Sunday, 30 September 2012

steeking sunday

 how do you turn a jumper into a cardigan? why you cut right up the front. seriously. it's called steeking and the first time you do it you will probably need some sort of sedative.the white yarn you can see on the sides of the cut is a crocheted reinforcement, then the whole thing gets bundled up neat and tidy and you would never ever guess that something as crass as scissors had been anywhere near. but first you have to CUT UP YOUR KNITTING.

to recover, here's a lovely pic of humph soaking up the sun in the entryway. phew!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

in which i realise once again how important it is to (in as much as possible) surround yourself with good people

i am very fortunate. almost all of the people i come into contact with on a regular basis are - to varying degrees - kind, funny, understanding, and competent. but in the last weeks i have been exposed to a group of people who are the polar opposite, and it’s really taken its toll. i feel drained, but more worryingly, in the guise of trying to stay one step ahead, i find myself trying to guess how they will think and react, and it is insidiously working its way into my head. i feel like i am slightly losing sight of what is, in the real world, rational. and i am getting paranoid.

my contact will be ending soon, but it has really reminded me how important it is to be in a supportive and nurturing environment. i have a new appreciation of mine, and a renewed determination to provide the same for others around me.

i also am so grateful for wine. lovely lovely wine – balm to my ruffled feathers (no help with the mixed metaphors though obviously).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

but - does it have bubbles?

said random man earnestly to me at the cider fest yesterday. in a barn. full to the brim of cider. in boxes. this, my friend, is not a pub. and this is definitely not lager.

cider festival was wonderful even though a) we didn't get there until 230 (work was not smooth. of course it wasn't. what was i thinking?) and b) there was no sign of the pig racing. despite these considerable setbacks we had a wonderful time.

although the distinct lack of pigs was undeniably disappointing, i was mollified by the spectacle of teddy bear parachuting. a very large kite in the sky moored several guy wires. at the bottom, at the end of a long line of children anxiously hugging teddies, a man hooked said teddies into a special parachute harness:
attached them to the wires:
and sent them hurtling into the sky.
the parachutes opened and the teddies floated lazily back down to the ground.
we sat on the grass, in a field watching floating teddies, and it was one of the most relaxing experiences i've had. there is therapy potential here, people.

today i have had a dreadful case of cider-flu (shocking, i know). we've had a lovely sunday roast with friends in canterbury, but i've had to send n off to the anchor without me this evening - i'm just too tired to contemplate anything but an early bedtime.

night all - may your dreams be filled with happily floating teddies.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

sunny saturday

i am looking out the window onto a beautiful autumn day - all blue sky and sunlight. unfortunately the window i am looking out of is at work, but you can't knock the view. one window is filled with the british library, all redbrick and green trim. the other looks out onto the newly refurbished st pancras hotel and station - spires, cathedral windows and intricate ironwork. my inside environment is no less salubrious as i am overseeing new furniture being installed in our chief exec's office. it could be a lot worse, put it that way.

in a few hours we should be finished and i will be heading back to kent to meet n at the cider festival at brogdale orchards. i haven't been for a few years and i am really looking forward to it. not only are there over 70 varieties of cider and perry (hopefully including my favourite - 'marsh monkey'), but there are gun dog displays, live music, hay bales to sit on (yes, this is worthy of inclusion), and this year - piggy races!!!  frankly, anything is amusing after a few jars of scrumpy, but seriously - pig racing. i'll take pictures, i promise.

this is from the website:

i love england.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012



i don't know what more i can really add to that.

admittedly, a life currently summed up by "erreugghhh" was not what i envisioned when i was a wee mite at 18 - looking into the future dazed with ridiculous optimism and insane naivete, but there you go, and here we are.

no, really, that's it.

i'm as surprised as you are.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

i caught the 558 am train this morning into london.
of course i have always known that the trains run this early but until now, only theoretically. i am working on a project in various libraries, and i need to be in and out before they open between 10 and 11am. it's painful.

but walking through st pancras station on my way back to the office this afternoon, i passed this couple, playing a duet on one of the pianos randomly left out in the station (which by the way, i really don't think is art. fun - for sure. entertaining - sometimes. bloody annoying - often. but art? i think not. unless it's a statement about the kidnap and capture of arbitrary instruments - i mean - check out those chains. even in london, would someone really nick a piano? actually, upon reflection, yes. they probably would)

they were playing beautifully, and they were having so much fun. i smiled all the way back to my desk.

then i got hit my a tsumani of email most of  which reads as if it's been written by kafka but that's another story...

Saturday, 8 September 2012

saturday morning

last night involved a boozy bbq with our lovely neighbours, lighting a fire, burning last year's hops, and making make-shift lanterns out of plastic containers and tea-lights (the sun knows autumn is here despite our denial and it was dark by eight).

this weekend, kent is basking in a weekend of late-summer sunshine and warm temperatures. a lie-in this morning, a walk with sir humph, fresh bread from the bakery and three (three! not a morning for restraint) saturday papers and the morning is just about perfect. no need yet to dig the bicycles out - just another cup of coffee and two days of sunny potential stretching on ahead.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

top tip

so if you top up your mobile phone twice in quick succession, say because vodafone seems to think you could actually spend a pound of phone credit between topping up and buying their incredibly mis-named "freedom-freebie" package, thus necessitating you to groan, go through the topping up again, realise you can't top up by less than five pounds even though you are only a pound short, and then do so through gritted teeth, then your undoubtedly well-meaning bank will put a flag on your debit card. it will send you cryptic, slightly spooky automated phone messages to tell you this, which your partner will just assume is spam and erase and you will have no idea that this has happened until you are standing in the local pharmacy, trying to pay for a prescription for eye antibiotics, while the cashier phones the number flagged on her machine, and, through mounting mutual embarrassment, proceeds to ask increasingly personal questions prompted by a voice that puts her on hold for what seems like hours, while you completely freak out that you have been hacked and all of your (nonexistent) life savings are gone gone gone. not to mention that seven people also waiting in the pharmacy now know how much you pay in rent and when your gas debit is collected etc etc.

so don't do that.

bloody vodafone.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

maybe every other day

today i am writing on a snazzy new thinkpad - we all got new laptops at work. obviously this isn't exactly work-related, but hey. beggers can't be choosers.

it was my first day back in the office after a break of 11 glorious days. i really needed the break - i didn't realise how much. the sun is still shining, and the weather for the weekend looks amazing, and it's already wednesday! things are good.

n says humph didn't miss me at all today after all our time together. n says he just slept all day. maybe he dreamt about me. or maybe he just dreams of rabbits. salmon flavoured rabbits. unsuspecting looking-the-other-way rabbits.

Monday, 3 September 2012

so as it turns out

it really helps to have access to a computer if you are trying to post daily.

my laptop died a few weeks ago - i knew it was coming - it required perfect conditions to start up during its last weeks - incantations and crossed fingers and silent heartfelt pleas and a promise that this time - absolutely this time i would back up all my files if only you will just start one more time. i did back up almost everything - all the important stuff - emails from my dad, pictures.

i miss it terribly - it's probably immoral to miss a piece of equipment this much. but we went through two degrees together, wrote two dissertations, traversed a few oceans and plains and had all manor of adventures. it is missing a hinge, has some frightening gaps where there was probably something important at one time, has one side completely cracked and a few dents, but it still kept on plugging. until now.

n has put one of his old pcs upstairs for me - which was very nice of him, but no replacement. it refuses point blank to talk to blogger, or open any facebook link, and it views photos with open hostility. we are not getting on all that well.

so i sneak in on n's pc downstairs - the good one - but i have to creep behind photo software and downloads and some terrifying ww2 game that shouts every 5 minutes "the only good soldier is a dead one". it's not ideal.

i will persevere, but i may actually have to learn to use my smart phone at this rate. i should be able to buy a replacement before christmas (hopefully) and i am eying up a delightfully cheeky little tablet/keyboard dock number (is this betrayal?) but funds do not yet stretch.

all this to say i may have been a little hasty in my last promises.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


yeah i know - i'm not sure how that happened either.


probably because we've spent most of the summer waiting for summer.


i have a new plan.

i'm going to write something, every day, all month. to get back into the swing, so to speak.

i had great plans for this first (ish) post but i am knackered, slightly drunk, and have a raging headache. yay hop festival. pics tomorrow - promise.

bed now.