in the freezer, and the left-over veggies have all been eaten in bubble and squeak (topped with a fried duck egg - leftover luxury at its finest). i hope your christmas was as satisfying and as filled with laughter and fun as ours was.

now is the week of unplanned laying around. that is - the laying around is planned, just not the particular make-up. i've been playing with my laptop, and n has successfully figured out why ubuntu wouldn't load properly and has saved the day. i added flashy progress bars from ravelry onto the blog - i'm not sure if i like them though. what do you think? i finished n's hat and it is blocking as we speak. i made a mitten! although, to really pull that one off i need to make another mitten and now that i know how it works it's not as interesting. otherwise i have been reading in bed, snuggling with the humph, eating cheese and pate, and having long baths. bliss.

last night hamish stuart and his band were playing at the anchor - which isn't as odd as it sounds as he owns the anchor, and under his management, bands play most weeks. this was considerably more special though. the band were really tight, some great funk-jazz jamming, the pub packed and dancing - from kids to grannies - literally! there was one couple who had to be 70 if they were a day (though admittedly i am not familiar with their procreational choices so whether they were actually grandparents remains a mystery) and they danced up a storm. i love seeing people dancing - almost as much as i love dancing myself :) to have such quality of music in such an intimate setting with lovely people - for free - well, merry christmas to you too!

today i think i need a walk. even sloths need fresh air. unfortunately it is raining, but i suppose it shouldn't matter. it also looks very cold, for although it's been raining for hours, the ice in the park still hasn't melted. that can't be a good sign. a walk to a pub with a good fireplace will be essential. i may even start my new hat.

happy holidays!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

i'm free!

happy holidays everyone!

in this lovely adopted land of mine, christmas is a serious business which requires buildings to close down, and all of their employees forced - FORCED! to take time off. hallelujah.

as a result, i am now on holiday until 4 january 2011. miles away.

and no papers to write.

when people ask me what i'm going to do, i say "absolutly nothing", but really, between you and me, what i'm really going to do is:

1. eat. check this out - the amazing sight that met my eyes when i stopped in at h&j's on my way home this evening:

that's tomorrow's lunch! (and j can COOK, oh yes)
xmas day is at ours, traditional turkey, ours collected from the farm shop parking lot this morning, direct from the farm where up until about a week ago it was one of these:

technically i suppose it still is one of those, but it does look a little different now.

2. drink (starting tonight at the last folk music session at the bear)

3. knit:
the rowan plaid is for n's hat and mittens, the malabrigo is my new hat, the madeline tosh is for my very first pair of socks. you cannot believe how excited i am about this. all of this.

4. cook - of course!

5. read. i have a stack of books including (but not limited to!) the new le carre, several new cookbooks and all the wired magazines i haven't had time for since september.

6. walk. weather dependent.

and that's just for starters!

happy holidays!

(I can't get this smaller to fit - you'll just have to click...)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

and to top it all off - i sense a working-from home day tomorrow...

start message:

Southeastern Alert Service
to me

show details 12:31 PM (3 hours ago)

Southeastern has been advised by Network Rail, who has responsibility for keeping the track clear of ice and snow, that we can run our normal timetable service for Monday 20 December.

The weather forecast remains for freezing temperatures overnight with more snow possible across Kent and East Sussex. So despite Network Rail's best efforts to clear the snow and ice, it's inevitable that services tomorrow will be disrupted, with cancellations, delays and short formations to trains as a result of damage caused by the snow and ice.

end message


christmas cheer

i've been having wayyy to much fun lately - even for a grapecat, this pace is too blistering to continue. christmas in a small english town is really perfectly fabulous and i wouldn't trade for anything. except having my family here too - that would be better.

first off - it's still snowing!!!!!

in england!!!
in december!!!!!!

ok - enough with the exclamation marks, i know

friday was my work christmas lunch - and the weather played along beautifully, snowing all afternoon. i'm afraid i drank a rather lot of wine and - well there's no delicate way to put this really, but - by 4pm i could be found dancing on a studio-54-esque lighted-square dance floor to what can only be described as substandard 80's rock/pop. as you do.

yesterday, we popped out to see our friend s model in a charity fashion show in the town hall, then for a quick pint - which turned into another - and another - and we met old friends and made new friends and it was really lovely. roaring fire, big comfy sofas, good ale, and lots of snow outside. there may have been drunken piano playing (ahem). we didn't get home till 6, and humph, who's dinnertime is 330, was not amused.

today was decorating the tree in the town centre - the faversham christmas lights society puts up the tree, but it isn't decorated. local artists have taken it upon themselves to decorate it and people bring baubles and garlands.

then up to the railway pub where the oyster morris side were hosting a christmas carol sing-along and we met up with h & j and young felix, among others. and it's not just me - is it - this is a beautiful little baby:

(and a rather smashing baby blanket if i do say so myself)

now home, n and s are jamming away and there's a chicken roasting in the oven. cheers everyone (one more exclamation mark? just one more? oh all right - no you're right - i know).

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

tiger goes to the pub

this was after the snow walk the other day...

Monday, 13 December 2010


welcome to the world, felix charles dalton copland.

you've landed well - i can vouch for your parents. it's a scary place, but there's lots of good stuff and we'll all be keeping an eye out for you :)


this is late - we had snow! in november! (ok well - the 30th, and i am normally against pedantry, but for the sake of emphasis - )

and it was beautiful. and lo, all the trains did cease. and the spectre of being one of the several hundred southeastern passengers stuck overnight on a broken-down train without heat nor light made firm one's resolution that fortitude would be, in this case, misplaced.

so instead we had this:

and this:

and this:

and then this:

oh come on. if one of your friends pulled out a tiger mask you'd have done the same thing.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

sunday morning

it's sunday morning and i have nothing i need to do today. no papers to write, no classes to read for, no projects to oversee, no attendance-required social engagements -


with a nagging feeling of guilt. am i missing something? two years of master's studying plus working equals a highly developed inner voice that runs a constant, murmuring background loop of "shouldn't you be ...". shouldn't you be reading? shouldn't you be starting to research your paper? shouldn't you be looking for material? shouldn't you be....

i need to re-train it. right now it would be useful for it to be prodding me to get off my arse and make omelets for breakfast while there is decent radio listening - that so-easily-missed hour between sunday service and the dreaded archers omnibus. if missed, it is radio exile until quarter past eleven.

and yes i know there are other radio stations than radio 4, but i've always considered this to be extraneous information, because, really, cooking and radio 4 are inseparable at molecular level. unless the archers are on.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

arrrggghhh - oranges

i'm allergic to oranges. how stupid is that? i think it's so stupid that i constantly test it, or at least i test it every two or three years or however long it takes me to forget the discomfort and low-level pain not to mention the appearance-disfiguring effects that accompany my attempts to sample this particular citrus.

so last night, in lovely company, i partook of a mug of yummy mulled cider. with oranges as it turns out. o well i thought. tastes very nice. awfully nice actually. i only had the one glass with the orange bit - the rest i made do with brandy and warm cider (deprived, i'm sure you'll agree).

but lo,

i'm still allergic to oranges.

24 hours later, i am the proud bearer of bee-stung (ouch) lips, and a rapidly spreading rash.

at least i didn't throw up this time.

maybe i'm growing out of it.