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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

best laid plans...

well.

it's tuesday evening and my lovely lovely mother arrives from canada tomorrow at heathrow at 630 am.

that part was planned.

coming down with the go-straight-to-bed-do-not-pass-go-do-nothing-but groan-and sleep-and-shiver-and sweat-for-several-days flu on saturday was not planned. i am on the mend, but not quite there.

now it seems that n may have caught it too - i've sent him and his sudden-onset fever up to bed.  the plan (don't you love how i keep using this word?) is to get up at 4 and leave by 445 to make heathrow on time but we'll see if the poor fella can even drive tomorrow. we rented a car and everything. plans, eh?

well, what can you do? if he's too ill, i'll hop a train and be a little late and will try not to think about the money on train fares and the rental car sitting in the drive. (ha ha i just corrected that from "renal car" - see? it could always be worse!)

and anyways tomorrow my mom will be here! in 9 hours! and so what if we're sick and the house is a bit messy. it's almost christmas and we're going to be together.

i need to go to bed now. i plan to get a good nights sleep....

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

(not exactly) working from (not exactly) home


but needs must, some days.

we took an unscheduled unplanned break this afternoon - beer instead of running, knitting instead of working (i was thinking about work honest gov) (i was actually - sad bastard).

this is the fireplace at the sun inn in faversham. it's a sheps pub (shepard neame) so the ales are limited but the fire is in my opinion the best in faversham (although the back room at the anchor may be giving it a run for its money).

what you can't see are the two gigantic armchairs we are nested in, and the "just the one" followed by "oh go on then" and finally the "we really shouldn't but" pints.

sometimes you really really should :)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

september!

well! september!

i have to admit, i've completely lost my sense of time. working 7 day weeks with only the odd day off for a few months will do that to a person. it became a running joke with our team. in one meeting i was gloating, having correctly remembered that it was wednesday, only to realise i was talking about the wednesday previous. that gloat was rather short-lived.

in some ways it's nice working like that. life becomes quite simple. you get up, you go to work. you come home, you have a glass of wine, you go to bed. simple.

the project went very well, which i am sure contributes greatly to my current feelings about the summer. we moved over 3000 people between 6 buildings in 8 weeks. 2500 of these moves were into a building that was "under extensive snagging" - translated: yes there is a goods lift but if you need it to move in your 2000 filing crates you are going to have to duke it out with 600 construction guys all trying to get whatever they need done before opening on monday. in the same 8 weeks we also closed one building (emptied and handed back to landlord) and completely re-designed two large floors in another building. that was the worst bit i think. for about 2 weeks i thought my head might explode.

now it's all settling down. how boring. how dull. how sparse my pay seems without all that overtime.

but how nice to get up in the morning and have time to go along on humph's walk. how nice to read the papers in the pub. how nice to get my dreams back. it seems cruel that, having dealt with people and filing and furniture all day - you close your eyes and - presto! people and filing and furniture all night. i did every move at least twice.

and it's september! my favourite time of year (n says i say this every season but i swear this really is it). fog in the morning, leaves starting to fall, the beautiful light in the evening - and in the uk at least, the calendars are starting to book up for christmas. delightful. i feel so energised in the autumn. this is the true new year. who wants to start something new in january?

so if you saw july and august, tell them i said hi. onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

work till you drop

rationally, i know that it is impossible that i have done nothing but work my whole life. yesterday, in fact, i left work early and spent a happy late afternoon and evening in broadstairs with my friend s and her delightful girls. but that was yesterday. years ago.

i'm on day 9 of a 21 day jag that would be easier if it wasn't hot on the heels of 19 day and 12 day previous jags. so far i've had 4 days off since the end of june and i'm starting to get a little weird.

the moves are going well. i still love my team. the adrenaline of the project keeps me going for the most part. but when i get home and sit down and pour a glass of wine and look at the dog (who is looking back with a uniquely doggish expression of love, regret and slight hostility at past absence), i just - grind to a halt. my head is so full of this project there's no room for anything else. when i'm not working (a few hours between sleeping now and then) i don't know what to think about. my brain is knackered.

my body is too. ai yi yi. i am no longer 20. this is not kansas. i am feeling my age. the morning alarm is set to radio three and as the dulcet tones engage, i first attempt to remember what day of the week it is - a process that n and i generally have to guess at several times. i then contemplate getting up, at which point my back decides it would rather not. this wouldn't be so bad if I weren't halfway out of bed, but as it is i stumble, hit my shin on the footboard, lose my balance, and crash towards the shower. days would be a lot easier to manage if they didn't start with mornings.

i think tonight i will go draw a bath (in which i will doubtless fall asleep - these days my kindle is in a ziplock bag just in case) and then pretend to go to bed "to read". i have the new murakami book downloaded and ready and maybe - maybe i will be able to stay awake long enough to read the first page or so....

and - truly - even though i'm over tired and my brain is overloaded - i'm having fun and i wouldn't trade for much. not to mention the overtime. so don't feel too sorry for me!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

i'm sorry i haven't a clue

"after this season people ask me, do you think they're comedy greats? to which i reply, yes, it does."

hahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahhah! *snort*

Monday, 14 July 2014

surfacing

*waves*

i'm currently working for weeks at a stretch and in order to maintain this pace without resorting to locking myself in the loo and having an ugly-cry, i need to be in bed by 9 at the latest. 830 ideally. this does not leave much time for other activities to say the least but it seems to be working as i am still more or less sane in a project of abject madness. so far we've moved 750 people in two weeks into a building that is not finished by anyone's definition. fun and games people - fun and games. to be honest, it's going quite well, considering. between us four move managers we have a lot of experience and that is basically saving our asses. we can see the fuck ups far ahead on the horizon because we have all, individually, at one point or another, fucked it up ourselves sometime in the past. not to say there won't be some surprises ahead, but it helps.

which makes me wonder why people disparage getting older to such a degree. as far as i can see, getting older is not only fun and brilliant, but also makes life much easier and thus more enjoyable.  surely a few wrinkles and extra pounds are a bargain in exchange.

although what do i know. i was so tired this morning i tried to put the coffee pot back in the fridge and it was only the fact that there was no room that clued me in, after butting it against the shelf for about a minute. mornings, always my nemesis, are becoming a bit of a problem. last week i whacked my elbow on the door frame (so hard i thought i might actually throw up) because i didn't equate the fact that i was going through a doorway as being antithetical to pulling on my cardigan.

the whole summer will be like this - but i do have two days off this coming weekend after 20 days on the trot - a breather amongst the chaos - a chance for the bruises to heal :)










Friday, 11 July 2014

snippet

"i once shook hands with pat boone. my whole right side sobered up." - dean martin

Friday, 27 June 2014

and another thing

i just finished listening to "love nina" by nina stibbe which i loved. i found it a little strange at first but once i got into the flow i really enjoyed it. it's a glimpse into the mundane every-day conversations and stuff of life. she writes a lot of dialog verbatim and i loved hearing it.  the audio book is read by her which makes it even better.

i'm shamelessly copying this.

here's the whats app thread from the meeting our boss attended re pc:

boss: it's not a job it's a fucking adventure
x: and you get paid for it too! aren't you a lucky boy?
boss: WE are all very lucky
x: nah we're not lucky, we're fabulous
boss: we are fabulously moving people next week



work

generally, when one is moving 3000 people into a newly-built building, one would prefer that building to be finished. one would expect to see carpet, lighting - even, say, furniture.

it appears that this is not a universal view.

the phrase "partial practical completion" (pc) is one that is taking on a horrible if inevitable resonance this week. it is left undefined, as if to add to its already considerable mystery.

this time next week, we are expected to move 450 people into this building. we are assured that full pc will happen before the move, or if not before the move, "before monday for sure".

this fills us with confidence.

on the other hand i'm not really stressed out anymore because there is nothing i can do. i cannot fix this. i can't make it better. there is no idea i could possibly have that will solve everything. this is, frankly, somewhat of a relief. the next two months are going to be a shit storm of epic proportions and all i can do is keep my head down and breath through my nose.

this is going to be interesting...


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

bye bye blackbird

this is my last evening of my 30's. i didn't think i really cared that much but it does in fact feel a little weird. i'm not afraid to get older - far from it (as my dad always said - it's better than the alternative!). it just feels sort of more there somehow. 

when my dad died, i realised in a new way that life will give you enough reasons to cry without even trying, so it's not a bad idea to really enjoy the celebrations. and i have some serious fun planned - but first - look at this!!


this is the first painting i've ever bought - and i bought it at an opening night gallery viewing no less! it's painted by a local faversham woman who is also a friend of one of my friends. she delivered it to me this evening. it's a painting of seasalter on a grey english day - i love how the painting almost squeezes you out - it's not trying at all. i love how it's not trying to be pretty - just real. the flash makes it look brighter than it really is. i know this spot on the beach well and i love it. happy birthday!! 

i have booked tomorrow off work and we are going to seasalter, funnily enough, to partake of  the sportsman's tasting menu for lunch. this is also the first tasting menu i've ever eaten and i am so excited i cannot tell you. we had our wedding lunch at the sportsman, and many celebratory meals over the years. this one is to celebrate me turning 40 as well as our 20th anniversary together which we did not quite get around to doing anything with at christmas. we are to arrive at 12 and allow "at least 3 1/2 hours". be still my beating heart.

then friday we are having a small party at our house. just local friends, lots of wine, and some good food. the weather even looks like it is cooperating - though friday is too far away to be sure when you live on a small capricious windswept island. 

celebrations indeed!

my 30's were not easy but they were satisfying. i gained two degrees but lost my dad. i spent £40k (see degrees) and then paid it back. i worked hard and had a lot of fun. i've made a lot of new friends and connected with old friends. i have learned a bit more about stamina and strength which takes some of the fear of the unknown away.  i'm proud of what i accomplished, but i'm not sorry to see the hind end of these years. 

so there's my self-absorbed recap! i'm curious to see what's next. i really hoped i would be wiser by now but we are t-minus-4 hours and i am still daft so it is not looking likely. 50 perhaps? 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Finished!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

birch

i finally finished my birch shawl and tonight i blocked it :) this has been the most daunting lace project yet - mostly because of the wool - it's knit in kid silk haze which is a mohair-silk blend. it is about as thick as a cobweb and fuzzy fuzzy fuzzy. you cannot rip it back as all those little hairs grip tighter than anything and you are left with a useless pile of scrambled fuzz.

this pattern starts at the long end with "cast on 299 stitches". in kid silk haze. right.

how any knitter gets past this line shows the tenacity of the human spirit.

i had to do it twice.

at some point tenacity turns into stupidity.

i don't know if i like it or not. i like the idea of it. i loved knitting it (after the first heart-stopping pattern repeat or so). i find triangular shawls very hard to wear, not possessing that european chic skill of turning any piece of cloth into a devil-may-care looks-so-damn-easy just-threw-this-on perfect accessory. we'll see. i actually had someone else in mind when i was knitting it but it's not right for her. maybe it will be right for someone else. or maybe we will fall in love and run away and be chic together.

in other news, i haven't killed anyone yet at work, which i think shows maturity and restraint. although, it's only tuesday...




Thursday, 29 May 2014

get your mind out of the gutter -

 - "i can't help it - it's attached to the rest of my body"

(my all time favourite ((so far)) mash quote)

my husband, mom, boss, and friend (4 different people btw) have staged an unconnected intervention over this last weekend. all are concerned that i am taking events at work "too seriously" (cause hey - there's nothing like moving 3000 people into an ill equipped building with no decision making and little planning that should be taken seriously-) (it's jokes like this that are probably making them all worry. more on that later).

so.

they're probably right.

(was that magnanimous enough?)

ok they are right. i can't control what is happening at work. i am just along for the ride - a mercenary - a hired gun. none of these problems are my fault or the result of my planning or actions. i just need to make the best of them.

so i have a plan (of course i do).

i'm just not going to care. but in a specific way. I'm not going to care like alan alda doesn't care in mash. i am going to think of this as being in a lousy situation where i can't get out but have an important job to do (ok my analogy is flailing here admittedly) and make the best of it with grace and humour.

i have bought the box set for lessons. research. (cough).

lesson one i think will have to be to figure out the humour. my humour has become so dry and cynical it is frightening even to me (just a little) and more importantly - it's not helping but making things worse. case in point - today - in a meeting about outstanding items that have been outstanding (and raised constantly) for a long time - my response was a very dry "gee wouldn't it have great if we'd thought of that 18 months ago" (eyeroll). you see what i mean. just nasty and more than a little petty, and not even very funny. hawkeye pierce saves his nastiness and manages to be cynical but funny and (dare i say) uplifting at the same time. this is something to emulate.

i have no idea how.

back to the boxset.


(this post has been brought to you by parentheses ((!!)) yay! parentheses!! (?!) )

Friday, 16 May 2014

faversham mission brass band

i had my first concert with the faversham mission brass band tonight.  i'm playing bass trombone. i had way waaaaaaaay more fun than i thought i'd have - which is always a nice thing. our conductor, graham, is hilarious, and the whole atmosphere quickly became fun -  the audience knew it, we knew it. he cracks jokes all the time - and the band talk back - it's good.

i should have guessed - we went to the annual band dinner last friday and i spent most of the evening laughing. music should be fun. so often it's so serious - and that's great if it's your life or career - but it needs to be fun too for the rest of us. i've often felt kicked out because i wouldn't - couldn't - take it so seriously. but i love this.

i have all the music playing in my head now - i am up too late drinking an ill-advised second glass of wine (after 2 pints in the pub after the concert). i need to go to bed but i'm still AWAKE.

n has a wee small surgery tomorrow - it's nothing to worry about - but i still worry a bit. all the more reason to go to bed -

so good night -

one must be good , under the circumstances...

Thursday, 15 May 2014

(wo)man at work

our new building at work is due for practical completion on 30 june. some furniture is going in and site visits are becoming more frequent. because it's still a building site we need to be all decked out in high vis, steel toed boots, safety eyeglasses, gloves, and a hard hat. it makes me look like i have a real job!


Monday, 12 May 2014

evening run


this was the view as i came out of the boatyard and headed up the lane towards the sewage plant water treatment facility(!). both sides of the lane are lined with queen anne's lace and the light was amazing. i never ever want to go running but i always love it when i'm out. well ok maybe not quite but there are moments of pure exhilaration. unfortunately my knees are not always so keen. i've cut back a wee bit and fingers crossed i'll be able to keep running (there's a sentence i never thought i'd type).

i've solved my technology problem as well - i am typing this on a new google chromebook. so far it is doing the trick admirably although the keyboard will take a bit of getting used to - it feels a little - chippy. cheap-y. clatter-y. oh well. i couldn't be bothered to shop around and i'm sure it will be fine.

now off to ice my knees! oh the glamour!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

must get organised....

it's not from want of thought - or even willingness - but the absolute dearth of blog posts is almost entirely hardware related. eminently fixable, with the addition of some research, cash, and an ability to get over the idea that buying any modern computer equipment whatsoever is akin to heedlessly and flagrantly flinging money about.

you see, my tablet is useless for posting. it is old (see last sentence above). it is cantankerous at best and willfully obstinate at worst. my work laptop runs a version of explorer so old that blogger does not admit its existence. and the only other computer in the house is where n roosts.

i will figure something out.

at some point.

almost definitely.

in the meantime - here's a picture of me in my new band shirt!


yes - i am the new 4th trombone in the faversham mission brass! and i'm loving it. although it's been awhile since i've had to parse key changes and time changes and count rest bars - and - last night at practice, i missed a repeat in its entirety and played with verve and enthusiasm a completely different movement to the rest of the band. well, early days.

so i will try to sort this whole hardware thing out - bear with me - i've not gone away!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

meh

i'm supposed to be sewing buttons onto a baby cardigan tonight but i've just poured a large glass of wine so it is highly unlikely (and soon no longer beneficial) for this to happen. this seems to be a theme, undeniably brought about by my own sloth and lack of will. the app where i enter my weight readings now says "n/a" in the "time to reach goal" section. even now, i am entering music track by track into winamp because i have not sufficiently learned enough about it to queue music. this is problematic because i am listening to the beatles white album (n is not home, obv) and some of those songs are only 52 seconds long. regardless of my music taste, this is maintenance to a standard i will not be able to keep up and soon it will be back by default to n's diet of pink floyd, the who and early genesis.

my list of things that need doing around the house is so long i have abandoned it in shame and self loathing. it is spring and things need to be cleaned and sorted out and filed and oh god.

the only upside is that i am managing to keep running - up to 26 minutes a time now, three times a week, increasing 2 minutes a week. perhaps this is the problem. perhaps all my energy and willpower is going to the running. when i consider my routine this does bear some merit. you would think i am going to my own execution were you to witness me tying up my trainers and getting ready to go out the door. i can sigh to rival humph, which is saying something. of course, once i'm out, i perk up. by then, i realise the only way to escape this hell is to just get it over with. once the first km is done and i comprehend (fresh - each time) that i am probably, on balance, not going to die, i - well ok, i don't enjoy it, but i keep going, which is just as miraculous. by the time i know i get to stop soon i am really quite happy.

i don't know. i just don't feel cut out for the world lately. i don't feel very good at this.

i know- it's all in the definitions - it's all in everything else. i know, really. just moping.




Thursday, 6 March 2014

incongruous

i've been piddling about on facebook this evening, in between guilty pleasure episodes of the great british sewing bee on iplayer (yes episodes plural. n's out. don't tell him). i see things that look interesting and open in new tabs to read after. there's a post i like enough to re-post on my own wall - it's from an organisation called fuck cancer - a sentiment i can get wholly behind:

they are raising awareness for colon cancers, which is what my dad had. 

next tab - buzzfeed - 19 shot glasses you can eat

i guess this is the modern world?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

sun

happy dog.


there's a spicy venison stew in the oven, a bath is running upstairs, and friends coming over for lunch. yay for sundays. 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

practising

woe is humphrey, a hound beset on all sides. for when he wants more to eat, he is denied. and when he wants to chase cats, he is most cruelly restrained. he has to walk across the scary floor (oh the horror) and he has almost nibbled all the fur off of his favourite stuffed toy duck and what will he do then???


and now, just when things are at their bleakest, i have (re)taken up my trombone. 

humph has a scale of complaint. he begins with the look. head tilted down, he stares reproachfully at the offending instrument. when this doesn't work, he paces around the room, baleful glances from the side of his eyes. he then flops down on his bed, sighing meaningfully. the noise continues. at every break, he alternates between stares, glares, sighs, and eventually, full-on HUFFS. at least he doesn't howl (yet), like n's childhood dog, who howled whenever someone practised the piano. 

and to think, when humph first came to live with us, i wondered how we would ever communicate! that dog is eloquent, i'll give him that.

i also came across this poem this week, which i think i should probably print out and paste up somewhere and read it every day -  

Anne Sexton, “Admonitions to a Special Person”
Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.

i had not heard of Anne Sexton before, thus is my shameful lack of poetry knowledge, but i read the poem on a site i am increasingly loving - Insatiable Booksluts . go - read - and lose an entire morning where you are supposed to be writing a building disposal report but end up spending far more than your disposable income on kindle books instead. it's probably better for you anyways.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

koolaid?

it's past my bedtime

but i've just spent an evening online for the first time in - well - when did i stop posting here? about then. it was lovely. i've caught up on facebook, ravelry feeds - i've laughed at memes and posted stupid pictures - although admittedly a small part of my brain is screeching, "this is not fun - it's just soma - IT'S JUST SOMA......"

and you know - it just wouldn't have been complete without a hello here too. I would be very surprised if this is soma. waaaay too much angst and self-contemplation.

anyways hi





Saturday, 4 January 2014

oh hai

i'm just gonna leave this here: