Friday, March 31, 2006

Easy peasy

This will be an easy peasy lazy blog.

A. Picture of LG's decorated egg (which won a prize at school!!) (smug smirk/lip-pressing/pride)

B. Meme nicked from
thanks Tat, I was wondering what to blog about.

C. Something to make you laugh - emailed to me by a friend. I don't know their original source, obviously someone with too much time on their hands.

D. Something else to make you laugh.

Here we go then:


B. Meme

1. How did you get the idea for your profile name? At the time I was insomniac and scoffing lots of lettuce late at night to try and help me sleep
2. What song are you playing now, or wish you were playing? Rocket by El Presidente.
3. Has the death of a celebrity every made you cry? No
4. What colour underwear are you wearing? Black
5. Do you want a baby? No, not any more. (Mostly)
6. What does your dad do for a living? Retired. (was a lecturer)
7. What does your mum do for a living? Retired. (was an enfant/junior teacher)
8. What is/are your pet's names? Harley and marigold. (G. pigs)
9. What colour are your bed sheets? White.
10. What are the last 3 digits of your phone number? 429
11. What was the last concert you went to? Daughter's school Christmas concert.
12. Who was with you? No one (lots of other parents, obviously...) (and children...)
13. What was the last film you watched? Sean of the Dead
14. Who do you dislike most at this moment? Daughter's school teacher.
15. What food do you crave right now? Toast and marmite
16. Did you dream last night? Yes
17. What was the last TV show you watched? Green Wing (repeat)
18. What is your fav piece of jewellery? currently - Pilgrim necklace.
19. What is to the left of you? Desk, CDs, computer stack, Body Shop foot gel, Tardis key-ring, post it notes, iron man figure, couple of dillos, books, overflowing paper tray... i could go on...
20. What was the last thing you ate? Pork pie and half an avocado
21. Who is your best friend of the opposite sex? My husband
22. Who last MSN'd you? My lovely neice, L, aged 21.
23. Where is your significant other right now? Behind me on his computer
24. Do you have a crush? Just a little bit
25. What is his/her name? Not telling
26. When was the last time you had your hair cut? about 3 weeks
27. Are you on any meds? Yes
28. Do you have a mental disease? No
29. What shirt are you wearing? Blue/grey Mango T-shirt. Old fave.
30. Are you sexy? Depends if anyone fancies me or not
31. What's your favourite store? TK Max
32. Are you thirsty? Yes
33. Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? I am
34. Who's someone you haven't seen in a while and miss? Luce
35. Where do you work? University

C. Bored at home? Then create your own zoo:

D. Click here
(hee hee, Princess Lettuce)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

For Mr. Rambling Woman


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Signs of New Lice

Signs of New Lice Life

I've been too torpid for blogging lately, feeling totally wiped out and rather fragile at the weekend and on Monday, when I passed up the chance of 5 charity shops, (!!!!) being too lacking energy or the will to live. Plus it was bloody cold. (Too much bloodiness in Sunday's post, this is a word I must not use again for some time.)

But now it seems that Spring may really actually finally be here. Perhaps, maybe. And I am feeling a little more engaged with life again.

We have had 2 consecutive days of warmer weather, a fair bit of sunshine and, after a Monday of over-enthusiastically wearing too little and being chilly all day, I'm now in the annual transitional phase of wearing too much and having to frequently take off layers.

The magnolia and the camelias on the way to school are showing colour now, and there are all sorts of budding, shooting, bursting signs of new life.

LG spent all of yesterday evening, until 9.30, decorating an egg for a competition at school today, and took a 2nd hard-boiled egg for an egg-rolling competition. So, all very Spring- and Easter-ish.

LG's Easter Assembly is this Friday, her last day of term. Much hard lip-pressing, no doubt, especially as this is her last Assembly at primary school. I've always loved the assemblies and school shows and theres usually been some lip trembling, but the content has been more varied and fun since she was a junior rather than infant. There are only so many times you really want to hear/sing about the broad beans sleeping in their blankety bed (tho' I do love that one) and the caterpillars only crawling.

"Signs of New Life" used to be livened up considerably by the knowledge that LG and some of her friends, like myself, would be mentally singing the new words she wrote:

Signs of new lice
Signs of new lice in my hair
Springtime is here
And there are eggs everywhere
See the head lice
See their nits everywhere
See the new lice.

Assemblies have also improved vastly since the arrival of the new Head a few years back, and the departure not long afterwards of the widely-hated (with good reason) music teacher (known in our house as the music nazi) (Seinfeld ref. anyone?)

Her replacement was much better. The kids actually started singing and looking as though they were enjoying it! Then she had to leave and was replaced last September by The Best Music Teacher in the World, Ever, Anywhere.

He's unbelievably good. The Christmas concert was sensational and I'm looking forward to Friday's event.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006



From Lettuce and Little Gem

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bloody Hell

Well, I have at least some explanation of my sudden downward mood swing on Saturday.
(other than the on-goingly unresolved situation at home)
(tho' i think we are possibly making progress (despite
The Letter, which did not go down well) (but actually led
to important and helpful discussions at the next
counselling session )....thanks for your support and thoughts
some of you...)(still such hard work though)

But ... that aside, its another bloody period.
Bloody hormones.
Only 12 bloody days after the last one.
Which went on for nearly 2 bloody(very) weeks.
Bloody Hell.

I must add fluorodix to the shopping list.
After GIN.

(M is cooking this weekend, so no leafy iron-rich greens in our kitchen.)

When I found out I was definately peri-menopausal, a few years ago, at a relatively young age, I optimistically thought that at least I'd be through it all before LG started getting too hormonal. I should have known better.

And I'm still getting bloody spots (19). How bloody fair is that!

Tho' LG has not had another period since her first, early in January. Maybe I'm having them for her? Hmmm. Some kind of witchy weirdness to do with lunar tides or something, no doubt. Or ley lines? Bloody painters in by proxy, ha ha.

When this is all over, maybe I should have a Menopause Party.
And invite all of you?

Anyway. Despite the weather taking a turn for the miserable yesterday, I had a v. relaxed and enjoyable day, overall. A bit of gardening and re-potting plants before the rain started, it felt great to be out in the garden again. Though - as I did clean the windows too - it is now all the more crystal-clearly obvious what a mess most of the garden is.

I then managed to lure LG away from the computer with the incentive of miniature gardening. This was one of my favourite toys as a child. Its fantastic.

It all comes to pieces. (in a good, by-design, detachable sort of way, that is, not a falling-to-pieces almost-as -old as-me sort of way.)

All the plants have to be planted individually
with a little fork device; most of the tiny
flowers detach - and the teeeny weeny birds on the
bird bath and dove cote - and are also added by hand. Its wonderfully designed and made.

The lawnmower even has little metal blades and rollers which go round. A lot of this was mine in the 60's (blimus, yes I know) and I've added to it recently courtesy of eBay.

LG loves spending time together with me, with this and I had happy daydreams yesterday of doing this at some future date with LG and her daughter (maybe on another Mother's Day?....).

Not that anyone in the house except me remembered that it was Mother's Day today.

LG didn't realise it was today. M slept late (having come to bed at 4am, Bloody Hell).
( I had a good snigger, with a friend over MSN this morning, thinking he might forget about the clock change too and miss breakfast and lunch) (and even Poirot).
But he did remember the timechange. Bloody Tch.

When he emerged I reminded him, because LG would have been v. upset if she'd missed it.

M kindly reminded me that I had forgotten Father's Day last year too.

Bloody Hell. Fair enough.

I suppose.

Anyway, he did rush up to the Co op and buy flowers and chocolates and LG made me the great card, above. She does brilliant dragons, even at speed.

All is pretty ok chez nous, maintenant.

Miniature gardening is usually a pretty peaceful occupation. However LG was extremely hyper and manic yesterday. Lots of silliness, clowning around and laughter.

She went beserk like a demented kitten with the damp washing as I got it out of the machine. She was also even more demonstrative than usual - beaucoup de huge hugs and big bisous.

She made me feel exhausted, very much loved and extremely happy.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers and children of mothers.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I've not been sure what to blog about today. Sitting idly surfing friend's blogs and random "Next Blog" surfing (there is some weird stuff out there!)
(Nearly forgot the apostrophe in "friend's" there, Oooh dear Betty! (No.115)) (nearly forgot the final bracket too) (would anyone have noticed?)

There is no one else awake yet. The house is quiet.
Its a lovely day, I may even do some gardening. Bike ride with LG. Housework. Read the paper. Hoover the lounge. Do some weaving? Think about food for today. Just think about food! Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. The fridge needs cleaning. (And the smeary grimy little-finger-smudged windows.)

It seems such a struggle sometimes to keep making the effort to get on with life, be active, positive, engaged, do the things that need to be done, enjoy the things I can enjoy. I just feel so tired of it all sometimes, weary. Bone-weary. Heart-weary.
The undertow of lethargy, misery, apathy, entropy, tiredness, hopelessness, alienation constantly naggingly pulls.

But thank the goddess (if there is a deity I think I'd prefer goddess to god) (I think) (on balance) for daughters, sunshine, friendship. And other smaller comforts.

I read Riverbend's blog this morning. And don't want to say something trite. I think its not possible, really, to compare lives. But it can make a difference to gain an insight into someone else's world and then return to one's own.

So I shall attempt to swim today, keep my head above water, float above the undercurrents, steer away from the undertow - maybe manage to sinksurf a bit. (hee hee, thanks Wendy and Tat) (this will be almost as useful (and frequent no doubt) in my blogs as brackets are).)

Starting by striking out away from this maudlin murkiness by choosing a dillo for the day:
No. 19. A maimed dillo! (oh dear). She has no ears, due I assume to some small child in our house some time, feeling curious or malicious, we will never know. Some time I will make her new ears.

And leaving you with something to make you laugh A LOT.
You'll love it if you like Lord of the Rings. You'll probably love it if you don't like - or even if you love to hate LOTR. Pleeeeeeze read this, you'll lyfao.

Oh, and finally, my Springwatch. These are pics. of a beautiful magnolia tree and a camelia, both just down the road, which we pass on the way to school. For some reason lost in the mists of time, LG and her friend always referred to the camelia as the "puffy" flowers, and used to pick them up from the pavement to bring home. Watching the buds appear, grow, swell, show colour is one of our Spring rituals. Even watched every day, it will still seem miraculous and sudden when they finally open. Needless to say, although camelias in London sometimes flower fully in February, the buds are tight shut just now, just the merest slightest hint of colour on the camelias while the magnolia buds look tightly shuttered. But 11C here today, so who knows?

And of course, in order to update these pics. and record the progress of this rite of Spring, I'll
need to keep taking LG to school, at least part of the way. :o)
(I think Le Chat is right, its worth making the most of this as long as possible.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mad Kate

The Gothic Nightmares exhibition in London (Tate Britain) was pretty good. After a bit of an edgy start, M and I had a good day together on his birthday on Wednesday, first at the Tate Britain, then Gaby's (a v. good Greek/turkish deli. just off Leicester square) for falafel. Second time in a week, as I went there with Luce on Saturday at the end of our day together, also for falafel.

(Disturbing digestive goings on on Thursday. My stomach was making noises like an extremely aged, nearly defunct central heating system all day. Too much chick pea?)

Here is the beginning of my day with L on Sat. - I only took this one pic. of Luce taking her picture.

It occurred to me (too late) that I should have taken pics of her every time she took one.... I could have done a blog about her doing her blog.

Would that have been silly, or just a little bit sad?

And we should really have taken a pic. of the huge pieces (3) of cake
which arrived with our "tea and cake for 2"
at the National Portrait Gallery. We didn't. We did eat them though (mostly...).

We (Luce and I) also went to the Americans in Paris exhibition at the National Gallery.

So I've had a most cultural week.

Whistler's Mother was there (as seen on the left)
(but not Mrs. Bradshaw*).

Lots of elegant and languid women and men with beards and sharp suits.

Some lovely paintings of mothers with children

- including this one by Mary Cassatt. What do you think this woman is doing?

Blogging, maybe?

The Gothic Nightmares exhibition was a very interesting and stark contrast. Full of spirits, supernatural creatures, beasts and monsters - also the odd ghost (though not Miss Wilmott's ghost*). Lots of heaving bosoms, wildly staring eyes, dangerous women. As typified by this painting of "Mad Kate", by Fuseli.

One painter there had represented the Spanish Inquisition as a woman. (It could have been Fuseli again - maybe he had "issues".)
Typical really.
Especially considering how many women were victims of that mad, power-crazed and male institution.

Anyway, despite M feeling totally miserable about his birthday for a range of reasons, (including the fact that he is now closer to 50 than to 40) (welcome to the club)
- it was a good and relaxing day (even by his own admission).

Things can only get better.

Thats not true, obviously.
But they might.

As its been a week of art, Dillo|(s) No. 18 are some sketches of dillos. A birthday card for M. from a previous, long-distant year.

(* if this means nothing to you, click here)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Demon Child

Well, what timing for Tuesday's post! I had a wry and ironic face on when re-reading it and your comments yesterday morning.

Because we spent much of Tuesday evening bickering, LG and I.
Culminating in LG saying "I wish I could leave home NOW!" and me thinking "Well bloody GO!"

And if ever you read this, LG, no I didn't really mean it or want you to go, and yes I do love you and I think you know all that perfectly well but reading this would give you another good excuse to kick off! Oh no, here we go again.

Poor LG (probably hormonal) has been quite moody and contradictory lately, and I've not been the most patient... We do rub each other up the wrong way at times. But always manage to apologise and make it up sooner or later. However, LG is not too well pleased with her blogger pseudonym, and has suggested Demon Child as a much cooler alternative, so this will now become her blogger alterego.

We were bickering, in particular, because we were making a pie plate armadillo (see below) for M., whose birthday was yesterday. We'd left it till the last minute - as you do - and there were sausages under the grill in serious jeopardy - and although the outcome was great, the process was not. And at one point M. called out, from the next room, "Whatever you're doing in there, stop it! Especially if its something for me!" .....

Which DC took as directed specifically at her, rather than both of us (as it was) - sending her mood swinging from cross and unco-operative to miserable, self-pitying and unloved. Poor thing.

All was resolved happily before bedtime.

Wednesday morning, after tea, toast, birthday presents and pie plate armadillo in bed, we reached the corner on the way to school.

Demon Child:

".. oh, will you just come to the top of the hill?".....

"If you come to the bottom of the hill today, you could leave me at the corner tomorrow." ....

So I did....

"I wont turn and look back, cos then its easier..."

I did.
So did she.
I love you so much Demon Child.

Here is the fabulous pie plate Dillo (Dillo No. 17 ) (thanks so much to Betty for finding it for us):

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Apron strings/heart strings

We're trying to get little Gem walking in to school by herself.
At least 2 years ago she was asking regularly when we would let her do so. And she starts secondary school in September, we all need to get used to her growing independence.

She's been walking home by herself for some time - but that seems quite different, without the attendant lurking fears about whether or not she's arrived at her destination, would we know if she hadn't, what might happen between here and there? If we're not there.

School is only a couple of minutes around the corner, and the street is always full and noisy with other children and adults going the same way, neighbours, friends, acquaintances, laughing, waving, saying hello. A couple of not-very-busy roads to cross, she's careful, its a relatively safe friendly reassuring context for these new experiences in separation.

I am ready to let this go - one more stage towards independence, loosening the apron strings.


Despite repeated episodes when LG has demanded her freedom - vociferously, belligerently, indignantly - freedom not just to go there, do this or that, but existential freedom - freedom to see where that road leads, to follow an impulse, to determine her own fate -

Despite the times when she's demanded angrily that I let her get the bus back from Woolwich at 9.00 pm in the dark, let her make her own way from Liverpool Street to London Bridge on a busy commuter Friday afternoon (as if!) (the certainty of my denial maybe making her demands feel safer, freedom desired in abstract)

Despite all this - she'd sooner I still came to school with her, if I would.
She'd sooner I walked with her down the hill.
(She's glad when I do, forgetting...she doesn't remind me till we're at the bottom.)
Not to hold her hand, no lingering kisses or hugs goodbye ("Don't embarrass me, Mum!")
but just being there.
Just for a few more days/weeks.
Just to wave and watch her go through the door.

I take her half-way at the moment, just around the corner, then turn and come home. It'll be so much harder to say goodbye at our own front step, and then to come back inside. Shut the door.

She feels the conflict in herself, I can see it in her eyes, the struggle between the urge for independence, the instinct for freedom, the desire not to grow up, to remain so close, dependent, safe.

She's so aware of the transition -

it tugs at the heart-strings
- "Okay, I won't keep turning round to wave because... because... you know..."

Dillos No.16 (note thats not 16 & 17) (not just yet):

Monday, March 20, 2006

Queen Bitch

Armadillos No. 15 & 16 - Rock Dillos!

Well, I took my time but got around to it eventually:

1. Name of band/musician: David Bowie
2. Are you male or female? Queen Bitch
3. Describe yourself: Almost Grown
4. How do you feel about yourself? I’m Deranged

5. Describe your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend: Silly Boy Blue
6. Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed
7. Describe where you want to be: Suffragette City

8. Describe how you live: Hang onto yourself
9. Describe how you love: God knows I’m good
10. What would you wish for if you had one wish?: Let’s Dance
11. Share a few words of wisdom.: It Ain’t Easy
12. Now say goodbye.: Ashes to Ashes

Little Gem also did her own:

1. Name of band/musician: Meatloaf
2. Are you male or female?: Man and a woman
3. Describe yourself: Modern Girl
4. How do you feel about yourself?: Blind before I stop
5. Describe your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend: Do anything for love but I won’t do that
6. Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: Dead ringer for love
7. Describe where you want to be: The promised land
8. Describe how you live: Bat out of hell
9. Describe how you love: For crying out loud
10. What would you wish for if you had one wish?: Bad attitude
11. Share a few words of wisdom.: Do It
12. Now say goodbye: I’ll kill you if you come back.

All her own work. I was v. relieved she changed Q. 9 from "Nocturnal Pleasure".
No. 10 she certainly doesn't need to wish for.
She likes Meatloaf very much - but at moment, she be mostly listening to Papa Roach and Cradle of Filth. Beats Britney.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Day to day life goes on. What has happened since Wednesday?
Here are just some snippets.

Tuesday and Wednesday. Man-flu ongoing - fires and films in the afternoon - felt like Christmas (except for the man-flu misery).
Saw one of Woody Allen's "early funny" films again (Sleeper). V. funny.
I want an orgasmatron. And I want it now.

Weds. evening - TV somehow switched itself onto mysterious "timer" function and wouldn't work. M - with a typical degree of optimism - thinks the tube is gone.

Thursday - weaving (great) then time with an old (and v. good) friend L.
Bought fantastic book in vintage market in Greenwich:

Sorry, Tat. Not for you - for my own collection of childrens books.
(I have my eye on many of the books I've bought for LG in the past.....)
(though I did buy something fab for you yesterday, Tat. hee hee. You'll have to wait till I come over)

(See earlier post on dastardly plans to do away with Greenwich market - please sign up to the petitition if you can)

Went to see Syriana with L. Good old George again. The kind of film which would seem deeply cynical if it wasn't for the convinction that this is reality - and so deeply chilling.

Got on bus to go home, no mobile phone. Got off bus, ran back to pub - no phone. Returned to bus stop, scouring the streets. No phone. Bugger.

No TV and no mobile phone. And bank account already overdrawn.

Before I got home, pub had phoned ahead - phew, they had it after all.

Friday. Yoga begins with v. fast sequence - including excruciating press-up type movement - called "Greet the Sun". What sun? Where?
Also something called "Knacker arsna" (wrong spelling no doubt) - v. entertaining. (in name and in execution) (attempted execution for most of us)

Met Betty for coffee - a stranger, strictly speaking I suppose, but already a new friend with already some history behind us, some shared background. The strange power, hold, attraction, communication of blogging!
I hardly know myself these days sometimes, the shy, quiet, self-contained one - talking (try stopping me) to friends/strangers, crying in public, showing my feelings, letting it all out.

Work Friday afternoon. Entertaining discussion with students on animal rights. M dropped off little Gem and her friend on his way into London for evening out. (Man-flu gone by now). (Phew)

Noodles with little Gem and her friend, who is the Most Appreciative Child in the world
(and to LG's delight, she is also a fan of Carry On films). (good friendship with MAC developing since best friend H. moved to Ipswich with Luce)

And so home. TV mysteriously working again. Phew and hurrah.

Little Gem nearly refused point blank to go to bed. What would I have done?

Watched 2 episodes of Desperate HW.

Great day Saturday in London with Luce. More on that later, no doubt.....

I sat down this morning wondering what on earth I had to say.
But so - life goes on after all, theres always something. And so much really.

Sometimes life seems to be made up of snippets, pieces, patches, fragments - i wonder whether/how they fit together?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Green fingers/pink tips

I did indeed have a bit of a poke around in the garden yesterday. Well, to be honest, more of a saunter and a lazy, leisurely look around - there was no an actual, active poking involved. But it was quite Spring-like yesterday, warm and sunny with the guinea pigs squeaking merrily in the background.

I'm really starting to feel like doing some gardening, clearing weeds and dead foliage and uncovering all the new shoots and sprouts. Exciting.

There are shoots and buds on the clematis and pink tips on my Graham Thomas (fnar fnar). Actually, "clematis" prompts sniggers too in my husband's family, as it is a euphemism for fanny (fanny in the British, not the American sense).

I suppose one could have a white garden, a scented garden, and/or a double entendre/phallic garden. I suppose there would need to be red hot pokers (never liked them). Any further suggestions for planting, please.....

I was always keen on buying plants for their names. I have Mrs. Bradshaw sitting in the perennial border in the summer (which is a geum, but should be a hydrangea, because the flowers look so much like old ladies hats) and I have Miss Wilmott's ghost (though I think that might have disappeared...) .
Miss Wilmott's Ghost is a lovely silvery sea holly (Eryngium) - which got its name, apparently, because Miss Wilmott - who was one of those genteel lady gardeners - thought every garden should have some, and she used to furtively scatter the seeds in other people's gardens so that it would appear some time after she had gone.

I have no flowery armadillos (except for No. 6) - nor armadillos with pink tips, but this one (No.14) has a pink nose:

in sickness and in health

Well, M is still poorly.
Says he thinks its flu.
It bloody isn't.

I'll admit its a fairly nasty cold (by his standards at least) - he's been quite congested, has had one bad night where he didn't sleep too well and sounded quite crusty.

But he's still been up late into the night playing his RPG, and is up this morning looking online at mobile phones and downloading music.

I'm starting plans for splitting up our finances - we should have done it years ago. Its been a pretty-much constant source of unnecessary tension. When he has his own separate account, he can pay for his own bloody mobile phone bill.

So there.

Anyway, I've been caring and nurturing, making lots of soothing drinks, cosy fires, offering pillows and blankets.

Felt pretty pissed off and down in the dumps (what a great expression that still is) this morning. But on the way back from school with LG (who, despite her ongoing protests about her need to be free and independent, still wants me to go with her to school in the mornings) there was wonderful bird song filling the air. It quite cheered me up, there is sunshine and some (a little) blue sky and I might even do some poking about in the garden later today.

And I suddenly remembered 15 minutes ago that I had a great dream about Luce (RW) - that they had found their ideal house, I was visiting them there. Don't remember much about the house itself, but it was out in the country, with a quite immense garden - and dogs!

None of the dillos really look ill - but I thought this one (No.13) looked a bit peaky and sorry for itself:

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Knock down ginger

I unexpectedly have a day at home. M and I were going to go to the Gothic Nightmares exhibition at the Tate, but he has a bad cold, was up in the night wheezing and snuffling and really shouldn't be out anywhere today. Poor love.

Letter No.3 is on the way. I spent much of yesterday writing it. Its not terribly stroppy... but is a bit... I nearly didn't write anything at all, the stroppiness was subsiding and I just didn't feel I had the emotional energy. Things have reached a strange sort of plateau and it would be too easy to let inertia take over. But once I started writing, it was all still there, waiting to be tapped into .....

Its felt rather like playing knock down ginger, delivering letters 1 and 2. Knocking on the door and then running away.

I'm not sure there is much in this letter that I haven't already said, but I am sure its not all been heard.

So, that gives me a day at home, making poor M hot drinks, reading through and worrying about Letter No.3 (there can be such a fine line between honesty and artifice) doing a bit of work maybe, blogging (yay!).

It would have been the first time we've been out together for a long long while.
Ho hum. I'd better go and put the central heating on.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


For those who made "impressed" kinds of noises about the yoga on Friday - click here.
See? Thats proper yoga blogging, that is. I am a yoga dilettante. (no, not Dillotante) (well...maybe).
I do the yoga once a week, about 6 months of the year, and never at home. She (could be he?) is obviously a true devotee.

I am more the Tamsin Greig school of yoga, in Black Books.

Yoga might feel like sunshine in your veins
(sometimes) (not at the time - sometimes afterwards)
(before the cramps set in)

but I'm still craving the red wine and chocolate by early evening.

(btw, the Tamsin Greig will soon be returning (March 31) in the excellently funny Green Wing Watch it, if you didn't first time around. Witty, surreal, original, often laugh-out-loud funny.)

And here is what we apparently should be consuming, instead of the red wine and chocolate.
Does that help at all? Hahahahahahahhahahahahahahah

Saturday night I opened a bottle of wine which I had made myself in 1989. Blimus!
And we're still here. And no, I didn't even have a headache on Sunday morning.
I used to make lots of wine, when we were poverty-stricken students, and lived in the country, with an abundance of elderberries, sloes, blackberries just up the lane. Most of it was pretty drinkable. Some of it (like the haw) (yes, haw, [as in hawthorn]) had to be thoroughly mulled first, and then it still made your mouth pucker up a bit.

We were desperate, I must admit. No other wine in the house. This vintage home brew was still surprisingly good. No, really! And I am much fussier about wine now than I was all those years ago. Though there was only one bottle left, so we couldn't prove it by drinking a second.

I will have to do some shopping next week.....

This is also quite funny, I got it in an email so some of you might have seen it. For those in other countries who might not know, Delia (Smith) is a best-selling cookery writer in England. When Delia is on TV with a new recipe using lemon-grass, all the supermarkets sell out of lemon-grass within days.
Which one are you???????
Delia's way & the real womans way.

Delia's Way
Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone
prevent ice cream drips.

The Real Woman's Way
Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for God's sake.
You are probably lying on the couch with your fe
et up eating it anyway.

Delia's Way
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

The Real Woman's Way
Buy Smash and keep it in the cupboard for up to a year.

Delia's Way
When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking tin, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead
and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

The Real Woman's Way
Tescos' sell cakes. They even do decorated versions.

Delia's Way
If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a potato slice.

The Real Woman's Way
If you over salt a dish while you are cooking, that's tough sh*t.
Please recite with me the Real Woman's motto: "I made it and you will eat it
and I don't care how bad it taste

Delia's Way
Wrap celery in aluminium foil when putting in the refrigerator
and it will keep for weeks.

The Real Woman's Way
It could keep forever. Who eats it?

Delia's Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on
your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

The Real Woman's Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and drop it in 8 ounces of vodka.
Drink the vodka. You might still have the headache,
but you wont give a sh*t?

Delia's Way
If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves.
They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars ea

The Real Woman's Way
Why do I have a man?

and finally the most important tip

Delia's Way
Freeze leftover wine into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

The Real Woman's Way
Leftover wine???? Hello!!!!!

I bought a wine box this morning. 3L. Well, its cheaper that way you see........

And this is the Dillottante of the title (No.12) :

Cycle sights

On our cycle ride this after
noon we saw...

... the Thames barrier...

(which I can never quite get used to,

it still looks so futuristic)

... the Millennium Dome...

(still empty, after all these years)

some boats...

a ladder...

(a south

(when the tide is
in that is)

Some sand...

( sorry - mud)

.... and .....

Anthony Gormley's
"Quantum Cloud"

What more could one want?

Friday, March 10, 2006


Hmmm ... what to talk about today?

Well, Bendy Wendy's yoga class this morning.
I didn't need to find an excuse to get out of doing a shoulder stand this week because:

a. we didn't do them
b. I still had my period anyway.


It seems to be going on forever.
If I did have a period/menopause pixie (see Trac) it would be looking extremely weary, pissed off, and bleached of all colour. I can feel my life-force being leeched away.....

Anyway, yoga was almost (not quite) boring (!!!) (don't look at me) because over half the class was stuff I couldn't do. (Only because of the period. Obviously. I could totally have done it all otherwise. No, really.) So I did a lot of this instead:

Which is very nice and relaxing.

But then a lot of these:
which aren't so much.

(I don't know where the bare chests and water came from - there was none of that in rainy Charlton this morning)
(but I did find out, after the class (whilst searching for these pics), that these are particularly good poses for menstruating and/or menopausal women - so Clever Bendy Wendy! she clearly knows what she's doing.)

The rest of the class were doing this:

which I was glad to be avoiding.
So there you are.

I am actually at work at the moment and feel very naughty (hee hee) to be drafting my blog when I could be getting on with serious academic business. Though I shortly have a meeting about induction and registration of new students in September, which is one of my big administrative jobs. Its a real pain in the arse to have to start thinking now, in serious detail, about September; this is planning which will go on from now until then. Relentlessly. With unforeseen complications, major/minor crises along the way, uncooperative colleagues, hundreds of emails... blah blah blah. And people always say "Oh, you get those lovely long holidays, don't you?" I WISH.

Yesterday, however, was a day off work, at my weaving class where I am spinning some wonderful alpaca, and silk. I then met a friend and we saw Capote- I'm having such a cinematic and cultural week - which is also truly excellent. Completely absorbing and Phillip Seymour Hoffman was mesmerising. He well deserved the oscar. We then had delicious tapas in the new tapas bar downstairs in the cinema complex, and sniggered about the man at the next table sounding off about the film in a very pretentious way. So I will refrain from further comment about the film for danger of sounding similarly pretentious. But go see it!

Tomorrow, Saturday. I will try and lure little Gem out for a bike ride again, and take pics to show you all.

Today's dillo (No. 10) is anaemic, as I feel myself:

(Its also v. small, at 3.5cm/1 1/2 inches).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Warmer in London today, but wet and miserable. Which is better than cold, windy, wet and miserable - but still miserable!
But this won't be a miserable blog.

It might be a stroppy one.

Political (local) environmental stroppiness:

Greenwich Market - historic market in the cente of Greenwich, London, granted a royal charter in 1849; close to the Cutty Sark, the Maritime Museum, Wren's Royal Naval College, Inigo Jones' Queen's House, Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory... i could go on. You get the picture - Greenwich is chock-full of historic interest plus lots of good places to eat. The market has arts and crafts and food at the weekends when it is teeming with visitors, locals, tourists, families, buskers, street entertainers. You can buy anything from hand-made felt bags, to olives, cheese, handmade jewellry, toys, clothing, art, indian head massage..... During the week there is a farmer's market, a vintage/second-hand market... basically, lots of cool stuff.
Do I sound like a tourists' guide yet?

The owners of the market site have decided in their wisdom that Greenwich needs some high-street shops and more offices, instead of this hub of creative and cultural interests and activity. They want to knock down/clear the market space and re-develop it. Can you guess how good or bad an idea i think this is?

Speaking as a local resident and someone who works in the centre of Greenwich, we do NOT need high street shops, we can find these within spitting distance in Lewisham, Docklands etc.

The capitalist barbarians are thus at the gates! help us to fight them off. If you know or have visited Greenwich, if you have friends who live near Greenwich (if you read the blog of someone who works in Greenwich...) click here for more information and to sign a petition against this insanity.

I will keep you informed.....

Cinematic stroppiness / political (American... hence global...)(huh)

I saw Good Night and Good Luck yesterday, and would recommend it.
I thought it was excellent. It was compelling, and conveyed tension in a very understated way.

The contemporary resonance was dramatic - in relation to the current global situation, and especially America and Iraq, and the relationship between the individual (and individual freedoms) and the state. Also in relation to dumbing down of TV news, and the role of the media generally. Though all this was also very understated which made it more dramatic than if they had made a meal of it. Gripping and very well done, and quite scarey if given too much thought.

And the admirable Mr. Clooney co-wrote the screenplay, as well as co-starring and producing!!

So - Go George!! ( who looked very good in a 50's suit. And Robert Downey Jnr. seems to get more and more yummy with age.)

Personal stroppiness

(No picture)
Counselling this morning. Sessions only once a fortnight, rather than weekly....
But the process is achieving something important - we're talking about things we should have talked about years ago - i'm sure we're understanding each other/ourselves better.

Communication is so important in a relationship and without it some things assume a significance they should never have. ... I feel another letter coming on. I've written 2 long letters so far, its a good way of sorting things out in my mind and communciating with time for reflection at both ends.... Letter No. 3 coming up, I think.

Stroppy dillo
Dillo No. 10 is the stroppiest I could find:

Monday, March 06, 2006


What a relief!
I couldn't access my blog for some time this afternoon - from a variety of computers and browsers - and nor could my friend Luce, my phone-a-friend. (and blog-a-friend, and MSN-a-friend).
An alarming error message saying "Forbidden" came up, "Access denied".

So I'm relieved to be back.

Sorry for all the misery yesterday, today has been better.
(Thanks for nice thoughts/messages from some of you)

I managed to get myself together enough yesterday afternoon to go out for a bike ride, along the Thames cycle path from the Thames barrier to the Millennium Dome - it was a beautiful clear sunny day, bright and crisp, and the path was full of walkers and other cyclists. There is one section with rather dubious-smelling mud and half-submerged shopping trolleys (and, surreally, the top few feet of a ladder, standing upright out of the water like Excalibur) but on the whole its a quite nice stretch of the river, past the yacht club and ecology park - a good walk/ride. I managed to drag little Gem out for the same bike ride on Saturday, and she eventually admitted to enjoying it. I'll take my camera next time and take some pictures to post... I've not been blogging quite long enough to have my camera constantly by my side wherever I go - as, I'm sure, will soon be the case.

This also cheered me up, when I got back:

Little Gem toasting marshmallows. It may be pretty cold here without the compensation of snow, but we're making the best of the still-wintry weather with lots of fires at the weekend.

I also went commando last night - soporifically-speaking. (If you don't count the warm milk) (or the lavender oil).
No bananas left, I hadn't shopped since about Wednesday (and who else in our house is going to buy fruit?)
And I really really couldn't be arsed with the lettuce. But I slept pretty well, so I do believe that my days of lettuce-scoffing at midnight may be over.

I will admit to quite missing the bedtime banana though.

Dillo No. 9 :

- pretty cute, especially as he's only 8cm/3" tail to nose.

And here is a fun website - I managed to score a "rocketing rabbit" after a couple of go's - what an insult though that the slowest is "ambling armadillo"! Stereotyping, or what? They race armadillos in Texas, you know.